Posts from August 2020

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 1, 2020

Matthew 11:25-26 (MSG)  Abruptly Jesus broke into prayer:  “Thank you,  Father,  Lord of heaven and earth.  You’ve concealed your ways from sophisticates and know-it-alls but spelled them out clearly to ordinary people (the childlike NLT;  little children NIV;  babes KJVS).  God does not put a premium on ignorance (Matt. 22:29);  but He does not put a premium on academic achievements either,  however useful they can be as an adjunct to a God-given ministry,  as a servant though not as a…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 31, 2020

Matthew 5:6 (NIV)  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,  for they will be filled.  Spiritual hunger presupposes a spiritual capacity.  That hunger originates in God (John 6:44).  If you feel it,  realize that God is calling you to Himself;  and if you do not divert it into other channels and destroy it,  then you can be sure that your hunger will be satisfied.  The earnest seeker can expect a reward:  I will give you the treasures of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 29, 2020

Matthew 24:13 (NIV)  …the love of many will grow cold…  “Satan tailors temptation to taste.  What is your taste?  He will use bait accordingly.  Do we have an authentic taste for the Word of God?  If so,  he will tempt us with legalism”  (Beth Moore).  Nobody got on Jesus’  nerves more than some of the religious leaders of His day who embedded themselves so deeply in the Law that they overlooked love.  They missed caring for the person in favor…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 28, 2020

I John 3:23 (NIV)  And this is His command:  to believe in the name of His Son,  Jesus Christ,  and to love one another as He commanded us.  How do we love one another as Jesus commanded?  Consider how Jesus treated his traitor disciple Judas,  or his doubting disciple Thomas,  or his betraying disciple Peter.  Consider how He hung on the cross and prayed,  “Father,  forgive them;  for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34)  while the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 27, 2020

Romans 12:12 (NIV)  Be joyful in hope,  patient in affliction,  faithful in prayer.  Affliction (trouble- NLT; hard times-The Message; tribulation-KJVS) will come.  Don’t be surprised by trials.  They can do something within us—create growth.  The good news about the hard things of life is that,  if we respond to them correctly,  something very good can come out of them.  Each day there is a lesson in the trial:  learning to praise rather than complain;  learning to live in gratitude for…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 26, 2020

Exodus 16:4a (NIV)  Then the Lord said to Moses,  “I will rain down bread from heaven for you…”  Throughout scripture we see a theme of PORTION.  God provided for the Israelites in the Wilderness by sending them food one day at a time.  They had to learn to trust God,  not hoard the food,  but know that their portion would come in the morning and just in time.  Jesus prayed,  “Give us this day our daily bread”—again,  PORTION that is…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 25, 2020

Jeremiah 17:8 (NLT)  They are like trees planted along a riverbank,  with roots that reach deep into the water.  Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought.  Their leaves stay green,  and they never stop producing fruit.  We are to be like these trees.  When a storm comes along,  the tree sways but has everything it needs because it has grown deep roots to sustain it.  It is equipped.  And it keeps bearing…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 24, 2020

Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT)  Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.  The past six months have been grueling on us in body,  soul,  and spirit.  Who knew that in August we would still be dealing with the pandemic?  (The Lord knew.)  How are we doing life these days?  Are we self-feeding in God’s Word?  Are we protecting ourselves from idolatries that take us off track from mission and calling?  This is…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 22, 2020

Hebrews 12:2 (KJV)  …for the joy that was set before Him,  (Jesus)  endured the cross…  We live out of many different lanes,  (business,  personal life,  etc.),  but not all of them evoke the same feelings or outcomes.  When one lane becomes especially difficult,  (i.e.  health or job),  and we experience a season of high stress,  we need to make sure we are attending to other,  less-stressful lanes  (i.e. grandchildren or hobbies).  Jesus endured the cross because He kept an eye…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 21, 2020

John 4:34 (NIV)  “My food,”  said Jesus,  “is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work.” Jesus loved his interactions with people.  He was energized in doing His Father’s work of bringing healing and wholeness to humanity.  What do you love to do that glorifies God and edifies people?  Know your energizers.  Fill your week with 20% of energizing activities.  They are the activities that put a smile on your face at the end…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 20, 2020

Mark 6:31 (MSG)  Jesus said,  “Come off by yourselves;  let’s take a break and get a little rest.”  For there was constant coming and going.  They didn’t even have time to eat.  Jesus knew the importance of including times of rest and recovery in his busy schedule.  He led his disciples to quiet places for physical,  mental,  and spiritual renewal.  Have you built recovery times into your busy lifestyle?  Do you take hard breaks between high-stress seasons?  Do you purposefully…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 19, 2020

II Corinthians 12:9a (NIV)  …”My grace is sufficient for you,  for my power is made perfect in weakness.”   This has played out in my life on multiple occasions:  when standing in the pulpit in another country dazed from jet lag and somehow able to preach with a heavy anointing;  when my schedule on a day that ended in teaching was so full that I had no time to do a final run-though of my lesson,  and somehow I was…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 18, 2020

Matthew 8:34 (MSG)  (Jesus said)  “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,  and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”  John Maxwell said:  “The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.”  Are we being faithful to our God-given mission each and every day?  Do we take time to sit with Christ in the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 17, 2020

Hebrews 11:1-2 (MSG)  The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God,  this faith,  is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living.  It’s our handle on what we can’t see.  The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors,  set them above the crowd.   Crisis is common to man.  We live in a fallen world and face challenges every day both small and large.  But followers of Jesus have been given an instruction book…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 15, 2020

Romans 5:1 (NIV)  Therefore,  since we have been justified through faith,  we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus taught His disciples:  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10).  The kind of peace that we crave is available only through the Prince of Peace,  Jesus Christ.  We can enjoy fully-satisfied lives as we  “grow in grace,  and in…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 14, 2020

Psalm 131:2 (NIV)  But I have stilled and quieted my soul;  like a weaned child with its mother,  like a weaned child is my soul within me.  Few skills are more essential than the ability to still and quiet ourselves.  If you can settle your heart by going to God’s throne and accessing His peace,  then you are more likely to be calm,  alert,  and fully present no matter what is going on around you.  Being at peace enables you…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 13, 2020

James 3:18 (NIV)  Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.  (James 1:20) – The wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.  Paul told Timothy:  “Keep your head in all situations,  endure hardship,  do the work of an evangelist” (II Tim. 4:5).  Through  “faith and patience we inherit the promises”  (Heb 6:12).  We do not progress through hateful attitudes,  actions and words.  We must  “keep our heads”  and sow in peace.  We do our battles…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 12, 2020

Galatians 5:22 (NIV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love,  joy,  peace,  patience,  kindness,  goodness,  faithfulness. . . How much of this fruit is growing in your life?  How patient are you with yourself,  with others,  with God?  It takes a lifetime to learn that nobody is perfect but Jesus.  People change and progress just one step at a time.  There is no jumping ahead in life,  only lots of learning curves.  So we must learn to be patient…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 11, 2020

Colossians 3:15  (NIV)  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,  since as members of one body you were called to peace.  And be thankful.  What do you let rule in your heart?  Do you keep watch every day so that bitterness,  anger,  and wrath doesn’t find its way in?  Do you review your soul every evening with the Lord to let Him show you things during the day that happened that you otherwise would not notice without His…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 10, 2020

Romans 15:13 (NIV)  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,  so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.   We serve the  “God of hope,”  and no matter what diagnosis or news report or opposition or disturbance comes our way,  we must fix our  eyes on the Lord and the truth that He gives to us in His Word.  Each day we must choose…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 8, 2020

Daniel 2:14 (NIV)  When Arioch,  the commander of the king’s guard,  had gone out to put to death the wise men of Babylon,  Daniel spoke to him with wisdom and tact.  Daniel and his friends provide a model for a faithful testimony under the threat of torture and death.  “Although relatively few believers are required to face this ultimate test,  those who do are consistently given the highest honor in the heavenly rolls” (see Heb. 11:33-34).  When speaking to antagonists, …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 7, 2020

Daniel 10:11 (MSG)  And he said unto me,  “O Daniel,  a man greatly beloved,  understand the words that I speak unto thee. . .”  The context of this passage  “points out the intercessory role Daniel had during this time.  In his intercession,  he was warring against great spiritual forces.  With faithful response to his task,  Daniel was finally able to realize the answer to his prayer.  However,  it did not come without struggle in the heavenlies.  Because he persisted,  Daniel…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 6, 2020

Daniel 9:5 (MSG)  “We have sinned in every way imaginable.  We’ve done evil things,  rebelled,  dodged,  and taken detours around your clearly marked paths. . . (v. 9) Compassion is our only hope. . .    God is calling us to intercessory prayer before His throne.  Like Daniel,  we must identify with the sins of those for whom we pray.  Are you praying for our country during these difficult days?  And are you praying for our missionaries who are laboring…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 5, 2020

Daniel 2:20-23(MSG)  Blessed be the name of God,  forever and ever.  He knows all,  does all:  He changes the seasons and guides history.  He raises up kings and also brings them down,  He provides both intelligence and discernment.  Fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ live with a bedrock belief in God’s sovereignty and seek to glorify Him in every situation.  Even when circumstances are strongly adverse to them,  they believe that God will equip them to prevail.  Have you found…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 4, 2020

Daniel 3:17  (NIV)  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace,  the God we serve is able to save us from it,  and he will rescue us from your hand,  O king.  But even if he does not,  we want you to know,  O king,  that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.  “Godly living requires that we exhibit faith during times of adversity and want,  as well as during times…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 3, 2020

Daniel 1:8 (MSG)  But Daniel determined that he would not defile himself by eating the king’s food or drinking the wine,  so he asked the head of the palace staff to exempt him from the royal diet.  How well do you stand firm for your righteous standards,  in spite of pressure to sin? When you see our culture’s  “diet,”  the focus on the lust of the flesh,  the lust of the eyes,  and the pride of life  (I John 2:16), …
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