Posts from October 2020

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 31, 2020

Luke 4:9b (NIV) …”If you are the Son of God,” (Satan) said,  “throw yourself down from here.”  Satan is always twisting scripture,  taking it out of context and using confusing quotes.  He did it with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden,  and he attempted it with Jesus.  But Jesus knew He did not need to throw Himself off a high tower to get people’s attention.  He did not need to put Himself at unnecessary risk in order to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 30, 2020

Luke 4:7-8 (NIV)  (The devil said) “So if you worship me,  it will all be yours.”  Jesus answered,  “It is written:  ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.’”   Every day,  we face temptations to shortcut the long trek of discipleship for quick fixes and easy answers.  It is all too easy to compromise our faith when our prayers seem to go unanswered,  and our souls enter a dark night that seems to contradict everything we ever believed…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 29, 2020

Luke 4:1-4 (focus verse 4) (NLT)  Jesus answered,  “It is written:  ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’”  Jesus’  ministry began with forty days of hunger and heat in the desert,  not glory and accolades.  When He was at His weakest point,  the devil tempted Him to misuse His power for personal gratification.  Jesus responded with the words of Moses (one well acquainted with desert life).  He knew that life does not consist of satisfying selfish desires.  The Father had…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 28, 2020

Luke 5:4b (NLT)  …(Jesus) said to Simon,  “Now go out where it is deeper,  and let down your nets to catch some fish.”   Peter (Simon) was an experienced fisherman.  He questioned Jesus’  command,  yet respected Him enough to obey.  “Because you say so,  I will” (vs. 5 NIV).  His simple obedience led to a miracle (the huge catch of fish) and a revelation that Peter’s personal best could not compare with Christ’s remarkable power.  Sometimes our best efforts seem…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 27, 2020

Luke 19:13b (NLT)  …”invest this for me while I am gone.” (Read the verses 11-27 for the full context).   God has gifted each one of us with incredible potential.  Use your gifts wisely.  Encourage and strengthen the people around you.  Serve in selfless ways that reflect the Father’s love.  Be a good steward of the life of God within you.  Why do some people live so far beneath their potential and  “roll up their gifts into a piece of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 26, 2020

Luke 18:38 (NLT)  So (the blind beggar) began shouting,  “Jesus,  Son of David,  have mercy on me.”   The blind man was yelling to get Jesus’  attention.  At some point in life,  people can find themselves sidelined by losses,  grief,  illness,  and life’s hardest hits.  It takes intentionality to get up out of that place and move on.  Persistence and the raw determination to overcome resistance even when people are telling you to  “be quiet” (vs. 39)  are sometimes necessary…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 24, 2020

Mark 14:36 (NIV) (read verses 32-36)  Focus words of Jesus:  “Yet not what I will,  but what you will.”  At some point in life each one of us will experience a  “Gethsemane moment.”  The Passion Bible describes Jesus in that garden:  “An intense feeling of great horror plunged his soul into deep sorrow and agony…(he told His disciples:  “It feels as though I’m dying.”)  And then he prayed and asked God,  “don’t allow me to drink this cup of suffering! …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 23, 2020

Exodus 3:8 (NIV)  So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians…  God revealed His purpose to Moses.  He was intent on intervening for his people in response to their distress:  “I have come to rescue them.”  That is the theme of the entire Bible,  which points to Jesus Christ our deliverer.  He invites us into a relationship that progressively leads us out of darkness and into light,  away from bondage and into freedom.  It…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 22, 2020

Exodus 3:7 (NIV)  The LORD said,  “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt.  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers,  and I am concerned about their suffering.”   God revealed Himself to Moses as a compassionate God who is cognizant of the plight of his people whose affliction He sees,  whose cry He hears,  and whose sorrows He knows.  When God looks across our world today,  He sees the tears of the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 21, 2020

Exodus 2:15 (NIV)  When Pharaoh heard of this,  he tried to kill Moses,  but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian,  where he sat down by a well.  God had to take Moses into the desert of Midian to save him from the wrath of Pharaoh.  It was there that Moses had an opportunity to think and find himself as  “he sat down by a well.”  In the desert God would  “drain Moses of all self-sufficiency and…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 20, 2020

Acts 7:24b (NLT)  He saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite.  So Moses came to the man’s defense and avenged him,  killing the Egyptian…   What he saw aroused Moses to action;  but it was  “an impetuous action of self-effort that was void of reliance upon God.  All the knowledge and wisdom he had acquired in Egypt’s institutes of learning was not adequate to equip him for the work of God.”  To his surprise,  his attempt to avenge his Hebrew brothers…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 19, 2020

Acts 7:23 – (KJV)  And when he  (Moses)  was full forty years old,  it came into his heart to visit his brethren the children of Israel.   (MSG)  When he was forty years old,  he wondered how everything was going with his Hebrew kin and went out to look things over. What Moses saw aroused him to action.  There comes a time in life when we must take an intentional walk outside our comfort zones and take a long,  hard…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 17, 2020

Mark 9:7 (NIV)  “…this is my Son, whom I love…”  Every son needs to hear these words from his father.  When we know we are loved,  it creates capacity within us to endure the difficult stuff of life.  Jesus endured the cross in the echo of those words.  On March 1,  the song  “The Blessing”  was introduced to the world—a  prophetic word for God’s people to hold onto during the pandemic,  a song about our Father’s care.  It became a…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 16, 2020

Romans 8:14 (Passion Translation)  The mature children of God are those who are moved by the impulses of the Holy Spirit.  You are the CEO of your own spiritual growth path.  Nobody else will be concerned about your inner growth—people measure performance.  Take responsibility to develop your infrastructure (the inner person) as you partner with the Holy Spirit.  YOU make the choices:  how you spend your time,  what you invest into,  what you entertain in your mind.  If you do…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 15, 2020

Romans 8:5 (Passion Translation) …those who live by the impulses of the Holy Spirit are motivated to pursue spiritual realities.   When you have a healthy soul,  spiritual gifts are engaged and you are pouring out from the Spirit of God within you.  You have discernment and ever expanding ways of connecting with God that enable you to serve out of the overflow of that relationship.  When you have a healthy soul you do the work of self-leadership that is…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 14, 2020

John 10:10 (NIV)  …I (Jesus) have come that they may have life,  and have it to the full.  The symptoms of a healthy soul include:  a sense of God’s abiding presence in this moment;  peace and joy (fruit of the Spirit) confidence and faith balanced with humility;  a sense of safety;  a sense of purpose;  energy;  attentiveness to others.   But the symptoms of a sick soul include:  loss of a sense of real-time connection with God;  anger,  anxiety,  stress; …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 13, 2020

Romans 8:1 (Passion Translation)  So now the case is closed.  There remains no accusing voice of condemnation against those who are joined in life-union with Jesus,  the Anointed One.  Guilt and condemnation are life-draining toxicities that the enemy leverages against us in an effort to derail us from our God-given calling.  When we crossed the line of faith in Jesus,  we were immediately  “rescued from the kingdom of darkness and transferred into the Kingdom of His dear Son” (Col. 1:13). …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 12, 2020

Romans 8:6  (NLT)  So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death.  But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.  The Bible makes it clear that life and peace comes from living in sync with the Holy Spirit—such a contrast to today’s anxiety and stress!  We need replenishment strategies to help us access the life and peace that is available to us as Christ followers.  Start with your schedule.  Are you beginning the day…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 10, 2020

Mark 10:38b (NIV)  Jesus said,  “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the  baptism I am baptized with?”  John the Beloved heard the heartbeat of God (John 13:23).  He walked the heights and depths and was persecuted severely for his faith.  So often we want the depths of God’s power revealed in us,  but are we willing to pay the price (Matt. 20:20-28)?  Can you drink this cup?  It is a haunting question.  You can go…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 9, 2020

Mark 9:9 (NIV)  As they were coming down the mountain,  Jesus gave them orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. Consider how many others Jesus asked NOT to tell what they had seen:  the parents of the girl raised from the dead (Luke 8:53-56);  the man healed of leprosy (Luke 5:12-15);  and Peter,  James,  and John coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration (Mark 9:9).  Miracles are only…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY OCTOBER 8, 2020

Luke 9:28b (NIV)  (Jesus)  took Peter,  John,  and James with Him and went up onto a mountain to pray.  Occasionally,  Jesus would take these three and give them a private tutoring session.  Evidently,  there was some kind of capacity within them,  a responsiveness that Jesus perceived.  Of course,  they did not understand all the things they saw and heard—Christ’s transformation experience left them speechless.  Maybe the bigger truth was that they were smart enough to NOT tell anyone at that…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 7, 2020

Luke 10:1 (NLT)  The Lord now chose 72 other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places He planned to visit.   The disciples and apostles were appointed to go and preach.  They were followers who gave up something to follow Jesus (Mark 1:18:  “left their nets to follow Him”).  (See Luke 14:25-27;  Luke 9:57-62.)  When Jesus starting teaching about  “taking up a cross,”  the drop-outs began (John 6:60, 66).  Following Jesus as a disciple…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY OCTOBER 6, 2020

John 10:27 (NIV)  My sheep listen to my voice;  I know them,  and they follow me.  The next ring of people who circulated around Jesus were the believers.  They listened to what Jesus said and followed.  Christ’s words began to make an impact on their lives as they listened and obeyed.  They leaned in closer to Christ and His teachings and were not as intent on the miracles as they were on His words.  They noticed that He spoke with…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY OCTOBER 5, 2020

John 6:2 (NIV)  A huge crowd kept following  (Jesus)  wherever He went,  because they saw His miraculous signs as He healed the sick.  Different groups of people circulated around Jesus.  The outermost group was the crowd who was drawn by the spectacular,  captivated by the miracles.  Jesus loved all the people who came to see Him;  and the miracles certainly were attention getters that caused people to draw near.  But then what?  Jesus wanted people to be captivated with Him…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY OCTOBER 3, 2020

Psalm 23:1 (KJV)  The Lord is my shepherd.  The name Yahweh Rohi means  “the Lord Our Shepherd”  and it portrays God as the spiritual shepherd of His people.  Sheep know their shepherd’s voice and rely on it for direction.  Shepherds protect their sheep from danger.  Yahweh Rohi leads us,  protects us,  delivers us from evil,  and meets our spiritual needs.  Psalm 23 beautifully describes how God is a shepherd in our lives.  He has your best interests in mind,  so…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY OCTOBER 2, 2020

Matthew 6:9 (NIV)  This,  then,  is how you should pray:  “Our Father in heaven,  hallowed be your name…”  “The Fatherhood of God has taken on new meaning since Calvary,  but its roots are well-grounded in the Old Testament revelation.  Deut. 32:6;  Isaiah 63:16;  Jeremiah 3:19,  and Malachi 1:6 reveal God as Ab (the New Testament equivalent is Pater),  the Father of the nation of Israel.  In this role,  He tenderly cares for His people’s needs,  disciplines them,  and provides for…