Posts from January 2021

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JANUARY 27, 2021

Matthew 6:33 (NLT)  Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,  and live righteously,  and He will give you everything you need.  How do we live a well-ordered life that enables us to thrive?  “First,  we have to sustain a clear sense of what really matters and what is truly important.  Invariably,  a disordered life is but a symptom of a lack of clarity about priorities and purpose.  Our sense of what is important is rooted first and foremost in…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JANUARY 26, 2021

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (NIV)  This is what the Lord says:  “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches,  but let him who boasts boast about this:  that he understands and knows me,  that I am the Lord who exercises kindness,  justice and righteousness on earth,  for in these I delight,”  declares the Lord.“  Left to itself,  our needle defaults naturally toward self-righteousness.  That’s why…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JANUARY 25, 2021

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)  Guard your heart above all else,  for it determines the course of your life.  It is not your giftedness,  your level of education,  your connectedness with people of influence,  your beauty or physical strength,  but your HEART that ultimately determines your trajectory.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart  (I Samuel 16:7b).  Whatever lives in the heart finds expression in…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JANUARY 23, 2021

II Corinthians 1:3-4 (TPT)  For He is the Father of tender mercy and the God of endless comfort.  He always comes alongside us to comfort us in every suffering so that we can come alongside those who are in any painful trial.  We can bring them this same comfort that God has poured out upon us.  And just as we experience the abundance of Christ’s own sufferings,  even more of God’s comfort will cascade upon us through our union with…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JANUARY 22, 2021

John 17:13 (TPT)  …so Father,  I pray that they will experience and enter into my joyous delight in you so that it is fulfilled in them and overflows…  “A person with emotional health has the capacity to respond with sorrow (anger,  mourning,  or discouragement) when pain intersects their life.  But they always come back to an emotional center of joy.  The person of emotional maturity is the individual in whom the dominant emotion is joy,  which is rooted in confidence…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JANUARY 21, 2021

Matthew 6:12 (NLT)  …and forgive us our sins,  as we have forgiven those who sin against us.  Is there someone you need to forgive?  Forgiving others is a truly spiritual act.  All of us are victimized from time to time.  God is good but life is not fair.  We will not be treated as we should be.  “We will not be thanked as much as we should be.  We will not be affirmed or appreciated as much as we deserve. …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JANUARY 20, 2021

II Corinthians 4:10 (NIV)  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus,  so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.  “Our capacity to be life and grace to others comes through our experience of difficulty.  Our ability to make a difference for God in a broken world comes through our capacity to be life in the midst of death,  to be people of hope in a discouraging world” (see II Cor 1:6). …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JANUARY 19, 2021

Romans 12:3 (NIV)  …Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought,  but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,  in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.  “Without the virtues of gratitude and humility,  moral integrity is nothing more than moralism and judgmentalism.  When Paul advised Timothy that God did not give us a spirit of fear but of love,  power,  and self-discipline,  we are reminded of a crucial and vital qualifier:  true courage is…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JANUARY 18, 2021

Romans 12:3 (TPT)  Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you,  but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think.  This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life,  satisfying and perfect in His eyes. (NIV – …think of yourself with sober judgment…)  The Apostle Paul calls us to root our lives into moral integrity.  “That includes financial honesty,  sexual integrity—faithfulness to one’s spouse,  or…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JANUARY 16, 2021

Matthew 25:23 (The Passion Translation)  Commending his servant,  the master replied,  “You have done well,  and proven yourself to be my loyal and trustworthy servant…” What is your calling- the work that you need to be doing?  “What is your divine necessity?”  We need to cultivate  “a theological vision of life and work,  and to then approach our lives and our days with this vision.”  Jesus gives the mission:  glorify God and edify others and take the gospel to every…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JANUARY 15, 2021

II Timothy 1:6 (The Passion Translation)  I’m writing to encourage you to fan into a flame and rekindle the fire of the spiritual gift God imparted to you…  Paul is urging Timothy to be proactive and take responsibility for his life and actions.  We are called to be stewards of the life we have with all its complications (not some ideal).  It is helpful to cultivate three conversation partners:  two peers (one in a similar line of work and a…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JANUARY 14, 2021

Romans 12:6a (The Passion Translation)  God’s marvelous grace imparts to each one of us varying gifts and ministries that are uniquely ours.  Paul calls us to live a life of service;  and he lists seven areas of consideration.  Where do you fit?  Each represents a basic vocational orientation.  “And each has the capacity to be reflected in many different occupations,  careers,  roles,  volunteer ministries,  responsibilities and ministries in the church,  and in the home.  What matters to you is reflected…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JANUARY 13, 2021

Matthew 11:30 (NIV)  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.  When a yoke is  “easy,”  it fits us well.  “It is designed around the contours of who we are.”  When we embrace the yoke of God,  we find freedom (from ambition,  from the pressures and expectations of others).  We live with joy and hope rather than law-driven,  demands.  Regardless of praise or financial return,  we live to glorify God and edify others because we find our lives…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JANUARY 12, 2021

John 17:4 (The Passion Translation)  I have glorified you on the earth by faithfully doing everything you’ve told me to do.  When I come to the end of my life,  I want to know I had faithfully fulfilled my calling.  Missions,  writing,  teaching,  counseling,  mentoring,  discipling—these are a few of the things I simply  “must do”  with my life.  What is on your list of  “must do’s”?  Each of our lists will be different.  Each  “will be congruent with the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JANUARY 11, 2021

Mark 1:37-38 (The Message)  (The disciples)  found Jesus and said,  “Everybody’s looking for you.”  Jesus said,  “Let’s go to the rest of the villages so I can preach there also.  This is why I’ve come.”  Jesus had been successfully ministering in Capernaum.  Early the next morning he went  to a quiet place and prayed (v. 35).  When Peter and the other disciples came to find him to take him back into Capernaum to continue ministry,  Jesus basically said  “no”—he had…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JANUARY 9, 2021

Philippians 4:5b  The Lord is near. What a comforting word for those of us who need to be reassured!  God promises repeatedly throughout the Bible that He is near:  to those with a broken heart (Ps. 31:18);  to those with a contrite heart (Ps. 51:17).  Moses begged God:  If your Presence does not go with us,  do not send us up from here (Ex. 33:15).  How many times have you stood on the brink of a major life crossing and…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JANUARY 8, 2021

Philippians 4:7 (TPV)  …then God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding,  will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ. There is no better way to live than in a continual flow of conversational prayer with God.  That connection brings peace and helps us live with the truth of God’s Word at our core.  So many things in life can upset our peace unless we have learned to live in that holy space of prayer.  We don’t deny the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JANUARY 7, 2021

Philippians 4:6 (TPV)  Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing.  Be saturated in prayer throughout each day,  offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude.  Tell Him every detail of your life… Anxiety is a normal response when you are waiting for test results from the doctor or waiting for the ambulance and police to arrive on the scene,  or when you get a call from a family member urging you to come immediately.  But…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JANUARY 6, 2021

Hebrews 1:3 (TPV)  The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor,  the exact expression of God’s true nature—His mirror image!  He holds the universe together and expands it by the mighty power of His spoken word… Jesus took the form of a human body and lived among us so that He could reveal the Father and ultimately go to Calvary to take the penalty for mankind’s sin.  Colossians 1:17 tell us that  “in Him all things hold together.”  In…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JANUARY 5, 2021

Deuteronomy 8:3  He humbled you,  causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna…to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. When life dishes out major challenges,  we need to reflect on this important truth.  God’s Word sustains us.  It provides encouragement,  wisdom,  comfort,  and promises!  It is our weapon against misbeliefs.  It is the truth in which we find consolation and rest when…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JANUARY 4, 2021

Deuteronomy 8:2 Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. As we begin our first full week of the New Year, let us begin by remembering how God has helped us in the past.  The narrative of Moses leading the Jewish people through the tough wilderness to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JANUARY 2, 2021

Philippians 3:12-16 (TPV)  I admit that I haven’t yet acquired the absolute fullness that I’m pursuing,  but I run with passion into His abundance so that I may reach the purpose that Jesus Christ has called me to fulfill and wants me to discover.  I don’t depend on my own strength to accomplish this;  however,  I do have one compelling focus:  I forget all of the past as I fasten my heart to the future instead.  I run straight for…