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DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 2, 2022

Zechariah 4:6b (NIV)  “…Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.   What is the means which God uses in the building of His temple, the Body of Christ?  NOT BY MIGHT: sheer numbers of corporate effort (Judges 7:2-7).  NOT BY POWER: the application of sheer human energy.  BUT BY MY SPIRIT: only through the supernatural dynamic of the Holy Spirit.  How much effort do we put into human strategies when a divine strategy…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 1, 2022

I Peter 2:5 – (NLT)  You are living stones that God is building into His spiritual temple.  The Lord is currently building a spiritual house (the Church, which is His Body, Col. 1:24) based upon the foundation of the work of Christ.  The  “stones”  represent individual believers.  He does not choose those high on the social register, but often choses those whose standing is  “low”, or who have  “no standing”  at all (“Is not this the carpenter’s son, whose father…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JUNE 30, 2022

I Corinthians 1:18-25 (NIV) (focus verse 25)  For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength. Paul teaches us that Christ followers and non-Christ followers are SO DIFFERENT in their thinking concerning spiritual matters.  “What is wisdom to one is foolishness to others because the mind of the person who does not follow Christ has not undergone the transformation by regeneration that the Christ follower has experienced” (I Cor.…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JUNE 29, 2022

I Samuel 17:37 (NIV)  (David to King Saul) “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine (Goliath).”  We should learn from the Old Testament stories and not merely be entertained by them.  All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable (II Tim. 3:16).  “This military crisis took on spiritual connotations because of Goliath’s defiance of the living God.  By…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JUNE 28, 2022

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)  “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.  “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”  There is a real difference between the ways and the thoughts of God and those of man.  His are higher—superior in every way.  The Old Testament narratives point this out: marches around walled cities, a slingshot that felled a…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JUNE 27, 2022

Mark 3:14-15 (NLT)  Then He (Jesus) appointed twelve of them and called them His apostles.  They were to accompany Him, and He would send them out to preach, giving them authority to cast out demons.   What does it mean to be equipped by the Lord?  Clearly, of primary importance, it involves  “accompanying”  Him or  “being with Him” (NIV & Message).  It also means being provided with the necessary means to carry out a God-assigned task.  We can go to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JUNE 25, 2022

II Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)  …Christ in you, the hope of glory…  What is more real to you: the power within you or Christ’s power in you?  We must yield to an exchange of power—a difficult process when all your life you have depended primarily on your own abilities to make life work well.  Like the Children of Israel, we move slowly toward our  “promised land”  and must learn dependence upon God’s supply.  Jesus is sufficient (see II Corinthians 9:8).

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JUNE 24, 2022

Matthew 11:29 (NLT)  (Jesus said) Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.   (The Message) Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it.  Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.  The  “rest for your soul”  that Christ offers to us is the release from self-effort, the need to respond to every…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JUNE 23, 2022

Philippians 3:8 (NIV)  “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ…”  There comes a point in life (hopefully) that each of us must face—the reality that knowing Christ is everything.  In our younger years we discover our natural talents and spiritual gifts, we engage life with energy, and we run the race…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JUNE 22, 2022

Revelation 1:8 (NIV)  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,”  says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” When you come to the end of yourself, the end of all your best self-efforts, THAT is the place where you can find Jesus.  He is the Alpha and Omega—the beginning and end of all things.  He was there all the time waiting patiently in line for your attention, your ear, your heart.  It…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JUNE 21, 2022

Colossians 1:19 (NIV)  For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him (Christ)…  Everything you could ever want to know about God can be found in the person of Jesus Christ.  He is the vision we see when heaven opens to us: In Him all fullness dwells (KJV).  How long does it take for us to realize that  “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JUNE 20, 2022

John 1:48 (NIV)  “How do you know me?”  Nathanael asked.  Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”   We can only speculate what Nathanael was doing under that fig tree.  Was he praying and reaching out to God?  Was he meditating on scripture?  Was he lifting needs to God through prayer, or complaining to God about the Romans?  Jesus’  comment stunned Nathanael creating a highway directly into his heart.  Nathanael…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JUNE 18, 2022

Acts 27:23 (NIV)  Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me…  God deploys angels on our behalf.  There are 108 references to spiritual hosts in the Old Testament and 165 references to them in the New Testament.  They have a definite effect on the activities and affairs of people.  In this case, an angel appeared to Paul during his ship’s perilous journey to Rome and gave him a message of hope,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JUNE 17, 2022

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  The battle believers wage is spiritual.  So beware of the subtle thoughts that come your way and “every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God (Eph. 10:3-5).  Live aware of the many ways your thoughts are being influenced.  We need…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JUNE 16, 2022

II Kings 6:16 (NIV)  “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered, “those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”  The enemy had surrounded the city and the prophet Elisha’s servant was terrified.  But Elisha calmly reassured him.  He prayed the simple prayer, “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see” (vs. 17).  Suddenly Elisha’s servant saw a multitude of heavenly hosts.  The enemy was neutralized and Israel gained a great victory without even fighting a…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JUNE 15, 2022

I Peter 1:12b (NIV)  Even angels long to look into these things.  Angels are well-informed about many aspects of God’s universal kingdom.  They are very intelligent but they labor under certain limitations.  Peter tells us that they long to explore the wonders of God’s grace that are revealed in God’s redemptive plan.  They look at us and wonder and marvel at God’s amazing grace and the lengths to which He went to engage His redemption plan.  I think they wonder…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JUNE 14, 2022

Psalm 103:20 (NIV)  Praise the Lord, you his angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His word.  The word translated angel means messenger.  Angels were created to carry out specific spiritual functions on behalf of God and His people.  Throughout the Bible you will read about them worshipping God, carrying out assignments for Him, serving as agents of His judgment, providing strength and protection for God’s people, delivering God’s people in times of peril, and sometimes providing…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JUNE 13, 2022

Luke 4:31 (NIV)  Then He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath began to teach the people.  I have visited the ruins of that synagogue where Jesus taught.  Teaching was an important aspect of His everyday life.  He unpacked the scriptures, told parables full of practical applications.  He taught his disciples as they walked from one town to another and as they rode the boat across the Galilee.  Those conversations were full of life applications…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JUNE 11, 2022

John 21:17b (NIV)   Peter said, “Lord, you know everything.  You know that I love you.”  Love holds us steady when we don’t understand.  Believing in God’s sovereignty brings us peace.  When the paradigm changes and former things, familiar things, reliable people and processes are gone, love holds us steady while life reorients around us.  It is not easy.  We must be flexible.  He DOES know everything.  He knows when we tremble and cry, long for the  “good old days” …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JUNE 10, 2022

John 21:18 (NIV)   “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”  Jesus’  words to Peter described a reality that found fulfillment in Peter’s death (upside down on a cross, according to church historians).  But it also describes something more.  It describes a life…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JUNE 9, 2022

Matthew 4:19 (NIV)   “Come, follow me,” Jesus said…   The disciples dropped their nets, sold their boats, and went  “all in.”  Noemi Chavez tells us:  “The disciples never said: I will follow for a season to see if it works, or I will follow for a while and then we will talk—but no promises.  Likes and dislikes are not important in God’s Kingdom.  Those disciples were on a mission—till death!  Life has an assignment.  Don’t count on a safe,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JUNE 8, 2022

John 21:12 (NIV)   Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast”…  Think of it: Jesus made breakfast for His disciples!  “Some of the greatest lessons are not in the miracle moments, but in the journey” (Noemi Chavez).  Breakfast together.  Laughing about life.  Sharing stories.  Oh, how He loved them.  How He loves you!  Slow down, and learn to be present in each moment.  Notice the little joys tucked into life.  Enjoy the hugs from your children.  Hold hands with…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JUNE 7, 2022

John 21:15 (NIV)   When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”  “It is one thing to have expectations of Jesus; but its another thing to understand that He has expectations of us” (Noemi Chavez).  When do we transition into adulthood in the Kingdom of God?  When did you start caring…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JUNE 6, 2022

John 21:3 (NIV)   “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.”  So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.  Jesus had told the disciples that after His resurrection they were to go to Galilee, and He would meet them there (Matt. 26:32; Mark 14:28 NLT).  They went.  They waited.  Nothing.  So, they fished.  It’s what they knew best, but it was a futile endeavor. …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JUNE 4, 2022

Isaiah 6:8  Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”  That moment of awe in God’s presence changed Isaiah.  It enabled Him to perceive God clearly, recognize human frailty, discern God’s call, and receive atonement with humility.  When we allow God to transform us through AWE-filled experiences, we are humbled and enabled to move forward in the right attitude, to minister to hurting people all around us.  It is…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JUNE 3, 2022

Isaiah 6:5 (NIV)  “Woe to me!”  I cried.  “I am ruined!  For I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”   Isaiah saw the reality of his human condition and it left no room for pride—only repentance.  No matter how long or how fervent our relationship has been with the Lord, any fresh revelation brings an awareness of our human frailties; but…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JUNE 2, 2022

Isaiah 6:4 (NIV)  At the sound of their voices (the angel-seraphs) the doorposts and thresholds shook, and the temple was filled with smoke.   Isaiah’s vision continued and he felt the shaking of doorposts and thresholds.  Doorposts and thresholds represent a transition from one room into another.  Isaiah felt the shaking.  This experience was moving him from one kind of relationship with God into another.  He would not only warn the people about the consequences of evil, but also deliver…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JUNE 1, 2022

Isaiah 6:2-3 (The Message)  Angel-seraphs hovered above Him…and they called back and forth one to the other, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is God…”   Have you experienced a moment of AWE?  You looked into the face of your newborn baby, or you sat at the bedside of a dying saint as they slipped into eternity.  Isaiah had a revelation of God that inspired such a depth of awe that it changed the trajectory of his life.  When we have a strong…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MAY 31, 2022

Isaiah 6:1 (NIV)  In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted…   King Uzziah had died and the country was in transition.  When life changes (and it always does) people feel anxious and start to ask questions and wonder about the future.  Something has  “died”  and our hearts are plowed open.  There is a timeless truth we need to discover in times of transition: GOD REIGNS, even if earthly thrones…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MAY 30, 2022

Isaiah 1:16 (NIV)  …wash and make yourselves clean.  Take your evil deeds out of my sight!  Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!  Seek justice, encourage the oppressed.  Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.   Both the Northern Kingdom (Israel) and the Southern Kingdom (Judah) had fallen into serious moral and spiritual decline.  The first 39 chapters of Isaiah reveal Israel’s need to repent and return to their covenant with God (Deut. 11:8-32).  What…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MAY 28, 2022

Isaiah 50:4  The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary.  The Lord wants to use you and me to speak words to weary souls that will sustain them.  He will give you those words early in the morning as He  “wakens my ear to listen like one being taught” (4b).  Have you experienced the still small voice of the Holy Spirit in the dawn’s early light as you sit before God…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MAY 27, 2022

John 12:50b  So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.  Even as Jesus spoke exactly what the Father told Him to say, the Holy Spirit wants to lead us in our conversations so we know what and how to speak about the Kingdom of God to the people around us: our spouse, children, friends, co-workers.  Our words should refresh, reassure, speak truth, restore, and mend.  How good are you at letting others speak?  Do…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MAY 26, 2022

I John 2:27  But you have received the Holy Spirit, and He lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true.  For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what He teaches is true—it is not a lie.  This verse is NOT teaching us that we should not study God’s Word or listen to Bible teachers.  Reading this verse in context, we realize it is referring to the false teachers of that…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MAY 25, 2022

Mark 1:22  The people were amazed at His teaching, because He taught them as one who had authority…   The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to speak in Jesus’  name.  Our  “Power of Attorney”  to act in His name has validity in Heaven.  When we are living in sync with Holy Spirit leadership, remarkable things can happen: healings, miracles, divine discernment, wisdom, special faith, and more.  The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead can be at…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MAY 24, 2022

Mark 3:14-15  (Jesus) appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.   The Holy Spirit equips us. He gives us the necessary means to carry out our God-assigned tasks.  There is a great difference between God’s ways and thoughts and ours.  His are infinitely higher and superior to ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).  So, living a Spirit-led life requires attention to the Kingdom of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MAY 23, 2022

Acts 1:4-5  Once when (Jesus) was eating with (the disciples), He commanded them, “Do not leave Jerusalem until the Father sends you the gift He promised, as I told you before…in just a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.   It was on the 50th day after Easter that the apostles were praying together in the Upper Room and the Holy Spirit descended on them, just as Jesus predicted.  (This year Pentecost Sunday is being celebrated…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MAY 21, 2022

Romans 11:33a (NIV)  Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out!  We serve a rational God—creative and intelligent but also compassionate, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love (Ps. 103:8).  He has an end in mind that is consistent with His character.  His motives toward us are always pure, consistent with His nature and for our good.  Jesus is His  “express image” (Heb. 1:30. …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MAY 20, 2022

Exodus 15:11 (NLT)  Who is like you among the gods, O LORD—glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders?    What have we learned so far this week regarding the existence of God?  God has revealed Himself in creation.  Scripture assumes the existence of God but does not seek to prove it.  People’s innate belief in God’s existence and humanity’s moral nature all testify to God’s existence.  Remarkably, God cared enough to reveal Himself to us so that we…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MAY 19, 2022

Romans 2:14-15 (The Message)  When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience.  They show that God’s law is not something alien, imposed on us from without, but woven into the very fabric of our creation.  There is something deep within them that echoes God’s yes and no, right and wrong.  People are moral beings, with a sense of right and wrong.  Conscience is inherent in…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MAY 18, 2022

Romans 1:20 (NLT)  For ever since the world was created people have seen the earth and sky.  Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature… A universal belief in a supreme being is innate or intuitive in people everywhere.  However, this belief is not so universal in what that god is like.  Christians believe in one loving God who is interested in a personal relationship with them.  Those who believe in other…