Devotions (Page 2)

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Matthew 26:75 (The Message)   Peter remembered what Jesus had said:  “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”  He went out and cried and cried and cried.  Regret.  We’ve all experienced it.  We all respond differently:  denial, excuses, withdrawal, overcompensation.  Satan is the accuser, (Rev. 12:10 ) so he focuses on amplifying our failures—to us, to God, to one another.  “Nothing is gained by living with regret.  Nothing.  Forgive yourself;  learn from what has happened and what…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Mark 11:25 (NLT) (Jesus said) “But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against;  so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Forgiveness is such an essential foundational beam for a healthy life.  The Gospel is built on it.  Christ died to open a forgiveness pathway.  Throughout our lives, we face many opportunities for resentment—with parents, with people who have been violent or unjust.  “One of the givens of life is that…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 20, 2021

Psalm 40:2 (NLT) He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.  He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. We live in a discouraging world  “but if we remain locked in discouragement, it becomes a cynicism that leaves our hearts in a perpetual state of gloom.  For those of us who are prone to become discouraged, the grave danger is that we would get lost in…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 19, 2021

Luke 12:32 (NLT)   So don’t be afraid, little flock.  For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. Only a person completely out of touch with life would say they never get anxious.  “But we walk the way of death when we allow anxieties to consume and overpower us.  Our only hope is to honestly confront our worries and fears, and accept with grace that all we can do is trust in the providential care of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2021

Ephesians 4:31-32 (The Passion Translation) Lay aside bitter words, temper tantrums, revenge, profanity, and insults.  But instead be kind and affectionate toward one another.  Has God graciously forgiven you?  Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.  “We will be wronged;  nothing can stop this.  But we can decide if that wrong will fester in our hearts and ultimately destroy us, or whether we will let it go.  Emotional health comes through acknowledgment (of our anger),  but…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2021

John 14:1 (The Passion Translation)  (Jesus said)  “Don’t worry or surrender to your fear.  For you’ve believed in God, now trust and believe in me also.”   Christ calls us to emotional health that persists in the face of setbacks and disappointments.  The Holy Spirit helps us channel our emotional energy toward worthy goals.  He enables us to enter into deep realms of prayer (Rom. 8:26), teaches us how to offload our weariness and heavy burdens (Matt. 11:28), and helps…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2021

Ephesians 4:26 (The Passion Translation)   But don’t let the passion of your emotions lead you to sin!  Don’t let anger control you or be fuel for revenge, not for even a day.  Don’t give the slanderous accuser, the Devil, and opportunity to manipulate you! Are you able to manage your emotional life so that you are not paralyzed by worry or swept away by anger?  Are you able to manage your emotions rather than be managed by your emotions? …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY FEBRUARY 15, 2021

John 14:15 (The Message) “If you love me, show it by doing what I’ve told you.”   Obedience is the practical acceptance of the authority of God over your life.  It includes both submitting to Him in your heart and expressing your submission through actions and words.  “To be obedient is to be in agreement with God…to be in a position of power in Christ.”*  When we knowingly disobey what we know to be God’s will, we weaken our defenses…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Luke 19:13 (KJV) And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, “Occupy till I come.”  The promise of Christ’s future Kingdom  “must not keep us from possessing the dimensions of victory that God has for us now.”  We must not neglect our prayer responsibilities but  “occupy” by drawing on the resources of God’s Kingdom and power and reach into the realm of the invisible through prayer and change one circumstance after another.  It…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 12, 2021

I Kings 19:7 (NLT)   Then the angel of the Lord came again and touched (Elijah) and said,  “Get up and eat some more, or the journey ahead will be too much for you.”  The angel helped Elijah pay attention to the condition of his body as the vehicle that would enable him to take the journey that lay ahead.  If he did not care for his body, the journey into the presence of God would be too much for…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY FEBRUARY 11, 2021

I Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)   Never stop praying.  All of life can be prayer because there are so many ways for us to connect with God.  Solitude and silence help us experience the more contemplative elements of prayer.  Lectio-Divina is a way to pray the scriptures.  The prayer of examine is our expression to God to search us and reveal to us the things we need to understand about ourselves.  “Discernment is the listening part of prayer:  sitting with a…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Psalm 139:23-24 (The Message)   Search me, O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.  Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.   The prayer for self-examination evokes a sense of dread.  We are inviting God to help US know ourselves better (He already knows us best and loves us most).  Only under God’s steady gaze of love are we able to find the healing…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 9, 2021

Matthew 6:11(NIV)   Give us today our daily bread.  This supplication shows our need to learn an accountability for each day’s hours and events.  Jesus is teaching us to ask for the Father’s direction and provision in every event and during each hour of our day.  “Committing each day’s details to God in prayer—requesting today’s bread—can deliver us from pointless pursuits and wasted time.”  Such prayer paves the way to victorious days.  “Daily bread” prayer is a “daily victory”  and …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY FEBRUARY 8, 2021

Matthew 4:4 (NIV)   Jesus answered, “It is written:  ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”  When Jesus prayed, “Give us this day our daily bread,”  He was talking about more than having enough food or having our physical needs met.  He was inviting us to come to the Father daily for refreshing, renewal and nourishment for both soul and body.  We must recognize our dependency on the Lord…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 6, 2021

Exodus 15:23  When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter…the Lord showed (Moses) a piece of wood.  He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.  The Israelites did not expect bitter water.  After such a remarkable deliverance through Red Sea waters, they did not anticipate the hardships ahead.  Only three days into their wilderness journey and their songs of rejoicing turned into sounds of murmuring.  How quickly praises at the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 5, 2021

John 8: 32  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Real faith leads to truth, freedom, and knowledge.  Jesus’  teachings lead us progressively  “from ignorance to knowledge, from error or misinformation or uncertainty to truth, and from slavery to liberty.”  “Knowledge of the truth, acquired through experience, does not bring the liberty of which Jesus spoke.  Knowledge itself is conditioned upon abiding in His word (v. 31), which makes spiritual revelation prior in importance…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY FEBRUARY 4, 2021

John 8:31  To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said,  “If you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples.”  When Jesus taught and experienced resistance from the Pharisees, He was blunt:  “Unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins” (John 8:24b).  That’s pretty blunt!  Then there were those in the crowd who did express belief in Jesus but probably had a shallow faith that Jesus was attempting to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 3, 2021

I Samuel 10:24 (The Message)  Samuel then addressed the people, “Take a good look at whom God has chosen…”  It was time for the coronation of Israel’s first king;  but Saul was hiding.  His sense of inadequacy caused him to run when it was time to step up and lead.  He faced inner fears and external opposition (v. 27).  When God leads us into positions of responsibility we often face resistance (internal and external).  Sometimes people withhold support until we…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 2, 2021

Judges 16:28  O Sovereign Lord, remember me.  O God, please strengthen me just once more…  Sampson’s story reads like a modern-day superhero movie!  At times he crumbled under temptation and at other times the Spirit of God enabled him to do great exploits.  He truly struggled in that tug-of-war between right and wrong.  When he gave into the lures, his spiritual strength weakened.  When he allowed God’s Spirit to rest upon him, he excelled.  Can you identify with his struggle…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY FEBRUARY 1, 2021

Judges 6:14, 16  The Lord turned to (Gideon) and said,  “Go in the strength you have…I will be with you.”  Gideon felt weak and inadequate, yet God had selected him to lead Israel to victory over their enemies.  His conversation with God was punctuated with the words:  why, if, but, and how?  In spite of Gideon’s reservations, the Lord chose him.  God’s call and the Holy Spirit’s empowerment qualify us for service in God’s kingdom far above our natural abilities. …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JANUARY 30, 2021

Philippians 3:7  (TPT)  Yet,  all the accomplishments that I once took credit for,  I’ve now forsaken them and I regard it all as nothing compared to the delight of experiencing Jesus Christ as my Lord.   We will have disappointments,  frustrations and setbacks in life.  “The sheer fact of life in a broken world is that we will not be all that we hope to be.  But in the end,  all that matters is that we know Christ Jesus.  We…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JANUARY 29, 2021

Mark 1:35 (TPT)  Jesus…left the house while it was dark,  and made His way to a secluded place to give himself to prayer.  “We cannot live in genuine community unless we know solitude…Solitude is fundamentally a place of prayer—of personal and individual encounter with God.  It is not the act of being alone but the event of being alone with God.  It is therefore the fundamental and most essential act of Christian spirituality.  It is the emotional and spiritual space…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JANUARY 28, 2021

Romans 14:19 (TPV)  So then,  make it your top priority to live a life of peace with harmony in your relationships,  eagerly seeking to strengthen and encourage one another.   A well-ordered life is structured around and is anchored in two realities:  community and solitude.  “We need the grace of community.  We discern our vocations in community and fulfill them as individuals anchored in mutual interdependence with others in community.  The solitary Adam was  ‘not good.’  In other words,  Adam…

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…