Devotions (Page 3)

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…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JANUARY 1, 2021

II Corinthians 5:17 (TPV)  Now,  if anyone is enfolded into Christ,  he has become an entirely new person.  All that is related to the old order has vanished.  Behold,  everything is fresh and new.  I love the Passion Translation’s commentary on this verse:  “This would include our old identity,  our life of sin,  the power of Satan,  the religious works of trying to please God,  our old relationship with the world,  and our old mind-sets.  We are not reformed or…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY DECEMBER 31, 2020

Luke 2:39-40 (NIV)  When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord,  they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong;  He was filled with wisdom,  and the grace of God was upon Him.  Finally it was time to settle down and enjoy being a family.  With dangers and transitions behind them for now,  Mary and Joseph began a normal family life.  Jesus thrived in His parents’ …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 30, 2020

Matthew 2:19-20 (NIV)  After Herod died,  an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said,  “Get up,  take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel,  for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”  Once again,  the angel of the Lord provided direction through a dream and sent Joseph and his family to Nazareth,  a safer place where Herod Antipas reigned.  There they began the next…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY DECEMBER 29, 2020

Matthew 2:16 (NIV)  When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi,  he was furious…  Can we even begin to comprehend the suffering imposed on the families in Bethlehem as a result of one man’s hysterical fears?  This was typical behavior for Herod,  who murdered even his own family members.  This spirit of murder lives on in the hearts of evil rulers around the world today.  God sees injustice and cares about broken lives.  He is the God…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY DECEMBER 28, 2020

Matthew 2:8 (NIV)  (Herod)  sent  (the Magi)  to Bethlehem and said,  “Go and make a careful search for the child.  As soon as you find him,  report to me,  so that I too may go and worship him.”  King Herod had no intention of worshipping the Christ child.  He destroyed anyone who might interfere with his ambitions;  he had murdered his wife,  her mother,  his oldest son,  and two other sons!  No threat survived his murderous reign.  Though the Magi…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY DECEMBER 26, 2020

Luke 2:17 (NIV)  When they  (the shepherds)  had seen Him,  they spread the word concerning what had been told them about the child.  “I will seek to believe rather than to reason.  I will seek,  rather than explain.  I will seek to give thanks,  rather than to penetrate the doctrine.  Who can understand?  Here is the Ancient of Days becoming a babe in Bethlehem.  Here is He who thunders in the heavens,  crying in the cradle.  Here is the One…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY DECEMBER 25, 2020

I Timothy 3:16 (NIV)  Beyond all question,  the mystery of godliness is great:  He appeared in a body,  was vindicated by the Spirit,  was seen by angels,  was preached among the nations,  was believed on in the world,  was taken up in glory.  This was Paul’s apologetic mandate.  No wonder he spent years in the Arabian Desert after seeing the resurrected Christ on the Damascus road!  His whole mindset had to be realigned.  He studied the Old Testament scriptures to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY DECEMBER 24, 2020

Colossians 1:15, 19, 20b (NIV)  The Son is the image of the invisible God,  the firstborn over all creation… For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,  and through him to reconcile to Himself all things… by making peace through his blood,  shed on the cross.  Long before there ever was an Abraham,  Jesus was present.  Long before there ever was a Bethlehem,  Jesus was present.  Jesus’  life did not begin in Bethlehem.  There was never…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 23, 2020

Isaiah 7:14  (NIV)  Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,  and will call him Immanuel.  This is the Old Testament prophecy to which Matthew pointed.  He clearly says this child is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy—this is that.  Isn’t it wonderful to know that Immanuel means  “God with us”?  He came down to us because we had no possible way of going up to Him. …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY DECEMBER 22, 2020

Matthew 1:22 (NIV)  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet…  If we believe that God can create a man out of the dust of the earth,  and if we believe that God can create a woman out of the side of a man,  and if we believe that God can enable a man and woman who are past the age of childbearing to conceive and give birth to a healthy child,  then why…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY DECEMBER 21, 2020

Matthew 1:23  (NIV)  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son,  and they will call Him Immanuel”— which means,  “God with us.”  The bible is a book filled with remarkable narratives.  A snake talks to a woman (Eve).  A man builds a boat and save the animals of the world from a flood (Noah).  The second half begins with another remarkable story—the Christmas story.  A virgin conceives a child.  It would all seem quite impossible…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY DECEMBER 19, 2020

Matthew 1:21 (TPT)  (Mary)  will give birth to a son and you are to name him Savior,  for he is destined to give His life to save His people from their sins.  The angel (probably Gabriel) clearly described to Joseph the breadth of mission into which Mary’s baby would grow.  Imagine their conversations with each other subsequent to those angelic revelations!  God’s intent was for these two parents to walk in unity and understanding amid the chaos and danger that…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY DECEMBER 18, 2020

Matthew 1:24 (TPT)  When Joseph awoke from his dream, he did all that the angel of the Lord instructed him to do.  In addition to being righteous and full of integrity (vs. 19), Joseph walked in obedience to the Lord. Heaven could trust him with the safety of God’s Son and Mother Mary. Joseph would be a guardian-protector worthy of his calling. Each one of us has a role in life that is important to the well-being of others—our children,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY DECEMBER 17, 2020

Matthew 1:19 (TPT)  (Mary’s) fiancé,  Joseph, was a righteous man full of integrity and he didn’t want to disgrace her,  but when he learned of her pregnancy he secretly planned to break the engagement.  Consider his dilemma.  Mary’s life was in danger.  She was pregnant and not by Joseph;  and adultery was considered a sin worthy of stoning.  The breaking of an engagement was tantamount to a divorce.  Surely he tossed and turned through the night until the angel of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 16, 2020

Matthew 1:16 (TPT)  …who was the father of Joseph,  the husband of Mary the mother of Jesus,  who is called  ‘The Anointed One.’”  Notice that here Joseph is named the husband of Mary,  not the father of Jesus.  Remember when Mary and Joseph got separated from the twelve-year old Jesus for three days in Jerusalem and they finally found Him in the Temple,  Jesus’  response was:  Didn’t you know that it was necessary for me to be here in my…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY DECEMBER 15, 2020

Matthew 1:18 (TPT)  This was how Jesus,  God’s Anointed One,  was born.  His mother,  Mary,  had promised Joseph to be his wife,  but while she was still a virgin she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We believe in the Virgin Birth (better described as the virgin conception).  Christ’s birth stands in a category of its own—it never happened that way before nor ever since.  He was divinely conceived in the womb of Mary,  with the Holy…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY DECEMBER 14, 2020

Matthew 1:1 (TPT)   This is the scroll of the lineage and birth of Jesus,  the Anointed One,  the son of David and descendant of Abraham.  The genealogies of scripture are important because they help confirm the historical reliability of the Bible.  Most importantly,  the genealogies prove Biblical prophecies:  Jesus would be a Jew from the tribe of Judah and a descendant of both Abraham and David,  as Scripture predicted.  “The genealogy given by Matthew presents the legal claim of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY DECEMBER 12, 2020

Luke 1: 56  Before going home,  Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months.  This means that Mary was probably present when John the Baptist was born.  Those first three months of Mary’s pregnancy were critical to the health and development of the unborn Jesus in her womb.  And they were critical to Mary emotionally,  because Elizabeth provided her the kind of friendship and support that would believe her story about an angelic visitation.  Both women were pregnant with men…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY DECEMBER 11, 2020

Luke 1:45 (TPT)  “Great favor is upon you,  for you have believed every word spoken to you from the Lord.” As we track through our days,  do we maintain a frequency in our souls that picks up on the divine whisper.  “Blessed are the ears that hear the divine whisper” (Thomas a Kempis).  God is speaking.  God is guiding.  The Holy Spirit is attempting to tutor us.  But when we feel anxious,  a lack of compassion,  impatient,  or easily angered, …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY DECEMBER 10, 2020

Luke 1:37 (TPT)  Not one promise from God is empty of power,  for nothing is impossible with God.  Every promise of God is like a seed filled with potential.  When God’s Word finds proper soil within your believing heart,  and when we prioritize what He says and do what He says,  then we automatically grow into our divine destiny.  Each one of us has a seed of destiny within us—a God-call,  spiritual gifts as well as natural talents and abilities…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 9, 2020

Luke 1:35 (KJV)  The angel answered (Mary),  “The Holy Spirit will come upon you,  and the power of the most High will overshadow you…”  This overshadowing is the same  “hovering” that we read about in the Creation narrative when the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.  Have you experienced a sense of God’s hovering Presence over your life?  Are you aware when He is near?  Are you sensitive to His leadership in your day-to-day,  faith-meets-the-reality-of-my-life experience? …in the shadow…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY DECEMBER 8, 2020

Luke 1:30  (TPT)  But the angel reassured (Mary),  saying,  “Do not yield to your fear…”  Fear can be a destiny derailer.  So many of the biblical narratives describe the experiences of ordinary people as they chose courage over fear (see Joshua 1).  There is no fear in love;  but perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18).  When we know we are loved,  fear melts.  The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY DECEMBER 7, 2020

Luke 1:28  (TPT)   Gabriel appeared to (Mary) and said,  “Grace to you,  young woman,  for the Lord is with you and so you are anointed with great favor.”  My grandchildren know they have my favor—it shines through everything I do from greeting them with hugs and personal statements of affirmation when they come through my door,  to making space in my busy life for those sacred moments when they ask questions about God.  When you know you are favored, …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY DECEMBER 5, 2020

Luke 1: 67-73  His father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:  Praise be to the Lord,  the God of Israel,  because he has come and has redeemed his people”  (read the entire song).   These are the first words of prophecy to Israel after 450 years of silence!  John the Baptist’s father,  Zechariah,  proclaimed this prophecy on the day his son was circumcised and named.  The last prophet who had spoken the word of the Lord to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY DECEMBER 4, 2020

Luke 1:64 (TPV)  Instantly Zechariah could speak again.  And his first words were praises to the Lord.  When you come to the end of a deep trial,  are your first words  “praises to the Lord”?  Consider the frustrating proportions of Zechariah’s dilemma.  The entire community knew that something had happened to him nine months earlier as he served in the Temple.  Something had taken his voice away.  When suddenly he could speak,  the  “fear of God fell on the people…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY DECEMBER 3, 2020

Luke 1:17 (MSG)  He will go before the Lord as a forerunner,  with the same power and anointing as Elijah the prophet… And he will prepare a united people who are ready for the Lord’s appearing.  Any great manifestation of Jesus usually requires a forerunner to prepare people.  Israel was on the cusp of the Messiah Jesus’  appearance,  but no prophetic word had come to Israel for 450 years.  Succeeding generations had compromised their faith.  They needed a forerunner to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 2, 2020

Luke 1:16-17  Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God.   God used John as a critic of society—to name sin for what it was,  and to call for a change in religious life.  He challenged people to examine their hearts,  to follow God wholly,  and to live in purity from the inside out.  His call to water baptism was a call to self-washing and purification.  He prepared them for the arrival of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY DECEMBER 1, 2020

Luke 1:13  …Do not be afraid,  Zechariah;  your prayer has been heard.  Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son….   We serve a God who hears our prayers.  He may not always answer them in the ways we prefer;  but He has our best interests at heart.  When you can’t trace his hand,  you can trust His heart.  After a lifetime of waiting for their prayer for a child to be answered,  Zechariah and Elizabeth’s expectations dwindled.  Too many…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY NOVEMBER 30, 2020

Luke 1:11 (NIV)  Then an angel of the Lord appeared to (Zechariah)…  Elizabeth and Zechariah lived blamelessly before the Lord, (vs 6) yet remained childless.  Now that they were old,  their hopes were dead.  Zechariah was a priest from the country,  an ordinary sort of guy,  and probably not as well educated as the urban priests who were called scholars of the Law and highly respected.  His call to light the incense inside the sanctuary Holy Place came only because…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY NOVEMBER 28, 2020

Colossians 3:23 (NIV)  Whatever you do,  work at it with all your heart,  as working for the Lord,  not for men.  Who is your audience?  For whom do you live your life?  Live for the Lord because  “only His approval assuages insignificance and loneliness and feelings of failure.  Only He keeps perfect score.  He is the One who issues the call and convenes the games.  He is the one who will judge the efforts  and award the medals.  His is…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 27, 2020

Matthew 19:13 (NIV)  Then little children were brought to Jesus for Him to place his hands on them and pray for them…  “Common wisdom maintains that children are given to parents so parents can instruct them.  The truth is,  God gives children to parents to teach the parents some things…like patience,  discipline,  self-sacrifice,  responsibility,  mercy,  and hope—but also exquisite joy and celebration,  the meaning of legacy,  and a glimpse  of eternity.”  The fundamental need of children is to receive our…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26, 2020

Psalm 119:164 (NLT)  I will praise you seven times a day…   On this Thanksgiving Day,  make a fresh determination to STAY GRATEFUL!  Gratitude provides the basis for contentment.  In our changing world we must choose to live in an ongoing attitude of gratitude.  As we incorporate it into our emotional,  psychological and spiritual lifestyle it serves as a powerful antidote to discouragement.  It cuts off our entry to the Pity Party.  “It helps us focus on what we have, …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 25, 2020

John 13:34 (NIV)  A new command I give you.  Love one another.  As I have loved you,  so you must love one another.  Christian love cannot make the giving of love contingent on the actions and attitudes of others.  Jesus didn’t.  His inner circle fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane.  They deserted Him.  Still,  He loved them.  God calls us to reflect His steadfast love toward  “people who do not get it,  who are too proud to admit they…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2020

II Timothy 2:3 (NLT)  Endure suffering along with me,  as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  The Apostle Paul encouraged his mentee,  Timothy,  to stand strong in the Lord and look for God in times of suffering.  “C.S. Lewis gave us that fabulous insight that God whispers to us in our pleasure,  but shouts to us in our pain.  Everyone suffers some form of pain,  physical or psychological.”  When we seek God in the middle of pain,  we can grow…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY NOVEMBER 23, 2020

Genesis 12:1 (MSG)  God told Abram:  “Leave your country,  your family,  and your father’s home for a land that I will show you.”  God is always taking us someplace new.  The Bible narratives are replete with journey stories—people moving from here to there,  launching out,  exploring,  expanding,  and inspired to growth.  Abraham departed Ur in obedience to God’s call.  Jesus left Heaven to come rescue us.  When it is a  “God thing,”  there is always purpose involved with new levels…