Devotions (Page 3)

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY APRIL 26, 2021

Matthew 11:28 (NLT)   Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  God calls to us.  His call comes to us through Jesus, who invites us to be His disciples and to know the Father through Him.  To be a Christian is to respond to God’s call, to know and love Him, and to love and serve others.  It is the mercy of God that we…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY APRIL 24, 2021

Acts 2:2-3 (NLT)   Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. “This supernatural phenomenon came suddenly (not as the climax to a physical, emotional, or psychic effort).  It came from heaven (originated with God, not men or Satan).  It came as a sound perceivable by the human faculty…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY APRIL 23, 2021

Acts 2:1 (MSG)  When the Feast of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.  “The day of Pentecost, i.e., the day of Fifty, was the Jewish festival known as the Feast of Weeks and is described in Lev. 23:15.  It was the feast of ingathering and so was peculiarly fitted to be the day of the beginning of the ingathering of all nations into the Church of God.  It was  ‘fully come’ (there was no prematurity).  They were…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY APRIL 22, 2021

Acts 1:14 (NLT)   They all met together and were constantly united in prayer…  The prayer was characterized by unanimity, perseverance, petition, and earnestness.  Jesus had told them:  “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about…you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”  Jesus had promised them,  “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.  And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere…to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY APRIL 21, 2021

Acts 1:11b (NIV)   Jesus has been taken from you into heaven, but someday He will return from heaven in the same way you saw Him go! This is our first promise of a literal and visible return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth someday.  Though we live 2000 years later, the Holy Spirit continues to assure our hearts that Jesus will return (“The Second Coming”) to rule and reign in righteousness and bring true justice to the world. …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY APRIL 20, 2021

Acts 1:3 (NLT)   During the forty days after (Jesus) suffered and died, He appeared to the apostles from time to time, and He proved to them in many ways that He was actually alive.  And He talked to them about the Kingdom of God.  “Christ’s resurrection was incontrovertibly attested by the perception of peoples’  natural faculties of hearing (John 20:14-16); sight, (John 2020); and touch (John 20:26-28).  There was to be no doubt whatsoever in the minds of the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY APRIL 19, 2021

Acts 1:8 (NIV)   (Jesus speaking to his disciples after the resurrection.)  “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Luke, a companion of the Apostle Paul, is the author of the book of Acts and an eyewitness to many of the incidents that he relates.  The book opens with the preaching of the gospel…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY APRIL 16, 2021

Psalm 141:3 (The Message)   Post a guard at my mouth, God, set a watch at the door of my lips.  Communication is the lifeblood of a good relationship.  Conversations that connect make you feel understood; and relationships will rise and fall on how well you feel understood and how well you understand your friends.  We all will get lonely when our perceptions and feelings are not valued and treasured.  To listen well is to figure out what is on…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY APRIL 15, 2021

Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)   Search me, O God, and know my heart;  test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.  How easily do you take offense?  “The offended ones feel the need to offend back those who they think have offended them, creating defensiveness on the part of the presumed offenders, which often becomes a new offense—ad infinitum.  There seems to be no way out…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY APRIL 13, 2021

Psalm 9:9-10 (NLT)   The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.  The Lord never forsakes us.  He will  “not ignore the cry of the afflicted” (vs. 12).  This truth can be a stepping stone out of our pit of despair.  When life morphs, when familiar and comfortable routines change and leave us anxious…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY APRIL 10, 2021

II Peter 1:4 (NIV)   Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  Resurrection power is not a one-time deal that happened those many years ago. It reaches 2000 years down through history to you and me to offer us a connection to God that not only brings us personal spiritual transformation but also…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY APRIL 9, 2021

Ephesians 2:6 (NIV)   And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the Heavenly realms in Christ Jesus… Our salvation story is just the beginning.  Resurrection power enables us to overcome our personal limitations and go on to do amazing things with God.  We can experience spiritual growth, connect to a divine calling, and become a change agent in this world.  We get to reflect the vision of the final Kingdom that the Old Testament…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY APRIL 8, 2021

Romans 8:11 (NIV)   And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you…  We live in a world filled with death and disease.  In spite of having the best medical knowledge in the history of mankind, only Jesus has power over death.  One day Christ will return and reset the world…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY APRIL 7, 2021

Hebrews 9: 27 (The Message)   Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences (after that comes judgment – NLT).  The Resurrection validates Christ’s Message.  It means that all of Jesus’  “You-have-heard-but-I-tell you”  sermons were, indeed, true (Matt. 5).  Without it we have no redeemer, just another prophet.  Without it we have no definitive truth, just another philosophy, just another point of view.  The Resurrection unmasks false beliefs.  It warns you NOT to risk your eternity on them.  It proves…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY APRIL 6, 2021

I Corinthians 15:13-22 (NIV focus verse 20)  But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…  The Resurrection validates Christ’s identity.  It was God’s giant exclamation point to the whole world that Jesus was, indeed, the Son of God.  Jesus does have power to take away sins.  Every aspect of our faith in Jesus is rooted, connected, catalyzed, and proved through the events we remember during Easter.  The Resurrection proves that there is life after death and that Jesus was,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY APRIL 5, 2021

Acts 3:15 (NLT)   You killed the author of life, but God raised Him from the dead.  And we are witnesses of this fact! The Resurrection was the game-changer.  It was not a tag-on.  No, it gave meaning to the crucifixion.  It brought resolution to it.  It turned grief into celebration.  It was the  “rest of the story.”  Without the resurrection the story of Jesus ends in tragic death; but salvation does not end at the cross, the place of…

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY APRIL 3, 2021

John 19:38-42  (NIV) We call it SILENT SATURDAY, a space in which we wait and hope.  Of course, we know that Sunday is coming; but the disciples didn’t know that.  All they knew was that Jesus was dead, and so were their hopes and dreams.  But faith is what you cling to when understanding is dead.  We don’t believe after we understand—no, we believe in order to understand.  SILENT SATURDAY is the time to engage faith, not disengage it.  It…

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY APRIL 2, 2021

April 2  – Mark 15:21-47 – focus verse 34 (NIV) Have you ever spoken these words: God, my God, why have you abandoned me?  Maybe you didn’t say them out loud but you spoke them in your heart and mind.  At times, we go through periods of deep and profound need, but God doesn’t seem to be showing up for us.  There is only silence.  Yet, the truth is that God’s goodness is most manifest in those moments.  We can’t…

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY APRIL 1, 2021

Mark 14:61-63; Mark 15:1-20 (NIV) Throughout the second half of Jesus’  earthly ministry, He alerted the disciples that they would face opposition just as He would.  Their spiritual development would depend on how well they could cope with that reality.  The stakes were high as Jesus faced the high priest, and later Pilate.  His life hung in the balance; but He did not fight back or reflect fear.  He trusted His Father.  Pilate was amazed by this (Mark 15:5).  Jesus…

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 31, 2021

John 16  Focus verse: 16:33; John 18:1-11 (NIV) As Jesus walked with His disciples from the place of the Last Supper toward the Garden of Gethsemane, He continued to press into their hearts important truths to sustain them in the coming dark hours.  He knew they would be shocked and overwhelmed by the imminent disaster.  He wanted them to remember His words when the crisis hit.  He wanted them to be able to find peace in spite of outward turmoil. …

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 30, 2021

John 12:1-9 (NLT) Mary and Martha’s dinner honored Jesus as a way to express deep appreciation for resurrecting their brother, Lazarus.  But while everyone celebrated, did Mary pick up on a melancholy tone in Jesus, something the others missed?  Was her shocking public display of affection (pouring her expensive perfume on His feet) a Spirit-led, prophetic act of worship?  As the fragrance filled the room, did the men’s chatter become quiet?  Did her grateful tears and her act of washing of…

HOLY WEEK DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 29, 2021

John 11:46-53 (NLT) Raising Lazarus from the dead was the prelude to Holy Week.  It threw the religious leaders into a dilemma as they worried over how the news would spread throughout Jerusalem, just a few miles away.  Some scholars write that somewhere between 200,000 and 1 million people were in Jerusalem for Passover that year.  The religious leaders fretted over how the word about Jesus, with His healing and resurrection powers, might spread throughout the population.  Would riots break…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MARCH 27, 2021

Mark 3:14-15  (TPT)   (Jesus) wanted them to be continually at His side as His friends, and so that He could send them out to preach and have authority to heal the sick and to cast out demons.  Pulling down the strongholds of Satan is an integral part of the Great Commission (II Cor. 10:4).  We need not fear the darkness.  Christ gives us power (the dynamic of expulsion) and authority (the right to use His power—as if He, himself,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MARCH 26, 2021

I Timothy 4:1  (NIV)   The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Mankind can be easily enticed and find excuses for evil intentions.  When the truth of God’s word runs crosswise to our own desires, it is easy to find some other kind of authority to authorize our desire and legitimize the craving.  The enemy of our soul will be nearby to provide that authorization;…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 25, 2021

I John 2:27  (NLT)   But you have received the Holy Spirit and He lives within you…what He teaches is true.   The Holy Spirit gives us discernment to be able to identify spiritual seductions in our world.  “The anointing of the Holy Spirit, the knowledge of Spirit-taught truth, the personal relationship of union that we have with Jesus Christ—all of these enable us to identify the falsehoods and lies of our spiritual enemy”  who parades as an  “angel of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 24, 2021

Galatians 1:8  (MSG)   Let me be blunt: If one of us—even if an angel from heaven—were to preach something other than what we preached originally, let him be cursed.  Paul wrote to the Galatians because local influencers were perverting the gospel by mixing faith in Christ with other religious beliefs.  It was a  “Jesus and”  sort of faith (adding Him into their current belief system).  We are called to the kind of faith that puts Jesus in the center…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 23, 2021

I John 2:15  (MSG)   …Don’t love the world’s ways.  Don’t love the world’s goods.  Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father.   Pay attention to your cravings!  Those who are carnally minded (I Peter 2:11) have cravings that war against the soul and lead to spiritual death.  But the yearnings of those who are spiritually minded find life and peace (Rom. 8:6).  How do you self-sooth?  What are your default tendencies when you are under stress,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 22, 2021

Isaiah 14:16  (MSG)   People will share and muse: “Can this be the one who terrorized earth and its kingdoms, turned earth to a moonscape, wasted its cities, shut up his prisoners to a living death?”  It is important for us to remember that Satan is a real personality; and  “the imprint of Satan’s character is on the entire world system for he dominates and inspires world rulers in their lust for position and power.  He is the organizer of…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MARCH 20, 2021

Luke 9:36b (TPT)   Peter, James, and John were speechless and awestruck.  But they didn’t say a word to anyone about what they had seen.  Some things are not meant to be broadcast.  Some spiritual experiences are so profound that they must be carried in the heart, where they do their work of rearranging our priorities, illuminating our understanding, releasing us from misperceptions, realigning our hearts, and redrawing our futures.  Have you had an encounter with God that left you…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MARCH 19, 2021

Luke 9:36a (TPT)   When the thunderous voice faded away and the cloud disappeared, Jesus was standing there alone.  When a supernatural moment passes, when the prophetic and the miraculous and the emotional all subside, the most important thing remains: Jesus Christ.  He stands there alone.  He stands there with us, ready to descend the mountain with us as we go to the masses of people in need, in despair.  He is with us as we leave that holy, transformative…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 18, 2021

Luke 9:35 (TPT)   Then the voice of God thundered from within the cloud,  “This is my Son, my Beloved One.  Listen carefully to all He has to say.”   Twice God spoke this message over Jesus.  Once at His water baptism with John the Baptist at the beginning of His ministry (Luke 3:22), and here as His ministry was winding down and the crucifixion awaited Him.  Notice the three affirmations that empowered Jesus to fulfill His mission.  His IDENTITY…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 17, 2021

Luke 9: 34   While Peter was still speaking, a radiant cloud of glory formed above them and overshadowed them.  As the glory cloud enveloped them, they were struck with fear.  Then the voice of God thundered from within the cloud… Peter was in mid-sentence with his foolish response when the  “overshadowing”  cloud enveloped them.  God interrupted.  Can you point to God’s  “interruptions”  in your own life?  You were headed one direction in thought and action, but God stepped in…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 16, 2021

Luke 9:32b (TPT)   …but they (Peter, James, and John) became fully awake when they saw the glory and splendor of Jesus standing there and the two men with him.  God’s Kingdom realm exudes a glory and splendor that we will not fully comprehend on this side of the grave.  C.S. Lewis said our first word in Heaven will be, “OH!” (as in: oh, NOW I understand).  Has the American church lapsed into a “form of godliness that denies the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 15, 2021

Luke 9:27 (TPT)   (Jesus speaking) “…there are some of you standing here right now who will not die until you have witnessed the presence and the power of God’s kingdom realm.”   Just eight days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John with Him up a mountain to pray; and it was there that this prophecy was fulfilled (Luke 9:29-31).  The disciples were unprepared.  They had become  “very drowsy, but they became fully awake when they saw the glory…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MARCH 13, 2021

John 2:8-11 (TPT) So how is it that we hear them speaking in our own languages?  We are northeastern Iranians, northwestern Iranians, Elamites and those from Mesopotamia, Judea, east central Turkey—the coastal areas of the Black Sea, Asia, north central Turkey, southern Turkey, Egypt, Libyans who are neighbors of Cyrene, visitors from all over the Roman Empire, both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs.  Yet we hear them speaking of God’s mighty wonders in our own dialects!  The…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MARCH 12, 2021

Acts 2:3 (TPT)  Then all at once a pillar of fire appeared before their eyes.  It separated into tongues of fire that engulfed each one of them.  A pillar of fire led Israel from bondage into the promised land.  Another pillar of fire initiated God’s people into the powerful life of the Spirit.  Each one got a flame–promised by Jesus and sent by the Father (John 14).  Each person became equipped and empowered for supernatural ministry.  “It came suddenly, so…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 11, 2021

Acts 2:1 (TPT)  On the day Pentecost was being fulfilled, all the disciples were gathered in one place.  Pentecost was one of Israel’s main feasts.  The name is from pentekostos, which means  “fiftieth,” since it was held on the 50th day after the Passover Sabbath.  The  “Day of Fifty”  was the Jewish festival known as the Feast of Weeks, described in Lev. 23:15.  “It was the feast of ingathering and so was peculiarly fitting to be the day of the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 10, 2021

Acts 1:4b (TPT)  …Jesus instructed them, “Don’t leave Jerusalem, but wait here until you receive the gift I told you about, the gift the Father has promised.”  Jesus had promised to send the  “Spirit of truth” (John 14:16).  The disciples could not carry out their commission without the fulness of the Spirit.  “He lives with you and will be in you” (John 14:17).  The disciples had seen this dynamic at work within Jesus.  Now they would need the Holy Spirit’s…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 9, 2021

Acts 1:3 (TPT)  After the sufferings of his cross, Jesus appeared alive many times to those same apostles over a forty-day period.  Jesus proved to them with many convincing signs that he had been resurrected…  The book of Acts covers a period of about 30 years, and it provides us with historical accounts of those who were led by the Spirit in spreading the Gospel throughout the then-known world.  It demonstrates to all future believers  “the manner in which Lord…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 8, 2021

Acts 1:6 (TPT)  Every time they were gathered together, they asked Jesus, “Lord, is it the time now for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”   This is the question to which the disciples repeatedly defaulted:  Is it time yet?  Their limited paradigm focused on a political kingdom—the restoration of Israel as a world power;  but God was up to something greater—a spiritual kingdom.  How many times do we look at our circumstances and ask the Lord,  “Is…