Devotions (Page 7)

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 16, 2019

Ruth 4:1-17  –  Redemption  God fulfills His promises.  He brings to fruition what He said He would do.  Our responsibility is to submit to Him in trust,  no matter what the cost,  because we know He will keep His promises.  But God’s ways are counter-intuitive to our ways.  We know how the story ends for Ruth and Boaz (and Naomi);  but is there something perplexing or painful in your life that has an unknown ending?  God cares about the details…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 15, 2019

Ruth 3  –  Risk  Naomi directed Ruth into a very risky,  possibly shameful,  embarrassing and potentially irredeemable situation.  Ruth would propose to Boaz and claim him as her  “near kinsman” (KJV).  Naomi had seen Boaz’s attraction and knew he was not only an honorable man,  but also an extended family member with legal rights who could provide for Ruth.  Boaz proved worthy of her opinion.  It is not wise to take risks without Holy Spirit leadership and wisdom from Godly…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 14, 2019

Ruth 2 –  Vulnerability and Humility  Ruth shows us what it takes to do the will of God:  obedience,  commitment,  humility,  and self-sacrifice.  She took a risk and showed courage and initiative when it would have been easier for her to just stay put.  Is the Lord asking you to do something that scares you and that requires vulnerability and humility?  Are you willing to humble yourself and be authentic?  Ruth’s actions put her in the direct sightline of someone…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 13, 2019

Ruth 1:6-22 –  Unknown and Unfamiliar  Ruth begins a journey into the unknown and unfamiliar.  You’ve likely felt this way before.  She chooses to sacrifice her own comfort and needs for the sake of another.  When Ruth arrives in Bethlehem she is an outsider,  a non-Israelite woman,  but she is  “all in.”  Jesus asks us the same thing:  lay it all on the line,  take a risk,  be willing to be uncomfortable.  Christ demonstrated this on the cross.  We must…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 12, 2019

Ruth 1:1-5 –  Brokenness to Fullness Naomi experiences loss,  crisis,  and trauma in more ways than any other character in this narrative.  However,  this story quickly shows us how God can bring fullness into a broken situation.  Naomi accuses the Lord by name for the injustice towards her  (vs. 13, 21).  At first this seems like a negative action.  However,  it actually indicates that she acknowledged God’s authority over her bitter situation.  She professed her belief in His authority over…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 10, 2019

Exodus 14:31  And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians,  the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.  God’s victory over the Egyptians changed Israel’s attitude toward God and Moses,  though only temporarily.  Many more lessons awaited them.  But this was the beginning of discovering a new paradigm—a return to the promises of their fathers and an opportunity to fulfill God’s call as a nation.  What…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 9, 2019

Exodus 5:2 (NIV)  Pharaoh said,  “Who is the Lord,  that I should obey him and let Israel go?  I do not know the Lord and I will not let Israel go.”  Kingdom work is not easy.  Evil will not release its grip and seeks to find expression through people who yield to it.  God dealt severely with Pharaoh to answer his defiant question,  “to compel recognition of and submission to the sovereignty of God”  and as a universal testimony to…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 8, 2019

Exodus 4:2-4 (NIV)  (Vs. 3) “Throw it down on the ground,”  the Lord told him.  So Moses threw down the staff…”  God trained Moses in unquestioning obedience:  throwing down the staff and picking it up again,  putting his hand inside his cloak and taking it out again.  Miracles would be the norm for Moses and Israel.  God was training Moses to lead with  “instantaneous unquestioning obedience to the divine command …without paralyzing human rationalization  (consequently causing modification or even elimination…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 7, 2019

Exodus 4:1-2 (NIV)   Moses answered,  “What if they do not believe me or listen to me…Then the Lord said to him,  “What is that in your hand?”   “A staff,”  he replied. Moses’  credentials would not be a well-framed degree hanging on an office wall.  His credentials were  “the manifestation of the supernatural—the seal of his commission and the attestation of his divine accreditation.”  For Moses to lead well and exercise authority over others,  he first had to submit…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 6, 2019

Exodus 6:9 (NLT)  So Moses told the people of Israel what the Lord had said,  but they refused to listen anymore.  They had become too discouraged by the brutality of their slavery.  Moses’  job included casting vision to people who were so overwhelmed by their circumstances that they couldn’t believe that life could ever be different.  Getting from a debilitating  “here”  to a marvelous  “there”  requires repeatedly casting the vision and assuring people that the  “there”  is worth all the…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 5, 2019

Exodus 3:10 (NLT)  (God to Moses)  “Now go,  for I am sending you to Pharaoh.  You must lead my people Israel out of Egypt.  T.D. Jakes says:  “We need a vision that is so big we have to be careful who we tell it to!”  Leaders see the  “God-thing”  out there on the horizon and inspire the people to walk toward it.  Leaders see more than the here and now.  They think deeply enough to move beyond the space in…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 3, 2019

Deuteronomy 31:8  The LORD Himself goes before you …Do not be afraid;  do not be discouraged.  Fear of failure is a big stressor.  We have to learn to embrace failure and get good at things we think we might fail at.  Normalize it—it’s called  “learning”!  The greatest achievers have normalized failure.  The  “40% Rule”  says our system starts to back off a new challenge at about 40% of our actual limit.  Stop listening to the fear,  because it kicks in…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 2, 2019

Genesis 15:1 (NIV)  “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”   When we stretch ourselves to get out of our comfort zones,  and reach for a goal,  adrenaline and dopamine release.  When we engage all our hearts in doing something great with God,  we don’t have time for all the toxic stuff of life.  We feel invigorated.  It is  “good stress.”  Don’t fear it.  Get out there and grow!

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 1, 2019

Luke 10:41 (NIV)  “Martha,  Martha,”  the Lord answered,  “You are worried and upset about many things.”  In our highly distracting world,  so much comes at us.  With too much going on all the time,  it overwhelms the circuits.  We must learn to narrow our focus and keep the  “main thing”  the main thing—applying effort toward that focus and letting other things go quantitatively to the bottom of the list.  Too many things distracted Martha.  Mary focused on the one important…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 31, 2019

John 16:30b (NIV)   …In this world, you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  Two people can have the same amount of pain and difficult circumstances and yet have completely different responses.  We must learn to audit things that stress us out.  The stress system is a reactive one that goes through filters and tells you when something is a danger or not.  And it has a lot to do with how we think about…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 30, 2019

Job 26:10 (MSG)  He draws the horizon out over the ocean,  sets a boundary between light and darkness.  Stress comes when we feel out of control.  Who has control over you?  Of course,  we have the law,  or the board,  or our workplace supervisor.  What DO you have control over that affects the quality of your life?  If your company goes through a financial downturn,  there are things you may not be able to control but there are things that…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 29, 2019

Ecclesiastes 4:12b (NIV)  …A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  The #1 source for stress is isolation.  What is stress?  Basically,  a demand is being put upon a system.  When you sit on a chair you are putting stress on it.  The manufacturing process included testing  (stressing)  it to make sure it was solid enough to carry your weight.  So there is such a thing as positive stress.  Negative stress is when there is too much stress for…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 27, 2019

Philippians 1:28  Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies  (NLT)… not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition  (MSG)…without being frightened in any way by those who appose you  (NIV).  No matter how well you represent the love of God,  there will be hateful people determined to discredit and destroy you.  Jesus warned us that if they persecuted Him,  they would do the same to us.  It is the Holy Spirit who enables us to stand…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 26, 2019

Philippians 1:27 (NIV)  Whatever happens,  conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.  As the Japanese army forced Darlene Deibler Rose and her fellow missionaries into trucks to be taken away to prisoner of war camps,  Darlene heard the voice of her beloved missionary mentor calling to her.  They were the last words she would hear from him before he died in that camp:  “Remember,  be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Through every trial in that…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 25, 2019

Philippians 1:20 (MSG)  I can hardly wait to continue on my course.  I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least.  On the contrary,  everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known,  regardless of whether I live or die.  They didn’t shut me up;  they gave me a pulpit!   “Paul had the unconquerable attitude of a giant in the faith.  Paul is certain of his deliverance—because the Philippians prayed,  and because of…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 24, 2019

Philippians 1:14 (MSG)  Not only that,  but most of the Christians here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever,  speaking out fearlessly about God,  about the Messiah.  Paul did not complain about his imprisonment,  but rather rejoiced,  because his jailing was resulting in many influential people in Rome coming to faith in Jesus Christ.  His hands and feet may have been chained,  but the gospel was not restricted.  And so Paul rejoiced.  Are people inspired…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 23, 2019

Philippians 1:9  (NIV)  And this is my prayer:  that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight.  The Apostle Paul cares deeply for the Philippian church and his prayer is for them to grow in love,  which brings knowledge and discernment.  When we judge people and do not see them as people for whom our loving Savior died,  then our testimony falls on deaf ears.  If we want to understand a culture then we have…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 22, 2019

Philippians 1:6 (NLT)  And I  (Apostle Paul)  am certain that God,  who began the good work within you,  will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.  Great joy comes from knowing that,  no matter what difficulties come our way,  the Lord is at work within us grooming our hearts and leading us into spiritual growth and maturity in spite of it all.  Of course,  our rate of growth depends on how we…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 20, 2019

Matthew 13:8 (MSG)  Some  (seeds)  fell on good earth,  and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.  The hearer with good soil values God’s Word  (Job 23:12)  and delights in it  (Jer. 15:16).   He does not ignore God’s word  (Ezek 33:30-33)  or rebel against it  (Psalm 107:11).  He is open minded  (Acts 17:11)  and willing to commit himself to the truth (John 7:17).  He does not cling to his own opinions  (Mark 7:13).  He has a teachable heart  (Acts…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 19, 2019

Matthew 13:7 (MSG)  Some  (seeds)  fell in the weeds;  as it came up,  it was strangled by the weeds.  Two crops strive for mastery.  The thorns choke the Word  (vs. 19)  “with anxieties”  (Luke 8:14 -Worrell)  and  “worries and money”  (Luke 8:14 – Moffat).  “Other things creep in and choke the message out”  (Mark 4:19 – Goodspeed).  The cares of life are remedied by re-evaluating the spiritual versus material values  (Luke 12:15).  The riches of life that snare us can…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 18, 2019

Matthew 13:5 (MSG)  Some  (seeds)  fell in the gravel;  it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots,  so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly.  Some people receive God’s Word  (the seed)  with  “enthusiasm”  (Moffat)  but it is short lived.  In times of trial or testing  (Luke 8:13)  they fall away.  Unbelief  (Heb.  3:7-12),  disobedience  (Zech 7:8-12),  rationalization  (Mark 8:16-17),  resistance to the truth  (Acts 19:8-9),  pride  (Daniel 5:20),  refusal to yield to the Lord  (II Chron.…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 17, 2019

Matthew 13:19 (NLT)   The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it.  Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.  The soil had been trampled down and had become a hard surface more useful for traffic than for crops.  This condition affected the seed in that it could not sink into soft soil and be absorbed.  Birds pecked it up …

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 16, 2019

Matthew 13:12  (NLT)  To those who listen to my teaching,  more understanding will be given,  and they will have an abundance of knowledge.  But for those who are not listening,  even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them. If a hearer is to benefit from Christ’s teachings,  he or she must possess a condition of heart that is suitable for the reception of truth,  which will then multiply.  If that condition of heart is not present …

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 15, 2019

Matthew 13:2-3 (NLT)  A large crowd soon gathered around  (Jesus),  so He got into a boat.  Then He sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore.  He told many stories in the form of parables,  such as this one.  Jesus was conscious that with so many people gathered to hear Him,  there existed a diversity of reasons why they had come.  Some came out of mere curiosity and not necessarily out of receptiveness to the truth He…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 13, 2019

Proverbs 16:21 –  The wise in heart are called discerning,  and pleasant words promote instruction.  Ever find yourself in a tense situation in which everyone’s nerves are on edge?  It can be difficult to keep a calm spirit,  lowered voice,  and reassuring demeanor in such situations;  but they are fundamental to the process of helping people work together through a problem.  God wants us to be fluent in the language of discernment.  We must learn to be wise in heart…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 12, 2019

II Kings 6:16-17 –  And Elisha prayed,  “O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.”  Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes,  and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  What do you see when you look at your life?  Sometimes we need an eye-opening  “ah-ha”  moment so that we can discover God’s reality rather than living consumed by our own realities.  Elisha saw what his servant could not see—the…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 11, 2019

Exodus 6:8  –  “I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham,  to Isaac and to Jacob.  I will give it to you as a possession.  I am the Lord.”  Moses reported this to the Israelites,  but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage.  If only the Children of Israel could have known what we know today.  Great miracles of provision were ahead of them.  But they…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 10, 2019

I Samuel 30:6  –  David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters,  and they began to talk of stoning him.  But David found strength in the Lord his God.  David was facing a life-threatening situation.  His men were overwhelmed with a sense of loss.  Read the whole story.  Where did David go for wisdom and encouragement?  He  “encouraged himself in the Lord his God”  (KJSV)  and then called for…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 9, 2019

II Kings 5:3  (NLT)  –  One day the girl said to her mistress,  “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria.  He would heal him of his leprosy.”   Naaman was a mighty warrior,  commander of the army of the king of Aram but stricken with leprosy.  The warriors,  political giants,  philosophers,  kings,  and healers of his day could not help.  But God used the unassuming words of a little girl to guide him to healing. …

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 8, 2019

Romans 3:21-22 –  But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him (apart from)  keeping the requirements of the Law…we are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.  Every religion other than Christianity rests on a foundational belief in man’s power to change himself.  They believe that if you work hard enough,  try your best,  do good deeds,  and love everyone,  you will earn righteousness in God’s eyes.  But no matter…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 6, 2019

Eternal life brings commission. John 17:1 – Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. Eternal life for us is not luxurious idleness but purposeful work in which we realize our best life. Before you were physically born God had plans for you: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb… All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 5, 2019

Eternal life brings holiness. John 17:17 (The Message) – Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; your word is consecrating truth. In a world permeated by relativism, how does a person live in truth? The Bible is God’s revelation of Himself to humanity and it is truth—eternal, unchanging, life-transforming, heart convicting, blessed truth upon which we can build our lives (Matt. 7:24-27). The moment we hear the awful truth that humanity has been infected by sin and we feel the conviction of…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 4, 2019

Eternal life brings joy. John 17:13 (The Message) – Now I am returning to you. I’m saying these things in the world’s hearing so my people can experience my joy completed in them. Jesus was still in the room with His disciples before leaving to go to the Garden of Gethsemane. He had instituted communion, washed the disciples’ feet, given them a profound teaching (His last discourse), and now He prayed words that He wanted them all to hear. In…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 3, 2019

Eternal life brings preservation. John 17:11-12 – I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name…While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name…and I guarded them. We live in a world where evil manifests itself daily. Jesus knew the forces that would attack His followers in the vacuum of His death,…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 2, 2019

Eternal life brings enlightenment.  John 17:8  – I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.  Eternal life through Jesus Christ brings true enlightenment. There are lots of things to know and discover in our lifetimes, but without the Holy Spirit’s spiritual enlightenment we won’t have the perspective, wisdom, or understanding to process it all (especially the harsh realities of life)…
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