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DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 10, 2022

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 himself…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 9, 2022

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…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 8, 2022

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…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 6, 2022

Colossians 3:13b  …Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  No failure in a relationship has to permanently destroy that relationship if forgiveness is part of your life.  No failure is greater than God’s grace.  No hurt exists that God cannot heal.  The Church must be a conduit for repentance and forgiveness.  Marriage conflicts and disappointments are certain; but the issue is NOT the avoidance of conflicts but rather how we respond to them.  Are we willing to talk about it, offer…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 5, 2022

I John 1:9 (NIV)  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.  We live in a fallen world filled with imperfect people.  But God gives us a plan.  It starts with naming the sin—calling it what it is through confession.  We must be willing to admit our guilt, be truly sorry and willing to surrender our pride (no excuses).  We must be willing to change our…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 4, 2022

Genesis 3:8 (NIV)  Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.   When Adam and Eve hid from God it was an attempt to cover their shame.  They made excuses for their behavior.  They blamed one another.  When they were expelled from the Garden, they no longer felt worthy…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 3, 2022

James 5:16a (The Message)  Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed… Sin harms relationships.  It disconnects relationships.  “Sin always splits the self (the soul) in some degree.  We become fractured people” (Dallas Willard).  We pick up the mask and begin pretending, begin protecting ourselves—and we let go of honesty and transparency in the process.  The first five commands in the Ten Commandments…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 2, 2022

Romans 12:10 (NIV)  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honor one another above yourselves.  Businesses that make the most difference in this world allow space for connection.  Families that prioritize connection are the strongest: in the form of transparent conversations, in the form of honest living (no masks), and in the form of quality time spent together.  Do we recognize the importance of simply  “hanging out”  together with friends?  Do we make room in our busy lives for…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 1, 2022

Genesis 2:18 (NLT)  Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.  I will make a helper who is just right for him.”  We are hardwired to connect with God and others.  It is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives; and without it there is suffering.  Connection is why we are here: connection upward with God first, then connection outward to others (spouse, children, etc.)  Our connection to the Holy Spirit makes…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 30, 2022

Philippians 1:28  Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies (NLT) …not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition (The Message) …without being frightened in any way by those who oppose 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; but the Holy Spirit enables us to stand unflinchingly before…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 29, 2022

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…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 28, 2022

Philippians 1:20 (The Message)  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 was certain of his deliverance—because the Philippians prayed, and because…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 27, 2022

Philippians 1:14 (The Message)  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, so Paul rejoiced.  Are people inspired…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 26, 2022

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 cared deeply for the Philippian church, and he prayed for them to grow in love, which brings knowledge and discernment.  When we judge people without attempting to understand them (their pain, experiences, history) then our testimony falls on deaf ears.  If we want to understand people from a culture that is different from our own,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 25, 2022

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 despite it all.  Of course, our rate of growth depends on how we choose to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 23, 2022

John 7:40-53 (focus verse: 46) (NIV)  No one ever spoke the way this man does…  Opinions about Jesus were divided.  Even the temple guards were impressed by His words.  Most of those who were deeply religious were filled up with their own religious ideas and had no space for Jesus.  Nicodemus, however, took his questions to Jesus and found his way to faith in Christ.  Bring your questions.  Jesus has answers.  It is an ever-unfolding faith. 

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 22, 2022

John 8:31 (NIV)  To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”    How are you holding on to Jesus’  teaching?  Are you really His disciple?  Does God’s Word linger in your mind and heart?  Or is it in one ear and out the other?  Be doers of the word (James 1:22).  Just like it takes…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 21, 2022

John 21:2-7, 16-17 (focus verse 17b) (NLT)  Jesus said (to Peter) “Then feed my sheep.”  We must not live in a post-resurrection world with a pre-resurrection faith.  It is one thing to have expectations of Jesus and quite another thing to understand His expectations of us.  Jesus was never in a hurry.  This thing called discipleship is a long walk in the same direction.  Some of the greatest lessons in life come not in the miracle moments, but in the journey…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 20, 2022

Philippians 3:8-9 (KJV)  …that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own…but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. As we grow in our faith our behavior increasingly becomes inseparably linked with righteousness.  We continue to have an  “old nature” (false self) that is  “altogether corrupt and vile, ever seeking to rise up and darken your sense of acceptance and of access to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 19, 2022

Hebrews 7:2 (NLT)  Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek.  The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.”   Scholars believe that Salem was the earliest name for Jerusalem—God’s city,  “the city where I have chosen to put my Name” (I Kings 11:36).  (And where God reigns there is peace and order.)  Melchizedek only appears briefly in Genesis 14, yet he earned an…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 18, 2022

I Corinthians 1:30 (R.V. marg; English Revised Version)  Of God, are ye in Christ Jesus, who was made unto us wisdom from God, both righteousness and sanctification and redemption.  “There can be no real prosperity or progress in a nation, a home, or a soul unless there be peace…quietness and assurance are indispensable to mankind’s moral and spiritual well-being.  Sin has disturbed all our relations; we are out of harmony with ourselves, with men, and with God.”*  Our salvation experience brings peace,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 16, 2022

Colossians 2:18-23 (Focus verse: 19b) (The Message)  …We can grow up healthy in God only as He (Christ) nourishes us.  Hold fast to Christ.  Be wise in evaluating spiritual experiences that produce pride or elitism.  Know the importance of commitment to a local church and submission to righteous spiritual authorities.  “Human relationships were designed to be fueled and filled by righteousness.  To the degree we give in to the urging of our flesh nature, we will fail to experience righteous…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 15, 2022

Romans 8:1 (NIV)   There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  “Repentance is seeing things as they actually are.  You don’t fake it.  God isn’t dumb.  He sees our reality.  Step into truth, then you can move forward.”  How honest are you before God?  How honest are you with those closest to you?  There…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 14, 2022

James 5:16 (NLT)   Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.  How long do you go before you confess?  Do you want to  “do the right thing, like the Pharisees, or become the kind of person who naturally does the right thing because they want to do it, like Jesus?  Confession is an important way to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 13, 2022

II Peter 1:3 (NIV)   His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.  “We are capable of change in all that Jesus said and taught.  We can learn.  We are capable of walking in all the things that Jesus said we are to do and be because it is His divine power that is at work within us.  In this moment…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 12, 2022

Colossians 3:2 (NIV)   Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  What does this mean?  “Spirit formation is a process of transforming the mind.  It is not about behavior modification but rather about transformation of the mind, the heart, the soul, the body, even the social world.  When these areas are transformed, we live in the joy of Jesus.  But we must find the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 11, 2022

Colossians 3:1 (NIV)   Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  (KJV – seek those things which are above;  NLT – set your sights on the realities of Heaven).  Our new life in Christ requires a new way of thinking and a new Christ-centered focus of attention.  When we make the choice to follow Jesus, we discover an emergent and increasing desire to…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY JULY 9, 2022

I Corinthians 12:31 (NIV)  But eagerly desire the greater gifts.  And now I will show you the most excellent way.  What are the “best gifts” (KJV)?  The gifts of the Spirit (I Cor. 12:7-10)  “are not toys but tools to meet an existing need.  Needs vary at different times calling for a different tool.  It follows that the best gifts are those for which there is the greatest need.”  Today, the need may be for discernment.  Tomorrow, the need may…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY JULY 8, 2022

Acts 1:8 – (NIV)  But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…  There is one primary reason for Holy Spirit empowerment; and that is to enable us to be effective witnesses of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The early believers were baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 2:1-6).  The same happens today, as so many of us have experienced.  Something fundamentally engages…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY JULY 7, 2022

Acts 3:16 (NIV)  By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong.  It is Jesus’  name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.  There is such a thing as divine faith—a faith that is  “by Him” (KJV), a gift of faith for a specific situation that brings specific results.  It is not a general kind of faith, but an…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY JULY 6, 2022

Luke 9:1-2 (NIV)  When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.  There is a difference between power and authority.  Power is the dynamic producing the effect, whereas authority is the right to use that power, a vested right or power to act on behalf of another with  “power of attorney.” …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY JULY 5, 2022

Mark 3:15 (KJV)  And He ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils…  Do we even recognize evil’s influence in our world?  Spiritual pollution exists all around us and it is the enemy’s goal to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  We stand on the other side with Christ who said, “I have come that they may have life,…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY JULY 4, 2022

Luke 24:49 (The Message)  What comes next is very important:  I am sending what my Father promised to you so stay here in the city until He arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.   From fireworks in the sky, to powerful stage performances, to powerful people in the business arena, humanity is fascinated with power.  But the kind of power that Jesus directed His disciples toward was something altogether different.  They were not to begin preaching, teaching,…

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).