Search for 'devotions' (Page 23)

Search for 'devotions' (Page 23)

Your search returned 1024 matches for devotions.

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

Galatians 6:4b (MSG)  Don’t compare yourself with others.   Comparison triggers the fear that you don’t measure up and you are not enough.  “It robs us of seeing the value in our influence and keeps us on a perpetual quest to be better than others”  (Jenni Catron,  Clout).  What drives your motivation to do great things—God-given vision,  or the need to impress people?  These are two very different motivations.  In the Lord’s final conversation with Peter,  Peter asked,  “What about…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2019

Proverbs 27:4 – (NLT)  Anger is cruel,  and wrath is like a flood,  but jealousy is even more dangerous.  Illustrations of jealousy are replete in scripture:  Cain killed his brother,  Jacob robbed Esau of his birthright,  Rachel and Leah lived at odds with each other,  Saul put out a death warrant on David’s life—“in each of these stories jealousy took root and ruined their relationships.  Jealousy becomes more sophisticated as we mature,  and its root system is strengthened with every…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 11, 2019

Philippians 2:3 – (NIV)  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit,  but in humility consider others better than yourselves. (MSG)  Don’t push your way to the front;  don’t sweet-talk your way to the top.  Put yourself aside,  and help others get ahead.   “Carrying this out in real life requires an inbred core devoid of pretention and arrogance.  It does not allow for posturing or a show of self-importance.  When those kinds of selfish traits are present,  problems and…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 10, 2019

John 15:4 (MSG) –  “Live in me.  Make your home in me just as I do in you…”   In his book,  The Furious Longing of God,  Brennan Manning says,  “The outstretched arms of Jesus exclude no one,  neither the drunk in the doorway,  the panhandler on the street,  gays and lesbians in their isolation,  the most selfish and ungrateful in their cocoons,  the most unjust of employers and the most overweening of snobs.  The love of Christ embraces all…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 2019

Matthew 7:26 (MSG) –  (Jesus teaching)  “But if you just use my words in the Bible studies and don’t work them into your life,  you are like a stupid carpenter who built his house on the sandy beach.”  In his book,  Abba’s Child,  Brennan Manning says,  “The Christian commitment is not an abstraction.  It is a concrete,  visible,  courageous,  and formidable way of being in the world forged by daily choices consistent with inner truth.  A commitment that is not…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 7, 2019

Exodus 20:8 – (NIV) Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  “The Sabbath is a way of defying slavery.  Slaves,  by definition,  cannot stop working.  Sabbath is living in such as way that we are no longer slaves.  The Israelites had spent 300 years or so assimilating into the dominant cultural value system of Egypt.  Generations had succumbed to never ceasing from work.  It was normal to work all the time.  The bustling and ever-increasing economy of Egypt demanded…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Proverbs 3:13 (NIV) Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,  the man who gains understanding.  Are we listening for the Lord’s direction and clarification?  “One of the striking characteristics seen in effective leaders is their drive to learn from all kinds of sources.”  Effective leaders maintain a learning/listening posture throughout life.  “The Bible is the leadership anchor.  A Christian leader bases values,  methodology,  motivation,  and goals on what God has revealed in Scripture.”  (Clinton,  The Making of a Leader).  God…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 5, 2019

Acts 10:28b – (NLT) …But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean.  At the Global Leadership Summit 2019,  Danielle Strickland described five stages of transition:  1) Settled  (feels good);  2) Unsettled  (stressful disruption);  3) Chaos  (you’ve left what you know but aren’t to the new place yet—it is scary,  yet exciting);  4) Arrival at the new place  (but doesn’t feel like home);  and 5) the new normal  (finally).  The journey from…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4, 2019

Hebrews 3:15-19 – (MSG) For who were the people who turned a deaf ear?  Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt?… Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness?  They never got there because they never listened,  never believed.   “People in recovery circles use some very helpful phrases to describe the kind of behavior that keeps us from experiencing freedom  (or for settling for external freedom while still experiencing…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 3, 2019

John 3:30 (KJV) – He must increase,  but I must decrease.   Our great heroes of the faith lived through some kind of desert experience—an emptying place.  The devil is ok with us leaving Egypt as long as we bring all of Egypt’s values and systems with us.  He lets us be a Christian as long as we live like everyone else,  full of ourselves.  Philippians 2 tells us that Jesus emptied Himself in order to embrace His calling to…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2, 2019

Luke 22:31-32a (NIV) – “Simon,  Simon,  Satan has asked to sift you as wheat.  But I have prayed for you… “ “Quality leadership does not come easily.  It requires time,  experience,  and repeated instances of maturity processing.”  Such was the experience of the disciples as they followed Jesus.  There was much to learn.  They thought that proximity to Jesus was enough.  But  “Mature ministry flows from a mature character,  formed in the graduate school of life…a leader whose ministry skills…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 31, 2019

Nehemiah 8:5-6 – (NIV)  Ezra opened the book… and all;  the people lifted their hands and responded,  “Amen!  Amen!”  Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.  Notice the people’s attitudes toward the Word of God as it was read to them.  They were attentive  (v. 3);  reverent  (v. 5);  worshipful  (v. 6);  contrite  (v. 9);  and joyful  (v. 12).  When we have the same regard for God’s Word,  our lives will be restored…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 30, 2019

Nehemiah 6:14-16 (NIV)  So the wall was completed… When all our enemies heard about this,  all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.  When the wall was finished,  even their enemies recognized the hand of God upon them.  Yet,  Nehemiah had not finished his task.  The second section of the book  (chapters 8-10)  focuses on the people inside those walls and how the…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY, AUGUST 29, 2019

Nehemiah 4:6 – (NIV)  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height,  for the people worked with all their heart.  Nehemiah’s remarkable leadership skills included:  discretion  (2:12),  for he did not make a premature disclosure of his plans;  wisdom  (2:13-17)  for he appraised the situation before taking action;  resoluteness and fearlessness  (2:19-20),  due to his faith in God’s oversight;  and leadership skills and organization ability  (3:1-32).  Notice how the people worked wholeheartedly.  It was not…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28, 2019

Nehemiah 2:10b – …they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.   Resistance came immediately through Sanballat and Tobiah.  But under Nehemiah’s leadership God’s people learned to overcome the mockery  (2:20),  conspiracy  (4:9),  and threats of physical attack  (4:17).  We should not be surprised by hostility when we begin obeying God.  We have an enemy who is determined to resist us.  He will try to bait us into compromise and bring confusion. …

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUGUST 26, 2019

Nehemiah 1:4 (NIV) –  When I heard these things,  I sat down and wept.  For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.   Ezra had achieved the rebuilding of the temple and the restoration of Jerusalem’s worship,  but the city remained unprotected against enemy invasions.  Nehemiah’s compassion helped qualify him for his remarkable leadership roll of rebuilding the city walls and gates.  Without heart-felt compassion that drives us to our knees in intercessory prayer, …

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 24, 2019

Exodus 3:3 – So Moses thought,  “I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up.” God would prepare Moses for his leadership role:  first,  by a revelation of Himself  (3:1-10),  and second,  by a revelation of His ways  (3:11-4:17).  God’s ways are usually outside the circle of our everyday thought patterns  (Isaiah 55:9)  and are discerned only as we seek for Holy Spirit insight and understanding  (I Cor. 2:14).  Moses was occupied with mundane…

DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY AUGUST 23, 2019

Exodus 2:15 – When Pharaoh heard of this,  he tried to kill Moses,  but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian,  where he sat down by a well.  Why did God take Moses into the desert of Midian?  It was a consequence of his rashness—to save Moses from the wrath of Pharaoh.  Also it was to  “drain him of all self-sufficiency so he would learn dependency on the sufficiency of God.  God was preparing Moses in obscurity…

DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY AUGUST 22, 2019

Acts 7:25 (MSG) – (Moses) thought his brothers would be glad he was on their side, & even see him as an instrument of God to deliver them.  But they didn’t see it that way. Moses failed because  “his attempt to deliver God’s people was carried out in the self-effort of the impetuosity of the flesh and not in reliance upon God.  All the knowledge and wisdom acquired in Egypt’s institutes of learning was not adequate to equip Moses for…

DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY AUGUST 21, 2019

Hebrews 11:24-26 – …(Moses)  regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt…(focus verse 26).    In spite of the fact that Moses was obliged to Pharaoh’s daughter by gratitude and self-interest,  he chose to identify with the Children of Israel.  He chose to share in the afflictions of his people over the pleasures of Egypt.  He chose the eternal reward of a son of Abraham to the temporary advantage of a son…

DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY AUGUST 20, 2019

Exodus 2:15-17 – …Moses got up and came to their rescue…(focus verse 17).  Moses did not allow preoccupation with his own problems to keep him from helping others with theirs.  In the school of divine providence as a stranger in a strange land,  God taught Moses understanding and compassion for the heart of a stranger.  He would be better qualified to lead God’s  “strangers”  (the Children of Israel)  out of a  “strange land”  (Egypt)  and into the home promised for…

DEVOTIONS – MONDAY AUSGUST 19, 2019

Exodus 2:11 – One day after Moses had grown up,  he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor.  He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew,  one of his own people. Moses was a full forty years old when the afflictions of his people aroused him to action (Acts 7:23).  His attempt at bringing justice turned bloody and very quickly Moses became a fugitive in Midian.  Moses did not realize it,  but God’s…

DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY AUGUST 17, 2019

Ruth 4:18-22  –  Outcast  What’s particularly amazing about Ruth is that God chose a woman to play an integral role in the Davidic and Messianic line.  God uses both men and women to accomplish His purposes.  And He often uses broken people,  the outcasts,  and imperfect people (like you and me) that others overlook to bring about His promises.  God entrusts us to carry out His promises,  and Ruth foreshadows how Jesus did the same thing for us.  Ruth is…

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…