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DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 31, 2022

Luke 5:7-8 (NIV) (Focus verse 8) When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’  knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord, I am a sinful man!” “Demonstration of the supernatural brings consciousness of sin.”  People don’t know how to respond to the supernatural works of God (see Acts 2:12).  It presents for us a reality so far beyond our comprehension that it can be frightening and disorienting.  It can also bring enlightenment (see Isaiah 6:5-6).  Isaiah’s first response…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 30, 2022

Luke 5:5-6 (NIV) (Focus verse 5) Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”  When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Here is the lesson:  “Obedience brings results in place of failure.”  How many times have we worked hard with no results?  How many times have we done our best only to come…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2022

Luke 4:42-43 (NIV) (Focus verse 43)  (Jesus) said, “I must preach the good news of the Kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” Jesus lived under authority, God’s authority.  Living under authority is an important principle of ministry.  We must live interlinked with other believers who are also under authority and who understand the cost of serving God.  It is a life of sacrifice in preference for higher goals.  When you’ve been …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 28, 2022

Luke 4:22-24 (The Message) (Focus verse 22)  All who were there, watching and listening, were surprised at how well He (Jesus) spoke.  But they also said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son, the one we’ve known since He was a youngster?” Jesus was rejected in Nazareth (4:16-30).  In His home synagogue He had read from Isaiah with an anointing of the Holy Spirit that dumbfounded the hometown folks.  They framed Him in the context of Joseph and Mary.  His divinity was not…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MARCH 26, 2022

Psalm 55 (NIV) (Focus verse 16) But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. David’s deepest wounds came from companions and close friends (vs. 12-14). God helped him work through the pain (vs. 22). “But as for me, I trust in You” (vs 23b). When trust is broken we naturally withdraw, fight, or freeze; and simple forgiveness will not restore the trust. A Christian counselor can help you rebuild your “trust muscle.” People can change, but…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MARCH 25, 2022

Matthew 14:14 (NIV)  When He (Jesus) landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. The fifth element of trust is this:  “You can trust based on what you have seen someone do before—their track record.”  What happened the last time?  What are their reviews?  You want a doctor who has a good track record.  What are they known for?  “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 24, 2022

Psalm 113: 7-9 (NIV)  He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap… He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children… “We are able to trust when we feel someone is like we need them to be.”  That is, their character affirms that they are worthy of our trust.  They are compassionate, patient, courageous, and diligent.  They hold up strong under opposition and don’t run away.  They follow…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 22, 2022

Exodus 19:4 and Deut. 32:11 (The Message)  You have seen what I did to Egypt and how I carried you on eagles’  wings and brought you to me (Ex 19:4).  He was like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly (Deut. 32:11). Here is the second core element in trust.  “You are able to trust when you feel that someone’s motive is FOR you.”  Trust…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 21, 2022

Psalm 139 (NIV) (Focus verse 1)  O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. We are wired for trust.  It is essential for life.  We start learning it (or don’t learn it) as an infant.  David said, “You led me to trust you at my mother’s breast” (Psa. 22:9b).  Psychologists say the number one thing every infant needs in those first few years of life is a sense of safety.  If they don’t develop that, then a sense…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MARCH 19, 2022

Luke 4:14-15 (The Message) Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit… “Jesus emerged from temptation equipped for ministry by the fulness of the Holy Spirit.  His ministry would be one of deliverance by the Spirit “(4:18).  On the other side of your trial lies a great anointing and empowerment if you will respond correctly in the middle of the trial.  Remember God’s Word.  It is truth.  

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MARCH 18, 2022

Luke 4:1-12 (NIV) (Focus verses 1-2a) Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the desert, where for 40 days He was tempted by the devil… Satan tempted Jesus in three spheres.  In the wilderness, He was tempted in the sphere of need (4:1-4).  On the mountain, He was tempted in the sphere of success (4:5-8).  In the temple, He was tempted in the sphere of religion (4:9-12).  Consider how you…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 17, 2022

Luke 3:23-38 (The Message) (Focus verse 23)  When Jesus entered public life, He was about 30 years old, the son (in public perception) of Joseph…  The purpose of Luke’s genealogy was to show that Christ was of Davidic lineage through Mary, since Joseph was only his legal father.  Luke was also showing that Christ was the Savior  “not only of the children of Abraham (as in Matthew 1:1) but also the Savior of the children of Adam (the entire human…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 16, 2022

Luke 3:21-22 (NIV) See verses from Tuesday. The great doctrinal truth of the Trinity of the Godhead is revealed in these verses.  Jesus was on earth being baptized.  The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus in bodily form, and the Father spoke in a voice from heaven.  All three were united in this important moment as Jesus was being launched into public ministry.  The reality of the Trinity has been debated and misunderstood for centuries and it is a stumbling block…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 15, 2022

Luke 3:21-22 (NIV)  When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too.  And as He was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased.” Here we see Father God giving His son, Jesus, public commendation.  In a visible and audible manifestation of affirmation, three of the greatest needs in human…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 14, 2022

Luke 3:4b (NIV)  …” Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.” The general content of Luke 3 focuses on the ministry of John the Baptist, who was probably a second cousin of Jesus.  John was out in the wilderness preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit, evidence that  “God was no longer confining Himself to the religious system of the Jews.”  The baptism of repentance (3:3) was  “a symbol of a change of mind and…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MARCH 12, 2022

Luke 2:49 (The Message) (Jesus said), “Why were you looking for me?  Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?”  Even as a boy Jesus was aware of His origin and purpose on earth.  You are here for a purpose–to make a difference with your life.  Are you aware of it?  Are you living on mission?  How easily is your attention diverted to lesser goals?  How bright is your light shining?  What…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MARCH 11, 2022

Luke 2:41-47 (NIV) (focus verse 46) After three days they found Him in the temple courts… The child Jesus had gone with his parents to Jerusalem for the Passover holiday.  “There he was lost by the most unlikely people (His parents) in the most unlikely place (the temple) at the most unlikely time (the time of the Passover) all because of neglect through pre-occupation with other things.”  Do we  “miss”  Christ’s presence because we are caught up in all the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 10, 2022

Luke 1:5-25 (NIV) (focus verses 18-20)  (vs. 18a) – Zechariah asked the angel,  “How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah doubted the angel in view of his age and his wife’s age.  “In doing so, he made the fulfillment of God’s promise contingent on natural laws and means.  His unbelief and request for a sign displeased the Lord.”  God doesn’t mind our questions, but it does matter that we believe.  Everything in God comes to us via the avenue…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 9, 2022

Luke 1:1-4 (NIV) The Holy Spirit used the personalities of the writers of scriptures.  He used their RATIONAL JUDGMENT (“It seemed good to me”),  NATURAL CONCERN (“That you may know”),  METHODICAL PROCEDURE (“to write an orderly account”),  CALCULATED PURPOSE (“so that you may know the certainty”),  ACQUIRED KNOWLEDGE (“of the things you have been taught”),  and OCCASION (“Many have undertaken to draw up an account”).  Luke had a perfect understanding of the events that had happened so he could write…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 8, 2022

Hebrews 2:17 (NIV)  For this reason, he (Jesus) had to be made like His brothers in every way, in order that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that He might make atonement for the sins of the people. Luke focuses on Christ’s humanity.  Hebrews unpacks the indications of that reality.  He is  “like us”  in his descent from man (with his genealogy traced to Adam).  He is  “without prejudices or favoritism, which…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY MARCH 7, 2022

Luke 1:4 (NIV)  …it seemed good for me to write an orderly account for you… so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke is the writer: a Gentile, an educated man, a physician, and a disciple of Paul.  He wrote to a personal friend and intended to stop the spread of spurious gospels that had begun to circulate.  Scholars believe it was written between A.D. 63 and 68 and records events which cover…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY MARCH 5, 2022

John 10:4-5 (The Message) When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice.  They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.  Our spontaneous recognition of the Lord’s voice is learned through experience and divine aid (I Sam. 3:1-7).  Recognizing His voice (which should be the norm) is cultivated by daily contact with Him and obedience to Him.  Counterfeits are best…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY MARCH 4, 2022

John 21:18-19 (NIV)  (Jesus speaking)  “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted;  but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God.  Then he said to him, “Follow me!” There is  “a great difference between spiritual immaturity and…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY MARCH 3, 2022

Isaiah 50:5 (NIV)  The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears and I have not been rebellious;  I have not drawn back. “The cultivation of the spiritual faculty of hearing involves a responsiveness to God in submission to His sovereignty and the surrender of our own.”  This chapter in Isaiah is clearly Messianic.  Jesus is  “unjustly sentenced and severely brutalized, but He is certain that He will triumph through God’s help.  Thus He submits to God’s Word like a dedicated student…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2022

I Kings 3:5, 9 (NLT) That night the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream, and God said,  “What do you want?  Ask, and I will give it to you!”  Give me an understanding (discerning –NIV;  God-listening –The Message) heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?  God is always pleased to respond to a person’s request for…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY MARCH 1, 2022

John 8:43 (NLT) (Jesus speaking) Why can’t you understand what I am saying?  It’s because you can’t even hear me! “The inability to understand the voice of God may be due to an inability to hear with the inner hearing of the Spirit.”  The human heart can become so very calloused–fixated on the pride of life, the lusts of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes (I John 2:16) and soon we are not just drifting away from our…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY FEBRUARY 28, 2022

I Samuel 28:6 (NIV)  He (Saul) inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets.  Here’s the lesson:  “failure to hear from God may be due to having incurred the divine displeasure.”  Sadly, when Saul could not get an answer from the usual sources, he went to a witch—whose practices are an abomination to the Lord (Deut. 18:9-14).  Where do we go for answers?  Where do we turn to get truth?  Still…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 26, 2022

I Kings 3:5, 9 (NIV) (Focus verse 9a) So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.  For who is able to govern this great people of yours? Solomon asked and God answered.  God is pleased to respond to our requests for  “an understanding heart,” (a  “hearing heart”).  Every phase of life brings opportunities for new lessons to be learned, higher perspective to be gained, compassionate hearts to be deepened.  Do…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 25, 2022

Genesis 33:13 (NIV)  …if they are driven hard just one day, all the animals will die. There is such a thing as moving in the direction of God’s will at a proper pace.  Overdriving, without consideration of the  “tender children”  and the  “cows that are nursing their young”  rather than moving along slowly at the right pace, can be detrimental and, in fact, a nefarious plan of the enemy to destroy us along the way by keeping us in  “overdrive.” …

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY FEBRUARY 24, 2022

Acts 9:1-7 (NLT) (focus verses 3-4a) As he (Saul) neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice… The farther we are away from God, the louder He might have to speak.  Hearing the audible voice of God is not necessarily a compliment (see Numbers 12:5-10).  Our personal relationship to God can be a factor as to whether God speaks more indirectly or directly (Numbers 12:6-8).  We…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 23, 2022

Acts 8:26-29 (NIV) Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip,  “Go south…”   All the necessary guidance from the Lord is not always given at once.  Philip started out in obedience to the angel’s word of direction and God divinely arranged the circumstances: the Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”  And the story unfolded.  Accomplishment of God’s purposes may depend upon instantaneous, unquestioning obedience.  Do we comprehend how our day will unfold and…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 22, 2022

Isaiah 20:31 (NIV) Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Walking in obedience to the Lord every day will reduce the need for  “special guidance.”  The greater a person’s faith, the greater their ability to tolerate uncertainty.  The long stretches of time between special revelations (visions, dreams, signs, angels, etc.) aren’t an issue of concern for someone who is walking out…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY FEBRUARY 21, 2022

I Samuel 10:7 (The Message)  When these confirming signs are accomplished, you’ll know that you’re ready.  Whatever job you’re given to do, do it.  God is with you!  Saul had not been campaigning to become king.  His search for his father’s lost donkeys led him to the prophet, who declared the call of God upon his life and anointed him.  Be sure to read all of chapters 9 and 10 to get the context of this story.  Have you ever…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 19, 2022

Jonah 1:3 (NIV)  But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish.  He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port…  Clearly, Jonah was not in God’s will as he fled away from Nineveh, in spite of the fact that a ship was readily available.  Favorable circumstances are not necessarily a sign of being in God’s will.  (And UNfavorable circumstances are not necessarily a sign of being out of God’s will – see…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – FRIDAY FEBRUARY 18, 2022

Matthew 5:45b (NIV) …He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  God’s divine providence is sometimes exercised unconditionally—without requiring anything on our part as a condition.  At other times God’s divine providence is exercised conditionally—contingent on our meeting certain conditions (II Kings 18:4-7).  “As long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success” – II Chron. 26:5).  Where have you seen this in your life?

DAILY DEVOTIONS – THURSDAY FEBRUARY 17, 2022

Galatians 5:22, 25 (NLT) (Focus verse 25) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.  There are conditions for having the peace of God.  He gives us peace as we live a righteous life.  (Isaiah 48:18 – If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.  Isaiah 48:22 – “There is no peace” says the Lord, “for the…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2022

Colossians 3:15 (NIV) Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace…  The Holy Spirit provides guidance through  “the peace of God witnessing within us for or against an intended course of action or state of being.”  There are specific characteristics of the nature of God’s peace.  “Negatively – It is not a mere absence of disturbance because of favorable circumstances.  Positively – It is a conscious rest, independent…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – TUESDAY FEBRUARY 15, 2022

John 16:13 (NIV) But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.  The Holy Spirit guides us in a wide variety of ways.  He speaks distinct words within your heart (Acts 8:29), or through the words of someone else (your pastor or Christian counselor).  He can forbid you to take…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – MONDAY FEBRUARY 14, 2022

II Timothy 3:16 (NIV)  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.  The NLT translates it this way:  Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  The NLT goes on in verse 17:  God uses it to prepare and equip His…

DAILY DEVOTIONS – SATURDAY FEBRUARY 12, 2022

Psalm 119:105 (NIV)  Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.  There are various ways that God guides His people.  The word of God is the supreme criteria.  The Holy Spirit also guides us (Romans 8:14) in the diversity of His mysterious working (John 3:8) “whether in action (Luke 4:1) or in active inaction (Numbers 10:12).  God also guides His people through divine providence (I Samuel 9:1-17)—the ability of God to make all events…