Recently Added Devotionals

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

-1 Peter 1:3

Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman once wrote a song entitled “Heaven in the Real World,” in which one of the repeated lines is, “Where is the hope? Where is the peace?” Those are great questions because I think those are the questions many people are asking every day.

How I praise God that we have the answer! There is hope and there is peace for this world.  But that hope and peace is found only in Jesus Christ.

You see, when you and I accepted Christ, we were born again to what the Bible in the verse above calls a “living hope,”…a hope that is not wishful thinking, but a hope that is based on the reality of God Himself evidenced in the power of the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

This living hope means we can persevere through trials, rough spots, and even pain. This living hope means we may stumble and fall, but we will not falter completely because we are in Jesus Christ. And this living hope means we have a future that is sure and that we aren’t alone today.

The peace God gives us when we accept Jesus is a peace that the world could never know.  It means that we can enjoy serenity of heart no matter what happens to us.  Why?  Well, Jesus said it best in John 16:33, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you...

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And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

-Philippians 1:6

Sometimes problems are like a big truck you’re following on the highway. It’s so big that you can’t see around it…and you’re not sure you can get around it because you don’t know what’s ahead of you.

A problem can sometimes seem so big and overwhelming that you simply don’t know if you’re ever going to get around it.

The good news is that even though you can’t always see on the other side of a problem, there’s something good there—the anticipation that comes from knowing that when you wrestle through a problem, God is there on the other side with the promise of a brighter and hopeful future.

As a follower of Christ, you have the promise of God that He will finish what He started in you and not leave you stranded in the middle of a problem. And let me remind you that God permits trials in your life to strengthen your faith…and that should give you the anticipation of knowing that He is doing something wonderful through you and for you, even when the testing is hard.

So if you’re going through a hard trial today, don’t let go of the hopeful anticipation of what Christ is doing in your life.

REGARDLESS OF THE TRIAL, YOU CAN LIVE IN HOPEFUL ANTICIPATION BECAUSE OF GOD’S PROMISE TO FINISH WHAT HE STARTED IN YOUR LIFE.

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Therefore, let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.  

-1 Corinthians 10:12

Remember when you were a kid and would wrestle with your brother or sister? And once you got them down on the ground, you’d hold them there until they cried “uncle”? You wanted them to stop resisting and give up.

Well, temptation is tenacious like that, but far more vicious and unrelenting. If you or I even entertain the idea of sin, we can soon find ourselves in its grip struggling to escape.

You see, Satan can manipulate our minds and seduce us so that we’ll disobey God. He’ll take a natural, God-given, wholesome desire and twist it so that we will desire to use it in God-forbidden ways. He tempts us with the promise of some reward for our disobedience…. it might be pleasure, power, or profit.

And Satan will stop at nothing to make you give in to him. I know people who never dreamed they could be unfaithful to their partner, but then Satan brought the temptation.

Now you might think, “I would never let that happen!” But listen. It’s a huge mistake to think you’re not vulnerable to temptation. You must realize your own weakness and prepare yourself. This is why Jesus taught us to pray, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil….” 

Be proactive in your prayer life. Prize obedience to God more than temptation’s rewards.

IT’S A HUGE MISTAKE TO THINK YOU’RE NOT VULNERABLE TO TEMPTATION.

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No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man….

-1 Corinthians 10:13

There are some people today who think that being a Christ follower means they should live free from temptation. But that’s just not true.

You see, before we came to faith, we didn’t feel the struggle of sin’s temptation. We gave in to it. But now that you and I are in Christ, we feel the pull between the old life and our new life him. It’s precisely because we are in Christ that we should expect to face temptation and struggles. After all, Jesus himself faced temptation. Remember?

At the very outset of his ministry, Jesus went alone into the wilderness to pray. While he was isolated, Satan came and tempted him in three areas: his physical appetite, earthly ambition, and spiritual allegiance. And Satan attacks us in these same ways.

But listen! Jesus has shown us that we can overcome temptation’s pull. Now you may say, “Hold on! That was Jesus. I can’t do that.”  But you can!

Jesus endured temptation as a human being just like you and me. Look at today’s verse of Scripture. Temptation is nothing new. Jesus felt the same temptations you feel today, and he resisted!

Are you struggling with the temptation of sin? This is your call to battle!

Don’t give in! Jesus is with you and he has overcome!

JESUS HAS SHOWN US THAT WE CAN OVERCOME TEMPTATION’S PULL.

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God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things
By Dr. Jack Graham | November 14, 2016

... that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

-1 Peter 2:9
 
I love the stories in the Scripture where people are called by God to do something special for him. These people are just like you and me, just common, ordinary people.
 
Moses was living on the back side of the desert, a total failure as the prince of Egypt, and God called him to deliver a nation.
 
When Goliath was taunting the Israelites, everyone discounted David, a teenage shepherd boy. But God didn’t! And David defeated the giant and became the king of a nation.
 
How about Nehemiah? He was living in Persia in complete obscurity serving as a cupbearer and God called him to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.
 
Mary was a teenage girl living in Nazareth when God called her to be the mother of the Messiah.
 
And Simon Peter would have lived and died an ordinary fisherman except that Jesus called him to establish the church.
 
Do you see the pattern here? God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He uses improbable men and women who have nothing of their own to offer, but their faithfulness and  willingness to say, “Yes.”   
 
So what has God called you to? I’ll tell you. It’s something wonderful and extraordinary!
 
He’s calling right now. And all you have to do is say, “Yes, Lord

GOD USES ORDINARY PEOPLE TO DO EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.

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Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement)…

Acts 4:36

 

When people think about you, what are some characteristics that you believe come to their mind? If we’re really honest, you and I do care about our reputation. But the message we often hear today is, “Don’t worry what people think about you, just be yourself.” And while it’s okay to be rejected by others for the right reasons, there are many who believe they have a license to have a bad reputation because they’re just ‘being their self’.

 

But did you know that God cares about your reputation? Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” And Luke 2:52 makes it a point to say that Jesus increased “in favor with God and man.”

 

Joseph was such an encourager that his friends began to call him Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement.” So how are you known among your peers? When they think of you, are there impressions generally positive or negative?

 

Gaining and keeping a good reputation takes time and effort. You have to invest relationally in people and be intentional in being someone whom they consider trustworthy. But that investment will pay huge dividends in the form of vibrant, sanctifying relationships!

 

Build your reputation as someone who is exceptionally trustworthy.

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Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.

—Revelation 2:16-17

 

We live in an age of compromise. You see it in every level of government, industry, and unfortunately… you see it in the church as well. 

 

But today… instead of focusing on the compromise you see in others… I want to ask you… are you a compromising Christian? Are you living a double standard? Are there areas in your life, be it in your marriage… your professional life… or your thought life… where you are compromising?

 

Maybe you’re thinking about cheating on your spouse. Perhaps you’ve turned a blind eye to something unethical at work. Or maybe you allow yourself the leeway to think lustful or hateful thoughts.

 

Whatever it is, let me assure you of this: God takes the sin of compromise seriously!  Revelation 2:16 says it clearly, “Therefore repent.  If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth.” Jesus is not only saying that He’ll deal with any church that compromises with sin… He’s saying it to any Christian too… including you and me!

 

Jesus wants you to stop compromising, admit your sin, and deal with it. He wants you to get right...

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Immediately he [Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
 
—Matthew 14:22


I want you to think about today’s verse for a moment. Jesus made the disciples get into that boat, knowing that a storm was coming their way.
 
Yet Jesus didn’t send them into the teeth of a storm to be malicious or mean. He did it to help build the disciples’ faith! And by doing this, Jesus also showed that He was in complete control.
 
You know, outside of salvation itself, the most liberating, life-producing, joy-producing, peace-giving truth is the fact that Jesus Christ is sovereignly in control of your life. This means no matter what storm you’re in or what storm you’re going to be in (because you’ll always be in one of those two places), God has you there for a reason. 
 
So you can give Him thanks… not necessarily for the circumstance or the crisis itself… but for the Christ who reigns and rules in your heart and in your daily experiences. And you can thank God for loving you enough to be willing to send storms into your life to either perfect you or correct you.
 
There’s a song by Babbie Mason that says, “God is too wise to be mistaken, God is too good to be unkind. So when you don’t understand, when you don’t see His plan, when you can’t trace His hand, trust His heart.”
 
The same God who took you into the storm is the same God who will bring you out of it! So trust His heart… and His love for you… today.
 
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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
 
—John 14:6


 
At one point or another, every person has to come to grips with the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” And today I want to help you answer that question in your own heart and life.
 
It’s true that the miracles of Jesus identify Him as God. They give Him credibility that He was who He said He was. But Jesus didn’t perform them as publicity stunts. He performed them to show you and me something about who He was and what His supernatural power can accomplish in our lives.
 
Maybe today, you can relate to the disappointment of the couple in the Bible who ran out of wine at the wedding in Canaan (John 2:1-12). By turning water into wine, Jesus was saying to them… and He’s saying to you today, “I am the answer for life’s disappointments… I can turn your disappointments into joy.”
 
Or perhaps today you’re in need… like the thousands of people Jesus fed with two fish and five loaves of bread (John 6:1-15). In feeding them, Jesus showed them… and He’s showing you today… that He is the answer to your needs and your desires. 
 
And lastly, maybe today you’re going through a dark time of life… and you’d admit that you’re fearful of what the future holds. If so, think about when Jesus walked on the water in the middle of the night (John 6:16-21). By doing this, Jesus showed Peter… just like He shows you and me… that He is the answer in the dark times of...

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

—John 14:6

 

At one point or another, every person has to come to grips with the question, “Who is Jesus Christ?” And today I want to help you answer that question in your own heart and life.

 

It’s true that the miracles of Jesus identify Him as God. They give Him credibility that He was who He said He was. But Jesus didn’t perform them as publicity stunts. He performed them to show you and me something about who He was and what His supernatural power can accomplish in our lives.

 

Maybe today, you can relate to the disappointment of the couple in the Bible who ran out of wine at the wedding in Canaan (John 2:1-12). By turning water into wine, Jesus was saying to them… and He’s saying to you today, “I am the answer for life’s disappointments… I can turn your disappointments into joy.”

 

Or perhaps today you’re in need… like the thousands of people Jesus fed with two fish and five loaves of bread (John 6:1-15). In feeding them, Jesus showed them… and He’s showing you today… that He is the answer to your needs and your desires. 

 

And lastly, maybe today you’re going through a dark time of life… and you’d admit that you’re fearful of what the future holds. If so, think about when Jesus walked on the water in the middle of the night (John 6:16-21). By doing this, Jesus showed Peter… just like He shows you and me… that...

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