Recently Added Devotionals

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

—John 1:16

 

As human beings, you and I sin. We mess up. In fact, you’ve probably already messed up today!

 

But the Scripture contains an amazing promise for you and me. It’s found in today’s verse.

 

Do you know what “grace upon grace” means? It means that as believers, God’s grace keeps flowing into our lives like the waves of the sea that just keep coming again and again and again. It’s grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace! 

 

It’s not as though we received God’s grace five years ago and we’re still trying to hang on to that grace. No. We keep receiving grace, grace, grace, grace and more grace… His marvelous grace. We never run out of the grace of God because His grace is infinite! 

 

God gives us His grace the moment we’re saved… and He continues to give us His grace each day… for daily strength and endurance to face the trials and temptations of life.

 

Lamentations 3:21-23 promise us, “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

 

God’s grace is new every morning! And it’s my prayer today that you’d be encouraged to know you have this daily grace as a follower of Jesus Christ. Walk in this light today… and every day… as you faithfully follow Him!

 

God gives us his grace to face the trials and temptations...

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There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

—Romans 8:1-2

 

In the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark, we see a remarkable story about a madman who was set free by the Lord Jesus Christ from the evil that tormented his life.

 

And it’s such a great reminder of what Jesus has done for you and me!  Without Christ, we’re madmen who are addicted to sin…broken and bruised…self-destructive…hurting ourselves, our families, and our friends.

 

But when we ask Jesus into our lives, He doesn’t just clean us up.  He sets us free and gives usp a brand new heart!

 

We read what God does for our hearts in Ezekiel 11:19-20 when He says, “I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them.  I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them.  And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.”

 

You see, being a Christian isn’t about getting cleaned up and then trying to hang on for dear life!  No, coming to Christ means you have the power of Jesus to overcome your habits, your addictions, and your sins.  You’re no longer on your own!

 

The apostle Paul reinforces this in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when he says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a...

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Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

—2 Corinthians 5:17

 

If you walk into any bookstore today or browse an internet bookseller, you’ll find volume upon volume of self-improvement books…books about how to change and improve your life.

 

And So many of us fall into the trap of thinking that changing our jobs…changing our appearance…or changing our environment will make us happy.  But it just isn’t true!

 

All of these external changes may temporarily improve your life…they may better your life for a time…but none of them can change your life.  You may move around.  You may change cars.  You may even change jobs.  But you know what?  Wherever you go, it’s the same old you, right?

 

It’s not that your circumstances or your surroundings need to change.  It’s that your heart that needs to change.  It’s your heart that needs a new birth.

 

The Bible is pretty clear when it talks about our hearts.  In Jeremiah 17:9, it says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick.”  The heart, according to the Bible, is not good!

 

Which means your heart needs a spiritual transformation.  I’m not talking about a resolution…promising to be better, do better, or live better.  I’m talking about a revolution!

 

It’s something so radical, so dramatic, that it’s like beginning life all over again!  It’s a new beginning!  It’s an inward change!  Your heart undergoes a spiritual transformation when God takes it and transplants it with His love and His...

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Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

        —Matthew 7:7

 

God has called you not to just make a living, but to make a life. God has called you not to just take up space in this world, but to make our world a better place in which to live! 

 

Yes, God wants you to make a difference! 

 

Now, the people God uses to make a difference in this world are people who are vulnerable to Him, who are dependent on Him, and who are available to Him. If you desire and seek a courageous faith… and if you ask God to give you a compassionate heart… then anything is possible. I’m telling you, you can change the world!

 

I believe it’s time to make an impact on this generation and the coming generations for Christ. It’s time for us to fulfill our calling before He comes again. It’s time for God’s Church to rise up and shake off the past and shake the world for Christ. It’s time for God to do a new thing… a brand new thing in the hearts of His people! And that means you!

 

The story of Nehemiah is a compelling illustration of how God uses people… all kinds of people… for His glory. 

 

Someone put it this way: “A zealous man in religion is preeminently a man of one thing. It is not enough to say he is earnest, hardy, uncompromising, thoroughgoing, wholehearted, firm in spirit. He only sees one thing...

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Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.      

—Joshua 1:7

 

Nehemiah was one of the great leaders of the Bible even though he wasn’t a prophet, a priest, or a preacher!

 

Nehemiah described himself as a cupbearer to the king. He was just a guy who worked hard and had risen to some prominence in his day and time. Nehemiah was just a man… but he was a man whom God raised up! 

 

As we look at his life, there are some steps that Nehemiah took that insured his success… steps that made him a very effective leader. They’re the same steps you can take as a follower of Christ to ensure you’re an effective leader in your sphere of influence as well.

 

Step number one is to pray fervently. We see this trait over and over again in the life of Nehemiah. He was a man of prayer. Real leaders understand that opportunity swings on the hinges of prayer.

 

Step number two is to proceed confidently and courageously. You accomplish this by living what Proverbs 3:5-6 says: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

 

Step number three to being an effective leader is to plan wisely. Too often we have an idea… we have a dream… and...

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Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.

—Jeremiah 32:17

 

Today, you may find yourself in a rut. Maybe you’re in a place where you’re thinking, “Well, this is as good as it gets.” And perhaps you’ve settled for mediocrity. Mediocrity in your marriage… mediocrity with your children… mediocrity in your career. 

 

But God has so much more for you!

 

“Well,” you say, “I’ve got all kinds of problems… all kinds of issues in my life you don’t know about.” You know, that may be true, but God is bigger than your problems. As 1 John 4:4 says, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

 

So let me ask you today: What are you asking God to do in your life? Because God wants to do supernatural things in you… things you could never imagine!

 

Think about what God tells us in Isaiah 43:19: “Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

 

In other words, God is saying, “Look! Can’t you see it? Can’t you taste it? Can’t you feel this new thing that I’m doing?”

 

God takes barren places in our lives and uses them for His glory. That’s when He does the brand new thing in our lives! And God wants to do something new in you. 

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“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”

—Luke 21:33

 

In today’s verse, Jesus promises us that His Words are eternal. This means not one jot, not one tittle, not one mark, not one abbreviation point…not one word will pass away!

 

God’s Word is infallible. In all that it teaches and all it affirms, it is correct and right and perfect. And the Word of God is inerrant. That is, there are no errors in the Scripture. Can you imagine a perfect, pure God breathing out error? Certainly not! God's word is accurate!

 

Now, when people deny the authority of Scripture, they deny the authority of God. It’s as simple as that. In effect, when they deny or distort the authority of Scripture, they deny and blaspheme the work of the Holy Spirit in giving us the Scriptures.

 

They even defame the deity of Jesus Christ, who is described in the Bible as the incarnate Word of God. His very name is the Word of God! And while the Word of God and the God of the Word are not identical, they are inseparable. You cannot separate God from His Word. Even Jesus came believing and teaching and preaching the Word of God, affirming the Old Testament and proclaiming the new and the living way of salvation.

 

That’s why you can trust the Bible through and through. From the very beginning of Genesis when God created the heavens and the earth until the closing chapters of the Revelation, we have the Word of God…consistent, clear, and concise…telling us how to go to heaven, how to...

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The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their measuring line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

—Psalm 19:1-4

 

God speaks to us today in the skies…through His creation. We can know God…we can see the presence of God…by simply looking up at the sky. 

 

The Greek word for “man” in the ancient world and in your New Testament is “anthropos,” which means “the upper-looking one.” Animals look down, but God created man to look up into the heavens to see His glory and to experience His power in creation.

 

And when we do, God speaks to us in the starry skies!

 

Indeed, the heavens declare the glory of God. As the psalmist says, “Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” Creation is constantly, continually, and eternally speaking. And when we look into the creation, we know that because there is a creation, there must be a creator!

 

Now, you may not be a morning person, but I’d encourage you…if you want to catch a glorious glimpse of your Creator…get up early one morning this week to watch the sun rise. I can assure you, seeing His handiwork in creation will speak words of encouragement to your soul!

 

God is constantly, continually and eternally speaking to us through His creation.

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The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

—Lamentations 3:22-24

 

God…is…faithful. Allow me to restate that again. God is faithful! He will do what He says He will do!

 

And not only is God faithful and reliable, but He is committed to your spiritual growth and maturity. First Thessalonians 5:23-24 says, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.”

 

I love that! Because it promises you and me that God is constantly working on us…creatively, constructively, and continually. The Spirit of God is working in your body and in your soul. And His purpose is to make you more like Him!

 

Remember when you were a teenager and you couldn’t wait to grow up? That’s how we feel sometimes as Christians. We wonder when we will ever grow up. We wonder if we will ever be responsible and obedient in our Christian life. It’s so easy to become frustrated with ourselves!

 

But we need to remember that God is patient…and that God is persevering. And according to Philippians 1:6, “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” When God gets through with you, you’re going to stand complete, perfect in the glory of Jesus Christ. Someday you...

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But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.

—Luke 15:20

 

The parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 is one of the most dramatic pictures of God’s love in all the Scripture.

 

And today’s verse is one of my favorites. What a picture of God Almighty! What a picture of God the Father! I like the way Phillips translates the last phrase of this verse. It says, “His father’s heart went out to him while he was yet a long way off.” 

 

This is not a father who can’t wait to punish his sinful son. This is not a father who has written that boy off as wasted and worthless. This is a loving, caring father who cannot wait to embrace his son and to welcome him home! That’s why, when the father sees his son off in the distance, he leaves the house and runs down the road to meet him and to embrace him and bring him in.

 

What I hope you see here is a picture of the Father’s love for you. God’s love is an aggressive love…a love that’s eager and excessive. His love is approachable. And His love is abundant.

 

The prodigal son’s father didn’t hold back his love from his child. And God will never withhold His love from you!

 

God is a loving father who can’t wait to embrace you and welcome you home!

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