Recently Added Devotionals

The leadership America needs
By | July 4, 2017

So I exhort the leaders among you as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed….

—1 Peter 5:1

 

Since our nation’s founding, America has been distinguished and defined by spiritual leadership. Men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Patrick Henry built our government upon the foundations of faith.

 

As Patrick Henry said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”  

 

Nearly 100 years later, President Abraham Lincoln confirmed our nation’s Judeo-Christian foundation when he said, “… it is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God… and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

 

Clearly our forefathers rose to the challenges of their day, and in the process they gave us a remarkable nation. So how shall you and I respond to the challenges of our day? 

 

I believe the kind of strong spiritual leadership America needs today is not just found in our statehouses or in the White House. I believe it is found in our churches. There is no problem so big in America that it can’t be solved if America’s churches will rise to the challenge!

 

This 4th of July, let’s not only pray for our...

Continue reading…

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

 

Our world has seen some horrible tragedies this year, from the terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom, to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, to the senseless killings going on in America’s streets.  Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that when things go wrong, there are two kinds of people: those who panic and those who pray. I love what Corrie ten Boom used to say, “There’s no panic in heaven, only plans.” That means that even when we’re taken by surprise, God isn’t!

 

But what does that mean for us? Well, the fact that bad things will happen in life is a foregone conclusion. It’s the reality of the world in which we live as one of the many consequences of sin. Yet even when those bad things do happen, we can choose how we will react.

 

While many are fretting, not knowing how to cope with tragedy, God is still on the throne of the universe. And there’s absolutely nothing that happens outside of His divine purview. So we can either choose to go into panic mode, or we can look to Him in faith.

 

Now, you’re probably thinking that’s easy to say but hard to do in the midst of chaos. And you’d be right, because trusting God is impossible in our flesh. But when we allow His Spirit to do the work, we become capable of experiencing His supernatural peace – a peace beyond understanding –...

Continue reading…

For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

1 Corinthians 14:33

 

The history of mankind can be thought of in terms of power. In the beginning of our history, we had manpower, the ability to do things for ourselves. Then, we had horsepower, the ability to use animals to do work for us. After that came machine power as we found the ability to make complex devices to accomplish difficult tasks.

 

Each step in the development of power has enriched mankind, both financially and materially. And yet, while we’ve slowly learned how to exhibit control and power over the world around us, we’ve also learned each step of the way that there’s much more we don’t control than we realize.

 

So what does this leave us? Well for one, we’re now in a place where we can firmly say we’re not in control of most things. Even when we take into account those things we do control, they pale in comparison to the number of things we don’t.

 

Our only options then are either to surrender to chaos and believe whatever happens has no ultimate purpose, or we believe that God is ultimately in control and has a purpose for everything. But the Bible is clear – God works everything out for the good of those who love Him. Everything has a purpose.

 

Don’t let the chaos of life distress you. Trust in the goodness of God and believe that in Christ, He’ll work everything out for your good!

 

In the seeming chaos of life, trust God to use everything for your...

Continue reading…

Keep your mind focused on the joy of God
By Jack Graham | June 14, 2017

Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.
 
—1 Peter 1:8

 
What’s your definition of a holy life?  You might be surprised to find out that God is not only holy; God is happy!
 
And when we talk about living a holy life, we are talking about living a life full of energy, life, power, and joy.  
 
As our verse for today says, we have “joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory!”! That’s a joy that’s so incredible you can’t even express it!  It is because of salvation through Christ.
 
So when I talk about holiness, I’m not talking about being pious or religious. Rather, pure holiness is a beautiful expression of the very character of God.  We are separated unto God that we might live positive, joyful, exuberant lives… as well as disciplined and dedicated lives.
 
The upward call of every Christian is to live with a purity of heart and a purity of life that comes from the soul and is unpolluted because the presence of God is there.
 
You and I have been called to live a godly life… no exceptions.  And it all begins with our minds.  According to Proverbs 23:7, “As a man calculates in his soul, so is he.”  Have you ever thought about how so many of our spiritual struggles begin when we allow our minds to wander aimlessly?  
 
Today, I want to encourage you to make sure your thinking is controlled by the grace of God.  Exercise self-discipline.  Second, eliminate anything that...

...

Continue reading…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

 —Hebrews 12:1

 

One of the most important phrases in today’s verse is “let us run with endurance.”  Now that’s a constant challenge of the Christian life!

Physically speaking, running is one of the healthiest activities that we can do to improve our health. Running is great for the cardiovascular system and helps promote health in a variety of ways. The problem is that many people when they start jogging try to run too hard and end up burning out in just a short period of time.

Unfortunately, the same can be true of our spiritual lives. Many of us run hard and fast for Christ, but quickly lose energy and heart and find ourselves out of strength. Why?  Because we haven’t laid aside the things that hold us down.  It’s like trying to run with weights tied to your ankles!

The Christian life is a marathon, not a sprint.  And the only way you will be able to run with endurance is to do what the verse today says…to lay aside the sin in your life that weighs you down. 

Are you struggling today in your walk with Christ?  If so, take an honest look at your life and see if there is any sin that is un-confessed.  If there is, confess it and cast it aside.  When you do you will find you will once again be able to run…and to do so with endurance.

Cast aside any sin that is...

Continue reading…

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

—Proverbs 21:20

 

Making good choices regarding the legacy and future of your family is vitally important. And as it says in the verse above, it’s foolish just to spend everything you have! We are to save money, as well as spend money.

But the problem is that many families today haven’t built the financial firewall of spending money wisely. Their expenses exceed their income…and as a result, they’re bridging the gap with more and more debt!

But accumulating excessive debt isn’t wise. And in the limited space I have here, I want to advise you to deal aggressively with paying your creditors.

If you have debt that’s grinding you down, if you have debt that creates pressure in your family, if you have debt that keeps you from giving as God would have you give, it’s time you began to take a hard look at your spending habits.

So I’d like to ask you today, do your spending habits glorify God? Friend, I challenge you to begin making God a partner in your finances today!

Your family must build a financial firewall of wise spending habits.

Continue reading…

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season….                                             

—Psalm 1:3

 

As believers, we’re to be productive in our Christian lives.

 

The fruit mentioned above is the fruit of the Spirit, or Christ-like character. It’s what Paul talks about in Galatians 5:22-23 when he says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

 

Remember in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus cursed a fig tree that produced nothing but leaves. He cursed it because it bore no fruit. And God is inspecting our lives for spiritual fruit.

 

I want to challenge you to be a reproducer...a reproducing believer in Christ. Because a healthy body reproduces! And a healthy Christian will reproduce spiritual fruit: the fruit of character and the fruit of bringing people to Christ.

 

A true man or woman of God reproduces spiritual fruit.

Continue reading…

Victory is on its way!
By | May 11, 2017

But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

—1 Corinthians 15:57

 

There is so much that you and I can learn from the failures and victories of athletic champions. I learned one of these lessons by reading about legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

 

This great coach began his career at UCLA in 1948 at the age of 37. But it took him 16 years to win his first national championship! After his team had lost in the first round of the championships in 1950, 1952, and 1956, he read something that changed his thinking. It said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts!”

 

You see, Wooden thought he knew everything about basketball, but he didn’t. So he invited other coaches to evaluate his players in practice. He hired assistants who would challenge his thinking. He re-evaluated everything. And eventually, UCLA became one of the great powerhouses of NCAA basketball!

 

And from his experiences, Wooden gave us one of the great quotes about life. He said, “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

 

Let me ask you something. Have you learned from your failures or have you let your failures defeat you?   

 

Listen! We all experience failure, but God wants you to trust him and keep going. Stay in the Scripture. Learn from other followers. Don’t stop now, your victory will come!

 

Give God everything and he will bring the victory!

 

DON’T STOP NOW, YOUR VICTORY WILL COME!

...

Continue reading…

My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

—Psalm 34:2-4

 

Have you ever wondered why the Scripture instructs us to praise God? Three reasons can be found in the verses above from Psalm 34. 

 

First of all, praising the Lord encourages others. I think you’d be amazed at how people, Christian and non-Christian alike, respond to something as positive as honest and sincere praise to God when something good or bad happens to you.

 

Second, praising God naturally brings fellowship. There is a closeness…a bond…that is created when you’re praising God together.

 

And last, praising the Lord gives you power for your day-to-day life. I don’t know what you may be facing today, be it a temptation you can’t let go of or a sin you can’t escape. Whatever it is, praise will bring you out of it!

 

My friend, God responds to your honest, genuine praise of Him. So I urge you to make praise a habit no matter what you may be going through!  

 

Make a priority of praise regardless of your circumstances.

Continue reading…

Pray for Israel Today
By | May 5, 2017

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you!”

—Psalm 122:6

 

The history and the future of the world are forever linked to the Middle East. So if you have any doubts about whether you and I are living in the last days, Israel is the super sign!

According to the Scripture, the Jewish people must return to Israel before Christ can return.

Well, Israel has been restored and Jews continue to repopulate Israel. The prophecy is being fulfilled even now!

You see, you cannot separate Israel from God’s sovereign plan for our world. And even we, as Gentiles, share in this historic connection. From patriarchs to prophets, to apostles, we received the Scriptures through mostly Jewish people. And, of course, our Messiah came to us through David and the Jewish lineage.

By grace we’ve been grafted into God’s extraordinary Kingdom and family. We have a divine and providential connection with Israel and the Jewish people… and this covenant is holy and eternal.

If you want God’s blessing in this life, then bless Israel as he instructed us in his Word, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

And remember, just as surely as Jesus ascended into heaven from Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives, he has promised to return to that very place. Jesus is coming soon!

Pray for Israel today.

Continue reading…