Recently Added Devotionals

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

—John 15:13

John Bunyan, the author of the classic book, Pilgrims Progress, said, “You haven’t lived today until you’ve done something for someone who cannot pay you back.”

That is such a powerful truth, and few people in America understand its meaning as well as those who serve in the U.S. military. 

Since America’s struggle for independence from Britain to today’s global war against terrorism, countless men and women have answered duty’s call. They have performed a tremendous service that cannot be repaid. And untold numbers have made the ultimate sacrifice… giving their life’s blood for the cause of freedom.

Maybe you are the loved one or a friend of one of these who has died for our country. If so, you, too, have made a sacrifice that many cannot even imagine. But Jesus recognized just such sacrifice in John 15:13 when he said, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” 

This Memorial Day, let’s remember the courageous men and women who have given their lives to ensure our freedom… or to give the precious gift of freedom to another nation.

May their patriotism and their love for God and country inspire us to do something selfless for our fellow man.

“You haven’t lived today until you’ve done

Something for someone who cannot pay you back.”

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We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain.

—Hebrews 6:19

I think Hebrews 6:19 is one of the grandest statements in the Bible. I love the picture of hope as the anchor of our souls. A ship’s anchor holds it steady even when the winds are blowing hard and waves are crashing all around.

This kind of hope is what helps us cope with the reality of disappointment.  Mary Magdalene in Scripture is a good example of this truth. The Bible tells us that Mary was possessed by seven demons when Jesus first met her. After He cast them out, Jesus continued to love Mary despite her sin and failures.

So she was understandably very disappointed and distraught when Jesus was crucified and then buried in the tomb (John 20). He had done so much for her, and now all she could do was weep bitter tears for Him. But then the resurrected Christ appeared to Mary, and her hope was instantly restored.

That’s what true hope…the hope found only in the resurrected Christ…can do for anyone who is overcome by disappointment and tragedy. No matter how devastating the circumstances, the hope found in Christ can overcome the pain.

Is your soul anchored in the hope of Jesus Christ? If so, you have an anchor that can hold you fast despite any storm!

Hope in Christ is an anchor for the soul. Is your hope anchored in Him today?

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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...

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The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

—Genesis 3:14-15

With the entrance of sin into the world, there also came the need for salvation.  Sin had created enmity, or hostility, between God and sinful humanity. Sin had separated the human race from God, and it created the need for a Savior.

And with the verse above, we get the first words of eternal hope written in the pages of Scripture.  In them, God Himself promises that His sacrifice for sin would one day crush Satan.  And this promise was fulfilled when Jesus’ body was bruised, when He was beaten beyond recognition, and His blood poured out for us.

While Satan thought He had fully crushed Jesus when Jesus died on the cross, Jesus did not stay crushed! He rose from the dead in triumph, and as we are told in Romans 16:20,Christ will ultimately crush Satan in the end.  When that happens, the devil will stay crushed for all eternity!

What a hope Christ gives us.  And our hope is sure because our salvation does not come through our own sinful hands or worthless payments, but through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the very Son of God!

This is why the chorus rings throughout heaven, “Worthy is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” 

So...

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The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 

—Genesis 3:9

In Genesis 3:9 we find a very fascinating verse…when God called out to Adam and Eve, “Where are you?”

Obviously, God wasn’t ignorant of where they were or what they were doing. Instead, I believe He wanted Adam and Eve to realize what they had done and come to grips with it

I also believe God is asking you the same question today:  “Where are you?” He is asking, “How are you doing spiritually?”…not for His own sake, but for yours.  He wants you to realize where you are and what you’re doing. And He is asking this question because He loves you too much to let you stay put in your faith and become either sinful or stagnant. 

Too many times we go through our day or week and don’t take a spiritual assessment. And when we do stop and assess where we are…and we’re honest with ourselves…we must answer, “I’m not where I’m supposed to be.”

Let me encourage you today to listen carefully to the voice of the Holy Spirit within you.  He is gently probing and asking you the important questions, to jar you back into reality.

So, “Where are you?”

God is asking, “Where are you?” What will your answer be today?

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Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

—Genesis 3:7

One of the results of sin entering the world was shame. Before Adam and Eve sinned, they lived in the purity and innocence and there was no shame. But when they sinned they lost their innocence.

They felt shame when they all of sudden realized the state they were in.

We are all born with that sense of innocence.  But unfortunately, children today lose that innocence far too quickly. As a result, children grow up too fast these days, in part because inappropriate things are being thrust upon them every day.

And even though we may want to protect our children as long as possible, we can only do so much. The loss of that sense of innocence early in life seems to be inevitable in our fallen world

But there is still a lot you can do to help your children stay true to the Lord. One way is to be honest with them about the real results of sin. Help your children see that sin produces shame.  Teach them that sin will cost them more than they would ever want to pay, take them places they don’t want to go, and keep them there longer than they want to stay.

Sin brings guilt, shame, and grief. Sin promises pleasures, but produces pain. Sin promises life, but delivers death.

You may feel as if you’re fighting a losing battle at times as you fight for the protection of innocence. But that’s not true. Don’t give up!  Do what you can to protect your children...

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God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

—1 Corinthians 10:13

Over the years, as I have read Genesis 3, I have often asked myself a very obvious question. Why was Eve just hanging around and talking to the serpent? I’m not really sure why she was there, but hanging out by the forbidden tree was not the place to be that day!

When Satan tempts you and me, the Bible is very clear as to what we are supposed to do:  Run!  The Bible says to flee the devil and his temptations. We shouldn’t try to debate him. We just need to get out of there!

Getting into a debate or discussion with Satan is a losing proposition. We aren’t smart enough or powerful enough to outwit him. And Eve learned that the hard way!

It really comes down to personal choice. The devil will always come at us with the same lies. And God knows that we are weaker than Satan, and that’s why He gives us a “back door” of escape in every temptation.  And it’s our choice whether we resist him or engage him.

But unfortunately, we can sometimes let our pride get the better of us and we end up doing things our way. I encourage you today, when Satan throws temptation your way, turn to God and ask Him to show you that way of escape.  And when He does, take it and run as fast as you can from that enemy of your soul!

Don’t try to outwit Satan because...

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You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

—John 8:44

In this exchange with the religious leaders of the day, Jesus unfolds for us the true nature of the devil.  He is a liar.  In fact, lying is at the very core of his nature.

One of the areas he lies about is doubt.  He loves to place little deposits of doubt and questions into our minds. Now, doubt isn’t necessarily wrong in itself, but there is good doubt and bad doubt.

For instance, having questions about what it means to truly believe in Christ is fine, as long as we bring these doubts to the Lord and seek the truth. But the enemy will try to rob you of your faith by causing you to mistrust God and His Word…and when you allow him that victory, that is “bad doubt.” Because this is exactly what Satan wants you to do.

I’ve heard of many young people who were raised in church, but when they went off to college, they dropped Christianity like a bad habit. They turned away from the faith because of the doubt raised by others around them.

Let me remind you that Satan is just the same today as he was in Genesis. He puts questions in your mind, and tries to get you to reject what God has said. And the more you understand this truth, the more effective you...

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He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”  

—Genesis 3:1

From the beginning of time we find Satan actively at work doing what he does best…deceive and destroy.  Make no mistake, Satan is real and he’s out to destroy you and your faith. In fact, Satan is the ultimate terrorist…the terrorist of your soul!

I find it fascinating that many people blame God when tragedies occur. They say, “Why would God allow this to happen to us,” or “Where was God when this happened? Doesn’t He care?” But these questions omit the fact that Satan and his evil work are real.  And that he is still active today deceiving and destroying.

Evil is real, and Satan is the author of every bit of it. That’s why he shows up when he sees an opportunity to trip you up. Have you ever noticed that many temptations seem to just come out of nowhere? Everything is going well, and suddenly you’re faced with an incredibly tough temptation to sin.

That’s because Satan is an opportunist. He knows your strengths and weaknesses, and knows exactly where to hit you…and the kind of evil suggestions that will tempt you most.

So be careful to not blame God for your struggles, because they come from our adversary, the devil. Instead of blaming God for the temptation, you need to turn to Him for the strength to resist the devil.

Our world wants to blame God for evil—but we know who is really to blame. Your calling as a believer is to stand in Christ strength against the devil’s temptations and to not allow him the victory...

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For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

—Jeremiah 29:11

God has a good plan for you, and He has had it right from the beginning! That’s right; even before He laid the foundation of the world; God wanted your life to accomplish something wonderful for Him.

God believed in the plans He had for you so much that He sent His Son to die on a cross, so that you may be able to succeed for eternity. Because of that sacrificial gift of love, you can live your life according to the great hope and joy that He has planned for you.

None of us are perfect, and we will fall short from time to time.  But we can always get back on the road that the Lord wants us to be on.

God has a wonderful plan for you…and a wonderful destination.  But you must choose if you want to fulfill those plans. Make the choice today to live for Christ and walk down whatever path He takes you. And when you run off the path, stop, look to God for guidance, and get back on the right path.

God has great and unimaginable plans for you.  Plans for a future and a hope!

Thank God today that he has a plan for your life.

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