Recently Added Devotionals

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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So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”

—John 4:35

 

You know, it’s funny. Human nature really hasn’t changed much since Jesus walked the earth 2,000 years ago.

 

Back then, people wanted a sign… a miracle… from Jesus. They wanted something tangible, something they could see, to believe in Him. And today, people are the same way! So many men and women say they would believe in Christ if only He would show Himself physically… if only He would come through miraculously in their lives.

 

But when Jesus said, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe,” He was saying, “Don’t wait for a sign to believe and trust in Me. Don’t wait on some miracle. Don’t demand that I perform for you in order for you to believe in Me.”

 

You may be struggling to trust Christ today in your life. While I don’t know what you may be facing, I want to challenge you to trust Him even if you can’t see Him in your circumstances right now.

 

Jesus had no confidence in the kind of faith that demands sight. Because faith that demands sight is not real faith! It’s just doubt expecting evidence!

 

I know it’s hard to come to grips with this fact, but oftentimes, you just can’t figure God out. There will be times when you cannot see in the dark. There will be times when you just have to keep clinging, singing, and bringing your heart to God by faith. And this may be that kind of time in your...

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And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

—Matthew 4:19

 

There are many, many reasons why people reject Jesus Christ. And one of the most popular excuses people give for rejecting Him is because of hypocrisy in the church.

 

Yes, there are hypocrites in the church of Jesus Christ. Think about it. Jesus had 12 disciples and one of them was even a hypocrite! So yes, there are—unfortunately—people who say they are Christians, and yet don’t live like Christians.

 

But did you ever consider that the devil may put a hypocrite in your path just to keep you from Jesus Christ? The devil can do that. Let me help you understand why.

 

Have you ever considered that when people want to counterfeit something, they don’t counterfeit gum wrappers? They counterfeit $20 bills, $100 bills… something that’s real! So for people to counterfeit the Christian faith…. and for the devil to put those counterfeits in your path… only indicates that Christianity is real! 

 

Again, the fact that there are hypocrites in the church doesn’t lessen the credibility of the Christian faith. You need to make a distinction between sin and hypocrisy. All Christians sin. 

 

But not all sinful Christians are hypocrites. Just because a Christian may sin doesn’t mean that Christianity is phony. And… look again at today’s verse. Jesus said, “Follow me.” He didn’t say, “Follow that person” or “Follow that church.” He said, “Follow me”! 

 

Jesus Christ isn’t a hypocrite. When you follow Jesus Christ, you’re following Someone who always keeps His promises…...

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…Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

—1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

If you live in America, you are blessed to live in one of the most wonderful nations in the world. But these are difficult times right now. And as we celebrate Labor Day, and the productivity of the American worker, I’m mindful of many who have lost jobs as a result of our troubled economy. 

 

So today, if you’re one of the many people across our nation who’s lost their job, I want to bless you with some words that I pray will strengthen you and help you draw closer to God. And if you haven’t lost your job, I hope these words are an encouragement for you as well.

 

The apostle Paul knew a thing or two about suffering and trials. And it was Paul who gave us today’s verse while he was in prison suffering for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

 

Isn’t that amazing? From across the ages, Paul is coaching us from a dark and dingy cell, pointing us to the only source of true strength, hope, and provision.

 

Are you without a job? Then Paul says, “Give thanks.” Do you have a job? Then give thanks! You see, in every circumstance, we are called to have humble hearts and grateful spirits.

 

This Labor Day, whether you are blessed with a job or are waiting on God’s provision, it’s time to be grateful. God is at work on your behalf. So give thanks!

 

IN EVERY CIRCUSTANCE, HAVE...

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