Recently Added Devotionals
Recognizing the hand of God.
By | August 18, 2017
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good…
Do you know why Joseph was able to forgive his brothers who sold him into slavery?
One primary reason was that he trusted that God was in control. And Joseph could see that God was using the adversity in his life to advance him and to be a blessing to others.
You see, God often uses a major crisis or hurt to get us ready for the next big thing that he is doing in our lives. Those things that you and I might mistake for obstacles often reveal God’s very hand at work.
Are you in the midst of a trial or difficulty? Well, here’s what you need to know. As a believer in Jesus Christ, nothing is working against you. With Christ, everything is working for you!
Speak that into your own life: “As a believer in Jesus Christ, nothing is working against me. Everything is working for me!”
Regardless of how it looks or feels, God is at work in your life. And all those terrible hurts you suffered? God can use them for good if you will let him.
So ask him to help you see beyond your current pain. And believe that the hand of God is working for you!
AS A BELIEVER IN JESUS CHRIST, NOTHING IS WORKING AGAINST YOU. EVERYTHING IS WORKING FOR YOU!
The gift of forgiveness.
By | August 15, 2017
And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After that his brothers talked with him.
The story of Joseph is one of most powerful stories of forgiveness and reconciliation in the entire Bible.
Here was a man who was betrayed and sold into slavery by his brothers when he was 17, and then he was falsely accused, imprisoned, and forgotten in prison. Yet Joseph resisted bitterness and grew in godly character.
And when the day finally came when Joseph’s brothers came and stood before him in Egypt seeking grain, he didn’t punish them or retaliate against them. Joseph called them forward and loved them.
Most likely, you have experienced injustice and unfairness like Joseph did. Perhaps someone mistreated you. Maybe you’ve been lied to or betrayed… or perhaps someone even abused you.
Each of us suffers deep hurts over the course of our lives. But you and I can’t change the past. And it does us no good to try to figure out why things happened the way they did.
But here’s one thing you can do. Like Joseph, you can refuse to allow the past to pollute your present or your future. Like Joseph, you can give the precious gift of forgiveness to those who hurt you.
Are you willing to take these steps today?
REFUSE TO ALLOW THE PAST TO POLLUTE YOUR PRESENT OR YOUR FUTURE.
God has a hold on you
By Dr. Jack Graham | August 2, 2017
My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
The Christian life isn’t just a matter of you and me holding on and hoping for the best. No, the Christian life is actually about God holding you and me in his grip, and us trusting him to not let go.
You see, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, you and I are still going to stumble and fall. God understands our humanity. And he knows our possibilities for greatness as well as our possibilities for failure.
Think about the apostle Peter and Jesus at the time just before the crucifixion. Peter told Jesus there was no way that he would ever deny him. And yet, he did just as Jesus said he would.
Jesus knew in advance about the shame, regret, and the complete sense of failure that Peter would experience. He knew all about it! Yet God was holding onto Peter every step of the way, and restored him in a mighty and extraordinary way to build his church.
A personal failure is a painful thing and it can send you reeling on a detour from the path that God has for you. It’s easy to feel so lost that you wonder if God even knows where you are. But I assure you that the Lord knows exactly where you are and he knows exactly what’s going on in your life.
So live your life with the great joy that comes with knowing Christ and the power of his redemption. When you fall, get back up...
Finding real change
By | August 1, 2017
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
Do you think that lasting change in a person is really possible?
The world says probably not. In fact, some behavioral psychologists tell us that by the time someone is five or six, a person is psychologically who they’ll be for a lifetime.
And geneticists say that we are who are as a result of our genetic material. They say you and I have inherited behavioral traits and genetic predispositions that are set for life.
These thoughts aren’t very promising, are they?!
Every week, I receive letters and emails from people who are desperate to know if they can change. Some people are addicted to drugs or are involved in other sinful activities and their lives are filled with trauma and pain.
Maybe even you are wondering today if you can really change!
If so, remember that on your own, you cannot change. Only Jesus Christ can change you. And there is no person who’s so far gone that God’s grace cannot reach them.
THROUGH JESUS CHRIST, YOU CAN CHANGE!
Are you praying with your children?
By Dr. Jack Graham | July 21, 2017
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
How can you make sure your children head in the right direction in life? By leading them there!
Parent, your children are looking to you for an example. All the limits and rules in the world can equal a big zero without leadership. You and I must set an example for our children through our personal habits, our work ethics, our worship life, our church involvement, and much more.
Consider the story of Jotham in 2 Chronicles 27 and 28. Jotham was angry because his father, King Uzziah, was chastised and corrected in the temple. So, when Jotham became king, he refused to attend worship services. But Jotham paid a terrible price for it. When his son became king, he became an idol worshipper and even sacrificed his own children, Jotham’s grandchildren!
I want my children to know what I believe. Don’t you? If you want them to share your faith and follow in your footsteps, you first have to make footprints. You and I have to walk the talk!
Your leadership will make an eternal difference in the life of your child. You can give them love and limits. And most importantly, you can give your children the Lord.
You do this by talking about your faith with them, by being open about what you believe, and by sharing your love of God in your daily life.
Don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes and ask for God’s help in front of your children. Tell them Bible stories. Have family devotional time. Pray with your children.
Like the arrows in our Scripture verse...
Discipline and respect in the home.
By Dr. Jack Graham | July 20, 2017
Train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
One of the most important things you can teach your children is respect.
Because unless a child learns respect, they learn rebellion. Children need to be taught respect for God, for parents, for school authorities, and for church leaders.
The reason is because we are each born with the inclination to rebel and disobey. As Proverbs 22:15 says, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.”
Now, I know that the “rod of discipline” is a controversial subject in today’s society. But regardless of where you stand on spanking your children, every child needs discipline.
So how do you know when should you should discipline your child?
- You should discipline your child when he or she willfully disobeys, not matter what their age.
- You should discipline your child when he or she steps out of bounds. Make sure your children know what the boundaries are and correct them when they break the rules.
Make the rules fair and reasonable—don’t major in the minors—but enforce the boundaries. When you teach and discipline your children on those things that are precious, valuable, and eternal, you’ll give them something to live by. And you’ll help grow them into the men and women God created them to be.
Are you modeling respect for God, parents, school authorities, and church leaders in your home?
Tell your children you love them, today!
By Jack Graham | July 19, 2017
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.
Do your children know that you love them unconditionally? Do they believe that no matter what they face, no matter how they fail, you love them without question?
As parents, you and I have to look into our children’s eyes and tell them that, yes, there are rules and standards in the home, but nothing they do can stop you from loving them. Your children must know that you love them absolutely and unconditionally.
Why? Because that’s how much God loves us. He loves us not based on our performance or appearance. By His grace He accepts us as we are… warts and all. And when you love your child as God loves you, it will impact your child for life.
You and I need to tell our children we love them, but we also have to show them!
How do you show love? First, with acceptance. A child needs at least one place on earth where he or she is accepted. Now, I’m not suggesting you lower your morals or your values.
But if your son or daughter gets into trouble, are you going to love them through it? Can your child come to you and share their hurt, brokenness, and sin and find forgiveness, love, and acceptance?
Love is not only expressed in acceptance, but also in affection. Your home needs to be filled with love and affection. And one of the best ways you can show your child acceptance and affection is through your time.
You also show love through affirmation. Are you constantly finding fault in your child? Or...
Find a church home and get involved.
By Dr. Jack Graham | July 18, 2017
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
Did you know that God has prepared an eternal home for you? If you‘ve accepted Christ as your Savior, you probably do.
Jesus came to earth, died on the cross, and rose again so that you and I might go to heaven, our eternal home.
As He said in John 14:1-3, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
But God also created a spiritual home on earth for you and me—your church.
Jesus said, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). You and I need to know and experience the fellowship of faith in the family of God known as His Church.
Maybe you come from a broken home. Or maybe you have a large extended family. Whatever your personal family is like, you can still find strength, love, and encouragement in your local church.
Find a church home and get involved!
Are you willing to live for your family?
By Dr. Jack Graham | July 17, 2017
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
America is in danger of losing an entire generation of young people. Why? I believe it’s because of a lack of male leadership in the home.
There is a war against the family with high stakes. And the key to winning this war is leadership. We need men to enlist in the war on the family.
Now, if you are a dad, I know you’re probably willing to lay down your life for your children.
But my question to you is this: Are you willing to live for your family? Are you willing to sacrifice your life now for your children?
What our children need today is men of spiritual quality who are devoted to their families… real men who raise their children both with strength and sensitivity, and who are in tune with their children’s needs.
Here are a few ways to do this…
- Give your child enough freedom to enjoy life without being overprotective.
- Don’t show favoritism or compare your children to each other.
- Offer encouragement, not discouragement.
- Don’t force your child to be something he or she is not.
- Spend time with your children. Show them you love them.
- Never, ever be cruel.
- Raise your children with strong spiritual direction. That means we’re to provide protection, correction, and instruction.
As dads, you and I should have a passion for excellence in parenting. We have the responsibility to bring our children up with the training and admonition of the Lord. They need to know about rewards...
Is faith real in your family?
By Dr. Jack Graham | July 14, 2017
But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
If you are a parent who wants to pass your faith on to the next generation, I have some advice for you – KEEP IT REAL!
If you and I are going to instill a strong, unshakable faith in our children, we must be transparent, authentic, and real. Exercising your faith at home must be part of your everyday life!
Now you certainly don’t have to dress up for it or put a face on for it. Real faith works in a suit or in blue jeans. Make faith a normal, comfortable part of your everyday life and your children will see faith in action.
I love today’s verse when Joshua said, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” He took the lead and made the decision that his household would live for God. You can make the same decision for your family today!
If your heart and soul longs to know Christ, real faith will permeate your life as a parent, whether you are worshipping or working, praying or playing, going to church or fishing. When you rise and when you go to bed at night, be real!
Make God’s Word part of your daily walk. Talk the truth, model the truth, and live the truth.
According to Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
Training your child in the ways of the Lord is a 24/7 job, but you can do it with God’s help....