Recently Added Devotionals

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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We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
 
—2 Corinthians 4:8-9
 
As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I can say with integrity that every day with Him has been sweeter than the day before… just as the old hymn says.
 
Now, when I say that, please listen to what I’m not saying. I’m not saying that my life hasn’t had its share of valleys. I’m not saying that I haven’t experienced times of grief, illness, distress, or stress. I’m not saying that!
 
What I am saying is that I may have been afflicted in every way, but I’ve never been crushed. I may have been perplexed, but I’ve never been driven to despair. I may have been persecuted, but I’ve never been forsaken. I may have been struck down, but I’ve never been destroyed.
 
And you know why I can say this? Because of the work of Jesus Christ in my life. He’s never let me be crushed. He’s never let me driven to despair. He’s never forsaken me. And He’s never let me be destroyed!
 
But perhaps today you’d say, “Pastor Graham, that’s great for you, but you don’t know what I’ve been through. You don’t know how hard my life has been. You don’t know how many of my prayers have gone unanswered. You don’t know how disappointed I am in God.”
 
You know, I don’t know. But you know what I do know? That we serve a God who is bigger than whatever it is you’re holding on to. He’s bigger than your past sins… your past hurts. And He’s even bigger than your disappointments.
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There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

—John 1:6-8

 

As believers, you and I can learn so much from God’s man, John the Baptist.

 

He was sent from God to introduce Christ to the world. And in just the same way, you and I are to be witnesses… to introduce men, women, boys, and girls to faith in Jesus Christ before He comes again.

 

Now, a witness is someone who steps aside, someone who gets out of the spotlight, someone who removes themselves from the scene. And a witness for Christ is someone does nothing but point others to Christ. That’s what John the Baptizer did. He was willing for his great life to be eclipsed by the greater life of Christ. He was willing to say, “I’m not the light, but Jesus Christ is the light.”

 

John the Baptist was a passionate and powerful witness for Jesus Christ. 

 

Now let me ask you, are you a passionate and powerful witness for Jesus Christ? If not, why not?

 

Today, it’s my prayer that you would understand God’s call on your life to be a witness in this generation for Jesus Christ… like John the Baptist was for his generation.

 

Live your life in such a way that you point people to the one true Savior… Jesus!

 

You and I are to introduce...

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Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.

     —Isaiah 45:22

 

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been, no one is too far gone for Jesus. 

 

I think that statement’s important enough that it’s worth repeating: No one is too far gone for Jesus.  No one!  And there’s no better evidence of this than the woman that Jesus met at the well.

 

When Jesus meets this woman she has been used and abused.  She has been divorced five times and was living with her boyfriend.  She was a mess!  At least, she was a mess to the people around her.  Even so, Christ reached out to her with the living water of eternal life.  And her life was transformed instantly and eternally!

 

This woman…a woman who had been ravaged by regrets and failures and brokenness…this wasted, burned out woman…was made brand new because of the power of Jesus Christ which began to change her!  She wasn’t too far gone for the Lord Jesus!

 

And the application in your life and my life is clear.  No one around us…no matter how wasted, burned out, or strung out they may seem…is too far gone for Jesus Christ. 

 

And you know what else?  Neither are you!

 

In John 4:13, Jesus says, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up...

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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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