Recently Added Devotionals
14 days till the National Day of Prayer: Make yourself available to God’s will.
By | April 21, 2016
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!—1st Chronicles 16:11
Sometimes I encounter Christians who ask me, “Pastor, why should I pray? God already knows what He’s going to do, so doesn’t He already have the answer?” Well, I tell them that it’s in prayer that you discover what God wants to do. It’s in prayer that you determine God’s wisdom, God’s way, God’s plan, and God’s desires. It’s in prayer that you make yourself available to God.
I like to think of it like the photo plates that were used to develop pictures. That photo plate was taken into a dark room where the time exposure takes place. In the dark room with the exposure of time, the image is presented to us.
And so it is in prayer. When we enter into the secret place of prayer, when we shut the door to our closet, get alone with God, and give ourselves to God, the imprint of Jesus Christ is placed upon our lives. We’re exposed to Him and we experience Him. And through that experience, we discover His purpose for our lives.
Prayer isn’t just asking God to do something, it’s allowing God to reveal His sovereign will to you. So spend time in prayer, opening yourself up to God and allowing Him to impress upon you and reveal His will in your life!
Prepare yourself for the upcoming National Day of Prayer
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 20, 2016
…I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.-Nehemiah 1:4
Faithful, everyday prayer is absolutely critical for Christians. It’s our communication with the One and only God that helps us learn His will for us. Unfortunately, though, prayer is a last resort, even for many believers.
Prayer is not a magic trick. It’s communication with God that should go hand in hand with our actions to honor Him. Prayer is not a substitute for work but a preparation for work.
Prayer focuses our attention and demands our discipline. Prayer is surrender to the Lord’s will. It’s not trying to pull God into our plans, but rather it’s putting our plans in line with His will.
On May 5, 2016, the National Day of Prayer, millions of believers will be praying for our nation in Washington D.C. They will be lead by my dear friend and great leader, Tony Evans. Across the nation in churches, in businesses, and in homes where believers have gathered, prayers will be lifted to the Lord. I do believe there is exponential power in collective prayer. However, prayers do not need to be great public events because it’s our personal and private prayers that truly move God and make a difference.
It’s in prayer that we experience God and are exposed to His greatness. It’s in prayer that we make ourselves available to God.
Over the next 15 days I challenge you today to spend some time alone with God…making yourself available to Him, and prepare your heart to intercede for our nation.
Your future is in His hands.
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 19, 2016
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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
—1 Peter 1:3-4
In these troubling times, have you ever wondered if we can really be hopeful about the future? I want to assure you that it is possible to live with hope, despite what may be going on around us.
Because while hope is ultimately about the future, it’s also about the present. And that’s because we have a living hope.
Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have hope. It’s because He lives that hope can reside in your heart if you’re a Christian.
And because of that, there is no need to fear the future! If you are a child of God, you are chosen and called by Him. You’re not an accident, an afterthought, or a mistake. You have been in the heart and mind of God forever, and He has already been planning and preparing your future.
In fact, God knows the end from the beginning… and everything else in your life. That’s comforting when we face tough times and when we’re tempted to give up. It’s encouraging to know that we are never, ever without hope!
So today, if you’re tempted to give up on your marriage, don’t! If you’re thinking about giving up on your kids, don’t! If you want to give up on your dreams… or even life itself… don’t!
Remember that you have a living hope that...
How Well Are You Leading Others?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 15, 2016
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them… the one who leads, with zeal….
—Romans 12:6, 8
Whether you spend your days in an office, at home raising children, or serving in a ministry position, you will probably find that you’re involved in some form of leadership.
That’s why today I’d like to encourage you with four great leadership qualities from the life of Nehemiah that you can apply to your situation:
Nehemiah was a man of integrity who was respected. The people saw in him a man they could believe and follow, and they were inspired to action.
Nehemiah maintained strong interpersonal relationships. He took a personal interest in knowing each person and what they were doing. Every individual was important to him.
Nehemiah knew how to encourage people. He noted the hard workers and affirmed them, giving honor where it was due.
Nehemiah never said a word about what he did. He was the kind of man who was willing to let others take the credit and to share the victory with others.
These are simple yet important qualities that set great leaders apart. In whatever situation you find yourself today, consider how you can adopt some of Nehemiah’s valuable leadership qualities.
YOU HAVE INFLUENCE! SO BE DILIGENT TO LEAD OTHERS
IN A WAY THAT IS PLEASING TO GOD.
Do You Have a Place On the Wall?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 14, 2016
Then I said to them, “You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem that we may no longer be a reproach”… So they said, “Let us rise up and build.” Then they set their hands to do this good work.
As a servant of Jesus Christ, you have a purpose for living. And you can make a difference in your community, church, and world… especially when you work in partnership with others.
When Nehemiah began rebuilding the wall, he knew he couldn’t do it alone, so he enlisted the help of others. All kinds of people were involved… priests, politicians, perfumers, clothiers, tradesmen, bachelors, women… there was a role for everyone.
Yet in the midst of this great movement of service to the Lord, there were still those who chose not to be involved. Nehemiah 3:5 says certain nobles from Tekoa “would not stoop to serve their Lord.”
It was forever recorded in God’s Word that when there was a job to be done for him, these people were absent. Imagine that!
Never let it be said of you that when there was something great to do for God and his Kingdom, you weren’t involved.
Some believers have the idea that when we come to Christ by grace through faith, we don’t need to serve and work hard. But Nehemiah and the believers of his day realized the charge to work hard and accomplished the impossible for God’s glory.
I want to challenge you today: Do you have a place on the wall? Are you participating in building God’s Kingdom?...
Are You Happy With What You Have?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 13, 2016
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”
The first nine commandments have to do with actions. But the Tenth Commandment, “You shall not covet,” has to do with your attitude. The first nine have to do with deeds, but the tenth has to do with desires.
Think about it this way. Most of the sins we commit are outward and visible. It’s pretty easy to spot stealing when you see it, and if you’re the subject of a lie, you see it up-front. But the sin of covetousness is inward and invisible. Others can’t see it. You can’t see it. Only God can see it.
That’s why the apostle Paul spoke in 1 Thessalonians of the cloak of covetousness. It’s a cover-up for a lot of other sins like selfishness, greed, cheating, and on and on and on.
Right now, our nation and really our world are paying a high price for our collective covetousness and greed. Its symptoms, to name just a few, are things like excessive credit card debt, bank failures, and corporate scandals. We are paying a price for the ungodly way we have handled our possessions!
And it’s not just Wall Street who’s to blame. We need to look in our own hearts too! Because if we think we’ll be happier by having more stuff or better stuff… if we buy the lie that our identity is found in the car we drive or the clothes we wear or the street we live on… we will always be disappointed.
Are You Robbing God?
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 12, 2016
“You shall not steal.”
Today I simply want to ask the question, are you a giver or a taker? And I want you to think about that question in terms of your relationship with people and your relationship with God.
First, your relationship with people. When it comes to others, are you a giver or a taker? Think about the words you say. Does what you say build people up… or tear them down? Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Is your life marked by this verse?
Then think about your actions. Does what you do help people… or hurt people? Proverbs 3:27 says, “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Are you letting this verse play itself out in your life?
Now I want you to think about your relationship with God. When it comes to him, are you a giver or a taker? Think about the life that he’s given you through Christ. Are you showing thankfulness to him by living a life serving him, loving him, and worshipping him? First Corinthians 6:20 says, “You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
As followers of Christ, you and I have been bought and paid for by the blood of the Lord Jesus and who we are and what we have belongs to Him. We are purchased as His own possession!
That means when we withhold our lives and gifts from Him… when we...
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 11, 2016
“You shall not commit adultery.”
Talking about a subject like adultery is unpleasant. It’s unpleasant because in our hearts, we know how dire the consequences of this sin really are.
What’s sad, though, is that as horrible as the consequences of adultery or sexual sin are, so many people… including Bible-believing, Christ-following people… continue to put themselves in a position to be tempted by the sin of adultery.
That’s why I want you to think about your day-to-day life. Think about the people you work with, the people you email with, or even the people you might Facebook with each day.
Is every relationship you have… whether it’s online or offline… aboveboard? Are your motives in each relationship pure?
First Corinthians chapter 10 tells us with any temptation, God provides a way of escape. And one way of escape he has given us is his Word. This is why I’m such a strong advocate of memorizing Scripture!
Because just trying to not think lustful thoughts really doesn’t do you any good. You and I have to replace bad thoughts with good thoughts. And the best thoughts you can put in your mind are God’s words.
So today, I want to help you start winning the battle against lust and sexual sin in your life by giving you a verse you can memorize. It’s 2 Corinthians 10:5, which says, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”
So write that down. Second Corinthians 10:5. Learn it and memorize it. And the next time you’re tempted to lust… the next time you’re...
The Redeeming Power of Christ
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 8, 2016
“You shall not murder.”
The Sixth Commandment isn’t one that a lot of people think they need to pay much attention to these days. But when we dig a little deeper into what those four words really mean and imply, we see that they do apply to each and every one of us!
Because the word murder doesn’t just mean homicide. The Scripture teaches that you can murder someone by gossiping about them or by harboring hateful thoughts about them. Jesus made it very clear that these are murderous actions just as much as the actual taking of an innocent life is.
But here’s the great news about the grace of the Lord Jesus. It covers every sin, including the physical or mental act of murder. And it doesn’t just cover the sin, it redeems the sinner.
Think about Moses. Or David. Or the apostle Paul. In the world’s eyes, each of these men was a murderer.
Yet because of God’s forgiveness, Moses wasn’t a murderer… he was a liberator. Because of God’s forgiveness, David wasn’t a killer… he was a man after God’s own heart. And because of God’s forgiveness, Paul wasn’t a persecutor… he was a missionary.
And the same is true for you! If you’re a follower of Christ, God’s grace and forgiveness cover your sin—past, present, and future. And his grace and forgiveness not only cover your sin, they redeem your life as a sinner! As David himself proclaimed, “He redeems your life from the pit”!
So let me ask you today. Are you in need of the redeeming power of Christ in your life? Perhaps your past is marked by an abortion, and...
It’s All About Grace
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 7, 2016
Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”
Joshua was not a wicked man. This was the best religion had to offer… the high priest! And yet, as Joshua stood in the presence of God, he was viewed as wearing filthy clothes. He needed God’s forgiveness just as much as you and me.
It’s important to remember that you are saved and sustained by grace alone. At times you may feel like you’re doing okay in your Christian life. You may serve, witness, give, perform acts of kindness, and have admirable character.
But don’t be mistaken. You’re not saved by any of that! And to the degree that you’re clinging to your self-righteousness or any merit that you have, you’re missing the blessing of grace.
You’re not saved by grace and works… but by grace alone. Grace is not God making up the difference in your shortfall. It does not mean that you pay a little bit and then God pays the rest. That’s not grace!
The grace of God means that you and I come without anything to offer. We come into the Kingdom helpless and hopeless and empty. And he invites us there, not on the basis of our merit or money, but on the basis of his grace.
So today, remember that your salvation is a gift of grace through and through. It doesn’t depend on what you do… it’s based entirely on what Jesus...