Recently Added Devotionals
8 days till the National Day of Prayer: Pray For Our Educators
By | April 27, 2016
If you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding -indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:1-6 (ESV)
The word education comes from the Latin word “educare”, which means “to train or to mold.” What a beautiful picture of what God wants to do in our lives, molding us into the image of His son Jesus! We are called by Christ to love God with all of our mind as well as our heart and soul (Matthew 22:37).
So how do we obey this command? We start off with listening and being attentive to his instruction. God gives us a promise in Proverbs 2 that if we call out for wisdom and seek instruction, we will find the knowledge of God. God asks us to pray for wisdom (James 1:5). We then grow in wisdom by spending time in God’s Word and learning from the counsel of godly people who have walked the path before us.
Therefore, it is critical that our educational institutions, from preschools to graduate schools teach subjects and use methods that support our faith or at the very least not teach in direct opposition to God’s law. Because these institutions greatly affect the paths our children take, we should pray for their administrators and their teachers. We should pray they have the courage to stand up for their faith and that...
9 days till the National Day of Prayer: Pray For Our Nation's Families.
By | April 26, 2016
And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
Mark 3:25 (ESV)
Ever since the creation of the universe, God has established the family as the basic community in which God wants His people to live. In God’s design, and as history has shown, communities based upon His design for families thrive; those that fall short pass away.
One of the ways Satan tries to attack the people of God is by destroying the relationships in the family. In Mark 3:25, Jesus is explaining to the religious leaders of the day that the miracles He had just performed could not have come from Satan. He gives them an illustration about unity in a physical house. However, it is clear this truth applies to the family unit as well.
Your family may be normal or dysfunctional, but God has specifically placed you in your family to shine His glory on a daily basis. Consistent with his original design, God knows that if the family can be transformed to love and serve Him, then the whole church, community, and nation can be revived to follow God as He has called us all to do.
Pray this day for your family, families in our nation, in your state, and throughout your community. Pray with passion for the Lord to protect and to strengthen marriages, encourage parents toward His priorities, heal relationships, and secure His values in their homes.
PRAY FOR OUR NATION'S FAMILIES TODAY
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
The passage above, one so close to my heart, encapsulates the reason to pray, how to pray, and what to pray.
Notice, the verse is directed to "my people;" God, our Heavenly Father, surely listens to the cries of His children.
Our Lord then asks us to humble ourselves before him. He is our sovereign; we are his servants.
Almighty God then commands us to pray, seek Him, and repent from our sinful selves. Then, there is the wonderful promise, that if we do those things, then we will be forgiven and He will heal our land.
Absent the Civil War, I know of no other time when our nation needs more healing than now. Our beloved nation is hurting and deeply wounded. The institutions that are the foundation of our society are under attack. Over the next seven days, I urge you to continue with these devotions and pray with me for these institutions—families, educators, media and entertainment, the military, businesses and workers, churches, and our government.
However, before healing and restoration can occur, it must start with those of us who call ourselves by His name. We must humble ourselves. We must pray and seek His will, not our own. We must turn from our wicked ways. We must end complacency in our churches. Then and only then can this great nation experience the spiritual awakening which it so desperately needs.
13 days till the National Day of Prayer: No more cowardice; Pray with boldness.
By Dr. Jack Graham | April 22, 2016
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."-Matthew 19:26
As a Christian, your lifeline to God is prayer. It’s how you grow more intimate with God and develop a deeper and more personal relationship with Him. But prayer is also how you face the enemy of your soul head-on with courage and hope!
God tells us to not be afraid of Satan and his forces. Because as a Christian, you have authority in Jesus Christ who has conquered all the spiritual forces of darkness. When Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again, He won the victory. And He wants you and me to live in that victory!
How? It starts with prayer… passionate, even presumptuous prayer… to a God who you know can overcome anything. So often we forget to pray boldly, thinking that God can’t do what we are asking. But that is far from the truth, as today’s verse tells us.
Now, it’s important to remember that doesn’t mean we have a blank check to ask God to do anything and everything we want Him to do. There is a powerful connection to God’s Word and prayer. Scripture will guide you and teach you what things you should pray for. And God will always come through in His response based on what His Word says.
Let me put it this way: There is nothing that lies outside the reach of prayer except that which may lie outside the will of God.
If you are facing a battle with the enemy today, know that God is fighting for you… and your victory is sure in Jesus Christ. You...
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.