Category Archives: Daily Devotionals

Worries

Worries are like warts: Each of them grows on you; neither serves any beneficial purpose, and you should get rid of both of them.

What should you do when it seems as though your worries are consuming you–when the events of your life are controlling you instead of the other way around? What should you do to gain a proper perspective on your life?

Consider the obstacles that Jesus faced in His life. Opposition was everywhere. Everyone wanted a piece of His time. No one really understood Him. Nonetheless, Jesus never lost His perspective. He didn’t worry about the course of events in His life. Jesus knew that His heavenly Father was in control.

Worries can be a burdensome weight on your life if you carry them around with you. But it is foolish to do so (and utterly unnecessary). Worrying doesn’t accomplish anything. Instead of fretting, spend your mental energy trusting God to work things out. Jesus let His Father be in control, and so should you.

“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life–whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes.” Matthew 6:25

Are You Devoted?

Having devotions and being devoted are two different things.

It’s easy to focus on your devotions rather than the object of your devotions. If you are in the habit of reading the devotions on this website every day, that’s great. But you shouldn’t simply focus on these little daily readings. Do your best to focus on God rather than discipline of daily devotions.

Being devoted simply means giving our time, our effort, our money, and ourselves to someone, some purpose, or some thing. We can be devoted to a career, a person, or even a hobby or activity. So why not devote ourselves to God? Let’s meet with Him daily to get to know Him better, to learn what pleases Him, and to find out what He wants us to do.

“Get to know the God of your ancestors. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and with a willing mind.” 1 Chronicles 28:9

The Worth of the Word

A Bible on the shelf is worthless. A Bible being read is priceless.

The Bible has absolutely no effect on a lot of people. This isn\’t the fault of the Bible. The problem is with the people who neglect to read it.

To be effective, your Bible must serve a greater purpose than as a decoration for your bookcase, as a dust-collector on your nightstand, or as a paperweight on your desk. It must be opened. It must be read. And it must be studied.

You wouldn\’t let an important letter sit in your mailbox without being opened. And you wouldn\’t ignore and email from an influential person. The content of those items would be too significant to ignore. So don\’t neglect the personal message that God has waiting for you in His Word. What He has to say to you will change your life (but only if you read it).

Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105

Integrity Is Something You Are

The first step to having integrity is thinking about it.

The mind is a powerful thing. The Bible says that you are what you think about (Proverbs 23:7). Read that again. Not only do you act upon what you think about, but you also become what you think about.

Take the matter of integrity, which is the centerpiece of your character. Integrity is not something you do; it’s something you are–a person of integrity. You don’t have integrity because you do things that are truthful and honorable and right. You do the right things because you have integrity.

How do you become a person of integrity? You must first think about the things that define integrity. When you occupyt your mind with the right things, you will do the right things. You can count on that. You can also be sure that the opposite is true.

Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Philippians 4:8

Stretch Yourself

Once in a while, set a goal that absolutely terrifies you.

If you reach every goal you set, you aren’t setting the right kind of goals. Some people think that writing out a “to do” list every few days qualifies as goal setting. Sorry, that just doesn’t cut it. A “to do” list is more like a series of duties–things you need to get done just to keep up with life.

By contrast, a goal is something that adds to your life by stretching you to accomplish something you didn’t think you could do. Reaching goals takes time, and some goals require a lifetime to reach. If you’ve never set a goal that brings fear into your heart, you are missing out on one of the great joys of life.

A terrifying goal doesn’t have to be dangerous (in fact, for liability purposes, we want to go on record as saying that it shouldn’t be dangerous). But it should stretch you so far that you wonder how you will ever reach it.

So we make it our goal to please him. 2 Corinthians 5:9

Life Is a Marathon

It’s better to see the circumstances of your life in the long run than the short-term.

When stuff you don’t like happens outside your control, you shouldn’t blame God, or worse, assume that He can’t do anything about it. God is always aware of what is happening to you, and He is never powerless to help you.

So why do bad things happen to you? Honestly–and this isn’t a weak approach–there are times when you just don’t know. Other times, especially when the bad things are the consequences of your own sins, you know exactly why stuff is happening. Either way, you need to believe that the end results will be for your own good if (and this is a big “if”) you love God and submit to Him in all areas of your life.

Remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint. The pain you are feeling today is just part of the overall race, and the prize is guaranteed if you cross the finish line.

God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Wisdom

Lots of things come automatically with age, but wisdom isn’t one of them.

There are two kinds of wisdom: worldly wisdom and spiritual wisdom.

Worldly wisdom involves applying knowledge and human understanding to certain factual situations. This type of wisdom can usually be explained in the context of benefits and detriments. (For example, it is not wise to insult your boss due to the detriment of unemployment.)

Spiritual wisdom doesn’t rely on human understanding. In fact, spiritual wisdom refers to a belief system that can be comprehended only through spiritual insight. (For example, those who do not know God cannot understand how it is possible to sense His direction when He can’t be seen or heard.)

Worldly wisdom can be obtained through experience and gives you insight into human nature. Spiritual wisdom comes through the Holy Spirit and gives you insight into God’s nature.

The wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God….But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by his Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:7,10

Listen and Learn

Teachers and mentors won’t find you; you have to find them.

God sends others to help you grow as a Christian. First and foremost, He sends the Holy Spirit, who “leads into all truth” (John 14:17). The Holy Spirit is part of the supernatural package of your salvation, so you don’t have to go looking for Him (you do, however, have to give Him room to work in your life).

God also sends people to teach you His truth and to come alongside of you as your spiritual friends and mentors. These people are your pastor, your Bible study leader, the person who is discipling you, and others you will meet along your spiritual journey. God has equipped them to feed you solid spiritual food so you can grow as a Christian.

Even though God does the sending, you have to do the looking. It’s up to you to find a local Bible-teaching church, or to become involved in a group Bible study of some kind. You are responsible to seek out spiritual leaders. Then you need to listen and learn.

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you. 2 Timothy 3:14

Creation

Darwinists keep looking for the missing link. The link they are missing is Christ’s role in creation.

The issue of “origins” is a favorite topic of debate for scientists, philosophers and theologians. If the subject of creation interests you, be careful that you aren’t so engrossed in the theories that you ignore the obvious conclusions.

There may be legitimate questions about the “when” and the “how” of creation, but there is no doubt about “who” created all things. The Bible says that God created our universe (Genesis 1:1). But more specifically, the Bible clarifies that Christ had a primary role in the creation of the world. He was the intelligent designer and the master builder in the whole process.

When you contemplate the enormity of the universe or the intricacies of nature, remember who was responsible for it.

Christ is the one through whom God created everything in heaven and earth….Everything has been created through him and for him. He existed before everything else began, and he holds all creation together. Colossians 1:16,17

Gossip

If someone can’t mind their own business, it may be due to a small mind and not any business of their own.

Gossip and laziness are closely related. Lazy people love to talk about others and stick their noses into other people’s business. And if you run across someone who talks a lot about others (one of those “Can you keep a secret?” types), it’s likely that person isn’t very productive with his or her time.

Christians can get (and deserve) a bad reputation by being lazy gossips. Do you want to improve the perception of Christians and bring honor to God in the process? Then work hard, keep to your own business, and never get tired of doing good. This isn’t just good advice. It is what God wants you to do.

Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing the work and wasting time meddling in other people’s business. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we appeal to such people–no, we command them: Settle down and get to work. 2 Thessalonians 3:11-12

Destructive Criticism

It’s impossible to offer destructive criticism and love someone at the same time.

Whereas constructive criticism can be encouraging and helpful to others, most criticism is quite destructive. Destructive criticism attempts to deflect the attention from the real issue, which might be something as basic as jealousy. Destructive criticism takes the attention away from the person doing the criticizing, and that may be where the real problem lies. Destructive criticism also comes out of a heart where love is lacking, at least in that moment.

Love is actually the antidote for destructive criticism for this reason. Destructive criticism is motivated by fear–fear of being discovered, fear of being criticized, or fear of having to be open and honest. When you are motivated by love, you are less likely to be critical of others, because you will have their best interest in mind.

Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear.1 John 4:18

Busy-ness

Never mistake activity for achievement.

There is a principle of economics that goes something like this: If you lost money on every sale, you can’t make up for it in quantity. In other words, if your product is bad, it is not going to get better just because you make more of it.

Some people need to apply this principle to the activities of their lives. They mistakenly think that increasing their commitments is admirable because “more is better.” But sometimes more is worse, and this is particularly true of activities in our daily schedule.

Before you get busier than you already are, evaluate what you are doing. Maybe you should delete some commitments from your schedule so that you can do a better job with fewer activities.

Whatever you do, do well. Ecclesiastes 9:10

Life Is a Marathon

It’s better to see the circumstances of your life in the long run than the short-term.

When stuff you don’t like happens outside your control, you shouldn’t blame God, or worse, assume that He can’t do anything about it. God is always aware of what is happening to you, and He is never powerless to help you.

So why do bad things happen to you? Honestly–and this isn’t a weak approach–there are times when you just don’t know. Other times, especially when the bad things are the consequences of your own sins, you know exactly why stuff is happening. Either way, you need to believe that the end results will be for your own good if (and this is a big “if”) you love God and submit to Him in all areas of your life.

Remember that life is a marathon, not a sprint. The pain you are feeling today is just part of the overall race, and the prize is guaranteed if you cross the finish line.

God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Security

No amount of money can match the value of God’s love or the price that was paid for your salvation.

Many people look to their own financial resources for their security. They believe they have to take care of themselves, so they devote all of their efforts to earning and saving money. At some point, however, reliance solely on finances can be misplaced and out of proportion. How should you maintain the proper balance?

Here’s a simple test to determine whether or not you are depending on God or on money for your security: “Wherever your treasure is, there you heart and thoughts will also be” (Luke 12:34).

If your treasure is money, you will be plagued with anxieties about losing it every time the NASDAQ takes a tumble. On the other hand, if your real treasure is your relationship with God, the focus of your life will be on Him.

Put your treasure in the Kingdom of God which will last forever (and pays great dividends).

“Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:21

Who Is God?

The character of God is not determined by your opinion of Him.

Some people form their beliefs about God based on their personal opinions. This is nothing more than gastro-intestinal theology (having a “gut feeling” about God). Unfortunately, gut feelings are usually the result of indigestion rather than divine inspiration.

God isn’t going to change His character to conform to what we think about Him. He is not like a celestial Mr. Potato head that we get to design; we don’t get to rearrange His features to suit our momentary whims and transitory opinions.

God is who He is. Our opinions of Him should not be determined by what we want Him to be (or by what foods we eat). Instead, our understanding and beliefs about God should be based upon what we learn about Him from the Bible. Make sure your concept of who God is conforms to what God says about Himself.

This is what the Lord says: “Let them boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things.” Jeremiah 9:23,24

The Reality of Eternity

God didn’t create eternity for you; He created you for eternity.

Did you know that you were made for eternity. That’s why you can’t help thinking about it. God literally created you so you could live forever. There’s only one problem. Sin got in the way. In effect, sin voided God’s eternal warranty on your life (Romans 6:23). Unless you deal with the sin problem (and it’s a big problem), you will never live to see forever (at least not forever with God).

Ah, but there’s a way to deal with the sin problem. When you accept “the free gift of God…eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23), God automatically restores your eternal warranty and puts you back on track for forever. All of this is because of Jesus, “the living one who died” so that death could be defeated on your behalf–forever!

“Don’t be afraid! I am the First and the Last. I am the living one who died. Look, I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave.”Revelation 1:17-18

Sorrow

When God gives us forgiveness, Satan gives us guilt.

There is a fine line between sorrow and guilt. Both emotions can spring from doing something wrong. But the consequences of those two emotions can be drastically different.

God wants you to be sorry when you have done something wrong. Sincere sorrow is part of the process of repentance. It means you regret what you have done and don’t want to do it again. With this type of attitude, God can turn your life around and get you back on the right track.

Satan, on the other hand, wants you to go far beyond sorrow. He wants you to feel guilty, and he uses guilt as an oppressive emotion. It will make your conscience heavy and your focus introspective. Guilt ignores the very reason why Jesus died for you: forgiveness.

The next time you regret your actions, thank God. Your sorrow is a sign that Jesus is alive and active in your life.

For God can use sorrow in our lives to help us turn away from sin and seek salvation. we will never regret that kind of sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:10

Eternity Is in Your Heart

You were made for forever as surely as you were made for time.

Have you ever wondered why you think about forever? You don’t just think about tomorrow, or next week, or even next year. In your quiet moments of reflection, you think about a time beyond this time and beyond your life, and you wonder what it will be like.

The reason the ideas of “forever” and “ever after” permeate your thinking is that God put them there. He stuck those thoughts in your head and your heart because He wanted you to know that He exists, even though you can’t see Him. God also wants you to know that He dwells in a place far beyond the universe He created. It’s a place called heaven.

When you dream aboout heaven and an eternal time beyond this life, you are doing something very natural. What is unnatural is to believe that this life is all there is. ~KP

God…has planted eternity in the human heart. Ecclesiastes 3:11b

The Passing of Time

Much more than a measure, time is a gift from God.

Unlike other creatures on Earth, we humans are aware of time. We have memory of the past, we experience the present, and we can plan for the future. Time is God’s gift to us. It’s a way to measure and celebrate the events of our lives as they unfold. In that sense, time gives us joy. Time also provides a way for us to anticipate things to come. In that sense, time gives us hope.

Time can also give us anxiety, and this is when we need to realize that God wants to be involved in the details of our lives. There is never a time when we can’t turn to God and ask for His involvement in our circumstances. When we experience “good times,” we need to thank Him. When the days are dark and uncertain, we need to find His blessings. The more we realize that God uses all of our experiences–both good and bad–for our good, the more we will understand how much He loves us (Romans 8:28).

God has made everything beautiful for its own time. Ecclesiastes 3:11a

Needing God When You Think You Don’t

The time when you need God the most is the time when you don’t think you need Him at all.

You are in real danger the moment you think that you are independent and self-sufficient. If you get to that stage, you are likely to stop relying upon God, and you will no longer seek His guidance.

This doesn’t happen when times are tough (because in difficult situations we realize our need for God’s intervention). But when we are at a place and time in life when the circumstances are serene and easy, we can be lulled into a misconception that God isn’t necessary. When that happens, then we start making decisions and choices based on our own faulty wisdom instead of God’s divine direction.

If things are going well for you, then give praise to God for your present situation. Realize that God (not you) is the One who is responsible for creating those tranquil circumstances in your life.

Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

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