Devotion 1/21/11

1 Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.

We have the right to choose our own path in life. We have the right to do as we please. We have the right to speak our mind. We have the right, but we will be held accountable as we stand before God. God will never force His desires upon us, but He will work to cause us to understand what we should do with our lives. So, in essence, everything is permissible, but not all of it will bring positivity into our lives. Everything is permissible, but not all of it will bring joy into our lives. Everything is permissible, but we better enjoy it now, for after we stand in the presence of Jesus we will be paying for our decisions for all eternity.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me choose to continually walk the right path.

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Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 9:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/20/11

 1 Thessalonians 1:3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul praised the Thessalonians because of their achievements. He commends them as a result of their faithfulness, their service, and their hope found in Jesus. These characteristics that Paul notices within the Thessalonians are those that each Christian should hope or even desire to possess. These traits or characteristics are present within those that are striving to be effective servants of God, effect witnesses of Jesus. Can these characteristics be found in you? Of course, they can’t be found at all times, for we all struggle as we walk upon the path of righteousness. Are they often present, or are they infrequently seen? If we are living out our faith, they will most definitely be present most of the time.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me reach for and hold onto my faithfulness, my desire to serve You, and my hope in Your return. 

Published in: on January 20, 2011 at 2:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/19/11

John 20:25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

Thomas has been handed a bad reputation that came as a result of the words in John 20:25. He has been labeled a doubter, one that would not believe unless he received proof. Did Thomas really doubt the resurrection of Jesus, or is Thomas just a realist? Thomas appears to be the type of person that liked to possess concrete proof before making a judgment, or allowing himself to flow freely into an idea. Is this such a bad thing? Often we jump right into one person’s idea or interpretation without giving it much thought. What if we were a little more skeptical? What if we were a little more willing to receive proof? There are many things in life that must come simply by faith, but there are many more that need to be researched through the scriptures before we jump on the bandwagon.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me desire to know more about You, but let my heart not be confused or led astray by those holding onto a personal agenda.

Published in: on January 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/18/11

Acts 1:13-14 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Jesus had departed, but not without giving instructions to His disciples. Before He departed, Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit. As they gathered, they did so with the right mind and attitude. As they gathered to await the arrival of the Spirit, they spent time with the presence of God through prayer, for they were in search of guidance. Their needed guidance was a direct result of the loss of Judas. Some might say that the loss of Judas was not anything to be concerned with, but their concern was not the losing of Judas but the finding of his replacement. All in all, as they gathered to wait, they continued to do all that they could for the sake of the gospel. The disciples understood the magnitude of their service. Can we say the same for ourselves? Are we found waiting when we should be seeking? It’s imperative we understand that there will always be tasks that need our attention, thus we must never be sitting around when we can be serving all around.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me refuse to sit when I could be serving.

Published in: on January 18, 2011 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/17/11

Mark 2:14 As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.

Of all the disciples, Levi left behind the most to follow Jesus. When Jesus called him, he was working in a lucrative position, bringing into his own life plenty to live upon. True, he held a position that many despised; but among his true peers, he was elevated and maybe even revered. Nevertheless, as he looked into the eyes of Jesus and heard the words, “Follow me,” his life was changed forever. It is not easy giving up that which we have gained. What we have becomes important to us, for it brings us a tinge of joy and happiness. But what we have is minute in comparison to that which we can receive through Jesus; it’s all a matter of perspective.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me see clearly what is truly important within my life.

Published in: on January 17, 2011 at 10:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/16/11

Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

I am honored to share with you daily devotions, but I will do this only six days a week…So let me encourage you to enter the house of God, on His day, the Lord’s Day, and receive your message from one of His many dedicated servants. May God bless you as your enter His house to receive His message and His guidance.

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/15/11

Isaiah 8:16 Bind up the testimony and seal up the law among my disciples.

Along with salvation comes responsibility. This is something the Israelites had forgotten. They had turned their back on God and seemingly forgotten His ways. When they found themselves in a bind and even at times when they were not, they would consult mediums and psychics instead of seeking out God. To bring consequences upon these actions by the Israelites, God decided to step aside and let them live within their decisions, what they believed was important. God will not leave us, but He will at times step aside, allowing us to walk upon our chosen path with the hope that we will soon come to our senses. When we feel the absence of God, it is because we have closed God out of our presence. As we continually seek Him, as we continually preserve His Word within our lives, as we bind up His testimony within our hearts, He will always walk by our side. 

Prayer Starter: 

Lord, preserve Your Word within me, bind up Your testimony within my heart, and help me be a shining example of You within this world.

Published in: on January 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/14/11

1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.

Paul was encouraging the Thessalonians to not only continue to live as people striving to please God, but also to take this desire to the next level. If they were striving to please God, what else could essentially be done? Well, within their progress, they were still experiencing some downfalls at the hands of temptations, thus they were still losing some of the battles. Paul understood that the losses at the hands of temptation could discourage even the staunchest of Christians, thus they would need continued encouragement to stand firm upon their course. The same is true even today, as we face temptations. Temptations have the power to rid us of our strength and desire to progress. They have the ability to crush us under their negativity, causing us to give up any hope we once possessed.  So what, then, can we do? We can move forward each day, even in the midst of temptations, reaching for the presence of God, knowing that no matter what we have done He still loves us more than we could ever imagine.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, give me the strength to hold onto You at all times.

Published in: on January 14, 2011 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/13/11

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

Peter brings about the end of this letter in the same manner in which he began. Peter asks all those who find themselves reading and/or listening to this letter to grow in the grace and understanding and knowledge of Jesus. As Christians, as followers, as disciples it is our duty to continually seek growth in our relationship with God. It is imperative that we continue to study the Word of God, seeking its wisdom. It is imperative that we continue to pray, seeking the guidance of God. It is imperative, for without our continued effort to grow, we will become stagnant in our service or, in essence, never reach our potential.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, guide me into continued growth.

 

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 10:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Devotion 1/12/11

John 14:8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

The fact that Jesus was the observable, corporeal image of the unobservable God had passed Philip’s understanding. Philip wanted to know God but had missed the fact the God was standing before Him in the flesh. Sometimes, those who desire to know God miss His existence completely. We ask God to reveal Himself, we ask Him to show His power, we ask Him to step powerfully into our lives, but we feel not His presence. Often God is standing before us, but we are too caught up in the provable, the actual, the realistic, to see that God is all around us if we would only open our eyes and hearts. God is not in the habit of hiding from His children, but we are, seemingly, in the habit of thinking that He does.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, open my heart to Your presence. 

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 10:34 am  Leave a Comment