Daily Devotion 5/31/11

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

We cannot speak for others, but we better be sure to answer for ourselves whom we will serve. The choice is handed to each individual person. The opportunity is given to all, to live for themselves or live for the Creator, the Sustainer and Lord of all the world. The choice is given by God, and the paths have been laid by His directives, but the decision is up to us. Will we choose the path of God, or will we choose to the path of self? If we are serious about our relationship with God, if we are serious about serving Him with our lives, then the choice is simple. But if we are just Christians in words alone, then the choice will be difficult. To live for God is to gain for an eternity, while living for ourselves is to gain temporarily. As we walk through each day, we are faced with choices, choices that will steer us towards or away from God. Which way will you be steered today?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, steer me in the direction You have set for my life, not just today but every day of my life.

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Published in: on May 31, 2011 at 10:47 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/30/11

Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Acceptance is not something that is widely practiced within today’s society. Sadly enough, this statement can also find some validity within the Christian community. The reasoning behind the lack of acceptance is purely personal. As we look upon another, we make an instant decision as to whether we will accept them as they are or reject them because of how we feel. But as we do this, we are not displaying the love of Christ. Jesus taught us acceptance as He spent time with the lepers. Jesus taught us acceptance when He ate with the prostitutes. Jesus demonstrated acceptance. Do we? To walk the narrow path, to enter through the narrow gate, we must not act as those who follow worldly directives but as those who believe in and are willing to follow the directives of God.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me walk in a way that brings You glory. Help me walk upon the narrow path.

Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 7:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/28/11

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

As we would look within many churches today, we would not find them following the exactness of these words. They can be found sharing the Word of God. They can be found worshipping. They can be found striving to make a difference within this world, but many miss the mark when it comes to these, the final words Jesus brought forth to His disciples. Many have decided that the need for baptism is a thing of the past, but in this thinking they have chosen to adjust the words of Jesus. To change even a word, to make an adjustment to a meaning for any reason, is not acceptable. We must be willing to stand for God. We must be willing to go forth into the world, but we must be willing to do it without compromise.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me live within the exactness of Your Word, setting before this world an untainted example.

Published in: on May 28, 2011 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/27/11

Acts 22:15-16 You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’

As Paul entered the temple, those who found fault with the direction of his faith stirred up the crowd. Within and because of the commotion, Paul was ordered arrested and brought to the barracks. As he was being escorted off, he asked for permission to address the crowd, the same crowd that put him within his current state of arrest. With the attention of the crowd, Paul spoke of his conversion. He spoke of how God transformed his life, making it into something beautiful, something with a purpose. To end his address to the crowd, Paul stood boldly before them and declared that they needed to find repentance through Jesus just as he had done. Paul was not denouncing their religious ways. He was simply trying to share the true way of salvation. To be as bold as Paul, to be as dedicated as Paul, to share powerfully as Paul, these should be our goals.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, give me the courage to walk boldly within this world, as boldly as Paul.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/26/11

Acts 13:49-52 The word of the Lord spread through the whole region. But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region. So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

As Christians, we are expected to reach forth into the world sharing the great news of Jesus. As Christians, we are expected to, through faith, put ourselves out in the world, setting before it the very presence of Christ each and every day. With that said, there will be moments when it is time to move on without victory. There will be moments when we will fall short, thus not being able to reach someone or several people with the glorious Word of God. When this happens, we must understand that in most cases this fault does not fall upon us. We can share fervently the love of God, and there will be those who are not receptive. When this happens, when we are not given victory, when we are not the one that is able to reach them, we must find the courage to move on to the next opportunity, holding our heads high and knowing we have put forth the effort that God has expected of us.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, guide my efforts and keep me serving You intently, even when I seem to have lost some ground in my efforts.

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 7:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/25/11

Romans 12:20-21 On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

We have become very good at attending church. We have even become very good at attending Bible studies at our local churches. But the question that needs to be asked is how good we are at serving outside the confines of the church building? Within the church, we volunteer, in many cases, without the asking or prodding of the pastor or worship director. But to walk outside the church, that’s another story all together. We have become complacent, believing that attendance at church fulfills our commitment to God. We have become comfortable with believing that it is enough to serve at church, thus what would be the need to go forth into the community. It can be difficult and even scary, at times, to go forth from the comfort zone of the church, but we are called to reach out not wait within. What are you doing with the life God has given you to live? Are you serving or waiting?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me to serve You outside of my comfort zone, outside of the church building.

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 10:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/24/11

Proverbs 12:17 A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.

What does your life say about your love for God? Is its proclamation easily seen by those who find themselves passing through? Are those who spend countless hours with you privy to the presence of Christ within your life? If the presence of Jesus within your life is not noticeable, then you’re doing something drastically wrong. As Christ flows through us, our hearts prepare a testimony, a testimony that is heard and seen by all. On the other hand, if we choose to claim the path of Christ in words only, we still present to this world a testimony, a false one.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help make my witness strong and true, thus allowing others to see within me the presence of You.

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/23/11

1 Peter 5:1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:

Peter brought forth a powerful witness for the sake of the gospel. The power he possessed came from the experiences brought into his life because of his relationship with Christ. We might not believe that we could ever stand before a crowd as Peter did, proclaiming the need for Christ, but we can. When the presence of God is allowed to freely flow through our lives, it holds the power and nerve that we need to accomplish anything in the name of and for the glory of Jesus. Peter appealed to the elders, but his words must also serve as an appeal to all Christians. As we see the coming of dark days, the need to share and live out loud for Jesus has become more apparent.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me become bold in my proclaiming of what You have done within my life.

Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 12:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 5/21/11

Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

As Christians, we are called to formulate judgments within certain circumstances. We cannot get through life without making any judgments at all, but the actual number of situations we will find the need to judge are not even close to those we feel the urge to pass judgment within. In most cases, when we find the necessity to judge, we are actually passing along a personal opinion not based on a Biblical principle, but on our own opinions. We may comment on how unwise it is for someone to wear their hair a certain way, only desiring to help them look better, or so we think. We might comment on someone’s weight, only seeking to help them become healthier, or so we think. We might say many different things with what we perceive to be the best of intentions, but let us heed the following warning: we will be judged by God in the same manner in which we judge others. Knowing this, it would serve us all well to think before we speak, thus not passing any judgment until we have thought all situations completely through.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me to judge properly that which I must, but help me refrain from making personal judgments.

Published in: on May 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devoton 5/20/11

Luke 6:42 How can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

If were to think about the manner in which we judge another, we would come to understand that there are times when we do so simply because it makes us feel good about ourselves. As we bring to light that which makes them inadequate, our sense of self worth elevates, causing reflections of happiness to be released within our minds. These moments, however, do not last long. After these moments of negative flattery pass, the temptation for us to continue down the same path arises. This is a vicious cycle that ultimately carries us down the wrong path, possessing the wrong attitude. Before we look to speak about others, we must first look closely at ourselves, seeking to make ourselves right with God. It is our eternity, not another’s present, we should be worried about.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me to refrain from the desire to pass judgement on another and instead seek to make my life fall in line with Your will.

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