Daily Devotion 7/30/11

Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

What does it mean to pick up our cross daily? The denial of self is an ideology that is fading within society. Instead of being taught denial, we are being instructed to bring into our lives all that we desire at any cost. To deny ourselves is to set aside our personal wants and desires and seek to make the presence of God known. To deny ourselves and pick up our cross daily is to set aside our desires and replace them with the cause of Christ. To deny ourselves will not come with ease, but it will bring with it the surety of God’s approval.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me deny myself and walk powerfully within this world, holding to Your cause, the sharing of the gospel of salvation.

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Published in: on July 31, 2011 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/29/11

Titus 1:16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good

There are many people who want the benefits of Christianity minus the denial of self. They want the promises of eternity to be fulfilled in regard to their lives, but they do not want the obligations that are associated with and necessitate the fruition of these promises. For this type of person, their claims are heard, but their truthfulness is unreal. To become a servant of God is much more than a group of words flowing through the air after they have been released from our mouths. To become a servant of God, we must be willing to intentionally demonstrate the presence of God within our lives. Can God been seen within your life? Can His presence be felt by those around you?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, expose Your presence to this world through me.

Published in: on July 29, 2011 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/28/11

Luke 22:34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”

No one could ever imagine how Peter felt as he heard the roosters crow. Until that very moment, he had not kept track of the number of denials; but that sound, that heart piercing sound, tallied them up for him. Peter knew what was coming. Even so, he was not ready for the feelings of guilt, remorse, or shame that followed. Are you walking through this day expecting to deny Jesus? Are you traveling through life knowing you will stand against Him even in the smallest of ways? No Christians would ever believe that this type of intention exists, but the Bible teaches that we are prone to sin. Sin is a denial of what is right. Sin is a denial of Jesus. We might not go about with the intention of sinning, but do we seek all opportunities to prevent its existence from creeping into our lives. Peter had fair warning of what was going to happen, but he held to the I would never do that attitude, thus making no preparations to stand strong and faithful. What are you doing in preparation for your moments of weakness, your moments of tribulation? Are you ready to stand firm in your faith no matter the consequences? If not, begin at this moment to solidify your stance for Christ.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, give me the strength I need to stand firm in my faith, no matter what or who comes before me.

Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 9:52 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/27/11

Acts 26:32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

Paul, wanting the opportunity to share the love of Christ, chose chains over freedom. Paul could have been set free, but within his chains he would be granted the opportunity to be a witness for God. Are we willing to walk with the same attitude possessed by Paul? Are we willing to give up our freedom, or any freedoms, to seize the opportunity to share the love of God? Our willingness, the manner in which we have answered these questions, speaks to our relationship with God. Our willingness, the manner in which we have answered these questions, speaks to the placement of God within our lives. Each day brings with it a great opportunity to share the love of Christ. What are you doing with your opportunities?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, become everything to me in such a way that I am willing to share Your presence within my life within any given opportunity.

Published in: on July 27, 2011 at 6:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/26/11

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.

Daniel stood powerfully within his beliefs. He understood them to hold great importance within his life. Even in the face of death, he stood for what he believed was right, for what he believed was important. Do these traits excel within our lives? Do we stand up for what is right, or do we sit idly by, hoping no one notices our inaction? Do we stand and shout our love for God and His ways, or do we hide and cower hoping no one notices that we claim to be Christians? Our actions define the purpose of our existence. Are we defiling ourselves with the traits of this world, or are we standing firm in what is right within the eyes of God?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me understand what it really means to be a Christian, what it really means to be Your servant.

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/25/11

Genesis 50:17 ‘This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father. ” When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

Joseph was filled with anger, justifiable anger, as most would agree. His brothers, his very own flesh and blood, sold him into slavery because they were jealous of the close relationship he had with their father. Joseph had brought no harm into their lives, but the opportunity to repay them for all their actions now stood before him. Faced with this opportunity of revenge, Joseph instead chose denial. Joseph denied his chance at revenge, he denied his opportunity to hurt his brothers as they hurt him, and instead chose to be the bigger person and offer them safety, security, and a better future. How often do we deny the chance at revenge? How often do we consider doing something positive in the lives of those who have not done the same for us? Each day, we are faced with the opportunity to repay others for that which they have done against us. But maybe before any action is taken or any words are spoken we should simply ask ourselves “What would Jesus do?”

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me deny the urge to obtain revenge on others, but instead help me show them Your love and mercy.

Published in: on July 26, 2011 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/23/11

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?

Worry seems to flow naturally through some people. Their lives are wrapped up in it’s presence so much so that as the moments of peace come, people know they will not last long, for their expectation is that worry will soon arrive as it always does. We have become so fixated on the fact that the proverbial glass is half empty that we don’t see how God has blessed us. Our focus should not be on the possibility of something going wrong, for statistics prove that negativity will arrive, at some point, in everyone’s life. Our focus should not be on the negative side of our past, lest we become stuck and never move forward. Our focus should be on God and the manner in which He has provided for us in the past, knowing that He will continue to do the same in the future. So then let us not be clenching the negativity of worry, but instead let us be clenching upon the presence of God.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, remove from my life the need I have to worry, and fill me with complete trust in You.

Published in: on July 23, 2011 at 6:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/22/11

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Difficult moments have a way of controlling our existence. Their very presence brings with them power to guide our emotions, strength to delete our own opinions, and the ability to remove from us any existence of joy or happiness. What we have to understand is this: the power found within the difficulties of life are present simply because we allow them to exist. When trouble enters, our fight departs. When difficulties arrive, our perseverance flees. When hardships begin to flourish, we lose sight of all that once brought us joy. As these moments arrive within our lives, we must not lose heart, but instead gain faith, faith in God. We, within all circumstances, are faced with a choice, the choice of how it will affect our lives. Will we learn from its existence and thus be renewed to take on each day with greater power and focus, or will we allow it to destroy the person we have become by filling our hearts with negativity and worry?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me walk with confidence not in myself, but in the knowledge of Your presence within my life.

Published in: on July 22, 2011 at 12:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/21/11

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The world offers us the opportunity to find peace, but this offer usually only comes with ownership. The world teaches that we can be at peace as long as we have “Things.” If you’re depressed, go buy something, and for a few moments a sense of peace will overcome you simply because your mind is now fixated on the ownership of something new. Soon after, however, reality sets back in and life returns to the same. Peace cannot come from ownership, only possession. Let’s hear that again: peace cannot come from ownership, only from the possession of God within our lives. As our lives become more filled with God, we possess the ability to find peace within all circumstances, within all situations. This is possible simply because of the trust we have in God, the trust we have given to Him by trusting Him with our lives. As we trust in God more, we become more at peace with all that is set before us, good or bad. Why don’t you begin to trust in Him today like you have never done before?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, today I pray that You become everything to me, so that in all circumstances, I will be filled with Your peace.

Published in: on July 21, 2011 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 7/20/11

Proverbs 3:21-24 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble; when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

In some instances, we worry about the outcome of something simply because we have not used good judgment. Impulsivity is the norm within society. We act first, then contemplate the results of our actions after it’s too late, after we have already set in motion that which we cannot stop. God has set within us the ability to think before we act and/or react, but in so many cases we do not utilize it at the proper time. God has given us the ability to look at a set of circumstances or a possible situation with discernment, but in most cases we jump into something moments before we thought it through. Impulsivity is a good trait to a point, but soon behind fear and worry follow, while good judgment and discernment bring with them the peace of God.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me not let impulsivity rule within my life.

Published in: on July 20, 2011 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment