Daily Devotion 9/30/11

James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

If the book of James was left out of the next printing of the Bible, there might not be too many complaints. The reasoning behind this idea is found in the fact that many people do not appreciate the straight forward, no holds barred, writing of James. Many would prefer a love letter that sets before them a touch of grace and a pinch of mercy, all covered in the delightful love of God. Many of us prefer to know the Bible exists, but wish it would not seek to interfere with our lives. Many see the Bible as an obstacle to be overcome within their lives and don’t see that their lives have become the obstacle that needs to be overcome by the Bible. Submission is one of these areas where we need the Bible to overcome our lives. Submission is not easy, for we feel as if we are giving away control of our lives to someone else. In fact, the previous sentence holds nothing but truth. When we submit to God, when we turn control of our lives over to Him, we are not burdened. We are blessed. We have the Creator of the universe at our side. We have the sustainer of life within our hearts, and He wants to be a big deal within our lives. Submission to God is not giving up control. It’s the only thing that makes real sense.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, take over the reigns of my life and guide me to the places You desire.

Published in: on September 30, 2011 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/29/11

1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

Is the church of today filled with humility? Peter’s words might have been directed toward the leaders of his day, but their power and understanding must be found within the lives of all who call upon the name of Jesus. If we want to make a difference within this world, we must remain humble. Humility is not a natural trait, for we all love to share of our success and receive pats on the back, but this is not the way or desire of God. There will come a day when God holds high that which we have done for His glory and for His kingdom, but until then we are to remain humble, until then we are to find joy and satisfaction in the fact that God allows us to serve Him in this world.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, fill me with humility that I may go forth and spread Your word without getting in the way.

Published in: on September 29, 2011 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/28/11

Daniel 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

King Nebuchadnezzar was a man of high esteem. He was a king to be loved, a king to be adored, and a king not to be ignored. He looked one day upon his kingdom and acknowledge his greatness, thus bringing into his life a time of challenge and humility. For seven years, he fought this lesson of God, but finally he raised his eyes toward Heaven and humbly praised His name. King Nebuchadnezzar learned a tough lesson, the lesson of humility. What Nebuchadnezzar forgot, simply put, was this: Yes, he was king of his kingdom, but God was king of his life. Nebuchadnezzar saw everything and forgot to acknowledge that God played a major role within his life, but God found a way to remind him. Where is God within your life right now? Are you humbly acknowledging all that He has done?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, I have come to see that all I am is because of You. Help me to hold this knowledge dear to my heart and express it every day.

Published in: on September 28, 2011 at 10:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/27/11

Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.

How can we serve God if all we want to do is serve ourselves? How can we call ourselves Christians if we hold ourselves above everyone else? How can we be followers of God if we refuse to show the kindness and love of God? Being conceited is commonplace within society today. This trait causes us to place within our presence those who will lift us to the plane we feel we are deserving to dwell upon. Conceit causes us to laugh at the world as it compares to ourselves. Conceit causes us to glorify ourselves over all others. But worst of all, conceit causes us to loose sight of God’s presence. Paul teaches us that being conceited only causes problems, for eventually we all fall from our self-made positions in the sky. As we learn to live with one another and love one another, however, we will have brought the presence of God into this world.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me set aside the high thoughts I have for myself and see instead the difference I can make in this world for You and Your kingdom.

Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 11:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/26/11

Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

He was just a boy that wanted to run and jump and play like all the others, but this was not part of his everyday life as it should have been. He was just a boy, a boy possessed by an evil spirit. This evil spirit robbed him of his speech, threw him to the ground, caused his mouth to foam, and even tried to kill him on a number of occasions. His father brought him to Jesus, hoping He could give back his son’s life, his dignity, his safety. As the boy was brought into the presence of Jesus, the evil spirit, filled with rage, threw the boy into convulsions. His father asked Jesus again, “If you can do anything, take pity on us…” Haven’t we all felt that way at some point? We know the power of God, yet the power of the circumstances in front of us causes us to doubt what God can do. How have we become so overwhelmed that we question not only the presence of God, but also His ability to act on our behalf? In moments of difficulty, the first thing we must do, is overcome our momentary unbelief and trust that God is going to be there just as He has always been.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me overcome myself, my doubt, my circumstances, and trust that You will be there for me always.

Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/24/11

Psalm 27:11 Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.

What good would it do for someone to play follow the leader alone? What good would it do for a group of people to play follow the leader if none of them were willing to be the leader? What good would it do for a group of people to play follow the leader if every one was the leader and no one wanted to be a follower? Within our lives, there are times when we are followers and times when we lead, but the most important question we can ever ask ourselves is this: who is our leader? If we are serious about our desires to follow God, then we will allow Him to lead, plain and simple. If we are serious about our desire to walk within His will, then we will allow Him to lead, plain and simple. If we are serious….are you serious? Who is your leader? Whose path are you following? Who are you trying to please?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, become the leader of my life today.

Published in: on September 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/23/11

2 Corinthians 6:3 We put no stumbling block in anyone’s path, so that our ministry will not be discredited.

Paul took the ministry seriously. He did not want to become a stumbling block for people, for his only desire was to lead them into the presence of God, where they could find salvation. For this reason, because of this desire, Paul had seen many hardships. Paul endured many things for the glory of God and the sake of the gospel. He lost many nights of rest, felt the pains of hunger, and lived the imprisoned life of a criminal even though he was innocent. He felt the pains of unjustified beatings, the hardships of travel, the distress of the calling placed upon his life, but Paul counted it all good. For as long as he was serving God and directing people in the correctness of life, the correctness of Christianity, he was not a stumbling block but a catapult throwing people into God’s presence. Are you a stumbling block? Do you claim to be a follower but walk the path of self? Maybe today is the day where all this changes.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me see the need to be more zealous in my walk. Help me follow the example of Paul and go forth powerfully in Your name, seeking to guide the lost into Your presence.

Published in: on September 23, 2011 at 5:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/22/11

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

One can only imagine the difference it would make within our lives if we completely understood the wisdom and direction of God, especially as it pertains to our own lives, but this will never be the case. The wisdom of God is beyond our understanding. The wisdom of God is beyond that which we can fathom, but God does not leave us blind. Even though we might not always understand the wisdom of God as it translates into the path He has asked us to walk, we must never forget that He has our best interests at heart. Within His wisdom, God knows what we will encounter. He also knows that as we allow Him to walk at our sides, nothing can stop us from achieving success in His eyes.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me walk upon the correct path, the path that You have set for me, but more importantly never allow me to forget to take You with on the journey.

Published in: on September 22, 2011 at 10:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/21/11

Isaiah 26:7 The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth.

Life brings to us all peaks and valleys, but the one thing that has the ability to keep us level is God. Now even though we have God, the peaks and valleys will continue, for they are a natural part of our existence. However, the manner in which we relate to them changes. Once we have sincerely given our lives over to God, His presence gives us the courage and the strength to remain level, even in the midst difficulties. This may seem as if it is very hard to understand, but it remains the truth nonetheless. Remaining level within our relationship with God, remaining focused on Him, trusting Him with our todays, tomorrows, and our futures enables us to take on the world and, in doing so, bring glory and honor to the name of God. One thing that must be noted is the fact that within the last sentence, there was purposefully no mention of victory. Victory will come. Then again so will defeat. But as long as God remains within our lives, have we actually been defeated?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, lead me forward through all life chooses to bring.

Published in: on September 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Daily Devotion 9/20/11

John 7:16-18 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

Halfway through the Feast, Jesus stood to teach. The words that flowed from His mouth brought great knowledge to those who were present, so much so that they were amazed that someone of such a humble existence, someone without the privilege of education, could speak the truth of God in such a manner. “It comes from God,” Jesus told them. Jesus wanted them to understand that he who desires to serve God will speak and teach with great wisdom, great knowledge; but he who speaks or teaches to serve himself, well his teaching is as foolish as the messenger giving the presentation. Choosing to do the will of God sets before us an abundance of opportunities, but choosing to pretend to do the will of God only makes it harder for those truly seeking God to find His true existence. To them, God is the personification of the falsehoods with which they were taught.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, may I always seek to exalt You by choosing to make You the center of my life, the center of my existence, and the center of my teachings.

Published in: on September 20, 2011 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment