3/31/12 Daily Devotion

Luke 23:35-37 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

They mocked and sneered at Jesus, taunting Him to save himself and thus prove He was who He had claimed. What was absent from their minds is the fact that Jesus could have saved Himself, but instead He chose to save them. Instead, He chose to save each of us. We can look at this moment in the life of Jesus and feel His pain. We can look at this moment in the life of Jesus and experience His anguish. But what we really need to do is look at this moment in the life of Jesus and see just how much He loved each of us. While the crowd sneered at Jesus, let us not do the same with our lives. While the crowd mocked Jesus for who He claimed to be, let us glorify Him for that which He has done for us through His shed blood.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, may my life become an offering of praise for all that You have done for me.

Published in: on March 31, 2012 at 7:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

3/30/12 Daily Devotion

Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.

It’s amazing how we think we can fool God just as we fool others. The fooling or misleading of many humans is simplistic, for there are many that are just simply gullible. We can put on our masks in their presence and remove it when they leave, but this action will never work with God. People can try to understand the essence of who we are, but in the end the only information they have to go on is that which we place at their disposal. Now in regards to God, we can put on our masks, we can play church, we can even play Christian, but God knows our hearts. God knows everything about us, everything we hide from the world, everything we hold in secret. We might feel as if we are fooling God, but in essence we are only fooling ourselves. This world needs people who are genuine. This world needs Christians who are genuinely striving to follow Jesus each and every day of their lives. This words needs us not to be mockers of God, but completely sold out followers of God.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, transform my life into something that shines through Your love and brings glory to Your name.

Published in: on March 31, 2012 at 12:40 am  Leave a Comment  

3/29/12 Daily Decotion

2 Corinthians 12:20 For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

Paul was genuinely concerned for the Corinthians. Within a large amount of the people, there seemed to have been some type of misdirected attitude towards Paul. They seemed to believe that Paul was working to serve himself, not God. This attitude came from their struggling faith, and because of this Paul was concerned. He was afraid that when he came to visit them again, ¬†they would be drowning in their unrepentant sin. Paul’s concerns were genuine, because he did not want to be the cause of or see anyone straying from the faith. The manner in which Paul addressed this concern is commendable. He did not jump at anyone’s throat. He did not use inappropriate words. He just showed genuine concern. This is an example that all Christians must follow. There will come moments when we will want to pounce on someone to prove our point or get across our feelings, but that is not a reflection of God. We must be Godly in all we do, that those around us do not see our opinions as if they were based on our opinions, but instead that they might see that we are trying to follow a path set before us by God.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help my walk reflect all of You and none of me.

Published in: on March 29, 2012 at 11:07 am  Leave a Comment  

3/28/12 Daily Devotion

Matthew 27:27-31 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

The soldiers showed no respect for Jesus. They mocked Him viciously, while treating Him as if He were the lowest “thing” in existence. They spit on Him as if His presence brought a bitter taste that they needed to expel from their mouths. What they did to Jesus was despicable, but don’t we sometimes do the same? We have never been afforded the opportunity to do exactly that which the soldiers did to Jesus, but we are no different in attitude, at times. When we refuse to be as God has called us to be, we are mocking His ways. When we walk down the path of our own choosing, we are mocking His placement within our lives. One must wonder how the soldiers felt after Jesus rose from the dead, but, then again, I wonder how we will feel the moment after we pass from this world into the eternal.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me become a real person of faith, one who lives each moment for You.

Published in: on March 29, 2012 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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3/27/12 Daily Devotion

Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

How often we do carry something to fruition, knowing we never should have gone down that path? How often do we feel within our spirit we are not where we should be, but continue anyway? In Paul’s letter to the Romans, he speaks of the same. There were Christians who knew exactly what was expected of them, but they chose to walk in ignorance of these expectations. As Christians, when we know what is wrong and do it anyway, we are essentially mocking God. We are daring Him to find fault with what we are doing wrong, or in the least we are not concerned with the judgment He will place upon our lives. Mocking God, living as we choose, doing what we want no matter the consequences, will only cause us problems not only on this earth but also eternally. Let us then decide, no matter how difficult it may be, to live our lives as a reflection of God’s Word.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, forgive me if I have knowingly ignored Your desires. Forgive me if I have willingly ignored Your ways.

Published in: on March 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

3/26/12 Daily Devotion

Proverbs 1:22 “How long will you simple ones love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?

It’s sad to come to this understanding, but it is true nonetheless: there are many people within this world who find joy in mocking others. As they bring forth their words of hurt and pain, as they shoot out their harsh taunting comments, they care not whom they tear apart, as long as they themselves come out looking good. These actions are sad to say the least. They describe a person who is not happy with themselves. They demonstrate a life that is lost within its own tainted self worth. Behind the words of a mocker is a heart in need of love and encouragement. Behind the heart of a mocker is a heart in need of the presence of Jesus. Behind the heart of a mocker is a scared, hurt person in need of compassion. Do you find yourself filled with a mocking heart? Do you find pleasure in mocking others? Then maybe you are a person in need of the presence of Jesus within your life.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, purge my thoughts, cleanse my feelings, and purify my heart.

Published in: on March 26, 2012 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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3/24/12 Daily Devotion

Matthew 27:1-5 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. They bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

After certain events have transpired, we often wish we could enter into a time shifting device, return to a moment just before the “incident” occurred, and make a different choice. If this were the case, then we would probably wear out the time shifting device. What we fail to understand is the fact that the past cannot be changed, but there is knowledge to be gained. In his remorse, ¬†Judas returned to the chief priests and elders, hoping to make right his decision to betray Jesus. He did not go back in time, of course, because this is an impossibility, but he tried to alter his own personal feelings through the absolution of the chief priests and elders. What he got was a group of people who did not care about his situation, for they received exactly what they wanted, the death of Jesus. We cannot change the past. All we can do is move forward into the future, grasping onto the lessons we have learned, knowing that the forgiveness of God is available, and look for a better tomorrow.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, I know there are things within my life that I wish I could go back and do over, but this is an impossibility. Instead, help me come to understand how these things can make me stronger from this moment forward.

Published in: on March 25, 2012 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

3/23/12 Daily Devotion

Acts 1:18 With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out.

Judas had always looked out for number one, himself. He had always worked things out so they would bring to his life some type of benefit. For three years, he walked with Jesus. For three years, he served Jesus; and for thirty pieces of silver, he threw it all away. Judas, overcome with remorse, ended his own life. Remorse is a difficult emotion to handle. Remorse causes us to take a hard look into our lives, a look that we would much prefer to avoid. Remorse can even cause us to react in ways similar to Judas. Knowing this, there is something important that we must understand: it can, but only with our permission. Remorse can control us. It can guide us in a specific direction, but not without our permission. When we are overcome with remorse, our spirit is trying to inform us of the direction of our lives. If we heed to this message, we will come to find a new path, a path of restoration and hope, a path that will guide us into a deeper, more rewarding relationship with God.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, remove from my heart any feelings that keep me from reaching Your presence.

Published in: on March 23, 2012 at 11:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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3/22/12 Daily Devotion

Luke 23:27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.

As they led Jesus away to be crucified, there came a point where He was too weak to carry the cross. The guards forced a man in the crowd, a man named Simon, to carry the cross of Jesus the rest of the way. Following Jesus along the path were some of His loyal followers and a multitude of others who were wanting to see if He was who He claimed. The emotional level of His followers was off the chart, thus they found themselves uncontrollably wailing and mourning. Reading the crucifixion story, we can only imagine how they must have felt. Even now, as we are reading it, we begin to be filled with emotions. It’s hard to imagine that Jesus willingly went through all He did for us. It’s hard to imagine that He endured so much pain and anguish simply so we can have salvation. It’s hard to imagine, but it’s true. The extent of God’s love has the power to move us emotionally, especially as we come to realize that without all that Jesus experienced we would be lost for all eternity.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me to truly realize each day how much You love me.

Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 11:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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3/21/12 Daily Devotion

James 4:9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.

James did not know how to speak around a subject. He only spoke straight through. He did not mince words; he told you exactly what he felt was needed given the circumstances. Submit to God, resist the devil, come near to God, wash your hands, purify your hearts, grieve, mourn and wail, or in essence do whatever must be done to bring about change in your life. That’s what must be done. Change never comes easy; thus the reason we weep, mourn and wail. We grieve our old habits as if we are grieving a loss, and essentially this is true. But following this time of grieving, we shall find a time of rejoicing, a time to praise God for carrying us into a new place within our lives and our relationship with Him. Throughout our growth as Christians, we will experience the loss of many things that brought us joy and happiness. But that which we will gain in and through God makes any necessary changes within our lives worth it.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me to release anything in my life that is holding You at a distance.

Published in: on March 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment