4/30/12 Daily Devotion

Judges 13:17 Then Manoah inquired of the angel of the Lord, “What is your name, so that we may honor you when your word comes true?”

Manoah’s wife was unable to conceive. One night, she was approached by an angel who shared with her wonderful news: she was going to give birth to a special child, a boy that one day would begin the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines. This brought joy into her heart as she shared the news with her husband, Manoah. A short time later Manoah had the blessing of meeting the angel, but did not realize that it was indeed a messenger of God. Through their conversation, this eventually became evident. Manoah’s desire to know the name of the messenger/angel in order to honor God demonstrates how touched he was by this blessing from God. When was the last time a desire to honor to God passed through your mind? When was the last time you did something to show God your appreciation for all that He has done within your life? God is so gracious to us, and He is deserving of our display of appreciation, not just occasionally, but continually.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, may You find me ALWAYS appreciative of all that You do within my life.

Published in: on April 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Book Review, “As One Devil To Another,” Richard Platt, Author

As One Devil To Another, written by Richard Platt, carries its readers through the correspondence of senior devil Slashreap as he guides his nephew and protege Scardagger, a newly graduated tempter from Temptation University, in the understanding of how to win a soul into the clutches of Satan.

The goal of these devils is to keep their client(s) away from God, or as they call Him, the Adversary.  The manner in which this is done by utilizing the various tools that have been opened up by secular society. These tools include, but are not inclusive to, the use of material possessions, reality television, the internet, the sexual revolution, science, relationships, cell phones, computer games, and video games.

While some might find this book to be easily read and understood, I can see where its terminology and phrasing can make the reading experience for some more challenging.  All in all, for its creativity, it’s relevance within today’s societal influences, and it’s realistic portrayal of the daily spiritual battles occurring around us, this book is a recommended read.

Dr. Jeff Krupinski

Published in: on April 30, 2012 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

4/28/12 Daily Devotion

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’ life had been overtaken by the events that surrounded the death of Jesus. He was so distraught that he would not even believe his friends when they stated that they had seen Jesus. Why would he believe they would mislead him? Why would he believe they would lie to him about such a thing? Deep down, Thomas trusted these men, but his aching heart just could not grasp onto words. It needed visual proof. Is this right? Is this wrong? We can read of Thomas and profess his frailties of faith, but we would not have been much different. The ending of the situation, for us, has been recorded. But for Thomas, it was all happening one moment at a time. His emotions and feelings were driving his responses and actions. When we are faced with an uncertain outcome, we are no different. When we do not see an end in sight, when we do not anticipate a good ending, we are the same. We want proof. When others tell us to trust in God, we want proof. When others tell us everything is going to be fine, we want want surety, not words. We can learn a valuable lesson from Thomas: even though we don’t have all the answers, we know someone who does, thus we should, no matter how hard it might be, trust in Him with our lives and within our circumstances.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me trust in You when life comes at me full force.

Published in: on April 29, 2012 at 12:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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4/27/12 Daily Devotion

2 Corinthians 13:2-3 I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, [3] since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.

Paul had already been to visit the Corinthian Christians twice. He was planning on a third visit, but this visit was going to bring upon some of the Corinthians some not so desired attention. Some of the Christians in Corinth were demanding proof that God was speaking through Paul. Even though they had seen, felt, and experienced the message of Christ through Paul’s presence and writings, they were still questioning his life’s purpose, his reason for existing. This did not bring joy into Paul’s heart. Their questioning of Paul made no sense whatsoever, but neither does ours when we act in the same manner. We criticize those who believe in their hearts that God has called them to preach. We mock them, stating that some people have not heard the calling of God, only the calling of self. While this is true in some cases, it is not our place to make these declarations, for when we do we usually do so with the wrong motives, the wrong attitudes. If we do, we might not like the response of God when He brings us into His presence.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me to speak in a manner that is pleasing to You and not critical of others.

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 11:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

4/26/12 Daily Devotion

Acts 3:16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.

Peter and John were going to the temple to pray when they came across a crippled man outside one of the temple gates. The man was brought there each day by friends and/or family to beg for financial assistance. Peter got his attention and, in the name of Jesus, healed him. The man, no longer crippled, jumped to his feet and began walking into the temple courts, praising God. The onlookers were shocked to see this man walking, a man that they passed by day after day, a man that they might have tossed a small token of help to, a man that began to fade from their sight as they passed him day after day. When Peter saw their reaction, he also saw an opportunity to share the gospel. He took his audience right back to the moment when they chose a criminal over Jesus. He hit them hard when he stated that they “Killed the author of life.” It’s interestingly sad to understand that they did not believe Jesus, but, when they were presented with another miracle, they were amazed at the power of God. Why do we need proof? Why can’t we just believe and live our lives around this belief? It’s easy to believe when a miracle happens, but it takes faith to trust in God. If we looked intently into our lives, we would see what God has done. Seeing this, we should never question what He will do in the future.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me understand that You have always been there for me, and help me believe that this will never change.

Published in: on April 27, 2012 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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4/25/12 Daily Devotion

John 20:13-16 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb first. To her surprise, the stone had been rolled away from  the tomb entrance. She ran back to tell Peter and the others, who in turn set off to investigate for themselves. Peter entered the tomb but found only the linens that once adorned the body of Jesus and the burial cloth that covered his face. They saw and believed He had risen but still did not completely understand. Mary Magadalene stayed at the tomb while the others returned home. She stood outside the tomb crying because she was lost in her understanding of all of the events. Even when Jesus presented himself to her, she did not recognize Him until He spoke her name. During difficult moments in life, it can become very easy for us to demand proof of God’s existence. “Show Yourself.” “Give me a sign.” “Where have You gone?” How quickly we forget that God will never leave. We forget because we have taken over control. We forget because we have decided that we have the ability to carry us through our circumstances. We forget because we have given in to a moment of weakness. We must learn to trust more and worry less, for God will always be there, even when He feels light years away.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me trust You with my life, in all circumstances, at all times.

Published in: on April 26, 2012 at 12:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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4/24/12 Daily Devotion

Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

Jesus rebuked the eleven disciples for needing proof of His existence. He knew what they were going through. He understood that their faith was tested in the most extreme way, but He still felt that His presence before them should have been enough. How much information do we need before we will come to understand the existence of Jesus? How much more information do we need to gather to help us understand the importance of Jesus within our lives? How much more information do we need before we will come to understand the importance of Jesus within the lives of all people? Here is the bottom line: we have all the information we need. So why don’t we just stop making excuses to live for ourselves and share it with others?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, guide me in the understanding of the task You have set before me, the expansion of Your kingdom.

Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

4/23/12 Daily Devotion

John 20:19-20 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Their faith had been shaken. Their trust in the religious system had been damaged. Their fear for their own lives had grown immensely. They gathered together, but behind locked doors. They gathered to be with those of like faith, even if this faith had was no longer the same. Suddenly, Jesus appeared within their presence. Knowing they had locked the doors, knowing that this man had to have appeared mysteriously, they still did not believe it was Jesus. The words of Jesus, “Peace be with you,” were meant to calm their aching hearts, but they still needed to see His hands and side before they would believe this was more than an unexplainable phenomenon. After receiving their desired proof, they believed and were overjoyed. As Christians, we don’t need proof that Jesus rose from the dead. As Christians, we don’t need proof that Jesus is who He claims to be, but sometimes we live as if proof is necessary. We question our faith and the existence of God when the slightest trial or temptation arrives. As Christians, it is clear from scripture that we are not alone within the circumstances of this world, and we should live within this understanding. It was hard for the disciples to fathom or understand the circumstances as they were playing out, but we are without excuse.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, bring my faith into a place of security, a place where I will never question Your presence or will for my life.

Published in: on April 24, 2012 at 12:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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4/21/12 Daily Devotion

Luke 24:30-31 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

They were walking in the presence of Jesus but remained without a clue. They shared about Him to Him, not knowing He was at their side, not knowing this brought Him great joy. Clueless they remained, until they gathered with Him at the table. When Jesus gave thanks and broke bread, it was then that they realized whose presence they were blessed to be within. Often we walk within this world oblivious to the presence of Christ. We know He is there, but we find ourselves so overwhelmed with life that He fades slightly out of sight. One way to keep Christ close at hand is to keep Him in the forefront of our thoughts. As we continually think upon Jesus and what He means to us, He will not seem so far away.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me keep You close to my heart.

Published in: on April 21, 2012 at 11:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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4/20/12 Daily Devotion

1 Peter 4:6 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.

Peter was giving an intense declaration about the coming judgement. He was not holding back the truth. Instead, he boldly stated what it meant to be a Christian. Within this powerful truth, he shared a fact that must be repeated as an example within and through our lives. He said that as a result of Christ, we don’t live for evil or earthly desires, but instead the will of God. But how often is this really true within our lives, and how often is this seen within our lives? In today’s society, we have become complacent within our responsibility to share our faith. We sing to the glory of God at church but live to the glory of ourselves the rest of the week. What this world needs is to see Christians embracing and speaking of their faith. They need to see us living for Jesus while sharing what He has done within our lives. In others words, they need to see real Christians who will not cower, but instead stand boldly for the sake of Christ. Will you be this type of Christian?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, guide me into living a bold expressive life for Your glory and honor.

Published in: on April 20, 2012 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment