5/30/12 Daily Devotion

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.

 
These are hard words to absorb. They bring with them the need for commitment. They bring with them the need to live in a specific manner. They bring with them the the purpose of God. They bring with them the idea of suffering. They bring with them the idea of change. They bring with them the will of God for our lives. They bring with them all that it means to be saved and sanctified by the blood of Jesus. They bring with them the essence of who we need to be, but are they a reflection of our lives?

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, help me pick up my cross daily and endure all I must for Your glory and Your honor.

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Published in: on May 31, 2012 at 1:30 am  Leave a Comment  

5/29/12 Daily Devotion

John 6:68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

 
The powerful teaching of Jesus brings forth many reactions. Some people embrace it powerfully within their lives. Some people hear it and never allow it to penetrate their hearts, and some people just run in the opposite direction. As some were departing because of His teachings, Jesus gathered with the twelve. Jesus asked if they also wanted to flee. Peter spoke up and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go?” Peter understood the place that Jesus held within his life. Peter also understood the importance of this place. To whom, who else was there, that would make such an impression on them? Who else was there to bring to them a purpose? Who else was there? No one, absolutely no one. To whom do you go?

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, bring me to the foot of the cross and teach me obedience.

Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 4:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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5/28/12 Daily Devotion

Matthew 17:27 “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

 
Sometimes doing what is right just makes good sense. After Jesus and His disciples arrived in Capernaum, they were questioned about paying taxes. Peter, understanding the impression Jesus wanted to bring into this world, stated the Jesus did pay taxes. He presented the discussion to Jesus, who turned the moment into a lesson. Jesus, knowing the kings did not expect their own sons to pay taxes, implied that He should not have to pay because He was in His Father’s house. The logic and understanding is irrefutable, but the example Jesus has set through this teaching is even greater. Even though He felt He was exempt from the tax, Jesus paid it to simply do what is right. In most cases, we take the option of doing what works out best for us individually, when it might make more sense and set a better example if we would just do what was all around right.

 
Prayer Starter:

 

 

Lord, help me not seek to do that which benefits me, help me do what is right.

Published in: on May 29, 2012 at 12:19 am  Leave a Comment  

5/26/12 Daily Devotion

Luke 17:16-19 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. [17] Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? [18] Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” [19] Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

 
One came back and threw himself at the feet of Jesus. One came back and thanked Jesus for giving back to him his life. One came back and honored Jesus for allowing him to become whole again. One came back and praised Jesus for giving him back to his family. One came back and glorified Jesus for giving him the opportunity to have his friends back in his life. Ten were healed in the same manner. Ten were changed in exactly the same way. Ten were given a second chance at a real life. Ten were given the opportunity to live, to really live once again, but only one honored Jesus for what He had done. Do you honor Jesus for all that He does within your life?

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, I want to honor You, for You alone deserve to be honored for all You have done within my life.

Published in: on May 27, 2012 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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5/25/12 Daily Devotion

Nehemiah 8:5-6 Ezra opened the book. All the people could see him because he was standing above them; and as he opened it, the people all stood up. Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.

 
The response of this crowd is powerful, but that which they were responding to is something we have allowed to slowly dissipate from our lives today. Their joyous elation came as a result of Ezra opening the Book of Law of Moses. Their excitement came at the opportunity to hear the Word of God. They worshipped God with their faces lowered to the ground simply because He had given them this opportunity to hear His Word, the Word that HE brought forth to Moses. In today’s society, we have the Word of God readily available with ease of access, but our response is not the same, not even close. We don’t worship God in gratitude; we grumble at the thought of having to study His Word. We don’t lift our hands in praise. We moan because we feel as if this Word is being forced down our throats. Why can’t we be left alone to do as we wish and read when we feel it is necessary? Why can’t we just come to understand that the Word of God is a powerful necessity within our lives and respond accordingly?

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, use Your Word within my life to bring me into alignment with the will You have placed upon my life.

Published in: on May 26, 2012 at 12:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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5/24/12 Daily Devotion

1 John 4:19  We love because he first loved us.

 
Why God loves us is a tough question to answer, but we know He does. Why He would give up the life of His Son for the forgiveness of our sins is almost beyond comprehension, but we know why He did. The love that God has for us is something we might not clearly understand, but it is something that we can certainly feel. Our response within this world, our response to this world, should be to express the love of God simply because God first loved us.

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, guide my love within this world so that it will become reflective of Your love for me.

Published in: on May 26, 2012 at 12:21 am  Leave a Comment  
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5/23/12 Daily Devotion

Matthew 21:32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

Response is everything. The manner in which we respond within a situation clarifies our position within that situation, thus those observing know exactly what we believe, feel, and desire. Reading these words spoken by Jesus, we can clearly see who responded to the message of John. We can clearly see who understood that their lives were not upon the correct path. We can clearly see that they were the ones that knew God had something better, if they would only respond to His calling. We respond to everything with a message from our hearts, for even a mute response speaks clearly of that which matters to us. How are you responding to Christ within your life?

 
Prayer Starter:

 

Lord, help my response to Your existence become glorifying to You.

Published in: on May 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

5/22/12 Daily Devotion

Psalm 102:17 He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.

 
No one can walk without the admission that at one point, maybe more, there have been moments when God has felt distant. When we are walking within all honesty, we will admit that this happens at our own action to our own peril. We are taught through scripture that God will respond to those who respond to Him. God will respond to those who have given themselves over to Him. God will respond to His children when they are in need because they have responded to Him. This does not offer a quick, give me what I want, solution to our problems. This promise from God entails His understanding of our concerns and the offering of what we need, not what we believe we need. Respond to God wholeheartedly and begin to feel His powerful presence within your life now.

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, I want to respond to You, but it’s hard. Help me find the strength the reach across the issues of my life and into Your presence.

Published in: on May 23, 2012 at 12:58 am  Leave a Comment  
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5/21/12Daily Devotion

Acts 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

 
On the Sabbath in Philippi, Paul went outside the city gates to a river nearby in search of the place where people would be gathered at a place of prayer. Paul sat down with the women gathered there and began sharing the message of Christ. His message was welcomed and powerfully received, for it changed lives. One of those lives changed was Lydia. Upon hearing the message, she and her entire household were baptized. They responded to the message. They made a choice to change their lives. They moved forward in Christ. These are the same things that we must do within our lives. For most of us, most of them have happened, with one exception. Most of those reading these words right now have responded to the message and made the choice to change, but many have stopped at this point. Most of us have gone part of the way but refuse to move forward in Christ. Most of have chosen not to line up behind the wishes and will of God, opting instead to live our lives selfishly. Serving God demands that we move forward in the name of and for the glory of Christ. Will you move forward today?

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, help me move forward within this world, forward within my relationship with You, forward in Your service.

Published in: on May 22, 2012 at 12:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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5/19/12 Daily Devotion

Ecclesiastes 5:15 Naked a man comes from his mother’s womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.

 
The manner in which we have come into this world is close to the manner in which we will depart. Naked we came into this world, and nothing did we bring on our journey. While here upon this earth much have we acquired, much have we obtained, but nothing shall we carry into the eternal. While we were brought into this world naked, we shall depart clothed. But beyond that, not much will be set with us in our final resting place. Maybe a card or a picture. Maybe a doll or a note. Maybe a blanket or a trinket, but nothing more than a sentimental gesture. All that we have gained, all that we have lived for, all that we have become or have chosen to become, will remain upon this earth only to be divided among those that shared our hearts when we walked upon this earth. We have lost sight of what is truly important within life. We have forgotten that what makes us who we are cannot be seen in the things we can purchase, but within the One to whom we have given our lives. When we depart, what will stir the memories within the hearts of others? Will it be their gain from their portion of our possessions or wealth, or will it be their gain from the presence of God within our lives?

 
Prayer Starter:

 
Lord, become what I desire most within my life. Become my all. Allow nothing to separate us; allow nothing to remove You from my life.

Published in: on May 19, 2012 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment