4/30/13 Daily Devotion

Acts 5:17 Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy.

The disciples, while meeting in Solomon’s Colonnade, found themselves surrounded by a multitude of people desiring to receive from them knowledge and healing. No one joined them out of fear, but that did not stop them from being in their presence. The religious leaders were observing the reaction of the crowd to the disciples, and jealousy had overcome them in a drastic way. The way the people were drawn to the disciples pushed their jealousy to the point of action. In an attempt to halt what they perceived as heresy, the religious leaders had the disciples arrested and thrown into public jail. Jealousy is so powerful it can cause us to move into extreme actions, actions that we might come to regret at a later time. Thus it is important that we not allow jealousy to rule within our hearts. While this might seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb, it is not impossible. All we need to do is pay attention to our hearts and trust God to move within our lives.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me refrain from jealousy, as I know it can take my life in a direction that will not bring You glory.

Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 9:37 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

4/29/13 Daily Devotion

Proverbs 27:4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming, but who can stand before jealousy?

Who can stand for jealousy? That’s an interesting comment, but it is filled with truth. We can deal with many things, even those that are slightly annoying, but jealousy is one that seems to push us past our boiling point. We can deal with an angry person. We can deal with a person filled with rage to an extent, but a person who is jealous, that’s another story. What is it about jealousy that causes us to move beyond the final frontier? One observation would have to center around the fact that irritation arises when people are jealous of our success or our general presentation within the world. We become irritated when they try to become a xerox copy of us or one of our friends. We become annoyed when they have to have what we have a moment after its arrival in our lives. Why are we jealous? The answer is simple, we are not happy with ourselves.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me become happy with who I am and not strive to become a copy of anyone else. For You have created me as I am, and that is sufficient.

Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

4/27/13 Daily Devotion

James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

Why would God bring temptations into our lives? Yes, temptations come every day, but they are not by the hand of God. God allows temptations to exist within this world. God allows them to exist, and, as we come through them, our faith will increase and our presentation of the gospel will solidify. God, however, is not the tempter. The clarity within James’ statement is obvious: while we will see temptation, we should never believe that God is tempting us, for God cannot be tempted nor does He tempt. The presence of evil is a direct result of the sin that entered into this world back in the Garden of Eden. At any time, God could refuse evil a presence within this world, but it remains with the purpose of teaching and guiding our Christian walk.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me see and feel Your perfection within my life. Help me know, even though evil exists within this world, that You perfect presence will guide me if I just trust in You.

Published in: on April 30, 2013 at 12:04 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

4/26/13 Daily Devotion

1 Thessalonians 3:5 For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain.

The believers in Thessalonica were having a difficult time with an issue that had arisen within the church. There were people who believed that they, as long as they were alive, would not be able to cross over from this world into the eternal if Christ were to return and carry His church home. The dispute began to interfere with their ability to worship and honor God properly, because it remained a drastic concern on their hearts. This idea was, of course, not taught but brought into the fold by one trying to disrupt the fellowship of believers, and it was unfortunately succeeding. Paul addresses this issue by reassuring them that those who have died shall rise first, but those who are still among the living will follow suit shortly thereafter. Why would they believe such a teaching? That’s not an easy question to answer, but we should not criticize, for there are moments when the same questions could be asked about us. We are all a bit naive once in a while, but knowing this must pay close attention to the decisions we make so we do not fall away from the path to righteousness.

Prayer Starter:

Help me see clearly the path to righteousness, that I may walk upon it and not be led astray.

Published in: on April 27, 2013 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

4/25/13 Daily Devotion

Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

We all want to be the one that helped someone out of the pit of despair. We want to have the answer or become the answer to their problems or circumstances. We want to be able to feel like we made a difference within their lives, and thus receive a congratulatory pat on the back, well maybe two or three. While helping others is good, we sometimes go overboard and become more of a problem instead of a guide to a solution. We get so caught up in the idea of being their “savior” that we forget we are, at times, not doing them any good if we become their fixer. It’s not about a pat on the back. It’s not about our name being mentioned. It’s about showing people how to get back on the right track.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me have a servant’s heart, a heart that is willing to help and a heart that does not need recognition from anyone.

Published in: on April 25, 2013 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

4/24/13 Daily Devotion

1 Timothy 6:9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Paul’s teachings always come filled with difficult truth. Paul’s main desire is to help Christians serve God to the best of their ability, and while this may be difficult at times, it is essential to their eternal placement. Paul does not state that the possession of wealth is a sin, for it is not. What he wants us to understand is that if we focus all our attention on becoming wealthy, we will stray far from the path of God. Focusing our attention with such power on the obtaining of specific prosperity will not allow us to focus on God, for with the time and effort we place into obtaining that which our heart desires, our heart will grow less where God is concerned. That stated, we can seek the desires of our hearts unless two things be present: a decreasing heart for God or a heart that will do anything to achieve material gain.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me refrain from falling into the trap of temptation, so I may not be pulled away from Your presence and devoured by the enemy Satan.

Published in: on April 25, 2013 at 10:29 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

4/23/13 Daily Devotion

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

For those who have given their lives over to the guidance and control of God, temptation is common. Temptation is common because Satan is worried about the impact a faithful Christian can have upon this earth for the glory of God. While this does not mean moments of silence or freedom from temptation will not exist after we give our lives to God, it does mean if there is never any temptation, then there is cause for concern. If we are not tempted, then there is only one reason present: Satan is not worried about our walk with God. As we walk within the will of God, as we strive to place Him first within our lives, Satan knows that we can make a difference. But the question is: do we? Do we know how much of a difference we can make within this world if we would just turn our lives completely over to Him, knowing that He will guide us through all of life’s uncertainties, knowing that He will guide us every step of the way?

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me live a real Christian life, one that seeks to demonstrate Your presence within me, one that shows this world what it can have if people would set their lives before You.

Published in: on April 24, 2013 at 10:08 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

4/22/13 Daily Devotion

Matthew 26:41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus brings forth to His disciples an interesting verse: “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” In the context of this statement, we see that Jesus was asking His disciples to try to stay awake while He was off praying about His upcoming crucifixion, but this also carries itself over to our situations today. Temptation is all around us, seeking to carry us in a direction that is in opposition to the will of God. This fact cannot be understated, and it must be understood if we are to walk powerfully within the will of God. We must keep watch, we must pray for guidance and strength, or we will surly fall on our faces as we succumb to temptation.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me see clearly the temptations of this world and refrain from falling into its schemes.

Published in: on April 22, 2013 at 10:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

4/20/13 Daily Devotion

Acts 8:22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.

While in Samaria, Simon the sorcerer had dazzled the crowds with his magical abilities. He boasted amongst them of his greatness and walked in surety of this fact until he observed Peter and John. The Spirit of God had not yet come upon the people in Samaria, thus the reasoning behind the presence of Peter and John. Peter and John arrived and began to pray for the unleashing of God’s Spirit upon His people. They prayed diligently, then placed their hands upon them, and the Spirit’s presence was invoked within the believers. Simon the sorcerer noticed what had happened and desired to have this ability himself, for he knew it could make him even greater, even if it was just in his own mind. Simon offered Peter and John a monetary reward if they could give him the ability to do the same. Many of us would have chastised Simon and walked away. Still many others would have given him the look and walked away without even a single utterance. What we should do is what Peter and John did: tell them to seek forgiveness. We have a tendency to lean towards revenge or retaliation when we should see that there is something greater at stake, eternity. Let us then choose to become guides towards forgiveness, not stumbling blocks towards Christianity.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me become a guide to forgiveness and not a stumbling block to Christianity.

Published in: on April 21, 2013 at 9:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

4/19/13 Daily Devotion

Luke 5:24 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”

We all understand that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins while He was upon earth, but have we ever considered that we possess the same ability in a specific manner. We have the ability to forgive the sins of those who have brought negativity into our lives. We have the ability to release others from the heartache they are experiencing as it pertains situations we are involved in together. We do not have the ability to forgive all sins of all people, but we can choose to move forward in our faith and release those who have brought infractions into our relationships, so they might be placed on the road to recovery.

Prayer Starter:

Lord, help me become a forgiver, one who is willing to forgive and not retaliate.

Published in: on April 21, 2013 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,