Daily Devotional

September 22nd – 2 Timothy 2:15

2 Timothy 2:15

Paul was all about winning souls for Jesus. Though he was imprisoned, shipwrecked, stoned, and left for dead, Paul never lost his faith, or desire to please God. I want that kind of boldness. To have the heart of a lion, fearlessly responding to God’s calling regardless of the circumstances. Because sadly, there have been situations when instead of sharing the Gospel, I remained silent from fear of being ridiculed, rejected, or challenged. Other times I’ve shared the Gospel too aggressively or pompously. I looked down my nose at those who didn’t agree with my beliefs or immediately want to reconcile themselves to God. But not Paul. Even though he was bold, he was also kind. Because Paul understood the importance of representing Jesus. Meaning sharing the message of God’s redeeming love with courage, love, grace, and humility. And that’s how I want to share the the Gospel. In a confident, loving, respectful way, doing all for God’s glory!

September 21st – Acts 13:22

Acts 13:22

Did you know the word “beloved” appears nearly 120 times throughout the Bible? It’s a word reserved for those who are adored, cherished, treasured, and greatly loved. Just as God called David beloved, so He calls us. He created each of us intentionally, purposefully, and lovingly. He calls us beautiful, valuable, wanted, and His. And unlike the world who turns away when the shine fades from our star, we never have to fear losing God. His love never falters, never fails, and never grows cold. So the next time you find the Enemy whispering lies of inadequacy in your ears, remember this. You are a child of the most high God, and heir to the kingdom. There is no Hollywood trophy, no social media following, nor worldly accolade that could compare with the value of knowing one day we will spend eternity dwelling and reigning with the Lord. So wear your crown proudly! Have a heart longing to serve God, and never forget how much you are loved!

September Psalm 3:3

Psalm 3:3

In 1927 a submarine of the Navy was accidentally rammed by a Coast Guard destroyer, and quickly sunk. Heroic efforts were made to rescue six known trapped survivors. They exchanged a series of signals with the rescue force, by tapping on the hull.  As the trapped men used the last of available oxygen in the sub, they sent a morse-coded message. “Is there any hope?” That’s a question king David must have asked as well. His son Absalom was attempting to seize his throne. Forced to leave Jerusalem and flee across the Jordan river, David didn’t know friend from foe. But He did know the goodness of God. David saw firsthand the awesome might and strength of God and how He cares about the troubles of those who love Him. God fought for David, and Absalom’s armies were swept from the field. And as God was David’s mighty Shield, so He will be for us. So when the question is asked, “Is there any hope?” we as Christians can give a resounding yes!  Through faith and the glory of God, though evil surrounds us, it won’t prevail!

September 19th – Psalm 46:1-2

Psalm 46:1-2

Often it’s not the happy times when we feel closest to God, but the darkest. Because the storms in our lives show us just how weak we are and how desperately we need the saving grace of Jesus. A grace that provides the courage and peace no storm can shake. But that requires a deep and trusting faith. You’d think with all the disciples had witnessed with Jesus, they’d have that kind of faith. Yet when facing a raging storm, even they gave into fear and doubt with each crashing wave. The way we weather our storms reveals the depth of our faith in God. At the first sign of trouble do we fall to our knees in hopelessness and despair? Or do we fall to our knees in prayer to the Lord? Do we cry out to our Father in panic? Or  do we listen for His calming voice? God is our refuge, our safe port in every storm. And when we place our trust and faith in Jesus, we experience peace no matter what comes our way. Because just as Jesus calmed the sea and rescued the disciples, He will rescue us.

September 18th – Esther 4:14

Esther 4:14

Esther was a young queen in over her head. Told by her cousin Mordecai about the prime minister’s plot to kill the Jews, the fate of her people laid heavy on her small shoulders. Yet Esther knew where to go; straight to God. For three days and nights Esther sheltered in His presence through prayer and fasting. And as she grew closer to the Lord, Esther received the wisdom and courage she needed to save her people. Life is hard. And trying to do it on our own is near impossible. But thankfully, as Christians we never have to face anything alone. Because God is there welcoming us to come to Him. To spend time in His presence, bathing in His strength, mercy, and guidance. A place of refreshment, the arms of the Lord is where we experience His perfect peace. Where we find the answers we seek, the wisdom of God’s counsel, and the warmth of His unconditional love.

September 17th – Ezekiel 3:9

Ezekiel 3:9

In times of old, watchmen were placed on city walls and in towers overlooking fields. Always at their post, these watchmen were ready to sound the warning bell when danger was near. God called the prophet Ezekiel to be a watchman for the unrepentant house of Israel. A call He gives to us as well. We are to be on constant guard, blowing the trumpet of warning to an unrepentant world. Cautioning all about the danger of rejecting God’s gift of salvation, choosing instead to live in rebellion and disobedience. Not a popular message in today’s society of “if it feels good, do it!” But a message desperately needed all the same. God gave Ezekiel strength harder than flint to see His will done, and the courage to deliver His message. And when we walk in obedience, God will do the same for us. Because the Lord never asks anything of anyone without providing the means to accomplish the task at hand!

September 16th – Luke 21:28

Luke 21:28

Throughout history people have argued about the meaning and timing of the signs that would signal the soon return of Christ. But along with signs, Jesus also gave warnings about the approaching end times. First He warns us not to be misled. Many false prophets will come in His name saying, “I am He” and deceitful date setters will cry, “The time is near”.  By knowing what the Word of God says, we can be protected from wrong teachings. Next the Lord says prepare to be persecuted. Christians may experience betrayal, hatred, and death even at the hands of those we love. But we needn’t fear. For even if we lose our physical lives, we can rejoice knowing the reward of eternal life awaiting us. Finally Jesus tells us to be on guard. In patient anticipation of the glorious return of the Lord, we are to watch, pray, and most of all, guard our hearts. (Luke 21:36) I truly believe that the season of the Lord’s return is upon us. So, “straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!”

September 15th – Ephesians 3:8

Ephesians 3:8

Paul was a man who tried to destroy God’s people. Yet not only was he pardoned, but given the great privilege of spreading God’s message and building His church. But the assignment came at a high price. Paul was beaten, stoned, jailed, shipwrecked, and robbed, among other sufferings. Still, regardless of the set backs, Paul faithfully carried out his task. Throughout the world he fearlessly preached and wrote about the inexhaustible riches and generosity of the Lord. Jesus promised that all who follow Him in faithful obedience, will suffer. (2Tim. 3:12) Does that mean we’ll experience troubles and hurt along the way? Yes. But God’s grace will comfort and love us through. Paul didn’t want the Ephesians to feel sorry for the tribulations he endured. Because he was being used in a way greater than he could ever imagine. If we let Him, God will us too in great ways. And the rewards awaiting our obedience, far outweigh any troubles we experience in the Lord’s name!

 

September 14th – Galatians 1:8

Galatians 1:8

Paul tells us to fear those who teach a false gospel because they are accursed and their message leads to death. Whether it’s an ear tickling gospel, a prosperity gospel, or a works based gospel, if it doesn’t line up with God’s gospel, it’s a false gospel. False gospels keep us chained to rules and laws. They lead to destruction by telling us there are many roads to God. And false gospels tell us that through our own efforts we can earn everlasting life. But the one true gospel of Jesus Christ gives us freedom and joy, not bondage and despair. It wipes clean our record, declaring us innocent and blameless. As fallen people with fallen hearts, we cannot fathom such a pure, perfect, and unconditional love as God’s. A love whose height knows no limits, and whose depth knows no end. And most wonderful of all, a love not earned but offered freely to everyone who receives Jesus as their Savior. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ. And this is the one and only true gospel!

 

September 13th – Acts 23:11

Acts 23:11

Facing a crowd demanding his death Paul, appealed to have his case heard in Rome before Caesar. Not in an attempt to save his life, but to fulfill the will of the Lord. Paul’s request would indeed get him to Rome. But the passage there thrust him straight into a raging storm so full of fury, if not for God, the life of Paul and all with him would have been lost. Have you ever faced such a storm? As believers in Christ no matter what we face, we are never called to go it alone. Especially when we set out to do God’s will. Because He is with us every step of the way. For as God told Joshua, “Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9) By first seeking the Lord and trusting in His perfect will, we can weather any storm. His Word is a mighty ship so strong, no roaring wind can blow off course. And when we walk in complete obedience to Him, like Paul we too can trust in God’s promise to bring us through any storm and safely to shore.