Devotions

The People of God

Today’s Verse: And they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. ~Revelation 21:3b The Bible declares in Philippians 3:20 that we are citizens of Heaven. This citizenship is attained through the New Birth, when a sinner repents of his sin and, by faith, accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. Citizenship has many privileges. One of these privileges is that we are the people of a heavenly country. Abraham looked for a country whose Builder and Maker is God. We are the people of Heaven. Even more so is the fact that we are the people of God. We see a people who have been bought. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which t

Water from the Well of Bethlehem

Today’s Verse: And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the LORD. ~1 Chronicles 11:18 Well water was an important and necessary component of life in the arid Middle East during the days of the patriarchs and David. Finding well water meant that you had a great location for herds of cattle, flocks of sheep, irrigating crops, raising your family, and building a city. Bethlehem was at one time a stronghold of the Philistines. David tasted the water from the well of Bethlehem. While he was in hold in the cave of Adullam, h

The Attitude of Gratitude

Today’s Verse: And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. ~Colossians 3:15 A family assembled around the table to eat. The father looked around as his family looked at the youngest member of the family, who was only four years old. “Son, what are you thankful for?” He looked at the sumptuous spread on the table. He said, “I’m thankful that I’m not that turkey!” Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. While turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce are a traditional part of this time of the year, we must not overlook that it is about giving thanks to God. This morning, let us see the attitude of gratitude. We see a mandate. P

He Cares for You

Today’s Verse: And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? ~Mark 4:38 One of the great promises of the Bible is found in 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you.” Peter and the other disciples were on that little ship going to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. They encountered a storm that was so violent that the water filled the little ship, and they felt like they were going to sink and perish. There was an incredible amount of fear in the hearts of these twelve new disciples. Out of fear for their lives, they came abruptly to Him and rudely asked, “Master, cares

Contest Rules

Today’s Verse: And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully. ~2 Timothy 2:5 Whenever we enter a contest, the judges will always make sure we know what the rules are. Rules are the boundaries and guidelines we must follow to stay in the contest. When the rules are broken, we disqualify ourselves from continuing. Paul uses the metaphor of a runner running to win a long-distance race. He said that the runner cannot be crowned as a winner except he engages in the race lawfully, or according to the rules. Let us see the rules for being a winner. Rule #1 is that we must be compliant. Paul told Timothy, “The things that thou hast heard of me…” and, “Consi

Strength Training

Today’s Verse: Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. ~2 Timothy 2:1 Strength training is a necessity for keeping the muscles in our arms, legs, and torso strong. Aging and inactivity cause us to lose muscle mass, make us weaker, and, over time, make us susceptible to injury and lack of energy. In the spiritual realm, it is vitally important that we are strength training in our Lord. Paul told Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. God’s grace is His strength made perfect in our weakness. Grace is the gift of God to us for and through salvation. Grace is developed in us through service, suffering, and supplication. It is the outflow of a c

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

Today’s Verse: And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. ~Luke 11:1 Have you ever thought about what it must have been like to hear Jesus pray? I imagine that the disciples knew that they were in the presence of the Lord. I think that they must have felt so inadequate and helpless as they heard Jesus pray. Thus, after a certain season, when Jesus ceased praying, they asked Him to teach them to pray. They humbled themselves and asked Him to teach them how to pray effectively. How did Jesus teach them to pray? He taught them by example. The best teaching is alwa

Will You Be My Neighbor?

Today’s Verse: But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, ~Luke 10:33 One of the more-beloved and favorite family syndicated programs that used to be on public broadcasting was “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” He had a favorite song that he sang, entitled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” We think of a neighbor as being the person that lives next door to us. The word used by Jesus means any person we meet by chance. It is anyone God places across our path whom we have the opportunity to demonstrate compassion, help, mercy, and pity towards. Jesus describes to us the essence of neighborly compassion. We see the motion. A man making a journ

A Breath of Fresh Air

Today’s Verse: The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: ~2 Timothy 1:16 Paul was at the lowest point of his ministry. He was imprisoned in the infamous Mamertine prison, awaiting execution. Everyone in Asia turned away from him. He was despised, misjudged, and abandoned. He was considered Public Enemy #1 by the Romans and Jews. Other Christians were afraid to be found associated with him. It was at his lowest point that Paul refers to a friend who encouraged him. This friend was Onesiphorus. Paul said, “For he oft refreshed me….” Another way of describing his friend is that he was a breath of fresh air to Paul. We see a frie

What Makes Jesus Happy

Today’s Verse: In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. ~Luke 10:21 As Christians, we stress the importance of pleasing God, glorifying Him in body and spirit, and honoring Him in our worship. In our devotion this morning, we see Jesus rejoicing in spirit. The word “rejoice” means “to be exceeding glad.” Let us see, this morning, what makes Jesus happy. We see the submissive. “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city

Good Family Genes

Today’s Verse: And their brethren among all the families of Issachar were valiant men of might, reckoned in all by their genealogies fourscore and seven thousand. ~1 Chronicles 7:5 How familiar are you with your family genes? In my family genetic history, nearsightedness, lean body mass, and elevated cholesterol are common. Family genes are traits that we pass down to each generation. This morning, we are looking at the families of Issachar. We see three strong and good “spiritually-genetic traits” about their men. We see men who were involved. “And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there

Faith Forward

Today’s Verse: And the LORD said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: ~Exodus 14:15 There are four directions we can possibly go in. Backwards is when we go in reverse and are regressing. Sideways is when we leave the right path and are on the shoulder of the road, making no progress. Upwards is when we are going up to a desired goal. Forward is when we are advancing and also heading to a desired goal. Faith in practice should always be forward. That’s what God told Moses to lead Israel to do. He told them, “Go forward.” Let us see the importance of faith forward. We must go faith forward with our Captain. A captain is a leader.

Failure is Not Fatal

Today’s Verse: For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:) ~1 Chronicles 5:2 Judah was the fourth son of Jacob. His name means “praise.” However, there was a time in his life when there was nothing praiseworthy about him. Over time, Judah rose out of the ashes of his failures and demonstrated that failure is not fatal. Judah is commended by his father in Genesis 49 and by the writer of 1 Chronicles 5. Let us see how Judah prevailed above his brethren. We see Judah and his sins. In the first two mentions of his adulthood, Judah had a nefarious character. The first sin we see is the dark stain he brought into his life by having an

Strangers and Pilgrims

Today’s Verse: Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; ~1 Peter 2:11 Peter wrote this epistle to believers whose lives were uprooted by persecution. They had to leave their places of comfort and relocate to new areas, where they could find safety from persecution and suffering. They went from having stability to instability. They could not stay in any one place very long because of the intense pressures of being identified with the Christian faith. Peter called them strangers and pilgrims. Those names signify what we are in this world: strangers and pilgrims. We see our reside. The moment we are saved, we have changed o

The Death of Death

Today’s Verse: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: ~2 Timothy 1:10 I have read the following humorous conversation between a doctor and his patient: Doctor: “I have bad news and worse news.” Patient: “So let’s have it.” Doctor: “The bad news is that you only have 24 hours to live.” Patient: “I can’t imagine what could be worse than that!” Doctor: “I forgot to tell you yesterday.” Kidding aside, there is a grimness and, perhaps, overwhelming anxiety for most people when it comes to death. Death is the end of life. It is the separation of the soul from the body. It is

Do Not Trespass

Today’s Verse: Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession. ~Deuteronomy 2:5 A “No Trespassing” sign in West Texas, with the rancher’s name signed in blood red next to the warning, read: “STOP. I know you’re thinking about crossing this gate. What you should know is that if the Coyotes, Cactus, Mesquite, Heat, Dust, or Rattlers don’t get you, I will.” “No Trespassing” signs are meant to dissuade someone from passing through land or property that is owned by someone else. It is for the mutual protection of the owner and the other person. In our devotion this morning, the nation of Is

The Real Deal

Today’s Verse: When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also. ~2 Timothy 1:5 Iron pyrite is a mineral also known as “fool’s gold.” It looks like real gold, but, constitutionally, it is not. For someone who is not discerning, they can wind up buying the lie that iron pyrite is real gold. Paul referred to an outstanding virtue about Timothy. He said that Timothy possessed an unfeigned faith. Unfeigned means “not hypocritical” or “not fake.” Timothy had a faith that was real and genuine. We see the characteristic. First, unfeigned faith has a good conscience before God and ma

As Good as New

Today’s Verse: He restoreth my soul: ~Psalm 23:3a The word “restore” is defined as “to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition.” It also means “to bring back into existence, use, or like; to reestablish.” David said, “He restoreth my soul.” David testified of how the Lord, as our Great Shepherd, can make a weary, worn, and wasted soul as good as new again. We see the rundown. David was at a place in his spiritual life where he was anxious, depleted, empty, powerless, and wasted. He knew that his spiritual life was at rock bottom. He was a run-down soul. We can get that way when there is sin in our life. We can get that way when we are sidetracked in life. We can get that way wh

I Will Not Bow

Today’s Verse: Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. ~1 Kings 19:18 There is an old cliché that says, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” This statement has always been an encouragement to compromise to convenience. Whenever there is compromise, something important is given up for convenience. Compromise is when we change our belief to make it fit what others do or want. Someone who really believes in something will have the conviction that he will hold tight to that conviction, even if it means his death. This morning, we see the Lord’s statement to Elijah that he was not the only one taking a s

Step On It!

Today’s Verse: But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. ~Psalm 68:21 In ancient Bible times, conquering kings would take the defeated king and his generals, he make them lie down on their faces, and then he would place his foot on their necks. This publicly represented a defeated foe. It told everyone that the enemy has been conquered, defeated, and done away with. We see the defeat of the devil. “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). When Jesus died on the cross and

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