Devotions

Finally…

Today’s Verse: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. ~Ephesians 6:10 The word “finally” is used when giving a final and closing word of counsel at the end of a message, sermon, or speech. It is a finishing touch and a closing word of encouragement. Our devotion this morning is Paul’s encouragement for a New Year. We see the exclusive audience. “Finally, my brethren….” This was written to the believers at the church of Ephesus. It was written to believers who experienced the pain and defeat in spiritual warfare. These were believers he loved and did not want to see fail. This message is written to Christians. We are in the same spiritual war, battling the

Safety First

Today’s Verse: Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe. ~Philippians 3:1 Over the years, I have had the privilege of touring the worksites of several leading manufacturing, processing, or mechanical companies. These tours give a firsthand look at how products are developed or processed. Before each tour, the guide gave a “safety first” instruction that included hard hats, protective clothing, what to do, and what not to do. “Safety first” emphasizes safe practices that keep us from harm and injury. Paul gave a “safety first” instruction to the church at Philippi. We must be vigilant against robbers. “Bew

Are You Ready?

Today’s Verse: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. ~2 Timothy 4:6 Are you ready for the New Year? Most of us are in amazement of how quickly time has gone by this year. While we are thankful for accomplishments and new milestones, it feels like the year passed very quickly. Even with New Year planning that we may have been doing over the last few weeks, we might feel unprepared for the New Year. Paul told Timothy, “I am now ready.” As we prepare for the New Year, let us consider some important areas we must be ready in. We should be ready to preach. “So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also” (Romans 1:15). Pa

Is There Not a Cause?

Today’s Verse And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? ~ 1 Samuel 17:29 A preacher sat on an airplane, many years ago, and realized that seated next to him was the famous basketball coach of a major East Coast university. In fact, this coach had the most winning seasons of his day. The preacher asked the coach what he was planning to do after he retired. The coach sadly said, “I think I will just pack up my things and die.” This coach had lost his desire and purpose in life. David asked, “Is there not a cause?” Let us see the importance of having a cause. We see the identification. A cause is something that we are very passionate about. It is something that we live and bre

Find Us Faithful

Today’s Verse: I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? ~Luke 18:8 One of the most sobering realities is being found unprepared for the unannounced visit of someone very important. There is the embarrassment that we were unprepared. There are the regrets of being unprepared. We regret that we were not ready. We regret that we were not more diligent. Our Lord Jesus asked the question, “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Will He find us faithful? We must be faithful in our walk. Jesus said that men ought always to pray and not to faint. Praying is a chief means by which we walk with God.

Astronomy

Today’s Verse: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. ~Matthew 2:1-2 Astronomy is the study of the galaxy and universe. When we look up at the sky in the evening, we are at times in awe and wonder of the sun, the planets, the stars, the constellations, and the vastness of all of this. Stars, specifically, are mentioned 65 times in Scripture. They are the creation of God. Paul speaks of the glory of the stars and how each star differs in glory. Our Lord Jesus had a star that led an

Apellation

Today’s Verse: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. ~Isaiah 9:6 Today, we celebrate Christmas around the world! We celebrate our Saviour’s entrance into this world for the main purpose of giving His life sacrificially for the sins of the world. The angel announced to shepherds watching their flock by night, “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 7:14 that Jesus would be born of a virgin and His name would be called Immanuel, God with us. When Is

Arrival

Today’s Verse: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ~Luke 2:7 Online shopping has become such a convenient means of shopping for something you need instead of going to the store, waiting in line, and hassling with the crowds. The leading companies in online shopping give you free shipping if you spend a minimum amount of money. They give you the ability to track the shipment of your package. When it has been delivered, they send you a message that tells you, “Your package has arrived.” When Jesus entered our world, God’s gift had arrived. Let us see the glory in the arrival of o

Awaiting

Today’s Verse: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) ~Luke 2:4 Has anyone ever told you “let’s just wait and see”? When things are out of our control, we have to let go of our anxiety and wait. The days leading to Jesus arrival was a time of waiting and seeing. Let us see how waiting and seeing is God’s way of teaching us faith, trust and dependence. There’s the wait and see of the multitudes. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined” Isa. 9:2. Fo

One Anna

Today’s Verse: And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; ~Luke 2:36 Have you ever fathomed that there is only of you? There may be others with the same name, but there is only one of you. You are unique and set apart for the glory of God. God has a different journey for each of us as we walk this life of faith. However, God demonstrates His faithfulness and love to us. We see in Luke 2:36 that there was one Anna. Anna means “grace.” Her father’s name means “the face of God.” Let us see God’s grace at work in the life of Anna. We see her despair. We are told that An

Waiting

Today’s Verse: And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. ~ Luke 2:25 Simeon is one of several people who are mentioned during the time of Jesus’ incarnate arrival as an infant Baby. Simeon is not thought of by most people. However, he is a man that was well thought of by God and is given a prominent, one-time mention in Luke 2:25-35. Simeon’s name means “to hearken,” or “having heard.” Romans 10:17 teaches us that “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Simeon is a demonstrative model. Simeon is a model of saving faith. He is referred to as

Announcement: "What am I Supposed to Do?"

Today’s Verse: But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. ~Matthew 1:20 Have you ever been at a place in your life where you were so overwhelmed that you weren’t sure what to do? That was the question that was on Joseph’s mind. Matthew 1:20 tells us that “while he thought on these things….” He was in deep concentration as he considered the question: What am I supposed to do? We see a personal distress. Mary told Joseph that she was with child by the Holy Spirit. This sounded farfetched to Joseph. In his he

Announcement: It's a Boy!

Today’s Verse: And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. ~Luke 1:35 Back in the days before medical technology could determine the gender of the baby, expectant parents had the suspense of waiting until the baby was born. There was something very exhilarating to hear from the OBGYN or the head nurse “It’s a boy,” or, “It’s a girl.” Let us see, this morning, the excitement that filled Mary’s heart when she heard, “It’s a boy!” We see the inspired messenger. “And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that

Angel

Today’s Verse: And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, ~Luke 1:26 I am thankful for the angels of God. God has angels that protect us (Psalm 34:7). God has His angels that He sends to lead us (Exodus 23:20). God has His angels that He sends to open doors we cannot open (Acts 5:19). Angels are created spirit-beings who are also ministers of flames of fire. They worship God through singing and glorifying His holiness. They are mighty in power but subject unto Christ. They are also God’s messengers. They are called God’s sent ones. Angels had a significant role in the birth of Christ. This morning, we are studying one prominent angel wh

Ancestors, Part 2

Today’s Verse: The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. ~Matthew 1:1 Yesterday, we considered four women ancestors of our Lord Jesus that were referred to in His genealogy. This morning, we want to consider men who are profound ancestors. It is important that Jesus could trace His earthly lineage back to these men in order to validate His authority and authenticity. We see the Hebrew connection of our Saviour through Abraham. Matthew begins his gospel by demonstrating our Lord’s Hebrew lineage. He is called “the son of Abraham.” Abraham is the father of the Hebrew race. Abraham’s descendants included Isaac, Jacob, and Judah. Genesis 49:10 tells us our

Ancestors

Today’s Verse: …Of Thamar… of Rachab… of Ruth… of Urias…. ~Matthew 1:3, 5, 6 For the next several days, our devotions will examine the various aspects and people involved in the birth in our Lord Jesus Christ. We must give careful attention to the various details as we see how each of these is a blessing and help to us. This morning, let us see four women ancestors who were listed in His genealogy. These four women speak to us about the greatness of God in bringing Jesus into this world. Taken together, these four women present to us the gospel plan of salvation. We see Tamar, who is a picture of sin. Tamar’s story is recorded in Genesis 38. This chapter of Scripture pictures the depths of d

Fire in the Bones

Today’s Verse: Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. ~Jeremiah 20:9 Have you ever experienced a burning sensation in your bones, body, or organs? If you have, you have felt very uncomfortable and restless. Jeremiah was at a very low point in his life. However, he was greatly victorious at a time when he felt that he couldn’t go on. Let us see what it means to have a fire burning in your bones. We see the rejection. “Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was

Avoid This At All Cost

Today’s Verse: He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief. ~Proverbs 17:20 Have you ever read the warning that tells you to avoid this at all cost? It might typically be written in large, bold letters to make sure you see it. Our Scripture this morning is a warning to us that we must avoid at all cost. We see the danger and damage inflicted by a critical spirit. We see the cause. The root cause of a critical spirit is our heart. Our heart is desperately wicked. Evil thoughts come from our heart. “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” The presence of a critical spirit is reflected in constant criticism and complainin

When the Heaven's Bell Ring

Today’s Verse: I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. ~Luke 15:7 Heaven is a kingdom of perpetual happiness and rejoicing. There is rejoicing because our Lord is worshipped continuously. There is rejoicing because there is no sin in Heaven. It is a place of literal, eternal bliss. It is a place of rejoicing every time a sinner repents of his sin and, by faith, accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. This morning, let us examine when Heaven’s bells ring. We see the scorn. A number of publicans and sinners drew near to hear Jesus preach. These were people that the religious el

The Rescue of Jonathan

Today’s Verse: And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not. ~1 Samuel 14:45 Have you ever been the victim of another person’s failures or bad judgment? If this has happened, you know that it can set you back for a long time. In almost any setting, you become the scapegoat for the other person’s failure and risk people losing confidence in you. This morning, let us see a spiritual leadership lesson that involved the life of Jonathan. Let us see how a godly and con

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