Devotions

A Prophet in the Making

Today’s Verse: And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground. ~1 Samuel 3:19 Great things happen early in childhood. Paul told Timothy, “From a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” A child prodigy is a child who is recognized as being exceptionally talented because of talent or IQ. Samuel was exceptional because, as a child, he had a great heart for God. He was greater than a prodigy because he was a prophet in the making. We see a servant. “And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; t

Seest Thou This Woman?

Today’s Verse: And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. ~Luke 7:44 How would you feel if you were invited to someone’s house for a meal but you were disrespected, ignored, and set up for accusation? I think all of us would feel awkward, insulted, and angry with our host. Jesus was invited to the home of a Pharisee for dinner, and in the course of being there, a woman came to demonstrate the importance of showing her love for Jesus. We see the profane. A woman who was called a sinner heard that Jesus was invited to t

Not Worthy

Today’s Verse: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. ~Luke 7:7 What do you consider to be your worth? We associate a value to worth. For instance, our world is possessed with knowing our net worth. We think of benefit, cost, meaningfulness, and usefulness with worth. The idea of a zero or a negative worth has the connotation of worthlessness. This morning, we are touched by the life of a man who said, “I am not worthy.” We see his status. This man was a centurion. He was reputable. He was a leader among Roman soldiers. He had a minimum of 100 soldiers under his command. He was a rich man. He loved the Jewish people and

A King's Ransom

Today’s Verse: I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. ~Hosea 13:14 In 1193, the English King Richard I, also known as Richard the Lionheart, was returning from leading a crusade to the Holy Land. As he returned through Europe, Leopold V captured him in Austria. The Roman emperor demanded a ransom for Richard's release. The price was to be 150,000 marks, equal to three tons of silver. This was an enormous ransom demand. But the people of England so loved their king that they submitted to extra taxation, and many nobles donated their fortunes for R

The Beast Inside of Us

Today’s Verse: Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. ~Daniel 4:16 Nebuchadnezzar is recognized historically and biblically as one of the great world leaders and conquerors of the past. His military, political, and economic power was unchallenged during his lifetime. God brought Daniel into his life, and through Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar came to know the Lord. However, God had to deal with the beast that was within Nebuchadnezzar before this happened. This beast, which is the topic of today’s devotion, is the pride within each of us. We see the trait. “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have bui

Mordecai Bowed Not

Today’s Verse: And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence. ~Esther 3:2 We are seeing many new laws being passed and many others being proposed that strongly conflict with biblical values. Under Covid-19, the government has aggressively overreached into the freedom of worship and has mandated the shutdown of congregational worship and singing and has imposed size limitations on congregations. Laws have been passed that force Christian to accept lifestyle choices and standards that directly conflict with God’s Word. The state is telling us, “Bow, or you will

It Was Found Out

Today’s Verse: And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king. ~Esther 2:23 Sin is our willful disobedience against a holy and just God. Sin is defined as missing the mark, breaking God’s law, and going contrary to the direction that God has prescribed that we should follow. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. However, we don’t want our sin to be known. This morning, let us see how sin is found out. We see the device. “In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the d

Pure Religion

Today’s Verse: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. ~James 1:27 Religion, as used in the Bible, speaks of a man’s reverence and worship of God. In our general terminology, it refers to a man’s faith belief. Being religious implies that a man has a relationship with God, worships Him, and lives out his religion in accordance with the doctrines of his belief. The believers James wrote to needed a strong reminder that their religion had to be a good example of their faith belief in God. Let us see the importance of practicing pure religion and having a stellar testimon

To Do Good

Today’s Verse: Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? ~Luke 6:9 One of the dangers of being a Christian for a long time is that we can allow traditions and practices to interfere with good sense and cloud our practices. Well-meaning Christians can elevate days, events, and traditions over what glorifies God. This morning, let us be reminded of and stirred about the importance to do good. We see the disabled. “And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.” A man with a withered hand would be n

The Prayer for Surety

Today’s Verse: Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter: I did mourn as a dove: mine eyes fail with looking upward: O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. ~Isaiah 38:14 A debt is an obligation to repay money that we have borrowed. After we are approved for the desired loan, we sign off a promissory note to repay the loan over a certain number of months. In the event we default on the loan, the creditor has the right to take back the asset that we defaulted payment on or sue us for payment. Most of us are careful about going into debt. We should be even more concerned about having legal responsibility for another person’s debt. With this thought in mind, let us see the prayer for a sure

In Good Company

Today’s Verse: I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. ~Revelation 1:9 Have you ever told anyone who had experienced a tough situation, “You’re in good company”? This means you are doing the same thing the other person has done or is doing. It is an encouraging reminder to the other person that he is not alone in his trouble or ordeal. John used the phrase “companion in tribulation” to encourage suffering believers that they were in good company. If you are going through a season of difficulty, you are in good company. We

The Future is Now

Today’s Verse: Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. ~Revelation 1:3 The Book of Revelation is the prophecy our Lord has given to us about things which must shortly come to pass. It gives us an understanding of the coming events and judgments that God will exercise on Earth during the seven-year period of time we refer to as the Great Tribulation. We see God’s Word for this present church age, a view of Heaven, and the judgment of God. Our devotion this morning encourages us how to derive the most out of our reading and study of Revelation. We should not shy away from the many symbo

It's Good for Me

Today’s Verse: It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes. ~Psalm 119:71 I am an avid coffee drinker, especially good, aromatic coffees. There used to be reports citing that drinking coffee is bad for your health. In recent years, the medical reports are saying drinking coffee is good for you. I think all of us want what’s good for us. The psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” Let us see the good that is affliction. We see the carnality. The psalmist said, “I went astray.” This means he was living in sin and was far from God. He got that way from being careless about his spiritual life. He became negligent and haphazard about readin

An Oasis in the Desert

Today’s Verse: My beloved is unto me as a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi. ~Song of Solomon 1:14 I am not one particularly fond of deserts. Deserts are arid, hot, lacking in vegetation, and dangerous. Travelers through a desert are met with surprise when they come upon a large, flowing body of water surrounded by lush vegetation. We would call this an oasis in the desert. The phrase “a cluster of camphire in the vineyards of Engedi” encourages us that Jesus is an oasis when we have a desert experience in our life. We see the romance. We find that the verse in our devotion this morning is part of a romantic exchange between Solomon and the Shulamite woman. It is an encouraging

Sudden Fear

Today’s Verse: Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. ~Proverbs 3:25 As I write this devotion, the state of California has been in a lockdown of activities, gatherings, and certain types of assemblies due to the COVID pandemic. Although the current available metrics indicate that the overall risk of survival is high and the risk of contracting it is lower than previously projected, there is much apprehension and fear among many people. Our Scripture this morning addresses “sudden fear.” What do you do when sudden fear comes into your life? We see the essence. Sudden fear is an overwhelming fear that takes control of your emotions when an unexpe

Help, I've Been Robbed!

Today’s Verse: The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. ~Psalm 119:61 According to the FBI, there were 282,061 robberies in the United States in 2018. As a victim of a robbery, money or goods have been taken away from you. In some cases, violent robberies result in injury to the victim. The psalmist said that a company of wicked people robbed him. Let us see how he responded to the injustice that happened to him. We see the grief. When you’ve been robbed, something valuable is taken away. Satan is a thief and a robber. He enters through unlocked doors and windows to rob us of the joy, peace, love, and zeal that God gives us. He wants to steal marital bliss fr

More Than You Can Handle

Today’s Verse: Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. ~Luke 5:4 The first time I went deep-sea fishing was many years ago out on Monterey Bay with some professional colleagues. We spent the morning challenging one another to grow our businesses and lives, and then we went out about 30 minutes outside of the harbor. I dropped my fishing line as instructed, and within 45 minutes, I caught 8-10 varieties of good-sized codfish. I was very enthused about my day’s catch. When I got home with all this fileted fish under ice, my wife and I agreed that I caught more than we needed. Jesus teaches us a powerful principle of how

The Neglected Vineyard

Today’s Verse: ... They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept. ~Song of Solomon 1:6b Are you a busy person? Chances are, the combination of work, family, church, and other activities keeps you very active and busy. However, I think many of us struggle in trying to maintain work-life balance and not letting the responsibilities of our personal life go unaddressed or slip through the cracks. This morning, we see the heaviness of having an unkept vineyard and what we must do about it. We see the reasons. “They made me the keeper of the vineyards.” A vineyard represented a person’s livelihood. It was popular and economically useful to own a vineyard in ancien

Smoking Flax

Today’s Verse: ... And the smoking flax shall he not quench:... ~Isaiah 42:3b If you study the Bible very carefully, you will realize that it is rich in content on many daily, common subjects. Among the many things of interest are the many plant varieties that were used for food or fuel. Flax is a plant known for its fibrous composition. It has many nutritious qualities and is most famous for its seeds that are very good for digestive and heart health. The flax plant, when dried out, also served a useful purpose as a wick in ancient-day lamps. Let us see a very encouraging lesson about “the smoking flax shall he not quench.” We see the apparatus. A typical ancient lamp was made out of clay a

Strike While the Iron is Hot

Today’s Verse: Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him, ~Acts 13:9 "Strike while the iron is hot" is a phrase that means take advantage of an opportunity now while it is in front of you. It comes from the idea of a blacksmith who is shaping a piece of metal that has been heated until it is burning red. It is critical that the blacksmith strike, or pound, the metal into the desired shape while it is softened and pliable, or his opportunity will be lost. We see the priority. “And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus.” Saul and Barnabas were sent by the church

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