Category Archives: Devotion

Christian Maturity

TODAY’S VERSE
It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God has a vested interest in our maturity. He has saved us from the penalty of our sins and has set us apart for His service. He is involved in our lives, protecting, encouraging, teaching and guiding us. He has given us apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to prepare us for His service with the ultimate goal of becoming “mature, attaining the fullness of Christ”. But will we follow? Will we listen? Will we do what it takes to mature in Christ? In his book, “Living From The Heart Jesus Gave You”, Dr. James Wilder suggests that we have a role to play in our maturity in Christ. He writes, “Now the job of maturity is quite another matter. While God is certainly instrumental in guiding and blessing our maturation, it is our job, bestowed upon us way back in the garden, to mature. Maturity is not a spiritual gift nor is it a by-product of salvation. It is something we as Christians must work on our entire lives.” So what are you doing to mature in Christ? Are you feeding your soul on the word of God? Are you learning from teachers and preachers? Are you in fellowship with other Christians who hold you accountable for your growth in Christ? Are you spending time with God in prayer and meditation? Today, take some steps to mature in your spiritual life with Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me mature in You. Help me seek You more, know You more and love You more. Help me today, and every day, to do something that will help me mature in You.
AMEN

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Listen To God

TODAY’S VERSE
I am the LORD your God. – But you have not listened to me.
Judges 6:10 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
You would think if God spoke, people would listen and obey. But do we? How many times have we turned our back on what His word says? How many times have we ignored the conviction of the Holy Spirit? How many times have we bent the meaning of the Scriptures into our own will? There are dedication and discipline needed in listening to God. There is a passion tempered with a conviction that results in obeying what we hear. Part of listening is repenting when we know we have ignored Him. Part of listening is remembering the past and trusting Him with the present. However, the most important part of listening is spending time with God. Reading His word, meditating on what it says and communing with God is the best way to keep our hearts ready to hear Him. Might our prayer be like that of Samuel, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for speaking to me so many times. Forgive me for the times I did not listen. Help me to seek Your wisdom. Help me to read Your word and to meditate on it. Most of all, might the prayer of my heart be “Speak, Lord, Your servant is listening.”
AMEN

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Surrender

TODAY’S VERSE
Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God.
Romans 6:12-13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes we emphasize the wrong thing. We try to stop the darkness instead of turning on the light. We punish negative behavior and never reward what is done right. We save our money so tightly that we don’t spend money on great opportunities that come our way. It seems that Paul was going to do the same thing. He writes, “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin.” Now how hard is that? How joyful will that experience be? Don’t get me wrong, Paul is completely right! We must watch sin in our life. We dare not get loose with our lives and live out sinful whims. But there is a better way. Paul finishes his thoughts by saying, “Instead, give yourselves completely to God.” How much better is that? There is real wisdom here, a real balance. If we give our self completely to God, will He not help us with the sin issue? Won’t the Holy Spirit guide us and direct us toward a righteous life? It is like the old saying, “Love God and do as you please.” If we truly love God we will only do what honors Him. So today, let’s combat sin in our lives in a different way. Let’s resist sin by giving our self and everything we do and think today, completely to God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You today and surrender to Your control. Guide me, direct me, help me live the way You want me to. I give myself completely to You.
AMEN

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God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence, his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or because you trust him to do them in you? Galatians 3:5 (The THOUGHT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How is it we come humbly to Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and then later think that we have to earn His favor? Paul reminds us that Christ has lavishly provided us with His own presence and works things out in our lives that we could never do by ourselves. And He does it because He wants to! We live under the grace of God. We live because He has given us everything we need for the Godliness He requires. God has already changed us into His likeness. His Holy Spirit has given us His Spiritual DNA. All we have to do is grow in Him. Today, accept the fact that when you received Christ as your Savior, He became alive in your heart and there is nothing else you have to do to make that a reality. It already is. All you need to do now is to love and trust Him. Accept His deep, deep love for you and completely trust the fact that you are His child and He is pleased with you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the reality of Your love. Thank You that I can live in the full knowledge that there isn’t anything I need to do or could do to get You to love me anymore than You do right now. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Seek Him First

TODAY’S VERSE
But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (NASB)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It’s easy for us to assume what God’s will is instead of asking Him for it. The truth is that God’s ways are not always our ways. Jesus said to seek His kingdom and righteousness before anything else. So if we want to live out God’s will in our life, then we must seek God first. A quarterback has the same goal as his coach. They both want to win the game. But the Coach is better versed in the game. He has more experience and a more comprehensive view of the whole game. If the quarterback is going to do his best, he needs to work in harmony with the coach. How much more should we align our behavior and attitudes with God Almighty? A hurtful situation, a wayward son, a sudden illness, a loss of a job. Life has many twists and turns. When they come, stop and seek God. Let Him know your thoughts, your apprehensions, your fears, and frustrations. Come to Him, seek Him first and He will direct your path.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I confess that I do “my own thing” so many times. I do not take the time to know your will. I just assume that what I am doing is the “right” thing. Forgive me. Help me to stop when I am tempted to run in a certain direction. Help me to seek You first.
AMEN

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Really Knowing God

TODAY’S VERSE
I know the greatness of the Lord.
Psalms 135:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried to describe the Grand Canyon to someone who hasn’t been there? Pictures help. Your descriptions can get them excited. However, nothing can beat being there. Until they stand on one of the rims and look across the grand expanse for themselves, they will not know its majesty. It is the same way with today’s passage. David writes, “I know the greatness of the Lord.” This was a first-hand, observational knowledge. He knew the greatest of the Lord because He had seen the Lord in action. This was experiential knowledge. He knew the greatness of the Lord because he spent quiet time with Him. This was relational knowledge. David knew the Lord! Because of this, he stepped out in faith trusting God for all his needs. Today, don’t just settle for head knowledge about God. Stop and know the greatness of the Lord!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to know You. Help me know Your greatness. Might Your Holy Spirit lead me into a deeper knowledge of You.
AMEN

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Joy and Quiet

TODAY’S VERSE
I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Yes, like a small child is my soul within me.
Psalms 131:2 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever seen the behavior of a mother and infant? They go through a rhythm of joy and quiet. The mother is happy to be with the baby and the baby is joyful in return. Laughter and a lot of love are exchanged. Next, the baby will quiet itself and just want to rest. This is especially true after nursing. The joy bond between the mother and child is followed by quiet. A deep, serene trust is built. This is the way God prepares us for life. He knows that, in this world, we need joy and quiet. David knew this too. David purposely stilled himself to a place of quietness where he could enjoy and be nourished by the fellowship of God. He knew that peace, hope, courage, and strength all came from the love bond He had with His Heavenly Father. This loving bond was the result of times of joy and quiet in God’s presence. We need to do the same. God offers us peace that passes all understanding. He gives rest to those that He loves. He asks us to be still so we can know that He is God. Today put aside some time and quiet yourself before God. Be at peace, resting in His love for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You today and desire a sacred time of quietness before You. I need Your peace. I need to be assured of Your love. I desire to experience Your quiet presence. As I come before You, like a child resting in their mother’s love, I ask You to please quiet my heart and fill me with your joy, love, and peace. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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