Thursday, October 1, 2015

Signing Off

Since this blog gets so few hits, in the future, I plan to just use it as an archive, rather than adding to it.

For the daily devotionals, go to

For my new posts, go to where I will periodically refer to this blog for the archived posts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Our Quiet Communication

Today’s scripture reading:

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”

James 2:14-18

Today’s devotional:

The Lord calls us to share His truth with others, but oftentimes our actions and attitude completely contradict the words that are coming out of our mouths. This is an area in which we all seem to struggle.

Every day, every one of us communicates something to someone. We send messages by what we say and by what we don’t say, by what we do and by what we don’t do.

For example, if a father quietly decides to stop tithing, he is sending a loud message to his children. Without ever opening his mouth, he is declaring, “Kids, you can’t trust the Lord with your money. God isn’t faithful to meet your needs, so you better hold on to as much as you possibly can.” Is that the message you want to pass on to your sons and daughters?

You might argue, “Well, I’m not really a tither, but I would never tell my kids that you can’t trust God.” However, you have already sent an unspoken yet very clear message. What people—especially children—witness in our behavior speaks much louder than what we actually say with our mouths.

The apostle Paul understood what powerful lessons we teach by our actions. For this reason, he made sure he modeled the right behavior and values for his spiritual children to emulate (“For you know that you ought to imitate us. We were not idle when we were with you. We never accepted food from anyone without paying for it. We worked hard day and night so we would not be a burden to any of you. We certainly had the right to ask you to feed us, but we wanted to give you an example to follow.” 2 Thess. 3:7-9).

It is not an issue of whether or not we will communicate a message. Rather, the issue is, What kind of message are you already communicating? Search yourself for any disparity between what you say and what you do, and choose to share a complete, unified message of hope with the world.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Purpose of Spiritual Highs

Today’s scripture reading:

It was by faith that Abraham offered Isaac as a sacrifice when God was testing him. Abraham, who had received God’s promises, was ready to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, even though God had told him, “Isaac is the son through whom your descendants will be counted.”c eferences for Hebrews 11:18 Abraham reasoned that if Isaac died, God was able to bring him back to life again. And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead.

Hebrews 11:17-19

Today’s devotional:

The Lord doesn’t offer us tremendous spiritual experiences simply so we may boast or witness something marvelous. Instead, He uses them to foster genuine faith. They are part of His unique process for maturing us as disciples of Jesus.

God gives us spiritual highs for several reasons: to unveil Himself in a fresh way, to prepare us for the valley, and ultimately to teach us obedience. The lessons we learn from Him in those special moments of peak revelation are intended to carry us through harder times. Then we can look back and remember what He taught on the mountaintop.

But this means that when the Lord gives us a glimpse of glory, we can expect to be tried later. If we fail, He’ll test us again. And He will keep testing until the trials become triumphs in our life. Every pupil must be put to the test, and those who obey bring honor to God’s name.

An exceptional spiritual encounter with Jesus Christ is intended to encourage our growth, deepen our intimacy with God, and develop obedience. It is also designed to enhance our motivation to serve the Lord with all our heart, giving ourselves without reservation for His work and His glory.

Treasure each and every thing God teaches you in your prayer closet—during times of profound worship, in a moment of deep devotion, or when you’re all alone, listening and intimately conversing with Him. Every moment of your life is ripe for growth and spiritual maturity. If you let the Lord shape you and lead you on the path of obedience, He’ll take you to even greater heights.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Spiritual Highs: Real or Counterfeit?

Today’s scripture reading:

Luke 9:28-37

Today’s devotional:

God gives us high spiritual experiences in order to reveal truth about Himself. But how do you know if your experience is authentic or not? Any spiritual event that magnifies itself or some other activity but does not direct your attention to God is, more than likely, counterfeit. When God lifts us up, He does so to focus our thoughts on Him.

That’s what happened at the Mount of Transfiguration: As they stood in the presence of God in human flesh, Peter, James, and John saw Jesus in all His majesty. Observing Him there with Moses and Elijah, who were deceased, the disciples realized there is life after death. The things they learned frightened them, but the Lord was revealing something they would never forget.

Why does God open our hearts and give us glimpses of Himself? By doing so, He strengthens and motivates us for His purposes. At the same time, He helps us to absorb understanding that will transcend any future doubt. Peter and his companions were never the same after the transfiguration. Even when their beloved Lord was taken and crucified, nothing could erase their indelible memories of the miracle they’d witnessed.

The idea that God is somewhere far away from us isn’t scriptural. He wants to unveil Himself to His people and commune through His Holy Spirit. If you have never heard God speak, could it be that there is too much noise in your life distracting you from Him? Next time you are in church, don’t simply go through the motions. God wants to say something to you that will make a difference in your life. If you listen to Him, He will.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Jesus Christ, the Son of God

From the CANON on this blog:

Salvation Verses

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Today’s scripture reading:

The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.

John 20:30-31

Today’s devotional:

Have you ever heard someone deny that Jesus claimed to be God? Such a statement simply does not make sense. Repeatedly, Jesus placed Himself on equal footing with the Father and the Holy Spirit (John 10:30; John 14:6-14). Scripture gives us a clear picture of Jesus’ eternal, intimate relationship with the heavenly Father.

Why is it important for us to believe this? Because Jesus did something that had never been done before: He enabled men and women to see God in a new way. In Colossians 1:15, Paul explains that Jesus is the “image of the invisible God.” No one has ever looked upon the face of the Almighty. In the Old Testament, some people were confronted with God, but they were never able to look fully upon His glory. In fact, even Moses, who is called a friend of God (Ex. 33:11), could not look directly at Him. At best, Moses had the opportunity to look upon God’s back as He passed by, but never saw His face (Ex. 33:18-23).

The reason Jesus came, however, was to bridge the gap between God’s glory and mankind’s sinful nature. In the original Greek text, the word for “image” is directly related to the English word icon. Just as an icon on your computer screen directs you to the main program, Jesus directs believers to the fullness of God’s glory. As the “icon,” Jesus is the exact, flawless replica of God. Therefore, Jesus could say, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Finding Contentment

Today’s scripture reading:

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.

John 14:1

Today’s devotional:

Too often we let our circumstances determine our attitude. If life is going smoothly, then we feel good about ourselves. But when it gets hard, our mood drops. However, we don’t have to live this way. Like the apostle Paul, we can learn and practice the secret of being content.

Contentment means accepting things the way they are—in other words, not wanting anything to be more or different. This requires developing an “I can through Christ” attitude. It means learning to allow God’s power to come into our weakness so we can accept and adapt to changing circumstances. When we respond to life with that kind of thinking, we move beyond living by feelings to living by faith (“For we live by believing and not by seeing.” 2 Corinthians 5:7). Submission and trust are needed for such a lifestyle. First, we must surrender our will to God’s: In every situation, we are to yield what we want and then accept whatever He allows. Our desire to control events is replaced by reliance on Him. This option becomes more appealing when we realize that the alternative—fighting against our circumstances—brings anxiety and distress. The second step is to trust God to oversee our specific situation. If we believe He is working out His perfect plan for us, then we will experience the joy that comes from trusting Him. Contentment will be ours.

Paul submitted his life to God and trusted Him. He faced insults, rejection, and many difficult trials but was still content. When we surrender control to the Lord and believe He has our best interest at heart, we will experience contentment, too. Who has control in your life?

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Secret of Contentment

Today’s scripture reading:

How I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ,d who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:10-13

Today’s devotional:

After encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus, Paul had much to learn about salvation and following Christ. From that moment on, the apostle shared with others what he was discovering. In his letter to the church at Philippi, he wrote about an important life lesson—the secret of being content.

What kind of life do you think brings contentment? You might assume it’s one with few troubles or great success. You may want good health, financial security, and a loving family. Paul’s life was not at all like this. He was in danger from both his own countrymen and the opposition (2 Corinthians 11:23-26). Sometimes the people listened when he spoke, but more often they were hostile to his message. He also had a “thorn in the flesh,” which God refused to remove (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). What’s more, Paul spent considerable time in prison, chained to a guard. Yet he boldly wrote, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation” (Phil. 4:12 NIV).

The secret he discovered was to live on the basis of his position in the Lord, not his circumstances. As God’s child, Paul knew he was spiritually rich—“blessed . . . with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3)—because he had a loving Father and the Holy Spirit to guide him.

Contentment in our media-driven age is hard to find and harder to keep. There’s always something newer, bigger, or better to buy and someone else who has what you want. When you feel unsatisfied, try basing your response on your position as a fellow heir with Christ (Rom. 8:17) rather than feelings.