Daily Devotionals

The Frustrating Human Situation

The Frustrating Human Situation

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Rom. 7:15) THE LITTLE WHITE CHURCH STOOD ALONE in the middle of a field, next to a busy highway. One day the strangest thing happened. A semi veered off the highway, crashed...
Against All Odds

Against All Odds

We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. (Rom. 7:14) HAVE YOU EVER FACED AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK? There are a few annoying people who seem to be good at everything, but most of us are good only at a few things. In my family, I am...
Reality Check

Reality Check

When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God. (Ps. 73:17) THE GREAT RECESSION KILLED MY JOB. I was working at a small Bible college that operated on a shoestring budget. Then the shoestring broke. Since I was the...
The “Arrival” of Salvation

The “Arrival” of Salvation

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. (Rom. 6:5) THE SCIENCE-FICTION FILM ARRIVAL is about a linguist who’s trying to communicate with aliens after their arrival on Earth. As she learns...
The Wager

The Wager

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23) BLAISE PASCAL WAS A GENIUS. In the seventeenth century, he invented a forerunner of the computer! He also pioneered the study of probability. And Pascal had a...
Habit Forming

Habit Forming

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Rom. 6:18) “RENT A SENIOR,” the local high school announced. The senior class was raising travel funds by hiring themselves out for a few hours. The apostle Paul makes a more radical...
Take My Life

Take My Life

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. (Rom. 6:12) IT MAY BE OLD-FASHIONED NOW, but it was once popular music among Christians. The hymn “Take My Life and Let It Be” came from the pen of nineteenth-century British poet...
No Longer the Same

No Longer the Same

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. (Rom. 6:8) AVERY IS A VIBRANT YOUNG CHRISTIAN. She sings on a worship team and helps out at an after-school center for at-risk kids. She’s passionate about these ministries because of her own...
Buried by Baptism

Buried by Baptism

Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Rom. 6:3) ABU-KHALIL WAS AN EGYPTIAN MUSLIM who converted to Christianity. His story is told in the book Into the Den of Infidels by Lynn Copeland. After Abu-Khalil was...
A Tale of Two Kings

A Tale of Two Kings

May the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen. (Ps. 72:19) THERE’S A WONDERFUL AMBIGUITY in this psalm. At the beginning, it seems to be about an Israelite king. The Psalm is traditionally attributed to Solomon, and we imagine Solomon wanting to become...
Father of All Who Believe

Father of All Who Believe

I have made you a father of many nations. (Rom. 4:17) WHEN WE FACE DIFFICULT FACTS IN our lives—the death of a spouse, disappointment with friends, financial troubles—we may be tempted either to despair or to minimize the problems. Abraham did neither. Instead, he...
Headed Home

Headed Home

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification. (Rom. 4:25) SOMETIMES WE ACT AS IF the resurrection were simply the cherry on top of the gospel, a happy but ultimately unnecessary ending to Jesus’ story. After all, we think,...
Real Faith

Real Faith

The words “it was credited to him” were not written for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness. (Rom. 4:23) ABRAHAM’S FAITH WAS CREDITED to him as righteousness. This faith was not mere intellectual belief in historical facts about God but...
Pie Crust Promises

Pie Crust Promises

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God. Romans 4:20 MY WIFE IS A WONDERFUL BAKER, and is renowned especially for her pies. Shortly before we got married, she taught me a new phrase: “pie-crust promises.” These are promises that are easily...
Seeing Grace

Seeing Grace

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring. (Rom. 4:16) MANY OF US LIVE EACH DAY as a series of battles: we have tasks to accomplish and in which we must excel. We have people to deal with, some...
Cut the Crazy

Cut the Crazy

It was not through the law . . . but through the righteousness that comes by faith. (Rom 4:13) FRIENDS OF MINE WHO LIVE in Israel tell me that many public buildings have a Sabbath elevator, one that can be set to stop automatically on every floor during the Sabbath....
Servant Leader

Servant Leader

He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy. (Ps. 72:4) “HOW DID THE FOOTBALL GAME go last week?” asked the principal. “We won, sir, 21 to 7,” replied the student. “That is great! How’s your family doing?” the principal continued....
The Best Gift Ever

The Best Gift Ever

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Rom. 5:2) THE WAIT WAS FINALLY OVER! It was Christmas Eve, and the family had gathered together. We opened the gifts as soon as everyone arrived because the kids had been waiting for days to see what was in the boxes...
Joy Unspeakable

Joy Unspeakable

We also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Rom. 5:11) “YOUR DAUGHTER IS GOING TO have a baby.” On two occasions I had heard those words loud and clear from the Lord, as if He were in the room with me. The...
A New You

A New You

When were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son. (Rom. 5:10) DO YOU EVER STRUGGLE WITH who you are in Christ? Does the enemy try to tell you that you’re not good enough for Jesus or that you could not possibly be saved because of what...
God’s Perfect Timing

God’s Perfect Timing

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom. 5:6) “LORD, IT IS GETTING CLOSE to the time for me to leave. I am afraid, and I need a work from you soon.” I had prayed for six months for God to remove my fear of...
Character Building

Character Building

We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Rom. 5:3) HUSBAND’S JOB LOSS. Daughter’s infertility. Grandson’s depression. Breast cancer survivor. What do all of these have in...
His Perfect Peace

His Perfect Peace

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:1) “THE BIOPSY IS GOING TO BE positive for cancer, and I’m going to handle it.” These were words whispered in my ear by God, through the Holy Spirit, on August 27, 2014. Peace was given to me. No matter...
God is Active

God is Active

My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I, whom you have redeemed. (Ps. 71:23) THERE IS NOTHING LIKE THE confident prayers of God’s faithful children, lifting their requests and praises heavenward toward Him. That never gets old to me. Psalm 71 gives us a...