Daily Devotionals

Covetous or Contented?

Covetous or Contented?

You shall not covet. (Ex. 20:17) The desire to acquire is something that seems to be natural to all God’s creatures. Birds have an innate desire to collect grass, straw, sticks, even mud in order to build a nest where they can lay their eggs and raise their...
To Tell the Truth

To Tell the Truth

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Ex. 20:16) “Each of us fibs at least fifty times a day,” claimed Jerald Jellison in USA Today. He suggested people lie about their age, their income, and their accomplishments. They may fib to...
Rationalizing Unfaithfulness

Rationalizing Unfaithfulness

You shall not commit adultery. (Ex. 20:14) How does adultery happen? It may happen in many ways, but Stuart Briscoe suggested it could happen like this: A man is not happy in his marriage. At the end of a tiring day at work, he can’t face going home to two or three or...
A Matter of Respect

A Matter of Respect

Honor your father and your mother. (Ex. 20:12) Have you noticed that some of Grimm’s fairy tales are truly grim? Like the one Joy Davidman retold in one of her books. It was the story of two parents who had a couple of children and one grandfather living with...
One Day in Seven

One Day in Seven

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (Ex. 20:8) A young lady in California was learning to drive a car. However, finding a highway in California where an inexperienced driver could safely learn to drive was a daunting task. A friend suggested she get up early...
First Things First

First Things First

You shall have no other gods before me. (Ex. 20:3) a young friend called Fred Smith and said, “Fred, you’re going to think I’ve gone off my rocker.”Fred, who had been trying to mentor the young man, said, “Why?”“I just...
Dirty Bibles

Dirty Bibles

The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. (Ps. 19:8) In South America, a cluster of Christians have come to be called “the people of the dirty Bibles.” That sounds odd, maybe even blasphemous, but it’s actually a beautiful...
Our Most Important Appointment

Our Most Important Appointment

Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God. (Ex. 19:17) Modern presidents seldom attend worship services in Washington, DC for security reasons, but years ago the practice was somewhat more common. Some of the churches near the White House even have...
Misunderstanding Holiness

Misunderstanding Holiness

Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy. (Ex. 19:23) “My God, my God, why have you mistaken me?” According to my student, that’s what Jesus said from the cross. In reality, of course, it was the student who was mistaken (and not for the first time)! As...
Lip-Service Obedience

Lip-Service Obedience

The people all responded together, “We will do everything the Lord has said.” (Ex. 19:8) Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and teacher who opposed Hitler and paid for it with his life. He was executed just as the war was ending, but his death did not silence his...
Chosen . . . But Why?

Chosen . . . But Why?

You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Ex. 19:6) I remember it well, though it was long ago. Current members of the high school honor society scattered through the auditorium to tap new members on the shoulder, leading them to the stage for their...
On Eagles’ Wings

On Eagles’ Wings

I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. (Ex. 19:4) America was stunned to hear in April 1995 that a massive bomb had obliterated a section of downtown Oklahoma City in the nation’s heartland. The magnitude of the blast was hard to...
We All Have A Mountain

We All Have A Mountain

Then Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him from the mountain. (Ex. 19:3) Mount Sinai looms large over the barren stretches of the Sinai Peninsula. Known today as Jebel Musa (the mountain of Moses), its rugged slopes make it easy to imagine the awe of the...
God’s Handwriting

God’s Handwriting

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. (Ps. 19:1) “I know this monk,” said my friend, a theology professor who was teaching our Sunday school class about the origins of the Bible. In his hand was a copy of a...
It’s About Him

It’s About Him

But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord. (Ex. 14:4) So there it is. That’s the reason for all of this. For the running, and the chasing, and the heart hardening. For being cornered...
Learning to Ride

Learning to Ride

They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. (Ex. 14:10) I learned to ride a bike on a perfect summer day. I was four or five years old, and I begged Dad to take the training wheels off my little two-wheeler. I hopped on with confidence and said,...
Foolish Pursuit

Foolish Pursuit

The Egyptians . . . pursued the Israelites and overtook them. (Ex. 14:9) “Be careful what you wish for.” You may have received that advice at some point. The things you think you want don’t always produce the result you had in mind. King Midas...
The Wrong Regret

The Wrong Regret

Pharaoh . . . said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” (Ex. 14:5) Everyone has a few regrets. I regret buying a home at the peak of the housing bubble, even if the interest rates were low. And I regret being...
Lousy Tools

Lousy Tools

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart. (Ex. 14:4) I must confess, I never fully understood the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. My belief in human freedom, subject to divine sovereignty, is strong, and I observe it throughout the Bible. Didn’t Joshua...
Alternate Route

Alternate Route

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to turn back.” (Ex. 14:1–2) “An alternate route is available. Do you want to take it?” The navigation app on my smartphone (I call her Gloria) wanted to know. I glanced at the route....
His Power for His Purposes

His Power for His Purposes

He gives his king great victories. (Ps. 18:50) We have seen so much abuse of power in our lifetime that many shy away from having power at all. Priests abusing children. Politicians abusing their positions. Law enforcement abusing citizens. Parents abusing their kids....
Communion with Running Shoes

Communion with Running Shoes

This is how you are to eat it: with . . . your sandals on your feet. (Ex. 12:11) This summer I ran my first marathon. During the “long run” training days, I learned the value of refueling during the run. I would stash Clif bars and Gatorade at various...
God Fights for You

God Fights for You

For there was not a house without someone dead. (Ex. 12:30) His name was Bryan. I don’t know why he made me the offer, but it came as a surprise, and it also felt like an honor. During recess one day in elementary school, Bryan approached me out of nowhere:...
A New Kingdom

A New Kingdom

This is a day you are to commemorate; for generations to come. (Ex. 12:14) Summer days can last forever when you are a kid stuck at home with nothing to do. On occasion, I would complain to my parents, “I’m bored.” They would inevitably recite a...