Daily Devotionals

Not About Me

Not About Me

Jonah obeyed the word of the Lord and went to Nineveh. (Jon. 3:3)   EFFECTIVE LEADERS UNDERSTAND that their most important responsibility is knowing how to follow. As team captain of a high-school sports team, you’re in a position of leadership. Other players...
Soul Anchors

Soul Anchors

Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear. (Ps. 112:8)   ONE OF THE MEMBERS in my church, a man in his late eighties, died in his sleep a few days ago. He was an expert carpenter. I just spent the afternoon with his family, helping them plan the memorial...
Take A Stand

Take A Stand

And the people did as they had promised. (Neh. 5:13)   I HAVE A PEACEMAKING HEART. I am not hotheaded or short-tempered. I’ve never been described as brash or belligerent. I don’t like confrontation or raised voices. But despite my natural tendencies, I’ve learned a...
Call the Foul

Call the Foul

What you are doing is not right. (Neh. 5:9)   FOR A SPORTS FAN, nothing is worse than watching a championship game, cheering for your team, and then looking on helplessly as you watch the referee make terrible calls that cost your team the win. Fans can cheer...
Vulnerably Close

Vulnerably Close

Carry each other’s burdens. (Gal. 6:2)   MY KIDS LOVE to go on walks in the woods with me. They are both toddlers, so we don’t cover as many miles together as I do alone. But we have fun. For a while anyway. Then one of them gets tired and begs to be carried...
Teamwork

Teamwork

There are many parts, but one body. (1 Cor. 12:20)   RECENTLY, SOMEONE ADVISED ME to grow as a leader by focusing on my weaknesses. Much of business and leadership theory would disagree. We do not become our best selves by putting our energy into our worst areas....
Whose Church?

Whose Church?

For we are co-workers in God’s service. (1 Cor. 3:9)   IT’S NATURAL FOR PEOPLE to describe a church based on who pastors it. “Have you heard of 12Stone? Oh, that’s Kevin Myers’ church. Brooklyn Tabernacle? Oh, you must be talking about Jim Cymbala’s church.” This...
A Beautiful Vision

A Beautiful Vision

All the believers were one in heart and mind. (Acts 4:32)   “THE CHURCH IS FULL of hypocrites!” Have you ever heard this complaint? I have listened to many former church attenders use this rationale for why they aren’t a part of a church anymore. The vision of...
Keep No Secrets!

Keep No Secrets!

Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. (Ps. 111:1)   HAVE YOU EVER been so excited about something that it seems you cannot hold it in? This excitement comes bubbling out like a fountain and the...
The Good Guy Wins

The Good Guy Wins

If God is for us, who can be against us? (Rom. 8:31)   WE ARE THE ONLY ONES who can successfully oppose the Creator. By choosing our own paths in life, right or wrong, we separate ourselves from God. While he is still for us in every way, we must intentionally...
Band Together and Fight for Survival

Band Together and Fight for Survival

Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us! (Neh. 4:20)   NORTH AMERICAN BISON HERDS circle together when threatened. The adults form a guard around the young and weak and face the enemy from all sides. Every herd, whatever...
Places, Everyone!

Places, Everyone!

But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. (Neh. 4:9)   “PLAY YOUR PART, NOT HIS!” In high school, I was in the drama club and played many different parts. Early in the practice for my first play, I had the bad habit of mouthing the...
Enjoy Difficulties

Enjoy Difficulties

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Rom. 8:37)   LEARNING THE HARD WAY has never been fun, yet the lessons usually endure. We have no perceived need to learn anything when life is easy. Easy times are when we think we have...
Who’s the Boss?

Who’s the Boss?

Submit yourselves, then, to God. (James 4:7)   DO YOU ALWAYS follow the rules? Do you obey everything you should? Proponents of highway safety have long claimed that “speed kills.” While that is possible and can happen, another statement also has validity:...
Set the Mood

Set the Mood

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand. (1 Pet. 5:6)   HOW OFTEN HAVE WE APPROACHED someone while angry only to be stonewalled or patronized? Usually our attitude arrives before we even begin to speak. This works with joy as well as anger. In drama...
A Righteous King

A Righteous King

The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” (Ps. 110:4)   IN THE HIDING PLACE, Corrie ten Boom painfully recounts her imprisonment in both a prison in Holland and then finally a German concentration camp...
Carrying the Burdens of Others

Carrying the Burdens of Others

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. (Neh. 1:4)   OVER THE COURSE of this week, we have read the stories of great biblical leaders carrying the burdens of the people they were leading....
The Courage to Ask

The Courage to Ask

Let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it. (Neh. 2:5)   THE HOMELESS LINED the downtown street on the way to the law firm where Rebekah worked as a junior associate. Each morning she drove by rows of makeshift tents...
Rebuilding Your Defense

Rebuilding Your Defense

Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants. (Neh. 1:11)   ROBERT PEERED OUT his back window to see his elderly neighbor attempting to replace several fence boards blown down during the night’s storm. Robert...
Hope in Repentance

Hope in Repentance

But in spite of this, there is still hope for Israel. (Ezra 10:2)   SMALL CHILDREN are often great reminders of just how difficult it is to confess the truth when a wrong has been committed. Little Bobby can confidently say that he did not eat any of the cookies, even...
Interceding for Others

Interceding for Others

Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin. (Deut. 9:27)   CARRIE KNEW HER SON had been making poor choices recently. He was hanging around the wrong crowd and getting involved in...
True Righteousness

True Righteousness

Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. (Rom. 10:4)   ON A CAR RIDE home after school, a young boy asked his father a simple question: “Have you ever broken the law?” At first the father scoffed and quickly...
Praise God Anyway

Praise God Anyway

My God, whom I praise, do not remain silent. (Ps. 109:1)   A CONCERNED WOMAN came to me, suspicious that her preschool daughter was being abused when left alone with a male relative. I knew the family and certainly, if the suspicion was true, we needed to stop the...
Shine On, Lone Star!

Shine On, Lone Star!

So we fasted and petitioned our God about this, and he answered our prayer. (Ezra 8:23)   AFTER HEARING THE ANNUAL REPORT, the mission board voted to close the Lone Star Mission in Africa. They based their decision on the fact that the mission had not produced one...