Daily Devotionals

Releasing Obstacles

Releasing Obstacles

He got rid of the foreign gods. (2 Chron. 33:15) I was sitting in a revival service being held in the small church structure in Mount Frere, South Africa. One could almost imagine the walls exploding outwards due to the large number of individuals who were squeezing...
Seeking God’s Help

Seeking God’s Help

In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord. (2 Chron. 33:12) A student recently asked, “Why did you become a Christian?” Her question brought to mind one Wednesday night when I was still in high school. My mother and younger brother got into a heated argument. In...
A Timely Answer

A Timely Answer

The Lord spoke to Manasseh. (2 Chron. 33:10) I had often prayed, “God, I want to hear your voice,” but had only been met with silence. This changed when I was visiting churches in the Transkei of South Africa. The road I was on was in fairly good shape until I...
The Reality of Witchcraft

The Reality of Witchcraft

He . . . practiced sorcery, divination and witchcraft, and consulted mediums and spiritists. (2 Chron. 33:6) “Jim, there are witches here in Africa. Many Africans go to them for healing and for incantations to be spoken over them. Some dole out great amounts of money...
Bowing to Idols

Bowing to Idols

He . . . erected altars to the Baals . . . He bowed down to all the starry hosts. (2 Chron. 33:3) One of my students asked, “Do people still bow down to idols?” In response I told her about Seth Chan. After building a house for his bride of three months, Seth Chan did...
More Than a Friend

More Than a Friend

He did much evil in the eyes of the Lord, provoking him to anger. (2 Chron. 33:6) One of the first songs I remember singing as a new believer in Christ was, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus.” What a wonderful thought this was to me. God is my friend—He is my “buddy.”...
Always Cause to Praise

Always Cause to Praise

Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them. (Ps. 69:30) “EE-TAOW!” In the language of the Mouk tribe of Papua New Guinea, “ee-taow” means, “It is good. It is true.” Prior to the arrival of missionaries in the late 90s, the Mouk had no exposure...
A Legacy of Righteousness

A Legacy of Righteousness

Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did. (2 Kings 23:25) NOTHING COMPARES TO A MEMORIAL service held to celebrate a life lived well for Jesus Christ. As people gather to share their memories, the legacy left by the...
Don’t Tolerate Sin

Don’t Tolerate Sin

He did away with the pagan priests appointed by the kings of Judah to burn incense on the high places of the towns of Judah. (2 Kings 23:5) SATAN LOVES TO WHITEWASH SIN. He tries to convince us that if other religions don’t bother us, we shouldn’t worry about them. If...
Renew Commitments to God

Renew Commitments to God

The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commandments. (2 Kings 23:3) MY PEN HOVERED over my prayer journal as I wrestled with fear concerning the choices of someone I cared about. Years before,...
Seeking Guidance

Seeking Guidance

Inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. (2 Kings 22:13) WHEN I ASK MY MOM for advice, she usually says, “Have you prayed about it?” before she shares her own ideas and experiences. Mom...
A Desire for the Word

A Desire for the Word

“Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king. (2 Kings 22:10) WATCHING SOMEONE EXPERIENCE SOMETHING for the first time can breathe new life into what has become mundane to us. Have you ever seen a video of Christians...
Seeking God’s Help

Seeking God’s Help

In his distress he sought the favor of the Lord. (2 Chron. 33:12) A student recently asked, “Why did you become a Christian?” Her question brought to mind one Wednesday night when I was still in high school. My mother and younger brother got into a heated argument. In...
God Uses Willing Hearts

God Uses Willing Hearts

Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. (2 Kings 22:1) DO YOU WONDER if God can or will use you? Perhaps you want to serve God but worry you might be too young, too old, too inexperienced, or too broken. Human...
You’re Covered

You’re Covered

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. (Ps. 69:30) I TOOK A SELF-DEFENSE class in which the instructor continually was saying that you have to use your attacker’s weight and aggression (or momentum) against him. He demonstrated what to do...
Celebration Time

Celebration Time

The entire assembly of Judah rejoiced. . . . There was great joy in Jerusalem. (2 Chron. 30:25–26) MOM AND I THREW my papa a whopping retirement party with all the decorations and trimmings. We invited many friends and family he’d known through the years. All were...
Invitation from the King

Invitation from the King

Come to the temple of the Lord. (2 Chron. 30:1) FOR YEARS I HAVE TRIED to make a difference in people’s lives by sending cards. I send all kinds of cards: Thank You, Happy Birthday, Get Well, Cheer Up, Thinking of You, Sympathy, etc. In our church’s bulletin, I notice...
King and Pauper Alike

King and Pauper Alike

When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. (2 Chron. 29:29) I sat on the back porch during a thunderstorm. I watched the trees and bushes bowing back and forth, and I listened to the thunder clap and bang. The...
Time for an Upgrade

Time for an Upgrade

We have purified the entire temple of the Lord. (2 Chron. 29:18) I NEEDED A MEDICAL PROCEDURE that required me to “cleanse” my body days prior to the procedure. This involved taking many medicines and being on a restrictive diet. It was a brutal process that demanded...
Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait

He held fast to the Lord and did not cease to follow him. (2 Kings 18:6) AS A GIRL OF FOURTEEN YEARS, I always prayed I’d get to attend a Christian university, but my dream never unfolded for one reason or another. Heartbroken, I let go of my dream when it seemed...
A Strong Foundation

A Strong Foundation

He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father David had done. (2 Kings 18:3) MY PARENTS ALWAYS TAUGHT me to do the right thing in God’s eyes. They led by example and by purposely applied pressure if necessary, for which I am truly grateful. I...
God of All Time

God of All Time

Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, O God, as you have done before. (Ps. 68:28) HAVE YOU KNOWN someone who lived in the past? Perhaps it was the friend who reveled in high school triumphs long into his thirties, or the singer who told and retold the story...
Never Too Young

Never Too Young

Joash was seven years old when he began to reign. (2 Kings 11:21) “SO DAD, YOU’VE ACTUALLY been alive for seven decades.” My daughter was being cute, pointing out that because I’d been born in the final month of the 1950s and survived to see the first sunrise of 2010,...
Group Work

Group Work

With it they paid those who worked on the temple of the Lord—the carpenters and builders, the masons and stonecutters. (2 Kings 12:11–12) “HOW WAS YOUR MEETING?” I asked Heather on her return from a gathering of educators. My wife teaches English and is department...