Daily Devotionals

Springs in the Desert

Springs in the Desert

It was you who opened up springs and streams. (Ps. 74:15) We crossed A BRIDGE near the headwaters of the Jordan River in northern Israel. The stream flowed rapidly under our feet as our guide encouraged us to imagine David sitting on the bank of the river, writing...
The Spirit Provides Hope

The Spirit Provides Hope

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he . . . will also give life to your mortal bodies. (Rom. 8:11) A DISCOURAGED WOMAN, FEELING HOPELESS, passed a building and saw a banner with big letters that spelled HOPE. Intrigued, she turned...
The Spirit’s Witness in Us

The Spirit’s Witness in Us

The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. (Rom. 8:16) A COUPLE IN OUR CIRCLE of acquaintances recently adopted a daughter. A sweet girl in elementary school, she had already lived an unbelievably difficult life. Her new home provides her...
Led by the Spirit

Led by the Spirit

Those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Rom. 8:14) IF I WERE TO TAKE A TREK through unfamiliar mountains, I would want a guide. Those who are so bold as to tackle Mount Everest depend on a guide to lead them. To live the Christian life, we, too, need...
The Spirit Living in Us

The Spirit Living in Us

And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. (Rom. 8:9) THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVES in every Christian. Paul made it very clear that if we don’t have the Spirit of Christ, we don’t belong to Christ. To have the Spirit is a wonderful...
Governed by the Spirit

Governed by the Spirit

The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. (Rom. 8:6) WE CAN LIVE ONE OF TWO WAYS. We can live for self, or we can live for Christ. The way we think governs the way we live. If our mindset is toward God, we live to please...
No Condemnation

No Condemnation

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1) THE TYPICAL COURTROOM SCENE often involves condemnation. The defendant, having been proven guilty, faces the judgment of the court. The judge may indicate that the defendant is...
None of my Business

None of my Business

Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. (Ps. 73:25) EVERY ONCE AND A WHILE, we notice that someone else seems to have it better than we do. Maybe at work we notice that a coworker is treated much better than we were. Maybe a...
Letting Go

Letting Go

Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Rom. 7:25) I WAS DRIVING BACK TO COLLEGE when God brought to mind that story in Genesis 32 where Jacob told an angel that he would not let the angel go until he blesses Jacob. I began to wonder how serious I was about...
The Law of the Spirit

The Law of the Spirit

Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Rom. 8:2) IN MOST GOOD STORIES, the situation gets a lot worse before things finally turn around and the hero comes through for the win. There are tragedies, of course,...
Hitting Bottom

Hitting Bottom

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? (Rom. 7:24) SOME OF US DO NOT LIKE to buy new things. Perhaps we have a car that has problem after problem, but we do repair after repair instead of buying a new one. Perhaps there is something...
A Bent to Sin

A Bent to Sin

I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. (Rom. 7:18) PERHAPS YOU KNOW someone with an illness that affects his or her body but not the mind. The mind knows where it wants to go or what it wants to do, but it simply cannot get the body to do...
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,...