Daily Devotionals

Extravagant Blessing

Extravagant Blessing

Any of his people among you may go . . . and build the temple of the Lord . . . and may their God be with them. (Ezra 1:3) QUITE OFTEN, GOD’S INTERVENTION is so profound, his blessing so obvious, that we are humbled by his graciousness. Older adults tend to have this...
Ruler

Ruler

He is the beginning and the firstborn from the dead, so that in everything he might have supremacy. (Col. 1:18) A FAVORITE BOOK on the subject of leadership is The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. This prize-winning novel, set in World War II, follows the fortunes of...
Sustainer

Sustainer

He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Col. 1:17) HEATHER AND I NEEDED a large home, so we thought, to accommodate our ample brood of six children. We settled on a lovely place situated on nearly four acres of land. “It’s perfect,” she said as...
Creator

Creator

For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible. (Col. 1:15) THERE’S A WONDERFUL STORY about Walt Disney, the creative mind behind a host of lovable characters, family films, and other amusements. Disney passed away in 1966 but...
Revealer

Revealer

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Col. 1:15) “ARE YOU URIAH’S FATHER?” I was standing in the hallway at a public building when a police officer approached to ask that question. I’ve heard it before, though never from a cop....
Retracing God’s Steps

Retracing God’s Steps

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your powers among the peoples. (Ps. 77:14). A 2009 STUDY IN THE UNITED KINGDOM found that adults forget an average of three facts, events, or chores every day. Of those three, the location of keys and smartphone...
A United Front

A United Front

You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? (Rom. 14:10) IF THE SOCIO-POLITICAL tremors of the past few years are any indication, we are due for some major seismic activity. The pressure on the fault lines of political...
Faith for All Time

Faith for All Time

According to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed . . . by the eternal God. (Rom. 16:25–26) IN JUST THREE VERSES, Paul traced God’s revelatory plan from the mysteries of ages past to its culmination in the salvation of all nations....
One Voice

One Voice

So that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 15:6) I WAS IN THE SEVENTH GRADE when auditions for Godspell were announced at our local church. It was clear at the outset that our cast, comprised entirely of...
The Power of Encouragement

The Power of Encouragement

The past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Rom. 15:4) IT”S HARD TO OVERSTATE the power of encouragement. Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A restaurants once said, “I get a lot of...
No Room for Anything Else

No Room for Anything Else

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. (Rom. 14:7) THREE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW about me: I am a chronic people-pleaser. I have an abnormally active superego. I am the daughter of two people-pleasing parents with hyperactive superegos. So...
One in Christ

One in Christ

Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. (Rom. 14:1) THE MAJORITY OF THE CHURCH in Rome consisted of Gentile Christians, who were theologically content to consume meat and not observe the Jewish holy festivals. The minority of...
The Museum of Grace

The Museum of Grace

I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. (Ps. 77:11) RELICS OF PAST GLORY. Bones and shards and fragments. Bits of the past preserved under glass. Museums can be viewed either as dismal attempts to live in the old days or...
It Suits You

It Suits You

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. (Rom. 13:14) REMEMBER THE FICTITIOUS EMPEROR and his new clothes? Though everyone around him loyally proclaimed that the emperor’s new suit was beautiful,...
No Debt But Love

No Debt But Love

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another. (Rom. 13:8) MANY PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR with the work of Dave Ramsey, who teaches “financial freedom” through debt-free living. Christians are no different than the general population in...
Honor Where Honor is Due

Honor Where Honor is Due

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities. (Rom. 13:1) EVERY ELECTION CYCLE GENERATES MUCH TALK about the laws that have been enacted and who designed them. Some citizens will advocate that certain laws should be rescinded and campaign for candidates...
Turning the Tables

Turning the Tables

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Rom. 12:14) WHEN PAUL WROTE THESE WORDS, he was distancing himself from many of his Jewish friends, just as Jesus had in the Sermon on the Mount when He taught those gathered to love their enemies. The Jews have...
A Sure Way

A Sure Way

Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Rom. 12:13) THEIR PASTORATE WAS SMALL, A RURAL congregation in a southern state. They were middle-aged, the pastor and his wife. It wasn’t their first assignment, and it certainly wasn’t a place where...
More Than Facebook Friends

More Than Facebook Friends

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. (Rom. 12:10) YOU CAN SAY ANYTHING YOU WANT TO on your smart screen—that you love me, wish me well, think I have a beautiful family, admire my home, or that you’re praying for the requests I post. And that’s good. Who...
God’s Unmatched Power

God’s Unmatched Power

You alone are to be feared. (Ps. 76:7) MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS USED TO talk about who’s older brother was the strongest. We would compare muscles, height, weight, speed, and other attributes to come up with our conclusions. We all knew that whomever was determined to be...
We Need Each Other

We Need Each Other

We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. (Rom. 12:6) A DECADE OR SO AGO THE American Medical Association came out with a report that said even the lowly appendix has a purpose in the human body. For centuries some thought the appendix was a useless...
Who is Forming You?

Who is Forming You?

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Rom. 12:2) GOD HAS A PATTERN HE WOULD like us to be molded into. So does the world. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly being formed by someone or...
God’s Ultimate Goal for You

God’s Ultimate Goal for You

Those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many. (Rom. 8:29) THEOLOGIANS AND PASTORS HAVE DEBATED the meaning of this verse for centuries. Does it mean that God has specifically chosen those...
Are You Called

Are You Called

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Rom. 8:28) SOME HAVE SURMISED THAT GOD is finicky toward folk in that He blesses those who have answered a vocational ministry calling more...