Daily Devotional

Desiring Holy Communion

Desiring Holy Communion

Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. (1 Thess. 3:10) Marathons are easy compared to the months of training leading up to them. Sure, running for hours destroys your body, but setting aside hours every...
Holiness in Community

Holiness in Community

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? (1 Thess. 3:9) Music gives shape to many of my memories, whether I was warming up for a soccer game, coming to Christ in church, or getting married. Even...
The Power of Testimony

The Power of Testimony

Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. (1 Thess. 3:7) By the time I was sixteen, my family had moved over a dozen times. With each new job my mom started, we unpacked in another...
I Could Sing of Your Love Forever

I Could Sing of Your Love Forever

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. (Ps. 118:1) The concept of forever is what finally convinced me to be baptized. My youth pastor spoke a message on how short our time on earth is compared to our time in heaven. Something just clicked...
All My Trials

All My Trials

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial. (James 1:12) I was recently involved in a production of the Wizard of Oz. I was the Tin Man. The thing about putting together musicals is that it seems like everything continually goes wrong until everyone pulls together...
Bind Us Together

Bind Us Together

Indeed, you are our glory and joy. (1 Thess. 2:20) Sometimes being alone is great. I have some great memories from when I was alone. Going for long drives in my car, hiking through nature, or just relaxing in my dorm. These moments gave me rest and allowed me to...
Be Still My Soul

Be Still My Soul

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. (Isa. 40:29) Working with a traveling youth camp all summer was not a walk in the park. It was actually some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. About halfway through my summer, I began to burn...
The Lord Bless You and Keep You

The Lord Bless You and Keep You

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Rom. 12:14) I was fourteen when my family moved 1,000 miles from home to help plant a church. For the first nine months, everything was going strong. However, something changed, and my family was faced with a...
You Are My Vision

You Are My Vision

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5) Hindsight is 20/20. I have found that principle to be true in my life. I have a bad habit of going over the...
It Is Well

It Is Well

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom. 5:1) Anxiety runs in my family. And it shows in my life. I spend countless hours stressing over the details of things, running through every possible...
Worthy of Praise

Worthy of Praise

For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord. (Ps. 117:2) Do you stand when you hear the opening notes of the “Hallelujah Chorus”? The overwhelming impact of those few words and the accompanying music...
Eternal Investments

Eternal Investments

We loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. (1 Thess. 2:8) We have teachers who teach, and we have teachers who invest. The first do their jobs, often quite efficiently. The second also do their job but...
Worth the Cost

Worth the Cost

We had previously suffered . . . but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. (1 Thess. 2:2) Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, and Roger Youderian—are five of the better-known modern Christian...
Uninterrupted Intercession

Uninterrupted Intercession

Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. (Col. 1:9) “Will you please pray for me?” We receive the request, respond with a speedy “of course,” and then forget all about it until we see the person again....
Haughty or Humble?

Haughty or Humble?

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. (James 4:10) “Look at me! Look at me!” Although we expect children to say those words, how frequently do we live them as adults? Don’t we find it tempting to spend our lives seeking the...
Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. (Heb. 11:6) Ready or not, here I come! Do you remember counting to one hundred and then looking for hidden siblings or friends? We knew they lurked nearby because we...
Serving Our Best

Serving Our Best

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. (John 12:26) I love peanut butter! Licked from a spoon, on crackers or bread, with or without jelly, creamy or crunchy, name brand or cheap, I love...
A Posture of Praise

A Posture of Praise

I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord. (Ps. 116:17) Am I the only one who finds himself saying the same things to his kids that his parents said to him? A few things I say repeatedly now are “sit up in your chair” and...
Go Hard

Go Hard

And the people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and obey him.” (Josh. 24:24) While in high school, one of my football coaches, Elgin Blue, confronted me at the end of practice about a running endurance drill. I was finishing with the front...
Are You A Model?

Are You A Model?

And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. (1 Thess. 1:7) My son, Josiah, wanted to go to the coast of North Carolina desperately, and I didn’t know why. I pressed my nine-year-old for more information and soon learned that he had a...
Second

Second

Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. (Heb. 10:9) WHILE GROWING UP, I was really competitive, and I didn’t like coming in second. I always wanted to be first. Whether I was finishing an assignment or...
But Now . . .

But Now . . .

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. (Col. 1:21) I REMEMBER the first time I started tithing. Man, was it scary. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay all my bills given this new commitment to give at least 10...
Yes, We Will

Yes, We Will

But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:21)  I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY weddings I’ve officiated, but one part of the ceremony remains memorable for me. After the couple takes their vows, I usually ask the family and loved ones a few...
Harsh Words

Harsh Words

You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. (Lev. 20:26) AS A CHILD, I have vivid memories of my parents skirting between looks of pride and disappointment. One particular phrase often graced my ears...