Daily Devotional

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 Some citizens will advocate that certain laws should be rescinded and campaign for candidates...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...
In All Things

In All Things

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) GOD HAS AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE. In any circumstance or life event, it is helpful to be aware of the truth that God almighty has been...
Wordless Prayers

Wordless Prayers

Because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Rom. 8:27) THE SCENE HAD ME DRIVING HOME after a tough day at work, and I was compelled to pray. But no words were hitting my lips. Praying is something I have done daily in my private walk...
A Desire to Share a Message

A Desire to Share a Message

As for me, I will declare this forever. (Ps. 75:9) HAVE YOU EVERHAD A MESSAGE that was so stupendous that you wanted to shout it from a mountaintop for all the world to hear? Even before becoming a follower of Christ, I knew the words of John 8:32: “Then you will know...
Bringing Jews to Jesus

Bringing Jews to Jesus

The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. (Rom. 11:26) THE JOSHUA PROJECT REPORTS that the world’s Jewish population is an unreached people group that Christians must intentionally seek to reach. Presently there are more Jewish...
A Call To Go

A Call To Go

And how can they preach unless they are sent? (Rom. 10:15) MY WIFE, ROXENE, has always been mission minded. As a young girl she felt called to be a missionary in Africa, serving in a part of the world that God loves dearly and deeply. However, when we were first...
Zeal Without Knowledge

Zeal Without Knowledge

For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. (Rom. 10:2) The Israelites attended religious services and offered many animal sacrifices. Some Israelites, such as the Pharisees and their disciples, went out of...
The Key of Faith

The Key of Faith

They pursued it [righteousness] not by faith but as if it were by works. (Rom. 9:32)  In the Evangelism and Discipleship course I teach, students are given the assignment of asking fellow students, “How do you think people get into heaven?” Some of the responses they...
God is for All People

God is for All People

From them is . . . Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. (Rom. 9:5) “Jim and Roxy, we would like for you to consider leaving southern Africa and going to Cambodia to serve as missionaries there. Will you both please pray about this?” My initial response,...
A Heart for the Lost

A Heart for the Lost

I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. (Rom. 9:2) During the first SEMESTER I taught at Indiana Wesleyan University, a student asked me, “When was the last time you cried for those who do not know Jesus Christ as their Savior?” I quickly replied, “I...