DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
In Tune with the Master
You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. – PSALM 32:7
Out West an old sheepherder had a violin, but it was out of tune. He had no way of tuning it, so in desperation he wrote to one of the radio stations and asked them at a certain hour on a certain day to strike the tone “A.” The officials of the station decided they would accommodate the old fellow, and on that particular day the true tone of “A” was broadcast. His fiddle was thus tuned, and once more his cabin echoed with joyful music.
When we live apart from God, our lives get out of tune—out of harmony with others and with God. But if we live in tune with the Master, we, too, will find ourselves surrounded by His beautiful music.
As this new year begins, ask God to help you tune your life every day to His Word, so you can bring harmony and joy to those around you.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
The Pathway of Faith
Who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” – Romans 4:18
Hannah Whitall Smith once wrote, “Sight is not faith, and hearing is not faith, neither is feeling faith; but believing when we neither see, hear, nor feel is faith… Therefore, we must believe before we feel, and often against our feelings if we would honor God by our faith.”
As you read the account of Abram’s life, you realize he was a man of faith. God asked him to do something most of us would find very difficult, and that was to leave his family and friends and go to an unfamiliar land.
Yet God’s reassuring words lessened Abram’s fear: “I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you” (Gen. 12:2–3 NASB).
Abram, or Abraham as he was later called by God, gave little thought to the fact that his name would be made great. The most important thing to him was the exercise of his faith through obedience.
Anytime God calls you to step out in faith, He will provide the reassurance you need to go forward by faith. Your only responsibility is to obey and follow Him. Abraham left everything simply because God said, “Go.”
Are you willing to obey Him even if it means letting go of something you care for dearly? Pray that your response to the Lord is always one of faith, love, and devotion.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Don’t Look Back
Child of mine,
This journey we are on together is forward looking. The destination is ever before you. You have not arrived, but you are on your way. Press on. Take hold of that glorious purpose for which Jesus Christ has taken hold of you. His purpose is that you know him, that you become like him, that your life becomes a channel through which his love can flow to others. His purpose is that you spend eternity enjoying me, starting now!
Many have traveled this road before you, and you can learn from them. Consider Paul. Suppose he had taken time out form his journey to dwell on past failures. He could have looked back and become paralyzed by the guilt and shame of a life spent [persecuting the church of Jesus Christ. Why, Paul even held the coats of the murderers who stoned my servant Stephen! He stood by watching in approval. But once he was forgiven, Paul did not waste tie or spiritual energy looking back. He knew that the past had been put under the blood of Jesus, and he was free to press on toward the goal.
Do you know these things about your past? Come be forgiven, once and for all, and then look back no more. Instead, look ahead to the glory that lies out before you.
And press on!
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise[b]
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings[c]
and crowned him with glory and honor.
6 You made him ruler over the works of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
7 all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
8 the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Let Us Keep to the Point
“. . . my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” —Philippians 1:20
My Utmost for His Highest. “. . . my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed . . . .” We will all feel very much ashamed if we do not yield to Jesus the areas of our lives He has asked us to yield to Him. It’s as if Paul were saying, “My determined purpose is to be my utmost for His highest— my best for His glory.” To reach that level of determination is a matter of the will, not of debate or of reasoning. It is absolute and irrevocable surrender of the will at that point. An undue amount of thought and consideration for ourselves is what keeps us from making that decision, although we cover it up with the pretense that it is others we are considering. When we think seriously about what it will cost others if we obey the call of Jesus, we tell God He doesn’t know what our obedience will mean. Keep to the point— He does know. Shut out every other thought and keep yourself before God in this one thing only— my utmost for His highest. I am determined to be absolutely and entirely for Him and Him alone.
My Unstoppable Determination for His Holiness. “Whether it means life or death-it makes no difference!” (see Philippians 1:21). Paul was determined that nothing would stop him from doing exactly what God wanted. But before we choose to follow God’s will, a crisis must develop in our lives. This happens because we tend to be unresponsive to God’s gentler nudges. He brings us to the place where He asks us to be our utmost for Him and we begin to debate. He then providentially produces a crisis where we have to decide— for or against. That moment becomes a great crossroads in our lives. If a crisis has come to you on any front, surrender your will to Jesus absolutely and irrevocably.