DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Set Free from Sin
In Him we have redemption through His blood. – Ephesians 1:7
A loving mother who saved her little girl from a burning house suffered severe burns on her hands and arms. When the girl grew older, not knowing how her mother’s arms had become so seared, the girl was ashamed of those scarred, gnarled hands and always insisted that her mother wear long gloves to cover up the ugliness. But one day the daughter asked her mother how her hands had become so scarred. The mother, for the first time, told her the story of how she had saved the daughter’s life with those hands. The daughter wept tears of gratitude and said, “Oh, Mother, those are beautiful hands, the most beautiful in the world. Don’t ever hide them again!” Just so, the blood of Christ may seem to be a grim, repulsive subject to those who do not realize its true significance; but to those who have been rescued from sin’s chains, Christ’s nail-pierced hands are beautiful beyond measure, for they tell us of His love and His willingness to save us regardless of the cost.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Christ in You
He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. – John 16:14
How does God Himself, whose immensity cannot be measured, reside in such frail bodies as ours? How does the transcendent Christ live in finite human temples? We may not comprehend the vastness of this principle, yet the method by which God imparts His presence is plain and clear in the Scriptures: Christ lives in us through His indwelling Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit supernaturally brings the reality of Christ into our earthly frames. As the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is just as much deity as the Father and the Son. He imparts the life of Christ to us through His residence in our lives. The Holy Spirit reveals and shares with us all that Christ is. By making His home in us, He assures us of the presence and power of the risen Christ. Because the Holy Spirit possesses all the attributes of deity and because He inhabits our mortal bodies, He is infinitely adequate to meet any of our needs. He is not a God far off but a God who is near. The resurrected Christ is your sure and steadfast hope for all of life, a hope that is every believer’s to claim because of the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Come Forth and Live
My own dear child,
Are you going through a dry, desert time? Has your hope evaporated? Do you feel cut off from me and from others? Does your spirit feel more dead and alive? Listen to me now, my child. On your own you have no power to revive yourself – no power to bring life. But what you do have is the power to choose. You can choose today to call upon my Name. You can choose to receive a new beginning form my hand. When you call, I will hear you. I will open the grave of your despair. I will bring you back to the land of the living. And then you will know that I am the Lord, the God who rescues you from the grave. I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live. I will settle you in the land of your spiritual inheritance. And you will bear testimony to all who ask that I, the Lord your God, have done it!
A Warning Against Hypocrisy
1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.
1 You have searched me, LORD,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
May your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless . . . —1 Thessalonians 5:23
“Your whole spirit . . . .” The great, mysterious work of the Holy Spirit is in the deep recesses of our being which we cannot reach. Read Psalm 139 . The psalmist implies— “O Lord, You are the God of the early mornings, the God of the late nights, the God of the mountain peaks, and the God of the sea. But, my God, my soul has horizons further away than those of early mornings, deeper darkness than the nights of earth, higher peaks than any mountain peaks, greater depths than any sea in nature. You who are the God of all these, be my God. I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths; there are motives I cannot discover, dreams I cannot realize. My God, search me.”
Do we believe that God can fortify and protect our thought processes far beyond where we can go? “. . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). If this verse means cleansing only on our conscious level, may God have mercy on us. The man who has been dulled by sin will say that he is not even conscious of it. But the cleansing from sin we experience will reach to the heights and depths of our spirit if we will “walk in the light as He is in the light” (1 John 1:7). The same Spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life of our spirit. It is only when we are protected by God with the miraculous sacredness of the Holy Spirit that our spirit, soul, and body can be preserved in pure uprightness until the coming of Jesus-no longer condemned in God’s sight.
We should more frequently allow our minds to meditate on these great, massive truths of God.