DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
He Is Here to Help
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? – ROMANS 8:35
After His resurrection Jesus came to His disciples, meeting them between the garden with its empty tomb and the city with its mob still passionate with hate. He said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren” (Matt. 28:10).
In the midst of a world filled with danger, hatred, and war, the words of our Lord Jesus Christ are just as relevant as when He spoke them. He still says to all who love Him, “Do not be afraid.”
He comes to you in the hospital room or in the midst of a family tragedy. He comes to you in the midst of an unexpected business reversal or physical crisis. And He says, “Don’t be afraid. I’m alive, and I’m here to help you. The Cross shows the depth of My love, and the Resurrection shows the depth of My power. Nothing can ever separate you from Me!”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
The Risk of Obeying God
When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” – Luke 5:4
Once Jesus finished speaking to the crowd from the bow of Peter’s boat, He turned to the brawny fisherman and said, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for the catch of a lifetime.” The idea seemed intriguing to Peter, but was it plausible? He was a leader, a man others turned to for wisdom concerning the sea. Jesus’ request appeared preposterous, if not crazy. No one fished in the Sea of Galilee during the daytime. Fishing was done at night and in shallow water.
Yet Peter obediently responded, “Master… at Your bidding I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5 NASB). Disregarding the questionable looks of his peers, Peter raised the ship’s sails and headed out into deep water. The result of his obedience was a great abundance of fish, so many that the nets began to break and the boat began to sink.
What has God placed His finger on in your life that requires you to launch out into the deep? Is it a new job, a relationship that needs healing, an unmet goal?
Peter wasn’t alone in the boat, and neither are you. Jesus sailed out there with him. So raise the sails of your life, put out into the deep, and prepare for a huge catch!
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN
Sometimes you feel that no one understands what you are going through. Even those closest to you don’t seem to comprehend or care. I want you to know today that you are not alone. For I have given you more than a Savior, more than a distant and ethereal high priest who exists above all human experience. I have given you a friend who has walked through this human life before you.
How well he understands your breaking heart! How well he knows what it is like to be beaten back by fatigue, plagued by enemies, misunderstood by friends. Whatever you are struggling with today, he has struggled with that same emotion or feeling. Whatever your temptation, he was tempted that way, too. Wherever your feet are on the journey, his footprints are in the road ahead of you.
Never again do I want you to say that no one understands. Jesus Christ understands, and because he sits at my right hand day and night interceding for you, I am constantly being reminded of your plight. I encourage you, my child, to come into my presence with boldness and confidence. Tell me what’s going on. I have mercy for your sins and grace to uplift you when you are hurting.
You see, I understand too. – God
WEEKLY GOSPEL AND PSALM READING
Jesus Calls His First Disciples
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. 2 He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”
5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Are You Ever Troubled?
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you . . . —John 14:27
There are times in our lives when our peace is based simply on our own ignorance. But when we are awakened to the realities of life, true inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. When our Lord speaks peace, He creates peace, because the words that He speaks are always “spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Have I ever received what Jesus speaks? “. . . My peace I give to you. . .”— a peace that comes from looking into His face and fully understanding and receiving His quiet contentment.
Are you severely troubled right now? Are you afraid and confused by the waves and the turbulence God sovereignly allows to enter your life? Have you left no stone of your faith unturned, yet still not found any well of peace, joy, or comfort? Does your life seem completely barren to you? Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security.
With regard to the problem that is pressing in on you right now, are you “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and receiving peace from Him? If so, He will be a gracious blessing of peace exhibited in and through you. But if you only try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and you deserve whatever you get. We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account. When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him. Lay everything out before Him, and when you are faced with difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow, listen to Him say, “Let not your heart be troubled . . .” (John 14:27).