DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house. 1 PETER 2:5
I have a friend who lost his job, a fortune, his wife, and his home. But he tenaciously held to his faith in Christ—the only thing he had left. Like Job in the Old Testament, he would not abandon God, no matter what happened. And yet like Job, he couldn’t help but wonder why.
One day he stopped to watch some men doing stonework on a huge church. One of them was chiseling a triangular piece of stone.
“What are you going to do with that?” asked my friend.
The workman said, “See that little opening away up there near the spire? Well, I’m shaping this down here so it will fit in up there.”
Tears filled my friend’s eyes as he walked away, for it seemed that God had spoken through the workman to explain the ordeal through which he was passing, “I’m shaping you down here so you’ll fit in up there.”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. – Matthew 22:40
Some evangelicals espouse the warped view that loving ourselves is selfish and wrong.
While Christians obviously are called to love God and others, loving ourselves in a biblical, non-narcissistic fashion fosters a healthy spiritual balance. We love ourselves properly when we see ourselves as God sees us.
God declares His children to be His workmanship. He views us as men and women of inestimable worth—valuable enough to execute His own Son on our behalf.
Your clothes, home, car, work, and friends do not determine your worth. God does. He values you so much that He desires to spend eternity with you.
We also love ourselves rightly when we treat ourselves properly. As God’s masterpieces, we should take care of ourselves. Our bodies need balanced nutrition and exercise. Our personal grooming should be neat. We polish our furniture and wax our cars because they are objects of worth to us. Are we not worth more than they?
You are God’s good and lovely creation. The more you affirm God’s evaluation of yourself, the more you will adore Him and love others.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Why Do You Question My Design?
Dear child of mine,
There are still some things about yourself that you have not accepted. You view your abilities and assets with harsh and critical eyes and keep a constant record of your “limitations.” You murmur and say, “I was made this way, but I should have been made that way!” or “If only I could be like this person or that person!”
Why do you insist on being your own worst enemy? Why do you question the judgment of God who made you as you are? Does the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing? How dare you shape me this way?” No, the clay does not give advice to the potter. And neither are you to resist my design for your life.
I, your God and your Creator, have fashioned you for my purposes. Humble your heart. Embrace my way. Give thanks.
Your own, God.
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Psalm 139:1-5, 12-17
1 O LORD, you have searched me 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 know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon 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. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
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.