DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Life After Death
For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. – PHILIPPIANS 1:21
I have asked a number of scientists questions concerning life after death, and most of them say, “We just do not know.” Science deals in formulas and test tubes. But there is a spiritual world science knows nothing about.
Because many do not believe in life after death, their writings are filled with tragedy and pessimism. The writings of William Faulkner, James Joyce, and many others are filled with pessimism, darkness, and tragedy. Sadly, the same was often true of their lives.
How different from Jesus Christ who said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26). Our hope of immortality is based on Christ alone—not on our desires, longings, arguments, or instincts of immortality. And because we know Christ is alive, we have hope—hope for the present and hope for life beyond the grave.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
The Journey of Faith
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28
You can’t reach the mountaintop unless you scale its slopes. You can’t reach your destination unless you hazard the journey. That’s what it means to take a step of faith, to risk the comfort of the familiar and trust God to take you to new places. Doing anything less is a form of compromise.
At the beginning of his trip of a lifetime, Abraham could not say with certainty that he understood God’s reasons or methods. But he did grasp God’s good purpose and knew that the only way to live it was to surrender himself to the experience.
In her book Faith: The Substance of Things Unseen, Penelope Stokes describes the value of the risk of faith:
It’s a frightening concept, new birth… to be catapulted like helpless infants into an unfamiliar, perhaps hostile world… to give ourselves over, heart and soul, to the God who calls us out into new life, into new experiences, into deep spiritual waters.
Both before and after my experience of surrender to Christ on September 15, 1970, I can see the hand of God working in my life, drawing me toward spiritual consciousness, leading me on the journey of faith… And all along the way, I see altars of sacrifice, times in which God called me to a new place, a different level of intimacy, continued growth… We must take the risk to go forward as God leads us to new levels of life in the Spirit.
DEVOTIONAL FROM JESUS CALLING – SARAH YOUNG
Seek My Face
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – JEREMIAH 29 : 13
Seek My Face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible. Let Me displace worry at the center of your being. I am like a supersaturated cloud, showering Peace into the pool of your mind. My Nature is to bless. Your nature is to receive with thanksgiving. This is a true fit, designed before the foundation of the world. Glorify Me by receiving My blessings gratefully.
I am the goal of all your searching. When you seek Me, you find Me and are
satisfied. When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life. I am still there, watching and waiting; but you function as if you were alone. Actually, My Light shines on every situation you will ever face. Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments. Let nothing dampen your search for Me.
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jesus the Way to the Father
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked advance against me to devour[a] me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. 3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.
4 One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. 5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock.
6 Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord.
7 Hear my voice when I call, Lord; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. 9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. 11 Teach me your way, Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors. 12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
. . . it has not yet been revealed what we shall be . . . —1 John 3:2
Our natural inclination is to be so precise—trying always to forecast accurately what will happen next—that we look upon uncertainty as a bad thing. We think that we must reach some predetermined goal, but that is not the nature of the spiritual life. The nature of the spiritual life is that we are certain in our uncertainty. Consequently, we do not put down roots. Our common sense says, “Well, what if I were in that circumstance?” We cannot presume to see ourselves in any circumstance in which we have never been.
Certainty is the mark of the commonsense life—gracious uncertainty is the mark of the spiritual life. To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, not knowing what tomorrow may bring. This is generally expressed with a sigh of sadness, but it should be an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God. As soon as we abandon ourselves to God and do the task He has placed closest to us, He begins to fill our lives with surprises. When we become simply a promoter or a defender of a particular belief, something within us dies. That is not believing God—it is only believing our belief about Him. Jesus said, “. . . unless you . . . become as little children . . .” (Matthew 18:3). The spiritual life is the life of a child. We are not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He is going to do next. If our certainty is only in our beliefs, we develop a sense of self-righteousness, become overly critical, and are limited by the view that our beliefs are complete and settled. But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, “. . . believe also in Me” (John 14:1), not, “Believe certain things about Me”. Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in—but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him.