DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
The Tug of God’s Love
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. – ROMANS 8:16
Whenever anyone asks me how I can be so certain about who and what God really is, I am reminded of the story of the little boy who was out flying a kite. It was a fine day for kite flying, the wind was brisk and large billowy clouds were blowing across the sky. The kite went up and up until it was entirely hidden by the clouds.
“What are you doing?” a man asked the little boy.
“I’m flying a kite,” he replied.
“Flying a kite?” the man said. “How can you be sure? You can’t see the kite.”
“No,” said the boy, “I can’t see it, but every little while I feel a tug, so I know for sure that it’s there!”
Don’t take anyone else’s word for God. Find Him for yourself by inviting Jesus Christ to come into your life. Then you, too, will know by the wonderful, warm tug on your heartstrings that He is there for sure.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
God’s Gift to You
By Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. – Colossians 1:20
From the disciples’ point of view the Cross seemed ridiculous. In fact, no one understood why Jesus submitted to such treatment. They could not comprehend what He was doing for them. For years, they prayed for Messiah to come. However, their idea of a Savior was something far from what they saw in Jesus. The man they had hoped would come was one of military might. He would put to rest once and for all the nagging pursuit of the Roman government and, for that matter, everyone else who troubled God’s chosen people.
But God’s purposes seldom revolve around human strength and ability. Instead, He tells us to deny ourselves, to take up His cross, and to follow Him. This inherently leads to the crucified life—a life where Christ reigns. It also is a life that mirrors our Lord’s example while teaching us to focus the attitude of our hearts on God and His will alone.
Christ’s only focus was to do the will of the Father. You cannot save yourself. Any human effort or striving to reach some point of holiness outside acknowledging what Christ did for you at Calvary is done in vain.
The Cross is God’s gift to you. It was something Jesus did out of love. His greatest desire is to have you beside Him for all eternity. This Easter allow the cross of Christ to find its place deep within your life as you celebrate His resurrection.
DEVOTIONAL FROM JESUS CALLING – SARAH YOUNG
I Want You To Be All Mine
I want you to be all Mine. I am weaning you from other dependencies. Your security rests in Me alone—not in other people, not in circumstances. Depending only on Me may feel like walking on a tightrope, but there is a safety net underneath: the everlasting arms. So don’t be afraid of falling. Instead, look ahead to Me. I am always before you, beckoning you on—one step at a time. Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, can separate you from My loving Presence.
The New Birth
3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.[a]”
4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[b] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[c] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[d]
9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.[e] 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[f] 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.”[g]
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.[a]
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.[b][c]
7 Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9 Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty— he is the King of glory.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Source of Abundant Joy
In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us —Romans 8:37
Paul was speaking here of the things that might seem likely to separate a saint from the love of God. But the remarkable thing is that nothing can come between the love of God and a saint. The things Paul mentioned in this passage can and do disrupt the close fellowship of our soul with God and separate our natural life from Him. But none of them is able to come between the love of God and the soul of a saint on the spiritual level. The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the undeserved, limitless miracle of the love of God that was exhibited on the Cross of Calvary; a love that is not earned and can never be. Paul said this is the reason that “in all these things we are more than conquerors.” We are super-victors with a joy that comes from experiencing the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us.
Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let’s apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against— tribulation, suffering, and persecution— are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. “We are more than conquerors through Him” “in all these things”; not in spite of them, but in the midst of them. A saint doesn’t know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it. Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 7:4).
The undiminished radiance, which is the result of abundant joy, is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can change. And the experiences of life, whether they are everyday events or terrifying ones, are powerless to “separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).