DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Trust Crowds Out Worry
Commit your way to the LORD … and He shall bring it to pass. – PSALM 37:5
You cannot stop a baby’s cry by giving him a rattle when he is hungry. He will keep on crying until his hunger is satisfied by the food his little body demands. Neither can the soul of a mature person be satisfied apart from God. David described the hunger of every human being when he said: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Ps. 42:1).
Two conflicting forces cannot exist in one human heart. When doubt reigns, faith cannot abide. Where hatred rules, love is crowded out. Where selfishness rules, there love cannot dwell. When worry is present, trust cannot crowd its way in.
In the same way, God will not share His rightful place in our lives with anything or anyone less than Himself. Is anything crowding God out of your heart today? Don’t give first place to anything less than Christ, but “commit your way to the LORD.”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Abiding in Christ
These things I command you, that you love one another. – John 15:17
In John 15, Jesus instructed us to abide in Him. The visual picture is one of a branch abiding in a vine. Christ taught that God is the Vinedresser, pruning and shaping the branches so that they will bear much fruit. Abiding means “remaining and continuing.” It is an active word, even though from a worldly perspective we often view it as a word of passivity. However, nothing is farther from the truth. When we abide in Christ, we are in a process of growth unlike anything we have known before.
Notice how the young tender shoots of the grapevine appear in the spring and begin running along the arbor. God tenderly watches over His branches and with the greatest of care and skill cultivates the vine so that it produces a maximum harvest.
The sole purpose of the branches is to bear fruit. They are not destined to live on their own apart from the vine, nor are they allowed to grow wild. They maintain, they continue,and they rest in the vine.
We live under the grace of God and are given full access to His infinite peace as we abide in Him. When turmoil comes, we can go to a place of refuge. It is a place of abiding contentment in the inner chamber of our hearts. You need never fear when you are abiding in Christ. His peace and rest are yours.
DEVOTIONAL FROM JESUS CALLING – SARAH YOUNG
Do Not Resist Difficulty
We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. – 2 CORINTHIANS 1 : 8 – 9
Do not resist of run from the difficulties in your life. These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth. Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting Me to bring good out of them. View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me.
When you start to feel stressed, let those feelings alert you to your need for Me. Thus, your needs become doorways to deep dependence on Me and increasing intimacy between us. Although self-sufficiency is acclaimed in the world, reliance on Me produces abundant living in My kingdom. Thank Me for the difficulties in your life, since they provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance.
The Vine and the Branches
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. 3 For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
4 I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.[b] 5 For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
6 Increase the days of the king’s life, his years for many generations. 7 May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever; appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.
8 Then I will ever sing in praise of your name and fulfill my vows day after day.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Faith to Persevere
Because you have kept My command to persevere . . . —Revelation 3:10
Perseverance means more than endurance— more than simply holding on until the end. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, but our Lord continues to stretch and strain, and every once in a while the saint says, “I can’t take any more.” Yet God pays no attention; He goes on stretching until His purpose is in sight, and then He lets the arrow fly. Entrust yourself to God’s hands. Is there something in your life for which you need perseverance right now? Maintain your intimate relationship with Jesus Christ through the perseverance of faith. Proclaim as Job did, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him” (Job 13:15).
Faith is not some weak and pitiful emotion, but is strong and vigorous confidence built on the fact that God is holy love. And even though you cannot see Him right now and cannot understand what He is doing, you know Him. Disaster occurs in your life when you lack the mental composure that comes from establishing yourself on the eternal truth that God is holy love. Faith is the supreme effort of your life— throwing yourself with abandon and total confidence upon God.
God ventured His all in Jesus Christ to save us, and now He wants us to venture our all with total abandoned confidence in Him. There are areas in our lives where that faith has not worked in us as yet— places still untouched by the life of God. There were none of those places in Jesus Christ’s life, and there are to be none in ours. Jesus prayed, “This is eternal life, that they may know You . . .” (John 17:3). The real meaning of eternal life is a life that can face anything it has to face without wavering. If we will take this view, life will become one great romance— a glorious opportunity of seeing wonderful things all the time. God is disciplining us to get us into this central place of power.