DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Always With Us
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. – Psalm 84:11
Many times we make the mistake of thinking that Christ’s help is needed only for sickrooms or in times of overwhelming sorrow and suffering. This is not true. Certainly, God is with us in times of distress, and that is a comforting truth. But listen: Jesus wants to be part of every experience and every moment of our lives.
He went to the wedding at Cana as well as to the home of Mary and Martha when Lazarus died. He wept with those who wept and rejoiced with those who rejoiced. Someone has said, “There are just as many starts in the sky at noon as at midnight, although we cannot see them in the sun’s glare.”
I seriously doubt if we will ever understand our trials and adversities until we are safely in
heaven. Then when we look back we are going to be absolutely amazed at how God took care of us and blessed us even in the storms of life. But God is with us in the good times also, and we should thank Him for them and commit them to Him just as surely as we do the hard times.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Spiritual fatigue hits everyone. In the race to know and serve Christ, our bodies, minds, and hearts can reach an overload point, causing us to drop back. If severe enough,
spiritual fatigue can discourage us from future participation.
God’s strength to endure is ours when we “lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us: (Hebrews 12:1). Cast your burdens on the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). Keep
short accounts with God daily concerning your sin.
God’s strength comes when we recognize that “in due time we shall reap id we do not grow weary” (Gal. 6:9). Your efforts will pay off. Harvest time will come. Your toil will be rewarded. God promises it.
God’s strength comes to finish the race when we are not “anxious for tomorrow: for tomorrow will care for itself” (Matt. 6:34). Live one day at a time. Do not be unduly concerned about tomorrow. The race is run step-by-step.
God’s strength comes when we let Him turn our weakness into His strengths: “He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power” (Isa. 40:29)
When you are weary, draw from almighty God’s unlimited power supply. Faint not. Fear not. Fret not. He gives supernatural strength to finish the race.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN
Look At My Son, Then Turn To Me
In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit. But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was
born to be a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death – death on a cross. – Philippians 2:5-8
Jesus answered, “I have been with you a long time now. Do you still not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. So why do you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” – John 14:9
What do you know of a love like mine? A love that stoops to conquer? A love that reaches to redeem? Look at the life of my Son, and you will see my heart. I am the center and the soul of who he is, for he and I are one.
Look at him, the One who was willing to leave crowns and thrones and angels’ praises to become a baby laid on straw. Look at him, the One who bowed to be baptized though he had never sinned. Look at him, the One who faced his own accusers, wordlessly accepting their sentence on his life. The One who bore abuse and torture, who bled and finally died so you could live to laugh and love and be reconciled to me.
All that you need to know of me, you will find in him. Look at him. Look at my Son, your Savior. Now, turn to me.
His Father and Yours, God
WEEKLY GOSPEL AND PSALM READING
Dealing With Sin in the Church
If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever
you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts! In your righteousness preserve my life.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Those who wait on the Lord . . . shall walk and not faint —Isaiah 40:31
There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength.
The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “. . . John . . . looking at Jesus as He walked. . . said, ’Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me. . .” (Genesis 17:1).
When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life. In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.
Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though . . ” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it. Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!”
At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.