DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
God Cares for You
God is not the author of confusion but of peace. – 1 CORINTHIANS 14:33
Who of us has not asked in times of affliction and difficulty—does God care for me? The Psalmist said, “Refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul” (Ps. 142:4 KJV). Martha, over-concerned with her workaday duties, said to Jesus, “Lord, do You not care?” How many faithful, loving mothers, overwhelmed by the burdens of motherhood, have cried anxiously, “Lord, do You not care?”
That question is forever answered in those reassuring words of Peter: “He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7). This is the Word of God. Even if the world passes away it will not change.
You can be confident God cares for you. If He didn’t, would He have sent Christ into the world to die for you? Of course not! That is why you can always turn to Him for the strength and encouragement you need.
Yes, life can be overwhelming at times. But when it is, remember this: God knows what you are facing, and “He cares for you.”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Do Not Grow Weary
As for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. – Thessalonians 3:13
At various points throughout history, some Christians have been accused of being too teleological in focus. That is, they emphasized the life to come and their ultimate destination of heaven to the exclusion of concern for this present world. You have probably heard this comment: “He is so heavenly minded, he is no earthly good.”
In Paul’s day in the church at Thessalonica, many believers took this warped emphasis to the extreme. They were convinced that Jesus was returning at any moment, so they ceased working and waited for Him. You can imagine what chaos the imbalance caused within the early church, with some believers working harder and carrying the load for the others.
Second Thessalonians 3:12–13 (NASB) contains this reproof: “Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread. But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.”
It is all right to look forward to spending eternity with Jesus after we die and leave this earth; He wants us to eagerly anticipate His generous blessings to come. Yet the here and now matters to Jesus too. He wants you to grow in His fellowship, maturing and strengthening and becoming a better-equipped representative of His grace to a lost world.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
I Am Here For Your Hurt
Are you hurting today? Under all the coping mechanisms you’ve set up to keep your life in motion, is there a place in you that is bruised and aching, a hidden place in need of healing?
I know. I can see. I want to heal you. It is to the downtrodden and the broken that I come. Let me in. Don’t hide the wounded places. Don’t show me only the shiny achievements and the competent areas of your life. I am here for the hurt in you too. I want to bring health to every part of you. I want to see you flourish. I want to make you whole. So when the wick of your candle is smoldering and almost out, cry out to me. I will send the gentle wind of my Holy Spirit to stir up that flame of life in you.
The Birth of Jesus Foretold
26 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31 You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37 For nothing is impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
I will sing of the LORD’s great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.
2 I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.
3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,
4 ‘I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations.’”
19 Once you spoke in a vision,
to your faithful people you said:
“I have bestowed strength on a warrior;
I have exalted a young man from among the people.
20 I have found David my servant;
with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
21 My hand will sustain him;
surely my arm will strengthen him.
22 No enemy will subject him to tribute;
no wicked man will oppress him.
23 I will crush his foes before him
and strike down his adversaries.
24 My faithful love will be with him,
and through my name his horn will be exalted.
25 I will set his hand over the sea,
his right hand over the rivers.
26 He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,
my God, the Rock my Savior.’
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Test of Faithfulness
We know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . . —Romans 8:28
It is only a faithful person who truly believes that God sovereignly controls his circumstances. We take our circumstances for granted, saying God is in control, but not really believing it. We act as if the things that happen were completely controlled by people. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty, or object of our faith— the Lord Jesus Christ. God may cause our circumstances to suddenly fall apart, which may bring the realization of our unfaithfulness to Him for not recognizing that He had ordained the situation. We never saw what He was trying to accomplish, and that exact event will never be repeated in our life. This is where the test of our faithfulness comes. If we will just learn to worship God even during the difficult circumstances, He will change them for the better very quickly if He so chooses.
Being faithful to Jesus Christ is the most difficult thing we try to do today. We will be faithful to our work, to serving others, or to anything else; just don’t ask us to be faithful to Jesus Christ. Many Christians become very impatient when we talk about faithfulness to Jesus. Our Lord is dethroned more deliberately by Christian workers than by the world. We treat God as if He were a machine designed only to bless us, and we think of Jesus as just another one of the workers.
The goal of faithfulness is not that we will do work for God, but that He will be free to do His work through us. God calls us to His service and places tremendous responsibilities on us. He expects no complaining on our part and offers no explanation on His part. God wants to use us as He used His own Son.