DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
In the World, Not of the World
They are of the world…. We are of God. – I JOHN 4:5-6
The Gulf Stream flows in the ocean, and yet it is not absorbed by it. It maintains its warm temperatures even in the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
Believers are in the world, and yet they must not be absorbed by it. If Christians are to fulfill their purposes in the world, they must not be chilled by the indifferent, godless society in which they live. The Bible says, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Rom. 12:2). It is true that Jesus dined with publicans and sinners, but He did not allow the social group to overwhelm Him and conform Him to its ways. Instead, He seized every opportunity to present spiritual truth and to lead a soul from death to life.
Our social contacts should not only be pleasant, they should be opportunities to share our faith with those who do not yet know Christ. As you have contact with others this day, will they sense the warmth of Christ’s presence through you?
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Clothed with Power
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. – John 6:63
After Jesus rose from the dead and ascended to the Father, His disciples were zealous to spread His message of salvation. Yet Christ commanded them to wait until they were “clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49 NASB) on Pentecost when the Holy Spirit would come for a new, indwelling ministry.
Think seriously about this fact: If the Holy Spirit was necessary for the apostles to live and minister effectively, do we not need His power as well? The Christian life is started by the Holy Spirit in the new birth experience and continued by the same Holy Spirit.
We need God’s Holy Spirit to enable us to live in victory over our circumstances. Only He gives us His hope, strength, and peace in the midst of crises. Only He supplies the mind and life of Christ when our emotions and situations are unpredictable and unstable.
We need the Holy Spirit to carry out the commands of Scripture through us. We can love our enemies, give thanks in heartache, deny ourselves, and turn the other cheek when we are ridiculed—only as He expresses Christ’s life through us.
The Lord gives you His all-sufficient Holy Spirit to glorify Himself through you. Let Him complete what He started in you at salvation by yielding to His reign daily.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
You Will Be Satisfied
My dearest child,
You are blessed indeed when you are hungry and thirsty for me, for you will be satisfied; you will be filled. Be thankful when you find yourself yearning for more of me – more guidance, more courage, more comfort, more company. The deep longing in your spirit for me will most surely be answered.
Nothing is more compelling to my Holy Spirit than a sincere heart that longs for me and my righteousness. To “long for my righteousness” is to yearn for a right relationship with me. And what is a right relationship? One in which you become so infused and empowered with my Holy Spirit that you bear the mark of my character to all who know you. This is what it means for you to “become less important” so that I may “become greater.”
Hunger and thirst for me.
And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with[a] water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
The Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
What You Will Get
I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go —Jeremiah 45:5
This is the firm and immovable secret of the Lord to those who trust Him— “I will give your life to you . . . .” What more does a man want than his life? It is the essential thing. “. . . your life . . . as a prize . . .” means that wherever you may go, even if it is into hell, you will come out with your life and nothing can harm it. So many of us are caught up in exhibiting things for others to see, not showing off property and possessions, but our blessings. All these things that we so proudly show have to go. But there is something greater that can never go— the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
Are you prepared to let God take you into total oneness with Himself, paying no more attention to what you call the great things of life? Are you prepared to surrender totally and let go? The true test of abandonment or surrender is in refusing to say, “Well, what about this?” Beware of your own ideas and speculations. The moment you allow yourself to think, “What about this?” you show that you have not surrendered and that you do not really trust God. But once you do surrender, you will no longer think about what God is going to do. Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions. If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, “I will give your life to you as a prize . . . .” The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything— they have not been given their life “as a prize.” The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth. God will have you absolutely, without any limitations, and He will have given you your life. If you are not there, it is either because of disobedience in your life or your refusal to be simple enough.