DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
We Can Count on Him
Blessed is the man whose strength is in You. Psalm 84:5
Someone has written a little verse that goes: Said the robin to the sparrow, I should really like to know, Why these anxious human beings Rush about and worry so. Said the sparrow to the robin, Friend, I think that it must be, That they have no heavenly Father Such as cares for you and me. Jesus used the carefree attitude of the birds to underscore the fact that worrying is unnatural. “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap; … yet your heavenly Father feeds them” (Matt. 6:26). If He cares for tiny birds and frail flowers, why can’t we count on Him for every aspect of our lives?
After all, He loves us so much that He sent His Son into the world to save us. We are that valuable to Him!
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19
When Jesus called Peter and Andrew to be His disciples, all He said to them was, “Follow Me.” Peter and Andrew had heard Him teach before; that was not the first moment they had laid eyes on Jesus or heard what work He was about. Yet at the moment of calling, Jesus said only a few words. The hearts of Peter and Andrew were already prepared to answer His call; they immediately left their nets and livelihood and went with Jesus. The two disciples had an extreme sensitivity to the Spirit of God. They were able to recognize the difference between God’s prompting and the urging of their hearts. Peter and Andrew also possessed a mind-set of service. The New Testament had not yet been written, but their lives exemplified these verses about their Savior: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men” (Phil. 2:5–7 NASB). They were ready to sacrifice anything for the cause of Christ, even the security of a known future as fishermen. Jesus Christ gives you the same call: “Follow Me.” It does not matter where you are in life. All that matters is that you adapt your own plans to His.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
I Want First Place In Your Life
Of what are you proudest in your life? What pursuits bring you the most joy? What things really define who you are?
Whatever these things are (your family, your career, your friendships, even your service to me), offer up thanks for them, for they are a gift. And then, gratefully, move them into second place.
Every good thing in your life must come second to the best thing in your life. First place must be reserved for knowing me. What you once considered profit, now consider loss compared to the joy of knowing me. Whatever was valuable; now consider it trash compared to the joy of walking with me.
I am speaking here of priorities. I am not saying you should despise your family or your work or your ministry. But I am saying that knowing me must mean more to you than any of these. For I love you with a jealous love.
I will not share the prime place in your affection with anything, however good. Loving me must be the passion that defines your life.
Should you be asked, “Who are you, and what do you do?” what would you answer? Would you say, “I am a mother,” or “I am a computer analyst,” or “I preach the gospel of Jesus Christ”? All of these are second-place answers. Instead, I would have you answer, “I am the beloved child of the most high God, whom I delight to know.”
Jealously yours, God
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
1 My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. 2 I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old— 3 things we have heard and known, things our ancestors have told us.
4 We will not hide them from their descendants; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.
5 He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, 6 so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Put God First
Jesus did not commit Himself to them . . .for He knew what was in man —John 2:24-25
Put Trust in God First. Our Lord never put His trust in any person. Yet He was never suspicious, never bitter, and never lost hope for anyone, because He put His trust in God first. He trusted absolutely in what God’s grace could do for others. If I put my trust in human beings first, the end result will be my despair and hopelessness toward everyone. I will become bitter because I have insisted that people be what no person can ever be— absolutely perfect and right. Never trust anything in yourself or in anyone else, except the grace of God.
Put God’s Will First. “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:9). A person’s obedience is to what he sees to be a need— our Lord’s obedience was to the will of His Father. The rallying cry today is, “We must get to work! The heathen are dying without God. We must go and tell them about Him.” But we must first make sure that God’s needs” and His will in us personally are being met. Jesus said, “. . . tarry . . . until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). The purpose of our Christian training is to get us into the right relationship to the “needs” of God and His will. Once God’s “needs” in us have been met, He will open the way for us to accomplish His will, meeting His “needs” elsewhere.
Put God’s Son First. “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me” (Matthew 18:5). God came as a baby, giving and entrusting Himself to me. He expects my personal life to be a “Bethlehem.” Am I allowing my natural life to be slowly transformed by the indwelling life of the Son of God? God’s ultimate purpose is that His Son might be exhibited in me.