DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
God’s Kind Of Strength
They shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
Never in history have the nations of the world possessed so many lethal armaments, so many ways to bring death and destruction to the human race. Some of our most brilliant minds spend their entire lives developing new and more sophisticated ways to destroy life.
But have all our weapons brought us lasting security? On the contrary; if anything, they have made the work less secure. At any one time at least thirty wars rage in various parts of the world, in addition to countless instances of civil unrest. I am reminded of the false prophets of Jeremiah’s day: “’Peace, peace’, they say, when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11, NIV).
In the midst of an uncertain and threatening world, however, we can have peace. It comes from putting our trust in the living God. Isaiah’s words – written in a time of great upheaval – still speak to us today: “Those who wait on the lord shall renew their strength; … they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Good: An Enemy Of The Best
“In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6).
During the fifties, a television program aired called “The Life of Riley.” You may remember watching it. The idea was to portray a life that anyone would want to live. During the opening credits, the start of the show was shown lying back in a hammock with is arms folded behind his head, while others hurriedly cut grass and cleaned the yard behind him. However, as the story unfolded, viewers quickly saw how unpredictable life can be.
The tragedy is that many people spend a lifetime trying to live the life of Riley. They opt for what appears fun and pleasurable rather than God’s best.
Life at its best is not a lifetime void of trouble and pain, but a lifetime of joy and peace. The experiences we encounter along the way lead to deep wisdom and personal knowledge of divine hope and grace.
Dear heavenly Father, good is good, but best is better. I don’t want to settle for anything less than the best. You chose what is right for me.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN
I Made You For A Reason
The Lord spoke his word to me, saying: “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart…” – Jeremiah 1:4-5
You made my whole being; you formed me in my mother’s body. I praise you because you made me in an amazing and wonderful way. – Psalm 139:13-14
My dear child, I created you for a purpose. There is a specific reason for your life. You are important to me. When circumstances or people in your life make you feel insignificant, remember that you are of great value and significance to me. I knew who you would be before you were even born. While you were still in the womb, I was putting you together according to my own design. I formed you exactly as you are.
Don’t you see? I didn’t make any mistakes when I made you. You are wonderfully made! I am filled with pride over you, my precious one! Be at peace with yourself. I love you as you are.
You are you. You are mine!
WEEKLY GOSPEL AND PSALM READING
Jesus Predicts His Death
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. “Never, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to you!”
Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.
“Truly I tell you, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
Vindicate me, LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD and have not faltered. Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
I do not sit with the deceitful, nor do I associate with hypocrites. I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. I wash my hands in innocence, and go about Your altar, LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Good Or The Best?
If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left —Genesis 13:9
As soon as you begin to live the life of faith in God, fascinating and physically gratifying possibilities will open up before you. These things are yours by right, but if you are living the life of faith you will exercise your right to waive your rights, and let God make your choice for you. God sometimes allows you to get into a place of testing where your own welfare would be the appropriate thing to consider, if you were not living the life of faith. But if you are, you will joyfully waive your right and allow God to make your choice for you. This is the discipline God uses to transform the natural into the spiritual through obedience to His voice.
Whenever our right becomes the guiding factor of our lives, it dulls our spiritual insight. The greatest enemy of the life of faith in God is not sin, but good choices which are not quite good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best. In this passage, it would seem that the wisest thing in the world for Abram to do would be to choose. It was his right, and the people around him would consider him to be a fool for not choosing.
Many of us do not continue to grow spiritually because we prefer to choose on the basis of our rights, instead of relying on God to make the choice for us. We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eyes focused on God. And God says to us, as He did to Abram, “. . . walk before Me. . .” (Genesis 17:1).