Seek to Glorify God (Part 1)

“That the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you.” 2Th 1:12 NIV Bach composed 256 cantatas. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring may be his most famous. Nearly four centuries later, it’s still one of the most popular soundtracks as the bride walks down the aisle to meet her groom. The reason his music touches your soul is because it came from his soul. But did you know his cantatas didn’t originate as music, and that they were prayers before they were songs? Before he started scoring a sheet of … [Read more...]

Let Others See God In You

“Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Zec 8:23 NKJV The prophet Zechariah writes, “Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord…saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you’” (vv. 22-23 NKJV). When people see God at work in your life, they’ll be drawn to you. It happened to a short-order cook named Nicholas Herman. Dissatisfied with his life, he worried constantly about whether or not he was even saved. Then one day as he studied a … [Read more...]

Position Yourself to Receive

“The wise listen to others.” Pr 12:15 NLT Positioning yourself to receive—makes all the difference! For example, as you read this, if you position yourself to receive by saying to the Lord, “I will take action on what You show me,” you’ll benefit more than if you read it just to be motivated or inspired. To resist or to receive—that’s a choice you make every day. Nothing dies quicker than a new idea in a closed mind. It’s impossible to learn, if you think you already know it all. One of the … [Read more...]

Chosen and Appointed by God (Part 5)

“The Son is…sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Heb 1:3 NIV Are you so focused on your troubles that you’ve forgotten what God’s Word says: “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”? (Ps 23:6). We know about Job’s troubles, but we tend to forget they were just for a short season in an otherwise very blessed life. The time Joseph spent in prison was eclipsed by the years of influence and privilege he enjoyed as the number-two man in Pharaoh’s palace. Are you having … [Read more...]

Chosen and Appointed by God (Part 4)

“I have…ordained you, that you should…bring forth fruit.” Jn 15:16 The word “ordained” comes from the word ordered. God ordered and designed you specifically. He chose your life’s direction. He preserved you when you thought you wouldn’t make it. He pushed you when you thought you had run out of steam. “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble…the Lord holds them by the hand” (Ps 37:23-24 NLT). He wants you to win. “No weapon … [Read more...]

Chosen and Appointed by God (Part 3)

“I will arise and go to my father.” Lk 15:18 Once you grasp the fact that God has “chosen and appointed” you to accomplish certain things, many of your unanswered questions will begin to make sense. Like why you see things differently from others, or feel compelled to move on while they’re happy to stay where they are. Paul said, “Long before we first heard of Christ…he…had designs on us for glorious living” (Eph 1:11 TM). You’ve been handpicked and designed for the job! Why? Because God has … [Read more...]

Chosen and Appointed by God (Part 2)

“You are now fully adopted as his own.” Gal 4:5 TM The word “appointed” means God has scheduled certain things to take place in your life at certain seasons. Sometimes people have to make lifestyle adjustments to accommodate an unexpected pregnancy—but nobody adopts a child by accident. Think: Knowing in advance about all your weaknesses, God chose you anyway. “You are now fully adopted as his own…an heir, with complete access” (vv. 5-7 TM). You never have to wonder whether it’s okay to … [Read more...]

Chosen and Appointed by God (Part 1)

“I chose you and appointed you.” Jn 15:16 NKJV Jesus said, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” How you begin a relationship is important. All parties need to feel secure in order for it to go well. For example, when you’re invited to somebody’s home for dinner, it’s reasonable to expect that they’ll fulfill certain social obligations. You shouldn’t have to wonder if you’re welcome, or if there’ll be … [Read more...]

Do Something About It

“He has created us anew…so we can do the good things he planned for us.” Eph 2:10 NLT The Bible says God “created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” These are devastating times. A billion people are hungry, millions are trafficked in slavery, and pandemic diseases are gouging entire nations. Each year nearly two million children are exploited in the global sex trade. In the few minutes it took you to read today’s devotional, almost ninety children … [Read more...]

The Pluses and Minuses of Role Models

“By the grace of God I am what I am.” 1Co 15:10 NIV We all need good role models. But when you devote your life to being like somebody else, you risk becoming something God doesn’t want you to be. Always remember, your “heroes” wrestle with blind spots and character flaws too. Paul said, “I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God” (v. 9 NIV). The same thing with Peter: When Cornelius sent for him, we’re told that as he … [Read more...]