Daily Devotion

  • Autopilot

    Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17

     

    Urban legend tells the story of a man driving his brand new RV for the first time.  Thinking it was the same thing as “autopilot” he pushed the cruise control button and stepped to kitchen of the RV for a drink. 

     

    You know what happened next.  The motor home veered off of the freeway and crashed.

     

    Although the story may not be true, the illustration reminds us of the dangers of putting parts of our lives on autopilot.  Trying to navigate through life without deliberate effort, hoping to arrive at a good destination without being at the wheel, only leads to mistakes and disappointments.

     

    Take an inventory of your current circumstances.  Are you taking things for granted? Are you ignoring warning lights?  Perhaps you’re investing more time in work and television than on your family and the family of God. 

     

    Today, ask God to make evident to you what in your life needs to be changed.  It may be as simple as spending a few extra minutes with your kids before bedtime or investing time in the life of someone at church. 

     

    Turn off the autopilot and get in gear today!

       

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

     

     

  • Just One Thing

    And as He was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before Him and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said to Him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.     Mark 10:17-22

    As a very young man just starting his business, my dad moved to Greensboro, North Carolina.  He lived in a boarding house owned by two elderly sisters.  One of the sisters cooked dinner for him every evening, usually keeping him company at the table while he ate. 

    One night after my dad finished his meal, she brought him a big slice of an apple pie she had baked for him that day.  Fresh out of the oven, steam rose from the golden crusted pie, carrying the homey smell of baked apples.  My dad eagerly took a bite of the pie he’d been served. 

    The pie tasted awful!  Embarrassed, my dad spit that bite of pie into his napkin and said to her, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t eat it.”  She said, “Well I didn’t know whether you would notice, but I used salt instead of sugar.”

    How many things were wrong with that pie?  Just one.

    How many sins will it take to send a person to hell?  Just one.  The Bible says that because God is holy, He cannot look upon even one sin. 

    What is the one thing that is preventing you from following Jesus?  The man who knelt before Jesus was presented with the wonderful opportunity to follow Christ.  But, just one thing kept him from receiving the great gift of salvation.

    If you want to be saved, you must surrender all you have to Jesus and follow Him.  Simply, if you haven’t surrendered, you haven’t been saved.  Jesus invites you to surrender to Him today and be saved. 

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

  • The Drain Hole

    And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Matthew 10:28

     

    As a five year old just learning to ride a bicycle, I was terribly afraid of storm drains in the road.  As I approached them, I would shout out, "Drain hole! Drain hole!” and swerve out into the middle of the road. 

     

    The greatest fear in my five year old mind was of falling into a storm drain.

     

    Finally, my father pulled me aside, got me off my bike and walked me over to one of the storm drains. "Now, I want you to go down into that drain hole."

     

    I tried, but couldn’t.  I couldn’t even force one of my legs down into the drain.

     

    "Stephen,” he said, “you can’t fall into that storm drain. That's nothing to be scared of.  But here’s what you should be scared of.”  He pointed to the middle of the street and said, “Every time you swerve into the road to miss the drain hole, you risk being hit by a car or truck that could run you over and kill you.  That’s what you should be scared of.” 

     

    My basic problem was this: I was confused about what I should fear. 

     

    One of the greatest Christians I have ever known continually makes a brave and courageous stand for God’s Word.  He has been used of God to make a difference for Christ all over the world.  He told me this:  "I've never done anything that courageous. In fact, anything good I've ever done has been motivated by one fear:  the fear of disobeying God."

     

    Don’t be confused about what to fear.  The only one whom we should fear is God.

     

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

  • Hell Is Real

    And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’  Mark 9:46-48

    One night, Michele and I arrived at a very crowded restaurant for dinner.  People stood shoulder to shoulder in the waiting area, many of them clutching a buzzer that would announce it was their turn to be seated. 

    Shortly, an obviously irritated couple walked out.  The woman announced to everyone, “You don’t want to go in there!  The service is lousy and the staff is rude.  The food is cold and inedible.  We refuse to eat it.”  As they marched out into the parking lot, she reiterated, “You don’t want to go in there!”

    At that point, we all had a decision to make:  would we stay or leave?  Each person’s decision hinged on one thing:  whether they trusted the testimony of the woman who said, “Don’t go in there!”

    Jesus Christ has given us a testimony about hell.  He said hell is real place, a fiery place, and it is forever.  You don't want to go there.

    But there is good news!  Jesus Christ, God's Son, came from heaven to earth, lived a perfectly sinless life, and died a violent death on the cross to satisfy the wrath of God for our sin.  And on the third day, He rose from the dead. 

    Jesus also testified that every person who repents from their sin and calls on Him to save them will not go to hell, but will be in heaven with Him forever!

    What will you do with Jesus’ testimony?  Have you trusted Jesus? 

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

  • Available Strength

    But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.                 2 Corinthians 12:9

     

    A father and his son were out working in the yard. The son, who was about 13 or 14 was trying to move a heavy rock from one place to the other. He was straining and grunting and sweating, but he couldn't make the rock move.

     

    His dad stopped and watched for a moment.  He said, "Son, you're not using all the strength you have available to you."

     

    The young man determined to push harder, but still he couldn't make the rock budge. 

     

    Again the father said, "Son, you're not using all the strength you have available."

     

    The son backed up and pushed again, but the rock stood still. 

     

    The son was exasperated. He said, "Dad, I'm pushing as hard as I can. I don't have any more strength to use."

     

    The father shook his head and said, "No, you haven't used all the strength you have available, because you haven't asked me to help."

     

    Are you feeling weak today?  Be encouraged!  Remember that God’s grace is sufficient for you.  Christ’s power is made perfect in your weakness.  All of the power of Christ is available to you to accomplish any task He has given you or to faithfully face any circumstance He allows in your life. 

     

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

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