Daily Devotion

  • Be a Follower

    Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him. Mark 1:16-20

    A young woman was filling out her college application. About midway through the application, she came to this question: Are you a leader? Her heart sank. She was conscientious, and wanted to be honest with herself and the school. Though she felt it was to her detriment, she answered “No” to the question, completed the application and mailed it to the school, fearing the worst, but hoping it would not hurt her chances for admission.

    To her surprise, she received a letter from the college, containing the following note: "Dear applicant, a study of the application forms reveals that this year, our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower."

    The world tells us that we always ought to strive to be leaders – in school, in the workplace, in the family, in sports, and whatever we do. But Jesus Christ and the Word of God call us to be radically different from the world. The Bible says much more about following than it does about leading. There are times when leadership is encouraged and required, and there is a spiritual gift of leadership. But understand this: Jesus Christ is much more interested in your faithfully following Him first.

    Are you following Jesus every day? Jesus means for you to follow Him just like your shadow follows you, going everywhere He goes, doing everything He does. Do you remember playing Follow the Leader as a kid? It’s an easy game, with one simple rule: do whatever the leader does, and go wherever the leader goes. We are to follow our Leader.

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

  • When God Puts on the Brakes

    “So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given Me?” John 18:11

    It was beautiful: red and blue with chrome handlebars and a white seat. The little boy watched eagerly as his dad assembled his brand new bicycle. Then the boy jumped on and tried to ride. Though wobbly at first, he became steady with practice. Soon, the time came to conquer new territory on his bike: the steep hill in front of his house.

    He woke early on Saturday morning, and positioned himself at the top of the hill. He started down, slowly at first, but enjoyed the thrill as he gathered speed on the way down. It was the fastest he had ever gone. The sharp curve at the bottom of the hill approached quickly, but applying the brakes and slowing down seemed silly. Why give up the thrill?

    He took the corner at the bottom of the hill at full speed. The thrill of flying down the hill had now faded into moments of intense pain and disappointment. He had been thrown off the road and into the woods, where he lay on the ground, badly scratched and bleeding. For the rest of his bicycling career, the boy remembered the importance of putting on the brakes!

    Sometimes God puts on the brakes in our lives. He slows things down. He interrupts our pace. He may even call everything we were doing or planning to do to a halt. Those times are usually difficult. The lack of progress can be frustrating. But putting on the brakes is as essential in your life as it is when you're riding a bike down a hill.

    Peter experienced this when Jesus was betrayed. He foolishly thought he was being noble by drawing a sword to defend Jesus. But Jesus knew the task before Him much was much greater than Peter could understand at the time. Jesus told Peter to put on the brakes so that the greatest mission could be accomplished.

    Trust God’s leading to know when to fly down the hill and when to put on the brakes!

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

  • Power to Transform

    But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself.  Philippians 3:20-21

    In the 19th century, Hugh Price Hughes, an active soul-winner who worked among the poor in the slums of London was challenged to debate the claims of Christianity by Charles Bradlaugh, a prominent and vocal atheist.  Hughes agreed to the debate on one condition.

    Hughes said, "I propose to you that we each bring some concrete evidence of the validity of our beliefs in the form of men and women who have been redeemed from the lives of sin and shame by the influence of our teaching.  I will bring 100 such men and women, and I challenge you to do the same."

    After a time, Hughes lowered the required proof to 20 persons, and then to just one. Bradlaugh failed to find even one person whose life had been improved by atheism.  Hughes met his part of the challenge, easily bringing as proof 100 people whose lives had been changed by Jesus Christ.  Bradlaugh withdrew from the debate.

    Jesus Christ has the power to transform lives, including yours.  Have you been transformed by Jesus?  What will you do with Him?

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

  • Satan is Defeated

    “The Spirit immediately drove Him out into the wilderness. And He was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan …” Mark 1:12-13

    When I was a kid, a vacuum cleaner salesman made an appointment to demonstrate his vacuum cleaner to my mother in our home.  He confidently poured dirt all over our carpet as he said, "Mrs. Rummage, you just watch.  This vacuum cleaner will pick up every particle of dirt."  Was he testing his vacuum cleaner to see if it would work?  No; he knew before he poured dirt out on our floor that his machine would pick it all up.  He wanted to show us that it would work.

    In the same way, when the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness, it was not to see whether He would sin, but to show that He would not sin and has defeated Satan.  Therefore, we can be assured that every type of temptation the devil throws at us has already been defeated by Jesus.

    In fact, at every opportunity and in every part of His life, Jesus Christ has defeated Satan:  at His birth, when Satan tried to snuff out His life in infancy; in His life, as He overcame every temptation, yet without sin; in His death on the cross when He completely paid the price for our sin; in His resurrection, giving us victory over the grave; and, through His ascension to the right hand of God, where he never ceases to pray for us.  And soon, He will appear in the clouds to fully and forever defeat Satan when He comes again for His church!  Satan is already defeated!  Praise God!

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

  • Unchanging Message

    “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the "Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures …”  1 Corinthians 15:3-4

    Over one hundred years ago, a candy maker developed a mild, chewy chocolate treat and gave it the name "Tootsie Roll."

    Since then, the Tootsie Roll wrapper has changed several times.

    It has changed in size.

    It has changed in shape.

    It has changed in color.

    The typeface has been changed.

    The design and artwork have been changed.

    But one thing has remained remarkably consistent:  the recipe for the candy in the wrapper has not changed.

    Likewise, we can change the wrapping that we use to deliver the good news of Jesus, be we must never change the recipe.

    It becomes necessary from time to time to change the methods by which we communicate the Gospel, but the message must never be compromised.

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

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