Daily Devotion

  • Does God Take Questions?

    “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?  Has His steadfast love forever ceased? Are His promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up his compassion?” Psalm 77:7-9

     

    Years ago, I had a professor who notoriously disliked students to ask questions. Students who raised their hands during his lectures were usually either ignored altogether or met with an icy gaze. Even worse, when he did acknowledge a raised hand and allow a question,  he responded,  “That's essentially the same question you asked two weeks ago. It was a rotten question then, and I'm not going to answer it now!”

     

    God is not like my grumpy professor.   Asaph, the writer of Psalm 77, was a servant of the Lord who was struggling and overwhelmed with the troubles of the land.  In addition, he was plagued by memories of God’s faithfulness and nearness in the past when life was good and he had freely sung God’s praises.  Now, he sincerely wondered if the Lord would ever show His favor to him and his people again.  He begged answers from God.

     

    Of course, we know God’s answer to Asaph’s questions.  The prophet Jeremiah says in the face of affliction, “The Lord’s loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is Thy faithfulness!”  However, our knowledge of that truth is sometimes overwhelmed by our feelings. 

     

    It’s okay to ask God hard questions; He can handle it.  Today, even if you question, rest in the knowledge that God is good, and His compassions never fail.  Great is His faithfulness!

     

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

  • Provision

    “He has caused His wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful. He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever. He has shown His people the power of His works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.” Psalm 111:4-6

     

    Reverend Jones, a retired pastor, and his wife had survived the ravages of Hurricane Katrina.  Like most people around them, the hurricane destroyed nearly all of their worldly possessions, including their home.  Their daughter in Atlanta had begged them to come to her home, but they had no money to get there.  They had money in the bank, but the banks were closed.  For the time, they were penniless, and resigned to staying in a shelter. 

      

    A few days after the hurricane, Rev. Jones was given permission to return to their home to retrieve a few belongings.  The water in the house was still knee deep.  There was little left that was in good enough condition to keep, so he grabbed the only things that appeared worth saving:  a few framed family photographs.  Back at the shelter, he removed the damp photographs from the frames to dry.  Imagine his surprise when he discovered, tucked into the frame behind a picture of his dad, who had long since passed away, $366 in folded bills.  He did not know who had stashed the money there, or when it had been done.  But that discovery provided enough for him and his wife to make their journey to their daughter in Atlanta.  God had not forgotten them!

     

    Do you know that God sees you in whatever storm He allows to come your way?  You can be confident that though the storms of life blow, God knows your anxieties, He loves you, and He cares for you!

     

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

  • Thick and Ordinary

    And He appointed twelve (whom He also named apostles) so that they might be with Him and He might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons.  Mark 3:14-15

    In the 1960’s the Beatles were a world-wide phenomenon.  The most outspoken of the four, John Lennon caused quite a stir, especially in the United States, when he stated in an interview, “Christianity will vanish and shrink…I’m right and will be proved right…We’re more popular than Jesus now.  I don’t know which will go first:  rock and roll or Christianity”.  That alone was an astounding statement.  Then he said, “Jesus is alright, but his disciples were thick and ordinary.”

    John Lennon was, of course, very misguided in his thinking.  Jesus promised that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His church.  John Lennon was woefully wrong to assume that the significance of a quartet of shaggy-haired young British singers was greater than that of the King of creation. However, for all his arrogant claims, he was right about one thing:  the disciples were thick and ordinary.

    They were thick-headed.  For as much time as they spent with Jesus, they still struggled to understand all that he taught them.  They were ordinary.  A Galilean fisherman is as about as ordinary a man as has ever existed:  uneducated, uncultured, and unknown.    But having been personally chosen by Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit of God, the disciples turned the world upside-down! 

    If God can use thick and ordinary fisherman, can He use you?  Absolutely!  Jesus takes thick and ordinary clay and fashions it into honorable tools for the building of His kingdom, which will last forever.  Today, thank God that He powerfully uses every life surrendered to Him, no matter how ordinary!

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

  • Uphill

    “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” 1 John 5:13

     

    Several years ago, while on a mission trip to Brazil, my missionary friend drove us to a spot in the city where, as he drove up a hill, he said, “You’ve got to experience this; it’s pretty cool.”  Then he slowed to a stop, put the van in neutral and released the brake.  Then the strangest thing happened:  we began to coast – uphill!

     

    At least it looked like we were coasting uphill, and it felt like we were going uphill.  But logic said, “You can’t coast uphill from a dead stop.”  Gravity said, “Although it doesn’t look like it, you are really moving downhill.”  If we had trusted our senses and our feelings, we would have been absolutely wrong. 

     

    In the same way, one of the biggest mistakes we can make regarding our security in Christ is to base the assurance of our salvation on our feelings. Our eternal security is based on real, historical, and supernatural events. The apostle John wrote to Christians to assure them about the truth of their salvation. Our salvation is based solely on the work of Jesus on the cross and our trust in that.

     

    Today, are you letting your feelings determine your assurance of salvation?  They may not be telling you the truth!  Instead, trust in Christ and the Word of God for the assurance of your salvation.

     

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

  • Part of the Family

    “And He went up on the mountain and called to Him those whom He desired, and they came to him.”  Mark 3:13

    In the days when the telegraph was the fastest mode of communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. He entered the telegraph office, took an application and sat to complete it along-side seven other applicants who had arrived before him.  The rapid clicking of telegraph machines filled the room.  After a few minutes, the young man jumped from his seat and ran into the boss’s office, seemingly uninvited.  This caused quite a stir among the other applicants, who grumbled when he ran ahead of them. 

    In a few moments the boss appeared to tell the seven that the job had been filled.  One of the others spoke for them all when he grumbled, “That’s not fair!  We’ve been here longer than him but didn’t have the chance to be interviewed.”  What the disappointed men had not recognized was that for the past few minutes, the telegraphs in the room had been clicking out the following message in Morse Code: “If you understand this message, then come right in.  The job is yours.”   The call to take the job had gone out, but they had failed to receive it.

    The many people who crowded around Jesus were all there for something:  to be healed, to be fed, to see a miracle.  But the disciples responded to Jesus’s call to follow Him.  They stayed close to Him, sat at His feet to learn from Him, committed to obey His commandments, and grew in their love for Him.  He called them, and they responded by coming to Him with all they had. 

    Jesus has called us to come to Him – not just on the day of our salvation, but every day.  Have you come to Jesus today? 

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

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