Daily Devotion

  • Give It All Away

    And a ruler 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 commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.’” And he said, “All these I have kept from my youth.” When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Luke 18:18-22

    A man, lost in the desert, was dying of thirst when he stumbled upon a dusty weather-beaten old shack. It seemed to offer nothing more than a little shade, when the man spied a rusty water pump. He grabbed the handle and began to pump: up and down, up and down. He was sorely disappointed when the pump failed to produce. As he staggered away, weary and exhausted, he almost tripped over a corked jug filled with water. The attached note, left by the last wayward traveler, read:

    "You have to prime the pump with all the water in this jug, my friend. PS: Be sure you fill the jug for the next person before you leave."

    Now he was faced with a dilemma: ignore the message and drink all the water in the jug, or pour it all in the old pump in faith that it would yield cool, fresh water from deep in the earth. Reluctantly he poured all the water into the pump, grabbed the handle and began to work it up and down. Nothing. Then more pumping, up and down, up and down. Finally, drops of water began to slowly dribble from the pipe, then more and more until it gushed! He eagerly filled the jug over and over and drank until he was completely satisfied. Before moving on, he filled and corked the jug for the next thirsty man, and added a little note to the one he had found: “Believe me, it really works. You have to give it all away before you get anything back.”

    The rich young ruler was not as wise as the thirsty traveler. He went away sad because the Lord asked him to pour out all he had and to follow Him. He was not willing, however, and went away still thirsty. If we would have treasure in heaven, we must be willing to give all we have in exchange for all Jesus has. Then our treasure will be great, and our thirst will be forever satisfied!

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

  • Fishers of Men

    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.” Mark 1:16-17

    It was another normal day of salmon fishing until Jens Oveson lost his footing and was carried helplessly away by the strong and frigid current of Norway’s Gaula River. Another fisherman, Kjell Wilhelmsen spotted Jens as he swept by, with only his face and the tips of his boots visible above the swirling water. Kjell’s years of experience told him where the current would take Jens, so he ran across the bridge and waited for Jens to appear. When he caught sight of him, he prepared to cast his line, rigged with a homemade lure. He caught him on the first cast from about ten yards out, using all of his skill to haul in the 250-pound man. Jens survived the ordeal, all because Kjell was willing to fish for a man.

    "Follow Me," Jesus says, "and I will make you become fishers of men." God calls us to catch men and women who are bound for an eternity in hell if we don't reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's our purpose.

    Fishing for fish and fishing for men are very similar. Both require patience, skill, discernment, and persistence. How do you become a good fisher of men? Spend time with Jesus – the master fisherman, spend time with other good fisherman, and then go out, find a good spot and cast your line! Pray for God to open your eyes to where the fish are biting, learn to skillfully use the right bait and lures, be patient and leave the results to God. If you will keep on casting, if you keep talking to people about Jesus, God will bring the fish to you!

    Have a great day and keep moving forward!

  • Happy Ending

    “The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him. He came to His own and His own people did not receive Him. But to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:9-14

    Several years ago, H&R Block offered walk-in customers a chance to enter a drawing to win a million dollars. A New Jersey couple, Glen and Gloria Sims won the drawing, but they refused to believe it when an H&R Block representative phoned them with the good news.

    With each additional contact from H&R Block, the Sims hung up the phone and threw away their mailed notices. After some weeks, H&R Block made one final call to let the Sims know that the deadline for accepting the million-dollar prize was nearing and that the story of their refusal to accept the prize would soon appear on the NBC “Today Show.”

    At that point, Mr. Sims finally decided to investigate further. Just a few days later he appeared on television to claim the million-dollar prize. Mr. Sims said, “H&R Block explained to us they really wanted a happy ending to all this, and they were ecstatic that we finally accepted the prize.”

    God offers each of us something infinitely greater than a million dollars. He offers eternal life and the right to become His child to everyone who will receive His Son, Jesus Christ. You only need to call out to Him and accept His gift. Have you received God’s gift? He is calling; don’t refuse to accept His call!

    Have a great day, and keep moving forward!

  • 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!

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