"And they all left him and fled." ESV
Jesus Christ knew they would come for Him, that He would be murdered, and that all would forsake Him. We are all just like the disciples aren't we? When things get surprisingly scary, we run with fear and worry, and wonder why this thing is happening. We often times blame God for letting such things happen. It is time for us to be more like Jesus Christ, than like the disciples that terrible evening. They ran from the very thing that would crush Satan and death, the very act that would set us all free to live for Christ throughout eternity. If any of us is suffering, or worried, or questioning God about a great difficulty, be encouraged! Our Lord is working. His grace will raise you above the circumstance and He will be glorified. Look at the agony Jesus went through in Gethsemane and the victory of His resurrection.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for questioning You when things go wrong in our lives. How we praise You for the agony and victory Jesus Christ went through at Calvary. Help us to be open to the Holy Spirit to remind us that all things will result in our own good and for Your glory. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
Bobbi Craigmyle, Psy.D., BCPCC
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Personal Use Only
A concise daily devotional developed to
encourage reading and understanding of God's Word.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
"In the Lord I take refuge: how can you say to my soul, 'Flee like a bird to your mountain." ESV
Seeking refuge in the Lord in troubled times is wise. This doesn't mean we are running away from our problems and troubles, or we are using God as a 'crutch.' It means we are in His hands where He can lift our spirits above our problems and troubles so they do not overcome us. No one can tell us to run from our enemies when we are in His hands.
Heavenly Father, how we give You glory and honor for Your unconditional love and protection. What strength and courage You provide when we come to You and are able to rise above the storms that beat down on us. Help us to always seek You and run to You, whether it is in times of trouble or times of great joy. We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Thursday, March 28, 2013
1 Thessalonians 5:15
"See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone." ESV
How can I monitor what my brothers and sisters in the Lord are doing when I have to keep my own life on track? Whether we like it or not, we are given the charge to be a positive force and admonishment to our fellow Christians. If we see that a follower of Christ is repaying evil for evil, we are to remind them of God's Word, and most of all, live the Word in our own lives. If we are doing good to one another and to everyone we encounter, we will be used by God in marvelous ways to release the Holy Spirit to work in those who need to change in this area.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for the times we repay evil for evil. Cleanse our hearts of the desire for revenge and replace it with the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Help us to be living witnesses to the Way to live, so that others will follow and grow in grace and mercy, like our Lord. In His name we pray, Amen.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
"Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food." ESV
Why do we insist on spending our money, time, and energy on things that leave us just as empty inside as we were before we had them? Sure, we are "happy" and distracted for a short period of time, then we are back where we were feeling we need something more. There is a void, an empty place in all of us that can only be filled by our Creator God. Any attempt to satisfy this void is pointless and at best fleeting. God provides us the way to fill that void with Him and the marvelous wonders of His kingdom. He is what will fill that void forever and supply lasting peace and full contentment.
Heavenly Father, You know that we are but dust and that we are constantly seeking things from this world to make us happy. Help us to understand that happiness is a temporary state of emotion that happens when we experience something in this world that is pleasing. Show us that true contentment comes from filling the void in our lives with You and that will result in everlasting joy and contentment. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
3 John 1:11
"Beloved, no not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God." ESV
In this day and age when things that are evil are seen as good and things that are good are seen as evil, how can we know the difference and make sure we are imitating what is really good? Friends, this is not something we can just do because it feels right, or because everyone seems to be doing things this way, or because it's what's expected from us by family and friends. We can know that which is truly good and imitate it by sincerely seeking to know God, going to the throne of Grace continually, seeking the Truth through the Word of God, and being open to the Holy Spirit. God has not given us a guessing game here. If we are truly seeking God, we will be doing good because we will be close to Him like a child to his mother and father, and we will do what He does.
Heavenly Father, You know that our spirits are willing, but our flesh is weak. We tend to take the easier route and just do what seems right at the time. Forgive us for that. Give us unending hunger for the things of Your kingdom and give us open hearts to hear the voice of the Spirit telling us which way to go and how to be like You. We pray this in Jesus' name, Amen.
Monday, March 25, 2013
"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." ESV
As born again Christians, we have been made spiritually alive by the Holy Spirit. Now we have the understanding of the things of God and the power to follow the way of Christ. It is no longer enough to just live as good a moral life as we can. We have risen above the natural to the spiritual. Just like a seedling springs up from the ground and follows its nature to maturity, so we as spiritual believers are springing up in His Spirit, naturally progressing toward Spiritual maturity. It is evident that we are keeping in step with the Holy Spirit if we are becoming more like Christ.
Heavenly Father, we cannot fathom the sacrificial love that allows us to live in the spiritual realm where we see the Truth of Your Supremacy and Splendor. Forgive us when we become complacent and fail to keep in step with how we are to live and get our eyes off the eternal things above and get distracted by the natural things here on earth. Help us tune our hearts with Your Holy Spirit so that we might keep in step with Your plan for our lives. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." ESV
Growth is a process that happens from a starting point and increases in stages until full growth is achieved. If we have repented of our sins and have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour, we will by His nature, be doing those things that are good. Being human, the enemy of our soul will plant seeds of doubt into our minds when we do not see the fruits of our efforts. We tend to allow those seeds of doubt to grow until we become weary and decide it's not producing anything worthwhile. Our next likely step is to just give up. This is not God's will for us. It is up to us to overcome those doubts by the power of the Holy Spirit. Then we can keep doing good and, in time, see that we were making ready a harvest for His kingdom.
Heavenly Father, we ask Your forgiveness for those times we have allowed doubt to cause us to give up. Help us to nourish our faith to be able to overcome the doubts that nag at us. Give us determination and yielding to the Holy Spirit, so that we will not give up. We pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
Friday, March 22, 2013
2 Corinthians 4:7
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." ESV
What is this treasure we have in these mortal bodies? It is the revelation of the power and knowledge of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. What an honor and privilege that God would work through His people who are mere corruptible humans. When we, as His children allow Him to do so, it is a testimony to His awesome power.
Heavenly Father, we stand in awe and humility that You would allow us to be living testimonies to Your power. Help us to live our lives worthy of that calling so that You will receive all the glory. In His precious name we pray, Amen.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
"For pressing milk produces curds, pressing the nose produces blood, and pressing anger produces strife." ESV
Pressing, in the Hebrew text of Bible times is defined by three words: churning, wringing, and forcing. Applying pressure can be a positive thing or a negative thing, depending on the how and when the pressure is applied. For instance, the human heart forcing blood to circulate through the arteries and veins keeps us alive. The pressure of the heartbeat is just the right intensity and rhythm to keep the body functioning in a healthy way. It is up to us, as children of God, to pray for discernment and grace to know when and how to apply pressure with others and in situations that call for it. Many of our problems are a result of pressuring someone or something at the wrong time or place.
Heavenly Father, we give You praise and glory for giving us the freedom and ability to apply pressure that causes things to happen. What we fall short of is the discernment to know how to use this ability and we tend to use it for selfish reasons. Help us to use this gift of pressure in our relationships and situations like Jesus would. We pray in His name, Amen.
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
"And he said, Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." ESV
We all came into this life with just our bodies. All things that we experience, and all possessions we obtain in this life is a journey on our own unique road. We will have experiences and encounters that are similar to others, and some that very few experience. Some of these will be very good and some will be quite awful. If we are true Christians, we will be glorifying our God, no matter what is happening on our journey.
Heavenly Father, it is so hard to keep focused on the reality that You know everything that goes on in our lives and that You use these things to make us into Your image. Help us to keep from being overtaken with the negative and difficult things that happen to us, and to give You glory, because You have given us an eternal home that our minds cannot even imagine. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
"Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind." ESV
Why does it seem that too many Christians are in disagreement or disharmony in some way or another? Some have doctrines that are rejected by others. Some have traditions that are rejected by others. Some have beliefs and practices that are disregarded by others. How can such a large Church with so many differences be of one mind, one love, and in total accord? As long as Christians put their doctrines, traditions, beliefs, and practices above the Gospel message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified, there will never be perfect harmony. Why? Because Jesus Christ is the one and only in all of existence that can hold all things together. He is the Head of the body, the Church. If we all keep Him at the head and center, we will be united, in full harmony, with one mind, a strong Bride for our Saviour.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for falling so short in being of one mind as Your Body. Help us to put all the secondary and minor things aside and keep our focus on the Lord Jesus Christ who is the all in all. We pray in His holy name, Amen.
Monday, March 18, 2013
"And he said to them, 'Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.'" ESV
Following Christ is no easy task. It means we will be imitating the things Jesus did while He was on earth. We will be patterning ourselves after the ways He treated others. We will purpose to be like Him in His fellowship with the Father. If we follow Him in these ways, we are lifting Him up. Jesus told us in His Word that if we lift Him up, He will draw all men to Him. Our spiritual nets will be full and overflowing with the catch of those who have been touched by Christ through us.
Heavenly Father, we long to be like You. Help us to fill our hearts and minds with the things of God so that we will be more like You. We thank You and glorify Your name at the number of people who will be drawn to You by Your sacrifice at Calvary through our commitment to following You. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Saturday, March 16, 2013
"Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them." ESV
God reveals His ways to His children through the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we know the road is narrow and difficult. In order to keep going in His ways, we must fan the flames of our faith, study the Word, and stay in communion with Him. We put on His armor and we keep ourselves in condition for the difficulties that lie ahead. Non-believers cannot know the things of God; therefore, they stumble and fall off the narrow path. They are trying to live Godly, but they are in the dark and they have no Spirit supplied assistance to successfully keep on going.
Heavenly Father, what an awesome God You are that You would give us all we need to walk in Your ways while we live in this world. When we see others stumbling, give us hearts of compassion and lift up Jesus Christ to them so that they might accept Him and be able to walk in Your ways. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.
Friday, March 15, 2013
"Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart; when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart." ESV
Evil people use kind and gracious words to make them appear to be something they are not and to deceive others. Evil is so good at appearing like angels of light that even the most spiritual of persons can be easily deceived. We are strongly warned to look at the fruit produced by a person and not just listen to their words. The sweet talk of an evil man hides detestable things which God hates. Watch their walk, it over rides their talk.
Heavenly Father, how we are in need of discernment and protection from evil ones who are all around us with sweet and kind words coming from their lips. Give us awareness of their actions so that we can know whether evil is being hidden in their hearts behind the nice words. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Thursday, March 14, 2013
2 Peter 1:5-8
"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love." ESV
The 'reason' spoken of in this verse is referring to the great and precious promises of God that, accepting them, we will take on His divine nature and be protected from getting swallowed up by this evil world. So, we are commanded to put out great effort in putting on godliness to supplement (reinforce, complete, make efficient) our faith. In doing so, we will be like Him.
Heavenly Father, our desire is to be more like You. Help us to put forth the effort necessary to complete our faith and become more like You. Without You we can do nothing. We pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
"Let brotherly love continue." ESV
Brotherly love is 'phileo' love. The Greek meaning here is a love that is strong and seeks the good of the other person. It is loving others as we love ourselves. We are told to let this continue. We can only let it continue if it is present to begin with. When we accept God's love through faith in Jesus Christ, we are filled with this brotherly love and express it to those around us. Given time, troubles, and an evil environment, it is easy for this special love to slowly drain out of us. In order to keep it healthy and strong, it is up to us to stay close to our Lord, letting His love fill us so that our brotherly love continues.
Heavenly Father, how we thank You and praise You for the love You shower on us so that we can love others. Help us to keep this love strong and healthy. Give us hunger for Your Word and communion with You so that we can feed that love. We pray in Jesus' name, Amen.
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
"Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me." ESV
In order for the Lord to keep our steps steady, we have to allow Him to do so. Walking steady according to His Word is the most stable and safe place we can ever walk. If we allow Him to keep us walking steady, we can be confident that no sin is going to overtake us.
Heavenly Father, we stand in need of keeping our spiritual walk steady and stable. Enhance our spiritual eyes and ears so we can know the way You would have us walk. And we praise You for guarding us against falling into the clutches of sin. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Monday, March 11, 2013
1 Thessalonians 5:14
"And we urge you brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all." ESV
Rather than condemn and criticize others, we are instructed to act in love and patience to those who are struggling and going astray. We show this love and patience by walking the path our Lord walked and doing the works He did.
Heavenly Father, again we ask for forgiveness for our lack of patience for those who are not living the Christian life the way You have instructed us. We, too, have failed. Give us grace and a strong desire to walk like Jesus did, so that we will fulfill Your Word and help others along in their Christian walk. We pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Saturday, March 9, 2013
"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things." ESV
It's in our human nature to be very quick to minimize our own sins and magnify the sins of others. We forget that we are just as human and just as capable of committing the same vile sins others do. It is only by God's grace that we haven't fallen into some of those same practices we condemn in others. So, who are we to make judgments on others when we are just as sinful as they are?
Heavenly Father, we are in need of forgiveness for setting ourselves up as judges toward others when we have our own sins hindering our Christian walk. Help us to have hearts like Yours so that when we see others in sin, we will be sorrowful and pray for them, rather than judge and condemn them. Let us remember constantly that it is by Your grace we have not fallen into terrible sins others have. We pray in the name of Jesus our Lord, Amen.
Friday, March 8, 2013
"Everyone who fall on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him." ESV
If we give ourselves over to the Lord, He will make us into new creatures from the broken pieces of our lives. But if we insist on being the masters of our own lives, His judgment will crush and destroy us. Remember, we have a choice to make: Fall at His feet and allow Him to rebuild us in His image. Or, keep control of our own lives, have His judgment fall on us, and be condemned for eternity. The choice is ours.
Heavenly Father, we give You praise for the free gift of salvation and the freedom to accept it. Help us to be living testimonies to those who need to make the choice to turn their lives over to you. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." ESV
What does it mean to be conformed to this world? It means getting our thoughts and behavior in line with those of the world. It means getting ourselves as similar to the rest of the world as we possibly can. The Word says not to do that! It says to be transformed. So, what does that mean? It is defined as a complete change of nature or character, becoming someone different than we were before. The Word says we can accomplish this by renewing our minds. In our limited human strength we cannot do this on our own. We are dependent on the Lord and His saving grace to renew our minds and to become new creatures.
Heavenly Father, we ask forgiveness for conforming to this world and giving importance to what others think. We thank You for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ so that can become transformed into Your likeness. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
1 Peter 4:12
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you." ESV
Haven't we all found ourselves asking why the trouble in our lives is happening? It's like we believe trials and tribulations shouldn't be happening to us, but perhaps to others far away that we don't know. If our Lord encountered horrible injustices, rejection, abuse, and even death by murder, why should we expect a trouble free life?
Heavenly Father, forgive us for questioning You when things go wrong in our lives. Help us to remember Your Word that tells us we will have trouble in this world. Give us an ever present awareness that You are with us and will see us through it all. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.