Tag Archives | Devotions

Monday Devotions – Father, Son, and Spirit

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart,  giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5:18-20). In his very helpful book, Father, Son, and Spirit, Bruce Ware writes: Many Christian people will one day stand before the Lord aware as never before that they spent too little time getting to know the depth and the wonder of who God really is—including his revelation of himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the …

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Monday Devotions – Anticipating God’s Presence

These thoughts are from Randy Alcorn, who will be a main speaker at this year’s WorshipGod Conference: “[God’s servants] will see his face.” Revelation 22:4Our longing for Heaven is a longing for God—a longing that involves not only our inner selves, but our bodies as well. Being with God is the heart and soul of Heaven. Every other heavenly pleasure will derive from and be secondary to his holy presence. God’s greatest gift to us is, and always will be, himself. His presence brings satisfaction. His absence brings thirst and longing. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for …

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Monday Devotions – The Precious Blood

Our culture can tend to talk about the cross in a way that magnifies our worth to God rather than our sin against Him. I’ve seen or heard worship songs whose main point seems to be that God sent Jesus to die for us because He couldn’t bear to live without us. While God’s children are precious in his sight, our value should never be the end of our worship nor the source of our joy. Of course, every human being has an intrinsic worth. We have been made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27). Like no other living creature, men and women have the distinct role of representing God to the rest of creation, administrating His rule and care. However, …

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Sharing the Lord’s Supper

Yesterday morning, I had the privilege of leading the church in celebrating the Lord’s supper. This is a slightly edited version of the thoughts I shared. As a church, sharing communion is a significant event where we gratefully acknowledge together that the death of Christ is full payment for the sins we’ve committed against a holy God. If you’re our guest this morning, we’re so glad that you’ve joined us. Thank you for coming! However, because of the significance of this meal, we’d like you to refrain from participating in communion with us unless you yourself have turned from your sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as your Savior. But …

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Monday Devotions – Father’s Day

Yesterday morning Americans celebrated Father’s Day, a holiday that was officially established in 1924 by President Coolidge. Like many churches, we took time to honor and celebrate the gift that our fathers are to us, not because our culture dictates it, but because fatherhood is a biblical role that God esteems. Many of us are blessed to have had dads who excelled in giving us encouragement, direction, care, and counsel. They weren’t perfect, of course, but we never doubted their love. Father’s Day is simply one more opportunity to express our gratefulness for the way they’ve laid down their lives to serve us in countless ways. But how …

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Monday Devotions – Rest For Your Soul

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30) I recently meditated on these words of Jesus in my morning devotions. They are good news for any of us who ever feel stressed, stretched, anxious, weighed down, nervous, overtaxed, overloaded, or whatever word we use to describe ourselves when we don’t think we can handle life. I think that’s all of us. After thanking His Father that he has hidden the truths of the kingdom from “the …

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Monday Devotions – Passion and the Truth

Christians are to be passionate about the truth, especially the Gospel. However, sometimes, our feelings can race ahead of our reason and obscure the portion of truth we’re trying to communicate. When I was in college, I was profoundly affected by being baptized in water. I was so affected that I tried to persuade everyone I talked to that they needed to be baptized as well. I’d disrupt campus Christian meetings with obnoxious questions about why baptism wasn’t being emphasized. I tried to convince my Christian friends that they were living a sub-Christian life if they hadn’t been baptized, and ended up baptizing about 6 people over …

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Monday Devotions – Kids, Kings, and Creeping Things

Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all deeps,     fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars! Beasts and all livestock, creeping things and flying birds! Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the earth! Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted;     his majesty is above earth and heaven. He has raised up a horn for his people, praise for all his saints,     for the people of Israel who are …

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Monday Devotions – The Nevers of the Gospel

After 33 years of being a Christian, I’m learning that many of my godly acts and thoughts are accompanied by a corresponding danger of imbalance or deception. That means that when I’m pursuing obedience in one way, I may also be pursuing idolatry in another. Because I’m tempted to rest in my own righteousness before God, even after conversion, I consistently look for ways to restrict God’s commands, commend my own performance, or trade one virtue for another. I’ve found this prayer from The Valley of Vision particularly helpful in helping me to discern my self-atoning tendencies. I’ve divided it into three categories: Using …

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Monday Devotions – How Sweet and Aweful

When planning the songs for the Together for the Gospel conference with Mark Dever, he suggested a hymn that I knew about but had never sung. It’s called How Sweet and Awful is the Place, and was written by my historical hero, Isaac Watts. Numerous guys came up to me at the conference and told me how much the words had affected them. Terry Stauffer from Alberta, Canada blogged on it. As I was considering what to post this morning, the words of the hymn kept coming to mind. 1. How sweet and aweful is the place With Christ within the doors, While everlasting love displays The choicest of her stores. 2. While all our hearts and all our songs Join …

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Monday Devotions – Unmeasured Grace

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. (1Cor. 16:23) Grace. It’s a term that’s much easier to understand than experience. Actually, I’m not sure we understand it very well, either. Do you have a malnourished view of grace? It’s not too hard to tell. Do you live in a constant state of fear and discouragement that you aren’t measuring up to God’s standards? Do you wonder if God’s forgiveness covers your worst sins? If so, you’re failing to benefit from the unmerited acceptance God offers us through the grace of the cross. Or maybe you have the ill-informed perspective that being a Christian really isn’t all that difficult. …

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Monday Devotions – The Day After Easter

What were the days following Jesus’ resurrection like for the first disciples? Jesus had died, and he was dead no longer. Just as He promised, He had overcome death, the last enemy. But what did it all mean? Surely, it took time for them to fully comprehend the whirlwind of events that had taken place the previous week. Before He returned to his Father, Jesus helped His followers to realize some of the implications. (Lk. 24:27) His death and resurrection were no aberration in God’s plan. They WERE the plan. (Lk. 24:26) God had accepted Jesus’ payment for the sins of His people. Animal sacrifices  were no longer necessary. (1 Cor. …

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Monday Devotions – Living by the Righteousness of Another

A few weeks ago I shared thoughts on preaching the Gospel to yourself. I find myself continually returning to this theme. Perhaps that’s because we so easily forget what is meant to be the mainspring of our lives – the relationship made possible with God through the saving work of Jesus Christ. I’ve been thinking about where my motivation for godly living comes from. How do we remain motivated to pursue a life of holiness and fruitfulness, regardless of our circumstances? Here’s what happens to me. I’m doing well for a season. Quiet times are going great, I’m experiencing grace in resisting temptations,  and seeing some …

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Entering the “Draw Me Close” Conversation

In the latest issue of Christianity Today, Chuck Colson has an article entitled “Soothing Ourselves to Death.” He begins with this paragraph: When church music directors lead congregations in singing contemporary Christian music, I often listen stoically with teeth clenched. But one Sunday morning, I cracked. We’d been led through endless repetitions of a meaningless ditty called “Draw Me Close to You,” which has zero theological content and could just as easily be sung in any nightclub. When I thought it was finally and mercifully over, the music leader beamed. “Let’s sing that again, shall we?” he asked. “No!” I shouted, loudly enough …

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Monday Devotions – Is There One Thing?

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 18:22) You probably recognize this verse as being Jesus’ response to the rich young ruler’s question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Lk. 18:18) (I had the privilege of preaching from this passage yesterday morning at my church. If you’d like to hear an MP3 after Tuesday, you can download it here.)  At first glance, it might seem that Jesus is saying that if anyone wants to have eternal life, they need to give up all their material possessions. …

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