Friday, December 31, 2010

+DEV+ Trying or Trusting?

Date: December 31, 2010 2:02 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Trying or Trusting?

Trying or Trusting?

"The Holy One of Israel says, 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it...' Blessed are all who wait for him" (Isaiah 30:15, 18b)!
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 30:15-18

Part of the American Dream is the understanding that if we work hard enough we can achieve our goals. We build our sense of security on our independence, assets, or relationships.

The prophet Isaiah saw a time when God did not permit success in proportion to Israel's effort. He wanted them to wait for and trust in His provision. God called His people to turn to Him alone.

They refused. They tried to save themselves by fleeing on horses. They kept trying harder instead of trusting Him deeper. The psalmist wrote, "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm" (Psalm 20:7-8).

Trusting God may require waiting. It may mean a choice to rest quietly, to avoid activity, to avoid manipulating people or circumstances. We are being shaped into a person who depends on Him more deeply. Waiting is the environment in which we recognize God's power and faithfulness.

Insight: It is easy to rely on your logic or abilities rather than wait for God. But waiting is the hard work He asks of you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

+DEV+ The Scarlet Symbol

Date: December 29, 2010 9:20 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Scarlet Symbol

The Scarlet Symbol

"We will treat you kindly...[if] you have tied this scarlet cord in the window...So she sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window" (Joshua 2:14b, 18a, 21b).
Scripture Focus: Joshua 2:1-21

Because Rahab hid the Israelite spies, they promised her safety when her city would be destroyed. The scarlet cord hung from her
window guaranteed deliverance.

Day after day, that cord hung in her window while Rahab waited in trust for the promise of the Israelite spies to be fulfilled. Joshua 6:22-23 recounts the deliverance of Rahab and her family and of their new life among God's chosen people.

The destruction we face comes from our debt of sin if we do not accept the promise for deliverance in Jesus. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son" (John 3:16, 18).

The blood of Jesus delivers us from death. The "scarlet cord" of His shed blood hangs over us, covering our sin and guaranteeing deliverance.

Insight: Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sin. Thank Him for dying for you and for the promise of eternal life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

+DEV+ Channels of Grace

Date: December 28, 2010 10:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Channels of Grace

Channels of Grace

"You are to help your brothers until the Lord gives them rest, as he has done for you, and until they too have taken possession of the land..." (Joshua 1:14b-15a).
Scripture Focus: Joshua 1:10-17

After obtaining a portion of the Promised Land, the first tribes of Israel helped the remaining tribes conquer their portions. God's grace emerged in building up the body of Christ through fellow believers. The importance of Israel recognizing His grace is emphasized with the phrase "the Lord gave" appearing five times in Joshua 1:13-15.

Believers today are also encouraged as God works through others as a source of encouragement. When Debbie's husband died, she was left alone to raise three children. One way she found support was through the people God put in her life. Now her kids are grown, and she leads a small group for single parents.

The tribes of Israel in Joshua's day and Debbie today illustrate 2 Corinthians 1:4 which says, "(God) comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."

God will use people and circumstances, sending His grace to us often in ways we least expect.

Insight: Pray for an opportunity to glorify God and build up the body of Christ. Encourage others who face struggles similar to your own.

Monday, December 27, 2010

+DEV+ Preparing for the Game

Date: December 27, 2010 10:37 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Preparing for the Game

Preparing for the Game

"Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them...Obey all the law..." (Joshua 1:6-7).
Scripture Focus: Joshua 1:1-9

A friend’s son was in a Little Kickers Soccer League which taught him the rules and basic skills needed to play the game. After completing the six-week program, he was prepared to play "real games."

The Israelites spent years in the wilderness before they were ready to "get in the game." God wanted them to learn how to trust Him and to always obey Him before they reached the Promised Land. Conquering the land did not guarantee God's continued blessing. The Israelites would lose His favor if they didn't trust and obey Him once they resided there.

Often while we are in a season of waiting we focus on where we want to be instead of what God wants to develop within us. We'd rather not sign up for His version of Little Kickers; we'd prefer to skip the spiritual preparation. When God stressed the importance of knowing, obeying, and trusting His Word to the Israelites, He impressed it upon us, too.

Insight: Trust God's timing and obey His leading. These disciplines get you in shape spiritually to enjoy His continued blessings.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

+DEV+ More than Marketing

Date: December 26, 2010 10:51 PM
Topic: +DEV+ More than Marketing

More than Marketing

"These commandments...are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children...when you sit...when you walk...when you lie down and when you get up" (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).
Scripture Focus: Deuteronomy 6:1-12

These days characters like Barbie and Batman, Strawberry Shortcake and Super-Man appear on everything children use from bicycles to bed sheets. It's hard to buy anything for kids without a famous character on it or its packaging. The clothes they put on, the toys they play with or learn from reinforce their love of that character.

God instructed the Israelite parents to incorporate His character into every aspect of their children's lives. Teaching children about God through daily routines was not a marketing scheme. It was an effective way of passing on the heritage of the fear of the Lord to the following generations.

In the midst of waiting for years for the Promised Land, the Israelites were given these parenting instructions from God. He wanted to be a natural part of their lives while they were waiting so that they would not forget about Him once they arrived in the land. It's natural to talk about a kid's favorite cartoon. It should be just as natural to talk about the One who left an empty tomb.

Insight: Impress God's laws on your mind and His character on your heart. This is how we wait in faith for His promises.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

+DEV+ Faithful Reminders

Date: December 23, 2010 8:07 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Faithful Reminders

Faithful Reminders

"'Now then, just as the Lord promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years...while Israel moved about in the desert. So here I am today, eighty-five years old'" (Joshua 14:10)!
Scripture Focus: Numbers 13:1-3, 26-33

After spying out the promise land, Caleb confidently reported that, with God's power, Israel could capture it. But the opposition seemed overwhelming, and the Israelites doubted God. Because they did not have faith, Caleb had to wait. For 45 years he rested in God's faithfulness while the Promised Land seemed close at hand. That's a long wait!

God's faithfulness surrounded Caleb during that time. He saw it daily as God provided manna for Israel to eat. Just as God instructed, Caleb always remembered the things his eyes had seen, and he did not let them slip from his heart. (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Caleb's endurance is an inspiration to us. Whether in our home, church, or work, we may feel our lives are on hold because of resistance or difficulty. While we wait, we recognize daily blessings as reminders of God's faithfulness. We see God's power, even if we wait because others don't believe Him. God will sustain us so we will one day enjoy the blessings He has prepared for us in Christ.

Insight: Don't Be Distracted By Judging Others' Lack Of Faith. Dwell On God's Faithfulness As You Look For His Blessings Throughout Your Day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

+DEV+ Hanging on for Dear Life

Date: December 22, 2010 8:50 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Hanging on for Dear Life

Hanging on for Dear Life

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ..." (Jude 24-25).
Scripture Focus: Jude 17-25

Recently I noticed these words on the cover of a magazine: "Hanging on for Dear Life." I thought of Jude's warning against evil (vs. 18-19) and then of Jude's antidote for persevering in such evil times (vs. 20-22). Jesus' prayer in John 17 is "not that you [the Father] take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one." We are to be in the world - living in it, enjoying it, caring for it, redeeming it for His glory - but not of the world.

Perhaps one of the best resolutions this year is, indeed, to "hang on for dear life" to Him who keeps us from falling or losing sight of God's purpose for us. Imagine Jesus presenting you "without fault and with great joy" when your final days are done. Even with all my finest motivations and sometimes-successes in my resolutions, I will fall short. So will you. But clinging to Jesus Christ alone, you and I are forgiven and spotless. No glory for keeping our resolutions will come our way; but all glory and majesty go to the only God our Savior!

Insight: Hang on for dear life, because your Savior gave His dear life to hang on to you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

+DEV+ Committed to His Purpose

Date: December 20, 2010 9:29 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Committed to His Purpose

Committed to His Purpose

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:29-30).
Scripture Focus: Matthew 11:25-30

Often the ministry of Pastor sometimes involves moving from one crisis to another. Being human, we can only endure so long until refreshment is needed physically, emotionally and certainly spiritually. Interestingly, as I write today's thoughts, we are about to move back to the west coast. We're weary and overwhelmed with sorting, tossing, packing, and sealing. We've been making time to say good-bye to many dear friends. Those who know us well have been affirming that God will give us new opportunities for His Kingdom and glory because we have been committed to His purpose. Jesus simply reminds us that we take the yoke together. And the burden is light because really He is carrying the load for us. Isaiah reminds us, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak" (40:29). Trusting in those promises, we can carry on and take the next step.

I resolve to be committed to His purposes. My prayer is that you will usher in the New Year by doing the same.

Insight: The Psalmist Says, "All My Fountains Are In You" (87:7). Both Strength And Peace Come From Him In Times Of Exhaustion.

It just hit me!!

It just hit me!!

My cat, Boo-Boo sleeps about 20 hours a day. She has her food prepared for her. She can eat whenever she wants, 24/7/365. Her meals are provided at no cost to her. She visits the Dr. once a year for her checkup, and again during the year if any medical needs arise. For this she pays nothing, and nothing is required of her. She lives in a nice neighborhood in a house that is much larger than she needs, but she is not required to do any upkeep. If she makes a mess, someone else cleans it up. She has her choice of luxurious places to sleep. She receives these accommodations absolutely free. She is living like a queen, and has absolutely no expenses whatsoever. All of her costs are picked up by others who go out and earn a living every day. I was just thinking about all this, and suddenly it hit me like a brick in the head,

My cat is a Democrat!

Sunday, December 19, 2010



"Record my lament; list my tears on your scroll - are they not in your record?...For you have delivered my soul from death and my feet from stumbling..." (Psalm 56:8, 13).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 56

There is rarely a day as Pastor that I don't share in the tears of a family. The tragedies, crises, struggles, and losses, are real. One night when my cell phone went off, it was my duty to notify a mother that her young son had died in a motorcycle accident. What a heartbreaking moment. People began to gather; the night was filled with tears. My own heart ached as I shared in the grief of family and friends. Hours later I was able to offer assurance that those tears were not wasted. The psalmist says, "Put my tears into your bottle (NKJV)."

It's comforting to know that God regards and records our tears. There will be weeping sometime during this year - perhaps already - that does not escape His watchful eye. Often His purpose is veiled from us for a season, but His tenderness keeps those tears safe. Today, that mother who lost her son is actively involved in working with others who have their own bottles of tears, not one of them overlooked by our heavenly Father.

Insight: God Is Pleased When We Become His Instruments Of Grace In The Lives Of Those Who Have Been Shattered By Life's Difficult Experiences.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

+DEV+ Miss a Day-Miss a Lot!

Date: December 16, 2010 6:25 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Miss a Day-Miss a Lot!

Miss a Day-Miss a Lot!

"For day after day they seek me out; they seem eager to know my ways, as if they were a nation that does what is right and has not forsaken the commands of its God" (Isaiah 58:2).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 58:1-11

A newspaper's motto is "Miss a day, Miss a lot." In other words, if you go a day without reading and studying their paper, you'll be limited, unaware and uninformed about life and current world news. Actually, that is a good motto for us spiritually, too. Isaiah wrote that when God's people sought empty forms of religion and ritual over a genuine, life-changing relationship with Him, they failed. We should daily guard against such things ourselves. How easy it is to give a quick nod to the Lord in the morning and then rush off for the day, leaving Him buried under our piles of obligations. Let's be eager to know Him and His ways, eager for His presence. This is a day by day walk we have with Him. If we miss a day, we miss a lot.

Now is a perfect time to determine our commitment to Christ, to grow in Him and be infused with His presence, to be motivated by His love. Let's cultivate those godly disciplines of meditation in Scripture and being still before Him in prayer.

Insight: Allow The Spark Of His Holy Spirit To Become A Flame Of Passion And Devotion, Burning Brightly To Testify That God Is With Us.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

+DEV+ Guidance

Date: December 15, 2010 3:32 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Guidance


"Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart..." (Deuteronomy 8:2).
Scripture Focus: Deuteronomy 8:1-9

My friend served in the US Army's elite Green Berets during the war in South East Asia. I commented on how dangerous it must have been and how easy it would be to get disoriented. He agreed, save for the compass and map that his team carried.

Here in Scripture we have a clear reminder of God's faithfulness to His people. He led them "all the way" for many years, making sure they had food and garments during the years of travel. It wasn't an easy journey, but He led them.

He also desires to guide us through the wilderness of life that without Him would leave us depressed and in despair. He is our compass and our map! These are tough times we live in, and we should resolve to follow His Word. It will give us the strength and direction we need to complete this journey. The key to survival is found in verses 10-20 where we are reminded that there is no excuse for complacency. Our priority is to guard our hearts, listen to His leading, and walk in His ways.

Insight: Our Devotion Will Be Cultivated From The Rich Soil Of God's Guidance And His Knowing Us So Well.

Monday, December 13, 2010

+DEV+ A Time to Rest

Date: December 13, 2010 1:40 AM
Topic: +DEV+ A Time to Rest

A Time to Rest

"The Lord replied, 'My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest'" (Exodus 33:14).
Scripture Focus: Exodus 33:12-33

Many of the past few days' devotions speak of "doing." James 1:22 tells us to "be doers of the word, and not hearers only." But there's also a time to rest. God promised Moses that in His presence there would be rest. Here one finds comfort, peace, and a settled spirit. And Jesus knew that His disciples needed time away from the "doing," ("Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" He told them in Mark 6:31.) so He took them to a mountain. He knew that in His presence they would be refreshed. So important is this to Jesus that He spoke in the form of a command.

But even greater is the real rest that we have when we know Jesus as our Savior. No amount of "doing" that we offer could ever approach what He already has done for us. He lived the perfect life for us that we could not live and then credited His flawless record to us. On the cross He paid the debt for our sins. Now that is something to rest in!

Insight: I Rest In God, Set My Mind And Spirit Upon Him, Releasing And Putting Aside The World Of Crushed Needs.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

+DEV+ Our Spiritual Combat Badge

Date: December 9, 2010 10:59 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Our Spiritual Combat Badge

Our Spiritual Combat Badge

"May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other" (1 Kings 8:58, 60).
Scripture Focus: 1 Kings 8:54-66

His Combat Medical Badge was testimony to his intense bravery in saving the lives of many wounded soldiers in the middle of the most intense enemy onslaught of the Vietnam War. He also served in WW II and in Korea prior to Vietnam as a Combat Medic. Shortly before his death he dreamed that he was standing on a hilltop, a line of people stretched before him moving toward a distant horizon. They were all soldiers and civilians, and as they passed him, they shook his hand and said, "thank you." I suspect that when he arrived in heaven, things happened somewhat that way. This man's bravery had flown out of his strong faith in God and belief in heaven. Indeed, he was a caring person right to the end.

Every day there are people God brings into our lives. Resolve to make the most of each contact, offering hope, healing, friendship and faith, to the extent that our lives truly can affect others. Make it your goal that all the people of the earth may know His name and fear Him.

Insight: Wearing The Yoke Of Jesus Is The Highest Of All Honors. We Are Under His Ownership And Serve At His Beck And Call.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

+DEV+ Daily Discipline

Date: December 8, 2010 11:38 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Daily Discipline

Daily Discipline

"I have learned the secret of being content whatever the circumstances...I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:12b-13).
Scripture Focus: Philippians 4:1-13

Walking the hall of the hospital one day, I realized the awesome need for spiritual resources. The list of places to visit was long. I was reminded of how vital my spiritual stamina is, and how strong the mighty arm of the Lord is.

Whatever comes into my sphere of influence, God's strength is mandatory for me as I confront today's "list." How thankful I am that it is His power that will sustain me and enhance my ability as His servant. I can have the peace of Christ in knowing I possess His adequate resources for the job. And His resources certainly come as I read, study, and dig deeply into His Word. We have never had as many spiritual resources available to us as we do today. But it begins simply for me with a study of Scripture and a seeking of His heart, His truth and His wisdom. Resolve this year to focus on the priority of daily time with Him, thus being prepared to face any situation that will come into your path.

Insight: Plan To Live Under The Influence Of His Word, Cultivating His Truth, Cashing In On His Adequacy, Enjoying His Peace.

Monday, December 6, 2010

+DEV+ Vigilance!

Date: December 6, 2010 7:58 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Vigilance!


"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes" (Ephesians 6:10-11).
Scripture Focus: Ephesians 6:10-20

A close friend and Army officer during the war in Vietnam would take his new G.I.’s that had arrived "in country" to a "safe" location, making them go up and down a mountain with heavy packs, weapons, ammo, and canteens. He said this added training would prepare them to respond quickly in battle. While at first the G.I.’s didn't appreciate the intensity, when they finished their tour of duty and arrived safely back in the US, a number of them wrote to the Major, attributing their survival to that extra preparation.

As followers of Christ we too must be strong in the Lord and dressed in His armor. Paul, reminding us here of the spiritual battle we face, implies that our human effort is inadequate. We will reach the point where we can hardly carry that shield or hold out that sword. But we rest in the fact that Jesus is the entire suit of armor for us. He is our truth, our righteousness, our peace, and the author of our faith. With the armor of God and His invincible power, good will triumph over evil.

Insight: Whoever Has My Will Is My Master. I Must Surrender Daily My Will To Him And He Will Strengthen My Resolve.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

+DEV+ No Compromise

Date: December 5, 2010 10:40 PM
Topic: +DEV+ No Compromise

No Compromise

"My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it" (John 17:15-16).
Scripture Focus: John 17:6-19

One goal for us ought to be to get out of our "holy huddles." While we do find safety in our fellowship with other Christians, we must take our cue from Jesus. His prayer to the Father asked for protection for His followers. But they needed to stay in the world. We, too, need to get out of our comfort zones and onto the field of battle. We certainly don't want to be compromised in our faith.

Scripture records the ruin of nations when believers succumbed to evil influences. Appeasement should have no place in the life of the believer. And Paul clearly states, "do not give the devil a foothold." This is a good time to renew our commitment to Christ and make certain that we do not give the devil any satisfaction or maneuvering room in our lives. We are soldiers of Jesus Christ, and our hearts must be right even though our surroundings are evil. According to Jesus in His prayer, the truth of who Jesus is sets us apart for a vibrant life in Him (John 17:17-19).

Insight: The Sin Of Laodicea Was Nominal Christianity In An Affluent City Leading To Apostasy. Only Repentance Would Bring Restoration.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

+DEV+ The War on Stress

Date: November 30, 2010 10:38 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The War on Stress

The War on Stress

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law" (Galatians 5:22-23).
Scripture Focus: Galatians 5:13-26

Stress is a reality of life. In almost every periodical I've read recently, there is an article addressing stress and the steps to avoiding it. Excessive stress can cause upheaval, seriously hamper our relationship with God, even lead to death. While books are a dime-a-dozen on this matter, it's the Bible that gives the real guidance to freedom from anxiety. By clinging to the Prince of Peace revealed in Scripture, we can deal with this pressing enemy.

The verses on the fruit of the Spirit help us defend against daily stress. The Holy Spirit gives us the power, and Jesus gives us the tools. First is love, modeled supremely by Jesus. Second is joy, coming from having Jesus at the center of life. Third is peace which comes from Jesus during times of tribulation (John 6:33). With the patience, kindness and goodness Christ has shown us, He guides us in relation to others. His faithfulness, gentleness and self-control allow us to act in the best interest of others. Because of Him we can seek and find peace for our lives.

Insight: Pray That Through The Fruit Of The Spirit God Would Keep Us From The Stress Of The World And In His Peace.

Monday, November 29, 2010

+DEV+ A Servant's Heart

Date: November 29, 2010 7:24 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Servant's Heart

A Servant's Heart

"And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king's table, and he was crippled in both feet" (2 Samuel 9:13).
Scripture Focus: 2 Samuel 9:1-13

I watched as one of our valets drove the golf cart with a patient who had come to the hospital for a test. He helped the lady off the cart, held on to her as he opened her walker, and then smiled, promising to pick her up again. She looked up at him and gave him a genuine "thank you." This valet and I had talked several times about things that really matter in life and both agreed about the importance of investing time and energy in people, helping where we can, making life a bit easier, offering hope and friendship and a smile.

King David became a servant to Mephibosheth, his friend Jonathan's crippled son, by providing for his every need. David showed grace because he knew the grace God had given him. Surrounding us, too, are "crippled" people from all walks of life, some hindered physically, others emotionally.

Remembering what the Lord has done for us, God calls us to show grace, love, friendship and help. Be it resolved this year we will serve Him with a smile.

Insight: Let The Words Of The Chorus Ring Out Clearly: "To Be Like Jesus, To Be Like Jesus, All I Ask...To Be Like Him."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

+DEV+ An Ear for God

Date: November 28, 2010 2:10 PM
Topic: +DEV+ An Ear for God

An Ear for God

"'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth'" (Psalm 46:10).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 46

We had been radioed to check a Soviet sympathizer group that was located in a wooded area near the Line between East and West Germany. I knew it was "serious" when the soldier gave me an extra set of keys to his vehicle. As we left the vehicle and made our way around the compound, we listened, aware of every little noise and sound. The adrenalin was working overtime.

As I think of that event, I'm reminded of times in Scripture that God called us to listen carefully. To Elijah He spoke in the still, small voice. Samuel heard God speak: "The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, 'Samuel! Samuel!' Then Samuel said, 'Speak, for your servant is listening'" (1 Samuel 3:10). This Hebrew word for "listening" denotes giving our undivided attention for making just decisions. The noise of our complex lives is a deadly enemy of listening, sidetracking us and dulling our ability to make wise choices. Resolve in this New Year to be a genuine and thorough listener, keeping watch "to see what he will say to me" (Habakkuk 2:1).

Insight: I Will Concentrate On Giving God Both My Time And Attention With Fresh Love And Reverence To Him.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

+DEV+ The Church

Date: November 24, 2010 9:53 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Church

The Church

"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock., If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me" (Revelation 3:20).
Scripture Focus: Revelation 3:7-13

Laodicea was about 100 miles east of Ephesus and was known as a banking center and the location of a famous medical school. Though it was a prosperous community at one time, today the city is in complete ruins. John writes about the successes and failures of churches in that 1st century. The church of Laodicea was complacent. Over the years I've read about the church of Laodicea, and I get chills when I think of how affluence ruined it. They had the form, but no life. Their spiritual value system had collapsed.

There is an echo of Laodicea ringing out in our culture today. We must resolve to fight that apathy and not become nominal Christians. Being luke-warm dampens faith. But the invitation of Jesus is to "open the door" of our life to Him. There is action each of us must take to keep the flame of faith hot. It begins with repentance followed by absolute devotion and zeal. It's a wonderful example of both God's grace extended to us freely and our responsibility acted out gratefully.

Insight: Be a wise believer, listening with your spiritual hearing to what God is saying to the church today, realizing your responsibility as a member.

Monday, November 22, 2010

+DEV+ Idolaters' Final Bow

Date: November 22, 2010 7:27 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Idolaters' Final Bow

Idolaters' Final Bow

"The LORD will march out like a mighty man, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies" (Isaiah 42:13).
Scripture Focus: Revelation 19:17-21

The Philistines had captured the Ark of the Covenant which represented God's presence in Israel. Audaciously, they carried the Ark into their temple and placed it beside their idol, Dagon. Early the next morning, the Philistines found Dagon lying face down before the Ark. Slow to learn that God is greater than an idol, they set it up again in front of the Ark. The following morning they found Dagon face down on the ground in front of the Ark, this time with its head and hands broken off. Before long and after physical affliction from God, the Philistines wanted to get rid of the Ark altogether.

No idol can stand permanently in God's presence. When Jesus comes again in a blaze of glory, He will destroy every idol of every kind that ever was. Those who have trusted in images will be turned back in utter shame (See Isaiah 42:17). Paul tells us in Romans that we will all stand before God's judgment; every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (vs. 11).

Insight: Let us worship and bow down and kneel before the Lord Who made us because He alone is worthy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

+DEV+ Nature Worship

Date: November 20, 2010 10:10 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Nature Worship

Nature Worship

"He [Jesus] was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made" (John 1:2-3).
Scripture Focus: Romans 1:18-25

Genesis 11 reports the building of the Tower of Babel. The purpose of this skyscraper-temple was to give the builders a high platform from which they would worship the stars and planets closer than from the ground. But God, who made the stars and planets, threw the nature worshipers into utter confusion. He divided their common language into a variety of languages and scattered them far from the construction site.

Nature worship did not end at the Tower of Babel. It manifests itself today in the extreme environmentalism that perceives all animal and plant life as sacred while it denies the existence of the all-wise, all-powerful Creator. It may take the form of astrology and send men and women scurrying to their morning newspaper to learn what their horoscope predicts for that day.

Although we should respect nature as a divine gift and therefore help to protect it, we must not worship it. Acknowledge the Creator, and praise Him for all He has made.

Insight: All nature displays the Creator's masterful design; so why live in God's beautiful world without God?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

+DEV+ The Just-in-Case God

Date: November 18, 2010 10:39 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Just-in-Case God

The Just-in-Case God

"'The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands'" (Acts 17:24).
Scripture Focus: Acts 17:16-23

When Paul preached "the good news about Jesus and the resurrection" in Athens (Acts 17:18), some philosophers thought he was advocating foreign gods and therefore brought him to the Areopagus, a court that decided religious matters.

Paul was, in fact, introducing the true God, not a foreign god. The God he preached was the One the Athenians had built an altar to and designated, "An Unknown God" (vs. 22). Apparently the Athenians had built this altar in case a god existed that they knew nothing about. Many religious people today who do not know the true God pay some respect to Him by occasionally attending church, wanting to mollify Him just in case He exists.

The apostle Paul identified the true God as the sovereign Creator, to Whom we owe our existence and to Whom we are accountable, Who raised Jesus from the dead and summons everyone to repent. In brief, Paul urged the members of the Areopagus to put aside their feelings about a just-in-case god and put their faith in the true God.

Insight: God may be unknown to many, but He has made Himself known through Jesus. Everyone who believes on Jesus becomes personally acquainted with God.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

+DEV+ The Limelight Idol

Date: November 17, 2010 10:23 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Limelight Idol

The Limelight Idol

"'So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full'" (Matthew 6:2).
Scripture Focus: Acts 5:1-11

We feel good about some people being in the limelight: firefighters, police officers, and members of the military who risk their lives to protect and save others. We are happy to see Olympic medal winners and honor students have their moments in the limelight. But when people resort to dishonest means to get fame and publicity, it does not sit well with us.

The church in Jerusalem heartily recognized Barnabas as a self-sacrificing individual. He had sold some land and donated the money for the needy. But then Ananias and his wife Sapphira tried to gain the limelight by selling their property and pretending to donate the entire amount of the transaction to help the needy. They could have kept part of the profit or even all of it, because they were under no obligation to donate it at all. However, they conspired to lie to God and man about the sale amount. When their conspiracy was revealed, they paid for their limelight worship with their lives. God values humility and integrity.

Insight: Don't worship the limelight. Worship the One Who is the Light!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

+DEV+ Good Luck Charms

Date: November 16, 2010 11:19 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Good Luck Charms

Good Luck Charms

"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4).
Scripture Focus: Leviticus 26:1-13

Do you remember having a good luck charm when you were young? It may have been a rabbit's foot or a lucky penny. We must have wanted something to hold onto. Probably not one of us knows the whereabouts of those items today.

Thankfully, we cling to something lasting, and His name is Jesus Christ. While the human heart craves good fortune and places its confidence in meaningless objects, the One Who will never be moved holds out His hand to us.

The wisdom of Psalm 37 gives us more assurance than any four-leaf clover. "Trust in the LORD" (vs. 3); "Delight yourself in the LORD" (vs. 4); and "Commit your way to the LORD" (vs. 5).

While many discard old "good luck charms," some people today still cling to them. Abandon those childish ways. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. Then not only will you know how to hate what is evil and cling to what is good (Romans 12:9), but also you'll know the One in Whose grip you are tightly held. Let the rabbits keep their feet!

Insight: The devil is not opposed to faith if its object is anything or anyone but God. But he trembles when it is.

Monday, November 15, 2010

+DEV+ The Power Idol

Date: November 15, 2010 9:26 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Power Idol

The Power Idol

"I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive forever and ever! And I hold they keys of death and Hades" (Revelation 1:18)!
Scripture Focus: Matthew 2:7-16

Herod the Great, who ruled Judea when Jesus was born, was known as "King of the Jews." He was so power hungry that he disposed of every political rival as well as many family members. You can imagine Herod's alarm when the magi inquired in Jerusalem, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews" (Matthew 2:2)? His scheme to find this king failed, so he ordered the killing of innocent boys two years old and under living in and around Bethlehem (vs. 16).

Clearly, Herod worshiped power. So have history's dictators and many of today's corrupt politicians or CEOs. Lest we think the "power idol" can't possibly reach our own lives, we should remind ourselves of Paul's words to his dear friends in Philippi and to us: "Do nothing out of selfish humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3).

Only Jesus has the right to rule our lives, and He beckons us to follow Him. He took on our very nature; all power belongs to Him!

Insight: "We don't have to surrender our lives to key people if we know the Keeper of the Keys." (Anonymous)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

+DEV+ The Elusive Idol

Date: November 14, 2010 7:43 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Elusive Idol

The Elusive Idol

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'" (Hebrews 13:5).
Scripture Focus: Colossians 3:1-11

The TV game show Deal or No Deal serves suspense and entertainment. Will the contestant take the deal of $110,000 or turn it down in hopes of winning the bigger $1 million prize? Often, those who decline a big sum of money, hoping for even more, leave with very little in the end. The lure of getting more drives hard, doesn't it? And it plays itself out beyond television game shows and right into our hearts.

When asked how much money would satisfy him, one wealthy man replied, "Just a little more." As has been true since the Garden of Eden, contentment still seems to be an elusive idol, always just out of reach when greed is the motivator. True contentment comes when we find riches in a relationship with God. Nothing on this earth goes with us when we die. But we can rejoice now with the psalmist who finally realized, "Whom have I in heaven but you? Being with you, I desire nothing on earth" (Psalm 73:25). That's a deal we never want to turn down!

Insight: Money may fill a person's pocket, but only God can fill the heart. Money will flee from us, but God won't.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

+DEV+ The Me-First Ido

Date: November 11, 2010 6:45 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Me-First Idol

The Me-First Idol

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow..." (Matthew 6:33-34a).
Scripture Focus: Haggai 1:1-11

The prophet Haggai had a sharp message from the Lord for the Jews who had come out of captivity and had delayed in rebuilding God's temple. He could hardly put it any more plainly: hardship and drought were the hallmarks of their lives because they left the Lord's house in ruin while each of them was busy with his own house (Haggai 1:9). The sting of that rebuke must have been convicting, much as it is to us today when we confess that our focus is anywhere but on the Lord. Often our greatest priorities are, indeed, our houses and earthly pursuits.

Jesus Christ's own words to us urge us to seek Him before all other things and then see how what we long for will be ours as well. This is no magic formula...pray to God and go to church and you'll get a new car and house. Rather, Jesus invites us to place our heart's desire on Him and His righteousness, and we will see our hopes and longings shift and line up with what God also wants for us. He knows what's best!

Insight: God should come first in our lives, and we should hold all that we are and have in trust for Him. The Christian life is a stewardship.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

+DEV+ A Few Good Men

Date: November 10, 2010 7:12 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Few Good Men

A Few Good Men

"You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus...Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2 Timothy 2:1, 3).
Scripture Focus: Daniel 6:10-16

The Marines are looking for a few good men. So is God! Actually, He is looking for many good men-and women-who will resist the pressure to honor twenty-first century idols. With courage and faith these are people who struggle daily to keep God on the throne of life so that materialism, pleasure, fame, and other diversions do not take His place. These people include you and me!

Though Daniel and his friends were taken from Jerusalem and transplanted in Babylon, they maintained their strong faith in the true God. Daniel's friends refused to bow down to King Nebuchadnezzar's image (Daniel 3), though failure to do so meant death. Years later, Daniel kept up his practice of praying to God three times daily, even as King Darius' decree forbid anyone to pray to anyone except him for 30 days. Those who defied the order would be thrown into a lions' den (Daniel 6).

In every crisis God protected each of His uncompromising servants. Will we trust Him to protect us when we refuse to bow to the culture's idols?

Insight: Those who dare to stand for the Truth, find God standing alongside them. We are never alone!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

+DEV+ How Close to Judgment?

Date: November 9, 2010 9:30 PM
Topic: +DEV+ How Close to Judgment?

How Close to Judgment?

"Even while they were in their kingdom, enjoying your great goodness to them in the spacious and fertile land you gave them, they did not serve you..." (Nehemiah 9:35).
Scripture Focus: 2 Kings 17:5-20

The Northern Kingdom of Israel went into captivity about 150 years before Judah, the Southern Kingdom, met a similar fate. The reason for Israel's earlier demise? She embraced idolatry proudly under a succession of wicked kings. On the other hand, some of Judah's kings were righteous and instituted revivals in which the people destroyed their idols and returned to God. Still, in the long run, both kingdoms ignored God's blessings and His pleadings to worship Him.

Christians in Western nations often ask how much longer God will withhold the judgment we deserve. It seems our moral and spiritual failures are carrying us swiftly downhill, speeding to destruction. Idols like humanism, materialism, secularism, and hedonism push us on this perilous ride.

God alone has the right to determine the time and nature of judgment. Here and now we can pray for revival and stand resolutely for righteousness, knowing that the One who has stood in our place shouldered all the wrath of God for us.

Insight: When evil advances, Christians may help thwart it and see God draw a nation to Himself one heart at a time.

Monday, November 8, 2010

+DEV+ Fishing for Attention

Date: November 8, 2010 9:53 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Fishing for Attention

Fishing for Attention

"'So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men'" (Matthew 6:2a).
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:1-8

The most religious people in Jesus' day were not honoring God. Instead, they drew attention to themselves. Jesus called them hypocrites. Their charitable giving was attended by trumpets, and their ostentatious praying was done in public so those who heard them would be impressed. Jesus cautioned His listeners not to be like those vain religious showoffs.

Yet here we are displaying 21st century versions of that very thing. It's easy to judge the Pharisees. The very fact that we want to do so shows that we are more proud than we care to admit. We may not be attended by trumpets or give loud prayers in public, but most of us are not unfamiliar with expressions of false modesty, of fishing for compliments, and of completing our service but relishing the praise more than the opportunity to serve.

Let's submit our motives to the Lord for a checkup. Do we give, sing in a worship team, volunteer, chair a committee, or preach to be admired and praised? Or do we seek to honor God?

Insight: Those who fish for compliments do so under the watchful eyes of Someone whose scrutiny exceeds that of a game warden.

+DEV+ Keep-Away Idols

Date: November 7, 2010 7:05 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Keep-Away Idols

Keep-Away Idols

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
Scripture Focus: 2 Kings 12:25-33

After uniting ten tribes of Israel into the Northern Kingdom, Jeroboam forged a plan to keep them from returning to Jerusalem in the Southern Kingdom to worship God in His temple. The temple, after all, was God's appointed place of worship. Quickly, Jeroboam set up golden calves in two Northern Kingdom cities, Bethel and Dan, and directed his subjects to worship them. The golden calves were "keep-away idols."

"Keep-away idols" are those things we let stand in the way of worshiping God as He has commanded us. They direct our attention elsewhere. One of the best ways I know to give due honor to the Lord is by respecting the Sabbath day. But our "keep-away idols" work hard against that! Sunday mornings seem to be the prime time for kids' sport practices and games, for leisurely hours at cafes, for catching up on chores at home, and of course for sleeping in.

Let's not keep God away, but draw near to Him instead.

Insight: A church's signboard announced: "If absence makes the heart grow fonder, some people must really love church." nder, some people must really love church."

Thursday, November 4, 2010

+DEV+ The Idol in the Mirror

Date: November 4, 2010 11:09 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Idol in the Mirror

The Idol in the Mirror

"To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry" (1 Samuel 15:22b-23a).
Scripture Focus: 1 Samuel 15:16-23

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" This fairy tale question reminds us that arrogance and truth are usually poles apart.

What do you see when you look in the mirror? Is it a reflection of a humbled, sinful person whose daily strives to honor God? Or do you see a likeness of a self-righteous person trying to be more important than God?

Before becoming Israel's first king, Saul was humble. He hid when the prophet Samuel looked for the right son of Kish to anoint (1 Samuel 10:20-22). As king his self-esteem grew with the passing of time. While he became big in his own eyes, the Lord became small. He followed his own will and even set up a monument in his own honor (1 Samuel 15:12). Eventually, Samuel informed Saul that the Lord had rejected him as king (vs. 23).

Whom do we worship as greatest of all? When we come to long for God alone, the image of ourselves grows smaller and the reflection of Him becomes greater (See John 3:30.).

Insight: Our vision is clear when God is big in our eyes and we are small. Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart.

+DEV+ Anti-Faith Billboards

Date: November 4, 2010 1:03 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Anti-Faith Billboards

Anti-Faith Billboards

"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good" (Psalm 14:2).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 14:1-7

Late in 2008 eleven provocative billboards appeared in prominent locations around Colorado Springs and Denver. Each showed clouds against a dark, empty background. The question, "Do you believe in God?" was in the upper left. The lower right read, "You are not alone."

The Colorado Coalition of Reason, whose members identify themselves as atheists, humanists, and freethinkers, funded the billboards to build a support system for others who do not believe in God.

Psalm 14:1 describes those who discount the existence of God as corrupt and vile fools. Atheists are not actually faithless. It's just that they've anchored their faith in themselves instead of in God, elevating their own ideas over Scripture. Refusing to accept the Bible's portrayal of a personal God, they carve their own path through life, a way that leads to death (Proverbs 14:12).

Sometimes we who know the Savior live our lives ignoring our personal God, too. I'd rather be a "living billboard" to show God's work in my life.

Insight: An unbeliever's mind can manufacture adversarial thoughts about God, but God can enlighten even the most rebellious mind.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

+DEV+ Foolish Celebrations

Date: November 2, 2010 9:14 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Foolish Celebrations

Foolish Celebrations

"The Lord detests men of perverse heart but he delights in those whose ways are blameless. Be sure of this: The wicked will not go unpunished..." (Proverbs 11:20-21).
Scripture Focus: Acts 7:37-43

The human race has achieved some remarkable technological feats. We have made space travel almost routine. Through satellite TV, cell phones and computers we have almost instant access to the world. But if we dare to celebrate our accomplishments without acknowledging God, we are in for a rude awakening.

When the Children of Israel grew tired of waiting for Moses to return from his conference with God on Mount Sinai, they begged Aaron to make gods for them. He obliged, and soon a golden calf emerged from the people's donations of gold jewelry. The next day they rose early to sacrifice to the god they had made, celebrating with gluttony and revelry (Exodus 32:6; Acts 7:41). The sordid event led to divine judgment in the form of a plague (Exodus 32:35).

Celebrate the One worthy of praise! Every joy we have ever known is anchored in the God Who was and is and is to come, in Whom we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).

Insight: It is foolish to worship what we make. It is wise to worship the One who made us and guides our lives

Monday, November 1, 2010

+DEV+ God Is Amazing

Date: November 1, 2010 9:55 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God Is Amazing

God Is Amazing

"'I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free'" (Acts 7:34).
Scripture Focus: Acts 7:30-36

Do you sometimes feel inadequate as you confront a culture that Satan, the god of this age, has blinded to spiritual truth? Does it appear the culture's goal is to cast aside every trace of God's influence? He is unwelcome in our educational system, in entertainment, in politics, and even in our celebrations of Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Don't forget what God accomplished through His servant Moses in idolatrous Egypt.

Our amazing God launched ten plagues against Egypt, exposing Egypt's gods as false and powerless. For example, God eclipsed Re, Egypt's sun god by plunging Egypt into darkness.

After releasing the Hebrews, Pharaoh sent his cavalry in pursuit of them, but God parted the Red Sea so His people could cross safely. And then He closed the path and enveloped the whole Egyptian cavalry in the rushing water.

Christians may be a minority force in today's culture wars, but remember Whom you serve. Your God is always victorious.

Insight: With God in his life, the believer is invincible. No foe can defeat him; no trial can overcome him (see Romans 8:35-37).

+DEV+ Moses Chose to Serve God

Date: November 1, 2010 1:35 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Moses Chose to Serve God

Moses Chose to Serve God

"He [Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward" (Hebrews 11:26).
Scripture Focus: Hebrews 11:24-28

From babyhood to manhood, Moses lived in a palace. Raised as a prince in Egypt, he had access to enormous pleasures and vast treasures. However, he turned his back on it all to serve God. He chose to stand before Pharaoh and deliver God's summons: "Let my people go."

For forty years after God rescued His people from Pharaoh's clutches, Moses led the Hebrews through harsh wilderness. The going was tough, but he anticipated a reward that was infinitely more valuable than all he had left behind in Egypt.

We may never have an opportunity to renounce a life of luxury, but more than a few men and women have allowed the idols of pleasure and prosperity to keep them from serving God. Legitimate wealth is not evil, but it becomes so if we give it a higher priority than it merits. The apostle Paul wrote, "People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires" (1 Timothy 6:9). Eternal riches are the reward of those who do God's will.

Insight: "God always gives His best to those who leave the choice to Him." (Anonymous)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

+DEV+ An Idolized Son

Date: October 28, 2010 8:00 PM
Topic: +DEV+ An Idolized Son

An Idolized Son

"'Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me'" (Matthew 10:37).
Scripture Focus: Genesis 37:1-10

Jacob was a God-fearing man, but he fell short as a father by idolizing his son. Genesis 37:3 reports that he "loved Joseph more than any of his other sons." The fact that he gave Joseph a richly ornamented robe confirmed his partiality to him.

Joseph's brothers could see that their father kept Joseph on a pedestal. They grew to despise Joseph. Eventually, the sibling rivalry reached a fever pitch when the brothers plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery. Only God's intervention and sovereign plan kept him alive and in time lifted him from prison to prominence.

While the story of Joseph points us to God's redeeming plan for His people and for us, we also take a lesson from Jacob's favoritism to one son. As parents we may elevate a child, too, giving him his way and treating him preferentially. Such "child-worship" brings not only family trouble but also God's deep displeasure. Let's seek fairness in all of our dealings, never neglecting to keep the high pedestal of our hearts for the Lord.

Insight: The parent who brings a child up the right way will neither defraud the child nor dishonor God.

+DEV+ An Idolized Son

Date: October 28, 2010 8:00 PM
Topic: +DEV+ An Idolized Son

An Idolized Son

"'Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me'" (Matthew 10:37).
Scripture Focus: Genesis 37:1-10

Jacob was a God-fearing man, but he fell short as a father by idolizing his son. Genesis 37:3 reports that he "loved Joseph more than any of his other sons." The fact that he gave Joseph a richly ornamented robe confirmed his partiality to him.

Joseph's brothers could see that their father kept Joseph on a pedestal. They grew to despise Joseph. Eventually, the sibling rivalry reached a fever pitch when the brothers plotted to kill him but sold him into slavery. Only God's intervention and sovereign plan kept him alive and in time lifted him from prison to prominence.

While the story of Joseph points us to God's redeeming plan for His people and for us, we also take a lesson from Jacob's favoritism to one son. As parents we may elevate a child, too, giving him his way and treating him preferentially. Such "child-worship" brings not only family trouble but also God's deep displeasure. Let's seek fairness in all of our dealings, never neglecting to keep the high pedestal of our hearts for the Lord.

Insight: The parent who brings a child up the right way will neither defraud the child nor dishonor God.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Since this came to me via a friend in South America there must be people all over the world participation.


ONE MINUTE EACH NIGHT During WWII, there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every night at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace. This had an amazing effect as bombing stopped.

There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America .

If you would like to participate: each evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central, 7:00 PM Mountain, 6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the up-coming election, and for the revival of Christianity in this great country.

If you know anyone who would like to participate, please pass this along.

Someone said if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have.

Thank You. Please pass this on to anyone who you think will want to join us

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

+DEV+ Cover-Up

Date: October 26, 2010 11:11 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Cover-Up


"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13).
Scripture Focus: Genesis 31:25-35

Jacob fled from his father-in-law Laban, but Laban caught up with him where Jacob had set up camp. Laban was upset that Jacob had sneaked away before he could kiss his grandchildren and daughters good-by. But also someone had stolen his household idols. Jacob invited Laban to search the camp for them.

Ironically, Rachel had stolen them and hidden them in her camel's saddle. She was sitting on them when her father Laban searched her tent. It was a successful, but evil, cover-up.

Hardly a week passes without the news exposing the guilt of a corporate executive, politician, or investment broker. We smugly point to high-profile figures, thinking we ourselves would never do something like that. Yet all the while our own private "idols" are as nicely hidden as Rachel's were. We conceal our judgmental attitudes, pride, bitterness, love of self...all idols we cling to more tightly than we cling to the Lord.

Let's turn to Him and put Him on the throne.

Insight: Trying to cover our idols is as foolish as trying to hide tooth decay from a dentist's X-rays.

Monday, October 25, 2010

+DEV+ Sophisticated Idol Worshipers

Date: October 25, 2010 9:31 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Sophisticated Idol Worshipers

Sophisticated Idol Worshipers

"'But I took your father Abraham from the land beyond the River and led him throughout Canaan and gave him many descendants'" (Joshua 24:3a).
Scripture Focus: Genesis 11:27-12:6

Abraham, the Father of Israel and the friend of God, didn't always believe in God. When he lived in Ur of the Chaldeans, he worshiped idols, as did the other residents of that highly sophisticated city. Ancient Ur enjoyed advanced architecture and cultural attractions. Its houses were well constructed and even had indoor plumbing. Its large library was the envy of other cities; its beautiful harbor attracted avid boaters and fishermen. But spiritually, Ur was primitive and ignorant.

However, God revealed Himself to Abraham and commanded him to leave his city and homeland. Abraham obeyed, left his idols behind, and followed God's leading to Canaan.

Today we are not totally unlike the people of ancient Ur. Many of us enjoy comfortable homes but live in spiritual darkness. It becomes easy to trust in material possessions and money. But God can pluck people out of idolatry as surely as He plucked Abraham out of Ur, giving him a life of faith and a new direction.

Insight: A person may hold a PhD or an MBA, but he may also be completely ignorant of spiritual truth.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

+DEV+ Idolatry Invades Planet Earth

Date: October 24, 2010 8:34 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Idolatry Invades Planet Earth

Idolatry Invades Planet Earth

"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;..." (Colossians 1:16).
Scripture Focus: Genesis 3:1-7

God placed Adam and Eve in an idyllic, tropical paradise. Life was good. Mosquitoes didn't bite. Flowers didn't wilt. Weeds didn't exist. Animals were tame. Sickness never occurred. Death never struck. Everything was perfect-until Satan sold Eve a bill of goods. He made her think God was unfair and dishonest. He caused her to doubt that God had restricted her and Adam from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Although God had attached the death penalty to the prohibition, the serpent assured her she would not die if she ate it. Besides, he told her, the fruit would make her like God, "knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5).

Adam and Eve had elevated self-will above God's will, choosing to please themselves. They had become worshipers of self instead of God.

Genuine worship of God involves obedience. When going our own way contradicts God's way, we will face a dead end a dead end (Proverbs 14:12).

Insight: The devil is a master of the sneak attack. We need to stay alert.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

+DEV+ The Beginning of Idolatry

Date: October 21, 2010 11:41 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Beginning of Idolatry

The Beginning of Idolatry

"Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom" (Psalm 45:6).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 14:12-15

We often refer to the President of the United States as the most powerful man on earth. He probably is, but he is not all-powerful, nor does he occupy an endless throne in the White House. He steps down from the presidency after four or eight years, and another person assumes that role.

Unlike the most powerful man on earth, God is all-powerful, reigning eternally from a throne in heaven. No one can usurp Him, though Lucifer, once a light-bearing angel, tried. He craved God's position of majesty and might. He wanted to be like God, receiving worship and dispensing orders to all of creation. However, his wicked scheme was doomed. God expelled him from heaven, and He will ultimately consign him to the Lake of Fire (see Isaiah 14:12, 15 and Revelation 20:10).

When tempted to demote God and exalt ourselves, let's remember that He is the Creator and we the created. Our lives are rich and full when we place them under the control of the One whose love, power, and throne are eternal.

Insight: Transfer of power is common in world politics, but thankfully God's power is non-transferable.

+DEV+ Self-Confidence

Date: October 21, 2010 12:33 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Self-Confidence


"you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.' As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil" (James 4:15-16).
Scripture Focus: James 4

It would be a rare occasion, indeed, to hear a business person say, "If it's the Lord's will, we'll move ahead with this project." An unbelieving CEO wouldn't approach business that way. Sadly, many Christian CEO's wouldn't either. Truth be told, do I acknowledge the Lord before I march ahead with my daily plans? Most of us feel so confident about our own intentions that we begin to believe we are the ones in control. Our self-confidence becomes the pillar on which we stand.

James' letter speaks volumes to us about submitting ourselves to God rather than insisting on our own way. We quarrel with each other; we make friends with the world; we are proud and quick to speak against our brother. Imagine how far James, Jesus' sibling, had come in his walk of faith! After all, he grew up with a brother who, though perfect in behavior, seemed downright crazy at times (See Mark 3:20-21.) James urges Jesus' followers then as well as us now to let Christ be our pillar and to put our confidence in Him.

Insight: When we adopt God's plans, our hearts will ultimately find rest in His provision.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

+DEV+ American Idol Hopefuls

Date: October 20, 2010 1:05 AM
Topic: +DEV+ American Idol Hopefuls

American Idol Hopefuls

"...That is why Scripture says: 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Submit yourselves, then, to God" (James 4:6-7a).
Scripture Focus: Mark 10:35-45

They congregate by the thousands in major cities throughout the United States to audition for the TV show, "American Idol." Some sing like nightingales; others leave more to be desired! However, they all have one thing in common: a compelling desire to become the next "American Idol."

We can't ascribe a colossal ego to every contestant, but obviously many believe they are good enough to merit the fame and fortune that accompany the title, "American Idol." If ego without talent was enough, many would win.

Two disciples, James and John, asked Jesus to appoint them to the top "cabinet" positions in His future kingdom. But their ambition hit a wall when He informed them that God honors humility, not selfish ambition. According to Jesus, the way up in the kingdom is the way down. God honors service rather than self-aggrandizing.

Any one of us may have the talent to become the next "American Idol," but do we humbly serve others in Jesus' name? Pursue that instead.

Insight: Don't let your ego become so big that you may have to swallow it someday.

Monday, October 18, 2010

+DEV+ Untrustworthy Idols

Date: October 18, 2010 11:02 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Untrustworthy Idols

Untrustworthy Idols

"O house of Israel, trust in the LORD - he is their help and shield. You who fear him, trust in the LORD - he is their help and shield" (Psalm 115:9, 11).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 115:1-11

Our economy has its ups and downs, often more downs than ups, but God's promises remain stable and reliable. He has promised to meet our daily needs. Though our financial institutions may go under, the Bank of Heaven will never fail. Therefore, our trust should be in God and in His Word.

Three times Psalm 115 identifies God as His people's help and shield and therefore worthy of their trust (vs. 9, 10, 11). It also depicts idols as the "work of men's hands" (vs. 4), incapable of speaking, seeing, hearing, smelling, handling, or walking. In other words, idols are untrustworthy.

Perhaps our shaky economy serves notice that money and material goods are nothing in which to put our trust. They don't see those who trust in them. Nor do they answer the cries of those who trust in them. They cannot handle personal crises or walk alongside their worshipers in the valley of despair. How vastly different is our God. He is personal and powerful. He is our "help and shield," and He invites us to trust in Him.

Insight: Time spent serving idols is idle time. But time spent worshiping and serving the Lord has eternal significance.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

+DEV+ American Idols

Date: October 17, 2010 9:38 PM
Topic: +DEV+ American Idols

American Idols

"...And we are in him who is true even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Dear children, keep yourselves from idols" (1 John 5:20-21).
Scripture Focus: 1 John 5:13-21

In some cultures an idol is a statue or an image crafted from stone, wood or metal and regarded as an object of worship. It may resemble an animal, a mythical creature, or a human being. It may bear a name. The Hebrews strayed into the worship of idols resembling golden calves shortly after the true God had delivered them from slavery in Egypt (Exodus 32), and years later after the division of the United Kingdom (1 Kings 12:26-28).

But in a broader sense an idol is anything or anyone held in greater esteem than God. This definition brings the idea of having idols right into your own life and mine. We may never see anyone worship an actual statue, but esteeming someone or something more highly than God, is at times all too familiar. While some may value sports figures or Hollywood personalities, others may idolize a pastime, money, fame, or fortune. Many of our idols are hidden deep inside our hearts.

Genuine worship demands that we cast those idols aside and live for Him Who is true.

Insight: The throne of our hearts belongs to God. We dare not worship anything or anyone else.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

+DEV+ He Remains the Same

Date: October 14, 2010 10:36 PM
Topic: +DEV+ He Remains the Same

He Remains the Same

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea" (Psalm 46:1-2).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 46

Winter gives way to spring; laughter turns to tears, parched earth changes to verdant growth after rain; childlessness yields to family; a calm sea becomes a storm. Some changes we welcome more than others. All of them serve to remind us that our Creator remains the same.

Martin Luther clung with all his life to that great truth: that God remained and His kingdom would be forever. Nearly 500 years ago on this very day, he posted on the cathedral doors in Wittenberg, Germany his 95 complaints against the medieval church. He sought to bring us back to the Scriptures and to make it clear how salvation was given. The words Luther wrote for the great hymn "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" were and still are a rallying cry for believers in Jesus Christ. We have focused this month on the implications of our constant change and God's forever remaining the same. Because we know the unchanging One, we can sing with Christians throughout history that "God's truth abideth still - His kingdom is forever."

Insight: "A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing...from age to age the same..." Martin Luther, 1529

+DEV+ We Shall All Be Changed

Date: October 14, 2010 1:20 AM
Topic: +DEV+ We Shall All Be Changed

We Shall All Be Changed

"We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound...and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:51).
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

In an essay published in 1947, author J. R. R. Tolkein coined a new word: eucatastrophe. It means "a sudden, joyous turn of events." He said that the incarnation of Jesus Christ was the eucatastrophe of human history. It was "an unexpected but not unpredictable conclusion" of a great drama.

The apostle Paul explains in detail a sudden, joyous turn of events - a eucatastrophe! - that will come at the end of this world to those of us who have believed in Jesus Christ. In the twinkling of an eye, we will all be changed. Our human minds cannot even begin to comprehend what those changes will be. A little boy I know who is legally blind was excited to hear that in heaven he would not need his glasses, but then lamented that without them he wouldn't be able to see. How like him we are in our about the magnitude of the joyous changes God will work in us in the last.

Mercifully, He is transforming our lives even now, changing us moment by moment to make us more like Him!

Insight: Do you have heaven on your mind? Do you anticipate greater things in the next life than in this one? Wait with hopeful joy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

+DEV+ Evil in the Eyes of the Lord

Date: October 13, 2010 1:03 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Evil in the Eyes of the Lord

Evil in the Eyes of the Lord

"And when he prayed to him, the Lord was moved by his entreaty and listened to his plea; so he brought him back to Jerusalem and to his kingdom..." (2 Chronicles 33:13).
Scripture Focus: 2 Chronicles 33:1-13

Halloween is only a few days away. I am simply aghast at how glorified this dark, occult event has become. Spiritually speaking, it appears that we are still living in a world that is just as depraved as it was in the days of the kings of Israel.

Manasseh was a king who did evil in the eyes God. Because of his disobedience, he was captured by the Assyrians who dragged him into Babylonian captivity by putting a hook through his nose. Dreadful! While imprisoned as a slave, Manasseh realized that he needed to change his attitude. He saw that obeying God wasn't such a bad idea after all. Having already lost his kingdom, Manasseh cried out to God in his distress; God, Who is merciful, heard him.

I am encouraged by the fact that even in the midst of complete evil such as we see today, God is still at work and is still in charge. No matter how wicked a nation and its people become, God can change their attitudes and bring them into a place of right living.

Insight: What do you fear? Do you trust that nothing on, above or below earth can diminish who Christ is?

Monday, October 11, 2010

+DEV+ Refreshing Change

Date: October 11, 2010 8:24 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Refreshing Change

Refreshing Change

"One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty... he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" (Proverbs 11:24-25).
Scripture Focus: Galatians 6:7-10

Most of us have sought a change one time or another, hoping to cast a refreshing light on an otherwise discouraging situation. Nothing like a fresh coat of paint, an escape to the mountains, or a new outfit to brighten a room, to clear the mind, or to lift the spirits. But none of those changes lasts. The music fades; the vacation ends; the paint begins to look outdated.

The Lord built into us a wonderful way to find true refreshment: in refreshing others! The proverb gives us a principle that is completely contrary to the world's thinking. The world and our flesh tell us that if life gets you down, do something great for yourself. God's Word tells us to give freely of ourselves-be it through time or money or material things-for others and then see how God will refresh us in the process.

I have known this principle to be true, yet I wait with greater anticipation for the final refreshing when this life draws to a close. Then Jesus Christ, our Comforter, will refresh us thoroughly at last!

Insight: Feeling weary? Have you ever laid aside your own cares and looked to others'? Give a cup of cool water for someone else today.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

+DEV+ Lump of Clay

Date: October 11, 2010 12:38 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Lump of Clay

Lump of Clay

"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand" (Isaiah 64:8).
Scripture Focus: Jeremiah 18:1-6

Many of the changes that come about in our lives are not welcomed by us. If the lump of clay being kneaded by the potter could cry out, I am sure it would! Being molded and pressed and worked doesn't feel good. Yet if the lump of clay could know the stunning piece of artwork or the very useful water pitcher the artisan would create of it, perhaps he would keep silent. An audacious lump of clay that would be who would call out in defiance to the craftsman, the one who knows the shape he wants that clay to have.

There have been times of distress and hardship in my life that have hurt deeply. The process of getting through has pinched me, pressed me and pulled me in directions I didn't want to go. In my boldness I questioned the Lord's ways. Yet here I am today, His humbled vessel, filled up and spilled out time and time again in ways that have been able to give Him glory. Far be it from me to challenge the Master Craftsman, my Father and my Lord.

Insight: Have you also felt the pain of being molded? Do you believe that God's plans will work together for your good? Trust Him!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

+DEV+ A New Spirit

Date: October 7, 2010 10:09 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A New Spirit

A New Spirit

"For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory" (Colossians 3:3-4).
Scripture Focus: Ezekiel 36:24-27

One evening at a doctor appointment, God let me eavesdrop on a miracle in progress. A once-quiet exam room next to mine suddenly erupted into a frenzy of excited voices and hurried footsteps. I learned that the man in the room beside mine was a candidate for a heart transplant, and a donor had finally become available. What a change he was about to experience!

For the rest of the evening, my thoughts returned to him. I contemplated how he was being given a second chance at life because somewhere nearby, a life had just ended. The medical world and the generous gift of a total stranger had combined to offer him a miracle.

Similarly, God has offered us the gift of life. We were already dead in our sins when He sent His Son to restore us. And ultimately in Jesus' death we would be given the opportunity to live. We're like the young woman receiving a new set of lungs. Our names have been called. God's promises have been fulfilled, and new life in Christ is ours for the taking.

Insight: Do you have the assurance of salvation? Is salvation something we can earn? How does new life give you hope?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

+DEV+ Noisy Nature

Date: October 6, 2010 9:22 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Noisy Nature

Noisy Nature

"'Would you discredit my justice?...Do you have an arm like God's, and can your voice thunder like his'" (Job 40:8-9)?
Scripture Focus: Psalm 19:1-11

June 25, 2007, was an exciting day for NASA and the crew of the shuttle, Atlantis, as my friend recounted. “The sky was beautifully clear, so I could witness Atlantis flying right over. As soon as I heard the sonic booms, I knew exactly where to look in the sky. A thin white trail represented the shuttle's change from a place with no atmosphere to Earth's atmosphere.”

There's something awesome about the power of those twin sonic booms. It makes me wonder what it must have been like when God's voice spread across the expanse of space and spoke the universe into being. A sonic boom is impossible to ignore. The force driving it causes the sound barrier to be broken and elicits an unmistakable noise.

God's voice is unmistakable. He calls to us, reminding us that He is truly awesome. We may not always understand what He is doing or why. There are times when the beauty and perfection of God's plan for our lives is not understandable until it has been completed in us. In all things, He is marvelous and worthy to be praised.

Insight: What changes in your life are hard? Do you enjoy hearing God's voice? What evidence of God's power have you seen?

+DEV+ God's Call to Change

Date: October 6, 2010 1:53 AM
Topic: +DEV+ God's Call to Change

God's Call to Change

"Whom have I in heaven but you? And being with you, I desire nothing on earth...God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Psalm 73:25-26).
Scripture Focus: Jeremiah 7:1-7

Sometimes the hardest part about change is our dealing with our attitudes. We may say we want change, but when it comes right down to it, it's far easier to forgo change and just keep things as they are. This is something I struggle with greatly, especially when the calendar changes from December to January. I tell myself I'm going to change certain things about my behavior, but come February my weak will has already taken me back to old familiar bad habits. The problem is that I don't actively change my way of thinking.

It's not enough to simply desire change in our hearts. We have to base the changes on the knowledge that God expects us to change. Unless we realign our way of thinking, we can't alter our behavior. We need to take God's commands and laws seriously, writing them on the tablets of our heart so that they are constantly with us. The more we learn about God, His laws and His will, the more we will develop our internal desire to make the right kind of changes in our lives.

Insight: Are God's Laws Familiar To You? Is Your Desire To Be Obedient Or To Be Complacent? What Changes Do You Hope To Make?

Monday, October 4, 2010

+DEV+ Changing the Routine

Date: October 4, 2010 10:08 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Changing the Routine

Changing the Routine

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 122

When my wife and I married, we moved to a new state where we became members of a different church family. The transition was difficult. The hardest part of joining with a new body of believers was just that-it was different.

I knew I needed to attend church, but something inside kept me from welcoming this new change in my spiritual life. For several months I set my jaw and went to church out of obligation and routine.

Routine isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, our God is a God of order and not chaos, and a well-established routine can bring about order and peace.

The same can be said of using routine to develop our relationships with God. God commands us to go to church so that we can learn about Him and how He is working in the lives of other Christians. Going to church out of habit still gives us an opportunity to spend time with God. His grace abounds though our hearts are defiant. We must not give up meeting together with others, even if it means the routine has to change a little bit.

Insight: Do you tend to stick to a routine? How do you develop your relationship with God? Do you ever feel like church is a habit?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

+DEV+ Breaking the Mold

Date: October 3, 2010 10:20 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Breaking the Mold

Breaking the Mold

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test... what God's will is" (Romans 12:2).
Scripture Focus: Romans 12:1-2

One of the many things I learned in life is that not all people who claim to be Christians do a very good job of separating themselves from the rest of the world. The so-called friends whom I thought would be supportive of my relationship with God, turned out to be the ones who impeded my walk with Him the most. Daily I was reminded that conformity was much easier than self-sacrifice. Sadly, there are even some churches that fail to resist conformity. Dr. Michael Horton's book “Christless Christianity” details exactly that.

How can we possible change the world for the better? First, we need to be available to God. This means getting rid of that which competes with Him for our attention. Secondly, we must confess that we are sinners, unable to change ourselves without God's intervention. Finally, live in obedience, going against the grain of popular opinion. As we walk through these steps on a regular basis, breaking out of the mold that the world wants for us, God brings us into a right relationship with Him.

Insight: What Are The Downfalls Of Conformity? Have You Ever Decided To Conform Rather Than Stand Alone? What Blessing Is There To Renewing The Mind?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

+DEV+ Reflecting Christ

Date: September 30, 2010 9:58 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Reflecting Christ

Reflecting Christ

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 62:1-5

In my wife’s words...
“Of all my wonderful life-moments, perhaps my favorite is from my wedding. As my dad walked me down the aisle, I was fixated on my groom. The closer we got, the more brightly we beamed at one another. It was as though we were the only two people on earth. In that moment we knew our lives were about to change permanently, and we couldn't be more excited about it.”

Every day we continue to reflect our love for one another through our actions and our words. People who know us know without a doubt that we are in love.

A similar thing happens when we become close to God. As we are shining in the light of His glory, we are transformed. We are no longer alone in life - we have Christ at our side. We are His bride! Our actions and behavior should make it clear to everyone who knows us that we love and are loved by Christ. Our attitudes should reflect the changes that have happened as a result of getting to know our Lord and Savior more intimately.

Insight: Are You In A Loving Relationship With God? Do People Who Know You Know You Know God? In What Ways Do You Reflect Him?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

+DEV+ A Swiftly Changing World

Date: September 29, 2010 10:57 PM
Topic: +DEV+ A Swiftly Changing World

A Swiftly Changing World

“I the LORD do not have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you...” (Malachi 3:6a, 7).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 125

America thrives on change. Although we're a relatively young country, we have seen very dramatic changes in just a few hundred years. Transportation, communication, entertainment, food preparation and even family life are wildly different than they were in the days of our founding fathers. How should a Christian behave in a world characterized by nearly constant change?

First, we must remember to keep God at the center of all we do, regardless of our surroundings. God has set us apart and called us for a specific purpose in life. We cannot fulfill that purpose if we stray from Him. Secondly, we should ask the Holy Spirit to give us a measure of discernment and wisdom so that we change only in ways that edify His church or make our personal relationships with Christ stronger. And finally, be thankful for the myriad of ways we benefit from all these changes.

Just because the world around us moves at breakneck speed, we need not fear. We serve a God who is unchanging and constant.

Insight: Do you struggle to obey laws that don't seem modern? Have any of God's laws changed? How have you changed in response to God's laws?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

+DEV+ Purifying the Heart

Date: September 28, 2010 9:03 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Purifying the Heart

Purifying the Heart

"Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded" (James 4:8).
Scripture Focus: James 4

How can we begin to close the gap that yawns between us and God? The first thing that needs to change about us is that we need to come clean. Like the child who stops covering up because his mom seems to see right through him, we must realize that we cannot hide anything from God. He already knows our comings and our goings both for now and forever. He knows our innermost thoughts and secrets-things we sometimes barely acknowledge to ourselves. To come clean before Him means that we come to Him with the full realization that we are unworthy.

Submitting to God involves openly admitting we are sinners. As we lay our failures before Him, our hearts change from filthy rags to beautiful gems, purified of all unrighteousness. In forgiveness God speaks His love to us and purifies our hearts all th more, washing us in the pools of His grace.

God has so much to offer...more than our minds could ever conceive, and nothing that this world could give.

Insight: Do you feel close to God? Is your heart available to be filled with His love? What hinders your close relationship with God?

+DEV+ A Change of Heart

Date: September 28, 2010 3:06 AM
Topic: +DEV+ A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 34:1-18

Of all the different things in life that have the potential to influence us, the ones that carry the most weight tend to be those that affect the heart. The Bible refers to the heart as the "wellspring of life," urging us to guard it above all else.

The Psalmist writes that God is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. A person's heart, in the emotional and spiritual sense, is a place where secrets and dreams are kept. The pain of a broken heart is as unique as its contents. We can take comfort in the fact that a God Who is so large and powerful demonstrates His love on such an intimate and personal level when He mends the brokenhearted of His creation.

When our own emotions overpower us, the Holy Spirit intervenes and changes our hearts to be more peaceful. Although we can't change the circumstances that hurt our hearts, we can cry out to God, and He will mend them like a mother tenderly mending her loved one's shirts. He is forever faithful and unchanging.

Insight: When Have You Needed Peace In Your Heart? Do You Believe God Is Faithful Times Of Brokenness? How Do Emotions Change Your Heart And Attitude?