Monday, August 30, 2010

+DEV+ Loving Touch

Date: August 30, 2010 11:49 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Loving Touch

Loving Touch

"People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them, Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them'" (Luke 18:15-16a).
Scripture Focus: Luke 18:15-17

Research has proven the need for loving touch. Experiments on baby animals showed stunted mental, emotional, and even physical growth when touch was withheld. Human babies living in orphanages display developmental problems when workers only feed and cleanse them, failing to hold them or show love to them by touch.

In addition to being necessary for proper growth, loving touch releases chemicals in the brain that remove depression and bolster healing. The sense of touch is a gift from our Creator.

God's touch brings life and love. The Bible speaks of God touching the hearts of men (1 Samuel 10:26). He is willing to touch our hearts, too. Go to Him and request His touch. You can almost see Him gathering the little ones of Luke 18 to Himself. Bring your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbors, and children world-wide to Jesus through prayer. Ask Him to touch them and help them develop into emotionally and spiritually healthy adults.

Insight: Crawl up on your heavenly Father's lap and rest your head on His shoulder. Let His loving touch bring health to your soul.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

+DEV+ The Unruly Don't Win

Date: August 29, 2010 10:56 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Unruly Don't Win

The Unruly Don't Win

"Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people" (Ezekiel 12:2).
Scripture Focus: Jeremiah 29:11; Proverbs 19:20-21

In football, a wide receiver doesn't go on the field to do his own thing. He doesn't look for his girlfriend in the stands. His hands aren't full of dollar bills. Rather, he runs the play his coach has chosen and runs toward his team's goal. He listens for direction, looks to the quarterback, and holds out empty hands.

How can we receive anything from God if our ears and eyes are full of distractions? How can God fill our mouths with His words if we are talking about our own interests? How can He fill our hands with eternal possessions when we are clutching tightly temporary items we consider "ours"?

The really amazing news for us as believers in Jesus is that even when we are holding onto such things, His grip on us is tighter still. He knows our weaknesses and calls us to cling to Him like a small child on a parent. He will not let go!

The Creator and Possessor of the universe laid aside everything and made Himself vulnerable in order to gain a relationship with us.

Insight: When God calls a play, we must lay aside our desire for comfort to pursue His plan with passion.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

+DEV+ Bogus Focus

Date: August 26, 2010 9:56 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Bogus Focus

Bogus Focus

"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).
Scripture Focus: Genesis 3:1-7; Hebrews 11:1-6

How do we focus our eyes on something that cannot be unseen? Paul has to be talking about eyes of faith, for faith is being certain of what we do not see with our physical eyes (Hebrews 11:1).

"Seeing is believing," the saying goes.That falsehood existed from the time Satan, the father of lies, talked with Eve face to face, while God, the Father of Truth, watched from outside of her physical sight. Eve was deceived and focused on what her physical eyes saw, rather than what her eyes of faith could have seen. Adam chose to follow her into sin.

We have all seen optical illusions that prove we cannot always trust our physical eyesight. Only God's spiritual truth is worthy of our trust.

There are no counterfeit pennies; who would take time to copy something of such little value? Likewise, Satan tries to counterfeit what is of truly great value: the object of our faith. The visual attractions of this world are nothing compared to Jesus Christ and a life redeemed by Him.

Insight: Why accept the bogus offer of the ultimate con artist, when you can enjoy the priceless pleasures faith offers?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

+DEV+ Tasty Imitations

Date: August 25, 2010 9:02 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Tasty Imitations

Tasty Imitations

"...many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things" (Philippians 3:18b-19).
Scripture Focus: Romans 14:17-18; 1 Corinthians 10:31

From the beginning of time in the garden of Eden, Satan has been trying to convince people that satisfying their flesh is the best way to live. Things haven't changed much because we hear that message all around us.

In our culture food is the focal point of life for many people. Billboards and television commercials abound; there is a whole network devoted to food preparation.

While food is necessary and enjoyable, our taste for it can get out of control. The huge number of diet books and weight-loss drugs available show that people long for self-control, one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit from Galatians 5.

Rather than letting our stomachs be our gods, we can be reminded of the great Comforter who has provided us with "comfort foods." Our joy in a piece of fine chocolate will pale next to the joy from a sweet relationship with the Lord. "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8).

Insight: Let's consider if we are glorifying God by our attitude about food. We must not let the counterfeiter deceive us.

+DEV+ Meaning in the Mundane

Date: August 25, 2010 2:02 AM
Topic: +DEV+ Meaning in the Mundane

Meaning in the Mundane

"From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it...He who has ears, let him hear" (Matthew 11:12, 15).
Scripture Focus: Matthew 11:1-30

"Keep your eyes peeled," my Dad used to say to us kids. "Maybe you'll see a deer."

"Perk up your ears. Hear that turkey gobble?" He saw sights and heard sounds the rest of us missed. Have our walks through life become mundane? Are we missing what God has for us?

Too often we long for earthly love, while God stands unnoticed, arms open wide. We long for direction, while His Word remains unread. We let the world's persistent din drown out His soft voice.

Stop! Keep your spiritual eyes peeled. Do you see God's kingdom advancing? Do you see that clerk who needs a smile-that person sitting alone?

Perk up your spiritual ears. Do you hear God calling you to converse with Him? Do you hear the silent cries from those who don't know Him?

People and situations we can pray for surround us. When you feel grumpy, ask God to fill you with joy. Thank Him for strength as you shovel the driveway. Pray for your family as you fold their clothes.

Insight: We can experience meaning in the mundane through the spiritual senses God has given us.

Monday, August 23, 2010

+DEV+ Eyes of Faith

Date: August 23, 2010 10:58 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Eyes of Faith

Eyes of Faith

"'Stop doubting and believe.'Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'" (John 20:27b, 29).
Scripture Focus: John 20:19-31

God loves us and wants us to respond to His love by trusting Him enough to obey His Word. God has given us all we need to enjoy a loving relationship with Him. One day the Lord impressed on my heart how much He had given so I that I might even call Him "Daddy." When I realized how I had failed to exercise the faith He provided, I decided my life had to change.

I began to set apart a specific time and place where I could focus on God regularly. I waited until my soul quieted, then praised God for some aspect of His character. I asked Him to open my spiritual eyes before reading Scripture. By this time, my problems were not my focus; God's ability to solve them was. Finally, I brought my needs and the needs of others before Him in faith and confidence.

I also became more aware of His constant presence and began to talk with Him as I performed mundane tasks. He awakened my spiritual senses, and physical work became a spiritual adventure. What wonders await our spiritual awakening!

Insight: Christ's success supersedes our human failure. Let's trust in His triumph, delight in His laurels, and find meaning in each day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

+DEV+ The Battle

Date: August 22, 2010 9:28 PM
Topic: +DEV+ The Battle

The Battle

"Elisha prayed, 'O Lord, open his eyes so he may see.' Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire" (2 Kings 6:17).
Scripture Focus: 2 Kings 6:13-23

The Arameans surrounded Dothan, the city where Elisha was, as they planned to take him by force. The Lord allowed this situation that looked hopeless in order to show His glory.

Then Elisha's servant saw the city surrounded by a great army with horses and chariots, he was distraught. Elisha, however, had eyes of faith. He told the servant, "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them" (vs. 16).

If we could see the spiritual forces ready to attack us, we, too, would be fearful. We live on a battlefield where Satan and his armies lie in wait for us. Yet God's spiritual forces are more plentiful and more powerful. Be aware of His great power.

When we find ourselves in a physically impossible situation, let's ask God to open our spiritual eyes and show us His plan for victory. Remember that He surrounds us, His people, as the mountains surround Jerusalem (Psalm 125:2). Nothing is impossible with God, as He has proved again and again.

Insight: We have read the book. We know the ultimate winner of the raging spiritual battle. By faith, we can celebrate the victory today.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

+DEV+ Healing Touch

Date: August 19, 2010 10:43 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Healing Touch

Healing Touch

"A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years...She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped" (Luke 8:43-44).
Scripture Focus: Luke 8:42b-48

Luke noted that this woman had been seeking help for twelve years. The doctors she went to must have felt frustrated when they could not cure her. Humans have limitations, but Jesus showed His power to heal physically and spiritually. When He healed someone physically, Jesus always had a purpose for his or her everlasting spiritual health.

The long-afflicted woman reached out to Jesus in faith. Jesus healed her both physically and spiritually. He also commended her for her act of faith.

We can receive healing through reaching out to Jesus in faith. Prayer is the way we can touch Him (or connect with Him).

God may choose to heal our ills, working through doctors, but He also may choose not to heal. Other Christians may influence us, but healing only comes through the gift of life explained in the Bible and offered freely. Remember as you reach out in faith that only Jesus mediates between God and us (See 1 Timothy 2:5.).

Insight: We all need healing, and Jesus can provide it. Faith can cause us to reach out to Him this very moment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

+DEV+ Taste the Bread of Life

Date: August 18, 2010 9:07 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Taste the Bread of Life

Taste the Bread of Life

"'I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die'" (John 6:48-50).
Scripture Focus: John 6:1-59

"What is it?" That is the literal translation for the Hebrew word "manna." The Israelites had never before seen the substance that covered the ground. God provided it supernaturally.

One month after God miraculously delivered them from Egyptian slavery, the Israelites complained about their lack of food. Despite having milk and meat available from sheep and cattle they took along with them, they still complained.

God responded to them with grace. Sundays through Thursdays, He supplied enough manna so they could collect two quarts per person. On Fridays, God provided double, enabling them to rest on Saturday, the day He'd designated the Sabbath.

Manna was a picture of Jesus, Whom God would send from heaven to fill our spiritual hunger. We are nourished by Him on a daily basis. He is there without fail to sustain us, giving us still not only a Sabbath rest, but also the promise of eternal rest with Him one day. He is the bread of life!

Insight: Let's focus on taking in the spiritual nourishment Jesus offers, rather than things that satisfy our fleshly desires.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

+DEV+ Dangers of Assumption

Date: August 17, 2010 9:05 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Dangers of Assumption

Dangers of Assumption

"Encourage one another that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness...'if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts'..." (Hebrews 3:13, 15a).
Scripture Focus: Revelation 2:1-7

"How can you stand the smell?" I asked a friend's dad who worked in a tannery.

"You get used to it," he replied.

Our sense of smell picks up odors right away, but somehow we grow desensitized after a length of time. While this may be a blessing for people in some occupations, it can cause them to lose awareness of how they smell when they leave work. All of our senses may grow less perceptive over time.

After years of reading or hearing God's Word, we may face the danger of taking our relationship with Him for granted and losing the awe it once inspired.

We also encounter the danger of accepting the sin around us and in us. For instance, we may hardly notice profanity if we hear it constantly. Rather than growing numb to the repulsiveness of sin, let's encourage each other daily to remain faithful to the Lord. Let the Creator awaken your spiritual senses to see and hear new insights as you read His Word year after year.

Insight: Today, ask God to make us aware of the beauty He wants us to enjoy and the ugliness He wants us to avoid.

Monday, August 16, 2010

+DEV+ Sin's Stench

Date: August 16, 2010 9:25 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Sin's Stench

Sin's Stench

"What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ, our Lord...there is now no condemnation..." (Romans 7:24-25a; 8:1a).
Scripture Focus: Romans 6:23

Repulsing! Disgusting! The stench of death is beyond adequate verbal description.

Long ago, murderers received an awful sentence for their crime. Authorities would secure the dead victim to the back of the killer. The decay of the corpse caused disease, from which the murderer eventually died.

Some believe Paul was referring to this practice when he wrote the verses we are focusing on today. The analogy is that we are carrying around the stinking, repugnant body of sin and ultimate death.

Sin repulses God. He hates "haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies, and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers" (Proverbs 6:17-19).

Do these things fill us with disgust, too? Or are we carrying around our loads of sin? Praise God we have a Savior who already has borne our burden for us!

Insight: Why carry around stinking sin when Jesus invites us to leave it at the cross? Let's choose life!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

+DEV+ Blindness

Date: August 15, 2010 8:07 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Blindness


"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be en-lightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you..." (Ephesians 1:18).
Scripture Focus: Acts 9:1-19

Paul, who wrote these verses, understood blindness-both physical and spiritual. As he was traveling to persecute Christians, the Light of the world blinded him physically for three days. This revealed to Paul his own spiritual blindness.

Once a strong leader, Paul now had to lean on those who had followed him. His physical blindness caused him to "see" everything in a new light.

After God showed Paul the truth, he traveled to present the risen Christ to everyone he could. He also prayed that God would heal the spiritual blindness that was so prevalent-and still prevails.

Sometimes even His disciples missed seeing obvious spiritual truths. Jesus said, "Open your [spiritual] eyes and look at the [mission] fields! They are ripe for harvest" (John 4:35b).

Once the Light of the world has revealed Himself to us, we can "see" with eyes of faith the hope He offers, and we can tell others. We also can draw on His incomparable power as we work our mission field around the corner or around the world.

Insight: All around us, spiritually blind people grope for help. Let those of us who "see" Jesus, lead them to Him, Light of the world.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

+DEV+ Light and Sight

Date: August 12, 2010 8:52 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Light and Sight

Light and Sight

"In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it...the true light that gives light to every man" (John 1:4-5, 9a).
Scripture Focus: John 1:1-18; 2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Jesus said, "I am the light of the world." The several blind men He healed knew firsthand how He'd brought them from darkness to light.

The workings of the eye are complex. Light is the first and most essential ingredient to physical sight. It passes through the cornea, the aqueous humor, the lens, and the vitreous humor. In a flash, it reaches the retina, the light-sensing structure of the eye. Chemicals cause electrical impulses to transmit images to the brain. Amazing!

Our Creator provides many ways to help us understand His intricate plan of salvation. Without Jesus, the Light of the world, we will remain in spiritual darkness.

It is remarkable that Jesus told His followers, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden" (Matthew 5:14).

Darkness cannot stand up to Light; it flees when Light appears. Though we have no light in ourselves, we can reflect Jesus, the one true Light, illuminating our world with His love.

Insight: As light is essential to physical sight, Jesus is essential to spiritual sight. We dare not shut our eyes to Him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

+DEV+ Hearing God

Date: August 11, 2010 11:06 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Hearing God

Hearing God

"He [God] wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not drawn back" (Isaiah 50:4b-5a).
Scripture Focus: Romans 10:14-18

The radio station proclaimed that it broadcasts twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Yet, I was listening to it for the first time.

God is available to communicate with us all the time, but how often do we tune in to Him?

If we wait until it is convenient for us, we may never hear His voice. This world will fill every moment with noise. Voices call from all directions, but we must give our attention to the gentle voice of God. If we say He is our Sovereign Lord, our Supreme Ruler, how can we let the din of this world drown out His voice?

It is hurtful to have our words ignored by the ones we love. Yet, the most powerful being in the universe extends love, mercy, grace, and patience while we ignore Him. Turn away from the father of lies, who contends for us daily. Tune in to our loving Creator who pursues us with an everlasting love.

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (Romans 10:17).

Insight: Physical silence can remove the distractions that prevent us from hearing God's voice. Let's set apart a quiet time each day for this purpose.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

+DEV+ Communion

Date: August 10, 2010 10:14 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Communion


"This is my this in remembrance of me...whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death"(1 Corinthians 11:24b-26).
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

Who but our Creator would have originated the Lord's Supper to help us remember Christ's death until His return?

He created our brain with layers. The top layers receives information, grasping the concept of love, but not feeling love. An even deeper connection through the senses is made in the inner layers.

The ordinance (or sacrament) we call Communion uses the five senses to engage our emotions and understanding. We "hear" God's Word explain Christ's sacrificial death. We "see" the elements. We "touch" the bread and juice, bring them to our mouths, and "smell" them as they pass under our noses. Then we "taste" them. The symbolic elements become a part of our physical bodies as they nourish and regenerate our cells. This pictures how Jesus, the Bread of Life, becomes part of our lives.

As members of Christ's spiritual body-the church-we serve one another in this symbolic act that reminds us of His ultimate act of service. And through it we draw near to Him.

Insight: Our Creator wants to engage every part of our bodies in remembrance.

Monday, August 9, 2010

+DEV+ Hunger

Date: August 9, 2010 11:35 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Hunger


"Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good" (1 Peter 2:2-3).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 81:10

Most babies cry regularly for milk. Some suck their thumbs, but they soon learn that will not satisfy their hunger. Some people fool themselves into thinking possessions, prestige, or power can fill their spiritual hunger. These counterfeits fail, too.

When babies are starving, they reach a point where they no longer feel hunger. Someone coming to their aid must dip her finger in milk and force it into their mouths to awaken their sense of hunger.

Likewise, many people deprive themselves of spiritual food until they no longer feel hungry for it. God allowed a man I know to lose his job, his family, his possessions, and his health. Finally, the man recognized his spiritual hunger and turned to Jesus, Who satisfied the man's soul as only He can.

Peter has instructed us to desire "pure" nourishment. If we stop eating junk foods, we will stop craving them. Let's turn from the world's dumpsters and quit eating the bread of death from carnal mind feasts. We can open our mouths wide to the pure spiritual food the King of heaven offers us.

Insight: Accept no substitutes. Ask God to give you a voracious spiritual appetite, which His pure Word can satisfy.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

+DEV+ Seeing God

Date: August 8, 2010 9:00 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Seeing God

Seeing God

"Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol..." (Psalm 24:3-4a).
Scripture Focus: 1 John 3:2-3

Crowds of needy people followed Jesus up to the hill country where He spoke to them about the blessings God has reserved for humanity.

One such blessing is to "see" God. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God" (Matthew 5:8). So we must ask "What is a pure heart?"

Our natural hearts are centered on self, focused on self-satisfaction. Jesus sacrificed His lifeblood to show us a better way. When we focus our hearts' eyes on Him, we can receive His blessings. We must not let what our physical eyes see overshadow the spiritual sights that offer blessings beyond our comprehension.

A "pure" heart longs for holiness. Without it, Hebrews 12 tells us, we will not see the Lord. Though we know that even our best attempts to be "holy" fall drastically short, we rest in His promise that He Himself will clothe us in His righteousness. With Isaiah we proclaim, "I delight greatly in the Lord...for he has clothed me with garments of salvation...and a robe of righteousness" (61:10).

Insight: Once our hearts become pure, our spiritual vision will clear so we can see God.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

+DEV+ Head of the Body

Date: August 5, 2010 9:32 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Head of the Body

Head of the Body

"He [Jesus] is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the first-born from among the dead" (Colossians 1:17-18a).
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 12:12-27

Our wise Creator made an intricate system for hearing. The average pair of human ears can receive vibrations to 20,000 cycles per second. Three tiny bones carry vibrations to the inner ear, where the air noises magnify and convert to a liquid force. Cells work to distinguish the sounds from hundreds of thousands of tones. When the vibration stimulates the correct sound receptor cell, the mechanical force changes to neurons and enters the brain. The brain adds meaning and emotion to the sounds.

Our physical ears can hear spiritual truths; but it takes the spiritual brain, Christ, the head of His church to help us understand these truths.

Some passages of God's Word we have heard before take on a whole new meaning when we hear them again. That is because God the Son (the Head) is working with the Holy Spirit to give those sounds spiritual meaning and emotion.

Every word we speak or hear can bring glory to our marvelous Creator.

Insight: God can use every sound to draw us closer to Him. Let hearing evil words prompt you to pray for those who utter them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

+DEV+ Lord of the Senses

Date: August 4, 2010 7:26 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Lord of the Senses

Lord of the Senses

"They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel..." (Psalm 115:5-7a).
Scripture Focus: Psalm 115:4-8; 135:13-18

Writers try to "involve" readers by showing how things look, sound, taste, and smell. This type of writing can engage readers emotionally, move them to another time and place, and help them see life from a different viewpoint.

In today's verse, we read that idols have none of these senses. However, the living and true God has all of them! Since God is a spiritual being, He has spiritual senses. He has given us comparable physical senses to use in relating with each other, and He can awaken spiritual senses to help us relate with Him and see from His viewpoint.

God "hears" our prayers.
He "sees" our needs.
He is a living, loving Father who "smells" the sweetness of our prayers.
He is the Son who "touched" untouchables when He walked on earth.

Let's ask Him to open our spiritual eyes, so we see His truth and open our spiritual ears, so we hear His commands. Let's ask Him to give us spiritual understanding as we read His Word. "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8a).

Insight: Our living, loving Lord will supply all we need to relate with Him.
Let us ask Him to nourish our souls with spiritual sustenance.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

+DEV+ Spiritual in Physical

Date: August 3, 2010 8:05 PM
Topic: +DEV+ Spiritual in Physical

Spiritual in Physical

"The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being" (Genesis 2:7).
Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 6:19; 12:12-27

From the beginning, the Lord God interacted with His creation-most intimately with humans. Critics used to scoff at the idea that God created people from the "dust of the earth," but now science has confirmed that every element found in the human body also exists in earth's soil. God's life-giving breath caused that first body, made in His image, to live physically and spiritually.

When humans rebelled, our Creator didn't give up on us; rather, He came to earth in a human body and lived the perfect human experience for us. While it is true Jesus is our example, He is more than that. He is the express image of the Godhead in a human body.

Now, in the form of the Holy Spirit, God lives within the physical bodies of those who follow Him. He says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit?" He also calls those who have received Jesus as Savior the "body" of Christ.

The Lord God does His spiritual work through His physical creation. Everything we see, hear, smell, taste, or touch has spiritual connotations.

Insight: What amazing spiritual possibilities lay hidden within our simple physical actions? Let's ask God to reveal them to us.

Monday, August 2, 2010

+DEV+ God and Growth

Date: August 2, 2010 10:54 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Growth

God and Growth

"...the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree..." (Isaiah 55:12b-13a).
Scripture Focus: Isaiah 55

Here at last the curse is broken, and we have joyful harmony between God's people and nature. This whole passage invites us to "come and drink," to change our wicked ways and to turn to the Lord and His Word that we might enjoy forgiveness, peace and joy seems almost too good to be true. And yet, this is exactly what Jesus has already done for us! When these words were written, the fulfillment of the promises was in the distant future. But after His coming He left the Holy Spirit to cause the seeds of that perfect tomorrow to live and germinate within us now. We are not on "hold." The brand new life cycle has already begun in the heart of every believer.

In our formerly cursed lives where once there were thorns, cypress trees are growing; where nettles grew, myrtles are sprouting. We see evidence of new growth all around us in our lives and the lives of our family in Christ. If the little shoots of green we see do not compare to what they will be someday, so what? We're already part of a second genesis!

Insight: God's word liberally applied will act as a fertilizer, increasing healthy growth and pest-free fruit for the spiritually hungry people in your life.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

+DEV+ God and Fruit

Date: August 1, 2010 8:39 PM
Topic: +DEV+ God and Fruit

God and Fruit

"'I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit...This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit...'" (John 15:5a,8).
Scripture Focus: John 15:1-8

We once took a trip to Florida. I saw for the first time citrus fruit hanging on trees. People grew oranges, lemons, and grapefruit in their yards. As we drove by, the colorful, abundant fruit was eye-catching. I realized later that the fruit was the only thing about those trees I remembered.

The fruit of our lives as Christians is supposed to be distinctive and memorable. Many unbelievers around us do have that impression of us, but, sadly, the impression is bitter. Why is that? Perhaps our fruit is immature, or we've fallen off or been severed from the vine. We are so busy we don't have much time to spare for quietly abiding in God's Word and being still before Him. We have a limited relationship with the body of Christ. Jesus' disciples spent time with Him and each other, and their lives couldn't help but be changed. The fruit of our lives will become ripe and sweet, too, through the touch of the Master's hand. Christianity isn't only about what we know. It is about who we are actually becoming-like Jesus.

Insight: The fruit of your life is not only for yourself, it will be tasted by others. Is
your fruit bitter or sweet?