Wednesday, June 12, 2013

+DEV+ Why Do YOU Serve God?

Date: June 12, 2013 9:53 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Why Do YOU Serve God?

Why Do YOU Serve God?

"'Does Job fear God for nothing?' Satan replied." (Job 1:9)
Scripture Focus: Job 1:6-12

Do you love God for who He is or for what He does for you? Do you receive God's grace apart from any human effort, or does your behavior effect how God loves you? These are questions the book of Job helps us resolve.

Satan thought the only reason Job loved and served God was because God had richly blessed and protected him. Satan believed that if that hedge of protection and those material gifts were re-moved, Job would surely curse God and die.

God allowed Satan to take everything precious to Job except his life (and presumably, his wife). When Job heard of the death of all 10 of his children on the same day, he blessed the name of the Lord - albeit through grief - reminding us that the same good God gives and takes away.

As the book of Job unfolds, we see Job come to understand grace. Just as we don't serve  God for all the good things He does for us, so too, God doesn't love us for all we do for Him. Salvation is the gift of a personal, eternal relationship with Christ whatever 
the circumstances.

Insight: There is no greater gift God can give than to give Himself!

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

+DEV+ Jesus Bids Us Come And Die

Date: June 11, 2013 10:12 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Jesus Bids Us Come And Die

Jesus Bids Us Come And Die

"He said..., 'Follow Me.' But the man replied, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.'" (Luke 9:59-60)
Scripture Focus: Luke 9:57-62

Three young men come to Jesus with a sincere interest in becoming disciples. Rather than have them bow their heads, say a sinner's prayer, and get on with His kingdom program, Jesus calls for an "all in" faith or "no faith" at all. These are words worth our consideration today.

One man seems willing to follow Jesus wherever He goes as long as that does not involve sleeping under the stars with no place to lay his head. Another man seems willing to follow but asks if he could first go and tend to his father's funeral. A third man wants to go home and say "goodbye" to his family before he leaves to follow the Lord. Is Jesus against featherbeds, funerals and farewells?

The answer is "NO!" What Jesus is against is a half-hearted, lukewarm, I'll-get-around-to-it kind of faith. As Dietrich Bonheoffer put it, "Jesus bids us come and die!" He lets us know there is no turning back. Follow the One who never turned back when He went to the cross in your place. He did come and die, all so that we might live!

Insight: We tend to think we are giving up so much to follow Jesus; in reality to die in and for Christ is great gain!

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

+DEV+ Love That Corrects

Date: June 5, 2013 10:02 PM
Topic: +DEV+  Love That Corrects

Love That Corrects

"Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you." (Proverbs 9:8)
Scripture Focus: Proverbs 3:1-18

Is criticism really constructive or destructive? Proverbs 9:8 says it depends on who is receiving the instruction. The scoffer is the fool who has said in his heart, "There is no god." That is about the same as saying, "No one tells me what to do!" The wise person knows that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

In the first six chapters of Proverbs, the wise son hears, seeks, receives, retains, applies, and rejoices in the counsel and instruction of his parents. The implication couldn't be plainer: We've a lot to learn if we are going to walk wisely in our Christian faith.

And yet, when someone loves us enough to faithfully wound us as a friend, we go down fighting and defending rather than rejoicing and loving the one courageous enough to care. Rather than run from all conflict and correction, the only regret we should have is when someone doesn't feel safe and comfortable enough to show us our fault. He or she may be the very instrument God is using to bring us closer to Him.

Insight: "He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding." (Proverbs 15:32)

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

+DEV+ A Call in the Wilderness

Date: June 4, 2013 11:52 PM
Topic: +DEV+  A Call in the Wilderness

A Call in the Wilderness

"John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, 'I am the voice of one calling in the desert, Make straight the way of the LORD.'" (John 1:23)
Scripture Focus: John 1:19-27

John the Baptist announced the coming of Jesus. From the time he was in the womb he was separated to be a special voice to a nation needing the good news of the Gospel. His message was simple, yet urgent: Repent, believe in the coming Messiah, and make room in your life for His rule and reign.

John the Baptist is a picture of every believer. While we may not wear camel-hair suits or eat locust and honey sandwiches, we are heirs of salvation with the same calling. We, too, have a simple but urgent message to bring to the world.

First, we are called to use our voices to proclaim the Gospel in the wilderness of this dark and fallen world. Do we do so with the same passion and urgency? Second, John the Baptist ushered in the first coming of the Lord, and we are preparing the world for His next coming. Third, John the Baptist was a humble servant, recognizing he wasn't worthy to loosen the strap on Jesus' sandal! Can we say with the forerunner of Christ, "He must increase; I must decrease"?

Insight: The person that makes much of Jesus learns how to make little of himself.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

+DEV+ Walking With God

Date: June 4, 2013 12:23 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Walking With God

Walking With God

"Joseph said to them, Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me; but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:19-20)
Scripture Focus: Genesis 50:15-21

Joseph could look back over his tumultuous life - one painted with as many ups and downs as the colors in the coat his father first gave him - to see how God was working all things for His glory, Joseph's good, and the preservation of many. The Lord's redemption plan was never in danger of failing.

After showing himself faithful, Joseph eventually was made the prime minister of Egypt. In a turning of the tables, his brothers came there for help, finding forgiveness and restoration.

Finally, Joseph saw that the evil intended for him was all part of God's purposes. He had reached the lowest point of his life before the Lord lifted him up. Does that mean all of us who put our trust in God in our despairing moments will be raised to positions of grandeur here on earth? Only God knows His plans for your life. His Word assures us that He doesn't want any of us to perish, but for all to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) and that through faith in Him we will be promoted to the best place: in heaven with Him one day.

Insight: We rarely know where God is taking us, but we can be assured it is for His glory and our good.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.