Author: Staff

Using Your Gift Read 1 Peter 4:10 (Monday’s reading, again) Please review Monday’s devotional. Once you have, reflect on the question, what is or are your gifts? How are you using them? Are you being a good steward with what’s God given you?...

One Another Read John 13:34-35 Fourteen! times in the New Testament, we’re told to “love one another.” “One another” is allelous in Greek. There’s reciprocity in this word; a mutuality toward one another. This isn’t one & another. It’s one-together. It’s two or more who identify as belonging to each other. Along with “love one another” are thirty-three other things we’re to do with and for one another in The Faith. Everyone one of them stands in a context that it’s not some special act or rare event. Rather, it’s understood as being a normal part of what it means to be a Christian and have a normal, healthy walk with God. We’re to exhort one another; Be of the same mind, be kind to one another. Consider one another; Comfort, serve, and reckon ourselves members of one another, to give just a few examples. It ought to be clear from this that the New...

 Blessed, TO Bless Read Ephesians 4:7 Each of us has received grace. That grace isn’t something we’re to hoard or hide. Grace received is to be enjoyed, celebrated, used, then passed along. In Colossians 2:6 we read, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8 Christianity isn’t a spectator sport. It’s a relationship with God that changes and transforms us into men and women who own the call to “Be blessed, to bless.”...

The Call Into Covenant Read Hebrews 6:11-12 This passage requires a careful consideration of context. Start back at v. 1 of the chapter. The writer speaks of those who “fall away” (v. 6). Then in v. 9 he shifts to the readers he hopes haven’t fallen away, but who have persevered in faith. They can do that, he says, by each one diligently applying her/himself in practical love and service. This is one of many passages in the New Testament that speak about the “corporate nature” of our Faith. The Lone Ranger may be a popular figure for modern culture, but it’s not a heroic icon for Christianity. To be in covenant with Christ means to be in covenant with one another, where each plays a significant part....

Each One Read 1 Peter 4:10 When Peter writes, “As each one has received a gift” he doesn’t mean “If you’ve received a gift” or “Those with a gift.” He means, “Since each has a gift.” Part of the call God placed on you into salvation, is specific equipping that enables you to play a part in the Body of Christ. Just as each member of your body has a part to play for the benefit of the whole, you have an assignment in Christ’s Body—AKA: The Church. God wants you to know what that part and role is and to faithfully go after it. Long experience has taught us that discovering your gift and calling is best discovered in a committed relationship with other believers....

He Prays for Us Read Luke 22:32 & Hebrews 7:23-25 Jesus prays for Peter and He ever lives to make intercession for us. Putting these two passages together, we realize that means even our stumbles, goofs, falls, gooks, face-plants, boo-boos, mistakes, etc., aren’t fatal and don’t make for failure when we take them out of the devil’s grip and put them in God’s hands to redeem. Is there some major error you look back on with profound regret and have assumed as a failure you just had to write off? Was it WORSE than Peter’s denying Jesus? Probably not. Yet God redeemed that! SO He can redeem you and that situation. Don’t leave it in the enemy’s grasp where he shames you with it. Wrestle it from his grip and put it in God’s redeeming hands....

Why Does God Allow It? Read Luke 22:31 Many are unnerved by this verse for what it says about satan getting permission to go after Peter. They wonder; if the devil NEEDS permission, WHY God would grant it? Fair question. We could back up and ask an even more fundamental question: Why does God allow the devil to exist AT ALL? Knowing God is indeed all-powerful, and could annihilate satan, but hasn’t, means (because God is also all-wise) that the devil must serve some ultimately good purpose. Please take a look at Romans 5:3-4, James 1:3 and 1 Peter 1:6-7. Then ponder this . . . The Church is called “The Bride of Christ.” What kind of eternal companion does Jesus deserve? It’s through facing an inveterate enemy that we’re shaped into a Bride who can best be called a “Warrior Princess.” Wonder Woman has nothing on the Bride of Christ....

Sifting Read Luke 22:31 Jesus says satan wanted to “sift” Peter like wheat. That process was well known; it was the last step before wheat was milled into flour. It’s when the wheat grains were separated from the last bits of useless husk. Sifting meant separating. Satan wanted to separate Peter from Jesus. That’s where the long road to apostasy begins, with just a small separation. If an airplane is off its course by a single degree, after three thousand miles, it’s many miles from its destination. The devil will use anything to insert a relational wedge between us and God: ANYTHING. Even seemingly good things; sports, hobbies, books, podcasts, people. Be on guard against spiritual wedges that would cool your affection for Jesus....

Wanting It Read Luke 22:31 Let’s continue the thought from yesterday by reading Philippians 3:12-15. This passage is one of my faves. I find Paul’s attitude toward spiritual growth incredibly appealing. Just think about how much knowledge and experience of God Paul had. Yet we get the sense from what he says here that nothing was more important to him than going even further. He bent all effort to attain everything God wanted for him. Lord Jesus, please plant that attitude and desire in me!...

 Old Name / New Name Read Luke 22:31 Jesus called Peter by his old name “Simon” because it was after that old identity the enemy was going. He has no claim on who we are as new people in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). Rev. 2:17 says that when we arrive in heaven, God will give us a new name. Following the customs of the time when that was written, names were more than labels; they were descriptors. God knows your REAL name, not the one your parents gave you, but the one He created you to BE. What you will one day BE, you are now BECOMING. The struggles and trials we endure are located in who and what we were before Jesus saved us. Read Romans 6 today and note how Paul tells us to step out of that old identity into the new....