Devotions for Your Daily Walk With Christ
Devotion Ideas for your meeting or group.
John Quincy Adams said, "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." If those actions inspire others to grow in Christ more, you are a Christian leader. I believe that in order to be effective Christian leaders, we must continually read and reflect on the word of God, and one excellent way to do that is to use a devotional, scripture based reading that causes us to consider God's word and what it means to us personally.
Each time I read scripture I am challenged to a new and deeper level in my walk with Christ. And often I'm inspired to share my revelations. The result of this inspiration is what you'll find below, for you see, I delight in finding, and helping others find, what I call "aha" moments in my walk with Christ.
In addition to the devotions I've archived here (and on a dozen more pages that you'll find linked below), I send out new devotional moments about twice a month. Sign up to get them below.
Devotions You'll Find on This Page
But I Put it Away!
The Last Snowfall
Proof of God
A Lesson From the Kings
But I Put it Away
1 Samuel 7:2-4
 It was a long time, twenty years in all, that the ark remained at Kiriath Jearim, and all the people of Israel mourned and sought after the LORD.  And Samuel said to the whole house of Israel, "If you are returning to the LORD with all your hearts, then rid yourselves of the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths and commit yourselves to the LORD and serve him only, and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines."  So the Israelites put away their Baals and Ashtoreths, and served the LORD only.
Most of us who've been in the church for any amount of time know the story of Israel. There was a definite cycle the nation followed. Over and over again they served God for a time, then followed false gods. After several years of worshiping other gods, the going got tough, so they cried out to the One and only True God, and He rescued them. Because of their gratitude, the Israelites turned back to Him, but it wasn't more than a generation or two later that the cycle of unfaithfulness would begin again.
As I read these verses in Samuel, I wonder if there are a few words here that give us a clue to Israel's problem. For twenty years the Ark of the Covenant, God's presence as far as the Israelites were concerned, was at Kiriath Jearim. The entire time it was there, the people of Israel followed God. It must have looked to Samuel like they were finally sincere in their desire to worship their Creator, because Samuel challenged them to get rid of their foreign gods. He told them that if they really wanted to completely return to God, they should "rid themselves" of the idols and gods of their enemies.
At first read, it looks like verse 4 tells us the people of Israel did just as Samuel commanded; however if we look just a bit closer, we see that they only half obeyed. The text says, "the Israelites put away" the false gods. That's not exactly the same as "getting rid" of them.
When I think of "get rid of," I imagine a garbage can or a fire. On the other hand "putting away" brings to mind a closet. The Israelites didn't dispose of them forever, they put them on a shelf in case they needed them again, and as we know from history, it wasn't long before that day came. Once again God's chosen turned their back on the One who delivered them time after time after time. The people of God turned instead to the powerless statues and idols of wood and stone.
This realization caused me to stop and think, "are there 'idols' in my life that I've put high on a shelf but haven't completely rid my life of?" And can I "commit myself to the Lord and serve Him only" if I have these hidden treasures to fall back on. Perhaps I've even forgotten they're there, but the fact is, if we don't completely get rid of them, at some point we'll feel compelled to clean out that closet and find those gods that keep tripping us up.
I'm not sure why they are so attractive. After all, we've seen, we KNOW, the power of the Almighty God. We really WANT to follow Him, but much like the Israelites, we find ourselves giving our devotion to those idols instead of our Father. The gods of scheduling, jobs and time management demand that we shorten the moments we spend with Christ. The gods of entertainment and leisure know how much we enjoy television, computers, video games and the like. These gods promise fun and even deliver to a point. Much like the Israelites, it's easy to get sucked into these vices without even realizing we're turning our back on the One God who actually cares about us.
Similarly the gods of money, family and things can blind us to our need to spend time with the Omnipotent One. Most of these idols seem innocent and good. Stop and think about it. Back hundreds of years ago, I'm sure it made sense to worship the sun and the rain. After all, humankind learned early that these two resources were necessary to grow food. Now that we're aware these are just creations of the same God who created us, it seems foolish to bow to solar, wind or water power. However, when we spend more time at our jobs than with our family and more time with our family than with the One who gave us these gifts, we run the risk of being as foolish as those who worship the sun god.
Let's consider for a moment the gods we've followed in our lives. Have we truly rid ourselves of them? Or are they in a closet, up on a shelf behind our Bibles, just waiting until we feel as though we need them again?
The Last Snowfall
For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
Psalm 139:16 (NIV)
Here in Eastern Ohio, as much as you hear us complain about the snow, you'd think we've been snowed in since November. But the truth is 2018-2019 has been a relatively mild winter. Regardless, most of us look forward to next week and the first day of Spring, even though we know that doesn’t mean we won’t see more white stuff before we open the pool.
I truly love the snow. I’m just not crazy about the cold, and I don't like the dangerous driving. So like most of the northern population, I tend to complain. But perhaps instead of complaining about the last few snowfalls we’ll see this Spring, I should focus on the beauty.
Snowflakes have amazed me ever since someone told me about their uniqueness. I can’t really wrap my brain around the fact that if you study each of the gazillions of flakes that fall every winter, no two will ever be the same. It's a puzzling phenomenon. Each has only six branches. You'd think that would lower the odds of finding matching flakes. But each branch has a variety of smaller stems. So while they’re all similar, no one has ever found two that match. Not even Wilson Bentley, the farmer who collected and examined 5,000 snowflakes. The Master Designer engineered it so the process could never reproduce itself. Humans were fashioned in much the same way, and science just continues to prove it.
DNA is as mysterious as snowflakes. Prior to understanding these components that make each human special, no one really understood our complex uniqueness. Even identical twins swabbed in exactly the same location never share more than 99.99% DNA. Their fingerprints are always different, and they generally have some other identifying marker that may be so small only their mother will spot it.
We are God’s workmanship; each of us extraordinarily created. Like snowflakes, we may have small motifs that match another human, but there will never be any two who are altogether the same.
This is the reason we need so many different learning styles and various means of accomplishing the same task. What works for me may not work for you. The way I comprehend and handle a problem might seem ten times harder than it needs to be, but that’s the way my brain works. It’s how I was created.
I wonder how much better the world would be if we began to look at each other like snowflakes. (And I don’t mean that new derogatory label folks put on those they think fragile.) What if we viewed every individual as uniquely created, handcrafted, by the Master Designer? How would the world change if we remembered that even though we share similarities, we have enough differences to make even the simplest life goal difficult for someone else?
And what if we started looking at ourselves in the same way? What if I quit comparing myself to others? What if children were encouraged to embrace their uniqueness in Christ instead of trying to fit in? How much sin is fallen into every day because someone is either trying to conform or rebelling because they feel like they’ll never belong?
We may not see anymore snow until next December, but every day we have an opportunity to appreciate the unique beauty of Creation. Not just in the flowers and the trees, but in every human we meet. I pray we learn to see and treat others as Christ sees them, created in the image of the Father; just waiting to be saved by the blood of the Son and transformed into their true unique character by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Proof of God
What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
[Abraham] said to [the rich man], ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.
I just finished reading a book called, “Proof of God.” I don’t necessarily recommend it. My granddaughter got it for me for Christmas because she thought the title might be something I’d like. She was correct, the title intrigued me.
However, the further I delved into the book and realized this scientist wasn’t making any points I hadn’t already heard, the more I realized we can’t prove God exists. The author noted that many of his findings had been confirmed by Stephen Hawking, findings the author believed proved God’s existence beyond a shadow of a doubt, findings Hawking used to dismiss the same Creator.
I found myself comparing his attempt to prove an Intelligent Designer to an episode of “Big Bang Theory.” Amy Farrah Fowler wants Sheldon to attend a family wedding with her because her family didn’t believe she had a boyfriend. If you haven’t ever seen the series, it’s helpful to know Miss Farrah Fowler is a Neuro Scientist who dresses more conservative and in more layers and less colors than a Mayflower Pilgrim forced to travel on a Naval vessel. When she lived amongst her family she’d never had a date, let alone a beau, so her aunts and uncles found the idea of a boyfriend ludicrous. A photo wouldn’t even convince them. Amy’s only hope was that they meet Sheldon in person.
And that’s our only hope for our family and friends. The Bible makes it clear that God has left plenty of proof of His invisible qualities. All of nature screams, “We have a Creator.” And the authors of “Proof of God” are correct, the more science uncovers, the more evidence and probability there is that Creation didn’t just happen.
Unfortunately, all that proof isn’t enough to convince folks there is a God. It wouldn’t have mattered how many gifts, pictures or stories Amy Farrah Fowler shared with her family, they still wouldn’t have believed Sheldon existed. Just like Amy’s family needed to meet Sheldon, question him and take time to believe he really was a boyfriend, our friends and family need to meet the Savior. They need to get to know Him, experience the difference He makes and explore the possibility there really is a God who loves them enough to die for them.
The greatest proof of a God who creates and re-creates is a re-created you. For many folks the only Jesus they will ever see is you and me being the body of Christ. If we want the world, or even our little section of it to come to Christ, we must let the Holy Spirit start living in us and working through us. Then our lives will be a very convincing Proof of God.
More Devotions to Inspire You
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- Devotional Readings from the New Testament
How often do you spend time considering your relationship with Jesus Christ? How many times a week do you listen for His voice and consider His plan for you? In the hectic day to day often it's difficult. We get up, rush to work, hurry home, get a...
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A Lesson From the Kings
[King Rehoboam] did evil
because he had not set his heart on seeking the Lord.
2 Chronicles 12:14
The Israelites were subdued on that occasion,
and the people of Judah were victorious
because they relied on the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
2 Chronicles 13:18
Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. . . .
and the kingdom was at peace under him.
2 Chronicles 14:2-5
I think the kings of Judah did a good job answering the question, “How important is it to have your life centered on God?” I’m amazed at how obvious it seems. How could those “evil” kings have strayed so far when the consequences were so clear? It makes me wonder if the need for the Creator was as evident as they were living through it.
I love the quote from Edmund Burke, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” Those Judean kings prove he was right. Plus they give us a lot of life lessons if we are willing to learn from their history.
Rehoboam’s main problem was he didn’t have his heart set on seeking the Lord. When you read his story, you’ll discover that wasn’t his only problem, just the root. But his story begs the question, “Is my heart set on seeking the Lord?” Abijah, the king from 2 Chronicles 13 and Asa, should inspire us to reflect, “Do I rely on the Lord? Am I doing what is good and right in the eyes of the King of kings?”
So often I encounter folks who don’t understand why life is dealing them such a lousy hand. Yes, there are times, like the better kings of Judah, we will follow Jesus, truly rely on Him and still life doesn’t go right; however, too often the answer to our problems is found in the history of the Judean monarchy.
We cannot expect the blessings of our heavenly Father to be poured out on us when we aren’t living a life worthy of a Savior who gave His life for us. Hebrews explains this tactic is kin to crucifying Christ all over again.
Let’s take a lesson from Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa and their descendants. Two of my favorites are Josiah and Joash (2 Chronicles 35 and 18 respectively). Go ahead, check them out! These kings can help us discover the secret to subduing our enemies and finding real peace. We find the truth in the words of Moses, “Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
Available in a Book or for Your Kindle
The first 40 devotions that were added to these archives are available in this 128 page book. This book includes short readings to encourage you as you walk and grow in Christ Jesus.
Devotions are an important part of our development. They can be as vital to our spiritual health as breakfast is to our physical being.
This book is available in Kindle and Paperback at Amazon, you can also get an e-book if you visit my store or e-mail me for more info!
A New Season, A New You!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17
He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Recently when I was praying, thinking about these verses, I wondered “Am I in the market for a rebuild or a remodel?” Let’s face it, when we’re thinking about giving our home a new look, it’s much easier to slap on a coat of paint and replace the carpet than tear the thing down and start over. From the world’s standpoint it doesn’t make much sense to rebuild when the structure appears to be just fine.
But when it comes to the human condition, Jesus says He wants a rebuild. Take it all down and put up something new. And the truth is that right there is a scary thought!
Even if we don’t like all we’ve become, there are often parts we’d like to hold on to. We try to convince Jesus we just need a new wing, not a whole new building. The electrical system is fine, let’s just put in new cabinets and flooring. But Jesus is the contractor who does all or nothing.
That’s not to say He sometimes doesn’t use the old to form the new. Churches often take the stained glass windows from century old buildings when they put up something more modern. Likewise, Jesus might choose to save the most beautiful parts of us when His Spirit molds us. Our dilemma arises when we discover if we want the rebuild, we don’t get a say in which parts are remade and which are discarded.
As we begin the New Year many of us will be making resolutions. “A New Year, a New You” is a popular theme. We’re sure we’re going to do it better this time! I’m wondering how often we forget to ask the Master Carpenter what His blueprints look like in this time of renewal.
Remember, Jesus isn’t looking for the new, improved you. He doesn’t need the recently remodeled, updated version. Our Savior is waiting for the willing you, the broken, but eager to be rebuilt, humbled you. And as He begins making everything new, you’ll begin to know the peace that comes from not doing it yourself. Let’s give up the do-it-yourself resolutions and let Christ make us new creations this year.
How Often Do You Lead Devotions for Your Group or Meeting?
© 2009 Lynne Modranski