Throwing Stones

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. (John 8:7) 
Jesus was teaching in the temple courts when He made that statement. A group of teachers of the law and Pharisees had just dragged a woman caught in adultery before Him and challenged, “now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?” (v. 5). Because they considered Jesus a threat to their authority, the question was “a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him” (v. 6)—and getting rid of Him. 
Yet when Jesus replied, “he that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone . . .” not one of the woman’s accusers could bring themselves to pick up a stone. One by one, they walked away. 
Before we critically judge another’s behavior while looking lightly at our own sin, let’s remember that all of us “have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Instead of condemnation, our Savior showed this woman—and you and me—grace and hope (John 3:16; 8:10–11). How can we not do the same for others? 
How can you put the lesson of John 8 into action in how you treat others? How can you use your own experience to help others facing similar challenges? 
Dear Lord, thank You for loving us! Help us to look with compassion on others and to be gracious in all we say and do. Amen.  
When I read this devotion I was reminded of a saying, be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Today, look with compassion on others and be gracious in all you say and do. Judging a person does not define who they are, It defines who you are. Choose to show The Love of Christ each and every day. Put the stones down and make a positive difference, we rise by lifting others. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is 2 Corinthians 4:16

The Empty Bed

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19) 
I was eager to return to St. James Infirmary in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and reconnect with Rendell, who two years earlier had learned about Jesus’s love for him. Evie, a teenager in the high school choir I travel with each spring, had read Scripture with Rendell and explained the gospel, and he personally received Jesus as his Savior. 
When I entered the men’s section of the home and looked toward Rendell’s bed, however, I found it was empty. I went to the nurse’s station, and was told what I didn’t want to hear. He had passed away—just five days before we arrived. 
Through tears, I texted Evie the sad news. Her response was simple: “Rendell is celebrating with Jesus.” Later she said, “It’s a good thing we told him about Jesus when we did.” 
Her words reminded me of the importance of being ready to lovingly share with others the hope we have in Christ. No, it’s not always easy to proclaim the gospel message about the One who will be with us always (Matthew 28:20), but when we think about the difference it made for us and for people like Rendell, perhaps we’ll be encouraged to be even more ready to “make disciples” wherever we go (v. 19). 
I’ll never forget the sadness of seeing that empty bed—and also the joy of knowing what a difference one faithful teen made in Rendell’s forever life. 
What are some things you can do to introduce people to Jesus today? As you share your faith, how does it encourage you to know Jesus is “with you always” (Matthew 28:20)? 
As I started reading this devotion I felt a nudge in my spirit to post it. At first I thought to myself, it’s so late in the day, I’ll wait until tomorrow but we may not have tomorrow. There may be someone in your path at this very moment that needs to be introduced to Jesus. I pray this encourages you to share Jesus with someone today. What a difference you can make in someone’s forever life. 
God, we know that people need You. Help us to overcome our fear of telling others about You. Amen. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Philippians 4:7 

The Call to Courage

Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed . . . (1 Chronicles 28:20) 
Among a display of male statues (Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and others) in London’s Parliament Square, stands a lone statue of a woman. The solitary woman is Millicent Fawcett, who fought for the right of women to vote. She’s immortalized in bronze—holding a banner displaying words she offered in a tribute to a fellow suffragist: “Courage calls to courage everywhere.” Fawcett insisted that one person’s courage emboldens others—calling timid souls into action. 
As David prepared to hand his throne over to his son Solomon, he explained the responsibilities that would soon rest heavy on his shoulders. It’s likely Solomon quivered under the weight of what he faced: leading Israel to follow all God’s instructions, guarding the land God had entrusted to them, and overseeing the monumental task of building the temple (1 Chronicles 28:8–10). 
Knowing Solomon’s trembling heart, David offered his son powerful words: “Be strong and of good courage…fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee” (v. 20). Real courage would never arise from Solomon’s own skill or confidence but rather from relying on God’s presence and strength. God provided the courage Solomon needed. 
When we face hardship, we often try to drum up boldness or talk ourselves into bravery. God, however, is the one who renews our faith. He will be with us. And His presence calls us to courage. 
What causes your heart to tremble in fear? How can you seek God’s presence and power in moving toward courage. 
God, I’m often so afraid. And when I am, I’m tempted to rely on my own wits or courage—and that’s never enough. Be with me. Give me Your courage. Amen. 
I was so blessed by this devotion and I felt it had to be shared with others to read. I love when it said, His presence calls us to courage. May we be encouraged and comforted by this  every single day. He is so faithful, a comforter, a very present help in the time of trouble, He is…
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Proverbs 3:7

God’s Amazing Hands

Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of truth. (Psalm 31:5) 
In Psalm 31, David revealed that he knew something about the Lord’s amazing, caring hands. That’s why he could confidently say, “Into thine hands I commit my spirit” (v. 5). David believed that the Lord could be trusted even when life got bumpy. Because he was targeted by unfriendly forces, life was very uncomfortable for David. Though vulnerable, he was not without hope. In the midst of harassment David could breathe sighs of relief and rejoice because his faithful, loving God was his source of confidence (vv. 5–7). 
Perhaps you find yourself in a season of life when things are coming at you from every direction, and it’s difficult to see what’s ahead. In the midst of uncertainty, confusion, and chaos one thing remains absolutely certain: those who are secure in the Lord are in amazing hands. 
Have you committed your life—your earthly and eternal existence and well-being—to God? How are you showing that you are trusting Him in good times and bad? 
Father, help me to be encouraged knowing that Jesus prayed Psalm 31:5 when He was on the cross. In the midst of pain and suffering, He committed His life into Your hands. Amen 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Zephaniah 3:17

Bowl of Tears

As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. (Psalm 55:16) 
In Boston, Massachusetts, a plaque titled “Crossing the Bowl of Tears” remembers those who braved the Atlantic to escape death during the catastrophic Irish potato famine of the late 1840s. More than a million people died in that disaster, while another million or more abandoned home to cross the ocean, which John Boyle O’Reilly poetically called “a bowl of tears.” Driven by hunger and heartache, these travelers sought some measure of hope during desperate times. 
In Psalm 55, David shares how he pursued hope. While we’re uncertain about the specifics of the threat he faced, the weight of his experience was enough to break him emotionally (vv. 4–5). His instinctive reaction was to pray, “Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest” (v. 6). 
Like David, we may want to flee to safety in the midst of painful circumstances. After considering his plight, however, David chose to run to his God instead of running from his heartache, singing, “as for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me” (v. 16). 
When trouble comes, remember that the God of all comfort is able to carry you through your darkest moments and deepest fears. He promises that one day He Himself will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Revelation 21:4). Strengthened by this assurance, we can confidently trust Him with our tears now. 
What causes you to want to run away? What’s your instinctive reaction when trouble comes? 
Father, when life feels overwhelming, give me strength. Give me Your presence and comfort, for without You, I’m lost. Amen. 
What a beautiful devotion. We have all dealt with overwhelming situations at one point or another in our lives. Ask yourself the question today’s devotion asks, What causes you to want to run away? What’s your instinctive reaction when trouble comes? May we find strength and hope as we run to Him. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Proverbs 3:7

A Kind Critique

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:17) 
During a landscape painting class, the teacher, a highly experienced professional artist, assessed my first assignment. He stood silently in front of my painting, one hand cupping his chin. Here we go, I thought. He’s going to say it’s terrible. 
But he didn’t. 
He said he liked the color scheme and the feeling of openness. Then he mentioned that the trees in the distance could be lightened. A cluster of weeds needed softer edges. He had the authority to criticize my work based on the rules of perspective and color, yet his critique was truthful and kind. 
Jesus, who was perfectly qualified to condemn people for their sin, didn’t use the Ten Commandments to crush a Samaritan woman He met at an ancient watering hole. He gently critiqued her life with just a handful of statements. The result was that she saw how her search for satisfaction had led her into sin. Building on this awareness, Jesus revealed Himself as the only source of eternal satisfaction (John 4:10–13). 
The combination of grace and truth that Jesus used in this situation is what we experience in our relationship with Him (1:17). His grace prevents us from being overwhelmed by our sin, and His truth prevents us from thinking it isn’t a serious matter. 
Will we invite Jesus to show us areas of our lives where we need to grow so we can become more like Him? 
How is Jesus using grace and truth to point out issues in your life? Where might He want you to make changes to honor Him more fully? 
Jesus, thank You for freeing me from the consequences of sin. Help me to embrace Your correction and Your encouragement. Amen. 
When I read this devotion it blessed me and I knew it was meant to be shared over and over again. I pray it blesses you today and is a constant reminder of His love for you and I. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 139:13-14 

More Than Just Waiting

And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (Acts 1:4) 
While it’s true that waiting can make us impatient, there are also good things to do and learn in the waiting. Jesus knew this when He told His disciples to “not depart from Jerusalem” (Acts 1:4). They were waiting to “be baptized with the Holy Ghost” (v. 5). 
As they gathered in an upper room, likely in a state of excitement and anticipation, the disciples seemed to understand that when Jesus told them to wait, He didn’t say for them to do nothing. They spent time praying (v. 14); and informed by Scripture, they also chose a new disciple to replace Judas (v. 26). When they were joined together in worship and prayer, the Holy Spirit descended upon them (2:1–4). 
The disciples hadn’t simply been waiting—they’d also been preparing. As we wait on God, it doesn’t mean doing nothing or impatiently rushing forward. Instead we can pray, worship, and enjoy fellowship as we anticipate what He’ll do. The waiting prepares our hearts, minds, and bodies for what’s to come. 
Yes, when God asks us to wait, we can be excited—knowing that we can trust Him and the plans He has for us! 
Do you find yourself in a season of waiting? How can you see this as a season of preparation instead? 
God, when I’m struggling, remind me that the seasons of waiting aren’t for nothing but help to reveal Your loving handiwork in my life. Amen. 
I pray this blesses you as it did I. Today, let’s see our season of waiting as a season of preparation and be uplifted and encouraged not discouraged. May we realize it’s more than just waiting. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Deuteronomy 7:9

Small but Significant

Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf. (2 Corinthians 1:10-11) 
The day started out like any other, but it ended as a nightmare. Esther (not her real name) and several hundred women were kidnapped from their boarding school by a religious militant group. A month later all were released—except for Esther who refused to deny Christ. As my friend and I read about her and others who are being persecuted for their faith, our hearts were moved. We wanted to do something. But what? 
When writing to the Corinthian church, the apostle Paul shared about the trouble he experienced in the province of Asia. The persecution was so severe that he and his companions “despaired even of life” (2 Corinthians 1:8). However, Paul was helped by the prayers of believers (v. 11). Though the Corinthian church was many miles away from the apostle, their prayers mattered and God heard them. Herein lies an amazing mystery: the sovereign One has chosen to use our prayers to accomplish His purpose. What a privilege! 
Today we can continue to remember our brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering for their faith. There’s something we can do. We can pray for those who are marginalized, oppressed, beaten, tortured, and sometimes even killed for their belief in Christ. Let’s pray for them to experience God’s comfort and encouragement and to be strengthened with hope as they stand firmly with Jesus. 
Who can you commit to praying for by name this week? When have you experienced God’s faithfulness during a time of persecution? 
When I read this devotion I felt it needed to be shared. I pray you are encouraged to pray for someone in need today. In prayer, we cast ourselves at the feet of divine power. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Romans 1:20

Here for You

For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. (Deuteronomy 15:11)  
On the outskirts of Paris, as in other cities around the globe, people are coming to the aid of the homeless in their communities. Clothing, covered in waterproof bags, is hung on designated fences for those living on the streets to take according to their needs. The bags are labeled, “I’m not lost; I’m for you if you’re cold.” The effort not only warms those without shelter, but also teaches those in the community the importance of assisting the needy among them. 
The Bible highlights the importance of caring for those who are poor, instructing us to be “openhanded” toward them (Deuteronomy 15:11). We might be tempted to avert our eyes to the plight of the poor, holding tightly to our resources instead of sharing them. Yet God challenges us to recognize that we will always be surrounded by those who have needs and therefore to respond to them with generosity, not a “grudging heart” (v. 10). Jesus says that in giving to the poor we receive an enduring treasure in heaven (Luke 12:33). 
Our generosity may not be recognized by anyone other than God. Yet when we give freely, we not only meet the needs of those around us but we also experience the joy God intends for us in providing for others. Help us, Lord, to have open eyes and open hands to supply the needs of those You place in our paths! 
Are you holding too tightly to your resources? If yes, why? What need can you fill today? 
What I love about this devotion is so often people think, well if I only had the money, but what we have to remember is providing for others isn’t just financially, if you don’t have the money but you have time to sow into someone or even just a smile or an encouraging word, do it. We all have something to offer someone in need, even when we don’t even realize it. Generosity displays confidence in God’s loving and faithful provision. Slow down today and take a moment to look around you and see what need you can fill today. Let someone know today that your here for them. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Romans 8:1-2

Never Alone

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17) 
While writing a Bible guide for pastors in Indonesia, a writer friend grew fascinated with that nation’s culture of togetherness. Called gotong royong—meaning “mutual assistance”—the concept is practiced in villages, where neighbors may work together to repair someone’s roof or rebuild a bridge or path. In cities too my friend said, “People always go places with someone else—to a doctor’s appointment, for example. It’s the cultural norm. So you’re never alone.” 
Worldwide, believers in Jesus rejoice in knowing we also are never alone. Our constant and forever companion is the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Far more than a loyal friend, the Spirit of God is given to every follower of Christ by our heavenly Father to “give you another Comforter” (John 14:16). 
Jesus promised God’s Spirit would come after His own time on Earth ended. “He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever” Jesus said (v. 18). Instead, the Holy Spirit—“the Spirit of Truth” who “dwelleth with you, and shall be in you”—indwells each of us who receives Christ as Savior (v. 17). 
The Holy Spirit is our Helper, Comforter, Encourager, and Counselor—a constant companion in a world where loneliness can afflict even connected people. May we forever abide in His comforting love and help. 
As a believer in Christ, how does it encourage you to know that the Holy Spirit lives inside of you? How have you neglected God’s comfort? 
This devotion blessed me. What a reminder, Jesus promised we will always have companionship with the Holy Spirit, who never leaves us. What a mighty God we serve, to know He cares so much for us that before we were even born He desired to comfort us and sent The Holy Spirit. How blessed we are when we abide in His love. Do you know Him? He desires to dwell in you. Your never alone. 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
Today’s Reading is Colossians 4:5-6