your daily crossroad

 

Counting Our Days

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
 
According to a statistic published some time ago, the average life span of people in the United States is 25,550 days (70 years). Some of us are already past that number, while others may never reach it. My calculator tells me that as of today I have lived 28,080 days. Perhaps you want to check just how many days you have already lived. 
 
As we count our days, we are reminded that they are limited. As someone once put it, “Life is a temporary assignment.” 
 
That’s why the psalmist asks the Lord to help us number our days—so we will realize we have been given only limited time here on this earth. The psalmist wants us to remember that what really matters is how we use the days he gives us. 
 
And that raises some important questions: How will we use the remaining 364 days of this year? Will we use them in the way the Lord wants us to? Will we use them to serve him and to serve the people God places on our path? Are we willing to use our gifts and talents, our resources and our time to build his kingdom in whatever place he puts us? 
 
We are not given another year simply to take up space. Wherever we may find ourselves, God wants to use each one of us. Ask yourself today, “How does God want to use me?” 
 
Father in heaven, help us to understand that you have given us another year to serve you. Make us faithful in our calling. Amen. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Psalm 90:12 


Honoring The Lord

For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 2:7) 
 
The magazines, newspapers and front page of the websites are filled with the most memorable events and significant people that have affected our lives in the past year.  We can look back over the last year and see certain markers that changed our course and shaped our lives individually. Now with the New Year here, we not only reflect on the past, but also attempt to set goals for the future. 
 
While being in this frame of mind, I started my devotionals this morning reading the book of Malachi. Malachi has four chapters with themes that are easy to remember: mouth, marriage and money. God is rebuking His priests because of the words of their mouths, their attitudes toward their marriages and their motives toward money. The priests were to be an upright and holy group of men representing the Lord. Outwardly, the priests did carry on their functions and requirements. But inwardly, their hearts were far from the Lord. 
 
Considering the past year, we have to take the time to reflect on what we did and why. “Were my motives pure? Did others look at my actions and wonder why I was different? Did I give my best to the Lord or did I justify my offerings in giving the leftovers? Did my attitude in my marriage honor the Lord? What kind of words did I speak? Did my mouth glorify Jesus and edify others around me?” 
 
After examining my heart in asking these questions, I found myself in repentance. How can anyone be that good? But that’s not the point.  None of us will ever be sinless but each of us needs to be above reproach in our hearts before God. God does not hold our behaviors against us if our hearts remain right before Him. It’s when we think our behaviors justify our hearts that God rebukes us. The Lord is more than willing to work with a repentant heart. 
 
In this New Year, be sure your heart is willing to be obedient. As you open your heart to confess, seek, yield and love the Lord, He will work with your behaviors that follow your yielded heart.  We all want the Lord to bless us this New Year. We all pray that His face may shine upon us and give us peace. No matter how short we fall, His mercies are new every morning and His desire is to bless us indeed.  As you reflect on the past and fix your eyes on the future, remember to consider the Lord. He has a plan for you as He watches over your coming and going, not only today but also for the this coming year. 
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. His mercies are new every morning. As the year comes to an end don’t look back on yesterday’s disappointments, look ahead to God’s promises yet to unfold. Our hope is not in the new year but in The One who makes all things new. Psalm 65:11, You crown the year with Your goodness, And Your paths drip with abundance. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Isaiah 43:19 


An Ordinary Man

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7) 
 
William Carey was a sickly boy, born to a humble family near Northampton, England. His future didn’t look too bright. But God had plans for him. Against all odds, he moved to India, where he brought incredible social reforms and translated the Bible into several Indian languages. He loved God and people, and accomplished many things for God. 
 
David, son of Jesse, was an ordinary young man, the youngest in his family. He was seemingly an insignificant shepherd on the hills of Bethlehem (1 Samuel 16:11–12). Yet God saw David’s heart and had a plan for him. King Saul had been rejected by God for disobedience. While the prophet Samuel mourned Saul’s choices, God called Samuel to anoint a different king, one of Jesse’s sons. 
 
When Samuel saw the handsome, tall Eliab, he naturally thought, “surely the Lord’s anointed stands here before the Lord” (v. 6). However, God’s strategy to select a king was much different than Samuel’s. In fact, God said no to each of Jesse’s sons, except the youngest one. Selecting David as king was definitely not a strategic move from God’s part, or so it seemed at first glance. What would a young shepherd have to offer his community, let alone his country? 
 
How comforting to know that the Lord knows our hearts and has His plans for us. 
 
Dear Lord, thank You that You care more about my heart’s attitude toward You than my outward beauty, possessions, or achievements. Amen. 
 
Today’s devotion blessed me. I am reminded of Psalm 139:14, I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. God’s people are ordinary people who have been made extraordinary. Remember, God’s priority is your heart.  
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is 1 John 2:6


Jesus Is Right Behind You

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40) 
 
My daughter was ready for school a little earlier than usual, so she asked if we could stop by the coffee shop on our way. I agreed. As we approached the drive-thru lane, I said, “Do you feel like spreading some joy this morning?” She said, “Sure.” 
 
We placed our order, then pulled up to the window where the barista told us what we owed. I said, “We’d like to pay for the young woman’s order behind us too.” My daughter had a huge smile on her face. 
 
In the grand scheme of things, a cup of coffee may not seem like a big deal. Or is it? I wonder, could this be one way we carry out Jesus’s desire for us to care for those He called “the least of these”? (Matthew 25:40). Here’s a thought: How about simply considering the person behind us or next in line a worthy candidate? And then do “whatever”—maybe it’s a cup of coffee, maybe it’s something more, maybe something less. But when Jesus said “Inasmuch as ye have done” (v. 40) that gives us a great deal of freedom in serving Him while serving others. 
 
As we drove away we caught the faces of the young woman behind us and the barista as she handed over the coffee. They were both grinning from ear to ear. 
 
Lord, help me not to overthink serving others. Sometimes the small, simple things mean more than I’ll ever know. And help me to remember that whatever I do for others, I’m doing for You. Amen. 
 
After reading today’s devotion I was reminded, We serve Christ when we serve people. What can you do to serve others today? 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Colossians 1:16


New Year, New Priorities

Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (Ecclesiastes 9:10) 
 
I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the cello. But I’ve never found the time to enroll in a class. Or, perhaps more accurately, I haven’t made the time for it. I had thought that in heaven I could probably master that instrument. In the meantime, I wanted to focus on using my time in the particular ways God has called me to serve Him now. 
 
Life is short, and we often feel the pressure to make the most of our time on Earth before it slips away. But what does that really mean? 
 
As King Solomon contemplated the meaning of life, he offered two recommendations. First, we’re to live in the most meaningful way we can, which includes fully enjoying the good things God allows us to experience in life, such as food and drink (Ecclesiastes 9:7), clothing and perfume (v. 8 nlt), marriage (v. 9), and all of God’s good gifts—which might include learning how to play the cello! 
 
His second recommendation was diligent work (v. 10). Life is full of opportunities, and there is always more work to be done. We’re to take advantage of the opportunities God gives us, seeking His wisdom on how to prioritize work and play in a way that uses our gifting to serve Him. 
 
Life is a wonderful gift from the Lord. We honor Him when we take pleasure both in His daily blessings and in meaningful service. 
 
Father, thank You for this life You’ve given me. Help me to live this new year for You, enjoying Your blessings and fulfilling Your purposes. Amen. 
 
When I read this devotion I was reminded of how wonderful God is. Life is indeed a wonderful gift from The Lord. We can both enjoy God’s blessings and be a blessing to others. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Luke 2:40


Perfect Timing

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. (Luke 2:6) 
 
The label said, “Don’t Open Until Christmas,” but the grandchildren cried, “Hurry up; open it!” 
 
Patience is a virtue, and we recognize the importance of perfect timing. But we often have a hard time waiting. This is especially true when we are hurting and want relief, or we are anticipating something special. 
 
The same holds true in relation to God’s work in our lives. We suffer a loss, wrestle with what seems to be unanswered prayer, or face a spiritual struggle, and soon we cry, “Hurry up, God!” We wonder why God hasn’t acted, and the “delay” often causes us to question God. 
 
Or how about when we reflect on Christ’s second coming? We eagerly long for a world free from sin, Satan defeated, injustices set right, and all things made new. So we cry, “Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly.” 
 
For ages believers waited for the birth of the Savior and won-dered, “How long?” But God was not slow. He had a plan, and in the fullness of time—when the time was ripe—God sent Jesus. 
 
In our lives, as we wait for God’s help or for the second coming, we remember God’s promise that “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). God might not come when we want, but we can trust him—his timing is perfect. 
 
Lord, we see the present, but you grasp eternity. We view only a part; you understand the whole. Help us to trust your wisdom. Renew us and your world, we pray. Amen. 
 
When I read this devotion I felt it was fitting for today, Christmas Eve. You may be feeling down and discouraged but find hope in knowing you can trust Him and remember, His timing is perfect. We see the present, He sees eternity. Remember this today. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting Christmas Eve in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Luke 2:16-20 


Try a Little Kindness

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering. (Colossians 3:12) 
 
Notice the word clothe. The Greek word literally means “put on.” What Paul is saying here is that when we wake up in the morning, we ought to get dressed spiritually and emotionally as well as physically. When we wake up in the morning and decide what to wear, we should also ask ourselves, “What kind of attitude am I going to wear today?” 
 
Paul says kindness is a choice. It is something we can choose to “put on” every day. 
 
Kindness is “love in action” — a practical expression of love. It is visible and active, not just emotional. There is a song that says, “Find the need and fill it. Find the hurt and heal it.” That is kindness. 
 
But why should we be kind? After all, kindness can be risky. We might be misunderstood if we are kind to others. They might think, “Why is this person being so nice? What’s in it for him?” People we are kind to also might take advantage of us. They might become parasites with the attitude, “Oh, here’s a sucker. I’ll milk him for all he’s worth.” 
 
Despite the risks, we are to be kind for two reasons. First, we are to be kind because God is kind to us. Ephesians 2:8
says, 
 
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. 
 
Grace and kindness always go together. Poet Robert Burns said that the kind heart most resembles God. We should be kind just because God is kind to us. 
 
The other reason we should be kind is that we want people to be kind to us. We want to be treated right. Jesus said, 
 
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them — Matthew 7:12 
 
If you are rude to other people, they are going to be rude to you. But if you are kind, most people will want to respond the same way. Proverbs 21:21 says, 
 
He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour. 
 
In Proverbs 11:17 we read, 
 
The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh. 
 
So when we are kind, we are really doing ourselves a favor. 
 
So often we excuse ourselves when we are unkind. “That person deserved it.” “She just annoyed me.” “If I’m kind, he will see me giving an inch and he will take a mile.” Today, let’s ask the Lord to point out to us when we’re unkind and how we can respond with the kindness of Jesus instead, and pay attention to what He reveals. 
 
I pray this devotion blesses you, I feel it is a wonderful reminder that is needed for each and every one of us. Let’s respond with the kindness of Jesus today. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is 1 John 4:9 


Living Out “Love” This Christmas

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:28-31) 
 
Loving God means faith in action. If that’s the case, how do we live that out day to day? Answer: obedience. Faith in action means obeying the commandments of God. That pretty much covers the first part of the scripture referenced above –  to love God with everything we have. But today, we’re going to focus on the second commandment in the verse: “love your neighbor as yourself.” “Yeah, right,” you might be thinking. “You obviously don’t know my neighbor.” 
 
First, let’s understand what the word “love” in this context means. It has nothing to do with feelings. It has nothing to do with emotions. This meaning of “love” doesn’t even have anything to do with liking another person. It’s a decision of the will. But how can we love somebody we don’t even like? Well, trust me, it’s possible. Here’s how: Treat them fairly. Show them respect. Be honest with them. Keep your word. Show them that in spite of your differences or irritations, you still care about them as a person. That’s what it means to love. It’s choosing to love people, even when you don’t always like them. It’s about showing the same love and grace that God showed each one of us when He sent His Son to save us from our sins. It was out of love that Christ was born – so that He could die on the cross for you and for me. 
 
But that’s not all. How many of us really know our neighbors? I mean more than just the casual, “Hey!” when we’re getting into our cars to leave for work or grilling out in the yard. Loving your neighbor as yourself also means loving them enough to share this Good News of Jesus Christ with them. And what better time than Christmas to share the true reason for the season with your neighbor? Now, that is faith in action. That is living out LOVE this Christmas! 
 
This devotion blessed me. So often we fail to reflect The Love of Christ. It’s not a pick and choose thing, we must love continually, even those you may not like, give God the opportunity to help you love them. We must reflect Christ’s Love this Christmas and always. Live out love this Christmas. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Matthew 1:21 


Christmas: It’s About Being with God

Did you know that Christmas is about God wanting to have a relationship with you? 
 
You might have thought it was about presents, or peace on earth, good will to man … that sort of thing – and it is in a lesser way. But at the center of the Christmas message is a God of love who desires to be with you. 
 
That’s right. God wants to spend time with you. 
 
That’s why the Father sent Jesus to be born as a little baby. It set in motion this whole plan of love in Jesus’ death and resurrection that would break through the barrier of sin and reunite mankind with a loving Heavenly Papa. 
 
Hanging out with mankind was God’s idea from the beginning. The Bible says that God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. The Father sent Jesus because he wanted to renew that kind of intimate fellowship with us. 
 
During the Christmas season we often sing the classic hymn, “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” but have you ever thought about what this familiar song means? 
 
The text is based on the biblical prophecy from Isaiah 7:14: 
 
…Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 
 
The name Emmanuel literally means “God with us.” God gave Jesus to mankind as the first Christmas present. 
 
The Apostle Paul tells of the wonder of this idea several times in his letters. 
 
…God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Col. 1:27) 
 
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. (2 Cor. 5:18,) 
 
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (Romans 5:10) 
 
Jesus Himself made it clear that relationship with God should be our highest priority in this life. 
 
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.(John 15:7-8) 
 
It is God’s will that we remain in fellowship with Him for all eternity. We see this in the beautiful hope-filled words of Apostle John in his revelation: 
 
And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. (Rev. 21:3) 
 
This is the glorious news that we proclaim to the nations, that Jesus is Emmanuel. By His shed blood, He has ransomed captive Israel – and now He lives with us through the precious Holy Spirit. 
 
So have a very merry Christmas knowing that God loves you and wants to be with you. May you know the presence of your Heavenly Father in a special way during this blessed season. And may you join with God’s people in singing this glorious hymn, both now and forevermore: 
 
“Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel, shall come to thee oh Israel.” 
 
With Christmas fast approaching I feel it is necessary to post devotions that remind us of the true reason for Christmas. I don’t believe we can be reminded to much. I pray today’s devotion continues to ignite an understanding of the true purpose for the season now and after. What an incredible gift given to each and every one of us if we would just receive it.  
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Luke 1:76-78


Don’t Miss Christmas!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son . . . (John 3:16) 
 
The Christmas rush is on! I know many of you are still looking for the perfect gift, wrapping presents, baking your famous sugar cookies, packing the car for a long trip and wrestling with overly excited children. Ho! Ho!  Ho! 
 
Stop right where you are! Take a deep breath and travel back with me to a time when there was no hope and no celebration. I can’t imagine a world without Jesus and yet, many times I live my life as if He doesn’t even exist. A trial comes and I try to handle it on my own. Loneliness floods my heart and instead of reaching out to Him, I withdraw into the darkness.
 
He then interrupts my life and fills each black corner with Light. His love flows over the pain like a soothing balm and once again, I experience the manger. Once again, He steps into the smelly, unlikely and very ordinary existence that is mine to change everything – everything! 
 
Jesus could have come to us in many ways, but He chose to interrupt the very ordinary with the most extraordinary. He could have chosen to be born in a palace. After all, He was a King. Yet His life on earth began in a manger housed in what amounted to little more than a dirty, smelly barn. The simplicity of His birth is one of His most precious gifts to me, and one of my most profound life lessons. 
 
I often wish I had been there that holy night when Jesus was born, but then He reminds me that I have my own manger; my own holy moment when God became a reality to me, and I worship Him! 
 
Every year I am reminded of the very heart of Christmas — Emmanuel, God with us. God wants to be involved in the simple, ordinary happenings of daily life: where we go and what we do, the smile we give the harried stranger and the patience we exhibit in the crowd of impatient shoppers, the love that prompts the secret gift and the heart that constantly celebrates His birth through every sparkling light, every beautifully wrapped gift, each special meal, every card, phone call and visit.  
 
Join me in this quest to celebrate Him and His birth in everything we do. Have a birthday party for Jesus. Bake Him a huge cake and invite neighbors to join in the celebration. Adopt a family in need. Reach out to the lonely. Look for Him in the crowd. Emmanuel, God with us! Wow! 
 
Father, today I celebrate the reality of Your presence in my life. I celebrate Your birth, Your life, Your death and Your resurrection. And as I celebrate, Lord, help me to be “God with skin on” to those in need around me. Open my eyes and let me see them as You see them!  I love You. Happy Birthday, Jesus! In Jesus’s name, amen. 
 
This devotion blessed me because it is yet another reminder of the true meaning of Christmas, to celebrate His presence in my life and to share Him with others. Happy Happy Birthday, Jesus! Celebrate Him and His birth in everything you do, it starts with showing love, kindness, patience and even a smile. Celebrate Christ! 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Luke 1:68-69


All I Want For Christmas

Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17)
 
I have always believed in the promise of Christmas. There has always been something special to me about this time of the year, going back to my earliest days of childhood. 
 
What is it that we love about Christmas, once we get past the initial trappings? 
 
I think it is the sense of wonder, beauty, and anticipation. It is the music, the look of surprise on a child’s face, and the amazing food. It’s the companionship of family and good friends. It is also the absence of strife and meanness (that is, with the exception of the crowds on “Black Friday”). 
 
But how often does Christmas really deliver on its promises? A little bit here and there, but by and large, it ends up being the endless drone of mind-numbing ads on TV. It is the friction and pressure that comes when we are obligated to purchase gifts for people we barely know. It is the expectation put on us by others and sometimes even ourselves. 
 
Then there is that big post-Christmas letdown—the letdown of expectations that can never really be met. We were not able to give what we really wanted to give, or what they really wanted to receive. Or you yourself did not get what you had hoped for. Then there are those bills that come due . . . 
 
So what is Christmas at its worst? It is a crass, commercial, empty, exhausting, and very expensive ritual that drags on endlessly for months at a time. 
 
What is Christmas at its best? It is a glimpse of things to come—the beauty, the worshipful music, the adoring angels, the love, the warmth, the promise, the hope. . .all things promised to us in a life yet to come. 
 
You see, Christmas is a promise. It is a promise that has not yet been fully kept. 
 
Christmas cannot be all that we want it to be. It’s only a holiday. Christmas cannot bring harmony to your home. Christmas cannot bring peace on earth. Christmas cannot bring happiness. 
 
But Christ Himself can do all of this and more. That is really what we are longing for deep inside.
  • Not Christmas, but Christ.
  • Not merriment, but the Messiah.
  • Not goodwill, but God.
  • Not presents, but His presence.
Anything or anyone short of this will disappoint. But God never will. 
 
That’s what I want for Christmas—Jesus Christ. 
 
What a beautiful devotion and an incredible reminder during this time of year. It’s so easy to get consumed by the holiday to do’s and forget about the true purpose. Today, take a step back and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, Christmas at its best, as today’s devotion speaks of. All I want for Christmas is Christ. Amen! 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Matthew 1:21 


Fall at His Feet

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. (Revelation 1:17-18) 
 
People aren’t afraid of babies. Now, it might be intimidating to think of caring for a baby, but just meeting a baby isn’t a very terrifying experience to the average person. 
 
Babies are cute, small and helpless. They don’t pose any danger. How amazing that Jesus entered our world as a little baby! Jesus’ mode of arrival reveals God the Father’s humility, kindness and approachability. 
 
The Bible introduces us to Jesus, the baby. This is the beautiful portrait of the Christmas season. But let’s also remember the Bible describes Jesus as the exalted Son of Man whose eyes are as a flame of fire, whose mouth has a two-edged sword, and whose face is like the sun in all its brilliance. (Revelation 1:14,16) That’s a much more intimidating picture! 
 
The elderly Apostle John saw this almighty God while exiled on the tiny island of Patmos. If the saying “Best Friends Forever” existed back then, John might have used it to describe his relationship with Jesus. Among the Lord’s 12 disciples, He had an inner circle of three (Peter, James and John). John described himself in his Gospel as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). Clearly, he had a deep relationship with the Savior. 
 
When John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, he heard God’s voice like a trumpet and saw his master and best friend, Jesus. 
 
“When I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead” (Revelation 1:17). 
 
What an impression God made on John! Here’s a disciple who had walked and talked with Jesus, yet when John sees Jesus in all His splendor and glory, he is undone. He is terrified and falls down like a dead man. Pay attention to what Jesus does next. 
 
“He laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, ‘Fear not’” (Revelation 1:17). 
 
Jesus didn’t flex His divine muscles and shout with a thunderous voice to heighten fright in John’s heart. He did the opposite. He spoke kindly and placed His hand on John to strengthen him. He chose words of comfort that you can find in the Bible hundreds of times: “Do not be afraid.” 
 
What’s causing you fear today? Allow Jesus’ words to John to bring you comfort and courage. You don’t have to be afraid of any challenge facing you because of who God is. He said: 
 
“I am the First and the Last” (v. 17). He is divine and eternal. 
 
“I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever!” (v. 18). John had witnessed Jesus’ gruesome crucifixion. There is no hurt on earth that God does not understand. But because of the resurrection, death has been beaten once and for all. 
 
“I have the keys of hell and of death.” (v. 18). God has sovereign dominion in and over the invisible world. He opens and shuts doors that no one else can. Jesus possesses the key to the kingdom of God and the entrance into eternal life. 
 
So when you see the baby Jesus depicted this season, rejoice and be glad! God came down in the least intimidating way — as a baby. But also remember, He shall return as the ultimate victor over the devil and death. We will fall at His feet in worship. God is all powerful and hallelujah, He is on our side! 
 
Lord Jesus, I humble myself before You. Who am I that You should love me? Thank You for coming as a baby. You will return as King. Help me remember Your extraordinary power and honor You as Lord over my life this Christmas season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 
 
What a beautiful devotion. Honor Him this holiday season as Lord over your life. As today’s devotion states, He is on our side. I’m looking forward to that day when I can as John states fall at His feet. Even now I choose to fall at His feet, not afraid but as a broken vessel that He can poor into. Whatever you are fearing today, give it over to Him and allow that peace that passes all understanding to cover you. He is able, so today, fall at His feet and do not fear! 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Luke 6:30-31


God Waiting

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9) 
 
During the Christmas season we wait. We wait in traffic. We wait in checkout lines to purchase gifts. We wait for family to arrive. We wait to gather around a table filled with our favorite foods. We wait to open presents lovingly chosen. 
 
All of this waiting can be a reminder that Christmas is a celebration of waiting for something much more important than holiday traditions. Like the ancient Israelites, we too are waiting for Jesus. Although He already came as the long-awaited Messiah, He has not yet come as ruler over all the earth. So today we wait for Christ’s second coming. 
 
Christmas reminds us that God also waits . . . He waits for people to see His glory, to admit that they are lost without Him, to say yes to His love, to receive His forgiveness, to turn away from sin. While we wait for His second coming, He waits for repentance. What seems to us like God’s slowness in coming is instead His patience in waiting (2 Peter 3:9).
 
The Lord is waiting to have a relationship with those He loves. He made the first move when He came as baby Jesus and the sacrificial Lamb. Now He waits for us to welcome Him into our lives as Savior and Lord. Amen. 
 
After reading this devotion I am reminded that God patiently keeps His promises. What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see, when I look upon His face, The One who saved me by His grace. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is 1 John 4:20


Everlasting Hope

Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God. (Psalm 146:5) 
 
The week before Christmas, two months after my mom died, holiday shopping and decorating sat at the bottom of my priority list. I resisted my husband’s attempts to comfort me as I grieved the loss of our family’s faith-filled matriarch. I sulked as our son, Xavier, stretched and stapled strands of Christmas lights onto the inside walls of our home. Without a word, he plugged in the cord before he and his dad left for work. 
 
As the colorful bulbs blinked, God gently drew me out of my darkness. No matter how painful the circumstances, my hope remained secure in the light of God’s truth, which always reveals His unchanging character. 
 
Psalm 146 affirms what God reminded me on that difficult morning: My endless “hope is in the Lord,” my helper, my mighty and merciful God (v. 5). As Creator of all, He “keepeth truth for ever” (v. 6). He “executeth judgment for the oppressed,” protecting us and providing for us (v. 7). “The Lord raiseth them that are bowed down” (v. 8). He protects us and cares for us, and He will always be King (vv. 9–10).

 

Sometimes, when Christmas rolls around, our days will overflow with joyful moments. Sometimes, we’ll face loss, experience hurt, or feel alone. But at all times, God promises to be our light in the darkness, offering us tangible help and everlasting hope. Amen! 

 

When I read this devotion I was reminded, God secures our hope in His unchanging character. Find hope in Him today. He is faithful. 

 

Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!

 

 

Today’s Reading is Mark 8:34-35 

 


What Does God Want?

Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth. (Hosea 6:3) 
 
If we want to know what’s expected of us at work, we ask our supervisors or read the employee handbook. If we want to know what’s expected at school, we talk to teachers or read the student code of conduct. 
 
Understanding what God wants for us works the same way. If we want to know what God wants for our lives, we ask and we read. We ask God in prayer and we read the Bible. The Bible is called God’s Word because every word was inspired by God to help us know Him and His desire for our lives. 
 
Just like we wouldn’t submit to someone we don’t work for or a school we don’t attend, giving the Bible authority in our lives only happens when we recognize God’s authority in our lives. In Hosea 6:3, the prophet Hosea tells God’s people to “acknowledge the LORD” and “press on to acknowledge him.” Properly understanding our role in a relationship is key to a having a healthy relationship. God is God, and we are not. 
 
From the beginning of time, God’s desires for us haven’t changed. What God wants from us is also what He wants for us — a healthy, strong and consistent relationship with Him. We can’t experience that depth of relationship simply by doing the right things the right way (Hosea 6:6).  A thriving relationship comes from time spent together. 
 
The more we get to know someone, the more we trust him or her. Our obedience becomes not just a matter of doing what’s right but trusting that person to lead us well. The same is true with God. As we spend time talking with God and reading His word, we’ll find ourselves submitting to His desires, not because we have to, but because we want to. 
 
Amen! This devotion blessed me. Today, spend time getting to know Him better than you did yesterday. Today is a new day, make the most of it. He’s waiting. 
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord! 
 
Today’s Reading is Jeremiah 29:13