But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God (ESV).
The best name by which we can think of God is Father. It is a loving, deep, sweet, heart-touching, name, for the name of father is in its nature full of inborn sweetness and comfort. Therefore, also, we must confess ourselves children of God, for by this name we deeply touch our God, since there is not a sweeter sound to the father than the voice of the child.
Prayer Starter: Father, thank you that you have given us the opportunity to be called your children. Help us to honor you as you children should.
In the morning the word of the LORD came to me: (ESV).
A quiet hour spent alone with God at the beginning of the day is the best beginning for the toils and cares of active business. A brief season of prayer, looking above for wisdom and grace and strength, and seeking for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit, helps us to carry our religion into the business of the day. It brings joy and peace within the heart. And as we place all our concerns in the care and keeping of the Lord, faithfully striving to do His will, we have a joyful trust that however dark or discouraging events may appear, our Father’s hand is guiding everything, and will give the wisest direction to all our toils.
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, thank you for the blessing of prayer. Forgive us for the many times that we did not turn to you when we should have. Help us to be more purposeful in our prayer life and to not take this blessing for granted.
Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature (“soul” in KJV) (ESV).
And so this soul of mine is a compound of two worlds—dust and Deity! It touches the boundary line of two hemispheres. It is allied on one side to the divine; on the other, to the beast of the field. Its beginning is from beneath, but its culmination is from above; it is started from the dust of the ground, but it is finished in the breath of God.
My soul, art thou living up to thy twofold origin? Art thou remembering thy double parentage, and therefore thy double duty? Thou hast a duty to thy God, for His breath is in thee; thou hast a duty to the earth, for out of it wast thou taken.
Prayer Starter: Lord, help us to remember that we have been created by you, to be used for you glory. Help us to make You our top priority and serving you, in all we do, our chief goal.
2 Corinthians 6:3–10
We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything (ESV).
No Christian can ever know what is meant by those two little words, “always rejoicing,” but the Christian who takes up his cross and follows Jesus.
W. Hay Aitken
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, despite what the world throws at us, we always have good reason to rejoice! While the afflictions of this life are great, the glory that lies before us is far greater. Help us to rise above our current circumstances so that we are always able to rejoice in you!
The LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him, “Lift up your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward, for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever” (ESV).
God’s promises are ever on the ascending scale. One leads up to another, fuller and more blessed than itself. In Mesopotamia God said, “I will show thee the land.” At Bethel, “This is the land.” Here, “and I will give thee all the land, and children innumerable as the grains of sand.” And we shall find even these eclipsed.
It is thus that God allures us to saintliness. Not giving anything till we have dared to act—that He may test us. Not giving everything at first—that He may not overwhelm us. And always keeping in hand an infinite reserve of blessing. Oh, the unexplored remainders of God! Who ever saw His last star?
F. B. Meyer
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the many blessings you have blessed us with! And thank you in advance for the blessings that lie ahead. You are so, so good to us! Help us to live a life that demonstrates our gratitude with our deeds as well as our words.
Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing (ESV).
God may let the sinful world succeed in their forbidden schemes, but, blessed be His name, He does not allow His chosen ones to prosper in the path which leads them out of His holy will! He has a storm to send after every Jonah, and an empty net for every inconsistent Simon.
A. B. Simpson
Prayer Starter: Lord, give us a desire to only want to pursue your way for our lives. We humbly ask that you help us learn the easy way in all things so that you don’t have to send a storm to get our attention.
Song of Solomon 1:6
Do not gaze at me because I am dark,
because the sun has looked upon me.
My mother's sons were angry with me;
they made me keeper of the vineyards,
but my own vineyard I have not kept (ESV)!
Our attention is here drawn to a danger which is preeminently one of this day: the intense activity of our times may lead to zeal in service to the neglect of personal communion; but such neglect will not only lessen the value of the service, but tend to incapacitate us for the highest service.
J. Hudson Taylor
Prayer Starter: Father God, help us to always remember that our ministry begins in our home. May this ministry that you have called us to always be front of mind. Please continue to bless our family and help our family be a blessing to you.
And they told him, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large. And besides, we saw the descendants of Anak there (ESV).
It is when we are in the way of duty that we find giants. It was when Israel was going forward that the giants appeared. When they turned back into the wilderness they found none.
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, We pray that you give us the strength to move forward, in all you have called us to do, despite the giants. We know that there will be conflict. We know that we will face opposition. But we also know God that you are far greater than anything that may rise against us. Help us to walk with the confidence of young David knowing that you are for us and the battle has already been won.
Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “Where are the men whom you killed at Tabor?” They answered, “As you are, so were they. Every one of them resembled the son of a king” (ESV).
If the King is indeed near of kin to us, the royal likeness will be recognizable.
Frances Ridley Havergal
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, let it be clear to the world that we are your children.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters (ESV).
This suggests the rest into which our Good Shepherd leads His flock. Life is not all toil. God gives us many quiet resting-places in our pilgrim way.
Night is one of these, when, after the day’s toil, struggle, and exhaustion, we are led aside, and the curtains are drawn to shut out the noise and He giveth His beloved sleep, in sleep giving the wonderful blessings of renewal. The Sabbath is another of these quiet resting-places. God would have us drop our worldly tasks, and have a day for the refreshing of both body and soul.… Friendship’s trysts are also quiet resting-places, where heart may commune with heart, where Jesus comes, too, unseen, and gives His blessing. All ordinances of Christian worship—seasons of prayer and devotion, hours of communion with God—are quiet resting-places.
Far more than we are apt to realize do we need these silent times in our busy life, needing them all the more the busier the life may be.
J. R. Miller
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, help us to find our rest in you. Forgive us for the times that we try to do too much and fail to observe the Sabbath rest that you have prescribed.
2 Kings 25:29–30
So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king's table, and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived (ESV).
One staff aids a traveler, but a bundle of staves is a heavy burden.
Prayer Starter: Lord, thank you for all you have blessed us with. Our meals, our careers, our family, our church, everything that we have are all gifts from you. Help us to never cease to be grateful for all you have done, are doing, and will do.
Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (ESV).
However perplexed you may at any hour become about some question of truth, one refuge and resource is always at hand: you can do something for someone besides yourself. At the times when you cannot see God, there is still open to you this sacred possibility, to show God: for it is the love and kindness of human hearts through which the divine reality comes home to men, whether they name it or not. Let this thought, then, stay with you: there may be times when you cannot find help, but there is no time when you cannot give help.
Prayer Starter: Father God, help us never forget that we are the ones that you have sent to address the hurt, broken, lost and confused of this world. And that by caring for the “least of these” we are actually caring for Christ (Mt. 25:40).
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (ESV).
It is not your business and mine to study whether we shall get to Heaven, or even to study whether we shall be good men; it is our business to study how we shall come into the midst of the purposes of God and have the unspeakable privilege in these few years of doing something of His work.
Prayer Starter: Lord, thank you for blessing us with the privilege of serving you and acting on your behalf. Help us to be obedient in our calling and use us, as you see fit, for the short time we still have left here.
2 Corinthians 4:6
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (ESV).
Christian! rest not until thou knowest the full, the unbroken shining, of God in thy heart. To this end, yield to every stirring of it that shows thee some unconquered and perhaps unconquerable evil. Just bring it to the light; let the light shine upon it, and shine it out. Wait upon the Lord more than watchers for the morning, for “the path of the just is as the shining light, shining more and more unto the perfect day.” Count upon it that God wants to fill thee with the light of His glory: wait on Him more than watchers for the morning. “Wait, I say, on the Lord.”
Prayer Starter: Heavenly Father, help us to live as children of the light. As you are light Lord, there should be no darkness in us. Help us to lay all bare before you so that your light may obliterate our darkness.
Pastor Kevin researched and put together the daily devotionals. This is an opportunity to continue.