Daily Devotions 4-5 to 4-11

Devotions to encourage your faith.

April 5

1 Corinthians 10:10 "And do not grumble, as some of them did-- and were killed by the destroying angel."

Not long after their deliverance from Egypt, the people of Israel started to harden their hearts. First, they didn’t like the trouble and discomfort they were experiencing on the way to the Promised Land. So they whined about their leaders. Then they grumbled about what God was feeding them. Next, they griped about the risk involved in moving into the land of Canaan. Finally, they expressed their longing for “the good old days” when they were still slaves in Egypt.

What happened to them? God in His righteous anger removed them from the planet because of their disobedience to Him.

How many of us grumble when God doesn't give us what we believe we deserve? We need to ask the Lord to help us become more humble and satisfied. After all, a faithful servant of Christ is not concerned with the things of earth, but rather knowing the One who created and sustains all those things and more.

Father, my life is bombarded by the constant advertisements and pressures to want more and more and more. Yet, Father, please turn this on its head. I pray that I would desire you more and more and more. I pray that I would want your Word more and more and more. I pray that when I am tempted to want something I don’t need that you would help me in that moment to pray for someone to come to know Jesus Christ. Lord, you are my all in all—not the things of this world. Reassure my heart and my ambitions of that today. Thank you that you are, truly, all I need! In Jesus name I pray, amen.

April 6

Hebrews 10:5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me."

Our Savior always wanted to do His Father's will. When He was agonizing in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane just prior to His arrest and crucifixion, He prayed, ""Take this cup from me."" But in the next breath, in his next sentence, He let go of His own will and yielded to His Father, saying, ""not what I will, but what you will"" (Mark 14:36).

A mentor of mine once pointed out that the words ""No, Lord"" are a contradiction in terms. You see, only as we say, ""Yes, Lord""--and mean it--can we really call Him Lord. Do you have a “No, Lord"" anywhere in your life today? Don't be like a stubborn person who won't ever let go of something. Be like Jesus--let go of your will and yield to God's.

Father, caution me today against unreservedly putting your name and therefore your stamp of approval on my plans, opinions, or ideas. I am reminded today that when the plans we had for our lives lie in utter ruin, we are finally ready to experience what only you can plan. Father, thank you that you who saved you has plans for me, not the success of my little kingdom, but furtherance of your eternal kingdom of glory and grace. Lord, thank you that you don’t things my way but your way. Let me rest in your grace today. In Jesus’ name I pray these thing and more. Amen.

April 7

Genesis 41:41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt."

Joseph was faithful with what he had been entrusted with by God. We don’t know much time elapsed between the end of Genesis 39 and the beginning of Genesis 40. At some point during Joseph’s imprisonment, two high-ranking officials of Pharaoh were put into prison. One was a cupbearer and the other was a baker. The cupbearer was a trusted servant who was responsible for taste-testing the king’s food and serving wine to the king. He was there to prevent the poisoning of the king. The baker, on the other hand, was responsible for preparing the food and lavish desserts for the king.

How about you? Are you being faithful with where you are? Granted, you may not be where you want to be (whether that is with your parents, at school, in life, or whatever). But God has obviously placed each one of us in the place where we are for His purposes (See Acts 17:24-25). It is easy to think that if our circumstances or surroundings changed, we would be more faithful. But that is wrong thinking

If you aren’t faithful with where God has placed you now, you won’t be faithful if God were to change your situation. As Jesus said, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much” (Luke 16:10).

Father, remind me today that it’s possible to be faithful and not be fruitful. You are sovereign. Father, you who calls me to carry a cross will be faithful to help me carry mine. Help me by your Spirit to be faithful to evangelize, not faithful to manipulate. Help me not to be too polite to be faithful to you. Help me be faithful whatever lot I receive today. I pray this all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

April 8

Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

"In the beginning, God..."

If we get this down pat, everything else falls into place with God at the center. They give everything in life its shape, purpose and meaning. With those ten words, superstition died, reason surged ahead. If we get this, everything else falls into place with God at the center. If God's on site first, everything is all about him and not about us. The beginning of wisdom is that I have absolutely no say in how God should run and manage the world, and I am okay with that. It's the kindness of God that leads us to repentance-from beginning to end (Rom 2:4). He is author and finisher of our faith.

God's story has a beginning and an end that never ends. And if your God's child, his story is now your biography. Wow! God is the source, the means, and the goal of all things--the beginning, the middle, and the end--in all, over all, through all, to all. Yet, He doesn’t need us at all. He is self-sufficient. He is not needy. That’s our greatest hope and longing.

Father, thank you that you are worthy to be worshipped because you are the only that deserves worship. You alone are God. You are the only sovereign. Any other so-called god is just that—so-called and fake. Lord, thank you that if you are at the center of all that I do everything else will fall into place. Reassure my heart today that trusting you is the most necessary thing I can do today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

April 9

Deuteronomy 4:39 "Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other."

Why did God say that "you shall have no other gods before me? (Exodus 20:3). When we worship what God has made instead of God himself, we become slaves of lords that cannot liberate. "A bruised reed he will not break" (Isaiah 42:3). No other world-conqueror like this.

Friend, there is none like God. With all your heart, then, seek after those things that no one, even death, can take away from you. And above all these things, seek Jesus.

Every time I hear someone say "I really hope there will be ______ in heaven," I remind myself that Christ is there, so no other hopes needed. I need no other argument; I need no other plea. It is enough that Jesus died, and that He died for me! He is our rock and our strong tower. Though worms destroy my body, yet in my flesh I will see God. My eyes will behold him, and no other.

Father, thank you that in my heart of hearts I know the truth of this verse—there is none other in the world. You are it. The buck stops with you, as it has been said. There is no higher authority. There is no supreme court. You are all in all. Thank you that you are in heaven but you came down to us in Christ. Praise you that in Christ we have all we need but often can’t understand that until we know you are all we have. Lord, help my heart understand these truths today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

April 10

Isaiah 43:10 "You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

What is the great theological insight God labors to impart to us? The heart of it is simply this: ""I am he."" And our election is not based on foreseen faith; it leads to faith. And remember: Who God is is more relevant to who I am than who I am. He thinks so, anyway.

We have no greater joy than that our children and walk in the truth. That Christ be formed in our children and that they be conformed to Him! I pray that Christ will be formed in them and that they grow to the full stature of Christ; that their hearts be totally devoted to Christ!

Are you living a radical new life that is formed out of the right here, right now benefits of the work of Christ? Our world says nothing we do makes any difference. God says he formed us for a glorious purpose. Let's go with God.

Father, thank you that you are HE. You are the same God that has been the same God from eternity past and the same God that is in this present moment...and the same God that will be forever the same. For without this, we would be consumed. If you depended on anyone else, we would be lost. Father, thank you for being my all in all. Remind me today that what is before me is not for the One--you--that is before all things. You are worthy to be praised! I love you with all my heart. May your Spirit impart this truth to my family, my church, and all those without Christ. In your name. Amen.

April 11

Isaiah 45:18 For this is what the LORD says-- he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited-- he says: "I am the LORD, and there is no other.

How is God unlike all gods? He has no peer. He has no co-worker. He has no rival. He has no competitor. He is it!

I don't understand it, but that's why God is God. That's why nothing "poses a threat" to the gospel. The gospel is God's power loose in the world. It will not be prevailed against. Ever.

Are you really "looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God" (Hebrews 11:10)? Christianity is Christ and Christ is God. No amount of self-reliant religious activity will fool God, or men. A genuinely humble grace-reliant heart is God's desire. Be thankful, above all, that this is God's deepest intention for me and all things: "to the praise of the glory of his grace" (Eph. 1:6).

Father, thank you that this is your story and you've written me into it. You're not a supporting actor in my life movie. Rather, we servants of your grace. The only thing we should ever enjoy in life is you, God. Everything else, we should use toward that end. Father, while I compete in this rat-race of life, I am reminded that you do not. I rest in your unchanging grace today for your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.