Devotions May 18-24

Daily devotions to help encourage your faith.

May 18

Genesis 21:33 "Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called on the name of the LORD, the Eternal God."

Today's Thoughts...

This is really is earth-shattering.  Think about God’s unchangeable origins: Before the ages began, God gave us grace in Christ and promised us eternal life (2 Tim 1:9 Titus 1:2).  And Abraham, after the birth of Isaac and a peace treaty with a neighbor, plants a tree and declares God to be the eternal God. Eternal yes, but notice that Abraham also “calls upon” him.  Approachable and unending—what a blessed thought about this great God!

Political nations and cultural institutions aren’t eternal. Therefore, God is saving and the devil is destroying individuals. Even pain lasting an entire life is temporary. Thanks in advance, God, for swallowing up all things in your eternal glory!

Friend, build your hopes on things eternal. Hold to God's unchanging hand.  God's promises assume (1) an eternal story and (2) strength-in-weakness (2 Cor. 12). They go beyond the appearances of the present.  Will you trust him today

Today's Prayer...

Father, when I look at Abraham’s life story as recorded in your holy Word, I am reminded that his life, much like mine, was up and down. Yes, Lord, all of us are frail and changing—sinners at best. But in Christ, we are new creatures and creations—all for your glory. I pray for all my life today—from the deepest depths of my being to the upfront things—that you the eternal God would be pleased. Allow the meditation of my heart and the words of lips to be pleasing in your sight. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

May 19

Psalm 33:9 "For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm."

Today's Thoughts..

The amazing truth is that the God who speaks, spoke.  Don’t pass over that.  Recall the prophets of Baal in 1 Kings 18 who danced around all day, cut themselves, and prayed that they might be heard.  And they weren’t! But Elijah simply called upon the Lord and God “spoke” through an all-consuming fire (cf. Heb. 12:29-30).

The very fact that God speaks separates him from all other so-called gods and idols.  God spoke—our verse says today—and it stood firm. What stood firm? The earth.  The universe.  Everything seen and unseen.  Only the God of the Bible—the one true God—could do this

Remember this truth: God speaks in His Word.  To not read your Bible is to not listen to God. My God speaks to me every day. I open up His book and fire swallows up the wet altar.  Whoa!

Want to hear God speak to you? From Genesis to Revelation, God speaks to us.  Have you consumed the Word of the One who makes all things as they are?

Today's Prayer....

Father, your Word is living and active. It is to us life and death. The same is true of all creation that stood at your beck and call. You told the ocean to come as far it does and it stopped. You put the stars into place. And all obeyed you. Lord, give me such willing obedience today to what you would have me do in your Word. I love you and praise you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

May 20

Jeremiah 23:24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD.

Today's Thoughts...

Because God is omnipresent, He is absolutely unavoidable. We do not find God, but God finds us by descending from the majesty of his omnipotent and omnipresent power to his Son in our humanity. And on another note: People ask how Christ's return might be seen around the world, but they forget that he is omnipresent (everywhere - but not in everything. We are not pantheists) and plans to cover the globe with his glory.

Friend, we can’t hide from God’s all seeing eyes (Pro. 15:1-3). But remember and read Exodus 2:25. Feel forgotten by God? God sees. God knows. But don’t forget about Exodus 2:24-25. The game changer. Wherever you are, whatever you're going through: God is faithful. God sees, God knows. That is comfort to us!

We dig really deep holes for ourselves, right to the core of the earth. But the omnipresent Jesus is already down there, waiting with love. That sin you'll never shake in all this life: God sees it as no barrier. Believe the gospel most where you’re defeated most. Let us point the eyes of the all to the Lord whereupon our eyes can remain fixed and our hearts fully blessed.

Today's Prayer...

Father, we praise you today that you are everywhere but not in everything. We don’t worship a chair because you are in it. But we worship you because you see that chair as well as all of me, all that we don’t see, and all of what is to come. Lord, thank you that you aren’t some fickle God that changes based upon what you see. Your sovereign plan is firm and fixed—and so we look to you, the author and finisher of our faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

May 21

Romans 16:27 "To the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen."

Today's Thoughts...

Pastor-theologian A.W. Pink once wrote: "God is too wise to err and too loving to cause His child a needless tear.” God is present, loving, wise, strong, obvious. And I sin. Crazy! God is forever wise. He's your hope in your (almost-always) unwise moments. I think we sometimes think God was wise to save us because he saw our giftedness and potential and that others just didn't make the cut.

Yet, through the gospel, God eclipses the wisdom of the wise, and destroys the pride of all—that he who boasts might boast in the Lord. We are saved in his infinite wisdom because he first loved us (not the other way around). And one turn of events can show God judging some and sparing others (Romans 11:22). God is wise. We will never beat him.

(And on a practical note for our current times: For emails, tweets, blog posts, etc. it's a good habit to pray before sending—“God, is this wise, does it glorify you, and edify your church?”).

As this day begins, what do I know for sure? God is good and wise. I will need him constantly. He will be there for me. Will you trust him today?

Today's Prayer...

Father, how we praise you today that you are all-wise. There is no flaw in your character. There’s no chip on your shoulder. There’s no emptiness in your tank. What you promise your deliver. You are always taking care of business—your business and ours. My job is to cast all my cares on your and let you worry about the caring. All because you are wise, Lord. Thank you that the greatest wisdom you gave was in the Gospel of your Son. Born sinners, yes—but redeemed solely and only in Jesus Christ. In His name. Amen.

May 22

1 Timothy 6:15 "God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords."

Today's Thoughts...

God has enemies and opponents, but He has no real rivals or competition. He is the ""blessed and ONLY Sovereign"" (1Tim. 6:15, emphasis mine). The hearts of the kings are in His hand (Pro. 21:1). There's only one Sovereign. There's only one unshakable Kingdom. We're not waiting for Jesus to become King of kings and Lord of lords. He already is! Deuteronomy 10:17 says, “The Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, and takes no bribe.” He already owns what you offer! What a relief! Hallelujah!’

I am so thankful God is both sovereign and Father. God can do anything he please (Psalm 115:3), but will only do what is for his glory and, ultimately, our good. I am further thankful not only for the great things in life, but the hard things, too. Why? Because I know all things in God's sovereign love work together for my good (Rom. 8:28-39).

Our God is forever good, forever faithful, and the forever sovereign God. God alone is our only hope. And be so thankful that Jesus is the Lamb of God and Lord of lords. His supply and sufficiency are without equal and limitless. Today, give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.

Today's Prayer...

Father, if you were not sovereign, I’d be afraid. But you are sovereign! Not only do you rule the nations, but you rule over my feeble efforts! Thank you for that for all of us reading this today. Father, remind this weekend that corporate worship with the local church is meant to point me to the fact that you are the Sovereign Savior who not only forgives me, but rules the world for your own good and glory. Lord, thank you that in heaven there are no primaries or national elections. There is on your sovereign will. What grace! What comfort! What mind-blowing truth! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

May 23

Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Today's Thoughts...

Because all are made in the image of God, every human being has value. Quality of life is not what gives me value. I have value as a human being—and so does everyone else—because our human worth is in the imago dei (we are his image-bearers--made in God’s image). Our identity as Christians comes in all the things God says about us.

Yet, we live in a day when many base the value of a human being on whether his mother allows him to keep living or pays to have him mutilated. A Christian’s perspective on abortion, racism, immigration, poverty, and more must begin with the imago dei. Everything else hinges on that.

One of my goals in life is to know as many people as humanly possible. Seriously. The world is full of amazing people created in God's image. But be careful, Christian. An inability to genuinely affirm anything positive about those you disagree with may reveal a denial of the imago dei and Gen. 1:26-27.

Let’s get more practical with this verse. As always, we can’t unpack everything (it is a devotional). But racism is a violation of the Gospel itself. The devil loves to fan the flames of every shade of racism and stoke its fires and then convince us that it's justified. The Gospel guarantees that one Day all inward and outward expressions racism will be eternally eliminated.

As we go into our week, we have the privilege of treating everyone as created in God's image, loved by him, and equal with ourselves. True Christians do not tolerate other races and vibes. They positively delight in what God created. They see Him in others. Do you?

Today's Prayer...

Father, we praise you today that we all have value because you have assigned us value in your name. We praise you that the unborn, the lame, the blind, the handicap, the strongest, the weakest, the richest, and the poorest—everyone—has been made in your image. Yet, through sin we have distorted that image. I pray that you help us to see people as you see them—yet, help us to share boldly the Gospel so that everyone may know Christ as well. Father, we love you and praise you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

May 24

Genesis 2:7 "Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

Today's Thoughts...

God does amazing things with ashes and dust. Real dust. Real man. ""Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven"" (1 Cor. 15:49). God made man from dust (Genesis 2:7). Men made a tower from bricks (Genesis 11:3). That tower is dust, but man still stands.

There is not one particle of dust or one breaking of your heart beyond the control and redemption of Jesus. This is why we believe in a literal 6 days, actual dust, a real talking serpent, a real whale, a genuine virgin birth, a physical death, a literal, physical resurrection and the second coming. I believe—do you?

Though created in God’s image, Adam failed. Yet, Jesus nailed. And all by sovereign power and decree--God's grace prevailed. The minds of seraphs cannot comprehend, nor can the voices of archangels tell the glories of our Savior. How much less a man made of dust! Thank God for the Gospel today!

Today's Thoughts...

Father, we are dust. Though created perfectly out of nothing but dust, we sinned. Father, our representative, Adam, the literal and historical person, fell and we have all fallen since. Father, we praise you that the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, came to live the life we couldn’t live and die the death we couldn’t die. All for your glory and our salvation. O to be broken before the dying Christ, to lie in the dust of undeserving, and wIth exquisite joy. Father, thank you making us unique despite our sin. We love you and praise you forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.