Category Archives: devotional

“…and comfort them.”

17 Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. 18 You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them. Psalms 10:17‭-‬18 NLT

The cries of the helpless are not missed by God.

The Lord speaks clearly in His Word about His care, especially those who are in extreme need.

The Lord opens the eyes of the blind; The Lord raises those who are bowed down; The Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; He relieves the fatherless and widow; But the way of the wicked He turns upside down.
Psalms 146:8‭-‬9 NKJV

We too can find comfort in God through Jesus Christ.

His salvation brings even the most desperate hope.

Luke 4:18-19 KJV — The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Jesus was reading from the book of Isaiah and pronounced that He was the one who Isaiah was writing about.

Luke 4:21 NKJV — And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Sadly, those listening didn’t understand and were greatly angered by Jesus’s claim, but His life bore witness to Who He was and His resurrection bares witness to what He said.

For those who accept the truth of Jesus and the hope in salvation, there’s no greater comfort.

He made it clear, His comfort is to be shared.

Matthew 28:19 NKJV — “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

His gift of hope is a comfort to all who put their trust in Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your salvation. Thank You for the truth of Your Word and the hope we have through Your sacrifice. Lord, we easily become distracted by the cares of this world, the expectations of others, the lusts of the flesh. Please help us to remain steadfast upon Your truth, Your love, and to live in obedience to Your commands. Lord, in Your Word is life. Please help us to both find peace and rest, comfort for our souls in You, as well as pass on that comfort to others. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.

…may God settle you.

1 Peter 5:10 NKJV — But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.

For the follower of Christ there will be suffering.

If Jesus Christ was persecuted, we too will be.

But just as the Lord knows what is best and how to use what the enemy means for evil to our benefit, we can cling to the truth that Jesus will settle us.

He will use the tribulations of this fallen world to perfect our faith, establish His truth, and strengthen our hearts in Him.

He will guide, direct, teach, exhort, and hone those who remain diligent in following Him.

And some day, He will settle us in our home.

John 14:2-4NKJV — “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

Be encouraged follower!

Romans 8:38-39 NKJV — For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your promises. Thank You for salvation. Lord, truly, there is no greater joy than to know one’s soul is safe with You. Lord, so many things in this life are temporary, thank You that You never change, Your Word is always true, and Your gift of salvation is all we need. Lord, please continue to teach us, to help us to be willing to walk through any circumstance knowing You will use it for our good. Lord, please help us to be loving, gentle, kind, compassionate, and faithful. Slow to speak and able to discern the truth, wise and meek. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Those who love God…

Like the variety of colors which blend to make these leaves into the lovely creation they are, so the numerous character traits which make up the definition of those who love God are a beautiful variety.

Romans 8:28 NKJV — And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

People who love God are marked by goodness through adversity.

Joseph’s words to his brothers:

Genesis 50:20 KJV — But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Those who love God place their trust in Him.

2 Samuel 22:31 KJV — As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.

David’s life was marked by people trying to kill him, but God was a shield to David and he lived a long life.

When he was given the opportunity to strike down the man who sought his life, he trusted God rather than reacting from fear.

1 Samuel 24:6 KJV — And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.

Those who love God obey Him, for the truth is, His commandments are for our own protection.

1 John 5:3 KJV — For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

Proverbs 4:4 KJV — He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

Noah is an excellent example of someone who obeyed God and his obedience was protection for him and his family.

Genesis 6:22 KJV — Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.

Lovers of God are also people who love others, because they abide in Christ by whom they were redeemed.

1 John 3:23-24 NKJV — And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.
Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

The life of John who wrote both the Gospel of John and the letters of John bring into crystal clear truth, that loving God means loving others.

The same man who wanted to destroy others for their behavior,

(Luke 9:54 NKJV — And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”)

was the man who wrote:

1 John 2:10-11 NKJV — He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

These are just a few of the characteristics which mark those who love God, those who are called according to His purposes.

We have the gift of scripture to guide and teach us that through the help of the Holy Spirit we might walk in the character qualities of those who love God.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for these truths and the way You have shown us how to live, what things are best, and what it means to be lovers of You. Lord Jesus, we are unable to walk in Your ways alone, thank You for Your Holy Spirit and the Bible. Please continue to hone our hearts daily. Lord, please make me more like You and help me to pick up my cross and follow You with joy. Thank You. Amen.

Sharp truth

Hiding hatred makes you a liar; slandering others makes you a fool. Proverbs 10:18 NLT

Is there any who can not see themselves in these words, at one time or another?

God’s Word cuts through our excuses for ungodly behavior and reveals the truth of what these attitudes are:

lies and foolishness.

Rather, we must be on guard against allowing such things in our lives and be quick to repent when they are discovered among us.

For our tongues are to be under submission to the Lord Jesus.

When they are not we bring ridicule to our Savior.

James 3:9-10 NKJV — With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.

If we are followers of Christ Jesus, our actions, our attitudes, and our words need to be in line with what God says is His expectation for His children.

Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV — Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.

God’s Word is sharper than any two edged sword.

Hebrews 4:12 KJV — For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

And it is a wonderful gift for us, the children of God, to teach us, admonish us, encourage us, and to bring us life.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 NKJV — All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for the truth, direction, guidance, and correction we find in Your scriptures. Lord, please help us to read, understand, and accurately apply Your truths daily. Lord, our lives often get bogged down in the muck of our sin and the more of a sinful world. Lord, please help us be on guard against sin and to repent quickly when we have sinned. Lord, please place a guard over our lips that we might not curse our fellow man nor mock another of Your creation nor slander or neighbor. Lord, please keep us from bring dishonor to Your name by walking in ways which are counter to Your character. Lord, please teach us how to love well, to live selflessly, and to be totally surrendered to You. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

…”discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 NKJV

God’s Word cuts through our facade, it deals with those inner secrets we have hidden, even from ourselves.

The Lord sees what our heart’s motivations are and through His Word and the work of the Holy Spirit we too can see the truth.

For Jesus taught us, we often see the errors in others far more readily than our own.

Matthew 7:3 NKJV — “And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?”

After showing us our error, our sin, our folly, the Word teaches us what to do next.

Romans 10:9 KJV — That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Scripture also admonishes us to be accountable to one another.

James 5:16 NKJV — Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

God’s Word does not only convict us of sin, it cleanses us in truth and encourages us with His loving kindness.

Titus 3:4-7 KJV — “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Scripture builds our faith, teaching our hearts to seek the Lord and gives us inspiration for each day.

Psalm 119:11 NKJV — Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.

1 Chronicles 16:23 KJV — Sing unto the LORD, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.

It is where we find truth to live by and hope for eternity.

1 Peter 1:3-5NKJV — Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Truly, what an incredible gift God has given us in His Word.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word and all the blessings of it. Lord, please open our minds to learning and our hearts to truth. Lord, please speak clearly through Your Word to each of us, divide the sin from our souls and do not allow lies, pride, or any unclean thing to reside in us. Lord, please purify my heart and remove anything which would hinder my walk with You. Let me cherish nothing before You. I want You to sit on the throne of my heart and none other. Thank You for Your faithfulness, mercy, grace, goodness, love, and salvation. Thank You for truth. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Psalm 119:47 NKJV — And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love.

“Because the LORD has anointed Me…”

Isaiah 61:1 NKJV — “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;”

What hope these verses hold!

To hear of the poor being brought good tidings, the brokenhearted healed, liberty given to the captives, and opening of prison for those shackled, one of these is amazing, but all of them is incredible.

And it’s true.

Luke 4:18 KJV — The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luke 4:19 KJV — To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

The prophet Isaiah was speaking about Jesus.

Jesus, Himself, declared this and instead of rejoicing for the “acceptable year of the Lord” most were offended or simply ignored the spiritual meaning, clinging only to their temporary needs and desires.

Thankfully, God’s Word doesn’t rely on the acceptance of those who hear it.

It is truth, whether people believe it or not.

Praise God!

For these words and the hope they give are available today as much as when Jesus spoke them.

His death and Resurrection are what breaks the bonds of sin and death.

His death and Resurrection are what heals the broken-hearted.

His death and Resurrection are the good tidings.

Salvation for our souls is the best news we can ever have or ever share.

Psalm 3:8 KJV — Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.

Praise God!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your salvation. Lord, I am so thankful for the truth of Your Word. Thank You that we can find the solution to all that is wrong with the human race in You. Through You we find our value. Through Your Word we find instruction for living. Through Your gift we find hope of eternity in heaven. Through Your Holy Spirit we have a Comforter for this present day. Through Your Word we find confident expectation that some day, You will return and set all things right. Thank You! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Words to live by

Titus 2:1 NKJV — But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine:

Paul’s letter to Titus contains direction every follower of Christ should apply.

It’s not surprising, that Paul, when expounding upon the instruction to teach sound doctrine, begins with the head of the family.

Titus 2:2 NKJV — that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience;

When older men set the example of God’s love and integrity before his own family as well as others, it brings the family incredible blessing, as well as sets the tone for the expectations of each individual. (Proverbs 20:7)

A godly man stands as a representative of Christ’s love for the church, to his wife and his children. (Ephesians 5:25, 6:4)

Titus 2:3 NKJV — the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things—

As important as it is for the family to be led by a godly man, it is equally important for the heart of the home to be a godly woman.

A wife and mother can build up her husband and support her family or she can tear it down.

Proverbs 14:1 KJV — Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

Together, a couple dedicated to the Lord Jesus, will be able to encourage and support those who come after them in ways all benefit from.

Titus 2:4-5 NKJV — that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

Do we really understand that when we live contrary to God’s Word, that we bring dishonor to Him in the eyes of others?

We should, because scripture makes it clear, our actions reflect directly upon God’s Word.

Titus 2:6-8NKJV — Likewise, exhort the young men to be sober-minded, in all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.

As followers of Christ, we should expect to be ridiculed, mocked, and despised.

Matthew 5:10-11NKJV — “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”

Therefore, we need to be purposeful about our choices, wise with our actions and attitudes, remembering that we are not our own.

The words sober, good works, sound speech, reverent, respectful, gentle, sound in faith, patience, and love, all these things are held up as the standard for those who follow Christ.

Truly, these are words to live by.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for these words penned by Paul to Titus and full of Your Truth. Thank You for giving us such clear and concise guidelines for how we are to live. Lord, please do not allow me to slide away from any one of these things, for I do not want to slander Your Word or Your name through my behavior. Lord, I want to live for You in every part of my life. Please help me to recognize those things which would led me to err and avoid them. Please place a guard over my lips, that I might not speak things which would slander others, but rather help me to be careful with my words and speak only those things which are good. Lord, please place a guard upon my heart and mind, protect me from the lies of the enemy and the fear of man. Thank You for Your love, faithfulness, and truth. Amen.

A Father’s love

Isaiah 12:1 NKJV — And in that day you will say: “O LORD, I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.

Isaiah 12:2 NKJV — Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ”

Isaiah 12:3 NKJV — Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12:4 NKJV — And in that day you will say: “Praise the LORD, call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted.

Isaiah 12:5 NKJV — Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth.

Isaiah 12:6 NKJV — Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

God is our perfect heavenly father and his love for us is incredible.

The person speaking to the LORD begins with the acknowledgement that God was angry with them.

For what parent wants to see their child harm each other or themselves?

When we sin, we are choosing to harm both, and it doesn’t please the Lord.

But the words don’t end there:

…”Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.”

Through Jesus’s gift, we can have salvation:

“‘Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.'”

And it’s this understanding which ignites praise, worship, and sharing:

“Sing to the LORD, For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth.”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your love. Thank You that You are a good father and You didn’t leave us when we chose to sin, but instead You made a way for us to be saved. Lord, I don’t want to sin against You, nor do I want to fall into sin by ignorance or carelessness. Please help me to “draw water From the wells of salvation” with joy daily. Truly understanding Your will for each day and walking humbly in Your Word. Thank You so much for Your gift of salvation! I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.

Bearing their names…

And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial. Exodus 28:12 KJV

Aaron was selected by God to serve before Him in the Tabernacle, he was to be high priest for the children of Israel and his sons were to be priests as well.

Aaron and his sons had duties in their service to the Lord for the children of Israel.

A large portion of their duties was to offer sacrifices before God for the people.

Hebrews 9:22 NKJV — And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

They were to know God’s commandments and to teach the people.

Ezekiel 44:23 KJV — And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

There were other duties as well.

But only the high priest wore the ephod.

It was a special breastplate, and upon each shoulder the priest bore the names of the twelve tribes, six on one shoulder and six on the other.

To bear their names before the Lord.

As a follower of Christ, the application is rich.

Not only are we responsible before God for those He places underneath our care, but we are to bear their names before Him.

We see this truth in Paul’s life.

He didn’t simply preach and exhort those under his ministry, he prayed for them.

Philippians 1:3-6 NKJV — I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now,
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Thus, we too must not neglect to fulfill our duties to those God has placed in our lives, including bearing their names before Him.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your instructions on what is required for us to walk fully, wholeheartedly with You. Lord, You know my areas of weakness. You are familiar with all my errors and sin. Lord, please continue to hone my heart, that I might not repeat the past, but instead walk in the newness of Your forgiveness each day. Lord, please continue to help me to pray for others without being negligent of my other responsibilities. Lord, thank You for Your forgiveness and grace. Thank You for showing me, through Your Word the way in which I should go. I praise Your holy name, Jesus! Amen.

Forgiveness and trust

Genesis 50:20 KJV — But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

It’s one of the more astounding moments in scripture.

Joseph was born into a dysfunctional family.

His father was married twice, and both wives were jealous of the other, which caused no end of strife.

The first wife was unloved and the second wife was barren, until Joseph was finally born.

He, the son of Rachel, was dearly loved by his father.

By the time Joseph was old enough to be working with the family business, his brothers hated him.

It didn’t help that he turned in a poor report on some of them to his father.

To add fuel to the hatred, Joseph wasn’t as careful with his words as he could have been.

He had dreams of a future where he would lead the entire family.

He told them to his brothers and his father.

His brothers’ hatred grew.

There was no excuse for what they did to him, but it is very obvious how the discord in this family led to incredible evil.

Genesis 37:26-28NKJV — So Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and conceal his blood? Come and let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and let not our hand be upon him, for he is our brother and our flesh.” And his brothers listened. Then Midianite traders passed by; so the brothers pulled Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.

They sold their brother as a slave.

Life in Egypt was a rollercoaster for Joseph.

All of the years he was there God worked in his life.

Finally, he was promoted from life imprisonment to second in the kingdom.

God used him to save many people from starvation.

Including, his family, who had no idea that he was still alive.

The scriptures don’t tell us when Joseph forgave his brothers.

But it does show him responding to them with forgiveness and compassion.

Somewhere along the journey of his life, Joseph learned to forgive those who had hurt him and to trust God.

We know this by his words of comfort to his terrified brothers.

Genesis 50:20 KJV — But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Joseph wasn’t bitter, he didn’t seek revenge, because he could clearly see God had allowed the difficult, painful things in his life to bring about incredible good.

We can apply this to ourselves.

We must not allow bitterness to take root, we must forgive those who do us evil, trusting God to work through it.

Although we may not see how God uses the painful, difficult circumstances in our lives while walking through them, we can choose to cling to the truth: He will.

Many people throughout scripture walked through unjust, painful circumstances and God uses those things in their lives for good.

He hasn’t changed.

He’s still working.

Let us choose to both forgive others and to trust God.

Romans 8:28 KJV — And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your truth. Thank You for teaching us we must forgive, we must trust You. Please help me to walk in that truth, learning daily what it means in today. Lord, please return our hearts to wholeness, hearts of flesh which have been redeemed by Your sacrifice. Lord, great is Your faithfulness and greatly shall You be praised! Please continue to teach us each day, giving us life and truth through Your Word. Lord, please help us to be on our guard about the lies, discord, and strife of the enemy. Please help us to live trusting in You, loving others, and walking with integrity. Thank You for Your wonderous works! I praise Your holy name Lord Jesus! Amen.