DAILY DEVOTIONALS

Devotionals

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Giving Our Firstfruits - Alternative View - February 27, 2015

How dare we live for everything else and forget the Source.

  Giving Our Firstfruits In His Presence: Matthew 22:37 The Bible calls the priorities of stewardship our "firstfruits." In the agricultural environment of the biblical times, people lived on the food they grew. Giving God their firstfruits would mean giving Him the best and the first of what they had to give. Giving your firstfruits is a tangible, visible way of telling God that He is first in your life. God has always demanded that He be first because He is God. In Revelation 2:4, Jesus told the church: "You have left your first love." Jesus had slipped into second or third place. When God stops being first, we have a problem. Colossians 1:18 tells us we should live in such a way "that [Jesus] Himself might come to have first place in everything." Jesus wants to be the focus of every aspect of your life all the time, without exception. Why? Because everything we have and ever will have is rooted in God. He deserves to be the focus because He is the Creator, Sustainer, Source, Savior, and King.  A passage from Haggai demonstrates where our priority as stewards should be: "You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; … he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes" (Haggai 1:6). When God is not first, we can't possibly enjoy the stuff of life. Whenever the provisions of God become your god, you have replaced the true ... read more

I Don't Want to Raise a Good Child - Encouragement for Today - February 26, 2015

When she was really little I was scared to death I was the world’s worst mom, because Hope was never one to be contained.

FEBRUARY 26, 2015 I Don’t Want to Raise a Good Child  LYSA TERKEURST "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) When my daughter Hope was in high school, she decided her senior year should be adventurous and a little out of the "normal" box. A lot out-of-the-box, actually. She withdrew from traditional school. Applied with the state to homeschool. Enrolled in online college courses that would allow her to get both high school and college credit simultaneously. And planned to spend a month serving in Nicaragua doing missions. This didn’t surprise me, really. Hope has always liked charting her own course. This thrills me now. But it didn’t thrill me so much in the early years of raising this strong-spirited child. When she was really little I was scared to death I was the world’s worst mom, because Hope was never one to be contained. And I honestly thought all her extra tenacity was a sign of my poor mothering. One day I took her to the mall to meet several of my friends with toddlers to grab lunch. All of their kids sat quietly eating Cheerios in their strollers. They shined their halos and quoted Bible verses and used tissues to wipe their noses. Not Hope. She was infuriated by my insistence she stay in her stroller. So, when I turned away for a split second to place our lunch order, she ... read more

The Silver Thread - Easter Devotional - Feb. 25, 2015

The whole system of Christianity rests upon this fact.

The Silver Thread 1 Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead. The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that "Christ is risen from the dead;" for, "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain: ye are yet in your sins." The divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in His resurrection, since He was "Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." It would not be unreasonable to doubt His Deity if He had not risen. Moreover, Christ's sovereignty depends upon His resurrection, "For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living." Again, our justification, that choice blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ's triumphant victory over death and the grave; for "He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification." Nay, more, our very regeneration is connected with His resurrection, for we are "Begotten again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, "If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." If Christ be not risen, then shall we not rise; but if ... read more