Archives For Devotional

Who is the greatest? Let’s be honest, we’ve all wondered where we are at when it comes to our ranking among others. We are a society that likes to have rankings and standings and to know how we stack up against others. Everything is a competition and we want to be the best. Is it any surprise then that this discussion started among the disciples in Luke 9:28-62:

An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest. But Jesus, knowing what they were thinking in their heart, took a child and stood him by His side, and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for the one who is least among all of you, this is the one who is great.”
Luke 9:46‭-‬48 NASB

Well, that’s one way to get people to stop talking and comparing themselves to others. Tell them that they need to be more like children. We are to be constantly trying to find a way to build up others and thinking less and less of ourselves. Does that describe you? Does that describe your focus for today? What needs to change for this to become the goal and focus of your life today?

Define success. How do you know whether you have accomplished what you have set out to accomplish? The world has an idea of what it takes to be successful. So does God. Reading through Luke 9:1-27, we see this verse:

For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?
Luke 9:25 NASB

Exactly where is the gain if we meet the world’s definition of succes, but not God’s? How do we gain ourselves? Interesting, we must lose our life to gain it. As we surrender our life to God, He provides meaning and purpose that we wouldn’t have otherwise.  Are we defining success as God does? Are we on the path to be successful as God desires for us?

What do you fill your mind with? Looking through Proverbs 22:16-29, we see these verses:

Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, That they may be ready on your lips.
Proverbs 22:17‭-‬18 NASB

As Solomon continues sharing his wisdom, we see that he is reminding us how important it is to surround ourselves with wisdom. That needs to be what fills our mind because then that is what will be on our lips. If we are filling our mind with anything other than wisdom, we will find that foolish talk is what comes out of our mouth. His challenge to us is to listen and to hear and to apply the words of wisdom that he has been speaking throughout all of Proverbs. We can read through these verses and yet gain nothing because we don’t do anything with what we’ve learned. The key is application. What we fill our mind with will be what we think about, which will in turn be what we act upon when situations arise. What’s in our mind?

What do you have in common with others? We see several great words of wisdom in Proverbs 22:1-15, and see what it says in verse 2:

The rich and the poor have a common bond, The Lord is the maker of them all.
Proverbs 22:2 NASB

In those days, the rich people were about as far removed from the poor people as they could be. That was the biggest differentiator, not skin color or ethnicity, but wealth. Solomon is reminding us that God is the maker of all people and that he is the one who made us all and that we all have equal value to Him. Do we treat others that way? Do we value other people the same way that God values them?

Are we victorious? When we think about our life and what we do on a daily basis, would we categorize ourselves as victorious in all that we are doing? Reading Proverbs 21:16-31 we see:

The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the Lord .
Proverbs 21:31 NASB

We can do all we can to prepare, and we should be doing everything we can. But, in the end, we are not the ones who will own the victory. God is the one who makes us victorious and our victory looks like whatever He considers victorious. Do we take credit for victory thst isn’t ours? Do we define victory the same way that God does? Only He can define and determine our victory.


How do you decide what to do?

Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the Lord weighs the hearts.
Proverbs 21:2 NASB

In reading Proverbs 21:1-15, this verse jumps out. Every day, we make decisions and thoughts about what we are going to do. We feel that we are right, but this verse indicates that God judges the heart. God knows our secret thoughts and private motivations. He cannot be fooled. What does He see when He looks at all that you are doing? What motivates us to do all the right things? God sees this and knows the why behind it.

Are you seeking revenge?

Do not say, “I will repay evil”; Wait for the Lord , and He will save you.
Proverbs 20:22 NASB

As we read through Proverbs 20:16-30, we see this verse. When we have some bad things happen to us, it can be easy to say I will take care of this. I will repay that person. I will make them pay. We want to be able to hurt people the same way they have hurt us. Our sense of justice demands that. However, God has another way.

Ultimately, God is Justice and he is the one who determines judgment and mercy. His vision is higher than ours and he sees a much bigger picture than we do. We are to wait for him and allow him to administer justice and judgment for he will do so and a much wiser way than we ever could. If we try to simply judge people based on what we believe they deserve judgment for, we ourselves deserve so much judgment as well. God knows and has the perfect balance between judgement and mercy. We can trust him to do exactly what needs to be done at the right time.

What are you seeking most in this life?

There is gold, and an abundance of jewels; But the lips of knowledge are a more precious thing.
Proverbs 20:15 NASB

Many people spend the whole of their life on this Earth seeking out treasures, power, and other forms of success. As we continue to move through the Book of Proverbs, we find in chapter 20 more information about how someone should gain wisdom. Wisdom is one of the most important things that we can have on this side of eternity. Solomon goes through and explains the importance of wisdom. However, many times people are seeking after material possessions instead of wisdom. They want gold, they want jewels, but they don’t want to have to work to gain knowledge.

What are we striving to attain? Are we seeking after the material possessions of this world, or are we seeking after knowledge? Only through knowledge will we be able to understand God for God is the source of all knowledge.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
Matthew 28:5‭-‬6 NASB

He is not here. On this statement the crux the Christian faith stands. We serve, obey, worship, follow, a living God who died for our sins and rose again from the dead in victory. The victory is complete, the debt we owe is paid for. Through His sacrifice on the cross, we can find forgiveness in Him, which is necessary, but it’s His resurrection where that is sealed for all time.

but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Hebrews 7:24‭-‬25 NASB

Jesus is always living to step in on our behalf. He is the way to God and He is always living to step in and be that mediator for us. Have we accepted Him and do acknowledge Him for who He is? The tomb is empty. He is not here, but He has risen!

Do you want to get well? This is such an odd question to ask someone. Typically most people want to feel well and to get better if they have something that ails them. Yet Jesus asks this very question in John chapter 5. There we find the story of the man sitting by the pool of Bethesda. He has been there for 38 years waiting for an angel to store the waters so that he can be the first one in and be healed. Jesus finds him there and ask him, do you want to get well?

Here is the actual site of the pool in Jerusalem. We know this because of water and the fact that this is the specific site where the water has been and comes up. Why did Jesus ask this question? It seems so odd, yet so many people we know have problems, difficulties, frustrations, and sin in their life, don’t really want to get well. They simply want a way to be able to enjoy their sin. For us to be made well, it means we must leave the things that are against God. We must be obedient to him. Are we willing to leave behind the things in our life that are in Rebellion to God? If we want to be made well, we can only be made well by following him.