Devotional

Category Archives: Devotional

Who’s Fighting for You?

July 3, 2017. It’s a beautiful, sunny day in mid-Missouri, but I woke up today feeling sad and heavy-hearted, a frequent occurrence of late. After a long season of peace, I have found myself being led back down into a darker valley in recent months, a season of more trying times. If you haven’t yet

Kids Club Devotional: Part 4

Last night Kids Club kicked into high gear for many in our church. We want to invite all of the adults in our church to think about what children will learn during our action packed week together. During the last two weeks, I posted part one and parts two and three of this year’s Kids Club devotional.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Christians Blow It

What are we supposed to think when Christians fail to live out their faith? Occasionally, those failures grab headlines—like nationally known pastors who have to step down from their leadership positions for various reasons, or politicians disgraced by morally compromising situations. More often, it’s the everyday sins of average Christians that never seem to be in short supply: being insensitive or selfish in a relationship, failing to carry out responsibilities at work, being harsh and impatient with kids, speaking poorly of others behind their backs, and so on.

Understandably, the gap between what we say we believe and what we actually do can make Christianity less credible to those on the outside looking in, and it can genuinely discourage the faith of others who are trying to follow Christ. Either way, we need to keep a few important truths in mind:

Kids Club Devotional: Parts 2 and 3

As many in our church prepare to participate in Kids Club next week, we want to invite all of the adults in our church to think about what children will learn during our action packed week together. Last week I posted part one of this year’s Kids Club devotional. This week I’ll share parts two and three. If

Is Following Jesus Really Worth It?

My eight-year-old daughter has many strengths, and I love her dearly. But when she needs to take some medicine that doesn’t taste good to her, I’ve come to suspect that something goes mysteriously wrong with her ability to communicate. I’ll say, “Hannah, you really need to take your medicine.” But judging from the look on her face, what she hears is something like, “Hannah, you need to swim with poisonous jellyfish.” And the high pitched, inarticulate sounds that escape her mouth seem to confirm this. It doesn’t really matter how badly she needs the medicine. She’s just not convinced that whatever benefit she’ll get from it is worth it.

I wonder if the same dynamic can be true of us when it comes to following Christ. Whether consciously or not, we all ask ourselves whether it’s really worth it.

But what does Jesus himself have to say about that question?

Kids Club Devotional Part 1: Jesus Calls the Disciples

In our world today, we hear from a variety of voices claiming to offer meaning and life. Media sources tell us that a bigger house, a thinner body, a new job, a different love interest will surely make us happier than we are now. Our discontented hearts are prone to chase after the newest, next,

Do You Believe in a Pharisee Jesus?

If you close your eyes and picture Jesus looking at you, what kind of look does he have on his face? I don’t know where I first heard someone ask that question, but I think answering it can be very helpful in revealing what we believe—on a day-to-day, real life basis—about who Jesus is and how he relates to us.

For example, do you see a Jesus who is constantly tallying up your sins and failings? Do you see a displeased Jesus, one who condemns you for a failure? Or maybe you see a Jesus that has little empathy for your problems and sufferings, one who either doesn’t care or is content for you to “get what you deserve.”

I’m convinced that a lot of Christians tend to see Jesus (and God the Father) in this light. Even so, this picture has more in common with the Pharisees that he repeatedly clashed with than in does with the real Jesus, the one we find in the pages of the Bible. So if you’re someone who is prone to think this way, consider the following truths about Jesus: