Category Archives: Daily Devotional

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 218/260: Read John 8

“He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” This statement of Jesus is often used by those who are engaged in open sin, rebelling against the authority of God and daring anyone to call them out. Look a little deeper at the incident, though, and you’ll see there is much more to it.

The woman was “caught in adultery.” The scribes and Pharisees that brought her to Jesus said that she was caught “in the very act.” I can’t help but wonder why the man was not also brought to the Lord.

The scribes and Pharisees appealed to the Law of Moses for punishment, citing the command to stone those who were guilty of the sin of adultery. Jesus refused to answer them, so they asked again, and finally He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

Perhaps they were bearing false witness, or had entrapped this woman. Or perhaps they came to realize that God desires repentance rather than retribution. Whatever the case, they understood that they were not without guilt themselves.

Then notice Jesus’ words to the woman. He did not pass final judgment on her, but neither did He condone her actions. He told her, “Go and sin no more.” The intention of pointing out sin should not be to embarrass or belittle another, but to bring them back to the truth so that they may “sin no more.”

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who ________________ Him, “If you ________________ in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Pray

Pray for those who have given in to temptation, and encourage them to make their life right with the Lord.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 217/260: Read John 7

It has been said that Jesus can fit only one of three descriptions. Either he was a liar, a lunatic, or He is the Lord. This is not a new thought; there were disputes during the first century about His character.

“And there was much complaining among the people concerning Him. Some said, ‘He is good’; others said, ‘No, on the contrary, He deceives the people.’” The Pharisees and chief priests wanted Him arrested, and they mocked their officers when they came back empty-handed. “Are you also deceived? Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.” They reasoned that Jesus was lying to the people, deceiving them.

Others claimed Jesus was paranoid and possessed. They said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?” In another passage, we read that even those close to the Lord doubted His sanity. “But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, ‘He is out of His mind’” (Mark 3:21).

Was Jesus a liar? Was He a lunatic? Some recognized the truth of His identity. “And many of the people believe in Him, and said, ‘When the Christ comes, will He do more signs than these which this Man has done?’”

How do you view Jesus? Is He your Lord?

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Pray

Pray for a better understanding of Jesus’ identity as the Christ, the Savior of mankind.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 216/260: Read John 6

There are seven times in the gospel according to John that Jesus says “I am,” describing Himself in figurative terms. The first, found in John 6:35, is “I am the bread of life.” Notice what Jesus says next about those who desire to partake in that bread: “He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

There are many in the religious world that teach the concept of inviting Jesus into your heart, but the Bible teaches just the opposite. Jesus invites us to come to Him. We are the ones who must move. We are the ones who must make changes. We conform ourselves to His life, rather than trying to make Him fit into ours.

What does it mean to eat His flesh and drink His blood? It is impossible to escape the thought of the Lord’s Supper here, but there is much more to it. Jesus says, “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.” To eat His flesh and drink His blood is to take His words, believe them, and obey them. Then and only then can we truly abide in the Son of God.

He sets the terms. He is the Creator of the universe. He is the Savior of sinful man. We have no right to make demands on Him or to change what He has established in His Word.

At the end of this chapter, after many had left Him, Jesus asked His apostles, “Do you also want to go away?” Peter wisely answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

John 8:31. Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.”

Pray

Pray for the humility to accept God’s Word at what it says without trying to modify it to fit preconceptions.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 215/260: Read John 5

The religious elite of the first century opposed the truth that Jesus demonstrated in His life and words. He would not bow to their authority, for His authority superseded any authority to which they laid claim.

He told them, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” At that time, He was speaking of the inspired Old Testament, the things written by Moses, David, the prophets, and others. But couldn’t the same be said today? The writings of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, James, Peter, and Jude continue to testify of Jesus in this twenty-first century, and if we heed the things written, indeed we can have eternal life.

Yet, Jesus continues, “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.” Again, these words could apply to those in the religious world that want to deny the things recorded in the New Testament Scriptures. People want to set their own terms for coming to Jesus, rejecting His inspired instructions.

The Lord said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). We don’t get to set the terms; the Creator of the universe has established a way to salvation. If we reject His way, then we are just as guilty as those first-century religious elites. Jesus lamented, “I do not receive honor from men.” Sadly, those words are still true today.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Pray

Pray for a soft heart to receive the words of Jesus in faithful obedience.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 214/260: Read John 4

When Jesus passed through Samaria with His disciples, He spoke with a woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well. This surprised the woman; John explained, “For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.” But Jesus was more than a Jew, and the woman was more than a Samaritan. She was a soul, and Jesus was a soul-winner.

When the disciples returned from their errand and saw the Lord speaking to her, they “marveled,” wondering why He was talking to her. She then goes to the men of the city, and Jesus has a discussion with the disciples about the harvest.

“Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!”

When Jesus issued the Great Commission to these men, he told them to go everywhere. They were to begin where they were—in Jerusalem—but they were not to stay there. He said they should “be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Jesus showed them in the fourth chapter of John that all souls everywhere mattered to Him.

Do they matter to us?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

John 1:1. In the ________________ was the Word, and the Word was with ________________, and the Word was ________________.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to share the gospel with someone who does not look like you, talk like you, or act like you.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 213/260: Read John 3

It is not Jesus’ desire that any man should spend eternity in everlasting punishment separated from the Father. Peter wrote, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

Jesus told Nicodemus, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God di not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”

Man is already condemned, separated from God. That is not God’s fault, not by any stretch of the imagination. Rather, it is man who has chosen to be separated by iniquity. Jesus’ mission was not to tell man that he was lost, but rather provide for man a path to reconciliation with the Father. And He did that because He loved man.

Why did my Savior come to earth
And to the humble God?
Why did He choose a lowly birth?
Because He loved me so!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

John 1:1. In the beginning was the ________________, and the ________________ was with God, and the ________________ was God.

Pray

Pray for a greater appreciation of Christ’s marvelous love.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 212/260: Read John 2

The Jews of the first century demanded to know the source of Jesus’ authority. He had driven the sellers of livestock and the moneychangers out of the temple, saying, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” The Jews requested a sign to prove His authority for His actions.

He was the Word, He was with God, and He was God (John 1:1). Why did He need to prove Himself? Because He left heaven and came to earth. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). Though He possessed the nature of God, He “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). In so doing, “He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). “Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered” (Hebrews 5:8).

And so, when the Jews demanded proof of His authority, He did not point to Himself and to His divinity, but to the future when the Father would show power through His resurrection. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

Jesus said after His resurrection, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). How wonderful it would be if all men would recognize that and turn to Him to learn what God desires.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Pray

Pray for humility in submitting to the Word of God.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 211/260: Read John 1

Is it important how we respond to Jesus? John says that the Lord “came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

We can make the decision whether or not we will accept Jesus, but we cannot decide how we are to do it. That is God’s prerogative. He has established the method of salvation. If we reject His will, we reject Him. “The right to become children of God” is given “to those who believe in His name,” but God is the one who sets the standards of belief, not “the will of man.”

Jesus said in Mark 16:16, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” Those who reject Jesus’ very plain words reject Jesus Himself (John 12:48).

We cannot make up our own standard for belief and obedience. Jesus said there would be some who comes to him, calling Him “Lord,” and doing what they think are wonderful things, but Jesus says they “practice lawlessness” and they “shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 7:21-23).

It is God’s standard, not our own, to which we must submit.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

John 1:1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Pray

Pray for wisdom as you seek God’s revealed will in the Scriptures.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 210/260: Read James 5

How difficult we find the practice of patience in the twenty-first century! We carry cell phones so we can always be reached, any time of day. We use high-speed internet so we can access information within seconds. We use the drive-thru at fast-food restaurants so we can get lunch in a matter of minutes, and many times eat while we drive so we don’t waste time once we reach our destination!

These examples are all about instant gratification, with very little waiting involved. But there is value in patience. There are some things that are worth waiting for, seeing through, sticking with.

James reminds his readers, “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.”

Are you ready for the Lord’s return? Hopefully we are, and we are faithfully looking for that day. But maybe we will appreciate it even more as we patiently endure the hardships of this life. Remember what James wrote in the first chapter of his epistle? “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:2-3).

Be faithful. Be patient. Be ready.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

James 1:22. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

Pray

Pray for strength and patience as you faithfully serve the Lord in this life, looking forward to His return.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 209/260: Read James 4

The son of David wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Among the contrasts in the verses following that statement, he says, “A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

We must be aware of our surroundings, of those things that are being promoted as good or bad, and look at the Scriptural basis for such things. When our governments begin to exalt sin as normal, Christians must take a stand. When our governments tear down the morality of God, Christians must take a stand.

I am reminded of the inspired words of the prophet, who wrote, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

When politicians, celebrities, talk show hosts, athletes, and other influencers contradict the Word of God, we must stand up and speak out. James says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.”

Are we currently in “a time to weep” or “a time to laugh”?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

James 1:22. But be ________________ of the word, and not ________________ only, deceiving yourselves.

Pray

Pray for those who do not respect God’s Word. Pray that someone might be able to reach them and soften their hearts toward the truth.