Category Archives: Daily Devotional

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

Day 120/260: Read 1 Thessalonians 3

Is the Christian life easy? If you listen to some of the popular televangelists of today, you might think so. But the Scriptures paint a much different story.

Paul warned the brethren in Thessalonica that they would face difficulty in this life. “For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.”

Similarly, he wrote to Timothy, “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).

This was not some new doctrine that Paul concocted. It was preached by the Lord Himself during His earthly ministry! “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” (Matthew 5:10-11).

It should surprise no one when a person walks away from the faith if they were promised an easy life. Jesus doesn’t promise an easy life; rather He promises the tools to deal with the tough times when they come (Matthew 11:28-30).

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Colossians 3:1. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Pray

Pray for the guidance of God through the storms of life.

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

Day 119/260: Read 1 Thessalonians 2

Some people are obsessed with pleasing people, bending over backward to make friends, and they are devastated when they learn someone, somewhere doesn’t like them.

As Christians, we should never go out of our way to offend someone and we should always be looking for opportunities to help the people around us (Galatians 6:10). In so doing, however, we must be sure we never compromise the truth.

When Paul traveled on his missionary journeys, he allowed himself to adapt to certain cultural norms as long as they did not cause him to violate God’s Word. He was careful when it came to choosing between man and God though to always choose God.

“But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.”

We must never change the message that God has revealed in order to please those around us. Yes, the truth will offend some and make some mad. We should be careful that we do not present it such a way that we are offensive, keeping in mind that we cannot water it down to make it more acceptable. Anything less than the truth is not the truth.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Colossians 3:1. If then you were raised with ____________, seek those things which are above, where ____________ is, sitting at the right hand of ____________.

Pray

Pray for boldness and a gentle spirit in sharing the gospel with your friends and neighbors.

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

Day 118/260: Read 1 Thessalonians 1

How important is the example you set?

Paul commended the church in Thessalonica for following the example he and his companions set in the gospel, “as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake.” Despite affliction, they were shown how a Christian should act.

The church also led others by example. Paul writes, “And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe.”

When we are young in the faith, we look to those who have been a part of God’s family for some time to set the proper example for us. In time, though, we become the example for those younger in the faith than us.

We learn so that we can teach, both in word and in example. The young evangelist Timothy received these words from the apostle: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

We learn so that we can teach, and we teach so that others can teach. Let us follow the example of Paul, who followed the example of Jesus, and set a proper example for those who come after us.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Colossians 3:1. If then you were ____________ with Christ, seek those things which are ____________, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Pray

Pray for strength in being a proper example to others in the faith.

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

Day 117/260: Read Colossians 4

“I’m going to say what I have to say and if you are offended that’s your problem, not mine.” Have you ever thought this way?

Perhaps we have overreacted and overcorrected when it comes to “political correctness.” There are some folks who won’t say anything and won’t stand for anything for fear of offending someone. Then there are others who are brash and rude and don’t care in the least what others think.

As with most things, there is a better way of doing things. Inspiration is crystal clear that Christians should “contend earnestly for the faith” (Jude 3). Peter tells us that we should “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you,” but he also qualifies that statement, saying that we should do so “with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

Here is how Paul put it: “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Colossians 4:6). Speak in such a way that even if someone disagrees with what you say, you won’t leave a bitter taste in their mouth because of how you say it.

We need a little more salt in our speech. Do not attack others who disagree with you; seek to understand them, find common ground, and work from there.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Colossians 3:1. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Pray

Pray for wisdom in teaching and leading others to Christ.

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

Day 116/260: Read Colossians 3

It is almost as if Paul was speaking to 21st century America when he wrote the third chapter of Colossians. “Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornications, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry…But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”

There is too much hatred in this world. Hatred of some because of skin color, hatred of others because of their chosen profession. It needs to stop.

We must take seriously Paul’s charge to “Seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.”

We must understand that racism is wrong, that we are all humans, and that in Christ “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarians, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.”

Recognize that every human being possesses a soul that God desires to save, and work toward pointing all those around you toward the saving blood of Christ.

We can do better. We must do better.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Colossians 3:1. If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Pray

Pray for healing of racial strife. Pray for peace in the streets. Pray for more men and women to see their personal need for the forgiveness of God, and for a greater personal sense of your own need.

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

Day 115/260: Read Colossians 2

How important is it to be “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith”? Can’t we just believe what we believe and not worry about a solid foundation?

A strong foundation is important because this world will try to destroy your faith, plain and simple. Satan does not want you to be a child of God, and he will try to “deceive you with persuasive words.” If you do not have a strong foundation, those arguments you encounter can cause doubt and undermine your faith.

Twice in this chapter Paul warns against allowing others to cheat you. They will use “philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world.” If we give in, they succeed in their mission to “cheat you of your reward.”

Guard yourself against worldly philosophies by learning about them and how to refute them. There are some big words and big concepts out there, but don’t let those scare you. Learn about postmodernism, pragmatism, and coherence theories. Learn what the Scriptures say about those philosophies, even if they are not addressed in those specific terms.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Pray

Pray for a stronger foundation of faith.

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

Day 114/260: Read Colossians 1

There is so much to learn from Paul’s unceasing prayer for the saints at Colosse.

He prayed that they would be filled with the knowledge of God’s “will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” This did not relieve the Christians there of the responsibility of seeking the information from the Scriptures. Effort was required on the part of the Colossians.

Much in the same way, Paul prayed that they “may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him.” The apostle did not request of God that the Colossian brethren become mindless robots, but rather that they would seek to put into practice the information they had studied from the Scriptures. Again we see that effort was required on the part of the Colossians.

Paul wanted these saints to be “fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” Do you see the pattern? Paul wanted the Colossians to glorify God, but it would take effort on their part.

Effort is still required of us today, if we are to be faithful and fruitful, if we are to increase in the wisdom and knowledge of the Scriptures. We must seek His will by studying it, and do His will by applying it.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is __________ to please Him, for he who comes to God __________ believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently __________ Him.

Pray

Pray for your local congregation what Paul prayed for the Colossians.

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

Day 113/260: Read Hebrews 13

There is so much practical power packed into just the first five verses of this chapter. Love, hospitality, ministering to the disadvantaged, marriage, and contentment.

“Let brotherly love continue.” Take care of your local church family, and, as opportunities arise, take care of the larger community of believers that you have yet to meet.

“Remembers the prisoners as if chained with them.” The writer does not specify if these prisoners were guilty of some illegal activity, or if they were being “mistreated” because of their devotion to the gospel. In either case, an imprisoned brother should not be neglected. Consider the inspired words of Galatians 6:1, and the Lord’s admonition in Matthew 25:34-40.

“Marriage is honorable among all.” Was that the case in the first century among non-Christians? Is that the case today, even among some in the Lord’s church? The immorality of the culture has sadly affected some in the Lord’s body so that they have become too “conformed to this world” and not “transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).

Contentment is another issue that causes a struggle for many Christians. We get enamored with things, and it is a difficult impulse to control. Inspiration reminds us, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).

These are good, simple, and practical reminders that wrap up the epistle to the Hebrews. “Grace be with you all. Amen.”

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Hebrews 11:6. But without __________ it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must __________ that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Pray

Pray for each other in daily struggles.

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

Day 112/260: Read Hebrews 12

The Hebrews, tempted to revert to the Mosaic statutes, were encouraged to look at the suffering of the Lord. He “endured such hostility from sinners,” even to the point of death in the most degrading way. How did He view His suffering? With a view past it: the cross represented shame, but Jesus focused on the joy of sitting “down at the right hand of the throne of God” that would come as a result.

These readers “have not yet resisted to bloodshed,” and should not be discouraged but encouraged by the love and faith and humility of Jesus. Too often we, much like the first century recipients of this letter, view our sufferings with weariness rather than joy, looking only to the temporary pain.

We have “forgotten the exhortation” regarding the chastening of God revealed in Proverbs 3:11-12. “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”

It is through the discipline of God that we are made better. Without His guidance, which may come through discipline, we are lost. We cannot save ourselves; only He has that power. Thus we must “not refuse Him who speaks” but endure suffering and at times chastening, for “we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken.”

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Pray

Pray for strength to endure suffering and wisdom to seek correction when disciplined.

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

Day 111/260: Read Hebrews 11

Moses’ faith started with his parents, who “were not afraid of the king’s command.” How important is it to raise our children in a godly, righteous, faithful home? Proverbs 22:6 instructs, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Paul commended the genuine faith of Timothy’s mother and grandmother (2 Timothy 1:5), who undoubtedly played a role in Timothy’s knowledge of God’s Word “from childhood” (2 Timothy 3:15).

Moses chose a life of hardship rather than pleasure. Is sin pleasurable? Yes, but as the Scriptures teach here sin is “passing pleasure,” and as inspiration teaches elsewhere, sin leads to an eternal separation from God.

God, through Moses, commanded the Israelites to do a very strange thing in Exodus 12. They must have had some degree of faith as they followed the decree to sprinkle blood on their doorposts to avoid the death wrought upon the firstborn in every family in Egypt. The faith of Moses and the faith of all Israelites who humbled themselves in obedience to that command were spared; still today, those who humble themselves in obedience to the gospel will be saved.

Even if we do not understand the reasons for His commands in the New Testament, by faith we must obey those commands to please Him.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Hebrews 11:6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Pray

Pray for increased faith as you seek to do the will of God as revealed in the Scriptures.