Category Archives: Daily Devotional

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

Day 180/260: Read 1 Corinthians 4

“Let a man consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.”

God blesses us with talents and with opportunities. We must use those blessings to serve Him and to teach others the truth of the gospel. This is not a suggestion. If we have been blessed with the mercy and grace of God to have been taught the gospel, then “it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” Requirements are not optional.

Consider the parable of the talents. Two men worked, using the money that was entrusted to them, and they produced more for their master, resulting in greater trust and blessing (Matthew 25:21,23). Yet the third servant hid that piece of money that his master left; when the master returned, the servant returned that same piece of money. What was his reward? He was called “wicked and lazy” (Matthew 25:26). He hadn’t done anything wrong…he hadn’t done anything at all, and that was the problem!

We have been given something much greater than a piece of money; we have been given the most valuable information in the history of the world. Are we being good stewards, producing more disciples for the Lord?

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to teach the gospel and boldness to teach it without compromise.

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

Day 179/260: Read 1 Corinthians 3

She began attending the services of the church with her grandson during Vacation Bible School a few years ago. The people were friendly, and she felt welcome every time she came through the door. Because of the friendliness found within the congregation, she was planted where she needed to be.

I had the privilege of being a waterer this week. We met together to study the Bible privately. She had questions, and we wrote those down, and we will get to those eventually, but there were certain foundations we needed to establish before we got to those. We opened the Scriptures and let God convince her through His gospel what she needed to do.

And that’s the key – “God gave the increase.” When she saw in the Scriptures that she had previously been taught incorrectly about religious matters, she wanted to make it right – not because “the preacher said so,” but because God showed her the truth through His Word.

In the first century, Paul planted and Apollos watered. Still today, Christians must be involved in sowing the seed, in planting and watering, but recognize that when all is said and done, it is God through His Word that gives the increase!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same ________, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same ________ and in the same ________.

Pray

Pray for your friends and neighbors who are not members of the church, and look for opportunities to plant and water the seed of truth.

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

Day 178/260: Read 1 Corinthians 2

Concerning the inspired Word of God, the late B.C. Goodpasture correctly observed that man “could not have produced it if he would. Its contents are beyond the reach of human authorship. He would not have written it if he could. It condemns too many things which men by nature hold dear.”

The apostle Paul explained, “And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” The most important book in history was not conceived by man, but by God.

In the Bible, God reveals Himself to man. He reveals “the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory.” He reveals His plan and His purpose, His wisdom and His will.

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Do you want to please God? Read, study, and apply His revelation to your life.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the ________ thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the ________ mind and in the ________ judgment.

Pray

Pray for a greater understanding of the will of God.

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

Day 177/260: Read 1 Corinthians 1

God will not command man to do something that man is incapable of doing. If God expects something of His creation, it is because He blessed His creation with the ability to accomplish it.

“Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that here be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.” These are inspired words, written by the apostle Paul as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. If man was not able to come together, to “speak the same thing,” to have “no divisions,” then God would not have commanded such through the inspired penman.

Yet, when we drive down the road, we see a number of distinct denominations, all teaching very different doctrines, answering the most eternally important question, “What must I do to be saved?” in various contradicting ways. Is this what God desired? What Jesus prayed for? What the Spirit authorized?

This is how we fulfill the command: go back to the Bible. Forget the traditions that have been handed down that render our worship to God vain (Matthew 15:9). See what He has said, and follow that. Can we do it? We can, and we must, if we are to be pleasing to the Almighty.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Pray

Pray for unity in returning to the Scriptures in the Christian world.

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

Day 176/260: Read Titus 3

Why should we be kind to other people? Why should we respect authority, speak evil of no one, and be peaceable and humble? Because God showed us mercy!

If we are to reach anyone with the love of God, we must first demonstrate how that love has impacted us. Posting hateful statements on social media will hinder that message. Speaking evil of people in positions of authority—that includes politicians—will hinder that message. In an election year, it is especially difficult to avoid such things, but as Christians, we must!

I understand that you want certain people with similar values to yours in office, but we must not spread false witness about those we oppose. Do your research before you post something negative about a politician; make certain that it is true! Distributing a photograph that has been manipulated to show them in a bad light and misleading information about their voting or service records reflects poorly upon your character, not theirs.

Show mercy and grace whenever possible, knowing that mercy and grace has been shown to you by the Almighty God. Extend to others the same love Christ showed to you. You might lose an argument or two, but you might win a soul for Christ. Isn’t that more important?

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

1 Corinthians 1:10. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

Pray

Pray for all men, for elected officials and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.

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

Day 175/260: Read Titus 2

Aren’t you thankful for the grace of God and the redemption it brings? What have you learned from God’s grace?

Paul reminds us that God’s grace serves as a teacher. He writes that “the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Have we learned that lesson?

When you are tempted by ungodly activities and worldly desires, do you resist the temptation? That’s what grace teaches us to do. There were some in Rome who thought sinning more would bring about more grace. Paul poses the question, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1). Makes sense, right? Paul says no! “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:2).

If we have put on Christ in baptism, we have turned our lives over to Him. We are no longer living for ourselves, but for Him. Paul says that “we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Why?

Because we are “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Christians have a hope that no one in this world can understand, because they don’t think about the things beyond this world. We need to be showing the grace of God to those around us so they, too, can be counted among the redeemed in Christ.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Pray

Pray for opportunities to do good works for those who are outside the body, and to teach others about Jesus.

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

Day 174/260: Read Titus 1

The last verse of the first chapter of Titus is sobering, but it describes so many people throughout the ages. You might read it and think of a family member or friends that fit the description, or perhaps a neighbor. Particularly jarring is the thought that it might describe you. “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.”

Do you see yourself in Paul’s words? Do you “profess to know God,” showing up for worship services and maybe even Bible classes, wearing a cross on a chain around your neck, displaying a “Honk if you love Jesus” bumper sticker on your car, “but in works…deny Him”?

Earlier in the chapter, Paul set out the qualifications for bishops in the church. Look at the character traits of a man who can serve: “blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word.” Do those words describe you? If not, why not?

Every Christian should strive to meet the character traits set forth for the office of a bishop, though not all may desire to serve in that capacity, or may not meet the domestic qualifications. But as far as the character of the person goes, those words should describe you. The alternative is “abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.” How do you want to be described by God?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a ________ who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of ________.

Pray

Pray for yourself, for your character, and for your disposition.

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

Day 173/260: Read 2 Timothy 4

Paul charged Timothy, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season.” It is said that Marshall Keeble explained this to mean “you preach it if they like it, and you preach it if they don’t!”

There are a lot of people in today’s society that don’t like the truth. Some say there is no such thing as truth, or that your truth may differ from my truth because of our individual experiences. Thus, one cannot claim to know “the” truth, because there are actually “many” truths.

Yet, Jesus proclaimed, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). In His prayer for the apostles, Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth” (John 17:17). Which brings us back to 2 Timothy 4:2, in which Paul charged Timothy, “Preach the word!”

If we are preaching God’s Word, we are preaching the one and only truth. Paul had earlier written to Timothy that God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4). It is the truth of God’s Word that saves us and sets us free from the bondage of sin.

God said it, that settles it, and I must proclaim it…whether they like it or not!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself ________ to God, a worker who does not need to be ________, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Pray

Pray for courage in spreading God’s truth about love, grace, mercy, and faithfulness.

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

Day 172/260: Read 2 Timothy 3

You may have heard a religious person say, “We’re all going to heaven, just taking different paths to get there.” Friends, this is a lie that has been pushed by false teachers for decades, and every day this ungodly line of thinking infects more and more sincere people who simply have not thought it through. “But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

Paul gives us quite a list of evil deeds and attitudes in the third chapter of 2 Timothy. “Perilous times” indeed. Just like the “evil men and imposters” who have been spreading these false doctrines, those who fall for their lies “grow worse and worse” year by year.

The sad thing is that so many truly are sincere, but they just don’t understand the fullness of God’s grace and truth. They are the epitome of those “having a form of godliness but denying its power.” They may attend worship services every week, read their Bible every day, but they are being misled by deceptive men and women who are “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

The gospel is simple. God wants to save you. Turn your life over to Him, eliminating sin from your life and infusing yourself with the righteousness that is found only in His Word. Examine the local church of Christ in your area and explore the simple gospel that the Spirit revealed through the inspired writers of the New Testament.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Pray

Pray for those who are deceived, and for those who are deceiving, that they may come to a knowledge of God and repent.

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

Day 171/260: Read 2 Timothy 2

Diligence in the work and Word of the Lord is to be commended. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

One who is diligent in the work and Word of the Lord is approved by God. He stands on God’s solid foundation, the inspired Word. He does that which pleases the Lord because he knows what the Lord has done for him.

One who is diligent in the work and Word of the Lord has no cause to be ashamed. There is amazing power in the Word. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek” (Romans 1:16).

One who is diligent in the work and Word of the Lord is careful in how he handles God’s revelation to man. The New King James Version says, “rightly dividing the word of truth.” The American Standard Version says, “handling aright the word of truth.” If there is a right way to do something, that implies there is also a wrong way to do it. We must study to understand the Word in its proper context, carefully applying it to our lives as we seek to serve God more faithfully.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

2 Timothy 2:15. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Pray

Pray for wisdom in handling the Word accurately.