Category Archives: Daily Devotional

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

Day 12/260: Read Luke 12

How many warnings can be found in the New Testament about the dangers of covetousness? To covet is to want a thing so badly that you are consumed by that desire.

The apostle Paul exhorted the church at Colosse to “put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5). When we elevate something to a place of inordinate desire and make it more important than God, that becomes our idol. It may be something expensive like our car or our house, or it could be something relatively inexpensive like a particular brand of clothing, cell phone, or collectible. The object itself is not necessarily sinful, but the act of coveting the thing is sin.

Jesus says that “one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” You may have seen the bumper sticker, “The one with the most toys wins.” Sadly, there are many Christians who live that bumper sticker rather than the words of our Lord.

Where are your priorities? Are you being a good steward with God’s blessings?

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Luke 12:15, And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Pray

Pray for the strength to resist covetousness in this overly materialistic world, recognizing that God’s blessings should be used for His glory rather than feeding our appetites.

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

Day 11/260: Read Luke 11

How impressive was Solomon’s wisdom? Jesus said that the queen of Sheba “came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon.”

She was floored by what she heard and told the king, “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard” (1 Kings 10:6-7).

How much more impressive is Jesus’ wisdom? And yet, how often do we disregard His counsel? If an important leader was willing to travel many miles to hear Solomon, how much more willing should we be to go to great lengths to learn and apply the teachings of the Lord?

Throughout the New Testament, we learn how Jesus is superior to all those who came before Him. Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and Elijah all had weaknesses, but Jesus is the perfect, sinless Son of God. There is no weakness in Christ, only strength. We should turn to Him and learn from Him above all others who came before or since.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Luke 12:15, And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

Pray

Pray for wisdom and for strength in learning from Christ’s wisdom. Pray that you may always rely on God’s Word as the final word on any subject.

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

Day 10/260: Read Luke 10

The young man, well-versed in the Scriptures, summed up the requirements of the Law in two ways: (1) love for God, and (2) love for your neighbor. Not quite satisfied, he asked Jesus one more question: “Who is my neighbor?”

How would you summarize the Lord’s answer to this man? Your neighbor is not just the person who lives next door, or your friend on your street. Your neighbor is not just the fellow who sits in front of you while you worship. Your neighbor is not just the man who looks like you, talks like you, and dresses like you.

Your neighbor is every man. Regardless of your personal relationship. Regardless of how he treats you. What is this parable usually called? “The Good Samaritan.” The Jews viewed Samaritans as dogs, less than people.

Yet, this Samaritan helped a man traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho, who never would have considered helping him if the roles were reversed. Jesus says they were neighbors.

How have you treated your neighbors at school or at work? How have you treated those who have mistreated you? How should you treat them?

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Luke 6:45. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and en evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Pray

Pray for opportunities to be a good neighbor to someone who has treated you poorly. Pray that the love of Christ might shine through your actions so that He is seen and glorified.

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

Day 9/260: Read Luke 9

The heroes of faith in Scripture are many, but three stand out above the rest. Moses, through whom the Old Law was given to Israel; Elijah, representative of the divine prophecies; and Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. How blessed were Peter, James, and John to witness all three at the mount of transfiguration!

Peter made the suggestion that tabernacles should be erected to honor these three, putting all on equal footing. No doubt, Peter meant well, but good intentions don’t always result in right actions.

God said, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” Moses and Elijah were suddenly gone; only Jesus remained.

We live under a new covenant, a better covenant than the Jews. We are no longer burdened by “the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us” (Colossians 2:14). Jesus nailed that old covenant that Moses delivered to the cross. We now answer to Him, and Him alone.

Do not turn to the Old Testament to justify your practices. The Mosaic Law is no longer in effect. Yet, we do still have a law—under law toward Christ (1 Corinthians 9:21)! It is the perfect law of liberty (James 1:25)!

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Luke 6:45. “A good man out of the good ______________ of his ______________ brings forth good; and en evil man out of the evil ______________ of his ______________ brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his ______________ speaks.”

Pray

Pray for wisdom to seek God’s will through the covenant we have in Christ, rather than the Old Law.

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

Day 8/260: Read Luke 8

What kind of reception do you give to religious teaching? That’s what the soil represents in Christ’s parable of the sower.

There are some who hear the Word but it has no real impact on them whatsoever. If you’ve been reading this far into the year, this likely does not describe you.

Others hear with joy, but don’t really root themselves into the Word so when the going gets tough, their interest withers and dies. Hopefully you will stick with reading the Bible every day, whether you use these devotions or not.

A third category includes those who hear the Word and start to grow, but other stuff gets in the way. Distractions at school or work, with sports teams or hobbies, with relationships that do not include God.

Finally, there is the “noble and good heart.” This is what God desires. He wants you to take His truth and “keep it and bear fruit with patience.” If your heart is filled with good, your mouth will speak good things. You will impact those around you in a positive way. You can and should grow into a sower of the seed, the Word of God.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Luke 6:45. “A ______________ man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth ______________; and en ______________ man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth ______________. For out of the abundance of the ______________ his mouth speaks.”

Pray

Pray that you can overcome temptation and continue learning and growing in God’s Word. Pray that you can become a sower yourself and be a godly influence on your friends.

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

Day 7/260: Read Luke 7

Jesus attracted a wide variety of acquaintances. There were some who wanted to learn from Him, understanding His power to transform their lives. Others were looking for reasons to reject Him and mock Him. We see both at Simon the Pharisee’s house.

A woman attended the feast, a known sinner, and she boldly anointed the Savior’s feet with extravagant oil. Simon self-righteously criticized Jesus for allowing the woman to even be in His presence, not realizing his own great need for forgiveness.

Jesus told a parable about mercy, teaching that those who are forgiven much will be more grateful than those who are forgiven little. Simon did not acknowledge his need for grace, but the woman understood who she was and who Jesus was.

Do we see ourselves as Simon, or as the sinner? We must recognize our great need for God’s forgiveness. It matters not who we are, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Do we have the faith of the sinful woman to humbly submit to the Savior? To show our love through obedience and daily service to Him?

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Luke 6:45. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and en evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Pray

Pray for the humility to see your shortcomings and for opportunities to overcome them through faithful action.

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

Day 6/260: Read Luke 6

Children in Bible classes sing about the wise man and foolish man. The wise man who builds his house on the rock will have a sturdy foundation when the storms come; the foolish man’s house, however, cannot withstand the weather.

The foundation, Jesus says, is knowing and doing what He says. Many base their religion on feelings, but that’s not what God desires. Others base their beliefs on what the preacher says, but preachers are human.

Our faith must be built upon the solid foundation of God’s Word. Yet, faith is so much more than just acknowledging a fact to be true. Faith is active. Jesus says, “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them,” (emphasis mine) is like the wise man.

On the other hand, there are the foolish “who heard and did nothing” (again, my emphasis). Reading the Bible is good, but if the one who closes the book and walks away and doesn’t allow it to change how he acts and thinks, he is foolish!

Will you be like the wise man? Will you read the Word of God, the “power of God to salvation” (Romans 1:16), which is “able to save your souls” (James 1:21)? Will you allow it to dictate your actions today?

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Luke 6:45. “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and en evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

Pray

Pray for God’s guidance through His inspired Word.

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

Day 5/260: Read Luke 5

Our attitude in obeying the Lord is important. Peter obeyed, but not without voicing his complaint in the process. In essence, he said, “I’ll do it, but I don’t see the point!”

He changed his attitude when he saw the miraculous catch. Peter recognized not only the power of Christ, but his own sinful condition, and acknowledged that he was truly not worthy to even be in the Lord’s presence.

Should we not also pay attention to our attitude as we serve the Master? We should be joyful as we do the things God has commanded, exhibiting a cheerful attitude that will cause others to desire to serve Him. If God’s children all had the attitude of Peter, grumbling that we don’t see the point, it would be difficult to influence those outside of Christ to obey Him.

It is also interesting to see what the early disciples did: “they forsook all and followed Him.” Can we say the same today? Or are we hanging on to something that prevents us from full and complete service? Christianity is not a hobby; it is full-time way of life meant to affect everything else we do.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Luke 5:31-32: Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Pray

Pray for a better attitude in your service to the Almighty. Pray for joy in worship and delight in the duties expected of God’s children. Pray that your cheerfulness will be contagious to your brothers and sisters in the Lord.

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

Day 4/260: Read Luke 4

Why was Jesus sent to earth? In the prophecy of Isaiah that Jesus read, we see an outline of His ministry here.

“To preach the gospel to the poor.” People who are caught up in the physical treasures of this life are often spiritually bankrupt. Jesus encourages us to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-21) because if our treasure is there, our focus will be there.

“To heal the brokenhearted.” Jesus offers comfort and rest to those who are weary (Matthew 11:28-30).

“To proclaim liberty to the captives.” The opportunity to be freed from slavery to sin is found in Christ (Romans 6:16-23).

“And recovery of sight to the blind.” Those who reject God and ignore Jesus are in darkness; those who accept the truth found in Scriptures see that Jesus is the light that drives away darkness (John 8:12).

“To set at liberty those who are oppressed.” No longer do we have to be held down by Satan; no longer do we have to be under his control. Jesus gives us the liberty to live in righteousness through faithful obedience to His Word (James 1:21-25).

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Luke 5:31-32: Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no ______________ of a ______________, but those who are sick. I have not come to ______________ the righteous, but sinners, to ______________.”

Pray

Pray for your spiritual life, that you may seek the riches of the Scripture, in which you may discover the healing from sin and liberty from evil. Pray for the sight offered by Christ.

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

Day 3/260: Read Luke 3

John the Baptist’s public ministry began before Jesus’; he was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy, sent to “Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.” John preached “a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.”

In his preaching on repentance, he gave some specific instructions to his audience. He told the general population to share with those in need; he told the tax collectors to treat others fairly; he told the soldiers to stop being bullies and be content with their financial state. Are these not needed reminders for us today?

Everyone has committed sin, but because of God’s grace and mercy, we can be forgiven. We need to repent and obey and commit ourselves to a life of faithfulness. While Jesus did not need baptism for the remission of His sins (since He had no sins), He still needed to obey the command of God.

What commands of God have you disobeyed? Are you greedy with your possessions? Do you cheat others out of what is theirs? Do you bully those around you? Have you repented and been baptized to have those sins washed away? Are you now living righteously in God’s sight?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Luke 5:31-32: Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are ______________ have no need of a physician, but those who are ______________. I have not come to call the _______________, but ______________, to repentance.”

Pray

Pray for forgiveness, recognizing the need for repentance and faithfulness. Pray for strength to be a good example to others.