Category Archives: Daily Devotional

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

Day 22/260: Read Luke 22

How much distance have you put between yourself and the Christ? When the authorities took Jesus into custody, Peter continued to follow, but “at a distance.” He was not as close as he should have been.

Distancing himself from the Savior weakened Peter’s resolve. Three times he was identified as one of the Lord’s disciples, and three times he denied it. Mark’s gospel says the apostle “began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know this Man of whom you speak!’” (Mark 14:71).

Do your co-workers know that you are a Christian? Can they identify you as a follower due to your speech and your way of life? Or have you distanced yourself so far from the doctrine of Christ that no one would ever guess you called yourself a Christian? The further away we distance ourselves, the easier it is to deny the Lord in our words and actions. Rather, we should give God the preeminent position in our heart and live according to His example.

This same Peter who denied Christ later wrote, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Acts 1:11. “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Pray

Pray for a closer walk with Christ, recognizing your own weakness and His strength.

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

Day 21/260: Read Luke 21

Isn’t it amazing how God can use something negative to accomplish His will? Jesus told His disciples that persecution would come, and that they would imprisoned and “brought before kings and rulers” for the sake of Christ. Then He said, “But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.”

How do we use the opportunities God grants us every day? We may not be thrown in jail or dragged before the President, but we have several “occasions for testimony” each day. Are we using them? Are we telling our friends about Jesus? About God’s blessings? About the salvation available to all men?

Sometimes we get into a rut. Wake up, go to work, come home, go to bed…repeat. We need to spend more time in a study of the Scriptures, and we need to look for more opportunities to apply His truth in our life and share it with our neighbors.

When bad things happen, don’t get on Facebook and belly-ache about it. Use it as an opportunity to praise God and to show His grace and mercy. Your attitude in the face of adversity will impact your influence over others.

Always remember Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Acts 1:11. “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”

Pray

Pray for a positive attitude even when things aren’t going your way. Look for the good and praise God for it.

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

Day 20/260: Read Luke 20

It is remarkable how Jesus’ enemies approached Him. First, Luke says they “confronted Him” (20:1). Then, after reasoning “among themselves” (rather than investigating the Scriptures), they refused to give Him a straight answer (20:5-7). In their minds, something had to be done to stop the spread of His popularity, but that very popularity prevented them from doing anything because “they feared the people” (20:19).

Ultimately, they planted spies among the Lord’s disciples, people “who pretended to be righteous” (20:20). All they were really doing was looking for Him to make a mistake in His teaching. They wanted a reason to pounce on Him and declare to the people, “You see!? He’s not so great after all!”

Sadly, the same spirit exists in the religious world today. The Bible is clear in what it teaches, but so many want to find loopholes and excuse themselves from obedience.

If you have heard the gospel and believe that Jesus is the Son of God, don’t look for exceptions to the rules in order to ignore His plain teachings. Repent of your sins, confess your belief in Christ, and be immersed for the remission of sins. If you are a child of God, seek His righteousness and live accordingly.

Don’t be an enemy of Jesus; be His obedient, faithful follower.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Pray

Pray for your attitude when dealing with the doctrine of Christ, looking for answers and guidance rather than loopholes.

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

Day 19/260: Read Luke 19

Who needs the gospel? Who needs to be saved? Everyone! There is not a single person who can be saved without the blood of Christ.

Tax collectors of the first century were often dishonest in their work; they would collect more than was required by the government, and line their pockets with the extra. The people had an especially low opinion of Jewish tax collectors as they were considered traitors, stealing from their own people. It is no surprise they were upset Jesus visited with Zacchaeus on this day.

Yet, Zacchaeus was willing to do something that the rich ruler of the previous chapter refused. “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” Not only did this man want to do good, he wanted to fix the bad things he committed.

What was Jesus’ response to Zacchaeus’ attitude? “Today salvation has come to this house.” The tax collector was a sinner, but he was penitent and desired righteousness. His change of heart would not be ignored by Jesus.

Zacchaeus was a prime example of the reason Jesus came. Sin needed to be dealt with in the tax collector’s life; sin also needs to be dealt with in our lives. Jesus wants to save you.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to ____________ and to _____________ that which was lost.”

Pray

Pray for forgiveness with a penitent, restorative attitude. Pray for opportunities to right your wrongs, giving glory to God.

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

Day 18/260: Read Luke 18

The rich ruler checked all the right boxes. You couldn’t accuse him of breaking the law—of committing sinful acts. Adultery? Never. Murder? Of course not. Stealing? No. False witness? Wouldn’t dream of it.

Blamelessly he avoided the bad things, but the ruler wasn’t willing to do the good. “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

Give up his stuff? How could Jesus ask him to give up everything he has worked so hard to amass? He earned it! It was his! Those poor people did nothing for it; why should he give them a handout?

Do you see the problem with that attitude? Do you ever exhibit that attitude yourself? Just a few chapters earlier, Jesus taught about doing good for others without the expectation of repayment. Instead of inviting friends, we should “invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind.” The result? “And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:12-14).

Don’t hoard your stuff; rather, share with those in need, regardless of their ability to repay.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Luke 19:10, “For the _____________ of Man has come to seek and to save that which was _____________.”

Pray

Pray for a proper perspective when it comes to physical or material blessings, recognizing it all belongs to God and we are just His stewards.

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

Day 17/260: Read Luke 17

The apostles said to Jesus, “Increase our faith.” What a noble and honorable request! In humility, they admitted their need for a stronger faith.

Where does faith come from? Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Elsewhere, we are told that faith is needed to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Thus, if we neglect His Word, in effect abandoning our faith, we cannot please Him.

We are so blessed in this day and age to have immediate access to the Bible. I have several different translations on my bookshelf, but I can also access it digitally with a cell phone app.

Take advantage of this freedom! Just as we increase our physical exercise to grow a stronger body, we should increase our spiritual exercise in our study to grow a stronger faith.

In addition to the ability to freely read the Word, we also have the blessing of sound materials and lessons—again, both in book form and online! With a few clicks of a mouse or taps on my cell phone screen, I can access a large number of sermons to listen to while I drive in the car or take a walk.

Never before have we had such a grand opportunity to “increase our faith” as we do in the twenty-first century. Don’t squander these great blessings!

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Pray

Pray for God to increase your faith as you study His inspired Word.

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

Day 16/260: Read Luke 16

“What’s in a name?” There is value in a name. We are identified by our name, and we want people to think good things when they hear our name.

What was the name of the rich man in Luke 16? That information is lost to history. He was important in this world while he lived, as he “was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day.” But in death, Jesus did not deem it important to tell us the rich man’s name.

What about the beggar? Jesus wasn’t shy about naming him. Lazarus desired to eat the rich man’s scraps, whatever was left over after the rich man was full. He received evil things while living, but upon his death, Lazarus “was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom.”

The rich man will be tormented forever, but Lazarus will be comforted. The rich man’s name no longer matters, but Lazarus stands as a testimony of what awaits the faithful who endure the hardships of humanity.

Do not place your hope in the riches of life. One day those things will be no more, but your soul lasts forever. One day you will be either tormented or comforted. What you do now affects where you spend eternity.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Pray

Pray that you may not be deceived by the temporary riches of life. Pray that you may be given opportunity to lay treasures up in heaven.

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

Day 15/260: Read Luke 15

How should we respond to one who repents? With doubt? With suspicion? With bitterness? No! Such attitudes are shameful when someone comes to the truth and expresses a desire to live as God commands.

Jesus tells three parables here about sinners. In the first, He tells us “there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” In the second, He says “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

In the third parable, however, we see the improper attitude in the prodigal son’s older brother. He heard the music and discovered the occasion was the prodigal’s return home. “But he was angry and would not go in.” He was upset that his father was rejoicing because the prodigal had “devoured your livelihood with harlots.” The elder son believed he had been slighted, but the father corrected him.

“Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”

We are so blessed when we are in Christ! Shouldn’t we be excited to share those blessings with the penitent?

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

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 your erring brethren, that they may repent, and for a proper attitude toward them when those prayers are answered!

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

Day 14/260: Read Luke 14

In a moving sermon about the frailty of life, brother Don Blackwell quoted Don McWhorter, who wrote, “Woe to the man or woman whose life on this earth is so pleasant that he forgets about heaven.”

We find it far too easy to give excuses instead of doing what God asks. Time and again we are distracted by the affairs of this life: property, possessions, and people. When we ask the Lord to take a backseat to the matters of this world, whether they are pleasant or not, we have lost sight of heaven.

There are many in this world that are starving for spiritual matters. Those who recognize their spiritual condition, “the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind,” they will feast on God’s blessings whenever the opportunity is presented.

On the other hand, there are people who are so rich with material things they do not realize their need for God. They are like the church in Laodicea, unaware that they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:17).

Have you taken God’s blessings for granted? Have you neglected His Word because you of the distractions of this life? Repent and refocus your eyes on Jesus. “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

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

Pray

Pray for a stronger faith that will help you to look beyond the temporary things of this world to the eternal blessings of God.

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

Day 13/260: Read Luke 13

There will come a day that the opportunity for salvation has passed. If you are reading these words, that opportunity is still available. We should do all we can in this life to obey the words of Jesus: “Strive to enter through the narrow gate.” Once we pass from this life, then “the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door.”

Jesus shows two potential destinies after that door is closed: one may be inside the kingdom of God with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the prophets, or one may find himself outside the door weeping and gnashing his teeth. It is entirely up to you where you will spend time without end, but that decision must be made before you reach eternity.

Notice that it is not enough to simply be in the presence of the Lord, or to hear His teachings. Jesus calls these folks “workers of iniquity.” They were doing things contrary to the teachings they had heard. One must actively live in such a way that glorifies the Father, putting His teachings into action.

Take a moment to evaluate your life. Are you just going through the motions, or are you actually living the Christian life? If your life ended right now, would you be weeping and gnashing your teeth, or would you be forever in the kingdom of God?

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

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

Pray

Pray that God will give you opportunities to shine your light for Him today, that you can encourage others to live for Him.