Devotional: ‘Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit’

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None of us wants to be in poverty. We like it when we have more than enough to meet all our needs. Yet there is a time when poverty is good. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3 NKJV) What does it mean to be poor in spirit?

To be poor in spirit isn’t the same thing as being hungry or homeless, nor is it lacking confidence or courage. To be poor in spirit is to recognize our need of God. Perhaps what it means to be poor in spirit is best illustrated in a parable told by Jesus.

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Devotional: ‘The Desire for Greatness’

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There lies within the heart of every person the desire to be great. Regardless of what our field of expertise is, we all want to shine. Wanting to do our best is a good thing but wanting to exalt ourselves over others isn’t. If you have read the gospels, then you know that there was often an air of superiority and competitiveness among the disciples. For instance-

Matthew 18:1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Mark 9:34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had discussed with one another which of them was the greatest.

Luke 9:46 An argument started among them as to which of them might be the greatest.

Luke 22:24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.

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Devotional: ‘Shedding Light on Scripture’

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There are three words that are often used to help describe how God works in and through His Word. REVELATION – INSPIRATION – ILLUMINATION.

REVELATION

Revelation is God telling us what we did not know and could not know unless He revealed it to us.

INSPIRATION

Inspiration involves the process by which God guided select men to accurately record His revelation.

ILLUMINATION

Illumination is God helping us to understand His inspired revelation.

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Devotional: ‘Can We Trust the Bible?’

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Can we trust what’s in the Bible? Does the Bible contain errors and contradictions? Perhaps the greatest argument for the infallibility of God’s Word is its connection to God. Consider what we read from the book of Hebrews –

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. NKJV

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Devotional: ‘The Bible Has Been Given to Bless Us’

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Joshua 1:8: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. NKJV

How important is it that we study God’s Word? God told Joshua that it would only be through their careful study and observance of His Word that they would experience the fullness of His blessings. We read from the book of Psalms –  “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV) Blessed is the person who does not follow the ways of the world, but instead follows the Word of God.

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Devotional: ‘The Authority of God’s Word’

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Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” 4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” NKJV

Since the beginning of time, Satan has tried to cause men to question the authority of God’s Word. To do so, he has led many to believe:

  • The Bible is not really the inspired Word of God, but rather a man-made book.
  • The Bible is not reliable. There are errors in the Bible.
  • The Bible is not God’s complete revelation. There are other documents and spiritual leaders that carry as much weight as the Bible.
  • The Bible is not relevant. It’s an old, outdated piece of ancient history.

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Devotional: ‘God Cares About Every Part of His Creation’

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Isaiah 40:26 Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. NKJV 

Does God have a name for every star in the sky? As unbelievable as it may seem, that’s what the Bible tells us. We read from Psalm 147:4, “He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.” NKJV The wonder of this is not only that God could do this, but that He would do this. Why would God bother to count all the stars and give them a name? The reason God does this is because He cares about His creation. Consider what Jesus said,

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Devotional: ‘Is Anything Too Hard for the LORD?’

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“Is anything too hard for the LORD?” (Genesis 18:14 NKJV) That’s a question asked throughout Scripture. When Sarah heard that she would have a child, the Bible says that she laughed and said, “Can an old woman like me have a baby?” God answered her doubt by saying, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” When the Lord told Moses that He would provide enough food to feed the entire nation, Moses replied, “All the fish in the sea wouldn’t be enough.” But he should have said, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” When the angel told Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth would bear a son in her old age, Zacharias asked, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.” Yet, he should have said, “Is anything too hard for the LORD?” As you and I face the problems that are before us today, we should pause and ask ourselves, “IS ANYTHING TOO HARD FOR THE LORD?”

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Devotional: ‘Behold God’s Greatness’

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Isaiah 40:9 O Zion, you who bring good tidings, get up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, You who bring good tidings, lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, “BEHOLD YOUR GOD!” 10 Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. 11 He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young. NKJV

There were many questions running through the minds of God’s people as they spent decade after decade in captivity. “Where is God? Does He care? Does He want to help us? Will He help us?” How do we defeat such feelings of discouragement? Consider what God said to Israel – “BEHOLD YOUR GOD!” In other words, take a good look at who God is and what He can do, and you will be encouraged to trust Him.

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