Category Archives: Daily Devotional

Homecoming

To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces …

— 1 Peter 1:1 NIV

A Dr. Morrison went on a great preaching mission and spent two years preaching the Gospel in scores of different countries. About the time he got back, Teddy Roosevelt returned from big game hunting in Africa. The nation honored him with a ticker-tape parade and tens of thousands of people turned out to celebrate his return.

When Dr. Morrison arrived in his small hometown late at night, there was no one at the train station to greet him. There was one light bulb hanging from a cord, swaying and swinging in the breeze, but not a single person was there.

As he picked up his bags and started up a long hill to the little town, his heart was heavy. He said, “O Lord, Teddy Roosevelt went to shoot animals and he came back and they gave him a ticker-tape parade. I’ve been all over the world. I was almost killed in Borneo, and I was almost eaten in New Guinea, and several times I almost lost my life to preach the Gospel for the glory of your Son. I come home and there’s nobody here to greet me. Lord, I just don’t understand it.” He said that it seemed there in the darkness, as the breeze blew across his face, he could almost hear a voice coming out of Heaven that said, “You’re not home, yet.”

Question to ponder:
When you think of your homecoming, what do you think you will say to Jesus?

Ultimate Home

… I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also.

— John 14:3

We are constantly looking for a place to belong. We all want a home. Even here on earth, a good home is a great blessing, and it can be a little bit of heaven. But our true home is in heaven.

Jesus said, “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places” (John 14:2). Jesus is the only one in the New Testament who refers to Heaven as a house—indeed, His Father’s house. Heaven is called in Scripture a country, a city, a garden, and paradise. But it is also a home, and this speaks to the depths of the concerns of our hearts. Home used to mean, and still does for some, a retreat from the problems of this world, a place of solace, a place where loved ones gather and have the deepest of fellowship.

But Heaven is our ultimate home—a home prepared for us by our Savior. Interestingly, He didn’t send angels to prepare it. He said, “I am going to prepare a place for you” (v. 2). The pronouns are filled with meaning. Jesus is the architect of those mansions. He is the builder of those rooms. He is the decorator, the provider of everything needful. Jesus has provided it, and not only that, but He went to Calvary’s Cross to pay for it. It is paid in full.

Question to ponder:
How do you picture your home in heaven?

In Honor of Veterans

Then the soldiers likewise demanded of him [John the Baptist], “And what must we do?” He said to them, “Do no violence to anyone nor accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages.”

— Luke 3:14

War is a great evil. It is a tragedy. Every Christian should abhor it and do what he can to prevent it. We are to live at peace with all men as much as lies within us. But there are times when we must fight. The greatest of Christian theologians and Reformers down through the centuries have believed this, and so, too, believed the founders of this nation.

Jesus did say “do not resist an evil person” but turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). This, however, is a personal ethic, and not a directive to the state. That is why nations have police forces and armies. Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 teach how the civil ruler is to bear the sword and punish evildoers. “[F]or he [the state ruler] is the servant of God for your good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is the servant of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him who practices” (Romans 13:4).

Today we honor those brave men and women who have served their country faithfully. We honor these brave men and women because they have secured the freedom that we enjoy in this nation under God. Peace is precious, and it is not cheap.

Thank a veteran today.

Question to ponder:
What can you do today to honor our veterans?

Courage Born of Faith

… be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.

— John 16:33

I like the story about a man walked to the drug store and when he entered the store, he found himself in the middle of a holdup. The robber, gun in hand said to him, “Give me your wallet and your keys, or I’ll shoot.”

This man said, “I just finished reading the Scriptures, and I just finished my prayers, so go ahead, shoot.” The robber was astonished. He didn’t know what to do, so he turned and ran out the door.

Now there was a courage born out of faith. All that robber could do to him was simply send him on a first class ticket to Heaven—no cancer, no stroke, no lingering disease, no debilitating old age—but a first class ticket to heaven. Of course, what that robber probably realized is that if he pulled that trigger, what he could do for himself was get a ticket straight to the electric chair and then to hell. So he ran.

Obviously, we are not called to a foolish presumptuous life that takes needless risks. That is not wisdom. But, as Christians, we need not live our lives in cowering fear. Jesus Christ has overcome the world, and this life is but a second compared to all eternity.

Question to ponder:
In which area of your life, do you need more courage?

The Burden of Guilt

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

— Matthew 11:28

Guilt breaks lives down like a caustic acid. Our mental institutions are filled with individuals who are utterly destroyed by guilt. One psychiatrist has said that every person in every mental institution in the country is there because of feelings of guilt.

I shared the Good News of Christ with a man, and then I asked him if he would like to receive Christ as Lord and Savior of his life. I shall never forget the way he phrased his answer. He said: “Yes, I would like to get rid of this burden of guilt.”

Are you carrying such a burden? The sojourner in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress begins the story with a great, heavy burden on his shoulders—a burden of guilt that he cannot get rid of or unleash. Finally, he is pointed to a Cross on top of a hill. He climbs that hill and kneels before that Cross. Suddenly the burden breaks loose and rolls down the hill into a dark tomb, never to be seen again.

God completely removes our burden of guilt. As far as the east is from the west, so far is the punishment for our transgression removed from us.

Question to ponder:
Are you still carrying the burden of guilt that you could leave at the foot of the Cross?

Existentialist Spectacles

Claiming to be wise, they became fools.

— Romans 1:22

Many on our university campuses today see the world through the lens of existentialism, the prevailing philosophy of modern man. And what is the modern man? He is Irrational Man. This is the title of a scholarly work that details how man has reached a point of total irrationality—where the world has no rhyme or meaning; where there is no significance; where there is no purpose; where there is no teleology; where there is no end; and where there is no beginning. All things have been reduced to a primeval chaos in human thinking.

It is a tragic pilgrimage to meander through Irrational Man. We see that man without God, without divine revelation, and with only his unaided reason, has not produced a rational, enlightened, intelligent view of the universe. He has not grasped nor comprehended and understood all things, but rather, he has been led into the miry slough of despond. Pessimism is to be found everywhere among the existentialists. That is why suicide is a leading cause of death among college students today.

But God has shone His light into our world by revealing the truth through His Word—both the Bible and Jesus Christ, the Word of God. In Him we find true wisdom.

Question to ponder:
Can a faithful Christian with a true Christian worldview be a pessimist?

He Sets the Captives Free

Therefore if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed.

— John 8:36

For those who repent and believe, Christ removes the guilt of the past, but He can also give us victory over sin in the present and in the future. Christ breaks the shackles of sin; Christ sets the prisoner free. What hope of freedom does the drunkard, the alcoholic, the dope addict, or the immoral person—that individual who is chained to the chariot wheels of some ignoble passion—have, except in Christ?

Christ gives us victory over sin when nothing else can. All the education, all the culture in the world cannot do it. Germany in 1941 was the most highly educated nation in the world. It produced a Goering and a Goebbels; it produced a hell on earth. No, only Christ can give victory over sin.

St. Augustine was one of the most brilliant intellects in the first thousand years of this era. Though he was a rhetorician, a logistician, a philosopher; though he had all the learning of the ancient world, he wrote that before he knew Christ, he envied the simple Christians who had control of their passions. They had the reins of their lives in some unseen hands that he knew not of, whereas, he was a slave to his passions.

Christ can set you free.

Question to ponder:
Are you experiencing victory in Jesus? If not, ask Him now to set you free.

All Authority Belongs to Christ

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

— Matthew 28:18

All power is given unto Jesus Christ. After His ascension, He sat down at the right hand of God until His enemies be made His footstool (Psalm 110:1 and Hebrews 1:13). Through these last 2,000 years, Jesus Christ has been continually gaining the victory, a victory that began at the time of His death and resurrection, and which continues on through the ages.

In 363 a.d., Julian the Apostate, the emperor of Rome who tried to relight the fires on pagan altars and overthrow the newly established Christian faith, was marching against the Persians. One of his soldiers, a Christian, was being sorely derided and persecuted by some of the heathen soldiers. They mocked him, beat him, threw him to the ground, and said, “Tell us, where is your carpenter now?”

He responded “He is busy constructing a coffin for your emperor.” A few months later, with a mortal wound in his side, Julian the Apostate took his hand and grasped a handful of his own blood, flung it against the sky, and said, “Thou hast conquered, O Galilean.” The Carpenter of Galilee is busy constructing coffins for all the ungodly kings and kingdoms of this earth.

Question to ponder:
All authority—what does it mean?

Violation of the Conscience

The heart is more deceitful than all things, and desperately wicked; who can understand it?

— Jeremiah 17:9

The Scriptures clearly teach the sinfulness of man. Many violate their consciences. We know not what we are capable of doing.

At the Academy at Lyon, a thesis was written on the dangers of ambition. Its author was young Napoleon. Nero declared, “Would this hand had never learned to write,” when he signed the first death warrant. And Robespierre, who sent thousands to the bloody guillotine during the reign of terror in Paris, in an earlier day resigned as municipal judge in a small town when he was confronted with the task of signing a death warrant for a guilty criminal.

Sin is a very slippery slope. When we take one step down that slope, God withdraws the restraining power of His Spirit. Then we slide farther down, and again He withdraws His Spirit. Ah, how dangerous a thing is sin! Like the great whirlpool, Charybdis, to be caught in the outer rim of that swirling water is the kiss of death. Soon you are drawn ever closer, ever inward, ever further down until you disappear forever into the watery chasm beneath. What a terrible, dangerous, deceitful, slippery thing is sin.

Thankfully, Jesus Christ came to break the power of sin in our lives.

Question to ponder:
Have you ever violated your conscience? How did it make you feel?

Walking in the Light

Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

— John 8:12

How do we continue in the communion God has called us to? John says in the first chapter of his first letter, “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another …” (1 John 1:7). So we must continue to walk in the light of God, which means we continue to repent of our sins, continue to seek to walk honestly and purely before the Lord.

If we claim to have fellowship with God and yet walk in the darkness, we lie, John says. We have no fellowship with Him. But if we walk with Jesus Christ, we walk in the light. Just as physical light makes all things visible, so spiritual light makes all things clear and visible in the spiritual realm.

The Lord wants us to keep short accounts with Him. What that means is that when we sin, we should immediately ask for forgiveness. He promises us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Question to ponder:
Are you keeping short accounts with God?