START HERE

DEVOTIONS

Select:

Today’s Truth

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9

Friend to Friend


I don’t know about you, but I get tired of junk mail from credit card companies that tell me I’ve been “pre-approved” for a line of credit. But here’s something I’ll never get tired of: God telling me that I’ve been pre-approved to be His child.


Just before Jesus began his earthly ministry, He traveled to the Jordan to be baptized by his cousin John. As soon as He came up out of the water, the heavens opened, the Spirit descended, and God spoke. “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17).


Just think about that. Before Jesus even performed the first miracle, preached the first sermon, or called the first disciple, God

Read More

Today’s Truth

But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

Friend to Friend


All who pause for reflection and allow their hearts to wander in wonder down the Way of Suffering feel the darkness of this day in history. Good Friday was anything but good – yet, because of God’s unsearchable love for you and me, it was the pathway to our hope, to our forgiveness… and to eternal life.


Injustice took center stage that day as Pilate turned Jesus over to a rowdy mob though he had found no fault in him. Roman soldiers rendered Him wounded and weak as they flogged an innocent man – the perfectly innocent Son of man – with 39 excruciating lashes.


A twisted crown of thorns was placed on his head and a purple robe draped

Read More

Today’s Truth

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Friend to Friend


Have you ever ridden in a helicopter? It’s the ride of a lifetime! But when you land … now that’s another story. A helicopter landing sends absolutely everything flying in a hundred different directions at ridiculously high speeds. I know. That’s how I live life.


One of the reasons I love the apostle Paul is because he seemed to live the same kind of life. Philippians is one of my favorite books written by Paul. The fourth chapter of Philippians is one of the most positive passages Paul ever wrote … and it is written in the midst of a helicopter landing in Paul’s life! Paul is in a Roman jail awaiting judgment and possible execution. He could be

Read More

Today’s Truth

Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that You would bless me and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

1 Chronicles 4:10

Friend to Friend


Years ago I worked with a woman in Nashville named Cindy. She was a no-nonsense publisher for a major music company. Each month she listened to the songs I wrote and gave honest, constructive feedback that required this songwriter-chick to have thick skin and wear big-girl-panties. She was salt and light to me in the work place, but not in ways that I expected or necessarily appreciated at the time.


I didn’t always love what she had to say.


Total honesty? She. Scared. Me. Silly.


I wrestled with her strong, bristly opinions while at the same time grew from


the pruning of her wise, professional words. She challenged me toward greater excellence and she wasn’t afraid to speak difficult words of truth.


One

Read More

Today’s Truth

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

Friend to Friend


I just love Moses. I can relate to him on so many levels.


For about forty years, he thought he was an Egyptian…the son of the Pharaoh’s daughter. But somehow he discovered that he was NOT an Egyptian after all. He was a Hebrew, the son of a slave woman. . . and that changed everything.


Moses had a mid-life crisis and came up with a plan to save his true people from Egyptian slavery. God did not call him to this plan. He came up with it all on his own. (Red flag for all of us.)


One day Moses was walking among his people and he saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. Glancing first one way and then another to

Read More

Today’s Truth

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

James 1:19

Friend to Friend


Every relationship begins with listening. Listening is hard work and something we are not prone to do. I tend to use listening time as time to prepare the eloquent things I am going to say when the other person stops talking.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt got tired of smiling that big smile he was known for and saying the usual things he said at the White House receptions. One evening he decided to find out if anyone was really listening to what he was saying. As each person came up to him to shake his hand, he flashed his big smile and said, “I murdered my grandmother this morning.” People automatically responded with comments such as “How lovely” or

Read More

Today’s Truth

So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

Revelation 3:16

Friend to Friend


I have a habit with my coffee that some of you will relate to. Others may be tempted to think less of me, but I will just have to risk that for the sake of this devotion.


I am a coffee re-heater. I take my morning cup of coffee and I nurse that same cup for hours. I take a few nice hot sips and set my mug down. Several minutes later, my coffee is lukewarm. It’s no longer good. I head to the microwave to make it hot again. I take a few sips and repeat this process a few more times throughout the morning.


Coffee’s good either hot or cold. There is no in-between. The example of

Read More

Today’s Truth

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

2 Corinthians 5:17

Friend to Friend


Do you remember the day you came to saving faith? Perhaps you’re still considering a relationship with Jesus. Perhaps you can’t even remember a time when you didn’t know Him. For me, it was on a summer night when I was fourteen years old.


When I think about how God brought me out of a home filled with alcohol, rage, and hostility into this wonderful relationship with Jesus, I’m amazed. The sheer wonder of it stokes my passion for Jesus and gratitude to God every time I tell it.


But here’s what you need to know. Just because I became a Christian when I was fourteen, does not mean that my feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy went away—the girl

Read More

Today’s Truth

My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

Friend to Friend


He was a friend … a pastor visiting my husband and me for a few days. He had come for help and advice because his wife was broken – a statement that made me just a tad bit angry for some reason. I didn’t really know why it made me angry, but it did.


“John, what did you mean when you said your wife is broken?” I asked. His eyes filled with tears as he explained, “She has been diagnosed with clinical depression. Mary, you have never met her, but she is the strongest woman I have ever known. She is talented, godly, and beautiful. But six months ago, she broke. It’s like she shattered into a million pieces

Read More

Today’s Truth

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.

Ephesians 4:2

Friend to Friend


One of the things we do at dinnertime as a family is a daily recap. Simple stuff: we talk through the things that happened that day. When my kids were in elementary school, one of the first things they talked about was who got to be the line leader that day. It was a pretty big deal, especially to young Smiths who really, really loved being the line leader. (I don’t know where they get that . . .)


Okay, I need to be honest here. Following is not necessarily my strong suit. I like to be in charge and in control. Especially on the road. If you and I have somewhere to go together, you might just want

Read More
Pages:«123456789...53»

"We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well…" 1 Thessalonians 2:8