Devotional: Peter is catching on, isn't he? He knows that if Jesus demands something of us, he also empowers us to do it! But like us, Peter gets distracted with all the problems in doing what Jesus asks, all the things that can go wrong in his dream of faith, and he becomes afraid.
I've heard repeatedly that the command for God's people not to be afraid is the most often found command in Scripture. While I can't verify that this is true, I know Jesus does have to say it over and over again: "Have courage; don't be afraid!" But this time, fear gets the better of faith and Peter sinks. This lapse doesn't ruin Peter because he knows where salvation is found. But Jesus does let Peter know that it's getting time for him to have a bigger faith.
Discussion: So what about you today? Where do you need help? Not fearing? Launching out in faith? Calling on Jesus for help? Developing a stronger faith? Keeping your eyes and faith on Christ and not the problems all around?
Activity: This is one of those days where there are both rebuke and encouragement for each of us no matter where we are on the journey! So let's hear Jesus' call to us and respond!
Devotional from Heartlight.org "What Jesus Did", July 2017
Devotional: My wife Maria is an amazing chef. One of her specialties is making pie. It’s one of the ways I know God loves me. And if Maria is ever making lies, she usually makes several kinds. I haven’t decided which of her pies is my favorite because each one is tied for first in my belly. When the pies are out, I usually get a slice of each one-apple, pecan, pumpkin, chocolate. I know, that’s a lot of pie, but how can you blame me?
The downside of pie is in the limited number of pieces you can get out of one, even if you cut them into the world smallest slices. Love doesn’t work that way. We can never run out of love, never give or receive too much. Sometimes we start to think it’s finite because resources like time and energy can run low. But when we choose to give more love, we get to watch it multiply. People return our love, giving back what we gave away with a little extra. Then the cycle happens all over again, everybody getting a little more than they gave away. Love is one of the few things we don’t have to guard. We don’t have to be greedy with our love. It multiplies when we give it away.
Don’t worry about who to choose when it comes to love. Go ahead and love everyone.
Discussion: What would you do differently today if you believed that love never ran out?
Activity: Pick one person this week and show them extra love, like it will never run out.
Devotional from Bob Goff’s Live In Grace, Walk in Love
Every time my parents drove through a tunnel when I was a kid, I used to hold my breath and make a wish, sure it would come true if I could hold it to the end of the tunnel. Anticipation built as my face turned red. I would stretch in my seat to catch a glimpse of the crack of light announcing the end was near. It was the nervous excitement of knowing there was life on the other side if I could make it.
I think that's what heaven felt like in the days between Jesus' death and resurrection. God watched as sadness swept through His people. They had lost their only hope, and they didn't know if there would be life on the other side of it. They saw no crack of light in the darkness. So heaven took a deep breath and held it because everything was about to change.
God knew it was coming. The angels took a breath in anticipation. They knew in just a few days Jesus would kick death in the teeth, burst out of the tomb, and call HIs loved ones by their names. God sees things we can't see from our tiny corners of the universe, so when He tells us not to be afraid., we can believe Him. He sees the light at the end of the stretch we're anxious about, so He tells us not to worry. He knows life is waiting for us when we step out in trust. Grab His hand today. You don't need to close your eyes or hold your breath. Just take a step.
Devotional from Live in Grace, Walk in Love by Bob Goff
Sin is often frightfully deceptive. We can be diligently serving the Lord without realizing that we’re actually doing so for selfish reasons such as recognition, affirmation, or achieving our own goals. Or maybe our external behavior doesn’t match what’s really going on within our heart. We could be doing all the right things outwardly while at the same time holding a grudge, finding fault, or grumbling in our heart. These problems flow from our flesh and its sinful desires, which are part of the condition in which we were born. The only cure for a self-focused life is what Galatians 5:16 calls “walking by the Spirit.” First, we must realize that we cannot live a godly life apart from the Holy Spirit. Remember, the flesh cannot be changed or tamed but must be replaced with dependence on the Holy Spirit. He alone can overcome the pull of sin because His power is unlimited. Second, we must surrender to the Holy Spirit rather than yield to our fleshly desires. In other words, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts” (Romans 13:14) Third, we must trust the Lord. We can’t fully surrender to Him until we confidently believe both that His Word is true and that He keeps His promises. Then, as our thoughts, decisions, and actions align with the truths of Scripture, we are empowered to stand firm against temptation. God wants you to live in the fullness of His Spirit. So lay your flesh down at the cross today, and let the Spirit lead you into a fruitful, abundant life.
Devotional from In Touch Ministries: Overcoming the Flesh, July 2019
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