Share this devo on Facebook and Twitter: 3 Ways you can bring Jesus back into the center of Christmas http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/prepare-the-way #LifeDevo
“As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way.’” Mark 1:2
Many think this time of year is the Christmas season filled with lights, music, parties and shopping. But, it is not. It is Advent—a season where we should not only prepare our own hearts to encounter the Christ child, but help others to prepare their hearts as well.
Scripture tells us John the Baptist cried out the passages from Isaiah about preparing the way of the Lord. He called the Israelites to repentance, knowing another would soon come whose sandals John was unworthy to tie—Jesus, the Christ.
Perhaps we are not called to be another John the Baptist but we can spread the Christ-mass cheer in other ways. Smile to the frazzled store clerk and call them by name. They are often the brunt of everyone else’s frustration and selfish nature. We can treat them with dignity.
Be a friend in need to the poor, be it in spirit or physical necessities. What if we take 10% of we normally spend on gifts and give it to our church ministry programs? Maybe send Christmas cards with a Christian message instead of ones with woodland creatures hopping around snowmen. Above all, pray each morning that God will use us to shine the Light of love and joy in a dark world.
Lord Jesus come. As we prepare our hearts for you, open them to receive others as well. Let Your light shine through the pre-Christmas season’s hustle and hassles. Keep us focused on the main thing – You. Help us to point others towards You as well. Amen.
Each day, carry out some small way to bring Christ back into this season through your attitude, sacrificial giving, or prayer.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: What do people remember about you when you’re gone? http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/love-in-the-small-things #LifeDevo
“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5
In relationships with people who are dear to us, often it’s the deeper things that stick out: the long talks, the laughing until you cry, and feeling safe enough to let tears fall. But what about in the rest of our relationships? How about our interactions with the man on the street corner or the grocer? How do we remember them, and how do they remember us? For me, usually the only thing that sticks out is what I can grasp of their personality in those simple few minutes we spend together. And I assume that, for them, it’s the same.
On my walk to work I sometimes see a woman on her way to her job. One morning, out of nowhere, she gave me a huge smile and said good morning. Now every time we see one another we smile and say good morning, and it always means the world to me. That is the hint of a Christ-like attitude: genuine, unforced kindness.
Shouldn’t we endeavor to leave behind a godly impression wherever we go? Especially as the Christmas season rolls around? Shopping centers fill and stress levels rise and everyone is under pressure of some sort or another. How much good would one extra smile or friendly gesture mean to that random person you pass by? And what’s more, with a little intentionality, God can turn those small moments into on-going, deeper relationships, so they can see and discover the One who is giving you the fruit of kindness.
Our father and king, help me be godly in my attitudes. I pray that my actions and thoughts and even my personality would be molded into a picture of who Christ is. May people notice and see You in me. Thank You for Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.
Go out of your way this week to do something nice for someone. If you’re shy like me, maybe it can just be a friendly smile at a stranger. Start making it into a habit, and even an attitude. Seek Christ through this and glorify Him for every positive turn of events. And as you start acting with random kindnesses, pray that the Lord will grow these moments into opportunities to share Christ.
Resource: Read Smile! Jesus Loves You!
Share this on Facebook and Twitter: Give the greatest gift of all this Christmas http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/the-greatest-gift-of-all #LifeDevo
“I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:10, NKJV
Do you hold something dear to your heart that you would love to see brought into your home this Christmas? Perhaps you have been wanting to purchase a treasure for that special someone?
Jesus bought His special treasure over 2000 years ago. The cost was His own life; the purchased treasure was us. Christ still longs to see all of His sheep brought into His fold. In Luke 15:10, Jesus asks, “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?…. I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:4 & 10, NKJV)
This Christmas, let’s demonstrate our love for God and for one another by seeking out those who are still lost in the darkness of separation from God and kindling the fires of friendship with them. As we start to show these lost souls the genuine love that God has freely given us, we can join them on their journey of reconciliation with God. That is the greatest gift of all!
Lord Jesus, help me to make this Christmas extra special by seeking those who need to know You! There is no greater gift than relationship with You, O God; may I never forget that I am Your hands and feet on this earth. As I listen to the beautiful sounds of the season, I ask that my heart may truly be one with Yours, rather than selfishly centred on myself and my own desires. In Your holy and precious name, I pray, Lord Jesus, amen.
As you spend time with the Lord in prayer each day, ask Him to place on your heart and in your path those who need to know Him. Ask Him to show you how He desires you to begin conversation with them. Then seek the courage to obey.
If you had the chance to share your faith would you know what to say? We can help with that.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: Have you lost and found family? http://powertochange.com/blogposts/2013/12/02/find-your-family/ #LifeDevo
“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off what hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Hebrews 12:1
The holidays usually mean time spent with family. For some of us, our best memories are with family and we look forward to making new memories every year. However, some people have few positive experiences with their biological family. Some come from unhealthy or abusive situations. Some have lost loved ones. As a result, the holidays can be filled with loneliness, regret or anger.
The good news is that because of God’s grace, we are part of a new kind of family. Those of us who have accepted Christ are now part of His family—the church, and our Father God is the head. Not only that, but we have a new family tree as well. We are part of a legacy of the faithful people listed in the book of Hebrews. We are spiritual descendants of the great keepers of the faith: Abraham, Joseph, David, and many others.
If your family of origin is not healthy, or if you have lost family and feel alone, take comfort that God wants to be your perfect Father. Psalm 27:10 states, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” We are given the assurance in His word that God loves us and He has given us spiritual brothers and sisters—a faith family with which to celebrate the season.
God, thank you for giving me a faith family. Thank you for grafting me into your family tree and giving me a connection to others who have also decided to follow you.
If you are still looking for a church family, ask God to show you the place He has for you. Seek His wisdom to reach out and find the people with whom you can have positive, Christ-centered relationships.
Resource: Consider joining The Life Community.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: Yes, there will be a pool! http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/yes-there-will-be-a-pool #LifeDevo
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse.” Revelation 22:1-3
“Dad, is there a pool at the hotel?”
Our car had no air conditioning. We eventually decided that sweltering with the windows closed was better than being slow-roasted by hot winds with the windows open. When we finally stopped, our sons couldn’t run fast enough to jump into the cool water.
Life can be like that journey—hot, draining, and exhausting—but for weary travellers who know Jesus, there is good news. Ahead lies a great river of life, pure and clear as crystal, flowing from God’s throne through the center of the city.
Believers will drink from that river and never thirst again. They will eat the fruit of its trees and never hunger again. It will be accessible to all without cost or limitation.
Jonathan Edwards wrote that if you follow Jesus, “all your bad will turn out for good; all your good can never be taken away; and all your best is yet to come.”
Yes, there’s a pool at the end of the journey, and it’s like none you’ve ever seen. It’s an eternally renewing river.
God and Jesus the lamb will be there. Sin, tears, and death will not. Will you?
Jesus, I am living in the midst of challenges and pleasures today. I cannot do otherwise. But I want to be anchored to Your eternal hope, looking forward to the great riches of being present with You and Your son Jesus. Help me today to be renewed in that hope as a source of confidence and joy. Amen.
One of the most important anchors you can have is to be grounded in the hope of a future in God’s presence. This is an ultimate hope that places all the concerns of this life in eternal perspective. If you truly grasped this great hope, what would be different for you today? Tell God where your perspective needs to change. Ask Him to renew your mind. If you haven’t already, visit thelife.com to join a growing community of believers learning to live completely committed to Jesus.
Resource: Center your life on Christ. Watch Treasure: Jesus is Worthy Everything.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: You’re on the VIP list for the best party ever. http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/the-greatest-book-in-history #LifeDevo
“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27
There is something quite exciting about seeing your name on a list that gives you special access. It’s a privilege to see and experience things you otherwise wouldn’t.
Only those whose names are in the Lamb’s book of life will be given access to spend eternity with the Lord Jesus. It’s so exciting to know that our name can be written in that most amazing book. But it is also sobering to know that people we know, love, and care about may not have their names in that book. The implications are staggering; however, we have an incredible opportunity to make a difference.
We can share the love of Jesus with others so they, too, can know Jesus personally and have their names written in heaven. God gives us the ability and the knowledge to share with others. Maybe you feel that you don’t know how, yet it is simply sharing the story of what God has done in your life. He has forgiven you of your sins and you have received Him as your Savior and Lord. This is what He desires for all of us.
How would it feel to partner with God to see someone’s name added to that book?
Lord, You have given us the gift of salvation. I praise You for this. Thank You for loving me so much. I pray that You would give me courage to share with people in my life whose names may not be in that book. May I be forever aware that I have the greatest life-giving message to offer the people You have placed in my life. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Pray that God will lay on your heart one person whose name you would like to see written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then ask God to begin to show you opportunities to share your faith with that person. Seek God for the courage, know-how and boldness to share so they may know Him in a personal way.
Resource: Join with a Life Coach to pray for those you want to see in that book.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: Try this. It’s way better than the fountain of youth. http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/the-water-for-life-forever #LifeDevo
“He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life.” Revelation 21:6
Think about Christ as the absolute beginning. There is no “before Christ.” For millions, billions, even trillions of years before time, Christ lived. He did not choose to become holy, powerful, or righteous. His omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence have always been an eternal reality: “From everlasting to everlasting, you are God” (Ps. 90:2).
Christ is the consummate end of all things. How forceful are His words: “It is done”? What He began in creation will be complete: heaven and earth created anew; Satan, his evil work, and all who have rejected Christ, submerged in the burning lake of fire; all who have been reconciled with God through the cross, gathered in triumphant glory.
He is the source of our life forever. He bestows on us our full eternal inheritance. He is the fountain of living water that forevermore quenches our thirst.
John Piper says it beautifully: “For the thirsty, God is the beginning and the end the way a desert caravan begins at an oasis and ends at an oasis. God is a fountain of life at the beginning, and he is a fountain of life at the end—forever.”
Who in your life is spiritually thirsty and needs to find Christ?
Christ, You are the source of life forever. In You my soul-thirst is fully satisfied. Guide me to walk with someone today who is thirsty for You and help me to tell them of Your water for life. Amen.
Take ten minutes to drink a pure, cool glass of water. With each sip declare the way that Christ is your thirst quenching water for life. Who can you initiate a conversation with today about how their soul thirsts? Ask God for an opportunity. For tips on having spiritual conversations, go to thelife.com.
Resource: Learn how to Start a Spiritual Conversation.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: Live like today will last forever. http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/live-for-eternity #LifeDevo
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16
Whenever I reflect on the second coming of Christ and try to grasp that the Lord will come down from heaven with a trumpet call and that the dead in Christ will rise, I realize I have no context to even begin to grasp the magnitude of this promise.
All who call Him Lord will respond to that trumpet call. It’s so freeing to release and trust myself to Jesus and to know that He is in control. We cannot predict how or when, but we can be ready for His coming. In the meantime, we can help others prepare.
Recently, I was on a flight and sat next to a 22-year-old soldier. During our conversation, he shared his struggles and guilt about having ended people’s lives. We began to talk about spiritual issues and eternity. He told me that the idea of living in eternity terrified him. As a soldier, he always had a next rank to advance to with a clear understanding of what it involved. Eternity was entering the unknown and that was very frightening. We discussed this at length and I left praying that He would see eternity as a wonderful gift of God’s love.
How does the thought of eternity affect you? How does it impact your conversations and how you live each day?
Lord, You are coming again and all of us who know You will rise up with You. May each of us be prepared for that day. Thank You that You have given us forever to worship and adore You. Help us to be courageous and bold to share with others so that they, too, can spend eternity with You. Amen.
Spend some time in prayer seeking God. Ask Him to show you how the reality of eternity and His return can have an impact on something you plan to do in the next 24 hours. You could also help others prepare for eternity by becoming an online mentor; by answering just a few emails a week you can see God change lives.
Resource: The Memory You Leave Behind.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: Where are you going? http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/on-the-edge-of-catastrophe #LifeDevo
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14: 1-6
The day before, Jesus entered Jerusalem hailed as a king—a day of triumph and joy. But today was becoming a nightmare. Jesus was again talking about dying (12:33), warning them about a traitor in their midst (13:21), and predicting that Peter, their leader, was about to deny Him (13:38). The disciples were on the edge of catastrophic failure: confused, frightened, and uncertain.
Although troubled in His own Spirit (12:27), Jesus comforts His band of followers: “Let not your hearts be troubled…you know where I am going and the way to get there.” Thomas responds for all of them: “We don’t know where you are going, and we don’t know the way.” They want explanations and details.
Jesus turns their focus back to Himself. You don’t need a map because I am the way. You don’t need information because I am the truth. You need not fear death because for you I am the life.
Thomas à Kempis wrote, “Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life, there is no living.”
Our greatest need is Jesus. Our best answer is to trust in Him. He is the way. How have you been seeking direction without looking to Jesus?
Jesus, there is an issue that deeply troubles me. I want to acknowledge that You care for me and that You are able to lead me through it. I trust You, Lord, because in You I have life. I ask You to be present in my life as my truth and my way forward. Amen!
Identify the issue in your life today that concerns you the most and for which the next steps are either not clear or unknown. Bring this issue to God in prayer. Connect with a trusted friend for prayer and advice. You can also talk to a confidential online mentor and receive prayer at thelife.com.
Resource: Don’t Google Your Worries.
Share this Devo on Facebook and Twitter: Let ‘hope’ transform how you see today! http://thelife.com/DailyDevotions/god-will-not-waste-your-life #LifeDevo
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” 1 Peter 1:3-4
What strikes me about this verse is the phrase “a living hope.” It’s not a future hope; it’s a hope that is with us right now. We were utterly lost, condemned to die, and through Jesus we’re reborn to hope and life eternal.
I lose sight of that sometimes. In the midst of an ordinary day I forget that I have this incredible hope. When I feel weak, forgotten, worn out or left behind it’s often because I’ve taken my eyes off of the hope that Jesus bought for me on the cross.
I love the chorus in Chris Tomlin’s version of “Amazing Grace.”
“My chains are gone,
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace.”
What a picture of hope! This is a big part of the “life to the full” that Jesus talks about in John 10:10. It’s not a life we just hope might somehow count for something. It’s life as a forgiven child of God, fashioned for a purpose. It’s the assurance that God will not waste your life. How will you live in this hope today?
Thank you God for giving me a living hope. Whatever has happened in the past, whatever might lie ahead in the future, Your hope will be there to redeem and renew. You are the reason for the joy that I have. You are my peace and my portion and my shield forever. Help me to cling to Your hope and not to my own understanding. In Your name I pray, amen.
Take a close look at the thoughts that are running through your head today. Are they thoughts of hope or worry? comfort or sadness? Take these thoughts to God. Thank Him for ransoming you and ask Him to focus your mind on the living hope that is yours today.
Resource: Center your life on Jesus to find hope. Watch “Treasure: Jesus is Worth Everything.”
Love can be dangerous. When you aim high and love lets you down, the fall is far.>Watch