Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart

Today’s Passage: Luke 19:6-10

“Zacchaeus…took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. ‘He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,’ they grumbled…‘Salvation has come to this home today…For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.’”

Words of Devotion

Rufus McDaniel was a lifelong Christian. Born in 1850, he pastored several churches throughout Ohio and wrote more than 100 hymns. In 1913, he experienced the tragic death of his son, Herschel. As he had done so often, he sought to express his thoughts in a hymn: “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart.”

The words can seem as though they were written by a new Believer. Yet, dealing with a tragedy, McDaniel wrote how “a wonderful change in my life has been wrought.” How light had come into his soul, and he had “ceased from my wandering and going astray.” How his sins were “washed away.”

Jesus had given him a “steadfast and sure” hope. Doubts were gone, and instead “there’s a light in the valley of death now for me.” He even had hope for the future as he could see “the gates of the City beyond.”

McDaniel knew he would “go there to dwell in that City.” Perhaps thinking about his son, this thought made him “happy, so happy, as onward I go.” He repeated, with certainty, that “floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll, since Jesus came into my heart.”

Lives change when Jesus comes into our hearts. Rufus McDaniel knew this. And so did Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector, hated by the common people and called “a notorious sinner.” Yet Jesus completely changed his life and brought him “great excitement and joy.”

Today:Do you know anyone who is troubled? Who needs help? Who needs salvation? Remember: Jesus still changes lives. He can transform not only your life, but also those you love.

Today's Prayer: Father, I commit these people into your hands: ___________. Thank You for intervening and changing them. Use me to impact lives for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Monday, January 21, 2013


Today’s Passage: Exodus 20:24

“You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings…in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.”

Words of Devotion

On Mount Sinai, God gave Moses an important guarantee: That“in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you.” What a powerful promise! A promise of God’s blessing! 

But there was a condition: They must remember His name.

The Lord instructed them to build an altar and make offerings. Altars were places to remember Him—where they would stop their daily routines and focus on God Himself. These altars would be places to make offerings to demonstrate that they really trusted in Him and that He was more important than their possessions or anything else.

This principle still is true. God still promises to bless us. But we, too, must remember Him. We, too, need to build “altars” and make sacrificial offerings. 

It is too easy to become attached to our possessions, clinging on to them for ourselves. But God challenges us to place Him first and trust in Him to meet our needs. 

What are “altars” for us? These could be places where we focus on God, or simply the throne of our hearts and minds. On these altars, we have an opportunity to remember and honor God. In addition to giving specific financial offerings and dedicating our possessions to Him, we can give Him our projects and plans…our thoughts and desires…our whole lives. This kind of commitment unlocks His favor and His blessings.

Today, spend time with God, and make it a time of remembrance. Then place your life on the altar before Him. Make it clear that He is more important than anything else. And make your life a living sacrifice. Then, as you trust in Him and serve Him, be ready to enjoy the blessing of His presence and provision.

Today's Prayer: Father, I commit my life to You. I dedicate my time, talent, and treasure to You. I owe everything to You. Use me for Your Kingdom and glory. In Jesus’ name Amen

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Proper Time

Today’s Passage is: Titus 1:1-3

“Paul, a bond-servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ…in the hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised long ages ago, but at the proper time manifested.”

Words of Devotion

Time is important to God. In fact, He has a calendar filled with appointed times. For example, He established an appointed time when Abraham and Sarah would have a son (Genesis 18:14) and appointed times for the celebration of His feasts (Exodus 23:15).

Timing is important for the fulfillment of God’s promises. We may tend to evaluate His promises in the context of our individual circumstances and when we think they should be fulfilled. But God is concerned about His timetable. He will fulfill His promises at the proper time, when all preparations are complete. We see this principle with the birth of Jesus, who came at the perfect time.

Paul discovered this principle in his life. Throughout his ministry, he went through many challenging moments. He was beaten, imprisoned, whipped, stoned, and shipwrecked. He went through many sleepless nights. He was hungry and thirsty, and faced danger and hardship (2 Corinthians 11:23-29). But despite these circumstances, he never lost hope as he learned about God’s faithfulness.

Many people doubt that God’s promises ever will be fulfilled. Some give up hope or conclude that His promises are not true. Yet Paul knew that God’s promises only are fulfilled “at the proper time,” when all preparations have been completed and the circumstances are right. Paul knew this was true because God does not lie, He is Truthful and all Faithful.

Today: In whatever circumstances you, remember that others may (will) disappoint you. They may exaggerate or fail to keep their promises. But God will always keep His promises. Remember though He only acts at the His proper time. 

Never give up hope, but stay faithful. Keep believing in Him. Be confident that He has an appointed time when His Word (Promise) will be fulfilled. 

Today's Prayer: Father, I commit these situations to You: ______. I trust You for victory in each situation. Thank You that Your Word is true and that Your timing is perfect. In Jesus’ name Amen