Daily Devotion

Day 21

January 30 // Kaitlyn Whisnant

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

God’s presence is real, full of love, and has the power to completely transform each of our lives. It takes what is broken, bringing healing and restoration. It takes what is lost and directs the way back with the guidance and strength of our Heavenly Father. It will give you rest and a peace that surpasses all understanding and it will help lead you if you are open to accept and receive it. 

John refers to the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the Helper.  How powerful is that?  I found myself in awe, meditating upon those very words.  What an abundant gift and blessing that we, as His beloved children, get to rely upon the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not only a helper, but is also an advocate, friend, and comforter. 

How many times have you not asked for help because you thought you knew it all? How many times have you needed a friend but not known where to turn? The Holy Spirit is waiting for us to lean on Him; He is the answer to all those questions. He is the way Christ speaks to us each day. 

As believers, it is our job to first respect the Holy Spirit’s guidance and then to intentionally listen to His presence. There are many ways we can listen and become aware of what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. For instance, one of my favorite ways is on a long run when I can spend time with just the two of us.  Another way is setting aside quiet time in the morning to journal/spend time in the word. 

This looks different for everyone and it is important to find out what works for you. This could be going on a long walk, listening to worship music or even going to a community Bible Study.  We have continuous, daily access to the Holy Spirit because He is with us wherever we go and He has promised to never leave us. Always remember that whatever you are facing – the Holy Spirit is within you and you are not alone. He is there to teach you, remind you of Jesus’ words and provide truthful insights.  Ultimately, glory and honor and praise will be brought to the kingdom of God through his Spirit. 

Heavenly Father, how wonderful it is to know that you have sent the Holy Spirit in your name to guide me and teach me the living truth within your word. Thank you for opening my heart and eyes to see the Holy Spirit move miraculously in my life. I pray that you open my understanding even more to be accepting and ready for whatever the Holy Spirit calls on me to do. I pray that we continue to lean on the Holy Spirit and seek out your presence in everything we do. I ask for restoration in our country, our church and our families.  I pray that we rely more on your presence than anything else. We love you and praise you.

Amen.

Day 20

January 29 // Frank Hertkorn

Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.

I can only imagine when that day comes, When I find myself standing in the Son, I can only imagine when all I would do is forever, Forever worship You, I can only imagine   —   Mercy me

The Book of Revelation is full of imagery allowing us to wonder and imagine what heaven will be like.  The book contains concrete descriptions to help us imagine, but I believe each one of us have our own image of heaven.  In the ancient world, it was unthinkable to have a great city without many different temples.  It would be like a big city has no shopping malls or banks.

2 Chronicles 3:1  “Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to David his father, at the place that David had appointed, on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.”

 King Solomon built the first temple in Jerusalem about 1,000 BC.  This was a very real place where people gathered to worship, learn and sacrifice.  At that time there were set rules on how to act and praise.  The rules of sacrifice were specific.  

1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”

In today’s world God’s people are His temple.  We do not need to sacrifice anymore, but we must keep our bodies and minds clean and pure. I want the Holy Spirit within me so therefore I stay in the word, pray, and try not to be distracted by this world, however, being born into this world, I am not perfect.  I need to work and persevere to become the person God needs me to be.  

In the Millennium the temple will be everywhere.   We will need no place of worship or sacrifice for our God will be present and among us.  There will be no need of the sun or of the moon, God’s light will be enough.   

This verse reminds us that heaven will be a place of pure worship. The things we use to help us worship today will no longer be an issue. Our focus will be totally on the Person we worship, the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb. Throughout the ages, there have been dedicated places of worship, like a temple or church building, but none of these will be necessary when God dwells among us.

Father God, all salvation and glory and power belong to you Lord. I praise you and thank you for you who are and for working in me.  Lord, the thought of Heaven overwhelms me with joy!  I feel completely humbled by your presence and encouraged to share you and your love with all people in my life.  Thank you for who You are and everything You have done for our salvation.

Amen.

Day 19

January 28 // Emily Whisnant

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 

The second you accept Jesus into your heart He will never leave. God will be with you through every battle, no matter how hard it may seem in the moment. He is always there when times are good and you are at your happiest. God will be there for you through every single moment no matter what. God will pull you out of those hard times and will cheer you on in the good moments. God knows what is going on in your life and He is always there for you. 

It is easy to forget that God is with you when life looks hard but He will be there with you through it all. Even though it is hard you have to remember that whatever hardships you face God has a plan far bigger than that moment. We have to remember that God is with us every day and we can do this.

Every morning, I like to pray a short prayer to remind me that He is going to be with me throughout the day. But this can also be done by taking a short walk with God, reading your bible, saying daily affirmations, etc. Being with God every day is such a blessing because that means we have nothing to fear. 

He conquers every single battle that this world has because He is stronger. The moment you accept Jesus in your life everything else fades away and we walk with Him. This is something that we have to spread to the rest of the world because it is such a blessing. You can spread His word by living a life of love, acceptance, and just being like Jesus. He walks with you every day and we have to do the same for others by living like Christ. 

Dear God, thank you for being with me every single day. I pray that you will help me remember your great love. Thank you for conquering every hardship/ battle that this world has. I pray that you will help me live like Jesus every day and that people see your immense love through me. I love you Lord and I am so thankful for your intense love.

Amen.

Day 18

January 27 // Meagan Garcia

2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land

I love to joke around about how humble I am, which is very ironic because by doing so, it’s going completely against the statement that I made. I’m not sure about how others feel, but in situations where I am wrong, I find it difficult to go back and admit it. I try to fix the situations with my own ability before I admit I was wrong. I do that with God too.

When I know I haven’t been following God in the way He asked me to, I try to overcompensate with other things. I start to say things like “I’ll pray first thing in the morning before touching my phone” or you will see me helping more in church. These are things that God is not necessarily asking me to do. Sure, it’s great to want to pray more or volunteer more, but when God is asking you to seek His presence that’s all He is asking you to do in that moment. 

This verse speaks to me because the Lord is not asking anything too difficult from us. What He is asking for is an honest conversation with Him. That small task produces big results. Thinking of our “sick land” now, in what ways can the Lord send healing? We need healing to ease racial and political tensions. We need physical healing for the sick from a pandemic that was not expected. We need healing to provide financial peace, and to restore families and homes, etc. There are so many ways that God can intervene when we humble ourselves in prayer. 

Dear Lord, once again, we thank you for always being so merciful. In our weakness and trials, you are always walking right beside us to help us get to the finish line. I ask for forgiveness and healing, not only for my heart, but for the hearts of those around me. I pray that your light and presence will shine on areas of our lives that need healing and change. We ask that your presence continues with us in this time of fasting and praying and that you will clearly show us what you would have us learn during this time.

In your Glorious name, Amen!

Day 17

January 26 // Dan Houston

Acts 17:28 For “‘In Him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed His offspring.’

Several years ago, I was attending a safety conference and heard a presentation that changed my life.  Actually, it was the Holy Spirit using the speaker and his secular presentation, that changed my life.

The speaker discussed the difference between priorities and values.  He said that our priorities are constantly changing due to the circumstances around us.  On the other hand, values are constant, regardless of our circumstances.  It was sometime later it hit me.  My relationship with God, through His Son Jesus, had been a priority in my life, subject to change when higher priorities came along.  God was telling me that my relationship with Him should be a value.  

As I thought more and more about this, I quickly realized the difference in the two relationships with Him.

In our scripture for today’s teaching, Paul is describing to the philosophers in Athens a relationship with God that is a value, not a priority.  If indeed “in Him we live and move and have our being,” we are called to reciprocate God’s presence, which is constant, by striving for our relationship with Him to be a constant, integral part of everything we do.

I like to visualize a value-based relationship with God like an umbrella which covers me all day long.  When it starts to rain, raindrops of trials, temptations, or troubles, I know my Umbrella is always there with me.

24/7/365/lifetime/eternity!

Awesome God, thank You for Your constant presence in our lives.  We know You are always there for us, protecting us and loving us, no matter what the circumstances are.  We pray that through the power of your Holy Spirit, You would lead us to a relationship with You that is a part of our every thought, action and word.  We pray this in the name of your beloved Son Jesus Christ.

Amen.

Day 16

January 25 // Lindsey Jackman

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

In this verse, Jesus is calling for us to open the door – We are being called to let Him in, to let His presence be the center of our hearts, to let Him guide our lives.

But in this world, there are doors that separate us from Jesus. In my life, I know doors have been closed. I believed I could keep these doors closed and stay in control of everything without God’s help. Jesus never stopped knocking. There have been times in my life when a door was slammed shut by me because I was angry with Him. I have been frustrated and confused, but Jesus never stopped knocking. Once I answered Jesus’ knock and accepted Him as my Lord and savior, my life changed forever. I have felt His love, I have seen His faithfulness, and I am overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. I cherish being in His presence.

When we let God take control, we are no longer burdened with worry, stress and anxiety. God gives us peace. He wants us to open the door and keep it open.  God’s patience is endless. He will not force himself into our lives. We must seek Him. We must open all the doors and keep God’s presence in the center of our decisions, relationships, and communities.

Dear Lord, we thank you for seeking us, pursuing us, and for wanting an open-door relationship with us! Please help us to let our hearts be open doors and to feel Your presence in every aspect of our lives. Please remove all distractions that keep us from You, Lord. May Your guidance lead us and bring us together. May we feel Your peace and may we be Your light that our world so desperately needs.

Amen.

Day 15

January 24 // Adi

Jeremiah 33:3 Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Time and time again, we as Christians can feel stuck or even confined. Whether it is where we are in life, our surroundings, our faith, job, etc. Feeling like we’re trapped and there’s no place to go. Maybe the outside world is too stressful and there’s so many things going on, where you feel as though you do not have any time to be in the presence of God. Or maybe you were content with where you and God were and stopped seeking out His presence, but now you’re asking Him for guidance but feel as though He is not answering. For many of us we will go through these periods during the writing of our testimony. 

This brings me to Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” Jeremiah was trapped in prison when the Lord told him this. During his imprisonment, Jeremiah had many thoughts he was scared and confused. But the Lord told Jeremiah to call to him. God wants us to call to Him and be in His presence. As said in this verse, He will answer. 

Many times, we complain about how we do not hear God’s answer or do not see His great miracles and things He promises. The reason being is because we are not creating a relationship with God but more of a one-sided relationship where He does it all. Being in the presence of God can be seen as many things… prayer, worship, devotions or even a five-minute conversation with Him. When you are in the presence of God, you need to be able to accept the truth God is telling you. If you do not hear Him or like His answer, stay in His presence and ask Him to help you conform to Him. God knows what is best for you and when you start fully trusting Him and His presence you will see the great things He has planned for you. 

Dear God… We thank you for the gift of being able to be in your presence. We pray that we will be able to call upon you and know your answer is the truth in our lives. We thank you for your great love that you spread down on us and the miracles you perform and continue to perform. Give us the strength to live in your truth and presence and to know the world we live in now is temporary and that one day we will live an eternal life. We thank you and we love you.

Amen.

Day 14

January 23 // Karen Rodgers

Genesis 28:15 Behold I am with you and I will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.

I am with you! 

What an amazing and comforting promise from God, yet one we often forget. 2020 was likely the most challenging year many of us will ever see in our lifetime. How many times in all the uncertainty did we forget that God was right there with us through it all? It isn’t always easy to feel like God is present when we see chaos around us, yet we know He never leaves us. Sometimes it seems easier to see the chaos of the world, and miss the beauty of The Almighty all around us.

I will keep you wherever you go!  

As I reflect on all that has happened in the last year, I am thinking of all the ways God fulfilled his promise to keep us. How amazing is it that in a year that churches were shut down across the world, technology provided a way for us to worship together from our homes? During the down times of quarantine and shut down, I watched God’s people care for those in need. Families spent more time together and less time rushing from point A to point B. 

I will not leave you! 

This promise to His people back in Genesis, is the same promise He makes to us today. No matter where we go, what we do or what we are going through, He never leaves us and fulfills all of His promises. As you reflect on the year behind us, look for all the ways God came through in times of crisis. As you reflect on this verse today, look for God in your day today. 

It is important to seek God’s presence throughout our day, but the bigger challenge is this: “Can people see God’s presence in us?” Not only should we feel God’s presence, those around us should sense it too. As we passionately seek to sense His presence, we will reflect all these amazing assurances from God to people in our lives that need Him.

God, we thank you for being with us through all the times of chaos and keeping us through the uncertainty. Help us reflect your promises to those in our lives. Open doors for us to share Jesus to others. Help us to not ignore your presence in every moment of our day.

Amen.

Day 13

January 22 // Jay & Michelle Krause

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

Jesus wants us to understand the importance of staying connected to Him. He explains to us in John 15:1-2 that He is the true vine and God the Father is the Gardener. He explains in verses 6-8, if we do not remain in Him, we wither and die being thrown into the fire. It is for God’s glory that He wants us to bear much fruit. 

What is the meaning of fruit in this passage? We can bear inner fruit when we allow God to nurture us with Christ like qualities… Gal 5:22 – Fruits of the Spirit. We can bear outward fruit when we allow God to work through us to bring Him glory, as in good works. Referenced in Titus 3:14, Psalm 1:3, John 15:8, 2 Corinthians 9:8. 

We must understand, for the vineyard to really produce a good harvest, the branches have to respond to the attention of the Gardener. When branches fall to the ground and get covered in dirt, the Gardener gently picks them up, cleans them off and helps them flourish. Notice that He doesn’t just cut them off right away. He keeps them (you) connected to the vine. His purpose is to cleanse them (you) and free them (you) of dirt (sin) so they (you) can receive more sun (son) and flourish. 

God wants us to bear as much fruit as possible. He prunes the branches that are not producing fruit. Pruning may come in many forms and it might be painful at first, it might look like he is taking things away from us, things we thought were good. This is where we need to trust the Gardener. 

About 10 years ago, our marriage hit rock bottom, we were in the dirt. We cried out to God to save us. Things in our lives had to go. He picked us up, dusted us off and tied us to the trellis. We remained on the vine, hanging on by only a small thread. He began pruning things in our marriage and family that were not bringing Him glory. Eventually we began to grow in Him, closer to Jesus and closer to each other. It is only by His grace and being more in His presence that our marriage survived and is thriving today. 

How are your branches? In what ways is God pruning you? Are you staying connected to the vine? Are you producing fruit? “If you stay connected to Him, if you draw spiritual nourishment from Him, if you allow the power that flows through Him to flow through you, nothing will hold you back from reaching the most abundant life possible.” (Bruce Wilkinson, Secrets of the Vine) 

Remain in his Presence and you will be blessed. 

Dear Father in Heaven, we thank you for Jesus and the beautiful way he explains to us how to stay connected to Him and how to trust in you, the Master Gardener of our lives. Help us to remain in Him and to trust what you have already planned out for us, for our country, communities, and relationships. Help us to honor you in everything we say and do and most importantly, help us to stay connected to the vine that keeps us healthy and strong, so that we may produce the most abundant harvest for your glory!

Amen.

Day 12

January 21 // Samuel Ellington

John 14:23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

The book of John is the most artistic, poetic interpretation of the unique ministry of Jesus. Verses from this book have become so well-known among both the Christian and secular communities. In particular, the verse we will be focusing on, John 14:6. It is important for two reasons.

First, the Lord is telling us something wonderful about his presence–it is lasting. Jesus describes His and God’s arrival as “making their home.” Remember this would have been a radical concept for the early Christians. During Old Testament times, the presence of the Holy Spirit occurred only temporarily. No one person would have the Spirit’s presence within them for the entirety of their life. Yet, here is a carpenter claiming that the God of the universe is going to dwell with us by making His home in our us. In 1 Corinthians 1:21-22, “…He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, a guarantee of what is to come.”

Secondly, not only does this verse describe an exquisite truth about God’s intended dwelling place, it tells us how to receive that presence. “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.” Other translations, such as the New Living Translation, say “All who love me will do what I say.” This phrase is our spiritual Google Maps; it tells us how to get to the place where God intends to make His home–simply obey His teaching.

Unfortunately people tend to use it as a weapon of condemnation. “Well, the Bible says that if you love Jesus, you’ll do what he says, and you went to Las Vegas last week, so you don’t love Jesus.” This verse was never meant to be a tool to  judge each other’s actions.  John 14:23 is an instruction manual. It tells us what to do when we are in a loving relationship with God–obey His teaching. You might have spent the last 11 days, 11 years, or a whole lifetime cultivating a relationship with God and allowing Him to develop His perfect love within you. If you’re like me, at times you may have desired a more intimate connection with your Creator.

This verse is for you!  If your symptoms are:

1) A desire to know GOD more profoundly 2) A longing for HIS presence 3) Feeling like you lack something that only HE can provide 

…then take the Good Physician’s advice and follow His commands. I guarantee, better yet, HE guarantees that it will lead you to HIS presence.

Lord, today as I desire your presence, renew in me a love and appreciation for your teachings. Strengthen my resolve and help me to walk in a manner that coincides with your call to holiness.

Amen.