Daily Devotion

Day 11

January 20 // Meagan Garcia

Isaiah 50:4 The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary.  Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will.

2020 was a rough year. For some it was financial, health, family, etc. or maybe it was all of the above. We also know that the political climate of our nation was intense as well as the looming pandemic for almost the entire year. It seemed that tensions were high for many people. I found it hard to have conversations with friends or family without feeling like I might be offensive or defensive. It took me a while to realize that for the most part I was going about a lot of situations the wrong way. I did not seek the presence of the Lord first before entangling myself in many debates. 

In different versions of this verse in Isaiah it says “The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples…”, we know that the disciples of Jesus were His followers, His students. This verse is telling me that the Lord was giving them the proper tools, language, and words, in order to deal with certain situations or people. He was teaching His students how to understand His word and be able to teach others what they themselves had learned. 

When I started to study the word more and relate it back to the situations I was living in, I could see where God had carried me through the rough times. I was also able to pray with my friends and family with a new direction and better understanding of what Jesus was asking me. He had always been there talking to me, I just wasn’t listening. This is what the Lord asks from us. To seek His presence and teachings first, so that we may spread that love and knowledge to others. 

Dear Lord, we thank you for always being patient with us. I ask that as we heal from the previous year, we learn to seek you first. You can defend us and teach us better than we can do for ourselves. We thank you for constantly revealing yourself to us through our trials and tribulations and through your word.

In Your name we pray, Amen.

Day 10

January 19 // Sue Smith

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.   

This passage tells us that God will reveal the path of life to us but we have to be in His presence.  This means prayer, study of His word, and worship.  We have to quiet our hearts and minds and take the time to be still and listen to His voice.  When we are in His presence we will have a fullness of joy that can only be from the Lord.  This doesn’t mean that we won’t face trials, heartache or difficult times.   However, He will carry us through.  John 16:33 tells us that in this world, you will have tribulation.  But, be of good cheer… for I have overcome the world.

To have God present shows in our actions and words.  We have a sense of peace in those difficult and challenging times that has no explanation because we know that He has it all under control.  That doesn’t mean we just sit back and let him do everything.  He created us to do and live out His word.  We do what is right, we stand up for injustices, we help our fellow man and show God’s love to everyone including our enemies.  

There’s an English Proverb, “A man is known by the company he keeps.”  It’s the same when you spend time in God’s presence.  The more time you invest in time with Him the more Christ-like you become.  He starts to reveal the path of life to you… you start to have more joy… you desire to do and live His word even in difficult times.

None of this is easy. It takes us making time with Him a priority.  Everyday life can get in the way so easily and can keep us from spending time with Him.  We have to purposefully set aside time for Him, time to be quiet and invite Him to be present, so that we can know and hear Him.  Believe me, the time spent with Him will always be worth it in the end.

Dear Lord, we thank you that we are able to be in your presence.  Help us to make our time with you a priority in our lives.  Help us see the things that we let get in the way of that time.  Thank you for the joy that we receive just by being in your presence and knowing you more.  Continue to give us that desire to spend more time in prayer, study and worship.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 9

January 18 // Frank Hertkorn

Jeremiah 23:23 Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away?

Hey Y’all watch this!!     Squirrel!!      Touchdown!!     Did he just make that dunk??

Nobody will ever know when I have nasty words for that driver next to me… God is watching!  Wow! I can really sing like/get into AC/DC, DMX, Post Malone… God is listening!

Where is Jesus in all of this?  Is God really seeing every little thing?

Through Jeremiah, God reminds Judah that ”I am a God at hand”.  To me this means He is with me with every breath I breathe, and He is with me all the times I hold my breath ”hoping” He is not watching.  In Jeremiah’s time there were many distractions to choose from… false prophets, false gods, many different idols.  Sometimes, we forget we worship a living God and not a carving or another human being.  God is ”not a God far away”.  He is a God that knows us, sees us, listens to us.

There are many times I place God in my back pocket and keep Him there until I need Him, or to be more honest, until I realize I made some wrong decisions.  However, when I ask, God always provides a way out from any hardship I place in front of me.  There is NO time that God is far away from me.  When I received God to be my Lord and Savior, I received the Holy Spirit who allows me to be in constant step with God.  

With Psalm 23 in mind …  God provides for me! When I am tired or this world takes my breath away, He lies with me to help me rest and abide in His word and His love.  He restores peace in me. He shows His love.  He reveals His will to me when I am lost.   When I face death and sickness in my life, when I am sitting at the bottom of the mountain, when I am confused and not sure what to think … I know I am not alone and all I have to do is reach out.  

Many times, I have felt God urging and pushing me on, helping me walk His walk not mine. When confronted, I call upon you Father and you have never let me down.  I move forward, I learn and I walk in your glory. Wherever I am, You are with me, Father.  I look and see You standing with me, whether it is through a small child,  a broken adult, or a granddaughter who you called back to heaven. You are a God at hand and You are a God that is never far away.

Father God, Thank you for your blessings, your mercy and especially your forgiveness.  Father, help us to never forget you are with us always, through the good and bad.  Help us to accept your loving reprimands as the people of Judah experienced in their exile. Help us to never forget that we are YOUR children and You are OUR God.

It is in Your name Lord, we pray. Amen, Halleluiah!

Day 8

January 17 // Michal Tuttle

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.

This passage really speaks to my heart right now amongst all the chaos that is pouring around in our lives.  Our God is in our midst!  He is among us.  He is present.  So many times, we can feel like we are going through the trials alone, but He is here to see us through all of them.  He has promised that He will fight for us.  He is our rescuer.  He meets us right where we are in it all and holds us up.

You see, God does not want us to press on alone!  He wants us to lean on him in our weaknesses so that He can show His strength. There are so many hardships pressing in, that at times we just can’t do anything but cry out.  In those moments, if we just give it all to Him, He will bring a peace to our hearts and comfort us.  His love is poured out in the lyrics of a worship song, in a child wrapping his arms around you and reminding you that God loves you just as you are. And in that moment, you awake from a bad dream and pick up His Word for comfort.  His love is sufficient to bring peace, joy, hope, and reassurance in every situation.

We don’t know what lies ahead, but He does.  He has a purpose for each and every one of us and He will continue to sing victoriously through it all.  He will make a way and He will keep His Word.  He is faithful and will never fail us.  We just have to be still and let Him do His work in us so that we can be made complete in Him. 

Lord, we thank you so much for your mercy and grace and that you do sing over us.  Please show us the path that leads to you and your love to continually be in your presence.  Make us hungry for more of you.  We can’t walk this life in peace without you.  Help us to see you in every moment so that we might share what an amazing Father you are with others.  You love us, each and every one.  The fact that you love me despite all of my failures just puts me more in awe of you.  Thank you for holding us up when we cannot hold ourselves up.  We are undeserving, but you still rejoice over us with an unconditional love that could never be surpassed.  Thank you, Father!!

Amen.

Day 7

January 16 // Nick Deahl

John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love.

God has loved me all of my life just as God loves Jesus. In these current times we live in, this verse is a reminder to me of the first two commandments… to love God with all your heart and to love each other. God provides us a perfect example of doing so. Whether it’s a neighbor, family member, friend, or a complete stranger… it is important to love anyone we come in contact with. 

To me, Jesus is saying follow the example God and I have shown you and we will have perfect love. Often times we get distracted by what someone does or says and might completely forget this verse. It may help to stop and think… does God still love me when I cut that person off in traffic… does God still love me when I lose my temper with my family member… does God still love me when I am in a rush and forget my devotion time with Him? 

The answer is yes… always yes! God’s love is present every day and in everything we do. We need to accept God’s love and make it a rule of our life. The truth is, whether we accept it or not, God will still love us and we should be doing the same as Him.

Father thank you for being my example of loving through anything. Thank you for loving me even as I mess up. Thank you for the ability to love. Help me to be better about loving others even as they do wrong to me. I ask that you grant me peace with it, and continue to remind me during troubles of your love and that it is there. Help me to love just as you do.

In your name I pray, Amen.

Day 6

January 15 // Kyle Hearn

Exodus 13:21-22 “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.” 

I remember walking through a forest at science camp with other students trying to have our eyes adjust to the night darkness. Hoping the light from the stars would be enough to guide us. We could see a little in front of us, but without our flashlights we still easily tripped over rocks and roots. There was a lack of clarity because a lack of guidance. 

In today’s passage, Israel was vulnerable to so many enemies and temptations. So, God went before them in this supernatural way of fire and clouds! But we have to realize that God’s guidance and presence comes in many different forms. I wish God’s guidance was this clear today, but instead it is unclear at times. God’s guidance HAS to be sought out. His presence HAS to be discovered. There is no guidance without the presence. 

God’s Word is our guide. We no longer need fire and clouds to guide us. 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” Psalm 119:105

Where do you feel you are walking in darkness? How has God guided you before? 

We cannot be guided by God if we are not present with God. If you feel you are walking in darkness, danger, or uncertainty, go back to following Jesus’ way. Jesus is our guide. He went before us just like God went before Israel in fire and clouds. When your life and your faith become unclear, look back to God’s word and re-learn the way of Jesus. I promise you will find all the guidance you need. For Jesus himself tells us, “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12

Pray to God today.

God, I’ve walked in darkness too long. Sometimes I look for signs to be my guide instead of  Jesus. For that, I repent. I want to live in your presence. Jesus, be my guide, show me your way, and remind me of your grace when I stumble. Thank you for being my guide, my light, and my God. Guide me today and this week, to see as clearly as you see.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Day 5

***We apologize for the mistake this morning in crediting this devotional’s author. This message has been corrected with the author’s name.

January 14 // Alana Deen

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

Almighty God, who in His mercy and power created us for His glory to be in His presence, has empowered us to become His children. He wants the very best that He has planned for us. He desires that we would live in awareness of His presence, understand His love for us, and know how much we need His guidance and  Spirit so  we can experience the fullness of His supreme greatness and goodness.

Jesus invites us into His presence by simply calling to Him and drawing near in faith and obedience. All we do is to submit completely and allow our hearts to be impacted and transformed through relationship with Him. Seeking Jesus is a conscious choice, an act of faith and sacrifice to devote your life to the things that matter to the Kingdom of God, to your salvation, and your relationship with Him. We must have a willing attitude and a heart that desires to learn and grow with a hunger and thirst for God’s presence and His righteousness, and in doing so our Father will give us a heart to know Him and our eternal purpose. (Jer 24:7)

As believers, we are equipped with everything we need to seek God’s presence and a Godly life through His Spirit. We come to Him with our whole heart in complete submission, to meditate on His Word serving Him in reverence, fear and humility. Doing so, He promises to bless us as we keep His testimonies. He gives us rest in His presence and He will never leave us nor forsake us. This gives us confidence, hope and assurance in the knowledge we are united to a God who is all powerful, all knowing, all loving who keeps His promises. And as our relationship grows deeper with Him, our desire, gratitude, and confidence magnify Him in our lives. We know that His presence leads to deliverance enlarging our hearts, strengthens our faith to praise and serve Him, we look forward to the day we are in His literal presence receiving a rich welcome into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

We sometimes feel God is silent. Our hearts are not burning for the Lord, but we know His eyes are always searching for us.  He is our Good Shepherd who leads us, desiring we follow the path leading to joy and contentment. We can experience victory in our walk with God through the cross of Jesus Christ, by simply believing in Him, surrendering to His authority. He seeks to rescue the lost and wayward. Do not feel abandoned by God in difficult moments, go to God seeking  His presence and guidance. Call on Him in time of trouble and He will deliver us. 

Holy God, we bow before you, in awe of who You are. Lord we thank You today that You are all-powerful, all-knowing, and always perfectly good. Father, we confess that we do not always see Your presence as we should. We confess that we settle for lesser things, when we know You desire us to have a personal, close relationship with You. Lord, grant us a heart that seeks You above all else.  Help us change our focus to seek Your face and to look to You for strength to know You better.  Teach us Your ways so we may know You and continue to find favor in You. Draw close and give us a heart to know You because we know that our desires are found and fulfilled only in You.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Day 4

January 13 // Devon Ragoonath

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Have you ever wondered what it would actually be like to be in the presence of Jesus when He walked the earth? John, who did, was one to always gaze at Jesus in wonder and worshipped at His feet. John lived with Him, walked with Him, talked with Him, touched Him and always listened intently to Jesus’ words. He spent much time in Jesus’ presence and was one who saw the glory of the Word becoming flesh. But what does John mean by the Word becoming flesh? Well, God didn’t want His message to just be confined to a book, His ultimate message was His living Word which is Jesus coming to earth as a human. God’s written Word is the Bible. Jesus lived and walked the earth as one of us to reveal God to us. But even in human form and burdened with human mortality, God’s glory and presence could still not be hidden. His unfailing love and faithfulness was revealed through His son Jesus.

Gracious, Heavenly Father, thank you. Thank you for your written Word through the Scriptures and thank you for your living Word, Jesus. Thank you Father, for sending your Son Jesus to show us how to live and love like you do. Father, make your presence and your will known to us, as we work to know Jesus better. 

In your name I pray, Amen.

Day 3

January 12 // Michelle Hollingsworth

Psalm 139:7 Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 

All around us, we have technology and media distracting us. How many times a day do you look at your phone, read texts, watch TV, or listen to music?  I have to make the effort to stop and find a quiet spot to get away from the “noise of the world”.  I know I need to sit with my Bible and pray to be close to God. Sometimes, I don’t feel connected, don’t hear His voice whispering to me. It is okay.

I remind myself to stand on the truth of God’s love and His promise to never leave or forsake me.  I have Jesus in my heart and the Holy Spirit lives in me. I am never alone.

When we take time to be with God, He will reveal himself.  Ask Him to show you His presence in ways that are meaningful to you. It may be a song, a Bible verse, a quote, or words from a friend. I adore nature and often sit by the window, watching the bird feeder. I once counted 5 different birds from a sparrow to a cardinal, all feeding from the same source.  All those birds were being fed daily, even without my help. God reminded me that He will take care of all my needs. I don’t have to worry. This was a visual message of his faithfulness.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, rest assured that there is nothing you can do to escape the loving arms of your heavenly Father.  

I pray you may be strengthened in faith, knowing that God is always with you as you worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

Amen.

Day 2

January 11 // Stephen Moeller

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”

Jesus is the way. He is the one and only way… leading and guiding us on our daily journey of faith in this lifetime and also the way of salvation into heaven. He is telling us to follow Him.

Jesus is the truth. As a man, He was a prophet and taught the way of God in truth. As a King, He is just and true and encompasses all the truths of the gospel.

Jesus is the life. He is the fulfillment of life here on earth and the only way we can know the Father in heaven. 

We must know Jesus. By seeing Jesus, we see the Father’s presence, for the Son proceeds from the Father. Jesus is the reason that God’s presence is no longer resting in one place or on one person like it was in the past.  As John 14:6 says, in order for you to come to the Father you must first see the Son.

Now, how to be in the presence of God is a question with answers that are as numbered as the stars, because God meets us in many places in our lives. There is one thing in common with them all, and it starts with spending time with Him whether that’s praying and speaking truthfully with Him or singing His greatness and goodness. Whatever it is, there are countless ways to be met by God and be in His presence. But, it all starts with looking for Him and being willing to spend time with Him. 

Lord, I pray that you would show me your presence so that I would know it better. I pray you would make clear to me, your words and your actions, so that I may thank you and praise you for all your presences and for all that you have laid your hands in Lord.

Amen.