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Christian Character: Hospitality

May 13, 2020

10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. (Romans 12:10-13) In this passage the word translated “hospitality” is a combination of two terms, one meaning “love” and the other meaning “stranger.” The word “hospitality,” therefore, means “lover of strangers.” As we see this idea developed in the New Testament, it becomes obvious that this Christian characteristic is very broad in…

Gracious Obedience

May 1, 2020

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” (John 14:15) The Scripture teaches that it is by God’s grace (unmerited favor) that we are saved. By grace, we are forgiven and regenerated, and by grace we persevere through life. Apart from God’s grace, we would remain under His condemnation. Our entire lives, therefore, are lived in a state of grace. This devotional is about two of the primary implications of our salvation by grace. First, the blessing of God’s favor implies that our redemption, due to our fallen natures, required His grace. Grace was essential for our deliverance from…

He Cares for You

April 24, 2020

He Cares for You The Bible gives us directions concerning how we are to handle our worries. For example, in one of His many exhortations to the disciples, Jesus addressed this issue: “. . . do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25) The Savior’s followers were wrestling with the personal implications of serving Him; one such implication centered on their ability to secure the…

April 22, 2020 Rejoice in the Lord Always

April 22, 2020

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! (Phil. 4:4) Notice that Paul commands us to rejoice in all things and at all times. He does not say that we should be joyful as long as we are content and free from worry or as long as we are not facing challenges to our faith. As a matter fact, the apostle doesn’t even mention circumstances; he simply orders us to rejoice in the Lord always. It is as though he is telling us that we don’t have another option. You are a Christian, so you are filled with…

April 15, 2020 Coronavotions (devotional thoughts for the lockdown)

April 15, 2020

For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it passes by, or as a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:4) In Genesis 8, we read about the end of Noah’s experience in the ark. For more than a year, Noah and his passengers endured all the trials and tribulations that you might imagine would arise in such a situation. When the day came, however, for Noah and company to relieve the ark, his first inclination was not what we might have imagined would be the case. As soon as Noah left the ark, he built an altar…

Holy Week: Saturday

April 11, 2020

  SATURDAY Women at tomb (Mt. 27:61; Mk. 15:47; Mk. 23:55, 56) Guard (Mt. 27:62-66) Jesus’ body lay in its tomb, where it was guarded by Roman soldiers throughout the day on Saturday, which was the Sabbath. When the Sabbath ended at 6 p.m., Christ’s body was ceremonially treated for burial with spices purchased by Nicodemus: Nicodemus, like Joseph of Arimathea, was a member of the Sanhedrin, the court that had condemned Jesus Christ to death. For a time, both men had lived as secret followers of Jesus, afraid to make a public acknowledgment of faith because of their prominent…

Holy Week: Friday

April 10, 2020

  FRIDAY Before Pilate (Mt. 27:2, 11-14; Mk. 15:1-5; Lk. 23:1-5; Jn. 18:28-38) Before Herod (Lk. 23:6-12) Return to Pilate (Mt. 27:15-26; Mk. 15;6-15; Lk. 23:13-25; Jn. 18:39-19;16) Mockery (Mt. 27:27-30; Mk. 15:16-19) To Calvary (Mt. 27:31-34; Mk. 15:20-23; Lk. 23:26-32; Jn. 19:16, 17) Crucifixion (Mt. 27: 35-56; Mk. 15:24-41; Lk. 23:33-49; Jn. 19:18-30) Burial (Mt. 27:57-60; Mk. 15:42-46; Lk. 23:50-54; Jn. 19:31-42) Good Friday is the most difficult day of Holy Week. Christ’s journey turned treacherous and acutely painful in these final hours leading to His death. According to Scripture, Judas Iscariot, the disciple who had betrayed Jesus, was…

Holy Week: Thursday

April 9, 2020

THURSDAY Passover meal (Mt. 26:17-29; Mk. 14:12-25; Lk. 22:7-30; Jn. 13:1-38) Farewell discourse (Jn. 14:1-31) Gethsemane discourse (Jn. 15, 16) Priestly Prayer (Jn. 17) In the garden (Mt. 26:30, 36-46; Mk. 14:26, 32-42; Lk. 22:39-46; Jn. 18:1) Betrayal/arrest (Mt. 26:47-56; Mk. 14:43-52; Lk. 22:47-53; Jn. 19:2-12) Before Annas (Jn. 18:12-14, 19-23) Before Caiaphas (Mt. 26:57, 59-68; Mk. 14:53, 55-65; Lk. 22;54-62; Jn. 18:15-18, 25-27) Before Sanhedrin (Mt. 27:1; Mk. 15:1; Lk. 22:66-71) Death of Judas (Mt. 27:3-10) From Bethany, Jesus sent Peter and John ahead to the Upper Room in Jerusalem to make the preparations for the Passover Feast. That…

Holy Week: WEDNESDAY

April 8, 2020

WEDNESDAY The Bible doesn’t say what the Lord did on the Wednesday of Passion Week. Scholars speculate that after two exhausting days in Jerusalem, Jesus and his disciples spent this day resting in Bethany in anticipation of Passover. Just a short time previously, Jesus had revealed to the disciples that He had power over death by raising Lazarus from the grave. After seeing this miracle, many people in Bethany believed that Jesus was the Son of God and put their faith in Him. Also, in Bethany just a few nights earlier, Lazarus’ sister Mary anointed the feet of Jesus with…

Job and the Contemplation of God

April 8, 2020

  Job and the Contemplation of God Throughout this book, Job is asking questions and offering defenses and doing his best to understand what has come upon him. Job faces that which has no explanation in his realm of experience. The book begins with a description of Job, a man of considerable wealth and spiritual maturity. Job was a man greatly blessed by God in every significant aspect of his life. After this introduction, the writer describes an encounter between God and Satan as the devil complains about God’s protection of Job. Satan argues that Job is faithful only because…