Monthly Archives: September 2021

Practicing His Presence

Prayer begins as we open our heart to Jesus. We worship, we adore, we share our heart’s deepest burdens and longings, we confess, we listen, we intercede, we ask, we enjoy his presence. We say, “Amen.” Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Real Thing (Sept 16)

he real thing—the heart of the gospel—is Christ living in you and me. The key to living the Christian life is not trying hard to live by the rules in my own strength and power. It is all about a grace based relationship with the one who loves me most—Jesus. Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Stealing Freedom

Be careful of any system that adds requirements to the gospel. One common form of such a system is legalism. Legalism attempts to place people in bondage to a religious system of rules and to take away the freedom that flows from a relationship with Christ. The legalist focuses on appearances—trying hard to impress others (and presumably, God) by how well they keep the rules. It is a system filled with pride and judgment. It is a dangerous religious game that keeps people from the “real thing.” Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Good News (Sept 14)

Did you notice how abruptly Galatians begins? Paul normally begins with a long thanksgiving passage and then a prayer for the church. But this time, he gets right to the point. His words are pointed and passionate. That should tell you that he was very concerned about the Galatian church–very concerned about any attempt to distort the gospel and keep us from the freedom we have in Christ. Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Passing the Test

aul reminds us that we sometimes need to check our progress in the faith. Are we growing up in the faith? Are we becoming more and more like Jesus? Or are we just drifting along without any apparent progress, or worse, losing ground? Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Picture (Sept 12)

When what we see with our eyes doesn’t seem to make sense, it is time to look at the big picture—to get an eternal perspective. For Isaiah, that meant pointing to the hope of the coming Messiah. In earlier chapters he warned of judgment, but even in all that he points to the hope that one day the Messiah will come. Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

He Will Reign

When our world seems to spin out of control, we must run back to this truth, that the Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. In the midst of tragedy, we must look forward to the day when Christ will return to right all the wrongs and to reign with the government on his shoulders. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Holy Love

Understanding both God’s holiness and his loving goodness brings a balanced focus to our lives. Like Isaiah, we need a vision of the holiness of God. Like the psalmist, we also need to understand God’s heart of love towards his people. While they seem to be in stark contrast, they come together in a unity that brings balance to both. Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Boasting in Weakness

Most of us spend a lot of energy trying to keep up a good front– to appear strong. We try very hard to pretend that everything is perfect. We try very hard to hide our weaknesses. Paul said, “I boast in my weakness.” Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Demolishing Strongholds

In our pain—our weakness—they appear to be castles of refuge, safety and pleasure. So we run to them to ease our pain, to meet our needs and desires or, sometimes, just for the fun of it. Continue reading

Posted in Devotional Thoughts | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment