I’m so excited about First Things First, my daily devotional delivered right to your inbox for FREE! My hope and prayer is that it would be a great encouragement, and that you would come away each day with a new revelation of how you were created to live a powerful life of purpose and passion. Join me every morning as we discover the life-changing promises of God’s Word, and step into all that He has in store for our lives!
January 1 2018
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12). No matter your age, you can be a leader wherever God has planted you. All you need to do is be the example. Your words, your actions, the way you interact with others – these are all ways to show the love of Christ. As you follow the Lord in faith, you will naturally find yourself leading those around you. Today, ask the Lord how you can set the example in your workplace, in your home and with your family and friends. He is looking for those who are ready and willing to be leaders. And I know He has plans to use you mightily!
December 31 2017
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1-2). When did Jesus endure? • When He was tempted by the devil for 40 days in the wilderness • When His whole family didn’t understand • When Judas betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver • When He pled with His Father in Gethsemane • When Peter denied Him • When the crowd shouted, “Crucify Him!” • When they hammered Him to the cross • When all the forces of hell came against Him • When He took on the sin of humanity • When He cried out, “It is finished!” Because He endured, we can endure! Jesus is our example for a faithful, obedient life to the Father’s will. Today, let’s remember and fix our eyes on Him, following in His footsteps.
December 30 2017
The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed (Isaiah 50:4). God has given us opportunity to speak to others in our spheres of influence. Isaiah said that God gave him wisdom to help the weary, to speak comforting words to them. In our lives, God wants to give us wisdom to help those around us. Today, ask the Lord for a word that will bring comfort to someone in your life. He is ready to speak!
December 29 2017
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others (Philippians 2:3-4). One of the most refreshing things to me as a minister is to meet someone with godly ambition. In a world that esteems the outcome of selfish ambition and behavior, godly ambition is hard to find. The Bible actually encourages us to do nothing from a place of selfish ambition, and to focus on humility instead. What’s the difference between godly and selfish ambition? Let’s take a look … • Godly ambition is initiated by God. • Selfish ambition is initiated by man. • Godly ambition is about advancing the Kingdom of God. • Selfish ambition is about building a personal empire. • Godly ambition honors others. • Selfish ambition competes with others. • Godly ambition longs to please God. • Selfish ambition pleases man. • Godly ambition is about reaching the lost. • Selfish ambition is about increasing a person’s number of followers. • Godly ambition involves dying to self. • Selfish ambition gratifies self. • Godly ambition thinks of the next generation. • Selfish ambition indulges this generation alone. In all of our words and actions today, let’s pursue humility and godly ambition.
December 27 2017
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). It’s such awesome news that Christ has freed us from shame! Shame was probably the biggest hurdle I needed to overcome throughout the years. But the amazing thing about the Gospel is this: We are not fighting for victory; we are fighting from victory! Christ has already won the battle against shame. All we have to do is live in the freedom He has purchased for us. Today, embrace the good news that you have been set free from guilt and shame. You are victorious in Christ!
December 26 2017
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1) Since my girls’ earliest days, my husband, Nick, has spoken affirming words over their lives. They have confidence that their father loves them. And his unashamed love has brought security to their identity. My daughters know that they are loved. And even when my youngest daughter faced negative words and mean behavior from another child at school, her confidence was not shaken. In the same way, God wants us to feel assurance of His love for us as His children. We can face the challenges of our day with confidence, knowing our heavenly Father is pleased with us and is smiling over our lives. Receive the Father’s love today!
December 25 2017
Today, we can rejoice! We have a Savior. In the midst of time spent with family and friends, let’s remember Jesus. Because of Him, we can live redeemed, joy-filled lives.
December 24 2017
For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again … (Proverbs 24:16 NASB). I have awesome news for you; we serve an all-powerful, incredibly merciful God! And why is this such great news? If you’re anything like me, you know that just because you are a Christian, doesn’t mean you won’t ever make a mistake. In fact, I know from personal experience that I am far from perfect! But another thing I know is that our God is able to take even my weaknesses and work them for my good. Proverbs says a man or woman of God may fall down seven times, but what sets them apart is that they rise up again. Ask the Lord to help you continue to walk in His ways. He will give you a clean slate. Today you can start fresh! He is ready and willing to give you the jumpstart you need.