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!
December 23 2017
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Hebrews 10:24-25). I say it often, but I am a local-church girl. I believe in the importance of serving and staying connected with the body of Christ. I’ve been part of the same church for over twenty years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Today, I want to encourage you to stay involved wherever God has planted you. The local church truly is meant to be a city set on a hill, a light and hope to all the world. It is within the context of the church that you will be strengthened to keep running your race. It can be tempting to take a break sometimes or pull back from your commitment to the body of Christ, but stick with it! Ask God to keep your love for the local church steady, and get ready to see some amazing results. He rewards the faithful!
December 22 2017
There’s a lot in the Bible about how important hospitality is. Today, show kindness to everyone you encounter. You never know how God might use what seems like a chance meeting to further His purposes and His Kingdom.
December 21 2017
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23). If you ever wonder whether or not the Spirit is at work in your life, simply examine the fruit of your thoughts, words and actions. Are they governed by the Holy Spirit? When you interact with others, are your words filled with kindness and gentleness? When you face a stressful situation, do you handle it with self-control? If you believe in Jesus, I know you will discover that these characteristics are growing in your life. Today, ask the Lord to increase the fruit of the Spirit in your life. Invite Him to have His way. You were made to reflect Christ’s love to the world around you!
December 20 2017
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). When God chooses to work through a man or a woman, He doesn’t look at the outward qualifications like people do. Scripture says that when God chooses to use someone, He looks at the heart. God isn’t looking for heroes; He is looking for laborers. He is searching for a generation whose heart is beating after His own heart. There is a process God takes every person through if He wants to accomplish His purpose through their lives. It is a process of forging inner character inside that can handle the spotlight. No matter what man does or does not see about your destiny in God, the truth is that promotion comes from the Lord. Today, I want to ask you, if you are unacknowledged and unseen by man, will you trust God? You can trust that He sees you and that His plan for you is good. Let Him prepare your heart so you can handle the assignment He wants to give you in His Kingdom. Focus on allowing Him to develop your character, and He will promote you at the right time.
December 19 2017
When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well? … Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked (John 5:6, 8-9 NKJV). It’s amazing what one word from God can do. In this story, the man lying by the pool of Bethesda had been sick for a long time. He had been waiting for his miracle for over 38 years, waiting for someone to help him get into the healing waters. Then, in a single moment, with a single word, Jesus gave him what he needed. He told the man, “Rise.” If you are in a place of needing healing, be encouraged today. Jesus has not forgotten you. Through the power and grace of His Spirit, He will help you rise up, if only you are willing. Today, let’s ask the Holy Spirit to help us rise up in new areas and receive the healing Jesus longs to give us.
December 18 2017
Did you know God wants you to live your life to the fullest? Life in Christ is meant to be exciting, full of adventure and faith-filled risk. Remember that the Lord Jesus came to give you abundance. All you have to do is lay hold of it today. Walk in obedience and let the joy of the Holy Spirit fill your life!
December 17 2017
“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7-9). We are called to be people of courage and strength. But how do we know that when we step out in faith, we will be successful? Here in the book of Joshua, we see the reality that knowing God’s Word is the key for success. We must keep God’s Word before us at all times. As we seek to obey Him, He promises that we will prosper in all that we do. We can face our fears with courage when we know that God is on our side! So today, be bold and confident. Step out of your comfort zone and follow God’s leadership. When you are walking in His way, wherever you go, He will grant you success.
December 16 2017
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). In our culture today, with so many options at our fingertips, there is something to be said about being steady. Showing up for appointments on time, keeping commitments, serving where you are asked to serve – these kinds of qualities all show a steadfast spirit. Now, even David needed to ask for help in this, so don’t hesitate to ask God to renew steadfastness in your life. I can guarantee that He is more than ready to give you the grace to stay steady!
December 15 2017
Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT).
December 14 2017
He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:2-5). The way of God is so contrary to the way of this world. Even though Jesus is the King of the Universe, He came to us in such a humble manner! Scripture says he had no beauty that anyone should recognize him for the king he really was. He could have come to the world parading as a pompous king, but instead He chose to come in obscurity. Today, I want to encourage you to take the low road. Try to be a servant in all that you do. Imitate Jesus. He chose to come in anonymity. Wherever He has placed you, operate in humility. Trust God to show the world who He has destined you to be.