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 13 2017
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you (Psalm 56:3). Putting your trust in God is like casting a secure anchor in the midst of a storm. When fear grips your heart, there is no safer place than trusting God with your circumstances. We all deal with fear, but fear doesn’t have to dominate our lives. Jesus is the solution to every kind of anxiety. And not only will trusting God invite His protection in the midst of life’s circumstances, but it will also bring peace! You can sail through life’s storms when Jesus is the one holding you up. Today, cast your anchor into His sure promises. He will make you secure in the face of every anxiety. He will give you peace.
December 12 2017
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8). There is nothing more important in our Christian lives than displaying the love of God. Just as Christ covered our mistakes with His love and grace, so should we have grace for those we are in relationship with. This is the number one way people will see we are different from the world. So look for ways to display Christ’s love and grace in your friendships, among your co-workers, at home with family. Choose to overlook small offenses; choose to forgive wrongs. As you take these steps, not only will your relationships improve, but also you will be putting Jesus on display for any unbelievers in your life. They will be drawn to His love through your Christlike behavior. His way is always the best way! Above all else, show love to someone today.
December 11 2017
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). If there’s one thing I’ve learned about following Jesus, it is that He is looking for co-laborers. Partnering with Christ requires diligence and commitment. But you can rest assured that you don’t have to do it in your own strength! As you apply yourself and give yourself to the purposes of God, He will enable and strengthen you to do His work. The best part about embracing God’s work is that you know it’s not in vain. Every task, everything you do from a place of servant-heartedness, every step of obedience you take, He remembers it all. Your work won’t be for nothing, but you will discover joy as you co-labor with Christ. Let your faith be seen through your works. Stand firm and let nothing move you from the work God has called you to do in His Kingdom.
December 9 2017
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love (2 Peter 1:5-7). The way that we act and live our lives will affect the way others view our faith. Peter reveals some of the character traits of a growing Christian: • Faith – Having confidence and trust in God • Goodness – Living morally • Knowledge – Understanding the principles of Christianity • Self-control – Having control of your own actions and feelings • Perseverance – Having steady persistence • Godliness – Conforming to God’s laws • Mutual affection – Having devotion for brothers and sisters in the body • Love – Having tenderness toward others What do these traits mean to you? Ask the Lord to help you grow in any area where you feel weak. He is ready and willing to help you!
December 8 2017
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:2-4). Did you know that you have an eternal destiny? Your life on this earth is not all that you have to look forward to. Much of what we see on this earth is temporary; it fades away. Scripture tells us that the true reality of our lives is hidden with Christ. In fact, we are seated with Him in heavenly places (see Ephesians 2:6)! That’s why it’s important to keep looking up. Today, set your mind on heavenly things. What you see here and now is only part of the story. Your actions now will affect your eternal inheritance. Be encouraged! Christ has your reward in heaven. Live your life in light of your eternal destiny.
December 7 2017
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver (Proverbs 25:11, NKJV). Relationships are so important to your life. I have been blessed to have many long-term friendships, but it takes work to keep them healthy and strong. Sometimes that means giving people room to grow and change, to find their place. Sometimes a little space is required. At other times, we will be the one God uses to speak into that friend’s life in order to help instigate the growth He wants to bring about. Proverbs tells us that a word spoken at the right time is just as beautiful as seeing apples of gold in a setting of silver. In other words, timing is everything! Even a challenging word, spoken in the right way at the right time, can truly be a blessing to the person you’re speaking to. Be prayerful and always speak truth in love. Your friendships will be fruitful when you walk them out according to God’s ways of wisdom.
December 6 2017
Stay close to the Lord’s commands. They are a safeguard for your heart and for your soul. Ask the Lord to keep you close today. Bring to mind His truth for whatever you’re walking through; He is listening!
December 5 2017
You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees (Psalm 119:68). Knowing God’s true character is vital for every believer. Why? Because when we go through storms in this life – and we all will – an understanding that God is good, no matter what we face, will keep us anchored. At times, God’s ways may confuse us. Maybe He is saying “no” when we think the answer should be “yes.” Maybe He opens a door or gives us an opportunity that we don’t feel prepared for. In all these moments, we need to trust that He is good and that, as Romans 8:28 declares, He is working all things for our good. In the Psalms, King David declared that God is good. Let’s worship our heavenly Father in the same way. Today, praise the Lord for His goodness in your life!
December 4 2017
Jesus called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out impure spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. … “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:1, 7-8). Wherever the Kingdom of heaven advances, people are set free. Just as Jesus gave His twelve disciples authority over sickness and disease and empowered them to freely share the Gospel, He has also given you authority over the domain of darkness. Know that your prayers are powerful! Heaven moves when you pray in Jesus’ name. And if you have experienced the restoration and freedom that God’s Spirit brings, go and freely share it with others. Be a conduit of God’s presence and His freedom! Let the Kingdom of heaven advance through you by living in obedience and availability to God.