New Lent email devotionals available at Bible Gateway

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Looking for some Lent devotional reading as Easter approaches? Our sister site Bible Gateway has just launched two new email devotionals centered around Easter: a read-through-the-Gospels Bible reading plan and a Lent devotional email. Both begin on Ash Wednesday (March 9) and run through Easter, and both are aimed at helping you focus on Jesus during the Easter season.

Take a look—and if you have a favorite Lent/Easter devotional to recommend, let us know in the comments below!

When is the last time you thought about what you think about?

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that we should attempt to bring every thought into captivity. And as Oswald Chambers writes in his My Utmost for His Highest devotional, when we give our minds over to Christ we can stop being impulsive and instead “be used in service to God.”

Is your mind stayed on God or is it starved? Starvation of the mind, caused by neglect, is one of the chief sources of exhaustion and weakness in a servants life. If you have never used your mind to place yourself before God, begin to do it now. There is no reason to wait for God to come to you. You must turn your thoughts and your eyes away from the face of idols and look to Him and be saved (see Isaiah 45:22).

Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to be bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ . . . (2 Corinthians 10:5). This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together. When you have thoughts and ideas that are worthy of credit to God, learn to compare and associate them with all that happens in nature-the rising and the setting of the sun, the shining of the moon and the stars, and the changing of the seasons. You will begin to see that your thoughts are from God as well, and your mind will no longer be at the mercy of your impulsive thinking, but will always be used in service to God.

If it’s been a while since you’ve done so, take time today to quietly sit in a distraction free environment and catalog all the thoughts that are cluttering your mind. You might be surprised to find out what you’re devoting your mind to. This process can help you root out of the causes of stress or worry in your life, which then gives you an opportunity to seek resolutions or to give the worry over to God.

Today’s Devotional: Prayer in the Face of Frustration

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

I’m going through a a disappointing situation right now. Without getting into the details, a personal situation I was excited for has gone from hopeful to unsalvageable over the past week. To say I’m frustrated would be an understatement.

However, like many frustrating circumstances in life, it has provided daily (often hourly) opportunities to test my commitment to Jesus’ famous words in Matthew 22:37-40:

“Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

It’s easy to love God when life is full of blessings. Likewise, it’s easy to love your neighbor when everyone is being friendly. But what about when your expectations are dashed and your neighbors are decidedly unfriendly? What I’m re-realizing through this experience is that prayer is incredibly necessary. I’ve been praying for God to take my worry and replace it with His grace and His peace. And, unsurprisingly, whenever I can rise above my own issues enough to lay them before God, He has been faithful in answering that prayer.

Perhaps you’re in a similar situation. Have you taken time to pray about the situation? What would it take for you to exhibit God’s love to the people involved?

Today’s Devotional: Stating Not Arguing

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Perhaps I’m alone in this, but when I encounter someone who disagrees with me my natural inclination is to argue with them. After all, they’re wrong!

A.W. Tozer challenges us in this devotional that when it comes to matters of defending God our only responsibility is to positively declare God’s truth. With that act, we put the burden of persuasion upon God, who is far more capable than you or I:

The answer to the question, “Where did I come from?” can never be better answered than by the Christian mother who tells her child, “God made you!” The great store of knowledge in today’s world cannot improve on that simple answer! The scientist can tell us the secrets of how matter operates, but the origin of matter lies in deep silence, refusing to give an answer to man’s question. … Our chief business is not to argue or to persuade our generation. With our positive declaration of God’s Word and revelation, we make God responsible for the outcome.

Are you in the midst of an on-going argument with someone over issues of God and faith? How would taking Tozer’s advice change your approach to the disagreement?

Today’s Devotional: We’re All Capable

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Have you ever felt like you’re incapable of certain kinds of sins?

I know I have, only to later find myself humbly confessing those very sins. If there’s one thing the Bible is clear about it’s that we’re all capable of great evil, and that despite our attempts to rank sins from bad to really really bad, God views our sin much in the same way. Our pride is direly misplaced.

Our Daily Bread reminds us today that our response to someone else’s sin should be alertness rather than smug pride that we haven’t done the same:

It has become so commonplace to hear of the misconduct of a respected public figure that even though we may be deeply disappointed, we are hardly surprised. But how should we respond to the news of a moral failure, whether by a prominent person or a friend? We might begin by looking at ourselves. A century ago, Oswald Chambers told his students at the Bible Training College in London, Always remain alert to the fact that where one man has gone back is exactly where anyone may go back . . . . Unguarded strength is double weakness.

Chambers words echo Pauls warning to be aware of our own vulnerability when we see the sins of others. After reviewing the disobedience of the Israelites in the wilderness (1 Cor. 10:1-5), Paul urged his readers to learn from those sins so they wouldnt repeat them (vv.6-11). He focused not on past failings but on present pride when he wrote, Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (v.12).

The devotional above reminded me of the parable that Jesus told in Luke 18:9-14 about the Pharisee and the tax collector. In it, Jesus tells the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector praying at the temple. The Pharisee thanks God for everything he’s not, the tax collector merely asks for mercy for his sins. Jesus concludes by saying that the tax collector was justified before God, not the Pharisee.

Have you been comparing your “goodness” to others? What would it take for you to spend some time today humbling yourself before God?

Today’s Devotional: Our Refuge

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Where do you turn in times of trouble?

If you’re like me you’ll try everything but God when life gets difficult: friends, work, church duties. On their own, they’re not bad things, yet compared to what we need they’re mere distractions. The Today devotional reminds us this morning that God is our only true refuge. Until we run to Him we’ll never find rest:

The psalmist names God as our refuge from powers that tear at our peace. We are invited to know him as our rock and fortress, a sheltering presence when we feel overwhelmed by a world full of arrogance and intrigue. Its a mistake to think shelter happens just by getting cozy with other Christians—although Christian friends certainly are important. Only the Holy One provides security for the frightened soul. We soon discover that the world snared in our own hearts is what terrorizes us most. We need our Maker as our Refuge—and nothing less.

Read the rest of the devotional at

Have you been avoiding God in the midst of your troubles?

Today’s Devotional: Beyond the Trifling Things

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Do you make it a habit to thank God for the spiritual blessings He’s given you?

Most of us do a good job of thanking God for our material and relational blessings, but sometimes we forget to thank God for His greatest gift to us: forgiveness. A. W. Tozer draws our attention to the eternal life that God has given us:

We ought to spend more time remembering the blessings and the benefits God is continually giving us while we are alive-before we leave this vale of tears! He gives us forgivenes – so we are to live for Him as forgiven sinners. He gives us eternal life. This is not just a future reality – our life in Him is a present bestowment. He gives us sonship: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God!” In this relationship there are many other gifts we receive from God, and if we do not possess them it is because we are not God’s children in faith! We ask God to help us, to meet some need, to do something for you, and the Lord mercifully does it. I consider these the little and the trifling things, yet we make a great deal of them. But they are really the passing things compared to the great present benefactions of forgiveness, reinstatement in favor with God, sonship and eternal life!

Read the rest of the devotional at

Take some time today to thank God for your salvation, every other blessing we’ve been given pales in comparison.

Today’s Devotional: Loving God

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Why do you call yourself a Christian? Is it out of duty to a past decision? Or because you’re still in love with God?

As time passes it can be easy to forget our first passionate declaration of faith. Consequently, we begin to see our relationship with God as one in which we need to appease Him. As our devotional from Our Daily Bread today reminds us, our faith should be informed primarily by an all encompassing love for God and His ways:

When Jesus was asked to name the greatest command in the Law, He replied, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment (Matt. 22:37-38). The questioner wanted to test Jesus, but the Lord answered him with the key element in pleasing God. First and foremost, our relationship with Him is a matter of the heart.

If we see God as a taskmaster and consider obedience to Him as a burden, then we have joined those of whom the Lord said, I have this against you, that you have left your first love (Rev. 2:4).

Would you say that your faith in God is based on love or something else? If it’s based on something else, what would it take for you to remember and pursue the original love commitment that lead you to Him?

Just a quick note on the relaxed posting schedule over the past few weeks. Most of our team was out on vacation, but we’re slowly getting caught up and getting back into the swing of things. We hope you had a wonderful Holiday season!

Today’s Devotional: Intercessory Prayer

Monday, December 13th, 2010

An intercessory prayer is a prayer prayed on behalf of someone else. Our devotional today from Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for his Highest, gives us a stern warning that we should not idly take on the responsibility of interceding on someone else’s behalf. When we pray an intercessory prayer we need to be careful. We are putting ourselves not in their place, but in God’s place:

You cannot truly intercede through prayer if you do not believe in the reality of redemption. Instead, you will simply be turning intercession into useless sympathy for others, which will serve only to increase the contentment they have for remaining out of touch with God. True intercession involves bringing the person, or the circumstance that seems to be crashing in on you, before God, until you are changed by His attitude toward that person or circumstance. Intercession means to fill up . . . [with] what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ (Colossians 1:24), and this is precisely why there are so few intercessors. People describe intercession by saying, It is putting yourself in someone elses place. That is not true! Intercession is putting yourself in Gods place; it is having His mind and His perspective.


What we must avoid in intercession is praying for someone to be simply patched up. We must pray that person completely through into contact with the very life of God. Think of the number of people God has brought across our path, only to see us drop them! When we pray on the basis of redemption, God creates something He can create in no other way than through intercessory prayer.

Read the rest of the devotional at

Have you ever prayed an intercessory prayer?

Today’s Devotional: The Source of Our Success

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Humility is almost easy to practice when life is difficult. Our circumstances remind us of our need to rely on God. However, when life is going well we have a tendency to pridefully take credit for our success.

Our Daily Bread this morning relates the story of King Uzziah’s downfall. Uzziah allowed his pride to consume him and he ignored God’s role in his success. As a consequence he was struck with leprosy:

Dwight L. Moody said, When a man thinks he has got a good deal of strength, and is self-confident, you may look for his downfall. It may be years before it comes to light, but it is already commenced. This was true of King Uzziah.


Uzziahs life was one of great power and human success until he became blinded by it. His pride was evidenced in several ways: he challenged Gods holiness by trespassing the temple and presuming upon a position he would never be able to have (v.16); he viewed Gods power as good but not absolutely necessary for his leadership (vv.5,16); he refused godly correction and counsel (vv.18-19); he bypassed his opportunity to repent; and he ignored, instead of feared, the consequences of his sin (vv.18-19).

Read the rest of the devotional at

Are there any areas of success in your life that you haven’t given credit to God for?