Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: September 22, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Thessalonians chapter 1

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Every person should be thankful for their church family. The Bible gives us reasons to be grateful. In II Thessalonians 1:3-4 It says, “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure.” (NKJV) First, we give thanks for growing faith. The faith of the Thessalonians was growing exceedingly. Faith is like a muscle, when it is used it grows stronger. Someone said, “A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.” God uses trials to grow our faith. Faith also grows as a result of reading God’s Word. Romans 10:17 says, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (NKJV) Be thankful for the growing faith of other believers who are part of your church. Secondly, give God thanks for the love of your church family. Paul said that the love of the Thessalonians was “abounding.” The word “abounding” pictures a river overflowing its banks. Think in terms of agriculture and irrigation. Crops are nourished by the overflow. Think about how you and your church family are nourished and blessed by the overflow of love from one another. Praise God for loving churches! Lastly, thank God for believers in the church who are patiently enduring trials for the glory of God! Many around us are going through difficulties, but they are faithfully leaning on the Lord through it all. What a blessing to see people who love Jesus stay strong in their faith even though they are struggling. We should be thankful for their example. After giving God thanks for your church, brag on it to others. The world hears enough bad stuff about churches. They need to hear the good stuff!

Prayer: “Lord, thank You for the faith, love, and faithful endurance of the saints of God You have placed in my life. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: September 17, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is I Thessalonians chapter 3

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

“You are my pride and joy.” is what Paul said to the believers in Thessalonica (I Thessalonians 2:20 NLT). He said, “We would have come to you, but Satan hindered us.” The solution was to send Timothy. The purpose for Timothy’s ministry visit was, first of all, to establish the church in the faith. They were facing trials and temptations and needed to be well grounded to endure. Paul said, “I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.” (I Thessalonians 3:5b) Not only was Timothy sent to establish them, but also his purpose was to encourage them. Paul was concerned that their afflictions might get them off track in their faith. Christians who are not well grounded in the faith are in danger of being distracted by their struggles. It was a great encouragement to the Apostle Paul to know that the Thessalonians were standing firm in the Lord. The result of being established and encouraged in the faith is found in verse twelve, “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you.” (I Thessalonians 3:12) When we stand firm in the Lord our love for God’s people increases, and our spiritual growth is a great encouragement to others.

Prayer: “Dear Father, Let our spiritual growth be an encouragement to others, and use us to establish others in the faith. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: September 15, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is I Thessalonians chapter 1

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The church at Thessalonica was a model church. They were examples to all the believers in Greece, Macedonia, and Achaia. They boldly received the Gospel and were willing to suffer for it. Paul said, “So you received the message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the severe suffering it brought you. In this way, you imitated both us and the Lord.” (I Thessalonians 1:6 NLT) Many were talking about the faith of the Thessalonians. They previously had been guilty of worshiping idols, but by God’s grace they turned from these idols to serve the living and true God. After turning to God these Christians began explaining the Gospel everywhere, and living their lives expecting Jesus to come again. It is wonderful when God gets hold of a church and people everywhere begin talking about all the good things that God is doing. We hear enough bad reports about the bad experiences some people have in church. It’s time that we emulate the church at Thessalonica, and become model saints so that others may hear of our faith and give their lives to the Lord.

Prayer: “Lord, help us to make known Your Gospel and to sound it forth to people everywhere. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: September 5, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Philippians chapter 3

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Being right with God is the greatest joy any person could ever have. Paul knew this joy and he desired that the Philippian church know it too. Paul knew the source of his joy. The source of joy is faith in Jesus Christ. Paul did not rely on human effort. He placed his trust in what Jesus has done for us. Before Paul was saved he sought righteousness by human effort. All of his accomplishments only brought him misery. One day he met Jesus Christ and his life was never the same. After coming to faith in Christ and experiencing God’s joy, Paul looked over his past accomplishments and concluded, “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared to the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Him depends on faith.” (Philippians 3:7-9 NLT)

Prayer: “Father, thank You for the joy that comes from knowing Jesus, and from the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. In Jesus name. Amen”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 27, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Ephesians chapter 2

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

There are two words in Ephesians chapter two that may be two of the sweetest words in the entire Bible. The words, “But God”. Before we can fully appreciate the weight of these two words, we must first understand our plight before Christ came into our life. We were spiritually dead in our sins. Our life was marked by sin and we were in bondage to it. Satan had control of our lives. We lived according to the desires of our flesh and were under the condemnation of God’s righteousness judgment against sin. We were children of wrath and deserved death and Hell because we violated God’s Holy commands. We were on the road to Hell “BUT GOD” showed us mercy and love by sending His Son Jesus to die for us even when we were at our worse. Jesus raised us up to life and poured out His amazing grace to save us and forgive all our sins. We were separated from God because of our sin, but through Christ God brought us back to Himself. Now God’s Holy Spirit lives in us and we are part of the one family of God!

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, where would we be today if it were not for those two words ‘But God’? We were lost and spiritually dead in sin when You came and rescued us. Thank You for Your mercy and grace. We would still be lost and bound for Hell if it were not for You. Thank You in Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 20, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is Galatians chapter 3

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The Bible is a wonderful sword, but it is a terrible club. Some people use the Bible to beat people with, but God doesn’t intended for His Word to be used this way. The Galatian church unwisely chose to allow corrupt teaching to mislead them. False teachers battered them with rules and regulations in which they believed to be the Law of God. Paul said, “Oh foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified?” The Old Testament Law was not written to imply a salvation by works. It was written to point us to Christ. Jesus fulfilled the Law by becoming the sacrifice for our sin. We become followers of Christ the same way as Abraham. Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Paul said, “Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham.” (Galatians 3:7)
The Gospel affirms that righteousness is not attained through works, but it is imputed by faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Prayer: “Dear Lord, protect us from being tricked by false teachers. We completely rest in the Gospel of Your grace. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is I Corinthians chapter 3

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Spiritual immaturity not only plagued the church at Corinth, but is a major problem today as well. Paul referred to this state of stunted spiritual growth as carnal. Some indications of being carnal are first of all feeding only on the milk of God’s Word, and not being able to digest the meat. Another indicator is envy, strife, and division. The believers at Corinth were divided. Some favored Paul, some Apollos, and some another preacher. Let me paraphrase Paul’s response; “Who are we?” Paul asked. “We are ministers called by God. Neither one of us are anything. We plant and water but it is God that gives the increase. We are on the same team and serving for the same purpose. Each worker will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are labourers together with God.” Paul’s argument to the Corinthians was “do not glory in men.” Praise God for every person He gifts and places in the body of Christ. These belong to us and bless us, but our main focus should be the glory of God. The cure for carnal Christianity is to build on the one foundation, Jesus Christ; be blessed by the one family, God’s people; and be of one focus, bring God to glory.

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, mature our faith and may there be unity in Your church today. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is Romans chapter 4

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

Abraham was God’s choice servant. God called Abraham to leave the place where he was living (Ur of the Chaldeans), the people he was living with (His father and extended family), and the purpose he was living for (worshiping false gods). Abraham repented of his idol worship, obeyed God and was greatly blessed for it. God made of him a great nation. How is it that God was able to use Abraham and to make such a great man out of him? Because Abraham responded to God by faith, and God always blesses faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. We must believe that God is and that it is worthwhile to seek after Him. It is only through faith that we can be saved and receive the righteousness of God. Abraham believed God and God’s righteousness was imputed to him. God’s promise to Abraham is also God’s promise to us. Faith in Jesus Christ connects us to Abraham, for Abraham is the father of the faithful. That makes us as followers of Jesus Christ the children of Abraham and heirs to the promise!

Prayer: “Dear Father, thank You for calling Abraham and giving him a promise. Thank You for also making that promise available to us by faith. We give You praise. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is Romans chapter 3

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The early chapters of the book of Romans feels like a courtroom setting. The entire human race is on trial. The verdict has been handed down and we’ve all been pronounced guilty. The sentence for our crimes is death. Spiritual death is separation from God, and eternal death is eternal separation from God forever in hell. How can we be saved? Can the law save us? God’s revelation shows that the law cannot save us, but that it exposes our sin. The law shows us our need for Christ. If the law cannot save us then how can we be saved? The Good News of Jesus Christ is that we are saved through faith in Jesus Christ, all who believe! We are justified by grace through faith. It is faith alone without works. Jesus became a sacrifice of atonement, an offering to satisfy the sin debt. Through Jesus Christ is made available the forgiveness of sins, and through faith in Christ guilty sinners become recipients of the righteousness of God. Oh what a Savior!

Prayer: “We thank You God of our salvation for the glorious Gospel! Thank You for Jesus. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is Romans chapter 2

(Read the entire New Testament in 2014 by reading only one chapter each day)

The goodness of God is intended to lead us to repentance, but we should never be presumptuous. God’s goodness doesn’t nullify His impending judgment. God hates sin and renders to everyone according to their deeds. To those who do not obey the truth there will be “tribulation and anguish upon every soul that practices evil.” But to those who trust Christ God will give glory, honor, and peace. God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. Simply being religious won’t pass the test. We must be born again. We are all guilty of sin and without excuse, but God in His great mercy reaches out to us through Jesus Christ His Son. Our sinful nature has left us spiritually bankrupt. “In Christ alone our hope is found, bought with the precious blood of Christ.”

Prayer: “Dear Father, You have shown us that we are guilty sinners, and that only through Christ can we be made well. Thank You for Jesus. Amen”

Randy J. McPheron