Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 13, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians chapter 11

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

“And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:14-15)
Paul loved the church at Corinth and wanted to see them flourish. His concern was that false teachers would lead them astray. Some people picture the devil as a red, hideous creature with a long tail and a pitchfork in His hand. However, Satan appears in a much more appealing way. He comes as an angel of light. He is a deceiver. First he blinds, then he binds. We are not unaware of the devil’s tactics. He wants to divide God’s church and stunt spiritual growth. He is a liar and the father of all lies. The devil will try anything to keep you from believing Jesus. His desire is to hold people in unbelief. Our weapons against the devil are prayer and the Word of God. As we grow in Christ we will be able to discern what is true and what is false. We must pray and share God’s Word in such a way that no one is led astray.

Prayer: “Dear Jesus, make us strong in You, and protect us from our enemy the devil. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 11, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians chapter 9

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

“But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6)
To illustrate a principle in giving Paul borrows an image from agriculture. A farmer who sows a few seeds will get a small crop, but a farmer who sows liberally will get an abundance. The amount of the gift must be determined in each person’s heart. We should not be reluctant to give, nor should we give in response to pressure. God is pleased when we give willingly and joyfully from our hearts. Giving is an act of faith. When we give we are illustrating our dependence on God to meet our needs. Paul said, “But my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
Three blessings will occur when we give. First, our gift will be a blessing to the one who receives it. Second, God will be praised on account of our gift, and He loves a cheerful giver. Third, you will be blessed because the Bible says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Prayer: “Dear Father, May we always be generous as You are generous, and may we continuously give You thanks for Your indescribable gift! In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 6, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians chapter 6

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

God gives us the privilege of joining Him in His work. Those who are workers for God must go through a lot of difficulties. 2 Corinthians chapter 6 describes some of these difficulties. God’s workers endure troubles, hardships, and calamities of every kind. Some of God’s best workers have been beaten, imprisoned, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, and have been spiritually spent in intense prayer and fasting. These workers have served faithfully whether others appreciated their sacrifice or not, whether people loved them or despised them, whether people spoke well of them or slandered them. Spiritual workers depend on spiritual resources for success. They are dependent on holy living, knowledge of God and His Word, God’s power, the Holy Spirit, God’s armor, and pure motives. God’s workers are motivated by love. They are God- centered and Gospel- focused. Those who serve God do not seek fame or fortune. The church needs to be able to recognize true workers. Paul said, “In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God.” (2 Corinthians 6:4 NLT) True workers serve effectively when they emulate Paul’s character, and when they are motivated by love. Paul loved the people he ministered to. His heart was big with love and he challenged the Corinthian church to have a big heart for him. God’s people must love one another if we are going to benefit from the grace God has given us. Otherwise we are in danger of receiving God’s grace in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1). The spiritual success of godly workers does not benefit us unless we emulate their character. Just because a faithful worker has invested in us doesn’t mean we will be spiritually prosperous. We must come out of the world and be faithful to God. We can enjoy a level of intimacy with God like that of Paul if we are willing to submit to holy living.

Prayer: “Heavenly Father, teach us holy living, and make us more like Paul and ultimately more like Jesus. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 5, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians chapter 5

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

Paul said, “If we are crazy, we are crazy for Jesus!” (Paraphrase)
The great missionary Paul was constrained by the love of Christ. He had been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ and had been given the ministry of reconciliation. Each one of us who has come to faith in Christ is a representative of the cross of Jesus, and has been given the ministry of reconciliation. We know that God has not given us what we deserve, and that Jesus took our sins upon the cross and paid for them with His blood. We believe with Paul that “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” And with Paul we have hope of a glorious future. We know that we will one day appear before Christ, and we will receive a reward. Our temporary bodies which are decaying, will be replaced with glorious Christ-like bodies. We are accepted by Him and will be present with Him. We understand this and are assured of this by faith. And as an affirmation of our faith God has given His Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our future inheritance. People used to give earnest money when they were making a purchase of a home. Earnest money was a guarantee or promise of purchase. God has given us the Spirit as a guarantee that heaven is our future home.

Prayer: “Dear Father, thank You for giving us hope, faith, and love. May we walk by faith and not by sight. Thank You for reconciling us to God through Jesus Christ. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: August 4, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians chapter 4

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

“Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
As followers of Jesus Christ we have been given many things for our encouragement. God has given us His glorious Gospel, and revealed His Son Jesus, so that we may experience His grace and mercy. Through the Holy Spirit Jesus has come to live in our hearts. We are merely jars of clay, but we have the treasure of God’s presence dwelling in us. The Gospel is not hidden to us, but God commanded the light to shine in our hearts. God gives us hope in every circumstance that we face. Through a daily walk with God, and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are renewed day by day. Spending time alone with God each day is imperative to our spiritual growth. Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Without a daily abiding in Jesus it isn’t just difficult to live the Christian life, it is impossible! Abiding in Christ is they key to spiritual transformation.

Prayer: “Dear Jesus, we lift our hearts in praise to You. We surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. And we come to You in expectancy believing You for answered prayer. In Jesus name. Amen

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: July 30, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is 2 Corinthians chapter 1

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

God is a God of comfort. He seeks to comfort us in all our troubles. He comforts us so that we may be able to comfort others when they are troubled. The more we suffer for Christ, the more God will pour out His comfort on us through Christ Jesus. Our suffering isn’t pointless. God always has a purpose. Those who share in Christ’s sufferings will also share in the comfort God gives. Life is stormy and trouble comes to us all. Even Jesus faced suffering. Certainly, Paul was no stranger to it either. He said of one stormy experience, “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely on God, who raises the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 NLT) The word “crushed” reminds us of a donkey with a weight so heavy that its legs buckle beneath the load. Sometimes our burdens are so great that we may lose all hope of recovery. We may feel crushed by circumstances, or broken by burdens. These moments tend to drive us to greater dependency on God. Paul testified that God delivers us from hopeless situations, and the prayers of God’s people aid in our delivery. He said, “You are helping us by praying for us.” And again he said, “God has answered so many prayers for our safety.” If you are facing a storm today know that God will comfort you. If you have been comforted by God in a storm, seek to comfort someone else who is hurting. If you know someone who is in a storm today, know that your prayers are needed and your prayers will be a conduit of comfort to someone crushed beneath the burden of a storm.

Prayer: “We praise You God of comfort, and we lay our burdens at Your feet, we also pray for those we know who are struggling in a storm today. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: July 29, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is I Corinthians chapter 16

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

There are at least two Christian privileges spelled out to us in I Corinthians 16; giving and serving.
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭16‬:‭2‬)
Giving is a Christian privilege and duty. In fact, one of the marks of the early church was generosity. Generosity was the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit in the church. Giving in the Spirit means giving regularly. Paul admonished the Corinthians, “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store.” Give in proportion to how God has given to you. Do you set aside God’s tithe from your income? Tithing is the same for the person who is a millionaire as it is for the person making only minimum wage. God weighs your gift not by the size of your offering, but by the size of your sacrifice. The widow gave a small amount but Jesus testified that she gave more than everyone because she gave all she had. Giving is part of our worship. By giving we take part in the work of the Lord, and it is a blessing to give. The Bible says, “God loves a cheerful giver.” Take joy in doing your part to support God’s work through your tithes and offerings. A second privilege we have is serving. Look for the opportunities God is giving you to serve Him. Paul said,
“For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭16‬:‭9‬)
The greater the opportunity the greater the opposition will be. To be effective in service we must seek to be in the center of God’s will. Paul was careful to follow God’s plan for His life, and in doing so he walked through the opened doors. When God opens a door, walk through it and trust in His grace to sustain you. Henry Blackaby said, “Find out where God is working, and join Him.”

Prayer: “Dear Father, thank You for giving Jesus. Because You gave so much, we want to joyfully give as expression of our love and obedience to You. We pray for open doors that we may serve You faithfully. In Jesus name. Amen”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotion: July 28, 2014

Today’s Bible reading is I Corinthians chapter 15

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

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, Be you steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58)
Paul declared the Gospel. His life’s work after he was converted to faith in Christ Jesus was to tell others what God had done. Paul said, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” He laboured in the Gospel and saw a harvest of souls in the city of Corinth. Not only did Paul declare the Gospel, but also He defined it. Christ died for our sins, was buried, and He rose again the third day (I Corinthians 15:3-4). Not only did Paul define the Gospel, but also He defended it. There were some in Corinth that didn’t believe in a resurrection from the dead (I Corinthians 15:13). Paul defended the doctrine of resurrection by stating that if there be no resurrection from the dead then Christ is not risen. If Christ is not risen then preaching is in vain, faith is in vain, and witnessing is in vain. Everything we believe about salvation hinges on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because the Gospel is true, and because Jesus is raised from the dead we must be steadfast in our faith. We must not be easily shaken, and we should abound in the work of the Lord. Labor in the Gospel is not in vain. “But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 15:57)

Prayer: “Dear Lord, thank You for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, may we be faithful stewards of its message, and dedicated to proclaiming its truths to as many people as possible. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is I Corinthians chapter 14

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

“Let all things be done decently and in order.” (I Corinthians 14:40)
There was chaos in Corinth, and surprisingly enough it was taking place at the Sunday worship gathering of the church. The worship services at Corinth were filled with confusion and disorder. To avoid distractions in our worship there are some key truths to remember. First, there must be an emphasis on the Word of God. God’s Word builds us up, encourages and comforts us. Preaching and teaching the Word is a ministry that every believer can benefit from. Expounding the Word builds up the church! Next time you go to church go hungry for God’s Word. Second, we must be more concerned about the depth of our worship than the hype. Spiritual gifts are a blessing, but operating our gifts in the flesh only creates confusion. Genuine worship draws attention to the greatness of God, not the gifts of man. When it comes to spiritual things we ought to be deep, but when it comes to sin we should be innocent. Seek to know a lot about spiritual truths and know little about sin. God desires holiness in His church. Third, when we come to church we ought to be submissive to one another. Try to keep an open heart toward those who have been appointed to preach or lead. Avoid becoming a distraction. Don’t make church about you. Make it about God! May our services point to Jesus Christ and not to man. “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

Prayer: “Dear Lord, help us not to be distracted in our worship, may we not get caught up in our emotions but let us be led by Your Spirit. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is I Corinthians chapter 13

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

“And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” (I Corinthians 13:13)
The church at Corinth was caught up in spiritual gifts. There is nothing wrong with being excited, but Paul wanted them to have a biblical understanding of gifts and not be out of balance. The Corinthian believers did not lack for spiritual gifts, but they didn’t always exercise them properly. The problems they were experiencing boiled down to one thing; a lack of spiritual maturity. Spiritual growth is dwarfed by a lack of love. What good is it to have gifts, abilities, and privileges but not have love? There are two things that God requires of us above all else. First, we must love God supremely. Second, we must love others. Weirsbe says, “It is love that enriches the gift and that gives it value. Ministry without love cheapens both the minister and those who are touched by it; but ministry with love enriches the whole church.” Loving God and loving others is a key to solving most of the problems facing the church today. This chapter was written to a church struggling with many problems to revolutionize their church. Love is still the key to revival in our families, churches, and communities as well.

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, fill us with Your love, May we experience the fullness of Your Presence. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron