Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is Acts chapter 15

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

“Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solo Christo” Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone! As the Gospel first began to spread there was an attempt by the Enemy to distort the message. The Apostles and early church believers were defenders of the faith. They prevented the Gospel from being watered down by a works religion. Paul and Barnabas were among those who placed their own lives in danger to preach salvation by grace. Throughout history there have been many who have fought for the Gospel. Martin Luther struggled under the bondage of religion until God enlightened him with the truth, “the just shall live by faith.” Luther came to realize that all of His human effort was futile and that the only way to be saved was by God’s grace. Luther became a champion for the Gospel. On October 31, 1517 Luther nailed the ninety-five theses to the wall and risked his life for the sake of the Gospel. Luther’s passion for the Gospel of grace helped spark the Reformation. The Apostle Peter boldly stood on the Gospel of grace at a time when the church was tested. Peter said, “We believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved.” (Acts 15:11). Jesus is not a good way to heaven, He is the One and only Way to heaven.

Prayer: “Lord, give us courage to proclaim the Gospel of grace. Lead us to someone today that we may share Christ. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

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Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is Acts chapter 9

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

The Apostle Paul is arguably the greatest missionary the world has ever known. On his way from Jerusalem to Damascus he met the Lord. Paul’s experience of salvation is recorded three times in the book of Acts. When Paul met the Lord he saw a light. Formerly he had been living in spiritual darkness. God’s light revealed to Paul the truth about his sin and the truth about who Jesus is. In the light Paul was changed. He experienced a change of mind, which led to change of heart, which led to a change in his behavior. Paul not only saw a light but he also heard a voice. Paul was like a wild, angry animal kicking against the conviction of his sin. Paul asked two very important questions; who are you Lord, and what would you have me to do? God’s reply was, “I am Jesus.” Paul met Jesus. The name “Jesus” appears over 900 times in the New Testament. Every book in the New Testament except 3 John mentions the name “Jesus.” The first verse and the last verse in the New Testament mentions the name “Jesus.” Jesus is the sweetest name I know. There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father! When Paul met Jesus he would never be the same again. Paul became a chosen vessel to bear witness to others of the name of Jesus.

Prayer: “Dear God, thank You for Jesus! Give us a heart like Paul for sharing Christ with others. May we stand up and speak up for the name of Jesus. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

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Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is Acts chapter 7

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

It is encouraging to know that great men and women of the faith have been willing to give their lives for the sake of the Gospel.  Stephen was such a man. The Bible says that Stephen was full of faith and power, and that he did great wonders and miracles among the people (Acts 6:8). Stephen was unmatched in his testimony for the Lord. Even his countenance reflected the character of God. Acts chapter 7 records Stephen’s speech. I imagine that Stephen’s speech was a lot like what Jesus said to the two disciples on the Emmaus walk. Luke chapter 24 records that Jesus expounded in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. As Jesus opened up the Scriptures these two disciples’ hearts were set on fire for the Lord. Stephen preached like Jesus, looked like Jesus, ministered and lived like Jesus, and when he died, he died like Jesus. From the cross Jesus cried, “Father forgive them.” As Stephen was dying he cried, “Lord, forgive them.” Everything about Stephen reminds us of Jesus. He paid the ultimate price for the Gospel by giving his life. Stephen’s life wasn’t wasted. God used Stephen’s witness to convict and eventually covert the Apostle Paul to the Christian faith. What is it about your life and mine that resembles Jesus? The more like Jesus we become the more God can use our witness.

Prayer: “Dear Father in heaven, thank You for faithful Christian witnesses like Stephen. May we be more like Jesus in everything we do. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is Acts chapter 5

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

The church in Acts chapter five was experiencing a great outpouring of God’s Spirit. Revival fires were burning and as a result it was too hot for hypocrites! No one likes a hypocrite. Occasionally when I invite someone to church they will say to me, “I don’t like church because of all the hypocrites.” My response is, “Well you will like Jesus because He dealt with the hypocrites.” God did not tolerate the hypocrisy of Ananias and Sapphira. They pretended to be more spiritual than they really were, and were willing to deceive others and even lie to God. The result was they both fell dead. God’s swift and certain judgment speaks volumes. What if God dealt with our sin the way He dealt with the sin of Ananias and Sapphira? How many of us would live through the day if we got what we deserve? It’s only by God’s grace that we don’t die as a result of our duplicity. We must learn to feel about our sin the way God feels about it. God knows us and He sees through our many facades. We cannot fool God and there is no sense in our playing church. There is a sin unto death. Let’s be real with ourselves and God unless we fall into the trap of hypocrisy.

Prayer: “Dear Jesus, forgive our hypocrisy, thank You for Your mercy and for not giving us what we deserve. Heal us of any pretense, and deliver us from hypocrisy. In Jesus name. Amen”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions: May 6, 2014
Today’s Bible reading is Acts chapter 1

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

The last thing Jesus said to His disciples before His ascension was Acts 1:8. He promised to send the Holy Spirit to His church, and through the Spirit we are given power to witness. God’s commission to His church is that we go. The ascension marked the beginning of that commission, and the return of Christ will mark the end. Today, God has opened a door of opportunity for us to share the Gospel with the lost peoples of the world. God is in the saving business, therefore His church ought to be in the soul winning business. Someone once asked the question, “Is there anything better than going to heaven?” Yes, there is something better. It is “taking someone else with you!” The disciples first response to Jesus commission was they started a prayer meeting. Prayer is the starting point of evangelism and the Great Commission. Who have you prayed for today to be saved? Ask God to use you to witness to someone today. Acts 1:8 is for you!

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, we believe You to open hearts and give us opportunities to share Christ with someone today. Give us boldness to witness and a burden for lost people.”

Randy J. McPheron

 

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is John chapter 21

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

Some people believe that a bad night of fishing is still better than a good day at work. Jesus’ disciples might not agree with that. They fished all night but caught nothing. When morning came Jesus stood on the shore. He told the disciples where to cast their nets, and when they obeyed the catch was more than they could haul. Before His crucifixion Jesus was in the upper room with the disciples and He said to them, “Without Me you can do nothing.” This fishing trip proved that Jesus was right. Overcome with discouragement Peter said, “I am going fishing.” His statement indicates that he was returning to the vocation of fishing. Whenever we backslide we always run the risk of taking others with us. Peter did not go on this fishing trip alone. Thankfully, God extended grace to Peter and used this opportunity to restore a fallen disciple. Jesus said, “Peter do you love Me more than these?” Peter had claimed to love the Lord more than anyone else, but he ended up denying Jesus three times. Jesus graciously restored Peter and accepted his love and affirmed his devotion. Eventually, Peter would give his life in service to our Lord. It is only by God’s grace that any of us are given the privilege of serving the Lord. There will be moments of failure and defeat but don’t be discouraged. After all, it isn’t the mistakes we make but who we turn to in them that matters most of all.

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, help us to abide in You so that we will love You and serve You the way we should, and help us not to focus on our failures but may we focus on who You are. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is John chapter 20

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

We’ve all been in situations where we felt it was hopeless, or maybe a circumstance that seemed impossible. When Mary came to the tomb that is how she and the other followers of Jesus felt. They were discouraged, and it seemed as though all was lost. But on resurrection morning the stone was rolled away! God did not roll away the stone so that Jesus could go out, but He did it so that we could see in. There is hope in any situation because Jesus lives! This is why Paul prayed, “That I might know Him (Jesus) and the power of His resurrection.” We need resurrection power to face life and it’s difficult problems. Resurrection power means we have been given victory through Jesus Christ. God who raised up Jesus will also raise us up. Resurrection power means we have hope through Jesus Christ. Don’t be discouraged and don’t be without faith today. Believe God for resurrection power to give you victory over temptation, patience and endurance in your storms, and hope to live life with joy, love, and courage.

Prayer: “Lord Jesus, may we know You and the power of Your resurrection today. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is John chapter 19

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

We preach a bloody cross. There is no way to talk about the Gospel without a mention of the suffering of Jesus Christ. First, there was the scourge. He was beaten with a whip that was made of leather straps extending from a wooden handle. There were nine strands of leather embedded with pieces of bone, rock, and metal. The instrument was often referred to as the “cat of nine tails.” The scourging was so brutal that it would sometimes remove an organ as it tore away the flesh. It was believed that forty stripes would kill most men so the Roman soldiers gave thirty-nine. The scourge was one stripe from death and as close to death as most would ever come and live. The scourge was gruesome and yet Jesus endured it. They pressed a crown of thorns upon His head, and with His flesh shredded and dripping with blood from the scourge they covered Him in a purple robe. The soldiers struck Him and mocked Him. He was then led to Calvary where His hands and feet were nailed with metal spikes to a wooden cross. There Jesus who knew no sin became sin for us. The wrath of God was poured out on Him and He was treated the way we deserve to be treated. He took our place that we might go free. His agonizing death was not in vain. Jesus purchased our salvation by suffering on a cross. He was lifted up so that we might look by faith and live. In Him we have redemption through His blood. Without a bloody cross there would be no remission of sin.

Prayer: “Father, we thank You for the precious blood of Jesus that was shed for us. You did not spare Your Son Jesus but freely gave Him up for us, and in Him You will give us all things. We thank You. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is John chapter 18

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

He was betrayed in a garden and arrested at a prayer meeting. Even there He showed kindness to the soldiers. Still they bound Jesus and led Him away. Peter denied Him, and the officer struck Him with the palm of His hand. Then Jesus was led to Pilate who could find no fault in Him at all. The angry crowd opted for the release of Barabbas, a notorious criminal. But of Jesus they demanded crucifixion. The Gospel record shows that Jesus endured all these things because of His great love. I can’t help but think of how hurtful these things must have been to the Savior. He did not deserve to be treated this way. Jesus went about doing good everywhere He went. He is the only person born of a woman who is truly innocent. His innocence is on display at His trial and crucifixion. The innocent was dying for the guilty. Only through the cross can guilty men go free. Oh, what a Savior!

Prayer: “Holy Father, we worship Jesus Christ the Innocent One, we praise Him for enduring the agony of the cross and purchasing our salvation. We thank You that through faith in Christ we are made innocent. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron

Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Today’s Bible reading is John chapter 17

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

Jesus is the great Prayer Warrior. In His High Priestly Prayer, recorded in John 17, Jesus prayed the glory down. There are some people who seem to be on a first name basis with the Father that are able to pray heaven down. They have learned from Jesus how to pray. Their walk with God is such that their heart and life is tuned to the Father, and their prayers reveal the heart of God. Prayer has more to do with our relationship with the Father than the words we choose to say to God. Jesus prayed perfect and powerful prayers that brought the glory down. The word “glory” appears eight times in Jesus prayer. The key to effective prayer is praying for that which brings God glory. God will not share His glory with any man, but when we seek to bring Him glory God will honor it. The Holy Spirit will bless us when we seek God’s glory. He will manifest the Father to us and allow us to bask in God’s glory. We should be encouraged that Jesus still knows how to pray and that He is praying for us today.

Prayer: “Father, thank You for the prayers of Jesus, may we Your children learn to pray like Him. May our lives be so tuned to the heart of God that we pray heaven down. In Jesus name. Amen.”

Randy J. McPheron