A Christian devotion that uses everyday objects and events will stay with you throughout your day! “Being Present in the Present” encourages us to make the most of every opportunity God brings into our life.
Christian devotion - Meditate
A hummingbird just zoomed past as I sit on our porch for my morning quiet time with the Lord. Sometimes I need that reminder of life being fleeting. It’s important to be aware of the moments which seem to zoom by us.
Being present in the present is truly a gift. It’s a gift we receive from our Father above as well as a gift we can give to those around us.
I am terrible about allowing my thoughts to wander even as I am listening to someone conversing with me…so much so that I catch myself glancing beyond them with both my eyes and thoughts. It’s really such a shame.
Moments pass too quickly.
People pass too quickly.
My friend is beginning a journey of walking with their parent through the storm of cancer. Twenty-five years have now passed since my siblings and I walked that same path with our mom. She passed. In that journey though, God gave gifts – gifts of memories, gifts of time, gifts of being present, focused on her.
One of the gifts He gave was the gift of hummingbirds. We saw their shadows through the shades on the window behind her hospital bed. They drank from the flowers on her patio. God even sent one to drink from the roses placed on her casket at the graveside. Today, twenty-five years later, He still sends them to remind me. They remind me of her with sweet memories. They remind me to be present in the present.
Each is a gift from God.
Who has He placed in front of us to share this moment with? Is it our toddler calling for attention? Is it a teenager needing a listening ear? Is it an elderly parent or friend wanting to share a bit of wisdom or a story? Is it our neighbor, coworker or even a stranger who needs to know they matter and are worthy of a moment of our time? Is it our spouse waiting to be reminded they are loved?
Today is passing.
This moment is passing.
People are passing.
Let’s make the most of this gift of the present.
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God which is why we call it the present.”
Christian Devotion – Scripture
“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
– Jesus (Matthew 6:27)
“Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.”
– Paul (Ephesians 5:15-16)
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
– James (James 1:17)
Christian Devotion - Activate:
God gave me this reminder in a hummingbird this morning. I share it here with you. What will we do with it? Will we share it with others? Who will we give the gift of being present in the present to today?
Take time today to look into someone’s eyes and smile, listen intently, be generous with encouragement and see how God will use it to change a life. namely yours! 🙂
Special note: We do preview the websites to which we link, but are unable to peruse them completely. We try to check others’ faith statements and make sure they do profess Jesus Christ as God’s Son and salvation is found only in Him. It must, however, be your responsibility to personally dig into God’s Word and allow the Holy Spirit to be your first and final teacher on all subjects.
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Thoughts on God from a Missouri Synod Lutheran artist
2020 Advent devotional
Missing out on your Advent devotion book from church? Here’s a free PDF booklet you can print out at home!
With many people staying at home from church, you may not have the opportunity to pick up an Advent devotion book. It’s great that Lutheran Hour Ministries continues to offer a free Advent devotional book every year.
After filling out their form, they give you lots of printable PDF options to download:
- Folded booklet: color PDF (Finished size: 5.5″ x 8.5″)
- Folded booklet: grayscale PDF (Finished size: 5.5″ x 8.5″)
- Large-print booklet: color PDF (Finished size: 8.5″ x 11″)
- Large-print booklet: grayscale PDF (Finished size: 8.5″ x 11″)
- E-reader version: zipped ePub file
- And Spanish versions of all these!
I went with the 5.5×8.5 grayscale PDF. So nice they give an option that saves color ink! In total, it’s 22 pages to print out (11 sheets of paper if you print on both sides)
I just printed out my copy, and it’s great! The theme of the 2020 devotional is “God with Us”. Here is the summary:
Christmas is a time for reflecting. We think of holidays past and the one that’s upon us. As you read the messages of God With Us, consider the many ways that God is present in your life — through His Word, your loved ones, the fellowship of believers, Holy Communion, and more.
His love for us is personal. He proved that in a Bethlehem manger — God’s only Son born for all mankind, so that through the Christ Child we might know life with Him forevermore.
When you print the booklet and fold it, here’s how the interior pages look:
You can listen to every daily devotion via an audio.
The publishers of this Advent booklet also produce a podcast. Every day they release a new podcast episode with someone reading the devotion for that day. If you would like to listen to two-minute devotions on the go, give their podcast a try.
This month my wife and I will read this to our two children (4-year-old & 1-year-old).
If there are any days in particular that we really enjoyed, I might update this blog post with notes on those days.
If you find any of the day’s devotions to be inspiring, please share it in the comments. I’d love to hear your favorites. Thank you!
2019 Advent devotional
The theme for 2019 is “Call His Name Jesus”.
Foretold by the prophets and announced by angels, Jesus’ birth is the fulfillment of divine promises. The events of Christmas have God’s fingerprints all over them. At just the right time, He brought His Son into this world to redeem us. In “Call His Name Jesus”, we see how God is ever – present in our lives — so much so that His Son became one of us to bring us back to Himself.
2018 Advent devotional
The theme for 2018 is “The Coming King”.
The coming Savior’s birth was foretold by the prophets of old and later experienced by many who were on hand as He came into this world.
Mary and Joseph, Zechariah and Elizabeth, Simeon, shepherds, wise men from the east, a legion of angels, and even King Herod — all play their parts in the Gospel narratives that speak of the Savior’s incarnation.
Explore the many ways their lives were touched as God became one of us, for each of us, in The Coming King.
2017 Advent devotional
It’s December! Do you have any Advent devotional booklets? Many churches hand them out during this time of a year. Advent devotions are a great way to remind yourself about what Christmas is really about–the birth of our Savior!
At my wife’s Catholic church in Oak Park, they hand out Advent devotion booklets every year. She loves these devotion books. However, we recently moved to Glen Ellyn, where they?don’t hand out these devotions (just a single sheet paper calendar). My wife Sarah was really disappointed.
Being the good Lutheran husband, I went searching for a Lutheran devotional book for Advent. The Lutheran Hour Ministries offers a free Advent devotional book. The PDF has the printer pages already set! All you have to do is print, fold, and staple. I love it! Sarah will love it too.
God Knows What He is Doing!
This devotional was written by Jim Burns
And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. —Romans 8:28
Os Hillman tells a story about how God’s purpose can prevail over our plans. From a very young age, Samuel Morse had a strong desire to be an artist. He had talent and was able to master his craft. Finally, the day came when he was able to sell some of his work. But the fulfillment of his dream was short-lived. It was difficult to make a living as an artist and he suffered a series of personal setbacks.
Heartbroken, Samuel went to Europe to mull over his situation. On his return trip—aboard a ship crossing the Atlantic, Samuel heard about advances in electromagnetism. “If the presence of electricity can be made visible in any part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence may not be transmitted by electricity.” 1
Samuel worked hard. Acting on what he had learned on the ship, he invented the telegraph and developed Morse Code. Eventually, his projects received needed funding. In hindsight, Samuel said, “The only gleam of hope and I cannot underrate it, is from confidence in God. When I look upward, it calms any apprehension for the future and I seem to hear a voice saying, ‘If I clothe the lilies of the field, shall I not also clothe you?’ Here is my strong confidence, and I will wait patiently for the direction of Providence.” 2
Without Samuel Morse’s initial inventions, we might not have faxes, e-mail or the Internet today. God’s plans are not always our plans, for His plans often carry an even greater purpose. “The LORD works out everything for His own ends—even the wicked for a day of disaster” (Proverbs 16:4).
1. What plans do you have that must continually be given over to God?
2. Why is it difficult to put our plans aside and trust in God even when we read Scriptures such as Romans 8:28?
1. Samuel Morse, quoted in “Glimpses,” issue 99 (Worcester, PA: Christian History Institute, 1998).
Christians who want to please the Lord often have questions about tithing. The dictionary defines the word “tithe” as “a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution or as a tax especially for the support of a religious establishment.” It was a common practice in the Old Testament and was required of members of the nation of Israel.
Many Christians believe that this principle of giving one-tenth should be carried over to the New Testament in giving to the church and other Christian organizations. Billy Graham would fit into this category. He has said, “We have found in our own home, as have thousands of others, that God’s blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it to go farther than ten-tenths without His blessing.” However, even then the question as to whether to tithe from one’s net or gross income is not answered in Scripture, nor is the question of whether to give it all to the local church or to include other ministries. We feel that such decisions should be based on personal conviction.
Other Christians who tithe do so simply because they respect the Old Testament principle and find it a helpful place to begin in their giving. They do not believe, however, that tithing is a New Testament obligation. It is not mentioned in the New Testament except where it is describing Old Testament practices or in the Gospels where Jesus is addressing people who were under the Old Testament law. Note Jesus’ comments to the Pharisees in Luke 11:42.
A New Testament teaching on giving which may be helpful to you is found in 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income.” This passage brings out four points: we should give individually, regularly, methodically and proportionately.
The matter of your giving is between you and God, and He always takes into account our circumstances. He knows when they are beyond our power to direct and control. The important thing is that we see giving as a privilege and not a burden. It should not be out of a sense of duty, but rather out of love for the Lord and a desire to see His kingdom advanced.
Second Corinthians 9:6-7 says: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
The deeper question, you see, is this: What has priority in our lives? Is Christ really first—or do we put ourselves and our own desires first? Make sure Christ is first in your life, and then ask Him to guide you.
What does the Bible say about loneliness? Here are 30 Bible verses for when you’re feeling lonely.
7 signs that God has sent you the one
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8 Signs you’re in an Abusive Relationship
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30 Bible Verses about Loneliness
What does the Bible say about loneliness? Here are 30 Bible verses for when you’re feeling lonely.
12 Psalms to Pray When you need God’s help
So you’ve gotten yourself into a little situation. Here are 12 Psalms to pray when you need God’s help.
Here are Five Lessons to Learn from 2020
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Understanding Your God-given Purpose
What is the meaning of purpose? Many have wondered, is there is a purpose for man? What is your God-given purpose?
4 Ways Social Distancing can be good for your Spiritual (and Mental) Health
It seems like the entire world has gone into lockdown mode and many are fearful of COVID-19. However, I’ve managed to find 5 ways the COVID-19 pandemic can be good for your spiritual and mental health.
20 Bible Verses to help you overcome anxiety and worry
Are you worried about tomorrow? Here are 20 Bible verses for anxiety and worry.
4 Signs That God is Closing a Door
If you have reason to believe that God is closing a door in your life, it’s a good idea to prayer and do personal Bible study before making any hasty decisions. Here are 4 signs that God is closing a door in your life.
This is why I don’t set New Year’s resolutions
At the beginning of each new year, you may be wondering, “What should my new year’s resolutions be?” Should Christians set New Year’s resolutions? Here’s why I don’t.
Doubting God’s Goodness – Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (December-27-2021)
Charles Stanley (December-27-2021) Daily Devotional: Doubting God’s Goodness
Our humanity can make us question what good God is working in a certain situation, but through faith and obedience we will find it.
Genesis 3:1-7 – Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the fie .
Sunday Reflection: No Divisions Among You – Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (December-26-2021)
Charles Stanley (December-26-2021) Daily Devotional: Sunday Reflection: No Divisions Among You
God has called His children to live as one big close family and to not be divided by differences.
Tribalism, a sense of loyalty and belonging to a group, can be a healthy thing when it helps us underst .
The Greatest Gift – Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (December-25-2021)
Charles Stanley (December-25-2021) Daily Devotional: The Greatest Gift
The greatest gift ever given was the sacrifice of Jesus, and all we must do is accept this free gift to live in joy forever with Him.
John 3:14-21 – “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man .
Jesus’ First Appearance – Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (December-24-2021)
Charles Stanley (December-24-2021) Daily Devotional: Jesus’ First Appearance
The specific circumstances of Jesus’ birth were centuries old prophecies coming true; we can trust the God who knows and plans all good.
Isaiah 25:1 – O LORD, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give .
Intimacy With God – Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (December-23-2021)
Charles Stanley (December-23-2021) Daily Devotional: Intimacy With God
One can achieve true intimacy in a relationship with God through intentionally spending quality time in the Word and in prayer.
Psalm 34:8-14 – O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes ref .
An Advocate for the People – Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (December-22-2021)
Charles Stanley (December-22-2021) Daily Devotional: An Advocate for the People
Like Nehemiah, we can make a big difference in our communities by praying for and acting on behalf of others.
Nehemiah 1 – The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month Chislev .
A Prayer Burden – Charles Stanley Daily Devotional (December-21-2021)
Charles Stanley (December-21-2021) Daily Devotional: A Prayer Burden
God wants us to share each other’s burdens so we can all be strengthened in the body of Christ.
Nehemiah 2:1-8 – And it came about in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, that wine was before him, an .
DAILY DEVOTIONS BY DR. CHARLES STANLEY 2021
Should a Christian set aside time to spend in personal devotions? Is it really that important? The answer is, of course, yes. At its essence personal devotions is simply the time a disciple spends with God. In the act of “doing” or “having” devotions, the disciple comes into God’s presence to deepen and strengthen his or her relationship with God through reading the Bible and meditating on what it says, perhaps reading other spiritual literature, and spending time in prayer. As the Psalms express so vividly, our spirits “pant” for God as a deer pants for streams of water (Psalm 42:1). Jesus himself gives the example. Over and over again throughout the gospels, Jesus goes off to a quiet place to be alone with God. Personal devotions help us grow in spiritual maturity. But sometimes, it just too difficult to have a personal devotion without help. I have had numerous of friends telling me they do not even know which part of the Bible to study and reflect on seeing that it is so voluminous.
InTouch Daily Devotional with Charles Stanley is a popular daily Bible devotion. InTouch Daily Devotional with Charles Stanley offers wisdom and insight for applying Biblical truths to the ups and downs of everyday life. Reading daily devotions provides strength and encouragement in your daily walk with Jesus Christ. In Touch Daily Devotions with Dr. Charles Stanley is designed to help believers all over the world have a quiet time with God. InTouch daily devotions with Dr. Charles Stanley thought me that, Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He’s sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.
In Touch Daily Devotions with Dr Charles Stanley is freely brought to you as a great source of hope to encourage you, help you understand the Bible and also to help you have an encounter with the Lord in the Word.
Why Should I Study InTouch Daily Devotions with Dr. Charles Stanley?
In the writings of InTouch Daily Devotions is;
- Dr. Charles Stanley’s keen understanding of your deep longings for a clearer view of God’s will for your life.
- The spiritual guidelines of the Word explained in this devotional offer practical truth and inspiration for everyday living.
- The daily readings reveal biblical solutions to the desires and fears of those who feel they are stumbling along faintly lit paths of life.
If you’re longing for the blessings God promises to those who walk with Him, In touch Daily devotions with Dr. Charles Stanley will lead you in the direction to capture them in your everyday life. Those who truly read and Study the Bible with Dr. Stanley through his devotional have testify that reading In touch Daily devotions with Dr. Charles Stanley has being a blessing. According to them;
My grandmother was a first grade teacher for 39 years. She taught classes as large as 40 kids how to read. Amazing! In her free time, my grandmother also loved to collect samples of different primers that had been used through the years. She proudly showed me these readers one day and explained how the first source of reading for school children was the Bible itself. Many children learned to read for the sole purpose of reading the Bible.
I’ve thought about this fact through the years and love the idea of beginners starting to read with the Bible. But how do you pick the right passages? How can they understand it? And how can you build consistency? These are all valid questions.
Many of the guidelines for great kids’ devotions start with a level of simplicity that we as adults sometimes take for granted. Ten minutes is a great goal for a beginner’s devotion time. Consider the following 4 basics when encouraging kids toward establishing a 10-minute devotion time.
Basic 1: Kids can read the Bible. We take this fact for granted. The fact is that for centuries people did not own Bibles. Now we have Bibles in a variety of formats for all ages and kinds of people. Kids should primarily read the biblical text, not just commentary or stories.
Basic 2: Kids can learn to apply Bible teaching to their lives. God will use the Holy Spirit to draw kids to God, convict them of sin, and affirm the truth. This is where explanation and devotion—which makes the Bible real and applicable to the everyday life of your child—is crucial.
Basic 3: Kids can learn truths about God and Jesus. In other words, our children can also be little theologians. They can talk about God, learn what the Bible teaches, and share the gospel message with others. They can build faith as they spend time with God each day.
Basic 4: Kids can pray to God (talking and listening). Think about it. The Supreme God of the Universe wants to keep an open line of communication with our kids. Teach kids to talk to God and listen.
For additional helps, we recommend our line of kids’ devotionals, featuring 10-minute devotions for your children each day: a Scripture passage, devotion, prayer, and Bible-learning activity or fun fact. Just right for your kids and their daily time with God! There are three monthly magazines:
More for kids ages 4 to 7—Perfect to use together to model personal devotion time until your child is ready to have a devotion time on her own each day.
Adventure for kids ages 7 to 10—For your confident reader to read on his own each day or part of family devotions.
Bible Express for preteens 10 & up—In a flip-book format, one set of devotions for girls, and the other for boys, plus feature articles that will speak directly to your preteen’s daily life.
You can order or learn more at lifeway.com/devotionals .
William Summey is the Publishing Team Leader for ParentLife, kids devotionals, and short-term products. He is a graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and Vanderbilt University. William lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Christy, and two boys
Thursday, December 23, 2021
Looking for Jesus
“Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people” (Luke 2:29-31 NLT).
I don’t know about you, but waiting is not something that I like to do. I am, by nature, an impatient person. My wife (who is very patient, by the way) can attest to this.
We’re all waiting for Christmas, but for children especially, it’s really difficult to wait. They’re filled with anticipation. The Bible tells the story about someone who was waiting for the first Christmas. His name was Simeon, and he was living a godly life at a time when the people of Israel had turned from the Lord in many ways.
They hadn’t heard from the Lord for hundreds of years. Not a single prophet had spoken in the name of the Lord. Not one miracle had been performed. There hadn’t been any angelic appearances. But suddenly the time was right. Everything was set in place.
The Lord had revealed to Simeon that he wouldn’t die until he saw the Messiah, and Simeon held on to the promises of God. Then one day, Simeon saw Mary and Joseph walking into the temple with the baby Jesus, and he knew who they were. How did he know? It’s because Simeon spent time in prayer, and God reveals things to those who seek Him.
The Bible tells us that he took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation, which you have prepared for all people. He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!” (Luke 2:28-32 NLT).
Just as godly Simeon was eagerly waiting for Jesus to come the first time, we should be eagerly waiting for Jesus to come the second time, because the Bible says that He is coming back again to this earth. The first time, Jesus came to this earth in a manger. But the second time, He will come in glory.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org
Listen to Greg Laurie’s daily broadcast on OnePlace.com.
Watch Greg Laurie’s weekly television broadcast on LightSource.com.
In thanks for your gift, you can receive The Chosen – Season 1 from Harvest Ministries.
The Chosen is a TV series unlike any other! Depicting the life and ministry of Jesus in an engaging, captivating way, The Chosen will allow you to imagine what it was like to walk with the Savior and His disciples 2,000 years ago.
Enjoy The Chosen Season 1 on DVD as our thank-you gift for your donation to Harvest Ministries this month.
But who can endure the day when he comes? Who will remain standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire, like launderers bleach! …He will purify the sons of Levi… They will belong to the LORD and bring him an offering in righteousness.
Malachi 3:2,3 (EHV)
God’s Laundry Day
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Karleigh and Claire let out a big sigh. It was that time of week again—laundry day. They had to gather up all the laundry around the house, separate it into piles, and start the first load in the washer. They did not enjoy this job, especially when the laundry was smelly or really dirty, but they knew the job had to get done. Everyone in the house needed clean clothes. No one wanted to wear rumpled, stained, dirty, smelly outfits. Claire placed the first load in the washer, measured out the laundry soap, and poured it into the washer. Karleigh set the right temperature for the water, closed the lid, and pushed start. Soon everyone would have clean clothes again.
About 400 years before the birth of Jesus, a prophet named Malachi talked about God’s “laundry day” or more exactly, the Last Day when God would come to judge all people. His description seems a little scary. Yet in preparation for that day, the Lord promises to purify and cleanse his people of their dirty, smelly, disgusting sins. Like someone trying to break up a grass or food stain, the Lord will scrub at the dirty stains of their sins until they are clean. Like getting rid of a tough, ground-in stain, the Lord will work hard at cleansing us of our toughest, deepest sins.
In fact, cleansing us of our sins would take something that usually causes stains—blood. Normally, blood leaves a big stain that can ruin clothing, but not the blood of Jesus. “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7b) Instead of staining, the blood of Jesus actually removes the stain of sin and makes us clean. We need the blood of Jesus to make us clean if we are going to be pure and holy in God’s sight. We can’t do it on our own. But the blood of Jesus works better than the best laundry soap!
Because Jesus makes us clean, we don’t have to be afraid of God’s laundry day. We can even look forward to it, because he has forgiven our sins and will bring us home to be with him in heaven.
Lord God, you alone can make us holy. Lead us to see our dirty, smelly sins for what they really are and cleanse our hearts with your blood. Help us to look forward to your laundry day. Amen.
The questions below are to help families discuss this devotion. The questions are divided by age group as suggestions, but anyone could reflect on any of the questions as they desire.
Questions for Younger Children
- What makes us dirty and smelly in God’s eyes?
- What does God use to make us clean?
Questions for Elementary Age Children
- How does the blood of Jesus cleanse us of our sins?
- TRUE or FALSE: The blood of Jesus cleanses us of most of our stains (of sin). (Hint: Reread 1 John 1:7b)
Questions for Middle School and Above
- God expects us to be 100% holy. Why is being 99.999% holy not good enough?
- Recount something cringeworthy from your past—the thought of it still embarrasses you! Apply today’s devotion to that memory. How does Jesus change how you feel?
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