Devotional

The Parable of the Net (Matthew 13:47-50)

Have you ever asked yourself, “What does God fish for?” The answer might affect what you wake up seeking each day. In a parable about God’s net, Jesus addressed this question (see Matthew 13:47-50). First, God fishes for all: “Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the […]


The Parable of the Yeast (Matthew 13:33)

Before we attempt to assimilate others from the outside in to our churches, we must first be transformed from the inside out. Jesus addressed this in The Parable of the Yeast: “He told them still another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of […]


The Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matthew 13:31-32)

Have you considered how the kingdom of God grows in your communion with Him, in your community, and in your culture? Most ministries, including businesses, attempt to start big and eventually, they grow small. This is an example of pretense, which is the problem. However, the solution is authenticity. Authentic ministries start small and then […]


The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:12-14)

What do you think God does when something of value is lost? In a parable about a shepherd’s lost sheep, Jesus described God’s passion for lost people (see Matthew 18:12-14). First, God seeks the lost (see Matthew 18:12). Jesus described the shepherd with the lost sheep leaving his other ninety-nine in order to find the […]


Who is My Neighbor? (Luke 10:36-37)

“‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, ‘Go and do likewise’” (Luke 10:36-37). In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus said that the Samaritan felt […]


The Dealer of the Loving Deed (Luke 10:33)

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him” (Luke 10:33) In His Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus painted a picture of a robbed, stripped, and beaten man lying half-dead along the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. After leading worship in the […]


Have You Built a Box Around God’s Love? (Luke 10:25-37)

Do you find yourself wanting to show God’s love only to other believers? Jesus addressed this discrimination, the restriction of God’s limitless love, in The Parable of the Good Samaritan (see Luke 10:25-37). Who is my neighbor? (see Luke 10:25-29). An expert of the law wanted to test Jesus, so with impure motive, he asked […]


Delayed Obedience is Better than Disguised Disobedience (Matthew 21:31-32)

Is God asking you to take a risk? Jesus taught that saying “No,” then doing, “Yes” with God is better than saying, “Yes,” then doing, “No.” Delayed obedience, saying, “No,” then doing, “Yes,” has a relationship with our heavenly Father. Jesus taught the chief priests and elders: “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors […]


The Parable of the Two Sons (Matthew 21:28-30)

Delayed Obedience is Better than Disguised Disobedience Do you respond to God with good intentions and, yet, do not do what He asks? Do you say, “Yes,” then do “No.” The Jewish leaders had questioned Jesus’ authority (see Matthew 21:23-27). It was most likely Tuesday of Holy Week under one of the Temple porches. Jesus […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (1 Peter 4:10)

“Each one should use whatever he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). Love the Word Would those closest to you describe you as greedy or generous? We were designed to be generous with our gifts of time, talent, and treasure. God desires that we use […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (1 Peter 2:23)

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23). Love the Word Has someone insulted you or caused you harm? When either occurs, our first inclination is to retaliate or to make threats. However, […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Colossians 3:13)

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). Love the Word Have you had the opportunity to forgive someone who has wronged you? Jesus likened withholding forgiveness to a prison (see Matthew 18:21-35). The irony is that the person who will […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Matthew 11:28)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Love the Word Do you ever feel weary from sin? Has too much license increased your desire for more and more of your fix of choice in order to feel new again? This is the loose and […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Matthew 7:12)

“So, in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12). Love the Word Everyone wants to be heard, forgiven, loved, and understood, but the irony is that few want to listen, forgive, love the unlovely, or take time to understand. […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Jeremiah 29:13)

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13). Love the Word Have you ever done anything halfheartedly? How did it make you feel in the end? Unfortunately, due to our sinful nature, we often find ourselves in tasks where we do not give our all, even […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14). Love the Word Have you encountered God, yet continue […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Proverbs 9:10)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). Love the Word When conflict arises, do you respond wisely? Would those closest to you characterize you as an understanding person? The Bible offers us wisdom for managing conflict, including understanding that only our loving […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (Psalm 139:23-24)

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). Love the Word Is your heart in need of restoration? David, a man after God’s own heart, penned his prayer of renewal […]


Love, Learn, Live the Word (2 Samuel 14:14)

“Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, He devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from Him” (2 Samuel 14:14). Love the Word Do you devise ways for those outside Christ to find life with God […]


FOCUS (Part 2)

We were designed to be satisfied through an intimate relationship with Christ. He is the satisfying focal point of our desires. As with a magnifying glass, the focal point of our eyes is magnified, and all that surrounds it is fuzzy. When temptation of the eyes comes, we stand at a 180-degree pivot-point to either […]