Devotional

The Four Prison Walls of Withholding Forgiveness (Ephesians 4:32)

Jesus likened withholding forgiveness to a prison (Matthew 18:21-35). The irony is that the person who will not forgive is the one locked inside the four walls. Paul taught the Universal Church: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32). Forgive means “to let […]


Walk Humbly (Micah 6:8)

Has a particular sin caught you in its web, and you just cannot seem to free yourself from its entanglement? Perhaps you find yourself sinning against others while avoiding reconciliation. At the same time, you might be holding on to someone’s sin against you, unable to let go. Whether we sin against others, or they […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: Clay (Isaiah 64:8)

God seeks a humble, malleable heart of clay for each of us: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Isaiah 64:8). A renowned poem by an unknown author describes our journey as clay hearts: I took a piece of […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: Justice + Mercy = Forgiveness (John 8:11)

Do you struggle to forgive those who sin against you? It might be related to how you view the weight of your sin forgiven by a Holy God. Jesus said that the debtor who has been forgiven much loves much, but the person who has been forgiven little loves little (Luke 7:47). Too often, we […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: The Heart of God (John 8:11)

Have you taken time to truly pursue the heart of God, knowing Him for who He is and focusing on His identity? Our sin flows from flawed hearts clouded from God’s original design and is completely foreign to the heart of God, which is holy. The woman caught in adultery answered Jesus’ question asking who […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: The Face of God (John 8:10)

Do you daily seek the face of God? Are you consistently focusing on His presence? Too often, we seek only the hand of God, specifically, what He can do for us. We want the gifts at the expense of the Giver. We even desire forgiveness from Him without forgiving others. After the accusers of the […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: The Hand of God (John 8:9)

The woman caught in adultery was saved by the hand of Jesus. The same is true for every sinner. After exposing the Pharisees’ mishandling of the law and their deceitful hearts, Jesus began to write again on the ground: “At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: Legalism or License? (John 8:8)

Are you caught in the sin of legalism? Do you deem your religious efforts as warranting a reward from God? Contrastingly, you might be seeking license to maintain control of your own life apart from Him, loosely dismissing the morality that He wrote on your heart. When the Pharisees and teachers of the law sought […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: Temptation | Cause and Effect (John 8:7)

When Satan tempts his prey, he hides cause from effect, falsely promising short-term pleasure will offer much greater value than any long-term pain. This was the case both for the stone-hearted Pharisees and teachers of the law along with the sand-hearted woman caught in adultery. The accusers had operated in blind religious sin, the accused […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: Sand (John 8:6b)

Are you mistaking God’s mercy for license? This was the risk of the woman caught in adultery who the Pharisees and teachers of the law brought to Jesus to set a trap for Him. If He administered justice, He would break the Roman law that required a trial before capital punishment. If He demonstrated mercy, […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: Guilt vs. Shame (John 8:5-6a)

Do you struggle with shame? Are you constantly feeling the pain of humiliation or distress caused by focusing on a past sin or foolish choice that has affected your life? It might stem from a misunderstanding of God’s heart of justice. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees saw God as judgmental. Consequently, they […]


The Woman Caught in Adultery: Stones (John 8:1-11)

Are you in a struggle to determine whether you apply justice or mercy in your interpersonal conflict? Jesus was presented with this dilemma when the Pharisees orchestrated a trap for Him with the woman caught in adultery. If He administered justice, He would break the Roman law that required a trial before capital punishment. If […]


Fully Surrendered Leaders Embrace Authenticity Over Flattery (1 Thessalonians 2:5, 10)

Have you ever complimented someone because you wanted something in return? That’s flattery, which is outside God’s design for a Christ-follower. Paul clearly expressed to the church in Thessalonica: “You know we never used flattery” (2 Thessalonians 2:5). Instead, he and his team led with authenticity: “You are our witnesses, and so is God, of […]


Fully Surrendered Leaders Embrace Generosity Over Greed (1 Thessalonians 2:9)

Are you constantly searching for more? Maybe you are pursuing the next deal, a new truck, a bigger boat, a larger house, a better company, greater achievement, the best nonprofit ministry, or even more to merely survive. Paul cautioned against a self-centered mindset that always wants more. Fully surrendered leaders embrace generosity over greed. They […]


Gentleness Restores a Leader’s Relationships Three-Dimensionally (Matthew 5:5)

Harshness destroys relationships, but gentleness restores them. Jesus taught: “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5 NASB). When leaders surrender to power under the Spirit’s control, they experience the blessings of God three-dimensionally. First, gentleness restores our relationship with God. Jesus said that His gentleness restores our souls (see Matthew […]


Gentleness Satisfies a Leader’s Desires (Matthew 5:5)

Do you have a reputation for being harsh? Something flawed inside each of us says that we can get what we want when we are harsh. Whether at the airlines counter or the fast food line, in the checkout aisle or the exit lane, on the basketball sidelines or the telephone line, we believe that […]


Fully Surrendered Leaders Embrace Gentleness Over Harshness (1 Thessalonians 2:7)

Great leaders are born out of suffering and opposition (see 1 Thessalonians 2:2). In our Western culture, we tend to think they come from affluence and support, but the Bible reveals a far different dynamic, one that teaches the strongest steel is made in the hottest fire. The Apostle Paul communicated four characteristics of a […]


CUTE GIRLS MADE: Encouraging (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Can you think of a person who has encouraged you? Now think of someone who discouraged you. Here’s the big question. Which one most resembles you? In our final characteristic of CUTE GIRLS MADE, we see that God calls both males and females alike to be encouraging. The Apostle Paul instructed: “Therefore encourage one another […]