• Keeping Pace with God

    Devotionals | December 31, 2018

    God’s timetable and plan are often different from our own. We may be tempted to run ahead of Him, moving in our own strength and forgetting to keep pace with His Spirit. Alternatively, we may find ourselves lagging behind Him, unsure and even fearful of moving forward. When you reach the end of a day—or week, month, or year—do you find yourself discouraged at what remains to be done? Instead of giving in to pride, fear, or discouragement, let’s keep in step with God.

    Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. –Galatians 5:25

  • Wisdom Calls

    Devotionals | December 28, 2018

    God offers us His wisdom to guide us through life. Scripture brings us the wisdom of the ages. In its pages, we see God interacting with people to lead and guide them to live in relationship with Him. In Jesus, we see love, truth, mercy, and wisdom in action. The Spirit of Truth calls to us, convincing us of our need for wisdom and pouring God’s wisdom into the hearts and minds of those who respond. Where do you need God’s wisdom?

  • Longings Fulfilled

    Devotionals | December 26, 2018

    Shepherds were surprised by an angelic host who sent them to find a newborn child in a manger. Simeon’s and Anna’s longings of a lifetime were fulfilled when they saw the infant Jesus, God’s Anointed One. The Magi followed a star for great distances, certain that at the end of their quest lay One who deserved their treasure. Yet others living in Bethlehem failed to perceive God’s presence in their midst. What longings drive your pursuits? Do they ultimately lead you to Jesus as your hope and the fulfillment of all your longings?

  • Worthy

    Devotionals | December 25, 2018

    Consider the ordinary events of Jesus’ birth. A little boy was born, took His first breaths, and was swaddled, just like any other newborn. But He was far from ordinary. This child’s conception and birth were announced by angels. Shepherds and Magi alike came to worship Him. He offers the right to become children of God to all who recognize, receive, and trust Him.

  • The Gift of Presence

    Devotionals | December 24, 2018

    God gave the gift of His presence to the world in Jesus, Immanuel (“God with us”). Jesus gave His Spirit to live within us. Just as God sent Jesus, He also sends us to reflect His unconditional love, grace, forgiveness, and encouragement to others. Where has God sent you? Are there people in your life who need to experience God’s life-giving presence? How will you reflect His presence to them today?

  • Trusted Friends

    Devotionals | December 21, 2018

    What a gift it is when people come alongside us to speak words of faith and affirmation! Think of the encouragement that both Elizabeth and Mary found together during their pregnancies. Two women—one young, one old, both unexpectedly pregnant—were able to encourage and strengthen one another. We need people with whom we can share what God has done, what God is doing, and what we are counting on Him to do. We need people who will come alongside us, pray for us, and point us to God’s wisdom and sufficiency.

  • Unexpected Developments

    Devotionals | December 19, 2018

    After Mary and Joseph made their commitment to one another public, God intervened in their lives in unexpected ways. To say that Gabriel’s announcement caught them by surprise is an understatement; this was not news either of them had been expecting. Caesar’s census unexpectedly sent them to Bethlehem. Later, Herod’s hatred caused them to flee to Egypt. This was not the life they had planned, but God carried them through it all, providing for them in equally unexpected ways. He will do the same for you. Where is He calling you to trust Him in the unexpected?

  • Heart Check: God-Honoring Desires

    Devotionals | December 17, 2018

    What desire has God put into your heart? Perhaps it is a goal or task to accomplish, a person to invest in, or a character trait you want to develop. Whatever it is, you can rest assured that if God is prompting you to do it, He will be with you to equip you. How can you tell if your heart's desire is from God? A simple question helps: Will this bring God honor?

    Praise be to the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who has put it into the king’s heart to bring honor to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem in this way.—Ezra 7:27

  • Refreshed

    Devotionals | December 14, 2018

    Time with the Father refreshed Jesus while He was on earth. In the midst of ministry demands, heated opposition, and training His disciples, He repeatedly pulled away to spend time with the Father. His relationship with the Father refreshed and refocused and sustained Him. Life’s demands can tempt us to think that we don’t have time for focused time with God. Jesus’ life says otherwise. God loves you, and He longs for you to find rest and refreshment in His presence and abide in His unconditional love. Will you?

  • Decisions

    Devotionals | December 12, 2018

    We all face numerous decisions each day. Some are small; some are large. Some we won’t remember tomorrow; others we will remember for the rest of our lives. Consider Joseph. Joseph tried to decide how to be compassionate and faithful to God’s law when he heard that Mary was pregnant. His choice to trust God and believe and obey the angel’s message was one that he remembered forever. Like Joseph, the choice to trust God is always in front of us as is the choice to seek Him each time we make a decision. What decisions are you facing today?