The Lord Has Been Gracious
December 19, 2023 | Christmas, Devotionals

He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And they all wondered. And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God (Luke 1:63–64, esv). Maybe nine months without being able to talk would be just the cure we need for whatever keeps us from praising […]

Our Daily Bread
December 14, 2023 | Devotionals

“Give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11, esv). A new blue bike, a skateboard, a light-up football, a U.S. soccer jersey, Xbox games, a fast sled, a trampoline, an iPad, a trip to Disneyland . . . Ever seen a child’s Christmas wish list that looked like that? Boundless consumerism in a little […]

The War on Christmas?
December 12, 2023 | Devotionals

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy” (John 16:20, esv). What are the top five songs of Christmas? Take a wild guess. (Warning: you may start humming to yourself.) Check out this popular ranking: “Chestnuts […]

Trust + Wait
December 7, 2023 | Devotionals

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices (Psalm 37:3, 7, esv)! Rest is such an elusive thing. Our bodies […]

The Benefit of Getting Alone
December 5, 2023 | Devotionals

And Jacob was left alone (Genesis 32:23, esv). Time alone is key in the life of a believer. Time alone allows for God to confront you. Let me illustrate. Say you have a friend who’s watching what he eats. Your friend asks you to hold him accountable for any food that goes into his mouth, […]

Walking or Sinking?
November 30, 2023 | Devotionals

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:31, esv). It was a dark and stormy night—like the cliché opening of a novel. In this case, it fits. Between three and four o’clock in the morning, the disciples got […]

The Secret
November 28, 2023 | Devotionals

“When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6, esv). The secret to prayer is prayer in secret. Jewish tradition in Jesus’ day had reduced prayer down to a shadow of its […]

The One Constant
November 23, 2023 | Devotionals

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers (1 Thessalonians 1:2, esv). Name one thing you “always” find yourself doing, something that’s “constantly” part of your day. How often would giving thanks be an honest answer to that? Perhaps you’d say you’re constantly talking on the telephone. […]

Soul Food
November 21, 2023 | Devotionals

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts (Jeremiah 15:16, esv). It’s not enough to own a Bible. Or hold it. Or carry it. Or even respect it. You […]

Uncommon Community
November 16, 2023 | Devotionals

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers (Acts 2:42, ESV). What is fellowship? We use the term loosely but often fail to think about what it means. Fellowship isn’t red punch and cookies in the church basement (though many of us grew up with […]