Good News Daily Devotionals

Tuesday, August 14

Acts 5:27-42 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” (v.29 ESV)

Peter and the apostles have been arrested for preaching and teaching about Jesus. A Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was respected by all, spoke in their defense before the Council and convinced them to let the apostles go free. Then they went right back preaching and teaching about Jesus.

Too often these days, we want to be politically correct or not “hurt anyone’s feelings” so we keep quiet about our faith. We need to have the courage of Peter and the apostles—like the Christians who drive around with the bumper sticker I love: Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven! That is truly good news.

Prayer: Lord, help me be proud of my faith and to obey You rather than men.

Judges 13:1-15; Psalms 97, 99, 100; John 3:22-36

 

Wednesday, August 15

Psalm 109 For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death. (v.30)

While writing these devotions I’ve been watching several specials on the life of Princess Diana on the 20th anniversary of her death. She used the pain of her own life (her mother leaving the family when Diana was only 6 years old, and Diana’s husband loving another woman) to lead a life of service to crippled children, the homeless, and AIDS patients. (Her sons and daughter-in-law continue her acts of charity today.)

May Jesus use our hands and hearts to reach out to the needy in our world. Most churches have programs that can make a real difference—like feeding the homeless, after-school programs for needy children, providing clothing to the poor, and job training for the unemployed. Get involved!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, guide me where you want me to help the needy in my community.

Judges 13:15-24; Psalm 101; Acts 6:1-15; John 4:1-26

 

Thursday, August 16

John 4:27-42 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” (v.39)

After Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink of water and engages her in conversation, she returns to the village and tells the people to come and meet the man who “told me everything I ever did; can this be the Messiah?”

Even though she has a bad record for marriages and has to come to draw water at noon (when the other women come early in the morning), the people listen to her testimony and come to hear Jesus. They even ask him to stay longer.

We can give that same invitation to our neighbors, friends, and relatives: Come and meet Jesus at my church. He is the Messiah and that is truly good news!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, give me the courage of the Samaritan woman to invite others to meet you.

Judges 14:1-19; Psalm 105:1-22; Acts 6:15—7:16

 

Friday, August 17

John 4:43-54 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” (vv.52-53)

The government official’s little boy was dying, and he came to Jesus for help. Jesus said, “Your son will live” and the man believed and started home. His servants met him with the great good news.

At our Healing Service every Tuesday evening, we pray for healing that can be seen now and healing that we will receive later, by faith. There have been wonderful miracles of healing of cancer, depression, ALS, family dysfunction, etc. (physical, spiritual, and mental healing). So, just like the father in today’s reading, bring your needs to Jesus and know that he will help.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you heal today just like during your earthly ministry!

Judges 14:20—15:20; Psalm 102; Acts 7:17-29

 

Saturday, August 18

Psalm108 My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! (v.1 NLT)

When one of us senior citizens looks back over his or her life, we marvel at all the answers to our prayers, rescues by our Heavenly Father, and the goodness and mercy He has sent our way. No family escapes every kind of pain or sorrow; we all have to lean on the Lord. But as we recount our blessings, we can definitely sing God’s praises—building our trust in the Lord as we face an uncertain future. “My heart is confident in you, O God” and that is great good news!

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for all the times You have rescued and helped me.

Judges 16:1-14; Psalm 107:33-43; Acts 7:30-43; John 5:1-18

 

Sunday, August 19

Mark 5:25-34 …because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” (v.28 NIV)

I collect antiques as a hobby. There is nothing wrong with that except I sometimes yield to the temptation to neglect prayer and charitable activities in the excitement of a search and negotiation for an interesting item. Then I’m angry with myself and ashamed.

The temptation to overspend time works in me like a noiseless file, as one holy person put it, quietly rasping away at my resolve to keep a reasonable balance. Sometimes temptation appeals to my emotions like Delilah wheedling Sampson for his secret as a pledge of his love: “If you really wanted this item you’d spend more time looking.” Other times temptation is a swarm of bees with all kinds of logical arguments: “Keep looking; if someone is selling now, it might be gone before you find it.”

I understand in a small way what the woman with the 12-year issue of blood must have felt: simply overwhelmed by the emotion of shame and the conflicting logic of her doctors. Lord, let me touch your garment by faith every day and be healed.

Judges 16:15-31; Psalm 118; 2 Corinthians 13:1-11

 

Monday, August 20

Acts 7:44—8:1a Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep. (v.60)

Take no vengeance. With his last breath Stephen pleaded for his slayers. Christians did not take revenge on Paul even though he was an accomplice in the brutal murder of Stephen and others.

Jesus repealed the ancient Lex Talionis, the Law of Vengeance that sanctions an eye for an eye and a life for a life. Can I as Christ’s follower refrain from revenge against someone who would kill my loved ones or me? I’d like to think myself civilized enough to reject murder altogether—even the thought of it. On the other hand, what about my cruel put-downs of those who insult me? What about the guilt trips I occasionally lay on my wife and children when they disappoint me? What about the times I disparage people I don’t like behind their backs? Isn’t that revenge?

There’s more. Jesus commanded me to love my neighbor as myself. This is an obligation to behave positively toward offenders, not just avoid acting negatively. Take no vengeance and forgive as well! Only with God’s considerable help is that even conceivable for me.

Judges 17:1-13; Psalm 106:1-18; John 5:19-29

 

Tuesday, August 21

Psalms 121 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (v.2)

The psalmist in verse one asks where his help comes from and answers his question in verse two. His help comes from God. It has taken me a lifetime to thoroughly engage with that answer. I am still prone to look to myself first for help in times of trouble or when an opportunity opens up. Maybe it’s my individualistic personality; but most likely, it’s my pride.

Last Lent my spiritual advisor suggested I do a spiritual exercise. I was to look back over my life and note the times the Lord had intervened in some way so that change happened. What an eye-opener! In looking back over time, I found that God has been in the midst of every change in my life that I can remember. In the good times God has been with me providing opportunities and encouragement. In the difficult times God has been active in bringing good out of the bad.

Judges 18:1-15; Psalms 120, 122, 123; Acts 8:1-13; John 5:30-47

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