Good News Daily Devotionals

 

Good News Daily Devotionals

 

Wednesday, April 18

Matthew 3:13-17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” (v.17)
This is the Father’s declaration at Jesus’ baptism. It is not difficult for me to see why Jesus would be dearly loved by his Father. After all, he’s a perfect Son, right? But what about me (us) as His beloved children? We are far from perfect. When I make a mistake or willfully disobey God, I feel very unlovable. But He loves me still. When I am heart-sick from failure, He loves me still. When I disappointment everyone, including myself, He loves me still. When I choose to gossip, criticize, or use sarcasm at another’s expense, He loves me still. Oh, this great love that wraps me and holds me tight! Appreciate it, sing about it, tell everyone about it.
Don’t be separated from His great love any longer. Run to the lover of your soul. H cares for you, cherishes you, enjoys you, lifts you up when you fall, wraps you in His arms. Love Him, worship Him, call Him your Dad.

Exodus 19:16-25; Psalm 38; Colossians 1:15-23

Thursday, April 19

Colossians 1:24-2:7 Let your roots grow down deep into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (v.7)
Looking at the beautiful plants and trees in God’s world helps me to understand this passage. All plants need a healthy root structure before they can thrive. (As I am writing this I’ve just returned from China. Check out the Three Gorges and observe the trees growing on those sheer cliffs.) God plants my roots deep in His Son so that I can stand strong when wind and rain assault me. Also, so that I can overflow with thankfulness for this sustaining root structure. This relationship with Jesus begins by receiving his great love for me. Just accepting it as a fact, no matter how I feel. It’s a love that began before I had conscious thought so that I could never take credit for loving him first. He created my heart to long for that love and even not to be able to truly live without it.

Exodus 20:1-21; Psalm 37:1-18; Matthew 4:1-11

Friday, April 20

Psalm 105:1-22 Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the Lord tested Joseph’s character. (v.19)
Consider all that Joseph’s character-building tests involved. He was hated by his brothers, separated from those he loved, almost put to death, was wrongly accused, thrown into prison, and totally forgotten. In all that, he stayed faithful to God and continued to make right choices in the face of each challenge. Little did Joseph know that his dream would include saving his whole family from starvation. Often, I am thankful that God doesn’t reveal His whole plan to me. That knowledge would be too overwhelming.
As Christians, those character-building situations should produce the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). That peace, joy, patience, long-suffering, of course, is also the character of Christ. Am I able to make right choices and follow Jesus in every situation in my life? Only his Spirit working in me can make it possible to face life’s challenges, allow him to change my heart, and come out the other side looking more like him.

Exodus 24:1-18; Colossians 2:8-23; Matthew 4:12-17

Saturday, April 21

Psalm 32 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” (v.8 NLT)
To have the guidance and advice from the King of the Universe sounds like all I could hope for. What a wonderful promise! I believe that promise does not necessarily include long-range plans. Sometimes he just gives us the next step. That uncomfortable place teaches us faith and trust that God knows more than we do. Think back to our reading on Sunday of this week when God said if we hate we will not be able to see where we are going. Certainly, before I can claim that promise of guidance along best paths, I must stop hating and begin loving, even those that I find unlovable. Then I can walk in the light of Christ Jesus and receive guidance from the Holy Spirit.
“Count yourself lucky; how happy you must be-you get a fresh start, your slate’s wiped clean. Count yourself lucky-God holds nothing against you and you’re holding nothing back from him. Celebrate God, sing together, everyone! All you honest hearts, raise the roof!” (Psalm 32:1-2, 11 The Message).

Exodus 25:1-22; Psalm 30; Colossians 3:1-17; Matthew 4:18-25

Sunday, April 22

Psalm 63

“O God, you are my God. I earnestly search for you.” (v.1 NLT)
In the Peanuts comic strip, one of my favorite recurring events is “Lucy and the Football.” Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown to kick, but at the last minute she yanks the ball away. Poor Charlie Brown ends up flat on his back, looking up and bewailing the fact that Lucy has fooled him again. It makes me laugh but, truthfully, there have been many times in my life when my “football” was yanked away and I ended up flat on my back, looking up. And I’m not alone-King David’s “football” was yanked away when his son Absalom usurped his throne.
Psalm 63 was composed when David was in the desert, hiding from Absalom’s forces. While they were looking for him, David was looking for God. So, when you end up flat on your back looking up, don’t despair. You are already looking in the right direction.

Exodus 28:1-4, 30-38; Psalm 98; 1 John 2:18-29; Mark 6:30-44

Monday, April 23

Matthew 5:1-10 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (v.3 ESV)
When my sister and I were toddlers, our parents took us to a drive-in movie (cheap, fun family entertainment). One time during the show, my sister’s pacifier somehow dropped out of the car onto the muddy ground. She was in despair! My parents fussed over her and calmed her down.
Well, I was watching all this, and a minute later I purposely launched my pacifier out the car window so that I would be fussed over, too. I’d studied what happened when a person lost a pacifier, but I’d learned the exact wrong thing.
Jesus faced the same dilemma. Before he came, many people who studied the Lord had learned the exact wrong thing. The Sermon on the Mount is Christ’s way of showing us who God truly is. No pacifier required!

Exodus 32:1-20; Psalm 41, 52; Colossians 3:18-4:18

Tuesday, April 24

Matthew 5:10-16 “You are the salt of the earth?You are the light of the world.” (vv.13-14)
Open any Fashion Magazine and you will invariably find a quiz entitled “Are You Truly Happy?” The questions are some variation of this: Do I take myself seriously? Do I depend on others? Am I self-sufficient? Am I good to myself? All this points to a “me-focused” happiness, one where satisfaction is determined by self.
Jesus would have scored very low on these tests.
James MacArthur wrote, “All the virtues of the Beatitudes character are intolerable to an evil world.” We are “happiest” not when we focus on glorifying ourselves, but when we let the Holy Spirit shine through us to light the world.

Exodus 32:21-34; Psalm 45; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10; Matthew 5:11-16