Daily Devotions

AN UNCOMMON RESPONSE

Today’s Bible Verse And then I [Jesus] will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:23 (NKJV) An Uncommon Response This verse brings about some very sobering thoughts.  What did Jesus mean when He said “I never knew you”?  How could those who: called on the name of the Lord, prophesied, and even cast out demons in His name, not be known by the Lord?  Why would Jesus say, He never knew them, if they knew His name, cast out demons in His name, and even called on His name to be saved?  Jesus, do you really know me (and I know You) as well as I think You do? Let’s focus on the word “knew” in this verse.  The Greek word for “knew” in this particular verse is ginóskó (ghin-oce’-ko), which means to know through personal experience or to know experientially.  In other passages in the Bible, the same word is used to describe the intimacy between a husband and wife.  The followers Jesus referred to are those who had head knowledge of the word, even had faith to cast out demons and see miracles performed, yet they never knew (ginóskó) Him intimately (and He never knew them). God explicitly communicates His desire for all people, throughout the Word of God (Jesus is the Word; He was the Word made flesh); to know Him intimately through the Word (through Jesus).  Jesus explained to His disciples (we are His disciples); “if you

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DON’T SETTLE FOR KNOCKOFFS

Today’s Bible Verse Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your earnings for what does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness [the profuseness of spiritual joy]. Incline your ear [submit and consent to the divine will] and come to Me; hear, and your soul will revive; and I will make an everlasting covenant or league with you, even the sure mercy (kindness, goodwill, and compassion) promised to David. Isaiah 55:2-3 (AMPC) Don’t Settle for Knockoffs During my 20 years spent as a Marine, I traveled to many foreign places.  During my travels, without fail, there would always be one or two locations for local vendors to sell knockoff merchandise (designer shoes, purses, hats, jewelry, and clothing) to the visiting tourists.  Americans would flock to these locations and spend hundreds of dollars on seemingly nice and inexpensive designer gear.  Most customers never even questioned why the items were so cheap or if the items were even real.  Undeterred and committed to having the first-class lifestyle without paying the price, tourists would settle for the copy, a counterfeit, as being the real thing, without ever once questioning or wanting to know the truth of its authenticity.  This is not just the case in foreign countries, with jewelry and designer clothes; this is also the case with the condition of the human heart.  An unsurrendered, undisciplined heart can easily be drawn to shortcuts, to

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PUTTING PROMISES ON HIS ALTAR

Today’s Bible Verse Abraham had been promised that Isaac, his only son, would continue his family.  But when Abraham was tested, he had faith and was willing to sacrifice Isaac, because he was sure that God could raise people to life. This was just like getting Isaac back from death. Hebrews 11:17-19 (CEV) Putting Promises on His Altar When I read that Abraham was willing to offer his son Isaac to the Lord, I thought that must be one of the most illogical, unbelievable, and UNCOMMON acts in the Bible!  Isaac was the promised son to Abraham that he did not ask for or plan for.  God told Abraham that the son He promised him would be born through his wife Sarah (Genesis 17:19).  Isaac was born (Genesis 21:1-3), but a few years later God told Abraham to take his son Isaac, whom God promised, and kill him as an offering to the Lord (Genesis 22:1-2).  Just as Abraham was about to be obedient up until the point of death, God provided a ram as a sacrifice instead of Abraham’s son, Isaac (Genesis 22:10-13). For years I did not understand and wondered, “How could Abraham seemingly so easily be willing to sacrifice his only son?”  It wasn’t until I got the revelation of Hebrews 11:17-19 that I fully understood Genesis 22.  The same faith in God that Abraham used to obtain the Promise of God (Isaac) in his life, was the same faith in God he needed to retain the

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RADIATE

Today’s Bible Verse And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit. 2 Corinthians‬ 3:18‬ (AMP‬‬) Radiate We were made to radiate! To be transformed and made into His image! To run this race with great pursuit and perseverance—an inward fire of an uncommon life.  Living a common life is easy. Unnoticed. Undercover. Undisclosed. Unimportant. These are all the wrong “un-s” so to speak.  Walking out the UNcommon life is well, UNcommon. Answering the call of God in your life is Uncommon. Perhaps even uncomfortable.  Have you ever been in the middle of a recipe and ran out of an ingredient or two? Perhaps you can substitute one of those missing ingredients; however, there is likely one ingredient that can never have a substitution, whether in a dish that is savory or even sweet. What could that missing ingredient be? SALT. Every dish needs salt. If you’ve ever tasted someone’s cooking who tends to lack “seasoning” (salt), you’re less likely to want to head to their house for dinner.  Jesus called us to be the salt of the earth. Guess what? There is no substitute for you! You are the salt of the earth! (Matthew 5:13). Salt is a good thing. We need salt! But more than that, we need to BE the salt! Not merely alluding

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THE PEOPLE’S HERO

This Week’s Memory Verse I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:11 (NIV) The People’s Hero Hey Kids! Did you ever want to help someone, but you didn’t think you had anything to give?  Or maybe you think and say, I’m just a kid, what can I do?” Or you think that someone else should be chosen?   Remember, Moses felt the same way!  God had an image of Moses helping His people.  He had a plan to do great miracles to save His people from the mean King Pharoah.  He heard their cry for help.  And he picked Moses to help His people.  And even though Moses didn’t think he could do it, he said, “Yes Lord!” and God’s people were saved.  Did you know that you too can be used by God to great miracles?  Yeah, all you have to do is say, “Yes, Lord!”?  When you do, God will take what you have and turn it into a miracle for someone else.  You could be an answer to a prayer!  One day a young boy was walking down the street and suddenly some robbers attacked him.  They tore his clothes and beat him up to the point he was almost dead.  Then, they left him there bleeding, broken, bruised, and wounded!!  He was so hurt that he could not get up to get help.  A pastor just so happens to walk by and sees the beat-up boy.  Surely, he would help this boy, but he walked around him rushing to get to

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