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Devotionals

Be inspired and uplifted each day as you receive insight into God's Word

John 15:8

December 5

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

God’s will for each of His children is that we bear fruit – and not just somefruit, but much fruit! God is a productive and producing God, and He desires the same attributes in us.

When do we start? Immediately! Fruit production is possible for every believer. From the moment we are grafted into the True Vine, His potential and power flow through us.

Where do we start? Here! Our mission field exists right where we live. We have great impact in the place where we are known the most.

How do we start? The Holy Spirit produces fruit in us as we submit to the Father. His good fruit grows in us, and we produce works as evidence.

When the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, they received power to become His witnesses in Judea – that was home. In Samaria – those were their neighbors. And to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Let’s produce good fruit at home – with our spouses and children. Let’s be productive in our witness to our neighbors. In the places where we are employed, let’s work with God-honoring integrity. Those who know us best must know how we love Him most.

Start here. Start now. As you are nourished by the Father, may you flourish. Abound in every good work to produce more and more fruit!

Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May you be the planting of the Lord, pruned to produce. May your fruitfulness ever increase to glorify your Father.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament 

Hosea 1:1-3:5

New Testament 

1 John 5:1-21

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 124:1-8

Proverbs 29:5-8

 

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Romans 11:17

December 4

…and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree…

Many people claim a deep affiliation with religion, but they have no relationship with Jesus. Until they are grafted into the True Vine, they face death and the fire of judgment.

To graft a branch into a vine, the vinedresser cuts open the well-rooted, mature vine. In the fresh cut, he places the branch. He then ties the vine and the branch together.

As the vine begins to heal, the sap and nutrients from the root will feed the branch through the wound of the vine. This life-giving flow unites the branch and vine. Eventually, no one will be able to tell that the branch was once separate from the vine.

Before Calvary, we were outside of the covenant of God – a wild olive tree. When Jesus went to the cross, He was wounded for our wrongs, crushed for our evil. The judgment for our sin was placed on Him. He was pierced and broken for us.

But when He cried, “It is finished,” His crucifixion pulled us into the covenant! Because we are grafted into Jesus, the spiritual DNA of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob now flows through us. We are His chosen and redeemed, fed by the richness of the True Vine!

Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Thanks be to God for grafting you into the True Vine! You are an heir of God and joint heir with Jesus. Praise your Root and Redeemer!

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament 

Daniel 11:35-12:13

New Testament 

1 John 4:1-21

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 123:1-4

Proverbs 29:2-4

 

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Colossians 2:6-7

December 3

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…

Trees are known by their fruit. Apple trees produce apples; cherry trees produce cherries. We are known by the good fruit that we produce for His kingdom.

Without a root, though, no fruit exists. If we are not vitally connected to the Root of David, we produce nothing of worth. Jesus, the True Vine, stretches from the manger all the way back to Abraham. He connects the covenant of Genesis with the cross of Golgotha. He pulls us into every promise of God.

Before the cross, we were without hope outside of the covenants of God. Because we have been grafted into the True Vine, every promise is now “Yes and Amen” to us in Christ.

Those who refuse to abide in Him, who reject the Root of David, are branches disconnected from the life-giving source. They wither and die, are gathered up, cast away, and burned in the fire.

Those abiding in the Vine live as heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus. We build our lives in the One from Whom all blessings flow.

Wrap your life around the Root of David. Abide in Him to be fruitful in every good work, increasing in the knowledge of God, and fully pleasing Him (Colossians 1:10).

Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. May you be filled with the fruits of righteousness for His glory.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament 

Daniel 11:1-34

New Testament 

1 John 3:7-24

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 122:1-9

Proverbs 29:1

 

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John 15:16

December 2

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit…

Jesus and His disciples had just celebrated Passover. As they walked towards the Garden of Gethsemane, they passed through a vineyard in the Kidron Valley.

There, among the clusters of grapes, He taught them. “I am the true vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. You are the branches.” His further instructions extend to us.

He chose us. He appointed us. We are to go and bear fruit. He desires that we grow and produce good things for His kingdom. No matter if we have been a believer for five minutes or 55 years, God shows no favoritism or partiality.

He wants growth. If we are breathing, there is room for more of Him. He desires for us to grow more mature, stronger, deeper, wiser, more faithful, and more fruitful.

The patient Vinedresser will come to inspect our branches and our baskets. For those of us producing fruit, He will prune us to help us grow even more. For those of us whose branches are bare, He will lift us up to cut away the loose ends in our lives and to help us produce.

Cultivate opportunities for growth. Everything that is occurring around us – and in us – works to make us that much more fruitful. Leverage it all for Him. Go, grow, and produce!

Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May you grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. May you be filled with the fruits of righteousness for His glory.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament 

Daniel 9:1-10:21

New Testament 

1 John 2:18-3:6

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 121:1-8

Proverbs 28:27-28

 

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John 15:5

December 1

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Jesus knew what was coming as He gazed into the circle of dear, familiar faces glowing in the lamplight. These were the final words He would share before He was betrayed.

What a ragtag group they were – men with callouses on their hands and hearts, cheaters, liars, betrayers, and doubters! Jesus saw what others could not. His heart was tender towards these vagabonds who would undertake His earthly ministry to carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

The words that He spoke into their ears that fateful evening are the same ones He whispers to us today: “…apart from Me you can do nothing.” He wanted them to understand that if they chose to go it alone – to work hard to generate results on their own – all of their efforts would be in vain. No matter how well-intentioned, they would produce nothing of enduring worth.

How freeing to realize that it is not up to us! Only He is the Prince of Peace. Only in His presence can we find the fullness of joy. When the enemy rushes in like a flood, only He can raise a standard against him.

Outside of Jesus is barrenness and brokenness. With Him, our lives blossom and bloom in the beauty of God.

Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May you abide in the True Vine. Apart from Him, you can do nothing. With Him, all things are possible for you!

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament 

Daniel 8:1-27

New Testament 

1 John 2:1-17

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 120:1-7

Proverbs 28:25-26

 

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Genesis 32:31

November 30

Just as he crossed over Penuel the sun rose on him, and he limped on his hip.
As Jacob wrestled with God, the sky began to lighten. God saw that He did not prevail against Jacob, so He touched his hip and threw it out of joint.

Jacob was forever changed. For the rest of his life, he leaned on God. When he escaped with Esau’s stolen birthright, he was proud and pompous. His shoulders were square; his chin was held high. His scheming deception had earned him what he wanted.

But after he wrestled with God, he was humble in heart. He carried himself slowly.  With each faltering step, he recognized that his blessing came from God. His limp reminded him of his new name and destiny. He called that place Penuel, face of God.

Have you ever been through a trial so traumatic that you were changed forever? The person you were before the crisis no longer exists. Yet, the new you recognizes that it is good that you were afflicted (Psalm 119:71). Your prayers prevailed; His Word has settled in your bones like never before.

You wrestled with God until the sun rose over you, and He gave His blessing. And because you contended through the long night, you are familiar with His face. You know Him in a way that defies explanation. You will never be the same.

Today's Blessing:
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Rejoice that God has brought you  safely through the fire and the flood. No one can snatch you from His hand. Give thanks for His faithfulness!
Today's Bible Reading: 
Old Testament
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Isaiah 62:2

November 29

You shall be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD will name.

Jacob stubbornly wrestled with God. He would not let go until God gave him what he wanted more than anything.

God blessed him with a new name; He would now be called Israel. Jacob had struggled with God and man, but he had prevailed. His desperation for the blessing won out.

In an instant, he received a new name, a new character, and a new outcome. No longer was he known as Jacob – the heel catcher, deceiver, and trickster. God called him Israel, a Prince with God.

He had lived up to his previous name and fulfilled the expectations of that label. But when His Creator – the One Who formed and ordained – called him by name, he became the man God had designed. When his Maker told him what He saw and called out his true identity, Israel was born.

Many of us wrestle with who we once were. We are exhausted by the expectations and diminished by the doubters around us. Our Creator will struggle with us – just like he wrestled with Jacob – until we are in a position to receive the blessing.

In a moment, He will call out the person He designed you to be. He will give you a new name, new character, and new destiny. One touch will change everything.

Today's Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. The old things have passed away, and everything has become new. He has raised you to walk in newness of life. Give thanks to your Creator!

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament 

Daniel 6:1-28

New Testament 

2 Peter 3:1-18

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 119:132-155

Proverbs 28:21-22

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Psalm 148:5

November 28

Let them praise the name of the LORD, for He commanded and they were created.

From the highest heaven to the lowest valley, all of creation praises our Father. He commanded, they were created, and they commend His efforts.

From above, the psalmist calls for the sun, moon, stars, and clouds to praise Him. From earth below, he calls for a response from the oceans, mountains, and forests. He commands the cattle, sea creatures, and birds to give thanks to their Creator.

At this beautiful time of year, all creation joins to magnify His name. The trees burst forth their riotous robes of color and clap their hands for joy as the wind teases their leaves. The mountains and hills sing in tones of aspen yellow and dancing goldenrod. The geese honk of His greatness as they wing their way south under a high, cloudless, autumn sky. The bountiful harvest extols His goodness in a cornucopia of pumpkins and produce.

All around us, creation reminds us to praise the Lord! The earth and His creatures know that they are created by Him and for Him – to point to and praise His majesty.

The psalmist rallies us to praise, too. From the tiniest babe in arms to the gray-headed elder, he summons us to exalt our God Who reigns over all. Join in the symphony of praise with all God’s creatures today. Praise the name of the Lord!

Today's Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Let all of the earth – all of His creation – worship and praise His name! Make His praise glorious!

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Daniel 1:1-2:23

New Testament 

1 Peter 3:10-4:6

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 119:71-80

Proverbs 28:14

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Psalm 150:6

November 27

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!
Praise the Lord! Psalm 146 through Psalm 150 all begin with that resounding encouragement, and it echoes throughout the verses of these chapters.

These psalms tell us who should praise the Lord – everything that has breath. What should extol His goodness? Every creation above and below. When? Every single day forever and ever. Where? From the sanctuary to the quiet of our beds in the midnight hour. Oh, how these verses tell us why we should give thanksgiving to our most worthy Father!

Psalm 150 explodes in a symphony of praise! Blast the trumpets, crash the cymbals, shake the tambourines! That worship is also exhibited in the stillness where we know that He is God, in the soft strumming of stringed instruments, in the tears of gratitude in the comfortable silence between us. In every way we know how, every single being that has breath should praise His name!

How extraordinary that this continual outpouring of praise would bless God and would produce extraordinary results in us, too! Science has proven that this attitude of gratitude creates pathways of positivity in our brains that benefit our health in every way.

These thoughts of thankfulness center our very beings on the One Who continues to gift us with spiritual blessings in a beautiful cycle of generosity. If you have breath, praise the Lord!

Today's Blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. Give thanks for every good and perfect gift that flows from the Father of Lights. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament 

Daniel 4:1-37

New Testament 

2 Peter 1:1-21

Psalms & Proverbs 

Psalm 119:96-112

Proverbs 28:17-18

 

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