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Devotionals

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

Proverbs 5:18

June 25

Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth

Have you ever gotten excited about a movie preview, bought the tickets months in advance, arrived early at the venue, and settled in with your popcorn before the theatre got dark? Only you walk out disappointed two hours later because the best part of the movie was the previews.

Don’t let your relationships be the preview for a very bad movie! Don’t allow it to be false advertising for a sad outcome. Make certain that what comes next is better than what came before.

Let’s work at constructing strong marriages and relationships. Let’s put away our phones, look one another in the eyes again, ask questions, truly listen to the answers, hold hands, weave some new dreams, and say, “I love you” often.

Once Nehemiah received permission from King Artaxerxes to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, the hard work began in earnest. Nehemiah left the king’s presence and went right to work. He was determined to restore his hometown. He was not to be deterred in his goal of rebuilding the walls and rehanging the gates. In our relationships, let’s make the next chapter the best one yet.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, help me make the next chapter in my relationship better than those that came before. Work Your will in our relationship. Give us new ideas to strengthen it. Help us to always remember to keep You at the center of it all. Help us to be productive in all the things that You have called us to be as a couple. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Kings 8:1-9:15

New Testament 

Acts 16:16-40

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 143:1-12

Proverbs 17:26

 

 

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Isaiah 62:5b

June 24

And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you

Biblical marriage – one man and one woman before God for a lifetime – is a border that demands protection. Pledging our love to one another “until death do us part” is a commitment that requires serious consideration.

When the prophet, Nehemiah, learned that Jerusalem was demolished, he prayed and fasted to ask for God’s help. When King Artaxerxes offered his assistance, Nehemiah asked for a letter to rebuild Jerusalem. Before construction began, Nehemiah knew he needed to obtain the king’s permission.

Wisdom bids us to seek God’s permission before we begin to build a relationship. Is this the person whom God has chosen for me? Together, can we build a strong family? Our King of Kings, Who sees from the beginning to the end and Who has a plan for each one of us, desires to give us good gifts.

As we build our marriages, it is imperative to keep God at the center of the relationship. An attacker can overpower one person, but two can resist him; a threefold cord is not easily broken though (Ecclesiastes 4:12). When a couple abides in Christ, they find the strength and sufficiency to weather every storm.

When the Lord builds our home, our work will not be in vain. He blesses our partnerships and anoints them for His holy purpose. We find our “happily-ever-after” in Him.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I submit my relationship to You. Help me to honor my partner as Your child first. Help us to never stray from keeping You at the center of us. May Your plans be accomplished in us and through us. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Kings 6:1-7:20

New Testament 

Acts 15:32-16:15

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 142:1-7

Proverbs 17:24-25

 

 

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Nehemiah 2:18

June 23

So they said, ‘Let us rise up and build.’ Then they set their hands to this good work

The borders that God establishes bring blessing to those who choose to honor them. One of the boundaries most in need of repair today is the broken border of marriage.

Biblical, God-honoring marriage between one man and one woman for a lifetime is under threat. The sacrificial love of which the Bible speaks, that inspires one person to give his life to another and to raise children in the fear of the Lord, has been forfeited. This breakdown of the family unit erodes the foundation for our future.

Great relationships require effort, practice, and intentionality. Good husbands, good wives, and good families are not born of luck. They are built by hard work. 

For single people who desire to marry, you are working on your future relationship. Are you preparing to be a superb spouse? Or just hoping for the best? If you are a broken person before you marry, marriage will only further break down what is already broken. Wholeness is only found in Jesus.

For those who have been married for decades, be gracious enough to share how God has led you through the difficulties to find strong, peaceful marriages. You are surrounded by people who need help in the tough times. Make yourselves available to pray or have a conversation.

Let us commit to do good work in our marriages. Let us use words that encourage and build up. Let us cut away all bitterness and strife. Let us seek to love our spouses more than we love ourselves. Let us determine to strengthen these relationships that God has given to us. Let us rebuild the broken borders of our marriages. We’ve got work to do…good work.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the spouse that You have given to me. Help me do the good work required to build a strong marriage. Help me to grant forgiveness and show mercy. Help me always build up – never tear down. Help me love my spouse in the same way that You love me. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Kings 4:18-5:27

New Testament 

Acts 15:1-31

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 141:1-10

Proverbs 17:23

 

 

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Proverbs 17:6

June 22

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathersGrandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers

In honor of Father’s Day, Pastor Matt Hagee shared a personal story regarding two influential men in his life.

Pastor Matt was only nine-years-old when his grandfather passed away, but he cherished all the family events with him. They shared a love of the outdoors, and they spent countless hours on the lake fishing and hunting.

While he did not know him well, in the years since his grandfather passed, Pastor Matt’s father, Pastor John Hagee, has filled in the blanks. His grandfather was a man who loved the Lord with all of his heart and who loved God’s Word. He gave six decades of his life to preaching and winning souls to Christ.

What Pastor Matt did not know is that his grandfather grew up in a legalistic denomination that created personal torment for him, that made it difficult to enjoy life. The rules were based on a person’s own strength and works – not grace – and there was no room for imperfection.

One day, Pastor John began to share how difficult it was to grow up as his son, how he often would not speak one word to his family for weeks at a time. Painful memories spilled out.

In the following silence, Pastor Matt prayed for the right words to respond. Finally, he said, “Well, Dad, I guess I should write Grandpa a thank-you letter.” Pastor John exclaimed, “What?”

Pastor Matt explained, “If the way he raised you and all of the hurt that you had to endure is what helped you become the dad you are to me, then I guess I should write a letter and thank Grandpa. He never watched you play a game, but you never missed one of my practices. He might not have told you he loved you, but there’s never been a day you haven’t hugged me and kissed me and told me how proud you are of me. You let me know pretty quick, I was a hero. And you were mine. So, I want to thank you for being such a fabulous father.”

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the Godly examples of good fathers that you have placed in my life. No matter the joys or pains of my childhood, help me be the best father I can be. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Kings 3:1-4:17

New Testament 

Acts 14:8-28

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 140:1-13

Proverbs 17:22

 

 

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Mark 11:25

June 21

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses

Men, when you hear a Father’s Day message, two choices arise. Some men choose to look forward with hope and optimism to the fathers that they aspire to be. Others look back at the childhoods that they experienced, at the fathers that they had, and they are filled with regret or anger.

Not everyone had a great example, but that does not mean that you cannot be one. We have a Heavenly Father Who is an unsurpassed example of how to parent well. He loves lavishly (Ephesians 3:17-19). He will never abandon His children (Matthew 28:20). His Word is true; if He said it, He will do it (Numbers 23:19). He is patient (2 Peter 3:9).

If you did not have the father that you longed for, forgive him. For those of us in Christ Jesus, we are new creations. When we came to the cross, God forgave us. All of the old things passed away, and everything has become brand new (II Corinthians 5:17). We no longer carry the sins, the regrets, the guilt, the shame or condemnation from our past. You are free to become the man and the father that God has planned.

Decide to stop looking back. Teach your children that forgiveness is the key that unlocks doors and builds bridges. A grudge is too heavy a burden to bear. If forgiveness seems impossible, realize that you are not left on your own. Lean on the Lord Who will empower you through His Spirit and lead you out of the shadows of the past and into His glorious light. If the Son has set you free, you are free indeed (John 8:36).

Through the example of a Heavenly Father Who loves you deeply, and through the power of His might, you can become the father He intended you to be regardless of what your yesterday held. Choose to move forward. God has filled up your today with blessings. Tomorrow waits – filled with life, hope, and every good thing (Jeremiah 29:11)!

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me what a good, good father looks like. I confess that I lack the power and the wisdom to be all I should be. In my weakness, be strong. Teach me how to forgive the offenses of my past. Make me strong in the power of Your might. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

2 Kings 1:1-2:25

New Testament 

Acts 13:42-14:7

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 139:1-24

Proverbs 17:19-21

 

 

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Luke 11:21

June 20

When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace

Fathers, are you strong men? Are you fully armed? Are you guarding your palaces Men, you are the protectors of your palace. Are you fully armed?

Technology has made protection much more difficult. Guarding your family means exercising diligence. It means paying close attention. It requires your strong presence and your willingness to provide a sense of direction.

Some fathers shrug their shoulders and relinquish control to their children. They decide to allow the kids to choose for themselves. Guarding and guiding requires discipline…for yourself, as well as the children.

Love them. Laugh with them. Talk to them. Train them. Get acquainted with their friends. Listen to their music choices. Guard them. Guide them.

Are you strong? This fathering business is not for the faint of heart. In Ephesians 6, Paul admonishes us to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might” (verse 10). That is good news for the father who feels overwhelmed. You do not stand alone. You parent in the power of His might. You have the strongest of Allies as you guard your palace.

Are you armed? Paul goes on to encourage us to put on the whole armor of God so we can stand against the wiles of Satan (Ephesians 6:11). That armor covers every part of our bodies – except our backs. We cannot turn our backs or we leave ourselves – and our families – exposed to the enemy. God puts two offensive weapons in our hands – the sword of the Spirit that is His holy Word and the fervent and effective prayer of the righteous man (Ephesians 6:17-18; James 5:16).

Suit up, dads! Make sure that you are well-defended and fully armed with the whole armor of God, with His Word, and with the power of prayer. Stand in the gap for your family. Protect your palaces!

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, help me to put on the whole armor of God so I can quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one that he aims at me and my family. Help me to cover them with prayer. Help me to be present and engaged. Alert me to trouble, and help me to be diligent to address it right away. Most of all, help me to remember that when I am weak, You are strong. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 22:1-53

New Testament 

Acts 13:16-41

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 138:1-8

Proverbs 17:17-18

 

 

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1 Peter 5:3

June 19

…nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock

Fathers, God has entrusted you with your own “home team,” and He has called you to be an example to your family. He has provided some fundamentals that will help you succeed in this mission.

The very first – and most essential – fundamental is to read His Word, commit it to memory, and allow it to change the way that you think and act. An athlete cannot achieve well in his sport unless he is on the same page as his general manager. The Bible is the play book for the General Manager over all.

The second fundamental is to love. When the Pharisees pressed Jesus on which commandment was the greatest, He replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-39). Dads, love the Lord in such an out-loud way that your children will learn to love Him, too.

Make sure they see you reading the Word and applying it to your life. They need to hear your prayers, to see you give thanks when God answers. Take them with you to the house of the Lord; worship Him with all your heart so that they, too, will begin to hunger and thirst after righteousness. The first God they will ever know is the One to Whom you introduce them.

The third fundamental is to lead. As Christ is the head of His church, so the husband is the head of his wife, the leader of his family (Ephesians 5:23). Dads, the trait that best qualifies you to lead is your ability to follow. If you follow Christ, He qualifies and equips you to lead. Every great coach is coachable. He never stops being a student of the game.

Hebrews 12:2 directs us to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, to be our example. When He walked among us, He taught His disciples by speaking truth to them and by demonstrating how to live it out.

He did not just instruct them to pray. He showed them how to pray. He did not just send them out to minister. He demonstrated what ministry “to the least of these” looks like.

As you learn the play book, love out loud, and lead by example, the General Manager promises to be beside you every step of the way. He will train and teach, encourage and inspire. He values your commitment to the home team; He recognizes your importance to its success.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I need Your help to be the father that my children need. Teach me from Your Word. As I follow You, show me how to love them well and lead them directly to You. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 20:1-21:29

New Testament 

Acts 12:24-13:15

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 137:1-9

Proverbs 17:16

 

 

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Psalm 127:1

June 18

Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain

Fathers, if you wish to build a great family, you must recognize the Source from which true greatness flows. Greatness is found in God alone.

Today’s verse reminds us that “unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Dads, your true and full success can only be tapped into when God is the foundation of your lives. When God is the foundation of your home, your children will have a secure base. When God is the Anchor to Whom you cling, your marriage can overcome any stormy sea that batters it. The Lord must build your house.

Our verse also makes it clear that we will labor in this life. That truth is an important one for a father to model and to teach his children. Some people work very hard at hardly working. Fathers, instill a strong work ethic in your children.

When examining the stories of the greatest coaches and athletes who ever played the game – whether it be baseball, basketball, football, golf or tennis – one unifying factor leaps to the forefront. They were not extraordinarily gifted; they were extraordinarily diligent at practicing the fundamentals. They mastered the basics and executed them over and over again.

If you have the privilege of being called a dad, God has established some fatherly fundamentals that every man can master. There are not great dads or not-so-great dads. There are fathers who are diligent and those who need to be diligent. Read the “playbook” that God has provided in His Word. Then, faithfully practice the fundamentals that you find there. Execute them over and over until you can accomplish them with ease. Greatness is within reach.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I long to be a great dad, but I confess that I sometimes do not know where to begin. Instruct me from Your Word. Help me to find examples of great, Godly dads around me, and help me learn from them. Give me the strength to keep practicing and to persevere because my children are too important to give up. I will do the work. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 19:1-21

New Testament 

Acts 12:1-23

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 136:1-26

Proverbs 17:14-15

 

 

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Ephesians 6:4

June 17

And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord

Fathers, your family should take top priority. Your children and grandchildren are your dynasty. They are the ones who demonstrate to the world that you are a leader that has thoroughly prepared them for life in a world that is not fair.

You must prepare your children for the opponents they will face. How you train them while they are yours is how well they will play in the future. You must train them to win, to live out the destiny that God has ordained for each child He has entrusted to your care.

One of the most important roles a father will serve is to train his family in the fundamentals that are required to succeed against the tremendous challenges they will one day face. Are they familiar with the “playbook” that God has given for instruction in righteousness (II Timothy 3:16)? Are they listening for the Coach’s voice and following the plays He calls (Proverbs 3:5-6)? Do they know how to come alongside their teammates to rally them on to victory (Philippians 2:3-4)?

Fathers, the home teams are counting on you! They need your wisdom, encouragement, discipline, and example. You are building a team of warriors at home that will be world-changers when they run onto the field of life.

Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, thank You for the children that You have entrusted to me. I count them as my heritage and my reward. Help me raise them in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Help me to train them in righteousness so that they seek You and honor You all the days of their lives. No other job in my life is more important. In the name of Jesus…amen.

Today's Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

1 Kings 18:1-46

New Testament 

Acts 11:1-30

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 135:1-21

Proverbs 17:12-13

 

 

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