Today's devotionals

Short Devotional for Women:


Pre-game  -  

This devotional was written by Kelly McFadden

 

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. —Ephesians 6:13

 

If you’ve ever been around or seen competitive sports you know at least this:

 

Athletes don’t just show up on game day and compete – there is a lot of preparation that goes on before ever setting foot on a field or in a gym.  When I played professional volleyball for the St. Louis Quest we began training a month and a half before our season started.  We barely even stepped onto the volleyball court during those weeks – we conditioned.  We ran, we jumped, we lifted, we drilled – with three practices a day we ate, slept and breathed volleyball.

 

As the season began our practices became centered on that week’s opponent.  We studied the opposing teams by watching videos and coordinating drills in order to combat their strengths.  We worked on areas that we knew would exploit their weaknesses.  Our coaches developed strategies and game plans.  We trained to win.  We prepared to give ourselves the best chance at victory.

 

Jesus came and died for us.  Even he ‘trained’ during his life by studying (Luke 2:41-52), fasting (Matthew 4:1-11), praying (John 17:6-26)…It is so important for Christians to realize that being a Christian is not a one time decision.  Being a Christian is a daily decision to follow Christ.  And let me warn you, this is usually not the easiest or most popular place to be.  In fact, most of the time, it is difficult.  That is why we must be prepared.  A Roman soldier would never have gone into battle without all of the appropriate equipment, or he would surely have been defeated.  Just like a soldier or an athlete if you are not prepared you will lose the battle.  Christians are called to be alert and prayerful in their faith.  If we are not prepared, sin will conquer.

 

GOING DEEPER:

1. What are areas in your life that you have to prepare and train for? What happens when you are not prepared?

 

2. How can you, as a Christian, put on your armor each day?

 

3. Why is it important that each day you are prepared and ready to make a godly decision?

 

FURTHER READING:

Ephesians 6:13-18; Luke 2:41-52; Matthew 4:1-11; John 17:6-26


This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/

Short Devotional for Men:


Pure Religion - 

This devotional was written by Mike DeVries

 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.James 1:27 (TNIV)

 

Mark Twain once remarked that it was not the things that he did not understand in the Bible that bothered him, it was the things that he did understand.

 

I don’t know about you, but today’s scripture is one of those places for me. The writer of the book of James makes this astounding statement about a religion that is “pure” and “faultless.” What is astounding is that he opens the door to the idea that religion, in its proper expression, is not cold and lifeless, but is actually fresh and life giving.

 

Religion in its proper expression is not about living a perfect life, nor about being able to check off the “religious to-do list,” but about embodying the heart of God. It is about living a life in which we “follow God’s example” (Eph. 5:1), caring about and taking action on the same things and in the same way that the incarnate God, Jesus Christ, displayed for us.

 

Time and again, the Scriptures display God’s heart for the last and the least of society. It appears that this is a subject that is very close to the heart of God, and thus should be one that is close to the heart of those who are followers of God. Perhaps one of the greatest legacies that we leave the next generation of Christians is a strong expression of caring for those who are close to the heart of God—those who are the last and least in society.

 

What if, rather than being known for what it stands against, the people of God were known for what they stand for? What if we, the Church, were best known as a conduit of love and grace to a world that is in desperate shortage of both? Caring for those who are the last and the least is not only a good ideal, but rather it appears to be central to a life that pleases God.

 

GOING DEEPER:

What are some practical ways in which you can care for the last and the least in your community?

 

FURTHER READING:

Deuteronomy 24:17-18; Isaiah 1:16-17; Jeremiah 5:26-29; Acts 4:32-35


This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.

More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/


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