DEVOTIONAL

Grace

A man I knew when he was just a boy lived near one of those old-timey neighborhood grocery stores. As a child he was in that grocery store every day. He knew the owner and those working in the store very well. One day he stole some pencils. It didn’t amount to very much—maybe 25 cents. He didn’t need them. It was just one of those childish acts. In fact he took them home and buried them in the...

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No Room

Have you ever stopped at a hotel late at night to get a room and the clerk said to you, “I’m sorry, we have no vacancies”? Overbooked, overcrowded, no room for you.

That very well may be what happened that first Christmas.

The innkeeper simply had an overcrowded inn and there was no room for Jesus to stay. What Jesus experienced in that first century is what he oftentimes experi...

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Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Having happiness this year, of course, will not happen automatically. Turning over a new leaf of the calendar won’t change anything. But turning over a new leaf in life can.

What do we need in order to have a happy New Year?

• You need a self you can live with. If you don’t like yourself it’s hard to like anybody or anything else. If you need to...

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A Good Goal for the New Year

When you get where you are going, where will you be? Every life needs a goal. Much of the boredom and unhappiness in life can be traced to a lack of purpose for living. This New Year is an excellent time for you to stop and examine your own goals in life and perhaps reset some of them.

The only goal worthy of your highest and best is to do the will of God. Many great people have lived a...

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The Rising Sun

After the signing of the constitution in 1787, Benjamin Franklin commented about the chair in which George Washington had sat through all the weeks and months of their preparations. At the top of the chair were the golden rays of the sun. He told Washington that throughout all the proceedings he had wondered if it was a rising or setting sun.

Then Washington asked him, “What have you de...

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The Keeper of the Keys

As we approach another New Year we are again aware that the future holds many mysteries for us. Will it be a year of poverty or prosperity? Will it be a year of happiness or sorrow? Will it be a year of life or death? Who knows? While we do not know what the future holds, we can know who holds the future. The future is in God’s hands.

The Romans named January for Janus, the Roman god of...

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Keeping Christ in Christmas

At the Yuletide season someone always asks, “How can we keep Christ in Christmas?” The answer is simple—try! Christ can be kept at the center of your Christmas if you put forth an effort. Here is my recipe of three specific things that your family can do:

1. Remember the reason for the exchanging of gifts. This has become the dominant feature of Christmas for many famil...

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Merry Christmas

With the commercialization of Christmas, its real meaning is often obscured. If we aren’t careful, the tinsel and the wrappings will blot out the star and the straw of Bethlehem. What is the real meaning of Christmas?

• Christmas is for family. The song “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is more than just a perennial favorite. It is the desire of almost every one of us.

...

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The Miracle of Christmas

Almost forgotten now - seldom ever recalled – is the Christmas Day of 1914. The First World War was in its first years, and as Christmas drew near, the thoughts of men of both armies, facing each other across the dead strewn “No Man’s Land,” turned towards home. Home where the Christmas trees were gaily decorated amid the warmth and love of the annual celebration of the birth of the Prince of P...

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Today's Devotional

Our Unchanging God

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “We are living in the period of greatest change ever known in the history of the world.” Amid all the changes and decay of life, it is encouraging to know that God is unchanging (Malachi 3:6). How so?

First, God is unchanging in his demand for meaningful worship.

Cheap sacrifices and empty formalism never have and still don’t satisfy him. Religious observances cannot substitute for right living. We are not to leave off church attendance and prayer, but they are all sheer futility and mockery if they are not accompanied by right moral conduct. God still demands good moral conduct from his people.

Second, God is unchanging in his hatred for sin.

Sin is anything contrary to the will and word of God. God always has and always will oppose sin because of what it does to people. Every law from God has been for our benefit and well-being. Sin is like sand in the ball bearings of the human personality. It creates friction and eventually total ruin wherever it is found. The whole Bible story is a record of God’s actions to remove sin and restore humanity to our original perfect state. 

Third, God is unchanging in his plans for the future.

He plans to return to the earth again to distinguish between good and evil and reward people accordingly. Any view of life that does not take into account the future and final judgment of God and our accountability to him is an inadequate view. 

Amid this changing, uncertain world the Bible reminds us to take courage. All things are not passing away. Some things remain unchanged. God and his Son Jesus Christ are the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

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