To receive The Daily Light in your email inbox, please sign up below

Daily Devotional 9-11-19

Perfect Clarity
By Julie White
 
“Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete…but when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless…For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then, I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.” 1 Corinthians 13: 9-10, 12
 
In Paul’s day, the city of Corinth was a famous manufacturing center for mirrors. State-of-the-art mirrors were made of buffed metal, silver, or brass. By gazing intently into the polished metal, the viewer could have a general, yet vague impression of reality. But, when you look at someone’s reflection and then you see that person face to face, there is no comparison. The reflection is, at best, a shadow of the full-blooded reality.
 
When Paul wrote of “full understanding,” he was referring to when we will see Christ face to face. In eternity, we will be made perfect and complete in the very presence of God. Then, we will have full understanding of one another as unique expressions of God’s infinite creativity.
 
The word Paul used for dimly is the Greek word for puzzle, or enigma. That’s what life is like, Paul was saying, even for a Christian. It’s a mystery. We are catching only the merest glimpse of the full eternal reality in Christ. We find ourselves here on earth, peering into an imperfect mirror trying to make sense of it all. We come with our gratefulness and our sorrow, our yearnings and our questions, and we gaze, gaze, gaze, wanting so much to see the full picture. But it seems that God allows us only a glimpse; enough to bring comfort and encouragement in order to keep on going.
 
What heart-cries still remain unsatisfied for you? What questions still remain unanswered? What yearnings remain unfulfilled? Remember that this life is only a dim reflection of the true reality yet to be revealed. Bring your desires, questions, and yearnings to Jesus. Let His Word shed light and meaning on your heart-thoughts and rest in the fact that God knows you completely and sees your best interest with perfect clarity.
 
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, help me to gaze upon You this day, for You hold the answers. You fulfill each longing and You are my satisfaction. Help me to see You clearly.


Daily Devotional 9-10-19

What Do You Want?
By Sam Sackett  
 
“The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Read the full story in Mark 10:46-52
 
He heard voices.
 
Friends talking. Children shouting. Business deals. Bickering. Joking and laughing.
 
He heard it all. Every day. From morning until the sunset, Bartimaeus sat by the roadside in the ancient city of Jericho and listened. On occasion, he would speak to passersby as they placed a coin in his hand. But mostly he listened. Blind Bartimaeus, the beggar. That was his identity.
 
Jesus had healed many people from diseases and afflictions. Miracles had been happening, and speculation was growing that this rabbi from Nazareth was more than a teacher or prophet. For several days chatter along the roadside suggested the rabbi was on his way to Jerusalem and would soon pass through Jericho. Eventually, Jesus did come, and with him a crowd of disciples, followers, and those curious to see a famous rabbi in their city.
 
That day, like every other, Bartimaeus sat by the roadside. When the crowd grew loud and Jesus began to pass by, Bartimaeus called out. The crowd was noisy, and so the blind man began to shout.
 
“Son of David, have mercy on me!”
 
Those around the blind man tell him to be quiet. A dirty beggar shouting for the rabbi’s attention is not a way to honor a famous guest in their city.
 
But Bartimaeus persists until the rebukes transition to, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.”
 
Bartimaeus throws one of the few possessions he owns to the ground – his cloak – and makes his way to Jesus. His outer garment, and possibly even the coins he had received, are discarded without hesitation as he pushes through the crowd in response to the rabbi’s invitation.
 
Jesus speaks first, asking Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?”
 
“To see.”
 
The request is direct yet undemanding. The unrelenting yearning waits expectantly for a response. At that moment, Jesus sees what others cannot and offers a one-word promise together with a declaration that redefines Bartimaeus’ identity. “Go. Your faith has healed you.”
 
The blind eyes see. The man once captive to darkness now stands liberated. And the poor in spirit is declared to be rich in faith.
 
Unlike a rich man who, after encountering Jesus a few days earlier, walked way feeling sad because he could not relinquish his wealth, Bartimaeus let go of what little he had. His spirit was not entangled with lesser things and was ready to receive.
 
The story concludes with Bartimaeus the faithful, following Jesus along the road toward Jerusalem as a witness to the grace of God.
 
I invite you to consider two questions:
  • Are you willing to let go of lesser things?
  • What do you want Jesus to do for you, for us?

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, grant me the grace to relinquish lesser things and receive the things of your kingdom you offer to me.



Daily Devotional 9-9-19

The Wonder Name
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful
 
John Newton writes amazingly about the name of Jesus:
It makes the wounded spirit whole, 
And calms the troubled breast;
Tis manner to the hungry soul, 
And to the weary rest 
 
We use names to refer to persons. When you hear a certain name, a person comes to your mind.  They are words that point to a person. While some names bring relief and happiness, others stir trouble and anger. Every name brings something to mind—whether good or bad because they point to someone.
 
The name, Jesus, can be very powerful if we have the right perspective. By having the right perspective, I mean, you know the person behind the name. In Hispanic culture, the name Jesus may refer to several people. I have heard many Hispanics being referred to by that name. But, for us, Christians, that name points to the Son of God. It is the name that is above all names (Philippians 2:9-10).
 
Mr. Newton reminds us of the blessings and power in the name of Jesus. He tells us the name of Jesus has the ability to heal our wounded spirit, reviving our hearts with grace and love. When we are storm-tossed and fears surround us, the power in the name of Jesus calms and quietens all the rages around us. Indeed, the name of Jesus brings deliverance. Newton further writes that Jesus’ name is food for the soul. Wow! Have you seen a hungry soul before? I have. It shows symptoms of desperation, anxiety. It is a soul in search of something, and the power in the name of Jesus brings relief and healing to such souls.
 
I don’t know the situation that makes you weary, hungry, troubled and wounded. But, I know of a name that can turn situations around for your good. It is the name Jesus. When you mention it in faith, wonders and miracles will happen.
 
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, help me keep faith in the Person of Jesus so that as I mention his name, blessings will follow me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Daily Devotional 9-6-19

Time to Get Out
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful
 
“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family, and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you.’” Genesis 12:1
 
I like to go to movies. Especially when I’ve had a busy and loaded week, I take time to enjoy a nice movie at the theater. A movie theater is a social place. You meet friends and socialize for a while, but most of the time is spent watching the movie. But, no matter how long and nice a movie is, it doesn’t run forever. It comes to an end and you have to get out of the theater.
 
God was about to initiate his redemptive plan for the world, and He narrowed in on the man, Abram. But, Abram was not idle. He had a life, family, clan, and a country. He belonged to a community. But, God asked him to get out of all his familiar circles. Abram was called out of establishments that gave him a sense of connection. On the surface, it may seem that God called him to leave something physical and natural—his father’s house, country, and family; however, on a deeper level, God called him to leave something else—the gods. In the ancient Near East culture, people believed their lives were controlled by gods. As such, there were plethora of gods who supposedly helped people. The calling of Abram involved leaving his family, tribal and national gods. The void created in Abram’s life would be filled with the One and True God. The days of Abram dabbling in idol worship was over. That show was over, and he had to get out of the environment and meet the God of the universe.
 
“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:12
 
As part of the Holy Spirit sanctifying us, He invites us to leave unhealthy tendencies behind so our hearts are wholly dedicated to Him. He tells us we have spent enough time in things that did not profit our relationship with Him. It is time to get out of the deeds that have impeded our relationship with Him and others. Hear the Holy Spirit say to you, “child the movie is over, get out and come to me.”
 
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, sometimes I feel tied to things I need to get out of. Grant me the strength to break any unhealthy ties to be wholly devoted to you.


Daily Devotional 9-5-19

He’s Working On Me 
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful
 
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you. And make your name great, And you shall be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2
 
Our world has succeeded in teaching and shaping our minds to get things done quickly. We have created gadgets and devices that help us to do things at a super-fast rate as compared to the days of old. We are able to achieve a lot within a short time because of these technologies. Life has become fast-paced, and we cannot afford to lag behind. The drive-thru windows at banks, restaurants, pharmacy shops, etc., point to how quick we intend to get things done. And, of course, they are convenient. They make life easier. However, this notion of get-things-done-quickly serves to our disadvantage when we allow it to creep into our spiritual life.
 
In the text above, God invites Abram into His mission of redeeming the world. And because justice is one of His attributes, God promised to make Abram a great nation. This was the agreement: I will reach the world with my redemption through you, and in turn, I will make you a great person. The key to understanding this promise lies in the word “make.” In Hebrew it means to process, fashion, or produce. With this understanding, we can say, God was going to process, fashion Abram into greatness. This promise to Abram was not going to happen overnight. The method was not going to be microwave, drive-thru, or cut and paste. It was going to take years of processing through various means including Abraham’s own mistakes, decisions, and choices. It would take pains, hurts, disappointments, celebrations, joys and happy moments. In the end, Abraham was going to come out better and great. He would be great not just in possessions, but more so in his character and relationship with God as well as others.
 
If we are children of God, He is going to work on us to become more like Him. He is going to take time to process us so that we live a God-shaped life, and our hearts are wholly consumed with His love. And, it is going to take all that you experience in life to make you. In Ephesians 2:10, Paul tells us, “We are the workmanship of God…” He is creating something beautiful out you and needs you to cooperate with Him.
 
PRAYER: Holy Spirit grant me the grace to be patient and humble to be processed into the masterpiece you desire to create out of me.


Daily Devotional 9-4-19

Point of Reference
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful
 
“But David said to Saul, ‘Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.’” 1 Samuel 17:34-36
 
The story of David and Goliath is one of the popular stories in the history of our faith. It is popular because of the unlikely outcome of a battle that was not supposed to be. A youth taking down a giant in one-on-one combat seemed impossible, but the impossible happened because God was in the equation. When God is involved in the affairs of our lives the impossible happens; we scale the walls of Jericho and walk on dry ground in the middle of the red seas in our lives.
 
The above text reveals the basis for David’s faith to take down the giant, Goliath. David was a shepherd boy who spent most of his day with sheep in the wilderness. That was his unpaid job.  As with every job, he encountered some occupational hazards. Lions and bears would occasionally attack the vulnerable sheep who could not fight back. During these attacks, David would run after the predator and kill them, delivering the poor sheep. These deadly experiences became points of reference in David’s life, reminding him of the protective grace of God to keep what has been entrusted to him. They built and sustained David’s faith in God. They reminded him of the closeness of God to him. David was able to face future challenges because of those points of reference.
 
You’ve had many experiences in life that point to the amazing grace of God, and I believe you can cite many points of reference in your life where was God came through for you. Do not throw them away. They are not happenstances. Hold onto them, but most importantly, let them remind you of the God who worked his purposes through them. Remind yourself of the past and let it catapult you into your future.
 
PRAYER: When I become weak in my faith, help me to remember, Holy Spirit, the many ways you have been with me in the past.


Daily Devotional 9-3-19

Unstoppable
By Julie White
 
“His government and His peace will never end. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!” Isaiah 9:7
 
GOD IS PASSIONATE. He has infinite energy and enthusiasm for His cause. Scripture tells of His zeal and His delight on many occasions, always involving His purposes for His people. When the Lord of Heaven’s Armies gives a promise or a prophesy, He watches over His Word to perform it. Many of His promises and prophecies are conditional; they require some response on our part for them to be fulfilled. But some promises, like the coming of the Messiah and His government having no end, are absolute. The zeal of the Lord WILL accomplish His purposes.
 
“The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this!” Isaiah 34:32
 
Just as God is fervent about His all-encompassing, far-reaching plans to make disciples out of every nation, He is passionate about His purposes for your life, too. He prepares you for good things and He prepares good things for you! He guides your actions even when you’re not aware of it. He redeems our mistakes and actually weaves them into His overall plan to bring glory out of them!
 
He will fulfill His purpose for you, because He keeps His promises. He will fulfill His plan in you by transforming you, into the image of His Son. God will fulfill His plan through you as you affect others with His love and faithfulness. And when the zeal of the Lord guarantees something, it’s unstoppable!
 
“The Lord will go forth like a mighty man. He will stir up His zeal like a man of war!” Isaiah 42:13
 
Will you ask the Lord what His will is for you today? When you focus on God, He focuses on your issues, your longings, and His plans for you. When you have faith in His leadership, what He says begins to shift from potential to manifested experience. Trust that His zeal WILL accomplish His purposes––for the world and for you, too.
 
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I thank you and praise you, Father, that You always fulfill Your purposes and you always keep your promises. Thank you for the assurance that Your plans always reflect my highest good and Your most perfect glory. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Daily Devotional 9-2-19

Voracious Appetite
By Julie White
 
“Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him! Fear the Lord, you His Godly people. Even strong young lions go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.” Psalm 34: 8-10
 
Taste tests at SAM’S Club are interesting. If you go there at the right time, you can fill up for free and not buy a single item, right? Sometimes I observe people there; some grab a quick sample or two and go, while others linger, chewing thoughtfully and asking questions.
 
When the psalmist, David, says, “taste and see,” it is a somewhat similar offer, a warm invitation something like, “Try following God! I know you’ll like Him!” When we take God up on His offer to follow Him, we discover that He is good and He is kind. And when we take refuge in Him, by trusting Him daily, we experience how good He really is.
 
In fact, when we accept Christ and follow Him, we belong to Him, and those who belong to Him also fear Him by showing deep respect, reverence, love, and honor. The Bible often connects the fear of the Lord with obedience too.
 
“Fear God and obey His commands.” Ecclesiastes 12:13
“All those who love me will do what I say.” John 14:23
 
A person who fears the Lord doesn’t lie, turns away from evil, does good, is careful how they speak, and promotes peace. At first, we may question David’s statements of “those who fear Him will have all they need” and “those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing,” because sometimes we may seem to lack many good things. It’s not a blanket promise that all Christians will have everything they want. I think it’s David’s way of praising God for his goodness. He’s saying that if we have God, we already have all we need. Taste and see. God is enough. Now that’s something worth chewing on.
 
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, help us to not grab and go when it comes to our time with You, but to linger thoughtfully and ask questions; to have a voracious appetite for Your Word and Your will.


Daily Devotional 8-30-19

There’s Work to Be Done
By Julie White
 
“So the Lord formed from the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them and the man chose a name for each one.” Genesis 2:19
 
One of the contributions of science is naming things. Scientists observe, reflect on what they see, and then describe it. You may remember that it was God who named the day and night (Genesis 1:5), but now He invites Adam, the world’s first scientist, to participate in His work, giving him the responsibility of naming each creature.
 
Right from the beginning, Adam was occupied with the work of naming the animals and caring for the Garden. “The Lord God placed the man in the Garden to tend to it and watch over it” (Gen 2:15). This should not surprise us because the Bible begins with God working. Work is a gift from God, a reflection of His own character and activity.
 
It is important to note that Adam was never overwhelmed by his work—while he was in the Garden.  Work existed before sin entered the world. Adam never knew what it was like to be frustrated with his work until he was outside the Garden.
 
Unfortunately, frustration from work did not end with Adam. It is something we all need to be saved from, and God’s saving purpose includes restoring us to the position from which Adam fell—that means being master over our work and not being mastered by our work. Notice that God brought the animals to Adam. God took a personal interest in Adam’s daily work! That’s worth thinking about as you work at your desk, on a shop floor, in school, or by the kitchen sink.
 
It may be hard to imagine that God would enjoy the documents you prepare, the tests you take, the components you assemble, or the home you create, but He does. Keeping this in mind, you can experience new joy in work.
 
PRAYER: Holy Spirit, thank you for the gift of work. No matter where we are or what we do, help us to accept our lot in life and to regard our work as an act of worship and service to You.