The Journey with Ron Moore
Devotion Text

Matthew 5:33-37

Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Jesus’ instruction in today’s passage focuses on vows and oaths. A vow is a promise that takes place between man and God or between two individuals. An oath is a declaration that adds collateral for weightiness. In an oath, I swear by something or someone greater than myself. When a person takes an oath in court, they swear to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth—so help me God” (by someone greater than them).

It was the habit of religious leaders in Jesus’ day to take the truth and twist it. They taught that whether or not an oath was binding depended on the wording. They said that a promise wasn’t binding if you did not swear by God’s name. Kent Hughes expounds on this practice, “Evasive swearing became a fine art. The height of accomplishment was while lying, to convince another person you were telling the truth.” Jesus said to cut it out! Be a man or woman of your word. Don’t lose your integrity by playing with words. All you need to say is yes or no.

The same goes for today. Let your “yes” be “yes.” Let your “no” be “no.” Be a person of integrity. Be a person of your word.

Talking to God

Father, don’t let me play with the truth. Help me be a trustworthy person—starting at home. Help me be a parent who keeps my promises. Help me speak clearly and plainly with integrity. Help me be a person of my word. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Living Generously

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:31-32

It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

In the Old Testament times and into the New, many men had a degrading view of women. Marriage was often mocked. A man could divorce his wife for almost any reason. The “certificate of divorce” mentioned in today’s passage is described in Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Its purpose was to regulate an unfortunate practice.

When Jesus came, he pulled marriage back up to the honored position it was always meant to have. Divorce was never God’s intention. From the beginning he desired the marriage covenant be honored and the commitment be “till death do us part.” The one reason for divorce is when the covenant has been broken by adultery. Even then God is honored when there is repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

I understand that divorce is a difficult, complex, and painful issue. I know some of you reading this are divorced. I know many of you did everything you could to keep your marriage together. Even in the challenges of relationships, God’s Word sets the standard that should never be compromised. Husbands and wives must work hard to honor God within the covenant of marriage.

Let’s talk to God about our marriages.

Father, marriage is challenging. Some things happen beyond a person’s control. I pray for those going through a divorce. Give them your strength. Let them know that you are walking with them. And for husbands and wives going through difficult times, give them the desire to honor their covenant. Help them do the work of marriage in order to stay together and demonstrate your power in their lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Living Humbly

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:27-28

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

Jesus moved sin from the action to the intent, from the hands to the heart. Jesus said, in effect, don’t pat yourself on the back if you have refrained from the physical act while giving in to lust. Calvin said it this way: “Let him who does not touch a woman not flatter himself…while in the meantime his heart inwardly burns with lust.” Here are three ways to guard against lust:

  1. Prepare for the battle.

In his book, The Myth of the Greener Grass, J. Allen Petersen said, “Temptation knows no stranger. Everyone is tempted, and always will be . . . If you have a body in which you live, you’ll be tempted through that body . . . If you are a sexual being, you’ll have sexual temptation.” You are in a battle. Admit it. Prepare for it.

  1. Plan your strategy for victory.

If something you are seeing is tempting you, stop looking at it. If something you are doing is tempting you, stop doing it. If someplace you are going is tempting you, stop going there. Someone has well said, “If you always do what you did, you will always get what you got.”

  1. Lock arms with others.

You don’t have to fight alone. You shouldn’t fight alone. Find another person who loves you enough to keep you accountable. Be willing to answer the hard questions. Fighting together is a position of strength.

Let’s talk to God about sexual temptation.

Father, help me be wise enough to prepare, strategic enough to plan, and humble enough to invite others into my life who will keep me strong. I pray for your daily help in the battle. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Living Wisely

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:21-22

You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

Have you ever been angry? Really ticked off? Bitter? Resentful? Ever held a deep grudge against another person? The better question is not “Have you?” but “Are you?” Anger is a God-given emotion. Sometimes it moves us to proper action but left unchecked it is a dangerous emotion. Here are four action steps for controlling anger.

  1. Pray for a balanced perspective.

When Jesus saw usury in the temple he was moved to indignation and action. He drove out those selling animals and upended the tables of the moneychangers. Sin against God and injustice against man should move us to indignation as well. But in order to keep our emotions in check, we must pray for the Spirit’s control.

  1. Address anger on a daily basis.

I seldom get through a day that someone or something doesn’t tick me off. Paul says that unchecked anger is the devil’s foothold in our lives. We should ask God to help us deal with our emotions on a daily basis (Eph. 4:26-27).

  1. Stay away from angry people.

Some people are always angry about something. Stay away from them. They will drag you down (Prov. 22:24-25).

  1. Confront and forgive.

Confront the person or situation causing your anger. If it is a person, discuss the issue and choose to forgive. If it is a situation, give it to the Lord and ask the Holy Spirit to control your emotions.

Let’s talk to God about anger.

O Father, I can get angry about many things and my emotions can rise quickly. Please control my feelings. Help me to not react. Help me feel indignation for the right things and be moved to honor you in my actions. Help me forgive and move from resentment and bitterness. In Jesus’ name. Amen. 



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Proverbs: An Introduction

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:17-18

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

The Old Testament was clear that a new day was coming, but when it would come and what it would look like were not detailed. So, when Jesus arrived there was a mixture of excitement and concern. The religious Jews wondered if Jesus had come to tear down their way of worship.

In today’s passage, Jesus made it known that he did not come to dismantle the Old Testament. In fact, he came to complete it. He came to add the finishing work.

  • The OT called for an annual sacrifice. Jesus sacrificed himself once for all.
  • The OT called for a perfect sacrifice. Jesus was sinless.
  • The OT contains nineteen direct prophecies about the coming Messiah. Jesus fulfilled them all.
  • The OT told of a suffering servant. Jesus came to die on a cross.
  • Jesus transitioned the physical kingdom to a spiritual one.

Jesus did not ignore or tear down the law. He completed it by his work on the cross. That same work will complete your life. Have you trusted in Jesus? If not, follow me in this prayer.

Talking to God

Lord Jesus, right now I trust in you to complete my life. I am empty, fill me. I am afraid, embrace me. I am a sinner, cleanse me. I am heading in the wrong direction, turn me around. I trust that you died for my sins on the cross. Make me your child. In your name, I pray. Amen.


If you have prayed that prayer, please let us know by emailing We want to thank God with you and send you some free resources to help you get started on your new journey.



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Devotion Text

Matthew 5:14-16

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Light does two things: It exposes and explains. It chases away the darkness and reveals what is close. Darkness and light cannot exist in the same place. When light is present it illuminates the area and explains the way.

Jesus said that believers are the light of the world. Like a city built on a hill you cannot hide your relationship with Jesus. In his book, The Cost of Discipleship, Dietrich Bonhoeffer explains that you have no choice but to shine. Bonhoeffer writes:

…It is not: “You are to be the light,” [believers] are already the light because Christ has called them, they are a light which is seen by men, they cannot be otherwise…

 Nor does Jesus say, “You have the light.” The light is not an instrument which has been put into their hands…. [He] says to his followers: “You are the light in your whole existence, provided you remain faithful to your calling. And since you are that light, you can no longer remain hidden, even if you want to.” It is the property of light to shine.

 [Followers of Jesus] must be what they really are—otherwise they are not followers of Jesus.

You are the light of the world! Let’s ask God to let us shine.

Talking to God

Father, help me shine in a way that others see how you are working in me and through me. May you always receive honor and glory for what you are doing in my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



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Devotion Text

Matthew 5:13

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

Jesus compares those who follow him to salt, a mineral that has many qualities.

Preservative. In many parts of the world, salt is rubbed into meat to keep it from spoiling. It extracts moisture leaving a less than desirable environment for bacteria to grow. Let’s pray that we will be a preserving influence in our families and communities, leaving a less desirable environment for sin to take hold.  

Healing Agent. Throughout history, salt packs have been used for wounds. Newborns were gently rubbed with salt to make their skin clean and firm. In a wounded and vulnerable world, let’s pray that we will serve as agents of healing.

Seasoning. I spoke with a chef who told me that if he had only one available seasoning, it would be salt. Salt is able to bring out and enhance the flavor of food. Let’s pray that we will be culture’s seasoning, bringing out the best “flavor” in our families and communities.

Most salt in Israel came from the Dead Sea and was filled with impurities. These impurities caused the salt to lose its flavor and effectiveness. Likewise, believers must follow hard after Jesus to guard against the impurities of sin and stay effective for Christ. Believers are the salt of the earth.

Talking to God

Lord Jesus, keep my heart pure from the impurities that render me ineffective. Help me serve you as a preserving and healing agent. Help me bring out the best in my family and friends. Help me be the salt of the earth. In your name, I pray. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Winning the Battle, Winning the War – Part 2

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:11-12

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Sometimes persecution leads to the loss of property or life. Sometimes persecution comes in the form of personal abuse. This mistreatment is not brought on by something you said or did. It comes because of your relationship with Jesus and your commitment to follow hard after him.

The word “revile” in today’s passage means, “to injure the reputation of,” “to malign.” This takes place when you are the subject of vicious rumors, when you are the target of a slander campaign, or when you are being laughed at for your faith. To be reviled may result in losing your position at work, being overlooked for advancement in your job, being ridiculed by your friends, and in some cases being disowned by your family.

Persecution is painful…no doubt about that. But Jesus tells us to put it in a historical and eternal perspective. You are not the first to be mistreated. They persecuted the prophets before you. And this earth is not your final destination. It is simply a layover. Great rewards are waiting for you in heaven.

Talking to God

Father, insult is painful. I feel the hurt and mistreatment. I want justice so I desire to strike back. Help me keep my eye on the eternal reward. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Winning the Battle, Winning the War – Part 1

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:10

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

All around the world, believers in Jesus are being persecuted. Today thousands of believers are living under the threat of oppression in Afghanistan. Under the Taliban, many Christians are in hiding as they fear for their lives. Let’s pray for those believers.

And let’s pray for Christians in our country. Many of the biblical principles we live by are under attack. While we do not face physical danger, it’s no secret that the values we hold dear are ridiculed and seen as antiquated. Some stated truth is now viewed as “hate speech.” In a world where truth is determined by groupthink, God’s unchangeable truth is seen as offensive. Let’s pray that we can stand strong and teach our children to do the same.

I recently read about Christians facing the Taliban takeover. Their response was courageous and profound. Facing death, they said, “In a short time we are going to see Jesus.” Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Talking to God

Father, we pray for believers around the world who are being persecuted. Our hearts go out to those who are fleeing for their lives, leaving everything behind. Lord, please be with the families of those who have given their lives instead of renouncing your name. Please protect your children around the world. As we pray for them, we pray for us too. Don’t let us grow hardhearted and soft. Help us use our freedom to live for you in a way that impacts all those in our lives. Move our hearts to always honor you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Under Attack: The Enemy’s Strategy – Part 2

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:9

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Peacemakers. Just saying the word has a soothing effect. The word means:

  • Living in a state of harmony
  • Freedom from disorder
  • Ending strife and dissension
  • Uncontrolled by distraction

Peacemakers. These are people in command of their emotions, calm under fire. They stay composed even in the midst of excitement and danger. Some people like to keep things stirred up; peacemakers keep the waters still.

Peacemakers. The Son of God makes us children of God. Jesus has taken our sin and paid its penalty on the cross. Through him we can have peace with the eternal God. When we have peace with God, we can have peace with others. Are you at war with anyone? Go and make peace.

Talking Points:

  • Ask God to calm areas of your life where emotions quickly boil.
  • Ask God to help you make peace in relationships where the tension lives.

Father, move me to live in a state of harmony. Give me freedom from the disorder and chaos that clouds my soul. Give me the courage and desire to put an end to any dissension I have with others. Help me live uncontrolled by distractions. Keep my focus on Jesus. In his name, I pray. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Under Attack: The Enemy’s Strategy – Part 1

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.


The headquarters of our person.

What we think—our mind and intellect.

What we feel—our emotions and desires.

What we do—our decisions and deeds.

The heart describes the whole person.


Free from guilt.

Free from hypocrisy.

Free from immorality.

Free from stains.

Pure in Heart:





The Promise:

 We will see God!

Talking to God

Father, I desire to spend eternity with you. By the work of Jesus, free me from my hypocrisy, immorality, and stains of sin. By the work of Jesus, give me an undivided heart, committed and devoted to you alone. By the work of Jesus on the cross, give me a clean and pure heart. In his name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Under Attack: The Enemy – Part 4

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:7

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Many things move our emotions. The abortion of an unborn child. Sex-trafficking. Starving people. Genocide. Christians are being persecuted and killed. These things, and many more, stir our hearts. But mercy shows up when we actually do something. Mercy’s formula is powerful: Compassion + Action = Mercy.

Mercy is not the ice cap frozen at the top of the mountain; rather it is the mountain stream. Mercy lives in motion. It is never stagnant. Mercy combines strong emotion with practical demonstration. It is an internal feeling that manifests itself in external action.

Many people can speak eloquently on the problems of the world and how each problem can be fixed. But talk is cheap; mercy is costly. The merciful put their money, resources, time, and energy where their mouth is. Anyone can talk, the merciful act. And those who act mercifully to others will receive their share of mercy from God.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to help you evaluate your mercy giving. Is it active and demonstrable?
  • Teach your children that more than talk is demonstrating true mercy.

Father, remind me that my talk is cheap. Remind me that many words and stagnant emotions make little impact. Remind me that mercy is costly. Move me to invest and sacrifice in ways to drive my emotion into action. Thank you for your mercy to me. Help me be merciful to others. In Jesus’ name. Amen.




This Week on The Journey Broadcast:


Engaging in the Battle

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Jesus begins this beatitude with two biological requirements—food and water. Long before we could put sounds together to form words, we innately let our parents know when we were hungry and thirsty. Jesus used these instinctive desires to make a spiritual point.

To hunger and thirst means to yearn or long for something. This yearning invades our minds and controls us. It tugs at our emotions. It directs our actions. The longing becomes the leader and we become the followers.

Some cravings are dangerous. While bringing temporary pleasure, they leave us empty and yearning for something more. That something more is Jesus who makes us right with God! Jesus brings complete satisfaction.

Talking to God

Father, give me the desire to hunger and thirst for righteousness that only Jesus can give. Often, I am hungry for spiritual junk food. Help me hunger for the food that brings lasting and meaningful satisfaction. Help me lead my children and grandchildren in the search for real satisfaction in Christ. In his name. Amen.



This Week on The Journey Broadcast:


Engaging in the Battle

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:5

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

This word “meek,” often translated “gentle,” means to be humble, to be comfortable in your own skin, to be considerate of others. It starts in the heart, then spreads to a healthy identity. “Meek” describes a person who is not jealous, judgmental, boastful, or arrogant. A meek person is never a self-promoter.

Meekness is not a natural trait. Have you ever known a child who was not demanding? Have you ever heard a newborn say, “Hey, don’t worry about getting up in the middle of the night. Let’s just hold off the feeding and diaper change until morning”? By nature, we are selfish and want our own way. But Jesus transforms us.

Meekness is not weakness. It does not describe a lack of ability or confidence. It is best described as strength under control. It’s a life willing to submit to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Meekness flows from the heart and will inherit the good things that God has for his children.

Talking to God

Father, help me to be meek. Help me demonstrate strength under control. Help me put off selfishness. Forgive me for jealousy, judging others and arrogance. Point out the times when I try to promote myself. Control me with your Holy Spirit. Help me teach (show and tell) true humility to my children and grandchildren. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Under Attack: The Enemy – Part 3

Devotion Text

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

The Beatitudes are not about externals. Those who mourn in today’s passage, is not the result of losing a friend or family member. The grief here is brought about by a realization of one’s inward state; an understanding that you are sinful and therefore in need of a Savior.

True spiritual sorrow comes from the awareness that you are a spiritual beggar. The grief is a result of utter helplessness. You can’t do anything to change the condition of your heart. Mourning is a sign of repentance—an acceptance that you are spiritually helpless, sorrowful for your state, and have a desire to turn toward Jesus—the one and only Savior. True mourning means that you are ready to leave your sin behind.

The result of mourning is comfort. This is not the comfort of a soft bed or heated leather seats in a luxury car. This is the comfort that comes from understanding that your sin is forgiven. This is the comfort that finally brings real contentment—a deep satisfaction. This is the comfort of knowing that Jesus is your Savior and will forever be. Have you mourned your sin? Do you have that comfort?

Here is a simple prayer to pray if you desire the comfort that only Jesus can give.

Talking to God

Lord Jesus, I am sorry for my sins. I mourn them. I desire your forgiveness that brings comfort to my soul. I desire the deep contentment of knowing that I belong to you. Right now, I ask you to forgive my sins and give me the comfort found only in you. In your name I pray. Amen.


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Under Attack: The Enemy – Part 2

Devotion Text

As we pray through the Bible, let’s take some time to pray through the greatest sermon ever preached, often called, The Sermon on the Mount. This sermon, recorded in Matthew 5-7, begins with the Beatitudes (Latin for “perfect happiness”). Each beatitude begins with the word “blessed.” This word reminds us that we are privileged recipients of God’s divine favor.

Matthew 5:3

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

The word “poor” means “to beg” or “to be a beggar.” It describes those who cannot sustain themselves and are totally dependent on others for support. To be poor in spirit is to be a spiritual beggar. That describes my spiritual state. No part of my person is untouched by sin. My thinking, attitudes, actions, desires, and words are tainted by sin’s power. There is no way for me to break the curse. In theology, this is called the Doctrine of Total Depravity. I am helpless and hopeless…until Jesus comes.

Those who realize their desperate state turn to the only One who can help. The poor in spirit are desperate…for Jesus…for his forgiveness…for his gift of salvation. The poor in spirit are eager for God’s enabling power. And God never disappoints. Those who admit their helplessness and turn to Jesus receive the greatest gift! They inherit the kingdom of heaven.

If you have not trusted in Jesus, please make the following prayer your own:

Father, I admit that I am a spiritual beggar. There is nothing I can do to make me good enough for you. There is nothing I can do to work my way to you. I am helpless and hopeless. Today I trust in Jesus. Please forgive me for the things I have done. Please correct me from the path I am on. I turn to Jesus for his forgiveness and salvation. I trust in Jesus alone. In his name I pray. Amen.


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Under Attack: The Enemy – Part 1

Devotion Text

Mark 2:5

And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

The room was packed like sardines. The crowd was spilling out the door. But that didn’t stop them. The determined men found the staircase that led to the roof, dug a hole through the thick clay, and lowered their paralyzed friend right in front of Jesus. Impressed by their faith, Jesus, interestingly, responded by forgiving the man’s sins. This, of course, caused quite a stir among the Jewish teachers who accused Jesus of blasphemy. They asked, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Jesus used the opportunity to drive home a spiritual point. “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”— he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all….” (Mark 2:9-12)

The paralyzed man and his friends demonstrated practical faith. Every believer demonstrates this same kind of faith when we depend on Jesus to provide all we need to do all he has called us to do. But it is important to understand that practical faith follows saving faith. Saving faith is trusting in Jesus as the only One who can forgive our sins and place us into an eternal relationship with the living God. Jesus healed the man’s heart; then he healed his body. First saving faith, then practical faith. That’s the order we have to get right.  

Talking Points

  • Lord, help me understand the difference between saving and practical faith.
  • Please help me teach that critical truth to my children. 

Father, thank you for working from the inside out. Thank you for taking care of our greatest need, our eternal need, before dealing with the temporal needs in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



Today on The Journey Broadcast:


Under Attack: Anger


Devotion Text

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

It’s called the Great Commission. Jesus was clear that those who follow him must follow hard after him. There is work to do. Life is short and eternity is long. We are called to “make hay while the sun shines” (as my mom was fond of saying).

Let’s check out these four commands.

  • GO! Jesus calls us to action. Life with Jesus is more than simply reading another theological book or attending a Christian conference. Those things are needed for refueling but Christians don’t live at the “gas station.” It’s time to get on the road and go!
  • MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS! Making disciples includes leading a person to Christ but it doesn’t stop there. Jesus does not call us to mass-produce nominal Christians. We are commanded to help people throughout the world become rooted in the foundations of the faith.
  • BAPTIZE! Baptism is an outward demonstration that Jesus has transformed your life. It is driving a spiritual stake in the ground. In essence, baptism is the ordinance that says, “I’m all in!”
  • TEACH! We must accurately explain God’s inerrant authoritative Word with practical application. Biblical knowledge is not for making our heads bigger but is for making our hearts stronger. Knowing what the Bible says is the starting line; doing what the Bible says is participating in the race.

And check this out. Wherever we go, we are never alone. Jesus is always with us…even to the end. That great promise is the exclamation to the Great Commission.

Talking Points

  • Ask God to help you make disciples of those in your network of family and friends.
  • If you have not been baptized as a believer, ask God to give you the courage to obey.

Lord Jesus, give us the courage to go, the urgency to make disciples, commitment to baptize, and passion to teach. Thank you for always being with us. Amen.



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Under Attack: Lust – Part 2

Devotion Text

It was time for the King’s people to enjoy their reward. The King told them how much he appreciated their service. There were times, he explained, that he was hungry and thirsty, a stranger and in need of clothes, sick, and in prison. Each time his people met his need.

The people were thankful but a little confused. When had they ever seen the King hungry and provided food, or thirsty and provided water? When did they ever give clothes to the King? They never remembered a time when they looked after the King when he was sick or visited him when he was imprisoned. When did they ever do these things?

Matthew 25:40

And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Significant service to God is seldom high and mighty; rather, it is low and humbling. God honors giving money, providing food, and serving meals at the homeless shelter. God smiles when we clean out our packed closets and give good clothes to the poor or when we buy only the clothes we need and use our resources for others. Tending to a sick friend is not wasted time in God’s sight. And visiting those in prison…those who need a message of forgiveness and grace…are times of weighty service. Every act of service is significant to God.

Talking Points

  • Remind us that everything we have comes from you.
  • Teach us to be generous with what you have graciously given us.

Father, it’s easy to think that our service is worthwhile only when it is seen by others. Give us your heart for service. Remind us often that when we serve others, we are really serving you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



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Engaging in the Battle

Devotion Text

Matthew 22:34-40

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” 

Loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind is a pretty tall order, isn’t it? It means that we are to be devoted to the heavenly Father with our emotions and desires (heart), our inner person (soul), and our thinking (mind) that drives our actions. That’s the first and greatest commandment. And there is a close second command that practically demonstrates how we are doing on the first. We are to love our neighbors (those God places in our lives) as we love and care for ourselves. The tall order just got taller.

In this passage, Jesus explains that our relationship with God is both vertical and horizontal. It reaches up to him by the work of his Son and reaches out to others by the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. It calls for nothing less than all we are and all we have. This wholehearted love starts with those closest to us and spreads out from there. This love shows itself to your spouse and to the person at the hardware store who asks you to fill out five pages of information when all you need to do is return a 7/8-inch rubber washer for a 3/4-inch rubber washer! Loving others as we love ourselves can be painfully practical.

Here’s the thing. Jesus said, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” I am always amazed at how Jesus brings clarity and focus. He makes the confusing clear and the complex simple. He sums up the entire Old Testament with these two commands. Now all that’s left is the application. Hmm…that’s always the hard part, isn’t it?

Talking to God

Father, may I love you today with everything I am and everything I have. May I demonstrate that love in practical ways to others—my friends, my spouse, my kids, my grandkids. May others know that I love you by the way I treat them. In Jesus’ name. Amen.



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