Enjoying God’s Presence

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ ” – Psalm 91:1,2 Did you know that you can live in the presence of God today? Heaven, while it is certainly a physical location, can also be defined as a place where the Lord dwells. Since He lives within you, it’s safe to say that many elements of that eternal place can be enjoyed here and now, especially with the undying love of Jesus. In His presence, there is complete fulfillment: total joy, total peace and total life. Psalm 91 is one of the most famous affirmations of God’s presence and protection (I encourage you to read the whole thing when you have a minute), and interestingly, it was not original to David

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A God-Shaped Vacuum

“…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” – Hebrews 10:22 Within every man and woman, there is a deep inner “well” that can only be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. In our world today, there is an obvious inner desperation that people have. Many are looking for ways to quench this inner thirst, to satiate this desire for God. But in today’s world, so many look to everything else but God and oftentimes fall into a sense of nihilism, which is an extreme skepticism about existence and religious or moral principles. Others chronically need a movement to be a part of, or have reached the pinnacle of success in their career, yet the ability to feel fulfilled still doesn’t come.

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The Price of the Prize

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made an ornate robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him. Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.” – Genesis 27:3-5 We can learn a lot from the story of Joseph in the Old Testament, so for the next couple of days, we are going to look more closely at his life. I’m sure many of you are familiar with the account, but it begins when Jacob’s 11th and favorite son, Joseph, had a couple of peculiar dreams. Unfortunately, his siblings were already jealous of their 17-year-old kid brother because he was his dad’s

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Let Go of Ego

“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.’” – Luke 12:15 Which of us hasn’t driven through a really exclusive neighborhood and thought to ourselves, “Man, I would love to live here.” Or maybe we’ve taken a walk by the beach and admired a massive yacht floating by that left us wondering how the “other half” does it. No matter who we are, the finer things beckon us, and though there’s nothing wrong with having what the world offers, pursuing it above all else leaves us feeling hollow. While most of us instinctively know this to be true, society continually hounds us with images of how it might be if we would just bow to its idols. The problem is that in the end, doing this will leave us sad. It’s been proven

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Make Small Things Big

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Matthew 6:24 As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that we inherit abundant life when big things become small and small things become big. What I mean is that although society teaches us that fulfillment comes when we attain wealth or find worldly success, the truth is that the seemingly ordinary and less glamorous things in life are actually the fabric of contentment, happiness, and productivity. Though I’ve traveled all over the world, I just love New York City. There’s something about that bustling metropolis that allures me, because it seems to represent the American spirit under a magnifying glass. And while many imagine New Yorkers being stern and mean, I haven’t found that to

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Sacred Patience

“Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.” – Luke 2:25 I love the story of Simeon. He was a faithful follower of the Lord, and the Bible says that the Holy Spirit was on him. This is significant because before Jesus came, the third person of the Trinity primarily visited people on certain occasions, not on an everyday basis. However, it’s clear that Simeon loved the Lord more than anything, and because he set his mind on things above, the Spirit spoke to him regularly. In fact, since he dwelled so closely with God, he clearly heard Him say that he would see the Messiah with his own eyes before he died. How elated he must have been upon receiving this news, but how long the wait must

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The Blessing in Righteousness

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33 For the next few days, I want to discuss three things that I believe lead to a blessed life. As Christians, we use the word blessed a lot, but I’m not always sure we understand what it means. Because I try to look at the Bible holistically, I’ve come up with a triad of virtues, which, based on the entire compendium of Scripture, seem to lead to the most happy and fulfilling human existence. While this is just my observation, I hope these next few devotions offer a point of focus as we seek to obtain the abundant life that Jesus died to give us. That said, the first thing that causes us to inherit blessing is righteousness. Though this can be an uncomfortable word, the reality is

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Invest in the Key Things

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” – Proverbs 18:24 As we embrace a new year, it’s important to focus on building a meaningful life and to remember how the Lord crafts and shapes us into who and what we’re supposed to be. With that in mind, today, I want to talk about choosing to invest in what really matters. This is an especially good reminder after the holidays, which often center around obtaining a multitude of material things. While it’s nice to get gifts at Christmas, stuff will not ultimately fulfill us. Jesus fulfills us. If we need evidence of this, we can learn from the stories of famous athletes, writers, and musicians who — at some point in their careers — had all the money, glory, and awards in the world but would tell us

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