Category Archives: Devotion

Daily Devotion

ACC Devotion: 1 Samuel 15:30

“Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.” (1 Samuel 15:30).

Saul had deep insecurities. These meant that he was obsessed with what the elders and his men thought of him. He wanted to look good, holy and be honoured by others more than to obey God.

We often live under the burden of being obsessed by what others think of us. Our minds are consumed with thoughts about whether people still love us, respect us, or what they think of us. We often act out of what we think people might be thinking! These attempts to ‘sure up’ our insecurities actually work against us and we worry and anguish all the more.

God through Christ has restored us to being His beloved children. There is nothing we can ever add to this finished work. He has given us a sure place in His plans (which are the only plans which count). If, by faith, we live in this (given) security we can have such peace. We know who is our Father and therefore we know who we are.

This sets us free from slavery and ‘mindlocks’ as we think about ourselves – and sets us free to simply love. This love is not dependent on what we think others think but flows freely from God’s heart.

Devotion: 1 Samuel 15:30

“Saul replied, “I have sinned. But please honour me before the elders of my people and before Israel; come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD your God.” (1 Samuel 15:30).

Saul had deep insecurities. These meant that he was obsessed with what the elders and his men thought of him. He wanted to look good, holy and be honoured by others more than to obey God.

We often live under the burden of being obsessed by what others think of us. Our minds are consumed with thoughts about whether people still love us, respect us, or what they think of us. We often act out of what we think people might be thinking! These attempts to ‘sure up’ our insecurities actually work against us and we worry and anguish all the more.

God through Christ has restored us to being His beloved children. There is nothing we can ever add to this finished work. He has given us a sure place in His plans (which are the only plans which count). If, by faith, we live in this (given) security we can have such peace. We know who is our Father and therefore we know who we are.

This sets us free from slavery and ‘mindlocks’ as we think about ourselves – and sets us free to simply love. This love is not dependent on what we think others think but flows freely from God’s heart.

ACC Devotion: Song of Songs 8:5

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” (Song of Songs 8:5).

So much of our lives we feel like we are wandering, staggering through a desert. Worn out and dry from our constant struggles with trials, temptations, guilt, shame, sicknesses, the powers of darkness, old age, family responsibilities etc. It can seem like the whole world is against us at times and we don’t have the energy to go on.

Where can we find one who can bring us through this desert? Jesus is our lover – His love for us is never ending. He has experienced every aspect of our lives – He even experienced our sins as He bore the punishment for them on the cross. He is the one we desperately need in our pain.

It is not that He gives us strength to continue on our own, but He lovingly bears our weight – He lets us lean on Him and He walks us, step by step, through this life. He does not get tired of bearing us, He does not get sick of our constant rebellion and whining. He teaches us that He alone is our strength and He supports our full weight.

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” It is us, the children whose trust is in the Lord Jesus, whose hope is in Him alone. He is the one who first loved us, who gave Himself up for us and who’s love for us will never die.

Devotion: Song of Songs 8:5

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” (Song of Songs 8:5).

So much of our lives we feel like we are wandering, staggering through a desert. Worn out and dry from our constant struggles with trials, temptations, guilt, shame, sicknesses, the powers of darkness, old age, family responsibilities etc. It can seem like the whole world is against us at times and we don’t have the energy to go on.

Where can we find one who can bring us through this desert? Jesus is our lover – His love for us is never ending. He has experienced every aspect of our lives – He even experienced our sins as He bore the punishment for them on the cross. He is the one we desperately need in our pain.

It is not that He gives us strength to continue on our own, but He lovingly bears our weight – He lets us lean on Him and He walks us, step by step, through this life. He does not get tired of bearing us, He does not get sick of our constant rebellion and whining. He teaches us that He alone is our strength and He supports our full weight.

“Who is this coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” It is us, the children whose trust is in the Lord Jesus, whose hope is in Him alone. He is the one who first loved us, who gave Himself up for us and who’s love for us will never die.

1 Peter 4:8

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8).

God through Jesus has forgiven a multitude of our sins. We cannot even fathom the extent or number of our sins as our sinful nature conceals them from us. But Jesus has dealt with all of our sins once and for all at the cross. He’s even dealt with those we do not know about, and have not confessed and repented of. Through the cross Jesus has received the punishment for all of our sins and God has chosen not to remember our multitude of sins anymore.

This means that we can live in love for one another also not holding other people’s sins against them. Others will always be sinning against us (just as we are constantly sinning against them) but the Spirit leads us to forgive – even when an apology doesn’t come!

The love of God has come to us through Jesus and this love flows through us to others in the same form as it came to us. We can live in the joy of ‘not remembering’ other people’s sins and not holding sin against them. Free forgiveness flows from us and then we live in the freedom of the love of God.

Matthew 5:8

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8).

What sort of blessing will those who are pure in heart receive? The greatest blessing of being pure in heart is that we live with the joy of having a pure heart! We must not think that Jesus is saying, “If you keep your hearts pure God will give you all sorts of physical blessings”. What could give us greater joy and peace than to know we are pure, undefiled and living with a fully cleansed consciences – and then to live in that fullness!

The opposite of this is, “This is what the LORD says, “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. (Jeremiah 17:5). The worst part of not trusting God is living in the pain and frustration of trusting in man.

So how can we have and maintain a pure heart? David asked, “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10). David knew that the only way he could have a pure heart was if God created it from nothing!

When we have faith in the Lord Jesus, God credits us as righteous – that is we are cleansed, pure and made new. He gives us a pure heart. Then as we walk in the holiness He has given us, the blood of Jesus goes on cleansing us from all of our sin.

This Christmas may you know the gift of living in God’s precious gift of purity.

2 Corinthians 5:4-5

“For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” (2 Corinthians 5:4-5).

We were created to have a heavenly body. This new body will not decay but be immortal, and one day all who trust in Jesus will receive this heavenly dwelling. God made us in for this very purpose to live in his life.

Our future is not in the things that this world says will bring hope, peace and pleasure. We can have every blessing this world can give and yet ‘forfeit our own soul’. It is so tempting for us to seek the approval and respect of men.

But through faith in Christ we receive a foretaste, a hope which cannot be removed even if we have none of the world’s blessings and even if we are scorned by men.

We have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee. “God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5). There is nothing more precious than the Spirit alive in us. He brings heavenly treasures which give us peace, whether we have much or have nothing – we have hope!

Daniel 1:9

“Now God had caused the official to show favour and sympathy to Daniel” (Daniel 1:9).

What an incredible act of the power of God – He can change a person’s mind! If we have our own ‘free will’ then, ultimately, God is subject to us! He would have to wait for us to change our minds, or perhaps choose Him, and choose to do good.

But our Father breaks into people’s lives millions of times in many ways. He brings His love and grace in power to the world – which is our only hope. He is at work in people’s hearts, minds and wills. The world is dead without His revelation. He brings conviction of sin to those who don’t want or deserve it. He brings forgiveness and rebirth all to His glory.

The Holy Spirit works in the life of believers giving the will and ability to do good and to walk in His ways. Without His pre-emptive work we will only walk by the sinful nature.

We will live in peace when we know that God can change a person’s will. We can entrust ourselves to God because He is powerful over the actions of others – even non-believers. We can pray knowing God can actually answer our prayers changing hearts and minds.

John 17:20-21

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21).

As Jesus prays we hear of the perfect unity that there is between the Father and Jesus the Son. They have the same will, they share everything, and always seek the glory of the other. There is no hint of disagreement, no “I know better than you”, no envy, no self-centredness at all. The Father perfectly loves the Son and vice versa as with all relationships within the Godhead.

Through the full cleansing work of the cross of Christ we are drawn into this same unity with the Father. There is nothing between us anymore; no filth, no barriers, no thought that the Father will suddenly turn on us and tear us down. He loves us perfectly and as we live in that love we love Him back with a pure love in the Holy Spirit.

Now, believers are also drawn into this perfect unity with one another by the Spirit. We have been cleansed in our relationships within the body. Sometimes we fight against this unity of the Spirit but our Father always draws us back with His love.

Deuteronomy 7:7-8

“The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the LORD loved you and kept the oath he swore to your forefathers” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8).

Moses tells Israel that the reason God set His affection on the people was because He chose to, and the reason that He chose them was because He loved them. He chose to love them, and then He loved the ones He chose. This is the heart of covenant love. It is love not based on the performance of the one loved, but love based on the the pure choice of the one who loves.

We are told hundreds of times in the Bible that God chooses us. This grates against our minds and our thought that we are in control and that we do the choosing. But if we accept this by faith, what peace and assurance we will have. The reason God loves us is because He chose to!

We have so many doubts and fears when think that God’s love is based on us, on something in us that makes us more lovable than others. But what would we do if we could realise, “he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4). Surely we would love Him will all of our hearts and live in thanks, glorifying Him.