Friday, December 30, 2011

Daily Devotional Friday 30th December

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” John 14:1-3 NIV
Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon


"Hitherto hath the Lord helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12

The word "hitherto" seems like a hand pointing in the direction of the past. Twenty years or seventy, and yet, "hitherto the Lord hath helped!" Through poverty, through wealth, through sickness, through health, at home, abroad, on the land, on the sea, in honour, in dishonour, in perplexity, in joy, in trial, in triumph, in prayer, in temptation, "hitherto hath the Lord helped us!" We delight to look down a long avenue of trees. It is delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of verdant temple, with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves; even so look down the long aisles of your years, at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear up your joys. Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely there must be many, and they all sing of mercy received "hitherto."

But the word also points forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes "hitherto," he is not yet at the end, there is still a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; and then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No! there is more yet-awakening in Jesus' likeness, thrones, harps, songs, psalms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fulness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. O be of good courage, believer, and with grateful confidence raise thy "Ebenezer," for--

He who hath helped thee hitherto

Will help thee all thy journey through.

When read in heaven's light how glorious and marvellous a prospect will thy "hitherto" unfold to thy grateful eye!


"What think ye of Christ?"
Matthew 22:42

The great test of your soul's health is, What think you of Christ? Is he to you "fairer than the children of men"--"the chief among ten thousand"--the "altogether lovely"? Wherever Christ is thus esteemed, all the faculties of the spiritual man exercise themselves with energy. I will judge of your piety by this barometer: does Christ stand high or low with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without his presence, if you have cared little for his honour, if you have been neglectful of his laws, then I know that your soul is sick--God grant that it may not be sick unto death! But if the first thought of your spirit has been, how can I honour Jesus? If the daily desire of your soul has been, "O that I knew where I might find him!" I tell you that you may have a thousand infirmities, and even scarcely know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded, beyond a doubt, that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem. I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of his royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of his wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem? I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee--I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in his beauty? Has he a glorious high throne in thy heart? Wouldest thou set him higher if thou couldest? Wouldest thou be willing to die if thou couldest but add another trumpet to the strain which proclaims his praise? Ah! then it is well with thee. Whatever thou mayest think of thyself, if Christ be great to thee, thou shalt be with him ere long.

"Though all the world my choice deride,

Yet Jesus shall my portion be;

For I am pleased with none beside,

The fairest of the fair is he"


Today's reading: Zechariah 9-12, Revelation 20 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: Zechariah 9-12

Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

1 A prophecy:

The word of the LORD is against the land of Hadrak
and will come to rest on Damascus—
for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel
are on the LORD—
2 and on Hamath too, which borders on it,
and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.
3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold;
she has heaped up silver like dust,
and gold like the dirt of the streets.
4 But the Lord will take away her possessions
and destroy her power on the sea,
and she will be consumed by fire.
5 Ashkelon will see it and fear;
Gaza will writhe in agony,
and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.
Gaza will lose her king
and Ashkelon will be deserted.... the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: Revelation 20

The Thousand Years

1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain. 2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years. 3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time.

4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.... the rest on Bible Gateway


Nathan [Nā'than]—he hath given.

  1. The third child of David, born after he came to reign over Israel (2 Sam. 5:14; 1 Chron. 3:5; 14:4 ).
  2. The distinguished prophetduring the reigns of David and Solomon, who brought home to David the enormity of his sin. What a piercing arrow from the divine bow that was—Thou art the man (2 Sam. 7:2-17; 12; 1 Kings 1; 1 Chron. 17). Although the confidential adviser of King David, Nathan was unsparing in his condemnation of his monarch’s sin. Nathan also wrote a history (2 Chron. 9:29).
  3. The father of Igal, one of David’s heroes ( 2 Sam. 23:36).
  4. Father of Solomon’s chief officer (1 Kings 4:5).
  5. Son of Attai and father of Zabad, of the tribe of Judah (1 Chron. 2:36).
  6. Brother of Joel, one of David’s heroes (1 Chron. 11:38).
  7. A chief man with Ezra at the brook of Ahava (Ezra 8:16).
  8. A son of Bani who put away his foreign wife (Ezra 10:39).
  9. A chief man in Israel (Zech. 12:12).
  10. An ancestor of Jesus Christ (Luke 3:31).


The Tax Collector

Matthew 1:1

Even in the very first verse of his gospel, Matthew tells us that Jesus fulfills God's promises to His people. As the "son of Abraham," Jesus is revealed as the one through whom Abraham will bless the nations ( Gen. 12:1-3). Many in this world think they can find this blessing through means other than the mediation of Christ Jesus. In this age of syncretism and relativism let us always maintain that God's favor comes only through Christ Jesus.

For further study:

Jeremiah 33:14-26

The Bible in a year:

Genesis 3-5

Coram Deo from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living.



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December 29, 2011

Hope for Tomorrow

Mary Southerland

Today's Truth

God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control

(2 Timothy 1:7).

Friend to Friend

A cloud of terror hung over the Valley of Elah as snarling threats and vile promises spewed from his mouth. The intimidator strutted along grassy slopes swinging an enormous club, his mammoth, ironclad feet pawing the ground like an irate bull, ready to attack. The huge, ugly monster was Goliath, a nine foot giant, the pride of Philistia. He wore massive armor; a bronze coat weighing 200 pounds, a solid iron spear, a heavy bronze helmet. The target of his ranting and raving was a frightened, helpless group of Israelites, cowering in their tents. For forty agonizing days, Goliath had come, taunting them, promising certain destruction and doom. The Israelites, paralyzed with fear, had given up all hope of escape, resigned to their tortured fate at the hand of this Philistine monster.

Then came day forty-one! I am certain, as the sun inched its way over the mountains that morning, that neither Goliath nor the Israelites had any idea that this day would be different. A young handsome teenager stepped into the valley of fear, fresh from the presence of God. David, the youngest in a family of eight boys could not believe the scene before him. Tossing the giant's threats and obvious advantage aside, David refused to accept what he saw. Instead, he chose to believe what he knew in his heart; this giant was going down. With simple but certain faith and unreserved confidence in God, David stepped through the fear, ushering in the mighty presence and power of God. Goliath not only met David that day, He met the Lord of Heaven and earth. And the giant fell! Giants always fall in the presence of God.

We stand on the threshold of a new year - a new beginning! If you are like me, you face 2012 with mixed emotions. Personally, I am thrilled that I survived 2011! There were certainly moments when I wondered if I would. I am so excited about a fresh start, a brand new set of days overflowing with new dreams and unmarked possibilities, but I also know this year is crammed full of the unknown as well as a giant or two. If I am brutally honest, I have to admit the unknown fashions a pocket of fear in my heart where questions and doubts thrive.

The good news is what lies ahead is no surprise to God. In fact, He has already been where we are going. That reason alone empowers us to face every tomorrow with hope, knowing whatever touches us passes through His hands, with His permission. It is not God's plan for us to dwell in fear or for fear to rule our lives. He has already set in motion the defeat and fall of every giant we will ever face. Our responsibility is to step through our fear, facing every giant in God's power and with His promises. The Holy Spirit will guide the path of His truth to its destined mark, taking down the giants lurking in each tomorrow.

He is the same yesterday, today and forever! The days ahead are saturated with the memory of Goliath's fall and trust in Almighty God, the Giant Killer. So then, girlfriend, I ask you, what is there to fear? Happy New Year!

Let's Pray

Father, I come to You by faith, laying every fear and worry at Your feet. I am not sure what this year holds for me but I do know You are with me every step of the way. When I am tempted to worry, please remind me to trust You. When fear attacks, I choose to pray instead of panic, knowing You are my Lord and my Shepherd. I praise You for Your faithfulness in my life, even when I don't understand and can't see the next step. I praise You, Lord.

In Jesus' name,


Now It's Your Turn

Take time to review the past year. What giants have you faced? Was your response to these giants right or wrong? What changes do you need to make as you approach a new year? Ask yourself the following questions:

How do I typically handle fear?

What giants will I face today?

What has been my natural response to giants of the past?

How do the birth, life and death of Jesus Christ affect those responses?

Read Luke 2:8-14. Examine your life in light of this passage.

More from the Girlfriends

Can you believe 2012 is just ahead, like a clean slate filled with new beginnings and fresh starts? However, what did we learn in 2011 that will make a difference in 2012? As the holiday season winds down, I pray your heart and mind will look ahead to all that this year holds. Guard your heart and mind against darkness. Stand firm in God's power and presence. He is faithful and He is sufficient for whatever tomorrow brings.

Need help getting the Word of God into your life? Check out Mary's Weekly Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. And be sure to get your copy of our new 12-week devotion book,Trusting God.

Seeking God?

Click here to find out more about

how to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106

Lysa TerKeurst

December 29, 2011

When the End Goal Seems too Hard
Lysa TerKeurst

"...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance..." 2 Peter 1:5a-6a (NIV)

No matter what your struggle has been, victory is possible today. Sadly, most of us don't think that's true. The problem is we tend to measure long term success while downplaying the absolute victory found in small successes.

Yesterday a friend of mine called to say she'd read my blog and, as a result, she walked away from indulging in a bag of M&Ms. That's a victorious small success. Now, I can't say that her scale will stand up and clap and reward her with much lower numbers today. But, if she builds upon this small success - choice by choice, day by day - she will see positive changes.

As the New Year approaches, many of us make some kind of healthy eating commitment. But even if that's not your resolution, this principle applies to other struggles as well.

If I choose not to snap at my child and instead respond with tenderness, that's a victorious small success.

If I choose to pause before responding to the rude sales clerk, thus giving her a smile instead of perpetuating her smirk, that's a victorious small success.

If I choose to give my husband the benefit of the doubt rather than jumping to the conclusion he meant to hurt my feelings, that's a victorious small success.

I like the way our key verse puts it. In 2 Peter 1:5-6, we are reminded to "add" some things to our faith. Two of those additions are self-control and perseverance. For me, I have to decide to practice the self-control and perseverance that is mine since God's Spirit lives in me.

Think of it like a muscle. We have muscles as a part of our body. But we must add activity to those muscles to make them effective and strong. Our muscles will work for us if we exercise them. Self-control and perseverance will work for us as we practice these over and over. Start with the small victories and bigger victories will come.

Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it by the end goal. And end goals can seem overwhelmingly huge, daunting and just plain hard to reach. Instead, if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won't seem so impossible.

Big things are built one brick at a time.

Victories are achieved one choice at a time.

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time.

Dear Lord, I know that with You, victory is indeed possible. Day by day and choice by choice. Help me to believe this truth today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa's blog for a chance to win her book Made to Crave and her new 60 day Made to Crave Devotionsbook.

You'll also want to register for her FREE JANUARY 9th webcast which will launch a Made to Crave online study led by Lysa and her friend, Melissa Taylor. Reserve your spot today by clicking here.

If this devotion resonated with you, Lysa's book Made to Crave is just what you've needed. Click here to order your copy!

This book can be a group Bible study by using these life-changing resources: Made to Crave Participant's Guideand Made to Crave DVD teaching series, also by Lysa.

You touch eternity every time you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries! Your purchase supports the many areas of life-giving ministry we provide at no cost. Although we wish we could offer the same prices offered by huge online warehouses, we simply can't. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
Sometimes victory seems so far away because we measure it by the seemingly overwhelmingly end goal. Instead, if we start measuring our victories by the smaller choices we make each day, victory won't seem so impossible. Think of a struggle you are dealing with and daily record your moment-by-moment small successes. Pray over them, be thankful for each one. Watch them build one choice at a time. Remember, we are more than conquerors through Him who loves us!

A life well lived is chosen one day at a time. What does this statement mean to me? Do I find it encouraging? Or discouraging? Why?

Have I found that I tend to miss the victories found in small daily successes?

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 4:16, "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day." (NIV)

Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (NIV)

Romans 8:37, "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." (NIV)

© 2011 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105



The Tax Collector

Matthew 1:1 "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham" (v. 1).

Unlike Paul's letters, none of the four Gospels explicitly identifies its author in the body of its text. Though the title, the gospel according to [insert the apostle's name], is attached to each book in the oldest New Testament manuscripts, biblical scholars regard each gospel as an anonymous work.

Liberals deny that apostles or their associates wrote the Gospels. However, believers have always affirmed the apostolicity of these books. The early church was certain that the apostles Matthew and John composed the gospels bearing their names. Mark and Luke were not apostles, but the church fathers knew Peter and Paul to be the sources of the second and third gospel, respectively.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the Synoptic Gospels because of the similarities between them that set them apart from John. These three authors probably worked interdependently, relying on the same sources and the work of one another when writing. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, each man selected and arranged the historical data to give us an accurate portrait of Jesus.

Literary interdependence leads liberals to reject Matthew as the first gospel's author. Why, they ask, would Jesus' disciple use the gospels of Mark or Luke to record the life of Christ? Yet this objection is not conclusive. If Mark is based on Peter's testimony, why would Matthew not use Mark's work to write the first gospel? Moreover, nothing in Matthew's gospel makes apostolic authorship impossible, and the early church testified that Matthew was its author. We have no reason to deny that Matthew wrote the gospel bearing his name.

Matthew also went by the name Levi and worked as a tax collector, at least prior to his conversion ( Matt. 9:9; Mark 2:13-14). This vocation required official dealings with the Greek-speaking Roman empire and certainly helped Matthew develop the Greek proficiency reflected in the gospel's original text. One church tradition says Matthew was martyred in Ethiopia arounda.d. 60.

Matthew's text is teeming with Old Testament allusions and quotations. The ubiquity of such references shows us Matthew wrote his gospel to explain how Jesus, the son of David, fulfills God's promises to the nation of Israel.

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Even in the very first verse of his gospel, Matthew tells us that Jesus fulfills God's promises to His people. As the "son of Abraham," Jesus is revealed as the one through whom Abraham will bless the nations (Gen. 12:1-3 ). Many in this world think they can find this blessing through means other than the mediation of Christ Jesus. In this age of syncretism and relativism let us always maintain that God's favor comes only through Christ Jesus.

For further study:

Jeremiah 33:14-26

The Bible in a year:

Genesis 3-5

INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.

Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living.



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Mercy makes a difference!


Don Stephens


Header Photo by Steve McCurrach


Is Jesus the Only Way?

Today's reading: John 14:5-14

Anyone can claim to be the sole path to God. In fact, quite a few people have made this assertion throughout history. The real issue is why anybody should believe Jesus was telling the truth when he said it.

We can say that Jesus' resurrection confirmed him as the Son of God. If that's true, then all other faith systems cannot be true, because they each assert something contrary to Jesus' divinity. And of course, the historical record concerning the resurrection is extremely compelling.

Well-known apologist and evangelist Dr. Ravi Zacharias believes people should approach the subject by looking at the four fundamental issues that every religion seeks to address: origin, meaning, morality and destiny. In these key areas, only the teachings of Jesus Christ fully correspond to reality. There is coherence among his answers unlike those of any other religion.

"Consider Buddhism," says Zacharias. "Buddha's answer on the question of morality does not cohere with his answer concerning origins. Why? Because Buddhism is technically nontheistic, if not atheistic. If there was no Creator, from where does one arrive at a moral law? Or consider the Hindu version of reincarnation. If every birth is a rebirth, and if every life pays for the previous life, then what were you paying for in your first birth?

"By contrast, Jesus addresses these four fundamental issues of life in a way that corresponds with reality and has internal consistency unlike any other faith system.

"Concerning origins, the Bible says we are not identical with God-contrary to the Hindu claim-but we are distinct from him. That is, we didn't bring ourselves into being, but we are a creation of God. Being created in his image accounts for human beings having a moral point of reference. No system is able to explain this except the monotheistic ones. Even naturalists have no explanation for humanity's moral framework. However, this moral framework corresponds to the reality of human experience.

"Christianity says we rejected the divine will. The tempter in the garden said if you eat this fruit, you will become as gods, knowing good and evil. The implication is that you become the definer of good and evil. Humanism was born right there; man became the measure of all things. This willful rebellion and rejection of God corresponds to reality."

On the issue of meaning, Zacharias says the Christian faith stands without parallel. "The simplest way to describe it is that God does not call us to meaning by asking us to be good people. He does not call us to meaning just by telling us to love one another. It is only in the experience of worship that meaning comes to be. Only something greater than pleasure can provide meaning, and that is the perpetual novelty of God himself in worship. The Bible tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind, and only when we've done that can we begin to love our neighbors as ourselves. This also corresponds to experience.

"Christianity says morality is not culturally based, but instead it grows out of the very character of God. Otherwise, you end up with the dilemma from philosophy of old: Is the moral law over and above you, or is the moral law subject to you? If it is over and above you, where do you find its root, then? The only way to explain that is to find it in an eternal, moral, omnipotent, infinite God who is inseparable from his character. Thus, Christianity explains morality in a coherent manner.

"Lastly, destiny is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the historical event that proved his divinity and opened the door to heaven for everyone who will follow him. Where else do you have anything that comes close to claiming this? Because the resurrection is an actual historical event, we can be forgiven, we can be reconciled with God, we can spend eternity with him, and we can trust Jesus' teachings as being from God.

"No man spoke like Jesus. No one ever answered the questions the way he answered them, not only propositionally but also in his person. Existentially, we can test it out. Empirically, we can test it out. The Bible is not just a book of mysticism or spirituality; it also gives geographical truths and historical truths. If you're an honest skeptic, it's not just calling you to a feeling; it's calling you to a real Person. That's why the apostle Peter said, 'We did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty' (2 Peter 1:16).

"He's saying, 'This is true. This is reality. This can be trusted.' And, yes, this truth excludes that which is contrary."

Adapted from interview with Dr. Ravi Zacharias.



Today's reading is from the
The Case for Christ Study Bible
by Zondervan

Investigate the Bible's most compelling claims: the existence of a compassionate God and the promise of eternal life through His Son, Jesus.


Unnatural Response

This week's reading: Ezekiel 24:15-27

Recommended Reading: Job 1:1-22; Psalm 22:1-5; 1 Peter 1:3-7

When President Ronald Reagan passed away in June of 2004, the news media spent an entire week documenting his surviving family's grief. Cable and broadcast news programs covered the memorial services, ceremonies and funeral. But one of the biggest news stories of the week had already been reported thousands of times and in thousands of ways over the years-that of Reagan's loving relationship with his wife, Nancy.

Now imagine that his death had gone completely unnoticed-a mere footnote in the obituary section of the Washington Postand the Los Angeles Times. What if Nancy Reagan had gone on with her daily activities as though nothing had changed and the media had stayed away? That would have been an unnatural and inappropriate response to the passing of this world-changing individual. The nation of Israel reacted with questions and protest when Ezekiel's wife died. God instructed the prophet not to mourn-no lamenting, weeping or shedding of tears. Naturally, the people noticed Ezekiel's lack of public grief. They asked him why he didn't mourn openly over the loss of someone he had obviously loved so deeply. Just the response God wanted! Ezekiel explained how his situation foreshadowed theirs. Because the Israelites had forsaken God, they would live in exile. Worse, the temple-their symbol of national pride-would be destroyed. Naturally, the nation would want to grieve. But how would the people, as exiles, be able to mourn?

What a tough assignment for Ezekiel-to function as a human object lesson at the time of the loss of his wife, "the delight of [his] eyes" (Ezekiel 24:16). The message to the people was that the pride and joy of their culture, the temple in Jerusalem, was going to be desolated. Those who thought that God would never allow his holy home to be destroyed were sorely mistaken and were about to discover how wrong they were.

Consider for yourself how this passage might speak to your life. In what areas do you feel God's blessing will be protected? Perhaps you felt led to a certain job or ministry that you feel certain will be around for the foreseeable future. Maybe you're placing your confidence in the fact that the pastor of your church will be in his position long enough to see your kids get married. Perhaps you're relying on some possession in your life to remain solid, stable and valuable for years to come. Or maybe your retirement package is your source of security.

The old adage "change is the only constant" is just as true today as it ever was. Are you placing your confidence in something other than the grace and care of God? Plans change and people change; economies flourish and falter, but God is the only true constant.

To Take Away

  • Would you generally describe your life right now as good or bad? Considering your answer, how close do you feel to God?
  • What lessons do you recall from previous difficult times that remind you to stay close to God?
  • How can you ensure that you'll stay close to God no matter what happens in your life?



New Men's Devotional BibleToday's reading is from the
New Men's Devotional Bible
by Zondervan

The New Men's Devotional Biblehelps apply God's Word to a new generation of Christian men. It includes a full year of all-new devotions by well-known and not-so-well-known men of God.

A Christmas Devotional


Hello, friend. I’m glad you followed along with the Christmas Joy devotional. It has been a real pleasure getting your comments.

I will not be sending any more devotionals on this list, but if you’d like to stay in touch you can sign up for my weekly “Everything New” devotional.

Or you can receive my weekly article called “The Brook Letter.” If you sign up today you’ll be able to download a free booklet I wrote called “Living a God-Filled Life.” There is nothing greater any of us can hope for in the new year than to draw upon the fullness of God in Christ. In these challenging days in which we live, how we need the fullness of Christ. What a blessing! You can sign up for “The Brook Letter” (and then get the free booklet “Living a God-Filled Life”) HERE

And thanks to the great folks at for continuing to provide for us so many great ways to access the Word of God!

God bless you in the New Year!

Mel Lawrenz
Minister at Large, Elmbrook Church

P.S. I’d love to stay in touch with you also through Twitter or Facebook.



About The Author - Mel Lawrenz serves as minister at large for Elmbrook Church and leads The Brook Network. Having been in pastoral ministry for thirty years, the last decade as senior pastor of Elmbrook, Mel seeks to help Christian leaders engage with each other. Mel is the author of eleven books, the most recent for church leaders, Whole Church: Leading from Fragmentation to Engagement.

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