Morning Devotional

God reveals Himself in Jesus

O God, Thou art awesome from Thy sanctuary. The God of Israel Himself gives strength and power to the people. Blessed be God!

[PSALM 68:35]

Babylonian literature tells the story of a man who wanted to believe in God, but did not. He went to a Jewish teacher, saying, “If you’ll show me God, I’ll believe. Just show Him to me.” The teacher said, “I will show you God—but first, go outside and gaze at the sun for five minutes.” The man went outside, but he could not look at the sun for more than a few seconds. He told the rabbi that he had failed…that the sun was too bright to gaze upon. The teacher nodded in agreement. “You could not look on a minor creation of God for even a minute—and yet you want to see Him who put the brilliance in the stars. You cannot. He is too big.”

What a great word about the nature of God. He is a big God—too big for us to easily grasp or readily comprehend. And too majestic for us to take in more than a glimpse of His awesome character. Because He is so big, the distance between us is great. For me to understand all about God would be about as reasonable as expecting my King Charles Spaniel Winston to understand all about calculus…and Winston’s a smart dog!

How grateful I am that God sent His Son Jesus Christ to live in the flesh and show us what He is like, up close. Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” Through Him, we can gaze on God to our heart’s content.

~ Dr. Ed Young ~

The One-Glove Blessing

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

[2 Corinthians 9:6]

A man was in a third-world country, and the wind-chill factor was below zero. In this very primitive country with mud streets, he saw two little boys, about 9 or 10 years old, running around.

“They were freezing, but they were looking for something to burn, something they could take home and start a fire,” he said.

“I had on these big old wool gloves. So I went over to one of those kids, and I took my gloves off and said, ‘Here, put these on.’ The little child put those gloves on. Oh, he was so thrilled! I felt so good about being able to give him those gloves and make him happy.”

“Then, I saw him do something. He took one of the gloves off and gave it to his buddy. His buddy put that glove on. Now they were both happy, and I was doubly happy!”

You want to be happy? You want to have joy? You want to be on top of life? Then don’t just give to your spouse, your family, and your friends. Follow God’s lead at Christmas and give to those who really need it.

Look for ways this Christmas to be a blessing to people in need – and you will be blessed in return.

TODAY’S PRAYER FOCUS

Ask God to help you become a generous giver, just as He is to you.

~ Dr. Ed Young ~

Evening Devotional

Never Give Up

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

[Hebrews 12:1]

When Winston Churchill went to school, he made poor grades and wasn’t admitted to Cambridge or to Oxford, as would be expected of someone of his status in society. Until he was 60 years old, he never had a position or a job that amounted to anything.

Yet this man became one of the greatest orators who has ever lived. This man became the one who inspired a world when oppression was closing in upon us. This man became the consummate leader of the free world at a wonderful, tragic moment in history.

I think his legacy is wrapped up in an address he gave to a graduating class on one occasion, and it’s wrapped up in seven famous words: “Never give up! Never give up! Never!”

Are you ever tempted to give up on God? If you are, be encouraged this Christmas. God loves you so much He sent His son Jesus into the world for your sake. He humbled Himself on a cross and died so that you may have life. Let that powerful truth remind you to never give up on your Savior!

Pray that God would help you keep following Jesus even when it’s hard.

~ Dr. Ed Young ~

Morning Devotional

Wise Men still seek Him

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”

[Matthew 2:1-2]

There are a lot of wonderful stories that surround Christmas. We know them from childhood. One of the little stories that I love so much is of the Magi, the men who came from the East. Somehow in the mystery and the providence of God, these wise men determined that the time was near. The equations were put together that there would be a visitation on this earth of God Himself, Emmanuel!

They had a vision that one day, God would visit this planet, and if they could know that God, worship that God, see that God, that would give meaning to their lives.

Do you have a vision? If I asked, “What’s your purpose for life? What has God got for you from this day forward?”, how would you answer?

Life can get so boring, so empty, so foolish, so selfish unless we’ve got an over-powering vision. But Christmas can give us a vision! Christmas gave these Magi a vision. It gave them a vision of something they could go after, and a vision that was worth staying after. They received a vision of life!

But what about you? Are you finding your meaning and purpose in Jesus, or in something else?

TODAY’S PRAYER FOCUS

Pray that God would help you find your vision and purpose for life in Jesus.

~ Dr. Ed Young ~

How Do You Describe a Gift Like This?

Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!

[2 Corinthians 9:15]

I remember years ago when Richard Burton gave the biggest diamond in the world to Elizabeth Taylor. The newspapers said it was indescribable. But then they turned around and tried to describe the indescribable! How much it weighed, the glitter, the glamour, the sparkle. How much it cost, the diameter, the depth of the diamond ring.

We describe everything, but you just can’t describe a gift from God. And that means God’s Christmas gift to us is indescribable.

This gift is indescribable because it is perfect and priceless. Jesus gave His life. That indescribable gift is given to everyone who’ll receive Him and have a brand-new life. That’s how much God loves you! Have you recognized just how wonderful this gift is?

TODAY’S PRAYER FOCUS

Thank God for His indescribable gift and meditate on the wonder of it.

~ Dr. Ed Young ~

The Christmas When No One Was Home

It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…

[1 Timothy 1:15]

When I think of Christmas, I think of home. No other holiday is like it. Nobody says, “We’ve got to be home for Labor Day.” But for Christmas, we just have to be there!

Now, it’s ironic. At the first Christmas, not a single one of the people involved was at home. Mary and Joseph weren’t at home. They were in Bethlehem for taxation purposes. The shepherds, they weren’t at home. They were doing the night shift to protect the sheep from the wolves. And the wise men, they were a long, long way from home because they traveled a long time from the East, following that supernatural star that would lead them to the coming of the Son of God into the world.

And do you know who was the furthest from home than anybody that first Christmas? Jesus, the Christ child. He left heaven and came all the way down to this earth — God with us!

He did all of this so He could be in our lives and in our homes. So, have you let Jesus into your home? Put Jesus at the center of your life and welcome Him into your Christmas celebrations this year.

(TODAY’S PRAYER FOCUS)

Ask for God’s help to welcome Jesus into your life, your family, and your home.

~ Dr. Ed Young ~

Earth’s Divine Visitor

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

[John 1:14]

On the night before Halloween in 1938, Orson Welles produced a radio play about an alien invasion entitled The War of the Worlds. It was done so well that there was pandemonium throughout the country. Some people went into hiding, and others went to church to pray, thinking the planet really had been invaded!

The truth is, our planet has had a visitor from the outside. It happened on that first Christmas Day when God came down out of heaven and lived among us as a human.

Do you want to know how to live? Do you want to find life? Look at the verse above: “The Word became flesh.” Jesus became a human being to show us what true life looks like, to understand us, and to die for us. And that is what Christmas is all about!

TODAY’S PRAYER FOCUS

Acknowledge how small you are before God, and thank Him for entering our world as a human.

~ Dr. Ed Young ~