Early Morning Devotional

A Famous Young Man

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

Has it ever occurred to you how Timothy became so famous a young man?

H. L. Hastings tells of a group of British archeologists who, years ago, came upon a huge marble slab, evidently very ancient, high atop a mountain where no one would be apt to find it or remove it.

Experts were called upon to decipher the hieroglyphics which covered the marble monument. They found them to be a declaration by an ancient ruler of his great exploits, and an explanation that he had used this means of recording his deeds so as to secure to himself everlasting fame.

The trouble was that no one could find any historical account of a king who bore this name or who had accomplished the glorious exploits recorded on the marble slab! Thus the archeologists had found, engraved in marble, a glowing self-tribute to whom? It might as well have been to nobody!

By striking contrast, young Timothy has been well known by Christian people all over the world for nearly two thousand years! During all this time, without interruption, he has been read about, written about, preached about and used as an example of consistent Christian conduct. Yet, have you ever read one great deed done by Timothy? Have you ever read of one great sermon from his lips, one brilliant book or letter from his pen, one great exploit of any kind? No, you hardly know more than that he was a young preacher, a friend of Paul, and that he had been taught the Scriptures in early life by his grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice (II Tim. 1:5), so that Paul could now write to him:

“…FROM A CHILD THOU HAST KNOWN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, WHICH ARE ABLE TO MAKE THEE WISE UNTO SALVATION, THROUGH FAITH WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS” (II Tim. 3:15).

Ponder God’s Gift

Scripture Reading: Revelation 7:1-3

“Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.”

~ Revelation 7:3

In our reading today we see another scene unfolding from the opening of the sixth seal. In the previous scene we saw everyone reeling as the foundations of the earth tore apart and people had nowhere to hide. And now we see God’s mighty angels holding back the four winds so that God’s servants can receive his seal of protection. All who have faith in God and the saving power of the Lamb (Jesus) will be spared from the oncoming destruction.

Which group do you identify with? Are you in the company of God’s servants, people who live by faith? Or do you keep trying to run and hide away from God?

The tearing open of creation leaves no uncertainty. When God says the time has come, there will no longer be anywhere to hide. At this point we need to ponder God’s gift of grace. Because of Jesus, we can receive “the seal of the living God,” for he has conquered death and says, “I give them eternal life . . . no one will snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:28).

God’s seal on us is God’s way of saying, “I am your God; you are my people. I love and care for you more than you will ever understand. I am not here to let destruction come upon you but to give life to all who put their trust in me.” (See John 3:16.)

The gift of God’s seal is yours to embrace—a call and commitment to stand with all who identify as servants of the living God. Prayer: Lord and Savior, your grace and goodness are wide and deep. Thank you for your love and your protective care. Amen.

~ Jim Poelman

Morning Prayer

YOU SHALL NOT MURDER 
Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21-22, Matthew 15:19

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Today

I pray that you will not harbor anger in your heart. May you not entertain anger even against your enemy, for this produces a root of hatred and resentment. I pray that you will not stay angry but attempt to resolve all misunderstanding and bitterness before they take root. I pray that you will not “commit murder” in your heart by allowing anger to remain in it. May God bless you with a heart like His – slow to anger and abounding in love.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Early Morning Prayer

GOD DISCIPLINES YOU 
Hebrews 12:5-11; Revelations 3:19

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Today

I pray that when God disciplines you in certain areas of your life, you will embrace it, for no discipline seems pleasant at the time. But may you realize that discipline produces righteousness and peace. I pray that you will not make light of the Lord’s discipline nor lose heart when he rebukes you. When He corrects you, may you be thankful that He is treating you like His own child. May you always understand that it is out of love that He rebukes and disciplines His children.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Early Morning Prayer

THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD 
Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 1:2-5, 7

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Today

I pray that you will earnestly seek the Word, for it is only through His Word that you can attain true wisdom. From His Word, may you learn discretion and the capacity to understand words of insight. Through His  Word and the wisdom it gives, may you acquire a prudent and disciplined life. The Word of God is flawless; may you delight with the Lord as you read God’s Word today.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Early Morning Prayer

FORGIVENESS AND REPENTANCE 
Isaiah 1:16-18

In Jesus’ Name, I Pray God’s Will for You Today

I pray that you may understand that the Lord is a forgiving God. I pray that you will purify yourself, make yourself clean and stop doing wrong in His sight, for this is what God desires. May you remember His promise, that if you admit your sin and ask for His forgiveness, your sins that are red like scarlet shall be made as white as snow. I pray that when you accept the Lord’s forgiveness and turn away from sin, you may always do what is right by seeking justice and helping others.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.