December 30 – Gospel Readthrough – Matthew 4

Read Matthew 4:1-25 and Hebrews 4:15

There is such a power in someone relating to something you’re going through.

If you’ve read our devos over the past year or know Kelly and I personally, you will know that she and I are fairly outspoken about our miscarriage in the fall of 2020. We do that, not because we want people to feel sorry for us, but so that people can see the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in the midst of a trying time we experienced.

As we were dealing with the grief of the loss of our child, my mind immediately shifted to the many couples in our church who I know have experienced this exact thing. Over the months that were ahead, Kelly and I both met with individuals who we knew had experienced a miscarriage themselves. I can’t explain the power that had for Kelly and I. For someone to say, “Hey, I’ve been there. You’ve got this. God is faithful.”

It was monumental.

There are many different aspects of Jesus that amaze me even today. There is a theological term called “hypostatic union” which is the truth that Jesus was and is both 100% God and 100% man. When Jesus put on human flesh as described in John 1, Jesus was fully human while also complete deity, however He laid aside the right to some of His divine power.

One of the greatest truths in the gospels and one that, if untrue, destroys the Christian faith is that Jesus never sinned while on earth.

However, that doesn’t mean that He wasn’t tempted.

Matthew 4 describes the temptation of Jesus immediately after His baptism. This brings about the principle that, often after a great high point in your life, you are the most susceptible to temptation.

Hebrews 4:15 puts it this way:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

When Satan offered food to Jesus, it wasn’t as if Jesus immediately cast him aside and declined. He was tempted. He may very well have thought about giving in. When challenged to throw Himself off a high point and have angels miraculously save Him, I bet Jesus thought about making Satan eat his words. However, He resisted temptation and He did so via Scripture.

When we are tempted and we pray for deliverance, Jesus can say, “Hey, child, I’ve been there. You’ve got this. I am faithful.”

When you are tempted, in what way can you utilize Scripture to fight through? How does it make you feel to know that Jesus was, according to Hebrews 4, tempted in every way we are? Also, is there anyone that you can come beside and say, “Hey, friend, I’ve been there. You’ve got this. God is faithful”?

There is such a power in someone relating to something you’re going through.

Jake Lawson

December 17 – Family Christmas – Hope for the Harlot

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Family Christmas

Don’t forget to share your comments and takeaways every day!

Hope for the Harlot

By Danny Saavedra

“By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe . . .” – Hebrews 11:31 (NKJV)

Did you ever watch Sesame Street? On the show, they’d sing this one song called “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others.” The purpose was to try to get the audience to identify the one object that was different from the rest. One version of the song said: “One of these is not like the others, which one is different? Do you know? Can you tell which thing is not like the others? I’ll tell you if it is so.”

If we had to identify one person in Jesus’ family tree who we wouldn’t expect to see at a family reunion among Abraham and King David, it would probably be Rahab. She arrives on the scene in Joshua 2 as the Israelites are on the verge of destroying her city, Jericho. Two Israelite spies cross paths with her and having heard of the power and faithfulness of God, she protects them by letting them hide in her house in the hopes that she would be saved.

Keep in mind, Rahab was a “pagan” woman who had no connection whatsoever to the covenant God had established with the Israelites. She was also a harlot, a prostitute. Rahab is about as far from what you’d expect a child of God to be as you can get! She’s the epitome of “one of these things is not like the others.” 

But that’s the beauty of the gospel and the family of God: Nobody belongs because we’ve all fallen short of God’s glory. But at the same time, everybody belongs because God made a way for us through faith in Jesus. God doesn’t choose based on our resume, because even the most prestigious of all people is unfit and unqualified to enter God’s Kingdom apart from Christ. Instead, God honors faith. 

When a person makes the conscious decision to place their faith in the Lord, to trust Him and believe what He says, He honors and blesses them. And here’s the amazing thing; this holds true for everyone. A person’s background—who they were and what they’ve done—doesn’t disqualify them because that’s all irrelevant in God’s eyes once faith enters into the equation.

Rahab was saved because she believed the God of Israel was real and she put her life in His hands. The Lord saw and honored her belief and she was miraculously saved while the rest of her city and its inhabitants perished. God honored Rahab even further by making her an ancestor of King David and Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 1:5). That’s a lot of honor for a pagan prostitute! But it all happened because God honors those who trust in Him, no matter who it comes from. Consider the men and women Jesus associated with and chose—Peter the denier, Mathew the tax collector, Thomas the doubter, Paul the murderer, and us! 

The next time you doubt that God loves and accepts you, remember Rahab and how her story shows the extent of God’s amazing grace toward all who believe. Remember the great lengths God went to—sending His Son Jesus to pay the price for our sins—in order that we may be part of His family. And remember that when God looks at those who believe, who have “put on Christ, like putting on new clothes,” all He sees is Jesus! So this Christmas, no matter who you are or where you’ve come from, you can be certain that God has a place for you in His family!

November 15 – Prayer for my Kids – Contentment

Read Hebrews 13:5

If you didn’t start off reading the scripture for today, read it here one more time:

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”

(Hebrews 13:5)

This verse could be extremely applicable to kids, teens, adults, and elders…with me being at the front of that line.

In almost every aspect of our daily lives, TV and social media ads tell us what we don’t have and that having “this” item will make you happy. The comparison culture is pushed in front of our kids’ eyes every day which drives continuous discontent on what they have.

So, what are some daily habits we can develop to help our kids learn contentment with the clothes they wear and things they have while teaching them the value and place of money?

1. Model Contentment (But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6)

Good or bad, whatever habits we have as parents, our kids will likely pick up. Always getting that new phone, new car, or designer clothing? There’s nothing wrong with having nice things, but explain to your kids what it took (45 hours of work, for example) to buy that new iPhone. Give them something tangible to relate to the effort and sacrifice buying that new item takes. Nothing is just free, regardless of what your kids might have seen some YouTuber show earlier that day. 

2. Battle for the Heart (For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21)

When kids start getting an allowance or even a first job, explain the value of giving to God. Giving the first profit, even if it’s $0.25, kids will start learning it’s not their money but God’s. Also, let your kids see you tithing, helping out others, or giving of your time…they are watching!

3. Ultimate Contentment (I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11)

There is story after story of celebrities or athletes who earned the big payday, achieved a milestone, or won a championship and still felt discontent. Jesus’ way is the only road we can head down that leads to a truly content life. Talk about the model Jesus provided throughout the New Testament about contentment and that He will provide exactly what you need and when you need it.

4. Daily Prayer (I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. Philippians 4:12)

 Ask God daily to provide a content mindset and focus in you and your family’s life. Turn away from the comparison culture and striving for more stuff by thanking the Lord for all of the blessings you have through Him. Your family, your health, or even in your job are things we all, at times, can take for granted.

As contentment in Christ starts infiltrating every part of your life, your kids will recognize it and follow your lead!

Drew Hilty

November 6 – Miracles of Jesus – Touching Jesus’ Garment

Read Mark 5:24-34 and Hebrews 4:15-16

Gym class made me sweat. Not because I was overly exerting myself. It had more to do with the rising emotions of standing in a clump of kids, waiting to be picked for a dodgeball team.

How do you feel about being a “last resort”?

When all other options are exhausted and someone finally looks your way, how do you feel?

The woman we read about today had tried everything before she tried Jesus. She spent everything she had trying to get well.

Her bleeding forced her to the outskirts of Jewish life. She was unclean. All the time.

She had to be weak.

Discouraged.

All kinds of tired.

And she hears about Jesus. Some guy who hangs out with the riffraff in town, makes religious leaders crazy, and throws in some sermons and miracles along the way.

“Could this be my moment? Could this Jesus provide a miracle for me?”

So, she makes her way through a sea of sinners who want a piece of Jesus. He’s been ministering – pouring Himself out all day – and feels power leaving His body.

“Who touched me?”

He asked His disciples. They didn’t have a clue.

In this mayhem, how could anyone know?

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed (Luke 8:47).

For twelve long years this woman was sick and forgotten. In one instant of faith, she was well. And because Jesus is a master at asking questions, she got to give Him all of the credit and praise in front of all of her on-lookers.

Jesus was her last resort. Her one last ditch effort to find healing.

He didn’t seem to mind.

Then He said to her:

“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

There’s disappointment and pain, but no shame, in trying everything but Jesus.

It’s our nature.

And when we come to Him, we don’t get a lecture. We don’t get what we deserve.

When we approach Jesus with confidence rooted in faith, we find there’s more than enough mercy and a whole lot of lavish grace waiting for us.

How long have you been ‘bleeding?’

I’m not talking about the physical kind.

How is your soul?

Are you ashamed that Jesus has been on the back burner of your life? The last thought of the day as you hit your pillow?

Jesus is longing for you to approach Him. He understands you. He can’t help but notice you. He wants to help you in your time of need.

Isn’t it time you let Him?

Shelly Eberly

October 27 – I Will Remember: The Supremacy and Superiority of Christ in Unprecedented Crisis

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I Will Remember – YouVersion Plan

Don’t forget to share your comments and takeaways every day!

Read Hebrews 1:1-6, Hebrews 2:1-18, Hebrews 12:28, Hebrews 13:14-15

We live in a day of instability. Crisis, whether it is a global pandemic, volatility in the markets, or an economic recession, can hit at any moment. When crisis hits, it humbly reminds us of the fragility of life and that nothing in our lives is supreme and sure—even those things we believe bring stability. 

However, the Bible teaches that there is something sure and supreme that brings stability in the midst of instability and uncertainty. 

The author of Hebrews, writing to a group of believers living in the midst of uncertainty, instability, and upheaval, reminds them of the supremacy and superiority of Christ. According to the author of Hebrews, Jesus is better and more superior than the angels as well as Moses, and what he accomplished through his death and resurrection is greater and surer than the covenant Moses mediated. 

I grew up going to the lake with my family. When we would take the boat out, we would find a place to anchor so that we could play and swim. The anchor would stabilize the boat in the midst of a lake containing many boats that created many waves. 

Jesus is the anchor that can weather any storm or wave we encounter in this fallen world. For it is in Jesus we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:28). 

In a world where we aren’t promised tomorrow, which can create fear, worry, and anxiety, believers anchor themselves to the hope of Christ and thus fixate their eyes on the city that is to come (Heb. 13:14). Therefore, it is in Christ we can, “…continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips that acknowledge his name” (Heb. 13:15). 

Today, I pray you will remember, and give thanks for, all that God has done, is doing, and will do in your life–if you only trust in him. 

Questions for Reflection

Who or what are you placing your confidence in? 

How can we remind those around us that there is something more important than money and things?

May 18 – What Does the Bible Say About Itself?

Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and Hebrews 4:12

“The most influential book of all time.”

“No other book like it.”

I’ve made those statements about the Bible.  But what does the Bible say about itself?  I would answer that in several ways. First …

  1. The Bible is an awesome book. The word “awesome” is used and abused today. I’ve even heard some use the word “awesome-est,” as if something can be more than awesome. Experiences and people are described as awesome when they are anything but that.

But the Bible is truly an awesome book because it is “inspired” by God (2 Timothy 3:16). That doesn’t mean “inspiring” like a gorgeous sunset. Rather it is the product of God Himself!

The word “inspired” means “God – breathed” or “exhaled” from God. No wonder it’s called the Word of God. The Bible is the product of God directing human authors to write exactly what He wanted to have written (2 Peter 1:20-21). I don’t fully understand how that supernatural process worked, but it can be described as nothing less than “awesome.”

And beyond all of that, the Bible is not a collection of principles, platitudes, or lessons. It is a thrilling story of God’s redemptive plan for mankind. From beginning to end, the plot of Scripture spotlights Jesus Christ, God’s Only Son, the Redeemer of Mankind.  Jesus said: “…These are the very Scriptures that testify about me” (Matthew 5:39-40).

Furthermore,

2. The Bible is an accurate book. Because God‘s character is true, His Word is trustworthy, completely reliable. Some suggest that the Bible is accurate when it speaks about theology but not accurate when it speaks about history or science. But if the Bible is not fully reliable at every point, how can we be sure it’s reliable at any point? Every word of God is described as “flawless” (Psalm 12:6), “eternal” (Psalm 119:89) and “perfect” (Psalm 119:96). If it is not accurate, it is worthless.

3. The Bible is also an authoritative book. The Bible is the Owner’s Manual for effective operation in this world by every human being. This means that every opinion, statement and belief should be tested by the question: “What does the Bible say about this?”

In fact, God expects us to obey what He said in His Word. Obedience is not optional. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).

4. The Bible is an adequate book.

The Apostle Peter said that God has given us “everything we need for a godly life through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). The Scriptures have been given so that we might be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). Someone said, “While the Bible may not tell us everything we want to know, it does tell us everything we need to know. Its truth isn’t exhaustive, but it is enough.”

Think of this! One book, penned by 40 different human authors on three different continents in three different languages over a period of more than 1500 years, provides exactly what we need for this life and all eternity.

It is an endless supply of riches!  

No book will ever claim more of your life than this book. And no book will ever give you more of life than this book.  Why not treat God’s word with the respect it deserves and allow it to have its rightful place of preeminence in your life?

Bob Fetterhoff

March 11 – The Gospel of Matthew – Chapter 4

Read Matthew 4:1-25 and Hebrews 4:15

There is such a power in someone relating to something you’re going through.

If you’ve read our devos consistently over the past several months, you will know that my wife, Kelly, and I are fairly outspoken about our miscarriage in the fall of 2020. We do that, not because we want people to feel sorry for us, but so that people can see the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in the midst of a difficult time we experienced.

As we were dealing with the grief of the loss of our child, my mind immediately shifted to the many couples in our church who I know have experienced this exact thing. Over the months that were ahead, Kelly and I both met with individuals who we knew had experienced a miscarriage themselves. I can’t explain the impact that had on us. For someone to say, “Hey, I’ve been there. You’ve got this. God is faithful.”

It was monumental.

There are many different aspects of Jesus that amaze me even today. There is a theological term called “hypostatic union” which is the truth that Jesus was and is both 100% God and 100% man. When Jesus put on human flesh as described in John 1, Jesus was fully human while also complete deity. However, He laid aside the right to some of his divine power.

One of the greatest truths in the gospels and one that, if untrue, destroys the Christian faith is that Jesus never sinned while on earth.

However, that doesn’t mean He wasn’t tempted.

Matthew 4 describes the temptation of Jesus immediately after His baptism. This brings about the principle that, often after a great high point in your life, you are the most susceptible to temptation.

Hebrews 4:15 puts it this way:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”

When Satan offered food to Jesus, it wasn’t as if Jesus immediately cast him aside and declined. He was tempted. He may very well have thought about giving in. When challenged to throw Himself off a high point and have angels miraculously save Him, I bet Jesus thought about making Satan eat his words. However, He resisted temptation and He did so via Scripture.

When we are tempted and we pray for deliverance, Jesus can say, “Hey, child, I’ve been there. You’ve got this. I am faithful.”

When you are tempted, in what way can you utilize Scripture to fight through? How does it make you feel to know that Jesus was, according to Hebrews 4, tempted in every way we are? Also, is there anyone that you can come beside and say, “Hey, friend, I’ve been there. You’ve got this. God is faithful”?

There is such a power in someone relating to something you’re going through.

Jake Lawson

February 25 – Personality of Jesus

Read Hebrews 4:14-16

“No one understands like Jesus. He’s a friend beyond compare. Meet Him at the throne of mercy; He is waiting for you there.”

Over fifty years ago, John W. Peterson penned these words into a song following a bitter experience. Mr. Peterson gave this account of the song.

“I began to feel very alone and forsaken. Suddenly, I sensed the presence of the Lord in an unusual way and my mind was diverted from my difficulties to His faithfulness and sufficiency. Soon the thought occurred to me that He fully understood and sympathized with my situation- in fact, no one could ever completely understand or care as did He.”

My husband was only twenty-one when he experienced the tragic loss of his mother. He recalls hearing the radio play that comforting song soon after she crossed into glory. He was able to stay the course because he could cast all his care on Jesus. Why? Because Jesus, fully God, was also fully man and can sympathize with all of our weaknesses and difficulties.

Three words summarize the book of Hebrews:

Jesus is better.

Jesus is better than all the Old Testament symbols that pointed to Him. As Moses was instructed on Mount Sinai, the tribe of Levi was set apart for priestly duties. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest entered the Holy of Holies to offer the blood of a spotless lamb for the sins of the people and his own sins. Hebrews chapter 5 says that the high priest can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided since he himself also is beset with weakness.

But, as the theme of the book tells us, Jesus is better. When Jesus stepped out of heaven, He chose to come, not as a fully grown, mature man, but as a baby. He was dependent on His parent’s nurturing. He ran and played and probably fell down and scraped His knee. He learned a trade as a craftsman from His earthly father. He had friends and enemies. He laughed and cried. Jesus embraced all of our humanness, but, because He was also fully God, never sinned. For this reason, He is the greatest high priest. He understands all of our weaknesses but, because He has no weakness or sin, He not only offered the sacrifice, but He became the sacrifice. John called Him the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Only Jesus could be both the priest and the offering.

We all want an understanding friend when we encounter difficulty. We long for someone who accepts us and will never let us down. But, as I have heard from one of my favorite Bible teachers, the content of contentment is Christ. We will always be disappointed if we look to others to meet our needs that only Jesus can meet. Is Jesus your friend? Do you come boldly before His throne and find His understanding help in your time of need? May your heart be filled with the chorus, No one is so near, so dear as Jesus; cast your every care on Him.

You can give Him all your cares because He fully understands.

Charline Engle

February 23 – Meet the Team – Shelly Eberly

Read Psalm 19:7-11, Hebrews 4:12 and James 1:22-25

I’ve been hungry for words all of my life. Longing for affirmation to know that I was appreciated, I would cling to words that convinced me someone was paying attention to me. I would drown in piles of painful words and float on words of kindness. I was unstable.

I’ve always been drawn to God’s word. Certain verses would hit me hard or soft, depending on the day. But I didn’t have a huge desire or discipline to read it.

I would feel guilt for that. I would make promises and plans and fail. I would soak up teaching from others. But I wasn’t too great at feeding myself.

I began reading the Bible for hours when I became a new mama. Unsure if the words were even sinking in, I kept reading. I remember being ‘lit on fire’ by the enthusiasm of Beth Moore through a few of her studies. I soaked up Christian radio while I cleaned the house and changed diapers. I began to develop a taste for these words David describes as sweeter than honey.

The more I read, the more I couldn’t put this massive book down. The more pages I consumed, the less intimidated I was by the amount of them, and the more captivated I became by the intimacy and love I discovered on each one. The more I listened to God’s voice, the more reliant on Him I became.

I went from a guilty yeah-I-probably-should-read-my-Bible type of gal to an I-can’t-wait-to-see what-He-has-to-say-today kind of follower. I was no longer lit on fire only by the insight of others, I was on fire.

And still am.

“There’s nothing like the written word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another – showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG

God’s words have called me into true, abundant life. They’ve stabilized my identity, broadened my understanding, and anchored my hope. They’ve invoked honesty from my soul about my selfish nature and invited me to deeper faith and surrender. They have provided answers to my questions and given me peace when there isn’t any. By God’s grace and through the power of His Spirit, His words compel my feet to move in faith, one baby step at a time.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.”

John 10:27

Reading Every Day with God means you are also taking steps to listen to His voice. Keep reading and putting His truth into practice. Jesus is so worthy of your love and devotion!

You’re doing great!

Shelly Eberly

December 16 – Importance of the Old Testament – The Price of Sin

Read Leviticus 4:1-35 and Hebrews 9:16-28

I sat across the table from my mother-in-law at an Olive Garden in Sebring, Florida during a recent visit to my wife’s hometown. I try to make it a point to spend some one-on-one time with Momma Patty whenever I can because…well…she’s just that awesome. Momma Patty didn’t have it easy. She was a single mother who raised 4 kids on her own while working full time. How she made ends meet and provided for all 4 of her kids, I will never know. In many regards, I look up to Momma Patty, not only because she shares my love of action movies, but because of her strength and “do what you gotta do” attitude. As I stuffed my face with that incredible Olive Garden salad, I asked her simply, “How did you do it?”

“Jesus”

There are many things that Kelly and I do in parenting that was influenced by Momma Patty. Many lessons Kelly has learned from her mom that we are beginning to teach Mattie.

One of the main things that Momma Patty taught Kelly and her siblings was that there are consequences for your actions. If you chose to do something, you will have to live with the consequences from getting tattoos to getting involved in the wrong crowds.

This same consequence mindset is part of what makes the Old Testament so important. In it, we begin to understand the price (or consequence) of sin.

As you read (or skimmed) through our Leviticus reading today, you began to see just what consequences there were for sin back then. The Israelites definitely came to understand the price for sin as it was never something that God could just “forget and move on from”.

Sin was something that had to be dealt with completely.

For many, many years, Leviticus 4 was the solution.

Everything changed when Jesus came.

Hebrews 9 talks about how Jesus came once and for all to take away the sin of the world. When Jesus was on the cross, He bore the sin of the world and was the recipient of the wrath of God that was the punishment for sin.

What often goes unnoticed in Genesis 3 is the thread of promising redemption. Literally a verse after cursing the serpent (Satan), God reveals His plan for redemption. Sin would ravage the world and would make life so incredibly difficult but, in the end, salvation would come through the eventual offspring of the woman and the ultimate consequences of sin would be done away with.

This theme of redemption is a common thread throughout the Bible. We are introduced to the price of sin right away and, throughout the Bible, we read about how God’s plan of redemption unfolds.

How thankful are you that, regardless of the price of your sin, Jesus paid for it by dying on the cross in your place? Will you take a moment to thank Him for that and commit to live for and glorify Him?

Jake Lawson