icon__search

March 26

Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25 Luke 7:11-35 Psalm 68:19-35 Proverbs 11:29-31 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Loving the Lord your God with all your heart is the greatest commandment. It means you should love Him intimately-an action called worship. One who loves his beloved intimately is totally focused on that person, giving to him his heart, soul, and strength. In heaven, the angels and saints spend eternity worshiping and loving God. Should it be odd for us to spend time with Him now, worshiping and loving the One who is the total focus of our lives? The second great commandment says, "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). We call this action ministry. Jesus modeled this commandment when He met the funeral procession coming out of Nain. Luke records, "When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. 'Don't cry!' he said" (Luke 7:13). This is true ministry: loving people and their problems with all your heart, soul, and strength. Learn to make your worship to God and your ministry to people the two focal points of your life. This is love and the path to eternal joy.

March 25

Deuteronomy 4:1-49 Luke 6:39-7:10 Psalm 68:1-18 Proverbs 11:28 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill God is different from all other supposed gods in that He is invisible and His Word is His power. The idols of the earth are just senseless, speechless gods "that neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell" (v. 28). By contrast, our God is a "devouring fire, a jealous God" (v. 24). How important it is then for us to hear and heed His voice! The centurion in the New Testament recognized the power of Jesus' voice: "Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed" (Luke 7:7). Our faith, too, rests in the voice of our invisible God. When God speaks, it is with the voice of absolute authority. His Word contains the power of His ability! Why do we look for tokens and trinkets of religion when we have His Word? Whether thundering and booming from Sinai or softly spoken from the pages of our Bible, His Word is the same. "The Lord announced the word, and great was the company of those who proclaimed it" (Psalm 68:11 NIV).

March 24

Deuteronomy 2:1-3:29 Luke 6:12-38 Psalm 67:1-7 Proverbs 11:27 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill It is no accident that the word forgive comes from the word give. Jesus taught both principles in conjunction with each other. If you forgive, you will receive forgiveness. If you give, others will also give to you. The spirits of forgiveness and giving are opposite from the spirits of the devil. People in the world lash out at anyone who mistreats or abuses them. Jesus said, however,"God blesses you who are hated and excluded and mocked and cursed because you are identified with me, the Son of Man. When that happens, rejoice! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. . .." (Luke 6:22-23). He also encouraged His disciples to love, do good, and pray for those who mistreated them (vv. 27-28). In the same passage He continued, saying, "Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back" (v. 30). You are called to be God's channel of mercy. He wants to use you to pour His grace and blessing upon the world. You must not block that flow through unforgiveness or stinginess. You must let forgiveness and giving flow. When you do, God will bless you, "full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over" (Luke 6:38). Give and forgive. "Then your reward from heaven will be very great...." (v. 35).

March 23

Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46 Luke 5:29-6:11 Psalm 66:1-20 Proverbs 11:24-26 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Three powerful verses in Proverbs 11 remind us of the ageless principles of giving. First, you cannot outgive God. Proverbs 11:24 says, "It is possible to give freely and become more wealthy, but those who are stingy will lose everything." Giving is the secret to abundance and increase. Second, if you purpose in life to "refresh others" (Proverbs 11:25) and not just be concerned for yourself, God will be sure to supply your own needs as well. You must make it your goal in life to bring joy and happiness to others through generously giving to them. You will be personally refreshed from watching their joy, and God will make certain that someone comes along occasionally to refresh you! Finally, if you hoard what you have been given instead of sharing it, you will be cursed instead of blessed (Proverbs 11:26). Because giving is so much a part of God's nature, your gift brings you into His heavenly economy. Even though you may have a need, invest in others, and you will gain, prosper, and be crowned with blessing!

March 22

Numbers 32:1-33:39 Luke 4:31-5:11 Psalm 64:1-10 Proverbs 11:22 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Forgiveness and mercy are the highest items on God's agenda. The city of refuge was a designated place of grace where someone who had made a mistake could run for shelter and protection from revenge. When the high priest died, the person who had been spared from judgment was also restored to a normal life. The man let down through the roof into Jesus' presence heard Jesus tell him, "Son, your sins are forgiven" (Luke 5:20). That one statement encompassed both his forgiveness and his healing. When your sins are forgiven, healing is easy! Jesus, our High Priest, died in our place. Now we are free to live as forgiven, restored sinners. When we were overcome by our sins, Jesus forgave our transgressions (Psalm 65:3). Though we cannot see sin, it is an overwhelming enemy. It afflicts us, crushes the life out of us, and can take us to hell forever. Run to the city of refuge! Run to the mercy seat! You are forgiven through the blood of Christ, and now, like the paralytic, you can "stand up, take your mat, and go on home" (Luke 5:24).

March 21

Numbers 32:1-33:39 Luke 4:31-5:11 Psalm 64:1-10 Proverbs 11:22 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Israel realized that the gods of Egypt that had held them captive for so long were defeated through the ten plagues. For example, the "god of the Nile" was defeated when the mighty river was turned to blood (Exodus 7:20-21), and the "sun god" was defeated by the darkness that fell upon the land (Exodus 10:21-23). After the final plague concerning the firstborn, the Israelites were free to go. Triumphantly they left the land of their captivity. They did not slither out of town or run for their lives in the night. Instead, they "left defiantly, in full view of all the Egyptians" (Numbers 33:3). As New Testament believers, we have the same privilege of boldness as did the Israelites. Jesus has conquered our enemies: "The time of judgment for the world has come, when the prince of this world will be cast out" (John 12:31). Therefore, we should exhibit the same boldness against the devil as did Jesus when He openly ordered the demon to "be silent" (Luke 4:35). Jesus saw sickness and demonic possession as an unfair encroachment of the enemy, and so should we. Rise up today and boldly break free from Satan's chains and bondage. The price has been paid for your freedom. Purpose to serve Pharaoh no more!

March 20

Numbers 30:1-31:54 Luke 4:1-30 Psalm 63:1-11 Proverbs 11:20-21 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Jesus spent His first forty days after baptism in the wilderness east of Jerusalem. Far from the distractions of life, He passed through the fires of temptation and learned total dependence upon God. Moses said to Israel, "Anything made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, tin, or lead-that is, metals that do not burn-must be passed through fire in order to be made ceremonially pure" (Numbers 31:22-23). Nothing is acceptable to God unless it has been passed through the fire. Temptation proves the quality of your "metal." Though Jesus was severely tempted three times by the devil, He came forth as purest gold. While Jesus was passing through the temptation, a second dynamic was taking place in His life: He was drawing into close communion with the Father. His soul and His body, though fasting, were satisfied with "more than the richest of foods" (Psalm 63:5) as He learned to cling to God (v. 8) in close communion. These two lessons are our greatest challenges: "Resist the Devil" and "draw close to God" (James 4:7-8). Are you ready for the lessons of the wilderness?

March 19

Numbers 28:16-29:40 Luke 3:23-38 Psalm 62:1-12 Proverbs 11:18-19 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Faith is trust, and trust is faith. When a deposit is placed in a trust account, we can be confident that it is safe. Do we trust God like that? It is easy to trust Him when we are in control, but what about when the situation moves outside our control? Can we trust Him at all times? David went through perilous times, but in each situation he would pour out his heart to God (v. 8) as his chief Confidant and Refuge. Everyone trusts someone or something, and with many, it is their money. "Don't try to get rich by extortion or robbery. And if your wealth increases, don't make it the center of your life" (Psalm 62:10). Paul told Timothy to "tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment" (1 Timothy 6:17). We must unplug our trust from anything in this world: our money, the promises of others, even ourselves. We must then transfer our total trust to God and relax, knowing that our deposit is safe!

March 18

Numbers 26:52-28:15 Luke 3:1-22 Psalm 61:1-8 Proverbs 11:16-17 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Your spiritual inheritance is the most important thing you possess. The daughters of Zelophehad knew that and thus demanded their inheritance (Numbers 27:4). They refused to let any factor stand in their way of possessing what their father had left to them, and consequently, God honored their faith. Your spiritual inheritance may be the transfer of someone else's anointing to you before that person's death. Moses transferred his anointing to Joshua by the laying on of hands (Numbers 27:23). Jesus received His inheritance when He went into the Jordan and was baptized by John (Luke 3:21-22). Elisha appropriated his inheritance when he saw Elijah go up in a whirlwind and drop his mantle from the chariot (2 Kings 2:11-13). God has given you a mantle of inheritance-some ministry, some mission, some calling-that belongs to you alone. Will you be like Esau who despised his inheritance and birthright and sold it all for a little bowl of soup? Never forfeit or throw your heritage away as though it were worthless. Instead, seize it, claim it, and believe that God will use it to glorify His name.

March 17

Numbers 26:1-51 Luke 2:36-52 Psalm 60:1-12 Proverbs 11:15 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill God is a God of victory. The Church is not on the defensive, but displays a banner of victory. We see this banner as David went into battle, for he reminded himself of God's overwhelming strength against the enemy. We see this banner in Romans 8:31, where Paul wrote, "If God is for us, who can ever be against us?" The nations of the world do not belong to the devil, but to God. His Church is the means by which the nations will be conquered. The first part of Psalm 60:8 declares, "Moab will become my lowly servant," meaning that the nations will serve the Church. The second part of that verse says, "Over Edom will I cast out my shoe" (KJV), indicating ownership. (In biblical times, ownership was marked by a person's taking off his shoe and throwing it down upon his inheritance.) How many nations are waiting to be claimed by the Body of Christ? Let's "take our shoes off"and begin in prayer to "throw them down" upon our inheritance. Let's lift high the banner of the cross of Christ, valiantly defying the claim of the enemy over our God-given heritage. May we never forget that "in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8:37 KJV).

March 16

Numbers 24:1-25:18 Luke 2:1-35 Psalm 59:1-17 Proverbs 11:14 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill We call the leading character in a movie, a play, or an athletic event the star. God has a Star and desires that every eye be upon Him! In his final prophecies, Balaam saw a vision of a star rising out of Jacob. In the distance beyond the camp of Israel, Balaam could see Israel's supreme Leader who would crush Moab. When the devil looks out over the Church, he is blinded by the light of our Bright and Morning Star, the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus rises above all our enemies in His glory. The shepherds saw the Star of all history face-to-face the night He was born in a manger (Luke 2:16). Tradition says the star Balaam saw was the same one the wise men followed from the East to find Christ. Moved by the Spirit, Simeon entered the temple and held in his arms the "light to reveal God to the nations" (Luke 2:32). May we never move our eyes away from the Centerpiece of God's universe: Jesus, the Star of Jacob.

March 15

Numbers 22:21-23:30 Luke 1:57-80 Psalm 58:1-11 Proverbs 11:12-13 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill The tongue is the center of sin in the body. In James 3:6 it is described as a "flame of fire," capable of causing much wickedness. How important it is, therefore, that the tongue be used for the purposes of God! In Numbers 22 we see an astounding miracle of speech rendered by God. Balaam's donkey obviously could not speak, but it was given words to rebuke Balaam in his madness (v. 28). If God could open the mouth of a donkey, how much more can He open our mouths for His glory! Further along in the story, Balaam, being unable to curse Israel with his mouth, could only speak a blessing over the nation. In the story of Elizabeth and Zechariah, God struck Zechariah dumb for nine months because he had used his tongue to voice unbelief. Then God healed him supernaturally and filled his mouth with a blessing for Israel (Luke 1:67). Zechariah absolutely overflowed with praise to the God of Israel who was showing them mercy, rescuing them from their enemies, and granting them salvation. Before we met Christ, we used our mouths to curse, defile, and destroy others. Now that Christ lives in us, we can yield our speech to the Holy Spirit so we may instruct, correct, and encourage others. Offer your tongue to God as "the pen of a skillful poet" (Psalm 45:1). He will fill your mouth with praise and prophecy that will bring glory to God and bind the powers of darkness.

March 14

Numbers 21:1-22:20 Luke 1:26-56 Psalm 57:1-11 Proverbs 11:9-11 Devotional by Larry Stockstill Unbelief is dangerous, regardless of who you are. Zechariah, a member of the priestly tribe, was standing in the Holy Place offering incense before God when an angel of the Lord brought him a message. Because he refused to believe the message and questioned the power of God, Zechariah was struck dumb. Another example of unbelief is found in Numbers 20:11-12, which tells how Moses' and Aaron's lack of trust in God led them to act rashly. They struck the rock twice instead of merely speaking to it as God had instructed. This simple act of unbelief disqualified them from their long-awaited entrance into the Promised Land. God does not exempt His leaders from judgment if they fail to walk before Him in the purity of faith. He "doesn't show partiality" (Acts 10:34) and equally dispenses judgment on all who refuse to believe. His judgment can be swift and stern, as when Uzzah was struck dead for steadying the ark of the covenant after the oxen stumbled (1 Chronicles 13:9-10). In another instance, "Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over it" (Leviticus 10:1) and were immediately burned alive by the fire of God. God is awesome in His holiness and will not be disregarded. Let's serve Him with the proper respect and awe, "for our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29).

March 13

Numbers 19:1-20:29 Luke 1:1-25 Psalm 56:1-13 Proverbs 11:8 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill Unbelief is dangerous, regardless of who you are. Zechariah, a member of the priestly tribe, was standing in the Holy Place offering incense before God when an angel of the Lord brought him a message. Because he refused to believe the message and questioned the power of God, Zechariah was struck dumb. Another example of unbelief is found in Numbers 20:11-12, which tells how Moses' and Aaron's lack of trust in God led them to act rashly. They struck the rock twice instead of merely speaking to it as God had instructed. This simple act of unbelief disqualified them from their long-awaited entrance into the Promised Land. God does not exempt His leaders from judgment if they fail to walk before Him in the purity of faith. He "doesn't show partiality" (Acts 10:34) and equally dispenses judgment on all who refuse to believe. His judgment can be swift and stern, as when Uzzah was struck dead for steadying the ark of the covenant after the oxen stumbled (1 Chronicles 13:9-10). In another instance, "Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over it" (Leviticus 10:1) and were immediately burned alive by the fire of God. God is awesome in His holiness and will not be disregarded. Let's serve Him with the proper respect and awe, "for our God is a consuming fire" (Hebrews 12:29).

March 12

Numbers 16:41-18:32 Mark 16:1-20 Psalm 55:1-23 Proverbs 11:7 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill One rod ended an entire insurrection. What a powerful rod this was to have amazed, confounded, and brought to repentance the powerful forces opposing Moses! The miracle of this rod was that it represented something impossible: a resurrection. How could a dead stick-separated from the tree trunk, polished and smoothed- suddenly sprout leaves, buds, and almonds? Only by the resurrection power of God! Christianity is the only religion whose leader was dead for three days and then physically resurrected. While all other religions are as mere sticks with man-made claims to authority, Christianity is distinguished by the fact that Jesus' rod has budded. This budding rod has persuaded millions that He is truly the Son of God. People of every nation stand in awe that someone beaten, crucified, and speared in the side could stand three days later and say, "All hail." His name has all authority over demons, disaster, and disease (Mark 16:17-18). We, as His disciples, can stand holding the rod of the resurrection in our hands. Let us preach the Gospel of the resurrected Christ to all creation and watch the Lord confirm His Word with signs following (Mark 16:20)!

March 11

Numbers 15:17-16:40 Mark 15:1-47 Psalm 54:1-7 Proverbs 11:5-6Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill It is true that God will repay those who falsely accuse us, but how hard it is to remain silent and let God exact vengeance! Moses and Aaron knew this truth, as their attitudes remained perfect when faced with the strongest challenge to their authority in the wilderness. The "gainsaying of Core" (Jude 11 KJV) is marked as the most slanderous, dangerous illustration of rebellion in the Old Testament. Moses could have easily ordered the opposing leaders' deaths or fought them in a fistfight. Instead, he "threw himself down with his face to the ground" (Numbers 16:4). He chose to let God execute His own justice. Christ displayed a quiet, humble spirit before Pilate. In spite of wave upon wave of slanderous accusations, "Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate's surprise" (Mark 15:5). The moment arrived when both Moses and Jesus were justified by God before all men-Moses when the ground swallowed Korah, and Jesus through the resurrection. Be patient, humble, and quiet before your God. Proclaim with the psalmist, "But God is my helper. The Lord is the one who keeps me alive!" (Psalm 54:4).

March 10

Numbers 14:1-15:16 Mark 14:53-72 Psalm 53:1-6 Proverbs 11:4 Devotional by Larry Stockstill The plague of small thinking strikes again! Joshua was extremely concerned that someone other than Moses might be used of God to prophesy. Joshua did not comprehend that God can use whomever He wants in order to accomplish whatever He wants. In Numbers 13 the ten spies had to make a decision regarding the grapes and the giants. Huge clusters of fruit should have captured the Israelites' attention, faith, and excitement. Instead, their eyes were on the giants who stood guard over the abundance. The devil always tries to get our attention focused more on his resistance than on God's provision. A small, limited vision will make us feel "like grasshoppers" in comparison to the giants (Numbers 13:33), instead of feeling that "we can certainly conquer" (v. 30)! Philip rehearsed to Jesus how impossible it was to feed five thousand men in the wilderness, but Andrew went and found five loaves and two fish. Small thinking involves meditating on negative, impossible thoughts that outweigh the truth of God's Word. Although Moses had told the spies to go into the land with boldness and bring back a sampling of the crops (Numbers 13:20), the spies' fearful thinking caused them to believe that they could never get to the grapes because the giants were too large. Think large: Conquest . . . good report . . . well able!

March 9

Numbers 10:1-11:23 Mark 14:1-21 Psalm 51:1-19 Proverbs 10:31-32 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill The beautiful nature of God is one of sacrifice, the giving of something on behalf of another. The ugly nature of Satan is one of selfishness, the taking of that which belongs to another. Never have the spirits of sacrifice and selfishness been so starkly contrasted as in the Mark 14:3-10 story of a generous woman and the self-serving Judas Iscariot. The woman was reckless in her sacrifice, pouring over Jesus' head a perfume so expensive it was worth a whole year's salary. However, her sacrifice seems insignificant when we consider that it was anointing His head for burial. This was the last act of love shown to Jesus before His death. Since that time, millions have read and appreciated the memory of her act, even though her money, perfume, and possessions have all long since passed from the scene. In our lives, the unselfish, beautiful sacrifices we make for Jesus and His Body will live and return to us forever. By contrast, Judas's hideously greedy act of fattening his purse with thirty pieces of blood money has gone down in infamy. What is the final memory others will have of you? Will it be one of sacrifice or one of selfishness? Break open your "alabaster jar," and pour it all out on the Lord and His people.

March 8

Numbers 10:1-11:23 Mark 14:1-21 Psalm 51:1-19 Proverbs 10:31-32 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill The beautiful nature of God is one of sacrifice, the giving of something on behalf of another. The ugly nature of Satan is one of selfishness, the taking of that which belongs to another. Never have the spirits of sacrifice and selfishness been so starkly contrasted as in the Mark 14:3-10 story of a generous woman and the self-serving Judas Iscariot. The woman was reckless in her sacrifice, pouring over Jesus' head a perfume so expensive it was worth a whole year's salary. However, her sacrifice seems insignificant when we consider that it was anointing His head for burial. This was the last act of love shown to Jesus before His death. Since that time, millions have read and appreciated the memory of her act, even though her money, perfume, and possessions have all long since passed from the scene. In our lives, the unselfish, beautiful sacrifices we make for Jesus and His Body will live and return to us forever. By contrast, Judas's hideously greedy act of fattening his purse with thirty pieces of blood money has gone down in infamy. What is the final memory others will have of you? Will it be one of sacrifice or one of selfishness? Break open your "alabaster jar," and pour it all out on the Lord and His people.

March 7

Numbers 8:1-9:23 Mark 13:14-37 Psalm 50:1-23 Proverbs 10:29-30 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill These three little words-our God approaches-are the most certain fact in the universe. We may be going through terrible trials, tribulations, sufferings, and temptations, but we can be certain of one thing: our God is coming! One day Christ will return to earth. A fire will devour before Him (v. 3) as He returns to destroy the Antichrist and his armies. God Himself will be the Judge of His people (v. 6). The concept of Jesus' return took center stage as Christ taught His disciples about the end of time. "However, no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows" (Mark 13:32). Since we cannot know the moment of His return, we must remain diligently on our guard, for His arrival could be "at evening, midnight, early dawn, or late daybreak" (v. 35). As we battle the enemy, we should be constantly looking skyward for the imminent return of our Lord. Focusing on His coming will keep us on guard against sin, compromise, and slothfulness and will encourage us in battle. We must keep our lives equipped and our hearts ready, because there will be no time for preparation at His sudden return. To the sleeping, distracted, halfhearted Christian, Jesus gives one word that will keep him on track for life: "Watch!" (Mark 13:37).

March 6

Numbers 6:1-7:89 Mark 12:38-13:13 Psalm 49:1-20 Proverbs 10:27-28 Daily Devotional by Larry Stockstill What folly it is to trust in our wealth and boast of our great riches! The psalmist described the futility of hoarding wealth, which has no power to redeem our lives from sin. Ultimately, all the wealth we amass will be left to others. The psalmist continued, saying that the rich will not be pampered forever on their estates. One day they will die, taking none of their worldly wealth with them. Like all men, their bodies will rot in their graves. Someone once said, "You will be dead a lot longer than you will be alive!" We would be looked upon as foolish to think we could send treasures to heaven ahead of ourselves. Everyone knows that is impossible. The only way we can take any wealth into eternity is to give it to God here on earth and reap our eternal reward. The story of the sacrificial widow clearly illustrates how God will reward us in eternity. It is not the amount given but the amount sacrificed that matters to God. The amount we give may be small, but if it represents great sacrifice, it is of more value to God than great riches. Just as each tabernacle offering was recorded in Numbers 7, so each of our offerings is recorded in God's eternal record. We will find those treasures in heaven for all eternity!

1
2
3
4
5
10