Today's Devotions

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Showcase: Thanksgiving

  • Supplications, Prayers, Intercessions, and Thanksgivings +

    Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, O Lord, turn from yourfierce wrath; change your mind and do not Read More
  • Colossians 1: ESV +

    Greeting 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, 2 To the Read More
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19089115_iZRBx-M1 I want you to realize that I continue to work as hard as I know how for you, and also for the Christians over at Laodicea. Not many of you have met me face-to-face, but that doesn't make any difference. Know that I'm on your side, right alongside you. You're not in this alone. 2 I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery. 3 All the richest treasures of wisdom and knowledge are embedded in that mystery and nowhere else. And we've been shown the mystery! 4 I'm telling you this because I don't want anyone leading you off on some wild-goose chase, after other so-called mysteries, or "the Secret." 5 I'm a long way off, true, and you may never lay eyes on me, but believe me, I'm on your side, right beside you. I am delighted to hear of the careful and orderly ways you conduct your affairs, and impressed with the solid substance of your faith in Christ. 6 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you've been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him.

7 You're deeply rooted in him. You're well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you've been taught. School's out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving. 8 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that's not the way of Christ.

9 Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don't need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. 10 When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything. 11 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It's not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you're already in - insiders - not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin.

12 If it's an initiation ritual you're after, you've already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. 13 When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive - right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, 14 the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ's Cross. 15 He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

16 So don't put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. 17 All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ. 18 Don't tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They're a lot of hot air, that's all they are.

19 They're completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us. 20 So, then, if with Christ you've put all that pretentious and infantile religion behind you, why do you let yourselves be bullied by it? 21 "Don't touch this! Don't taste that! Don't go near this!"

22 Do you think things that are here today and gone tomorrow are worth that kind of attention? 23 Such things sound impressive if said in a deep enough voice. They even give the illusion of being pious and humble and ascetic. But they're just another way of showing off, making yourselves look important.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Mysterious and Unknown: Our Great God Fernando Ortega +

    Eternal God, unchanging Mysterious and unknown Your boundless love unfailing In grace and mercy shown Bright seraphim in ceaseless flight Read More
  • Our Great God by Fernando Ortega +

    Eternal God, unchangingMysterious, and unknownYour boundless love, unfailingIn grace and mercy shownBright seraphim in endless flightAround Your glorious throneThey raise Read More
  • This is my Father's world by Fernando Ortega +

    This is my Father's world, and to my listening ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of Read More
  • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty by Fernando Ortega +

    Praise to the Lord, the AlmightyThe King of creationO my soul, praise HimFor He is thy health and salvationAll ye Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Inerrancy of Scriptures by Dr. Wayne Grudem (Systematic Theology, ch5) +

    Below is an outline from Dr. Grudem's teaching on inerrancy; at the end of the outline is a link to Read More
  • The Joy of the Lord: God's Promise in Scriptures +

    Neh 8:10b For the joy of the Lord is your strength. Ps 5:11 But let all those that put their Read More
  • God Hears Us--Scriptures to Meditate On +

      For they cried to the God in the battle, and He was entreated of them; because they put their Read More
  • God's Favor and Sufficiency--Scriptures to Mediate On +

    Deut 7:9 Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, which keeps covenant and mercy Read More
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