Small Group Devotionals
Short talks on current events and every day topics from a Christian perspective. Useful as devo messages or discussion starters for small groups.
Keep Your Eye on the Ball
In the summer of 1992, I watched the girl from Oklahoma, Shannon Miller, rise to the lead in the individual gymnastics competition at the Olympics and then win her medals. They interviewed her coach and did a story on his coaching career and style.
There is a modern expression that describes an old human need. The expression is “kissing up” and it means to curtsy or cultivate favor with a superior. The human need is, of course, the need to be liked and appreciated by others, especially those who are over us in some way or those who have something we want.
Living on the Brink of Hope
During the weeks preceding Christmas, I watched my children as they counted down the days, hours and minutes until that special moment when the “gifts” were opened. For days they could think of nothing else, everything was secondary to the big event.
The Problem of Procrastination
Tell me what kind of person is talking here… “I will do it later”; “I will watch the movie, then finish the work”; “tomorrow”; “next time”; You want me to do it now?”… Of course, these sentences come from our mouths when we procrastinate.
In an article entitled, "Enjoying the Enduring Magic of Long-Term Friendship," Katherine Lowry lists several important ingredients found in friendships that are able to last for many years.
Giving God 100%
I would like to talk about the need to give God 100% and why we should not be afraid of doing so. To illustrate this point I have chosen the story of one of Israel's kings who learned why it was important to give God your all. The king's name was ASA.
Gratitude: The Way to Happiness
Name one virtue that, more than any other, leads to happiness, and why?
In Matthew 6:9, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray. "Pray, then, in this way:" This was not so much the teaching of what words to say because the Jews were trained to memorize the psalms and were experienced in offering praise and worship at the temple.
Dealing with Pain at Christmas
Perhaps the reason why Christmas time is "special" is because, for some reason or other, everything seems more intense at Christmas. We spend more, eat more, take off work days. Being in love at Christmas is more romantic. We appreciate our families and the blessings we have that much more at Christmas.
These are wonderful reminders of some of the things that God has and continues to do. As you read the Psalm you can understand what the writer is saying and make sense of the different ideas. The last verse, however, makes you think a little harder about what the author is referring to. He says, "Praise Him forever" which suggests the praise that God receives goes on and on without end. Why is that?
Bringing Your Friend to Christ
I have noticed something about our teens lately that is quite encouraging: they are not ashamed of us.
Just One Sin
After having led the people in the wilderness for 40 years; after bringing them to the point of entering into the Promised Land that they had waited for for so long, Moses is told by God to go to the top of a mountain and look at the land that the people would go to but he would not.
How to Build a Good Reputation
A few years ago my daughter and I were discussing some of the "popular" people in her school. I was amazed at the time and expense that some of these teenagers would go to be noticed and well-liked by their peers. According to my daughter, who was a keen observer of the fast life and times of teenage girls, it seemed that much of the effort at popularity was spent on fashion, make-up and hanging around with the "right" people.
You Have got to Show it
Solomon said, Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed."(Proverbs 27:5) I think that both are required in life: correction and love. There are times when a friend or saint in the church needs correction and discipline and I believe that we are usually quick to see that it be applied.
Before You Say "Why Not"
When faced with a decision to do something or get involved in some scheme or plan, people sometimes base their choice on the popular saying “why not?” When they cannot make up their minds they jump into things with the attitude “why not? I cannot think of any reason not to.” Unfortunately many people learn too late why they should not have done this or that.
According to various studies people make about 612 decisions each day. Some are involuntary where the brain sends messages to your body to follow through on and others are voluntary because you have to make a conscious choice.
Getting Beyond the Rules
In Exodus 21:2 we read the instructions that God gave the Israelites concerning the treatment of slaves. Although the Jews were involved in the universal practice of slavery at that time, the treatment of their slaves was governed by God's restrictions and laws – a code that usually encouraged fair treatment and eventual liberation.
For Men Only
Men don’t share. They don’t look for opportunities to “get together” as men unless it is to watch something. I don’t know if it’s genetic or what but guys will head for the hills if they suspect that some event has been organized just to get them to talk to each other.
Best of Both Worlds
At the end of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon concludes that the greatest blessing God gives to man on earth is the ability to enjoy the "…fruit of his labor…". Ecc. 3:22.
Every election produces a catch phrase that summarizes the political objectives of one party or the other. FDR's "New Deal" or Lyndon Johnson with the "Great Society" are examples to which it seems President Clinton has added the term "Common Ground" as this year's great rallying cry.
I wondered what to do as the elderly saint before me struggled with the ravages of old age.
You can always spot them, the Christ lovers. I think it has something to do with gravity. If left alone, those who love the Lord will continually move towards Him and those things that concern Him.
A Shred of Doubt
Have you ever noticed that Paul the Apostle never mentions visiting his victims? Paul, before his conversion, was the chief persecutor of the church. He himself says that: he imprisoned Christians (Acts 22:4); tortured them (Acts 22:5); and had them killed (Acts 26:10).
Deny Sin, Not Self
In Colossians 2:20-23, Paul teaches that the denial of the flesh does not necessarily decrease the power nor the attraction of the flesh. Simple denial, he says, for its own sake profits nothing – not the flesh, not the spirit. It merely leads to pride.