Welcome to my Encounter Devotionals Blog Site. I appreciate you visiting the site out. Check out the devotionals I've written below as well as the archived ones in the column on the right.
I pray they help and inspire you to have a deeper and more personal relationship and encounter with Jesus Christ. If you would like to receive these devotionals through e-mail, please send your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org
God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and
only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.This is real love—not that we loved God, but
that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.Dear friends, since God loved us that much,
we surely ought to love each other.No
one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love
is brought to full expression in us.
In 1986, Genesis came out with the song “Land
Of Confusion”.There are many songs Phil Collins sings that
I enjoy listening to and I can thank my brother for getting me into the sound
of his music.
Here is the chorus of this song:
There's too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Can't you see this is a land of confusion.
This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and let's start trying
To make it a place worth living in.
Great words here and Genesis band said it well!This explains well what this world
needs.We live in a land of confusion
for sure!So many people need to know
the love of Christ and we, as the church, need to share this love with
them.God has given us gifts, talents
and abilities to go out and do something about this confusion.People are confused by what they see in life
and they desperately need and want to see something real.
The world needs to see real love lived out in people who are
being real in Christ.Friends, we need
to show this real love in our lives for people who are living in a land of
confusion.Too often, we have become the
problem causing confusion with our fighting and self-centered ways.If we are truly going to be the church that
God wants us to be, we need to work together to do our best to make this a
place worth living in.
We not only need to show this love to the lost, but also
toward each other in the body of Christ.The world needs to see us loving one another as well as sharing that
love with them.
This world needs to see God’s love in a land of confusion.
Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me
to follow.Lead me by your truth and
teach me, for you are the God who saves me.All day long I put my hope in you.
I remember when I was growing up and would ask questions to
my mom, dad, brother, grandparents and others how to do things.I would try on my own several times, but then
realize that I needed direction.After a
few times of failure, I knew that I needed someone to show me how a task was
done who had actual experience doing it.
It makes sense, doesn’t it?If you don’t know how to do something, you find someone with the
experience who knows how to go about doing the task you are trying to
complete.You wouldn’t ask someone who doesn’t
know.You seek out someone with wisdom
and knowledge to do the task you desire.We know we need to seek out someone who understands the task at hand and
will know how to guide you through it.
When we seek out the person, we often approach them and say,
“Can you show me how to do this, please?”This is usually after we give up on trying on our own and bring in
someone who knows what to do.After we
have suffered so many failures trying to figure it out, we consult someone and
trust the person to help us.
The very same goes in our relationship with God.So often, we desperately try to do things on
our own without His help.We try so hard
to do life on our own and with our own understanding.I couldn’t even tell you the number of times
I have tried things on my own through my life and have failed.I failed because I didn’t ask for help.I should have asked.I am reminded so often now that God wants me
to seek Him out and simply ask, “Show me Lord, please”.
I think God truly desires us to come to a point where we
just throw our hands up, surrender and just ask Him to take over.He is waiting for us to stop relying on our
strength and, instead, to rely on Him alone.
We need to let go of our pride and realize our desperate
need for Him and come to Him.He won’t
ever treat us like we’re dumb or stupid for not figuring it out.He won’t give us a hard time.He will love us, open His arms to us and
welcome our desire to have Him show us the way.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me
and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do
nothing.If you do not remain in me, you
are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up,
thrown into the fire and burned.If you
remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it
will be done for you.This is to my
Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my
This chapter of John has been one of my favorite passages of
Scripture for many years.I have always
appreciated and cherished the example Jesus gives of how we are the branches
and He is the vine of life.The imagery
of this Scripture is amazing and every time I think of the words, I am truly
reminded how vital it is to remain attached to Him.
Back in 1997, White Heart released their album “Redemption”
with the song “The Vine”.Here are some
of the lyrics:
“I'll be the branch, you be the vine, 'cause I've been
withering away for some time,
Now I feel your healing flowing to my mind, I'll be the branch and you be the
I feel so free when you are my Lord and I am just me.”
I honestly don’t know why I try so hard so often each day to
live life all on my own.I am reminded
so often that it never works out right when I try to live life on my terms and
not God’s terms.I need to hang on to
the vine and I will live strong.Apart
from holding on, I will not survive.
All God wants each of us to be is just “me”.That’s it!He just wants us to be who we are.He will take care of leading us and directing us.Our job is to hold on and trust in Him for
the ride.We are the branch, He is the
vine.We are not to be in the control
tower or the driver’s seat.However, so
many days this is exactly how our lives look.
I want to encourage all of us today and every day from here
on out, to let God be God and for us to just be who we are.We will feel so free when He is our Lord and
we are just who we need to be.Only God
provides the nourishment we need and we need to stay connected.
We are the branches, He is the vine.We need to stay connected or else we will
just wither away.We need His
healing.Are we abiding in Him?
The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?
There are a lot of times in life where we like to kick back, put up our feet, and just soak in the environment around us.Sometimes, we even like to close our eyes as well.When we’re at the movies, at the beach, on our porch or back deck, sitting on our couch or recliner at home or sitting at the park somewhere.These and other places we have all found ourselves and enjoyed the time of just sitting back, being still and soaking in the sun and the sounds around us or the music we’re listening to.
There is just something about chilling out, being still and taking in the beauty of the moment God has given to us.We all enjoy these moments, but all too often we get so busy with life that we don’t have these moments as often as we’d like.Some of my favorite times at home is when I sit back on the couch, recline and just relax.I try to let go of the concerns and worries of life and just enjoy being still.When I can actually relax, it feels so good and I don’t want to move or get up.
There’s something about this passage that just relaxes me.Perhaps because it reminds me of a song byEden’s Bridge.Look it up when you get a chance.Very soothing and inspiring!Sometimes, we just need a scenery, a nice breeze, or a perfect song that helps us to soak in the life and surroundings around us.It can remind us of how amazing God is and the peace He brings.
I want to encourage all of us to sit back, relax and just let the words of this passage soothe us and remind us that God is our light and our salvation.Most importantly, there is absolutely nothing to fear because He is the stronghold of our lives.Isn’t that simply amazing?
Sometimes, we just need to turn off the noise and chaos of the world around us and take Him all in.God loves it when we take the time to just do nothing in His presence but to enjoy Him and His creation all around us.For those of you who like being in the wilderness or camping, you know the peace of hearing birds and insects make their noise and the calming of being in that environment.Something about nature can just bring peace and calming to us.God’s precious Creation can soothe us.
Find a time and place this week, wherever it might be, and just sit back, relax and take Him in however you can.Let Him soothe your soul by remembering that He is your light, salvation and stronghold.
I am leaving you with a gift—a peace of mind and
heart.And the peace I give is a gift
the world cannot give.So don’t be
troubled or afraid.
Almost everywhere I look these days, I am seeing an advertisement
for some product that is either brand-new or it is an updated product that has
been reformulated to help make my life so much better.Whether it is a commercial on TV, ad in the
paper, ad on social media, pop-up notification from a store app on my phone,
store ad in the newspaper, or a billboard, I get flooded with different ways to
consider how I could “easily” make my life better and be happier!
I have to admit, many of the ads are very enticing and I
honestly think to myself, “That really would make my life just a little
better.It really would!”Or, I’ll say to my wife, “Honey, I
think we should get that and try it!”No matter what, there always seems to be some marketing ploy or tactic
that really catches my attention and leads me to believe all my problems will
be solved if I invest in this one product.
Unfortunately, I have yet to find any product that will make
my life complete and totally satisfying.It just won’t happen.And I know
this, I really do, but I just get tempted to often believe products will
satisfy some void I have in life.Over
and over again, God continues to remind me that I will not find any
contentment, happiness, joy or fulfillment in the things offered by this world.No matter how hard I try to look or what I
buy into, nothing is going to make me happier or bring more joy as the ads
These words from Jesus are so vital for our lives
today.They are as vital today as when
Jesus first spoke them so long ago.We
need peace today in our heart and mind.We need a peace that transcends anything the world can offer.We need a peace that can be felt in the midst
of a chaotic world that we live in.We
need more than the latest product which promises to make our live happier.
What we all need to consider is what we are chasing after in
this world to make us happy?What are we
buying into these days?Are we looking
for peace of mind and heart in all the wrong places?Are we thinking it will be the next high-tech
gadget?Are we thinking it will be the
next diet plan commercial we see?Are we
thinking it will be the next kitchen appliance ad we see on TV that will make
May I encourage all of us today and the days to come that
all we truly need is the peace of mind and heart that Jesus gives?Peace knowing that He will satisfy our every
longing and always provide what we need.Peace and provision that the world cannot and never will be able to
offer.Absolutely nothing else can or
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will
give it to you.He will not rebuke you
I don’t know about you, but I have always been a person who
fears asking questions in a group of people.I don’t have a problem asking a question to someone one-on-one, but if
you put me in a classroom or any other environment where there are many people,
I get nervous to ask the most simple question.I remember in college that I raised my hand a few times to ask questions
and before the professor called on me, my heart started racing, my body shook a
little, I got a little sweaty, etc.I
just always feared asking questions in public.
Through the years, I still feel the same way when I am in a
group of people.There is just something
intimidating to me when I am around a lot of people and I think of even asking
a question to the person in charge.I
often think everyone else is going to have a better and more reasonable
question than I will.It isn’t a good
way to look at it, but it is just what goes through my mind.
Sometimes, we approach God the same way with the questions
we have.Even though we have direct
access to God, we often hesitate to ask Him for wisdom or for anything because
we are afraid of how He will respond to us or we feel we do not want to bog him
down with petty questions when He has so much other things to deal with.
We need to get this mindset out of ourselves and know that
God welcomes us, no matter what we ask of Him or come to Him about.If we want wisdom, He wants us to ask
Him.He definitely does not want us
going after the wisdom of the world.He
wants us to come to Him with our requests and He loves to communicate with
us.We should never be afraid to
approach Him and lay our requests at His feet.He is never too busy for our questions or too busy to give us
I often tell my kids that I do not want them to be afraid to
ask me questions.Sometimes, they are
afraid of the question they ask and nervous what my reaction and answer will
be.I admit, sometimes I do not react
the best to their question, but I try hard to be sensitive and open minded
about what they ask.I want them to feel
comfortable coming to me to ask me anything.They might not always like the answer, but I try to understand what they
want or need and talk to them about it.
We should never be afraid to approach God with our requests
and our desire for wisdom.Our God is a
very generous God Who loves us and will give us what we need.
Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and
knowledge!How impossible it is for us
to understand his decisions and his ways!
There are a lot of things in life that we consider
great.We think movies are great.We think food is great.We think some songs are great.We see a fireworks display on July 4 and
think it is great.We think some people
are great who have neat talents and abilities.
When we see a good movie, we often wonder how they did the
special affects.When we eat good food,
we wonder what the secret ingredient is and how they cooked to such
perfection.We hear a great song and we
wonder what the inspiration was behind writing the song.When we see a fireworks show, we wonder how
those things look so cool in the sky.When we see people perform, we often wonder how they’ve been blessed so
much to be that good.
So often, we cannot understand why things are so great.We wonder and try to figure out why.We research and we talk to others to try to
understand better.We want to know and
we want to be filled with the knowledge to understand better.
As we so often want to know and learn these things, nothing
can be better or greater than knowing our awesome and wonderful God!He is too awesome to fully comprehend.No matter how much we read His Word or how
much time we spend getting to know Him more, we will never be able to
comprehend Him.His ways are just so
beyond what we can understand.He will
always be a mystery to us while we are in this life and here on this
earth.One day, we will fully understand
all of His ways and glory.
I want to encourage each one of us to take time to just
pause and consider how amazing and great our God is.Take time to just be in awe of Him and to
know that He is so awesome and so far beyond anything we can understand.This is a good thing!We so often get frustrated because we cannot
understand things.Well, in the sense of
not being able to comprehend God, that is great that He is so awesome that we
cannot fully understand!
Next time you find yourself totally amazed at something you
hear, watch or eat, be reminded that God is more awesome and greater than
anything we can experience here on earth.