Have you ever read the bible and didn’t understand it? Heard a scripture, but had no idea what it meant? Perhaps when reading a passage of scripture, you have this sense that there is more to the story than what you are grasping. If any of this sounds familiar, then this book is for you.
I invite you to journey alongside the Holy Spirit as together you explore portions of God’s word with new insight and revelation. Discover the joy of those “ah-ha” moments when something new about God or about what God says about you suddenly makes sense! Let this devotional help you not only understand more of God’s word but know how to apply it to your everyday living.
You will grasp what David meant when he called the Lord his shepherd. Receive fresh revelation on the masterpiece you were created to be. Enjoy a front row seat as the disciples teach lifegiving lessons through the word of God.
I’ve been an analyst for over 18 years. In that time, I’ve learned that our training never quite looks like our assignment; yet it’s always preparation for the things of God. I am excited to share with you the fresh revelation the Lord has given me on how to approach each of the verses shared in this book. I believe you will discover “hidden” treasure - insights that were in plain sight all along.
The weight each word carries can easily be missed if we just “read” the scripture and not really “study” it. My hope is that this book sets you on your own journey to study the word, and in the process receive fresh revelation that will fill your heart with more awe and wonder at the goodness of God and the amazing purpose He has for you!
The “Reflections” page at the end of each devotional is intended for you to reflect on what you just read and write down the things the Lord is highlighting in your heart. Take notes as you read, take notes throughout the day. Go back and reread what He’s spoken to you and allow it to impact your day-to-day.
His Purposed Masterpiece
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created
us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good
things he planned for us long ago.
(Ephesians 2:10 NLT)
A masterpiece is something that is completed with extraordinary skill, a supreme artistic achievement. How beautiful to wake up and realize you are called a masterpiece. This means you are extraordinary and supreme in the intricately woven details that make up the genetic code that
makes you who you are. Even more astonishing is that you are the masterpiece of the sovereign power over the entirety of creation. Let this truth be magnified in your persona today. You are his masterpiece! Refuse to accept any of the other labels given out so freely by those in your workplace, at school, in the grocery store parking lot, or even in your home.
We place significant value in what others label us: “less than,” “not enough,” “slow,” “weak,” and so forth. The list of negative labels can be endless. Let us come to the fundamental knowledge that the enemy’s sole purpose on this earth is to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10a). If he can steal your identity by giving you a label that doesn’t read masterpiece, he can destroy who you were created to be, ultimately leading to the death of your identity. This is the enemy’s entire mission.
Our focus scripture calls us “anew” in Christ Jesus. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone, the new is here! (2 Cor. 5:17). We are born again! However, being born again is only the beginning of the renewal process.
“Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy” (Eph. 4:22-24). Notice this scripture gives us action words that will allow the renewal process to take place: let the Spirit renew your thoughts;
throw off the old nature; put on your new nature. We must throw off the wrong labels placed on us by the enemy and put on the correct one given to us by our Creator, Father God.
The last part of our focus scripture reads, “so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” We must first realize we are God’s masterpiece, then throw off the old and put on the new natures before we can move forward in the intended plans laid out for us.
He planned these things long ago. The works he’s set out for us to do are not to gain salvation—salvation is free—but are the result of the salvation we’ve chosen to receive. These plans are our unique, God-given assignment while here on the earth. You were not only created as a masterpiece, but with a purpose equally as grand We see plenty of masterpieces in museums, but they do nothing more than collect dust. You were made for more!
If you are thinking, “I don’t have an assignment,” think again. Our scripture makes it clear that there is something only you were created to do. The plan was crafted for you to carry out. If you don’t know what your assignment is, ask the Father.
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings” (Prov. 25:2). Search out the matter. Those who seek will find.
Recommended Reading: Ephesians 4:21-25; Matthew 7:7
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for creating me as your masterpiece. I choose to throw off the negative labels and chose the life-giving label you’ve given me. Holy Spirit renew my thoughts and attitudes, that I may be able to complete the assignment that was crafted for me long ago. Show me, Father, your son/daughter is listening. In Jesus’s name. Amen!
Where Is Your Fear Rooted?
Such love has no fear, because perfect love
expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of
punishment, and this shows that we have not
fully experienced his perfect love.
(1 John 4:18 NLT)
I always wrestled with this scripture. I would express a fear of some sort to friends and they would immediately respond with “perfect love casts out fear.” It would leave me perplexed and feeling no less settled about the fear I was struggling with. I could not understand how God’s love expelled fear.
To expel something means to kick it out, to eject it. How was it that love could kick out fear? It wasn’t until I received a revelation from the Holy Spirit that I realized this passage didn’t mean that I would never feel fear, but that when I did his perfect love would cancel it out. How? Through the love found in the Word of God.
All fear stems from something, so we must look at the root of whatever fear we face. What is the source of your unsettling feeling? If you can identify were the fear derives from, you can find a promise in the Word of God to counter that lie. How do we know it’s a lie? “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).
What is holding you hostage to fear today? Is it the fear of lack? His word promises, “he shall supply all your needs. (Phil. 4:9)” Is it the fear of rejection? His word promises, “even if your father and mother forsake you, I will take you up as my own. (Psa. 27:10)” Whatever your fear is, you have a choice to make: surrender to the fear or surrender to the promises of God. His love can keep you from any fear you could possibly encounter. Face your fears by unearthing the truth found in his Word.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). Nothing can separate us from the love of God, and it is his perfect love that cancels out our fears.
Recommended Reading: Philippians 4:19; Psalm 27:10
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the beautiful word that uproots all the lies planted by the cares of this world. I choose to surrender every area of my heart to you and know that you did
not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. In Jesus’s name. Amen!
Sanctified by the Blood
Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you
from falling away and will bring you with great
joy into his glorious presence without a single
fault. (Jude 1:24 NLT)
This scripture starts with the word “now.” Now is a present tense word. It is in the moment. Now, not tomorrow or the next day or last week, but now. Praise, magnify and give all honor to our Father in heaven: he guards us from falling into the things of the world and sees us as blameless as
we experience his presence in and around us. That is certainly worthy of a shout of praise! But how is the Lord able to keep us from “falling away”?
“The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Cor. 10:13). God is faithful! This scripture doesn’t promise that we will never be tempted. We know it is the enemy who brings temptation, not God (Matt. 4), but the Lord will deliver us from it all, each and every time. Our part is to follow the way he leads, that we may not fall away.
He will bring us with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. We know we all fall short and not one of us is without fault. How does this portion of our focus scripture promise to
present us as blameless before the King? It’s by the sanctification process we received through our Savior, Jesus Christ. “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of
Jesus Christ, once for all time…For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy” (Heb.10:10,14).
The blood of Jesus’s sacrifice washed away our sins and has allowed us to stand in the presence of the Father without a single fault. He is able to keep us from falling away because those who are called are invited to enter into a partnership with his Son, who is faithful (1 Cor.1:9).
Now is the time to glorify the Father. Now is the time to partner with Jesus Christ. Allow him to sanctify you through the blood of his sacrifice. We will never reach perfection on this side of heaven, but we can strive with every passing day to remain in partnership with our Savior, Jesus Christ, our King.
Recommended Reading: Hebrews 10:8-18
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, I know I fall short of your glory. I know in my own flesh I am unworthy, but I thank you for the sacrifice of your Son, who has set me free. Because of him, I am
able to stand in your presence, blameless. I thank you Father for your reckless love for me. I praise you and glorify you all the days of my life. In Jesus’s name. Amen!
… I know the one in whom I trust, and I am
sure that he is able to guard what I have
entrusted to him until the day of his return. (2
Timothy 1:12b NLT)
Trusting means we allow ourselves to become vulnerable in some fashion by placing our confidence in someone or something because we believe them to be reliable. Trust is interchangeable with faith: we can trust—or have the faith to believe—the chair we are sitting on won’t give way beneath us. We can trust—or have the faith to believe—the money we deposit into our bank account will be there when we swipe our debit cards.
The apostle Paul shares the level of faith he had in Christ through his personal affirmation of the Lord. Paul had a measure of trust that was unmovable. Much like relying on a chair to support us as we sit on it, Paul states, “I know” (to be certain) that the Lord would uphold what he’d entrusted to him.
This scripture was written by Paul while he was imprisoned! This is a picture of deep faith and a high level of maturity, founded in the Word of God. No experience, no set-back, no heartbreak is ever wasted, and Paul’s faith knew it. Here we are today gaining from the lesson Paul left for us. Trust unshakable!
How many of us have placed things in the hands of Jesus and have quickly gone back and retrieved them? We believe we can sort things out ourselves, but don’t have the faith to surrender
the matter to Jesus and trust that he is able to guard it for us. The truth is, the Lord delights in guarding what we entrust to him. Nothing is ever too big or too small for him.
Let’s resolve that no matter what our circumstances look like, no matter what is or isn’t happening in our lives, we can fully trust his hand of mercy and grace to give us beauty for ashes (Isa.
61:3). Will you choose to build your life upon the everlasting love of a Father who calls us the apple of his eye, his prized possession? Will we have the faith to believe we can trust our Savior to guard what we entrust to him until the day of his return?
Recommended Reading: Psalm 17:8; James 1:18
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us with an everlasting love. Thank you for showing us time and time again that we can trust you with our whole heart. We choose to trust
you with unshakable faith, knowing you will deeply guard the things we entrust to you. Continue to grow our faith. In Jesus’s name. Amen!
Humble Yourself and Cast Your Cares
So humble yourselves under the mighty power
of God, and at the right time he will lift you up
in honor. Cast all your anxiety on him because
he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT)
In this letter, Peter addresses a principle found in the book of Proverbs: “God opposes the proud, but favors the humble” (Prov. 3:34). Therefore, we are called to clothe ourselves with humility before God. In today’s culture, humility is seen as a sign of weakness, while pride is something to attain. Our society is deeply driven by self-achievement. The more accolades we can attain, the more recognition we receive, and therefore the more we have to be proud of. This is the way of our culture, but the kingdom of heaven has a different order, a higher order.
Those who are clothed with humility are exalted. They are promoted not by mere man, but by almighty God. If we humble ourselves before God, he will lift us up, but notice that our scripture says, “at the right time.” We see in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time for everything under the heavens. God is always on time!
Our scripture ends with an exhortation to cast our anxiety (cares) on the Lord. To cast something means to throw it forcefully. It’s interesting that this is not a casual toss of our cares, but an intentional, forceful act.
Anxiety is a feeling. It can manifest in the form of worry, stress, or even fear, but it is still only a feeling. While we are not downplaying the tangible affects this emotion can bring, a feeling is not reliable because emotions are fickle. Our feelings change throughout the day, mostly driven by our circumstances. That is why we are called to be rooted and grounded in the Word of God, which is unmovable; it does not change. If we anchor ourselves to the truth found in the Word, our feelings won’t toss us to-and-fro as the circumstances around us change.
God is calling us to forcefully get rid of all the things of the world that torment us. Surrender your worries and allow him to shoulder the burdens you were never meant to carry. Remember, the yoke he gives us is easy and the burden we are meant to carry is light (Matt. 11:30).
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?...Seek the kingdom of God above all else and live
righteously and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:27,33)
Recommended Reading: Ecclesiastes 3:1-12; Psalm 55:22; Matthew 6:25-34
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you’ve already made provision for everything I will ever need and have made a way for every circumstance I will encounter. I humbly surrender my life under your great power and authority, knowing that in due season you will lift me up. I cast all of my worries on you Lord, knowing that you will not permit the godly to slip and fall. In Jesus’s name. Amen!