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7-Day Devotional God Hasn’t Given Up on You

Tracey Krause

Redemption in the Wilderness

“Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.” – Acts 7:25

Failure. Table for one, please.

Moses probably had that thought just about every morning. He’d witnessed a slave driver beating one of his own people. So Moses had jumped in and defended the helpless slave.

In the process, he killed the slave driver.

When others heard about this, Moses ran into the wilderness. He settled down and married. He had children of his own. Sometimes, a dream would wake him in the night. In it, he imagined getting a do-over. A chance to change the outcome, save the man’s life.

But each morning, he woke to the same cold reality. He’d made his choices—ones that had forever altered his life and he’d thought that was the end of it. Some deliverer of Israel he’d turned out to be.

Until the day of the burning bush. God’s fresh calling on his life. Suddenly, Moses had purpose again. When he’d given up on himself, God hadn’t. God still wanted to use him and He equipped Moses with everything that he would need for the journey.

God, sometimes, I’m like Moses. I know You have a beautiful plan for my life but I rush ahead and I mess it all up. Help me to be patient, to remember that You can (and will!) redeem my failures. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal Your Thoughts

Do you believe God has a plan for your life? What do you think that plan might be?

Have you ever “lost it” in a fit of rage? What did you do?

How do you normally handle it when you’ve flown off the handle and lost control of your temper?

Second Chances

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” – Romans 8:1

James spent most of his life in and out of prison. After accepting Jesus into his heart during his last prison stay, he made a promise to live his life differently.

But that wasn’t easy on the outside. James had difficulty finding work and he was struggling to keep a roof over his head. He wondered if God was punishing him for the life he’d led all those years ago.

Then an encounter outside the grocery store changed everything. James struck up a conversation with a woman struggling to calm her autistic son. He helped soothed the boy and when he was quiet again, the mom asked James about himself.

She listened to the story of how God had changed his life. When he was through, she gave him the address of a local steakhouse. “Go there,” she said, “Tell the manager I sent you and see what happens.”

James thought her instructions were strange but he went to the restaurant. He asked to speak to the manager, expecting to be thrown out. When the manager appeared, he had James fill out a job application at the nearby table.

The manager looked over the paperwork and extended him a job on the spot. He said, “Every person working here was once like you—each one had a record. But this is your fresh start. When you walk in these doors, it doesn’t matter what your past was. All that matters is who you are now.”

Like James, you may feel you have a “record” that follows you around. But if you are a child of God, your record has been expunged and your name cleared. You have been set free!

God, help me when I feel chained to my sin to remember that I am free. Help me to walk in that freedom, even when it’s hard. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal Your Thoughts

Do you struggle with thinking that God is punishing you for some past sin?

Have you ever helped a stranger in the middle of a crisis?

How do you handle it when someone extends grace to you? Do you gratefully accept it or do you try to earn it back?

Son of Encouragement

“But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.” – Acts 9:27

When Paul was first saved, no one in the church believed in him. He’d spent years tormenting good Christians. In fact, he was present at the stoning of Stephen (Acts 8:1) and constantly threatened those who followed Christ.

The church’s fear of Paul was a natural response. It’s normal to be suspicious of those who haven’t proved themselves yet. In fact, it’s a good thing for the body of Christ to carefully consider whether someone might be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

But Paul truly had experienced a change of heart and somehow, Barnabas knew this. Maybe God sent him a vision in the night. Perhaps it was the result of God’s spiritual gift of mercy to Barnabas.

Whatever the reason, Barnabas looked beyond what Paul was to what he could be. He welcomed him into deep community and fellowship when no one else was willing to give Paul a chance.

Sometimes, God calls us to take a chance and extend friendship to a person that others have written off. Listen to these Spirit promptings and trust what God is doing. You never know—this might be the start of a beautiful friendship!

God, thank You for people like Barnabas who lift up others. Open my eyes to someone around me who could use a friend today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal Your Thoughts

 

Have you ever had a Barnabas who encouraged you?

Is there someone in your life that you could be a Barnabas?

How can you reach out and encourage this person today?

The Scarlet Thread

Then Joshua son of Nun secretly sent two spies from Shittim. “Go, look over the land,” he said, “especially Jericho.” – Joshua 2:1

Before the nation of Israel was going to enter the Promised Land, Joshua sent spies ahead of them. He wanted to know the lay of the land before he led the troops into battle.

The two spies who were sent into the land were hidden by a local named Rahab. She was a village prostitute who saved the lives of these two men. In exchange, she wanted her life and her family spared when the Israelites came to destroy the nation.

Joshua’s spies agreed to this. They told her to leave a scarlet thread hanging in her window. This would be a sign to the Israelite troops that no harm was to come to anyone within that house.

The wonderful thing about Rahab’s story is that it doesn’t matter what she’d done or who she’d been before. What mattered was the one choice she made to believe in Israel’s God.

In many ways, the scarlet thread is representative of what it means to be a Christian. Once the “scarlet thread” is in your life, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or who you’ve been. God has forgiven you and you’re now under His protection.

God, thank You for brave women like Rahab. Help me to remember that You didn’t count her past against her and You don’t hold mine against me either. Thank You for Your forgiveness and acceptance. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal Your Thoughts

 Have you ever protected your family against a threat?

What are you ashamed of in your past?

How has God protected you in a difficult circumstance?

The Forgotten Father

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” – Colossians 3:13

Cindy’s father had been an alcoholic for years before finally abandoning her family when she was ten years old. After that, she never saw her father again.

For years, Cindy was angry at the man. She struggled to understand how the person who had given her half her DNA could just walk away from her. After deciding to forgive him, Cindy wrote a letter to him.

But she couldn’t find an address for her father. She started reaching out to relatives and family members, trying to track him down. Along the way, she learned some thing she hadn’t known about him.

“I realized he’d had a tough life.” She explains, “It doesn’t excuse his poor choices. He still did things that were painful. But I started seeing him as more than my dad—I saw him as a flawed human being who needed love and forgiveness and grace just as much as I do.”

When Cindy did finally track her father down, she found that he was homeless on the streets of Miami. She helped him get his own place and begin a life again. “Things aren’t perfect between us now or anything, but we’re getting to know each other bit by bit.”

God, help me to see the people around me through Your compassionate eyes. Let me focus on how much others need your grace and mercy…just as I need it daily. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal Your Thoughts

Is there someone in your life that God is nudging you to forgive?

What have you learned about this person? Does it affect how you view what happened?

Is there someone in your life that you’ve hurt and need to apologize to?

 

The Love of Hosea

“So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son.” – Hosea 1:3

The nation of Israel had stopped seeking God’s heart. Instead, they were busy worshipping idols and offering sacrifices to pagan deities. There were hearts were far from God and they did not honor Him.

But God longed to illustrated His faithful love for the wandering nation, so He commanded Hosea to take a wife. Not just any wife but one who was promiscuous and unfaithful.

Hosea obeyed God and married a woman by the name of Gomer. She was beautiful and wily, a temptress who rarely stayed with the same man long. Yet she accepted Gomer’s marriage proposal.

After time had passed and Hosea’s wife had several children, she abandoned the family. She left Hosea to pursue other men, just like Israel had left the one true God for other deities.

Then God commanded Hosea to go after his wife Gomer. She’d been captured and sold into slavery but God wanted to reclaim her. That’s because God is faithful even when we are unfaithful. He still loves us and seeks after us despite our sins, failures, and imperfections.

God, thank You for the love that keeps reaching for me! When I’m tempted to give up on myself, help me to remember the story of Hosea and Gomer. You are faithful even when I mess up! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Journal Your Thoughts

 Which Bible story about God’s mercy and forgiveness is your favorite?

In what ways, have you acted like Gomer? Have you been unfaithful to God in the way you’ve spoken or acted lately?

How has God been redeeming you from past failures or sins?

 

Feed My Sheep

“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16:18

Can you imagine the pride and happiness that must have flowed through Peter upon hearing the bold promise made over his life by the Messiah? It wasn’t about position or prestige. Peter sensed God’s approval and unconditional love in that moment.

Do you think he remembered that feeling when the rooster crowed for the third time? Sitting on the porch steps and weeping bitterly, Peter must have felt like everything was crumbling.

“Jesus was mistaken about me,” He whispered to himself as he returned to his ordinary life. He was no rock, no great church would spring from him. He was just Peter—the one who had failed Jesus.

When Jesus seeks Peter out again, he asks a pointed question, “Do you love me?”

Peter responds that he does. The conversation continues and Jesus asks it again. After the third time, Peter gets frustrated. “Of course I love you!” He says and as soon as the words leave his mouth, Jesus whispers, “Feed my sheep.”

Jesus was doing something important in that conversation. By asking “Do you love me”, he was re-aligning Peter’s focus. It wasn’t about what Peter had failed to do or his betrayal. What really mattered was that Peter focused on his love for the Messiah.

But Jesus was also doing another thing. He was re-affirming His call over Peter. That’s why He whispered to Peter to go and feed his sheep. Just because Peter messed up big time didn’t change God’s calling for his life.

It’s the same way when you sin. Just because you’ve failed doesn’t mean that God has thrown you away. No, He will redeem you—just like He did Peter!

God, thank You for including stories like Peter’s in the Bible. It helps me to remember that I’m not the first (or the last) saint who will fumble. When I’ve sinned, please forgive me and re-align my focus. Re-affirm my calling and help me to walk in Your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 Journal Your Thoughts

Have you ever promised to do something only to go back on your word?

How did you handle the experience? Did it affect how you viewed yourself?

What good work is God doing in your life? Are you sharing it with others?


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