Check back here daily for our featured devotions!
We pray they are a blessing to you and your family.

Don’t pass over Passover ~ 4-4

A man can eat his dinner without understanding exactly how food nourishes him. A man can accept what Christ has done without knowing how it works: indeed, he certainly would not know how it works until he has accepted it. — C.S. Lewis

My guess is that you, like me, have had some awkward moments at meals. You know, spilling red Jell-O on your white shirt in front of the curly-haired boy/girl in elementary school. Or prom (awkwardness defined for hundreds of dollars) or “meet the parents” moments with your fiancé’s family (let’s not go there!).

I want to take you back to that fateful Passover night. Jesus was going to celebrate the Last Supper with His disciples. I’m sure that some of the disciples had some wonderful, high expectations. It was the Passover. Jesus had just come into Jerusalem, with all the crowds adoring Him, and this was like energy; there was electricity in the air. So now they were going to celebrate Passover with the most popular guy in Jerusalem… so it seemed. But, do you know what? Everything went wrong during that meal. There were plenty of awkward moments described for us in John’s Gospel:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God. (John 13:1-3)

In this picture of the last meal, as the disciples shared with Christ, we see realistic images of what it means to be in Christ. Snapshots of life with this Jesus. It’s a meal full of moments of misunderstanding, selfishness, and betrayal. Yes, AWKWARD (to say the least)!

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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Set your heart on things eternal ~ 4-3

‘Cause I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all. — Three Days Grace, “Pain”

Ask people what makes a song popular and chances are they’ll say, “It sounds real.” There is a strong desire in the human heart for anything that is real. Even depressing, dark, or painful things are better than the numbness that comes when a temporary high wears off—and that’s all the temporary world has to offer—fast thrills and numbness.

To find out how to live for joy, we need to look to Jesus. How did He survive when He was living on earth, caught up in the tension between the temporary and the eternal?

Jesus kept His heart and mind set on things eternal. Just read the Gospels and see how often He talks to the Father. It’s constant. At every step in His journey on earth, Jesus was totally dependent on the Father. Look at how He cries out to the Father in His greatest hour of need, just before the crucifixion:

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)

Those are the words of our Lord focused on things above, on things eternal and not temporary. Temporarily, He was about to undergo a lot of pain and suffering. Eternally, He kept His eye on the glory to come.

May we do the same. May we understand that spiritual growth is about experiencing eternal truths while living in a temporary world. We are being made new through the grace of Jesus. The Holy Spirit lives in us. The Father’s love never fails us. Desperate dependence on Christ, the Spirit, and the Father is what we are after. We cannot do a single thing of value for the eternal realm without His power.

With Christ comes the fullness of joy—apart from Christ, temporary and cheap thrills.

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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Why you shouldn’t rush God’s timing ~ 4-2

These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. — 1 Corinthians 2:10

Ever wonder why God kept the mystery of the good news of Christ hidden for so long? Generations went by before this most profound truth in the universe was finally unveiled. When Adam and Eve were booted out of the garden, why didn’t He stand at the gate and shout, “Hey! Hey, guys! Don’t worry! I just want you to know that I have good news! This is what is going to happen…”

For centuries, the mystery of Christ was stored away in the Old Testament prophecies. Old Testament figures like Abraham and David knew that God was merciful, but even they would not have understood it if God had simply drawn it out on the conference room whiteboard.

Three things historically had to take place before it would be even remotely possible for humans to grasp the mystery.

  • Jesus had to die.
  • Jesus had to rise again.
  • Jesus had to ascend and send His Spirit to live with us.

The death, burial, and resurrection of God’s Son had to physically take place. The Gospel doesn’t work in theory. It’s too contradictory by its nature that a holy, just, and righteous God would make such a profound sacrifice and essentially define the whole concept of grace. BUT, as soon as Jesus died, rose again, ascended, and sent His Spirit, He whispered down to Paul and said, “Okay Paul, here it is—reveal this!” Suddenly, it all made sense in reality.

Never rush the Lord’s timing. He reveals His will in His own perfect time. Someday, we’ll understand.

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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The joy and mystery of pursuing Jesus Christ ~ 4-1

Nobody knows anything. — William Goldman

My favorite word in the Bible is but. (Well, maybe it’s actually JesusBut I’m trying to make a point here, okay?)

The reason I love but is because it indicates both sad news and good news. Before the word occurs in a verse, there’s almost always sad news… BUT, after that comes but—and then we get the good news we need. Consider 1 Corinthians 2:8-10:

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.

Normally, it’s contradictory to have bad news and good news in the same sentence. BUT what we see here is God allowing a glimpse behind the veil of the mystery of who He is and who you are in Him.

The verse says that we can’t even fathom the wonders God has in store for us. If it ended there, it’d be a little frustrating because our first reaction would be, “Bummer. That’s sounds terrific, but why tell me WHAT I have in store without showing me HOW to get it?”

Thankfully, we have the but! … but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. It’s not that we are simply given power to understand, because we never fully will; it’s not something we can wrap our minds around. BUT God reveals it by His Spirit.

It’s not supposed to be easy to figure God out with our minds. If it was, they’d have an iPhone app for it by now. To be sure, there’s no way to ever fully figure out God or the amazing things He has prepared for us. BUT the process of allowing Him to reveal Himself and His ways in His time peels away the layers of the mystery… and is one of the most fulfilling parts of pursuing Him.

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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The power of being crucified with Christ ~ 3-31

Seeing someone really sold out for a cause is inspiring. Other times it’s silly—like those guys at football games in the middle of winter at an outdoor stadium who paint their shirtless bodies with team colors, wear goofy wigs, and scream for their team at the top of their lungs. You know that during every play of the game their entire being—body and heart—is consumed with cheering their team on.

The whole of us is created to worship God in that same way. When we feel intense exhilaration for something temporary, we’re seeing a reflection of that idea. In the best case scenario, we cry out to God in worship with our minds, bodies, and souls. Every nook and cranny of us is eager to praise the Name from every rooftop. Euphoria is too light a word!

But our bodies or our mood can become foul quickly. Not every synapse fires at the same time, unfortunately.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. (Romans 7:15)

That kind of feels like your day, right? We want to please God so much. We try so hard in so many areas and can reach incredible heights, but it seems like we’re always just splashing to earth and finding ourselves in need of rescue by the Coast Guard.

There is amazing grace for us, friends. Christ does not expect your whole life to be lived blamelessly. The greatest saints of all time opened the door into their noses on countless occasions. Only one man was ever perfect and He was God in human form.

Amazingly, Scripture says that man, Christ, now lives in you. You were crucified with Him and your life has been replaced with His. Being “sold out” then has little to do with your own effort. Christ lives in you today! He knows how to worship, He knows how to serve, He knows how to live His life through you to bring you joy and to bring God great glory.

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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The purity of your heart ~ 3-30

The heart has reasons that reason does not understand. — Jaques Benigne Bossuel

When someone demonstrates a special amount of courage or bravery, we say that they have “a lot of heart.” Somehow everyone knows what is meant by that phrase, and it’s not that cardiologists are in awe of the size of the blood-pumping organ behind the breastbone.

“Heart” describes all of the stuff about us that we can’t see. It’s a great catch-all word. Scripture uses the concept of “heart” in a very broad range of contexts. Body, spirit, and soul are specific enough that you can grasp them pretty clearly. Where the spirit and the soul mingle is where you have the heart. It’s the summation of all that is the invisible attributes of who we are. That’s why you can see one verse that tells you that your heart is pure…

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

…and another verse that seems to indicate that having a pure heart is impossible:

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

While your spirit is perfect and pure, made so by Christ, you have emotions and a mind that are most assuredly not perfect and pure. Toss in your body and its lusts, and you have a toxic brew called “flesh.” So the Lord can easily look at us and say, “Your heart is wicked,” because He would be accurately describing our flesh, and yet He’d also be able to say, “Your heart is pure,” because He’s looking at our perfect spirit.

As we battle the flesh for control of our hearts, we depend on the Spirit to remind us that we have been made new in Christ. Believers want to have a pure heart before the Father. We want Him to see our complete trust and dependence on the Spirit for every need.

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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What it means to be genuinely spiritual ~ 3-29

When you examine the lives of the most influential people who have ever walked among us, you discover one thread that winds through them all. They have been aligned first with their spiritual nature and only then with their physical selves. — Albert Einstein

Being “spiritual” is really trendy right now. Just look at Hollywood. Undoubtedly, some hybrid of Hinduism/Buddhism/New Age/Scientology is the latest rage in Beverly Hills. Atheism is also quite popular, but most people at least claim to be “spiritual” even if they don’t adhere to any orthodox beliefs.

That’s all ultimately silly because what are they clinging to? It’s certainly not anything real that will address what is wrong with them. Until Christ becomes Lord, spirituality is just another empty, cheap trick.

So what does it mean to be genuinely spiritual?

Dwelling deep inside your being, in your “core” (to use the latest workout term), is your spirit. The spirit is distinct from the soul and the body, but they are not separate. They work and function together:

The Greek word for spirit is “pneuma,” and it’s found everywhere in the Bible. Your spirit is where your identity is truly found. Everything that is born again and made holy by Christ is in your spirit.

Your spirit is finished and complete. It’s what’s perfect about you and why you aren’t identified as a “sinner” anymore. God can look at us and say that we are without blemish because He is looking directly at our spirit, cleansed by the blood of Christ!

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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Let the Holy Spirit take control ~ 3-28

I recently had my annual physical examination, which I get once every seven years, and when the nurse weighed me, I was shocked to discover how much stronger the Earth’s gravitational pull has become since 1990. — Dave Barry

We all have a physical representation of who we are in this physical world. That’s a fancy, theological way of saying that we have a body.

The human body is miraculous in its complexity. The greatest minds since the beginning of time have studied it and continue to study it to this day, and we still aren’t even close to knowing everything there is to know.

Scripture has a lot to say about our bodies:

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. (Romans 6:13)

The physical body is neutral. It isn’t good or evil any more than technology is good or evil. It’s technology; it can be used for good or evil.

It’s what happens inside the body that determines whether evil or good occurs outside the body. Today, are you allowing the Holy Spirit, Who is inside of you, to have His way with you and your body? Or are you trying to control things yourself? The answer to those questions can make all the difference in the world for you today!

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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We need the Spirit’s help ~ 3-27

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Then, through the theologians, they turned Him back into words again. — Karl Barth

We usually come at God intellectually. It’s one of the great mantras of Evangelicalism. You know the emphasis: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” We say that if you learn it, then you’ll live it!

Please hear me: I love to think! But experiencing “Christ in you” is not learned that way! Experiencing Christ in you is learned through God’s power, by His Spirit, as opposed to human wisdom. Consider Paul’s words:

When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God… No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. (1 Corinthians 2:1, 7)

One commentator said, “This mystery is too profound for human ingenuity.” Another said, “It is wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began.” God wants us to fully enjoy a mystery previously hidden, long prepared, and unfortunately missed by most.

None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”—but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:8)

In other words, you can’t hear it, you can’t see it, and you can’t think it. I don’t care how smart you are, none of you can figure out on your own what God has prepared for those who love Him. The Apostle Paul could not be clearer: If you want to experience the mystery, you will not be able to do it coming at it from an intellectual position. It doesn’t work that way.

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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You’re the truest you when you’re in Christ ~ 3-23

I always wished I would grow up to be somebody. Maybe I should have been a little more specific. — Lily Tomlin

Everybody wants to be somebody, but how do we know who that somebody is? That’s another question that’s often asked. In this situation, however, the influencers in our world are happy to give you their answer… and then sell you what you need to make it happen. There’s no mystery here. In the modern Western world, your identity is almost always determined by four different things:

  1. What you look like.
  2. What you do.
  3. What you have.
  4. Who you know.

Every time we buy into this value system, our life becomes consumed with “I must have,” “I ought to,” and “how do I get people to like me so I can get what I need?” It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle that only gives temporary results. It’s tragic, when you think about it—and it’s usually very expensive.

Christ offers an option to this cycle. Rather than basing our identity on possessions, performance, or people, He calls us to enter into the mystery of the ages—to experience the profound realization that our true identity is found in Him, not in ourselves. Remember Paul’s description of this powerful mystery:

To them (believers in Christ) God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

If your life today is consumed with finding your identity in the things of the world, freedom and peace are at hand. By discovering who you are in Christ and who He is in you, rest and peace can be yours.

Pete Briscoe’s Daily Devotional – ‘Experiencing LIFE Today’

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