Daily Devotions by Steve Holm

Daily Devotions by Steve Holm

Daily Devotions

Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen…’ And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.” vss. 24, 26 Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 When the disciples wanted to add a person to their ranks to replace Judas, they had two candidates, each with the necessary credentials, so they cast lots, the first century equivalent of flipping a…

Daily Devotions

I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.” vs. 15 John 15:14-17 Some of us were weaned on the old hymn “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” and have its verses emblazoned on our hearts, if not on our minds. It was a kind of precursor to…

Daily Devotions

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.” vs.9   John 15:9-13 To put it simply, our life in Christ is a massive love connection, with God, Jesus, and one another. God’s love began with creation, and was amplified in Jesus as a deep and potent sacrificial love, one that extends to all people. Our invitation as those drawn to Jesus is to abide in that love, to bask in it, and remain there…

Daily Devotions

Who is it that conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” vs. 5 1 John 5:4b-6 The phrase “conquers the world” conjures up in our minds great Christian armies flying the flag of Christ traveling by land and sea to win victory over pagan peoples in order to bring them into the family of Christ. And indeed there have been times when such armies did range through Europe, Asia, Africa, and the…

Daily Devotions

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child.” vs. 1 1 John 5:1-4a Anyone who has been a part of an authentic Christian community will be able to testify to the awesome mutual love that has marked their life together. Of course there are the usual spats and disputes as the group deals with practices and rituals, but when the rubber hits the road, love blossoms…

Daily Devotions

Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.” vss. 5-6 Psalm 98:5-9 The psalmist gives us a glimpse of temple worship and makes us wish we could have been there. While arrangements likely varied from season to season there were plenty of opportunities for musicians to pull out all the stops. They spared nothing in…

Daily Devotions

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.” vs. 4 Psalm 98:1-4 We’re not sure what triggered the psalmist’s extravagant hymn of praise to the Lord–it was likely some celebration of God’s special relationship to the house of Israel. But what catches our attention is his sense of the close connection between the Lord and the creation. We get that same feeling every year as we continue our celebration of…

Daily Devotions

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astounded that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles…” vs. 45 Acts 10:44-48 Peter and his buddies were pretty confident they were God’s chosen ones and they could recite quite a litany of scripture passages to back that up. They were proud of who they were and the mark of circumcision that had set them apart from all others. It was their belief that…

Daily Devotions

Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” vs. 6 John 15:4-8 Church people have long had an unfortunate habit of taking the bible’s metaphors literally and then using them to destroy the gospel of grace. In this instance they imply that these words of Jesus about the vine and its branches are proof for the existence of a fiery hell. They conclude that…

Daily Devotions

Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” vs. 4 John 15:1-4 The good news of the Gospel is plain. Christ abides in us–no exceptions, no one is left out. His DNA has been stamped in us from the very beginning. So that’s one thing we don’t need to worry about–there’s plenty of room in Christ for…

Daily Devotions

Those who say, ‘“I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen.” vs. 20 1 John 4:14-21 Occasionally we run into people whose piety is unmistakable–it fairly oozes out of them as they regularly invoke the name of Jesus in their conversation. They know the marks of holiness well, and make sure that such attributes are…

Daily Devotions

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.” vss. 11-12 1 John 4:7-13 Religious folks love to complicate matters of faith. We develop intricate rituals and profound doctrines designed to standardize worship practices and unveil the mystery of the Trinity. Not only do our efforts fail to draw us close to God,…