For God did not give us a spirit of fear. But power, love and sound mindedness.

“Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind. We are useless.” — Charles Spurgeon
Devotionals Daily
I Believe in the Holy Spirit
from The Creeds: Reflections and Scripture on the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds
If we truly understood….it would banish all thoughts of loneliness forever.

If we truly understood even for a moment what sort of Companion, Counselor, and Friend we have in the Holy Spirit, it would banish all thoughts of loneliness forever.

If you love Me, obey Me; and I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter, and He will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive Him, for it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you do, for He lives with you now and someday shall be in you. — John 14:15–17

“You might as well try to see without eyes, hear without ears, or breathe without lungs, as to try to live the Christian life without the Holy Spirit.” ~ D. L. Moody

“I seek the will of the Spirit of God through or in connection with the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word, I lay myself open to great delusions also.” ~ George Mueller

Hope through the Holy Spirit isn’t like a well where we let down a bucket; it is a river that will carry us through anything. May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13

“O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.” ~ Augustine

“Men ought to seek with their whole hearts to be filled with the Spirit of God. Without being filled with the Spirit, it is utterly impossible that an individual Christian or a church can ever live or work as God desires.” ~ Andrew Murray

And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” — Galatians 4:6

Weakness and frailty are no hindrances to God’s Spirit. He isn’t looking for human strength, He is looking for submissive hearts — men and women who allow Him to release His strength through them. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. — Romans 8:26–27

“It was the Lord who put into my mind that fact that it would be possible to sail from here to the Indies. All who heard of my project rejected it with laughter, ridiculing me. There is no question that the inspiration was from the Holy Spirit, because He comforted me with rays of marvelous inspiration from the Holy Scriptures.” ~ Christopher Columbus

But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. — Matthew 10:19–20

“The presence of the Holy Spirit is the keystone of all our hopes.” ~ John Nelson Darby

The Holy Spirit fills a man or woman’s spirit the way a fresh breeze fills a sail. This speaks of power, direction, and progress toward new horizons.
“Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without wind. We are useless.” ~ Charles Spurgeon

“Our heart oft times wakes when we sleep, and God can speak to that, either by words, by proverbs, by signs and similitudes, as well as if one was awake.” ~ John Bunyan
“Whenever we see the Word of God purely preached and heard, there a church of God exists, even if it swarms with many faults.” ~ John Calvin

“What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Spirit can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men, men of prayer.” — E. M. Bounds

I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, He will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to Himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen. — John 16:12–14
* * *
Forward to a Friend

Excerpted with permission The Creeds, copyright Zondervan.

Your Turn

We have the greatest Friend, Counselor, and Comforter who is always with us. Are you tapping into this relationship? Whether you’re driving in the car, walking the dog, or sitting in a business meeting, Holy Spirit is right there ready to meet you where you and your heart are! Join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

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The Storms of Life and Where we Land.

Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. — Hebrews 13:5
Devotionals Daily
The Storms of Life: 3 Reasons Why People Get Themselves in a Mess
by Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions

The Bible teaches us that there are three kinds of storms in life: storms that we bring on ourselves (like Samson), storms that God causes (like Lake Galilee), and storms that other people cause (as when Paul and Silas were thrown into prison). When you are the innocent party in a crisis, that last kind of storm is especially hard to take.

How do we stay calm and maintain our confidence and courage, regardless of what happens?

God put the apostle Paul, as a prisoner, on board a ship headed from Palestine to Rome. After the ship ventured through the Mediterranean Sea and docked at the island of Crete, God told Paul to advise the crew not to leave the harbor because there was going to be a great storm. But the sailors were impatient to get to a better harbor, so they ignored what God had told them through Paul (Acts 27:9-12).

Impatience often gets us into trouble.

I have spoken with many crisis-ridden people who were impatient: impatient to get married, impatient to get a new job, or impatient to move to the other side of town. They didn’t take time to check things out with God, and they sailed right off into the awaiting storms.

Hebrews 13:5

3 common reasons why people get themselves in a mess:

Wrong Guidance from the Experts

The centurion who had charge over Paul ignored his plea and instead followed the advice given by both the captain and the owner of the ship. The first reason we get ourselves into a mess is we listen to the wrong experts.

The only truly reliable expert is God.

Wrong Guidance from a Vote

The majority of the crew decided that the ship should sail on. They hoped to reach Phoenix and its safe harbor on the other side of Crete (Acts 27:12).

The second reason we get ourselves in trouble is that we take a vote. The fact is that the majority can be wrong. We can get ourselves into a real mess by following the prevailing opinion, the most popular ideas. If we listen to God, we will go in the right direction.

Wrong Guidance from Circumstances

When a gentle south wind began to blow, they thought they had obtained what they wanted; so they weighed anchor and sailed along the shore of Crete. — Acts 27:13

Why else do we get ourselves into trouble? Because we rely on circumstances. There was a gentle south wind. The sailors thought they had gotten their wish because the circumstances looked favorable.

But it is foolish and unwise to ignore what God says, even if circumstances tend to contradict it. Things may look good right now, but you may be sailing right into a storm.

I have heard people say, “Well, this decision must be okay because I feel so good about it.” The fact is that feelings often lie. If God says, “Wait in the harbor,” you had better wait in the harbor.

As I talk with people in counseling, I hear over and over again that they thought they had obtained what they wanted but then went sailing right into a storm, just as the sailors in the book of Acts did. They found themselves caught in “a wind of hurricane force” (Acts 27:14). The ship — like so many couples I counsel — became caught in the storm and could not head into the wind.

* * *
Forward to a Friend

Excerpted with permission God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions, by Rick Warren, copyright Zondervan.

Be sure to read tomorrow’s devotional, as Rick Warren continues this discussion about the storms of life and the 3 things not to do in a crisis.

Your Turn

What was one occasion when you made a decision more typical of the sailors than of the apostle Paul? How have you experienced that first anchor — the presence of God — during a recent crisis? Join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~

Devotionals Daily

How can I … cope with stress? rebound from failure? defeat depression? have peace of mind? Life’s difficult questions have answers. Answers from the Bible that can change your outlook—and your life. Rick Warren writes, “In each of these studies, you will discover simple ways to apply God’s truth to your personal life, your family, and your job. The way to get the most out of this book is to act on it.” Rick Warren takes you inside the Scriptures to see what they reveal about twelve of the most pressing questions people ask. They are questions you yourself either have asked or most likely will ask. This book provides simple, straightforward answers you can begin to apply right away to move past your worst sticking points and enjoy a life of purpose, peace, and inspiration.

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Wait on the Lord, He will make things right!!

Wait for the Lord, and He will make things right. — Proverbs 20:22
Devotionals Daily
Judgment Is God’s Job
by Max Lucado, Grace for the Moment

Meet Max Lucado

Wait for the LORD, and He will make things right. — Proverbs 20:22

Some of you are in the courtroom. The courtroom of complaint. Some of you are rehashing the same hurt every chance you get with anyone who will listen.

For you, I have this question: Who made you God? I don’t mean to be cocky, but why are you doing His work for Him?

‘Vengeance is Mine,’ God declared. ‘I will repay’. — Hebrews 10:30

Judgment is God’s job. To assume otherwise is to assume God can’t do it.

Revenge is irreverent. To forgive someone is to display reverence. Forgiveness is not saying the one who hurt you was right. Forgiveness is stating that God is faithful and He will do what is right.

Proverbs 20:22

* * *
Forward to a Friend

Excerpted with permission Grace for the Moment, by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson.

Your Turn

Do you find yourself doing “God’s work for him”? In other words, to you find yourself judging others? Why is this a waste of time? Join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

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Max Lucado’s bestselling devotional in an elegant new package.

America’s leading inspirational author Max Lucado shares the comfort and hope of God twice a day, every day in this devotional for grace-filled living. Every devotion includes Scripture for reflection as well as journaling lines to record thoughts and prayers.

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Give Your Child the Gift of God’s Grace—Every Day.

Grace is: God’s best idea . . . More than we deserve … And greater than we imagine. But how can you plant this important message of grace into the heart of your child?

Adapted from the bestselling devotional for adults (with more than 3 million copies sold), Grace for the Moment: 365 Devotions for Kids presents the message of God’s grace in a way that children can understand. It’s perfect for families to read together or for older readers to enjoy alone. Each day offers a devotion and scripture to encourage regular time with God. And because giving grace is just as important as receiving it, a “Growing in Grace” opportunity accompanies each devotion, offering practical and easy-to-do activities to help kids apply God’s grace—every day and every moment.

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Fill up with the Peace of God.

I am the Lord of Peace. I give you Peace at all times and in every way.

There is a deep, gaping hole within you that can be filled only by My peaceful Presence.

People who don’t know Me try to fill that emptiness in many different ways, or they simply pretend it isn’t there. Even My children often fail to recognize the full extent of their need: at all times and in every situation. But recognizing your neediness is only half the battle. The other half is to believe I can — and will — supply all you need.

Shortly before My death, I promised Peace to My disciples and to all who would become My followers. I made it clear that this is a gift: something I provide freely and lovingly. So your responsibility is to receive this glorious gift, acknowledging to Me not only your need but also your desire. Then wait expectantly in My Presence, ready to receive My Peace in full measure. If you like, you can express your openness by saying,
“Jesus, I receive Your Peace.”

Wait expectantly in My Presence

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. — 2 Thessalonians 3:16

My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:19

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. — John 14:27

“Of course you’ll encounter trouble. But behold a God of power who can take any evil and turn it into a door of hope.” — Catherine Marshall

Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. — Proverbs 23:17-18

* * *

Excerpted with permission from Jesus Calling, copyright Thomas Nelson.

Your Turn

Have you really digested that God’s peace is available at all times and in every way? Have you received His peace in His Presence? How would handling difficulties be different if you went about your day filled with His Presence instead of absorbed in trying to solve problems? We would love to hear your story of God’s peace in your life. Join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

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After many years of writing her own words in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to be more attentive to the Savior’s voice and begin listening for what He was saying. So with pen in hand, she embarked on a journey that forever changed her—and many others around the world.

In these powerful pages are the words and Scriptures Jesus lovingly laid on her heart. Words of reassurance, comfort, and hope. Words that have made her increasingly aware of His presence and allowed her to enjoy His peace.

Jesus is calling out to you in the same way. Maybe you share the author’s need for a great sense of “God with you”. Or perhaps Jesus seems distant without you knowing why. Or maybe you have wandered farther from Him that you ever imagined you would. Here is a year’s worth of daily readings from Young’s journals to bring you closer to Christ and move your time with Him from monologue to a dialogue.

Each day is written as if Jesus Himself were speaking to you. Because He is. Do you hear Him calling?

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Jesus Today was written during a very difficult time in beloved and bestselling author Sarah Young’s life. Yet the words of Scripture and Jesus’ own Presence were ever near, bringing her hope and comfort for each new day.

Whether you are in need of a lifeline in your discouragement or are simply longing for a boost in your day, this devotional journal will speak hope into your life. It is written as if Jesus Himself is assuring you that He is in control, that He is good, and that a glorious future awaits all who anchor their hope in Him. With journaling prompts and space to write thoughts and prayers, you will be encouraged and renewed with a deeper sense of hope as you grow in grace, learn from God’s Word, and walk ever more closely with Jesus.

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5 Promises To Guide You Today!!

1.)  The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.

2.) His mercies never come to an end.

3.) They are new every morning.

4.) Great is Thy faithfulness.

5.) The Lord is my portion.

Take that to the bank FB Friends!!

Love With a Steadfast Love
by Max Lucado, Live Loved

Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

Jeremiah was depressed, as gloomy as a giraffe with a neck ache. Jerusalem was under siege, his nation under duress. His world collapsed like a sand castle in a typhoon. He faulted God for his horrible emotional distress. He also blamed God for his physical ailments.

He [God] has made my flesh and my skin waste away, and broken my bones. — Lamentations 3:4

His body ached. His heart was sick. His faith was puny… He realized how fast he was sinking, so he shifted his gaze.

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in Him’. — Lamentations 3:21-24

“But this I call to mind…”

Depressed, Jeremiah altered his thoughts, shifted his attention. He turned his eyes away from his stormy world and looked into the wonder of God.

He quickly recited a quintet of promises. (I can envision him tapping these out on the five fingers of his hand.)

1. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.
2. His mercies never come to an end.
3. They are new every morning.
4. Great is Thy faithfulness.
5. The Lord is my portion.

The storm didn’t cease, but his discouragement did.

Lamentations 3:21

Thank You, precious Savior, that Your love is steadfast. Thank You that Your mercies are new every morning. Thank You for Your great faithfulness, not only to me but to all Your people from the first day of creation. When I am tempted to become depressed and distressed, may I choose to gaze on You. May I remember that You are my portion. May I hope in Your unceasing love, amen.

Inasmuch as there is none like You, O Lord (You are great, and Your name is great in might). — Jeremiah 10:6

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. — 1 Corinthians 1:9

He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. — Daniel 6:26

Excerpted with permission from Live Loved: Experiencing God’s Presence in Everyday Life by Max Lucado, copyright Thomas Nelson.

* * *

Your Turn

When everything goes wrong, when your heart gets broken, when troubles rise above your head, when discouragement and depression weigh heavily upon you, where do you turn your eyes? Today, if you’re in that place, tap out that list on your fingers. Remind yourself that God is good over and over again. Receive His comfort and lean on His faithfulness! Join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you about turning to God, especially during dark times. ~ Devotionals Daily

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Imagine how your life would change if you were sure God loves you!

Using the same popular format as Grace for the Moment, Live Loved brings fresh, new devotionals based on the writings of Max Lucado. Included is a broad range of topics such as facing your fears, accepting His grace, and truly knowing God’s omnipresent love. Each devotional is accompanied by an ending prayer to nurture a stronger prayer life for new believers, as well as long-standing Christ followers. It’s a new devotional from one of America’s leading Christian writers that will help men and women experience life from a whole new perspective.

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Sometimes God gets in the way to show us the way

Are you waiting on God? Have you sought His guidance and not found answers? Have you thought He was directing you one way and suddenly the door slammed shut? These are the times we are learning to persevere and trust God when we don’t understand.
“Sometimes God gets in the way to show us the way.” – Mark Batterson in The Circle Maker
Devotionals Daily
Unanswered Prayers: What’s Going On God?
by Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker

No Answer

For much of my life, basketball was my life. When I graduated from high school, I went to the University of Chicago on a full-ride scholarship and earned a starting position on the basketball team by the end of my freshman year. Then I transferred to Central Bible College, where I earned first-team all-American honors my senior season. Of course, it was the NCCAA, not the NCAA; the extra C stands for Christian.

I was our leading scorer, averaging 21.3 points per game, and we were favorites to win the national championship, the NCCAA championship.

I was having my best season ever, and I wasn’t just playing well; I was playing for God. I wanted to win a national championship because I thought it would be a great way to glorify God, but that dream died with one cut to the basket when my right knee buckled. Two weeks before the national tournament, my basketball career came to a painful end with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

To be honest, the spiritual pain was worse than the physical pain. At first, I was angry.

God, I was playing for you. How could you let this happen?

Eventually, my anger turned to mourning, and then my mourning turned to begging. I remember weeping in prayer and begging God to heal my knee. I knew He could do it, but for reasons unknown to me, He chose not to. I was relegated to cheering for my teammates as we lost in the semifinals. In the grand scheme of things, I realize that a game is a game, but it was a bitter disappointment. And I still don’t know why.

Some of the hardest moments in life are when you’ve prayed hard but the answer is no and you don’t know why. And you may never know why. But that is the litmus test of trust. Do you trust that God is for you even when He doesn’t give you what you asked for? Do you trust that He has reasons beyond your reason? Do you trust that His plan is better than yours?

I have a Deuteronomy 29:29 file that is filled with unanswered questions. It simply states that there are some mysteries that won’t be revealed until we cross into eternity. I don’t understand why God wouldn’t heal my knee. I don’t understand why my father-in-law passed away in the prime of life. I don’t understand why loved ones have lost babies. I have a lot of unanswered questions, and many of them derive from unanswered prayers.

The hardest thing about praying hard is enduring unanswered prayers. If you don’t guard your heart, unresolved anger toward God can undermine faith. Sometimes your only option is trust because it is the last card in your hand, but it’s the wild card. If you can trust God when the answer is no, you’re likely to give Him praise when the answer is yes. You need to press in and press on.

By definition, praying hard is praying when it’s hard to pray.

And it’s the hard times that teach us to pray hard. But if you keep praying through, the peace that transcends understanding will guard your heart and your mind.

So sometimes the answer to our prayers is no and you’ll never understand why. But here’s some good news:

What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest answers.

What’s Going On, God?

During our first two years of church planting, our church office was in the spare bedroom in our home. It was an awfully convenient commute, but it eventually became a huge inconvenience when our daughter, Summer, was born. Our spare bedroom turned into her bedroom by night and my office by day. I would set up her porta-crib at night and tear it down in the morning. That got real old real fast, so we started looking for office space.

After a few months of searching, I finally found a row house in the 400 block of F Street NE that we could convert into offices. It was perfectly situated halfway between our home and Union Station, and it had the ideal floor plan. We prayed that God would give us that contract, but when we presented the offer the next morning, we discovered that someone beat us to the punch the night before. It felt like a sucker punch that knocks the wind out of you. I was sure that this row house was the answer we were looking for, so it was both confusing and frustrating.

It took a few days to recuperate from that disappointment, but we resumed our search. A few weeks later, we found a row home in the 600 block of 3rd Street NE, just two blocks from Union Station. It was even more perfect than the previous place, so we prayed even harder. Once again, when we presented the offer the next morning, we discovered that someone got in ahead of us the night before. It felt like a second sucker punch that knocked the faith out of us.

After two bitter disappointments, I threw my arms up in the air. It was one of those “What’s going on, God?” moments. Not only was God not answering our prayers; it felt like He was opposing our efforts. It felt like God was actually getting in the way.

And He was.

And I’m glad He was.

The Greatest Answers

Two weeks later, after those two unanswered prayers, I was walking home from Union Station. As I passed by 205 F Street, the Holy Spirit jogged my memory, and a name surfaced out of the deep recesses of my long-term memory. I had met the owner a year before, but I’m not very good at remembering names. I honestly wondered if it really was Robert Thomas. But one way or another, I felt prompted to call him.

There was no For Sale sign on the property, but I knew I needed to obey that prayer prompting, so I looked up his name in the Yellow Pages and found several listings for Robert Thomas. I made an educated guess and dialed the number. When he answered, I said, “Hi, this is Mark Batterson. I don’t know if you remember me, but — ” He didn’t even let me finish my sentence. He interrupted me. “I was just thinking about you. I’m thinking about selling 205 F Street, and I wanted to know if you want to buy it before I put it on the market.”

Only God.

Sometimes God gets in the way to show us the way
That row home became our first office, but even more significant than its function was its location. 205 F Street abuts 201 F Street. We started laying hands on those abutting walls and asking God to give us the old crack house next door. I refused to believe that it was coincidental.

I chose to believe it was providential. And it was.

If God had answered our prayers for the row homes in the 400 Block of F or 600 Block of 3rd, He would have given us second or third best. I was frustrated and confused because they seemed like good options, but they weren’t the best option. And God doesn’t settle for what is good. In His providence, God knew that we needed 205 F Street if we were going to eventually get 201 F Street. Because of construction and zoning complications, it would have been impossible for us to build our coffeehouse at 201 F if we hadn’t owned 205 F.

Thank God for unanswered prayers!

Our heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for.

Someday we’ll thank God for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did. Our frustration will turn to celebration if we patiently and persistently pray through. It may not make sense for a few years. In fact, it may never make sense on this side of eternity.

But I’ve learned a valuable lesson about unanswered prayer:

Sometimes God gets in the way to show us the way.

Excerpted with permission from The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson, copyright Zondervan.

* * *

Your Turn

Looking back, what prayers have you prayed that you are so glad God didn’t answer with a yes? With the benefit of hindsight, how did the Lord save you, protect you, provide for you, or grow you up by saying no? Join the conversation on our blog! ~ Devotionals Daily

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EDITORIAL REVIEWS

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The cross marks the place in time and space when humanity was truly set free. As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Galatians 6:14

The cross marks the place in time and space when humanity was truly set free. — Seeing God in America
Devotionals Daily

True Freedom: The Statue of Liberty and The Cross
from Seeing God in America: Devotions from 100 Favorite Places

The cross marks the place in time and space when humanity was truly set free

As for me, God forbid that I should boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. — Galatians 6:14

A gift like no other, it has become the ultimate symbol around the world for freedom and democracy. Erected in New York Harbor and dedicated in October 1886, the Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the people of France. For millions of immigrants drawing near to New York City after long ocean voyages, Lady Liberty was one of the first glimpses of America. On the day she was dedicated, the tricolor French flag veiled her face. In a dramatic flourish, the designer and sculptor himself climbed the 354 steps within his own creation to release the flag and unveil the noble, now-familiar face. The statue is 151 feet high, from base to torch — 351 feet with pedestal and foundation included. The seven points on her crown represent the seven seas and the seven continents of the world.

In other words, Liberty is a universal yearning, not just a national symbol.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the great structure fell under the jurisdiction of the United States Lighthouse Board because the Lady’s illuminated torch served as a navigational aid for ships entering the harbor. The statue became, then, a symbol and something much more.

It is the same with the cross of Jesus Christ. Across the world, it is an easily recognizable symbol of Christianity. In reality, however, it is a real and powerful navigational tool that has guided untold millions out of darkness, superstition, selfishness, addiction, and despair, bringing them into relationship with their Creator. To those who live apart from Christ, the cross is a religious icon or decorative emblem. But for those who have experienced its mighty transformational power, the cross is more like a shining torch lifted high on a dark night, welcoming them to safety.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the cross. If it wasn’t for that place and time in history where You laid down Your life for me, I would have no hope at all. But now I have every hope — of meaningful life today and a future in Heaven.

The cross marks the place in time and space when humanity was truly set free.

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* * *

Excerpted with permission from Seeing God in America: Devotions from 100 Favorite Places, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2015.

Your Turn

Today, those of us in America celebrate our freedom with gratitude to God, but worldwide we Christians can celebrate our freedom in Jesus Christ! Consider the cross today as your “shining torch lifted high on a dark night, welcoming” you to safety and rejoice in your freedom! Join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

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Where is your favorite place in America?

Whether hiking a rocky trail up Mt. McKinley, feeling the misty spray of Niagra Falls, scanning the colorful bluebonnet fields in Texas, or smelling the sweet summer roses of Savannah, America is full of beautiful and exciting places to see and experience.

Spanning our country’s fifty states, here are 100 favorite places to visit and see up close the miraculous work of God as well as man-made masterpieces. Beautiful photography of each location is accompanied by a short devotion and prayer, nurturing gratitude and peace so often lost in the busyness of life.

Perhaps some places will be familiar, bringing renewed excitement from that first visit. But, no doubt, there are new and exciting places not yet seen or even heard of, prompting next year’s vacation destination with new explorations.

If you love to travel or dream of traveling, this devotional will take you to places grand or quaint, serene or adventurous. In every corner of America, you can find the handiwork of our amazing and creative God.

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