Men's Weekly Devotional

October 19, 2021

SUPERHERO

One of the hallmarks of American culture in the 20th century was its fascination with the superhero. From comic-book sales to blockbuster movies to the graphic novel genre, entire industries have played into the attraction we have to individuals who are somehow possessed of powers not enjoyed by mere mortals. Superman, Spiderman, Batman, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and other fictional characters capture our collective imaginations as they battle the super-villains their creators dream up to fight them. The urge of a boy to wear his underpants on the outside of his pajamas and tear around the house fighting phantom bad guys is an inherited character trait passed down proudly from father to son.

So what is it about a superhero that’s so appealing? Bravery. Power. Strength. Ingenuity. The ability to fly. The fact that they usually get the girl. The fact that they can seemingly get out of any jam they find themselves in. Who wouldn’t want that kind of existence?

Thinking of that context, reread Deuteronomy 31:1-8. Joshua is, in effect, getting his superhero’s license from Moses. Now, it’s unlikely that this involved a cape and a mask, but Moses here tells Joshua that, with God’s power behind him, he will be able to deal with adversity and conquer his foes.

Moses tells the people that their new leader, Joshua, will take them forward into Canaan. Their old leader, Moses, encourages Joshua in front of the people, “Be strong and courageous . . . The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you . . . Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” (Deuteronomy 31:6,8). With that reinforcement as a backdrop, Joshua moved forward. Fear couldn’t hold him back. He believed God.

If you knew that you couldn’t fail, what would you do differently? Pursue a promotion at work? Further your education? Ask someone to marry you? Risk repairing a broken relationship?

The fact is that, when God goes before you, you can’t fail. If you’re living within God’s will you don’t need to be afraid. You may endure a few shots along the way, but with the world’s only real Superpower behind you, you can’t ultimately fail. Take the risk. Live with passion. Listen to his assurance: “Be strong and courageous . . . Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
October 10, 2021

The Full eight seconds

“What’s the secret to being a good bull rider?”

When a newspaper reporter asked a Montana cowboy that question, he pushed back his hat and grinned: “You’ve just gotta want to hang on worse than the bull wants to throw you off.”

Jacob might have preferred eight seconds on the back of a bull to the situation he faced. As he traveled to Canaan—a journey that would reunite him with Esau, his brother—Jacob carried not only his possessions but also a heart full of guilt and sin. He’d taken his brother’s birthright and blessing and had lived ever since in constant fear that Esau would seek revenge. Feeling desperate and overwhelmed, Jacob spent a night alone to take advantage of a little peace and quiet.

Instead, he got the fight of his life—a wrestling match with God!

Have you experienced something similar? Maybe you’re troubled with a stressful situation at work, a dispute at church, a disagreement with a friend or a struggle within your family. So you seek a place that will give you a moment or two of peace or stability, only to find that the emotional and spiritual load you’ve been carrying has settled firmly on your shoulders. And rather than clinging to the One who can provide real relief, you find yourself making the situation worse by dwelling on the burden and letting worry get the best of you.

Sometimes you have to put everything else aside, reach out to God and hold on with everything you’ve got. The only way you can really escape the burden of sin and guilt is by embracing the One who defeated these burdens—along with death. Make no mistake—the God who created the world, who holds the stars in check and who knows the most minute issues that you struggle with, cares. He loves you and is waiting for you to trust him with your cares and concerns—present, past and future.

To paraphrase that wise Montana cowboy, “You’ve just gotta hang on to God more than sin and guilt want to pull you away.”
September 20, 2021

Finishing is better

Jesus is the ultimate finisher – it’s why Philippians 1:6 says, “He is faithful to complete the things he starts.” It’s why Hebrews 12:2 reminds us Jesus is the “author and finisher of our faith”. And it’s why Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished!” This is why I believe Jesus is raising a generation of Finishers! Finishers let the excuses be taken away, the traps be exposed, and for strength to reach your heart so you can believe for the impossible because we need a generation of finishers. I pray it would be a continual reminder that things can be changed – families, futures, and current situations because we need a generation of finishers. I’m expectant that the truth in this devotional will spark a desire to refuse to quit no matter how much blood, sweat, and tears have poured out because we need a generation of finishers. I’m declaring fresh motivation inside of you to be a pioneer, an influencer, and an agent of change because we need a generation of finishers. No more vacations from focus & responsibility because we need a generation of finishers. Let there be a full-time devotion & commitment to the plans of God because we need a generation of finishers. You will pursue excellence in everything your life plays a part in because we need a generation of finishers. The Lord is releasing dedicated parents, missionaries, attorneys, teachers, business owners, and everyone else in between because we need a generation of finishers. This world is impressed by people who start things, but it’s transformed by people who finish them. Allow me to brand the Ecclesiastes 7:8 in your memory, “Finishing is better than starting!”
September 13, 2021

CHOsen

God hasn’t changed his mind about you. You're done limping through life with regret, because he hasn’t changed his mind about you. The excuses need to stop and it’s time to make arrangements, because he hasn’t changed his mind about you. You have to refuse to live as if you have missed your window of opportunity and recognize through holy surrender & divine focus, he will bring those moments back around.

Take comfort in this! Mistakes, failures, & setbacks do not change the destiny God has placed on your life. When you commit to a lifestyle of finishing, you begin to recognize God can turn your weaker moments into epic comebacks. This is because you are chosen. You can’t stop chosen. You can’t argue with chosen. You can’t outlast chosen. This is why Jesus said, “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

Doubt, fear, & failure may try to make a case against you, but you are chosen. I call the finisher out of you today and remind you that God is not in love with a future version of you!