2020 Daily Devotional Resources

Thank you for using the CPC Daily Devos for the last few months. We hope they helped you build a daily discipline of spending time with God and form a deeper connection with Christ.

We will not post daily devotionals in 2020, but we want to encourage you to find a daily devotional that fits your spiritual journey. Here are a few free resources to explore:

She Reads Truth

He Reads Truth

Solid Joys

My Utmost for His Highest

Our Daily Bread

Billy Graham Devotions

If you are looking for a devotional book, stop by the ROC Bookstore at the Connection Point Raytown Campus. They can help you find a devotional for any age or life situation.

Thank you again for following along with us for the last few months. We pray you grow even closer to God in 2020!

The Greatest Treasure

“But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:18 (NASB)

Mary’s response to the chaos of her life speaks to a deep-seated, seemingly divine, serenity. She experiences and ponders. She doesn’t rail at the world or God; she thinks. 

Her attitude finds a complement in another Mary, Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. We find her throughout the Gospel narratives, and she’s always in the same position: resting at the feet of Jesus. No matter what’s going on in her life, she comes to sit or kneel at his feet.

We first see her at home (Luke 10:38-42). Jesus and his disciples stop to visit, and Martha rushes around the kitchen. Mary, though, sits at Jesus’ feet and listens. She, perhaps like Jesus’ birth mother, treasures everything he says and ponders his words in her heart.

Next, Lazarus dies (John 11:1-46). Jesus arrives at Mary and Martha’s home, and Mary throws herself at his feet. She isn’t there to listen; she’s there to grieve. Jesus acknowledges her sorrow before continuing to Lazarus’ tomb where he mourns and raises Lazarus from the dead. 

In the final vignette, Mary creates a scandal. She anoints Jesus with a perfume worth about $45,000 today and wipes his feet with her uncovered hair (Mark 14:1-9; John 12:1-8). She heeded and pondered Jesus’ words and knows his death approaches. However, she also seems aware he won’t stay dead; she pours the perfume as though performing a funeral rite, maybe thinking she won’t get to offer the service before he resurrects. (She won’t. The women come to prepare Jesus’ body only to find it missing.)

Mary has listened to Jesus so well, in fact, that he has become her greatest treasure. She sacrifices a costly perfume, and she sacrifices her reputation in light of who he is and what he means to her. And her actions give us something to model. We, like the two Marys, should treasure Jesus and ponder his words in our hearts. We should sit at his feet until he, too, becomes our greatest treasure, our greatest joy, our greatest everything.

A Great Joy

“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” – Matthew 2:10 (NASB)

“Rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” The Message translates the words, “They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!” Either translation (NASB or MSG) suggests joy of an emphatic nature. It is not the simple, quiet joy that arrives every dawn but the ecstatic joy of discovery.

David exemplifies such joy when he dances in the streets—much to Michal’s chagrin (2 Samuel 6:12-23). David doesn’t care who sees him; he must dance and worship the King of Kings. He acts foolish and proves himself wise (1 Corinthians 1:18-31).  

The same kind of joy bubbles up and overflows the wise men. As The Message says, they can’t contain it. The intellectuals from the east experience an unexplainable euphoria, one that causes them to fall and worship at the feet of Jesus. They bow before a toddler and present him with gifts. 

They rejoice exceedingly with great joy because they have made an eternal discovery, albeit one that might result in ridicule or loss of position. But the wise men don’t care about those things anymore. They rejoice like fools because they have found the best thing, the greatest joy, and they refuse to let it be taken from them.

Mighty God

“And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.” Hebrews 1:3 (NASB)

One of the mysteries of the gospel is Jesus’ dual identity as God and man. We can’t comprehend it. We try, but it’s difficult to see the man telling parables and falling asleep in a boat as the radiance of God’s glory. 

But Jesus is supposed to be incomprehensible on some level. He isn’t like us. He made us in his image; we did not make him. And, while we might never grasp Jesus’ dual role as mere mortals, we perhaps can find a way to recognize him as simultaneously Mighty God and hungry human.

One of those methods lies in thinking of meekness. We sometimes think of the trait negatively, a synonym, maybe, of doormats. But meekness is no such thing. Meekness is power under control.

Jesus, fully human and fully God, contains both elements. They somehow intermingle without dilution or corruption. Jesus undergoes temptation, but he refuses it as a human (Hebrews 4:14-16). When his disciples fear they will drown, Jesus unleashes his power: He calms the storm with a word (Mark 4:35-41). Jesus shows his disciples that, yes, he is human, but he’s Mighty God, too.

Jesus’ Family

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB)

Some readers might skip the first 17 verses of Matthew. The book, unlike Mark, Luke, and John, veers from standard plot structures and storytelling devices. Rather than starting with action or description, the book begins with a genealogy. 

But to skim the verses is to miss a Gospel in miniature. Matthew records Jesus’ ancestors to achieve two aims. First, he demonstrates fulfilled prophecy. He calls Jesus the Messiah and mentions two important names, David and Abraham. Both names come with promises. God tells Abraham his offspring will be a blessing to all peoples in Genesis, and he tells David his lineage will produce a forever-reigning king.

Second, Matthew reveals the promised Messiah will be for the outcasts, messed-ups, and broken. Matthew, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, refuses to edit Jesus’ genealogy—a relatively common practice among the Jews and rulers of the day. He instead calls out names of not only sinners but also women, another no-no for the time and culture. Matthew references Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. And, lest the Jewish people get too cocky about their David of Bethlehem, Matthew barely calls him king and highlights Uriah, the man David had assassinated.  

Matthew doesn’t pull any punches with his genealogy. It’s a good thing. It means we, as sinful and as awful as we are, can be recipients of God’s grace. We can be Jesus’ family because he doesn’t care about our pedigrees. He cares about our hearts.

Glory and Praise

“The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.” Luke 2:20 (NASB)

Every Gospel writer focuses on a key element. They also use key words. Matthew, for instance, highlights the fulfillment of prophecy and speaks of the “kingdom of God.” 

Luke approaches Jesus’ life from a different angle. He gives attention to the outcasts—Mary, who would have been a social pariah because of her unexpected pregnancy; the lepers; the shepherds; and various women. Luke also uses a particular phrase at times: “glorifying and praising God.”

When the shepherds leave and return to their sheep, they share the good news given them and give glory and praise to God. The Bethlehem townspeople can’t make sense of what’s happened or is happening. They seem to be struck speechless. Luke records no replies; rather, the townspeople “wonder at the things” told them by the shepherds (Luke 2:18). 

Luke 5 shares a similar account. Jesus heals the paralyzed man, and the man gets up, rolls up his mat, and walks “home glorifying God” (Luke 5:25). The crowd surrounding him, like the Bethlehem residents, is “struck with astonishment” (Luke 5:26). They, however, join the once-paralyzed man in giving glory to God. 

The difference in response may not seem like much, but a few sentences prior, Jesus forgives the man for his sins. Jesus reveals who he is. And when he does, the whole crowd takes notice. They recognize Jesus is no mere healer or great teacher. He is God in the flesh, and he has come to forgive sin once, for all (Hebrews 9:11-14).

Suffering Servant

“Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8 (NASB)

The Jewish people were awaiting the Messiah, but many of them seemed to craft a Messiah out of their desires. The people wanted someone to overthrow the Roman government. The Sadducees and Pharisees most likely desired a Messiah who would tell them, “Jolly good, priests and scribes. Continue doing what you’re doing.”

Jesus defeats those expectations. He comes as a suffering servant, setting aside his rightful place with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. He leaves everything he knows and enters the strange, confusing world of man. Jesus spends most of his time with “sinners”—the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the lame, the demon-possessed, the uneducated and uncouth—not the religious or political elite. 

This Jesus, the Messiah, has no patience for the religious leaders of the day. He regularly calls them to account for their actions, as well as for their lack of love and faith (Luke 18:9-14). The leaders are not serving the people or encouraging them to worship God; rather, they shackle the people with more rules and regulations. The Sadducees’ and Pharisees’ yoke is not easy or light but a burden. They strangle the spirit of the law in a pursuit of its letter (2 Corinthians 3:4-11).

But Jesus resurrects faith and love, grace and truth. He enters the world, not to rule it, but to seek and save the lost, to serve rather than be served. He, the suffering servant, invites the people to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8) and to find rest for their weary and heavy-laden souls (Matthew 11:28-30). He invites us to do the same.

Beautiful Sacrifice

“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.” John 10:17-8 (NASB)

Sacrifices at the temple were bloody affairs. The priests would kill the animals and sprinkle blood on the temple furnishings that required it. Jesus’ death was equally bloody, if not more so—it was filled with cruelty, anger, and malice. The religious leaders wanted Jesus gone and moved players and events to accomplish their aim.

Jesus’ death was ugly and brutal. And yet, power and beauty pervade it. The cross wasn’t happenstance. Jesus knew the death he would face the moment he chose to take on human flesh. He understood the horrors that awaited him, not only the cross but also the moments leading to it. He would be beaten and mocked. Judas would sell him for 30 pieces of silver. His disciples would flee and deny him.

He knew all those things, yet he willingly surrendered his life. No one wrested it from him; even in death, he claimed the victory. He died for sinners, us, the enemies of God (Romans 5:6-11) because he knew his beautiful sacrifice would bring things aright. We would walk and talk with him again instead of hiding behind bushes in the garden. We would be his, and he would be ours, forever.

Real Love

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us.” 1 John 3:16 (NASB)

If we want to know what love is, we look to a person, not an idea. We direct our attention and affection to Jesus who, as Paul says in Romans 5, demonstrates love by dying for us. But the demonstration begins long before Jesus’ death and resurrection. 

It starts with Jesus’ sacrifice of self and home. He gives up everything to come to earth. He sets aside his power and takes a form that tires, hungers, and mourns. Jesus wraps himself in our oh-so-weak flesh and blood. 

He shows love, too, in his conversations with people. He always relates to them as individuals. For example, how he treats Nicodemus differs from how he speaks with Peter and the disciples. And, while Jesus deals harshly with the Sadducees and Pharisees, love reigns there, too—love does not let sin go unchecked. It confronts the wrong so that the person can repent and be restored to a right relationship with God. 

Jesus embodies love, and if we want to know what real love is, we must look to him. He doesn’t merely speak of love; he acts it out in the breaking of bread, the washing of feet, the dying upon a cross. He exemplifies the words John spurs us toward, “Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth” (1 John 3:18).

Wonderful Counselor

“And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.” Mark 10:16 (NASB)

Jesus spent a lot of his time on earth teaching. However, he wasn’t just a teacher. He counseled, too. He sat with the people, listening and ministering to their physical and spiritual needs. He broke the bread, multiplied the fish, and blessed the children.

But Jesus uplifts typical counsel to wonderful heights, a fact we see illustrated in his interaction with the rich young man. When the man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus looks at him and loves him (Mark 10:17-22). Jesus gives guidance knowing it won’t be heeded. He loves the rich young man, knowing he won’t be loved in return.

Jesus acts as counselor, yes, but he is the Wonderful Counselor. His words are trustworthy, true, and filled with love and compassion. When he asks us to sacrifice something, we can trust he knows what he’s doing. 

We can rest, too, in the knowledge that he knows us, inside and out. He doesn’t simply offer words; he sits with us in our struggles and heartaches. He is a good, good counselor, and when he speaks, he speaks with loving kindness and truth.