Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Is The Good Life Enough?

Lori and I are in the preparation time for missions work in Uganda. We will be downsizing as we prepare to move to a place that will be completely foreign to both of us. New sights, smells, and adventures will be the normal part of every day living as we step out in faith and follow the lead of Christ.

As I prepare myself during my daily studies of the Word, I keep coming back to one question.

"Is living the good life enough?"

That question can have many meanings, but there are two specifically that are in my thoughts. The first one has to do with material things. Here in America, specifically the beautiful state of Oregon, we have many good things. Lori and I have great jobs that provide handsomely for our needs. We have health benefits, good income, great opportunities. So from the standpoint of work... we live the good life. We have the ability to travel the state and all around the nation and marvel at the beauty of creation. We can hike, bike, ski, surf, sight see... you name it, this area we live in is beautiful. We live the good life when it comes to recreation. And as far as relationships go, we have amazing friends and family. We fellowship at our local church with great people. We have connections there that will last our entire lifetime and into eternity. We have kids and extended family that we love and cherish the relationships we have with them. When it comes to relationships with people, we live the good life. But is that enough?

The second thought I have has little to do with the good life for me materially, but how I live my life as others see it. Is how I live my life in the lens of other people enough? I have heard it many times said, (and I have said it much myself) "Oh, they know I am a Christian... and if I live a good life in front of them, then that is enough."

I am discovering that this response to my faith in Christ, for me, is a real cop out. It is a way to not face the challenges that come from sharing my faith in Christ and "hoping" that people will see my life and that is enough. My thought process in my head goes something like this.

God: Keith, I want you to share the Gospel with your neighbor.
Me: I don't really need to share the Gospel. I live a good life, they will see the difference.
God: This person is going through some real challenges right now, they need to hear about the hope they have in Christ.
Me: All I need to tell them is I go to church. Maybe they will want to go with me and then they will see how awesome it is and they will get saved.
God: How will they hear if no one tells them?
Me: I don't cuss, I don't drink, and I don't sleep around. That is enough for them to see Christ in me.
God: I have asked you to share my love with everyone. To proclaim me to the nations... that includes those around you right now. Are you willing to do that?
Me: I live a good life. That's really enough!

What a sad testimony to the call of God we all have on our life to share the Gospel. To tell of the good news of Jesus Christ, not just attempt to live it. The truly sad part of this line of thinking is that most of us don't live any differently that our neighbor, so we are fooled into thinking that we can share the love God has for them through how we live.

So as I prepare for Uganda, God has challenged me to step out in faith and obedience and share the Gospel with those I encounter. To realize that living "The Good Life" is not enough. We must speak the truth of Jesus, not just live it. So I challenge you today. Are you just like me? Too fearful, too worried, or too concerned about what others may think to share the Gospel?

Step out in the power of Holy Spirit today and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with those you encounter.

Rom 10:13-17  For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."  (14)  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  (15)  And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"  (16)  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?"  (17)  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

May God's peace be with you as you step out in faith.

Be Blessed,

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1 Thing That Has Revolutionized Writing My Daily Journal

So you want to write a daily journal? That's great! I have written in my journal for years... off and on! Unfortunately, more off than on...

The problem for me is that I often sit down to a piece of paper or my blank computer screen and then ask myself, "now what?" But I have discovered a secret that  I want to share that has revolutionized my personal journal.

Ok, let's be honest here... it is really quite simple. I have created a template. If you know me, you know my mind works fairly orderly. So the one thing I have done to revolutionize my time and organize my thoughts is to answer a few questions in the form of a journal template. I have tried a few different ways to do this and there are a couple of things I have discovered.

  • First, keep it simple... Too many questions and too many options bogs me down so I just keep it simple. Of course I have the freedom to expound on my thoughts and ideas, but simple is best for me.

  • Next, journal regularly... 

  • And finally the one key that is best for me is the ability to sync between devices. I use android and I have to have my journal on all my devices (I hope all the Apple users keep reading) so I have a journal app that syncs to my nook, phone, and desktop computer.

What are some things that you have discovered 
to help you keep a personal journal?

Here is the current template I use for my journal. I hope you find it helpful. Feel free to copy it and use it for yourself as well...



- What did I do?
- What area can I improve?
- What impacted me the most?
- What did I learn?

Right Now:

- How do I feel right now?
- What sins do I need to confess?
- What am I thankful for?
- Who/what can I pray for?


- What Bible verse/story impacted me today?
- What am I going to do today to positively impact my marriage?
- What one thing must I accomplish today?
- Write down one book quote that inspired me.

Personal Notes:


Be blessed,

If you found this helpful feel free to share it with others.

Friday, September 26, 2014

4 Actions For More Intentional Living

in·ten·tion·al - adj - Done on Purpose; Deliberate
liv·ing - noun - the pursuit of a lifestyle of the specified type.

Intentional Living 
the pursuit of a deliberate and purposeful lifestyle.

Intentional living can be hard... let's face it! The demands of life are pulling us in all sorts of directions. Family, work, church, and friendships all play a part in the decisions we make. But it doesn't have control us. Living the intentional life is not only more fruitful, but allows you to do the things that are most important to you as well.

If you are anything like me, then you have so many choices to fill up your time. But the fact still remains... we are all given 24 hours each and every day to live life to the fullest. The question is, "What are you going to do with them?"

Here are a few ideas that can really help...

  • Assess your current life
What are you currently doing that isn't allowing you to live the life God intended for you? I like to think of my time as a box that can only hold so much stuff. As we move into the different stages of life we have a choice to keep filling the box with more stuff to the point the box eventually busts at the seams, or we can prune away the less essential things and fill our box with the things that matter.

This step is where you get to decide what items stay in your box and which ones are the least important.
  • Decide where you want to go
Now that you have decided what is important to you, here comes the fun part...Where do you want to go? We have lots of choices here, but the most important part of this equation for me is really, "Where does God want me to go?" I often share with people that if you are sitting on the sidelines watching life go by, then by implication you are saying to the world... "This is my calling." You have unique gifts and talents that no one else has. The first step for deciding where you want to go is to pray and ask the Lord for clear direction. Then start moving...

Spend time looking over your life and decide today where you want to go with it. Life is precious and we only get one shot at it. Are you living it to the fullest?

  • Eliminate the less-essentials
What do you need to prune from your life to move forward? I can create a pretty good list for my less-essentials. Now, I didn't say "non-essentials" for a reason. Often our time is filled with really good things, but they may not be the essential thing that will allow us to live the intentional life God created us for. For some it may be extended time in front of the television or computer screen. Others the less-essentials may be removing something you enjoy doing simply because it takes too much time away from where you really want to go.

One example of this for me is photography. I am an avid hobby photographer. Recently I had to make the hard decision that my time being spent surrounded around my photography hobby was not productive and took away from my essentials. Tough decision, but best for me when it comes to where God would have me.

  • Execute your plan
Take action. Take the necessary steps to eliminate those things that are taking you away from what God has for you and start walking daily in the things that matter.

Living an intentional life is not creating a list of do's and then setting out to accomplish them. This will lead you to eventually burn out. It is about deciding what you value most in life and setting yourself in motion to fulfill those things.

Can intentional living be hard? Yes...
Can intentional living bring challenges? Absolutely...

But most of all it is incredibly rewarding. When you finally gain control of your schedule and life rather than having it control you, it frees you up to be the person God created you to be.

I encourage you today to seek God for direction. Ask him today to help you live daily for him with the intention and desire He gave you. Not sitting on the sidelines watching life go by, but getting in the game and allowing those around you to see all the wonderful things God designed uniquely inside of you!

Be Blessed,

Me in Ishunga UG 2014

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Friday, July 25, 2014

The Reason For Missions

2Co 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and 
more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. (esv)

If someone where to ask me, "What is the reason for missions?" I would probably say something like this... "to reach the lost people of the world and share with them the good news (Gospel) of Jesus Christ and the redemption of sins in order to bring them into a right relationship with God." In fact, that is exactly what I believe the purpose of missions is. But as I studied in Corinthians recently I encountered this verse in chapter 4. I believe this is the true meaning of missions. "To extend God's grace to more and more people and in so doing that we increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God."

As I thought through this verse I came to the realization that missions, as with all of our Christian life, is ultimately about the glory of God. When we are truly alive in Christ, we long after God's glory. When I realize that my role in reaching lost people is not about them and all about God, it completely changes the way I look at it. Now I am striving for, hoping for, and praying for what He is most worthy of - His Glory! Rather than being compelled to only reach the lost for the sake of their eternal well being (which is still a vital part of missions) I am seeking sinners for the glory of God.

God is worthy of thanksgiving and glory from all mankind. Every one of us was created to glorify God. However, we have turned other things into the object of our glory. Rom 1:22-25 tells us that in our foolishness we have exchanged the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, an other things. We have exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worship the creation rather than the creator. We are giving other things our Glory and missions is to bring people back to their true purpose... to bring Glory to God. Rom 3:23 says this:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. It doesn't say for all have sinned and aren't going to spend eternity in heaven. The ultimate issue with our sin is that it steals away the glory that is supposed to be reserved for God alone. Heaven is the reward for a faithful life on earth serving God and bringing Him glory. It is not the end in itself, it is the means for us, for all of eternity, to do what we were created for.

With an understanding of the true purpose of missions, for me, it helps with so many objections when I share my faith. Christianity is not a "private faith." When Jesus was resurrected from the grave he made himself public for all to see. He told his disciples to go and preach the good news. Paul reminds us, if we read all of chapter 4, that we are going to encounter hardship and trouble when we share our faith. Look at the outcome of the life of Jesus, it ultimately ended in his death for his claim of Deity. But the glory of God is our motivator. When we encounter an atheist, a Muslim, a Hindu, or anyone else who is not honoring God, it should motivate us to show them the way. If I believe that Jesus it the path to the One True God, then how can I stay silent and watch those giving false god's the glory and thanksgiving that is due Jesus knowing that their ultimate end is eternity apart from God in hell... forever? Forever is a very long time by the way.

So how do you view missions? As a believer in Christ, what is your role when it comes to reaching the lost people of the world? All of us should be concerned about the fulfillment of the Great Commission. (Mat 28:16-20) However, not all of us are called to go out and preach to all the nations. But I believe we are all called to participate and whether you are a sender or a goer, bringing thanksgiving and glory to God should be our ultimate purpose in everything we do.

Be Blessed,

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Who Do You Say That I Am? ~ Mat 16:13-16

Mat 16:13-16 ESV  Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is?" And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Who do you say that I am? 

How we answer that question in our life is of the utmost importance. Often we read Bible stories of people who have turned away from God and traveled down their own path. They identify with the things of this world and leave God in the distance without a care or concern. I can be just like that. But when the question comes to me and I need to answer it, I hope to be able to identify with Peter. "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Many people today will say that Jesus was a prophet. Others might say he was a good moral teacher or a great religious leader. Still others will tell you he was a made up person and never existed. It is a sad thing that we have come so far away from the truth.

The Bible reveals that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. And whether one believes it right now is crucial to their eternal well being. One day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. (phil 2:10-11) So how we answer that question will truly determine the outcome of our eternity.

So, the question begs to be asked. If you answered today with Peter, "you are the Christ" - then how are you living your life? Do you live your life daily as if you really believe it? Jesus tells us that if we confess Him as Lord and are his disciples then we are to pick up our cross and follow Him. A true follower does everything he/she can to become like the one they follow. How are you doing with that today? Living Daily in Christ means we are to identify with Christ in all that we think, say, and do. It is more than an exercise in knowledge, it is how we live each day of our short life here on earth. Loving one another, praying for our enemies, serving those in need, giving of our resources, trusting in Christ for our forgiveness and salvation. Having the knowledge that Jesus is the Christ is futile if we live as if he isn't.

Who do you say Jesus is? If you say He is the Christ, then I pray today that you live your life as his follower and identify with him in all that you do.

Be Blessed,

Saturday, July 12, 2014

What Does "Serving God" Look Like?

Recently Lori and I have been talking about what it means to completely "serve God." We ask each other all sorts of questions and go back and forth, sometimes feeling like our point hits the nail on the head while other times we feel like we aren't even hitting the target. Eventually, we realize that the conversation leads to more questions and we wind up on an endless circle of conversations that travel down many paths.

We enjoy these times together immensely. It is during these moments when the Bible pages are flipping back and forth faster than a deck of cards in the hands of a Vegas poker dealer and our thoughts and hearts are completely stimulated by God's Spirit. We are fully engrossed and united in one thing... discovering what God has to say on a particular subject.

So what does it mean to serve God? What does it look like in your life and mine? Often we think that if someone flies off to another country and gives up their normal way of living then they must truly be serving God. Or when a couple starts a church, or a ministry, or feeds the homeless... that's when they are serving God. Those things are good things and He definitely calls us to this or that. But, I see that the acts of service that many of us call "serving God" are really just a response rather than what the Bible teaches us about serving God. Let me explain...

Act 17:24-25 ESV The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, (25) nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.

Though we may think just the opposite, God does not need our service. He doesn't enlist a man or woman to go forth because He can not get a task accomplished without them. The reality is that God desires our heart. He desires our affection and love. So to serve Him really isn't about going out and doing something to show God and others how faithful we are to Him. Serving Him is simply submitting your life to Him and seeking after the truth of the Gospel message in your life no matter where you are at.The Gospel is as much for the saint as it is for the sinner. When we look at the message of Paul to the Romans, in chapter one he is explaining to the brothers and sisters in the church that he is eager to preach the gospel to them. At first glance that seems a bit odd. Haven't they already heard the gospel and aren't they a part of the faith? The answer to that is absolutely 'yes.' But Paul realizes through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that salvation is not a one time decision after you hear the gospel message. It is not a get out of hell free card as many may believe. Rather, it is an ongoing process in the believer. Later in Romans 5, Paul tells us that "we shall be saved from the wrath to come."

Living the gospel is what "serving God" looks like. Eating, sleeping, breathing the gospel message is our service to God. We distract our hearts and minds with endless nonsense and wonder why it is hard to serve others. We try to find new techniques to free us from the fear of evangelizing when it would come naturally if our life looked different than the rest of the world and we were sold out ourselves. It is much easier to share a conviction when that in which you are sharing is already a part of you. We are constantly saying no to the next "big thing" because we are consumed with so many non-essentials.

Serving God is not about "doing" for God. It isn't limited to the select group of people who step out in faith and go beyond what looks ordinary. Serving God is simply seeking Christ moment by moment and giving Him the place of honor and glory in our life. When the Gospel of Christ is so intertwined into the fabric of our life, then going out and performing acts of service for God is just a natural response to the love that we have for Him.

Be Blessed,

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Set Free in Christ

Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

Condemnation and Christian are not synonymous. Christ came to set men free from the law of sin and death. As we see in the previous verses (Rom 7:23-25), we have victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His Son to pay the penalty for sin through death. It was a once for all event that set men and women free from the need to be righteous by upholding the law. The law was never meant for us to use as a way to be righteous, rather, it shows us our unrighteousness and inability to be holy before the Father.

Many will try to keep the law and earn their way to heaven. But that becomes bondage to works and self righteousness. Paul teaches us that our performance is rubbish. (Phil 3:8-9) All of our accomplishments, all of our worldly desires, everything we do apart from Christ is simply garbage to God. Our righteousness can only be through faith in Christ Jesus.

Today I am reminded of the verse, "apart from Christ I can do nothing." (John 15:5) When I begin to think that I am accepted because of what I can do for God I fall back into the condemnation that holds me in bondage. Today I will strive to live in Christ and remember it is His work on the cross that set me free sin and death.

Praise be to God for providing a way to freedom and eternal life for all who believe.


Monday, February 3, 2014

What does it mean to be "In Christ."

What does it mean to be "In Christ."

There is a lot of Christian lingo that gets spread around in our culture and one of the phrases I hear quite frequently is the phrase "in Christ." I decided today to look into the phrase "in Christ" and try to understand what it means to me as a Christian.

I began by doing a word search for the phrase in my esword bible software and found the term to be throughout the New Testament at least 88 times. It is mainly used in the writings of Paul, but I also found it in the writings of Peter and Luke in the book of Acts (Acts 24:24).

So what does it mean to be "In Christ?"

The best place for me to begin is 2Cor 5:17. Just as I was a new creation at the moment of my human birth, I am now a new creation in my spiritual re-birth in Christ Jesus. 2Cor 5:17 tells me that I am a new creature, or creation. The old things have passed away and new things have come. Being one who is in Christ starts with us being transformed and living a new life from our old ways and habits. Christ died for us to have a new birth in His resurrection. Old passes away, new has come. But making the transition from old to new can be quite difficult from time to time since we are sinful and the old nature wants to creep back in and sabotage our walk with Christ.

Fortunately we were not left alone to accomplish our Christian journey on our own. God gave us the Holy Spirit as a pledge of our inheritance. (Eph 1:14, 2Cor 1:22, Acts 19:1-6) With the help of God through the Holy Spirit I am able to accomplish all things through Christ. Not by my own merit, talents, or ability, but because God has granted it to me. My faith comes from God through Christ. My grace comes from God through Christ, and all that I am is because of Christ. When we begin to understand that Christ is our source for all that we are, the fountain will never run dry. Too many times I try to love someone by my own strength. Eventually I get frustrated because I don't see love in return. When I forgive and the person offends again I find it quite easy to hold a grudge. When I rely on my strength and human ability I will fall short every time.

Being "in Christ" is to be intentional. One can not truly claim to be a Christian and not desire the ways of Christ. (Eph 4:1, 1Thes 2:12, Col 1:10)The old has passed away and the new has come. Being in Christ is coming to the throne daily and crying out to God for more of Him. More faith, more love, more grace... God gives abundantly according to His riches in glory in Christ. (Php 4:19)

For me to be "In Christ" means that all that I am, all that I have, and all that I do is done through and for the glorification of Christ. When I love someone I love them as Christ. When I show someone grace it is done like Christ. Even when I spend time at my job I am working as though I am working for Christ. (Col 3:23-24) Being "In Christ" is not just a pledge that hangs over one's door, it is a way to be. Christianity is not about following rules, doing the right thing, or trying to be good. It is about being one with the Savior and out of that oneness flows more blessings and love that one can imagine
  1. Our faith is - In Christ (Acts 24:24)
  2. Our redemption is - In Christ (Rom 3:24)
  3. We are made alive to God - In Christ (Rom 6:11; 1Cor 15:22)
  4. We have eternal life - In Christ (Rom 6:23)
  5. There is no condemnation - In Christ (Rom 8:1)
  6. We are set free - In Christ (Rom 8:2)
  7. We can not be separated from God's love - In Christ (Rom 8:39)
  8. We are all one body - In Christ (Rom 12:5)
  9. I have reason for boasting in God - In Christ (Rom 15:17)
  10. We are approved by God - In Christ (Rom 16:10)
  11. We are sanctified - In Christ (1Cor 1:2)
  12. I experience God's grace - In Christ (1Cor 1:4)
  13. God chose me - In Christ (1Cor 1:30, Eph 1:4)
  14. We are resurrected from the dead - In Christ (1Cor 15:18-21)
  15. I am triumphant - In Christ (2Cor 2:14)
  16. The veil has been lifted - In Christ (2Cor 3:14)
  17. I am a new creation - In Christ (2Cor 5:17)
  18. We are reconciled to God - In Christ (2Cor 5:19)
  19. We have liberty - In Christ (Gal 2:4)
  20. We are justified by faith - In Christ (Gal 2:16)
  21. We are sons of God - In Christ (Gal 3:26)
  22. We are all one - In Christ (Gal 3:28)
  23. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing - In Christ (Eph 1:3)
  24. We are raised to heavenly places - In Christ (Eph 2:6-7)
  25. I am created for good works - In Christ (Eph 2:10)
  26. I have been brought near to God - In Christ (Eph 2:13)
  27. I can partake in God's promises - In Christ (Eph 3:6)
  28. I have been forgiven by God - In Christ (Eph 4:32)
  29. I place no confidence in my flesh - In Christ (Php 3:3)
  30. My righteousness comes through faith - In Christ (Php 3:9)
  31. My heart and mind is guarded by God's peace - In Christ (Php 4:7)
  32. All my needs will be supplied according to God's riches - In Christ (Php 4:19)
  33. I am complete - In Christ (Col 1:28)
  34. My faith remains stable - In Christ (Col 2:5)
  35. I will give thanks in everything - In Christ (1Thes 5:18)
  36. I am called to salvation by grace not by works - In Christ (2Tim 1:9)
  37. I endure all things for the sake of others - In Christ (2Tim 2:10)
  38. Persecution will come to the godly - In Christ (2Tim 3:12)
  39. Those who revile me because of my faith will be put to shame - In Christ (1Pet 3:16-17)
  40. We will be strengthened and established after suffering for a little while - In Christ (1Pet 5:10)