Category Archives: Chuck Lawless

06/13/18 The Days of Your Youth

READING: Ecclesiastes 7-12

“Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come. . . .”

Ecclesiastes 12:1

I tell folks that we become walking evidences of the fall as we age. We think little about the aging process when we’re young, most assuredly because we see only a strong future in front of us. We look forward to positive things of aging – we will start driving, we’ll finish college degrees, we’ll get married, we’ll have kids, we’ll have a good career, etc. . . .  All is good as we mature as human beings and have families of our own.

But then something happens. It’s almost imperceptible, but it happens. As the writer of Ecclesiastes describes it, we begin the process of decline. Our limbs (the “keepers of the house”—Ecc. 12:3) begin to tremble. Our muscles in the back and legs weaken (“the strong men are bent”—Ecc. 12:3). Our teeth (“grinders”—Ecc. 12:3) become fewer, and our eyes lose their power (“those who look through the window are dimmed”—Ecc. 12:3). Our ears seemingly close, and fears increase. All in all, it makes sense why it is best to start serving the Lord at a younger age.

That is not to say that those with graying hair bring nothing to the table; in fact, the wisdom of the aged is often celebrated in the scriptures. Rather, it is simply an honest recognition of the value of serving the Lord in the days of our youth. I became a Christian at the age of 13, which means that I’ve now had the privilege of serving Him for more than 40 years. I love learning more and more about Him today, but I’m deeply grateful that I was privileged to meet Him in my youth. I’m certain my early conversion has saved me from some heartaches over the years.


• If you became a believer at a young age, thank God.

• Pray by name for a young person today.

PRAYER: “Father, thank You for drawing me to You in my young age. Help me lead other young people to follow You.”

TOMORROW’S READING: 1 Kings 10-11, 2 Chronicles 9, Proverbs 30-31

Source: 06/13/18 The Days of Your Youth

06/12/18 Idolatry of Aloneness —

READING: Ecclesiastes 1-6

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9

Ecc. 4:9-12 “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.”

The writer of Ecclesiastes speaks of the vanity of a person who is always alone, who works to gain riches, yet who has no one to leave his riches to when he dies (Ecc. 4:7-8). He lives for much “stuff,” but he shares life with no one. This life, the writer says, is futile.

Indeed, God created us to be in relationships with others, and we deal with life together in the context of the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:26). If we choose not to develop strong friendships, we miss the value of combined efforts, the power of companionship when struggling, the comfort of shared emotional strength in a cold world, and the strength of protection in numbers. In fact, if one friend makes us stronger, it is even better to have more than one (Ecc. 4:12).

I freely admit that I can tend to be a loner who is far too self-dependent. I grew up leaning on myself for support, and that trait has continued to this day. Some days, I could be the one who “falls alone without another to pick him up.” Hence, I need to live a “three-strand” life that more readily welcomes others into my world.


  • Thank God for the friends who “lock arms” with you in your work.
  • Reach out to a loner today.

PRAYER:“Lord, I don’t want to be a man who lives as a loner. I don’t want to miss all the benefits of having genuine Christian friends. As usual, I need your help.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Ecclesiastes 7-12

via 06/12/18 Idolatry of Aloneness —

04/28/18 Integrity —

READING: Psalms 89,  96, 100, 101, 107

“I will live with a heart of integrity in my house.”

Psalm 101:2

I wonder what intentional commitments to holiness we make. Perhaps some of us made such a commitment several times during our teenage years, but I’m not convinced that most believers commit themselves fully to godliness. Our commitment is sometimes more surface level than deep, evidenced by our lifestyles that are often much like the world.

David, on the other hand, committed himself to godliness as he reigned as king. He did not always live up to his commitment, but the commitment of this psalm was surely genuine at the time. Note his commitments:

  1. He would sing of God’s faithful love and justice, knowing that God’s love is still far beyond his understanding.
  2. He would be a man of complete integrity in the public eye, in his home, and ultimately in his kingdom.
  3. He would not be swayed by false teaching or anything other than God to lead him.
  4. He would not allow sin to cling to him.
  5. He would not live a life of sin; he would not be associated with evil.

As noted, David failed some of these commitments. One would be tempted to ignore what he said here because of his own sin, but that response is not legitimate. Another man’s fall never grants us permission to go in the wrong direction ourselves. Instead, we should consider our own responsibility to God, state our commitments as the psalmist did, and choose to follow Christ fully.


  • Put in writing what your commitment to God is.
  • Ask God to help you to follow Him more fully and passionately.

PRAYER: “God, I make my commitment to You again. Make me a follower of complete integrity.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Review and catch up

via 04/28/18 Integrity —

04/23/18 Worship Him —

READING: Psalms 81, 88, 92, 93 “It is good to give thanks to the Lord.” Psalm 92:1 Yesterday, many of us worshiped the Lord in our various churches. We heard prayers, sang songs, gave offerings, listened to sermons, and fellowshipped with others. I wonder, though, if we truly realize the blessing of doing what we did. I…

via 04/23/18 Worship Him —

04/22/18 His Wondrous Works

READING: Psalm 78

“. . . tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the Lord.”

Psalm 78:4

The psalmist understood something I’m not sure we North American believers understand well enough: we need to make sure our children know our spiritual history. Here’s how the psalmist expressed this mandate in Psalm 78: “We will not hide them [God’s works] from their children, but will tell a future generation the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, his might, and the wondrous works he has performed” (Psa. 78:4). In fact, the Hebrews were to teach their children, who would then teach the next generation “so that they might put their confidence in God and not forget God’s works, but keep his commands” (Psa. 78:7). In that way, future generations would not be like their fathers, who had been “a stubborn and rebellious generation” (Psa. 78:8).

Here are some of the things I wonder if our children and grandchildren know:

  • stories of other ancestors who were believers
  • when and how we became believers
  • when and where we were baptized
  • the sweetest experience we ever had with the Lord
  • the toughest struggle of our spiritual walk
  • significant times of answered prayer
  • how we live out our spiritual disciplines

There is so much we can tell our children and grandchildren! I fear, though, that we seldom get to these stories. We talk about everything else—and I’m grateful for any real conversation between generations—but we don’t take the initiative to talk about what God has done in our life. Most of us need to hear this word again from the psalmist: “We will not hide them from our children.”


  • In prayer, meditate on God’s great works in your life.
  • Perhaps by using something from the list above, tell somebody what God has done in your life.

PRAYER: “Father, I commit to telling my children and grandchildren about Your wondrous works.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 81, 88, 92, 93

Source: 04/22/18 His Wondrous Works

04/18/18 Hope in the Lord —

READING: 1 Chronicles 1-2, Psalm 43-44 “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Psalm 43:5 Sometimes it’s easy to let the circumstances of life trump the depth of our faith. We know what we’re supposed to say—and we might even try to preach to ourselves—but the words sound hollow…

via 04/18/18 Hope in the Lord —

04/17/18 You Have Not Abandoned Me

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 17, 2018 01:30 am

READING: Psalms 6, 9, 10, 14, 16, 21

“Sing to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; proclaim his deeds among the nations.”

Psalm 9:11

I have so much reason to trust God with my life. I could, for example, speak of the ways He has always taken care of me. He loved me and protected me through a broken engagement that I thought would cost me my ministry. He held my hand when I had no idea what direction to go.  He has given me fulfilling jobs (more than one at a time, in fact . . .), and I’ve never been hungry. He has provided when Pam and I wondered how we would pay our bills. He has simply never let us down.

Then I think of others I know who trusted God through difficult times. D, a senior adult who was the only believer in her family. Mrs. M, who cared for our dementia-ridden husband for years. A, who joyously served God despite multiple job losses. L, who stood beside his wife as she lost her battle with cancer. K, a mom who patiently loved and prayed for two wayward children to return to God. J, who faithfully served God in a war-torn country. I could keep writing . . . .

Then, the Bible characters who saw God’s hand are almost too numerous to mention. Noah. Abraham. The rest of the patriarchs. Moses. Joshua. Deborah. Prophets. Disciples. Paul. John. Some paid the ultimate price for following God, but none regretted that commitment. They lived and died trusting Him, as Hebrews 11 shows.

I recall these stories today, and I can echo the words of the psalmist: “Those who know Your name trust in You because You have not abandoned those who seek You, Yahweh” (Psalm 9:10).  Seeing all that God has done for His people in the past ought to give me great confidence today.


  • Review two of the Bible stories noted above, and see God’s hand on His people.
  • Briefly (5 minutes max) draw your life story on a small piece of paper, rejoicing every time God’s hand is apparent.

PRAYER: “God, I praise You for not abandoning Your people. You’re a good, good God.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  1 Chronicles 1-2, Psalm 43-44

Source: 04/17/18 You Have Not Abandoned Me

04/15/18 My Rock

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 15, 2018 01:30 am

READING: Psalm 18

“Lord, you light my lamp; my God illuminates my darkness.”

Psalm 18:28

No matter what we face today, we can find hope in the words of the psalmist in psalm 18. Using multiple warfare images, he reminds us of God’s care and protection for us. In fact, the psalmist piles up the terms as if to say, “Don’t miss these truths. God is all we need.” He is our strength (that is, our source of strength), our rock (the one in whom we hide), our fortress, and our deliverer. We find our refuge in Him, the One who is our shield and our strength (the “horn of our salvation”). He is our protection, our stronghold, our shelter among the rocks. Given all that God is, it’s no wonder the psalmist expressed a deep and emotional love for Him: “I love you, Lord, my strength” (Psa. 18:1).

I pray today is a great day for you. If this day is difficult, though, cling to God as your hiding place. He is indeed “worthy of praise” (Psa. 18:3), and it is right for us to respond with thanksgiving: “Therefore I will give thanks to you among the nations, Lord; I will sing praises about your name” (Psa. 18:49).


  • Let this day be a day filled with God’s praise, perhaps by singing the song, “I Will Call upon the Lord.”
  • Lean on Him for your strength throughout the day.

PRAYER: “I love You, Lord. I truly love You.”


Source: 04/15/18 My Rock

04/14/18 My Help is in the Lord

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 14, 2018 01:30 am

READING: Psalms 121, 123-125, 128-130

“Our help is in the name of the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 124:8

The psalmist in psalm 124 begins with such a simple truth that I almost stumbled over it in my reading today. It really is simple: if the Lord weren’t with the Hebrews, they would have been in trouble. They would have lost battles to their enemies. The waters – perhaps the Red Sea or the Jordan River – would have swept back over them. Indeed, the Hebrews had escaped snares only because their help was in “the name of the Lord,the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psa. 124:8).

This psalm makes me consider how my life would be different if the Lord were not on my side. I cannot know for certain, but these things come to mind:

  • I would be living in my sin, destined for judgment.
  • I would be caught in sin, finding no victory over the struggles of my heart.
  • I would have no one to hear me and help me when I cry out under the strains of life.
  • I would have no church family to walk beside me, encourage me, and pray for me.
  • I would not be forgiven.
  • I would have no purpose in life.
  • I would have no hope.

I could continue to list so many things that would be different if “the Lord had not been on [my] side” (Psa. 124:1), but I don’t have to do that. He loves me, guards me, and forgives me. He is on my side. Blessed be His name!


  • Think about how your life would be different if God weren’t with you.
  • Praise God for the way He cares for you.

PRAYER: “I lift my eyes to You, Lord, and focus on You. Thank You for being on my side.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Catch up and review

Source: 04/14/18 My Help is in the Lord

04/13/18 Unfaithfulness and Death

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 13, 2018 01:30 am

READING: 1 Samuel 28-31, 1 Chronicles 10

“So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse.”

1 Chronicles 10:14

Saul was dead, and the writer of Chronicles understood his death in theological terms: “Saul died for his unfaithfulness to the Lord because he did not keep the Lord’s word. He even consulted a medium for guidance, but he did not inquire of the Lord. So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse” (1 Chron. 10:13-14). The chronicler’s understanding was twofold: Saul died because he was disobedient to the Lord, but God was ultimately in control of Saul’s death. A righteous God brought judgment on a disobedient king, and the judgment was severe.

Saul was unfaithful to the Lord. He did not keep the Lord’s word. He consulted a medium rather than consult the Lord.  The cost was heavy. Indeed, it was judgment and death.

There is much we can learn from this simple summary. First, our sin has consequences. We know that, but seldom do we see it stated as clearly as, “Saul died for his unfaithfulness to the Lord.” Second, God draws a line in the sand. We can sin against Him so recurrently that He calls us home in judgment; in the New Testament, it’s the step of turning someone over to Satan “for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Cor. 5:5). Third, God uses even judgment to accomplish His plan, even as He opened the door for giving the kingdom to David at the death of Saul.

Clearly, we must think about our walk with God every day and make the decision to follow Him fully.


  • Each step of the way today, be faithful to God.
  • Pray for someone you know who is living in disobedience.

PRAYER: “God, guard me. Keep me from living in disobedience.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 121, 123-125, 128-130

Source: 04/13/18 Unfaithfulness and Death

04/11/18 Foolishness

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 11, 2018 01:30 am

READING: 1 Samuel 25-27; Psalms 17, 73

“Nobody can talk to him.”

1 Samuel 25:17

Nabal must have been quite a problem.  A “very rich man with three thousand sheep and one thousand goats” (1 Sam. 25:2), he denied David’s request for provisions for his men in response to their protecting Nabal’s shepherds in the field. The narrator of this story tells us that Nabal was “harsh and evil in his dealings” (1 Sam. 25:5). Even Nabal’s wife, Abigail, said of him, “His name means ‘stupid,’ and stupidity is all he knows” (1 Sam. 25:25). It’s one of his servants, though, who best tells us about Nabal: “He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!”(1 Sam. 25:17).

He was so evil and arrogant that no one could have a reasonable conversation with him. My hunch is that he would not listen to anyone anyway.

I hope I’m not like Nabal. I don’t want to be stupid or harsh in my dealings with others. I trust my heart is nowhere near as wicked as Nabal’s heart. On the other hand, I know there are times when I’ve been stubborn—perhaps even rude—when I’ve set my mind on one idea or thought and refused to listen to others. Sometimes I’ve been foolishly wrong but still wouldn’t listen. I know I can be obstinate enough that someone might say of me, “Nobody can talk to him!”

Please pray for me that I will recognize when my heart is leaning in that wrong direction. The one with whom no one else can have a conversation is foolish indeed.


  • Check your own teachability, especially when you’re convinced you are right.
  • Ask someone who knows you well just how teachable you really are.

PRAYER: “Lord, help me not to be so foolish that others cannot even have a conversation with me.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 35, 54, 63, 18

Source: 04/11/18 Foolishness

04/10/18 God for Us

READING: Psalms 56, 120, 140-142

“I cry to you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my shelter, my portion in the land of the living.’”

Psalm 142:5

David may have written Psalm 56 in a time when he was threatened by the Philistines. Regardless of the background, though, it’s evident the psalmist felt some sense of fear, but he made the deliberate choice to trust God anyway. He would not fear, for what could man do to him if God were for him? God was well aware of all the psalmist faced, and none of his sufferings escaped His view. Not a tear would fall from his eyes that God would not take note of. The psalmist’s enemies would not win, for God was on the side of the psalmist: “Then my enemies will retreat on the day when I call. This I know: God is for me” (Psa. 56:9).

How much do we know for certain simply because we know that God is on our side? We know that God works all things together for good for those who love Him. He forgives our sin and drops it to the bottom of the ocean. He has already disarmed the powers that battle against us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He meets all of our needs. He has given us eternal life, and nobody can pluck us from His hand. He will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

These thoughts, of course, are just a starting point. There is much we can count on because God is with us and for us. Our problem is that we too often forget these truths when the circumstances we face seem overwhelming. We need to remember to cry out to the Lord and trust that He hears.


  • Cry out the Lord with whatever you face today.
  • Thank God that He is with you.

PRAYER: “God, I praise You. Thank You for being with me.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  1 Samuel 25-27; Psalms 17, 73

Source: 04/10/18 God for Us

04/09/18 Confidence

READING: Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34, 52

“But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’”

Psalm 31:14

Read today’s news, and you’ll quickly see that life is filled with trouble. Natural disasters. Destructive fires. Unexpected deaths. Political intrigue. Chemical attacks. Ongoing wars. Child abuse. Facebook controversies. Bus crashes. Stock market issues. Terrorist attacks. Frankly, the world is so frightening that it almost feels best not to think about these things at all.

I am reminded today, though, that no matter what we face in life, we can have confidence in the Lord. The psalmist knew that truth and leaned on it regardless of what enemies he faced. Let his words speak for themselves:

  • “My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.” (Psa. 7:10)
  • “Though an army deploys against me, my heart will not be afraid; though a war breaks out against me, I will still be confident.” (Psa. 27:3)
  • “But I trust in you, Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ The course of my life is in your power; rescue me from the power of my enemies and from my persecutors.” (Psa. 31:14-15)
  • “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles. The Lord is near the brokenhearted; he saves those crushed in spirit.” (Psa. 34:17-18)
  • “I will praise you forever for what you have done. In the presence of your faithful people, I will put my hope in your name, for it is good.” (Psa. 52:9)

What the psalmist understood is that God is bigger than anything we’re up against. I need to remember that truth as well, not letting my heart get consumed by circumstances that are tiny compared to the bigness of the God of the Bible.


  • Hold on to the verses listed above, and turn to them as you need them today.
  • If you’re already losing the battle to your circumstances, turn back to God now.

PRAYER: “God, thank You for being my shield. I trust You today.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 56, 120, 140-142

Source: 04/09/18 Confidence

04/08/18 Encouragement

READING: 1 Samuel 23

“Then Saul’s son Jonathan came to David in Horesh and encouraged him [David] in his faith in God.”

1 Samuel 23:16

It’s just one verse in this past week’s reading, but it hit home a lot for me. David was on the run from Saul, seeking hiding places from the jealous king. Saul’s son Jonathan appeared in the story again, always supportive and encouraging toward David. The description of his friendship is simple but powerful: “Then Saul’s son Jonathan came to David in Horesh and encouraged him [David] in his faith in God” (1 Sam. 23:16). More literally, Jonathan “strengthened David’s hand” by reminding him of God’s presence and promise.

I cannot speak enough of the believers who have encouraged Pam, me, and her family this past week in her mom’s passing. It’s been quite amazing, actually. Our friends and colleagues at Southeastern Seminary and our church members at Restoration Church in Wake Forest have been supportive in their prayers, phone calls, and emails. Friends from several churches Pam and I have served together through the years have reconnected with us through Facebook to express their sympathy. Folks we have not seen in years, but whom we’ve never forgotten, took time to visit with us at the visitation and funeral. Even today, we received more notes, cards, and texts from friends who encourage us in our faith.

I suppose, though, that I should not be surprised. Over the years, God has always given us brothers and sisters in Christ who’ve been there just in time to strengthen us in our walk with God. That’s just the way He works.


  • Encourage somebody in his or her walk with God today. Perhaps that person will be your pastor.
  • Don’t miss the people whose very presence might encourage you today.

PRAYER: “God, thank You for people who encourage me. Help me to strengthen somebody else today.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Psalms 7, 27, 31, 34, 52

Source: 04/08/18 Encouragement

04/07/18 Resting in His Care

READING: 1 Samuel 21-24, Psalm 91

“When he calls out to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble.”

Psalm 91:15

Each day that I read the newspaper, I can’t avoid the realities of danger and death all around the world. From the front page to the back page are stories of anguish and pain.  Obituaries speak of old and young alike; all of us die, and some at surprisingly young ages. I have occasionally heard it said that “religion is just for the weak,” and I deny that conclusion overall – but I also admit that my faith in Jesus does indeed give me hope and strength in a world I can’t control. I admit that I find comfort in scriptures like Psalm 91.

I need to know that God is “my refuge and my fortress” (Psa. 91:2), the one who grants me safety under His wings. It does me good to know that he can protect me from traps, battles, plagues, and enemies. He may choose to do otherwise, of course, but I can always trust that He loves me enough to allow what is best for me and for His glory. If I have a long life, it will be because He has chosen to grant it to me.

My prayer today is that God will say of me what He said of the psalmist: that I have made the Lord my dwelling place, that my heart is set on Him, that I know His name, and that I call out to Him in times of trouble. I want to rest in Him.


  • Use the latter paragraph of this devotion to evaluate your life. Would God say of you what He said of the psalmist?
  • Whatever you face today, call out to God quickly.

PRAYER: “Father, be my dwelling place today.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Catch up and review

Source: 04/07/18 Resting in His Care

04/06/18 Knit Together

READING: 1 Samuel 17-20, Psalm 59

“Jonathan was bound to David in close friendship.”

1 Samuel 18:1

It is difficult, if not impossible, to explain the depth of relationships God gives His people. Ideally, we are raised in Christian homes, come to know Christ personally, and our parents and siblings become brothers and sisters in Christ as well. That way, our earthly family becomes our eternal family, too—and that’s as sweet as it gets.

At the same time, though, God gives us others whose friendships with us are divinely orchestrated and blessed. David and Jonathan experienced such a friendship. While the relationship may well have had a political component to it—and nothing about it suggests a homosexual attraction—the text is clear that their connection was deep:

  • “Jonathan was bound to David in close friendship, and loved him as much as he loved himself” (1 Sam. 18:1, CSB)
  • “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1 Sam. 18:1, ESV)

More literally, their souls were “chained together,” and Jonathan honored David by giving him his armor and his clothing—likely signifying his recognition that David would be the next in line to the throne. They were committed to God first and then to each other, as evidenced in the covenant they established together. The two became brothers in a way that went far beyond natural brothers who shared a family of origin.

Today, I’m grateful for these kinds of brothers in my life. My natural brother, Allen, is also my Christian brother, and God has also given me other brothers for whom I would give my life. Only He knits souls together that way.


  • If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, follow Him by confessing your sin to Him, turning from it, and trusting Him with your life. Follow Him first, and then love others.
  • Thank God for the unique brothers and sisters He gives you.

PRAYER: “God, I thank You for the people You put in my life. They are unique gifts of love.”


04/05/18 Outward Appearances

READING: 1 Samuel 13-16

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord

looks on the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

Perhaps the story of David in the Bible is one of those stories that we know so well that we take it for granted. From the early years of my Christian walk, I recall these truths about David and his story:

  1. David was a man after God’s own heart.
  2. David was a reminder that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance.
  3. David was a shepherd who defeated the giant, Goliath.
  4. David sinned with Bathsheba.

My recollection is that my Sunday school teachers and pastor emphasized #1, 3, and 4 above, but I don’t recall spending much time talking about #2. In fact, I remember talking about #2 only in light of my own calling and licensing to preach. I was called to preach when I was 13 and licensed to preach when I was 16 – so I was “but a youth” at the time. My similarities to David probably ended there, but the conversation was affirming to me. I needed to know that I may have been only a teenager (and hardly the tallest or strongest of the teens in the room), but God was looking at my heart. That truth gave me confidence to press on with my calling even though I didn’t understand all that it meant.

Now many years later, I still need the reminder that God looks at the heart. I can’t do much about my height or my stature these days, and I realize the importance of my inner being over my physical size, anyway. What I sometimes too easily forget, though, is that God sees what nobody else sees. I suspect I sometimes think more about how I “appear” outwardly to people as a leader and pastor than how I truly am before God who knows me fully. Even we who never want to be different on the outside and the inside sometimes fall into that same trap – we let the way others view us matter more to us than how God views us.


  • Decide if you’re ever guilty of what I described above. If so, be honest in your confession to God.
  • Under God’s grace and with His help, work on your heart today.

PRAYER: “God, I don’t want to be consumed by how I ‘appear’ to others. Fix my heart for Your glory.”


04/02/18 The Burden Bearer

By Chuck Lawless on Apr 02, 2018 01:30 am

READING: 1 Samuel 1-3

“I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”

1 Samuel 1:16

It’s hard to explain what it’s like to “pour your soul out” to the Lord. The burden is so heavy that it’s almost impossible to carry—so great that it’s agonizing during the day and sleep-draining during the night. You can almost reach out and touch the burden, as if it stares you in the face and blocks your path each day. It’s just there, and it’s in the way.

Hannah felt such a burden. She was childless, and her desire to be a mother was strong. Taunts from her child-bearing rival, Peninnah, only exacerbated the issues for her. Annually, she wept and prayed at the Lord’s house; so great was her burden that she did not even eat. Even her husband Elkanah could not fully grasp the weightiness of her struggle. Surely he was better than ten sons to Hannah, he thought. Nevertheless, Hannah’s burden was deep, and it was ongoing.

Her burden is perhaps most evident in her silent prayers before the Lord. Eli the priest thought she must have been drunk (as most of the praying in the ancient world would have been verbalized aloud), but that wasn’t the case at all. In Hannah’s own words, “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment” (1 Sam. 1:15-16). Out of her pain, she had been praying intensely to the One who could make a difference. He would indeed do that by sending a son, Samuel.

God is still the One who can bear our burdens for us. Our responsibility is to take those burdens to Him and pour them out like they were water. We do not bear the burdens on our own.


  • Determine what burdens you most often carry on your own.
  • Whatever your burden is, pour it out to God today.

PRAYER: “Father, I give You my heart. This burden is too heavy for me.”


Source: 04/02/18 The Burden Bearer