Daily Devotions

Pursuit of Greatness

Of the many strengths we observe in those who invest their lives to make a significant difference, one special positive is the human desire for greatness. Zeal to become someone great is not the same as lust for power or fame but rather the integral character strength of people who work hard even when no one is looking, who show others compassion even when not deserved and a strong will to endure, no matter what.

Without question, too, longing for greatness accelerates when surrounded by great people – those naturally leading along paths to greatness: Parents who understand the big picture and mentors with vision, who challenge and challenge and challenge again until finally chronological maturity and destiny for mission converge in a moment of decision, the next step. The cutting edge is fear-inducing and full of risk but for those pursuing greatness it’s everything.

To the faithful you show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity. To the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd. You rescue the humble, but you humiliate the proud.  (Psalm 18: 25-27)


Psalm 18


Like ocean depths and mountain heights the Lord determines boundaries for everything. His limits are boundaries of purpose. And when God’s people gather, the big picture emerges. Knowing each part, we esteem every part; we each carry His fragrance and His hand upon our lives.

Today we cannot go everywhere but we will go somewhere. Supernatural power accompanies us, lining the path to aim us: “This is the way – come this way.” Divine presence is the keeping boundary as paths open. Sensitivity to His leading tells me when the opening is mine. 

Count the cost before building. Define boundaries and write the vision so vision is clear for others to follow. If you see the vision you can write the vision. Once written, you can believe and develop faith for it and then, by faith, you do the vision.

Write the new vision – define, and make plain the boundaries.


Proverbs 8:29 | 2Corinthians 4:6-7 | Isaiah 30:21 | 2Corinthians 2:14-15 | Luke 14:28Verses@Once


The Lord sanctified one day in the week and called it holy, a set-apart day—a Sabbath.

In Jewish communities around the world, nightfall on Friday begins the Jewish Sabbath. Throughout the day on Friday, flower vendors are busy, the aroma of fresh bread fills the air as the brisk pace of preparation is everywhere. By mid-afternoon the pace slows; shops close, customers in market areas gradually disappear, and everything begins to quiet as the setting of the sun marks the day’s end. Thus begins a new Sabbath and the experience of God’s Spirit in a special way.

The word Sabbath appears in the Bible more than one hundred times, half of which are in the New Testament. Jesus taught not to judge one another according to keeping Sabbath in a legalistic or ritualistic way; He also taught the reality and Spirit of keeping the Sabbath: Six days men pursue a way that seems right to them, but on the Sabbath Day, hearts recalibrate, soften, and become sensitive to the One whose way proves perfect.

As a Christian I cherish God’s provision in a day set apart—a day to concentrate on the Lord, a Sabbath Day. Some don’t agree and honestly see keeping the Sabbath as legalistic carry-over from pre-Christian times but I believe keeping the Sabbath, and the spirit of the Sabbath, is an eternal response to God’s Word of blessing for His people.

For one thing, the Sabbath is holy, a day to rest. The Sabbath is God’s provision for the human body—to protect it from disease, heal the heart of heaviness, and relieve the brain of tensions and driving routine. This “slow down” benefits the entire human being of spirit, soul and body with recovery, rescue, a sense of fresh vision and rekindled hope.

Sabbath is a gathering time for family, practically and spiritually a protection for affections between family members and a time together without outside demands. Sabbath is a time to refocus on God’s goodness expressed in family, with the Lord at the center, a time to slow the pace and “time” unlike other days in the week to experience His love and re-focus ours.

Shabbat Shalom – peace!


Genesis 2:2-3Mark 2:27-28Matthew 5:17-18, Verses @ Once 


For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—Romans 1:11

As disciples of our Lord we’ve come to realize what the Apostle Paul demonstrated, that inevitably we come to crossroads in the journey when an impartation from one whose life is proven is needed. Concerning Paul, an impartation from his life and anointing was the ingredient necessary for those he ministered to needed to navigate hard places and intricate spots. Solid teaching is important, but teaching alone isn’t enough. In pursuit of the Spirit’s lead without wavering, what multiplied hours of instruction has not done, five seconds of impartation does!

We identify with Paul in His longing to reach the people, to physically get to them, to impart to them! Paul knew an impartation would advance the Kingdom in their lives. Elders know the principle and is the reason we often find them pressing—listening. Sooner or later we too are also drawn to this principle—to depths we couldn’t have known otherwise, even the realization we’re really hearing for the first time and because of impartations from those whose lives are proven, we finally understand and now . . . we have it!


Romans 1:11


For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.  Titus 2: 11-14, NLT

I love that we hear more and more how the Lord’s grace is sufficient for each and every day and that nothing escapes the goodness of God expressed as grace. For those who gratefully receive grace to live above condemnation, we have been freed to live knowing missteps are covered as we give our all, our very best, in pursuit of and aligned with His Word, on purpose.

Grace teaches us to believe strongly, stand firmly, lead by example, live demonstrative faith and love God completely; true Bible grace is a stronghold for the godly, a joy greater than weak-willed excuses and a triumph of redemption over rigid and legalistic doctrine; God’s grace silences rule-mongers and gives voice to born-again hearts who honor His Word and reach by faith for the highest heights of His love.

Grace teaches us to say “no” to ungodly and worldly passions; grace encourages self-controlled lifestyles and righteous living, despite the noise of our culture. Jesus gives redemption from wickedness to purify and set apart all for Himself. He is Grace. He makes a way even when there is no way. Grace leads the way out!

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grace be with you all. (Titus 3:15)


Ref: Grace and Peace to you.
Romans 1:7, 1Corinthians 1:3, 2Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians 1:2, Colossians 1:2, 1Thessalonians 1:1, 2Thessalonians 1:2, & Philemon 1:3


The Lord’s end time plan unfolds and with it, divine pressure applies to things He never intended for The “routine” moves aside, refining everything excellent into one thing–convergence! It’s what we see now, prophetically as all things come together, including all that’s taken place until now, a new form unlike the old one, uniquely created by refining processes over time.

Convergence means to unite or merge groups or tendencies that originally were opposed or very different. For example, Jerusalem is in convergence. Jerusalem is “a city compacted together”, the city on earth converging with the Jerusalem above . . . a city above a city, converging more and more to fulfill John’s vision in The Revelation: “And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.”  Heaven and earth draw closer.

God walked with Adam in the garden until that relationship was lost, but at Calvary and since, all those born-again are restored under Adam’s original open heaven, God’s Spirit resident now and His heavens moving into position for that future day. We often pray Lord, rend the heavens and come down, a prophetic calling forth of a future day when the Lord Himself will literally, split the Eastern sky and come down!

Best of all, God’s people are in convergence; a supernatural joining, overshadowing conditions around us, nothing held back! For you, this means an avalanche of revelation and goodness, breakthrough and overthrow; the thief is bound, the spoiler found out, and corruption is driven from governance.

It’s what we pray for. I believe it.


Psalm 122:3 | Revelation 3:12; 21:2 | Genesis 3:8 | Verses@Once

His Purposes In Your Situation

Do not fear for your future. Fear, not your future and not your situation today, is the troubler of anyone facing life-altering possibilities. In the shift, everything will be shaken; and, in the shaking, wrong things that have been tolerated become more emboldened. Your choice must be truth. The truth of God’s Word. He will never leave or forsake you!

No matter what, commit to maintain your dignity in God. Head up, shoulders straight, think clearly, one day at a time—you can do anything a day at a time! Decide the Lord has divine purpose in the situation, possibly even to change your purpose. Patiently allow Him to merge the two, His purpose and yours. And be thankful . . . there’s always a fourth man in the furnace!

You are not alone!


The Land

I will gather the armies of the world into the valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will judge them for harming my people, my special possession, for scattering my people among the nations, and for dividing up my land. (Joel 3:2, NLT)

Land ownership and authority for land stewardship belong to God and He gives both to men and women who respect His stewardship plan and honor His ownership completely. An unfortunate twist on this truth can be seen in philosophies that promote worship of the land and its God-given resources.

Don’t be misled. Land worship is pagan—not Christian. Planet Earth is not our “mother” and did not give us life. All life begins with God. A mother’s womb is where we began—also God’s idea, a gift from Him.

Also unfortunate is the disregard by some for God’s right to dictate land boundaries. For example, and to be specific, the land of Israel belongs to the Lord Himself. The consequences of violating God’s ownership of the land and its borders are serious, much like stealing from God.

A violation of God-given land borders like the borders of ancient Israel risks the loss of God’s blessing. Israel “the people” and Israel “the land” belong to God which explains why, as Christians, we bless and defend the right of the Jewish State of Israel to her God-given borders and we bless and defend God’s ancient people, the Jews.


Joel 3:2, Psalm 122, Genesis 15:18, Psalm 24:1-10, Verses@Once

Teach Your Children To Tithe

Teach your children to tithe—”a tenth” of everything received into THEIR hands, given back to the Lord from THEIR hands. It’s the way you train children to put God first and, as they learn this truth, they’ll prove the principle “as the twig is bent so grows the tree.”

It’s important to teach our children to recognize money as one way they place “value.” Show them how to tithe the first part—the best part; and teach them how to pray as they tithe so they’ll understand bringing the tithe to the Lord is not a bill you pay but rather, a matter of the heart—and gratitude.

Teach them to put God first: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Children come into the world with a calling. See to it that you discern that calling and sacrifice if necessary to develop it, realizing the world system will also call them, though not in the God-sense.

The Lord’s plan is to send your children into the world as the head, not the tail but the world system will attempt to use the, for someone else’s gain. So teach them early, by age five affections are focused.

The boy David killed a lion and a bear and as a result developed an inner knowing of who he was in God and what he could therefore accomplish. That knowing convinced David he would prevail over Goliath—he never doubted it. The same can be true for your children. Be sure they learn early so they will not be persuaded later that God’s Word is not true or that He will not do what His Word says He will do.

Declare Isaiah 61:7-9 for your children each day.


Exodus 20:3 | Deuteronomy 5:7 | Isaiah 61:7-9 | Verses@Once

Held Before The Lord

Jesus’ ministry was larger than one man. As heaven’s emissary on divine mission, Jesus carried the presence and authority of the Almighty—every step and word generating a solid case for the love of God, on assignment from the Godhead to deliver mankind from evil and bring forth many believers who would do the same.

His ambassadorship of compassion continues today, shaping the worldview of disciples on assignment with Him, His ministry still larger than one man and His path still marked with specific incidences of supernatural intervention.

A man infirmed for thirty-eight years encountered Him at Bethesda—a pool near Jerusalem’s Sheep Gate. Jesus initiated the contact, there was no apparent effort by the man; in brief conversation with Jesus the afflicted one revealed hope that, one day, His situation would change. It did, that day!

The ambassadorship we carry is patterned identically this way. We are sent to offer what Jesus began, everything from compassion for the broken to firestorms of faith-prayer against roots of brokenness. We are on assignment . . . messengers not only of hope but realities of the Kingdom, a way of life for those who believe.

Wisdom guides us. Joy is our strength. Confidence motivates us and our paths, like His, flood those we are sent to with specific incidences of supernatural intervention. 


John 5


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Thank you for your daily devotions. I look forward to reading them every day. -D.L., Missouri

Thank you for your timely messages Shirley. They are always such a good word for the day, week, month & always! We appreciate you here. -B.W. Washington, DC