My Devotionals


Why God Doesn’t Need You to Finish Your To-Do List

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more….And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:1, 5)

Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen that 1) our longing for timelessness is good and God-given, but that 2) sin has ensured we will all die with “unfinished symphonies.”

Where’s the hope? Our hope is found in Jesus Christ walking out of the tomb that first Easter morning with a redeemed body that could not be destroyed again. The resurrection was Jesus’s way of declaring that our longing for immortality has been right all along and that through him, we too can experience eternal life. 

But Easter wasn’t just the beginning of eternal life. Easter marked the inauguration of God’s eternal kingdom...

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The Truth About Our Never-Ending To-Do Lists

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (Genesis 3:17-19)

We’re in a series exploring 5 biblical truths about time and productivity. Last week, we saw Truth #1: That our longing for timelessness is good and God-given. Today’s passage reveals Truth #2: That while we still long for timelessness, sin has ensured we will all die with unfinished work.

When sin entered the world, death was ushered in alongside it. Human beings, who were created to be immortal, became mortal. Work, which was...

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5 Biblical Truths About Time and Productivity

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Deep in our bones, we know that we were created to live forever. It’s why we are drawn to stories like Narnia and Frozen in which death is ultimately a lie.

But we don’t just long to live forever, we also long to be productive forever. Now, we don’t feel like this every day. Sin has made work and our efforts to be productive difficult. But something in our souls (and God’s Word) shows us that work was meant to be very good (see Genesis 1 and 2).

I think we have all caught glimpses of what work must have been like prior to the Fall. You deliver a killer sales pitch and feel completely in your element. Or finish writing a great chapter and can’t wait to share it with your spouse. Or hammer the last nail into a table and step...

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3 ways to hustle less and trust more

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, trusting is the difficult yet simple act of recognizing that we are not responsible for producing results through our work—God is. 

Once we understand that, it is certainly right to “hustle,” to, as the Apostle Paul said, “strenuously contend with all the energy” we have for the glory of God and the good of others (see Colossians 1:29).

The tension between trusting and hustling isn’t meant to be resolved. It is meant to be embraced. How do you know if you are embracing that tension well? I’d argue that the best indicator is whether or not you can rest.

Are you unwilling to close your laptop or stop checking email late into the night? Are...

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The absurdity of “letting go and letting God”

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)

This verse is one of the most frequently quoted by proponents of the “Let go and let God” philosophy of life. But the context of this verse completely undermines this thinking.

The Israelites are standing at the edge of the Red Sea about to be obliterated by the Egyptians who are rushing in to take God’s people back into slavery. That’s when Moses utters the words of Exodus 14:14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Watch what happens next: “Then the Lord said to Moses…Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground” (Exodus 14:15-16).

So, immediately after Moses essentially says, “Let go and let God, trust him and be still,” God says, “Move on,” get going, the Egyptians are about to destroy...

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Which “chariots” and “horses” are you trusting in at work today?

You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth. (Deuteronomy 8:17-18)

You’ll likely see the fruit of today’s work fairly quickly. You’ll sit down at your laptop, and an hour later you’ll have a finished PowerPoint and be ready for your meeting. Or you’ll scrub in for surgery, and a few hours later your patient will be sewn up as good as new. At a minimum, you’ll go to work today, and within a couple of weeks, money will appear in your bank account as a recognition of your hard work.

With such a seemingly direct connection between our work and the results of our work, it can be easy to believe that it is our intellect, skill, and “hustle,” that is producing these results. But as today’s passage reveals, ultimately it is God alone who produces fruit in our endeavors....

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“My job is faithfulness. God’s is fruitfulness.”

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. (1 Corinthians 3:5-7)

I was recently reading Gospelbound by the editors of The Gospel Coalition when I came across these words from John Piper: “My job is faithfulness. God’s is fruitfulness.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have shared that quote in the past couple of months. It so beautifully encapsulates an idea I have written about many times before—namely that Christ-followers ought to have a unique relationship with the word “hustle.”

Let me explain.

The rise of the increasingly dominant “hustle culture” has been well documented for years now. The idea is that if you want things to happen...

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2 books of the Bible that don’t mention God

esther on work Jul 05, 2021

King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew…”write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”…Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king. The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies. (Esther 8:7-8, 10-11)

There are two books of the Bible that never mention God by name: Song of Solomon and Esther, which we have been exploring these past four weeks.

But is God “absent” from these...

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God didn’t need Esther. And he doesn’t need you.

esther on work Jun 28, 2021

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

Last week, we focused on the second half of this famous verse. Today, I want to turn our attention to the first half. 

But first, a quick recap. Esther, a Jew, has been chosen to be the new queen of King Xerxes, a pagan ruler who has sanctioned plans to kill all of God’s people in his kingdom. Esther’s uncle Mordecai issues a passionate plea to his niece to use her position of influence in the palace to convince the king to stop this assault on God’s people. 

Esther eventually agrees, but check out what Mordecai said would have happened had Esther failed to act: “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place” (emphasis mine).


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Has the “palace” of your work become a prison?

esther on work Jun 21, 2021

When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:12-16)

If you missed last week’s devotional, let me bring you up to speed. Esther has been chosen by King Xerxes to be his new queen. Xerxes has no idea that Esther is of Jewish descent, but he does know (and has...

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