Life This Side of Heaven

Life This Side of Heaven


Audible devotions for your day every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Join us as we rejoice in His grace, knowing from His Word that He loves us and forgives us, and confident that He is with us every step of the way – on this side of heaven. Devotions for real life.

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1085 episodes

Your Morning Wake-Up Routine

In recent years, folks have been paying more attention to their wake-up routines. Suggestions are given to such beneficial activities such as throwing open the curtains to let the sun shine in. As a means of reducing stress, and putting the days events in order, encouragement is given to set aside some time for mindfulness and meditation. But did you know that having a morning routine such as this has actually been around for some time? In fact, Paul points to one here in Ephesians.

Mar 22
For Crying Out Loud

For crying out loud! Chances are good that when someone’s annoyed, you may have heard them use this phrase. The season of Lent reminds us that there's a time for crying out loud, but for a number of different reasons.

Mar 20
Don't Take My Word For It

Back in 1983, PBS launched a show with the goal of encouraging children to read. It was called “Reading Rainbow,” and it was hosted by television and movie star, LeVar Burton. Each episode focused on a topic from the featured children’s book for that day. And having piqued the curiosity of his young audience, he would wrap it all up with what became a signature phrase of the show, “But, don’t take my word for it.” John tells us of a woman, who having met Jesus, went home to tell everyone back in town of their Savior. And you can almost imagine her finishing with this famous phrase.

Mar 17
How Do I Look?

Photo filters provide a quick and easy way to enhance your images on social media to give you that unrealistic and glossy look of a movie star. The hope is to hide the sun damage to our skin, wrinkles brought on by age, dark circles under eyes from lack of sleep, scars, freckles, acne, blemishes and more. However, the thing about a filter such as this is that it doesn’t actually undo the blemishes. It simply pretends that they’re not there. Lent reminds us that we have a Savior who has something much better in mind. And it reminds to us of how God now sees you and me through faith.

Mar 15
Is The Lord Among Us Or Not?

It's been observed in recent years that the level of anger in our culture seems to have increased.  Perhaps you’ve noticed it, too. So, the climate of discontent, that Moses describes here among God’s people in Exodus, doesn’t sound that much different from what you and I are experiencing today. But it's not always easy to distinguish anger from fear. Fear and worry tend to trigger anger. So, what was it that was making the people afraid? Moses puts his finger on it when he goes on to quote the question they were asking, “Is the LORD among us or not?” Have you ever felt tempted to ask that question as well?

Mar 13
Quick, Bring Water!

“Quick, bring boiling water!” If you’ve ever watched an old western movie, or a television show from the sixties, you’ll recognize that classic line. It’s usually shouted whenever a woman goes into labor and a child is about to be born. Someone yells, “Quick, get some boiling water!” But have you ever wondered why? Nicodemus must have scratched his head, too, and wondered when Jesus told Him, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again," and then mentioned water.

Mar 10
Not Patched, But Covered Completely

With a unique Greek word, Paul lets you know that whenever your conscience howls, and the adversary would have you think you’re exposed to judgement, your sins have been covered – by God Himself.

Mar 08
Blessed To Be A Blessing

It's tempting to look at what’s recorded for us in the Old Testament as simply a collection of cautionary tales from the past, and a wagging finger, warning us what not to do. Or maybe even a sepia-toned collection of photos with little bearing on our life today. But it’s so much more than that. This account, recorded by Moses in Genesis, is as much about you and me as it is about Abraham. And it’s way too good to forget.

Mar 06
A Fashion Show For Lent

Although it’s still winter right now, Spring is just around the corner. And for those who keep up with the latest styles, Fashion Week is underway in Paris. This is where the industry's top designers reveal their upcoming collections in a series of shows. But in these weeks leading up to Spring there’s also another line of clothes to consider. Have a look at this series of Lenten fashions that culminates with Easter.

Mar 03
Where Are You?

Have you ever played hide and seek with a small child? You can’t help but chuckle and smile. When they’re really young they’ll often put their hands over the eyes and assume that if they can’t see you then you can’t see them. It's not that much different than what Adam and Eve did when they fell into sin. And like them, we also tend to hide from God in our guilt and shame. But you and I have a loving God who calls us to repentance and asks, "Where are you?"

Mar 01
What Is Temptation?

What exactly is temptation? Is it that chocolate cheesecake behind the glass at the bakery? Is it the urge not to report income on your taxes? Is it the coworker who stays late at the office and seems a little too friendly and available? What would you say if I told you that it’s none of these?

Feb 27
Wait Until Everyone Hears This!

If I was with Peter, James and John on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured in glory, I’d want to tell everybody. So, it may leave us scratching our heads to hear what Matthew says next:  As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen.” If you're like me, wouldn't you have wanted to blurt out, “Wait, what? Are you kidding? Why not?”

Feb 24
Discovering The Cure For Death

A few years ago, Britain’s Guardian newspaper described a tech billionaire who “is on a mission to change the world through technology – and to find a cure for death.”  Ok, I’m guessing that it was the second part of that description that got you attention. If that's true, then you're going to want to hear this important Ash Wednesday announcement.

Feb 22
Moses, What Did You See?

It's incredible to hear how God called Moses up onto the mountain in Exodus. If I was one of those on the plain, down below, I might have felt like asking the prophet, “What did you see? All they could see was a cloud. In most cases, folks are disappointed when a cloud obscures their view. In this case, there was a good reason.

Feb 20
Our Epic Fail, His Epic Triumph

The choice was obvious. It’s hard to imagine how it could have been easier. The answer was spelled out right there for everyone to see and the prize was in reach. But the wrong choice was made. It went on to be described as the "most epic fail, maybe of all time." Well, maybe not the most epic fail of all time. Moses describes that one for us here in Deuteronomy.

Feb 17
Famous Farmers Or Faithful Servants?

The apostle explains that there were some in Corinth saying, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos.” While we may shake our heads and dismiss this is as a part of first century fan culture, consider how we may do the same with our pastors today? It’s hard not to have favorites. However, not only can this be disruptive, it also overlooks a marvelous truth.

Feb 15

Imagine if calling someone an “airhead” was an offense that would wind you up in court?  What would you say if by dismissing someone as a “fool” you run the risk of finding yourself in hell?  Chances are good that you might smile or even burst out laughing. After all, try counting how often it happens on the nightly news. Mudslinging become an accepted part of our national conversation and a staple of social media. So, what are we to make of these admonitions from our Savior?

Feb 13
A Side Benefit Of Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is five days from now. And while some may chalk up the festivities to just another way for candy makers and card manufacturers to make a buck, it often serves another another useful purpose. It proves something important that Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians.

Feb 10
Fun Uncle Or Forgiving Savior

Today, it’s tempting to cast Jesus in the roll of the "fun uncle."  You know, the guy who likes to loosen the requirements that Dad and Mom have set out and break the rules, that let you get away with those things you folks would never permit. It’s in this light that Jesus is mistakenly portrayed as a maverick, someone who came to shake things up and soften the harsh requirements of the law. But for those who were tempted to think of Jesus as setting aside God’s Law, nothing could be further from the truth. What we have is something much better.

Feb 08
Be All That You ... Are

Consider how necessary it is to have good headlights and salted roads when you’re driving on these dark, icy nights. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declared that, in this world darkened by sin, as His redeemed children you and I are both - salt and light.

Feb 06
Snobby Christians And Jumbo Shrimp

Are Christians snobby? Are pastors pretentious? That would make about as much sense as the phrase “jumbo shrimp.” Some times folks today may make the mistaken assumption that we, as Christians, are snobby. And sometimes we are. However, when we recognize our sins and need for a Savior, it's hard to look down on others when we're looking up to Him in faith. Instead, the gift of God's grace, announced in His Word, brings us to rejoice in the opportunity to share the compassion, love and salvation He gives to us.

Feb 03
Blessed! Yes, Blessed

The beatitudes, are not commands, they’re an announcement – a wonderful reminder of the reality under God’s love. It’s the proclamation that for all who find themselves in the midst of longing and grief, persecution and death. Trusting in God’s mercy, and the salvation we have in Christ, you and I have the blessings of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and everlasting life. We are, contrary to how it might appear to others, and how it might even appear sometimes to ourselves, blessed.

Feb 01
Not Exactly A Cakewalk

Have you ever ordered a special cake from a bakery but discovered that whoever received the order didn’t understand the instructions? When it came to following the Lord’s instructions, it should have been a cakewalk for the nation of Judah. After all, it wasn’t like God hadn’t made it clear what He expected from them. So how is it that they, like you and me, have made such a mess? More amazingly, how is it that we're blessed with such a God who has mercy on us?

Jan 30
Not So Foolish After All

As astonishing as it sounds today, this message was once considered to be foolishness. In dismissing it, many perished as a result. Now this message is credited with saving lives. You and I have a similar message and it saves lives for eternity. We have good reason to be bold in sharing it.

Jan 25
A Light Has Dawned

Into the midst of a world engulfed in the darkness of sin, Christ has come. John records, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Light has the effect of showing us who we are, where we are, and where we’re going. Take another look at what Christ has done and continues to do for you.

Jan 23
No Supply Shortage Here

“Supply chain shortages.” In the last few years that group of words has gone from being an expression, rarely heard outside of business meetings, to become a now too familiar phrase. It’s what takes place when the demand for specific goods or services exceeds their supply. But Paul points to something for which there is no such scarcity.

Jan 20
Let Me Introduce You To ...

Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was a good introducer. Andrew, and apparently those around him, recognized that he happened to be good at introducing people to Jesus. And you can too. It may not sound amazing remarkable at first, but it is. Here's something you and I can do that we may take easily for granted.

Jan 18
Bears Mauled By Lions?

When John the Baptizer announced Jesus, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!" Standing before them was the One God had sent to be the sacrifice for the sins of the world. While that sounds like a shocking defeat, here’s the means by which God Himself would bring victory over sin and death to you and me.

Jan 16
By No Means!

It’s a deadly lie of this world, and the adversary, that along with sin comes fun. And when we’re tempted to think of God as a buzzkill who’s trying to take away our joy, the Holy Spirits leads us to say, as did Paul, “By no means!” Or in more colloquial terms, “That’s nuts.”

Jan 13
Rekindling Our Faith

In Isaiah, the prophet announced these remarkable words about the Savior who was to come.  He said, “A smoldering wick He will not snuff out.” Later, in Matthew’s Gospel, we hear how Jesus fulfilled this promise. It reveals the incredible love that God has for you and me, for fallen and often stumbling sinners - like you and me.

Jan 11