devos from the hill

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Your God is Too Small

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Your God is Too Small
by Ray Stedman

In the wake of hurricane Sandy, we discussed “storms” . . . how they affect us, God’s role in them, finding God in them, etc. What do you think? How should we view storms from a Biblical perspective? We concluded by reading Ray Stedman’s devotional on this subject.

Read the Scripture: Job 36-37

God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him? (Job 36:22)

Elihu’s final word to Job is a great and beautiful passage in which he sets forth in marvelous language the glory of God. It runs from chapter 35:22 through chapter 37. First, God is beyond human instruction. Notice how he begins: God is exalted in his power. Who is a teacher like him? Then, he reveals another important fact in chapter 36:26: God is beyond human understanding: How great is God beyond our understanding! Finally, Elihu reveals in 36:30-31 that God acts beyond the rigid categories and reasons of humans: See how he scatters his lightning about him, bathing the depths of the sea. This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance. God uses His natural powers for both blessing and judgment alike.

And then, beginning with chapter 37, we have such a marvelous description of a great electric storm that many of the commentators feel that this was an actual occurrence, that a storm began to break out at this moment, and Elihu used it as a vivid example of what he had been saying about God. If any of you have ever been out on the prairies and seen an electric storm break out, you will know what a terrifying and awe-inspiring experience it is–with the lightning crackling and splitting the sky and the roaring of the thunder. It is a magnificent experience, and this is what Elihu begins to describe in verses 2-4: Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth. He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven and sends it to the ends of the earth. After that comes the sound of his roar; he thunders with his majestic voice. When his voice resounds, he holds nothing back.

Then he speaks of how God sends the snow and the rain; he sends tornadoes, the whirlwinds, and the frost; he controls the cycles of the weather. Next time you are watching a weather report on television, and the broadcast shows a satellite picture, notice how it appears in spirals. This is what Elihu refers to in verse 12: At his direction they swirl around over the face of the whole earth to do whatever he commands them.

Then he tells us why: He brings the clouds to punish men, or to water his earth and show his love(Job 37:13). God has many reasons for doing things; we are not always certain what they are. God’s wisdom is inscrutable. He goes on, Can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze? (Job 37:18) Job can do none of these things.

All the way through the Bible, from beginning to end, the only man or woman who ever receives anything from God is the one who comes with a humble and contrite heart. If you think you have something to offer Him or that you have achievements that nobody else can equal, you cut yourself off from the wisdom and knowledge of God. But those who come humbly, contrite, waiting upon God, asking Him to teach them, will find that God will pick them up in grace and power and glory and restore them.

Lord, thank You that in Your majesty and power You are also a God of grace and mercy.

Life Application: Do we try to reduce God to manageable size, and compete with him for control? Or do we humbly receive him as our Father-provider and our Savior and Lord in Jesus?

Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to

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The Second Coming

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Loving the Second Coming and the Assurance of Salvation
by John Piper

Eagerly awaiting His return is an indication of authentic faith (Hebrews 9:28)

So the issue for us is: Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Do we want to see his kingdom established and do we want to be reunited to him in closer personal fellowship? Or do we want him to wait while our love affair with the world runs its course? That is the question that tests the authenticity of faith.

Today’s staff devotional was from a vintage John Piper message (1997): By John Piper. ©2013 Desiring God Foundation. Website:

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The Greater Work

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
The Key of The Greater Work
by Oswald Chambers

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:12-13 (NASB)

Have you ever had the thought, “I am of no use where I am?” This devotional takes us to task on the truth of where our real responsibility and power comes from.

Prayer does not equip us for greater works – prayer is the greater work.

For more, read this from Oswald Chambers:

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Building on the Atonement

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
by Oswald Chambers

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace. Romans 6:12-14 (NASB)

We discussed Romans 6:12-14 and decided that really believing we are “not under law, but under grace” is radical … and so very liberating!

Key take-away from Chambers:
“The greatest need we have is not to do things, but to believe things.”

Read the Oswald Chambers devotional here:

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Heavenly Minded

Mars Hill Staff Devotional
Why is it Important to be Heavenly Minded?
by Randy Alcorn

Do you often think about heaven? Does it make a difference? These are the questions we discussed in today’s staff devotional. What do you think?

We began by watching a short video from Randy Alcorn ;and then we considered the following scripture:

1 Corinthians 2:9 (ESV) – “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”

Ephesians 2:6 (ESV) – “and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”

Colossians 3:2 (ESV) – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

2 Peter 3:12-13 (ESV) – “waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”