This page has various series of Daily Devotions that the Staff and members of Second Baptist have written and shared. These devotions have been for both specific times – Christmas/Advent and a January Bible Study – as well as for general encouragement and hope. 

January Bible Study


Exodus 16:8  “Moses said, “This will happen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the Lord hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him, And what are we?  Your grumblings are not against us but against the Lord.”

Complaining. We all do it. Some people more than others. You may know someone who seems to have that as their main personality trait!  

As I was reading in Exodus chapter 16, the Israelites were complaining about having no food in their new wilderness location. They complained to Moses and he said basically, “You’re complaining to me, but the real one you are complaining to is God.” Preachers love to preach about these verses and the lesson being taught is that God provides.

But I’m making it personal this morning. We complain about the government, about high prices and greedy businesses. Complain about our neighbor, our in-laws, our co-workers or the teachers at school. It just hit me that a lot of the complaining we are doing, God sees it for what it really is. It is directed at Him.

If we are really truthful, what we are saying to God is, “Why don’t you give me a better life?” “Why can’t I have the life that I think I deserve?” If we can look at complaining in that way, maybe we won’t do it quite as often. A better option might be to try to see the things God has already brought us through and to talk to Him about our present problems and trust Him that He can bring us through those as well. Trusting and complaining can’t occupy the same space. Let’s let Trusting grow in our lives today and complaining will have to live elsewhere.

Harriet Bowman

After Temptation: More Temptation

Luke 4

When Jesus was in the desert he simply had himself to deal with. As we see from the temptation that is outlined in verses 1-13 that was certainly enough. We too can agree that the temptations, as James tells us, begin with the ideas within our own minds.

What happens when those ideas actually take shape? Jesus’ submission to the Father’s will in the desert allowed him to fully engage the next group of people; his hometown acquaintances. We know the phrase he uses in this passage; a prophet is only without honor among his hometown folks, but let’s remind ourselves of the context.

Jesus has just dealt with great temptations to use his desires and demands to construct something ‘good’ but something that was different than what God had planned. He is immediately confronted by friends and family who demand a performance from him. The very reality which he had just denied himself.

Again and again we see the humility of God on display. There is no showing off, no proving, just his care and compassion for others. NT Wright says about this experience – when they tried to toss him off the cliff for saying he was the completion of Isaiah – that his resistance of temptation alone is what enabled him to resist temptation when presented by family and friends.

If Jesus needed time alone to pray and confront the temptations of life – then most certainly I do as well. Otherwise, we’ll spend our lives responding to the requests and demands of people and not reflecting the care and compassion of our Savior.

Try some silence today. Try some alone time. Trust in the Savior. Trust in the Present God.

Daniel Harding

Holes In The Ceiling

Mark 2

My husband and I were discussing a lesson for kid’s church. Mark Chapter 2. The lesson was on the paralytic and his 4 friends. We talked about the friends whose love and faith for their friend made them do a totally desperate act by tearing a roof apart to bring a friend to Jesus. The religious men, whose pride in their religious righteousness missed the miracle, the man on the pallet that was in the middle of the chaos at Jesus’ feet and the Lord’s response to it all.  “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Then we discussed how Jesus spoke to the man and he picked up his mat and walked…walked in front of all the men who would have been satisfied if he had still laid there so their religious pride would be left intact.

(Now please forgive my humanness.) I looked at Mr. Richard (my husband) and said, “You know I thank God and I am in awe of the miracle that you are. I believe, I really do thank God, He could have made you completely and perfectly whole. It seems to me after such an incredible miracle, He would have given you the ability to walk without assistance. I just don’t understand.”

Then quietly, Mr. Richard said, “You know I wonder that too and I struggle with it sometimes, but He is teaching me that it’s not about me. That the evidence of my miracle IS my wheelchair! He raised me from almost death and I have the chair to prove it!” …. My husband and my Lord are both teaching me, that l it’s not having a perfect roof of faith over our heads that is proof of a walk with Christ, but it’s the holes in the ceiling where the good stuff of the Lord comes in! So I thank God for the holes in the ceiling.

Jackie Gillespie


I spent the evening rewatching Seven, a thriller where a retiring detective and his upcoming replacement try to catch a killer. It’s a dark movie and I won’t go into details here but there was a conversation in the film that caught my eye. 

     This is the retiring detective talking. 

“Apathy is a solution. I mean it’s easier to lose yourself in drugs than it is to cope with life. It’s easier to steal what you want than it is to earn it.”

After being on the force and seeing all he has seen he acknowledges that he understands why people are like they are. And for Christians it’s easy to fall into the same boat. 

“I need to do my daily bible study but Netflix just dropped Tiger King season 2. I need to watch it so I can talk with the guys at work tomorrow.”

“I don’t want to go to a later service cause there are too many people there, and who wants to go to an [8:30] service.”

“Sunday fun day! Let’s party y’all!”

Paul warns the Roman believers (and us) about letting sin (missing the mark, not serving as we should) control our lives. He says we must be dead to sins and alive unto God. We must not let the pleasures of this world distract us from the pleasure of serving God. 

“Well that’s just Paul spouting words I can’t understand. It’s way above my head.” 

Well lucky for us Christ makes it pretty plain in Matthew 6.

     “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”

For we Christians, Christ has shed His blood for the remission of our sins. Being freed from the bonds of sin we are free to serve God as we should. How do you serve as you should? Love God and your neighbor. If you love God you will not use your body (not just your body, your mind is included in this I believe) to dishonor Him. The same principle applies to loving your neighbor. 

It’s hard. I struggle with this daily. It’s easier to just come home and watch YouTube than to try and write words of encouragement. It’s easier to call a stranger on a video game chat stupid than to call and check on your neighbor and call out to God to heal their sickness or whatever may be afflicting them. 

Well what’s the benefit of serving a righteous God versus serving the lusts of the flesh? 

     “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

     I pray that we all can submit to our Heavenly Father and be about His business. It’s not easy. It’s not the most popular thing to do. But it is what we are called to do. 

Riley Lee


“All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” I Samuel [17:47]

When I first heard the story of David and Goliath, I was totally enraptured that this young boy had such a fierce trust of God that he would even stand before a warrior such as Goliath. Not with armor, a sword or any other weapon than a slingshot and some stones. Amazing! I always wanted to be a warrior! My friends, sister and I would jump off beds with towels tied around our necks, we were super heroes! We fought villains and the forces of evil with sticks and mud balls, we were fearless.

One my favorite chalk drawings that I draw is called the “Little Warrior”. I drew this when my nephew James, was going through cancer as a child. A small child warrior stands with his sword drawn, armor on, shouting at something the audience doesn’t see, as the presentation progresses, you see what he is facing. Out of the darkness there are wolves, a giant’s arm with a maze and snakes all around him. He carries nothing but a sword and a Cross on his armor. When the black light is on, you can see, what the warrior does not see, the real source of his strength, Jesus with His arms around him protecting him from the evil he is facing.

Somewhere along the path of growing up, as our towel capes turned into work clothes and our weapons turned into tools and typewriters. We dropped our guard and joined the fearful Israelites on the hill observing the shouts and curses of the enormous Goliath. (I Samuel [17:11]) We could never stand up to those who would hinder us from realizing the greatness God had intended us to achieve. We could never go and face a wall like Goliath, because we had nothing to defend ourselves with that would compare to his strength and power.

We all face a Goliath at one time or another. It may seem that when one is defeated there is another to take its place. What are you facing? If you know Jesus as your, Defender and Savior, He’s got a defense that nothing can penetrate, not words, actions, physical assault, nothing. We must rise up with the “sword of the spirit” and say as David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” I Samuel 17: 32.

Jackie Gillespie

Family Devotions

Matthew 6:6   “When you pray…pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”                     

Bedtime prayers were often limited to a little memorized prayer when our oldest son was very young. I remember it taught me to have my personal devotions after he had gone to bed.

We would take turns saying “Now I lay me down to sleep…” right before he hopped into bed. Sometimes I would read a short scripture before the prayer. The idea in my mind was to knit his heart to the heart of God and also to my husband and me.

I remember when our memorized prayers had turned into unrehearsed prayers that opened both of our hearts to God. Our son would thank God for the door knobs. Really, door knobs? Listening to his little prayers helped both of us catch a glimpse of our souls and learn how to relate to God, praise Him, and make our requests known to our loving Father.

Albert Schweitzer once commented on the need for parents to set an example in devotion:

“From the services in which I joined as a child I have taken with me into life a feeling for what is solemn, and a need for quiet self-recollection, without which I cannot realize the meaning of my life. I cannot, therefore, support the opinion of those who would not let children take part in grown-up people’s services till they to some extent understand them. The important thing is not that they shall understand but that they shall feel something of what is serious and solemn. The fact that a child sees his elders full of devotion, and has to feel something of devotion himself, that is what gives the service its meaning for him.”

During the time in which we live today as I reflect on our little prayers many years ago I not only thank God for door knobs but also the locks on the door knobs. And sometimes as I have devotions with our grandchildren today I hear them pour their little souls out to God. They have shared with me that their daddy leads family devotions at home. Wow, it never occurred to me that this could also be a legacy!

End your evenings with family devotions even if you are single or don’t have children. Reflect on the chaos of the day as you spend time with your Heavenly Father. God will help you to put the chaos in perspective and sleep peacefully.

Glenda Bashlor

Jesus’ Faith

Luke 4:1-13, James [2:18]-19

God is present.

God is enough.

For just a few moments let’s consider both of those phrases as we think of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. In Matthew 4, Mark 1, and Luke 4, we are told of Jesus going to the wilderness alone following his baptism by John. At the end of this time alone, which is a temptation in and of itself, Jesus encounters Satan; The Accuser, The Tempter, and is directly tempted in three areas as recorded in Matthew and Luke.

Specifically, Luke records that Jesus is tempted with self-gratification, power, and immortality. Now, when we read the story we actually don’t see those words, but they are there in Jesus’ responses. Read those below with the paraphrase that accompanies them as Jesus addressed the reality of what was being offered to him.

Man shall not live by bread alone – I don’t always need what I might think I need.

Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only – There is nothing that I need to do to attain power, for God holds it all.

Do not put the Lord your God to the test – My life is a service to God, He is not to be summoned and commanded.

Having just finished a study on James it is amazing how much James thought the daily lives and presuppositions of these very religious people should be changing and challenged. Those Jews who had followed the Law and were committed to a singular God are now finding that their daily lifestyles and self-focus is being challenged by the reality of Jesus.

How do we challenge that? How do we challenge the in-built desire to satisfy self before others? How do we come to grips with the reality that I prefer self over others? How do we go about changing these behaviors?

Look at James’ reply to how we address these questions:

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”
Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

In the desert Jesus acted in faith and he proved this by his actions. His belief was that God was present with Him in the crazy and unrealistic moment in which he was – and that God being present was enough. He would provide.

So too he will provide for you and I. In our interactions with others. In our pursuit of our desires. In our daily disturbances of life when it feels as if surely we would be right to simply take and not have faith.

God is present.

God is enough.

Daniel Harding