Devotionals by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them... — Arthur C. Clarke

Are you a runner? I don’t mean a half marathon or marathon runner. Rather, are you a person who runs from the slightest feeling of inadequacy?

Many years ago, I was asked to present a dramatic monologue during an event for Campus Crusade. I spent hours in preparation for my two-hour solo. And when the evening came, Libby and I were sitting in the front row, enjoying the program, and waiting for my cue. Just as it was my turn to go on stage, the emcee announced to the audience, “We’ve got a surprise for you!” Vonette Bright, the wife of Campus Crusade’s founder, was on the phone.

Over the loud speakers, Vonette announced that her husband, Bill, was expected to pass away that night. There was a hush in the room and tears on cheeks as we listened to Vonette share Bill’s story.

Then it was my turn. Before the lights came up, I was drying my tears and contemplating the intense moment we’d all shared. And then I realized my mind was blank. I was scheduled to be on stage for the next two hours, and I couldn’t remember a single line.

I was painfully aware of my limitations, and I contemplated dashing off the stage before go time.

Inadequacy is a struggle. It can either paralyze us or taunt us. We want to either run away or ignore the request – convinced God has the wrong person in mind for the job.

This begs the question: Does God actually ask people to do things beyond their abilities?

Luke 9 would answer, “Absolutely.”

Jesus’ disciples had just returned from their first solo ministry circuit – driving out demons and curing diseases – and Jesus invites them to retreat with Him. But the crowds follow; and rather than turn them away, Jesus welcomes them and teaches until dinnertime.

The Twelve came to [Jesus] and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go… find food and lodging….”

He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

They answered, “We have only five loaves of bread and two fish…” (Luke 9:12-13)

Jesus had eyes to see the thousands of hungry people. He knew there wasn’t enough food. But He asked the disciples to feed them anyway.


Lord, it’s possible that focusing on my own limitations has stolen precious moments of worship. Rather than listen to a voice of self-loathing, amplify within me a voice of praise for You and the way You want to partner with me. Amen.

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About Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth exists to make available sound biblical teaching, practically applied, with a view to producing lives that glorify God and draw people to Christ. The whole of our ministry is to encourage, console, strengthen, teach, and train.

About Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

Stuart Briscoe uses wit and intellect to target your heart, capture your attention and challenge you to grow! You will find his logic compelling as he brings a fresh, practical perspective to the Scriptures. Born in England, Stuart left a career in banking to enter the ministry full time. He has written more than 50 books, received three honorary doctorates and preached in more than one hundred countries. He was senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for thirty years, and currently serves as minister-at-large.

Jill Briscoe was born in England and found Christ when she was 18 years old. She never looked back. Upon graduating from Cambridge University, she began working as a teacher by day and had a vigorous street ministry to the youths of Liverpool by night.

She met Stuart at a youth conference and they married in 1958. In the 50 years since, Jill has become a highly sought-after Bible teacher and author who travels around the world ministering to under-resourced churches and speaking at international seminars and conferences. Since 2000, she and Stuart, who was formerly senior pastor of Elmbrook Church for 30 years, have had the joy of equipping and encouraging believers across the globe in their roles as ministers-at-large for Elmbrook.

Jill has authored more than 40 books including devotionals, study guides, poetry and children's books. Her vivid, relational teaching style touches the emotions and stirs the heart. She serves as Executive Editor of Just Between Us, a magazine of encouragement for ministry wives and women in leadership, and served on the board of World Relief and Christianity Today, Inc., for over 20 years.

Jill and Stuart call suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin their home. When they are not traveling, they spend time with their three children, David, Judy and Peter, and thirteen grandchildren.

Pete Briscoe, youngest son of Stuart and Jill, was also born in England but grew up under his father's ministry in Milwaukee. While getting his Masters of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, Pete had a professor tell him that it was "a sin to bore people with the Bible." He has taken that to heart as he has served since 1992 as senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. Pete and his wife, Libby, have three children.

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