Devotionals by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

The one thing I was good at was winning scholarships and prizes, and that era was coming to an end. — Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

America has more than 2,600 accredited universities and colleges with approximately 10 million students enrolled at any given time. Almost 2 million college grads are entering the work force each year, but there’s one problem: too many people are equally qualified for too few job opportunities.

What do they do? The most competitive people dive back in and acquire more education and skills. This is our American culture; we value the accumulation of highly refined skills for the sake of securing employment.

The idea that God would ask someone qualified in a specific area to do something beyond that person’s skill set seems a little countercultural. We like to match a person to a task based upon their credentials. Also, we like to feel qualified. This is why we spend so much money getting trained in our areas of interest.

So why would God put us in such an awkward position?

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus sends out His disciples with a specific purpose. He wants them to do what He does – heal the sick and cast out demons. Realizing they aren’t qualified, “he gave them power and authority” to do as instructed (Luke 9:1). No degrees required. No extra clothing, no cash, no food. Just a complete dependence upon Jesus’ power and authority.

And the disciples were wildly successful. So much so that Herod, the ruler of that area, heard all about it and said, “‘I beheaded John [the Baptist]. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?’” And he tried to see him” (Luke 9:9).

The disciples were preaching and healing, but Herod “tried to see Him,” singular. This observation points us to the why.

Jesus invites us to do things beyond our abilities because He knows we must depend upon Him to empower us. As a result of His empowerment, others will be drawn to seek Him.

Jesus, inadequacy says I’m not enough. But You say anything I offer is more than enough. May I spend every day depending upon the “more than enough” Spirit who lives in me, as we do things together that are way beyond my own abilities. 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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