Devotionals by Dr. Stephen Davey

Family Problems

James 1:1

James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

Before we spend a month of study in one of the most convicting and spiritually enriching books in all of Scripture, let’s recall some facts about its human author. 

James was one of five brothers born to Mary and Joseph after the birth of Jesus. The Apostle John says he was among the siblings who rejected Christ for years (John 7:5). 

This indicates that Jesus’ home life was filled with turmoil and division throughout His childhood. His siblings were not supportive of His ministry, which means that before Jesus ever walked the hill to Calvary, He lived with sorrow and misunderstanding.

This didn’t change as the years progressed; when Jesus finally hung on a cross three decades later, none of His half-brothers or half-sisters were there. Only Mary showed up. Perhaps they were in their respective homes, remarking, “Thank goodness the charade is finally over. Maybe now Mom will wake up to the truth that her beloved Son isn’t the Messiah!”

But something amazing happens in the life of Jesus’ half-brother James. After years of spurning and denying his Brother, he finally believes! 

The Apostle Paul gives us a glimpse of the occasion:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep [died]; then He appeared to James (1 Corinthians 15:3–7).

That last phrase says it all: then He appeared to James. Christ offered grace to this brother—the same one who’d misunderstood, refuted, and denied Him for decades.

Can you picture that encounter? Can you imagine James’ expression upon seeing his resurrected Brother and realizing for the first time that He really was the Son of God?! What a shocking epiphany that must have been!

Church historians record that Jesus later appointed James as the leader of the church in Jerusalem, and James responded by spending the rest of his life in devoted service to Christ.  In fact, he would die a martyr’s death for his commitment to the Half-Brother he had once rejected.

At the beginning of this wonderful epistle, we already sense God’s grace and power: James was a lost cause . . . but Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost!

You may be living in a family that is opposed to the Gospel—surrounded by people who don’t care at all about spiritual things. Take heart from James’ incredible testimony. Even after years of unbelief, Jesus never gave up on James. His example teaches us that we should never give up on those around us, either. Keep praying for your lost family members, neighbors, and friends.

Your patient testimony just might be the seed that God uses . . . the one that produces a harvest of spiritual fruit in their lives.

Prayer Point: Spend some time lifting up your unbelieving friends and family members in prayer. Also pray for God to infuse you with the strength and patience needed to continue loving them even when it’s difficult.

Extra Refreshment: Read Acts 8 and discover the incredible conversion of the Apostle Paul—another man who, like James, seemed an unlikely candidate.


Holiday or Holy Day?

Every week we join with our local congregations to sing songs, hear sermons, and serve in diverse ministries, but why do we meet on Sunday instead of the Sabbath? More importantly, why do we even need to meet at all? In this message, Stephen takes us all the way back to Exodus 19 to give us the answer.

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About Wisdom for the Heart

Wisdom for the Heart is an international Bible-teaching ministry based on the sermons of Dr. Stephen Davey. The broadcast Wisdom for the Heart is heard on more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States, as well as transmitted to the Middle East (Arabic), Europe (English), Latin America (Spanish), and Africa (Swahili).

 

About Dr. Stephen Davey

Stephen Davey is the son of missionary parents and was raised to love Christ, His Church, and His Word. In his last year of high school, Stephen committed his life to serving Christ and prepared for a life of servant-leadership at Liberty University, Tennessee Temple University, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary.

Following graduation from Dallas Seminary in 1986, Stephen and Marsha trusted Christ for His provision and moved with their infant twin sons to Cary, NC, to plant Colonial Baptist Church. From the beginning, Stephen preached verse-by-verse, while Marsha created the nursery and children’s programs. In those early days, word of this new church’s commitment to Bible exposition spread rapidly around town, and the fellowship was soon overflowing with attendees.

After worshipping in a school for six years, Colonial moved into its first building, located on seven acres. Within a year, the church not only outgrew its first building but the entire master plan. Nine years later Colonial moved to its present location on forty acres, where several buildings have been designed to maximize outreach, discipleship, community, and worship. The church family currently engages in more than 100 ministries carried out by several thousand volunteers and led by an excellent, Christ-honoring administrative support team and pastoral staff. Their united global vision remains front and center as the Word of God continues to be expounded — and applied.

Stephen also serves as the president of Shepherds Theological Seminary, a young and exciting seminary which has already earned accreditation with TRACS and associate membership status with ATS. With an outstanding faculty and growing student body, Shepherds currently meets on the beautiful campus of Colonial. Stephen enjoys interacting with the students, as well as teaching Pastoral Theology and Creative Bible Teaching.

As the Bible teacher of Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen takes the message of the Gospel around the world. Spanish programming is currently broadcast on 90 radio stations and can be heard throughout Central and South America, reaching an estimated 70 million people. The people have responded hungrily to the teaching of God’s Word.

The Arabic translations are being aired on stations located throughout the Middle East, covering much of Iraq, Kurdistan, Jerusalem, Jordan, and Palestine, reaching an estimated 10 million listeners daily in their own language. In the Middle East, there are 300 million Muslims who need to hear the Gospel.

Swahili is now reaching a potential African audience of more than 50 million listeners. Like the Arab world, spiritual darkness encompasses daily life. Most of the 180 million who use Swahili daily are Muslim; life is governed by Islamic tradition and the teachings of the Koran.

Print and audio resources are available in book and transcript form, CDs, MP3s, and podcasts. Everything Stephen has preached throughout his ministry is now available at no charge in transcript and audio formats at wisdomonline.org. We are praising God for the things He has done—and the things He is doing!

Stephen and Marsha have been married 31 years and have been blessed with twin sons Benjamin [wife Caroline], and Seth; daughters Candace and Charity.

Contact Wisdom for the Heart with Dr. Stephen Davey

Mailing Address
Wisdom for the Heart
PO Box 5729
Cary, NC 27512
 
Toll-free Phone
1-866-48-BIBLE
(1-866-482-4253)