Daily Devotional
Are You Like a Gardenia in a Desert?

“Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.”

Philippians 2:14-16

Ponder This

Has anyone ever asked what was different about you? I want to submit: if we’re living under the lordship of Christ, if we’re living as the Apostle Peter says we ought to be living, people will ask for an explanation of our lives. Paul and Silas were perfect examples of this. In Acts 16, they were in prison for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They were in the innermost prison, a disgusting place, and at midnight, they were praying and singing praise to God. The jailer had probably heard cursing from prisoners, but not praising. He’d often heard moaning, but not singing. He could not understand it. After an earthquake hit the jail, when Paul and Silas did not flee, the jailer came and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (v. 30). Why? He saw the difference in Paul and Silas. I hope people can see a difference in my life. I hope people who know me can say, “He is different.” I hope people who know you can say, “He has hope! She has hope! This person stands out like a gardenia in a desert of mediocrity and filth.”

  • Who have you seen live differently because of their relationship with Jesus?
  • What challenges are you facing that could be opportunities to stand out in faith and joy?

Practice This

Encourage a Christian you know who has stood out by living differently.


Real Truth Never Changes

Real truth never changes, and the truth about government is that it is God who ordains it, leaders who are responsible for it, and citizens who are accountable to it. The privilege of being called Americans comes with significant responsibilities—to God, to each other, and to the world.