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Devotionals


June 13, 2024

Devotional: King of the Nations

CU National Fast 2018 Prayer for Revival

by Christian union america

If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it. -Jeremiah 18:7-10


Our God is the King of the nations (Revelation 15:3).The prophet Jeremiah reveals that the Lord has plans for people groups, not just for individuals. When a nation turns from evil and listens to the Lord, He will direct His mercy and grace to that land and to its people. Even under the Old Covenant, God had plans for nations other than Israel. The King of the nations has special purposes for each and every nation - including the United States - that exists throughout history.

The people of God must stand in the place of intercession for its nation (Ezekiel 22:29-30). We must act with faithfulness and ask God to bring repentance and faith to our nation at this critical time in history. 

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May 27, 2024

Devotional: Are We All In?

Christian Union Devotional from CU National Fast, January 2024

by erin conner, writer and communications associate


"And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains."  - Mark 13:7-8

Christ Jesus warns us of many things, as recorded throughout the New Testament. Here, in the book of Mark, He warns us not to become alarmed or afraid when we hear of wars. Why is this? Wars are frightening. This command of Christ makes me recall C.S. Lewis's famous claim that Jesus is either a liar, a lunatic, or Lord. I imagine those who are outside of Christ may think it sounds a bit peculiar to tell someone not to be afraid of war in light of all the devastation and death it causes.

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May 13, 2024

Devotional on Conviction

Faith and Conviction from Christian Union's National Fast in 2020

by dimas SalaBerrios (2020); updated by erin conner (2024)

The following devotional is a transcript of a video devotional that was originally recorded as part of Christian Union's National Fast in 2020 by Dimas Salaberrios. Salaberrios is the author of Street God: The Explosive True Story of a Former Drug Boss and his film “Chicago: America’s Hidden War” was recently nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature. He is also the founder and former pastor of Infinity Bible Church in New York City, and the President Emeritus of Concerts of Prayer Greater New York. 

Salaberrios has been on the frontlines of the earthquakes in Haiti and of Hurricane Harvey in Houston. After the shootings in Saint Paul, Dallas, Charleston, and Paris, Salaberrios organized believers to infiltrate the protests and pray with hurting people. He has also organized prayer during the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis and in New York City. His directorial debut is titled, “Chicago: America’s Hidden War, and he co-produced the documentary film “Emanuel.” Salaberrios will be a featured speaker at the next Christian Union Fire Retreat being held October 4-5, 2024 entitled, "America Returning to God." 

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April 24, 2024

Love Your Enemies

Devotional from CU National Fast 2024: Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace of all Nations

By jason walsh, president of christian union universities


As I stood tall before a judge in a civil case, I waited for the judgment to be announced. I was prepared. I was confident the truth of my statements was sufficient. I knew I stood for what was right, but I was unwilling to look to my left at the individual I perceived as my enemy. Memories as a United States Marine during uniform inspections flashed through my mind. I had spent years standing tall while being inspected from head to toe. I prepared for these inspections to the point I’d be surprised if the inspecting Marine found anything incorrect, yet whispers of doubt had me wondering if I overlooked anything while I waited for the final judgment. But this wasn’t the Marine Corps. This wasn’t about my preparation. This involved a person acting as an enemy toward me. While everyone waited for a judgment to be spoken, I thought, "how could this person get away with false claims?” “How could this person be so deceiving?” “Did their lies convince the judge? “Does the truth matter?” “Would my enemy receive a just penalty?”  

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April 9, 2024

Four Reasons Not to Fear Man

Understanding the Christian View of Fear

updated By Erin conner, writer and communications associate


This April 19-20th, Christians around the country are joining Christian Union America from the comfort of their own home for a weekend retreatto better understand the Christian view of fear: the fear of man and the fear of God.

In light of this upcoming event, Christian Union desires to encourage all Christians to seek the Lord wholeheartedly to find freedom from the destructive forces of the fear of man and to find their security in God alone. The following excerpt, originally published as part of a 2014 CU Fast, examines Jesus' words to his disciples about fearing man, as recorded in the Book of Matthew.

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April 8, 2024

Four Reasons Not to Fear Rejection

This April 19-20th, Christians around the country are joining Christian Union America from the comfort of their own home for a weekend retreatto better understand the Christian view of fear: the fear of man and the fear of God. In light of this upcoming event, Christian Union desires to encourage all Christians to seek the Lord wholeheartedly to find freedom from the destructive forces of the fear of man and to find their security in God alone. The following excerpt on fear, originally published as part of a 2014 CU Fast, examines Jesus' words, as recorded in the Book of Matthew.

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March 27, 2024

A Devotional on Surrender

CU America's 2024 National Fast, "Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace for All Nations"

By Marcus buckley, ministry director of christian union vita at cornell


"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 'Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will let you hear my words.' So I went down to the potter's house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: 'O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I intended to do to it. And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will relent of the good that I had intended to do to it'". – Jeremiah 18:1-10

It is difficult to find anyone who is not pleased when God shows to them grace and mercy according to His sovereign will. We rejoice that God would see fit to make forgiveness available to us, knowing that our sin and rebellion merits only His righteous judgment. We celebrate when God reaches across time and space and touches a friend or loved one, breaking the chains of sin and setting them free into glorious, eternal life.

But what happens when God saves someone outside our circle of influence? Or, even worse, outside our circle of preference? How many times have we as faithful followers of Christ been shocked – or even offended – when someone who was formerly an outspoken enemy of God comes to saving faith in Christ Jesus? It is easy to hurl accusations that their conversion is not a true one, that somehow the greatness of their previous sin outweighs the redemptive, salvific power of the cross. 

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March 8, 2024

A Devotional on Hope in Darkness

CU America's 2024 National Fast, "Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace for All Nations"

By Chitra L Kovoor, Ministry Fellow, CU Lux at Yale University


"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." – Ephesians 6:12

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March 4, 2024

Bennett Featured on the Christ & Coffee Podcast

Christian Union Universities Highlighted  

By Erin conner, writer and communications associate


The Christ and Coffee podcast, led by Dr. Haig Kherlopian, pastor of Church for the Nations, recently hosted Matt Bennett, Founder and President of Christian Union, to discuss Christian Union (CU) Universities. CU Universities is comprised of ten Christian leadership development ministries at nine of the nation's most influential educational institutions: Dartmouth, Brown, Harvard, Harvard Law, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, and Stanford.  During the informal podcast interview, the uniqueness of CU's ministry was discussed, among other topics related to how Christian Union is developing leaders with spiritual depth in strategic places for cultural renewal. 

In the podcast episode entitled "Inside Ivy League Ministry," Bennett discussed how the majority of America’s most strategic universities were expressly founded as Christian colleges. But over the years, these schools gradually shed their religious affiliation and became secular institutions. Bennett referenced research done by James Tunstead Burtchaell, who has extensive experience in American higher education as both a teacher and an administrator.  Burthchaell, in his book The Dying of the Light, "provides case studies of seventeen prominent colleges and universities with diverse ecclesial origins - Congregational, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Catholic, and Evangelical. 

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March 1, 2024

A Devotional on Endurance

CU America's 2024 National Fast, "Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace for All Nations"

By Qwynn Gross, Ministry Fellow, CU Nova at Princeton University


"And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved" – Matthew 24:12-13.

As a youngster, I can think of plenty of extracurricular activities that I began with curiosity and zeal or out of a parental charge to participate, and for one reason or another, I soon opted to stop–-from piano lessons to Girl Scouts to running track to being a debutante, and many other activities–-however, when my firstborn was placed in my arms there was a conscious decision to continue regardless.  This unwavering commitment to the children I bore would only be eclipsed by my commitment to live for God simply because I found out that He is alive.  Now, with adult children and a life in Christ that spans close to forty years, I can attest that my endurance has not been easy, nor has it been without opportunities to quit, but rather because value and worth were assigned.

Assigning importance and meaning or significance to something or someone is not strange.  It’s done all the time;however for Christians, the commitment to cherish and esteem Jesus means to safeguard why we value Him even during the ecological, economic, and ecumenical tumult that Jesus warns will not only come, but cause the strongest of believers to defect because of pervasive lawlessness.

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February 19, 2024

The Strategy of True Wisdom

A Devotional from CU National Fast, January 2024  

By sadie sasser, ministry fellow, christian union gloria at harvard 


"Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good."
– Ecclesiastes 9:18

Since the fall, humans have turned to violence and war to solve our problems. It could be argued that we have even created an industry out of it! Over the course of history, innumerable conflicts have stricken mankind. As such, there have been many military leaders of note; but even with the vast pool from which to choose there are leaders that rise to the top of the list. Names such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and Ulysses S. Grant line the rankings when discussing the greatest military leaders of all time. There are various reasons these people are noteworthy, but one of the common traits allowing them single-digit status is tactical brilliance.

The Hebrew word used in Ecclesiastes 9:18 for “wisdom” includes connotations of skillfulness in war, administrative savvy, shrewdness, prudence, and even sometimes includes an ethical tone. Thus, when Solomon states that such wisdom is better than actual weapons, he is not speaking of the wisdom of books or knowledge that can only be found in an ivory tower. He is speaking of practical and tactical brilliance, the ability to have an overarching plan and execute it well. The actual weapons used in battle are of little consequence in comparison to good strategy.

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January 22, 2024

The Compassionate Plea of God

"Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations" CU National Fast 2024 Devotional 

By grace ann arvey, director of christian union america

"'Say to them, As I live,' declares the Lord God, 'I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?'" – Ezekiel 33:11

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January 5, 2024

Pray for Peace

"Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations" CU National Fast 2024 Devotional 

By matt bennett, founder and president of christian union 

"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." -1 Timothy 2:1-4

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January 1, 2024

Obedience Begets Joy

Christian Union America Devotional 

By michael Racine, writer and ministry fellow at christian union lux at yale 

People have a lot of different theories about when and how the various books of the Bible came into being. Nonbelievers especially may prefer to distance the written record from actual eyewitnesses to the events depicted—questioning authorship and positing late dates of composition—because, naturally, it is easier to sidestep the demands the Bible places on us if we can be persuaded that it is an unreliable witness. As the serpent proved in the garden of Eden, it’s a short and easy route from Did God really say…? to dismissing God’s words outright (Gen 3:1–6).

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November 29, 2023

For Such a Time as This

A Devotional to Prepare Our Hearts for a New Year

By Dr. Marcus Buckley, Ministry Director at Christian Union Vita at Cornell

"And they told Mordecai what Esther had said. Then Mordecai told them to reply to Esther, “Do not think to yourself that in the king’s palace you will escape any more than all the other Jews. For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai, “Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold a fast on my behalf, and do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my young women will also fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.”  Mordecai then went away and did everything as Esther had ordered him." -Esther 4:12-17

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November 27, 2023

Seek the Prince of Peace

Join Our 21-Day Fast 

By chuck hetzler, PhD, vice president of biblical theology 

 
Is Israel’s current war a sign of the end times? How should we, as Christians, think about the war? What can and should we do?

 

Christian Union is calling all American Christians to start the year with a 21-day fast, Tuesday, January 2, through Monday, January 22, 2024, to humble ourselves and seek God in light of the current events in the Middle East.

 

The upcoming CU National Fast is titled "Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace for All Nations." Christian Union faculty and staff will write devotionals based on Scripture, which will be sent to all signed-up participants by email each day of the fast. 

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November 20, 2023

Three Daily Prayers for the Holidays

Seeking the Lord in Our Busyness

By Fuji Kim, edited by Erin Conner

As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the Lord's blessings at Thanksgiving,  Christian Union presents this special devotional, originally published in 2021, "Three Daily Prayers for the Holidays."

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October 25, 2023

Stand Firm

By Rev. Jeffrey Walsh
Ministry Director, Christian Union Lux at Yale University
 

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand Firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God... – Ephesians 6:13-17

"Sergeant, I forgot my rifle in my room," one team leader radioed as we drove out of the front gate of our Iraqi-based compound in March 2004. Our mission: to carry out a covert assignment with a clandestine operations team from the National Security Agency. I was surprised when our team leader realized he had forgotten his rifle. We always ensured we had all the required equipment before starting any mission. However, I suggested that he find a solution, and we continued our journey without returning. This decision would be one of my life's worst decisions. Roughly three hours later, we would meet the enemy, and two people would die due to not bearing the most essential weapon in the arsenal.  

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August 21, 2023

Welcoming Freshman

Christian Union Universities' Fall Campaigns Begin


By Erin Conner

Christian Union has established undergraduate ministries at nine of America's most highly influential undergraduate institutions (and also at Harvard Law). The ministry plans and executes intensive freshman welcoming campaigns at the start of each academic year. Research indicates that the first few weeks of students’ lives, as they transition from high school to college, can be critical for establishing foundations for future success.

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August 18, 2023

An Incredible, Beautiful Journey

Christian Union's National Fast Concludes


By chuck Hetlzer

Christian Union America’s most recent national fast came to an end Monday, August 14, 2023. 5,175 Christians across the nation signed up to seek God in prayer, fasting, and repentance, along with a special emphasis on taking in massive amounts of Scripture.

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