Northside Daily Devotionals

It's Complicated: July 30

By Nate Ross, Lead Pastor God’s Bigger Plan for Conflict 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 (write it out) God has a plan to deal with the conflict in the world.  Sometimes you come across a section of Scripture that just puts a “bow” on the Gospel for us and this is one of them!  The reconciling work of Jesus doesn’t just change our hearts but changes our hearts to view others, “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of... Read More

It's Complicated: July 29

By George Ross, Teaching Pastor Scripture "Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone." - Romans 12:18 NLT Reflection Wow, that sounds easy! Not really. This verse is pretty clear though. You and I are to put forth the effort. With a goal of peace. Realizing that our containment area is not contained, but includes everyone and every relationship we may find ourselves a part of! I have always loved Romans 12. It calls us to be living sacrifices and not be... Read More

It's Complicated: July 28

By George Ross, Teaching Pastor Scripture What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don't they come from the evil desires that war within you? You want what you don't have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can't get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don't have what you want because you don't ask God for it. - James 4:1-2 Your OUTSIDE Problem is Really your INSIDE Problem ... Read More

It's Complicated: July 27

By Nate Ross, Lead Pastor Praying Our Way Through Conflict There’s not one person that has walked the face of this earth that has not encountered conflict. We’re all looking for quick fixes in life, in our relationships, and in our emotions. But when we open the pages of Scripture, we’re shocked when we don’t find a bunch of clean-cut, brilliant examples of healthy Biblical families. Do you know why? Because we ALL have ISSUES! In my family when a funny... Read More

It's Complicated: July 26

By Nate Ross, Lead Pastor Facing our Fear of Conflict   Scripture Matthew 5:21-24  (Look it up and write it down. Writing it our commits it to your heart and head.) “It’s not like I’ve killed somebody.”    I’ve heard people say this and I have even used it as a way to validate my spiritual ‘goodness.’  But Jesus takes us farther by equating dealing with our conflict with someone else to be just as... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 23

by Michael Watson Scripture “Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.” - Proverbs 28:27 Reflection While living in Las Vegas, we saw a lot of poverty. An ordinary day resulted in multiple encounters with panhandlers at intersections and folks coming to our church for some form of financial assistance. My wife and I helped when and where we could but after a while I grew weary and jaded–as did my... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 22

by Sam Hancock, Worship Minister Scripture “Lazy hands make for poverty, but diligent hands bring wealth. He who gathers crops in summer is a prudent son, but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.”  - Proverbs 10:4-5 Reflection When I was a disgruntled and “misunderstood” kid in high school, my mom would have to wake me up three to five times every Sunday morning so I wouldn’t be late to worship rehearsal.  I remember my mom... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 21

by Neal Windham, Spiritual Formation Pastor Scripture “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” - Proverbs 17:22 Reflection A couple of weeks ago I preached on sadness and wrote a week’s worth of devotions on brokenness. Rough week. My wife said somebody was going to have to fund some serious therapy for me. (Actually, I decided to take a vacation, which I thought was better.) I love this proverb. It reminds me of a... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 20

by Lydia Robbins, Young Women’s Ministry Intern Scripture  “With me are riches and honor, enduring wealth and prosperity. My fruit is better than fine gold; what I yield surpasses choice silver.” - Proverbs 8:18-19 Reflection Oftentimes, I want to take control in my life . I am a planner. I like to have a plan and I want to follow it. If I am honest, when I am planning my day usually I think I know best. Or, when people ask me for advice I put so much... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 19

by Neal Windham, Pastor of Spiritual Formation Scripture “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” - Proverbs 29:7 Reflection A pastor of compassion in a large multi-site metro church once explained to me that the single greatest challenge before her was connecting people in one of the richest suburbs of Chicago (and, therefore, Illinois) with some of the poorest people in the state, who lived just fifteen minutes away.... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 16

by George Ross, Teaching Pastor SCRIPTURE "People with understanding control their anger; a hot temper shows great foolishness". - Proverbs 14:29, NLT REFLECTION I've often wondered about the order in which the "Fruits of the Spirit" are mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23. Leading off is Love, which for many folks, depending upon their hurts from the past, can be a difficult thing to consistently allow to surface. Healing from the Spirit of God in our heart... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 15

by Neal Windham, Spiritual Formation Pastor Scripture “Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the LORD.” - Proverbs 8:34-35 Reflection Thought Listening fosters understanding. For example, in the process of discerning God’s will, it is critically important to listen for God’s voice and the Spirit’s promptings as these emerge in Scripture and... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 14

By Caroline Krouse, Local Outreach Minister Scripture “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense.” - Proverbs 12:11 Reflection If I am honest, I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. What I want to do typically comes to mind first. Not what I should do. The more idle my hands are, the more consumed my thoughts are of earthly things. We are a society consumed with doing what makes us happy in the moment.... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 13

by Neal Windham, Spiritual Formation Pastor Scripture “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” - Proverbs 22:3 Meditation I got the call on one of those stormy, ominous spring days Central Illinoians so often endure, days when the sky actually turns some weird shade of green. Miriam’s voice was really shaky as she reported, “Neal, a tornado has just gone through our backyard.” I said, “Which way... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 12

by Rebecca Stoner Scripture "for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her." - Proverbs 8:11  Reflection Let’s consider whether we own any precious jewels or things we spend time on that are very important to us. What value do we place on gaining wisdom vs. those things? God talks a lot about wisdom. Forms of Hebrew and Greek words meaning “wisdom” are used over 350 times in the Bible. And here in... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 9

by Kelsea Mays, Young Women’s Discipleship Minister Scripture “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.” - Proverbs 15:8 Reflection I don’t know about you but I would rather please God than do something He detests. In this verse, we learn that God strongly dislikes the sacrifice of a wicked person. Today, we use the word “sacrifice” differently than is used here. The meaning of sacrifice in the... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 8

by Neal Windham, Spiritual Formation Pastor Scripture “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” - Proverbs 19:21 Reflection How different would life be today had Covid not come? I mean, you had plans, didn’t you? Travel plans, vacation plans, family plans, work plans - all of them scrapped, or at the very least altered. Remember? It really wasn’t that long ago.  What prevailed in those... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 7

Scripture “Encourage one another daily … so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness” - Hebrews 3:13 Reflection There’s a war at work within our souls today. The enemy is chipping away at the foundations. We may walk away from responsibility a thousand times in our minds, replaying the risks, weighing the costs - “It would be so much easier not to go back!” - but when the moment of decision actually comes, we remember the faces... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 6

by Neal Windham, Spiritual Formation Pastor Scripture “Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” – Proverbs 28:26 Reflection I once showed up late for work because I couldn’t find my keys. Searching high and low, looking in all the familiar spots, several times each, I nevertheless came up short every single time. Do you know this feeling? On the verge of giving up, and having lost all sense of... Read More

Word to the Wise: July 5

by Nate Ross, Lead Pastor Scripture “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.” - Proverbs 21:31 Reflection I’ve not prepared too many actual horses for battle in my lifetime.  Ok, so I’ve not prepared any horses for battle in my lifetime. Actually, I had to jump off my grandpa’s horse once when I was in 7th grade because the horse wanted back in the barn so bad. So what do horses have to do with trusting... Read More