The Up Devotional

Welcome to The Up Devotional!

This is a devotional that comes out five mornings a week (Monday to Friday) at 5am. It is written by Pastor Ruttan.

Think of it as your 1-minute shot of daily soul espresso—biblical and down-to-earth.

You read back issues here and also find it on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

It is also available as a podcast through Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Enjoy!

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  • Put on the armour of light July 17, 2024
    God has constructed reality in a certain way. When we understand how he has done so, we will be better equipped to navigate life successfully. Consider the following four categories.  Category 1 is God. He is above all. Nothing or no one else is like him. Category 2 is heavenly beings. This includes angels (who […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Those who are with us are more July 16, 2024
    In the movie Free Guy, Ryan Reynolds’ character discovers he’s in a video game. When he puts on some special sunglasses, he can see things that only certain players can see. He can see threats to his well-being and also opportunities which will help him. But as soon as he takes off the sunglasses, all […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • It’s about Jesus July 15, 2024
    I’m often curious about the day-to-day spiritual practices of famous, faithful people. Did they shine only when others were watching, or was their devotion to God sincere and consistent? Did Saint Francis ever have dry spells in his prayer life? Was Billy Graham gracious to others when he was off the stage? Did Augustine frequently […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Showing God his own handwriting July 12, 2024
    In Psalm 25 David is in distress. He doesn’t get into the specifics, but he’s very aware of his own sin (verses 7, 11, 18), experiences guilt (verse 11), and is under the threat of enemies (verse 2).  In the midst of this prayer he says: “Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Integrity blesses others July 11, 2024
    We’ve been spending some time talking about integrity. This virtue is about living wholeheartedly for God no matter the situation. Not only does your integrity honour God, but it blesses the people around you. Proverbs 11:30 says: “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life…” When someone lives in a way that is […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Integrity is a trajectory July 10, 2024
    If you are increasing in spiritual maturity you are going to have an increasingly honest understanding of yourself.  Yes, you will grow in confidence that you are a child of God. But at the same time you will become increasingly aware of your own sin. This is one of the things that makes you more […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • The protection integrity provides July 9, 2024
    How do we protect ourselves?  How do we stay safe, not only for ourselves but for those we care about?  Some answer by describing door locks, safety bunkers, strong fences, surveillance cameras, or first-aid kits. All of these things are external; they exist outside of us. Depending on the situation they can be very helpful.  […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Christ of the Abyss July 8, 2024
    I recently came across a series of amazing pictures from around the world. Most of them depicted nature or works of art. One in particular grabbed my attention. It had both. It was a bronze statue called “Christ of the Abyss.” You can see it in the graphic that goes along with today’s devotional. It […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • The one in whom God delights July 5, 2024
    Do you ever come across a verse in the Bible and wonder, ‘How has that not jumped out at me before?!’ That happened to me recently with Isaiah 66:2: “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” The prophet had spent time speaking about future judgement […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • As a counterculture July 4, 2024
    I was talking with some of my classmates at seminary. One of them said something like this: “Constantine messed everything up.” He was referring to the Roman Emperor Constantine. The Emperor’s conversion in the early fourth century was a significant step in the legalization of Christianity. It was increasingly safe and acceptable to be a […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Slander is an old-fashioned weapon July 3, 2024
    In Psalm 27, David feels under attack. In verse 12 he writes: “Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence.” In short, David was subject to slander and false accusation. In the ancient world there was no such thing as video cameras […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Laughter—through the tough times too July 2, 2024
    “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22). “Laughter is the best medicine.” We’ve probably all heard that expression. It may be based on the proverb quoted above. I’m not sure. Either way, the expression (and proverb) resonates because (a) we know it to be true from […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • The right kind of order July 1, 2024
    “The precepts of the LORD are right,giving joy to the heart.The commands of the LORD are radiant,giving light to the eyes” (Psalm 19:8) In our day, the idea of “order” has increasingly come under suspicion. It stinks, some people say, of authoritarianism, control, drill sergeants, and people who are allergic to smiling. But that’s a […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Seeking his face June 28, 2024
    You’re probably going to be more courageous if you know that God is close to you. When I was in elementary school, there was a mean kid on the playground. But I had two older brothers. The mean kid was less scary when my brothers were around.  You probably see the connection.  ‘But,’ you ask, […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Your ‘courage muscle’ June 27, 2024
    Courage. Some people seem to be born with it. But it’s also something which can be developed.  There are a few different ways this can happen. Here’s one of them: Repeatedly doing the right thing when it’s hard. If you do the right thing on Occasion A, you build up your ‘courage muscle.’ That way, […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Fearing God first puts other fears second June 26, 2024
    “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm (Psalm 33:8-9). In the previous devotional we talked about what it means to “fear God.”  The word “fear” can carry different nuances in different contexts. […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Volcanic reverence June 25, 2024
    “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13). What does it mean to “fear God”? It’s an idea that troubles some people. If God is for us (Romans 8:31), and if he is loving (1 John 4:8), and if perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18), […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Closed doors aren’t always dead ends June 24, 2024
    In Colossians 4:3 Paul writes: “And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.” Paul was in prison. Instead of being overwhelmed by his dire situation, he used it for good. He taught, sent letters, […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • Dealing with questions in a healthy way June 21, 2024
    At some point in their lives some people question certain things about their faith.  That’s normal. It could happen for any number of reasons. Perhaps they experience some sort of suffering and wonder how (or if) God works in and through it. Perhaps they struggle with a moral issue. Perhaps someone has told them that […]
    Matthew Ruttan
  • It’s not a matter of if doubts come, but when June 20, 2024
    “In today’s skeptical culture, it’s not a matter of if doubts come, but when they come.”* That’s a statement by Alisa Childers and Tim Barnett in their new book, “The Deconstruction of Christianity.” Wow, that title seems pretty ominous. What’s it all about? There’s a trend today called “deconstruction.” It’s particularly prevalent online; therefore, young […]
    Matthew Ruttan