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.


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  • Having the light of life August 5, 2022
    Jesus said: “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). It’s a promise. If you follow him you will have the light of life. The light of life doesn’t necessarily equal happiness and freedom from care. Sometimes, yes; but not always. The light might not always […]
  • Lightsome August 4, 2022
    Thomas More was beheaded in 1535 at the order of King Henry the 8th. The last thing More wrote while imprisoned in the tower of London was a devotional work called The Sadness of Christ. In it he penned this moving phrase about God: “he that by the infinite brightness of his divine majesty maketh […]
  • Real believing and real following August 3, 2022
    Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever WATCHES me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Oh, wait a second. That’s a misquote. Of course he didn’t say that. Here’s what he actually said. “I am the light of the world. Whoever FOLLOWS me will never walk […]
  • Following the pillar of fire August 2, 2022
    Very famously Jesus said: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). I love that verse. I quote in on Christmas Eve when we light the Christ Candle and pass out the light to the congregation while singing carols. […]
  • Cheap grace vs. costly grace August 1, 2022
    Jesus said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it” (Mark 8:34-35). Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor and professor who was […]
  • The rut of cynicism July 29, 2022
    I heard about a judge who was hearing the case of a young repeat offender.  He was getting sick of seeing his face and was about to be harsh. But something came over him. He started to ask the young man why his life was so hard. What was making things so difficult?  Then, in […]
  • The older ones first July 28, 2022
    In the story of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus famously said this to the mob of scribes and Pharisees: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7). He turned the situation around and appealed to their own conscience. Verse 9 tells us […]
  • How can you still attend church? July 27, 2022
    “Sing to the LORD, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world” (Isaiah 12:5). Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States. Some of you will remember the Monika Lewinsky scandal. It’s kind of hard to forget. Sometime later at a conference, someone asked Clinton: “How can […]
  • Grace opens doors July 26, 2022
    She had been caught in the act of adultery. In the very act! She was dragged out in public for everyone to see. According to the law, they could have stoned her. They brought the case to Jesus to test him. He said: “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first […]
  • Science AND faith July 25, 2022
    In a Jack Black movie called Nacho Libre, a character says: “I don’t believe in God, I believe in science.” It reveals an error in thought that some people have, as if you can’t believe in God if you “believe” in science. But the two are not opposites. This kind of statement usually comes from […]
  • Counter-cultural modesty July 22, 2022
    “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19) Over time some things become less common—like Sunday night dinners, board games, or home-made gifts. But that doesn’t mean they don’t still have value. Here’s another: Modesty. Some of […]
  • Get secure July 21, 2022
    Lee Strobel was on a sailing adventure with some friends in the British Virgin Islands.* Since he was a novice he really enjoyed learning how things were done, and the importance of things being done right.  One example is when they would drop the anchor. They would go into a calm cove and let it […]
  • The wilderness July 20, 2022
    In the previous devotional, I shared Mark Sayers’ idea that we are at the start of a new era of human history.* We aren’t there yet. In fact, we have one foot in the previous era, and one foot stepping into the emerging era. He calls this present moment a “gray zone.” There is increased […]
  • A new and uncertain era July 19, 2022
    Mark Sayers makes the case that we are at the start of a new era.* When you look back on human history you can see how one era gives way to another. The early 1500’s was the start of a new era; so was the industrial revolution. At the time, people wouldn’t have been able […]
  • He had mine July 18, 2022
    A Christian in China was about to be baptized. The pastor asked her a question to ensure that she understood the meaning of the cross: “Did Jesus have any sin?” The answer, of course, was “No.” Hebrews 4:15 says that Jesus “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” Since […]
  • Selective listening July 15, 2022
    If a child is in the other side of the house, and if you say something that interests them—something perhaps about getting ice cream—they can hear you. They have great hearing when it is to their benefit. But if that child is sitting in the other side of the house, and if you say something […]
  • Born blamers July 14, 2022
    Relationships can be hard. They can be hard on a good day, let alone a bad one. I doubt there’s a person on earth who hasn’t put their foot in their mouth, said something they regret, or did something they wish they could undo. Yup, relationships are hard. So let’s not make them harder than […]
  • Lovingly disagreeing July 13, 2022
    Maybe you’ve never thought of it like this before, but one of the ways you can contribute to a more thoughtful and respectful world is to learn how to lovingly disagree with someone. That’s right. Disagree with someone. Lovingly. Pastor and writer Rick Warren has expressed how we, as a society, seem to have lost […]
  • Rushing to conclusions July 12, 2022
    Jesus said “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment” (John 7:24, ESV). We know we’re not supposed to judge by appearances. We might struggle with it sometimes, but we know it makes sense. Never judge a book by its cover, right? Well, the same goes for people. Jesus’ statement comes on the […]
  • When man and God switched places July 11, 2022
    Elie Wiesel tells a story (a made-up story, but an insightful story nevertheless), about a man who came before God on his heavenly throne. The man said, “Which do you think is harder, to be man or to be God?” “Being God is much harder,” God answered. “I have a whole universe to worry about, […]