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.


RSS The Up Devotional

  • Pray for yourself… and the preacher March 23, 2023
    In this series of devotionals we’re talking about how to get the most out of a sermon. If you’re a follower of Jesus, you listen to a lot of sermons. Yes, you certainly do other things like worship, read the Bible, pray, love your neighbours and serve others. But you also listen to sermons. Here […]
  • God’s book March 22, 2023
    If you’re a follower of Jesus you listen to a lot of sermons. Would you rather squander that time or benefit from something God might be saying to you? I’m a preacher, so this topic is a bit awkward! The reason I share this isn’t because I’m fantastic (I’m not), but because God has set […]
  • An eternal anchor March 21, 2023
    In a prayer to his Father in John 17:3 Jesus provides a definition of eternal life: “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”  John Knox was a well-known Scottish theologian who had a big impact on the church. When he was on […]
  • The bride whose life was changed March 20, 2023
    Martin Luther provided an illustration about who we are as God’s people. Imagine a king marrying a poor girl who was also a prostitute, he said. Her life had been filled with poverty, regret, sin and shame. But all of a sudden, things are different because of the marriage. Her status is now changed—she is […]
  • An unshakable kingdom March 10, 2023
    [Note: I’m on vacation next week so the devotional will go on pause after today and will return on March 20th.] Certain events and experiences can shake and unsettle us. A world war can do that. So can events like September 11, 2001. I still remember the day. When terrorists flew planes into the World […]
  • The other-worldly kingdom March 9, 2023
    In John 18:36 when standing before the Roman governor, Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Let me note a few things. First, his kingdom isn’t just about heaven. It includes heaven but is not limited to heaven. He teaches us to pray that God’s kingdom comes and his will is done “on […]
  • Live like royalty March 8, 2023
    Abraham Heschel tells a story about a man who was a prince. However, he was taken away to live in captivity in another country. He was now surrounded by crude and illiterate people. Over time something can happen. You start to blend in to the people around you—even if they were very different from you […]
  • Deeply rooted joy March 7, 2023
    Did you know that Jesus prayed for you?  In John 17 he prayed for his apostles. But then in verse 20 he said this: “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message…” That means us! A little while ago I went through and […]
  • Hello Glow Stick March 6, 2023
    When I was young we would go camping. I loved it. We would set up tents, ride our bikes, go waterskiing and cook marshmallows around the fire. When it got dark my parents would bring out some glow sticks. They were plastic tubes with liquid in them. When you bent them something broke inside. That […]
  • In a tight spot March 3, 2023
    You learn a lot from someone by watching them under pressure. Do they stay true to themselves? Do they buckle?  I can’t imagine the pressure and intensity Jesus must have felt in the Garden of Gethsemane. His betrayal was at hand. He was about to be tortured and crucified (and he knew it). Soldiers arrived […]
  • God’s will and God’s word March 2, 2023
    “Follow your heart. Go with your gut. Trust you feelings.” These are popular statements. And before I sound too negative, let me just say there are times when your heart, gut and feelings have important things to teach you. But they’re not God. It follows, therefore, that if your heart, gut, or feelings urge you […]
  • Trust God, not your gut March 1, 2023
    A person with integrity is someone who acts with whole-hearted (or complete) goodness no matter the situation. It’s easy to show integrity when everything is working out fine and when everyone agrees about what should be done. It’s more difficult, however, under pressure. M. Scott Peck says: “Stress is the test for goodness. The truly […]
  • What is integrity? February 28, 2023
    Integrity. We know it’s good. We like to see it in ourselves and in others. But what is it? A popular definition is that it is doing the right thing when no one is looking. When a lot of people are watching you there is social pressure to do the right thing. They will see […]
  • Three unhelpful over-simplifications February 27, 2023
    We live in polarizing times. There are days when I feel that our news programs, social media feeds, and ways of communicating, are set-up to be combative and divisive. But hear this warning from Colossians 4:6: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer […]
  • What YOU bring to worship February 24, 2023
    “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). An enduring praise song from the 1990’s is Matt Redman’s “The Heart of Worship.” The song emerged after a […]
  • What Jesus prays for you February 23, 2023
    It’s great when a friend prays for you. Perhaps they pray that you ace your lab test or that you know how to respond to a friend who is being difficult. It feels good when someone prays for you. And you certainly need to trust God’s wisdom and timing in the process. But that friend […]
  • Ash Wednesday and holiness February 22, 2023
    Today is Ash Wednesday. Some Christians are in the habit of putting ashes on their foreheads because they symbolize our mourning and regret for sin. In fact, we’ll do that tonight at a youth-led service at the church I pastor. [This one is in-person only and at 7pm.] Ashes also symbolize our mortality. This recalls […]
  • Shrove Tuesday and confessing sin February 21, 2023
    Today is known as Shrove Tuesday. It’s the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. The name comes from a practice in England to “shrive” on this day—meaning confessing our sins and seeking God’s forgiveness. Since many people fast during Lent, there was (and is) a custom of using up fatty foods on this day […]
  • Chaos around you (not within you) February 20, 2023
    When someone says they want peace, what do they mean? It somewhat depends on the context. If two diplomats are talking about peace, they are most likely thinking about peace between countries. If a parent says they want some peace and quiet, he or she is most likely wanting their kids to stop being so […]
  • Frowning providence, The Pilgrim’s Progress, and you February 17, 2023
    John Bunyan was a preacher who was thrown in jail in the 17th century. He was separated from his wife, children and congregation. A colleague named John Owen was a theologian who had a lot of influence, even in the government. Owen tried to get Bunyan released. He used his connections to do so, but […]