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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  • For such a time as this February 21, 2024
    Have you ever wondered if you should have been born in another time? Perhaps 19th century France or even in the pioneer days? I realize that it’s fun to dream. But God isn’t that haphazard. God’s people were chosen before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). He fashioned us in our mother’s wombs and […]
  • Don’t use providence as an excuse February 20, 2024
    Providence is the invisible hand of God. It is God directing, guiding and providing for his people, even when you can’t see him. Some people say they trust in God’s providence, and then they use that as an excuse for not responding to God’s call on their lives. They think to themselves, ‘Well, God is […]
  • Laughing in the Devil’s face February 19, 2024
    I recently came across a correspondence between the Reformer Martin Luther and a friend. in The Voice, Keith S. Lindley sets the scene like this:  “In July of 1530, Martin Luther penned a letter to his dear friend, Jerome Weller. During a season of depression, Weller began to doubt the reality of his salvation, and […]
  • Good out of bad February 16, 2024
    Corrie ten Boom tells the story about an old Russian woman she met during the Cold War.  She was a woman of faith, but Bibles were not allowed. It was a time of persecution for Christians. The woman was so sick she couldn’t get off her couch. But she had one finger she could still […]
  • Fasting in a world of self-indulgence February 15, 2024
    A lot of people “give up” things for Lent. The biblical—and therefore, accurate—word for this is fasting. If you’re going to fast it’s important to know the reason. Going through the motions is of limited value if you don’t know why you’re doing it. One example of fasting is found in Ezra 8:21: “I proclaimed […]
  • Prepare to meet thy God February 14, 2024
    Today is Ash Wednesday. It’s the official start of Lent, the forty day period (excluding Sundays) leading up to Good Friday and Easter. [It’s also Valentine’s Day. If you’re curious about who Valentine was, see the link at the bottom of this devotional for a short explanation.] Back to Ash Wednesday. Some Christians put ashes […]
  • God is working, behind the scenes February 13, 2024
    [For a short post which explains the meaning of Shrove Tuesday, see the link at the end of this post.] “Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor and approval more than any of the other virgins. So he set a royal crown […]
  • Doctrine and action aren’t opposities February 12, 2024
    The word “doctrine” has received a bad name. I once saw a social media comment which captured something of the spirit of the age: “People should spend less time thinking about doctrine and more time actually loving like Jesus did.”  I get where that person is coming from. If people spend all their time debating […]
  • Being where you need to be (a tip from Walter Gretzky) February 9, 2024
    Right from the start, Wayne Gretzky was a hockey genius. He had a rink in his backyard. He also had an overflow of natural talent. But he also had supportive, smart parents. There’s a story about something Wayne’s father Walter did which gave his son an added advantage.  While watching some games, Walter took a […]
  • Surprise adoptions? February 8, 2024
    I recently saw a video of a boy named Carter.* It was Christmas morning and he was at the home of the Kipharts. Carter needed a family. The video shows them giving him a gift which included a letter. In it they told him that they were going to adopt him.  The video is quite […]
  • When you’re frustrated at your lack of progress February 7, 2024
    Do you ever get frustrated at your lack of spiritual progress? If so, you’re not alone. I recently came across a cartoon from an account on Instagram called BestChristianMemes. It quoted 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV): “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” In effect, Paul was saying to the Corinthians that since they […]
  • I will in no wise cast you out February 6, 2024
    According to Jesus, Satan is a liar. In fact, he calls him the “father of lies” (John 8:44). Here is a doozie he loves to tell God’s people. “You are not enough!” “Do you see yourself in the mirror? How in the world can you think that a backsliding sinner like you could ever be […]
  • Sowing, reaping and decision-making February 5, 2024
    Harold Kushner tells a cautionary story about the man who invented the transistor radio.  He was headed to a convention and stopped at a restaurant to have something to eat. There was another family there. He noticed that each one of them had one of his inventions. As a result, no one was talking to […]
  • All hands on deck February 2, 2024
    There’s an expression: All hands on deck. It comes from the world of ships. When there is trouble, all hands (i.e. people) are needed to pitch in and help. A storm isn’t a time to stargaze or to nap in a hammock somewhere. You’re needed! With that in mind, one of the historic metaphors for […]
  • Growth with depth February 1, 2024
    Ephesians 4:11-13 is held dear by many pastors and church leaders. In fact, it’s often read at ordinations. But it is of significance to all Christians, not just leaders. Let me share it with you, and then I’ll explain why. “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to […]
  • Oh ye of little strength January 31, 2024
    In the book of Revelation Jesus gives a series of warnings to churches. When Jesus warns you, you had better take notice! Then he comes to the church in Philadelphia. (This would have been located in modern-day Turkey, not Pennsylvania). His tone changes. Here is what Jesus says: “I know that you have little strength, […]
  • Speaking the truth in love January 30, 2024
    One of the most famous verses in Ephesians is chapter 4 verse 15: “speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” The famous part is right at the start: speak the truth in love. My guess is that […]
  • All your sins listed on your back? Fear not. January 29, 2024
    In some jurisdictions they make convicts wear neon vests while out in the world doing community service.  The neon vests are partly for safety, but they serve another purpose as well. Some say something like ‘Community Rehabilitation Program’ on the back. It’s to make the public aware that they are prisoners. I once heard of […]
  • The organic unity of Scripture January 26, 2024
    Proverbs 30:5: “Every word of God is flawless…” The Bible is God’s word to us. That statement is true. It is also under constant attack. I tend to read books, listen to podcasts, and talk to people about biblical interpretation and authority. I want to be well-informed and well-equipped. Over time, you start to notice […]
  • And when I run, I feel his pleasure January 25, 2024
    “whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God…” (1 Corinthians 10:31) In the movie Chariots of Fire Eric Liddell is a fast runner. He wants to honour God as a missionary, but he also wants to run. There’s a scene where he explains to his sister that he will go to China […]