Weekly Devotional


 Devotionals

This Week Night Devotionals (10/26/2020-10/30/2020)

Devotional Title: Why We Can Trust God (10/30/2020) Friday

Key Bible Passage: Romans 11:33-36

What situations cause you to doubt God? Do fears come because the future seems uncertain? Are hardships a challenge since they make the Lord appear unkind? Or perhaps your expectations and dreams have come crashing down, and it seems God is nowhere to be found.

Since our heavenly Father is omniscient, sovereign, and loving, we have every reason to trust Him regardless of the circumstance.

God is infinitely wise. We may have all the information that is humanly possible to gather, but God alone knows the future, the details of every situation, and the best possible plan for our life.

The Lord has complete authority over all events. Even though God’s ways are beyond our comprehension, we can trust Him, knowing that His control is exercised perfectly according to His complete knowledge and great love.

God’s love is unfailing. No matter what we are facing, nothing can separate us from His love, which is in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:31-39).

Let’s take some time today to ponder God’s limitless love, wisdom, and sovereignty. When you are trusting in Him, you’ll be able to follow His path for your life, and your heart won’t be troubled (John 14:1).

Devotional Title: The Dark Night (10/29/2020) Thursday 

Who has had, or is having, a time in their lives when they doubt? Where is God? Why are my prayers not being answered? Why is Satan having his way?

It does not take a lot of imagination to understand how such feelings take root in our time. We feel under siege not just from the COVID virus, but from authorities who take advantage of it to try to run our lives. The fear mongering depresses us. The blaming and shaming if we are not responding properly to government regulations oppresses us.

We become more sensitive to other oppressive things going on. It is not enough to try to make us live in fear of the virus, but ongoing urban violence makes a bad situation worse. It is not the normal criminal activity, but the apparent planned and orchestrated mob rule that piles on. The glorification of corruption and perversity make a mockery of holiness, and we find ourselves persecuted for pointing it out.

The media openly and without shame tries to manipulate us by increasing division, confusion and tension. Am I the only one who just turns off the tv to get away from it? There is no relief.

As if that is not bad enough, we have our individual challenges we face. Personal health concerns. Concerns for the health and well being of family members. Frustration sets in because we cannot provide the kind of care we could in normal times, because we are artificially isolated from each other. We end up sitting isolated feeling helpless, and there seems to be no relief.

I have not taken a poll, but I suspect a lot of people are sharing the same feelings, and a lot of believers are having their faith challenged in ways they have never experienced. We pray, pray, pray. We study our Bibles. We worship. We are spiritually disciplined, but… where’s God?

Here is consolation and encouragement. Saint John of the Cross spoke of the Dark Night of the Soul. He lived in the 16th century, a time of rapid change and religious turmoil. He was not the first or the last to experience what we experience, but he gave a name to it. Lots of other people, deeply devout people, have had this experience in their lives. There is no shame in having the feelings, but we must seek God’s intentions when we enter such times. We must endure in our spiritual disciplines remaining confident in God’s providence even when we do not see it.

Prior to Jesus’ death on the Cross, Matthew 27:45 ‘Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.’ It seemed like all was lost. Creation itself seemed to reflect the hearts of those that loved Jesus. ‘We have lost. He was not the Messiah. We are defeated.’ The spiritual reality was Jesus’ Blood was atoning for our sin. Jesus was defeating Satan by taking the punishment for our sin upon His Body. Jesus was declaring victory over Satan. 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where isthy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin isthe law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’

It did not look like it that afternoon. It would take until the morning of the Third Day for the world to wake up to Christ’s victory. However, I wonder at the dark night of the disciples before the sun rose that morning. We have a saying about it being darkest before the dawn. When we are facing a dark night of spiritual crisis in life, we might remind ourselves of that saying remembering Jesus that dark afternoon on the Cross.

The night will pass. The valley of the shadow of death may look deep, but if we look up, we see mountains rising to the sky and the light above. Suddenly, we realize our refusal to let depression defeat us is the evidence of God with us. God is glorifying Himself when we submit ourselves to Him. The irony is, as we admit defeat and helplessness, we confess God is in control and find a peace and confidence we will never find in our ourselves.

By David Anthony 


Devotional Title: Reasons to Trust (10/27/2020) Weds

Key Bible Passage: Proverbs 3:5-6
 
It’s easy to trust God when life is pleasant. In difficult times, though, it can be challenging. Yet that’s exactly what God tells us to do: “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you” (Psalm 50:15).
 
We can trust the Lord for several reasons. One is because of His love for us. We see it clearly demonstrated through the Father’s character, Jesus’ atoning death, and our adoption as a child of God.
 
Another reason we can rely on Him is His infinite wisdom (Rom. 11:33). He always knows what is best for us. We don’t understand all that goes into God’s plan—compared to the full, clear view He has of our life, we see just part of the picture. So, what He chooses for us may not always make sense.
 
We can also depend on God because He is sovereign. Remember that our Father can accomplish whatever He—in His wisdom and love—chooses to do. He is in complete control of all things; even Satan must get His permission before taking action (Job 1:9-12).
 
We understandably don’t like adversity and may feel tempted to ask, “Why, Lord?” Yet by recognizing that God acts in love, wisdom, and sovereignty, we can know that He’s permitted the situation and has our long-term best in mind. So we can replace “Why?” with gratitude and trust.
 

Devotional Title: Responding to Life’s Trials (10/27/2020) Tuesday 

Key Bible Passage: 2 Chronicles 20:1-30
 
How do you respond when faced with a sizable problem for which there seems to be no solution? After considering all angles and seeing no way out, do you panic or sink into despair? Believers in Jesus Christ should remember there’s another option: Pray and rely on the Lord.
 
Today’s verses provide a rich, detailed account of Jehoshaphat’s remarkable faith. When Judah was threatened by a great and powerful enemy, the king responded by seeking the Lord. His prayer was based on divine promises and Judah’s total dependence upon God for deliverance. In response, the Lord sent a comforting message through a prophet, and Jehoshaphat told the people, “Put your trust in the lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed” (2 Chronicles 20:20).
 
This is good advice for us today because our only true foundation in times of trouble is the Lord and His Word. Jehoshaphat’s prayer is a model we can follow. When we come humbly before God and base our prayer requests on the truths and promises of Scripture, we can trust Him to do exactly what He has said.

Devotional Title:
The Ark of Salvation(10/26/2020)Monday 

Key Bible Passage:Hebrew11:7


Last  Week Night Devotionals (10/19/2020-10/24/2020)

Devotional Title: Hope From God’s Word (10/19/2020) Monday 

Key Bible Passage: Isaiah 40:8

Devotional Title: Determined Disciples (10/20/2020) Tuesday 

Devotional Title:Liiving By Conviction (10/21/2020) Wednesday 

Daniel 6
 
Have you ever wondered what you would do if practicing your faith, witnessing to others, or attending church resulted in persecution or death? Worldwide, many Christians are facing just such a scenario but stick to their convictions instead of caving in to pressures around them. And some are suffering tremendously because of their faithfulness to Jesus Christ.
 
The prophet Daniel faced some tough situations as a result of his convictions, but he never compromised, even when the simple act of praying could have cost him his life. His confidence in the Lord remained firm as He was placed in the lions’ den. In fact, his steadfast faith and God’s deliverance had a powerful impact on the pagan king, who decreed that all the people of his realm should fear Daniel’s God.
 
Today we have the same choice to either live by our Christian convictions or compromise for the sake of peace and safety. It doesn’t have to be a matter of life or death. Sometimes we simply want to avoid ridicule, evade conflict, or fit in. Although we may gain temporary comfort, we forfeit a godly witness and the opportunity to influence others.

Devotional Title: Fresh And Flourishing (10/22/2020) Thursday 

Key Bible Passage: Psalm 92

Key Bible Scripture: Psalm 92:14 

In Psalm 92, the poet begins with a commendation of praise: ” It is good to give thanks to the Lord. “Good for what ? Good for you and me. It does our soul a world of good to turn from anxious thoughts and fill our days with prayerful praise; good to greet each morning with songs of thanksgiving, for such praise makes us glad. It lifts us our of gloom and replaces our sadness with cheerful songs at the “works of [His] hands’ (v4).  And what is that work? The work He is doing in us!

Here’s one my most cherished metaphors: “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing” (vv. 12-14). 

Palms are symbols of towering beauty and cedars of unbending strength. These are the characteristics of those who have been “planted in the house of the Lord” (v13). Their roots go down into the soils of God’s unquenchable love. 

Do you think your usefulness to God is over? Continue in God’s Word, rooted and grounded in Christ, drinking in His love and faithfulness. Then, no matter your age, you will bear fruit and be “fresh and flourishing.” 

By David Roper 

Devotional Title:Resting Faith (10/23/2020) Friday 

Key Bible Passage: James 1:3

Devotional Title: The Burden of Inadequacy (10/12/2020) Monday 

Key Bible Passage: Deuteronomy 1:19-36
 
Because we’re human, we all experience feelings of inadequacy from time to time. But the real issue facing us is not whether we are sufficient for a task, but how we will respond to such a challenge.
 
The Israelites felt inadequate as they stood on the edge of the Promised Land. The size and strength of the enemy contrasted sharply with their own weakness and inability, and they didn’t trust the Lord’s promise. So they refused to conquer the land and as a result were made to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. How tragic that they never saw the land God wanted to give them.
 
Like the children of Israel, we become fearful and expect to fail. As the obstacle grows in our mind, we run from the challenge and toward safety. However, turning away from a God-given task will lead us not to security but into bondage. Faith, on the other hand, will set us on the path our Father has planned for us.
 
When the Lord calls you to an assignment beyond your abilities, rely on what you know about Him and His promises. You will discover that our faithful God always empowers us for the work He wants us to accomplish.


Devotional Title: Christian Freedom (10/13/2020) Tuesday 

The freedom the world offers is not the same as the freedom of a Christian believer. The world’s freedom is the freedom to do whatever we please. We are free to drink ourselves to death. We are free to drug ourselves to death. We are free to abuse our sexual nature no matter the cost to ourselves or others. We are free to hate, abuse and oppress to our heart’s content. There are no limits to what we can do.

The emphasis in worldly freedom is on ‘me.’ ‘I’ am the standard by which I determine how free ‘I’ am. Nobody can tell me what ‘I’ can and cannot do. Whether we realize it or confess it, we make ourselves into the idols we worship, and pity anyone who gets in the way of me worshipping myself.

There is no need to cite examples of this. Any person who is honest with themselves sees it all around us in many forms. The irony is this kind of freedom ends up in totalitarianism. Since there is no one to limit our freedom, then the strongest and most unscrupulous are free to impose their will on everyone else. It becomes the law of the jungle. We end up with Hitler or Stalin when we lust after a freedom that puts men on pedestals. If that makes us fear for the attitude and behaviors we see in our country, then that fear is well-founded. We are on the slippery slope of unbridled human freedom.

How does Christian freedom differ? The Apostle Paul was explaining Christian freedom when he said, Galatians 5:1 ‘Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.’ Christian freedom is not about being free to do what we want to do, but to be freedom from sin. The world deludes us into thinking sin is a choice, but sin is a prison, a hard taskmaster. Ask an addict about how free they are to stop? Ask someone who lusts after sex, power and money, how easy it is to give it up? The person writing this had to learn that the hard way. A lot of people do.

Paul says Christ has made us free not to be yoked and in bondage or slavery to sin. Jesus announced His earthly ministry when He read the following passage from Isaiah. Isaiah 61:1 ‘The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;’ ‘To proclaim liberty’ and ‘the opening of the prisons to them that are bound’ express the kind of freedom we have. We are free from having to commit sin. We are free now to choose to be holy and in service to Christ. That is true freedom, and it is found only in Christ because Jesus took the death penalty for our sin upon Himself on the Cross. He has paid the price for us, so we do not have to sin.

Paul said, Acts 13:38-39: ‘Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.’ Paul also explained it this way, Romans 6:22 ‘But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.’

That is Christian freedom. Measure it against the freedom the world offers. Choose to be a slave to your desires, or free from what Satan intends to do to you by your own desires.

By David Anthony 

Devotional Title: Trusting God’s Love for Us (10/14/2020) Wednesday 

Key Bible Passage: Romans 5:1-11

When facing painful trials, we may be tempted to doubt God’s love for us—especially if we think peace and happiness are proof His love and trouble is not. In today’s passage, Paul helps us see God’s purpose for difficulties in the believer’s life. Tribulations are meant to produce perseverance, proven character, and hope because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts.

Instead of yielding to doubts, let the following truths about God’s trustworthy love give you hope. His love is …

Perfect. He always does what is best for us in order to accomplish His goal of transforming us into the image of His Son.

Dependable. First John 4:8 tells us that love is an integral part of God’s nature. It would go against His character not to love His people, and He never contradicts His own being.

Consistent. God works all events in His children’s lives—even the hardest circumstances—for their good. Scripture teaches us to regard hardships as the act of a good heavenly Father who loves us (Heb. 12:6).

Devotional Title :Interaction With a Holy God (10/15/2020) Thursday 

Key Bible Passage:Joshua 5:13-15

One of the blessings of being a Christian is our intimacy with God the Father. But closeness with the Lord can also tempt us to treat Him too lightly by failing to recognize His holiness or treat Him with the adoration He deserves. Joshua’s response to God’s appearance has much to teach about proper reverential fear for the Lord.

He approached the Lord in order to speak with Him. God is holy, but through Jesus Christ, we can freely and confidently approach Him to receive help and grace.

He fell on his face in humility, submission, and dependence. This is the same attitude we need to have whenever we come to God in prayer or through His Word.

He asked what the Lord had to say to Him. As we read Scripture, we too should ask the Lord to speak to us and teach us His ways.

He worshipped God with immediate obedience. If we read the Word without obeying it, we demonstrate that we do not truly fear the Lord.

What we need in our relationship with God is a balance between familial intimacy and holy fear. Consider whether the way you approach Him might need some adjustment.

Devotional Title : Remaining Faithful in Persecution (10/16/2020) Friday 

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.
 
Early Christians were arrested, tortured, and even executed for refusing to worship the Roman emperor and his gods. Perhaps Caesar would have spared their lives if only they’d have been willing to bow down before him and deny Jesus. Today, circumstances aren’t so dire for most of us—especially in countries where Christianity is widespread. Even so, we struggle with external pressures to downplay or deny our faith and may try to rationalize our choices. After all, for his own safety, even Peter denied knowing Jesus (Luke 22:54-62).
 
Like the disciple, we’re far from perfect. But even though Peter’s faith wavered, the Lord knew he would play an important role in growing the church (Matt. 16:18). In a similar way, we too have the opportunity to repent and participate in the work Jesus is doing to build His kingdom.
 
Think About It
 
Consider what life was like for early Christians. How would you respond if you faced such pressure to deny Jesus?
Why do you think the Lord chose Peter to be a leader even though the disciple would deny 

Devotional Title: Gutters and Windows (10/05/2020) Monday

Key Passage Reading: Matthew 23:23-31

Key Passage Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:5

Devotional Title: God Is in Control of Our Salvation (10/06/2020) Tuesday 

Key Bible Passage :Ephesians 1:3-14

God’s sovereignty extends over all things. He is omniscient (all-knowing), so nothing is hidden from His sight. And since He is omnipotent (all-powerful), no plan of His can be thwarted. Everything in both the natural and spiritual realms—including our salvation—is under His complete control.

Since sin has darkened minds and hardened hearts, man is excluded from the life of God (Eph. 4:17-18). Therefore, we can take no credit for our salvation. Our rescue began in the heart and mind of God, who chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). God is the one who opened our minds to understand the truth of the gospel, convicted us of our sin, and gave us the faith to believe in Jesus as Savior. From first to last, all of salvation is God’s gift to us.

Why did He reach out to save us? Several repeated phrases in today’s passage give the reason. It was “according to the kind intention of His will” and “to the praise of the glory of His grace” (Eph. 1:5-6). We are the beneficiaries of God’s kindness and salvation, by which the spotlight falls on His glorious grace—not on us.


Devotional Title: What’s your Name? (10/07/2020) Wednesday 

I once heard a pastor in a pulpit say he did not know if he was a Christian anymore. Most believers’ initial reaction to such a comment would range from anger, to confusion and disappointment. For me, this was a man who had spent decades in the pulpit who was nearing the end of his life, and it was troubling to hear the comment.

What did he mean? As the years have passed by, I have come to understand what he was driving at. The word ‘Christian’ has become a label many hang around their neck. They call themselves Christians, but do not act like it. They somehow declare themselves Christian without darkening the door of a church, Sunday School class or Bible Study much less practice spiritual disciplines like prayer. That is, unless they need to pray for what they expect God to give them. The issues of sanctification and holiness do not occur to them, because they do not know what the words mean.

Many do not understand the title of Christian is not a private matter. Being Christian means being in a community of faith. That community is not just a small group or even a congregation of a church. It is a universal community bound together by the Holy Spirit where we are obligated to be in persevering service to each other. That last part often gets lost in the shuffle. Being Christian is fine unless it means…giving, not getting.

These thoughts came to mind as I read Acts 11:26. Barnabas is going to Tarsus looking for Saul. Acts 11:26 ‘And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.’ This is the first use of the word ‘Christian’ in the New Testament, but the Greek word for ‘called’ caught my attention as well.

The Greek word translated ‘called’ means to utter an oracle, or divinely imply something. It can mean giving something or someone a title, but there is the sense of God’s hand in establishing the call. If someone is ‘called’ by God in this sense, then whatever they are named carries special importance.

There is irony in that. The word ‘Christian’ was first used to make fun of believers in Jesus. Pagan sources had coined the word for that use. Up to this point, believers were called Nazareans, Galileans or followers of the Way. The first two words implied such people were bumpkins or what we might call hicks from the sticks. The Way carried more dignity, but it did not stick. The irony is God decreed the word the pagans used to make fun of Christians would become the very word to describe them. ‘Christian’ means ‘followers of Christ’ or ‘followers of Messiah, the anointed one,’ and using that Greek word for ‘called’ drove the point home it was God’s will for Jesus’ followers to be called Christians.

The word has divine approval, but that approval implies a divine obligation to live up to the title. It is not to be taken lightly. It is not to be merely a label for convenience. It is meant to apply to a new outlook and way of life where our total obedience is to Jesus Christ.

That pastor’s comment has come to make sense. It was a sad benediction on his view of what has become of the Church. The Church has accommodated itself to the world bringing dishonor on itself by doing so. It has dishonored the name ‘Christian;’ a name God ordained they have to His glory, not to theirs.

Maybe it is time to give the name ‘Christian’ the holy significance He intends us to attach to it.

By David Anthony 

Devotional Title: Prayer for the Church (10/8/2020) Thursday

Key Bible Passage: Colossians 1:1-8
 
Although we’re usually quick to bring God our own requests and the needs of loved ones, we must also remember to pray for our local churches. If you’re not sure where to start, the apostle Paul’s writings offer some help. Today’s passage, from his letter to the Colossian believers, expresses gratitude for what the Lord has done in four specific areas of their lives:
 
Faith. God’s salvation is something we should never take for granted. Thank Him for bringing the gospel to the people in your church and giving them the faith to believe.
Love. Ask the Lord to increase their love for one another so they can respond—both inside and outside the church—as Christ would. 
Hope. Pray that the hope of heaven would be their focus rather than the fleeting pleasures and values of this world. 
Truth. Praise the Lord for the gospel, which has been proclaimed in your church. Ask that it would bear fruit and increase so more people will understand its truth and receive God’s grace.
Let’s make it a habit, perhaps on Sundays, to spend time praying for our church and pastor, asking God to accomplish His will through them.

Devotional Title: Isaiah’s Commission (10/9/2020) Friday

‘I’ll try, but it won’t do any good.’ How many have had occasion in their lives when they have said that, or at least thought it? We are told to do something knowing it will require a sacrifice from us, there will be no reward, but we go do what we are told anyway.
 
Let us confess sometimes we have the attitude we will come back and say, ‘I told you so.’ We will try to preserve our dignity by implying we should not have been sent on the task in the first place. I recall game plans when I was coaching football. I went along with them, but I did not think they would work. We will try them, but they will not do any good. I do not remember coming back later saying ‘I told you so,’ but I remember thinking it. My pride was in play.
 
What of the prophet Isaiah? What was his attitude when God commissioned him? Isaiah 6 begins with a fantastic vision of God. Isaiah is overwhelmed before anything is said to him. Isaiah 6:5 ‘Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ There is no pride in Isaiah. He confesses his sinfulness and that of the nation. The utterance ‘Woe is me’ might be taken as a lamentation heard at a funeral. In this case, Isaiah knows no unredeemed sinner can live in God’s presence.
 
Isaiah 6:6-7 ‘Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.’ God sends one of His assistants to purify Isaiah. In this case, a hot coal serves the purpose, and the servant tells Isaiah his is purged. The Hebrew word for purge is ‘kaphar’ meaning to cover or atone. Isaiah’s sin must be atoned for, so he can be in the presence of God.
 
God is heard asking who will He send? Unspoken is the notion of the person being sent is going on a mission. He will have a job to do. Isaiah answers, Isaiah 6:8 ‘Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.’ Isaiah knows he was not up to the commission on his own, but having been prepared by God, he is now confident of his ability to serve.
 
Great! Isaiah jumps in with both feet. Then God commissions Isaiah. Isaiah 6:9-10 ‘And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.’ Talk about letting the air out of the balloon, Isaiah is told up front no matter what he does, no one will listen to him. As a matter of fact, Isaiah is part of the judgment in that every time he speaks, the people will become prouder and more unwilling to see and hear what God is telling them.
 
Isaiah does not have to say he will try, but it will not do any good. GOD is telling him he must try, and it still will not do any good. Isaiah will not have to come back and say ‘I told you so,’ because GOD is telling Isaiah up front it will not do any good, and that is God’s will to use the people’s treatment of Isaiah against them.
 
I detect a bit of hesitancy in Isaiah’s question in the following verse. Isaiah 6:11 ‘Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,’ Somewhere in Isaiah is belief in God’s grace, and he is right, but the end of verse 11 begins God’s answer, and I invite the reader to read Isaiah 6:12-13 on their own.
 
It is terrifying. God will eventually reveal grace to the Elect. He will be consistent, but His answer to Isaiah is, ‘YOUR witness is to serve in their judgment, not their deliverance.’ Believers like to think what we say and do will always have a positive reaction, but the sobering realization is many times God takes the best we have to offer to bring out the worst of in others, because that is God’s way of making them give evidence against themselves justifying the judgment God is bringing on them.
 
That helps explain Jesus saying, Matthew 5:10-11 ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.’
 
We are called into the Kingdom to serve, not be served. We witness and testify. We are not to lose heart when we are not heard, or when we are persecuted. God will do with our service what He pleases, and we must rest in the assurance of a blessing to come for the tribulation we will face.
By David Anthony


Last Night Week Devotionals and Articles (9/28/2020-10/03/2020)

Devotional Title: Faith in God (9/28/2020) Monday

Key Bible Passage: Hebrew 11:1

Article Title: Peace That Surpasses All Understanding (9/29/2020) Tuesday 

“There is no real and lasting peace in living with the fear of an eternity in hell hanging over your head!”

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid (John 14:27).” What, exactly, did Jesus mean when he said, “My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.”? And what did Paul mean when he wrote, “…the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding…” (Philippians 4:7)? I believe that if we can gain some insight into how the peace of God differs from the peace that the world offers, then we will be more inclined to seek peace from the true source of real peace, the God of the Bible. So, that’s what I will focus on in this article.

The Peace That The World Gives

The peace that the world gives comes in the form of various human creations: government, military, treaties, wealth and economic systems, to name a few. These worldly sources of peace may confer, for a season, a kind of peace that may best be described as the absence of conflict and war and a diminishing of fear, but the threat of war is always there to disturb the experience of peace. Moreover, such peace is often attained at the expense of lost liberties. And, the peace offered by the world does nothing to address the universal and overarching problem of sin, for which we must all answer to God one way or another. There is no real and lasting peace in living with the fear of an eternity in hell hanging over your head! All of these promises of peace will fail in some way and at some point in time, because they are the products of the creativity and understanding of mere mortal men. Mankind longs for a peace that surpasses what the world is capable of providing with such limited and unreliable human understanding. We can say “Peace, peace”, but there cannot be peace that truly satisfies and lasts, apart from God.

The Peace Of God

When we were born again, we received peace with God, because our sins were forgiven, and our conscience was cleansed of the guilt of sin (1 John 1:9). And, we received also the peace of God, a peace that helps us to deal effectively with the trials and tribulations of living as Christians in a fallen world. However, in order to experience this kind of peace, we must first settle, once and for all, several key matters in our minds and in our hearts:

  • The Bible is God’s word. I can trust the Bible to be the authentic word of God to me. It is God-breathed (or inspired) by God Himself (2 Timothy 3:16), not a fanciful invention of mere mortals (2 Peter 1:16). In the Bible, God says what He means and means what He says. This is where I should look first and foremost for answers to the important questions about truth, morality, myself, my future, suffering and God (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12).
  • God is sovereign. He is the creator of the universe (Colossians 1:16), and He rules and reigns over everything (Exodus 15:18). With God, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37).
  • Jesus is God’s Son. Jesus claimed to be the only begotten Son of God (John 3:16), and God the Father identified Him as “…my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (2 Peter 1:17). Jesus is the only way to God the Father (John 14:6), and no one comes to Jesus unless the Father draw him (John 6:44). Jesus is the Messiah, the promised savior of the world (1 John 4:14). As a born-again Christian, I know that I have eternal life (1 John 5:13).
  • God loves me. I am created in the likeness and image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) to be in personal relationship and loving fellowship with Him (1 John 1:3). My true destiny (i.e., the reason God created me in the first place) is to honor, praise and worship God and to obey Him in all things. He hears and answers my prayers (Psalm 143:1). I am so important to God that He sent His only begotten Son (Jesus) to die for my sins, making peace with me forever (John 3:16). He loves me with a steadfast, everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
  • God is on my side. Through His gift of faith in Jesus Christ, God has made peace with me (Romans 5:1); I am no longer subject to the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Jesus calls me “friend” (John 15:15) and “brother/sister” (Mark 3:35), and I am His co-heir (Romans 8:17)! God actually takes pleasure in making me prosper (Psalm 35:27).
  • God is faithful. God does not change (Malachi 3:6), and He is not a liar (Numbers 23:19). He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5). What He has promised me He will do (Isaiah 46:11 b; Hebrews 6:13-15).
  • God owns me. Since I am a born-again Christian, God owns me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). His claim on my life is His right, and my life is His to do with as He pleases. I am no longer living for myself, but for Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:15). I am God’s servant. He always has a good reason for whatever He allows in my life, even if I don’t know what the reason is. I have made peace with these realities.
  • God will reward me. He has promised me that, as one of His chosen ones, my eternal destiny is an everlasting life in heaven with Him (John 3:16), a rightful inheritance that is full of glory, full of peace that passes all understanding and full of joy unspeakable (Ephesians 1:18). And, He has given me His Holy Spirit as a guarantee that He will, in fact, fulfill this, the greatest of His promises (2 Corinthians 1:22). The value of this glorious future reward far outweighs any trial or tribulation that God allows me to suffer in this life (Romans 8:18).

When you have settled these matters in your mind and in your spirit, once and for all trusting God no matter what happens, then you are connected to God with an unbreakable bond. When the storms of life assail you, your “anchor of the soul” (Hebrews 6:13-20), — i.e., your trust in God — will hold, and, in your spirit, you will be able to live in peace and joy even as you are being buffeted in your soul/mind and body by the storms. Let me illustrate this point with an analogy. Picture a sailing ship anchored close to shore. When a storm arises, the wind will come with a fury and threaten to break the chain and set the ship loose from its anchor, driving it to a place where it shouldn’t go, the rocky shoreline. You are that ship. Your faith is the chain that keeps the ship connected to the anchor. Your soul/mind naturally does its best to resist and withstand the storm, but it is the anchor that enables you to stay put, in perfect peace, until the storm passes. Your trust in God is the anchor, and it enables your spirit to remain calm and at peace while the storm rages. And, you no longer have a need to ask “Why did this storm come?” You can simply trust that God has a good reason for allowing it, because you have already settled these matters with Him. You know Him, and you have the peace of God, the peace that surpasses all human understanding and reaches all the way to your very spirit

By James Aist

Devotional Title: His Promise in Persecution (9/30/2020) Weds

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

All around the world, intolerance and persecution of Christians is increasing. And even though we may face discrimination or judgment, the reality for many of us in the West is that we will never experience similar violence or oppression. Yet persecution has been a part of Christianity’s story since its beginning. (See Acts 4-5.)

It’s an uncomfortable thought but an important one. At some point or other, we may find ourselves grappling with whether persecution is worth it. In such moments, remember what Jesus promised: “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:10). He wasn’t being intentionally vague; He was talking specifically about us, His followers. As Christians, we simply won’t experience fullness of life if we’re not willing to risk loving Him above all else—even if it costs us our job, our place in society, or our very life.

Think about it

Reflect on your own experience. Have you encountered discrimination, judgment, or suffering because of your faith?

Consider God’s promise to the persecuted. What does that tell you about Jesus’ heart for those who suffer?


Devotional Title: The Desires of Your Heart (10/01/2020) Thursday

Key Bible Passage:Psalm 37:1-6

Context is important to our understanding of God’s Word and His ways. But I repeatedly hear one promise quoted without consideration of surrounding ideas that explain it. People often tell me, “God said He would give me the desires of my heart, so I’m trusting Him to do that.” Before we can lay claim to this promise, we must notice one of the conditions in the first half of the We are to delight ourselves in the Lord (Psalm 37:4).

What does this mean? Delight is a high degree of pleasure, satisfaction, and gratification. Although we may readily claim that we feel this way about God, the proof is in our desires and actions. Do we long to know Him and take time each day to read His Word? Are we eager to meet with Him in prayer? Is He in our thoughts throughout the day, or do we forget about Him for long stretches of time?

We must also read this promise in the context of the other verses that speak about trusting the Lord and committing our ways to Him. In other words, God is the focus—not our desires. When we truly delight in Him, His desires become ours, and we want only what is in line with His will.

By Scott Workman 

Devotional Title: Ignoring God’s Voice (10/03/2020) Friday 

Key Bible Passage:Hebrews 4:12-16
 
Believe it or not, many people who attend church choose to ignore God’s truth because they don’t like hearing sermons that convict or demand a change. But we tend to be guilty of doing the same thing when we pick and choose what to read in the Bible.
 
When you open God’s Word, do you read only verses that encourage, comfort, or promise blessings? Are you reluctant to tackle the more difficult passages, which prick your conscience and call for obedience? Do you avoid sections that make you feel guilty about the way you are living?
 
If you find yourself reacting strongly to a passage of Scripture or a sermon, then you ought to take an honest look at yourself. God’s Word is meant to cut into the deepest recesses of our soul and spirit. But the hope is that we then run to Jesus, our High Priest, in confession and repentance in order to receive forgiveness and cleansing.
 
Christ sympathizes with our weaknesses and invites us to draw near to God to receive grace and help. The convicting passage of Scripture may cause momentary discomfort, but those who listen and take their burden to Jesus find sweet relief.


Devotionals and Articles (9/21/2020-9/25/2020)

Night Devotional Title: Pray Without Ceasing (9/21/2020) Monday 

Key Bible Passage: Luke 18:1

Devotional Title: Doing the Washing (9/22/2020) Tuesday 

Key Bible Passage: Ephesians 2:8-9

I often hear sincere people washing their hands about becoming Christian. They have it in their minds they have to clean themselves up and make themselves pure before Jesus will let them in to His Kingdom. Others who are not so sincere, use this line of reasoning as an excuse for not becoming a Christian.

‘Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ We are saved by our faith in God’s grace.

What is God’s grace? It is not ‘what,’ but ‘who.’ God’s grace is the Son of God on the Cross whose atoning Blood redeems us from the sentence we are under for being sinners. That sentence is eternal death. Faith in the Son’s work on the Cross is what saves, not what we do or do not do. That is what ‘not of yourselves’ means in the verse above. ‘The gift of God’ is the unmerited reward of eternal life we get despite not deserving it. ‘Not of works’ goes back to ‘not of yourselves.’ There is nothing we can do to lift the death sentence off ourselves. Jesus does it all.

Jesus did not come for people who do not think they need Him. He came for the broken, desperate sinner who knows there is no hope for themselves. He came for those who confess that. He does not need us to clean our act up before we come to Him. He offers Himself to us as we are so He can clean us up by covering us in His atoning Blood, and sending the person of the Holy Spirit to equip us to live the life He wants us to live.

Our sin is not an excuse to stay out of the Kingdom. Our sin is the reason the Kingdom was created. The Kingdom is not about us glorifying ourselves, but about Jesus glorifying Himself by how He redeems us from the hopeless condition of sin we find ourselves in.

He washes the sin away, we do not.

Stop making excuses. Come be washed in the Blood of Jesus.

By David Anthony 

Devotional Title: Trust and Obey (9/23/2020) Wednesday 

Key Bible Passage: Joshua 5:13-15

One of the blessings of being a Christian is our intimacy with God the Father. But closeness with the Lord can also tempt us to treat Him too lightly by failing to recognize His holiness or treat Him with the adoration He deserves. Joshua’s response to God’s appearance has much to teach about proper reverential fear for the Lord.

He approached the Lord in order to speak with Him. God is holy, but through Jesus Christ, we can freely and confidently approach Him to receive help and grace.

He fell on his face in humility, submission, and dependence. This is the same attitude we need to have whenever we come to God in prayer or through His Word.

He asked what the Lord had to say to Him. As we read Scripture, we too should ask the Lord to speak to us and teach us His ways.

He worshipped God with immediate obedience. If we read the Word without obeying it, we demonstrate that we do not truly fear the Lord.

What we need in our relationship with God is a balance between familial intimacy and holy fear. Consider whether the way you approach Him might need some adjustment.

Title of this article is: To Be Strong in the Lord (9/24/2020)

1. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).

Is it not good to belong to a God that makes gladness the pathway to power? Satan is a very gloomy god. But Jesus said, “Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for, behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:23). Satan cannot abide the songs of the saints. (Knowing this he fabricates “musical” substitutes which are not the heart-songs of happy people, but the grunts and gasps and screams of people without peace.) I have seen Satan driven out with the songs of hope-filled Christians. And I know that in my own life finding the pace to finish the race means recovering the joy of the Lord again and again. Joy is a great power.

2. “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).

Some joy comes from what we have now—forgiveness of sin, fellowship with God, purposeful lives, worship, fellowship, sunrise, sunset, precious friends and family. But the simple and painful fact is “our outer nature is wasting away” (2 Corinthians 4:16); we are “afflicted in every way… perplexed… persecuted… struck down” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9); and we who have the Spirit “groan inwardly as we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23). Therefore if we’re going to have an unwavering joy in this life, it will have to be “in hope.” “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience”—and with joy (Romans 8:24f). Therefore “Rejoice in hope!” (Romans 12:12).

3. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be crying any more, for the former things have passed away…The city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Revelation 21:4,23).

This is our hope. The glory of God will one day stand forth in a new creation and wipe away all evil and all pain and all sorrow and all fear and all guilt. All obedience and faithfulness will be vindicated and rewarded. All self-denial and suffering in faith will be recompensed 100-fold. “He who did not spare his only Son, but gave him up for us all, will freely give us all things with him” (Romans 8:32) All that God owns will be the inheritance of his children for their everlasting enjoyment.

4. “I do not cease [to pray] for the eyes of your hearts to be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of your calling and what is the wealth of the glory of God’s inheritance in the saints” (Ephesians 1:16-18).

The great challenge for us now is to know the glory of our hope. To see it with the eyes of the heart and not just think about it with the mind. This is the great spiritual battle. And this is fought with the television off, on our knees in the Word. God forbid that “seeing we would not see and hearing we would not hear.” Let us pray with all our heart that the God who said, “Let there be light,” will shine in our heart “to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).

Summary

Pray for eyes > behold the glory of God > hope in that glory > rejoice in hope > be strong in joy.

On the stretch for God with you,

By  John Piper Modal

Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org


Devotional Title:The Faith to Endure  (9/14/2020) Monday 

key Bible Passages:Hebrews 11:24-40

We all love the victorious stories in the “Hall of Faith” of Hebrews 11—enemies are defeated, people are rescued, lions’ mouths are shut, and the dead are raised. But what about those who pleased God with their faith yet suffered and died? The last entries in this beloved chapter convey a spiritual reality many people today are reluctant to embrace—that faith is not a means by which we get God to do what we want.

We who belong to Jesus Christ have God’s promise that He will heal all our diseases, rescue us from every trouble, and give us great riches—not now, but in eternity. The Lord said, however, that in the meantime we can expect tribulation, persecution, and suffering (John 15:18-21). So it’s important to remember that faith doesn’t rescue us from all this but will get us through it.

God wants us to remain steadfast in the face of affliction and temptation. Like Moses, we may be called on to endure “as seeing Him who is unseen” (Heb. 11:27). So let’s place our hope in God and hold fast to Him in faith through good times and bad.

Article for 9/15/2020 Tuesday 

Article Title: The Sins of the Nation
 
The Book of Isaiah begins with a vision granted to Isaiah. It is a vision of the Kingdom of Judah during the reigns of several kings, both those who did right in the eyes of the Lord, and those that did not.
 
The nation is described in fearful detail as disobedient and corrupt. Verses in places remind us of Jesus’ Seven Woes uttered on the religious leaders of the nation found in Matthew 23. Was Jesus intending for the people of His day to see the connection with Isaiah’s prophecy of judgment upon Judah centuries earlier?
 
If that was Jesus’ intention, then what was the purpose for making the comparison? Isaiah uses the figure of a person full of corruption to describe the nation of Judah. Isaiah 1:4-6 ‘Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. Why should ye be stricken anymore? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.’
 
The vision of Judah is of a person, an individual, who is nothing but wounds and bruises. He is covered in corruption. Death is literally seen in this person’s wounds, and ‘neither mollified with ointment.’ There is no way to bind up these wounds and corruption. They must be there, and death is not only inevitable, but necessary.
 
We can go read the entire passage, but I was reminded of Isaiah’s later Song of the Suffering Servant. Isaiah 53:3-5 ‘He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were ourfaces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he wasbruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.’
 
When we couple the vision of the Suffering Servant with the vision in Isaiah 1, we realize the messiah will embody the nation. He will literally take the punishment for the sins of the nation upon Himself. Instead of them being crucified, He will take the punishment they deserve. That is us on the Cross. ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’
 
We cannot help reading Isaiah 1 without equating it with our nation this morning. In places, Isaiah 1 reads like today’s headlines. Is that a coincidence? The beginning of Isaiah 1:4 reads, ‘Ah, sinful nation’ with the Hebrew word for ‘nation’ not the word referring to Jews, but to all people including Gentiles.
 
The nation, all men, are described as full of corruption, wounded, bleeding and bruised. Messiah is described as taking their punishment upon Himself, Jew or Gentile. That offer was fulfilled on the Cross. He offers Himself today for our nation.
 
Pray our nation will have its eyes opened, confess and repent.
By David Anthony 

Devotional Title:Doing God’s Work God’s Way (9/16/2020) Wednesday 

Key Bible Passage:Zechariah 4:1-7

In 538 B.C. the Israelites returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. However, they encountered many adversaries who tried to prevent them from succeeding (Ezra 4:1-5). Discouragement set in, and eventually they were forced to stop working. God told their leader, Zerubbabel, how to proceed: “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit” (Zech. 4:6). We would be wise to follow that counsel.

Like the Israelites, we may be under pressure and unsure how to keep going. When we encounter obstacles, our tendency is to figure out the solution for ourselves, but this attitude isn’t right. Having an independent spirit may be prevalent and admired today, but it’s not how the Bible tells us to live. Instead, we are to be characterized by dependence on the Holy Spirit—giving up control and letting Him direct our actions will result in doing God’s work His way. Our life won’t be free of trouble, but we’ll experience many victories through the Lord.

When we’re depending upon the Holy Spirit, here’s what becomes evident: Without God, we would fail, and our constant companions would be worry and distress. But with Him, we receive true wisdom and divine power. Then, peace and joy accompany us—even amidst hardship (Gal. 5:22-23).

Title: The Warrior Prayer (9/17/2020) Thursday 
 
“When it’s all said and done and I’m standing before God, I want to be there bloodied and exhausted, worn from the fight. I want to place at Christ’s feet a notched but sill razor sharp sword, a battered shield with the heraldic emblem faded and dull, a breastplate with deep scratch marks where the enemies darts marred it when my shield of faith dropped low, a helmet of salvation marked by turning a blow from the mace of doubt, boots of the gospel resoled many times and lastly, a belt of truth that is as strong as it was when I received it. All to be turned in for a shining crown of gold, robes of white and a new name shared only with the King.”
 
~ author unknown


Devotional Title: Perfect Peace (9/18/2020) Friday 


 Devotionals and Articles (9/7/2020-9/11/2020)

Devotional Title : God Hates Sin (9/7/2020) Monday

Key Bible Passage: Psalm 32:5

Devotional Title: God’s Purpose (9/8/2020) Tuesday 

Key Bible Passages : Romans 8:28-30

What is the purpose of life? Throughout human history, people have been trying to answer that question. Books have been written on the subject, and philosophers have postulated many answers. But for Christians, God’s purpose is concisely outlined in today’s passage.

Believers are called according to His purpose and are foreknown by Him. God’s foreknowledge is much more than His ability to see future events in advance. It also includes bringing to pass what He has chosen to do for those He has called. He has predestined them to be conformed to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:29). This will be fully accomplished in the resurrection, but until then, God is progressively transforming His children right now. These are the ones He calls, justifies (declares righteous), and ultimately glorifies.

If you are a Christian, this is God’s purpose for you. That means everything He allows into your life is designed to shape you into a glorious reflection of Christ. Although you cannot fully understand how God brings about salvation and how believers are responsible to respond in faith, there is great comfort in knowing that He who began this good work in you will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6).

By Scott 

Devotional Title: God’s Perspective of Our Work (9/9/2020) Wednesday 

Key Bible Passages: Colossians 3:22-25

Workplace conversations often revolve around achievements, recognition and advancement—as well as the energy people put into reaching these goals. Although the culture values a spirit of competition and the drive it takes to win accolades, these are not the qualities by which the Lord evaluates our work.

God calls His children to a different way of thinking and working—one that marks us as belonging to Him. It is called servanthood, and it is the Lord Jesus Christ whom we serve. However, we do so by selflessly serving others, whether they appreciate us or not.

Christ Himself is our model. He left the glories of heaven, took on human flesh, and humbled Himself to become an obedient bond-servant to His heavenly Father, even to the point of dying on the cross. As those who belong to Him, we are to imitate His humble obedience to the Father (Phil. 2:3-8).

Whatever job we may have, we should remember that we’re accountable to the Father for our attitude and diligence. He is pleased when our focus is to “work heartily, as for the Lord” (Col. 3:23) and to benefit others. With that servant-like approach, we’ll place less importance on ourselves and more on the people around us, who are likely to sense a reflection of Christ in our actions.

Article about new show on HBO that glorified abortion: Unpregnant (9/9/2020)

From HBO Max comes the new abortion comedy Unpregnant, and it is anything but funny. The movie, scheduled to start streaming September 10, mocks the sanctity of human life and turns one teenager’s pursuit of an abortion without parental consent into a fun cross-country road trip in which a broken friendship is restored.

Seventeen-year-old Veronica finds out she’s pregnant despite using condoms. She can’t turn to her parents who are Catholic and referred to as Jesus Freaks, nor can she turn to her boyfriend who is trying to sabotage her out-of-state college plans. The only person Veronica can turn to who won’t judge her is her former best friend Bailey. Despite their friendship problems, Bailey agrees to help Veronica and together they take a road trip from Missouri to New Mexico, the nearest abortion clinic that does not require parental consent.

Veronica’s Ivy League college plans are the reason she is choosing to end the life of her unborn baby at an abortion facility over 900 miles away. Along the way they run into drama: They find out they are driving a stolen vehicle; they run into pro-life activists, and they stop at a carnival and enjoy rides that are unsafe during pregnancy.

The movie is based on a young adult novel by the same name written by Jenni Hendriks. The director of the film Unpregnant, Rachel Lee Goldenberg stated:

“I want there to be less shame and stigma around the topic of abortion. I want to educate people on the problematic existing laws and also demystify the abortion procedure. I’m not sure if one movie can do everything I want it to do, but it’s not going to stop us from trying.”

HBO is making a mockery of a tragic life-or-death situation and calling it entertainment. A majority of our supporters likely do not subscribe to this premium channel because of its risqué and inappropriate content. But with so much available on demand, a warning needed to be sent concerning the plot of this PG-13 rated film. We also want HBO to hear our voices on this matter.

join boycott at one million moms 

Devotional Title: Soldiers for Christ (9/10/2020)

Key Bible Passages: 1 Timothy 6:11-16

In today’s passage, Paul tells a young pastor named Timothy, “Fight the good fight of faith” (1 Timothy 6:12). But this command isn’t limited to pastors; every believer needs to be a faithful soldier of Christ. That’s because we’re all in a battle—not against people but against spiritual forces of wickedness (Eph. 6:12).

This war began when Satan and other angels rebelled against God. Then Satan tempted Eve to disobey the Lord as well. As a result of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, the earth was cursed, and the entire human race was corrupted by sin. Ever since that day, the battle for truth and righteousness has raged.

Although we may often feel overwhelmed by temptations and deceptions, Jesus modeled the path to victory when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11). He used only one weapon to refute each enticement and falsehood—the Word of God.

This is the same powerful weapon our heavenly Father has given us to fight the good fight. When we view daily battles biblically with full reliance on the trustworthiness and authority of Scripture, we can flee sin, pursue righteousness, and stand firmly for the truths of the faith.

Article on 9/11 (9/11/2020) Friday 

September 11, 2001, thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. To date, this tragedy is reported to have the greatest loss of police and firefighters in our country’s history. With almost 3,000 people passing away from the events that occurred, it is most certainly a memory that will be burned into the minds of those who were cognitive enough to understand what was happening on that day. Whether you believe that this was a wicked act carried out by our government, or that Osama Bin Laden helped to orchestrate this sinister plot, we know that ultimately it was guided by a spiritual force that is not flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

Sadly, many atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris decided after these attacks that they were going to begin an evangelistic effort to turn people away from God and steer them into atheism. They used this tragic event to help advocate for a “New Atheism” which would challenge religion, agreeing that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.” (Source) New Atheist, Victor J. Stenger, would go as far as saying, “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.” (Victor J. Stenger, The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason, Prometheus, 2009)

However, we need to ask ourselves this question: was it religion that made those men fly those planes into those buildings? Actually no, it was SIN. The same sin that sent those men flying planes into buildings is the same sin that moved Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Lenin to kill millions upon millions of people. The sin committed by these men is actually the second of the Ten Commandments, which commands us not to fashion a god that will fit our own liking (Exodus 20:4). Every one of these leaders (we would include Muhammed as well) created a god that fit their own image. Whether atheist or otherwise, man will typically worship anything other than the one true God. If we look to Romans 1 on the subject, we find that their rejection of God has nothing to do with the evidence provided. It is made evident within them, but they suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18-19). These men would rather have their sin than their Savior “and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man” (Romans 1:23).

When we look back on this date, remembering those who were lost, let us also remember that roughly 150,000 people die on a daily basis. What are we doing to make sure they know our Lord and Savior before they die? Do not let an atheist do more evangelism than you! Let us do as Jesus commanded:

Mark 16:15
“Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”

By Chad Davidson at Good Fight Ministries 

Devotionals and Articles (8/31/2020-9/6/2020) 

Article Title: An Open Letter to Pastors and Christians – Stand or Fall (8/31/2020) Monday 

A paraphrase that is often attributed to Alexis De Tocqueville—a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s, helps to open this letter: “I looked throughout America to find where her greatness originated. I looked for it in her harbors and on her shorelines, in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and in her gold mines and vast world commerce, but it was not there.”

“It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

Over the last few decades, Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God’s Word in several areas, and the blatant murdering of millions of babies. This is an indictment against America and the pulpit is partially responsible – our silence speaks volumes.

The pulpit regulates the spiritual condition of God’s people which affects the nation. A lukewarm, sex-saturated culture (and church) simply reflects the lack of conviction in the pulpit as well as the pew.

Sadly, many pastors are exchanging truth for passivity, boldness for cowardliness, and conviction for comfort…they are not aflame with righteousness. We aim to be motivational speakers rather than preachers of righteousness.

Pastors (and Christian leaders alike) must take responsibility for the spiritual health of today’s church, and the nation. We don’t need more marketing plans, demographic studies, or giving campaigns; we need men filled with the Spirit of God.

Pastors, we are not just cheerleaders, we are game changers. We are called to stir and to convict so that change takes place. Granted, there are many wonderful pastors and churches—I appreciate their ministry, but, as a whole, the church has drifted off course. They have lost the compass of truth. Here are four ways to re-set the compass.

1. Return to the prayer closet. Without prayer, “the church becomes a graveyard, not an embattled army. Praise and prayer are stifled; worship is dead. The preacher and the preaching encourage sin, not holiness…preaching which kills is prayerless preaching. Without prayer, the preacher creates death, and not life” (E.M. Bounds).

When God brings change, prayer has been the catalyst. Martin Luther prayed and the church was reformed. John Knox prayed and Scotland was revived. John Wesley prayed and America was restored. George Whitefield prayed and nations were changed. D.L. Moody prayed and America fell to her knees. Amy Carmichael prayed and India received the gospel. And so it goes…when you pray, you move the hand of God.

The dry, dead lethargic condition of the church simply reflects an impotent prayer life. While 5-minute devotionals and prayers are good, they aren’t going to cut it in these dire times. We need powerful times of prayer, devotion, and worship. “Without the heartbeat of prayer, the body of Christ will resemble a corpse. The church is dying on her feet because she is not living on her knees” (Al Whittinghill).

Sermons should not come from pop-psychology and the latest fad; they must come from the prayer closet where God prepares the messenger before we prepare the message. It takes broken men to break men. Unplug the tv, turn off Facebook, and get back into the Word of God, prayer, and worship.

2. Return to a separated life. If a pastor fills his mind with the world all week and expects the Spirit of God to speak boldly through him from the pulpit, he will be gravely mistaken. “The sermon cannot rise in its life-giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher” (E.M. Bounds). Who he is all week is who he will be when he steps to the pulpit.

3. Worship must be a priority. A pastor who does not worship is not prepared to preach. Many sing “about” God but they have never truly experienced Him—head knowledge without heart knowledge. Styles of worship range from the old, beloved hymns to contemporary. All worship should be God-centered, Christ exalted, and doctrinally sound.

Worship allows us to shift our focus and praise toward God. Whether you prefer hymnals and organs or contemporary bands, is really not the issue. The issue is: are you truly worshipping God in “spirit and in truth”? He is the Creator of heaven and earth. He is not a cosmic force, universal love, or a doting grandfather; He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. We must worship Him. He created, redeemed, and saved us. As one of the countless hymns declares so well, “O’ The Blood: washes me; shed for me…what a sacrifice that saved my life, yes the blood, it is my victory!”

4. Preach the difficult truths – they set people free. The church cannot neglect, water-down, or avoid preaching sin, repentance, or the fear of the Lord in the hope of not offending or securing an audience. Difficult truths often offend, and rightly so, sin put Christ on the cross. The goal of preaching is faithfulness to God, not crowd appeal. The church, as a whole, may have forgotten the fear of the Lord, but it doesn’t follow that we should.

Let it not be said of us today: And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord because pastors failed to be preachers of righteousness. The burden of responsibility rests squarely upon our shoulders. It’s our choice—stand, or fall!

But there is hope: “Therefore say to them, Thus declares the LORD of hosts: Return to me, says the LORD of hosts, and I will return to you…” (Zechariah 1:3). That’s a life changing promise – return to Him and He will return to you.

By Shane Idleman 

Devotional Title: Gotta Get Humble (9/1/2020) Tuesday 

Key Bible Passage: Philippians 2:3

Let’s first get straight on what “getting humble” is not. It’s not trying to think poorly of ourselves or denigrating ourselves or anything like that. It actually involves taking the focus off ourselves. Getting humble is checking our tendency to think ourselves better than others, or more important, valuable, worthy of time or mindshare or respect. Getting humble is shutting down our tendency to “size people up” and position them on some scale—based on money, title, education, geography, whatever. Getting humble is recognizing all people as the careful works of God, equally worthy of love and sacrifice.

Getting humble is counterintuitive, and it moves against prevailing culture. You see, we men want to feel successful, important—and have others consider us so. Culture trains us, therefore, to promote ourselves; to be strategic with our time and attention; to let positions determine our treatment of others. This training is foolish. It misses the sense and strength of humbleness.

Imagine someone humble. They’re often fearless, able to act on convictions, rather than trying to impress. Their decision-making is often sound, unclouded by insecurity or prejudice. They listen and welcome honest differences. They abide critics, crushed not by their criticism. They’re often magnetic, treating all people with respect. They engender loyalty, camaraderie. King Solomon wrote, “with the humble is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). We want to work with humble people. We want to work for them and have them work for us. We want them as spouses, friends. But, mostly, we should want to get humble ourselves.

Okay, so what do we do?

Practice getting humble. Choose something this week: initiate a conversation and listen more than you talk; serve in a way that’s mundane or difficult (unpleasant, even); help someone anonymously; give someone the credit they deserve (even if you deserve some too).

By Scott

Article Title:The Impending Crisis (9/2/2020) Wednesday 

In the 1850’s, Hinton Helper wrote a book called ‘The Impending Crisis.’ The book was about slavery and how it was harming the nation. That does not mean Helper was an abolitionist. Far from it, and that is why modern interpretations of history are not helpful understanding our past. Helper was from the South, but he identified with Free Soilers. He did not want to see slavery spread, but he did not want slaves emancipated in the sense we think today. He expected emancipation to be coupled with repatriation to Africa. He did not think blacks had a place in American society.

What gets lost in the moralizing shuffle over what Helper said is he correctly identified the elephant in the room. Slavery was doomed. Whatever we might think of Helper’s opinion regarding Free Soil and black equality, he made a powerful economic argument that slavery must end because… it was bad for white people.

What did he mean? Slave prices were spiking on the eve of the War Between the States. Just like gold prices are spiking today, slaves were becoming gold-plated luxuries. The abolition of the international slave trade had limited the market of slaves, but not demand. Southern cash crop agriculture was labor intensive. It could not prosper without plentiful, cheap labor. The problem by 1860 was slaves were neither plentiful, nor cheap. Slave labor was becoming more expensive than a system of free labor practiced in the North. That was good for slave traders, but trouble for slaveowners. When the Confederate Constitution made a specific provision for the abolition of the international slave trade, it was not a humanitarian gesture. It was put in there to protect the special interests of these slave traders who were making money hand over fist at the expense of slave and slaveowner alike. How could that happen? Just like today, money talks. The slave traders bought support for such provisions by putting money in cash-strapped slaveowner pockets, and anyone else who would support their interest.

Apart from the moral and ethical questions raised by chattel slavery, the system was becoming economically obsolete. Perceptive people, North and South, knew the clock was ticking. The invention of the cotton gin had incentivized putting more acres into cotton production since cotton could now be processed in larger quantities. There was an international market for it from Britain and France. That was all good in the short run, but international competition for cotton production was growing from places like India where free labor was more economically competitive in setting cotton prices. On the other hand, in the South cotton prices were being forced up not for profit, but to underwrite maintaining slaves.

Capital for investment was being sucked into an inefficient system of labor that was not competitive. The cotton gin had another message. If a machine could gin cotton, then how long before there were machines to plow and till cotton fields? How long before machines were invented to pick cotton? What value are slaves when machines; which do not need to be fed, housed and clothed, do their work for far less cost? What happens to the welfare of the slave population that has no reason for being a labor force? Where do they go? What do they do? Where do slaveowners go to find the capital to invest in mechanization when all their money is tied up in slaves?

Everyone is trapped. The Southern economy was in a death spiral. It was immoral to continue slavery in the South not just for the sake of blacks, but for the sake of whites. Everyone was going to be hurt if it continued. That was prophecy. Anyone who reads the record of Reconstruction, and the conditions of a southern economy where money for capital investment and economic development did not exist in the wake of abolition, see Helper’s economic warning come to reality.

So, was the Southern cause wrong to support secession? Were Southerners just racist bigots who wanted to secede to oppress black people? Was the War Between the States all their fault? Helper was a Free Soiler. Abraham Lincoln was too. There were Free Soilers in the Republican Party. They were not humanitarian philanthropists. They were hard-headed politicians making political calculations. They knew the impending crisis was not just bad for the South, but for the nation. However, in the end the record shows they were not willing to do the hard things for the sake of everyone. They could have helped the South transition to a free labor economy. They did not. They could have provided capital to the South to do that. They did not. They let the conditions Helper identified fester.

The objection is why should northern capital be used to bail out Southern slaveowners? How had the North accumulated the capital they had for their industrial development? Where did their money come from? Look up the early industrialists; and see how many of them had made fortunes… selling slaves to the Southern slaveowners. The Northern economy was built on profits from the slave trade.

The saddest thing I ever read was an analysis by a liberal northern history professor from University of Illinois. He wrote that for the economic cost of fighting the War Between the States, the North could have instead provided money to emancipate every slave. The North chose to use that money to fight the war which killed over 600,000 men, North and South.

We need to stop looking for good guys versus bad guys in history. The reality is complex, because reality is Romans 3:10 ‘As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;’

Article Title: Equality Act (9/3/2020) Thursday 

The hideously misnamed “Equality Act”

begins its journey through Congress this week. It’s designed “to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.” 

Now the 1964 Civil Rights Act already makes it illegal for discrimination to occur on the basis of “sex,” by which the authors of the bill meant “male or female.

One significant thing to note in passing is that the authors of this bill evidently agree – whether they realize it or not – that the CRA of 1964 does NOT provide special protections based on “gender identity” or “sexual orientation,” because if the term “sex’” was expansive enough to include both, there would be no need for the Equality Act. 

So we should all be able to agree that, while “sex” in the 1964 CRA referred to the division of humanity into males and females, protections were not extended to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. Hence the felt need for the “Equality Act,” to address this lacuna in civil rights law. 

“Gender identity” contains a raft of problems all by itself, for the category seems limited only by the hyperthyroidal imaginations of gender activists. Facebook allows you to choose from no less than 71 – count ‘em – genders. The old “male and female” thing is so last century. Now you can adopt a veritable cornucopia of sexual identities, starting with “asexual,” “hermaphrodite,” or “intersex,” and working your way up to “gender variant” or “pangender.” 

Mind you, there is no biological or genetic marker for these various departures from the norm – it’s all in your head. Which makes the whole concept enormously subjective and fluid, and allows you to slip into it just about anything you want. 

But what is truly pernicious is that “sexual orientation” is nowhere defined in the bill. Now everyone has a working definition of “sexual orientation” in their heads, a definition that begins with “male” and ends with “transgender” or some such thing. But “sexual orientation” is not defined anywhere in the bill or anywhere else in federal law. Everyone, including off-the-reservation judges, will get to make up their own definition. 

This means that “sexual orientation” will mean anything you want it to mean, INCLUDING PEDOPHILIA OR BESTIALITY. 

On 5 May 2018, the University of Wurzburg in Germany held a conference with the theme of “Future Societys” [sic] that featured a presentation by Mirjam Heine, a medical researcher. Here’s what she had to say (emphasis mine): 

“According to current research, pedophilia is an unchangeable sexual orientation, just like for example heterosexuality. No one chooses to be a pedophile. No one can cease being one.” 

Snopes investigated the report of her remarks and found it to be “True.” In fact, organizers admitted that “a speaker (at their conference) described pedophilia as a condition some people are born with.” 

So now we have medical professionals saying pedophiles are born that way, God made them that way, they can’t stop being one no matter how hard they try, and if you’ve got a problem with that, your problem is not with the guy who wants to rape kids but with the God who made them that way. 

If the “Equality Act” were to become law, pedophiles would have special privileges and protections under the law that you and I would not have. Because religious exemptions are specifically forbidden in the bill, pedophiles could not be prevented by Trail Life USA (the conservative Christian alternative to the Boy Scouts) from becoming leaders of small boys. And if you have a problem with that, you’re the one who is going to wind up in jail. 

Churches could not prevent pedophiles from working with their children and their youth groups. The Roman Catholic Church could not prevent self-admitted pedophiles from becoming priests and working with altar boys. 

It will not be long before bestiality (sex with animals) becomes a protected category. Prostitution will soon follow, as will incest and necrophilia (sex with dead people). 

This is what the future holds if this law passes. If you want to keep our country from becoming the Disneyland of Deviancy, it’s time to bombard our men and women in Congress with phone calls urging them to vote against the “Equality Act.” Why? Because it, in reality, is the “Pedophile Protection Act.”

Devotional Title: Holy , Holy , Holy (9/4/2020) Friday

Bible Passage Reading: Revelation 4 

Key Scripture Passage: Revelation 4:8

Devotionals and Articles (8/24/2020-8/28/2020) 

Devotionals Title: Amazing Grace (8/24/2020) Monday 

Main Scriptures for this devotional: Ephesians 2:1-10

Key Scripture: Ephesians 2:8

Devotional Title: The Path to Success (8/25/2020) Tuesday 

Key Devotional Passage: Colossians 3:5-10

God’s way is often contrary to the world’s. Our culture says, “Don’t let anyone push you around,” but Jesus teaches that it is the merciful, the meek, and the peacemakers who are successful in God’s kingdom (Matt. 5:5-9). The world encourages material prosperity and personal comfort, while Scripture says we are successful when we become more like Jesus and follow God’s plan.

True success starts with our thinking. Picture your mind as a computer that regulates your attitudes and actions, directing your response in different situations. Since our decisions are made on the basis of values and priorities stored in the mind, our responsibility as Christ followers is to feed it a steady diet of God’s Word. Only scriptural truth can counter the continuous stream of ungodly or useless data that daily barrages our thinking. The Bible is the standard by which we screen the various ideas and attitudes that come our way (Phil. 4:8).

When we meditate on Scripture and value God’s standards in our mind, our words and actions will follow suit. Let’s opt out of the world’s love of power and material success—and instead become the people God planned for us to be. Then we can accomplish His purposes for us. Now, that is real success!

By Scott 


Devotional Title: Making Our Lives a Prayer To God (8/26/2020) Weds  

Just outside the veil separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place in the Temple was the altar of incense. Priests would come to burn incense on this altar symbolic of prayers rising to God. The sweet smell of the incense was symbolic of how pleasing to God the prayers were being lifted to Him.

Paul was speaking of believers as ministers of a new covenant when he wrote, 2 Corinthians 2:14-15 ‘Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:’

The priesthood of the Second Temple still existed when Paul wrote those words, but they were obsolete. Jesus had prophesied the end to the system of sacrifice and the Levitical priesthood. His atoning sacrifice on the Cross was the last blood sacrifice. No more are needed, because no blood sacrifice made by sinful man will ever be adequate to meet the need atonement for our sin.

At the moment of Jesus’ death on the Cross, the veil separating the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place in the Temple was eliminated. Matthew 27:51 ‘And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;’

Man was no longer separated from the presence of God by man’s sin, because Jesus’ atoning Blood had removed the separation. No more sacrifices were needed within the veil because the veil had been removed by God.

However, the altar of incense remained. It was not abolished. God still desired sweet-smelling sacrifices of priestly service to Him. God still wanted priests to lift their lives in service to Him as a sweet-smelling sacrifice. That now takes on the importance God had always intended.

We make such sweet-smelling sacrifices of our prayers and our lives in service to God because we have become the priesthood of all believers. We do not need priests to do it for us. God has equipped us with the Holy Spirit to do it for ourselves and each other. 1 Peter 2:9 ‘But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:’

Augustine and many others understood. Independently of one another, several believers through the ages have said their desire was to make their lives a sweet-smelling sacrifice to God.

That is the witness and testimony of every believer in the Kingdom of Heaven. The question for us each day is whether we are making an offering of ourselves in the Spirit or not? It is what believers should strive to do, because God expects His priesthood to conduct itself this way.

By David Anthony 

Devotional Title: God’s Control and Our Prayers (8/27/2020) Thursday 

Key Scriptures:John 14:13-14

Have you ever wondered why we pray if God already knows everything? What do our prayers accomplish?

First, communicating with God connects His Spirit and ours. A relationship can’t survive if the two parties don’t speak with each other.

Second, God communicates His will to His children through prayer. If we’re seeking to please Him, then we will pray with an open heart and mind. In turn, the Lord impresses upon us the desire to ask Him for those things He wants to bring into our life.

Third, communing with God gives us the opportunity to participate in His kingdom on earth. As we learn to trust Him for answers, He gives us greater tasks in prayer. The Lord will burden our heart to pray for the salvation of a friend, people suffering from a natural disaster, or the state of our nation. When we see an answer, whether it’s big or small, we will know He blessed us by including us in the process.

God calls on His children to pray, because He wants us involved in His work. What a privilege for us to freely go before our Father and know that He is interested in what we have to say. In fact, He is pleased when we ask Him to meet our needs or the needs of someone else. And if we are praying according to His will, He answers every time.


Devotional Title: Word of Honor (8/28/2020) Thursday

Key Bible Scripture: Romans 12:10

To honor someone is to build them up, to give them a sense of their worth. Prevailing culture teaches us our worth is weighed by worldly measures. And so, “honoring” becomes hero worship—elevating those good at projecting worldly success and marginalizing those of us with flawed lives, with failures in our past, or who are simply unable or unwilling to devote enough effort to convincing the world of our success. This type of “honoring” is not what God intends. We lead each other astray when we engage in it, because the focus is so wrong.

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2).

To honor someone as God intends is to build them up and give them a sense of their true worth. It’s trying to see them as God sees them. It’s pushing right through the confusion of worldly measures—successes, failures, talents, faults, wealth, poverty, titles, appearances—looking for evidence of what God has done in and through them, and what he’s doing currently. And, finally, most importantly, it’s telling them what we see. Our edifying, encouraging words to one another are gifts from God. He allows us to give them to one another . . . and we must.

Okay, so what do we do?

Ask God to help you see those around you as he sees them. Look for how he’s working in and through them. And . . . then . . . tell . . . them. Tell them what you see. We men tend to struggle with the telling. We can be married for years, or in community with other men for years, and never simply tell those closest to us what we see in them. So, pick someone this week and tell them what you see. Honor them with a glimpse of his/her true worth.

Week Devotionals and Articles (9/17/2020-9/22/2020) 

Devotional Title: A Word To The Weary (9/17/2020) Monday 

Scriptures Reading : Isaiah 50:4-10

key Scripture: Isaiah 50:4

Article (9/18/2020) Tuesday

As Jim Garlow rightly noted when we spoke this week: “There are approximately 364,000 churches in America: 72 percent, or 264,000 of them, are liberal, meaning that they really don’t care about the Bible. According to exhaustive surveys, somewhere between 6,000 and 15,000 actually have a bona fide biblical worldview, that is, they see life through the lens of Scripture.” Did you catch that? Nearly 72 percent of churches don’t look to the Bible as their final source of authority and direction. No wonder America is crumbling from within; the foundation is deteriorating. 

He went on to say, “Bold pastors are nearly extinct. It would be much easier ‘to play church’ and make everyone feel good. The church—as we now know it—will be functionally illegal very soon. With the recent SCOTUS decisions, the First Amendment died and churches will very soon be forced to hire those who practice homosexuality and will not be allowed to speak against the sinful practice.”

This article is not a rebuke, per se, but a tear-stained plea to return to God. The blood of unborn children and the effects of ungodly legislation are not just on the hands of legislators or judges but also on the hands of capitulating preachers. Society can ignore the murder of millions of babies in the womb, mock the police, desecrate society, pillage and destroy, redefine marriage, support perversion, back ungodly movements, and pastors are supposed to keep their mouths shut on these issues? I don’t think so. (For more on that, I invite you to watch this short clippicked up by Fox News.)

THE IRONY OF SILENT WATCHMEN 

The Bible calls pastors “watchmen” who cry out and sound the alarm to awaken a sleeping church, not sing her lullabies. The prophet Isaiah, who doesn’t mince words about lazy watchmen, says they are blind and ignorant and that they are all dumb dogs who cannot bark (raise their voices to warn). They sleep and lie down, loving to slumber (cf. Isaiah 56:9). 

At first glance, you may think this wording is too strong, but I can assure you that it is not. Backing away from speaking the truth in love is a serious offense against God. A genuine pastor doesn’t call himself to the ministry; God calls him to speak the truth, even on tough topics. Silence about sin is rebelling against the call of God. If your sermons do not upset the world from time to time, I have to seriously question your calling. 

Few Spirit-filled preachers are left, and when one rises, they are quickly labeled as right-wing, extreme, or narrow-minded. The so-called evangelical church is on the verge of totally capitulating, especially on the cusp of the Supreme Court’s recent decisions. I’m equally alarmed at the number of leaders who remained silent when police officers were killed and babies aborted. These “woke” Christians are not woke to the things of God. They often do more harm than good by hashtagging and promoting false narratives. 

Yes, we need to unite against racism and call it out when warranted, but our capitulation has led to cowardliness. In trying to correct the sin of racism, the pendulum has now swung in a dangerous direction. To fix racism, you have to preach about sin, repentance, and forgiveness. A person needs to turn completely to Christ to truly change. The irony is that many pastors avoid talking about foundational truths of the Bible that lead to real heart change. They are actually part of the problem, not the solution. 

From Orange County, California, to Dallas, Texas, how sad that many churches won’t even do voter registration because it’s “too political.” God ordained the government; surely He doesn’t want us to stay silent. What we say (or do not say) greatly impacts politics. We are not being political; we are being biblical. Saying, “I’m just not political,” is really an excuse to hide cowardliness. “Bold pastors may look like they are on the wrong side of history, but they are on the right side of eternity” (Jim Garlow). 

Many are even marching with ungodly groups and seeking redemption by kneeling. This is why the social gospel, if not properly explained, is dangerous—it removes redemption through Christ and places it on “good works.” There is no harm in calling for national repentance; we have biblical grounds for that, as we see in the life of Daniel and Nehemiah, but is racism the only sin we are guilty of as a nation? Why not unite black and white pastors in peaceful, biblically-grounded, gospel-centered, God-honoring gatherings rather than align with groups who fuel anger, revel in sin, and take pride in the lack of forgiveness and unity in their mission statements? Listen to more here

THE SIN OF PRAYERLESSNESS 

At the heart of cowardliness are the sins of prayerlessness and pride. They are running rampant in many of our churches. The dry, dead, lethargic condition of the church accurately reflects an impotent prayer life and a lack of humility. Prayerlessness in the pulpit leads to apostasy and dead sermons. Prayerlessness in the pew leads to shattered lives and depression. Prayerlessness in men leads to the breakdown of the family. Prayerlessness in Washington leads to the breakdown of society. “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live” (E. M. Bounds). We have plenty of demands for protests, but where are the cries for prayer meetings?

When a pastor stands firm for truth, he is demeaned, mocked, and scorned—or people simply leave that church in search of a more “loving” pastor. But this persecution, according to Scripture, can be a badge of honor, as long as our boldness is a fruit of the Spirit and not the fruit of an arrogant heart: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:10). 

Ironically, the closer I draw to Christ through prayer and worship, the bolder I become. But the more I’m concerned with the opinions of others, the less bold I become. Boldness cannot be worked up; it must be brought down as we surrender our hearts and lives to Jesus Christ. Too many pastors join the ministry not to battle the darkness but to sign a truce with the world. 

PULPITS AFLAME WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS

A quote often attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville, a Frenchman who authored Democracy in America in the early 1800s, helps to identify how far we have drifted: “It was not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her success. America is great because she is good, and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.” Pastors, we are not just cheerleaders, we are game-changers. We are called to stir and to convict so that change takes place. Granted, there are many wonderful pastors and churches—I appreciate their ministry, but as a whole, the church has drifted off course. Many have lost the compass of truth. But there is hope: “Therefore say to them, Thus declares the Lord of hosts: Return to me, says the Lord of hosts, and I will return to you” (Zechariah 1:3). 

Pastors, that’s a life-changing promise; return to Him, and He will return to you. Boldness comes directly from the Holy Spirit, and it is crystal clear that many of us are not spending a lot of time with God. Everything that God calls us to be is compromised when we are too busy and have no time for Him. 

The world is on fire. You may not accept that, but it is the truth. This may be God’s last warning to America. Can America be saved? I am not sure. When the pulpit is silent, all hell breaks loose because there is no confrontation or conviction of sin, but we are called to fight with the spiritual weapons of prayer and worship, to stand strong, and to expose the unfruitful works of darkness. I will do that until God calls me home. How about you? (Here is a quick clip on why we can talk about political hot buttons.)

Let it not be said of us today, “And there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord,” because pastors failed to be bold preachers of righteousness. The burden of responsibility rests squarely upon our shoulders. It’s our choice—stand, or fall!

Devotional Title : Life Focused on Christ (9/19/2020) Wednesday (come across this devotional and would like to share)

Key Scriptures Verses : Hebrews 12:1-3

A life of strong faith doesn’t happen automatically or without any effort on our part. Although we are not saved by our own endeavors, spiritual growth requires the appropriation of all the means God has provided to help us walk faithfully with Him. We should …

• Learn from the lives of past heroes of the faith, like those we read about yesterday in Hebrews 11. Knowing that others have faithfully navigated the stormy seas of life encourages us to persevere as well.

• Rid ourselves of any habitual sins or other burdens that hinder us from wholehearted devotion and obedience to the Lord.

• Focus on Jesus, not on ourselves or our desires.

Christ has gone before us to model how to live faithfully, no matter how difficult the circumstances. He demonstrated perfect trust, always doing exactly what His Father commanded—even going to the cross. Jesus endured shame and suffering by focusing on the joy that would be His in the completed redemption of a people for God’s glory.

Are you looking to Christ for the strength and perspective needed to run life’s race with faith-filled endurance?

Devotional Title : Life Focused on Christ (9/20/2020) Thursday 

Key Scriptures Verses : Hebrews 12:1-3

A life of strong faith doesn’t happen automatically or without any effort on our part. Although we are not saved by our own endeavors, spiritual growth requires the appropriation of all the means God has provided to help us walk faithfully with Him. We should …

• Learn from the lives of past heroes of the faith, like those we read about yesterday in Hebrews 11. Knowing that others have faithfully navigated the stormy seas of life encourages us to persevere as well.

• Rid ourselves of any habitual sins or other burdens that hinder us from wholehearted devotion and obedience to the Lord.

• Focus on Jesus, not on ourselves or our desires.

Christ has gone before us to model how to live faithfully, no matter how difficult the circumstances. He demonstrated perfect trust, always doing exactly what His Father commanded—even going to the cross. Jesus endured shame and suffering by focusing on the joy that would be His in the completed redemption of a people for God’s glory.

Are you looking to Christ for the strength and perspective needed to run life’s race with faith-filled endurance?

Devotional Title: Danger is Your Business (9/21/2020) Friday 

What can mere mortals do?—Psalm 56:4

Our King, Jesus Christ, calls us to a new kind of life, his kind of life. “Follow me” is quoted more than fifteen times in the Gospels. Following him, however, goes against prevailing culture—for which safety and security are utmost priorities. The kind of life to which Jesus calls us is not safe, nor secure. Here’s a report from a man, the Apostle Paul, who lived it:

“Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27).

God didn’t design Paul for safe or secure; nor did he us. We’re all designed for big, dangerous lives: “. . . for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7).

Okay, so what do we do?

Insert your name into 2 Timothy 1:7:

“. . . for God gave [ . . . you . . . ] a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

Read it through again. Now, fast-forward to the end of your life, imagine friends and family saying that of you: “He was fearless. He had power and love and self-control.” What do you need to begin now, to ensure those words then? What bold changes will you make? Remember, your days are numbered (Psalm 90:12). Commit, yourself ,to make at least one change this week.

Devotionals (9/10/2020-9/14/2020) 

Devotional Title: Run To The Cross (9/10/2020) Monday 

Personal Scriptures Reading: Hebrews 10:28-39.

Key Scripture: Hebrews 10:31 

Devotional Title: Hope For A “Mudder” (9/11/2020) Tuesday 

Personal Scripture Reading : James 1:2-4 

Key Scripture for the Devotional: Romans 5:3-4 

Devotional Title: You Fool! (9/13/2020) Wednesday 

Personal Scriptures Reading: Luke 12:16-21

Key Scripture for this devotional: Psalm 14:1

Devotional Title : Jesus’ Prayer Program (9/13/2020) Thursday 

Scripture Verse: John 16:23

09/14/2020

Happy Friday 


“A Shipwreck, A Poem, A Song, A Testimony”

“It Is Well With My Soul!”

First Verse:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

o Refrain:

It is well with my soul,

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Second Verse:

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,

Let this blest assurance control,

That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,

And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Third Verse:

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—

My sin, not in part but the whole,

Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Fourth Verse:

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:

If Jordan above me shall roll,

No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life

Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Fifth Verse:

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,

The sky, not the grave, is our goal;

Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!

Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

Sixth Verse:

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,

The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;

The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,

Even so, it is well with my soul.

The Story Behind “It Is Well With My Soul”

(Source: https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/it-is-well-with-my-soul/)

This incredible story of faith belongs to Horatio Spafford (1828-1888). Much like Job, he placed his trust in God during his life’s prosperity, but also during its calamities. A devout Christian who’d immersed himself in Scripture, many years of his life were joyous. He was a prominent Chicago lawyer, whose business was thriving. He owned several properties throughout the city. He and his beloved wife had four beautiful daughters and one son. Life was more than good — it was blessed.

But faith, no matter how great, does not spare us from adversity.

Just as Horatio hit the pinnacle of his profession and financial success, things began to change. It began with the tragic loss of their son. Not long thereafter, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed nearly every real estate investment Horatio owned.

Just a few years later in 1873, Horatio decided to treat his wife and daughters to a much-needed escape from the turmoil. He sent them on a boat trip to Europe, with plans to join them shortly after wrapping up some business in Chicago. Just a few days later, he received a dreadful telegram from his wife, “Saved alone…” It bore the excruciating news that family’s ship had wrecked and all four of his daughters had perished.

Horatio was on his way to meet his heartbroken wife, passing over the same sea that had just claimed the lives of his remaining children. It was then that he put his pen to paper and the timeless hymn was born, beginning with the words:

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Famous hymn composer, Philip Bliss (1838-1876), was so moved by Horatio’s prose, that he composed a peaceful tune to accompany the words. The song was published by Bliss and Sankey, in 1876.

It’s incredible to think such encouraging and uplifting words were born from the depths of such unimaginable sorrow. It’s an example of truly inspiring faith and trust in the Lord. And it goes to show the power our God has to overcome even the darkest times of our earthly life.

We pray this brought you inspiration. Be sure to share this story with others who could use a reminder that our God will see us through any storm!

Devotional Title: Responding to Our Culture (8/03/2020) Monday 

Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-18

How do you react when you see people being hostile toward Christian beliefs? Do you let your anger simmer, get into an argument on Facebook, or just keep quiet? It’s difficult to know how to respond to those who show antagonism to our faith, but Peter gives us good advice in today’s passage.

Be willing to suffer or be misunderstood. Since the world finds holiness, obedience, and reverence for God confusing or even offensive, taking a stand for righteousness may bring you criticism instead of praise. Don’t fear the intimidation, but remember that when you are persecuted, you are blessed (Matt. 5:10).

Sanctify Christ as Lord in your heart. A follower of Jesus is no longer enslaved to the world but is now a slave of Christ and His righteousness (Rom. 6:18; 1 Corinthians 7:22).

Always be ready to give a defense for your hope. This is to be done gently and respectfully—never with anger or condemnation.

Keep a good conscience. You can’t foresee how God may use your example. Perhaps your righteous behavior and words will influence others to see their own sin and turn to Christ.

Even though our culture looks very dark, Christ can use your light to show someone the way to the Jesus.

Devotional Title: Patience and Perfection (8/04/2020) Tuesday

Scripture Verse:  “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:3 

Patience is not easy for most of us. If a plane is delayed a few minutes or something does not happen exactly when or how we expected it to, we get impatient and frustrated. I have heard of people who quit going to a particular church because the preacher did not stop exactly on time! James said, “7. Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.  8. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” (James 1:7-8).

Patience is not simply  “teeth-clenched” endurance. It is an attitude of expectation. The farmer patiently watches his barren ground because he knows there will be results. He has patience in his labors because there will be products of his labor. 

So it is in the spiritual realm. God knows the final product of what is happening to us, and He would have us link patience to our faith. Ask God for the gift of patience–and then use it. 

Hope For Today: 

Lord, I will wait with expectation–eager to see what. You will do in my situation. I will not sulk or sit idly by. While You work behind the scenes. I will be at work in prayer. 

By Billy Graham

Devotional Title: Waiting of the Lord (8/5/2020) Wednesday 

I remember my grandparents working on their farm. They set examples of delayed gratification. The chickens, pigs and other animals did not feed themselves. The fields did not plow themselves. The harvest did not pick itself. All the canning, smoking and preservation meant work, work, work. I recall my grandfather with a terrible case of the flu. Nevertheless, he was up at 4 am to feed the animals and do the other daily chores. I suspect he worked off more calories before breakfast than we do in an entire day, and he had to do it whether he was healthy or sick. He had to wait on everything else, before getting what was coming to him.

These thoughts came to mind as I read Jesus teach the following parable about our faithfulness and discipleship. Luke 17:7-10 ‘But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.’

Jesus puts us in the place of God asking us to see things from God’s perspective as the owner of the farm with a servant. The farm does not run itself, and the servant was chosen to take care of it for his master. The servant has his chores he must do for his master, and his rest does not come until the master’s will has been fulfilled. He has been chosen to do his duty, and his duty is to serve his master.

Many think salvation is the end. It is the beginning. The word for servant is the word for someone bought with a price, a slave. We have been bought with the price of the Blood of Jesus. We have become servants to our Master in His Kingdom. We have work to do. We are expected to be about our work because we were chosen to … work.

Waiting on the Lord does not mean sitting around watching the clock waiting for the day to end. Waiting on the Lord means waiting on His will in our lives, and His will is we be about His business until He calls us to Himself. Our reward comes later, but for now we wait upon the Lord.

By David Anthony 

Devotional Title: Going Too Many Directions? (8/6/2020) Thursday 

. . . let us run with endurance

the race that is set before us—Hebrews 12:1

Every man has a sweet spot—a skill, an aptitude, a function that results in maximum impact for a given amount of effort. We’ve all felt them, finding ourselves “in the zone.” We probably have one, maybe two, but our sweet spots are what make us indispensable to others—to our employers, our families, our friends, to the people we’re meant to serve. Of all the things we do, our sweet-spot activities are where we make a unique difference. They’re the things we’re made to do.

Sweet spots aren’t random, nor accidental. They’re crafted by our Creator. And they indicate where he wants us to focus our lives—for impact. You see, sweet spots are crafted with specific needs in mind. God cares about those needs, whatever they are, and he designs us to address them (Ephesians 2:10).

Identifying our sweet spots allows us to analyze our days, our weeks, and prioritize. It allows us to begin to concentrate our efforts on activities for which we were made. It also allows us to create margin in our work life. As Jethro counseled Moses, we can learn to curtail or delegate activities that fall outside our sweet spots and, thereby, keep our work from unreasonably impinging on other important areas of our lives (Exodus 18:13-27). We cannot eliminate all outside activities, of course; but, we can better manage our time to emphasize the inside ones.

Okay, so what do we do?

Spend some time pondering your sweet spots. Now, grab a piece of paper and sketch out an ideal job description, one that perfectly leverages you in those spots. You won’t be able to move into that job instantly, of course . . . but the description should serve as a reference for making future decisions, allowing you to move closer to it, over time.

Devotional Title: 


Last Week Devotionals and Articles 

Devotional Title: Overcoming Tribulation (7/27/2020) Monday 

Scripture Verse: John 16:33

Devotional Title: Celebrate The Fruit (7/28/2020) Tuesday 

Scripture Reading; Colossians 1:3-14 

Scripture Verse: Colossians 1:3 

Devotional Title: A Courageous Life (7/29/2020) Wednesday 

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:18-21
 
When we recognize God’s presence with us, courage starts to develop in us. It grows as we draw on His strength. Without God’s power, we’ll find that hardship and stress drain us emotionally and hurt us physically, leaving us vulnerable to Satan’s attacks.
 
After 40 years of wandering, the nation of Israel was in such a state. They should have believed the two spies who trusted in the Lord’s presence and power. But instead, allowing their weakness to hold sway, the people sided with the remaining ten spies, who claimed the Canaanite obstacles were too great (Num. 13:26-32).
 
In contrast, Paul faced the Roman tribunal after enduring great hardship but was not dismayed, because God stood with him and strengthened him. Times of helplessness and weakness are in reality opportunities to receive an abundance of divine power (Phil. 4:13).
 
Being yielded to God’s purposes is essential for developing courage. Paul knew God had a plan for every event in his life—even the hardest ones. Instead of seeking a way out of trials, accept God’s way, and you’ll find courage welling up from within. Imagine yourself standing next to God, drawing on His strength.

Thought for Tonight (7/30/2020) Thursday 

When a minister asked a simple countryside woman what was her concept of “growing in grace,” she replied, “A Christian’s growth in grace is like the growth of a cow’s tail.” Puzzled at her reply, he asked for an explanation. Whereupon she said, “The more a cow’s tail grows, the nearer it comes to the ground; and the more a Christian grows in grace, the more does he take his place in the dust before God.” Ah, she had been taught from above something with which many an eminent theologian and commentator is unacquainted. Growth in grace is a growth downward: it is the forming of a lower estimate of ourselves; it is a deepening realization of our nothingness; it is a heartfelt recognition that we are not worthy of the least of God’s mercies.”
 
~ Arthur Pink, “Spiritual Growth”

Devotional Title: Effective Prayer (7/31/2020) Friday 

Scripture Verse : Isaiah 65:24 

Devotionals Title: Valuable To God (7/20/2020) Monday 

Scripture Verse : Proverbs 11:28

Devotional Title: Fellowservants (7/21/2020) Tuesday
 
In his greeting to the Colossian church, Paul compliments the pastor: Colossians 1:7 ‘As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;’ Paul calls Epaphras a fellowservant. This is a translation of a word meaning ‘co-slave.’ Both Paul and Epaphras have accepted their submission and servitude to the cause of Christ.
 
They have been redeemed by the Blood of Jesus, and the word for redemption refers to the price paid for a slave. They have been bought with the price of Jesus’ Blood. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 ‘What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.’ Neither Paul nor Epaphras are their own, they belong to Jesus.
 
Mentioning slavery today has negative meanings. We sweep the word under the rug rather than confronting it. Maybe that explains why the African slave trade continues, but we somehow cannot work ourselves into mentioning it. Some comfort themselves they put slavery in its place by ignoring it. That is moral cowardice.
 
Yet, what are Christians to make of this description of us as slaves in service to Jesus? The verse above is not the only place the Greek word for slave (doulos) is used in scripture. Doulos and another Greek word referring to slaves (pais) are found eighty-one times in the New Testament, and most of those citations refer to followers of Jesus Christ. We are slaves in service to our master.
 
The relationship requires submission and obedience. The bond is not cooperative as though Jesus collaborates with us. Jesus does not make suggestions to us about how to think and act. Jesus is our Lord and Master. He gives the orders, and we submit in service to Him. If a person reading this is insulted by the previous comments, then we begin to understand the confusion in the Church. We run the risk of having too much ‘me’ in the Church, and not enough Jesus because our pride tends to filter out the requirement of total submission in our life of faith.
 
Before we can begin to have a healthy, productive life of witness and testimony, then we must know our place. If we struggle to do that, then join the crowd, but remember it is pride talking when we do not submit to Jesus. It is Satan taking advantage of our selfhood to draw us away from Christ. If that happens, then you are not free. No, you simply exchange slave masters.
 
Take your pick. Be a slave to sin in Satan’s false kingdom, or be a slave in service to Jesus in the Kingdom of Heaven. No, it will not be easy street, and it will demand much of us. Look at the life of Paul, Peter any number of humble, faithful, enduring servants to Jesus.
Being Christian is a high calling, but it begins and continues in absolute submission and servitude to Jesus. Teaching about servitude, Jesus said: Matthew 20:27-28 ‘And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.’
 
Jesus set the example of absolute obedience unto death on the Cross. If He did for us, then what should we be prepared to do for Him?

Devotional Title: The Viral Gospel (7/22/2020) Wednesday 

Scripture Reading: Acts 7:59-8:8

Scripture Verse: Acts 8:4 

Devotional Title: Messengers (7/23/2020) Thursday 

‘Do not shoot the messenger.’ The origin of the expression is unclear. It probably had many sources. A similar sentiment is found in Sophocles’ drama ‘Antigone’ where we read, ‘no one loves the messenger who brings bad news.’

The irony in scripture is messengers could bring good news, and still be persecuted for it. The word messenger translates the Greek word aggelos which can mean messenger, pastor or angel. Being a pastor, I can relate to the obligation to bring good news no matter how it is received.

Luke 10 records Jesus sending out 72 messengers ahead of Him as He approached Jerusalem. They are not called aggelos in that chapter, but that was the role Jesus expected of them. Luke 10:2-4 ‘Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way.’

Jesus tells them up front it may not necessarily go well for them everywhere they go. They will be lambs among wolves. My wife and I reflected upon Jesus’ command they were to not carry purse, scrip or shoes. Upon reflection, I think Jesus was telling them (and us) we are to be entirely dependent upon God’s providence when we witness for our faith. I also recall priests were commanded to go barefoot in the Temple when they went on duty to serve God. Being barefoot was a reminder they were serving the Son of God.

All of us are messengers of the gospel proclamation. Jesus gave us our marching order in Matthew 28:19-20 ‘Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.’

That is, those who accept the gospel proclamation. Many will not. Not only will it not be accepted we will be mocked, ridiculed and hated for the message we bring. Jesus said, Matthew 10:22 ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.’ Matthew 24:9 ‘Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.’

That is becoming more and more obvious, no matter where a believers proclaims the gospel. Our sinful pride rebels at the notion of persecution. We want to be liked. We want to be welcomed, and even given special place for our efforts. What happens is, we subtly begin to altar our message to get the recognition and avoid persecution. There is no sense in denying that. It is a constant temptation.

We cannot do that. We must be faithful messengers no matter the cost to our comfort and security. We are not sent to make life easy for us, but to glorify our Lord and Savior who gives us eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Here is a solemn thought from Jesus, Luke 10:16 ‘He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.’

We should pray we are convicted, we must accept the sacrifice we must make for our faith because it is not us that is being dishonored, but God, and He will settle those matters in His own good time.

By David Anthony 

Devotional and Articles for (7/13/2020-7/16/2020) 

(7/13/2020) Monday

Hope you guys are having blessed Monday. Love you guys, I came across this article by afa just want to share. Facebook is blocking me so I am going posted articles also too.

Jude, the earthly brother of Christ, warns the Church about apostates and gives a fivefold description of them. These five things are good for identifying and avoiding apostates, but if we flip them on their heads, we suddenly have five things that every Christian should be.

“These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea, casting up their own shame like foam; wandering stars, for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.” Jude 12-13

  1. You should be a charted reef. A hidden reef was a great danger to ships. A ship could become stuck on an uncharted reef, or have its bottom ripped to shreds. But a charted reef had no surprises. Sailors were familiar with it. You should be the same way with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Are you a genuine person, honest about where you are spiritually? Or are those close to you sometimes taken back because you turn out to not be who they thought you were?
  2. You should be a raincloud. Nothing was more annoying to an ancient farmer than a cloud that promised life-giving rain but never delivered. It’s easy to pretend that you are full of Christ, but does He ever overflow from your life to someone else? Are you soaking up fellowship with Christ so that you can then bless others?
  3. You should be a fruit-bearing tree. An apostate will have no end of words about how well his or her walk with the Lord is going, but they will have no outward proof that they are telling the truth.  An apple tree will have apples, a peach tree will bear peaches, and a true believer will produce a Christ-like life. When the Holy Spirit indwells someone, it changes him or her. Has your life been changed by the Christ you claim to follow?
  4. You should be a calm sea. Jude describes apostates as wild waves that toss up filth from the bottom of the sea. They are always stirring up contention in the church, never happy unless there is drama happening. Have you seen this tendency in your own life? Are you a person concerned with the spiritual well-being of others, looking for opportunities to make peace between your brothers and sisters like a peaceful wave on the shore?
  5. You should be a steady star. Those who don’t follow Christ have no real direction to give others. Anyone that follows them will simply wander around in futile circles. If someone were to follow you, do the things you do, and take the things you say to heart, would they receive valid directions? Are you a reliable picture of what a person who follows Christ should look like?

In the end, these things are the result of following Christ and abiding in His Word. A true Christian will see these things in his or her life, although imperfectly. God is so gracious that He did not just save us from hell and leave us alone. He is working in all His children to shape them into the image of Christ.

Devotional Title: Shine Anyway (7/14/2020) Tuesday 

Scripture Verse: Ephesians 5:8

Devotional Title: The Bible is True (7/15/2020) Wednesday 

Scripure Verse: Psalm 119:89

Thought for 7/16/2020 Thursday 

THE WARRIORS PRAYER
 
“When it’s all said and done and I’m standing before God, I want to be there bloodied and exhausted, worn from the fight. I want to place at Christ’s feet a notched but sill razor sharp sword, a battered shield with the heraldic emblem faded and dull, a breastplate with deep scratch marks where the enemies darts marred it when my shield of faith dropped low, a helmet of salvation marked by turning a blow from the mace of doubt, boots of the gospel resoled many times and lastly, a belt of truth that is as strong as it was when I received it. All to be turned in for a shining crown of gold, robes of white and a new name shared only with the King.”
 
~ author unknown

Title : Prophets without honor (7/16/2020) Friday 
 
Getting called to prophesy was a heavy burden. God did not pull any punches when He commissioned prophets.
 
Isaiah was overwhelmed by the holiness of God saying, Isaiah 6:5 ‘Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.’ Isaiah had no illusions about himself in relation to God. He knew He did not deserve to stand in the presence of God. He had no right to see God, and the sentence for that was madness or death.
 
God sends a seraph holding a hot coal with tongs. Presumably, the hot coal comes from some sort of altar where burnt offerings are made. Isaiah 6:7 ‘And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged.’ God’s grace is to purify Isaiah for his commission as a prophet of God. That might puff some people up, but then God says this is what Isaiah will get for his obedience as a prophet of God’s word:
 
Isaiah 6:9-11 ‘And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate.’ That is not the end of it. Isaiah 6:11-13 continue to speak of a fearful judgment. Isaiah is told his ministry is to convict and judge a people who will not hear God.
 
God calls Jeremiah to prophesy, but prepares Jeremiah by telling him, Jeremiah 1:17-19 ‘Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the LORD, to deliver thee.’ There will be no earthly fame and fortune for Jeremiah. He knows from the beginning there is a price to pay serving a holy God.
 
Ezekiel’s call to prophesy is also stark. The Jews will resist Ezekiel’s prophecy. God commands Ezekiel, Ezekiel 2:6-7 ‘And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.’ Yes, God promises to sustain Ezekiel in his ministry, but Ezekiel is warned up front not to count on a comfortable life where he is honored.
 
Preaching in His hometown, Jesus faces criticism and opposition (Matthew 13:53-58). At one point, His own family tries to come and take Him away saying Jesus was crazy (Mark 3:21). We know what happened to Jesus at the end of His ministry. 
 
Next time that person in the pulpit rains on our parade, next time they make us sweat, next time they make us hopping mad for calling us sinners desperately needing God’s grace to save us from ourselves, next time they make clear we are NOT ‘all that,’ remember the burden on their shoulders. They are not called to leave us complacent and apathetic. They are called to awaken us to the eternal damnation that awaits anyone who does not take God seriously about the grace and mercy He offers them.
 
God said, Zephaniah 1:12 ‘And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem with candles, and punish the men that are settled on their lees (complacent): that say in their heart, The LORD will not do good, neither will he do evil.’

By David Anthony 


Last Week Devotionals (7/6/2020-7/10/2020)

Devotional Title: Peace (7/6/2020) Monday 

Devotional Title: Never Too Busy (7/07/2020) Tuesday 


Devotional Title: Sandcastles (7/08/2020) Wednesday 

Scripture Verse: Luke 12:34

Devotional Title: God Promises Protection (07/09/2020) Thursday 

Scripture Verse: Hebrew 13:5 

Devotional Title: Are You Listening (7/09/2020) Friday 

Scripture Verse: Numbers 20:8

Devotionals (6/29/2020-7/04/2020) 

Devotional Title: Sufficient Grace (6/29/2020) Monday 

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:9 

Devotional Title: Breath of Life (6/30/2020) Tuesday

Scripture Reading: Job 33:4 

Devotional Title: Changed For Life (7/01/2020) Wednesday 

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:18 

Devotional Title: Sourdough Bread (7/02/2020) Thursday 

Scripture Reading: Luke 12:1

Week Devotionals (6/22/2020-6/27/2020) 

Devotional Title: Do Unto Others (6/22/2020) Monday 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 7:12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Treat others how you want to be treated.”? Well, this Scripture is saying just that and I know that we, as a society, have forgotten about this concept of treating others with love and respect. What has happened to this world where people would rather spit at or slap you than to say “hi” to you? It is just nothing, but craziness all around us…viruses, riots, looting, murders, etc. Instead of seeing love, we are seeing the faces of hate, anger, fear, resentment, bitterness, and selfishness all around. However, there is good news! There is still hope and there is still love found in Jesus Christ. He is everything good, righteous, and holy. He never changes and He is still in control even in the midst of all this chaos. So, instead of looking at all this violence and mayhem, we have the choice to turn to Jesus with all of our fears, worries, anxieties, needs, protection, everything. He will give us what we need when we need it. And, we have the choice to love rather than hate. The choice is ours–will we allow our turbulent emotions turn us into crazed people concerned only about what we want or will we turn to Christ with our raw human feelings and allow His goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and love to flow through us?

By Heather Ritter 

Editor: Jonathan Ritter 

Devotional Title: Free But Not Cheap (6/23/2020) Tuesday 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 16:24, “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” 

During the early years of the twentieth century, Bill Borden turned his back on one of America’s great family fortunes to become a missionary to China. He only got as far as Egypt, where, still in his twenties, he died of typhoid fever. Before his death he wrote, “No reserves, no retreats, no regrets!” 

Discipleship is always costly. No, it may not cost us our lives. But it will cost us. It will cost us our plans, our wills, our selfish desires. Jesus’ standard has not changed: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). Instead of controlling our lives, we turn them over to Christ as Lord. 

Someone has said, ” Salvation is free but not cheap.” It cost Jesus His life, and it will cost us as well. But could anything be greater? Could anything be more fulfilling? 

Follow Christ, and at life’s end you will be able to say, “No regrets!”

Hope For Today

Everyone who follows Christ first picks up his cross, and no one’s cross is light. What have you had to sacrifice in order to follow Him? Whatever it is, you can know that it was worth it.

By Billy Graham

Devotional Title: Bad Choice (6/24/2020) Wednesday

Devotional Title: God Got This (6/25/2020) Thursday 

Scriptures Reading : Matthew 6:25-34

By Jonathan Ritter 


Devotional (06/15/2020-06/19/2020)

Title: Living a Holy Life (06/15/2020) Monday

Scripture Reading: Matthew 6:20, “But lay up for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” 

An old man, a great man of God, lay on his deathbed. He summoned his grandson to come to his side. Calling the boy’s name, he said, “I don’t know what type of work I will be doing in Heaven, but if it’s allowed, I’m going to ask the Lord Jesus to let me built your mansion. You be sure you send up plenty of the right materials.” 

Living a life of purity and love, leading others to Christ as we share our faith, doing good works in Christ’s name–all of these things are materials that may be sent on ahead. These can never be touched by the fluctuations in the earthly economy, by natural disaster, or by thievery. 

What kind of materials are you sending up to Heaven? 

Hope for Today 

We plan for our earthly futures: college funds, retirement plans, and so forth. Are you putting the same planning into storing up treasures in Heaven? What have you done today that will be credited to your eternal account? 

By Billy Graham

 

Devotional Title: Carrying Nothing Away (06/16/2020) Tuesday 

Scripture Reading: Psalm 49:17, “For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him.”

What do you think when you read this Scripture? For me, I think of all the times I have been envious and jealous of people who have children, houses, and nice things that I wish I could have if it weren’t for my mountain load of debt. And then, I think of how useless it is to have these type of feelings when I know that none of us can take any of this stuff with us when we die.

And each and everyone of us will die someday and the only thing we are taking with us is our soul. Then, the question becomes where is our souls going to go–heaven or hell. When we are standing in front of Jesus Christ, it will not matter if we were rich or poor on this earth, what will matter, is our relationship with Him–if we chose to have one with Him at all. Because you see, Jesus Christ is the only Way to get to heaven. You must believe in Him, accept His sacrifice on the cross, confess your sins to Him, and then, repent and turn away from those sins in order to have a relationship with Him. This relationship is what is most important in this life because it will carry on into eternity in heaven with Jesus Christ where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more struggles. Oh, what a day that will be for those who believe!!!!!

So, you see, there is no need to be envious and jealous about what earthly possessions others have. If you have Jesus Christ, you have all you will ever need from here unto eternity.

By Heather Ritter 

Editor : Jonathan Ritter

Devotional Title: The Privilege Of Prayer (06/17/2020) Wednesday

Scripture Reading: John 16:24, “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

What a privilege is ours: the privilege of prayer!

Just think of it: you and I have the incredible privilege of approaching the God of the Universe, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isaiah 57:15)! We can only do this because Jesus Christ has opened the way.  

We are to pray in times of adversity, lest we become faithless and unbelieving. 

We are to pray in times of prosperity, lest we become boastful and proud. We are to pray in times of danger, lest we become fearful and doubting. We are to pray in times of security, lest we become self-sufficient. Pray, believing, in the promise of God’s Word that “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:” (I John 5:14). 

Hope For Today 

Can you imagine Moses turning down the chance to speak to God on the mountain? That is the choice we make when we neglect the privilege of prayer. Whatever is on your heart, joy or sorrow, your God wants to hear from you. 

By Billy Graham

Devotional Title: Overflowing Joy (06/18/2020) Thursday

Scripture Reading: Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.”

The word joy has all but disappeared from our current Christian vocabulary. One reason is because we have confused joy with happiness, and have come to believe it is found in pleasure, security, and prosperity. In doing this, however, we have believed a lie that Satan is constantly telling the world to believe. 

But James did not say, “Count it all joy when you all fall into an easy chair.” He said, “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations.” (James 1:2). 

Joy is not the same as happiness–although they may overlap. Happiness depends on circumstances; joy depends on God. Happiness vanishes when life turns painful; joy keeps going and may even grow. 

Joy comes from a living, vital relationship with God. It comes from knowing this world is only temporary, and someday we will be with God forever. It comes from the fact that although we do not yet see God, we ” Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory;” (I Peter 1:8). It comes from a life of submission to the Holy Spirit–regardless of circumstances. 

Hope For Today

We have heard it; some of us have surely said, “I just want to be happy.” How sad that we would content ourselves with happiness when the joy of the Lord is ours for the taking. Choose joy.

By Billy Graham


Week Devotionals (06/08/2020-06/13/2020) 

Devotional Title: David’s Psalms 23 (06/08/2020) Monday 

This is an eye opener. Many probably never thought nor looked at this Psalm in this way, even though they say it over and over again. 
 
 
_The Lord is my Shepherd._
 *That’s Relationship!* 
 
_I shall not want._
 *That’s Supply!*
 
_He maketh me to lie down in green pastures._
 *That’s Rest!*
 
_He leadeth me beside the still waters._
 *That’s Refreshment!*
 
_He restoreth my soul._
 *That’s Healing!*
 
_He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness…_
 *That’s Guidance!*
 
_For His name sake._
 *That’s Purpose!*
 
_Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…_ 
 *That’s Testing!*
 
_I will fear no evil…_
 *That’s Protection!*
 
_For Thou art with me._
 *That’s Faithfulness!* 
 
_Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me._
 *That’s Discipline!*
 
_Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies._
 *That’s Hope!*
 
_Thou annointest my head with oil._
 *That’s Consecration!*
 
_My cup runneth over._ 
  *That’s Abundance!*
 
_Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life._ 
 *That’s Blessing!*
 
_And I will dwell in the house of the Lord…_
 *That’s Security!*
 
_Forever_
 *That’s Eternity!*
 
God bless you
By boaz puli
 
Devotional Title : Do Unto Others (06/09/2020) Tuesday 

Matthew 7:12

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Treat others how you want to be treated.”? Well, this Scripture is saying just that and I know that we, as a society, have forgotten about this concept of treating others with love and respect. What has happened to this world where people would rather spit at or slap you than to say “hi” to you? It is just nothing, but craziness all around us…viruses, riots, looting, murders, etc. Instead of seeing love, we are seeing the faces of hate, anger, fear, resentment, bitterness, and selfishness all around. However, there is good news! There is still hope and there is still love found in Jesus Christ. He is everything good, righteous, and holy. He never changes and He is still in control even in the midst of all this chaos. So, instead of looking at all this violence and mayhem, we have the choice to turn to Jesus with all of our fears, worries, anxieties, needs, protection, everything. He will give us what we need when we need it. And, we have the choice to love rather than hate. The choice is ours–will we allow our turbulent emotions turn us into crazed people concerned only about what we want or will we turn to Christ with our raw human feelings and allow His goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and love to flow through us?

By Heather Ritter

Editor: Jonathan Ritter 

Devotional Title: Jesus, our  Light  and our Salvation (06/10/2020) Wednesday 

Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid.

What a great Scripture full of hope and comfort for the fearing heart!! It is also one that convicts the scared and anxious heart. I know for me, this Scripture hits right in the heart of me–the part of my heart that lives in fear, anxiety, and depression. The part of me that fears that I am really not God’s child, that I am a fool in believing that God could possibly love and save someone like me…spoiled, selfish, self-centered, self-focused, fleshly, prideful, arrogant, quick to anger, sometimes doubtful about even the existence of God, one who is a control freak, and one who is full of rage. Perhaps you, yourself, have been feeling as I feel so unworthy of salvation and love. Perhaps you, too, have been suffering from the guilt and shame of every spiritual failure you have ever had. I pray that you haven’t felt like this, but, if you have, just know that you are not alone. There are people including me who have felt like this. And please know that you are loved…loved by a God who sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for your, for our, sins and you are not beyond saving no matter what the devil tries to tell you. So, keep moving, keep believing in Christ, keep seeking Him. He is not far from you even though He may feel like He is. He is right where you left Him waiting for you to come back to Him. All you have to do is turn from your sins and seek His forgiveness and then try to live according to His Word once again.

Another fear that I fight against is the fear of man and what he can do to me. I don’t know how you feel about the world right now, but I know it terrifies me. There is so much violence, sickness, and immorality in the world right now that it affects how I live my life…my behavior and my speech and my reactions. I am very careful with who I have contact with, what information I give out, where I go, etc.  And, I trust very few people. I know that being a Christian I am not supposed to be this way, but I find it very difficult to be any other way even though the Bible tells us not to fear man. But I know that there is hope, hope in Jesus. Every time I have felt this fear of man–this all consuming fear and anxiety–I pray to the Lord to take this fear away and to replace it with faith in Him because I recognize the fact that whatever happens in my life, good or bad, God is in control. Granted, I have to do this over and over and over again. But, you know, God has not failed me yet–not even once. Like with my fear and anxiety over whether or not I am really saved, He is always there to lift me up out of the darkness and back into His glorious light. And, when I let go and trust that God will take care of me, Jonathan, and everyone else I love and that He will provide for us what we physically and spiritually need, everything just falls into place somehow, some way.  Yes, He really is just that awesome!

So, in saying all of this, Jesus is the answer to all of our fears. He is the only One who can bring light into the pit of darkness I call fear, anxiety, and depression. No matter what you are afraid of today, I encourage you to give your fears to Jesus–allow Him to comfort, strengthen, and encourage you.

By Heather Ritter 

Editor: Jonathan Ritter 

Devotional Title: The Greatest Security (6/11/2020) Thursday

Psalm 91:1, “He that dwetheth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

Someone has said that the only certainty in life is uncertainty–and it is true. Governments collapse, stock markets plummet, wars destroy, disasters strike, relationships end. As the writer of Hebrews put it, “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrew 13:14). 

Yet deep in the human heart is a yearning for security–a yearning that will not go away. We know we need a solid foundation to life, a foundation that cannot be shaken. Where will it be found? 

Only God never changes. His love does not change, and neither do His promises. That is why we can look to Him for the security and stability we all seek. King David knew the secret: ” He that dwetheth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” 

Salvation is not an occasional, vague felling of God’s presence. It is actually dwelling with God, secure in His presence forever. Is your security in Christ?

Hope For Today

Security is a big deal; it is why we seek committed relationships or high-paying jobs. That is also why it is devastating when spouses leave and jobs are eliminated. Christ is the only true source of security. he will never leave you or forsake you. 

By Billy Graham

Devotionals (6/01/2020-6/05/2002) 

Devotional Title: Hope and Love Forever (6/01/2020) 

Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid.”

What a great Scripture full of hope and comfort for the fearing heart!! It is also one that convicts the scared and anxious heart. I know for me, this Scripture hits right in the heart of me–the part of my heart that lives in fear, anxiety, and depression. The part of me that fears that I am really not God’s child, that I am a fool in believing that God could possibly love and save someone like me…spoiled, selfish, self-centered, self-focused, fleshly, prideful, arrogant, quick to anger, sometimes doubtful about even the existence of God, one who is a control freak, and one who is full of rage. Perhaps you, yourself, have been feeling as I feel so unworthy of salvation and love. Perhaps you, too, have been suffering from the guilt and shame of every spiritual failure you have ever had. I pray that you haven’t felt like this, but, if you have, just know that you are not alone. There are people including me who have felt like this. And please know that you are loved…loved by a God who sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for your, for our, sins and you are not beyond saving no matter what the devil tries to tell you. So, keep moving, keep believing in Christ, keep seeking Him. He is not far from you even though He may feel like He is. He is right where you left Him waiting for you to come back to Him. All you have to do is turn from your sins and seek His forgiveness and then try to live according to His Word once again.

Another fear that I fight against is the fear of man and what he can do to me. I don’t know how you feel about the world right now, but I know it terrifies me. There is so much violence, sickness, and immorality in the world right now that it affects how I live my life…my behavior and my speech and my reactions. I am very careful with who I have contact with, what information I give out, where I go, etc.  And, I trust very few people. I know that being a Christian I am not supposed to be this way, but I find it very difficult to be any other way even though the Bible tells us not to fear man. But I know that there is hope, hope in Jesus. Every time I have felt this fear of man–this all consuming fear and anxiety–I pray to the Lord to take this fear away and to replace it with faith in Him because I recognize the fact that whatever happens in my life, good or bad, God is in control. Granted, I have to do this over and over and over again. But, you know, God has not failed me yet–not even once. Like with my fear and anxiety over whether or not I am really saved, He is always there to lift me up out of the darkness and back into His glorious light. And, when I let go and trust that God will take care of me, Jonathan, and everyone else I love and that He will provide for us what we physically and spiritually need, everything just falls into place somehow, some way.  Yes, He really is just that awesome!

So, in saying all of this, Jesus is the answer to all of our fears. He is the only One who can bring light into the pit of darkness I call fear, anxiety, and depression. No matter what you are afraid of today, I encourage you to give your fears to Jesus–allow Him to comfort, strengthen, and encourage you.

By Heather Ritter 

Editor: Jonathan Ritter 

Devotional Title: Taking Up The Cross (06/10/2020) Wednesday 
 
Many Christians fall prey to the notion their faith should be rewarded in life. I am not talking about the ‘prosperity gospel’ heresy. I am talking about that temptation we all face to think we do not deserve the challenges and adversities of life because we have become Christians. 
 
Even mature, long-suffering believers have their moments. It is our mortal humanity peeking through. It is part of the spiritual warfare we struggle with every day to be less of ourselves, and more of what Christ intends us to be to His glory. Does that mean we do not matter to Jesus, we are only pawns on a divine chessboard? 
 
Jesus had just prophesied His death for the first time. Peter being Peter, butted in rebuking Jesus, Matthew 16:22 ‘Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.’ It is interesting in the next verse Jesus does not rebuke Peter, but someone else, Matthew 16:23 ‘But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’
 
It was not Peter who was the problem, but Satan who confuses us about who we are and what our purpose is in this world. Yes, Peter falls into the trap, but anybody else want to raise their hand to confess how they have fallen in such a trap? Me first. 
 
Then Jesus turns to the disciples, telling them who they are and what their purpose is in this world. Matthew 16:24-26 ‘Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?’
 
Remember who said that. Remember Jesus just prophesied His own awful suffering and death. Remember that suffering and death was for us. He did not ride on easy street. He did not have it easy. He could have. He did not have to go to the Cross. He chose to, for us. We are not pawns played with. We are wayward children who Jesus loves so much He was willing to die for us so we would not be the victims of Satan.
 
Our reality in this world is not easy street but the cross we bear. Not maybe, not might, will bear because we have been chosen to bear it. We have been equipped with the Holy Spirit to give us endurance and assurance to bear our cross. Our witness, our works, prove our faith proclamation we now have eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven.
 
It is lining up behind Satan, or leaving Satan behind to serve Jesus.
 


Devotional Title: Dealing with Delay (06/02/2020) 

Scripture Verse: Isaiah 26:3, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee” 

In April 2010, clouds of ash spewed by a volcano in Iceland closed airports across the UK and Europe for 5 days. Nearly 100,000 flights were canceled and millions of passengers around the world found themselves in an enormous holding pattern on the ground. People missed important events, businesses lost money, and no one knew when it would end. 

When our plans fall apart and there is no remedy, how do we deal with frustration and delay? Isaiah 26:3-4 is anchor for our souls in every storm of life: “3.Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. 4. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” Whether  we’re facing annoying inconvenience or heartbreaking loss, this rock-solid promise is worth memorizing and repeating every night when we close our eyes to sleep.

Today, when plans are shattered, do our minds dwell on the circumstances or on the Lord? During frustrating delay, can we still trust the loving heart of God? In the hymn “Like a River Glorious,” Frances Havergal so beautiful expressed what we long for. 

By David McCasland

 

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,

Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;

Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care, 

Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there. 

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest,

Finding as He promised, perfect peace and rest

By Havergad

When we put our problems in God’s hands, He puts His peace in our hearts.

 

 

Devotional Title: Dealing with Delay (6/03/2020) 

Scripture Verse:  Psalm 32:10, “Many Sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.” 

During summer training camp, the coaches on one football team wore T-shirts intended to urge their players to exert maximum effort. The shirts bore the motto, “Each day you must choose: The pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” Discipline is tough–and something we may try to avoid. But in sports and in life, short-term gain. In the heat of battle it is too late to prepare. Either you are ready for the challenges of life or you will haunted by the “what ifs, “if onlys,” and “I should’ves” that accompany the failure to be prepared. That’s the pain of regret. 

One source of defines regret as “an intelligent and emotional dislike for personal past act and behaviors.” It’s painful to look back at our choices through the lens of regret and feel the weight of our failures. This was the case for the psalmist. After a personal episode of sin and failure, he wrote, “Many Sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about” (Ps. 32:10). In the clarity of hindsight, he saw the wisdom of a life that strives to honor the Lord–a life that does not need to be marked by regret. 

May our choices today not result in regret, but rather be wise and God-honoring. 

By Bill Crowder

In You. O Lord, we take delight,

Our every need you can supply;

We long to do what’s true and right,

So, Lord on You we will rely. 

By D. De Hamm

Present choices determine futures rewards.

Last WEEK Devotionals : Devotional Title: Let Honor Meet Honor (5/25/2020) 

Scripture Verse: Matthew 6:1, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.”

I have always been impressed by the solemn, magnificent simplicity of the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. The carefully choreographed event is a moving tribute of soldiers whose names–and sacrifice–are “known but to God.” Equally moving are the private moments of steady pacing when the crowds are gone: back and forth, hour after hour, day by day, in even the worst weather. 

In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel was bearing down on Washington DC, and the guard were told they could seek shelter during the worst of the storm. Surprising almost no one, the guards refused! They unselfishly stood their post to honor their fallen comrades even in the face of a hurricane.

Underlaying Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 6;1-6, I believe, is His desire for us to live with an unrelenting, selfless devotion to Him. The Bible calls us to good deeds and holy living, but these are to be acts of worship and obedience (vv. 4-6), not orchestrated acts for self-glorification (v.2). The apostle Paul endorse this whole-life faithfulness when he pleads with us to make our bodies “a living sacrifice” (Roman 12:1).   

May our private and public moments speak of our devotion and wholehearted commitment to You, Lord.

By Randy Kilgore

“The more we serve Christ, the less we will serve self” 

Devotional Title: Confidence and Peace (05/26/2020) 

Scripture Verse: Isaiah 26:3 , “Thou wilt keep him perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusted in thee. ” 

Peace carries with it the idea of unity, completeness, rest, ease, and security. Many times when I meet Jewish friends, I greet them with “Shalom,” the Hebrew word for peace. And often when I greet my Arab friends I use a similar term that they use for peace, “Salam.” 

Notice the key phrase in that verse: “whose mind is stayed no thee,: When troubles hit, our minds naturally focus on them. When suffering comes, all we can think about is the pain. It takes a deliberate act of the will to turn away from the problem and focus our minds on God. 

When our minds are stayed on God, we won’t be worried about the future, because we know it is in His hands. We won’t tremble over what might happen because our lives are built upon the solid rock of Christ. 

When you and I yield to worry, we deny our Guide the right to lead us forward in confidence and peace. Do not cause Him to grieve over you by indulging in worry, but trust everything into His all loving care. 

Hope For Today

Choose the peace of Christ over today’s problems. Focus on your faith instead of your feelings. Let worship be your first response instead of worry. Remind yourself that you know whom you have believed. 

By Billy Graham

Devotional Title:  Be in Prayer (5/27/2020)

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:18, ” Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” 

When I was young,  I thought when you prayed you needed to be on bended knee, hands folded, and eyes closed.  Of course, my thoughts on that changed over the years. Yet, I think there are probably many out there who feel that praying to God only happens when you do it intentionally. I now think that God hears many of our prayers even when our lips are not moving. 

Sometimes, when driving down the highway or sitting in the park, my mind goes into deep mediation and peruses what I did that day or how I treated others on my daily journey. many times I realized that maybe I did not make the best decisions or represent God in a way that would shine HIs light into a dark world, yet I know that God knows every thought I have even before it happens. 

These thoughts are definitely prayers, as I realize my mistakes and contemplate on how to make amends for anything that did not live up to Christ’s example. 

By Andrew Homes

There are thoughts which are prayers. There are moments when, whatever the posture of the body, the soul is on its knees. 

Victor Hugo

Title: Never Too Busy (5/18/2020) 

Scripture Verse: Psalm 145:18, “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon him in truth.” 

College students rent a house from my sister and her husband. One night, a thief attempted to break in. When the young woman living there called the police to tell them that a break-in was in progress, the operator responded in an unusual way: ” You’ll have to call back in the morning. We’re just too busy right now.” That response was very disturbing! The young woman had done the right thing by calling the police, but for some reason her plea for help was disregarded. That kind of indifference is upsetting.  

But indifference never happens when we go to God in prayer. We may not always feel that God in prayer. We may not always feel that God is listening, but He is. He cares, and He will respond. The Bible reminds us that we can take comfort in the fact that our God is deeply concerned with what concerns our heart: “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.” (Psalm 145:18). When we call out to Him, we will never get a disinterested response. 

Rather than distancing Himself from us when we cry to Him, our heavenly Father draws close to us in our time of need. He is never too busy for HIs chill’s prayers–He hears us when we call. 

Author: Bill Crowder 

Title: Thank God For Music (5/19/2020)

Scripture Verses: 2 Chronicles 5:13-14, ” It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; 14. So that the priests could not stand to minster by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God. “

Music plays a big part in the Bible From Genesis to Revelation, God enlists musicians to work on His behalf.  He uses music to call people to worship and to send them to war, to soothe ragged emotions and to ignite spiritual passion, to celebrate victories and to mourn losses. Music is an all-occasion, all inclusive art from. There are followers and leaders, simple songs and complex songs, easy instruments and difficult instruments, melodies and harmonies, fast rhythms and slow rhythms, high notes and low notes. 

Music is a wonderful metaphor for the church because everyone participates by doing what he or she does best. We all sing or play different notes at different times, but we all perform the same song. The better we know our parts, and the better we follow the conductor, the more beautiful the music. 

One of the best uses for music is praise. When Solomon’s temple was completed, the musicians praised and thanked God. As they did, “the glory of the Lord filled the house of God” (2 Chron. 5:14). 

We thank God for beautiful music, for it’s like a preview of heaven, where the glory of God will dwell forever and where praise for Him will never cease. 

Author: Julie Ackerman Link 

Title: Where You Are Supposed to be! (5/20/2020) 

Scripture Verses: Nehemiah 1:3-5, “And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 4.And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven “

Nehemiah was what we would all a layman. I personally do not like term, which is used to describe someone who is not “in ministry.” Sometimes we think pastors, missionaries, or people who work for churches are in ministry. But every Christian actually is in ministry. 

Christians who flip burgers, work in the corporate world, in construction, in education, and so forth are in ministry. In a sense, ministry is simply service. It is when we say, “God, you put me where I am for a reason. I am available to serve you, and I want my life to bring glory to you.” 

God chose to use Nehemiah, the right man in the right place at the right time. Nehemiah was the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, the leader of the Medo-Persians. The cupbearer had to be someone the king could trust. Actually he had to be some the king liked, because he spent a lot of time with the king. 

Whenever food or drink was served to the king, Nehemiah ate and  drank it first. In time Nehemiah became the confidant of the king. But despite his luxurious life, Nehemiah was concerned about others. The walls of Jerusalem were broken down, and he wanted to leverage his position of influence with King Artaxerxes to fund a building program to rebuild those broken walls. Nehemiah realized he was where he was because God wanted him there. 

Have you ever thought about the fact that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now? This is true of the neighborhood you live in, the place where you work, or the campus you are on. You might say, “If I could just  change my circumstances…” But did it ever occur to you that you are right where you are supposed to be? 

Author: Imran John and Jonathan Ritter 

Devotional Title: Living A Peaceable Life (05/21/2020)

Scripture Verse: Timothy 2:2, “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceably life in all godliness and honesty.”

As Christians we are not to isolate ourselves from the world in which we live. We are part of society, and we share in its difficulties, problems, and hopes.   

The Bible has much to say about our social responsibility. The Old Testament prophets condemned those who ignored the poor and exploited the weak. Not that it is easy. As Christians, we know human society is affected by sin, and any effort to improve society will always be incomplete and imperfect. We will never built a Utopia on earth. 

But we must do all we can to alleviate suffering , and to strike at the root causes of injustice, racial prejudice, hunger, and violence. We are to work for a peaceable life and human dignity for others. Why? Because God loves this suffering world. Jesus saw the crowds and “was moved with compassion” (Matthew 9:36). 

Christ is concerned about the whole person–including the society in which that person lives. Do we share His concern, 

Hope For Today

As believers, are we huddling in our churches, or are we helping our communities? The command was never to wait; it was to go and tell (Matthew 28:19) 

By Billy Graham 

 

Devotionals 5/11/2020-05/16/2020

Title: A Step in the Process 

Scripture Verse: Psalm 94:12, “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teaches him  of thy law;”

A child develops muscles through exercise. Only when our muscles encounter resistance do they become stronger. 

In the same way, the Bible tells us that we only become stronger spiritually through exercise–through using our spiritual “muscles” to meet the challenges of life. This is especially true when we face suffering and affiliation, for they are one of God’s ways to make us strong. One reason God allows suffering to come to His people, the Bible says, is to discipline, chasten, and mold us. 

In the last essay he wrote before he died, the great Christian writer C.S. Lewis said, “We have no right to happiness; only an obligation to do our duty.” Sometimes our God-give duty will include suffering. When it does, ask God to teach you through it. Remember the psalmist’s words I quoted above: “Blessed is the man whom thou chastenesst, O Lord, and teaches him of they law;”

Hope For Today

People post pictures of their breakfast their new home, or a good parking spot on social media and call it blessed. If we were “instructed by God,” how many of us would consider ourselves blessed?

Author : Billy Graham

 

Title : New Creation 

Title : Handle with Care 


Devotional

Week of 5/04/2020-05/09/2020

Title: Don’t Laugh It Off

Title: One Amazing Letter


Title: Walk In the Spirit 


Title: Broken But Beautiful (4/27/2020)

Devotional Title:Breaking Free 


Title: Walk with God (4/21/2020)



Title: A Father To Follow 

Title:A Faithful Helper


Devotional Title: The Light of God’s Love 



Devotional Title: The Living Christ 


Devotional Title: It’s All About Love 

Read 1 John 4:7-19

Scripture Reading: 1 John 4:16 

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 

I saw a sign in front of a church that seems to me to be a great motto for relationships: Receive love. Give love. Repeat. 

The greatest love that we receive is the love of God. “In this was manifested the love of God is, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9). We receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord. “But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12).

After we have experienced God’s love, we then can learn to give love. “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” (1 John 4:7). 
God’s love enables us to love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We teach, encourage, and rebuke. We weep and rejoice. The love we give is tender and tough and supportive. We are taught by Jesus even to love our enemies: “But I say unto you , Love your enemies , bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you , and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44). Giving love to others can be challenging in some situations, but it is possible because of the love God has first given to us. 
A good plan for our lives today: Receive love. Give Love . Repeat. 

by Annie Cetas 

Devotional 3/24/2020-3/30/2020)

Title: Unload Your Distress 

Scripture Reading : Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7 

I’ve been told that the French translation of the phrase “Casting all your care upon Him” is “Unload your distresses upon God.” Have you ever seen a dump truck get rid of it’s load? The driver simply pushes a button or pulls on a lever and the heavy load is discharged at the prescribed spot. The truck would be of no use if it carried its burden forever . 

We were never meant to be crushed under the weight of care. We can push the button of faith or pull the lever of trust , and our burden is discharged upon the shoulder of Him who said He would gladly bear it. Unload the anxieties of the present moment upon Him, for He cares  for you. If He loved you enough to take away the burden of your sins, can’t you trust Him to take away every lesser burden as well? 

Hope For Today 

Imagine carrying a heavy suitcase filled with useless things everywhere you went. Why would someone do that ? That is what we do when we carry the burdens of worry and anxiety. It’s unnecessary and does us no good. 

By Billy Graham 

Devotional (3/16/2020-3/21/2020) 

Title: Walk Away From Worry 

Devotional (03/09/2020)

Title: Pray Anywhere, Anytime 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

Prayer is an essential part of a heathy Christian life. Just as omitting an essential vitamin from our diet will make us physically weak , so a lack of prayer will make us spiritually anemic.

The Bible says, “Pray without ceasing.” It is not enough to get out of bed in the morning, quickly bow our heads, and repeat a few sentences. Instead, we need to set aside specific times to be alone with God, speaking to Him in prayer and listening to Him speak through His Word. If you set aside special times for prayer, your unconscious mind will be saturated with prayer all day long.

For the overworked mother or other busy person, this may seem impossible (although even a few minutes alone with God can reap rich rewards). But even when we are busy, we can “pray without ceasing ” in our hearts and minds. We can pray anywhere, anytime–and God will hear us. Today let prayers saturate your life “without ceasing.” 

HOPE FOR TODAY {WEEK}

Prayer is not an isolated activity; it is ongoing throughout the day. When we seek to hear from God, we will find that He is always available and ever eager to speak to His children. We pray with our words and find answers in His Word. 

By Billy Graham 

Devotionals (03/02/2020)

Another Devotional for this week 

Title: The Master Key 

Title : Beautiful Scars 

(2/24/2020) 

Another devotional for this week 

Title : Power For Life

Title : Sailing in the Current 

Are you happy where you are? Happy with your jonathan  and your prospects for growth? Happy with your home life, whether married or single? Happy with the house you live in? Happy with the car your drive? Happy with much of anything right now in terms of where you would like to be? When God allowed a Babylonian king to swoop into Israel and cart the Hebrews off into exile, you can be sure they were not very happy. They would lost the homes, lost their security, lost their ties to everything they owned. But as a future with promise, God gave his people these instruments: Build houses there. Start a family here. Work for the good of your neighbors there. Make the most of this unwanted season by bearing fruit in an unhappy place. “For I know the plans I have for you,” God told them, “ plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future “ (Jeremiah 29:11). But do not expect these promising days to kick in as paycheck because you have been suffering for a while. Do not expect to build much on the backs of your constant complaining. Commit to doing something special even in the midst of your current situation. And you will find that those “plans” for a “hope and a future” required the relationships you built , the work you invested, and the contentment you chose in the present. Dig in to dig out. 

By Truett Brown 

 (2/16/2020)

Title: The Bread of Life 

Scripture Reading: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. 

Proverbs 11:30

We have bread to give to a hungry world—the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ. People may be so busy feeding on other things that they ignore Him or refuse Him, but we must offering Christ to a spiritually dying world.

We have water to give to a thirsting world—the Living Water, Jesus Christ. People may seek to quench the thirst of theirs souls in a hundred other ways, but we must keep crying,” Ho, every one that thirsteth , come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money ; come ye , buy , and eat; yea , come , buy wine and milk without money and without price (Isaiah 55:1). Sometimes they cannot come, and we have to carry it to them. 

We must preserve. We must never give up. Christ never gave up , but “became obedient to the point of death” (Philippians 2:8).

All around you are people who hunger and thirst for God, although they may not even realize it. Will you point them to Christ , who alone can satisfy their deepest longings. 

By Billy Graham

Devotional (02/12/2020)

Title :Look to the Cross

Sometimes we struggle to fully grasp all that the death of Jesus means to us as believers. It was not just physical torment and agony ; the sins of the world on His shoulders were a far greater burden to bear . No wonder He cried out on the cry, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? “ (Matty27:46). Yet His cruel death was the fulfillment of God’s plan to redeem lost sinners—you and me—since before the beginning of time. 

A pastor friend explained the impact of Jesus’ crucifixation this way: “In a shipping department, the trucking company driver comes in and picks up the packages. After loading them he gives the shipper a Bill of Lading . This Bill of Lading is proof and documentation that he has picked up the load.

“In salvation, Isaiah 53:12 teaches us that Jesus bore our sins. The meaning of bore or bear is to pick up , to carry . As believers we know this , yet sometimes we continue to call out sin , or condemn ourselves or others . At weak moments we fall to these accusations. We have forgotten that Jesus has picked up, carried and paid for those sins. The Cross is our Bill of Lading! Every time I feel this condemnation, I look to the Cross and am reminded that it is my documentation and eternal reminder that Jesus bore my sins . They are paid in full—forever!”

Many churches commemorate Jesus’ death by partaking of the Lord’s supper the first Sunday of each month , remembering the last supper He ate with His disciples before His cruifixation. AS we partake together, let us especially remember that His great sacrifice paid for our sins —past , present and future—the cross is our documentation.

 

Devotional (02/04/2020)

Title :Godly Thoughts 

Scripture Reading Romans 12:2 

“Be transformed by the renewing of your mind”

The Bible teaches that our minds are to be brought under the control of Christ. The reason ? How we act will be determined by how we think . If God is to change our lives, He must first change our minds.

The human mind cannot be a vacuum . It will be filled either with good or evil . It will be filled either with Christ or with carnality. What will make the difference? It depends on us, and on what we allow to enter our minds. 

Negatively, our minds must be turned away from evil . We must be careful what kind of television programs we see, what kind of books we read, the things that occupy our thoughts .

But it is not enough to put bad thoughts out of our minds. Positively , they must be replaced with good thoughts—thoughts that are shaped by God and His Word, by prayer and worship, by fellowship with other Christians. 

Deliberately turn away from evil thought today and ask God to fill your mind instead with Himself from this moment on. 

Title: Prayer 

Prayer is a creature’s strength, his very breath and being;

Prayer is the golden key that can open the wicket of mercy; 

Prayer is the magic sound that saith to fate, so be it; 

Prayer is the slender nerve that moveth the muscles of Omnipotence. 

Wherefore, pray , O creature , for many and great are thy wants; 

Thy mind, thy conscience, and thy being , thy needs commend thee unto prayer, 

The cure of all cares , the grand panacea for all pains, 

Doubt’s destroyer, ruin’s remedy , the antidote to all anxieties.

01/26/2020

Title: Above The Din

Scripture Reading: 

Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus 

We Christians are not to be conformed to this world in the way we think. The world by its advertisements , its conversation, and its philosophy is engaged in a gigantic brainwashing. Not always consciously but sometimes unconsciously, the Christian is beset by secular and worldly propaganda, calling us to live for ourselves and to put things and selfish pleasures ahead of God. The world’s sewage system threatens to contaminate the stream of Christian thought. 

However, above the din we can hear the voice of Scripture: “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind , that ye may prove what is that good , and acceptable, and prefect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).

Time yourself the next time you read the Bible and pray. Compare it to the amount of time you spend watching television or surfing the Internet. Is God getting His share of your time and attention? 

Is the world shaping your mind —or is Christ?

By Billy Graham 

Midweek Devotional (1/22/2020) 

I came across this devotional and would like to share:

Title: Children of Light 

Scriptures Reading: I Thessalonians 5:4-5

4.But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5. Ye are all the children of light and the children of the day: we are not of the night , nor of darkness.

The born-again Christian sees life not as blurred, confused, meaningless mass, but as something planned and purposeful. His eyes have been opened to spiritual truth. 

In Christ’s first sermon at Nazareth, He said that one of the reasons He had come to earth was to preach “recovery of sight to the blind” (Luke 4:18). By nature we are all spiritually blind because of sin. But the Spirit of God helps us see our sin and our helplessness and shows us God’s redeeming grace in Christ . The Spirit reveals the truth of Jesus’ declaration: “I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life “ (John 8:12). 

In the Bible we are called “children of light and children of the day” (I Thessalonians 5:5 kjv) , because it pleased God to share His mysteries and secrets with us. We are no longer in the dark—we know where we came from , we know why we are here, and we know where we are going. In the midst of a world living in spiritual darkness, walk as a child of the light!

Devotional: Spring

Believing in spring gets me through the dark of winter. Later , when I feel and see spring’s approach , my heart will naturally lift. But in midwinter, hope requires knowledge, not experience. 

So also we hope in God and remember what He has done. We stand on His promise. In the battle that is not against fleah and blood, hope is a weapon. 

That Christ has come and will return is echoed in everything natural: day and night , winter and summer, parent and child . In the supernatural, too. Christ’s victory is represented in prophecies, bodies healed, impossibilities accomplishing.

He is good; therefore , even in spiritual wintertime, we believe He will come soon , and death shall be no more. Hope is tasting spring, even before you see it. Like the seeds secretly alive beneath the surface, we keep His coming alive as winters bears down. So much cold. So dark. When will the earth bring forth fruit ? When will suffering cease?How can we endure?

Isaiah 56:1-2 tells us, “Thus saith the Lord , Keep ye judgement, and do justice: for my salvation is near to come , and my righteousness to be revealed. 2. Blessed is the man that forth this , and the son of man that layeth hold on it, and keepeth his hand from doing any evil.”

By knowing Him , I am happy in the glory that is imminent. I live as the blessed one who sees spring truly around the corner.

By Stephanie McGuirk 

 

This week Devotional:

Today’s Reading :Jeremiah 8:8-15

Scripture Verse: Romans 5:1

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ 

Where Is Peace? 

“Do you still hope for peace?” a journalist asked Bod Dylan in 1984. 

“There is not going to be any peace,” Dylan replied. His response drew criticism, yet there’s no denying that peace remains ever elusive. 

About 600 years before Christ, most prophets were predicting peace . God’s prophet was not one of them. Jeremiah reminded the people that God had said, “But this thing commanded I them , saying , Obey my voice , and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people : and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you “(Jeremiah 7:23). Yet they repeatedly ignored the Lord and His commands .Their false prophets said , “Peace, peace” (8:11) , but Jeremiah predicted disaster . Jerusalem fell in 586 BC. 

Peace is rare. But amid Jeremiah’s book of dire prophecies we discover a God who loves relentlessly. “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” the Lord told His rebellious people. “I will build you up again” (31:3-4)

God is a God of love and peace . Conflict comes because of our rebellion against Him. Sin destroys the world’s peace and robs each of us of inner peace . Jesus came to this planet to reconcile us to God and give us that inner peace. “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” wrote the apostle Pa (Romans 5:1). His words are among the most hope-filled ever  written. 

Whether we live in a combat zone or dwell in a serene neighborhood with nary a whisper of war , Christ invites us into His peace . 

Title: Sleepless In Heaven 

Scriptural Book: Psalm 121

Scripture Verse : Psalm 121:3 

He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : He that keepeth thee will not slumber.

One of the most dangerous aspects of flying is the landing . As the aircraft gets closer to land , the air traffic is more congested , the weather on the ground may be far worse than the weather at 30,000 feet , and the runways may not be clear of other planes. So pilots rely on the air-traffic controller to coordinate all the details so that every plane can arrive without incident. Without the air-traffic controller, chaos would be certain. 

Imagine , then , the panic when the pilot of an airliner full of passengers radioed the tower and got no answer. It was eventually discovered that the air-traffic controller was in fact there but sound asleep, putting, passengers, and plane in great jeopardy. The good news is that the plane landed safely. 

Even better news is that God , the ultimate traffic controller , neither slumbers nor sleeps. From His heavenly vantage point, He knows all that is going on in and around your life. As the psalmist notes, “My help cometh from the Lord , which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved ; he that keepeth thee will not slumber” (121:2-3) . 

You can count on it—God knows the impending dangers and will tirelessly direct the traffic of your life for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28) 

By Joe Stowell

01/5/2020  

Devotional Title : Hope in the Darkness 

Scriptures Reading: Jeremiah 31:16-26

Scriptural Verse: Jeremiah 31:25 

“For I have  satiated the weary soul , and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.”

According to legend , Qu Yuan was a wise and patriotic Chinese government official who lived during the time known as the Warring States period (475-246 BC). It has been said that he tried repeatedly to warn his king about an impending threat that would destroy the country, but the king rejected his advice . Eventually, Qu Yuan was exiléd. When he learned about the fall of his beloved country to the foe he had warned about , he ended his life. 

Qu Yuan’s life resembles some aspects of the life of the prophet Jeremiah. He too served kings who scorned his warning , and his country was ravaged . However, while Qu Yuan have in to his desire , Jeremiah found genuine hope. Why the difference.

Jeremiah knew the Lord who offers the only true hope. “And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, and  Thy children shall come again to  their own border“ (Jeremiah 31:17) Although Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 BC, it was later rebuilt (see Nehemiah 6:15). 

As some point, we all find ourselves in situations that can cause us to despair. It could be a bad medical report , a sudden job loss, a shattered family .But when life knocks us down, we can still look up—for God is on the throne! He holds our days in His hands ,and He holds us close to His heart. 

By Poh Fang Chia 

12/31/2019

Thought for the New Year

Title: How to Have a Blessed New Year

Forget the usual New Year’s resolutions–to lose, weight, exercise more and eat healthier. By February most of us go back to our same old habits anyway. Try this guaranteed approach for the best New Year ever!

A CKNOWLEDGE who God is, His wisdom, power and authority (Proverbs 3:5-6)

B E careful (anxious) for nothing. God is in control. (Philippains 4:6-7)

OVE the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30)

NTER into His presence as a faithful pray–er. (Ephesians 6:18)

ERVE God with your whole heart, considering all HIs deeds (1Samuel 12:24)

SEARCH the Scriptures. Study and memorize them. (Psalm 119:11)

ENDURE hardness as a good soldier to gain victory. (2 Timothy 2:3)

DRAW nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you (James 4:8)

 

NO reason to fear. The Lord is on our side. (Psalm 118:6)

EXALT the Lord. He is faithful and true. (Isaiah 25:1)

WAIT for the Lord, be strengthening and blessed. (Psalm 27:14; Isaiah 30:18) 

 

YIELD to God as clay to the Potter. (Isaiah 64:8)

EXERCISE yourself unto godliness –work at it. (1Timothy 4:7)

ABOUND in the love toward others. (1 Thessalonians 3:12) 

REJOICE! Be glad! Sing His praises! (Psalm 9:1-2)

“The blessing of the LORD be upon you” (Psalm 129:8)

By Lucinda J. Rollings

 

 

S

This week Devotional 12/29/19

Devotional Title: Roller  Coaster Life

Scripture Reading : Job 14:1 

Man who is born of women is of few days and full of trouble. 

There is a roller coaster at Sea World in San Antonio called , the Steel Eel. The Steel Eel stands at 150 feet high and can reach maximum speed of 65 miles per hour. Noe, that is fast , I can speak from experience because I had the opportunity to ride it. 

I do not know if you have ever had the opportunity to experience the Steel Eel or any other roller coasters, but if you have not most of them are fast. They will take you up, down, and all around 🙂 

As a roller coasters are fast and they will take you up, down, and all around. Sometimes they will even leave you breathless. Life will do the same. 

Job’s was experiencing this, when he said “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” You see, Job in those days would have been considered very wealthy. Think some of the richest men in this world and then you can start getting a picture of Job’s wealth. 

Despite this wealth , Job was a faithful servant of God. Job was even faithful to God when his wealth, children , and health was removed from him. 

Now that is intense. As with a roller yand Job, life can kick you in the teeth. I have also experienced this. But through it all, one constant truth remains: If you are a child of God as Job is and as I am, God will br right there with you through this life when it takes you up, down, and all around. Yes, sometimes breathless. 

In the end, as a roller coaster stops, the life challenge ends as well and you will come out of the experience as Job did, as I did, a stronger and more powerful witness for our God.

By Jonathan Ritter 

12/24/19

Title: Message of Hope

Hope you guys are having a great Christmas Eve. 

I was going through material in my office and I came across : The Hope of Christmas (2017) 

And I would love to share the introduction to y all: 

The Coming of Hope

During the Christmas season, great songs perpetually fill the air. Many of those songs are fun—celebrating chestnut forest, sleigh rides, snowfall or presents. There are also songs that talk about the ideals of a season filled with wonder, with singers longing for peace on earth and goodwill among men and women. Then there are the songs that speak of the Christ whose birth we celebrate, declaring who  He is and why He came. 

One such song, “O Holy Night,” reminds us that part of the purpose behind Jesus’s birth was to offer the hope that our world desperately needs. It says: 

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices 

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

That song describes our world a sin “weary” and struggling to find the hope that manucure of us long for. The Bible’s Christmas message is the story of a God who wants us to overflow with hope and who sent His Son, Jesus , to make that hoot available. 

We talk a lot about hope . Few words more desperately need a clear definition than the word “hope” . And not only do we need to understand what real hope is, but we also need to understand what hope is not. 

What Hope Is Not

We hope the weather will be good four our family vacation. We hope that our team will win the World Cup. We hope that we get just what we want for Christmas. The doctor hopes that the surgery will get all the cancer. These statements show the valid concerns of someone’s heart. While this kind of hope is not wrong , it lacks a sense of certainty. Hope is reduced to level of dreams that can be like soap bubbles that look beautiful to the eye but disappear at the slightest touch. That kind of hope is something that we want to happen but have no way of knowing that it ultimately will. So we keep our fingers crossed and “hope” that everything will go the way we want it to. 

The reality is that often life does not turn out the way we hoped it would. Hope is a fragile commodity. When life is   our optimism is replace by feelings of discouragement and hopelessness . Before long we run the risk of becoming cynics who believe that there is nothing in which we can confidently hope.

What Hope Is

That was the landscape of life when Jesus enter the world. The prevailing mood of Israel was anything but hope. The once-proud nation was now subjected to the pagan nation of Rome. The common person lived under the burden of the requirements of the religious establishment . Centuries before, they had been promised a deliverer who would restore Israel to its former glory , but that never happened. 

Into this sense of cynical hopelessness, true Hope was born: His name was Jesus . But the tragedy of that first Christmas was that very few realized the hope that had been introduced. Hope for the forgiveness of sins. Hope for a bright future—forever. Hope for God’s presence and power in daily living. Hope that enables us to forget the past and set our sights on stuff that does not disappoint. A hope that, because of Jesus, is certainty and not just another wish that’s dashed on the rocks of reality. 

I love the honesty of the man who wrote, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?” We have been there. But because of Jesus we need not stop there. We read: “I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again —my Savior and God! (PSALM 42:5-6) 

Jesus came to give you something better than the disappointments of life on planet Earth. And when by faith you embrace Him and all that He promised , you can have a hope that is noongrr a fingers-crossed wish that you harbor in your heart , but rather a confident, courageous optimism that is rooted in the certainty of His Word. 

Today, hope can be an expectation and anticipation that rests in what you believe. This means that hope can be strong because it relies on God’s goodness and faithfulness. 

That is the hope Paul described in the book of Romans: 

I pray that God, the source of hope , will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit (15:13). 

This marvelous prayer reveals two significant thoughts about hope. First, God is “the source of hope.” Joyful expectation is not without foundation. Hope’s foundation is not a theory or a philosophy; it is a Person. Hope is a reality rooted in God Himself ; it is not something we have to work up in our own strength.

Second, Paul says we can “overflow with confident hope.” Gos gives His Spirit to His Children ,  and powerful hope comes from Him.

Hope is not simply something we do , with teeth gritted and fingers crossed . Hope—joyful expectation—is something that comes to us from God through His Son Jesus. Hope is something we can have. We possess hope when we come to know the God who is the source of and the reason for hope. Genuine hope will strengthen us for the wide variety of challenges we face if we see those challenges through the lens of God’s character. 

Remember Jesus is the Reason for the Season 

 

Came across this and I would love to share : 

In Thessalonians 2:9 

For ye remember , brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you , we preached unto you the Gospel of God.

”Travail…labouring night and day”—that’s a mother’s work . We are familiar  with the expression: “Man’s work is from sun to sun , but a woman’s work [or a mother’s work] is never done.” A mother is not a paid nurse. Paul is saying that he was not a paid nurse who worked by the hour. He was not a hired babysitter . He did not belong to a union. 

Have you ever heard of a mothers’ union which insisted a mother would work only for eight hours of the day? Have you known any mothers who punch the clock and then turn away from their crying babies because they refuse to work anymore ? Maybe some mothers will work out some kind of union agreement like that , but I do not think real mothers would want it. Mothers work a little differently—night and day. 

In England there were two girls who worked together in the cotton mills. One of them quit working, and they did not see each other for several years. They met on the street one day, and the girl from the mill said , “What are you doing now? Are you still working ? “The other one replied , “No, I am not working—I am married . I do not only have a husband, but I also have a little boy. I get up at three in the morning to feed the baby. Then I get up early to fix breakfast and make a lunch for my husband.” The first girl exclaimed,”I remember when you worked at the mill how you used to watch the clock. When that five o’ clock whistle blew , you were out of there !” The young mother explained: “I do not watch the clock anymore. I am working longer hours, but it is not really work. “ the girl was motivated by love , and it did not seem like work anymore. 

That is what Paul is saying here. He loved these people. He labored over them night and day because he loved them.


Title: God Sees All

Scripture reading is in Psalm 147:5 

Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. 

Found this and would love to share:

Some years ago a friend of mine was standing on top of a mountain in North Carolina. The roads in those days were filled with curves , and it was difficult to see very far ahead. This man saw two cars heading toward each other . He realized they could not see each other. A third car pulled up and begun to pass one of the cars, although there was not enough space to see the other car approaching around the bend. My friend shouted a warning , but the drivers could not hear, and there was a fatal crash. 

This is how God looks upon us in His omniscience. He sees what has happy, what is happening, and what will happen. He also sees us when we foolishly think we can get by with breaking His moral laws, or we act out of sinful pride or lust or anger. Like the man on that mountain, He shouts His warning at us —but we are too busy or too stubborn to listen. 

God sees the whole picture. He knows what is best for us, and Hr knows what will destroy us. Do not think your way is better than His, but listen to His Word—and obey.

Title Peril of Peroccuptauon 

 

Title: Salvation 

Come across this illustration on Salvation  , I would to share it.

In 1818,Ignaz Phillip Semmelweis was born into world of dying women. The finest hospitals lost one out of six young mothers to the scourage of “childbed fever.”  A doctor’s daily routine began in the dissecting room where he performed autopsies. From there he made his way to the hospital to examine expectant mothers without ever pausing to wash his hands . Dr. Semmelweis was the first man in history to associate such examinations with the resultant infection and  death . His own practice was to wash with a chlorine solution , and after eleven years and the delivery of 8,537 babies , he lost 184 mothers —about one in fifty . 

He spent the vigor of his life lecturing and debating with colleagues . Once he argued, “Puerperal fever is caused by decomposed material conveyed to a wound…I have shown how it can be prevented. I have proved all that I have said.But while we talk, talk, talk ,gentlemen, women are dying. I am not asking anything, world shaking. I am asking you only to wash ….For God’s  sake, wash your hands.”

Bit virtually no one believed him. Doctors and midwives had been delivering babies for thousands of years without washing , and no outspoken Hungarian was going to change them now! Semmelweis died insane at the age of 47, his wash basins discarded , his colleagues laughing in his face , and the death rattle of a thousand women ringing in his ears. 

“wash me!” Was the anguished prayer of King David . “Wash !” was the message of John the Baptist. “unless I wash you,you have no part with me,” said ther towel -draped Jesus to Peter. Without our being washed clean ,we all die from the contamination of sin. For God’s sake , wash! 

 

 


Scripture Reading: Romans 5:9

Much more then, being justified by his blood , we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Just as her friends were doing,my daughter Melissa was busily preparing for adulthood. At schools, she was getting ready for college by taking the right courses and had signed up for the ACT college entrance test. 

Outside of class,Melissa was learning the socialization skills it takes to get along with people by spending time with friends, classmates , and teammates. At her job, she was learning the relational skills needed for a future career of work. At home, Mell was preparing for future family life by a Christian family interact. 

Getting ready for life as an adult takes work,and Melissa was making progress.

But none of that preparation was what she would need . In 2003 , when she died ina car accident at age 17, the only preparation that mattered was her readiness for heaven. 

When the truest test of preparation came so suddenly on that beautiful June evening—when eternity’s door opened for Melissa—she was prepared.She had put her faith in Jesus and trusted Hid sacrifice on the cross for her sins (John 3:16; Romans 5:8-9) 

when she faced the ultimate test of being prepared, Melissa was ready ? Are You? 

By Dave Branon 

 


Friday devotional 

I come across this devotional 

Title: Cling and Hope 

Scripture verse is Joel 3:16 

The Lord will be a shelter for His people. 

The Late British historian Arnold Toynbee gave his personal slogan to the world when he said , “Cling , and hope.” In other words, he said , all the ideals we held a few years ago are crumbling; but he advised the human race to Cling and hope. 

But to what? Millions cling to the wreckage they have made of their lives, thinking they have nowhere else to turn. Others cling to false ideologies or deceptive cults. Still others cling to possessions , or relationships, or pleasures . Yes, “Cling , and hope”—but what if you are clinging to something that is sinking ? 

However , thousands still find refuge from the storms of life by their living faith in a living God! 

To turn to God in an hour such as this in the history of the world is not escapism. Multiplied thousands have found that faith in Christ is more than adequate for the pressures of this hour .

The true Christian does more than “Cling , And hope.” He knows that with Christ he is secure forever . Is your hope in Him?

I come across devotional and would like to share 

Title: Stick Together 

Scripture Readings in Ephesians 4:1-16 

Scripture Verse Ephesians 4:16

From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working intge measure of every part , maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

For years, scientists have wondered how fire ants , whose bodies are denser than water , can survive floods that should destroy them. How do entire colonies form themselves into life rafts that can float for weeks? A Los Angeles Times article explained that engineers from the Georgia Institute of Technology discovered that tiny hairs on the ants’ bodies trap air bubbles. The enables thousands of the insects, “which flounder and struggle in the water as individuals,” to ride out the flood when they cling together. 

The New Testament speaks often of our need to be connected to other followers of Christ in order to survive and grow spiritually. In Ephesians 4, Paul wrote ,”We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine.” He added, “But , speaking the truth in love , may (we) grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that every joint supplieth..itself in love (14-16)

Alone , we sink; but clinging and growing together in the Lord, we can ride out every storm. 

Let’s stick together!

 

An atheist teacher was very eager to spread his views against the existence of God, among his students. One day he eloquently taught his students against their faith in God. He was proud and glad that he had proved before them that God did not exist. Victoriously he wrote the summary of his sermon on the black board in large capital letters: “GOD IS NOWHERE.”

But in his excitement, unknowingly, he happened to leave a little more space in between the letters W and H when he wrote the word,‘NOWHERE.’

He then jubilantly asked his students to read aloud the concluding sentence on the board. The innocent students read aloud, “GOD IS NOW HERE.”

The atheist was lost for words. He left the class sadly as the students had publicly denied his concept. The students apparently reiterated their firm faith in the loving God who is now present there, with them.

A teacher once overheard the dialogue between two innocent infants in a school. One asked the other, “How many Gods are there?” The other child replied confidently, “Only one.”

“How can you be so sure?” asked the first student.

The second one said, “God fills the whole world, oceans and the sky above. So there is no space for another God!” The teacher felt enlightened. The simple kids had provided a clear answer to an important question which the teacher had been trying to answer.

God is the Omnipresent, Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnibenevolent. He is infinitely intelligent, virtuous, truthful and perfect. He is eternal, immortal and infinite. He is our creator, sustainer, guardian, provider, and protector. He is the final and most just judge of our actions.

An orphan boy, staying in an orphanage was the captain of the football team in his school. The team achieved a remarkable victory in an inter school football competition. He played exceptionally well. The parents and siblings of all the players except the orphan boy were present in the gallery, applauding the players. Every member of the team was awarded a prize in recognition of the outstanding performance of the team. The orphan boy was very sad as he had no relative to appreciate him. Desperately, he threw his prize into a bush near his orphanage. Later, the warden of the orphanage learned about this action and tried his best to console him.

A believer finds in God a loving father and a beloved friend.He enjoys the affection and care of God at every moment of his life, especially during periods of trials, tribulations, pain and distress. But an atheist suffers the sadness of an orphan in difficult situations. He may find it difficult to bear the bitterness of solitude and agony.

David says, “Fools say to themselves, ‘There is no God’…”(📚Psalms 14: 1, 53: 1).

“To be wise, you must first have reverence for the Lord. If you know the Holy One, you have understanding’ {📚Proverbs 9: 10}.

“The way to become wise is to honour the Lord” {📚Psalms 111: 10}.

“To be wise, you must have reverence for the Lord” {📚Job 28: 28}.

“Reverence for the Lord is an education in itself” {📚Proverbs 15: 33}.

“To have knowledge, you must first have reverence for the Lord” {📚Proverbs 1: 7}.
Pastor Imran John

I come across  this devotional and would like to share with you guys 

Devotional: Timely Words 

scripture is Proverbs 25:11 

A word fully spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. 

You may have heard the adage , “Timing is everything.” According to the Bible , good timing applies in our words and speech too. Think of a time when God used you to bring a timely word to refresh someone, or when you wanted to speak , but it was wiser for you to remain silent.

The Bible says that there is an appropriate time to speak (Eccl. 3:7 ). Solomon compares properly timed and well-spoken words with golden apples in a silver setting—beautiful valuable , and carefully crafted (Prov. 25:11-12) . Know the right time to speak is beneficial for both the speaker and hearer , whether they are words of love, encouragement, or Reno. Keeping silent also has its place and time. When tempted to deride , belittle, or slander a neighbor. Solomon said that it is wise to hold our tongue , recognizing the appropriate time for silence (11:12-13). When talkativeness or anger tempts us to sin against God or another human being , resistance comes by slow to speak.(10:19; Jamrs 1:19). 

It is often hard to know can to say and when to say it. The Spirit will help us to be discerning. He will help us the right words at the right time and in the right manner, for the good of others and for Hid honor .

Word of God 

Scripture reading : Hebrew 4:12 

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword , piecing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit , and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 

Does God’s Word Ever cause you discomfort? When you read the  Bible , does what you read make you uneasy? Do you find , when you listen to sermons, that the Scripture seems aimed directly at you? You are experiencing the reality that the word of God is alive and can read your thoughts and judge your intentions. 

When God’s Word speaks to you it is always for a purpose . God knows your heart and knows what you need to do to bring your life into conformity to Christ. If you have a problem with sinful talk, the word that comes to you will address the tongue. If you are struggling to forgive , Gid’s Word will confront you with His standard for forgiveness. If pride has a stronghold in your life, God’s Word will speak to you about humility. Whatever sin needs addressing, you will find you are confronted by God’s Word on the matter. 

In way you can escape the discomfort of conviction:

Read your Bible

Pray daily 

Regular fellowship with your brothers and sisters 

Being the light in this dark world 

Do not let the Devil take you down “D” Avenue . Every believer will battle feelings of disappointments. Often times our strong hope and ardent faith collide with devastating unexpected realities . When our prayers are not answered and our dreams are shattered we easily get discouraged and disappointed. But I have come to realize that every divine appointment is often preceded by a great disappointment. Giant heros of faith often rise from ground zeros of life. No matter how painful your disappointment may be do not go down the Devil “D” Avenue. Disappointment leads to discouragement. Discouragement leads to despair. Despair leads to depression. Depression leads to disease. Disease leads to death. Trust Jesus. He will wipe your tears and turn you disappointments into His Appointments. Only believe.

 

I was looking at this passage today in Psalm 147: 9 , “He (God) giveth to the  beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry” 

And found this in a passage of book relating to this scripture 

Among fowls He does not mention the hawk or falcon , which are highly prized and fed by princes; nor the sweetly singing nightingale, or similar musical , pretty birds , which men delight in; But He chooses that hateful and malicious bird, croaking , which might annoy him. 

Behold , then , and wonder at the providence and kindness of God, that He should provide food for the raven , a creature of so dismal a hue and of so untunable a tone , a creature that is so odious to most men, and ominous to some . 

There is a great providence of God seem in providing for the ant, who gathers her meat in summer, but a greater in the raven, who , though he forgets , or is careless to provide for himself, yet God provides and lays up for him. One would think the Lotd should say of ravens , “Let them shift for themselves or perish; no tge Lotd God does not despise any work of His hands; the raven has his being from God and therefore the raven will be provided for by Him; not only the fair, innocent doves, but the ugly raven has his meat from God. 

This clearly shows that the lack of execllence in you , you, black,  raven-like sinner, will not prevent your cry from being heard in heaven. Unworthiness the blood of Jesus will remove , and defilement He will utterly cleanse away . Only  believe on Jesus , and you will find peace.

 

 

Came across this devotional today and would love to share it 

scripture reading in Proverbs 18:10

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe 

In the medieval world , farmers would care until an enemy appeared on the horizon. Then they would flee with their families to their fortified city for protection from the marauders. 

The city of Carcassonne has been a refuge for generations . Built in the 5th century BC, this stone fortress has provided protection for Romans, Gauls, Visigoths, Franks, and French. its sprawling size and majestic watchtowers and battlements gave confidence to those hiding inside its protective walls. 

As believers we can take refuge in the presence of the living God. The book of Proverbs Tell us “The name of the Lord is a strong tower ; the righteous run to it and are safe “ (Prov 18:10). “The name of the Lord” refers to God’s character —abounding with faithfulness, power, and mercy. The term “safe” means “set on high out of danger.” 

We All face threats at times that make us want to run for cover . Some seek security in material wealth or relationships. But the Christ -follower has a more secure refuge. Because of who God is and what He can do for us, our best protection ultimately rests in Him. If you are facing a threat today, go to the Lord, who is a strong tower . You will find refuge in His care.

geralt / Pixabay

­Just is not really Devotional but I came across and would like to share it 

Tell God all that is in your heart , as one unloads one ‘s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He May comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He May sober them; tell Him your longings , that He May purify them ; tell Him your dislikes , that He May help you to conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He May sheiks you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He May heal them; lay bare your indifference to good , your depraved tastes for evil , your instability .Tell Him his self-love makes you unjust to others , how’ve vanity tempts you to be insincere , how pride disguises you to yourself as to others. 

If you thus pour out all your weaknesses , needs, troubles , there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject . It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weight their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration, just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar , unreserved intercourse with God.

geralt / Pixabay

Title:The Devil is a Roaring Lion 

scripture reading is in 1 Peter 5:8 

Be sober, be vigilant ; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about , seeking whom he may devour. 

I love watching shows that focus on the earth and animals such as Planet Earth I and II, Blue Planet, Frozen Planet, etc. Recently, I watching The Hunt, which is a documentary on predator and prey survival in the animal kingdom. One of the episodes I was watching had lions in it. To me, it is amazing to watch these lions on the hunt. They carefully stalk their prey while slowly blending in with their environment. They would move a little and just watch. Then, move a little more and just watch. Then, when it was time , they would attack. Man, when they attack , they rip their prey into pieces. 

In today’reading, Peter tells us that the devil is a roaring lion on the hunt and when the time is right, he attacks and rips us into pieces. We should be aware that the devil is not a joke. He is a smart and intelligence adversary that has been successfully destroying many by his careful hunt and execution of his attack on one’s life. 

But the Good News is, if you are a Child of Gid, you have the Holy Spirit living in you. This is stronger than any attack that the devil can execute on your life. We have a power that God has given us to wage a good warfare against the devil. 

So , today, as you are going through the day, if you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, you have access to a Power that makes our adversary, the devil wants to flee because you are a Child if God 

geralt / Pixabay


Midweek devotional: 

I would like share spiritual warefare devotional today with you guys 

Title : My Word and My Power Are All You Need 

Readings are : Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 10:1; Psalm 72:19

In My Word you will discover the thoughts that I think about you. I have desired that your life be filled with My great peace, not with evil and turmoil that you will find in the world, which the enemy will tried to thrust upon you. My Word will help you to see the glorious future I have planned for you and will surround your life with the hope of overcoming the evil in this world through My strength and power . Allow My Holy Spirit to fill you up with My supernatural power. With My power there is nothing the enemy can do to hurt you. My Word and My power will help you to fill the whole earth with My Glory.

Devotional 8/25-8/30

Title :Just As I Am

Read Isaiah 55:1-7

I would like share this devotional written by Anne Cetas 

scripture reading in Isaiah 55:3

Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live ; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David 

Good memories flooded my mind as I say in a concert. The group’s leader had just introduced the song they were about to sing: “Just as I Am.” I remembered how years ago the end of his sermons my pastor would ask people to come forward while we sang that song, indicating they would like to receive the forgiveness Christ offers for their sins. 

But the leader of the musical group at the concert suggested another occasion when we might sing this song . He commented that he likes to think that when he dies and goes to meet the Lord one day, he will sing in thanks to Him.

”Just as I am, without one plea”

But that Thy blood was shed for me,”

And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee”

O’Lamb of God, I come”

Years before writing this song, Charlotte Elliott asked a minster how she might find the Lord. He told her, “Just come to Him as you are.” She did, and later during a discouraging time of illness, she wrote this hymn about the day she came to Christ and He forgave her sin.

In His Word, the Lord encourages us to seek Him: “Seek the Lord while He may be found,call upon Him while He is near” (Isa 55:6). He calls to our hearts: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters….Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live” (vv. 1,3). 

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can come to Him right now and will one day go into eternity to be with Him forever. Just as I am…I come.

Midweek devotional 8/21

Title Ritual or Relationship 

I was reading a devotional and I would like to share it with u guys 🙂 

scripture reading is Jeremiah 2:6 

They stopped asking , “Where is the Lord who brought us from the land of Egypt who led us through the wilderness?” 

Christianity is an intimate, growing relationship with the person of Jesus Christ. It is not a set of doctrines to believe, habits to practice, or sins to avoid . Every activity God commands is intended to enhanced His love relationship with His people. 

Gid designed worship for us to see Him in Hus glory and to respond appropriately; for many it has degenerated into “religion,” one more meeting to attend out of habit. God established the sacrificial system so that we , His people , could express our love to Him; but we often diminish our gifts to our Lord into futile attempts to appease Him and to pacify our guilty conscience. God gave us prayer so we could have conversation with Him, but we often distort this by “saying prayers” and hurrying off without ever listening to what is on our Father’s heart. God instituted His Commandments as a protection for those He loves, but the commandments can become a pathway to legalism rather than an avenue for a relationship with our Father in which He protects us from harm. 

Religious activity apart from fellowship with God is empty ritual. The people of Jeremiah’s day were satisfied to have the ritual without the manifest presence of God.They became so comfortable with their “religion” that they did not even notice God’s absence. Is it possible to pray, to attend a worship service , or to give an offering yet not experience the presence of God? 

It certainly is possible! And that has been the sad commentary on many a Christian experience. 

Do not settle for a religious life that lacks a vital relationship to Jesus Christ . When God is present, the difference will be obvious. 

geralt / Pixabay

Devotional (8/18-25) 

Real Love 

I do a lot reading I came across this devotional and would to share it 

scripture reading is 1 Corinthians 13:7-8

7. Beareth all things, believeth all things , hope that all things, endureth has all things. 8. Charity (love) never faileth : but whether there be prophecies , they shall cease ; whether there  there be tongues, they shall cease ; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

A few years ago, my friend’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Since then, Beth has been forced to make tough decisions about her Mom’s care, and her heart has often been broken as she watched her vibrant and fun-loving Mom slowly slipping away. In the process, my friend has learned that real love is not always easy or convenient. 

After her mom was hospitalized for a couple of days last year.  She wrote these words to some of her friends: “As backwards as it may seem , I am very thankful for the journey I am on with my mom. Behind the memory loss , confusion , and utter helplessness is a beautiful person who loves life and is at complete peace. I am learning so much about what real love is, and even though I probably would not have asked for this journey and the tears and heartache that go with it, I would not trade it for anything.”

The Bible reminds us that love is patient and king. It is not self-seeking or easily angered. It “bears all things, believes all things , hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor 13:4-7) 

Real love originated with our Father, who gave us the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. As we seek to show His love to others, we can follow the example of Christ, who laid down His life for us (1 John 3:16-18) 

 

geralt / Pixabay

8/11-8/16

I came across a devotional and I would like to share it with you guys.

What’s The Trouble? 

Scripture: Number 32:23 

But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out

There was something wrong with my lawn. I could not see what the trouble was, but I knew something was causing damage. 

Afrer investigating, I discovered the problem: moles. Those voracious little bug-eaters were crawling around just under the surface of my previously well-groomed lawn looking for food and wrecking havoc on my grass. 

The children of Israel also had a problem with hidden trouble cause (see Joshua 7:1-13). They were experiencing trouble, and they could not figure out why. There was something hidden from their view that was causing serious damage. 

The trouble became noticeable when Joshua sent 3000 troops to attack AI. Although that should have been a sufficient army to defeat Ai’s small Ai’s small force, the opposite happened. Ai routed the Israelites, killing of them and chasing them back where they came from. Joshua had no idea why this trouble had come. Then God explained the hidden problem:  One of his men, Achan, had violated a clear command and had stolen some “accursed things” from Jericho (Josh. 7:11). Only when that hidden sin was discovered and taken care of could Israel have victory. 

Hidden sin does great damage . We need to bring it to the surface and deal with it—or face certain defeat. 

geralt / Pixabay

 

Eureka stone 

Weekly Devotional 8/04-8/14/ 19 

I was looking through some on my devotionals  and found this, I would like to share. 

Scripture Reading is in Matthew 14:44-55

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure his in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. 

In 1867 on a farm in South Africa, 15-year-old Erasmus Jacobs saw a glistening in the sun. The shining rock was eventually reported to s neighbor , who wanted to buy it from the family. Not knowing it’s value , Erasmus’ mother told the neighbor, “You can keep the stone , if you want it.” 

Eventually , a mineralogist determines the stone to be a 22.25 carat diamond and worth a great sum. It became known as the “Eureka Diamond.” (The Greek worf “eureka” means “I found it!”) Soon the fields near the Jacobs’ farm soared in value. Underneath the land was one of the richest diamond deposits ever discovered. 

Jesus said that the value of being part of God’s kingdom is like treasure : “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field , which a man found and hid:,and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44)

when we put our faith in Christ , a spiritual “eureka moment” arrives. God gives us forgiveness in His Son. It is the greatest treasure that could ever be found. Now all of life can begin to center on the value of becoming a joyous member of His eternal kingdom. It is our joy to share that valuable discovery with others.

BE THE LIGHT

Weekly Devotional  7/21-7/30

Matthew 5:14-16

14. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. 15. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it give them light unto all that are in the house. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. 

When I was working on my masters degree in Kentucky, my wife and I visited the Mammoth Cave National  Park. If you have never been, u highly recommended it. It is known as the world’s largest cave system and it has over 400 miles that you can explore. That is so cool, right? There’s a lot of hiking, so make sure to eat your breakfast :). When my wife and I were taking the tour in one of these cave systems, we could see that light fixtures were provide light. However, as we traveled deeper into the cave, the tour guide had someone turn the lights out. And, WOW, the darkness just engulfed and the quiet was overwhelming.

Refecting back on this experience in the cave, Matthew 5:14-16 kept piping into my head because when we accep Jesus Christ as our Saviorc, we became Children of Light.  This light of the of Jesus is so powerful. And in Matthew, you can see the illustrations used to describe this light as a city on a hill and a candlestick that provides a house with light. With three illustrations, you can see that the darkness flee. Another prime example is if you turn all the lights off in your house and then light a match or turn your flashlight on the darkness flees. It was the same principle, my example in the Mammoth cave, when you provide a light , the darkness must flee.

As Children of Loght, we are supposed to our light shine in this world that is filled with darkness. This can be from as a simple as smiling at someone or opening a door for a stranger. Or, it could be you using your time to comfort a friend or family member or acquaintance who is being beaten down by the world. Whatever the situation or circumstances remember this, 

BE THE LIGHT 

Spiritual War

Weekly Devotional 6/23-6/30

Ephesians 6:10-11

10. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye May be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 

 

We, Christians, are in a spiritual war, but this war has not just started. Ever since Adam and Eve fell in the Garden, we have been faced with a world that is cursed. We have had to endure spiritual war everyday as we walk among a world that embraces evil and shuns goodness. 

However, as Paul is reminding Ephesus and other surrounding regions, we are not helpless, God has provided us with spiritual armoire to enable us to counter the evil that we face in our Christain walk. This armour is more powerful then any evil that we face in this world. 

When we experience job loss, loss of a loved one, loss of a marriage, loss of health, and loss of hope, etc., we can stand assured that we have not lost the love of God and the promise of spiritual armour that will provide a defense against all the loss that we may experienced in this world.

By Jonathan Matthew Ritter

Tug of War Devotional 6/29/19-7/6/19

Scripture Reading is John 8:12

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. 

As a child growing up in the South, there was not much to do. Most of the time, I would go outside to look for something to do such as climbing trees, fishing, hunting for turtles, frogs, lizards, and raccoons. You may say WOW. But remember that I grew up in the poor south in the 80’s, I had to find activities outside to do.  And, when I could, I would gather up some friends from the neighborhood and we would play outside games such as tug of war. 

Tug of war was a game that we played with a long rope. One group would get on one side of the rope and the other group would get on the other side. And in the middle of the rope, we would place a flag on it. But if you wanted to make it interesting, you would play over a mud hole and whoever lost the tug of war ended up in the mud. 

Min our Scripture reading, John speaks of light and darkness, which we face both of these in our lives. Sometimes, we can feel like we are being tugged on both sides. But John tells us the light is more powerful than the darkness because Jesus is the light in this dark world and when we become a children of God we have this light inside of us.

As we walk in this world , we need to acknowledge this tug of war. It could be a job that is pulling you to greed and envy of having it all in this world and neglecting going to church, reading your Bible, and praying daily It could be that neighbor down the street that is always showing off their wealth in this world and you just want to go over and act a fool, instead, of showing the love of God. This is so harmful because that person may have all of the material possessions of this life, but when they closed their eyes, they will have nothing to show for it before a Holy and Righteous God.

it could be overwhelming depression and anxiety of losing everything such as your house or houses, vehicle or vehicles, job, marriage, etc. that pushes you into thinking about ending your life. But when you do that you cannot do the work that God has for you. 

However, there is hope for you all in whatever situation you find yourself in and He is always there waiting for you to lay it all at His feet and allow Him to carry the burden for you.  Just remember that Jesus is the light and He is within each and everyone of His children. And we can overcome this tug of war of light and darkness by letting the light engulf is in our daily life. 

geralt / Pixabay

Devotional: Three Little Pigs

Matthew 7:24-27

24. Therefore whoever heareth these sayings of mine, forth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine doeth them not, shall be liken unto foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 

As a child, I was told many nursery rhymes, but the one that comes to my mind now is the three little pigs. This nursery rhyme starts with three little pigs that are wanting to build a house that would protect them from the big, bad wolf. They argue over it, but they just cannot seem to come to an agreement on what type of house to build. So, they turn from each other and go their own separate ways and build what each of them think is the safest and strongest protection from the wolf. The first pig builds his house with straw. The second little pig builds his house with wood. And the third little pig builds his house bricks. Then, here comes the wolf, the enemy, and he approaches the first pig’s house. And he says,”Little Pig, Little pig, let me in.” And the little pig says, “Not by the haircof my chinny chin chin.” Well, the wolf says, “Them I will huff and puff and I will blow your house away.” As a result, the straw fell down and the pig ran down the street to his brother’s house made of wood. The little pig makes it safely inside. And here comes the wolf, same speech, same result, the wood fell. Both pigs ran down the street to their other brother’s house and he lets them in. They tell their brother what happened to their homes and that the wolf is coming to his house next. As he did before, the wolf shows up, and he thinks, “Well, I guess I will find very well tonight. All three pigs are here.” And the wolf proceeds to say to them, “Ler me in, or I will huff and puff and blow your house away.” They reply pretty much the same as they did before not by the hair of their chinny chin chin. But, this time, the wolf did not succeed because the house was build on the strongest and best foundation to provide safety and protection for the three little pigs.

Here, in Matthew, God is telling us that the best and safest foundation, like the brick house in this story, is Jesus Christ. He is the rock; He is the foundation on which we stand. Is we build our lives on anything else (sand), the enemy, Satan, will come and like the wolf in this nursery rhyme, huff and puff until he blows our house down around ours and everybody else’s ears. The wolf in the story of our lives is Satan and he is our enemy roaring about like a lion seeking whom he may devour (paraphrase: 1 Peter 5:8) .

so, today, build your house on the foundation of Jesus Christ. It is the strongest and best protection against your enemy, your “wolf”, Satan, when he comes to destroy you. As a child of God (if you are a child of God), there is only one Name, Jesus, that will provide the strength and comfort from the storms of life.

By Jonathan Ritter