Devotionals

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Posted 2/1/16 at 9:40 AM | Daniella Whyte

Are You Convinced? (365 Days of Daring Faith - DAY 1)


Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We like to think — or at least imagine — that we can be close to someone in life. Not the sort of pseudo closeness we hear about in love songs and in movies, but closeness that is marked by truth and moved by intimate moments. Our human nature yearns to trust wholeheartedly, to be supported strongly, and to love gently. At certain points of life, however, we may feel abandoned or betrayed. When difficulties come, we may feel disappointed and as if there is no one to turn to.

FULL POST

Posted 1/25/16 at 11:46 AM | June Samuel

The Sun Comes After the Storm

The Morning After the storm

Just wait out the storm. The sun follows the storm. I have seen this phenomenon a few times. Yesterday, while I was praying the title of this blog came into my mind. Immediately after I finished praying, I rushed to the window and looked out. As I expected, the sun light was shining through the trees. The sun was not quite fully shining in its strength. It was a perfect sight.

As we have seen on television and heard over the radio the calls coming from the authorities for people to stay inside. However, some people for whatever reason chose to venture out on the roads. Some got stuck. They could not wait for the storm to finish. People had to come alongside of them and dig them out. Some had to abandon their vehicles on or alongside the street.

The frustration, the worry, their burden which was laid on others to solve, was it all worth it? If they came away from their situation with repentance and a resolution, maybe it was worth it. They may have the scars to prove it.

What about those of us who heeded the calls to stay indoors. We were on the sidelines watching. We watched those who were stuck on the roads and heard their trials. Some of us might have prayed for them. Some of us might have chastise them with our tongues for their disobedience to the authorities. Some of us might have just shaken our heads. Those of us who obeyed the calls to relinquish our ambitions to ride through the snow saved ourselves from trouble and anxiety. We also saved others from troubles that would have been. FULL POST

Posted 1/24/16 at 11:18 PM | Chris Fedorcek

The Voice

Growing up I can recall watching The Price is Right any chance I could get. I would sit there and wonder what it would be like to be sitting on the other side of the television taking part in the chaos. I’d think about who I’d have with me and ask myself, “Who would be that voice that I would listen for?”

As I sit here tonight I ponder that very same question in the context of family, life, ministry...who is that voice that I seek after for clarity and guidance? Who is that voice that I trust? You see, we all have a voice, or voices, that we allow to speak into our lives whether we realize it or not. We’ve all got people we turn to in search of clarity amongst the chaos that is life sometimes.

John 10:10 (NLT) says, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” Satan accomplishes this through putting people around us that speak negativity, hate and destruction into our lives and into the lives of those around us. He is a master manipulator that understand psychologically as humans we tend to believe something if we hear it spoken over us repeatedly. Tell a child he’s a liar and he’ll probably go through life fulfilling that prophecy you spoke over him. FULL POST

Posted 1/19/16 at 4:28 PM | June Samuel

The Spirit of Truth

In the Gospel of John Chapter 14 the Lord Jesus tells His disciples He will pray to the Father, and The Father will send them the Holy Spirit. The King James Version in this chapter calls Him the Comforter, the New King James calls Him the Helper, and the New International version calls Him the Advocate. The Holy Spirit comforts us, helps us and He advocates for us in our prayers to the Father “with groanings which cannot be uttered” Romans 8:26. In verse 26 of John chapter 14 Jesus says, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” The Holy Spirit is also our Teacher and He is holy.

 In verse 17 Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as “The Spirit of Truth”. In John 15:26 the Lord Jesus again calls him “the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of me.” Many times when I hear teachings on the Holy Spirit, the teachings always seem to center around the Spirit’s power to enable us to live the Christian life, which is absolutely true. I hear very little, however, on the Holy Spirit as our Teacher. The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth will not camouflage the truth. He will expose us to the truth. (1Corinthians 2:13) The Spirit of Truth will declare the truth of the Lord Jesus. FULL POST

Posted 1/16/16 at 6:48 PM | Larry Fell

THE TIME IS NOW

Whether we want to admit it or not, there is little doubt we have entered God's final phase for His Earth. Call it the End Times, the End of Days or the Latter Days, the clock has started winding down. Stop and look around, an honest examination will show that the events of the day are aligning with Scripture like never before. Whether one looks at examples [this is not a comprehensive list by any stretch of the imagination] natural phenomenon like the Solar activity, the increased number and strength of earthquakes or the fairly sudden onslaught of "Superstorms" like Sandy; or the actions of mankind like the wars raging around the world, or society fracturing along lines of judgement and morality [LGBT vs straight, black vs white, Islam vs Christianity/Judaism, socialists vs conservatives, etc., etc.] events are lining up with Scriptural End Times Prophecy like never before. {Let me insert my regular caveat here, while the End Times clock is ticking, neither myself nor any other being in the Universe but the Father knows the appointed time [Matthew 24:36; Mark 13:32]. It could be tomorrow, a decade from now or 477 years from next Thursday.} So what's a human to do? Glad you asked.... FULL POST

Posted 1/11/16 at 8:56 AM | Chris Fedorcek

Reality Check

“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.” (Matthew 23:25-26 NLT)

Appearance isn’t always reality. Often times we only see the highlight reels in peoples life, only the things they want us to see. Let me paint a picture for you…

Picture a house that you’re walking by and there’s a big window at the front of the house that you can see in. When you look in you see a pristine living room, the type of room that nobody goes in. You see a perfectly white couch sitting on perfectly white carpet and everything seems to be perfectly in place. You think to yourself, “Wow! They’ve really got it together.” The reality though is that you don’t see the rest of the house. You don’t see the dirt and the decay that is slowly eating away at the frame and foundation from the inside out. All you see is what they want you to see. They want to give the appearance that everything is perfect and everything is okay when the reality is that things are far from okay. FULL POST

Posted 1/9/16 at 11:53 PM | Diane Castro

Who Am I and Who Will I Be?

Recently I have been reading a book my son gave me for Christmas, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, by British neurologist Oliver Sacks.1 Dr. Sacks tells the stories of people with strange neurological disorders that alter their mind, body, perception, and personality. One man lost all memory of events past the end of World War II and for the next few decades imagined that he was still a young seaman. One woman, “The Disembodied Lady,” lost her sense of the relative positions of her own body parts and had to use her eyes and concentrate intensely to “find” and move her limbs. The man in the title was an accomplished musician who was robbed of the ability to recognize faces:

Not only did Dr. P. increasingly fail to see faces, but he saw faces when there were no faces to see: genially, Magoo-like, when in the street he might pat the heads of water hydrants and parking meters, taking these to be the heads of children. FULL POST

Posted 1/8/16 at 6:54 PM | Jack Wellman

My Source Of Hope

Jack Wellman, 2016

What is your source of hope? Or better yet, Who is your source of hope?

The Object of your Faith

Everyone has faith. Even atheists have faith that there is no god, even though they cannot prove it. The question is, “What is your faith placed in? Is it in something or someone objectively true?” You have enough faith in your breaks to drive your car and enough trust in the bridge to hold you up when you drive over it, so we all have faith in a lot of different things. We have faith that the food at our restaurant isn’t going to make us sick and we don’t even know the cook nor see him/her prepare it. The point is, our faith is only as strong as what it is that we have our faith in. A lot of people had faith in their spouse until the committed adultery. They had faith in their friend and they betrayed them. What is your faith in? If God is the Object of your faith then hope is your anchor.

A Human source of Hope

I have been disappointed many times, probably just like you have. It might have been a friend or some sports team or even a relationship that you had your hope dashed. Humans will disappoint you and me. That’s what they (and I) do. Since that’s the source of the problem (hope in people), we know that if we try to put any hope in ourselves or others, then we’ll always be setting ourselves up for heartbreak. Paul seems to quote my life of battling the flesh in Romans 7:15 where he writes, “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” and “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing” (Rom 7:19). Does that make you long for the day when we’ll be saved to sin no more? If we put our hope in man, God says it will not turn out well. The psalmist writes, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation” (Psalm 146:3) since it is far “better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes” (Psalm 118:9). Jeremiah puts it even more bluntly: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD” (Jer 17:5). The Apostle Paul “put no confidence in the flesh” (Phil 3:3b) and neither should we. FULL POST

Posted 1/2/16 at 12:58 PM | June Samuel

Rumors

As I was reading the Christmas story out of Luke chapters 1 and 2 about a week or so before Christmas, the question arose in my mind. How did the neighbors on Mary’s street react to this episode in their neighborhood? I started to imagine.

 One of their neighbors – a nice quiet girl named Mary – could always be seen on any given day living her life. Then it happened that some days passed, and Mary was not seen by the neighbors. One may wonder, “What happened to Mary?”

 Now imagine you were living on Mary’s street during that time. Knowing yourself as you are now, how would you have reacted to Mary’s absence? Some of us would have said to ourselves, “I haven’t seen Mary in a while, I wonder if she is okay. Oh well.” We would continue on with our business. Most men would react in this manner. However, not many of us ladies would. We would, want to know what’s going on.

 Some days ago I was listening to a talk show on radio, and the topic was on rumors. Some listeners called in and shared an experience they had with rumors. I thought then, this question I have is legitimate. Let us explore it. FULL POST

Posted 12/23/15 at 9:24 AM | João Mordomo

Best. Song. Ever. A Christmas Present for You

What’s the greatest day in history? Christian theologians are of two minds. In general, most are inclined toward the day of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, which we celebrate at Easter. This historic day and event is, indeed, crucial to redemptive history. Jesus Himself declared that “‘for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name’…And then a voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.’” (cf. John 12:27-28) His purpose — the essence of His mission — was to die and rise again, bringing glory to His Father and providing the (one and only) means of salvation to people and peoples. Yes, the day of Christ’s resurrection should rightly be considered the greatest day in history.

But could it be that another great day was essential for THE great day to take place? The answer is a resounding “yes”. For in the same way that Christ’s mission ended miraculously, it also began miraculously. We call it the virgin birth. We celebrate it at Christmas. A mission cannot be completed successfully until after it has begun. Christ’s mission began (from our human, temporal perspective) on the day He was born. You can’t have an ending without a beginning. You can’t complete a mission without starting it. “When Christ came into the world He said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God.’” (cf. Heb. 10:5-7) And He did. Oh, yes, He did. He glorified His Father — utterly, completely, perfectly — and “by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ gonce for all.” (Heb. 10:10) FULL POST

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