Seize the Moment – Day 192

Walk Simply in Faith!

1 Corinthians 8

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, September 25.

 

A quick leadership update: our local and state health partners have moved Indiana into Stage 5, starting tomorrow. The new executive order is called, “Stage Five – The New Normal During A Global Pandemic.” The “new normal” requires social distancing and the use of face masks when you are not socially distanced. I pray for the mental and emotional well-being of people as they read the executive order. May the peace of Christ rule your heart and mind.

 

For the last seven months, we have worked very hard to innovate ways to never stop our ministries at FBC. With that said, we know that Stage 5 is what some people have been waiting for to return to the public gathering of worship on Sunday morning. It’s time to come back.

 

The doors open at 9 for children, youth, and adult classes. The worship service begins at 10:30 and I am planning a message called, “The Rule of God’s Peace!” from Colossians 3:15-16. It will be a very accurate and timely message. I hope to see you there.

 

I join with the Apostle Paul in exhorting the mature Christians in our fellowship to not let their great learning to cause the simple and weak in our fellowship to stumble in what they hear and see from us—whether in person or on social media. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 8:11-12, “And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died. Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.”

 

Seize the moment and walk simply and intentionally in your faith. Your life is for the sake of others and not for yourself! Never forget who you represent—Jesus Christ, crucified, risen, and coming again. Focus your eyes on Him!

 

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 191

Experiencing Contentment!

1 Corinthians 7

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, September 24.

 

Today is my 46th birthday and I want to thank my mom for doing all the hard work! Today, I am thanking God for the birthday gift of contentment. Contentment is very different from complacency and they should not be confused with one another.

 

Contentment is defined as “the state of being mentally or emotionally satisfied” (dictionary). 

 

We are called to this mental and emotional state by Jesus Christ in Matthew 6:25-33 and the Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:12-13, as well as the author of Hebrews in Hebrews 13:5-6.

 

Contentment is more than an emotional or mental state; it is a way of life! First Corinthians 7 can be summarized with a faithful admonition from Paul to each of us in 1 Corinthians 7:17, “Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches.”

 

A “rule” speaks to a way of life. Paul calls Christians to a deep abiding trust in the Lord. We are to find our identity and our provision in Him and not in what we do. Whereas, humanism calls our society to a trust in ourselves and our identity in our ability to provide for our own wants and needs. The prevailing humanistic philosophy of our culture is summarized by the saying, “He who dies with the most toys wins!” This saying gives to the person who adheres to it an inability to feel secure in who they are or content in what they have.

 

Seize the moment and live faithfully to Jesus and the relationships He has entrusted to you. Find your identity in Him and your daily bread as from Him. Being faithful to Jesus in your daily life is the key to experiencing contentment and a simple summary of 1 Corinthians 7. Contentment is experienced when you keep your eyes on Him.

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

Have a wonderful day!

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 190

Freedom From Binging!

1 Corinthians 6

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, September 23.
 

Have you spent any quiet time with God lately?

 

To binge is “to indulge in an activity… to excess” (dictionary). This term is popularly used for how many people do media consumption—watching countless hours of shows at a time to complete whole seasons in short order; we call this “binge-watching.”

 

I had someone say to me recently that there is less than 5 seconds between one show ending and the next beginning. Why? Because they know that the average attention span of their younger viewing audience is that of a goldfish, which is about 9 seconds. They want to grab you before something else gets your attention.

 

Paul addresses the entire church in a multi-chapter dialogue about church discipline and the damaging effects of sin, but the principles he give us apply to how we personally live our lives. Listen to one of these principles from 1 Corinthians 6:12, “‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are helpful. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.”

 

Paul addresses food and sex in these verses. Why is Paul dealing with such personal issues in our lives? Because God cares about our sensuality and what is competing for our attention. He cares about what we binge on because, as Paul teaches us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, our bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

 

What dominates your mind’s thoughts, your heart’s desires, and your body’s neediness? I encourage you to take 15 minutes today, turn off all gadgets and sounds and just listen to where your mind goes, to what your heart feels, and what your soul yearns for. What is distracting you from focusing on God’s Word and Spirit?

 

Seize the moment and be quiet before God. Invite God into these places. Be free from that which seeks to dominate and distract you from God.

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 189

With You in Spirit!

1 Corinthians 5

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, September 22.

 

I miss seeing so many of the people I used to see on a regular basis a little over six months ago. As social creatures, it is a challenge to maintain the strength of community when our paths are not physically crossing on a normal basis.

 

Paul knew this and wrote a lot of letters to the churches he once gathered with physically. He reached into their world even though he couldn’t be physically present. He stated in 1 Corinthians 5:3, “Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit.”

 

That is the reason why Pastor Ken and I are doing these daily phone calls to you every day for 189 days and counting, and why Delora is sending out so many emails to you from the church. That is our modern day equivalent of attempting the same thing to each of you. We desire to be together—to remain united in the Word and Spirit. We are still a community, even if our paths aren’t physically crossing on a normal basis.

 

Seize the moment and reach out to your church family today and let us know what is going on in your life.

 

As we enter the fall of 2020 and school has begun and many activities are starting to pick back up, I truly hope you will let us know how you are doing. Send us an email or card, text us, write a letter, make a phone call… If you are not returning to the church gathering because you do not yet feel safe, we understand and are as patient as you need us to be. But if there are other reasons you are not returning to the church gathering, we want to know and learn from you what is going on in your life. We want to be with you in spirit until we can be physically present once again.

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 

Have a wonderful day!

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 188

The Aim of Apprenticeship is Love!

1 Corinthians 4

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, September 21.

 

If you want to become a master electrician, you must start as an apprentice. Every student needs a teacher. We all must learn from someone!

 

Paul explains his heart for this truth in 1 Corinthians 4:14-17, “I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me. That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.”

 

Jesus’ call to be a disciple is a call to apprenticeship—to submit one’s life to God by becoming like our Master Teacher Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

To what aim? LOVE! 

 

But, let’s be honest: we need someone to learn from on how to do this God’s way. Yes, of course, we are called to follow Jesus and not man, agreed, but we need someone to show us what following Jesus looks like. It has always been this way, even from the very beginning of the church.

 

Every apprentice needs a master teacher. Here’s how to choose a good one:

 

  1. LOVE! You will know by their love for God through their personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
  2. LOVE! You will know by their love for the Word of God and how they are humbly learning to obey all that Jesus teaches through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
  3. LOVE! You will know by their love for you and people; not just church people, but the people they encounter.

 

Who are you learning from?

 

Seize the moment and faithfully obey the Lord by loving others well  (F.O.L.L.O.W.).

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 185

God’s Fellow Workers!

1 Corinthians 3

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, September 18.

 

Did you know that we are all in this together and not a single one of us is more important than another? We may have different gift, callings, and responsibilities that we must stand before God to be held accountable for, but we each have great potential to make an eternal impact on our communities.

 

Listen to Paul in 1 Corinthians 3:3-9, “For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way? For when one says, ‘I follow Paul,’ and another, ‘I follow Apollos,’ are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.”

 

This passage is for more than just the leaders of the church—it is for all of us! It is always about God and what God is doing through His people. We are called to be one unified body. We are God’s fellow workers!

 

This means we are called to follow the example of Jesus Christ: Are you sacrificial in your love and forgiveness to others? Are you serving people in the name of Jesus Christ?

 

Seize the moment and walk in step with the Spirit and you will find yourself in step with God’s people. Remember, it is agreement with the Head of the Church—Jesus Christ—that causes the members of the Body to walk in alignment with one another. Regardless of whether or not we agree with one another on a myriad of other issues, let us be God’s fellow workers! For His glory!

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 184

The Goodness of the Mystery!

1 Corinthians 2

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Thursday, September 17.

 

Do you like a good mystery? 

 

I enjoy a good suspenseful mystery novel. One of my favorite story tellers is a Christian author named Ted Dekker. The thing about reading a great author is that you learn their style and start finding the meaning behind the mystery; you can more easily see the insights along the way; and find the small details that seem insignificant at first, but you learn to recognize them as keys to another layer of the story that has not yet been revealed.

 

The bottom line is that you start looking for the mystery everywhere because you believe the mystery is good!

 

The Apostle Paul speaks of the mystery of God throughout 1 Corinthians 2. Verse 7 overtly explains, “but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.”

 

Though there is much mystery in our lives and in what is happening in the world today and how God can possibly use it all for His purposes and to His glory, let me share with you the greatest mystery of all: you can know personally the ultimate Storyteller! The more you spend time getting to know Jesus Christ and listen over and over again to Him, through His Word, the more your mind and heart are opened to the small details that seems insignificant at first, but we learn are keys to another layer of the story that is still unfolding in us and through us. 

 

Seize the moment and spend time with the great Storyteller. His mystery is good so trust Him with your story, so that every detail points to His Story! To God be the Glory!

 

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 183

The Family of God!

1 Corinthians 1

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, September 16.

 

Did you know that your church is called to be one big happy family? That sounds wonderful until you commit your life to actually bring it about.

 

All our families have problems—communication and conflict—so, just imagine how difficult it is being a big old healthy church family when we are bringing more than one family dynamic and those issues together to have all things in common and as Paul commands us in 1 Corinthians 1:10, to live with no divisions among us, in perfect unity in mind and thought.

 

True confessions? This is an impossible expectation from my experience! You want to talk about dysfunctional families, try putting dozens or hundreds of family units together… It’s not just impossible, it’s an insane social experiment!

 

Welcome to Paul’s letters to the family of God located in ancient Corinth, which probably could have earned the honor of most dysfunctional family in the history of the New Testament Churches. Listen to Paul start off the conversation with them in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29,

 

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.

Paul agreed with me: “IMPOSSIBLE!” Paul knew and taught the Corinthians and I am teaching you today: what is impossible for us, is possible for God! When the church lives up to God’s commands, then the world will see and give God glory!

 

Seize the moment and trust God to do the impossible in you and through you for His glory!

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 182

Building Strong Bridges!

Romans 16

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, September 15.

 

Do you know how to make strong bridges?

 

Listen to a couple quick excerpts from Romans 16:1-16:

  • Verse 1, “I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church…”
  • Verses 3-4, “Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives for me.”
  • Verse 13, “Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.”

 

Do you hear Paul building strong bridges with the Romans?

 

What do I mean when I say that Paul is building bridges? Allow me to explain with a little story telling of my own.

 

At the end of 2009, my family transitioned from pastoral ministry in the Silicon Valley of northern California to pastoral ministry in the corn belt of east-central Indiana. Needless to say, when you move over 2,500 miles away, from urban to rural, there will be some major cultural issues that have to be navigated, even when you speak the same language and are citizens of the same country. Listen to what other people did to help our ministry and life in a new community start well.

 

Like in Paul’s letter to the Romans, before we even got here, people reached out to us. Then, we were welcomed to our new home when we drove into town, even with snow on the ground and icy streets. As we got moved in, whether it was meals or a leaky toilet, people were available to help us. We needed help and when it was extended to us, we received it thankfully. And because of that we knew we were loved and a part of a new family immediately! 

 

How are you building bridges with people in our community and in your neighborhood? How about in our church?  What are some practical steps you can take today to help someone feel like they are loved, welcomed, and wanted?

 

Seize the moment and take personal responsibility as a bridge builder to one person or one family today

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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Seize the Moment – Day 181

Hope, Harmony and Hospitality!

Romans 15

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, September 14.

 

The Christian life is marked by certain attributes clearly laid out for us in Scripture. Let’s look at 3 H’s found in Romans 15:4-7, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”

 

The first is Hope! Hope is faith focused on the future. When we lose hope, we lose our ability to see God working in and through us to bring about His purposes for the future.

 

How is your hope?

 

The second is Harmony! In Jesus, we become as one in family. Harmony is the process of bringing together that which is diverse for the same purpose—to lift up the Name above all names so that all people came come and see what the Lord has done for them. In our diversity, we have unity in Jesus Christ!

 

How is your harmony?

 

The third is Hospitality! It is not about simple smiles and a façade of caring; it is truly meeting the needs of the other. Christians are called to be the hands and feet of Christ with arms wide open and hands outstretched!

 

How is your hospitality?

 

These 3 H’s—hope, harmony, and hospitality—serve one purpose: to make the Presence of God known in and through the Church—the body of Christ!

 

Seize the moment and respond to the presence of God.

 
If you would like to receive a personal phone call today, all you have to do is dial the phone number below right now and one of us will call you soon.
 
 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Jerry reads his devotion on YouTube as well. Click HERE to visit the page.
Videos are posted about a week after the devotion appears in the blog.

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