Seize the Moment – Day 193

The Solid Rock

 
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”

 

Even though Edward Mote’s parents were hostile towards religion, he became a Christian through the influence of the cabinetmaker for whom he was apprenticing. He grew up to become a skilled cabinetmaker himself with a successful business.
 
No matter how busy he was, he always found time to worship God. One day in 1863, he felt inspired on his way to work to write down a verse that God had laid on his heart. Before the day was finished, he had completed four verses, starting with the words, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” His friend, William Bradbury, helped him put music to this beloved hymn.

 

Won’t you seize the moment today, and declare with a loud voice the words of this hymn so that all will know on whom you put your hope and trust?

 
 
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 Ken 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.
 
 
Text for hymn devotional:
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
(You can slow down the tempo by clicking on the settings symbol.  I suggest a tempo or 80)

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Responding to the Presence of Jesus – Week 2

Truly Follow!

Philippians 2:1-5

 

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate?  Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.  Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.  Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.                   

Philippians 2:1-5

 

Last week, as Jerry was preaching on knowing the difference between the Omnipresence of God and the manifest presence of God and why we need to gather, the Lord spoke this scripture to me. I knew that I would be sharing today, focusing on responding to the presence of God by following Jesus. As I was reading through the passage, I did not see the word ‘follow’ appear even once, no matter what translation I read (NIV, ESV, NLT, KJV, NASB). So, I was like, “Okay, God…how does this show us how to follow?” I prayed over it , thought about it, even talked with Jerry about it, and then it hit me during the closing prayer of our Elder’s meeting…it could be an acrostic…a group of words who’s first letters make up the word you want to remember. And this is what I felt the Holy Spirit give to me:

            F – Faithfully

            O – Obeying the

            L – Lord by

            L – Loving

            O – Others

            W – Well

 

Faithfully (meaning full of faith, being consistent or resolute, in a manner that is true to the facts or the original) Obeying (submitting to the authority of) the Lord (Jesus Christ, whom you invited into your life to be your Savior), which means your follow His commands by Loving Others Well.

 

If you look back at today’s scriptures, Paul was telling the Philippians there are conditional clauses in being a true follower of Christ. Let’s examine those together!

 

I. The IF Clauses…  if these things are present in our life

 
A. If there is any encouragement
 
~Testimonies of God’s provisions

Imagine how much that would change Facebook and Instagram if we flooded it with testimonies, rather than rants and raves of how we were done wrong that day.

Testimony of God whispering to us and getting us up early in the morning to spend time with Him (a quiet time on the porch, a walk in the woods, a drive down a country road)

~A scripture that has spoken to you

This is why it is important to start the day in God’s Word

Later in the day you find God brings that scripture back to your remembrance and you are either able to share it with someone or it encourages you in that moment.

~Finding a renewed joy in Jesus.
 

      “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done.”                                                                                                          

Philippians 4:4-9

 

B. If there is any comfort from His love
 

~Finding peace in the storm

Recognizing that He is the Rock and has us hidden in the cleft of the Rock!

~Feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit wrapping His arms around you, assuring you of God’s presence with His peace and mercy

During a loved one’s surgery

C. If there is any fellowship
 

~Realizing His presence in your day to day situations.

ILLUS:  Sitting on the front porch this past Tuesday after date night and watching the sunset.

~Finding encouragement in gathering together with other believers. There is joy in the gathering, being together with the family, whether it is blood relationship, or through the blood of Jesus relationship
 
D. If your hearts are tender and compassionate

 

~Being moved by the Holy Spirit to do something for someone

Send a card, make a phone call, drop something off on their porch, give them a ‘Pentecostal handshake’

~Giving of your time, treasures or talents without the expectations of getting something in return.

Seeing a need and meeting that need by helping them move, or clean up their yard, or helping put in a hot water heater or buying the food of the person behind you in the drive thru.

 
 

II. THEN prove it…let others and the world see the evidence.

 
A. Agree with each other wholeheartedly
 
~Are we expected to always agree on everything?
 
No! Christians can have differing opinions and disagree with each other about some things. To be like-minded is not suggesting for us to be marching in lockstep. But rather, to be good listeners and hear the heart of the one we are working with so that God will be glorified in all we do! We should not focus on the differences, but instead, find the common ground to see God’s plan fulfilled.

 

“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.”      

Romans 15:13

 

It is God’s desire to see us not only restored in relationship with Him, but also with one another, bringing healing over past hurts.

 

B. Love one another
 
~Meme from FB:
 
“Some of y’all need to stop running around with a mouth full of scripture and a heart full of hate.” Just like oil and water, these two do not mix!  Love has to be our first response! Yes, the Word of God is a sword, but we need to know who the true enemy is and how we are to use it.

 

“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”                                                         

John 13:35 (NLT)

 

C. Work together in unity
 

~Henry County 500 met on 8/30/2020. 440 people in person, many more met virtually, for a time of prayer, worship and reconciliation. From this, a group has formed and are planning to continually meet to help bring about peace and unity, not only across racial boundaries, but denominational and non-church groups, agreeing that it not for a political agenda, but for the glory of God.

 

~Opportunity to serve a fellow pastor and his church. Two Sundays of filling the pulpit at First Assembly of God.

 

Charles Stanley wrote:

“The joyful unity of believers in Christ offers a powerful testimony to the world that the gospel of love we preach is real, unique, powerful, and welcoming to whomever will believe in the Lord Jesus. It is only through the gospel that people from every nation, race, language group, and socioeconomic level find forgiveness and peace and can join together in harmony.”

 

III. How are we to do this?

 
A. Don’t be selfish and try to impress

 

“If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.  But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.  For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.  For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.”                                                                                                                                            

 James 3:13-16

 
B. Don’t think of only what you want

 

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.”     

 James 3:17

 
C. Don’t forget to consider others ahead of yourself.

 

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.”  

Romans 12:10

 

“But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble… So, if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live—for I don’t want to cause another believer to stumble.”  

1 Cor. 8:9,13

 

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.”  

Ephesians 4:2

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Why? Because of verse 5: “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”  This is a call to have attitudes like Christ—loving and accepting one another despite our differences. In fact, God delights in our diversity; he made every person unique. But we should all be like-minded in our obedience to Christ and in our care for others. Our attitude demonstrates the position of our heart. Jesus did not use His position to bully someone into submitting. He did not use His rightful power and authority as a trump card.

 

“But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them.  But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.  For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

Matthew 20:25-28

 

So we are called to truly follow Jesus by faithfully obeying the Lord by loving others well.

 

 
 
 
 

You can listen to the message here.

 

You can watch the message HERE.

 


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Seize the Moment – Day 186

Come Behold the Wondrous Mystery

  
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

 

This modern day hymn was created thru the collaboration of Matt Boswell, Matt Papa and Michael Bleeker, desiring to bring the church to a place of seeing the beauty and glory of the Lord and the change it brings in our lives.
 
“I remember working on each verse trying our best to fight to communicate the ‘mystery’ of the glory…the paradox of it.”
 
While rich in deep theology, you are brought to a place of making this song your own…asking God to reveal Himself to you as you reflect on each aspect of the wonderful gift that God gave us through His Son, Jesus…His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection. To fully understand that “For God so loved the world, He gave…” and He offered this free gift so that we might be restored to Him and have life and have it more abundantly.

 

Seize the moment today and reflect on these words: 

            What a foretaste of deliverance, How unwavering our hope

            Christ in power resurrected as we will be when He comes.

 

 

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor Ken 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.
 
Text for hymn devotionals:
If you would like to read the words to this hymn click on this link:
https://www.mattpapa.com/come-behold-the-wondrous-mystery-lyrics
If you would like to hear the song on YouTube, lick on this link:
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 179

I Surrender All

Matthew 10:38-39

 

“Anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life wlll lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

 

Brokenness is a prerequisite to blessing and usefulness. We can never achieve spiritual greatness until we have fully surrendered ourselves to God, giving Him authority over every area of our lives.  Judson Van De Venter, the author of “I Surrender All”, said: “For some time, I have struggled between developing my talents in the field of art and going into full-time evangelistic work. At the last pivotal hour of my life, I surrendered all. A new day was ushered into my life and I became an evangelist. God had hidden a song in my heart, and touching a tender chord, he caused me to sing.” Many other evangelists, including Billy Graham, claim that he greatly influenced their lives and ministry.

 

Seize the moment today, and make a fresh surrender to His will and lordship. You will find a renewed enthusiasm for Christ as your surrender all! And all means all and that’s all all means!

 
 
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 Ken 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.
 
Text for hymn devotionals:
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/441

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Seize the Moment – Day 172

Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing

 
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

 

Robert Robinson’s father passed away when he was a young man and his mother could not control him, so she sent him to London to learn the trade of barbering. Instead, he found himself in a gang, drinking and causing all sorts of trouble. One night after they had been drinking for a while, he suggested that they go to the tent meetings being held by George Whitefield and heckle him while he preached.

But once he heard the voice of this great preacher, he immediately sobered up. The words of his message haunted him for nearly 3 years until he gave his heart to the Lord on Dec. 10, 1755. He soon entered the ministry and at the age of 23, he wrote this hymn for his sermon on Pentecost Sunday. It was his prayer that the Holy Spirit would flood into our hearts with streams of mercy, enabling us to sing praises to God and remain faithful to Him.

 

Seize the moment today to sing the words of this song “Come Thou Fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing thy grace, Streams of mercy, never ceasing, calls for songs of loudest praise.”

 
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 Ken 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.
 
Text for hymn devotionals:
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/319

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Seize the Moment – Day 165

And Can It Be (Amazing Love)

Psalm 40:3

 

 “He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.”

 

“And Can It Be” is known as one of the most joyfully touching hymns of the over 6000 hymns written by Charles Wesley, penned on Pentecost Sunday in 1738.

 

While staying in the home of John Bray, a poor mechanic, he heard a voice declare “In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise, believe, and thou shalt be healed of all thy infirmities.” He immediately got up, read from Psalm 40 and wrote in his journal “I have found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in the hope of Christ’s love.”

 

No other hymn expresses the rapturous joy of receiving salvation that only comes from having faith in Christ.

 

“Died He for me? Who caused His pain! For me? Who Him to death pursued?

Amazing Love! How can it be? That Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?

 

Seize the moment today and reflect on the words of this hymn! God demonstrated His love for us, that while we were yet sinners, He gave His one and only Son to die for us so that we could find salvation!

 
 
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 Ken 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.
 
Text for hymn devotionals:
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/(296)
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 164

A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1

“A good name is more desirable than great riches,

and loving favor is better than silver and gold.”

 

Reputation is defined as: “the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something.” Growing up, my mom always told me that your reputation will always go before you, and you are only as good as your name.

 

But, how many times have you heard when you are introduced to someone for the first time, “Oh yeah, I‘ve heard about you. Aren’t you related to so and so?”. So, then you are not only being held responsible for your actions, but also the actions of “so and so.”

 

It really upsets me when people group me together with those who call themselves Christian, but do not exhibit the true characteristic of Love that comes from having a relationship with Jesus.

 

Jesus told His disciples in John 13:35:  “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” So, it is important to realize that it is not only your name that is on the line, but we are putting Jesus’ name and the names of our fellow believers there as well.

 

I don’t want the only time good things are said about me to be done at my funeral. I want everything I say and do to bring glory to God and shine brightly on the lives of those I love and serve with until Jesus comes back for us!

 

Seize the moment today to reflect and think of how you can have a good name and live in loving favor with others.

 
 
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 Ken 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 163

Take the Time

Proverbs 21:22

 

 “A wise man scales the city of the mighty,

and brings down the strength of its confidence.”

 

There are times we are faced with big problems, not the ordinary things, but those huge, almost overwhelming problems that are very intimidating. This is when we need God’s wisdom, letting Him lay down the strategy and giving us His strength to overcome and pull down that stronghold.

 

It is important to wait on Him for the answer. All too often, a big problem causes us to want to respond immediately. If we wait, we feel we are ignoring it. But we need to take the time to hear from God for a suitable response. This way, God gets the glory and our faith grows knowing He has intervened on our behalf.

 

Seize the moment today by waiting on the Lord. Be still and know that He is God and He has you in the palm of His hand.

 
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 Ken 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 162

Planning takes Preparation

 

“The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.”

 

Solomon once again points out the importance of planning. As we heard yesterday, our plans have to be committed to God so that He will lead us. And being diligent in doing God’s plans bring us blessing and abundance. This is His promise to us. But all too often, we don’t take the time to seek God, and so then we come up with our plans quickly, only to see them fail. Then we get frustrated and ask God “why didn’t this work? I was doing what you told me to do!”

 

I was blessed growing up to have a music teacher in my life that encouraged my ‘natural talent.’ But she would stress that I could not just rely on my natural ability, but I had to practice and plan ahead for each performance. Her catch phrase was “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” While I know she was not the one who came up with it, she drilled it in my head, and I realized that it was true not only for my music, but also in every area of my life. Preparing for a race, preparing for a dinner party, preparing for a job, or preparing for a Sunday message all require being diligent to a plan.

 

Seize the moment today and take time to create a plan of action for a project you feel God leading you to do. Seek His direction and then set out together to see it accomplished.

 
 
 
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 Ken 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 161

Surrender to Commitment

Proverbs 16:3

 

“Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.”

 

Commitment is defined as “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity”. Synonyms are devotion; allegiance; loyalty or alignment.

 

King Solomon was challenging his son to not only be a man of his word, but also of deed. In other words, if you’re gonna talk the talk, you better walk the walk.

 

If we truly trust God to lead us and we confess that with our mouths, then why are we not only walking in faith, but also commitment to His promises. When we focus our lives on God and the plans that He desires for us, we must walk in accordance to His leading. That is what it means to have the mind of Christ.

 

Paul wrote to the Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2)

 

He was calling them out to walk in their commitment, devotion, allegiance and loyalty to the will of God. And that can only take place when we have committed or surrendered our work to the Lord so that He will establish our plans according to His good and perfect will.

 

Seize the moment today by taking time to stop and commit your day to the Lord. Let Him establish your plans. You may find your day to go a lot better than you had planned!

 
 
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 Ken 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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