The blog contains daily devotions and notes from the weekly messages.  We encourage you to review the notes during the sermon or through the week!  Most of the posts will have an audio and/or video link at the end of the notes.  From time to time the pastors will share other insights and devotions here.

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Seize the Moment – Day 226

God’s Design and Plan: Impact

 
“The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 

 

As we continue our acrostic of DESIGN, Monday we talked about what DRIVES us. Tuesday, it was how God uses our EXPERIENCES to shape us. Wednesday, we focus on what SPIRITUALLY STIRS us to best connect with God. Today’s focus will be how we IMPACT those around us

 

Next to King David, Simon Peter is probably the bible character that I can best relate with…You know, he was sometimes hot headed, speaking without really thinking, becoming a protective papa bear or even keeping silent about his relationship with Jesus so he could fit in. All of these things had an impact on the other disciples and those around him.
 
But after his encounter with Jesus on the beach after the resurrection, he changed. His heart was no longer self-centered, (what’s in it for me), but Christ-centered (what can I do for Jesus).
 
While his words were still strong, they were now delivered with the Love of Christ. He wanted to impact the churches he had help plant to encourage them to seek after God’s wisdom and knowledge so that they could encourage future believers.

 

It’s time for us to wake up and see how our lives impact our friends, family, neighbors and co-workers and what God is calling us to do! Read this whole chapter and accept the challenge to share the precious faith, hope and love that has been given to us through Christ!

 

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 225

God’s Design and Plan: Spiritually Stirs

Psalm 56:11-13

 

“in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?  I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you.
For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.” 

 

As we continue our acrostic of DESIGN, Monday we talked about what DRIVES us. Tuesday, it was how God uses our EXPERIENCES to shape us. Today, we focus on what SPIRITUALLY STIRS us to best connect with God.

 

David was known as a man after God’s own heart. Not because he was perfect, but rather because no matter what was happening in his life, he was seeking after God’s heart, to connect with Him and really know Him. It was this spiritual stirring that led him to rise up early in the morning to seek Him; to cry out to Him in his time of trouble; but also to declare his love and trust in God.
 
This Psalm was written at a time when it seemed like the whole world was against him, but David connected with God and realized that he had nothing to fear, because God was in control. He was spiritually stirred and knew where his hope and trust was placed…not in man, but in God!

 

It’s time for us to wake up and realize that since we are all uniquely designed, it will take different things to stir us spiritually. For some, it is music; for others, it’s the spoken word; for others, it is art; while still for others, it is the written word. Whatever stirs you, use it to better connect with the God who loves you!

 

 

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 224

God’s Design and Plan: Experiences

 
“I have said these things to you, that you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 

 

As we continue our acrostic, yesterday we talked about what drives us. Today, I want us to see how God uses our EXPERIENCES to shape us.

 

When Jesus was talking with His disciples, He told them that it would not be an easy life (you will have tribulations), but He wanted them to rest in the hope and peace that only He can provide because He has overcome the world.
 
He never abandons us when we go through struggles and trials, but rather is there to be our shelter in the midst of the storm. And when the storm passes, we have the testimony of what God did for us during that time.
 
It is an experience that prepares us to share those experiences with others as we see them going through similar situations.

 

It’s time for us to wake up and realize that we all have something to share in building up the body of Christ. Find God and His peace in every situation you face, and be ready to give Him the glory for what He has done.

 

 

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 223

God’s Design and Plan: Drive

 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,” says the Lord.” 

 

My son, Kyler, will be taking a test soon to become a licensed landscape architect. He has an eye for design and knows how to draw up and engineer the plans for the design to become a reality. He is able to see the finished product and knows the work that will be required for it.

 

Do you realize that God is the architect of your life? He has a design and plan for you, if you will just seek Him first in everything you do.
 
For the next few days will we be focusing on that design and plan during our devotion time together. I love acrostics, so the d in design stand for DRIVE: That which gets your fired up and excited. It also shows us that we are not to be parked on the sidelines, but rather doing that which the Holy Spirit is leading us to do each and every day.
 
When we seek the Master Designer with our whole hearts, He promises that we will find Him, to give us a future and a hope. To borrow a quote from Hunger Games, “Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.” And there is a new worship song that says “Hope has a name, His name is Jesus”!
 
So put your hope in the One who made you, for He wants only the best for you! Allow Him to fill your life drive with a new fire and excitement.

 

 

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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Responding to the Presence of Jesus – Week 7

The Unavoidable Consequence of the Presence of God

I love science – creation is so COOL! And the universe that God created contains some very strange and wonderful surprises. One of those surprises is holography.

 

Any Star Wars fans here? Remember the scene from the first (or fourth) movie – A New Hope? “Help me, Obi Wan Kenobi! You’re my only hope.” That was a holographic movie, which exists in the science fiction world of Hollywood, but not quite yet in real life – however, they’re getting closer. What we do have today is holograms – holographic still images.

 

A photograph is a two-dimensional representation of real life, and a hologram is a three-dimensional representation of real life. The photograph looks the same no matter what angle you look at it. The image in a hologram actually appears to rotate three-dimensionally as you change the angle that you look at it.

 

When a photograph is cut in half you only see half of the picture. The cool thing is that when you cut a hologram in half, the whole scene can still be seen in each piece – you just see less of it at one time.

 

In a similar way, the Word of God is like a hologram. The Bible as a whole presents an overarching storyline from Genesis to Revelation. When you look at scripture in smaller chunks, and explore it from different angles, you get a glimpse of the whole story. And whether you know it or not, we’ve been doing that for the last six weeks as we talked about “Responding to the Presence of Jesus!”

 

Let’s do a quick recap …

 

Responding to the Presence of Jesus Series

 
Week 1. The Manifest Presence of God – Matthew 18:20
Matthew 18:15, 20 – “If your brother sins, goI am there with you.”

Exodus 33:12, 14 – “You say to me, ‘Bring up this people!’ But you yourself have not let me know whom you will send with me … ‘My presence will go with you.’”

Isaiah 6:1, 8 – “I saw the Lord … and the train of his robe filled the temple … and the Lord said, ‘Who shall I send?’”

 

Week 2. Truly Follow – Faithfully Obeying the Lord by Loving Others Well – If/Then – Philippians 2:1-5

John 13:34-35 – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

 

Week 3. The Rule of God’s Peace – Colossians 3:15-17; Philippians 4:7-9

Philippians 4:8-9 – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

 

Week 4. A Temple of God’s Presence – Living Stones – Royal Priesthood, Chosen Race, Holy Nation, Precious Possession – 1 Peter 2:4-12; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

1 Peter 2:9 – “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

 

Week 5. Love is the Source, the Way, and the Motive – 1 Corinthians 12:31

1 John 4:9-12 – “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.”

 

Week 6. Dressed for God’s Glory – Holiness – Colossians 3:12-17

1 Peter 2:9-10 – “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

 

As we look back, we see that every week, when we talked about the presence of God from different perspectives, it always resulted in God sending people to do or say something. Why was that? What is it about the presence of God that results in people going somewhere and doing something?

 

We‘ve touched on one image several times – that God calls us to be a royal priesthood – people who represent God in the world and intercede on the world’s behalf. What might surprise you is that this image – people who represent God in the world – is a thread that runs throughout scripture.

 

Pastor Jerry mentioned last week about the rebellion in Genesis 11 at the Tower of Babel. God divided the nations (Deuteronomy 32:8-9), but He didn’t give up on them (Acts 17:26-27). He immediately chose Abram (Abraham) and supernaturally created a nation of God’s own possession (Genesis 12).

 

Genesis 12:1-3 – Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

 

God promises Abraham that all the nations, the nations He had just divided, will be blessed because of his family. God was going to bless the rest of humanity through Abraham and his descendants. Fast forward to the Exodus, and how God delivered Abraham’s descendants (now called Israel) from Egypt. Three months after God parted the sea and defeated the armies of Egypt they were now at the foot of Mt. Sinai.

 

Exodus 19:3-6 – … The LORD called to [Moses] out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

 

God recommissions Israel to go into the chaos and emptiness of the rest of the fallen world and be His representatives to the nations – a kingdom of priests – to bring order and fullness.

 

Unfortunately, this effort (to be a kingdom of priests) stumbles along in fits and starts and, eventually, ends with Israel (now a divided nation) in exile. Now fast-forward to the New Testament. Jesus is beginning his ministry and in Luke chapter 4 we see Jesus standing in the synagogue reading from the book of Isaiah, chapter 61:
 

 

Isaiah 61:1-6 (Luke 4:16-22- Also quoting from Isaiah 42:7; 49:(6) 8, 58:6) –

The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,

because the LORD has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor,

 

 

(But if you read further down in v.6 what do we see?)

 

6 but you shall be called the priests of the LORD;

they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;

 

Here at the beginning of His ministry, Jesus signals that by the end of His ministry on Earth, there will be a group of people who will be called priests of the Lord – Ministers of our God – accomplishing the will of God “on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

 

Then at his ascension into Heaven three years later he says …Matthew 28:18-20
 
“…All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 

You might remember in Week 1, Pastor Jerry used this verse to highlight that we “gather to scatter.” Jesus recommissions His people, now identified as the church, to go into the chaos and emptiness of the rest of the fallen world and be His representatives to the nations – a Kingdom of Priests.

 

And ten days later, on the day of Pentecost, Peter quotes from the book of Joel to explain what’s going on.

 

Joel 2:28-29 (Acts 2:17-22) –
 
“And it shall come to pass afterward,

that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;

your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

your old men shall dream dreams,

and your young men shall see visions.

29 Even on the male and female servants

in those days I will pour out my Spirit.

 

The Holy Spirit now empowers the people of God so that they can truly be a Kingdom of Priests – representing God in the world – bringing wholeness where there is chaos and fruitfulness where there is barrenness. Look at Paul’s letter to the Galatians:

 

Galatians 3:23-29 – Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

 

We are heirs of Abraham according to the promise. What was the promise? That all of the nations of the world would be blessed through his descendants. God wants to bless the world through us! And this thread goes all the way through the rest of scripture into Revelation.

 

Revelation 1:4-6 – John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood 6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

Revelation 5:8-10 – And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying,

“Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals,

for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation,

10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,

and they shall reign on the earth.

 

But we still have a question. Why is this such a big deal to God? Why Is having a Kingdom of Priests so important to God? Let’s go back to the beginning … like “In the beginning …” Genesis chapter 1

 

God’s Original Commission and Creation

v.2 The Earth was, in Hebrew, “tohu wa vohu” – Without Form and Void – wild and waste – unformed and uninhabited – Dark Waters – chaos and emptiness.

 

  1. Day 1 – Light and darkness – Order
  2. Day 2 – Sky – Waters above from Waters below – Order
  3. Day 3 – Land – Waters from Dry Land – Order
  4. Day 4 – Sun, Moon, Stars – Filling
  5. Day 5 – Birds, Fish – Filling
  6. Day 6 – Land Animals – Humans – Filling
  7. Day 7 – Rest – Sabbath

 

The Spirit of God hovers over the chaos of a wild and waste world and brings order and fullness.

 

The Commission

Gen 1:26-28
26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.

 

God commissions humans to go into the rest of the world and have dominion. This is a word that I’ve struggled with as a Christian, but recently I discovered my struggle was with how I defined dominion. Dominion is a Biblical word that means to bring order and fullness to a world of chaos and emptiness – to be God’s representatives and continue to do what He had done in creation.

 

But there was the fall – a rebellion. But notice, the commission for humanity never changed.

 

There was actually a second rebellion at the beginning of Genesis 6 that we don’t have time to get into this morning, but that brought about the flood. And after the flood …

Gen 9:1, 7And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.

7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.”

 

God recommissions humans (Noah and his family) to go into the chaos and emptiness of this “newly washed” world and have dominion – bring order and fullness. To be His representatives and continue to do what He had done in creation.

 

It is in God’s response to these two rebellion accounts that we see the Passion of God. What does He want?

 

He Wants To Partner With Us In Accomplishing His Will On Earth

 

When God thought about creating humans, His plan, His perfect will, was to create us to be Stewards of God’s Creation, Bringing Order and Fullness, and Accomplishing God’s Will “On Earth As It Is In Heaven”

 

Even after Sin, even after Rebellion (both in Heaven and on Earth) God’s plan never changed. But to accomplish His initial plan, He now needed a rescue plan.

 

How was God going to accomplish this rescue plan? Here again we can see it in fractals all throughout scripture, but I think it is best seen in this passionate response that God gives in Ezekiel 34:11-12 –

“For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold (LOOK!), I …, I MYSELF will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.”

 

The Rescue Mission of God is to search for His lost sheep – To seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10).

 

And this is where we discover the Two Calls of God that he issues to every individual:

Call #1 – Come & Repent – Why? So that He can Reconcile Us To Himself and Restore Us to the Family – Reconciled and Restored by Grace alone!

 

Call #2 – Go & Represent – Why? So that we can fulfill God’s initial plan, to bring order where there is chaos, and to bring fullness where there is barrenness, AND to partner with God to accomplish His rescue plan, by Recognizing and Living Out Our Identity.

And What Is Our Identity? – Priests in the Kingdom of God Representing Him to the World

 

1 Peter 2:9-10 – “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

 

We have seen all throughout this series that The Presence of God in our lives will ALWAYS propel us to be on Mission for God. Why? Because that is His passion.

 

The Holy Spirit was not given to the church just so we could feel good. The Holy Spirit was given to the church to equip us to function as priests in the Kingdom of God Representing Him to the World.

 

Jesus didn’t die to save us so that we could simply sit around and wait to go to Heaven. That was never in the mind or heart of God. That’s a false, self-centered image.

 

Jesus died to save us so that we could join Him in the rescue mission for lost image bearers. Jesus died to save us so that we could partner with Him in bringing order to the chaos we find in the world. Jesus died so that we could partner with Him in bringing fullness where there is barrenness in the world.

 

Remember the quote from C.S. Lewis’ the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? Mr. Beaver whispers to the children, “They say Aslan is on the move – perhaps has already landed.” Scripture is clear, we serve a God who is continually on the move.

 

Unavoidable Consequence of the Presence of God

 

The Unavoidable Consequence of the Presence of God is that when you attach yourself to God, you attach yourself to someone on the move.

 

The Presence of God is not static . The Presence of God does not just stand still and wait for us to find Him. The God of the universe is in pursuit of you and me and when we finally see that, and embrace Him, we also embrace His ongoing mission.

 

A Christian who does not see themselves as a priest in the Kingdom of God, who is not fully committed to the Passion and Mission of God, is a Christian with spiritual Alzheimer’s. That person has forgotten who she, and who God created her to be. And God is moving on – with or without us – His Passion will not allow Him to stay and coddle us. There are more image bearers that need rescued! The AMAZING thing is that God’s passion is to partner with us in that mission!

The call on your life and my life is the same now as it has always been.

 

Come & Repent, AND then Go & Represent.

 

Our difficulty is that we’ve focused so much on the first part of the call – Come & Repent – that we’ve either forgotten the call to Go & Represent or we were never taught how to do it – And THAT’s a discipleship problem.

 

So, what does Go & Represent look like?
 
Let’s go back to the beginning …

 

A world without the rule of God is “tohu wa vohu” – wild and waste – without form and void – chaos and emptiness. God wants us to see it, and then work to accomplish God’s will “on Earth as it is in Heaven.”

 

Look at your family. Is there wild and waste – chaos and emptiness? What can you do to bring the rule of Christ to your family? What can you do to reduce the chaos and fill the emptiness? Not in a heavy-handed way, but with the Spirit of Christ, operating out of His loving-kindness.

 

Look at your neighborhood. Is it “tohu wa vohu”? You are the temple of the Holy Spirit – where Heaven meets Earth. What can you do to make your neighborhood more like Heaven and less like the chaos we find in the world?

 

In your work responsibilities, have you allowed God to help you establish your priorities in how you accomplish your work? Can you imitate what God did in creation and make a difference, in your workplace or in your coworkers, and step back and say, “This is good!”?

 

Can you look at your world, and find ways to make disciples, teaching them to live and act the way Christ taught us to live and act? Isn’t that the Great Commission?

 

There is a lot wrong with the world – and you are NOT responsible for fixing EVERYTHING. But what are the things you ARE responsible for? Where do YOU have authority? What have YOU been given to steward?

 

If you have already responded to the “Come & Repent call” then you represent God in the world. What does God see when He looks through your eyes? What would God do if He could work through your hands? Where would God go if He could walk in your shoes? How would Jesus pray if He heard what you heard?

 

You are image bearers of the Creator King. You carry the only name that can rescue people from darkness and bring them into His glorious light. You are the temple of God. The Holy Spirit dwells inside you. The Unavoidable Consequence of the Presence of God is that He is on the move. His passion has not changed or diminished from the beginning of creation. God so loved the world that He sent His Son to deliver us from the chaos and emptiness that imprisons us.

 

And the Presence of God in us impels us to Go. To do anything else is to tarnish His image and to bring shame to His name. To refuse to Go, is to desecrate His temple and to quench the Holy Spirit.

 

Come & Repent. Go & Represent. This is the passion and mission of God.

 

If you have not responded to that FIRST call on your life, now is the time to do it – Come & Repent. Be reconciled to God. Be grafted back into the Family. God’s passion is for you to be restored to the position that He designed you to hold – as a priest in the Kingdom of God.

 

If you have responded to the first call, have you heard and responded to the SECOND call? Go & Represent. You are a priest in the Kingdom of God. God’s passion, from the beginning of creation, is to partner with you in transforming the world. He’s given you His Holy Spirit. He has gifted you with Spiritual Gifts. You are the Temple of the Holy Spirit and every place you set your foot is a place where Heaven meets Earth.

 

God is on the move, and He has called you to be part of that adventure! Answer His call this morning.

 

 
 
 

You can listen to the message here.

 

You can watch the message HERE.

 

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Seize the Moment – Day 221

“What Wondrous Love is This”

John 15:13

 

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote:  “Not father or mother has loved you as God has, for it was that you might be happy He gave His only Son. When He bowed His head in the death hour, love solemnized its triumph; the sacrifice there was complete.”

 

This beloved American folk hymn first appeared in 1835 in a collection entitled William Walker’s Southern Harmony.  The appealing music and simply stated words has ministered to people everywhere, sharing the truth of Christ’s love for all of us.

 

“What wondrous love is this, o my soul, o my soul! What wondrous love is this, o my soul! What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul. To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.”

 

Take some time today to reflect on the wondrous love of Christ in your behalf and share your Lord and His wondrous love 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.
 
 
Text and audio for hymn devotional:
 
If you would like to read the words to this hymn or hear the melody played, click on this link:
 
What Wondrous Love is This?
 
1
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
what wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
to bear the dreadful curse for my soul!
 
2
When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
when I was sinking down, sinking down;
when I was sinking down beneath God’s righteous frown,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside his crown for my soul!
 
3
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing,
to God and to the Lamb, I will sing;
to God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM,
while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing,
while millions join the theme, I will sing!
 
4
And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on;
and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be,
and through eternity I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on,
and through eternity I’ll sing on!
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 220

Self-Sufficiency or God’s Sufficiency!

2 Corinthians 12

 

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

 

I don’t like failing! I prefer to be sufficient to accomplish whatever task that needs to be done, but that whole mindset is a dangerous trap of pride and arrogance.

 

There is no rest in self-sufficiency!

 

Paul gives us a powerful teaching from the Lord in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10,

 

And [the Lord] has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

The teachings of Jesus Christ are counter-intuitive to our corrupted desires for self-sufficiency and power. We want to live as independent powerful beings, but God has hard-wired us to be dependent creatures—dependent on God and one another!

 

My weaknesses constantly remind me of my inability to live this life on my own power. For it is only then, when I am confronted with my weaknesses, that I can begin to live according to God’s design and in harmony with why Jesus came to show us the way and to die for our true freedom.

Christ emptied Himself so that we can be become full of Him! We are freed from self-sufficiency to live in God’s sufficiency!

 

Seize the moment and find rest, not in the ongoing work of your own hands, but in the finished work of His nail-scarred hands; not from the sweat on your own brow, but in the shed blood of His thorn-pierced brow. Surrender to God’s sufficiency today!

 

Have a wonderful day as you live in God’s amazing grace!
 
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 219

Pray for Your Church!

2 Corinthians 11

 

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

 

How is your prayer life for your local church and the larger Church throughout the nation and world?

 

Paul makes a big statement that can easily be missed in his long list of sufferings for Christ. He writes in 2 Corinthians 11:28, “Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.”

 

The “everything else” Paul referenced is found in verses 21-33 and actually continues into chapter 12. Paul clearly went through a lot to be faithful to God’s call upon his life as an apostle of Jesus Christ to the gentiles. He suffered greatly and in many ways, but Paul is highlighting something here that we can relate to.

 

Paul says that he feels a daily pressure of concern for the churches.

 

Are you concerned for the state of the American church or for the persecuted church throughout the world or for the unity of the church in its many denominations and variations? Or maybe you have a more specific local concern for one specific church or locality of churches? Or even more specifically, maybe you have a concern for a specific person or group of people in a church or community.

 

However you are experiencing the daily pressure of concern for the church, it is my hope that you will bring that concern to the Lord in prayer. Are you praying for the church and its leaders?

 

Seize the moment and make time to pray for your church and the larger Church.

 

As Paul teaches us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Have a wonderful day as you live in God’s amazing grace!

 
 
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.

Read more...

Seize the Moment – Day 218

Daily Victories!

2 Corinthians 10

 

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

 

Are you winning the daily victories in your Christian life?

 

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:4-6, “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”

 

A stronghold is a military term that gives us the image of an enemy fortress that has been established on your rightful homeland that causes you to live a limited life; a life other than abundant life Jesus’ promised in John 10:10

 

In everyday ways, a stronghold is like a kink in a garden hose—a garden hose is intended to bring fresh drinkable water from the source to the destination, but the stronghold blocks the flow of God’s Spirit through you so that you do not manifest the fruit of the Spirit or utilize the gifts of the Spirit for the work God has called you to do. 

 

In the context, Paul is specifically talking about strongholds of thought, ideas, and the accompanying behaviors that flow from an unbiblical belief system.

 

One of the ways I am winning daily victories is making these phone calls through the COVID-19 pandemic. These help me fight the good fight for Christ; my devotional time is a pathway of relationship with God and I hope it is the beginning point for you to make time for God in each of your days.

 

We each must destroy strongholds and take every thought captive so that we may walk in obedience to the commandments of Jesus Christ and bring God glory through our everyday decisions.

 

Seize the moment and structure your life for daily victories. Spend time in God’s Word today. Jesus is praying for you…

 

Have a wonderful day as you live in God’s amazing grace!

 
 
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 217

God’s Bountiful Promise!

2 Corinthians 9

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, October 20.

 

It is always interesting to me when people share with me that they don’t find the Bible practical in their everyday lives. If you find yourself thinking the same way, check out 2 Corinthians 9. Maybe the deeper issue is that the Bible pokes its nose into the intimate places of our lives, like how we deal with money.

 

Money matters because how we spend money shows what we value! 

 

I encourage you to read 2 Corinthians 9, especially verses 6-15. You will find some beautiful teaching and powerful promises that have the potential to liberate you from fear and insecurity, as well as elevate your worship to a God who loves you in ways that words cannot fully express! 

 

Paul promises us in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

 

It is my heart’s desire that you will decide today to sow bountifully so that God can reap a bountiful harvest in your life. I am not preaching a prosperity gospel to you; I am simply asking you to trust God at His word, especially in the areas of your insecurities and fears, such as with your money.

 

Can you take God at His Word? As Malachi 3:10 promises of God, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.”

 

There is only one way to know if you can trust God and His promises… It is through belief that you will experience the bountiful promises of God!

 

Seize the moment and trust God today by living a generous lifestyle.

 

Have a wonderful day as you live in God’s amazing grace!

 
 
 
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.

Read more...