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 833

Mountain Top Experiences!

1 Kings 18

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, June 28.

 

Have you ever had a mountain top experience? This is an experience where you encounter the power of God; it is a moment of clarity and exaltation. Elijah experienced the mountain top, literally and spiritually, on Mount Carmel, where he defeated 850 pagan prophets for the glory of God and the devotion of His people.

 

The story began with God taking on Baal, the pagan storm god, with a three-year drought, which Elijah announced in 1 Kings 17:1. Then, in 1 Kings 18, God called for an end of that drought and for the showdown to occur between His prophet, Elijah, and the pagan prophets, who were serving under the evil king, Ahab, and his blasphemous wife, Jezebel. Forty-six verses later, Elijah is on the run, down from the mountain top having just personally experienced God’s justice against a grave evil. The purpose of this showdown was to win back the hearts of God’s people to a singular devotion to the one true God. As Elijah confronted the people in 1 Kings 18:21,
 
“How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”

 

The purpose of mountain top experiences is to return us to a life of wholehearted devotion to the one true God. God grants them for His glory and our good, but we can’t be dependent on them for our daily walk with Jesus. No one is intended to live on the mountain top itself, but the mountain top experience is intended to embolden how you live. This was true of Jesus, who even after His Transfiguration, which happened on a high mountain, even He, just like Elijah, had to come down and face the reality of everyday life (Matthew 17).

 

Seize the moment and live with a wholehearted devotion to Jesus today by remembering the clarity and exaltation of your mountain top experiences.

God bless 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 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 832

 

The Miracle of Multiplication!

1 Kings 17

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, June 27.

 

Dire circumstances can turn the smallest request into a great act of faith. During a time of drought, a judgment of God against Israel, Elijah the prophet asked a widow for some water and a piece of bread. Normally, that request would have been nothing memorable, but, as seen in 1 Kings 17:12-16, the widow’s dire circumstances turned a simple act of hospitality into a great act of faith:

 

But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’ ” So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.

 

The widow’s obedience led to her experiencing God’s revelation of power and provision. Her willingness to give the last of what she had, in faith, led to a miracle of multiplication that transformed her little into an abundance. This was a foretaste of the gospel of Jesus Christ, who took five loaves and two fish and fed a multitude (Matthew 14:15-21).

 

Seize the moment and trust God to multiply whatever He asks of you in faith, whether it is the giving of your time, talents, or treasures.

God bless 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 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 830

Today’s hymn focus will be 

He Keeps Me Singing

John 15:10-11(NLT)

“When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!”

Luther B. Bridges wrote this hymn in 1910. He was asked to be the guest speaker at a revival conference in Kentucky. He had wife and three sons stay with his father-in-law while he was away. The services lasted for two weeks with a wonderful time of ministry.  The last service closed with great joy and he couldn’t wait to share his excitement and all the blessings with his family. 

So he called his wife. But it wasn’t his wife’s voice on the long distance line. He was told the news that his wife and three boys had perished in a fire that  had destroyed the  farmhouse. Leaning heavily on His Savior and expressing his faith in God, he penned the words to this hymn:

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, sweetest name I know

          Fills my every longing, keeps me singing as I go

We need to wake up and realize that in the good times and the difficult times, Jesus is our constant source of strength, hope, peace and love. We were never promised a life of ease as a Christian, but we are promised that He will be with us in every circumstance.
 

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.
 
If you’d like to hear the song, click on the link below:

He Keeps Me Singing

1

There’s within my heart a melody;
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
“Fear not, I am with you, peace, be still,”
in all of life’s ebb and flow.

Refrain:
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
sweetest name I know,
fills my every longing,
keeps me singing as I go.

2
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
stirred the slumbering chords again. [Refrain]
 
3
Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
trials fall across the way;
though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
see His footprints all the way. [Refrain]

 

4
Feasting on the riches of His grace,
resting ‘neath His sheltering wing,
always looking on His smiling face,
that is why I shout and sing. [Refrain]

 

5
Soon He’s coming back to welcome me
far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high. [Refrain]
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 829

Count the Cost of your Ambition!

1 Kings 16

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

What is the price tag on your ambition?

At the end of 1 Kings 16, an overview of six successive evil kings of Israel, there is a one-verse description of the cost of rebuilding Jericho in verse 34, “In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho; he laid its foundations with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which He spoke by Joshua the son of Nun.”

Whereas the material and labor costs would have been substantial to Hiel, those would have paled in comparison to the value of his two sons, who died in fulfillment of the ancient curse against the rebuilding of this city, recorded in Joshua 6:26, “Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, ‘Cursed before the Lord is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates.’”

While most industrious people, today, would laugh off the concept of ancient curses, there are blessings and curses built into the Law of God, which, like gravity, are at work regardless of whether you believe in the Creator of those laws. Like gravity, there is a consequence upon those who teeter on the cliff of their own ambition. In Mark 8:36, Jesus gave us a principle to sober us in our ambitions, “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?”

What is the price tag on your ambition: your marriage, your children, your health, or your soul?

Seize the moment and count the cost of your ambition today. Step back from the cliff and discover contentment in Jesus (Philippians 4:12).

God bless 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 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 828

The Way of Kings!

1 Kings 15

 

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

 

What is the way of kings? According to 1 Kings 15, it is war. Listen to three passages that demonstrate how three different sets of kings spent their kingships waging a civil war between the northern ten tribes of Israel and the southern two tribes of Judah:

 

  1. “There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life” (1 Kings 15:6; cf. 1 Kings 14:30).
  2. “And there was war between Abijam and Jeroboam” (1 Kings 15:7).
  3. “Now there was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days” (1 Kings 15:16, cf. 1 Kings 15:32).

 

God’s people were divided after the death of Solomon, and, from that time forward, the way of kings was the sword. Jesus warned Peter in Matthew 26:52, “Put your sword back into its place; for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.” So, while the way of kings is war, the way of the King of Kings is peace.

 

Jesus not only commanded Peter to put away the sword, but He commanded all His followers to work as peacemakers in a world caught in a perpetual cycle of violence (Matthew 5:9). In Luke 6:27-28, Jesus gave us one of the hardest commands we are to follow,
 
“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”

 

Just as violence breeds violence, so love begets love! Jesus gave Himself over to violent men as the eternal solution to the way of kings. He invites us to follow Him (Mark 1:17). You must choose for yourself: the way of kings or the way of the King of Kings.

 

Seize the moment and walk in the way of Jesus – the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6-7)!

 

God bless 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 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 827

Remain Faithful to God!

1 Kings 14

 

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

 

In our secular-humanist culture, with the wall between religion and state, it is hard for us to imagine how religion and politics were yoked in Israel. God’s prophets would foretell the rise and fall of kings and kingdoms. We see this in the prophetic ministry of Ahijah the Shilonite and the rise and fall of King Jeroboam.

 

Ahijah was introduced during the reign of Solomon, immediately after Jeroboam was first introduced in 1 Kings 11:28 as a “valiant warrior” and “industrious.” In verses 30-40, Ahijah, reminiscent of the prophet Samuel’s anointing of David during Saul’s reign, endorsed Jeroboam as the next king and spoke of him tearing away ten of the tribes from David’s household. Just like when Saul ripped Samuel’s cloak, Ahijah ripped his own cloak into twelve pieces to symbolize the tearing of the kingdom (30-31). Additionally, he used dynastic language, similar to Nathan’s prophecy to David (38).

 

In 1 Kings 14, fast forward to the end of Jeroboam’s 22-year kingship, and his son Abijah was sick. Jeroboam turned to Ahijah, now an old man who had gone blind, and God gave him a final prophetic word for Jeroboam and Israel, a heart-breaking reversal of his first word. In 1 Kings 14:16, he proclaimed,
 
“He will give up Israel on account of the sins of Jeroboam, which he committed and with which he made Israel to sin.”

 

Ahijah remained faithful in his role as God’s prophet, but can you imagine how he must have felt since his ministry was intimately yoked with the rise and fall of Jeroboam? His ministry was filled with moments of hope and exaltation when Jeroboam was coronated king, then with grave disappointments as he watched God’s man rebel against the very one who put him into office. Yet, Ahijah himself remained faithful to God regardless of these circumstances, and Jeroboam’s bad choices.

 

Seize the moment and be faithful to God regardless of your circumstances, and the bad choices of others.

 

God bless 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 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 826

The Call to Radical Obedience!

1 Kings 13

 

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

 

Has God ever asked you to fast from food for a prolonged time? There was a time when I was in the US Army, faced with a difficult challenge, when the Lord asked me to fast from food for three days in preparation for a significant meeting. I didn’t understand why at the time, but in retrospect, I see that God has always had a better plan than any of my plans.

 

In 1 Kings 13, an unnamed man of God from Judah traveled to Bethel to confront Jeroboam, the king of Israel, and to prophesy God’s judgment against the altar he had built at Bethel (1-10). The prophet spoke with authority, and gave a sign, but Jeroboam didn’t repent, and Israel remained in its apostasy (33-34).

 

Strange, but true, God authenticated this man as His prophet through a call to radical obedience – a complete fast from food and water. He told Jeroboam in 1 Kings 13:9,
 
“For so it was commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘You shall eat no bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way which you came.’”

 

The prophet walked in submission to God, until, along on his way home to Judah, he ate in the home of a deceptive old man. It was his last meal. Shortly after, God struck him down by a lion proving that he was a prophet, his calling authenticated by God’s immediate judgment of his disobedience (11-32). One hundred years later, the prophet’s words were proven true by King Josiah, as recorded in 2 Kings 23:15-20, as this prophet was remembered as the harbinger of God’s judgment of the altar at Bethel.

 

Seize the moment and obey God’s call because you never know the impact of one act of radical obedience. You may not know why God asks you to do certain things, but trust that God’s Word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11).

 

God bless 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 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 825

 

The Importance of Wise Counselors!

1 Kings 12

 

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

 

How do you approach making big decisions? Do you make your big decisions all by yourself, or do you seek the counsel of others?

 

Proverbs 15:22 teaches, “Without consultation, plans are frustrated, but with many counselors they succeed.” The Bible emphasizes the importance of having a trusted community of wise counselors in your life. These people don’t have to be professional therapists, but they do need to be trusted friends and family members who will give you biblical and timely wisdom. They should neither make your decisions for you, nor serve as your rubber-stamp committee, but be brothers and sisters who love you enough to ask the hard questions to ensure you are living for Jesus in every area of your life.

 

A great example of the need for such a community comes from 1 Kings 12:1-15. Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, and successor to the throne of Israel, was ambivalent on how to respond to the plee of his people in verse 4, “Your father made our yoke hard; now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.” The elders counseled him to lessen the people’s burden, whereas his contemporaries counseled him to increase their burden (6-11). In fulfillment of God’s judgment, Rehoboam forsook the wise counsel of the elders to follow the foolish counsel of the young men he grew up with. Henceforth, the people rebelled, forsook him as king, and the kingdom was divided from that day forward (13-33).

  

From this story, we learn that we must choose our counselors wisely. It takes time and effort to find them but surround yourself with people who will walk in the way of Jesus with you to the glory of God.

 

Seize the moment and build a community of wise counselors for your life.

 

God bless 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 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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Train to Live on Mission- Week 18

Battle Drill #18:

Protect Your Priorities!

Proverbs 11:1-5 (NAS95)

 

Today, we are going to walk through the four action steps of a soldier’s training routine to learn the next battle drill – ProtectYour Priorities!

 

As a good soldier, you need to know the mission of your commander, but you also need to know the commander’s priorities for the mission. When I was an AT (anti-tank) platoon leader in the Army, we would have high value targets that we were to engage first with our TOW missile systems. Every round mattered and we trained hard to not only get a solid hit with every missile, but to also be able to identify targets and make critical decisions, under stress, on which target to engage first based on mission priorities, to accomplish the commander’s intent. In the same way, I believe there are mission priorities that every good soldier of Jesus Christ must know and train themselves to identify and engage successfully, first, regardless of the stressful conditions.

 

Action Step #1) Know the Field Manual. The battle drill we are going to learn and apply this week is from Proverbs11:1-5:

 

A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight. When pride comes, then comes dishonor, but with the humble is wisdom. The integrity of the upright will guide them, but the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death. The righteousness of the blameless will smooth his way, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

 

To better understand how I am applying this Scripture, you need to hear the rest of Proverbs 11, so let’s continue with verses 6-31. Read from the Bible. This is what the Field Manual says, let’s now take the second action step to learn how to apply today’s battle drill to our everyday lives as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.

 

Action Step #2) Train together as one unit. Priorities reveal our hearts! What we devote our lives to is ultimately what we serve and what we serve is where we put our time, money, and energy. Where you put your time, money, and energy focuses your loyalty and grips your heart.

 

As a friend recently reminded me, “This is also true of our conversations. If we are into politics, that’s where our conversations will frequently focus on. If we are into New Castle HS Baseball and their recent run to Semi-State, our conversations will be peppered with baseball, or New Castle sports. This is what Jesus was teaching us in Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”

 

You are defined by that which you prioritize so be wise and discerning in what you put first in your heart. As you meditate upon it, it molds you into its image! This happens because God designed you this way, on purpose – we are designed by God to worship and that which we worship, we become like because we become enmeshed, or entangled, with it, for life or death.

 

A biblical illustration of this is found in Jesus’ confrontation of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19:16-26:

 

And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” And He said to him, “Why are you asking Me about what is good? There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.” Then he said to Him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and mother; and You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?” Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property. And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” When the disciples heard this, they were very astonished and said, “Then who can be saved?” And looking at them Jesus said to them, “With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

 

The rich young ruler was enmeshed with his possessions. He couldn’t imagine his life and well-being without them, no matter what Jesus promised him. He, like each of us, is called to open his hands and pray the ancient prayer of Job, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). The point isn’t that we need to sell everything to follow Jesus, but that nothing we have should grip us so tightly that we can’t surrender it to follow the Lord. In other words, you must be very careful what you consider precious because it will take hold of your heart. We are all unique and can become uniquely enmeshed with different priorities that are not inherently sinful, but become sinful because of our devotion to them. Who or what is “your precious”? Who or what is on the throne of your heart?

 

To further emphasize the point of Jesus’ encounter with the young ruler, and encourage us to train this into our lives, listen to Jesus’ parable from Luke 14:16-24:

 

But He said to him, “A man was giving a big dinner, and he invited many; and at the dinner hour he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first one said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land and I need to go out and look at it; please consider me excused.’ “Another one said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please consider me excused.’ “Another one said, ‘I have married a wife, and for that reason I cannot come.’ “And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’ “And the slave said, ‘Master, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.’ “And the master said to the slave, ‘Go out into the highways and along the hedges, and compel them to come in, so that my house may be filled. ‘For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste of my dinner.’ ”

 

Jesus was intense in His teaching – don’t miss the eternal wedding feast because you have become distracted by the things of this life! He was making it clear that when we don’t protect our priorities, we become derailed from God’s purposes for our lives. This is why Paul said to his protégé in 2 Timothy 2:3-4, “Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.” As good soldiers of Jesus Christ, we are commanded to protect our priorities – to not become entangled in the affairs of everyday life. Why? Because there is an eternal feast waiting us and we never know when He is going to call us to it.

 

Bob Sheffer to share his testimony.

 

Action Step #3) Seek the Commander’s approval. It is easy to be distracted in today’s world. There is a constant feed of information and entertainment available at your fingertips. Beyond those distractions, there are also a multitude of good causes and charity organizations to focus your time, money, and energy. These are good things, but are they God things? Jesus modeled for us how we are to protect our priorities in Mark 1:32-38:

 

When evening came, after the sun had set, they began bringing to Him all who were ill and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city had gathered at the door. And He healed many who were ill with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was. In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. Simon and his companions searched for Him; they found Him, and said to Him, “Everyone is looking for You.” He said to them, “Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for.”

 

The amazing testimony of Jesus Christ is from John 17:4, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” Jesus was focused on the Commander’s intent for His life and prioritized high value targets with His words and deeds. Jesus did this by first taking time to be with His Father. Jesus knew God’s Word and Jesus spent time with His Father in prayer. He sought the pleasure of His Father above all; this is how He protected His priorities – He accomplished the work which God gave Him to do! Mission first!

 

There are so many things you can be a champion for in today’s world, but are you doing the work that God gave you to do? Paul stated in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” You can only walk in these good works when you are first prioritizing time with God, in His Word and in prayer, like Jesus modeled for us. Jesus emphasized today’s battle drill of protect your priorities with this command from Matthew 16:24-27:

Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS. 
 
Never put down your cross to carry a cause! The mission is not a cause, rather it is the Cross being carried into every cause – to transform it and those involved in it for the glory of God. Very interestingly, it’s the context of this passage which takes us to our fourth action step.

Action Step #4) Live on mission. Jesus lived on mission and did not allow anything to distract him from setting His face like flint to Jerusalem and the fulfillment of His mission. Even when people had the best of intent in their desires for him, Jesus protected His priorities – the mission of God. We see this in the context to the passage I just read, from Matthew 16:21-23:

From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised up on the third day. Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s.”

Jesus said to Peter, one of his closest friends, “Get behind me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me!” Wow, those are strong words that must have hit Peter like a ton of bricks, but when we think about what was at stake, we can see that Jesus was actively fighting to live his priorities by resisting the temptation to compromise the mission for His own comfort. Jesus did not let good things or good people distract Him from protecting His missional priority – the Cross! Paul modeled this missional focus when, he, like Jesus, set his face like flint to Jerusalem in Acts 21:10-14:

As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’ ” When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”

This is your mission: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10)! We fulfill the Lord’s Prayer when we remain focused on the mission of God and live according to the priorities modeled for us by Jesus. Paul understood this and followed Jesus’ example, no matter the cost. We must remember that not every distraction will present itself as a distraction on the face of things. Some things, many things, will present as “opportunities.” This is why discernment is so important – pray and seek His will.


Jesus asks you today, “For what will it profit [you] if [you] gain the whole world and forfeit [your] soul?” Live your priorities and may your priorities be to the glory of God as you do His will on Earth as it is in Heaven. Make this battle drill a reflexive, instinctive, and habitual part of your Christian life so that you can CM – Continue the Mission! Therefore, live on mission today and train the battle drill of the week for the glory of God. Let us pray.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 823

Today’s hymn focus will be

“When We All Get To Heaven”

 

 
​“Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever. So encourage each other with these words.
 

First published in 1898, this gospel hymn was written by two friends, Eliza Hewitt and Emily Wilson. The two had met at the camp meeting services at Ocean Grove, New Jersey. They were both dedicated to writing songs with the goal of reaching and teaching both children and adults the truths of the gospel.

Providing what has been described as oxygen for the human soul, the anticipation of heaven is proclaimed in both the verses and the chorus:

 

When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be!

When we all see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout the victory!

 

We need to wake up and allow our imagination to look forward to that day when the entire family of God is gathered around His throne, gathered for an endless celebration of praise! Allow this blessed hope to brighten your day!

 
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.
 
If you’d like to hear the song, click on the link below:
 

When We All Get To Heaven

 
Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place.
 
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!
 
While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when trav’ling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.
 
Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.
 
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!
 
Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.
 
When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!
 
 
 

 


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