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 73

Pray for Our Nation!

Luke 19

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, May 29.

 

How are you responding to the news and current events? Are you being moved by compassion to pray for our nation, our communities, the people, and our future?

 

Listen to Jesus cry out for Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-44, “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.'”

 

Whatever the future may hold, you can trust that the Lord is good and just in all that He does. The Lord is holy and sovereign; whatever may happen God will use it for His glory. God uses nation-states and empires according to His will and desire. He is the Living Hope for all creation.

 

Are you putting your hope in Jesus as you watch the news? Are you trusting in Jesus as you see how people are reacting and behaving around our communities?

 

I invite you to start praying the way Jesus taught His disciples to pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven” and then follow Jesus wherever He made lead you. The Church of Jesus Christ is the hope of the nations because we are the hands and feet of Christ to our communities and nations.

 

Seize the moment and cry out to God for His mercy for our communities and nations. Jesus is the only One who can give us peace.

 

Remain calm and pray… God is with us!

 

There is a perfect storm brewing out there, will you join me in praying today for our nation?

 

If you need any practical assistance or would like to receive a personal phone call, please dial the number below and someone from FBC 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 72

Your Deepest Need!

Luke 18

 

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

 

In Luke 18:41, Jesus asks the question, “What do you want me to do for you?”

 

The story is told in Luke 18:35-43, a blind beggar cries out: “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” (38). Even though he is rebuked by those around him, this blind beggar cries out louder and louder: “Son of David, have mercy on me!” (40).

 

This got Jesus’ attention. The blind beggar was socially ridiculed for crying out to Jesus, but he boldly risked their scorn for a chance to get to Jesus. He needed something only God could give him (Luke 18:27). And Jesus responded to his faith!

 

I wonder if you need something that is so deep, such a pressing need in your life, that you would be willing to face people’s rebuke and ridicule to cry out to Jesus.  

 

Do you even know your deepest need? What would you ask for if you were in the place of this blind beggar?

 

Not a want…

 

Not a temporary fix…

 

Not a band-aide on a gushing artery wound…

 

The truth is that without God in our lives, we are all blind beggars, in need of healing, in need of deliverance, in need of what only He can give. Does that truth offend you… maybe that’s your deepest need!

 

Seize the moment and put yourself in the shoes of this blind beggar from 2,000 years ago: “If Jesus asked you, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ what would you say?

 

Your answer reveals a lot about you.

 

I pray for you that the Lord Jesus Christ may lead you into a sincere faith as you cry out to Him today for the deepest need of your life. Remembering these words from Luke 18:27, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” May the Lord heal, bless, deliver, and rescue you today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 

If you need any practical assistance or would like to receive a personal phone call, please dial the phone number below and someone from FBC 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 71

The Home of God!

Luke 17

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Wednesday, May 27. Please join me in wishing a Happy Birthday to Drew Davisson and Lorene Dickerson.

 

The concept of being a part of a kingdom is so foreign to American sensibilities. We are an independent people, it’s a big part of our national identity and self-narrative, so we struggle to understand authority, headship, submission, and all the realities of living under the rule of a king. Therefore, we struggle to know exactly what Jesus is saying when He declares the Kingdom of God.

 

There is a biblical theme that allows us to understand the kingdom teaching by looking at the Kingdom of God as the Home of God with God as the Father and us being restored to His sovereign rule through the headship of Jesus Christ.

 

Listen to Luke 17:20-21, “Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, ‘The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in you.”

 

What a beautiful thought: the Home of God is in you! Jesus came to usher us into His Father’s Household.

 

This is your salvation! When you believe in God and put your faith in His Son Jesus Christ, then He seals you with a guarantee through the living presence of the third person of the Trinity—the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:14; 2 Cor. 1:22). Salvation is your invitation to and participation in the Trinitarian fellowship of God.

 

God has made His home in you!

 

Seize the moment and believe for the Home of God is here. The kingdom of God is here, not as a geopolitical empire with borders and laws, but as a home to experience the Father’s love for eternity. You are home in God because Jesus made a way for you and the Holy Spirit has made His home in you—rest in God!

 

If you need any practical assistance or would like to receive a personal phone call, please dial the phone number below and someone from FBC 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 70

Every Soul Matters!

Luke 16

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Tuesday, May 26.

 

Each and every person has a soul! Souls are eternal and each has intrinsic value. That means people matter, every one of them, regardless of whether you like them, agree with them, or feel like they bring value to you or your view of the world. To relate kindly only to the people who help make your life work better for you may be simply utilitarian to you, but it is evil as a habitual practice. It’s dishonest!

 

The Parable of the Shrewd Steward from Luke 16:1-13, highlights how followers of Jesus are to be household managers of their wealth to influence people for God’s glory—to help bring them to the Father. Verses 8-9 makes the point of the story, “The master commended the dishonest manager for his shrewdness. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light. And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

 

Has God blessed you with the ability to work hard? Praise God! Now win souls by working hard, starting businesses, and creating jobs that produce wealth for the work force, so that more money can go to bless others, support ministries, and the work of the Kingdom.

 

Has God blessed you with wealth and the influence it brings in the world?  Praise God! Our culture values people with money more than all others so use that temporary influence to win souls because you can lose it all in a heartbeat.

 

No person is better than another because they have money. So invest what God has entrusted to you, not into a false sense of self-worth as defined by the world, but what matters for eternity. Use stuff to gain people for God’s Kingdom! The harvest fields are ripe. I’m praying for workers!

 

Seize the moment and make an eternal investment today.

 

If you need any practical assistance or would like to receive a personal phone call, please press 9 and someone from FBC 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 69

A Day to be Thankful!

Luke 15

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Monday, May 25. Happy Memorial Day! Take time to pause and remember that our freedoms in this nation are not free!

 

Who are you thankful for today?

 

Listen to Luke 15:31-32, “‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”

 

This is from the Parable of the Lost Son. It emphasizes the two earlier parables “The Lost Sheep” & “The Lost Coin”, but this one has a twist in it.

 

God is the central character of each parable: God is like the good shepherd who goes to great lengths to find the one lost sheep; God is like the woman who goes to great effort to find the one lost coin; and God is like the father who eagerly waited to receive back His lost son.

 

The twist in this parable is that, unlike the other two, no one went looking for that which was lost. The Father stayed home… Who was supposed to go looking for the younger son?

 

Luke 15 sets us up with expectancy: someone is going to go searching for that which was lost and when the natural older brother doesn’t do his job…we are left confused and hurt!

 

Jesus’ parable causes our hearts to yearn for our true elder brother to come search for us: to seek and to save that which was lost.

 

The three parables not only show us the heart of God, but teach us the mission of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the elder Son, sent by His Father to search for us, to bring us Home…

 

Seize the moment and rejoice in God’s rescue of His children! Today is a great day to be thankful! Freedom is not free—the elder Son paid the price! May your life tell His story!

 

Today is a great day to be thankful! Have a great Memorial Day and God Bless you!  

 

 

 

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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Responding to the Plan of God – Week 6

2020: A Year of Celebration!

Image Bearers Steward their Relationship with Jesus!

(John 21:15-22; Luke 22:31-34 & Romans 12:1-8)

Memorial Day Weekend

 

What is most important to you?

 

Let’s take a moment to ask God to tell each of us the truth. I invite you to a conversation with Jesus that God is initiating through me to you. As we go to prayer right now, with each person entering into a space of grace, hear Jesus ask you: “Do you love Me more than these?” 

 

Time of Silence

 

From John 21:15-22, listen to a dramatic exchange between Peter and Jesus with Jesus starting the conversation with Peter the same way God just started the conversation with each of us:

 

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?”

[Peter] said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

[Jesus] said to [Peter], “Tend My lambs.” [Jesus] said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

[Peter] said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

[Jesus] said to [Peter], “Shepherd My sheep.” [Jesus] said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?”

Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And [Peter] said to [Jesus], “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go.”

Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me!”

 

We usually cut this story short, in verse 17 with Jesus’ third “tend my sheep” and talk about how Jesus is forgiving Peter for his three denials after his boastful declaration that he would never forsake Jesus. From Luke 22:31-34, we hear this earlier exchange between Jesus and Peter:

 

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”

But [Peter] said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!”

And [Jesus] said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

 

While this conversation and Peter’s actions are the context for the exchange between the resurrected Jesus and the demoralized and discouraged Peter in John 21, we must keep reading to the end, verse 22.

 

As we see in verse 22, and repeated word for word again in verse 23, what actually ends the conversation with Peter and are the last words of Jesus in the Gospel of John:
 
If I want [John] to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

 

Jesus doesn’t give you a job to do or a comparison to make with someone else’s life, but a relationship to have with Him!

 

This is what is first and foremost in the heart of God for all of His Children. So, I say to you, repent and return to your first love. Steward your relationship with God as your most precious possession and most important choice! Everything else flows out of what is on the throne of you heart. What is most important to you?

 

Many a pastor and Christian worker in the church has lost their way because they have cut this dialogue short, ending it in v. 17 with
 
“Tend My Sheep” and forget that Jesus’ first and last words to all His disciples are “Follow Me” (Mark 1:17 & John 21:22).

 

Christians, especially those diligent serious ones, became like Martha—worried and bothered about so many things! And they forsake the one thing that actually makes them a Christian—though they do plenty in the name of Jesus, are the spending time seeking the face of Jesus?

 

Jesus said to Martha in Luke 10:41-42,
 
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”
 
What was Mary doing?

 

Mary was scandalously sitting at Jesus’ feet prioritizing Jesus and her relationship with Him. Many a dutiful Christian knows that this story is supposed to bring them back to what is most important in their lives, but if we are honest, many a church worker experiences the emotions of the “older son” when reading this story (allusion to Luke 15:11-32).

 

I have heard people, church goers and great volunteers, even comment that if we were all like Mary then who would get the work done… My answer is: God through us instead of us for Him. I wonder if we’ve tried to co-opt the Christian life that is for a Kingdom not of this world into making our lives work out better for us in the here and now.

 

We are worried and bothered about so many things because we have forgotten that we are human beings, not human doings! Our primary job is to follow Jesus by getting in His yoke and learning from Him how to be “gentle and humble heart”, then we no longer be “weary and heavy-burdened” by all that presses upon us, but we will find “rest for our souls” in the finished work of Jesus, the sovereign grace of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

 

Therefore, today, I am calling you to back to the biblical priority of your life as Image Bearers of God—your relationship with God through the only mediator Jesus Christ.

 

Hear this invitation from Paul’s words in Romans 12:1-8.

 

Paul appeals to us in Romans 12:1,
 
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

 

Every member of God’s Family is invited to be absolutely dependent on God (“a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God”). This is the only way for His body—the Church—to function under one rightful authority—the headship of Jesus Christ (emphasized in 1 Corinthians 12:12-30).

 

This is a posture of your heart and a priority of your life. As Pastor Andrew Murray wrote in his 1897 classic Absolute Surrender,

 

Oh, become nothing in deep reality, and, as a worker, study only one thing—to become poorer and lower and more helpless, that Christ may work all in you. Workers, here is your first lesson: learn to be nothing, learn to be helpless. The  man who has got something is not absolutely dependent; but the man who has got nothing is absolutely dependent. Absolute dependence upon God is the secret of all power in work. The branch has nothing but what it gets from the vine, and you and I can have nothing but what we get from Jesus.[1] 

 

Paul commands us in Romans 12:2,
 
“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.”

 

Paul calls us to eliminate false worship and competing distractions from your life (seeing messages #2 & #5). Apart from this, members of God’s Family are chasing after the desires of their own hearts, which God wants to give you, but only after you seek Him first (Matthew 6:33).

 

It’s like I often teach you, your relationships (marriage, family, etc.) are for your holiness before your happiness, your sanctification before your satisfaction, your godliness before your goals. If you try to use people to make yourself happy you will neither be holy nor happy, but if you seek first godliness in your relationships, you will find you are both happy and holy.

Idolatry with people, work, hobbies, etc. is a subtle shift. You can enjoy the best this world has to offer, God has created it for us to enjoy, but let us not be like those in Romans 1:25-32:

 

For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

 

Jesus has established it that the world will know those who are following Him and Him alone. Those who follow Jesus will walk in oneness with Him, just like Jesus walked in oneness with His Father (John 17:11 & 22). Paul knew this and called every follower of Jesus to respond to the grace of God. From Romans 12:3-8,

 

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

 

We are absolutely dependent on God and mutually dependent on one another as fellow members! Humbly seeing oneself by the measure of faith given to us by God allows for God’s Family to be at its best and most reflective of God’s glory. We are the one body of Christ being built up in love for the glory of God (Ephesians 4:11-16). This is the work of the Holy Spirit—the faith and the gifts all coming together so that we are seen as one mature body with Jesus Christ as our head.

 

When the world sees you, they see what you reflect and what you reflect is your god. That’s the way God designed you as His Image Bearer. What are you reflecting? That’s what tells you who or what your god is! And your god is always what is most important to you.

 

That’s why it is important to realize that Jesus’ conversation with Peter ends with these words, because they are the words that the Gospel of John ends for every believer: “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow Me!”

 
 

Listen to the Message here:

 

To watch the video click HERE

 
 
 

FOOTNOTES:

 

[1] Andrew Murray, Absolute Surrender, 76.

 

 
 
 
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 67

The Rest of God!

Luke 14

 

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

 

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, so, let’s talk about rest…

 

Luke 14 starts with Jesus in the home of a prominent Pharisee, surrounded by experts in the Law, but there is also a man there who is suffering from dropsy. While it is against the religious rules of the day to do any work on the Sabbath, Jesus asks a question in Luke 14:3 that strikes to the heart of why He came: “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” As they stare at Jesus blankly, He takes hold of the man and heals him and then asks the experts in Luke 14:5, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?”

 

Jesus came on a rescue mission to pull people out of the effects of the Fall, to bring people Home to His Father, to usher in the rule of God. Actually, Jesus was not rebelling against the sabbath itself, He was actively reforming the Sabbath back to God’s original intent. He was demonstrating the Kingdom of God where it is done on earth as it is in Heaven. The heart of God’s rest is the proclamation of God’s rescue from slavery!

When you rest in God you are free from the tyranny of the urgent and you are doing the most important thing! When you rest in God you are pointing back to the 7th Day when God ceased from His work to give creation His delight. When you rest in God you are pointing towards the Day of the fullness of God’s perfect rule once again: to the New Heaven and New Earth.

 

Seize the moment and rest! Will you prioritize time this Memorial Day weekend to enter into the rest of God?

 

If you need a more personal touch from your church than this daily phone call, please dial the phone number below and someone will call you today. We are praying for you!  

 

 

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 66

The Rest of God!

Luke 13

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, May 22 and the start of Stage 3 in Indiana and at FBC.

 

The weekend is almost here and it’s Memorial Day Weekend—a long weekend for many! I hope you take some time to rest in God for whatever you are planning.

 

Jesus returned the religious leaders of His day back to God’s original design of honoring the Sabbath day in Luke 13:16: “Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”

 

Jesus’ ongoing conflict with the religious leaders was because He would not observe their rules for the Sabbath day, what Jesus called “heavy burdens”—a yoke of slavery put on the people. Rather, Jesus declared “Freedom!” in His easy yoke of grace where the burden is light.

 

One of the ways you know you are in the easy yoke of Jesus is your ability to rest—mentally, emotionally, and relationally, not just physically. Are you struggling to rest? Whose yoke are you in?

 

Your ability to rest mentally and physically from your unfinished work demonstrates your faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

 

Your ability to rest emotionally from your worries and anxieties demonstrates your hope in the sovereign grace of God.

 

Your ability to rest relationally from your need to have other people meet your needs demonstrates your trust in the Holy Spirit’s constant companionship.

 

We were designed to find our rest in the Trinitarian fellowship of God!

 

Seize the moment and rest! Can you prioritize time this Memorial Day weekend to find the rest of God by not multitasking God with the many other things spinning in your mind, churning in your heart or on your to-do or honey-do list? I pray that you strive to enter into the rest of God!

 

If you need a more personal touch from your church than this daily phone call, please dial the phone number below and someone will call you today. We are praying for you!  

 

 

 

 

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 65

Worry about Tomorrow Robs us of Today!

Luke 12

 

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

 

A quick leader update before the devotion: The Governor of Indiana announced yesterday that we are entering Stage 3 tomorrow. Praise God! FBC, as good partners with local and state health departments, is following suit. The Governor highlighted that the next three weeks is critical for us to be able to move towards the big date of Sunday, June 14, the tentative start of Stage 4, when everyone will be welcomed back to Sunday services. Until then, in Stage 3, while the doors are open at 10 am for our Sunday services there are increased safety protocols in place for anyone who chooses to attend, we are still encouraging people to stay home and join us online. Thank you for praying about what is best for you, your family, and our congregation!

 

Speaking of tomorrow… Just last night, a dear sister in Christ was sharing with me about her family and updating prayer requests with me when she said, “Now we look forward at the uncertainty of the next school year, making preparations, but trying not to dwell on the “what if’s”. Living in the present moment is so challenging, even when that is basically the only option available to us right now!”

 

My advice to them and any person or family in the same situation is simple, but simple is not always easy: Don’t let your worry about tomorrow rob you of your joy today!

 

Jesus taught us in Luke 12:25-26, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span? If then you cannot do even a very little thing, why do you worry about other matters?”

 

It takes humility to live this way: to trust God with all of your tomorrows and not try to control everything around you.

 

Seize the moment and give God all your worries. He will give you the grace to live for today!

 

If you need a more personal touch from your church than this daily phone call, please dial the phone number at the bottom of this page and someone will call you today. We are praying for you!  

 

 

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 64

Humility in the Information Age!

Luke 11

 

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

 

Did you know that the evidence you are looking for to support your point of view will always be there for you to find? That’s because your mind and heart will be looking first for that information and will filter out all the rest. And it’s easier now in the information age where you can explore and get support for any possible point of view on the Internet. The problem is not because there is a lack of information out there, but in how we allow the information to shape our hearts and how we do relationships. Who or what is shaping you and your relationships?

 

In Luke 11:53-54, the religious leaders had set their hearts against Jesus, they had already made up their minds, “When Jesus left there, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say.”

 

Here is the real issue and it’s an ancient one: pride! The answer is found in the character of Jesus who is gentle and humble in heart (Matthew 11:29). Humility is a learned quality in a person that allows for healthy relationships and brings about thriving communities. Pride destroys both relationships and communities! The religious leaders of Jesus’s day stopped listening to Jesus and were only trying to “catch him” to prove they were right and he is wrong. I am saddened by how many people today are doing the same as these ancient pharisees. If we can ever have a conversation again, a real dialogue or a healthy debate on a topic, then we must be humble.

 

As Peter says in 1 Peter 5:5, “All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”

 

Seize the moment and pray for God to humble you. This will do a world of good for you, your relationships, and our communities.

 

If you need a more personal touch from your church than this daily phone call, please dial the phone number below and someone will call you today. We are praying for you!  

 

 
 

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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