Seize the Moment – Day 496

People of the Book!

Exodus 24

 

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

 

A big thank you to Pastor Ken for doing an excellent job the last two weeks with these daily calls. My family had a restorative time on our trip to the New England states, specifically exploring three amazing destinations: Cape Cod, Acadia National Park, and Niagara Falls.

 

God’s people are people of the book!

 

This has been true ever since Moses recorded the Old Covenant. From Exodus 24:3-4 & 8, observe Moses and the people after receiving the covenant code from God:

 

Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!” Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. … [After sacrificing young bulls as peace offerings to the LORD] Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

 

The people sealed their commitment to be a people of the book through the “blood of the covenant.” While in the Old Covenant, this was done through animal sacrifices, in the New Covenant our commitment is sealed through the blood of the perfect Passover Lamb, our High Priest and only Mediator with God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Paul explains the importance of our commitment to the book in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the [person] of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

 

Seize the moment by reading, reflecting upon, and responding to God’s Word today! We have an exciting journey ahead of us as we walk through the Bible one chapter at a time.

 

God bless 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 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 494

Today’s hymn focus will be “The Heart of Worship”

John 4:24 (ESV)                      

 

“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

 

This modern-day hymn was written by Matt Redman in 1999. While his worship band was impacting churches around the world, worship in his home church had a missing dynamic. His pastor asked the congregation what they were bringing to God in worship, or if they were just soaking in the music as consumers. He decided to strip away every diversion and distraction and stopped using the musicians and the sound & light systems.

 

At first it was awkward, but eventually they rediscovered their own voices being raised in worship, unaccompanied, offering up prayers from their hearts and experiencing God in a fresh way.

 

I’m coming back to the heart of worship, and it’s all about You,            

it’s all about You, Jesus. I’m sorry, Lord, for the things I’ve made it,       

when it’s all about You, it’s all about You, Jesus.

 

We need to wake up and ask ourselves “What are we bringing as our offering to God in our services at FBC?” …For true worship demands a response from the heart!

 

 
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 would like to hear the hymn played, click on this link:
 

The Heart of Worship

 
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless your heart
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
 
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
 
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much you deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is yours
Every single breath
I’ll bring you more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what you have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
 
And I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
 
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
‘Cause it’s all about you
It’s all about you, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
‘Cause it’s all about you
It’s all about You, Jesus
 
All about you
 
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
More than a song
 
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song (than a song)
You looking into my heart
Looking into my heart
 
You looking into my heart
Into my heart
 
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
I’ll bring you more than a song
 
 
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: Matthew James Redman
The Heart of Worship lyrics © Thank You Music Ltd.

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Seize the Moment – Day 493

The Disciples: Jude & Judas Iscariot

Luke 6:13 (NLT)                     

 

At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles.

 

Jude or Judas, Son of James, was also known as Thaddeus. The use of both names or saying that he was James’ son was probably to help clarify and set him apart from Judas Iscariot. While the Bible does not talk much about him,  Jude saw numerous demonstrations of Jesus’ divinity. Church history has him being a missionary to Syria and Persia, where he died along side of Simon the Zealot.

 

Judas Iscariot is notorious for other reasons. He was not from Galilee like all the other disciples, but rather was from Judea. He served as the group’s treasurer, but was known to help himself to the funds, showing his greed when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume, saying we could have sold it and given to the poor. He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, which he later regretted and tried to give back. When they refused, he went out and hung himself.

 

These twelve men all had been with Jesus for nearly 3 years, seeing all the miracles and healings and hearing His teachings. But one chose the love of money over the love of the Master. He heard the truth, but he chose to listen to his own heart. Don’t make that same mistake! Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He reminds you of God’s love, grace and mercy.

 
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 492

The Disciples: James, son of Alpheus & Simon the Zealot

 Matthew 19:28 (NLT)

 

“Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new, and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

 

While the scriptures do not have a lot to say about him, James the son of Alphaeus was a witness to Jesus’ years of ministry on earth and His resurrection. He was empowered by the Holy Spirit and a leader in the early church alongside the other apostles. Tradition says that James, son of Alphaeus, evangelized in Persia (modern-day Iran) and was martyred there.

 

Simon the Zealot may have been associated with the political group that wanted to overthrow Rome’s control over the Jewish people, or he may have been extremely passionate about the Word of God. Either way, when he became a disciple of Jesus, he learned that Jesus came not to fight flesh and blood for a nation, but spiritual forces for souls. Jesus made it clear that salvation was available for everyone, healing and preaching to anyone willing to listen. Simon went on to be a missionary to Persia, where he died a martyr’s death.

 

Once again, these men were not out to make a name for themselves, but rather make sure that people knew about the name of Jesus, the giver of life, hope, joy, grace and peace. It does not matter if people remember our names, but rather they remember the Name that is above all names, Jesus

 

 
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 491

The Disciples: Matthew (Levi) & Thomas (the doubter)

 

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

 

Matthew, also known as Levi, was a tax collector, one of the most despised jobs for a Jew to have, for they were working for the Romans. When Jesus called him to ‘Follow Me’, he didn’t hesitate. In fact, he threw a party and invited his friends to meet Jesus, which upset the religious leaders. Matthew followed Jesus with his full heart and was even the author of the Gospel of Matthew. He was martyred near the city of Nabadar in Ethiopia.

 

Thomas, also known as Dydimus, was probably the emotional one of the disciples. At one time, he rallied the other disciples to follow Jesus to go back to Judea to see Lazarus. The people there had just tried to stone Jesus, and he said “Let us go back and die with him.” Yet after Jesus’s resurrection, he wanted proof that Jesus was alive, to actually touch His scars. Once he saw Jesus for himself, his doubt and fears disappeared, and he went on to spread the Gospel to India, where he was martyred by a group of Hindu priests for converting their followers.

 

Denying what we want to do and doing what Jesus wants us to do requires sacrifice. And it is a process for most of us. These men saw Jesus face to face, experienced His miracles, and saw Him ascend to heaven. But their love for Him drove them to give their all for Him. We need to do the same.

 
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 490

The Disciples: Phillip & Nathanael (Bartholomew) (Pt 2)

John 14:21 (NLT)                    

 

“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me.  And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”

 

According to the Gospel of John, Phillip was the one that Jesus asked the question of how they were going to feed the 5000. His response demonstrated his practical thinking, but Jesus was going to show him that God could do so much more to take care of the need. His faith continued to grow as he followed Jesus.

 

Also, according to the Gospel of John, Nathanael’s call by Jesus declared that there was no deceit in him, even telling him where he was sitting when Phillip came to talk with him. Jesus demonstrated that He knew his heart, even before they had met, because God had revealed it to Him.

 

Both of these men went on to proclaim the gospel message. Both of them were arrested for doing that. Both were martyred because they would not denounce the message of Christ.

 

They did this because they followed the commandments of Jesus and loved God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, and others as much as they loved themselves. Are you ready to show who’s child you are by loving them no matter what?

 

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 489

The Disciples: Phillip & Nathanael (Bartholomew)

John 1:43, 45 (ESV)                

 

“The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” … Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

 

Phillip was called directly by Jesus, and then he went and witnessed to a friend Nathanael about finding the One whom the prophets wrote about, just like Andrew did when he went to tell his brother Simon about the Messiah. Since the theme of witnessing is so important in the gospel, the method by which Peter and Nathanael were brought to Jesus is significant. The giving of a personal testimony has always been one of the most fruitful means of leading people to become disciples of Jesus.

 

Both of these men had been searching through the scriptures and waiting for the Messiah. Both men completely surrendered to Jesus. Both witnessed His miracles. Both were there at His crucifixion and on the day of his resurrection. Both were there at his ascension. And both were there on the Day of Pentecost. They became bold witnesses of the Gospel

 

We need to have the same boldness to share the Gospel of Jesus no matter the cost. Many had come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior because of these disciples. Many more may come to know Him as their Savior if we will live our lives to the fullest and share the message of love and 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 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 487

Today’s hymn focus will be “He Touched Me”

 Matthew 8:2-3 (NLT)

 

“Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached him and knelt before him. “Lord,” the man said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”  Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.”

 

This wonderful hymn was written and composed by a local favorite from Alexandria, Indiana, Bill Gaither. A humble man of God, he once said, “I’m not much of a singer and not that great a composer, but I know how to get good people together.”

 

He had spent the evening playing the piano for Doug Oldham, who was singing at a revival service in Huntington, Indiana led by his father, Dr. Dale Oldham in 1963. On the trip back to Anderson, they spoke of the powerful presence of the Spirit during the service. Dr. Oldham told Bill, “…you should write a song that says, ‘He touched me, oh He touched me.’”

 

Bill worked through the night to complete the song and revised it after playing it for Gloria the next day. Doug Oldham recorded it in 1964.

 

          He touched me, o He touched me. And o, the joy that floods my soul

          Something happened and now I know, He touched me and made me whole.

 

We need to wake up and long for a fresh touch of the Master’s hand on our lives, and like the songs says, “I will never cease to praise Him!

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

YOUTUBE:

If you prefer a video, Pastor 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 would like to hear the hymn played, click on this link:
 

He Touched Me

 
Shackled by a heavy burden
‘Neath a load of guilt and shame
Then the hand of Jesus touched me
And now I am no longer the same
 
He touched, oh, He touched me
And oh, the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole
 
Since I’ve met this blessed Savior
Since He’s cleansed and made me whole
I will never cease to praise Him (to praise Him)
I’ll shout it while eternity rolls
 
He touched me, oh, He touched me
He touched me
And oh, the joy that floods my soul
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole
 

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Seize the Moment – Day 486

The Disciples: John & James part 2

Acts 12:1-2 (NLT)                  

 

“About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church.  He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword.”

 

If you remember, Jesus told the disciples that it would not be easy to be known as one of His followers. In fact, Jesus told them in Matthew 10 that they would be hated because of His name (Mt. 10:22). They had been witnesses to how much the Roman leaders hated even John the Baptist when he was put to death. But they stayed faithful after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus and receiving the power of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, which was about 30 AD.

 

During the time of persecution, the disciples were scattered and traveled proclaiming the message of the gospel. Even in the face of possible death, they did not back down. In 44 AD, Herod Agrippa I had James arrested and beheaded, making him the first of the apostles to be martyred.

 

John, the beloved, lived a long life, writing the Gospel of John, I, II, & III John, and Revelations. But he did not live an easy life. At one time, they tried to boil him in oil, but he miraculously survived. So they sent him to live in exile on the Isle of Patmos. He was later released and returned to live out his days in Ephesus.

 

We need to wake up and realize that the early church fathers lived through so much so that we would hear the message of grace and deliverance by serving God with all that they had, even giving their very lives. We should be willing to do the same!

 

 
 
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 485

The Disciples: John & James (Pt 1)

Matthew 4:21 (NLT)              

 

“A little farther up the shore he saw two other brothers, James and John, sitting in a boat with their father, Zebedee, repairing their nets. And he called them to come, too.”

 

Here are some fun facts. John and Andrew were disciples of John the Baptist. The brothers John and James were in a fishing business with their father, Zebedee, and with the brothers Andrew and Simon (aka Peter).

 

Their mother, Salome, was a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus. So, this would have made them first cousins.  Trying to use her influence as his aunt, she asked Jesus to secure a place for both of her boys within His top leadership, which did not go well with the other disciples.

 

James and John also had the nickname of “Sons of Thunder”, given to them by Jesus. One time during their ministry with Jesus, they offered to “call down fire from heaven and destroy them” (Luke 9:54) when a Samaritan village denied them a place to stay. They also both had a strong passion and enthusiasm for sharing the message of Christ. So it’s easy to understand both explanations.

 

Peter, James and John became part of the inner circle, more closely involved with Jesus, as compared to the other disciples. This was not because of the family connection, but rather because of the potential Jesus saw in them.

 

It’s time to wake up and realize that Jesus sees the potential in all of us and wants to help us be all that we can be for the kingdom of God. He will never force us, but is asking us to come follow Him, and He will make it happen.

 
 
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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