Seize the Moment – Day 22

Be like a Child!

Matthew 19

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Wednesday, April 8
Please reach out to others and bless their day.

 

I must confess to you that one of the silver linings of this dark storm is that I am working from home, so I get to be with my three children more than usual. LOVE IT! Earlier this week, I got to be there when Willow, our 6 year old, road her bike without training wheels. It was awesome to be there and to watch the pure JOY radiate from her whole body. That night for dinner, Willow got an extra scope of ice cream for becoming a big kid that day! It was so good for my soul to be with her, to remember the joy of being a child!

 

In Matthew chapter 19, verse 14, Jesus, the Mighty Physician, gives us a treatment plan for our chronic and terminal adult condition, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

 

With all that is happening in the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, I am going to simply tell you to take this teaching of Jesus literally and not overthink it, so here is my pastoral counsel to you: Seize the moment and do something today that will cause you to come to Jesus like a child. If you are physically able I want you to go outside and skip, play hopscotch, jump rope, or shoot some hoops. If you aren’t physically able, maybe watch or read your favorite childhood cartoon.

 

I promise you: It will be good for your soul. And… you can get an extra scope of ice cream tonight for doing it.

 

If you need practical assistance, prayers, or would like a personal phone call today, please dial the phone number below and we’ll connect with you as soon as possible. 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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Seize the Moment – Day 21

Freedom through Forgiveness!

Matthew 18

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Tuesday, April 7 
 
Let’s keep praying for one another and not grow weary in doing good. God is with us!

 

Many years ago I had to learn in a very personal and costly way that forgiveness is central to the  Christian life—the Lord asked me to contact a specific person and confess my sin against them and ask for their forgiveness. Yes, it was scary! Yes, it was humbling! But, more than any of that—it was liberating! There is freedom through forgiveness!

 

Matthew chapter 18 is filled with Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. Verse 22 says we are to forgive, “not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Verse 33 says, “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you.” And finally verse 35 lands the plane for us, “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

 

At the heart of our relationship with God is the issue of forgiveness—what Jesus has done for us and then, in response to God’s costly love, how we are to live toward one another. It is scary! It is humbling! But trust me when I tell you how freeing it is! Liberation—it’s V Day!

 

Don’t let bitterness and resentment get the last word in your life! There is freedom through forgiveness!

 

Seize the moment and pray about your next step in being set free through forgiveness—of yourself and others. Just as Jesus taught us to pray, “Forgive me of my sins as I forgive those who have sinned against me.”  

 

If you need practical assistance, prayers, or would like a personal phone call today, please dial the number below and we’ll connect with you as soon as possible. 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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Seize the Moment – Day 20

A Mustard Seed of Faith!

Matthew 17

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Monday, April 6

 

I tried out for the Olympic Team twice—in 1996 & 2000. Sadly, I never got to the Olympics, but I came close once and I had some amazing experiences along the way. I learned how a little confidence in competition can go a long way. It’s amazing how the body follows the mind, especially in stressful times. Confidence leads to a positive cycle of trust and freedom! 

 

More so, this is true with faith and life! A little faith can change your life in unimaginable ways!

 

In Matthew chapter 17, verses 20-21, Jesus calls His followers to exercise even the smallest amount of faith. Jesus stated, “I tell you the truth, if you have the faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

 

Seize the moment by exercising your faith in small ways and watch God do unexpected things in and through you. Watch God do the impossible!

 

Earlier, in Matthew chapter 13, verse 32, Jesus said the life of faith with Him was like a mustard seed: “Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches.”

 

Seize the moment and watch your life become a place where others come and find rest in these exhausting and stressful days. May we each learn to trust Jesus more and in doing so, experience the freedom to love people in practical ways.

 

If you need practical assistance (food, supplies, any kind of help) as we head into a new week, please call the number below.
 
 
 

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 18

Dancing in the Minefields!

Matthew 16

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Saturday, April 4

 

Listen to some of the lyrics from Andrew Peterson’s song about marriage, “Dancing in the Mind Fields”:

 

Well, “I do” are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another, I’ve heard
Is a good place to begin
‘Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it’s an easy price
For the life that we have found

And we’re dancing in the minefields
We’re sailing in the storms
And this is harder than we dreamed

But I believe that is what the promise is for.

 

[Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Gs3fg_WsEg.]

 

These lyrics are inspired by Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. In Matthew chapter 16, verses 25-26, Jesus invites us to the abundant life, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

 

Following Jesus and being in healthy relationships have a lot in common: The willingness to put aside self-interest and egocentric lifestyle for the sake of a right relationship. I also believe this is the way of the Church, right now, in how we can serve our communities and the nations.

 

You can’t love your neighbor as yourself until self is no longer the motive of your love.

 

Seize the moment and love a neighbor today in a practical, sacrificial way that demonstrates your willingness to dance in the minefields.  

 

Please dial the phone number below if you would like a personal phone call and someone from First Baptist Church will get back to you as soon as possible.
 
 

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 17

The Miracle of Multiplication!

Matthew 15

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Friday, April 3

 

This morning we are in Matthew 15. Listen to verse 32, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, or they may collapse on the way.”

 

Are you ready to collapse from the stress and anxiety, confusion and grieving of your life right now?

 

Are you hungry? Physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally…

 

In His compassion, Jesus asked His disciples to give of what they had to meet the needs (verses 33-36). Jesus miraculously multiplied the little to meet all the needs, to the point of every person being “satisfied” (verses 37-39).

 

Jesus’ compassion invites us to help meet the needs of today! The Lord is with each of us and has called all of us to work together! Are you ready to bring what you have to the Lord and see how He will multiply it for God’s glory? 

 

You only experience the miracle of multiplication by opening up your heart and hands…

 

Seize the moment by making yourself available to help another person with what you have.

 

Please dial the phone number below if you have the willingness and capability to help another person or family with some practical assistance in the coming weeks. May this be a step of faith for you. We will call you when there is a need.

 

Please dial the phone number below if you need food or practical assistance as we head into this weekend. One of the elders will be in touch with you to see how we can help you.

 

Please dial the phone number below if you would like a personal phone call and someone from First Baptist Church will get back to you as soon as possible.
 
 

 

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 16

Go to a Solitary Place!

Matthew 14

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Thursday, April 2

 

This morning we are in Matthew 14. Listen to verse 13, “When Jesus heard about what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” John the Baptist had just been unjustly executed by King Herod. Jesus took time alone to grieve, to be with God.

 

Are you grieving right now? Exhausted and worn from being in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, with a constant barrage of feeds and needs pressing on you? The emotional weight of this moment is heavy. There is a persistent grief in this time that I have to continually bring to the Lord.

 

Jesus prioritized time for prayer. Jesus made this a pattern of His life: To seek His Father in prayer, apart from the opinions of people and the onslaught of demands. This is an essential rhythm of life that must be prioritized and protected or it won’t happen. This is one of the rhythms of the easy yoke of Jesus, a lifestyle pattern of Jesus’ grace-paced life.

 

Seize the moment to slow down and find your value and worth, not in productivity, but in relationship with the God who loves you and desires to draw close to you. He is inviting you to “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10).

 

Please dial the phone number below if you would like a personal phone call and someone from First Baptist Church will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

The Lord is with 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 15

Let us Pray!

Matthew 13

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Wednesday, April 1 and I want to wish a Happy Birthday to John Dugan. Please reach out to John to make his day special.

 

As I was praying through Matthew 13 and asking God what He would have me say to you this morning, I felt in my spirit that God wanted us to pray together this morning. So, let us together, all 550 of us at one time, pray together:

 

Lord Jesus, we pray that the good seeds of the Word of God will grow in our minds and hearts, a  great faith that prevails over all evil and perseveres through dark days. Your Word promises us that no weapon formed against us will prosper! Holy Spirit, activate within each and every person the faith to face this day and everyday called today. May your grace be our sufficiency. In our weakness, may we be strong because you fill our cup to overflowing with Your power and Your presence. Shalom: may Your peace that is above all human understanding, guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, as You walk with us through this valley of the shadow. May Your perfect love drive out all fear for You are with us, Your rod and Your staff they comfort us. May the joy of Your salvation be our strength as we learn to keep our eyes on You, the author and perfecter of our faith, Jesus Christ, the Light of the world.

 

Now and always. In Jesus’ mighty and triumphant name, we pray. Amen.

 

Seize the Moment: The Word of God will not return void. Pray the Word of God. Pray without ceasing. I am calling you to pray the power and authority through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

 

Please dial the phone number below if you would like a personal phone call and someone from First Baptist Church will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

God is with 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 14

Stand united!

Matthew 12

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Tuesday, March 31

 

Two character traits I highly value in a person are integrity and loyalty. Integrity speaks to the unity within yourself and loyalty speaks to the unity without, towards others. We see them both in Jesus and He is our rock on which we build everything else!

 

Jesus said in Matthew 12:25, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” He was talking to religious leaders who were accusing Jesus of using evil forces to do His miracles. It’s amazing how people can turn against each other! And we are seeing plenty of that these days and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our current crisis is just helping us see the truth of how broken and divided we are. The new American past-time is to divide against each other!

 

My hope and prayer for you and your life is that you will be united with Christ and through His work in your heart and mind, you will use your words and time to build unity. That starts by being unified within yourself. That is your personal integrity. This comes through a personal relationship with God, where you walk and talk with Jesus and learn how to be gentle and humble in heart (also known as unity with God). Unity with God leads to loyalty in relationships.

 

Seize the Moment: A house divided will not stand the storm we are currently facing!

Everyone has opinions, those are easy! Not everyone has integrity; that is hard! Reach out to someone today to build a unified house. Let’s build on the Rock of Jesus Christ!

 

Please dial the phone number below if you would like a personal phone call and someone from First Baptist Church will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

God is with 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 13

Rest!

Matthew 11

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church. Today is Monday, March 30

 

There I was in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, outside of Dahlonega, Georgia. I was in the Army’s highly-coveted Ranger School. And to be perfectly honest: I was beat! For the first time in my life, I couldn’t do it! To put it in the words of Jesus, “I was weary and heavy-burdened!” At the age of 22, those were the worst days of my early professional life. Looking back 23 years later, it was one of the most important experiences of my life.

 

In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus Christ invites all of us who are at the end of our own power, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

 

Have you realized yet that you can’t control the world or people around you, nevertheless your own world? I truly hope so because the greatest gift I can give you today is the invitation to surrender control and to find rest for your soul. How?  By answering Jesus’ invitation to enter into a personal relationship with God through Him! It’s freedom! It’s rest!

 

Seize the Moment: Take a break from social media & network news today, from your need to know all about it, and find rest for your soul with the One who does know all about it.

 

Please dial the phone number below if you would like a personal phone call and someone from First Baptist Church will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

God is with 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 11

Faithfulness in the Face of Fear!

Matthew 10

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Saturday, March 28: this is the Day the Lord has made, let us REJOICE and be GLAD in it.

 

Over 20 years ago I served in the Army as a paratrooper. A paratrooper’s job is to jump out of an airplane in order to seize a foothold deep behind enemy lines, to help the Army win the war.

 

The Army’s secret to a successful military jump is TRUST! Every paratrooper goes through rigorous training to learn to trust the jumpmaster, trust the training, and trust the equipment. To say that I got over the fear of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane and hitting the ground with the force of jumping out of a 2-story window, with full combat gear, at night, is to miss the point of how the army trains its paratroopers—you learn to trust your jumpmaster, your training, and your equipment, so much, that you remain faithful in the face of fear!

 

It’s the same now, in my daily walk with Jesus… The key to successful Christian living is trust! Jesus taught us in Matthew 10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” I have learned that fear is real and the only way to be faithful in the face of it is to trust the Jumpmaster of my soul, His training, and His equipment—His Word and Spirit.

 

Until we learn to trust God with our lives and our death, and until that trust is worked deeply into us, fear will limit our ability to be faithful in the face of it.

 

Seize the Moment: Start your day off with God every day. Pray and ask God to build your trust in Him. God has a mission for you: Are you ready to jump in?

 

Dial the phone number below if you would like a personal phone call and someone from First Baptist Church will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

God is with 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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