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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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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Seize the Moment – Day 822

Keep Your Focus on Jesus!

1 Kings 11

 

Good morning! This is Pastor Jerry Ingalls from New Castle First Baptist Church and today is Friday, June 17.

 

As I read about the sad ending to Solomon’s life in 1 Kings 11, I couldn’t help but to reflect on how I want to finish my racewith my eyes on Jesus. Solomon experienced a long season of peace and prosperity during the first half of his kingship, but his final years were marked by anxiety and turmoil. Solomon lost focus on God! In 1 Kings 11:11-13, God declared His verdict onSolomon for his idolatry:

 

Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant. Nevertheless I will not do it in your days for the sake of your father David, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However, I will not tear away all the kingdom, but I will give one tribe to your son for the sake of My servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.

 

God raised up adversaries against Solomon, including Jeroboam, the man who would be the one to fulfill this prophetic judgment. Ahijah the prophet declared Jeroboam to be the future king over ten of the tribes of Israel, diving the kingdom after Solomon’s death (29-39).

 

God had given Solomon’s kingdom great peace and abundant prosperity for many years, but instead of using that time and that wealth to lead his nation to more deeply love and worship God, Solomon sought pleasure from many women and privilege from his position. His loss of focus destroyed his life and divided Israel. It’s amazing how one person’s focus can bring life or death, blessings or curses, upon themselves and others.

 

Seize the moment and keep your eyes on Jesus, all the way to the finish line of your life (Hebrews 12:1-3).

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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