Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Devotions and Lessons
Scripture of the Week:
Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
We have many things that we are reminded to remember for some reason or another. “Remember the Alamo” reminds us of the slaughter that occurred in San Antonio, Texas where a great number of people lost their lives. We are told to remember September 11th for the vicious attack that took many more lives. We remember December 7th 1941 for the attack on Pearl Harbor that caused America’s entrance into WWII. Each one of these have a couple things in common. The first thing is that each have a memorial set up to look upon and remember. The second: there are advertisements specifically around the time the event took place which entice people to travel hundreds if not thousands of miles to see a tangible, material object which triggers an emotional response. With all the celebratory events surrounding these remembrances there is one other thing they have in common: they all need to be seen to cause the deeper remembrance.
There is only one time in history which involves the death of one person where we do not have to see to believe, For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). He commands an action which goes beyond our senses. When He said, “Do this in Remembrance of Me” as He shared His last meal in fellowship, which is known to us as the Last Supper of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But it goes deeper than just bread and a cup of wine or juice.
The Jewish celebration of the Passover Feast is done in remembrance of their deliverance from slavery in Egypt which was done in accordance to the Will of God. This is a wonderful event as they await for the return of Elijah who will usher in the time of the Messiah. The oral history is complimented with a meal which is spiritual in nature. Meanwhile, the celebration of the end of slavery from sin is to be an everyday event that requires a small meal when like-minded spiritual people are gathered together. But it does not end there. Man has set up great features of stone, glass, and metal to honor the people who lost their lives for a cause. Whereas our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s memorial is in our spirit, flesh, and blood.
All this to pose this question: If people will travel hundreds of miles to see a material things which causes an emotional response, why can’t we get them to go down a block or even ten miles to refresh and renew their spirit and save their souls?
1. People are afraid of being judged and convicted by the flesh without realizing their conviction lies within their own hearts.
2. They feel that Christians believe they are above everyone else.
3. They see the church as being filled with hypocrites.
4. They see Christianity as a cult, not a fellowship or community of believers.
It is difficult to comprehend but at the same time easy to see why people would rather remember something that does not permanently impact their lives. People see Christ in others every day and can feel the tug but are afraid to come alone. They fear the unknown: will they be greeted or treated like an outcast; looked upon with disgust or smiled at; will they be chastised for their looks to include their ethnicity and clothing? These are happening in every church. This unchristian like behavior must stop if we are to further the Kingdom of God here on earth.
So how do we change this?? BE INVITING. You have neighbors who wish someone would invite them to church. We are commanded to do this through the Great Commission. We need to be in Christ not just believe: Showing and sharing the Gospel, living to attain a Christ-like life through conducting ourselves in a manner pleasing to God. We need to Express the joy of knowing Christ as Savior and Lord and how we have been changed just as the Apostles did when Jesus sent them forth. We need to show that making the commitment to Christ on a spiritual level is deeper than the relationship between friends, coworkers, family. It is truly the only life-long commitment that has eternal consequences. This is only the beginning as we are limited by our flesh. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit guiding us to help guide others.
Remember God’s Word and act upon it… hard to forget if we truly have it engrained in our hearts and lives.
Be blessed in your walk with Jesus brothers and sisters. Amen.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
Contrary to the beliefs of man, we are not the center of the world much less the universe. There are those who believe this so whole heartedly that when their world crashes down they usually end up completely destitute, mentally unstable, or even dead because they do not understand how to recover. The ones that know how to recover either fail at other efforts or succeed and die very lonely and unloved.
Trusting in the things of man without God is a very dangerous place to be. The richest people who are without any type of spiritual background die a very slow death. They enjoy life and die never knowing the joy of salvation. It is better to be poor in material things and rich in spirit than to have much and die with nothing.
God is in the center of all things. This center is the base of all creation. Think of the nucleus of an atom; without it and the nourishing power generated, the atom is worthless and diseased. It is incomplete and fails. We are incomplete and will fail without God in our hearts.
Now here is something interesting, since we are all created by God don’t we all have God in our hearts? Well, yes but those who do not accept Him are more susceptible to the disease of sin. I am not by any means saying we are completely cured of the disease, we have the symptoms and get flare ups but our medicine is the cleansing blood of Christ.
There are those that say they believe but still cannot give up control and constantly try to figure things out on their own without letting go. For one particular individual I know who is older than me this has cause extreme mental anguish due to perfectionism and a hard life he has created for himself. He prays but does not listen, moves without thinking, lets emotions run without calmly listening, reacts to the slightest difference to the way he believes things should be. This is not God.
Another fault of man is not realizing God is not a multitasker, He doesn’t have to be. Not only does He have agents to report to Him but He is fully with us when we call on Him whether we know it or not. He is everywhere in everything so He doesn’t have to multitask as we do to get everything done we desire to do throughout our days.
So what do we need to do? Sit back, pray, give ourselves over to Christ and accept Him as our Lord and Savior. Remember that we are not in control of everything, only the things that He gives us to handle.
GOD IS THE CENTER OF EVERYTHING, not us.
Have you ever been disappointed because something you had really hoped for or worked on just did not go the way you planned or thought it would. I think everyone has at least one of those moments a year. Some people are so negative that they continue to dwell on the thing that disappointed them to the point where they can only think in the negative because they cannot get out of the rut. The Bible tells us that God does not want us to dwell on the negative and keep moving forward. Just because something did not go your way does not mean it is the end of the world and nothing else will go right. Learn from it, pray on it, let God take control because if whatever it was is supposed to be turned to your favor, it is in God’s timing not ours.
A fellow Pastor who is one of my mentors said this a few weeks ago on Facebook:
If I look inside myself I will only find disappointment, selfishness and death, but when I look to Christ in faith, I see the beauty of the Redeemer who died on the cross and raised from dead to bring salvation. This is Good News! (Ch. Mike Burgess Facebook post)
When we remember the sacrifice of Christ we have no need for our disappointing attitude. Jesus died so we could live.
Now Habakkuk was a prophet of old around the time of the Babylonian exile. He witnessed the sinfulness of the nation which caused great sadness and disappointment which they brought on to themselves. Habakkuk did not dwell on the disappointment but remembered God’s Grace in times of trouble.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. -Habakkuk 3:17-18 NIV
The Bible is filled with Scriptures to help us overcome our disappointments. This tells me that God desires that we do not dwell on it and think in the negative even though that is in our nature to do so. Taking things to Jesus and letting His yoke take on our burdens heals us and relieves us so we may be more positive and ready to share His Word and the blessings we receive through His Mercy.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” –Isaiah 55:8-9
God reminds us that He is the Almighty One who transforms the world with a Word. He can control ALL things with a thought where we have control over only what He gives us to do so.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” -Jeremiah 29:11
But here is the thing. God uses disappointments as a life lesson. Through our grief we pray for relief. As we listen and wait we need to be thankful for the bad so we can find the good.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18
We should weep because that is a release. Prayer helps release the bad so it can be replaced with the good.
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. -Psalm 30:5
So rise and shine in the morning and give God the Glory.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28
When you pray remember that it does not have to be overly well dictated. In our tears God brings joy. A private conversation with God is better than announcing your prayers to the world.
Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall. -Psalm 55:22
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7
But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. -Matthew 6:6
At the same time though, let others share your grief and pray with you, Strength may come from those who suffer with you. But in all things be patient.
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. -Psalms 27:1
Have thanks with a grateful heart.
This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24
Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19b-20
Believe that there is good and find it. He has the strength to go about every day and never tires. He shares this strength with us as long as we believe.
Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. -Isaiah 40:28-31
As we believe in God, God believes in us that we will do the things He requires of us. He grants us His strength to make it through all our disappointments so we do not just give up on our little part of this great big world. We are only a small part in His overarching plan. From disappointment comes encouragement. From weakness comes strength.
For I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. -Philippians 4:13
May God’s Glory, Love and Mercy be upon you this day. Think positive and the negative will be just an unconscious dream.
The messages on the blogs written on this page are within biblical adherence. Though the Scriptures listed in the blogs are directly from the Bible and other related religious writings the explanations and interpretations are in line with Biblical thinking as it relates to today’s world. The use of historical facts are to assist in the validity of the writings. The main writer of this blog site is an Ordained minister in one denomination though the views are related to all denominations so if something is said that does not fall in line with your denominational background, pray for personal discernment and understanding.