A One Minute Devotional for the week of August 12th

For The Men

One of the shortest books of the New Testament is Titus – a book that you should take time to read for it speaks to how we live our lives.

Titus is a “how to” book as opposed to many of the New Testament books that address issues of doctrine. An example of this idea is the second verse of the 2nd chapter: “Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.” Titus is telling we older men how we should conduct ourselves in our later years.

By this time in our lives, our faith should be deep and strong; and our love of God, family, and friends should reflect this.

A marvelous thing happens when we get to this point, and demonstrate these attributes: In so doing we teach the younger men who will someday replace us.

 

Scripture: Titus

Your thoughts?

One Minute Devotional 08.05.2018

A One Minute Devotional for the week of August 5th

For The Ladies

Who taught you to be the woman that you are today – perhaps you are a wife, a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, or a friend? Chances are that it was another, older woman. Perhaps it was your mother, or an aunt, or a friend, or perhaps a teacher. Whoever it was, it was someone who took an interest in you because she cared about you, loved you. Whoever it was, you owe her a lot for she taught you lessons of life that can only be passed-on in this manner.

Hopefully, that woman, or those women, taught you another lesson amidst the more obvious ones. Hopefully, she was able to be model for you, thus teaching you what it means to be a Christian woman.

 

Scripture: Titus 2:3-5

Your Thoughts?

Weekly Devotional 02.25.2018

Now Jesus and His disciples went out to the towns of Caesarea Philippi; and on the road He asked His disciples, saying to them, “Who do men say that I am?” So they answered, “John the Baptist; but some say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”(Mark 8:27-29)
How would you answer the question that Jesus asked His disciples: who do you say that I am? Scripture tells us that it was Peter who answered, saying, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” It’s a good answer, but is it the answer that you would give if Jesus had asked you directly?

Peter is saying that Jesus, his rabbi, is the One that the Father promised to send to His children to be their savior who atones for their sins. He was sent to be the sacrifice that would rescue His children from the consequences of their sins – eternal separation from God.

He is also acknowledging that God is a living God, a God who is active in our daily lives. He is not just the One who, once He completed the Creation, walked away from it and allowed it to develop and function on its own.

Do you, like Peter, know Jesus as the One sent by the Father to be the sacrifice of atonement for your sin? Do you see Him as the One who has rescued you from the consequence of your sin? Is your relationship with Jesus, like Peter’s – personal and intimate?

Peter acknowledged that God was active in his life – a living God he called Him. Do you have that same understanding? Is God a living being who is active in your life? Is this your answer also?

Heavenly Father, I am so thankful that You loved me so much that You sent Christ Jesus into my life to rescue me from eternal separation from You. I am thankful that You have provided for my salvation so that I can spend eternity with You. Help me to share the knowledge of Your gift with others in my life. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 02.18.2018

Show me Your ways, O LORD:

Teach me Your paths.

(Psalm 25:4)

What do you do in those times where it seems like you’re lost and don’t know what to do next or where to turn for help? Everyone has a favorite aunt or uncle or friend to whom they can turn for advice, but what do you do when that advice doesn’t solve the problem?

You could take a trip to the local mall and peruse the self-help section of a bookstore. There on the shelves, you’ll find numerous books whose authors are ready to teach you how to handle your problem; perhaps even how to solve it in terms of the world’s values.

Unless you’re just looking to go to the mall, there is a better place to look for guidance and advice, however. The psalmist tells us to look to God, specifically to His Word found only in the Bible. There you will find instruction on how to handle your problem as well as how to avoid becoming lost in the first place.

What using God’s word to lead us out of our confusion does, that the self-help approach doesn’t necessarily do, is ensure that the path that we take out of our troubles honors Him, not man.

So, the next time you’re lost and don’t know where to turn, save yourself some gas money and spend time with God. Find a “secret place” (Matthew 6:6) that is quiet and talk with Him; then, then listen for Him to respond.

Heavenly Father, when I am lost and don’t know where to turn send Your Holy Spirit to guide me back to where I need to be. Speak to me via Your Word. Help me to see and understand where the Holy Spirit is taking me as He works according to Your Word. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 02.11.2018

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.  (2 Cor. 4:1)
When life takes a turn for the worse and everything seems to be going wrong, how do you handle it?

Odds are that by the time you figure out what’s gone wrong, you’ll just have to ride it out until the situation reverses itself. The good news, however, is that you’re not alone in dealing with whatever is happening, for God has had mercy on you and has sent the Holy Spirit to walk with you, to ride out the storm with you.

You may be living with the consequences of a problem that you’ve created or, be just suffering the consequences of what someone else has done that is affecting you. No matter the cause, Paul in this passage from 2nd Corinthians is telling you not to lose heart; not to let your faith weaken as you suffer.

You may, or may not, possess the skills to address the crisis. If you don’t then there are others available to you that do. Skills or not, it is your faith, however, that will allow you to weather the storm.

When trouble strikes the difference in how the faithful as opposed to the unfaithful handle it is significant. Both suffer, however, the faithful one knows that he, or she, is not alone for the Holy Spirit walks along side. Even though there is suffering, there is also peace knowing that God forgives. For the unfaithful – there is only loneliness.

Heavenly Father, at times I am under the stress of problems in my life. Walk with me and guide me through those problems according to Your will for me. Restore a sense of peace to me as together we walk through the difficulty and help me to see the problem and correct it in a manner that honors You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 02.04.2018

And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.  (Mark 1:39)
When was the last time that you preached the Word of God? Most will probably say never, but is that really true?

What does it mean to “preach.” Is it something that just a pastor does on any given Sunday morning from the pulpit or is there more to it? Is it work delegated solely to a pastor, or is there more to it?

Preaching is the sharing of God’s Word with His children and it can take a number of forms. The most common, of course, is the sermon delivered by a pastor but this is not the only form that it can take.

Most of us preach at various times but don’t recognize it as preaching. It can be as simple as a quiet presence or a soft touch or a kind word that says that I care about you and so does God. We are preaching when we share a cup of coffee with another and just listen when another needs to talk. It happens when you share your thoughts concerning a Bible verse during a Bible study when you’d rather be silent.

Knowing that “preaching” comes in many forms, what’s your answer to the question – when was the last time that you preached the Word of God?

Heavenly Father, use me to minister to the needs of others by sharing Your Word. Give me the ability to see those opportunities to do so. Guide me to know what to do and when to do it so that another can know the peace that only You can bring. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

 

Weekly Devotional 01.28.2018

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. 1 John 5:19
Hardly a day goes by without hearing of yet another act of evil: mass shootings, abuse of children, war waged on innocents, etc. These are not the acts of a loving God. Rather, they are the acts of, as John calls him, the “wicked one.” Lest there be any doubt, John is speaking of the enemy of God – Satan.

The existence of evil acts should not come as any surprise to the faithful. Scripture gives ample warning of their existence.

The question is not whether evil exists, the question is how to respond to it. We could physically isolate ourselves from the world so that we’re not touched by it. This solution has been tried and it failed because as long as we live in our evil flesh the problem travels with us wherever we go.

God has warned us that evil will be a part of life but He also gives us direction as to how we should handle its presence. We’re told that instead of hiding from it, we should confront it. He tells us that we are to do so by living our lives with Him at the center. When we live like this then we become witnesses to His grace and power as we go about the work of making disciples of all nations.

As is always the case, the choice is yours as to how you live your life. You can try to hide from evil, or you can confront it by living with Christ Jesus as the center, the core, of your life.

Heavenly Father, protect me from Satan and the evil that he spreads. Guide me as I live my life as a witness to you and confront his evil. Give me the strength and courage to be bold in making disciples of all nations. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 01.14.2017

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 1 John 3:1
We are known by a number of titles over our lifetime. We begin as “cute baby (insert your name here)” and go on from there. Over a lifetime we can hold a number of “titles” often overlapping one another: husband, father, wife, mother, Grandpa, President, and so forth.

Some of these titles describe what we are while others may describe who we are. The one thing that most have in common is that they are bestowed upon us by someone else; rarely can we bestow a title upon ourselves.

There are also those titles that we carried as a child that have stayed with us as adults – sometimes to our dislike. Most of the time we outgrow one title and grow into another one as we progress through life.

There is one title, however, that has been bestowed upon you and that will stay with you from birth to death, and beyond. God has endowed you with the title “a child of God.”

To be honest, it’s not always easy to live up to it as we struggle with the temptations and demands that the world makes on us. But even in our struggle, we never are stripped of the title that God has given us because His love for us never falters.

Heavenly Father, I’m honored and humbled to be known as Your child. Help me to live up to that title in a manner that brings glory and honor to You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 01.08.2018

I write to you, little children,

  Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.

1 John 2:12

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the activities of living that we lose sight of the guiding principles of life and of our true identity. This passage from the apostle John’s letter to the Church speaks to this.

Most, if not all, of us at times get so caught up with living that we lose sight of who and what we are. We wear so many “hats”, often at the same time, that our true identity gets lost in the shuffle.

Its easy to lose track of the one identity that should never get lost – the children of God. Of all of the roles that define who and what we are, this one is truly the most important. It is this one identity that defines all others in a manner that reflects God’s will for us.

God has bestowed this title upon you because it marks you as one unconditionally loved by Him. When you are steeped in His love you become the father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter and everything else that you are in a manner that gives glory and honor to Him.

So, wear the “hats” that you need to wear but don’t forget that you are first before everything else, a loved child of God. One so loved that He willingly sacrificed His only begotten Son so that you could be with Him for all of eternity.

Heavenly Father, my life is so busy at times that I sometimes lose sight of the one relationship that guides everything else; I lose sight of the fact that I am Your child. I get so busy sorting out who and what I should be now that I forget to base my actions on being Your child. When I lose my way during these times, guide me back to where I should be as Your child. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.

Weekly Devotional 12.31.2017

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  1 John 1:8
It should not come as any surprise that each one of us is bombarded with hundreds, if not thousands of messages every day. They range in scope from truth to which we should pay attention, to half-truths to which we should be wary, to lies that we should avoid.

Most of these come from the outside and can be easily controlled in terms of our response. The fact is that most never reach our consciousness as we’ve developed filters to keep them out.

There are another class of messages that are not easily filtered, some even argue that they cannot be. These are the messages that we send to ourselves – our “self -talk” that only we can hear. they are also the messages that have the greatest potential for harm.

They’re potentially harmful because they are often based upon outright lies, an incorrect interpretation of events, or the willful distortion of the truth. They serve to protect us from having to face the consequences of the truth.

If John is correct when he says that it is a lie to tell ourselves that we have no sin then we do harm to ourselves. He goes on to say that when we tell ourselves this lie the truth of salvation is not in us; we have turned our back on God. We’ve harmed ourselves in that we’ve closed the door to the part of salvation that is our inheritance of eternal life with God. What is left to us is an eternal life spent separated from Him with no means of undoing what we’ve done.

Heavenly Father, help me to control my self-talk, especially when it is harmful and leads me away from You. I stray often so when I do, show me the path to return to You. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.