One Minute Devotional 02.10.2019

The Power Of Ashes

There is a story of a pastor of a country church who was visiting with one member of the congregation who, over time, had become less and less a part of the congregation. They spoke of many things that affected the parishioner but when the pastor steered their talk back to participation in the congregation, he was met with silence.

As he was leaving, the pastor stopped by the stove that heated the member’s home. Taking the tongs that hung by the stove, he plucked one, and only one, ember from the fire and sat it on top of the stove.

The following Sunday, the pastor looked out over his congregation and there seated in the back was this long-lost member.

What happened to change the mind of this member? Perhaps, it was watching that one ember that the pastor had removed from the fire die out when it was there by itself.

A true story? Who knows? True or not, however, it does illustrate the fundamental truth that as Christians, we need the community of others to keep our “ember” of faith alive.

 

Scripture: Matthew 18:19-20

One Minute Devotional 02.03.2019

Acceptable Behavior

A few years back, there was a popular movement that went by the name – “What Would Jesus Do?”. We don’t hear this phrase anymore, as like all popular movements, it has run its course. However, it did ask this question: is my action consistent with what Jesus taught, i.e. is it consistent with God’s will for me and those whom my action will touch?

While the movement no longer exists to the degree that it once did, the question that it asked is still pertinent. Are our actions, and those of our leaders, consistent with God’s will?

There are two separate events told in Genesis that illustrate this point.

Jacob and Esau were two brothers with widely differing talents and gifts. The elder, Esau, literally went to war with his brother. Yet, they eventually managed to reconcile their differences and move forward with their lives.

The interaction of Joseph and his brothers tells a similar story. Jealous of their brother Joseph, the older brothers sold him into slavery. Yet, Joseph who eventually obtained great power over his brothers chose not revenge, but love in addressing the wrongdoing done by them to him.

The point? It’s simple. We must learn to both listen and forgive. Jacob and Esau were able to do this as was Joseph. Perhaps we should be the example to our leaders and show forgiveness for those with whom we differ.

Scripture: Genesis 25 and following

One Minute Devotional 01.27.2019

Take Care Of Your Marriage

Marriage is one of God’s gifts to His children. It’s like a fine wine that ages well with care and nurturing. With each passing year it can become more robust and full-bodied, or it can spoil, turning to the sourest of vinegars.

So, what does it take to care for and nurture a marriage? Well, not only does God give us this institution of marriage, He also teaches us how to take care of it.

He tells us that a wife should be submissive to her husband; not as an inferior to him but as a partner in the marriage. He goes on to tell a husband that he should love his wife as Christ loved the Church, placing her welfare first in his life above all else. Still not done, He tells a wife that she should respect her husband, the implication being that he should be deserving of her respect.

If both of you can accomplish this, then your marriage will sweeten and become more robust and enjoyable with each passing year. It will take some work and possibly a change in focus, but it is worth the effort. Why? Because you will be living according to His will for you; finding a peace that can be found nowhere else.

Scripture: Ephesians 5

Your thoughts?

One Minute Devotional 01.20.2019

Hugged Your Family Today?

Did you hug your children before you left for work today? How about telling your spouse that you love him, or her? If you don’t have children or are not married, did you tell a friend how much you value their friendship?

If you didn’t, you missed a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your relationships with them. Perhaps you were just too busy or something  else had your attention. Yes, this happens to all of us at one time or another. However, can we ever justify being too busy or too distracted to focus for a few moments on a loved one? Just maybe your day would have been better if you had taken the time to tell someone how much you love them.

It’s a good thing that God is never too busy or too preoccupied to tell you how much He loves you. Even when you don’t think that you deserve it you do, for His love is unconditional!

Give it a try this week and see what happens; you might be surprised.

 

Scripture: John 3:16

Your thoughts?

One Minute Devotional 01.06.2019

The New Year

By now the Thanksgiving turkey is gone, the Christmas presents have been unwrapped, and you’re running on “empty.” If Thanksgiving and Christmas were not enough of a drain on your energy reserves, after the New Years celebrations your tank may well be dry.

The holidays, however, are worth the energy that they demand. You’ve had an opportunity to give thanks for what you have, to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and welcome in the new year.

As you’re resting, it’s a good opportunity to think about what you’d like to get accomplished in the coming year. Will this year be just a copy of the last, or will you make changes?

Here’s a suggestion as to how to approach the question. Take a look at your priorities. Do they reflect God’s plan: Him first, your family next, your friends and then everything else.

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3

Happy New Year

One Minute Devotional 12.30.2018

The Office of a Wife

One of the most devastating events in life is divorce! It is a difficult and painful time, not only for those involved but for loved ones as well. Nothing is ever truly right for a long time after the failure of a marriage no matter how much each partner is at fault.

There are many ways in which divorce can be prevented. The most important among these is how a husband relates to his wife.

Scripture tells us that she is to submit to her husband and to respect him. Scripture doesn’t stop here however. It lays an even greater responsibility on her husband. He is to love her and care for her as Christ loved His bride the church. Even though she is not perfect, a husband must place her above all other things, above his own wants and desires just as Christ did for His bride. He willingly gave up His own life so that she could stand before God pure and blemish free.

When a husband can do this, then he makes it possible for her to willingly obey God’s will for her in the marriage.

Scripture: Ephesians 5

One Minute Devotional 12/16/2018

Merry Christmas

Two thousand years ago, God fulfilled a promise to His children that He made at the time of their fall from the Garden. Their first parents disobeyed His one command that they not eat from the tree at the center of the Garden – the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Well, you know the story. They disobeyed, they sinned, and as a consequence they were ejected from the Garden and the entrance was blocked by an armed guard. They brought sin into the world and man has suffered from it, never able to break free of it.

God’s love for His children was absolute and unconditional. However, He knew that even though He wanted them to be with Him for all eternity, they were incapable of cleansing themselves of their sin and thus could not be with Him.

In order for them to be with Him, He gave them the gift of salvation in the person of Mary’s child Jesus – Son of God and Son of Man. Her child was the only acceptable sacrifice that could atone for the sin of His children.

At Christmas, we give gifts to those we love; a small token of the gift that He gave to each of us. Just like the gifts that you receive at Christmas that are addressed to you, the gift of Jesus was also addressed specifically to you from the Father.

Scripture: Luke 1 & 2

Merry Christmas

One Minute Devotional September 30th

Relationships

Over the years you’ve been blessed by the many relationships that you’ve encountered. As you look back over them, you see that they are a living reminder that life is all about relationships.

Most of our relationships are transient and for the most part enjoyable. However, there is one relationship that is permanent, joyful and by far the most important of all – our relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. He brings a love to the relationship that is strong. So strong, that He willingly died on the cross so that you and He can continue your relationship for all of eternity.

So, the next time one of your relationships is not going as well as you think that it should, think back to what He did to ensure that His relationship with you went the way that it should. He gave everything to make the relationship with you work; can you say that you’ve done the same?

Scripture: Acts 10:43

Your thoughts?