Archive | May 2015

The Chase is Wild

Today’s devotional, reposted from Lisa Bevere’s blog, focuses on  pursuing God. Let it encourage you and give your devotional time a much needed shot in the arm.

God! God! I am running to you for dear life; the chase is wild.
Psalm 7:1 The Message

“We’ve now spent several weeks examining the example of the lioness. One of her best-known traits is that of huntress, so today I want to explore this idea and expand your concept of the hunt.

To hunt is not limited to kill, then eat. Hunt also describes a chase, a search, or even a rescue. I love the concept of a “wild God chase,” as Psalm 7:1 presents it. This description is a far cry from half-asleep morning quiet time. These words imply urgency, speed, and focused pursuit. Just as the lioness waits in patience, a timed wait is part of our pursuit of God. The psalmist wrote:

Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
Psalm 5:3 NLT

lionessThe word hunt also denotes a search, quest, pursuit, or expedition. As children of the Most High God, we chase Him that He might catch us. Once captured, we will reflect His light and life to others.

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.
Psalm 23:6 The Message

Our hunt for God is also a hunt for answers, insight, and strength. Wisdom and counsel can be found in the company of those who’ve not only chased after God but who have been chased by God. Each wildly awakened heart has a portion of God’s love and compassion to express to others.

The earth is waiting to see what happens when God’s beauty and love have not only captured but also mobilized a company of His children. You, child of God, are part of this!

So, are you chasing God? How can you bring more focus and intentionality to your pursuit of Him? As you seek God this week, ask the Holy Spirit to awaken a passion for the hunt inside you. Allow the Word of God to feed your wild yearning to know your Creator!”

(C) 2015 Lisa Bevere Used with Permission https://messengerinternational.org/blog/devotional/the-wild-wait-chasing-and-finding-god/

First and Last

Today’s devotional is reposted from Roy Lessin’s blog.

“Jesus is the Alpha, the First; Jesus is the Omega, the Last; Jesus is the Beginning and the End. In our walk of faith, we take our first step and last step in Jesus, and He is every step along the way.

Jesus is not only the End of our destination in life, but He is also the End of our motivation in life—He is the purpose and the reason for our journey. He is the End itself! In our walk of faith we do use Jesus as a means to what we desire, because our heart’s deepest desire is met in Him.

In Him we have arrived at God’s desired place for us in this world. Jesus is the fulfillment we seek, the completion we need, the love we long for in our hearts. He is the wisdom that establishes us, the righteousness that justifies us, the sanctification that purifies us, and the redemption that makes us His own.” 

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” Revelation 22:13 (NKJV)

(c) 2015 Roy Lessin Used with permission http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com/2015/05/jesus-the-end/

Check it Out

get connectedWe’ve got a lot of things coming up next month you won’t want to miss. A new Spanish Bible study, Coffeehouse, a baby shower, a clothing swap, Date Night, VBS and more. Take a moment to visit the Events page on this blog for times, dates, and locations to get in on the good stuff. In addition you can find invitations for many events on the Publications page of the blog with more detailed information along with sign up forms for some of the events. You will find newsletters and bulletins chock full of event information on JCC’s events, too, on the Publications page. Then take a little trip with the click of your mouse to our webpage where you can find all kinds of information on JCC and our ministries. Thanks for connecting with Joy Christian Center.

Good-bye to Guilt

Today’s devotional is a tongue-in-cheek kick-it-to-the-curb message to guilt reposted from Holley Gerth’s blog. It’s a conversation we should all have on a regular basis – the guilt’s gotta go!

Dear Guilt,

You and I have known each other for quite some time now. My whole life, really. We’ve been close at times. But most often our relationship has been challenging.

For one thing, you’re unpredictable. You show up at parties unannounced. You wake me up in the middle of the night. You sit down by me at awkward times when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone I love.

And you’re sneaky. You wear all sorts of disguises–humility, concern, even godliness. Just when I think I recognize you I find you get a new haircut, throw on a pair of shades, or dress up like someone else.

So, here’s what I’m saying. I think it’s time for us to part ways. Because really, Guilt, we aren’t doing each other a whole lot of good. You push me around. I enable you. It’s not healthy.

I read this passage from a fabulous book called “He Loves Me!” by Wayne Jacobsen. Here’s what he had to say about getting rid of you…

Until God disconnects you from the guilt and fear that drive your own performance, you will miss His love for you. How do you let guilt die? Endure it in His presence. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it will be enough. Stop doing what you do because you’ll feel bad if you don’t. When you feel guilt and condemnation roll over you like a late-afternoon thunderstorm, simply acknowledge that it is there and offer it to God.

My very wise friend also said this in an e-mail to me when we were talking about you…

Guilt and shame are not tools that God uses to get us to do something He wants us to do, but they are instruments Satan uses to move us away from truth. I think because they mirror conviction (which is a good thing) we think they are of God and that He must be trying to tell us something. But guilt and shame do not match up with the character of God. Conviction does.

I think what she’s saying is you’re an impostor. And I’ve got no time for that sort of thing in my life. I want the real deal–real love, real peace, real joy.

So, Guilt, this is good-bye. You may try to visit but I’m letting you know the welcome mat is officially gone. And when you come you’ll find your room is occupied by someone else who is much more loving, kind, and committed to my growth than you have ever been. Actually, I think I’ll introduce you now…

“Guilt, meet Grace.”

That should have happened a long time ago. It’s really been the Father’s plan all along.”

(c) 2015 Holley Gerth Used with Permission http://holleygerth.com/an-open-letter-to-guilt/

2.2 Billion

judi-volod 1There are around 7.5 billion people on the earth. Roughly 2.2 billion of those people have never heard the good news of Jesus. Perhaps they live in a nation that is closed to the Gospel message either for religious or ideological/political reasons. Perhaps they live in a highly secularized country that, while not closed to Christianity, does not subscribe to the notion that  God even exists. Perhaps it is simply a case of living in such a remote area that there is no access to internet, radio, TV, or other media so they have never had the means to hear the message of salvation through faith in Jesus. The reason why they haven’t heard is not the issue. The issue is that they have not heard nor will they ever hear if someone doesn’t personally go and tell them. Volodymyr and Judi (Balwebber) Ruban are two someones who have stepped up to the plate to go and tell people who have not heard about Jesus that there is a Savior who loves them and has a plan for their lives. Click on the arrow below to listen to Volodymyr and Judi share their testimony and their heart for the people living in the Ukraine. NOTE: the first few minutes consist of the audio portion of a video that was shown. If you are interested in watching the video you can look up the Rubans (see below) and ask how you can access this great video.

 

The Rubans will be raising funds to return to the Ukraine this year. If you would like to know more about them,, their ministry and/or how you can support them you can look them up on Facebook or on the Assembly of God webpage

 

The bulletin is posted on the Publications page of this blog.

Coming This Weekend

judi bHeads up – you don’t want to miss Sunday’s service! Tomorrow, May 24th, JCC will be hosting special guests Volodymyr and Judi (Balwebber) Ruban. They will be sharing about their ministry and bringing the Sunday morning message. Come hear about what God is doing in their corner of the globe and be encouraged to pick up the ministry baton to influence the world where you live for the Kingdom of God.

Good to Know

Today’s devotional, reposted from Roy Lessin’s blog, is based on Psalm 139. It remind us about God’s loving care for us. Sometimes our  hearts just need to be reminded that He cares. Take a moment to go to the psalm (link provided) and read it through in a couple of different versions to get a bigger picture when you finish reading the little devotional.

7 Good Things…to Know about God’s Love for You
(From Psalm 139:1-18)

No one knows you more thoroughly:
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and my rising up: (vs. 1)

No one understands you more completely:
You understand my thought afar off. (vs.2)

No one cares about you more deeply:
You comprehend my path and my lying down, And are acquainted with all my ways. (vs. 3)

No one listens to you more attentively:
For there is not a word on my tongue, But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. (vs. 4)

No one blesses you more richly:
You have hedged me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. (vs. 5-6)

No one is with you more closely:
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. (vs 7-10)

No one thinks about you more intimately:
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! (vs. 17-18)

(c) 2015 Roy Lessin Used with Permission http://www.meetmeinthemeadow.com/2015/05/7-good-thingsto-know-about-gods-love-for-you/