Archive | May 2016

Unpack Your Bags

Today’s devotional by Max Lucado – reposted from Devotionals Daily – assures us that we are safe with God. We may leave His family, but He will never kick us out. We can walk in peace knowing we have a forever home.

“… Maybe you question your place in God’s family. You fear His impending rejection. You wrestle with doubt-lacedjohn-10-28-400x400questions: Am I really in God’s family? What if God changes His mind? Reverses His acceptance? Lord knows, He has reason to do so. We press forward only to fall back. We renew our resolve only to stumble again.

We wonder, Will God turn me out?

Boyfriends do. Employers do. Coaches kick players off the team. Teachers expel students from school. Parents give birth to children and abandon them at bus stations. How do we know God won’t do the same? What if he changes His mind about us? After all, He is holy and pure, and we are anything but. Is it safe to unpack our bags?

God answered this question at the Cross. When Jesus died, the heavenly vote was forever cast in your favor and mine. He declared for all to hear, “This child is my child. My covenant will never change.”

Promised Land people read the entire devotional here

(c) 2016 Max Lucado Used with Permission

No Warrior Left Behind

U.S. Army soldiers carry Sgt. Matt Krumwiede, who was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED), towards a Blackhawk Medevac helicopter in southern Afghanistan June 12, 2012. On June 12, 2012, Krumwiede was on patrol in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED, which tore away both his legs, damaged his left arm, and ripped open his abdominal cavity. The 22-year-old has since undergone around 40 surgeries and is learning to walk with prosthetic legs. He is keen to re-join the infantry as soon as his injuries allow. U.S. troops have been in Afghanistan since 2001. Thousands of Afghan elders gathered in Kabul on November 21, 2013 at a Loya Jirga, or grand council, to debate a crucial security pact with the United States, a day after Kabul and Washington reached a draft agreement laying out the terms under which U.S. troops may stay beyond 2014. Picture taken June 12, 2012.   REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov  (AFGHANISTAN - Tags: MILITARY HEALTH SOCIETY POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) ATTENTION EDITORS: PICTURE 04 OF 33 FOR PACKAGE 'AFTER AFGHANISTAN - LEARNING TO WALK AGAIN'  TO FIND ALL IMAGES SEARCH 'MATT KRUMWIEDE' - RTX15N48

It’s so easy to forget about those in the Body of Christ who have been wounded in the war between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Darkness. Even worse is when we shoot our own wounded instead of drawing them back in and helping them heal. Sunday’s message by Steve Webb addresses this issue and encourages us to seek out those who are missing from among our ranks. Click on the arrow to listen to the sermon.

 

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Begin Your Journey with God

 

Today’s devotional reminds us that God is our Waymaker. He will make a way when it looks as if there is no way. All throughout the Bible God opened up ways for His people, and we can trust Him to do the same for us. Thanks for reading with us today!

 

It almost sounds like some kind of advertising slogan, but this little play on words really says it: “God will make a way” begins with God. It’s not your belief that makes a way; it’s God who makes a way. Your faith is the vital step you take to connect with God, the way-maker. Buta href=’http://www.faithgateway.com/begin-journey-god/’ title=’Read more’ …/a

Source: Begin Your Journey with God

The Someone Someone is Waiting For

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). 

So what is your superpower? Everyone  has one. I can see some of you shaking your heads right now: “Nuh uh; not me – I don’t have any talents.” Translation: I can’t sing, play an instrument or preach or prayer flowery prayers so I don’t have anything to offer so that lets me off the hook. Uh, nope; don’t think so. In this family our Father has given each of us something to do. Our verse tells us that not only were we created to do good works, but God has planned those works our ahead of time for us. It’s sorta kinda like God’s to-do list and every task has a name beside it, one of which is yours. Now, it’s not some dreadful chore list that with shrinking hearts and woeful sighs we have to complete. It’s more like He’s drawing us into His world, giving us a place, making us a part what He’s up to; it’s a privilege not a punishment.

So maybe you can’t sing or play an instrument or preach. Can you smile? Do you have a way of making people feel welcome, encouraged, or motivated? There’s a place for you. Do you have a knack with color and design? Do you like to make things? Do you love to throw parties? There’s a place for you. Do you enjoy telling stories? Do you love to laugh and make others laugh? Do you have fun making things neat and sparkling clean (yes, there are people who are like that. I had a friend who got a kick out of taking chaos and bringing order, so he would come do my dishes for me when my kids were small.) Do you adore kids? Can you whip up a feast fit for a king? There’s a place for you. Do you have an affinity for numbers and finances or charts and lists? Can you tame piles of paperwork, type like a pro or juggle multiple things at  the same time? Do people talk to you all the time because you are a good listener? There’s a place for you. Can you drive? Can you fix or build things? Do you have a kind compassion for the elderly or at risk adults? Are you alive and breathing and willing to learn and pitch in when needed? There’s a place for you.

I won’t lie and say doing the works that God has your name on is always easy. It does require some effort on your part. You do have to get up and do something, but I assure you it’s worth the effort both in the here and now and the there and then. But God in you, God with you makes you more than able to do what He’s tasked you with. Jesus said  “For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne. Matthew 11:30 AMP The Message version puts it this way: “Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”  It’s the difference between painting a barn with a toothbrush or with a super-charged spray painting machine. When you try to wear someone else’s yoke, when you try to do something you aren’t fitted for, or when you try to do something in your own strength it becomes arduous. When you do those works that God has given you to do and equipped you for with the power and grace He gives you it is a joy and blessing to you, your church family, and God.

So again, I ask you – what is your superpower? If you aren’t sure ask God to show you. Think about what interests you, what lights your inner fire and gets you going. Then talk to your pastors or lay leaders and see how your superpower can be expressed in your church family. I want to conclude with this great mini devotional by Christine Caine.

“It’s easy to become overwhelmed with all the need we see in our world today. But we must understand that we are only responsible for the good works God has called us to do.

We can’t do everything, but we can each do ONE thing.

You just might be the someONE that somebody is waiting for!”

(c) Christine Caine Used with Permission christinecaine.com

It’s My Choice

We really do have more choices that it would seem. When caught between the proverbial rock and hard place it may not feel like choices abound, yet in today’s devotional by Max Lucado we are reminded that we really are free to crosssroadchoose how we will act and react. Click on the link to finish the devotional.

“It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding pace of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met. For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now that I must make a choice.

Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.

I choose love. No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.

I choose joy. I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance. I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.

I choose peace. I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.

I choose patience. I will overlook the inconveniences of the world. Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite Him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment read more

(c) 2016 Max Lucado Used with Permission maxlucado.com

Is There Any Hope for These Bones?

dry-bones-artEzekiel was a prophet who had quite a relationship with God. When God spoke Ezekiel listened and obeyed. Even when Ezekiel was presented with a valley full of dry bones he did what God told him to do although it looked like there was no hope of anything positive happening. Click on the arrow to listen to the full story and find out what can happen when we dare to obey God in the midst of a hopeless situation.

 

Here is a link to the video referenced in the message https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yB9lIPCssos 

 

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