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Shame is Not Your Name

If you are dealing or have dealt with crippling shame that has/had you down for the count then read this encouraging devotional by Craig Groeshel on faithgateway.com and learn how you can be set free.

“As a pastor, I’ve discovered that many people are dying slowly in a secret tomb of shame. Some are ashamed of their poor financial condition, plagued with guilt about their irresponsible spending and debt. Others are ashamed about sexual sin from their past. Many carry extreme guilt read more

source: faithgateway.com

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Can I Get a Witness

Today’s devotional is an encouragement goes along with this month’s sermon series on evangelism. It is an invitation to participate in the great commission in your world written by one of our staff pastors.

Before He returned to heaven, Jesus asked us to be witnesses. Some people turn pale at the idea and start to stutter, backing away with hands extended as if they’d seen a poisonous snake. Being a witness conjures up images of wild eye creatures garbed in Christian witnessing tee shirts hollering in a bullhorn at passersby. Or going up to perfect strangers and giving them a three-point sermon on salvation complete with references and cross references. While there’s a place for those types of ministry, that’s not necessarily what Jesus is requiring of us.

What is a witness then? Someone who recounts something they have, well, witnessed. Seen. Experienced. Acts 2:32 says, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.” Acts 3:15 says, “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.” Acts 5:32 says, “We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” 1 John 1:1-3 says, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touchedthis we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” The New Testament – Acts in particular – is replete with examples of early believers who simply told about what they had witnessed. With that in mind, what have you witnessed that you could share with, say, a neighbor or a coworker or a friend? Obviously, you didn’t see Jesus raised from the dead, but you have certainly experienced the work of the living, risen Jesus in your life, right? How about when He saved you? Perhaps you witnessed a healing or answered prayer? Maybe God protected you or intervened in your life in a miraculous way. Or maybe God did something simple that was meaningful to you. Ask God to help you remember something you have witnessed that you could share with someone else. Our sermon series for September will be about evangelism. We will be sharing some non-intimidating, non-life threatening, relatively painless ways you can be a witness and share your faith. So, I ask you – can I get a witness? Jump in and take the challenge to be a witness in your world.

(c) 2018 Heidi Fields Associate Pastor Joy Christian Center

Back to School Prayers

It seems like just a few minutes ago we were talking about school letting out for the summer, and now it’s time for the kids to go back to classes already. Here are some wonderful prayers written by Rebecca Barlow Jordan to pray over our kids and grandkids as they head back into the classroom this year.

photo: rebeccabarlowjordan.com

“Back to school prayers – It’s one of the best ways you can prepare your children each year as they head back to school. And praying Scripture over them is one of the most powerful ways to pray. Here are five back to school prayers you can pray for your kids and grandkids:

Back to School Prayers for Peace (Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6-7; Romans 5:1).
Lord, I pray that my kids (grandkids) will experience the peace of God this year that exceeds all read more

source: rebeccabarlowjordan.com

An Audience of One

365 Devotionals for a Thankful Heart faithgateway.com

Today’s devotional, reposted from faithgateway.com, hits the nail on the head when it says: “You will find not only more breathing room but also more joy in life if you stop trying to please everyone around you.” Read the whole devotional here

 

Source: 365 Devotionals for a Thankful Heart by Zondervan on faithgateway.com

Activating Your Spiritual Senses

We’ve been doing a sermon series on the Gifts of the Spirit, so today we’re reposting a wonderful article written by James Goll about activating your spiritual senses for Charisma’s online magazine that goes along with our series. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

(Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash)

“Each of us needs to become a discerner—no matter what our personal background or specific gift or function in the body of Messiah. Although some believers are especially gifted as prophets, every follower of Jesus receives the gifts of revelation and discernment. And every believer needs to use them! In fact, without discernment and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, we cannot read more

source: charismamag.com

God’s Thoughts Toward You

If you’re feeling forgotten today’s devotional written by Rebecca Barlow Jordan and reposted from her blog will remind you of God’s love and care for you. If you don’t feel that way at the moment tuck this gem away for one of those inevitable rainy day or better yet share it with a friend.

rebeccabarlowjordan.com

“How often do you think about God? Early in the morning? At mealtimes? Before bedtime? An hour a day? Once a week? Once a year?

Do you ever wonder if God thinks about you? If so, how often? Once a year? Once a month? After all, He has billions of names to remember. Maybe you’re just read more

source: rebeccabarlowjordan.com

Invisible

Invisibility is only a good thing if you’re a superhero trying to bring down the bad guys. If you’re a regular Jane or Joe it’s not so fun. Today we’re featuring two devotionals that speak to a similar issue: feeling invisible. The first devotional, written by Wendy van Eyck and originally posted on ibelieve.com, brings encouragement and hope for those of us who sometimes feel unloved and even invisible. The second devotional, written by Lynn Cowell for Proverbs 31 Ministries on ibelieve.com, provides a way we can encourage others who may be feeling invisible. Thanks for reading with us!

When you feel unseen…

“I get it if today you don’t want to hear that God sees you and has a plan. Even though it’s true, it is the kind of cliché that can mean so little when everyone forgets your birthday, or you have just been passed over for a job you really wanted, or you are heating up another meal for one and feeling like no one even read more

Source: ibelieve.com

Caring for the invisible

“Jesus was garnering notoriety, going about His community spreading the Good News of His Father and performing miracles of healing. As He made His way, Jesus is approached. A person identified by the scales peeling off his skin, he “… knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. ‘If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,’ he said.” (Mark 1:40b, NLT) Full of confidence in Jesus, he

source: ibelieve.com