Marie’s daily verse: 

Psalms 34:14 NLT: Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

DAILY DEVOTION, 12/7/21

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:14-15).

Jesus takes us back to a story in the Old Testament.  In Numbers. 21:4–9 we read the story of the rebellious Israelites, who murmured and complained that God was not taking good care of them. So God sent fiery serpents into their midst to remind them that it is unwise to criticize God!  Then God told Moses to put a bronze serpent on a pole, with the promise that whoever looked at it would live. How can looking at a bronze serpent on a pole cure snake bites? Because God decreed it! 

Like the bronze serpent, Jesus was lifted up on a cross. Those who gaze upon that cross with faith are forgiven of their sins and granted eternal life. How is that possible? Don’t we have to work hard to earn eternal life? Our efforts to win God’s favor by our good works will always fall short. Nevertheless, he has decreed that all who believe in His crucified Son receive the gift of eternal life. The message of Jesus is called “good news.” We are healed of the poisonous results of our sins by simply looking to Jesus lifted up and believing. That is good news indeed. Out of gratitude, we work at living as His faithful disciples, not to earn His favor but in response to His favor already granted.

Father, thank You for making the Gospel so simple that even we who have fallen into sin can understand and believe. Thank You, Jesus, for Your willingness to pay the price for our sins and then to welcome us into Your kingdom. Amen.

THIS WEEK AT WARSAW CHRISTIAN CHURCH, 2/6 -12-12A special thanks to Marvin and Marcia for helping decorate the church for Christmas. Our sanctuary looks very Christmassy. If you ordered a poinsettia you can pay Marie $12.00. Tom and I enjoyed singing at the annual German Christmas concert in Cole Camp on Sunday. It was nice to see several of our members in attendance. FCM meets Tuesday at 8:00 for our monthly breakfast. All men invited. This Sunday, December 12,  is the church Christmas dinner following morning worship. I will be finishing the series on “Faith” this Sunday.  I will be doing a first person sermon on Simeon on 12/19, a little known character in the Christmas narrative. Tom will be preaching on 12/26. If you haven’t signed up for the Bowman’s fellowship dinner on 12/13 and you plan to attend please email me by this Friday (12/10) or call Marie, 660-223-2020. We will be eating at Lil Papa Joes at 5:30. All are welcome. Marie has some activities planned to test your mental acuity. Also, board members please note that we will have our December board meeting following the dinner. Presently we have 15 signed up to attend the Christmas show at Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach. Show time is 3:00 PM. Deadline for sign up is 12/12. If you need a ride we can arrange that. Some of us plan to eat lunch on the way. Have a blessed week! Pastor Bowman

Marie’s daily verse:  1 Kings 5:4 (NLT)But now the LORD my God has given me peace on every side; I have no enemies, and all is well.

DAILY DEVOTION, December 6, 2021

Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God (Acts 9:20).

The reference is to Paul and his conversion to Christ. He was opposed to Jesus and persecuted Christians. He was miraculously converted and notice that word “immediately.” He did not think about his conversion for a few days, weeks, or years while trying to figure out what to do next. Immediately he went to the synagogues proclaiming that Jesus is the Son of God. Conversion to faith in Jesus changes us radically and instantly. Those who come to faith know that their sins are forgiven, and heaven is their destiny, and they want to share that with others.

We want to do as Paul did once we cross that line from unbelief to faith. We want others to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. Our conversion is not likely to be as dramatic as Paul’s, and our success as evangelists will not compare to what Paul accomplished. However you came to faith, dramatically or otherwise, true faith wants to share Jesus with others.  Christian conversion is not like joining the Lion’s Club. Our life goals are radically changed.

Father, I thank You for calling me out of the darkness and into the light. I thank You for drawing me to faith in Jesus through the Gospel. Help me to see what I can do to encourage others to believe that Jesus is the Son of God. 

Marie’s daily verse: Matthew 12:21 (NLT) And his name will be the hope of all the world.”

DAILY DEVOTION, Dec. 5, 2021

To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps (1 Peter 2:21, NIV).

Part of me wishes this verse and others like it were not in the Bible! What does it mean to be called to the Christian faith? It means many things. The emphasis in our verse is to remind us that we are called to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom. We are disciples of Jesus. He suffered a miserable crucifixion for us, and we are called to follow His example.

I remember hearing the testimony of a young Moslem converted to Christ. His father was planning to execute his son by decapitation unless he renounced Jesus. His mother stepped in and saved his life, but the young man was willing to die rather than abandon his faith in Jesus.  What does faith in Jesus provide for us? On the positive side, our sins are forgiven, and heaven is our destiny. These are blessings that far surpass any suffering we endure here on earth. Jesus set the example. We are to follow in His steps whatever the cost. When we suffer for Jesus, He is there with us to help us get through it. He does not abandon us. Most of our suffering is minor compared to the young Moslem. How much suffering are we willing to endure for Jesus’ sake?

Father, I must confess that I do not like suffering! I pray that if and when suffering comes my way, I will remain steadfast in my trust in Jesus. In His name, I pray, Amen. 

Mare’s daily verse: Isaiah 26:8 GNTWe follow your will and put our hope in you; you are all that we desire.

DAILY DEVOTION, Dec. 4, 2021

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).

We receive the Holy Spirit as a gift when we place our trust in Jesus. Paul reminds us of how the Holy Spirit works in us. He does not make us timed or fearful. He gives us the power (ability) to live the Christian with ever-increasing faithfulness. The Holy Spirit makes us new and different persons. And of course, since God is love the Holy Spirit fills us with divine love. We become more patient and kind with those who used to irritate us. We learn to love our enemies. Finally, we become more delf-disciplined. Sinful excesses no longer drive us. The Holy Spirit leads us into a disciplined life. These divine attributes do not appear instantaneously. We never manifest them to perfection. But as we walk by faith, we grow in these attributes.   

Father, help me to listen to the Holy Spirit as He leads me into a new life. I want to know more of His power, love, and discipline. I want to honor Jesus in my daily life. In His name, I pray, amen.

Marie’s daily verse: Psalm 119:166 (AMP)I hope and wait [with complete confidence] for Your salvation, O LORD, And I do Your commandments.

DAILY DEVOTION, Dec. 3, 2021

We read in Proverbs 3:7, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.” Wisdom demands that we turn from evil. We fear God because we know we have sinned against His holy will. We fear God because we know the eternal consequences of sin. Then we discover the forgiveness Jesus provides for us. We despise the fact that our sins have so offended God that drastic measures had to be taken to redeem us. What will be our attitude towards evil as redeemed sinners? We will want to depart from evil and devote our lives to that which is good.  A mature Christian who is indifferent to sin is a contradiction.

This gives us a means of testing the reality of our relationship with God. Unfortunately, some find their way into the church but fail to grasp the fullness of the Gospel. There are lost souls who attend church regularly.  One way to evaluate the reality of your own faith is to ask this question: what is my attitude toward sin and evil? Those who fear God and who have then entered into the love of God will “depart from evil,” according to our text.  A mature believer never says, “Everyone sins, so I don’t take my evil ways seriously.  I assume God will forgive me.” Yes, the very best Christian indeed sins, but he never takes it lightly.  He hates evil when he sees it rising in his heart. When a Christian knows he has fallen into evil, there is immediate repentance. He will quickly confess his sin and pray for forgiveness.  He will be at the Lord’s Table regularly to receive again the forgiveness contained in the sacrifice of Jesus.

Father, I am truly sorry for the many times I have offended You. With Your help, I am determined to depart from evil. I thank you for your mercy which Jesus provided to me at Calvary. I want to live to honor His name. Amen.