DAILY DEVOTION, AUGUST 4, 2021
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, (1 Peter 1:8).
We have never seen Jesus in the flesh. We saw a few days ago, however, that He does reveal Himself to those who believe in Him. We love Him even though we have never seen His physical appearance. We discover Jesus’ as we read about His wonderful words and deeds in the New Testament. As we read with an open mind, faith is born.
Peter says that faith produces results. When faith in Jesus is present, we are filled with joy that is difficult to put into words. It is a deep and abiding joy that other believers understand, even though what we feel is difficult to put into words.
What a joy it is to believe in Jesus! I wonder if our joy is any less than the joy experienced by His disciples who saw Him physically? Jesus once blessed Thomas because he saw the resurrected Lord and believed. Jesus then said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe” (John 20:29). We are among those who have not seen Him, yet we believe. With faith comes an inexpressible joy, a glorious joy. Thanks be to God!
Thank You, Father, for Jesus and for the beautiful joy He brings to us. We look forward to the time when we shall see Him face to face in glory. In the meantime, please keep us in true faith unto everlasting life. In His name, we pray, Amen.
DAILY DEVOTION, August 3, 2021
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God (Colossians 3:1, NIV).
Paul describes the Christian as having already been raised with Christ. Our resurrection is sure, and so Paul speaks of it as a present reality. He then speaks of setting our hearts on things above. This implies that there are things below, things pertaining to this life. The things above relate to those things which have lasting spiritual value.
If you buy a car that pertains to this earthly life. If you witness for Jesus, that pertains to things above. If you wander into Walmart, that relates to this life on earth. If you pray for another person, that pertains to things above. If you eat a meal that relates to this life. If you partake of the Lord’s Supper, that relates to things above. Of course, we need to do lots of earthly things. We just don’t want the things of this world to crowd out our sacred duties. The things we do that pertain to this life have no lasting value. The things we do for God in the name of Jesus have heavenly value. Paul wants us to have our hearts set on the things above. Don’t neglect the heavenly for the earthly. Don’t spend all your time on things that have no lasting value.
Heavenly Father, thank You for guaranteeing my resurrection. As a person bound for heaven, I pray that I will set my heart on things above where Christ is seated at Your right hand. I pray in His name and for His sake, Amen.
DAILY DEVOTION, AUGUST 2, 2021
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him” (John 14:21).
We learn several essential truths from these words of Jesus. We do have His commandments recorded in Scripture. Do we obey them? Jesus declares that the one striving to keep His commandments is the one who loves Him. We can conclude that those who show little or no interest in obeying Him do not really love Him. Those who do not love Him do not trust Him. They are outside the Kingdom of God. The question we must ask is, “Do I try to keep the commands of Jesus?”
Jesus adds that the heavenly Father loves those who love Jesus. But doesn’t God love everybody? Yes, but His love for the world is, in a way, potential. It becomes actual when we trust in His Son. Yes, God loves you, but you become a part of His family when you trust in His Son. When faith is present in us, God’s potential love becomes actual.
When all the above is in place, something glorious happens. Jesus manifests Himself to us. To manifest is to reveal. Wow! Jesus here promises to reveal Himself to those who meet the conditions. How He does that varies from person to person. The point is that true Christians not only trust Jesus, they also know Him. The Holy Spirit reveals Jesus to our innermost being. This leads to a final question we must ask ourselves. Do I know Jesus as a living presence within my heart?
Father, I thank You for sending Your Son into the world to save us. I pray that my faith is genuine. Father, I want to obey Your commandments, not to earn Your favor but to demonstrate the reality of my faith and love for Your Son. I pray the Holy Spirit will reveal Jesus to my heart continually. In His name, Amen.
DAILY DEVOTION, July 28, 2021
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
Paul is speaking to Timothy, a young man. Some tend to look down on young people. Paul understands that youth can be earnest and dedicated Christians. He encourages Timothy to set an excellent Christian example. Timothy’s Christian example will put a stop to the mouths of those who look down upon him because of his youth. While our youth are few, the few we have are strong Christians, and we thank God for their example.
In our society, people tend to look down on us old-timers. I am sure Paul would also say, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are old.” Senior citizens are called upon by God to demonstrate how following Jesus has blessed us over the years. We don’t stop living the Christian life just because we are old. I like the words of Psalm 92:14: “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.”
Whether we are young or old, we do not have the luxury of just talking a good game. We are all called to live exemplary lives. We all need to ask ourselves, “Am I setting a positive example for others so they will look at me and see an illustration of a good Christian? Will others be drawn to the Savior in whom I believe?” Think about it. Pray about it.
Heavenly Father, I do want to set a good example in my Christian walk. I want Your holiness to be poured out on me in such abundance that others will be drawn to the Savior, in whose name I pray, Amen.
There is not a lot going on in our church throughout the week during these summer months. We have been talking about the choir and whether or not we will have enough singers. If you would like to sing in the choir starting in late August please let me know and I will pass your name on to Marion. We are talking about having a 1/2 hour rehearsal after church on Sunday.
Our Wednesday Bible study at 3 PM will conclude the series on church history this week. The following week we will start a new video series on the Second Coming of Jesus featuring Dr. Timothy Paul Jones. Following his video lecture, we will have time for questions and discussion. Naturally, everyone is welcome.
This Sunday Marie and I will be doing a first-person sermon concerning the thief on the cross. He shows up at heavens gate and is interviewed by a heavenly reporter. Tom Gee will assist with the Scripture reading and closing comments. The following Sunday I will begin a short series from the Book of Proverbs.
Thankfully the new covid wave has not impacted our congregation. Most of us are vaccinated, May God continue to watch over us. Have a very blessed week!