August 9

Prayer is the bread and butter of the Christian life.  Communication with God is so important.  He longs for it and commands it and answers it.  And when we pray for others, we get our eyes off our own problems and needs and lifts up others needs and issues.  It does soften our hearts to them and show our love for them, which as we have learned is another command given to us by God.  I would even encourage you to focus all this week on intercessory prayer.  Put your own wants and wishes on hold and focus solely on those are you.  Pray for God to work in their lives.  I think you will find that praying for others will end up benefiting you.

August 2

Have you ever noticed how many worship songs there are about the Christmas time?  “Come let us worship the King.  Jesus the Savior is born”,  “Come and worship, Worship Christ the new born king”, “Prayer and praising, all men raising, Worship him, God on High” (We Three Kings).  And those are just the ones off the top of my head.  There are others about kneeling or bowing down, adoring (another word for worship).  But what about worshiping Christ at other times in his ministry?  I did enjoy the three worship songs during the service (We have Come into this House, His Name is Wonderful, and Thou Art Worthy).  They emphasized many points of my sermon; Forgetting about ourselves and magnify the Lord, bowing down before him, adoring him, praising his worthiness.  We need to worship more and complain less.

July 26

One of my points in the first part on Jeremiah 29 is to prosper where God has planted you.  That does not mean that God cannot or will not decide in his plan to move you.  But not matter where you are at, God has put you there for a particular reason.  God can and does sometimes uproot us to transplant us in other locations, but for the most part that is rare and when it happens God makes it abundantly clear.  So do not look for “greener pastures” before you begin fulfilling God’s plan.  Start now.  Be a disciple maker in your town or neighborhood.

July 19

I did not post last week because I was on vacation with my family.  I had a wonderful time to refresh by body and soul.  One thing I knew I could count on was that God still showed up.  He doesn’t take vacations or time off.  He is with each of us 24/7/365 wherever we are.  He was with me in Florida as much as he was where you were.  And he never leaves us.  What a mighty God we serve.

July 5

Love One Another.  Repeat.

June 28

Yesterday at the end of the service I broke down thinking about the incredible servanthood that Jesus showed to his disciples and the incredible duty he calls us, his servants, to do others.  Our Savior and God stooped down to wash the dirty feet of his disciples is a picture that I cannot keep dry-eyed about.  And his subsequent message that we need to follow his example is overwhelming as I think about it.  No other God would do this.  But he did.  He is worthy for us to also show that same servanthood to others.

June 21

I hope everyone had a happy father’s day.  And for those men out there who are not actual fathers, be the kind of men your heavenly Father wants you to be.

June 14

Forgive one another is a one another command that is linked to other similar one anothers like Bear with one another, Be kind and compassionate to one another, Be kind to each other (and to everyone else), Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another (in love) and Carry each other’s burden.  Forgiveness is much more than telling others that you are sorry, but helping each other every step of the way with humility, kindness, compassion, gentleness, and patience.  How well are you using all these aspects in your forgiveness?

June 7

Some weekends, I do not get a chance to read from the devotional Our Daily Bread.  If I would have read the one on Saturday, I would probably included it in my Sunday sermon because it touched on many of the points I had already put into my sermon.  It is a good illustration of the principles behind offering hospitality in a loving and serving capacity.  I am going to post it below in case you did not read it.

“Rogelio served as our waiter during our weeklong vacation. In one conversation, he credited Jesus for blessing him with Kaly, a compassionate wife with strong faith. After they had their first baby, God gave them the opportunity to help care for their niece who had Down syndrome. Soon after, Rogelio’s mother-in-law needed live-in care.

Rogelio works with joy, often taking on double shifts to ensure his wife can stay home to care for the people God entrusted to them. When I shared how the couple inspired me to love better because of the way they opened their hearts and home to serve their family members, he said, “It is my pleasure to serve them . . . and you.”

Rogelio’s life affirms the power of living with generosity and trusting God to provide as we serve one another selflessly. The apostle Paul urged God’s people to be “devoted to one another in love . . . joyful in hope, patient in affliction, [and] faithful in prayer” as we “share with the Lord’s people who are in need [and] practice hospitality” (Romans 12:10–13).

Our life can change in an instant, leaving us or those we love in circumstances that feel impossible to bear. But when we’re willing to share all God has given us while we wait on Him, we can cling to His enduring love . . . together.”

May 31

This was not posted on Monday like usual.  I knew this going into this week because I had much on my calendar the first part of the week and was not in the office long enough to write this devotional.  The idea for this week that has been crossing my mind a lot over these last days in that God is with you in whatever circumstances that you face.  In the good times and in the bad, God is concerned and caring for you.  He loves you no matter what you are going through.  I have seen this time and time again.  And it gives me great encouragement especially in rough times.  You can trust that he will always be with you.