Imitate what is Good

Posted August 26th, 2014 by David Miller

Scripture

3 John 11 - Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

Observation

Our passage today comes from the shortest book in the Bible - 3 John. In this brief letter written to one of John's personal friends, the Apostle warns of the dangers of people who speak one way and act another. In verse 11 he drives home his main point, which is that a person whose life is devoted to God will also be devoted to doing good things.

Application

Today's passage is talking about the condition of our heart as believers. When John says that "he who does good is of God", he is not talking about some sort of perfectionistic, works-based mindset towards Christ. The truth of the matter is that we are all sinful and all fall into sin at times.

The issue at stake here is our attitude towards sin. As followers of Christ, we should love God and hate sin. When we sin, our response should be to immediately ask God for forgiveness. We should try to avoid situations that will tempt us to fall into sin. If we don't have this attitude towards sin, then we are in danger of losing our intimacy with God.

The Bible cautions us against people who call themselves believers, but who do not have a heart that seeks to do good. Those who are indifferent or calloused towards their sinful behavior can be a bad influence, no matter what they may say about God.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we come before You now and ask You to search our hearts. We desire to live a life that is devoted to constantly seeking You and trying to become more like You. We give you permission to reveal areas of our life that need to be transformed so that we can become more godly in our behavior. May we be powerful and effective witnesses of your love to every person we meet. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Jesus Stooped Down

Posted August 6th, 2014 by Randy Craighead

Scripture

“…Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with his finger…” John 8:6

Observation

Here we find Jesus being tested by the scribes and Pharisees when they bring to Him a woman caught in adultery. The Law commanded that she be stoned. What would Jesus do? He then stoops down on the ground and begins to write on the ground. Some scholars believe that he began to write out the sins of the accusers from the oldest to the youngest. And after they saw their sin on display, they dropped their rocks and left, from the oldest to the youngest. He then turns to the woman and tells her to “go and sin no more.” What a great story of deliverance and forgiveness!

Application

Jesus continues to “stoop” down into the lives of humanity offering forgiveness and healing to broken lives. Each day we need to allow the convicting power of the Holy Spirit to write on our heart and point out areas in our lives that need to change. Only after we’ve been touched by the finger of God can we then live in victory and “go and sin no more.”

Prayer

Lord, help me to be sensitive to your still small voice in my life and hear when you are speaking. I give you permission to stoop down into my life and write on my heart. Give me the power to change. I too want to be a witness and trophy of your grace! Amen!

From Wilderness to Harvest

Posted July 31st, 2014 by David Miller

Scripture

Psalm 107:35-37

35 He turns a wilderness into pools of water, And dry land into watersprings.

36 There He makes the hungry dwell, That they may establish a city for a dwelling place,

37 And sow fields and plant vineyards, That they may yield a fruitful harvest.

Observation

Psalm 107 speaks about the seasonality of walking with God. It describes the process every believer experiences of going through different phases of life. Some phases, or "seasons", are likened to a time in the wilderness. In these times, life is typified by struggle, trials, and lack. Other seasons are likened to a time of harvest. In these times, life is typified by blessing, abundance, and stability. Throughout these different seasons, God prevails and is in control. Psalm 107 emphasizes the importance of obedience in the midst of this process. When a believer seeks God, and makes Him the center of their life, God's response is to turn seasons of wilderness into seasons of harvest.

Application

If you are in a season of wilderness in your life right now; take heart. God's desire is to redeem your situation and to turn it around. He wants to bring stability, blessing, and abundance to You. While things may be challenging now - they won't be this way forever. Put your trust in God and obey Him in all things, and He will lead you into a new season that is better than where you are right now.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that You are in control of all things. You are faithful to guide us from season to season in our lives. Father, in the midst of my wilderness, I choose to trust You. I commit to obey You in all things, even if I am surrounded by temptation and pressures to do things the world's way. I know that if I keep my eyes on You, You will be faithful to lead me out of my trials and onto higher ground. Thank You in advance for Your redeeming power in my life. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Power for a Purpose

Posted July 23rd, 2014 by Dave Madden

Scripture

Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners;

Observation

The Spirit of God is upon me because the Lord has empowered me for a purpose. That purpose is to bring good news to the afflicted, bind up the brokenhearted, and proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners.

Application

Since the Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, I have the power, privilege, and responsibility to minister to the people that are afflicted, brokenhearted, captive and in prison spiritually. God’s power is for a purpose and that purpose is people, especially those hurting and in need.

Prayer

"Father God, thank You that Your Spirit is upon me today. Send me today to the people that You want to set free and use me to minister to them by the power of Your Spirit. In Jesus' name, amen."

Prone to Wander

Posted July 2nd, 2014 by Dave Madden

Scripture

Hosea 1:2
When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, "Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD."

Observation

God wanted Hosea to feel and experience what He was feeling and experiencing. God loved His people and was faithfully committed them despite the face that His people were continually being unfaithful to Him. God wanted Hosea to experience what it is like to love someone unconditionally even though they continually do not love you back and they break your heart by going after other lovers.

Application

This is obviously a sobering verse and a terrible judgment against God’s people. Similarly to Hosea, when Jesus arrived on the earth in the New Testament He also described mankind as an ‘adulterous generation’. An adulterous person walks away from their commitment to their spouse and goes after other lovers. Anything or anyone that satisfies us and fulfills us more than God has become an idol. It is important that we guard ourselves from any other lovers so as pleasing other people, fame, fortune, or anything else this world offers.

Prayer

Father God, thank You for loving us even when we stray. You are faithful even when we are faithless. Help us to never leave our first love. Help us to never break Your heart by going after other lovers. You created us. You love us. You are so faithful and good to us. We choose to love you back and by Your grace help us to remain faithful to You all of the days of our lives. Amen.

God’s Word is God Inspired

Posted June 27th, 2014 by Mike Cuccia

Scripture

2 Timothy 3 :16-17
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Observation

The bible does not merely contain the Word of God, but that it is the Word of God. The term Paul uses to describe scripture is "inspiration of God" which literally means "God-breathed". This means the entire bible is derived from God Himself.

Application

God's Word is God inspired. His word is alive and active. To the degree that I adhere to His Word, interact with His Word, and believe His Word, is directly proportional to the degree that I will flourish in my life. His Word is life to my entire being.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for the inspired Word you gave to us for correction, reproof and for instruction in righteousness. I pray that I will conform my life to every Word you speak to me. Thank You for placing Your inspired Word in the bible so that I may know it and You as I read it and that I may become mature and prepared for every good work that You have planned for me.


Authority?

Posted June 20th, 2014 by Jeremy Usry

Scripture

1 Timothy 2:1-4

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

Observation

This passage is very straightforward. Pray for people who are responsible for you. I particularly think it is interesting that the writer of 1 Timothy points out “kings” first. In our day and age that translates to president, one whom is the representative of the people in our land. Notice it did not say pray for the kings if you agree with everything they say and do. Notice it did not say pray for the kings to make the decisions we want them to make. It clearly says, pray this way for those who are in authority like this; ask God to help them and give thanks for them. And when we take on that attitude, God is pleased!

Application

This is an easy application. It is simply pray for those whom God has placed over you. That list includes: our president, our parents, our supervisors, and our pastors. God has given each of these people authority in our lives.

Prayer

King of Kings I thank You for those whom YOU placed in authority over me. I pray for them right now in the Name of Jesus. I pray Your will help them and speak to them. I pray they will honor You in every decision they make. In Jesus Name Amen!

 

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