Thanks to Pat for his inspiring Devotion.
Todd Studer is our first participant and it's very good!!
Please read the story from Luke 15
He also has our Devotional for 5/21/2020
Please read John 14: 8-14
Link to Facebook and leave your thoughts on Bill's questions today.
This article is a reprint from,
In Touch - Daily Readings for Devotional Living
How true it is of our lives in April and May of 2020
Please enjoy this short devotion.
The Revelation of God
2 Peter 1:16-20
The times we live in may leave us feeling shaken and uncertain. We aren’t sure what will happen tomorrow – the economy could collapse or a natural disaster might strike. But one thing we can always count on is the Word of God. That’s our sure foundation in this ever-changing world.
The Bible is unique because it is God’s divine revelation of Himself. In Scripture, the term revelation refers to something Gad has made known to mankind - information we could never discover on our own. For instance, since no human being was present at creation, the only way we know what happened is because God has revealed it in the book of Genesis.
The process by which the Bible was written is called inspiration. God used human beings to record His thoughts. He didn’t put them in a trance, but His Spirit moved in them as they wrote down His truths, using their own personality, style, and vocabulary.
Now as we read Scripture, the Holy Spirit within us illumines our minds so we can understand what the passage means. Then God’s Word becomes like “a lamp shining in a dark place,” giving us insights from the Author Himself (2 Peter 1:19).
One reason unbelievers often reject or find fault with the Bible is because they don’t understand it. The fact is, they can’t understand it because they do not have the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 2:14). But if you belong to Christ, His Spirit will teach you the Word of God as long as you are faithful to read and study it. Then you’ll have a sure foundation in troubled times.
CRAZY how Peg recited Psalm 91 to me this afternoon and here it is in my afternoon devotional!
God works in Mysterious Ways!!! Plus a little prayer to go with it.
From Psalm 91 - This powerful Psalm has often been referred to the as the 9-1-1 call to God, the one we frequently go to when praying for God’s protection and help in time of need:
“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”… He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart… For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways… “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” (Psalm 91:1-2, 4, 11, 14-16)
Thank you for your presence with us, thank you for your Almighty Shadow. The fear we’re facing seems insurmountable. We don’t even know what to do anymore, we feel confused and uncertain about the future. We wonder sometimes if you’re really listening. Life seems to have taken us so far away. Please help us to come back to you. Bring us safely under the shelter of your wings.
Thank you that you alone are our fortress; we find protection and rest in you today.
In Jesus’ Name,
Where is the Church - I Am With YOU!!
Only in the darkness can you see the stars. —Martin Luther King Jr.
They still tell the story at William and Mary College of daffy, magnificent President Ewell. For a century and a half, this prestigious Virginia school had been a leader among American universities. Then came the Civil War. In the hard days of reconstruction that followed, William and Mary went bankrupt. Soon it had a deserted campus, decaying buildings and no students.
As with so many Southern schools after that tragic war, everyone wrote it off as dead. Everyone, except its president. He had given his best years to advancing the liberal arts through that school. He refused to give up now. So, every morning, President Ewell went to the deserted campus, climbed the tower of its main building, and rang the bells, calling the school to class.
He behaved as though the school was still there.
People thought he was crazy. Nevertheless, every day for seven years, President Ewell rang the bells at William and Mary, in defiance of the despair and hopelessness that would destroy everything he held valuable.
Eventually and miraculously, it worked. Others caught his vision. Students, teachers and money returned. Today, America’s second oldest university thrives again, because of the hope of a single man.
Today, people suffer all around the world. Churches are shuttered by the threat of disease and uncertainty and scattered by the fear of disease and uncertainty
Many people are shut up in their homes or apartments having no else to go: no work, no restaurants, nor entertainment venues. It’s such a different atmosphere from the bustle and high-energy life we’re used to.
But we persist, wherever we are.
We worship God in our homes and online with a virtual community of believers. We read the Bible. We pray on bended knee. We give thanks. We help others in their time of need. We walk humbly with God.
We’re ringing the bells of hope.
And someday, we shall have our reward.
Prayer: God of grace and mercy, you are our hope. We cast ourselves upon you in utter faith and confidence. There is none besides you! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
DAILY DEVOTION 3/31/2020
We humans spend too much time thinking about the past, complaining about the present and fearing the future! ―Antoine Rivarol
Wise men and philosophers throughout the ages have disagreed on many things, but most agree on one point: “We become what we think about,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said. “You are what you think about all day long.” The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius put it this way: “Your life is what your thoughts make of it.” In the Bible we read, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
One Sunday afternoon, a cranky grandfather was visiting his family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun by putting Limburger cheese on grandfather’s mustache.
Soon, grandpa awoke with a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, “This room stinks.” Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he made his way outside only to find that “The whole world stinks!”
This is a silly story, but it sort of illustrates what happens when we fill our minds with negativism. Everything we experience and everybody we encounter will carry the scent we hold in our mind.
It is quite possible that the challenges of living with an epidemic make it difficult to be thankful and to see what God is doing in our lives. That why —
When we see the same blessings every day, we eventually stop noticing them.
When we stop noticing, we quit appreciating
When we quit appreciating, we stop thanking.
When we stop thanking, we start complaining.
May we all find the grace, patience and love to appreciate God’s presence in our lives.
Prayer: O God, help me to see the wonders of your blessings in a new way. Amen.
Niccolo Paganini was a well-known and gifted 19 th century violinist. He was also well-known as a great showman with a quick sense of humor. His most memorable concert was in Italy with a full orchestra. He was performing before a packed house and his technique was incredible, his tone was fantastic and his audience dearly loved him.
Toward the end of his concert, Paganini was astounding his audience with an unbelievable composition when suddenly one string on his violin snapped and hung limply from his instrument. Paganini frowned briefly, shook his head, and continued to play, improvising beautifully.
Then to everyone's surprise, a second string broke! And shortly thereafter, a third!
Almost like a slapstick comedy, Paganini stood there with three strings dangling from his Stradivarius! But instead of leaving the stage, Paganini stood his ground and calmly completed the difficult number on the one remaining string.
This is a wonderful story, but in actuality, Paganini occasionally broke strings during a performance on purpose so he could further display his virtuosity.
What do you think is the lesson from this story?
There's no one correct answer but, for me, the story reinforces the importance of perseverance under duress. It might have been easier for Paganini to walk off the stage and demand a different violin, disrupting the concert, or perhaps cancelling it altogether. But he didn't.
It's also a lesson in courage. It took courage for him to persist when he could not be at his best.
It's also a lesson in humility. Not being able to play at his best, he had to be willing to play as well as he could with only one string.
It is important to remember during this present crisis, that God knows how many strings we have at our disposal. God knows if we have four, three, two or only one. Perhaps we're in such a crisis that we feel as though we don't have any strings at all!
God knows and God understands. Let's just tell God that we are willing to serve God with as many" strings" as we have left, and we can also say the prayer below.
DAILY DEVOTION 3/24/2020
Scripture Reading: Luke 24:13-35
Neither sugar nor salt tastes particularly good by itself. Each is at its best when used to season other things. Love is the same way. Use it to "season" people. – Vera Nazarian
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot" (Matthew 5:13, NIV).
If you are like me, perhaps you think that the primary use for salt is in food preparation, or as a seasoning for food.
According to salt experts, however, food preparation and seasoning accounts for only 6 percent of salt usage. In fact, salt can be used in more than 14,000 different ways. These applications can be sorted into five major categories:
Water conditioning, food grade salt, agriculture, highway deicing and industrial chemicals. Salt is used in the making of products as varied as plastic, paper, glass, polyester, rubber and fertilizers. It is used in household bleach, soaps, detergents and dyes.
I read recently of another use for salt. In Jordan, a country that borders Israel in the Middle East, salt is sometimes used to help the cooking process. In rural Jordan, the Jordanians put salt on fire to increase the temperature of the rocks for baking bread. When the salt they use for this purpose is no longer effective, it's taken away and thrown onto the path, just as Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount.
Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth. What I really like is that this metaphor leaves a lot of space for us to all have different “uses," functions and purposes. Some salt is used as seasoning. Salt is sometimes used as a preservative . Salt can also be used to thaw ice. Salt can also be used to make water potable.
As Christians, we do not all loo k alike, nor do we have the same function. We have our own ministries and things we do well, just like salt!
So, let's be salty Christians this week! Let's be the salt of the earth! Let's be the person Jesus wants us to be, and bring glory to God!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep me from getting in the way of the blessing you have for others. Instead, help me to be the seasoning and love lo make their blessing even better! In your name. Amen.