Category Archives: E-Devotional

CHRIST’S PRESENCE REASSURES

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Week of February 15, 2019

“Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” (Luke 24:36, NKJV)

Jesus’ disciples were stunned after the terrible events of the first Good Friday.  Without their Master, they were scared, confused, and without a leader.  Their dreams had been shattered, and life had lost meaning for them.  Dejected and disheartened this group sat together talking over what had transpired when suddenly Jesus appeared in their midst.

This transformation in their lives was nothing short of a miracle.  The presence of Jesus brought new life and drive to their lives.

All of this happened two thousand years ago, but the resurrected and living Christ still has the same impact in the lives of people today.

If you are disheartened, if you are in danger of giving up hope, then it is time to invite Jesus into your life and ask Him to support you.  Trust Him and allow Him to change your despair into hope and your sadness into joy.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

REMEMBERING WHO WE ARE

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Week of February 8, 2019

 “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  (Genesis 1:27, NKJV)

When it seems as if nothing in your life is working out, it is time to remember a few spiritual facts.  You were created in the image of God.  Yes, this image has been damaged by our sin, and as a result, you may have forgotten your spiritual heritage.  However, knowing that you were created in His image should flood your heart with new hope and inspiration.  We were not created to be tossed around by attitudes and moods beyond our control.

Because you have been created in the image of God, you have been created for spiritual greatness, and as a child of God, you will not find satisfaction until you live in awareness of His presence.  We were created to live in the presence of the Lord; when we live there, we find freedom, satisfaction, and strength for daily living.  When we live there, we will live confidently knowing that His spirit is working in us.  It is good to – remember who you are!

God Bless, Pastor Rick

EARTHEN VESSEL

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Week of January 25, 2019

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Someone said, “Within this earthen container, the one true God is at work.” Paul on another occasion said this in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Where we are weak, God shows up strong on our behalf and shines through our lives. We all have weaknesses but do not be disappointed, think of it as a gift. God designed you with your weaknesses; they did not just show up, surprising even God. He placed them very deliberately into His blueprint for you, and this is why we all have different strengths and weaknesses. God wants to use your weaknesses to bring you closer to Him so that He can bring you closer to the image of Jesus. Allow Him to fill your earthen vessel so that you might depend on God’s power and not your own. The important thing about a vessel is that it be available for service. Your availability allows God to reveal His glory through your life, as you become a monument of God’s grace.

God Bless, Pastor Rick

BELIEVING WHOLEHEARTEDLY

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Week of January 18, 2019

“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33:3, NKJV)

Too often, we settle for much less than what God wants to do through us. We read in Jeremiah 32:27, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?” Of course the answer is no, yet when we face difficult situations we will confess we believe God but then we lower our expectations that God will really perform it. It is one thing to believe God could perform a miracle in the Bible or the life of a friend; it is quite another matter to wholeheartedly believe God can do anything He chooses to do in our lives.

When Almighty God speaks to us, what we do next proves what we believe about Him regardless of what we say. God revealed to Moses His plan, which was the greatest exodus in human history, and He planned to use Moses to accomplish it. Well, Moses argued with God, he made excuses to why he was not the right person. I am sure he believed intellectually in God’s power, but he did not allow it to drop into his heart or at least to the degree that God wanted. As a result of Moses’ argument with God, his ministry was limited, so God then raised Aaron up to help Moses accomplish what God intended for Moses to accomplish.

Do you sense there may be far more that God wants to do through your life than what you have been experiencing? Ask God to show you what it is and then respond in faith and obedience to His will.

God Bless Pastor Rick

SET FREE BY THE HOLY SPIRIT

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Week of January 11, 2019

“Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Corinthians 3:17, NKJV)

Have you ever felt that you are able to achieve more than you do presently and that you are not reaching your full potential?  Is your life being stifled by insignificant things that are robbing you of the ambition within you?

Even though you may experience a stirring in your spirit every now and then, it is not strong enough to launch you into action. It is not a good thing to continue in a mediocre existence when the Holy Spirit who now abides in us offers you His help.

When the Holy Spirit comes into your life, and we allow Him to take control, you can expect some radical changes.  Those things that have prohibited you will soon become matters that you have victory over.  Suddenly there will be meaning and purpose in your life, and you will be empowered to live a life of real freedom.  The Bible speaks of the Holy Spirit as a companion who will guide us and inspire us to live the abundant life.  Give Him the control of your life.

 

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

OUR AGENDA TO BE SET THROUGH PRAYER

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Week of January 4, 2019

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35, NKJV)

It was common knowledge among the disciples that they would find Jesus praying.  When they needed Him, they knew to go to the place of prayer.  Every time Jesus faced an important discussion, He prayed first.  When He was tempted, He prayed (Matthew 4).  When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed (Luke 6:12).  Prayer preceded the miracles (John 11:42-43).  Prayer brought Jesus encouragement at critical times. (Luke 9:28-31).  Prayer enabled Him to go to the cross (Luke 22:41-42).

If the Son of God required time in prayer to determine the Father’s mind, then obviously it will require us to spend time in prayer to determine the Father’s mind.  Crowds often surrounded Jesus; He knew He must find a quiet place so He could hear His Father’s voice clearly.  Jesus had many people seeking to influence the direction of His life.  His disciples wanted Him to go where the crowds were (Mark 1:37).  The crowds wanted to crown Him King (John 65:15).  Satan tempted Him to make compromises in order to draw a following, (Matthew 4:3, 6, 9).  Jesus knew that His mission was not to attract a crowd but to remain obedient to His Father.  Prayer set the agenda for Jesus’ ministry.  Let’s follow the Savior’s example and let our time alone with God in prayer set the agenda for our lives.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

GOD WE LOOK TO YOU

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Week of December 28, 2018

“Then Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said: “O Lord God of Israel, the One who dwells between the cherubim, You are God, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.” (2 Kings 19:15, NKJV)

Surrounded by 185,000 enemy troops, who had never lost a battle in their conquest of the world, King Hezekiah listened to a message that in essence said “Surrender, and we will let your people live as slaves.  Otherwise, we are coming to kill you all.”

With nowhere to run, Hezekiah took the matter to God.  He sought God first and then to paraphrase Hezekiah; He said, “Lord, there is this big army out there that wants to kill us, and we don’t know what to do.”

When we maximize our problems, we minimize God’s greatness; we also reduce in our mind’s God’s ability to handle our issues.

Hezekiah acknowledged God’s sovereignty and power over the facts of this situation, and that lifted this crisis above human thinking.  In every situation of life, we must not be guilty of not factoring God into the equation.

The next morning, Hezekiah looked out across the enemy’s encampment, and he saw that the angel of the Lord had slaughtered the entire Assyrian camp.  That happened after Hezekiah prayed and said God, we look to you!!  Let’s resolve to look to God first not last; it will make a world of difference in 2019.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

 

God Bless,

Pastor Rick

HAS CHRIST BEEN BORN IN YOUR HEART

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Week of December 21, 2018

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem” (Matthew 2:1, NKJV)

At Christmas, we commemorate the coming of Christ into the world.  The above scripture says, “Jesus was born in Bethlehem.”  We must not forget that ultimately the reason He came was to be born in our hearts.  In other words, His advent in the flesh as the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world, glorious as it is, means nothing unless we personally partake of His Salvation.

If we want to experience the real joy of Christmas, Christ has to inhabit our hearts with His salvation and peace.  Do you believe this?  In spite of the festivities around Christmas time, if you have not experienced the birth of Christ in your personal life, you will never know the true joy and peace of Christmas.  You must know more than just about Christmas; you must know the Christ of Christmas.

If you would like to experience true Christmas joy, receive the grace and forgiveness of Christ into your heart and then place Him at the center of your entire life.  When His presence and His holiness permeates your life, it will truly be a Merry Christmas!

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

PREPARING FOR HIS PRESENCE

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Week of December 14, 2018

“There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.  She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” (Luke 2:36-37, NKJV)

Our faithfulness allows God to reveal greater insight to you than to those less faithful.  Faithfulness brings opportunities to you that are not given to the unfaithful.

Anna had been a widow for many years.  In her day, a widow had little status in society and was virtually helpless on her own.  Anna spent most of her time in prayer and fasting.  She longed to see the Messiah.  God chose few people to encounter the savior when He was born, revealing His Son only to those whose hearts were faithful and pure.  Anna was one of these few because she had a prepared heart to receive Christ.  Jesus would later say to His followers “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.”  (Matthew 13:16, NKJV)

If we are to receive the presence of God this Christmas, we must prepare ourselves.  Preparation must precede God’s presence.  The religious leaders of Jesus’ day were largely unprepared for his arrival.  They knew He was coming and where He would be born, but when word came that He had been born, they made no effort to join Him.  John the Baptist was God’s messenger to help people prepare to receive the Savior and those who heeded his message recognized Jesus when he came.  His message was we had to repent which involves a change of mind and heart toward Him.  This Christmas pray as the psalmist did, that God would examine our heart to reveal any need for repentance.  As we do, we will experience the presence of God in a powerful way.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

APPRECIATE LIFE AND YOURS TOO

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Week of December 7, 2018

“I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.”         (Psalm 116:17, NKJV)

There are times when enthusiasm appears to diminish, and life loses its luster.  It suddenly seems that the position and meaningful life you led is something of the past.  To really appreciate life, we must not take the gift of life and the gift of this day for granted.  Taking the time to enjoy and appreciate our life must be an integral part of our life.

Do you appreciate the love and support of your family?  Can you still marvel at the rising of the sun?  Can you still laugh about a funny situation, or do you find it hard to believe that humor is one of God’s gift to you?

By being appreciative, you can change your life into an exciting adventure.  By appreciating life and your life and your life, you will continually be moving closer to God, and you will find He becomes more the center of your life and thoughts.  By being appreciative, we really can change our lives.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick