Category Archives: E-Devotional

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

MAKE THE DAY VICTORIOUS

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Week of November 30, 2018

“The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.”         (Psalm 118:24, NKJV)

Regardless of how bad things appear to be, God is greater than any situation you may find yourself in.  You might doubt this truth, and as a result, your life will be filled with insecurity, and you will look at your circumstance possibly as an almost unbearable burden.

We must see each day as a gift from God.  What we make of it is our responsibility.  Our outlook for each day depends on our frame of mind and attitude towards life.

Fortunately, our frame of mind is not something we have to leave in the hands of fate.  We were never meant to be the pray of fluctuating circumstances.  God has given us the ability to choose our frame of mind.  as a result, we can choose to live a happy, victorious life.

When you wake up in the morning, start the day on a positive note by praising God for His presence and His goodness.  I believe you will meet your day with joy and expectation.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

DO NOT BE QUARRELSOME

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Week of November 23, 2018

“And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not patient.” (2 Timothy 2:24 KJV)

There should be no quarrelsome Christians according to the Apostle Paul.  At times people may disagree with you regarding God’s word.  They may even challenge your faith.  It is never helpful to argue.  You will never argue anyone into the Kingdom of God.  Only God can convince others of the veracity of your life in Christ.

God will vindicate you in time and in His way.  This Thanksgiving you may be around some difficult family members, and you find yourself quarreling, you need to ask God to clearly reveal your motives and possibly forgive you for your disobedience to His clear command.

Most of the time our motivation for arguing comes from a desire to be right.  God will not honor that because He is not interested in how right we are but how obedient we are.  God’s command is not that we win arguments but that we are kind and forgiving, even when someone mistreats us.  Paul is really saying we reflect a Christ-like character when we demonstrate patience.  Arguing may never win people to your view, but loving them as Christ does, will win you many friends over time.

 

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE

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Week of November 16, 2018

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the river, or the Amorites, in whose land you dwell.  But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Psalm 1:1-3 NKJV)

Serving God was not Joshua’s only option.  He could have adopted the religious beliefs and practices of his family heritage in the pagan land of Egypt.  He could have accepted the idolatrous religion of his neighbors in the land where he now lived.  Those options might have been easier choices than worshipping God.  Joshua though, had witnessed God’s faithfulness; He was convinced that his Lord was the only true God and that serving him would bring blessings.  Joshua decided to serve God alone.  He was determined to teach his household to honor the Lord as well.

We too must decide whom we will serve. An assortment of popular beliefs lobbies for our allegiance.  If you come from a Christian heritage hopefully you embrace the faith of your family.  If you did not grow up in a Christian home you can decide, as Joshua did, to begin a generation that serves the Lord.

Set your mind wholeheartedly to serve the Lord.  Those around you will witness your faith and they may decide to trust Him too.  Choose, as Joshua did, to serve God with all of your heart and then watch to see how God blesses you.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

KNOWN ONLY TO GOD

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Week of November 9, 2018

In November of 1921, after the end of World War I, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was built in Arlington Cemetery in Virginia.  It contains the remains of unidentified American soldiers from World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  It represents the missing and unknown service members who died so our country could remain free.  This tomb has been guarded continuously, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, since July 1937 by trained tomb guards.

The tomb inscription reads:

Here Rest

In Honored Glory

An American Soldier

Known But To God

This Sunday, let us not forget every soldier who served for our country’s continued freedom.

Also, remember that God knows all about you.  In fact, in Luke 12:7 Jesus said: “the very hairs of our head are all numbered.”  Since God knows the very number of hairs on our heads, we must indeed be very special to Him.  If you ever come to the place that you feel everyone has forgotten about you, please remember this, you may be known only to God, but if God knows you, and He does, that is enough.  God’s love for you is an eternal love.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

GOD’S BEST

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Week of November 2, 2018

It is natural for us to desire the best that life offers, but the question you need to ask yourself is; what is best? We should not be content to settle for second best. We see this happening all the time because people have a distorted understanding of values.  For example, some people regard financial riches of greater importance than an honorable character, others would rather receive than to give, but still, others think it is foolish to help someone for nothing.

To know what is truly the best for you, take a sincere look at what you do and who you are.  The highest standards are those given to us by God.  They are the values of love, honesty, unselfishness, and purity.  When we allow these principles to govern our life, we become aware of their challenge in our life, because life presents challenges where it is difficult to adhere to these principles.   Though this may be true, the Holy Spirit who resides in every believer will enable us to adhere to every Christ-like principle.    When that happens, God’s best will shine through your life.  God’s best can truly shine through these earthen vessels.  Mathew 5:16 says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

 

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick

 

 CHRIST LIKENESS IS ABOUT GROWTH

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Week of October 25, 2018

“but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—” (Ephesians 4:15, NKJV)

The moment you embraced Christ as your Savior and Redeemer, you accepted specific responsibilities.  Our new life in Christ should bring with it new values.  You no longer live to please yourself, but to please God.  Our greatest purpose is to serve others.  The good deeds that you do for others are a practical expression of your faith.

New life in Christ requires certain things of you that you must honor if Christ-likeness increases in your life.  As a Christian disciple, you have a solemn obligation to serve your Master and to glorify Him.  We should no longer live for our own pleasures.  You must be obedient to the will of God, as it is revealed, in His word.  You must confess your sins to God and to those against whom you have transgressed.  Yes, we accepted specific responsibilities.  Let me encourage you to take up the task and in doing so, Christ-likeness will be developed, maintained, and even increased in your life.

God Bless,  Pastor Rick

SERVING GOD

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Week of October 19, 2018

“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people.” (Philemon 7, NKJV)

Many people fervently desire to serve the Lord, but they do not know how or they do not make the time.  As a result, they experience a vacuum in their spiritual life.  They become frustrated and complain that they remain unfulfilled.  In their disappointment, they withdraw more and more, until they say it is not worth the effort.

It is essential we understand the importance of serving and the benefits that come from our service.  Every disciple of Jesus has the capacity to serve in some area.  You can share the gospel with others, you can offer hope, you can visit someone in the hospital, or you can make a phone call to someone you have not seen in church.  The church also offers multiple opportunities to serve.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful feeling to know because of your service “the hearts of the saints have been refreshed.”  Serving the Lord will bring that satisfaction to your life.

God Bless, Pastor Rick

 

ABUNDANT LIFT

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Week of October 5, 2018

Has your past been the story of frustration?  Do you feel that your life is uninspiring?  Do you find little reason for hope?  Jesus said “I have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly” John 10:10.  Listen, you can do whatever you want with the future.  You can choose to live constructively or destructively; you can face the future with optimism or pessimism.  We must not forget that God, in His grace, gave us life and even abundant life.  Every day is a gift from the loving hand of God.  Choose to live your life to the fullest.  The foundation was laid when you became a believer.  Ask God now to reveal His purpose for your life.  Set goals in life and put all of your strength and commitment to their fulfillment.  Live your life with a great attitude.  You will begin to experience a new story, not one of frustration but one of joy and satisfaction.  Then this gift of life that God has given to you can be utilized to the fullest, to abundance.

 

God Bless, Pastor Rick