** DEVOTIONALS **

40 DAYS OF PRAYER

“Love Your Enemy”

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in ** DEVOTIONALS ** | 0 comments

  Read Luke 6:27-36 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you … Matthew 5:44 (NIV) My Bible tells me to Love my enemy. Why have enemies? The truth is that we all have enemies, well maybe not out and out enemies, but we do know people we do not like or with whom we do not get along. We live in a world where if you disagree with someone you somehow become his or her enemy. We see it especially in politics where just belonging to a different party can make one an enemy. It occurred to me that the Bible tells us to love God (Mt. 22:37), our enemies (Mt. 5:44) and love ourselves (Mk.12:31). How do we do all of that? Everyone we meet regardless of race, religion, gender or political party, even if we disagree with them and even if we consider them an enemy, is our neighbor and Jesus tells us to love them? It can be difficult to do. Knowing that through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ God loves us unconditionally enables us to love ourselves. We are able to love our neighbor, even if we disagree with them and yes, even when they are our enemy. Jesus calls us to extend God’s Grace to our neighbor, whoever they are, where ever they are. Prayer: Father God, you loved us first, so help us love those you love whether they live next door, are strangers we encounter in a checkout line or live in a foreign country. Amen. Thought For The Day: Every one we meet today is our neighbor Prayer Focus: Our neighbors. Love Your Enemy by Jeff...

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“BALANCE”

Posted by on May 2, 2014 in ** DEVOTIONALS ** | 0 comments

Read 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24 (NIV) Spring is finally here. The transformation from the black and white world of winter to the multicolored spring season is underway. The days are getting longer, temperatures are rising and hints of green are visible on the hillsides. As spring progresses and the trees around us begin sprouting, the color green begins to transform the landscape. Trees produce leaves in such a wide variety of shapes, textures and shades of green as to defy imagination. Leaves transform sunlight and carbon dioxide, by the process of photosynthesis, into sugar plants use for food. Oxygen is a by-product of photosynthesis. Each time we take a breath; we breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. This wonderful balance is a God designed and God created balance. God offers balance to each of us. We find it studying both the Old and New Testament. We find it in the Ten Commandments, the teachings of Jesus, and the writings of Paul. We find it through daily prayer, fellowship with believers, bible study, discipleship, church attendance and much more. God offers it to us free because Christ paid the price. Our price, if you can call it that, is accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives. Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank you for the balance you offer us. When our lives are out of balance, we can go to you. Thank you for your comfort, strength to get through each day, your grace, forgiveness, and mercy. Amen. Thought for the day: Do I appreciate the beauty of creation? Prayer Focus:  Living in harmony with God and our neighbors. By Jeff Dimick . . . .  May...

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“IMAGE”

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in ** DEVOTIONALS ** | 0 comments

IMAGE Read: John 1:29-34 “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” — John 1:29b (NIV) Have you ever wondered what it would be like to walk with and talk with Jesus? Imagine hearing the parables first hand, listening to his teaching, seeing the healings and witnessing the miracles as He does them. In a time and place when Rome dominated and oppressed God’s chosen people, those who listened were hoping and praying for the long awaited savior, the Messiah. Imagine His message resonating in the hearts and minds of an oppressed people. Can you see the looks of desperation in the faces of those around you who are also listening? Can his words be true? Can I put my trust in Him? Is God’s kingdom really at hand? Will we ever be free of Roman domination? Is Jesus, a man who comes from among us, the Messiah? Can you imagine the questions and the longings in the hearts of those listening to Jesus? We live in a different time and place and Rome no longer dominates the world but our worries and concerns still oppress and dominate us. We still question, is Jesus the Messiah? Is He the answer to the hope residing in our hearts? The answer then was yes and it is still the answer today. Yes, He came to seek and save us. Jesus is the Messiah, the atonement for our sins, sent to reconcile each of us to our creator God. Yes, Jesus answers the yearnings of our hearts. Yes! Prayer: Come Lord Jesus lover of our souls and listen as we pray. We confess that the deepest yearning of our hearts is to know you. We confess that sometimes we rebel and even turn our back on you. Forgive us when we do and help us draw closer to you. Amen. Thought for the day: Say yes to Jesus. Prayer Focus: A neighbor or friend who does not know Jesus. Jeff Dimick...

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“GOD IS ALIVE!!!”

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in ** DEVOTIONALS ** | 0 comments

Read John 15:18-27 But people who are unspiritual do not accept the things from God’s spirit. 1 Corinthians 1:14 (CEB) The other day a friend said to me, “They are killing Christmas. What do you think about that?”   Every Christmas season we see the news reports about religious displays banned from this or that public place and we encounter store clerks can no longer wish people a Merry Christmas, so it does seem that way. It appears that there is a concerted effort to do away with any reference to Christianity.  While Christmas shopping, I was waited on by several sales people and cashiers who would not respond in kind to my cheerful, “Have a Merry Christmas.” I also encountered some who did return it in kind.  I felt better when they did.  It is a shame that in a country with a constitution that guarantees free speech, the naysayer’s seem to be able to inhibit free speech and religious expression.  Newspaper articles and television news reports make it appear that they are succeeding.   It follows that there are those, who for reasons I cannot fathom, are declaring that God is dead. I cannot fathom it because Christ is alive in my life.  In the former Soviet Union, the communist regime banned religion and closed all churches. Even they could not stamp out religion. Remember, God is greater than any country, political party, liberal ideology, movement or world leader.   At this time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we must remember that it all starts with Jesus. We, who are disciples of Jesus Christ, must be doing what he calls us to do, which is to go and make disciples. Prayer: Father God, as disciples of your earthly son Jesus Christ you give us the power to change the world one person at a time. Love us, strengthen us and guide us on our daily walk with you. Amen Thought for the day: GOD IS ALIVE!!! Prayer Focus: The un-churched and disaffected in our community. by Jeff Dimick...

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“BECAUSE”

Posted by on Mar 29, 2014 in ** DEVOTIONALS ** | 1 comment

Because I like you and I love you. Read Romans 8:28-39 For I am convinced that neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our lord. Romans 8:39 (NIV) When my youngest daughter was about three years old, she would climb up on my lap, put her arms around my neck, and then kiss me.  One time I asked her why she did it.  Her response was, “Because I like you and love you.”   I confess that melted my heart.  The hugs were spontaneous and not done in response to any thing specific that I did.  I realize now that she did it because she was responding to my love for her. It occurs to me that that should be the way we love God.  He expressed his love for us by allowing his son Jesus to die on the cross. That death was so horrible that it is hard for me to imagine the pain and agony He experienced.  With His death, Jesus paid the ultimate price to redeem us from our sins. Our sins are marked, paid for in full and are no longer held against us.  Why would God do that?   The answer is, because he loves us. Are we so thankful and delighted with God that we would climb up on His lap to hug and kiss Him?  We may not understand why He loves us and we may not know all of the ways God blesses us but deep down we know He does.  How do we respond to Gods love?   Do we even take the time to say thank you? Prayer: Father God, forgive us when we neglect to say thank you for loving us and blessing us. Thank you for our redeemer and our savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for your saving grace.  Amen. Thought for the day: God loves us unconditionally Prayer focus: Single Parent families Jeff Dimick...

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Devotional – WHY ME?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in ** DEVOTIONALS ** | 0 comments

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