Short Devotionals for Church Bulletins
I will make my people strong in my power, and they will go wherever they wish by my authority. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
II Timothy 2:21 -
Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
On This Day in History
On a morning radio show between songs riddles are told, prizes are given, and lists of events from things that have happened on this day in history are read. Some days there isn’t much of a list to read. However, most days in history have proven themselves to be newsworthy. One of the most interesting firsts I have heard on air is the story of the first human voice radio transmission; which traveled across the airways Christmas Eve of 1906 to US Navy ships off the Atlantic coast. Reginald Fessenden accompanied himself on violin to the song O Holy Night as well as read Luke Chapter 2 on the air. Can you imagine being out on the sea in the dark of the night away from your family on Christmas Eve and suddenly hearing a human voice coming from a little box for the very first time? And to think of God’s Word being the first words ever heard over the air ways is amazing! That was a holy night. It was as if God was making sure satan knew that He was making claim of this “new” invention of man. Even though satan is said to be the prince of the air. (You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. Ephesians 2:2) God is King and Lord over all the earth, even the airways. Yes, satan is at work in those who refuse to hear and obey, but God is also at work drawing all men unto Himself. (John 12:32) And one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all. What about you? In thirty years or so from now, can you look back and say on this day in history that you chose to hear and obey the voice of the KING of Glory, the LORD of All for the rest of your life? Shhh, listen He is speaking to you. I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and open the door I will come in. (Revelation 3:20) Holy days and nights abound in the presence of God.
Just a Couple of Minutes Ago
Peripheral is defined as concerned with relatively minor, irrelevant, or superficial aspects. Minor details I suppose could be thought of as peripheral details. Heaven is something we think of often, but not in detail. We think of the big picture - you know the gates of pearls and streets of gold. We imagine the big reunion that will be with those who have gone on before us. The minor details aren’t important, just the fact that Jesus will be there is enough for me. Most of us just want to make sure we get to go. But sometimes I do wonder about Heaven. When we get to Heaven will we remember what we were doing a couple minutes before we got there? When Christ returns the Bible tells us people will be taken right in the middle of whatever they might be doing. I suppose those who die suddenly before His return experience a similar situation. This joke touches on that subject. A cowboy appeared before St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. “Have you ever done anything of particular merit?” St. Peter asked. “Well, I can think of one thing,” the cowboy offered. “On a trip to South Dakota, I came upon a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I told them to leave her alone, but they wouldn't listen. So, I approached the largest biker and smacked him in the face, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring, and threw it on the ground. I yelled, ‘Now, back off all of you!’” St. Peter was impressed, “When did this happen?” “Couple of minutes ago.” This of course isn’t a true story, but does give us something to think about. Life is short. One day what you were doing just a couple of minutes ago could not be a peripheral detail, but most important. Be ready! Live each minute for Christ.
Depending On a Sure Thing
Promises are something we make and sometimes break. Promises are what we hold on to that keep us going, and what we doubt as we let them slip away - stalled by fear of failure. When we make promises we usually make them with every intent of trying our best to be true to our word. Perhaps we strive so hard to keep them because we remember how much broken promises hurt. God’s Word is jammed pack full of promises that God has made to us which give us hope to keep on going even when someone hurts us by breaking a promise. God does not break promises. He keeps His Word always. When we hold on to His promises we have the strength and the courage not to be stalled by fear of failure. In Isaiah 26:3-4 we find a great promise, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” Perfect peace, now that is a great promise and something I am sure we all long for. In The MESSAGE version the verses read like this, “People with their minds set on you, you keep completely whole, Steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don't quit.” Depend on GOD and keep at it because in the LORD GOD you have a sure thing. How many sure things do you have in your life that you can depend on? With the knowledge that even our next breath isn’t promised, it is great to know we have the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Savior. Keep your mind on Christ always. Trust Him. He is the only Sure Thing we have that we can depend on forever.
How Many ‘Anys’?
“Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo" … Decisions. Decisions. Well any way, today I was trying to think of a word to write about. You know any word. I asked a friend to tell me the first word- any word that came to mind. She said ‘any.’ Oh, me! Well, maybe I didn’t really mean any word. Any is defined as one or more without specification or identification. Hmmm, therefore ‘any’ does meet the specification for my request of any word very well. In my quest to keep my word and write about any word, I looked in the Bible. If ‘any’ were to be found anywhere surely, that would be the place to look. Oh Happy Day! ‘Any’ is found there 987 times. Of all the ‘anys’, how would I choose one specifically? Eeny, meeny, miney, mo…No! Any way but that! Anyway, I began to read some, but not all, of the 987 ‘anys.’ Truth is I identified my favorite ‘any’ very quickly. This verse is about one who didn’t feel he could ever be identified specifically as one who God would choose to call to do anything at all. However, God not only specifically called him and identified him; He even renamed him. The sixteenth time ‘any’ is found in the King James Version is this: And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel. Genesis 35:10 Wow! Now that is my kind of any! Today as you think on these words remember this. We are all identified specifically by God not as just anybodys, but as somebodys who He will rename and use for His specific purpose.
What is the official drink of the 2010 Winter Olympics? It seems that has been a debatable topic this year. In late January the winter was warm in Vancouver and the snow was slushy. Therefore, a local journalist suggested Slushy be the official drink. Of course McDonalds is once again sponsoring the Olympics. What is McDonald’s official drink? Coca Cola of course. But what really quenches the athletes thirst like nothing else? While watching the skating competition I noticed before almost every skater went out the cameras usually caught them taking a big swig of…No, it wasn’t Coke, or even Slushy. The drink of choice seemed to be pure water. So it appears water quenches the skater’s thirst like nothing else before they go to perform on frozen water. Truth is we humans like to add a lot of things to water and call it all kind of names before we drink it, but the base of all the drinks we take in is really water which we cannot live without. There is also water we all have need of to quench our spiritual thirst. Our souls cannot live without it. We sometime try to add things to this water to make it taste different, but the water is complete. As Christians we need not try to put on a performance of any kind. However, the world is watching us and we need to take a big swig of God’s pure spiritual water before we appear before men. Jesus said, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
God’s Love is Like
God’s love is like a fallen baby bird being gently placed back in the nest.
God’s love is like being so tired and weary and finally finding such sweet rest.
God’s love is like a warm hand wiping a tear that is rolling down your cheek.
God’s love is like suddenly finding everything you could ever seek.
God’s love is like sunshine after ten days of rain.
God’s love is like relief found from every hurt and pain.
God’s love is like experiencing light after only experiencing dark.
God’s love is like hitting the target when you have always missed the mark.
God’s love is like an amazing all consuming fire that warms.
God’s love is like finding peace instead of alarm.
God’s love is amazing, astounding, astonishing, and abiding.
God’s love is unshakeable, unbreakable, undeniable and undying.
God’s love is really just like God,
Because God is love.
Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong; they are weak, but he is strong Anna B Warner wrote the song in 1860. It teaches children Jesus love them, which is a great thing. I learned those lines when I was young. However, now that I am older, I have to rethink one of the lines I learned. Does Jesus want His children to be weak?
Yes, Jesus loves me I know. I read it in the Bible, but I also read He wants me to be strong. Joshua 1:9 tells us to be strong and courageous because God is with us wherever we go. Zechariah 10:12 tells us He will make us strong in His power and we will go wherever we wish by His authority. The Lord said so! Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; God our Father makes us strong!
We often hear I bought it in “good faith.” You bought, believing even though you hadn’t seen it; it was what you hoped it would be. Sometime what we end up with is not at all what we had hoped for. Faith is not always good faith. If our faith says things are this way and are going to always be this way, if we buy into that idea, it is not good... Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Evidence is defined as something visible that gives grounds for believing in the existence of something, to assure the certainty or validity of. So if our evidence of things not seen only gives us grounds to believe the certainty or validity of our situation remaining the same that is what we will end up with. The power of life and death are in the tongue. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Speak life. Speak abundance. Evidence will validate with assured certainty that things you haven’t seen and are hoping for, are only good things. Have only good faith.
The Good Dishes
A preacher and his wife were invited to Sunday dinner with a new family that joined their congregation. The invitation was accepted. As everyone sat down to eat the youngest member of the family asked, "Mommy when are the special guests coming who you are saving the good dishes for?"
We all have things that we save and use for special guests. We want some to have the very best of what we have to offer. Have you ever invited God to use you? If you have, He most likely accepted the invitation. Sometimes we are surprised at the seemingly mundane things God asks us to do. Sometime we think God can surely use us for something better than this. Perhaps if we worked on making these containers more useable, more presentable to God, He would use us for more special things. We each need to work on becoming the good dishes, the best container that God can use to present His special gift to others.
Have you ever been asked to forgive someone and your response was that you would have to think about it? Is it sometime hard for you to forgive? Aren’t you glad God isn’t like that? He is quick to forgive. We turn, change our ways, ask God, and He forgives all the wicked things we have done. As Christians we are called to be Christ-like. We are called to forgive others as Christ forgives us. Be merciful. Forgive those who have said or done wicked things to you. By being a forgiving Christ-like example, we can lead others to turn to a forgiving merciful God who abundantly pardons through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. Also remember being a forgiver helps you as much or more than it does the person you are forgiving. When you forgive abundantly, a weight from the past is lifted and new hope is found for the future.
Friends and Family
Someone was asked, “Who is the best friend you ever had?” Their answer: “I never had a friend and have no need of one.” The person who asked the question was saddened by the answer and began to remember friends she had shared her life with. She remembered the one special thing each had done for her. At age two a friend rescued her from a mud puddle. At age four a friend came from the school across the street to bring her an ice cream when she had Chicken Pox. At age five a friend moved in next door and invited her to come and play when she was very lonely and afraid. At age twelve when her father died, a friend stayed with her day and night, not saying a word, just staying. As a teenager a friend listened to all her hopes and dreams and believed they would come to pass. In later years a friend held her hand when she felt hopeless and helpless and prayed for her. A friend believed in her and told her she could still be and become. A friend encouraged her to believe in herself again. Friends rescued me when I could have drowned, fed me when I was sick, entertained me when I was lonely and afraid, stayed with me in dark times, listened to my hopes and dreams, prayed for me, believed in me and encouraged me to believe in myself. So if I had never had these friends where would I be now? I suppose lonely and miserable saying I have no need of friends. Make a friend. Be a friend. Friends love through all kinds of weather, and families stick together in all kinds of trouble. -Proverbs 17:17 THE MESSAGE
Faith, what is it? Do you have enough of it? Do you ever fear you might lose it? There are many books dedicated to teaching solely on faith. We can find what God’s Word says about it, what men think of it, and how we can acquire it One faith quote says, “I have found there are three stages to faith building: believing something is totally impossible, believing something is going to be very difficult, and finally seeing something actually come to pass.” The Bible says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for.” We hope for many things. So we must find our faith and use it well in many different situations in life. It is easy to say we have great faith in God on sunny days, but is the great faith still within us when the storms come our way? Faith is the ability to stand even as we face adversity such as death and disease, insurmountable odds such as divorce and devastation, trials such as degradation and depression, heart issues such as desperation and devaluation. Faith is believing that totally evil impossible situations will be turned around for the good in an instant. Faith is not simply believing God can, but knowing God will. Faith is thanking God in the midst of chaos for peace. Faith is thanking Him in the middle of disease for healing. Faith is thanking Him in the middle of death for life. Faith is knowing for sure you have enough of it and you will never lose it. I Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
A new father stood in front of the nursery window to take the first photo of his son. Out of a whole room full of crying babies his eyes automatically focused only on his child. As the father looked through the view finder and prepared to take the perfect picture tears of joy filled his eyes. He aimed the camera, equipped with automatic focus, and clicked. As he wiped his tears he smiled at his son. He thought of his wife earlier that day, how the delivery team had told her to minimize her pain by using focused breathing techniques. They told her over and over, “Just focus.” Her focal point was a scripture. She was keeping her eyes on the prize, the child that would come at the end of a long day of pain endured. A focal point is a point to which light, a look, or attention is directed. When we focus on that one point everything else seems to automatically fade away. Today if noise, confusion, and pain seem to be all around take a deep breath, focus your attention on the prize set before you. You have the power to endure. Just focus on Jesus. You are His child. He will bring tears of joy to your eyes. He will make you smile again. It’s just a fact, it’s automatic.
Fellowship: Good Company
Fellowship is defined by Webster as a community of interest, a company of equals or friends. The word fellowship is found in the New Testament fourteen times. Fellowship is an important element of the New Testament Church and comes from a Greek word which means to hold something in common, and denotes an interdependent relationship with others. A synonym of the original word for fellowship denotes unity being expressed outwardly. Churches today have fellowship halls, fellowship dinners, fellowship outings, and fellowship groups. In these halls when the groups meet to have dinners or go on outings is there true fellowship? We must remember what we hold in common. Our unity that we express outwardly should always come from an inner fellowship and relationship we have with Jesus Christ. As the body, we must have interdependent relationships and strive to achieve true Christ like fellowship.