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October 4, 2016, 12:00 AM

Tuesday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at 2 Corinthians 1:3

"Blessed be the God … the Father of mercies."

In the New Testament, each member of the triune God (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit) places a priority on encouragement.

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "Blessed be the God, … the Father of mercies [encouragement]" (2 Corinthians 1:3).

In one of his letters to the Thessalonians, Paul reminded his readers that Jesus Christ is also, at the very core of His ministry, an encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16–17).

And what can we say about the Holy Spirit? "Encourager" is one of His names! The King James Bible says of the Holy Spirit (in John 14 and 16), "However when He the Comforter is come.… " The title "Comforter" translates the word paraklete, which means "to encourage." When we encourage people, we live out the ministry of the third Person of the Trinity. He is the Encourager.

God the Father encourages. God the Son encourages. God the Holy Spirit encourages. We need to be encouragers because encouragement is one of the primary ministries—in fact, it’s a priority of our triune God.

Bro. Paul

October 3, 2016, 12:00 AM

Monday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you."

The world needs kindness. But let’s narrow the scope even further. Your world needs kindness. Your home needs kindness. Where people are living in close proximity, kindness sometimes gets lost.

In the New Testament, the language given to the church is given to the home. The church met in the home. When Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you," that’s also directed at the home.

We need to be tenderhearted, kind, and forgiving. The fruit of the Spirit is tested in that laboratory we call the family. If you can make it work there, it will work any place on the face of the earth.

Bro. Paul

September 30, 2016, 12:00 AM

Friday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at James 5:16

"Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another."

The ancient historian Eusebius portrayed James as a Nazirite, an Israelite wholly devoted to God (Numbers 6:1–23), whose times of prayer for his nation were frequent and prolonged.

Most of us find it very hard to identify with a man like James. Who do we know who prays so much that he develops knots on his knees? Perhaps the better question might be, "Who do we know who prays—really prays?" That’s not an unfair question, nor is it calculated to instill guilt. It reflects the surveys that have been taken by both Christian and secular researchers. It seems Christians today are too busy to pray!

One of the New Testament’s strongest passages on prayer is contained in James’s final words to his fellow Jewish believers. In James 5:7–12, the word for "patience" is used seven times. In this passage, the word for "prayer" occurs seven times. When patience is required, prayer is the key.

Bro. Paul

September 29, 2016, 12:00 AM

Thursday's Devotional

Good Morningt Everyone,

Revelation 2:5

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works.

Perhaps we walked with God early in life, or even got all the way through college with our faith intact. But then, through small concessions in our lives, our walk with the Lord began to erode. Little by little we slipped away from the things that once had been important to us.

What should we do today? How do we get back? We must remember from whence we have fallen. Repent where we are. Go back and repeat the first works. Confess our sin. Acknowledge who we are. And then remember that God loves us.

The good news of the gospel, my friend, is that before the prodigal ever turned his heart toward home, the father had been praying and waiting for him, thinking of what it would be like to embrace him again in his arms.

God will not force Himself upon us. He will not come and drag us out of our situation. But if we will return, He will love us all the way back home

Bro. Paul

September 27, 2016, 12:00 AM

Tuesday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at" Ephesians 6:18

"[Pray] always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit."

I once borrowed a car and as a favor to the owner filled it with gas. That big Oldsmobile station wagon had an ornament on the hood that said "diesel," a sticker on the rear gate that said "Oldsmobile Diesel," and a note on the fuel gauge reading, "Diesel Fuel Only." So naturally I put diesel fuel in the tank. Big mistake, since the owner had recently converted it to gasoline. When it broke down on the main street of a village in New York, I had to explain why I had put diesel fuel into a vehicle with a gasoline engine.

I don’t think I’ll ever live that down, so I use it as the perfect illustration of Christians. We are human beings, and we have "Human Being" written all over us, but we’ve been converted into something else. If you try to run your new spiritual self on the old kind of fuel, it won’t work. There are a lot of Christians who haven’t figured that out yet. The fuel for the Christian life is prayer. Prayer is the energy that makes it possible for the Christian warrior to wear the armor and wield the sword.

You cannot fight the battle in your own power. No matter how talented you are, if you try to fight the spiritual battle in your own strength, you will be defeated.

Bro. Paul

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