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August 5, 2016, 12:00 AM

Friday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at Proverbs 17:17 this morning:

"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity."

I believe God intends relationships and friendships to be the context in which He does some of His most important work in our lives. Life is difficult from any perspective, and everyone needs friends to help them through the difficult times.

Those who have close friends know they couldn’t live without them. Friends love you enough to confront you when you are wrong and to stand by you through thick and thin. These are friends who act toward you like a marriage partner is supposed to—for better or for worse. If you have a friend like that, you are rich. If you have more than one you are wealthy beyond measure. In today’s world, many people do not take time to cultivate committed friendships; and they are the poorer for it.

But the need for committed friends doesn’t mean we should rush out and try to accumulate them on a wholesale basis. Many things in life are not left to our choosing, but friendships are. The choice of friends is more than a right, however—it is a responsibility.

Bro. Paul

August 4, 2016, 12:00 AM

Thursday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at Colossians 4:12

"Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."

Fiercely" is the right English word to convey Paul’s meaning here. He says Epaphras labors fervently in prayer, and the word "laboring" is sometimes translated as "wrestling." The image is that of Greek athletes who competed fiercely to win a perishable crown of an olive leaf garland. And in our modern day how many athletes devote years of their lives to preparing for the Olympic games? The sacrifices they endure and the prices they pay are almost inconceivable to the non-Olympically-inclined among us. They train and compete fiercely, pushing themselves beyond the limits of endurance.

One of the greatest revelations I’ve had in recent years is that prayer is hard work. Prayer requires labor, striving, continuance, endurance, wrestling, and faithfulness. I’ve heard people say, "I would pray more, but it’s so hard." At least they understood the nature of prayer. It is indeed hard work. Sometimes it helps to begin our prayers by confessing we don’t feel like praying—and ask God to help us with our preference to be doing something else. Be honest with God and ask Him to give you a willingness to do the work of prayer.

Bro. Paul

August 3, 2016, 12:00 AM

Wednesday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Here is a scripture collage for Wednesday:

"The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Lord God, You commanded that the Passover lamb shall be without blemish. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel should kill it at twilight. And they should take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it. You promised that when You saw the blood, You would pass over those homes. Jesus’ blood of sprinkling was spilled, and Christ, my Passover, was sacrificed for me. Thus He was delivered by Your determined purpose and foreknowledge, Lord God … and according to Your own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

I have redemption through Jesus’ blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Therefore, since Christ suffered for me in the flesh, I arm myself also with the same mind, for I have suffered in the flesh and have ceased from sin, that I no longer should live the rest of my time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

May I honor Jesus, who made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of my sin, by dying to myself and living for Your will, my gracious and merciful God."

Revelation 13:8; Exodus 12:5–7, 13; Hebrews 12:24; 1 Corinthians 5:7; Acts 2:23; 2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 4:1–2

Bro. Paul

August 2, 2016, 12:00 AM

Tuesday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at Psalm 119:15

"I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways."

Most of us don’t spend a lot of time thinking about God. We go to church on Sunday and we sing the songs and we talk the way Christians talk, but we don’t give God the attention He deserves. We don’t give Him the concentrated attention of someone who is trying to get to know and get close to another person.

But a relationship with God is similar to a relationship with a human person. If we want to have a meaningful relationship, we must spend time getting to know that person. We must spend time talking with and listening to that person. We can’t be close to someone if we don’t know who they really are.

God tells us in the Bible who He is. Not only that, but He tells us how much He wants us to know Him.

The more you know God, the more you will love Him. And the more you know and love Him, the more you can celebrate Him in the way He deserves.

 Bro. Paul

August 1, 2016, 12:00 AM

Monday's Devotional

Good Morning Everyone,

Let's look at Romans 5:1 this morning:

"Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."

True peace gives not only a calm exterior, but a very quiet inside as well. Peace seems to be an elusive quality that everyone chases after and few people find.

Romans 5:1 says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God." What does that mean? Is God my enemy? Have I been at war with God? God is holy and humans are sinful. They are on different sides. As creatures apart from God, we are at enmity with God.

But the Bible says God provided Jesus Christ that we might have peace with God. I see that picture so beautifully illustrated by the cross itself. Pointing up to heaven, it pictures that Jesus Christ, the God/Man, reached up and took the hand of the Father. Pointing down toward earth, it pictures that Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, reached down and took hold of fallen human beings. With one hand in the hand of God and the other hand in the hand of man, the only unique personality who was God and man brought the two together and made peace between God and man. He is our peace. He is the Prince of Peace because He is the One who solved the enmity between us and God. Accept Him and you have peace with God.

Bro. Paul

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