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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

"Do not be misled: 'Bad company corrupts good character.' Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God - I say this to your shame." 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 (NIV)

Don't be fooled! Hanging out with people who don't care about themselves (bad company) will never work positively for you. Individuals who don't care about themselves live for the moment with no regard concerning the outcomes of their choices. The previous verse, talking about people who have no regard for the eternal, states the following as their motto, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." Notice there is no concern for others - "us" and "we." All they can think about is themselves and the fleeting pleasures they are living for. The truth is people who don't care about THEMselves will not care about YOURself. They are bad company, and if...

Friday, November 23, 2018

"This was Stephen’s reply: “Brothers and fathers, listen to me. Our glorious God appeared to our ancestor Abraham in Mesopotamia before he settled in Haran. God told him, ‘Leave your native land and your relatives, and come into the land that I will show you.’[b] 4 So Abraham left the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran until his father died. Then God brought him here to the land where you now live."  Acts 7:2-4 (NLT)

If you follow Jesus for any length of time, you already know that He will challenge us to lay down and leave things and relationships that are getting in the way of serving Him. Jesus asks us to do this, not because He takes delight in taking things away from us; He does this because He knows Joy, wholeness, peace, and purpose are found only in Him! Because He loves us completely, like any good parent, He calls us to follow Hi...

Friday, November 9, 2018

"Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News.” Philippians 1:27 (NLT)

In Paul’s day, Christians were recognized as “atheists.” I know this sounds strange, but because they wouldn’t recognize the divinity of Ceasar (Emporer Nero at the time) at public gatherings they were seen as non-believers. They wouldn’t conform to the political, social, and cultural ways that were contrary to Jesus' ways. In fact, this is why believers were called people of the “Way" and not Christians in the early Church.  

What are the social, political and cultural (what peers and popular media say are good and life-givin...

Friday, October 26, 2018

The Beatitudes 

“One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, and he began to teach them.

‘God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,

    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

God blesses those who mourn,

    for they will be comforted.

God blesses those who are humble,

    for they will inherit the whole earth.

God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,

    for they will be satisfied.

God blesses those who are merciful,

    for they will be shown mercy.

God blesses those whose hearts are pure,

    for they will see God.

God blesses those who work for peace,

    for they will be called the children of God.

God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,

    for...

Friday, April 27, 2018

Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.”  Acts 26:16-18 (NIV)

Wow, In this verse, Paul is recounting the story of Jesus appearing to him while he was on his way to torture followers of Jesus.  At the sight of Jesus, Paul collapses to the ground.  When Paul asks, “Who are you Lord?” Jesus replies, “I am Jesus…”.  The next words out of Jesus’ mouth are, “Now get up and stand on your feet.”

Talk about straight forward. Jesus was really communicating that the tim...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, ‘Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!’ Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!’ Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.” Matthew 8:23-26 (NLT)

What an amazing picture - The disciple's boat is in the middle of great storm and Jesus is sleeping. He is in the middle of a storm and He is at peace. Now don’t be fooled. This isn’t a peace that Jesus simply possessed because He was the Son of God; it was a peace cultivated over years of relationship with His Heavenly Father. A love that was grown through faithful, sacrifical, and consistent time. 

Relationships simp...

Thursday, March 15, 2018

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” Philippians 2:1-2 (NLT)

What is your purpose? Why are you here? If you are a Jesus follower, there is only one answer - Loving Jesus through obedience and Loving others through selflessness in sharing the gospel and service (Love God, Love Others). Just think, If we majored on these two things, how much foolishness, heartache, and regret would be avoided. Think about the stories of life, encouragement and miracles we would be able to tell. Think about the fulfillment and wholeness we would experience. But don't forget the trouble, persecution, and pain that will als...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

“You have heard the law that says the punishment must match the injury: ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say, do not resist an evil person! If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also. If you are sued in court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. Give to those who ask, and don’t turn away from those who want to borrow.”  Matthew 5:38-42 (NLT)

What would this world look like if people who were mistreated didn’t personally retaliate but loved instead? It would look very different, and the news would probably have trouble finding stories to report on. What about your world? What would it look like, if you didn’t retaliate with revenge, but love? What if, when someone else called you a name, you kept silent....

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

"Why can’t you understand what I am saying? It’s because you can’t even hear me! For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. So when I tell the truth, you just naturally don’t believe me!"  John 8:43-45 (NLT)

In this context, Jesus is talking to the religious leaders who allowed their hearts to be deceived and become hard. Instead of loving and serving God and His people, they chose to use their spiritual positions to serve their selfish desires. They allowed the enemy to steer their hearts from their real purpose. Our real purpose is to care for and encourage God’s people over themselves. In essence, they permitted the...

Monday, November 20, 2017

“Give my greetings to each of God’s holy people—all who belong to Christ Jesus. The brothers who are with me send you their greetings.  And all the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Caesar’s household. May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” Philippians 4:21-23 (NLT)

It is so easy when reading scripture just to miss the weight of what is being said. Today’s devo is one of those days. 

The Background

Paul is in prison in Rome. As he writes the closing of this letter he addresses the greetings of those with him to the Philippian church. In this greeting is an interesting comment - “All the rest of God’s people send you greetings, too, especially those in Ceasar’s household."

The Surprise

Why would Paul mention believers in Ceasar’s household? And how did those who served Ceasar become believers anyway? And if...

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We believe the only life worth living is the “uncommon” life that results from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  We encourage our youth to experience this life through a daily time with Jesus,  worship, ministry, and prayer.

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