Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. -Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV)

When we were little and starting to learn how to walk someone would steer us away from danger so we didn't hurt ourselves. We would stumble, fall, and someone would help us up. There were those times when we were finally walking that we walk towards something we shouldn't, like the stairs or a hot stove and our guardian kept turning us around to so we wouldn't harm ourselves. We would become frustrated and begin to cry and throw a fit because we didn't get what we wanted.

If the people in our lives know how to keep us out of trouble when we are little then God does the same thing in our whole lives. There is one e...

Monday, April 29, 2019

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." 1 John 4:7-8,10-12 (NIV)

When has someone most looked like God to you? Has it been when you have observed them reading the Bible or praying? Or did they look like God when you saw them going into church? As useful and necessary as these things are, they each can be undone in a moment. Let me explain. What if the person you observe praying or reading the Bible is, on another occasion, seen goss...

Friday, April 26, 2019

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭(CSB)‬‬

What are you carrying? What baggage do you wake with every day and continue to let drag you down? 

So often we take up our yoke and think we can carry it alone, but our burdens are too heavy. More often then not we find ourselves lost not knowing where to turn. “Where are you, Lord?” We call on Him as if He has left us. 

But the Lord’s love never fails, day after day He runs after us. He has never left your side, even in your biggest mess up. The best part is, we can’t get away from Him, because He will never stop loving us. 

He calls us to take up His yoke, He has already defeated the ways of the...

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. -John 19:38-40 (NIV)

When they moved Jesus body, they bound His body under the arms and knees to the trunk of the cross, and the arms they fastened in the same way at the wrists. Then by striking upon strong pegs fixed against the points of the nails at the back of the cross, they forced out the nails from Jesus' hands, which were not very much shaken by the blows. The...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV)

The definition for the word substance is "a particular kind of matter..." Matter is what we can see and touch. Genuine faith is also like matter; we can see it alive in someone's life and feel its effects. We won't have to ask someone if they believe, their belief will be evident in how they live.  Faith-filled lives are measurable and have weight them and make an impact for the glory of Jesus. 

True faith in Jesus creates a life that looks like Jesus.

A person may say they have faith, but faith isn't evidenced by what we say, it is evidenced by what we do. James says it this way, "But someone will say, 'You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds." (James 2:18, NIV). 

What about you? Would other...

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. John 19:34-45 (NIV)

When you accepted Jesus Christ into your life as your Lord and Savior His blood got on you. His blood actually washes over you. Can you imagine that day when they pierced Jesus side and His blood poured out, what literal power was in the blood of a perfect sacrifice? The power to wash away sin and death for all eternity. His dead body streamed the blood of life.

I don't know where you are at today in your walk with Jesus, and if we are honest, most days we treat our relationship with Him pretty casual. We go to Him when we need Him and forget about the redemptive work He did for us. Today, ta...

Monday, April 22, 2019

"When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots." Luke 23:33-34 (NIV)

In the middle of the most agonizing pain an individual can endure, Jesus is thinking about the good of others. Instead of trying to defend himself or entertain feelings of revenge, Jesus asks His Father's forgiveness for those who are nailing His hands and feet to wooden execution tool. When He should be overwhelmed with His pain, He is overwhelmed with the needs of His executioners — their need for forgiveness. 

Pain has a way of causing us to think only of ourselves. Jesus shows us a better way through the pain. With the Father's grace, Jesus was able to attend to the needs of...

Friday, April 19, 2019

"LORD, you always give me justice when I bring a case before you. So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy?" Jeremiah 12:1 (NLT)

Have you ever noticed that it seems that people who do bad things have great lives, and people who are committed to doing right have no luck? Why does it appear this way? Shouldn't individuals get punished for wrongdoing instead of life rewarding them. If God is good, why do the good suffer more than the bad? 

The good news is that these thoughts are natural and people have asked them for ages. Jeremiah, who wrote our verse over a thousand years ago, also asked this question of God. Jeremiah didn't stop there; He demanded that God deal with them harshly.

Here's how he puts it:   

   

      "Drag these people away like sheep to be butchered. Set them aside 

...

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” -Zachariah 4:10 (NLT)

One day you decide to eat a donut for breakfast, and three days later you crave another one, so you eat one. Over time you create a habit to have a donut in the morning and eventually eating one turns into having two or three with toppings. It doesn’t do anything to your body at first, but after a year of eating donuts off and on you gain twelve pounds. You then aren’t happy with how your body looks and your self-esteem is at a new low. 

We don’t see the magnitude of little decisions until its too late. It’s not that small decisions are bad, but as they add up and become a habit, the results are easily seen over time. 

What about the power of good habits? Today you decide to read one verse from your Bibl...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

"Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let

the righteous be shaken." Psalm 55:22 (NIV)

Things in life can get shaky and sometimes downright scary. We all have been through things that cause us to doubt the security of our futures, our faith, our families and our friendships. 

The first thing to know and understand is that God cares. And because He cares, we can cast our cares upon Him. What are you currently trying to figure out or fix with your wisdom and strength? Stop struggling and surrender it to Jesus. The very hairs of your head are counted (Luke 12:7), so don't hesitate to bring it before God. If he cares about the number of hairs you have, He most definitely cares about every area of your life. 

The second thing is that God will allow times of shaking in our lives so we can learn that He is the unshakable One....

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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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