Wednesday, May 8, 2019

When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear. They stayed at a distance and said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die.” Exodus 20:18-19 (NLT)

This is a story in the OT where Moses comes down from Mt. Sinai after spending a significant time with God receiving the Ten Commandments. The scene is filled with intensity and the people of Israel become afraid and say in response to Moses, “Speak to us yourself… But do not have God speak to us” (Exodus 20:19).

God isn’t satisfied to simply speaking to the spiritual leaders (pastors, parents, small group leaders, etc…) in our lives; God desires to speak directly to us. Speaking with someone face to face is intimate and intimacy is God’s ultimate goal with for each one of His chi...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” - Mark 10:43-45 (NIV)

When people see you or hear you do they know that there is something different about you? Have they seen you show love to everyone that is around? Have you gone out of your way to help someone? Do you ever wonder what people see when they look at you? They may see Jesus in you and still not like you.

Jesus was different, and He stated that He came to earth to give His life as a ransom for many and serve people. People still hated Him and Jesus reminds that He was hated before us. When people persecute us, they are persecuting Him. Hope that today your day that your life looks different because y...

Monday, May 6, 2019

“There are diversities of gifts… But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” - 1 Corinthians 12:4,11 (NIV)

So many times, we ask “What is so special about me?” We feel like there is nothing unique or interesting about ourselves, and we feel insignificant. And if you are a Jesus follower, you certainly have thought, “I don’t know how God can use me in a big way.” 

Paul, who was literally a “Christian killer” must have struggled with this as well. But this same Paul, who wrote our verse for today, experienced Christ in a way that  changed his life forever. Jesus took this persecutor of His people and turned him into a man who would nurture, teach, and encourage them instead. This same Paul, is letting Christians at Corinth know that God has uniquely gifted each one of them through His Holy Spirit....

Thursday, May 2, 2019

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” - Mark 2:22 (NIV)

Spring is all about growth. Flowers are popping up, the grass needs cut, and summer is almost here. We like the changing of the season in West Virginia, but what about the spiritual growth that is necessary for your life to change?

That can sometimes be painful. You don’t get wine without crushing grapes, and you don’t put new wine in old wineskins. What feels like crushing to you may be the production of new growth. We like the product, but not process. When you can endure and work through the process, you will then appreciate the product. 

Don’t shut down like everyone else does at the end of the school year. Look at it as an opportunity to grow and create the c...

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

"Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love... Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us." 1 John 4:7, 11-12 (NLT)

We all have seen that couple at the movies or out in public that is all over each other and oblivious to everyone else around them. Nobody observes that couple and says that's beautiful; instead they are usually grossed out. Instead of appearing loving, they appear self-absorbed. That is because love that isn't shared and that does not open up to others (inclusive) isn't love at all. Or picture a family who only opens their garage door to leave and...

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...

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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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