Let's Get Together Daily!

Let's come together as a church family and remain connected as we see God help us in this challenging time. I'm providing these devotions so we can "stay on the same page" and be encouraged! We may be physically apart, but we don't need to be separated spiritually!  

- Pastor Mark

My daily devotions are provided below:

Thursday, June 4

"For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His Kingdom endures from generation to generation."

Daniel 4:34

Jesus came to seek and save the lost! That was His mission! But we had best not forget His status: He is the King of kings, and Lord of lords. The book of Daniel declares that His rule is eternal, and His kingdom will not end. It is not a government that lasts for a limited time, nor an authority with restrictions. God Almighty rules and reigns, and His Son is over all - now and forever!

There is great joy in knowing our loving Lord is in charge! It gives us great hope and peace to know that God is full of grace and forgiveness - we have a merciful and forgiving ruler. We can know with certainty that nothing is greater and nothing is stronger than our King Jesus. To Him be all glory and praise - we worship the One who alone is worthy and able to keep us and sustain us, strengthen and establish us, protect and persevere us forever!

Friday, June 5

"And the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet."

Romans 16:20

Affliction and hardship, pain and distress all remind us that we live in a fallen world. The devil seeks to bring depression and discouragement, discord and division - but we can have joy and peace, hope and thankfulness thanks to God and His Son Jesus, and His Holy Spirit alive in our lives. 

Every believer can live in the assurance that Christ has given us new life, and that His Spirit can refill us daily with His love and forgiveness, having certainty and assurance in His loving presence within. The devils' days are numbered, and we have the victory over sin, death and the devil in Christ Jesus. Rest assured, believer, that our future is secure in the Lord - He will defeat the effects of sin, the sting of death, and our enemy the devil once and for all!

Tuesday, June 2

"But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me."

Micah 7:7

Many times, I have wondered if God was aware of what was happening! What a mistake. The secret of seeing God work is giving Him our attention. Rather than wrongly assume that God is distantly uninvolved, we need to know that He is near, and ready to hear our requests for His divine intervention! 

People who pray and trust God are the ones who have come to realize what Micah the Prophet knew:  God does come through! As we face the difficult, the demanding, and even the impossible, we are to go to God, ask of Him, and then wait - trusting and believing that THERE IS NOTHING HE CAN'T DO!

Wednesday, June 3

"And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you."

Ephesians 4:32

I'm feeling a little stir-crazy, how about you? It's been great to use my home office more than ever before, and what a blessing to isolate in such a beautiful part of our country as this is, but it's still starting to get kinda tough!  I woke up Saturday morning and actually thought it was Sunday - but that's another story!

Our text today tells us (not asks us nor suggests to us) to be loving and soft-hearted, understanding and forgiving to one another. Why? Because God has forgiven every one of us who has come to believe on Christ! We need to love and forgive and extend grace to other simply because God has done all these things for us in such an immense way! So let's love, let's forgive, let's be the fragrance of Christ in our needy world.

Sunday, May 31

"O magnify the Lord with me, 

and let us exalt His name together."  

Psalm 34:3

We have a wonderful God! Our God loves us, cares for us, and brings hope to our lives eternally through His own Son. We have a remarkable God who hears our prayers and gives us what is best. We have a faithful God who will never leave us or forsake us. We have a forgiving God, who pardons our sins when we come to Him.

This is a great day to magnify the Lord! To lift up His name in word and song, and to be grateful for all that He is and all that He does! Today, sing a song of praise to God; read a psalm of thanks to the Lord; take time in prayer to acknowledge the greatness of our God and how you appreciate Him.

Monday, June 1

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,"  

Psalm 33:12a

Our money is inscribed to remind us as Americans, "In God we trust". We are not to put our confidence in our resources, not to trust in ourselves, not to place our biggest hopes in what we think our government leaders can accomplish. It's the nation that trust in God which will be blessed!

This is the time in our country to remember that God is One who has blessed our nation, helped us in our great times of need, preserved our democracy and made our land to prosper! As believers in Christ, we are the leaders for our land who need to pray and seek God, calling upon Him for HIs forgiveness and blessing, acknowledging our sins as a people and seeking His forgiveness and favor. May our nation be for the Lord!

Friday, May 29

"For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy."  Psalm 61:3

We have a living God! He is not a concept or philosophy, not a principle or religious construct. He is the Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth. 

Thankfully, the Bible declares that He is a loving God, a faithful and true Lord over all. We have a strong support, a protector and guide in life when we give our lives to Him. We can run to our tower of defense, we can take refuge in God's care. During this time of continued isolation, financial concerns and health challenges, it is great to know that our God is not held back. Lean on the living Lord in your difficulties and know He is standing for you, believer! Go to Him with your concerns, and ask for His divine help and protection.

Saturday, May 30

"...and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God." 

1 Corinthians 3:23

When we come to faith in Christ, we become part of God's eternal family. By accepting Jesus into our lives to forgive us of our sins and to commit our lives to Him, we gain an eternal heavenly family. This connection is strong, based on Jesus and His relationship to God the Father, even as His Holy Spirit indwells us. 

What a confidence we can have as believers in Jesus that we have been adopted into God's family forever! This assurance from God's Word helps us to live free of the fears and dreads of condemnation, sin and even death. We have a new home, a new bloodline, a new start - which will never end - but go on with God for all eternity. No matter what we may face, we can know that all is well in Christ, for Christ is in God - and we are with Him!

Wednesday, May 27

"But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ."  Ephesians 2:13

The best part of a long trip is finally arriving. When you become close to your destination, you can almost taste the end of the journey! For every person who has come to believe in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins, accepting the Lord into their lives by faith, the Kingdom of heaven is very near - it's close at hand!

The Bible teaches that we are lost in our sins, and far off from God - separated from our Creator by our own disobedience against Him. There is nothing we can do to repair this damage of our sin. We cannot simply try to make up for it with good actions, or tell God we will try our best to obey from here. We needed a Savior - someone without sin to take our punishment in our place. That's exactly what Jesus did for us, and when He died on the cross, His blood was shed to make our forgiveness by God possible. To all who come to believe on Him, turning from their sins to Christ, we have been brought back to God - and heaven is almost here!

Thursday, May 28

"...for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved."

2 Peter 2:19

Have you ever been addicted? Perhaps it's alcohol or a substance abuse, food cravings or entertainment, a favorite activity or immoral images and desires. None of these things provide a pleasant topic for conversation, but they are an important issue to address.

When we choose things to fulfill us which are against God's best intention for our lives, they soon become wrongly enjoyable, but only for a brief moment. Our immediate response is to pursue them again, and then again, and again. Soon, we are enslaved, and the enjoyment of our sin turns to guilt and ruin, shame and hardship. The movies don't advertise the long-term effects of an affair. The music culture rarely relates how horrible drug addiction truly is. Jesus came to set us free; to release us from the sins that ruin our lives. When we come to Christ, it's time to let the sin go, and hang onto the Lord - the only One worth being first and foremost in our lives!

Monday, May 25

"I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness."  John 12:46

Jesus claimed to be the Light of the world. Just as light illumines darkness, so Jesus was saying that He illumines our lives. He provides the spiritual insight and awareness we completely lack apart from Him.  

So many are groping in the dark for spiritual answers. They develop spiritual thoughts and ideas, then teach them to others. They claim they have discovered answers while actually they remain in spiritual darkness. Only Jesus is the Light we need to spiritually see. Notice that once we come to know the Lord personally, we no longer live in darkness - instead, we live in God's marvelous light. Now, we're to live in the light of knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior, making Him the One we follow in life. Walk in the Light of the Lord, believer! Look up to Christ and see!

Tuesday, May 26

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."  1 Corinthians 1:3

We've all been apart for quite a while now. Many have faced hardship and stress. It's not been easy for those whose lives have been dramatically affected. Some hard realities have hit.

My prayer for each of us is the same as is found in 1 Corinthians 1:3 - that God would give you HIs peace and grace, an abiding sense of His presence and care even in the middle of all this. to the unbeliever, love and peace come from an absence of difficulty and an abundance of good. But in Christ, we have an abundance of good always. No wonder God's grace and peace can fill us - no matter our circumstance. Therefore, be filled, believer, with the grace and peace of our loving God - and know that He loves you so much He gave His own Son Jesus to die for you. Our Lord is coming soon, and God looks forward to bringing His eternal family home to Him!

Saturday, May 23

"Pilate said to Him [Jesus], 'What is truth?'" John 18:38

Our culture, our country and our world all ask this same reverberating question which repeats itself through human history. Who makes the rules? Who determines right and wrong? Who knows all things and how it all really functions? What is the basis of understanding and accurate insight? What an amazingly solid base we have for living when we come to believe in God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus said that He is truth (John 14:6) as He demonstrated time and again in His remarkable teachings and profound parables. Without a source for truth which is lasting, we are doomed to shift and blow on the wind, or bob on the sea of trouble and adversity. Pilate realized he was doing the wrong thing by committing Jesus to death, but his simple reply to the Lord during Jesus' mock trial revealed that Pilate, much as we see in so many today, wanted to make excuses for his behavior and decisions. Ultimately, the Bible warns that we will be judged by how we responded to the truth of Jesus. Now is the time to accept the Truth, and get in line with His ways.

Sunday, May 24

"...truth is in Jesus."  Ephesians 4:21

Yesterday we discussed Pilate's question of seeking truth at the source. Now we find the Bible's remarkable answer to his hypothetical question. Jesus is truth! 

In Christ we find the answers to life we are all looking for. Many avoid life's questions, but their lives reflect the need for answers. it is far too easy to avoid the truth, and simply plunge ahead. Yet, there is an outcome for each of us based upon our response to truth - the Truth - Jesus Christ. We will either accept the Truth or we will deny Him. Either way, the outcome will be determined for each individual in our world. Now is the time to say "Yes" to the Lord, rather than living a lie apart from Him. To deny the Lord is to live in falsehood. To know the Lord and walk in His ways is to live a life of trusting in the truth!

Thursday, May 21

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

Genesis 1:1

We have a God who is not hidden or removed. From the first sentence of the Bible, He reveals that He is, and solely responsible for all that exists. What a breathtaking statement to share; we find ourselves confronted immediately by the reality of God, His incredible creativity, and His awesome and encompassing power. 

Everything around us reveals that there is a Creator. Our God makes Himself known, and then continues to reveal HIs divine qualities and great love throughout the pages of our 66 books of communication directly from Him, bound into one book. Many have tried to add to the Bible, and some have sought to take away from it. But it is within God's Word, in its entirety, that we learn all that God longs for us to understand about Him, how we can personally relate with Him, and how to enjoy life not only now but for all eternity. Whenever you look at God's creation, remember who made it - and enjoy a fresh glimpse into our living Lord in all of HIs wonder.

Friday, May 22

"The Lord bless you, and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up HIs countenance on you, and give you peace."  Numbers 6:24-26

Every follower of Jesus can enjoy the blessing of God. We have a forgiven relationship with Him through His Son Jesus whose blood was shed on the cross for us; He is our perfect sacrifice for our sins. For every person who confesses their sins to God and invites Jesus to come into their lives, God offers His blessing in so many ways.

A quick review of our text from Numbers 6:24-26 reminds us that God's blessing includes protection, encouragement, favor, inner strength, and peace. What a great combination of gifts God offers! What challenges your spirit today? What urges your need for God's help and involvement? What peace do you seek, even in the midst of turmoil? What kindness do you long God would extend?  Go to Him, and seek His blessing! There is nothing like it!

Tuesday, May 19

"And there is no creature hidden from God's sight, but all things are open and laid bare before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do."  Hebrews 4:13

God knows. There is nothing that He is not aware of; no individual who can avoid HIs sight. This knowledge of God's awareness of all that we do and all we experience leads to one of two outcomes: we either get excited about God's awareness or we try to run and hide. The obedient believer enjoys God's involvement; the disobedient individual wants to get away from God's eye. Certainly, Jonah tried to run and hide. It didn't work, and we should take notice of this reality before attempting to get away from God. 

In this time of COVID-19, it's especially comforting to know God is aware! He does not miss a thing, and He cares so much for us. Thank God that He is always present, active and involved. 

Wednesday, May 20

"And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary."  Galatians 6:9

It's easy to get weary. I love to spruce up our yard from time to time. The only challenge to my outdoor projects is that I can get weary. The temptation I encounter is to think "maybe I'll just quit this whole yard thing. It would be easier." Yet, the challenge remains looking at me every time I glance into the yard. The truth is that I need to remain committed to the best interests before me. I can either give up and quit, or remain strong and steady - pacing myself a day at a time!  

In the great renovation project of our lives, God asks just one thing of us: remain committed and allow the transformation of our lives and through our actions of love and grace toward others continue! There is a coming reward from the Lord coming to every believer who presses ahead Let's not get discouraged or worn in living our lives well in Christ!