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

Daily devotions concludes Friday, June 12 as we return to worship together this Sunday!

Friday, June 12

"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

The distinguishing mark of every believer in Christ is the quality of love. God's love is imprinted on our hearts when we come to faith in Jesus, and it is to be the guiding motivation of our new lives in Him. No longer is selfishness, sin and superiority to lead us forward. We now give, serve and take concern for others because of what Jesus has done for us.

Love is not always easy, but it is always right. The follower of the Lord must demonstrate love, or we are not truly pursuing the One who went to the cross for our sakes. May love make its impact upon each of us who follow our Lord, and may love be the primary quality that defines us. For to know the Lord is to love, even as He has loved us!

This complete our online devotional series during the COVID-19 period of isolation. Enjoy our daily devotional in print form, available at the church or by contacting our church office.

Wednesday, June 10

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, 

do all to the glory of God."  1 Corinthians 10:31

Our plans lead to action, and our actions determine our testimony before a world that needs Jesus Christ. The Corinthians believers of the early church were living in an immoral, self-absorbed city that charmed the masses and enticed individuals to sin. What advice did God inspire the Apostle Paul to share with the believers there in Corinth? Keep living a life that glorifies God! 

Our greatest testimony comes in the combination of others knowing that we love and follow Jesus, along with demonstrating by our lives that we love and follow the Lord! Everything we do makes a statement to the world around us - therefore, let's honor the Lord, and our lives will bring glory and honor to Him!

Thursday, June 11

"...fixing our eyes on Jesus"  Hebrews 12:2

Yes, our text today from the Bible is just 5 words in length! Yet what a powerful, poignant statement these 5 words comprise for our lives, now and always!

Go to a tennis match, and when the game is in play you will find it difficult to take your eye off the ball - no matter how fast it moves! Go to a soccer, basketball, football or baseball game and you will have the same experience! We find the wise counsel of God here in the book of Hebrews that as we go through life, always keep our eyes on the "ball" - what's most important - Jesus!  He is our anchor, our rock, our strength and help, our guide and friend, the One who shows us how to live uprightly in a fallen world. So fix your eyes on the Lord, believer - and keep looking up to Him!

Monday, June 8

"So then, you will know them by their fruits."

Matthew 7:20

Jesus explained the truths of God in HIs teachings, that we would benefit from His wisdom and understanding. While many choose their own ideas and opinions to follow, the Lord declares God's real truth - so that we might apply it and find great benefit.

On the topic of people, Jesus made clear that one's true motives and personal character are revealed in the "fruit" of their life. None of us get everything right in this world, but as we follow Jesus we should begin to see blessings come from our life experience. As we tell the truth, it helps others. As we lend a hand, others are encouraged. As we remain caring, others are uplifted. It's the idea that what's controlling us within ends up being revealed through our daily life. The best way to have good come from your life is to follow the One who is worthy - Jesus! Soon, good fruit will begin appearing in your life to bless, encourage and uplift.

Tuesday, June 9

"But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, 'You are my God.'"

Psalm 31:14

Not everyone trusts in God. For some, there is another leader that has caught their attention. It could be a false God of another faith, a supreme love of money, or a trust in oneself to "make it on their own". There are many gods in this world, but all will disappoint in the end. The only living and true God is our God, the Lord Almighty! He alone is worthy of our trust and our allegiance. He is the One to claim as our own!

The Psalmist declares HIs loyalty to God, even as we should! What use is it to trust in riches, or pridefully believe we can save ourselves? Why seek a false god or idol that cannot respond in love and power? Claim the living God and His Son Jesus! When He is in charge of our lives, we have moved into right relationship with Him!

Saturday, June 6

"And He shall be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge..."  Isaiah 33:6

Everyone has a source of stability that they lean upon in tough times, threatening circumstances, and personal hardship. Throughout the effects of COVID-19, many have been challenged to look in the right direction!

Only God offers the stability we need in the truly challenging times of living! He is faithful, and He is true! His power is unstoppable, and His favor so valuable. For every believer in Jesus, we have stability no matter the circumstance, for we have God! So when it gets tough, when it's rough, you've got the stuff - when you have the Lord! Lean in on Him - through prayer, Bible reading, and worship in song. When you lean on the Lord, He settles it all down and assures through His Spirit that He has everything firmly in hand!

Sunday, June 7

"I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.'"  Psalm 122:1

Today we announce online in our worship together that next Sunday, June 14, we are back together at Desert Springs for morning worship! Check out our main page here at visitdsc.org for more details! It's a great feeling to be coming together again as God's people to worship Him!

Those outside of Christ may well not understand our love of the Lord. Those without Jesus might think us weak or superstitious to want to gather at church. Those without a knowledge of our Lord and Savior may believe we lack a modern mindset. But what they don't realize is that our God is mighty to save, He is full of grace and love, and He alone is worthy! So come and join us, if you're feeling ready and up to it, this coming Sunday, June 14, and understand that if you're older or feeling compromised in your health, it's best to remain isolated and join us online for the time being at visitdsc.org - we will keep offering our worship online every Sunday at least all summer long!  It's great to be coming back - because it's the Lord we love and long for!

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!