Christian Growth, Devotionals

Shut In

photo credit: Lisa Zins <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/94846844@N04/32332038137″>Noah’s Ark Brooch</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

COVID-19 has us shut in.

Don’t fight it.

God shut Noah in.

“In the selfsame day entered Noah, and Shem, and Ham, and Japheth, the sons of Noah, and Noah’s wife, and the three wives of his sons with them, into the ark;

They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort.

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the Lord shut him in.

And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lift up above the earth Genesis 7: 13-17 KJV).”

The LORD protected Noah, his family and the animals.

“And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried.

And God spake unto Noah, saying,

Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee.

Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth (Genesis 8:14-17 KJV).” 

The earth is in the grips of Coronavirus. It’s in multiplication mode.

Fear not; wait for the rainbow!

 

 

 

Christian Growth

Census 2020

photo credit: denise-marie1 <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/184843881@N02/48853123083″>Census 2020 logo lip balm</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Watch for your incoming mail.

It’s time to take part in the 2020 census.

Your information is important to your community as well as our nation.

“Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.  Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7 NASB).”

Times are changing. We can now give census information at our door; by phone and via the Internet.

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Prophecy

Scoffers

 

photo credit: Kevin M. Gill <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/53460575@N03/48375331421″>Earth – Planetary Society – LightSail 2 – 2019-07-18</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

Many scoff at Biblical prophecy.

I’m not surprised.

“First, be aware of this: Scoffers will come in the last days to scoff, living according to their own desires, saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they have been since the beginning of creation.’ They willfully ignore this: Long ago the heavens and the earth were brought about from water and through water by the word of God. Through these waters the world of that time perished when it was flooded. But by the same word, the present heavens and earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.

But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for and earnestly desire the coming of the day of God. The heavens will be on fire and be dissolved because of it, and the elements will melt with the heat.  But based on His promise, we wait for the new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness will dwell (2 Peter 3:3-13 HCSB).”

 

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Missions, Salvation

The Great Compelling

photo credit: Trevor Butcher – Artist <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/27888428@N00/15765141041″>Jesus Cross</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

The Great Commission…

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20 KJV).”

What is my reaction, my response?

Am I compelled to obey by a sense of compassion and urgency?

Has the Great Commission of Jesus become the great compelling need?

“And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled (Luke 14:23 KJV).”

Christ followers are commissioned, called to go, to share the gospel.

I can’t help but notice the opening and close of the Great Commission.

It opens with “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth (Matthew 28:18 KJV).”

The passage closes with “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.’ Amen (Matthew 28:20 KJV).”

Jesus is the authority behind the commission. He provides His presence and power to carry it out.

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals

Horseshoes Superstition

photo credit: TravelBakerCounty <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/38506525@N04/30172049264″>Baker County Tourism – basecampbaker.com 26371</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The superstitious believe that horseshoes bring them good luck.

I’m not superstitious; I don’t believe in luck (good or bad). In case you’re wondering; I don’t have a horseshoe hanging over my door.

I do believe in blessings.

“Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, ‘Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel. You shall say to them:

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.’

So they shall invoke My name on the sons of Israel, and I then will bless them (Numbers 6:22-27 NASB).”  

Blessed by horseshoes?

No; yet, my feet are shod with the gospel of peace.

Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15 NASB).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Redemption, Salvation

We hide; He seeks

photo credit: Lili Vieira de Carvalho <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/49052514@N00/3505349701″>Peekaboo</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>  

 

Ready or not, here I come!

Most have played the childhood game of hide-n-seek.

God found Adam and Eve in their hiding place.

“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’

So he said, ‘I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself (Genesis 3:7-10 NKJV).”

Why hide from the LORD?

He seeks to save. 

“And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully.  But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.’

Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.’

And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:5-10 NKJV).”

 

 

Bible Studies, Christian Growth, Devotionals, Prayer

The Intercessors

photo credit: David Paul Ohmer <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/50965924@N00/10464291346″>Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum “Praying Hands”‘</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a> 

 

Solitary confinement…

Do you feel confined?

Those who are shut in and home-bound often become powerful prayer warriors. True; there is strength in numbers. Yet, alone we draw close to the LORD. He seeks intercessors.

“He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him (Isaiah 59:16 NKJV).”

All people need our prayers of intercession.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men (1 Timothy 2:1 NKJV).” 

We must persevere.

“… praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— (Ephesians 6:18 NKJV).”  

As we pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession  for us with groanings which cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26 NKJV).”

We are weak; yet, we’re conquerors through the intercession of Christ.

It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us (Romans 8:34b NKJV).”