1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (KJV)

Monday, November 24, 2014

He Speaks in Our Affliction

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Thoughts for Today:

This society of ours seems to be dedicated to removing every last bit of suffering from our lives. But try as we might, we cannot completely eliminate suffering. We might not be so anxious to avoid suffering if we took a moment to look at it from God's perspective. Consider the following:

Job 36:15: "But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction." I don't know about you, but during my greatest periods of suffering is when God has spoken to me most clearly. (Or perhaps I was more attentive.)

Hebrews 12:7: "Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?" All too often we view hardship (suffering) as punishment. In fact, we often see discipline in much the same way. But isn't teaching a child to become successful through discipline -- in thought and action -- one of the goals of fatherhood?

Psalm 119:50: "My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life." While in suffering I've also learned to depend exclusively on the Lord -- sometimes because there was no other choice.

The point Paul makes in our passage today is twofold. First, these periods of suffering provide insight into what it is like to have a close, personal relationship with the Father (in other words, the closeness we experience is a preview or a taste of the "glory that will be revealed in us" for all of eternity). And second, whatever pain we suffer will be nothing when viewed from an eternal perspective.

Questions to Ponder:

Here are three Biblical perspectives on suffering:
First, there is suffering that simply must be endured without losing faith.
Second, there is suffering meant to teach a lesson.
Third, there is suffering to share in, understand, and depend upon the sacrifice Christ made for us.

Which are you going through right now?
Have you been steadfast in your faith?
What attitudes need changing?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's the busiest season of the year

Don't forget to share hope this Christmas!
It’s so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season.
This year, set your heart and mind on what really matters. Be intentional about pressing in to God – and sharing the love of Jesus with others with these Christmas-themed pocket-sized Gospel of John CELEBRATE THE REASON.
“I want to shine the light of Christ into the lives of the lost this Christmas season through the Christmas gospel of John booklets. I’m excited to bless them with a gift of the pocket gospels that could change their lives.” - Phyllis L. from Lancaster, PA 
Celebrate the reason for the season by sharing hope this Christmas!
Order Christmas Gospels now!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Scripture Works!

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 10:11
As the Scripture says,
"Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

Thoughts for Today:

In our passage today Paul quotes Isaiah 28:16b: "...the one who trusts will never be dismayed." The King James Version of this passage is: "...he that believeth shall not make haste." So what is the appropriate translation? Is it: never be put to shame; never be dismayed; or not make haste? What is the difference? All of these translations encapsulate the meaning of the Hebrew word chuwsh, which means to "flee with alarm".

In other words, Jesus is never going to embarrass, He will never disappoint or discourage, and we won't need to rush off in a hurry because we're either humiliated or disheartened. Why? Because Scripture works. It works in our lives and it certainly works when shared with other people. We never have to wonder, "I hope they understand, I hope it takes, I hope they don't think I'm a fool." Have confidence, Scripture works. Trust in Him! Whoever submits to Jesus' Lordship will never be disappointed. His Word guarantees it.

Questions to Ponder:

I just love writing and teaching about Scripture. Why? Because it works!     
I see lives changed, new careers found, marriages healed, children reconciled with parents, new friendships discovered, and people just simply doing so much better than they were before. Scripture works.
Is Scripture working for you?
Is it in your heart, in your mind and in your life?
What about at work? At home? In your car?
Surround yourself with Scripture and you too will experience the goodness and provision of the Lord.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Not Too Difficult or Beyond Our Reach

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Pocket Devotions

Romans 10:8-9
But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Thoughts for Today:

Is Jesus known through philosophy? What about theology? Jesus is only known through a child-like simplicity. We come to Him with belief in our hearts that He died for our sins, rose from the dead, and is alive. We make this confession with our mouth, "Jesus is Lord -- my Lord, I believe in my heart that He died for my sins, He is risen, and I am forgiven." So what happens? We are saved. How does it work? I'm not sure. Is it just that easy? Yes.

In our passage today, Paul quotes Deuteronomy 30:14. Let's take a moment and look at the preceding verses (Deuteronomy 30:11-14): "Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, 'Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, 'Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?' No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it."

God has made it easy for us. All that's required of us is to profess with simple words our simple faith. Why do we make it so much more complicated and difficult? The word is near us -- in our mouth and heart. It's simple. Why? So we may obey. How? Just believe and confess.

Questions to Ponder:

Have you ever felt that sharing your faith was just too difficult ?
Haven't had all the answers, so you've left evangelizing to "professionals".
The Bible tells us, "the word is near us -- in our mouth and heart."
We don't have to worry about coming up with the right words.
God has placed His Word all around us. All we have to do is -- obey.
Will you share your faith today?