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Daily Devotionals

January 31, 2018: His Electing Love

Ephesians 1:4-6 (NIV)
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love
5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will– 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

When did our Lord choose us? Was it when we trusted him as Savior? Was it when we first heard the gospel? Was it when we performed righteous deeds? O my dear saint it was none of these things that moved him to choose us. Marvel of marvel he choose us in his son before the creation of the world.

That certainly boggles this mind of this pastor, but it does not cause me to doubt his grace and love for those who trust in him. No, it assures me that everyone who comes to Christ he will in no wise cast out. His electing is not an evidence of his choosing favorites but his act of graciously giving all those who trust in him the confidence that their salvation was nothing of their own doing but solely the perfect working of a gracious God who saw their greatest need and accomplishes what none could except by his grace.

O dear saint do you question his choice when he called you to himself? Have you doubted his grace when you become acutely aware of your sin? Doubt no longer but believe that he who knew you perfectly before you were born knows you perfectly even now and sees all the acts of wickedness you have committed or will ever commit and yet his grace saw fit to choose you to set his affection upon.

If, he who knows us fully, yet elects to set his love upon us what reason do we have for fear that he made some mistake in calling us to himself? Wonder if you are among the elect of God? Wonder no more and set your affection on him who will see to it that all who desire to come to him will, and he will seal their calling by the gift of his Holy Spirit who will confirm your adoption and cause you to long for him more than you long for anything on this earth.

He did all of this because it was his good pleasure to adopt the most wayward to become his chosen and precious child. O what a trophy of God’s grace we are to the angels as they are baffled by such grace.
Marveling at His Electing love for one such as I,

Pastor Phil

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Daily Devotionals

January 30, 2018: Lord Teach us to Pray

January 30, 2018: Lord teach us to pray.
Ephesians 1:15-21 (NIV)
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

God is so incredibly gracious to us to teach us not only that we should pray, but he also instructs in what to pray. If you are having a hard time as to what you should pray for those who walk with Christ then here is a great list to begin with.

Take a moment to thank God for all those you know that are seeking to follow Christ and obey his Word.

Ask God to give each one of them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they might know him better. If they don’t suddenly find their love for Christ enough go ahead and keep on asking. It is ok to keep bothering God with this request because Paul did the same thing. He considered this knowing God to be the essential thing in his life so he prayed that for everyone else until they got it.

Then perhaps there are those in your life that are just barely existing in the faith. They have been battered by the enemy and their own sin and they are barely clinging. How should you pray for them? Once again the Scriptures instruct us, even in this situation.

Pray that they would come to know the incredibly great power that is now theirs in Christ by his resurrection from the dead. In fact, it is true that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is now available to all followers of Christ who desire this power that will enable them to know Him more.

O, church what would happen if we decide to pray these simple things for every believer in the church we are a part? I for one would like to know, so why don’t we obey just this simple instruction and commence to pray for all the saints.

May the Lord Jesus help us to know Him better and to experience his great power over sin and death,

Pastor Phil

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Daily Devotionals

January 29, 2018: Where do I stand?

Ezekiel 22:30-31 (NIV)
30  “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.
31  So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

Genesis 18:22-25 (NIV)
22  The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.
23  Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?
24  What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it?
25  Far be it from you to do such a thing–to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

Genesis 19:27-29 (NIV)
27  Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD.
28  He looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah, toward all the land of the plain, and he saw dense smoke rising from the land, like smoke from a furnace.
29  So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.

 

Do you have anyone you know that needs Jesus in their life?  What can you do to make a difference in their life?  Consider Abraham and his position in prayer for his nephew Lot.

Abraham knew what God was going to do in Sodom.  He knew time was short and his nephew was caught up in the sinful pleasures of Sodom.  He also knew Lot’s wife was being used by the enemy of Lot’s soul to keep him distracted from hearing the voice of God.

What can a person do if they know they have someone they love who is caught up in sin’s enticements?  You do what Abraham did, you take up your position as an intercessor and cry out to God to rescue your loved one.

Can you see the power of one standing in the gap for another?  In Abraham’s life, his standing before the Lord brought Lot out of danger.  In Ezekiel’s day, the word was that there was no one to intercede for the land so God destroyed it.  Is it possible God is calling you to take up your battle position for the souls of those you love so he can rescue them from their certain destruction?

Why not answer the call to stand in the gap for someone who needs Jesus?  Why not give yourself to pray for their conversion so they might be delivered from certain destruction that is sure to come on all those who reject Christ?

I can think of nothing better to give yourself to.

Standing in the Gap for those who need Jesus,

 

 

Pastor Phil

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Weekly Messages

Moses, A Mighty Intercessor

Moses, A Mighty Intercessor

Exodus 32 7-14

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Daily Devotionals

January 28, 2018: The most common sin in the church today.

Exodus 17:8-14 (NIV)
8  The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.
9  Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”
10  So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.
11  As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
12  When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
13  So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
14  Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

 

1 Samuel 12:23 (NIV)
23  As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.

Current research indicates that most in the church live prayerless lives.  If prayer is performed at all, it is a tool to accumulate more stuff.  “God we need this, or we need that.”

Seldom are the prayers heard in the halls of heaven for those who are lost without Christ.  Seldom are the prayers heard in the halls of heaven for those who have wandered from the faith.

How much time have you spent this past week crying out to God for the lives of those who have yet to trust Christ?  When is the last time you have spent your energy in interceding for the prodigals among us?

Our Exodus text shows us just how difficult this work of intercession is.  Moses, the mighty man of God could not prevail in prayer unless he had help.  Joshua did not win the battle because of his great military prowess but because he had an intercessor who stood in the gap for him while the battle raged.

Are you finding your prayer life weak or even nonexistent?  Ask God for a few others who will stand with you in prayer so the battle waged against those you know without Christ can be won.

Let us take up the mantle of Samuel and cry out “Far be it from me that I should sin by failing to pray for you.”

Standing in the Gap with a faithful few intercessors,

 

 

Pastor Phil

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Daily Devotionals

January 26, 2018: He is our Pleasure and joy.

January 26, 2018: He is our Pleasure and joy.

Numbers 6:1-4 (NIV)
1  The LORD said to Moses,
2  “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘If a man or woman wants to make a special vow, a vow of separation to the LORD as a Nazirite, 3  he must abstain from wine and other fermented drink and must not drink vinegar made from wine or from other fermented drink. He must not drink grape juice or eat grapes or raisins.4  As long as he is a Nazirite, he must not eat anything that comes from the grapevine, not even the seeds or skins.

 

Certainly, when you read all these passages in the Old Testament you are surprised by such rules and commands.  Many who read these passages think they are outdated and rather unnecessary rules. They reach the conclusion that they are meaningless conditions that have no real meaning except to confuse those who read these passages.

This is not to be our conclusion.  Our Lord told us that everything in the Old Testament is to point us to him.  “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life.  These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”  (John 5:39-40)

The question is, “How does this passage point us to see Christ?”  A Nazirite was one who had made a conscious decision to set his or her life apart to God for a season.  They were to live a life completely set apart to God.  There were many things they could not do during the time of their separation to God.

Why were they commanded not to eat or drink anything that came from the vine.  What is it that comes from the grapevine; grape juice, wine, strong drink, and raisins.

All of these things brought pleasure to the body.  Wine gladdens the heart and raisins were considered an aphrodisiac.  What could possibly be the reason that a person set apart to God by a Nazirite vow should abstain from such?

When a person turns from their sin and trusts in Christ, they are now in a relationship with the God of the universe, who is himself the source of all true and lasting pleasure.  It is possible that these commands were given to the Nazirite to demonstrate to all those who would observe them that they would see that being set apart to God was the source of all true pleasure in this world.

King David gives us a hint of this when he writes, “Whom have I in heaven but you?  And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”  (Psalm 73:25)

To know Christ and to serve him is to be our true source of life and joy and pleasure.  Let us so live so that our lives demonstrate that all joy is found in Christ alone.  May we live our life today so others can see that we have found the source of our true joy and gladness to be in Christ alone.

 

May the joy of the Lord be your strength and gladness this day,

 

 

Pastor Phil

 

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Weekly Messages

One Cry – Sunday Morning, Part 2

One Cry – Sunday Morning, Part 2

 

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Weekly Messages

One Cry – Sunday Morning, Part 1

One Cry – Sunday Morning, Part 1

 

Categories
Weekly Messages

One Cry – Saturday Night

One Cry – Saturday Night

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Weekly Messages

One Cry – Saturday Morning

One Cry – Saturday Morning