Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday June 24 - "Reconciling Yourself to the Fact of Sin"

 About 30 days ago we started a devotional program in our church. This can easily be one more program, something to read every day, just writing a weekly message and ... that's it? No, that shouldn’t be it! 
Remember what the Bible says in Isaiah 55.8? "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways declares the Lord”. 

It is unbelievable how God can use simple things like a little devotional to talk to us, to guide us, to encourage us, and to sustain us for that day. Sometimes we are desperate to listen to His voice, to know His direction. Then, we start to look for Him, and because God is big, we just pay attention to bigger and stronger things, but you know, sometimes or even many times, God is not there, God is in a low whisper, 1 Kings 19:9-12 says: "There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.”

Don't underestimate God because He wants to talk to you!

 - Pastor Denis
June 24 - "Reconciling Yourself to the Fact of Sin."

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday June 17 - "Come To Me"

Several devotional readings over the past week have reflected on coming to Jesus. The call of discipleship is first a call to come to Jesus. We often get the order mixed up. I want to do something for Jesus. Indeed, Chambers emphasized on June 11th that in our stubbornness we would rather do anything than the simple, childlike act of coming to Jesus. This week has been a busy week around Grace with Vacation Bible School. We want to be busy about investing in others, serving in ministry, and loving one another and our community well. But in my own life, busyness often drowns out what God is wanting to do in my heart. Chambers asked a question on June 10th that has resounded in my mind over the past few days: “Are you thirsty, or smugly indifferent—so satisfied with your experience that you want nothing more of God?” Ouch. I’m sure we would all say a loud “no!” But what does my life reflect? Do I allow God to touch my heart? Do I want Him to? Am I satisfied—apathetic—in my walk with God, to the point I’m not letting Him transform my heart? Even spending time in daily devotion can become routine. Am I reflecting on the wisdom of Chambers and the truth of God’s Word?

Jesus’ first invitation in discipleship is to “come, follow Me” (Matthew 4:19, Mark 10:21), and we often reserve coming to Jesus as our initial response in faith to the gospel. My tendency is to come and go, but Jesus invites us to come and be with Him. Jesus doesn’t want us to come to Him and then go about our lives. He continually invited the disciples and the crowds to come to Him:
Come and rest – Matthew 11:28
Come to me and drink, if you thirst – John 7:37
Come and see – John 1:39
Come to me; I will not cast you out – John 6:37
Come away and rest – Mark 6:31
Have you come to Jesus? Will you come now?

Pastor Conrad

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday June 10 - “Growing In Christ”

“Growing In Christ”

Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught...”
(Col 2:6-7a)

I spent too many years thinking the gospel was in my past.  I thought living for Christ today was based on spiritual principles disconnected from the gospel.  

This was more than a simple mistake, it was disastrous.  Things which previously dominated my life continued to plague me.  Insecurity, anger, and discontentment seemed constantly in the background, ready to pounce at the first frustration or disappointment or disagreement.  It was difficult to encourage other struggling believers because I didn’t know what to say other than “read your bible” or “pray” or “trust God.”  Good advice, but it was too general for me and I wasn’t convinced it would help others.  I couldn’t effectively disciple others.  Missions trips, bible school or missions training didn’t equip me to face the constant conflict of my inner man – conflict that left me guilty and discouraged.

In my 30’s I and some other believers studied the gospel throughout the Old and New Testaments. I’ll never forget the process of incremental andsignificant change in my inner man as God’s graceand my new identity in Christ transformed my view of myself and others.  

still have much to learn.  My flesh remainsincorrigible, but today “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

“Growing in Christ to grow others” starts with inner transformation through the gospel of grace.  “In Him” we have “every spiritual blessing,” “redemption through His blood,” “the forgiveness of our trespasses,” and “we have been claimed as God’s own possession.”  (Ephesians 1)

Pastor Andy Kline

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday June 3rd - "The Secret of the Lord"

Saturday June 3rd - "The Secret of the Lord" -

God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You. I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.”   Psalm 61:1

Sometime around 1988 I was given my first copy of My Utmost For His Highest and with that tattered book came a challenge - “Read it everyday!” An older man at Grace had given me a lifetime quest – each day to find at least 5 minutes to spend with God. It seemed simple at first but then life's duties came screaming back and the demands for time were relentless. In great wisdom the man who gave me the book also said that he would ask me each week how I was doing in my readings – O the dreaded hounds of accountability! On Sundays I would see him coming – my gripping fear was that he might ask me about a day I had hurried through or even worse, maybe a day I had skipped. In reality his questions were gentle and his intent was for my growth – I thank God for him to this day!
So I say to you – can you find even just 5 minutes to spend with God each day? A quiet moment to read a short thought and verse from Scripture. Surely we have a few minutes for a devoted thought about God's goodness or His mercy and grace or the love of Heaven and kindness of the Lord – this cannot be too much to ask! Please, take one of the methods we are providing – a book, an app, an email or web post – and give back to our Creator and Life-giver at least 5 quality minutes of devoted time in reflection and prayer – I will be asking you!

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Perfect Or Pretend?

Sanctification has been the focus of this week’s devotions. Sanctification is the process of growth in holiness; it is how God is making us...