Joy or Sadness–You May Choose

Joy or Sadness–You May Choose
From the messages of Adrian Rogers
BIBLE MEDITATION:
“In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.” 1 John 4:9

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
In his book You Can Have Joy! Arnold Prater wrote about an Englishman named John Deckard who had an award-winning passion for roses.

One year, John grew a rose among roses to enter in the annual Garden Show. But before he got the rose, his son rushed in and exclaimed, “Daddy, look what I have for you!” And in his little hand was the prize rose. Visitors to the Garden Show were astonished when they saw John’s entry. For in the flowerpot was a photo of his son with the rose in his hands, along with an honorary blue ribbon.

Sometimes your plans may go awry, and sometimes your dreams may be crushed. But in their place, God sends His own Son, Jesus. And when that happens, nothing else matters but the love of His Son.

ACTION POINT:
What disappointment have you experienced this week? Did you choose joy or sadness? What can you learn from today’s devotional thought to apply to your life the next time a disappointment happens?

How to Listen to God’s Word

From a recent article published on The Christian Post:

How is it that two people can sit in the same pew, hear the same sermon about the same portion of Scripture, and walk away with two different reactions? One is joyful and the other unaffected. I think the reason is that some people do not know how to listen to the Word of God.

Nehemiah 8 is an amazing scene of God’s people coming together to hear His Word. Remember that they didn’t have individual copies of Scripture to read. For generations, the events of Genesis though Deuteronomy were passed down from parent to child. Moreover, the people had been in captivity for many years. This was the first time most of them heard the Word read. Imagine their excitement as they listened attentively for the Lord to speak to them.

The Israelites were hungry for God’s Word. Are you? Do you listen eagerly and with an expectant mind and heart? The length of a person’s attention span is directly related to the intensity of his hunger for something. If you crave to know more of God, then your mind is going to be fastened on what He’s saying through your pastor or your personal reading. And the reality is that nothing in the world matters as much as what the Lord has to say.

So many things clamor for our focus but few truly deserve it. The Lord is worthy of nothing less than our undivided attention. He has something to say to every person. So whoever listens to God’s Word with an open heart and alert mind will receive from Him.

– By Charles Stanley

Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2011
All Rights Reserved.

Let’s Move On

Let’s Move On
by Charles R. Swindoll

Read Exodus 2:11–14

According to Exodus 2:12, Moses hid the body of the slain Egyptian. But by the next day, it was all over the papers. They found the Egyptian. Five inches of loose sand hid nothing.

Hiding wrong, Moses now had to admit, does nothing to erase wrong. And I am convinced that from that moment on Moses determined never to hide anything again. He would be transparent. He would speak his heart, regardless of the risks of vulnerability. He would no longer hide.

Sometime in my ministry, I am going to gather up enough courage to have a testimony time where the only thing we’ll share is our failures. Wouldn’t that be different? Ever been to a testimony meeting where everybody else seemed to be on Cloud 39, and you were in Tunnel Number 7? One after another is talking about soaring in the heavenlies, while you’re counting gum wrappers in the gutter. Why don’t we visit the other side? Why not hand the microphone around and say, “When was the last time you took a nosedive? Can you share with others what it was like to experience a major disappointment?”

Far from being a downer, I’ve got a hunch that might prove to be a major encouragement to a group of people who feel all alone in their struggles. So many of us feel as though we have to hide our failures, believing no one else could have possibly failed as we have. Some are even afraid to tell God about it, fearing He might be as put off as we imagine others will be.

But He isn’t like that at all, is He? When we take a tumble and cry out to Him in our shame and our distress, the psalmist says He “inclines His ear” to us. He bends over to listen. We say “Oh, Father, I’ve failed! I’ve failed terribly. Look at what I’ve done!” It is then He puts His arms around us, just as a loving earthly father would do. He then says, “I accept you just as you are. I agree that what you have done was wrong, as you’ve confessed it to Me. Now, My son, My daughter, let’s move on.”

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives(Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

A Wonderful Day

John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full.

I hope that each of you had a wonderful Easter; I did. I was privileged to attend both morning and evening services at my home church, with the honor and privilege of bringing the evening message, had a very nice dinner with my family and spent some quality time with my wife and grandson after dinner. But you know what really made the day for me? During the morning service a young man gave his life to Christ! What a more wonderful and appropriate way to celebrate Easter than to see one die out to sin and be raised to eternal life? There is none. Every child of God should be filled with joy from this news.

As this babe in Christ begins his walk of faith I’m sure his heart is filled with the joy of the Lord. Jesus said that He has given us His joy that we might be full. Oh, if only we would step out in faith and take hold on His Word, how filled with joy we could and should be. And it’s so easy to do: Just follow Him, pursue that which glorifies our Father, produce the good fruit, and then watch as our cups begin to run over!

Pastor’s Corner

Pastor’s Corner 4-24-2010

How many of you can remember your first day of school? The first time you rode a bike or drove a car? What about your first day on the job or your first pay check? With all of these firsts came expectations about what they would lead to in the future. I cannot think of anything that does not have a first, and this holds true for the bible. Matthew 17:12-14tells us Elias must first come and was in fact John the Baptist. With John came an expectation that the Messiah would soon follow (John 1:15). Jesus, the Messiah, was the first and only one to be born without sin, Hebrews 4:15. Acts 26:23 tells us that Jesus would die and be the first to rise from the grave. Paul in the15th chapter of 1st Corinthians tells us that Jesus was the first fruits of them that slept and that we also will be resurrected at his returning. It is this hope and expectation that we celebrate today and it can be summed up with one word, Easter.

Pastor Danny

Hold on with Both Hands

Hold On with Both Hands

BIBLE MEDITATION
“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He hath promised to them that love Him?” James 2:5

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT
Are you facing a struggle in your life today? Perhaps there is a decision that you need to make, but don’t know what to do. Friend, let me tell you the way to find what God wants for you.

Take hold of the Lord with both hands and in faith tell Him, “Sink or swim, live or die, once and for all, now and forever, I’m going for You, God.”

John Dryden, the famous English poet, said, “Reason saw not, till faith sprung the light.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “Faith goes up the stairs that love has made and looks out the window which hope has opened.”

ACTION POINT
You don’t know what God can do through you until you step out in faith. Take that step today.

A Question…

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:

The other day our pastor asked us a question. I’m not sure he was looking for an answer but several thoughts popped into my head. I decided to just keep quiet, think on these things and listen to what was said next. Well, the next thing was story about a man that had given many excuses about why he had not done some thing; The excuses all led to the devil made him not act. The reply the man was given went some thing like this “Well, the devil just controlled you that whole evening, didn’t he?” After finishing the story, Danny then asked if anyone had a testimony or something to praise the Lord about. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to let the devil control me during this service so I stood and praised God.

If we aren’t careful, we can be like the man in the story Pastor Danny told and let the devil “control” us. More accurately put, we can allow him to “devour” or steal or joy, our peace and the other fruits of being a child of the Living God. I’ve heard so many times folks say to “give the devil his due” but I want to tell you this: through and by Jesus we can over come any thing, the devil included. God’s Word tells s we are “more than conquerors” (Rom. 8:37) through Him. Scripture teaches that through out; we just need to have the faith to make it a reality in our lives.