Archive for the 'devotional' Category



Finishing

JESUS SPEAKING

     “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.  For which of you, intending to build a tower, doesn’t sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build but was not able to finish?’” (Luke 14: 27 – 30.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS        

  Following Jesus Christ isn’t easy; it requires great sacrifice and tremendous discipline.  With every genuine profession of faith, uncomfortable changes will occur.  Every believer is called to abandon sinful activities and embrace a life of selflessness and service.  Those considering the Christian life are urged by Jesus to first “sit down first and count the cost.”  Drunkenness, fornication, pornography, adultery, lewdness and idolatry must be discarded.  Foul language, dirty humor, and selfishness must be replaced with purity, love, mercy, and truth.  Sadly, some who begin following the Lord are unable to finish the journey; they abandon God’s call, eventually returning to their old lives.

     Interestingly enough, the longest bridge in the world is the Danyang—Kunshan Grand Bridge in mainland China.  This modern marvel took four years to build and cost approximately 8.5 billion dollars.  As it snakes over rice patties, lowlands, and rivers, it measures a whopping 102 miles in length.  Bridges like this are amazing feats of engineering; and yet all bridges, despite coming in a variety of different shapes and sizes, serve one common purpose; they connect two portions of land divided by an obstacle.  Although these structures are quite useful, an unfinished bridge is of no value whatsoever.  Ninety percent of a bridge is as useful as ten percent of a bridge.  In order to be valuable the structure must be complete.  Much like a bridge, the life of every believer is useless unless it has been completed.  Throughout the centuries there have been numerous genuine disciples who have died knowing that they had kept the faith until the very end.  Sadly, many others have failed to to complete the journey.

     In proverbs Chapter 20, verse 25, we read, “It is a snare for a man to devote rashly something as holy, and afterward to reconsider his vows.”  If you have never made a commitment to following Jesus Christ, then you should not do so rashly.  First, you must consider fully what God is asking of you.  He is asking you to turn away from your sins and embrace a life of purity; you will need to devote your entire existence to serving and loving others.  For those who commit themselves to the Lord, the road is not easy, and there are no points for half-way.  Once the journey has begun, it must be finished.

     “Lord Heavenly Father, some of us have already begun our journey with You.  We’ve laid down our worldly ways and embraced purity and love.  May we continue moving forward and may we never falter.  Fill us with Your Holy Spirit; empower us to complete what we have started, that we may one day enter Your kingdom with great joy.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Follow Me

JESUS SPEAKING

     “As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Mathew sitting at the tax office.  And he said to him, “Follow Me.”  So he arose and followed Him” (Mark 9: 9.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

     The calling of Mathew is one of the shortest conversion stories recorded in the bible.  As a tax collector, he worked for the Roman Empire; earning him the contempt and hatred of his won people.  Still Jesus saw something in him worth saving.  As the Lord passed by He uttered two simple words that would forever transform Mathew’s life; “Follow Me.”  His response was concise, immediate, and unwavering.  Mathew arose, abandoned his position, and began following Jesus Christ.

     During the 1880’s, a famous baseball player named Billy Sunday had a similar experience.  One day, he and his teammates entered a saloon and began drinking.  Upon exiting, Billy spotted a group of Christians singing hymns and preaching about God’s salvation and forgiveness.  As the tears rolled down his face, he turned to his teammates and said, “Boys, I’m through!  Going to turn to Jesus Christ.  We’ve reached the parting of the ways.”  Some mocked him, while others encouraged him.  He promptly entered the Pacific Garden Mission, where he gave his life to the Lord.  Later he said, “I called upon God’s mercy.  I staggered out of my sins and into the outstretched arms of the Savior.  I became instantly a new creation in Him.  The next morning at practice, my manager, Mike Kelly, greeted me and said, ‘Billy, I read in the paper what occurred yesterday.  Religion isn’t my long suit, but I won’t knock you, and I’ll knock the daylights out of anyone who does.”  Billy Sunday went on to become one of the greatest evangelists of the early 20th century.

     Like Mathew, and like Billy, God is still calling many of us to follow Him today.  Jesus Christ desires that everyone might come to know Him and submit to His discipleship.  Some individuals will respond to His call; while others will not.  So how can you respond to God’s call and receive salvation?  First, go to a quiet place, and ask God to enter your heart.  Turn away from sinful things, and profess a faith in Jesus Christ.  Get involved at a local church and be baptized.  Request an easy to read version of the bible (read it every day; beginning with the gospels.)  As you grow in the knowledge of God and submit to His commandments, you will experience an amazing transformation.  You will feel the old things passing away; for behold, God will make “all things new.”

     “Lord Heavenly Father we thank You for calling us to be Your disciples.  May You always dwell within our hearts and minds.  Give us the strength to turn away from sin and death, that we might embrace the new life we have in You.  Teach us, guide us, be our Father and we will be Your children.  Give us Your Holy Spirit that we may lovingly serve You and our fellows.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name.  Amen.”  God bless all of you!

Stop Worrying

JESUS SPEAKING

    “Therefore, I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?  Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?  So why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore, do not worry, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things” (Mathew 6: 25 – 32.)

INSPIRED THOUGHTS

    God is a Father, and like any good Father, He provides for the needs of His children.  Fear is the result of a lack of trust in God’s abilities.  Birds are just one example of an animal that never worries; they gather no seed nor strive to possess more than they can use.  Instead they rely upon their creator to provide for their daily needs.  As believers we must be of a similar mind.  Worrying is counterproductive; therefore Jesus has commanded every believer to stop worrying and start trusting.

    Although worrying has been around for thousands of years, it has only recently been studied scientifically; and most modern-day inquiries have yielded some surprising results.  Worrying has been found to a break down the immune system; causing many to succumb to colds and infections. Worrying can also produce:  high blood pressure, upset stomach, ulcers, acid reflux, heart palpitations, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, panic attacks, cardiovascular problems, increased blood sugar levels, irritable bowel difficulties, backaches, tension headaches, migraines, sleep problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, respiratory difficulties, worsening of skin conditions such as eczema, diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, depression, rashes, shingles, hot flashes, twitching, lethargy, sweating, heart attacks, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, irritability, etc.  The list of physical and mental ailments linked to worrying seems endless.

    In fact, worrying is so detrimental, that the Lord has ordered every follower to abandon their fears and embrace faith.  Trusting in God is our divine duty; a mandate from Jesus Christ himself.  He alone is our provider and protector.  May we never forget that God loves us and lives within our hearts.  May we seek Him at every turn, and tirelessly submit ourselves to His care and affection.

    Lord Heavenly Father, set us free from fear; that we may stop worrying and start trusting in Your complete provision.  Clothe us, feed us, love us, and receive us.  Be our Father that we might also be Your children.  We love You Lord, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you! 


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