11/26/14 – God is Eternal

Sunday's Sermon


Today's Devotional

This is one of the attributes of God that just wows me. Scripture says that a thousand years is like a day to God (2 Peter 3:8/ Psalm 90:4). Even before creation, there God the Father stood, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and what took place in eternity past is seen by God in the present. This amazes me because I have to stretch my mind to try and think back as to what it would have been like during the creation week. Yet God sees that as if it is happening right now. For some this can be scary that God sees everything so clearly and vividly, which means He sees the failures of the world. However something even more amazing happens when we receive Christ as Lord of our lives. God chooses to see His Son rather than our sins. He sees the blood of Christ covering us. This reminds me of how much God loves us, that He would create us, choose us, send His Son to die for us, and bring the Holy Spirit to us so that He could only see righteousness and not guilt. Another way that God being eternal helps me to focus on His love for me is through prayer. Every prayer is before Him clearly, vividly, and in the present. I feel loved than knowing He is listening all the time. I feel confident in prayer than knowing God always knows how things will turn out, because He sees it. God sees all things in the present, clearly and vividly, so when He hears and sees me praying He also sees His Son praying in a garden or on a cross. He sees His Son going through all this for me, while at the same time I am praying my prayer. Thousands of years apart, yet to God a thousand years is but a day.


Today's Challenge

What do you think it will be like to live for all eternity in heaven? How does endless time in the future in heaven, but limited time here on earth shape your day? How does it make you feel that God hears your prayers?

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11/25/14 – God is Unchangeable

Sunday's Sermon


Today's Devotional

We have all said, heard, or read at one time in our Christian life that God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. Have you ever stopped to think about that? It is not just something we say, hear, or read, it is who God is by His own definition. In Malachi 3:6 God says, “For I the Lord do not change.” He is unchanging in His being, His perfections, His purposes, and His promises. This is such a hard thing to understand because we constantly change. Think about it, since you started reading this, you changed and got older. God never gets older.

If we went outside and looked up we would see the sun. If we stood there long enough in the day, we would see change as the light would become dark. If we continued to stay there we would see change again as it gets light out again. The truth is the sun didn’t change, the things around it did. I remind myself of this and it helps me to understand some things in life. Circumstances and life may constantly be changing, but God never changes. I love that our God never changes and is the one constant in our daily life.

The world changes, people change, circumstances change, but God is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore.


Today's Challenge

Ask yourself this question, how does God always remaining the same help you to go through the circumstances of this life?

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11/24/14 God’s Independence

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Sunday's Sermon


Today's Devotional

Did you wake up today thinking that you can bring joy to God? Did you clearly understand your purpose? If we are honest most would say that they did not think these things. One way to help us to understand our worth and purpose is to not even think of ourselves. Spend your first minute awake thinking about the great God of this universe. Think about God’s independence. Which means He doesn’t need us or the rest of creation to exist. How does this help us to understand our worth and purpose? Well, let me explain. Acts 17:24-25 implies that God doesn’t need anything to exist. Many feel like God created man and creation out of need. Perhaps He was lonely and needed fellowship. Proper understanding of God’s existence, as in for all eternity, in perfect communion and fellowship as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit shows that God has always had what He has needed before creation was ever created. He is not like man that needs other created beings or creation to exist. God exists and is independent of all other things, because of His own being. When we think of God this way we understand Him in His proper size and it brings us down to the size we should be. From here we then have to ask the question, why even create us? Isaiah 62:5 says that as a bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you. God created us to bring Him glory and joy. Wow! God created us to be meaningful to Him. He doesn’t need us so that He can exist, but He created us for Himself, and we can bring joy to the creator of the universe. Now I can go back to my original question. Do you understand that you can bring joy to God? Do you understand your purpose? We all bring joy to God in different ways.


Today's Challenge

In view of God’s greatness… Why did God create me? How can I bring joy to God in this day? Have I enjoyed God today?

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Day Five – Prayer is a matter of trust

Scripture

Psalm 40:1-3

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

Jeremiah 17:7-8

7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”


Sunday's Sermon


Today's Devotional

Would you like to improve your prayer life? It all comes down to a matter of trust. One devotion defined trust as “eager anticipation.” The author penned these words, “Lord, so wrap me in knowledge of You that my trust is no longer in You, but is You.” Who do you trust to handle your affairs, your concerns, your desires? If you think you can handle most situations, then you will seldom pray and choose to rely on your own resources. If you turn to other people in your life that you feel are capable of helping you face your problems, then your prayer life will be small. But if you trust that you have a God Who cares for you, watches out for you, and is able and willing to help you in everything and anything, then you are on your way to a stronger prayer life. Knowing Who He is and what He can do will enable you to trust His timing and the manner in which He chooses to answer. If His answer is “no,” you will trust Him on that as well. Your faith or lack of it shows itself in your prayer life. If you can take your burdens and your petitions to God, lay them at His feet, and leave them there, you are displaying your faith in Him. If you pick them up again, your faith is weak and needs work. If you doubt that He will really answer you, your prayers are weak but if you are confident in Him and wait patiently and expectantly, then your prayers contain power. If your hope is in Him and not in your efforts or others, then you are a force to be reckoned with. Trusting in God also means trusting His Word. Speak God’s Word in your prayers. For example, “I thank You that Your mercies are new every morning and I know that You will be going before me today.” Then enjoy resting in the peace and the joy of the Lord as you wait on Him. He indeed is trustworthy.


Today's Challenge

Challenge: Read Proverbs 3:5-6, Romans 15:13, and Isaiah 12:2. Find other verses on trusting God. Pray that God will show you new areas in which you should trust Him.

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Day Four – Prayer and Thanksgiving

Scripture

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Mark 11:22-26

22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”


Sunday's Sermon


Today's Devotional

Do you remember the story of the 10 lepers whom Jesus healed? Only one came back to thank Him and Jesus remarked about the 9 others who did not come back. Giving thanks was something that mattered to Jesus. Jesus was a good example for us on what giving thanks looks like. Even BEFORE the miracle occurred and the prayer was answered, Jesus gave thanks for the 5 loaves that ended up feeding a multitude. He did the same thing – gave thanks – BEFORE He raised Lazarus from the dead. Remarkably, as He broke the bread and poured the wine, He still gave thanks knowing what they symbolized for Him in the tough road ahead. When you pray, do you come into His presence with thanksgiving? Or do you rush into a list of wants and needs and forget about all that He has given to you or done for you? Perhaps you do thank Him for some things, but your “give-me” list far outweighs your “thank-you” list. When you come to Him with a thankful heart, you are acknowledging God’s goodness and blessings in your life. Your focus is taken off yourself and your eyes are lifted to God. One writer explains, “When we give thanks we give God the glory for what He has done for us.” Another author states, “This is essential to prayer because it draws the heart to God, keeping it entirely centered on Him.” Friendships, family, health, provision, freedom, spiritual blessings, a God Who passionately loves us and a Savior Who died for us are only a few of the things we can be grateful for. And now back to Jesus’ example – do you give thanks in faith that He is answering your prayers even before you see the evidence of it? Believe it will happen.


Today's Challenge

Challenge: Begin each of your days with a prayer of thanksgiving. Pray that God will open your eyes to see ways He has blessed you that you have not noticed before.

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