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Pastor's Devotionals

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There was a man ?. There was a day! (04/10/16)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 View Comments Comments (0)
Week of April 10, 2016
 
There was a man …. There was a day! (04/10/16)
Job 1:1-22
A devotion by 
Dr. Gary Fisher
 
          Some days don’t just dawn—they explode, and the explosion leaves mental shrapnel embedded in our brains. Some such days are universal: December 7, 1941; November 22, 1963; and September 11, 2001.
 
          Perhaps some of you can’t personally remember the first two dates, but most assuredly you know the last one very well. On that day, there was a man—Todd Beamer. What started as a routine day in his life suddenly ignited. In the heat of the moment he became a hero that our nation has come to regard with great respect. Only eternity will reveal how many lives were saved by the heroic action of this man and a few others who forever will remain nameless.
 
          I’ve never known anyone who deliberately set out to be heroic--certainly not Todd Beamer. Had he known what was in store for him that day, he would have stayed home and left the heroic actions to someone else. But when the crisis came, he was there and his actions are recorded to us to remember as befitting a 21st century hero.
 
          Other such exploding days are more personal. While everyone else is enjoying a normal day, there are some whose days have exploded, destroying opportunities and many times killing hope. Suffering is such an indiscriminate thing. When and where it strikes is more unpredictable that a terrorist’s bombing. Let’s look at one of those more personal days in the life of someone we all know. Travel back with me many centuries to a date the sands of time have erased. We go to a place few can locate on a map. There was a man named Job and he lived in the land of Uz. He had no clue what extremes he would be called upon to endure. There was a day when his whole world exploded. The lessons we learn from that man and that day are invaluable as we face “our day.”
 
          Lesson One. There is an adversary who lives each day to torment mankind and disgrace God. He is very real despite the efforts of modern intellectuals to convince us that the Devil is only a symbol of all that is evil. He is real and he is ferocious. Who hasn’t heard about the “sufferings of Job” caused by this adversary?
 
          Lesson Two.   There is a struggle that is unfair. Life included trials that we do not deserve, but must endure nonetheless. In this struggle one important thing stands out. Before your “day” and your “trial” the adversary must seek permission from God to carry out his diabolical plan. His power is thus limited by the overarching power of God. God has built a hedge about His children and He controls what is allowed inside that hedge.
 
          Lesson Three. The character of an individual will determine the outcome of the day of suffering. Job spent all of his days seeking to build a life of strength that would stand up to the struggles he would face. The “patience of Job” is another statement we have all heard. That word describes the ability to take what life brings. Because of his relationship with God, Job could stand up under all the weight of his suffering.
 
          Some of you have found yourself living in Job’s tent, facing insurmountable struggles. You will survive the attack if you do what Job did, “He rose, tore his robe.”   In other words, he grieved for his circumstances. Then he “bowed before the Lord and worshiped.” He accepted the sovereignty of God and eventually experienced the grace of God.
 

Getting Old or Getting Younger (04/03/16)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 View Comments Comments (0)
Week of April 3, 2016
GETTING OLD OR GETTING YOUNGER?
A Devotional thought by…
Dr. Mike D. McLemore
 
          The Psalmist said in Psalm 103:5, "The Lord fills my life with good things! My youth is renewed like the Eagle's. Youth is not so much a time in life as it is a state of mind. It is not so much a matter of ripe cheeks, red lips, loads of energy, and a care-free spirit. It is a temper of will, a quality of the imagination, and vigor of the emotions.  It is a freshness that comes throughout our lives like the flowing waters of a beautiful stream!
          Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years.  People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul!  Worry, doubt, distrust, fear, despair, and depression…these are the long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust. I believe that you are as young as your faith, and as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, and as old as your fear; as young as your hope, and as old as your despair.
 
PRAYER:
Savior, like a shepherd lead us; much we need thy tender care.
Teach us to walk after thee, and not fall into the valley of despair.
Keep our hearts pure and our spirits free,
And may we always follow after thee.
Keep us young in our souls as we travel life's road,
And help us remember that you,
O Lord, are always by our side!
AMEN!
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