Tag

fellowship

DADDY, DID GOD DIE?
Climbing up in her father’s lap, little Nancy asked, “Daddy, did God die?”
Stunned, he responded quickly, “No, of course not! Why on earth would you ask?”
“Well,” she replied timidly, “you never seem to talk to Him anymore and I was just wondering.”
In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke we find two tiny passages of Scripture that are called “The Lord’s Prayer.” Both of them contain a phrase stating that we are to go to God each day for our “daily bread” - our nourishment.
Praying for our bread each day means that we are acknowledging Him not only as our Creator, but as our Sustainer and Provider. It is important for us who acknowledge Him as our Lord to also recognize that He alone is the One who meets our every need.
When we allow “gaps” in our prayer life we begin to think that we are self-sufficient and can go through life without Him. But it is a misconception to think that we can provide for any of our needs on our own. We must always remember that every heartbeat, every breath, every movement, every sensation is a gift from God. Without His grace and goodness we would be without everything that we have.
When we pause, ask for and give thanks for our daily bread, let’s also remember that He gives so much more than the bread we eat. Everything is from “above.”
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for being so generous in meeting all of our needs. May we always be aware of Your grace, mercy, love and presence in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
Lou Gehrig is remembered as the “Iron Man of Baseball.” At the height of his career he was stricken with a mysterious disease and realized that his days of playing baseball would soon be over.
Sharing the news with his wife, she courageously and comfortingly said, “Whatever it is, we'll see it through together.”
Togetherness is the opposite of independence. It suggests one of the basic blessings of being a Christian: we are never alone and need not face life alone.
Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What a comforting thought. The Creator and Sustainer of the universe is with us at all times. He did not create us and abandon us to struggle through life without Him. But there’s more.
No Christian should ever feel independent from other Christians and not in need of the help of others. Nor should Christians feel excused from the task of helping other brothers and sisters in their times of need. The body of Christ – the church – is only doing the work of Christ when it works together for the well being of other members of the body. Whatever the need – spiritual, physical, financial, emotional, educational, legal – if I know about the need of anyone anywhere who is my brother or sister, I am obligated to Christ to do something about it.
Prayer: Father, let us humbly, in the Spirit of Christ, do His work in ministering to the needs of others in His name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Galatians 6:2-3 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.
“Dad,” said a small child getting ready for Sunday school, “When I grow up I want to be just like you. How old will I have to be to quit going to church?”
The father blushed with embarrassment and said, “Son, going to church is something we need to do all of our lives.”
Most parents are anxious that their children go to church. Unfortunately, many parents do not realize how important it is for them to set the proper example for their children. Going to church is one of the most important examples parents can set for their children. It demonstrates the value and priority they place on worshiping together.
Being a Christian without going to church is like a soldier going into battle without an army or a violinist preparing for a concert without any strings in his violin. A family trying to live life without worshiping together is like a ship with no rudder.
The Apostle Paul wisely said, “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back is drawing near.”
Prayer: Father, I admit that I need to be with others and worship and praise You. Help me to be faithful and join with others to honor You: in Your Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: Hebrews 10:25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
A snowflake is a remarkable object in size and shape. Sometimes they appear as though they are floating through space. Other times they arrive in force and fury. Occasionally they fall on an eyelash and can be seen but not felt. They are a weightless wonder until they are massed together. Then, they can provide a beautiful country scene or bring a city to a complete halt. Snowflakes give us a unique picture of the strength and power of numbers. What a lesson for the church!

From the very beginning God has intended for His followers to come together for strength and power. We find throughout Scripture that a community of believers can accomplish much more than an individual acting on his own behalf. God established the church and empowered it with the Holy Spirit to spread the gospel and provide strength, hope and encouragement to its members.

When a Christian feels lonely or deserted, afraid or abandoned, overwhelmed or overpowered, the church is to be a refuge for healing hearts and holding hands. God wants the church to provide protection and peace to all who seek His love, grace and mercy. Within the church believers can link their lives together to offer protection from sin and work together as God’s witness to the world.

Prayer: Lord, may our church be faithful to accomplish Your purpose as we worship, work and witness together. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.

For thirty-five years a man had faithfully served as a "Keeper of the Lighthouse." In addition to the bright light swirling through the darkness, a warning gun was fired automatically every five minutes. He had heard its "shot" so often for so long that it did not disturb him.

One night while he was asleep, the gun did not fire as it normally did. He awakened with a shout and said to his wife, "What happened?"

Our psalmist prayed for many years. God had always answered his prayers. One day, however, his prayer was answered with silence. So, he cried out, "O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still."

Sometimes God is silent because He is testing us. One night a storm arose and high water started to flood their little boat. Jesus was sound asleep. In fear, the disciples awakened Him shouting, "Doesn't it bother You that we are about to perish?" Calmly He rebuked the wind and the waves and things settled down. They had faith in His power but it was a limited faith. After they tested Him and saw what He could do, their faith became firm and their trust in Him complete. He was silent up to a certain point because He wanted to strengthen their belief in Him.
Sometimes God is still because He has something to teach us. When He is, it is a signal from Him that we are to search our lives to see what has separated us from Him.

Isaiah said, "Your sins have hid His face from you, so that He will not hear you." But with our confession comes His cleansing and the restoration of our communication.

Prayer: When we cannot hear Your voice, Father, may we realize it is because of our sins and need forgiveness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 83:1 O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God.

Why did Jesus choose twelve disciples? Was there some significance in that number? Could it have been because there were twelve months in the Jewish calendar, or because they divided their day into twelve hours or because there were twelve tribes of Israel?

We find the answer in Mark’s gospel: “that they might be with Him!” Jesus wanted His “friends” to be with Him and learn from Him. Psalm 24:14 says, “The Lord is a friend to those who fear Him. He teaches them His covenant” - His plan of salvation.

Someone once said, “A friend is a person who knows you and likes to be with you in spite of your faults.” This seems to go beyond “love.” Love is “doing” something for someone because they have a need.

It is a gracious thought to know that He wants us to be His “friends.” The picture represented in this verse is that of two friends sitting on a couch having a confidential conversation. What a wonderful way to think of our relationship with Jesus: sitting next to Him and quietly talking to Him about eternal life - His covenant with His people - His friends!

How amazing it is to think that we can share thoughts with Him as a friend. What an opportunity He offers us: to sit with Him as a friend and ask Him to teach us His covenant - His plan for our salvation.

We can do this - be with Him - by reading His Word and talking with Him in prayer and meditation.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for being our Friend and Teacher and willingly sharing Your salvation with us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 25:14 The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.
A pastor in a resort area invited a family to come to church. The father said, “Thanks, preacher. We hike every Sunday, and we can worship God in the woods.”

Yes, it is true that we can worship God in the woods. We are able, through God’s grace, to enter into His presence anytime and anywhere. Yet, we are called to gather together as Christians and encourage one another and love one another. The church, the body of Christ, has the unique and intentional purpose of worshiping God the Father and serving the world in Christ’s name. The church is the tool that God uses to reach and equip all people for His Kingdom. Coming together as believers to study God’s Word and live in a relationship with one another is not a duty to be dreaded; it is God’s provision and blessing for us.

Prayer: Lord, I pray that I will make it a priority in my life to be involved in local church. I pray that I will take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about You and Your Word. I pray that I will get involved in ministry and use my gifts and talents to serve my community for You. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Hebrews 10:24-25
“Dad,” said a small child getting ready for Sunday school, “I want to be just like you. When will I be old enough not to have to go to church?”

The father blushed with embarrassment and said, “Come on son, let’s go to church together.”

Most parents are anxious that their children go to church. Unfortunately, many parents do not realize how important it is for them to set the proper example for their children. Going to church is one of the most important examples parents can set for their children. It demonstrates the value and priority they place on worshiping together.

Being a Christian without going to church is like a soldier going into battle without an army or a violinist preparing for a concert without any accompaniment. A family trying to live life without worshiping together is like a ship with no rudder.

The Apostle Paul wisely said, “Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back is drawing near.”

Prayer: Father, I admit that I need to be with others and worship and praise You. Help me to be faithful and join with others to honor You: in Your Name. Amen.

Scripture for Today: Hebrews 10:25

Today's video devotional: "A Brand New Person"