My mid-week devotion this week comes courtesy of Christian author Ted Dekker.
Be Blessed and be a blessing to others. Remember, God Loves You! ~ Pastor Eric
Do me a favor and hit pause on all your busyness for a moment.
Do it right now. This won’t take long, I promise.
Here’s one story the devil doesn’t want you to read.
A spiritual teacher is walking with a small boy in the savannah one sunny afternoon. He uses a walking stick because his bones aren’t as strong as they once were.
The child holds the old man’s free hand because in the boy’s eyes, the teacher is a giant and can save him from any danger.
The teacher has brought the boy to a field frequented by lions. Seeing a pride under a tree, the teacher stops and points to a lion who stands alone, watching them. He turns to the boy.
“Imagine that God is a strong lion, and the accuser, representing all of evil, is a hyena,” he says. “Tell me, can the hyena hurt the lion?”
“Yes,” the boy says. “He can chase him and with many others, take him down.”
“Well then, let’s make the lion bigger, because God is infinite. Let’s make him as big as the field. The hyena, being finite, does not grow bigger. It is still the same size. Now can the hyena hurt the lion?”
The boy thinks for a moment. “Yes, he could bite the lion’s foot,” he says.
“Then let’s make the lion bigger. As big as the whole savannah. Can the hyena now hurt the lion?”
The boy thinks hard for a long moment. “Well . . . Maybe . . .”
“Let’s make the lion as big as the whole world and the hyena now only a tiny speck on the field. In fact, let’s make the lion as big as all the worlds. As big as the whole universe. Now . . .” He turns to face the boy, staff planted in the dirt before him, his gaze steady. “Can the hyena on that field, who is still the same size, much smaller than a single atom on the surface of a billion suns, hurt the lion?”
“No,” the boy says, eyes wide with wonder.
“Can the hyena threaten the lion?”
The boy shakes his head. “No.”
The teacher looks off to the horizon and draws a deep breath through his nostrils.
“Can the hyena even bother the lion?”
The answer is plain to the boy. “No,” he says.
The teacher looks down and offers an approving nod. “Always remember, this is how big and powerful your Father is. The only thing bigger is His wisdom and His love for you, because God is love and you are His son. The hyena can only bother those who do not know who they are.”
End of story.
-Do you know where you come from? What is your origin? But more, who is your Father? You must know the answer if you wish to experience your true identity on this earth.
-You were fashioned in the image of God, who is Father, Son, and Spirit, and who spoke to Himself at the foundation of the world, saying, Let us make man in Our image.And thus, the Scripture tells us, you were made in the likeness of God.
-Know this today, in the midst of your life: God is both infinitely transcendent and infinitely close, closer than your own breath. Right now. All you must do is be still and know this, and then there is no storm large enough to swallow you.
-If you know someone who could use this today, hit forward and pass it on.
~ Ted Dekker
Daniel 3:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT) 16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
is bitter beyond words.
20 I will never forget this awful time,
as I grieve over my loss.
21 Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
His mercies never cease.
23 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV).
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12 NIV).
Greetings Sisters and Brothers!
This is my mid-week devotion to remind us all of the love and grace of God active in our lives and in the world each and every day.
Yesterday was All Saints Day. The day we take to recognize the saints of the past. That great cloud of witnesses that have gone on before us. Those saints that led their lives in such a way that today we are following in their footsteps, in the journey of faith, for how they lived their life touched us so. But we often stop others short of calling us saints. We have no problem calling those that touched our lives and lived the faith out the term of saint. And of course, the giants of the faith from the Bible and the Billy Graham’s and Mother Theresa’s, and Dwight Moody’s and Charles Spurgeon…but do you know that the Apostle Paul’s term for followers of Christ was saint?
“This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:1-2 NLT).
A lot of Paul’s letter started off like that, and who is the “holy people” Paul was referring to? People like you and I. The members of the church. Followers of Jesus Christ. A people set-apart to be the body-of-Christ, a “holy people” (i.e. saints). A saint is simply a follower of Jesus Christ.
The word saint has been elevated to such heights that the common person would not even think of themselves to be a saint much less to be around saints. Yet every Sunday, every Bible Study, a prayer service, we are rallying around gathering with fellow saints, followers of Jesus Christ.
Paul would say and scripture would confirm that we are not called saints because of anything that we have done or that we are elevated into some special category of holiness, though we do strive for that. It simply means that we have given our life over to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and from that we are a “holy people”, a people set apart, saints to carry out the gospel of Jesus Christ into the world.
Take time to thank God for the saints in your life, past and present, and ask God to help you make an impact in the lives of others as a person set apart from the Lord to impact lives with the message of the love of God.
“Oh, when the saints, go marching in.
Oh, when the saints, go marching in,
How I want to be in that number, when the saints go marching in!”
Go forth ye saint of God,
Every word in the Bible is true.
“All scripture is inspired by God and useful to teach what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT).
Look what happens in Genesis when Adam and Eve start to doubt the word of God? That same doubt and unbelief of God’s word goes on today in many shapes and forms in our churches and across the world people are showing they do not believe God’s word by the way they live out their lives.
We have people denying the divinity Lordship of Christ.
We have people denying the atonement/saving act of Christ dying on the cross for the sins of all humanity.
We have people denying the commands of God.
We have people denying the love of God.
We have people denying the wisdom of God.
We have people denying the power of sin and the need for a savior.
We have people denying the saving/transforming power of God in the lives of others.
We have people denying the authority of God’s Word in their lives and in the world.
We have people denying the definition of marriage as one man and one woman as ordained by God.
We have people denying their God-given gender.
We have people denying the sacredness of sex given to us by God.
We have people denying the sacredness of life with abortion and physician-assisted suicide.
We have people denying the sacred worth of every living being for we were all made in the image of God.
We have people denying the power in Christians to overcome the one in the world with the One who resides within us.
Sad to say much of these denials (and there are many more) come from those who claim the name Christians, who profess in some manner, the name of Jesus.
Do you see the danger in starting to break down which parts of the scriptures are not true? If we say we deny the parts we don’t like, then how can we really say the scripture passages we like are true? If we only believe 95% of what Jesus taught, how can we really know the other five percent is true? Doubt breeds its way to doubt which breeds its way to total rejection.
Like the people of Israel, we are called to be people set-apart from the world. We are to be in the world but not of the world. The Israelites were to live a life different than their neighbors for they were a people called apart from the One, True, God. Fast forward today, we as Christians, followers of Christ, are called to be people of the Light, people that show others the love of God in the world by the way we live our lives and share God’s love through our relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ. Much of how we do that is through living out the Word of God through the Spirit of God at work in our lives.
We show people the power of the living word by showing them the power of the Living God at work in our lives and in the world all around us. Let us not be part of the people who deny God’s Word, but seek to be people who bring God’s word alive. God’s living, active, breathing, life-changing word out into the world for all to see so they come to know the Living Word that came to live among us and show us the way to God and the ways of God.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes; first to the Jew, then to the Gentile” (Romans 1:16 NLT).
Jesus is Lord,