Mid-Week Devotion

10.18.17

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,
Pastor Eric

10.12.17
Greetings Sisters and Brothers of Calvary UMC,
Here is my mid-week devotion to remind us all that as Christians we all have a calling on us to proclaim and witness toward others the name and person of Jesus Christ. There is no better time than the present to get started doing that if you have not already. The world is in need of knowing and following the Savior of the world, Jesus!
“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:14 NLT).
“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven” (The Lord’s Prayer).
Our nation just experienced one of the worst mass killings are country has ever had.  I think for most residents of the country it was a horrible event that sent waves of sadness, tears, anger, and fear through us.  But did the shooting in Las Vegas change us any?  We are maybe more aware that evil is everywhere, but did this cause any inner transformational change on how one is going to live their life?  We express emotions, but any inner change leading to behavioral change leading to transformational change to seek to draw others closer to Jesus Christ?
A few news headlines over the last few days:
Mother of six killed by drunk driver as she was returning from visiting her twins in the hospital.
Father disciplines three-year old daughter by having her stand in alleyway in the early morning hours for not drinking her milk.  Fifteen minutes later he checks on her, she is gone.  Alleyway known for roaming coyotes.
Husband calls wife at work tells her that he just drowned their 17-month old daughter in the tub.
Why? Why? Why?
I bet if you asked the people in these stories that they would all say the shooting in Las Vegas was terrible, heartbreaking, and yet they did what they did to ones they professed to love.  
The world is full of the inhumanity we do to each other.
I read an article about a committee on racism.  In the article one expressed hope of erasing racism.  A lofty goal, a worthy goal, but if a mass shooting at a country music concert and years and years of hate-filled acts of violence toward each other has not eliminated racism and hate, it is not going away.
We cannot legislate morality and we cannot conversate our way toward eliminating racism and hate.
The heart is wicked above all.
My hope, your hope, this country’s hope, the hope of the world is Jesus Christ!
The evidence is clear our hearts are wicked.  The evidence is also overwhelmingly clear that Jesus transforms hearts, minds, lives and souls.
Within or without the UMC, I am going to continue to proclaim the Light of the world, Jesus Christ.  We cannot keep simply going on as usual and expecting different results. If you want change in this country, the change is going to happen as the body-of-Christ.  Those redeemed in the blood of Christ, rise-up, stand up and proclaim the only life-giving, heart-changing, soul-transforming Name given to us, Jesus Christ.
To ad-lip Max Lucado, it is time for us to awaken people living in the lower story to the hope, the joy, the peace, the love, the grace, that awaits them in the upper story that is all around them.  
We know the killing agent that is in us all: Sin
We know the sin killing name that can break the hardest of hearts and set the prisoner free, Jesus.  
Join us to proclaim the name and person of Jesus Christ to a dark and hurting world.
Pastor Eric
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