Church Life, Community/Outreach, Devotion

What is that all about! Monday

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THEME VERSES FOR THE WEEK: Galatians 5:14-16  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.  For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

As Pastor’s, Pastor Randy and myself often meet together to discuss the goals and purpose of our church. We plan the sermons, the Sunday school and even the devotions to help us as a church work together for the kingdom of God. When we begin our meetings, we do not always agree.
We both have strong ideas and goals we want to see fulfilled here at Liberty. But you would never know we disagreed if we did not tell you. What do we do? We pray together and allow God to lead. We are then able, as a unified team, able to lead you and your families to a closer relationship with Jesus, others within the church and our community.

What we MUST guard against is selfishness. It can destroy the church and individual lives. As the senior Pastor, I could always just impose my will. But what would that prove or accomplish? Division! We must learn to consider others every time we make a decision. Right now, we are praying about a possible move. Do we go, do we stay, how much is it going to cost to go or stay! These are things that have to be considered. But the most important thing we must decide, is

WHAT IS GOD’S WILL!

You can mark it down, when we present something to the church, know that we have prayed, cried, discussed, disagreed and then agreed on what God is leading us to do.

The same should be said on everything we do as a church. How about you, are you one who is going to insist always on your own way or are you one who is going to be part of a body that is larger than just you alone.

Let’s not let any division come in and destroy what God is wanting to accomplish.

Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

Prayer: Father, I ask that you give our church unity as we learn to minister to others. Give our Pastors Wisdom and help them lead us in the way you would have us to go. May lives be changed because of what we do together. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

Church Life, Community/Outreach, Devotion

Learning to be part of a Family

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We began a new sermon series this week entitled “Learning my place in the family, Unity in service”. This week’s devotions will help you get an overview of what it means to be an active part of God’s family and an active part of the church family. The church is vital in the scope of God’s plan.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

As you know, God sets leaders within the Body of Christ. As Pastor’s, one of our many duties is to help you figure out what your role is within the body of Christ. Specifically, what your role is at Liberty.

Scripture teaches us in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1, the three fold purpose of the church is to:
1: Perfect the Saints
2: Perform Collective Ministry
3: Edify one another

In order to be successful in our purpose as a church body, we each need to know where we fit in, what our specific gifts are, and what it is the Lord is asking us to do. Most of all, we must be committed to serving the Lord, serving our families, and serving this body of believers so that we can be effective in our witness to a lost world. Let’s focus this week on being united in Purpose, Action, and Spirit.

God has given us the privilege of serving Him. What is your part in the family?

Pastor Tilly, Pastor Ledford

PS. Thanks to Jason B. for working with us on this devotional guide.

Church Life, Devotion, Prayer

Watchmen on the Wall – Friday

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Pastors have a great responsibility. They have to minister to their own families then minister to the church members. Often their minds are saturated with the burdens of others and in the midst they have to find time to spend with God in His Word, to seek wisdom and guidance for the message that the church needs. When they stand in the pulpit they are held accountable to God. God’s word must be preached, not opinion nor man’s philosophy, nor anything that just pleases the people.

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Pastors are called to be the voice of God. They have to give advice, encourage and warn believers. They are also responsible for rebuking which means to scold or criticize sharply or reprimand. Who gives pastors that authority?

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The pastor is a messenger for the king. He has been given a position of authority, and is held to a higher standard in his speech and behavior. There are times that they face spiritual attacks outside the church and within the church. You are also held accountable for your speech and behavior.

Do you support your pastor?

Do you pray for and encourage them?

Or, do you cause them grief?

Prayer: Lord, I know that you have placed pastors in the church to teach and train us in your word. Help me to be an encouragement to the pastors and a committed servant to the church.

Devotion

Service for Sacrifice – Thursday

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Charles Spurgeon said: “The discipline of grace, according to the apostle, has three results – denying, living, looking. You see the three words before you.”

  1. Denying – Ungodliness and worldly lust
  2. Living – Soberly, righteously and godly
  3. Looking – For the glorious appearing of our Savior

Romans 6:2-8 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
It would do us good, to daily remember, what Jesus did, does and is doing for us.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus willingly gave himself as a substitute for sinful man.

Galatians 3:13a Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us:

Jesus bought us out of slavery to sin, and purchased us for his service.

(sin-enslaved – salvation-freed)

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

We are the instruments that God uses to lead the lost to the foot of the cross.
Amazing Grace brought us salvation, security and sanctification. That ought to make us shout!

Does serving the Lord still bring you joy?

If not ask yourself, why?

Prayer: Lord, I lay my burdens and cares at your feet. Please revive my soul and restore the joy of my salvation so that my life will be a light in the darkness.

Devotion

Anticipation – Wednesday

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When my wife would spend time in Ohio caring for her mother, a day would seem like a week. I missed her. I made sure that the house stayed clean, the clothes got washed, the bills were paid and everything was in its place. I was looking forward to her return and I wanted her to be pleased. How do you think she would have felt if on her return she found the house a mess, the bills unpaid and me with another woman? Would the way I was living reflect love or a longing to be reunited? Trust me, I love my wife.

My devotion to Jesus should overshadow my love for my wife.

Luke 14:26-27 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Mark 13:24-27 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Mark 13:32-37 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Are you looking forward to the return of Jesus?

Does your life reflect the anticipation of coming face to face with your Savior?

Prayer: Lord, help me to be faithful to my first love, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I don’t want to become complacent in my faith but I want to grow in your grace and be found faithful when Jesus returns.

Devotion

God’s Divine Power – Tuesday

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2 Peter 1:2-4 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Not only did Grace offer us freedom from the penalty and the power of sin, but it offered us the indwelling presence of God the Holy Spirit.

God is working in us so that he can work through us. We are not alone.

Hebrews 13:5b for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

Think of what parents do for a child. It is a training process. The parents teach, encourage, correct and discipline so that child can become an honest, hard-working productive member of society, bringing honor to the parents. But, that child can resist.

We have God’s grace through the presence of the Holy Spirit training us. He teaches us how not to live and how to live.

We are told to deny, renounce the world system and fleshly lust not just avoid them.

1 John 2:16-17 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

We should live our lives with self-control, being morally and ethically sound and have the utmost reverence for a Holy God.

We better take God seriously.

But, just as a child can resist the instruction of their parents, we can resist the instructions of God.

Are you a disobedient child or an obedient child?

Prayer: Lord, help me to resist those things in my life that are not pleasing to you. I want to be a good reflection of your grace so that others will come to Jesus.

Community/Outreach, Devotion

Saved by Amazing Grace

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Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4,6 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.
Grace is the grounds for following Christ.

Titus 3:5a Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,

1. God’s grace has freed us from the penalty of sin.
2. God’s grace has freed us from the power of sin.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

That same grace that you’ve received is offered to everyone. But, they need someone to show and tell them the good news.

Romans 6:17-18 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

Someone who was following Christ delivered that message to you.
Are you following Christ or faltering?

Prayer: Lord, remind me of the importance of my witness. Let my words and my life lead others to Jesus. Give me a passion for the lost and a hunger and thirst for Righteousness.