Small Group Devotionals
David, despite his difficult life filled with trials was able to rejoice in some of the things that were certain in life, things that he (and we) could count on.
Measuring progress is an important factor in the success of any enterprise. However, we tend not to do this is in our spiritual lives.
When I was a boy growing up in the Catholic church, the nuns and priests used to teach us the 7 cardinal sins. They taught us that from these sins came all others.
One of the most popular devotional songs is the one that asks God to "Make me a servant." The melody is beautiful and the words pierce through to the very core of the character of Jesus and the Christian faith. When we sing this song do we know what we are asking?
Recently, as I reviewed my day in prayer, the Lord revealed a sinful condition in my soul. At first I was ashamed to admit it, but as I accepted the truth, I realized that God's admonition is a wonderful thing because it yields so many benefits.
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus tells His disciples that they should "pray for those who persecute you."
In the book of Ezekiel, the Lord rebukes Jewish leaders for abandoning their role as spiritual shepherds over the nation. He says, "I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one." Ezekiel 22:30
Mike Cope, in his book Holy Hunger, describes two barriers that Christians face in satisfying their holy hunger for God and results in their spiritual death.
Ever notice that surrendering to the Lord is a slow process? It usually begins with an admission that He is God, and you are not, something fairly obvious to the casual observer but...
It seems that we often overlook the true rewards of what the Bible refers to as repentance. The scriptures extol the virtues of faith, perseverance and the doing of good, but upon careful reading we find that repentance can be the most valuable of all the spiritual exercises.
I watched him sit on the bench for most of the game. His eyes looked pleadingly at the coach every time he came near. Just a chance to play coach, his eyes said, just one time at least.
In I Peter 5:8, the Apostle Peter warns his readers concerning the devil. He says that the devil prowls like a roaring lion seeking to devour and he seeks and knows where to find us in order to devour us.
Peter and the Apostles were not only witnesses of the resurrection (and serve as this for every generation of believers in this way), they also served their generation and nation as witnesses that the people were guilty of killing the Messiah. They were the conscience of their nation and their generation.
Back in the seventies the heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali used to provoke his opponents by proclaiming "I am the greatest." It seems that Ali knew that deep down inside many of us thought this about ourselves but few would have the gall or the skills to actually say it in public.
Human Resources people tell us that the first step in motivating employees to better service is by showing them how their job fits in to the company's overall objectives. The idea is that if they understand the "big picture" and what part they play, they will work more intelligently and therefore more profitably and creatively.
Christians never quit God in a single day. Oh, some give up the faith suddenly at times because of a great tragedy in their lives but these are the exceptions. No, the way that most Christians lose their faith is through "drifting".
One of the most difficult things to do at times is "nothing". We are people of action and if things do not happen, we make them happen.
One of the most difficult things to experience in life is rejection. And one of the most painful rejections is when your family rejects you because of your faith. Jesus knew this kind of pain because both His family and community rejected Him and His teachings.
In my life, I've lived through several economic recessions, personal upheavals and family challenges in the last 35 years of marriage and ministry. These experiences have taught me several key lessons about living through hard times.
Concerning fathers Solomon says, "Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers." Proverbs 17:6
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Gerry Bell, Elder,
Saskatoon, Canada - Gravelbourg Church of Christ