Small Group Devotionals
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KA-BOOM... KA-BOOM...KA-BOOM went the deafening sound in the garage as Paul, my oldest son, zinged shot after shot off of the dent covered wall serving as his target. Hockey players need to practice shooting and I couldn't blame him, even if my garage wall was full of holes, since I was the one who told him the story of the 10,000 slapshots.
At the beginning of his ministry, Aaron the brother of Moses and head of the priestly family was commanded to maintain the "burnt offering", Lev. 6:8-13. This sacrifice was to remain on the altar every night and all night so that there would always be a sacrificial offering to preserve the bond between God and His people.
(Mark 8:34-38) Each week after a sermon or on Wednesday evening, we offer an invitation. We might miss the significance of this opportunity because we do it so often.
A 1,000 Choices Along the Way
There are always choices to make if you want to follow God's way. A thousand little decisions: to hold your tongue, to switch the channel, to make an effort.
Concerning fathers Solomon says, "Grandchildren are the crown of old men, and the glory of sons is their fathers." Proverbs 17:6
A Christian Father's Vision
Men like to watch. They like to watch sports or sit on the porch and watch cars go by.
A Shred of Doubt
Have you ever noticed that Paul the Apostle never mentions visiting his victims? Paul, before his conversion, was the chief persecutor of the church. He himself says that: he imprisoned Christians (Acts 22:4); tortured them (Acts 22:5); and had them killed (Acts 26:10).
Abstinence vs. Moderation
There is a saying that goes, "All things in moderation." The idea is that so long as you are moderate it's OK to try anything. The more accurate saying is, "All things permissible in moderation," since some things like cruelty, poison, adultery, etc., don't gain acceptability or digestibility through moderation.
"Dear Lord, I know why these things happen and that they happen even to us, your children. We are always in your hands and for better or worse, we continue to trust in you."
I wonder just how much children really enjoy their parents' presence at their games. I sat among a group of moms and dads recently who had turned out to cheer on their kids at a school baseball tournament.
Before You Say "Why Not"
When faced with a decision to do something or get involved in some scheme or plan, people sometimes base their choice on the popular saying “why not?” When they cannot make up their minds they jump into things with the attitude “why not? I cannot think of any reason not to.” Unfortunately many people learn too late why they should not have done this or that.
Best of Both Worlds
At the end of the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon concludes that the greatest blessing God gives to man on earth is the ability to enjoy the "…fruit of his labor…". Ecc. 3:22.
Beyond "An Eye for an Eye"
The recent suicide bombings in Israel continue the rapid disintegration of both the Israeli and Palestinian people. The bomber surely caused a moment of malevolent satisfaction among the oppressed Palestinians but their taste for blood will soon turn bitter as Israeli tanks roll into their neighborhoods to extract a deadly justice once again.
Blessing or Bait?
Author Robert Morely says that the main rule for catching bass is letting the fish run with the bait. You want to make sure that the fish feels no resistance so it will think it has the worm with "no strings" attached.
In the tenth chapter of his gospel, Mark describes a scene where Jesus heals a blind man who had been desperately calling out to Him for help. Once restored of his vision, the evangelist says that the man began to follows Jesus -- a person he had never even seen! This episode teaches us several valuable lessons about the Lord and His way of dealing with those who call on Him: