Daily Devotional

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:44 pm

“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire” (Proverbs 15:1 The Message).

The fifth biblical step toward restoring a relationship is to attack the problem, not the person. You cannot fix the problem if you’re consumed with fixing the blame. You must choose between the two. The Bible says, “A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire” (Proverbs 15:1 The Message).

You will never get your point across by being cross, so choose your words wisely. A soft answer is always better than a sarcastic one.

In resolving conflict, how you say it is as important as what you say. If you say it offensively, it will be received defensively. God tells us, “A wise, mature person is known for his understanding. The more pleasant his words, the more persuasive he is” (Proverbs 16:21 GNT).

Nagging never works. You are never persuasive when you’re abrasive.

During the Cold War, both sides agreed that some weapons were so destructive they should never be used. For the sake of fellowship, we must destroy our arsenals of relational nuclear weapons, including condemning, belittling, comparing, labeling, insulting, condescending, and being sarcastic.

Paul sums it up this way: “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you” (Ephesians 4:29 GNT).

Talk It Over

What can you do instead of condemning, belittling, comparing, labeling, insulting, condescending, and being sarcastic?
How can you prepare yourself to give a soft answer before even starting a conversation?
What role do you think body language plays in fixing the problem and not the blame?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:55 pm

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35 NIV).

Each of us has a life message that God wants us to share with the world. Sharing the message is part of our life’s mission. When we share that message with other people, it’s called witnessing.

There is great power in group witness. Just like a soldier is never sent out by himself, God doesn’t intend for us to do our mission alone. He says we should go out together to witness.

In fact, God says that we witness best to people who don’t know God when we love others who are already in God’s family. In John 13, Jesus tells us that our love for each other proves to the world that we are his disciples. People are impressed when Christians genuinely love each other. It proves to the world that they are in the family of God.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, we’re told how we are supposed to witness to people: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (NIV).

Have you been timid and fearful in your witness? God’s answer to fear is community — having other Christians stand alongside you in witness.

Seriously consider this question: Is anybody going to be in Heaven because of you? If you work together to witness alongside other Christians, you’ll be able to say, “Yes! Somebody’s in Heaven because of me.”

Philippians 1:27 says, “I will know that you stand firm in the one Spirit, striving together as one for the faith of the gospel” (NIV).

Do you witness with other Christians in one spirit — when you’re so unified that it’s almost like you’re one person? This is the kind of relationship God wants us to have with our fellow Christians. We all need each other. God wants us to witness for him, but he wants us to do it together!

Talk It Over

What are your fears or reservations about witnessing to people?
How can your community of believers help you overcome those fears?
How can you join other Christians and be encouraged in sharing the Gospel?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:23 am

“Therefore, accept each other in the same way that Christ accepted you. He did this to bring glory to God” (Romans 15:7 GW).

Most of us spend our entire lives trying to earn acceptance. We want to earn it from our parents, peers, partners in life, people we respect, and maybe even people we envy. The drive to be accepted is a deep drive that can influence the kinds of clothes you wear, the kind of car you drive, the kind of house you buy, and even the career you choose.

Maybe as a kid you wanted so badly to join the in-crowd. So someone would say to you, “I dare you to do this,” and they’d suggest something that was either - or put your personal safety at risk. But you did it anyway because your desire to be accepted overruled the desire for safety.

We do it because we love the feeling of “I’m okay. Somebody accepts me.” When you’re accepted, it does tremendous things for your self-esteem. The truth is, Jesus accepts you, and that acceptance is not based on your performance. In fact, you may have received Christ, but do you realize you’re able to do that because Jesus accepted you? You don’t have to earn his acceptance. You don’t have to prove yourself to him.

We need to stop thinking, “I’ve got an unpleasable God up there, and I’ve got to be a good boy or girl to be accepted.” God, through Jesus Christ, has already accepted you. That’s the Good News!

The Bible teaches, “Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” (Psalm 27:10 NIV). Even today you may be trying to prove yourself to an unpleasable parent. You’re still attempting to earn that acceptance. If that’s you, you need to understand two things:

First, if you haven’t gotten the approval by now, then you’re not likely to ever get it — and second, that is their problem, not yours.

You don’t need to be accepted by others to please God. You’ve been accepted by God. We have more than 7 billion people on the planet. If some of them don’t like you, who cares? You don’t need it. God has accepted you!

Talk It Over

On what do you base your self-esteem?
How does the drive to be accepted by others affect you physically? What about emotionally and spiritually?
How does knowing you are accepted by God change your life?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:28 am

“In humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV).

Each one of us needs other people to watch out for us — to defend us, protect us, and help us stay on track. In the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul tells us that we should look out for each other’s interests, not just our own. What a countercultural verse! In America today, it’s all about me — my needs, my interests, my wants, and my ambitions. But Paul teaches us to look out for others, too.

But did you know you have a personal enemy who wants to defeat you. His name is Satan. He wants to bring problems into your life, ruin your relationships, and hurt you as badly as he can.

Why does he want to hurt you? Because he wants to hurt God but can’t, so he goes after God’s children. On your own, you will never win against Satan. But when you have other people to watch out for you and help you, you can be victorious.

Here’s good advice from Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves” (NIV).

Does anyone have your back? Is anyone defending you and watching out for your spiritual welfare? You need a community of people who are saying to you: “We’ll be with you when you’re going through the tough times. We’re not going to let you get discouraged or depressed.”

Community is God’s answer to overcoming discouragement and defeat. Ecclesiastes 4:10 says, “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (NIV).

Remember: You can try, but you can’t live life well on your own. We all need other people to walk with us, work with us, and watch out for us.

Talk It Over

What people have your back or are looking out for you?
How do those people show concern for your spiritual development and safety? How can you show the same concern for them and for other believers?
In what ways have you seen the power of community defeat the attacks of Satan?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:30 am

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13 NIV).

Ever gotten out of bed to make a midnight refrigerator raid, even though you were on a diet? I’ve stood there before with the refrigerator door open, thinking, “Just one bite . . .”

We get into a debate with ourselves: “Go ahead. It won’t hurt this one time.” “No! I’m on a diet!”

It’s in moments like these that Satan feeds us a devilish excuse: “No one will ever know.”

You may not be standing in front of the refrigerator. You may be sitting at work or filling out your taxes or hanging out someplace your parents wouldn’t want you to be. But you go ahead and do something questionable, because you believe the lie that “no one will ever know.”

But God already knows!

Hebrews 4:13 says, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight” (NIV). God is never surprised. He knows everything!

The fact that God knows everything about you is good news, not bad. Here’s why:

God knows your faults and failures. I find it uncomfortable to realize I don’t have any secrets from God, because there are things about me I’d rather God not know. But the Bible says, “My sins, O God, are not hidden from you; you know how foolish I have been” (Psalm 69:5 GNT).

You’re not fooling God when you keep your sin hidden (see 1 John 1:8). He’s not shocked by your sin, and when you admit it to him, it will never change the way he feels about you. He loves you unconditionally, and that means you don’t have to fake it. You don’t have to pretend.

God knows your feelings and frustrations. You may think, “Nobody knows what I’m going through. Nobody feels the pain I’m experiencing.” God knows. He’s seen the crisis in your soul. No hurt goes unnoticed by God. Psalm 56:8 says, “You know how troubled I am; you have kept a record of my tears” (GNT).

Because God knows your frustrations and despair, you can give those feelings to him: “Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 GNT). Cast them all permanently on God, once and for all. Don’t take them back.

Talk It Over

If God already knows your faults and failures, why is it important to confess your sins to him?
What does it mean to leave all your worries with God? What worries do you need to surrender to him today?
How does knowing God loves you unconditionally change the way you live?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:32 am

I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you” (Isaiah 43:25 GNT).

Some of us, even though we’re believers, think whenever we’re having problems that God’s getting even with us, that God’s just trying to get back at us.

It’s like the guy who was driving up to a mountain lake, and on the way up it starts snowing, so he gets out to put chains on his tires. While he’s doing this, another car comes along and slams into his car. And he watches in horror as his car goes over a cliff.

He continues up the mountain on foot, in the snow and sleet, and he’s getting sick from the cold. Then, as he rounds the final corner, he sees that his cabin has burned down. He throws his hands in the air and asks, “Why me, God?” The heavens part, and a voice says, “Because some people just make me mad.”

Maybe you’ve thought that’s the way God feels about you. Maybe you think that whenever you’ve got a problem, it means God is upset with you. But that’s not God’s way. He’s for you, not against you. If, like that man on the snowy mountain, you’re experiencing difficult circumstances, it’s not because God is mad at you. That’s not a reflection of God’s heart for you. In fact, the Bible says we can “rely on the love God has for us. God is love” (1 John 4:16 NIV).

God doesn’t hold a grudge. That’s not his nature. He says, “I am the God who forgives your sins, and I do this because of who I am. I will not hold your sins against you” (Isaiah 43:25 GNT). If you have received Jesus as your Savior, then there is no condemnation because you are in Christ (see Romans 8:1). Now let’s take that truth and replace the old lies.

Talk It Over

Why do you think hard or bad things sometimes happen to believers?
What do you need to let go of because God has forgiven and redeemed it?
How do you think God wants you to respond to adversity?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:42 am

Bible Study Verse
Luke 6:40
A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. (NIV)

Thoughts
Those of us with kids always wonder what they'll be like when they grow up. Actually, it is hard, sometimes, to even think of them as adults. But, it happens--they do grow up, quickly! As they grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, it's up to us as their parents to get them started right, to be their teachers. Think about it. What they learn from us, their parents, is the most important part of what they become. How do they learn? Mostly by watching. My Dad used to say, "Don't tell me, show me." How true that statement is. Yes, I hope my son learns hunting, shooting, and camping from me, and that he acquires a life-long love for outdoor activities. That's a legacy that I want to pass on to him, and he to his kids someday.

But, those things are nothing compared to what he really needs to learn from me and see in me. Things like faith, forgiveness, tithing, dependability, Bible study, how to treat a wife and his kids right, and how to disciple others so that they will also grow in our Lord.

So, as he grows up, will my son be like his teacher? Yes, he will. He will be whatever I've taught him to be; but more than that, he will be whatever I've shown him that I am. In the final analysis, I pray that I'm found to be a worthy teacher. Makes me stop and think. I hope it does you, too. (Cliff S)

Action Point
Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it, (NIV)." Take time to train your children, maybe even the kids next door. Teach them how to hunt, fish, and camp safely. Especially teach them about the Lord, all that He's done for us, and all that He is going to do for us in the future.




Sportsmen's Tip of the Day

Teach your kids gun safety and ethical hunting by example. Remember, they'll hear your words, but they'll do what they see you do.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:59 pm

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name! ‘Zacchaeus!’ he said” (Luke 19:5 TLB).

All of Zacchaeus’ life, he’d been ridiculed and rejected, first for his appearance and then for his sinful life. But Jesus did more than just look at him. By calling Zacchaeus by name, Jesus showed that he knew him. Imagine the shock Zacchaeus must have felt! How did Jesus know his name?

God not only knows where you are, he also knows who you are. He knows what you’re going through, why you’re going through it, and how you feel about it. He knows you better than you know yourself. He cares about you personally.

The name Zacchaeus means “pure one.” That’s the last thing that comes to mind when you think of a corrupt government official. He was anything but pure. And yet Jesus, calling Zacchaeus by name, was saying, “Hey, pure one, I’m coming to your house today.” Jesus was affirming what he saw in Zacchaeus, not what Zacchaeus was.

You may be afraid to get close to Jesus because you think he’s going to scold you for all the things you’ve done wrong. But Jesus wants to affirm you. He wants to let you know how much he loves you.

“Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:15-16 NLT).

When Jesus died on the cross and stretched out his arms and the soldiers put nails through his hands, your name was engraved there. When you get to Heaven, there will be no scars on anyone except Jesus. He’s going to have those scars for eternity to remind us how much he loves us, a way to say, “Do you think I could forget you? Not a chance! This is how much you matter to me.”

Talk It Over

What does it mean to affirm someone?
How does it make you feel to know that God affirms you and could never forget you?
What can keep you from getting close to Jesus?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:02 pm

“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jeremiah 29:11 The Message).

Accepting the truth that God knows everything in your life can either be very disturbing or very comforting. It depends on your relationship with him and whether or not you’re trying to fool him.

Have you been acting as if God were totally unaware of your life in any of these five areas?

God knows your faults and failures, but he still loves you unconditionally.
God knows your feelings and frustrations, and he sees your hurt more than anyone else can.
God knows your future, so he can tell what you need to know.
God knows your fears, and he wants you to hand your worries over to him.
God knows your faithfulness because he sees every good thing you do.
The fact that God knows everything is a tremendous motivator for me to live a godly life. I realize that nothing in my life is done in secret, nothing I face will hinder his ability to help me, nothing that is to come will catch him by surprise, nothing I fear will be too big for his strength, and nothing I do in his name is ever done in vain.

God says, “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for” (Jeremiah 29:11 The Message).

Talk It Over

In which of these five areas have you been acting like God is unaware of you?
How would embracing each of those five truths make a difference in your life?
What motivates you to live a godly life?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
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Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:04 pm

Bible Study Verses
Matthew 21:4-5
All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.'"

Matthew 21:8-9
And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Hosanna in the highest!" (NKJV)

Thoughts
Today is what I call "Daniel 9 Sunday," and here's why. Almost 500 years before, Gabriel had delivered God's promise to Daniel to record, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times," Daniel 9:25 (NKJV).

That's 483 years. On the day in March 445 BC when the command was given, the clock began ticking. It stopped ticking on Palm Sunday, 483 years later, when Messiah the Prince came into Jerusalem.

For the first time Jesus allowed Himself to be hailed as Messiah the Prince, "Son of David.".

Daniel's prophecy had been fulfilled to the day! No other Messiah came into Jerusalem on that day. Our Father kept His word, perfectly - and He still does!
(Fred B)

Action Point
General Douglas MacArthur, in the above photo, left Corregidor in March of 1942, not knowing when he would return. He was able to eventually keep his promise of "I shall return" on October 20,1944.

Unlike the above General, our Heavenly Father operates within our lives with precise timing, complete knowledge, and a perfect record for keeping His promises:
Moses had described this day in Genesis 49:11, Isaiah 62:11, and Zechariah 9:9. At the Triumphal Entry, all of those predictions came to pass, exactly as God said!
There was second beautiful picture of God's perfect timing on that day. That Sunday was the exact day (Nisan 10) that the Passover lambs were being brought into the city! They were examined for four days, and then killed for Passover in Exodus 12.
The Lamb of God came in with them! Three years earlier, John the Baptist had told them to "Behold the Lamb of God" and now they were.

Today, may we rest in His perfect timing and in His 100% record of keeping His Word.
May we rest in the fact that though things don't always look "on time" to us, they do to Him.

May we thank the Lamb of God for coming into town on time, to be our Sacrifice.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:09 pm

Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 5:15-16
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (NASB)

See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (KJV)

Thoughts
Anyone who has hunted for very long has come to understand the importance and value of the walk. To be a consistently successful hunter, one must walk well. Paying attention to changes in wind direction, looking for good cover to prevent long periods of exposure, and careful foot placement with each step are priorities.

When the walk becomes a stalk, paying attention to these priorities is usually the difference between success and failure. I have bagged several animals because others walked carelessly and I capitalized on their errors.
(Randy E)

Action Point
The Holy Spirit gives us the reason for walking as "wise" men and women of God, "So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain," Philippians 2:15-16 (NASB).

So, how are you walking?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:56 pm

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (Colossians 3:1 NLT).

We have many misconceptions about what Heaven is like. You won’t be an angel. You won’t have wings. You’re not going to be a little chubby cherub, wear a white robe, or float on clouds.

We need a right view of Heaven. The Bible says in Colossians 3:1, “Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand” (NLT).

So what does the Bible say about these “realities of Heaven”?

Heaven is where God lives and rules. The Bible calls Heaven “the dwelling place of God,” “the house of God,” and “the city of God.” It’s where God lives, but Jesus also calls Heaven “the Kingdom of God” or “the Kingdom of Heaven” 31 times in Scripture.
Heaven is a real place. Heaven isn’t a state of mind. It isn’t a state of being. And it isn’t a place where your essence floats around like a ghost. In fact, the Bible says in Heaven there will be streets, trees, water, and homes. Many Scriptures allude to the fact that animals are there. We’ll have our physical bodies, renewed through our resurrection. Matthew 6:20 says we’re storing up treasures in Heaven. You can’t store up treasures in a place that isn’t real.
Heaven is designed for you and me. God didn’t design Heaven for himself. He designed it for us. When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about Heaven. The Bible says God made the entire universe because he wanted a family to spend eternity with. Heaven is the place he’s designed for his family. We weren’t meant to live on Earth. You and I were made for Heaven!
When it comes to Heaven,“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV). The realities of Heaven far exceed any of our misconceptions!

Talk It Over

How has your understanding of Heaven changed after reading this devotional?
Consider how this statement influences your thinking about God: “God didn’t design Heaven for himself. He designed it for us. When God started thinking about Earth, he started thinking about Heaven.”
What most surprised you about the three realities of Heaven from this devotional?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:58 pm

Bible Study Verse
Philippians 2:3
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves. (HCSB)

Thoughts
After an eight-hour charter, I had begun my 25 mile jaunt back to the dock when I saw a boat stopped along the edge of the intracoastal with its engine cowling off. I thought, "No, I don't have time to stop and tow these people 10 miles back to the harbor." I stopped anyway; and yes, they had engine problems that could not be fixed.
(Bink G)

Action Point
After tying a rope to both vessels, I loaded the two stranded men into my boat and headed east to the dock. One of the men asked, "You are a Christian aren't you? I can tell by the fish on your boat." (I have a Christian fish symbol, Ichthus, on both sides of my console.) "While we were stranded, we prayed that someone would come and help us."

God provided another example for me of how I should serve others first, no matter how much time it takes.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:48 pm

“We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV).

A man once came into my office and said, “I’m a Christian, but I don’t feel like I’m going anywhere in my spiritual growth. I’m kind of stuck in neutral.”

I said, “What do you think the problem is?”

He said, “I think my problem is I just don’t love God enough.”

I said, “That’s not your problem. Your problem is not that you don’t love God enough. Your problem is that you don’t understand how much God loves you.”

Love is always a response to love. The Bible says, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19 NIV). When you say, “I don’t love God,” it’s because you don’t understand just how much he really loves you.

To understand your life’s purpose and calling, you have to begin with God’s nature. God is love. Love is the essence of his nature. The only reason there is love in the universe is because of God. Ants and snails do not love, but you were made in God’s image, so you can love.

The reason you are alive is because God wanted to love you. The first purpose of your life is to be loved by God! Yes, it is important to serve, obey, and trust him, but your greatest purpose is to love him.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure” (Ephesians 1:4-5 NLT).

Let this sink in: Your first purpose is not to do anything but to just be loved by God.

Talk It Over

How can you just be loved by God? What does that mean to you?
When have you struggled to understand or appreciate just how much God loves you?
Why is being loved by God the first purpose of your life? Why would God create us that way?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2443
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:54 pm

“He will send down help from heaven to save me because of his love” (Psalm 57:3 TLB).

There’s a myth that says I have to clean up my act before I can come to God. “I’ve got to get it all together. There are a few things I need to get right in my life first, and then I’ll come to God.”

It’s like brushing your teeth before going to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned, or washing the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher, or picking up the house before the housecleaner gets there! Why would we do this?

The truth is, God doesn’t expect us to clean up our act before we approach him — the death and Resurrection of Jesus are God’s statement on that. Jesus spread out his arms and said, “I love you this much. Now, just come as you are.”

In Psalm 57:3, the Bible says, “He will send down help from heaven to save me because of his love” (TLB). That’s what Jesus did on Easter. And that’s why we can bring our messes and failures to God.

You likely know people who think God will never love them because they’ve made such a mess of their lives. But you also know that God wants them to come as they are.

Help them hear the Good News from Jesus. Invite them to go to church with you this Easter. It’s such a simple thing to do, but it can make a difference that will last for eternity.

Talk It Over

How much do you find yourself believing that you have to clean up your act before you approach God?
How have you experienced the power of God’s love in your life?
What people can you invite to church this Easter? Make a commitment to do that today.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell


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