Daily Devotional

This space is provided in honor Joe Brooks and Coon Hunters For Christ. The PKC membership is happy to pray for you in a time of need.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:07 am

“‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again’” (Luke 5:5 NLT).

We all suffer setbacks at work from time to time. But sometimes the simplest step from setback to comeback is just two words: Obey God.

God has told you something that’s illogical and foolish. It makes no sense financially, relationally, or emotionally. Worse yet, you’re scared to death.

But God says to do it anyway.

For the past couple of days, we’ve been looking at a story from the Bible about a business setback. In Luke 5, Simon Peter and Andrew had been fishing all night and caught nothing. For first-century fishermen, it would have been an awful setback.

But Jesus came by and used their boat to preach. Then Jesus told them: “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish” (Luke 5:4 NLT).

It was completely illogical. It made no sense.

But Jesus said to go out deeper and drop their net.

Why did Jesus say to go deeper? That’s where you find the big fish. It’s also the biggest risk. There’s no faith without risk.

“‘Master,’ Simon replied, ‘we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again’” (Luke 5:5 NLT).

Simon Peter did what Jesus told him to do. He didn’t do it because it was a smart or popular idea. He did it because God said to do it. He didn’t argue or hesitate.

And God gave Simon Peter and Andrew a bigger business success than they could have dreamed.

The Bible says God gave the brothers so many fish that their nets tore and they had to enlist the help of other fishermen.

But none of that happened until Simon Peter obeyed Jesus—even when it was illogical.

What has God told you that you’re not doing?

Does it seem impossible? Does it make little sense financially? Is he telling you to go into the deep water?

It doesn’t matter. God wants you to take a risk and obey him.

You can either stay in the shallow end where it’s safe or go into the deep water where the big fish are. The choice is yours.

Once you obey, God will take care of the rest. Your best days are on the other side of your obedience.

So will you obey?

Talk About It

When you’ve hit a setback, do you find it easier or harder to obey God when he asks you to do something tough?
Why would God ask you to take risks when you’re struggling through a setback?
What has God asked you to do that you’re struggling to obey?
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:08 am

Bible Study Verse
Psalms 91: 5
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,(NIV)

Thoughts
In the movie, 300, the enemy, the Persian Empire, tries to provoke fear into the outnumbered 300 by saying, "Our archers are so many, our arrows will block out the sun."

I love the response of one of the 300, with laughter he responds, "Then today we fight in the shade!"

What a manly, fear nothing attitude. I want to always have a quick fear nothing response that honors my God, a response that makes HIM bigger and provokes courage into those around me.
(Wes W)

Action Point
I can more readily relate to wolves and arrows as an outdoors man. But God is promising so much more in this story. Not just harm from the outside, but also the inside, pestilence, disease, plague and disaster. Psalms 91:7 reminds us, "Even though others succumb all around, drop like flies right and left, no harm will even graze you," (Message). Verse 10 declares, "Evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door," (Message).
I'm choosing to believe God's promises and speak them out over my wife and grandchildren, even my tent. Verse 10 "Harm can't get through the door," (Message). It's just a choice. I'm making to speak faith building words of strength and encouragement.
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:11 am

“Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17 GNT).

Ever wonder why God isn’t blessing your work?

The answer might be pretty simple. Maybe you never invited him to be a part of it.

Yesterday we talked about the story of Andrew and Simon Peter and their empty fishing nets in Luke 5. They had gone all night without catching a single fish.

But when Jesus got into their boat and they did what he told them to do (“Let down the nets for a catch”), God did the rest. They caught so many fish that their nets began to break, and they needed to get extra help to bring the load in.

What was different between the period of time when they couldn’t catch anything and the moment when they had too much fish to handle?

It’s the same lake, the same boat, the same nets, the same fishermen, and the same fish. The difference between empty nets and abundance was Jesus’ presence in the boat.

It was a game-changer. They were no longer fishing by themselves. God was in their boat.

What’s your boat? It’s whatever you do to make a living.

If you want God to bless your work, you need to invite God to be a part of it.

This isn’t salvation. I know lots of people who have Jesus in their lives but not in their jobs. To get Jesus into your boat, you need to dedicate your career to him.

When Simon Peter and Andrew did this, God gave them more fish than they could handle.

How did these guys go from nothing to abundance? They let Jesus use their boat as a platform for his ministry.

You don’t pray that God will make you a success so you can serve him with your career. You do the opposite. You tell God, “I’m failing in my career, but I’ll give you whatever I have as a platform for you to work.”

That’s when God does a miracle.

Whatever you want God to bless, you give him first place in. That means you’re no longer a real estate agent, a teacher, a landscaper, or an accountant. You’re a missionary disguised as a real estate agent, a teacher, a landscaper, or an accountant. Regardless of what your career is, you make the commitment that you’re a missionary first.

The Bible says, “Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17 GNT).

Everything means everything, including your career.


Maybe you’re in a rut right now and you’re brainstorming every option to turn your career around. You’re considering a move, a new job, or an entire career change. Perhaps that’s what you need to do.

But do this first: Ask Jesus to take control of your boat. Commit to using your work for God’s glory.

Then watch Jesus do a miracle.

Talk About It

Why do we tend to think certain careers—especially pastors and missionaries—are more spiritual than others?
What would it look like if you dedicated your career to God’s service?
What’s the biggest hindrance to committing your career to God’s service?
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:16 am

Bible Study Verses
Deuteronomy 8:6-7
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land -a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills. (NIV)

Thoughts
The land is flat and the woods are thick in northeast Maine. I was hunting with Tim, a buddy of mine. We stayed near a railroad bed and saw plenty of deer tracks. One day I decided to get off the tracks and go into the woods to see if I could push anything across to Tim. I was about 200 yd into the woods when I lost my sense of the direction I needed to return. I wandered around shouting, but the thick brush absorbed my voice. Finally, I heard a faint voice shouting back, and I headed toward that voice.

Whether living in dense woods, a desert wilderness or by mountain streams, we all live in a moral wilderness. The Bible is the voice of God that gives us direction through that moral wilderness. He has chosen to speak to us in this way and without His voice we have little hope of staying on track.
(Steve S)

Action Point
Lots of people say they'd like to hear the voice of God, but they aren't listening in the place He has chosen to speak. Let the Bible test whatever direction you choose to go in life. You can always depend on Him to speak to you through it and show you how to stay on track with Him.
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:50 pm

“[God] canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14 NCV).

You and I both blow it from time to time. We don’t have to live with guilt, but we do have to live with our mistakes.

The Bible never hides this truth. It is painfully honest about the failures of its heroes. God saved the world from flood through a man named Noah—who then got drunk, naked, and blew it all. Moses led the children of Israel through the Red Sea and into freedom—yet his anger kept him out of the Promised Land. King David was a man after God’s heart but also had an affair and murdered the woman’s husband so he wouldn’t be discovered.

God realizes our frailty. If he only used perfect people, the Bible would be a pretty short book. But, God has a solution for our failures: grace.

The Bible says, “[God] canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14 NCV).

In fact, if you look at all those failures in the Bible, you get a clear picture. Just like those heroes of the Bible, you and I are trophies of God’s grace. Your primary witness to the world around you isn’t all the great things you do for God. It’s how you handle mistakes you’ve made. Do you mope or do you revel in the grace of God?

People want to meet a God who turns failures into triumphs. People want to meet a God who can transform the lives of broken people.

The amazing part of God’s grace isn’t just his power to forgive. It’s also the strength he gives us when we start over.

Talk About It

What does it mean for the Christian life to be guilt-free but not mistake-free?
How have you seen God use a failure of yours to show the world his strength and power?
Name some other stories of grace trophies within the Bible. What makes their stories so special to you?
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:52 pm

“God knows what we are made of; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14 GNT).

Your failures don’t surprise God. He expects them. He knows what we’re made of—because he created us.

The Bible says, “God knows what we are made of; he remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14 GNT).

God won’t stop loving us when we mess up. The central message of the Bible is this: God doesn’t love you because of who you are or what you’ve done but because of who he is and what he has done. God made you. He loves you. It's settled! You can't make God love you more. You can't make him love you less. He loves you just as much on your bad days as he does on your good days. His love is not performance based.

The Bible has a word for this. It’s called grace—and it’s absolutely amazing. God looks down and says, "I choose to love you. And you can't make me stop loving you." Even when we’re - bad, God won’t stop loving us. It truly is amazing grace. When you understand his grace, you can relax about your failures and have the confidence to take more risks.

You may have come to God multiple times for forgiveness on the same issue. Maybe you’re not sure you deserve his love and grace. And you’re sure that God has grown tired of your constant efforts at change.

But you can relax. God never tires of a conversation with you. He’s never too busy. No matter how many times you come to him for forgiveness, he’ll be waiting with open arms.

You may have grown up in a home where conditional love was the norm. Your parents’ affections may have been based on your academic, athletic, or social successes. When you failed in one of those areas, you felt the loss of your family’s love.

Relax. That’s not how God deals with you.

The Bible says, "[God] canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross" (Colossians 2:14 NCV).

The Christian life isn’t a mistake-free life, but it can be a guilt-free life. God understands your failures, and he loves you anyway.

That’s amazing grace!

Talk About It

How does it make you feel to realize that God loves you in spite of your failures?
How should the realization of how God handles your mistakes and failures impact how you deal with the mistakes and failures of others?
With whom can you share the good news of God’s amazing grace?
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:53 pm

“A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful” (Proverbs 28:13 TLB).

We usually think of failure as negative. But wise people know how to take advantage of failure. They learn from it. They use it as an education. One of the primary tools that God uses in your life to make you what he wants you to be is failure.

How can failure be good?

God uses failure to educate us. Mistakes are simply learning experiences. Some lessons can only be learned through failure. The Bible says, “A man who refuses to admit his mistakes can never be successful” (Proverbs 28:13 TLB).If you're not making any mistakes, you're not learning. If you're not taking any risks, you're not growing. The freedom from the fear of failure is the freedom to grow.
God uses failure to motivate us. “Sometimes it takes a painful situation to make us change our ways” (Proverbs 20:30 GNT). Often we change when we feel the heat, not when we see the light. When you fail, maybe God's trying to get your attention to move you in a new direction.
God uses failure to build our character. “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us—they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character” (Romans 5:3-4 TLB). Failure has a way of softening our hearts. It helps us grow up and be mature. It makes us sensitive to others. It makes us less judgmental and helps us be a little more sympathetic to people around us who are hurting.
Failure doesn’t automatically grow your character. Failure just makes some people bitter. Failure only builds your character when you respond to it correctly and learn from it.

Talk About It

How has a failure motivated you to make a move or transition that ended up being something good?
Think back to one of your worst failures. What did you learn from it?
How have you seen your character or the character of someone else transformed by failure?
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:54 pm

Bible Study Verse
Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. (NIV)

Thoughts
When I think of running, I think about pronghorn antelope. Now, they can run. As the second-fastest land mammal in the world, they can hit speeds of more than 60mph, only bested by the African cheetah.

I have known a few unethical hunters that thought a Chevy 350 could outrun them. One in particular was gaining on a herd of antelope just before he hit the prairie dog mound that put an end to the chase. After several hundred dollars of repairs and a fine for harassing wildlife, he learned that stalking was a much better method for hunting antelope.
(Ron T)

Action Point
God gave the antelope great speed and eyesight to avoid predators. God has given us the Holy Spirit, and spiritual gifts and He does not want us to be - of those gifts (I Corinthians 12:1). By keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus and staying in God's Word, we can avoid those things that entangle us and prevent us from crossing the finish line of the race He has marked out for us.
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:28 am

“Many of the people scolded him and told him to be quiet. But he shouted even more loudly, ‘Son of David, have mercy on me!'” (ADDRESS).

If you’re going to make a fresh start with faith in your life, you have to face your fears. Don’t let them control you! Fear has an incredible ability to paralyze our potential, to keep us from launching out and having faith in our lives.

When we choose fear over faith, it makes us skeptical—we’re afraid of trying anything new when we’re afraid. It makes us selfish—we’re afraid to commit to God and to others. It makes us short-sighted—we focus on the past and not on the future.

Bartimaeus faced a fear that is familiar to many of us: the fear of rejection. He knew that to shout out at Jesus in that crowd wasn’t the right thing to do. He knew that people would look down on him for it, but he was desperate. And he knew that Jesus Christ was the only one who could help him.

And look what happened: When he shouted out to Jesus, everyone around him told him, “Don’t do that. Be quiet. Don’t make a scene. Surely Jesus Christ isn’t interested in you. He has more important things to do.”

The devil whispers things like that to a lot of us. When that opportunity for faith comes into our heart, thoughts like, “God surely wouldn’t be interested in you” or “Don’t make a scene” or “What would people think of you?” keep us from having faith. When you see an opportunity to change, there are all kinds of shouts from inside and around you that tell you not to rock the boat.

But God is asking you to do something greater than you’ve ever done before: He’s asking you to depend on him completely. Don’t you think that’s going to feel a little bit scary? Of course it is. And when God asks something of you, you have a choice. Are you going to fall back on your fear and stay the way that you are? Or are you going to tame your fear and step forward in faith?

Talk About It

Whose disapproval do you fear the most?
Why do you think sometimes it seems easier to choose fear over faith?
Pray that God would help you receive his protection from what other people think by trusting in him.
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:42 am

“And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us” (2 Corinthians 1:10 NLT).

God is watching over you, so don’t listen to your fears. This is a choice. Trust God, and don’t give in to your fears.

God’s promise to believers is that, no matter what happens to us, he is working for our good—if we love him and follow him (Romans 8:28). If you're a believer, the Bible says all things are working together for good—not that all things are good but they are working together for good.

That means we can stop listening to our fears, because there is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, or disaster in the life of a believer that God can’t ultimately get some good out of. There is no need to fear the future.

Your fears reveal where you do not trust God. Today, make a list of your fears, and ask God to help you identify why you have fear in those areas. Then, ask him to help you replace your fears with trust.

Now, this is important: Expect God to start helping you learn to trust him with each fear. Then, watch to see how he helps you.

Talk About It

What fears have you identified in your life?
Why do you think you trust God in some areas and not in others?
When have you seen God come through when you thought he wouldn’t?
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:43 am

Bible Study Verse
Colossians 1:28
He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. (NIV)

Thoughts
On my daughters 2009 Javelina hunt we encountered some challenges, but were eventually rewarded with a well placed shot resulting in a very quick kill. The hunt didn't start out that way though. We began our hunt by tracking a herd of pigs into a mesquite thicket and decided to "call" them out. As soon as we started calling, we were over ran with pigs. They were running all around us and my daughter was unable to make a good shot.

Lesson learned? Turn the scope down from 9X to 3X when in close quarters with your game, and don't put yourself so close next time. The next time, an hour later, resulted in a similar situation, but with an excellent shot. What made this hunt so much different from all her previous hunts was when I gave this somewhat surprised 15 year old girl step by step instructions as she completely field dressed her kill by herself.
(Ruben C)

Action Point
Like a hunter teaches his son or daughter all aspects of hunting, God has always provided ways for His people to mature and to become complete. Not only is God focused on maturing our faith, but as we see in the passage above He uses his children to mature one another also. Discipleship can be accurately defined as "the voluntary instruction process that leads to strengthening and joy." It can take on many different forms, such as peer relationships (two mature Christians calling each other higher and deeper in Christ), or mentoring by a more experienced believer. Whichever you choose, just remember God calls us to let our light be seen (Luke 11:33) and share the hope we have in Christ with others.
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: 2688
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:14 pm

“Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness” (Acts 4:29 GNT).

We all have fears. Too often, though, we let them rule over our lives and stop us from taking a stand for what we know God wants us to do.

Like Daniel standing in the lion’s den, we face people and situations that threaten to destroy us and our witness for Christ. But the choice is ours.

Will we succumb to our fears, or will we stand up for God in spite of those fears?

If you want to overcome fear that’s dragging you down, you need to clearly understand the benefits of choosing to stand up for what God wants.

Most importantly, you need to see that doing what God wants you to do is a clear victory over the fear in your life.

Because fear grows. Every time you give in to a fear, it becomes more intense.

Fear grows every time you refuse to do what God wants you to do. Eventually, you’ll feel cornered.

So what do you do?

Follow the lead of early Christians. We’re certainly not the first generation of Christians to face fear. Early believers faced all kinds of persecution. The book of Acts shows us a bit about how they stood up to this fear. As Peter and John proclaimed Jesus boldly in Acts 4, they came up against fierce opposition.

So they prayed, “Lord, take notice of the threats they have made, and allow us, your servants, to speak your message with all boldness” (Acts 4:29 GNT).

The answer to your fear isn’t to give in to it. It’s to move forward boldly in spite of it. You stand up to the fear. Fear doesn’t respond to logic, so your only chance to get rid of the fear is to trust God and face the fear.

Never, ever forget this: God won’t part the water in front of you until you take your first step (see how God did this for Elijah and Elisha in 2 Kings 2:8). You take a step of faith, and then God shows you the path. That won’t happen if you stand wrapped up in your fear.

Take a step in faith today, and watch fear crumble in the process as God guides your steps.

Talk About It

How have you seen fear grow in your life because you gave in to it?
How have you seen fear diminish in your life because you stepped out boldly for God?
What fears do you find the most difficult to overcome in your everyday life? Why? How can you give those fears to God?
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:46 am

“God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7 NLT).

In yesterday’s devotional, we talked about seven facets of mercy. Today, I want you to consider some personal application questions for each of the aspects. I want to challenge you to commit an act of premeditated mercy in each of these categories this week.

Wait. Isn’t there a tension between mercy and personal responsibility? Yes, there is. But I have personally decided that if I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of being too gracious, too merciful, and too forgiving—because Jesus did all those things perfectly for me and you on the cross.

So, how will you be merciful?

Be patient with people’s quirks. What person in your life has irritating quirks? How can you practice patience with that person this week?

Help anyone around you who is hurting. Who around you is obviously hurting that you can help this week? If you can’t think of anybody, you’re not paying attention. Look closer!

Give people a second chance. Who needs a second chance? How can you show that person mercy and compassion this week?

Do good to those who hurt you. Maybe you’re suffering from an old wound that you have not been able to let go of. You need to forgive and then turn it around for good. Who is that person in your life? Will you make a phone call or a visit this week?

Be kind to those who offend you. Who offends you? Maybe it’s a politician or a comedian that you can pray for. If it’s a Facebook friend who has different views and says some pretty offensive things, how can you be intentional about showing kindness to that person this week?

Build bridges of love to the unpopular. Who is the first person that comes to mind when you think of an outcast? Who spends their lunch breaks eating alone or doesn’t seem to have any friends at soccer games? What specific thing will you do this week to bridge the gap between you and that person with love?

Value relationships over rules. Who is an unbeliever you could invite over for dinner in the next few weeks? Will you then step up and invite that person to church? This is your ministry of mercy.

Talk About It

Pray this prayer today: “Heavenly Father, your Word convicts me. I want your blessing in my life, and I want to be a merciful person. As I look at these seven things, I think of shortcomings and weaknesses in my own life. I pray that rather than just hearing the Word, I would do something about it. Give me the courage to be merciful. Give me the strength this week to step out in faith and do radical, premeditated acts of mercy that point others to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
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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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:49 am

“The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy” (James 3:17 NLT).

Mercy is like a diamond; it is multi-faceted. Today we’re going to look at seven facets of mercy because I guarantee that if you’ll learn how to be an agent of mercy, it will transform your relationships.

Mercy means being patient with people’s quirks.
How do you become more patient with your kids, spouse, coworkers, or friends? The Bible says in James 3:17, “The wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy” (NLT). The wiser you become, the more patient and merciful you become.

Mercy means helping anyone around you who is hurting.
You cannot love your neighbor as yourself without being merciful. Proverbs 3:27 says, “Whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it” (GNT). But God is not simply watching what you do. He’s watching your attitude: “[When you] show mercy, do it cheerfully” (Romans 12:8 NIV).

Mercy means giving people a second chance.
When somebody hurts us, we normally want to get even or write that person off. But the Bible says, “Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead, be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ” (Ephesians 4:31-32 CEV).

Mercy means doing good to those who hurt you.
Mercy is giving people what they need, not what they deserve. Why should we do it? Because that’s what God does with us: “Love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because [God] is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:35-36 NIV).

Mercy means being kind to those who offend you.
You’ve got to be more interested in winning people to Christ than in winning the argument. Jude 1:22-23 says, “Show mercy to those who have doubts. Save others by snatching them from the fire of hell. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives” (GW).

Mercy means building bridges of love to the unpopular.
This is what I call premeditated mercy, because you intentionally build friendships with people who don’t have friends or who are not accepted at work or in society.

When the Pharisees questioned why Jesus ate with tax collectors and other unpopular people, Jesus said, “‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners” (Matthew 9:13 NLT).

Mercy means valuing relationships over rules.
Romans 13:10 says, “Love fulfills the requirements of God’s law” (NLT). If you want to show mercy, put people before policies. Put their needs before procedures. Put relationships before regulations. Choose love over law.

Talk About It

In today’s culture, why is it often easier to be more interested in winning the argument than in winning people to Christ?
If mercy means valuing relationships over rules, what might you change about the way you interact with your coworkers? What about with your children?
This week, how can you intentionally show mercy to people around you who are hurting?
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: 2688
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: 31 May 2020
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,480
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:51 am

Bible Study Verse
Psalms 84:11
For the LORD is a sun and shield; The LORD gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withold from those who walk uprightly. (NASB)

Thoughts
Have you ever fallen while walking over some slick rocks in a trout stream? Maybe you were trying to climb a steep hill in pursuit of large game, you hit some loose gravel, and on your face you went. We all have fallen at sometime in our lives; but, it is my experience that I get right back up as quickly as I can.

Several years ago, the late Adrian Rodgers gave a sermon on the radio in which he talked about how a certain animal falls and is not able to get back on its feet without help. Have you guessed to which animal he was referring? It was the sheep! When a sheep slips into a ditch and ends up on its back, it cannot get up without the shepherd's help. This is called a "cast" condition; and is, for obvious reasons, a very dangerous situation for a sheep.
(Tom H)

Action Point
The "cast" condition is very dangerous for us as well. If we are not walking uprightly with the Lord, we are in a "cast-like" condition, spiritually. We can't get any traction in the Word or in the things of God. The greatest danger is that we are sitting ducks for the enemy to attack.

If you ever find yourself in this predicament, call out to the Great Shepherd of your soul. He will bring you back into the upright walk where no good thing will be withheld from you!
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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