Daily Devotional

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:25 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.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
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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 Mar 25, 2019 9:54 am

“My cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:5-6 NIV).

Is your life overflowing? If you’re like most people, it may be overflowing, but not with goodness. So many people have overbooked their calendars, overspent their money, overdrawn their credit, overloaded their emotions, overworked their bodies, overcrowded their days, and overvalued the approval of others. As a result, they wind up overstressed, overanxious, and overwhelmed—and they’re over it! They are far from experiencing the goodness of God.

Why do we do let ourselves get overextended? Often the fear of missing out motivates us to do more. But the truth is you’re not missing out on anything when you rest in the goodness and provision of God.

God wants to move you from being overwhelmed to overflowing. He wants to meet all your needs—and he can! First, you need to recognize two fundamentally different approaches to life that either keep you from or bring you into God’s abundance. You can approach life with a shortage mindset or a surplus mindset.

With a shortage mindset, you constantly think, “I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough energy. I don’t have enough contacts, opportunities, knowledge, education, or whatever.” It’s the sense that you’re always a day late and a dollar short. A shortage mindset focuses on your limited resources, and the result is an overwhelmed life.

A surplus mindset focuses on God’s limitless resources, and the result is an overflowing life.

Have you ever worried that the person breathing next to you is stealing your air? Of course not. You know that God created more than enough air for everybody to have all the air we need.

Think of God’s provision like this: God doesn’t give us one pie. He’s a pie factory! He’ll never run out. The Bible includes words like abundance, plentiful, abounding, and bountiful to describe what God has to offer you. God has more than enough to meet all your needs and everybody else’s needs at the same time.

Jesus said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of” (John 10:10 The Message).

You don’t have to worry about running short of anything, because God is the source of your life. He can turn on one faucet and turn off another. You can lose one job, and he can provide another. He wants to fill you beyond capacity with an endless supply of his goodness, joy, blessing, hope, and peace.

Talk About It

What perspectives or emotions would a shortage mindset lead to?
How does a surplus mindset produce peace in your life?
Why do we so often worry about how much others have instead of focusing on God’s abundant provision in our own lives?
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
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
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:55 am

“I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6 NIV).

Of all the benefits of God’s goodness, only one lasts beyond your life on Earth. The final verse of Psalm 23 expresses the ultimate example of God’s goodness: “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6 NIV).

That means you don’t have to fear death, because death is not the end. God saves the best for last. Even if you have a tough life here on Earth, if you have asked Jesus Christ to save you, you will dwell forever in the house of the Lord, where there’s no more sorrow, no more suffering, no more sin, no more sickness, no more sadness, no more problems, no more pain, and no more pressure. Heaven is unbelievable. God’s glory is waiting there for you.

“It is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:5-7).

Everything you’ve seen in movies about Heaven is probably wrong. First, Heaven is not nirvana, a dream, or a metaphorical attitude. Heaven is a physical place, not a state of being. It’s a permanent place that will last forever. And it is reserved for only God’s family.

Heaven is also not boring! We see a glimpse of Heaven in Revelation 21, where we learn that we won’t just veg out and do nothing for eternity. A lot of the stuff you do here on Earth is what you’ll be able to do in Heaven. You’ll be able to eat in Heaven but not gain weight, you’ll be able to sleep in Heaven, you’ll party in Heaven, talk, fellowship, pray, and sing—just to name a few. Heaven was created for you.

There are only two things that you do on Earth that you won’t do in Heaven. In Heaven, you can’t sin, and you can’t witness to a nonbeliever about Christ’s love and forgiveness, because only God’s children are there. That’s why, once you become a believer, God does not take you instantly to Heaven. He wants you to pass on the Good News of salvation and grace. The only reason you’re going to Heaven is because somebody told you about the Gospel. Now it’s your turn to tell others.

There is so much to look forward to in Heaven. We will worship God forever. We will be reunited with those who love Jesus. We will be rewarded for our faith, hope, and love. We will be assigned work that we enjoy doing.

What an awesome promise. What a good God!

Talk About It

Who shared God’s grace and mercy with you? With whom have you shared the Good News?
What has God given you in this life? What are your talents? How can you use them for his glory?
Do you have a bucket list? How do you think all those things will compare to what you will experience in Heaven?
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
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:57 am

Bible Study Verse
Proverbs 12:11-12
He who tills his land will be satisfied with bread, but he who follows frivolity is devoid of understanding. The wicked covet the catch of evil men, But the root of the righteous yields fruit. (NKJV)

Thoughts
Kevin smirked as he leaned up against his fifty thousand dollar sports car. His neighbor, Tom, was sitting on the tailgate of his worn-out pickup truck filing a hoe that he used in his garden. Pushing his sun-glasses back up his nose with one finger, Kevin sauntered over to Tom. "When are you going to give this garbage up? You're out here every day sweating, working, and for what? A bucket of tomatoes? I've got a sweet deal about to go down at work. Sure, it's a little shady. But, I'm going to earn enough this month to buy all of the tomatoes in this state!" With that he headed back to his car. He revved the engine and tore out down the road with radio thumping.

Tom smiled, shook his head, and kept filing the old hoe.

That very afternoon, Kevin rang the doorbell of Tom's house. He was clearly broken as tears ran down his face. "It's over, Tom. My boss found out about my big deal. He said that he didn't do business that way and he fired me. Now, on top of that, the other company is suing for my actions. I guess you were right all along, Tom."

Tom placed a big calloused hand on Kevin's shoulder. "The Bible says that we don't have any understanding if we follow frivolous things, Kevin."

Kevin was quiet for a minute. "Tom, how can I learn to be more like you and less like the jerk that I've been?"

Tom smiled again and handed Kevin a hoe.
(Brian H)

Action Point
Attention! Attention! This is a call to work and a call to live in righteousness! Just picture the writer of the Proverbs standing up on a hill overlooking the city. He clears his throat, cups his hands, and shouts out that line. Now, that's probably not how this proverb was written. But, no doubt, I have your attention now. Have you noticed a theme in the evening news over the last few years? I have seen two things:

How can I get more money or things?
If what I'm doing is wrong, I just need to change the rules so it is now right?
I can't think of any attitudes that are more contrary to the above mentioned verses! You can always find a clear contrast between worldly thoughts and what God has to say. You've seen the two themes of the world above. Now let's state those thoughts as God did in His Word:
Wealth is not evil, but you have to work for it.
The Bible is ultimate truth. Align yourself with it and live in righteousness.
Now compare and contrast those statements. Mull them over in your mind. Does your life square up with the Bible, which is ultimate truth? Do you work for your wants and needs or are you looking for a get-rich- quick scheme? Are you living in righteousness? Read the entire chapter of Proverbs 12. The root of the righteous yields fruit. There is life and no death.
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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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 26, 2019 9:30 am

“All of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT).

One reason you need to be connected to a church family is to fulfill your calling to serve other believers in practical ways. The Bible says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each one of you is a separate and necessary part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27 NLT).

Your service is essential to the body of Christ. Each of us has a role to play, and every role is important. There is no small service to God; it all matters.

No ministry in the church is insignificant. Some are visible, while some are hidden and work behind the scenes, but all are valuable. Small or hidden ministries often make the biggest difference. In my home, the most important light is not the large chandelier in our dining room but the little night-light that keeps me from stubbing my toe when I get up at night.

There is no correlation between size and significance. Every ministry matters because we are all dependent on each other to function.

When one part of your body fails to function, you get sick. The rest of your body suffers. Imagine if your liver decided to start living for itself: “I’m tired! I don’t want to serve your body anymore! I want a year off just to be fed. I’ve got to do what’s best for me! Let some other part take over.”

What would happen? Your body would die.

Today thousands of local churches are dying because of Christians who are unwilling to serve. They sit on the sidelines as spectators, and the body suffers.

God calls you to a service far beyond anything you could ever imagine. He created YOU for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for you to do (see Ephesians 2:10). Whenever you serve others, you are actually serving God.

Talk About It

Why is it difficult to fulfill your God-given calling without other believers around you?
The size of your ministry doesn’t reflect the importance of your ministry. Do you find that idea easy or difficult to accept? Why?
How have you seen God using seemingly insignificant ministry to make a difference in your life or the life of someone you know?
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
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Annual Membership Expires: 31 May 2020
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,480
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:34 am

Bible Study Verses
Zechariah 7:9-10
"Thus says the Lord of hosts:
'Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless,
The alien or the poor.
Let none of you plan evil in his heart
Against his brother.' (NKJV)


Thoughts
The "Code of the West" was unwritten laws by which every cowboy and frontiersman lived. According to this code, there were just certain things you would not do; such as, spit in the presence of a lady or try on another man's hat. There were also matters of honor that when practiced revealed the depth of his character and integrity:
Be courageous.
Be hospitable.
Be loyal.
Be considerate.
Be honest. This rule governed all others. The cowboy spoke the truth and his word was his bond.
In action and in word, he lived by the Golden Rule, even though he may not have ever read the Bible. Thankfully, the Bible influenced the contents of the code.
(Don H)

Action Point
Of all the books that traveled west with the pioneers, the two most important were the Bible and a hymnal. The Bible is replete with words that are the basis for the Code of the West, a gentleman's code, or other such codes, creeds, and commandments. These words from Zechariah 7 could easily be included in the lists of guidelines and are requisites for any intentional Christian living.
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: 2688
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:52 pm

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NLT).

The Bible tells us to “pray all the time” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 The Message).

How is it possible to do this? One way is to use “breath prayers” throughout the day, as many Christians have done for centuries. You choose a brief sentence or a simple phrase that can be repeated to Jesus in one breath: “You are with me.” “I receive your grace.” “I’m depending on you.” “I want to know you.” “I belong to you.” “Help me trust you.”

You can also use a short phrase of Scripture: “For me, to live is Christ.” “You will never leave me.” “You are my God.”

Pray it as often as possible so it is rooted deep in your heart. Just be sure that you’re motivated to honor God, not trying to manipulate him into doing your own bidding.

Practicing the presence of God is a skill, a habit you can develop. Just as musicians practice scales every day in order to play beautiful music with ease, you can learn how to think about God at different times in your day. You can train your mind to remember God.

At first you will need to create reminders to regularly bring your thoughts back to the awareness that God is with you in that moment. Begin by placing visual reminders around you. You might post little notes that say, “God is with me and for me right now!”

If you are seeking an experience of his presence through all of this, you’ve missed the point. We don’t praise God to feel good but to do good. Your goal is not a feeling but a continual awareness that God is always present. That is the lifestyle of worship.

Talk About It

Try using breath prayers to worship God throughout today. What difference do you experience in your attitude and your interactions with other people?
What visual reminders can best help you be aware of God’s presence?
Talk about the way you learned to play an instrument or a sport. How can you apply the same disciplines and energy into developing a lifestyle of worship?
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
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:00 pm

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV).

Real friends bring out the best in each other. They encourage and motivate one another to reach their goals. Friends who will cheer you on to success are a critical part of fulfilling your purpose in life.

There’s an old Zambian proverb that says, “When you run alone, you run fast. But when you run together, you run far.” The Christian life is not a 50-yard dash. It is a marathon.

Marathon runners know there comes a point when you start getting a pain in your side that makes you want to give up. But if you have other people running with you, you can find the strength to continue to the finish line. The only way you’ll achieve your God-given goals is to have others involved in your life.

“In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5 NIV).

Talk About It

We all have different strengths when it comes to encouraging others. What are some ways you can encourage people around you in their life mission?
Why is it important to encourage and celebrate your friends’ success as much as your own?
As you reflect on Romans 12:5, what people in your life can you easily reach out to for help?
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
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:02 pm

Bible Study Verse
Luke 7:44-48
Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon,
"Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven--for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little." Then Jesus said to her, "Your sins are forgiven." (NIV)

Thoughts
The story here is about the contrast between two broken people--one who didn't know he was broken, and one who did; one who didn't receive the forgiveness of Jesus, and one who did.

Sometimes we think our sins are not so bad if they're the sins everyone commits. Special sins--now they're the bad ones. But to Jesus, they're all the same; and because of the sacrifice He made on the cross, they're all equally forgivable. The good news starts with the knowledge that we are sinners, that we are broken. So, knowing that we are broken prepares us to meet Christ, the only remedy for our brokenness. (Steve S)

Action Point
Call a person a sinner and he will turn you off. He'll think you're telling him that you are better than he is. But tell him he is broken just like you are, and he'll know you care about him. Once a person admits he is broken and that he can't fix himself, he is in a place where he can receive the good news of undeserved grace and forgiveness in Christ Jesus.
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
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Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,480
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:06 pm

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.

(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 » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:08 pm

Bible Study Verse
I Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (NIV)

Thoughts
While I was hunting deer recently, a large black bear approached me. When he was still about 40 yds away, I leaned my muzzleloader against a tree and dug my camera out of my pack.

When about 12 ft. from me, he began to circle, getting inside of 8 ft. At that point, I realized that I had moved several steps away from my gun. If he had wanted to attack, I would have been in trouble. I tried to scare him off, but he wasn't about to leave. Throwing sticks at him, shouting, suddenly raising my arms and trying to look as large and as intimidating as possible seemed to make him more interested.

He studied me for almost five minutes. He had no fear; and I'm sure I could have moved closer--even close enough to touch him. Bear experts say that when a black bear attacks, it will approach very methodically, as if to size you up. In this case, he finally turned and walked slowly away.
(Steve S)

Action Point
When Satan approaches a believer, he is more dangerous than a black bear. He is looking for an opportunity to attack. He may circle or hang around for as long as he can. Keep your weapon handy; it's your best defense! The Word of God is more powerful than a two-edged sword. "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart," Hebrews 4:12 (NIV).

Interacting with evil is foolish and risky. Nothing good can come of it. Keep from evil by continually staying in touch with the Lord. Keep Him daily in your mind and heart; and keep His Word on your lips. The prayer that He taught His disciples says, "Deliver us from evil." So ask for His power to help you live in a way that pleases Him. It's your best protection against sin.
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
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Apr 01, 2019 9:02 pm

“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7 NIV).

God accepts us, despite our messy lives, impure motives, and irritating attitudes. One of the ways we reflect God’s love and bring him glory is to accept one another just as he accepts us. This means we accept others’ quirks and look past their faults in order to see individuals created in the image of God.

To become more like Jesus, you’ll need the support of a small group. God designed us to mature spiritually with the help of others. For instance, we can’t learn to love others on our own. We need to learn how to accept one another unconditionally, just as Christ accepts us unconditionally.

The Bible says, “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7 NIV).

This acceptance makes any small group a safe environment, where people are not afraid to express their fears and doubts or talk about their struggles and where lasting change is facilitated.

Talk About It

What events from your past make it hard for you to believe God accepts you?
Why do you think people are more likely to change after, rather than before, they find acceptance?
What would be the hardest thing to share with your small group? Ask God to help you let down your walls so you can be vulnerable and transparent with your group.
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 Apr 01, 2019 9:05 pm

“God’s family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15 GW).

You are called to belong, not just believe.

Even in the perfect, sinless environment of Eden, God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18 NIV).

We are created for community, fashioned for fellowship, and formed for a family, and none of us can fulfill God’s purposes by ourselves. The Bible knows nothing of solitary saints or spiritual hermits.

While your relationship to Christ is personal, God never intends it to be private. In God’s family you are connected to every other believer. The Bible says, “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others” (Romans 12:5 NIV).

Following Christ includes belonging, not just believing. British author and theologian C.S. Lewis noted that the word membership is of Christian origin, but the world has emptied it of its original meaning. Stores offer discounts to “members,” and advertisers use member names to create mailing lists. In churches, membership is often reduced to simply adding your name to a roll, with no requirements or expectations.

To Paul, being a “member” of the church meant being a vital organ of a living body, an indispensable, interconnected part of the body of Christ. We need to recover and practice the biblical meaning of membership. The church is a body, not a building, and an organism, not an organization—truths we encounter in such Scriptures as Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 6:15, and 1 Corinthians 12:12-27.

Talk About It

In what ways have you kept your relationship with Christ private?
What does it look like practically for every member to “belong to all the others”?
How are you practicing the biblical meaning of being a member of your church?
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 Apr 01, 2019 9:06 pm

“All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need” (Acts 2:44-45 NIV).

No one sacrificed like the early church. In Acts 2:44-45, the Bible says, “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need” (NIV). These early Christians didn’t just give their money. They were generous with everything they had. You could say they were radically generous.

What would happen through our churches if we were just as radically generous? The Bible says we’re stewards—or managers—of all that God has given us. We’re responsible to use our resources in a way that impacts the Kingdom.

God doesn’t just give you resources for your own enjoyment, but to make a difference in the world around you. God never blesses us just to sit on what we have. He blesses us so we can bless others.

That’s a hopeful, encouraging truth to remember throughout the year, because generosity isn’t something we only display at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Find ways to be radically generous, and make an impact on the people in your church, the people in your community, and the people God has strategically placed in your life.

Talk About It

How would your life change if you became more radically generous? What would that look like?
When you struggle with generosity, what things make you hesitant to give more?
Based on the truth that God blesses us so we can bless others, what is one practical step you can take this week?
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 Apr 01, 2019 9:08 pm

Bible Study Verses
I John 1:8-10
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His Word is not in us. (NIV)

Thoughts
I was sitting in a summer camp and had finished the soda from an aluminum can. You can guess what I did next. Yep, the can went into the fire.

Now, we all know that an aluminum can doesn't belong in a fire. But, if you put it in the hottest part of the fire, the can will eventually be consumed and burnt up.

Similarly, sin doesn't have any place in the life of a believer. God will forgive us for our sins; but the Bible also says that if we cherish sin in our heart, God will not hear us (Psalm 66:18).

If we'll let Him, God will purify us and purge the sins from our life; but, like the can in the fire, the fire may get hot before it's all over!
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Confess your sins to God; do not bury them in your heart. Let them go, and let God cleanse you so you can live a life that is useful for Him.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Garbage. Pack it in, pack it out. Leave your camp or hunt site cleaner than you found it!
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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