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 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 12:51 pm

When God Tests You, He’s Stretching You
By Rick Warren — December 7, 2019

“The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they follow my instructions” (Exodus 16:4 NIV).

You can find a lot of commands in the New Testament, and some of them are really inconvenient and uncomfortable—things like “Don’t worry about anything” or “In everything give thanks” or “Always return good for evil.” Some of them even seem impossible!

Yet every demand God makes of us is a test of faith. When God asks you to do something that stretches you, you have to decide: Are you going to trust a gut feeling that says it’s just too much for you to handle, or are you going to trust what God says is the right thing to do?

The fact is, God often asks us to do the impossible so we’re forced to depend on him.

God gave the Israelites a test in Exodus 16:4 when it came to how they were going to eat in the wilderness: “The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they follow my instructions” (NIV). He gave them seemingly crazy demands to test their faith and obedience.

God asked Abraham to leave the security of a known situation and travel to an unknown country where he had never been, to start a new nation. And Abraham obeyed and went.

God asked Noah to build an ark on dry land far from the ocean. Noah did what seemed crazy to everyone else and obeyed God.

When more than 5,000 people were hungry, Jesus told Andrew to feed them. God often asks his people to do the impossible to put us in a position where we have to trust him for a miracle. He wants to do that in your life, too.

Your faith increases not only when you rejoice continually through difficult circumstances but also when you obey immediately. That always builds your faith. When God says to do it, don’t sit around. Don’t wonder why it doesn’t make sense. Don’t worry about whether you’re able to do it in your own strength.

Just do it. Obey God right away, and trust that he will give you everything you need to fulfill his purpose. And he will grow you in faith.

Talk About It

Think of a time when God told you to do something that seemed impossible. Did you obey? If so, how did you grow in faith through your obedience?
Why does it matter if you obey right away or delay your obedience?
What faithful people in your life have modeled obedience to God? Do you think they would say it has been easy?
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: 2841
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 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:42 pm

Bible Study Verse
Luke 12:24
Think about the ravens. They don't plant or gather crops. They don't have any barns at all. But God feeds them. You are worth much more than birds! (NIV)

Thoughts
God's existence, goodness, and provision for all creation is evident in His care of animals and birds. Instinctual actions and reactions protect wild creatures from danger.

I witnessed a hen pheasant fake an injury from a cycle bar mower to protect her young. I thought she was hurt. She crawled away from me, dragging a wing, walking lopsidedly, and pretending to be severely hurt. She would attempt to fly as I got closer, seemingly able to fly only a few feet. After I was about 50 yards from where my efforts had begun, she sprang into the sky, flying away completely uninjured. She had pretended to be injured in order to lead me away from her young.

God instilled that ability into her genetic code to protect her and her young. His goodness is manifold, yet He says that you are more valuable than they are!
(Jack M)

Action Point
Pause to think about how God provides for you - clothing, shelter, food, medical care, health, and things to enjoy! These things tell us that God places immense value on all human life.

He values us so much that He provided a Way for us to spend all eternity with Him in Heaven. That Way is found singularly in Jesus Christ. Psalm 46:10 encourages us to "Be still, and know that I am God."

Meditate on God's providential care of all creatures. When on stand, take time to reflect on how it all points back and gives glory to God who is the Creator. Thank God for His goodness and providential care of yourself and all created things.
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: 2841
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 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:45 pm

God Tests Your Faith through Difficulties
By Rick Warren — December 6, 2019

“You are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith” (1 Peter 1:6-7 PHILLIPS).

Do you ever have days when nothing seems to go right?

I once heard about a guy whose apartment was flooded from a broken pipe in the upstairs apartment. His manager said to go rent a water vacuum, but he couldn’t—his car had a flat tire. He changed it and went inside again to phone a friend but got an electric shock from the phone. That startled him and he unintentionally ripped the phone off the wall. During that time, the water damage had jammed the door to his apartment, so a neighbor had to kick down the apartment door. While all this was going on, somebody stole the guy’s car—but it was almost out of gas. He found the car a few blocks away and had to push it to a gas station to fill up the tank. When he got back home, he discovered that four of his canaries had been crushed to death by falling plaster in his apartment. After slipping on the wet carpet and badly injuring his tailbone, this guy began to wonder if “God wanted me dead but kept missing.”

Even if you’ve never had a day quite that bad, you’ve likely discovered that life is full of problems, pressures, and stresses.

Did you know that the Bible says we shouldn’t be surprised by life’s problems? It says, “You are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident—it happens to prove your faith” (1 Peter 1:6-7 PHILLIPS).

If you are a believer, nothing comes into your life by accident. Everything is Father-filtered. The Bible doesn’t say everything’s good. But as Romans 8:28 says, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (NLT)—even the difficulties, the irritations, and the interruptions. They all have a purpose.

We don’t usually realize it when we’re in the situation and may not want to admit it afterward, but every problem has a greater purpose: God does it to prove our faith.

So how does God want you to respond to difficulties? James 1:2-3 says, “Consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure” (GNT).

God uses difficulties to test your faith, and you increase in faith when you rejoice continually and keep a positive attitude in spite of things not going right.

When you remain grateful and positive and continue trusting God even in the middle of difficulties, your faith is stretched.

PLAY today’s audio teaching from Pastor Rick >>
Talk About It

Things may not look good in your life right now. But how is it a comfort to know that God is still working things together for good?
Do you desire to increase in faith? Why or why not?
How is it a testimony to the world when Christians rejoice in the midst of trials?
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: 2841
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 » Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:46 pm

Bible Study Verse
I Kings 3:14
"And if you stay on course, keeping your eye on the life-map and the God-signs as your father David did, I'll also give you a long life." (Message)

Thoughts
The above desert bighorn sheep petroglyph is high on a mountain by some natural water collecting rock holes, similar to a bath tub. I just reasoned from those long ago signs that some Indian while waiting to ambush supper when the sheep came to water, would hide under cover while drawing on the rocks. I put that in my memory bank in case I ever want to hunt one. Thanks for the sign fellow hunter.
(Wes W)

Action Point
This was God's promise to Solomon. Instead of asking God for riches, honor, and long life, he asked for a discerning and God-listening heart. Now as a man a few thousand years later I can grasp that, reason it, and apply it to my life today. I will follow the God-signs.
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: 2841
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 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:47 pm

Radicalis: Developing Spiritual Roots
Problems Prepare You for Eternity
By By Rick Warren — December 15, 2019
“Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).

You need more than positive thinking to survive in this world. You need hope.

And lasting hope is possible because God is preparing you for eternity.

God is using everything in your life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—to get you ready. When you understand this, life begins to make sense. You stop asking, “Lord, why is this happening?” because you know why.

The Bible says, “Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).

Those verses describe several truths that are the same today as they were in Peter’s day.

Problems are temporary. They won’t last forever. But God is using those trials for his purposes.
Problems are necessary. They are an indispensable part of preparing you for heaven.
Problems are varied. You’ll experience trials of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of intensity.
Problems test your faith. You build muscles by testing them. The same is true with your faith.
Problems purify your motives. God is much more interested in your character than your comfort. He’ll use trials to refine your character.
Problems prepare you for your rewards. The trials you’re going through now don’t compare to the rewards of heaven.
No doubt, the troubles you’re experiencing now aren’t fun. But the Bible makes it clear they can result in something good. They’ll make your faith stronger.

That’s why you can have hope no matter what’s going on in your life right now.

Talk About It

How has God used troubles to make your faith stronger?
How can understanding the truths from today’s devotional help you experience greater hope?
With whom can you share the message of this devotional?
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: 2841
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 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:37 pm

Don’t Get Tired of Doing the Right Thing
By By Rick Warren

“Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up” (Galatians 6:9 TLB).

If things don’t happen right away or when you think they should, that doesn’t mean you should quit. You need to be diligent. You need to have endurance. You need to keep on.

The Bible says, “Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up” (Galatians 6:9 TLB).

This Christmas, where do you feel like giving up? Maybe you feel like giving up on your marriage. It may seem like it’s just dead and going nowhere. Maybe you feel like giving up on your career. You’ve tried and tried and tried to make a difference, and it just isn’t happening. Maybe you feel like giving up on your dream or a goal. Maybe you feel like giving up on yourself.

But think about this. A thousand years before you were born, God knew you would be reading this today, and his message to you is simple: Don’t do it. Don’t give up.

Don’t ever give up. The tunnel seems incredibly dark right now, but there is always a light at the end. It may be just around the corner! You are known, you are loved, and you have a purpose. Don’t get tired of doing what is right. Don’t think what you’re doing doesn’t matter. Don’t think anyone would be better off without you. Those are lies from the mouth of the Devil himself. Remember what God has said about you. Remember that he wants to bless you.

Don’t give up. Look up. Look up to God. Find a spiritual family—a church and a small group—to help you through the tough times. Meditate on God’s Word for encouragement.

Never give up on God. He will never give up on you!

Talk About It

What do you want to give up on today? Where do you need encouragement?
How can a spiritual family like a small group help you through dark times? How have you been able to provide that kind of encouragement to someone before?
Is there a “right thing” you’ve been doing that has just worn you out? Why do you think God wants you to keep going?
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: 2841
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 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:40 pm

Bible Study Verse
Matthew 7:14
But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (NIV)

Thoughts
Over time, my family's interest in camping has shifted away from public campgrounds to experiences that are more rustic. When we first started camping, we would pull into a campground, set up camp, and then establish our plan for sights to be seen and trails to hike.

After doing lots of day hikes and taking in beautiful scenery, we thought it would be nice to take the next step with our hiking and venture into backpacking. Our thinking was that if the day hikes were nice, just think of all the amazing things we could see if we went to the interior of the trail systems. The idea that we were seeing a side of nature that most people didn't ever get to view was appealing. We became fascinated with "the road less traveled." As a result, our trips, planning, and time are now focused on the narrow trails that we enjoy following.
(Dave M)

Action Point
The Bible is very clear that the road that leads to God is one that is narrow. As a believer, we are confronted daily with options that either lead us away from God or to God.

I pray that as your journey of faith continues you would become fascinated by the narrow path that God has laid out before us and that it would become your heart's desire to pursue it. There is a definite reward for pursuing the narrow path!
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: 2841
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 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:52 am

Developing Spiritual Roots

Joseph Chose to Offer Grace
By Rick Warren — December 18, 2019

“Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly” (Matthew 1:18-19 GNT).

The Christmas story could have gone differently for Joseph. Think about it: God could have chosen to save Joseph a lot of confusion and pain by directly telling him about Baby Jesus. Instead, Joseph has to learn the news from Mary and possibly think his fiancée’s been unfaithful to him.

What is God doing here? He is testing Joseph’s character. He wants to see if Joseph will be compassionate, forgiving, and loving. And instead of trying to get even or even getting angry, Joseph chooses to offer grace and let the pain go.

Mary was struggling with fear at the first Christmas, and Joseph was struggling with anger. This happens today in marriage after marriage. Often, one spouse is dealing with fear and the other is dealing with anger at the same time. Joseph had every reason to be hurt and wounded, but he didn’t attack Mary in his hurt. He offered her grace.

The Bible says in Matthew 1:18-19, “Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement quietly” (GNT).

That’s a beautiful example of grace. Joseph doesn’t publicly embarrass her. He’s not trying to shame her. He just says, “Okay. We’re going to call off the wedding.” Joseph is put in a difficult situation, but he chooses to do what he thinks would honor God, not yet understanding that the Heavenly Father had a bigger plan for Joseph to be the earthly father of Jesus.

Who has hurt you deeply? Are you still hanging on to that hurt? If you are, that’s one of the reasons you’re not joyful. You cannot be resentful and joyful at the same time. You’ve lost your joy because you’ve kept your resentment.

You’re not going to change anything by holding on to your hurt. Don’t forgive because the other person deserves it. Forgive because it’s what God has done for you. Offer grace, and let the pain go.

Do you want to be bitter, or do you want to be blessed? When you choose to show grace and let it go after people hurt you, you get God’s blessing on your life.

Talk About It

What hurt have you had a hard time letting go of? How has it affected your joy?
How has resentment affected your physical health—or the health of someone you know?
What does God’s forgiveness mean to you? You’ll never be able to forgive fully until you’ve understood how much God has done for you.
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: 2841
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 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:57 am

Bible Study Verses
Hebrews 13:1-3
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (NIV)

Thoughts
It's usually fun to meet a stranger in the woods. You're both hunting, so you instantly have something in common, something to talk about. I met one of my best friends under such circumstances. God brought us together in the middle of the Arizona outback thirty years ago. We're still hunting together, and now our boys hunt together! What a blessing from God!

God can work in unusual ways to bring blessings to us. A few days ago something very different happened when I met a stranger. It was late afternoon and I was checking out of the local hardware store (almost as dangerous a place for me as the local Sportsman's Warehouse outdoors store) and I spoke to the check-out lady, called her by name, Natalia, the name on her nametag. She immediately looked up, smiled, and almost cried.

Natalia told me that I was the first person all day who had called her by her name. She thanked me; and I thought, what if I hadn't extended that little act of courtesy and kindness? Natalia might have gone home that evening believing that nobody saw her or cared about her, and that would be tragic.

Again, I was blessed, not for what I had done, but for the lesson that I had learned about paying attention to people around me. Who knows, maybe Natalia was an angel sent by God to see if I was really paying attention to those folks I see in my daily routines.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Be observant of people around you, take note of them; be kind to them. They may have a special need that you can help meet, and by so doing have an opportunity to share Jesus with them.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
When you see somebody broke down in the woods, stop and offer assistance. It just might be a life-threatening situation.
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: 2841
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 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:01 am

Developing Spiritual Roots

Don’t Just Read God’s Word. Study It!
By By Rick Warren — December 16, 2019

“If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it” (James 1:25 NLT).

While you’re waiting on God to fulfill a dream or answer a prayer, he wants you to focus on what he’s told you in his Word.

The Bible is God’s Word to you. Did you know that it contains thousands and thousands of promises? Can you name one of them? If you can’t, then how in the world can you claim the promise? If you have an insurance policy but you don’t know what it covers, then you won’t know what you can claim if you have an accident.

God’s Word is the policy on your life, and if you don’t ever read it, you don’t know what God has promised to do in your life. When you don’t know what God has offered to do if you’ll trust him, it’s inevitable that you’ll be stressed out and worried.

The Bible says in James 1:25, “If you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it” (NLT).

Do you want to be stressed, or do you want to be blessed?

The key to being blessed is to read, study, and remember God’s Word, and then you do what it says. The more you obey, the more you will be blessed.

“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper” (Psalm 1:1-3 TLB).

Talk About It

What would you like to change about your Bible study habits?
What could you adjust in your life—your priorities, your schedule, your attitude—to make more time for reading, studying, and memorizing God’s Word?
Do you find it difficult to obey God’s Word? Why or why not?
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: 2841
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 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:04 am

Developing Spiritual Roots

Problems Prepare You for Eternity
By By Rick Warren — December 15, 2019

“Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).

You need more than positive thinking to survive in this world. You need hope.

And lasting hope is possible because God is preparing you for eternity.

God is using everything in your life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—to get you ready. When you understand this, life begins to make sense. You stop asking, “Lord, why is this happening?” because you know why.

The Bible says, “Be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT).

Those verses describe several truths that are the same today as they were in Peter’s day.

Problems are temporary. They won’t last forever. But God is using those trials for his purposes.
Problems are necessary. They are an indispensable part of preparing you for heaven.
Problems are varied. You’ll experience trials of all different shapes, sizes, and levels of intensity.
Problems test your faith. You build muscles by testing them. The same is true with your faith.
Problems purify your motives. God is much more interested in your character than your comfort. He’ll use trials to refine your character.
Problems prepare you for your rewards. The trials you’re going through now don’t compare to the rewards of heaven.
No doubt, the troubles you’re experiencing now aren’t fun. But the Bible makes it clear they can result in something good. They’ll make your faith stronger.

That’s why you can have hope no matter what’s going on in your life right now.

Talk About It

How has God used troubles to make your faith stronger?
How can understanding the truths from today’s devotional help you experience greater hope?
With whom can you share the message of this devotional?
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: 2841
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 Dec 19, 2019 1:06 pm

Trusting God’s Timing in Your Life

God Is Always on Time
By Rick Warren — December 19, 2019

“The vision will still happen at the appointed time. It hurries toward its goal. It won’t be a lie. If it’s delayed, wait for it. It will certainly happen. It won’t be late” (Habakkuk 2:3 GW).

God is never in a hurry, and he’s never late.

He’s always on time.

God’s timing is perfect, even when we can’t understand it. We’ll never really understand it, because God exists on a different wavelength. He has a different view of time because he is timeless.

The Bible talks about God’s understanding of time in 2 Peter 3:8. It says, “Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (NIV).

Does that sound like the way you treat time? It might feel like a thousand years when I’m waiting for a meal sometimes, but we humans don’t think in those terms.

God’s timelessness has big implications for your life. When God created you, he put a dream in your heart. Most people start off with a big vision and a big goal. They have some kind of dream or plan or project for their life.

What vision has God given you? Over the years I’ve discovered that while everybody tends to start off early in life with a vision, as times goes on, more and more people give up on their dream before it’s accomplished because it doesn’t happen fast enough.

Maybe you have had your dream battered. Maybe you have had your dream broken. Or maybe, out of discouragement and disappointment, you have buried your dream. You’ve given up on it.

God doesn’t want you to do that. If God gave you a dream for your life, it will happen. It just has to happen on his timetable, not yours.

God says this about your dream: “The vision will still happen at the appointed time. It hurries toward its goal. It won’t be a lie. If it’s delayed, wait for it. It will certainly happen. It won’t be late” (Habakkuk 2:3 GW).

When I started Saddleback Church nearly 40 years ago when I was 25 years old, I was in a hurry to get everything done fast. But God said to me the same thing he will say to you with your dream: “No, it’s not all going to happen right now. But slowly, steadily, the vision will be fulfilled.”

I want you to remember a powerful truth this Christmas season: God is never early in your life. He is never late in your life.

God is always right on time.

Talk About It

Why would God want your dream to happen on his timetable, not yours?
Have you given up on a dream because it was delayed? Do you believe that the dream is from God?
Why is it so difficult to stay disciplined when it comes to your dreams and goals?
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 Dec 19, 2019 1:09 pm

Bible Study Verses
Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither - whatever they do prospers. (NIV)

Thoughts
As a hunter, I want to be associated with other sportsmen who will be law abiding and give wise counsel in all situations. Likewise, I want to grow in my Christian life and my walk with Jesus. God's plan for growth is to avoid the counsel of foolish individuals and to listen to wise counsel.

Wise counsel is best found in His word. His instructions are to meditate on it day and night. In other words, where I go, so should God's words - in my thoughts and in my actions. There are also two promises here, rewards for our obedience: stability and prosperity. But, there is action required on our part - meditate on the Word.

Another observation about this passage: David chose to address negative counsel first. Now, considering today's worry about self-esteem, it would seem that he would have addressed the positive first. I think that the writer may be indicating that it is always easy to find someone who will give us free advice and counsel, and it's usually worth just what we pay for it.

However, if we desire to grow in God and gain wisdom in our walk with Him, we must be in His Word.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
If you want to grow in your faith and in your walk with God, you must spend time in the Bible. Read, study, and meditate on God's Word daily.
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: 2841
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:32 am

Trusting God’s Timing in Your Life

No Matter What You’ve Done, God Will Take You Back
By By Rick Warren — December 23, 2019

“With deep love I will take you back” (Isaiah 54:7 GNT).

This Christmas season, do you need a little refreshment in your life? Are you feeling a little dried up? Do you need some revival?

Come back to God.

You may say, “Rick, you don’t know what I’ve done.” I don’t need to know, because it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. God still wants you to come back to him.

You may say, “Isn’t God going to scold me? I’ve been away from him for months, years, decades.” Here’s what the Bible says God will do if you come back to him: “With deep love I will take you back” (Isaiah 54:7 GNT).

God isn’t mad at you. God is mad about you! No one will ever love you more than the Creator who made you. God the Father created you, Jesus the Son died for you, and God’s Spirit wants to live in you. Christmas is proof of God’s love for you.

Many people can’t feel God’s love because they’re listening to the wrong voices. If you listen to what other people say about you, you’re going to get down. If you listen to what you tell yourself, you’re going to get down. Stop believing everything you tell yourself, because it’s not all true. You lie to yourself more than you lie to anybody else. You’re not the best judge of you, because your feelings lie all the time. (This is true for all of us!)

You have to decide whom you’re going to believe. Are you going to build your life on what everybody else thinks about you? Are you going to listen to what the critics say about you on social media? Are you going to listen to your own feelings?

Or are you going to listen to what God says about you, which is the truth?

Acts 3:19 says, “Now it’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins [and] pour out showers of blessing to refresh you” (The Message).

You’re deeply flawed, but you are deeply loved, and you are infinitely valuable. You may have come to the end of yourself and feel like you don’t have anywhere to turn. But there is always Someone to turn to.
With deep love, God will take you back.

Talk About It

Do you believe God loves you despite the worst things you’ve ever done? Why or why not?
Whose voice do you listen to most often? Whose opinion has the most weight in your life?
What are some of the things God says about you in his Word? Do you trust that those things are true?
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: 2841
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 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:45 pm

Merry Christmas Eve!!!

Bible Study Verses
I John 4:7-11
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (NASB)

Thoughts
One of my fondest Christmas memories is the year that the whole family, Mom, Dad, aunts, uncles and cousins, rented a big cabin in the Allegheny Forest of Pennsylvania. What a great time we had snowmobiling, hiking through the snow, sitting in front of the big fireplace, warming up with a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in it. Everyone helped with the cooking and the dishes in the big kitchen. We cooked some of the game that had been taken earlier in the season. I was all grown up by then of course. I think I was 16. My girlfriend (now my wife of 35 years) was with me. No worries there, we all slept in the same big room on cots, couches and the floor. It was glorious. I can hardly remember a better time in my life before or since.

Family is so important to me. Sharing with family in God's wonderful outdoors during Christmas time is right next to divine. The Lord gave us families to help us learn how to love. To help us to learn how to love Him and them!
(Dave H)

Action Point
I want you to know that this devotional is specifically for you today. I don't know who you are, but the Lord does. The Lord prompted me to write this and I had the distinct impression that it was for someone in particular.

The holidays are times of family gatherings. We cherish the love and good tidings that abound this time of year. However, there are also some families whose joy is taken away specifically because it is a time for families to gather. What do you need to do this day for your spouse concerning her mother? Do you need to show compassion to your mother-in-law? Is this finally the time to show support for your spouse by confronting her mother (in love!)? I don't know the situation that the Lord has put you in. I only know that you need to address this situation. For everyone else, remember that this can be a stressful time for families. Let Christ's love, mercy and compassion flow through you this season. Not everyone has the blessing of a family to be with during the holy days. Reach out and invite someone who is alone or hurting to enjoy the love and warmth of your family.

Merry Christmas to all!
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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