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 » Tue Dec 24, 2019 10:47 pm

Trusting God’s Timing in Your Life

God’s Plan Is Good, but Not Always Convenient
By By Rick Warren — December 24, 2019

“Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem . . . Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant. While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child” (Luke 2:4-6 GW).

God’s plan for your life is good. It’s for your benefit. It’s a loving plan. But it doesn’t mean it’s painless, and it doesn’t mean that it’ll always be convenient.

This was particularly true with Jesus’ birth. The circumstances were hardly convenient for Mary and Joseph. The Bible tells us, “At that time, the Emperor Augustus ordered a census of the Roman Empire . . . So Joseph went from Nazareth, a city in Galilee, to a Judean city called Bethlehem . . . Joseph went there to register with Mary. She had been promised to him in marriage and was pregnant. While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have her child” (Luke 2:1, 4-6 GW).

In the middle of trying to deal with being future parents of the Son of God, Mary and Joseph hear that Caesar has issued a census, and everybody has to go back to their ancestral town.

Let’s put that in perspective: If tomorrow the government made a rule like that, and every single person had to go back to the town they were from at the same time, it would be chaos. Every plane, train, and automobile would be booked. Every highway would be filled. It would be incredibly frustrating and remarkably inconvenient.

Now try navigating that chaos nine months pregnant. Imagine how inconvenient it would be to travel by donkey to another city when you’re ready to give birth at any moment. Then, when Mary gets to Bethlehem, she has to deliver her own baby without the help of her mom or a midwife, in a barn, surrounded by a bunch of animals.

None of the circumstances around Jesus’ birth were convenient. But they were part of God’s plan. It had been long foretold that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. The inconveniences to get them there were part of a bigger plan for Joseph and Mary, one that was better than they could have ever dreamed.

Joseph and Mary trusted God through their discomfort and fear. You, too, can trust that a lot of the things God does in your life are because he knows best. He might use some inconveniences to get you where you need to be, but he is always working for your good and working out his purposes in your life.

Talk About It

What inconveniences has God used to get you where you needed to be?
What character traits do you think God is trying to grow in you when you face obstacles and inconveniences?
Do you know what your purpose is—the reason God put you on this earth? How has he provided for you so that you can pursue his purpose 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: 2767
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 25, 2019 6:08 pm

Merry CHRISTmas!!!

Bible Study Verses
Luke 2:15
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." (NIV)

Thoughts
Many years ago I was blessed to draw a Desert Bighorn Sheep tag in my home state of Arizona. Now, understand, I didn't know anything about sheep hunting and didn't really have an appreciation for what I had. This was all new to me. Anyway, after months of scouting, a couple of friends and I went into an area looking for a ram another friend (a well known and highly respected sheep hunter and former guide) had seen a couple of days earlier. What happened next was short of miraculous. We lucked onto a big ram, I mean a really big ram! After about a six hour stalk I was able to make the shot and he was mine. When I told my guide friend about my ram, he said he wanted to see it. He was rather flabbergasted when I told him that I didn't have it, that it was at the other friend's house. I think he really doubted that the ram was as large as I told him. This friend insisted that we drive up to my other friend's house and see the ram for himself. He then believed that what I had told him was true, it was a big ram!
(Cliff S)

Action Point
When the shepherds heard the angel's proclamation regarding Jesus, they decided to check it out for themselves. Notice that they didn't delay, they "hurried off," to find the baby in the stable. So, for those of you that aren't believers in Jesus, this is an example of what you should do. You're reading about Jesus right now and about the claims that were made about His deity, and that He is the Savior of the world. So, what should you do next? Grab a Bible and turn to the fourth book of the New Testament, the book of John and start checking it out for yourself. Read about this God/man that was sent to save us from our sins and provide the sacrifice necessary for us to have a relationship with God. Don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself. When you have found that the testimonies about Jesus are true, put your faith in Him just as the shepherds did!
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: 2767
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 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:48 pm

The Foundation of a Life Well-Lived

Knowing Your True Identity Defines Your Responsibilities
By Rick Warren — December 27, 2019

“[Moses] chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time” (Hebrews 11:25 NIV).

Yesterday we talked about how knowing God helps you understand your identity. Today we’re going to see how knowing your true identity helps you define your responsibilities. It helps you understand what God expects of you—and what he doesn’t.

I learned long ago that God doesn’t expect me to sing opera. If you heard me sing, you’d know why. One day when I stand before God, he’s not going to judge me for how I sang. Singing is a gift he didn’t give me. It’s not what I was created to do.

We’ve been looking at the life of Moses. God planned Moses’ life events to prepare him to deliver the nation of Israel from slavery in Egypt. God planned that Moses would be born a slave but raised as royalty.

When Moses learned his God-given identity, his true responsibility became clear. He could no longer ignore the cries of people in pain. He chose to accept responsibility for delivering his people from slavery.

Hebrews 11:25 says it like this: “[Moses] chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time” (NIV).

What about you? As you get to know God better, you get to know yourself better. As you get to know yourself better, you understand your God-given responsibilities more clearly.

Some people live like they’re responsible for everything. That leads to worry, a warning sign that you’re taking on too much responsibility. You’re not responsible for everything. But you are responsible to be what God made you to be. Romans 14:12 says it like this: “Each of us will give an account of himself to God” (ESV).

God chose Moses’ parents so that Moses would be a Hebrew who could deliver his people from slavery. God used your parents in order to make you uniquely you.

Many circumstances of Moses’ life were difficult, but God used them for good. The same is true of you. God chose for you to be born, and he can use every detail of your life for good.

Your choice is whether you’ll say yes to God and no to other things. Moses said no to living as an Egyptian prince. He said yes to accepting his God-given responsibility.

As you learn your God-given identity, your responsibilities will become clear, too. You’ll learn when to say no and when to say yes. Knowing your identity will define the things you are responsible for.

Talk About It

Think about the details of your life story. What do they tell you about your God-given identity and responsibilities?
How has God used difficult circumstances in your life for your good?
What responsibilities do you need to say yes to today? What do you need to say no to today?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2767
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 » Fri Dec 27, 2019 7:49 pm

Bible Study Verses
Matthew 6:1-4
"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly." (NKJV)

Thoughts
The above tree is a mystery steeped in tradition. For the last 26+ years, Christmas decorations appear at the end of November and disappear in January. To celebrate July 4th, patriotic decorations appear and eventually disappear. Only God and maybe a few highway patrols may have witnessed the decorating elves, but no one knows their identities. Phoenix newspapers have featured the tree and no identities!!!

The 20 ft tree, near Cordes Junction, AZ, is nestled in the median of Interstate 17 North of Phoenix.

The locals love it's welcomed sight and the quiet reminder of what's important at Christmas and at America's Independence Day.

The tree has been endowed with its own watering system which may have been why it has miraculously survived several wildfires in its past. Many believe God has protected this tree. It has been nicknamed "the mystery tree."
(Jo Q)

Action Point
Don't you just love the creativity that God blessed some individuals with. The decorators of the mystery tree must have a lot of spirit and loads of creativity! They sure do well at keeping secrets too!!! Don't know them, but respect them!!!

The above scripture gives us direction on quietly blessing others without tooting our own horns. Deal is if we avoid man's praise, God will honor and bless us openly in His timing and in His ways!

Knowing we blessed someone, knowing we were Jesus to another, knowing we denied ourselves, knowing no one else knows, and knowing God approves should be enough.
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: 2767
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 28, 2019 1:59 pm

The Foundation of a Life Well-Lived

Knowing Your True Identity Guides Your Priorities
By Rick Warren — December 28, 2019

“[Moses] regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:26 NIV).

For the last couple of days we’ve talked about two things: First, knowing God helps you know your true identity. And second, knowing your true identity helps you define your responsibilities. Today we’re going to see how knowing your true identity also helps set your priorities.

Let’s go back to Moses, whose life we’ve been considering. He was born a Hebrew slave but was raised as Pharaoh’s grandson. In Moses’ world the value system for most people was the same as it is today. They valued popularity, pleasure, and possessions.

But when Moses realized he was a Hebrew, his values and priorities changed. Suddenly palace life didn’t matter anymore. “He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward” (Hebrews 11:26 NIV).

His true identity helped him define his values, and he prioritized his life based on those values.

He decided three things:

Fulfilling God’s purpose is better than popularity.
Loving God’s people is better than pleasure.
Having God’s peace is better than possessions.
Moses gave up all the things many people spend their whole lives trying to get. Why? “Because he was looking ahead to his reward.” His vision set his values. Then his values determined his priorities: to follow God and to lead the Hebrew people out of slavery in Egypt.

Paul was one of the first Christians, and he had a similar long-term vision. In Philippians 3:8 he says, “Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus” (TLB).

What about you? What values are most important to you? If you don’t know, give it some thought. If you don’t decide for yourself what’s important, other people will decide for you.

Has your life been focused on what other people value—things like popularity, pleasure, and possessions? If so, follow the examples of Moses and Paul. Find your true identity in Christ. Adopt God’s vision for your life. Let that vision show you your values. And then let your values set your priorities.

Talk About It

What do you see most people around you valuing? What do you value?
Make a list of your life’s top five priorities. How easily did you identify those priorities?
What changes would help your life become more consistently centered on these priorities?
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: 2767
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 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:03 pm

Bible Study Verse
Psalm 104:24-25
O Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the sea, great and wide,
which teems with creatures innumerable,
living things both small and great. (ESV)

Thoughts
The variety of God's creation and creatures is astounding. From the huge to the microscopic, from the magnificent to the plain and seemingly insignificant, all were designed and created with great wisdom and knowledge. All shout forth their Maker's praise and display His greatness. Like humans, they exist for His glory.
(Jack M)

Action Point
To know God in a personal and significant way is the privilege and place of humans. Of all created beings, we alone bear His image and His likeness. It is difficult to grasp this truth, but we were created for a love relationship with Him that is distinct and different from every other creature.

Are you experiencing this relationship with God? Have you begun a personal relationship with Him through the Son of God, Jesus? Jesus died to pay for our sin and to allow us to interact with and to enjoy our God.

We all have sinned. Jesus went to the Cross, died, was buried and rose again, all in complete agreement with the Scriptures. This was done to pay for our sin.

By faith in Christ you may have your sins forgiven and establish that personal relationship with God.
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: 2767
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 Jan 05, 2020 1:21 pm

The Foundation of a Life Well-Lived

God Doesn’t Force Us; He Gives Us a Choice
By By Rick Warren — January 5, 2020

“Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the LORD, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 CEV).

A lot of people have a big misunderstanding about God. They know God planned their existence and has a purpose for their lives. But they have the wrong idea that every detail of life is preplanned. They think they have no choice.

In fact, the Bible teaches the exact opposite. Yes, God has a plan and a purpose for your life, but it’s not automatic. You can miss it.

That’s because God won’t force you to enjoy the plan he has for you. He gives you the choice to accept or reject his salvation. He gives you the choice to obey or disobey his directions. He gives you the choice to follow or ignore the purpose for which you were created. Far too many people miss the purpose of their life because of their poor choices.

The Bible says repeatedly that God will not force you to do his will.

When Moses led the Jews out of Egypt and into the desert after 400 years of slavery, he told them about a land of milk and honey—a land of great, bountiful blessing—that God had promised them. It would be so different from their years of slavery.

But before they went into the Promised Land, God, through Moses, said to the people the same thing he says to you: “Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the Lord, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16 CEV).

God was giving them a choice. God wanted his people to enjoy the bounty of the Promised Land. But he didn’t make them accept it. The choice was theirs.

This is a picture of salvation—of coming out of slavery to sin into freedom in Christ. In order to enjoy life in the Promised Land, the Israelites had to choose to obey God. You, too, have to choose whether you’ll accept God’s salvation and the good things he’s planned for you.

God could have made you a puppet, but he didn’t. He gives you the ability to choose. If you choose poorly, that choice is your greatest curse. If you choose wisely, it’s your greatest blessing. Today God gives you a choice between life—choosing salvation and his path—or death. Which path will you choose?

Talk About It

Have you been living life on autopilot, or are you choosing to follow God’s plan for you?
If you haven’t accepted God’s gift of salvation, what’s keeping you from making that choice?
How have you seen God’s good promises come true when you’ve chosen to follow his path?
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: 2767
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 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:24 pm

The Foundation of a Life Well-Lived

Two Times When God Wants You to Take It Slow
By By Rick Warren — January 4, 2020

“May [God] keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path that he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors” (1 Kings 8:58 The Message).

Today is the last day that we’re looking together at timing. We’ve looked at times God wants you to move quickly and times when you should take life slowly. Let’s think about two more times when God wants you to slow down.

First, move slowly when you’re making any major decision. The book of Proverbs says a lot about this. Proverbs 21:29 says, “Wicked people bluff their way, but God’s people think before they take a step” (CEV).

And Proverbs 4:26 says, “Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure” (ESV). What does ponder mean? It means to think about, meditate on, or carefully consider. You can’t ponder quickly.

When do you need to ponder your path? When you’re making big decisions—maybe about a career move, ministry change, marriage partner, or major financial purchase.

The number one place unthinking decisions happen is in our spending. That’s why so many people are in debt. The solution? “Plan carefully and you will have plenty; if you act too quickly, you will never have enough” (Proverbs 21:5 GNT).

The last time to move slowly is when you’re waiting for a seed you’ve planted to grow.

The Bible talks a lot about sowing and reaping. When you plant a seed, you harvest a crop.

This happens in every area of your life. If you plant kindness, you reap kindness. If you plant gossip, you reap gossip. If you plant generosity, you reap generosity. Whatever you sow, you will reap.

But there is always a delay between planting and harvest. You don’t put a seed in the ground and have an apple tree the next day.

And remember that in the laws of planting and harvesting, you get back more than you planted. When you plant one kernel of corn, you don’t reap just one kernel. You reap a corn stalk with several ears of corn, each covered in kernels. One seed multiplies, and you get back more than you planted.

Maybe you feel like you’ve spent a long time waiting for the harvest. Here’s a promise for you: “At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting—it will happen!” (Habakkuk 2:3 CEV).

As you start the new year, know that you can trust God’s timing. Sometimes God wants you to go fast and sometimes he says to go slow, but his speed is always just right.

Solomon was one of the great kings in the Bible. Let’s start the year praying the same prayer he did: “May [God] keep us centered and devoted to him, following the life path that he has cleared, watching the signposts, walking at the pace and rhythms he laid down for our ancestors” (1 Kings 8:58 The Message).

Talk About It

What major decision are you facing this year that you need to slow down in making?
What kind of harvest did you reap over the past year in your life? In this new year, what new kinds of seeds do you want to plant?
Where do you need to trust God’s timing this year? In what areas does he want you to slow down? Speed up?
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: 2767
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 » Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:26 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.
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: 2767
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 » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:36 am

The Foundation of a Life Well-Lived

Our Choices Define Us
By By Rick Warren — January 6, 2020

“Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. I am commanding you to be loyal to the LORD, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:15-16).

Yesterday we talked about how God lets you make your own choices. Today let’s look at how, once you make choices, your choices make you.

What do I mean by that? It’s easy to think your life is defined by what happens to you. But the truth is that your life is defined by the choices you make.

It’s undeniable that bad things happen all the time. We live in a broken world. You don’t always choose right. Other people don’t always choose right. We all get hurt.

But what happens to you is not nearly as important as the way you choose to respond. Some people are built up through difficult situations. Other people are broken by them. For some people, a bad experience is a stumbling block. For others, it’s a stepping-stone.

If you take two people and put them in the exact same pain, one may succeed while the other fails. Why? Because of the choices they make.

You cannot control many of your life circumstances, but you can control how you decide to respond. You can choose whether things make you bitter or better.

Think about your future. Where do you want to be in 10 years? In 20 years?

Without even knowing you, I can tell you where you’re going to be. Just tell me what you’re choosing right now. The choices you make today determine where you will be tomorrow.

Wise people are always asking: What do I need to do today to get me where I need to be tomorrow?

The book of Deuteronomy tells how God gave his people a choice: “If you obey [me], you will live and become successful and powerful” (Deuteronomy 30:16 CEV). The children of Israel would make their choice, and then their choices would make them.

The same is true for you. God puts choices in front of you every day. What you do with your choices will determine the person you become.

Talk About It

Think about something difficult that has happened to you. How are you choosing to respond to it?
Have you let your life be defined by bad things that have happened to you? If so, how can you choose to change that?
What choices do you think God may be giving you right now?
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: 2767
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 Jan 07, 2020 9:47 pm

Bible Study Verse
II Thessalonians 1:11
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may bring to fruition your every desire for goodness and your every deed prompted by faith. (NIV)

Thoughts
What a special feeling it is to see a child catch his/her first fish. No matter how big the fish, the smile is always bigger, the feeling bigger yet; and the accomplishment outweighs both. After more than 37 years of fishing, I still remember my first fish!

On several occasions, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to show kids how to fish. When they catch that first one, I honestly don't know who is more excited. The parents are proud, the child is proud; and I am grateful that God has blessed me with the ability and responsibility to pass on what He has so graciously let me experience.

I have learned that adventures and experiences, both good and bad, are worth nothing unless we pass them on to others. They can either learn from our mistakes and/or build on our successes so that they have even more to pass on to the next person. To me, that's not only a calling, but a true and wonderful blessing.
(Jim C)

Action Point
If you have the opportunity to pass on any kind of outdoor information, you need to do it. No matter how small or insignificant it may seem, that information could be beneficial to many more than the one to whom you told it. We all need to pass it on.
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: 2767
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 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:53 pm

Building Character

A Life of Integrity Leads to God’s Blessing
By Rick Warren — January 7, 2020

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8 NIV).

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that you are blessed when your heart is pure (Matthew 5:8). What does it mean to be “pure in heart”? Today, we’d use the word integrity. God blesses you when you live your life with integrity.

Having integrity doesn’t mean you’re sinless or that you don’t make mistakes. If that were the standard, none of us could be considered pure in heart. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (KJV).

The Bible says that Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Paul all had integrity. Yet none of them were perfect. God called David a man after his own heart, yet David committed adultery and arranged the murder of the woman’s husband—and faced the consequences for his sin.

We can learn from these biblical heroes that you don’t need to be perfect to be a person of integrity. You just need a heart that is wholly committed to God.

God is more interested in seeing your heart committed to him than he is in the sins you’ve committed. He looks at why you do what you do regardless of what you do. In 1 Samuel 16:7, God says, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (NIV).

No, you’ll never be perfect in this life. You’ll never be sinless, but you can sin less. You can commit to living with integrity and to maintaining a heart that is pure and devoted to God.

Will you make that commitment today?

Talk About It

Why do many people tend to value appearance and personality over character when they look at other people?
If someone could look into your heart, what do you think they would see? How would that align with what God would want them to find?
What are some ways you struggle to maintain a pure heart? Ask God to help you understand why certain areas are difficult for you, and ask him to help you change.
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 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:55 pm

Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 5:1-2
Follow God's example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NIV)

Thoughts
Just about every time I go into the woods, I try to be something I'm not; I imitate something else - perhaps a dying rabbit, to attract a coyote or mountain lion; or maybe a worm, to attract a smallmouth bass. I almost always try to imitate something that will help me successfully outwit my prey.

In my life as a Christian, I have but One to imitate - God - by being like His Son, Jesus. One of the ways Jesus taught us to imitate God is by loving those He came to seek and to save. He loved us, even to the point of death. That is being like God; and that is what is going to attract others to take God's "bait" and accept His gift of salvation.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Being a Christian isn't all that complicated. We are to simply be like Jesus, and, therefore, be like God. To do that, we must love as Jesus loved - the Father above all else, and others as He loved them.
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: 2767
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 Jan 08, 2020 10:21 am

Building Character

You Can Count on People of Integrity
By Rick Warren — January 8, 2020

“People who promise things they never give are like clouds and wind that bring no rain” (Proverbs 25:14 GNT).

The Bible says people who don’t follow through on their commitments are like clouds that never produce the benefit of rain. If you’re a person of integrity, you keep your word. When you say you’ll do something, you do it.

You may have every intention of keeping your promises when you make them. But if you don’t follow through, it leads to negative consequences—some that you may not even be aware of.

For instance, when you break a promise to your spouse or your children, bitterness may seep into the relationship like a poison. Your friends and family can’t trust you if you continually break your promises to them.

You may say circumstances have changed. And maybe they have. But having integrity means you keep your promises even if they no longer benefit you, even if they hurt you, or even if they cost more than you anticipated.

The Bible says in Proverbs 10:9 that when you keep your promises, you’ll walk securely. In other words, reliability leads to stability. When people can take you at your word, your dependability produces tremendous confidence in their lives and in yours.

It may be tough to keep all of your promises, but when you do, God will honor your commitment. Psalm 15:4 says that God blesses people who “keep their promises . . . even when it hurts” (NCV).

Talk About It

How have you been hurt by other people’s promises to you that weren’t kept?
What promises have you made that you haven’t kept yet? If you don’t know, ask your family and friends, and be humble when they tell you.
What are some ways you can guard yourself from making promises you can’t keep?
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: 2767
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 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:34 am

Doing Business with God

Three Ways God Tests You Through Your Finances
By Rick Warren — January 24, 2020

“Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish as a tree!” (Proverbs 11:28 TLB).

God uses money to test you. He doesn’t just automatically give his blessings to anybody. He tests you first to see if you’re responsible. Before God gives you spiritual power, he gives you material possessions. If you’re not managing money well, then why in the world should he give you the stuff that really matters?

God’s favorite tool to test you is your finances, and he’s looking for three specific things.

Money shows what you love most. You’re going to give your most time and money to whatever you love most—and your calendar and bank statement will prove it. Jesus says, “Don’t store up treasures here on earth . . . Store your treasures in heaven . . . Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be” (Matthew 6:19-21 NLT). Wherever you want your heart to be, put your money there, and you’ll get interested in it.

Money shows what you trust most. It shows what you have faith in. Are you trusting in money or God for security? Are you trusting in money or God for your happiness? Proverbs 11:28 says, “Trust in your money and down you go! Trust in God and flourish as a tree!” (TLB).

Money shows if God can trust you. Unmanaged finances are a symptom of an unmanaged life. God is looking to see how well you manage material things before he gives you spiritual blessing. The Bible says, “If you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:11-12 NIV).

There is a direct connection between maturity and money. There’s a direct connection between spiritual power and how you handle possessions. There is a direct connection between God’s blessing in your life and what you do with your bucks.

Don’t miss the connection. How you handle money determines how much God can bless your life.

Talk About It

What does your bank statement reveal that you love most?
Have you been asking God for more blessing in your life? How might your finances be affecting how much God is willing to entrust to you?
What are the “true riches” mentioned in Luke 16 that God entrusts to responsible stewards of his gifts?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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