Daily Devotional

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

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:45 pm

A Faith That Works When Life Doesn't: The James Series

How to Love Your Neighbor from a Distance
By Rick Warren — June 10, 2020

“If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right."

James 2:8 (NIV)

Garage door openers are a wonderful convenience, aren’t they? When you come home after a long day at work, you can just drive right in and close the door, ensuring you don’t have to see another soul before you reach the comfort of your home.

But during a pandemic—and anytime, really—that convenience can keep Christians from following one of the most basic commands in the Bible: "If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right" (James 2:8 NIV).

Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s such a simple command, yet most Americans don’t even know their neighbors—and you can’t love somebody you don’t know.

Did you know that God enjoys watching the people he created have fellowship with each other? In Zechariah 3:10, he says, "Each of you will invite your neighbor to come and enjoy peace and security, surrounded by your vineyards and fig trees" (GNT).

You probably don't have vineyards in your backyard, but you might have a tree in your apartment common area. Maybe there are even benches! Or if you live in the suburbs, you might have a flower garden, a fire pit, or just a patch of grass. The point is not to have a pretty place to offer, but to make the choice to be friendly and get to know your neighbors.

This is a unique time that offers a lot of opportunities to get to know the people around you. You already know most people are at home right now. And, they’re also exercising outside more. Why not just sit on your front porch, wave, and even greet the people going by? You never know when a friendly gesture might eventually lead to spiritual conversations.

Do you have a yard project? Take your time so you can be present and make more connections with your neighbors. Go to the dog park and make it a point to talk to at least one person while you’re there. Offer to share a puzzle or a board game with your neighbor. Are you grilling or making s’mores? Move it to the front yard, and share with your neighbors. Do you normally run or jog? Consider walking more and leaving your earbuds at home so it’s easier to start conversations.

It may seem counterintuitive to get closer to people when you should be keeping your distance. But there are so many ways to love your neighbor, even when you’re six feet apart.

Don’t let the current circumstances be your excuse not to follow God’s command to love your neighbor. Make 2020 count by reaching out, opening up, and sharing life with your neighbors so they can one day share eternity with you.

Talk About It

Have you been reaching out to your neighbors during this time? If not, what is one way you can start today?
Have you looked at this year as something to “just get through” or even a waste? How will your mindset change if you instead focus on the kingdom of God and making friends for eternity?
What are some other ways you can be friendly with your neighbors that may be unique to your situation?
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
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
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:47 pm

Bible Study Verses
Exodus 9:16-17
But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth. As yet you exalt yourself against My people in that you will not let them go. (NKJV)

Thoughts
Do we really live out each day to God's purpose? In this scripture, God is referring to the Egyptian Pharaoh who would not let God's people leave Egypt with Moses. Unfortunately, Pharaoh was fighting against God; and ultimately, God showed His awesome power over all nature. Pharaoh lost.

As God used Pharaoh in His plan for the people He loved, God has a purpose for everyone - each friendship, co-worker, and hunting buddy in His plan for us. Yes, even the inexperienced neighbor who may really look up to you and just love to be included on your next trip out. Can you think of someone who might benefit from your experience and knowledge of the outdoors? What might happen if you invited them on your next camping, fishing, or hunting trip? Perhaps you are worried that the hunt would be ruined? From eternity's perspective, what truly is most important?

Remember Pharaoh: God ended up sending frogs, lice, and locusts (to name a few of His judgments) upon Pharaoh's kingdom in order to deliver His people from slavery. God doesn't go out to get people. He is a God of love and He wants to give you the desires of your heart. He's more likely to send the trophy your way; although the inexperienced hunter may get that one, and you'll just look like an awesome guide!
(Rebecca L)

Action Point
There was a outdoorsman who went hunting with his friend of many years. Sitting by their campfire resting after hiking all day, he felt impressed to talk to his friend about knowing Jesus personally. He struggled and then chose not to say anything because he didn't want to offend this life-long buddy. Not long after this great trip, his buddy died protecting his wife in a home invasion. The sorrow and unrest of not knowing where his friend was for eternity never left him as long as he lived. Stop and seek God's purpose for your day now!
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
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
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Jun 10, 2020 12:49 pm

A Faith That Works When Life Doesn't: The James Series

Real Faith is More Than What You Feel
By Rick Warren — June 9, 2020

“A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. If you say to that person, ‘God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,’ but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. In the same way, faith by itself—that does nothing—is dead.”

James 2:15-17 (NCV)

Right now it’s estimated that over 40 million people in the United States are unemployed. Some of them need food. Some of them are wondering how they’ll pay their rent or mortgage. And they need to know that they’re not forgotten, that they can count on others for support.

It’s not enough to just tell them how sorry we are for their circumstances. Or to send out a tweet with a pious cliché.

Empathy isn’t enough. They need real help.

James says real faith is more than well wishes. Imagine if you walked up to someone in a food line and said, “Hey, I feel for you. Hang in there. Cheer up. Don't worry, be happy.” Doesn’t that ring hollow in such desperate circumstances? They don’t just need your words; they need food.

Genuine faith is practical. It gets involved in people’s needs.

Jesus demonstrated this kind of faith. He didn’t just empathize with our pain and predicament. He came to earth to do something about the sin that separated us from God.

1 John 3:16 says, “Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God’s love is not living in that person” (NCV).

Your response to the pain of the people in your community will show the world what you believe. For instance, at Saddleback Church, we’ve launched drive-thru food pantries. With just one of those we were able to feed 840 families in one day. Your church may already be doing something similar but imagine what would happen if every congregation did this right now.

Genuine faith produces compassion. It says, “I will help you with your burden and show you the love of Christ.” Our faith is seen by what we do.

Talk About It

Are you in need right now? Reach out to your local church and ask what support they can offer.
What are some practical ways (or additional ways) you, your small group, or your church can help hurting people right now? For instance, can you help pay someone’s bills? Can you assist the elderly or those in quarantine who are unable to go to the grocery store? How about helping someone with childcare or supporting a small business trying to recover from being closed?
Because the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us into isolation, many people are struggling with anxiety, depression, and grief. Substance abuse is another common problem. What are ways you, your small group, or congregation can offer emotional support or mental health resources to those in need? (Visit Kay Warren’s website to find practical resources related to mental health, including videos, support groups, tools, and downloadable shareables.)
At Saddleback Church, we offer career coaching workshops that help prepare people looking for jobs or trying to transfer to different careers. What are some other ways you can help people get back on their feet? How can you identify potential employers within the congregation, or the community, who have jobs available?
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
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:18 am

A Faith That Works When Life Doesn't: The James Series

God Hates Prejudice, and We Should, Too

“The LORD our God does not tolerate perverted justice, partiality, or the taking of bribes.”

2 Chronicles 19:7 (NLT)

Our nation is desperate for healing on the topic of race. We’re in a mess, and the Church can’t be silent. The Body of Christ has to talk about it, even though it’s uncomfortable.

We can’t ignore racism because, quite simply, God hates it. If God hates racial prejudice, then we should, too.

Why does God hate racial prejudice?

Racial prejudice questions God’s creation.
God could have made us all the same. We could have all looked alike, but God didn’t do that. He loves variety!

Racial prejudice is a sign of ignorance.
When we demonstrate prejudice, we show the world we don’t know what we’re talking about. We’re revealing our foolishness.

The Bible says, “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them” (1 John 2:11 NIV).

The Bible says if I hate someone just because that person is different, I’m in the dark — and blind. That’s a pretty serious accusation from God.

Racial prejudice disobeys the Great Commandment.
Paul says, “The entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other” (Galatians 5:14-15 NIV).

If you display a racist attitude, you’re disobeying the plain truth of this Scripture. We can’t make judgments about another person based on outward appearance and truly love him or her as a brother or sister.

Racial prejudice is a serious sin.
Prejudice makes God mad. The Bible says, “If you treat people according to their outward appearance, you are guilty of sin, and the Law condemns you as a lawbreaker” (James 2:9 TEV).

Racism is a problem of sin, not skin. One day we’ll give an account for that sin before God.

The important thing to remember as we search our hearts for prejudice and bigotry is that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9 NIV). We will only eliminate prejudice as each one of our hearts is transformed by the love of God. He is willing and able to change us.

Talk About It

If God hates prejudice, why has this been such a difficult sin for the Church to deal with throughout the years? How can we overcome that?
Of the four reasons why God hates prejudice mentioned above, which is the most significant to you? Why?
Ask God to reveal any prejudice in your life. Once he does, confess it as sin, and ask Jesus to heal your brokenness and to lead you toward racial reconciliation.
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
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Posts: 2841
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 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:23 am

Bible Study Verses
Matthew 6:19-21
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (NIV)

Thoughts
My kids and I like to hike in the woods in the Spring after the elk have dropped their antlers. It's kind of like a treasure hunt to them, without the map. It's also a great time to teach the kids about God's creation. They have fun identifying tracks, rubs, scrapes and whatever else we can find out there.

After the antlers shed off, they are subject to the elements and critters. Squirrels, mice and other rodents love to chew on them to get their daily intake of calcium. The sun and weather will bleach them and break them down over time.
(Ron T)

Action Point
My pastor had a great illustration for eternity: He drew a little dot on the church wall. The dot represented our time here on earth. The rest of the church, inside and out represented eternity.

Salvation is a free gift from God, a treasure that will not rot and cannot be stolen. We are here for such a short time, yet it's what we do with His gift of a relationship with Him, our salvation, while we're here that determines where we spend all of eternity.

If you have never made Jesus the Lord of your life, I suggest that you do it now. Go to the Sportsman's Devotional web site, click on the "About Us" page, then on the Sportsman's Devotional.com prayer link. Jesus is coming back, and He said that He will reward each person according to what he or she has done. Read Matthew 16:27.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2841
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 » Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:28 am

A Faith That Works When Life Doesn't: The James Series

Even a Barbeque Can Build a Bridge of Love
By Rick Warren — June 11, 2020

“If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”

1 John 3:17 (ESV)

God has given you unique talents, gifts, abilities, and skills. But those things weren't given for your benefit. They were given to you for the benefit of others. And, despite the need to stay closer to home these days, there’s never been a better time to put those gifts to work as you obey God’s command to love your neighbor.

Meeting needs and serving other people is love in action. The Bible says in 1 John 3:17, "If anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?" (ESV).

I’ve heard about a lot of innovative ways people have been serving their neighborhoods since the pandemic began. When you go to the grocery store, you can check with your neighbors, especially older ones, to see if they need anything. Offer to mow someone’s lawn or wash their car. Maybe someone has questions about their kids’ schooling, their taxes, or a car problem that you are uniquely gifted to answer.

Food always opens doors! Make a meal for someone or drop off donuts for a family.

Bring the newspaper to their door. Offer to pull weeds or help with an outdoor project. Share your number so people can text you with a need. I heard of one family that even posted a QR code on mailboxes to join a group for support during the pandemic. You can also invite people to watch your church service online and talk with them about it after.

Most importantly, there’s one way you can serve your neighbors that will meet their greatest need: Share with them about how much God loves them and how Jesus Christ died to save them.

You need to learn how to explain to your neighbors how they can become friends with Jesus. It's not that hard, friends. You share with them that their past can be forgiven, that they can have a purpose for living, and that they can have a home in heaven. You build a bridge of love between your heart and theirs with a barbecue or a driveway conversation, and you let Jesus walk across.

The most important way you can love your neighbor is to introduce them to Jesus. Make the most of every opportunity to serve the people around you in love so they can learn about the greatest love they’ll ever know.

Talk About It

If you know your neighbors well, have you shared with them about how much God loves them and what Jesus has done for them? If not, what is holding you back from having those conversations?
What is one specific way you can reach out to a neighbor this week to serve them and share Christ’s love with them? Who can hold you accountable to follow through with this?
How can your church family or small group work together to reach out to your neighbors? How can you work with the other Christians who live on your street?
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
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Sat Jun 13, 2020 11:38 pm

A Faith That Works When Life Doesn't: The James Series

Be Color Blessed, Not Colorblind
By Rick Warren — June 13, 2020

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

Some people say, “When I look at people, I don’t see their race. I don’t see their color.” There’s a word for that: liar!

Nobody is colorblind when it comes to race. And God doesn’t want you to be colorblind. He wants you to be color blessed.

God loves color. Just take a look outside! Everything he makes is in color, like sunsets and flowers. Look at all the different people around the world. God loves color! The way he created you demonstrates this.

We need to learn to see all people the way God sees them.

The Bible says, “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looksat the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7 NIV).

Quite frankly, that’s a tall order for most of us. It’s not natural to look at the inside before the outside. We’re trained to make snap judgments based on outward appearance.

Some people you trust just by looking at them, others you don’t. Books are judged by their covers. Homes are judged by their curb appeal. People are judged by how they look, dress, and talk.

So ask God to help you start seeing people the way he sees them. Look at their heart, not their skin.

It’s one of the first steps toward overcoming prejudice in your life — and in the world around you.


Talk About It

When have you been judged by your appearance instead of being judged based on what you’re like on the inside? How did that affect you?
What prejudices are you most likely to have against other people? Take that to God today and confess it. Ask him to change the way you look and judge others.
What steps can you take to be color blessed instead of colorblind?
In the future, what will you do if you find yourself judging someone based on their outward appearance?
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
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:35 pm

A Faith That Works When Life Doesn't: The James Series

The Racism Antidote: Love Like Jesus Does
By Rick Warren — June 14, 2020

“As believers in our Lord Jesus . . . you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance.”

James 2:1 (GNB)

Racism begins with a lack of love. You can’t love someone like Jesus does and harbor prejudice in your heart toward that person. It’s impossible. We must love everybody the way Jesus does.

Jesus gets very specific about this in John 15:12: “My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you” (NIV). How does Jesus love us? Unconditionally, freely, completely, and continually. So how should you love other people—even those of other races? Unconditionally, freely, completely, and continually.

Love doesn’t mean we approve of everything someone else does. Jesus doesn’t approve of everything we do, but he still loves us.

The Bible says, “As believers in our Lord Jesus . . . you must never treat people in different ways according to their outward appearance” (James 2:1 GNB). Although a person may look to be homeless, you should treat that person as you would a CEO.

Love is very practical. A couple that has been in my small group has seven kids, four biological and three by adoption from Rwanda. Knowing the three kids from Rwanda would likely have experienced racism, I asked them recently how they believe Christians should deal with race. They responded with very practical ways to love people of other races.

1. Don’t be colorblind. They like their color, so you don’t have to ignore it. Just don’t make decisions about them based upon their race.

2. Don’t tell people who’ve been treated unjustly that you understand. You don’t. Nobody knows the injustices others have faced. To say you do is simply being dismissive.

3. Remember that your history is not the same as their history. Someone born in inner-city Chicago and a person born on a ranch in Gallup, New Mexico, have different histories. And history matters.

4. Don’t ignore history or say, “Get over it.” Pain matters. These three kids with whom I was talking were orphaned because their parents were killed in a genocide. Your parents weren’t killed in a genocide. You can’t possibly understand their pain.

5. Fight all stereotypes. Everybody in the world feels stereotyped. But stereotypes are never true. Let’s commit to seeing each and every person as an individual, not someone stereotyped because of their skin color, creed, or nationality.
Together, when we love like Jesus does, we can eradicate racism.

Are you ready to start?

Talk About It

Why do we so often equate love with approval? Why is this dangerous?
What are some ways we can celebrate the diversity in our world rather than strive toward being “colorblind”?
What were some negative stereotypes you harbored in your life that you later discovered to be false as you got to know different types of people? How has that changed the way you interact with others?
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
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:31 am

The Invisible War

Why Won’t God Tell Me the Next Step?
By Rick Warren — July 14, 2020

“When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools.”

Ecclesiastes 5:4 (NLT)

When you are seeking God’s will for your life, you need to understand one very important thing—God is not obligated to reveal Step 2 until you’ve done Step 1.

Maybe you keep saying, “I want to know God’s will for my career/marriage,” and God says, “Let’s get to the basics. Are you reading your Bible? Are you in a small group? Are you tithing? Are you talking with me?”

He wants you to start doing what you already know to be the revealed will of God for your life before he tells you what else to do.

So, are there any things God has told you to do but you haven’t done them yet? Why is that the case? The truth is, you’re not waiting on God; he’s waiting on you.

Please don’t wait another week or another year to do what God has already told you to do.

What are you waiting for?

Ecclesiastes 5:4 says, “When you make a promise to God, don’t delay in following through, for God takes no pleasure in fools” (NLT). Don’t delay. Do what you already know to do.

Pray this prayer today: “Lord, I need your guidance in my life. I ask in faith that you direct me. Help me to listen for your response, to not get so busy that I can’t hear you. Father, when I don’t understand it, help me to trust you and understand that you have a path that is for my good. God, what’s my next step? Help me to do what I already know I should do. Help me to not get frustrated. Help me to not be fearful but to trust in you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”

Talk About It

How are you doing with the basics of what God wants you to do? Are you reading your Bible? Are you talking to him in prayer? Are you in a small group?
What has God told you to do that you haven’t done yet? What is keeping you from doing it?
How can you adapt the prayer above to match your specific 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
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:34 am

Bible Study Verses
Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. (NKJV)

Thoughts
Each morning at sunup, during my daily quiet time, I have a treat - watching 50 to 60 cow elk with yearlings walk across the meadow in front of my house. They gather this time of year in anticipation of calving, which usually occurs sometime in April.

Banding together in such a large group provides protection while calving, as the coyotes and Mexican gray wolves in the area tend to know when the cows are dropping their newborn.

I will know when this happens, as they tend not to cross the pasture in the open right after they calve.
(Byron S)

Action Point
You and I also need protection from the predator, Satan, as he continually stalks us. I Peter 5:8 reminds us, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour," (NKJV).

The scriptures warn us again and again about immorality. We often fail to recognize the spiritual war that attacks us through the media on a daily basis.

Pay attention to the Holy Spirit if He repeatedly warns you about a temptation or dangerous situation:

Keep yourself chaste.
Don't depend on your own strength and wisdom in times of weakness.
Call upon Jesus and lean on His strength in fighting these battles.

You will gain strength if you take time out daily to read your Bible.
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
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Annual Membership Expires: 31 May 2020
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:46 am

Bible Study Verses
Psalms 25:4-5
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long. (NIV)

Thoughts
When my family first started backpacking, we learned quickly about making sure to have the right compass and/or maps. Walking up and down the aisles at Cabela's, we found many varieties of compasses. As we stood there trying to sort out all the information, the question became, "Do we want compasses or would we be better off just getting a GPS?"

Being the purists that we are, we finally decided to do it the old-fashioned way and use compasses in conjunction with good quality maps. The reason that finding the right compass was so important to us was very simple: we didn't want to get lost out on the trail. Should we be uncertain as to which way to turn when we reached the crossroads of the trail, we could simply look at the compass and know that the route we were taking was the right one. Being lost is not fun!
(Dave M)

Action Point
Fortunately for us as Christians, God has provided us all the directions we need for this life through His compass, the Bible. Life has a way of muddying the picture for us and it's easy to get turned around or lost. That's why it's imperative that we make God's Word a staple part of our daily lives.

It's really not important what I think about the issues that may confront me; it's more important that I know what God has to say about them. His response needs to be mine! Let's rely on God's Word daily as our compass to this life. We need to read it and let it soak in, so that our lives will be transformed into what God desires for each of us.
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: 2841
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PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Annual Membership Expires: 31 May 2020
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:52 am

Bible Study Verse
John 15:4
Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. (NIV)

Thoughts
God created us and the animals we pursue to be fruitful. Deer have fawns, elk calves; and birds babies. It's a simple fact - the fruit will resemble the parent. Our fruit will bear God's resemblance and characteristics because we are attached to Him.

Notice the words, "Remain in me, and I will remain in you." It's a physiological fact that a branch must be attached to the vine, not only to bear fruit, but also to stay alive. Life sustaining nutrients flow from the roots through the vine to the branch, and thereby allow the branch to produce fruit - fruit that is consistent with the vine.
(Cliff S)

Action Point
We're all branches. To what vine are we attached? There are many from which we might choose: work, family, hobbies, idols, God. Make your selection; but always remember that you will bear fruit of whatever vine is providing the nutrients.

Sportsmen's Tip of the Day
Be careful of the fruit and berries you pick and eat in the woods. Some are safe, some are not. Unless you know for certain, it's better to be cautious than to make a mistake and get sick, or worse, be seriously poisoned.
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 Jul 14, 2020 7:55 am

Bible Study Verse
Ezekiel 33:19
And if a wicked person turns away from their wickedness and does what is just and right, they will live by doing so. (NIV)

Thoughts
Trying to turn a herd of buffalo can be a tough job. When buffalo get it in their heads that they want to go a certain direction and you want them to go elsewhere, they usually end up going their way. If by chance you can get ahead of them and turn the lead cow, the rest of the herd will usually follow. However, it is important to take a fast and trustworthy horse along with you.
(Ron T)

Action Point
If we are not on God's path, He wants us to turn, do a complete 180 degree pivot and get on His path. Through His forgiveness, none of the sins we committed while going the wrong way will be remembered, Ezekiel 33:16. As a matter of fact, the sins we committed are removed as far as the east is from the west, Psalms 103:12. That's a long way.

I have heard people say that they can forgive, but they won't forget. I might have even said it myself a time or two. I'm so glad that when God forgives my sins, He also forgets them. If we ask Him about the sins we have committed in the past, He will say "What sins?"
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 Jul 14, 2020 7:57 am

Bible Study Verses
II Kings 6:15-17
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?" the servant asked. "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see." Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (NIV)

Thoughts
I love lookouts! There's nothing better than going through mountains and finding a spot where you can see for miles upon miles. You can stand on a cliff's edge and look to the next mountain, see a river meandering its way through a valley, look down on a soaring eagle that used to be flying above you. These vistas give a more complete picture of what is fully there, and they are breathtaking!

In our Christian walk, we often lose sight of the big picture. We keep our nose to the grindstone and simply try to put out fires that are thrown our way. We fail to see our world as God views it.

The people we find irritating are people with whom God wants us to establish a relationship so that He can minister to them through us.

The troubles that disrupt our day and send us down a path that we hadn't anticipated are really God's way of getting us to the place that He needs us to be.

But, we don't see it! Our vision is too limited.
(Dave M)

Action Point
As we walk through our day today, let's ask Him to show us our life, the people, and the situations in it the way He sees it. Rather than seeing troubles, let's see opportunities. Let's put on God-vision, so that we can see what is really going on from God's point-of-view. If we do this, don't be surprised if our breath is taken away by His view, because of how He really wants to use us each day.
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 » Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:14 pm

Bible Study Verses
Psalms 18:1-2
I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (NLT)

Thoughts
Many years ago I had the privilege to hunt with some very experienced law enforcement professionals that were also friends. A state trooper, a fish and game officer, and a deputy sheriff were just part of this group. On an extended out-of-state hunt we stopped on the way at a secure location to do a last minute sight-in before we entered our hunting unit.

I had brought two rifles of a similar caliber a 270 and a 7mm. With two firearms instructors supervising and looking on with literally hundreds of shooting range hours between us, I inadvertently placed the wrong cartridge in a rifle and pulled the trigger. Instantly we all knew something was wrong, the bullet left the gun, but it made a ricochet sound like a movie sound effect. The back blast of powder from the shell exploding hit my face and covered my shooting glasses.

Everyone rushed to my side as I had powder burns on my forehead and cheek, but was otherwise fine. My safety/sunglasses had saved my eye and God had done the rest.
(Marshall M)

Action Point
The Bible is full of instructions and warnings for our spiritual safety. But, unfortunately many times we ignore God's word for our own desires and it's just easier to cut corners. We rationalize and justify our actions with excuses and delusional logic.

This can be a dangerous way to live especially since accidents can happened to the most experienced of us at any time in all aspects of our lives. It's never too late to set up your own spiritual safety net. Find a Christian men's group and an accountability partner and do not neglect the basics: devotions, bible study, prayer, worship, and fellowship.
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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