Tag Archive : CA

Daily Devotional: ID - Your Destiny Revealed

Devotional Overview:

Most of us feel God calling us to something more — something specific that is uniquely ours to offer. When we feel the weight of that calling, we often don’t know what it is or what to do about it. ID Seminar devotional will help you to discover the unique life mission God has planned for you — because once you know it, you’ll have the confidence to take the next step toward your destiny.

Key Scriptures:

  • Ephesians 4:7
  • Romans 8:37
  • John 15:16
  • Romans 8:28-29

Devotional:

Identify Current Conditions
When identifying your spiritual condition, profit/loss statements probably don’t come to mind. However, making an assessment of where you are now will help you determine what needs to happen to get you where you want to be or where God wants you to be.Here’s the good news, “your current condition does not determine your end destination.” 
Once you identify where you are currently and what you have, you can ask the Lord what He wants to do with what He’s given you and where He want to take you. Focusing on what you have and giving it to the Lord allows Him to bless it. Even more important is for you to know who you are in Christ – your true identity. Scripture tells us you are awarded more grace than you can exhaust; you are more than a conqueror; you are handpicked by God to produce fruit.
Remember, whatever situation you find yourself in, God can turn it around and bring good out of it. Don’t wait until you have everything in order to start working towards your destiny.

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: ID - Your Destiny Revealed

Devotional Overview:

Most of us feel God calling us to something more — something specific that is uniquely ours to offer. When we feel the weight of that calling, we often don’t know what it is or what to do about it. ID Seminar devotional will help you to discover the unique life mission God has planned for you — because once you know it, you’ll have the confidence to take the next step toward your destiny.

Key Scriptures:

  • Jeremiah 29:11
  • Romans 12:2
  • Hebrews 12:1

Devotional:

Acknowledge There is More

Whether you write it down in a “to do” list or make a mental note, we all have things we want to accomplish each day. When you add to that all the information we’re bombarded with via technology, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even with all our busy-ness, there is still something missing, something more for us to do.

During those rare instances when you actually have some down time, you may find yourself wondering, “Are the goals I’m reaching toward the right ones? Does God have another purpose for my life?”

Today you begin the journey to discover who God has uniquely designed you to be. To change your focus, your direction towards God’s purpose, you have to change the way you think. 

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Daily Devotional - Home Again: A Study Of The Prodigal Son

Devotional Overview:

This six-day plan uses daily Scripture, devotionals, and a short film to uncover how we can apply the story of the Prodigal Son to our own lives. This video portion presents the parable in a modern telling so readers can discover how Christ sees them, and then be compelled by this understanding to live a life devoted to Him.

Key Scriptures:

  • Luke 15:11-32

Devotional:

Read through the story of the Prodigal Son from beginning to end. As you read, take time to reflect on all that you’ve learned about this parable throughout the last few days.

Consider:

What one idea will you take away from this Bible plan?

Apply:

Spend a few moments in prayer and ask God to reveal to you what He wants you to learn from this parable.

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Daily Devotional - Home Again: A Study Of The Prodigal Son

Devotional Overview:

This six-day plan uses daily Scripture, devotionals, and a short film to uncover how we can apply the story of the Prodigal Son to our own lives. This video portion presents the parable in a modern telling so readers can discover how Christ sees them, and then be compelled by this understanding to live a life devoted to Him.

Key Scriptures:

  • Luke 15:25-32
  • Romans 3:23-24

Devotional:

In every single one of His teachings, Jesus was always aware of who His audience was, and how they viewed themselves. He was a master at communication, captivating crowds with His stories that challenged people to see the world differently from the way they had before.

Jesus never intended to end His story with the younger brother returning home like many may have expected. He had an alternate ending in mind that would cause the Pharisees to have to take an honest look at their attitude toward others.

In Verse 25, we see the older brother confront his father, upset that his younger brother was being celebrated and welcomed home despite his bad decisions. You can almost hear the entitlement in his words. The older brother is essentially saying, “I’ve always done everything right. I deserve to be celebrated, I’ve earned it.”

Like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, many people have this same entitlement today. So many of us feel that we’ve done everything well; we’ve followed all the right rules, we’ve been a “good” Christian. We feel that we’ve earned the right to cash that in and have God give us what He owes us.

But Paul boldly reminds us in Romans 3:23-24 that we’ve all fallen short of the glory of God. This is a key concept that the Pharisees, and many of us, miss in our understanding of Jesus.

Christ didn’t come to save the bad, and reward the good. Regardless of whether we’ve taken God’s stuff and run with it like the younger brother, or hung around church our whole lives to impress God with our good behavior, we fall short of the goodness of God. Everyone is in need of being saved. Thankfully, Jesus has already done the saving.

Regardless of where you’ve been, or what you’ve done in life, Jesus looks on you with overwhelming love. He is a God that joyfully runs to you, throws His arms around you in a warm embrace, and calls you His beloved child as He welcomes you home.

Consider:

What are some things you’ve done in an effort to earn the right to be called a child of God?

Apply:

Watch the final installment of the short film Home Again and consider how you’ve acted like the older brother in your relationship with God.

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Daily Devotional - Home Again: A Study Of The Prodigal Son

Devotional Overview:

This six-day plan uses daily Scripture, devotionals, and a short film to uncover how we can apply the story of the Prodigal Son to our own lives. This video portion presents the parable in a modern telling so readers can discover how Christ sees them, and then be compelled by this understanding to live a life devoted to Him.

Key Scriptures:

  • Luke 15:17-24
  • John 6:28-29

Devotional:

The power in the story of the Prodigal Son lies in the unexpected ending. Those listening to Jesus tell this story knew full well that the younger brother returning to his father deserved to be met with rejection and anger.

The younger brother acted with the utmost disrespect for his father, essentially wishing him dead, only desiring what he could gain as an inheritance from him. And then on top of everything, he went off to waste all of his father’s wealth. It was bad enough to take someone’s money and wish them dead, but then spending it all on worthless things just added insult to injury.

Imagine standing in the crowd of listeners as Jesus explained that while the younger son was still a far way off, the father began running toward his son. They probably listened in horror, wondering how violent the father’s response would be. But then something very unexpected happened—the father wrapped his son in his arms and welcomed him home without question.

In John 6:28 the disciples ask Jesus the question, “What must we do to be doing the works of God?”

Essentially, all the disciples were sitting around begging Jesus for the secret tip on how to be in good standing with God. You can almost imagine Jesus smiling and leaning toward them, maybe even drawing it out for dramatic effect, and then answering with utter simplicity, “Just believe in me.”

Like the son returning to his father, we aren’t required to clean ourselves up before returning home to God.

We’re invited to believe that Jesus’ death and resurrection on the cross already put us in good standing with God, regardless of our past mistakes. Take the advice that the disciples received; believe that because of what Jesus has done, God runs to welcome you home.

Consider:

Did you realize that God loves you so much, that He would run to you as you return to Him?

Apply:

How does understanding this about God change the way you live your life?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional - Home Again: A Study Of The Prodigal Son

Devotional Overview:

This six-day plan uses daily Scripture, devotionals, and a short film to uncover how we can apply the story of the Prodigal Son to our own lives. This video portion presents the parable in a modern telling so readers can discover how Christ sees them, and then be compelled by this understanding to live a life devoted to Him.

Key Scriptures:

  • Luke 15:1-2
  • Romans 3:23-24

Devotional:

As you read or watch a story, you may find yourself asking, “Which character am I?”

It’s human nature to want to connect to a story by placing ourselves within it. Jesus, being the master communicator that He was, knew this, and used this as a tool to connect with His audience and move them to action.

At the very beginning of Luke Chapter 15, we see that there were two types of people standing in the crowd before Jesus. We’re told first there are “tax collectors and sinners,” and secondly that there are “Pharisees and scribes.”

So with His current audience in mind, Jesus tells a story that places both types of listeners (sinners and Pharisees) as characters in the narrative.

Even today as we read this parable of the Prodigal Son we have to understand that we fit in to one of these two categories of people in the crowd. You either perceive yourself as a sinner, aware of your brokenness, or you view yourself as the Pharisees saw themselves–proud of your ability to be a “good person” and follow the rules.

In Romans 3:23 we read that all of us fall short of the glory of God. Within this one verse, we find the message Jesus was preparing to teach to the crowd of listeners. Our good behavior doesn’t rescue us from sin; we all stand before God broken, and in need of a Savior.

Like the members in the crowd Jesus spoke to that day, it’s crucial we understand this. We can’t engage with this story as a neutral bystander. We have to take an honest look at ourselves and admit we’re either reading this as a self-righteous Pharisee, or a humbled sinner.

Consider:

Which character are you in the crowd of listeners?

Apply:

Spend a moment in prayer asking God to show you the ways you act like a sinner or a Pharisee.

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Pastors Corner: Turn to Christ Jesus or leftist and evil?

Pastors Corner

Turn to Christ Jesus or leftist and evil?

In this Pastors Corner segment, I wanted to bring up the fact that we are coming to a point of decision in this nation: USA… Will we turn to Christ Jesus or leftist and evil? On November 4th, 20 cities will be protesting against our president, and I am sure there will be violence against anyone speaking for the present president.

They have vowed to continue to protest until President Trump is impeached. I am praying that there would be a unity in our nation for righteousness. But I know that the Lord will protect those who are godly. There some in this nation that wants to strip it of all freedom of religion and the freedom of speech. They also want to divide this nation and destroy it.

But we as Christians cannot sit by idolly and pray, and not live our Christianity. Let’s be like Daniel who prayed every day for the people of God, and for having a nation that will do what is right.

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  • Luke 15:11-24

Devotional:

“It’s Party Time!”

“Heavy” is the nickname of a musclebound giant of a man with tats inked all over his body. He is thirty-seven years old and currently lives in a halfway house for parolees, having finished serving a thirteen-year sentence for armed robbery.

The road Heavy faces to becoming a productive and self-sustaining member of society is steep. Statistically, the chances of Heavy ending up back in jail are high. So we at People of the Second Chance wanted to change the script for him. We decided to take a page from the prodigal son story and throw a party for Heavy.

We invited our friends to come. We reached out to officials from the justice system and ex-cons who had turned their lives around. Heavy’s pastor showed up, and so did one of Heavy’s cousins, whom Heavy was trying to keep from making the same mistakes he had made.

I’m telling you, it was the greatest time! We had cake and gifts. I asked Heavy to share his dreams with everyone.

After he had finished sharing, he pulled me aside and said, “You know what, Mike? That was the first time in my life that I felt like anybody has actually ever listened to me.”

That night we celebrated a felon who needed a party. We watched an ex-con find hope. Fellow prodigals shared their own stories to help Heavy be not so heavy.

The story of the kingdom is found in a raging fiesta for someone who doesn’t deserve one. The father says, “We had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again” (Luke 15:32, niv). The theology of grace is in the party.

The gospel is in the balloons and piñatas, which is made possible only by death and resurrection—the death and resurrection of Jesus and our own death and second-chance resurrection. So let’s party, celebrating our own acceptance by God and spreading the party to others who need it.

How can you bring more celebration into your own life and others’ lives?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  • Matthew 22:34-40

Devotional:

“Channels of God’s Love”

I want us to give the same passage we looked at yesterday a “second chance” to teach us something today. Because, you see, one of the lessons I am learning about God and how he shapes my heart is that God does his shaping through the people I love. Through the lives of the other beloved. It’s clear to me that when compassion and kindness are brought into my life, God is moving on my behalf. He is loving me through others.

I know many people have amazing experiences where they feel the love of God firsthand in their hearts. They go off alone and feel his presence, approval, and acceptance in a special and direct way. Maybe you’ve had one of those moments. I hope you have. I hope everyone does.

Still, I like to think that God’s love is always on, is constant. It’s not there only when we feel it and think about it or have a really spiritual moment. It’s always residing in us. His love, acceptance, and delight in us are ever present. And the key to experiencing even more of this love is to give it away. To let it flow out so we can be filled even more.

I guess God could just rain his love on us. He could set up a direct flow into each person’s heart. But that’s now how he set up the love exchange. We are not just reservoirs of his love and grace. We are channels. We are rivers meant to flow.

You can see the brilliance of this strategy. The more we love others, the more his love spreads out into the world. Maybe that’s why Jesus’s bottom line on living a powerful life came down to a two-pronged commandment: Love God and love others. It wasn’t just a commandment; it was a description of how life works. The more we love others, the more we experience the love of God.

This is also a clever way to dismantle the beautiful lies of judgment and labels. God has appointed the outsider, the misfit, the other as the primary mechanism for expanding the love inside our hearts. Loving the other is how we get more of him. More life. More of all we were meant for.

How can you give and receive God’s love through others today?

[Content Provided By Bible.com]

Daily Devotional: People Of The Second Chance

Devotional Overview:

We’ve all been crippled by failure, hurt, disappointment, loss, or opposition at some time. But Mike Foster shows us that God offers every one of us a second chance through his love. The feelings of insecurity, fear, shame, not measuring up, and judgment. That. Stops. Today.

Key Scriptures:

  • Matthew 22:34-40

Devotional:

“Love Yourself”

Before I accepted my identity as God’s beloved, I was never enough. What I accomplished was never enough. And whatever good was there in front of me was impossible for me to take pleasure in, because I was trying so hard to be good that I could never just embrace the good.

I was always bringing a false self to God, but God can’t love a false self. So I was unable to experience God’s love. I had no idea who I was. And in that confusion a light dawned, dim but sure.

I knew I needed to love myself again. The real me. I needed to present my real self, with all its flaws, all its mistakes, all its failures, and all its cowardice and cruelty, to God. I needed to feel my heavenly Father wrap his arms around the real me and say he loved and accepted me by his grace.

It can sound a little selfish and touchy-feely to say that self-love is the answer to our deepest needs. Isn’t this just more positive psychology hoo-ha? Nope. We see the principle right there in the words of Jesus.

When Jesus was asked to pick the greatest commandment, he actually offered up two commandments from two Old Testament scriptures and then fused them together into a one-two punch of how to live a powerful life. He said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39).

I’m no Bible scholar, but I can’t help but notice those last two words: “as yourself.” In one statement Jesus links the ideas of loving God, loving your neighbor, and loving yourself. In my experience, this rings true. All three of those loves tend to rise and fall together. The more you love one, the more you love the others. People who never learn to love their true selves are often also limited in their love for God and others.

What if the person who you need to be kindest to is yourself? What if the enemy you need to forgive or the prisoner you need to release is your true self? That is why God redeemed you.

How can you begin to love yourself better today?

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