Archive for April 29, 2022

Christian Books of the Week – Writing 4/29/2022

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by Russell Sherrard

Christian Books of the Week for Your Consideration

 

Christian Books of the Week

Christian Books of the Week

Writing

Inspirational Image of the Day

Friday Inspirational Image of the Day

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 4/28/2022

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Verse of the Day

April 28th, 2022

Scripture

Simon Peter replied. “Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life.” – John 6:68 NLT

Devotion

Peter was a pillar of the early church. Strong, bold, zealous, devoted, courageous, generous, a gifted leader, loyal, and full of warmth of heart. He was also rash, impulsive, at times disrespectful, and selfish. George H. Morrison says of Peter, “One recognizes the slumbering greatness of him, but one also feels the boundless possibilities of evil. But Jesus handles him and plays upon him as a master musician might play on his loved instrument, till the chords are wakened into such a glorious music that the centuries are ringing with it still.”

Peter’s life with Christ and his faith gives hope to all. It can be summed up in John 6:68. The scene follows the feeding of the 5,000, such a great a miracle the people practically demanded Jesus set up His kingdom right then and there. But the Lord’s time had not come yet. Instead, He taught on a suffering Messiah rather than a conquering Messiah and the discourse on the “bread of life” which was truth the people were not willing to receive. So the crowd of some 10-15,000 (including women and children) turned away from Christ. Jesus turned to Peter, James, Andrew, Phillip, and the rest of the disciples and asks, “Will you go away as well?” In our verse for today, Peter’s soaring testimony of faith cries out, “Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the words that give eternal life.”

Hope and comfort in this life are not found in places or world kingdoms and ways, but in the One who gave us the Word of eternal life. It is easy to say one follows Christ when times are good, when there is plenty of fish and bread and merriment. However, real faith is on display when one runs to Christ when the going is tough.

When we lose a job or struggle to make ends meet. When a marriage is falling apart, or we are in despair over a prodigal child. When facing unexpected illness or death of a loved one. To whom shall you go? To whom shall we go when the Word of God challenges our hearts as we struggle with pride or self? To whom shall we go when persecution and spiritual warfare is unrelenting?

The only answer is Jesus. Only Jesus has the true words that provide hope and comfort that God designed us to receive. Peter’s profound yet simple declaration reminds us that nothing in the world has the true answers. Nothing of the world can help us in our divine process of faith. Nothing in this world provides the answers to eternity. Jesus is the Word who was with God from the beginning of it all. He is God, and all things were created through Him. In Him is life, and the Word became life and dwelt among us (John 1:1-4, 14). Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). Only Jesus is the true answer.

Peter is one who is so fabulous in his faith as well as his flaws. He would make many missteps in his walk with the Lord, including denying Jesus three times before the rooster crowed (John 18:25-27). Peter ran away in shame in that moment, but he never turned his heart away from Jesus. And the Word of eternal life was always there for Peter. The angel at the tomb said to the women, “Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee” (Mark 16:7). Paul tells us it was Peter whom Jesus first appeared to after the resurrection. And in John 21, our Lord’s words restored Peter and his ministry as a fisher of souls.

Jesus was Peter’s Savior, his mentor, and his friend. Peter’s faith forged and tempered by the eternal words of love and grace he would faithfully share to his end. Church tradition tells us Peter was forced to watch his wife be crucified but shouting, Church tradition tells us Peter was forced to watch his wife be crucified. Historians say he shouted as she died, encouraging her to remember the Lord. When it came time for his death, church tradition says Peter asked his persecutors to crucify him upside down, as he didn’t feel worthy to die as did his Lord.

To whom shall you go friend? Peter represents the hope and comfort we all can have in Jesus Christ, no matter our circumstance. Run to the loving arms of Jesus who alone has words of eternal life and you shall have victory! He and He alone is the Shepard and Overseer of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).

By Pastor David Massie, Bible League International Staff, California, U.S.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Inspirational Image

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Book Spotlight: Leviticus: Keep My Decrees and Follow Them – Kindle Version – 4/26/2022

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by Russell Sherrard

Book Spotlight
Leviticus
Keep My Decrees and Follow Them
(Journey Through the Bible Book 4)

by Russell Sherrard

Leviticus: Keep My Decrees and Follow Them

Leviticus: Keep My Decrees and Follow Them

The third book of the Pentateuch takes its name from one of the 12 sons of Jacob, Levi, whose family was chosen by God to act as priests and assistants in the Tabernacle. The book covers the national and personal laws given by God to the Jewish people regarding worship and religious activities. It contains laws regarding cleanliness, morality, ethics and hygiene which guided the Jews on a day–to–day basis and still does today. Animal sacrifice was introduced as a covering for the individual and national sins of the people.

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Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 4/25/2022

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by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 18:21-22 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!”

We think we do so well at practicing our faith. We listen to what our Lord says and strive to obey Him. We know that we don’t always get it right, but we do alright. We do better than many people we know. We must be a sweet aroma to God, right? Not necessarily. Jesus told Peter that what he thought was enough was not nearly good enough in God’s eyes. The problem wasn’t in Peter’s efforts, it was in his heart. What Jesus wanted Peter to understand is that the motives of the heart are the key to pleasing God.

Peter thought he was really being noble by suggesting that maybe they should forgive someone seven times, for the law only required one time. The law was more about justice and not forgiveness. Therefore, when Jesus suggested seven times as much as Peter did, He was pointing to a much deeper and better way to live. Jesus’ way is a way of grace instead of meting out justice. God will take care of the justice part; we are to act graciously towards one another.

If we are trying to keep score and noting how well we are doing, we are missing the point. If the heart is right we will always do what is right before God with no regard for how many times we have done it, even if it is thousands of times. There is no such thing as resting on our laurels or stopping our obedience to God. His life is our way of life. It is who we are and to not live like Christ wants us to live is out character for us and should be unnatural. If we want to please God we will always strive to do what is right before God. Period.

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Inspirational Image

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Christian Books of the Week – Writing 4/22/2022

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by Russell Sherrard

Christian Books of the Week for Your Consideration

 

Christian Books of the Week

Christian Books of the Week

Writing

Inspirational Image of the Day

Friday Inspirational Image of the Day

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 4/21/2022

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Verse of the Day

April 21st, 2022

Scripture

“Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Mark 14:38 NKJV

Devotion

Our verse for today is part of what Jesus said to Simon Peter and the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before He was to be crucified. Jesus knew what was going to happen later in the evening. He knew that Peter and the disciples would be tempted by fear to abandon Him and to deny Him. In order to help them, Jesus told them what they should do. They should “Watch and pray.”

Jesus knew that the spirits of the disciples were willing. He knew that in their heart of hearts they were willing to stay with Him and pray with Him in His time of need. However, He also knew that the flesh of the disciples was weak. He knew that as bodily beings they were given to sleep and drowsiness at that late hour. He knew there would be a struggle between the sincere intentions of the spirit and the weakness of the flesh.

It is interesting to note that Jesus Himself won the battle between spirit and flesh. He had stayed awake and prayed. And when the temptation came later that night and the next day to abandon His mission on earth, He succeeded in pressing through to the end. The disciples, on the other hand, lost the battle between spirit and flesh. They fell asleep and did not pray. And when the temptation came to abandon Jesus, they did abandon Him. Peter even denied Him three times.

What does it mean to watch and pray? The word translated as “watch” refers to the alertness required of a guard at night. Jesus was telling the disciples to watch for any attacks of the enemy. If the disciples did not remain spiritually alert and if they did not pray for help just as Jesus prayed, then they would be vulnerable to the temptations the enemy would use to attack them.

Jesus’ admonition to watch and pray is a word for all Christians for all time. The enemy is still out there attacking us with every weapon he has at his disposal. Watch and pray, like Jesus said. Stay alert, stand guard, and keep watch for the attacks of the enemy. And pray for the help of the Lord to withstand them and to overcome them.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Inspirational Image

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Book Spotlight: Exodus: The Departure From Egypt (Journey Through the Bible Book 3) 4/19/2022

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by Russell Sherrard

Book Spotlight

Exodus: The Departure From Egypt

(Journey Through the Bible 3)

by Russell Sherrard

 

Exodus: The Departure From Egypt

Exodus: The Departure From Egypt

The title “Exodus” means “going out”. It records the great numerical growth of the Israelites during their enslavement and oppression in Egypt. Moses emerges to lead God’s people from slavery to the Promised Land of Caanan. At Mt. Sinai, God gave Moses the laws which will form the basis for the Covenant between God and the new nation of Israel. They are summarized in the Ten Commandments. The book concludes with a description of the worship centered around the Tabernacle and the Law of Moses.

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Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 4/18/2022

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by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 18:19-20 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree down here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three gather together because they are mine, I am there among them.”

One of the things these verses tell me is that it is good and even necessary for us to pray with others. It is good to be in our prayer closets alone, but if we never invite others into our space, we are hindering God from working on our behalf. There is great power in two or more people being united together in one heart before the throne of God.

It is important that when we invite others to pray with us that we agree together on what we are praying for. If our hearts are joined together as one, Jesus said that we will have what we ask for. Perhaps one of the reasons why we don’t see as many answers to our public prayers is that we often aren’t united together in what we are praying for. When was the last time you were led in prayer by someone who prayed for things that didn’t concern you at the moment? When was the last time you sat down with someone before you prayed and carefully discussed what you were going to pray for? I have to admit that I have often failed to join my heart with another before I prayed and while I was praying.

When we are praying differently, it does not mean that the Lord is not with us and will not answer our prayers. It just means that we deprive ourselves of the strength in prayer that united hearts have in prayer. It only makes sense to think that there is strength in numbers. Don’t give up on praying with others.

Jesus said that when we are praying together with others, He is right there with them. Isn’t that an awesome thought? We know with our heads that God is with us when we pray, but have you really grasped it with your heart? The next time you pray with someone, think about it. Jesus is right there with you as you pray! Every time you pray over a prayer someone has prayed on your behalf, Jesus is right there with you as you pray!

Maybe we should be looking for more opportunities to pray with and over others!

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Inspirational Image

========================================
This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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Christian Books of the Week – Writing 4/15/2022

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by Russell Sherrard

Christian Books of the Week for Your Consideration

 

Christian Books of the Week

Christian Books of the Week

Writing

Inspirational Image of the Day

Friday Inspirational Image of the Day

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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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Verse of the Day and Devotional 4/14/2022

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Verse of the Day

April 14th, 2022

Scripture

We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NLT
 

Devotion

In the church at Corinth there were some who were challenging the authority of the Apostle Paul and the message he had preached to them. Our verses for today form part of his response to the challenge. In verse 3, he acknowledges that he is human, but he will not wage war against the challenge with mere human, worldly weapons. That is, he will not use anything that is sinful, devious, and underhanded in the war. He has something more righteous and more potent at hand.

He will wage war with God’s mighty weapons. What are God’s weapons? He does not say specifically. Given the nature of the opposition, however, one weapon is clearly intended—the Word of God. Paul regarded the Word of God as the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). Paul will wage war with the truth of the Word of God.

The fact that the Word of God is the primary weapon Paul has in mind here is clear from the fact that the opposition consists of “strongholds of human reasoning” and “false arguments.” The challengers, in other words, were trying to undermine Paul and his message with mere human reasons and arguments rather than with the Word of God. Understandably enough, the best weapon to use in such circumstances is the Word of God itself.

Since the weapons of the challengers were not biblically based, they were keeping people, including themselves, from the true knowledge of God. Since they were not biblically based, they were “proud obstacles” to the true knowledge of God. They were formed on the basis of human willfulness and pride, rather than on the basis of a humble submission to God’s Word.

The kind of thing that happened in Paul’s day happens now. People challenge the teachings of those committed to the Word of God with mere human reasoning and false arguments.

Like Paul, we must be ready to take up our primary weapon against such incursions. We must be ready to wield the sword of the Spirit.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Inspirational Image

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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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