Archive for September 30, 2022

Christian Books of the Week: Devotionals 9/30/2022

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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

Devotionals

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Verse of the Day and Devotional 9/29/2022

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Verse of the Day

September 29th, 2022

Scripture

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. – Luke 2:19 ESV

Devotion

The birth of Christ is the most amazing occurrence in all of history. Not only for the miracle of the birth, but the impact this birth had on the world and history. It began with an 85-mile journey, a five- or six-day trip, to the city of Bethlehem for a required census. Joseph most likely walking, and Mary perhaps riding sidesaddle on a donkey. Swollen and achy from pregnancy and nearing birth, we imagine she felt every rut and jolt from the weathered and well-traveled dirt road.

Arriving in Bethlehem, they most likely faded into the mass of travelers also reporting for the census. There were no rooms left at the inn. All booked, no vacancy. It’s late. Joseph and Mary are exhausted and desperate as the contractions begin, so they take shelter near where the animals are kept. The birth soon begins. No epidural, no hospital, no sedative to ease the pain. We imagine Mary’s moans and cries piercing the stable and night air. Pushing with all her strength, the Messiah arrives! Born into a trauma-filled world from a common Jewish girl, and then the first cries of the Divine! “For unto us a child is born…”(Isaiah 9:6). Joseph and an exhausted Mary are in awe and wonder, treasuring this moment and all that led up to it from the Immaculate conception, the promise of a Savior fulfilled.

There was no notice of this royal birth. No congratulations from heads of states and provinces. There’s no record that angels were present. It was only the mice and fleas and grunts and groans from the host of animals in the stable who witnessed this amazing and glorious occurrence.

Heaven took notice though. Angels rejoiced, perhaps the captives stirred, a star proudly displayed itself in the night skies of the desert marking the birthplace of the Savior of the world. An announcement went forth to some shepherds in their field who traveled to this place to wonder and worship to see the Savior.

On the surface, the majesty of the birth of Christ is absurd. Born of a virgin, in an animal barn, in poverty to a commoner Jewish girl, the circumstances cast doubt on any claims of majesty. It was absurd to an unbelieving world, but not to those who saw this event. The shepherds, the first evangelists of the Gospel age, went back to their sheep telling everyone along the way and glorifying God for all the things they had heard and seen. Those who heard were also astonished (Luke 2:18-20).

Mary responded as she “treasured up all these things” that happened. She reflected deeply on the significance of the birth of her child and kept it all in her thoughts. She “pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). We imagine her mulling it all over, seeking understanding while cradling her newborn, gazing into the eyes of her baby boy and accepting the call in her heart to mother and nurture her child all the days of His life.

In 2 Timothy 4:8, the apostle Paul speaks to the believer’s great reward of the crown of righteousness to all those who love and look forward to the promise of our Lord’s return. I hope your heart is in that place. And in the meantime, let us treasure and ponder the first appearing of our Lord as Paul testifies in 1 Timothy 1:10. Our last enemy, death, was defeated forevermore in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection. “Oh death where is your sting, Oh grave, where is your victory” (1 Corinthians 15:56).

When was the last time you truly took time and treasured all that brought you to your salvation? When was the last time you pondered what the birth of Christ means to you? Does His peace that surpasses all understanding truly rule your heart today? Let us all make abundant room in our hearts for Jesus this day and all He did for us in defeating death.

Today, treasure, ponder, and embrace Him with open arms and with the grace to be still and know He is God and the Savior of the world.

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Book Spotlight: Genesis: Book of Beginnings (Journey Through the Bible 1) 9/27/2021

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by Russell Sherrard

Book Spotlight

Genesis: Book of Beginnings

(Journey Through the Bible 1)

by Russell Sherrard

 

Genesis: Book of Beginnings

Genesis: Book of Beginnings

 

This book is a Bible Study of the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. The Bible text used for this study is the King James Version (KJV). This Book is the first book in the Series entitled Journey Through the Bible.

This book is a Study Guide for the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. The Bible text used for the study is the King James Version (KJV). It is fitting that we should start with Genesis, which is the book of Beginnings. Genesis: The Book of Beginnings is the first book in this series of Journey Through the Bible.

Genesis means “the beginning” and it is a book of beginnings. It records the creation of the world and the beginning of the nation of Israel. Chapters 12-50 focus on one man, Abraham, and his descendants. Abraham, his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob are called the patriarchs of Israel. Jacob’s twelve sons are the beginnings of the twelve tribes of Israel. Through Joseph, one of Jacob’s sons, the whole family settles in Egypt.

The word Genesis means origin or creation. Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, is a book of beginnings. It has been said that every major doctrine has its seed or beginning in Genesis. For example, the material universe, the human race, sin, the promise of the Messiah, languages and the Hebrew nation all have their beginnings in the book of Genesis. For this reason Genesis is called the seed pot of the whole Bible. Every great fact, truth and revelation is found in this book in germ form. The book of Genesis is essential to the understanding of all the other books of the Bible.

Moses wrote the book of Genesis about 1500 years before Christ. Moses received the oracles directly from God. They were not handed down by word-of-mouth (Acts 7: 37, 38). God can just as easily tell a person the past as he can the future. The book Genesis covers a time period of nearly 2500 years, from the Creation to the journey of Israel into Egypt.

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Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 9/26/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 32:8 The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

There are many pathways one can travel on in life, some are good, some are better, some are bad, but there is only one pathway that leads to God and that is the way of the Cross. It is the pathway that is walked humbly. It requires much diligence, faithfulness, perseverance, and trust.

The way of the Cross has many difficulties along the way. We are constantly being bombarded along the way with the fiery darts of Satan. We face much opposition from those not walking with us, and even sometimes from those walking with us. We are often not understood and criticized. We do not always see where we are going or why we must go that way. We are prone to wander off the path and must resist the urge to do so. We often stumble and fall along the way and must resolve to get up and keep on going. We will encounter many people endeavoring to walk with us who do not belong on the road. We will be enticed to doubt what the Lord says and believe others things. We will not always get things right and must be willing to continue to learn and grow. We must be willing to change as the Lord prompts us to change along the way. We must strive to always walk in step with the Lord and not lag behind Him or try to run ahead of Him. We must be willing to admit it when we sin and confess them before Christ so we can be kept pure before God. We must love others who are walking with us in the same way that Christ loves us. In other words, all who walk the way of the Cross must imitate Christ in all they do and say to the best of their abilities. We must strive to be holy, even as He is holy.

The promise of God is that He will advise us and watch over us on Calvary’s road. He will teach us the things we need to know. He will tell us how to best follow in His footsteps. He will give us specific things we need to know on our journey. Not everyone walks the same way or at the same speed so His advice will vary amongst us. But, if we are listening, we will receive what we need from the Lord for our particular journey of faith. He will as well watch over us to protect us so that we will reach our destination safe and sound. The Lord is at the other end of our journey waiting for us. Blessed are those who walk on Calvary’s road. Great is their reward in heaven.

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.

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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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Christian Books of the Week: Devotionals 9/23/2022

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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

Devotionals

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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 9/22/2022

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Verse of the Day

September 22nd, 2022

Scripture

And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great before the Lord. – Luke 1:14-15 ESV

Devotion

I recently read a story of a man lost at sea. He left for a short ride off the coast of Florida but didn’t return. He fell asleep on the boat and was startled awake by water rushing into the front cabin.

Two days later, he was found clinging to the side of his capsized boat, 86 miles off the coast. He saw a large ship in the distance and began frantically waving his shirt, hoping they would somehow see him. Thankfully, they did.

This amazing rescue story reminded me of the Christmas story. The old Christmas anthem, O Holy Night, describes the birth Jesus as “a thrill of hope.” I love the word “thrill” here. This wasn’t just a sigh of relief or a calm happiness. The birth of Jesus brought thrill, it brought excitement, it brought hope. It brought hope to a “weary world,” a world that had no rescue in sight.

Imagine waking up in a flooded boat with no land in sight. There’s no way out. I can only imagine the terror of that realization: I’m only getting home if someone miraculously shows up. But then, in the distance, you see your chance. I don’t picture this man gently tossing his shirt in the air. I imagine he waved it frantically, doing everything he could to get their attention. I imagine his attitude shifted from defeat to possibility. His adrenaline began to rush, excitement and desperation rising in his throat.

He saw hope. He saw a way out. He saw a saving grace.

That’s what we gained the night Jesus was born. Praise God that He sent His son to show up for us! We are called to rejoice, to sing, to praise because the birth of Jesus is a reason to celebrate! Because God sent His son, we have a way to be at peace with God, we have a rescuer. We have a lighthouse in the midst of our dark world.

This Christmas season, and as we go into the new year, praise God for the hope that was born in that manger, the only hope we’ve ever had. Hope isn’t a quiet emotion. Hope is what pushes us to keep going, to not give up, to believe. Our hope in Jesus pushes us to believe in our faithful, loving God. This season, let’s celebrate the thrill of hope

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Book Spotlight: Ten Questions With…: A Collection of Candid and Insightful Interviews With Over 40 Christian Independent Authors 10/22/2022

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by Russell Sherrard

Book Spotlight

Ten Questions With…: A Collection of Candid and Insightful Interviews With Over 40 Christian Independent Authors

by Russell Sherrard

 

Ten Questions With ...

Ten Questions With…

This eBook is a collection of candid and insightful interviews with over 40 christian independent authors.

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Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 9/19/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 32:6 Therefore, let all the godly confess their rebellion to you while there is time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.

Here the godly are being singled out. Yes, the godly do sin. What happens when the godly do not confess their sins and die? They will face God with sin on their hearts. How will God handle that? Only God knows that for sure. He knows the heart motives of man and will judge fairly and rightly each of us. He knows whether or not we are truly righteous in heart. All I can tell you for sure is that no sin will be in heaven.

Today’s verse tells us that the godly will drown in the floodwaters of judgment if they don’t confess their sins. God’s judgments are like a floodwater. It sweeps away everything in its path. It is consuming power and no one can stop it. It cannot be contained and will keep flowing until it accomplishes its purpose. Anyone caught in floodwaters will more than likely drown.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way for the godly. If we will quit hiding behind our perceived righteousness and confess our sins, we will be saved. If we quit resisting God’s ways and live life by God’s Word, we will be saved. If we quit pretending that we are better than we are, we will be saved. If we are living in Christ’s righteousness and not our own, we will be saved.

In reality, the godly are not as godly as we might think we are. We are all guilty of sin, no matter how long we have been in the faith. We all have need of confession. We all need to carefully monitor our souls and submit to God’s rightful authority over us. We all need to acknowledge our need for Jesus to be our Savior and Lord.

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.

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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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Christian Books of the Week: Devotionals 9/16/2022

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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

Devotionals

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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 9/15/2022

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Verse of the Day

September 15th, 2022

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Scripture

And Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the angel of the Lord commanded him, and took Mary as his wife, but kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a Son; and he called His name Jesus. – Matthew 1 24 thru 25 NASB

Devotion

It still astounds me that nowhere in the Gospels that talk about birth of Jesus do we hear Joseph’s voice. In fact, as we search the Gospels, we discover that they do not contain a single word uttered from the mouth of Jesus’ earthly father. But, as some people say, actions often speak much louder than words! Through his silent actions, Joseph teaches us three valuable lessons:

First, we are introduced to Joseph in the middle of a personal crisis. He was engaged to a beautiful young girl and he had worked hard to establish an income to support his new bride and begin a family. He is committed to Mary. He believed she loved him, until he heard the news that his precious bride is pregnant. Before any divine explanation, Joseph chose mercy. Certainly he could have asked a lot of questions here, such as ‘How could you do this to me?’ or ‘Who’s the father?’ But no such words are recorded, only tenderness. He would not hurt Mary, no matter what he thought she had done. When he could have demanded a bitter sentence, he chose a righteous mercy. Joseph displayed righteousness and mercy. This righteous carpenter would help to raise God’s Son to be a merciful Savior.

Second, God gave Joseph a glimpse of His Divine plan in a dream. Because Joseph was a descendant of David and a righteous man, I believe God gave him the unique job of raising the Messiah. God told Joseph that Mary’s Son would, “save His people from their sins!” Jesus came to earth to redeem humankind, to save us from the penalty of our sins. God has done for us what we were unable to do for ourselves. He paid the price for our sins with the blood of His Son. He bought us back. He redeemed us. What an awesome gift! Can you imagine Joseph’s anticipation, knowing that he would be responsible for the upbringing of the most important child ever born? God is asking Joseph to raise the Savior as his own son. Most people would never accept that kind of challenge.

Third, there was no hesitation with Joseph. He understood clearly what God expected of him and was ready to obey! He would take Mary to be his wife and suffer the cutting remarks about a child conceived prior to their wedding. He would obey in spite of the fact that this child of divine promise would be born under a false cloud of adultery. He called his adopted son “Jesus,” just as he was told to do. Joseph believed God and obeyed Him.

Throughout this season, and throughout the rest of our lives, I hope that we will take with us the lessons we can learn from a simple carpenter who’d been given the greatest honor.

By Daniel Devadoss, Bible League International staff, India

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