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A Seed From The Sower #64

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Devotional for 10-7-2019

DON’T BLAME US!

Over much opposition from members of the community, a man opened a large night club. One of the local churches came to the logical conclusion that the most important responsibility they had in the matter was to ask God to intervene and close the club. They called an all-night prayer meeting and asked God to honor their request.

During the prayer meeting, lightning struck the club, and it burned to the ground. The club owner, learning of the church’s prayer meeting, became angry and sued the church. In response to the lawsuit, the church denied all responsibility.

After hearing the case, the judge said, “Wherever the guilt may lie, the night club owner believes in prayer but the church, obviously, does not.”

What at first may appear to be humorous may be an indictment on our faith and trust in the power of God. In His teaching on prayer, Jesus said that we are to ask Him for “anything” and “everything” – two “all-inclusive” words. When we take them literally and seriously, they will give us the right and responsibility to ask for “whatever” is within the will of God.

Could it be that we do not believe that God can and will answer our prayers? Do we really believe that God is listening, is willing, and is certainly able to respond if we truly believe?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, You clearly and convincingly said that “everything is possible with God” if only we believe! In Your name, please remove any and all of our doubts. Thank You! Amen.

Scripture For Today: Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” 

Devotional For 10-06-2019

DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE?

“Wire-walkers” are known for their death-defying performances. These well-prepared and highly skillful entertainers are known for walking on thin wires that are suspended high in the air over dangerous sites. Normally they use a long pole for balance.

There was one “high-wire walker” who decided to use a wheelbarrow filled with 200 pounds of bricks for his balance as he crossed Niagara Falls. After he accomplished his feat, a crowd of reporters gathered around him and began to ask questions. After he answered the last question, he pointed to one of them and asked, “Do you believe that I can take this wheelbarrow that is now filled with bricks back to the other side?”

“Certainly,” came the reply.

“Good!” The wire-walker then dumped the bricks on the ground and said to the reporter, “Get in and I’ll take you to the other side.”

Mark tells the story of a father who brought his demon-possessed boy to the disciples for healing. They failed. Then, he took his son to Jesus, and said, “Do something if you can.” And Jesus said, “If I can? Anything is possible if you believe. But, do you believe?”

And the father replied, “Lord, help my unbelief!”

Our faith only grows when we pray, give our fears to God, and trust in Him alone.

Prayer: Father, remove our doubts and fears and fill our minds and hearts with a faith that completely relies on You for all things. Please, remove our unbelief. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Mark 9:24 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” 

Devotional for 10-5-2019

DISMOUNT!

Stories of the Knights of the Round Table are fascinating – often intriguing. There are many hidden messages in the way they did things.

For example, when they were fully dressed, they would ride a large, strong horse to bear the weight of their armor. When they went hunting, they would ride a small, swift horse that could run fast to catch up with the prey. When in a parade, they would ride a tall, high horse. This made them appear bigger than the poor peasant who had no horse at all and was forced to look up to them.

In fact, the expression “Get off your high horse” originated from their exploits. It meant to the onlookers, “Stop acting as if you are above us! Remember, you’re on a horse.”

Wise Solomon had some advice for those who act as if they are above others. He said, “Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin.”

God wants us to develop talents carefully and use wisely the skills, talents, and gifts that He has given us. We are to be thankful for all that we can do in His name to bring Him glory and honor. We must never have an inflated opinion of our value or importance. We have what we have because of His grace. We are what we are and what we can be because of Him. We must realize at all times that we are His and are obligated to serve Him faithfully each day.

Prayer: Father, may we be ever thankful for all of the gifts You have given us and use them to honor You. May we set ourselves aside at all times and exalt only You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Proverbs 21:4 Haughty eyes, a proud heart, and evil actions are all sin. 

Devotional for 10-4-2019

BEGINNING AT THE END

One day a grief-stricken man prayed, “Dear Lord, I’m at the end of all my resources. I have nothing left.”

“My child,” answered the Lord, “when you come to the end of your resources, you are just at the beginning of mine.”

One of God’s great gifts is allowing us to come to the place of hopelessness and helplessness. When we realize that we have nothing left to cling to, and no one else to depend on, we will realize how much we need the Lord. There are many times in our lives when we are convinced that we are brave or strong, energetic or invincible, only to have the “rug pulled out from under us.” We are left feeling alone or abandoned, deserted or defeated.

It has been said that it is easier for someone to stand adversity with God than prosperity without Him. We learn in times of trouble and trials that “my grace is sufficient” or “Lo, I am with you always.” In times of plenty, we may be forced to realize that “life does not consist in the abundance of things.” And, actually, that may be what is best for us at that time.

Eventually, we as Christians may come to the place where we realize that “all things” are possible with and through Christ. But rarely do we realize this until we get to the other side of “whatever” may have brought us to the “end of our resources.” Thank God for our “ends.”

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for those times in life when we exhaust our resources and know that we need Yours to grow in Your grace and stand in Your strength. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Mark 10:27 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” 

Devotional for 10-03-2019

BE ALL YOU CAN BE

Years ago, after being introduced to the students in a small college in South Carolina, the guest speaker stood quietly for a moment.

She then began her remarks by saying, “I was born to a mother who was deaf and could not speak. I do not know who my father is or where he may be. The first job I ever had was in a cotton field.”

Smiling, she continued and said, “I stand before you today as the Treasurer of the United States. My name is Azie Taylor Moore. Nothing has to remain the way it is if that’s not the way you want it to be.”

Paul said that “I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength that I need.” Does that mean we can become the Treasurer of the United States? The chief executive officer of a large corporation? The driver of an eighteen-wheeler? The crossing guard for an elementary school? Perhaps.

The power that is ours through Christ is available to meet every challenge in life as long as we are doing His will. His strength will prevail in us, for us, and through us whenever we do what He has called us to do. But we must be willing and committed to fulfilling the purpose He has for our lives. It is inappropriate for us to expect God to empower us to be or do anything that is not in keeping with His will. What we do must be in keeping with what His character is!

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to be faithful to You in everything we do, and to always seek Your will for our lives. May what we do and think follow the example of Your Son. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Philippians 4:13 I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength that I need. 

Devotional for 10-02-2019

ASKING, SEEKING AND KNOCKING

A little girl was climbing into bed when her mother asked, “Ann, did you remember to say your prayers?”

“Well,” she replied, “I got on my knees and started to say them as I do every night. And then all of a sudden I thought, ‘I’ll bet that God gets tired of hearing me pray about the same old things every night.’ So, I decided that I would just lay here in bed and tell Him the story of ‘The Three Bears.’”

Persistence in prayer and pursuing God’s plan and purpose for our lives is very important. It’s equally important, however, to understand how He answers our prayers and when He will answer our prayers. We must never allow ourselves to think that God will not accept our prayers or that He will ever forget our prayers. Prayers and praying are a serious and significant part of the life of the Christian. However, we must always remember that He will answer our prayers at the right time, in the right way, in a way that is in our best interests.

We need to remember that He responds to our requests with His wisdom and His never-ending and always compassionate love. When the answer does not come when we expect it, we must hold fast to the fact that “His grace is sufficient” now and into eternity. The answer will come when we need it most and will fulfill His plan for our well-being. When we give up, give in, and quit praying, God knows we are not sincere and that our request was “a passing fancy.”

Prayer: Lord, give us a faith that does not falter, a trust that will not tire and persistence that will prevail. May our hope in Your faithfulness and our best interests prevail. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Matthew 7:7 Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Devotional for 10-1-2019

ANGER

While completing the last phase of his painting of The Lord’s Supper, Leonardo da Vinci became annoyed with a certain man. Finally, his annoyance boiled over, and he lost his temper and lashed out at the man with bitter words in an angry rage.

After the man left his presence, he returned to his canvas where he had been painting the face of Christ. Try as he might, he was unable to make any progress on his work.

After struggling for several hours, he put down his brushes, left his studio, hurried to the man’s home and asked his forgiveness. Graciously the man accepted his apology. Leonardo then returned to his studio and was able to finish painting the face of our Lord.

Anger and rage are extremely destructive emotions. They take away our joy and peace and destroy our faith and trust in God. When we lose control of our emotions, it is a sign that we are excluding God from His rightful place in being the judge over others behavior. We attempt to do His work if we try to do what He has reserved for Himself. When this happens, we make matters worse and lose touch with God and the one with whom we are angry.

Whenever we are threatened or treated unfairly, we must turn to God immediately and ask Him to make things right. After all, that is His responsibility – not ours.

Prayer: Lord, it is difficult to remain calm and peaceful when I am tested. I often feel that I am the one to “make things right.” May I give the problem to You instead. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Psalm 37:1-9 Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper – it only leads to harm. 

Devotional for 9-30-2019

WHERE TO FIND HAPPINESS

A professor was known to ask his students questions to make them think. On one occasion he stood before the class and wrote on the chalkboard, “Who’s more content – the man with six million dollars or the man with six children? Now think!” he challenged them.

After a few moments, one of the students raised his hand and answered, “The man with the six children.”

“Oh? Why?” asked the professor.

“Well, the man with the six million dollars would always want more!” came the reply.

True contentment is always independent of “things” – whether possessions or pleasures. It only comes from an inner attitude toward life. That is why Paul said, “True religion, with contentment, is great wealth.”

This does not imply that being a Christian means living in poverty or wanting to be poor. But it does mean that the attraction of “things” will never bring true happiness or satisfaction, and that the Christian must always focus on things that are eternal.

In the final analysis, we can only take two things to heaven: Ourselves, through His grace, and those who we have let to the Lord through witnessing His grace to others.
So, we must live our lives with one goal: that is: to present ourselves to God without shame and share His grace with the lost..

Prayer: Help us, Father, to realize that life does not consist in the abundance of things, but in pleasing You and doing Your will. May we center our lives on things eternal. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: 1 Timothy 6:6 True religion, with contentment, is great wealth. 

Devotional for 9-29-2019

WHERE THEY BELONG

Once I asked an appliance repairman to come to church with me. “No,” he responded. “The church is full of hypocrites.”

“Great!” I responded. The man was startled. Continuing, I said, “That’s exactly where they belong. Let’s join them. I’m sure they won’t mind.”

If I understand it correctly, a hypocrite is someone who says one thing and does another. Or as a friend said to me, “A hypocrite is a person who does not walk their talk. They profess what they do not possess.”

Many who do not want to attend church say the reason they refuse to do so is because the church is full of hypocrites. For as long as I can remember that has been a frequent excuse of many. As I see it, it is a great reason for them to attend! They already know the difference between the saved and the unsaved. The saved are expected to behave like Jesus, and the person who says he sees hypocrisy in Christians already knows what is expected of the born again. So, the choice becomes easy. I’m in or I’m out. It’s my choice.

We need to extend a warm welcome to those who use “the hypocrite factor” as an excuse not to attend church. Jesus said that He came to call sinners to be saved. Those who believe that they are already good enough will have a difficult time to admit they are sinners. But the hypocrite? Well, they already know the truth.

Prayer: Lord, help me to live a life that will be an example, not an excuse, for people to seek to avoid knowing You. May my life be meet Your expectations and goals. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture For Today: Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. 

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