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Family Devotion 9.28.22

Good morning,

 

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having

seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them,

and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

Hebrews 11:13

 

In the 2004 Olympics, Matt Emmons all but had the Gold Medal in his grasp heading into the final round in rifle shooting. His final shot was a perfect bull’s eye, yet he had made a fatal error that cost him not only the Gold Medal but dropped him to eighth place and out of medal

competition. He had fired at the wrong target.

 

Similarly, I am afraid that many Christians spend their lives aimed at the wrong target and wind up in the most miserable places. Our target as Christians was never supposed to be the things of this world. The love of money ahead of our relationship with God will always keep us off target.

 

Moreover, Christians need to realize that this world is not our home.  I have stayed in a lot of hotels over the years as guests and have thoroughly enjoyed some great hotels in the process. However, there is not a Holiday Inn Express or Marriot Courtyard that I have stayed in that truly felt like home. The same should hold true for us as Christians. This life can be exciting and rewarding at times, but it is a prelude to the real life that Jesus promised one day in eternity.

 

We are just passing through this world. Hebrews 11:13 said that the heroes of the faith recognized that they were just “strangers and pilgrims” on earth. That realization is significant in that they did not allow themselves to become attached to the things of this world and neither should we.

Verse 13 tells us that these heroes of the faith saw the promises, believed the promises, and embraced them as part of their daily lives. In other words, they kept their focus on heaven and not on the things which will pass away on this earth.

 

It is also significant that we too realize that God has promised us some much for this life and the next if we will aim at the right target. Jesus told us in John 10:10 that He came not only “that we may have life but have it more abundantly. “We should live as the great author C.S. Lewis described when he said:

 

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown

Aim at earth and you get neither.”

 

What is the target you are aiming at? I pray that we would all realize this is not our home and better things await us ahead!

 

Have a great day!

Rick Calloway

 

 

 

Family Devotion 9.21.22

 

Good morning,

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other!  But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!  You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” Revelation 3:15-17

 

This passage in Revelation was directed to the church at Laodicea. There is no way to dress up what Jesus is saying to this church. Their apathy made Him sick to His stomach. In essence, this church was playing a religious game.

 

There are two problems that exist in the Laodicean church identified in this passage.

 

They act as if they do not need God.

“You say I am rich. I have everything I want; I don’t need a thing. “That attitude is prevalent in our culture. We can get so satisfied with the things of this world that we often leave out the need for God until trouble comes.

 

They do not know their true condition.

They were clueless concerning God’s evaluation of them. They had been comparing themselves to others and other churches. They were not using the right measuring stick.

 

In thinking they had everything, this church missed what they truly needed, a burning passion for God. This passage so powerfully reminds us that we are supposed to be on fire for God. We are not supposed to be average. We accept fanatical fans in sports, yet we are uncomfortable at times around believers who are sold out to Jesus.

 

In sports, we complain when we see a player or our favorite team give less than 100%, yet so many times we do not give 100% of our efforts to the Kingdom. This passage reminds me that average is not acceptable to God either.

 

You see if pouring our hearts to God in prayer, studying the Scriptures, having a concern for the lost, going to church, truly worshipping, remains optional we will never be who God intended. The question we must ask ourselves is where are we today?

 

Perhaps you are aware that your faith has grown cold or perhaps you have never made a commitment to Christ. You see our spiritual temperature is not measured by how many Bible studies you have attended or how many Christians there are in your family. It is measured by the extent of our love and dedication to the Lord.

 

My prayer is that each of us will not settle for average with God but instead seek him with all of our heart, soul, and mind!

 

Have a great day!

Rick Calloway

Partnering Together 9.16.22

Greetings Metrolina families!

I want to introduce you today to a new parenting blog that we will periodically send your way. It will be called “Partnering Together”. Our heart with this is to share God’s truth with you in helping to encourage you on your parenting journey. I am convinced that being a parent is the hardest job that I have ever done.

If you are like me, I needed a strong roadmap for directing my kids’ path as they grew up. The only reliable roadmap I ever found was God’s Word. After all, my heart was to raise Godly kids.

I found that God is more than capable of giving you what you need to not only survive parenthood but also experience the truth of 3 John 4. That verse declares that There is no greater joy than to know that my children walk in truth.”

As kids, most of us played a game called “Follow the Leader.” It was a pretty simple game of doing exactly what the leader tells you to do and the only way to be eliminated is to not do what the leader says. I believe that the same type of principle holds true for the Christian life and being a Kingdom parent. If we will do what the leader (God) says and follow His Word, we can see our children walk in truth one day.

My prayer is that this blog will prompt you to ask yourself a couple of questions. The following two questions have caused me to stop and think a lot over the years.

"What kind of spiritual legacy are you planning on leaving your children?"

"Will you intentionally develop and implement a plan to follow what God says in order to raise Godly kids?" 

The answers to those questions will reveal whether our grandchildren will do as Psalm 78:7 says and “set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.”

I pray that this blog will be a blessing to you and provide you with great truths from God’s Word that will help you as you build your household of faith and raise your children to “walk in truth”. I believe that it is all about “following the leader (God) and doing what He has written down in His Word!

Family Devotion 9.14.22

“God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8 

A few years ago, I was driving through the mountains one night and I encountered a stretch of road where the conditions had turned terribly foggy. The fog was so thick that I had to slow down as I could only see a small portion of the road at a time. I struggled to see the road ahead and stay safe. I was anxious to see more clearly.

In a similar manner, many times we as Christians struggle to see where God wants to take us in our personal journey of life. Just like driving in fog, we are hard pressed to find our way as followers of Jesus. I am afraid that this process can become so intense that we too often default to the idea of just following our own desires rather than that of the Lord.

Matthew 5:8 gives us instead the inside information we need to see and experience God. The verse says that “God blesses those whose hearts are pure.” What does all this mean and how do you experience the truth of this verse? I want to give you some things that I believe are essential to having a pure heart and seeing God.

Having a pure heart means we must begin to live a life that is pleasing to God.

“What is more pleasing to the Lord:  your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22

God has commanded us as believers to live by His truth. If we are to please God, we must obey His Word. Psalm 119:9 declares: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your Word.” Are we devoted to His truth and living by that standard of truth? To see God more clearly, we must live by His Word!

Having a pure heart also means that we must begin to live for the sole purpose of God.

A pure heart is evidenced by the way we live.1 Peter 4:2 tells us that people devoted to God “won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God.” To see God more clearly, we must be focused on chasing God’s agenda for our lives rather than our own.

I do not know about you, but I no longer want to struggle to find my way in this life. Instead, I want to learn to live out the true meaning of Matthew 5:8. All the things that this world has to offer pales in comparison to truly seeing and experiencing God. Paul described this best in Philippians 3:7-8 when he said: 

“I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.”

Family Devotion 9.7.22

“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:4

There are times in all our lives that we have made promises that we have not kept. Most of those times we did not do so intentionally. We forgot many times or just got so overloaded that we just could not get it done. That is the human part of who we are.

I am so grateful that we serve a God who is not only perfect at keeping what He has promised but also giving us so much than we could ever imagine. 2 Peter 1:4 tells us that He has given “us great and precious promises.” I love how the verse begins with the fact that we can access the promises because of who God’s “glory and excellence.” This verse goes on to tell us that these promises give us an enormous amount of power.

Peter describes this power when he tells us that we can “share His divine nature”. What exactly does that mean? 1 Peter 1:23 describes it best when it declares:

“For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23 

We share His nature in that we as believers have eternal life. A life as that verse says will “last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God.” What an incredible gift from God for this life!

More than that, Peter goes on to remind us that His promise is also to help us “escape the world’s corruption.” God promised to give us the power through His Holy Spirit to overcome sin, temptation, and corruption. How does He do that? Because “the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Proverbs 29:6 also tells us that “Evil people are trapped by sin, but the righteous escape, shouting for joy.” Praise the Lord we do not have to live trapped by sin or corruption. Christ because of His “glory and excellence” has set us free.

I know from my own life that this kind of freedom comes with joy, peace, and contentment for this life and security for the next life. I do not know what kind of trials you may be encountering today but I pray 2 Peter 1:4 will remind you today that God has made you promises as His child that He will keep, and these promises offer us so much more than we could have ever hoped for!

Rev. Rick Calloway
Head of School


 

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