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Family Devotion 10.13.21

Good morning,

“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.” Romans 12:14,17

We all have been hurt by different people in our lifetime. Sometimes we have even been hurt by those we have called friends and family. Some of those hurts are often the most painful. The instinct for us when we have been hurt or ridiculed is to strike back or as the verse says above to “pay back evil with more evil.”

Our culture tells us to be mad, hold a grudge, and get even if possible. However, in the verses above, Jesus is calling us to a different standard. The ability to bless those who hurt us is counter-cultural thinking. How is that even possible? It is possible because as Christians the Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit of God lives within each of us making it possible for us to live and react differently in these situations than most people.

If we will allow the Holy Spirit to lead and control our lives, then He will fill our hearts with too much love to hate others and hold grudges. Romans 12:17 goes on to command us to “do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.” In other words, God is instructing us to rise above what has been done to us so that others might the see the love of Jesus in our lives.

You might be thinking this is all well and good for a goal but does the Bible really understand what has happened to me. I want to remind you the verses in Romans 12 were written by a man who understood hurt and being wrongfully treated. The Apostle Paul had been beaten, stoned, and thrown in prison for living the Christian life. Paul understood what it meant to respond in a way that would honor God instead of seeking to get even.

Romans 12:18 also declares: “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” God is teaching us to respond to anger and hurt in a different manner. It is not natural to what the world expects but it is what the Lord would have us to do.

I have also learned over the years that getting even, holding a grudge, or staying angry is not a good thing for me physically or spiritually. I have found that this type of response only hurts me over the long haul. There is an anonymous quote that has helped me with my approach in handling hurt and anger.

“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

I pray God will use the truths of these verses to help those of you today that find yourselves amid some hurt you may be experiencing.

Blessings,

Rick Calloway

Family Devotion 10.11.21

Good morning,

“You have been assigned this mountain to show others that it can be moved.”

I saw this statement and it reminded me of the challenges we face in this world. Who would have ever thought we would still be dealing with this pandemic a year and a half later? Not just that, but we live in world that at times seems to be spinning out of control. During all of this, we are living and trying to make some sense of all of it.

It does present itself as a mountain or giant at times in our lives. So, what do we do? How do we live? How do we more than just survive?

We need to remind ourselves of just who God really is. Deuteronomy 3:24 gives us this reminder.

“O Sovereign Lord, you have only begun to show your greatness and the strength of your hand to me, your servant. Is there any god in heaven or on earth who can perform such great and mighty deeds as you do?”

We serve a God who is so much bigger and stronger than anything in this world. As the verse implies, there is nothing or no one who can do what only God can do. The question for us during the storms of life is do we really believe it? Do you we understand what kind of power this is?

Philippians 3:10 talks of this power: "I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death."

This power is resurrection power. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is what Jesus is offering to us for whatever we face. With that, we always need to remember that giant in front of us will never be bigger than the God living in us.

It is time for to live in a way that honors God and shows others that our God can move any mountain!! What better way for us to give Him glory than to show others that He can do anything! There is no need for us o be afraid.

And while we are doing this, let’s love others and show the grace of God all along the way!

Who is ready to see God move some mountains?

Have a great day!

Rick Calloway

Family Devotion 10.6.21

Good morning,

I wonder how differently Christians would lead their lives if God was actually visible to the naked eye. What if we could see God beside us throughout the seconds of each day? Would there be more Christlikeness?

Proverbs 15:3
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

We have to make the conscious effort to live like we know and believe that truth. Exuding Christlkeness won’t come out of a person unless it’s been built from within. Are you taking steps in your life each day to make that natural emulation of Christlikeness exude from you?

Many of you most likely watch what you say near a smartphone or Alexa device due to the belief that private conversations are being recorded. Do you use that much caution when you remember God is listening? Brothers and sisters, He is there! He sees. He knows. None of us have attained the goal of perfection, so I challenge you to examine your life and see what areas could use some change so that your life shines more of Christ.

God’s omniscience and omnipresence don’t only offer accountability for us regarding our choices, but also bring comfort with the fact that nothing surprises Him. 

“Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows about this!’” Oswald Chambers 

Have a great day!

Paige Summey

Family Devotion 10.4.21

Good morning,

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6

Whenever I read our key verse, I always think of my dad and his favorite poem, “Footprints in the Sand”.  He loves the poem, still to this day, because it gives him great comfort and hope to know his heavenly Father is with him always, especially in the tough times. 

For him, the poem provides a great visual of God’s promise and incredible love for His children, especially the last line - “When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.” 

As believers, we are never alone on our journey; God is always with us.  This is His promise to us.  He will never abandon us.  We never have to be afraid.  By the blood of His son Jesus Christ, God has fulfilled his promise to be with us all the time – in every circumstance to lead, guide, support and help us.  Just like He did for the Israelites during their long wilderness walk, helping them to learn and grow in their faith to trust His word and obey His commands.

My friend, as you journey through this day/week/month/year, know that God is present in every situation. When we need help, God carries us like a father carries his child (Deut. 1:31).  Let Him support you and me with His incredible love for us!  He is guiding us and helping us to overcome.  Rejoice in knowing that God’s grace is sufficient to carry us through.

A little extra… sometimes a song says it just right, “There was Jesus” from Zach Williams….”even when you didn’t know it or couldn’t see it, there was Jesus.”

Have a wonderful day!

Dana Bostic

Director of Advancement

Family Devotion 9.29.21

Good morning,

Do you remember the last time you changed your mind? Maybe it was changing your outfit a couple of times this morning being indecisive on what to wear. Maybe it was changing your mind on your entree choice just after the waitress took your order. Maybe it was changing your mind on the perfect birthday or Christmas gift for a dear friend. Changing your mind over clothes, food, and gifts are not life changing but there is a circumstance when to change your mind is powerful.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Paul was saying we need to change our minds when our thoughts do not align with the truth. There are times when a lie from the enemy spins in our mind and the thought patterns wage war within us to keep us from living in the victory of Christ and His resurrection. As believers we have the power through Christ to change our minds! The process to change one thought is to replace the lie with truth.

Change your mind from the thought of defeat to “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13).

Change your mind from the thought of no value to “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14)

Change your mind from fear and failure to “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in me” (Romans 8:11).

Change your mind from pity to “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

Next time you change your coffee order be reminded of how quick that change happened. Changing your mind to the truth of Christ will allow you to live in the freedom He so freely gives.

Have a great day!

Mika Edwards

Rev. Rick Calloway
Head of School


 

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