Staff Devotions

 

February 16

February 16 – February 22

 

Scripture Passage:  “Come let us take our fill of love until morning: let us solace (delight) ourselves with love.”   Proverbs 7:18

Dear Friends,

     Solomon’s proverb in chapter 7 is the story of a married woman who seduces a naïve young man to commit adultery with her while her husband is away.  I tried to find something else to write about besides sexual immorality, but the entire chapter is dedicated to the advice to flee such abominations against God.  The scene opens with the witness standing at his window watching the story unfold.  The witness could see more clearly what was taking place than the young man could.  The young man was willingly being led astray like an ox going to slaughter and a fool to the stocks.  By the time he figured out what was happening, the deed was done and his life was ruined.
 

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February 9

February 9 – February 15

 

“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou has stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou are snared with the words of thy mouth, thou are taken with the words of thy mouth.  Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou are come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.  Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.  Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.”  Proverbs 6: 1-5

Dear Friends,

     “The borrower is servant to the lender.”  “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”  These are two adages that had to come from someone with prior experience.  The world is full of the “haves” and the “have nots.”  The “haves” are always asked to contribute, invest, or lend to charitable causes, worthy endevors, and people in need.  The “have nots” are normally jealous of the “haves” and see them as a source of financial relief and available cash during times of adversity.  Before the days of banks and credit card companies’, a personal loan from a friend or family member was the only money available.  The other possibility was for a friend to co-sign a promissory note with you guaranteeing the lender that if you did not pay the money back your co-signer would be responsible to pay.  I am sure there are times when this works well, but as a general rule of thumb, it is foolish to enter into such an agreement.  As a friend or family member it is better to give the money with no thought of repayment, than to co-sign for a loan and then be disappointed or responsible for the mismanagement of funds.  This is what Solomon was talking about in this passage of Scripture. 
 

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February 2

February 2 – February 8

 

Scripture Passage:  “Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.”  “Let thine fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.  Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breast satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.”  Proverbs 5: 15, 18-19

Dear Friends,

     Are you kidding me?!!!!  Talk about juicy stuff.  This is the stuff romance novels are made of and this came directly from the Bible. In this age of promiscuity and sexual freedom, many opponents of Christianity believe you cannot follow Christ and still have any sexual pleasure.  They believe marriage limits their opportunities and hinders their experience.  They believe any limit or moral boundary suppresses their sexuality and stymies their enjoyment.  The exact opposite is true.  God gave us guidelines and rules to focus our desires in a way that produces passionate energy and unmatched satisfaction.   God wants to give us the best, while Satan wants to slip us a disappointing counterfeit. 

 


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January 26

January 26 – February 1

 

Scripture Passage:  “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.  For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.”   Proverbs 4: 14-16

Dear Friends,

     I am not addicted to television, but when I do watch it, I like shows related to law enforcement or forensic evidence.  In almost every scenario presented, a person who is murdered was at a club, bar, party, or frat house and alcohol, drugs and sexual activity were readily available.  They imbibed without any restraint or concern for morality. The ability to make clear headed decisions was sacrificed to the gods of pleasure.  If the victim was not in one of these places, at least the perpetrator had been there or was under the influence at the time.  It is rare that a case is presented where an innocent person was at the wrong place at the wrong time.  It is even rarer when a victim’s life was lived within the triangle of work, home, and church.  A person who lives their life with diligence and focus on these points, has very little time to be engaged in foolishness.  A person who lives to party will eventually fall into a trap that will shorten their life.  Solomon knew this and gave godly advice to his son to stay away from these places and refrain from these addictive substances over three thousand years ago.  The difference between being wise and foolish is often defined by a fine line of where we go and who we associate with. 
 

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January 19

January 19 – January 25

 

Scripture Passage:  “Strive not with a man without cause, if he has done you no harm.”  Proverbs 3:30   “Her ways (Wisdom) are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”  Proverbs 3:17     “When you lie down, you shall not be afraid: yea, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.”   Proverbs 3:24

Dear Friends,

      I love when you read a passage of Scripture and it speaks directly to your heart.  It is like the Lord is saying, “This is for you.” “Sit up and take notice.”  “Listen!”  In preparing for this article, I had to read all of Proverbs Chapter 3.  The most quoted of all this chapter is verses 5-6.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.”  This is a promise of God and filled with mountains of encouragement.  But that was not what the Lord focused on.  I have written about verse 27 before.  “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.”  But that was not the focus either.  He zeroed in on the verses I listed in the Scripture passage.  Why?  Because he knew it struck home to events occurring in my life.  This may have been only for me.  (But I doubt it.)  Life is full of problems and the way we react and handle them says a lot about us. 
 

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Pastor’s Desk January 13th

Scripture Passage:  “When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul; discretion shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you.”  Proverbs 2:10-11

Dear Friends,

     Last week we talked about the fear of the Lord being the beginning of knowledge.  One of the telling signs of this kind of knowledge is a person’s respect for the things of God and their fear of God being greater than their fear of men.  Another sign of godly knowledge is the presence of discretion, prudence, and reasoning ability in their decision making process.  The idiom, “Discretion is the better part of valor,” was first penned by Charles Churchill in 1477.  It has often been used in times of crisis to remind those in positions of leadership to think before acting.  Every decision a person makes, both good and bad, carries with it an array of consequences.  Those consequences can have a positive impact, but most affect us negatively.  The idea is that we should weigh all these things out before we act in a foolish manner. 


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Pastor’s Desk January 6th

Scripture Passage:  “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  Proverbs 1:7

Dear Friends,

     For the past six or seven years I have been writing one article a week and posting it on our church web site under the heading of Pastors Page.  I have written about everything from my childhood to personal struggles I have encountered.  My audience is as varied as the congregation I minister to.  I have occasionally heard from people outside the country commenting on how a particular article spoke to them in their hour of need.  I do not have a lot of comments from people in my church, but the search history reveals there are many who faithfully read the article each week.  Writing the article is not nearly as hard as coming up with something to write about. So I am going to do something different in this New Year of 2020. 
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 30th

Scripture Passage:  “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3: 22-23
 
Dear Friends,
 
     I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions.  For one thing, most people have no intentions of keeping them.  Secondly, a resolution is only as good as the result it is supposed to produce.  Most of the time a resolution is only a statement declaring what someone believes and has no binding authority upon the one issuing it.  I have sat through many state and national denominational business meetings where a portion of time is set aside for resolutions.  By the time it is all finished, I am resolved, to be resolved, to never present a resolve, that concerns a resolve,  that leads to a resolution.  (How’d you like that?)  I have been in too many business meetings, I considered a waste of time.  I prefer actions over talk.
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 23rd

Scripture Passage:  “And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7
 
Dear Friends,
 
     A baby changes everything.   My advice to young couples entering in to marriage is to wait a while before they begin to have children.  They need time to adjust to marriage and the opportunity to enjoy the pleasures of intimacy without having added responsibilities.
 

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Pastor’s Desk December 16th

Scripture Passage:  “And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord.”   II Kings 19:14
 
Dear Friends, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”  Abraham Lincoln
 

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