Staff Devotions

 

Pastor’s Desk April 15th

Scripture Passage:  Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then said I, “Here I am; send me.”  Isaiah 6:8
 
Dear Friends,
 
     The past few days have been interesting.  I have been a part of several committees down through the years that have been responsible for filling empty positions in churches, associations and now the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Technology may run the world, but it still takes people to operate the technology and make decisions about the future.

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Pastor’s Desk April 8th

Scripture Passage:  “Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do it.”  Proverbs 3:27
 
Dear Friends, A young lawyer came to ask Jesus a question in order to test Him.  The question was “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus ask, “What does the law say?” The young man answered, “Thou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”  Jesus’ reply was, “You have answered right, do this, and you will live.”  But the young man willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”  From that question Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan to show that a neighbor is anyone that you have the opportunity to do good to regardless of ethnicity, gender, or social status.  Luke 10:25-37   Our story today relates very well to Solomon’s teaching in Proverbs 3:27.

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Pastor’s Desk April 1st

Scripture Passage:  “Woe unto thee, Chorazin! Woe unto thee, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.  But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment than for you.  And thou, Capernaum, which are exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.  But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee.”   Matthew 11:21-24
 
Dear Friends,
 
     In the rocky landscape surrounding the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee, lie the remains of three early prominent cities.  This is the area of the feeding of five thousand as well as the teaching of the beatitudes.  It was the area of many miracles as well as the operating base for Jesus and His disciples.  Capernaum was the fishing village of Peter, James, and John located on the shores of Galilee while the other two cities lay further inland.  It was from this area that the majority of Christ’s disciples were called.  It was also the final meeting place for Jesus and His disciples after His resurrection from the dead.  Capernaum was the largest of the three cities and contained its own synagogue.  What upset Jesus so that he would utter a curse of destruction upon them?  Did his prophecy come true and how does that relate to us today in America?  Let us see.

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Pastor’s Desk March 25th

Scripture Passage:  “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!  Woe unto them that are wise in their own eye, and prudent in their own sight.”  Isaiah 5: 20-21
 
Dear Friends,
 
     Can you believe there is a verse like this in the Bible?  Surely this was written by a Pastor in the last decade over the moral decay in the present day church.  Could it be a parent dealing with a teen over their sexual identity crisis?  Maybe it is a woman struggling with her spouse over infidelity issues in their marriage.  He sees nothing wrong with what he is doing and seems to revel in the sordid choices he has made.  Perhaps it is the musings of a past generation that lived in a different time when right was right, and wrong was wrong, and people knew the difference.  No, it was written by a prophet of God nearly three thousand years ago.

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Pastor’s Desk March 11th

Scripture Passage:  “And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite.  And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentils: and the people fled from the Philistines.  But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the Lord wrought a great victory.”  II Samuel 23:11-12
 
Dear Friends,
 
     The greatest king of Israel, David, experienced great success because of two things:  1. His love and heart for God 2.  The people he surrounded himself with.  God said of David, “He is a man after my own heart.”  David sinned just like you and I do and sometimes even worse.  He was a man with a temper and sex drive.  He was a leader and a numbers guy.  He was a planner and sometimes his plans got ahead of God’s plans.  He was a musician and worshipper and his style was often unorthodox.  He could go from being exuberant to depressed with the drop of a hat, but he could also be rock steady and unshakable when he needed to be.  When David sinned he often tried to cover it up or pretend that nothing happened.  When Nathan the prophet confronted him on several occasions, he confessed and repented with godly sorrow.  David knew who he was, but God knew him even better.  David’s love for God never waned and even when he messed up his true heart eventually showed back up.
 

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Pastor’s Desk March 4th

Scripture Passage:  “And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.”      Genesis 4:2
 
  Dear Friends,
 
     Two boys.  Same father and same mother.  Same home and same teaching, but different as night and day.  Both had honorable occupations and both jobs were absolutely necessary.  Sheep provided necessary meat and wool for clothing.  Tilling the soil provided the vegetables and crops necessary for sustenance.  Both boys knew of God and the necessity of worship and thankfulness for what He had provided.  Cain brought from the fruit of the ground, while Abel brought an offering of the firstlings of his flock.  Since the Levitical system of offering had not been established yet, Abel’s offering was not accepted simply because it was a blood offering.  Cain’s offering was not rejected simply because it was a grain offering.  Both were legitimate offerings in the Levitical system.  The reason goes much deeper than the type of sacrifice that was offered.  It centers on the condition of the heart.

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Pastor’s Desk February 25th

Scripture Passage:  “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”     Psalms 61:2
 
Dear Friends,
 
     I love a good song.  I love the rhythm and melody, but mostly I love the words.  Words are powerful.  They have the ability to lift up the spirit and encourage the heart.  They also have the ability to make you cry.  Often times a song speaks to the heart in its time of need and elicits a cascading stream of emotions.   Other times it puts a smile on the face and a melodic tune in the head.  The Psalms I have used in our devotion today is a song David composed during one of the dark and tormented times of his life.  It is an example that the best songs are written from hearts that have visited the valley of despair.
   

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Pastor’s Desk February 18th

Scripture Passage:  “And Satan answered the Lord, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.  But put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.  And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.”   Job 2:4-6
 

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Pastor’s Desk February 11th

Scripture Passage:  “Verily, verily, I say unto you,  The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.”    John 13: 16-17
 
Dear Friends,
 
     Many people are searching for the key to happiness.  It is often said that happiness is dependent upon circumstances while joy is based upon relationships.  Jesus says we can find happiness in our service to others.  He had just girded himself with a towel and washed his disciple’s feet.  This was the menial task a slave performed for his master when he entered a personal dwelling.  Jesus had humbled himself and taken on the form of a servant.  Jesus said he had given us an example to live by, and if we would follow the example shown us, we would be happy.  I have thought a lot about this and want to share the story of one of the giants of our faith named George Mueller.
 

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Pastor’s Desk February 4th

Scripture Passage:  “Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will show the interpretation.”   Daniel 5:12
 
Dear Friends,
 
      What kind of spirit are you known for?    Are you known for having an even temperament  and cool head under pressure or for being a hot head?  Would you be called a kind and generous soul or one who is bitter and tight fisted?  Are you known as a peacemaker or one who stirs up trouble and contention?  Are you the kind of friend a friend would like to have or a self-centered control freak who has to have everything their way?  I believe these are good questions because everyone is known for something.  The better question, however, would be what does God know you for?  When the spotlight fades, the curtain closes, and the crowd disperses who are you in the dark?  Some are very good at putting up a false façade and being a “snake in the grass” working covertly behind the scenes, but God knows the real you.  So do those closest to you.
 

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