Saturday, January 28, 2012

More From The Pastors Conference

Three days down and one day to go. There have been some tremendous messages from some great preachers such as Johnny Hunt, David Platt, Eric Mason, Erwin Lutzer, JD Greear, and Tullian Tchividjian.

Today, Eric Mason brought a tremendous message on brokenness and then tonight Bro. Junior Hill brought a wonderful message on the pastor and his struggles.

I must say that it has been a great three days and I am sure that tomorrow will be no different. If you have never been to the Pastors Conference at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, you should definitely make plans to attend next year.

It is well worth the investment! Don't forget the devotion will return when I get back on Monday.

Pastor Clint

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pastors Conference

Yesterday I arrived in Jacksonville, FL for the Pastors Conference at First Baptist Church. I will be here through Sunday night for the conference.

Unfortunately, the hotel we are staying at does not provide free wi-fi in our room. I will be posting short updates to my blog during the next few days. Lord willing, I will get back to posting the devotional thought on Monday or Tuesday. God bless!

Pastor Clint

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Spiritual Nourishment

"If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained." - 1 Timothy 4:6

Do you spend much time in God's Word?  How you answer this question will determine much about your life.  It will determine the strength and direction of your faith.  It will determine your priorities.  It will radically affect every area of your life!  I like the way one preacher put it when he said, "the Bible should not be prominent in our lives, the Bible should be preeminent!"  Is God's Word preeminent in your life?

You must decide whether or not God's Word will be the light that guides your path each day or whether it will be just a dim nightlight that occasionally flickers in the dark.  This is a decision that only you can make, but it is the most important decision you will ever make other than trusting Christ as Savior.  Your decision will have an impact on your life in ways that you cannot even imagine right now.  Either way you decide, it will radically affect your life!

God's Word is our map and blueprint for how to survive and thrive in this pilgrimage that we are on.  It is our source of strength and comfort for our journey.  The Word of God is a source of wisdom and truth that never fails.  Will you make God's Word preeminent in your life?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, thank You so much for Your Word!  Help me to make You Word preeminent in my life, that it would be light for my path and strength for my journey.  I will purpose to study and meditate upon your Word daily and apply to every area of my life.  Lord, use Your Word to stir my heart and radically change my life as I serve You.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, January 20, 2012


"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

I just wanted to share a quick thought today on forgiveness.  I personally think this verse is one of the greatest promises ever given to us!  As a child of God, if we are willing to confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.

When you ask Christ for forgiveness, He will give it.  Despite your sins, Christ offers immediate forgiveness.  It doesn't matter what you have done or how bad you have been, Jesus Christ offers forgiveness to those who confess their sins to Him in repentance.  Do you have unconfessed sin in your life?  If so, it is time to take Christ up on His promise!

It is such a blessing to know that when it comes to forgiveness God doesn't play favorites!  Since God doesn't play favorites when it comes to forgiveness, neither should you and I.  God's Word commands us to forgive ALL that have wronged and hurt us, not just the ones who have asked for forgiveness or who have made things right with us.  If you are a child of God, Jesus Christ has completely forgiven you, and you must completely forgive others.  Anything less is disobedience to God's Word!

Lord, help us today to forgive others as You have forgiven us!

"God's heart of mercy provides for us not only pardon from sin but also a daily provision of spiritual food to strengthen us." - Jim Cymbala

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, thank you so much for Your faithfulness!  Thank you for Your promise of forgiveness if we confess our sins to You.  Father, forgive me for any sin or iniquity that is in my heart this day.  Help me to forgive others as well, not just the ones who ask for it, but even those who don't.  Lord, help me to forgive others as You have forgiven me!  In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pondering Your Path

"Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.  Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established." - Proverbs 5:25-26

What are you focused on today?  Are you focused on your job, your family, or yourself?  E. Stanley Jones made the statement "Whatever we focus on determines what we become."  That is so true!  If you were to look at me and my life, you probably would have no problem determining what my focus is on.  As I look at people in our churches today, I can pretty much determine what their focus is on.  The Bible tells us that our focus should be on the Lord Jesus Christ, His Word, and His House.

I would like to challenge you today to ponder who and what your focus is on, and to ponder the path that you are on spiritually.  I'm afraid that far too many of us have our focus on things and people other than Jesus Christ.  Here are some convicting questions that you should ask yourself each day.  Am I focused completely and 100% on Jesus Christ?  Am I focused on God's Word?  Am I focused on being faithful to God's House?

Are you willing to ponder the path that you are on?  If we will ponder our path and then make our focus on Jesus Christ, His Word, and His House, we can have our ways established.  Maybe the Lord is trying to get your attention today.  Is He dealing with you about being more faithful to His Word?  Is He dealing with you about being more faithful to His Church?

Today, ponder the path that you are on, focus 100% on Jesus Christ and make Him preeminent, that your ways may be established.

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me today to ponder my path.  May I focus completely and 100% on you and make You preeminent in my life.  Help me to be more faithful to Your Word and to Your Church.  As I focus on You Lord, establish my ways and direct my path.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting On The Lord

"Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." - John 11:21

I just want to share a quick thought this morning about timing and patience.  We live in such a busy and fast paced world today.  We can have any information available to us in just a few seconds.  If you want to check the weather or read the latest headlines all you have to do is just pull it up on your smartphone.  Due to advances in technology, we literally can have almost anything at fingertips in just a matter of seconds.

When you read John chapter 11 you find the account of the death of Lazarus and the encounter with Jesus and Martha, the sister of Lazarus.  In the beginning of the chapter Jesus gets word that Lazarus is sick and at the point of death.  Then our Lord does something that is very unexpected, He tarries and waits instead of immediately rushing to get to Lazarus.  When Jesus finally arrives at the home Lazarus is already dead and he has been placed in the tomb.  Martha comes running out to meet the Lord, not understanding why He waited to come.  Martha thought that Jesus was late and that His timing was all wrong because Lazarus had died, but little did she know that Jesus was actually right on time.

As I said earlier, we are busy people living in a fast paced world.  Most of us, if we are honest, would admit that we find it difficult to patiently and quietly wait on the Lord.  Let's face it, we know what we want, and we know exactly when we want it: right now!  However, God may have different plans.  Just like Martha, we all have our ideas about what the Lord needs to do and when He needs to do it.  Martha thought that the Lord had done and was doing nothing, but little did she know that Christ was about to something miraculous.  There are many times in our lives when it seems like the Lord is doing nothing or that He is not there, but Christ is always at work in our lives, even when we cannot see it.

I would like to share something on a personal note on how I know this to be true.  I remember when our family came home from the mission field in late 2007.  I truly believed that it was the will of God for me to be on staff at our home church at the time.  All I wanted to to was to be a part of Christ's work.  Then all of the sudden things took a turn in the wrong direction and my heart was literally ripped out, stomped on, and crushed by not only my pastor, but my entire church family.  I ended up having to leave the only church I had ever known.  It was where I was saved, married, baptized, called to preach, called to the mission field, and ordained.  For the next two years I was in a constant state of depression.  I did not understand how God could open the door for all of these other people to serve Him but yet no doors were opening for me.  I wanted so desperately to serve Him full-time somewhere.  Then in August 2010, three years after leaving the mission field, the Lord opened that door I had been praying for.  I was called to be the pastor of Fairystone Baptist Church here in Stuart, Virginia.  As I look back on things now, I realize something that I could not see back then.  I realize that God was not only preparing me, but He was also preparing a place for me to serve Him.  The Lord was preparing the people of Fairystone Baptist Church to have me as their pastor.  I know now that if I had tried to pastor back in 2007 or 2008 that it would have been a disaster because I was not ready, and there were some things that the Lord needed to teach me.  The bottom line is that the timing was not right.

I want to challenge you today to wait on the Lord.  You might be just like I was, thinking that the Lord is not there or that He is not working behind the scenes.  I can promise you that the Lord is there and He is working.  You and I must learn to wait on Christ because His timing is perfect and He is going to do something far more marvelous than we could ever imagine!

Prayer For Today:

Lord, help me to patiently wait on You, even when it seems like You are not there or when it seems like You are doing nothing.  I know that You desire to do a marvelous and miraculous work in my life.  Help me today to understand that my time is not always Your time.  Give me the faith and strength to patiently wait on You and for Your will to be accomplished in my life.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do They See It?

"I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.  He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.  And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord." - Psalm 40:1-3

Have you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior?  Has Christ put a new song in your heart and mouth?  Does your life show forth praise unto Christ?  Finally, the most important question is: do other people see it?  The Psalmist says that God will bring us up out of our pits, He will bring us up from the miry clay of this wicked world, He will plant our feet on a rock (Jesus Christ), He will establish our path, and He will put a new song of praise in our mouths.

Have you recently experienced a setback in your life?  Have you been in one of those horrible pits or bogged down in the miry clay?  If you are going through a valley in your physical or spiritual life, look for what the Lord is trying to teach you.  Don't murmur or complain against the Lord concerning the state that you are presently in.  You must view your valley, your trial, your pit, as an opportunity to be drawn closer to Christ and an opportunity to show others the new song that has been put in us.  The Psalmist tells us in this passage that when we do these things that many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.  Do you realize that the world is watching you when you go through the fire to see how you will respond.  The world is watching to see if Jesus Christ is as real to us as we say He is.  The world is watching to see if you really believe what you tell them you believe.  If you will allow the pits, valleys, and trials in your life to show forth the praise of Christ it will cause people to not only see it but it will cause them to trust in Him.

I want to challenge you to view your failures and disappointments in life as an opportunity to be drawn closer to Christ and then an opportunity to let others see the praise of Christ in our lives.  Life is difficult and the journey can cause us to grow weary, even jaded.

Will you view your failures, disappointments, and setbacks as an opportunity to let others see Jesus Christ in your life?  Is Christ as real to you as you say He is?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me this day to let others see your praise in my life.  When I suffer setbacks, when I have failures and disappointments, may I see it as an opportunity to be drawn closer to You and to let others see You in my life.  I pray that you will help me to see what You are trying to teach me through the tough times in my life.  I desire You to be so real to me that others will see it, and fear, and trust in Christ.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hiding Your Life With Christ

"Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." - Colossians 3:2-3

What about you stands out to other people?  Is it your looks?  Is it your personality?  Is it Jesus Christ?

The Apostle Paul makes a very interesting statement here in Colossians 3:3 when he says "your life is hid with Christ in God."  I have read that many times and never truly considered the implications of what is being said.  I am sure that most of you have likewise done the very same thing.  Most of us probably have focused on verse two and never really thought about verse three that much.

I would like to pose to a question for you to consider.  Is my life hid with Christ?  You are probably asking yourself, "what does that mean?" or "how does that work?"

First, we must understand the first part of the verse where it says "For ye are dead."  When you trusted Christ as your Savior, you had to die to self.  This is something that must be done on a daily basis because our flesh wants to live for us instead of Christ.  This means that you no longer live your life for you, but instead you live for Christ, your life becomes all about Him.  No longer do you have your own identity, but rather your identity is found in the Person of Jesus Christ.  Being hid with Christ means that Jesus Christ so consumes our lives that He is all people will see, He is all we live for, He is EVERYTHING!

I must honestly confess that implications of this verse have convicted me greatly.  If I am to be honest, most of the time my life is not hid with Christ as it should be.  If you are honest, you would have to say the same thing.

Today may we be convicted, stirred, and challenged to hide our lives with Christ!  May Jesus Christ so consume our lives that we have no other identity but that of Him!

Prayer For Today:

Lord, help me today to die to self, dying to my desires, my ambitions, and my flesh.  May my life be totally consumed by You and Your Word.  It is my sincere desire that I would have no identity other than that of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Help me to hide my life with You this day.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Godly Character

"In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." - Titus 2:7-8

Your character is what you are when no one else is watching.  Your character is also what you do when no one else is watching.  It is amazing how much different people can be when they think they are alone and no one is watching.  However, Christ is ALWAYS watching!

It would probably blow our minds if we knew some of the things that our fellow church members did in private.  We have professing Christians who watch pornography in their homes when they are alone, thinking no one knows.  We have professing Christians committing adultery, thinking that it is okay as long as no one finds out.  Literally, we have so many people in our churches today leading double lives.

What is God trying to say to us in these verses?  He is saying that He wants us to have a Godly character so that people will not be able to so anything evil against us, and if they try to that they will be ashamed because they won't have a leg to stand on.  If you and I have a Godly character, it will be difficult for us to be condemned by those that would wish to speak evil of us.

If you sincerely desire to have a Godly character and to walk with God, you must, the best of your ability, be obedient to His Word and His will.  Now let me say, there are going to times when you are going to fail miserably because of our flesh and sin nature.  As Paul said in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  The only way you are going to have Godly character is to allow Christ to do it.  The only way you can live the Christian life is to allow Christ to live it through you.

"If God can fashion the mountains, if God can keep the sun its orbit, if God can split a sea and dry the ground beneath it so an entire nation can cross, do you doubt that He can transform your character?" - Bill Hybels

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me to be a person of integrity, let my words and deeds be a testimony to You.  Help me to have a Godly character today, and always.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Rejoice And Be Glad!

"This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." - Psalm 118:24

Do you realize that today is a cause for celebration?  Why?  Is today a holiday or something?  No, today is a cause for celebration because the Lord has made and given us this day!  Our response should be to rejoice and be glad.

As you and I wake up each morning, we must realize that God has made and given us a day full of possibilities. We are to use this day for His purposes and for His glory.  Each day is a brand new day to start over and serve the Lord with rejoicing and gladness.  However, we must beware, today is a non-renewable resource; once it's gone, it's gone forever.  It is your responsibility and mine to use this day in service to our Lord by being obedient to Him and His Word.

Today is a gift from God and we must not waste it.  Rejoice and be glad in this day that the Lord has given you.  Use it joyfully and encourage those around you to do the same.

Here is the challenge for today: treasure the time that Jesus Christ has given to you by giving Him the glory, praise, and obedience that He is worthy of.

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me today to rejoice and be glad in this day that You have given me.  May I not waste this day You have given me to serve and glorify You.  Help me to share the love and joy of Christ with my family, friends, neighbors, and those You put in my path today.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

It's Time To Move On

"Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." - Ephesians 4:31-32

Have you ever heard someone say, "I can't forgive them, you don't know what they have done to me" or "I'll forgive them, but I won't forget."  Maybe you have even said those very words yourself due to someone doing you wrong.  However, the world has no rewards for those who remain bitter and angrily focused on the past, and neither does God.

Are you still holding a grudge or bitter about something that happened in the past?  If so, most importantly, you are disobeying God's Word, but you are also just wasting your time.  Hatred, bitterness, and remaining angry over the past are not part of God's plan for our lives.

Since we all have that old sin nature, we are quick to anger and quick to blame someone else, but then we are slow to forgive and even slower to forget.  However, as Christians we are commanded by Jesus Christ Himself  in Matthew 5:43-48 to forgive those that wrong us, to love our enemies, to bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and to pray for them that despitefully use and persecute us.  I remember a while back preaching on that very passage and I had a woman come up to me after the service to let me know what she thought about what I preached.  She told me that I couldn't say that until I had been in the person's shoes who had been wronged or hurt by someone else.  The only problem with her statement is that I was not the one telling her that she had to forgive this person who had done something terrible to a member of her family.  I was merely reading the words that Christ had spoken.  Jesus Christ is the one who says that we must forgive, no matter what.

Right about now you might be saying, "You don't know what they did, you don't know how terrible and heinous the thing was they did."  While that may be true, I don't fully understand the impact of what someone else has had to go through, it still doesn't change the words of our Lord.  Think about what Jesus Christ went through when He was crucified.  He was completely innocent of the crime He was accused of.  He was mocked, beaten so bad you could not recognize He was a man, He endured the agony of the cross, yet He said "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."  Jesus Christ was taking our place and the punishment that we deserved because of our sin and yet He asked the Father to forgive us for what we did to Him  WOW!!!

If Christ could forgive someone like me for putting Him on that cross because of my sin, then surely I can forgive someone when they wrong me, no matter what.  Now please don't misunderstand me, I am not saying that it is going to be easy to do this and to live this.  It is going to be the hardest thing that you will ever do.  This is one of those things that is so easy to preach and say, but it is so hard to do because of our sin nature.

Is there someone that you need to forgive?  Is there something you need to let go?  If so, forgive them, let it go, and then ask God to forgive you for your sin of holding on to that bitterness and hatred.  Life is short and eternity is fast approaching.  It's time to move on and show the love and forgiveness of Christ to others as He has shown it to us.

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, forgive me for any hatred or bitterness that might be in my heart.  Forgive me for my disobedience to Your Word.  Thank you Lord for forgiving me even though I do not deserve it.  Help me to show the love and forgiveness of Christ to those around me.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Got Wisdom?

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." - James 1:5

Got wisdom?  Most of us remember a while back the commercials and ads that would ask "Got Milk?"  Do you have wisdom today?  The Bible tells us that if any of us lack wisdom that we should ask God and He promises to give us wisdom.  In fact, the above verse says that God will give to us liberally when we petition Him for wisdom.

During His earthly ministry Jesus taught His disciples to always ask God to meet their needs and depend on Him totally.  We should do the same.  No matter what your situation or need is today, you can go to the Father and bring your petition before Him.  The genuine heartfelt prayer of the child God will produce powerful change in them and in the world.  Christ told thee disciple that they had not because they asked not.  We are plagued by the same problem today.  Do you go to the Father with your cares, burdens, and petitions for wisdom?

Do you have questions about your future that you have no way of answering?  Do you have needs that are impossible to meet by your power or ability?  Do you sincerely desire for God to give you wisdom and guidance for your life?  If the answer is yes, then ask Jesus Christ today and then keep asking Him everyday to meet your needs.

Man typically have the reputation of not admitting that they are lost and not asking for directions.  However, we ALL are guilty of this when it comes to our spiritual walk with Christ.  We convince ourselves that we know what we are doing, we know how to handle the situation, we don't need any help, and that we can reach our destination without any directions.  Many a man will keep up the charade of thinking that he is not lost until he realizes that it is hopeless and he is lost.  Until he stops and asks for directions, he will never arrive at the correct destination.

How many of us today are guilty of the same thing in our spiritual walk with Christ?  Are you willing to admit that you need direction and wisdom today?  If you need wisdom or direction from Christ for your life, all you have to do is ask.

Prayer For Today:

Lord, help me when I have questions about the direction of my life or when I need wisdom to turn to You.  When I am weak, may I seek Your strength; when I am confused, help me to seek Your wisdom; and when I am discouraged, may I be reminded of Your love, mercy, and grace.  May I trust you for everything that I need.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Is Your Joy Full?

"These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." - John 15:11

Just wanted to share a quick thought this morning before church...

Is your joy full today?  Does the joy of Christ remain in you?  Sometimes even the most dedicated of Christians can allow their joy to run empty because we fail to abide in Christ.  In the first ten verses of this chapter Jesus tells us how we can make sure His joy remains in us and that our joy is full.

Today, let us be joyful Christians with smile on our face and a song in our heart.  Our sins have been forgiven and we are pilgrims on our way to our Heavenly Home.  How can we not have the joy of Christ in us and our joy full knowing that?  Today, let the joy and love of Christ show through you!

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help my to be a joyful Christian, an example to others, and a faithful servant to You.  I desire that Your joy would remain in me and that my joy might be full.  May others see Your joy and peace through my words and deeds.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Honoring Jesus Christ

"Honour the Lord, with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase; So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." - Proverbs 3:9-10

If you were to ask most Christians if they honor God, most of them would probably say they do.  Let's examine our hearts today and ask ourselves the following the questions.  Do I really and truly honor Jesus Christ?  Do I honor Christ with my substance?  Do I honor Christ with the firstfruits of my increase?  It is one thing to just be generic and say that we honor God, but it is another matter entirely to say that we are honoring Jesus Christ with all of our substance and the firstfruits of our increase.

Will we choose to honor the Lord Jesus Christ today in EVERYTHING?  If we fail to honor Christ, we are inviting trouble into our lives.

Most of us lead very busy and hectic lives, barely having time for anything that is not part of our normal worldly routine.  When was the last time that you simply paused and thanked your Heavenly Father for His air that He allows you to breathe?  When was the last time you thanked the Lord for the innumerable ways He has blessed you?

Most Christians also seem to find it hard to truly honor Christ with their substance and the firstfruits of their increase.  Why?  The answer is simple, most of us are financially in debt to the point that we are unable to honor Christ with our substance.  Instead of giving the firstfruits of our increase to the Lord we have to give them to the credit card companies.  Are you honoring the Lord with your substance?  Are you honoring Him with the firstfruits of ALL your increase?

We are messing up big time when we fail to honor Jesus Christ in EVERYTHING and with ALL we have!  We must honor Christ for who He is and not just for what He has done for us.  Jesus Christ is worthy of ALL honor and praise!

Are you just honoring Christ on Sunday mornings?  Are you just honoring Christ with your words?  Are you just honoring Christ with your leftovers?  If we are truly going to honor Jesus Christ we must do it everyday, we must do with more than just words, and we must do it with the firstfruits of our increase!

Prayer For Today:

Lord, help me today to honor You with not only my words but with everything.  Thank you Father for Your goodness, mercy, and grace.  Help me always to honor you through my words, deeds, and even my finances.  I praise you from the depths of my heart for who You are, and not just for what You have done for me.  Help me to honor You with all that I am.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Growing In Christ

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." - 1 Corinthians 13:11

I would like to share a few thoughts about growing in our walk with Christ.  As I read through Paul's first letter to the church at Corinth I cannot help but think of how spiritually immature they were in their walk with Christ.  From the very beginning they were split into factions, one saying that he was of Apollos and another saying he was of Paul.  It is very similar to what we see today in Fundamentalism.  People are so quick to identify which camp they are in and then they want to know which camp you are in.  Of course, if you are in what they perceive is the wrong camp, then they will want nothing to do with you.  Before I run too much of a rabbit trail here, the point I am making is that we must get past our spiritual immaturity and grow in Christ to be spiritually mature Christians.

Our journey towards spiritual maturity will last a lifetime.  That means that we are never going to arrive at complete spiritual maturity on this side of eternity.  Each day that God gives us to serve Him we must continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  This does not mean that we just accumulate more head knowledge about Jesus Christ, it means that we are to become more like Christ each day.

I'm afraid that there are many in our churches today who have ceased to grow spiritually.  There are some who are not faithful to their church services so they miss out hearing God's Word preached and they miss out on growing with the body of that local congregation.  There are others who never have a time of daily worship with Christ.  While it is VERY important to be faithful to all of the church services, it is also EQUALLY important that you have a time of worship with Christ EVERY day.  This means you must set aside time each day to spend in God's Word, pray, and fellowship with Jesus Christ.

Many of us have become stagnant in our spiritual walk with Jesus Christ.  Why?  It is because we fail to spend time in God's Word, we fail to have a prayer life, we do not obey His commandments, we are not faithful to our local churches, and we are not cultivating the relationships with other believers that are necessary for our spiritual growth.

John Maxwell said, "Every great company, every great brand, and every great career has been built in exactly the same way: bit by bit, step by step, little by little."  How are you going to grow in Christ and be a spiritually mature Christian?  You must do it bit by bit, step by step, and little by little.  You can start by being faithful to your local church, then you must determine to spend time EVERY day in God's Word, develop a prayer life and not just a prayer time, and cultivate relationships with other believers in Christ that will further your spiritual journey.

Examine your heart and spiritual journey today.  Are you growing in Christ or has your spiritual walk become stagnant?

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, help me as I continue on my walk with Christ to grow in Your grace and knowledge.  Help me today and each day to become more like You and reflect more of You in my life.  Help me to put away childish things that would hinder the work of Christ.  May I reflect your grace in my life today.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Casting Our Care Upon Him

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." - 1 Peter 5:6-7

Do you ever feel weighed down by the burdens and cares of this world?  Do you ever feel like you do not have the strength to go on?  If we are honest, we all have days where we feel this way.  However, the Lord never intended for us to carry our burdens by ourselves and face our battles alone.  Yet, that is exactly what we do, we try to carry our burdens on our own shoulders and not turn them over to the Lord.

God is a tremendous source of strength and support if you will call upon Him.  When we grow weary in our walk, God will give us strength.  When we feel there is no hope, the Lord reminds us of His promises to us.  When we are grieving, the Lord will comfort us and make His presence so real to us.

If the demands and burdens of this world begin to get you down, you must not rely upon your own strength or abilities.  You must totally rely and depend on the Lord to get you through your trial and lift your burden from you.  The Lord Jesus Christ will go every step of the way with you through whatever you are facing.  He will not only hold your hand through it all, but when it seems you can no longer go on, He will carry you through.

"Faith is not merely you holding on to God, it is God holding on to you." - E. Stanley Jones

I am so glad that I am not holding on to Christ, but that Christ is holding on to me!

Prayer For Today:

Heavenly Father, I know that You will never leave me nor forsake me.  You have promised to go through every trial with me.  You have promised to take every burden from me.  No matter what the day may bring and no matter what I may face, thank you for Your strength, comfort, and love.  Help me today to cast all my cares upon You.  In Jesus name, Amen!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Trusting God For The Impossible

"Is anything too hard for the Lord?" - Genesis 18:14

The context of this verse is dealing with Abraham's wife Sarah conceiving a child in her old age.  Sarah was way past the years of child bearing yet the Lord promised her that she would give birth to a son in her old age.  Human logic would tell us that it would be impossible for a woman of Sarah's age to conceive and give birth to a child.  However, there is nothing that is too hard for the Lord.  Only God can do what we see as humanly impossible.

Are you afraid to ask God to do big things in your life?  Is your faith weak and wearing thin?  It is time for us to abandon our doubts and our fears and to trust God to do the impossible in our lives.  The Word of God makes it so clear that NOTHING is impossible for God!  We must take God at His Word and expect Him to do the impossible in our lives.

This past Sunday we unveiled our theme for 2012 at our church, "Building Our Future & Our Lives Around Our Church."  The church has been in a building project for about 7 years to add a gym/fellowship hall and other rooms to the existing facility.  I must admit that I have been discouraged because it has been 7 years and the building is not complete.  I challenged our church that we are going to see the building completed by the end of this year and do it without going one penny into debt.  That is a very bold an ambitious statement and some no doubt will ask how in the world can it be done.  They might even say, "that's impossible!"  My response is, I am going to trust God to do the impossible at Fairystone Baptist Church!  Will you trust Christ to do the impossible in your life today?

Prayer For Today:

Lord, nothing is impossible for You.  Help to never lose sight of your strength and power.  When I lose hope, give me faith; when others lose hope, let me remind them of Your glory and works.  Today and everyday, Lord, help me to trust You to do the impossible in my life.  In Jesus name, Amen!