Devotional YouVersion

In the darkness we were waiting 
Without hope, without light
Till from heaven You came running
There was mercy in Your eyes 
– King of Kings

There is no doubt – we all began in darkness. In fact, the Bible tells us that the earth itself was covered in darkness. Until the Creator, the ultimate creative, came and spoke light and breathed life into His creation. 

Today, God is still breathing life into dead things. Our kind Saviour is still going about bringing light to dark places, hope to hopeless situations, possibility to impossible circumstances. But before we entered His light, we were in darkness. And before we knew true life, we were destined for death. And before coming awake, we were asleep. The Bible puts it like this: “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins” (Colossians 2:13).

Earlier this year, our Senior Pastor, Bobbie Houston, asked the question “Do you remember the day the lights went on?” What about you? Do you remember the day you found salvation, and the weight of sin lifted off of you? The day that from heaven, Jesus came running with mercy in His eyes, ready to heal, forgive, restore, and awaken you to all of the hope, grace, peace, and joy that is life with Jesus Christ?

It is our prayer that you would remember that moment. That as you listen to the songs from this new album, the lyrics would remind you that you were once in darkness but have been brought into the light – illuminated now to illuminate others.

PRAYER:

Dear Heavenly Father, through Your Holy Spirit – remind me again of that moment when the lights went on. Remind me today of Your kindness and compassion towards me, and may I walk in the mercy and grace bestowed on me in order to bestow it upon others. Thank You for the gift of Your light.
In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

SUGGESTED LISTENING:

King of Kings, Awake, 2019

A CHURCH THAT CARES

Living Love – Week of October 9

A Church That Cares 

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 
— 1 JOHN 3:18

If generosity became a way of life for the church you attend, what might it look like? Widows, single parents, and children of divorce would benefit from love that is expressed in practical and relational ways. Programs would focus on bringing the healing message of Christ to broken hearts. Every parishioner would feel valued for his or her gifts and encouraged to use those gifts. New ministries would develop as members saw opportunities for expressing love to those in need.

A few years ago the church where I serve began to explore ways we could love our city more effectively. We now provide weekend snacks to elementary schoolchildren who live in an impoverished neighborhood. In the fall we provide backpacks and school supplies to the same students. Other church members minister to local prisoners and their families.

At a growing church I visited in Arkansas, members created a career-link workshop to train and assist the unemployed and underemployed. Classes focused on résumé preparation, job-interview skills, career-path planning, budgeting, job-search strategies, and overcoming employment barriers. Then the church got creative about other ways to give—grilling hot dogs at an apartment complex, delivering lunches to kids, helping elderly neighbors with home maintenance.

When a church chooses to be generous in loving others, the opportunities are unlimited.

Prayer

Lord, help me to be a part of making my church community known for its generosity.

Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click her

MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST

Getting into God’s Stride

Enoch walked with God…  Genesis 5:24

The true test of a person’s spiritual life and character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening. A person’s worth is revealed in his attitude toward the ordinary things of life when he is not under the spotlight (see John 1:35-37 and John 3:30). It is painful work to get in step with God and to keep pace with Him— it means getting your second wind spiritually. In learning to walk with God, there is always the difficulty of getting into His stride, but once we have done so, the only characteristic that exhibits itself is the very life of God Himself. The individual person is merged into a personal oneness with God, and God’s stride and His power alone are exhibited.

It is difficult to get into stride with God, because as soon as we start walking with Him we find that His pace has surpassed us before we have even taken three steps. He has different ways of doing things, and we have to be trained and disciplined in His ways. It was said of Jesus— “He will not fail nor be discouraged…” (Isaiah 42:4) because He never worked from His own individual standpoint, but always worked from the standpoint of His Father. And we must learn to do the same. Spiritual truth is learned through the atmosphere that surrounds us, not through intellectual reasoning. It is God’s Spirit that changes the atmosphere of our way of looking at things, and then things begin to be possible which before were impossible. Getting into God’s stride means nothing less than oneness with Him. It takes a long time to get there, but keep at it. Don’t give up because the pain is intense right now— get on with it, and before long you will find that you have a new vision and a new purpose. From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition

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