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+Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor  Empty Re: +Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Jul 2020, 8:18 pm

Date: July 24, 2020 at 12:07 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  The Gift of Patience

The Gift of Patience
"I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life."

Scripture Focus: 1 Timothy 1:16   

I wish I could erase the times I have been impatient with others, especially with my kids. I remember one morning in particular my daughter was taking too long to get ready for school. I yelled down the hall to her and said some very harsh things. She poked her head out of her bathroom and said calmly, "That's not how Jesus would have done.” 

She was shocked by my impatience, as was I. Although I apologized, I carried the shame of my reaction for quite some time. Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit that can be nurtured into a powerful and beautiful character strength. The problem is, though the fruit of patience may grow and develop in us, at times we still will fail. We will show impatience again. We need a Savior! Thankfully, Jesus will never lose His patience with us. God was patient with His people throughout the Old Testament though they fell short again and again. 

And when the time was exactly right, He sent His Son to be born. "Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation" (2 Peter 3:15) for us!

Insight: Jesus, I pray that someone will come to know You more fully by my patience. Thank You for Your gift of patience with me. Amen

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


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Post  Admin on Thu 23 Jul 2020, 5:53 pm

Date: July 23, 2020 at 2:04 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Professional Worrier

Professional Worrier

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7  
Scripture Focus: Matthew 6:25-34

Attorneys are sometimes called "professional worriers." Though I'm not an attorney, I am prone to worry in the face of suffering. But you don't have to be in a profession whose job is to protect against worst-case scenarios to struggle with anxiety. For many of us, worry is our default mode. 

Since I broke my back, I find myself with many concerns: What if I am never able to do anything again? What if I can't improve my stamina to walk any long distance again? Will I ever be able to hike in the countryside again? And will life ever feel "normal" again? As these and other questions circle around in my head, I turn my attention to Matthew 6:25-34. The causes of our anxiety come from so many directions and in so many different ways, but here Jesus gives us several reasons why we should not be anxious. I am grateful that one of those is that if we put HIS kingdom first, God has promised to carry our burdens (vs. 33). 

I do not need to be a professional worrier because I have a "professional" Savior!

Insight: His purposes will ripen fast; unfolding ev'ry hour; the bud may have a bitter taste; but sweet will be the flow'r. (William Cowper, 1774)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Wed 22 Jul 2020, 10:57 pm

Date: July 22, 2020 at 3:03 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Counting the Days

Counting the Days
"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12  

Scripture Focus: Psalm 90 

Since I broke my back, in times of reflection, I catch myself wishing God would take me back to time before I broke my back so I could correct some of my shortcomings. Have you ever been lost in thoughts like that? You long for a do-over. This is sort of thinking is regret, not numbering our days. 

I believe God wants us not to look back with regret, but to look forward, making our days count for Him and for His glory. Looking forward, we remember, "God created me-and you-to live with a single, all transforming purpose-namely a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all spheres of life" (John Piper, 2007). Reflecting on time leads us to see how weak we are and how short our lives are. Our years pass quickly like a mist (James 4:14) or like a breath (Psalm 144:4). We're as fleeting as grass that soon withers (1 Peter 1:24), here one day and gone the next. 

Even as we suffer, we can ask our eternal God- the One who is above the time that He created- to help us to learn to make every day count for His glory.

Insight: "Teach us to count the days; Teach us to make the days count; Lead us in better ways; Somehow our souls forgot; Life means so much." (Chris Rice, 20
If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

Michael D. Inman
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+Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor  Empty Re: +Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Jul 2020, 8:32 pm

Date: July 21, 2020 at 1:50 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+ Overflow with Hope

Overflow with Hope

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13   

Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

We hold onto that which gives us hope. But in times of suffering, it can seem like hope is slipping away. While I used to be full of plans and hopes, I see that now I often feel quite hopeless. Holding tightly to hope is shown in the story of Natan Sharonsky, a Jewish Russian who was a Soviet prisoner for nine years near Siberia in the '70s and '80s. Confined to an 8'x10' cell, Sharonsky one day saw a copy of Pravda which condemned Ronald Reagan for calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire." 

This news spread like wildfire through the prison; ecstatic prisoners tapped it out on walls and found other covert means to communicate it. "Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth-a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us" (1988). 

We have a word of truth to carry us through forever: the truth of Jesus' death and resurrection. It burns a hope inside our hearts so that while we suffer, our hope in Christ is unshaken. Through Him, not only will we survive, but also we'll overflow in hope.

Insight: Lord, may the truth of Jesus' death and resurrection burn inside of us and be the source of our daily hope, even as we suffer. Amen.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

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Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jul 2020, 10:04 pm

Date: July 20, 2020 at 3:31 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Increasing Faith



Increasing Faith



"[Jesus] replied, If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, Be uprooted and planted in the sea, and it will obey you." Luke 17:6 



Scripture Focus: James 1:2-18  



As Christians, our faith in Jesus is our foundation (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is how we are justified or made right with God (Romans 3:28). Faith is so powerful it can move mountains (Matthew 21:21) or plant an uprooted tree in the sea (Luke 17:6). We know that without faith we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6), and whatever is done without faith is sin (Romans 14:23). So of course we would like God to increase our faith. 



But few things increase our faith like suffering, and none of us longs for that. We find ourselves begging as the disciples did, "Increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5) Pastor and author John Piper says, "One of the primary purposes of being shaken by suffering is to make our faith unshakable." He explains how this happens. "Faith is like a muscle tissue; if you stress it to the limit, it gets stronger." However, as I know, having your faith pushed to the limits is difficult and cannot be faced without God's strength. 

Turn to Jesus in your pain, and let the hardships of your life cause your faith to increase.

Insight: When our faith is tested, we can pray like the father of the demon-possessed boy, "I do believe. Help me overcome my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Fri 17 Jul 2020, 4:41 pm

Date: July 17, 2020 at 2:44 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Thanks in Everything

Thanks in Everything

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6   

Scripture Focus: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

Most people today would not readily link thanksgiving and suffering together. But Paul did. And so did Corrie ten Boom in her book The Hiding Place where she describes deep thanks even in the face of awful circumstances. For hiding Jews in their home, sisters Corrie and Betsie were sent to the Nazi concentration camp, Ravensbruck. Often they were overcome by the conditions in the camp which included fleas in their beds. Betsie reminded Corrie that 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to give thanks in "all circumstances," not just in pleasant ones. 

She suggested that "fleas are part of this place where God has put us." So after thanking God for the fleas, the sisters discovered that they were free to have normally-forbidden Bible studies in their barracks only because the guards would not step through the door and come near those fleas! There is a bigger picture to our suffering. We may not see it all, but we can thank God for His faithfulness and love, manifested in fleas or any other of life's challenges and tragedies.

Insight: Above all, remember God is faithful (Deuteronomy 7:9) and loving (John 15:13) through difficult times.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

Michael D. Inman
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+Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor  Empty Re: +Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor

Post  Admin on Thu 16 Jul 2020, 1:37 pm

Date: July 16, 2020 at 12:06 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  The Precious Word

The Precious Word

"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12  

Scripture Focus: Psalm 119:66-71 

Ravi Zacharias shares a story about being strengthened by God's Word during suffering. In 1971 when he ministered in Vietnam, his interpreter was a young Christian named Hien. After the war, Hien was imprisoned and was pressed by his captors to renounce his faith. As he was about to give up, he was assigned the duty of cleaning prison latrines where he found a page of the Bible that someone had used as toilet paper. 

After cleaning it, he read Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him." God provided the most relevant passage imaginable for this struggling Christian! After this, Hien requested latrine duty so he could find Bible pages, clean them, and then study them. Since my stroke, even while writing these devotions, many times and in many different ways, God has provided relevant verses from His Word to me and my family to teach and encourage us in our faith. 

As we suffer, we can pray that God will direct us to His precious Word which gives us knowledge and comfort.

Insight: Would you go to extremes to keep the Word of God in your life? It's the lamp for your feet and the light to your path.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Mon 13 Jul 2020, 10:30 pm

Date: July 13, 2020 at 1:37 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Deep Roots

Deep Roots

"We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts." Romans 5:3-5a  

Scripture Focus: 1 Peter 5:10-11

A researcher from Rutgers University found that in times of drought, some tree roots probe hundreds of feet deep and even break through cracks in rocks searching for water. In a similar way, as we search deeper in the Bible in times of suffering and lack, our relationship with God grows. John Piper observed this truth as a pastor. "I have never heard anyone say the really deep lessons of life have come in times of ease and comfort. 

But I have heard many saints say every significant advance made in grasping God's love and growing deeper with him has come through suffering" (2012). Very few of us could begin to compare our life's afflictions with those of Martin Luther or of Charles Spurgeon, but listen to their words: "Whoever does not know God in suffering does not know God at all" (Luther, 1527); "I am certain that I never grew in grace one-half so much as I have on the bed of pain" (Spurgeon, 1871). 

Let these words, born out of great pain but staked on a great belief in a loving God, go deep into your heart today.

Insight: Father, as we go through the drought of suffering, help our roots to grow deep in you and your Word. Amen.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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+Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor  Empty Re: +Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Jul 2020, 8:30 pm

Pastor has had a few dreams that I think you should watch and consider. As a pastor myself my spirit agrees with what Pastor Dana says..

!. "Three Prophetic Dreams from Pastor Dana”:  youtube.com/watch?v=6TdpMSMP9x4&t=1s

2. “Coming Persecution Dream":  youtube.com/watch?v=wyIt8uTbfbk

For those whose groups that strip out links, I am sorry. You can reply directly to me for the web address.
I think these are for todays Church and pastors.

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm

Michael D. Inman
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+Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor  Empty Re: +Dev+ Michael D. Inman Pastor

Post  Admin on Fri 26 Jun 2020, 8:31 pm

Date: June 26, 2020 at 1:42 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Forever

Forever

"And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Psalm 23:6b  

Scripture Focus: Matthew 19:13-15

To conclude this month's meditations on Psalm 23, let's read a version of the psalm written especially for children. Jesus beckoned the little children to come to Him. Read through the psalm with the ordinary, unadorned faith of a child, and let the simple words of comfort speak deeply to you. “The Lord is my Shepherd. And I am his little lamb. He feeds me. He guides me. He looks after me. 

I have everything I need. Inside, my heart is very quiet. As quiet as lying still in soft green grass in a meadow by a little stream. Even when I walk through the dark, scary, lonely places, I won't be afraid. Because my Shepherd knows where I am. He is here with me. He keeps me safe. He rescues me. He makes me strong and brave. He is getting wonderful things ready for me. Especially for me. Everything I ever dreamed of ! He fills my heart so full of happiness I can't hold it all inside. 

Wherever I go I know God's never stopping never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love will go, too!" (Sally Lloyd-Jones, 2007, Zonderkidz)

Insight: "Forever" is a long time. There is none other but my Lord with whom I should ever desire to spend eternity!

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Wed 24 Jun 2020, 10:22 pm

Date: June 24, 2020 at 1:57 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  In the House of the Lord

In the House of the Lord

"There will be no night there,. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." Revelation 21:25, 27  

Scripture Focus: Revelation 21

The house of the Lord! What feeble effort of mine could ever describe it? Even the world's most stunning cathedrals can't compare with the majesty of the house of the Lord. Nothing earthbound can. David could envision himself at journey's end- sling and rod and staff put aside. At last, he would enter the great fold where the walls are high, where 12 gates are secure with an angel at each one. The wall is of jasper; the inside of the city is pure gold. 

The glory of God fills it with crystal clear brilliance, and the Lamb of God Himself is the light! In 1980, I knew an elderly gentleman who was near death in a hospital room near mine at Ft. Bliss Texas. He was fearful of what was ahead. The patient in the bed next to him attempted often to bring the dying one to Jesus. His efforts had failed, until one morning when we met in the patient lounge. In my conversation to another patient that very day was on heaven. As we finished the discussion, the dying gentleman received Christ as his Savior. 

His final words to his roommate were, "Tell my friends I know now that heaven is real, and I am going there!"

Insight: What about you? Can you say with assurance, "I shall dwell in the house of the Lord"?

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jun 2020, 12:00 pm

Date: June 23, 2020 at 1:12 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  And I Will Dwell

And I Will Dwell

"One thing I ask of the LORD,: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." Psalm 27:4  

Scripture Focus: 1 Corinthians 4:10-13

Life is full of uncertainty. And it can be devastating. The journey of our lives is composed of one transition after another. As Paul says to the Corinthian people, we hunger and thirst, are in rags, are brutally treated, and are homeless. "When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it" (4:12). Is all of that an uncertain existence? No! Unless you have no assurance of a heavenly habitation. For the one whose faith can look ahead to an eternity with Christ, the uncertainties of life fade into nothingness; a troubled heart finds assurance. My brother-in-law Ted was diagnosed with leukemia just five weeks before he died. A finer man no family ever had. A few hours before he passed away, I walked into his hospital room. There was no gloom there. With a weak but reassuring smile, he pointed his finger toward heaven and whispered, "The victory is won!" A forever dwelling place we will never find here. But the Good Shepherd leads on to that fairer place where we can safely say, "I will dwell."

Insight: "Aim at Heaven and you will get Earth 'thrown in': aim at Earth and you will get neither." (C.S. Lewis, 1960)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

We are in need of Prayer and financial partners,
If you would like to become a prayer partner and or a financial partner with monthly or one time gifts.
A freewill offering to Restoration Ministry may be made via PayPal at our web site:    http://www.rollanet.org/~restore/donations.htm


Michael D. Inman
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Post  Admin on Mon 22 Jun 2020, 9:43 pm

Date: June 22, 2020 at 2:15 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  All the Days of My Life

All the Days of My Life

"The length of our days is seventy years-or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away." Psalm 90:10 

Scripture Focus: Psalm 90:1-12 

The average lifespan is about 75 years, or 28,000 days. Does that sound like a staggering number to you? It may seem long indeed if you are a mom of little ones trying to keep everything together at home, or if you are in the midst of illness that has you confined to a hospital bed. 28,000 days sounds long when your job is tedious and boring, when there is no end in sight to your long years of education, when the decades of a terrible marriage show no change, or when you are tired and unmotivated. 

Yet like Job, we look back on our years and see that the days fly by quickly, "swifter than a weaver's shuttle" (7:6). I had the occasion to stand on a river bank in Korea years ago watching the weavers of fine silk throw their shuttles back and forth in astonishing speed. Suddenly, the beautiful pattern emerged in the fabric. As the days of our lives pass by-often without a feeling of hope-realize that the Lord's goodness and love are weaving a pattern into your life that you may not be able to see just yet. 

I can assure you that in the end it will be beautiful.

Insight: "My life is but a weaving; Between my God and me.; I cannot choose the colors; He weaveth steadily." (attributed to Corrie ten Boom)

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Post  Admin on Wed 17 Jun 2020, 8:14 pm

Date: June 17, 2020 at 12:59 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Surely Goodness

Surely Goodness

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8  

Scripture Focus: Psalm 34:1-8 


They say the only sure things in this world are death and taxes. When we read David's Shepherd's Psalm, we see otherwise. What you can always be sure of, my friend, is the goodness of your Lord and Savior. Surely the goodness of God will follow you all of your days-beyond taxes and beyond even death! When we focus on the evil that has so saturated the world we live in, we're prone to think that perhaps God has deserted us. 

I hardly could blame God if He did! Yet He has not abandoned us at all, nor will He ever. Remember, He promised in the beginning of the Bible that He would "never leave you nor forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6). When we look closely at ourselves-as the psalmists often did-and see our many failings, we realize there is no certainty or guarantee which we could fabricate to assure us that all will come out good in the end. Only God Himself gives us that assurance. 

And He does, because He is surely good and most perfectly loving: "The Lord is good and His love endures forever" (1 Chronicles 16:34).#
Insight: Even through trials we can say, "I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living" (Psalm 27:13).

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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Jun 2020, 9:27 pm

Date: June 16, 2020 at 12:37 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Overflows

Overflows

"Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, 'The LORD has done great things for them.' The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."   

Scripture Focus: Psalm 126: 2-3

Continuing the story of David's returning of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem from yesterday's devotional, we read that in time the processional with the precious ark resumed. This time not only was there enthusiasm and joy, there also was sacrificing and prayer nearly each step of the way. There was singing and shouting and sounding of trumpets until the ark was placed in the tabernacle David had set up for it. 

As David approached the city, his wife Michal observed him through an upper window, and she despised his exulting joy. Her first words to him upon his return were of sharp criticism (see 2 Samuel 6:20). But his response was sincere and single-minded: "I will celebrate before the LORD" (v. 21). He let her know he was accountable to the Lord alone, and he intended to give every ounce of his being in elated delight over the Lord's blessings. David's heart simply overflowed with gladness in his Savior.
Does your cup overflow with your delight in how He has loved you, redeemed you, and made you His own?

Insight: "Fill my cup, Lord;/ I lift it up, Lord;/ Come and quench this thirsting of my soul." (Richard Blanchard, 1959)

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Post  Admin on Fri 12 Jun 2020, 6:04 pm

Date: June 11, 2020 at 11:45 PM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  You Prepare

You Prepare

"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8 

Scripture Focus: Psalm 23:1-5  

How reassuring to read the first words of Psalm 23:5. "You prepare," They suggest that the Christian life is not haphazard or random. Whatever your needs are today, God has made preparation to meet them. Do you find it hard to believe that the Lord is preparing every detail of your life? The Israelites felt that insecurity. But Moses spoke the words of assurance they craved, reminding them that God would never leave them nor forsake them, so they need not worry. 

Sometimes I struggle with this. I echo the disciples who one time said to Jesus, "Increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5) Whatever need you have today- for health, strength, love, peace, forgiveness, life's necessities, direction-He is prepared. Have you had the joy of walking into your house after a day's work and smelling a delicious meal that is nearly ready? You see the table is set. All has been prepared for you. You need only to sit down and give thanks. Even more so, the Good Shepherd has made all the preparations in the world to mark you as His own.

Insight: "My Father's house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2)

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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jun 2020, 10:17 pm

Date: June 11, 2020 at 2:00 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Thy Rod and Thy Staff

Thy Rod and Thy Staff

"The LORD roars from Zion and thunders from Jerusalem; the pastures of the shepherds dry up, and the top of Carmel withers." Amos 1:2  

Scripture Focus: Amos 1:1-2, 9:13-15 

Imagine that-God chose a sheepherder to prophesy judgment on Israel! A shepherd from the herdsmen of Tekoa would to speak to His people, and the word would communicate not sweetness and delight, but wrath. Israel's waywardness would not go unaddressed. Amos knew the use of a rod and staff, sling and stone, to divert and redirect his sheep when he observed them straying. 

Though the metaphor was clear to him, the words he spoke may have sounded strange coming from a lowly shepherd. Did the real Word of God actually come to him? Yes! And powerfully so! Through Amos's strong words we can't help but see how God hates sin. Sometimes He must use rod or staff to bring us back to the fold. Those tools of correction come to us in many ways, each carefully designed to point to the One who loves and cares for us. 

As we learn from the Lord's rod and staff, we come through on the other side reassured with the final words of Amos to the people (God's words to us): "I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted."

Insight: "The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you from the evil one. ,May the Lord direct your hearts." (2 Thessalonians 3:3, 5)

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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 8:05 pm

Date: June 9, 2020 at 1:35 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  I Will Fear No Evil

I Will Fear No Evil

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away." Psalm 37:1-2  

Scripture Focus: Psalm 37:1-9

It's hard not to fret about the evil in our world. It crouches at the door, slinks around our neighborhoods, lurks in our churches and schools and government buildings. Evil makes its way known in sibling fights and in terrorist attacks alike. There is no escaping it. It's also nothing new. Do you think the sin all around you is worse now in this generation than it ever was before? 

In the beginning books of the Bible, shortly after sin slithered its way into humanity, God was already referring to His people as "this evil generation" (Deuteronomy 1:35). Truly, there is nothing new under the sun. Still David tells us not to fret because of evil. This comes from a man who more than once was running from his enemies to save his life. The only sure way to face evil and to "enjoy safe pasture" (Psalm 37:3) is to take to heart what David tells us: "Trust in the LORD and do good,. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart" (vs. 3, 4). 

Fear will dissipate in the loving care of your Shepherd.

Insight: Trusting in God will not eliminate evil-wait until the new heavens and new earth for that. Today His perfect love for you casts out fear

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Post  Admin on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 10:31 pm

Date: June 5, 2020 at 12:55 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  For His Name's Sake

For His Name's Sake

"And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end." Isaiah 9:6b-7a  

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 9:6-7

It has been said often that God does not need to defend His name. True. But God is jealous of how His name is used on earth. Consider the beauty, the honor, and the majesty of the name God gave His Son. He receives titles of utmost honor. God wants us all to attribute to Him the worship and esteem befitting so exalted a name. It is a truly overwhelming thought that He whose very name is Mighty God became a servant in a world of sinners, humbled Himself, and obediently faced death on a cross. 

One day everyone on earth will drop down on bended knee in reverence at the mention of His great name, confessing Him as Lord of all. He saves us "for his name's sake to make his mighty power known" (Psalm 106:8). His name won't be cheapened by using it to swear or to call out inanely, "Oh, my God!" We sin against our Lord when we denigrate His name and when we walk in paths other than the righteous ones He has planned for us. 

May your daily walk with Him and the way you choose to use His name bring glory and praise to Him!

Insight: "Help us, God our Savior, for the glory of your name; deliver us and forgive our sins for your name's sake." (Psalm 79:9)

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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 10:26 pm

In Paths of Righteousness

"I will raise up, a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely,. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness." Jeremiah 23:5-6  

Scripture Focus: Isaiah 4:2-6
You might as well give up! Have you ever heard a discouraging little voice like that in your head? Or maybe it has been this one: The Christian life is too hard. You'll never measure up. I suspect that all of us have felt so accused at one time or another. The prophet Jeremiah once indicted the shepherds of the Lord's flock for failure and for bearing the responsibility of scattering the people. 

But he also promised fruitfulness and increase, freedom from fear and want. How would God accomplish this? Not difficult at all for Him! It is a discouraging prospect, indeed, if all depends on us and our righteousness. How could we ever gain God's kingdom on the merits of our own unworthy efforts? The little voice whispering, You'll never measure up, sounds convicting. Praise God that He who is our righteous Branch and King at the same time is certain to answer our failure with His own perfect record on our behalf. 
Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, will lead you in all the paths of righteousness because of Himself.

Insight: If you "feel" Him "leading" down a path pointing to destruction, that is not the leading of Jesus. Run the other way!
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Post  Admin on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 6:18 pm

Date: June 3, 2020 at 1:50 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  Beside the Still Waters

Beside the Still Waters

"When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone away from the well's mouth and water the sheep. Then they would return the stone to its place over the mouth of the well." Genesis 29:3  
Scripture Focus: Genesis 29:1-14

The shepherd was always thinking of the care of his sheep-especially for water to quench his flock's thirst. Many ancient wells were kept carefully sealed by their owners until high noon, the hour of watering. When the stone was removed, those entitled to the water could approach the well. A crowd had gathered at the well in Paddan Aram when Jacob arrived. He was just inquiring for his uncle when the beautiful shepherdess Rachel came to water her sheep. 

Jacob was smitten by her, and later she would indeed become his wife. He had found the love of his life at the well. Praise be to our God that the well of salvation is never sealed for us. We need not wait till "high noon" to approach Him and drink deeply of His compassion and forgiveness. "With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you" (Isaiah 12:3, 6). Jesus, our life-giving water, freely gives to all His flock, His chosen ones. In Him you will find true satisfaction for your life's thirst. Seek Him today!

Insight: Come to Jesus and find the treasure of your life. There will never be greater comfort than alongside the still waters where He leads

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Post  Admin on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 10:21 pm

Date: June 2, 2020 at 2:17 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  He Leads Me

He Leads Me

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul." Psalm 143:8  

Scripture Focus: Psalm 143:1-8 

Someone once told me about a missionary who was telling the gospel story to a remote tribe by using a slide presentation of the Good Shepherd. There was a sudden burst of laughter when a picture flashed on the screen showing a shepherd walking behind his flock. The missionary inquired about what was so funny. "Everyone knows," they replied, "a shepherd doesn't drive his sheep. He leads them!" That perfectly illustrates what David also knew: the heavenly Shepherd leads His sheep. 

Only the recalcitrant sheep scurrying off on the side paths loses its way. On the journey of life, you will undoubtedly see the multiple paths you could take. Obstinate, you may refuse to stay on track. Be assured that even in those times, the Good Shepherd is right there. "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths" (Psalm 25:4). When we utter these words of David's, we seek not a sign from this world. We seek a wisdom beyond us to guide us to safety and rest. The way may be rough going, but He has chosen it for you, and He will lead!

Insight: "Lord, I would clasp thy hand in mine; nor ever murmur nor repine; content, whatever lot I see; since 'tis my God that leadeth me." (Joseph H. Gilmore, 1862)

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Post  Admin on Fri 29 May 2020, 12:24 pm

Date: May 29, 2020 at 1:34 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  In Green Pastures

In Green Pastures

"Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass." Mark 6:3 

Scripture Focus: Psalm 25:4-10  

Until I was twelve, I lived on a small farm along the Dry Fork creek, 8 miles north of Salem Missouri. We loved to sit on the front porch in the evening, hear stories, and eat a bite or two of food. We tended Cattle, sometimes they would be lying close around the fences. When grazing was sparse, we led them to better pastures. 

The shepherds of ancient Israel often contended with one another for the best grazing land. David's psalm references green pastures because that's what a shepherd was looking for a place that would bring sustenance and comfort to his flock. David's words help us think of God, our Shepherd, as doing something similar for us. Generations after David wrote the "Shepherd's Psalm," the Good Shepherd Himself went out to a hillside, and thousands flocked around Him. 

He had them sit down in the green grass so He could not only feed them that day, but also could impress upon them that He was the Bread of Life, the very nourishment their souls were looking for.

Insight: If you are to have the strength for life's rugged journey, come to the green pastures of God's sustaining Word. Feed from it daily!

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Post  Admin on Fri 29 May 2020, 12:51 am

Topic: +DEV+  He Makes Me Lie Down

He Makes Me Lie Down

"There, stood the LORD, and he said: 'I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you the land on which you are lying.'" Genesis 28:13  

Scripture Focus: Genesis 28:10-22

Think back to the story of Jacob in the Bible. I never could quite understand why God should have treated that son of Isaac so well! He deceived his father, cheated his brother, and fled to a foreign country to escape the wrath of the older Esau. Family trouble plagued him all his life. Even in later years there was corroding jealousy amongst his sons brought on by his favoritism of one son. 

It was a long journey to Uncle Laban's house where Jacob would seek refuge. As the colors faded in the sky one evening, he found a stone to rest his head on and lay down for the night. When he was completely quieted, God spoke to him. His troubles gave way to dreams and heavenly hosts who descended to that desert place. Know that when you are on the run from the troubles that trail you, the Lord may be quieting you, causing you to lie down, so that you can listen to Him. Don't fight Him. Don't resist Him or try to wrestle Him away. 

"I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8).

Insight: Like a shepherd with his sheep, the Good Shepherd quiets you not only so you can rest, but so that you might be humbled before Him.

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Post  Admin on Wed 27 May 2020, 11:17 pm

Date: May 27, 2020 at 12:07 AM CDT

Topic: +DEV+  I Shall Not Want

I Shall Not Want

"The fear of the LORD leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble." Proverbs 19:23 

Scripture Focus: Psalm 23  

David knew well the daily needs of his sheep. The flock depended on his ability to lead them to grazing pastures and water. Since land tenure then was considerably different than it is in western countries today, there was freedom to roam. In fact, anyone could move near a well or onto an unused parcel of land and simply begin cultivating it. It was this freedom that made it possible for the shepherd and his flock to exist. 

But this sort of existence will seem completely foreign to most of us today. We can't conceive of just arriving at a piece of land and thinking we could start living on it. The rules for land owning and usage have changed since David's day, but the concept of the providing Shepherd endures throughout the centuries. The Lord provides. When our daily provisions run out, when job loss and bankruptcy and home foreclosure become real, when the bank account is in the negative, can we say along with David, "I shall not want"? The answer is yes, because when all else disappears, we still have Jesus.

Insight: "Content to let the world go by,/ To know no gain nor loss,/ My sinful self my only shame,/ My glory all the cross." (Elizabeth C. Clephane, 1868)

If you have prayer requests for anything please email us and we will pray for them.

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