Posted in Devotions

Look Up. Breathe. Be Opened.

“He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, ‘Ephphatha!’ (which means ‘Be opened!’). Mark 7:34 Jesus does everything well (Mark 7:37). He pulls a deaf man aside, in private, and uses signs to demonstrate His understanding of the problem (Mark 7:33). Then He gives the deaf man the Gospel. Jesus looks up to heaven. The deaf man would have naturally looked up with Him. Jesus indicates that something divine is going on. Something outside the man is needed to give help. Something outside the man (God) is aware of his situation and is doing something...

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Laughing at the Wrong Time

“They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, ‘Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.’ They laughed at him, but he put them all outside. He took the child’s father,mother, and those who were with him, and entered the place where the child was.” Mark 5:38-40 One of my favorite things to do is laugh. I love to laugh. I love to make others laugh. I love to listen to people laugh. I love to shock people into laughter. I love to be...

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First Man

When God gets ready to act, all He has to do is say the word. My soul often feels like the mission control room in Houston, TX during a space exploration. My prayers resemble communicating “down here” with God to make sure He hears and knows what is going on so He can act accordingly. Recently I had the opportunity to watch the movie First Man. As you probably guessed, it is a film about the first man who stepped on the moon. It is a journey through the decade leading up to the 1969 moon landing through the eyes of...

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Joseph, Christmas, and the Christian Life

The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant from the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly. But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and...

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Ten Advent Recommendations

It’s the most wonderful time of the year: Shopping for yourself guilt-free. Kidding (sort of). This time of year, we get to focus on the coming of our Savior, Jesus. Usually, I pause my “normal” Bible reading pattern and read through an Advent Devotional. Below are ten. The first five, I have read and highly recommend. The last five (*), I haven’t but hope to soon. Maybe I will shop for myself? (“Have yourself a merry little Christmas,” right?) Enjoy clicking. Come, Let Us Adore Him by Paul Tripp The Dawning of Indestructible Joy by John Piper Good News of...

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Ungrateful Wretches

11 While traveling to Jerusalem, he passed between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master,have mercy on us!” 14 When he saw them, he told them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And while they were going, they were cleansed. 15 But one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned and, with a loud voice, gave glory to God. 16 He fell face down at his feet, thanking him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus said, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Didn’t any return to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he...

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When Barnabas Blew It

Yep. THAT Barnabas. The one given the nickname “Son of Encouragement” by the apostles (Acts 4:36-37). The one chosen by Paul and the church in Antioch to go with Paul on his first missionary journey (Acts 13:1-3). The one empathetic with John Mark, responsible for influencing Mark to write his Gospel (Acts 15:36-41). THAT Barnabas also fell into temptation to deny the sufficiency of the Gospel.                                   Then the rest of the Jews joined his hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy....

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An Intense Worship Service

Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, a close friend of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then after they had fasted, prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them off. So being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. Acts 13:1-4 The worship service in Antioch that Sunday had been intense. They...

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Allow Yourself to “Go There”

1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God concerning them is for their salvation. 2 I can testify about them that they have zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 Since they are ignorant of the righteousness of God and attempted to establish their own righteousness, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes, 5 since Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them. 6 But the righteousness that comes from faith speaks like this: Do not say in your heart, “Who will go up to...

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“Stay With Us”

25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. 28 They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. Luke 24:25-29 Do you find it odd that two men...

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