"Give us each day our daily bread." ~ Luke 11:3
Read Pastor Karl's daily devotionals!
New devotionals will be posted Monday through Friday, and will remain here on the website for a week's time.
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us… (Hebrews 12:1)
The Pittsburg Steelers recently won a football game over the Cleveland Browns with a fourth quarter comeback.
The Pittsburg’s offense managed a total of negative seven yards in the last 15 minutes of the game. So, how did Pittsburg win?
One of their stars said, “The crowd." The crowd was cheering so loudly the defense was inspired to scored the wining touchdown.
The New Testament book of Hebrews presents us with an image of “a great cloud of witnesses” cheering us on. This great cloud of witnesses is made up of those saints who have gone before us and are now urging us on with all their might.
Unlike most stadium crowds, these witnesses know firsthand how strenuous this race of faith is.
So think of a great stadium, larger than any on earth, filled with a heavenly throng screaming and cheering YOU on as YOU run YOUR race.
Stop and ponder that image, and be inspired to lay aside every weight, every sin, that hinders, in order to press on toward the goal of the upward call of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
The eleventh chapter of the New Testament book of Hebrews is all about faith.
This chapter recounts the faith of the great heroes of Israel.
The chapter ends with the words...
Yet all of these (heroes of Israel), thought they were commended for their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better so that they would not, apart from us, be made perfect. (Hebrews 11:39-40)
To have faith is to live with the assurance that God is faithful and will keep his promises.
Assurance differs from certainty.
Assurance is always personal; certainty is not.
Certainty is based on our having control. (“I am certain you will not leave without me because I have the fob for the car.”)
Assurance (faith) is based on our confidence in the promise of another. (“I have faith you will not leave without me because I trust you.”)
Whenever we find ourselves looking for “proof” that Jesus loves us we are craving certainty.
When we rest in the assurance that Jesus loves us we are resting in His faithfulness.
We can “rest assured” that our Lord Jesus will keep His promises.
Only in this assurance will we truly find rest.
Monday, October 2, 2023
Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. (2 Timothy 1:13-14)
Holding to the sound teaching of Scripture is critical.
The Apostle Paul encouraged his protege Timothy to hold to the standard of sound teaching.
Paul did this because he knew that Timothy would be tempted to wander away from sound teaching to the false teachings around him.
This temptation to wander away from the sound teaching of the Gospel has presented itself to Christians, and to the Christian Church, in every age.
The sound teaching of the Gospel is offensive. It declares that all of us are completely and utterly sinful. All of us are incapable of mending our own lives. Every one of us needs a Savior.
We should remember Paul’s words when we are tempted to water-down the Gospel message.
We should especially remember Paul’s promise that we are not alone in our struggles.
We have the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.
Friday, September 29, 2023
"At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you."
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! (2 Corinthians 6:2)
I am a believer in “the teachable moment."
There are certain moments when individuals are open to hearing the difficult, but freeing, message of the Gospel of Jesus.
There are many other moments when individuals are so upset and angry that they cannot, or will not, listen.
The Apostle Paul quotes the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. In Isaiah, the Lord promises to listen to His people, and grant them salvation, "at an acceptable time."
Paul says, “Now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation!"
When it comes to reaching out to others, we are wise to look for “the teachable moment."
When it comes to ourselves, we are wise when we realize this moment is the time for us to listen to, and respond to, our Lord.
We dare not delay.
This is our hope.
Thursday, September 28, 2023
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:34)
In the movie Mary Poppins, Bert the chimney sweep talks to the children about their father’s obsession with money. He says...
“They make cages in all sizes and shapes, you know. Bank-shaped some of 'em, carpets and all."
Jesus said, “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There is only one place, heaven, where our treasure does not lure us into some type of cage. There is only one type of treasure that brings freedom.
Jesus tells us to “sell our possessions” and to store up “an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33)
The latches to the cages in which we imprison ourselves are located on the inside.
We can free ourselves, as we dare to trust Jesus.