December Devotional, 2016
There was a little church, St. Nicholas, in Obendorf, Austria preparing for a Christmas Eve service.The Assistant Priest, Joseph Mohr, sat down to practice the organ and not a sound would come from the instrument.What could he do?The organ would not play on that all important night of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.Joseph knelt and prayed for inspiration from the Lord.
Not too long before, Mohr had visited a family with a newborn child and been inspired to write a poem with six stanzas entitled “Silent Night.”He thought of this poem and then of his friend, Franz Gruber, a school teacher and guitarist at the church.The priest went to Gruber’s home above the school with the poem in hand and explained the problem with the organ.“Can you write music for the poem and play the guitar for the service tonight? “ Mohr asked Gruber?The teacher smiled and assured the priest that he could.
Before the Midnight Service, the choir learned the words and the melody.Franz Gruber played the guitar.Every heart was blessed by the words musically expressing the story of Christ’s birth.The less heard fifth verse continued full of grace:
Silent Night, Holy Night
Already long ago planned for us,
When the Lord frees from wrath
Since the beginning of ancient times
A salvation promised for the whole world.
A salvation promised for the whole world. *
This stanza expresses the finished work of Christmas.Jesus was born, he lived and taught us and died on the cross to save us from our sins – freed us from Satan’s wrath. Then He arose from the grave as the victorious son of God to fulfill the Father’s purpose to redeem each one of us personally – the promised salvation for the world.
As you sing this Carol, may it deeply thrill your soul.Ask Jesus into your life this Christmas and this will be the
“best” Christmas ever!
*verse from Stille Nacht Gesellschatt,Mag. Manfred W.F. Fischer & Rengte Schaffenberger, Google Custom Search
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2016 November Devotions:
Just stop and think. This moment will never come
again. Do we realize how important our days are? Oh,
we say, “My days are not of any importance." The
Bible says, "Hebrews 3: 13 (NIV), "But encourage one
another daily as long as it is called "today," so that
none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
"Hebrews 13:8 (NIV) says, "Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday, today, and forever." Another verse about
today from Jesus' words from the cross to the thief
stated, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in
paradise." (Luke 23:43 NIV).
So, today is significant. You don't have to be doing
something profound, but keep your hearts and minds
on the Lord Jesus. You may say, " I can't do that while
I am working on a job in a plant or some business
project." Ask the Lord to help you, because He is a
part of everything we do in this world.
Yes you will not always remember, but keep practicing
His presence and you will be surprised at His part in
your "today" activities.
Thank you, Jesus, for reminding each of us that you
are with us every day. Amen
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October 2016,Widening Prayer Horizons
1 Timothy 2: 1-2 , I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
Recently, I heard of a prayer group that prayed for certain African countries every month.I am sure that Christ has put a country or more on your heart or individuals in that land to pray for.With the wars, disasters, disease and killings occurring over there, it is hard to not to be somewhat detached and not feel the horrible emotion and suffering.
Jesus knows our hearts and He gives us Bible verses to help us along the way.2 Chronicles 7: 14 is one you will remember.If my people, who are called by name, will humble and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal theirland.”Pray that every day and you will soon have it memorized!
Perhaps, praying with a friend about another country or a certain situation and praying with your spouse is the answer for you.“When we pray in humility, turn from wickedness, and seek God, He hears us.”1
1Lawrence Darmani, Daily Bread, July 4, 2016
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Daughters & Sons of the King Sept. 2016
Acts 1:8 (NIV)
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
At a Bible study recently, we talked about how important it was for the pastor to visit the sick.They were saying how easy it was for us as lay people to just make conversation and not talk about the importance of sharing a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.We should expect the minister to read the Bible and pray.What about us who are daughters and sons of the King?Does that get us off the hook, because we are just church members?Are we afraid to offend someone by sharing our hearts during a visit?Of course, we must ask the Holy Spirit to guide the visit.Are we worried that folks might not like us or be convicted about not knowing Jesus?
Today, I saw a friend at the hospital and shared with him some of the good news from St Petrie.As we were talking, another woman from Seneca joined our conversation.Before Don left he shook her hand and asked if she went to church and if she had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.To his joy and mine, she answered “yes.”She said that her family’s health was not going to keep her away from church much longer.
Matt 5:16 Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Let the Lord touch hearts and “be” in Him!
St. Petrie’s Gift
Give thanks unto the Lord for His mercy endures forever.
Last December, 2015, our organ quit playing just before Christmas. There was no sound coming from it and after checking it by members of the congregation and inquiring into repairs; we found it impossible to find parts to repair an electronic organ 30 years old.
We started to look for a replacement, but we also continued to check on the cost to have a repairman from the company come and look at the existing instrument.Organs are expensive.
Soon after, we received a phone call from a friend.We were told that an AFLC church in our area had closed their doors and sold their building to a denomination that did not use an organ or the chimes in the church.The organ and chimes were to be given away, but we were not the first possible recipients.
In the next few days, after much prayer, several of us went to a meeting to see and hear the organ.It was a full-sized organ and only three years old.The lady that represented the other churches played the organ as well as our organist.It was an excellent instrument.Since we were without an organ totally, she said we should have it.The others at least had an organ.Hallelujah!It was ours.A Gift from the Lord Jesus!
A friend of the congregation even offered to pay to have it moved professionally.Our church in the country has a lovely organ and the chimes are up and awaiting the final main cable.Stop by and visit us and see our miracle from the Lord!
All thanks and praise to our Gracious Heavenly Father
for His Gift!cms/ St Petrie
Ephesians 5:1 (ESV) Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
Ephesians 5:2 (ESV)Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
It has been said that we are all self-centered.This is probably true to some degree. Recently, I heard a pastor friend talking about being more altruistic. What does that mean I wondered? Altruistic means selflessness.
I began to think about Jesus. He was our example of perfect altruism. He was always looking out for the needs of others, healing their physical and spiritual bodies and teaching them about the kingdom of heaven. He fed the large crowds that came to hear him teach and healed the little sick girl when the people were wailing of her death outside. Jesus was so much more than just a man. He is our Savior, the Son of God! He gave His life on the cross for our sins. He arose on the third day. And He’s coming back for us, His children.
The hymn refrain by T O. Chrisholm (Public Domain) comes to mind:
Oh to be like Thee, Oh! To be like Thee,
Blessed Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.
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Have you ever made a “wrong turn when travelling?”Alistar Begg, a well -known radio pastor, talks about the time he was driving and the sun was suddenly setting in the wrong place.How could that be?He had followed the signs.As it turned out, he had made an incorrect turn and was going the opposite direction to his dismay.
How many times have we been going along following the right directions and ended going a wrong way?Did we quickly correct our way and start heading in the right direction?The question is: Do we always do a turn-a-bout in life’s directions when we are headed the wrong way?Perhaps the “sun” was the son of God that had not been so important in our lives the last few weeks.Life had gone pretty well and we had not “needed” those emergency prayers as often.
Then, all of a sudden something happened and we cried out to Jesus and said “help.”He was there – always.Jesus says,” Lo, I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20.
Then, you can say thank you, Jesus, for being with me and saving my soul – sacrificing your life at the cross – rising from the dead — Son of God – forgiving my sins!Help me stay close to you in the good times as well as the rough times.
May Devotions:Who Am I?
The Bible says that God knows everything about us.
Psalm 139: 1-3, (NIV) tells us: “You have searched me Lord and you know me.You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceives my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.(13-14) For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my Mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.(23-24) Search me O God, and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
It is true that the God of the universe knows you better than you know yourself.His promise gives us confidence and protection so we don’t have to travel this life alone. Each week, Pastor reminds us of eternal life in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, who gave His life on the cruel cross that our sins might be forgiven.Easter morning, He arose from the dead as our victorious Savior!
Deuteronomy 31:6 says:“… Be strong and courageous.Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God is with you; He will never leave you or forsake you.” (NIV)
We have a big God who loves you and me. Jesus desires to walk with us through this life forever! Please don’t put it off; ask Him to come into your life today.
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