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Daily Devotion

boldstardex

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"For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:7-8
GOD’S MEDAL OF HONOR
September 2, 2019
The ultimate act of heroism is when a person gives his or her life for another person’s life, especially friends, comrades or family. Michael Monsoor was a navy SEAL fighting in the Iraqi War. One day while in battle, a grenade literally hit him on the chest and fell at his feet. In a split second decision, he threw himself onto that grenade, saving the lives of his fellow navy SEALs.
His lieutenant, one of the men who were saved, had this to say about Michael: “He never took his eye off the grenade. His only movement was down towards it. He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEAL’s lives, and we owe him.” Michel’s actions were awarded our nation’s highest honor, the Medal of Honor. What bravery, courage and love that must have taken for this soldier to give his own life for that of his friends.
It’s one thing to die for your friends, your buddies, or your family members, but Christ died for those who were killing Him, who murdered Him. Christ died for those who were not with Him. He died for all of us! It was our sin that killed Him.
Yet, sadly, most people in American culture think, “If I can be good enough, then that will make me a Christian.” Romans 5:8, however, disputes this claim. The fact is, that while we are sinners, while we are ungodly and helpless in overcoming our sinfulness, Christ died for our sins. So it’s not a matter of getting your life good enough and then bam, you’re a Christian. It’s are you willing to accept what Christ has done for you — will you accept this gift of love that Christ died, paying the penalty for your sins?
Jesus laid down His life, not just for His friends, but for all of us who nailed Him to the cross. And that, my friends, is the greatest act of heroism and love of all.
 

boldstardex

Moderator
"Give ear and hear my voice, listen and hear my words." Isaiah 28:23
HEARING THROUGH THE NOISE
September 3, 2019
NOISE.
It’s everywhere.
Ever notice how noise fills our lives? We wake to music or alarms. We get in the car and turn on the radio, start up a podcast, or play our favorite playlist. When we walk into the house or a hotel room, the first thing we do is turn on the TV. It seems that, with noise, we just don’t feel so alone. But sometimes, we use the noise as a buffer to keep from thinking about our problems or doing things we know we should do.
In the midst of all of this noise, don’t miss the most important voice of all – God’s.
In 1 Kings, the Bible tells us that God sometimes speaks in a still, small voice. In the busyness and noisiness of our lives, it’s easy to miss Him. The only way to hear Him is to make an intentional effort to quiet the noise of our lives and spend some time listening, through prayer and reading His Word. You will never get a more important phone call or crucial message.
Find some time each day to be alone and quiet, and listen to the most important voice of all. It will enrich your life tremendously.
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done.
PSALM 40:5


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September 5
The Last Word
Bible in a Year :
Psalms 146–147; 1 Corinthians 15:1–28

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

1 Corinthians 15:19
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
1 Corinthians 15:12–19
Her name was Saralyn, and I sort of had a crush on her back in our school days. She had the most wonderful laugh. I’m not sure whether she knew about my crush, but I suspect she did. After graduation I lost track of her. Our lives went in different directions as lives often do.
I keep up with my graduating class in some online forums, and I was intensely sad when I heard that Saralyn died. I found myself wondering about the direction her life had taken over the years. This is happening more and more the older I grow, this experience of losing friends and family. But many of us tend to avoid talking about it.
While we still sorrow, the hope the apostle Paul talks about is that death doesn’t have the final say (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). There is something that follows, another word: resurrection. Paul grounds that hope in the reality of the resurrection of Christ (v. 12), and says “if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (v. 14). If our hope as believers is limited to this world only, that’s just a pity (v. 19).
We will one day see those again who have “fallen asleep in Christ” (v. 18)—grandparents and parents, friends and neighbors, or perhaps even old schoolyard crushes.
Death doesn’t get the last word. Resurrection does.
By: John Blase
Reflect & Pray
What does Christ’s resurrection mean to you? How might you express your faith and point someone to the hope of the resurrection?
Jesus, may the power of Your resurrection become more and more evident in my life. May it be clear in my words and actions, especially as I interact with those who do not know You.
 

boldstardex

Moderator
"...with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." - 2 Peter 3:8
WHAT IS TIME – REALLY?
September 4, 2019
Time. It’s a pretty interesting subject, don’t you think? In fact, the concept of time has long been problematical for philosophers. There is even considerable controversy among biblical scholars as to precisely how “time” is employed in the divine scheme of things.
Did you know that God doesn’t see time as you and I do? The Bible tells us that to God, one day is as 1000 years and 1000 years are as one day. He sees the past, present, and future all at once. That blows my mind. We are so finite.
We begin, we end. God always was, is, and will be. Isn’t that amazing?
When we get to heaven, there will be no clocks, no calendars – just unlimited time. The very thought unsettles me, because our lives orbit around time: minutes in an hour, and days in a week, month and year. A place with no time just boggles my mind. But we’ll never be tired, and that will be great!
Even though God is above time, at the perfect time, He became one of us – as a baby boy named Jesus. He stepped onto the pages of history right on time – BC/AD – it was the zero hour. God revealed Himself in order to save us from sin, offering us eternal life – a timeless life with Him. Isn’t that amazing? Won’t you take “time” to consider what this means for you personally?
 

boldstardex

Moderator
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." - John 13:34-35
LOVING OTHERS AS CHRIST
September 10, 2019
It’s sad to have to admit, but Christians really can be incredibly unkind towards others – both inside and outside the church. We are often far too quick to point out the faults of others. We spread gossip and let jealousy get the best of us. It is not a pretty picture, and yet Jesus says that when we love one another, the world will know that we belong to Him.
So, how do we fix this? John Piper, a great Bible teacher, taught on these two verses and said, “Look. … This is a commandment. It’s not a suggestion. We are to love one another.”
You see, when you came to faith in Christ, you realized that your life was on the wrong path. And you turned and said, “Jesus is the right path.” You agreed to Him being the boss. So you said, “Thank you for saving me, but also thank You for being in charge of me now. I submit to Your commands.” So we are commanded (it’s not optional), that we as Christians love each other.
Jesus died for us and forgives us unconditionally — giving us chance after chance and grace after grace. And when we inevitably mess up, Jesus shows up, picks us up, and walks us through the mess. Why can’t we love each other like that? Why can’t we love others who are still struggling in their own sinful, mistake ridden lives? Jesus loved us while we were still sinners … are we doing likewise?
Is there somebody you need to forgive? Somebody you struggle to love? Get it right, so that those outside the church will recognize what it means to be a Christian: loving others they way Jesus first loved us.
 

boldstardex

Moderator
Tongue Tamers
Bible in a Year :
Proverbs 13–15; 2 Corinthians 5

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up.

Ephesians 4:29
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
James 3:1–6
In West with the Night, author Beryl Markham detailed her work with Camciscan, a feisty stallion she was tasked with taming. She’d met her match with Camciscan. No matter what strategy she employed, she could never fully tame the proud stallion, chalking up only one victory over his stubborn will.
How many of us feel this way in the battle to tame our tongues? While James compares the tongue to the bit in a horse’s mouth or a ship’s rudder (James 3:3–5), he also laments, “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be” (v. 10).
So, how can we win the battle over the tongue? The apostle Paul offers tongue-taming advice. The first involves speaking only the truth (Ephesians 4:25). This is not a license to be painfully blunt, however. Paul follows up with “do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up” (v. 29). We can also take out the trash: “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (v. 31). Is this easy? Not if we attempt to do it on our own. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit who helps us as we rely on Him.
As Markham learned, consistency with Camciscan was needed in the battle of wills. Such is the case in the taming of the tongue.
By: Linda Washington
Reflect & Pray
What do you find most challenging in taming your tongue? What practical steps can you take to win the battle in the coming week?
Jesus, I need You to help me be mindful of the words I use.
 

boldstardex

Moderator
"Therefore, you grieve now; but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you." John 16:22
FINDING GOD IN GRIEF
September 12, 2019
When you lose a loved one, many people tend to sink deep into the dungeons of darkness as the colors of life fade away. It often makes life feel meaningless. Losing a loved one might even bring your everyday life to a halt or just feel very disoriented.
Some of us have already lost someone close in our lives, while others have yet to walk through that season – but they will. We all do. Because death is something that will come to all of us; it’s just a matter of time. Losing a loved one or a close friend is never easy, but understanding the stages of grief can sometimes help us navigate the journey.
Grief often begins with a feeling of numbness and denial, promoting an inability to accept the news. It’s a sense of disbelief that the person is really gone. Once the reality of death settles in, a whole new wave of grief and emotions come crashing in. It’s an emotionally challenging season, the specifics of which impact everyone individually.
For many, the loss of a loved one can also lead towards an anger with God as the world continues on as normal, but you’re left picking up the pieces of your now shattered world – never to be the same again. It may stir up feelings of depression, or the outlook that life is now meaningless without that individual. Finally, however, there will come acceptance– a coming to terms with the loss, and beginning to move on with life as you navigate your new normal without this person.
The grieving process takes time, but it doesn’t have to crush you. 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5 reminds us that even in the darkest pain and grief, God wants to be our greatest comforter : “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
God doesn’t rejoice in our sufferings. He grieves. He wants to comfort us. Why? So that we can in turn comfort others as they walk through seasons of pain and suffering. So, when you feel like you might be consumed by grief, cling to God’s strength. God understands loss – He saw His own Son, Jesus, die on the cross. God knows what you’re feeling and He wants to offer you hope, comfort, and strength to navigate each day. Will you let Him walk with you?
 

boldstardex

Moderator
More than Water
Bible in a Year :
Proverbs 27–29; 2 Corinthians 10

All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Galatians 3:27
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Today's Scripture & Insight:
Galatians 3:23–29
One of my earliest childhood memories of church was a pastor walking down the aisle, challenging us to “remember the waters of our baptism.” Remember the waters? I asked myself. How can you remember water? He then proceeded to splash everyone with water, which as a young child both delighted and confused me.
Why should we think about baptism? When a person is baptized, there’s so much more to it than water. Baptism symbolizes how through faith in Jesus, we’ve become “clothed” with Him (Galatians 3:27). Or in other words, it’s celebrating that we belong to Him and that He lives in and through us.
As if that weren’t significant enough, the passage tells us that if we’ve been clothed with Christ our identity is found in Him. We’re the very children of God (v. 26). As such, we’ve been made right with God by faith—not by following Old Testament law (vv. 23–25). We’re not divided against one another by gender, culture, and status. We’re set free and brought into unity through Christ and are now His own (v. 29).
So there are very good reasons to remember baptism and all it represents. We aren’t simply focusing on the act itself but that we belong to Jesus and have become children of God. Our identity, future, and spiritual freedom are found in Him.
 
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