The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of July 20, 2015
2 Timothy 4:6-7, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Beloved, I remember as a HS senior rounding the turn and heading to the finish line during an early Fall X-Country meet. As I picked up speed to finish the race I fell. Coach yelled for me to get up and I did. I limped to the finish line and finished with a throbbing left ankle.
I remember staying on the football team when over half the team quit because they did not like the coach. Coach told us that we needed to learn not to quit because in life we would often be tempted to throw in the towel. I have often been told in ministry, “It’s always to early to quit.”
The Apostle Paul learned not to quit. Paul finished the race and kept the faith. 2 Timothy is Paul’s last letter. He knows that his time on earth is nearly over and he will soon go home to Jesus, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.” These are his final words and he implores us to, “Fight the good fight, finish the race and to keep the faith.”
Beloved, so many in their Christian walk start out well. They serve the Lord, they fellowship, they continue steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine but somewhere along the way they quit. Christianity is not for wimps. We will be challenged and sometimes as we round the corner we will fall. It is then that we need to listen to our heavenly Father who tells us to get up and finish the race.
Yes, as we serve the Lord we can become frustrated, discontent, and desiring to throw in the towel but where would we go? Back toour old lifestyle? No! Peter said in John 6:68, “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” So how do we finish well?
Beloved, perhaps your circumstances seem dismal today. Maybe you’re considering dropping out of the Christian race. From his dungeon, the aged apostle calls out to you: “Don’t quit! Keep going! You can finish well!
Paul would say, “Keep in focus my view of the present: You can reproduce yourself in others to carry the torch after you. View your life as a sacrifice to God.”
“Keep in focus my view of the past, so that one day it will be your past. You will be able to look back and say that you engaged in the struggle for the cause of Christ. You didn’t drop out of the race! You guarded the truth of the gospel.
“Keep in focus my view of the future. Soon you will stand before the Lord, and be vindicated by His grace. Live in view of that day!” You can finish well! Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!
The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of July 13, 2015
She is not dead but sleeping!
Luke 8:52- “And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.”
Beloved, this past week Oscar Gallegos, Mike Rios, Mike Petit and myself were able to attend the annual Senior Pastor’s Conference in Costa Mesa, CA. It was a time of great teaching and receiving. One message, given by Pastor Nate Holdridge of Calvary Chapel Monterrey, stuck out to me. Pastor Nate spoke on the healing of both the woman with the issue of blood and the daughter of Jarius.
Both were desperate and both needed the healing touch of Jesus. The woman with the issue of blood had suffered for twelve years while Jarius’ daughter suddenly turned very ill. Both needed Jesus, desperately.
Beloved, I am reminded that those who attend Grace CC and other churches come to us in desperate need of Jesus Christ. Many come broken with past hurts, which have never been healed. Beloved, if that is you, Jesus desires to heal you. There is hope in Jesus. His power is available!
As Pastor Nate spoke, he mentioned a time where he and other pastor friends had gathered together to meet to pray. This passage inLuke 8:52 stuck out to Pastor Nate. He believes that it was a prophetic message; the church is not dead but sleeping. For many it seems like our nation is rapidly falling away. The church has a whole no longer has any influence upon society; rather society is influencing the church.
So we can do a couple of different things. One, we can hide and turn our churches into a country club where we focus only on ourselves. In effect throw in the towel. Two, we can gather up our placards and march down Marbach denoting our disgust against homosexuality, abortion and such. Or three, we can seek the Lord for revival and attempt to reach the lost for Jesus.
I choose three. It starts with me and with you. It begins with us individually and then radiates out. The church is not dead but sleeping and needs to be awakened. Beloved, God still desires to do great things in our lives and in our church. He desires to heal our broken sin damaged lives. He desires to heal our marriages, relationships, unforgiveness, anger, and the myriad of other situations and circumstances, which keep us, locked in misery. Beloved, He wants to set us free!
When Jesus went to see Jarius’ daughter, he was told that He need not come because the child was dead. Jesus responded, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping!”
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week. I love you and will be praying for you!
In His Love-