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Tue, Aug 11.20

  Beaver Creek Christian Church : A nondenominational fellowship of believers in Ashe County, West Jefferson, NC Minister's Minute: Minister's Blog - Posted Every Tuesday - Friday

 

Mercy - The Fundamental of Grace

Matthew 5:7; James 1:27; Matthew 7:1-12; Various

Mercy - The Fundamental of Grace

Matthew 5:7; James 1:27; Matthew 7:1-12; Various

Date: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

Tonight, we continue on with our study of the blessings from the Sermon on the Mount. The “Beatitudes are blessings are that Jesus pronounced on the crowd asking for God to show his favor on them. These blessing bring a spiritual joy that comes from God into our hearts and floods them with His joy and love.

Tonight we are on our fifth blessing. Matthew 5:7 says, Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Mercy according to the Oxford dictionary is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm. It is an act or event that prevents something unpleasant or provides relief from suffering. Mercy is not based on the persons merit to receive it. It is based on the goodness of the one who gives it.

There are really two thoughts here. The first thought is that sense of emptiness. Jesus is talking to people who have not received mercy. They feel oppressed by life. There are those who have been run over and battered by the world. Someone is always kicking the dog when they are down.

Those who have not received mercy in the world will find mercy in Jesus. The fundamental, undergirding spiritual truth is the reality of grace in Jesus Christ. All who come to him will receive mercy and grace. Even if they don’t deserve it… or especially if they don’t deserve it. Often mercy is not deserved.

God has treated us much better than we deserve. He has seen us in our sin and had mercy on us because of his great love for us (see Rom. 5:6-11). Even though we have repeatedly proved unfaithful and undependable God has been gracious and merciful. He has repeatedly offered forgiveness, help, redemption, and salvation when we least deserved it. God is merciful. He shows mercy to those who haven’t received it in this world. He shows mercy to those who may not deserve it.

The second thought that sense we have received his mercy we should offer mercy to those in our lives who may not deserve it.

Most people think of religion as belief in a higher power that is demonstrated by worship or acts of devotion. But if there were one word that characterizes what God thinks of religion I would have to say it is mercy (Ps 40:5-6; Ho 6:6; Mt 9:13; 12:7; Ro 12:1). James said it this way: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).

God dealt with us not as we deserved but as his children who need to be corrected. So how can we claim to be his children and not be merciful? How can we seek vengeance against others? How can we wish ill on our brothers and sisters? We sometimes call out for God to show justice and pour out his wrath on others. But we, ourselves, would not want true justice placed on us because fairness would demand we pay a for our sins with our lives.

In the Kingdom Family, mercy rules. When that mercy is forgotten by us, then God has promised to use our standard of mercilessness when he judges us. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you (Mt 7:1-2). Yet as long as we are merciful to others, God will show us mercy.

The truth of the matter is that we are better for it when we show mercy and forgiveness like Christ did for us. There is too much worry, stress, guilt, and fear in an unforgiving heart. There is too much pain in holding on to anger, hurt, and malice. It is better to let it go and show mercy… so that we will receive the fullness of his mercy and grace.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord Almighty, You have given us such great love and mercy through your Son Jesus Christ. You have forgiven us when we don’t deserve anything from you. You are holy and we are sinful. You are righteous and we are worldly. So we ask that since you have shown us great mercy that you teach us to show mercy to others. We want to be like you, Lord. Help us to be like you. In Jesus name. AMEN!

“Good night and God bless you.”

07/15/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Appetite for Right

Matthew 5:6; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Various

Appetite for Right

Matthew 5:6; Ecclesiastes 3:11; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

As we continue on with our study of the blessings from the Sermon on the Mount, we come to a blessing I can relate too! Having an appetite for right. The “Beatitudes are blessings are that Jesus pronounced on the crowd asking for God to show his favor on them. These blessing bring a spiritual joy that comes from God into our hearts and floods them with His joy and love.

Matthew 5:6 says Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Now I said I can relate because I have an appetite. A desire for food to eat. But I really can’t relate when it comes to hunger. When you’re really hungry or thirsty, you’ll do anything you can to get food or drink. It’s like you’re starving. And I have never really known that kind of hunger. I’ve gone without meals before but I’ve never done it because there wasn’t anything to eat in the cabinet.

You see, in all the blessing we have had there is a since of emptiness. The poor in spirit are spiritually destitute or bankrupt. The ones who more are void of joy because of the condition of the world. Those that are meek are in need of justice and are waiting on God. And the ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness are dying because long for what is right in God’s eyes.

Some of the most evocative words in the Old Testament come from Ecclesiastes 3:11: God has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. God has given us an inborn since of what is right and wrong. He has “revealed” himself in creation. He has made himself known in our inner most beings. We are hungry for his righteousness to fill us.

The other night I had a taste for something but I didn’t know what. Yes it was a craving but I couldn’t put my mind on what it was so I started filling my pie hole with all kinds of stuff. It never did satisfy my hunger because I really didn’t know what it was that I craved. And that’s the way it can be for many people who try to fill the need for God’s righteousness with something else. All you end up with is indigestion!

We hunger for righteousness because as we look around the world we don’t see to much that is right out there. The world is a messed up place. There are children dying in the crossfire of bullets fired by gang rivalry. There are people who want to get rid of the police yet they get angry when the police won’t come into their violent neighborhoods. We lose our love ones to diseases like coronavirus, cancer, heart diseases, dementia, and the like that have no cure while fat cat in the medical industry get rich on our suffering. Three is no righteousness in government, there is no righteousness in big business, there is not righteousness in the streets, and guess what… there is no righteousness in me.

Paul reminds us that even if we were to keep to every letter of the law we would never achieve righteousness. We are all born with an inherent sin nature and there is none good – no not even one. We do not have any righteousness of our own, nor can we make ourselves righteous – and the wages of unrighteousness is death. And so we are starving for true righteousness that can only come from God.

Our hunger and thirst should not be for our own righteousness. God himself says that our righteousness is as filthy rags! The only place that we will find true righteousness is in Jesus. Our hunger and thirst should be for Him – for Christ – that we may grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ – for as we yield our lives to the Holy Spirit He will conform us to become more and more like Christ - for in HIM is life and righteousness and honor – and all who seek Christ – Who is our righteousness, will be satisfied.

Challenge yourself today to go after righteousness. Don’t get distracted. Seek the kingdom of God and it’s righteousness and all these things will be added to you as well. Determine to hunger and thirst after righteousness.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, We live in a world that is so messed up and broken. There is no one that is righteous… not one… except your Son Jesus. Help remind us to find righteousness in him. Help us to hunger and to read the word and seek Jesus first. In Jesus name. AMEN!

“Good night and God bless you.”

07/14/20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

MEEK, NOT WEEK

Matthew 5:5; Psalm 37; Psalm 121

Posted by Beaver Creek Christian Church on Saturday, July 11, 2020

Meek Not Weak

Matthew 5:5; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

We have been sharing one of the blessings from the Beatitudes each night. These blessings are from Jesus asking for God’s favor. These blessing bring a spiritual joy that comes from God into our hearts.

The third blessing in Matthew 5:5 is, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” What does meekness have to do with God? So often when we think of meekness we think of push-overs, milk toast, shy people, those who don’t stand up for themselves.

In a way we are right. God does stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. He protects the weak, the orphan, the widow, and the stranger in the land. Throughout God’s law there is a call to help those who cannot help themselves.

But this is not talking about weakness. The meek are not weak!

This verse is an allusion to Psalm 37. Let’s read that together!

It’s talking about a strength! In verse 11 it says “the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity.” That is very similar to what Jesus said in the Beatitudes. But how is this a strength?

In verse 9 it says “those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.” The word hope is also translated as wait. In other words, “those who wait on the Lord in hope will inherit the land.”

Doing it on your own strength… We all like a good action movie where the hero comes to save the day and make all the wrongs right. In the movies it is usually a person who has taken all he can and finally can take no more. Popeye the sailor used to say, “I taken alls I can stands and I can’t stands no more!. The strength of the hero movie is that he brings his own truth and justice to the situation. But what if his judgement, strength, and truth wrong? (dark comics like Deadpool, Punisher, etc.)

You see, real strength is not always jumping in and being a hero… trying to make the wrongs of the world right in our own eyes. Strength is knowing where your help comes from and waiting patiently for him to come and make things right in His eyes. ONLY GOD’S TRUTH AND JUSTICE IS ABSOLUTE

Psalm 121 puts the meek into prospective. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber, indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

The meek will inherit the land for they humbly and patiently wait for God to bring his justice and truth into the land.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your strength, your justice, and your truth. We praise you for your word that reveals your brand of justice. Most of all we thank you for your grace that is revealed in your Son, Jesus. Help us to be meek and patiently wait on the Lord. Maranatha! In Jesus name. AMEN!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jul 11, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Righteous Mourning - Grieving over the Godly Loss

Matthew 5:4; Isaiah 61:1-3; Various

Posted by Beaver Creek Christian Church on Thursday, July 9, 2020

Righteous Mourning - Grieving over the Godly Loss

Matthew 5:4; Isaiah 61:1-3; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

Yesterday we started a study of the Beatitudes which are blessing that Jesus gave from God. Jesus was asking for God’s favor and protection. It is a spiritual joy that comes from God.

The second blessing in Matthew 5:4 simply says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” This sounds rather simple on the surface. This is perhaps the verse you would share with someone who has suffered the loss of a loved one and is looking for comfort. I don’t doubt at all \ that this verse has application to the Christian in this situation. We should certainly look to the Lord at such times and find in Him the balm we need, when our spirits are crushed with sadness. No other comforter knows exactly what we need, and can supply that need without fail.

It reminds me of the hymn, “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”. Can we find a friend so faithful. Who will all our sorrows share. It brings to mind the picture of the Lord God himself bending a knee to wipe every tear from our eye when we stand in glory. Yes, indeed… what a friend!

My pray is that anyone going through the valley of grief at the moment will be encouraged by this to look to the Lord for comfort. This is not to say He will immediately make you feel better; but He will certainly give you sustenance, purpose, and hope beyond the present situation.

But there’s more to this verse. There is a strong connection between it and Isaiah 61:1-3 where God encourages those who would go into exile in Babylon: The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor  and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. This was addressed to a people who had suffered all kinds of loss, not just of people, but possessions, land… their Promised Land, their Temple, The Ark, and so much more.

It is actually righteous mourning. It is those who grieve over injustice, over poverty, over sickness, and, perhaps most significantly, over sin. The blessing is that they will be comforted.

Isaiah 61 is also recognized as being a Messianic prophecy. It looks forward to a day when the Messiah will come to set things right. Here in the Beatitudes, Jesus is connecting the dots. He is that one who has come to bring comfort to the grieving–even those who grieve over sin. In him, and in him alone can our weary souls find rest. Nowhere else can we find release from the burden of sin.

In Luke 4:16-21, Jesus entered a synagogue in Nazareth, opened the Scriptures and quoted Isaiah 61. When he was finished, he closed the book and told the gathered crowd, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Jesus shared this same idea in Matthew 11:28-30 when he said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

My prayer today is for you who are weary and burned… who mourn for those who are lost in this dark and sinful world. May you find comfort in the Lord Jesus Christ.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for comforting us when we are sad. Thank you for the Messianic prophesies of hope that are fulfilled in Jesus. We grieve over the lost as you do. Father, We ask for you to help us be a light into this world. In Jesus name. AMEN!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jul 9, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

SPIRITUALLY DESTITUTE

Matthew 5:3; Luke 18:9-14; Various

Posted by Beaver Creek Christian Church on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Spiritually Destitute

Matthew 5:3; Luke 18:9-14; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

Jesus opens what we call The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 by giving a blessing on people. A blessing means to look to call for God’s favor and protection on someone. It is a spiritual joy that comes from God. Jesus starts with the poor in spirit.

Matthew 5:3 - “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The biblical definition of happiness, or blessedness, is different than our culture’s definition. Greg Laurie says that If we were to rewrite the Beatitudes for the 21st century sound something like this:

Blessed are the beautiful, for they shall be admired.

Blessed are the wealthy, for they have it all.

Blessed are the popular, for they shall be loved.

Blessed are the famous, for they shall be followed.

Jesus didn’t bless the beautiful people, the wealthy, the famous, or the popular. He blesses the poor in spirit. He’s not blessing those who are without money or resources. He is basically saying blessed are those who are spiritually destitute.

So what does that really mean? The original Greek word for poor is πτωχός -ptóchos (pto-khos’). It literally means to crouch, to shrink, or one who cowers. Beggars in Jesus day felt as if they were unworthy so they looked down or shrink back when the rich walk by. A person who is destitute and completely dependent on others for help is humbled by their experience. Spiritually poor people realize that their tank is on empty…they don’t feel the worthy of being around those who present themselves as righteous.

Many people think that righteousness is achieved by doing great deeds of charity, being and dutiful member of the church, praying and reading the Bible. But our deeds don’t make us righteous. Jesus was speaking of those who esteem themselves as they really are before God: lost, hopeless, and helpless.

Apart from Jesus Christ, everyone is spiritually destitute—or poor in spirit—regardless of their education, wealth, accomplishments, or even religious knowledge. To be poor in spirit means to acknowledge your spiritual bankruptcy, to acknowledge that you are in need of God.

Jesus illustrated this concept in the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Lk 18:9-14)

C. H. Spurgeon said, “The way to rise into God is to sink in your own self.” If you want to be a happy person, a blessed person, then you have to see yourself for what you are: a sinner in need of a Savior.

When you realize who you are then you are ready to become a part of God’s kingdom.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Almighty God, Thank you for making us spiritually rich in your kingdom. It is not by our own righteousness that we come to you. It is by the righteousness of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us as the perfect sacrifice of God. It is by your power that he was raised from the dead. It is by your power that we are saved and have a place in your kingdom. We praise you for Jesus and we pray to you in his name. AMEN!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jul 8, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

When the Sun Stops Shining

Psalm 23:4; Matthew 4:16; Various

When the Sun Stops Shining

Psalm 23:4; Matthew 4:16; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study. Psalm 23:4 - “Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me” (NLT).

There is a small Norwegian town named Rjukan, which sits deep in the narrow Vestfjord Valley in the Telemark rejion of south-west Oslo. The towering peaks that surround it rise to almost 2,000 meters above sea level and block out the sunlight for half the year, meaning Rjukan residents live in a permanent shadow from September to March. But in 2013 the town spent over $850,000 to install a giant mirror with computer tracking to send a constant beam of sunlight down the mountainside to the town. Why to brighten up the previously gloomy town center and cheerup the local residents. The plan worked so well that other towns have done the same thing.

Sunlight actually helps us to be healthy physically, spiritually, and emotionally. When we don’t get enough sunlight we can feel ill. This illness is ironically called SAD. It stands for Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. The treatment for SAD is phototherapy which includes sitting in artificial sunlight or changing the lighting in your house. It’s not just the winter blues that we’re talking about here. The symptoms of SAD may include: Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day. Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed. Having low energy. Having problems with sleeping. Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight. Feeling sluggish or agitated. Having difficulty concentrating. Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty. Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide.

Just like sunlight is important to your health, Son Light, or the light of God’s Son, Jesus, is also important to your spiritual life. We all go through times of suffering, hardship and tribulation where the light of Jesus may be blocked by our circumstances. Although Jesus is there we may not feel the warmth of his love and grace. We may feel like we are in the deep darkness. Sooner or later, we will all face an obscure moment. We will feel alone, helpless, and overwhelmed by a burden that seems to crash our souls. 

I have become very concerned with people who are going through this right now because of the covid-19 outbreak and the restrictions that have been placed on us because of it. In these “valley of the shadow of death” moments, you may find yourself saying, “Jesus, I know you are there but I cannot feel your presence…I cannot feel your light. I believe that you can help me but please, can you do it faster?” It is precisely in these moments when most of us cry out, “Lord, where are you? Why have you forsaken me?” 

Even Jesus endured a dark moment. Yes, Jesus the Son of God experienced such a dark moment that even the ambiance around Him changed. Darkness came over the whole land from noon until three in the afternoon. The Earth became dark because the Sun stopped shining. Can you imagine the most challenging moment of your life surrounded by darkness on the inside and the outside? It was such an obscure and difficult time that Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

Are you in a valley of loneliness? Sin? Rejection? Failure? Addiction? Financial ruin? If today you find yourself crying out in the darkness I want you to know that you are not alone; The Lord is with you. Take this dark moment and turn it into an enlightening one. Embrace it as an opportunity to discover greater intimacy. Allow Jesus to shine the light of his love into your heart

Matthew 4:16 says, “The people who live in darkness have seen a great light, and for those living in the shadowland of death, light has dawned” (HCSB).

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Father of Light, Thank you for the warmth and comfort of you love and protections. Please shine your light, your glory, on those who are lost in the deep darkness that surrounds them. Remind us of grace and mercy. Give us renewed hope in you. We praise you for Jesus and the gift of life and light that we have in him. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray. AMEN!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jul 7, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Being a Blessing to Others: Forgiving Those Who Hurt You

Luke 6:27-45; 1 Peter 3:9; Various

Being a Blessing to Others: Forgiving Those Who Hurt You

Luke 6:27-45; 1 Peter 3:9; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

We have been talking about blessing others. We are blessed by God to be a blessing to others. We can bless people by giving a verbal blessing. We can also bless them by sharing God’s blessing of Agape - unconditional love. We can bless people by abounding in every good work. We can bless people by not just looking after our own interest but looking after the interest of others. We can bless people by practicing the Golden Rule. And we can bless others by praying for them.

Tonight I want to share with you one of the hardest ways to bless others. Forgiveness.

1 Peter 3:9 - “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

We have been blessed to be a blessing. So we aren’t to repay evil with evil. There are a lot of people out there that have been hurt by others.

IL - Woman whose father abused her physically, sexually, and emotionally.

IL - On June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof, attended a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. During the meeting he pulled out a Glock 41 .45-caliber handgun and fired on a group of people inside the church and then fled the building. He had been carrying eight magazines holding hollow-point bullets. Nine African Americans were killed including the senior pastor. Thee other shooting victims survived. Roof was arrested, tried and sentenced for this shooting. During the sentencing Roof was addressed by the families of his victims who one by one told about their loss and then said, “I forgive you.”

Ephesians 4:32–5:2 - Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Forgiveness is a hard thing to do. But it is a godly thing. God forgives us completely. Our sins are as far as the east is from the west. We need to learn to bless by offering forgiveness.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, We thank you for the grace that you give us. It is amazing how much you love and forgive us. You have shown us your forgiveness and now we ask that you will help us to forgive others. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jul 3, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Being a Blessing to Others: Taking Time To Pray For Others

Colossians 1:9-12; Romans 15:13; Various

Being a Blessing to Others: Taking Time To Pray For Others

Colossians 1:9-12; Romans 15:13; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

We have been talking about blessing others. We are blessed by God to be a blessing to others. We can bless people by giving a verbal blessing. We can also bless them by sharing God’s blessing of Agape - unconditional love. We can bless people by abounding in every good work. We can bless people by not just looking after our own interest but looking after the interest of others. We can bless people by practicing the Golden Rule.

Tonight I want to share with you one of the Apostle Paul’s favorite ways to bless people. He would bless people by praying for them. He sent a letter of encouragement to the church in Colossae in which he opened with this beautiful message, “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.” Almost all of Paul’s letters have a prayer of blessing in them.

I believe that we should bless others by praying for them. Now most churches have a prayer list where we list the people who are sick or have special needs. Not everyone has needs that they feel need to go on the prayer list. In fact, some people are fighting private battles that they don’t want everyone to know. So when I visit someone or talk to them on the phone I like to pray for them and encourage them with the Scriptures. It’s nothing fancy. I just pray for them by name asking God to bless them, their family, and their home. And share whatever scripture I am meditating on that day.

But you can also bless people with scripture blessing prayers.One of the favorite blessing prayers of mine is Romans 15:13. In goes like this, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” You can use this to say a type of prayer. A friend of mine does has it memorized in a format that is easy to use. He says, “Dear Father in heaven, May you fill __________ with all joy and peace as he/she trusts in you. Allow him/her to overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit in their life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Here are some other scripture blessing prayers:

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 – “We constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Thessalonians 3:5,16 – “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance…Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

Hebrews 13:20-21 – “May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Philippians 1:9-10 – “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.”

It’s not important how you bless someone in prayer. It’s important that you do it. Often times when someone ask you to pray for them we say we will but when we part from them we don’t remember to do it. I believe that the best way to remember is to pray with them before you leave. It will help you keep them in prayer.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God Almighty, This is our prayer for our brothers and sisters watching tonight. May your love abound in them more and more. May your knowledge and insight help them to discern the best course to take. May you keep them pure and blameless until the day of Christ. Fill them with the fruit of righteousness. Help them to serve you more and more each day. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jul 2, 20/ PREACHER/ Ministers Minute/

BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS: Using the Golden Rule

Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:27-36; Various

Being a Blessing to Others: Using The Golden Rule

Mt 7:12; Lk 6:31; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

The Golden Rule is the ethical principle of treating other people as one's self would prefer to be treated. One of Jesus' most famous and impactful teachings, the Golden Rule can be found in the Bible verses Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31:

Matthew 7:12 -So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Lk 6:31 - Do to others as you would have them do to you.

Perhaps you were taught this as a child. Most of us learn at an early age that we should treat others with respect and we should share. But it doesn’t take long for us to outgrow this.

The Golden Rule encompasses the empathic essence of morality. It is a simple yet powerful way of saying that we should recognize the respective dignity of our fellow man and not forget we all are capable of inflicting immoral actions. It is only through the impact of the scriptures and God’s holy spirit working in us that we can truly exercise this principle. The golden rule is vital in following the commandments of God and creating a more virtuous world.

But it’s more than just being nice to someone. It’s going the extra mile. It’s going out of your way to be nice to people. Let’s read Lk 6:27-36 so we can get an idea of the context of this teaching. It’s putting yourself in someone else’s shoes so you clearly see what they're going through.

There are two main points to this teaching:

It encapsulates the entire law and the prophets. It goes along with the greatest two commandments. To love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself.

It addresses human interpersonal relationships. Just as God almighty treats us with undeserved merit (grace) and unconditional love, We should do the same for others. In doing so the very character of God guides how we should interact and relate to one another.

The golden rule also means withholding judgement and offering mercy. It means not being mean, spiteful or vindictive. The reverse rule also applies “Don’t do unto others if you don’t want it done to you.”

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God Almighty, You have blessed us to be a blessing. Help us to put ourselves in other peoples shoes. Help us to see how to treat each other with kindness, grace, mercy, and love. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jul 1, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS: Looking After The Interest Of Others

Philippians 2:4; Various

Being a Blessing to Others: Looking After The Interest Of Others

Philippians 2:4; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

We have been talking about blessing others. Last Friday, I shared with you how important it is for us to bless people and shared how to give a verbal blessing. On Saturday, I talked about blessing others in the same manner that God has blessed us with agape love. Last night I shared about blessing others with good deeds. Tonight I am really going to step in it. As an older gentlemen in my congregation says, “Now you’ve gone from preachin’ to meddln’!”

Tonight we are going to talk about blessing people by looking after their interest. Philippians 2:4 says, “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” On the surface this may seem just like helping others out. It goes along with Christian unity and having the same mind of Christ.

But the connotation is much stronger. It’s getting into the lives of other people. This verse in the original Greek would really look like the scales of justice. The things of self on one side and the things of others on the other side. For most of us the scales weigh more on the self side. I’m not saying that we are naturally selfish but we do look after our own causes, circumstances, company, family, interest, experiences, things, business (Insert your own word here) more than we do the things of other people. So if the shoe fits, wear it.

We, as Christians, sometimes say that we should put others first and our own interest second. After Jesus said “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mk 9:35). But this verse lends to balancing the scales. The interest of others should at least be as great as my own interest. And we should value them as more important. We should do whatever to help them along with ourselves.

Where this really comes into some deep thought is when you but this in terms of business. The philosophy of business in the modern world is to make as much money as you can and put the competition out of business. My first job after high school was working for K-mart. The founder of K-mart was SS Kresge who started out with a series of 5-10 stores and reinvented merchandising with the invention of the discount department store. While working there I was given a copy of the biography of SS Kresge and I was impressed to see how much he cared for his workers. He even bought a house for one of his workers who lost everything in a house fire. Kresge wasn’t interested in running the competition out of business either. He knew competition was good for business. But all that changed when he died. The corporation turned it’s sights putting other retailers out of business… ironically the competition eventually put K-mart out of business.

The key to this verse is humility. In fact, the verse right before it says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Ph 2:3). In fact, I believe the key to being a successful Christian is humility.

Moses showed humility by interceding for Israel instead of turning the whole community over to God to be destroyed. David showed humility by taking responsibility for his own sins and mistakes. Paul showed humility by considering himself the least of the apostles. And we need to show humility when in how we treat other people. We need to consider their interest and not just our own. By doing so we are being a blessing to others.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God Almighty, You have blessed us to be a blessing. I thank you for looking out after my interest. I ask that you will help keep me humble and help me to look after the needs of others. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jun 30, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS: Abound In Every Good Work

Acts 20:35; 2 Co 9:8; Various

Being a Blessing to Others: Abound In Every Good Work

Acts 20:35; 2 Co 9:8; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

We have been talking about blessing others. Last Friday, I shared with you how important it is for us to bless people and shared how to give a verbal blessing. On Saturday, I talked about blessing others in the same manner that God has blessed us with agape love. Tonight I want to share a thought with you about blessing others with good deeds.

2 Corinthians 9:8 - And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. I believe this is the theme that we started. We have been blessed to bless others. God has given us everything we need to bless others with acts of kindness and compassion.

Think about! What better time is there to do good deeds than right now. The world is in chaos because of the Covid-19 outbreak, political and civil unrest, sandstorms in the upper atmosphere, and violence and evil seem to be at every turn. The world could use a few good deeds.

Paul reminded the leaders of the church at Ephesus when he met with them to encourage them before going to Jerusalem. He said, “ In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ ” (Ac 20:35). He wanted their compassion for others to carry the gospel message through good deeds.

So take some lawn chairs and do some social distancing visits to your neighbors. Send some encouragement cards to those in need. Buy a few extra groceries and drop them by the house of someone in need. Go to the nursing home and knock on some windows with signs that say, “We love you” or “God bless you” so the won’t feel so forgotten.

There is a wonderful website article that share 100 practical ways to bless people. This article was written before the Covid-19 outbreak but many of the suggestions are wonderful for this time. Here is the link: https://moreradiance.com/100-little-ways-bless-others/ I know that some of you creative folks out there can find even more ways to bless others with good works.

Doing good for others is a great way to share the Gospel and to bless those who are in need spiritually, physically, emotionally, and mentally. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” We should always look for ways to bless others. In fact, Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and goats to demonstrate this in Matthew 25:31-46. When you do something good for others you are doing it for Jesus.

And that brings up the underlying motive for doing good. It is because we love Jesus and want to please him. In fact, everything we do should be done as if we are doing it for Jesus. The job we do at work should be done to the best of our ability as if we are doing it for Jesus. The Sunday School lesson we teach should be prepared well in advance and done to the best of our abilities as if we were teaching with Jesus right there with us (Because he is). And even those jobs that are unpleasant should be done as if we were doing it for Jesus. After all, remember what it says in Colossians 3:17 - And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, Once again we thank you for the many, many blessings that you bestow on us each day. You provide, protect, guide, and give your love and approval. Help us to do the same for our friends, neighbors, and even those we have trouble with. Help us to meet needs and do work with excellence for you. It is in the name of Jesus that we pray, Amen!

“Good night and God bless you.”

100 Little Ways To Bless Others
Jun 29, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS: Abounding in Love

Romans 5:5; Various

Being a Blessing to Others: Abounding in Love

Romans 5:5; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

Last night we talked about being blessed by God to be a blessing to others.

We talked about the importance of Giving a verbal blessing to others. God has said that he would bless who we bless.

But passing on a blessing is more than just a verbal “God bless you”. Practical Christianity is more than just words… it’s putting words into action. So in what ways can we bless others?

I believe a good way to bless others is sharing the gift gift of love -

Ro 5:5 NLT -And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

GOD IS THE ORIGIN OF LOVE - 1 John 4:16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.

GOD GAVE US THE ultimate definition of love- I Corinthians 13:4-8 -Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

God also gave us the perfect example of love - Romans 5:6-8; You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since god is the origin of love, the definition of love, and the example of love it makes since that he would want us to bless others with this same type of love… AGAPE LOVE.

In fact, Jesus commanded us to love each other… even our enemies.

So how do we bless others with love… find a way to demonstrate our love and compassion. Do what Jesus did for people.

One way is to share the gospel with people. After all, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Loving Father, Thank you for being love, defining love, and demonstrating love. As your children we have been lavished in your love. So we ask that you will help us to show this kind of love and share the gift of love with others. We thank you for the ultimate gift of love that you gave us in Jesus Christ, It is in the name of Jesus that we pray, Amen!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jun 27, 20/ PREACHER/ Ministers Minute/

BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING: GOD BLESS YOU

Numbers 6:22-27

Blessed to be a Blessing

Numbers 6:22-27; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study.

God has richly blessed us. That is for sure. Oh, you don’t know what a blessing is? Well, the Random House Webster's College Dictionary's definition of blessing includes:

the act or words of a person who blesses.

a special favor, mercy, or benefit

a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.

the invoking of God's favor upon a person.

approval or good wishes.

Blessings are good words, deeds, favor, mercy, and benefits that God gives us that bring us joy springing up from deep within. The Psalmist sings and counts his blessings from God in Psalm 103. Let me just read a few of God’s blessings: He forgives all your sins, He gives healing when you are sick, He redeemed you through Jesus, He lavishes us with love and compassion, He satisfies our desires as well as meets our needs, He restores our strength, He gives justice when we are oppressed, He reveals Himself in His word and through His Spirit, He showers us with grace and mercy, He calls us to be his children, and so much more.

We gladly welcome these kinds of blessings and favor in our lives. God freely gives us all things and as his children we have his divine favor. So why are we blessed so much by God?

We are blessed to bless others. Just like God blesses us, from our words and actions should flow blessings that encourage, build up, and value others.

In a world that seems to be tearing itself apart we need to be the healing agents of God who bless people instead of jumping on the band wagon of anger and frustration. It’s easy to judge others for their actions and the damage that they are causing. It is harder to bless and pray for people.

1 Peter 3:9 says, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (NIV). We are to bless each other. Jesus also told us to “Bless those who mistreat you” (Lk 6:28 NIV).

But make no mistake, we can only respond with such generosity, especially in painful situations, through the power of God. Because he instructs to do it, he knows that we are well able to do just what he says through his power.

But how can you bless someone? A friend of mine started me on a path of blessing others by using the Levitical blessing found in Numbers 6:22-27:

The Lord said to Moses,“Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you  and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”

He uses this blessing with his family and others. He reworked in this way: “May the Lord bless you and keep you safe; May the Lord smile on you and give you grace; May the Lord watch over you and give peace.”

Often times when I am out and about I just say, “God bless you” or “May God bless your day.” But a blessing is more than just words. And we’ll talk about that tomorrow night.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, We praise you for the many blessing that you give to us. May we use those blessing to bless others. May we be a blessing to others especially during these times when anger and hate are being vomited from people’s mouths and when chaos and violence are filling our streets. Lord, help us to bless those who are in need of feeling your love and power right now. Lord we lift you up. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

“Good night and God bless you.”

Jun 26, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

The Prayer of Hannah - Part 2

1 Samuel 2:1-10

Prayers of praise and joy are often called "songs" in the Bible. When was the last time you "sang" a real song of joy to the Lord in prayer? This is Hannah's Song of Joy.

Jun 19, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

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