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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

 

Just Listen

Deuteronomy 6:1-10

Just Listen

De 6:1-9; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study that we have here each night at church. It’s wonderful to share with you tonight. I’m sitting outside and I’m hoping the wind doesn’t make too much noice… or the traffic… that you can’t hear. But it was such a nice cool night that I just had to do this outside sitting out here on the porch. I would love to have you come over and sit in a circle with me on the porch where we can just chat…maybe share some food and fellowship, but that will come at a later time.

I have been watching TV and seeing on the internet how people are out there making speeches and speaking about a lot of things, the coronavirus, the frustrations with the emergency order, the protest, and wanting to dissolve the police, and a lot of other things. Some are just talking whenever they get the chance. People are talking on social media. Just talking and talking and talking… so just like to talk to hear the head rattle as my Father used to say. But this all got me thinking.

As we’ve been going through proverbs, Solomon is talking to his Son giving him advise. He has told him to listen. Listen to wisdom. Listen to my advise. Just listen. Listen.

It reminds me also of what Jesus would say after he spoke to the people and told one of his parables. He would say, “Whoever has ears hear.” And in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Jesus tells each of the 7 churches, “Let him who has ears hear what the spirit says to the churches.” Listen. Hear. This is an important concept.

When Moses was told that he would not be entering the Promised Land, He had the 10 commandments brought to him and he publicly read them to the people. He wanted them to listen to God’s voice. He wanted them to listen to God’s commands, statutes, decrees, ordinances. He wanted them to listen. After read the 10 commandment to the people he gave one of the most infamous addresses to the people in Deuteronomy 6. It is beloved by Jews and Christians alike. It is called the Shama passage…Shamoi. To Hear. Hear, O Israel. Listen.

God is not interested in our opinion on every single matter. He is interested in us and he listens to us. But it is his voice that matters. God wants us to listen to him. It’s not a matter of just hearing Him. It’s a matter of receiving with our brain, and responding with out lives.

And So let’s read what it says in Deuteronomy 6:1-9. Two or three times in this text God tells them to Listen or Hear. Just Listen. Listen. Just Listen. Let your ears hear. Let your mind absorb it. Let your heart be filled with it. Let your life do it. Let your body do what is right. Listen.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, You are mighty. You are holy. You are the one who matters and whose words are honest and true. So Father, our ears our open. Our hearts and minds are open. We are listening. We want to respond to your word for our lives. Lord, the world is so chaotic right now. There are riots, protest, and anger. There is the fear because of the coronavirus. There is unrest in our land. There is so much, Father. So we ask that you fill our hearts and minds with your word. Let your word give us comfort and peace. Lord we lift you up. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Brothers and Sisters, I hope that one day very soon we can meet together, around this porch or inside the church. But just to be together and lift each other up and encourage each other. Until that time when we can meet again I just want to say, “Good night and God bless you.”

Jun 9, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

God's Eternal Word

Psalm 119:89-90

God’s Word is Eternal

Ps 119:89-90; Various

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

I want to encourage you tonight with something special. This world is in a lot of chaos and disorder right now. Between the coronavirus, the protest and riots, murder hornets, and political rhetoric, we need a bit of encouragement.

Psalm 119:89-90 says, “Your eternal word, O Lord, stands firm in heaven. Your faithfulness extends to every generation, as enduring as the earth you created.”

We are blessed to have the word of God. It was given to us by God through about 40 different divinely inspired people over the period of about 2,000 years. It was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic and translated into Latin, then German. As of October 2019 the full Bible has been translated into 698 languages, the New Testament has been translated into an additional 1,548 languages and Bible portions or stories into 1,138 other languages.

According to Psalm 119:89-90, God’s Word is settled in heaven. There, the original word of God stands. 
What we have here on earth is the absolute, divine inspired copy of the original Word of God. And, I hold a good copy of it in my hands.

Jesus said, “Heaven and Earth Will Pass Away, but My Words Will Never Pass Away” (Matthew 24:35). God’s word is permanent. It won’t perish because it is spoken by the eternal God, the first and the last. It won’t pass away because it stands firm in heaven. It won’t pass away because it is where God is.

For this reason, among others, faith is not a leap in the dark. Faith is based upon the Word of God which will never pass away. There is no risk in believing in the truth of God’s Word that is fixed firmly and forever in heaven. You can surly trust in God’s Word.

The faithfulness of God is also displayed in His works. The works of God’s hands are seen in the order and precision of nature. We see the consistency of nature every day when we get up. No one races to the window to see if the sun came up. When know it did because it came up yesterday and the day before, and the day before. It is this kind of faithfulness that we find in God. He will always be there so we can be confident in Him and in His Word.

God’s works can also be seen in the lives of believers throughout the ages. God’s mercies and grace extends to all generations of believers, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6 NKJV).

My friend, you can trust in the Word of God because God is faithful to His Word. You can trust in God for your salvation, because God is faithful to His Word. God will always be with us till the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and for all eternity, because of what Jesus Christ His Son did for us on the Cross on Calvary.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (Jn 1:1-4,14)

Jesus is Logos. Jesus is the eternal word of God. Trust in Him.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, Lord, Savior. Thank you for your eternal word. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for Jesus. Encourage our hearts with your word today and everyday. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Good night and God bless you.

Jun 6, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Just Good Sense

Psalm 119:73

Just Good Sense

Ps 119:73; Various

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

I am blessed to own a vehicle. It was made in another country by people who hope I enjoy their product. They desire for me to take care of the vehicle and so they provide it with an owners manual which tells me all about the vehicle and the suggested maintenance to keep the thing running. I refer to this manual when I get in a pinch or when I need to figure something out.

It’s just good sense to follow your owners manual. But there are many people who never even take the book out of the glovebox. They won’t follow the maker’s directions.

This reminds me of a verse in the Bible which I really like. I have picked it out as one of the memory verses that I am learning this month. It is from Psalm 119. In the New International Version it reads:

Psalm 119:73 - (NIV) Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands.

Psalm 119:73 - (MSG) With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.

Psalm 119:73 (NTL) -You made me; you created me. Now give me the good sense to follow your commands.

The call is here for God to give us the good sense to do the obvious, to follow the words of the one who made us. You might say that it’s just common sense. Since God created us then he knows what is best for our lives to provide for us and keep us safe and happy.

But I don’t believe I like the term “common sense” anymore. It implies that most people have it… it’s common. And that’s the problem. Most people don’t have the common sense to put two and two together. That’s why there are so many people trying to look out for number one. The want something but the don’t even know what it is. They fill their lives with endless quest for something to make them happy, provide a good living for them, or keep them safe. But nothing works. So they make themselves busy, fill their lives with distractions, and purchase meaningless stuff to make their life meaningful.

The answer is simple. God made you. As the maker, he has an owners manual that will help you to do well, live better, be happier, and feel apart of something bigger than yourself. You just have to have the good sense to read the manual and follow the directions.

The manual, of course, is God’s holy word. In it you will find that the maker has a desire to have a relationship with his creation. God wants to be close to you. In the manual you will see his plan to bring you into a close relationship with Him through his Son. In Jesus you will have abundant life or “life overflowing”. The Lord will be right with you all through this life so that you will have someone to guide you, comfort you, and offer help when things don’t seem to be going your way. But most importantly this book will guide you having etenal life with your maker in heaven.

Unfortunately, there will be many who will dismiss this even though it makes sense. They would rather leave the owners manual to collect dust while they take advise for social media, current trends, and any other source but the Maker.

I pray that you will have the good sense to seek the wisdom from God and his word. “It’s Just Good Sense!”

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your word. Thank you for the instructions that help me to succeed and avoid the pitfalls of in this life. Thank you for abundant life in Jesus. Thank you for the promise of eternal life with you. Thank you for loving and caring for your creation. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Good night and God bless you.

Jun 4, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Memory Verse Challenge

Psalm 119:11, 54; Various

Memory Verse Challenge

Ps 119:11, 54; Various

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

Today we are going to talk about different ways to memorize the scripture as a part of our Memory Verse Challenge. We are asking everyone to memorize 4 new memory verses from the Bible in the month of June. I know there are many of you folks out there that are like me and have trouble putting it to memory. Or you maybe able to memorize a verse but then you forget it shortly. Well, tonight I am going to give you some great ways to learn memory verses.

1. Repetition - Just repeating it over and over again. Remember that just because you can say the verse now doesn’t mean you can say it again in an hour or in a few days. The older you get the hard it is to stick. It takes at least 21 - 27 days of continued saying it for it to begin to really stick.

2. Music / Rhythm - One of the pest ways to learn a verse is to set it to music or a rhythm.

3. Disappearing Words - Use a chalkboard or whiteboard and write out the verse. Then challenge yourself by removing a word or two and say it again and again until all the words are gone and you can say it.

4. Listen - Use a voice recorder and say the verse into the recorder. Play back the recording and say the verse with the recording. Repeat this until you can say it by yourself.

5. Word Bank - Write out the memory verse and leave some words blank. Put the word bank under the words so you can match them.

6. Phrases - Write the verse out by phrases. Cut them out and shuffle them. Put the phrases in the right order.

7. Type it out- Use a typewriter, computer, pad, or smartphone to write out the verse at least 10 times each day.

8. Disorder blocks - write out the verse on paper and stick it to blocks, dominos, Jenga, or toy cars. Use thee toys and put the words in the correct order. You might even invent a game to play with the toys. A friend of mine stacks the dominos in the right order and then knocks them down when they get it right. Another friend of my did this with stacking cups.

9. Puzzle - Print or write out your verse and cut it into puzzle pieces. Have fun putting it together. Say the verse to yourself as you put it together. Say it out loud when you get your puzzle together.

10. Hot Seat - This is a little game we played in youth group. You need at least two other people who are willing to play and learn. Take turns reading just one word of the verse until everyone in the group has had the opportunity to say it at least 2 times. Then do it from memory. If a person doesn’t know the next word they are out.

11. Exploding Chaos - cut the memory verse into individual words and put the words in a balloon. Blow the balloon up. Then pop the balloon and race to put the verse together in order.

12. Post It -Use POST-IT notes printing the words to the verse on a fresh sheet. Each sheet should only have one word. Place the words on the wall or a window and put them in order. The great thing about POST-IT notes is you can use them over and over again for several days. You can also put the whole verse on POST-IT notes and leave them all over your house. A friend of mine even puts these POST-ITs in the refrigerator….”I’m always looking in there for something to eat, so I might as well memorize a verse or two.”

13. Verses from a hat - put the words of the verse in a hat and draw them out and put the verse together.

14. Drawing - Draw a picture that reminds you of the verse. Memorize the verse as you look at the picture. Later on it will help to recite this verse by looking at the picture or recalling the picture to mind.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, Thank you for your word. It is a precious gift that keeps us singing joyously no matter what else is going on in this chaotic world. Help us to memorize your word… to hid it in our hearts. Help us to share it with those who are in need of the light of your word and the salvation that you have for us in Jesus Christ. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Good night and God bless you.

Jun 3, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Chew On This!

Pr 4:20-22; Psalm 1:2, 119:15, 27, 97, 143:5; Various

Chew on this!

Pr 4:20-22; Psalm 1:2, 119:15, 27, 97, 143:5; Various

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

As a part of my Bible reading this week I came across a gem in Proverbs 4:20-22. It says, “My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. Let it penetrate deep into your heart.

I like the expression, “Chew on this.” It means to think about it. Really let it sink in. The expression actually comes from the word meditate. The word “amar” in the Hebrew language can be interpreted as utter, ask, call, respond, suppose, think, mutter, and many other things. Why is it interpreted so broadly? Because it is a word that requires us to mull it around in our mind. All of these things happen when we meditate on God’s word.

It’s like the first time I was given a cup of vanilla milk when I was a child. My father called it a slow-poke. It was milk with vanilla, sugar, and food colorings. I would take a sip of it and roll it around over my tongue. It had so many wonderful flavors and an interesting mouth feel. I drank it so slowly… no wonder Dad called it a slow-poke.

Meditating and God’s word is like that slow-poke. We want to mull it over in our minds and get ever nuisance of the word. We might ask questions. We might mutter it over and over again. We might respond to God’s word. We might call on God to help us understand. But we take our time and swish it around in our brain.

If you are still having trouble with the concept of meditating on God’s word don’t worry. It might feel different to start out with. Here are 5 wonderful reasons to meditate according to the Bible.

1. MEDITATE TO FOCUS ON GOD - “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (Ps 119:15). Distractions are the biggest obstacle to meditation. No matter when you choose to read or study God’s word Satan will through distractions at you to get your attention off God. Fix your eyes on God and don’t let anything distract you. Turn off the phone, tv, radio, etc. and turn on God’s word.

2. MEDITATE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE READING - “Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works” (Ps 119:27). Start your meditation time out by praying for God to give you understanding. Seek out help from Bible tools like a good Bible dictionary or commentary. Many tools are available on line for free. Don’t forget that your preacher or a church leader would love to assist you if you ask them for help. Find out why is this passage important? What do I need to know? What does it say about God? What does it say about me? How does this reading point to Jesus? Meditation can help you find answers as you mull it over and chew on God’s word.

3. MEDITATE TO REMEMBER - “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands” (Ps 143:5). Meditation is a great time to remember the whole story of salvation in the Bible. From beginning to end the Bible is the story of God wanting to have a personal relationship with you. The Bible is the story of Jesus Christ from cover to cover, In meditating, we remember all God has done in his great redemption story accomplished through the gospel of grace in Jesus Christ.

4. MEDITATE TO WORSHIP - “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night (Ps 1:2). As you meditate your find your heart inclined to worship God. We praise and thank him for His word revealed to you. We praise him for salvation and for abundant and eternal life in Jesus. Our meditation leads to delight when we see and savor how glorious God is.

5. MEDITATE TO APPLY HIS WORD - “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long” (Ps 119:97).

We are able to understand how to apply the Bible to our lives when we slow down to meditate. Application means asking yourself what you must do now. Is there something in my life I need to do or change in order to bring honor and glory to God.

I hope that you will chew on God’s word. Let it penetrate deep into your heart. Let his wisdom help you in your daily walk with Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, Thank you for your precious, Holy word and for all the wonderful things that you do for us. Thank you for salvation in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Help me to meditate, to chew on your word. Help me to let it penetrate every part of my life. Help me to apply your word to my life so that I may bring you glory and honor. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

We are challenging everyone to learn 4 new verses by the end of June. I hope you will join us for this challenge. All of these verses on meditation will be good ones to memorize. Let us know how you are doing. I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

Jun 2, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

PRAYING FOR THE LOST

Psalm 119:136; Proverbs 4:14-19; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Various

Crying For the Lost

Psalm 119:136; Proverbs 4:14-19; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; Various

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

Do you ever cry for the lost?

Like many of you, my heart is sickened by the pictures coming out of the cities where riots have destroyed and looted property. These are supposed to be protest about the death of George Floyd sparked by a viral video of the police officer who put his knee to his neck because he was resisting arrest. Whether the police were in the wrong or not, these protest have robbed business owners of their livelihood and have caused chaos and disorder to spread throughout the country.

It reminds me of what Solomon said in Proverbs 4:14-19. Don’t do as the wicked do, and don’t follow the path of evildoers. Don’t even think about it; don’t go that way. Turn away and keep moving. For evil people can’t sleep until they’ve done their evil deed for the day. They can’t rest until they’ve caused someone to stumble. They eat the food of wickedness and drink the wine of violence! The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like total darkness. They have no idea what they are stumbling over.

The death of George Floyd was a tragedy. But these protest that are done in the darkness, spreading violence, destruction, and even murder is not because of injustice on the part of the police. It’s because of evil. The spreading of lies, anger, frustration, desire, and greed. It is pure evil with only evil intentions. And I cry because these people are lost. They do not even realized that they are being used for evil by the Father of Lies.

This need for destruction and violence is demonic in nature. In Revelation 9, the demon king named Abaddon, or “place of destruction” will rise from a smoking abyss. His other name is Apollyon, which means destroyer. This demon king leads a horde of demonic “locusts” that will rise out of the smoking pit and torture those who do not bear the seal of God. The pain they inflict will be so intense that sufferers will wish to die. The only one who gets anything out of destruction, chaos, and violence is Satan.

In Psalm 119:136 it says, “Rivers of tears gush from my eyes because people disobey your instructions.” For the Christian we should cry for three reasons: 1. The devastation that this sinful protest has left behind. 2. The disobedience to the Lord and his word. 3. The souls of those who are committing these criminal and sinful acts. We should all be saddened by what is going on.

So what do we do about? The Apostle Paul gave us the answer in 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. Pray for peace and calm on everyone’s part. Pray for the leaders of this country and for the leaders of the cities under siege that they will act wisely and seek God’s way. Pray for the people that are committing these acts. Pray for godly people to stand up and intervene in the lives of these people. Pray for the safety of all the men in women in law enforcement, the army reserves, the nation guard, fire departments and emts who are doing their best to bring peace and calm to this horrible circumstances. PRAYER WORKS.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God Almighty, Thank you for your strength and wisdom. You know what a mess our world is in right now. We pray for those who are lost and not living accourding to your word. We pray for those who are using this moment for evil intents. We pray for our leaders who are trying to call for peace. We pray for those on the frontlines of these riots, Lord, keep them safe. May your mighty hand act to bring peace and calm to this world of chaos. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

We are challenging everyone to learn 4 new verses by the end of June. I hope you will join us for this challenge. Psalm 119:136 is another great verse to memorize. Let us know how you are doing. I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

Jun 1, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Sweeter Than Honey

Psalm 119:3103; 19:7-14; Various

SWEETER THAN HONEY

Psalm 119:103; 19:7-14; Various

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

Honey, there is no sweeter thing on earth that is made by nature. Bees work hard to make it. Did you know that the average worker bee makes 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in a lifetime, which is only six weeks long.

A typical colony produces 60-80lb of surplus honey a year. The During a good honey flow, bees may store 5, 10 or even 20 pounds of honey in a day. 

I like honey. I especially like it on biscuits or on some hushpuppies. Sometimes I like it mixed in peanut butter and slathered on a graham cracker. I like it best when it starts to turn to sugar… I don’t know why… I just do. When it turns to sugar I will put a little on a spoon and just lick it off slowly… better than candy!

Recently a friend of mine gave me a jar of honey. About a week later he asked me if I had tried any and if were good. “How did it taste?” he asked. I wanted to joke with him and I said, “Sweet, of course, You didn’t expect it to be anything else did you.”

In the time of Jesus a child would begin his schooling at the synagogue around the age of six years old. The Jews took the education of their children serious, and that education centered on the Law, the Word of God. Josephus, the Jewish historian who wrote shortly after the time of Jesus, made this statement, “Above all else we pride ourselves in the education of our children.”

The first level of schooling was for children age 6-10 and was called “Bet Sefer” or “the house of the book”. The Talmud states, “Under the age of six we do not receive a child as a pupil, from six upwards we accept him and stuff him (with Torah) like an ox!” The first day of class the Rabbi would provide an object lesson for his students. He would give each child their slate on which they would later learn to read and write. He would then pour a bit of honey on their slate. He would have the child run his fingers through the honey and then lick his fingers. The Rabbi would then say, “May the words of God be like honey on your tongue.”

Honey was a treasure for many children. It was rare and expensive. If a child was form a poor family it is likely that this might be the first taste of honey the child had ever experienced. Can you image tasting honey for the first time and comparing it to the word of God? The Rabbi’s desire was to create a hunger for God’s Word so that each child would learn and memorize it.

Honey was often a sign of God’s favor and represented His Word. Honey is mentioned 56 times in the Bible. Ezekiel was told to eat a scroll which represented God’s Word, and as he did it was “sweetness to his mouth” (Ezekiel 3:1-4). David writes in Psalm 119:103, “How sweet are your words to my taste, Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Let’s Read Psalm 19:7-14 together.

God’s word to me is better than honey on a biscuit. It helps me keep my feet on the right path. It calls me to repent when I fail. It brings great reward to my life.

So how is your honey? Is God’s word sweet in your mouth? Do you hunger for his word?

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for your word. Thank you for putting in us a desire and a hunger for the sweet truths that are contained within. Let your word lead us in the path of righteousness. Let it reveal to us when we go astray. May your word bring us the rich reward of heaven and fellowship with you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

We are challenging everyone to learn 4 new verses by the end of June. I hope you will join us for this challenge. Psalm 119:103 is another great verse to memorize. Let us know how you are doing. I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 30, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

DISTRACTIONS!

Psalm 119:37; Matthew 6:25; Ecclesiastes 6:9; Various

DISTRACTIONS

Psalm 119:37; Matthew 6:25; Ecclesiastes 6:9; Various

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

When I first moved to West Jefferson, my office was at the parsonage. It was a great place to have it because I could do my work and also be right at home. It was just Wendy and I and so there were few things to interfere with my work.

But time has a way of changing things. My in-laws moved in. My youngest son lived with us for a while. And then my daughter moved in with her two kids. With all these additions it became apparent that the office wasn’t working at home. There was to much noice. There were things that either got piled on my desk or disappeared from my desk. It was obvious that there were too many distractions. So I had to move my office over to the church in order to get things done.

The dictionary defines “distraction” in two ways: 1. A thing that prevents someone from giving full attention to something else. 2. Extreme agitation of the mind or emotions. And in my case the latter seemed to be more of what my distraction was about. For the sake of my sanity I had to move my stuff. But if I really want to be honest a distraction is really about determining value. I valued getting my work done instead of on the needs of my changing home and family situation.

So what do you put value on? What do you value in the kingdom of Christ? I sometimes find that distractions to my walk with the Lord happen because I put too little value on my faith and more value on worldly matters. These worldly matters end up disrupting my devotion and prayer life. They interfere with my Bible reading and doing service work in the kingdom. If you asked me what I value more than God I would have shouted back at you that there is nothing more valuable than the Lord. But my actions… my distractions… my involvement with other things shouts even louder that it isn’t true.

I love what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:37. He said, “Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word.” Things that have no value in the scheme of eternity are often what distracts us from the most important thing, God and his Word.

Jesus reminded us not to get distracted by worldly concerns in Matthew 6:19-34. He said, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” Distractions, distractions, distractions. Everywhere you turn there are so many distractions to what is really important and has eternal value.

Paul reminded Timothy that Jesus was his gospel and not to get distracted by other things. “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer. Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.”

And the wisest man in all the world once said, “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” Solomon said that this is a distraction. The sum of the matter is to fear the Lord and keep his commands.

So if you’re distracted by this world just remember that we are just strangers passing through. Don’t get missed up and lose track of what has eternal value for your life.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, With you, we find meaning and understanding to this life. But sometimes things distract us. So keep us focused on you and your word. Help us to turn our eyes away from temporal and worthless things. Help us focus on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

We are challenging everyone to learn 4 new verses by the end of June. I hope you will join us for this challenge. Psalm 119:37 is another great verse to memorize. Let us know how you are doing. I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 28, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Hide and Seek

Psalm 119:2; Mt 6:33; Ps 63:1; 1 Ch 16:8-11; Various

Hide and Seek

Psalm 119:2; Mt 6:33; Ps 63:1; 1 Ch 16:8-11; Various

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

When I was a kids I loved to play hide and seek with the other kids in the neighborhood. We actually played where you could hide anywhere in a one block radius. There were a couple of rules. One, you could not enter any building or home. 2. When you were found you had to help whoever was it find the rest of the kids. It was a lot of fun and even our adult neighbors got into the spirit.

I remember a particular time when I hid in plain sight. I went up on Mrs. Steeds porch while she was outside shelling beans. She put her sweater and hat on me and gave me a bowl to help shell beans. We set there and shelled beans while my friends looked all over. One even came up on the porch to ask if we had seen Loren. We both said “no” and away they went. It was the first and only time I did not get found. Some of the kids were a bit worried cause I was usually one of the first kids to be found.

Hiding can be fun but seeking can even be a greater joy. One of the kids in our neighborhood always wanted to be “it.” Most of us didn’t mind because we didn’t want to be “it”. But one day someone asked him why he always wanted to be it and he said, “it’s more fun to find people than to hide.” And from that moment on everyone wanted to be it. We found that there is a joy in seeking something and finding it.

In the Bible there is a verse that says, “Joyful are those who obey his laws and search for him with all their hearts.” The verse is found in the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119:2. This verse is a collection of verse all out God’s laws, statutes, commands, ordinances, etc. It implies that there is joy in looking through God’s word and finding him in the obedience of following his word. There is joy, blessings, and deep happiness in seeking and finding God.

Jesus tells us to stop seeking after worldly needs and desires and to seek after God’s kingdom and his right way of thinking and living. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Mt 6:33). When we seek God and his kingdom first all the other pieces fall into place. And that is when we realize the true joy of seeking God before everything else we think we need or want.

David recognized the value of seeking God first. David wrote a beautiful psalm to the Lord when he was in the dessert of Judah. There he experienced the constant desire for water and he compared that to seeking God. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water” (Ps 63:1). David was a man who sought after God’s own heart. He compared his search to an unquenchable thirst… nothing will do but the real thing… the Lord Almighty.

In 1 Chronicles 16, David appoints Asaph to write and sing psalms of praise to God and then gives him an example:

Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;

    make known among the nations what he has done.

Sing to him, sing praise to him;

    tell of all his wonderful acts.

Glory in his holy name;

    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. (1 Ch 16:8-11)

David knew the joy of seeking the Lord and wanted to inspire others to seek Him too.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, We praise you for sending Jesus to seek and save the Lost. We thank you for finding us and redeeming us in your Son Jesus. We ask that you will give us a thirst to always seek you. Help us to find joy and blessing in looking into your word and seeking you in our lives. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Have you picked out some verses for our month long challenge? We want to encourage everyone to learn 4 new verses by the end of June. I hope you will join us for this challenge. Psalm 119:2 is another great verse to memorize. Let us know how you are doing. I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 26, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

Reflecting the Glory of the Lord

2 Corinthians 3:18; Exodus 34:29-35; Various

Reflecting the Glory of the Lord

2 Corinthians 3:18; Exodus 34:29-35; Various

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

There is an interesting story in the Bible where Moses had been in the presence of the Lord on Mt Sinai. We he comes down the people are afraid to come near Moses because his face was radiant (Ex 34:29-35). Mose literally had to put a veil on because he was shining with the light of God’s glory. I don’t know what it would be like to see someone’s face glowing because they had been in the presence of the Lord. But these people were afraid. After some time they began to realize that it was a good thing. They knew when Moses had been in the presence of God and so they listened to the commands God gave to them.

Of course we know that “we are the light of the world” and that we are to bring glory to God through the good deeds that we do for others (Mt 5:14-16). In Ephesians 2 we are told that we are God’s masterpiece that was created to do good works in Christ Jesus. Our light is a reflection of Jesus who is the light of the world (Jn 8:12). We look at this as symbolic light. The light that draws people out of darkness to Jesus.

But the Apostle Paul brings up this image of Moses in 2 Corinthians 3:18 where he tells us we will shine with unveiled faces. “And we all, who with unveiled faces reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” The image reminds us of the Lord’ Shikhinah glory which actually represents his presence. We reflect God’s Glory because he is present in our lives. That means that our faces shine too when we have the presence of God in our lives.

I was talking with a woman one time in the waiting room at a hospital. I was there because my Father had a heart cath and I was waiting with some of my family and some people from Mom and Dad’s church. This woman had not too much but when we started talking about Jesus her eyes lite up and she started talking very loud and animated. As I listened to her I could tell she had been in the presence of Jesus. She wants everyone to see the glory of God too just like she has seen it.

And that gets me wondering folks, do people see the glory of God on your face when you start talking about Him? Do people back up because Jesus is shining in your eyes and in your smile? Do other Christians join in with excitement because they too have the presence of Jesus in their lives? Do you feel a bit sad when you have to go or when the conversation changes?

When people look at you and I they should see Jesus in everything we do. May his glory illuminate not only your face but your entire life as you share the gospel of Jesus with others.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, You have illuminated our lives with your glory and shown us your wonderful way. We ask, Lord that you will help us to reflect your glory to others so they may see it and want to glow in your presence too. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

Have you picked out some verses for our month long challenge? We want to encourage everyone to learn 4 new verses by the end of June. I hope you will join us for this challenge. Let us know how you are doing.

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 25, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

A Bit of Discipline

Hebrews 12:11; Matthew 16:21-28; Lamentations 3:32; Various

A Bit of Discipline

Hebrews 12:11; Matthew 16:21-28, James 1:3; Romans 5:3-5; Lamentations 3:32; Various

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

I believe God is trying to tell me something. Perhaps he is trying to tell you something too. It has to do with pressing ourselves and learning new things… getting out of our comfort zone. It’s funny how we all like the word disciple. We want to be a disciple. We want to follow Jesus. Disciple which literally means staying in step. We want to stay in step with the teacher… Jesus.

It reminds me of when my daughter was a little girl. We were outside on a snowy day and I was just plowing through the snow taking big steps. I heard a little voice calling behind me… daddy….Daddy…DADDY. So I turned and saw her trying to follow in the steps I had just made. The snow was too deep for her little body to plow through so she was staying in my steps. When I became aware she was behind me I started taking smaller steps and going slower.

As disciples we are trying to stay in the Master’s steps. He has plowed a way for us and it is easier to walk in his steps. But we are going to make mistakes, turn at the wrong place, fall behind or just plan fall away. It is at this time that Jesus disciplines us. He tells us what we are doing wrong, makes us try again, and again, and again. He wants us to get it right.

Yes, we like the word disciple but we don’t like the cousin to that word, discipline. No one likes discipline. In fact, Hebrews 12:11 says, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” The Greek word used here in Hebrews 12:11 is παιδεία (paideia - pahee-di’-ah) which brings up the image of rearing up little children with training that helps them develop to full maturity. It sometimes involves correction, a rebuke, or chastisement. It’s always embarrassing to be chastised but it helps a person grow.

I remember a time when KJ was little and he wanted to help in the kitchen. We kept telling him not to put his hand on the stove because it was hot. There were even times he had to rebuked… something about that red burner fascinated him. But that ended after he put his hand on the burner and got severely burned. After first aid, a chastisement, and some loving he didn’t want to do that anymore.

Peter kind of got burned too. It happened only a short while after Peter recognized Jesus as “the Messiah, the Son of the living God” what we sometimes call Peter’s good confession. Jesus gathered his disciples around him and explain to them that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. Peter tried to rebuke him for saying such a thing. Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.” (Mt 16:21-28). I imagine those words stung Peter pretty hard. But sometime later Peter would understand why this was necessary and important. God’s whole plan for the salvation of mankind rested on Jesus going to the cross for our sins.

Discipline hurts. But it it necessary. Out of the ashes of our humiliation comes understanding. Lamentations 3:32 says, “Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love.” The Lord disciplines those whom he loves.

In fact, In Revelation 3 we read of Jesus searing rebuke of the church of Laodicia. He tells the christians there that there is nothing good about them. They are luke-warm… pitiful, poor, wretched, blind, and naked. I can’t think of anything harsher than being told that nothing you do has any value. But Jesus then tells them “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent.” It’s tough love.

The reason I told you that I believe God is trying to tell me something is because I have been thinking a lot lately about areas where I need to be more disciplined and learn new skills. Then this morning my daily devotional was Hebrews 12:11. I think God is trying to tell me that I need some discipline too…. some tough love.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear God, Sometimes we want our walk with you to be easy. We want you to do all the work. But in order to learn we have to have a bit of tough love. So we ask you right now, Lord, to show us our weaknesses. Be brutally honest and help us to take our lumps so that we can learn and grow in our walk with You. We love you Lord. Thank you for this beautiful day that is full of potential and opportunities to serve you. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Hebrews 12:11 is another great verse to memorize. Have you picked out some verses for our challenge. I keep repeating the challenge to learn four new verses by June 31 but no one stopped me and said there are only 30 days in June! Talk about feeling silly!

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 23, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

My Sunshine

Psalm 37:5-6; 108:1-5; 19:1; Various

My Sunshine

Psalm 37:5-6; 108:1-5; Various

Good evening and welcome to BCCC and our nightly devotional study. It is amazing how something simple can change our outlook on the day. For those of you who live in Ashe County, you know that it has been raining almost all week long. Looking at my rain gauge today I added another two and a quarter inches of rain to the 10 inches of rain that I had already counted… that’s 12 and a quarter inches in just 4 days!

Dark and gloomy looking days often weigh heavy on some people, especially me. And I have to admit that I was a bit tired of the dark and dreary days. The gloom was rather oppressive. Last night I was praying and just asking God for a touch of sunshine to help shake off the darkness.

This morning when I awoke, I heard birds singing. I got up and went to the kitchen to see the room brightly illuminated with light coming in the windows. I stuck my head out the door to see… and the weather was warm, the sun was shining, and everything looked so bright. My heart began to sing for joy.

Psalm 37:5-6 came to mind, “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.” The Lord is my sunshine. I don’t have to wait for sunny days because when you trust in Jesus he is your sunshine.

It reminds me of the scriptures in Revelation that talk about what heaven will be like. Did you know that there will be no need for sunshine in heaven? God and Jesus will be the light. John said, “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it” (Re 21:23-24).

But The Lord should be our light today as well. When those dark, gloomy days come along we should still look to the light of Jesus to warm us, bring joy to our hearts, and inspire us to tackle the day. Listen, I knew the weather was supposed to change and it didn’t take long for the clouds to roll back in. But I went on with my day glorifying God for all he does. I even casually strolled through the Ingles parking lot with the bottom dropped out. I got wet through and through but I still felt the joy of the sunshine in my heart. You should have seen the people starring at me. They must have thought that guy singing in the rain was either in love or crazy!.

During my Bible reading today I read Psalm 108:1-5 and I promised to make it my theme for the day. It has been the meditation of my heart. It reads,

“My heart, O God, is steadfast;

    I will sing and make music with all my soul.

Awake, harp and lyre!

    I will awaken the dawn.

I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;

    I will sing of you among the peoples.

For great is your love, higher than the heavens;

    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;

    let your glory be over all the earth.”

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord of Heaven and Earth, You make the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. You make the sun to shine on those who are evil and those who are good. Thank you for the cleansing rain, the showers that refresh the earth and fill the wells. We praise you, Lord, for always being a sunshine in our lives and for filling our hearts with joy. Thank you for your showers of blessings and for saving our souls through Jesus. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Here is an easy memory verse for you from Psalm 19:1 which says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Don’t forget our challenge to memorize four new verses by June 31th. I have been working on Revelation 3:20-21 today. What verses are you trying to hide in your heart?

I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm for our Bible devotional. Good night and God bless you.

May 22, 20/ Preacher/ Ministers Minute/

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