Devotional Thought

God Knows Me Best

Would you be comfortable in a room with someone who knows all your secrets? Probably not. We don’t want people to know us completely. They will know our weaknesses and perhaps take advantage of us.

Everyone seems to collect our personal information. Huge databases track our every purchase and preference. This is a marketer’s dream and a consumer’s nightmare.

The Bible tells us that our creator God knows us intimately. Great King David of long ago recognized that God knew everything about him.

King David wrote, “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar . . . . You are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely” (Psalm 139:1-4).

God knows us better than we know ourselves. “Even the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:30).

God is more than a supercomputer with a high-tech database. He is a personal God who wants to have a personal relationship with each of us.

Is that a threat or a comfort to you? Remember that God is perfect. You can’t hide from him.

Despite all that God knows about us, he still loves us. He doesn’t use what he knows to exploit us. He uses his knowledge of our weakness and failings to draw us closer to himself.

You are so available to God that he sent his only Son, Jesus, to die for you.

You don’t need to fear difficult trials and personal needs. God invites you into his gracious presence.

Because Jesus became your brother, you can approach God as your heavenly Father.  He invites you to love him as he loves you.

Get to know his love each Sunday.  That is what makes his knowledge of your secrets comforting and encouraging.

Pastor

Devotional Thought

You Are Special – God Makes Everything Turn Out Good

When Pete told his good friend Brian that God makes everything work together for his good, Brian could hardly believe his ears.

Pete was a walking calamity. He could hardly get through a day at work without breaking something or tripping over his own feet.

“You’ve got to be kidding!” Brian replied. “How can God neutralize all the foul-ups you’ve caused, let alone turn them into good?”

Pete knew he had trouble walking and chewing gum, but he really liked Brian, so he tried to explain.

“I don’t understand it either, Brian,” Pete began. “All I know is what God tells me, and what he says is: ‘We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him’ (Romans 8:28). It’s not that I have done everything to deserve it. It’s that God loves me.”

Brian laughed. “That’s for sure, Pete. What you deserve from God isn’t called love.”

The two guys went on talking and ribbing each other, but that night Brian couldn’t get Pete’s words out of his brain: “God works for those who love him.”

Could it be that God really loved Pete? Why? And, if God loved Pete, could he love Brian?

The pastor wasn’t much help for Pete when he dragged Brian into the pastor’s office on Saturday afternoon. “How do you explain a love that causes God to sacrifice his only Son for a sinner like Pete — or a skeptic like you, Brian?” the pastor asked.

“God isn’t like people,” the pastor went on. “He’s a whole lot smarter, and stronger. And he is a lot more loving.”

As they walked back to their car, Brian said, “You are a special guy, Pete. I’ve never met anyone more accident-prone than you. If God can make all your goofs turn out good, then he must be really strong and wise.”

“Better than that, Brian,” Peter replied. “God makes everything turn out good for me because Jesus loves me. Even if I don’t understand it, God will make it all work out in the end. And he loves you too.”

Pastor

Devotional Thought

The Grinch Hasn’t Stolen Christmas

Is Christmas frustrating you? You don’t have all the ingredients you need for your cookies. Your gift list still has items that need to be purchased. And that one string of lights that doesn’t work bugs you every time you look at your tree.

Just a couple days left, and you know the parking lots will be congested, the stores will be crowded, and long lines will be the norm at the checkout counters.

Where is the joy? Where is the spirit of helpfulness and giving? Where is the peace?

You might be inclined to believe that the Grinch (the devil) has stolen your Christmas.  You might even feel guilty because you let him.

That’s a misconception. The joyful words of God’s angels are as true now as when they were first spoken: “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).

“A Savior has been born to you.” Think about what that means.

“A Savior has been born to you.” He is the Savior from the chaos, from the Grinch, and from your guilt.

“A Savior has been born to you.”  He is the Savior who gives forgiveness from all sin. The Savior who gives peace with God. The Savior who gives eternal life in heaven.

“A Savior has been born to you.” He is the Savior who has lived for you, suffered and died for you.

We’ve called the devil the Grinch. Actually, he’s even much worse. He is real and so is the unending pain of hell. But the Savior who is the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6b) makes the difference.

This Savior is Jesus! He is the babe lying in a manger. He came to take your place so you may enjoy his place — heaven.

You have wonderful opportunities this week to learn more about him. Take advantage of them.

Pastor

Devotional Thought

You Are Special — God Watches Over You

New parents hover over their children. They get up in the middle of the night to check on their breathing. They worry about each cough. They shield their little ones from the sun’s glare and dress them against cold winds.

Would you expect anything less from your heavenly Father?

God “causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).

God watches over us directly. He also uses his angels to protect us.

The Bible says the Lord “will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone” (Psalm 91:11,12).

Hollywood portrays angels as “playing in the outfield,” “touching people,” and even working for some guy named Charlie.

Some of what Hollywood says about angels is true. Angels are present everywhere — from baseball parks to our own living rooms.

Much of what Hollywood says is suspect. Angels don’t answer to “Charlie.” They answer only to God.

Our Savior also is active in sheltering and safeguarding us. “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything” (Ephesians 1:22). “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory . . . sustaining all things by his powerful word” (Hebrews 1:3).

God is not insensitive or unaware of what happens to us.

When we fall into bed after a long day, we know that God is still up and on the job. “He who watches over you will not slumber” (Psalm 121:3).

God is not a weakling, incapable of coming to our aid.

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Pastor

Devotional Thought

God Made Me Special

“He’s the spitting image of his dad.” If we know the dad, we know right away what the son is like.

Do you know that you might be compared to God?

The Bible tells us something very special about the first people God created. He said, “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1:26).

Can you draw a picture of this “image” of God? Hardly! Remember, “God is spirit” (John 4:24). He doesn’t have hair or bones, arms or legs. Don’t jump to the pictures of Jesus that some artist has drawn for you. Jesus took on our characteristics; not the other way around.

The Bible tells us what the “image of God” is. It says that Christians “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of his Creator” (Colossians 3:10).

Before Adam and Eve sinned, they didn’t need to be renewed because they were already new. They were holy. They had the “image of God.” They were God’s special people.

Tragically, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s loving command. Thus, they lost his image. Their perfection, their holiness, was gone.

Graciously, God promised to send a Savior to take their place and to pay for their sin. By believing that promise, Adam and Eve’s relationship to God was restored.

Wouldn’t it be great to be in the “image of God” once again?

Guess what! By believing God’s words and promises about the Savior Jesus Christ, all people have the same benefits as Adam and Eve.

God’s apostle writes, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone; the new has come” (1 Corinthians 5:17).

How special God’s people are! Through Jesus Christ they are a “spitting image” of God.

Pastor