Devotional Thought

Jesus Says, “I Am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35)

We live in an age of enlightenment — and the time of the announced death of God. People simply no longer believe. Those who do are labeled as weaklings who need a crutch.

God is alive and well. One writer observed, “The most extraordinary thing about the twentieth century was the failure of God to die. The collapse of mass religious  belief, especially among the educated and prosperous, had been widely and confidently predicted. It did not take place. Somehow, God survived, flourished even.”

Yet many people continue to live without him. Perhaps you know someone in such a dilemma. He may be obsessed with his physical health, but he thinks he can get by on a spiritual starvation diet.

He hardly opens his Bible or attends church. He occasionally nibbles on the spiritual junk food of self-help books. Radio call-in shows, TV snatches, and the advice of his friends are about all the theology he gets.

God, who continually blesses the world with food for physical life, has a nourishing spiritual diet prepared for him and us. That’s why Jesus calls himself the bread of life.

The human conscience hungers for righteousness. Jesus gives it. The early Christians knew they had “been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).

The heart hungers for love. God declares to his people, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3).

Jesus says that we do not live by physical “bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Jesus satisfies the human yearning for purpose and fulfillment. He fills us with hope and joy and confidence about tomorrow.

Are you hungering to learn more about Jesus?  We have been blessed with the bread of life, and we’re anxious to share him with you every Sunday!


Devotional Thought

Jesus Says, “I Am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:14)

In our world of abundance, the only scarce commodity is human attention. Families don’t communicate. Husbands work too much. Teens are in a world of their own. Even love is often self-serving.

Sometimes even the best human attention leaves us cold. In an hour of severe loss, it seems as if no one understands. Even family members and close friends aren’t able to help.

That’s one reason the Bible often pictures human beings like sheep. Like sheep without a shepherd, we easily become lost amid life’s heartaches and perplexing problems. Then we become easy prey for spiritual predators. No wonder the Bible says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6).

This is as true in 21st-century America as it was in the ancient land of Palestine where Jesus lived.

We may hide our lost condition under a veneer of sophistication and self-sufficiency. Beneath the surface, however, lurks the awareness that we truly are like straying sheep. We have sinned against God. We are aimlessly wandering through life. We are headed for disaster.

Fortunately, there is a shepherd to guide the way. He is Jesus, and he is the Good Shepherd. He understands people. He wants to lead and care for everyone.

He says, “My sheep listen to my voice” (John 10:27). His followers know him and gladly follow. He seeks out the lost sheep. Most important of all, Jesus even lays down his life for all people.

The author of the wonderful 23rd Psalm puts it this way:
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (vv 1-4).

Make it a habit — a good habit — to be in church every Sunday to learn more about the personal and eternal attention of the Good Shepherd.


Devotional Thought

Jesus Says, “I Am the Door” (John 10:7, KJV)

Are you wondering, “How can I get to heaven?”

Most people think good works are the door to heaven. They think if they try hard enough and avoid major slips into evil, they will make it.

Good works are not good enough. God demands absolute perfection. Only perfect people can go to heaven (Check out Matthew 5:48).

Perfection is where Jesus comes in. He is no ordinary human being. He is the sinless Son of God. That’s why he is the door into the kingdom of God.

Don’t view Christianity from the outside of the door. Don’t look at the bad behavior of some Christians and dismiss the entire religion. No one is perfect, not even Christians.

By his perfect life and innocent death Jesus pays for our sins. That is why the writer to the Hebrews says Jesus “has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (10:14).

Don’t judge by externals, such as the appearance of church buildings.

There is a story about two high school girls who were told by their art teacher to look at the stained glass windows of a certain cathedral. From the outside the windows were dark and dirty. “Nothing beautiful about them,” one of them said.

A passer-by overheard the remark and said, “You can’t judge the beauty of art glass from outside. Go inside.” The girls did. Suddenly they found themselves washed in a spectacular cascade of color pouring through the windows.

The same is true of the Christian faith. The entrance into faith is through Jesus alone. It comes through hearing and believing his Word, the Bible. Those who enter the door see things from the inside.

With the cathedral of God’s love, Christians enjoy the beauty of unshakable confidence that only Jesus can give. He says, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20). They are certain of someday entering paradise. Jesus says, “In my Father’s house are many rooms . . . I am going there to prepare a place for you” (John 14:21).

Our church door is open.  Come and hear about Jesus, the door to heaven, every Sunday!


Devotional Thought

Jesus Says, “I Am the Way and the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6)

Are you confused? There are so many religions, pointing this direction or that. Who knows the right way to follow?

Human reason cannot find the way. Long ago the great philosopher Socrates concluded that the only thing he knew for certain was that he knew nothing for certain.

Every religion, except that from God himself, ultimately ends up saying, “You are responsible. You must find your own way. You must save yourself.”

Jesus presents a way that’s different from all the rest. He alone offers salvation as a free gift. “I am the way,” he says.

Jesus is also the truth. A lot of people think truth is relative. They think it changes, depending on the circumstances. Jesus continues to give the only sure answer. He proves that in the Bible, with its countless promises that have never been broken.

Thus Jesus gives life. It is full and rich here on earth for all those who believe in him as their Savior. Someday it will also be perfect — in heaven.

After saying he is the way, the truth, and the life, Jesus continues, “No one comes to [God] the Father, except through me.” Some may think Jesus is awfully narrow-minded or smug. After all, aren’t there many paths to God?

Ironically, in his so-called narrowness, Jesus offers the greatest freedom anyone can have. He provides freedom from sins, from the sting of death, and from the power of the devil. He also liberates his people so they may use their abilities to their full potential.

In this world of confusion, there is a way and a truth and a life. It’s not philosophy, and it’s not a set of religious rules. It’s a person, Jesus Christ.


Devotional Thought

Christianity Is . . . About Time

Does the future make you nervous?

We all have felt the tremors of nervous fear, thinking about our tomorrows:  how we will do on a test; how our children will turn out; whether we will keep our job; whether our house will sell; whether we will make ends meet.

We fear tomorrow because tomorrow is uncertain. Time passes with regularity, yet time so often surprises.

A man long ago, facing a seemingly uncertain future, said, “I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:14,15).

God knows our tomorrows. He knows them perfectly.

Would you be interested in knowing what God has in mind for your future? There are some pretty important things to know, especially if you are to be ready for your future.

You want to be able to face the future with zero fear, and with all confidence. You want to know and believe God’s promise: “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Would you like a future like that?

Make it a point to be in God’s house every Sunday, and you’ll find certainty for an uncertain future.

Christianity is about time.