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Comfort & Joy
Thursday, December 16, 2021, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

For many people, the holidays are a time of fun and good cheer. For others, however, they can be the most difficult time of the year, full of hurt, sadness or need...

Daily Devotionals

The Waiting Game
Nov 29, 2021

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
— Galatians 6:9

This has become one of my favorite verses in the Bible. As a pastor, I meet with so many people who are ready to throw in the proverbial towel. And trust me, I get it. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt like the payoff is not worth the effort. Why be persistent in doing good and trusting God when nothing seems to be breaking your way?

The problem here is that we don’t immediately see any results. The season for harvesting doesn’t run simultaneously with the season for planting. Every farmer knows this, and that’s why Paul tells the Galatians, who live in an agrarian society, to patiently wait for the harvest of righteousness like they wait for the agricultural harvest season each year.

It’s the waiting that makes us weary. If we saw the results immediately, we would eat better, save more, exercise regularly, and probably work harder. However, that’s not how it works. The principle of the harvest means that you will wait longer but harvest more than you planted. At the end of the day, it comes down to trust. Each of us must trust that God will ultimately do what he says he will do. The delay is actually building our faith. It’s a win-win.

Instant gratification is what we desire, but it is not best for us. There is a theological construct called the already/not yet. The concept is that God has already secured the result, but we have not yet realized it. It is a matter of faith. According to 1 Corinthians 13:13, the best thing about faith is that it will endure forever. You are making deposits into the eternal when you develop faith. You’ll see. Just wait.

Daily Devotionals

More To This Life
Nov 26, 2021

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
— 2 Corinthians 9:6–8

As Christ-followers, we have been gifted with the matchless love, grace, and mercy of God. When we give out of a desire for the expansion of God’s kingdom among men and nothing else, not only do we create an avenue for the Holy Spirit to operate in the life of others here on earth, but we lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven. As pastor Randy Wade pointed out last Sunday, “There is more to this life than this life.”

Salvation is by grace, through faith alone — a gift given, not an item obtained through dollars and deeds. There is an eternal reward of far greater value than silver and gold. For the believer whose faithfulness is motivated by an internal compulsion to change the world for the glory of God, who identifies with the broken, battered and bruised and has no other agenda but to make a difference, an unfading crown of glory awaits you, and so very much more (1 Peter 5:4).

Daily Devotionals

The Blessings That Await
Nov 24, 2021

We live at a unique point in time. With a click, tap, and submit, we can virtually have anything we desire on our doorstep within 20 hours. Is this a good thing? Only time will tell. But we’ve all grown accustomed to instant gratification over and above delayed reward. Our hearts and minds are no longer in a state that sees why we should wait for anyone or anything. Yet, when we look at the scriptures, we see a different picture. The Israelites were slaves in Egypt, being utterly worked to the bone with no rest. They had no idea when this would end, but they knew it would because their God had said, “I have observed the misery of my people in Egypt, and have heard them crying out because of their oppressors. I know about their sufferings…” (Exodus 3:7). If you’re familiar with the story (or even if you’re not), God is the hero here. He makes himself known to Pharaoh and frees his people from bondage, yet the people still traveled for 40 years in the wilderness. But the beauty is that God was still with them, providing food for their hungry bodies, shade for their sunburned skin, and rest every week that they had forgotten existed because of their years of slavery in Egypt.

Maybe you’ve been in a season of drought that seemingly has no end. You’ve seen God do wonders in the past, but at this moment, you can’t seem to bring yourself to remember and savor his goodness. But, you continue to come on Sunday mornings, serve your family, love the people around you, because you know that those are good and beautiful things in the sight of God. Know this: even when you feel as though nobody sees you, acknowledges your hard work, or values what you bring to the table, God sees you. All the moments that helped out somebody that others weren’t around to see, God saw those. You’re simultaneously storing up treasures that will last you for eternity because of your current investments into others. The mantra of “do things out of the goodness of your heart, not to get anything” has some merit, but is only a half-truth. You should absolutely do things and invest your resources for the kingdom now because of the gifts you’ll receive later. You’re doing nothing but receiving greater joy in God, allowing others to experience his blessings through you, and building habits that keep the pace of your heart on the joy of God. Who wouldn’t want more of that?

Here are some questions to help inspire your heart to focus on joy and invest in the kingdom today.

  1. Do your current habits bring joy to yourself and others based on the promises of God?
  2. Are you investing only in yourself, or are you giving your time and resources towards the betterment of others?
  3. What can you start today or this week that is aimed towards building God’s kingdom?

 

Daily Devotionals

Generosity Witnessed
Nov 19, 2021

“I’m a trophy of God’s amazing grace so I will be gracious to everyone, grateful for everyday, and generous with everything that God has entrusted to me.”
— an excerpt from the Purpose-Driven Life Covenant

God is generous to us. He lavishes his love upon us. He came to serve others and to give of himself as a ransom for many. He now calls us to be generous to others and to share the love, joy and peace he has given to us. What a great calling and purpose.

When I was 15, my little brother, who was one year old (Yes, he was a little bit of a surprise to my folks!), was very ill. He was going to require a serious operation. The family was very concerned. I was very worried. My brother was so little and in need of help. One Sunday, a few days before the surgery was to occur, I was standing on the front porch of our home church, visiting with friends. I saw a man go up to my father. I knew him to be a good hardworking man of the church, but you certainly would not call him wealthy by any means. But he was a very kind and generous man. I just happened to see this gentleman go up and take some money out of his pocket and give it to my father. Dad tried to decline the offer. But the man insisted. He said he wanted to help out with the medical costs. It was a very moving moment for me. God had once again blessed our family, this time through the love of a Christian friend.

Let’s ask for God’s help in recognizing the opportunities to share his generosity and grace with others. It will be an encouragement to others. It will bring honor and glory to God. It will energize and bless our lives. And it may be a very clear, powerful and practical example to a 15-year-old who happens to witness this act of generosity through one of God’s children to another.

…your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
— 2 Corinthians 9:11

Daily Devotionals

The Secret of the Easy Yoke
Nov 18, 2021

“To depart from righteousness is to choose a life of crushing burdens, failures, and disappointments, a life caught in the toils of endless problems that are never resolved. Here is the source of that unending soap opera, that sometimes horror show known as normal human life. The ‘cost of discipleship,’ though it may take all we have, is small when compared to the lot of those who don’t accept Christ’s invitation to be a part of his company in The Way of life.”
— Dallas Willard, from The Secret of the Easy Yoke

Sometimes we hear sermons on topics like money or service, and we fall into the notion that Christians are called to a more difficult lifestyle. The belief goes something like this: “Because I’m a Christian, I am supposed to give away part of my income. Non-believers don’t have to do that. Therefore, being a Christian means I must give up what others get to keep. Mine is a more painful path, but it’s worth it because of the sacrifice that Jesus offered on my behalf.” Basically, we believe that living a Christian life is the price we have to pay for salvation. We’ve been missing a crucial point.

In The Secret of the Easy Yoke, Dallas Willard delivered a very different message. The truth is that every part of the Christian life is intended for our good, to bless us with abundant life rich with meaning and purpose. Sin has broken the world, and it continues to shatter things. You can’t live very long without witnessing the consequences of the fall, from minor frustration to overwhelming heartache. This life is chock full of hurt and disappointment, and things just keep falling apart. And yet, there is also beauty to be found, beauty that is not fleeting, beauty that abides.

Do you have any lasting, beautiful memories? When you look back on your life, what stands out? For me, certain moments are highlighted against a drab background of mundane functionality. These moments are characterized by true connection, deep healing, and compassionate helping.

Maybe it’s because my youngest kid is about to “fly the nest” in August, or maybe it’s because COVID has forever changed me. Or maybe it’s just that I’m smack in midlife. Whatever the cause, I’m increasingly taking stock of my life. I’ve found myself looking backward, searching for meaning that will guide me through the next season of my life. I’m still “in process,” but here is one thing I’ve figured out so far: I want the rest of my life to matter. I desire more moments characterized by true connection, deep healing, and compassionate helping.

When our perspective is true, we recognize that the Christian life is protecting us from a horribly disheartening experience. Living submitted to God’s way shelters me from despair at the end of my life. Intentionality helps to ensure that on my deathbed, I know where I’m heading next, and I am at peace with where I’ve been. Not that I will have lived perfectly, but that I will have lived fully, abundantly.

On its own, your income cannot supply that peace. However, God can convert your finances into so much more! Allow him to transform your money into beauty that abides, and experience the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise:

“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.”
— Matthew 11:28-30

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Kaufman Campus
2918 US-175, Kaufman, TX 75142
Sunday services: 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. & 11:30 a.m.

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1950 Alpha Dr., Rockwall, TX 75087
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610 Hwy. 80 E., Sunnyvale, TX 75182
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P.O. Box 3209
Forney, TX 75126

972-564-5433(LIFE)

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