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Fearlessly Share

This is a loaded verse! For one thing we should be praying for each other in the Faith. We all need help to traverse through life. Another thing is to fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel. How many times do we quietly slip away from controversy about the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Are we willing to stand up for what we know the Word of God says? Or do we back down when the world seems to be yelling louder than we do? I’m not saying we are to be obnoxious about our faith, but we do need to be opening our mouths and fearlessly sharing our faith. All to God’s glory and praise

Denise R

’67 / ‘ 80  Quarryville  PA

Bonus Verse Matthew 6:19

Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

Fighting Storms

As I read this verse it just so happens that I am over 3000 feet in the air. I am not on a boat as the disciples were in this passage however, like a boat when the wind blows this high up, you feel it. Not only does it affect the aircraft, but it affects you mentally because you are not in control. You feel as though you are hopeless in this situation. For most people, me included, not being in control can be very hard. When the situation gets out of your control you do everything in your power to get it back into your control. Why is that? Because that is how we humans are wired. From the beginning pride has been at the root of human beings. Therefore, when we have no control, we try to regain control by whatever means possible. 

Look at the disciples here in John. When the sea became rough and the wind was blowing, they did not wait for Jesus to come, they took off and began sailing, trying to get across as soon as possible so they could beat the storm. They tried to take the storm head on. In your own life what are ways in which you see yourself fighting your own storms, taking control of the situation just because you think you deserve to be in control? Examine those areas and notice what happened next.

As they became overwhelmed by the sea and the wind, they saw a person aways from shore. They became afraid. Nobody should be out that far, especially without a boat and in this weather. They were professionals after all, they knew how to sail and what to do out there to remain in control. What Jesus says next is what I want you all to remember “it is I; do not be afraid.” As he says that the storm had passed, and they made it to shore. This is crucial to our obedience as believers. When storms come and things get rough, our instinct is to want to take control and make it better or fix it. What Jesus wants is for us to give him control, so he can get us where he wants us. Do not be afraid, Jesus is in control! 

Cody R

       ’96 / ‘ 08   Jacksonville  FL

Bonus Verse Hebrews 6:18

Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

Let’s Get Rich !!

Let’s get rich!  Sure, why not.  Riches provide us with security; allow us to pay the bills; keeps us from the dreaded paycheck to paycheck that we all fall prey to.  There was even a one hit wonder called “I Wanna Be Rich.”  The lifestyle of the rich and famous sounds so great.  But Paul tells Timothy in our verse to instruct the people not to “fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches.”  Why are riches uncertain?  This is a study of lottery winners done by a non-Christian organization called the National Endowment for Financial Education, “70% of lottery winners go bankrupt within a few years. Obtaining more money often leads to careless spending and the desire to get more money, and greed can be destructive to the lives of winners and their families.”  Did you see that?  Human nature dictates that those who get rich quickly spend it freely without care and others fall prey to the desire of having even more money, so they take risks.  Also, getting rich causes some amount of greed, which can destroy a family.  In other words, being rich can create all kinds of trouble and most people are not able to handle it.

When Jesus taught the story of Lazarus and the rich man, He gave no indication that the rich man struggled.  As a matter of fact, it seems as if the rich man did well for himself.  He lived the “American dream,” to use a modern expression. And to drive home the point, Jesus says this about the life of Lazarus, “And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.” (Luke 16:20-21) But roles were switched in the afterlife, for Lazarus was a believer and the rich man an unbeliever.  This is what Jesus says as He describes the interaction between Abraham and the rich man in the story, “But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.’” (Luke 16:25) The real problem is that if you are rich you can only be that way for no more than, what, 80 years? 

I encourage you today, if you know Jesus as your Savior, you are already rich.  It is not the same riches that you acquire in this life but can’t take with you in the next.  These are riches that you will acquire upon death as the Lord Jesus welcomes you to heaven.  These riches do not last 80 years, but they last for all eternity. This is why I always urge my brothers and sisters in Christ to serve Him in some capacity.  Use your gifts in the service of the King and you will store up treasures in heaven!

Dave F 

‘69 / ‘76 Egg Harbor Twp   NJ

Doris Jean H

‘ 44 / ’55 Manheim PA

A Psalm for your Birth year

1 cool aspect of the Birthday Bible verses search option is your year of birth, which corelates to a particular Psalm. We went back and forth on which verses / chapters to use for your birth year. I had thought about using Psalm 119 and the year of your birth would be that verse. 1950 – Psalms 119:50. But we decided to go with a full chapter of Psalms for your birth year.  I am glad. Those born this year and 100 years ago have an amazing Psalm.

There is no way a short devotional can do any justice to this incredible Psalm, so I just wrote a few observations below each verse. Please spend some time meditating and praying over these verses. God will reveal Himself through them.

Psalm 23

1 {A Psalm of David.} The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

       “IS” – present tense. The good shepherd always watches his flock.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

        Every translation says “make” or “maketh”. We have free will and most of us don’t like to be made to do anything. Sometimes He does this through illness or any means necessary. It doesn’t say He makes us eat the grass or drink the water but that He leads us to a place where we can eat and drink.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

      Restores / Refreshes – an act of returning to a previous state of well-being. Not our bodies or minds but our souls.  Leads / Guides – again, doesn’t make us do good but shows us the way, the correct path for His glory.      

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

      Walk is an action word. Don’t sit around and wait for evil/ fear. Be active. Valleys are in between mountains and usually a place of beauty and rest. A shadow that casts itself over a mountain may not be as big as it appears since the mountain will block most light, BUT regardless of the size of the shadow, the shepherd has your back. The rod and staff were used by the shepherd as a defense mechanism against wolves, bears and any other predators that came against the sheep.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

      God has already prepared a table (most likely to eat a feast) for us. Where? In the presence of our enemies. Which means they will be watching us while God does all these things.  He cleanses us physically and blesses us more than we can handle.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

     One of our most favored Pastors of all time (Pastor Rich McCarrell) gave an illustration over 30 years ago about this verse and I still remember it. We all have 2 amazing dogs as pets, one named Goodness and one named Mercy. They follow us wherever we go, and we cannot get rid of them. They do not need a leash and nor can they be told to stay. They have one job – to follow us wherever we go!

WE WILL dwell in God’s house forever and ever and ever!!  Nuff said .

Dave R

      ’69 / ’83   Quarryville  PA

Bonus Verse 2 Corinthians 6:16

Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA

Ready for Action

This is part of the preparation for the battle of faith against the enemies of God – we call it the Armor of God. Sometimes we get more excited about protecting our head and heart, but our feet are important too. Feet aren’t meant to be always propped up and resting. Sometimes we need to get “up off of it” and move. We need to put our faith into action and how better than to have our feet ready to move. Faith is an action word so today let’s move on our faith to the Glory of God.

Happy Spiritual Birthday to our Pastor Mike who is always looking for another way to serve God.

Denise R

    ’67 / ‘ 80    Quarryville  PA

Power to Raise the Dead

The historical and Biblical truth that God raised Jesus from the dead is central to our faith and essential to our salvation. In 1 Corinthians 6, the apostle Paul declares this truth. In Romans 10:9, Paul applies this truth to our experience of salvation – “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED.” Do you believe this is the central, saving truth?

Mike S

  ’62 / ’72 Smoketown PA

Bonus Verse – 2 Corinthians 6:14

Doris Jean H

Manheim PA

Sound Investments

In today’s Bible verse, Jesus chooses His twelve apostles.  These twelve He chose to live with, teach, and train.  He knew He would have a short time to prepare these men for His departure and pick up the baton of faith.  Read more about these men and consider them. They would not be listed on any list of those most likely to succeed. However, Jesus didn’t just see them for who they were, but for who they would become.

Our time on this earth is relatively short considering eternity. Birthdays are a great time to reflect and evaluate.  Consider those who you know.  Who could you invest in?  Who could you teach or train?  Who could you help prepare to take the baton of faith from you? As you consider these people, note what Jesus did before He chose these twelve men.  He spent the night in prayer.  My prayer is for you to identify those you could disciple.  Then invest in their lives by discipling them.  Who knows, God may use them to change the world too.

Bret A

’63 / ’79 Stewartville MN

Bonus Verse

Choose to be a Warrior

Have you ever read a story about a warrior who showed great valor as he slayed the massive dreadful dragon. Or maybe you heard of someone that showed gallant bravery and was amazingly courageous as they fought for their country.  Just like in times past there are mighty men and women in our world today that show valor, strength and bravery in their everyday life. Gideon was one of those men. In the book of Judges you can read about Gideon, who like most of us had fears and doubts, and he did not see himself the way God saw him. If the angel that came to Gideon, had told him that he would defeat a 135,000 person army with just 300 men, Gideon, probably would have had an impossible time believing that the message was from God. Yet, Gideon asked God for help and God led Gideon step by step to defeat the enemy. In the mighty hands of God, Gideon had become a mighty man of valor.

 All of us face battles in our lives, the good news is that our Lord is with us through them. There are dangers in this world we face everyday, yet we can choose to do what is right and good to help others.  How exciting it is to think we can be the mighty men and women that God will use to accomplish His purposes on this earth.  He will use even the smallest of people to do amazing things and take us through many challenging journeys.  When you know what you are fighting for and who fights beside you, your life will be full of adventures and stories to tell others of God’s glory. 

Martha A

’63 / ’71 Stewartville MN

Defeat the Devil’s Schemes

In the Garden of Eden long ago, Satan perceived a new threat.  A new creation of God’s that might ruin his plans to rule, man.  If he had any chance of usurping God’s authority, he had to get to man.  He had to destroy man.  He was partially successful when he got man to sin.  He convinced Adam and Eve to throw away their favored position.  God gave them one commandment to obey.  They were not to eat the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  They failed.  Then in Genesis 3:15, the first prophecy, God pronounced judgment on Satan.  One would be born to a woman who would “crush his head.”  This was a death blow and Satan knew it.  He also knew that God would never lie or issue an idle threat.  The one born would be our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  

Since the Garden, Satan and his fallen angels have been doing everything in their power to keep the “skull crusher” from being born.  They also have marked all men as their mortal enemy.  From the believer to the Satan worshiper, Satan is the enemy of every human being.  But the believer has protection against this ancient enemy.  He has God’s Word.  And why is knowing God’s Word important?  Because Satan has twisted God’s very words as a strategy to deceive man.  In the Garden, Eve already had God’s word twisted and wrong as she told the Serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” (Gen. 3:2-3)  She added “or touch it.”  God never said that.  Eve added to God’s Word because she didn’t know it or even understand it.  Her source of protection was skewed, making it ineffective.  

My encouragement for you today is to treat God’s Word like a professional would treat a manual.  What I mean is this, if you want to learn how to be a plumber, there is a manual that teaches you everything there is to know about plumbing.  The manual is gospel.  It directs the novice plumber in the correct way to do everything!  In other words, it is the source material.  God’s Word is our Manual for life.  It teaches us everything we need to know for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).  When you are in trouble, consult the Manual…when you are feeling down, consult the Manual…when you have no answers, consult the Manual.  If the believer does not know God’s Word nor let it sink into their very being, then Satan will find that person easy prey.  Putting on the full armor of God involves much more than Bible reading.  Don’t just occasionally read the Manual, but study it, memorize it and apply its principles.  In doing so, you will thwart any attempt that Satan uses to trip you up!!!

Dave F. 

‘69 / ‘76 / Egg Harbor Twp   NJ

Bonus Verse 1 Timothy 6:11

Who is First?

How often do we rely on something other than God? When we are in trouble, when we need something, where do we go? In our daily life how often do we go to our phone, watch tv, our favorite app, or go on social media? Is God the first and foremost thing in our life? I know most of my life I have put other things in front of God. I have played baseball my whole life and now coach it; there are times where I put baseball before God, where that is the thing that I think about the most. It sometimes controls my life, my attitude, my mood, not the hope I have in Jesus, not who I am in Christ. The true God says don’t worship other gods. We assume he is talking about other ‘religions” gods but, He is speaking of all the “other” things we put before Him. We live in a land that is not for us. Our home is in heaven once you become a believer in Christ. So, let’s not put other things before God. The world is going to put things before him because they do not know him. He says, I am your LORD your God. He is saying his name Yahweh, making it personal, like you know me, you know my name, you know who I am. Worship the God who saved us from our sin, who made heaven and the earth, the one who made everything, the one who gives us hope and a future. The goal is to put Yahweh first, put Jesus first and the rest of the world’s worries behind you. Put God first and do not worship other gods or things in your life. Let’s put God first today.     

Dan R

     ’96 / ’01   Jacksonville  FL

Bonus Verse Hebrews 6:10

Doris Jean H

’44 / ’55 Manheim PA