Welcome To Daily In Christ Devotionals

Psalm 119:10-11 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not
wander from your commandments! I have stored up your
word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Problem With Unbelief

They say that it takes a lot of faith to walk the Christian walk. And whoever "they" are, they are correct.

Living a life of faith can be one of our biggest challenges. Often I have thought that if God just sent me a message through an angel, then I would believe what He was about to do in and through me. Well, as we read in the book of Luke, this may not be the case at all.

Elisabeth is about to have a baby. However, she is completely unaware of this. Not only is she unaware, but her husband is as well. Zacharia and Elisabeth are two of the good ones. They are righteous in the sight of the Lord. They are a couple who walked blameless and kept the commandments. So, you would think that they would have the kind of faith that moves mountains.

God sends not only an angel to inform Zacharia about the good news of the forthcoming child, but he sends Gabriel himself. They top dog of God comes down to give a message of hope to a man of God... Sounds like a great story that has a great ending... And it does. John the Baptist is born and his entire life is spent heralding the good news of the coming Messiah. However, there is one little glitch. Zacharia doubts the angel and questions him because of his age. Zacharia is an old man and Elisabeth is no spring chicken herself, so maybe we can say, "give the guy some slack here."

God takes faith and unbelief quite seriously. Because of the unbelief, Zacharia becomes mute until the birth of his son. Read the story for yourself...

Luke 1:18-22 And Zechariah said to the angel, "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years." And the angel answered him, "I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time." And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in the temple. And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he kept making signs to them and remained mute.

So what does this message from Luke teach me today? Well, the main thing I see here is that there are consequences to my unbelief. And, in spite of it, God's plan will still be fulfilled. Zacharia was praying to the Lord for this very thing and when it is announced he doesn't believe it. He was praying without conviction. How often do we throw up a prayer to the Lord and when it is answered walk around in disbelief? I know for me it is far too often.

Today I am going to learn from the unbelief of Zacharia. Lord, I pray that you will open my eyes to your truth and help me to believe you when your hand is moving in my life. Help me to believe your promises... Thank you for using broken vessels and not turning us away because of our unbelief. Amen

Monday, June 24, 2013

Where Does Your Value Come From?

There is a lot of talk these days about one's self image or self worth. We read books, listen to talk show doctor's on television, and even attend churches in an attempt to feel better about ourselves. It has almost become an obsession in our culture. Having the right clothes, driving the right car, and living in the perfect neighborhood are all contributors to how we feel about who we are and what we are all about. If we have everything just so on the outside then we will certainly feel better on the inside. Our schools even teach kids that if they put forth the effort, then that is often good enough to get the grade simply based on trying to build up the student and make them feel worthwhile.

The Bible however has a different view on our worth. It isn't because of our status, our job, or how much money we earn. Who we are is not based on anything external, but simply on the fact that we are made by God and in His image.

 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Psa 139:13-14 ESV 

When we understand our value, we can speak the way the apostle Paul speaks of himself in Romans. He calls himself a "wretched man." Now that doesn't sound like the most famous evangelist known to man. Paul was the greatest apostle and he considers himself to be wretched. How can that be? It is because he saw himself the way God sees us apart from Christ.

Paul knew the condition of his heart. He understood that apart from Christ he was nothing but a wretched sinner deserving the condemnation of God. His value didn't come from his possessions, his status with the churches he served, or even his knowledge. His value came from Christ alone.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the 
Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 
Rom 8:1-2 ESV

Though he did the things he hated and had difficulty doing what was right, he knew that he was delivered by the blood of Jesus Christ. When we place our value in the cross of Christ, the things we seek of this world for our sense of worth become vain idols. But when we know who we are in Christ, repent from our self focused ways, and seek Him for our worth then we will be free to live life to the fullest.

Are you seeking the things of the world to bring worth to your life? Or are you seeking Christ alone? Only He can satisfy that place in your heart that longs to be valued.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

CCSE Uganda Short Term Mission 2013

Our video from Uganda...

Have a blessed day!

About My Father's Business

About My Father's Business

Luke 2:49 - And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?

I went on my first short term mission trip last month and this theme was prevalent in all that we did during our stay in Bukere, Uganda. "I must be about my Father's business." Since my return the lenses I see life through have become quite different. I have been transformed by Christ in a whole new way.

The weeks leading up to the trip were filled with anticipation and preparation. I had many uncertainties and concerns. On occasion I was challenged with thoughts of not wanting to go because of these concerns, but once I arrived, I was filled to the brim with the Love of God and fulfilling His business there. Shortly into the trip I was now not wanting to return home to the everyday life I so reluctantly left behind.

The Lord spoke many things to me during my time away. The most clear instruction came during a devotional we had on about the 10th day of our trip. It came from both the books of Ecclesiastes and the book of John. Ecc 1:3 asks "What does a man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?" And in John 6:27, Jesus instructs us to not labor for food that perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life.

As I prayed over these verses I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit speaking to me. "What is all the toil you are doing in your life... you are spending much time taking care of your wants and desires and My work is going undone." As I continued through Ecclesiastes I was struck by another key verse. Ecc 6:7 says, "our toil is for our mouth, yet our appetite is never satisfied." That is exactly where I have been over the past many years that I have been serving Him. My day is spent toiling after food that perishes and yet, I am never satisfied. The blessings that were coming to me through the Holy Spirit while serving in Uganda was far more satisfying than what my everyday toil was and is bringing me. So I sought Him to help me know what to do next.

As I listened to what He was speaking to me I heard the word... "downsize." Not just the things I have stored away in my attic, basement, closets, and garage :) but to downsize my responsibilities and time. To cleanse myself from the things that are distractions. Extra work loads, entertainment, down and idle time that is beyond the necessary rest the body requires. To downsize my life in material and other ways.

So here I go... downsizing my life to free up not only my resources, but my time as well. To do what the Lord has called each of us to do. To be "about my Father's business" rather than my own.

Who's business are you about? Is the Lord calling your to be about His business and trim a few things from your life like He is mine? If so, what are you doing to answer that call?

While in Uganda we encountered much poverty. The belongings I have in my bedroom alone are worth more than most families worldly possessions. As we were digging our trench to feed a water line to the village one of the villagers said to a companion of mine, "All we need is water. We have electricity some of the time, but we don't need it for life. We need this water for life."

What a basic concept and a life lived in simplicity. The message, "All I need is water to survive!" God spoke to my heart and I will never be the same. To live here on this earth is temporary and I must be simply about my Father's business. So that is what I will be about.

Have a blessed day,