Eternity Devotion

The Lord put this devotion on my heart to share with you before Easter, the day Jesus was resurrected, paying our sin debt in full.  Read below the devotion I gave Sunday, March 28, 2021.  I asked a friend to perform Amazing Grace. 

I’ve asked Neil to sing Amazing Grace for us today. 

I love the line in Amazing Grace that says:

“When we’ve been there ten thousand years

Bright Shining as the sun,

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we’ve first begun”

Today I want to you about Eternity, eternity

Pray:

Dear Heavenly Father, I love you.  Help me articulate this message that you have laid on my heart.  It’s hard for us feeble humans to understand eternity, please give me the words to say.  Please be with this church Dear God, lead, guide and direct us as we make important decisions, we want your will to be done.  Please place your comforting and healing hand on everyone on the prayer request list as you see fit and the unspoken prayer requests, I am sure you know their needs.  Be with our country.  I pray that the leaders of this country would come to you in prayer asking your guidance before implementing any policies that affect us all.  Be with brother Zack as he brings the message, you have laid on his heart.  Forgive me of where I have failed you, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.   

First, what is or how long is eternity? The dictionary’s definition says Endless or unending time, A state to which time has no application; timelessness.

When I was coming up with some examples to try and explain what this might look like I thought about when I take our dogs out at night, I oftentimes look up on a clear night and see God’s beautiful and amazing creation and I see all the stars that God spoke into existence.  I see millions of stars and I wonder how many stars are there and does that equal eternity?  Supposedly, the stars add up to a 10 with 24 zeros and it begs the question, does that equal eternity? No it doesn’t

Another example I thought of was, if you have ever been to the ocean and looked out as far as you can see where the water and sky meet and you can see the sun rising or setting, another beautiful example of God’s might, that he spoke into existence.  It’s as if you can see forever, does that somehow equal or represent eternity?  No, that still doesn’t match eternity. 

Then I wondered how many drops of water make up the ocean, what if every drop of water in the ocean represented 10,000 years of eternity, would that somehow equal eternity, there’s roughly 26 sextillion  drops of water in all the oceans, does that add up to eternity?  And the answer is no it doesn’t.

The truth is we are not equipped to understand God’s power and might as human beings we can’t fathom what eternity is going to be like. 

When I think of spending eternity, with our Heavenly Father forever and ever and ever, the ever’s don’t end.  When I think of that it brings a smile to my face.

If we are a born-again Christian, if we asked Jesus into our heart, if we repented from our sins.  If we believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, in a miracle in itself, that Jesus walked the earth free of sin, teaching and preaching, healing the lame and sick, that he died on the cross for our sins and was raised on the third day and sits on the right hand of the Father, then we are going to live forever and ever and ever praising God and that should bring a smile to your face. 

What I would like for you to do is turn to your neighbor and say eternity to them?  Can you say it without smiling?  Can you really think about spending eternity in Heaven without smiling?

The Bible says…John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 6:54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Today when you go from one place to the other, from here to upstairs to Sunday School or to the main Church worship area and you pass by someone, say eternity to them as they pass by and see if they smile or if you can keep from smiling, because it is going to be awesome to live in Heaven and praise our Heavenly Father for eternity, forever and ever and ever.  The ever’s don’t end.

The devotion turned out very good and went right along with the Pastor’s sermon preparing us for Holy Week.       

God Places People in our Lives for a Reason Devotion

A few weeks ago, the Lord laid on my heart to give the fourth Sunday church devotion.  I texted my Sunday school teacher and asked who was giving the devotion, he wrote back that his wife was giving it, so I thought it was a done deal until he wrote back saying that she was willing to let me have her spot and she will give her devotion at Youth night, which is in the evening of the same day, anyway this is how the devotion unfolded.

See the notes below for the devotion:     

Prayer – Thank God for the Church and the church visitors and the church members.  Thank him for all my blessings…thank you for sending Jesus, your only Son to die on the Cross for our sins.  Thank you for Brother Dickie (interim Pastor, every two weeks) and family, for sending him to fill in, in our time of need, thank you for using Brother Dickie as a vessel to deliver the message you’ve laid on his heart and may we have an open mind and an open heart to receive that message.  Dear God, send us a pastor, the one you have picked out for us.  Give me the words to say, the message you have laid on my heart.  We love you, in Jesus name we pray, Amen

Good Morning Church family.  It’s an honor to be standing before you today.          

Start out with scripture John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Amplified 34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [f]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love and unselfish concern for one another.”

We have this written on our refrigerator door “Love Like Jesus”

Talk about the church and how we love one another, that we help each other out.  That’s why I love this church.  I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other church. 

Tell the story of Luke and Dee inviting Manuela to church.  My wife helped at Luke and Dee Dee’s farm and they invited her to church and that is how this wonderful relationship with God started or continued for me. 

Tell the story of how we met Miss Lori Goodner.  And that she is at Church and what a blessing it is to have her here and to have her friendship, that God puts people in your lives for a reason.  He used an innocent child to crawl up in her lap and blessed us with her friendship.

Last year when we were registering the girls, Charlotte, 4 and Julie 7, at school.  We were going from one station to the other, signing the kids up for car rider, school bus, lunch meals, etc., etc. and we noticed Charlotte climb up onto someone’s lap.  Embarrassed we apologized, but the lady was not put off by the innocent little one making herself at home in her lap, she said it was fine.  We were able to finish registering the girls and spoke to Mrs. Lori and got to know her, made friends with her on Facebook, making it official, and invited her to church.    

Manuela met Travis at an arrowhead digging school event.  Somehow, we put two and two together and figured out that Travis is Mrs. Lori’s Son. 

We met Neil and Sheila at Jenssen Park at their granddaughter’s birthday party.  Funny story, did you know, Sheila’s maiden name is Taylor, when she married Neil, she didn’t have to change her last name.  We knew Leah Taylor from school which is Neil’s daughter-in-law.  Again, God’s hand in, blessing us with them in our lives. We get to be blessed with specials from Neil and Sheila at church. 

That’s what we are supposed to do, Love one another and invite people to church. 

Second verse: Romans 12:6  

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;

Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Amplified Version: Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to use them accordingly: if [someone has the gift of] prophecy, [let him speak a new message from God to His people] in proportion to the faith possessed; if service, in the act of serving; or he who teaches, in the act of teaching; or he who encourages, in the act of encouragement; he who gives, with generosity; he who leads, [d]with diligence; he who shows mercy [in caring for others], with cheerfulness. Love is to be sincere and active [the real thing—without guile and hypocrisy]. Hate what is evil [detest all ungodliness, do not tolerate wickedness]; hold on tightly to what is good.

God gives everyone a special gift and my wonderful wife has been blessed with the gift of giving.  She has a Big, loving, generous heart filled full of love, and all she wants to do is give, generously, you would much rather give that to receive and I love you for that.  I thank God every single day that he put you in my life.  That’s what God does, he strategically places people in our lives for reasons, like Luke and DeeDee, like Mrs. Lori, and Travis, and Neil and Sheila and the rest of you.      

Close out with a prayer, thank you God for putting all these people in our lives, for  Luke and Dee Dee inviting Manuela to church, thank you for using an innocent child to climb onto Miss Lori’s lap, thank you allowing us to meet Travis and his family and for bringing Neil and Sheila and Leah and her family into our lives. Thank you, God, for all the visitors and the members of this church and that hopefully the visitors will be members someday.  Thank you for all your blessings and forgive me for all the many times I have failed you.  We love you Lord, in Jesus name we pray Amen.          

A Busy and Blessed Sunday

Sunday my wife got up and decided she wanted to go help with the 4th Sunday morning Brotherhood breakfast that started at 730 am.  Of-course, I wanted no part of that.  That means I would be getting the kids ready, which she helped before she left, and I would finish getting the kids ready and ensure we are there at 830 am for breakfast. 

We have an almost four year-old, December 18, and a six year-old.  Anyway, I finished getting myself and the kids ready and show up to Church with the girls for brotherhood breakfast and Sunday morning devotion.

When we got there, there was pancakes being grilled outside on the grill, bacon, eggs, the works.  It was very good. 

I had worked on my Sunday school lesson the day prior and was proud of myself for studying the lesson and filling out the answers.  I even blogged about it here on my website.  Well, our Sunday school teacher couldn’t make it to Sunday school and his fill-in found out about taking his place the day before, since my wife knew I had studied the lesson, she made sure to tell “Pistol” that I had studied it, basically, volunteering me for the job.  Pistol said he had heard that I did my homework and asked if I wanted to lead the Sunday school this morning, Sunday school is in two hours. But, who am I to say no to God (“Pistol” is not God, but we are in God’s house.  Who am I to say no in God’s house?)

Plus I like to be challenged.  I don’t really like being in front of people, but I like to try to overcome my fears and I accepted the chance to present the material. 

Anyway, next up was a beautiful devotion from one of our beloved Church members that was another blessing to listen to her speak.  It was a touching devotion about making sure we have our body armor on to fend off the devil while we are searching for a Pastor.  She reminded us, her Son is in the ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) program and she went to pick him up from training and she noticed how everyone had a battle buddy, reminding each other not to forget their back pack, or luggage or whatever and they were genuinely concerned for each other and their well-being, just like our Church is checking on each other, praying for each other, praying for the Pul-pit Committee and for our Church in this time without a “Shepherd”, her words were inspiring and a blessing and we haven’t even had Sunday School yet.

It was an honor to go over the material with the Sunday school and I felt good that I was helping out any way I could in Church.  There was a lot of class participation.  It turned out to be a blessing to help out.  I guess that’s what happens when you show up to Church early for breakfast.

For our Church service we had a visiting preacher come to share his sermon with us and it turned out to be a wonderful message, one that the Lord put on his heart and I am sure that we all needed to hear about Paul being “all in” when he went to deliver his sermon in Colossian.  The preacher said Paul really had nothing to lose in Colossians.  He surely wasn’t afraid to die, because he knew he would go to heaven to be with the Lord anyway.  And he was asking if we are “all in” for Jesus?  It was another beautiful message and another blessing and it’s not even 12:30 pm now. 

Next, since it’s the fourth Sunday, we have youth night at Holly Springs Homestead scheduled and I am helping with security, making sure vehicles are parked in the parking lots.

There was a crowd of about 180 that showed up, there were games to play at the Homestead from Frisbee toss to corn hole and a corn maze for the youth to traverse.  There was hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, and even hobo soup.  After, the kids were fed (eating again, we’re Baptists, what can I say, we like to eat), we sang songs and had a message for the youth.  We even had one soul saved and planted seeds in many more.  Again, another blessing.  The day was filled with blessings.  I was exhausted at the end of the day, but I slept great.  Who am I to say to say no to helping the Church and serving God?  Are you All In for Jesus?