Author Archives: Pastor Terry

Devotional: ‘When Worship is Really Worship’   

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“Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” (Genesis 4:2-5)

As we examine the two offerings of Cain and Abel, the most obvious difference is in the type of offering each of them made. Cain brought a portion of his produce, while Abel offered up a sacrificial lamb. Many have viewed this as an illustration of the two ways men try to be made right with God. Some try to come to God on the basis of their good works, while others approach God through their faith in His grace.

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Devotional: ‘It It’s Not Free, It’s Not Grace’

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God’s first hero of faith was a young man named Abel. Though the Bible doesn’t tell us his age, he apparently was still a young man for there is no mention of a wife or family. Perhaps in today’s perspective he was only a teenager or someone in his early twenties.

But though Abel was young, he was still a great man of faith. Consider once again what the Bible says about him.

“It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.” (Hebrews 11:4)

The Bible says that by faith, Abel offered to God a more acceptable offering than Cain. What was the difference in their two offerings?

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Devotional: ‘Cain vs Abel’

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“It was by faith that Abel brought a more acceptable offering to God than Cain did. Abel’s offering gave evidence that he was a righteous man, and God showed his approval of his gifts. Although Abel is long dead, he still speaks to us by his example of faith.” (Hebrews 11:4) 

The stories of God’s heroes of faith begins with a young man named Abel. Who was Abel and why is his life so important? Look with me at the book of Genesis.

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Devotional: ‘Running the Race’

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The Bible uses many metaphors to illustrate the Christian life. For example, the Apostle Paul speaks of ‘a boxer’ (1 Corinthians 9:26-27)and ‘a good soldier’ (2 Timothy 2:3-4).James refers to us as ‘farmers’ (James 5:7)and Peter says that we are ‘living stones being used to build God a spiritual house.’ (see 1 Peter 2:5)Today’s passage of scripture portrays the Christian as a runner running a race before an arena full of spectators.

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

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Devotional: ‘Why Does God Require Us to Have Faith?’ part 2

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The Bible says that ‘the just shall live by their faith.(see Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38)Why does God require us to have faith? There are several possible reasons.

1) There Are Things Around Us That We Could Not Otherwise See   

The Bible says, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…” (Colossians 1:16) The word ‘invisible’ may not refer to things being invisible as we think of invisible, but things that are not presently visible to our physical eyes. For instance, consider angels. None of us have seen an angel, yet we know they exist. For more details see yesterday’s devotional.

2) There Are Things Beyond Us That We Could Not Otherwise Understand

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Devotional: ‘Why Does God Require Us to Have Faith?’ part 1

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To live by faith is not always the easiest thing to do. For many of us, we want to know in advance where something is headed before we will do it. We want to hold the proof in our hands before we will believe. Such was the case of a disciple named Thomas.

John 20:24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed. 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

Notice carefully again what Jesus said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing…”In other words, blessed are those who have faith in God.

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Devotional: ‘Confidence and Assurance’  

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What is faith? That’s a very interesting question. It’s also a very important question. Hebrews 11:6tells us that ‘without faith it is impossible to please God.’ The Bible also says on at least four different occasions: “The just shall live by his faith.” (see Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38) If we’re going to do God’s will and please Him, we must have faith. So, what is faith?

Dictionary.com says that faith is {belief that is not based on proof}. Some refer to such faith as ‘blind faith.’ Or in other words, faith is a leap into the dark. Yet, that’s not how the Bible describes faith. I love what the Bible scholar J.I. Packer said about faith. “Faith is the link between ourselves and God…”[1]

Faith is a part of God’s work in our lives that enables us to see Him and to know Him.  Consider what we read from Hebrews 11:1 about faith.Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.’ Let’s consider these words for just a moment.

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