Author Archives: Pastor Terry

Devotional: ‘The Value of Criticism’

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Proverbs 27:5 An open rebuke is better than hidden love! 6 Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy. NLT

9 The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. NLT

17 As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. NLT

Have you ever had someone criticize you? Even when it is done in love, it can still be painful. One of the reasons we find criticism so offensive is because we have such fragile egos. Each of us wants everyone to like us and to think that we are a great person. However, we all at times need someone to critique our conduct in order for us to grow and to become a better Christian. I once read that there is some truth in every bit of criticism. Therefore, whenever I am criticized, I try to look for what God wants me to learn.

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Devotional: ‘The Importance of Keeping a Clear Conscience’

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Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion. NKJV

17 A murderer’s tormented conscience will drive him into the grave. Don’t protect him! 18 The honest will be rescued from harm, but those who are crooked will be destroyed. NLT

Guilt is a terrible feeling and even worse, a terrible bedpartner. If you have ever tried to go to sleep with a guilty conscience, you know what I mean. Many a person has spent a sleepless night because they were wrestling with their own conscience. Therefore, it is to our benefit that we always strive to keep a clear conscience. The Apostle Paul wrote, “I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16 NKJV) The clearer our conscience, the more confident we can be in life.

Consider what else Paul writes about the conscience.

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Devotional: ‘The Mysterious Movement of God’

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2 Samuel 5:22 Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. 24 And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.” 25 And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer. NKJV

The first time David faced the Philistines the Lord told him to go straight at them. The second time he faced the enemy the Lord told him to go around to the side and wait. Why did God change the way David would fight the enemy? Perhaps the Lord did so to teach David to always trust in Him and not a method.

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Devotional: ‘When God Says, ‘Go!’

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2 Samuel 5:24 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then rouse yourself, for then the Lord has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 25 And David did as the Lord commanded him, and struck down the Philistines from Geba to Gezer. ESV

The first time David asked the Lord about fighting the Philistines, the Lord instructed him to proceed straight ahead. But the second time David asked about the battle, the Lord told him to go around to the side and wait. What was David to wait for? He was to wait for the sound of the wind blowing in the tops of the mulberry trees. Why was David to wait for this sound?

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Devotional: ‘When God Says, ‘No’

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2 Samuel 5:22 Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up…” (NKJV)

“No” is not a word many of us like to hear. This is a problem not only for little children but for many adults as well. Often has been the time when someone has sat in my office and tried to convince me that doing wrong was right. “I have a peace about it” they say to me. As they say this I wonder, “But where is this peace coming from? It can’t be coming from God when what you are disobeying His Word?” Such peace is not true peace. It is a false peace that comes from us choosing to do our will.

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Devotional: ‘Seeking God’s Guidance’

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2 Samuel 5:19 So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” NKJV 

Have you ever been guilty of jumping into something without first taking the time to seek God’s guidance? I have. Why do we fail to pray and seek God’s guidance? Here are a couple of possible reasons:

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Devotional: ‘Bless the One Who Blesses Us’

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Psalm 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: 3 who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. NKJV 

Sometimes I find myself guilty of being a taker and not a giver. By that I mean it is easy for me to receive God’s blessings yet fail to give Him the praise and thanksgiving He is due. In today’s passage of Scripture, the psalmist warns us about such sins.

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Devotional: ‘Children of the Light’

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Ephesians 5:8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. NKJV

The difference between Christians and non-Christians is like night and day. Scripture teaches us that believers are children of light and non-believers are children of darkness. Notice that Paul did not say that we were once “in” darkness; instead, he said that we once “were” darkness. Before we accepted Christ as our Savior, darkness was a part of our nature. Our hearts were dark. Our minds were dark. Our desires were dark. We were children of darkness.

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Devotional: ‘Love One Another’

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1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. NKJV 

Loving one another as brothers and sisters in Christ is one of the most important aspects of being a Christian. Jesus said, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35 NKJV) Though there may be many things that will identify us as being a believer, the number one thing is love. What is it about love that makes it so important?

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Devotional: ‘Beware of Satan and His Schemes’

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1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. NKJV

The children of God have a great enemy who is called Satan. The title ‘Satan’ means adversary. In addition to being called Satan, he is also referred to as The Devil (slanderer or false accuser), the Evil One, the Father of Lies, a Murderer, a Thief, a Roaring Lion, and the Serpent.

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