Wake up leaders

Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.” (Acts 15:10-11 ESV)

Что же вы ныне искушаете Бога, *желая* возложить на выи учеников иго, которого не могли понести ни отцы наши, ни мы? Но мы веруем, что благодатию Господа Иисуса Христа спасемся, как и они. Деяния 15:10-11 Russian)

O LORD our God ~ thank you dear heavenly Father for bringing true joy into the hearts of all Christians who live by sincere faith in your beloved Son. Wake up leaders in every local church of Christ to the most important doctrine of ardent faith that we are saved by the amazing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Open new doors of opportunity for spreading the gospel of Christ while time remains. Give joy and encouragement to all souls who sincerely obey the gospel and receive your grace. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Practice grows maturity

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

And when the cloud remained only from evening until morning, when the cloud was taken up the following morning, then they traveled on. Whether by day or by night, when the cloud was taken up they traveled. Numbers 9.21

Moses was the one chosen by God to bring his people out of Egypt. However, God was present with the Israelites as was clearly seen in the cloud by day and the fiery appearance at night!

The Lord led the people as they traveled. When the cloud stopped, the people stopped and made camp. They would stay camped until the cloud moved. They would then pull up camp and move following the cloud where it led. God was teaching his people obedience and in a way, practicing it with them.

It brings to mind a child who needs to be taught obedience. At times, it might be necessary to practice something, such as sitting still or staying quiet during worship. Practicing at home can make it easier. You have heard it said that practice makes perfect. You could say that practice makes one grow to maturity.

#risingjoy #devotional

Perfect mercy and grace

But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, “‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (Acts 13:45-47 ESV)

Як юдеї ж побачили натовп, то наповнились заздрощів, і стали перечити мові Павла та богозневажати. Тоді Павло та Варнава мужньо промовили: До вас перших потрібно було говорить Слово Боже; та коли ви його відкидаєте, а себе вважаєте за недостойних вічного життя, то ось до поган ми звертаємось. Бо так заповів нам Господь: Я світлом поставив Тебе для поган, щоб спасінням Ти був аж до краю землі! (Дії 13:45-47 Ukrainian)

O LORD – I trust in your perfect mercy and grace on this new day and always.Thank you kind Father for the air we breath, the food we eat, the water we drink and the spiritual food you provide each day as we humble ourselves before your glorious Son who brought the greatest gift of love this world has ever known or will know. Help all parents who love Christ in their daily struggles to raise their children to love you and love others. Bless all workers in the great harvest field of the world who have left homes, families and loved ones to take the gospel message to the lost and dying of this world. Give leaders of the sending churches the same boldness in providing encouragement and support. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Comfort zone

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

Peter began to speak to him, “Look, we have left everything to follow you!” Mark 10.28

The rich man had just turned away from following Jesus. Kneeling before him, he had confidently stated that he had kept the law wholeheartedly since he was young. What could he possible lack? To the disciples surprise, Jesus told him to go sell everything and give the money to the poor. After that, Jesus invited the rich man to follow him. He went away sorrowful because he was comfortable with his riches.

Peter and the disciples were perplexed by what had happened. The man was rich. He had been blessed. Yet, unless there was a change, he would not be saved. Peter wanted to affirm that he and the others had left everything to follow Jesus. Indeed, they had. They had left professions that might not have made them rich, but that they exercised with some degree of success. They had left it all to follow Jesus.

You hear today of your comfort zone. It is the level at which one functions with ease and familiarity. Jesus wants you to leave your comfort zone for the sake of the gospel. He confirms that you will go through persecutions here in this life. But it is worth the effort that you make.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if we all could function with ease and familiarity teaching the gospel to others? Jesus promised to be with us, Matthew 28.19-20. How is your comfort zone?

#risingjoy #devotional

Sparkling evidence of grace

So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. (Acts 11:25-26 ESV)

Потом Варнава пошел в Тарс искать Савла и, найдя его, привел в Антиохию. Целый год собирались они в церкви и учили немалое число людей, и ученики в Антиохии в первый раз стали называться Христианами. (Деяния 11:25-26 Russian)

O LORD my God, to you I lift up my soul on this new day that arrives with sparkling evidence of your grace and mercy to all people – especially those who love you and obey your beloved Son. Give us wisdom to recognize valuable workers like Barnabas who worked diligently to encourage the work of the apostle Paul. Help all faithful followers of Christ to unite upon the Spirit inspired name Christian. Moreover, wake us up to the moral responsibility to behave like Christ in all things. Stifle the efforts of those who throw cold water on the blessed work of spreading the gospel to all nations. We earnestly pray in the precious name of Jesus.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Victory song!

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you? — majestic in holiness, fearful in praises, working wonders? Exodus 15.11

The Israelites had left Egypt in a hurry. However, it is time-consuming to move such a large number of people very far. Pharaoh had time to regret his decision. Gathering his army, he chased after them. The angel of God and the pillar of cloud stayed between the Egyptians and the Israelites so that one camp did not come near the other.

God instructed Moses to keep moving, lifting up his staff to divide the waters of the Red Sea. The Israelites walked across on dry land. The Egyptians followed. God told Moses to extend his staff once more for the waters to return to their place. God fought for the Israelites against Egypt. The army of Pharaoh was destroyed!

The Israelites sang a song of victory. They proclaimed God’s power and strength in this song. They sang of his holiness, as well as the wonders that he had performed.

Do you have a song of victory? Can you look back and sing of the many ways that God has delivered you from evil? Do you lift your voice in praise to his holiness?

Oh, the songs that many of us could sing!

#risingjoy #devotional

David’s advice

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

Come children. Listen to me. I will teach you what it means to fear the Lord. Psalm 34.11

David had an intimate relationship with God. He was said to be a man after God’s own heart, Acts 13.22. Though he was not without sin, David had a heart that would listen when he was confronted and he would repent. David wrote Psalm 34. He could certainly teach others what it means to fear the Lord.

David’s advice was to not use evil words or deceptive speech. He would tell you to turn away from evil and take the right action. He would want you to strive for peace promoting it instead of violence. David’s life was one that was full of war and fighting to the point that when he wanted to build God a house on earth, he was not allowed to do so. However, he gathered the materials that would be needed so that his son, Solomon could accomplish the task.

He would tell you to cry out to God when in trouble assuring that God hears the godly. God is with the broken-hearted and the discouraged. David wrote that the godly face many dangers, Psalm 34.19. God saves them from each one.

David gave his heart to God. You must do the same. As long as you try to live by your own strength, you will be met with failure and overrun by the evil that exists. Follow David’s example and give not only your heart, but your life to God.

#risingjoy #devotional

Acceptable in God’s eyes

So Peter opened his mouth and said: “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. (Acts 10:34-35 ESV)

पेतरॉस ने उनसे कहा: “अब मैं यह अच्छी तरह से समझ गया हूँ कि परमेश्वर किसी के भी पक्षधर नहीं हैं. हर एक राष्ट्र में उस व्यक्ति पर परमेश्वर की कृपादृष्टि होती है, जो परमेश्वर में श्रद्धा रखता तथा वैसा ही स्वभाव रखता है, जो उनकी दृष्टि में सही है. (प्(रेरित 10:34-35 Saral Hindi Bible)

Almighty God, our dear Heavenly Father ~ hear the prayers of praise and thanksgiving from our hearts and minds as we strive to be acceptable in your eyes. Restore passion for saving souls among elders and those faithful evangelist who go into all the world with the saving gospel of Christ. Energize the church so that nothing except your perfect will can hinder dedicated workers who are preparing to cover the earth with the glory of Christ Jesus by announcing Good News to all people. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister
http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Longing

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

And now I know that none of you among whom I went around proclaiming the kingdom will see me again. Acts 20.25

There is a word in Portuguese that means longing or homesickness. Many people have experienced this sentiment during the past year. It can be for a place or a person. It often brings mixed emotions: happiness in remembering and sadness at the separation.

Paul was meeting with the elders of the church in Ephesus. After stating that he would not see them again, he proceeded to encourage them to remain faithful and to warn them of false teachers that would arise. Paul wanted them to complete the race that they had started. He entrusted them to God and to the message of his grace.

There is one place for which we should all feel a longing even though none of us has actually ever been there. Heaven. Do you ever think about the glorious reunion that will occur when we enter through the heavenly gates? Do you ever look up and wonder if Christ will return today? Are you prepared? Are you homesick for heaven?

#risingjoy #devotional

Constant reminders

Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ (Deuteronomy 8:17 RSV)

и чтобы ты не сказал в сердце твоем: ‘моя сила и крепость руки моей приобрели мне богатство сие’, (Второзаконие 8:16-17 Russian)

O Lord my God and King ~ thank you for the constant reminders of your great grace and glory that is served up to all humanity on each new day. Cleanse our hearts O Lord so that we will be able to assimilate your perfect wisdom into our daily mundane routine. Humble us if we begin to boast about earthly success and remind us that we are dependent upon your lovingkindness to help us through each days’ comings and goings. Give us the pure wisdom of Christ our Lord that aids us being humble and faithful servants. In the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Two options

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you. Romans 8.11

There are two options to live by: the flesh or the Spirit. There is no sitting on the fence. Your outlook on life is shaped by the option that you choose. Not only your outlook on life, but where you spend eternity is determined by it.

If you choose to live by the flesh, your outlook will be shaped by the flesh. The end result is death because it is hostile toward God. It does not submit to God’s law and cannot please Him. The person with this spirit does not belong to Christ.

However, if you choose to live by the Spirit, your outlook is shaped by the Spirit bringing life and peace. Those who have obeyed Christ have his Spirit abiding in them, John 14.23. They have been adopted by God as his children and are fellow heirs with Jesus.

Which option have you chosen?

#risingjoy #devotional

View of God

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

God springs into action! His enemies scatter; his adversaries run from him. Psalm 68.1

How do you view God? In Psalm 68, David wrote his view of God. David was a military man before he became the King of Israel. David had seen time and time again when God led his people to victory over their enemies. The wicked are destroyed before Him as wax melts before fire.

However, the godly are happy! They rejoice before Him and exalt His name. God takes care of His people! He takes care of the orphans and widows. He sustains His people when they are tired. He sends the rain and sunshine.

Jesus also taught in Matthew 6.33 that God provides for his people when they are seeking His kingdom. He gave His Son as a sacrifice so that those who believe in him can have eternal life, John 3.16. He shall judge all men with righteous judgement, Hebreus 12.23. It is important to take our view of God from the Bible for that is where He has been revealed.

#risingjoy #devotional

More clearly comprehend

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:29-32 ESV)

Петр же и Апостолы в ответ сказали: должно повиноваться больше Богу, нежели человекам. Бог отцов наших воскресил Иисуса, Которого вы умертвили, повесив на древе. Его возвысил Бог десницею Своею в Начальника и Спасителя, дабы дать Израилю покаяние и прощение грехов. Свидетели Ему в сем мы и Дух Святый, Которого Бог дал повинующимся Ему. (Деяния 5:29-32 Russian)

O Lord God Almighty ~ help us to more clearly comprehend that you have sent your Son to bring forgiveness of sins and hope of being in your presence forever. Walk with us as we tread cautiously with each step that we take, since we know that we often go in the wrong direction. Stir up the resolve in many that have grown cold toward the knowledge that Christ sets us free from the burdens of sin and death as we follow him in obedient faith. Overthrow the efforts of people who associate with Christians only in order to stir up strife and division. Give us the blessing of faith, hope and love as we encourage one another with the forgiving attitude we learn from Christ our Lord and the Holy Spirit whom you give to everyone who obeys Christ. We pray in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Trembling hearts

Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet. (Acts 4:36-37 ESV)

Так Иосия, прозванный от Апостолов Варнавою, что значит–сын утешения, левит, родом Кипрянин, у которого была своя земля, продав ее, принес деньги и положил к ногам Апостолов. (Деяния 4:36-37 Russian)

Almighty God – our Heavenly Father, the creator of all that exists of the visible and invisible. We come into your awesome presence on this new day with trembling hearts as we consider the magnetic power of the gospel message that influenced Joseph Barnabas to become a strong believer in the power of the Way of Christ. Lord, help us to never forget that there are souls waiting in far off lands for someone to come over and share the message of love and grace that is for all people of any and all racial and language groups. Help us Lord to overcome any hesitations we may have about wholehearted Barnabas type obedience to Christ in taking part in the great work of world evangelism. In the mighty and precious name of Jesus, Amen.

David Binkley, Sr. Gospel Minister

http://www.cedarkeychurchofchrist.com/

#davidbinkley #devotional

Slippery path

Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

But as for me, my feet almost slipped; my feet almost slid out from under me. Psalm 73.2

Have you ever questioned your decision to follow the Lord? When you have looked around and seen those who were arrogant and disrespectful gaining riches through questionable means, have you asked yourself why you continue to try to keep your motives and lifestyle pure?

Asaph wrote Psalm 73. He confessed that his feet almost slipped. Due to envy of those who were proud, he almost fell. He observed their prosperity, the lack of suffering in their lives. They were strong and well fed. They did not have the problems that were so common among men. They adorned themselves with arrogance and violence. They committed wrong acts, mocked and said evil things, and proudly threatened violence. They spoke as if they were gods themselves. They asked the question if God even knew what went on and what they did. Asaph had concluded that he had kept his motives and lifestyle pure in vain. These were the thoughts going through his mind and it troubled him.

Then, he entered God’s temple and understood the destiny of the wicked. God will destroy those who are unfaithful to him. Asaph was ignorant and lacked insight. But, he continued to obey God and be guided by his wise advice. God gave him stability. God’s presence was all that he needed. God was his shelter.

Are your feet almost slipping due to envy of the proud? Do you observe their prosperity and lack of suffering? Remember who God is and allow him to be your shelter in the time of storm. Be guided by his wisdom. Let his presence be all that you need.

#risingjoy #devotional #Psalms #Psalm73