Daily Devotionals by Thoughts about God Posts

by Katherine Kehler

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame� Psalm 34:5

Daily DevotionalAs we drove to Davlekano, Russia, I was filled with mixed emotions. This was the place where my mother had spent the first 15 years of her life. But during the Russian revolution, her family had fled to Canada and no relative had been back since then. I prayed that the Lord would connect me with someone who would remember our family. He answered in an amazing way.

At one of our meetings in Ufa, Russia, we were introduced to Romano, a pastor who offered to drive us to Davlekano and show us around the town. As we came near, he invited us to have lunch at their house and we readily agreed. First we stopped at a local store and bought a gift for his wife and found a bag of homemade cookies that were just like the ones my mother used to bake.

When we came to their house, Tanya, his wife, greeted us with a very friendly smile. She radiated Jesus Christ. Three years before she and her husband came to faith in Christ and their love for Him and others was very evident.

Tanya served us a wonderful lunch of salads, cucumbers, brown and white bread, potato soup, cookies and tea. The table was wobbly and the house was old, but clean. And it was obvious she worked hard to prepare for our visit.

I learned a lesson that day. It is not the beautiful home or elaborate preparations that make a person feel good about being in another’s home. It is the spirit of the people living in the home.

She was radiant and very welcoming. This woman, from another country, welcomed us like Christ would welcome us – like a mother welcoming us home.

We didn’t find my mother’s house, but we found love.

Father God, free us from the competition when we invite guests to our homes. Help us to welcome people with warmth and love. Help us to radiate and reflect You. Amen.

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by John Grant
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney

“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in fullassurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.� Hebrews 10:22-23

The media always seems to sell the sensational, tell the part of the story that makes the best read and have a headline or a presentation form that will catch the reader or listeners eye. Such was the case recently when headlines declared that the pastor of America’s fifth largest church said, “We made a mistake.�

The secular press and jealous pastors seized on the moment to say: “See, we told you so.� But what wasn’t so prominently reported and talked about in the media was the rest of the story.

Being a “program driven� and “seeker sensitive� church, Willow Creek Community Church has spent millions of dollars setting up all kinds of programs designed to increase participation and therefore making the participants better disciples of Jesus.

The church undertook a study and survey to determine what ministries were most beneficial for the most people. The results of the survey were both interesting and surprising. It was obvious that in some areas there was not much benefit in relation to the resources put to certain ministries and in other areas, the opposite was the case… not enough resources to meet the need and demand.

Rev. Bill Hybels made two statements. The first hit the press with large headlines when he said: “We made a mistake.� But the rest of the statement was the most important and one not very well understood by the secular world.

What the study showed is that all these “programs� did not lead people into a deeper relationship with Jesus. Hybels said what was apparent was that if the church is not creating “self feeders� instead of “spoon feeders,� all the ministry programs imaginable won’t penetrate souls. The main mission of the church is to create men and women who hunger for the Word and absorb themselves in it daily……people who fall to their knees and seek the will of God in their lives.

The writer of Hebrews tells us to draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith. We need to seek (draw near) to God every day and not depend on others to do it for us. He is patiently waiting for you. Remember, you are as close to God as you choose to be.

In these days ahead, ask yourself if you are a self feeder or a spoon feeder.
(a thought on life from John Grant )

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