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Inspiring Generations


October 9, 2015

“And all that believed were together, and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44)
The early church flourished in the the face of much opposition. This was true because of many factors. This passage of scripture in Hebrews discloses three important ones that set the base for a growing church. First was a common belief. They believed in a life-changing gospel that dramatically set them apart in an unbelieving world. They believed in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Secondly they were intentionally together. They recognized that this life-changing gospel was best lived out in the context of time spent together encouraging each other in the mission Christ had given them. Thirdly They did this with the attitude of mutual sacrifice. All they had was yielded to those who were committed to that mission.

The last few days our Pastoral Staff has been on retreat. Together we celebrated the common belief we share. Together we prayerfully sought God’s leading. Together we intentionally got to know each other better. Together we yielded our wisdom, passion, and commitment to the ministry God has so graciously allowed us to lead. I am excited about what God has in store for our church, our city, and our sphere of influence in the days to come. I prayerfully anticipate a mighty movement of God through his people. Thank you for giving your staff these couple days to seek God’s heart. As we move on to the next chapter of our church’s life join us as together we impact our world through our God-given mission.

Personal Application: In what ways has your shared belief impacted your commitment to others and the mission Christ has called you to do?

Home Application: Share a time when a shared belief with others has impacted your sphere of influence in changing lives with the gospel.

Are you partnering with others in bringing the life-changing gospel to a needy world?
Devotional written by Chuck Davis

Death Trap?

October 8, 2015

“Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 5:10.
In recent days a mass shooting was said to be directed at those who claimed the Christian faith. Jesus states that the response when faced with persecution is to remember to whose kingdom we belong and not to forget to whom our allegiance has been given. When the disciples of John the Baptist, who was imprisoned, asked Jesus whether he was the Messiah, Jesus once again affirmed who he was. Then he told John’s disciples that they were to tell John that the dead were being raised. Jesus could have broken John out of prison but he chose rather to set John’s heart on the truth of the resurrection. The days ahead hold opportunities for followers of Jesus to stand up and be counted.
D.L. Moody, a former pastor of Moody Church in Chicago, was nearing death after many years of faithful ministry. He penned the following words to his congregation: “Someday you will read in the papers that D. L. Moody is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now ….I was born in the flesh in 1837, I was born in the Spirit in 1855. That which is born of the flesh will die. That which is born of the Spirit will live forever.” To the follower of Christ death is not a trap but rather a first step into the eternal presence of our Savior. On this hope we stand in the face of death, faithful. In this hope we value each moment of life given that we know the power of his resurrection.

Personal Application: How has the truth of the resurrection emboldened you in the face of persecution?

Home Application: Pray for those who daily risk their lives for Jesus’ sake. Discuss how the resurrection affects the way you live your lives.
How does the truth of the resurrection change the way you live your life?

Devotional written by Chuck Davis


October 7, 2015

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Ephesians 6:10

I know you are probably tired of hearing about the armor, but let me give you a little insight…..the enemy is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour!  He knows all of our struggles and weaknesses and that’s what he’s targeting.  He wants to see our lives destroyed.  He wants to see our marriages destroyed. He wants to see our family’s destroyed.  He wants to see our homes destroyed. He wants to see our nation destroyed.

That’s when the Armor of God comes in.  That armor is our life line!  It’s our ticket to VICTORY!  It’s time we quit moping around, all worried and full of fear and decide to take the fight to the enemy.  I love what the If Gathering says…..If God is real, then what?  Are we living as if we believe He is real?  The God, King and Creator of the Universe has given us everything we need to live a victorious life in Jesus!  We get to fight with the tools of Almighty God and we get to WIN!  It’s time we sent the enemy packing, back to where he belongs, and take our lives back!  Take our marriages back! Take our families back! Take our homes back! Take our nation back! He’s done enough damage and I don’t know about you but I’m sick and tired of his shenanigans.  I’m ready to live in Victory, Freedom, Courage and Strength!  We have EVERYTHING WE NEED AND ALL WE NEED! it’s time we put it to use!  Let’s do this and BE STRONG!

Application: Make a game plan to take the fight to the enemy and take back what he’s been messing with.

Are you ready to RUMBLE?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Activate your Armor

October 6, 2015

Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. Ephesians 6:18

The Children’s Ministry Team is studying  Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer.  Hopefully by now, you’ve seen her spectacular performance in War Room!  Priscilla has been so diligent in teaching us there’s not just 6 pieces of armor.  There are actually 7! The most important piece is PRAYER!  You can put on every single piece of armor but without Prayer it’s power is not unleashed.  And not just prayer, but as our verse says, praying at ALL times!

Friends, As Pastor Ky reminded us recently and I’ve repeated more than once…..Little prayer, Little power…..MUCH PRAYER, MUCH POWER!  Prayer is the key that activates the Armor of God!  Pray, Pray and pray some more!  So let’s do this!  Do this with me….

Put on the Belt of Truth.  Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Put on the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace.  Take up the Shield of Faith. Put on the Helmet of Salvation. And Take up the Sword of the Spirit and then PRAY!!!!! And watch God go to work on your behalf!  The enemy doesn’t stand a chance. Victory is OURS!

Application:  How’s your prayer life? Have you ever thought about Prayer activating the Armor of God!  Try it!

Will you choose to live life VICTORIOUSLY?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Put On Your Armor

October 5, 2015

Put on the whole armor of God,  that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

So here’s what you’ve been waiting for.  God knows you’re in this battle and He also knows the victory is HIS. But He also wants you to fight well.  Look back to verse 10.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.

He wants you to be strong, not in yourself, but in His might!  So what does every good Roman soldier need for the battle?  Good Armor!  So here you go!

This is in the order a good Roman soldier would have put it on…..

The Belt of Truth

The Breastplate of Righteousness

Shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace

Shield of Faith

Helmet of Salvation

Sword of the Spirit

There you go!  All you need to Be Strong in the Lord and in the Strength of His Might!  Stand Firm!

I know this is cheesy, but most days, I actually “put on my armor” physically. Act it out just like I’m putting it on.  This is such a powerful reminder that the God of the Universe has equipped me for this battle with His Armor so I can stand firm against the schemes of the devil! Join me!

Application: Think about each piece of armor and it’s powerful significance.  Then practice putting it on.

Will you bravely put on the full armor of God and stand firm?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Who’s on your side?

October 2, 2015

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

So you’ve come to grip with the fact that we are wrestling in a daily battle with the evil one and his armies.  But, what are you going to do about it? Fear? Fret? Worry? I sure hope not since all of those are futile efforts that just waste time and energy.  Let’s remember WHO IS ON OUR SIDE? Ponder these words from the Chris Tomlin song “Whom Shall I Fear?”

You crush the enemy, Underneath my feet
You are my sword and shield, Though troubles linger still


I know who goes before me…….I know who stands behind


Hello?  The God of Angel Armies IS ALWAYS BY OUR SIDE?!  What do we have to fear? Absolutely NOTHING!  We may be wrestling with the dark spiritual forces of this world, but WE CAN FIGHT WITH COURAGE!  FEARLESSNESS!  VICTORY!  Because we know who’s on our side!   So rest easy, and be sure to tune in on Monday as we look at the tools God has equipped us with to fight this battle with COURAGE! POWER! STRENGTH AND MIGHT!

Application: Spend some time in Romans 8 and be reminded of Who you are in Christ!  It will give you great encouragement to fight this battle well!

Who’s on YOUR side?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Did you know?

October 1, 2015

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Did you know you are a wrestler?  Precious friend, if you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior YOU ARE IN A WRESTLING MATCH! Paul tells us in our verse for today, that we DO NOT wrestle against the flesh but against an invisible enemy.  In the heavenly realms, there is a wrestling match, a struggle going on between good and evil and it deeply affects our daily lives.  And by the way, you don’t have a choice.  You are in a battle! But here’s the good news….if you are in Christ Jesus you have a hero!  God Almighty the Creator of the Universe is our HERO!  You also have an enemy….the devil.  And the battle is each and every day.  You see, the devil knows who’s already won this battle and he’s running scared.  So he’s pulling out all the stops to defeat you in any and every way he can.

The Message says it this way……This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.

Dear friend, it’s time you came to grips with the fact that you are in a battle!  Now,  what are you going to do about it?

Application: First of all is do you know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so, you better start making a plan for how you plan to wrestle in this battle.

How will you wrestle?

Devotional written by Carla Dillard

Who Do You Think You Are?

September 29, 2015

Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am. (John 8:58)

Who are you? A teacher? An accountant? A stay at home mother? A coach? A retired state employee? Have you ever noticed how we define ourselves by what we do to make a living? The type of work we do somehow defines who we are… on the inside. Others answer the question by referring to their sexuality: I’m gay. I’m heterosexual. I’m lesbian. As though everything we are is found in physical attraction.

Jesus was once asked “Who do you make yourself out to be?” Although his audience did not necessarily have the best motives as they asked it, that’s a really good question nonetheless. Who are you anyway? His answer? “I am.” The very same name God provided Moses when Moses asked how he should identify God. Bluntly, Jesus claimed to be God. And the Jews of Jesus’ day knew it; that’s why they picked up stones and tried to kill him. Who did Jesus claim to be? God in the flesh. Not a teacher. Not a prophet. Not a really wise man sent to wander the earth. But God. The giver and author of life. The judge over all mankind. The creator who existed before time began. That’s how Jesus described himself. How would you describe him?

Personal Application: Remembering that Jesus is, in fact, God should inspire awe. Today, acknowledge him for who he is. And thank him for loving you.

Why do some people ignore Jesus’ claims to be God?

Devotional written by Clay Barton

Truth Is Narrow. Grace Is Wide.

September 28, 2015

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Truth. Today, truth seems a little out of style. As in “there is no such thing as truth.” Or, “what is true for you is not true for me.” Or, “truth is relative.” Sound familiar? In such an atmosphere of doubt and distrust comes Jesus. For he taught that there is such a thing as truth. Remember Pilate’s famous “what is truth?” question as he cross-examined Christ? Ironically, Truth stood right in front of Pilate as he asked that question. Jesus teaches us that truth is a person. Him. In Jesus, truth took on physical form. And he left very little wiggle room. He didn’t say that he was one of many paths to God. He didn’t say that only some of what he taught was true. Rather, he claimed to be the sole path to God. He, and he alone, claimed to know absolute truth. In fact, he said he is truth. Kind of narrow, huh? Especially when his words are hard. Like “do not commit adultery.” Or, “love your neighbor.”

Truth is narrow. But, thankfully, grace is wide. Not cheap, but wide. For the very same one who said he alone is God also tells us that he does not wish that any would perish without him. Because he is rich in mercy, because he is good, because he is kind, he gives us the gift of grace. Freely. The gospel tells us that a perfect and loving God made a way for sinful and broken people like you and me to fellowship with him. Never by compromising his truth. But through the most loving act in the history of history. Truth took the form of a human, lived a perfect life and died in our place. So that none would have to be separated from him ever again. Amazing, isn’t it?

Personal Application: Start this week determined to cling to truth as you enjoy the very wide path of God’s grace.

Why does the idea that truth is narrow, but grace is wide, offend some people?

Devotional written by Clay Barton

He is…

September 25, 2015

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

Jesus. Remember him? Sometimes in the craziness of our days, we forget all about him. We are busy with this and that. Running all over the place.  Lots of tv and talk radio. Even more sports. Made it to church on Sunday. Lots of religion. Yet sometimes still forgotten… is Jesus.

So here is your reminder: Jesus is God. Jesus is King. Jesus is Lord. Jesus created all things, in heaven and on earth. And every created thing is for his pleasure. Jesus holds all things together. Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the head of the church. Jesus is love. He defines it. He decides what it really looks like. Jesus is our peace. Through him alone we have access to the Father. Jesus is our Savior. He reconciled to himself all things by his blood on the cross. Jesus chose us and predestined us for adoption as his sons and daughters. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. There’s just something about that name…

Personal Application: Don’t let the day so overwhelm you that you forget Jesus.

What can you do today to make sure that you don’t forget to worship Jesus?

Devotional written by Clay Barton

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Guiding generations to become passionate followers of Jesus Christ, one home at a time.