July 22, 2019

Luke 17:26-36 (KJV)

26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
31 In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back.
32 Remember Lot’s wife.
33 Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
34 I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left.
35 Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
36 Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

On April 27, 1986 life changed drastically for a community. Thousands of people in the city of Pripyat were told they were being evacuated. They were told only to bring essential items and they would be back in three days. They had no idea they would never return. All the material things they possessed were lost forever. This was the city where most of the workers of the Chernobyl power plant lived.
This passage in Luke tells of one unexpected day when all believers will be taken. All our possessions and things that are important to us now will be instantly irrelevant. Only two things will matter.
1. Are you ready to meet the Lord
Only believers in Christ will meet him at this time. Have you had a time where you have personally put your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior?
2. Are you living in a way that pleases him?
When I was a younger teen, my parents went to dinner and trusted us to not destroy the house. Well my sister and I decided to race across the middle of the house. When we were close to the wall to end the race my sister slowed down, I didn’t. My hand went through the sheet rock. Needless to say, I wasn’t ready to meet my parents.
As believers we are to be looking for Christ’s return, and doing everything we can to reach others. We are to be careful not to get sidetracked by the material things that can take our focus. He may come today!

Jacob Jarriel

July 19, 2019

I thought it would be great to take one week and share some devotions from evangelist Harold Vaughn. He was a blessing to our church recently and I would love for you to get to read some of his comments.

BIBLE READING: LUKE 16

Luke 16: 15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.

Proverbs 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

We become what we focus on, and we produce what we focus on. Parents, what are you focusing on as you train your children, their behavior or their heart? Young person, is your focus on what you do or what you are?

Certainly, behavior is an indicator of the heart, but it is the heart that is the source of our behavior. The word heart in the Bible primarily deals with our thoughts and affections, rather than our emotions. Emotions follow our thinking and affections.

Parents must be careful about focusing on the ideal in the life of a child to the exclusion of the heart. As sinners we have a bend towards evil that we will struggle with until we go home to heaven. That means there is a difference between the ideal and reality many times. Continually pointing to the desired standard will not change the heart. Emphasizing behavior over the heart will not only fail to work long-term but is discouraging in the short term. Worse, it teaches the child that the most important thing is to maintain a good performance at the expense of the heart. The result is a child that ignores the condition of his or her heart and focuses on externals alone.

Focusing on behavior alone in the correcting the heart will produce a Pharisee who is judgmental, angry, and self-righteous. It is possible for the outside to be in good order, but the heart to be full of sin. As our children become teenagers, if they neglect their hearts, they will become self-righteous rather than broken over sin. When David committed adultery and murder, he pretended that things were right in the sight of others, but God wanted his heart to be right in Psalm 51. Failure to guard and protect our hearts will have ungodly consequences in the end. The same is true if we focus on our children’s behavior and ignore the state of their hearts.

Harold Vaughn
Rick Johnson

July 18, 2019

I thought it would be great to take one week and share some devotions from evangelist Harold Vaughn. He was a blessing to our church recently and I would love for you to get to read some of his comments.

BIBLE READING: LUKE 15

22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: 23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:

RING, ROBE, REEBOKS, AND A RIBEYE

We are looking today at one of the most beloved stories in scripture, the story of the prodigal son. Prodigal means a waster, one given to extravagant expenditures. This story was one of three given to confront the Pharisees and scribes with their incorrect view of God.

In this parable the younger son said to his father, “give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. “He later said goodbye and “took his journey into a far country.” While there, he ended up in the gutter, or the pigpen, because he wasted his substance with riotous living. Fortunately, this young man came to himself and decided to return to his father. He realized his father was a good father and that he and sinned against heaven and his father. He decided to go home and offer himself as a hired servant in his father’s house. But how would he be received?

When he returned, the Bible tells us his father showered him with kisses, then presented him with a robe, a ring, shoes on his feet, and a feast. The robe covered the rags and filthy clothing the young son wore and are a picture of the righteousness Jesus Christ offers to guilty but repentant sinners. (Romans 3:24) The father extended forgiveness to the son and dealt with the guilt and shame he most surely felt. The ring represented Sonship and the fact that the son would now be able to transact business in the father’s name. This meant the son was now accepted back into the family and had regained full rights. The shoes on his feet, or Reeboks, represented a change in direction the son is not walking away from the father but is now walking with the father. The fatted calf, ribeye, speaks of the satisfaction the son now enjoyed. Forgiveness, acceptance, change, and satisfaction! All of this was the result of the love of the father for the wayward son who returned having wasted his substance with riotous living.

Harold Vaughn
Sammy Frye

July 17, 2019

I thought it would be great to take one week and share some devotions from evangelist Harold Vaughn. He was a blessing to our church recently and I would love for you to get to read some of his comments.

BIBLE READING: LUKE 14

28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it?
29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him,
30 Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

God is very serious when he makes promises. The Bible says that he “cannot lie” in the book of Titus and that he is faithful to keep his word in the book of Philippians.

God is just as serious about the promises we make to him. The Old Testament equivalent of the word promise is “vow”. When one makes a vow to God, God expects it to be kept according to Ecclesiastes chapter 5. Because God takes our promises to him so seriously, he warns us to be careful with our words and to let them be for you. In other words, be quiet if you have no intention of keeping your promise.

I do not think any decent parents want to lie to their children. Parents want to do what is good for their children, but life gets busy and commitments that were made in sincerity are tested. We shouldn’t commit to something we cannot keep. This is true for God and people. Not keeping commitments happens frequently between parents and children, especially when they are young. One reason we make rash promises is that we haven’t counted the cost. Jesus warns against the failure to pause first and evaluate whether we have adequate resources to finish what we begin according to Luke chapter 14 verses 28 through 30.

We need to learn to say no more often or at least to say let me consider it and I’ll get back with you. Good business practice includes under promising and over delivering on products and services and this would be an excellent way to build trust and goodwill with others. Some people make promises they cannot keep because they do not want to disappoint others. The result is making too many commitments and then getting angry about having to keep them. When this is done on a consistent basis, it destroys trust that is essential to any relationship. The way godly character is expressed is being faithful to our promises. Ask God to help you to be faithful to your word.

-Harold Vaughan

-Rick Johnson

July 16, 2019

I thought it would be great to take one week and share some devotions from evangelist Harold Vaughn. He was a blessing to our church recently and I would love for you to get to read some of his comments.

BIBLE READING: LUKE 13

People sometimes have strange notions. Tragedy can strike another person’s life, and immediately some people believe that this person’s life must be under the judgment of God.

While God may certainly judge anyone for their actions and attitudes, it is not wise for us to become judges based on what we see happening to others. The disciples of Jesus were like mini ordinary people of their day. They believed that people were suffering because God was judging them.

By example, they thought the man born blind was being judged for sins he perhaps committed in the womb in John chapter 9. On another occasion, people asked Jesus about the Galileans who are gone into the temple to hide from the authorities. They were criminals, and Pilate decided to violate the temple, as a Gentile, and go in and take the criminals out.

Luke 13:2-5
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

Think about some bad things you know that have happened to other people. Why do you think those bad things happened? Should we consider those people to be worse sinners than we are because those things happen to them? Do you think God knows more about what is happening in all our lives than we do? It would be very wise for us to leave the judging to God for we to will stand before him one day.

Harold Vaughan

James Stallard

July 15, 2019

I thought it would be great to take one week and share some devotions from evangelist Harold Vaughn. He was a blessing to our church recently and I would love for you to get to read some of his comments.

BIBLE READING: LUKE 12

The question was asked of a rich man: “so what does it take to satisfy you?” The rich man replied, “just a little bit more.” His response leads us to consider the subject of covetousness which is basically an uncontrolled desire for more.

Jesus offered a warning regarding covetousness. In Luke 12 verse 15 He said, “take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” There is certainly nothing wrong with having a possession, but when having more things becomes an obsession, we are in trouble. In first Timothy six verse nine Paul said, “they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts.” Paul was explaining that the desire for money will take you in, the deception of money will take you away, and the distraction of money will take you down. Money is an important thing to have as long as you control it, but you must never let it control you. Interestingly enough, the love of money spoken of in verse 10 can be a problem when you have five dollars in your wallet or 5 million in the bank. It is not an issue of your bank balance, but your attitude.

Our modern society has come to believe that the more money you have, the more you can buy, and the more you can buy, the more you can have, and the more you can have, the more you can do, and the more you can do, the happier you will be.

For this reason, there are many who are driven by an uncontrolled desire for money and more money. Sadly, they fail to realize that the greatest things in life are the things that money cannot buy. When it comes to money, never allow yourself to get caught in the trap of seeking “just a little bit more”. You may not get out of that trap.

– Harold Vaughn
– Tom Palmer