Devotions

Never Leave nor Forsake

Everlasting Father | Devotion #2: Never Leave nor Forsake
Philip Piasecki | Worship Leader

Being a father has drastically changed my approach to life. After my daughter was born, my main priority became being the best father I could be. Every action and decision that I make started being run through the filter of being a father. I have always been a huge thrill seeker; however, I am now much less likely to do something that could put my life in danger now that I am a dad. I always want to be there for my kids, and it breaks my heart to see those whose fathers have abandoned them. The lack of good fathers is truly an epidemic in our culture today. There are so many kids that just want to know they have a dad who loves them, and they have been deprived that opportunity so far in their life.  However, Christmas can be an incredible reminder of the Everlasting Father that we have through the person of Jesus Christ. 

When Scripture calls Jesus “Everlasting Father,” do not be confused, it is not mistaking Him for God the Father. However, Jesus is the perfect representation of God the Father’s attributes. Through Jesus, we see fatherly love. In Scripture we see Jesus love His friends, His disciples, strangers, and ultimately lay His life down for all of those people. A father never abandons his children. Still to this day, if I need help with something, I know that I can call my dad and he will be there right away. In Hebrews, we see the fatherly character of Christ. 

Hebrews 13:5-6 says, “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”

This Scripture serves as an important reminder that true contentment comes from knowing that the Lord is with us, and will never leave us. It does not matter what worldly possessions we have or how life is treating us, we can celebrate knowing that the Lord is with us. Jesus Christ, the Everlasting Father, will never leave us or forsake us. He does not bail when life gets rough, and He does not give up on us when we fail Him. He cares for us, He watches over us, He encourages us, He disciplines us, and He treats us like a father treats his children. If you do not have a loving earthly father, know that God is your Heavenly Father whose perfect attributes were put on display for the world to see through His son Jesus Christ. If you are a dad reading this, I challenge you to have your actions towards your children reflect those of our perfect Heavenly Father. Even when it may feel like we are alone, take hope in knowing that God and Jesus Christ are always there for us. 

Father of All

Everlasting Father | Devotion #1: Father of All
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader & Young Adults Director

The term “father” comes with a lot of emotions. For some, father or dad is a safe place. He is a person children can fully rely on and trust. In many families, the father is the pillar or the rock in the family. 

The term “Daddy’s girl” came to mind. I have four children, and three of them are beautiful girls. All three of them love to snuggle up next to their dad on the couch. They might love it, but not as much as I do. I love that they know that they are safe with their Dad and I love them with everything I have. I would give and do anything for them. I take my role as a Dad very seriously. It is my job and responsibility to love and guide my children. 

The Bible describes God as a Father close to 100 times. Becoming a father is what made me finally realize why God is called “Father.” I may love my kids a lot, but it is not even close to the amount that God loves them or me. He guides me; He is my pillar and my rock. Just like I have the best intentions for my kids, God has even better intentions for my children and me. I can feel safe in my Father’s arms.

My wife’s father left her family when she was twelve years old. The term father brings up different emotions for her. She was abandoned by her father. So God to her is the Father she never had. He is a Father who will never abandon her. He is a good, good father. He is the Father she always wanted and the only Father she will ever need.

My earthly father is great. He is everything you could want in a dad, but he does not even come close to how awesome and perfect a father God is. One day my dad is going to pass away, and many of you have experienced this. However, my Heavenly Father will still be with me.

The term father brings up different emotions for you. Hopefully, it is great memories. When you no longer have your father, God is an Everlasting Father. He is a Father that lasts forever.

I am thankful for the love of the Father, and I am thankful that He is everything I could ever want and need. 

Ephesians 4:6 says, “One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Mighty to Save

Mighty God | Devotion #6: Mighty to Save
Noble Baird | Community Center Director

Back when I was just beginning to learn drums, one of the first worship songs I learned to play was, “Mighty to Save” by Hillsong United. I still remember my best friend Pete playing the opening guitar riff as he counted me in on the drums to begin what ended up being the first beat I learned. We were just a couple of teenagers playing in the youth worship band, but it was some of the most amazing worship experiences I have ever had the privilege of being apart. Within the chorus of this song, Hillsong wrote: 

“Saviour, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save
Forever Author of Salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave.”

In this new study, we have been going over the different names of Christ during this Christmas season. This week is one of my favorites, Mighty God. Although we only see the actual name “Mighty God” in Isaiah 9:6, we continually see our God’s might all throughout His Word. In 1 Peter 1:3-5 Peter writes about the words which we echo in the chorus of Mighty to Save, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” Here, Peter reminds us of the hope we have in Christ through His death and resurrection. 

I love this song, because it perfectly depicts the Mighty God we have. During this Christmas season, it is not always easy. I know that there are those of you who dread and even hate this time of year, because of the pain and hurt that you are experiencing. However, I want to encourage you to remember the words of this chorus. Remember the Mighty God that we serve and have, never forgetting that He truly can move those mountains in our life and that no matter what, He has already conquered the grave for you and I. Yeah, we truly have a Mighty God and a mighty Savior!

How Mighty is Your God?

Mighty God | Devotion #5: How Mighty is Your God?
Kenny Hovis | Prison Ministry Director

How many times have you had an instance to question whether God can help you overcome a circumstance in your life? We have so many opportunities to wonder if He is paying attention. Does He see us suffering? Does He care about a family member or our illness? Does He understand our loss of a job? Does He feel the passing of a loved one? Does He see how little money is in our bank account? Does He sense our loneliness? Does He know our feeling that no one cares for us? I have been in the desert of self-pity that accentuates so many of these feelings. You get to a place where you feel abandoned, a true sense of hopelessness.  No matter your best efforts, you feel God does not care.

A few years back I was self-employed. We always seemed to be struggling to make ends meet. We could not afford health insurance and started praying for God to show us what we needed to do. How can we grow the business? Should I work harder, more hours? Should we sell our house? A couple of years went by, and I was offered a position with Oxford Township Parks and Recreation. It was a modest salary but had phenomenal insurance and benefits. I thought I would retire from there. God answered our prayers.

All the while working there, I had plenty of vacation time, and it allowed me the opportunity to go on many prison trips with the HIM Prison Ministry. I found that most of the men I talked to in prison felt these same feelings of despair, abandonment, loneliness, and doubt. I have concluded when faced with life’s challenges, many of us have these feelings. 

I was reading in Psalms and came upon this passage: “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God” (Psalm 62:5-7).

As I read this passage, it just jumped out at me. Duh! We are not meant to try and solve our problems on our own. We are to put our cares and despairs in His hands. We cannot fix our lives and problems ourselves. We are supposed to surround ourselves in the safe confines of the fortress that God is. Only there will we not be shaken. He is the originator of our hope.

I have come to a place in my faith where I believe it is all about focus. We focus on all that we may not have instead of turning 180 degrees and focusing on the fact God provides for us. He loves us. He protects us.

My God is mighty enough to take care of any situation, care, or concern. How mighty is your God?

Can I Fix it?

Mighty God | Devotion #4: Can I Fix it?
James Clouse | Student Pastor

I like to fix things. I am not saying this in the sense that I am at all good with fixing cars, electronics, or even doing things around the house. Ask Amanda; you do not want to see me with power tools (As I type this I do my best Tim Allen Tool Man grunt). Rather, when people tell me things or have a problem, the first thing I try to do often is fix it. I ask myself if this is something that I can fix. I then often realize that this situation is far above the limitations that are placed upon me as a human being. The situations that I want to fix are not possible in my limited capacity as a mere human being.  

But in Ephesians 3:19-21, I read about a Savior who is unlimited in His capacity to fix any situation: 

“And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Underlining added)

Church, this should give us hope! I feel comforted knowing we have our Mighty God and Savior who can fix any situation we are going through in life. Does this mean that when we are going through hard times that Christ will be right there to fix everything? Of course not. But know that we have a mighty Savior on our side ready to be our “tool man” who will provide us the comfort that we need to get through those times. 

Look back at Ephesians 3:16 for more information. It says, “that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being.” Through the mighty power of Jesus Christ, we have the Spirit to help guide and lead us in life. Do you understand? 

Christ can do anything and everything. He can accomplish any task, overcome any depression, beat any adversary, and fix any family. According to Ephesians, He is accomplishing things in our lives that we do not even know. With the power of the Spirit within us, we are granted some of this power of the Mighty Savior.

Rely on the power of Christ in your life, in your workplace, and in your family. Do not try to fix them alone.



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