Devotions

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.

El Gibbor

Mighty God | Devotion #3: El Gibbor
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor

It seems everyone is searching for something (or someone) to fill a void in their life. Until we find Jesus, we are empty. This was me as a child and young adult. My father was an alcoholic. Life was not pleasant a lot of the time. I would lie in bed at night, listening to the fighting and commotion, thinking that there has got to be something out there I am missing in my life. I longed for peace.  God offers peace, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

I used to watch Superman on TV. Lois Lane would get herself into a predicament, and mild-mannered Clark Kent would transform into her superhero and rescue her. One time she was falling off the roof of a building several stories high, and of course, at the last moment, Superman swooped down and caught her. I was searching for that hero, someone to rescue me.

I needed a warrior, a strong, powerful Savior to enter my life and rescue me. My father did not fill that role. My brothers did not either. Not even my husband, as wonderful as he was (and is) could fit the role. He was not that “superhero” I needed to rescue me. I wanted a mighty warrior. In Hebrew, Mighty God is translated “El Gibbor,” the ultimate power over all. I longed for an “El Gibbor” in my life.  I finally found him on April 24, 1995!

When I was introduced to Jesus and began a relationship with Him, I was rescued!  A Mighty God had come into my life, and I knew He would fill the void. This was what I was searching for all my life. I was finally fulfilled and at peace. This was the superhero I needed in my life. One that would always be there to protect me, comfort me, and love me. In Hebrews 13:5, He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

I spent years expecting someone to “save” me, a Savior. The Jews did as well. As prophesied in Isaiah and throughout the Old Testament, the Jews were expecting the Messiah to come and rescue them. When He did come, some recognized Jesus was the expected one; some did not. When your Savior calls out for you, do you recognize it is the Mighty God?

You are falling off the rooftop. You are almost to the first floor and then the ground. A Mighty God is reaching out to catch you and rescue you from certain death. Will you accept Him into your life? He is just waiting for you to believe and start a relationship with Him. Then the void in your life will be filled with His peace and love!

Letters to the Next One

Mighty God | Devotion #2: Letters to the Next One
Ryan Story | Student Pastor

For the prophet Isaiah, or any of the prophets for that matter, to prophesy that Jesus was coming has the same significances as me writing to my next child. To immerse myself in how the prophets of old must have felt, this month I will be writing to a child that I do not know. My wife and I have not even begun talking about another child, but to understand how amazing the first coming of Christ was, we must understand that people were writing about a person who they did not know.  I am writing theses devotionals November of 2017, and I am eager to read these December of 2018.  

Dear Child,

The things that God is going to do with your life are unfathomable! I cannot even begin to figure out what kind of person you will be. Will you be calm or wild? Will you have a thirst for righteousness and have a heart for those in need? Will you be logical and loving?  I cannot even begin to think what your personality will be like, to even think about what God is going to do with your life. Even though I do not know much about you, knowing you will be used by God is such a fantastic feeling. The biggest dreams I can dream for you are still infinitesimal compared to what God has planned for you! God can do so many things with one small child. When Jesus was born, angels rejoiced so much they became visible. A group of shepherds’ lives were changed at the sight of a small baby. A temple priest by the name of Simeon said he saw salvation when he held that small baby. Wise men traveled miles to meet a small boy that lived under a star. Jesus was mighty from the moment He was born. God can do mighty things with small babies. While you may not be able to boast of that kind of might, know that God loves using small things.

The prophet Zachariah said, “For who dares make light of small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10 NET). I cannot think of anything smaller than a baby, and I cannot think of anything larger than your potential. The largest tree starts as a small seed, but with the proper nurturing look how tall they can grow. Some of the biggest companies that exist started in a garage or a basement. At one point I did not know anything about the Bible. At one point I did not know anything about Jesus. Years have passed and with a lot of hard work and being faithful to God; I am now trusted to teach the Bible to God’s people. I know God will be there to help you move whatever mountains are in your life, just never lose faith that He, in fact, can and will move them. Do not look at your limitations, look at God’s limitless power!

Your brothers both started out small, and they moved mountains in my heart. I cannot even begin to express how much I love them. I can only imagine how you will be able to be used by God to influence others and me. Never forget, size is not the same as power. Remember God used David to defeat Goliath. God only has one option: He must use the small to show His might. So let God show His might through you.



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