Devotions

Author Archives: Debbie Kerr

I am Not the Christ!

Imprisonment and Doubt #1  November 20 I am Not the Christ!

“And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, ‘I am not the Christ.’”  John 1:19-20

Have you ever looked up to a Pastor, Bible teacher, or other religious leader as a replacement for the Word of God? If they said it, it is gospel, even if it is just their opinion or interpretation. This is what started to happen to John the Baptist in John chapter one. We learn a little about John the Baptist in the Gospels, he was known for many things and was gaining popularity among the Jewish people. People started following him, crowds gathered and the people listened. John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus, it is not clear how far removed they were but the Bible teaches they were related on their mother’s side. John the Baptist was a very wild man that lived in the wilderness, wore animal skins and his diet consisted of locusts and honey. He was an interesting character for sure, but God put a special anointing on him because he would be the one chosen to be the front runner to Jesus’ earthly ministry. John’s message was all about repentance and baptism to prepare the Jewish people for Christ’s message and offer of redemption. The Jewish people were excited because they had been waiting for the Prophet Elijah to come to free them from the tyranny of Rome and the religious leaders.

As John taught and baptized, the people became increasingly curious and confused regarding his identity and began inquiring, saying things like, “Are you Elijah the Prophet”? When he denied being Elijah, they asked, “Are you the Christ?” It was then that he revealed his purpose and the introduction to who Jesus was by saying, “I am not the Christ, I baptize you with water but the One coming after me, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Shortly after, Jesus arrived on the scene to be baptized, and John said to Jesus, “I need to be baptized by you, why do you come to me?” And Jesus replied, “John, this is the will of my Father.” Immediately following the baptism of Jesus, the heavens opened, and they saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and rested on Jesus, and behold a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:17)  John refused to be mistaken for Jesus. He even went on to say that he was not worthy to tie His sandals.  John 3:30 says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  

We need to be the John the Baptist’s of our day to the lost and dying world around us. We are not THE Christ, but we are called to be LIKE Christ. We are called to point people to Jesus to live our life in a way that reflects Him, not us! It is often said, “You are the only Jesus some people will ever see.”

Is your life reflecting Christ today? Do people see Him when they look at you or hear His grace, kindness, and love in your conversations? Jesus is coming back again one day, and there are still many people that need to know Him as their Savior. Every day we are one day closer to His return. 

Debbie Kerr
Office Administrator

Contentment #4 – Satisfied in Him

Contentment #4 – Satisfied in Him
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator

1 Timothy 6:6-10
“But Godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 

Early in our marriage through many different circumstances, we found ourselves in a financial crisis that lasted a few years.  We had wonderful parents that were willing and able to help us out from time to time, and God was always faithful.  This type of trial presents many temptations if our focus is in the wrong place. It is very easy to become discontent with our situation as you see what others can do for their children, vacations they are taking, and the material things they can provide.  I have to admit I did not do very well during this season.  I am typically a content person and can adapt to various situations but this one hit me hard, not so much for me but because I wanted more for my children.  I bought the lie the world lays on us that “things” make us happy and fulfilled.  When we allow a spirit of discontentment to enter our hearts, all manner of sinful fruits begin to rear their ugly heads.  Sin will always produce sinful fruit, and discontentment will produce the sin of greed, pride, bitterness, anger, and so on.

The Apostle Paul addressed this issue more than once in Scripture.  Paul came from a very wealthy family of prestigious means.  After he was converted, he literally became a slave for Jesus Christ, imprisoned and many times beaten and left for dead. He trusted God through seasons of provision and seasons of lack. There were many times when he was penniless and homeless as he traveled and preached the Gospel as a missionary.  Paul wrote a letter to the church in Philippi saying in Philippians 4: 11, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”  God wants us to learn to trust Him in every situation; He is our provider.  We live a country where most of us do not go to bed hungry or lack for our basic necessities. We are a very blessed people in comparison to many parts of the world and yet we are probably the most discontented. Wealthy people commit suicide and have addictions and issues because wealth and prosperity do not bring lasting happiness and contentment. Only when we find our complete satisfaction in God, then and only then will we find true contentment. I love the quote by John Piper, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” 

Just As You Are

Lamb #4 – Just As You Are
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

Jesus has many titles in Scripture, one very symbolic being the Lamb of God.  In John 1:29 we find, “John the Baptist introduced Jesus to the multitudes saying: ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’”  This was a very important reference to the Jewish people.  John was letting them know their long awaited Messiah was here. Only, He did not look or act like a King ruling with an iron fist; He came as humble, gentle lamb, a servant, the Savior of the world.

Why a lamb? In Exodus 12, God instructed Moses and Aaron to tell the Jewish people to sacrifice a lamb without spot or blemish and put the blood of the lamb on the doorposts of their homes. Then when He came in judgment over the people, He would pass over the homes with blood on the doorposts and spare their household from death. The blood of the lamb was the sacrifice.  God told them this custom will live on for generations and is still being observed today in Jewish tradition as Passover.  What John the Baptist was telling the people of Israel was that the ultimate lamb, the Lamb of God was here walking this earth shoulder to shoulder with us to be the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. No longer would the blood of an animal be required. The payment for our sins would be covered once and for all. What good news! We cannot gain access into Heaven apart from this blood sacrifice.  Many religions teach that our good works will gain us a place in heaven for eternity but the Bible clearly states in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  Romans 3:10 adds, “None is righteous, no, not one!”  

The Bible says in the book of Revelation that right now around the throne of God, with Jesus the Lamb sitting at His right hand, the angels are proclaiming His holiness and righteousness. Revelation 5:12-13 says, “’Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!’ And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!’”

I pray you have received this free gift of salvation and eternal life by putting your faith and trust in the Lamb of God. You can do it right now, just as you are!

Eye “Sour” Candy

Lust #1 – Eye “Sour” Candy
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator

 “For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world.”   I John 2:16 NKJV

The Urban Dictionary defines lust as a “purely physical attraction that has no lasting effect.”  Have you ever wanted something so badly you just could not get it off your mind and with little regard to the financial ramifications, you finally purchased the item you could not live without, only to find that it really did not deliver the desired feeling you had hoped for? It most likely did for a short time, but it quickly lost its appeal. TV commercials feed into our lusts and now it has crossed over onto the internet and social media.  Advertisements are everywhere to catch our eye and make us feel like our life will be complete and fulfilled because our desires will be satisfied.  Lust is based on a lie; it is a cheap imitation of the real thing! Lust will not only leave you empty, but it will also rob you of many things.  Many marriages are destroyed because of lust; people go bankrupt trying to keep up with the Joneses. People often think they are quickly falling in love when in reality they are falling in lust. Lust is closely related to greed, pride, and it serves itself!

The verses in 1 John 2:16 warn us that the lust of the flesh (I want) the lust of the eyes (I see) the pride of life (I deserve) are not of the Father but of the world.  We are very easily seduced by the world system that tells us there is something we are missing that will make us happier.  Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.”  Although the enemy promises us a lot, he cannot “give” us anything.  He steals, kills, and destroys.  Jesus said He is the giver of the abundant life.  When we seek God’s desires and lay down our own that is the moment we will feel completely satisfied and fulfilled.  Our needs and desires will change as we find our identity in Christ alone.  Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  Pray and ask God to help you delight in Him and to change your desires; that is the only place you will find true lasting happiness.

Read the Fine Print

God’s Promises • Devotion #2: Read the Fine Print
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator

”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).

When I was a young girl, I remember times my dad would tell me that we might do something fun, such as go to the zoo, circus, or amusement park on Saturday. Saturday would come, and I would be super excited only to discover that there were no plans to go to any of those places. I remember saying to my dad in my whiniest voice, “but you promised.”  My dad would gently say, “I didn’t promise, I said, maybe.” You see, my dad did not lie to me or mean to break a promise, he had good intentions, but the circumstances or conditions changed. Maybe the car broke down and the money that we would spend on a family outing had to go to pay for repairs, or someone was sick and the money went to pay the doctor. I began to mistrust or doubt when I heard of a fun idea, but as I grew older and gained understanding, I realized that promises are based on conditions. My dad wanted to give us good things but was not always able because of other factors. Let’s face it, sometimes as parents we do break our promises to our children. It is probably best not to make promises, because as humans we cannot see the future. I love the saying, “make your plans in pencil, but give God the pen!”

On the other hand, when God makes a promise, and the appropriate conditions are met, we can always count on Him to deliver. Our Heavenly Father wants to give us good gifts, but the promises He has given us in His Word have conditions attached. One of my favorite verses with a promise is Proverbs 3:5-6. This passage is many people’s life verses and often quoted, but I wonder if it is accurately understood and applied.

“Trust in the Lord with ALL thine heart.” To trust Him means we believe He only wants the very best for us because He knows the beginning to the end. It might make perfect sense to us at the present, but only He knows the future. Our trust in the Lord, Abba (Daddy) Father has to be greater than our natural desires. We have to know that His love is so much greater than our earthly father who also desires to give us good gifts. It reminds me of the song “Good, Good Father.”  He loves us so much, and He is perfect in all of His ways. He alone is trustworthy!

”Lean not on our own understanding.”  This means we need to seek wisdom and counsel from His Word and from godly people that we trust and respect. We cannot trust our own reasoning power when are emotionally attached to an idea or desire. We also need to pray for wisdom. James 1: 5 says, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach and it will be given him.” His plan is best even if it seems like the last thing we want.

“In all our ways acknowledge Him.”  We acknowledge Him by giving Him the preeminence in our lives. We do this by making Him number one; He is Lord over our lives, our desires, dreams, and relationships. We trust Him so much that we know that nothing else will satisfy us, and no one else will cut it for us. When He becomes everything to us, God will not withhold His plan for us when we look to Him for answers. Jeremiah 29: 13 says that God will be found when we search for Him with all our heart. It is when we manipulate, rationalize, or justify our circumstances; we can be assured that we are headed into a storm. It is as if we are saying to God, “I am going to make my plans or follow my own path, but I want You to bless it.” Do you see how backward that is? What we should be praying is, “I surrender to Your plan knowing that You will bless me abundantly for trusting You.” We cannot expect God to fulfill His promise of directing our path if we do not do our part.

In my early 20s I talked myself into a situation that I wanted so badly that I ignored Godly wisdom and advice. That was not my nature; it was actually very uncharacteristic for me. The result was devastating, and I entered the six hardest years of my life. The suffering endured by myself and the ones closest to me was brutal, all because I leaned on my own understanding. My foolish thinking hurt many people. No man is an island; there will always be a ripple effect. I repented and sought forgiveness from the ones that were hurt by my foolishness. The beauty of God’s amazing grace is that He does not leave us in the mess we have made. He lovingly restored my life and blessed it beyond what I deserved. I still continue to experience the promise of Romans 8:28 that “God will work ALL things together for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose.” I am thankful He does not give up on us when we make mistakes and miss the mark. His grace and love will always be extravagant when we run back to Him and acknowledge His preeminence in our lives. God redeems and restores according to His promises. There is always hope In Jesus!



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