Devotions

Author Archives: Donna Fox

Fallen – His Mission #1

Devils and Demons | FIGHT
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor

Have you ever had an important task assigned to you, or self-imposed?  This is called a “mission.”  For instance: “It is my mission to help my children do well in school” or “It is my mission to find a solution to this problem.” 

God’s fallen angel, Satan, or the devil, had a mission.  His goal was to steer Christ off course during his time on Earth, to prevent Him from His end goal.  Thankfully Jesus fulfilled His mission in spite of Satan! (John 19:30).  Jesus overcame the devil several times, including His birth (Herod was going to kill all baby boys), at His temptation in the wilderness (Satan said “worship me”), and by ultimately going to the cross on our behalf.

When Satan did not succeed with Christ, he came after Christ’s followers or would-be-followers.  He causes a man not to believe, and therefore not to be saved (Luke 8:12).  He destroys our faith in God.  He camouflages the truth and poses as a true believer and teacher of the truth (1 Timothy 4:1-2) that leads us astray.  His ultimate goal is to destroy the church.

But the good news is that in these 2000 plus years, Satan has not succeeded in destroying the church!  We need to be vigilant in our study of God’s Word, to align it with what we hear and do.  We need to pray (Matthew 16:22 says, “Get behind me, Satan.”).  We need to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11).

We need to constantly be aware of him and his demons’ presence all around us.  Resist him.  Fight against him.  Pray for protection from him.  If we crack the door open, he will swing it open wide and get ahold of us.

When I was in the choir, myself and another choir member would struggle with a sore throat, or waking up not feeling well.  We kept telling each other to “not let the devil win.”  We would persevere and attend practice or attend church and sing to the best of our ability.  Over and over we would say to each other how blessed WE were by resisting the temptation to stay home, and instead, coming to sing.  We did not let the devil win!

Do you recognize his devious schemes?  Are you praying “get behind me Satan?”  Are you resisting his falsehoods and moving forward with God’s truths firmly in the forefront of your mind?  If not, make a decision today to FIGHT!  You (and God) will prevail!

Eternal Investment #1 – Grand Scheme

Eternal Investment #1 – Grand Scheme
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor

What are you investing in?  A 401K plan?  Stocks?  Real Estate?  While it is true we are charged to be good stewards with our money and be prepared for the future, these are only worldly investments.  They mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.   1 Timothy 6:8 says “…we cannot take anything out of the world.” When we die, all the money in the world means nothing.  When you come before the judgment seat of God, he is not going to ask how much money you had in the bank, or how many possessions you had.  They are worthless.

When I was saved, one of the first things I learned was Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” I was so happy I shared the Good News with everyone I knew!  This is what our real purpose on earth is.  First to come to know Jesus as our Savior, and Lord of our life.  Then to share the Good News, the Gospel.  By investing in the unsaved in this way, we are making an eternal investment.  THIS is the type of investment that is worth more than gold and silver.

Use your money to further the Kingdom – go on a mission’s trip, support missionaries, support your church, help the poor, tell someone about Jesus.  Investing in a boat or stocks will not do anything to further the Gospel, but supporting a missionary who is in a third world country telling people of Jesus for the very first time, that furthers the Gospel.  We are to “lay up treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:20, Luke 12:21).

Matthew 6:19 says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.”  Thieves can steal your possessions. The stock market can steal your nest egg.  However, no one can steal your heavenly investment.  Keep your eyes open today for an opportunity to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with someone at work, at the grocery store, at school, anywhere you come in contact with others.  Pray for the opportunity, pray for God to give you the courage and the words to say.  Pray for the other person’s heart to be softened to hear your words.

J. H. Jowett once said, “The real measure of our wealth is how much we would be worth if we lost all our money.”  When you come face to face with God, how much will your wealth measure?  Will it be the wealth from worldly investments, or will it be the wealth from heavenly investments?  Luke 12:15 says, “One’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Think about what you are investing in today.

The Worthy King

King #7 – The Worthy King
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor

There are many kings in the world today.  Some of the countries with kings are Jordan, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.  How did they become king?  They inherited it by being born into a royal family.  They did not do anything to earn that title.  It was simply handed to them, deserving or not.  They have power and wealth because of the title.

Jesus is our “King of kings and Lord of lords” (1 Timothy 6:15; Revelation 19:16). Was He born into a royal family?  No.  Was His family powerful and wealthy?  No.  Joseph was a carpenter.  Mary was a lowly servant (Luke 1:48).  By the world’s standard, looking from the world’s view, this was an ordinary baby born in a manger.

How was it then that He was given the title “King” if He was not born into a royal family?  His Father gave him the title. God exalted Jesus to His rightful place as King in Psalms 29:10, “The Lord sits enthroned as King forever.”

All four of the Gospel accounts refer to Zechariah 9:9, “Behold your king is coming to you.”  Coming as a king was a fulfillment of prophecy.  Jesus was even charged with being a king in Matthew 27:11.   This was cause for His crucifixion.

How do I know that Jesus is my King?  He died for me and then rose again on the third day.  He bore my sins on that cross.  However, do I live as if He is my King?  Do I honor Him with my words and actions?  Daily, I need to remind myself to pick up my cross, carry it, and follow my King.

By the world’s standards, was He born into a royal family?  No.  Would they say He is deserving of the title “King?”  No.  Would they realize He is powerful?  No.

However, by God’s Word, we know that Jesus is a King who will welcome believers into His Kingdom!  2 Timothy 4:18 says, “The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom.  To him be the glory forever and ever.  Amen.”

Two Ears, One Mouth

Anger #4 – Two Ears, One Mouth
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:  Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”  James 1:19-20 

When I was younger, I used to talk a lot.  If I were telling someone something that happened, I would go into every detail and go on and on so that I was sure he or she knew everything.  They would grow weary of my story and finally say, “Just get to the point!”  If they were trying to tell me something, I would likely interrupt with my take on the situation or a similar story that happened to me. I was not good at listening.

As I have matured, I have tried more and more to heed the advice of James “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  We have two ears and one mouth.  It seems like God designed us that way for a reason!  Listen twice as much as you talk.

If you are in a situation where you become angry, the first thing you need to do is take a step back, take a deep breath, calm down, and LISTEN.  Do not talk.  In your anger, you will likely get madder and madder as the words come out of your mouth.  Calmly listen to the other person’s point of view with your two ears, then calmly talk with your one mouth.  Listen twice as much as you talk.

It has taken me a long time to learn this lesson, and it has not been easy, especially with family.  With our families, we are the most comfortable.  We have a history there.  With strangers, we are more guarded.  I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut sometimes, especially with those closest to me, but when I have, I know that it has saved me a lot of heartache and anger.  After I listen, calm down, and look objectively at the situation, it never seems as bad as I originally thought.  Time calms the anger.

Maybe your anger does not subside.  Maybe your anger just grows and grows into bitterness or rage.  Is that glorifying God?  When people look at you, do they see Jesus?  Do they see love, joy, peace?  Do they see anger?  1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

God calls us to edify one another, be encouraging, and loving.  1 Thessalonians 5:11says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”   We are not pleasing God by being angry.  The bitterness in our hearts and the words coming out of our mouths are surely not what God desires.

So step back, take a minute to pray, and let the anger subside before you speak.  Maybe the situation will resolve itself and you will not have to speak at all!

Lean on Me

Storm Chaser • Devotion #4: Lean on Me
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor

You have faced the storm.  You have gone into the storm.  You have come out of the storm.  You survived!  You are stronger because of it. Maybe you are not physically stronger, but spiritually stronger.  Now what?  How can you use your experience for God’s glory?

If you have lost a loved one, join a GriefShare group.  We have a great group that meets every Wednesday night.   Sharing your story of survival and how you coped may be just the story someone needs to hear.  If you have suffered addiction, or come from a family touched by it, check out The Road.  This group meets every Tuesday night and is always looking for people who can empathize with their situations.  Did you go through a cancer scare?  So are many others around us.  Reach out and offer to talk (or rather listen!) as they may just need someone to talk to today that has been through it and understands.

How can you help someone in need?  First, take them to Scripture.  They may not be strong enough to open the Bible and find the right verses of comfort, but you have been there, you know what might help.  Write it down on a 3 x 5 card so they can find it easily and read it repeatedly.  Next, pray for them.  1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”   Intercessory prayer is very powerful.  Another thing you could do is to send a card or text of encouragement.  Let them know you are available to talk anytime.

If we humble ourselves and put ourselves in others shoes, we begin to realize what they are feeling and how sharing our experiences might help them through it.  In 1 Peter 3:8, Peter writes to Christians, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”  Paul also encourages empathy in Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.”

It has been said:  You are either going into a storm, you are in a storm, or you have just come out of a storm.  In any case, it is God’s plan, and God will carry you through it.  He wants you to learn from it and grow from it.  When you reach out to another going through a similar situation, you will bless them.  Who knows, sometimes it is the other way around and YOU are the one who receives the blessing!  Reach out today.



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