Devotions

Author Archives: Isaiah Combs

The Gift of Serving

Spiritual Gifts | Devotion #2: The Gift of Serving
Isaiah Combs

The gift of the Holy Spirit (Ghost) is a commonly debated topic in the Church today.

There are many different beliefs on what the gifts are, how they are used and if we do or do not have them. I am not going to argue either way as I write this. I am simply going to talk about one of the gifts that is not written about in the Bible.

Romans 12:6-8 says, “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”

One of my favorite sayings my Dad says is, “You were made on purpose for a purpose.” He says it all the time. He says it in sermons, to kids, teenagers, and people of all ages. The saying is very biblically based; you were 100% made on purpose for a purpose. 

Psalm 139:13-14 says, “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

You are unique, and that also goes for the gifts you receive according to the grace given to you. The gifts Paul writes about in Romans are prophecy, service, teaching, exhortation, generosity, leadership, and mercy. There are other gifts of the Spirit the Bible talks about, but I am writing about the ones Paul writes about in Romans chapter 12. You may be blessed with one or more of these gifts. You were called to use these gifts to bring glory to God and spread the Gospel.

 I would like to talk about one of the gifts, the gift of serving. You who have the gift of serving are called to use it. That may sound simple but it true. There is an awesome lady in our Church who has three young adult kids. She does not know a ton about the Bible, and she will tell you that, but she for sure has the gift of serving. Every time she goes to a Growth Community, she brings some awesome food and will get there early and serve people and make sure they are all good to go, served, and loved. She uses the gift God gave her. It might not be the gift that is out in front of people and is seen by all. But it is a very important gift that Jesus has told us to use. Even at the Last Supper, Jesus gave us an example of serving by putting on a servant’s apron and washing the Disciples feet (John 13:1-7). 

Your gift was given to you on purpose for a purpose. Use it according to the grace given to you.

Arrows

The Gift of Family | Devotion #4: Arrows
Isaiah Combs

I love my kids. They are my pride and joy in life. I am so thankful that God has blessed me with five of them. I love that they are such a big part of my life. I know that they are not my own. I know that God let me borrow them. All five of them were entrusted to me so that I could raise them the way God wants. The reason is to bring glory to God. 

I try to pray over my kids every night. I pray that God will use them to do great and awesome things for Him and that He will guide them. Then I ask God to help my wife and I raise them the way He wants. I also ask for wisdom and discernment in my parenting. 

The life of someone in ministry is always crazy. Working a lot of hours, going on prison trips, and dealing with a lot of people can be hard. It is especially hard on my children. The time I spend serving the Church is time away from them. So I make it a priority to make sure they know why I work long hours, why I am always at the Church, and why I go on prison trips. The why is important for my kids to know. It is important for them to know I am not just spending time away from them to get away from them. The why is to spread the Gospel and to glorify God.

Psalms 127:4 says, “Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.”

I am not much of a bow hunter, but I do know one thing. If your arrows are not sharp, they are not going to penetrate the target. My kids were given to me like arrows in my quiver. My job is to raise them mentally, spiritually, physically, and socially so I can shoot them out like sharp arrows. I want them to be sharp enough to penetrate their target. The target is the place or people God has called them to reach with the Gospel. 

My wife and I, as their parents, are called to be good examples and raise our kids to glorify God. The victory is when we can shoot them out and watch the awesome things God is doing with them.

Hakuna Matata   

Remember It | Devotion #1: Hakuna Matata
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader

Here is a crazy fact that will make some of you feel old. The Disney movie, “The Lion King,” was released into theaters in 1994. That was 24 years ago. I have always loved The Lion King, and now that I have my own kids, I force them to watch it with me. That was until my 5-year-old daughter began to get nightmares because of the scene that Mufasa dies. It is pretty intense. I would have to agree.

But there is a song in the movie that is really catchy. The song is “Hakuna Matata,” and it means “no worries.” The meaning of the song and the phrase “Hakuna Matata” is that the past does not matter because it is in the past. Once we accept it is in the past, it is gone, and you should forget about it. The song also talks about a warthog, named Pumbaa, who had a stink problem when he was a young warthog and forgetting the past helped him move on into his future. It is a problem-free philosophy. But I do not agree. Remembering your past can help you appreciate where and why you are in your walk right now.

The Bible is very clear about what happens to my sins and my past. Psalm 103:12 says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” We also read in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I am very thankful for the forgiveness of my past, and I am thankful I am not that person anymore. It is good to remember what God saved us from. He will not use it against us, nor should we.

Our past is important. Although I am not proud of my past, I get to use my past all the time to help people going through the same or similar situation and trials in their life. I like to call my past, my testimony. It is my testimony on what God has done and has continued to do in my life. It is nothing that I have done. but it is everything that Jesus has done in and through me. 

I still like the song “Hakuna Matata,” and I still will let my kids watch the movie. I will remain thankful for my past because it is my testimony. So remember your past and use it for the glory of God. There is someone out there right now struggling, and they need to hear your testimony of what God has done.

Light Switch

Define It | Devotion #2: Light Switch
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader

I like to say, “My life was the church and the church was my life when I was a kid.” If the doors of the church building were open, my family and I were there. I even lived across the street from the church for a few years. I believe wholeheartedly that I was saved when I was five years old in that church. My Dad lead me to Jesus in his office which has since been ripped out to make room for nursery improvements. Most of my good and bad memories as a kid happened at that church. I would go through the motions and get involved because it was the only thing I knew. 

However, it does not matter how you grow up or how great your parents are. You still have to have your own personal relationship with Jesus. I call this finding your own Jesus.

Through my teen years, like most kids, I was rebellious, and when I finally got my chance, I ran from God. At 18 years old, I joined the Air Force and went to figure life out on my own. Even though I knew I was saved, I still was not living the life that God had for me. 

It took eight years for me to finally see the light. I was 26 years old when I finally gave in to God and stopped running. I call it my Jonah moment. I was in the belly of the great fish on my knees finally giving myself fully to God and what He had for me. I found my own Jesus. I found out what His love, forgiveness, grace, and mercy meant to me.

 The great fish spit me up on the shore, and I ran to my Nineveh. I have not looked back since. I promised God that I would go back home and do anything I could to serve Him and to be used by Him.

 Finding my own Jesus was a very important part of my life. It was my “Light Switch” moment when I realized it was not my parents, brothers, grandparents, or anybody else’s relationship with Jesus. It was mine.

Work Out Your Salvation

Vision | Devotion #3: Work Out Your Salvation
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader

“What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”James 2:14-17

I attended a secular college Bible class that used the Bible as literature and not as the living Word of God. It was one of the most eye-opening semesters of my life. It taught me a few things about myself. First, I do not know enough about the Bible, and I needed to study more. Second, the world has a skewed view of the Word of God and will stop at nothing to disprove it.

One of the discussions we had in the class was about James 2:14-17 and 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.”

The professor believed that James and the writer of Ephesians (Paul) were contradicting each other. James was saying you needed works to prove your faith and Paul was saying we only need faith and it is not the result of the works we do.

I believe 100% that the Bible is the perfect written Word of God. Everything was put in the Word on purpose for a purpose. I am telling you it is both. James is telling us that if we have been saved by faith and God’s amazing grace, we cannot help but do works for others. It is the proof that we have been changed. It is also us showing and giving people love by serving them.

Dan Smithers, a missionary to Durban, South Africa, put it best. If starving kids come to him and all he does is tell them about Jesus and sends them away, they will never be changed. But if he gives them PB and J and then tells them about the Bread of Life (Jesus), they now can see what Jesus is like. People need something they can touch and feel, and we are the only Bible they are going to read and the only Jesus they will see.

Paul is not arguing with James in Ephesians but is adding to it. The message is consistent; you do not need the works to be saved. It is nothing we can or have done but it is everything that Jesus has done for us, and we are saved only by grace through faith.

Serving and works are a very important part of our faith, and without the proof of works, your faith is dead. The Bible is clear. Take a good look at your life and works and find out why you are serving or why not.



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