Devotions

Author Archives: Katrina Young

Eternal Investment #4 – Investment Options

Eternal Investment #4 – Investment Options
Katrina Young | Nursery & Pre-K Director

My husband recently started a new job with a company that offered great benefits.  This meant changes to the plans we had in place for retirement.  Meeting with the financial advisor to go over our investment options, the first questions that he asked were to find out what kind of people we are.  The goal was to find out if we are “risk takers, moderate, or conservative.”  Based on our answers he then makes a plan how to grow our funds. Watching the market, he will move things around risking what we have given him to make it grow into more than what it was.  The process is unsettling, giving over all that we have to such uncertainty.

In Luke 18 when the wealthy man asked how to inherit eternal life, Jesus said to him, “Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  The man was very sad because he was very rich.  Our earthly wealth or the lack of has nothing to do with true wealth; the only treasure that matters is the treasure we lay up in Heaven. Jesus taught in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…” 

We are all called to “invest into the Kingdom,” and each of us has been given a gift to further the cause. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Our paths may be very different, and we may have different investment options.   Some may be missionaries in a third world country, a high-risk investment in the world we live in today.  Some may serve quietly and conservatively, while others serve more moderately working with youth.  Matthew 16:27 adds, “For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.”

Finally, 1 Timothy 6:7 says, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.” 

The markets are volatile but eternity is certain – follow Jesus!  He is a wise investment!

The Substitute

Substitute #4 – The Substitute
Katrina Young | Nursery & Pre-K Director

Recently my son went through a very difficult time in his young adult life. It was a time of brokenness and pain that seemed unbearable for him. As a parent, I can honestly say his suffering was unbearable for me to watch. I felt as though I could feel every hurt that he felt, and I cried every tear that he cried. Watching your child go through such a difficult time is heart wrenching, I would have done anything to take that pain from him and endure it myself to save him from it.

When our children are hurting, we hurt; when they grieve, we grieve. It is just what parents do. It is hard to imagine a greater love than what we know as parents for our children. Our heavenly Father’s love for us exceeds anything that we can imagine when we understand that He sacrificed His son to take our place on the cross. When Jesus stepped in on our behalf, He became sin for us so that we would not have to suffer the consequences of it. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Although it was impossible and inappropriate for me as a parent to step in and take his suffering upon myself, I still think about it. God is using the suffering to fulfill His will and plan for His ultimate good. Jesus prayed as He anguished in the garden of Gethsemane, “Father, if it be Your will, let this cup pass from me, but Your will be done.” Jesus knew the suffering He was about to endure would produce death but in turn provide eternal life to all who put their trust in Him. He Himself died for our sins, He stepped in and took our place. 1 Peter 5:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” By His wounds, you have been healed. His purpose was different from mine, as much as I love my son I only wanted to take his pain from him. God’s purpose in sacrificing His son was to save us from the penalty of sin and death. Rom 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Desires of the Heart

Lust #5 – Desires of the Heart
Katrina Young | Nursery & Pre-K Director

“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.  Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”  James 1:14-15   

I once heard a pastor teach on lust and the desires of the heart.  The emphasis was that “anything that distracts you enough to pull you away from your focus on God is something that you desire more; therefore, you are lusting after that thing.”  As a new believer, that statement influenced me and still does today.  There are so many things in this world set up to distract us, and once distracted we are vulnerable to temptation and ultimately sin.

We live in an age of technology. We do not go anywhere without our phones.  From anywhere and at any time we can check e-mail, bank account, social media, or purchase something on Amazon. Ads are everywhere and geared to sell and appeal to our senses.  We are constantly being lured to purchase the latest and greatest thing. What effect is this having on our relationship with God? The enemy wants nothing more than for our thoughts to be consumed with enticing things of this world and to distract and pull us away from the things of God. The verse in James tells us “the desire when it is conceived gives birth to sin.”

Psalms 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When we truly “delight” in the things of God, our desires will begin to parallel with His, and we will never go unfulfilled.   Matthew 6:33 says,But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”  We will never be deeply fulfilled with the things this world has to offer. It is only when we place our joy and hope in Him that all of our desires will be met.

Peace (or Piece) of God

God’s Promises • Devotion #3: Peace (or Piece) of God
Katrina Young | Nursery & Pre-K Director

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

My son was born prematurely twenty-four years ago. We faced all the complications that go along with an early birth, even the possibility of losing him. His path would be an uphill battle of surgeries, therapies, and various medical issues. The normal path of giving birth and the joy that goes with it were gone and replaced with anxiety and fear. I was a fairly new Christian at the time and was beginning to learn God’s Word and come to know Him through study. I now had to act on what I had learned through His Word. I had to make a choice to either trust in my God or to allow my emotions and fears control me.

It is natural for anxiety and fear to set in, when we are faced with trials if our hopes are centered on our circumstances, and not in our Heavenly Father and His will for our lives. When our focus is on anyone or anything else, frustration and defeat are inevitable. However, God has promised that, even in the midst of trouble and conflict, if we pray and make our request known to Him, that He will protect our hearts and minds and give us peace.

I learned very quickly that what we were faced with was out of my control. All I could do for my son was pray and put him into God’s hands. God already knew my heart, thoughts, and requests. I did not have to tell Him; I needed to trust Him, to act on my faith, and give it to Him. This verse does not express a guarantee that He will give you what you ask for when you pray. It is a promise that if we pray and lay our desires at His feet and trust fully in Him, He will guard our hearts, our minds, and give us peace to face the situation.

We were told over and over what would statistically be our life with our son. God has promised that all things work together for good to those who love and serve Him faithfully (Romans 8:28). He allowed us to see many things through that time that could only be described as miracles. It may be difficult for us to see and understand how this is accomplished at times, but God has promised it through His Word.

No, there is nothing that He cannot do; no situation in our lives is ever beyond His portion of peace to get us through. To help us confidently and boldly trust if we are in His Word, He supplies all our needs.

Psalms 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but my God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”



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