Devotions

Author Archives: Katrina Young

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Joseph • Devotion #1: It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
Katrina Young | Nursery & Pre-K Director

Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year.  Our family always got together and celebrated even when there were struggles, pain, and hardships in our lives.  My mom was the most enthusiastic about Christmas, and nothing was going to steal her joy. She would always say to us, “Whatever it is, it will wait until tomorrow, tomorrow it will look different and then you can decide how to handle it.” Whatever the crisis was, big or small, it had to wait. I did not realize the wisdom in her words then, but now I cherish them.

When I read the story of Jesus’ birth and that very first Christmas, I have to wonder what Joseph must have been experiencing. What he had planned for his life had now taken a drastic turn, the woman that he is betrothed to was “….with child from the Holy Spirit.”  At a time when they must have been planning their wedding ceremony, he is now faced with making a decision while in the midst of a crisis that he did not see coming.  Joseph gives us a perfect example of what to do in an impossible situation. He pondered his decision, and he listened to the direction that was given by the angel sent by God; little did he know that God had something better in mind.

Matthew 1:22-23 says, “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘Behold! The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ — which means, ‘God with us.’”

We are all faced with life changes that we did not expect, things happen that are not within our plan, and we have to decide how to move forward.  Joseph and Mary were right in what seemed to be an impossible situation.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  Both Mary and Joseph questioned what they could not explain but trusted God and found themselves in the middle of His plan and the fulfillment of prophecy.  They were entrusted with the very first Christmas gift, the birth of our Savior. 

Whatever the circumstances life has thrown at you this Christmas, ponder and wait on direction from your Heavenly Father, the greatest present to receive is ‘His Presence.’

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Prophet vs Politician

Death #1  November 27 Prophet vs Politician

Our country has just gone through a political process that might be considered the most controversial in history.   Respectfully, our country has elected a man to the office of the presidency that simply did not fit the mold expected of a political leader.  We have a president that did not come through the ranks as one would expect to leave him open to criticism.  His legacy remains to be seen, but the uncertainty gives way to protesting, rioting, and confusion.  If this is happening in our world today what must it have been like when Jesus walked the earth professing to be “The Messiah?”

Was Jesus who He claimed to be?  He certainly did not fit the mold of what people thought He would be.  The Bible is filled with Scriptures and prophecies describing who Jesus is, His life and what He came to do. The Jews had expectations of what the “Messiah” would be, but they expected an earthly king.  Isaiah 9:6 (NASB) says, “And the government will rest on his shoulders and his name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” 

During His ministry on earth Jesus did not deny that He was the fulfillment of prophecy; He spoke very openly about who He was.  John 5:39-40 says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”  The signs and wonders that He performed were merely a testimony to who He was, but His message was salvation and eternal life.

Even today there is controversy about who Jesus was; was He a prophet? According to Scripture? “Yes.”  After Christ’s death and the establishment of the Church, the understanding was that Jesus was the fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy. Peter explained that Jesus Christ was the One spoken of by Moses (Acts 3:22-23),Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you.’”

We see this fulfilled in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus did not come to govern as a political king; He came to give His life that through His death and resurrection we have the opportunity to receive Him. In receiving Him, He will govern our hearts until His return when He rules the earth as King of King and Lord of Lords. 

Instead of skepticism and wonder go to Scripture. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Katrina Young 

Nursery & Pre-K Director

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.



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