Devotions

Author Archives: Noble Baird

Celebrate

Delivery Day • Celebrate
Noble Baird | Community Center Director

Easter has always been an exciting time of year for me. When I was younger, I will never forget waking up in the morning and to search all over the house to find the eggs my parents had hidden. As I became older, Easter took on a more meaningful and special time. I started to understand the true meaning of Easter and how it was not all about the eggs, the candy, and toys that would be hidden around the house. Instead, Easter has become a time of remembrance, but more importantly a celebration!

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul gives the first written account of the resurrection of Christ. Within this passage, he lays out the foundational truths for which our faith stands. Starting in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, he writes, “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” These three truths are pointed out by Paul: Christ’s death, Christ’s burial, and Christ’s resurrection. It is within these three declarations that we have the Gospel by which our sins are cleared.

One of my absolute favorite worship songs is “Resurrecting” by Elevation Church. It is truly a beautiful song, proclaiming the message of these foundational pillars in 1 Corinthians 15. This is the final verse in the song:

“The tomb where soldiers watched in vain
Was borrowed for three days
His body there would not remain
Our God has robbed the grave
Our God has robbed the grave.”

I love this verse because that is exactly what happened when Christ walked out of that tomb. The soldiers were wasting their time, Christ was simply borrowing Joseph’s tomb, and then he robbed Satan of what he thought was his greatest victory. So, as we continue in this Easter season, let us never forget that empty tomb that was only borrowed, as we celebrate the victory that Christ won for us!

 

Anointed One

Delivery on Time • Anointed One
Noble Baird | Community Center Director

All throughout middle school and high school, one of my favorite subjects was math. I just always loved solving different problems, trying to find points on a graph, and of course being able to use the massive TI calculator! No matter how much I did enjoy math class, I did not always solve the problem correctly. There would be times where I thought I rocked a test, only to find out that because I had divided or subtracted one number incorrectly, I got the whole equation wrong. Needless to say, I soon figured out that although I enjoyed math class, it was not the career for me to pursue!

As we take a look at God’s Word, we find math spread throughout it. From Genesis chapter 1 through Revelation chapter 22, God is always using math to speak to us. One of the most fascinating and honestly more difficult equations for me to follow along with is found in Daniel 9:24-27. Here, we have the prophet Daniel writing about the coming of Christ. Starting in verse 24 he writes, “Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing.” So, what we have is an amazing equation from Daniel, predicting Christ’s coming and His death on the cross. Daniel writes about the “anointed one” or in other words the Messiah, who we know as Jesus.

Daniel gave this prophecy over 700 years before the birth of Christ. However, following along the timeline after the destruction of Jerusalem and the rule of the Persian emperor Artaxerxes, Daniel gives us the exact years leading to Christ’s death on the cross. One of the things I love about this passage is that this is the only time in the Old Testament that Christ is referred to as the “anointed one.” Thousands of years ago, Daniel knew about the Easter season we would celebrate. He knew that the Anointed One was going to come and mend that broken relationship between a fallen world and a just God. So, as you continue in your week, remember the Anointed One whom Daniel prophesied about will return.

Power of the Spoken Word

Nurturing • Power of the Spoken Word
Noble Baird | Community Center Director

Every year on Thanksgiving, my aunt, uncle, and cousin come to my parent’s house for dinner. It has become sort of a tradition for us as a family, one that I look forward to every year. Several years ago, when I was in college at Moody, I came home over Thanksgiving break and like every year before, I was excited to spend time with family. However, this year was a bit different. Coming home during my second year of Bible School, I thought this might be the right opportunity to talk to my cousin about going to church and living “right.” As the day progressed and we hung out, I had time hanging with my cousin in the basement and thought this might be the chance. The way in which I tried to talk and convey church and God’s Word to him was not very tactful and came across, to him, as if I was attacking him. Sadly, things turned sour and ended with him telling me how he respects what I do and why I am going to college, but not to interfere with his life and decisions.

The power of our words and speech are, at times, beyond our comprehension. With mere words, Hitler led an army to cause one of the greatest acts of hate our world will ever see. With two simple words “I do” a lifetime of love and adventure begins. In Proverbs 12:18, Solomon reminds us of the very power of our word. He writes, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Solomon, who is undoubtedly one of the wisest men to ever walk this earth, knew how strong our words are. He knew how quickly they could be used to destroy a life, without even using a weapon. He also knew how if used correctly, they could save one’s life and provide hope, love, guidance, and healing.

I have never forgotten the words my cousin said to me and how I had accidentally offended him so much with my words. It was not what I meant or wanted to do at all. As the years have passed and God has opened doors for reconciliation, my cousin and I are closer than ever. We have become so close that he stood by my side the day that I was privileged to say the words “I do” to the love of my life. Not only has God given me a chance to reconcile from that day years ago, but He has given me the chance to lovingly speak truth into my cousin’s life. I continually pray for my cousin, because I do not want him to go through this life without knowing the love of Christ and the blessing that comes from being called His.

So, as we continue in our family series, I challenge you to think of that family member who is in need of Christ’s love. Maybe you too have had an experience like mine where your words came across strong and not at all how you planned. As you prayerfully ask God for an opportunity to speak love and truth into that family member’s life, never give up and remember the words of Solomon on how powerful our words truly are!

Thanatophobia

Fear of the Lord • Devotion #6: Thanatophobia
Noble Baird| Community Center Director

Thanatophobia. If I was a betting man, I would bet that this is a fear with which a majority of the world struggles. This fear, is the fear of death. At the time of writing this devotional, noon, it is estimated that there have already been a total of almost 80,000 deaths in the world today. We have all experienced the affects of death in some capacity. Whether it be the loss of a family member, friend, co-worker, teacher, or maybe a favorite public figure, we have all suffered because of death. However, thanatophobia is a fear that can be overcome.

In Genesis 3, we have what is often referred to as “The Fall.” This was the time in our history, when Adam and Eve were overcome by temptation and sinned against God. From that moment, sin entered the perfect world which God created. As a penalty for this sin, death also entered into our world. As God’s Word and our history has unfolded over the course of thousands of years, life and death have been a constant. As new life enters our world, life also leaves it. Fast forward to the night where angels rejoiced and shepherds traveled to worship a King; God gave us a Savior who would pay the penalty for a fear which has plagued this world since it became corrupt. As we read through the Gospels, we see our Savior Jesus conquering over death. He came with a purpose and a plan, which was fulfilled at the cross and in the tomb that was emptied three days later.

Death is very real and if I am honest with all of you, it has been a fear that I struggled with at a time in my life. Yet, when I take a step back and remember the Savior who conquered death for me, before I was even born, I am reminded of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:55, “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” As I finish writing today, the death count has now risen to an estimated 82,000. Yes, death is very real and yes it is scary. However, as followers of Christ, death should not give us a fear, but a sense of urgency. An urgency to proclaim the Gospel and to make sure that we do everything within our power to share the message and love of our amazing Savior who conquered the fear that plagues so many in our world today. So, when you have those times of fear, take a step back and proclaim those words boldly as Paul did, for we have already won the war and we will spend eternity with our Savior! “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

Nomophobia

Fear of the Lord • Devotion #5: Nomophobia
Noble Baird | Community Center Director

In 1983, the world was introduced to the first commercially available cell phone. The DynaTAC 8000 hit retail shelves in 1984 at the low price of $3,995! Amazingly, this phone had a battery life to last for 30 minutes of talk time and only took 10 hours to charge. Fast forward over three decades and over 95% of Americans own a cellphone, with 75% being smartphones. As our culture here in America continues to grow, become more fast-paced, and our schedules continue to fill, we have become dependent on these little devices in our pockets.

For many of us, it is through these busy schedules that we are able to provide for our families and able to give back to God a portion of the blessing He has given us. However, in this fast-paced culture, we can often forget to take a step back and breath. In Psalm 46:10, David writes (as God is speaking through him), “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Jesus understood what it meant to be still. Yes, He had a busy schedule during His ministry here on earth. He was constantly traveling, speaking, healing, and He had twelve men He was discipling the whole way! However, countless times throughout the New Testament, we read of how Jesus took time to rest, pray, and remember His Father who was in control of it all.

Nomophobia, is the fear of being out of cell signal range or without our cellphones. If I am completely honest, there have been times in my life where this fear was very real in my life. However, when I remember the words of David and the actions of Christ, that fear is taken away. Now, I am not saying that cellphones are evil and we should not have them. Being in ministry, my phone has given me the ability to pray with people who are hundreds of miles away, video chat my missionary friends overseas, and has helped me get to Canada and back without a big outdated map! Yet, this reminder to be still, is crucial in the business of the world we live in. So, as you continue your week, I challenge you to take some time to set your phone down and truly just disconnect. Take some time to pray, rest, and remember the One who is in control. Be still.



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