Devotions

Author Archives: Wes McCullough

David

Lesson Eight | Devotion #1: David
Wes McCullough | Production Director

David, son of Jesse, king of Israel, lived an extraordinary life from which we can learn a great deal. The principle I want to focus on for this devotion is trusting in God.

I have heard countless stories that go something like this: I had an electric bill to pay, and I needed to tithe, but I only had enough money to do one. I knew I had to pay my electric bill or else my power would be shut off, and my family could not stay warm. I knew God would understand why I had not given my tithe that week but I decided to honor God and tithe instead of paying my bill, trusting that God would provide. The next day, out of nowhere and completely unexpectedly, God provided the exact amount I needed to pay my bill.

The specifics of these stories varied, but the lesson learned was always that God provides when you rely on Him.

The most well-known story about David is arguably “David and Goliath.” David, in his youth, went one-on-one with an oversized and experienced warrior. He refused to wear armor for this battle and armed himself with only five stones and a sling. Did David take five stones because he was not sure one would be enough? I believe David was confident that he could defeat Goliath with one stone but was not sure if he would need the other four stones to fight Goliath’s four brothers. With a single small stone little David defeated his big enemy.

David’s confidence, not in his abilities but in his God, is so inspiring. He did not need a pep talk. He stated his assurance simply, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:37). God had shown His power to David by helping him kill vicious animals, and now he was so certain God was with him that he “ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:48).

I hope you find yourself inspired by David to be obedient and faithful to God especially when earthly understanding disagrees. Trust God despite the odds. Trust God despite logic. Trust God despite reasoning. God has proven Himself too many times to be doubted. Keep in mind Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

Korah

Lesson Four | Devotion #4: Korah
Wes McCullough | Production Director

Have you ever wanted something and been sure it was God’s plan for you to have it? While the Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7), it is not a guarantee. God still requires patience from you. Sometimes the answer to your request comes after waiting and sometimes not at all.

The book of Numbers chapter 16 records a story about a man named Korah who served in the tabernacle. One day Korah went to Moses with a couple of hundred people and accused him of leading the Israelites through the desert however he saw fit. Korah accused Moses of promoting himself above all others and of hoarding all of God’s holiness when all the people were holy. After seeing God work through Moses in the ten plagues and the parting of the Red Sea, Korah still did not believe Moses was leading at God’s command.

Korah’s perspective was twisted and selfish. Korah and his gang had come against Moses and Aaron to overthrow them for what they viewed as an abuse of power. Moses countered their accusations saying, “Isn’t it enough for you that the God of Israel has selected you out of the congregation of Israel to bring you near him to serve in the ministries of The Dwelling of God, and to stand before the congregation to minister to them? He has brought you and all your brother Levites into his inner circle, and now you’re grasping for the priesthood, too. It’s God you’ve ganged up against, not us” (Numbers 16:8-11 MSG).

Moses did not need to defend himself. He allowed the Lord to answer the accusations against him. With the whole community assembled, the Earth opened up and swallowed Korah and his family, servants, and possessions. Also, God’s holy fire consumed every man that had joined Korah’s rebellion.

These misguided men teach us a valuable lesson: do not think you can put God on your team; you can only join God’s team. They thought God had their back in the fight they picked but God does not fight from behind the front lines; He leads the charge and does the fighting, so His people do not have to fight.

As you go through life, continue to seek God’s will and ask to be used in any manner God desires. Whenever and however God does use you, be satisfied knowing God is pleased with your obedience.

Isaac

Lesson Three | Devotion #1: Isaac
Wes McCullough | Production Director

There is a funny saying, “Do you want Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now?” This particular phrasing applies to women anxious to get married, but the concept applies to everyone’s life in some aspect. Do you want the right house or the house you can have now? Do you want the right car or the one you can have right now? What makes you anxious? In my life, I was anxious for my family.

Since my early teen years, I wanted the wife God had planned for me and the blessing of children that followed. I trusted that God would deliver those blessings at the right time. God made me wait until I was 26 years old to deliver the first blessing, a beautiful, God-fearing bride. During those ten years of waiting, I could have tried to make it happen myself. I could have married some other woman much sooner, but it would not have been right. It would have been wrong to rush God on that blessing. Instead, I was patient, and God delivered a woman who was more of a blessing than I thought possible. God used those long years to prepare both of us for each other. My patience led to God’s plan being perfectly clear to me.

In Genesis, we read about Isaac. After waiting 40 years for his bride, Isaac and his wife Rebekah struggled to have children for another twenty years. Isaac himself was the answer to Abraham and Sarah’s prayer for children and now God’s promise to make Abraham’s descendants too numerous to count seemed doubtful. Isaac remained faithful and “prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived” (Genesis 25:21). We can learn from Isaac, as we can from many other biblical figures, that patience on God’s plan will be rewarded. God blessed Isaac’s patience with countless descendants including King David and Jesus, King of our salvation.

My wife and I had to wait longer than we would have liked for children but the sorrows of want and wait pale in comparison to the joy that our son now brings to our lives. All my memories of wanting have been replaced by the smiles and giggles of an answer to prayer named Jackson.

God has faithfully returned my patience with blessing. I challenge you to remain faithful and patient and expect God to bless you for it. Allow God to work in His time, and you will not regret the wait.

Obey | What?

Obey | Devotion #2: What?
Wes McCullough | Production Director

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

Have you ever traveled to a distant country to share the name of Jesus? Have you ever gone to a distant state to share Jesus’ love? Have you ever shared Jesus with someone at your local supermarket or coffee shop? If you have, then you have followed through on the last instructions Jesus gave on Earth.

When I was 14 years old, I had the opportunity to travel to Jamaica on a mission trip. Our destination was the inner part of the island, up in the mountains where there was only poverty. Some families lived in structures that looked like sheds or chicken coops. Our goal was to build an outhouse for the local people to use, our mission was to share the love of Jesus with everyone we encountered.  In our few days there, we were able to meet and love the locals, worship with some local churches, and leave the people with the gift of an outhouse that was appreciated more than we understood as Americans.

A few weeks ago my Dad and I walked into the local Walmart. We overheard a comment from an upset employee who was about to start their shift. My Dad offered an uplifting Scripture which led to a short conversation. We talked for a few moments and learned that this employee was a believer. We shared Scriptures and encouraged each other.

Mark closes his Gospel with the great commission written a different way, “Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned” (Mark 16:15-16 MSG). Mark’s words impart to us the seriousness of our task. Those who don’t hear the good news, who don’t experience Christ and His forgiveness are doomed to spend eternity apart from God. We have a serious job of sharing Jesus with all of God’s children.

Paul wrote in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” God may not be calling you to a distant land to reach the unsaved, but that does not mean you are outside the mission field. Your mission field is your next door neighbor, the person who bags your groceries, and the one who waits on you at a restaurant. We are commanded to live in such a way that Christ’s love is visible to all through our every word and action. Live each moment as an opportunity to serve our mighty God.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

G.R.A.C.E.

Delivery Day • G.R.A.C.E.
Wes McCullough | Production Director

In the spring of 2004, a movie was released that rocked the world. It was bloody and violent, but people still flocked to see the rated R film. The premise of the movie was the brutal death of one man. Watching this film caused masses of people to weep and make life changes. The movie was THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.

Having grown up knowing the story of Jesus’ death, the movie was not as much a surprise as it was a reminder and a visualization of His sacrifice. I do not watch the movie every year, but I am reminded of it each year through the Easter season. Memories of the graphic visuals flood my memory, and I am humbled knowing Jesus accepted that fate in my place. I have fallen short of His glory, but God’s grace is abundant.

The theme of Easter 2015 at The River Church (Holly) was “Undefeated.” There was a boxing ring on stage as a visual for Christ’s battle with Satan. You and I were destined for a fight with Satan that we could not win. It was going to be an excruciating, torturous beating for the rest of eternity. When Jesus died, He stepped into that ring to fight Satan in our place. Christ’s victory in that battle was unquestionable. Jesus gave us victory over death and punishment.

1 Peter 2:24 says it all, “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.” 

Isaiah 53:5 is similarly a favorite, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.”

These verses are a reminder of the punishment Christ took on our behalf. We have all sinned and been separated from God, but Jesus paid the price to reunite us with our Heavenly Father. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

If it helps, remember grace this way:

G- God’s
R- Riches
A- At
C- Christ’s
E- Expense

This Easter season do not be distracted by the commercialized Easter bunny, eggs, and candy. Focus on the victory you have been given and thank Jesus for fighting for you.



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