Monthly Archives: April, 2015

The River Devotional – April 30th

Hardships are a part of life, we all experience them. These hardships can come in many different forms and circumstances. For some, it is that pile of homework which never seems to end, or it is the pile of bills where there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Yet for some, it is getting that diagnosis from the doctor that completely turns your world upside down in a split second. When Christ walked this earth, He faced many hardships, just as we do every day. Paul reminds us of this in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9,”We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” As followers of Christ, we will be afflicted physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We are going to face situations where we have no answer and are perplexed beyond understanding. We will be persecuted for our faith and actions. Finally, we will be physically struck down and hurt. However, just as Christ endured these hardships, He also gives us hope. Yes, we will be afflicted, but Christ will never let us be overcome. Yes, we will be perplexed, but He knows the purpose and reason, so that we won’t be driven to despair. Yes, we will be persecuted for His name, but He will never leave our side. And yes, we will be struck down, but never destroyed for He has already conquered death! I wish I could tell you that being a follower of Christ means life is going to be easy. But it’s just not, if it was everyone would be a follower of Christ! This world is broken and in desperate need of a Savior. Hardships are never going to cease until Christ returns. However, till then, remember this truth which Paul wrote for us. Never forget that Christ went through the same hardships we face and will never let you be crushed, driven to despair, forsaken, or destroyed. For He is with you always!

The River Devotional – April 23rd

As we leave the Easter season, we are already in full swing for the summer! It is finally time to break out the shorts and flip flops, the Tigers are back at Comerica Park, and I can already smell the smoke from all the bonfires in the air! Here at The River; camp registration has begun, Tuesday at the Park is about to begin again, we have our Men’s Retreat coming up, and that’s only the beginning of what’s instore for our summer as a church! Yet, as exciting as all of these events and this time of year is, Paul reminds us not to forget the meaning of Easter. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul writes, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” This ‘treasure’ which Paul is referring to, is the Gospel message of Christ. The message of our risen Savior, who took all our sins upon Himself and died a sinners death, so that we might have life in Him. That is what Easter is all about, our risen Savior. Paul doesn’t stop there, he talks about how this treasure has been placed in ‘jars of clay’. That is where you and I come in. As followers of Christ, we are these jars of clay which have been given this treasure, the Gospel of Christ. We are fragile and frail, just like a clay jar. However, God has chosen to entrust to us the most precious treasure the world has ever seen. That is why it is through His power, not our own, that God uses us to spread the Gospel message of Christ. So, as we begin summer, do not forget the treasure that has been given to you and the one who chose to use you to share that treasure with the world!

Easter Devotional – April 2nd

When a boxer enters into a ring, he is focused. The crowds around him are intensely cheering and waiting for the fight to begin. Yet, his focus does not waiver and his demeanor can’t be shaken. All of his training, the long hours of practice, and the late nights spent at the gym, have all been in preparation for this moment. The moment where he takes his place in the ring, to overcome his opponent. In Matthew 21:6-11, it records Christ’s triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. Jesus did not enter the city on the back of a horse, but on the back of a donkey. He did not come to bring war, but peace. He came with one mission in mind, one goal…to defeat death, hell, and the grave. Everything He had done up until this moment in time, was all in preparation for the fight He was about to endure. This fight, was not for Himself, but for you and me. This weekend, we celebrate that victorious fight which took place over 2,000 years ago on Calvary. We celebrate a risen Savior, who defeated death, so that through His blood we may have life. Let us not forget why we celebrate this amazing holiday. It is not about the candy, rabbits, eggs, and gifts. It is about our Champion who overcame our adversary on our behalf. Jesus conquered all of hell, Jesus was victorious, Jesus is undisputed.

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