Devotions

Monthly Archives: January, 2018

Testimony – Michelle Moshier

Back to Reach • Testimony #3
Michelle Moshier | Nursery & Pre-K Director

All it took was seed:

I remember as a little girl having neighbors up the road who introduced church into my life. My neighbors who have become my “second parents” took me in as if I was theirs. I did not live with them, but I did spend most of my days there. I just wanted to be away from the people in my home that made me feel unloved and unwanted. My childhood home remained broken as I grew up. Something was missing! However, God had a much bigger plan in mind.

Jeremiah 29:11 says,‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord ‘plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” It is my belief God put that neighbor in my life to sow a seed of God’s love in my heart. Unfortunately, it became buried for years as I felt alone. I thought I was not good enough for love. Something was missing! I did not feel God’s presence, nor knew His best interest for me. My broken family led me toward making poor choices as I became a teenager. Such a mess! I would not change a thing. I heard the phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle” many times not quite knowing what it meant. In 2005, my husband and I were blessed with our third son. By age two, he was diagnosed with Classic Autism. We struggled with our emotions then and still do now. God did not give us more than we can handle with His help.

In 2009, we moved to Michigan. We were searching for something! Then my life started changing. My mother-in-law and I decided to start a Bible study weekly at her home. I took this seriously. I was eagerly searching for other ways to deal with my life. During this time, I started attending church with just my children, even volunteering in the nursery. As my marriage became a struggle, the devil swooped in and stole my joy. My thoughts were that I was not worthy since I was unclean and damaged. How could God love me? I needed a drastic change. Then in October 2009, I got down on my knees in the kitchen and accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I was scared at first not quite knowing what it looked like to “be saved.” So I took every opportunity to learn the Word of God and build a personal relationship with Him. My children and I were baptized shortly after that. My marriage was restored. Now we have been married for 14 years and attend church as a family. I did not believe that was possible. I am currently working in the children’s ministry. I have always had my Protector and Comforter right by my side fighting for me. I have found I am worthy of His love. God knew what was best for me all along.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.”

Testimony – Larry Gabbara

Back to Reach • Testimony #2
Larry Gabbara | Accounting Bookkeeper

I was brought up Catholic as a child; I always knew there was a God. I went to a Catholic school through 8th grade, so that meant religious class and mass every day. I felt something missing.

As an adult, I tried to bring up my children to know God, but again still that empty feeling inside me, and I think them too. We only did it out of guilt and habit. There was not any buy in yet.

When I met and married my wife Debbie, I was living in the world. Fortunately for us, she came back to God. She then began praying for me to have an actual relationship with Jesus. This went on for 12 years. I began to go to church service with her and the kids, but still that empty feeling. The Lord was working on me; things slowly began to change. We attended a Carman concert; something happened to me that night. I knew that God was moving me.

Then there was a Power Company demonstration at the church, and I heard what salvation was that night. I still was not all in; I was only interested in a quick way to Heaven. I was not ready to put Jesus first or to build a personal relationship with Him. I was not willing to give God my whole heart. We were attending church regularly, but I was still living in the world.

My wife was still praying for me to be all in, but I was not ready. We had been talking about baptism, but I truly did not understand. Our youngest daughter accepted Jesus as her Savior and then was baptized. I did not understand it.

Proverbs 18:22 says, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”

I was blessed that my wife was praying diligently for my salvation.

I had heard John 3:16 (NIV), “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” I never actually understood the sacrifice that God made for me until that weekend.

The day that I truly was all in was a Sunday in 2002 at a Couples Conference. That weekend the Holy Spirit grabbed me. I was baptized that Sunday in Waterford, and I have been a child of God every day since.

Testimony – Max Sinclair

Back to Reach • Testimony #1
Max Sinclair | Children’s Director

All my life I was told that God had big and great plans for me. I grew up in the church when it was Faith Baptist; I remember the skits put on by the junior church workers. I remember the time I was saved at the age of seven. I remember making my public profession of faith with Pastor Jim and the rest of my family. Being baptized in front of the congregation of believers was something I will never forget. I remember my faith, but it was never real until now. When I graduated in 2011, I was determined not to be part of that statistic which says that most kids leave the church once they graduate high school. I was going to go to the world’s largest Christian university. There is no way I could fail. I got to Liberty, and soon after, I fell. I was lost, I was scared, and I felt alone. As my father drove me home at the start of the summer break I remember seeing his face as my grades were revealed. He was so disappointed that I let him down. When they dropped me off at Liberty, they were so proud. I was the first Sinclair boy, since my grandfather, to go to college, but now I was the first to be not welcomed back. Instead of owning my mistakes and taking responsibility for my actions, I ran away. I ran to something that would make me a man. I ran to something that would give me structure to my life. I ran to the Navy.

       

Now besides being called to be a light in the world for Jesus, there is no higher calling than serving one’s country. As I stood at attention when I was being yelled at by Recruit Divisional Commanders I remembered my calling. As I ran and endured the rigors of basic training, I remembered who I was and who I am called to be. I was called to be more than a Conqueror, and nothing on this Earth could stop me. I was going to succeed with Christ at the forefront of my life, and nothing would hold me down. Life would be difficult, but with the assurance of God in my life I would succeed because No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37). With that, I did my best to be the embodiment of Honor, Courage, and Commitment with a godly mindset. I was not going to fail this time. This time I was going to live the way God calls us to live. Throughout my Naval career, I tried and I failed, but I did not run away. I knew God was calling me to do this. God was calling me to come home, do His ministry here, show His love to all, and never give up.

God’s Servant

Grow • Devotion #6: God’s Servant
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

Dinesh D’Souza makes an interesting observation about government and leadership, “Christianity enhanced the notion of political and social accountability by providing a new model: that of servant leadership. In ancient Greece and Rome no one would have dreamed of considering political leaders anyone’s servants. The job of the leader was to lead. But Christ invented the notion that the way to lead is by serving the needs of others, especially those who are the neediest. Mark 10:43 quotes Christ: ‘Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant…for even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve.'” Jesus was the greatest leader of all time and was the most excellent servant. For Him, they went together naturally. 

Whoever is in power affects the whole nation. Proverbs 11:11 says, “Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” Proverbs 29:2 adds, “When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.” Proverbs 29:16 continues the thought of the importance of righteous leadership, “When the wicked thrive, so does sin, but the righteous will see their downfall.” A key is servanthood, not political power.

The Bible is also clear on the concept of the public servant. Romans 13:4 says, “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” Authority is from God and is designed to lead through serving.

There is so much more that could be said about the godly heritage of the United States of America. Even something as simple as so many stores being closed or opening later in the day on Sunday go back to the concept taught in the Ten Commandments, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Exodus 20:8).

Our country was founded with a Christian heritage. In 1892, the Supreme Court even said, “This is a religious people. This is a Christian nation.” The Supreme Court’s opening declaration for every session is, “God save the United States of America.” From our currency (‘In God We Trust’) to swearing on a Holy Bible in the court of law, our country gives clear indicators of our beginning. We need to make sure this is not thrown out.

Does God feel comfortable in the United States?

Does He feel welcomed, needed, or wanted?

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

We Are Family

Grow • Devotion #5: We are Family
Dr. Randy T. Johnson | Growth Pastor

John Adams said, “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The United States was designed with morality in mind. Our founding fathers knew of the importance of the traditional family structure. Number five of the Ten Commandments says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). The family is important. It is a God-designed institution. It is so important that our government designed some laws based around it.

Throughout our country’s history, they have strived to protect and provide for the family. You could see this in tax exemptions, but also in the concept of holding the family together. Divorce takes time, money, and energy. There have been few acceptable reasons for divorce, and still, it took time. Our country has not taken marriage lightly. Exodus 20:14 reports another one of the Ten Commandments, “You shall not commit adultery.” The idea was not new to our country, yet was important. In Mark 10:2-12 the question of divorce is raised to Jesus, “Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’  ‘What did Moses command you?’ he replied.  They said, ‘Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.’  ‘It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,’ Jesus replied. ‘But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.  Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’  When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. He answered, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.’”

The Bible and our country have historically held to the traditional family structure. It was passed on for generations and derived from God’s Word. The Bible was always pivotal for the founding fathers. Although not a founding father, President Dwight D. Eisenhower agreed with this concept when he said, “The Bible is endorsed by the ages. Our civilization is built upon its words. In no other book is there such a collection of inspired wisdom, reality, and hope.”

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7).



Office: 8393 E. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442 | 248.328.0490 | info@theriverchurch.cc

Copyright © 2016 The River Church. All Rights Reserved.