Author Archives: Debbie Kerr

Lovingly Warned

Broken Tablets | Devotion 4: Lovingly Warned
Debbie Kerr  

“For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’” Exodus 32:23

Everything rises and falls on leadership. If we do not have good leadership, we start to flounder and lose focus. All throughout Scripture, we see the example of leadership. Some of the leadership is good, and some are not so good. For the believer in Jesus Christ, our ultimate authority (leader) is the Word of God. Secondly, we are given Pastors (also known as under-shepherds), parents, government, and others. There is always a chain of command, and that chain begins with God. Today’s passage definitely depicts poor leadership.

In Exodus chapter 32, we see poor leadership in action as things start to fall apart because their leader Moses had been away too long. Aaron was second in command, but under his leadership, the people became impatient, self-absorbed, and bored. When we are left to ourselves too long, the temptation can creep in to search for other things or people to satisfy us. We tend to worship them. The people of Israel were no different than we are today. If we are not careful, we can easily fall into the enemy’s lie that we need something more. We may begin to search for a feeling or a sign, or something a little more sensational. We think we have got this; we feel we do not need to go to church and be with the Body of Christ. We try to reason it out and justify worshiping so many other things than the God of the Bible. Often times, our lives begin to fall apart too.

My husband and I recently watched a very compelling and convicting documentary regarding the state of the American Church in our generation. Sadly, in many Bible-teaching churches, the Gospel is being added to or changed. It is no longer about Christ alone for salvation. The cross and the shedding of Jesus’ blood for our atonement isn’t exciting enough because there is no instant gratification or physical manifestation. This teaching is not new, but it is evolving into a more extreme level of false teaching and is considered one of the fastest-growing movements in Christianity. Some churches even teach the idea that when you witness, you should not tell people they are sinners, or that they need to repent. They are taught only to tell them how much God loves them. While that is a true statement, it leaves the lost person with only partial truth. It is about Christ alone; it is not about us! The Gospel is not a message that Christ died to make us happy, healthy, and rich.  Jesus said to find our life, we must lose it and die to ourselves daily. The minute we make it about us, we are worshiping a different Gospel, a different Jesus. Humanity is born with a God-given, innate need to worship! Everyone worships something or someone.

Our enemy, the devil, knows the truth and how to twist it. He only had to change what God said ever so slightly to deceive Eve. So listen carefully, know God’s Word, seek the truth, and walk in it. Pray that God will keep you from being deceived because the Bible warns about this in the last days. A false god in any shape or form is an idol. Consider yourself lovingly warned.

We are reminded in 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.” 

But I Will Be With You

Passover | Devotion 4: But I Will Be With You
Debbie Kerr

The book of Exodus tells many very exciting stories. If you grew up in Sunday School in the “olden days” like me, you were most likely taught these stories in living color by way of the ever popular flannelgraph board. These “stories” are true accounts to the letter. God always has a plan, a process, and a promise. All He asks of us is to have faith and be obedient; He will take care of the rest! It was the same way with Moses.

In Exodus 3:7-12a, we read how God rolled out His plan to Moses for His people, the Israelites, “Then the LORD said, ‘I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the place of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And now, behold, the cry of the people of Israel has come to me, and I have also seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.’ But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?’ He said, ‘But I will be with you.’”

Moses felt unqualified, and questioned God’s choice, “Am I really the man for the job? Who am I to do such a thing?” Does this sound familiar? Has God ever asked something of you that you felt completely unqualified to accomplish? I know I have felt that way at times. Just last summer, I felt strongly that God was asking me to go to a ladies’ prison in Ohio with our Church Prison Team. I felt completely out of my comfort zone, fearful, and unqualified. How was I going to relate to these ladies, what if it is dangerous, what if I say the wrong thing? God’s reply to Moses was similar to the one I felt Him say to my fearful spirit, “But I will be with you,” and He was! It was truly one of the spiritual highlights of my life, and I could have missed an incredible blessing. There is nothing like being used by God, but it will not always feel easy or comfortable. Remember, God does the work; we are just the vessel.

“All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron.  And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.” Exodus 12:50-51

Life with Purpose

Birth | Devotion 4: Life with Purpose
Debbie Kerr

The “Sanctity of Human Life” has been a hot topic in America for decades and the topic grows hotter with each passing day. It has become increasingly common to disregard human life as if it is nothing. This horrific and unimaginable fact is not new; in fact, it has been around for centuries. America has made new strides recently as some states are making laws that have sparked much response and controversy in our country. States are passing laws that allow women to abort their baby right up to full term birth legally. Now other states in our union are trying to follow this same protocol. In fact, one state wants to take it a step further by allowing children to be killed after they are born. Thankfully, some states have recognized this as murder and have not passed this bill in their state. It is heartbreaking and sickening to even think about living in a world where human life is not considered a beautiful gift from God, a life to be born into this world on purpose, for a purpose.

In Exodus chapter 1, we learn about a time in history when Egypt was fighting against Israel. Israel was growing in the male population and defeating the Egyptian army. Population control is a thing, it was then, and it is now. We do not often hear those words spoken, but mercy killing and abortion has existed for many decades and are increasing at an astounding rate around the world. As we study Exodus 1:15-22, we read about Pharaoh, the King of Egypt, growing increasingly anxious due to the male population that is outnumbering and defeating his army. In an effort to remedy the situation, Pharaoh ordered two Hebrew midwives to kill all Hebrew baby boys immediately after they are born, but to allow the baby girls to live. These amazing women decided to honor God and allow the baby boys to live. When the King questioned the midwives as to why they did this, they said that the babies were born so quickly that they could not get there in time. Pharaoh did not stop there with his efforts to control the male population, but God had a plan! There would soon be a baby boy born named Moses whom God would use to save His people from the slavery of Pharaoh and to lead them to the promised land. Because these two women feared God, it later allowed Moses to live and change the course of history for the Israelites. Do not ever doubt that God can use ordinary people to do extraordinary things when they choose to obey God rather than man. We can learn a great lesson from two midwives named Shiphrah and Puah.

Are you brave enough to take a stand and obey God rather than man?

Silence not Absence

Forsaken | Devotion #5: Silence not Absence
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator

Have you ever felt like God was distant or even silent? If you answered yes, you are not alone. There are certain seasons when I feel God is so near in my spirit and also in tangible ways through His children. There have also been times when I have felt forsaken or alone, but God seemed far away. My faith has been tested at those times, but I rely 100% on the promise, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

The word forsaken means to renounce, entirely turn away, deserted, or abandoned.  Some of the last words Jesus spoke while hanging on the cross for our sins are included in Matthew 27:46, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” So we ask the question, did God forsake Jesus on the cross?

The Bible teaches that Jesus was 100% God and 100% man, while He was on the Earth. His cry to God was a human response to this kind of torture. He was not asking the question to know the answer or because He did not understand. He willingly went to the cross. John 10:17-18 says, “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” 

Did God answer Jesus’ question? It was rhetorical; He knew the answer! Through the account in Scripture, He appeared to be silent. God is always near and always listening even when we do not seem to get an answer. In those difficult times, it is important to rely on His Word, believing He will provide everything we need. Silence does not mean absence! 

Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

We need to trust God’s plan whether we understand it or not. Everything we go through has a purpose, for our good and His glory. 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.”  

Paul adds in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

Jesus can relate to our pain and sufferings. Hebrews 4:15 says, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” 

Hebrews 12:2 adds, “Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” 

You have a God who understands and is concerned about you. You are not going through this life alone. Trust His plan and know His heart. 

The Present of Presence

The Gift of Family | Devotion #5: The Present of Presence
Debbie Kerr | Office Administrator

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man, who fills his quiver with them!” Psalm 127:3-5

I grew up in the “Leave it to Beaver” era. It was the latter part of the fabulous 50’s, the rockin’ 60’s, the drug infested, peace and love 70’s. That is a lot of cultural change in 18 short years.  When I was very young, mothers working outside the home were rare. There were, of course, teachers, nurses, waitresses, and secretaries, but for the most part, at least for my friends and I, our mothers were there when we got home from school. There were often warm cookies and warm hugs waiting for us. Sadly, that is no longer the norm in the culture we live in today. 

Regardless of the cultural changes, we can still succeed! God’s Word is timeless and full of wisdom and guidance for raising the most precious gifts we as parents have been given. We may have to press a little harder than our parents or grandparents to endure the ever-changing trends and technology. This is happening all while the world systems and ideals are striving at an alarming rate to influence and mold the minds of children and adults alike. Here is the good news, we are not alone, and all hope is not lost!

The book of Proverbs is a great resource, rich with wisdom when it comes to our children. While it can be challenging and often times an uphill battle, we must rely on God’s strength and help. Proverbs 127:3 tells us that children are a heritage from the Lord. The word heritage in Scripture denotes an inheritance. Money and success will fade, but the love of family will last forever. I want to preserve and protect my heritage from the Lord. My children are now married and raising children of their own. While my role has changed, it is now my job to pray and continue to be an example to them. Believe me when I tell you young parents, you will blink and your house will be quiet and empty! Remember, while the days are long, the years are short! When I see my children tirelessly raising their children, I am reminded of the task set before them. I am so thankful that God provides the strength and grace to endure through the hard years. Today, all four of our children live out of state. We have to be intentional at planning family time. Between schedules, money, and distance we have to work much harder to be together. Last Christmas, I received the best gift imaginable when our kids, I repeat, our kids made a plan for all of us to meet at the home of our Georgia family. For the first time in years, we celebrated our Savior’s birth together. There is not a store bought gift in the world that could ever compare to the priceless gift of family! I tangibly felt the sweet reward of the years invested.

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