Devotions

Author Archives: Patrick Bicknell

I Am: The Way, Truth, Life • Devotion #2: Confidence and Peace

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” John 14:6 

This “I am” saying has been one of the most influential sayings that Jesus gave in my life. This saying gives me so much confidence and peace. Jesus here is stating that there is no other way or works we can do that can get us into a relationship with the Father, but rather it all depends on Him. It is all based on what Jesus has done, what He has said, and who He is. This saying is what brings us to the fork in the road with Jesus and with the Christianity faith. Either what Jesus said is true and He truly is the only way to salvation, or He is wrong and none of what He said is true. As C.S. Lewis puts it, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” 

After Jesus went to the cross, died, and rose again on the third day, He proved that all of what He said is true and that He is the only way to salvation. So what does this mean for us? First off, this truth gives us confidence. Knowing that Jesus has finished the job and that He has defeated death and sin, we can surrender our entire life to Him. When we do this we are given the confidence to know that it is His power that He works through us so that we can live our lives, and further advance His Gospel. The faith we have is of infinite importance, not only for us but for everyone in the world. That is why we are called to spread the Gospel. This does not depend on our own strength but the strength of the One who rose again. We can rest in Him and have confidence knowing that it does not matter how eloquent we are, but that His power is working through us. 

Secondly, we can have peace knowing that we do not need to do anything but believe and have faith in Christ to obtain salvation. Jesus makes it clear in John 14:6 that He is the only way. He solidified this when He died on the cross and resurrected three days later. He takes the burden off of ourselves because I am sure most of us know that we could never live a life worthy of the Almighty God. Rest in Him, allow His love to transform you, and know that if you come to Him, He is faithful to forgive you and to give you a new life. Listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Giving • Devotion #3: Glory from God

One of the easiest things to fall into is pride. The recognition from the world that we can receive may seem like an amazing thing. Hearing people say how great you are, how awesome it is that you do what you do, and wanting to hear these things is not completely bad. However, the struggle that so many people have is that they seek only the glory that can come from people and not from God. John 5:44 says, “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” How are we supposed to serve the Lord out of the right heart if all we are seeking is the glory that comes from people? To go even further as the text suggests, how can we even believe in Jesus if all we seek is the praise of people?

The main reason for our existence is for the glory of God alone. We are to believe in the words of Jesus for the glory of God. We are to serve him only for the glory of God. We are to give only for the glory of God. Everything that we do is supposed to be only for the glory of God. This text in John chapter 5 is such a convicting piece of Scripture for me. When I read these words it causes me to examine myself. Why do I serve? Why do I give? Why have I surrendered my life to Jesus as Lord? If the answer to any of these questions has anything to do about me, then I may be missing the point as to why Jesus came down to this earth and died on the cross. Jesus says, “How can you believe” if you “do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” My hope is that you read these words in the book of John and examine your own life. Do you truly believe in Jesus and have a personal relationship with Christ? As John says in chapter 20 verse 31, “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” The words written in this book are there so that we may believe. Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart and ask you if the life you are living for Christ is for His glory or the glory that you receive from people.

Correction • Devotion #3: Bring Your Brother Back

James 5:19-20 says, “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” When we are adopted into God’s church, through faith in the blood of Christ, we all become children of God. This passage of Scripture is such a beautiful example of how we are supposed to watch out for our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are a couple of things in this verse, and the verses prior to this, that show us how we are to be on the watch for the family of God.

First, it may sound simple, but we are to be on the watch for our brothers and sisters in Christ. In order to be able to see someone wandering from the truth, we need to be watching and caring for them. This does not mean that you look on their life with judgment waiting for them to slip as a little brother might do to his older brother. For example, when I was younger, I would watch my older brother and wait for him to do something wrong so that I could say, “Ha! You messed up and now I am going to tell mom.” This is not the type of watching we are to do. Rather we are to make sure that the evilness of this world, those preaching false doctrines, and the sinful nature that is in all of us does not overcome those who say they are in Christ. When we are watching our brothers’ lives with a caring and loving heart and we see them wander from the truth that is found in Christ, we are to stop them and bring them back. If we truly are found in Christ and we truly love others as Christ loves us, we will never allow them to wander away from the truth and into darkness. Secondly, prayer is essential for the correction of those found in Christ. A couple of verses earlier in James 5:16, it says, “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” Not only are we to be on the watch for our brothers and sisters and confront them lovingly when they wander from the truth, but we are to pray for them fervently when they do so. James discusses Elijah when talking about the power of prayer and how he fervently prayed for the rain to stop and it did. That is how we are to pray when we see followers of Christ struggling and moving away from His truth. That is how we strengthen the body of Christ and build up the church, by watching out for our brothers with a loving heart, and fervently praying for them all the time.

Testimony: Patrick Bicknell

Testimony: Patrick Bicknell
Operations

I grew up in a normal, church-going family. My parents would take me to church every Sunday since I was a baby. I did not have many struggles growing up. I got saved when I was about seven years old and was baptized shortly after. I also grew up in a very athletic family which meant that as I grew up, I began to go to the kids and youth group stuff less and practice and games more. I decided to go to church camp the summer before my eighth-grade year. At this camp something sparked inside of me; I felt that I was being called to ministry. That school year, I brought my Bible to school every day and would read it whenever I had free time. I wanted to show people that Christ was the center of my life.

That fire only lasted in me until I entered high school and got my first dose of peer pressure. I began to smoke and drink nearly every day during the spring of my freshmen year. I turned and ran away from my faith for three years. All throughout high school I began to be sexually immoral, smoke, and drink. I became a very different person. I thought that I would just have my fun in high school and college and then come back to Jesus once I was done, but that all caught up to me quickly in January of my Junior year. I became a father at 17 years of age. That was the scariest, lowest, most depressing point in my life. This made me realize just how different I had become, but instead of facing my problems I started to smoke and drink more to cope with my shame.

For a while, I felt worthless, until one night Jesus came to me. I was sitting on my bed crying out to God. As I was doing this, I felt something sit on my bed, I looked up, and it was Him. I began to cry even more and got scared because I actually thought I was dying. He gave me a hug; the most warming hug I have ever felt in my life. I just sat in his arms for a while, and I eventually said what do I do? He first told me that He loves me and forgives me, and then He gave me all these memories of when I used to want to be a pastor.

Ever since that day, I have begun to commit my life to Christ fully. He has taken my addictions, my guilt, and my sin all upon His shoulders and has given me such a better and new life. I could not imagine where I would be today if He had not stepped into my life or if He stopped chasing after me. Luke 15:24 says, “For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to celebrate.”This verse and parable have spoken into my life, and it constantly reminds me that Christ has forgiven me, and accepted me with open arms.



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