Devotions

Author Archives: Taylor McCullough

1 John 3 • Devotion #2: The Rule of Love

“Be home by ten.”

“Tell the truth.”

“Finish your chores before playing outside.”

You may have heard these growing up. We all had rules to follow. These rules were made because our parents, or those caring for us, were looking out for our best interest. They either tried to save us from negative consequences, or they tried to instill values in us. They hoped that the rules they gave us would shape our decision making.

In a similar way, our Heavenly Father is trying to save us, and look out for us. Through the Word of God, we are warned of sin and taught rules or laws to follow. He has done this because of His incredible love for us. He wants to protect us. He wants us to make decisions and act in a way that is loving and not hateful.

We have been given the freedom to choose. We can choose to know Him, follow Him, live a life honoring Him, or practice lawlessness.

In 1 John 3:4-6, we read, “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him.”

Jesus never sinned, yet He died to wash us clean of our sins. He has provided us with the opportunity to live free and spend our eternity in Heaven with Him. He has provided us with the opportunity to be saved once and for all from what we actually deserve. When we ask for forgiveness of our sins and make Him our Savior, we are given a new life. In living this new life, one of the ways we grow in our relationship with Him is to read His Word. In reading His Word, we are fed with wisdom to no longer continue a life of sin. While we still have the freedom to make our own decisions, relying on the Lord and His Word will help us to follow Him.

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

Acknowledge Him.

Trust Him to direct you. 

There is worth in His Word, and love in His “rules.”

Government • Devotion #3: The Will of God

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” 1 Peter 2:13-17 

As children of God, we are called to live as people who are free. We are free from sin because of the sacrifice that Jesus made to cleanse us. We should desire to live as servants of God. We should strive to honor and obey God. We cannot use our freedom to cover up our active disobedience. 

“Obey” – this word takes me back to childhood. Was it ever challenging for you to stop what you were wanting to do, to complete a task or follow a rule given from your parents? In Ephesians 6:1 Paul writes, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” God has placed you into the lives of your parents. They are to bring you up in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. You are to obey them, for it is a commandment from God. Our first responsibility is to God. We are to obey and respect Him. Our second responsibility is to obey our parents – but it does not stop there. 

It is the will of God to obey our government. We are asked to submit to those who hold a higher place of authority. Important examples of this would include the president of your country and the governor of the state in which you live. If God places an individual into an authoritative role, we are to listen to their instruction. Now, if an individual that we are under the authority of implements laws that contradict what we have been instructed by God to do, that is a different story.

In 1 Peter 2:17, we are told to honor everyone, but we are also told to fear God. God comes first in our lives. He should be loved and feared, out of respect and submission. He is all-knowing and all-powerful. We should fear to dishonor Him. If we are honoring those who are in a place of authority, and they do not contradict what God commands, then we are honoring God.

Strive to honor God. Be obedient to Him, as well as those He has sent.

Gather • Devotion #3: Identity

Christian, what is your identity?

An identity that comes from the world, what others may think or say about you, cannot compare to the identity you gain when you have been born again. 

If you are saved, you have been set free. John 8:36 (NIV) says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

You are chosen. Paul tells us this in 1 Thessalonians 1:4 (NIV), “For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you.”

You are a child of God. Galatians 3:26 (NIV) adds, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.”

One of my favorite songs to sing is “Who You Say I Am” by Hillsong Worship. The lyrics are incredible because it speaks the truth of our identity in Christ Jesus. I am filled with joy and hope as I declare, 

“Who the Son sets free, is free indeed.

 I’m a child of God – yes, I am!

I am chosen, not forsaken.

I am who you say I am.

You are for me, not against me.

I am who you say I am.”

You are not going to be chosen by everyone.

I do not know about you, but I need this reminder. It can be easy to fall into the trap of placing worth in how others view or identify you. What others say or think about you can mistakenly become what drives your actions. It is an exhausting and frustrating way to live. The identity that the world may give you is worthless compared to the price that Jesus paid for you on the cross. This world will make you feel unwanted and unchosen but remember that the highest King has welcomed and chosen you. This world will make you feel like you do not belong, but remember you belong as a child of God.

I pray that you never let the enemy hold you back from having confidence in who you are in Christ.

“You Have Skills”

Tabernacle • Devotion 2: “You Have Skills”
Taylor McCullough

If I were to ask you to build a house completely by yourself, even though I offered to provide you with some of the tools you would need, but not all of them, you would probably call me crazy. You are one person, being asked to complete a job that requires many, and you are not provided with everything needed. How successful would you be?

In Exodus chapter 36, we read about the construction of the sanctuary, which was a place to worship and meet with God.

Exodus 36:2 says, “And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work.”

The Lord placed individual and unique skills into each person, so they could work together for a great purpose. He did not give all the necessary skills to one person. Not one person was asked to build this alone. Not one person was more significant than the other. Hearts were stirred, and people willingly obeyed and took action.

In chapter 39, we read that the people of Israel accomplished what the Lord had commanded.

Exodus 39:43 says, “And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the Lord had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.”

Their willingness to work and utilize their God-given skills resulted in accomplishing what God had commanded. God equips each one of us with different tools and skills for a purpose. Be willing to seek and use what He has placed in you, to serve the Lord, and obey His commands.

As a worship leader, playing instruments and singing are tools that I use to worship the Lord. I am blessed to be involved in this ministry, connect with others, and serve the Lord while doing so. Joining other voices and instruments, to lead others into worship is amazing and important, but there are other ministries of equal importance. There is the children’s ministry, recovery ministry, outreach programs, and a host of others. God has placed different callings, skills, and interests in each person. How incredible is that? The next time you feel like you are of less importance because you are not successful or do not feel called in a certain area of ministry, remember that He did not create you to do it all.

We are not called to do it all, but we are all called to walk in a manner worthy of our calling. Locate your God-given skills and use them.

Ephesians 4:1-7 says, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

Testimony: Taylor Hundley

Testimony: Taylor Hundley
Worship Intern

I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was young. I have gone to church my entire life. However, I was not truly striving to live for Him. This changed when I was in my late teens. From the time I was 17 until I was 19, I went through a large storm in my life. I had health issues that caused me to pass out and have seizures multiple times a day. This affected many aspects of my life. There was a period of time where I was constantly in and out of hospitals, seeing different specialists with no answers. After some time, when multiple diagnoses finally came, I was told that there was no cure.

For a while, I had the attitude, “Why me?” It was hard for me to have a positive attitude, because I was focused on myself and my weakness, instead of the Lord and His strength. I had a realization that something needed to change. I started praying more and changing the way I prayed. I sought to strengthen my relationship with the Lord and stopped praying only for healing. I started praying for His will for my life, guidance with understanding, and strength. I focused on Him and not the storm.

It was during this time that I truly found strength when I was at my lowest. I started seeing days where instead of 20 “episodes” a day of passing out and having seizures, I would have five, and then one. It has now been over four years that I have been healed from something I was told had no cure. I look at life differently now. I truly value my relationship with the Lord, I seek Him, I read His word, and I strive to live a life honoring God.

There are many verses that I focused on during this storm. This section speaks of the strength that I found during my weakness.

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10



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