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He’s My Brother

Filed under: Devotionals — Pastor David Aug 4, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

He ain’t heavy…he’s my brother!

Six years ago, this October, we added a new member to our family. No! not a baby, instead…my brother. Philip is my older brother by 2 years. He has Down’s Syndrome. PhilI didn’t really know my brother until he lived with us and one thing I found out right away is that he loves music. He had an Amy Grant tape that he wore out. We heard “Baby, Baby” so many times that we thought we were going crazy. He loves Keith Green (wore that tape out too), the Gaither Trio, in fact, all of Bill Gather’s videos, and the Billy Graham Crusades. And he loves it all LOUD! He likes hot dogs and peanut butter and he layers that stuff inches thick and chows down. He consumes about a dozen bananas a week and anytime we tell him there are more, he does this weird “Hoo-ha, hoo-ha, hoo-ha” sound like he is a monkey. Sometimes he hides crackers and milk in his room. Why? I don’t know. The funny thing is…he’s the healthiest person in the house! Go Figure!

He has a great sense of humor and a sweet attitude about helping out around the house and LOVES going to church. He gets up about five o’clock on Sunday mornings and sets out everything to get ready for his day at church. You will see him in the very front row playing his harmonica with the musicians. That is his highlight for the week! One afternoon Philip asked me if I would make a big sign with his name on it and put it outside for every one to see. I asked, “How big?” He said, “As big as the whole front of the house.” I said. “Where do you want me to hang this sign?” He replied, “In front of the church so everyone driving by could see it.” I said, “Phil, I am sure there are a lot of people who secretly have wanted the same thing.” We did make a big sign and hung it in our house. I had a toy that made a cheering sound of a huge crowd. I played it for him that whole day each time he walked in the room. We all had a great time that day and a lot of fun.

Phil and David Mills

Everyone wants to be noticed and acknowledged, and everyone wants to be loved and wanted. Phil is no different. We hope we are loving him effectively each day, as long as he is with us. Just as Jesus said, “In as much as you did for the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Can you lose your salvation?

Filed under: Devotionals — Pastor David @ 1:22 pm

“I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” John 10:28 Can you lose your salvation?

I was reading answers to that question from Yahoo users. Many thought that “yes”, they could lose their salvation. I was saddened and concerned at their reasons for their conclusions. Remember what Christ said, “I give them eternal life”. You have His gift because He gave it to you not because you were good or holy enough. You received His gift freely and gladly. The gift is life! That life is eternal, i.e. it never stops. He gave you a life that will never wear out, never stop beating inside of you, it will never end. It is His unconditional promise and an unstoppable reality based on His word to you. There are no “if you do this or that” in this promise, it simply says, “I will” and that is its foundation.

He said, “They will never perish” meaning, “being cut loose from Him”. It is the strongest expression of language in the Greek, meaning, “It is impossible to perish”. Nothing will sever our relationship. “Nothing”, as Romans 8:38-39 states, nothing present, nothing future, no demon, Satan can’t sever you, no sin can sever you, no sickness like Alzheimer’s or some other disease that takes away memory, nothing can separate or cut you loose from God’s unconditional love.

Jesus said, “No one can snatch them out of My hand.” It does not matter who attacks His claim, you are in His hand forever! You would have to kill Jesus before you could get anyone out of His hand…O that’s right they did that already and He rose from the dead and can never be killed again! We are as safe as He is alive! Then He returned to heaven and is seated on the throne. If you have doubts about this subject, I hope to be a voice of encouragement putting the lies of Satan who accuses you day and night to rest. Just remind yourself of Whose hand you are in, Christ’s! And they are nail pierced hands proving His love that will never let you go.

Take a minute and reflect on this truth and say to yourself, “I am secure in His love.” May you have a settled heart based on His unconditional love for you!

Your friend Pastor David

I am determined to preach Christ and Him crucified

Filed under: Devotionals — Pastor David Jun 30, 2008 @ 3:00 pm

“I am determined to preach Christ and Him crucified” 1 Corinthians 2:2

What are you determined to do?

Paul was a determined fellow; the proof is how much he endured in his life to achieve all that he accomplished. He was the kind of man that diligently studied all sides of an issue then landed on what he believed was true. When he says he was determined, it meant that he came to a conclusion based on lots of thinking and study. There was nothing casual or careless in this word “determined”.

He determined that the single most important subject that had to be considered by people in his world was the fact that Jesus was crucified. Now crucifixion in Paul’s day was the final answer of Rome against the highest criminals of the state. Crucifixion was the worst of all death penalties given out to this day by any nation or government. It was associated with the most serious of offenses.

Why was Paul so determined to talk to others about the crucifixion of Jesus? Because it was the center of all history, of all the Bible teaches as truth, and of all eternity. At the cross Man showed his worst, and God showed His best.

What does sin do inside of a man? It causes some kind of insanity that we will try to shut out the voice of love and truth and will even kill to be allowed to do what we want to do. Sin shouts inside our hearts, “Away with Him!” I do not want Him to lead me, counsel me, or help me.

Our crime? Rejection of Jesus as God’s only King and Savior.

God’s response to our rejection was the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus prayed over and over, “Father forgive them they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34. The cross was God’s devotion and love to you and for you.

You ask, “How can I know God loves me?” See Him carry that cross weighing 120-150 pounds about a mile or so all up hill after enduring a severe beating by strong Roman soldiers whose expertise was death. See Him endure the rejection of people he loved and worked hard serving for the entire time of His earthly ministry. See Him bear the humiliation of being stripped nude and mocked by men who lied about Him just so they could get rid of him. Why did He endure all of that and more?

Because He loved us. He took all of our sins on Himself at the cross so we could be forgiven as He prayed, and we could be changed on the inside to love Him back. At the cross He became sin and allowed Himself to be punished by the full wrath of God’s justice. He gave Himself to God as a sacrifice for us. Sin’s full debt has been paid in full.

Christ’s cross is the greatest gift to man. The giver? God! The one who gets the gift? You!

Take a minute and thank Him for this amazing gift.

God bless you, Pastor David

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