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Monday, November 21 2016

Thanks Living

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

If you present your peace offering as a thanksgiving offering . . .

Leviticus 7:12 NLT

I give you faith. I charm you to Myself and I take great pleasure in lavishing kindness on you. Faith is the key that started My powerful grace engine in your life. I know your egocentricity, judgmentalism, pessimism, and impatience—yet I still love you unconditionally. With your first step of childlike faith, I made you everlastingly Mine. Be eternally grateful. Give Me credit for all the good in your life. Do more than give thanks—live thanks.

I give you Myself. I engineer circumstances in your best interest. You can count on My Invariable Presence. I am your Permanent Address and the Solution to your greatest needs. I am All You Ever Really Need in Life. Here is My formula for incomprehensible peace—pray about everything, tell Me your needs, say thanks for all I do; peace flooding your mind and heart, relax.

I give you family. To counteract loneliness, I give you a home. Husband, wife, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister—all are My idea. Unique personalities enrich life. Celebrate Love by loving.

I give you friends. Friends are two bodies with one soul; the church of Christ is composed of millions of individuals with one heart. Offer thanks by being loyal to teammates in fair and foul weather.

I give you joy. Marvel at beauty. Treasure My Eternal Word. Pay attention to human voices. Relish food. Dance to the rhythm of Life. Smell the wake-up call of coffee. Feel friendly hugs of love. Let My Holy Spirit control your instincts. Make heart music for My listening enjoyment. Sing grateful hymns for companions to hear. Enjoy!

I give you purpose to be here after. You are My work of art. Focus on honoring your Master, and experience life’s highest significance.

I set your table with daily bread. I give you all you need from day to day as you prioritize My kingdom. Bow your head—say grace.

I give you forever. The Power that raised Jesus from the grave guarantees your beautiful and bright destiny. No artist can paint heaven; no composer can write its lovely symphony. I give you hints of glory—sunrises, flowers, butterflies, and springs. If a dove feather-brushed Earth on round trips to the nearest star until the planet you call home wore away to nothing, eternity would just be dawning—so would your carol of praise.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

This devotional based on day 63 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 03:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 14 2016

God over All

The LORD your God is the supreme God of the heavens above and the earth below.

God is God of all. He is the Transcendent God of the highest heavens, incalculably and unimaginably distant from the planet you call home. He is also the Immanent, down-to-Earth God, intimately closer to us than our hands and feet and breath. He is the God of the abstract and of the concrete. Wisdom rethinks the philosophical and accomplishes the practical.

God is God in all. He is God of eternity and the hereafter. He is also God of time and the here and now. Faith counts on the glorious hereafter He plans for you—and pauses to ponder what we are here after.

God is God through all. He is God of our ecstatic highs and of our agonizing lows. He is God of our mountaintop celebrations and our valley heartbreaks. Hope clings to God as we ride life’s roller coaster taking us through our days toward our destiny.

God is God after all. He is God of heavenly worship above and of earthly worry and weariness below. Humility reverences God as the Absolute Sovereign of the universe.

God is God to all. He is God of his holy angels and of our human associates. He directs cherubim and seraphim; He brings the right people into our lives to help and encourage us. Obedience responds in service in angelic fashion, faithfully and kindly ministering to people of faith.

God is God above all. He is God of incomprehensible mystery and of infinite meaning. We are not totally, irrevocably responsible for everything—that is God’s job. Uncommon sense resigns as general manager of the universe.

God is God for all. He is God of orbiting planets and of ordinary people. He directs traffic patterns of constellations and holds together trusting human hearts. Kindness relates to people in their divinely designed orbits.

God is God over all. He is God of intergalactic stars and of imperfect saints. Love permits the One who breathed galaxies into existence to reign over all the kingdoms of our life. Believing God is in charge, saints struggle on.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

Devotional based on day 110 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 04:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, November 07 2016

A Prayer for Election Day

By Pastor Johnny Almond

Lord of the nations,

After a long and tiring presidential race with vicious contention, intense debate and sad divisiveness; with election day approaching in only a few hours — we approach You, Almighty God, with a heartfelt prayer for the nation we love, the country of our birth.  

Wondering what turnaround it might take to restore peace and quiet, justice and kindness to our land, we recall a verse from a very old Book we’ve read and heard quoted countless times—

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and will heal their land. [2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV]

Could this if-then formula, conscientiously practiced by people of faith, make America great—and good—again?

Are these ancient words powerful enough to transform society by changing hearts submissive to your Holy Spirit?

Would widespread application of this verse help us be better neighbors, cancel selfishness with sacrifice, and make us stronger together by replacing the love of power with the power of love?

Lord Jesus Christ, we who are called by your name search our souls and ask ourselves some personal questions—Are we willing to humbly dismount our high horse of judgmentalism and realize we’re not God? Are we sincerely hoping for your will to be done in the results of this national election? Are we seeking your face, or just trying to save our own? Are we convicted of our own wrongdoing and shortcomings, and willing to repent of evil in our lives?

Heavenly Father, please hear our prayer and bless us by forgiving our sins and restoring our land to be a nation of citizens free from fear, free from want, free to speak our mind, and free to worship our God.

In the name of the One on whose shoulders rests the government of the universe, the Prince of Peace, Amen.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—book available on Amazon

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 12:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, November 01 2016

Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever.

Deuteronomy 34:7 NLT

The number of our years is increasing. Gray hairs are multiplying, and bodily aches humiliate more often. It is wise to pause now and then to deeply consider the meaning of our life. With heaven’s help, we can grow older gracefully.

Though our physical eyesight may deteriorate, our vision of eternal realities can grow more perceptive day by day. It is life’s noblest goal to know God more intimately—to develop closer familiarity with Christ, so our vigor will not weaken and our spiritual eyesight will not dim. We cannot see our Savior now, yet we love and trust him. His Presence in our life brings laughter and singing. Life is imperfectly focused now, but the day will come when we will see with perfect clarity. Until that glorious time of total redemption, we should pray to see the Lord more clearly with each passing day.

Time subtracts from physical stamina as our birthdays add up, but emotional muscles need not atrophy. Relying on God’s unlimited power reinforces us for future challenges. When we encounter aggravation, we should keep in mind that trying times are parentheses in the sentence of life. Adversity is God’s university—we should not withdraw. Time educates for eternity. Trouble is temporary. Heaven’s support is as certain as sunrise. God’s grace is more than enough to see us through the aging process.

God will be our Hiding Place, whatever the threat or trauma. He inspires nocturnal melodies, calms our anxious heart, and strengthens our weary arms when we feel like walking away from heavy responsibilities. When our natural strength is gone, supernatural strength is available. When hard times push us to our knees, we should pray harder. Holding God’s hand, we can walk with a spring in our step.

To live joyfully, we must open the eyes of our heart to see the beauties of the world and God’s loving Providence in our circumstances. To catch a glimpse of the bright tomorrow God has planned, we must let Light beyond light flood our inner being. To accomplish what God placed his hand on our shoulder to do, we must flex our spiritual muscles.

God gives us ambition to implement his commands. He gives us energy and ability to obey his orders. He raised Christ from the grave, and He is able to renew our resolve to please our Creator—never mind our age! As we grow older, with God’s help we can grow bolder.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull's Memorial Baptist Church -- Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity -- book available on Amazon

This devotional based on day 108 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 04:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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