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Monday, March 27 2017

Practicing the Presence of God

The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”

Judges 6:12 NLT

I am Immanuel, God with you—My Presence cheers you on. In emergencies, call Me. I bless the desperate and swing wide Kingdom gates to people who need Me. I am fighting on the front line alongside you. As you memorialize victory adding battle streamers, name your flag, “The Lord Is Peace.” Whistle in the dark and sing for joy. Live happily.

I am the Incomparable Christ, God without equal—My perfect pattern challenges you. I am your Template for life. Do more than ask “What would Jesus do?”—do it! Walk in My steps. Live helpfully.

I am the Infinite One, God without limitation—My power changes you from the inside out. On your own, you are like the Israelites—doing evil in heaven’s sight, repeatedly returning to the rut of rebellion. Fall to your knees, then get on your feet. Reverse evil, and learn to live in line with principles of the Life-Giver. Keep the change. Live holily.

I am the Invisible One, God without end—My promises buoy you. A priceless inheritance is reserved in heaven for you—unaffected by stock market downturns, inaccessible to thieves, uncorrupted by rust. An unimaginably beautiful destiny is just around the corner. Do not get preoccupied with what you can see; do not let happiness hinge on things. Tangibles are temporary; spiritual treasures are forever. Earthly toys always break; truth never does. Travel My confidence course. Live hopefully.

I am the Invincible One, God without defeat—My Providence carries you. Trying times are parentheses in life’s sentence. After short-term troubles, I will pick you up, brush you off , and get you back in your running lane in Faith Marathon. Trust Me and you will have a brave heart, calm mind, and optimistic outlook. You are never alone in the dark—I always leave the light on. I accompany your every heartbeat. Celebrate! Live heroically.

Try life on your own, and life will be grim. Practice My Presence, and life will be grand.

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity © 2013

Devotional is Day 124 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 09:45 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 20 2017


Then Deborah said to Barak,

“Get ready! Today the Lord will give you victory over Sisera,

for the Lord is marching ahead of you.”

So Barak led his ten thousand warriors down the slopes of Mount Tabor into battle.

Judges 4:14 NLT

Today you are going to engage spiritual enemies from hell—temptation, apathy, egocentricity, greed, pride, impatience, hostility. The evil one has set traps in hopes of tripping you up. Fiends of hell have improvised deadly explosive devices and hidden them along your road. However ferocious the war, you have heaven’s guarantee of victory.

I am Jehovah—the One Who Will Always Be Who I Have Always Been. I am on your side, so no force in the universe can defeat you. I enable you to triumph over sin and death—your worst enemies. March smartly in Christ’s victory procession. Live grace-fully, trusting the promise that ultimately the God of peace will pulverize public enemy number one. Stand tall.

Love is wide enough to include you, long enough to outlast earth, high enough to inspire you infinitely, deep enough to stand under you no matter how far you fall. My unfailing love makes us inseparable. Despite everything threatening you, you are invincible connected to the Almighty. Death cannot kill love. Life’s maze will not hide you from mercy. Demons are unable to breach the protecting walls encircling you. Worries cannot halt the sunrise of hope. In fact, nothing created can ever come between you and your Creator. Relax.

In all the battles you fight, I am your Commander in Chief. No one outranks Me.  I issue orders, ruling and overruling life’s skirmishes. I am the Vanguard of the army of saints—combat evil boldly because I am on the front line with you. I march ahead of you in your tomorrows—listen for My orders. Stay close.

I am the Great Difference between joy and despondency, courage and cowardice, optimism and pessimism, and victory and defeat. Faith in Me transforms you from a whining victim into a whistling victor. A popular way of expressing confidence is, “Nothing will happen to me today that God and I together cannot handle.” The biblical way of expressing confidence is, “I am ready for whatever happens today because of the strength of the One living in my heart.” In Christ, you can overcome every obstacle on life’s confidence course. Believe Me.

Faith’s strenuous battle for heaven’s cause requires backbone, but you are not an army of one—ten thousand invisible warriors are descending with you into the dark and shadowy valley battleground. Today is D-Day on the bloody beaches of Satan’s territory. Attack!

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity © 2013

Devotional is Day 123 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 01:33 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 13 2017

The Difference of One

By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Shamgar son of Anath rescued Israel. He killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goad.

Judges 3:31 NLT

Ask your neighbors if they have ever heard of Shamgar, and you will probably hear that they have no idea who he was. However, this man with a strange name went down in history as a champion—an unknown who dared to get involved in a major crisis, a nobody who freed My chosen people and preserved the nation of Israel. You should be impressed by his example.

He was just one man—not an army, a team, or a rescue squad. Just one person.

He was one man alone. He bravely stood by himself against the enemies of his nation, single-handedly combating opponents maliciously intent on cutting out the apple of My eye.

He gave Me what he had. Just a stick used to prod oxen to plow. Not much. But he voluntarily surrendered it to My purpose.

I blessed him and used him to deliver My people. I reinforced him to be a mighty warrior who destroyed enemies of the race through whom the Messiah would ultimately be born.

Wonder what difference one can make? You are just one person. You cannot do everything. But what you can do, you ought to do. And what you ought to do, byMy grace, resolve you will do.

I will sometimes ask you to take on tasks your society calls “impossible.” But remember whatever I ask you to do, I also empower you to accomplish. You can do everything I want you to do with the help of Christ who makes your heart His home. Your responsibilities may be painful and difficult, but nothing is impossible when you are connected by faith to supernatural strength. Faith does not make challenges easier—it does make them possible.

Sometimes it gets lonely being My disciple. It seems you are walking alone. Take heart—I am always with you. And other Christians in the ranks are fighting the battle alongside you.

Give Me whatever you have—creative talents, natural abilities, tender heart, thoughtful mind, unique personality, enthusiastic energy.

Consecrate your life in all dimensions to your Creator. Be more than a local hero in your time—be My bright deathless star for all eternity.

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 122 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:38 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 06 2017

Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, who saved them from those who plundered them.

Judges 2:16 MLB

Gaze into the mirror of My Word—and see yourself there. Like My people Israel, you go round and round in the vicious circle of obedience, rebellion, heartbreak, repentance, forgiveness, fresh start, obedience, rebellion, heartbreak…

Every time you wander after so-called gods, you are disappointed. Everywhere you turn, everything goes wrong. Without God, life falls apart. In your despair, you cry out for heaven’s  deliverance.

Because of My eternal covenant, I have compassion for you. I freed you from sin’s slavery to bring you to the promised land of rich spiritual life. My Word is as good as I am—I will never, in any situation, take back a single word I have said. I will not break My promise. I have always loved you and I always will. My faithful love endures forever. I hold you in omnipotent hands, so no force can wrench you from My care. I am Love—my heart will not let Me give up on you or let you go.

In spite of your recidivism—chronic, habitual relapse into sin—My steadfast love is rock steady. You are changeable and erratic in your devotion to Me; however, I am unvaryingly faithful to you.

Let My unchangeableness inspire you to greater loyalty. Hold your head high, march in step with My Holy Spirit, and live enthusiastically for Me. Continue to trust Me. Persist in serving Me. Rest assured that nothing you do in My Name wastes time.

You are sinful—nevertheless, I am your Savior. When you cry out for pardon, I rescue you from despair. When you acknowledge transgression, I am faithful to cleanse you of every wrong. When I see the trouble you are in, My heart goes out to you and My hand rescues you. My mercy has no boundary. Rebellion does not cancel redemption. In spite of everything you do, I forgive.

You are aware of your corrupt nature. You have experienced My kindness and patience with you. You have learned you can conquer temptation by relying on Me. Let these facts spur you on to aim for Christlikeness. When you wander from My side, listen for your Gentle Shepherd’s voice leading you to return to righteous paths.

Heaven’s nevertheless of grace infinitely exceeds your sin. No matter how you misbehave, My love is never the less.

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 121 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:14 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
    420 Enon Road | Fredericksburg, VA 22406 | PH: 540.371.4124