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Monday, July 24 2017

The Better Way

© By Pastor Johnny Almond

Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the Lord; your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience?

Obedience is far better than sacrifice. Listening to him is much better than offering the fat of rams.”

1 Samuel 15:22 NLT

Submission surpasses sacrifices. I am far more delighted in passionate obedience to My will than any sacrifice you could ever make. Rituals without devotion are hollow—a waste of time. Hypocrisy is nothing more than play-acting—obedience is really all that matters. Dramatic productions may impress people, but theatrical religion does not amuse Me. Do as I say, and all will be well.

Humility is higher than haughtiness. You can never please Me by superficial externalities. Live in the holy land of the broken heart, and see My smile. Listen to gentle whispers from eternity, and hear My voice.

Right living exceeds rationalization. I am more pleased when you do what is fair and right, than by your tithing to make up for rebellion. You can never bribe Me into ignoring character flaws. Shaping up morally is far more critical than writing regular checks to your church.

Righteousness is better than rituals. Visiting the hospitalized and homebound, encouraging underdogs, defending orphans, and fighting for the rights of widows gains My approval—not just going through the motions of believing. Insincere ceremonies are ludicrous. Heartless church going is senseless. Faithless religion is hollow. Self-sacrifice is not the ticket to heaven—the Savior’s sacrifice is. The Sinless One made the only offering that can make us friends.

Obedience overshadows offerings. If you forget the reason behind your offerings, you are not honoring Me. I want lifelong service, not just money in the offering plate once a week.

Sensitivity is better than sacrifice. Knowing My heart and showing compassion to hurting people really count for something. Loveless sacrifices and heartless worship are meaningless ceremonies.

Doing right is more important than offering; being kind is more beneficial than sacrificing; walking humbly with Me is more critical than giving. A responsive life is better than  elaborate rituals. A grateful heart—the sacrifice of praise—pleases Me more than any gift you ever place before My throne.

There is a better way than religion—it is called relationship.


Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 11:35 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 17 2017

A Heart like God’s

© By Pastor Johnny R. Almond

The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart.

1 Samuel 13:14 NLT

I am the Infinite GodI search for people with repentant hearts. There is a stark contrast in My nature and yours. You have a long road to travel to become like Me. Your selfish pride needs suppressing, if you are to have a meek heart. Humble yourself in My Presence—see Me as I am and see yourself as you are. Do not get a big head by telling yourself you are better than you are—own up to shameful deeds and moral frailty; then seek forgiveness and supernatural strength.

I am the Intentional GodI look for people with wise hearts. Jesus continues to inspire you to reach faith’s finish line. Let nothing be more important than this noble objective. My Holy Spirit works in your mind to make your thoughts pristine, in your emotions to make your desires compassionate, in your personality to make your attitude Christlike. Let Christ reign on your heart’s throne so the watching world will see His mirror image reflected on your face.

I am the Holy God—I seek people who yearn for a clean heart. You are a natural-born sinner—inclined to seek your own pleasure instead of Mine. I alone can erase your bad record and give you pure thoughts and desires. Only if your heart is clean will you conduct yourself correctly. My unfailing love is your source of mercy. My Purifying Spirit can purge you of guilt and make you snow-white. Lead others by your example of holiness in thoughts, words, and deeds. Come clean. Grow up.

I am the Loving GodI am after people with truly loving hearts. Are you feeling you should care more? Would you like to be more spontaneous and compassionate as you share your faith? Let Me forgive your sin and restore our fellowship, then you will naturally want to share My love. Receive My tender care, and be a wounded healer to hurting friends. Nestle near My loving heart, and reach out to others with tenderness.

I am the Faithful God—I scan planet Earth for people with consistent hearts. I am the Fountainhead of perseverance. When My Holy Spirit controls your life, you will be rock-steady. Rely on heaven’s faithfulness in every season of your life; strive to be as dependable as clockwork in your earthly responsibilities.

Give Me your heart—then I will give you Mine.


Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity - Book available on Amazon

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 09:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 10 2017

Change Agent

© by Pastor Johnny R. Almond  

At that time the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you with power,

and you will prophesy with them. You will be changed into a different person.

1 Samuel 10:6 NLT

There is plenty about you that needs to be changed! You are grumpy and cantankerous at times and need to learn how to be more optimistic and patient. You are arrogant and self-centered now and then and need to be more humble and concerned about others’ needs. You fume and fret about your uncertain tomorrows and need to develop one-day-at-a-time faith that I will take good care of you. You indulge in sinful pleasures at times and need to crucify your ego and find satisfaction in a pure heart and a right relationship with Me.

You have tried to change yourself by compulsive rituals and dogged resolve, but nothing has drastically changed. Sinful nature sabotages noble intentions. Perfection is an elusive goal in your strength. If you are going to be changed into a different person, you desperately need heaven’s help. Without Me, you are powerless. With Holy Spirit anointing, transformation can happen. Life on My terms is the solution.

If your words and actions are going to be revolutionized, you need divine inspiration. If you want to become radically new and be rid of the old, identify with Christ. Without God you cannot approach good. The Holy Spirit is your Change Agent. Behavior modification occurs from the inside out. I do infinitely more than make a great deal of difference—I make all the difference in the world!

Become a different person in your attitudes. Submit to My Internal Guidance System and become more compassionate, enthusiastic, serene, kind, generous, loyal,gentle, and self-controlled. Christlike character traits develop as by-products of My being in charge.

Become a different person in your actions. Do not just say you live by the Spirit—keep in step with the King’s cadence. Think My thoughts. Perpetually pray. Wield the Spirit Sword in combating sin. Conscientiously avoid evil. Make music to Me in your heart. Thank Me in everything. Never stifle My Spirit. Follow My life map for a change!

When people ask what has come over you, tell them I have!

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity – Book available on Amazon

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 09:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, July 03 2017

Harper’s Ferry – Shenandoah River

Heaven Help us!

© By Johnny R. Almond

Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah.

He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!”

1 Samuel 7:12 NLT

Slow down in your human race long enough to ask yourself—“How on earth have we made it this far?” Remind yourself of both your journey and My joy.

I have granted you the pleasure of My company. I have blessed you with victories over temptation. When you seriously drew near Me, and proved it by demolishing idols, I cascaded joy through your heart. When you centered your worship on Me and served Me alone, I delivered you from Satan’s power. Every time you concentrated on deepening our relationship, I came closer. Seeking a quiet place, silence calmed your noisy heart and enabled you to hear gentle whispers from eternity.

You have experienced a few difficulties, but I have never deserted you. My Presence has been your soul’s delight. In quicksand circumstances, I have been your Dependable Foundation. You have had tough times some describe as “impossible”, but the Rock of Ages has been your stability. Life’s roller coaster has not thrown you, because I am your Seatmate.

Up to now, I have helped you—otherwise, you would never have made it to this day. Only with heaven’s help have you survived.

Your help does not originate from the mountains; it flows from the Maker of mountains. I help you surmount every obstacle, so you can serve Me faithfully and fruitfully. I reinforce you with supernatural power 24/7, so you can do everything I ask of you.

Reflect on how I have helped you in your yesterdays—bow your head in gratitude. Celebrate how I am helping you today—I am your Complete Salvation, Victorious Strength, and Theme Song. Tune your heart to sing My grace day by day, and trust Me to help you as you step into tomorrow. Let all I have done for you encourage you to trust Me with the unknown. I will not let you stumble in the dark—I will always leave the light on.

How on earth can you hope to make it through life’s future challenges? The answer is—with heaven’s help.

Heaven has been on your side—and it still is! Take My hand—I will be your Helper on your life path, one stepping stone at a time.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Book available on Amazon

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, July 01 2017

Reciprocal Honor

© by Johnny R. Almond

I will honor only those who honor me.

1 Samuel 2:30 NLT

I have established a proportionate relationship between consecration and celebration—the nearer we are, the greater your joy. Stay close to Me, and I will stay close to you.

Prove you love Me by conscientiously and radically obeying Me, and I will be far more to you than a good idea or a noble ideal—I will be your Ultimate Reality and your Center of Gravity.

Focus on Me, and I will fill your heart with invulnerable joy, tranquility transcending circumstances, and contentment in inner-stances. Heaven’s bliss is unavailable on earthly markets. Nothing in the world comes close to the ecstasy of fellowship with God.

Listen to My hope melody, and I will transform despair into singing, sighing into praise, hunger into satisfaction, barrenness into birth, lethargy into exuberance, poverty into plenty, rags into royalty, defeat into victory, worry into confidence, and humiliation into honor.

Take My hand by faith, and I will teach you some new dance steps. Worship waltz will be your honor badge. The jig of joy will be your delight.

Pour your heart out to Me, and I will change you from inside out. Things around you may not change, but you will!

Rely on Me, and I will reinforce you with supernatural strength, so you can survive all situations and thrive in accomplishing My sweet will.

Be open to Me, and I will bless you to be a blessing to others.

Learn and live the principles of truth, and I will honor you by conferring on you the grand privilege of serving Me.

Keep trying to be like Jesus, and I will sculpt you into His likeness. I will keep working in you until My dream for you comes true.

Stay unflinchingly on My path until you attain the heavenly goal. Persevere through severity, focusing on Christ—I will get you safely home. Obey your Commander and win life’s battles. Listen to your Coach, and you will finish the Faith Marathon. Give your King undivided allegiance, and I will crown you with righteousness.

Reciprocal honor is the drumbeat of life—stay in step.

Pastor Johnny R. Almond

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity

This devotional Day 135 - book available on Amazon

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 10:28 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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    420 Enon Road | Fredericksburg, VA 22406 | PH: 540.371.4124