"Pull up; your order will be right out!"
Verse of the Day, September 26, 2021
Psalm 119:50 CSB "This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life."
The Covid pandemic has made using the drive-thru common practice. How often is the line wrapped around the building. We finally get to the pickup window only to hear, "Pull up; your order will be right out"? Then we sit, as the people behind us get their orders. Those who ordered after us drive-by look at us like we are in the way. It is as if they say, "What did you order; we got ours?" The drive-thru is a lot like Christianity.
We trust God, read the Bible, pray, sing about who God is and what he has done. Then we sit as the wicked drive-by. The Psalmist reminds us this morning not to be mad because the wicked get their order first. We should be mad because they do not obey the Bible and wait for God to deliver on his promises. One thing the pandemic has taught us is that the ends do not justify the means. Trouble and affliction will come. When we pray for help, we should comfort ourselves with God's promises, found only in the Bible, until our blessings of comfort arrive.
As the psalmist waits, he says:
"Remember the word to Your servant, In which You have made me hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.
The arrogant utterly deride me, Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.
I have remembered Your ordinances from of old, O Lord, And comfort myself.
Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked, Who forsake Your law" (Psalm 119:49–53 NASB95).
This morning as you sit in line, sing, "here comes my biscuit, I am getting my hashbrowns, o what a great day it is when I finally get my breakfast."
Lord Jesus, today when I wait for your help, I will practice keeping your word. When the world mocks me, I will sing Bible verses: "Your statutes are my songs In the house of my pilgrimage" (119:54). When the wicked seem to get their way, I will not be mad at them but be angry because they have not kept Your Word (119:53). I will remember Your ordinances and comfort myself (119:52). As I wait, I know the comfort of obediently waiting on God's promises delivers greater blessings than forsaking biblical instruction.
Lord Jesus, remember Your words to me; the Bible delivers the meal of hope and comfort I have ordered. Today, when You delay, when I am mocked for trusting and obeying Your laws, and it seems like the world's way is the fastest path to what I want, I will pause and practice observing Your word. I will sing:
God has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong . . . This is my comfort in my affliction: Your promise has given me life" (2 Corinthians 12:9–10; Psalm 119:50). Lord, I will not grow impatient waiting on Your promises, for I know obeying the BIble brings all the blessings You have promised to me. While I wait for deliverance, Your word will be my comfort and hope: "For as many as are the promises of God, in [You, Christ Jesus] they are yes; therefore also through [our Jesus] is our Amen to the glory of God through us. In Jesus' name, amen.
Message for Sandy Creek Baptist Association
October has been set aside as a “Month of Prayer” for the Sandy Creek Baptist Association.
We are going to be holding four area “Prayer Gatherings” in order for churches to come together and participate in this prayer focus. These will be held throughout the month of October, leading up to our “Fall Gathering.”
Please attend the “Prayer Gathering” that is most convenient for you.
We are asking all of our churches to:
1) designate special times of prayer to lift our association before the Lord.
2) participate in the area “Prayer Gatherings.”
Sunday, October 10th at 6:00 pm - Sandy Branch Baptist Church
Sunday, October 10th at 6:00 pm - Sanford First Baptist Church
Sunday, October 17th at 6:00 pm - Siler City First Baptist Church
Sunday, October 24th at 6:00 pm - Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Pittsboro
We are focusing on three major areas of prayer:
1) Praying for Unity – that together we can accomplish what the Lord desires for us to do
2) Praying for our Associational Missionary Search Team – that they can find God’s man to help lead the association
3) Praying for Vision - that we can clearly understand and follow what the Lord’s will is for His people
We are also having a Special “Prayer Gathering” for Ministers on Tuesday, October 12th from 9:30 am - 1:00 pm at Best Foods in Siler City.
Dr. Chris Schofield, from the Office of Prayer with the NC Baptist State Convention, will be with us to lead the “Prayer Gathering.”
The “Month of Prayer” for the Association will culminate with our “Fall Gathering” on Monday, October 25th at Cool Springs Baptist Church at 7:00 pm.
Please send your messengers and plan to attend this wonderful time together.
Prayer is powerful, impactful, and greatly needed. Please encourage your church family to participate in these special times of prayer.
“Now this is the confidence we have in Jesus, that if we ask anything
according to His will, He hears us.
And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask,
we know that we have the petitions that we have ask of Him.”
(I John 5:14-15)
In Christ’s Service, Rob
Has your appetite changed?
Verse of the Day, September 25, 2021
Matthew 5:6 CSB "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."
As I suffered from the effects of Covid, I knew I needed to eat, but nothing satisfied my appetite. Danny Akin says, "The world is hungry for happiness, and it is starving. The Bible tells us to hunger for holiness and be satisfied" ("Sermon on the Mount," Christ-centered Exposition, 10). Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, teaches us that, suffering from the effects of sin, we know we are hungry for happiness, but nothing tastes good.
When I recovered from Covid, my appetite had changed considerably. I no longer had a taste for fast food, junk food, or fatty foods. Jesus says, people, recovering from the pandemic of sin (repentant, born again believers in new life in Christ Jesus), also have changing appetites. We are no longer hungry for happiness because our hungry for holiness satisfies our joy. When we receive the antibodies of Jesus' righteousness be begin recovering, start living redeemed, and our appetite changes. Recovering sinners no longer hunger for the world's junk food. We have a taste for the proper ethics that satisfy God. John Piper says believers are most satisfied when God is the most glorified.
"Blessed" describes happy recipients of God's grace and favor: "It refers to the deep inner joy of those who have long awaited the salvation promised by God and who now begin to experience its fulfillment" (Donald Hagner, quoted in Akin, 5). As bread satisfies a hungry man and water satisfies a thirsty woman, saved sinners intense appetite for living holy and right before God, and God satisfies us by conforming us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). God gives saved sinners a new appetite that only Christ can fulfill. We feed on the Bible, drink of grace, and our desert pleases God by letting other people see Jesus living in us.
Dear Gracious Heavenly Father, You have put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Only a closer relationship with my Perfect Heavenly Father can fill the "hole in my soul" (Akin, 10). Today, my hunger and thirst for righteousness will be satisfied. I am happiest when closest to Jesus. I am delighted when a world starving for happiness sees Your transforming grace satisfying my appetite. I am so satisfied when holiness is my deepest longing. My happiest moments are walking so closely with Jesus that I will bump into Him if he stops to check on me.
Lord, I have read the menu: “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you" (Matthew 6:33 NASB95). Today, I will have a "Happy Meal." In Jesus' name, amen.
Verse of the Day, September 24, 2021
Proverbs 27:1–2 CSB "Don’t boast about tomorrow, for you don’t know what a day might bring. Let another praise you, and not your own mouth- a stranger, and not your own lips."
The same verbal root links Proverbs 27:1 and 2. Pride, self-satisfaction, self-sufficiency, and neglect of acknowledging God's sovereignty result in boasting about what we will do tomorrow and praising ourselves for what we did yesterday.
The fish we caught yesterday is always longer today, the deer bigger, the horse faster, the job better. Pride causes us to retell the story to make us the hero. Letting someone in the boat tell the fish story protects us from pride, making us liars. For a believer, the hero of every story should be Jesus.
We boast about tomorrow's plans when we don't know what the future holds. Only God knows what challenges tomorrow will bring. When we praise ourselves for yesterday's victories, we fail to tell how God helped us, protected us, provided, and satisfied our needs. Boasting how we will accomplish our plans tomorrow fail to recognize our need to depend on God. Only God knows what tomorrow will bring.
Instead of praising our past performances or boasting about tomorrow's plans, we need to think about depending on Christ to help us deal with the ups and downs of today.
Lord, help me live today dependant on you, tomorrow in faith in You, and thanksgiving for your unseen help yesterday. As I plan my weekend, let me heed the words of James 4:13–16 (NASB95):
"Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.”
Yet, you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil."
Lord, today I will tell what You did for me yesterday, why my hope is in what You will do tomorrow, and let everyone see my faith in You today. I will not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. Today has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:34 NASB95). Today, I plan to depend on the Bible to guide me, the Holy Spirit to empower me, Jesus to be seen in me, and God to be pleased with me. Tomorrow I can say, "Look what Jesus did for me yesterday. God has big plans for me tomorrow. The Holy Spirit will be with me come what may. In Jesus' name, amen.
Trick or Treat!
Verse of the Day, September 23, 2021
Luke 16:13-15 CSB "No servant can serve two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."  The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and scoffing at him.  And he told them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the sight of others, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly admired by people is revolting in God's sight."
"Trick or Treat" implies I am willing to play tricks to get a treat. Jesus reminds us that we cannot fool God. Luke 16 is about stewardship. God owns the house and everything in it. God entrusts us with money and possessions. How we handle our belongings determines who we love, trust, and worship most. My uncle Rudy used to say, "Look at your checkbook to see who or what you worship the most." Jesus says we cannot serve the gift and the Gifter. We will always love one more than the other. How we manage the resources God has given us reveals how much we love God.
Trusting in our money, possessions, retirement, etc., more than God makes them an idol. An idol is a lifeless false god who always requires the worshiper to give more than he receives. The Living God, on the other hand, always gives better than He gets. Thabiti Anyabwile says the challenge of stewardship is that every money decision reveals who our God is ("Luke," in Christ-centered Exposition, 245). Faithful stewards are concerned with their character, the consequences of their choices in money matters, and trusting God first and foremost.
The Pharisees treated Jesus' teaching on faithful stewards with contempt. Jesus said you might fool people into thinking you love God, but you cannot trick God. What decisions about your money and belongings do you need to adjust to demonstrate that you love and worship God above all else?
Lord Jesus, Jeremiah 17:9 (NASB95) reminds me, “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" 1 Samuel 16:7 (NASB95)
recalls, "the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Lord, how I manage everything you entrust to me reveals my love for You. The unseen motives of giving reveal who I trust. Help me develop the character of a faithful steward. Lord, thank you for reminding me all financial decisions have consequences. Holy Spirit, convict and convince me to put God's honor before all my money and possessions. Lord, I desire to weigh my earthly decisions against the eternal reward that awaits me in heaven. Like the story of "The rich man and Lazarus," how I use God's possessions on earth reveals who I serve on earth and plan to worship throughout eternity (Luke 16:19–31). Lord, I may fool myself and other people, but I never trick You, when I put You in second place. Help me be faithful with earthly things so You can entrust more things of eternal value to me. In Jesus' name, amen.
Thank the Lord!
Verse of the Day, September 21, 2021
1 Thessalonians 5:18 CSB "give thanks in everything; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Paul does not tell believers to give thanks for everything but to give thanks in everything. Bad things happen to good people. God does not expect us to be thankful for difficult times. God does deserve our thanks for being with us through the good times and the bad times, the easy days and the hard days, the restful night and the sleepless nights (Romans 8:28–29; Thessalonians 5:16–22).
God's presence with us in every situation and circumstance results in thanksgiving. God uses tough times as opportunities to shape our character and firm up our faith (Life Application Commentary, 85).
Thank your Lord Jesus for Your presence today. Whether my day is terrible or terrific, I know you are with me and helping me hold to good and avoid evil. Thank you for growing my faith and building my character in all I encounter. Today I will rejoice all day, say short prayers all day, and in everything give thanks to You because this is God's will for me today (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
God, help me not to quench the Holy Spirit's power in my life today. When I find it hard to be thankful, I will quote a Bible verse to strengthen my faith and shape my character into a Christlike attitude and action (e.g., 1 Thess 5:19–22; 1 Corinthians 10:13, 31, Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:14–15). Thank You, Lord, for helping me examine every situation and come what may help me hold fast to God-approved good and abstain from every appearance of evil (5:21–22). In Jesus' name, amen.
Begin the day as a winner.
Verse of the Day, September 18, 2021
Psalm 118:14 CSB "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."
Each day has winners and losers. Winners begin the day by thanking God for yesterday's victories. King David engaged in today's battles by thanking God for yesterday's wins. David reminds us of two reasons we should thank God every morning: "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting" (Psalm 118:1 NASB95).
Five times in Psalm 118, David thanks God because "He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting" (118:1, 2, 3, 4, 29). Pause this morning and think how good God was to you yesterday and how his lovingkindness remained with you.
Dear Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you: "From my distress, I called upon the Lord, and you answered me (118:5). "The Lord is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? The Lord is for me among those who help me; Therefore, I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in princes" (Psalm 118:6–9). Lord, although people, political promises may fail me, You are my constant help (118:7, 13).
I begin my day thanking you. I will tell others why I am thankful: "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation" (14). Today Lord, I am a winner because You have made known to me: "The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes" (Psalm 118:22–23). Jesus has become my Help, my Strength, my Song, my Salvation, and my Victory in yesterday's battles. Today, I thank you with "The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. The right hand of the Lord is exalted; The right hand of the Lord does valiantly. I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the Lord. "The Lord has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death" (Psalm 118:15–18).
Lord God, "Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the Lord. [Trust and thanksgiving that God is good and His lovingkindness is everlasting] is the gate of the Lord; The righteous will enter through it. I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation" (118:19–21).
Lord, You are my God, and I give thanks to You; I praise You. Thank You, Lord, today as yesterday You are good; for Your lovingkindness stays with me everywhere go (Psalm 118:28–29). Knowing that Jesus has become my Salvation separates me from the losers (118:22). No matter what happens today, I have already won. In Jesus' name, amen.
Use the knowledge you have.
Verse of the Day, September 17, 2021
John 16:12-13 CSB "I still have many things to tell you, but you can't bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come."
Some days God cannot give us new insight because we are not using the knowledge He has already provided. We should not worry about tomorrow until we obey what we know God wants us to do today. The Holy Spirit will guide us in all truth. God will also teach us to live in the blessing and the adversities of tomorrow. Today we have the knowledge we need to live pleasing in God's sight.
Lord Jesus, I know the Holy Spirit's purpose is to glorify You (John 16:14). Thank you for sending me the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sends in Your name because The Holy Spirit will teach me all things that glorify You and honor God's plan for me (John 16:14). I know I am to reflect God's image, so the world knows He exists, created all things, and restores the broken to new (Hebrews 11:6).
Lord Jesus, thank you for Your Spirit living in me. Holy Spirit, help me today decern what you determine right and wrong. Help me then use the knowledge I have to obey Your will in all I say and do (John 16:13). Lord, like Your disciples, I cannot bear everything you want to tell me at one time. As the Spirit of Truth taught the apostles what You told Him to say, I also know that they wrote it out for us. I have the New Testament to guide me today. The Old Testament provides the foundational principles the New Testament explains to me.
Today, I do not know everything about tomorrow, but the Bible teaches me that the Holy Spirit enables me to decern the truth, obey you today, and plan for tomorrow. I may not be the most intelligent person in the room today, but I will be able to make all my decisions based on the truth of Your Word. The knowledge of tomorrow is the truth we learn to obey today. In Jesus' name, amen.
Jesus is praying for you!
Verse of the Day, September 15, 2021
Romans 8:31 CSB "What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"
Paul's rhetorical question answers itself. To prove no one or nothing can separate a believer from God's purpose or love, Paul says, in Romans 8:32–34 NASB95:
"[God] did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
Jesus made us right in God's eyes. We are reconciled to God, like prodigal children returning home. Father God celebrates by enabling us to be conformed daily into the image of His Son, Jesus. We will walk (obey) rightly before God in daily actions and activities.
"Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies;."
God not only declares us innocent, but the Holy Spirit also works in our conscience to keep us innocent before God.
"[W]ho is the one who condemns?" Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised,"
Jesus died in our place, and he will also make sure we live the life He died to give us.
"[Jesus] is at the right hand of God (place of honor and authority), who also intercedes for us (Jesus prays for us)."
We do not know the situations and circumstances we will face today. We can be confident; when difficulty comes, Jesus looks to the left and says, Father, my brother/sister needs help.
Lord Jesus, I do not know what will come our way today, but I am confident together, we will handle it in God's way. No one will separate us from the love of Christ. Today, no tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword will separate us from Your love and protection (Romans 8:35).
Knowing my Lord is praying for me, "I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38–39).
Lord today, I will not pity myself when trouble comes; I pity whoever or whatever comes against You and me: "in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Jesus who love[s] us (8:37). Thank You, Jesus, for praying that I am a winner today. In Jesus name, amen,
What do you do when faced with uncertainty?
Verse of the Day, September 14, 2021
Psalm 121:3 CSB "He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber."
The psalmist is traveling to Jerusalem to worship at the temple. He is excited about the destination but uncertain of the dangers he will encounter on the journey. Most people reading this devotion believe in God and know our eternal destination; however, in our daily journey of faith in Christ, we meet uncertainties, dangers and are often gripped by the fear of the unknown. The psalmist says when fear of the unknown grips my trip: "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth" (Psalm 121:1–2 NASB95).
O Lord my God, I believe You made heaven and earth. I believe You control all you have created, even when I don't understand how. Most of all, I know You personally as my Lord, Savior, and Protector. I do not know what I will encounter today along my way. But I am confident my Lord, "He will not allow [my] foot to slip; He who keeps [me] will not slumber. Behold, He who [protects His people] will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is [my] keeper (the One who protects me from all harm and alarm); The Lord is [my] shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite [me] by day, Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect [me] from all evil; He will keep [my] soul to the journey's end.
The Lord will guard [my] going out and [my] coming in from this time forth and forever. (Psalm 121:3–8). In the name of Jesus, my Savior and Protector, I pray and praise, Amen.
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