Idleness Stagnates, Involvement Excites

February 27, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

Have you ever noticed yourself being more tired on a day that you could lay around than on a day that you had to get up and go all day? I have. It seems odd that our bodies would be constructed in such a way that you get energy by expending energy.

I think that this principle holds true in the Body of Christ. If all who make up the Body are laying around, spiritually, then we are going to have less energy than we would if we were busy. As energy is given to the physical body, I think there is a parallel to the energy given to the spiritual body. I’ve been guilty of being lazy for God. I’ve felt that feeling of “church is just a few songs, some prayers, Lord’s Supper, a sermon, and an hour” feeling. Then, after you are done, you either chastise your experience or are grateful that you are finished and can move on to more fun things. I’ve lain around all week, spiritually. Looking back, I was more tired from not doing anything for God, than by accomplishing something.

John warns the lukewarm in the book of Revelation. (Revelation 3:16) Paul warns the idle of Thessalonica. (I Thessalonians 5:14) Zephaniah warns the complacent (Zephaniah 1:12). So, we can see that the less busy for God we are, the more likely we are to be spiritually tired. Busy for busy sake is not the same as being busy for God. Being involved with the church family and its activities is one way to be busy for God.

Based off of my personal experiences, I’ve learned that being involved keeps me excited to be a part of the Kingdom. I hope you will too!

PRAYER: Father, thank You for creating opportunities that I can be a part of which allows me to be involved in Kingdom living. Keep the opportunities coming because I love to team up with You!

“At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, ‘The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad’” (Zephaniah 1:12 NIV).

Wondering What Happened

January 30, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Jarrod Spencer –

Have you ever returned to a town you used to live and noticed, in your time of absence, things changed? Changes such as businesses closing, buildings torn down, and town expansion, etc. We reflect back to the days when we lived there and the way the environment used to appear.

I remember taking my wife to a town where I used to live. It was very small and it only took about 15 minutes to “tour.” I enjoyed the trip down memory lane, returning to the “Prairie Chicken Capital of the World”, with a population of 130 (in 2000), according to the Wikipedia website.

Change is happening in our world all the time. In order for change to take place, someone must be willing to work and carry out the work that creates change. For those that do not put in the work, they may wonder what happened while they were away. This brings us to a quote from a friend of mine, DudLee Brennfoerder, that challenges me as I think about change and the effort it takes to implement. “There are those that work, those who talk about those working, and those that wonder what happened.”

Which category do you generally fit into?

Usually those in the latter two categories have a difficult time seeing the purpose in a project. The more we’re a part of a project, the more we see the purpose and develop a passion in the project.

As you look around your community, workplace, or church, think about how you will be involved with a project/program. If there isn’t a work going on to be involved in, think about an area that you are passionate about and see how you can make it happen. Your passion may end up being magnetic to others, creating a desire in them to also be involved.

I am continually energized by being involved. It is very enjoyable to be involved in areas we are passionate about. It motivates us to the point that we may find it hard to quit. Get involved. Who knows what fun adventures are right around the corner that we never would have known without choosing to pursue our passions.

PRAYER: Thank You, Father, for giving me passions and open doors of which to practice those passions. I can’t wait to see what You have planned next for me to be involved in.

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 4:10-11 NIV).

Unleashed Imagination

January 10, 2021 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Jarrod Spencer –

One question every American child is asked sometime during childhood is “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some will state the occupation of a parent. Others may aspire to be a sports star, an actor/actress, or another type of celebrity. What was your answer when you were a child?

Why didn’t we make it to that goal? I think that part of the problem lies in this quote from William Arthur Ward, “Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed imagination.”

At some point, either you or someone very close to you will start to limit your achievement(s) by thinking small. In the movie “Rudy,” there is the transitional scene where the main character, who happens to be the baby of the family, says “Someday, I’m going to play football for Notre Dame.” Laughter and doubt comes forth. “Yeah right” are the thoughts. This small thinking and the many obstacles in life didn’t stop him from making his dream come true. If you saw the movie, you cheered along with him when he accomplished his goal.

What small thinking has limited your possibilities? Financial, doubt, fear, whispers from your conscience, life going in a different direction, jeers, faded passion? Why not determine where you are and reroute your direction so you can still expand the possibilities? Don’t let things stop you, just use the obstacles as opportunities to be re-routed. Imagination is absent of boundaries. Let yourself dream, and then begin to see how you can get from where you are to where you hope to be!

Don’t think small, maybe one day you’ll get to “play for Notre Dame” too!

PRAYER: Father, may I see where Your leading me and not be obstructed by any difficulties that may come my way. You have great plans for me and I look forward to living those plans out as time continues.

“The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:3 NIV).

Hungry for Something Chocolate

November 19, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Jarrod Spencer –

On occasion, my schedule will allow me to take my four-year-old to work with me for a couple of hours. These occasions will generally be in the morning before lunch during weeks which I am ahead of schedule. During one of those “ahead of schedule” weeks, I was completing my preparation for a new sermon series by placing a compilation consisting of 30 pieces of paper, tiled to make one big picture, on the wall in the auditorium.

While I worked, I set up a movie for my son to watch in one of the classrooms at our church. During that time, he made several trips to my office to tell me about something that just happened, to play with something in my office, or just ask for some M&Ms I have on my desk.

It was nearing lunch time and he came to me in the auditorium. He asked for some M&Ms. But nearing lunchtime, I said “no.”

He responded, “I really want some, I’m hungry for something chocolate.”

His sincerity and vocabulary made me laugh.

Upon reflection, I considered that when we are hungry for or craving something, we know it will really hit the spot to eat that item. Maybe it is food or something you drink. Either way, we simply anticipate the moment that we receive it so that moment can be savored.

That same day, we were expecting our new “single cup coffee maker.” It was a name-brand and I could not wait to try the coffee. Once I did, it really lived up to its branding, and I looked forward to the next cup.

The same is true for God. When we experience special moments with Him, we crave similar moments. We look forward to the next encounter. As my son had experienced the good taste of chocolate and wanted more, so we should want more of God once we experience Him and His goodness.

PRAYER: Father, thank You for being so tasty that I simply crave You. You are an amazing God and please use me to Your glory as I continue to look forward to our next encounter to help people know more about You.

“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” (Psalm 34:8 NIV)

Don’t Make ‘Em Hunt For It

November 2, 2020 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Personal Growth

By Jarrod Spencer –

Last year, I pulled in to Sonic Drive-In to get a late night snack. As I was perusing the menu, I noticed the Easter-themed promotion of the Sonic Card (aka gift card). It read, “Don’t make ‘em hunt for it.” That phrase grabbed my attention.

One of the common events around the Easter holiday is egg hunting. When I was younger, I enjoyed hunting for the hidden eggs when I was younger. The mystery alone was fun to solve: where are they hidden? In addition, who can resist the candy that waits inside? That delicious, cavity-enhancing material is very appealing.

Easter should be about the tomb and the Resurrection. In the early morning, the tomb was found empty. However, in the days prior to this, it had been filled. Though it wasn’t filled with chocolate, marshmallows, or jelly beans, it was filled with something sweet to the soul. Jesus occupied that tomb. Jesus had been flogged and tormented, resulting in His death on the cross. To make sure he was dead, they pierced His side. Then, they took Him down and laid Him in the tomb.

Three days later, on the first day of the week, two women approached the tomb, only to find it empty. Others looked inside, but there was no Jesus. Where was He?

He had risen. And Jesus chose not to make His followers hunt for Him. He came to them.

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:16) doesn’t instruct us or allude to the “come” concept. The first imperative in Matthew’s account is for us to “go.”

Easter is this month. Go. Go to the people and let them know the greatness of your Savior. It may lead to questions. It may eventually lead to someone being saved. You never know. However, accept His mission to go to the people, not expecting them to come to you.

The sweetness that comes as a result of the Gospel will also create a cavity. A cavity created as Satan and self are pushed out, now can be filled with Jesus!

Remember, don’t make ‘em hunt for it…Go!

PRAYER: Father, may I reveal to others what You have revealed to me. May the ‘good news’ of my sin-disease cure be something I share with others. Thank You for making a way for me to return to the glory I lost as a result of sin. Thank you for clearing the Tomb where Jesus’ was laid and demonstrating the power that comes through You.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV)

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