Jesus Christ, C.S.I.

October 8, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell – 

One summer, I was seated as a jurist on a capitol murder case. For three days we heard evidence introduced by a CSI (Crime Scene Investigator). I love watching television shows based on real crimes that have been solved by good police work. By watching these shows, I’ve learned that one of the first things all good crime scene investigators do is take a look at the scene to determine if the criminal was someone the victim knew or was a stranger. Did you know Jesus was the first CSI?

In today’s scripture, the Pharisees could not accept Jesus was the Son of God, so they had to believe He was “in league with Satan” (verse 9:34). Jesus read their thoughts and responded to them saying, “Lets look at the evidence. Would a strongman or guard allow a thief to just waltz right in to rob him without first tying him up? Would a gang remain together very long if its members fought against each other?” If the Pharisees answered “no” to these arguments, then they couldn’t say that Jesus and Satan were on the same side. God has an advantage I’m sure today’s police would love to possess—He knows our thoughts. Jesus proved His case. The crime scene evidence didn’t match the accusation.

PRAYER: I praise You, God, for being able to see beyond the flimsy excuses I may use from time to time. Thank You for giving me eyes to see the evidence proving You are indeed the King of kings, Lord of lords, and Christ my Savior Immanuel.

“Or again, how can anyone enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man? Then he can plunder his house” (Matthew 12:29 NIV).

Future Blessings Today

September 7, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Life Topics

By Cheri Cowell –

A while back I received a great blessing. The mother of a teenager from one of my previous youth ministry jobs invited me to dinner. She told me of her daughter’s successes, and most importantly, her continued love for God.

“When Shannon comes to visit in a few weeks I know she would love to see you,” her mother said.

We never know the impact our lives are making on others. We hope, and we pray we are setting an example worthy to be followed. I was blessed by this mother who took the time to tell me I had done just that. She also shared that I had helped her, too.

Wow! God promises we will see the fruit of our endeavors, but not always when we think we should.

God promised Abraham that He would bless the world through his descendants, but Abraham must have wondered if he would really have an influence on those who followed. God made a similar promise to us. If we seek God with our whole hearts, minds, and souls, He will not forget us, nor the generations to come after us. We may not always know the good we are doing, but we know He has the power to multiply those deeds ten-fold.

PRAYER I praise You, Lord, for the promises You have kept through the generations. Because of one man’s faith, You were able to make us heirs to Your kingdom. Help me stay focused on the blessings that are to come and, if it be in Your will, allow me to catch a glimpse of a few of those future blessings today.

“Indeed, beginning with Samuel, all the prophets who have spoken have foretold these days. And you are heirs of the prophets and of the covenant God made with your fathers. He said to Abraham, ‘Through your offspring all peoples on earth will be blessed’” (Acts 3:24 – 25 NIV).

Delighted

August 26, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Worship

By Cheri Cowell –

There are times I really miss my Dad. It has been many years since he went to heaven, and yet there are times it seems like last year. Usually those are the times I really need my Dad to do what only a father can do for his child; I need my Dad to tell me how proud he is of me. I need him to beam from ear to ear at what I have accomplished. I need him to say that no matter what others may think, he believes that I have no competition.

If you are a father, this is the gift you give your children. Scripture calls this “delight,” and if you think about it, who does not want to be ‘delighted’ in? Our earthly father’s relationship is supposed to be a small taste of what our relationship with our heavenly Father is to be like.

I hope your father delighted in you, as mine did in me. If you did not have that kind of relationship, I know it is harder for you to understand how much your heavenly Father adores, cherishes, and delights in you. He is proud of you; beams from ear to ear when He thinks of you, and believes that you have no competition.

In the scripture below, Paul’s prayer for us is that we deeply know the reality of God’s transforming love that surpasses knowledge. How can we come to understand such love? Through our earthly relationships. It is only through loving and being loved that we learn God’s love is real. And only then can we be truly filled with Him.

PRAYER I thank You, Lord, for my earthly father, regardless of how imperfect that love was, and for the relationships through which You show me Your love today. Help me more fully understand the depth of Your love and to experience what it means to be delighted in. Help me show this kind of love to my children and those You put in my path this week.

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14–19 MSG).

Dog Gone Wealthy

August 12, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Family

By Cheri Cowell –

When I was growing up, we had a huge collie named Happy. Happy was the perfect dog for children; he was protective, playful, gentle, and a lot of fun. We often dressed him up like a doll, and he loved to play in the Water Wiggle with us in the back yard. It was my job to feed happy at night, which meant filling his water bowl, scooping a big cupful of dry food into his dish, and then topping it with table scraps. The bowl would almost overflow, but it didn’t take long for it to disappear. Every once in a while my father would stop at the butcher to get meat for our family, and while there, he always got a box of bones for Happy. Once a week, my sister and I would go into the freezer and get one of those bones for him. You would have thought he had died and gone to heaven. Today I believe he is enjoying a doggie banquet in heaven, where even the lowliest of us here on earth will one day sup with God.

The term ‘dog’ is the same word the Jews used to demean gentiles. In the scripture listed below, it tells a story of a woman used to approach Jesus while he was eating. Jesus was not demeaning the woman by using this term; He was showing the hypocrisy of those around her. She saw in Jesus someone whom she could trust so she offered to eat the scraps from His table if He would heal her daughter. This woman, a Canaanite enemy of the Jews, was then offered the best meal in town, for her faith brought her the very thing she wished. All of us are equal in God’s eyes, so one day we should not be surprised by who is seated next to us at His large banqueting table in heaven.

PRAYER I thank You, Lord, for the privilege of even allowed the crumbs from Your table, yet You have offered a seat of honor there. Help me treat others the way You see them – valuable, worthy, and to be honored.

“The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment” (Matthew 15:25-28 NIV).

Son Bleached

August 2, 2019 by  
Filed under Daily Devotions, Humorous

By Cheri Cowell –

I was amazed the other day to discover young girls still use lemon juice in their hair during the summer. My teen girlfriends and I put lemon juice in our hair before heading to the beach. While out all day in the sun, the lemon juice would bleach our hair in streaks—a cheap highlighting job. If we returned to the beach day after day, those streaks would turn almost white. I remember one time, however, we tried this when spending a day at a friend’s pool. Some of you may be laughing right now because you know what happened. That’s right, our hair turned green. The lemon juice produces a chemical reaction with the chlorine in a pool that turns hair green. And there is no way to fix this problem, except to bleach your hair. I still chuckle with that memory. God knows all about highlighting, bleaching, and the solution for color mistakes.

In God’s color wheel, sin is given the color red—blood red. Purity is white—snow white. Though our sins are blood red, God’s forgiveness, or His purity, bleaches that sin, making it as white as snow. How does this process work? We begin by highlighting them, and then submitting them to the rays of His Son. Often, you and I try to make this process “easy” by skipping the step of bringing our sins into the Sonlight. Instead, we try to hide them in the pool of self-help, self-analysis, or self-pity. But these don’t really work and instead of white as snow, we get green with envy. Our only hope is to turn to God’s bleach bottle and blot out our transgressions. His solution is the only one that works.

PRAYER: I praise You God for Your gift of forgiveness that comes through the blood of Your only Son. Forgive me when I choose self-help, self-analysis, or self-pity instead of the wonderful free gift of forgiveness—Son bleached sin.

“‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (Isaiah 1:18 NIV).

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