Good Steps Devotions

From the pen of Pastor T. John Dell

Without Me - Nothing

John 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

If that is true - and it is, why do we do so many things without Him? 
Lancelot Andrews served as royal chaplain to Queen Elizabeth I. He was fluent in 15 languages, and when the Hampton Court Conference convened in 1604, he was chosen as one of the translators of the proposed new English bible, the King James Bible. He was a brilliant man that was highly esteemed for his intellect. Yet, he himself knew the truth of Jesus' words in this verse. Whether it were serving the Queen or working with manuscripts, he would not begin his day without prayer. He was often heard to pray: "Lord, be thou within me, to strengthen me; without me, to keep me; above me, to protect me; beneath me, to uphold me; before me, to direct me; behind me, to keep me from straying; round about me, to defend me."
If we feel weak or lacking in our daily life, it may be that we are trying to go about the day without Jesus. How much better our days would be lived if we would begin each day praying to the One that told us that without Him we could do NOTHING! Nothing means nothing. 

Is there no fruit in your marriage? your business? your work? your handling of situations? your daily life? Jesus said, "Without me ye can do nothing." 
The longer I live, the more I realize in my personal life, my private life, my public life - without Jesus, NOTHING!

Reaching Forth

Here we are, 2013! As you enter the new year, reflect back on the year that just passed. Did you make any new year's resolutions last year? If so, how many became a reality? It has been said that the person that aims at nothing will surely hit his mark.

I don't know about resolutions, but setting goals is a good thing for our lives. If setting goals is a good thing, then setting goals with God in the center of them are surely treasures to obtain. Why not challenge yourself to obtaining a Godly goal this year? Ask yourself this question, "What could I do this year that would please Jesus?" Being more faithful, praying more, reading your Bible completely through, witnessing and supporting your church more are just a few things that would certainly please your Savior.  

Without a challenge we will simply drift through life without accomplishing anything. Make your life count this new year and make it count for Jesus!

Paul said in Philippians 3:13-14  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Maybe last year brought disappointments in your life. Don't let those things carry you into the new year. Be determined to "reach forth" this year. God has so much to offer us all.  After Paul made that statement, he addressed the Christians he was writing to and said in Philippians 3:15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
 
Here is a formula for the new year:
1) Seek the Lord
2) Set Godly goals
3) See what God will reveal to you
 
Begin this new year right and reach forth unto the things that Christ has for you. Consider these verses:  
 
Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.    
 
Why not begin today and be determined to do it for Jesus?

God with Us

I have been up for a couple of hours now, done some reading in God's word and began thinking about our church family. As we near the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, I thought about how each year that we live is marked by certain events that define that particular year. Usually the events that highlight the year are traumatic events that have taken place. 

2001 - remember 9/11? I remember the exact place I was at when I first heard about that event.
2002 - the DC sniper and his accomplice randomly killed 10 people before being caught.
2003 - the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it reentered Earth's atmosphere killing 7 astronauts
2004 - Tsunami slams Indonesia killing 230,000 people

Every year seems to be marked by tragedy. I got this information from the web when I googled, "highlights of the last 10 years". I could go on and on, but I want to make a point.

If we go back 2013 years ago to the year, "1" something remarkable happened. The calendar was marked AD which means, "the year of our Lord". This whole scheme of calendar reckoning was marked, not by a tragedy but with a triumph. JESUS was born - IMMANUEL, which being interpreted, "God with us" came to where we are! 

"GOD WITH US" - every generation of people that have lived have had the opportunity to face their years with this ever present God! Psalms 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

I am so glad that God is with us! The Presence of God - that is Christmas!

The greatest Present ever given is the Presence of God!

May your Christmas be filled with the Presence of I AM! 

God Bless You All With His Presence every year of your life!

This New Year

We have just celebrated Thanksgiving - a time when we REFLECT upon the goodness of God in our country, our families and our personal lives. Truly, we are a blessed people. About a month after Thanksgiving, we celebrated Christmas - a time when we REMEMBER that Jesus Christ came into this world as a man for a purpose; to seek and to save that which was lost. Through His atoning sacrifice on Calvary and His resurrection from the dead, we that are saved get to live the abundant life that Jesus has so freely provided for us all!

As we anticipate the arrival of 2012 - a time when we RESOLVE to do things different than the previous year, what would be the greatest thing that we could do in this New Year? 

Joseph and Mary lost sight of Jesus one day while in Jerusalem and when they realized that He was missing they turned back and looked for Him sorrowing. When they found and questioned Him, Jesus told them that He must be about His Father's business. 

There is nothing any more important than our Father's business. The need has not changed - people still need to be saved and the Lord has entrusted the Gospel to His people. No one else has this Great Commission in life but us! There is no need in us complaining about Washington not doing their job if Christians will not do theirs! 

Soon 2012 will ebb away and another year will prompt us to Resolve to do things different again. Why not this "New Year"?

May Murrayville Baptist Church be a church that Jesus can depend upon to be busy about His Father's business!

John 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Bible Promises

When Jimmy Stewart enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WW II, his father, Alex Stewart wrote a letter to him to encourage Jimmy.
 
"My dear Jim boy. Soon after you read this letter, you will be on your way to the worst sort of danger. Jim, I'm banking on the enclosed copy of the 91st Psalm. The thing that takes the place of fear and worry is the promise of these words. I am staking my faith in these words. I feel sure that God will lead you through this mad experience. I can say no more. I only continue to pray. Goodbye, my dear. God bless you and keep you. I love you more than I can tell you. Dad." 
 
Jimmy later stated that he too learned to trust the words of Psalm 91 in the height of battle. He returned home a decorated hero. He carried the letter with him for the rest of his life, and the words from the Psalm that his father gave him are written on Jimmy's grave marker:  
 
"For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."  
 
Bible promises will carry us through this battle of life and all the way to the grave into eternity. Hallelujah!!!

2Co 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

Joseph and Mary lost sight of Jesus one day while in Jerusalem and when they realized that He was missing they turned back and looked for Him sorrowing. When they found and questioned Him, Jesus told them that He must be about His Father's business. 

There is nothing any more important than our Father's business. The need has not changed - people still need to be saved and the Lord has entrusted the Gospel to His people. No one else has this Great Commission in life but us! There is no need in us complaining about Washington not doing their job if Christians will not do theirs! 

Soon 2012 will ebb away and another year will prompt us to Resolve to do things different again. Why not this "New Year"?

May Murrayville Baptist Church be a church that Jesus can depend upon to be busy about His Father's business!

John 20:21  Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

Have Ye Not Read?

I read a poll one time that stated only 10% of Christians have actually read the Bible through completely. With the confusion that exists in our generation about the preserved word of God, I believe the percentage to be a lot lower than that. When you think about it, that is so sad! We have been given a great gift - the preserved written word of God! It is truth that is absolute, authoritative and alive!
DL Moody said, "When I read the Bible, God talks to me. When I pray, I talk to God. When I study, I prepare myself to talk to others." Charles Spurgeon picked up a Bible with a hole made all the way through by a worm, and he cried out, "Make me a book worm for Jesus." George Muller read the Bible through every ninety days or four times a year for twenty five years, and said, "I am a happy, happy, happy man."
The National Reading Institute reports that 200 words a minute is poor reading; 250 words a minute is good; 400 words a minute is excellent. When the Bible is read at 200 words a minute (about 10 verses), for one hour a day, you will read the Bible through in TWO months! Are you surprised?  When you read the Bible at 200 words a minute for only 30 minutes daily, you will read the Bible through in FOUR months! Surprised yet? Most of the books of the Bible are small in size (44 out of the 66 are small in length), and can be read in 30 minutes or less! Surprised? For the saved, what will our excuses be when we stand before the Lord and give an account of our time spent in His word?
I think that the Lord has pulled a very good one on our generation. We live in the connected generation; computers and emails, smart phones and text messages, social media such as Facebook and Twitter have connected us with other people on a DAILY basis. This is just a thought - do we read more text, twitter, facebook, email messages on a daily basis than we read the message that God has sent us? What will our excuse be? I can't read that good? I can't understand what I read? We are so connected but yet so disconnected from the very source of our Faith, Freedoms and Future!
While on earth, Jesus asked his audience 11 times, "Have ye not read?" (Matt 12:3; Matt 12:5; Matt 19:4; Matt 21:16; Matt 21:42; Matt 22:31; Mark 2:25; Mark 12:10; Mark 12:26; Luke 6:3; Luke 10:26).  Paul said, 1 Timothy 4:13  Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. I heard Jack Hyles preach a sermon from this text one time entitled, "The Sin of Not Reading." Did your New Years Resolutions include The Book?
 
Mark 12:10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:....

Unity

Brother Stephen was preaching the other night from the book of Nehemiah and brought out that unity among the workers was a RESULT of revival. I have often thought of unity as a means to revival, but his presentation of this thought made it clear that unity is definitely a result of revival. One thing we need in our church is unity among our people. It is easy to go to church and let the storms and winds get our attention off of Jesus and on the people around us and start blaming them for not rowing hard enough to get us to our goal. Jesus is always there with us - He will never abandon us, neither will our boat (our church) ever be without His careful eyes upon us!
We are all in the same boat headed for Heaven. Some things we need to remember:
1) The Captain is in control
2) Others need to get in the boat
3) Our oar needs to be in the water also
Without all of us striving together for the furtherance of the gospel, people around us will die and go to hell forever.
 

Forgiven

Luke 7:47  Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven;

A man was telling his friend about an argument he had with his wife. "Oh, how I hate it," he said. "Every time we have an argument, she gets historical." The friend replied, "You mean hysterical?" "No," he insisted. "I mean historical. Every time we argue, she drags up everything from the past and holds it against me!"

In the referred passage of scripture, a Pharisee had invited Jesus into his home. Among the crowd present was a woman of the city, which was a sinner. She came and opened an alabaster box of costly ointment and began to wash his feet with her tears and wipe them dry with her hair. Upon seeing this, the Pharisee began to think within himself that if Jesus only knew "who and what manner of woman" was touching him he would not allow it. 

Jesus knew the Pharisee's innermost thoughts and began to talk to him about forgiveness. After giving him an object lesson about forgiveness, he points out that her sins, even though they were very many were forgiven!

It is hard for us to comprehend the forgiveness that Jesus graces all of His children with. We sometimes find it hard to forgive our own selves from our past, but how much more do we fail to realize that every child of God is FREELY and FULLY forgiven by Jesus - not because of what any of us do but all because of the BLOOD of Christ. 

When we ask God to forgive us, He never remembers our sins again! While we may struggle to forgive others, God forgives us and declares us righteous in His sight!

Hebrews 8:12  For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. This is Jesus' declaration to ALL of his children. The children of God that we struggle to forgive, Jesus freely forgives. 

Ephesians 4:32  And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

God's Selection

...the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1Samuel 16:7

    Do you ever feel inadequate, as if God cannot use you? According to the scripture, we look at the wrong things in our life when we consider God using our lives. 

    God had chosen David to be the next king over the nation of Israel and God's selection of David was not based on his outward attributes or talents. What was God considering in David's life that led him to choose David? Was it his ability to play a harp or his training in shepherding his flock of sheep or maybe his courage to face the giant with a rock and a sling? The one and only thing that God was looking at in David's life was his heart. He honestly loved God in his heart and God knew that about David.

    When Jesus was confronting Peter on the banks of the Tiberias Sea, the Lord asked Peter, "Lovest thou me?" It was Peter's heart that Jesus needed more than anything else. Peter's leadership abilities nor his courage mattered if he did not love the Lord in his heart. 

    It has been said that a person can give someone a gift without loving them but no one can love someone without giving them a gift. If we really love the Lord we will be willing to give ourselves to Him for His will to be done in our lives. Our inabilities will not be an issue when we truly love Jesus!

    If you love the Lord, He knows it!  

Read: Romans 12:1,2     

Lord, Prepare Me

  I read a statement the other day that impacted my life. "Lord, prepare me for what You are preparing for me." God is always working on our behalf. All things work together for good in our lives, the Bible says (Romans 8:28). The thoughts that God has for us are thoughts of peace to give us an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11). Knowing that God has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives, we should allow Him to work in our lives now to prepare us for what He has in store for us later. Whether it be good times or hard times, big things or small things, our preparation now is essential for our future. If we are not prepared now, we may miss the opportunities that God is planning for us.
   In Matthew 11 Jesus begins upbraiding cities where most of his mighty works had been done and the reason for the scolding was that they would not respond to His work! Then he tells them, "If the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes." Jesus knew what 'might have been' in their lives had they responded to His touch! God was trying to prepare them, but they would not respond and they missed the blessing.
   Being sensitive to the touch of God today will affect our tomorrows. Let Him work in your life today and get ready for your tomorrows!                

The Peace of God

Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

How does God do this in our lives? Perfect peace? In these days of global unrest, political uncertainties and economic instability; God can give us perfect peace? But Lord, what about MY personal problems that are added to an out of control, chaotic, crazy world? MY financial troubles, My family problems, MY failing health, My future falling apart???? 

Isaiah said perfect peace would be given to those whose MINDS are stayed on God. Hundreds of years later, Paul puts it in New Testament terms for us. 

Philippians 4:6-9 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the PEACE of GOD, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the GOD of PEACE shall be with you.

Paul describes for us what it means to keep our minds stayed on the Lord. Controlling WHO and WHAT we think about will determine the peace in our lives or the lack thereof. Our storms control us OR the God of peace steps up on the deck of our minds and calms the storms with His presence. When the storms come (and they will) how long do you ride the storm before you THINK about waking the God of Peace? Who else will bring the peace of God in the midst of our storms besides the God of Peace - no one but Jesus!

Measuring Up

Psalms 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 
 
The God who made all things, made you. God has created you for a unique purpose. Whatever view you may have of yourself, God has designed you for his purpose and pleasure.
 
Our culture is consumed with the idea of looking perfect and being outwardly beautiful according to its view of perfection and beauty. But God loves you just the way he made YOU, and he has a purpose for YOUR life. It does not matter whether the world accepts you or not, God created you! No matter what you see in the mirror nor what opinion the world may have of you, God made you!
 
Next time you feel that you don't measure up, thank God that you are his creation! Thank God that you are saved and on your way to Heaven! Thank God he does not operate or base his opinions on this world's scale. He loves his creation. Jesus created you for himself. According to God, in Christ you measure up!
 
Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him. The word complete means to, "be perfect; to satisfy; to be level or to measure up." If we would see ourselves the way that God sees us, our lives would be happier and more productive for his glory!
 
John 1:3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. Colossians 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth,........all things were created by him, and for him.

Redeeming the Time

Ephesians 5:15-17  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

    When you stop and think about it - 1/12 of this new year is almost gone! We will be turning the page of our calendar and working on the month of February.
    Time is no respecter of persons. Time deals to every individual the same allotment. Every 24 hour period is a gift from God with great potential. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is in God's hands and today is His GIFT to us - that is why it is called the PRESENT! Live today for Jesus and accomplish some things today that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others. "Accomplish what?" you may ask. Spend time in prayer, study your Bible, go visit someone that is down, witness to a stranger (you may make a friend), invite someone to church, etc.. Do something today that has eternal worth, and your 24 hour period will last a lot longer!!!
    When we turn the page on February (and we will ALL turn it at the same time), what will your accomplishments have been? Will it be that you simply, "made it through another month"? Will your days of February (29 this leap year) have made a difference in your life and the lives of others? Remember, when February is gone 1/6 of the year will be history!
    The word "Redeem" in this passage simply means: "to rescue from loss; improve the opportunity". Don't let your days be recorded as a loss with no improvement. Determine in your heart to make every day count for Jesus in some way!      

Psalms 118:24  This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.Psalms 90:12  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

More Praise

The Duke of Wellington, the British military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, was not an easy man to serve under. He was brilliant, demanding, and not one to shower his subordinates with compliments. Yet even Wellington realized that his methods left something to be desired. In his old age a young lady asked him what, if anything, he would do differently if he had his life to live over again. Wellington thought for a moment, then replied. "I'd give more praise."

   I love America! Even though we have a lot of problems in our land, we still have a lot to praise the Lord for. Let's not forget to pray for our military veterans and the ones currently serving our country that we might still have the freedoms that we all enjoy. They put their lives on the line for us and we should be willing to put our knees on the ground for them!

   I don't want to get to the end of my life and be short on praise!

   Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD. Psalms 150:6

How Far will You Go

Joshua 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
  
    As the Israelites approached the promised land, God described the land and the vastness of it's potential. He went on to encourage them to not be afraid in their journeys and to claim the land because he would be with them as far as they would go.
  
    The promised land covered about three hundred thousand square miles. It had abundant natural resources, and the land was fertile for farming and included the shore of the Mediterranean Sea giving God's people a port for shipping and trading. The Promised Land was open for all of God's people to enjoy and explore with God's permission and blessings.
  
    The sad thing about this scenario is that God's people only claimed about ten percent of this land. This is symbolic of the average Christian life today. God wants to bless and use our lives but as a result of lack of faith and contentment with what little bit we have our life with God is limited. It becomes limited not because of God's requirements but because of the people's unwillingness to "go with God".
  
     If God has promised it, it is available to all of God's people. How far would you be willing to go with your Lord? The Lord said that some would bring forth fruit, som thirty fold, some sixty and some one hundred fold. How much of God's promised land will you inherit?

    Is the Lord calling you to do something for Him? Will you go?

Weekly Services: Sunday School 9:45am | Morning Service 10:45am | Evening Service 6:00pm | Wednesday Evening 7:00pm

Contact Us: 5407 Hubert Stephens Road | Murrayville, Georgia 30564 | 770.287.8887

Weekly Services: Sunday School 9:45am | Morning Service 10:45am | Evening Service 6:30pm | Wednesday Evening 7:00pm

Contact Us: 5407 Hubert Stephens Road | Murrayville, Georgia 30564 | 770.287.8887