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Daily Devotions

  • Our Identity – February 13, 2016

    Our Identity – February 13, 2016

    LCC Daily Devotions - LCC Daily Devotions

    2016-02-13     

    Our Identity

    “Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 1 Peter 2:10

    Matt West sings a song called, “Hello My Name is.” This song expresses the struggles we have as Christians, such as regret and defeat, but how we are children of the one true king. The wreckage we carry does not matter in Christ. We hear whispers reminding us of our regrets. And lies saying we are not able to win because we will be dragged down again. But in Christ we are saved, we are changed, and we have been set free. The wreckage no longer defines us because God has given us His lavish love, which makes us new.

    What a relief it is to know we are made new by God’s love. In our baptism we can see our sin, but we also see ourselves clothed in God’s righteousness. West sings about us being a child of the one true king. This is our identity. We are children of God. Despite our defeats, regrets, and all the wreckage, we are children of God, the one true king. We are baptized children of Christ. “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Romans 8:16) It is easy to become wrapped up in our sins when guilt and shame take hold of us. But our identity is not what guilt and shame tells us we are. All that has been washed away in our baptism. Our faith gives us a new identity. We are children of the one and true king.

    Prayer
    True King, thank You for giving us our identity in You. Through our baptism and faith Your grace washes away our wreckage and makes us new. Thank You for saving us, changing us, and setting us free. May we never let guilt, shame, or any sin make us forget our identity. Amen

     

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  • Your Answer Is In the Bible – February 12, 2016

    Your Answer Is In the Bible – February 12, 2016

    LCC Daily Devotions - LCC Daily Devotions

    2016-02-12     

    Your Answer Is In the Bible

    The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalms 19:7

    Worldly success can leave you empty, but here’s something that won’t: ‘The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul…’ Have your plans fallen apart? Have you made a mess of your life? Do you need direction? Read this: ‘The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple’ (v. 7). Have the things you thought would bring you happiness, ended up bringing you misery? Read this: ‘The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart…’ (v. 8). Are you directionless, wondering where to go and what to do with your life? Read this: ‘The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living’ (v. 8). The answers you’re seeking are in your Bible. David was a brilliant soldier, a popular king, and a man with access to all the riches anyone could desire. But he discovered these things don’t bring lasting joy. What he found instead is that: ‘…The laws of the Lord are true…They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. They are a warning to your servant, a great reward to those who obey them’ (vv. 9-11). What was David’s problem? ‘How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt…’ (vv. 12-13). What was David’s solution? Reading God’s Word daily, feeding his soul on it, and walking according to its precepts.

    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, help me read Your Word daily and walk in Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

     

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  • Are You Flourishing? – Part 3 – February 11, 2016

    Are You Flourishing? – Part 3 – February 11, 2016

    LCC Daily Devotions - LCC Daily Devotions

    2016-02-11     

    Are You Flourishing? – Part 3

    The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25

    Here are two more areas in which God created you to flourish: 1) Your relationships. Relationally, your languishing self is often troubled. You’re undisciplined in what you say, sometimes reverting to sarcasm, gossip and flattery. You isolate. You dominate. You attack. You withdraw. Whereas your flourishing self seeks to bless others. They energize you. You’re able to disclose your thoughts and feelings in a way that invites openness in them. You’re quick to admit your own mistakes and to freely forgive others. 2) Your experiences. God grows you because He wants to use you in His plans to redeem His world: that’s why you find Him changing your experiences. Your flourishing self has a desire to contribute. You live with a sense of calling. Indeed, your inner longing to become all you were meant to be is a tiny echo of God’s longing to begin the new creation. The rabbis spoke of this as tikkun olam—to repair the world. Focused on yourself, your life is as small as a grain of wheat. Given to God, however, it’s as if that grain is planted in rich soil, growing into part of a much bigger project. Jesus said: ‘…Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces…many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life…as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal’ (vv. 24-25).

    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, use the seed You have planted to grow big things for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

     

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  • Are You Flourishing? – Part 2 – February 10, 2016

    Are You Flourishing? – Part 2 – February 10, 2016

    LCC Daily Devotions - LCC Daily Devotions

    2016-02-10     

    Are You Flourishing? – Part 2

    planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. Psalms 92:13

    Inside you there’s a battle between your flourishing self—the person you were created to be—and your languishing self. ‘What’s that?’ you ask. Your languishing self feels uneasy and discontent. You’re drawn to bad habits like mindlessly watching TV, drinking too much, misusing sex, excessive spending—things designed to temporarily anaesthetize pain. Your thoughts automatically drift in the direction of fear and anger. Learning doesn’t feel worthwhile. You think about yourself most of the time. Whereas flourishing [thriving, blossoming, and prospering] takes place: 1) In your spirit. You sense you’re beginning to receive ideas and energy from an outside source. And you are. You’re being empowered by God’s Spirit. We talk about being inspired, which literally means ‘God breathed’. God breathes into you; you come alive and feel like you’ve a purpose for living. 2) In your mind. Your thoughts are marked by joy and peace. You have a desire to love and to learn. You’re literally being transformed by ‘…the renewing of your mind…’ (Romans 12:2). 3) In your time. You wake each day with a sense of excitement, and you realize you’re never too young to flourish. Mozart was composing brilliant music when he was five. Paul told Timothy, ‘Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young…’ (1 Timothy 4:12). You also realize you’re never too old to flourish. Grandma Moses was sixty-nine when she took up painting, and artist Marc Chagall did some of his best work in his nineties. It’s humbling to acknowledge you can’t be anything you want. But once you accept that and seek to maximize what God created you to be, you start flourishing.

    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, help me to flourish no matter what my age, knowing You will use me all the way to the end – if I let You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

     

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  • Are You Flourishing? – Part 1 – February 9, 2016

    Are You Flourishing? – Part 1 – February 9, 2016

    LCC Daily Devotions - LCC Daily Devotions

    2016-02-09     

    Are You Flourishing? – Part 1

    Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Psalms 100:3

    Do you need motivation today? Take a look at the palm tree. 1) You can cut it, but you can’t kill it! The minerals and nutrients most trees need to survive are found on the surface, just below the bark, so, when you cut them, they die. But not the palm tree. Its life comes from within, so it flourishes, even under attack. Listen: ‘…we have this treasure in earthen vessels…’ (2 Corinthians 4:7). How wonderful; even though the earthen vessel without may be cut and wounded, the treasure within is secure, beyond the enemy’s reach! 2) It will bend, but it won’t break. Tropical winds can blow most trees away, but not the palm tree. The stronger the wind, the further it bends – sometimes all the way to the ground. Yet when the storm ceases, it straightens up again and is actually stronger in the place where it bent. What a picture! We were made to bend, but not break, because God gives us ‘…strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy’ (Colossians 1:11). 3) Its depth always exceeds its height! While the roots of the average plant go only a few feet under the ground, the palm tree’s roots can go down hundreds of yards in search of water. The Psalmist said, ‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you…’ (Psalms 42:1). Go deep, work on your own connection to God and you’ll never be…uprooted…or barren…or blown away!

    Prayer
    Heavenly Father, help me to not be uprooted…or barren…or blown away! Thank You In Jesus’ Name, Amen

     

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