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First Pres Joliet

A Daily Devotional from our faith community @ firstpresjoliet.org

Author

Micah Manore

New Life.

Ephesians 2:1-5

We deserved wrath, but we got new life.  Take this opportunity to thank God and worship.

On an unrelated note, by now we’ve probably said enough “good-byes” but I’m going to do it again anyway.  I just want to thank you as church for making Shelby and I a part of your lives the past three and half years.  So many of you have meant so much to us that leaving is really hard.  In light of that, if you want to stay in touch… lets do it!  Its okay if you don’t but I promise to reciprocate any effort.  More importantly, my single, unrelenting prayer for First Pres is that its people would humbly seek Christ.  The only real lasting work is work that is done by God working through us and that only happens when we know Christ.

Thanks!

Thank God.

Ephesians 1:3-10

After reading this passage, its hard to imagine being more blessed than we already are. We’re children of God blessed with “every spiritual blessing in Christ”.   We’re undeservingly loved by the perfect creator of the universe.  Meditate a little on that for the next ten minutes and see if it doesn’t change your morning.

No Hope, No Point

Matthew 11:28-29

I mentioned this verse yesterday and I think it bears repeating.  Its a tremendous encouragement to anyone following Christ.  If music is your thing.. this is the verse put to a (in my opinion) remarkably soothing track.

My Only New Years Resolution

Galatians 5:16-18

2015 has been pretty good.  I grew spiritually (was in kind of a rut in 2014), started eating better, worked on some personal discipline areas, read more and saw God work in some areas I didn’t expect.  If I string together a few more years like this I could write a book.  There’s really only one difference from the year before; I’m just trying to walk by the Spirit.  Meaning, live every moment of every day prayerfully trying to follow Christ (Jim Mullins calls this mindfullness) in everything I do; work, home, eating, television, weekends… everything.  Its super difficult, which is probably why I didn’t, read more books, get more work done on the house etc.  So my one New Years resolution?  I really don’t care how many books I read.. or how many steps I walk a day.. or how many days a week I read my Bible… I just want to walk by the Spirit and let Him work all that out.  If I’m really walking by the Spirit then I think I’ll feel pretty good about wherever the chips fall.

Merry Christmas!

John 10:10

This verse has been in my head all year.   Don’t forget to take some time to thank Christ for coming to earth so that we could reconciled to God and given abundant life. That is, after all, why Christmas is worth celebrating!

Complete Redemption

Isaiah 11:1-10

This passage is more meaningful when you understand the history.  By the time this was written the Golden Age of Israel was long gone. They were a vulnerable country that saw its sovereignty and prosperity given to every new world power.  They wanted a military solution.  Someone to come and conquer.  Much like us today, they were trusting the wrong thing.  In His knowledge and grace, God gives us what we need, not what we want.  He sent a child, not to destroy but to offer peace with God.

Crushed

Genesis 3:15

Only three chapters into humanity and things are already going terribly.  Adam and Eve have exercised their power to choose and chosen evil over good.  Satan won. Call it in.

Almost immediately after the Fall, God starts talking about the one He’ll send.  Satan certainly does take a chunk out of the foot of Christ, but He unequivocally gets crushed in the end.

Re-Advent #2

Matthew 24:30-31

At the first Advent, Jesus left us with the Holy Spirit.  Not a bad deal.  The next time He comes He’ll take us all with Him.  Go read the Newspaper and tell me that doesn’t appeal to you.  Re-Advent is going to be awesome!

Re-Advent

Luke 21:34-36

Advent: noun Ad·vent \ˈad-ˌvent, chiefly British -vənt\
1:  the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting

a :  the coming of Christ at the Incarnation
   b :  the second coming of Christ

A couple times a year Dale has to take me out to the Presbyterian woodshed and let me have it.  We had one of those moments in staff meeting when Dale said.. “you know.. Advent passages aren’t limited to those talking about the birth of Christ.. it could also be about the second coming..”  To which I replied… “That’s not advent… its the Re-Advent at best.”  Dale graciously (who am I kidding?) explained that its both; Advent doesn’t refer only to the past, it also looks to the future when Christ returns to finish His work. Amen?

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