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Archive for the ‘Spiritual devotion’ Category

To be a place that inspires spiritual growth, worship and ministry to people!

Our desire is to use Sonrise in the Woods to minister to people on the mountain.

Our mountain communities need a place where children can enjoy playgrounds, youth can gather for wholesome activities, adults can fellowship in unhurried peace and the elderly are treated with the dignity and honor they deserve. That is the vision God has given Church of the Woods for the new campus.

Our San Bernardino Mountains have more than 671,686 acres of National Forest land. There is another 147,313 acres of non-USFS land within the National Forest. As we consider that the 818,999 acres will always be preserved and undeveloped, it seems like our 37-acre parcel is a great location to serve the needs of people on our mountain.

It is amazing how much false information and hysteria is being generated over a project that seeks to serve our mountain communities by providing resources that are sorely lacking. Our Lord Jesus Christ said that the two greatest commandments are: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind . . . You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:37-39) That is our goal!

God’s Word declares, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) In other words, God’s greatest desire is for the eternal souls of people to be saved. That is our goal too.

It is our prayer that Church of the Woods will be a catalyst for people to come to know God personally through Jesus Christ. Our project, Sonrise in the Woods, is designed to enhance our ministry into people’s lives and provide a wholesome, beautiful environment for ALL the communities to enjoy. It will be a great place to benefit from picturesque landscaping, natural beauty and fellowship with people from all over. It will be exciting! Hope to see you there, too.

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Read God's Word slowly, frequently and prayerfully.

God’s Word is filled with promises and hope that inspire people even during difficult times. One pastor told this true story of an attorney in his church,

“After meditating on several Scriptures, this attorney decided to cancel the past-due debts of 17 of his clients. He drafted a letter and sent it via certified mail. One by one, the letters began to return, unsigned and unopened. Sixteen of the seventeen letters came back to him because the clients refused to sign for and open the envelopes, probably fearing that this attorney was suing them for their delinquent debts. How profound! We owe a debt for our sin and God is willing to cancel it but too many people will not even open His letter that contains this great news.”

  • Let me encourage you to open your Bible! This book is God’s love letter to you.
  • It reveals the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers.
  • Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true and its decisions are immutable.
  • Read it to be wise, believe it to be saved, practice it to be holy.
  • It contains light to guide you, food to nourish you and encouragement to cheer you.
  • It is the traveler’s map, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword and the Christian’s character.
  • Here paradise is restored, heaven is opened and the gates of hell disclosed.
  • Christ is its grand subject, our good its design and the glory of God its end.
  • It should fill the memory, rule the heart and guide the feet.
  • Read it slowly, frequently and prayerfully.
  • It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory and a river of pleasure.
  • Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for all eternity.

“For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe” ~I Thessalonians 2:13

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Don't give up!

Persevering is a burden of my heart! I see too many people quit, give up and stop living for Christ! I want to encourage you that we can persevere! Anyone can burn brightly for a short time, but that is a poor stewardship of one’s life. Godly stewardship of our lives is to live every day for His glory throughout all of life. We need to pace our lives so that we can maintain faithfulness to the end.

The letter to the church in Smyrna acknowledged the tribulation that they were experiencing, but challenged them (and us) to, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10b). What a rich reward—not based on merit, but a gift received by faith.

To be faithful until death does not mean we will all be martyred for our faith. It is exhorting us to live fully devoted lives to Jesus Christ until our final breath on this earth. That is my passion friend! I want to fight the good fight! I want to finish well! I want to keep the faith! I want to hear, “Well done, good and faithful slave!” We can do this only through the Holy Spirit’s power that mightily works within us.

As Paul spoke of the glorious resurrection that awaits Christians in I Corinthians 15, he concluded the chapter with these words: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (I Corinthians 15:58). In these days of uncertainty and economic upheavals, remember that our toil is not in vain in the Lord!

Don’t throw in the towel! Don’t abandon your post! Don’t resign to a meaningless existence! God has a great plan for each of us as we trust Him to persevere through us! Take time now to ask God to refresh you and invigorate your passion for Him, your love for people and your zest for life!

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Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

When the rich young ruler approached Jesus with the question, “Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may obtain eternal life?” Jesus got to the heart of the issue. He told the man to go and sell his possessions and give to the poor so he would have treasure in heaven and to follow Jesus. Is Jesus stating that the selling of his goods was merit for heaven? No! He exposed the man’s idol. The only way to heaven is through trusting Jesus. The rich young ruler trusted his riches. That is why Jesus said to him, “Follow Me.”

The man went away grieving! Did you notice that? He was grieving. He was not happy and fulfilled. He walked away from the only One who could grant him true fulfillment. It was at this point that Jesus said, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:24) His disciples were astonished at this and asked, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus responded, “With people this is impossible, but with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

Be encouraged, Friend! There are some things that are impossible for people—like earning salvation, but Jesus came to offer eternal salvation as a free gift. We only need to humbly trust in Him as Savior and Lord. He is the one who gives true satisfaction, genuine love and everlasting forgiveness.

No matter what circumstances you face, as you focus your attention on God, He will make a way. The key is to keep our faith fixed on God! Trust in Him. Pray to Him. Seek His face. As the old chorus states, When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Have a blessed day!

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Make 2010 a Banner Year in your Walk with the Lord!

Happy New Year, Friends!

People have mixed emotions about making New Year resolutions. But I am convinced that it is always good to “excel still more” in our personal growth and development.

Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 4:1, “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.”

I want to urge you to make 2010 the most spiritually devoted year of your life. It is so easy to get distracted by things of the world, that we neglect the priority of seeking our Lord daily. It is a spiritual battle and our adversary, the devil, will try anything to keep us from walking intimately with God.

As 2 Corinthians 11:3 declares, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”

Please make Jesus Christ your 1st Love as you take time to exalt Him in your heart and mind everyday! If you need to get up an hour earlier to start your day with the Lord, please make it a disciplined priority. You will find your day and life running a lot more smoothly with a better attitude when you submit each day to His leadership.

There is not just “one way” to spend time with God, but I encourage you to include prayer, God’s Word, worship and silent listening as special activities that enhance our relationship with God. I am praying that you will have a Spirit-filled New Year!

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