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Moment in the Word

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION :

“Do not be anxious about anything ...” (Philippians 4:6 NIV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT :

We all face times when we must choose between faith and anxiety . A woman trapped in an abusive relationship must choose between getting help, getting out or staying stuck. A young person being pressured to do drugs can choose to give in, or say, ‘no’ and walk away. A person anxious about death can read God’s Word, talk to a friend or counselor, or continue to be anxious.

The Bible says: “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1 NKJV). You say, “Right now I don’t feel too bold.” Courage doesn’t eliminate anxiety, it rises above it! David said, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart… (Psalm 27:14 NKJV). When your cause is right and you’re committed to God, He gives you the courage needed to act. But you must learn to face the thing you fear. This can mean standing up for what you believe; making a phone call you’ve been putting off, expressing your opinion, acknowledging some character flaw and asking God to help you change.

What you must remember is, doing always comes before the feeling of increased confidence. Each time you confront your anxieties you take a step forward. But when you allow anxiety to control you, you retreat into your ‘safe zone’ and start seeing yourself as somebody who can’t handle life. Here’s some great advice for living: analyze the situation fearlessly, figure out the worst that can happen. Once you’ve accepted that, you can experience a release of energy and you can begin doing something about it, even if all you can do is - leave it in the capable and loving hands of God. 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).

In His Love & Service,

 
Pastor Larry E. Campbell,
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino , CA

 

Moment in the Word

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ImageBIBLE MEDITATION:

“My little children, for whom I labour in birth again until Christ is formed in you.”  (Galatians 4:19 NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

A father was talking with his daughter and her five-year-old friend, Elizabeth, about birthdays. Elizabeth’s was March 30 and the father’s was March 27. "Our birthdays are three days apart," he said to her. She looked up at him and remarked, "Yeah, but you grew much faster than I did."  Well that brings us to a question… How fast are you growing?

I know some of us are growing in places that we don’t want to.  We seem to be expanding at the wrong places.  And it is going so fast that it seems to be out of control.  But there is a special kind of growth that we all should want to be an essential part of our lives called SPIRITUAL GROWTH.  There are at least three stages to spiritual growth:

1) Conception: It results from intimacy between two people. God's love for you is clear and compelling, but the question is, how much do you love Him? (John 21:15)

2) Forming: Paul writes: 'My little children, for whom I labour in birth again until Christ is formed in you' (Galatians 4:19 NKJV). God knows the experiences required to produce in us the character of Christ and He'll do whatever it takes to bring it about.

3) Pushing: When you commit to bringing forth what God has placed within you, you'll have to push against everything everybody ever did to you or said about you.  God will help you to bring it out, but it's up to you to push. In fact, it may not happen if you don't. You'll have to push against satanic attacks in all their debilitating forms such as bad memories, low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. The devil may have spent years pushing you aside, pulling you back and putting you down, but today God is saying to you, 'I want to open you up, I want to empower you to give birth to what I've placed within you.' 

When a baby is born, everything in the family changes. The same is true for you. When you give birth to what God's placed within you, everything in your life will be affected. God's blessing is an overflowing blessing that will touch every area of your existence. A mother knows when she's pregnant; the same is true in the spiritual realm. So don't fail to give birth to what God has put within you. Now is the time for you to bring it forth!

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

 

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  (John 8:32 NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever been to a circus and seen an elephant chained to a stake in the ground? Why doesn’t he break free? Perhaps, as a young elephant he was tied to a tree.  And as much as tried, he couldn’t break free. Now the thought is ingrained that he cannot break free. How true that is of you and me who have ingrained thought patterns in our lives. We say, “I am chained to this habit and I can’t break free.” Or we say, “I’m not good enough.” All kinds of lies keep us in bondage. But truth is what God says, not what we think.

ACTION POINT:
Are there any strongholds in your life that keep you chained to the past? Write 2 Corinthians 10:4 and Galatians 5:1 down and memorize them. Break free from the lies of the past and tell yourself the truth!

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

 

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. “(Matthew 11:28-30 KJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
Have you ever carried a heavy load?

Have you ever wished that there was a way that could lighten your load or at least get a little help carrying it? 

Each person carries a load of burdens. The burdens are associated with what we call life and the things we think we need to survive. Each of us carries a back pack, much like the back pack that children carry to school. Just like those back packs; our back backs are often filled with things that make us uncomfortable. The pack itself is not heavy; it’s what’s in the back packs that make them so heavy.  As Christians, we should consider giving the contents of our back packs to Jesus. He has promised to make them lighter.

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus tried to explain to believers that faith in him lightens our load and gives even greater satisfaction.  He told them to take his yoke upon them because his burden is light.  The people knew what Jesus referred to because they were farmers. They knew that yokes were used by animals to pull wagons. Sometimes people would place a yoke on their shoulders to help them carry large loads.  The yokes often became heavy. Jesus applied the heavy yokes idea to people who tried to be happy by obeying the hundreds of items in the law without really knowing God.  The bible also refers to sin as a great yoke upon us too.  In both cases, Jesus asks every believer to let him give them a lighter load, but of course it would mean they would have to take a chance on him, and let go of the world.

ACTION POINT:
Please allow me to remind you that all of us have some stuff that we need to rid ourselves.  Hebrews 12:1a reminds us …”to lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us…” Perhaps it’s time to lighten your load or drop the weight of those cumbersome things. 

Don’t let “bitterness” over an old hurt - an old wound - an old incident - that may or may not have even happened - destroy your life! We need to work through those things by learning to “unload” or transfer the weight of those burdens to the Lord! That is what our Holy Scripture text, for today, is telling us! Without a doubt, if we live long enough, someone will, in fact, disappoint us - someone will, in fact, let us down - someone will, in fact, fail us - SOMEHOW - SOME WAY! Don’t allow those things to become a “bitter place” in your heart - “LET THEM GO!” - “LAY THEM ASIDE!” - “UNLOAD THEM!” - Where? At the foot of the cross at Calvary - place them at the feet of Jesus, the Christ!

In closing, if we will “unload” every weight and every burden - every entanglement and every snare - on Jesus, the Christ, He can “onload” the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can emerge victorious over every situation - over every condition - over every circumstance.  Isn’t that

“Good News”?

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

 

Moment in the Word

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BIBLE MEDITATION:

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?  It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.”  (Matthew 5:13 NKJV)

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:

“A Peanuts cartoon, showed Peppermint Patty talking to Charlie Brown. She said, “Guess what, Chuck. It’s the first day of school, and I got sent to the principal’s office. It was your fault, Chuck.” He said, “My fault? How could it be my fault? Why do you say everything is my fault?” She said, “You’re my friend, aren’t you, Chuck? You should have been a better influence on me.”  While Peppermint Patty was seeking to pass the buck, she was in a very real sense right. We should be a good influence on our friends.  We certainly do have an influence, for “good” or for “bad”.  As salt, we have an awesome opportunity to make an eternal difference in the lives of those around us.  Please allow me to share three truths about salt:

A.    Salt is Visible.
Notice that as Christians we are the salt of the earth. Our ministry is to a lost and dying world. We are to win lost souls and establish them in the faith.  The only way we can accomplish our God-given mission is to be a visible part of our society. We are not to hide ourselves within the confines of the four walls of the church building, totally isolated from the rest of the world.  We must remember - NO CONTACT, NO IMPACT!

B.    Salt is Valuable
In today’s society, we tend to miss the impact of what Jesus was saying in this verse. However, those in ancient societies understood the value of salt far better than we. The Romans believed, for instance, that there was nothing as valuable as salt, except for the sun. Many Roman soldiers received their pay in salt. Some have said that it was from this practice that the phrase “not worth his salt” originated.

Those listening to Jesus may not have understood all of what He was saying, but they knew that to be called “the salt of the earth” was to be something very special and valuable.  Jesus has chosen us (John 15:16), as believers, to do His work here on earth. We are of great value to Him. But not only are we of value to the Lord, but we are also of great value to the world, although they may not realize it or acknowledge it.

C.    Salt is Vital
Among its many other uses, salt is essential to the health of both humans and animals. In ancient days it was a vital part of the economy in terms of a source of revenue.

I want you to notice what Jesus says and does not say, He does not say, “You all can be the salt of the earth.” Nor does he say, “You all should be the salt of the earth.” Jesus says “You are the salt of the earth” and in the Greek it is literally “You and you alone are the salt of the earth.”

To be salt, we do not have to be spectacular
To be salt, we do not have to be sensational
To be salt, we do not have to be successful (by the world’s standards)
To be salt, we just have to affect our little corner of the world.

ACTION POINT:

Please allow me to pose these questions that each and every one of us should ask ourselves:

Am I living as a person who understands that Almighty God values me?

Am I using my life to influence others for good?

And, finally, “Am I taking my responsibility to be ’salt’ seriously?”

In His Love & Service,

Pastor Larry E. Campbell
St. Paul A.M.E. Church, San Bernardino, CA

 

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