Devotions

Led to Shine at the Fullness of Time

Led to Shine Read Romans 8: 14-16 Nothing happens by accident. Galatians 4:4 uses the phrase "fullness of time." Time exists for the benefit of fallen humanity. But, what does the "fullness of time" mean? We can look to history to see what God means by this. Alexander the Great made the Greek language the legal, mandatory and universal language of the world. A few hundred years later, the Roman...

Loving to Shine

Loving to Shine Read: 1 John 3:1-3 Over 3000 years ago, David asked, "What is man that God is mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him?" So, what is it that motivates God to bless, provide and protect us? The answer is His incredible, awesome love. The scripture doesn't say that God is loving, but rather that He is love. Romans 5:8 tells us that...

Living to Shine

Living to Shine Read John 10:10 In our reading, Jesus says that Satan's only purpose is this: to kill you, steal from you and destroy you. But Jesus also says that He came to give you life, and more abundantly! That should be enough to make you want to shout! Jesus wants to give us more than just the end result of making it to Heaven. He wants to come...

Something About the Name Jesus

Something About the Name Jesus Read Acts 4:13-18 Jesus came to this world for a purpose; to take the sins of the world and nail them to the cross. At that moment, He became a substitute offering, giving us access to God. After His crucifixion, they laid His body in a borrowed tomb. But, three days later, up from the grave He arose, defeating death! The name of Jesus is...

Pastor Tom’s Baked Creamed Salmon Recipe

My Baked Creamed Salmon Recipe For many years, I went to Alaska to minister, and we'd take time to go fishing. There's nothing like eating fresh salmon out of the Copper River! I began making this dish years ago with that fresh, delicious fish. Salmon is so rich in omega-3 fatty acids, high in many vitamins and minerals like B vitamins and selenium, and full of antioxidants. (Click here for...

They Opened Their Treasures

They Opened Their Treasures Read Matthew 2: 10-12 While we don't know the exact day Jesus was born, we take this time to celebrate His birth. Born in the place where the animals stayed, God revealed His Son to humanity that night. Hallelujah! The three Kings of Orient are often imagined as showing up the night of Jesus's birth. But, these men did not get to Bethlehem till possibly a...

He Shall Save

He Shall Save Matthew 1: 18-25 The term saved, when speaking of  one giving their life to Jesus, is not merely church talk. The Bible makes it clear that what Jesus did for us, and our acknowledgement of it, saves us. God sent His son to save us! Acts 2:21, 4:12, 15:11, 16:30, Romans 10:9, 1 Corinthians 1:18, Ephesians 2:8, Titus 3:5, and Revelation 21:24 all use the word saved...

Never Seen Anything Like This

Never Seen Anything Like This Read Mark 2:6-12 God's people know that Jesus is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. We know of God's greatness. We know salvation, healing, and miracles happen in the House of God! But, in order for others to realize this greatness, they have to hear of all the miracles Jesus performs and want to see it for themselves. Consider what would happen if...

Who Am I?

Who Am I? Read 2 Samuel 9: 9-10 When God gets ready to pour out His Spirit, He begins looking across the globe for someone to bless. He is looking for someone who is after His own heart. Many times, our weaknesses can leave us asking, "Lord, who am I that you would want me?" But, no matter what you've endured or how much rejection you've faced, God has purpose...

Somebody Touched Jesus

Somebody Touched Jesus Read Luke 8:43-48 This testimony is a challenge to every one of us. So many times we wait for God to come by and touch us. But there are times we get in such desperate situations that we have to say, "I need Jesus and I'm going to do everything I can to touch Him!" The story in our reading is also in Mark 5. In this...

Not by Might, nor by Power, but by His Spirit

Not By Might, nor By Power, but By His Spirit Read Zechariah 4:6 The church has reached a time like never before. Darkness has multiplied on the earth. It can't get any darker! Politics, the church, education, every area of the world is in a dark place and they need the light of Jesus Christ more than anything. The American church has begun to blend in, or as Jesus said,...

Shining for the World to See

Shining for the World to See The image of being a bright city on a hill for the world to see is more than a metaphor. As each new tragedy comes to pass, the world is watching to see what the church will do, and how we'll react. There are those who want to see the church fail, but Jesus will draw many others with the light we shine in...

Feed My Sheep

Feed My Sheep Read John 21:15-17 Jesus didn't come to earth for the accolades of man, but rather to take the sins of the world. Our testimony can be used in many ways, but most of all it is used to feed the people who need to hear of His faithfulness. Earlier in this chapter of John, we read about Jesus appearing to His disciples for the first time after...

Battling the Storm

Battling the Storm Read Luke 8:22-25 We all face storms in life. Sometimes it seems like a new storm every day. Job 14:1 says man's life is short and full of trouble. There three types of storms wean encounter: self-inflicted, satanic opposition, and storms that come to increase our faith. Self-Inflicted God called Jonah to preach in Nineveh, but he didn't want to go to Nineveh. This struggle began within...

The Open Door

The Open Door! Read Revelation 3:7-8 The Bible plainly says Jesus is coming back and will be reuniting with His church. As this time quickly approaches, God is pouring out His Spirit! We must open the door to the Holy Spirit to bring the church into revival, and bring souls to the Lord in these last days! The book of Jude warns of a creeping lethargic spirit, creating an apostate...

Our Turn to Shine

Our Turn to Shine Read Hebrews 12:1-2 God has called us to be the light in a world full of darkness. There's a revival coming. He is awakening our spirit because the time is near. It's our turn to take hold of this calling! Our country has a rich history of powerful movements of the Spirit. During the turn of the 20th century, a preacher named Billy Sunday lead over...

Fueled to Shine

Fueled to Shine Read Romans 8: 11 Since, God has called us to shine like a city on a hill, that means He gives us all we need to be that light. When we're fueled by the Holy Spirit, therefore we bring hope to the hopeless and life to the dying. In the Old Testament, we see God the Father, who is above. In the New Testament, God is with...

Committed to Shine

Committed to Shine Read Numbers 6:22-27 God's grace has always been with us, since the creation of Adam. Before Jesus went to Calvary for our sins, grace was already here. We see in this Scripture that He has committed His grace to shine upon us. Because of this gift, we must also commit to shine His light into the darkness of the world! First of all, you must know that...

Commanded to Shine

Commanded to Shine Read 2 Corinthians 4:6 God is the One who has initiated every instance of salvation, commanding our hearts to Him. And, just as He commanded our hearts to him, He also commands the light within us to shine out into darkness of the world. The Accuser brings the opposition you hear, the voice saying you're not good enough, and that you'll never change. He also says you're...

Called to Shine

Called to Shine Read Romans 8: 28-31 This passage has brought comfort and strength to so many saints. But until you've faced the deepest valleys or the biggest storms, it's hard to understand the depth of these truths. Once God has called you into His presence, there's no turning back. And once He has allowed life to refine your faith, you're fit to shine and bring others into the knowledge...

Anointed to Shine!

Anointed to Shine Read 2 Corinthians 3:17 In the Old Testament, there are many powerful examples of the Holy Spirit working through people to show His might. For example, the Holy Spirit walked in the furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, protecting every hair on their heads as their lives were threatened. Another example is when God anointed Daniel in the lion's den as he faced what was sure to...

The Messengers of God

The Messengers of God Read 2 Chronicles 36: 14-16 We've all been both messengers and receivers of messages. If you've ever experienced relaying a message the receiver didn't want to hear, you know how discouraging it can be. If you've received an unwanted message, you can probably admit to scorning the messenger. Throughout the Bible, we see God use people to relay messages. God still speaks through people. A believer...

Shall Not Perish!

Shall Not Perish Read John 3: 16-17 The most well known Bible verse is John 3:16. It communicates God's love to unbelievers, but it's so much deeper than we tend to see. It certainly conveys His love, but it also wraps up the gift of salvation and eternal life in the word perish. When we go on into verse 17, we also see God's character. He does not want to...

Keep On Sowing!

Keep On Sowing Read Luke 8: 4-8 Sometimes we grow so weary. Weary of this life, with the pain and trials that seem to be nonstop at times. It becomes hard to sow the seeds of grace and love. But one thing will transform your walk with the Lord, even in the most difficult of times. That is to always remember that everything you've endured is so that you can...

The Old Path

The Old Path Read Jeremiah 6:16 Our culture may be dependent on GPS, but someone who is serious about traveling knows you can't rely on that. When you're traveling somewhere for the first time, you want to know the path to get there. You're not going to ask someone who can't get to their nearest store without their GPS. If you know anything about traveling, you know to seek help...

Caught, Condemned and Forgiven

Caught, Condemned and Forgiven Read John 8: 10-11 It's no secret that I have a lead-foot. I admit, it's an area the Lord has been patient with. Although, He hasn't let me get away with it, either. You may know the feeling when the police car comes speeding up to your bumper to pull you over. Your stomach drops as you prepare for the worst. If an officer has ever...

The Valley of Baca: Praising Through the Struggle

The Valley of Baca: Praising Through the Struggle Read Psalm 84: 1-6 The Hebrew word baca translates to weeping. The Valley of Weeping does not sound like a pleasant place. But, it is where life can take us. No one is exempt from struggles. As a matter of fact, Jesus tells us we will have many troubles in this life. When we bow to the struggles, we are letting the...

I Love the Lord!

I Love the Lord! Psalm 91:14-16 The word love stirs up a lot of different emotions, ideas, opinions, and definitions. It seems like the whole world is either searching for it or sick of it. Christians are the only group of people with a solid definition of what it actually is. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 says love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, boastful or proud. It doesn't...

America Needs Jesus

America Needs Jesus Read Romans 7: 18-21 America certainly loves summertime. It's common to see people on either their porches or decks, grilling out and relaxing by the pool. We love to display our country's flag and set off fireworks. We fondly celebrate our freedom throughout the summer. While we may feel a sense of pride for our country, people often forget where our freedom truly comes from. Because of...

Good News for the Troubled Soul

Good News for the Troubled Soul Read Psalm 34 This psalm is a call to anyone who has struggled in life. It's a call to anyone who is currently struggling. This life will trouble our souls, sometimes on a daily basis. David is always a clear example of this. But there is good news! He will help us! This psalm is a powerful declaration of praise because the Lord has...

The Anointing of Elijah: Get Up!

The Anointing of Elijah Read 1 Kings 19: 13-18 We are living in a time when every day brings something that lines up with the prophecies of the last days. But there's an opposition that's trying to tear down the altar of God. including in the hearts of believers. Just like what Elijah faced in this scripture. But hallelujah! The enemy could not steal his anointing! God had just used...

The Victory is in Your Praise

The Victory is in Your Praise Read Psalm 42:11 There are hundreds of declarations of praise in the Scriptures. Often, praise is sacrificial. When the heart is heavy and the soul is weak, or when we're angry and prideful, our natural reaction is to withhold praise from the only One who is worthy. But, like David already knows and is commanding of his soul in this psalm, God is faithful...

Leaving a Legacy

Leaving a Legacy Read 1 John 3: 14-18 Death stares us in the face every day we wake up. Most of us will not give this reality a single thought as we go about our day, often focusing on mundane tasks and immediate circumstances. It's good we don't focus on it, because it could become pretty upsetting. Even though there will be a moment when we depart from this earthly...

My Sheep Know My Voice

My Sheep Know My Voice Read John 10: 1-5 There are many voices we all know the second we hear them. When you answer the phone and hear your mother on the other end, you don't have to ask who is calling. If you're in another room and the president comes on TV, you don't have to see the television to know who's speaking. There are also voices we may...

Ascension: The Brokenhearted

The Brokenhearted Read Luke 4: 16-18 Think of the most rundown area close to where you live. The area where your mom taught you to lock the doors as you drove through. The place you avoid at night by yourself. When you drive through, you notice no one looks up and no one smiles because no one has hope. This was just like Nazareth: full of poverty, hopelessness, and brokenhearted...

Ascension: Living in the Light

Living in the Light Read John 1: 1-4 I had a house once and, for some unknown reason, none of the closets had lights. Talk about frustrating! Tara's growing collection of beautiful dresses pushed my clothes further and further back on the rod, till I could barely reach in and get them. I had to get a flashlight just to find the right shirt and jacket combination. I'd be fumbling...

Ascension: The Raven and the Dove

The Raven and the Dove Read Genesis 8:6-12 This text contains so much rich, and often overlooked detail. First, understand that the ark was a symbol of salvation. After the fall and before the flood, people were so wickedly sinful, believing they did not have to answer to God, much like society now. The world says there's no way to know which religion is right, or if God exists. Noah...

Ascension: The Meeting in the Cave

The Meeting in the Cave Read 1 Samuel 22: 1-5 People tend forget where God has taken them. From the deepest pit to the highest mountain; ascension is the only direction with Him. But there will always be opposition or sorrow. Where we put our faith will determine escape from these dark places. King David's life was never easy. He was born to a female slave and rejected by his...

Raised to Life: When You’re Going Nowhere

When You're Going Nowhere Read Ezra 4:24 and 5:1 The word and above holds a lot of weight in this story. From the last verse in chapter four of Ezra, to the first verse in chapter five, fifteen years of time has passed. Chapter four tells us of great revival and restoration in Israel. Not only that, but the foundations for the rebuilding of the temple had been laid. Then...

Raised to Life: The Living Bread

The Living Bread Read John 6: 31-35 I've noticed that when the grass is becoming green again and the flowers are beginning to bloom, I have a lift in spirit. I love spring and all its reminders of life. Perhaps you experience this, too. Or maybe you experience it when you pull into the driveway in a new car, or go out to dinner in new shoes. Maybe it's new...

Raised to Life: Nailed to the Cross

Nailed to the Cross Read Colossians 2: 9-15 God doesn't do good things, He is the very essence of good. Good things come straight from Him. Although Easter has passed, keep in mind His goodness in sending Jesus to die on the cross for you. This is so important to  remember as you go through every day struggles. God does not tempt us, yet He allows trials and temptations into...

Raised to Life: Time with God

Raised to Life: Time with God Read Luke 24 The Easter season a wonderful time of year. It finally starts to get warm outside. The grandkids get to run around in the backyard instead of the living room. Barbecues become a weekly staple, and we start smoking pulled pork and grilling jerk chicken. Baby animals start appearing on the farms. Everything comes to life after the dreary, cold winter. It's...

Joshua’s Shout: Maturing Through Obedience

Joshua's Shout: Maturing Through Obedience Read Joshua 6: 1-5 So many people know this passage of scripture for the big thing that happens as a result. Jericho's wall comes crashing down, allowing Israel to proceed in claiming the Promised Land. But in this part of the scripture, we see something a little more obscure: Joshua's obedience. Joshua was the captain of Israel's army. During the battle against the Amalekites, Moses...

Chosen Generation: Changing Your World- Using the Spiritual Authority God Gave You

Changing Your World Read 2 Kings 22: 1-2 This passage is about one of the greatest kings in the Old Testament. Josiah was born into an evil environment. Wickedness surrounded him as his grandfather and father disobey the Lord during their reigns. But the Lord crowned Josiah, and he used the authority God gave him to change the world around him. Josiah is a type and a shadow of what...

Chosen Generation: The Iron Legs

The Iron Legs Read Daniel 2:31-34 Since the fall, mankind has desired to conquer. Daniel's prophecy is referring to domination on a large scale, but each of us has some of this to battle within ourselves. Daniel's interpretation of the king's dream is symbolic of many things, even in our personal lives. A wicked world system could not conquer Jesus though, and one won't conquer His church. God has chosen...

Chosen Generation: New Life

Chosen Generation: New Life Read John 3: 1-21 If you go to Community Family Church or worship with us online, or if you receive our magazine The Kentucky Voice, then you probably know my family is growing. Just in the past year, Isaac and Havana were born. God has blessed me with nine grandchildren now! Being a grandpa brings me so much joy. Holding those babies for the first time...

Chosen Generation: The Great Commission

The Great Commission Read: Mark 16: 15-20 The word commission comes from the prefix com, meaning together and the word mission, meaning assignment. The phrase great commission isn't actually in the Bible, but this is how we've come to define God's assignment to us. From Genesis to Malachi, we read about "the coming of the Lord." The book of Isaiah introduces us to some of the names of Jesus. He's...

The Humble Shall Hear: Praising God Out of Affliction

The Humble Shall Hear Read: Psalm 34: 1-3 This psalm is filled with praise which had been born out of great adversity. God had just saved David from murder when he wrote this. Most of us are not facing the possibility of murder, but we do have an enemy who's trying to steal, kill and destroy all areas of our lives. David starts out by saying he will bless the...

Reflection: Relationship… Living in Jesus

Reflection: Relationship Living in Jesus Read: John 15: 1-7 God created us for relationship. From the relationship between God and Adam, to the marriage of Adam and Eve, and all the way through to Revelation where Jesus comes back for His Bridegroom, we see it throughout the Bible. God defines three areas of relationship between Him and us in John 15:7. First, He says if you abide in Him: this is...

Reflection: Fullness of Joy in Jesus

Reflection: Fullness of Joy Read 1 John 1:1-4 Reflection is an important principle in our walk with the Lord. In this series of devotions, I urge you to reflect on three things: what God's Word is saying, how you are reflecting that within your life, and also in the lives of others. This week, take this time to consider where your joy comes from, how to attain it and how...

Kingdom Minded: Focusing on Eternity 2-9-2017

Kingdom Minded: Focusing on Eternity The Bible weaves many necessary principles throughout its text. A few examples include humility, surrender, and remembering God's faithfulness in times of trouble. Many Christians battle some of these issues their whole lives without much progress. There's a common root among some of the obstacles in our walk with the Lord: focusing on the temporary world rather than God's eternal kingdom. Focusing on the problems...

Present Help in Your Time of Need 2-2-2017

A Present Help in Time of Need Read Mark 6:45-52 Kentucky storms can be downright terrifying. I've seen the sky turn many different colors, from bright orange to pale green. You know when it gets quiet out and the dark clouds are racing overhead that it's going to be worse than a thunderstorm. Wind gusts like a brick wall hitting your car, trashcans flying around, tree limbs scattered in the...

Glory: Come Into the House 1-26-2017

                                   Come Into the House Read: Joshua 2:15-21 Israel was a testimony of God's glory to foreigners. The people of Jericho knew about Jehovah long before their city walls came crashing down. So, it's understandable that the millions of Israelites suddenly gathering on the other side of the Jordan River terrified them. Joshua had sent two men into Jericho to spy the land. Now, the Bible only says the...

Keep The Lamp of God Burning in Your Life 1-19-2017

The Lamp of God Read: 1 Samuel 3:1-4 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep...1 Samuel 3:3 Sometimes it seems like the lamp of God is flickering to an end in our world. When it looks like everything is going downhill and that God has lost control, behind the scenes...

Let Your Life Be a Light 1-12-17

Let Your Life Be a Light Let me live, blessed Lord, in the light of Thy Word, let my life be a light on a hill... - Let My Life Be a Light by Doyle Lawson Praise God for a new year! The new year is a great time to reflect on how God has been working in your life and also prune whatever will develop more growth in Jesus....

Delight in the Lord 12-5-17

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."  Psalm 37:4 Do you have desires deep in your heart that go unmet?  Do you possess deep longings that haven't been fulfilled?  The Bible gives us explicit instructions on how to fulfill all the desires of our hearts.  Yet, so many still look outside the Word of God for encouragement and direction.  I find myself often...

My God is Bigger 12-29-16

"But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit." Matthew 1:20 I often find myself studying the depths of the faith of the great men and women of the Bible.  It is the faith...

The Savior of the World 12-22-16

"And Mary said, 'My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.'" Luke 1:46, 47 I often wonder if we, as Christians, overlook the significance with which Mary received the word given to her by the angel of the Lord.  It was with such fervor and joy that she received, believed and acted out her obedience to the instruction of the Lord.  She didn't require further explanation,...

Plug into the Power of Prayer

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."   Mark 11:24 There is a popular saying in many circles today, "Get plugged in."  It refers to our need or possible desire to connect with a group that will enable us to grow in a particular area.  It's common if you are a church goer, for someone to suggest...