Devotions

The Joy of the Lord 12-8-16

The Joy of the Lord "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."           John 10:10 The true joy of Jesus and His plan for our lives rarely resemble what we think it should look like.  Many seek and attempt to get their lives in order...

Are you Listening to God?

"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." Behold. It's a word the Bible uses  hundreds of times in both the old and new testaments, yet many gloss over it, without much thought.  Luke 2:10 uses the word behold to introduce the coming of Jesus. The word behold means to "stop, look, and listen."  When we behold a...

A Thanksgiving Prayer 11-24-16

"Let them give thanks to the LORD for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:8, 9 As we prepare for the holiday season, I just wanted to share my prayer for you and your family: Dear Heavenly Father, We thank You for Your abundant blessings and trust that You know the plans You have...

Something BIG is Coming 11-17-16

"Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! They walk, O Lord, in the light of Your countenance." Psalm 89:15 There is great significance in Psalm 89:15.  It was the Psalm that the Israelites would sing to introduce the Feast of Trumpets every year.  The Feast of Trumpets marked the beginning of ten days of consecration and repentance before God. It is one of seven Jewish feasts appointed by...

Out of Darkness 11-10-16

"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9 We are living in a day and time when Christianity and what we believe is becoming so clouded that we must take time to understand what God says about our sins and come...

The Struggle With Sin 10-27-16

"For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23 The Bible tells us that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, yet, many struggle with their sin, arguing that God cannot use someone so openly engaged in behaviors that are contradictory to His plan. Friend, as long as you fight God's ability to use you, you will forever remain stuck.  The battle...

Go After Your Healing 10-20-16

"Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me." Matthew 15:26 In the fifteenth chapter of Matthew, we are taken to a time of great healing and miraculous wonders in history.  Jesus and His disciples were traveling from town to town, healing the sick, causing the lame to walk again, and preaching the gospel message.  It was an intense time and Jesus had developed an incredible reputation.  As He entered...

Waiting for the Harvest 10-13-16

"But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."  Mark 4:29 James 5:7 tells us to "Be patient, for the Lord is coming."   We are also reminded that in the last days the Lord will pour out His Spirit.  Women will begin to boldly open their mouths and proclaim the Word of God.  Children will dream dreams, and sons and daughters will begin...

Finding Lasting Joy 10-6-16

“Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him.” Psalms 128:1 Did you ever wonder where true and lasting happiness comes from?  We have all been happy for a season or a time.  But circumstances, behaviors, and life in general have been known to zap our happiness right out from under us.  Thank God, He provides a recipe for true and lasting happiness.  The Bible has...

What Are You Looking For? 9-29-16

"For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."  Matthew 7:8 Have you ever noticed that when you lose something that wasn't very valuable to you in the first place, you don't go looking for it?  For instance, if you lost some loose change from your pocket, you wouldn't tear the house apart looking for it.  The truth...

Where Are You Planted? 9-15-16

"He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8 We are all planted someplace.  Just as the parable that Jesus taught the disciples about the farmer and his crops in Matthew 13;...

The Journey 9-22-16

"For all flesh is as grass and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth and the flower thereof falter away:  but the Word of the Lord endureth forever." 1 Peter 1: 24-25 There are great analogies to be found in nature and in our walk with Christ.  I live on a farm surrounded by beautiful trees, shrubs and flowers.  Much like the flowers that...

Faith That Can Move Mountains 9-8-16

  "There hath no temptation taken hold of you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful; He will not suffer you to be tempted beyond that which ye are able to bear, but with the temptation will also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."                    1 Corinthians 10:13 Look at any...

In Times Like These 9-1-16

During the height of World War II, amidst the fear, anxiety, and unknown outcomes of war, a comforting hymn was written. Ruth Caye Jones, a busy housewife and mother of a soldier fighting for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted today, felt a direct inspiration from the Holy Spirit. She stopped her daily chores to quickly put down both words and music, just as they were given to her by God.  Since...

God Works in Hard Places 8-25-16

  "And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep."  Genesis 28:11 I am a firm believer that every word in the Bible has significance for us at some point in our lives.  I think God uses the stories of the men and women in very dynamic ways to speak to us at the...

Stop Looking Back 8-18-16

“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."                                                            ...

Take a Step Back in Time 8-11-16

One of my fondest memories growing up in a Pentecostal home is the Homecoming dinners that took place each year.  When I was a young boy, Homecoming Dinners were a regular occurrence, as common as Thanksgiving and Christmas filled with food and fellowship.  Distant relatives and friends would even travel the long route up from the mountains for the Saturday night meeting and the All Day's Meeting on Sunday. On Saturday night, the meeting opened...

Get the Word In! 8-4-16

"The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul."  Psalm 19:7 Prayer.  It is the key to unlock the blessings of heaven, yet time and again, men and women approach me with one hurdle:  "I don't know how to pray."  Just the other day, as I was talking with a member of our church regarding her husband and his addiction, she asked me to please pray for him, sharing...

Just Keep Moving 7-28-16

"The Lord God is my strength.  He will make my feet like deer's feet, and He will make me walk on high hills."  Habakkuk 3:19 In the fast-paced world of today, one might think moving on is a relatively easy concept.  Nowhere in today's society are we encouraged to slow down, let alone stop.  We live in a fast-food, fast-pass, fast-lane kind of world.  Yet, when someone finds themselves at their lowest...

Why I Want to Praise HIM 7-21-16

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised."  Psalm 48:1   I often preach the importance of praising God in all circumstances.  Not only is it Biblically sound, but praising God in everything creates an environment in my life where God can really work.  Psalm 48 is a glorious representation of just a few reasons we have for praising God: The Lord is Great (vs.1)  If for no other reason,...

Where Else Can I Go? 7-14-16

"But Simon Peter answered Him, 'Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68 Peter was keenly aware of what the Lord had to offer him and the other disciples.  Regardless of the times he doubted, nearly drowned, or denied Christ, he was still able to discern that Jesus was all he really needed.  Jesus once told the disciples, "I am the Bread of...

The Path of the Just 6-29-16

"The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day." Proverbs 4:18 The Bible has much to say about righteousness and the need for believers to strive for righteousness.  But where does the path of the righteous lead to?  Of course we are all taught that it leads to heaven, but what about while we are still here on this earth?  What...

Mission Trip Chicken 7-7-16

Mission Trips Inspire Everything "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms."             1 Peter 4:10 I love to cook and this is one of my most favored and requested recipes.  Whether it's a church function or large family gathering, everyone seems to enjoy this fusion of spices blended into one...

God’s Precious Promises 6-23-16

"Through these He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 2 Peter 1:4 Sometimes, we need to be reminded of God's promises of faithfulness and healing.  Recently, our nation and our world has suffered events that can cause many to wonder where God is.  Hate crimes...

The Life I Now Live- 6-16-16

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live,                                                                                                                  ...

Trust God- 6/9/16

Struggles and turmoil in life cause many to question God and the direction He has chosen for their lives. Many  have experienced a season in life where we feel as though God doesn’t love us, or He cannot be trusted. Here is the truth regarding those two statements: God doesn’t love me: Unfortunately, you and I base our knowledge of God’s love on our experiences with human love. Human love...

Preparing for Christ- 6/2/16

Psalm 67 is a beautiful picture of what God is preparing to do in the last days.  God will bless His people and let His face shine upon them.  God is preparing to pour out His blessing so He will be known in all nations.  Psalm 67 fervently reminds us, "Let all the people praise you."  When we begin to praise God wholeheartedly, the harvest will begin to yield the blessed...

Revive Us Again 5/25/16

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt REVIVE me:                                                                                                                      ...

Why Do I Keep Going Back?- 5/19/16

What keeps us still longing to do the things of the past?   What keeps us stuck in the pit of our sin and shame?  The answer can be found tucked away in Ezekiel 36; a stony heart.  Better known as a "hard heart."  We all know someone with a hard heart.  Maybe it's us.  Thankfully, through the power of Jesus Christ, even the hardest of hearts can be changed.  ...

God Want To Give You More- 5/12/16

"So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine..." Luke 10:34  The story of the Good Samaritan is often taught as a lesson to encourage us to be kind to others.  But more than a simple lesson on kindness, the Good Samaritan is a reminder for us, of  just how much God longs to care and provide for us even when others pass us by.  It...

The Freshest Salsa You Will Ever Taste 5-5-16

Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. Psalms 67:6 The good Lord has blessed me with a love for farming, cooking, and good food.  I love to share the abundance of what the Lord provides my family through our garden and farm with beloved friends and family at our church here in Independence, KY.  And now, I've been asked to share...

I am a Witness-Part 4 of 4 4/21/16

"Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."  2 Corinthians 3:17 We are coming to the end of our four part series on the authenticity of God, and if you get only one thing from this entire series, I want to leave you with a powerful truth; the Holy Spirit of God is a living, breathing being, that has the POWER to change...

I am a Witness Part 3-of 4 4/14/16

I am a Witness of A Changed World Did you know that ALL 204 of the founding fathers of this great nation claimed Christianity as their heritage?  Each one of these great men that signed the legal documents to seal and secure our independence believed that there was only one God and that Jesus, his son, came to Earth as a man to die for our sins, and rose again...

I am a Witness-Part 2 of 4 4/7/16

Part II I am a Witness of Jesus Christ  "But He was wounded for your transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5 Are you a witness for Christ?  I have often been confronted with the task of proving Jesus was a real man who lived on this earth for thirty-three years, died a...

I am a Witness-Part 1 of 4 3/31/16

  Part I I am a Witness of The Word of God  Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”  Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you, but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” Acts 26:28, 29 We often hear...

Fight for your blessing 3/24/16

"But he said, 'I will not let you go until you bless me.'" Genesis 32:26 "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17.  All good things come from God.  If you experience things in life that are anything less than good and perfect, then they must be coming...

Don’t Blame God 3/17/16

"Then Satan answered the Lord and said, 'Does Job fear God for nothing?  Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side?  You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land."  Job 1:9, 10 Although God often get thanks and gratitude for the good that comes in life, all too often He...

To be Loved and Needed 3/10/16

"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." Genesis 1:26 I am always in awe when I read Genesis 1:26.  Overwhelmed, that a God so great, so mighty and so very powerful would love me enough to create me in His image.   We were not created in the image of a bird, a fish, a horse, or a camel.  We were created in the...

What is Grace? 3/3/16

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 Unfortunately in today's society many people misunderstand God's grace, using it as as excuse to sin.  They foolishly believe that their sinful and vulgar lifestyles can be lived out...

Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled 2/25/16

"Let not your heart be troubled.  You believe in God, believe also in me."  John 14:1           You may have heard that the Bible says "Do not be afraid," (or some version of this phrase) 365 times, equaling out to once for each day of the year.  I personally have never exhausted my energy to find whether or not this statement is accurate, but many Bible...

Learning to LOVE His Word 2/18/16

  But those who obey God's word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. 1 John 2:5 I am often asked how a person can read the Bible everyday when there are aspects that seem irrelevant in today's society, as well as the  style of writing making it difficult to understand.  My first response is this:  It is important for us...

Yes You Can Be FREE 2/10/16

The Bible clearly tells us in the book of John, "you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."  That word make is an action word.  It requires that we do something in order to experience an end result.  The doing on our part is to "know the truth."  Knowing comes from the Word and the "Word" is of course the Word of God.  So many of us...

You’re Almost There 2/4/16

"So don't throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.                                                                                                                      ...

The Still Waters- 1/29/16

"He leadeth me beside the still waters......"Psalm 23:2   Psalm 23 is a passionate reminder of how God longs to care for His children, and where He wants to lead us.  In verse 2 we are reminded that God wants to lead us beside "the still waters." The original Hebrew words for "still waters" in Psalm 23:2 are “Mai Menochot," which is literally translated as “restful waters".  God wants you and  I...

Fertile Ground 1/21/16

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:5 Do you sometimes feel your walk with God is barren land?  Do you feel like you're not producing anything worthwhile?  Do you wish that God would do something in and through you?  Well you are in a prime state...

The Blessing Cannot Be Taken Away 1/14/16

"Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it."  Numbers 23:20 In the story of Balak and Balaam, we find a King (Balak) who fears the Israelites so much, he has searched out the greatest magician (sorcerer) of the times to place a curse on the them.  Through a series of prophecies and encounters with God we learn that not only was the...

Wherever He Leads 1/7/15

"Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, 'Jacob, Jacob!' And he said, 'Here I am.'"   Where will God take you in 2016?  Chances are, it's not where you thought you would go.  But if you will settle in your heart to respond with the mindset  of the great men of the Old Testament like Abraham, Jacob and Moses, you can be sure of one...

You Are Set Apart 12/31/15

“Blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled!" Matthew 5:6 Jehovah M’Kaddesh means “The Lord is My Sanctifier.” God has set us apart as a peculiar people, a holy nation, and a royal people that we should give Him praise. He has sanctified us by His blood, the Word, and the Holy Spirit—we are definitely set apart by our Savior.   To be used...

If You Just Believe 12/24/15

"Let it be to me according to your word." Luke 1:38 I am always in awe as I read the story of the birth of Jesus.  Each time I read in Luke 1, the announcement to Mary, her response continues to overwhelm me.  What incredible humility and obedience it must have taken her to say yes to such an overwhelming endeavor.  Mary was a simple woman with a humble background, yet God...

I Was Glad When They Said… 12/17/15

"I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go into the house of the Lord.'" Psalm 122:1 It's a wonderful feeling to desire to go to God's house and worship.  But what about the days when that feeling is not there.  What about the times, we are too tired, too stressed, too depressed, or just simply "not glad" about getting up and going to church?  Let's face it, there are...

Get Up! 12/10/15

  "Jesus said to him, 'Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.'  Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk."                 John 5:8 Do you ever feel as though you are paralyzed?  Fear, anxiety, stress, depression, along with a whole host of other emotions can creep in at times, causing us to feel paralyzed and unable...

Jesus Is Coming Back 12/3/15

"You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand." James 5:8 Sometimes, I need to be reminded that the Lord really is coming back.  In these days of war, death, drugs, cancer, it is very easy to become discouraged and feel as though we have be deserted by the One who promised to return.  Friend, let me remind you and gently spur you...

A Thanksgiving Prayer 11/26/15

As you gather together with the ones you love, spend your day serving others, or waiting to be served, may the peace and comfort of our Lord and Savior cover you and remind you that He is always near. Almighty God, Today I ask You to remind those who need reminding that they are never forsaken, and You, our Heavenly Father await with plans to prosper and keep Your children,...

Finding Freedom 11/19/15

picture courtesy of www.pinterest.com "I cry out to the Lord; I lift up my voice to the Lord for mercy.  I pour out before Him my complaint; before Him I tell my trouble." Psalm 142:1, 2 Do you feel imprisoned on a daily basis by debilitating thoughts, emotions, and fears? Do you carry a burden for the healing and deliverance of family and friends that has yet to be lifted?  God's...

Find Jesus, Not Just Church 11/11/15

Find Jesus, Not Just Church In the story of the Woman at the Well we see a beautiful exchange between Jesus and this woman who thought she understood religion, but after just a few moments of talking with Jesus, her perspective is forever changed.   After talking with Jesus, we see the woman return to the city full of excitement and new life.  Yet when she returns, she doesn't preach...

God Will Show Up 11/5/15

  (image courtesy of www.teachingthem.com) Too often we think that God will show up in our lives when we are ready. He will show up "after we have cleaned out our closets," "kicked the bad habits," and "straightened out our lives." The fact is, God will show up when we least expect it. The story of the Woman at the Well is a beautiful illustration of God showing up to...

Hear and Obey 10/22/15

An Encouraging Devotion from Pastor Bates to You In today's society, we are called to trust everything except the Word of God. But the Bible is quick to remind us that just as God's Word could be trusted in the days of Noah and Abraham, it can be trusted now.  Isaiah said, "The grass withers and the the flowers fall, but he Word of God will stand forever." Isaiah 40:8 David reminds...

Miracles in Mozambique 10/20/15

Tommy Bates Ministries (TBM) just received this letter and beautiful, candid photos (see bottom of page) from our missionaries to Mozambique and we are thrilled to share it you! Enjoy the personal message from Mareshah, thanking you for your support and providing you an up close and intimate look at how God is moving in Mozambique.   Greetings in the name of Jesus! What a wonderful God we serve. Thank...

Learn to Speak to Every Mountain 10/17/15

  An Encouraging Word "You'll never get out of your situation if you don't learn how to speak to your mountains!" — Pastor Bates Do you want to change the outcome of situations in your life? Change the direction of your life? Tune into Bridging the Gap and learn how to get your words in alignment with what you want and believe for your life. (If the Bridging the Gap program does...

Don’t Stop Praying 10/14/15

Would you like to experience the anointed messages of Pastor Bates "Live?" Log onto tommybates.com and worship with us during a live streaming of Sunday morning & evening services. 11am and 6pm every week (EST) (Services can be viewed for up to 72 hours after they air live.) Don't Stop Praying In a dynamic and powerful sermon, Pastor Bates fervently encourages you to keep praying regardless of your circumstances. Just as Daniel continued...