Daily Devotional – Wednesday, August 31, 2022
“Then Jesus asked his disciples, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16, NLT)
Peter provides us with a window into the ups and downs of faith for one who is impetuous by nature. While seen by some to be a character flaw, Jesus recognized Peter’s impetuous personality as invaluable. Peter was his chosen man to lead the disciples in continuing the work of growing God’s Kingdom that Jesus had begun and would soon be entrusting to his followers.
Daily Devotional – Wednesday, August 24, 2022
“When Something Bad Turns Out for the Best”
“A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.” (Acts 8:1b, NLT)
Luke tells us that after the murder of Stephen, the Jewish leaders ramped up their assault on the followers of Jesus and set Saul loose, and presumably others, with the authority to beat, imprison and even murder any person they found professing a faith in Jesus. The early Church members who had congregated in Jerusalem found themselves fleeing for their lives to other regions…but that didn’t mean they went quietly. What had been a cloistered group of believers, became a regional movement and even began to be transported to other countries.
Daily Devotional – Wednesday, August 17, 2022
“Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison.” (Acts 8:3, NLT)
Saul was determined to honour God yet found himself fighting against him instead. He was a Pharisee and had studied under the very wise and persuasive Gamaliel (Acts 5; 22:3); he knew the Scriptures and had a determination to see God’s Word upheld. How could a man so dedicated to God’s cause end up rejecting the very Messiah he had been waiting for? Because Saul, like so many others, was under the impression that he knew God (as much as is humanly possible), understood his promises and was confident he could recognize God’s hand at work…as well as all counterfeits. As much as he professed his dedication to God, his fullest confidence was in himself.
Daily Devotional – Wednesday, August 10, 2022
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8:36, NLT)
Jesus’ earliest followers understood that he wasn’t just using a rhetorical question for dramatic effect when he challenged them, “What do you benefit if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul?” Not only was it a call to reprioritize so that their spiritual health took precedence over physical comforts, but he was in fact warning his followers that they should be willing to lose everything for the sake of their souls, including their lives. His was an invitation for all to follow him, but he was being clear about the cost. Jesus warned the crowd that to be his disciple was not for the faint of heart, but would require a willingness to lose everything for his sake.
Daily Devotional – Wednesday, August 3, 2022
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16, NLT)
Have you ever noticed that, no matter how large a congregation is, most of the work is done by a relatively small group of people? There can be multiple reasons for this. It may be that there is an expectation that the paid staff are to do the work…after all, what are they paid for? However, it can also be due to the fact that an established group has taken over ownership and, to ensure that things are done their way, newcomers are not given opportunities. Of course, there are also those who are simply content to enjoy the benefits of being part of the group without making any personal contributions.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!