Pastor's Devotional

Pure Discipleship 9.16.21
Pure Discipleship 9.16.21

Bruce Goettsche • September 18, 2021

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a whole experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness. 

(1 Peter 2:1–3).


Our behavior can never save us; we are saved by a gift from God in Christ. However, the person who has received such a gift is now a new creation.


God summons us to a counter-cultural lifestyle. We are not to live like the world, and we don't need to lie, compete with others, or spew out anger. Instead, we are to follow the pattern of Jesus. We are to love as He loved, serve as He served, and seek the praise and wisdom of God over the praise and wisdom of men.


Our challenge is to stop before we do something and ask that simple question: "How would Jesus handle this (situation, emotion, person, struggle)?" Jesus changed the world. If we follow His example, we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, can do likewise.


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Friendship with the World  9.17.21
Friendship with the World 9.17.21

Bruce Goettsche • September 17, 2021

Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. (James 4:4).


James reminds us that we have a choice to make. To be friends of the world means to adopt the values of this society, and it is to marginalize God in our daily living so we can embrace the ways of the world around us.


The choice we have made reveals itself in the way we live our lives. Are we different from others in the world? Do we engage in the indulgence so prevalent around us, justifying sin as simply "doing my own thing?" If you were to tell the people you hang out with that you are a disciple of Jesus, would they raise an eyebrow? Who we serve is revealed by the lives we live.


We are called to be holy, set apart for the service of God. It is a choice that calls us to go in a different direction from everyone else, and we must choose to head toward Heaven rather than travel the broad road leading to destruction.




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No Walls 9.16.21
No Walls 9.16.21

Bruce Goettsche • September 16, 2021

My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? (James 2:1).


The gospel is offered freely to all people, regardless of race, reputation, age, employment, gender, style of worship, political leaning, or income level. To show favor to one group over the other shows we do not understand the gospel message. We are ALL sinful people. We all need the grace of God. We become one family when we come to Him.


As a society, we are drawing many lines of division. It seems like everyone is offended by everyone else. The church should be leading the way in tearing down those divisions. If the grace of God is not available to everyone we cannot be sure it is available to anyone. Christ came into the world to bring us together, not to drive us apart.



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Deeply Rooted 9.15.21
Deeply Rooted 9.15.21

Bruce Goettsche • September 15, 2021

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy, for you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  (James 1:2–4).


God does not send bad things into our lives. However, He will use them (if we trust HIm) to deepen us. We view the hard times of life as opportunities to grow in our faith, leading to deeper joy. But this is a mindset we must choose! In hard times we can walk away, or we can grow in faith.


We are not told to be joyful FOR the troubles . . . we are to choose to rejoice IN the trials. We rejoice because God will see us through, make us strong, and lead us home. He will right the wrongs and heal the wounds. The choice is ours . . . will the trials destroy you or deepen you?


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The Paralyzing Power of Bitterness 9.14.21
The Paralyzing Power of Bitterness 9.14.21

Bruce Goettsche • September 14, 2021

Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. (Hebrews 12:15).


The problem of bitterness was so prevalent and cancerous that we are warned about it here in God's Word.


What is bitterness? It is what happens when we stew over a hurt, perceived slight, or cutting remark. It is when we replay an event in our head over and over until we are obsessed with the wrong that we believe we were forced to endure. It could be a job firing, a remark that caught someone on a bad day, an inheritance you feel was unfairly distributed, a person who refused to talk to you, a spouse who did (or didn't do something) that you believe was meant to hurt you.


When we cherish bitterness, it poisons our outlook. It keeps people from the church. It is a sign that you do not believe "God will vindicate the righteous." We have overlooked the concept of forgiveness and grace. We are quick to let ourselves "off the hook" in those situations. God calls us to show that same kind of understanding to others.


If bitterness is poisoning your life, you can restore your joy through forgiveness.


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Cheering for Each Other 9.13.21
Cheering for Each Other 9.13.21

Bruce Goettsche • September 13, 2021

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23–25).


Are you an encourager? Do you spotlight the positive things in others rather than picking at the negative things? Do you celebrate the people around you, or do you put them down so you can exalt yourself? Are you always telling people what they "should" do, or do you cheer people on for what they ARE doing? Do you spend time pointing people to the Lord, or grumbling about the society and circumstances around us?


The Bible tells us to trust God's promises and help motivate others to do the same. This begins in our worship with others. If you remove yourself from the church's fellowship, your fire will start to go out; you will lose your spiritual fervor, joy will drain.


We need each other in this journey called life. We need to rally alongside those who struggle and add courage (encourage) to those who are worn out. Let God's people embody these words: "where seldom is heard a discouraging word."


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Aware Worship 9.12.21
Aware Worship 9.12.21

Bruce Goettsche • September 12, 2021

As you enter the house of God, keep your ears open and your mouth shut. It is evil to make mindless offerings to God. Don’t make rash promises, and don’t be hasty in bringing matters before God. After all, God is in heaven, and you are here on earth. So let your words be few.  (Ecclesiastes 5:1–2).


When I have met authors, scholars, or musicians, I have often been guilty of trying to sound intelligent when I should have spent my time listening and learning from those around me.


It is easy for us to do this with the Lord, especially in worship. We mindlessly sing songs repeating words on a screen with no thought of what those words mean. We recite promises and talk a good game without ever taking it seriously. The Bible tells us God hates this kind of worship and devotion. It is pretending to honor God. Our hearts and minds are absent.


Solomon encourages us to enter God's hour reverently, attentively, humbly, and sincerely. He reminds us that worship is not about how we "feel;" it is about giving praise and honor to the Lord. We must remember the grandeur of the One whose presence we seek. Instead of trying to impress God with how "spiritual" we are, we would be wise to let our words be few.


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