Pastor's Devotional

Opportunity Knocks 8.9.22
Opportunity Knocks 8.9.22

Bruce Goettsche • August 09, 2022

“You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.* 19When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time.”


Jesus tells us to view the challenging times of life as opportunities. You are brought into contact with people you may only see once (a Doctor, nurse, attorney, police officer, judge, tow truck driver, fellow patients in a treatment center, hotel managers etc.) We are to see these people as coming across our path purposefully. We can plant seeds in their lives and also benefit from their wisdom.


Don't let the trials of life keep you from your responsibility to tell the world about Jesus.

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The Best Path 8.8.22
The Best Path 8.8.22

Bruce Goettsche • August 08, 2022

we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:12–13).


It is easy to get immersed in the world around us. We can easily embrace the ways and nonsense of the world without even thinking about it. We like to be accepted by others.


The Lord calls us to set a different path. We are to live for the Lord and align our lives with His ways and commands. It will be a different path from the mainstream, but it is the better path. It is the way to a deeper enjoyment of life and it is the path that will reveal Christ to others.


It's a simple question to ask yourself regularly. Do I believe this (or am I doing this) because it is popular or because it is true? 

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Seed Scattered 8.7.22
Seed Scattered 8.7.22

Bruce Goettsche • August 07, 2022

The seed is God’s word. 12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest. (Luke 8:11–15).


This is Jesus' explanation for the parable of the seeds. It is about the different ways people respond to the message of Christ. I believe only the last person described is a genuine follower of Christ headed for eternal life.


Many people make professions of faith that "don't stick." In other words, they are caught up in a moment and respond. However, that faith is not based on a true desire to trust and follow Christ, it is a desire to act on the emotions of the moment.


People may spend all their lives thinking the "experience" they once had is all that is needed. Jesus said, the only true believer is the one whose life is surrendered to Christ and therefore begins to change in their thinking and living.


The key question is: which kind of response to the gospel describes you?

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The Fruit of Faith 8.6.22
The Fruit of Faith 8.6.22

Bruce Goettsche • August 06, 2022

“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.” (Matthew 12:33)


People who are followers of Christ reveal their faith by the way they live their lives. This is because the Holy Spirit is within us cultivating Christlike character.


This is a good test for each of us: do we truly believe? Ask yourself: Is the Holy Spirit building a new heart in me? Can I look back on my life and see that I am making progress in godliness?


This isn't about earning your salvation. That work has been done by Christ. The question is: is your faith merely intellectual, or have you embraced Christ as your Savior and King? If you are His the evidence should be clear.

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Rest 8.5.22
Rest 8.5.22

Bruce Goettsche • August 05, 2022

"28 Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)


Many of us are weary from the demands of life. We long for rest. We look for all kinds of ways to energize us. Let's remember what Jesus said, "Come to ME . . . "Our rest is found in spending time with Him. It is located in giving our burdens to Him. Perhaps we are running fast in the wrong direction!


So today, let's try to stop running. Let's come to Jesus instead and rest.

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Treasure 8.4.22
Treasure 8.4.22

Bruce Goettsche • August 04, 2022

"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (Matthew 6:19-21)

There are many cool things in this world (and someday, I will have a garage sale with many of them). It is easy to get wrapped up in "stuff" and have the highlight of the day, whatever package is arriving.

Jesus warns us that "stuff" (and you can add games on your phone or tablet) can take over your life. We say we love the Lord, but anyone watching would know we love the material things more.

There is something better, and that is the Kingdom of God. He tells us later in the same passage that if we "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness," we will find what we are looking for when we purchase our stuff or play our games. We will find peace, enjoyment, and most of all . . . we will find Him!
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Good Company 8.3.22
Good Company 8.3.22

Bruce Goettsche • August 03, 2022

“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

As Christians increasingly become targets in society because we trust in Christ and the absolute truth of the Word of God, Jesus tells us to be glad that people see Him in us.

We are not to seek or provoke persecution by being mean, hostile, or aggressive. We are called to live as Jesus lived: loving people and honest about life, sin, repentance, forgiveness, and life beyond the grave (good and bad).

When we live this way, we are storing up a great reward in Heaven and follow in the blessed tradition of the prophets and our Lord. That is the best company ever!
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