Pastor's Devotional

Choices 11.27.21
Choices 11.27.21

Bruce Goettsche • November 27, 2021

“God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)


No one likes to talk about God's judgment, but it is a reality. God's instruction: bring your rebellious heart and sinful past and present it to Him with genuine sorrow, asking for forgiveness. If you will do this, you will be spared the great Judgment and Christ will plead your case. You will, because of Christ's sacrifice and God's grace, be granted everlasting life in Heaven.


However, if you refuse to repent, refuse to seek Him, and only want to dabble in the faith . . . you will spend eternity in Hell. It sounds cruel, but in reality, it is more than fair. God has provided a way to be forgiven and you refused it. In the end, you will receive from God exactly what you chose: Heaven or Hell.


May God lead you to genuine faith in Him and the glory of everlasting life.




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Songs in the Night 11.26.21
Songs in the Night 11.26.21

Bruce Goettsche • November 26, 2021

“They were severely beaten, and then they were thrown into prison. The jailer was ordered to make sure they didn’t escape. So the jailer put them into the inner dungeon and clamped their feet in the stocks.

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. ” (acts 16:23-25


These words describe what happened to Paul and Silas on a visit to Philippi. They were in jail because of the gospel. People did not like the good news of the gospel because some believed it was "too easy." They felt they could somehow earn salvation. The idea of being helpless to save themselves made them angry.


What stands out in this account is the response of Paul and Silas. They were put in the inner dungeon, their feet fastened in stocks. in this place where despair was common, they had a prayer and song service. They continued to sing God's praises even though their situation looked bad.


What about you? Will you continue to praise Him in times of struggle? Will you continue to worship even when you do not understand what is happening or why? Do you trust and love Him that much?

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Thankful for Grace 11.25.21
Thankful for Grace 11.25.21

Bruce Goettsche • November 25, 2021

“We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 15:11)


As we sit with family and friends, or even if we head to a restaurant by ourselves, we have much for which to give thanks. The primary blessing which is the foundation of all other blessings is the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus.


We may have been materially blessed, perhaps you have been set free from an illness, or sustained by God in a devastating loss. You may have the joy of sitting around a table with family and relish every moment. All these things are good, but they all are due to the grace of God that is undeserved.


Our greatest blessing is the eternal life that comes to us through Christ. The rest of life has meaning because we know this life is not all there is.


As you reflect today, count your blessings and start with the blessing of forgiveness and a new life because of the underserved grace of our Lord Jesus.

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What is to Come - 11.24.21
What is to Come - 11.24.21

Bruce Goettsche • November 24, 2021

“But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,

and he will stand upon the earth at last.

And after my body has decayed,

yet in my body I will see God!*

will see him for myself.

Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.

I am overwhelmed at the thought!”

Job 19:15-16


Job, in the middle of his devastation, comforted himself with the truth that His Redeemer lives. He reminded himself that this life is only the prelude to the life that follows. Someday we are going to see the Lord. For some that will be really good news - for others, it will be a time of devastation and regret. The fact that we will see Him is what we must remember in hard times. The glory of what is coming will make it possible to stand, even in the painful times. Come, Lord Jesus!



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The #1 Reason for Gratitude 11.23.21
The #1 Reason for Gratitude 11.23.21

Bruce Goettsche • November 23, 2021

“Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight—something the law of Moses could never do. ” (Acts 13:38-39)


As we "count our blessings" this week, at the top of that list should be the truth stated above. Through faith in Christ and by God's staggering grace, we are forgiven and made right with God.


On our own, this is something we could never achieve. All the good deeds in the world could not ever balance the ledger with God. If it were not for the Lord's kindness and grace, we would be doomed to eternal destruction. Instead, we are made new, indwelt by God's Spirit, and have a spot reserved for us in Heaven. It is a staggering blessing!


It is our #1 blessing.



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Beyond the Labels 11.22.21
Beyond the Labels 11.22.21

Bruce Goettsche • November 22, 2021

“Peter told them, “You know it is against our laws for a Jewish man to enter a Gentile home like this or to associate with you. But God has shown me that I should no longer think of anyone as impure or unclean. ”


How we urgently need to understand what Paul came to realize: we should not write off ANYONE as beyond the reach and transformation of God's grace.


Paul (when he was called Saul) believed he had earned favor with God by his religious deeds. He was educated, careful in His obedience to the law, and isolated from those outside the Jewish faith because he saw Gentiles as beyond the reach of God's grace. Then God knocked Him (literally) off his donkey to show him he had been mistaken for his whole life to this point. Paul was shown his need to trust in Christ's work on his behalf. And that is what he did.


So when Paul now looked at others, he saw those who could potentially believe. He saw people, not labels. The labels "Jew" and "Gentile" might today be the equivalent of "blue and red," or "black and white," "rich and poor," "male" and "female." Our task is to look past the labels and stereotypes to see PEOPLE. All these people also need to know about Jesus. Our job is to tell them.


God can redeem anyone . . . even you!

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New Beginnings 11.20.21
New Beginnings 11.20.21

Bruce Goettsche • November 20, 2021

"As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." He fell to his knees, shouting, "Lord, don't charge them with this sin!" And with that, he died.

Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen." (Acts 7:59-8:1)


The first Christian martyr was Stephen, one of the leaders in the early church. He died with grace and had compassion for those who killed him. But I am interested in the man standing on the sidelines - Saul.


As you know, this Saul later became Paul when He became converted. Yes, the man complicit in the murder of Stephen later became a leader in the church and the author of at least 13 of the 27 New Testament books. The moral to the story: Your past, as bad as it might be, doesn't have to be your future! Through our Lord Jesus, we can become a new person. He forgives our sin (by paying for it on the cross) and calls us to follow Him. If we will do this, there is a new beginning . . . even for those with a sordid past.




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