A Large Upper Room

Our new daily devotional will be a re-post from Words Of Hope. We re-post this with permission of Words of Hope. God bless you!

A Large Upper Room
April 2, 2020

Read: Mark 14:12-16

He will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. (v. 15)

There was no mistake that it was during the Jewish feast of the Passover that Jesus and his disciples found themselves nearing Jerusalem. Little did the disciples realize that one greater than the lambs being sacrificed in the temple nearby was in their midst. Very soon, Jesus, the Lamb of God, would take away the sins of the world by his sacrifice on the cross.

But the disciples were concerned about where they would eat the Passover. A room had to be reserved and preparations had to be made. Evidently, Jesus had already made the preparations. Designating two disciples, he instructed them to go into the city and look for a man who was carrying a jar of water. That detail may not mean much to us, but a man carrying a jar of water would stick out like a sore thumb—such a task was always done by women. They were to follow this man and he would lead them to “a large upper room.”

It was there that Jesus, the true “Passover Lamb” (1 Corinthians 5:7), would give new meaning to the Passover meal. In what we have come to know as the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, Jesus broke the bread as a sign of his soon to be broken body and shared the cup as a sign of his blood to be shed for our sins. —John Koedyker

As you pray, ask God to prepare your heart to receive him in all of life’s opportunities and challenges.

An Ugly Thing

Our new daily devotional will be a re-post from Words Of Hope. We re-post this with permission of Words of Hope. God bless you!

An Ugly Thing
April 1, 2020

Read: Mark 14:10-11

Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. (v. 10)

As we prepare for Easter in the weeks ahead, we will consider the final chapters of Mark, and the last week of Jesus’ life on earth. In today’s reading, we see an ugly thing done by Judas, for which he has been remembered throughout the world.

It’s hard to understand, isn’t it? Jesus the Christ, the one who embodies the wondrous love of God, has come to save his people from their sins. But Judas wants to throw all that away and end the life of the one who came to bring life—abundant and eternal. Why does Judas do it? Maybe he wants the reward for handing Jesus over. Maybe he is disappointed in Jesus or expects him to overthrow the Romans. Perhaps he becomes disillusioned when he realizes that revolution isn’t in Jesus’ plans.

It’s interesting that both Luke and John, in their Gospels, simply state that the reason for betraying Jesus was that Satan entered into Judas. In the final analysis, that is exactly what happened. Judas wanted Jesus to be what he wanted him to be, not what God wanted Jesus to be.

When we become true followers of Jesus, we surrender to his way, not ours. To do what Judas did is to put ourselves before God, which is the epitome of idolatry. —John Koedyker

As you pray, tell the Lord, “Not my will but yours be done.”

Hope for the Sinner

Our new daily devotional will be a re-post from Words Of Hope. We re-post this with permission of Words of Hope. God bless you!

Hope for the Sinner
March 31, 2020

Read: 1 John 1:5-10

The blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (v. 7)

Before I was married, I lived in a small apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey. One day, while looking at the tiles in my shower, I noticed that some mildew had built up and they needed cleaning. I got a bucket, filled it with water and soap, and scrubbed the tiles as hard as I could. Nothing happened. I then remembered that my mother used a tile cleaner that she bought from the supermarket to clean our bathroom. I went to the store, bought it, sprayed it on, and the mildew rinsed right off. I realized then that, where all of my efforts to scrub the tiles did nothing, there is something in tile cleaner especially designed to get rid of mildew.

King David committed grave and terrible sins. He lusted after a married woman, essentially forced her to sleep with him, impregnated her, plotted to have her husband killed, and then covered it up. Not a good résumé for a king. However, what saved David was his repentant spirit. Psalm 51 reveals the heart of someone who recognized his own sinfulness and his need for forgiveness.

All of our human efforts cannot erase the stain of our sins. Every generation is, increasingly, a testament to the depravity of humanity and our need for redemption. However, where our efforts fail, we can take hope that there’s something in the blood of Jesus especially designed to cleanse our sins. —Duane T. Loynes Sr.

As you pray, thank God for the forgiveness and hope we have in Christ.

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 13 March 30, 2020 Corona: Some Good News

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 13

March 30, 2020

Corona: Some Good News

“They are only telling one side of the story.”

Have you heard that comment. People of all political beliefs, and people who favor one network over the other, all claim that the other party, or the “wrong” network only tells “one side of the story.” I don’t doubt that every person, and organization, has a point of view, a bias.

Recently I hear from some medical professionals that there really is only one side of a story being told. The story, according to these medical people, only focuses on illnesses and deaths, not recovery. According to these folks, as tragic as it is that people are getting sick and dying, most virus victims don’t die. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of those who get the virus recover. Newsweek magazine recently reported that more than 161,000 people worldwide have recovered after contracting the virus.

Some people simply recover on their own. Something in their constitution helps them survive the disease. Others have no such natural ability. They are alive because of wonderful, professional, dedicated health care workers. I bet there would be many more deaths if it were not for our heroic health care professionals.

I know that I am biased, but I bet the prayers of God’s faithful people had a part in these recoveries. This is a wonderful combination: dedicated professional health care workers, and faithful prayers. I can’t prove it, but I believe that in the course of history, millions of people have been saved through this combination.

If you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed, concentrate on the positive. 161,000 virus victims have recovered. Thanks be to God! Thank God to our health care workers. Thanks be to God for these recoveries.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#CoronaVirusSurvivors                                           #HealthCareWorkers

To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book:

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

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Lunes Musings Ministeriales Por el reverendo Mark William Ennis Blog Número 13 3 de marzo de 2020 Corona: Algunas buenas noticias

Lunes Musings Ministeriales
Por el reverendo Mark William Ennis
Blog Número 13
3 de marzo de 2020
Corona: Algunas buenas noticias

“Sólo están contando un lado de la historia.”

Has oído ese comentario. Personas de todas las creencias políticas, y personas que favorecen una red sobre la otra, todos afirman que el otro partido, o la red “equivocada” sólo dice “un lado de la historia”. No dudo que cada persona, y organización, tenga un punto de vista, un sesgo.

Recientemente escucho de algunos profesionales médicos que realmente hay sólo un lado de una historia que se cuenta. La historia, según estos médicos, sólo se centra en enfermedades y muertes, no en la recuperación. Según estas personas, por trágico que sea que la gente se esté enfermando y muriendo, la mayoría de las víctimas de virus no mueren. De hecho, la gran mayoría de los que contraen el virus se recuperan. La revista Newsweek informó recientemente que más de 161.000 personas en todo el mundo se han recuperado después de contraer el virus.

Algunas personas simplemente se recuperan por sí solas. Algo en su constitución les ayuda a sobrevivir a la enfermedad. Otros no tienen tal habilidad natural. Están vivos gracias a los maravillosos, profesionales y dedicados trabajadores de la salud. Apuesto a que habría muchas más muertes si no fuera por nuestros heroicos profesionales de la salud.

Sé que soy parcial, pero apuesto a que las oraciones del pueblo fiel de Dios tuvieron parte en estas recuperaciones. Esta es una combinación maravillosa: trabajadores profesionales dedicados de la salud y oraciones fieles. No puedo probarlo, pero creo que a lo largo de la historia, millones de personas se han salvado a través de esta combinación.

Si se siente deprimido o abrumado, concéntrese en lo positivo. 161.000 víctimas del virus se han recuperado. ¡Gracias a Dios! Gracias a Dios a nuestros trabajadores de la salud. Gracias a Dios por estas recuperaciones.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                 #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthordotcom                                    #BergenfieldNJ

#BergenCountyNJ                                                   #CoronaVirus

#CoronaVirusSurvivors                                           #HealthCareWorkers

Para leer más de los escritos del Pastor Mark, por favor ordene una copia de su libro:

https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/

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Hope for the Desperate

Our new daily devotional will be a re-post from Words Of Hope. We re-post this with permission of Words of Hope. God bless you!

Hope for the Desperate
March 30, 2020

Read: Mark 5:25-34

For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” (v. 28)

Years ago, driving home from a conference in Montreal, the driver of our vehicle fell asleep. We crashed into the car in front of us, slid off of the highway, and landed upside down in a body of water. I still remember being in the backseat, wondering if I was breathing my last breaths. In that moment, I didn’t have time to construct a well-formed prayer that was theologically correct. All I could do was cry out “Jesus, Jesus.” I was desperate, and in times of desperation, formality goes out the window. Miraculously, someone jumped into the water, pulled all of us out of the car to safety, and then—on that lonely stretch of highway in Canada—disappeared.

Mark 5 tells us about a woman who had a medical condition that had consumed her life for years. No doctor had been able to help her—in fact, things had gotten worse. Nevertheless, when she saw Jesus, she had hope that he could heal her. She pressed forward, touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, and was healed. This act was a clear violation of Jewish law, but the woman was desperate, and when you’re desperate, formality goes out the window.

Often, we imprison ourselves in customs and formalities that lack the life of the Spirit. I believe God longs for us to be desperate in our faith, longing so strongly for a touch from him that we will do anything. —Duane T. Loynes Sr.

As you pray, be authentic in expressing your desire for God.

Hope for Bad Days

Our new daily devotional will be a re-post from Words Of Hope. We re-post this with permission of Words of Hope. God bless you!

Hope for Bad Days
March 29, 2020

Read: Romans 8:26-30

All things work together for good. (v. 28)

The year 2010 was a challenging year for my family. I was in graduate school, my wife was working full time, and we were often stretched thin financially. One day, while driving home, our car broke down. Overwhelmed, I decided that I needed to quit my doctoral program and get a full-time job. Friends and family intervened, including one aunt who asked me to hold off on any drastic decisions until I received a package she sent. The next day, the package arrived and inside was a check for a significant amount that allowed me to stay in school and provided our family some room to breathe financially. In retrospect, my car breaking down was a blessing. Things aren’t always what they seem.

I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to witness the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, especially for his family and his disciples. I can understand Peter’s rash decision to pull out his sword to defend Jesus against those who came to arrest him. But, in retrospect, the crucifixion opened the door for humanity to be made one with the Father.

Romans 8:28 informs us that, for those who love God, all things work together for good. Even when days seem bad, money is low, and life seems unfair, remember that God is always working behind the scenes to draw us closer to himself in ways that we can’t imagine. Things aren’t always what they seem. —Duane T. Loynes Sr.

As you pray, trust God in the middle of your difficult circumstances.

The Friendly Church