All posts by clintonavechurch

Our Daily Elder Devotional: A Certain Hope

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

 

Today’s devotional comes from “Hope for Each Day” by Billy Graham.

A Certain Hope

Jeremiah 17:7Amplified Bible (AMP)

[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.

One of the greatest hymns of the church, The Solid Rock, by Edward Mote and William Bradbury begins, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.  On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.”

 

On what is your help built?  You may hope for a raise in pay at work.  You may hope that you pass an exam at school.  You may even hope that you win the contest you have entered.  Such hopes of based on externals over which we have little control: a favorable view of our work by the boss, the “right” question being asked by the professor, our name being drawn among thousands of entries.

 

But all these “hopes” fade into insignificance when compared with the greatest hope of all—our hope of salvation in Christ.  And that hope is an absolute certainty, because it is based not on ourselves or our good works, but squarely on “Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”

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Our Daily Elder Devotional: Forgiveness and Fellowship

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

 

Today’s devotional comes from “Hope for Each Day” by Billy Graham.

Forgiveness and Fellowship

Jeremiah 31:34New King James Version (NKJV)

34 No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.

There is no possibility of true happiness until we have established friendship and fellowship with God.  And there is no possibility of establishing this fellowship apart from the Cross of His Son, Jesus Christ.

 

God says, “I will forgive you, but I will forgive only at the foot of the Cross.”  He says, “I will fellowship with you, but I will fellowship with you only at the Cross.”

 

Why is this?  Because only through Christ’s death on the Cross can we be forgiven and reconciled to God.

 

This is why we must come to the Cross, repenting our sins and trusting Christ alone to save us.  Human pride gets in our way; we don’t want to admit we are sinners, or that we are too weak to save ourselves.  Only when we leave our pride at the Cross can our hearts be open to God’s redeeming grace.

 

When we come to Christ, God imparts His righteousness to us.  It is as if an accounting entry has been made in the books of heaven, declaring us righteous for Christ’s sake.  The Divine Bookkeeper cancels our Debt!

 

Our Daily Elder Devotional: What Really Matters

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

 

Today’s devotional comes from Our Daily Bread.

What Really Matters

1

Philippians 2:3-4New International Version (NIV)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

Two men sat down to review their business trip and its results.  One said he thought the trip had been worthwhile because some meaningful new relationships had begun through their business contacts.  The other said, “Relationships are fine, but selling is what matters most.”  Obviously they had very different agendas.

 

It is all too easy-whether in business, family, or church-to view others from the perspective of how they can benefit us.  We value them for what we can get from them, rather than focusing on how we can serve them in Jesus’ name.  In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote, 3 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

 

People are not to be used for our own benefit.  Because they are loved by God and we are loved by Him, we love on another.  His love is the greatest love of all.

 

Teach me, Lord, to see people as You do-bearing Your image, being worthy of Your love, and needing Your care.  May Your great love find in my heart a vessel through which that love can be displayed.

 

Joy comes from putting another’s needs ahead of our own.

 

Our Daily Elder Devotional: God’s Intention for Men

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

 

Today’s devotional comes from my heart.

God’s Intention for Men

 

I am presenting two different translations of the verses.  The NIV has the translation that is more in today’s language, while the Amplified Bible adds clarification of the broader meaning of the verse.

Ephesians 5:25-31New International Version (NIV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy,cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b]

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 5:26 Or having cleansed
  2. Ephesians 5:31 Gen. 2:24

Ephesians 5:25-31Amplified Bible (AMP)

25 Husbands, love your wives [seek the highest good for her and surround her with a caring, unselfish love], just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify the church, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word [of God],27 so that [in turn] He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy [set apart for God] and blameless. 28 Even so husbands should and are morally obligated to love their own wives as [being in a sense] their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own body, but [instead] he nourishes and protects and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members (parts) of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined [and be faithfully devoted] to his wife, and the two shall become [a]one flesh.

Footnotes:

  1. Ephesians 5:31 The bond between husband and wife supersedes all other relationships.

God created woman as man’s Ezer (helper) and we are equals “image bearers of God”.  Unfortunately, when sin came into the world, Satan tries over and over again to distort God’s creation.  He has encouraged men to stray from what God had intended the relationship be between a husband and a wife.  Paul did a very good job in clarifying the loving relationship and the tender love that should be the focus of a marriage.  As Christ sacrificed for us, we must be ready to sacrifice for each other, putting the other’s needs ahead of our own.

Don’t forget to tell and show her, how much you love her, each and every day.

 

Our Daily Elder Devotional: God’s Intention for Women

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

 

Today’s devotional comes from my heart.

God’s Intention for Women

 

God is our Ezer (helper).  Helper does not mean a “go-for” – someone who you send for coffee, etc., no it means someone to lift you up and help you when you can’t do it yourself.

Psalm 30:10New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me;
Lord, be my helper!

God created woman as man’s Ezer (helper) and they are equals.  Co-Image bearers of God.

Genesis 2:20-22New King James Version (NKJV)

20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.

21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

What we easily forget is that we were created equals until sin enters the world and God makes woman subject to the man.

Facts that are often neglected or not emphasized:

1. Jesus spoke first to Mary Magdeline after he rose from the dead/tomb.  That was unheard of in those days, it was all about men.

John 20:16-18Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in [a]Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “[b]Do not hold Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene came, reporting to the disciples that she had seen the Lord and that He had said these things to her.

Footnotes:

  1. John 20:16 I.e. Jewish Aramaic.
  2. John 20:17 In her joy Mary had probably reverently embraced Jesus at the knees or ankles.

2. Jesus tells the Samaritan women that He is the Messiah.

John 4:25-26Amplified Bible (AMP)

25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ—the Anointed); when that One comes, He will tell us everything [we need to know].”26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you, am He (the Messiah).”

Notice the following passages from Proverbs that highlight what an excellent woman would be like:

Proverbs 31:10-13Amplified Bible (AMP)

Description of a Worthy Woman

10
[a]An excellent woman [one who is spiritual, capable, intelligent, and virtuous], who is he who can find her?
Her value is more precious than jewels and her worth is far above rubies or pearls.
11
The heart of her husband trusts in her [with secure confidence],
And he will have no lack of gain.
12
She comforts, encourages, and does him only good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13
She looks for wool and flax
And works with willing hands in delight.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 31:10 The following verses are written as an acrostic poem (each of the twenty-two verses begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet). Aside from the artistry, the acrostic structure also aided memorization.

Tomorrow we will look at men.

Our Daily Elder Devotional: We Can’t Out-Give God

Our Daily Elder Devotional
We claim no originality for these devotions. One of our elders searches various sources and finds a daily devotion. Consider this a gift from Clinton Avenue Reformed Church: www.clintonave.org.

 

Today’s devotional comes from “Hope for Each Day” by Billy Graham.

We Can’t Out-Give God

Proverbs 11:25New International Version (NIV)

25 A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

The Bible teaches that blessings follow those who give liberally.  Proverbs 11:25 says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”

 

I’ve heard countless testimonies from men and women who were afraid to put to the test God’s promise to bless those who are generous.  They feared they would not have enough. Then, when at last they decided to tithe (to give a tenth of their income) in accordance to the Bible’s standard, they began to prosper.  They discovered what countless others have known across the ages: You can’t out-give God.

 

What keeps you from being more generous in supporting God’s work?  Selfishness? Fear? Insecurity?  Even a sinful habit you would rather support?  Whatever the reason, repent of it and discover the blessedness of generosity.  Remember: “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Monday Ministerial Musings By Rev. Mark William Ennis Blog Number 24 July 15, 2019 Christian Lessons from the USA World Cup Soccer Team

Monday Ministerial Musings

By Rev. Mark William Ennis

Blog Number 24

July 15, 2019

Christian Lessons from the USA World Cup Soccer Team

I don’t usually watch soccer, but I was inspired enough by the USA team winning, to find a rerun of the game on TV and enjoyed it. I also saw media clips of the welcoming parade for the women as well as the controversial speech made by the co-captain of the team, Megan Rapinoe. She celebrated the unity of the team, despite differences in ethnic origins, backgrounds, and sexual orientation. She claimed that it was this unity of purpose that gave our team the victory. I wonder if the Church of Jesus might learn some lessons from Megan’s speech in New York City.

The goal of the disciples of Jesus is to make more disciples, to teach the world what Jesus taught them. They are to call people to justice and righteousness. Too often, we in the church get distracted from this goal. We spend more time wondering “who should be on the team” than keeping that goal before us.

We debate whether those whose worship style is different from ours are really our brothers and sisters. We wonder if we can work with someone who is sexually oriented differently than we are. We spend hours debating the righteousness of others and deciding with whom we can work with and with whom we will not.

Each of the ladies of this soccer team all began as a little girl who took the first courageous step by kicking their first soccer ball, and persistently kicked that ball, keeping their goal in mind, and not judging their other teammates based on anything but sharing the same goal. Can you imagine if we imitated this team?

If we acted like that team then Christians of all backgrounds, orientations, and appearances would be out making disciples, insisting on justice for all, and caring for those in need. We would minister to others without a thought. Perhaps our goal might be reached and every knee will be bowing and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. It sounds like a fine goal to me. Let us learn from Megan and the other team members. We must be goal oriented and our goal must be to fulfill Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations. The silly things that divide us just get in the way of that goal.

#ReformedChurchInAmerica                                             #ClintonAvenueReformedChurch

#PastorMarkAuthor.com                                                     #World Cup

#GoalOrientation                                                                  #TeamWork

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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