Midweek Devotions

Under pressure

October 20, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Revelation 1—3, Revelation 6

You might be wondering why I chose to walk our church through Revelation at this time. Through conversations I’ve had with fellow believers, I’ve sensed a general disdain for the direction our culture is moving. As we examine the world around us, it certainly seems that more people are choosing to reject God and His ways. And, they are being more outspoken about it. This puts a type of pressure on the people of God. We tend to respond with a “circle the wagons” mentality. We want to protect ourselves and those closest to us, and ensure that the secular mindset doesn’t take hold within our circle. In response to the direction of our culture, I’ve heard this type of comment from my fellow believers: “I believe we are getting close to the end times, and Jesus will come back soon.” Along with that, I’ve heard the occasional comment about Revelation, through which we can read the vision God gave John regarding the end of this world and the creation of a new heaven and earth. This certainly played into my choice to take our church through this final book of our Bibles. Revelation (along with the rest of Scripture) teaches us how to respond to the times we are living in. Already in the letters to the churches in the first three chapters, we have read that we must hold fast to what we know to be true. We must receive God’s correction and repent of the sin in our lives. It is imperative that we are passionate about the mission Jesus has given us: make disciples. And at the heart of this is loving God and loving others … which Jesus said is the foundation of all God’s truth. Our natural response to the culture is to fight back; to defend and even seek opportunities to go on the offensive. But we are followers of Jesus, and that places us in a spiritual battle rather than a physical battle. Spiritual battles are fought with the Word and prayer. And only the Gospel will change the heart of another person. As I read Revelation 6 last week, God moved in my heart to write the following in my own personal journal: - Instead of living in fear, I will live out my faith. - I will have confidence in the blood of the Lamb. - I will respect the power of God. - I will not cling to my life. - I will pray for and actively reach out to unbelievers. - I will disciple those who follow Christ. - I will allow other believers to invest in me. - I will stay focused on Jesus, and not get distracted. I hope these thoughts inspire you as they did me. - Pastor Dan

Following the Lamb

October 13, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Revelation 5

And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. (Revelation 5:5–6)   In Revelation 5, John wept openly when he realized no one was worthy to open the scroll and its seals (for more about the scroll, seals and other aspects of Revelation 5, check out the sermon from last Sunday, Oct. 10). But then one of the 24 elders told him he need not weep, because there was someone worthy. This elder first describes the worthy one as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah,” which is a reference to Jacob’s blessing over his son Judah in Genesis 49:9. Jacob declares that Judah will have the strength of a lion, will conquer his enemies and rule over people. The second part of the elder’s description is “the Root of David,” and this originates from Isaiah 11:1-5 and Jeremiah 23:5-6, and both prophets explain someone will come from David’s line who is a righteous and wise king. And who is the one who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals? John sees him as “a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain.” This, of course, is Jesus. John the Baptist identified him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Let’s consider this for a moment. Jesus is a mighty ruler and a righteous king. According to the wisdom of this world, someone who gains power typically does so through great physical and mental strength, wealth, popularity and influence. And while Jesus could have easily ruled with these character traits, he chose the path of humility and even self-sacrifice. In this section of John’s vision, he is the Lamb standing as through it had been slain.” And when the four creatures and elders erupt in worship a few verses later, their song states, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation ...” Jesus came to his position as mighty conqueror and righteous king through the act of laying down his very own life. He did not seize control of the world through political power or military might and strategy. He sacrificed his life so that others could live, and have life more abundantly. What does that mean for those of us who follow him? It means we turn away from the world’s way of doing things. We don’t fight for our place in society. We don’t attempt to gain control of the world around us through traditional human means. Instead, we live as Jesus did. We humbly submit ourselves to the will of God, we put others before ourselves and we give our lives so that others may live. This is what it means to follow our Mighty Conqueror and Righteous King, who also is the Lamb of God. -Pastor Dan

Embracing correction

September 22, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Revelation 2

When Jesus shares a message, we need to embrace it and seek how he wants us to respond ... whether that message offers encouragement or correction.

Approaching God on His Terms

September 15, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Revelation 1

John's vision of Jesus in Revelation 1 reminds us that all of Scripture and all of life is about God.

The Comfort Solution

September 8, 2021 • Dan Londeree • 2 Corinthians 1:3–7

As we receive comfort from God, He then uses us to give His comfort to others.

Frustration and Forgiveness

September 1, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Romans 12:1–2

Frustration isn't a fruit of the Spirit, nor is it a spiritual gift. It's a sign we aren't trusting God and it needs to be confessed. The great news is, God stands ready to forgive us and renew our minds!

Jesus is enough

August 25, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Job 1:20–22

We know that if all else is taken away, Jesus is enough. But do we really believe that? Do we live out that truth? A glimpse at the life of Job will help us answer that question and respond in faith.

The Lord bless you and keep you

August 18, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Numbers 6:22–27

The prayer of blessing found in Numbers 6 also applies to those of us who follow Jesus today. Spend some time contemplating God's love and grace, and experience His peace.

Knowing and doing

August 11, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Matthew 7:24–27

Is it possible that we who follow Jesus actually know more about God than we put into practice in our lives?

The Armor of God Part 8

August 4, 2021 • Dan Londeree • Ephesians 6:18

In Christianity, we talk quite a bit about prayer. We know this is an important part of what it means to follow Jesus. But did you know it’s especially important when it comes to the spiritual battles we fight every day? In today’s midweek devotion we will seek to understand the role of prayer in our battle against our enemy, and specifically what it means to pray “at all times.”

The Armor of God Part 7

July 28, 2021 • Dan Londeree

If we are seeking to a win a battle, it makes sense that at some point we would need to advance and overtake our enemy. Standing still and receiving one attack after another doesn’t seem like a path to victory. So why is it that Paul references “standing” so much in reference to the spiritual battle we face each day?

The Armor of God Part 6

July 21, 2021 • Dan Londeree

The final piece of the armor of God is the sword of the Spirit, which Paul writes is the word of God. Understanding how the word is to be wielded is important. Swinging it aimlessly at the enemy does not work. Instead, we must allow the word to do its work in our own hearts and minds.

The Armor of God Part 5

July 14, 2021 • Dan Londeree

What we think about determines the direction of our lives. Thankfully, the armor of God includes the helmet of salvation ... when our minds are protected by the power of the Gospel and we are constantly reminded about who we are in Christ, our thoughts can remain fixed on him.

The Armor of God Part 4

July 7, 2021 • Dan Londeree

Is your faith only evident on Sundays, when you make it a point to come to church, worship God, hear His Word and spend time with others who follow Jesus? Or is it an everyday thing? Your answer to that question will determine how you handle the attacks that our enemy brings your way.

The Armor of God Part 3

June 30, 2021 • Dan Londeree

Shoes are important. Why? Our feet are important! They take us everywhere we need to go, but we tend to forget about them unless there is a problem. As we prepare for spiritual battle each day, God offers us Gospel shoes for our feet. Join Pastor Dan as he examines this important piece of the armor of God.