Daily Devotional - 14 Jan 21
January 14, 2022 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • 2 Corinthians 5:17
Today's Devotional - New You.. no really.. 2 corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! Something old and something new. Do you ever feel like you could just start over? Let me tell you now if you have accepted Christ you are a NEW person! you are no longer a slave to the old you that was addicted to sin. Today’s verse although new testament, has roots in old testament prophecy as we now see the fulfillment of this in Christ! Let’s take a look! Ezekiel 36:26 And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. This is a key verse in the Old Testament describing the action and role of the Holy Spirit in the regeneration of the believer. It is a total and radical transformation from the inside out, hitting the problem of sin at the root, man’s wicked heart. As the old is removed and the new ‘tender and responsive’ heart, as some translations say, is placed within us we now have the desire and ability to obey the spirit and turn away from sin. This is essential to the truth of the Gospel. The New Testament references this as the “new man” as a new creation has begun in Christ and the old has been crucified with him. This morning, have you crucified the old man? Our first act of the day should be to ensure that we wage war against our flesh and put the old man down as he will try to rise up in our complacency.
Daily Devotional - 13 Jan 21
January 13, 2022 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Psalm 24:1
Today's Devotional - Perspective Psalm 24:1 NLT The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Today’s verse takes us back to the beginning of time, and it’s about perspective. Everything belongs to the Lord. It was created by Him, for Him, and for His Glory. This subtle reminder should suffice to bring about a sense of awe in God’s magnitude as well as humility in the sense that everything we have is directly on loan from God. when we mentally make that shift we find true freedom, generosity, and willingness to serve God with the talents, tools, and treasures he has given us as it is all for His glory. Realizing that God, the creator, and master of the universe, has given you life and the ability to thrive, how can you display his glory to the people around you today?
Daily Devotional - 12 Jan 21
January 12, 2022 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Proverbs 9:10
Today's Devotional - Real Wisdom Proverbs 9:10 Fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. if you’ve grown up in church you’ve heard the term ‘fear of the Lord’ If this is your first time hearing about it, it may not mean what you think. Let’s dive in. We all know that wise people are generally successful in life. And they devote a good amount of time to seeking out that wisdom that helps them make great choices in all aspects of life. In today’s world though even some of the finest institutions that claim to be selling the truth seem to be plunging us into murky waters. The quest for absolute truth, right and wrong has been stalled out by emotionalism and false logic. Yet God’s word says that true wisdom starts at God. If you think about it God created the heavens and the earth, including every ecosystem and economy. He knows how each personality type thinks because he invented them. If he indeed wrote the laws of gravity, should we not lean on him for truth when the world is selling chaotic lies? Going back to the fear of the Lord. Fear in this case does not mean ‘fear for my life as much as it means reverence. It’s the understanding that God truly is the creator, master, and king of the universe. Our humble respect or reverent fear of the Lord is the beginning of true wisdom. From this point, we grow in knowledge and strength.
Daily Devotional - 10 Jan 21
January 7, 2022 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Ephesians 4:1–2
Today's Devotional - What is True Love!? 2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2 Love is a complicated part of life. Many times we view it as an emotion, sometimes it’s an action, and almost always a choice. Love may be all those things and more! My definition? Love is a choice that becomes an action that is experienced as a feeling and elicits an emotional response. Love is a massive part of the Christian way. As such, Paul, in his epistle to the Church in Ephesus, outlines a battle plan for the Christian life, or a Christian operations order. (See the sermon series below) He teaches us that in many ways our actions speak louder than words and that truly living our faith is the fulfillment of Jesus’s greatest command. Love God and Love others. (See MT 22:36-40) Jesus has called us to His Glory. Thus Paul opens chapter four with “Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God.” (Eph 4:1) As our calling is to LOVE one another, He elaborates on exactly what that love does. It remains humble prioritizing others before personal gain and praise. Love is patient, understanding that each of us a sinful and flawed. making allowance for each other to mess things up and seeking to make things right rather than attack. Love shows others the grace, patience, and gentle comfort that we receive from God. This kind of Love is inhuman. It doesn’t come from broken sinful creatures such as us. As we look to the Father and experience this love first hand, we then learn how to give it away. Now, can you make the choice to love even those who hurt you? Reflection: What is the source of our love? Jesus modeled Godly love on earth, how can you learn to love like Jesus? As we are each broken sinful creatures that typically respond to life from a place of pain, how can understand that change the way we love one another?
Daily Devotional - 7 Jan 21
January 7, 2022 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Isaiah 60:1
Today's Devotional - Hope in the Coming Glory “Arise, Jerusalem! Let your light shine for all to see. For the glory of the Lord rises to shine on you. Isaiah 60:1 This verse speaks of the coming glory of the Lord for Jerusalem. This is a verse that is often taken out of context. Many people want to read themselves into the text rather than take from it what it is actually saying so let’s take a look at it. The prophet Isaiah gave these prophecies during some very dark times in Israel’s history. The nation had fallen away from God multiple times and found itself hopeless and finally looking God for answers. Isaiah 60 is a joyful chapter directly following a dark chapter sharply rebuking Sin. In chapter 59, the Lord speaks to the destruction of sin and the coming of Christ. Thus chapter 60 is the jubilant celebration of the victory in Christ and further describes the coming glory and restoration of Israel. This prophecy is vastly similar to the new heaven and new earth seen in Revelation 21. We have seen nothing to fulfill this prophecy as of yet. Thus we are looking forward to this coming glory as adopted heirs to Jerusalem. What this is NOT saying. - This is not a call to action for me as an individual believer “let my light shine” as some have preached. There are many bible passages for that, however, this isn’t one. What this IS saying - No matter how dark our path, Through Christ we have a victorious hope! There is a day coming when the glory of the Lord will shine from Jerusalem and his people into the ends of the earth. All this mess of earth and the toils of war will be replaced by the new heaven and the new earth. Every dark day will be torn down and overshadowed by God’s perfect and radiant Light. We as believers find our strength and joy in looking toward that coming day! We know that this pain does not last forever and through Christ, we have the hope of eternal Life! Reflection: Why is context so important in scripture? How can I draw hope and confidence on dark days through scripture like this? How does this hope affect how I live?
Daily Devotional - 5 Jan 21
January 5, 2022 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Psalm 55:22
Today's Devotional - Cling To Christ! Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken Psalm 55:22 Many times in scripture we are told to cast our burdens upon the Lord. We are told he cares for us. We are shown in nature that God cares and provides for each of his creations. This very fact is highlighted in the sermon on the mount. Jesus says in Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” We know that God, the master of the universe, will take care of us. Yet we are so stubborn and we want to hold on to our problems. Almost as if we place our identity in our issues rather than looking to God for who we are. Who are you? You are loved. (John 3:16) you are a child of God (Galatians 3:26) You are created for a purpose! (Ephesians 2:10) You are known! (Psalm 139:13-18) You are understood (Hebrews 4:14-16) You are made righteous (Romans 5:1) His Word says the righteous will not be shaken. The original word here describes a kind of perpetual movement or restlessness. We are made righteous by the blood of Christ. As we continuously put our hope in Christ alone we separate ourselves from the chaos of this world and no longer live as victims. instead, we live as victorious in Christ! Reflection What burdens are you clinging to? How can you remind yourself of your identity in Christ? What can you give to God today?
Daily Devotional -4 Jan 21
January 4, 2022 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • 2 Corinthians 9:6
Today's Devotional - Plant some seeds! Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 2 Corinthians 9:6 NLT The logic here makes sense right? If you want good results you will have to put in some effort. Perfect practice makes perfect, and such sayings have been around for centuries yet we still try to take the path of least resistance. too many times we put I the minimal required effort and expect the best possible results. We do this with nearly every aspect of life to include work, fitness, household chores, and in many cases our faith as well. While the context of this verse is about giving from a generous heart, money is not the only gift we can give. We can give our time talent as well as our treasure. I saw a cartoon on Facebook the other day of a gal praying over her garden with a single small plant in it. The caption was simply “Faith” on the other side it had a gal working her with multiple large beautiful plants. the caption here said “faith + Works” although it was just a cartoon I believe that there is some massive truth in this. Our relationship with God was never intended to be a passive sport. the first gift God ever gave us worked in the garden. The context of that gift was a partnership with God to co-rule the earth. Even though we have lost the garden, the concept of partnership with God has not changed. We can not simply rely on God to ‘work’ out all of our issues and prayer requests alone. He deploys his faithful servants as answers to prayer in partnership with what He is doing. If you want to see God’s work in your life Maybe it’s time to plant some seeds. Reflection In what ways do I partner with God? In my partnership with God, Am I giving it my maximum effort? How can I be an answer to prayer today?
Daily Devotional -17 Dec 2021
December 17, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Hebrews 11:1
Today's Devotional - To be Christ-Like is to Forgive Ephesians 4:32 NLT Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. To be Christ-like is to forgive. If you really boil it down Forgiving sins was the primary mission for Christ on earth. So it makes sense that Jesus would spend a good portion of his ministry handling the topic. Even in the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray “forgive us as we forgive others” A few notable verses from Jesus are: Matthew 6:14 Jesus Says “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” Matthew 18:21-22 "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 'Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?' Jesus answered, 'I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.' " These two verses demonstrate how serious God is about forgiveness. While humanly speaking it is seemingly impossible, a follower of Christ must be quick to forgive. In our relentless forgiveness, we reflect the true love and power of the Heavenly Father. This grace is what strong relationships are built on. Even modern science backs this up through psychological research that shows that people who forgive more often exhibit: * Stronger relationships * Emotional health * Slowness to anger * Clearer consciences Choosing not to forgive, is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die. Unforgiveness toxins our lives. Yet, as we seek to forgive we then live healthier lives as we are truly seeking the heart of God, and the source of life. Each of us are spiritually dead before forgiveness. Eternally separated from God and the source of all spiritual and physical life. Our sin has condemned us yet God through Christ has made a way for us to be restored to a right relationship with Him. Adopted into His Royal Family by the blood of Christ. Colossians 3:13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Seeing that Christ has paid so much, and forgiven us greatly; how could we forgive a brother or sister for so little? Reflection: Reflect on the Cross, and the magnitude of God's love and forgiveness for you. What has a close friend forgiven you for? How did that action impact your life? Who can you forgive today?
Daily Audio Devotional -15 Dec 2021
December 15, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Isaiah 53:10, John 1:14, Hebrews 4:14–16
Today's Devotional - The Word became flesh 15 December 15 Dec 21 John 1:14 14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John opens his Gospel with: “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” He goes on to recap how all things were created by this “Word” The spoken word of God. and now this same physical representation of God has made his home among us. Jesus Became Human. Let’s talk a bit about why that is massively important. Through Christ, we see a visible representation of the invisible God. We see the glory of the Father through the son. We see a model for how we should live, dying to self and serving with total humility. We see in Jesus, true love that can only come from God. But he also came to die on the cross. For ages, the Levitical sacrificial system had been in place to ‘cleanse’ the people of their sins. It required blood to cover sin, but the blood of an animal was never enough to totally pay for the sin of mankind. Only the Blood of a perfect human could cover our sin. Thus It ‘pleased God to crush his only son’ (isa 53:10) to make an offering for our sin and create a way to be reconciled with God. On a more personal level Jesus’ becoming human has another powerful meaning. It is that God is deeply and intimately involved with human life, your life. He didn’t have to come as an infant and grow to be a man before becoming the ultimate sacrifice. This shows us that he truly understands us. He was tempted in all the same ways that you and I are yet lived a perfect life. He deeply understands human thought and emotion, sadness and joy. Finally on the cross, replaces the sacrificial system and becomes our new high priest. The final intercession on our behalf. Hebrews 4:14-16 “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” Reflection: Have you ever thought about the significance of Jesus being both fully man and fully God? What is the significance in your life? How does Jesus’ empathy serve as a model for your life and how you empathize with or treat others? We see the Glory of the Father through Christ, how can you show Christ to the world around you today?
Daily Audio Devotional -14 Dec 2021
December 14, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • John 8:12
Today's Devotional - We Own the Night! 14 December “Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” John 8:12 NLT The soldier generally faces its greatest threats in the cover of darkness. I recall doing most of my movements and patrols in black-out conditions through the most ridiculous terrain imaginable to take an objective by surprise. In many cases, we used the darkness to our advantage while living by the phrase “we own the night!” However, without our specialized equipment such as night-vision goggles or thermal sensors, we would have been far less successful. Our equipment gave us an edge over the enemy. Spiritually speaking we have access to a very similar edge. In our spiritual defense, believers will never get caught in the darkness because we carry with us the light of the world. We can clearly see and identify the obstacles we may stumble on and avoid them or negotiate them with the help of a battle buddy. It’s literally a night and day difference to life. Yet even with access to the light, just like our night-vision gear, this spiritual light will do us no good if we don’t use it. Jesus is the light of the world meaning there is not a place of darkness in anyone’s life that He cannot illuminate. Yet we still have to let Him in. We still have to submit to Him alone as Lord and admit that we truly can not do this on our own. Only then does he become the light to our path allowing us a way out of darkness and out of danger entirely. It is no longer my strength but His. Where I once said, “We own the night,” has now become “HE owns the night!” REFLECTION: What areas in your life are still covered in darkness? You have access to the light but are you reaching for it to use it? How can you ask Jesus to to 'own the night' In your life?
Daily Devotional -10 Dec 2021
December 9, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Hebrews 11:1
Today's Devotional - What is faith? 1Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. - Hebrews 11:1 When asked what is faith, I can think of no clearer definition than this. Two keywords here are Assurance and Conviction. Assurance is a confident promise. Like the sun rising each morning. In faith, we have the assurance that the things we hope for in Christ are absolutely true. God’s word is a great example of this. We live in a world where almost nothing is a sure thing. We don’t even know how the day will go today! But we can be sure that God’s word is true, constant, and never changing. Conviction for me is a word that implies action. It is a belief so strong that it alters our behaviors, actions, and character. Our faith then should deeply change us from the inside out. We are created new in Christ, no longer should we live as who we were in the world but who we are in Christ. Thus we live convicted by God’s word, knowing our sinful nature and also knowing his mercy and grace. The question now is how intentional do we live in this conviction? REFLECTION In what ways are you intentional about living out your faith? How do you see the assurance of the Gospel in your life? What does it mean to live out of this conviction today?
Daily Devotional -9 Dec 2021
December 9, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Philippians 4:6–7, Genesis 3
Today Devotional - Do Not Worry 6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Our actions say a lot about the kind of God we serve. He is the creator and master of the universe. He controls the elements of life with his voice. Tells wind and waves to cease, causes the blind to see, raises the dead, and cares for every creature on the planet. Do we believe it? So many times we begin believing Satan’s lies above God’s truth and find ourselves in a world of doubt and worry. We become anxious and our minds clouded with chaos. If we turn the page back to Genesis 3 we see Adam and Eve in a perfect and trusting relationship with God. They did not worry, everything was provided for. Yet Satan cast doubt in their mind by asking if God “really said that.” The original sin was not eating a fruit as much as it was failing to trust God at his word. Nonetheless, the consequences of both were dyer. The human mind is naturally opposed to God and full of doubt. We want to be self-reliant when God wants us to trust him. It’s in these moments that we need to look back at the garden of Eden and realize that the enemy hasn’t changed his battle plan. In order to find that place of peace like the Garden we have to know and trust that God is in control of everything. Then we will experience a peace from God that truly surpasses all understanding and earthly wisdom. A great way to do this is to reflect on and be thankful for what he has already done. In our thankfulness, we are often reminded that God truly does care for and provide for every one of our needs. REFLECTION: When we worry, what do our actions say about our trust in God? Thankfulness often reminds us of God’s goodness. Think of a time that God provided for a need you had and thank him for it. How does this help restore trust in God?
Daily Devotional -8 Dec 2021
December 8, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Matthew 5:16, 1 Peter 2:9–10, John 13:35
Today Devotional - Shine the Light! Matthew 5:16 ESV In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. James said faith without works is dead, and Jesus here is telling us to let others see our good works. To be clear we’re not talking about being saved by our works here. Instead, If you have faith, you should display that faith by being a light in the darkness around you. Each Christian has a unique mission. Every believer is a minister, as Peter writes, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:9-10 We are each chosen out of the darkness as a royal priest (minister) of the light. A Holy nation, set apart from the world of darkness to be different. As we compare these scriptures we start to see that there is a deep tension between darkness and light, sinfulness and holiness. The contrast there is thick. As Jesus has instructed us, we are to let our light shine in the darkness so that others may find their way to God and praise Him. We do that by the way we put our faith into action in the form of love. Our Good deeds must come from the heart and be fueled by God’s Grace in order to shine a light into the darkness and light a path back to the Lord. As Jesus said, “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35) Today Lets prove it. REFLECTION (Use the notes tab above to reflect on these questions) When you evaluate your surroundings and the darkness around you. (Job, school, social circles) What do you think is your unique mission? How can you let your light shine there? Whom do you feel called to light a path for?
Daily Devotional -7 Dec 2021
December 7, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • Romans 5:3–5
Today Devotional - Forged in the Fire! Romans 5:3-5 3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. We all experience pain. We all experience hardship and suffering. Yet somehow God’s word says we can rejoice through it? In order to grow muscles must be put under stress and tension. This tears down and rebuilds stronger to adapt to the needs of the body. The same goes for our mental and spiritual fitness. When we look at the stress of life as an opportunity to grow we can not only have peace with it, but we can truly learn to rejoice as we trust God knowing he works all things for his Glory. Every believer has a purpose or mission, yet to get ready for that battle we must be sharpened. As we think about how a sword is forged, it starts as raw metal in the ground that must be pulled from its dirty complacent life. The next step is melting down and purifying before its poured into a mold, cooled, and prepped for the next phase. It’s then tossed back into a fire until it’s glowing red hot. A blacksmith now smashes the metal rod against an anvil with heavy hammer thousands of times as sparks fly. If you are the sword you probably aren’t feeling so good about this. It hurts, and unless you know what you are going to become you think the entire process is just hell on earth. But with each strike of the hammer, the master craftsman shapes the blade until it’s perfect and ready for battle. The next step is sharpening… As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17) Faith is not a solo sport, and sharpening sometimes requires heat and friction… Who do you lean on for sharpening? REFLECTION What painful events in your life actually shaped your faith in the past? God can use all things for his Glory. How can he use your present trial to forge you? What Friends or mentors in life do you lean on for sharpening?
Daily Devotional - 6 Dec 2021
December 3, 2021 • Rev. Spencer R Fusselman • 2 Chronicles 7:14
Today's Devotional 14Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. This verse has been often taken out of its context to promote some form of nationalism for American Christianity over the last few years. The true context of this verse is a warning and promise to Israel - Not America. This was spoken to Solomon during the consecration of the temple. If God’s chosen people fall away from him, there would be punishment, but if they repent and humble themselves, He is faithful to restore them. All that out of the way, what does this mean to a non-Hebrew, American Christian Convert? Just like Israel, we fall away. We walk into the pain of separation from God because of our own sinful desires. The beautiful thing about pain is that everyone experiences it and it truly levels the playing field. Whether it’s emotional, physical, or even spiritual pain. God’s promise here is that Humility will begin the healing process. In relationships with other humans, it takes humility to spark forgiveness. Humility before the throne means that we recognize He is God and we are not, that His ways are Higher and ours can only lead to Suffering. As we humble ourselves before the God of the Universe, we seek His glory above all else. Your mission this week is to pinpoint some ways that your ego has taken you to some places of pain and find the humility to back your way out and back into the path of righteousness. This week, As we reflect on this, Ask yourself what true humility means? In what ways has your ego brought you to points of pain in your life? What steps can we take to see God’s glory through the pain? How does humility play a part in this plan of action?