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Ministry Moments Blog
Devotion written by Billy Graham
“July 4th commemorates the day in 1776 that our nation declared itself to be an independent nation, and no longer a colony of England. On that date, a number of our leading citizens signed what is known as the Declaration of Independence, stating our determination to become a free country.
Our independence did not come easily; only after several difficult years of war would it finally be won. Nor were our first years as a nation free from problems and controversies (as is still true). But our forefathers were determined to establish a free and democratic system of government, and the Declaration of Independence (together with our Constitution and the Bill of Rights) became the foundation for this. They have stood the test of time, and on July 4th we give thanks for the wisdom and faith and courage of those leaders.
Although it is not a religious holiday like Christmas or Easter, for many Americans July 4th is a time to reflect on God’s goodness to us as a nation. Molded into the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia (which proclaimed our independence) are these words from the Bible: 'Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof' (Leviticus 25:10, KJV). Our legal system reflects our Judeo-Christian roots.
While we look with gratitude to the past on this July 4th, may we also look in faith to the future, and commit it and our lives to God and His will. The ancient words of the Psalmist are still true: 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord' (Psalm 33:12).”
Devotion from Extravagant Mercy, written by M. Craig Barnes
For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. – Ephesians 2:10
After a while, you get tired of self-improvement programs. You stop trying new diets. You give up looking for the big business deal. You let the membership to the health club expire. Maybe you even stop trying to be a better follower of Christ. “I am what I am,” you think, “and people are just going to have to accept that.” Yet if your life is anything less than a reflection of Jesus Christ then you’re pretending to be something less than who you really are.
Our true identities are given to us by God. Paul tells us that we are what God has made us, and God did not make us angry, hurt or mean. God created us in Christ Jesus for good works. Paul didn’t tell us that so we could keep striving to improve ourselves. We can’t recreate our lives. But God can. In Christ Jesus that is exactly what he is doing – turning you into a new creation.
The closer you draw to Jesus, the more you will notice wonderful changes in your life. It is not unlike the changes that happen to people who spend their lives in love. Over the years they shape and mold each other. Sometimes, they even start to look like each other. That’s because being in love, especially with Jesus, brings out the best in you.
Devotion written by Bertha Pelestor, Parent Aide Team Lead, Yuma
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. – Philippians 1:6
Confidence is about being secure in whom you know the Lord made you to be. I know that God is going to train me for those things that He wants me to do for His honor and glory. God trained many people whose stories are in the Bible. One of my favorite stories and the one which I identify with the most is the story of Moses. I am convinced that God will guide me to use my strengths to bless the families with whom I work with. Each day I pray for the Lord to enable me to recognize, develop and maximize the gifts he has given me to further His Kingdom.
Devotion written by Oceanna Peterson, Contracts Management Director
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watched over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. – Psalm 127:1
And let us not grow weary of doing good for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.– Galatians 6:9
When God wants to drill a man,And thrill a man,And skill a manWhen God wants to mold a manTo play the noblest part;How He ruthlessly perfectsWhom He royally elects!How He hammers him and hurts him,And with mighty blows converts himHow he bends but never breaksWhen his good He undertakes;How He uses whom He chooses…-Author unknown
As I reflected on these verses and the poem I think of the building, laboring and do-gooding we participate in as staff at ABCS. From leadership to our interns and volunteers, we partner together, we labor together and we build together. The best part is, not only do we get to impact people’s hearts, lives and eternities every day, but God is also working in our hearts, our lives and our eternities. It is through these services that He grows and builds us. We have easy days, hard days, days that fly by and days that seem like they’ll never end, but every day we know He chooses us and uses us to serve His Kingdom and that is a day well spent. My favorite part is that every day, through our work, He is drawing us closer to Him.
How He loves us so.
Devotion written by Anna McNamara, Vice President of Finance
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again- rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:4-7
Recently, New Life Pregnancy Center Director Debbi Gilmore relayed the amazing gifts that her center has received over the past month. Saying, “April 2019 has been incredible in the number of donations that God has moved hearts to bring to the center. Some of these items have had a powerful effect on the hearts of our clients. Whenever they ask for items, we ask if we can pray with and for them about what they need. When they receive the items, we can say, ‘Do you remember? We asked God to bring this for you and He moved someone’s heart to do exactly that. God does hear you and He cares.’ Yes, these are material things but each item is a powerful witness of the God who provides.”
This email moved me to remember to be thankful for the material donations we receive. Every month I calculate the monetary value of the items and add them to the financials, never taking a moment to be truly grateful to God for the impact these items have on those we serve. This number I calculate means clothing, diapers, food, bedding, toys, books, or many of the other items that I take for granted in caring for my son. A small item, that was something someone did not need or want being an answered prayer for another, struck me.
This is a reminder to appreciate all that is provided to us. It is truly a beautiful blessing that we are able to share with a client a tangible material that is a direct answer to prayer. As Debbie states, “God does hear you and He cares.” The peace this brings will guard our hearts and the hearts of our clients.