Devotional Blog

Weary Traveler

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

 

Matthew 11:28 (NIV)

 

A song I heard recently on WBCL radio says, “weary traveler, restless soul, you were never meant to walk this road alone.” That’s such a good reminder! We certainly weren’t meant to walk our roads of life alone.

The song goes on to say, “When Jesus calls we’ll lay down all our heavy burdens. Carry on!” Jesus wants to go with us and lead us. Too often it seems that we lose focus and take our eyes off Jesus, His promises, and His word, and I believe that can certainly cause us to become weary. Jesus will help us through our weary days.

Brothers and sisters, if there is something in life that is making you weary and dragging you down, come to Jesus, just as He asks in today’s verse. I believe that when we don’t come to Jesus with our burdens that the enemy can attack us from several angles. Jesus desires to give you rest! Let’s be sure to think that idea through – Jesus WANTS, LONGS, DESIRES to give you rest! He wants us to bring our burdened, weary, and discouraged hearts and minds to Him.

By: Marcus Steury

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THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

There are times in each of our lives when we face things that we may not know what the outcome will be. We get anxious when we don’t know what the weather will be like for work that day or maybe we are waiting on life changing results of a medical test. Many people worry about the stock market and their investments, along with many other things that have no bearing on our Christian life. Countless hours are spent worrying about things like this, instead of concentrating, trusting and focusing on God. Philippians 4:6 says “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” James 4:13-15 says “Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain. Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a time and then vanishes away. For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live and do this, or that.” The Bible also says in Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversations be without covetousness; and be content with what you have; for he hath said, I will never leave you nor forsake you.” What a promise we have! Because of this promise, we need not fear the unknown. Our “unknown” future is known to God and he will never leave us. This week let’s purpose in our hearts to trust God in everything and allow him to work in our lives in the way that he thinks is best.

By: Elton Gingerich

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Heavenward Focus

I was reminded again this week how fragile our lives are with the passing of a dear brother and friend. We will all miss you Merle. We do not know what tomorrow brings. James 4:14 NLT says, How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.

 

How great it will be; to hear our Savior’s voice say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant, and rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great.” 

 

Scripture tells us in 1 Cor 2:9 NLT “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

 

Revelations 21:7 NLT “All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. No more sorrow and God will wipe every tear from their eyes. The wall is made of jasper, and the city is made of pure gold, as pure as glass. 

 

Friends be faithful and endure for we are fragile and will die if Jesus tarries, but because of the salvation of Jesus Christ we will be raised in power and receive a spiritual body just like those who have went before us.

By: Pastor Steve Eicher

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Are You Cranky???

Yesterday morning our house had a bad case of crankiness. It seemed that everyone was cranky all at once, which led to even more irritation and crankiness. And then the battery on the van went bad and I needed to stop what I was doing and get a new battery. Normally such a mundane happening wouldn’t bother me but this just added to my annoyance and I confess that I began blaming others for why I was irritable and short-tempered. Now clearly such an attitude was inappropriate, but I really felt like wallowing in it for a while. 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.” Clearly, I was not being motivated by love. 

Thankfully, I was able to stop, repent, and ask forgiveness for my actions. Unfortunately, this only happened AFTER I caused hurt and pain in the hearts of those I love most. My prayer is that God would heal the hearts that I hurt. In the meantime, I’ve been replacing my crankiness with thankfulness. It’s rather hard to stay annoyed if you’re reflecting on all of the things that you are grateful for. So if you’re feeling cranky today, don’t take it out on those closest to you; instead respond to these words in Philippians 4:4-7, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”


By: Pastor Jay Mast

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Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:33 NLT)


Those were the words my wife and I heard on the radio one morning after investing some money in a scheme that was to make us some income. After talking it over we both strongly felt we should go and see if we could get our investment back, in which we pursued. I’m not saying if the investment was right or wrong. But we both felt our heart wasn’t right toward the Lord. We were not seeking the Lord and His kingdom but seeking a monetary gain.


The word seek means to search or look for, want, ask, ask for, expect, examine investigate. We are to be seeking His Kingdom, His reign, His rule, His domain.


His promise is that if we do seek His Kingdom, we can expect Him to take care of our needs.


Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. (Luke 12:31 NLT)


And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9–10 NLT)

By: Pastor Steve Eicher

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Stronger Together!

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

New International Version

9 Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their labor:

10 If either of them falls down,

one can help the other up.

But pity anyone who falls

and has no one to help them up.

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.

But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,

two can defend themselves.

A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


We are stronger together than when we are apart! This can be applied in so many ways in our lives. When the devil attacks you, please find someone to pray with you! You are not alone, and I would encourage everyone to seek out prayer warriors in their lives. We are all in this together and we need to stand with each other! May God bless you this week and I’m praying for you!

By: Michal Troyer

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That ye love one another...

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)

We all have times in our life when we need help or encouragement. I can remember many such times in my life, and I am so blessed to be a part of this church body. I think our church does a very good job of showing love to each other in many different ways. I just want to encourage us to continue to be purposeful in finding new ways to show the love of God to others!

By: Michal Troyer

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The Waters Parted

The LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.

Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the people of Israel

may go through the sea on dry ground. Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and

the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the

waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the

waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.

Exodus 14:15-16, 21-22 (ESV)


I’ve never been all that interested in science, but I find the research of miracles in the Bible

fascinating. Today, I would like for us to read Exodus 14, and ponder the magnitude of the Lord

parting the Red Sea.

The water volume of the Red Sea, according to one source is 56,000 cubic miles. That’s a lot of

water! Now, consider exactly how one would go about separating the water in this massive sea

so much that people would be able to walk through on dry land. There was clearly some divine

intervention. This is one of the cases in the bible where some scientists are now proving that a

mighty wind can actually part an entire body of water. Friends, God’s power is indescribable. It

truly is. He used wind to save a large group of people!

What we need to understand about the Israelites' situation here is that there was seemingly no

way out. If they were going to survive, God had to provide a way. Have you found yourself in

that type of situation? How did you respond? Did you seek God? Brothers and sisters, let’s do

our best to trust God more and more each day. I know it isn’t easy, but it’s the best response,

for sure.

By: Marcus Steury

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Love Amidst Differences

I’ve been reflecting recently on the experiences that shape each of us into who we are. Because of our individual personalities we tend to perceive things differently. Two people can experience the exact same event or happening and one comes away feeling encouraged while the other one feels hurt. And both are experiencing valid emotions based on their perceived experience. Many parents have puzzled over how it’s possible that one child thrived in their home while another felt hurt and resented the home environment.  

Why is this? Why do we think so differently about shared experiences? I take solace in 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” And I think this same chapter in 1 Corinthians can also give us some valuable insights into what the response to our own frustrations should be when others are so convinced that an event or institution was awful when our own memories surrounding it are treasured and wonderful (or vice versa). We respond in Christ-like love. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7). We might disagree with someone but we can always choose to extend love even as Christ has loved us.

By: Pastor Jay Mast


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HOW IS YOUR FAITH?

The definition of faith is found in Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.

So often we view faith as believing that God is going to do something for me and if I have enough faith it will happen. In the case of some of the faithful in Hebrews they never received what was promised and yet their faith earned them a good reputation. Hebrews 11:13a  All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it.

So our faith results in a good reputation. As we look at our faith and the results of it, let’s ask the question; will others see a good reputation in us.

So what does it mean to have a good reputation? In the Barclays Greek-English Dictionary it means to; bear witness, testify, be a witness; attest, affirm, confirm; speak well of, approve (pass. be well spoken of, receive approval).

Although we may never see the promise fulfilled, we continue to be a witness for Jesus and our lives well-spoken of. Keep walking by faith!

By: Pastor Steve Eicher

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