Pastor Stephen Dedman

Devotional For February 22, 2024

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Just as the earth experiences the changing of the seasons – the budding of spring, the warmth of summer, the harvest of autumn, and the rest of winter – so too do our lives flow through various seasons.

Solomon, the wise king, offers us wisdom about the rhythm of life. He reminds us that there is a time and a purpose for everything under the heavens. Every moment, every experience, every season has its appointed time ordained by God.

What if we embraced God’s timing wholeheartedly? What if we surrendered our schedules, our plans, and our desires to His perfect timing? What if we learned to trust that He who orchestrates the changing of the seasons also orchestrates the seasons of our lives?

Embracing God’s timing requires faith – faith to believe that He is working all things together for our good, even when we cannot see the bigger picture. It requires patience – patience to wait for His timing, knowing that His timing is always perfect. And it requires surrender – surrendering our will to His, trusting that His plans far surpass our own.

So, whether you find yourself in a season of sowing or reaping, of joy or sorrow, of growth or rest, take heart. God is with you in every season, guiding you, shaping you, and preparing you for the purpose He has ordained for your life.

Pray

Lord, thank You for the rhythm of life You have established. Help me to embrace each season with faith, patience, and surrender. Help me to trust Your perfect timing, knowing that You are working all things together for good. Give me the grace to walk in step with Your plans and purposes. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Devotional For February 21, 2024

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
II Corinthians 5:10

It’s easy to focus on the grace and mercy of God. Yet, within the boundaries of grace lies a profound truth – our lives are not without accountability. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, reminds us of this reality.

The imagery of standing before the judgment seat of Christ evokes a sense of seriousness. It’s a moment when all veils are lifted, and every deed, every thought, every word is laid bare before the Judge. Nothing is hidden, nothing is overlooked. It’s a reckoning with the sum total of our lives.

But don’t let this reality fill your heart with fear, but rather with a sense of purpose and urgency. For this judgment is rooted in divine justice covered with divine love. It’s a judgment that Jesus will look at His followers and grace them.

Let us be mindful of this truth – our choices matter. Every act of kindness, every word of encouragement, every gesture of love, they all find their place in the grand narrative of God’s kingdom. And likewise, every moment of indifference, every word of malice, every act of selfishness, they too leave their mark.

But here’s the beauty of it all – our accountability is not a burden to bear alone. For in Christ, we find both forgiveness for our failings and empowerment for righteous living. His grace doesn’t negate our responsibility; rather, it enables us to fulfill it. It’s a grace that transforms, renewing our minds, purifying our hearts, and guiding our steps.

Let’s live each day with a profound awareness of our accountability. Let us strive to be good stewards of the time, talents, and resources entrusted to us. And let us do all things, not out of a fear of judgment, but out of a deep reverence for the One who loved us first.

Pray

Lord, thank You for the gift of accountability. Help me to live in a manner worthy of the calling I have received. May I always be mindful of the day when I shall stand before Your judgment seat. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Devotional For February 20, 2024

The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

These verses contain a beautiful blessing pronounced by God through Moses upon the people of Israel. It is a declaration of God’s favor, protection, grace, and peace upon His people.

The blessing begins with a promise of God’s provision and protection over His people. God promises to bless them abundantly and to safeguard them from harm and danger. This assurance reminds us of God’s faithfulness to His promises and His commitment to care for His children in every circumstance.

Next, the blessing speaks of God’s presence and favor upon His people. When God’s face shines upon us, it signifies His presence and favor resting upon us. It is a reminder that we are never alone, that God is with us in every moment, showering us with His grace and mercy.

Finally, the blessing concludes with a declaration of peace—a peace that transcends understanding and fills our hearts with assurance. This peace comes from knowing that we are loved and cherished by God, and that His presence goes with us wherever we go.

As believers, we can take comfort and confidence in the truth of this blessing. It reminds us of God’s unwavering love and faithfulness toward us, His children. It reassures us of His presence in our lives and His desire to bless us abundantly with His grace, favor, and peace.

Pray

Lord, thank You for today’s beautiful blessing. Help me to receive Your blessings with a grateful heart and to walk in the fullness of Your presence and peace each day. May I be an instrument of Your blessing, sharing Your love and grace with those around me. In Jesus’ name, amen.