Pastor Stephen Dedman

Devotional For July 6, 2024

For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭86‬:‭13‬

These words from the psalmist invite us to join in the praise of thanksgiving for the mercy and grace that God has extended toward us, His children.

There is an acknowledgment of the greatness of God’s mercy that reminds us that we stand on holy ground when we consider that which we have been rescued and redeemed from. It is a mercy that reaches into our souls, lifting us from death and delivering us into the light of His grace.

We find peace that God’s mercy reaches the darkest corners of our existence. It is a mercy that surpasses our shortcomings, offering redemption and renewal.

Let us anchor our hearts in the assurance of God’s enduring mercy. In the face of trials, let Psalm 86:13 be a a declaration of victory over adversity. For in acknowledging the greatness of His mercy, we find strength, hope, and refuge.

Pray

Lord, I bow before You with a heart of gratitude for the great mercy You have bestowed upon me. Your compassion has rescued me from death, and Your love has delivered my soul. May Your mercy be a guiding light, illuminating my path and filling my life with the brilliance of Your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Devotional For July 5, 2024

For we have great joy and consolation in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.
‭‭Philemon‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬

In the short but powerful letter to Philemon, we find a verse that highlights the incredible impact of love within the Christian community. Paul’s words to Philemon serve as a reminder of the immense influence one person’s love can have on others.

Philemon’s love was a source of great joy and comfort to those around him. It was not a mere sentiment but a vibrant force that radiated from his heart. The love he shared was rooted in his faith and reflected the love of Christ.

The phrase “hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you” paints a clear picture. Philemon’s love wasn’t stagnant; it flowed like a refreshing stream of crystal clear water, quenching the spiritual thirst of those in his community.

Philemon’s example encourages us to be intentional in our love for others. Just as he refreshed the hearts of fellow believers, we can do the same in our families, churches, and communities. Our love, when grounded in faith, can be a source of great joy and consolation.

Consider who may have been impacted by your love shown toward others. Are you known for refreshing the hearts of others with your love and kindness? In what ways can you intentionally share Christ’s love today with those you encounter?

Pray

Lord, thank You for the example of Philemon and his overflowing love. Help me to be a vessel of Your love, refreshing the hearts of those I encounter. Let the love inside of me bring joy and consolation to others, just as Philemon’s did. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Happy Independence Day

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
‭‭Galatians‬ ‭5‬:‭1‬

Independence Day is a time to celebrate the freedoms we enjoy in our country. We gather with family and friends, cook out, and watch fireworks, all to honor the sacrifices made for our national freedom. As we reflect on these blessings, it’s also a perfect time to remember and celebrate the spiritual freedom we have in Christ.

The Apostle Paul reminds us in Galatians 5:1 that Christ has set us free for freedom’s sake. This freedom is not just a release from external oppression but a profound inner liberation from the power of sin and death. While national freedom is precious and worth celebrating, the freedom we have in Christ is eternal and transformative.

We have freedom from sin. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross broke the chains of sin that once held us captive. In Him, we find forgiveness and the strength to overcome the sinful nature. This freedom is not a license to do as we please but an empowerment to live righteously.

We have freedom to serve. True freedom in Christ moves us to serve others in love. Galatians 5:13 says, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Just as our national freedom allows us to pursue various opportunities, our spiritual freedom calls us to serve and love others selflessly.

We have freedom in truth. Jesus said in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” In a world filled with deception and lies, the truth of God’s Word provides a solid foundation. Embracing this truth brings clarity, direction, and true liberation.

Pray

Lord, thank You for the freedoms in our great nation. I am grateful for those who have sacrificed for our liberty. Help me to stand firm in this freedom, to honor You, and to serve others with the love and grace You have shown me. May I never take for granted the precious gift of spiritual freedom. In Jesus’ name, amen.