Pastor Stephen Dedman

Make A Difference

‘Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.’
I Corinthians 16:13-14

This is the only place in the New Testament where the Greek word for “be brave” is used (andrizomai). It literally means “to act like a man.”

Paul emphasized 5 military commands: Watch, continually be on guard, lest you be surprised by your enemies… Stand fast, keep in your ranks, not disorderly… Be brave, maintain your ground… Be strong, summon up all your courage.

Paul knew what it meant to be a soldier for Jesus Christ. He experienced great opposition for the cause of Christ and considered the reward as a blessing. Sometimes we sit by silently because we don’t want to offend or cause a problem. But when it comes to our convictions we must maintain our ground and be brave.

Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego didn’t coward down to governmental officials. Joseph didn’t let bad circumstances destroy his destiny. Caleb and Joshua foresaw victory when the rest of the eight spies saw defeat. The list goes on but what remains true of each of the brave men and women mentioned in the Bible is that they stood their ground and God blessed them.

Be brave today and maintain your ground with conviction. Be the one who is left standing when everyone else is gone. Anything that’s worth having is worth fighting for. Be led by the Holy Spirit in what you say and do to show love and gentleness while being brave. Be someone who makes a difference.


Lord, help me not to fear anyone or anything but You. Give me strength and boldness to be brave. Guard my heart from evil thoughts and let Your love shine through me.

Heaven Bound

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:3

Peter was writing to a group of believers who were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus. They were facing rejection and severe hatred from the world around them.  So Peter began his letter encouraging them to endure the difficult times that they will face in this world.

Perhaps one of the best solutions of how to deal with difficult living is to look toward our heavenly future. This serves not only as encouragement but as a promise from God.  Troubles in this life are temporary and small compared to eternity in Heaven.

We all need to be reminded from time to time that we will suffer trials in order to build stronger faith.  So we need to view our suffering and trials as good things and keep glorifying God through it all.  

In the Old Testament, Job is one of the best examples of suffering as he kept on praising and worshipping God.  He never lost faith and he never stopped worshipping God.

Suffering should never direct you away from worshipping God.  Instead it should draw you to Him.

As Christians our inheritance is Heaven.  All of Heaven!  As children of God we are given eternal life that is free from sin and full of grace.  

It is hard for us to comprehend what life in Heaven will be like but Paul says it best, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9)


Lord, show me what I need to learn through my sufferings. Let my trials and difficulties bring me closer to You. Help me to see a heavenly perspective.

Love Never Fails

‘Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. ‘
I John 4:7

As Christians we are called to love others as we love ourselves. As difficult as this may be sometimes it is necessary for us to be obedient when it comes to this command. Remember, love never fails.

We are not commanded to love one another to earn the love of God, we love one another because we are loved by God. Because we have received that perfect love from God, we abide in it. Love conquers all and covers all.

It’s very important right now that we show the love of God to everyone, even those who try their best to cause evil in this world. John’s emphasis on love is powerful and has a great impact on others. John is saying when we abide in God’s love it will show by our love for one another.

People need to be shown the love of Jesus. When people around us act like the world they need to see and witness the love of God. And the only way they will experience Christ-like love is if we, who are children of God, show them love.

The world has enough evil in it but not enough love. Whatever you do today or whoever you come into contact with, make sure to shine the love of Jesus. Let the light and love of Jesus be so bright in our life that makes others curious.


Lord, I know that I am not the most loving person but I know Your love is powerful. Your love never fails so help me to love You more and give me the ability to love others the way You love.