DAILY DEVOTIONALS

Every day things seem to be changing, but every day our God is the same!
Join us each Monday-Friday as a member of the staff provides a short devotional.

Friday, April 3

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
Hebrews 10:23-25
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German pastor who was imprisoned and executed by the Nazi government during World War II. During his separation from his church he agonized over not seeing his congregation. I know the feeling. I miss you all so very much. I love what Pastor Bonhoeffer wrote: “It is by the grace of God that Christians are privileged to live in visible fellowship with other Christians. It is by the grace of God that a congregation is permitted to gather visibly in this world to share God's Word and sacrament. Not all Christians receive this blessing. The imprisoned, the sick, the scattered lonely, the proclaimers of the Gospel in heathen lands stand alone. They know that visible fellowship is a blessing" (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together).

        Sometimes things have to be taken from us to appreciate them. So it is with gathering with our church family. We so look forward to being together, assembling as a church. In the meantime, we thank God we still have a means to encourage one another. We can stay connected through mail, email, calls, texts and social media. We are family! Nothing can separate us from us...except us!

Pastor Jim Cecy - Senior Pastor

Thursday, April 2

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 1:3
As God’s children we are a blessed people. We have incredible value to the Father.  That value may never be fully understood this side of heaven. A value that caused the Father to send His Son to die in our place for our sin to provide us eternal salvation. Often we discount our worth, falling prey to unbiblical thinking that causes us to seek our value in the wrong places…jobs, social status, houses, family and the things we own. As Christians, if we are looking for our identity in the wrong places, we will not experience God’s fullness in our lives.

Read Ephesians 1 and note our worth and value to God. Spiritual growth is realized only as we appropriate biblical truths. For that reason we look to God’s Word and find what it teaches concerning our identity in Christ. This is our true value, to which we tie our worth.

Pastor Gene Beck - Care Ministry and Seniors Pastor

Wednesday, April 1

“...do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. ….and which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span."
Luke 12:22-26
Pastor Jim asked me to send a special note to parents and children. I am pleased to do so. The key for me is in verse 24, “Consider the ravens; they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them!” I need to turn my attention to the “Master Provider, Protector, Master of the Universe!” If I just look at the empty store shelves or read about the panic in the news I will be infected by anxiety!  The virus of anxiety will cripple my ability to serve others and sicken my heart. “Help me to seek you, Lord for my needs”, and instill in me your peace. Thank you always for being there for me!
 
Parents: How do we apply this for our children?
 
1. Make a list of all the blessings God has given. Emphasize what you have-- not what you don’t have (Home, pet, food, church family).

2. In prayer with your kids, thank God for all these things.

3. Use positive words like: I am so thankful for___.  God is so good to us for__.
(If you bring to their attention that God is the source of these blessings, it will stick in your kids’ minds that God is provider.)

4. Meet on line with other families and AWANA leaders on Zoom Wednesday night at 6:30pm.

5. Play Christian music at home all the time and especially when they go to bed.

Karon Cecy - Children's Director

Tuesday, March 31

“Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.”
Psalm 147:1
I’ve always known that singing touches a place in my soul, in the very depths of my heart, that allows me to hear and experience God‘s great love for me in a way nothing else does.

He tells us it is good and it is pleasant and it is beautiful! But most
importantly those rewards are received because our songs are sung to Him! I know when I sing praise to Him, even in the midst of fear, I am doing what I’m made to do. It’s like a gift from Him that I can offer back to Him.

In these days there are so many streams of opportunity that are available to us to join in singing our praises to God. Isn’t it wonderful that God created our voices in such a unique way?! So as you are “sheltering” don’t miss out on God’s goodness. Remember to SING!

Laurel Dhillon - Worship Arts Admin

Monday, March 30

“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
Proverbs 19:17
For the Christian, there are certain actions that are displayed as a result of God’s Spirit living inside you. One of those actions is kindness. In a time when the world needs it most, setting the course of your life to practice kindness is more important than ever. Living life in faithful obedience to God should encourage us to think, feel, and act in kind ways toward those around us. When we are gracious and kind to those in need around us, it honors the Lord and the Bible says we are lending to the Lord. And our God has the ability to pay great interest on your loan.

In fact, we look to God for the ultimate act of kindness. Prophets foretold of this ultimate act, before Jesus’ birth, thousands of years ago. Check out what is written in Isaiah 53:4-6 about God’s plan for you and highlight the words our and we, then thank God that His ultimate plan included you.

Find something you can write on (grab a piece of paper or open the notes app on your phone) and write down five specific ways you can help those in your community during this time.  

Circle your best idea and get started today.

Pastor Wil Staley - Youth and Outreach Pastor, Palm Campus

Friday, March 27

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear...”
1 John 4:18
We are living in such a dynamic collision right now: an unprecedented genuine health pandemic, and yet there still stands the immovable reality of PERFECT LOVE from the Lord Jesus. There may be a real crisis on this little planet called earth, but remember our Lord commands the stars and the heavens! And in Matthew 10:30, Jesus tells us that even our hairs are numbered. The King who created all we know, who demonstrated extraordinary sacrificial love for us on the Cross 2,000 years ago, and who counts our hairs today, will He really abandon us now? NO! I say fear is no match for the Love of God!

Our challenge as believers right now is to live in that love, no matter the intimidation of fear. Many things in this world will be shaken in the present and future, but we live in the Unshakeable Kingdom of Heaven!

Take this moment in prayer, and ask God for His perfect love to be your anchor right now, and in the coming days.

Pastor Jon Shabaglian - Worship Arts Pastor

Thursday, March 26

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Do you ever experience “fear” in your life, even though — as a Christian — there’s no reason to fear? I know that I do that at times. When I do become fearful, I recite 2 Timothy 1:7 in my head, over and over and over again (timidity is sometimes translated fear, and discipline is often translated as self-control).
When I’m feeling timid or fearful over circumstances, I remind myself with Scripture that those feelings are not from God. The Lord doesn’t make His people timid before the world. In fact, He gives power and love and discipline (i.e. self-control). The power is God’s power, not our flesh. When you’re experiencing fear, remind yourself that God is in control and still seated on the throne. The love is God’s love. We are to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves. Self-control means that — through God’s power and love — we have the ability to act with godly confidence in the midst of whatever the world throws at us.

My friends…recite the promises of Scripture to yourself. Memorize them, meditate upon them, and find blessed assurance in the Word of God. Be reminded of His care for you. Amen!

Pastor Charles Specht - Adult Ministries Pastor

Wednesday, March 25

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."
Romans 15:13
Things are certainly changing on a daily (more like hourly) basis! With so much change happening so rapidly, it can feel overwhelming, almost like running down a hill a little bit faster than you know is sustainable. You might have your legs under you for now, but you wonder, “How long can I keep this up?!” When we focus on the ever-shifting circumstances around us it’s easy to lose heart.

Let’s shift our focus and look at the things that haven’t changed. God is still God. You are still His child. We who have placed our trust in Jesus are still living changed lives right now! We also continue to have a hope that does not fade! Yes, circumstances change, but our lives are built on a God that never changes! May your faith in THE God of hope provide a level of peace and comfort that goes beyond understanding.

Pastor Michael Hammond - Student Ministries Pastor, Maple Campus

Tuesday, March 24

"Pray without ceasing..."
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Recently Governor Newsom ordered all Californians to stay at home. His statement to the Press included some dire projections about the number of Californians who could become infected with coronavirus. But no quarantine can contain our prayers, and no amount of social distancing can keep us from praying together! 1 Thessalonians 5:17 exhorts us to “pray without ceasing…” and our prayers are even more pivotal in this time of global upheaval. So I want to encourage us all to quiet our hearts and spend some time listening to God.

1 Peter 4:7 says: “But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers.” What does it mean to be watchful in your prayers? I think it means to be attentive to what God is saying and observant of what he is doing. We need discernment in the prayer closet and the public square.  As you spend time in prayer now, listen for God’s still small voice (1Ki 19:12). What is he saying to you? And what is he revealing to you in this season of panic and pandemic?

Pastor Kenton Rahn - Palm Site Pastor

Monday, March 23

“The righteous man shall live by faith."
Galatians 3:11
When the Black Plague was decimating Europe in the 1500s, Martin Luther wrote the following words that are such an encouragement to us as we face this global pandemic: “I shall ask God to mercifully protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.” (The Works of Luther, Volume 43, page 132).

I hope you were able to join us yesterday for our worship service. If you missed it you can watch the entire service by clicking here

Pastor Jim Cecy - Senior Pastor