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Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
 Pastor's Blog 
Tuesday, September 20 2016

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses.

I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make.

Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!

Choose to love the Lord your God and to obey him

and commit yourself to him, for he is your life.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NLT

All the natural laws God instituted, in every part of the universe He created, preach the same sermon and reinforce the same truth—there are inevitable consequences for the personal choices we make. Death inevitably derives from disobedience. Curses accompany carnality. Blessings result from belief. Life cascades from love.

            Moral decisions affect emotional, physical, and spiritual health. They impact our future and the welfare of our family. They are critical, not inconsequential. Time and eternity will be colored by what we choose day by day.

If we are obedient, we will choose the Way—walking with Christ in humility and habits. We are challenged to live a life of unselfish love—following Jesus’ example of sacrificial living, not trying to impress but meekly considering others better than us.

            If we are wise, we will choose the Truth—walking with Christ in honesty and holiness. We are challenged to live with moral integrity, avoiding evil no matter how it is packaged.

If we are trusting, we will choose the Life—walking with Christ in hope and heaven. We are challenged to celebrate buoyant and eternal life in relationship to God’s Son—purposefully motivated, optimistically anticipating paradise restored, enthusiastically serving, singing the song of hope through long nights, and relying on supernatural strength to see us through every difficulty. Living this way, we do not just exist—we exult!

            Is our mind genuinely open and receptive to the Holy Spirit? Are we willing to let the Lord cleanse our soul and teach us to love Him with all our personality and intellect? Can we clearly hear the message of ultimate truth echoing in our heart?

If we turn away from God, there is only bitterness and death. If we obey Him, life in all its fullness is ours.

God never twists our arm; but if we take His hand and hold on for dear life, He will teach us how to live life in all its fullness day after day, year after year—the choice is ours.

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity--ScripturePersonalized.com/

This devotional based on day 105 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 01:38 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, September 12 2016

He was 23 years old, married to a girl back in Ohio. He had been trained to become part of the elite battle-ready 82nd Airborne. He was ready for anything the war on terror might bring. From his observation post on a housetop in Baghdad, his sniper-sharp eyes scanned the streets for signs of the enemy.

Separated from his partner, he was ambushed by a squad of insurgents. He was helpless against their cruel, methodical shooting at him. Taking aim beginning from his feet, they slowly worked their way up his legs to his abdomen, approaching the threshold of murder.

Seconds from death, he was rescued by his buddies. Then he was evacuated from the combat zone to a military hospital in Germany, and eventually to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in D.C., where both of his legs were amputated. A double prosthesis did not cancel his will to walk again. Searing pain did not stop his desire to achieve. Self-pity did not even seem to enter the picture

Observing this authentic patriot and American hero, now part of the Warrior Transition Brigade, I saw an object lesson in endurance and the personification of perseverance. Not only was he daily placing cones and agonizingly stepping over them, he had chosen to live in a third-floor apartment, because he liked the challenge and wanted to get strong again—so he could return to the front.

I thought to myself—here is a man “who more than self his country loves.” I wondered where there might be found that kind of unflinching courage and devotion in Christian soldiers “who more than self their Savior love”—believers willing to die with their boots on, facing the enemy.

Marveling at his dogged determination to fight again. I wondered how followers of Christ find the tenacity to fight on when self-pity threatens to quench the fire of our resolve.

Then I remembered the Scripture—We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.  2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18 NLT

 

With these truths cascading through my heart, I recalled the lyrics of an old Isaac Watts hymn—Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb? And shall I fear to own His cause or blush to speak His name? Sure I must fight if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord! I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy Word. 

High-sounding words indeed—but If you and I are truly honest, we must admit there have been times we’ve been tempted to quit the fight of faith. Gazing at the figure of the One on the cross dying in our place sends us back to our tasks again.

I believe that if we ask Jesus to help us, He will (Philippians 4:13). Music historians say many Bach manuscripts have J.J. at the beginning—Jesu juva (Jesus, help me), and at the end of the manuscript S.D.G.—Soli Deo Gloria (To God alone be the glory). In between are found some of the most uplifting music phrases and compositions ever heard by human ears. If you and I are ever going to “make music for our Lord to hear,” we’re going to have to live life like Bach composed music. If  we’re going to soldier on for God’s glory, we need Jesus’ help.

ccross

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity--ScripturePersonalized.com/

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 03:07 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, September 07 2016

Fear the glorious and awesome name of the Lord your God.

Deuteronomy 28:58 NLT

My Awe-inspiring Name reflects My ability to meet every need.

I am the Becoming One—becoming whatever you need.

I am God, Absolute Goodness—the One and Only.

I am the Prince of Peace—enabling you to sail through troubled seas on an even keel.

I am the Mighty God—carrying you whenever you cannot carry on.

I am the Wonderful Counselor—unerringly giving right advice.

I am the Everlasting Father—Rock of Ages in a quicksand world.

I am the Holy One—the Sole Source of righteousness.

I am the Lamb—the Vicarious Sacrifice for your transgressions.

I am the Prince of life—satisfying your search for significance.

I am King of kings—orchestrating order out of chaos.

I am the Lion of Judah—the Ultimate Solution to earth’s problems.

I am the Author and Finisher of your faith—Center of Gravity of your life.

I am the Advocate—your Perfect, Understanding Defense Counsel.

I am the Dayspring—changing midnight crying into sunrise joy.

I am Jesus—the Heartbeat of your salvation.

I am Christ—King of hearts, Sovereign of the future.

I am the Way—the One Way to heaven, the Highway of holiness.

I am the Truth—the Quintessence of reality.

I am the Life—Fountainhead of exuberance and eternity.

I am the Light of the World—Window to health, hope, and joy.

I am the Door—the Only Access to paradise.

I am the Bread of Life—Rich Nourishment for your heart’s hunger.

I am the Good Shepherd—caring for you in your sheepishness.

I am the Resurrection—making possible real life before and after death.

I am El Shaddai—All-Sufficient One, the One Who Is Enough.

I am Lord God Almighty—absolutely nothing is too difficult for Me.

I am the Great Physician—healing the sick and your soul’s diseases.

I am the Creator—I made people to begin with; I am making you like Me.

I am Alpha and Omega—Holy Alphabet of unsurpassed wisdom.

I Am the One Who Will Always Be Who I Have Always Been.

Reverence My Name—live in holy awe, hate evil, and trust Me forever!

Johnny R. Almond

Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church - Friends on a Journey of Faith

Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized

http://GentleWhispersFromEternity--ScripturePersonalized.com/

This devotional is Day 104 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity

Posted by: Pastor Almond AT 01:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

    Hull's Memorial Baptist Church
    420 Enon Road | Fredericksburg, VA 22406 | PH: 540.371.4124