This is our Daily Devotion page.

Devotional- October 17th, 2019: Disaster Response to Sin

Submitted by dbrewer on Thu, 10/17/2019 - 16:56

Sin Biohazard

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. -Matthew 5:29-30

I learned this summer what it means to be a nitpicker. While vacationing in D.C., I discovered that my daughter had lice. Our “disaster response” was immediate! We left the Smithsonian, took the Metro to the Walgreens in Chinatown, stocked up on lice-killing shampoo and nit combs, and spent nearly 4 hours in the hotel room meticulously combing through the hair section by section. We didn’t do this just once. The regimen was repeated again and again in the days (and weeks) that followed.

While working to eliminate the lice, God reminded me that He commands us to deal with the sin in our lives similarly. Sins can be small and hidden, but once the Holy Spirit brings sin to your attention, the “disaster response” needs to be immediate.

Once we recognize that we have a problem, we need arm ourselves accordingly and deal with sin aggressively! Throughout scripture we are admonished to put iniquity far from us (Job 11:14) and put to death the misdeeds of the body (Romans 8:13, Colossians 3:5). If we fail to be completely surrendered to God’s will in our lives, if we overlook even one seemingly insignificant sin, disastrous consequences will follow. Consider the Old Testament account of Saul (1st Samuel 15). He was commanded to blot out Amalek from the face of the earth. He utterly destroyed most of the Amalekites, but left their king (Agag) alive. Saul failed to deal ruthlessly with Agag and for this disobedience, God removed Saul from his throne. This seemingly small sin had disastrous consequences for God’s people too. Descendants of Agag continued to wreak havoc on the nation of Israel for generations. Sin is the same.

Eradicating sin from our lives is not a one-time deal. I had to comb out my daughter’s hair again and again so that no hidden nits were able to grow to maturity. Jesus asked his disciples to watch and pray to avoid temptation and we must do no less. Satan is prowling around constantly seeking whom he may devour, so we must be alert and willing to prayerfully examine our lives. Do you have any nits of sin hiding in your life?

Prayer: God you know where I stumble. Deliver me from evil. Convict me of my hidden sins and help me live a victorious life in Christ! -Amen

Author anonymous (per daughter’s request)

Devotional- October 16th, 2019: FEAR

Submitted by dbrewer on Wed, 10/16/2019 - 17:36

FEAR

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

FEAR! It’s a word we don’t like to talk about! We like to think we are in control of our emotions. Fear can paralyze us....it takes away our joy. Satan wants us to have fear. Fear of the future, fear of the unknown, fear of something happening to us or a family member. 

We don’t have to be fearful about what this new week holds. God is already there...standing there with His love, waiting on us with His wisdom, going before us with His hope and His provision. He sees the big picture! 

Remind your heart of this truth in prayer: God, you have given me a spirit power, love, and a sound mind. Therefore, I can walk unafraid. I can live unafraid. I can be unafraid. -Amen

Della Brindley, Communications Secretary- Buncombe Baptist Association

Devotional- October 15th, 2019: MAKING A DIFFERENCE BY BEING DIFFERENT

Submitted by dbrewer on Tue, 10/15/2019 - 12:07

salt and light

MAKING A DIFFERENCE BY BEING DIFFERENT 

Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Corinthians 1:1-3

When Jesus described what His Kingdom people were to be, He used the metaphors of salt and light—both of which have a disproportionate impact on their environment due to their distinctive qualities.  A little salt can season a lot, and a small light can illumine a room.  There is no question we live in a society that is rotting and needs the preservative nature of salt, and that we are in a time of spiritual darkness which desperately calls for the light of the Gospel.  That is our assignment as a church.  It is the duty of church leadership to direct the church to fulfill that holy calling.

The church at Corinth was to grow and bear fruit in a hostile environment.  It would be far easier to cave to the pressure to compromise with the pagans around them, than to convert them to faith.  It might even seem reasonable to tailor the truth to better fit the culture with a view of reaching them.  Yet, the reality is that the church is always most effective when it is being different and thus making a difference.

PRAYER: Holy God, grant us grace to make a difference by being different. May the churches of Buncombe Baptist Association be willing to adjust their methodology, while remaining steadfast in their theology. For the Glory of Christ, Amen.

Dennis Thurman, Pastor- Pole Creek Baptist Church

Devotional- October 14th, 2019: The Fruit of the Spirit

Submitted by dbrewer on Mon, 10/14/2019 - 13:58

fruit

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.  -Galatians 5:22-23

With all the chaos in the world, a little positive news is always welcome and encouraging.

A few weeks ago, as I was checking out at Sam’s Club, a young lady approached me and asked if I was Mr. ———-. When I said I was, she reached out her hand to shake mine and said she wanted to thank me for being kind to her family when she was growing up. She said if I had not been, her family would have been homeless.

I remembered that her father and stepmother rented a mobile home space from me and after a couple of years, the father had left the family struggling to survive. I was able to forgive most of what they owed.

Not long ago, I needed some home repair and called a firm for assistance. As I talked to the lady on the phone, she asked if I had taught at our local middle school and when I said that I had, she told me that one day when I had given the students a few minutes of time on their own, she had accepted Christ as her Savior. She continues her walk with the Lord today.

A number of years ago I had an extremely challenging class. Because many of the students in this class neglected to turn in their science lab work, I would often allow them to come in after school and make up their work. This meant I would have to set up the labs they had missed and clean up afterwards. On one occasion, one of the more challenging girls looked at me and said, “Mr. ———, you DO care, don’t you?”

I enjoyed a wonderful career with over 30 years in the classroom and had many other educational opportunities to help thousands of students. 

Prayer: Lord, help me to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in my daily walk. Amen

-Anonymous, per author’s request

Devotional- October 13th, 2019: God's Provision

Submitted by dbrewer on Sun, 10/13/2019 - 00:44

Faithful

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,  not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. -Hebrews 10:23-25

Tomorrow evening church members from across our Association will gather together at Westwood Baptist Church for the annual “Fall Celebration.” I believe we call it that (a celebration) because it’s an opportunity to “taste and see that the Lord is good!” We take stock of all that God has done for us, in us and through us and we collectively marvel at His faithfulness!

Celebrating in this fashion is biblical. Many of the Old Testament feasts were times set aside to gather together, remember and stand in awe of God’s deliverance. Our time of celebration tomorrow is similar.  As we gather together to collectively seek God’s wisdom and guidance for the coming year, the fact that we’ve seen his provision and deliverance again and again bolsters us toward stepping out in faith for the future.

As I encounter difficult circumstances in my own life, I often have to remind myself that “God’s got this!” Tomorrow night, we will collectively remember that He ALWAYS has!

Prayer: Father, help me to be unceasingly aware of your presence, your peace, your protection & your provision. For these things and so much more, I praise your name! -Amen

Diana Brewer, Missions Mobilization Assistant- Buncombe Baptist Association, North Point Baptist Church

Devotional- October 12th, 2019: Autumn Splendors

Submitted by dbrewer on Sat, 10/12/2019 - 17:22

AutumnSplendor

Late October and early November in the mountains of Western North Carolina present
to us a beautiful panorama of reds, yellows and golds on the trees. Cool autumn mornings
and warm afternoons add to the pleasure of our surroundings. The added blessing of abun-
dant harvests that have been received cause us to look to our Creator and Sustainer with
awe and wonder. A brilliant harvest moon in a star-spangled sky leads us to say with the
psalmist David “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the
stars, which You have ordained; what is man that You take thought of him?
” (-Psalm 8:3-4)

Yet we know that He created us to proclaim His excellencies (1 Peter 2:8) and to be
conformed to the image of Christ Jesus (Romans 8:29). We are called to praise God for His
compassion, grace, patience, lovingkindness, truth, faithfulness, forgiveness of iniquity and
transgression and sin (Exodus 34:6-7), His character and nature as He revealed himself to
Moses. And we should always praise Him for our freedom, opportunities, prosperity, abun-
dance and availability of everything we could ever need, as well as for life, health (and health
care), food, clothing, shelter, and protection. What a great God we serve!

Prayer: O LORD, Our LORD, how excellent is Thy Name in all the earth! We have so much for
which to be thankful to You. May we never forget that You deserve unlimited honor and praise.

-Ralph Long, Bethel Baptist Church

Devotional- October 11th, 2019: In Christ, we help each other grow to be like Jesus

Submitted by dbrewer on Fri, 10/11/2019 - 20:10

Influence

In Christ, we help each other grow to be like Jesus.

till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;    -Ephesians 4:13 NKJV

Can my life have any effect on another in their relationship with Christ? We may think not. But it is amazing how the Lord can use one life committed to serving Christ to impact the lives of others, many times with no knowledge of it.

Consider the life of one man – David Brainerd. Born in 1718 in Massachusetts, Brainerd only lived twenty-nine years, yet his walk with God impacted many others. Orphaned at age 14, he was caught up in the movement of the Great Awakening at age 21, when he was converted to Christ.

David Brainerd was a missionary to the Native Americans along the Hudson River and the Delaware River in early colonial America. He preached only three or four years. Brainerd died of tuberculosis on October 9, 1747. It is said that he poured out his life in ministry with the desire “to burn out in one continual flame for God.”

Jonathan Edwards, who was Brainerd’s father-in-law, was deeply moved by his life and death. He edited and published David Brainerd’s diary after his death. When young William Carey in England read about David Brainerd’s life of hardship as a missionary, it influenced Carey toward missions in India. John Wesley, founder of Methodism, was profoundly influenced by the life of David Brainerd and encouraged others to read Brainerd’s life story carefully to revive God’s work in England. Jim Eliot was influenced by Brainerd’s story and, gave his life as one of the missionaries trying to reach the Auca Indians.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to love You and serve You with a passion that would influence others. Encourage us to help one another to grow in Christ, that a watching world may see Jesus.  In the name above every name – in Jesus’ name! -Amen

-Roger Rearden, Missions Mobilization Coordinator- Buncombe Baptist Association, Pastor- Long Shoals Baptist Church

Devotional- October 10th, 2019: The Lighthouse

Submitted by dbrewer on Mon, 10/07/2019 - 15:49

Lighthouse

Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world.  Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life." John 8:12 (CSB)

I was at the Hatteras Lighthouse just a few days after Hurricane Dorian had made landfall and left all her damage along the Outer Banks of NC.  My husband and I went to the lighthouse at dusk. There the lighthouse stood, undamaged and the beacon still shining.  The lighthouse has been warning ships in the Atlantic to the dangerous coastline since 1870.  It has withstood over 40 hurricanes and numerous tropical storms. 

As I sat there trying to get the perfect picture, I thought of all the times I had heard Jesus compared to a lighthouse.  It made more sense that evening than it ever had before. 

We are ships sailing blindly in the night, Satan the dangerous coastline and Jesus is the lighthouse. The ships drift, and the coastline is always there to cause destruction, but the lighthouse is unchanging.  Even after a powerful storm that destroys most everything around, it still stands tall and strong.

When we put our trust in Jesus and serve Him, His guiding beacon of light is always present like the beacon from the lighthouse. No matter the number of storms that we face, Jesus is still there to guide us away from the dangers of Satan’s influence.

Prayer: Jesus, I thank you for being my guiding light. For always guiding me through the storms of life. I want to be a guiding light to others. Let my life shine for you so others can see you in me.   Amen

Beth Rogers, Baptists on Mission

Pole Creek Baptist Church

 

Devotional- October 9th, 2019: Pray Without Ceasing

Submitted by dbrewer on Mon, 10/07/2019 - 15:23

PrayWithoutCeasing

This is a wonderful time of year as summer gives way to fall and we experience the refreshing cooler weather and beautiful array of colors with leaves changing.  The beauty reveals to us in an amazing way that God is our creator and the giver of all things.  We only have to look around us to see God’s handiwork and marvelous blessings.  Our hearts overflow with gratitude as we humble ourselves and give thanks to our heavenly Father.  It also brings joy to our hearts for the ministry and work of our fellow Christians as we all work together to share the love of Christ and live out the Great Commission in our daily walk with our Lord.  As we come together in a cooperative manner, we can accomplish much more than we could ever achieve alone.  We see this evidenced in the work of Baptist Associations.  We come from different walks of life having a unified mission, which is to enlighten the world with the love of Christ and how He alone can and will change lives.  This month I encourage us to pray earnestly for the ministry of our Baptist Associations and the many ways they are working together to touch the lives of people. In First Thessalonians 5:17 the scriptures teaches us to “pray without ceasing”.  To me, this means to have a heart and attitude of prayer at all times.   I encourage us this month to pray in this manner for the work of our Baptist Association and all Associations as they share the wonderful gospel of Christ.

Wayne Higgins, First Baptist Church, Weaverville

Devotional- October 8th, 2019: Love Without Partiality

Submitted by dbrewer on Mon, 10/07/2019 - 15:00

James2:8-9

“The royal law according to the Scripture” is God's command to love others as we love ourselves. God is not sitting on His throne playing “any meenie miney mo”- I love you or I don’t love you. God expresses agape (unconditional) love. We are undeserving, but He loves us anyway.

Nice clothes, fine jewelry, nice cars and money are very attractive. A man standing on a street corner asking for help who is wearing ragged clothes, has greasy hair and a shaggy beard is considered the most unattractive person in the world. Some people’s first choice would be to associate with the hip crowd, perhaps to boast on what kind of friends they have in their inner circle. Others may be drawn to the poor crowd or unaccepted crowd. There are many different reasons society chooses to love or not love.  God loves without partiality- period! He doesn't favor the wealthy, the poor, or a particular gender, race or culture. God does not mention loving based on feelings or emotions. God does not sit on a fence deciding whether he wants to love or not love. God’s agape love is given to all mankind throughout the universe from beginning to the end. He chooses to love ALL. 

Take a moment to reflect on God’s love for you. Do you have the agape love God has commanded every human to have for others? Has there been a cycle of loving with partiality in your life? One can break this cycle or tradition only through seeking God’s guidance. If you were told loving everyone is an easy task, that is deceiving. Nowhere does God promise loving one another is easy. How easy do we make it for God to love us? If every human in society would break the cycle and choose instead to spread agape love, the world could be turned upside-down for Christ. Imagine a world turned upside down with unconditional love! Break the cycle. Shine a light of love.

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, I thank you for this day and I thank you for loving me unconditionally. Help me, as a Christian, to love as you love Father. Help me to show unconditional love toward the lost. Father, I do pray that your grace be sufficient toward me and that you help me to the live the life you want me to live. In Christ's name, Amen.

Billy Kirk, Pastor- Emma Baptist Church

North Carolina Baptist

Southern Baptist Convention

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