Daily Devotion- Revelation 2-3

To the churches!

Here we find in Revelation some strong language from God to His churches. I pray that we would learn from them and lean on His Word.

Read: Revelation 2-3

Let’s take time to examine the churches and what Jesus has to say to them.

1. Church in Ephesus. The church in Ephesus has several letters written towards it, and those in it. In the first couple verses dedicated to them, this is a great church. They are patient. I know that seems like a oxymoron, church people being patient. They know their doctrine. They suffer for the name of Jesus. All of these things are going well for them. Yet, Jesus says they’ve lost their love they had at first. This love can be found in Acts 18-21. How they were so passionate about the Gospel. They were passionate about obedience to Him. Now, it seems their passion is for the things they do, not the one they worship. Can we not get like that? Has it not been evident that we’ve worshipped our act of worship? In the past, people have worshipped instruments, buildings, hymnals, screens, etc. Worshipping the idea of worship. That all has been ripped away. Now many are left asking, what did I truly worship? Let us learn from this church, let us return to the love of the Lord!

2. Church in Smyrna. Jesus is telling the church in Smyrna. You are about to face great trials. Many of you will be put in prison. Some of you will die. There are those who claim to be worshippers of God, yet they actually worship the devil. Do not fear though. Your hope is not in this world. Your hope is in the crown you will receive in glory. It is not far fetched that the church is about to face great persecution. It is not far fetched that we could see days where pastors and church leaders are thrown in jail. Let us remember, our hope is in the crown to come!

3. Church in Pergamum. The letter starts off somewhat positive. You dwell in the heart of Satan’s throne. You have held fast to the name of Jesus, even in the midst of death. Yet, some of you still hold to pagan gods. They want to mix the teachings of Jesus with other religions. This is true of today. Those who want to mix, secular humanism with Christianity. Those who want to mix religion of politics with faith. These are not the same. Turn to the Word.

4. Church in Thyatira. Yet another letter that starts positive. This church though faces what I see in many churches. They have allowed cultural view of marriage, family, and sexuality become the norm. They have accepted things within the church that are not acceptable. I know that our Supreme Court just ruled in favor for LGBTQ rights. The Supreme Court does not dictate scripture. Scripture says all sexual activity outside of marriage, and marriage is a man and a woman, all of that activity is sin. Period. Just because the government allows something, does not make it good according to scripture. Before you get upset, this does not mean that we do not love those in these relationships. We do with all we are! We also share the Gospel with them. It is not my place to change hearts, that’s the Lord’s.

5. Church in Sardis. In this section of the letter, Jesus goes straight for them. It seems that they have incomplete faith. They believed the Word, yet their actions do not reflect faith. This is many in the church of America. They claim faith, yet their lives look nothing like the Word. We’ve been discussing this over the past few weeks. That it is possible to have knowledge, yet that knowledge not transform.

6. Church in Philadelphia. This church has a good report to them. In the midst of Satan, in the midst of persecution, in the midst of sin, they are remaining faithful. They have continued to walk in the name of Jesus. They have remained faithful to His Word in persecution. I pray, oh I pray, that we would remain faithful to His Word. In the midst of a pandemic, we would remain faithful. In the midst of chaos, we would remain faithful.

7. Church in Laodicea. Here we find again many in the church in America. They are Sunday only Christians. They are complacent. They are lukewarm. They are well off, so they do not depend on the Lord. They worship comfort, vacations, things, materialism, themselves. Does this not sound familiar? Jesus says to them, be zealous and repent. Be zealous, what does that mean? Zealous or zeal, is to show tremendous passion. Passion for Christ, passion for His Word, passion for His people. Does that sound like you? If not, repent! Turn from these ways, turn from these things, you are lukewarm and the Lord wants to spit you out. He is standing at the door knocking, will you not open the door and be with Him? Hear Him? Dine with Him?

I know that in these letters are some hard sayings, many to pray through. I pray that you would examine yourself. I pray that we would examine ourselves.

Pastor A

Daily Devotion- Jude and Revelation 1

Happy Monday!

I hope that you are doing well this day. The Lord continues to be good in the midst of chaos. I know that we live in such unique times, to say the least. As we dive into Revelation today, let us look forward to the return of Jesus. 

 

Read: Jude, Revelation 1

I was impacted by a couple of things that I want to share with you from these two chapters. I pray that you are encouraged as well.

 

1. Distorted Gospel. Jude warns his readers that there are people who are perverting the Gospel. They are seeking to lead people astray from the truth. This still happens today. We have churches that are buying into the social justice gospel. That if we right all injustices that we’ve accomplished the mission of Christ. Now, it is good to fight injustice, yet, that is not the Gospel. There are churches that focus on buildings. They are useful things, not Gospel. Anything that takes attention from the Gospel is a distorted Gospel. Those things do not bring unity, but division. We are seeing this today. People are divided over so many issues. But that is not our calling.

2. Keep Strong. I love this from Jude. “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” Our hope is not in vain discussions. Our hope is in the mercy of the Lord Jesus, who leads us to eternal life. Let us pursue Him. Let us seek Him.

3. Sharper than any sword. I love the imagery from John in Revelation. He writes that from His mouth was a sword. That sword is the Word of God. Sharper than any sword. When you read the Word, do you realize and think about the fact that you are reading the very Words of God? Oh Lord, how wonder

Are you in the WORD daily? Are you seeking Him?

Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion- Hebrews 10

Hebrews 10

Let us look together at the Word. The Word is our source of life, our source of hope, and our source of connection to the Lord.

Read: Hebrews 10

I love the book of Hebrews. In this book, there is so much meat to chew on. I pray that you are encouraged by this book.

1. Sanctified through the body of Christ. One thing that is evident in our nation today is the process of sanctification. Churches all around the country are being sanctified and at a rapid pace. For the longest time, we’ve been able to skirt around issues and go business as normal. We’ve been able to be “happy” in our traditions and ways. All of those have been removed. In a moment’s notice, everything was taken away. Color carpet, paint, furniture, music preferences, curriculum preferences, etc., have all been pushed aside. Now we are looking at the other side of this, and we must look to scripture and ask, what is it that is truly important? For that, I’ve found answers in Acts 2. The Word first, prayers, communion, fellowship, and love for each other. These are the things that we are called to do. God has been working to purify His church during this time. Let’s make sure that we learn from this. Let us be unified on this. For as we know, nothing else will stand up. 

2. Great Faith. In the close of this chapter, there is a hard truth to hold onto. I am not going to spend a great deal of time diving into, but I want you to draw out two applications. First, great faith. As believers, our faith is in someone that we do not see. It is not blind faith. We know from historical accounts, Jesus really existed, we know from historical accounts, Jesus really died, and we know from historical accounts, Jesus rose. We still have to have faith in Him. He is who He said He is. Secondly, we must cling to Him and run from sin. In our current situation, it is easy to run to sin. Many have completely “checked out.” They do not seek community with one another; they do not seek the Word. Friends, I pray that if you are one of those, repent. You are not doing what God called you to do. Turn to Christ, call a brother, seek community. The Bible does not speak well of those who deliberately seek sin. I say this out of love and concern for many. I say this out of pastoral affection for you. Turn to Christ, love the brotherhood, run from sin.

​Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion- Hebrews 9

Pray and Worship Night!

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to tonight! Please continue to be in prayer for SBC, as we continue to seek the best plan for our church body.

Read: Hebrews 9

I love the book of Hebrews. In this book, there is so much meat to chew on. I pray that you are encouraged by this book.

1. A foreshadowing. In the Old Testament, we see a sacrificial system for the atonement of sin. Goats, rams, bulls, sheep, and more for the forgiveness of sin. In the temple, that is a mere resemblance of the real Temple. This is an obvious foreshadowing of the one true sacrifice to come. That sacrifice is in Christ Jesus. I don’t think that I take enough time daily, to thank the Lord for that great sacrifice.

2. Once and for all. Another thing about the Old Testament sacrifices is that they had to be repeated. Every year, the day of atonement would come. With Christ, He was sacrificed once and for all. No more would blood have to be shed for sin. The perfect and spotless sacrifice covered sin. Let us sing and celebrate our atonement for sin!

I leave you with this prayer from the Valley of Vision.

GLORIOUS GOD,

It is the flame of my life to worship thee,

the crown and glory of my soul to adore thee,

heavenly pleasure to approach thee.

Give me power by thy Spirit to help me

worship now,

that I may forget the world,

be brought into fullness of life,

be refreshed, comforted, blessed.

Give me knowledge of thy goodness

that I might not be over-awed by thy greatness;

Give me Jesus, Son of Man, Son of God,

that I might not be terrified,

but be drawn near with filial love,

with holy boldness;

He is my Mediator, Brother, Interpreter,

Branch, Daysman, Lamb;

him I glorify,

in him I am set on high.

Crowns to give I have none,

but what thou hast given I return,

content to feel that everything is mine

when it is thine,

and the more fully mine when I have yielded it

to thee.

Let me live wholly to my Saviour,

free from distractions,

from carking care,

from hindrances to the pursuit

of the narrow way.

I am pardoned through the blood of Jesus —

give me a new sense of it,

continue to pardon me by it,

may I come every day to the fountain,

and every day be washed anew,

that I may worship thee always

in spirit and truth.

Amen and Amen!

​Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion- Hebrews 7-8

Pray and Worship Night tomorrow!

I don’t know about you, but I am looking forward to tomorrow night! Please continue to be in prayer for SBC, as we continue to seek the best plan for our church body.

Read: Hebrews 7-8

I love the book of Hebrews. In this book, there is so much meat to chew on. I pray that you are encouraged by this book.

1. Great Priest. One thing that the author is establishing is Jesus, the greater High Priest. Jesus fulfills all significant roles in scripture. Priest, Prophet, and King. He is our great High Priest. He is mediating on our behalf. He stands on our behalf without having to make sacrifices on His behalf. This should be an encouragement to us. We do not have changing of priests; we have one. He is constant and the same. As you have experienced, things change when presidents change. In your experience at SBC, things change when pastors change. Some changes you may like, some you may not. When leadership changes, things change. With Jesus, there is no change in Him; there is only change in us. To that, I say, Amen and Amen. 

2. Better Covenant. We are a people of the New Covenant. The blood of Christ has established this Covenant. It is not dependent on yearly sacrifices from a flawed priest. Instead, it is one that Christ Himself purchased. We can take rest that our salvation has been purchased once and for all. Therefore, take courage, my friend, take hope. Amid great uncertainty, we have certainty. We have our great High Priest; our salvation is secure. 

I look forward to being with you tomorrow night. Join me in seeking the Lord. If you are unable to attend, we will be streaming it live on Facebook Live at 6 PM. Praying for you.

​Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion- Hebrews 4-6

Happy Monday!

I hope that you are having a beautiful day. I wanted to include some thoughts in our email today.

Read: Hebrews 4-6

In Hebrews 4-6, there is a lot of great encouragement. In these chapters, are several well-known verses. Before we dive into this, I wanted to let you know what I’m trying to think through as a pastor. Our world is filled with complex issues at the moment. From Covid-19 to racial tensions. I want to let you know how I’m processing some of this. Now, I do not claim to be an expert in these fields.

 

Covid-19. While much of the media attention has wained as of late. Covid-19 is real and out there. I’ve personally experienced friends that have dealt with this disease lately. I’ve heard from other pastors in small towns that have lost church members to this disease. Also, I am getting my information from medical doctors that I know and trust. One of which is a lung doctor in the ICU. For many, this issue has turned into a political argument, and I wish this were not so. The virus is real, and it can be transferred, we don’t know all the information. For the time being, my heart is set on keeping my people safe. I want us to gather and worship together. I feel like we’ve found our sweet spot at the moment, though it’s not the best. Continue to pray as we learn more information and adjust.

 

Racial Tensions. Our country is in the middle of considerable debate. No matter the side you come down on, a discussion is key. I do not know anyone that would disagree that the death of George Floyd is horrendous. I pray for that family, that has to continually live out his death every time they see the video or every protest. It is a constant reminder to them the soul that has departed. The riots are also horrendous. They are not justified to burn down buildings and loot stores. But as a church, we must think through these discussions. So far, I’ve seen many reactions from churches. Knee jerk reactions to these activities are never wise. Here are some things that I do believe that we must think through and pray through.

 

A. Racism is a sin. The idea that another race is less than another is not of the Lord. That is demonic. We must never tolerate racism in our own lives. We are all created in the image of God; we all are valuable. I genuinely do not believe that anyone disagrees with that in our church.

 

B. Slavery, Jim Crow, and racism of the past existed. There are some that try to argue these things did not happen. These things did happen, and because of them, there are issues caused by them still around today. The Southern Baptist Convention was born out of Slavery, though to be clear, the Southern Baptist Convention has long repented of that sin. Good things can come from awful circumstances. It does not do anyone any good to deny the hard realities of the past.

 

C. Evaluation of our own hearts. Here is where the big question comes about. Are you examining your own soul? Are you repenting of your sin tendencies? I am seeking to understand others in our community better. What is it that they face and struggle with? What I will not do is excuse sin. As a believer in Christ, if you are white, black, green, or yellow, sin is sin. My role is to help someone repent of their sin and turn to Jesus. If a white brother or black comes to me with an open Bible, pointing out my sin from God’s Word, I pray that I receive it with grace and repentance. Right now, we hear a lot of information and accusations. I’ve heard from some brothers and sisters using scripture that I must evaluate my heart with. I pray that before you dismiss anyone before you run to excuses, listen, and evaluate your heart. I pray, do not make knee jerk reactions or public statements; this is not wise.

 

Friends, America is changing. I believe some for the better, others not so much. One thing I do know, we have a high priest that is making petitions on our behalf. I pray that you would join me in praying. Pray through our own sinful tendencies, pray through our congregational sins, pray through what we do to repent, and move forward. We are still called to advance the Gospel. We are still called to be a great light and hope. Will we be a place for the hopeless. Thank you for your prayers and patience towards me. I pray that this encourages you as I pray through these things.

 

​Pastor Aaron

 

Daily Devotion- 1 Timothy 4-6

To Timothy!

These past few days have been days we will remember. From COVID-19, job loss reports, rioting, and more, it seems like the news is filled with all bad news. I pray that you will turn the TV off. Take time today, and go to God’s Word. Also, make sure that you watch tonight at 6 PM our Virtual VBS! Get on there and make sure that you are communicating with us through our Facebook!

Read: 1 Timothy 4-6

Timothy was the spiritual child of Paul. Paul loved Timothy; he poured into him; he taught him; he encouraged him. The relationship with Paul and Timothy is one that all believers should seek to imitate in a mentoring relationship. Let us learn from Paul’s letter to Timothy. 

1. Some will depart. This is nothing new to us. We know that there are people that claimed to be of us, and yet, they never were. We should not be surprised, yet we should weep. As followers of the Lord Jesus, our lives should be reflective of that manner. I know that through this pandemic, now our country in turmoil, I’ve wondered what the church in America would look like. It will not look the same. I firmly believe that there is good in that statement and uncertainty. One thing, we will know who is of us. Let us pray for one another; let us pray for our people.

2. Honor one another. Paul gives instructions to Timothy on how the church is to honor one another. That the church is to take care of widows, to honor the senior saints, and to honor and respect your pastor. And to let your love shine forth on one another. I pray that we would take up this truth. Let us honor one another, love one another, and show grace.

3. Keep Fighting. If anything should encourage you today, it’s this, keep pursuing righteousness. I have to plead with you, do not allow your political affiliation, family tradition, anything, come in the way of your pursuit of the Lord. Your love of God should not be subject to those matters; those matters are subject to your love of the Lord. I pray that we keep pushing forward in our love for the Lord and one another.

I am praying for you. Join us for VBS tonight!

Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion- 1 Timothy 1-3

To Timothy!

These past few days have been days we will remember. From COVID-19, job loss reports, rioting, and more, it seems like the news is filled with all bad news. I pray that you will turn the TV off. Take time today, and go to God’s Word. Also, make sure that you watch tonight at 6 PM our Virtual VBS! Get on there and make sure that you are communicating with us through our Facebook!

Read: 1 Timothy 1-3

Timothy was the spiritual child of Paul. Paul loved Timothy; he poured into him; he taught him; he encouraged him. The relationship with Paul and Timothy is one that all believers should seek to imitate in a mentoring relationship. Let us learn from Paul’s letter to Timothy. 

1. Know and Guard the truth. One of the primary roles of the pastor is to guard the truth. That he would know the truth and protect the church from being infiltrated with false teaching, as you pastor, I take this role seriously. I aim to study God’s Word, to know the truth, and to guide our church to know and understand it. Thank you for your prayers in this matter.

2. Pray for people. We should be a people of prayer. What more evident than now. We live in a day that is unique to our history. No one would have predicted what we’ve faced this year. I know that it has caused high anxiety. I can tell you, as your pastor, I have struggled with every decision. I have struggled with am I doing a good job, where am I failing, I need your prayers. One thing that I do daily go through our membership role and pray for you. If I have failed to contact you, I am praying for you. I love you and miss you dearly. Pray for one another.

3. Are you qualified? Paul writes what the qualifications are for elders. To be an elder/pastor is a noble task. It is one that should not be taken lightly. Deacon, a servant, has high standards as well. As followers of Jesus, every one of us, should seek to live out these standards. Where do you fall short? Where do you need to repent?

Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion- 2 Thessalonians

Do not grow weary!

These past few days have been days we will remember. From COVID-19, job loss reports, rioting, and more, it seems like the news is filled with all bad news. I pray that you will turn the TV off. Take time today, and go to God’s Word. Also, make sure that you watch tonight at 6 PM our Virtual VBS! Get on there and make sure that you are communicating with us through our Facebook!

Read: 2 Thessalonians 

Paul writes this letter and the next to a church in Thessalonica. This church is primarily gentile, they are new believers, and Paul hopes to give them encouragement to godly living and Christian Doctrine. 

1. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. For generations, Christians have suffered at the hands of many governments. Injustice has been the predominant action of the world. Today, on the news, you see several different things going on. I want you to know; this is not political; I pray this is biblical. First, the officer that killed Mr. Floyd is a murderer. He deserves to be punished for the crime. Scripture tells us that God has given the government the sword to punish crime. Second, to protest is good. To stand for justice is good. Thirdly, to riot and loot is evil. To protest is an act of love, to riot is an act of vengeance. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. You and I are just as guilty before a Holy God is that police officer that murdered that man. You and I are just as guilty as those who rob and loot those stores before a Holy God. We all have in common that we are in desperate need of the Gospel. We need Christ! Before you pass judgment, before you repay vengeance, remember that you are guilty before a Holy God. You only have forgiveness because of the Love of Christ. 

2. Stand Firm in the Truth. Friends, it is not popular to stand for the truth. People on political sides will twist it for their wants. Scripture does not take a political stance; it takes a Godly one—stands firm under the Word of the Lord. You are not called to a political party; you are called to a Kingdom. I pray as we see our country ravaged and tearing at one another, let us be people of desperate prayer. Pray for your president, pray for your governor, your mayors, your police, pray for justice, pray for peace, pray for revival, pray for healing. 

3. Do not grow weary. Keep pressing forward in the truth. Keep pressing forward in the Word of God. Share with people the hope of the Gospel. Friends, I know that it is difficult, I know that times are uncertain, but I know that God is drawing people to Himself. Times like this make it hard to push forward. Times like this make it easy to want to give up. Friends, keep pressing towards the Lord. He is coming soon. 

​Pastor Aaron

Daily Devotion- 2 Thessalonians

Do not grow weary!

These past few days have been days we will remember. From COVID-19, job loss reports, rioting, and more, it seems like the news is filled with all bad news. I pray that you will turn the TV off. Take time today, and go to God’s Word. Also, make sure that you watch tonight at 6 PM our Virtual VBS! Get on there and make sure that you are communicating with us through our Facebook!

Read: 2 Thessalonians 

Paul writes this letter and the next to a church in Thessalonica. This church is primarily gentile, they are new believers, and Paul hopes to give them encouragement to godly living and Christian Doctrine. 

1. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. For generations, Christians have suffered at the hands of many governments. Injustice has been the predominant action of the world. Today, on the news, you see several different things going on. I want you to know; this is not political; I pray this is biblical. First, the officer that killed Mr. Floyd is a murderer. He deserves to be punished for the crime. Scripture tells us that God has given the government the sword to punish crime. Second, to protest is good. To stand for justice is good. Thirdly, to riot and loot is evil. To protest is an act of love, to riot is an act of vengeance. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. You and I are just as guilty before a Holy God is that police officer that murdered that man. You and I are just as guilty as those who rob and loot those stores before a Holy God. We all have in common that we are in desperate need of the Gospel. We need Christ! Before you pass judgment, before you repay vengeance, remember that you are guilty before a Holy God. You only have forgiveness because of the Love of Christ. 

2. Stand Firm in the Truth. Friends, it is not popular to stand for the truth. People on political sides will twist it for their wants. Scripture does not take a political stance; it takes a Godly one—stands firm under the Word of the Lord. You are not called to a political party; you are called to a Kingdom. I pray as we see our country ravaged and tearing at one another, let us be people of desperate prayer. Pray for your president, pray for your governor, your mayors, your police, pray for justice, pray for peace, pray for revival, pray for healing. 

3. Do not grow weary. Keep pressing forward in the truth. Keep pressing forward in the Word of God. Share with people the hope of the Gospel. Friends, I know that it is difficult, I know that times are uncertain, but I know that God is drawing people to Himself. Times like this make it hard to push forward. Times like this make it easy to want to give up. Friends, keep pressing towards the Lord. He is coming soon. 

​Pastor Aaron