by Susan Sampson

It is a great blessing and joy to know that we are not alone. We are one body in Christ and the amazing truth is that the Holy Spirit dwells in each and every believer.  “For I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)  Lord help us believe this truth!!  What comfort and peace it brings to know this Christian walk is a journey and we have begun this journey of faith together!  I love the visual image of planting a seed;  I can picture a farmer standing over the dirt waiting and watching for the seed to grow.  That, of course, is ridiculous.  Growth is a process and I pray that truth encourages us.  “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.  So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.” (1 Cor. 3:6-7) 

But before we plant any seeds we must clear the land.  We must labor diligently to establish our time with the Lord.  There is truly nothing we can do that is more important each day.  Our to-do lists appear so urgent, but they are temporal.  This is the only way to know Jesus.  It is the only way to have a relationship with Jesus.  It is the only way to follow Jesus.  We can’t follow Him if we don’t know what He is saying.  As we look out and survey our fields and consider the seeds we will sow this semester, let us each take time this week to remove every obstacle, every distraction and everything that sets itself up against our time spent with the Lord.  “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

Lord, help us love you because you first loved us.  Help us believe the gospel and live because Jesus died.  Help us die to self so others might live.  Help us turn in repentance from our sin and turn in faith to you.  Help us receive your mercy and forgiveness and walk forward in grace and truth.  Help us know and love and obey your word as an expression of our love and devotion.  Help us fix our eyes on Christ alone and not anyone else.

Lord we need you to enable us to truly take your gospel to heart and bring it to life!  May our thoughts, words, actions, and lives bring you glory.

eMoment by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 11:14-23

Now he was casting out a demon that was mute.

When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, 

and the people marveled. 15 But some of them said, 

“He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,”  

16 while others, to test him, kept seeking from him 

a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, 

said to them,”Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, 

and a divided household falls. 18 And if Satan also is divided against 

himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out 

demons by Beelzebul. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, 

by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your 

judges. 20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, 

then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, 

fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; 22 but 

when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, 

he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. 

23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does 

not gather with me scatters.

Some marveled

Some accused

Others tested

Jesus knew their thoughts and their motives.

He knows everything.

He knows who we all are at the core.

John 2:24-25

But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself 

to them, because he knew all people and 
needed no one to bear witness about man, 
for he himself knew what was in man. 

Proverbs 27:19

As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man.

Luke 6:43-44

For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Matthew 12:35-37

The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good,

 and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account

 for every careless word they speak, for by your words you 

will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Jesus knows our thoughts and He knows our hearts.

Jesus knows each of us inside out.

He knows what prevents us from being full of thanks and praise.

He knows why we are “mute.”

Will you go to Him in faith asking Him to heal your soul

and fill you with praise and thanksgiving?


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