Daily Devotional

This space is provided in honor Joe Brooks and Coon Hunters For Christ. The PKC membership is happy to pray for you in a time of need.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:30 pm

”All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:24 NCV).

If you were to ask a hundred people on the sidewalk, “How do you get to heaven?” you’d get a lot of different answers that could be summarized by the idea that you have to earn your way to heaven. You’d hear things like, “Try to be good and do your best” or “Work really hard at being a moral person” or “Do more good things than bad things in life.” All of these ideas are based on works, not grace.

But salvation is a gift, and you don’t work for a gift. It’s free! You can’t earn it, you can’t buy it, and you can’t work for it.

This is a fundamental difference between Christianity and every other religion. Christianity is the only religion that’s built on grace. Every other religion is based on works, and you can summarize them in one word: “do.” There are certain things you have do in order to gain God’s approval, to gain bliss, to gain heaven. There are always rules, regulations, and rituals—something you have to do.

On the other hand, one way you could summarize Christianity is with the word “done.” Jesus Christ has already paid the price for you on the cross. It’s done!

A guy asked me one time, “Pastor Rick, what can I do to be saved?” I said, “You’re too late!” (That kind of shocked him.) “You’re about 2,000 years too late! What needed to be done for your salvation has already been done, and you can’t do anything about it.”

Jesus Christ already did it. He paid for your salvation on the cross, and it’s now a free gift that’s offered to you. That’s why when Jesus was hanging on the cross, he said, “It is finished.” He didn’t say, “I am finished,” because he wasn’t. He’s still alive today. The “it” is your salvation. The plan to provide grace for every person is finished.

Romans 3:24 says, “All need to be made right with God by his grace, which is a free gift. They need to be made free from sin through Jesus Christ” (NCV).

You won’t get to heaven based on what you do. You get to heaven based on what has already been done for you by Jesus Christ.

When we really understand grace, we’ll accept it, because it is the greatest gift we’re ever going to be offered.

Talk About It

Why do you think so many people view salvation and forgiveness as something they must work for, instead of a free gift they can choose to accept?
After we’ve accepted God’s gift of salvation, why is it important to tell others about that gift, too?
How has your life changed as you’ve gained a clearer understanding of God’s grace?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 02, 2018 6:31 pm

Bible Study Verses
Joshua 24:14-15
"Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (NIV)

Thoughts
Choices . . . We all have them to make, every day. When we're hunting, we have to make them moment-by-moment which path to take, which trail to follow, which mountain to climb, where to camp, still hunt, or spot and stalk, and which animal to kill? Choices are a part of the hunt.

Choices are also part of our spiritual life. Will we follow God, the one true God who has revealed Himself to us in the Bible and in His Son, Jesus or will we allow ourselves to be lured off the trail and follow false gods? Teachings that make us to be our own god, or teachings that worship the creation rather than the Creator are examples of false gods. As you make your choice, research the teachings of Jesus. When you learn more and more about Him, it will be easy to choose the right path!
(Cliff S)

Action Point
Make your choice. There's no in-between on this one. Choose the Lord, and serve Him!
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:13 am

”[The promise] is not only for those who live under the law of Moses but for anyone who lives with faith like that of Abraham” (Romans 4:16 NCV).

God doesn’t play favorites—regardless of your background, your status, or your sin. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a religious person or a formerly religious person or if you have any religious background at all.

Romans 4:16 says, “[The promise] is not only for those who live under the law of Moses but for anyone who lives with faith like that of Abraham” (NCV). Who are these people who live under the Law of Moses? The Jews. The Jewish people were given the ways of God before anyone else.

Have you ever thought about why the Jews were called God’s chosen people? Does God love them more than he loves the rest of us? No. They were chosen for a purpose: to spread the message to everybody else that there is one true God. They were kind of like the missionaries to the rest of us.

Now God has taken that task and given it to the church, which includes everybody who puts their faith in Christ, regardless of their background. God says his salvation is available to anybody who opens up his or her heart in faith: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13 NIV). There are no quotas in heaven. It doesn’t say only really good people will be saved if they call on the name of the Lord or really religious people or really smart people. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

The sad thing is that even though many people know that God offers his gift of grace, they still try to work their way into heaven. They think that something in their lives makes them good enough so they don’t need to receive God’s gift of salvation through Christ.

You may have done some really nifty things in life, but if you think they’re going to get you into heaven, forget it. The only way any of us gets in is by receiving God’s gift of grace, which is available to every person.

Have you trusted Jesus for your salvation?

The Bible says we can only get to heaven by trusting in God through his Son, Jesus Christ. And we don’t have to earn God’s love or work our way into heaven. The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).

If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and committed to following him, why wait any longer? If you’re ready to step across that line and make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, pray this prayer:

“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.

“I confess my sin, and I believe that you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say that salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. You have the right to call the shots in my life.

“Jesus, I want to relax in your love. Thank you that I don’t have to earn it or work for it. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I humbly commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at [email protected] and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.

Talk About It

How do you respond to the truth that nothing you can do will get God to love you more than he does now, or cause him to love you less?
What is your part in the church’s task to spread the message of salvation to those who have not heard?
What does it mean to “call on the name of the Lord”?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:16 am

Bible Study Verse
Genesis 1:31
God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day. (NIV)

Thoughts
When I'm out in the woods, the desert, or just out-of-doors anywhere, I am always amazed at the beauty and the simplicity of nature; yet, at the same time, I also marvel at the complexity of all that is around me. And God saw that it was very good! I'm inclined to agree. How could there be such a beautiful environment without a creator? I read how scientists want me to believe that this all came from nothing, just appeared, or random atoms just, over a gazillion years, accidentally came together. But, where did those atoms come from? There has to be a starting point to creation. I love the story about the scientists telling God that they would create life from the dirt, just as He did. When they begin scooping up a bucket of dirt from the earth, God tells them to go make their own dirt! Yes, the world is beautifully complex, and could only be the result of an intelligent and creative designer, an ultimate God!
(Cliff S)

Action Point
The next time you field dress an animal, look at the complexity of that animal and the differences between species. I, for one, do not believe that I, or the animals are the result of random "accidents." God made me, and He made me in His image! And it was very good!
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:26 pm

Bible Study Verses
Mark 4: 26-28
He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain-first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. (NIV)

Thoughts
I have never been much of a farmer, but nevertheless, I really relate to this scripture. When I stock fingerling fish, such as trout or bass, in a small stock dam or mountain pond, and return to that water some time later, I am always amazed when I cast in a spinner and pull out a 12-to-14in fish. I know it's supposed to work that way, but I'm amazed every time just the same.
(Ron T)

Action Point
Whether you're scattering seeds or scattering fish, when the conditions are right, they are going to grow. It is the same for God's Word. I think of the seeds of truth planted in my own life before I became a Christian. They didn't seem that important at first; but over time I began to think about the words, understand their meaning and how they applied to my life. I am so thankful to the laborers that God calls on to sow His Seed.

Now that I am a Christian, it is my job to share the Good News with others. Jesus said, "He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned," Mark 16:15-16 (NIV).
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:51 pm

”Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT).

Have you ever heard the word sanctification? It’s really just a big theological word that means to dedicate something for God’s purpose. You can sanctify anything. You can say, “God, I sanctify this car. I dedicate it to you for your purposes. God, I sanctify this home. I dedicate it to you for your purposes.”

God says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 that there’s something he wants you to dedicate to him: your body. “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT).

How do you do that? How do you honor God with your body?

It’s simple: You take care of it.

“Sanctify your body” basically means “get in shape.” If you want God to use you, you’ve got to get in shape. Because the better shape you are in, the more energy you’ll have and the more God can use you.

Psalm 119:73 says, “You made my body, Lord; now give me sense to heed your laws” (TLB). God set up the principles of good health. He doesn’t just want you to have a pure heart. He wants your body to be in shape so he can use you more effectively.

Maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep. But God can’t use somebody who’s tired all the time. You need to get proper rest. Sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is to take a nap!

Perhaps you need to work on the food factor. In 1 Corinthians 6:13, the Bible compares overeating to sexual immorality. You might never think of cheating on your spouse, but God says that these are all sins against the body. God is serious about wanting you to control what you eat!

It’s possible you have the wrong attitude toward your body. You neglect it, you reject it (“God, I want a different one!”), or you perfect it (the way a narcissistic bodybuilder worships his body). Instead, God wants you to respect your body and protect it. Why? Because God created it, Jesus paid for it, and the Holy Spirit lives in it.

So what’s our motivation to get in shape? The Bible says, “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize” (1 Corinthians 9:25 NLT). Our motivation is we want to please God. Athletes get in shape just to win an award. But you will have an eternal reward! You will be rewarded in heaven because you made the most of what you were given, because you took care of your body so that God could use you more effectively here on Earth.

Talk About It

How does not getting enough sleep affect you during the day? How does it affect your work? Your relationships? Your attitude?
What one step can you take today to implement healthier eating habits?
When it comes to physical fitness, some people neglect their bodies and some people worship their bodies. What does a healthy balance look like?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2484
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:54 pm

”My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (1 Peter 5:12 NLT).

We face many pitfalls in the marathon of life. But regardless of what you go through, you can count on God’s sustaining grace.

The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:12, “My purpose in writing is to encourage you and assure you that what you are experiencing is truly part of God’s grace for you. Stand firm in this grace” (NLT).

There are three things in life that can cause you to stumble, to get cast off to the side of the race, and to not finish well in life. But in each of these situations, God’s sustaining grace will get you through.

God’s sustaining grace helps you keep standing when you’re tempted.
Temptation is the first thing that can cause you to stumble. The Bible says, “God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure” (1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT).

God says, “I will provide the sustaining grace to always give you a way of escape.” It may mean turning the channel. It may mean running out the door. It may mean changing the way you’re thinking. But God will provide a way to escape temptation.

God’s sustaining grace helps you keep standing when you’re tired.
Sometimes you’re not tempted. Sometimes you’re just tired! Life is often exhausting. It requires a lot of energy, especially when you’re trying to do the right thing rather than the easy thing. But where do you get the power to do the right thing when you’re dead tired? “It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us, and he has identified us as his own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts” (2 Corinthians 1:21-22). The key is having the Holy Spirit in your heart to have the energy to do the things you can’t do in your own power.

God’s sustaining grace gives you the power to keep going when you’re troubled.
There are some hurts that all the wishing in the world won’t make go away. There are some things in life that are unplanned, unrelenting, and undeserved—and they hurt the most.

What do you do in those situations? You first stop doing the “if only” game and instead focus on Christ and his sustaining power. Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t worry, because I am with you. Don’t be afraid, because I am your God. I will make you strong and will help you; I will support you with my right hand that saves you” (NCV).

Talk About It

How has God’s sustaining grace carried you through difficult times?
How can you extend God’s sustaining grace to others?
What do you think it means to play the “if only” game? When have you used this excuse?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:19 pm

Bible Study Verse
Mark 6:31
And He said to them, "Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. (NKJV)

Thoughts
I love being outdoors. It provides a great time for me to get away by myself, with family, or with friends and just chill. I do find time to be by myself. I need the solitude to think, pray, and sometimes just to get things off my mind. Jesus reminds us in this verse that it's okay to do this. In fact, it is quite necessary, especially for those who expend a lot of energy for the faith.
(Don H)

Action Point
We need to take time to eat, not just food for our bodies, but food for our souls. Never feel guilty about planning free time outdoors. Just know that our Lord wants us to use that time to talk to Him, read about Him in His Word, and renew our strength in Him. Even a tiring hunting or fishing trip can be spiritually exhilarating when we dedicate part of that time to Jesus.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:12 am

”Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV).

What do you do when you can’t fix an unfixable problem? What do you do when you can’t solve an unsolvable riddle? What do you do when you can’t change an unchangeable circumstance? What do you do when you can’t control something that hurts deeply in your life?

You throw yourself on the sustaining grace of God.

How do you get the kind of grace to keep going in spite of temptations, trials, tension, tiredness, and troubles? You do four things:

Call out. Cry out for God’s help. When you pretend to be self-sufficient, you short-circuit God’s power in your life. You need to admit your inadequacy and say, “God, I can’t handle this!” The Bible says, “‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.’ So give yourselves completely to God . . . Come near to God, and God will come near to you” (James 4:6-8 NCV).
Fill your mind with God’s Word. Let God’s Word comfort, strengthen, fill, soothe, and energize you to keep going. Get into it every single day of your life. The psalmist prayed, “I lie in the dust; revive me by your word” (Psalm 119:25 NLT). If the solution were to look within yourself, you’d already be changed. You need to look to God! He’s the only one with sustaining strength.
Accept support from God’s people. The Bible says by helping each other with our troubles, we obey the law of Christ, which is, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” God never meant for you to go through life on your own. Our weaknesses help us realize how much we need each other. You need to accept support from God’s people.
Hold on to God’s promises. There are at around 5,500 of them in the Bible waiting to be claimed. Here’s one of them: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired . . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV). Keep your hope in the Lord and your eyes focused on the hope of heaven, not just on the here and now.
The Bible says, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’” (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV).

When you’re going through a problem you can’t fix, don’t give up. Just look up!

Talk About It

In what situation do you need God’s sustaining grace right now?
Which of God’s promises do you need to claim for that situation?
What godly people in your life can provide the support you need?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:06 am

”For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV).

It’s possible that you are carrying some deep wounds that you’ve carried for months, maybe even years. When you think about the person who hurt you, it’s still as fresh as if it happened this morning. The pain is still there, and you’re still filled with resentment.

You say, “Why in the world should I forgive that person who hurt me so much? You have no idea how much they hurt me. Why should I offer grace to that person?”

Let me offer three reasons for making that choice:

Be gracious to others and forgive those who’ve hurt you because God has been gracious to you.
You will never have to forgive anyone else more than Jesus Christ has already forgiven you. Remember that you haven’t always gotten what you deserved, either. God has been gracious with you. Now choose to be gracious with others.

Forgive others because the alternative is bitterness.
Scientists tell us that resentment is the unhealthiest emotion there is. It always hurts you more than anybody else! Resentment will not change the past, and it won’t solve the problem. It doesn’t even make you feel better. In fact, it makes you feel worse.

The Bible says in Hebrews 12:15, “Be careful that none of you fails to respond to the grace which God gives, for if he does there can very easily spring up in him a bitter spirit which is not only bad in itself but can also poison the lives of many others” (PHILLIPS).

Show grace to and forgive others because God wants you to do it.
Matthew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (NIV). Jesus says we cannot receive what we are unwilling to give. If you say, “I could never forgive that person,” then I hope you never sin. If you just don’t feel like doing it, do it anyway, because it’s the right thing to do.



One reason you may have a hard time forgiving others is because you don’t feel forgiven. Would you pray this prayer of liberation and freedom in your heart?

“Dear Jesus Christ, you know I’ve been hurt by others. You know that my resentment has made me act in ways that have been unreasonable and unhelpful and unhealthy. I need your power to release and forgive those who’ve hurt me so I can stop letting them control me. Would you please replace my hurt with your peace? God, I realize that I’ve hurt a lot of other people with my habits and my bad decisions and my hang-ups. Would you please forgive me for the way I’ve hurt others? Help me to make a list of those I’ve harmed and to humbly seek to make amends in the right way and at the right time. Jesus Christ, I want to refocus my life on you. I want to face the future courageously with love and peace in my heart. Would you replace my resentment with your love, my bitterness with your grace? Thank you for your graciousness to me. Thank you for forgiving me for the wrong things that I’ve done. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Perhaps you need to go a step further. Have you trusted Jesus for your salvation?

No matter what you’ve done or where you’ve been, you can have a place in God’s forever family ready and waiting for you. The invitation is wide open. Just believe and receive.

Are you ready? Here’s a prayer you can start with —

“Dear God, I know that when I die I’m going to give an account of my life to you directly. I confess that I have ignored you. I know I have sinned against you, and I have lived by my plan, not yours. I want that to change, starting right now. I want to turn away from my sins my sins and move toward you.

“Thank you for sending Jesus to die for all that I’ve done wrong so that I don’t have to pay the penalty. I know that I don’t deserve your forgiveness. I know that only your grace can save me, Lord. I could never be good enough to get into a perfect place.

“Jesus, thank you for loving me so much that you took all my guilt on yourself. You made me acceptable for heaven, and I humbly ask you to save me. I ask you to save me from the sins and the habits that are messing up my life right now. I believe in you, Jesus. And I believe that you will keep your promise to save me instantly and certainly and completely and eternally. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

If you prayed that prayer, please write and tell me at [email protected]. I’d love to send you some materials as you begin your journey with Jesus.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:09 am

Bible Study Verse
I Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (NIV)

Thoughts
While I was hunting deer recently, a large black bear approached me. When he was still about 40 yds away, I leaned my muzzleloader against a tree and dug my camera out of my pack.

When about 12 ft. from me, he began to circle, getting inside of 8 ft. At that point, I realized that I had moved several steps away from my gun. If he had wanted to attack, I would have been in trouble. I tried to scare him off, but he wasn't about to leave. Throwing sticks at him, shouting, suddenly raising my arms and trying to look as large and as intimidating as possible seemed to make him more interested.

He studied me for almost five minutes. He had no fear; and I'm sure I could have moved closer--even close enough to touch him. Bear experts say that when a black bear attacks, it will approach very methodically, as if to size you up. In this case, he finally turned and walked slowly away.
(Steve S)

Action Point
When Satan approaches a believer, he is more dangerous than a black bear. He is looking for an opportunity to attack. He may circle or hang around for as long as he can. Keep your weapon handy; it's your best defense! The Word of God is more powerful than a two-edged sword. "For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart," Hebrews 4:12 (NIV).

Interacting with evil is foolish and risky. Nothing good can come of it. Keep from evil by continually staying in touch with the Lord. Keep Him daily in your mind and heart; and keep His Word on your lips. The prayer that He taught His disciples says, "Deliver us from evil." So ask for His power to help you live in a way that pleases Him. It's your best protection against sin.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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Ronnie W. Stark
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PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:15 am

”Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).

Biblical forgiveness is not a cheap term you just throw around that instantly makes everybody feel better. That’s not real forgiveness.

The Bible says there are four characteristics to biblical forgiveness:

Forgiveness is remembering how much you’ve been forgiven.

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV). This is the starting point for genuine forgiveness. If you don’t feel forgiven, you won’t want to forgive anybody else. If you’re hard on yourself, you’re going to be hard on others. But the more grace you receive from God, the more gracious you’re going to be with others. The more forgiven you feel by God, the more forgiving you’ll be toward others.

Forgiveness is relinquishing your right to get even.

Romans 12:19 says, “Never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for he has said that he will repay those who deserve it” (TLB). Life is not fair, but one day God’s going to settle the score. He’s going to right the wrongs. So, who can get better justice—you or God?

Forgiveness is responding to evil with good.

The Bible says in Luke 6:27-28, “Do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you” (NIV). How can you tell when you’ve really forgiven somebody? When you can look at that person’s hurt and not just your own, and pray for God to bless him or her.

You ask, “How could I ever do that for the person who’s hurt me?” You can’t unless you allow the love of God to penetrate your life. Only the love of God can help you do something like that.

Forgiveness is repeating the process as long as necessary.

“Peter came to him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?’ ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’” (Matthew 18:21-22 NLT). Jewish law said you had to forgive a person three times, so Peter doubled it and threw one in for good measure. But Jesus said to go even further with your forgiveness!

How long do you have to keep forgiving someone? As long as it takes. You have to keep forgiving that person until the pain stops and the desire to get revenge goes away.

Talk About It

What difference has God’s grace made in your life? How can you extend that grace to others?
For whom do you need to pray God’s blessing today? How can that prayer be part of the process of letting go of your hurt?
What good can you do for someone in your life who dislikes you or who has wronged you?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:16 am

”Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV).

How do you learn to “R.E.L.A.X.” in the liberating grace of God?

R—Realize nobody’s perfect.

Psalm 119:96 is a verse directed toward God, and it declares, “Nothing is perfect except your words” (TLB). What society tells you isn’t perfect. What popular opinion tells you isn’t perfect. What you learned growing up isn’t perfect. But God’s Word is perfect. When you get in the Bible and build your life on it, you will have a perfect foundation.

E—Enjoy God’s unconditional love.

The Bible says, “See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children—think of it—and we really are!” (1 John 3:1 TLB) When you become a follower of Christ, you’re not just a servant of God anymore. You are a child of the King. A servant is accepted on the basis of what he does; a child is accepted on the basis of who he is. A servant starts the day anxious and worried that her work will please her master; a child rests in the secure love of her family. A servant is accepted because of his workmanship; a child is accepted because of his relationship.

L—Let God handle things.

What do you do about the uncontrollable things in life? “Cast all your anxiety on [God] because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7 NIV). When you’re fishing and you cast a line, there comes a point where you have to take your finger off the button and let it go. Just like the essence of casting is letting go, to overcome perfectionism you have to let go and let God do his work.

A—Act in faith, not fear.

Remember how you got into God’s family in the first place. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith.” There’s no other way to get into heaven except by grace. You’ll never be good enough, and you can’t buy your way in. It’s a free gift from God.

X—Exchange your perfectionism for God’s peace.

Perfectionism destroys peace. Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest . . . Learn the unforced rhythms of grace” (The Message). What a deal!

You’re going to fail a lot in life. But you don’t have to worry about it if you’ve received God’s grace. In fact, there’s only one failure you ever need to worry about: “Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15 NCV). Receive it right now, and then relax!

Talk About It

What troubles, grudges, or guilt can you let go of when you remember that nobody’s perfect?
What aspects of God’s love can help you relax?
How do you need to respond today to God’s offer of grace?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
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Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
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Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:17 am

”If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (Ecclesiastes 11:4 TLB).

When you learn how to relax in God’s liberating grace and break out of the prison of perfectionism, you will find a new level of joy and freedom in your life. Why? Because perfectionism is destructive to your life in several ways.

It defeats your initiative.
Have you ever had a project you haven’t been able to get started? You think, “One of these days I’m going to get around to it,” but you just can’t take that first step. One possible reason is perfectionism. You’re waiting for the perfect circumstance or timing, or you’re waiting until the kids get out of school, or you’re waiting until a certain amount of money comes in. When you set your standards so high, perfectionism causes paralysis, and you can’t get anything done.

The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 11:4, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done” (TLB).

It damages your relationships.
Nobody likes being nagged or corrected all the time. It’s frustrating and irritating! The Bible says, “Love forgets mistakes; nagging about them parts the best of friends” (Proverbs 17:9 TLB). Perfectionism—the desire to always correct—damages relationships because it’s rooted in insecurity. Perfectionists who are harsh and demanding on other people are really harsh and demanding on themselves.

It destroys your happiness.
Ecclesiastes 7:16 says, “Don’t be too virtuous, and don’t be too wise. Why make yourself miserable?” (GW). This Scripture isn’t talking about genuine righteousness or real wisdom. It’s talking about perfectionism. You can transform any virtue into a vice by taking it to the extreme.

Your worst nag lives under your skin, because you are your own worst critic. (That’s true for all of us!) Since we tend to resent and even dislike people who nag us, if you’re always nagging yourself, what does that say about you? It says that you don’t like yourself. You think you’re not good enough. And you think reminding yourself what’s wrong with you is going to motivate you into doing the right thing. It’s not! That’s called perfectionism, and it causes you to constantly put yourself down.

There’s just one antidote to perfectionism. It’s not in a self-help book or a doctor’s office. You can only learn to relax when you fully experience the liberating grace of God.

Talk About It

Where do you struggle most with perfectionism? What do you need to let go of so you can move forward?
Why is it important for you to be able to relax? What does it say to people who are not followers of Jesus?
What negative thoughts about yourself do you need to replace with God’s promises and truth about who you really are?
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

(662) 417-1588 Cell
(662) 473-8413 Cell

Ronnie W. Stark
Platinum Member
Posts: 2484
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 4:41 am
PKC Name: Ronnie W. Stark
City, State: Water Valley, MS
PKC Member Since: 30 May 1990
Annual Membership Expires: 12 Apr 2019
Lifetime Handler Earnings: $3,300
Location: Water Valley, MS
Contact:

Re: Daily Devotional

Postby Ronnie W. Stark » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:19 am

Bible Study Verse
Psalms 51:10-13
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. (NIV)

Thoughts
I'm not a great fly tier, but I do enjoy making flies and then catching fish with something I created. The bigger the fly pattern the better for me, I can use a bigger hook and have more material to work with. I like making dragonfly nymphs. They are fairly large and very productive when it comes to fishing. What fish won't eat a dragonfly nymph? I have been successful using them on trout, bass, pan fish, and even bullheads.

The life cycle of a dragonfly is very interesting. They go from aquatic to terrestrial, not unlike a lot of other insects. Once they hatch from their egg in the water, they are in the nymph stage for a period of time eating those pesky mosquito larvae. When they emerge from the water, they become the colorful adult dragonflies you see patrolling the water's edge.
(Ron T)

Action Point
When we become Christians we go through quite a change as well. We are born again and the old us is gone forever. Our job after we emerge is pretty simple. Mark 16:15 says, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation," (NIV). We all have our own little territory in "all the world" so that's a good place to start. If you're not sure what to say, just keep it simple. You might try, "Jesus changed my life, and he can change yours too." After that, be prepared to share your testimony if the opportunity presents itself.
This is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

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(662) 473-8413 Cell


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