Sunday Devotional: 2 Corinthians 13:11-12

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Become mature, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.  Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.”  (2 Corinthians 13:11-12)

Paul in his letters to the various churches he helped to plant and support always loved to finish them with encouragement and love.  Here in one of his letters to the church in Corinth it is again this kind of word that he wanted to send to the congregation.

Paul loved the people in Corinth and wanted to make sure that they were growing in their faith.  He wanted them to be encouraged to keep going in their faith.  He wanted them to be at peace with one another and he wanted them to be in fellowship with God and each other.

The same should be for us as well.  We should be striving to love God and love one another more.  We should be striving to become more mature in our faith and our walk with God.  We should be encouraging one another.  We should be striving for peace and unity at a time with divisiveness is very apparent.

This week, let us encourage one another like Paul encouraged the Corinthians.  Let us be about rejoicing about the hope we have in Jesus Christ.  Let us love God and one another more and more.  And let us be about sharing peace that comes through Jesus Christ.

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Updated 2017 Book List

Here is the updated book list for this year:

Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

College Ministry 101: A Guide to Working with 18-25 Year Olds by Chuck Bomar

Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support by Brad House

Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary by Ernie Johnson Jr.

Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan K. Dodson

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed The Movies by Mark Clark

Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of the Monsters by Brian Solomon

Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan J. Napier

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 107:1-9

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim
that He has redeemed them from the hand of the foe
and has gathered them from the lands—
from the east and the west,
from the north and the south.

Some wandered in the desolate wilderness,
finding no way to a city where they could live.
They were hungry and thirsty;
their spirits failed within them.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He rescued them from their distress.
He led them by the right path
to go to a city where they could live.
Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.
For He has satisfied the thirsty
and filled the hungry with good things.”  (Psalm 107:1-9)

The first part of this psalm reminds me of a praise and worship song that I love. We are to give thanks to the Lord. Why? Because His love endures forever. He loves us so much and cares for us. He is faithful always.

The writer of this psalm speaks to God’s love and faithfulness throughout this psalm.  Just in these few verses we see that to be true.  The people were wandering and alone and cried out to the Lord.  They were hungry and thirsty.  They were tired and alone.  The Lord heard them and led them out and brought them home.  He took care of them.

The Lord does the same for those who love and follow Him  He hears us when we call out to Him.  He will lead us out of despair and into hope.  So this week let’s us give thanks to the Lord for his faithful love that endures forever.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 107:23-32

“Others went to sea in ships,
conducting trade on the vast waters.
They saw the Lord’s works,
His wonderful works in the deep.
He spoke and raised a tempest
that stirred up the waves of the sea.
Rising up to the sky, sinking down to the depths,
their courage melting away in anguish,
they reeled and staggered like drunken men,
and all their skill was useless.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and He brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a murmur,
and the waves of the sea were hushed.
They rejoiced when the waves grew quiet.
Then He guided them to the harbor they longed for.
Let them give thanks to the Lord
for His faithful love
and His wonderful works for all humanity.
Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people
and praise Him in the council of the elders.” (Psalm 107:23-32)

We all have storms we have to deal with in our lives.  They come both literally and figuratively.  We’ve seen in recent days and weeks dealing with storms such as Hurricane Harvey and Irma.  We also see it in our lives figuratively when the troubles and hardships that come our way.  Throughout it all, God is still there in the midst.  He is still in control.

Like the Psalmist writes here in Psalm 107, God is right there to hear us when we call out to him in the midst of the storm.  He knows what we’re going through.  He is able to guide us “to the harbor”.  Sometimes it’s hard in the midst of the storm to feel his presence but He is there.  If we call out to Him, He will hear us.

This week, let us pray for those that are in the midst of storms both literally and figuratively.  And let us give thanks to the Lord, for His faithfulness and His love.  Let us give thanks that He does hear us and that He will calm the storm and will guide us to the harbor.