Friday, March 31, 2017

April 1, 2017


April 1, 2017

Why Pray?

“…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16

Can prayer really make a difference?  Can my prayers actually change things?  Is it possible for the will of God to be thwarted because I don’t pray?  These are legitimate questions.  The answers you give them reflect the very foundation of your relationship with the Lord.  On one hand, if God is Sovereign, He’s going to do everything the way He wants to, so why pray?  On the other hand, if He is waiting on my prayers to execute His will, then I had better get serious about praying really quickly.  How does God’s Sovereignty and my prayers go together?

God uses prayer to make the impossible, possible and the ordinary, extraordinary.  Prayers make our efforts effective and help us to define God’s will more clearly.  C.H. Spurgeon said, “Whenever God determines to do a great work, He first sets His people to pray.”  Faithful praying releases the Holy Spirit to act and allows us to see God in His full glory.

I think it was John Wesley that once said, “God does things when we pray that He does not do when we do not pray.”  Let today’s devotional be an inspiration for you to seek the Lord in prayer.  Look up prayer in your Bible’s concordance.  Then read and study those verses it gives you.  It will help you become endeared to prayer and to realize just how vital prayer is.

Prayer Focus:  Thank God for hearing all the prayers that have been lifted up on our church’s behalf.  Thank Him for answering them.  Pray that God’s people at Fred Wes will pray more than ever before and that everything we do as a church will be labored over in prayer.

March 31, 2017



March 31, 2017

Truth and Freedom

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John  8:32

In a day before politicians decided truth according to polls and partisanship, Abraham Lincoln made decisions based on principle.  His most notable act was the Emancipation Proclamation.  It was New Year’s Day, 1863, when this decree was first publicly stated.  It would be almost two years later, two years after his death his convictions were made official in the Constitution.  Lincoln took a stand without compromise that would nearly rip our nation apart and cause much bloodshed.  He knew there were some things that were worth standing for, even if it meant a fight.  Personal freedom for everyone is such a thing.

An unusual thing happened after the war.  Even after an amendment to the Constitution, slaves continued to live as slaves.  Shelby Foote records for us what one Alabama slave said in 1864, “I don’t know nothing ‘bout Abraham Lincoln ‘cep they say he set us free.  And I don’t know nothing ‘bout that neither.”  How tragic.  Strange as it may seem, man preferred the security of slavery to the uncertainty of freedom.

It is tragic when someone does not exercise his personal freedom.  Even more so are God’s people who have been set free spiritually but who are content to remain in their slavery.  Jesus Christ is the Great Emancipator who has paid the ultimate price for His people to be free from the bondage of sin.

Consider these verses:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.”  Romans 6:6-7

Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”  Romans 8:2

Prayer Focus:  Pray that Fred Wes believers are a discerning people who will claim our Christ-earned freedom.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 30, 2017

March 30, 2017

Conversion = Changed Life

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.”  I Timothy 1:12

After Watergate, there was an abundance of books that were published by the various personalities involved.  One of the most famous was Chuck Colson who wrote the very famous “Born Again.”  This book detailed his conversion to Christ.  All of these years later, we think of Chuck Colson as a great man who has had such an impact on the world through his prison ministries.  We forget that before his conversion he was known as “the hatchet man.”  It was a common saying in Washington that Colson would walk over his own mother for Nixon!  Another player in the Watergate scandal was the very boisterous G. Gordon Liddy.  One of the great quotes from his book tells of a time when a certain court date came around.  Everyone had been discussing Colson’s conversion to Christianity.  As Colson walked into the courtroom, Liddy was overheard to say, “Oh, no, if Colson would walk over his own mother for Nixon, just think what he will do for Jesus!”

Time has proven Colson’s conversion genuine.  He certainly is one more example of how God can change a life.  In 1 Timothy, the Apostle Paul is encouraging Timothy in the faith to cherish, protect, and preach the Gospel.  The reason is that the Gospel’s message changes lives.  Indeed at Fred Wes, the Gospel is preached so that our goal of loving people to life in Christ can be accomplished.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that our church will always be a place that impacts the world for Jesus.  Pray that each one of us will join together to help expand God’s kingdom and achieve Christlikeness.

March 29, 2017


March 29, 2017

Don’t Drop Out Of the Battle

“In the Lord I take refuge.  How then can you say to me: “Flee like a bird to your mountain.’”   Psalm 11:1

In the 1984 Olympic Games hosted by Los Angeles, there was a memorable event in the women’s 3000 meter race.  Two premier long distance runners were entered: Zola Budd, a South African running for Great Britain, and Mary Decker from the U.S.A.  During the race, the two bumped.  Budd landed awkwardly and was cut deeply by Decker’s spikes, but was able to continue.  She finished a disappointing seventh.  Mary Decker suffered a pulled left hip stabilizer muscle.  Her injury put her out of the race.

In a spiritual sense, there are many Mary Deckers today.  Wounded, they have quit running the race.  Among the many images of life found in Scripture, there is the image of the runner and the image of battle.  As believers in Jesus Christ we begin with a birth, but we discover quickly that this journey we are on is more like a battle.  It is very difficult to persevere in a battle.  In 1 Kings, chapter 22, the Bible records the time when King Ahab of Israel joined with Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, to battle against Syria.  In the midst of the chaos, Ahab is struck by an arrow.  He groans to the driver of his chariot, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting.  I’ve been wounded.” (verse 34)

There are many like Ahab who have been wounded in the battle for souls and have forsaken their place.  The Scriptures are full of these warnings and admonitions.  Galatians 5:7 says, “You were running a good race.  Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”  A disturbing part of our culture today is an aversion to any kind of commitment.  Our society is short on longevity and long on short-term, quick, instant “what have you done for me lately” attitudes.  God teaches us differently through His Word to persevere.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that our church will persevere with what the Lord has entrusted to us.  Ask the Lord whom you can encourage to persevere today.  Proverbs 11:25 says, “…he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”  Claim this promise as you act upon it.

Monday, March 27, 2017

March 28, 2017


March 28, 2017

A Contribution or A Sacrifice?

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2

Did you hear the story of the chicken and the pig who were walking together down the road?  They came upon a beggar who was nearly starved to death.  He had not eaten in days.  The chicken and the pig decided to help him.  The chicken said,  “I have an idea.  Let’s fix him some breakfast - some ham and eggs!”  The pig thought about that a moment and then said,  “I don’t like that idea very much because it only requires you to make a contribution, but for me it is a complete sacrifice!”

As the Apostle Paul writes our Scripture passage, he is making a turning point in his letter to the believers in Rome.  He is finally giving an application to the truths that he has been telling about in previous chapters.  He is stating how we should respond to the knowledge that God has procured our salvation and saved us from the wages of sin through Jesus Christ.  He’s telling us to lay it all on the altar for God; surrender completely. Don’t simply make a contribution like the chicken, but sacrifice all like the pig.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that Fred Wes is a body of believers willing to totally surrender to God.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

March 27, 2017


March 27, 2017

The Absurdity of Going Back

“Are you so foolish?  After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?”  Galatians 3:3

On Thursday, August 1, 1985, a room full of America’s top intelligence officials were gathered outside the office of the director of the CIA for a farewell reception of a retiring colleague.  However, the topic was not about the retiree.  Whispers were flying around the room that the highest ranking KGB agent, Vitally Sergeyevich Yurchenko, had defected.  He was most important because he was in charge of all KGB operations in the United States and Canada.  Now, he would be able to provide extremely important information about Soviet spies in America.

After presenting himself to the American Embassy in Rome, he was quickly flown to the United States in a military plane.  Once in the U.S., he was taken to a “safe house” in northern Virginia where he was interrogated for hours and provided very sensitive information.

The most startling and amazing part of this story took place three months later on November 2nd.  Yurchenko had been spurned by a girlfriend in Canada and was growing increasingly impatient with his situation.  During the evening he persuaded the CIA agent assigned to him to take him to Georgetown for dinner and a movie.  During dinner Yurchenko asked the agent, “What would you do if I got up and walked off?  Would you shoot me?”  The CIA agent replied, “We don’t shoot defectors.”  Yurchenko countered, “I will be back in 15 to 20 minutes, if I am not, it is not your fault.”  With that he walked out of the restaurant and presented himself to the Russian Embassy where he un-defected.

The world watched in amazement a few days later as this man boarded a Russian Aeroflot jet, stopping briefly on the boarding steps to wave good-bye to freedom.  He then returned to the confines of communism.  Why would anybody who had enjoyed freedom return to communism?  Yet that which amazes us in the political arena is met with welcome acceptance in the spiritual arena.  Why would anyone who has tasted the freedom stemming from the grace of God return to the confines of legalism regulating that relationship?  What kind of relationship do you have with the God of grace?

Prayer Focus:  Pray that we will continue to live our Christian lives in the Spirit and not by our own human effort.  Ask the God of grace to help you deepen your relationship with Him by filling you daily with His Holy Spirit.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 26, 2017

March 26, 2017

Watch Out For the Dream-Stealers

“….so I sent messengers to them with this reply:  ‘I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down.  Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?’” Nehemiah 6:3

Dr. Haller Nutt of Natchez, Mississippi, had a dream.  He wanted to build one of the greatest plantation houses in the South.  Being a doctor and cotton farmer gave him the wealth needed to accomplish this dream home.  He made his sketches and searched the nation for the best architect to make his dream a reality.  He found Samuel Sloan in Philadelphia to design it.  It was going to be an octagon-shaped mansion with eight rooms on each of the six floors.  All of that was going to be grouped around a middle piece, a six story rotunda that would be capped with a 16-sided Byzantine onion-shaped dome.  It was going to be beautiful with nothing else like it in all the South.  Dr. Nutt went all over the world to purchase the very best furnishings for this masterpiece.

As soon as construction had begun, tragedy struck.  The Civil War erupted.  All the workers left to fight.  Dr. Haller Nutt lost everything during the course of the war.

During that time, he moved his family into the basement of this grand mansion so that they might be safe and have shelter.  Dr. Nutt died in 1865 before the war was over.  The family continued to live in the basement.  In fact, they lived there for over a century, 111 years!  Finally, some relatives donated it to the local historical society.  To this day, it stands as a monument to an unfinished dream.

In chapter 6 of Nehemiah, enemies tried to stop him from completing the dream that God had laid on his heart – that of rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls.  But Nehemiah stayed focused.  He completed his God-given dream in record time to the praise of His glory.  He is a role model for us today.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that God will enable us to complete the dream that He has given us in such a way as to bring Him glory and expand His kingdom.  Pray that He will thwart any enemies who try to steal our dream and prevent it from happening.  Ask the Lord how you can take ownership of this vision using the time, talents, and treasures that He has given you.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 25, 2017


March 25, 2017

You Make the Call

“All Scripture is God–breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.“      II Timothy 3:16-17

Baseball umpire Durwood Merrill tells of his rookie year of umpiring in the major leagues.  It was the first time he had called balls and strikes with the famous pitcher, Nolan Ryan.  The second pitch of the game was so fast, Merrill never saw it.  He froze, unable to make the call.  Finally he yelled somewhat tentatively, “Strike!”  The batter backed out of the box and said, “Ump, don’t feel so bad, I didn’t see it either!”

This story is a good illustration of what is happening in the world today.  Change is occurring so fast that none of us can see it clearly.  Yet we have to make vital calls and daily decisions about very important things, all the time wondering if we are making the right ones.

There has never been a time when we have needed a standard more in our lives than we do today.  We need a fixed point, a true north an unchanging standard on which we can base our decisions and not have to worry about changing them.  God has given us such a standard.  It is the Word of God, the Holy Bible.  It contains the rock-solid, never-changing, always relevant truth.

Unbelievers might say the Bible is irrelevant and outdated.  Believers know that “…the word of God is living 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)  You make the call.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that our fellowship of believers will read and study the Bible daily.  Ask God to let its wisdom sink into our hearts and minds and then reflect in our character and actions.

March 24, 2017


March 24, 2017

God’s Great Relocation Project

“Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, ‘We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.’” Numbers 13:30

God is in the moving business.  He is always in the process of moving His people.  Although we are often content where we are, God loves us enough not to leave us there.  Sometimes we can get a little stubborn about changes that He has in mind for us.

A good illustration is found in the children of Israel as they were moving from Egypt to the Promised Land.  God sent miracle after miracle to get them out.  But then, they did not want to go on in and possess what He intended for them.  In fact, they said in Numbers 14:3, “…Wouldn’t it be better for us to go back to Egypt?”  It seems God could take His people out of Egypt, but His people couldn’t leave Egypt behind.

The old song says,  “I have decided to follow Jesus – No turning back, no turning back.”  Paul says in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  God has begun a spiritual project for His people of Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church.  May we take heed of the lesson we learn from the children of Israel going to the Promised Land.  May we be wise enough to realize that God began this great project, and He will continue this work until completion.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that God will continue to lead the way and that our faith will remain strong as we continue with this vision He has given our church.  Thank the Lord for loving you enough not to leave you where you are.  Also thank Him for the privilege of being a part of this church body of believers during this exciting time in our history.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 23, 2017


March 23, 2017

An End Time Church

“The end of all things is near.  Therefore, be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." 1 Peter 4:7

Have you heard the story about the man who woke up early in the morning, looked at the clock, and the time was 3:33?  He looked over at the calendar and noticed that it was also the third day of the third month.  As he arose from bed, he remembered that he lived on Third Street and that his house was the third house.  When he read the morning paper he became even more excited because at the horse races that day there was a horse named Trio in the third race.  So he rushed to the bank, withdrew all of his life’s savings, and then rushed to the racetrack.  He went to the third gate and sat on the third row.  He bet it all on Trio to win the third race.  Guess what happened?  Trio placed third.  Sometimes things do not work out the exact way we think that they will or want them to.

The recipients of Peter’s letter were in the same situation.  They had bet it all on Jesus and believed they had a winner.  But they were being severely persecuted for placing their faith in Him.  They must have wondered if being taunted and persecuted by unbelievers every day was worth it.  Since they knew the difference that Jesus had made in their lives, they answered yes, it was worth it.  This affirmative answer still begs another question, however:  “How can we endure until the end of the world?”

God will prepare His people before the Lord returns.  The church will return to its position of power much like she experienced in her infancy.  We are beginning to witness the power of the Holy Spirit on the church again.  The lapping of the tide is hitting the shores, but a tidal wave is coming!  God will deal with the church as a bride as He did when she was a babe.  Not everyone wants to be a part of an end-time church.  Many are content to be in a safe ministry that provides comfort for the comfortable and disturbs no one.  Many would love, in these last days, to sit at the feet of those preachers who will tickle their ears with “sweet Jesus” sermons that tell them all is well with their sin-filled lives.  End-time churches want to pray relentlessly, give tremendously, witness powerfully, and worship constantly.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that our church is an end-time church.  Ask the Lord to help us to do our utmost for Him as a church body and individually.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 22, 2017


March 22, 2017

Can Jesus Do A Mighty Work Here?

“He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” Mark 6:5

Here we have a sad picture.  Jesus came to church but could do no mighty work because of their lack of faith.  It was not a good first year of ministry for Jesus as far as His reputation among the hometown people of Nazareth was concerned.  He experienced a tremendous amount of rejection.  Nazareth was where the Scriptures say, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.”  (Luke 2:52) 

It started out well enough when He took the pulpit on a Sabbath and read from the prophet Isaiah, the 61st chapter.  This event (recorded in Luke 4:16-30), tells how they  “were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips.” (verse 22)  But when He told them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (verse 21), they became enraged.  In fact, they ran Him completely out of town to a cliff where they wanted to kill Him by casting Him off the edge.  “But He walked right through the crowd and went on His way.” (verse 30)  Talk about rejection!  Most preachers would have dusted their feet off and pronounced judgment, never to return.  Jesus, however, is not like most preachers, thank God.  He still had a burning desire to do a mighty work among them.

Jesus still has a burning desire to do a mighty work through His church and people today.  Are you willing to live by faith and have a prayer relationship with Him?  He is ready, willing, and able to perform powerful works through us.  Our faith will either turn the switch on or off.  Jesus will either do a mighty work here, or He will go elsewhere to do His mighty work.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that He will do a mighty work through Fredericksburg Wesleyan  Church because we are of strong faith.  Ask God to show you if there is a roadblock of unbelief in your life.

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 21, 2017

March 21, 2017

We Have Never Done It This Way Before!

“He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all.  This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’” Mark 2:12

Ancient sailors recorded many times that in the midst of a coming storm the top of their ship’s mast would be circled with a mysterious circle of light.  Many times their hair would begin to stand straight out from their heads as this light appeared.  They called it St. Elmo’s Fire.  Any experienced sailor knew it was then time to take cover because the air was so electrically charged that a lightning strike was imminent.

The air must have been so charged in Capernaum at the time this Scripture passage took place.  There was a crowd, and this crowd was curious about the ministry of Jesus.  Scribes surely were scowling as they watched this new Rabbi closely, hoping that they could catch Him in an error.  The room was charged with excitement.  Everyone knew that something dramatic was about to take place.  It was not St. Elmo’s Fire; it was the King of King’s fire.  For when He is present, something miraculous is going to happen.

Sure enough, excitement mounted as four men began to tear up the roof in order to let a friend down in the presence of Jesus so that he could be healed.  The Bible says they literally “took off the roof.”  When believers at Fred Wes gather, it ought to be a “roof-raising experience.”  And we too should be able to say, “We’ve never seen anything like this before!”

According to this passage, three things are needed to have a “roof-raising” experience with Jesus:
We must have a Savior who can save.
We must have a preacher who can preach.
We must have a flock who has faith.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church will be filled with people of faith like these four roof removers, for they did everything possible to bring their friend to Jesus.  Ask the Lord to make you like one of these four.

March 20, 2017


March 20, 2017

Are You Dangerous?

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

When we are called by God our Savior out of sin’s bondage, we begin to journey with Him.  We follow Him as our Captain and Leader into the promised purpose of the future, our destiny.  Along the way, God will stretch us.  He will enlarge the horizons of our vision.

Jim Elliot, the great missionary who gave his life trying to reach the Auca Indians said,  “Am I Dangerous?”

If we are honest with ourselves, we may find that we are utterly ordinary and commonplace.  We profess to know a power the world cannot reckon with.  We are all sideliners, coaching and criticizing the real wrestlers, while content to sit by and leave the enemies of God unchallenged.  We are often spiritual pacifists, conscientious objectors in this battle to the death with principalities and powers in the heavenly places.  The world cannot hate us; we are too much like its own.  Oh, that God would make us dangerous! 

How do we get there?  According to Joshua there are several principles:

Choose to be strong.
Choose to be courageous.
Choose to be obedient.

Read Joshua 1 and write down everything God commands him to do.  Then reflect how these commands compare with what the Lord is calling you to do.

Prayer Focus:  Pray 2 Chronicles 15:7 for our church,  “But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”  Ask the Lord to embolden us with strength, courage, and submission to Him to follow the path He has placed before us.  Pray these traits for yourself as well.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 19, 2017


March 19, 2017

From Defeat to Victory

“I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses.” Joshua 1:3

Abraham Lincoln is widely recognized as one of the greatest presidents in the history of our country, Abe stood tall and strong in a very critical and decisive time in our history.  We certainly would regard him as a successful man.  But this man also experienced many failures throughout his life.

When Abraham Lincoln went off to the Black Hawk War he was a captain.  Through no fault of his own, he returned a private.  That brought an end to his military career.  His little country village shop “winked out” as he used to say.  So he failed as a businessman.
As a lawyer in Springfield, Illinois, he was too impractical, too unpolished, and too temperamental to be successful.
Turning to politics, he was defeated in his campaign for the legislature.
He was defeated in his first attempt to be nominated for Congress and in his application to be Commissioner of the General Land Office.
He was defeated in the Senatorial election of 1854 and in his aspirations for the Vice Presidency in 1856.

Finally, he was elected President of the United States and fulfilled his destiny and the destiny of a nation.  Although maybe not as dramatic, Lincoln’s experience is the experience of many of God’s people.  The enemy of our soul comes to us after repeated defeats and whispers in our ears, “You’re a failure!”  He tells us we will never win, are trapped forever where we are, and will never fulfill our God-given destiny.

The first chapter of Joshua tells the story of God’s people who escaped the cycle of defeat and moved into the new day of victory.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that Fredericksburg Wesleyan will possess all the land and build all the facilities on it that God intends for us.  Pray Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  Ask the Lord to encourage you in your walk with Him.  In your prayer time, claim victory over evil for our church and for yourself.

Friday, March 17, 2017

March 18, 2017


March 18, 2017

The Corporate Anointing

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.  For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.”   Psalm 133

This Psalm was written on the occasion of David’s coronation as King over all of Israel.  And what a struggle it was between the times he was anointed king by Samuel until the day of his coronation when he ruled over a united twelve tribes.  It was David who united these warring tribes.  David understood that harmony could only be achieved when they practiced the unity of their faith.  These days of unity for Israel under David, and later his son Solomon, were without question the most glorious days of their history.  Never has Israel possessed all of the land that God gave her except in these days.  Even in our current time, Israel is but a shadow of what she was, despite her being in a united state.  In fact, Israel will know no greater glory until Jesus rules in regal splendor from His throne in Jerusalem.

There is a message in these verses for the church.  For as the people of God united under one king in the Old Testament, so the people of God must unite today under the King of Kings.  As they experience great glory in this unification in the Old, so we will experience a greater glory in the New.  As they experienced a tremendous victory over their enemies because of unification, so we will enjoy freedom from the enemy’s control in the New.

Unity is not uniformity.  You can tie two cats’ tails together and have unity but not peace!  Seek ways to be harmonious.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that the FredWes believers will experience and demonstrate true unity of purpose.  Pray that we will be one so that the world will be won.  Ask God how you can help our church be unified.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Anointing Brings Harmony


March 17, 2017

The Anointing Brings Harmony

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!  It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes.  It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion.  For there the Lord bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.” Psalm 133

Remember the television show M*A*S*H?  It was based on an American emergency medical unit in the Korean War.  This group of people was composed of some very different personalities.  There was Hawkeye Pierce, B.J., and Father Mulcahy.  There was Colonel Potter, Radar, and Hotlips Houlihan.  They were always playing jokes on one another and arguing over different political views and the war.  But there was always one thing that brought these characters together.  It did not matter what particular argument was going on or what particular practical joke was being pulled, when they heard the sound of the choppers bringing in wounded, they always were united in the O.R.

In our day of hurting and wounded people, we cannot afford to be one more church that spends all of its time arguing over things that will not matter in the light of eternity.  We must bring our differences together and allow the Lord to merge them in unity of the Spirit.

Just as Aaron, the high priest, was anointed on his head and the oil ran down his body, so the Holy Spirit descends from our great High Priest, Jesus Christ.  Anointing always brings harmony.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that, throughout the fulfilling of this dream that the Lord has given Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church, we will experience genuine harmony resulting from the Holy Spirit’s presence among us.  Ask God to show you specific ways that you can contribute toward the unit of believers at Fred Wes.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 16, 2017



March 16, 2017

All Power

“Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Matthew 28:18

The Roman Empire was at one of its greatest moments in terms of size and influence.  The borders of the empire were larger than ever before.  Their elaborate governing system was in full operation.  Tax money was coming in at a higher rate than ever.  Truly the Roman Empire was operating in one of its finest hours.  It was the most modern civilization the world had ever known.

If it were possible for the leader of this great empire, Tiberius Caesar, to have looked from his palace in Rome all the way to a distant remote mountain somewhere in Galilee where eleven men were gathered around their leader, and if he were able to hear what this leader was saying to these eleven men, there is little doubt that he would have laughed out loud.  The leader said to His disciples, “I have been given complete authority…”

However, if Caesar could have seen about 350 years into the future, he would have been aghast to see his successor naming Christianity as the official state religion.  It took less than 400 years for Christianity to conquer the great Roman Empire.  History would later show that this act of being made an official religion of the empire would become a blight rather than a blessing to Christianity.  However, it is still significant to see how a church of only eleven impacted the entire known world in such a short time.

How were they able to achieve this feat?  It was through power - Holy Spirit, God-given power.  We can impact our world because we have the same Holy Spirit living within us, thus the same power.

Prayer Focus:  Pray that the leaders of Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church will be mightily filled with Holy Spirit power and thus impact the world for Christ.  For yourself, pray or sing the words of this song:

“Breathe on me, breath of God, love and life that make me free.  Breathe on me, breath of God, fan the flame within me.  Teach my heart, heal my soul, and speak the mind that in Christ we know.  Take me to your sanctuary.  Breathe on me.  Speak to me, voice of God.  Comfort, heal, restore with love.  Breathe on me.”

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Day 22 :: Changed By The Power Of God


March 15, 2017

Changed By The Power Of God

“As the body without the Spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”
                                                                                                James 2:26

How do you know that your life has been changed by the power of God?  Well, how do you know that a high voltage electrical line has touched you?  When a person comes into a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ, it is very obvious to the one who has received this new life and to the people close to Him.  When God comes into your soul, you will know it!  However, the question can be asked:  “Does the Bible teach about the evidence of a changed life?”  This Scripture in James is the heart of this epistle, and it gives a clear understanding of a biblical working faith that is evident of a union with Jesus Christ.

Paul speaks of this in Romans, using Abraham as an illustration.  Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation.  What were his experiences concerning this question of being saved by faith?  Was it because of his good deeds that God accepted him?  If so, he would have had something to boast about.  But from God’s point of view, Abraham had no basis at all for pride.  For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  When people work, their wages are not a gift.  Workers earn what they receive.  “However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.”  Romans 4:1-5

There is no contradiction between these verses in James and Romans.  Paul stresses the root of faith, while James stresses the fruit of faith.  Paul looks at our salvation from the Divine perspective, and James looks at it from the human perspective.  Paul sees the fire, and James sees the smoke coming out of the chimney.  The two go hand in hand.

Is your faith evident to those around you?  Does your faith penetrate your character and actions?  Can others tell that you love the Lord?

Prayer Focus:  Lord, increase the faith of every member of our church so that it is obviously visible to the outside world.  Pray Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 14, 2017

                      DAY TWENTY-ONE                     
March 14, 2017

Power Of Love

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8

A woman named Beth was driving her husband Jim’s pride and joy, a little green MG.  He had labored over this car for hours every Saturday for four years.  He had wanted a car like this for almost all of his life.  As Beth was driving, she saw a boy on a bicycle and swerved to avoid him.  She heard the little car being crunched, scraped, and the glass breaking.  Another driver stopped to help her out of the car.  She was dazed but not hurt when the police officer approached her and asked for her insurance papers.

She did not so much fear the wrath of her husband, for he was gentle and nice, but she feared the great disappointment he would have.  She dreaded the hurt and anguish she would see on his face.

As she went to the glove compartment to get the insurance papers, she found them in a plastic package.  To her surprise on top of all the documents was a white envelope with her name on it.  She opened it and began to read:  “Dear Beth, if you are reading this, you have probably been in an accident.  Don’t worry.  I pray that you are all right, and just remember it is you that I love.  Jim

The best of us have wrecked our lives at times.  We have made a mess.  We have loved darkness rather than light.  But the cross is God’s statement to us that no matter how much we have wrecked our lives and disappointed Him, He says, “Remember it is you I love.”

Prayer Focus:  Spend time in prayer adoring God for His love.  Pray that as we move forward as a church, we will always cultivate a loving relationship with God and each other.  Ask the Lord what Fred Wes family member you can reach out to today, expressing His love.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 13, 2017


March 13, 2017

Power To Transform

“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves.” Colossians 1:13

One of our problems today is that we trivialize sin, Satan, salvation, and the Savior.  We have reduced sin to what we call minor complexes and simple problems.  Satan has become simply a myth, a joke or a cartoon character.  In reality, he is the very real god of this world, the chief of an innumerable company of demons, the father of all unbelievers and the ruling monarch of darkness. 

Salvation has been reduced to a mere intellectual decision rather than a transformation of life.  Our Savior has been trivialized to simply another religious leader.  In the New Testament, Jesus never asks for compliments or tribute from those who reject His claims as Messiah.  He stands alone as the “only begotten of the Father.”  He made the claims that “He and the Father are one.”  He claims to be the only way to heaven.  We may trivialize these things, but in light of eternity, it is not a trivial pursuit.  The very word salvation stands for all God the Father has done to rescue us from our fallen condition.  The New Testament presents our salvation, not as a mere decision, but a miraculous, supernatural deliverance!  Colossians stands as a book that is a wake‑up call to the powerful truths about our salvation.  Never trivialize what it took to save you.

Prayer Focus:  Today is the halfway point in our 40 days of prayer and fasting.  Pray that our prayer warriors will be encouraged in some way today.  Pray that God’s people at Fredericksburg Wesleyan Church will continue to strive to deepen their relationship with God on a daily basis and that generous giving on Commitment Sunday will result because of their increased faith.  Ask God to help you never to trivialize His love.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March 12, 2017


March 12, 2017

Powerful Jesus

“At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him.  He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’” Mark 5:30

In Mark, chapter five, we have three important incidents in the life of the Lord Jesus.  It is within the context of these events that Jesus revealed Himself as the powerful Son of God.  In the first event, Jesus revealed Himself as more powerful than demons.  He went along with His disciples to the most demon-possessed man in all the country.  When Jesus showed up, the demons immediately began to beg for mercy.  With one word the demons left this man, never to return.  We also see Jesus revealed as more powerful than death in this passage.  When Jairus’ daughter fell ill, he sought Jesus out to come and heal her.  But before they could arrive, the girl had died.  Jesus, nevertheless, restored her life by the power of His word.  In the middle of these two great revelations, there is a rather small incident where Jesus showed Himself more powerful than disease.  It falls almost as parentheses to the greater event of the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead, but there are still some important truths about the touch of faith.

This healing event shows us that we should not only have spiritual life, but we should also have spiritual health individually and in our corporate church body.  Many have received salvation and have spiritual life, but are not well.  Jesus says in John 10:10, “… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  The way to experience spiritual health is the same way to experience spiritual life – that is to come into contact with Jesus.

Prayer Focus:  Ask God to give spiritual health to our corporate church body and to you as an individual.