KICKSTART DEVOTIONAL

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On every Mission Discovery mission trip, we begin the morning together in God's word. One speaker is chosen to give the word of the day so that everyone else can meditate on the Scripture. Our hope is that volunteers engage in group discussions throughout the day and in their small groups.

Since the way ministry is being done has shifted, our goal is to serve by creating resources that will help others focus on God throughout the day, and influence family and small group discussion.

Join us every weekday as we explore God's word together. We will have speakers from all over the US and the world. Here is today's Kickstart Devotional.

 

Video: Pete Guillard // What are You Relying on for Comfort? 

 

 

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What are You Relying on for Comfort? 

Mission Discovery Mission Trips with Pete Guillard

 

Pete Guillard is the Director of Youth and Adult Christian Education at First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Roanoke, Virginia.  He is a great friend of all of us at Mission Discovery and he has a thoughtful message for you here today.  

Hello my name is Pete Guillard and I'm with the First Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Roanoke Virginia. And I was asked to share a thought or two during this time of being shut in and then restricted somewhat. And I was thinking about the idea of being in quarantine and shut down from many of the regular activities that we normally face.

How businesses are suffering and people begin to feel the troubling effects both socially, emotionally and even educationally with schools being canceled, physically and financially in all of the above. There's a lot of things that are going on that cause us to look at the bad or to see the bad.

The loss of one's health or job brings to one the reality of the bad that we live in a broken and fallen world. However the gospel is called "The Good News." How is it good news when we live in the midst of all of this tragedy?

One does not fully appreciate the good news if there isn't an understanding first of the bad news knowing for sure the state that you're in will help you understand the peril and the danger that one is in. If I am walking on a trail and I don't see the cliff before me I don't recognize the difficulties.

I don't recognize the peril that I'm in unless I am warned or have some vision of what's lying ahead. And that is what the Gospel gives us. It gives us a clarity of this state that we're in, the peril that we're in as well as the good news of how to be rescued from that peril.

One of the things that's true, though we might vary in our suffering during this current time. You might not be one who's lost a job you might not be one who is ill or sick or anything like that. And so we vary in our physical sufferings. But one thing that is absolutely true for all of us is that we are in peril regarding our eternal lives.

Every single one of us, the Scripture says is dead due to sin with the fall of Adam's sin and was brought to mankind. The Scripture says that the wages of sin is death and it's not just death because I have sin it's death because I am by nature sinful. Look at what Paul says in Ephesians chapter 2 as he talks about our condition. He says  

"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live, when you follow the ways of this world and of the ruler of the Kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work and those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time. Gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ when we were dead in our transgressions.It is by grace that you have been saved." 

Now it's interesting as we look at this passage that it talks about our state, but everything that Paul says he's talking in the past tense. He's talking to those who believe in Christ. He says before that there is a belief, every single one of us is dead in our transgressions and sins. We are by nature, objects of God's wrath.

It is God's wrath that we will suffer as a result of being separated from him because of sin. But notice though we are dead as dead people, we can not do anything to effect a change upon ourselves to change our state or to change our condition. That's why the scripture says it is by his grace that He has made us alive.

It's not that we come alive by having right thoughts or right decisions. It's that God himself has made us alive through Jesus Christ. We are by nature objects of wrath. We suffer because of that, because of sin and we are alienated and estranged from God from the beginning and we can do nothing to effect that change.

But God in His grace, undeservedly, he provides the means of escape for us through the death of Jesus Christ. In John Chapter Three we're familiar with verse 16 that talks about how 

"God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life."

If we read on to versus 17 and 18 it says 

"For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of Gods one only son." 

You notice our state here is affirmed that we are condemned. Jesus didn't come to condemn the world because the world already is condemned. He came to save the world to save those who would believe in him paying the full and complete price by his death for all that separates all the debt that I have before God. And so we look at the bad news, I am dead. I am dead and eternally estranged from God.

I am in my guilt and in my sin and cannot escape. But the good news contrasted by that is that God himself has provided a means of rescue from his own wrath and that is through Jesus Christ.  With Jesus' death and resurrection, He paid completely my debt and my sin. It made me right before God.

Romans 5:1 says 

"Therefore since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ".   

Being justified is being made right. And I have peace with God. All that separated me all that made me enemies to God. All that made me an object of his wrath, has been dealt with and has been done.

And though I was condemned, Romans also says in 8:1, 

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" 

in verse two it says 

"Because through Jesus Christ the law of the spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." 

It is through Jesus Christ, through his pain. The full and complete price and obligation of my sin. I no longer live in condemnation. I no longer am guilty before God. I am made right. I am made alive, though I was dead in my transgressions and sins. And that's the good news and that's the hope that we all have.

Though we each face various life sufferings because we live in a fallen world, we have the sure assurance and promise that God leads us and brings us, provides all of our needs and ultimately brings us to himself.  Because there is now nothing that separates us from him. Is that true for you? That's the encouragement that we have. And so I want you to think if you would for a moment of 

what is it that you are relying on for your comfort, for your strength, for your security? If it's in the medical profession or if it's in the scientific field to provide answers for us, then you're not going to be secure in your standing before God. So think about it. What is it that I rely on?

And as you come to that conclusion is it Christ or is it something else. Am I depending on that which is in the realm of the bad news that holds me ultimately separate from God? Or is it in Christ who ultimately brings me to union with Him where there will no more tears, no more injustice, no more sickness, no more death.

Where there is a new heaven and a new earth. Just a thought that I had wanted to share with you. Take care now.

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