Devotionals - Archives

Why We Do What We Do

July 31, 2017 | James Rafferty

When it comes to spiritual things, do you know why we do what we do?

The reason is this:

“The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:17).

We do what we do because the flesh lusts or wars against the Spirit. We know it’s true. Deep down in our hearts, we know how sinful and selfish we are. When we look in the mirror we recognize our greatest enemy, sitting on our own shoulders. We are naturally destitute of the virtues of heaven.

Pause.

But the verse also indicates that the Spirit lusts against the flesh.

Alleluia Holy Spirit!

“I say then: walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16, NKJV).

Get out!

Did you just read what I read?

I think we need to read that again:

“This I say then, walk in the Spirit, and ye …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

The Road Less Traveled by Jeffrey Rosario

The Road Less Traveled

June 30, 2017 | Jeffrey Rosario

So don’t delay, for the road less traveled is where I’ll stay and I will go, wherever you lead me Lord I know you’re not safe, but at least I’m free.

The songwriter who penned these lyrics captured a reality about the Christian journey. Walking with God often leads us to the road less traveled—unexpected circumstances, unfamiliar territory, and challenges for which we feel unqualified.

The unknown is something we naturally recoil from, but it’s what the God of Abraham specializes in. “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out… And he went out, not knowing where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). Ordinary people pushing against the boundaries of possibility and venturing onto uncharted territory—this is what drives the Old Testament narrative forward.

But in what sense can the songwriter say that the Lord is “not safe”? At least in the sense that our own agenda, comfort, and selfish pride are not safe in the glorious presence of God. “I know you’re not safe, but at least …
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Jeffrey Rosario

Speaker
Light Bearers

Super Knowledge by Ty Gibson

Super Knowledge

May 29, 2017 | Ty Gibson

We are creatures of “knowledge.” Our entire existence is shaped by what we know and how we know. According to the Bible, there is a regular, run-of-the-mill knowledge, and then there is a kind of knowledge that operates at a deeper, wider, higher level.

“We know that we all have knowledge (gnosis). Knowledge (gnosis) puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Corinthians 8:1).

Paul wants us to understand that knowledge without love is worthless—and worse than worthless, it makes us arrogant.

In Ephesians 1, Paul prays that we will receive, “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge (epignosis) of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened” (Ephesians 1:17-18).

Here he uses the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis, with the prefix epi, which is a grammatical amplifier. Epignosis is deep knowledge, crucial knowledge, super knowledge. Later, in Ephesians 3:19, Paul prays that we will “know the love of Christ which passes knowledge (gnosis).” There is a knowing that surpasses all common knowledge. If you know the love of Christ, …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Draft Away, Part 2 by David Asscherick

Draft Away, Part 2

May 1, 2017 | David Asscherick

I recently did the Rainbow Ride, a local 102.5-mile (165 km) race. It was my first large group ride, and it was awesome! The ride starts with a steep and winding climb, followed by a fast descent, and about 30 miles (50 km) of relatively flat roads.

I got past the first big climb and descent feeling strong. But there was a problem, a big one.

I was alone.

I pedaled hard and fast (for me) and my cycle computer read 22 mph (35 km/h). My heart rate raced unsustainably high. I knew there was no way I could keep this up for another five hours. I could see a group of 15 cyclists not too far ahead, but they were pulling away fast. No chance of catching them now.

I struggled on for 15 minutes. Then he showed up.

Bob.

I did not know Bob, but when he caught me, he slowed a bit and said, “hop on” (translation: “follow me”) with such a cheery positivity that I immediately …
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David Asscherick

Speaker
Light Bearers

Fear Not by Fred Bischoff

Fear Not

April 7, 2017 | Fred Bischoff

Fear is a tricky thing. In the biblical worldview it originated—of all places—in a garden named pleasure. It is the child of insecurity, the product of removing one’s heart focus from the all-powerful, benevolent, pleasure-giving Creator God, and trying to lean on a broken branch. Not safe! Such a position seemed right at first to Eve, and then to Adam, but the results are obvious, around us and in us.

Have you ever noticed that the prime setting for fear is an encounter with the supernatural? From Adam and Eve’s first meeting with God after their fall to story after story of people encountering angels, fear is usually the first reaction. You can read the non-verbal emotion, “Oh, my! What is going to happen to me?”

God and His team understand our insecurities. That’s why their first words were often, “Fear not.” It’s why we read, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” not the end of it. What I hear God saying is, “Put your heart’s …
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Fred Bischoff

Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

Going Counterculture by James Rafferty

Going Counterculture

February 27, 2017 | James Rafferty

My 19-year-old daughter recently shared for our family worship some insights from a book she is reading for her university Bible class. When she finished, my mind went to the following scripture:

“As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time” (Daniel 7:12).

This verse describes both the military dominion and cultural influence of four great kingdoms: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome (Daniel 7:17, 23). The prophecy indicates that while each kingdom’s dominion and military control was lost to each succeeding power, the lives of these conquered nations were prolonged.

Defeated but living?

The life of a nation is found in its culture—the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively. These four cultures, though they differ in expression, are characterized by exonerating man and displaying his achievements. This is the culture of “I”, expressed today in things like the iPhone and social media, which enable our self-centered way of living.

Jesus turned the culture of “I” upside down. “Not I …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

What the War's About by Ty Gibson

What the War’s About

January 30, 2017 | Ty Gibson

“War broke out in heaven…” (Revelation 12:7).

Satan launched his revolt against God not with bullets and bombs but with subtly spun lies. The Greek word for “war” in the above text is polemos, from which we get words like polemic and politics. Polemos is the idea of arguing against an opponent or saying something about a person that has the effect of turning others against him.

In other words, Satan is a politician. God’s character is the focus of his attack. The devil specializes in formulating theological ideas that are calculated to portray God as self-centered, self-exalting, self-serving. Jesus came to our world for the specific purpose of giving a true revelation of God’s character. In His incarnation, life, and death, we encounter the truth about God.

Ellen White gets to the core of the issue like this:

“Unselfishness, the principle of God’s kingdom, is the principle that Satan hates; its very existence he denies. From the beginning of the great controversy he has endeavored to prove God’s principles …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers