Devotionals - Archives

Surprise Victory by Fred Bischoff

Surprise Victory

September 26, 2017 | Fred Bischoff

Do you like winning? And do you like surprises?

Have you heard that the only way you can win in life’s ultimate contest is through the unselfish giving of genuine love? The meek and lowly win, and the braggarts and proud lose! Surprise!

The opposite principles of good and evil are not only the issues in conflict, but are also the weapons. Satan began the battle by speaking the lie, promoting selfishness, taking, even life, eventually even the life of Jesus. Jesus fought using the truth, unselfish giving, even giving Himself.

Righteousness describes the image of God in which man was created, but lost when the lie came. In other words, mankind abandoned faith and love. God restores sinful humans—He wins in the battle of no faith and love—by simply treating us sinners with faith and love. If we receive these gifts and return them to Him and pass them on to others, we wear the “breastplate” in the battle.

God’s restoration of His image in man is motivated by …
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Fred Bischoff

Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

The Continuing Reformation by Ty Gibson

The Continuing Reformation

September 1, 2017 | Ty Gibson

“The Protestant Reformation was the 16th-century religious, political, intellectual and cultural upheaval that splintered Catholic Europe.”

That’s how the History Channel website defines the Protestant Reformation—as an historical event that “was,” something that happened a long time ago. What I’d like to suggest is that the Reformation is still under way, right now, and that you and I can be part of helping to move it forward to completion.

First, according to Scripture, God is in the process of bringing about the “restoration of all things” (Acts 3:21). So think of history in general as a restoration project that God is guiding forward until everything is back the way it’s supposed to be, back to the place where evil is banished from existence and all relationships are defined by faithful love.

Secondly, the Protestant Reformation is only one part of this restoration process, beginning in the fourteenth century with the bold move of John Wycliffe to openly suggest that (1) each individual has direct access to God and should obey …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

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