Devotionals About the Authentic Church
The world, culture, the media, and the masses do not understand the church. “…because they have a totally wrong conception of what she is.” Martin Lloyd-Jones But, they have a main source of information –and that is from the church itself. The church is not just a place to visit on special religious occasions or to go exercise a weekly obligation. Church is not a building, not even a place. Church is not centered around a man, a political point of view, a tradition, a building, a history, nor sentimental emotionalism. That is religion, and Christianity has nothing to do with that.
The local church is a gathering of people– souls who have been changed by God, mastered by God, and therefore have God at the focus their life. They did not seek religion and did not seek God at all. Christianity happened to them by God’s initiative; it was not their choice. Church is a gathering of those who were spiritually dead and have been made spiritually alive by Christ and his gospel. ONLY these authentic Christians can reflect the true nature of the church to the world.
Why and How this Devotional Came About
This devotional is provided in the hope that it will be an encouragement and blessing to the congregations of CHPC and FPVR during this important time when leadership is considering a merger of the two existing congregations at the current FPVR location into a new church for the glory of God. There is no intention nor vision for sharing these devotions with other churches. Nor is there any intention to convince anyone which way the decision should go, one way or the other. This month with God is simply for our common edification and spiritual preparation in anticipation of God’s leading.
Each devotional is designed to take ten to fifteen minutes to read, consider its true meaning, and prayerfully apply its truth in a personal way. None of the pages are provided ‘for someone else’, but should be considered with the question in mind, “What wondrous thought from Scripture does God have for me today?” And secondly, “How can I apply it to my life?”
Some of the pages have been compiled or written by various members or by the Session of CHPC church, some simply copied from other reliable sources such as, Tabletalk Magazine, The Navigators, Ligonier Ministries, My Utmost for His Highest, Going Places with God, John Piper, John MacArthur, Samuel Rutherford, Randy Pope, Harry Reeder, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Kevin DeYoung, Spurgeon, and others. A concerted attempt to give proper credit to those sources but may not have been as thorough as ‘professionals’ would have, so apologies are offered here for any misses in that direction. There is no intent to sell or otherwise distribute this material, but only to build up and strengthen these two small bodies of followers of Christ at this important time.
How To Use It
Here is the suggested daily approach to this “31 Days with God” for our congregations:
- Obtain a copy of these devotions in the format you prefer: printed, digital, online, or downloaded so that it is readily available to you for daily consumption.
- Designate a time and place each day to read the day’s devotional and commit to that time. Think
of it as a very important appointment set to meet with God, prayerfully listen to him speak from his Word, and respond with careful application and/or action. If you miss a day or two, don’t be discouraged. Simply go to the date for ‘today’ and re-start.
- Write down one wondrous thought God gave you: perhaps one sin to avoid, or a promise from God, an example to follow, a command to obey, some knowledge to receive, a truth to apply, or a person to encourage or serve. If you print the pages, you could write on the back of each day.
- Look for opportunities to encourage others in our congregations to meet with God daily. Perhaps the best way to do this is to click, “Reply” and leave an encouraging comment or statement about how you have benefited from the day’s devotional (you will only need to register the first time.) And,
- Come prepared each Sunday of July to hear the Teaching Elder take you deeper into the scriptures. To encourage focus on the preached Word, no devotional is provided for Sundays. If you prefer to work from a printed version of each week’s devotionals, a printable download is provided on each week’s introduction page and on the conclusions page.