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Our Chapel Ministry

Walking Your Faith, In God's Holy Word ~ Chaplain Thomas Stackhouse

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WALKING YOUR FAITH


Jeremiah 18:4 "And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

A mound of clay, by itself, is not a very beautiful thing. It may have some intrinsic value but in the end, it's still a pile of dirt. That is, until the potter gets a hold of it. Once the potter gets involved, this pile of dirt begins to take shape. As the potter presses in, the clay becomes thinner. The potter then reaches into the center and is able to scoop out all the excess clay within. While the clay began as a formless pile of dirt, it ends up as a beautiful masterpiece.


Ephesians 2:10 "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." NKJV


When God found us, we were like the clay ~ dirty and formless. We may have tried to mold ourselves, but only the potter is able to mold the clay. Once the Heavenly Potter came into our lives, He began molding and shaping us into the image of His Son, Jesus. With each firm press of His hand, we are changed. With every scrape of His tools, sin falls from our life. This is our Heavenly Father at work, and while it is painful, it is worth it. God knows what we need and He is the perfect potter whose loving hands will sculpt our lives into something far greater than we could ever understand. All we have to do is let Him.


Walking your faith? God desires to make a masterpiece of your life. Shalom!


My Heavenly Potter,

I am sorry for my resistance to Your hands in my life. I know that I need to be molded more into Your image, and I ask that You would place my life onto Your potter's wheel. Carve off the sin in my life and shape me into a vessel that can be used for Your Kingdom. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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WALKING YOUR FAITH


1 Peter 1:1 "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia," NKJV


Friends in Christ,

In 1 Peter 1, Peter describes the church at that time as "pilgrims". This could also be translated as "foreigners" or "aliens". The idea is that they are not of this world. In this statement, Peter is affirming an important Truth for all believers. This earth is not our home. When we are turned to Jesus for salvation and are born again, we are born into a new nature. We begin thinking & acting differently. While our bodies may be here on earth, our thoughts are on Heaven where we will one day live. Even our bodies are referred to as "tents" because they are simply temporary dwelling places.


If we are of Heaven, how are we supposed to live in this world? The answer is that we live for God. We invest our time, energy, finances and anything else we have on earth into eternal things. God calls us to enjoy the blessings of this planet, but we should never hold on to them as if they are all we have. When Heaven is in our view, we can give our lives away without fear because we know that no matter what, Heaven waits for us on the other side.


Walking your faith? While Christians may live on earth, our home is in Heaven. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for the hope of Heaven and the promise of an eternity with You. Help me to remember Heaven is my home so that I can find peace even in difficult times. Lord, please use my time, money and other resources for the Kingdom of God. Today, I desire to live for eternity. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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WALKING YOUR FAITH


Acts 10:29 "Therefore I came without objection as soon as I was sent for. I ask, then, for what reason have you sent for me?" NKJV


Friends in Christ,

Peter asks a thought-provoking question in this passage. Why am I here? I think this is a great question to ask ourselves. We may say we are here to serve and love God and to serve and love others, but if we never take the time to really do these things, how important are they to us? I believe it is important to ask ourselves this question often and make decisions according to these priorities.


 know I am guilty of getting caught up in things that don't really matter and disregarding the things that really do matter. I find myself "majoring on the minors and minoring on the majors." Jesus broke it down for us when He said, "Love God and love others." It really can't be explained any simpler than that. We should remember that Jesus did something extraordinary. He loved us by giving His life away. In doing that, He has shown us how to love others.


Walking your faith? We should be asking ourselves the question, why am I here? Amen?

The answers should be...

1) to love and serve God

2) to love and serve others

3) to show and tell others about Jesus


ABBA, Father God,

Help me to remember what is important. I get confused about my priorities sometimes. Please remind me through Bible teaching, Bible reading and the love and care of others, why I am here. Help me to take the time to remember these things. When it's all said and done, only what I have done for You will last. In Jesus' precious name. Shalom.


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Walking Your Faith


Nehemiah 3:1 "Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They built as far as the Tower of the Hundred, and consecrated it, then as far as the Tower of Hananel." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

In the book of Nehemiah, we see the people of Israel joining together to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem. Stone by stone, each wall and gate is constructed to keep the bad out. The same should be true in our own lives because once we see something or hear something, it is impossible to remove it. If you are a parent, you are responsible for guarding your kid's gates. As they get older, help them make good decisions and discourage bad ones. Don't look for the newest greatest spiritual thing, that is great with technology but not with spiritual things. God has given us great wisdom so that we can go to the ancient things for modern problems.


2 Corinthians 10:4~5 "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..." NKJV


The key to guarding our hearts and minds is to fill our hearts and minds with the things of God. Reading God's Word and meditating on the Truths of Scripture will help protect us from evil. Time in prayer for our lives and the lives of our family will direct our paths. Also, we must be actively engaged by saying no to certain music, television, movies, games or books that could draw our hearts away from Christ. It's not about legalism; it's about building the walls of protection and guarding the gates for God's glory.


Walking your faith? As people created in the image of God, we can and should control what we read, listen to, think and say. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for the guidance You give in Your Word. Grant me the wisdom and power to build the walls and guard the gates of my heart and mind. Fill me with Your Spirit. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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WALKING YOUR FAITH


Philippians 4:19 "And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

"It's mine!" For any parent, those words are all too familiar. Every child at some point or another will grab something they want, whether it is rightly theirs or not, and scream "Mine!" While as adults we may not grab a car in the parking lot and scream mine, we still struggle against the sin of coveting.


Psalm 24:1 "The earth is the LORD's, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein." NKJV


In scripture, we find a great truth that helps us overcome this 'mine' syndrome. This basic truth is that nothing we have is ours to begin with. All our money, time, health and family are simply on loan from God. At a moment's notice, He could take it all, but instead He allows us to manage them. When we dedicate these things to Him and give of our finances and other resources for His Kingdom, we become a conduit of blessings for others. Friends, once we realize that none of what we have is ours, we find freedom from coveting and dissatisfaction. Instead, we find contentment and joy as we give our lives away for our Lord.


Walking Your Faith? Understanding the source of our blessings prepares us to be used as a vessel to bless others. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for all that You have done for me. Because of Jesus, I have forgiveness. Because of Your continued mercy and grace, I am blessed with life and daily bread. Help me to be a blessing today as I share the blessings I have with others. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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WALKING YOUR FAITH


2 Corinthians 1:2 "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

Grace. It's a word we use a lot in Christianity, but do we truly understand what it means? To some, grace is just a prayer you say before eating, but in reality, grace is a life changing experience. Each of us is born into this world with a problem. That problem is that we are enemies of God. Because of our sin, we are totally depraved; we are at war with God and therefore, we deserve punishment. This tension between us and God leads to frustration, anxiety and fear. After all, if I know that I have done bad things, how am I supposed to make up for them? Can I do good things to outweigh it... would I really want to do these things? No. Can I punish myself to satisfy God? No. The only solution for complete peace with God is His Grace.


Ephesians 2:8 "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,..." NKJV


When we confess to God that we are sinners and pray for the faith to believe in Jesus for forgiveness, we can experience His Grace. God grants us forgiveness, love and eternal rewards not because we are good, but because HE IS. This is Grace. When we understand this Grace, we have peace. Peace to know that God is with us. Peace even in the storms of life because we know that God is by our side. While the world uses drugs, alcohol, sex and money to achieve temporary peace, God grants eternal peace. This peace doesn't come from us earning it, but from the perfect Grace of a loving God.


Walking your faith? If you don't know Grace, you can't know peace. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for the Grace that comes through Jesus. Because of this amazing Grace, I can have true peace. No matter what today throws at me, I can know that Your love is true and Your forgiveness is real. May these Truths stay in the front of my mind and may You use me to share this peace with others today. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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WALKING YOUR FAITH


Acts 14:18 "And with these sayings they could scarcely restrain the multitudes from sacrificing to them." NKJV


Friends in Christ.


How often we take our focus off God and place it on men. Paul is not Saint Paul in the religious sense; rather he is a Saint because he is new in Christ Jesus who forgave him of his sins. God did great things through Paul and Barnabas who were just people like you and me; people who had the mind of Christ. When we think of people as super heroes, we deceive ourselves in thinking they did things that we could never do, but you know what? God does great things through people today.

Jesus said that He did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). If we are to "arm ourselves also with the same mind" (1 Peter 4:1 NKJV), then we must serve others. Paul exhorts us saying, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus," (Philippians 2:5 NKJV). What is your attitude toward serving others?


God wants to use you to do awesome things. People who forsake their own needs and wants by serving others demonstrate their focus is on Jesus. The kind of humility that it takes to deny yourself in order to serve others is unnatural to man, but through the incredible work of God it is made possible. There are more opportunities to serve others than there are of being served. What does that say about individuals willing to let others serve them, but never serve others? It speaks volumes about their focus. Have you positioned yourself to serve or to be served?


Walking your faith? Get your eyes off of people and put them on Jesus. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Please forgive me for the times when I've taken my focus off of You. Please grant me a heart to serve You by serving others. I want to be Your humble and obedient servant. Thank You Lord. In Jesus' precious name. Amen.


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WALKING YOUR FAITH


1 Corinthians 1:11 "For it has been declared to me concerning you, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

Paul, in writing this letter to the Corinthians, dealt with division inside the church. Any idea you may have that church is a perfect place is shattered the moment you walk through the door. It was the same in the early church. We all bring something valuable to the church, but because we are sinful people, we also add to the problems.


In this letter, Paul takes on people's attitudes; their way of thinking. Do we need to be challenged today? Absolutely we do. Being saved does not mean we're done being changed. We continue to be changed, and as we are, our ideas and concepts of what it means to be a Christian are challenged. God wants to adjust our attitude and if we are truly honest with ourselves, we are desperate for that change.


Walking your faith? God wants to adjust your attitude. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your Son Jesus who died for me so I could have life more abundantly. Lord, I confess to You that I am struggling. I have been looking to the world for answers rather than depending on You. I surrender my heart to You, Lord. Help me to make the changes You want for me. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory. Amen.


OurChapelMinistry.US

WALKING YOUR FAITH


1 Corinthians 2:1 "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God." KJV


Friends in Christ

The power of your testimony is not in how well you speak or how you couch the details. It's not in the clothes you wear or in worldly prosperity. The power of your testimony is in God and the lengths He went to in order to make you right with Him. Your testimony is your walk with Jesus now. That's why it's so precious. People don't see who you were, but they do see who you are.


There is power in your story. It is the "I used to be but now I'm..." God story. People need to hear it. There is no issue you need to work through first. You will always be working through issues and if you are waiting to be perfect, have the Bible memorized or have a refined Christianese vocabulary filled with ten syllable words, you will be with Jesus before you ever share your story. That would be a shame. How many can be reached through the hearing of your testimony? I don't know and neither will you unless you step out, uncomfortable or not, and share. Do you want to find out?


Walking your faith? Tell people your God story often. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for the simple story of Your Son, Jesus, who died for my sins so I could be forgiven. Lord, thank You that in Your love You offer me Your grace and mercy. Grant me the strength not to drift in sharing the simple message of Your story in boldness to glorify You. Allow me the opportunities to tell others my story. In Jesus' precious name and for Your glory Lord. Amen.


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Malachi 3:2 "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderers' soap." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

Have you ever watched a goldsmith in action? It's an amazing thing to watch them heat up this precious metal and pour it into molds to harden so that it can be handled. But before they're able to pour it into a mold, they must first remove any impurities. These impurities, or dross, cannot be cut out of the gold or rubbed off. In order to remove the dross, the goldsmith must first heat the metal to incredible temperatures. Once this is done, the dross rises to the top and the goldsmith is able to scrape it off thus purifying the metal.


Friends, this is what our Father in Heaven desires to do in each and every one of our lives. He desires to mold us and shape us more and more into the image of His Son, Jesus. To do that, He must often lead us into His refiner's fire, the trials of life, where He will skim our imperfections off the top. Most of the time this is not a pleasant process, but we can trust that God has our best interest at heart. Like the ultimate goldsmith, God knows how much heat we can endure and how much handling we require. It's in His loving hands that we are refined so we reflect our Father's handiwork.


Walking your faith? God desires to act as refiner and purifier in our lives. Shalom!


ABBA, Father God,

Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your work in my life and for Your refiner's fire. While it may be difficult during those times of trial and purifying, I praise You because I know it is for my good. Lord, continue to skim the dross from my life so that I may be a shining example of Your love and grace. In Jesus' precious name and for Your Glory. Amen.

WALKING YOUR FAITH


Acts 21:30 "And all the city was disturbed; and the people ran together, seized Paul, and dragged him out of the temple; and immediately the doors were shut." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

Although the door never really opened to the Jewish people, Paul continuously ministered to them. There was, however, an open door for Paul to minister to the Gentiles. Sometimes in ministry, you may want to do one thing but God wants you to do something else. Maybe you have a heart for a particular country, region or a specific people group, but God wants you to 'bloom right where you are planted'. Perhaps God has given you a heart to pray for missions in an area but hasn't asked you to do it yourself. Paul supported the church at Jerusalem, but he was never really part of the church there. Look for open doors where you are. If there is an opportunity to join a ministry team in church, go for it! Maybe your heart is in Children's Ministry or Youth Ministry, but the open door is in another area of ministry.


Matt 25:21 "His lord said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." NKJV


Friends, go for the open door. Perhaps later, God will open the other door. It's quite possible you are being tested whether you will be faithful in the small things.


Walking your faith? Bloom wherever God plants you. Shalom!


Sovereign Lord,

Thank You for granting me gifts that I can use to serve You and others. Please forgive me for times when I have not used them to serve. I ask You to show me the open door, even if it is not what I want, and grant me the faith to go through it. I pray this in Jesus' precious name. Amen.


WALKING YOUR FAITH DEVOTIONAL


Acts 21:21 "but they have been informed about you that you teach all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs." NKJV


Friends in Christ,

What are some of the traditions you hold that keep others from Jesus? In the verse above, you see the Jewish and Gentile conflict within the church and the traditions that the Jews wanted the Gentile church to follow. Although they rejoiced that God was at work among the Gentiles, they slipped in the word 'but' revealing their 'religiosity'. They were concerned for the traditions set within the church.


It is important as you walk in relationship with others to speak leaving out the 'buts'. Often, you'll hear that word come up as you talk to others. We all are in danger of saying it. Have you ever said.


"I like the way you did this 'but'."

"It's a great church 'but'."

"I would show love to that other person 'but'."


I remember a guy who stopped by the parking lot of our church asking if it was okay for him to enter the church dressed as he was. The church down the road told him that he couldn't come in unless he dressed more respectfully. This man was simply wearing a t-shirt and pair of jeans. It was okay to come to church 'but' he wasn't dressed nicely enough to be welcomed in. When God forgives us, there are no 'buts'. It is a gracious gift from above. When you are called to extend forgiveness to others, the Lord wants you to forgive them in the same way.


Maybe you are carrying around a number of reasons why you don't want to show God's love to someone else. If this is you, turn to the Lord right where you are and ask Him to help you purely embrace and show the gift of forgiveness to others as He has shown you.


Walking your faith? We do not earn forgiveness it is given to us, it is a gift. Shalom!


Heavenly Father,

Thank You for the gracious gift of Your forgiveness that You've shown to me by dying for my sins. Please grant me the strength to extend the same gift of love and forgiveness to others. Keep me from putting up walls that hinder others in having a real relationship with You. In Jesus' name. Amen.