Devotionals - Archives

Rooted and Grounded in Love

November 26, 2018 | James Rafferty

Paul prays, “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17). Rooted and grounded are agricultural and building terms that describe Paul’s desire for us to know God personally.

Ephesians 1-3 lays out the plan of salvation as fulfilled in the history of Jesus. Paul taught that our salvation is complete in the doing and dying of Jesus, not in our works (Ephesians 2:1-8). Our works are the result of accepting the salvation already won for us in Jesus (Ephesians 2:9-10). Paul confirms this by stating that the mystery of salvation is that it includes the Gentile world who do not yet know or believe in God (Ephesians 3:1-7).

Yet God cannot save us by simply excusing sin and making us better people (morality is good, but it’s not the gospel). That would make Him unjust. His law, the transcript of His character, says: “The Lord will not hold him guiltless that takes His name is vain,” that is he who violates God’s …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

To Be His

October 29, 2018 | David Asscherick

“David, I’m so judgmental. I’m just so judgmental of others. I need Jesus. I love Jesus. He can change my heart, because I’m very judgmental of those who are not like me.”

And there were tears that ran down the cheeks into a beautiful smile. Those tears and that smile belonged to Judith. Judith is one of my church members here in Kingscliff. She has four sons who are named Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. I’m not kidding. And these boys are lovely, wonderful, and polite young men. They are a credit to their mom and dad and to their God.

I know I’m probably not supposed to have “favorite” church members, but Judith is one of my favorites. The sincerity, joy, and genuine love that flows from this woman are both an inspiration and a rebuke to me. Judith is a woman who knows Jesus, and it shows.

I had just finished preaching a particularly challenging sermon. I knew that many in the congregation would struggle to hear and …
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David Asscherick

Speaker
Light Bearers

Prone to Forget

October 1, 2018 | Fred Bischoff

Peter’s last recorded words (2 Peter 3) highlight the importance of memory and the danger of ignorance.

A person can’t remember something he is ignorant of. But when a culture is “willingly… ignorant” (3:5), its new generations suffer from a corporate amnesia. Peter stirred up the corporate memory of humanity, recalling in history the power of “the word of God” to create and to destroy.

Jesus, the incarnate Word, had pointed Peter to the earlier writings of the Word that predicted the power of Messiah’s unselfish love—the principle of giving, not taking, of humbling, not exalting self (Luke 24:44-48).

Embracing this testimony of Jesus enabled Peter to deny his “own lusts” and leave the rank of “scoffers” (3:3), fully embracing “the promise of His coming” (3:4; see Genesis 3:15; 22:17, 18). He had seen this promise fulfilled in the coming of Messiah and of the Spirit (Acts 1:4; 2:33, 39; compare with Galatians 3:14). Peter had experienced Pentecost!

Drawing more from musty memories, Peter focused on the promise of a …
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Fred Bischoff

Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

Three More Keys to a Great Marriage

August 31, 2018 | Ty Gibson

Just yesterday a friend in his 30s said, “I went to a wedding last week and was blown away to find out that nearly all of my friends from college are already married and divorced.”

Divorce has become so common, we basically expect it to happen. In my last article, I shared three keys to having a great marriage . I just happen to have three more.

Choose Pleasantness Over Correctness. Being right is overrated. It’s just not necessary to always be right. There is, in fact, a way of being right that is wrong and a way of being wrong that is right. Someone said, “If you’re wrong and you shut up, you’re wise. If you’re right and you shut up, you’re married.” I’d add that shutting up when you’re right is an even higher manifestation of wisdom. “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19, NASB). Being right in your attitude is more important, by far, than winning an argument.

…love doesn’t cop an attitude …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Three Keys to a Great Marriage

July 5, 2018 | Ty Gibson

Someone has said, “Marriage is like flies on a windowsill. Those on the outside want in, and those on the inside want out.”

Well, I’ve got better news. It’s possible to be on the inside of marriage and want to be there. I’ve been on the inside my entire adult life. As soon as I saw Sue, I thought, “She’s the one for me.” As soon as she saw me, she thought, “He’s really weird,” (in an adorable way, I assume). We were hitched at 18.

Nobody is the oracle of wisdom on marriage, but Sue and I still like each other immensely, so something has gone right. But it’s not because we’re unique. It’s because of the consistent application of principles anybody can apply. Here are three that have kept Sue and me deeply in love.

No force. We allow one another a lot of space to be ourselves. Freedom is the operating system of reality. Freedom is risky, but it’s the only relational dynamic in which love can …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Climbing and Hiding

May 28, 2018 | David Asscherick

Lately, I’ve been taking my teenage sons, Landon and Jabel, to the climbing gym. I was introduced to rock climbing by two close friends, a young couple named Tim and Tanya, when I was a teenager. On my first day, I had to be essentially rescued by Tanya from the top of an 80-foot granite spire. It was an inauspicious start to what would become a lifelong passion.

What many cannot grasp, though, is that climbing isn’t actually very dangerous. So long as one is skilled in the techniques of rope management, anchor building, and risk management, rock climbing becomes almost pedestrian in terms of danger, as any experienced climber will attest. In fact, in many cities, being a pedestrian would be more hazardous than climbing with proper equipment and technique.

Is there danger? A little, but it can be minimized by responsible behavior and a basic awareness of one’s situation and surroundings.

This is why I’m teaching my sons and have been for years. I want them to know …
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David Asscherick

Speaker
Light Bearers

Rescued in Christ—Part 2

April 30, 2018 | James Rafferty

Has Jesus given eternal life to every person?  What we can say with biblical clarity is that the life and death of Jesus purchased temporal life for everyone. This is Paul’s argument to the Athenians in Acts chapter 17:

“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: For in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

The Foolishness of the Cross

April 3, 2018 | Fred Bischoff

Jesus’ words, “The flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63), explain the mess the world is in. Except for the human Jesus, we each are born “of the will of the flesh” (John 1:13). This is human nature left to its sinful condition. It gives to us only a life “under the law”—on the law’s bad side, out of touch with God’s love. From that inheritance we have nothing but “guilt and the sentence of death” (Ellen White, Letter 68, 1899, par. 15).

But good does exist, and in the midst of the mess we find grace, even in those who don’t officially know God. How can this be, except that God’s Son was “made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law” (Galatians 4:4-5)? “The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us… full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). He was one of us, but He connected in Himself God and the sinful race (John 1:51). “And the grace of our Lord was …
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Fred Bischoff

Adventist Pioneer Library
Light Bearers

Rescued in Christ

February 26, 2018 | James Rafferty

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).

Paul tells us that when the appointed time came, God arrived!

God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law. When Christ united Himself with us, what we are, He became. By doing that, He was qualified to be our Savior.

Jesus became human, taking on Himself fallen human nature. He came under the law and therefore was subject to the consequences of the law. Yet Jesus lived a perfect life with no sin. Still, He was condemned to death. He shouldered the condemnation of the fallen human race.

All the consequences we deserved, Jesus…took on Himself.

All the consequences we deserved, Jesus, the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:47), took on Himself. They should have come to the first Adam. They would have annihilated not only him but …
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James Rafferty

Co-Director
Light Bearers

Unbelievably Diabolical

January 29, 2018 | Ty Gibson

It’s no secret that Christianity is dying in Western countries. There are a number of factors contributing to this trend, but maybe the biggest is the fact that mainstream Christianity is asking the world to believe two doctrines that together compose the most diabolical picture of God imaginable—predestination and eternal torment.

Think this through. Predestination, as generally taught, says God decides each person’s eternal destiny—saved or lost. Then, “lost” is defined as spending eternity in the flames of hell. The logical conclusion? God creates some people for the purpose of torturing them forever. They have no choice, because God chose their fate. “It’s all part of His sovereign plan, for His inscrutable glory,” we’re told. “Who are you to question God?”

Many rational people simply cannot believe in a God like this. Nor can I. Yet I do believe in God. To unbelievers, I’d say something like this: You know that God you don’t believe in? Well, I don’t believe in him either.

“I can never join Calvin in addressing …
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Ty Gibson

Co-Director
Light Bearers