Devotional Mar. 2, 2020

Everything We Need
Monday, March 2nd – Ephesians 3:20-21 (ASV)

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.”

I love this verse. I have heard it for years and many people hang onto it for hope. Here it says that God will give us even MORE than we can ever imagine. We read that and we get super excited and then we jump right to ‘unto Him be the glory!’ Of course after reading all that He can do for us we are going to celebrate, we are going to sing His praises… forever and ever! But there is one word in these verses that we seem to quickly pass over: “according”. Ugh, we were doing so well and then Paul threw in a contingency. “According”. So we have to slow our jets and go back and read it again. God is able to do abundantly above all that we ask or think, ACCORDING to the power that works within us. So what is this power that works within us? Of course the first thing that I think of is the Holy Spirit and that is the right answer, for He is always at work within us, but if we read the verse again there are a few clues to something more. He said that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.
God is a creative God and when He made us in His image He made us creative beings. How do we create? We create with our words and our thoughts. (As a man thinks in his heart so is he. Life and death are in the power of the tongue.) God used words when He spoke the world into creation.
One day I felt the Holy Spirit ask me, “What are words?” I felt like he was giving me a trick question so I was baffled and asked him what he meant. He said, “Are they verbs, nouns, adjectives?” I, in my brilliant mind, told him that words were nouns. So then he said, “well nouns are people, places and things. If words are things then what happens after they leave your mouth?” Then he proceeded to show me that when our words leave our mouths they go into the spirit realm and there they are planted and grow and produce after their kind. You see God created us after Himself, to be creative. The tricky thing about this is that we can’t quit creating. Creating for us is like breathing. We create with our thoughts and our words. We are always thinking and if you are like me then we are always talking. With every word, with every thought we are creating things that are creating… good or bad. The enemy of our souls has no power over us except the power that we give him. How does he get that power from us? From our words and our thoughts. We can speak and think thoughts that are negative which are contrary to God or we can come into agreement with God in our words. Philippians 4:8 says: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, think on these things.”
So let’s take these thoughts back to the scripture… “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.” If we really want God to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think then we need to create an atmosphere for Him to do that. God never forces anything on us against our will and that
includes His blessings.
As we look towards this Capital Campaign let’s bring our words and our thoughts in accordance with Philippians 4:8 and create and environment for blessings to grow exceedingly abundantly.

Dear Father, Your Word says whatever is lovely, pure, and of good report, to think on these things. Help me to guard my words and my thoughts. Help me to guard the gates of my soul, my eye and my ears so that I focus on what is of you and your kingdom. I desire to meditate on your Word day and night. Help me to keep your thoughts, your Word, in my mind. When my mind feels like a jungle gym full of monkey thoughts, please ground my mind with your Word, your peace. Thank you for loving me more than I love myself and for giving me the ability and choice to mediate on You.   

– Kathleen Beck


Devotional Feb. 28, 2020

Preparing Our Hearts For The Challenge Ahead 

Friday, February 28th – Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”


In light that all that God has done for us, through his Mercy, he has given us everything we need to accomplish His good will.
As a contractor, years ago, when working on a project, a couple of my most important duties were to have the right equipment and materials on the job as closely to the time that they were needed as possible. If those things arrived too early, you would have to be moved around when they were in the way or possibly get damaged. If the equipment and supplies arrived too late, the entire job could come to a standstill and the job would lose momentum. Even with the best of intentions, sometimes everything worked out great. Other times not so good!
Fortunately, for us, our God through his Mercy is a “just at the right time” God who has unlimited resources. While we only see the back of the tapestry, our God sees everything from the beginning to the end. He gives to us generously so that we can accomplish His good, pleasing, and perfect will!   


Lord, We thank you for your incredible mercy which you have given to us… So many unseen acts that go unknown and unappreciated.  Open our eyes to who you truly are and help us to realize that your mercy endures forever. Help us to have grateful hearts even in the midst of uncertainty so that we may be pleasing to you and do your good and perfect will!     Amen


– Mark Osier


Devotional Feb. 27, 2020

Preparing Our Hearts For The Challenge Ahead 

Thursday, February 27th – Psalm 19:14 (NKJV)

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

Be acceptable in Your sight,

O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

As humans we are created with a unique ability to control not only the words we speak, but we can actually CHOOSE what we allow our minds to think and dwell on. In our society we are all taught the concept that “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Unfortunately, although the intention of this concept is to not let negative words penetrate us and hurt us, it lessens the value and understanding that words DO have immense power. The power of the spoken word is an incredible thing. Taking that concept a step further, what we allow our minds to think and dwell on is just as important (if not more so) as controlling our tongues (“for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” – Luke 6:45)

Dear Lord, I ask you today to keep my eyes and thoughts on you in everything I do and encounter. I ask you to guard my heart and make me immediately aware if I am allowing the “words of my mouth” or “the meditation of my heart” to go anywhere that is displeasing to you Lord. Help me to grow where you are leading and mold me into the person you have called me to be. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness and grace. In Jesus name I pray, 


– Cali Clark


Devotional Feb. 26, 2020

Preparing Our Hearts For The Challenge Ahead 

Wednesday, February 26th – Hosea 10:12 (ESV)

“Sow for yourselves righteousness;

    reap steadfast love;

    break up your fallow ground,

for it is the time to seek the Lord,

    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.”

As I sat pondering this verse, I was reminded of my mother-in-law, Beverly. When she lived in Portland, she dreamed of a huge garden on the side of their house. It had been lawn for many years, but she had a vision of the space filled with flowers, tomatoes and other veggies. She was so excited about everything she would plant. Finally, the day came when my father-in-law, Bruce, gave her the go ahead – she could have her garden! Beverly had been working in the local community garden, she had taken classes to learn about different techniques for planting and she talked with many individuals about her plans. The preparations ensued. The garden was to be right off the driveway. My father-in-law built a planter box around a row of hedges to clean up the edge of the driveway. A drystone patio was laid, and a crew arrived to remove the sod, rototill the clay soil and mix-in the freshly arrived topsoil. Finally, when all the preparations were finished, planting could begin. I don’t remember the name of the technique she was following, but it involved raised hills for

each plant: veggies, fruits and flowers all planted together. Nothing was in rows – it was just a massive, joyful cacophony of colors, scents and textures. It was beautiful and she loved every inch of it. The garden brought joy to everyone who saw it – neighbors, friends and family alike. As we move forward with the Capital Campaign, let us do so in the joyful anticipation of a hardworking gardener. Sowing righteousness as we follow hard after Jesus. Reaping his steadfast love as we draw closer to Him; letting his love break-up the tough, stuck places in our hearts so that the Holy Spirit can plant even more seeds of righteousness and joy.

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank-you that you have invited us into this amazing opportunity to sow seeds of righteousness that can grow and flourish for years to come. Help us move in obedience to your call, trusting you with a child-like faith, joyfully anticipating the rich crop of blessings to come. 


– Krista Edman


Devotional Feb. 25, 2020

Preparing Our Hearts For The Challenge Ahead 

Tuesday, February 25th – Matthew 6:33 (NIV)

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

This passage reminds me of how easy it is to become preoccupied by the materialistic measuring stick some call “the American way of life”. On bad days I catch myself thinking if I just have a better phone, fancier appliances, newer clothes, a hobby to indulge in, prioritize “me time” (because obviously, I deserve it), a better income to make my family “comfortable”, the ability to travel more, etc. etc. etc., THEN my life will be complete and THEN I can focus on serving God. This thought process is so backwards and is one of Satan’s favorite tools. He showcases this illusion, distracting believers from their true purpose of 1) sharing the gospel and love of Jesus that was freely given and 2) aligning our hearts to God’s desires and plans for our lives. I thank God for the promise that He will supply for ALL my needs, so I shouldn’t worry. He never wants me to miss out.  This verse reminds me that the more we shift our hearts to Him, the more Satan’s measuring stick is revealed to be the foolish and pathetic attempt it is at stealing the true blessings Jesus has for our lives.

Lord, thank you for the promise that when we obey your command to seek after you first you make sure all our needs are met. We are so blessed to have a Father who wants to see us prosper and thrive so much you give us the tools and the community in which to do so. Please help us not to worry about our earthly needs for you are in control. Help us shift our heart’s desires and goals to mirror your own and help us not be distracted by the illusion that storing up treasures here will make our lives better. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

– Monique Murray


Preparing Your Heart For The Challenge Ahead

Preparing Our Hearts For The Challenge Ahead 

Monday, February 24th – Luke 8:4-15 (NIV)
“While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.”
When he said this, he called out, “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that,

“‘though seeing, they may not see;

    though hearing, they may not understand.’

“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”

This parable has two themes, seeds and soil, and two participants, God and us. He has always been about a relationship with us. In this parable He is the sower of His Word–the seed, and we are the ground–our hearts. He wants to sow his seed into our lives to grow us to be fruitful and have an abundant life. We need to prepare or work the ground of our hearts to be ready to accept His word into our lives.  If we take the time to cultivate the ground, when the sowing happens it will land on good and accepting soil, ready to grow. Preparing our heart is taking the time to be prayerfully asking God to help us weed, remove and break up areas of sin, hardness or apathy that is in our lives, preventing the word of God from changing and growing good fruits. As the parable tells us, when both God and us do our part, His seed sown into good soil, an abundant crop of love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness, and self-control yields 100 times. 


What kind of ground and soil do you have in your life today? Are you prepared to work with God in order to have a harvest of spiritual fruit?



Lord, Thank you for always including us in your good work in our lives. Help us cultivate the soil of our heart so that the good work of God has the best effect in our lives. Help us prepare our heart for the planting of  the seeds to grow us spiritually. Give us rest and patience through the process and help us endure it with joy. Thank you for the fruitfulness of our lives that you plant, water and harvest in us throughout this campaign and our lives. 
– Lynette Paulson