Southside's Blog

Southside is a loving, vigorous, and growing congregation in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Our vision is toward the future: Our Children, Our Ministry, and Our Outreach. Our goal is to embrace all people in our hearts and fellowship as we strive together to support Christ’s mission on earth.

God With Us from Max Lucado's Daily Devotional

 God knows what it is like to be a human.

When I talk to him about deadlines or long lines or tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, I have a friend in heaven.

Because of Bethlehem, I have a Savior in heaven. Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the King on the cross. And because he did, there are no marks on my record. Just grace. His offer has no fine print.

He didn’t tell me, “Clean up before you come in.” He offered, “Come in and I’ll clean you up.” It’s not my grip on him that matters but his grip on me. And his grip is sure.

So is his presence in my life. Christmas presents from Santa? That’s nice. But the perpetual presence of Christ? That’s life changing.

God is always near us. Always for us. Always in us. We may forget him, but God will never forget us. We are forever on his mind and in his plans. He called himself “‘Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matt. 1:23).

Not just “God made us.”
Not just “God thinks of us.”
Not just “God above us.”

But God with us. God where we are: at the office, in the kitchen, on the plane. He breathed our air and walked this earth. God . . . with . . . us!

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What If? and A Time to Kill

What If?

I’ve known people who like to go through life asking, “What if?” Going through the exercise of asking the question much of the time is worthless. You can’t change the past this way. Asking the question to make an analysis for future decisions can be useful.

Matthew 26 records Christ’s three prayers requesting for God to deliver Him from the crucifixion. Each time Christ ended His prayer asking that God’s will be done not His. What if Christ had stuck to His guns and demanded that He not go through the awful crucifixion? Would God have honored Christ’s prayer? What about our hope if Christ was not crucified. Would God have found a different way to save us? I’m sure He could have but not one that would have not been as meaningful.

The giving of His Son was the ultimate act of love! Christ’s manner of death was a demonstration of  just how much love God has for us. Would you give your only child to go through the same death for the world? Probably not! Be thankful for not having to ask, “what if”! It’s a worthless question in this case! Spend your time giving praise, glory and honor to God and Christ!

A Time to KIll

In the movie by the same title, Matthew McConaughy, the attorney, used a very effective means of getting the jury to consider their verdict. He got them to close their eyes and picture in their minds the molestation of the little girl.

Try the same method as you think about Christ’s crucifixion. My mind sees Christ walk into the garden, fall to His knees then to His face and cry. He pleads with God, His Father, to not make Him go through the crucifixion. Picture your own child with the same pleas.

They put Christ on trial telling lies about Him. When He refuses to answer their lies, they begin beating Him. They beat Him till His face is misshapen. I believe His face was a bloody pulp then they spit in His face. For me, there is no greater show of disrespect than to spit on someone, especially in the face.

The whips come out creating more pain and blood. A crown of thorns is crammed down on His head, and He is mocked as “King of the Jews”. Thorns are extremely painful, and the scalp is very tender.

The cross, about 180 pounds, is laid on His back with orders to march. People surround Him jeering, mocking and cursing. He’s too weak to make it all the way so the Roman’s spare Him until they reach Golgotha. Once there He’s laid on the cross and nails are pounded through His hands and feet. They raise the cross to shove it in the hole jarring the cross and ripping His flesh.

While He suffers, the mocking and cursing continues. He asks for something to drink and to further mock Him they give a mixture of vinegar and other bitter drink. He hung there for six hours which seems like forever when you are suffering and dying.

Finally, Christ dies but not before He cries out in a loud voice asking God why He has forsaken Him. Christ not only suffered physically but emotionally. To feel alone and forsaken especially while suffering death is indescribable and unimaginable.

God did not sit in heaven watching and listening Christ’s execution without also suffering right along with His Son maybe even shedding a tear.

In the movie one of the jurors shed a tear as Matthew described the little girl’s molestation. It’s ok to shed one as you think about Christ’s molestation after all His molestation was for YOU!

Christ then spent three days in the tomb but then was raised to increase our HOPE!

Praise God and Christ!


Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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This probably seems like a strange subject for the Christmas season but this the result of a conversation this past week. A lady thinks that COVID is happening because God is unhappy with us. I agree that God is most likely unhappy and disappointed given the shape of the world, but I do not believe he is the author of this terrible disease. It seems very possible that Satan is using it to his advantage.

My assumption is that if you are reading this you are already a Christian or at least say you are. Hopefully, this is an encouragement to you in the war for your soul.

Who is Satan?  Why does he hate me so much that he wants to drag me down to hell to be with him for eternity? Most leaders in the world, especially military leaders, believe that you should know your enemy and know what he/she is capable of so you can defeat them. If someone were out to destroy you and your family, you would do everything in your power to find out about them in order to defeat them. Well, that person exist, Satan, Lucifer, the devil or whatever name you choose, he is real and wants to destroy you. 1 Peter 5:8  “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

I thought writing this would be easy, short and sweet but found out different. When the subject of the devil is Googled, the science of the devil comes out immediately. Data about his reality and his believers came out initially and it took several clicks to find a Biblical and commentator discussion about the subject.

The Hebrew name Satan (pronounced SA-tan) actually means "adversary", Greek diabolos, also means "adversary". So, he’s NOT your friend.

References to Satan: Genesis 3:14 - “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly, and you will eat dust all the days of your life”

Isaiah 14:12 outlines the destruction of Babylon and its wicked king: “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.”

Satan is God’s enemy, but he cannot attack God directly, so he attacks those made in God’s image, and dearly loved by him. Satan knows his doom is sure, and wants to bring as many people down with him as he can.

The Bible describes him as crafty, sneaky, clever, cunning, subtle, intelligent and shrewd. Satan is a clever devil who is very good at what he does. Satan never takes a holiday like Christmas. I even wonder if he doubles his efforts when we are trying to come closer to God.

Here is Max Lucado’s description of satan:

“Want to read his rap sheet?”

“Satan . . . incited David” (1 Chron. 21:1 NIV).

“Satan has asked . . . to sift you [Simon] like wheat” (Luke 22:31 TLB).

“The devil . . . persuaded Judas Iscariot . . . to turn against Jesus” (John 13:2 NCV).

“This woman . . . Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years” (Luke 13:16 NIV).

“He has “blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. As a result, they don’t see the light of the Good News” (2 Cor. 4:4 GOD’S WORD).”

“He rules the world, and his spirit has power over everyone who doesn’t obey God” (Eph. 2:2 CEV).

“Satan incites, sifts, persuades, binds, blinds, and rules.”

The following is a paraphrase from the internet: “The devil is responsible for all the sin, sickness, sorrow, suffering, crime, poverty and death on this earth. Everlasting fire is prepared for the devil and his angels.  Evil men and women are his angels and do his bidding. Look at any news headline whether TV or computer and there’s no doubt that evil things are happening all over the world. And despite our desire for peace, evil seems to be increasing day by day.“ I’m not comfortable with idea that Satan is responsible for all sickness. In searching for a Bible verses that clearly gives that thought, I could not find one. The theologians have very different views about the origin of sickness.

Ok, you already knew all this, so this is a reminder of both our war and who the enemy is, Satan. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph. 6:12).

So how I do I win the war with Satan? The beginning is found in Acts 2:38 – “And Peter said to them, Repent and be baptized every one of you qin the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit is a gift because he ALWAYS stands ready with us to defeat Satan.

“If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25). The word “if” is very important because we must live by Him not just say we do.  We must walk the walk! “With so much soap, why are there so many dirty people in the world? Christianity, like soap, must be personally applied if it is to make a difference in our lives.” Billy Graham

Pray without ceasing! Invite the Spirit to control your life always! You have to care and want to win! This war you don’t want to lose!


Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FYI - Max Lucado’s Daily Devotional for December 16. 2021:

We Know He Came

Spiritual beings populate the stories of Scripture. Angels singing. Demons infecting. Heavenly hosts fighting. Ignore the armies of God and you ignore the heart of Scripture. Ever since the snake tempted Eve in Eden, we’ve known there is more to this world than meets the eye.

We know less than we desire about these beings. Their strategies and plans we can only imagine. If Satan could preempt Christ in the cradle, there’d be no Christ on the cross. Don’t you think he tried?

The conflict was, no doubt, far grander and more dramatic than anything we can fictionalize. But while we can only imagine if such a war occurred, we can be sure of this: we know who won. Because we know he came.

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A Lord to Lead You from Max Lucado's Daily Devotional

“There has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). The Greek word used in this verse is Kyrios. It signifies one who rightfully holds a position of authority. Jesus was born with this title. He has a lawful right to rule over every sphere, star, galaxy, and gulf. He is the Lord of legislators, liberators, light bearers, and laborers. He bears the signet of the highest office and wears the insignia of “Lord of both the dead and the living” (Romans 14:9).

"Congress doesn’t run the world. Cancer doesn’t control your destiny. Death doesn’t have the last word. The faceless hand of fate isn’t directing history. The Lord Jesus is. You have a Lord to lead you."

From Mike: I'm very grateful for what Max wrote in the last paragraph! Just need to keep that mind every day!

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Why Joseph? from Max Lucado's Daily Devotional

 Jesus’ earthly father is a small-town carpenter who lives in Nazareth. Why Joseph? A major part of the answer lies in his reputation, and he gives it up for Jesus. Nazareth viewed Joseph as we might view an elder, deacon, or Bible class teacher. Now what? His fiancée is blemished, tainted; he is righteous, godly. The law says stone her. Love says forgive her. And Joseph is caught in the middle. Then comes the angel’s announcement, “She carries the Son of God in her womb.” But who would believe it?

Joseph makes his decision. “Joseph…took to him his wife, and did not know her until she had brought forth her firstborn Son” (Matthew 1:24-25). He swapped his Torah studies for a pregnant fiancée and an illegitimate son and made the big decision of discipleship. He placed God’s plan ahead of his own.

From Mike: I made Max's last point bold because we need put God's plan ahead of our own. Life can often be difficult so our plan does not include difficulty but we need to trust God. It may not feel good but have FAITH!

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THE NORTH POLE OR THE MANGER? - December 8, 2021by Max Lucado

God did what we wouldn’t dare dream. He did what we couldn’t imagine. He became a man so we could trust him. He became a sacrifice so we could know him. And he defeated death so we could follow him.

It defies logic. It’s a divine insanity. Yet, it is the very impossibility of it all that makes it possible. For only God could create a plan this mad. Only a Creator beyond the fence of logic could offer such a gift of love. What man cannot do, God does.

So, when it comes to goodies and candy, cherub cheeks and red noses, go to the North Pole. But when it comes to eternity, forgiveness, purpose, and truth, go to the manger. Kneel with the shepherds. Worship the God who dared to do what man dared not dream.

Christmas Stories: Heartwarming Classics of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of Hope

Read more Christmas Stories: Heartwarming Classics of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of Hope

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“Your ‘Point-of-view’ determines a lot of things. Everyone you meet or know needs Jesus. Everything in your life is an opportunity to worship, honor, and glorify God.”


 “Come, and hear, all ye that fear God, And I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” (Psa 66:16).

     Everyone you meet is living in want of some joy.  Consequently, they are thirsty for good feelings.  What an opportunity to share Jesus with them.  Folks, Christ left me better off than when He found me. When you are acted upon by Christ, you are inevitably and irresistibly left better off than you were before you met Him.  The Spirit’s regeneration sets off an alert system that lets us know things have changed. Sinful behaviors that we once found comfortable no longer are. The old way of life passes away --- “Wherefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new.” (2Co 5:17). 

     I believe in leaving people better off than when I found them by leaving them with thoughts about Christ and His great love.  Leaving people better off than when you found them is one way you can connect the gospel to real life. But how to do this does not come naturally because it’s a spiritual discipline --- “For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”  (Rom 8:5).

     Folks, we are immersed in a world system that trumpets its own ideals and slanders anyone who disagrees. Before we are saved, we accept what the world says without even thinking about it. We don’t know anything else. After we are saved, our eyes are opened to the truth, and we can perceive the lies of the world. Being a Christian is difficult because we are swimming upstream against the current of the world around us.

     How can we make a difference in the lives of those struggling? As you go be an encourager – love intentionally, redeem the time, be a blessing to others and leave folks better than you found them. Leave footprints of love and kindness wherever you go. Be an encouraging builder of hope – just like Jesus. Be someone who makes everyone feel like a somebody by letting the beauty of Jesus be seen in you and make a positive difference in someone’s Life.  Never underestimate the power of planting the seeds of the Gospel or encouragement --- “He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Mic 6:8). Don’t just tell folks the story of Jesus - show them the beauty of Jesus in your life!

From Mike: I put the last paragraph in bold because it is important for all of us to be an encourager. We may not have many talents but we can develop oursselves into a person that will encourage others in their struggle. God wants us to be an encourager! Take to heart Grandpa's words!

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An Important Question to Ask when Facing Life's Problems by Max Lucado

Do you recall the question God asked Abraham and Sarah? He promised them a son, though both were past child-bearing age. Sarah laughed at the thought of bouncing their newborn on her knee.

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘I am too old to have a baby’? Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:13–14 NCV)

That is what we need to ask. Is anything too hard for God? Does he ever give up because the problem is too great? Does he ever throw up his hands and quit? Does he ever shake his head at the sound of a prayer request and say, “I can’t handle that problem”?

The answer, the welcome answer, is, “No, nothing is too hard for the Lord.” You must start here.

Don’t measure the height of the mountain. Ponder the power of the One who made it. Don’t tell God how big your storm is. Tell the storm how big your God is. Your problem is not that your problem is so big but that your view of God is too small.

Accept the invitation of the psalmist: “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Ps. 34:3 KJV).

Our tendency is to magnify our fears. We place a magnifying glass on the diagnosis, the disease, or debt. Stop that! Meditate less on the mess and more on the Master. Less on the problems and more on his power.

- Excerpt adapted from You Were Made for This

From Mike: I believe we often short change God by not asking for things because our minds discount what God can and will do. I pray every day that He will take COVID away and that there be no more deaths. That in my mind is a huge request but He has the power. Remember what what Max says: "Your problem is not that your problem is so big but that your view of God is too small." Give your problems to God. He may not answer them in the exact way you requested but He cares about and loves you!!

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A New Think on These Things from John Gray

GRANDPA SAYS – “THINK ON THESE THINGS”: Even the appearance of evil gives Satan an opportunity.”


 “abstain from every form of evil.” (1Th 5:22)

 “neither give place [opportunity] to the devil.” (Eph 4:27)

    Folks, there will always be someone who thinks that something you are doing is wrong, or that it looks wrong to them. Paul wrote --- "Just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts" (1Th 2:4). Folks, our goal is to live righteously before God - not to please others --- “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to the weak.” (1Co 8:9). Keeping this in mind, we know that when Paul told us to “Abstain from all appearance of evil,” he was strongly urging you and me to put distance between ourselves and any appearance of evil, i.e., put great distance between ourselves and suspicious-looking situations.

     Christians must be willing to sacrifice a liberty or suffer a wrong for the sake of a soul --- “For it is better, if the will of God should so will, that ye suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing.” (1Pe 3:17). | “Nay, already it is altogether a defect in you, that ye have lawsuits one with another. Why not rather take wrong? why not rather be defrauded?” (1Co 6:7). | “Wherefore, if meat causeth my brother to stumble, I will eat no flesh for evermore, that I cause not my brother to stumble.” (1Co 8:13).

     To avoid the appearance of evil, or every form of evil, means to stay far away from evil. We need not become legalistic about what others may perceive to be evil, but we do need to remain aware of our witness to the world and of our duty to support fellow believers.

     Avoiding the appearance of evil, or abstaining from every form of evil, means to live in God’s light by the power of the Holy Spirit and we guard the integrity of our own walk (with Christ) by avoiding every kind of evil, and we strive to --- “make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Rom 13:14).

Virtue consists not in abstaining from vice but in not desiring it.

From Mike: John makes an interesting statement to close his article. The definition of virtue is behavior showing high moral standards. Both abstinence and not desiring are virtue!

Also, to what extent do you take 1 Corinthians 6:7 and 8:13? What about MY rights most of us want to know.

As John says: “Think on these things”!!

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Think on These Thinks from John Gray

GRANDPA SAYS --- “THINK ON THESE THINGS”: “Sometimes in the storm, we feel alone but a heart that trusts in God will always be a quiet peaceful place.”
SONG -> “Sometimes He Calms the Storm” | Lyrics: Scott Krippayne | Inspiration: Mark 4:35-41
“All who sail the sea of faith find out before too long how quickly blue skies can grow dark and gentle winds grow strong and suddenly fear is like white water pounding on the soul but still we sail on knowing that our Lord is in control
Sometimes He calms the storm with a whispered peace be still He can settle any sea but it doesn't mean He will not sometimes hold us close and let the wind and waves go wild sometimes He calms the storm and other times He calms His child.”
Folks, there is simple prayer below (conveyed through song) that makes the request for Jesus to take the hand of one too weak to stand alone. One can always stand with the help of the hand of Jesus that lifts from the kneeling position to the presence of God.
When we read the account of Jesus’ saying to the storm --- “Peace, be still” (Mk 4:35-41), we need to remember that Jesus is always in control of our circumstances, and, when we trust Him, He will calm the raging inside our souls. When we find ourselves raging and tossing and turning on the inside, Philippians 4:6–7 tells us what to do --- “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Those who stand with Jesus stand, in the certainty of the forgiveness and love offered and delivered through His life, ministry, sacrificial death on the Cross and resurrection.
God has not promised to bring peace to every storm, but He has promised to give us peace through any storm if we will trust Him to take care of us.
SONG ->“WHERE NO ONE STANDS ALONE” | Lyrics: Thomas Mosie Lister | Inspiration: “When I felt safe and secure, I said, “I will never be shaken.” (Psa 30:6-7)
“Once I stood in the night with my head bowed low in the darkness as black as could be and my heart felt alone and I cried Oh Lord, don't hide your face from me
Like a king I may live in a palace so tall with great riches to call my own, but I don't know a thing in this whole wide world that's worse than being alone
Hold my hand all the way every hour, every day from here to the great unknown take my hand, let me stand where no one stands alone”
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Relationship Inconsequential?

In today’s society, a relationship with God seems inconsequential to the majority of the world. We could blame it on the millennials like most everything else is now, but I don’t believe that’s  accurate. That’s like blaming the long hair hippies for everything in the 60’s.

 A 2017 Gallop poll showed that in 2001 90% of people believed in God and it decreased to 64% in 2017. I’m not sure of the accuracy of the poll but the numbers seem very possible. Just believing in God though is NOT a relationship. It takes much more than just belief to develop, nurture and maintain our relationship with God! That is a fulltime responsibility of ours! It’s not God’s responsibility to cultivate a relationship with us ! God does not need anything from us so what is He looking for in a relationship with us?

You cannot inherit your relationship with God from your parents nor anyone else. Your relationship is very personal.  The first step is believing God is the Lord God almighty. Then we can only begin our relationship with God through a relationship with Christ. John 14:5  “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Notice Christ did not tell us that religion is the way to God but rather He Himself. It’s necessary to confess  Christ is the Son of God and our Lord and Savior. For me, the next step is to commit to Christ through baptism.

Ok, now I have confessed my faith in God and Christ and been baptized so I have done all that’s necessary for my relationship with God. No, that’s like saying to your spouse we’ve been through the marriage ceremony, so we have a relationship. No, you’ve started one that takes love, care and nurturing. What do I have to do to nurture my relationship with God?

The answer to that question is found in the Scriptures so study becomes a major commitment to nurture the relationship. Can’t I just go to church for the knowledge needed? No, church is a guide only to the Bible. Remember your relationship with Him is through Christ only so study.

What’s next? Prayer, communication is essential. God loves you and wants to hear from you. Philippians 4:6 ESV –“ do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

Is there anything else? Of course, but your relationship is not with me so study about being obedient to God’s commands, discover what gifts He gave you so you can serve Him, learn how you are to worship Him and how to conduct your life.

God has blessed us in many different ways. He wants us to be thankful! He wants our praise and thanksgiving especially for Christ and His sacrifice.

There is much more that could be said about nurturing our relationship with God so study and pray. Realize that God wants us to completely surrender to Him! II Timothy 2:15 –“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

Be aware that Satan is not happy with your efforts to cultivate your relationship with God. He’ll stop at nothing to discourage you! 1 Peter 5:8, ESV: "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." Don’t let that someone be you!

F. LaGard Smith writes in Meeting God in Quiet Places, about the rich young ruler: “What Jesus undoubtedly saw was a heart that was unwilling to completely surrender to God. Whether possessions, career, or perhaps some relationship, something would always stand in his way. But for the fully surrendered heart, no sacrifice is too great.”

“Surrendering to God is the most difficult decision we will ever make. The prophet Joel reminds us that we are not alone when we face the moment of choosing: ‘Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.” What Joel really means is that most of us live an entire life in the valley of indecision. To surrender or not to surrender that is the ultimate question of life!”

“Through His complete surrender on the cross, Jesus has already grasped the nettle for us. He has taken away the sting of death. All we need to do is to put our hand in His—to feel softness of His love and never let go!”

It’s never too late to start and cultivate your relationship with God! If you would like a study partner, there are a number of people at Southside that will welcome the opportunity!

Thanks Mike

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meeting God in Quest Places – F. LaGard Smith – 1992 – Harvest House Publishers – Used by permission

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God Is In The Details Daily Devotional by Max Lucado

"Do you think the odds are against you? If so, ponder the plight of Haman and the outcome of Mordecai in the book of Esther. God flip-flopped their stories. Haman began the day large and in charge. Mordecai began the day praying in the shadow of a gallows that bore his name. Yet from one moment to the next, Haman was humiliated, and Mordecai was given the keys to the city."

"The next time you hear someone say, “The devil is in the details,” correct them. God is in the details. He works in the small moments. The insignificant becomes significant because he is ever orchestrating the day-to-day details of innumerable lives through a millennia of time to do what he has foreordained to do."

From Mike: I believe many people think God only pays attention to the BIG matters of our lives. We should take comfort that everything whether large or small in our life matters to God!

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It's Time To Pray From Max Lucado's Daily Devotional

"Daniel was a young man when he was taken into Babylonian captivity. Later he realized that the seventy years of prophesied captivity were coming to an end, and he took the matter to the Lord. Now, if any person deserved to be heard by God, it was he. Yet in the presence of God, this holy man offered a brokenhearted prayer. The prayer so moved the heart of God that an angel was sent with this message: “From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard…” (Daniel 10:12 MSG)."

"Friend, the moment you bow your head to pray is the moment God lifts his hand to help. Your heavenly Father wants to hear from you. Are you desperate, without options? By no means. Now, more than ever, is the time to get down on your knees and plead for help."

From Mike: I've read some authors who urge you go to God in prayer and DEMAND of Him! Demanding does not seem like a humble heart but a proud heart. We are encouraged in Philippians 4:6 to pray - "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Be patient, humble and continue to pray. 

The story of Daniel teaches us God will deliver on His time not ours!

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A Dramatic Deliverance from Max Lucado's Daily Devotional

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Does your view of God include a certain relief and a dramatic deliverance? This is no small question. Indeed, that is the question. For most people, their summary of life reads, “We live in a beautiful but broken world, and we just make the best of it and die.”

"But God offers a better story, and his story ends in a better place. His story says our Creator made this world and did not destine it for brokenness. His death gave birth to eternal life. He arose from the dead and is recreating our world and invites all of us to be a part of it. One day he will restore this world to its intended beauty and reclaim his family, and we will live with him forever. That’s the story God offers. Is it your story? I sure hope so."

From Mike: We all probably know people with the attitude of "first you live and then you die".. God's story is a much better story. Share Max's writing with one of those people. You may not change their thinking but you won't know until you try. Share it and then let God go to work!



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This seemed to fit with yesterday's post from Max Lucado.
: “Let go and let God!” | “I can’t handle it, God can - so, I think I will let Him!”
 “Jesus said, 'Don't be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me.'” (Joh 14:1)
The truth is that working at “letting go” is just as much work as anything else we try to do for God and not nearly as easy to do as some folks may think.
Many folks believe that, if we are truly in a state of “letting go,” we will be able to cease from striving and struggling. But Jesus said --- “Strive to enter in by the narrow door: for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” (Luk 13:24). By striving, He means that we should be diligent, active, and earnest and that we should continually make every effort to overcome our sinful tendencies.
We will always struggle against life’s hard circumstances. The reality is that we struggle for a variety of reasons. One is that we have a weak faith. We just don’t have enough confidence (trust) in God to rest in the reality of His nature and have the peace that comes with a strong faith in Him. For instance, when trials come, do we really believe that ---“God works all things together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28)? If we know God intimately, we have faith in His plan and purposes, His love for us, His sovereign control over all circumstances in life, and we rest in the “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil 4:7).
Struggles are just one of the ways God strengthens us for the hard things life throws at us. Trials are designed to show us (and others) that our faith is real --- “Your faith will be like gold that has been tested in a fire. And these trials will prove that your faith is worth much more than gold that can be destroyed. They will show that you will be given praise and honor and glory when Jesus Christ returns” (1 Pet 1:7).

In Christ, we can face the trials of life with grace and faith that whatever God has for us is OK. This comes from years of walking with Him, trial upon trial, struggle upon struggle.

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Troubles Come With Life from Max Lucado's Daily Devotional

How do we survive the bitterly cold winds of life? When the account has no cash. When the marriage has no joy. When the crib is empty or the grave is occupied. Well Scripture offers a couple of starchy observations.

First, no one gets a free pass. Trouble knocks at the door of us all. Someone needs that reminder. Someone has been led to believe that the Christian life is a yellow-brick road. Consequently, when the inevitable bad stuff happens, the person is forced to face the tough questions about a God who didn’t keep his promises. To which God says, “Well I never made those promises.” God did promise, in John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble.” Troubles come with life. We gain nothing by pretending they don’t.

No one gets a free pass, but we can believe this: one way or another, relief and deliverance will come.

From Mike:It will do us all good to remeber this!

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Decide Now from Max Lucado's Daily Devotional

 "Resistance matters. Long after acts of compliance are forgotten, acts of courage are pondered. In the story of Esther, Mordecai refused to bow before evil Haman. And his refusal to bow was the first link in a chain of courageous acts that led to the salvation of his people. Your resolve might be the decisive gesture that breaks the stronghold."

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The Joy of Certainty

At the doctor’s office a few weeks ago, there was a book titled A Little God Time which looked interesting, so I read a few devotionals. The title actually ended with “For Women” in different font but didn’t notice that part at first. There is a devotional for each day of the year, and they are actually fitting for both men and women. The publisher granted rights to copy on Southside’s blog so some of the material will start showing up.

“Yesterday we read about hearing God’s voice behind us, leading us down the path he’s chosen for our lives. Perhaps this idea isn’t entirely comforting to you. What about free will? What if I want to wander off the path a little bit? The idea of just blindly following someone, even God Himself, can seem a little daunting. What if His path is no fun?"

"Rest assured. You are not blindfolded, and He is not pushing you down His-or any-path. You will only hear His voice if you are listening. And the choice to follow His lead is entirely yours. But what a wonderful choice it is! Consider Psalm 16: [You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.]"

"He doesn’t just tell us which way to go, he shows us the path. And even better he is with us, joy and pleasure are ours-forever. Rest in the lovely assurance today and pray for the courage to surrender to His lead.”

My initial thought was of my grandchildren. They seem to think they have the world by the tail, but then again didn’t I think that at their age about myself? Even at 71+ years, I need this message!

Think about it!


Mike   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A Little God Time For Women – BroadStreet Publishing Group, LLC – 2021- Used by permission

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Stand Out and Assist by Max Lucado

Max' s Daily Devotional

1 Peter chapter 2, verses 9 and12 read, “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God…Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God.”

How do God’s people live in a godless society? Do they blend in and assimilate? No, this is the time to stand out and assist. We were made for this moment. This is no time to play around. You were made for more than social media and flashy parties. You were made to serve the almighty God and be a temple of his Holy Spirit. Society offers nothing. Hollywood can’t satisfy your needs. Madison Avenue makes big promises but leaves people naked of hope. Godless living is no life to live.


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The Hope The World Needs by Max Lucado

From Max's Daily Devotional:

You know, we’re caretakers of the message of Jesus. As you and I live out our faith, he is delivered into a faith-famished culture. We have the hope this world needs, but sometimes we forget. Billion-dollar industries are conning you by luring you into lifestyles that will leave you wounded and weary.

How about some examples? Pornography is one. Pornography, they say, is a harmless expression of sexuality. Hardly – it is as addictive as alcohol and drugs. Or this one: Whoever dies with the most toys wins. Take on the liability. Borrow the money. But your Maker tells you, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20).

The lies are everywhere, and their consequences are devastating. Be careful! Don’t get too cozy in this culture.

From Mike: Max tells us that we have the HOPE this world needs.  I Peter 3:15 Message Translation: 

 "If with heart and soul you’re doing good, do you think you can be stopped? Even if you suffer for it, you’re still better off. Don’t give the opposition a second thought. Through thick and thin, keep your hearts at attention, in adoration before Christ, your Master. Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy. Keep a clear conscience before God so that when people throw mud at you, none of it will stick. They’ll end up realizing that they’re the ones who need a bath. It’s better to suffer for doing good, if that’s what God wants, than to be punished for doing bad. That’s what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others’ sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God."
If we become involved with the examples Mav gives in his writing, how can possibly fulfill I Peter 3:15?
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