Devotionals by Pastor John O

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  • October 9, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : October 9, 2020 : Proverbs 9:10


    10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.

    Brothers and sisters,

    The fear of man produces arrogance and pride…
         destruction and sorrow ensue,
              for “misery loves company.”
    The fear of the LORD provides wisdom and insight…
         life and contentment follow,
              for “the truth sets you free.”

    Man gropes about in the dark trying to find answers while pretending to have the answers. So, when we look to man for the answers to life, we get confident platitudes, axioms and hypothesis - shifting sand upon which to live meager lives.

    God is the Light possessing all answers, proclaiming truth. So, when we look to God for solutions to life’s questions, we receive true wisdom and true insight - a rock bed of truth upon which to live abundant lives. 

    Today, if contentment and happiness you desire, stop living in the dark. Live in the Light of Truth.

    Soli Deo Gloria.

    Pastor John O
  • October 8, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : October 8, 2020 : Proverbs 8:4-5


    4 “To you, O men, I call,

    and my cry is to the children of man.

    5 O simple ones, learn prudence;

    O fools, learn sense.


    Brothers and sisters,


    Too many times the words “I didn’t know” or “I didn’t realize” passes from our lips to offer excuse for our mistakes, wrongs or transgressions. Feigning ignorance works some of the time but most of the time, get us labeled as fools or ignorant. 


    Why? 


    People understand that an abundance of wisdom, knowledge and prudence (I.e. “common sense”) can be attained just by listening. Often, we do not know or realize something important because we chose not to listen and not because teaching was not given or information not shared.


    If most of us would just choose to listen and learn more, we would realize that everything we need to know to live a decent, happy, respectable, and honest life has been taught us already (e.g. “Everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten”).


    Likewise, do not need a Ph.D in theology or the Bible to know what we need to “glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” Everything we need to know is presented simply in Scripture. Don’t over complicate things. The Wisdom of God calls out clearly and cries out simply so that we may learn prudence and sense. We just need to listen to learn.


    Soli Deo Gloria.


    Pastor John O

  • October 6, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : October 6, 2020 : Proverbs 6:1- 5


    1 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,

    have given your pledge for a stranger,

    2 if you are snared in the words of your mouth,

    caught in the words of your mouth,

    3 then do this, my son, and save yourself,

    for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:

    go, hasten, and plead urgently with your neighbor.

    4 Give your eyes no sleep

    and your eyelids no slumber;

    5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,

    like a bird from the hand of the fowler.


    Brothers and sisters,


    I was told growing up that "debt is a fact of life." Now that I am older, I realize and do accept with much reservation that having certain debt in life is unavoidable.


    But, in my personal opinion, I think there is a difference between "good" and "bad" debt. Good debt falls below the "living below your means" threshold and bad debt rises above it. Good debt is reasonable and serves a profitable purpose (I.e. using a loan to purchase a affordable, comfortable car in which to commute to work vs getting a luxury performance car). Bad debt is unreasonable and serves no profitable purpose. In other words, good debt can help lift us up while bad debt will pull us down in life.


    God warns us against rashly rushing into bad debt, whether by ourselves or with our friends (co-signing). But, should we find ourselves entangled in some bad debt situations, God exhorts us to tirelessly do what we can to unravel ourselves from it.


    Ultimately, the wisdom God imparts to us its this. Before we seek out man or an institution of man in times of need, God wants us to seek Him. God our Heavenly Father can and wants to meet our needs so that we may rejoice in Him and have peace in our lives. So, I ask you this:


    When in need,

    On whom do you depend - people or God?

    To where do you look - a bank or heaven?

    For what do you seek - a debt or a gift?

    Faith in man produces short relief,

    anchored by financial strife and stress.

    Faith in God results in freedom,

    sustained by financial parity and peace.

    Man gives what you want and expects more in return -

    a debt of servitude.

    God provides what you need and wants only gratitude in return -

    a debt of love.


    Choose wisely, brethren. You will find that your financial peace depends on it.


    Soli Deo Gloria.


    Pastor John O
  • October 5, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : October 5, 2020 : Proverbs 5:12-14


    12 and you say, “How I hated discipline,

    and my heart despised reproof!

    13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers

    or incline my ear to my instructors.

    14 I am at the brink of utter ruin

    in the assembled congregation.”


    Brothers and sisters,


    Everyone struggles with regrets because no one is perfect - able to make decisions and take actions that are the best fit for every situation. But, when we take a tally at the end of the day, more often than not, our regrets are about the stupid, senseless, hateful, ungodly decisions made and actions taken or the wise, logical, loving, godly decisions NOT made and actions NOT taken. 


    So, if you desire fewer regrets at the end of the day, then I encourage you to listen to and learn from wisdom. Learn from Jesus. Learn from the Word. Though often we may find it difficult, if not impossible, to make decisions and take action to follow Jesus and obey God's Word, the results will be for the glory of our God and for our blessing.


    May God the Holy Spirit grant you faith, conviction and strength this day to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow after Jesus.


    Soli Deo Gloria.


    Pastor John O

  • October 2, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : October 2, 2020 : Proverbs 2:6-15



    6 For the LORD gives wisdom;

    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

    7 he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,

    8 guarding the paths of justice

    and watching over the way of his saints.

    9 Then you will understand righteousness and justice

    and equity, every good path;

    10 for wisdom will come into your heart,

    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;

    11 discretion will watch over you,

    understanding will guard you,

    12 delivering you from the way of evil,

    from men of perverted speech,

    13 who forsake the paths of uprightness

    to walk in the ways of darkness,

    14 who rejoice in doing evil

    and delight in the perverseness of evil,

    15 men whose paths are crooked,

    and who are devious in their ways.


    Brothers and sisters,


    Many in life are the temptations to: turn from good to evil, reject wisdom and embrace foolishness, run from light and cower in darkness, despise godliness and rejoice in evil, and leave the straight and narrow to walk the crooked and wide.


    Few are the tools needed to resist temptation and flee from it: understanding to discern the right path, wisdom to embrace the right path, knowledge to follow the right path.



    If these tools you need, then turn to Jesus,


    "For the LORD gives wisdom;

    from his mouth come knowledge

    and understanding."


    Soli Deo Gloria



    Pastor John O


  • September 30, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : September 30, 2020 : Proverbs 30:1


    "The man declares, I am weary, O God;

    I am weary, O God, and worn out."


    Brothers and sisters,


    Everyone grows tired.


    In fact, I expect that many of us have been weary for some time now - worn out by the COVID-19 restrictions, tired of fear, fatigued by the constant stress of our current social environment. Even the most godly of men and women can reach a breaking point. So, the ultimate question isn’t “how do we avoid becoming weary” but “what do we do when we become weary and fed up with our life situation?”


    When you get to such a point, remember, brethren that we have a Father who wants to hear our cries and provide comfort for us as he gently wipes away our tears. Our God cares for us and in Christ, feels our pain, frustration and weariness. Don’t hesitate. Don’t be afraid to fall upon your knees, cry out to God and let your tears flow - with all your broken heart, shattered spirit and overwhelmed minds. God our Father will not dismiss your cries.



    “22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” (Psalm 55:22)


    Soli Deo Gloria


    Pastor John O
  • September 29, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : September 29, 2020 : Proverbs 29:2


    2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,

    but when the wicked rule, the people groan.


    Brothers and sisters,


    Look not to the leaders of this world to lead us to a place of gladness and rejoicing; else, you shall find yourself often disappointed, frustrated and in the midst of groaning. For in this world, there is no leader who leads righteously without err. Though some may be more righteous than others, all leaders of this world stray from perfect righteousness, often succumbing to the temptations of the flesh and of this life.


    If true, unflagging gladness and rejoicing you desire, look to Jesus Christ who alone is the Righteous Lord who always leads his people toward green pastures and living waters.


    Vote and be engaged in helping to choose the leaders of your community, state and nation, but depend only on Christ who is Lord over all of creation, over you and yes, even over the lesser lords of this world.


    May God our Father grant you much peace, comfort and joy in the knowledge that the Lord Christ who loves you, leads you.


    "He leadeth me: O blessed thought!

    O words with heavenly comfort fraught!"


    Soli Deo Gloria!


    Pastor John O
  • September 28, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : September 28, 2020 : Proverbs 28:2


    2 When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,

    but with a man of understanding and knowledge,

    its stability will long continue.


    Brothers and sisters,


    As we anticipate the general elections on November 2, 2020, may I ask that you pray each remaining day for the elections and our nation's leaders (local, state and national)?


    As important as the elections are, our nation's leaders (local, state, and national) learning the fear of the God so that they may gain true understanding, knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7, 9:10) with which to lead us is more vital to the peace and stability of our nation.


    Even if our leaders do not accept the LORD God as their own, they can learn to fear God (as did Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Darius of Persia, Constantine of Rome). Pray that God may instill the fear of the LORD in the hearts and minds of our nation's leaders that they may seek to be ethical, moral and just in all that they seek to do for our nation.


    What our nation needs today is what our nation has always needed, not leaders that we like, but leaders who fear God and will do what is right with knowledge and understanding - no matter how unpopular.


    Soli Deo Gloria


    Pastor John O
  • September 15, 2020

    A Thought For the Day : September 15, 2020 : Proverbs 15:8


    8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,

    but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.


    Brothers and sisters,


    Our God really does look into, see and understand our hearts. He knows the true intentions of our heart. We foolishly think that we can fool God, bargain with God or manipulate him to fulfill our desires. We must understand that God our Father hates sacrifices or offerings that come with empty hearts. God would rather you come with empty hands because you have nothing to give but with full hearts that overflow with devotion, love and worship for Him, than with overflowing hands full of offerings but with hearts empty of affection or worse yet, full of contempt for Him. Of course, God would prefer that we come with both full hearts and hands when we are able.


    So, which will you bring to our God today?


    I pray that all of us at minimum will bring to our Lord Jesus Christ hearts full of thanksgiving, praise and adoration and if possible, hands full of offerings of devotion (charity, acts of mercy, etc.).


    God bless your day abundantly with his Holy Spirit.


    Soli Deo Gloria.


    Pastor John O
  • September 14, 2020

    A Thought for the Day : September 14, 2020 : Proverbs 14:2


    2 Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD,

    but he who is devious in his ways despises him.


    Brothers and sisters,


    Speaking of reverence or speaking with reverence before the LORD is necessary and needed, but understand that which our LORD most desires is that we walk in and walk with Him.


    He/she who endeavors to walk in Christ and to walk with Christ is one who truly fears/reveres the LORD.


    May you strive to live your day doing that which honors Christ and shows your sincere love for God and for others.


    Soli Deo Gloria.


    Pastor John O