John 17

Growing up, and even as an adult, some of my favorite moments were having personal conversations with my father. In those times, he would give me instruction in life, sometimes give me correction, teach me the importance of obedience, and finish by telling me how much he loved me. Some of us may have a giving father; some of us maybe not so giving; while others may not even have had a father growing up. Even though the Bible has many accounts of father/son relationships, my mind goes to one of my favorite parts of Scripture, John chapter 17. Here we get a glimpse of the personal conversation and relationship between the Heavenly Father and the Son of God. It is a very special moment that God wanted us to see through His Word. Salvation has made me an adopted son, as I have now been adopted into His family. I cannot help but think what my Heavenly Father has given us through His Son.

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Acts chapter five tells the interesting account of the apostles in the early years of the church. They almost immediately suffered persecution for the stand they took for Jesus Christ and His teachings. They also healed the sick and lame publicly while preaching the Gospel of Christ. This led to their arrest and miraculous release from prison. The hostile religious Jews were surprised to find them immediately preaching, healing, and teaching again in the temple! Upon the apostles rearrest, the Jewish leaders command that they stop preaching. Peter answers by saying, "... We ought to obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:29)

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As this is my first opportunity to compose a Staff Devotional, I want to thank Pastor Duttry for this opportunity. This devotional is intended to remind us of God's omnipresence in our lives, His very personal care for us individually, and His consistent kindness as He shepherds us through the issues of life.

As many of you know, my wife and I moved here from Pensacola, Florida last year. Our home sold quickly, I found the right replacement for my previous position as manager of an oral surgery practice, and Liz eased out of her job as a baker. With our arrival here, we were faced with a host of new issues - where to live, what about health care options, and for Liz, where are the stores? In the dynamic that followed our move, it was too easy to let frustration over a prospective home or location creep into our thoughts and, consequently, affect our mood, our actions, and our temperaments. Beyond the house-hunting issues of our move and the busyness of getting settled here, I was asked to help with the RU Recovery Program, a Christ-centered addictions program, and a wonderful ministry of the First Baptist Church of Milford.

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Have you ever had a hard time trusting God in an area of your life? I know there have been times in my Christian life where I have struggled trusting Him. Why do we struggle in the area of trusting Him when He has proven Himself to be trustworthy in our lives? There are many reasons in the Bible to trust Him. I want to share six reasons why we should trust God and a reference for each one to reflect upon today.

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Text: Colossians 1

Today I would like to share some thoughts out of Colossians 1 that I pray will encourage you. Colossians 1:18 is perhaps the most familiar verse in this chapter and ends with a powerful statement, "... that in all things he (Christ) might have the preeminence." It does not mean that Christ is first place. It means that Christ is the only place. To put something or someone in first place means that it is possible for there to be a close second; but if something or someone is the only place, there can be no close second. In my spiritual life, I must recognize that Christ is to have the only place available in my life. He must have the preeminence.

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