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Daily devotional

January 31 - All things made new

“Behold, I am making all things new.” - Revelation 21:5b                         Scripture reading: Revelation 21:1-27 New and not new; nothing new under the sun and yet God will make everything new under the SON.  Another month is about to dawn. We are again one day closer to eternity. Are you ready? Believers, in spite of their sin, struggle and pain, live in the strong confidence that God, in grace, gives new life to all who trust in Christ’s finished work of salvation. Do you share in that trust? The book of Revelation closes with a picture of eternity. All tears wiped away, death will be no more—no pain or sorrow—for all the former things have passed away. And what is more, true believers shall fully be with our Triune God—body and soul. As Christ dwelt (tabernacled) for a time on earth, we shall enjoy the eternal blessing of the dwelling place of God that is with man. This is not simply a reunion, but an eternity of fellowship and friendship with God and His people—covenantal fullness! How marvellous! What wonder to behold! Eye-popping glory! Heart thumping wonder! A new Jerusalem (the temple in heaven above) whose description is beyond describing. A new creation, the new heavens and the new earth (Isaiah 65:17) prepared for a prepared people. Suggestions for prayer Give praise and thanksgiving for a life to be lived in anticipation of the glory of the life to come. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.    ...

Daily devotional

January 30 - New creatures

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, behold the new has come.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17             Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21 Yesterday we considered together the blessed truth of our home in heaven above. That home is made possible only through the ministry of reconciliation. In order to enter that home, we need to be reconciled to God. Our sins have driven us apart. Only Christ can bring us back together again. The good news of Jesus Christ is that God, through Him, makes us new creatures. Being united to Christ through faith is to enjoy the benefits of the new birth and a life that is made new in Christ. The words in Christ profoundly speak of the believer’s redemption. In Christ, believers are secure from the wrath of God against sin. In Christ, believers are accepted by God. In Christ, believers enjoy the assurance of the life to come. In Christ, believers participate in the divine nature of Christ (cf. 2 Peter 1:4). Christians are changed people. To be sure, too much of the old remains, but those who are genuine believers know something of a life that has a new direction. While there have been many times where we have fallen back, the joy of the believer is knowing that we can go forward, in Christ, in this world as we prepare for the next. Praise God for such a life! Suggestions for prayer Thank our heavenly Father that believers are made new in Christ! Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.  ...

Daily devotional

January 29 - A new song

“And they sang a new song, saying, Worthy…” - Revelation 5:9-10                                           Scripture reading: Revelation 5:1-14 The book of Revelation was written during a time of intense persecution as a word of encouragement and preparation. It remains a timely message to all those who are looking forward to Christ’s return. It assures us that Christ, Who gathers, defends and preserves His Church, is well aware of the circumstances of His people. And while we may not fully grasp every detail of this prophetic book, the main message is clear: Stand fast for Christ is the Victor! Our Scripture lesson finds the Apostle John receiving a heavenly vision. There is a scroll with seven seals. John weeps because no one had been found worthy to open the scroll. John is then reminded of one Who can open the scroll and its seven seals—the Lamb of God. He is the Worthy One because He is the One who unlocks the mystery and purposes of the Triune God’s sovereign plan. Jesus takes the scroll. This testifies to His authority to fulfill God’s will, and the response is a chorus of praise. This is a song that flows from a heart that has experienced God’s redemption, His glorious work of deliverance and rescue from the tyranny of the devil.  It is a song celebrating God’s finished work. It is new because the full scope of Jesus’ work is finally visible. Praise God. Suggestions for prayer Praise God for His ripening purposes. Sing a song of praise. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.  ...

Daily devotional

January 28 - Living the new life

“Give no opportunity to the devil” - Ephesians 4:27                                   Scripture reading: Ephesians 4:17-32; 5:1-5 Ephesians 4 marks a transition in Paul’s epistle from the foundation of grace to the fruits of grace—from saving grace to serving grace. In our Scripture lesson, we are given much instruction as to the character of a believer’s life, and also a warning to watch out for the devil. The devil is an opportunist. He is our accuser (Revelation 12:10) and adversary (I Peter 5:8). He wants to bring about discord amongst believers. Unity amongst believers is to be highly prized. The devil especially prizes its disruption. We may be tempted to think that the roaring lion in his arsenal of tricks employs scandal and open sin as his prime method. But more often than not, the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) employs subtle means to break down the life of the Christian. Paul outlines six concrete ways Christians “put off” their old lives and “put on” life in Christ.  The study note in the ESV Reformation Study Bible puts it this way: Turning “from lying to telling the truth (4:25, 26); from uncontrolled anger to self-control (4:26, 27); from stealing to useful  labour (4:28); from harmful to helpful speech (4:29, 30); from bitterness to love (4:31-5:2); and from unrestrained sexual desires to a thankful acknowledgement of God’s good gifts (5:3-5).” How well do you understand living the new life? Suggestions for prayer Pray for strengthening grace. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 27 - The world’ smallest but largest trouble maker

“From the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not be so.” - James 3:10 Scripture reading: James 3:1-12 Already this year most of us have spoken thousands and thousands of words. What will it be by year’s end? But the LORD knows each word spoken and even the words of our silent thoughts and holds us accountable. Are there words that you wish you could take back? Of course! Our tongue often brings us into sin. We need wisdom in the use of our speech. The ability to speak is a gift, but also a power.  James gives us six pictures of the tongue: the horse’s bit; the ship’s rudder; fire; deadly poison; a fountain and a fig tree. The bit and rudder are a picture of the power of words to direct; the fire and poison are a picture of the power of words to destroy; and, the fountain and fig tree are a picture of the power of words to delight. David in Psalm 141:3 prayed “Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips.”  The LORD hates a lying tongue (Proverbs 6:17). Words can break hearts and destroy reputations; slander is a horrible matter.  A Welsh proverb goes, “LORD, remind us often that a gossip’s mouth is the devil’s mailbag”. Be careful, little tongue, what you say! Suggestions for prayer Pray for the positive use of the tongue with wholesome words. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.  ...

Daily devotional

January 26 - Great is thy faithfulness

“But this I call to mind…” - Lamentations 3:21-26            Scripture reading: Lamentations 3:1-27 Yesterday, we reflected with Solomon as he pondered the meaning of life, even to the point of believing there was nothing new under the sun. But we must not lose sight of the fact that for the one made a new creature in Christ, every new day is a day of new mercies. In a chorus of a very familiar hymn, believers sing “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy Hand hath provided, Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me.” The hymn writer took his cue from Jeremiah. Jeremiah was given the task to announce God’s judgments against a disobedient Old Testament Church. He lamented the fact that his people had exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols (Jeremiah 2:11). The book of Lamentations is filled with his tears. He is filled with grief at Zion’s devastation and degradation. But in the middle of the third chapter, he pauses and calls to mind the memory of God’s devotion to His people.  And that brings hope out of hopelessness. He remains confident in God’s promises and compassions. That must be our focus day by day. Are you looking to the LORD for His daily new mercies? Will you remember that for each new day this year? Suggestions for prayer Do you have a hymn book nearby with "Great is Thy Faithfulness" in it?  If so, sing that hymn! Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.  ...

Daily devotional

January 25 - Anything new?

“What has been is what will be… and there is nothing new under the sun.” - Ecclesiastes 1:9                                                             Scripture reading: Ecclesiastes 1:1-18 It has been said, the more things change the more they stay the same.  As this New Year unfolds, much of the regular routine of life will stay the same. And while regular routine is a blessing from the LORD, brokenness within our routines is not. The book of Ecclesiastes speaks to our brokenness. Life apart from God is vanity and meaningless. Solomon sought to find meaning in his work, in pleasure seeking and in wisdom itself, but came to the same conclusion—that life’s activities when they are not rooted in God’s purposes have no abiding value.  With weariness of heart, Solomon observes the effects of the repetitious enduring activity in God’s creation from generation to generation. It is all the same. Nothing is new under the sun and nothing will be remembered. Christians, however, live under the Son. And we are thankful that by grace alone, through faith alone, because of Jesus alone, we are made new creatures. That puts life in perspective. Our routines have a direction as we prepare ourselves for the New Jerusalem to come. Divine blessings are to be enjoyed day by day, but never forget we must all be prepared for divine judgment. How are you preparing? Suggestions for prayer Acknowledge your brokenness and testify to your need. Thank God for routine and ask God to help you keep life in perspective. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.   ...

Daily devotional

January 24 - Ask for the ancient paths 

“Thus says the LORD: Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths…” - Jeremiah 6:16  Scripture reading: Jeremiah 6:1-30 Before the age of GPS (Global Positioning System), when people traveled, they often found their way by familiar markers along the way. Head north until you get to Vandersmithsma’s dairy farm and then turn right; drive on till you cross the bridge over the little creek and it will be the second place on the left. You’ll notice the red mail box at the road. The travel of life requires familiar markers, landmarks. There may be times where we are not sure where we are—was it left or, was it right. And then the landmark reminds us. It helps us get our bearings and ensures we are heading in the right direction. Jeremiah preached in an age where the Old Testament church no longer held to the landmarks given by the LORD. They refused to look to the ancient paths. We live in a similar age where God’s given landmarks are rejected. When you come to the crossroads, as you will many times this year, where will you turn? Will you ask for direction? Will you seek the ancient path prepared by the blood of Jesus Christ? Jesus is God’s Positional Sacrifice, Who is the way. The markers found in God’s Word and the Sacraments all point us to Christ. Suggestions for prayer Ask the LORD for the grace to seek the ancient paths. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 24 - Ask for the ancient paths 

“Thus says the LORD: Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths…” - Jeremiah 6:16  Scripture reading: Jeremiah 6:1-30 Before the age of GPS (Global Positioning System), when people traveled, they often found their way by familiar markers along the way. Head north until you get to Vandersmithsma’s dairy farm and then turn right; drive on till you cross the bridge over the little creek and it will be the second place on the left. You’ll notice the green mailbox at the end of the driveway.  The travel of life requires familiar markers, landmarks. There may be times where we are not sure where we are—was it left or, was it right. And then the landmark reminds us. It helps us get our bearings and ensures we are heading in the right direction. Jeremiah preached in an age where the Old Testament church no longer held to the landmarks given by the LORD. They refused to look to the ancient paths. We live in a similar age where God’s given landmarks are rejected.     When you come to the crossroads, as you will many times this year, where will you turn? Will you ask for direction? Will you seek the ancient path prepared by the blood of Jesus Christ? Jesus is God’s Positional Sacrifice, Who is the way. The markers found in God’s Word and the Sacraments all point us to Christ. Suggestions for prayer Ask the LORD for the grace to seek the ancient paths.  Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 23 - The danger of backsliding

“Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy (backsliding-NKJV) will reprove you…” - Jeremiah 2:19              Scripture reading: Jeremiah 2:1-19 Backsliding is a grave danger. It never comes overnight. It is little by little. The devil is content to use small measures so long as we move in the wrong direction. Before you know it, you are in a bad place. Time and again, people of the Old Testament Church turned their backs on the LORD. They wanted to be so much like the culture all around them. They lived with a false confidence.  They thought that because the temple stood in their midst they would be saved from threatening enemies. They listened to false prophets. Their ears were tickled. They “went after worthlessness, and became worthless” (verse 5). The LORD uses His servant, Jeremiah, to contend with His people, to call them back over and over again. He lamented for His people and urged their repentance. The call fell on deaf ears. The Lord’s Day we are given is filled with many blessings. In freedom, we are unhindered from attending public worship services to be served by God’s Word. But if we are backslidden and refuse to heed God’s Word to us, we lose the blessing. Sitting in the church pew is of itself no guarantee of salvation. Faith needs to be living and lively. Be on your guard. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you would not be complacent. If you find yourself lukewarm, pray for rescue. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.  ...

Daily devotional

January 22 - Be an ambassador

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ,...  be reconciled to God.” - 2 Corinthians 5:20                                                 Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 5 Our nation has a particular set of principles and values which (at least historically) it holds near and dear. They are enshrined in the constitution and other historical documents. To let the rest of the world know, we appoint ambassadors, respected officials acting as the nation's representatives, to speak on behalf of the nation. It is extremely important work. The Bible speaks of the role of the believer as an ambassador. We serve the LORD, appointed as prophets, priests and kings. While believers recognize that the Christian’s primary citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), they also understand that they represent heaven here on earth. In his letter to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul presents the ministry as one that is rooted in reconciliation—the making of peace between God and man. Our reconciliation with God is only possible because Christ went to the cross and received the punishment due for our sin. Our reconciliation is based on the finished work of our Redeemer. In this world, believers represent another Kingdom (John 18:36) and it is both our responsibility and privilege to reflect the official position of heaven. The message of the King must go to the ends of the earth urging others to be reconciled to God. How do you see yourself as an ambassador? Suggestions for prayer Ask for the Holy Spirit’s favour to be faithful ambassadors for Christ. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 21 - Oh give thanks to the Lord

“Oh give thanks to the LORD” - 1 Chronicles 16:8                    Scripture reading: 1 Chronicles 16:8-36 A contemporary catechism asks the following question: Why is prayer necessary for Christians? The answer: Because it is the chief part of the thankfulness which God requires of us and because God will give His grace and Holy Spirit to those only who with hearty sighing unceasingly beg them of Him and thank Him for them. Being thankful means more than simply living with a sense of gratitude. It is more than taking time to recognize and focus on the things we have, instead of the things we wish we had. The Bible takes the idea of thankfulness to a deeper level. The act of giving thanks causes us to recognize the One who provides our blessings (James 1:17). David knew that God was responsible for the safe delivery of the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 15:26). As a result, he penned a song of gratitude that centred on God instead of simply expressing his delight in an important event. David sang, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples!” (16:8). David’s song went on to rejoice in God’s greatness, highlighting God’s salvation, creative power, and mercy (vv.25-36). Gratitude to God is our natural response to God’s grace and provision. Suggestions for prayer Ask that we might recognize true thanksgiving, emphasizing the Giver first rather than the gifts. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 20 - Praying thy kingdom come

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom…” - Psalm 145:13                        Scripture reading: Psalm 145 Jesus taught us to pray: “Thy Kingdom Come”. Praying and living out of our prayers is a gift of God’s grace—it is a high calling, a demanding responsibility. To be called to a life of prayerful service is not our deserving.  Who are we that the Lord should set before us His Kingdom glory in Jesus Christ? When we pray for the fullness of the Kingdom, when we in sincerity are asking the LORD to place our desires within the purposes of His kingdom, then our lives will have a particular focus with far-reaching implications. The kingdom testifies to God’s reign and rule in the lives of His people. Our heavenly Father is sovereign over the whole of life and all of history. We have a King and He is our LORD, Lord of lords and King of Kings. As subjects of our King we are called to serve our King and bring our homage. His rule is to be honoured, His Word is to be obeyed. As we look forward to the many activities that the Lord has set before us each day again, we can do so in the conviction that our lives are not lived in vain, for they are lived within the blessed calling of God’s Kingdom. Suggestions for prayer Pray that you will be able to see the depth and width of the Kingdom. Pray Maranatha! Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 19 - Waiting

“Wait for the LORD…” - Psalm 27:14                                                              Scripture reading: Psalm 27 By nature we are an impatient people. Waiting for a doctor’s appointment, waiting in a check-out line, waiting for a phone call that may not be coming, even waiting at a stop light can be frustrating for some. But God does put stop lights in our lives that we might learn to wait on Him. Abraham and Sarah had to wait many years before the realization of their promised son. The Old Testament church had to wait many centuries for the fulfillment of the Promised Son, our Redeemer. The New Testament church has waited for many centuries for the return of our Saviour King. In the circumstances of life, when wondering what is coming next, we must learn to wait. We often find ourselves in the middle of the story and we don't know what the next chapter holds. Some, reading this meditation, have experienced a broken heart and wonder how it might be healed. There are parents with prodigal children waiting for their child to return to the LORD. Maybe you feel at the end of your rope and think there is no more rope left. We need to practice our faith no matter where the LORD puts us. As we wait, we ask the LORD to teach us (vs. 11), to protect us (vs. 12) and help us to live in faith knowing that He is our light and salvation. Suggestions for prayer Ask for the grace to patiently wait on the LORD. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 18 - Choose

“Choose this day whom you will serve... but as for me…” - Joshua 24:15                                                                                     Scripture reading: Joshua 24:1-33 Our Scripture lesson today is important to remember every day of the year. Joshua has led the people into the promised land. He had completed his task.  The LORD would soon call him home. In his farewell message, he urges the people to live faithfully before the LORD by choosing obedience.  The Israelites had to press on without Joshua. Joshua only foreshadowed a greater One to come. In the meantime, they were to look forward to the fulfillment of God’s promise to send the Saviour Who was perfectly obedient to the entire counsel of God’s will. But as they waited they were not to put a question mark where God had put a period. Every day we make choices. How is it that you make yours? You will be making thousands and thousands of choices this year. What will be your guiding principles? Will you seek the Holy Spirit’s favour?  Often we do not realize the non-intended consequences of our decisions. Ravi Zacharias once said, “Consequences are bound to the choices you make. You can have your choice, but you cannot choose your consequence” God is sovereign—He is the Ruler Supreme. But within God’s sovereignty comes human responsibility. That responsibility calls us to serve God, to obey God one choice at a time and to trust Him one circumstance at a time.   Suggestions for prayer Pray for the grace to make proper choices.  Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 17 - Responding to the world

“...the king would cut them off with a knife and throw them (God’s Words) into the fire... until the entire scroll was consumed…” - Jeremiah 36:23                            Scripture reading: Jeremiah 36:1-32 God’s people are known as the people of the book. The Bible is God’s love letter to us proclaiming the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible opens up for us Kingdom Life. Our Scripture meditation today speaks of one who closed his heart to God’s Word. Jehoiakim symbolically testified to his rejection of God’s Word by burning the scroll, literally burning God’s message to him. Today much of Western society has rejected God’s Word. They give it no attention. Many scorn God’s Holy Word. What about you? Do you hold to the trustworthiness of Scripture from cover to cover? Are there parts of Scripture that we cut out with our “pen-knives”? May God in His grace give us this ongoing conviction: "He who has once got fairly into the Scriptures can never leave them. The book holds you as a magnet holds a needle, or as a flower holds a bee. If you want great thoughts, read your Bible. If you want something simple, read your Bible. The book talks to us in our own mother tongue. Why should I have to ask another what my Father says?" - C. H. Spurgeon Suggestions for prayer Ask the LORD to find us humble before Him and His Word of Promise. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 16 - Don’t forget to remember

“Take care lest you forget… You shall remember…” - Deuteronomy 8:11, 18                         Scripture reading: Deuteronomy 8:1-20 Our Scripture lesson instructs the Israelites just before they entered the promised land. In the strongest terms, Moses, on behalf of the LORD, warns the people not to become complacent. Complacency is a danger in any age. Some time ago, I read an account of one who went for a leisurely swim. The water was very accommodating and he covered a long distance with ease. He decided to swim out of the bay and into open water. But when he tried to return he couldn’t make any progress. He had been deceived by the current. The ease of swimming had not been due to his strength, but to the movement of the water.  God had blessed the Israelites abundantly, but over and over again they became self-assured. They came to believe that it was by their own strength that they enjoyed the success they received. Already then the “spirit of the selfies” was alive and deadly. It is our sinful nature to go with the flow. It may be following trends in society at large or even wrong-headed trends in the church. It is only dead fish that flow with the current. By nature, we tend to forget that we are not self-reliant. Self-assurance is always deadly. Constantly we must remember that our help comes from the LORD. Suggestions for prayer Ask the LORD for protection from deceptive currents. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment.  ...

Daily devotional

January 15 - The joy of the Lord is our strength

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” - Philippians 4:4                          Scripture reading: Philippians 4:1-23 Do you know Christian joy?  Do God’s promises give you strength in the midst of life’s challenges? Are you discouraged?  Is your life seemingly adrift?  Focusing on the joy of the Lord will help. Be encouraged by these words from Octavious Winslow: The religion of Christ is the religion of joy. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.  Is this not joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy—deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy—in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven inconceivable, unthought of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Saviour, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not to be a joyful man? Suggestions for prayer Ask the LORD to help us focus on the joy of our salvation. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 14 - Dealing with our desires

“Desire without knowledge is not good... What is desired in man is steadfast love…” - Proverbs 20:2a & 22a                                               Scripture reading: Proverbs 20:1-30 What is desire? It is to have an appetite or fondness for something outside of oneself. It is a longing or craving for something that brings satisfaction or enjoyment. Someone once said “desire is like a river, as long as it flows within the banks of God’s will, all will be well. But if, it overflows those banks, it leads to all sorts of problems” How true!  Desire can lead to sin. James speaks of temptation as being enticed by one’s own desire flowing out of our sinful flesh.  One way to define the flesh is to drop the h and spell the remaining letters backwards. What do you have? SELF!  Misplaced desire is self-centeredness, selfishness tending to focus on my own needs while being thoughtless and inconsiderate of the needs or feelings of others. However, we are also to earnestly desire the higher gifts (I Corinthians 12:31), the greatest of which is love. Proper desire requires knowledge and is rooted in steadfast love (Proverbs 20:2 & 22). In the context of fretfulness (because of evildoers), the Psalmist encourages the believer to delight in the LORD, and He “will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).  But our greatest desire must always be the glory of God rooted in Christ.  Suggestions for prayer Pray that Christ may always be our hope and heart’s desire  Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

Daily devotional

January 13 - Look to Jesus

“Therefore since we are surrounded... let us also lay aside... let us run... looking to Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith…” - Hebrews 12:1-2                                      Scripture reading: Hebrews 11:30-12:2 In the previous chapters, the Hebrew believers had been encouraged to see the superiority of Christ. The entire message of the Old Testament had been a preparation for the coming of Christ. Now at the conclusion of this letter/sermon these same believers are called to a living and lively faith. As 11:6 teaches, without faith it is impossible to please God.  Faith is as Martin Luther once wrote “…a living daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times”.  In faith, God’s people are to fix their eyes on Jesus as the object of faith and salvation.  This means that while the cloud of Old Testament witnesses may inspire us, it is Jesus, both in His person and work, Who is to both encourage and enable us as we look to our Fatherland. We must rest and rely on His perfect obedience as if it were our own. By the merits of Christ Jesus, we run the race seeking the heavenly Jerusalem.   Are you facing a particular temptation? Look to Jesus! Are you distraught! Look to Jesus! Is doubt, complacency, self-absorption your trouble? Look to Jesus! Suggestions for prayer Ask our heavenly Father for grace to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment. ...

Daily devotional

January 12 - Away from the body, at home with the Lord

“So we are always of good courage…” - 2 Corinthians 5:6  Scripture reading: 2 Corinthians 5:1-21                        In the year unfolding before us there may be those whom we love taken from us. Perhaps even someone reading this devotional.  This morning (at the time of writing), I received a phone call informing me of the death of one of God’s saints. She at sixty years was relatively young. I was shocked. Why now LORD? What grief for her loved ones and her church community! Our why questions will not always receive answers in this world.  For all of us death will be life’s last experience. Our bodies are like tents flapping in the wind. And one day appointed by the LORD, that ‘tent’ will be taken down. The LORD is the giver and taker of life. Blessed be the Name of the LORD.   Death remains the final enemy. Death is ugly. Death brings sorrow and even intense pain to loved ones left behind. There is a longing for the fellowship and companionship that is no longer. Death’s bite is hard, often very hard. By grace, believers trust God’s promise. Death’s sting will not last into eternity. They live in the confidence that when we are absent from the body, we are with the LORD. In faith, the Christian testifies to our reconciliation with God. Christ has won the victory over death. Do you believe this? Suggestions for prayer Pray for the certainty of faith. Confess your faith in the resurrected living Christ. Rev. Peter Vellenga is presently serving as itinerant preacher waiting upon Lord for continued assignment....

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