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Daily devotional

July 20 - Being in the world but not part of the world

“The gospel was preached even to those who are dead, that though judged in the flesh the way people are, they might live in the spirit the way God does.” - 1 Peter 4:6  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 4:4-6 Believers reflecting on Jesus’ suffering not only become willing to suffer for Jesus Christ, but also grow in their personal fight against sin. As we live in this world with a Christ-like attitude, Peter says unbelievers will be confused by our actions. They will think it strange that we are not willing to join them in what they think is good and pleasurable. They will accuse us of being old-fashioned. As the world grows in its rebellion against the moral standards set in the Bible, we also see it angry with us because we uphold these standards and will not agree with rebellious living. It seeks to allure Christians to its way of thinking, via movies, TV shows, the internet and fine sounding educators. As the world grows in its antagonism to God and His Word, we can easily be discouraged or overly pessimistic and completely withdraw from the world. Peter tells us not to be lured into worldly ways, but he also tells us not to withdraw from the world. We are called to offer the gospel to the rebellious world. The only hope for the world is the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why the gospel was preached in Peter’s time and in the centuries since then. By the power of the Holy Spirit, many turned to Christ when the gospel was preached and are now in heavenly glory with the Lord. As the gospel saved many who lived in past generations, it can also save rebellious people today. Suggestion for prayer That we would be in the world to present Christ, but not of the world. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 19 - Suffering as beloved children of God 

“Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same way of thinking,..” - 1 Peter 4:1 Scripture reading: 1 Peter 4:1-3 & Psalm 73:1-28 The fourth chapter of this letter tells us how we are to live as God’s beloved children in this rebellious world. As adopted brothers and sisters of Jesus, we should now think like Jesus did in respect to suffering. That is, we have to be willing to suffer in the flesh. Jesus is our great example in this. Peter was writing to Christians who lost their homes, their freedom, and even at times their physical lives because they no longer lived as they used to, but lived for the Lord. This caused those around them to become angry, saying and doing much evil to them. Although Christians today might not have the same struggles, we also need to be ready to suffer as children of God. We have to say no to things that the world says are good. We have to give up some comforts in our service to the Lord. We have to be willing to be seen as “strange” by people of the world for having Sunday as a special day to worship, for serving God above worldly success and pleasure, for saying no to drinking parties, for not doing whatever feels good and for putting God and His commandments first in our lives. This can mean being left out or ignored at times by others and not enjoying things they do. It can mean seeing others having it all while we fight against being jealous. We can only suffer in this way when we see how Jesus suffered for us. Suggestion for prayer That we would trust in the great blessings we have as believers in Jesus Christ and so be willing to suffer as beloved children of God. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 18 - Christ, our risen Lord and Saviour

"Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit." - 1 Peter 3:18 Scripture reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22 Yesterday’s passage emphasized that if we suffer in the faith, we will endure. Today, we read why. Jesus suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that He might bring us to God. Just as Jesus died in the flesh but was made alive by the Spirit, we are called to trust that when we believe in Christ, our old self has died and we are made alive by the Spirit. Peter goes on to state that Jesus did not rise from the dead just to give us hope. He also proclaimed to the spirits in prison waiting for their eternal punishment how foolish they were in rebelling against God. Their efforts to stop the coming of God’s Son to bring salvation, failed. Jesus rose to show that He won victory for all who put their faith in God’s promises. Just as Noah and his family were saved through water, we are saved through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Peter points out that our baptism by water points us to this fact. Baptism does not wash dirt from our bodies, but assures us that just as water washes dirt away, Christ washes our sins away through faith in Him. The result of trusting that Jesus rose from the dead and is able to wash our sins away gives us a clean conscience before God. Since Jesus has gone into heaven with angels, authorities and powers now subject to Him, we can have great assurance that our salvation is secure. Suggestion for prayer That we would have confidence that Jesus not only died for us, but rose again and ascended into heaven as our all-powerful Lord and Saviour. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 17 - Setting apart Christ in our hearts

“In your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy.” - 1 Peter 3:15  Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 3:13-17 In calling us to brotherly love, Peter encourages us to be witnesses in this dark and often confusing world. When we suffer any kind of opposition from a hostile world while seeking to follow God’s Word, Peter tells us that no real harm will come to us. As we seek to serve the Lord in the joy of salvation, we are called to trust that God will turn all things for our eternal good. Even death will be turned to our good, for then we will see our Saviour face to face. Peter tells us to have no fear of those who oppose us as children of God. Instead, we are all the more to set apart Christ in our hearts. That is, we are to get to know Christ. He truly is the joy and treasure that satisfies our hearts. As we grow in this, Peter tells us to be ready to give the reason for the hope we have in this broken world. We must live in such a way that our joy and hope are noticed by those around us, to such an extent that they would ask why we have hope in this broken and rebellious world. We are to talk of Jesus with humility and not as if we deserve this hope and joy because we are better than others. We are to talk of our hope and joy in such a way that they would think this can be theirs through faith in Jesus Christ. Suggestion for prayer That we set apart Christ in our hearts and that we would be able to speak of our hope to others with tact and love. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 16 - Showing we are God’s children

“Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.” - 1 Peter 3:9  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 3:8-12 Peter finishes this section on how to interact with others by calling us to live a certain way with everyone. If we are honest, we have to admit that these godly virtues are not easy to follow. They can only come from a heart that knows how deeply we are loved by God. Many times within church communities we allow pet peeves and little arguments to divide us. When we have differences with fellow Christians, may we see that, our Saviour and our desire to serve and worship Him is what must unite us. This should cause us to have sympathy for each other when we see brothers and sisters going through struggles, even when these are caused by their own foolishness. Brotherly love is all about loving our fellow Christians because we are one in the Lord, even though we have differing opinions on certain matters. We need to have a tender heart toward each other and be humble as we deal with each other, not seeking to repay evil for evil, reviling for reviling or gossiping with gossiping. We are called to bless each other; that is to approve of each other as beloved children of God. When we do this we will receive a blessing from God. We need to remember that God sees all. If we speak badly towards or about others, we need to remember that God is displeased with us when we do this. But when we speak lovingly and faithfully towards our brothers and sisters, God sees this with delight. Suggestion for prayer That we would refrain from speaking badly toward or about each other, but encourage and bless each other. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 15 - Healthy relationship

“Wives be subject to your husbands . . . husbands live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honour to the women.” - 1 Peter 3:1 & 7  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 3:1-7 Peter continues the theme of being subject to those whom God has placed over us, this time in regard to marriage relationships. God instituted marriage with the understanding that the husband is to be the head of his wife and lovingly honour her. Peter encourages wives to be subject to their husbands even if they are not Christians. In the early church, many women came to faith and wondered how they were to respond to their unbelieving husbands. Peter encourages them to be subject to their husband, hoping they would be won over by their conduct. He tells them this should be done not by impressing them with outward appearances, but by a gentle and quiet spirit. We live in a world that encourages women to concentrate on outward appearances so as to impress others. Peter’s words should guide all women to see what is important in life; not impressing others with outward appearances, but working at having a gentle and quiet spirit as godly women in the past have done. One can only have a gentle and quiet spirit when one truly trusts that nothing will be able to separate them from the love of God. Peter calls believing husbands to live with their wives, understanding their needs, and showing them honour as fellow saints in the Lord. We live in a world where men often seek to express their power to control. Peter warns all men not to bully women, including their wives, by use of strength or authority, lest God ignore them and their prayers. Suggestion for prayer That husbands would show love and honour to their wives and wives would be subject to their husbands to show they are God’s beloved children. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 14 - Following Jesus

“Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps.” - 1 Peter 2:21  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 2:18-25 Peter continues to show us how to conduct ourselves in front of unbelievers, telling us to be subject and respectful to masters. Most early Christians were slaves and many were not treated well. Often, Christians were given an especially hard time. Some masters tried to push their Christian slaves to give up the faith. As Christians then and today, it is hard to be kind, loving and submissive when treated badly by others, especially those in authority over us. Peter tells us that we are showing that God’s grace has changed us when we endure while suffering unjustly. When we endure suffering graciously while doing good, God is pleased. Then we are showing that the grace that He displayed to us is starting to live in us. We are called to live this kind of life. Jesus died for us so that we would follow His ways as His brothers and sisters, eager to do what pleases Him. Jesus was reviled and suffered greatly by those who killed Him, yet He said, “Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”  Jesus died on the cross to wash our sins away, to make us new people following His example to die to sin and live to righteousness. We are to show that His death on the cross has changed us; that we no longer live as the wicked world around us. We live a new way, by loving those who treat us badly, following our Saviour and Lord’s example. Suggestion for prayer To be more like Jesus in each area of our lives as we grow in our understanding of what He did for us. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 13 - Governing authorities instituted by God

“Be subject for the Lord to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme or to governors as sent by Him.” - 1 Peter 2:13  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 2:9-17 & Romans 13:1-7 Peter continues the discussion on conducting ourselves so others would see our good deeds and glorify God. He now tells us that good deeds include being subject to all human institutions, even wicked emperors. Every human institution, Christian or not, has been instituted by God. We are called to believe that God uses all things for our good. Therefore, Peter tells us we need to submit to all rulers, even to the wicked emperors as in Peter’s time, trusting that God is using them to form and shape us as we subject ourselves to their authority as followers of Jesus Christ. In doing this, we will silence the ignorance of foolish people. When we subject ourselves to human institutions, even evil ones, and continue to show love to our neighbours, we will silence their false arguments against us. They will see the foolishness of their words and actions against us. It might not stop their wicked action, but it will show they are being foolish. In the early church, as Christians surrendered themselves to unjust punishments, they showed love and concern for even their persecutors. The result was that many hearts were changed. This is why Peter tells them and us, who are free in Christ, not to use this freedom as a cover-up to rebel against those in authority. Instead we are to live as servants of God, seeking to honour God’s name and His Kingdom. We are to do this by honouring everyone, loving the brotherhood of Christians, fearing God and honouring those in authority. Suggestion for prayer That we would be subject to all human institutions for our Lord and Saviour’s sake. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 12 - Being a chosen race

“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you.” - 1 Peter 2:9  Scripture Reading: 1 Peter 2:9-12 & Exodus 19:1-6 Peter gives us a picture of our new reality as believers in Jesus Christ. We are part of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people who belong to God. This privilege is ours, not because we come from a special family or because we are good at something that pleases God. This privilege is ours through faith in Jesus Christ. We are called to trust that, through Jesus Christ, we have been delivered from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. We are not only to believe in the wonderful news, but we are to talk of the greatness of our Lord Jesus so others would know our great and glorious God. Peter adds that we are to fight against the sinful passions of this world, demonstrating that we are part of the kingdom of heaven. In living this way, we will be witnesses to unbelievers. They will see our good deeds done in love for God and our neighbour. We are to love in this way, trusting that others will see that we live for the Lord with true hope and lasting comfort and then ask about our way of life. This will give us the opportunity to talk of our Lord and Savour with the hope they too would repent and believe in our Saviour and glorify God. This is what Peter means when he writes, “…so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they will see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” Suggestion for prayer That we truly believe God calls us through faith in Jesus Christ and that we may show this to those around us. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 11 - Building our lives on the solid rock

“As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house.” - 1 Peter 2: 4-5  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 2:4-8 & Psalm 118:14-29 Here we see that living the Christian life is an ongoing commitment to Jesus. This involves building our lives more and more on the firm foundation of Jesus and what He did for us. He was rejected by mankind and put on a cross to die. Yet, it was the Father’s will that Jesus would go through this so that He could be that chosen and precious stone in which we can find security as beloved children of God. In Jesus we have a new reality as we build our lives on the firm foundation of Jesus and what He did for us. As believers, we are to see ourselves as being built up together, a spiritual house bringing glory to Christ, Who is building us up. As a holy priesthood, we are to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. We are to offer our lives in service to Him, submitting to His commands and will, wanting His name to be adored and His Kingdom to come. We are to see God’s great love in laying Jesus as the cornerstone on which we can build our lives. We are to do this with devotion, not shying away from how Jesus wants us to live and from telling others about Him and what He has done for us. To shy away from this is like stumbling over a rock that you won’t acknowledge. You are not to stumble over Jesus, but acknowledge Him and build your whole life around Him. Suggestion for prayer That we would continue to show that Jesus is the solid rock in our lives, in following His ways and wanting others to follow us in following Jesus. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 10 - Growing in contentment because of Jesus Christ

"Like new born infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that you may grow up into salvation - if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good." - 1 Peter 2:2-3 Scripture reading: 1 Peter 2:1-3 & Philippians 4:4-13 If we believe the good news of Jesus Christ, we must now live a new type of life. We are to get rid of every kind of malice, hypocrisy, deceit, envy and slander. Malice is living in any way contrary to loving God and our neighbour. Hypocrisy is pretending to be someone you are not to make yourself look better. Deceit is lying to take advantage of someone or to get something you don’t deserve. Envy is wanting what someone else has. Slander is trying to make someone else look bad so you look better to others. Peter calls us to love God and our neighbour, accepting all that God gives us while being happy with what God gives our neighbour. That only happens when we are content in our relationship with God because of Jesus. When we are content in our relationship with God, malice, hypocrisy, deceit, envy and slander will more and more be put out of our life. Since it is not easy to always be content, Peter tells us to long for a better understanding of the good news of Jesus Christ. Like a healthy newborn baby desires milk, we are to desire more knowledge and understanding of Jesus and our salvation from God’s Word. In this way, we will become mature, content followers of Jesus Christ. Peter points out that if we are not maturing in our salvation and growing in our contentment in our life, we need to examine ourselves, if indeed we have tasted that the Lord is good. Suggestion for prayer That you would mature in the faith, seeking a deeper understanding of the gospel, so you would be more content in Him. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 9 - The living and abiding word of God

“Love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.” - 1 Peter 1:22-23 Scripture reading: Romans 10:5-9 Peter encourages us to have a healthy fear of God, to be in such awe of Him that we always want to do what is pleasing in His sight. He goes on to say that our souls have been purified by our obedience to the truth to develop a sincere love for our brothers. Notice that Peter does not say by our obedience to the commands of God, but to the truth. The good news of Jesus Christ is the truth. Obedience to the truth is trusting Jesus truly saved us. Peter tells us that if we believe the gospel, we will have sincere brotherly love. We who have become new people through faith in Jesus Christ, are called to love one another earnestly because we have a new heart. We are to show that we are new persons in Jesus Christ by having a deep love for brothers and sisters in the Lord. We are to do this even if we do not always get along with them. Why is this both possible and necessary in our lives? It is because we have been born again, or made into a new person, by the living and abiding Word of God. This Word, the Good News of Jesus Christ, changed us and will keep on changing us so we will not only have a desire, but also an ability to love one another. If it is not changing us so that we are starting to love others, it has not yet saved us. Suggestions for prayer That the living and abiding Word that saves will continue to change you to love one another. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 8 - Have a proper view of our heavenly Father

“Conduct yourself with fear throughout the time of your exile knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ.” - 1 Peter 1:17-19  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:17-21 In the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray, He instructs us to call His Father our heavenly Father. Peter tells us that if we do call God our Heavenly Father, we should conduct ourselves in a certain way, showing we have a special fear of God. This fear of God is the opposite of having a fear of man. As children of our heavenly Father, we should first seek to do what is pleasing to Him, not our fellow man. We are to do this while we wait for the time when He will call us to our heavenly home. We are to live our lives, remembering the payment made for us to become part of the family of our heavenly Father. The payment was made with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. May we trust that God, from eternity, wanted to send His son to make this payment so that we could be His beloved children. God sent His Son into this world to sacrifice His life on the cross. He sent His Son to do this so that sinful, undeserving people can call God their loving, heavenly Father. Do you believe that Jesus paid the price to ransom you from the futile ways of this world to be a beloved child of a heavenly Father? In believing this, you are called to conduct yourself as one who does not fear what man thinks, but what God thinks. As His beloved child, you are called to do what is pleasing to your Heavenly Father. Suggestions for prayer That we would grow to fear man less and our heavenly Father more. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 7 - Having our focus on Jesus’ return

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passion of your former ignorance, but as He who called you is holy, you are to be holy in your conduct.” - 1 Peter 1: 14-15  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:1-16 We live in a time the Old Testament believers would have loved to see. Peter writes a “therefore” statement. Because we live in the time we do, knowing and believing in Jesus Christ, we are to prepare our minds for action, that is we are to keep our minds focused on Jesus Christ and what He did for us. Only then can we be ready to serve Him. When our mind starts to concentrate on the things of this world, we will lose our desire to serve the Lord. Peter goes on to tell us that we need to be sober minded, meaning we are to focus our minds on the heavenly kingdom. We are not to set our hope on the things of this world such as money, careers, or even our families, but on Christ, looking forward to what He will give us when He returns. Peter writes about the great future Jesus purchased for us on the cross, the new heaven and earth. As God’s adopted children we are to keep our eyes on the home Jesus is preparing for us and not on earthly treasures, as if we don’t know what Jesus purchased for us. It would be like settling for sand castles at the beach rather than a heavenly home. For this reason, Peter tells us that while we live on this earth we are to be holy, people who live differently, not for worldly pleasures, but for God’s glory and His Kingdom, fixing our eyes on our heavenly home. Suggestions for prayer Ask that we would be holy, having our focus on living for the Lord, having our eyes fixed on our heavenly home. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 6 - The blessing of our position in history

“…the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully.” - 1 Peter 1: 10  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:1-12 Yesterday we saw the great joy that is ours through faith in Jesus Christ. Peter goes on to tell us that the prophets in the Old Testament longed to see what we often do not appreciate as much as we should. The Old Testament prophets wrote about the coming of the One, God was going to send to redeem His people. But they did not fully know who this person would be and to what extent He would go to save His people. They did not know the One coming was God’s beloved Son and that He would go to the cross and experience the agony of hell to save His people. They did not fully know the glorious reality we would receive because of Jesus. Jesus’ work allows us to be called sons and daughters of God, having the privileges of God’s family. Paul mentions this in Ephesians 1:3, “In Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Peter, in His second letter, tells us that through faith in Jesus Christ we become partakers in the divine nature. We get what Jesus has as a beloved child of God. Although the Old Testament writers did not know what we know about Jesus, they served us, for we can look back and see that they were speaking about the coming of Jesus. When we read scripture or hear it preached and soak in the good news of Jesus, we are called to rejoice and see that we live in a glorious time in history. Suggestions for Prayer That we would understand the great position we are in history, having the complete revelation of our God. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 5 - The inexpressible joy

“…obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” - 1 Peter 1:9  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:1-9 Yesterday we looked at the great gift of a tested and genuine faith. Those who have it know it is more valuable to them than much gold and it causes one to praise and glorify Jesus Christ in the joy of salvation. Peter, in verses 8-9, tells us that this tested and genuine faith causes people to love Jesus deeply even though they have not seen Him while He lived and ministered on earth. That happens because in working this faith in His people, God opens their hearts to see His love for them more clearly than they could see with their physical eyes. Peter says this causes one to rejoice with a joy that cannot be understood by those who do not have this faith. It is like trying to explain the colour red to one who was born blind. Peter wrote his letter first of all to Christians who were scattered and persecuted for their faith. Peter said this tested faith caused them to be filled with a joy that made others wonder what they had. What made them experience this joy in the midst of much hardship? Sometimes the physical comforts we experience in North America can dim the great joy that is ours in Jesus Christ. Peter calls us to reflect on the fact that, through faith in Jesus Christ, we already have the outcome of our faith, the salvation of our souls. Through faith in Jesus Christ our eternal well-being is secure; nothing can separate us from the love of God. This is our joy. Suggestions for prayer That we would more and more reflect on what we have been given, in having a faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com....

Daily devotional

July 4 - Glorifying God in our struggles

“…that the tested genuineness of your faith … may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” - 1 Peter 1:7  Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:1-7 Yesterday we saw what a great future is ours because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. But our hope is not just in a future heavenly glory. Peter reminds us that we are guarded by God’s great power, the same power that created the world. God wants us to trust that He will not let us go; that He who began a good work of faith in us will bring it to completion when Jesus returns to take us to our eternal home. Peter encourages us to rejoice in the knowledge that God will continue to work in us by His Word and Spirit so that we will continue in the faith even in the midst of trials. Trusting in God, we should see that He will not only bring us through hard times or temptations, but will also use these for our good. Peter tells us that our loving heavenly Father allows these difficulties in our lives so that our faith will be refined through them to such a degree that they will result in praise, glory and honour when we meet Jesus at His second coming. Jesus said a similar thing in John 15 when He said every branch that bears fruit He prunes, so that it will bear more fruit. Peter really wants us to see that when we suffer in this broken world, while serving our Lord Jesus Christ in a true faith, we will be blessed with a more intimate relationship with God and so praise Him with greater commitment and joy. Suggestions for prayer That we would see that our trials and struggles are in God’s control and He is using them to purify us to draw us closer to him so that we can glorify Him in a deeper way. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 3 - Why we should praise our God

“He has caused us to be born again . . . to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefined and unfading.” - 1 Peter 1:3-4 Scripture reading: John 3:1-14 After praying for grace and peace to be multiplied in the lives of his readers, Peter tells us why we should praise God. It is not because we have nice homes and families, good jobs or health, but because He has caused us to have a new life. Most important of all, we have a living hope because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Peter is calling us to believe that just as Jesus rose from the dead, we now have a new life as children of the living God, an eternal relationship that will never end. While living on this earth with struggles and problems, we can trust that nothing will be able to separate us from the Love of God. This means that we always have a reason to praise our God and Father. But there’s more. Peter says we are to praise our God because we have an inheritance in heaven that will never perish, fade or spoil. Jesus promised that He not only died to secure our inheritance, but went to heaven to prepare it for us. He is there now making a place for us where we will no longer be sinful and the devil will never be able to come there. This inheritance will never go bad, get boring or be too much for us to handle. We will experience the reality of being completely at home, with no sadness or fear, only joy and contentment. This is a great reason to praise our God and Father. Suggestions for prayer That we rejoice in what we have as children of God now and be overjoyed with what is coming our way in heavenly glory. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

July 2 - A blessing for Christ’s church

“May grace and peace be multiplied in you.” - 1 Peter 1:2b  Scripture reading: Romans 1:1-7 After Peter announces who he is and to whom he is writing, he declares something very important. Many pastors also declare a blessing to God’s people at the beginning of a worship service. They give a special blessing to those who have come to worship the Lord in spirit and truth. This sets the tone of our worship services. God gathers and welcomes us to bless us as we come to worship Him under the reading and preaching of His Word. In declaring a blessing to the Christians, Peter is also summarizing what the letter is about: God extending grace and peace to His people in abundance. The first Christians to read this letter faced persecution and displacement and were often struggling with why God was allowing this in their lives. Today, we may not deal with the struggles early Christians faced, but we still face various situations that challenge our faith. We are blessed when we believe these words are not just from the man Peter, but from our Lord. God wants us to believe His grace has been abundantly supplied to us in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Out of a great love that we did not deserve, God the Father sent His only Son to take the punishment for our sins, so that we can become God’s beloved children, adopted into the eternal family of God. He did this so that we can have eternal peace with God, a peace that no one and nothing can take away, not even death. Suggestions for prayer That we would trust God’s grace and peace are ours because of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional, Uncategorised

July 1 - Introduction to 1 Peter: holding fast to Christ in a rebellious world

During the past years, our governments and the people of our lands have shown more rejection of God and His Word. We see ungodly lifestyles promoted. We see what Paul explained in Romans 1. Although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking has become futile and their foolish hearts are darkened. Although they claim to be wise, they have become fools, exchanging the glory of God for images and heroes of their making. We see that God is giving them over to their sinful desires. When we see the foundations of our culture being destroyed, we wonder what the righteous can do. Peter wrote his letter in a time of great persecution, immorality and confusion. We are not sure what lies ahead for us, but Peter tells us where to find our hope and comfort, and how we are to live as saints set apart in the midst of a rebellious world, being ready to give a reason for the hope we have as beloved children of God. We will be going through the first letter of Peter this month. Peter tells us to praise God in the midst of a fallen, rebellious world for the great blessings we have because of Christ our Saviour. He also tells us how we are to live for Him as His beloved children, fighting sin and encouraging each other as fellow citizens of the Kingdom of heaven, looking forward to a glorious future that will never perish, spoil or fade. May Peter’s words encourage us to be faithful, so that we will not give up following Jesus, continuing in the mission He has given us: to tell others about Jesus and show that Jesus is a true and loving Saviour. Having our identity in Christ “Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion . . . according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” - 1 Peter 1:1-2a  Scripture reading: John 21:15-19 Peter starts this letter by emphasizing the identity of those who believe in Jesus Christ. Earlier, Peter had struggles in this area. On the night Jesus was arrested, Peter was asked if he knew Jesus. He denied it three times. But Peter repented and now calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ; one who represented and witnessed for Jesus Christ. And he gives special designations to those to whom he is writing. First, he calls us God’s elect, chosen to be God’s beloved children according to His eternal, unconditional love. God sent His Son to die for His people. He also sent the Holy Spirit to enable His children to believe and live in joyful obedience because of Christ’s sprinkled blood. Peter encourages us to trust in Jesus Christ, find our identity as His beloved, chosen people and confess our faith in Him. In the second designation, Peter calls us strangers. Peter was writing to those who were scattered throughout the world. Although they were scattered among various places they were citizens of a new Kingdom, the kingdom of God. Peter is encouraging us to see that this world is not our real home. We should seek to be a blessing to any country we live in, yet in believing in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. May we see that we are strangers to this world and part of God’s chosen people, the Kingdom of God. Suggestions for prayer That we would more and more see our identity in Jesus Christ as members of God’s elect people, strangers in this world living in obedience to our Lord. Pastor Richard Bultje is a missionary and pastor of the River of Life church plant in Niagara Falls Ontario. It is a church plant under the oversight of the Wellandport United Reformed Church. Pastor Richard and his wife, Yukyung moved to Niagara Falls in November 2012 with their three children, Calvin, Isaiah and Gloria. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

June 30 - Jesus the radiance of the glory of God

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” - Psalm 19:14  Scripture reading: Hebrews 1:1-4 Radiance is a rarely used word in the Greek New Testament. It means shining brightness. That probably doesn’t help matters much in terms of trying to define what radiance is. What I love about this title for Jesus is, it really is at the very edge of both our language and ability to explain that Jesus is the Beautiful One. Thinking about Him and His work is like following a sunbeam that pierces the clouds after a rainstorm. As you follow the outward edges of the sunbeam upwards your eye is drawn to the source of its light, the sun. So it is with Jesus, the more you consider Him, the longer you gaze into Scripture and contemplate Who He is, the more your senses will be drawn upwards in Jesus, up toward the brilliance of the Living God, Who alone lives in unapproachable light. It is the contemplation of the Names of God and the Attributes of God which clarify your understanding of Who He Is. As you spend more and more time thinking about God, your imagination gets stirred up and your soul soars in hymns and prayers to Him. If He did not reveal Himself, His radiant brilliance and His glory would remain hidden. He has shown us His salvation. He invites you to keep learning of Him, so that in the endless reaches of eternity, you will still shout: “Oh, Jesus, radiance of the Father’s glory, show us more that we may give more love to You, Triune God, and serve You ever more joyfully!” Suggestions for prayer As you continue to read the Bible, pray that the Spirit of God will show you more of the beauty of God, His glorious Self-Revelation, so that your vocabulary for praise and worship will grow and your delight in the LORD our God will be infectious to all around you. Rev. Richard Vander Vaart served as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church of North America for over twenty years, before joining the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. He is now serving as the Atlantic Region prison-visiting pastor working with Redemption Prison Ministry. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

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