LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

This week I am making final preparations for the first camping trip of the season with my family. All the kids and grandkids will be there at one time or another. We will share meals and spend time on the beach. And of course we will have campfires. I love campfires. It’s the best time of the day, so as much as possible, we keep the fire burning all day to make the whole day great. Anytime there’s any stress at all you can just go sit in a lawn chair by the fire and relax. It’s therapeutic.

But fires take fuel. I have a large firewood pile at my house, so part of the preparation is to fill my transport tubs with my share for the weekend. Everyone brings some so we always have enough. But it takes a lot of work to get that wood cut and split and stacked so it’s ready when I need it.

Yesterday I was thinking about fire and fuel. It reminded me of this passage from the book of Isaiah.

Isaiah 10:17-20 “The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers. The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick man wastes away. And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down. In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on the LORD, the Holy One of Israel.”

Years ago I read something from a friend on Facebook, and I’m more convinced than ever of the truth I heard from him. He said, in my paraphrased version, that “we have no right to ask the refining fire of God to come upon us unless we are willing to become the fuel!!

When God’s people had wandered far enough into the ways of sin, the Light of Israel became a consuming fire to purify them. He burned everything so that those who were willing to be refined would rely upon Him alone and not on their own wisdom and strength. That is what God wants to do to each one of us – refine us with fire so His light shines in and through us.

When we sit around the campfire, making sure the kids don’t get too close, we take turns poking at it and moving coals around so that everything burns as brightly as possible. We add more fuel when necessary.

In our spiritual lives we must do the same. We must let the Holy Spirit poke around in our hearts and minds and stir up the coals that are blackened with sin. We must search the entire campsite of our lives for any fuel that has been left behind by past failures – fuel that if not burned in God’s Holy fire will darken our lives. We must want the fire of God’s holiness to burn as brightly as possible in us.

So today, spend some time looking for firewood. Then let the Holy One become the flame in you that burns every log, stick, and woodchip so that you no longer rely upon yourself, but on the LORD!

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Isaiah 11:10  In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. 

I wish there was a greater patriotic spirit in our land today. I remember as a child the pride we had in our country. We were not all that far removed from the end of World War 2, and there was a sense of national pride and unity that permeated our country. I can’t remember ever seeing a single person sitting while a flag would be carried by in a parade. I also can’t remember anyone ever standing without having their hand over their heart in a personal salute to what the flag represents.

Not so today, is it? There is a disrespectful disregard for patriotism. Some would say it is because we have drifted so far from what our founding fathers designed, so they are excused from honoring what currently stands. I believe that the reason we are where we are today is because we, the generations since those days of honor and respect, have failed to live it and teach it as we should. We became complacent. We stopped rallying around a common banner and hope, and the resulting disrespect for our Republic and the changing philosophies of our leaders is what we should have seen coming.

William Arthur Ward wrote these moving words:

“I believe in America.

“I believe it became great because of its faith in God, its hope for independence, and its love for freedom.

“I am grateful for America’s glorious past; I am awed by its unbelievable present; I am confident of its limitless future.

“I am not ashamed to take my hat off and to stand at attention when Old Glory passes by. I do not apologize for the lump in my throat when I repeat the Pledge of Allegiance. I am not embarrassed by the tears in my eyes when I hear ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’

“Like millions of Americans, I want a free choice, not a free handout. I prefer an opportunity to prove my abilities on the job rather than a license to demonstrate my frustrations in the street.

“I am an old-fashioned American with a new-found determination to do my part to make democracy work.”

Like Ward, I too still get tears in my eyes when I sing the Star Spangled Banner. Just think of what that song meant to the people of that day, and what it should still mean to us. In the midst of a predictably unwinnable war against a vastly superior army from a long-established country, our troops were fighting to preserve our young Republic. During the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake in the War of 1812, the rockets red glare and the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. The flag was the rallying point for the army. It was the signal to all around that there was still fight left in the troops. The flag is our symbol of liberty, and it should be held high and in high regard.

As Christians we belong to a spiritual Kingdom. The Ruler of this Kingdom has also established a flag – a banner – that flies over us as our rallying point. It is the cross on which He died for our sins. One day, maybe very soon the way things are going, the banner of the cross will be replaced by the One who hung on the cross. The day is coming when a new Ruler will rise, or rather descend, to power. He will become the new banner for the people of the world. He will be the One to bring true world peace. He will be the One to unite the world again. All nations will bow before Him. All nations will be united in Him. He will bring peace that is glorious.

His name is Jesus, and His banner is to be lifted high and held in high regard.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Monday, May 29, 2023

I was blessed to begin my life in an erawhere people respected and honored the heritage of liberty. I was taught the history of our country both at home and in school. I learned about the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of the United States of America. I understood the difference between a Republic and a Democracy. And I was consistently exposed to the sacrifice of life that paid for my freedom.

I also lived through the era of rebellion when people lost the knowledge of true freedom and returned to the slavery of self-fulfillment. I saw, and even participated in the passionate pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Fortunately for me the Lord Jesus Christ rescued me from that philosophy of life, but I am deeply burdened with the sad state of our country today. Our nation has lost the true meaning of freedom and has again become slaves to an evil governing authority – PRIDE.

Pride and sacrifice are incompatible. Pride promotes self. Sacrifice denies self for the benefit of others. And true freedom is found only in sacrifice.   

2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”

Jesus Christ offers true freedom because He modeled true sacrifice. He left His throne in glory to become a servant of mankind. He made the ultimate sacrifice of His own life so that we could be set free from slavery to sin and death. He rose from the dead to guarantee eternal life and eternal freedom from sin. He indwells His children today so that we might live in the freedom of sacrificial service rather than the slavery of pride.

Yet our nation, and every other nation in the world, rejects Jesus Christ as Lord and therefore has rejected sacrificial service. Instead, governments are ruled by pride, resulting in the exaltation of man’s ways rather than God’s ways.

Soon, every one of those prideful knees will have to bow before the King of Kings and declare that He is Lord. Unfortunately, it will be at their judgment to eternal death. They will enter into eternity knowing that they had a chance to be free and they chose pride. But not so for those who sacrifice pride and become humble servants of Jesus Christ. We will be exalted in Christ’s presence one day and reign with Him over all creation.

Today, I celebrate those who made the ultimate sacrifice of life to pay for my constitutional freedoms. They are worthy of our honor. But more than that, I celebrate true freedom found in Christ Jesus who paid the ultimate sacrifice of His life for my eternal freedom from sin and death. For where the Spirit of the Lord is, and He is in me, there is freedom. May my life always be free from pride and self-gratification, and may I always be a sacrificial servant of others. Then I am truly free, for then I am most like Jesus.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Friday, May 26, 2023

My wife and I just returned from a trip to North Dakota to see Denise’s mother. Every time we go there I am reminded of how my kids would make fun of me every time we got close to our destination. You see, I love windmills. If I had my way, I would have a tall traditional farm windmill in my front yard. For some reason they have an aesthetic appeal as my eyes scan the farmlands of the Midwest.

Near my wife’s hometown is a huge wind farm, with several miles of wind-powered generators reaching high into the sky. I love them. They can be seen from twenty miles away, which is about when the joking started. As the distance diminishes, an optical illusion begins. It becomes very difficult to discern the rotational direction of the arms on the tower. From one perspective they look like they are travelling clockwise, but as we get closer and the angle of perspective changes they are turning in the opposite direction. The fact is they always turn in the same direction, but one’s viewing perspective can make them appear to be turning the other way.

Perspective matters. Jesus told His church in Smyrna to look at life from the right perspective.

Revelation 2:9a (ESV)  I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich)…

From the human perspective they appeared to be in trouble and in poverty; but from God’s perspective they were rich.

This morning in my devotions, Charles Spurgeon wrote this:

“God’s people have their trials. It was never designed by God, when He chose His people, that they should be an untried people. They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness and the pains of mortality was never promised them; but when their Lord drew up the charter of privileges, He included chastisements amongst the things to which they should inevitably be heirs.

“Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestinated for us in Christ’s last legacy. So surely as the stars are fashioned by his hands, and their orbits fixed by Him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us. Good men must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them.

“Mark the patience of Job; remember Abraham, for he had his trials, and by his faith under them, he became the “Father of the faithful.” Note well the biographies of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you shall discover none of those whom God made vessels of mercy, who were not made to pass through the fire of affliction. It is ordained of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King’s vessels of honor are distinguished.

“But although tribulation is thus the path of God’s children, they have the comfort of knowing that their Master has traversed it before them; they have His presence and sympathy to cheer them, His grace to support them, and His example to teach them how to endure; and when they reach “the kingdom,” it will more than make amends for the “much tribulation” through which they passed to enter it.”

We are so rich in Christ. Our troubles do not define us as poor. Our lifestyles do not increase or decrease our value. Our earthly treasures will all be lost, but our eternal inheritance is secured and kept by the power of God, ready to be revealed in Christ’s presence. If you are struggling with that truth, maybe a change of perspective is necessary.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Revelation 2:4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.”

An old Gospel hymn is on my mind today.

There is a name I love to hear; I love to sing its worth;

It sounds like music in mine ear; the sweetest name on earth.

It tells me of a Savior’s love, Who died to set me free;

It tells me of His precious blood, the sinner’s perfect plea.

Oh, how I love Jesus; Oh, how I love Jesus; Oh, how I love Jesus;

Because He first loved me.

As I thought about the words “Oh, how I love Jesus,” I was immediately convicted by the Holy Spirit. “Do you really love Jesus all that much? Is Jesus the one true love of your life?”

I had to honestly answer no. At first, I attached a qualifying statement to that answer –“At least not as much as I should or could” – but quickly realized I was only attempting to validate the love I do have. We tend to do that when we answer questions: we defend ourselves rather than humble ourselves.

So the answer is simply NO! I do not love Jesus adequately as defined by Jesus in Matthew 22:37 – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” As a result, I also do not love others adequately either, for how can love flow from me when the Source of love is being ignored? I have promoted things of the world to a higher priority than my love for Jesus. Projects have become more important than prayer. Relaxation and recreation have replaced relationships. Personal success often becomes my agenda rather than the mission of Jesus Christ. Oh, how I love myself.

I discovered some interesting truths in Jesus’ letter to the church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7.  Please read it.

Here’s what I discovered:

  • The people of this church were doing the work of God – vs. 2
  • They were enduring persecution and hardship and remaining faithful – vs. 2-3
  • They were taking a public stand against evil in their day – vs. 2
  • They were carefully holding to the truth of the Gospel – vs. 2
  • They hated the false teaching of Nicolas (Acts 6) that promoted sensual and materialistic living – vs. 6

Yet in contrast to all that Jesus said, “But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” He says they have fallen from a previous position of honor and needed to repent (vs. 5). And then Jesus says that all the other work they were doing would become meaningless unless they repented, for He would come and remove their lampstand from them.

OUCH! Not loving Jesus has dire consequences. The day is coming, and in fact may already be here for some, when those who have lost their first love of the Savior, who loved them first and saved them from their sin, will become ineffective in the work they are trying to do for the Lord. It all hinges on love.

Love for self and love for the world are opposed to love for Jesus and serve as barriers to the expression of His power in our lives.

Every time the lyrics or melody to that hymn flash across my mind today, may my heart be humbled to realize that it is at that very moment that the Lord Jesus wants me to love Him more than whatever else I am doing. Let the journey of growth continue.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Where do promises come from?

What is the source or motivation of a promise?

Those are good questions to ask and answer. We make promises out of selfish motives many times. Some promises are made because of the benefit they will produce for us. Some of our promises are made to simply meet what we believe are other people’s expectations of us so we can please them. But the promises of God are not so.

A careful reading of today’s Scripture passage reveals an important truth – the promises of God are precious and great because they originate in and are motivated by His glory and excellence.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,  by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature…”

This truth is not to be skimmed over quickly. Every promise of God comes from His glory and is motivated by His excellence, which can be translated as “Goodness”. Every word that He has spoken to us has its origins in His perfect nature. The promises come from His loving heart. Every promise is perfect and has no flaw in it or possibility of failure.

Every promise of God also has a purpose – so that we might become partakers of the divine nature of God. Faith in Jesus Christ and the application of His promises to our lives produces the very nature of Jesus Christ in us. Just look at what Peter says next:

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”(2 Peter 1:5-7)

As we believe and apply the great and precious promises of God to our lives, the growth of the divine nature of God begins. Just look at the qualities of the life of Christ that are developed in us:

  • To our faith God adds virtue, which is goodness.
  • To His goodness God adds more knowledge of who He is and His will for our lives.
  • To His knowledge God adds self-control – the ability to overcome impulsive desires.
  • To His self-control God adds steadfastness – the ability to persevere through hardship and trial.
  • To His perseverance, God adds godliness, or the capacity to reflect His life in our lifestyle choices.
  • To His godliness God adds brotherly affection – the desire and ability to love others in God’s family the church.
  • To His brotherly affection God adds love – the unconditional love of others with no expectation or demand of reward. This is the Divine nature of God to its fullest.

All of this is made possible through the promises of God flowing out of His glory and excellence. What flows from His divine nature can do nothing less than produce His divine nature when received and believed.

Let’s accept a challenge to read one promise of God every day for the next 18 years, because that’s how many promises God has spoken. But let’s do more than read them – let’s believe them and live them. Imagine what it will be like with all of us walking around this earth with God’s divine nature showing rather than our own.

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

2 Peter 1:1 “Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:”

Recently I was overwhelmed with a truth that God gives us in the very first verse of Second Peter. After introducing himself, Peter’s first statement blows me away – “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Wait a minute! Isn’t this the same Peter who walked on water? Isn’t this the guy whom the resurrected Jesus told to take charge of the sheep? Yes it is! Sure, he had his problems. He had to be rescued from the water as his faith grew weak. He denied the LORD three times. He made brash statements about his superior faith and commitment but had no follow through – at least not prior to the resurrection. And even in the early church age he had to be corrected by the Apostle Paul for his segregation from the Gentiles. Yet this was Peter, the one whom Jesus transformed from an arrogant self-exalting fisherman to a humble, Christ-exalting servant-leader of the church.

I am amazed that this man of God, a hero of the faith, can say to all of us that we have obtained a faith of equal standing with him. Think about that for a moment…or for a lifetime. The same faith that God granted Peter to be His servant is the faith that we also have to be servants of the LORD. WOW!

How is this possible? Because our standing before God is not based on anything in us, but on the righteousness of God that has been granted to us through faith in Jesus Christ. Paul said it this way in Second Corinthians 5:21 – “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The righteousness of God gives every follower of Jesus Christ equal standing before God.

I have trouble believing that. At times I have envisioned my place before the throne of God being somewhere near the back of the crowd. Literally millions of people are much more “qualified” to be closer to the throne than I am. Their lives of perseverance under severe persecution, even to the point of death, gives them a huge advantage on throne room placement. Their consistency of faith in the face of financial loss, family crisis, and fear puts them way up the list of invited guests to be honored. Who am I to think that I would ever be able to stand next to Peter in the presence of Christ?

But wait – I am qualified! I have an equal standing with all the saints in glory. There is no single Bible hero or Christian who has ever lived that has more righteousness than I do. The same righteousness of God has been imputed to us ALL in Jesus Christ!

What an amazing thought. What a bondage-breaking truth that sets the prisoner free from the chains of approval and affirmation. We have obtained through our Savior Jesus Christ the same faith that brings the righteousness of God and grants us equal standing before the Father in heaven.

Let that truth sink in and set you free from the comparison game you’ve been playing. Let it release you from the chains of seeking affirmation and approval from people. Let it liberate you from the bondage of earning anything from God. You and I are completely and eternally accepted by the Father, and we will ALL stand right next to Jesus in the throne room, for we are all equal in His sight.

“Give thanks to the Father who has qualified you…” (Colossians 1:12)


Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Monday, May 22, 2023

Hosea 6:3  Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Has the sun ever not risen in the eastern sky? So surely as the sunrise can be expected, so can we expect the LORD to come to us.

The LORD’s coming will eventually affect us all. Working backwards from the end of all things, His final coming will bring ultimate and eternal judgment to all who reject Him. Prior to that He will come to rule the earth in His glorious Kingdom in which we His people will serve Him. Before that He will come to remove His Bride – the True Church – from the earth so He can prepare the world for His Kingdom reign. And prior to that – even now – He will come as the sunrise and the rain to those who press on to know Him.

No matter where you are or what you have done, if today you choose to turn your back on it all and press on to know the Lord, He will come to you. He will come as the sunrise at dawn, spreading light and warmth across your cold dark heart. He will come as the spring showers to water the dry and hardened soil of your heart so that the seeds of truth can be planted and grow to produce a harvest of righteousness. Because of the LORD’s great love and mercy, He will come to you.

The LORD will come to you if you break up the unproductive soil of your sinful heart and seek Him. “Break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.” (Hosea 10:12)

The LORD will come to you with healing and refreshment to restore life to you. “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” (Malachi 4:2)  “He dawns on them like the morning light, like the sun shining forth on a cloudless morning, like rain that makes grass to sprout from the earth.” (2 Samuel 23:4)

If you ask Him to come, He will. “Ask rain from the LORD in the season of the spring rain, from the LORD who makes the storm clouds, and he will give you showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.” (Zech. 10:1)

The promise of the LORD Jesus is that He will not leave you alone as if you were fatherless. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  

Right now, the LORD will come to you. Even the smallest step of turning towards Him is rewarded with His coming. His eyes are watching for the repentant prodigal to return to Him, and when the LORD sees you turn from your sin and press on towards Him, He runs to you. He runs! He comes with arms of forgiveness extended to embrace you with acceptance. He will come to you. He died on the cross so that He could come to you. The debt of your sin has been paid so there is no longer any barrier to His coming. Turn to Him, and He will come to you. He will run to you!

Years ago the music group Phillips, Craig, and Dean recorded a song that speaks to this marvelous promise of God. Let the words of the song minister to your heart.

Almighty God, The Great I Am, Immovable Rock, Omnipotent, Powerful, Awesome Lord. Victorious Warrior, Commanding King of Kings, Mighty Conqueror… and the only time, the only time I ever saw him run,

Was when He ran to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to His chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face, Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice He said
“Son, do you know I still love You?”

He caught me By surprise, When God ran…

The day I left home, I knew I’d broken His heart. And I wondered then, if things could ever be the same. Then one night, I remembered His love for me. And down that dusty road, ahead I could see, It was the only time, It was the only time I ever saw Him run.
And then…

He ran to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to His chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face, Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice He said “Son, do you know I still love You?”

He caught me by surprise. And He brought me to my knees. When God ran… I saw Him run to me.

I was so ashamed, all alone, and so far away. But now I know, that He’s been waiting for this day…

I saw Him run to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to his chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face, Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice  I felt his love for me again. He ran to me, He took me in His arms, Held my head to his chest, Said “My son’s come home again!” Lifted my face,  Wiped the tears from my eyes, With forgiveness in His voice  He said “Son”

He called me Son.

He said “Son, do you know I still love You?”

He ran to me…

And then I ran to Him


LifeLink Devotions

Friday, May 19, 2023

This morning I am overwhelmed with this simple yet profound thought – I am privileged to know the LORD personally and intimately! My passion to press on to know is completely satisfied in the privilege of knowing Jesus Christ as Savior and LORD. As a result, I choose to make that my constant priority.

Hosea 6:3 Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

Let’s review the progression of truth in this incredible passage of Scripture:

  1. We press on – it is our passion, regardless of the pain it involves, to press on toward the prize of the high calling we have in Christ Jesus.
  2. We press on to know – it is our privilege to be able to know. We have been created in the image of God with the ability to reason – to think rationally. Praise God for this privilege.
  3. We press on to know the LORD – it is our priority to use the privilege of knowledge to know the Lord Jesus Christ intimately as Savior and LORD.

Many times, privilege is taken for granted and ceases to be a priority. The value of privilege is diminished by time and choice. The passion to pursue the fullness of the privilege is lost and replaced with what we think are more significant, meaningful, and rewarding objectives, usually based on nothing more than a deep need for immediate gratification. How quickly we turn from the priority of our privilege to know the LORD to the priorities of life as we assign value to their importance.

Once there was nothing, followed by everything being spoken into existence by the voice of Almighty God. Beyond the limitations of what we can see and know is the One True God of eternity, with no beginning and no end, no boundary or limitation, and with no need of anything outside of Himself for His sustenance. His knowledge is limitless, His power cannot be diminished with time or exertion, and His presence is not limited to time and space. His thoughts are beyond our thoughts, and His ways, plans, and purposes are beyond our understanding. He answers to no one, seeks the counsel of no one, and needs the approval of no one. He exists as One God in three persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – each one fully and completely God in Himself, a mystery that is received by faith in the Word of all three and yet unexplainable in human understanding.

Yet – oh the glory of this thought – God has made Himself known to us and has invited us to know Him! How long has it been since we have basked in the splendor of that privilege? And if indeed we say we believe that He is all that He is defined to be in the Bible, then why is the privilege of knowing Him not our highest priority? Why have we replaced Him with things that are less than Him? Why do we press on to know more about financial freedom, job security, personal relationships, sports, politics, business, or any other secular and social pursuit when we have the privilege of pressing on to know the LORD of all those things? We are settling for less than our privilege permits.

We are living beneath our privilege. We have forsaken our first love. We have set as the priority of our lives the pursuit of this life rather than the eternal life we have been granted in Jesus Christ. We who were created in God’s image for God’s glory, sacrifice that glory for the temporal benefits of sin. Yet God, in His infinite grace and love has extended Himself to us in Jesus Christ, to reconcile our relationship and offer us restoration of intimacy. We have the privilege – how glorious this thought and yet how indescribable it is – we have the privilege of pressing on to know Him in a personal, intimate, and fulfilling relationship that provides all that we need for life and eternity.

My friends, I am writing in tears. My LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, God’s revelation of Himself to sinful mankind, was sent to earth to reconcile us to God through His own sacrifice for sin on the cross. He has guaranteed us a permanent relationship with the Father through His resurrection from the dead. Yet we press on to know the world more than we press on to know Him. We have lost the passion of our privilege. May this not remain true any longer!

Pastor John


LifeLink Devotions

Thursday, May 18, 2025

Let’s do a little mental exercise. Finish this sentence – “I have an insatiable need to _____________.

I can only imagine some of the answers that are coming from all of you. “Finish first. Make money. Be successful. Find love. Be known.” That last one is the one I spend the most energy trying to resist. The answer that best describes me is “know.” For as long as I can remember I have had an insatiable need to know everything I can about everything that is relevant to my life.

As a child, I took things apart to see how they worked and to challenge myself to make them work again. I investigated everything I was told to seek to understand the truth of it. I took classes in high school specifically to learn everything I could about electronics and how radios and televisions worked. (Yes, they were color by then, but we owned a black & white.)  I tore lawnmower and car engines apart to learn how they worked. Don’t leave anything broken lying around, because if I have time, I will attempt to fix it. I read instruction manuals. I read rules for games before playing them. I have an insatiable need to know.

However, that need to know is my biggest flaw in my spiritual life. Why? Because the need to know seems to get stuck in the intellectual mode most of the time rather than in the relational mode. That’s not healthy.

Hosea 6:3 “Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

It is one thing to seek to know about God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but it is quite another thing to press on to know Him personally. Those of us who get stuck in the intellectual mode have a serious problem, because that’s the Devil’s territory. The Apostle Paul reminded us of this in his letter to the church at Corinth when he said, “We know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ This ‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up.” (1 Corinthians 8:1) Herein lays the contrast between pride and love – the intellectual versus the relational. People who know a lot about God tend to become judgmental and critical of others who don’t “measure up”. People who know God are filled with the nature of Christ – compassion, love, joy, and peace.

Last night at 2:00 AM I woke up from an intense dream. I cannot tell you what it was about, but my whole body was on the verge of quivering with tension. It took me a long time to go back to sleep. During the time I was awake I thought about how to get back to sleep. I searched my memory for tricks I had used in the past. Then I started trying to figure out how to solve many of the issues that were on my list of responsibilities. I figured that if I was awake, I might as well put my mind to good use and fix some problems.

But I wanted to sleep. Finally, I realized that what was needed was some relational time with the Lord, so I started praying; not for solutions or answers but for intimacy with my Lord. I wanted to know His peace that passes all understanding. I wanted to know His love and His care for me. I pressed on to know Him, not to know what He could do for me or what I should do for Him. That’s the last thing I remember until I woke up at 5:30.

So, as you try to figure out what your greatest need is, and what you will press on to achieve, think about this: an insatiable need to know the Lord relationally and personally will satisfy all your other needs.

Press on to know the LORD!

Pastor John