Royal Redeemer https://royred.org/ Lutheran Church Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:02:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.4.2 Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Thursday- September 15, 2022 https://royred.org/devotions-by-pastor-dave-timm-thursday-september-15-2022/ Thu, 15 Sep 2022 14:02:19 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=9516 – As you may know, I was writing daily devotions that can still be found on the royred.orgwebsite.– I wondered what the devotion that I wrote 2 years ago today...

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– As you may know, I was writing daily devotions that can still be found on the royred.org
website.
– I wondered what the devotion that I wrote 2 years ago today said. As I read it, I realized
that it (and the other 150 devotions) speaks to us today as well! Here is that devotion with
a few minor changes:

We have the great privilege and joy to be able to talk God about all things…the good and the not
so good. And yet, we tend to only pray when things are imploding before our eyes. We cry out
for help!
One of my favorite stories (that you may have heard me tell) about tough times is this:
There was an old man who had a beautiful horse. This horse was not only his family’s
pride and joy, but it was also a means to an income for the family.
One day, the horse ran away. Fellow villagers visited the old man to give their condolences
for such a stroke of bad luck, as the loss of his horse represented a staggering financial
blow that would be hard to recover from .“Good luck, bad luck: Who can tell?” replied the
old man. “It is as it is. My horse is gone.”
Perplexed at the man’s nonchalance towards the apparent tragedy, the villagers went
about their business.
A few days later, the horse returned with a pack of 12 wild horses in tow. Again, the
villagers gathered, this time to offer their congratulations at such a stroke of good luck.
Now he had 12 more horses with which to make 12 times the income! What a godsend, they
said. “Good luck, bad luck: Who can tell?” replied the old man again. “All I see is that 12
more horses have appeared.”
The next week, while breaking in one of the wild horses, the old man’s son fell, and both his
legs were broken. What bad luck! The villagers exclaimed. Your son has broken both of his
legs. That’s terrible. How will you get your work done? You are too old to do it yourself.
“Good luck, bad luck: Who can tell?” was the (now predictable and equally frustrating)
answer of the old man. “My son has broken his legs. That is all I know.”
Shortly thereafter, the government forcibly removed all the able-bodied men from the
village, as the country had gone to war. The old man’s son, however, was spared since his
legs were broken. Good luck, bad luck: Who can tell?

…and on it goes. The truth is that we tend to live our own lives careening from one “good luck”
occurrence to another “bad luck” event? When things are going well, we’re happy and we think
God’s will is a good thing. If they are going badly, we get discouraged and think that God must
have abandoned us. We end up being tossed about by our circumstances.
Maybe we could stand to take a dose of medicine from the old man in this story, simply
observing the events in our lives for what they are instead of drawing grandiose conclusions
about the ultimate karma or fate of what has happened to us. To seek God in the midst of the so-
called bad luck. To seek God’s direction and Hope as we face those things…to trust that He will
walk alongside of us and bring good out of them.
The fact is that we really don’t have to worry in our circumstances, because no matter what, we
have hope in Christ. “We know that in everything, God works for the good of those who love
him” Romans 8:28. That’s what His good, loving , pleasing will is all about!
So, that was a fun illustration, but what about our everyday “real” life?
I had a lady come to speak with me a number of years ago. She told me her life seemed
upside down. She went into work and was told that she had been downsized out of her job.
She had a great job at a large bank, head of her department, and was there for 20+ years.
Two banks merged and her position went to the other person. “That would be bad enough,
she said, but her husband of 23 years announced, “he did not want to be married
anymore!” Needless to say, her whole identity was changing in a matter of a week! We
talked, she had a great faith in God watching over her and the kids. We talked about
keeping her eyes open to God in the midst of the storm. We prayed and she left my office.
About a month later she came back in to see me. “God is good!” she said. She announced
that she got a new job. “It is better than my old job,” she said! “I thought I had a good job,
so I never looked into changing jobs. Losing my job turned out to be a blessing. This new
job fits me better in all ways.” She then went on to explain that she could not have handled
her husband’s situation while working at the old job but with 3 weeks off, they were able to
talk and deal with the best way to end the marriage.
God did not cause her to lose her job or her marriage but as promised, He brought good out of it.
We don’t always see the results that fast and obvious, but we should always trust His Word! That
is a great enough story…but in talking to this lady to get her permission to use her story in this
devotion, she said the blessings are still coming. A few years later, she was nudged to go on a
mission trip she met a great guy on that trip they have been dating for a few years now! When
you trust the Lord, hang on for the ride of your life!
So, what areas of your life seem like “good luck?” Areas that you feel close to God, can feel His
presence, where God’s blessings are overflowing. Do you take time to thank the Lord for each
and every one of His blessings in your life? Your physical health, relationships, financial
blessings, and emotional state of mind. When all is well thank the giver of all good things! James
1:17…   Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly
lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Always remember that the biggest issue that you will ever face is that of sin. The fact that left on
our own we are doomed to an eternity in hell. But the good news is that Jesus took care of that
problem for you…on the cross. He loves you in spite of you! Take time to thank Him right now!
So, let’s get personal, what areas of your life seem like “bad luck?” Times when you don’t feel
God with you. (note that the problem is on your side: He will never leave you or forsake
you.) For many of you, this coronavirus situation has caused much distress in your life! Life
seems upside down, confused, and gloomy. You are facing physical, spiritual, emotional, and
relational storms of life.
Do you turn to the Lord for strength, guidance, Hope? Like the guy in our horse story, do you
look for God in good times and the bad? Do you tough times as a smaller part of a bigger
picture? Do you seek God’s Peace in the midst of the current storm? Deuteronomy 31:6… “Be
strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God
goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
With God by your side, you will get through this time. The question is, what good will He bring
and what changes does He want you to make?
Hope this devotion was helpful. You can go to royred.org and read (or reread) many other
devotions. Call me if you need to talk.
Pastor Dave

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Thursday- June 9, 2022 https://royred.org/devotions-by-pastor-dave-timm-thursday-june-9-2022/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 15:47:27 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=9116 I hope all is well with you. I was going back over the devotions that I had been sending out to you (and many others), and felt the nudge to encourage...

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I hope all is well with you. I was going back over the devotions that I had been sending out to you (and many others), and felt the nudge to encourage you to go to royred.org and re-read the 150 devotions you can find there. They were written as a way to get us into God’s Word as we faced the changing Covid world. We need His Word and its application even more in this upside down world we find ourselves in today.
I found this devotion…it was the first part of a 3 day devotion about prayer. Why prayer?????? Its God’s open line to us!!!!!!! ( I have updated this devotion a little). I encourage you to read it and then to go to royred.org to read the May 5th 2020 and May 6th 2020 devotion found there)

How is your prayer life? When I ask people that question, I get a wide variety of answers. Some say “great, I pray before all of my meals.” Others say, “pretty good, I know I can talk to God when I need Him.” Still others say, “I don’t pray anymore because He never seems to give me what I ask for.”

I think most of us would roll our eyes at those types of answers, but again I ask you personally “how is your prayer life?”

Let’s start by asking the question…What is prayer? Luther’s catechism says that prayer is speaking to God in words and thoughts. So, what should we pray about? Again, the catechism says we should ask for anything that tends to the glory of God, and to our own and our neighbor’s welfare, both spiritual and bodily blessings. We should also praise and thank God for who He is and what He has done. Seems to me, we can talk with God about anything! We can pray silently as well as out loud or even in song. We can pray a memorized prayer like the Lord’s prayer as well as just talking to your Lord. We can pray kneeling, standing, sitting, walking, driving, anywhere and anytime. We can pray for ourselves, family, friends, people you don’t even know. We can and should pray for forgiveness and restoration. The main point is for you to PRAY OFTEN.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18…Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

An overweight man decided it was time to shed some pounds. He informed his coworkers that he was going on a diet and would no longer be bringing donuts to the office. He knew it would be hard to resist stopping at the bakery on the way to work, but he committed himself to remaining strong and resisting temptation.

His coworkers were surprised one morning to see him arrive at the office with a big box of donuts. When they reminded him of his diet, he just smiled.

“These are very special donuts,” he explained. “When I left for the office this morning, I knew I was going to drive by the bakery, and I wondered if maybe the Lord might want me to have some donuts today. I wasn’t sure, so I prayed, ‘Lord, if you want me to stop and buy some donuts, let there be an open parking place directly in front of the bakery.’ As you know, parking spaces in front of that bakery are hard to get!”

“So, the parking place was there?” one of his coworkers asked.

“It was a miracle,” the man replied. “The eighth time around the block, there it was!”

Ouch…I don’t think that is what God is looking for in our prayers. We should not try to manipulate God into rubber stamping what we have already decided to do. Reminds me of Jesus. He did not want to have to die on the cross, so He prayed to the Father. He did not demand things go His way, instead He prayed in Luke 22:42… “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

Our prayers should always be in praise and worship…seeking God’s will for our situation and life choices. God (our loving Father) wants us to talk to Him about everything, our concerns, our Joy, our sorrow. But we need to remember that He hears the prayers of all Christians and answers in His own way and His own time.

I want to share my daily prayer life, perhaps it will help yours.

  • First thing in the morning, Well, these days I get up at 5:20…go to our clubhouse and walk on a treadmill. While there I talk to God. I thank Him for keeping me safe over the night, I thank Him for all of the blessings I have, I thank Him for this new day, I seek His direction for the plans and tasks that I have scheduled. I then pray for my family individually by name and situation. Part of that prayer for them is…Lord / make them men and women of God / men and women of integrity / that they know You as Lord and Savior / that they live accordingly / that You bind up Satan and evil and boot him out / and replace that void with more of your Holy spirit. Take a few minutes to process each section of this prayer…and then offer it up for your loved ones.
  • Really….go back and pray that prayer for your family…then continue on!
  • I continue my prayers as I walk 5 miles. That’s when I pray for others including many of you. I ask for physical, emotional, spiritual, financial blessings. I pray for you to be good stewards of His blessings…to get to know God a little better and to grow a little closer to Him today. I pray for my neighbors, the church, city, issues of the day type things…as well prayers of thanks for His many blessings.
  • I stay connected with God throughout the day. Short conversations, seeking His will, having a thankful heart for all of His blessings, and inviting Him into each of my thoughts, words, and actions.
  • Then right before bed, as I am winding down and brushing my teeth, I end the day in a short prayer to God. Thanking Him for the day, assessing how I did with each new opportunity, confessing any way that I have let Him down today. I then ask Him for a safe, healthy, refreshing night sleep for me…and for my family.

I am not saying that my way is right for you, but perhaps it helps you make a plan for your time with the Lord. Start out slowly and add as time goes by.

Take a minute to think over what a normal day’s prayer life looks like for you. Do you connect with God regularly and often? Are there any changes He would want you to make regarding your prayer life? Do you praise Him, seek His will, confess and seek re-direction? Do you lift up the needs of family…friend…co-workers…neighbors? Do you pray for your enemies…and those who do not know Jesus as Lord and Savior?

In this unique season of all of our lives, are you lifting up in prayer those:

  • impacted by this coronavirus, those who have lost loved ones. Those out working in places that put them in danger. Those who are hurting financially, (workers and business owners.) Those lonely, anxious, and depressed.
  • those impacted by violence, shootings, hatred, and divisiveness. For the victims, their families, as well as for the peace and mental health of those committing these acts of violence.
  • For leaders at every level…head of household, school teachers and leaders, church pastors and leaders, business leaders, elected officials, and world leaders.
  • For the spiritual health and moral foundations that God would want us to have individually, as a nation, and worldwide.
  • For those struggling financially due to the ever growing prices.
  • For each of us to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior…and for His church to preach His word, as well as meet the needs of those in our circle of influence.

Wow….I guess I have really challenged you to adjust your prayer life!!! Think about it! The creator of the universe has given you a direct line to Him 24/7! You would be a fool not to use it!

You can also leave prayer requests at royred.org. (Back in 2020 I then continued on this topic of prayer in my next 2 devotions that you can find at royred.org).

Pastor Dave – (call me at 440-237-7958 ext. 118 if you need to talk).

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Thursday- March 17, 2022 https://royred.org/thursday-march-17-2022/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 17:08:19 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8720 So…are you taking time to read God’s Word daily, reading devotionals, worshiping at a church, and spending quiet time with the Lord? A few months ago, I printed this on...

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So…are you taking time to read God’s Word daily, reading devotionals, worshiping at a church, and spending quiet time with the Lord?

A few months ago, I printed this on the RR website:

Welcome to my devotions. I’m glad that you’re interested in focusing on what God’s Word has to say to you today. I started writing these devotions when Covid first began. You’ll find about 150 devotions on this page, covering many different topics and situations that we find ourselves in. Based on God’s Word, they focus on His blessings in the good days, as well as in the storms of life.

Before reading, pray first. Then I would suggest you go back and pick a date or start with the first one. Each devotion should take you about 15 minutes to read. After you’ve read it…let it percolate. As you personalize them, ask God to speak to you, and to help you make healthy, Christ-centered choices.

If I can help you in your spiritual journey, email me at [email protected]

I followed my own advice and thought I would pick a devotion to read. I chose to go back one year ago today……here it is!

March 17, 2021

Have you ever been driving down the road or sitting at a traffic light and noticed a bumper sticker that really got your attention? Perhaps it was funny…or offensive…or profound. Here are a few you may have seen:

  • Watch out for the idiot behind me!
  • I bet Jesus would have used His turn signal!
  • The closer you get the slower I go!
  • If life gives you lemons, throw them at someone!
  • I express my individuality thru mass-produced bumper stickers!
  • Your kid may be an honor student, but you are still an idiot!
  • Sometimes I wake up grumpy, other times I let him sleep!
  • Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine!
  • Why is abbreviation such a long word?
  • There’s no reason to tailgate when I’m doing 50 in a 35…and those flashing lights on top of your car look ridiculous!

Well…maybe you have seen unusual ones. Some are funny, some informative, some make you mad or embarrassed. The fact is that those stickers are a reflection of the person driving the car:

If it’s funny, we think the person driving the car has a sense of humor.

If it’s mean or vulgar, we may hope we don’t have to talk to that person.

If it’s political, you may like or hate that person driving the car.

Truth is that what’s on the outside of the car is often a reflection on who is inside the car!

Well…what so-called bumper sticker are you wearing? I’m not talking about your car. What do people see when they see you? What message do you send by your words… or actions…or aroma?

Our Words:

Proverbs 11:9 msg…The loose tongue of the godless spreads destruction; the common sense of the godly preserves them.

Proverbs 15:1 msg…A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.

Our words can say a lot about what is going on inside us. They reveal who we really are. People can see through our hypocrisy when we proclaim to be Christians but speak like heathens…. when we proclaim peace and speak hatred…When we want people to like us, so we speak evil about fellow Christians.

Our Actions:

Ephesians 4:20-24 msg…But that’s no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It’s rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you.

1 Peter 3:15…But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.

Let me remind you that people are watching. Your kids/grandkids are watching…your neighbors are watching…your co-workers are watching. They want to see how you put your faith into action. Are you loving and kind? Do you care about others? Are you living a life that glorifies your Lord and Savior?

Our Aroma:

A funny thing happened to me last week. I have been noticing a foul smell when I am driving in my car. At first, I blamed it on the fact that the car windows have been tightly closed in the cold winter months. I then started to think that maybe it was me…that I stink! Well, as the nicer weather came last week, I got the car washed. I was feeling energetic, so I got out of the vacuum. As I poked it under my seat, I pulled out 2 onions. They had been there a while and were bolting fresh growth…and they stunk!

How is your aroma? Now, I’m not talking about if there are onions under your seat…or how well your deodorant is working! But, are there “onions” in your life? Items that seem hidden but impact who you are and how you “smell” to others?

Several years ago, Chicago newspapers carried the story of a busboy in a Chinese restaurant who went to a bank to get change for $500.  The restaurant needed $250 in coins and $250 in one-dollar bills.  The teller grabbed a stack of $100 bills by mistake and gave the young man $250 in coins and $25,000 in bills!

The young man noticed the error immediately, but detecting a windfall, didn’t say anything. He left the bank with the money and hid it at a relative’s home. With some of the money, he went to another bank and got $250 in one-dollar bills. He then returned to the restaurant, thinking he had made a small fortune.

The bank teller, when she discovered her mistake, couldn’t identify the person to whom she had given the $100 bills. But she remembered how he smelled.  She knew from his scent that he worked in a Chinese restaurant. She not only remembered the aroma, but she was able to connect it with the exact restaurant where the busboy worked. With the police, she located the restaurant and identified the busboy. He was promptly fired, and the money was recovered. The bank decided not to prosecute since the mistake was theirs, and they wanted to preserve good relations with the restaurant.

What do you smell like? As Christians, we are to carry with us “the aroma of Christ.” There should be something about us that radiates the love of Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:15…For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

Obviously, the word “aroma” here is not to be taken literally. The aroma Paul is talking about is not necessarily detected with the nose. But it is sensed by those who come in contact with us.

Ordinarily, the aroma is a byproduct of activity. When you exercise, you work up a sweat and get body odor. When you eat garlic, you get garlic breath. If you douse yourself with perfume, you smell like the fragrance counter in a department store.

In the same way, when you serve Christ and do it in a spirit of love and humility, you begin to pick up the aroma of Christ.

Stay connected to the Lord daily…and others will “sense” that you are a child of God.

St. Francis of Assisi once said, “Preach the Gospel at all times; only if necessary, use words.” He was talking about the aroma of Christ. Can people smell you?

So, over the next week, I challenge you to watch yourself to see how you reflect the Lord.

  • Watch what you say! Are your words sweet and uplifting?
  • Watch what you do! Do your actions reflect your Savior?
  • Watch your “aroma”! Do you radiate the Love of Christ!

Humor for the day:

The frugal Lutheran walked into the house panting and almost completely exhausted. “What happened, honey?” inquired his wife.

“It’s a great new idea. I have to be a better steward of our resources,” he gasped. “I ran all the way home from the stewardship committee meeting behind the bus and saved $1.50.

“That wasn’t very bright,” replied his flustered wife. “Why didn’t you run behind a taxi and save $10?”

Spend time with your Lord daily. Go back and read one of my devotions for the last few years at Royred.org

Pastor dave

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Friday – January 14, 2022 https://royred.org/friday-january-14-2022/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 17:06:28 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8718 Welcome to my devotions. I’m glad that you’re interested in focusing on what God’s Word has to say to you today. I started writing these devotions when Covid first began....

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Welcome to my devotions. I’m glad that you’re interested in focusing on what God’s Word has to say to you today. I started writing these devotions when Covid first began. You’ll find about 150 devotions on this page, covering many different topics and situations that we find ourselves in. Based on God’s Word, they focus on His blessings in the good days, as well as in the storms of life.Before reading, pray first. Then I would suggest you go back and pick a date or start with the first one. Each devotion should take you about 15 minutes to read. After you’ve read it…let it percolate. As you personalize them, ask God to speak to you, and to help you make healthy, Christ-centered choices.If I can help you in your spiritual journey, email me at [email protected]

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Wednesday – October 27, 2021 https://royred.org/wednesday-october-27-2021/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 16:57:38 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8716 A main goal for me as I write these devotions, is to encourage you to read, find Hope, Joy and direction in God’s Word! I had the honor of officiating...

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A main goal for me as I write these devotions, is to encourage you to read, find Hope, Joy and direction in God’s Word!

I had the honor of officiating at a funeral the other day. After most funerals, people will come up to me or email me, saying things like…”Thanks for explaining what Psalm 23 is all about.” They say that they read, but sometimes do not understand the Power of God’s Word…How it applies in the good times as well as the not so good times…Hope this helps!

PSALM 23…with explanation

Many times, when life gets tough, we turn to God’s Word for comfort. Sometimes we read the Word and yet we’re not quite sure how it applies to our situation. Now most of us know Psalm 23 as one of those psalms that should bring us peace…. And yet when I ask people about it, they are not really sure what it’s all about. So here is psalm 23 with an explanation of each of the blessings that God offers to us.

“The Lord is my shepherd.” I don’t know about you. But I’ve never met a shepherd in real life. But I do know what they do. They take care of the sheep… they provide for them… they protect them… they guide them…and they are even willing to die for them. Jesus is our Good Shepherd.

 “I shall not want.” Well, if we are honest, we will admit that we want a lot of things. Turn on the TV and see the commercials and we all want those things. And they’re not bad in themselves. But this verse is talking about not having to want for anything of value because God generously provides all that we really need.

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.” I really love this verse. It’s a reminder to me of God’s peace. The image is us lying in a green pasture on a sunny day… Looking up at the clouds and God’s creation. Total Peace!

“He leadeth me beside still waters.” Well, The Bible is full of many references to water. We know that there’s the waters of creation….The waters of the flood. Crossing rivers and seas… and most importantly we know that there are the baptismal waters. The still waters when God adopts us into his family. Heirs to His Kingdom.

“He restores my soul.” Well, we are known by our bodies. The tents we live in… But it’s our soul that is the essence. It’s our relationship with the Lord…and through faith… He restores our soul.

‘He leadeth me in paths of righteousness.” I have to admit that this is one that makes me laugh a little, because I have GPS in my car…. And yet I like to mess with it. I say I want to go to point (A). And it knows the exact right way to get me to point (A). It says turn left after two traffic lights. And I turn right at the third traffic light. And yet it never gives up on me. It recalibrates over and over again with one goal in mind. To get me to point (A). God is the same, He is leading you on a path that leads to His plans for you. He never gives up…His one goal is for you to spend eternity with Him.

“For His name sake.” As Christians we have His name “Christ” in our title. We live by and for His most precious Name sake.

“Yea though I walk through The Valley of the shadow of death.” The most important word in this section is the word “through”. We don’t end up in a Valley of death. Through faith in Jesus Christ we walk through that Valley from life here to life eternal. And by the way, you can’t have a shadow unless you have a light… and of course we know who that light is.

I will fear no evil.” We live in an evil world…and yet we don’t have to fear any evil. Jesus came to overcome evil. We read in Revelation that God wins…He already won!

“For thou art with me.” That’s the faithfulness that God gives us. His promise is that He will never leave you… He will never forsake you. He is there on the good days and the not so good days.

“Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.” Well, this is an interesting verse because it’s back to the shepherd again. A rod to ward off the evil Wolf…as well as a shepherd staff to gently nudge the sheep back as they wander off into danger. If you have wandered…He is searching for you!

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” The Bible is full of stories and many important ones happened around banquet tables. We gather as well, as we gather around the communion tables at our churches. Opportunities for God to come to us in a very special way.

 “Thou anointest my head with oil.” That’s an Old Testament image of a priest having oil poured over his head to anoint him or set him apart. Sounds like it’s just for priests. No! In the New Testament, you and I are the “priesthood of believers.” A great time to share the Gospel with someone is when you’re leaving a funeral. Grieving the loss of a loved one…but in the Hope of eternal life. That is a great time to share your faith with others…The reason for your Hope!

“My cup runneth over.” Your cup is not half full or half empty… it’s overflowing with blessings from God. Count them daily and thank the Lord for them.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” Well there is a church word in this section (mercy.)…That’s when God does not give us what we deserve….instead He gives us what we don’t deserve. The word is grace. A free gift of eternal life. God loves you in spite of you!

 “and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” That’s God’s blessing, leading to our future face to face with our Lord and Savior. It’s ours simply through faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior!

**If you have been following these devotions, note that I will be taking a break from creating them. I encourage you to go back, pick a date over the last 19 months, look up the devotion that I wrote for that day…you can find them on royred.org/devotions and reread that devotion.**

HUMOR FOR YOUR DAY:
A shepherd owned a remarkable dog, gifted at sheep herding and able to speak. At the end of the day, after his dog had herded the flock into the pen, the shepherd asked his canine friend to confirm how many sheep were in. “40,” the dog barked. “40? I counted 37.” “Yes,” replied the dog, “but I rounded them up.”

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Wednesday – October 20, 2021 https://royred.org/wednesday-october-20-2021/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 16:56:45 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8714 Romans 6:23: “For the wage of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” We have all seen the ads and...

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Romans 6:23: “For the wage of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We have all seen the ads and heard the commercials that seem too good to be true:

  • “A limited time offer…buy one, get one free!”
  • “A free gift to the first 100 callers!”
  • “Act now and save!”
  • “Call now, and we will throw in free shipping!”

They all fall into a category that our parents would warn us against when they said, “there is no such thing as a free lunch!”

And yet, that’s what the Gospel is all about. It’s not about us doing anything to deserve God’s Love. Which is good, because we can’t. It’s about God loving us in spite of ourselves. His Grace is a free gift of infinite worth.

Follow along with me as I share this illustration:

Suppose the Cleveland Cavs were in the NBA finals. (that idea made people laugh prior to us doing it in 2016!) The series is tied 3-3. It’s game number 7…Cleveland has home court.  After a long sad journey of Cleveland never being the champs, this promises to be the game of all games. The prospect of us being the champs. Everyone is eager to watch the game, and to celebrate!

Now suppose that I go down and buy every seat. I have the rights to every ticket. I invite you….and everyone else to join me for the game. My treat! You could never afford it, but it’s free for you. I tell you that I want you there…that I cannot imagine watching the game without you being there. This is the greatest gift for all fans to enjoy! I tell you to just show up at the ticket window and say my name.

Now, the sad truth is that…I am sure that there would be empty seats:

  • Some will say, “I don’t believe you would do that for me.”
  • Others will say, “He’s a pastor, he can not afford to do that.”
  • Others will say, “No thanks, I’m too busy.”
  • Or, “I don’t like basketball…I’m going to a soccer game instead.”

And the excuses would go on and on. About now…you are wondering where I am going with this devotion. I think this illustration helps us to better understand the truth of the Gospel.

Jesus purchased you a ticket (not to a Cavs game, but) to eternal life in His heavenly Kingdom. It’s free…just say His name to get in. Greatest gift of all time! Forgiveness…eternal life.

And yet:

  • Some will say, “He would not do that for me…He does not Love me.”
  • Others will say, “He can not afford to do that…He did not die for me.”
  • Others will say, “I’m too busy”…”I don’t believe what the Bible says”…”I like being my own God.”

And so, sadly, there will be those who miss this greatest event ever!

William Barclay has written about a group of soldiers during World War II who had lost a friend in battle and wanted to give their fallen comrade a decent burial. So, they found a church with a graveyard behind it, surrounded by a white fence. They found the parish priest and asked if their friend could be buried there in the church graveyard.

“Was he Catholic?” the priest inquired.

“No”, he wasn’t, answered the soldiers.

“I’m sorry, then,” said the priest. “Our graveyard is reserved for members of the holy church. But you can bury your friend outside the fence. I will see that the gravesite is cared for.”

“Thank you, Father,” said the soldiers, and they proceeded to bury their friend just outside the graveyard on the other side of the fence.

When the war had finally ended, before the soldiers returned home, they decided to visit the gravesite of their friend. They remembered the location of the church—and the grave, just outside the fence. They searched for it but couldn’t find it. Finally, they went to the priest to inquire as to its location.

“Sir, we cannot find our friend’s grave,” said the soldiers to the priest.

“Well,” answered the priest. “After you buried your fallen friend, it just didn’t seem right to me that he should be buried there, outside the fence.”

“So, you moved his grave?” asked the soldiers.

“No,” said the priest. “I moved the fence.”

That is exactly what God has done for us. We don’t deserve a place “inside the fence.” We don’t deserve to go to heaven when we die. But God has graciously moved the fence. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us so that we could be included in his forever family.

Romans 5:1-2: “Now we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith.”

HUMOR FOR THE DAY:
I went to Walmart today, and I was there for literally 5 minutes. When I came out there was a state trooper writing a parking ticket for being in a handicap spot.

So I went up to him and said, “Come on, buddy, how about giving a guy a break?”

He ignored me and continued writing the ticket. So I called him a pencil-necked cop. He glared at me and started writing another ticket for worn tires!

So I then asked him if his psychiatrist makes him lie face down on the couch cause he’s so ugly.

He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket!

This went on until he had placed 5 tickets on the windshield…the more I insulted him, the more tickets he wrote. I didn’t care. My car was parked around the corner.

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Wednesday – October 13, 2021 https://royred.org/wednesday-october-13-2021/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 16:55:54 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8712 According to an ancient legend, a man became lost in his travels and wandered into a bed of quicksand. Confucius saw the man’s predicament and said, “it is evident that...

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According to an ancient legend, a man became lost in his travels and wandered into a bed of quicksand. Confucius saw the man’s predicament and said, “it is evident that men should stay out of places such as this.” Next, Buddha observed the situation and said, “let that man’s plight be a lesson to the rest of the world.” Then Mohammed came by and said to the sinking man, “Alas, it is the will of God.” Finally, Jesus appeared on the scene and said, “take my hand, brother. I will save you.”

There are many religions in the world…and they all have things about which are admirable and even true. But only one provides salvation from sin. Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life and no one goes to the father but by me.”. No other religious leader has ever made that claim because they can’t. No other worldview or mindset can shower us with the Love that we have in the Triune God!!!

We all base our meaning of life on some set of foundations and beliefs.

  • Some base their lives on science to “prove” a set of data. (“the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”)
  • Some use Sociology to explain and predict patterns of people. (“the study of the development, structure, and functioning of human society…social problems”)
  • Some use psychology to understand an individual. (the study of the human mind and it’s functions”)
  • Some use philosophy to share their meaning of life. (“the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, as an academic discipline”)

What I find interesting with these approaches is the fact that they are all moving targets. They change with time. The foundation of all of them is shaky and has cracks in it. A new “discovery” makes them go back and re-write what was at one time supposed to be the truth.

I am not knocking any of these disciplines…but when it comes to the “meaning of life”…to the meaning of my life and yours. I want the facts…the always true, never changing, facts about life, creation, sin, forgiveness, my purpose, eternal life, and true unconditional Love.

John 14:6…Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

There is only one foundation to build your life on…Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior!!!

That’s the beauty of God’s Word…the Bible….the best selling book of all time. That is where we learn about the Lord. That is where we learn about how to live and what is our purpose to exist. In it we find:

  • We find the truth about creation…and the beauty of the Garden of Eden.
  • The truth that God made man to have an everlasting relationship with God.
  • That man sinned…wanted to be God…to make the rules and define his own reality.
  • God restored the broken relationship through Jesus’ life, death, resurrection.
  • And the truth and Joy that God hand made you…Loves you in spite of your sinfulness…wants you to spend eternity with Him.

That fact, that reality, that blessing…is why you exist. And because of that fact…we desire to grow closer to the Lord and accomplish His plan for your life. That is a lifelong process.

Colossians 2:6-7…So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him,rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

This verse makes me think of a healthy tree. Deeply rooted for soil and water, growing year after year season after season, overflowing with fruit and flowers.

Your life takes on meaning as you are rooted in God’s Word, prayer, worship.

You continue to grow closer to the Lord and discover what you were created to do to God’s Glory.

Bearing fruit!!

Be connected to the Lord and His Church. Seek His will for you moment by moment, situation by situation, and season by season. Tell Him that you are available to grow closer to Him, to worship Him, to serve Him, and to bear good fruit through Him.

HUMOR FOR YOUR DAY: (not sure if I shared this…but it’s funny!)

A woman says to her lawyer “I want to divorce my husband.”

‟On what grounds?”

‟Grounds? We have two acres at the edge of town with a big lawn and some fruit trees.”

‟No, that’s not what I meant. Do you have a grudge?”

‟Yes, we’ve a two car garage but only one car so we use the rest for storage.”

(getting exasperated) ‟Does he beat you up?”

‟No, I’m up by 6:30 and sometimes he does not get up until after I’ve left for work.”

‟WHY DO YOU WANT A DIVORCE?”

‟We just can’t seem to communicate.”

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Wednesday – October 6, 2021 https://royred.org/wednesday-october-6-2021/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 16:54:45 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8702 Once upon a time a man set out to change the world. Before long, he discovered that the world was far too big for one person to change. So, he...

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Once upon a time a man set out to change the world. Before long, he discovered that the world was far too big for one person to change. So, he decided to change his country. Crooked politicians and special interest groups unfortunately thwarted his efforts, so he decided to change his neighborhood. But his neighbors simply closed their doors and shut their windows, so he decided to change his family. Instead of changing, his children rebelled, and his wife threatened a divorce, and things got worse. Finally, the man decided to change himself…and when he did, he changed the world!

I think that this short illustration covers many points:

  1. The fact is that God has equipped us and placed us in situations that we can make meaningful change. Matthew 5:13-16 (msg)… “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage. “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

Isn’t that a great section of scripture? Telling us that God wants us to be agents of change! I like the fact that God wants to use us to bring out the “God-flavors” and “God-colors!” How????? By being “generous with our lives”.

  1. God wants to work in and through you to change the world, our country, your neighborhood, and your family.

God wants to accomplish His specific plan for and through each of us.

Jeremiah 29:11… For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

How cool is that? The God of the universe made you to be you…and you are part of His plan of salvation for those around you.

  1. God has equipped each of us differently. He gave each of us gifts, abilities, and passions. He then wants to use you to be part of His overall plan to reach all people with His Love.

Now…before we go off to save the world, we need to make needed changes in our life first. I think of being on an airplane…they tell you that if the plane is in trouble and the oxygen masks come down….”put your mask on first, then go help others!” It’s the same with us spiritually. We need to put on Jesus before we set out to change others.

We by ourselves, can’t change others…but God can and will work through us. By the way, we are to be ambassadors for Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:20… We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

An ambassador represents someone else. You are to represent Jesus to a broken, sinful, and hurting world.

 So, how can you make the needed changes to yourself…so that, you can be an agent of change for the Lord?

Seek His will through regular time in His Word. Use a study guide or devotional. Ask Him to speak into your life through His Word. Read it slowly. When was it written…to whom was it written….how does it apply to me today?

Seek His plan for you through quality prayer time. Alone with the Lord, in a quiet place. Speak to Him and then sit quietly listening for His response and guidance. He may answer your prayers through other people or events. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Connect with your church through worship, group ministry, and service opportunities. You are called to be “the church” …His body! Together we are powerful.

Ask the Lord to remove any defects…to enhance your motivation to change others. Be the best you that you can be!! Always growing and maturing in your faith.

Ask God to identify who and when you should reach out to. Maybe it is by saying something, offering a listening ear, meeting a felt need, inviting them to experience the quality life that Jesus offers. Our sermon series 365+1 challenges us to find one person to pray for and to look for opportunities to share Christ with them.

I think the best verse to support this change is:

Romans 12:1-2… Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

  1. May the Lord transform you by His Grace and Mercy…to be the best version of you that you can be….eager to be used by Him…to change the world, one person at a time.

Humor for the day:

A woman who lived next door to a preacher was puzzled by his personality change. At home he was shy, quiet and retiring…but in the church he was on fire, rousing the masses in the name of God.
It was as if he were two different people.
One day she asked him about the dramatic transformation that came over him when he preached.

“Ah,” he said, “That’s my altar ego.”

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Wednesday – September 29, 2021 https://royred.org/wednesday-september-29-2021/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 15:50:15 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8700 Henry was 73 years old when he moved into the rest home. Since the death of his wife 2 years earlier, Henry had been extremely lonely. He needed some company,...

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Henry was 73 years old when he moved into the rest home. Since the death of his wife 2 years earlier, Henry had been extremely lonely. He needed some company, someone to talk to.

After unpacking his belongings, Henry walked into the activity room, where many of the other residents had gathered. Everyone in the room was either talking, reading, playing cards, or watching television. Suddenly Henry felt nervous about trying to make new friends at his age. He wasn’t sure he had made the right decision.

As he stood in the doorway surveying the room, Henry was startled by a gentle tap on the shoulder. He turned to find a small woman staring at him. Even though she must have been 85 years old, she had a kind face and was attractive. She said nothing but continued to stare at Henry. Finally, Henry said “Good day, madam. My name is Henry.” With a sparkle in her eye, the elderly woman said, “Henry, you look just like my 4th husband.” “I do?” Henry asked. “Tell me, how many husbands have you had? With a smile on her face, the woman replied…..”Three.”

Ahhhhhh, Love at first sight!

I have written a few hundred of these devotions, all would fall under the topic of LOVE. God’s unconditional LOVE for us…and then our call to LOVE one another.

Matthew 22:37-40…Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We LOVE God because He first LOVED us. We then respond by LOVING others.

Sounds simple! Right? Well, not really.

One of the verses that we read this weekend in the sanctuary services seems to be a good place to start. The section is labeled “LOVE in action.”

Romans 12:9-12 (NIV)… Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Can you imagine how your life would change if you lived by these words?

Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all lived by these words? I like to look up other translations of a given verse as well.

Romans 12:9-12 (msg)…  Love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.  Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality.

I suggest that you take a few minutes to re-read these verses…one sentence at a time…slowly. Read each translation 3 times. What jumps out at you? What areas do you struggle with? Take time to ask God to help you to live these verses to His Glory.

HUMOR FOR YOUR DAY:

Once there was a guy named Bill who wanted a horse. On Craigslist, Bill saw a Christian horse, so he went to check it out. When Bill got to the ranch, the horse’s owner said “It’s easy to ride him. Just say ‘praise the Lord’ to make him go, and ‘amen’ to make him stop.” Bill got on the horse and said, “praise the Lord.” The horse started to walk. “Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, praise the Lord” and the horse is running. Now Bill sees the cliff and says: “AMEN.” The horse stops and Bill says: “Whew! Praise the lord!”

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Devotions by Pastor Dave Timm: Wednesday – September 22, 2021 https://royred.org/wednesday-september-22-2021/ Tue, 22 Mar 2022 15:49:29 +0000 https://royred.org/?p=8698 Which are you most apt to ask: ”Why did God put thorns among the roses” Or… “Why did God put roses among the thorns” It’s interesting how some see the...

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Which are you most apt to ask:

”Why did God put thorns among the roses” Or… “Why did God put roses among the thorns”

It’s interesting how some see the beauty, and some see the pain.

The reality is that it’s easy to see evil, pain, and heartbreak. After all that’s what the news loves to focus on…that’s what our gossip centers on…and quite frankly, that’s what seems to get our attention.

And yet…there is so much beauty all around us. Look at a sunset, flowers, butterflies, the birth of a child, a baptism, and the list goes on.

So, how can we face the reality that there will be tough days and seasons…and yet be grateful for the blessings we have? I have always loved this verse.

John 16:33… “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

In case you did not know it…this is not the Garden of Eden…. nor is it heaven. We live in a sin filled world that is full of pain, distress, and evil! As our verse says, “in this world you will have trouble”.

Now before you say this is a downer of a devotion and stop reading….I want to remind you that there is beauty all around….and most importantly…God is with you!

Romans 8:35, 37-39…Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If God is with you…you can look for the good in all situations. The glass half full attitude in life. To be JOY-FILLED in the midst of a storm.

The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements, and to store his few possessions.

But then one day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, the smoke rolling to the sky. The worst had happened, everything was lost. He was stung with grief and anger. “God, how could you do this to me!!!” he cried.

Early the next day, however, he was awakened by the sound of a ship that was approaching the island. It had come to rescue him.

“How did you know I was here” asked the weary man of his rescuers.

“We saw your smoke signal” they replied.

It’s easy to get discouraged when things go wrong! But we should stay positive knowing that God is at work in our lives…even in the pain and suffering. Paul, who was the poster child for “having a bad day”, (read about it in 2 Corinthians 11:23-29) writes in Philippians 4:12…I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

He (as we should) found the good in a bad situation. He knew the secret of being content…knowing that God will bring good out of it. Romans 8:28…And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

I know that many of you are facing some very bad situations. I challenge you to focus on your many blessings and the God who gave you those blessings. Gratitude is the best medicine when life gets you down!

So…remember the next time your hut is burning to the ground…it might just be a smoke signal…calling for the Lord to do His thing!

The next time you see a rose….think about it’s beauty in the midst of the thorns.

Humor for your day:

An elderly couple had dinner at another couple’s house, and after eating, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen.

The two elderly gentlemen were talking, and one said:
“Last night, we went out to a new restaurant, and it was really great. I would recommend it very highly.”

The other man said: “What was the name of the restaurant?”

The first man thought and thought and finally said:<br>
“What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know…the one that is red and has thorns.”

“Do you mean a rose?” “Yes,” the man said. He then turned toward the kitchen and yelled:
“Rose… what’s the name of that restaurant we went to last night?”

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