Devotionals by Dr. Stephen Davey

The Church That Changed

Acts 11:1
Now the apostles and the brethren who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.

I can still vividly remember a change that occurred in our household years ago.  It was when I took our older daughter to her first day of kindergarten. 

If you had watched us from twenty yards away, we would have made the perfect picture.  She had on new shoes and was carrying her shiny lunchbox; I was holding her hand as we walked from the parking lot to the school.  But if you had come within earshot, you would have discovered that we were actually arguing! 

She wanted me to stay in the car, saying, "Daddy, I don't need you to take me to class; I can do this by myself!" And I was saying, "Listen, you might be feeling good about all this, young lady, but I'm not—so why don't you just allow me a little insecurity!  Okay?"

I remember that change.  She went from a dependent five-year-old to an independent kindergartener.

No change is easy. We naturally resist the rough waters; the upheaval; the emotions; the hardships—there're all cousins to change.

The most difficult changes to make are those involving lifelong traditions and heritage.

I'll be even more specific: changes are hard to accept when it comes to church; when it involves your relationship to Christ; when it affects how you worship. 

How about you? Can you do an internal audit of your deeply cherished church traditions? 

·         Are they biblically based . . . or culturally based? 
·         Are they resistant to the things Christ   resists . . . or are they conformed  to your peers' opinions?
·         Are they open to the things Christ teaches . . . or are they closed by personal bias?

Let's be honest: were the Lord to have restricted salvation to the Jews only, we would be lost!

Since Israel is God's light to the nations, it was His predetermined plan that this light should shine to the Gentiles. Remember Abraham was given three promises from God in Genesis 12-17:

  1. He would have the title deed to the land of Israel.
  2. He would have a great progeny.
  3. He would be a spiritual blessing to the entire world. 

Paul asks in Romans 3:1, "What advantage has the Jew?" His answer was that they had the oracles [Word] of God, and Christ would be born of the natural seed of Abraham, thus fulfilling God's promise to him that he would bless the entire world. 


So, what about us? Are we to be a blessing, too? Are we to accept, and even promote, change that brings the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all nations? 

 

Are we to drop cultural barriers for the cause of Christ? Are we to welcome all who are saved into the family of God? 

 

These questions bear answering . . . some traditions bear changing.

 

Prayer Point: Ask the Lord to give you a heart for people . . . and to help you see where change is needed in your own life. Most of all, ask Him to help you love others as Christ has loved you.


Extra Refreshment: Read Acts 15:1-41, and take note of the actions of the church when God worked among the Gentiles.


The Advent Event

December is one of the busiest months of the year. As Christians, we approach the Christmas season with the intention of focusing on the incarnation and making it a significant time. But it's so easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season—the parties, the decorations, the presents and the special events at church. Before we know it, the month of December has flown by, and we wonder where the time went.

One of the most significant things a family can do in December is to be intentional about finding time every day to think about the true meaning of Christmas. The Advent Event is an easy, fun and enriching family project to help focus attention on the birth of Jesus while discovering the big picture of God's plan throughout the entire Bible.

Each day in December, the family sets aside a few minutes together for this activity. There is a simple coloring craft, a story from God's Word and a motion to learn that helps children remember the timeline of Scripture. Most importantly, this resources provides a special family time that Moms and Dads can use to reconnect their families to the spiritual significance of Christmas; the birth of Jesus, our Savior.

Receive this booklet as a thank you for any size donation this month!

 

Many ministries today expound on life and illustrate with Scripture;
we’re committed to expounding on Scripture and illustrating with life!

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About Wisdom for the Heart

Wisdom for the Heart is an international Bible-teaching ministry based on the sermons of Dr. Stephen Davey. The broadcast Wisdom for the Heart is heard on more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States, as well as transmitted to the Middle East (Arabic), Europe (English), Latin America (Spanish), and Africa (Swahili).

 

About Dr. Stephen Davey

Stephen Davey is the son of missionary parents and was raised to love Christ, His Church, and His Word. In his last year of high school, Stephen committed his life to serving Christ and prepared for a life of servant-leadership at Liberty University, Tennessee Temple University, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary.

Following graduation from Dallas Seminary in 1986, Stephen and Marsha trusted Christ for His provision and moved with their infant twin sons to Cary, NC, to plant Colonial Baptist Church. From the beginning, Stephen preached verse-by-verse, while Marsha created the nursery and children’s programs. In those early days, word of this new church’s commitment to Bible exposition spread rapidly around town, and the fellowship was soon overflowing with attendees.

After worshipping in a school for six years, Colonial moved into its first building, located on seven acres. Within a year, the church not only outgrew its first building but the entire master plan. Nine years later Colonial moved to its present location on forty acres, where several buildings have been designed to maximize outreach, discipleship, community, and worship. The church family currently engages in more than 100 ministries carried out by several thousand volunteers and led by an excellent, Christ-honoring administrative support team and pastoral staff. Their united global vision remains front and center as the Word of God continues to be expounded — and applied.

Stephen also serves as the president of Shepherds Theological Seminary, a young and exciting seminary which has already earned accreditation with TRACS and associate membership status with ATS. With an outstanding faculty and growing student body, Shepherds currently meets on the beautiful campus of Colonial. Stephen enjoys interacting with the students, as well as teaching Pastoral Theology and Creative Bible Teaching.

As the Bible teacher of Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen takes the message of the Gospel around the world. Spanish programming is currently broadcast on 90 radio stations and can be heard throughout Central and South America, reaching an estimated 70 million people. The people have responded hungrily to the teaching of God’s Word.

The Arabic translations are being aired on stations located throughout the Middle East, covering much of Iraq, Kurdistan, Jerusalem, Jordan, and Palestine, reaching an estimated 10 million listeners daily in their own language. In the Middle East, there are 300 million Muslims who need to hear the Gospel.

Swahili is now reaching a potential African audience of more than 50 million listeners. Like the Arab world, spiritual darkness encompasses daily life. Most of the 180 million who use Swahili daily are Muslim; life is governed by Islamic tradition and the teachings of the Koran.

Print and audio resources are available in book and transcript form, CDs, MP3s, and podcasts. Everything Stephen has preached throughout his ministry is now available at no charge in transcript and audio formats at wisdomonline.org. We are praising God for the things He has done—and the things He is doing!

Stephen and Marsha have been married 31 years and have been blessed with twin sons Benjamin [wife Caroline], and Seth; daughters Candace and Charity.

Contact Wisdom for the Heart with Dr. Stephen Davey

Mailing Address
Wisdom for the Heart
PO Box 5729
Cary, NC 27512
 
Toll-free Phone
1-866-48-BIBLE
(1-866-482-4253)