John 10:28-30

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I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. - John 10:28-30

Dear Jesus,

I used to love feeling my father's big hand as we walked through the parking lot. He held on tightly so I wouldn't get hurt. He made me feel loved and safe by gripping my little paw. Now you tell me that no one will snatch me out of your hand. I can feel your grip on me. I feel loved and safe. Thank you that my eternal security depends on your grip. I want you to hold me close to you whenever you see me in spiritual or physical danger. I would rather wince from the jerk of your hand than fall prey to the ravages of the evil one. So, hold me tight dear Savior and never let me go.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

It's more fun being a child of God than an adult sinner.

John 19:1-3

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Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face. - John 19:1-3

Dear Jesus,

Sometimes I flagellate myself emotionally for my sins. I recount them over and over and get embarrassed even with no one else around. When I get in that vicious cycle there's no relief and seems to be no way out. But in this little account of how they beat you over and over, I see my relief. It brings me great pain to know that it was my sins for which your Father allowed you to be beaten. But along with my pain over yours, there's relief. I can let go of my sins now. Miraculously, that beating counts for all the punishment my sins deserve. I'm forgiven and there's no more need for anyone to punish me for those wrongs. I'm deeply sorry that on this day you went through that horrible suffering and death. But I also have joy. My sin and the death it causes me, is defeated. I can truly live in peace, joy and hope of an everlasting and happy life. This Friday is Good Friday because you entered the center of the storm for all of us and came out the victor!

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Good Friday is the most horrible wonderful day of the year.

Romans 8:1

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, - Romans 8:1

Dear Jesus,

How could there be sweeter words in a sinner's ear? I have self talk that often condemns and cajoles me. I think of all my failures and regrets and sometimes they overwhelm me. Only I know the load they create. But I am a yours by faith. I trust your work on the cross to wash away my guilt. I don't have to keep trying to defend myself to myself. I can let go and let grace cleanse my conscience. I live my life under your grace. No condemnation. Let me live out that fact all day today. And when I lay my head on my pillow tonight, help me to remember these words so when I start recounting my sins, they will be flushed down a spiritual toilet. Then send me off to peaceful dreams about the wonders of a grace filled heaven.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Grace is the one spiritual gift that perfectly restores the worst and best sinner alike.

1 Samuel 14:6

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Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few. - 1 Samuel 14:6

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for putting these faithful words in the mouth of Jonathon. He leads me to trust you rather than my senses. You are the loving Lord of my life and nothing can hinder you from saving me whether by many or by few.You still do miracles every day and send helpers my way to uphold my health and help provide for my needs. I have many worries but you don't worry one iota. You know exactly how and when you will release me from all anguish. So, since nothing can hinder you from saving me, I will boldly live my life through many trials. Help all my friends who are worrying today, to let go and trust you will be there for them in every circumstance. If you did not spare your own Son, but gave him up for me, you will guide and bless my life and ultimately rescue me from every evil.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God has angel rescue squads in every neighborhood.

Hebrews 12:1-3

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Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. - Hebrews 12:1-3

Dear Jesus,

So many of my Christian family and friends have finished their race and rest with you at the end of the track. Their lives still inspire me. I'm humbled that you let me live with them and learn under their tutelage. In their lifetimes they found their rest in you and they served you mightily as they loved and led others. Some taught me with words, others with actions, still others with both. Some left a deep hole in my life as they stepped off the end of the track. It helps me keep running my own faith race when I know that they wait for me to join them. I'm even more encouraged to know you will be there at the end of my track to greet me with your grace filled smile. By your Holy Spirit help me to run today's leg of the race. Help me run it with the vigor that believing brings. I want to run my race today in a way that will bless others who still run beside me.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God gives us only one day at a time. So live the best day you can today. Yesterday can't affect you if you don't let it. Tomorrow isn't even yours yet. Today is the gift you share with God.

Romans 1:16

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For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. - Romans 1:16

Dear Jesus,

I heard it again yesterday. A saint told me that he was disappointed that he heard a sermon urging us to live a godly life and not once was your forgiveness and rescue mentioned. I'm glad that you have taught your church to long for the "Old, Old story of your love!" I'm not ashamed to tell the world that I was lost but now I am found, that my greatest hope is the hope of rescue and not of reformation, that I have a God who saves, not just helps. Give me the transparent boldness to mention your name and your great work to anyone and everyone at any moment of my days. Thank you for choosing me of all people to know, understand and embrace what it means to be forgiven of what I am so I can be rescued forever. I will live today in joy and peace.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God saved us all through the gift of his Son. How could we not have a good day.

Romans 5:6-8

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Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:6-8

Dear Jesus,

I know what Paul means.  He means that I am not the righteous person or the godly person for whom you died.  But am the failure you embraced, the loser you made a winner, the lost that you went and found, the guilty for whom you died.  I know you love me because you died for me.  Rescue me from the childish thinking that I can always find out if you love me by looking in my earthly experience, that is; in blessings less than the cross.  You love me not matter how it goes!  I will memorize this truth and cling to it as my faith charm in the pocket of my heart.  I am loved and I am watched over and my life makes sense in you. Give me this peace. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson 

Because of God, life is always good. 

Matthew 18:1-5

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At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. - Matthew 18:1-5

Dear Jesus,

We spend so much time asking the wrong questions, like, "How do I fit in?" When we should be asking, "How do you want me to fit in?" Make me a little child in my heart so I give up any pursuit of personal greatness. Make me great in love, patience, humility and truth. But make me small in my own eyes. I spent my whole life longing to be grown up and now I'm led to become small again. I am your child. Lead me in the path of child like faith. Give me the dependency of a little person. Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

You know you are the childlike believer Jesus wants when you don't care so much about being treated like a child.

Psalm 24:1

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The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. Psalm 24:1

Dear Jesus,

You own everything. Why would I worry about finances, possessions, thieves, rust, and depreciation? You own everything. Thank you for letting me be the steward of so many blessings. Help me to use them to save and bless more eternal souls. And help me to leave those same blessings for others to use after I am gone.

Pastor Don Patterson

Leave the things you have on loan from God in better shape for the next folks who will borrow them after you.

2 Corinthians 3:18

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And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. - 2 Corinthians 3:18

Dear Jesus,

Help me to keep the eyes of my heart firmly fixed on you and the hope you bring of triumph over this world. Help me keep the eyes of my heart firmly fixed on the love you share to enable me to love my enemies. Help me to keep my eyes of my heart firmly fixed on the truth you reveal that stomps all lies that would deceive me. Help me keep the eyes of my heart firmly fixed on the grace you cover me with that cleanses away every guilty and shameful feeling. Help me see you in all your glory so my life remains bright and cheery in your presence.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Bask in the Son-light to get the spiritual tan you long for.

Hebrews 12:2

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We fix our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. - Hebrews 12:2

Dear Jesus,

It's so easy to focus on all my own efforts. I'm so addicted to believing in myself. But you are the author and perfecter of my faith. I believe because I have you as the God who made me and the man who saved me. You ran the race of life before me and never once failed. You saved my soul and you stand at the end of my race waiting to greet me with your triumphant arms. I will fix my eyes on you when I have guilt, temptation, fear, doubt or fatigue. I will fix my eyes on you when I face frightening medical problems. I will fix my eyes on you when others criticize me. I will fix my eyes on you when I am passed over for a job. I will fix my eyes on you when a business deal goes poorly. I will fix my eyes on you when my closest loved ones pass over to you. I will fix my eyes on you when my church struggles to triumph in love. I will fix my eyes on you when I feel lonely and depressed. I am saved and I'm going to win this race because you are there to make me a winner.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

You will become what you look at the most. So look the most to the One you want to become like.

Colossians 3:15

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Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. - Colossians 3:15

Dear Jesus,

So often I try to get what I think I want or need from a conversation and often that leads to conflict and debate, sometimes even to childish disagreements. But here you tell me what to pursue in each and every verbal exchange. You want me to pursue peace. Help me prioritize that peace above all other desires so people who live around me will sense that I am promoting peace between us more than trying to get my own way. I want to have oneness with as many people as possible because I see from your word that it pleases you. Oh Jesus, make me a peacemaker.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

People who create peace, give away emotional and spiritual gifts in every conversation.

Colossians 3:12-14

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Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. - Colossians 3:12-14

Dear Savior,

I get dressed before I face each day but so often I leave the house without dressing my heart with your virtues. But here you remind me that the clothes I wear over my soul are more important than the threads donned on my limbs. Help me to chose to love everyone with these virtues. Give me gentleness, compassion and everything in between. And when loving means I must forgive a direct wound from an irritable soul, grant to me in that moment the supernatural ability to view your cross where you begged the Father to forgive us all. I want to experience perfect unity with others through the love you created on Calvary. Oh, Jesus, give me a love that dies to self and rises to change even my enemies with redeeming grace.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

On that old rugged cross, Jesus created a rugged grace that loves people more toughly than any mamma bear.

Isaiah 53:5-6

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But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. - Isaiah 53:5-6

Dear Jesus,

From eternity you promised you'd come and be pierced for me even though I would stray. My sin pierces you the most and yet you still absorbed it all. I'm forever thankful for your consuming love. Help me absorb the hurts that others cause me the way you absorb mine, especially the hurts that go the deepest from the closest of loved ones. Make me an unconditional forgiver, so people see what you're really like. I need the miracle of unconditional love to mend the hurts and to help me triumph in redeeming grace.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

We enter communion with Jesus when we forgive deep hurts just because we can.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:21‬ ‭

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The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Dear Jesus,

Help me to be honest with myself and you. I’m not really worthy to called your child. I’ve sinned against you too much. But I’m here asking you to be merciful and let me have your blessing. I accept the earthly consequences of my sin but I don’t want to lose you. I will seek to serve you in my new adjusted life. Please let me stay in your family by grace alone.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God loves it when we honestly repent.

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:20‬

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So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:20‬

Dear Jesus,

I find great comfort in how you tell us the father reacted to the lost son coming home. It reminds me that each time I turn back home to you and the father that you welcome me with open arms. There is nothing so warm as a forgiving hug. You are mine and I am yours. I have a place, a home with you. My soul is at peace knowing you forgive me of every single wrong. Help me show others they have the same home with you.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God is filled with compassion for us. What an incredible thought.

Luke 15:11-16

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Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. - Luke 15:11-16

Dear Jesus,

When you wanted to show what your heavenly Father is like you first showed what we are like. How many times I have found myself like this younger son? I wanted to get my blessings from him and then go live self indulgently. I wanted to be blessed but not ruled by his love and truth. I wanted gifts but I didn't want him. And then I found myself empty and alone, needing rescue. Then I came crawling back and your Father welcomed me with open arms. I'm sorry for the many times I have treated him like an ice cream truck driver. Thank you for paving the way for him to forgive me and all other sinners. Your grace is my peace.

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

God knew when he invented you that he'd have to rescue you from your own mistakes.

John 11:25-27 

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Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?  “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” - John 11:25-27 

Dear Jesus,

Your words to Martha are the most hope filled words I will ever hear.  We will live beyond the grave if we put our faith in you.  It gives me hope that I will see my parents and friends that I loved so much but who have since left this life.  It reminds me that I will not really ever die.  I will just be translated to heaven.  I'm like Martha, "Yes, Lord, I believe you are the saving Messiah. Help me smile all day today because I know eternal life is alive and well among my Christian loved ones. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

Hope in Christ reaches farther than any other hope we will ever have.  

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May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” - Psalm‬ ‭19:14‬

Dear Jesus,

It’s so easy to speak what’s on my mind without thinking. Sometimes before I realize it I have given a critique or said sometime cutting I wish I could take back. My thoughts wander also. You have to see them too. Oh, how weary that can make one. Please sanctify my thoughts and words so what comes from this soul is wholesome for both you and people.  

Amen 

Pastor Don Patterson

Purify the thoughts and edifying words will freely flow. 

Romans 8:32 

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He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? - Romans 8:32 

Dear Heavenly Father,

When I think that you gave up your own Son for me, I know you are committed to blessing me without blame or regret.  How could you let him go for a second in order to save a worm such as me?  It comforts me that in my wandering story where I experience many setbacks and struggles to know that you are actually giving me blessings on top of your Son who saved me.  I know things will work out for my good because you gave me your Son.  I know things will eventually get better because you gave me your Son.  I know you still love me while I'm fumbling around because you gave me your Son.  The fact that you gave me your Son settles all my fears. I am loved and blessed, after all, you gave me your Son.  I will live in that joy today. 

Amen

Pastor Don Patterson

If you think God doesn't love you, you have forgotten Jesus' cross.