Weekly Seed of Faith 6.2.2023

Seed of Faith – Go and Wait By Pastor Dave  

Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:2-3

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 1:4-5

Dear Faithful Seed Sowers,
In verses four and five of the books of Acts, I was stopped in my study with the words “wait” and “promise.”  I know that there are many words in these verses that we could spend a lot of time on. We could talk about the command that Jesus gives. Why is it so hard to follow Jesus’ commands? We heard hurry and“ Go and Tell.” We heard “Go and Make.” Now we hear “Do Not Leave Jerusalem.” Is Jesus thinking clearly!?  Jerusalem is not a safe place. Does not Jesus remember what happened the last time they were all in Jerusalem? Wait! Wait in Jerusalem!

We can hardly wait for our phone to connect to the internet as the little circle goes round and round. A funny side note, I know a woman who was directed by the Holy Spirit to pick the word WAIT as her word of intention two years ago. She truly learned how to wait that year.
The Greek word that Dr. Luke uses for “wait” is “perimeno” and it is a present active verb that mean that the action is continuous– to “stay in one place and anticipate or expect” over and over and over again. Never stop waiting. Keep on waiting.

I think of Abraham and Sarah waiting almost 80 years to have a baby. I think of Daniel in the lion’s den waiting for God to rescue him in the morning. I think of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego waiting in a fiery furnace. I think of Moses and the Israelites waiting and wandering in the wilderness for forty years. It was forty days that the Israelites waited when Goliath stood and challenged them and mocked God. Then David showed up with a sling shot and five smooth stones. Zechariah and Elizabeth waited for years for their baby, John the Baptist. How about the paralyzed man at the Pool of Bethsaida? He waited for 38 years to be healed. Martha and Mary waited for Jesus to show up but then their brother died. Lazarus had been dead four days by the time Jesus showed up and what does he do? Resurrection time! Those are just some of the stories of the people in the bible who are waiting.

Are you waiting on Jesus? You, my friend, are in great company.

Jesus commanded the disciples to wait for the promise. The promise was the Holy Spirit. The person and the power of the Holy Spirit. In next week’s SEED OF FAITH we will spend some more time talking about the Holy Spirit—just wait!
But rest assured. When Jesus promises something — it will come to be fulfilled. It would be good to hold onto some of the promises in the Bible. One of the best promises we have been given is that we will have the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Remember the ending of Matthew. Jesus gave the Great Commission and said — “Remember I will be with you always even to the end of the age.”

So What?

We can all be witnesses. Can I Get A Witness!?
Here is your SO WHAT PASTOR DAVE homework for the week: As you wait, pray. Yep. When you go the grocery store and are waiting in line, stop, look around and pray for the people you see. Do the same at the gas station, at the doctor’s, everywhere you go—and as you are forced to GO AND WAIT…why not try praying for the places we go and people we see? I always ask the Holy Spirit to give me the people’s heart as I pray. We never know how our prayers will affect another heart. Let me give you an example: 31 years ago our eldest daughter graduated from High School. We threw a big party for her and invited everyone we knew! A young girlfriend of our daughter’s came to the party but decided she was to shy to come in. She dropped off her gift and left. My wife is a terrific communicator and she sensed that this young girl needed prayer. She prayed for her, asked our daughter who she was, and then Jac sent her a card thanking her for coming to the party and leaving a gift. Inside her card my wife enclosed a magnet—a GOD loves you magnet.
You are going to have to read next week’s SEED OF FAITH in order to understand how important it is in the kingdom of God for us to learn to wait. Let’s put Habukkuk to memory: Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

We sang a song last week by the group CAIN called THE COMISSION. Somewhere in the song we sang, “I have the purpose…God has the plan.” May we always remember that. The song is not IN MY TIME…but IN HIS TIME. God will make all things beautiful IN HIS TIME.

Want to know what happened in 31 years time with this young lady?


God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 5/16/2023

Seed of Faith – Just Show Up  By Pastor Dave  

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20

Dear Faithful Seed Sowers,

After Easter worship, my wife and I jumped on a plane! That’s right, as soon as worship services and the egg hunt were completed, my wife and I flew to Texas in order to show up for five of our two grandsons’ baseball games for the week. What a joy and blessing it was to be there. Our younger grandson plays high school base ball and had two great games.  Of course, I could brag and show you videos and pictures. His older brother is a freshman in college. If you don’t know this, college sports are a whole other beast of athletism. Mason is a lefthanded pitcher. He is one pitcher on a team of 20 pitchers. Freshman usually have to pay their dues and that translates to: we sat in the stands and watched an all-day during double hitter and only saw our grandson warm up! We left Waco at 10 am, drove to Dallas, spent the day and returned home at 10 pm. It was a long, 12-hour day. Our grandson may not have gotten the chance to pitch in the game but the important thing is that we showed up. We cheered the team on (they won one, lost one.) We were able to watch our grandson snag balls during infield practice, and warm up in the dugout. After the first game, he was able to talk with us for a few minutes in the stands. He apologized for not playing and that we drove such along way for that. We told him, “Mason, just remember to show up. Life isn’t about showing up because you’re the star of the game. Life is just about showing up no matter what.”

When Jesus met Mary Magdalene and the other Mary in the garden by the empty tomb, He told them not to be afraid, but He actually told them more. Listen to Jesus’ words … Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28:10

If you have read the Bible, you know that there are many resurrection appearances of Jesus that have been recorded. The New Testament indicates that there were at least ten appearances of the risen Lord, plus another appearance to Paul some years later. As we noted in our opening reading of the Gospel of John, Jesus appeared in the Upper room not once but twice. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus appears to the disciples walking down the road to Emmaus after the resurrection.  In John we find Jesus appearing to the disciples on the seashore in Galilee and cooking fish tacos for their morning breakfast. We hear of Jesus forgiving Peter three times by asking Peter to love Him and feed His sheep. Did Jesus do that so that He and bff Pete were “even up” for the three times that Peter denied knowing Jesus? Maybe.  In eight of these appearance accounts, Christ gives an explicit commission, and in five of the eight he commands his followers to go into all the world and preach the gospel.

Our reading in Matthew comes after breakfast by the sea. Some scholars suggest that the timing of Matthew’s account is some fifty to fifty-five days after the resurrection. We could spend some time trying to put all the pieces together chronologically, but I do not think that is what we are called to do.

In Matthew, Jesus gives some powerful action points that are necessary for His followers to follow in order to fulfill their supreme mission on earth–to reach the mountain peak of their calling, as it were. These action points I would like to address over the next few Seeds of Faith: show up, worship, obedience — go make, baptize, and teach.

Notice the ending of verse 10 and the action in verse 11.  The women were told to go and tell the disciples (hiding in the upper room) to go the Galilee for there they would see Jesus. You know what the disciples did? They went.  That is what verse eleven tells us. They showed up, they were available.

I wonder how often I have failed to show up. I try and listen to what God is trying to tell and ask of me through the Holy Spirit each moment of each day. Sometimes I miss the boat and the result is I miss the opportunity to see God at work in my life and in the lives of others.

While we were in Texas, my wife and I went to one of my favorite Christian book stores (Mardel) to walk around and browse the books and Christian art. We picked out only a few books this trip knowing that we only had so much room in our 48 pound suitcases! We were standing in the checkout line—which was long—and my wife started waving all the other people behind us to go ahead of us. They only had one or two items and we had 7 books and we were in no hurry. The lady just in front of my wife thanked us because she only had a small amount of time before she had to go pick up her kids and she had prayed that she’d get in and out in record time. You know my wife, they talked about kids and then my wife noticed the title of the two books this woman was buying, The books were by Lysa Terkeurst! She was buying Lysa’s newest book called, “You’ll Get Through This”. The woman saw my cross and asked if I was a pastor. Then she shared with us that she was going through a messy divorce. They had been married 35 years and he just left for another younger woman. By now she was crying. Jac asked her about the books she has read by Lysa. Turns out, she has read almost all of them—except, she missed GOOD  BOUNDARIES AND GOODBYES—the very study our SEED BOSSY women are studying this Spring! Jac was like, “NO! NO! You need to get this book before you get that book! This boundaries book is the precursor and foundation of that book! First, you need to know about boundaries and good byes!” You got it, I had already left the line and had gone to pick up the study guide and the book. Jac is leading the women’s study at the SEED. While I was gone, the woman told Jac, “OK. I will go home, go to work and make more money and come back and get that study in two weeks.” After the woman checked out, Jac asked her if she could wait just another moment for a blessing. You got it. THE SEED bought this woman the tools she needed to finish her mountain climbing for this season. Oh, how she cried. After we were done checking out our own 7 books, we went off to the side of the checkout aisle and prayed for this broken-hearted person. Jac wrote down an encouraging note in her book, showed her how to access the 6 videos online and left her cell phone number.


Point number one!  Show up — be available. As we were listening to the Christian radio in Waco, a caller shared that she had participated in the local PAY IT FORWARD TUESDAY last week. You know, you’re in the drive up line and someone pays for the car behind them? This person drove through the bistro and said, “ I want to pay for mine and for the car behind me.” The next Tuesday this woman showed up again and the bistro told her that the last time they paid it forward—20 cars!

What I’m trying to tell you is that you don’t always go out and say, “Here I am. Showing up!” Sometimes you simply are nothing but available. You’re there and ALL OF A SUDDENLY…there’s an opportunity to watch God work…and God may even be using you to do just that!

That’s what Jesus is commanding here. “Go tell the family of God to JUST SHOW UP. I’ll take care of the rest.”

See you Sunday!
God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave


Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 3/18/23

Seed of Faith – Salt and Light   By Pastor Dave  

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot.“You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16


Dear Faithful Seed-Sowers,

It is my prayer that you are staying healthy and are walking with Jesus as you season your world.

This a two-part message. This week will talk about being a little salty. Next week, we will see how light can shine.

In the days of Jesus, and for many centuries thereafter, salt was the most common preservative used. There were no refrigerators, no deep freezers in ancient times. Salt was used to keep things from going bad and becoming rotten, particularly meat. When Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot” Jesus was telling His disciples that they were called to be the preserving agent in a decaying world.

This simple principle from Jesus is that you and I are called to be a preserving force in our world–wherever we are called to live, work, play and worship.

Think of it this way — salt that never leaves the box on the shelf will do no good in preserving anything. To be effective, salt has to be rubbed into the meat. Have you gone into the grocery store and looked at all of the “rubs” they have for seasoning your steak? In this same way, we must allow God to use us as flavorful seasoning (rub) for our homes, workplaces, neighborhoods, families, and churches. A small amount of love and kindness goes a long way in making our world a better place.

Sodium is an extremely active element found naturally only in combined form; it always links itself to another element. Chlorine, on the other hand, is the poisonous gas that gives bleach its offensive odor. When sodium and chlorine are combined, the result is sodium chloride–common table salt–the substance we use to preserve meat and bring out its flavor.

Love and truth can be like sodium and chlorine. Love without truth is flighty, sometimes blind, willing to combine with various, contrary doctrines. On the other hand, truth by itself can be offensive, sometimes even poisonous. Spoken without love, truth can turn people away from the gospel. But when truth and love are combined in an individual or in a church then we have what Jesus called “the salt of the earth,” and we are able to preserve and bring out the beauty of our faith.

The other day I went to the grocery store to do some shopping. I went to buy juice for home communions, I came across an insight on flavoring. I was holding a bottle of Blueberry Pomegranate Juice. There was a picture of a ripe pomegranate spilling its exotic, glistening seeds onto mounds of fat, perfect blueberries. I read the ingredient list: “Filtered water, pear juice concentrate, apple juice concentrate, grape juice concentrate.” Where was the blueberry? Where was the pomegranate? Finally, I found them, fifth and seventh in a list of nine ingredients.

By law, food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. Meaning a product contains the greatest proportion of the first ingredient on the list and successively less of those farther down the list. According to the jug in my hand, it contained mostly water—a few other juices, with just enough blueberry and pomegranate for flavor and color.

In the bottom corner of the front label in small, easy-to-miss, were the tell-tale words: “Flavored juice blend with other natural ingredients.” The enticing pictures and clever labeling were decoys used to sell a diluted, blueberry-pomegranate flavored product convincingly disguised to look like something it was not. I put the juice back on the shelf. I chose the juice that was more costly—but it had more of what I was looking for.

So What?

That jug of juice made me think, what if we had an ingredients list printed on us?

Would Jesus be the main ingredient?

If not, how far down the list would He be?

Would our “label” accurately represent our contents?

Or would we falsely project a misleading outward-appearance that cleverly masked our diluted ingredients? Our packaging may be convincing. We may look and sound like the real thing but what if someone came looking for Jesus and found something else?

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertaker.” (Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 13).

More than a hundred years ago the atheist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche reproached a group of Christians. Nietzsche said: “Yuck, you make me sick!” When their spokesman asked why, he answered, “because you redeemed don’t look like you are redeemed. You are as fearful, guilt-ridden, anxious confused, and adrift in an alien environment as I am. I am allowed. I do not believe. I have nothing to hope for. But you people claim you have a Savior. Why don’t you look like you are saved?” (Brennan Manning, Souvenirs of Solitude, 2009, Colorado Springs, NavPress)

Every Sunday my loving wife prays for me before church. Every Sunday she concludes with the same prayer, “Lord, help Dave to be funny. Let him reflect the peace and joy he has in knowing you. Amen.” Knowing Jesus really is the best part of my life. And Jesus wants us to be SALT to our world. He wants us to RUB off on others. It only takes a small amount of salt to flavor whatever we are using it on; the same way with us—it only takes a small amount of the love of Jesus to rub off on those in our tiny sector of the world. That’s our job: to be the SALT of the earth.

I leave you with your “SO WHAT?” homework:

  • Am I the SALT of the Savior? Divide my life into who I am, what I’m doing, and where I’m going—and let’s spread the love of God everywhere we are.
  • What if I had an ingredients list printed on me? Would Jesus be the main ingredient? What do I need to do in order to be more like Christ?

My prayer for you today: Be funny! (Just kidding.) Seriously, let’s take some time to sit with this SEED OF FAITH. Let’s look at our lives. If I’m the SALT of the EARTH, am I RUBBING off on those I live with? work with? worship with? Everywhere I go, am I seasoning others with God’s tremendous love? “Dear Father, I want others to know you and to experience your grace and love and forgiveness. Help me to fill my heart, mind, soul, spirit, body and strength with your living words of life so that I can be a living, walking, talking gospel of Jesus Christ. I don’t want Jesus to be the last ingredient on my label; I want Jesus listed first. Help me to be more like Jesus. Amen.” 

See you Sunday! 

God loves you and so do I,

Pastor Dave


Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Seed of Faith 2/25/2023

Seed of Faith – Leaving and Following   By Pastor Dave  

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.” Matthew 4:17-20

Dear Faithful Seed Sowers and followers of Jesus,
The Lenten season is upon us. We have 7 Sundays of feasting along with 40 days of fasting ahead of us. Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days after just being baptized and being declared that he was God’s beloved son. We just had a message on how to respond to trials, temptations and tests. Ask yourself if you are HUNGRY, ANGRY, LONELY or TIRED (HALT). Your reply to the enemy is to be the same as Jesus’: IT IS WRITTEN.

During this season of Lent, write down a few of your favorite verses and have them ready. I like John 10:10, “The enemy has come to steal, kill and destroy. I have come to bring life abundantly.” Philippians has 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Strap in and let’s get through this Lenten season, friend and followers.

I took my wife to see “The Jesus Revolution” last night. What a great, inspiring movie! Don’t wait for it to come out on DVD. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! What really touched my heart is that when the pastor started reading from the Bible, everyone raised up their bible and said, “THIS IS THE WORD OF GOD!” and pointed with their pointer finger to heaven as they said, “Amen.” Good stuff. Just a really good movie.

Right now, I encourage you to go pick up your Bible and read Matthew 4:12-25. Jesus begins His ministry after being baptized and tested in the wilderness. This bible really is the WORD of God! Amen?

Let’s start out this message with a “so what” question: how did Jesus call you?

Can you remember? I challenge you to sit down, talk it out, write it out…and send me a copy of how Jesus found you and called you to FOLLOW HIM. It can be in one moment of time, or it can be a lifetime of moments of following—just get it written down. Someone in your family is going to need to know how you know that you know!

Follow Me! Powerful words! In all, the words “follow me” occur thirteen times in the Gospels.
John’s call to repentance was a call to turn away from something!
Jesus’ call to repentance was a call to turn toward someone!
Where is Jesus calling you to turn today?

Lord Kenneth Clark, internationally known for his television series Civilization, lived and died without faith in Jesus Christ. He admitted in his autobiography that while visiting a beautiful church he had what he believed to be an overwhelming religious experience. He wrote, “My whole being was irradiated by a kind of heavenly joy far more intense than anything I had known before.” But the “flood of grace” as he described it, created a problem. If he allowed himself to be influenced by it, he knew he would have to change, his family might think he had lost his mind, and maybe that intense joy would prove to be an illusion. So, he concluded, “I was too deeply embedded in the world to change course.”[i]

A question that comes to me is why would anyone trade away the joy of this world for a heavenly joy? One is fleeting, the other is forever.
Another question after reading our gospel for today: Why would anyone respond as Peter and Andrew did?
The answer is in the link between Isaiah’s words in chapter 9 and these fishermen’s locale. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” Isaiah 9:2
Because they’re fishing the “Sea of Galilee” (v. 18), they’re among those whose “darkness” has been broken by the “great light” — the dawn of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus is Fishing — He is fishing, surprisingly, not for the religious or political elite (e.g., Nicodemus, Caiaphas, Herod) but rather Jesus went fishing for the average Joes of this world—Peter, James, and John.

Jesus welcomes Galilean fishermen, Samaritan women, and Roman soldiers, and his church welcomes Irishmen and Indonesians, Indians and Americans, Russians, Chinese, Taiwanese and so many others. Tell me another religion in the first century that did that. Tell me another religion in the world today that does that. It’s part of our history. It’s part of our theology. It’s part of our gospel!

So What?

Following Jesus is not only a door to be entered but a path to be followed, and the true disciple proves the reality of his discipleship by following that path to the end. David wrote about it in Psalm 119. The section of the psalm that begins, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (v. 105), ends with the words, “My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end(v. 112).

That is it!
A true disciple is one who follows Christ to the very end.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
I have suffered much; preserve my life, O Lord, according to your word. Psalm 119:107

I wrote in my Bible these words, “I have suffered much. What a powerful statement. I personally have gone through rashes all over my body for 4-5 years. Lead poisoning … three rounds of chelation. (Now on my fourth round.) The last round was extremely hard. Churches have fought and people lied and hurt me. My finances are depleted. Yet will I praise you.”

Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end. Psalm 119:111-112
If I do not focus on the joy of the Lord … I could lose heart all earthly joy and heavenly hope.
How about you? Where is Jesus calling you to leave behind something and follow HIM?

Are you a Sunday disciple? Attending church on Sunday but not following Jesus Monday through Saturday? Or are you in it to win it? Is your heart set on following Jesus to the very end?

Are you watching THE CHOSEN? They now have 3 complete seasons of 8 episodes each (24 episodes). If you haven’t watched it, DO! Go see THE JESUS REVOLUTION and ask yourself, “Where am I in this movie?” Powerful question. Are you sitting in the pew being the judge and jury of everything? (Bad song, pastor’s tie doesn’t match his shirt, I could give a better, more organized message.) Or are you the person who crosses over the aisle to sit with the new person? Are you the person who stays to clean up the sanctuary? Maybe you’re the person who serves snacks and coffee after church?


This week, I’m praying for us all to follow Jesus all the way home, all the way to very end of life.


I pray we are all following HIM. Amen.

See you Sunday!
God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave


Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Seed of Faith 2-9-2023

Seed of Faith – Temptations and Trials  By Pastor Dave  

“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1

Dear Faithful Seed Sowers:

Greetings! Today’s assignment? Read Matthew 4:1-11. Put yourself in the story and then put the story in you!


The enemy of our soul loves to get us when we are alone or lonely. I think that is why worry or being anxious was listed as the number one temptation. Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit, led into the desert, and tempted. And right before all of this, Jesus was baptized…the dove descended and THE VOICE of God was heard saying God was well pleased with Jesus! Immediately Jesus is out in the desert having not eaten for 40 days. (Are you there in the story? Ever taken a tour of the desert?)

There’s one thing I’ve noticed: Temptation doesn’t come when we are the strongest; temptations come when we are the weakest. Or, maybe when we are strong—we can resist easier. It is when we are tired, worn out, poured out—that we often fall to temptation.  One of my spiritual directors taught me HALT. He told me that most temptations and failures come when these four things happen:
As a pastor, I am constantly trying to scan my horizon so that I am not hungry, angry, lonely, and tired all at the same time. I know what happens when I am all four of those dangers. I am at my weakest.
True confession here, I do not sit and read my Bible and do my daily devotionals because I am some sort of religious freak. I read my Bible because for me not to HALT…I need to fill my mind and heart and spirit and soul with God’s living word

Jesus being in the wilderness for forty days parallels the stories of Moses on Mt. Horeb for forty days (Exodus 34:2,28; Deut. 9:9) and Elijah on the way to the same mountain in I Kings 19. Paul also went into the wilderness after his conversion on the road to Damascus. Paul’s wanderings in the wilderness of Arabia are recorded in Galatians 1:17. More importantly Jesus’ wilderness experience reflects the wandering of the Israelites who wandered in the wilderness for forty years. The temptation of Jesus also parallels the temptation of Adam. In fact, you could say that the first Adam had everything that he wanted. He was in the Garden of Eden with everything at his disposal and the serpent came slinking into the Garden in the form of a snake and said, “Did God really say?”

The first temptation here in our story is a simple test to destroy the confidence that Jesus had in His Heavenly Father. Do you see how subtle the devil is? He comes along and twists a word of two and says — ““If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” The devil speaks lies and accusations and tempts Jesus to distrust the powerful words that were spoken earlier at Jesus’ baptism — “This is my beloved son, whom I am well pleased.” What a contrast — “If you are God’s son” and “This is my beloved son.” Whom will you believe? God says you are precious in His sight, beloved…Satan wants us to question IF we are God’s child.

Temptation is serious business. Remember that God will not tempt you, but God will test you to see what you are made of.
Temptation is common to all people—pastor or not. Temptation is a time of trial and testing. It is a process of experience. I think Jesus was trying to show his disciples that our lives will be filled with temptations. He went first to show us the way to overcome. Are you in this story, yet?

Jesus had a choice to either believe the devil’s words or to believe the words that His heavenly Father spoke to Him. The devil first tries to get Jesus to distrust God. The devil plants doubt in Jesus mind that he will not be provided for His personal needs. Jesus responds with the clue to overcoming, “It is written!”

The devil speaks and then Jesus speaks — “It is written.” Jesus knew how to defeat the devil’s wily schemes! Jesus knew the Words of God. Jesus believed what His heavenly Father spoke about Him. This is why it is so important for you and me to spend time in God’s word. Read a verse…read a chapter…read a psalm…so that you can reply to the tempter, “IT IS WRITTEN… GET OUTTA HERE!”

First Temptation — Serving Self
Why are our physical needs so hard to trust God with? Was God capable of feeding Jesus?
Remembering the mocking cry at the cross — Matthew 27:40, 42-43 “If you are the Son of God…”?
How often do we put our physical needs above our spiritual needs? Seems to me that during one week, there are 3 meals a day—or 21 meals a week that are available for us to feed our physical body. How many of us are opening our LIVING WORD 21 times a week? How about just 7? How about once a day? Buckle up. Open up.
“It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’” Luke 4:4 Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 that says: “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

Second Temptation — Testing God
The devil quotes Scripture — Psalm 91:11-12 with a subtle twist — Satan left out the important phrase “in all Your ways.
Jesus replies, “It is written, ‘Do not test the Lord your God as you did at Massah.’” Deuteronomy 6:16
This story is when the Israelites started quarreling with Moses in the desert and they tested God! Moses named the place MASSAH—which means TEST—and MERIBAH—which means ARGUING. The people were griping and saying, “Is the Lord here with us or not?” Evidently, the people weren’t getting their way. They were being tested and they didn’t like it. (Sound familiar?)

Third Temptation — Worshipping Satan
First, Satan suggests what Jesus should do for himself. Second, Satan suggests what God should do for Jesus. Third, Satan suggests what Satan can do for Jesus — that is how Satan comes to us. Telling us that what we desire belongs to us and he will give it to us. Do you think self-will is Satan’s will or is it the opposite of God’s will?
What does Matthew 6:24 remind us to do — “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
One of my favorite passages in the Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
When Jesus is tempted to worship something or someone us his reply is simple but not easy. It is written — “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name.” Deuteronomy 6:13

Many of us can recognize a huge, Niagara-like temptation when we see it. Many of us decide to go a different route. But so often it is a million little decisions that lead us into a lifestyle of sin and failure.
We begin the story of Jesus in the wilderness by saying, “Me, too! Yes, me too—on being tempted and tested!” Remember that Jesus went into the desert full of the Holy Spirit. He had just been baptized. He had just heard the Father’s voice. A huge weapon in our arsenal against the wilderness and temptation is to fill our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits with God’s word.
I referee high school wrestling. This weekend was a big tournament and I reffed 12 hours each day. When I got home last night, I said I wanted to go to In N Out. Listen, at 8:30 pm that place was full. There were cars everywhere. There was nowhere to sit and the drive up was backed out past the intersection. We parked and walked inside. We were number 47. As we scanned the packed dining room with no place to sit, I heard them call number 3. I looked at my wife and said, “You got to be kidding me.” After 15 minutes, I spotted a family leaving so I walked over to claim the seats. Funny thing, so did another guy! We got there first. Those seats were ours! But there was a problem. We only need two seats, he needed all four. My wife said, “We can eat in our car…” We talked back and forth with the guy who didn’t want to take our seats from us. “NO! We insist” cried my lovely wife and she grabbed my arm and walked me away. Ten minutes later, we got two seats at the back counter. There we sat and continued waiting for number 47! Remember the guy who stole my table? He walked up to us and said, “Please, here’s $20—I want to buy your dinner for giving up your seats to my family. I feel guilty for taking them.” We talked back and forth and ended up shaking hands but telling him to go for yogurt after dinner! Tempted. Hungry. But not LONELY. Seriously, this could have ended differently for me.

This week I want you to do a daily, personal inventory. Every day ask yourself: Am I hungry, angry, lonely or tired? Listen, you don’t have to be all four before you HALT and go find quiet time to read God’s word, or listen to Christian music. An amazing thing happens when we read or hear God’s word…it becomes the living word inside of us and the living word is what will help us to overcome our hunger, anger, loneliness, and tiredness—our trials, tests, and temptations.

Is this story in you, yet? The story of how Jesus overcame temptation three times in the wilderness after 40 days of fasting. This story…offers us some key wisdom for the tests, trials, and turbulence in our lives.

IT IS WRITTEN…say it with me…IT IS WRITTEN…and the quote your favorite bible verses out loud. We are more than conquerors, friends, we are overcomers because CHRIST overcame hell, death, and the grave. On the third day, He rose.

See You Sunday!
God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 12/22/2022

Seed of Faith – Peace Broke Through  By Pastor Dave  

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

Dear Faithful Seed-Sowers and fellow ADVENT adventurers,

We are in the fourth week of Advent! The first week of Advent was the candle of Hope.  The second week of Advent was the candle of Love.  The third week of advent was the candle of Joy.  This week is the candle of Peace. 

I have a few acronyms to make it easier to remember what we’re doing:




Who here needs peace?  Who needs the peace of Christ to enter into your life, home, workplace, finances, relationships, health?

I encourage you to stop right now and read Luke 2:8-20. Twelve short verses that tell quite a story. Then, when you have read the story, read it again and put yourself into it. Are you a shepherd boy? or maybe you are the innkeeper sharing your barn? Maybe you’re an angel? Maybe you are Joseph or Mary? These last few days before Christmas, let’s work on putting this story, the Christmas story, into us so that we can live the story from a manger point of view. 
Peace With God.
Christ of the Andes is an impressive symbol of peace. Once Chile and Argentina were enemies and fought constantly. At last they decided it was in their mutual interest to live in peace. So, high upon their natural boundaries, the Andes Mountains, they erected a great statue of Christ with outstretched arms. The inscription reads: “Sooner shall these mountains crumble into dust than the Argentines and Chileans break the peace sworn at the feet of Christ the Redeemer.” Christmas reminds us of the coming of peace to earth.[i]
Have you ever stopped to ponder and pray about why Jesus came to earth?  Why did Jesus come as a little baby?  Surly the people of Israel were not looking for newborn baby born in manger. They were looking for a Prince of Peace coming in as a conquering King, riding a white horse and setting them free.
The world that Jesus entered was filled with pain, problems, trails, trouble, tribulations, despair, desolation, and depression.  The people were held captive by their Roman rulers and they wanted to be free.  More importantly, they were also being held captive by their sin that separated them from God. The Prince of Peace came to bring Peace to the world through his reconciling life, death, and resurrection. Right here in this second chapter of Luke, the God of Peace breaks through the cosmos and walks into our broken world.
The angels sing — “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)
God sent His one and only Son into this broken world to reconcile us. “Reconcile: to cause friendly relations between, cause to exist in harmony, to become compatible with.” You heard that right. God sent His one and only Son, Jesus, to the earth when the time was right. God’s plan A? To reconcile the people who believe. Because of Jesus Christ, we can be in a right relationship with God, we can exist in harmony and we can be compatible with God, and others and ourselves. 
In Isaiah 53 we have one of the prophecies called the Servant Song.  Listen to how the prophet Isaiah puts our peace. “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
Pause and ponder those words as we reflect on the little baby born in dirty, dusty, smelly, non-heated, cold, dark, stable; outside, in a cave of rock. Brrr.  This baby will be pierced for our transgression and sins. This child born to us will be crushed for our iniquities and immoralities, for our half-truths, lies, gossip, jealousy, shame, guilt and foolishness. The punishments that will be laid upon this baby boy will bring us peace!  By His wounds we will be healed. Sounds quite unfair, one-sided, and lop-sided to me.
The God of peace broke through our world in order to bring peace between you and me and between us and God. RECONCILE—compatible, harmony, friendly relations—like Argentina and Chile!
Jesus is our peace, not in some wily-nilly emotional way. Jesus is our Prince of Peace in a real and concrete way. Jesus is our Prince of Peace by coming into this broken world and making us whole and complete by forgiving us, healing us, and restoring us back into a relationship with God who created us and loves us. RECONCILIATION—a good word in the story to put into your heart this morning.

 So What?
When I was serving a church in Texas, I worked a grace weekend called Walk to Emmaus.  I was one of the three clergy, pastors, or spiritual directors as they called them on the weekend.  I gave a talk about God’s Justifying Grace.  The talk centers on the fact that God has sent His one and only Son Jesus to justify us and set us free.  Justify—just as if I’d never sinned.  That’s how God sees us as soon as we believe in Jesus Christ.
After giving that talk, a man in his 80’s, came up to me asked me if he could talk with me. He told me that he had been a bomber pilot in WWII and flew combat missions over Germany and France.  He told me that he could never forgive himself for dropping bombs that hurt and killed innocent people. He said that after hearing the talk about Justifying Grace that somehow God had given him a peace that surpassed all his understanding. He cried and cried in my arms. This man had peace as Christ entered his life.
P — Peace
E — Exists
A — As
C — Christ
E — Enters

Real peace is knowing that no matter what I do, God will never stop loving me.
Real peace is knowing that no matter what happens, God will never leave me alone.
Real peace is knowing that no matter what will happen in the New Year or the years to come, the Prince of Peace will be with me.
Real peace is knowing that the guilt of the past failures, mistakes and sins are forgiven.
Real peace is knowing that grief of the losses we have experienced will be overcome by the Prince of Peace.
Real peace is knowing that we can give up the grudges that cause us to become resentful and give them to the Prince of Peace.
Peace exists as Christ enters.
The “SO WHAT?” for you today, this final week of the Advent Season, is for you to allow the Prince of Peace to enter into your life.  No matter what you have done.  No matter where you are.  No matter what your circumstances, difficulties, failures, faults sins, guilt, grief, and grudges are.
Peace exists as Christ enters. Pray it with me: Everlasting Father, Mighty Counselor, Prince of PEACE…enter your story into my heart—right now…and every second after…and remind me of the greatest story ever told. The story where God prepared the world for the most magical night of all: CHRISTMAS…and may I sing with the angels, may I scream with the angels: GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST AND PEACE..PEACE..to His people on earth! I choose right now to live in harmony with you—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Forgive me for my sins. I am so very sorry for my selfish choices. Thank you, Jesus, for your birth…your life…and your death and resurrection. I am a NEW creation. BORN AGAIN…to live out your story in my story. WOW. Amen.

See you Saturday night, 5 pm, online or at church as we gather to remember CHRISTMAS EVE!

Merry Christmas! I pray you are prepared for the birthday of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! Hey! I’m thinking of having ANGEL FOOD CAKE on Christmas Day; a concrete way of putting myself into the story and putting the story into me! GOD BLESS US, EVERY ONE!

God loves you and so do I,
Pastor Dave 

Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.