First Light is a short devotional that is posted daily throughout the week via email and this blog.  If you are interested in receiving a copy in your email, just contact us at office@thelambschapel.org and tell us you would like to receive First Light.

Do it while you can

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 9:32 AM

"The night is coming when no one can work"

John 9:4

Time is the one thing I can't make. I can make more money, but once time is gone its gone forever. Jesus speaks in this verse about taking advantage of opportunities while we still can. Every opportunity has a shelf life. Once the window is closed it is closed for good. That's why it is so important not to waste time but to do what we can while we can. Do you still have a chance to sit your child on your lap and read to them? Do it. I wish I could but that day is gone. Can you still call your mom and tell her that you love her? Do it. I wish I could. Is there still time to make something right from days past? Do it before that door closes. Is it still possible to tell somebody how much you appreciate the investment they made in your life? Do it. Dead noses smell no roses. If you want to give flowers to somebody do while they can still enjoy them. Lets quit waiting like we have forever. We don't. Take your family camping and make a memory that will outlast you. Learn how to play the guitar. Take a risk.  Now. Take every chance you have to live! Laugh with the people you love! Don't just drag through the day. Do the little things that make life great! Having now entered my seventh decade I'm at the place where time has replaced money as my most valuable commodity. I have a limited amount just as you do. I am determined not to waste any of it but to use it to serve people and enjoy every opportunity my Father has given me. I refuse to poke through life till I croak! I am going to squeeze everything I can out of it and then when the time comes I'll slide in sideways hollering "what a ride"! Every opportunity has an expiration date. Don't let any of them run out. Are you taking advantage of the open doors in front of you? Pick up the phone. Pick up you pen. Pick up your child and go get ice cream. Pick up a friend and go get coffee. What about the greatest door ever opened to any person? "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you." Have you taken advantage of His generous offer? Like all other windows of opportunity it won't be open for ever. Do it while you can.

Farther, I want to find you while I still can. Forgive me for my sins. I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord right now. I choose to follow your Son forever. Thank you for loving me and receiving me just as I am. I praise you that when this earthly door closes for me the door to your eternal home will be standing wide open!

The glorious present!

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 9:31 AM

"This is the day the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it!"

Psalm 118:24

The past is history. Nothing you can do about it. The future is a mystery. You can't see it. That's why today is called the "present". Its a gift from your Creator to be enjoyed! There are two great enemies that stop us from enjoying the present. One is the past. How many people will not enjoy the great gift of being alive today because of something that happened yesterday. Shame, bitterness, hurts, bad experiences, dark expectations all scream from our past to ruin our today. Satan is a master at using your past to destroy your today. As the man said in the movie after he broke the rear view mirror off his race car, "you can't go forward looking backward". Amen! Declare "I will not be chained to my past"! I claim the great promise of Christ that "weeping may last for a night but joy comes in the morning"! Thank God for new mornings! The other great hurdle to a great today is tomorrow. When Jesus said "take no thought for tomorrow" He didn't mean don't make plans. He warned us against worrying and fretting over future problems, adversities and needs. Have you ever found yourself missing the simple blessing of being alive today by looking anxiously ahead? Place your tomorrows in His nail scarred hand and leave them there! Don't wait until tomorrow to live! "When I get out of school". "When I get married". "When the kids get grown". "When we get through this rough spot". "When we retire". Are you going to "when" your life away? Your life is made up of 29,930 days just like today if you live the average life span. This ain't no dress rehearsal! This is your life! If you were planning on enjoying your life you need to start today. Wake up each morning and thank Him for the "present" of today and get to enjoying! Be responsible. Be productive. Be helpful. But, be sure and enjoy the journey!

 

Father, I am grateful for the gift of life today. I praise you that my past is covered by the shed blood of Christ. My future is in your hand. I choose to honor you by enjoying what you have placed in front of me today! 

Do it while you can

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 9:30 AM

"The night is coming when no one can work"

John 9:4

Time is the one thing I can't make. I can make more money, but once time is gone its gone forever. Jesus speaks in this verse about taking advantage of opportunities while we still can. Every opportunity has a shelf life. Once the window is closed it is closed for good. That's why it is so important not to waste time but to do what we can while we can. Do you still have a chance to sit your child on your lap and read to them? Do it. I wish I could but that day is gone. Can you still call your mom and tell her that you love her? Do it. I wish I could. Is there still time to make something right from days past? Do it before that door closes. Is it still possible to tell somebody how much you appreciate the investment they made in your life? Do it. Dead noses smell no roses. If you want to give flowers to somebody do while they can still enjoy them. Lets quit waiting like we have forever. We don't. Take your family camping and make a memory that will outlast you. Learn how to play the guitar. Take a risk.  Now. Take every chance you have to live! Laugh with the people you love! Don't just drag through the day. Do the little things that make life great! Having now entered my seventh decade I'm at the place where time has replaced money as my most valuable commodity. I have a limited amount just as you do. I am determined not to waste any of it but to use it to serve people and enjoy every opportunity my Father has given me. I refuse to poke through life till I croak! I am going to squeeze everything I can out of it and then when the time comes I'll slide in sideways hollering "what a ride"! Every opportunity has an expiration date. Don't let any of them run out. Are you taking advantage of the open doors in front of you? Pick up the phone. Pick up you pen. Pick up your child and go get ice cream. Pick up a friend and go get coffee. What about the greatest door ever opened to any person? "In my Father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you." Have you taken advantage of His generous offer? Like all other windows of opportunity it won't be open for ever. Do it while you can.

Farther, I want to find you while I still can. Forgive me for my sins. I receive Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord right now. I choose to follow your Son forever. Thank you for loving me and receiving me just as I am. I praise you that when this earthly door closes for me the door to your eternal home will be standing wide open!

Drinking poison

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 9:29 AM

Know that in the latter days stressful times will come in the earth because men will be ...unloving, unforgiving. 

2 Timothy 3:1-3

I'm sure you've heard the old saying that to hold a grudge against someone is to "drink poison hoping that it will kill someone else". Bitterness does far more damage to me than it does to the object of my resentment. Medical scientists have discovered that resentment is the most damaging of all emotions. This is no doubt the one struggle that all people share commonly. Everyone I know has regular opportunities to forgive because everybody today is offended on a daily basis! Be it betrayal by a friend or spouse, anger from a political opponent, the mistake of a co-worker or the incivility of an idiot behind the steering wheel! We live in a day of offense. I will choose to live in a spirit of mercy and forgiveness or I will find myself in the dark hole of bitterness due to my refusal to release my offenders. Unforgiveness has tremendous power to torment the mind and emotions according to the Bible. It robs me of my peace, and makes it impossible to enjoy every day to the fullest. It steals parents from their children, husbands from their wives, friends from friends, and great opportunities from everybody. Bitterness may be the greatest thief that America is struggling with today. There is a better way! I can choose to obey God and release my offences and my offender to Him. He who forgave me of great transgression has given me the key to freedom from the bondage of resentment. "Forgive as you have been forgiven".  When I open the prison door through forgiveness and release my prisoner I find that it was me in jail!  When I sense bitterness in my heart it has the odor of sulfur! I have learned to tell horneyhead to "hit the road". You will not put that on me! I declare out loud "nobody owes me a dime". Lets live in the freedom of forgiveness refusing to be trapped in one of the most dangerous snares our enemy has.

Father, thank you for total and complete forgiveness! I praise you that you promised "their sins and lawless deeds I will remember no more". Help me to return the favor!

The Heavenly tailgater!

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 15, 2018 @ 9:28 AM

Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life! Psalms 23:6

Our Creators original plan was to create a planet and inhabit it with children that He could be a Father to. His best was to love and bless His children for all of eternity. However, the fall of man by sin separated Him from His prized possessions and resulted in a life of struggle for all of us. Then He did the unexpected. He sent His Son Jesus as a sacrifice to redeem what was ruined by our fall so that we could be reunited with Him and brought back to the blessed life He desired for us. As the Bible says ''Jesus became a curse for us that the blessing of Abraham could come upon us." Gal. 3:13-14 Because of His plan of redemption we who follow Him can now expect His tremendous blessing on our lives every day! That's why Scripture states: "goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life". Do three things that His Word admonishes us to. First, begin to expect His goodness to be on your life today. Say it; "my Father is going to do good for me today because of Jesus!". Second, watch for His goodness and blessings throughout the day. Thirdly, thank Him when you see Him being good to you. "Father, I thank you for my health today. I know that is your kindness to me! Thank you that my children had breakfast today when so many didn't. I see your goodness! Thank you that somebody loves me! I know that's you! I love to catch the Creator showing goodness to me! What a life He has given through the sacrifice of His Son! "Every time I look in the mirror I see goodness and mercy tailgating me!"

Father, I believe your Word that "every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of lights". Thank you for making a way for us to be reunited through the cross of Jesus so that I could live as a son in the blessing of the world's richest man!

Worship more, worry less

Posted by Brandon Patton on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 @ 2:29 PM

"Be worried for nothing, but in everything by prayer, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."

Phillippians 4:6

We will be worriers or worshippers but not both. In every situation, problem or perplexity we will make the decision to worry or worship. We spend countless hours thinking about the daily struggles of life that we all deal with. Searching for answers that can not be found within ourselves. However, when we humble ourselves in childlike faith and begin to simply worship our Savior from the heart in obedience to His command we find a miracle in the middle of our mess! Something happens on the inside that brings His great peace to our hearts and minds even while our problems are unsolved. Once again we discover the reality that our greatest need is not for everything around us to be changed to our liking, but for us to be changed by His sweet presence. Our worship of the Father in the middle of our mess is what transfers our problems from us to Him. We then can enjoy His peace while He handles our lives according to His promise. How priceless to be able to "cast all of your cares on Him because He cares for you".

I praise you that the same Jesus that was my sin bearer 2000 years ago on a cross is my burden bearer today!

Garbage in = Garbage out

Posted by Brandon Patton on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 @ 2:28 PM

Fill your minds with whatever is true, inspiring, honorable, pure, beautiful, encouraging, excellent and exciting.
Phillippians 4:8

Computers are the technological marvel of our modern age. They have altered life as we know it today in a major way. However, the simple truth remains: what you program in is what is coming out. The Bible teaches that our minds and hearts operate the exact same way. What you program in is what is coming out. Beauty in = beauty out. Garbage in = garbage out. Jesus said that "the lamp of the body is the eye". What we stare at determines what we become. Thats why His Word admonishes us to "fill your minds with whatever is true, inspiring, " etc. Unfortunately our culture has reached a place that the profane, obscene, disgusting and disheartening are constantly thrust in our faces. The beautiful is a little harder to find and focus on today. Nevertheless it is absolutely imperative that we as God's "light bearers" refuse to become darkness in the midst of darkness! The beauty of the Creator of the universe has not been diminished one bit by this present darkness! His beauty still abounds for the seeker. I refuse to become a garbage dump for the trash talkers of society! I will fill my mind with His beauty, inspiration, encouragement and hope so I can live as a "light that shines in a dark place"!

Father I thank you that the beauty of the Lord still abounds! I ask you to help me turn away from the profane and focus on the glorious. I praise you for the honor of lighting my world with your hope, encouragement and beauty!

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