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.

He is coming back!

Posted by Brandon Patton on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 @ 11:25 AM

Behold He is coming in the clouds and every eye shall behold Him!

Revelation 1:7

With all of our attention focused on making it through the nasty here and now with all of its hurdles we often forget that the major theme of the New Testament is the second coming of Jesus Christ to this earth! The return of Jesus to the earth He created is the most often mentioned thing in the Bible. 270 times in the New Testament His return is referenced. This life we currently entertain is not the big deal. This life is called the "engagement" in scripture. His return is called "the marriage supper of the Lamb" in the book of Revelation. Who wants to be engaged more than they want to be married? The only great thing about being engaged is that you will be married soon! I have never understood the saints fascination with this life. Why do we cling to this life as though it were what we were created for? We were created for eternity. We were created "by Him and for Him". I've never understood why believers spend so much time praying for saints to be kept out of heaven rather than praying for sinners to be rescued from hell. Often Christians are mocked for looking ahead to Heaven. Why not?! The Bible calls His return "our blessed hope"! As Philippians states "to depart and be with Christ is far better!" I'm certainly not one of those "just a few more weary days and I'll fly away" types. I'm having a blast walking with Jesus today. But to think of the "glory that shall be ours when Christ returns" is pure joy unspeakable! Why do believers fret as much as pagans over the condition of this current world? Did not the scripture describe these days two thousand years ago in perfect detail? The Bible says "This world and all the works in it will be burned up with intense heat". I knew about global warming before the scientists did! Rather than moan about conditions today which were predicted accurately years ago in scripture why don't we do what the Bible said to do "when you see these things come to pass lift up your heads and rejoice knowing that your redemption draws near!" If the second coming of Jesus is a settled fact, rather than focusing on "save the whales" or "save the snails" why don't we live to save the males? (and the girls!) If His return is imminent what else matters except whether you will go with Him or be left behind? Lift up your heads beloved of the Lamb! Soon and very soon we are going to see the King! (I'll be the one at the gate hollering "I told you so!")

Thank you Father that as your Word states you "have placed eternity in their hearts"! The desire to live forever is from you. I praise you that in Christ that desire is fulfilled! I can hardly wait to see Him "coming in the clouds"! How about today?!

The power of one word

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 9:58 AM

Jesus cried out; "Lazarrus, come forth" and he who had died came out of the grave.

John 11:43-44

The Bible has so much to say about the power of our words. Both for destructive purposes and for good. I was a senior in high school when I was suspended for three weeks because of fighting. I told the principal that I would just drop out of school. He was thrilled! As I left the office the assistant principal caught me and pulled me into his office. With compassion in his voice he told me that it was important to him that I graduated and that if I would come back after my suspension he would help me catch up my studies. His words caused me to come back and graduate. I had a chance to thank him this past summer after having not seen him for over forty years. One man changed the course of my life with his words "spoken in due season". I have been blessed through the years to be able to alter people's lives, homes, futures and even eternities by speaking the right words at the right times. What a gift the Father has given us with the ability to speak into people's lives! Lets don't use our words to do damage. Proverbs speaks of words that are as the "piercing of a sword". Lets pray and ask how we can use words to bring life, encouragement, healing and hope to people we cross paths with today. When Jesus spoke of people out of which would "flow rivers of life giving water", He was speaking of people whose words would bring refreshing, healing, joy and hope to people around them. Lets do a "test run" today. Why don't we attempt to "speak life" to as many people as possible today? Keep count! Not only will it be a great blessing to everybody you serve today, I have a suspicion that you will probably get something out of it also!

Dear Jesus, thank you for the gift of words! You never gave anything to do damage or to waste. Place just the right people in front of me today and give me just the right words to change their world! Thank you so much for what your words have done for me!

The power of one

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 9:58 AM

We have only five loaves and two fish but what is that among so many? 

John 6:9

Andrew faced the same struggle many of us face today. As he stared at the massive needs of the people in front of him he was overwhelmed by the enormity of the need and equally troubled by his lack of resources to meet their need. Any believer that has compassion for the suffering of present day humanity has a desire to help and make a difference in people's lives. Whether its to relieve hunger in starving lands, provide clean water where its needed, bring medicine and healing to the suffering, or most important of all, deliver the good news of the Gospel  to those who have not heard. Every follower of Christ must ask himself "what am I going to do with the life God gave me?" Will I live for myself and place my well being and entertainment above all else during my days here? Or will I follow the example of my Master and spend my time on this earth to make a difference in the lives of others? The question is not how long will I live, rather its what impact will I have while I live. My heart aches when I see the suffering of people in my community and around the world. I believe it is the heart of God in His followers that wants to heal and help people. Fortunately we can follow Andrew's lead and rather than despair that our little bit is so useless among such great need we can do as he did and surrender what we do have into the hand of the the Divine multiplier! After he gave his lunch to Jesus he stood amazed as He watched Christ multiply his gift and feed thousands! History is replete with men and women who abandoned what they had to Jesus in order to meet the great needs of people and watched Him work wonders with what they gave Him. A poor Albanian nun surrendered all for lepers in India and God cared for thousands in Mother Teresa's homes. A troubled teen that grew up with alcoholic parents gave Jesus all he had for those suffering from alcoholism and MIckey Evens eventually saw God multiply his gift and redeem thousands of men's lives through his ministry. What about you? What would the great Multiplier do with your "little bit" if you would hand it over? What could be more rewarding than to live a life abandoned to Christ and watch him change human history through your little offering?

Father, surely you didn't just place me here to take up space and consume resources. I want to be the answer to people's problems. I give you my little bit for your purposes. Use it however you please. Thank you for the honor of living for something bigger than myself!

Shine!

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 9:57 AM

"No one that lights a lamp hides it under a pot but sets it on a lamps stand so that those who enter can see the light."

Luke 8:16

Would you? How many of you bought a lamp and set it under a trash can so the light couldn't shine? In this simple parable we find the great revelation of why I am where I am today. Do you believe in the invisible active hand of God in your life? Our Father "lights my lamp" or places the Holy Spirit of Jesus inside of me when I am born anew by Him at my conversion. His presence in me is wonderful! He is encouragement, wisdom, peace and so many other things as I walk through this life. How thankful I am for the precious Holy Spirit! However, this verse reveals that His Spirit in me is not just about me. Let me remind you that Romans 8:31 reveals that God is not for me only. It says "if God is for us". That's why He placed me "on a lamp stand". He places me in a strategic location in the earth according to His master plan for humanity so that people can "see the light". Obviously Brian Biggers is not "the Light of the world"! Jesus is that Light. That's why Colossians states that "Christ in you is the hope of glory".  I am where I am today by Divine design to reveal to the people in my circle of influence the beauty of Jesus Christ. Many shrink from this great assignment arguing that they are not able to adequately represent the only perfect man that ever lived. God knew that long before He "placed me on my stand"! I don't have to be perfect or have it down pat yet to show this world the grace of a Savior. Lets embrace our assignment with a passion worthy of His great sacrifice! Every day pray that Jesus will show this world how wonderful He is through your love for people, your joy in tough times, your patience in setbacks, or whatever way He chooses to use. Come on saints, its time to step up to the plate and shine!

Father, I confess that it is a little overwhelming to be asked to represent Jesus in this fallen world to people. I also confess that although I am not able in my own strength, you are more that able by the precious Holy Spirit that lives big in me! Thank you for the honor of making Jesus famous on planet earth!

A fixed fight!

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 9:57 AM

"Thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph through Christ Jesus!"

My Grandma and I were die hard fans of championship wrestling when I was a boy. Many a time we watched and cheered together for Brute Bernard and Skull Murphy as they pummeled the masked Bolos. It was a sad day for me when as a grown man I learned from "the horses mouth" that it was all fixed. The winner was determined before the wrestlers ever stepped into the ring. I'll be alright eventually. One of the greatest promises ever given to us by our heavenly Father is that after we surrender our lives to Christ and make Him Lord our lives become a fixed fight from that time on! Because of His invisible hand intervening on our behalf in every situation we are guaranteed to walk in victory if we will just get in the fight. By faith we can "know that God causes all things to work together for our good"! Because of this great truth our enemy's obvious scheme to defeat us is to heap discouragement on us by the truckloads to get us to give up. He knows that "if God be for us who can be against us" is a truth that is as unchangeable as the second coming of Jesus! He is going to find out if we know it! There is no way that the forces of hell can defeat a man or woman that knows the truth and stands in faith on it regardless of what they see or feel! Even if I stumble my Savior will pick me up and shove me back in the ring. "Even if a rightous man falls seven times the Lord will pick him up."  What a difference it makes to face every new day knowing that the outcome has already been settled! All I have to do is  show up and start shouting! Every morning I want old liar, liar  to hear me singing that great hymn "I can not be defeated and I will not quit!" until his horny head starts hurting! Lift up your heads brothers and sisters and rejoice in a life of guaranteed victory! Because of Jesus ultimate triumph over the powers of hell at the cross our victory is as certain as the love of God!

All praise to the Champion who crushed my enemies at the cross to insure my victory in this life and the next! Father, I believe your Word that promises an overcoming life to those who trust you as their everything!

Shake it off!

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 9:57 AM

"The things which happened to me actually turned out for the furtherance of the good news!"

Philippians 1:12

The crappy things that happen to all of us in life will either bury us or bring us up. They will either become stumbling stones or stepping stones. Because of our great God's rule in our lives we can say like Joseph of old "what you meant for evil God used for good to save many"! An old farmer had a beloved mule named "Ceasar". They had plowed many a field together. When he was too old to plow anymore the farmer retired him to a pasture to enjoy his last days. Unfortunately the old mule escaped one day and fell down and abandoned well shaft. The farmer found him later in the day and with great sadness decided to let the well be his final resting place. He began to shovel in the dirt on top of the old mule one scoop at a time. After a while the farmer was shocked to see mule ears rising out of the well shaft! The old mule wasn't dead after all, but had been knocked out by the fall! When the dirt began to hit him in the head he revived. He stood up and began to shake the dirt off. Every time dirt came down on him he just shook it off and stomped it under his feet! Wasn't long before he had shook and stomped himself to the top of the shaft! At which time he promptly stepped out and trotted back to his pasture. We could learn a lot from a mule. When this world tries to throw dirt on you and bury you follow Ceasar's lead and shake it off and stomp it under your feet! Its my choice. I can let the negative things that come my way bury me or bring me up higher!

Father I praise you today that though I can't escape the dirt that is common to all in Adam's race, I can choose to shake it off! Teach me how to use adversity to rise higher rather be buried by it.

The glorious present!

Posted by Brandon Patton on Monday, October 22, 2018 @ 9:56 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 @ 9:32 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!

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