All posts by clintonavechurch

Son and Daughter

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Son and Daughter

By Nancy Boote on August 8, 2022

Read: Matthew 9:1-8; 18-22

Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” (v. 22)

My dad would lovingly say to me, “You’s a good daughter!” Instead of saying, “You’re,” he purposely used improper English followed by a sweet smile and often a peck on the cheek. I loved hearing him say this. It meant that I was his daughter; I belonged to him. This carried special importance because he adopted me as his own.

In our chapter today, when Jesus healed a man and woman, he used fatherly terms of endearment as he addressed them. He lovingly healed a paralyzed man both spiritually and physically saying, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (v. 2). Then, while Jesus was on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter, he was interrupted by a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. Jesus became aware that power had left him when she touched his robe. Instead of being annoyed by this interruption, he sought her and said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well” (v. 22).

As a father knows the needs of his children, Jesus knew the needs of this son and daughter. He made them both well.

Do you know Jesus’ love for you, his child? Where do you seek healing in your soul? Know that you are a son or daughter so loved by him. May you hear Jesus as he calls you his son or daughter today. May your soul be made well. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, rest in Jesus’ love for you as his child.

Carried by the Shepherd

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Carried by the Shepherd

By Nancy Boote on August 7, 2022

Read: Isaiah 40:1-11

He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart. (v. 11 NIV)

David reminds us in Psalm 100 that we are the Lord’s sheep. We belong to him! Isaiah continues with this beautiful image of the Lord as our shepherd. He not only tells us that our sovereign Lord comes with power (v. 10), but also that he tends to his flock like a shepherd (v. 11).

Can you picture the shepherd tenderly scooping up his lamb and carrying the lamb close to his heart? What an amazing portrait of our shepherd’s deep love for us! No matter what worries, concerns, hurts, or cares are weighing us down, he picks us up and holds us close to his heart and comforts us. With his arms around us, we feel his great love for us his sheep, and all our cares melt away.

But sometimes we can feel so alone in our troubles. Life is hard. Jobs are lost, people receive a terminal diagnosis, disease and cancer spreads, parents die leaving children as orphans, and children or adults suffer at the hands of abusers. This list is too long to continue. Sometimes we think that no one understands what we’re going through.

But there is one who carries us. And we have one who understands. We have one who loves us. We have a shepherd who picks us up in his loving arms. He holds us so close to his heart and comforts us. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, feel the Shepherd’s loving arms around you.

His

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

His

By Nancy Boote on August 6, 2022

Read: Psalm 100

It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (v. 3)

Picture a beautiful, lush pastureland. The sheep are lazily grazing as if they did not have a care in the world. Their shepherd is nearby protecting them. He tends to them lovingly and knows each one of them. They are his!

The psalmist says, “It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (v. 3). Jesus often referred to his people as sheep. We see that especially in the gospel of John. In John 10, we read about Jesus, our good shepherd who tenderly cares for his sheep. He knows them, feeds them, and protects them. And he is willing to even lay down his life for his sheep. The sheep know his voice. They will not respond to a stranger. The sheep listen to their shepherd’s voice, and they follow him because they belong to him.

The most beautiful words of belonging are the words “we are his.” And the possessive pronoun my emphasizes this belonging in John 10. Jesus says of us “my sheep.” We are his, under his loving care.

Today may you know that the Lord created you, you are his, the sheep of his pasture. You belong to him. You need not fear. He is with you. His rod and his staff will comfort you (Ps. 23:4). Rest in the security of this truth—you are his! —Nancy Boote

As you pray, be thankful that you are his!

Chosen

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Chosen

By Nancy Boote on August 5, 2022

Read: Ephesians 1:1-6

For he chose us in him. (v. 4 NIV)

Do you remember a time when you were chosen for something? Maybe you were chosen for an athletic team or musical group. Or perhaps you were chosen to read in class or join a club. How did that make you feel? Special? Loved? Wanted?

As an adoptee, I was often told that I was special, loved, and wanted because my parents chose me. But God chose me first, as our passage says. Before the creation of time, I was chosen. I was chosen in Christ; I was chosen in love.

God chose Abraham to be the father of all nations (Genesis 17). He made his covenant with him, pledging his love and making a people for himself. He became their God; they became his people. He chose them as his very own. Moses reminded God’s people, “The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The LORD did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples” (Deut. 7:6-7 NIV).

God’s people didn’t have to earn his love or jump up and down pleading, “Choose me, choose me!” He chose them because he first loved them. “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Because of Christ, we belong to God, and he belongs to us. We were chosen in Christ. We were chosen in love! —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for choosing you.

Ties of Love

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Ties of Love

By Nancy Boote on August 4, 2022

Read: Hosea 11:1-11

I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. (v. 4 NIV)

The phrase “ties of love” from our passage reminds me of preschoolers walking with their teachers, holding tightly to a rope. This rope is for their safety, binding them together through the love and care of their teachers.

Hosea 11 pictures God’s beautiful love for his children. He says, “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son” (v. 1). He taught them to walk, taking them by their arms (v. 3). “I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bent down to feed them” (v. 4 NIV). What a beautiful image of God’s tender fatherly love for us his children.

Israel was determined to turn from God (v. 7). God used the marriage of Hosea to the promiscuous Gomer in the first chapters of Hosea to illustrate that he is faithful, and his love is deep for his children even when they turn away. God promised to be their God. Israel and God are bound together with ties of love—ties that cannot be broken. This is covenantal love.

And this is the love that God has for each one of us. Why? Because we are his children. We belong to him. We are tied to him in love. Picture him picking you up and holding you to his cheek and telling you, “I love you.” —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for loving you so deeply.

Banner of Love

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Banner of Love

By Nancy Boote on August 2, 2022

Read: Song of Solomon 2

My beloved is mine, and I am his. (v. 16)

When children sing the song “His Banner Over Me Is Love,” they are encouraged to put their arms over their heads interlocking their hands demonstrating God’s banner of love that covers them.

In the Old Testament, banners were raised to proclaim victory (Exod. 17:15), to gather troops together (Isa. 5:26) and to serve as a symbol of hope for God’s people (Isa. 11:10, 12).

In verse 4 of our passage, the woman’s beloved brought her to his banqueting table as a part of the marriage celebration. This was not just a meal. It was a feast of love. She said, “Let his banner over me be love” (v. 4 NIV). By accepting his love for her, she was saying, “You belong to me, and I belong to you.” This feast is a beautiful picture of intimate marital love as well as communion between Christ our bridegroom and the church his bride.

Have you accepted Christ’s love for you? His love was beautifully displayed when he gave his life on the cross. He spread his arms wide as his banner of love for you. When we accept Christ’s love and sacrifice, we can be assured we belong to him.

Picture standing under Christ’s banner of love over you. His banner says, “You belong to me, you are mine. I am for you. I love you. I am always with you. I will protect you.” —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank him for his banner of love over you.

Created by God

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Created by God

By Nancy Boote on August 1, 2022

Read: Psalm 139

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (v. 13 NIV)

Adoptees of my generation usually do not know their birth mothers. For a long time, this was true for me. Knowing that the Lord carefully formed me and knit me together in my birth mother’s womb comforted me. I didn’t know my birth mother, but God did. He was there when I was conceived. He was there as he shaped and formed me in my birth mother’s safe womb space. Even when she relinquished me for adoption, he was with me. He did not abandon me, his creation.

David also knew that the Lord was with him and would not abandon him. For he created him and knew him intimately. He was familiar with all his ways (v. 3). There was also no place that David could flee from the Lord’s presence (v. 7), neither in the heights nor in the depths, at the light of dawn or on the far side of the sea (vv. 8-9). The Lord was always with him. Even when he would awake, God was there (v. 18). The Lord did not abandon David, his creation.

In this devotional series, we will explore what it means to belong to God, our creator, and be loved by him. Psalm 139 reminds us that even before we were born, the Lord was with us. We belong to our heavenly Father, the one who created us. The Lord was and will always be with us for we are his children. —Nancy Boote

As you pray, thank God for creating you, his child.

A Lamp to Our Feet, a Light to Our Path

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

A Lamp to Our Feet, a Light to Our Path

By Rev. David Bast on July 31, 2022

Read: Psalm 119:89-112

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Prov. 3:5-6)

I can’t read those words from Proverbs 3 without traveling back in time and seeing Mr. Van Houten leading our junior high Sunday school department in the opening exercises and hearing my 12-year-old self reciting them (in the King James Version) as our memory verse. Like many others, this proverb with its exhortation and promise has guided me my whole life.

An exhortation: trust in the Lord with all your heart (positive) and don’t rely on your own understanding (negative). Take God’s Word as your truth, even when you can’t fully understand it. Use it as your rule and guide, even when it’s hard to follow. Acknowledge the Lord—his word, will, and way—in everything you do, think, and say. And then the promise: he will make straight your paths.

As always with Bible promises, this is not an ironclad guarantee that our paths will never be crooked or steep or hard or deadly. It’s an assurance that in the end the Lord will straighten them all out, and make sure they lead us straight—home to him. It includes the promise that he will be with us all the way: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Ps. 23:4). —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks to the Lord who leads us home.

What to Do with Your Sins

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

What to Do with Your Sins

By Rev. David Bast on July 30, 2022

Read: Psalm 32James 5:13-16

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (Prov. 28:13)

Both David and Solomon (Psalms and Proverbs) knew long ago what modern psychology has confirmed. Suppressed guilt produces serious side effects. The psalmist’s spiritual struggles resulted in physical symptoms (Ps. 32:3-4). Unconfessed sin is hard on us.

But confession is hard too. It’s one thing to confess our sins to God. This, of course, is the place to begin. But we may also need to go on with James’ directive to confess to one another—perhaps to a trusted pastor or counselor, an accountability partner, a spouse, or a victim. That’s when it gets really hard. It’s embarrassing to own up to the wicked or foolish things we have done, thought, and said. It’s also possible that acknowledging our sins will have real consequences for us relationally or even legally. No matter how much carrying guilt may hurt, it often seems like keeping silent (Ps. 32:3) or covering up our iniquity (v. 5) is the easier option.

Except that confession is the only way to find forgiveness (v. 5). As long as we cover up rather than confess, guilt just keeps gnawing away inside. Oh, and there’s one more thing we must do. The person who confesses and forsakes their sins will find mercy: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light . . . the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7). —David Bast

As you pray, spend time in confession. Is there someone you need to talk to?

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

Our daily devotional is a re-post with permission from Words Of Hope. Come view our website at www.clintonave.org.

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

By Rev. David Bast on July 29, 2022

Read: Luke 18:18-30

Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me, lest I be full and deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?” or lest I be poor and steal and profane the name of my God. (Prov. 30:8-9)

I have a British friend who, when asked at the dinner table if he would like another helping, often replied, “No thank you. I have an elegant sufficiency.” That’s a fine thing to have in life—an elegant sufficiency. Not to have so much that we become possessed by our possessions. Not to be stuffed so full of the world and its things that we have no room for God in our lives. John D. Rockefeller, at the time the richest man in America, was asked, “How much is enough?” “Just a little more,” he famously replied. It’s difficult to find your satisfaction in God when you’re always wanting just a little more.

On the other hand, it’s certainly no fun being poor, to be in such need that you worry constantly about paying the bills, having enough to eat, buying clothes for your children, and keeping a roof over your head. That’s not just hard, it’s dangerous. If I’m deprived of life’s necessities, I will be tempted to take desperate and dangerous steps to get what I need.

Following Jesus is costly, as the rich young ruler learned to his sorrow. But the rewards are out of this world. Meanwhile, may the Lord grant us an elegant sufficiency of all we need. —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks for the Lord’s sufficient provision.