Daily Devotional from Curtis Tumicki- 06-10-23

I want to continue to examine different evangelists from Scripture and how we need to be not afraid of what the world might do or respond.  While there were some individuals in the Old Testament who were considered “evangelists,” the term “evangelist” did not come into play until the New Testament because the word has a Greek root to it.  When it comes to the New Testament, some say that the person who was considered an evangelist was John the Baptist.  He was the first to proclaim the good news of Jesus.  While this was an amazing thing to read about, some say that the next evangelist was Peter.  Peter was really big about sharing Jesus, especially when it came to Pentecost (Acts 2).  What was interesting about Peter is that he went from denying Christ (Matthew 26:69-75, Mark 14:66-72, Luke 22:54-65, and John 18:25-27) to proclaiming the good news of Christ (Acts 2:1-47).  He had a change in direction.  How often have we been put in this same position?  Maybe there was a time in our lives where we were heading in one direction and God helped us to get back on track with Him.  He can help us get us back to being in a right state of mind and helping us get back closer to God.  James 4:7-8 says “7. So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  8. Come close to God, and God will come closer to you.  Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.”  


Think about where you stand with God.  What I mean is think about how your relationship is with God.  Here’s a question I want to ask you: who are you loyal to, God or the world?  I ask because this is something that Christians wrestle with quite often.  We want to trust God but also want to be accepted by the world.  Romans 12:2 tells us to not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but rather be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  I challenge you to resist the devil.  Resist him and he will flee from you.  Draw closer and closer to God every single day.  As you draw closer towards Him, it will not only help you in your daily living but it will also help you in your relationship with Him.  


Heavenly Father, I pray for Your continuous strength and wisdom as we continue to do the things that You have called us to.  As we grow Your Kingdom, let us not be ashamed of it.  Instead, let us embrace it and let Your word shine before others so that the darkness will flee and Your light will shine through.  In Jesus name I pray, amen. 

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-09-23

Intro: Many people are afraid to die, but that fear should definitely not be tormenting believers. Eternal life is the gift of God to those who belong to the Christ (John 3:16). The lives of Christ’s followers and disciples are under God’s control; how long we live and when we return home to heaven is known only to God. In the meantime, we are to live for the glory of God and his purpose to exalt the King and further the Kingdom.

In our passage today from Luke, the Apostle Paul meets the Phoenician people of Malta. The people’s belief of justice has to do with a god giving a person what is due them [good/bad]. They know nothing about the Most High God, but when the snake bites Paul, the people of Malta assume he deserves death. However, it doesn’t take long for them to understand the apostle’s life is divinely protected.

Believers are protected by God and we see that in many biblical characters. As long as God has plans for our lives, we will remain alive. That does not mean we can live carelessly or neglect to use wisdom for our decision and lifestyles, but even our reckless ways are no match for God’s purposes. We need to take Luke’s lesson about Paul and the snake to heart. Shake off the poison of fear and live with confidence and courage each day. Enjoy the people around you and refuse to allow fear to rob you of a single minute. Live fully present and available to God.

Acts 28:1-10 NLT Paul on the Island of Malta
1 Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. 2 The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us.

3 As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4 The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5 But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6 The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.

7 Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days. 8 As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him. 9 Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed. 10 As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for holding our lives in your hands. There is no room for fear when you are with us, because we know Satan has no power when we are submitted to you. Help us to be fully alive to the work of your Spirit and Kingdom, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-08-23

Intro: I have a Greek word for you, today: ψευδής (pseudes)—false/fake/untrue/lying. There is a great deal of ψευδής going on in our world, today. As well, there is some ψευδής doctrine being upheld and taught as truth in some churches. False teaching has been present in every era and it is still present, today. This teaching has no footing on the narrow road of the Spirit; it is primarily focused on the wide gate that exalts the flesh (Mat 7:13-14). This was the case in the first century church even after Christ’s ascension; it will be the case until Jesus returns for his Bride. For this reason, we need the protective work of the Holy Spirit whom Christ promised would lead us into all truth (John 16:13).

False teachers are recognized by their ψευδής fruit, just as teachers of righteousness are recognized by their holy fruit (Gal 5:22-23). So what is the fruit [fake doctrine] of false teachers? I will share just a few things, today. The gospel leads us to respect the authority of Christ, but ψευδής teaching encourages rebellion and refuses to confess Jesus as God or have the correct view of Christ [this is the spirit of antichrist] (1 John 4:2-3). The gospel leads us to know the Word of God (Christ) as living and teaches us what is righteous before God, as well as corrects us when we are wrong, but ψευδής teaching gives people permission to sin and preys on those who do not know the living Word of God or the conviction of sin by the Spirit (2 Tim 3:16). Humility is the way for the Christ follower, but ψευδής teaching drips with pride (Mat 5:3; 2 Peter 2:17). So, run from what is ψευδής.

If we are truly following Christ and listening to righteous teaching, we will be lead on the narrow road of truth (always leading us toward Christ-likeness) and the Holy Spirit will produce abundant fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control!” (Gal 5:22-23). So, whatever you do, do all to the glory of God, because one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (1 Cor 10:31; Phil 2:11).

2 Peter 2:17-22 NLT
17 These people are as useless as dried-up springs or as mist blown away by the wind. They are doomed to blackest darkness. 18 They brag about themselves with empty, foolish boasting. With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. 22 They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.”

Prayer: Lord, I pray for all of us—believers and unbelievers—to be wise to the work of Satan who attempts to twist everything and lead humanity into a deceived and apostate way of living. Thank you for the Spirit and Truth to guide us, so we understand how to live as your worshipers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-07-23

Intro: Do you need reminders? When John and I were getting ready for vacation, I had notes all over the place to remind me of things I needed to perform, purchase, and pack. It would be wonderful if I could make a mental note of important things and it would be there when I needed to recall it; however, with so much going on this past month, I was pretty sure that was not going to happen. So, I took some practical measures and left written notes. (laugh with me)

Today, in our passage from the gospel of John, Jesus tells his disciples he will send the Holy Spirit who will remind them of his teachings. The disciple’s part will be to obey the commands of God, because the indwelling Spirit will lead them into the truth; connect Christ’s disciples with the Word of God. The disciples have been eyewitnesses of Christ’s life, but the Holy Spirit will now help them remember so they can write about everything they have witnessed from a unified yet unique perspective. We are blessed to have the Spirit bringing clarity and helping us with the truth, as well. By the Spirit, we can know God’s will, remember God’s Word, so we can quickly realign our lives when we forget or get off track. (so much better than a note, right?)

John 14:25-26 NLT
25 I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26 But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

Prayer: Lord, I am so grateful for the many reminders you bring me each day, so I can remain in fellowship with you. Holy Spirit, please continue to remind me about Christ’s commands, teachings, nature, and character, so I know when I am heading in a wrong direction. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-06-23

Intro: The same; but different. When it comes to things of the Spirit there is unity and diversity. When the Spirit moves, we witness gracious endowments that lead to powerful results. The Spirit is always the same and the work of making us new creations is the same. Yet, we remain wonderfully unique and the gifts the Spirit bestows are fresh and different, as well. Every gift given by the Holy Spirit—the Spirit of Truth—is for the unity and diversity of the Church—the spiritual family—in the world.

In our passage today, the Apostle Paul clarifies the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit, because counterfeit gifts are surfacing and deceiving people. The spiritual gifts from God unite us with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, as well as with one another. The same Giver: “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all. However, he has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ” (Eph. 4:5-13). But, different gifts: God pours out his powerful anointing in very diverse yet individual ways according to His will. It is the work of the Spirit to glorify and exalt Jesus, as well as grow believers in His holy nature and character. We must receive those gifts and allow the Spirit to direct us. When the Church righteously welcomes the gifts of the Spirit, powerful things happen in hearts and lives.

You have been given a spiritual gift(s). If you have not identified yours, then it is time for you to do so. Connect2Christ Church will be offering an opportunity for you to discover yours this summer; and I will be waiting to help you exercise it for the health of the spiritual family. Please plan to sign up soon.

1 Corinthians 12:4-13 NLT  
4 There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. 5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge. 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages, while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

One Body with Many Parts
12 The human body has many parts, but the many parts make up one whole body. So it is with the body of Christ. 13 Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.

Prayer: Lord, please unite all believers in your Spirit of Truth; help us to welcome the diverse gifts you have individually chosen just for us. Every gift is an expression of your beautiful and perfect love. That is why we must grow in your character and nature to see the fullness of those supernatural gifts in action through our human lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotion from Jen Auer 06-05-23

In Psalm 29, David does an amazing job of connecting the strength and power of a storm to the voice of God. This is a song of praise to the Lord for His splendor and holiness.

The first two verses begin with David addressing heaven and calling for all heavenly beings to Honor the LORD for the glory of His Name, a Name that is repeated eighteen times in these eleven verses. Friends, throughout scripture we are called to glorify God in all that we do, not just in worship and in service, but in every aspect of who we are and what God calls us to do.

In verses three through nine David uses imagery of a thunderstorm to reveal to us the glory and power of the God we serve. The fact that His voice is loud like thunder shouldn’t scare those who know His voice and are living a life of faithful obedience to His call. “For the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has a day of reckoning. He will punish the proud and mighty and bring down everything that is exalted. He will cut down the tall cedars of Lebanon and all the might oaks of Bashan.” (Isaiah 2:12-13) We serve a God Who is sovereign and there is no other God except Him, so all who falsely stand in His place over His Creation will eventually be shattered.

In verses ten and eleven David reveals how God has made his glory known to us, not through His loud thunderous voice in judgment, but rather through the Prince of Peace Who by baptismal water and Spirit we are given the opportunity to be saved. Friends, one day we will each stand to be judged. I envision this moment will be between just me and Jesus, and I won’t be able to refer to anyone who He has blessed my physical life with along the way. As it is just us, and I stand in judgement of my walking life, my prayer is that my Master (Creator, Jesus), will say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!” (Matthew 25:23).

Psalm 29

A psalm of David.

1 Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings;
honor the Lord for his glory and strength.
2 Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

3 The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;
he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with bolts of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks
and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”

10 The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.
11 The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.

Prayer: Jesus, please forgive me for my sins. I need the Holy Spirit to help guide me every day, so I am becoming more and more obedient to Your Word in my daily life. I want to be walking with You and walking out the plan You have prepared for me. I know this will prepare me for when You call me Home and when I stand before You in judgement. On that day, I long to hear You say, “well done”. I ask all of this in Your Name, Jesus. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Curtis Tumicki 06-03-23

On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted his famous 95 Theses (statements) on the door of a Roman Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany which was the spark of the Reformation movement across Europe and beyond.  Luther was a great example about evangelism.  While he was opposed to the Catholic denomination which was the prominent  religion at the time, he discovered the truth of God and how powerful evangelism is.  If he had the courage to defy or resist a dominant religion to share the truth of Jesus, then we should have the same courage to tell others about Jesus as well.  In Romans 1:16-17, Paul says “16. For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ.  It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes-the Jew first and also the Gentile.  17. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight.  This is accomplished from start to finish by faith.  As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.’”  Verse 17 refers to what was mentioned in Habakkuk 2:4.  Here’s a question: are we not ashamed of the gospel?  If we are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, then why don’t we share it as often as we should?  Perhaps it is because we don’t want to be embarrassed when we are among the social presence.  It doesn’t matter what the world says about you.  What matters is what God says about you.  He says that you are loved and accepted.  That is what truly matters.  If you know that you are loved by Jesus, then why don’t we share with other that same love?  


Think about where you stand with God.  What I mean is think about how your relationship is with God.  On most social media platforms like Facebook, would have a relationship status.  When it comes to your relationship with God, how do you sit?  Would you say that its strong?  It’s complicated?  Or single?  In other words, how active is your relationship with God?  If it’s not where it’s supposed to be, I would encourage you to keep building and maintain your relationship with God.  Keep your faith in God strong so that you will be able to withstand the pressures of the world.  


Heavenly Father, I pray for Your continuous strength and wisdom as we continue to do the things that You have called us to.  As we grow Your Kingdom, let us not be ashamed of it.  Instead, let us embrace it and let Your word shine before others so that the darkness will flee and Your light will shine through.  In Jesus name I pray, amen. 

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-02-23

Intro: Discouragement—a response to something we have hoped for but has not manifest—always seeks to diminish the believer’s confident trust in God. The word discouragement comes from the root word courage. It is the enemy who releases a spirit of discouragement to tempt us to set aside our trust in the only One who can fulfill our hopes. We can lose our courage when we face things that seem insurmountable; but that is the very time we must remember God’s faithfulness and the promises he has given us.

We can also become discouraged when we place our hopes in the responses of people; sometimes we want recognition or the attention of people who ignore or minimize us. We cannot place our hope in people the way we can in God; people may mean well but still wrestle a sin nature. God is holy and can be completely trusted, so let’s keep God the focus of our hope.

There are many places in Scripture where God reminds his genuine worshipers to take courage in his promises, because discouragement is a warning light for us to ask the Spirit to stoke the fire in our souls (Ps 27:14; 31:24; 2 Chronicles 32:7; Deuteronomy 31:6). Believers obediently serve Christ whether or not there are quick answers or instant gratification. Whether we find ourselves on the spiritual mountaintop or in the darkest valley, God is with us ready to supply the resources of heaven as we activate our faith in the Truth.

In our passage, today, from Paul’s letter to Timothy, we are reminded to celebrate the life Christ has given us through the resurrection. Believers can know new life in the salvation that comes from God; a life with focus, wisdom, direction, and power…a courageous life connected to God through the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul courageously places his trust in Christ as he suffers in prison and as he faces his death. He calls Timothy to remain confident in Christ and follow his example of trust. Paul wants Timothy to remember the Spirit and Truth entrusted to him is a precious treasure to be guarded. May you have courage, today!

2 Timothy 1:12-13 NLT
12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

13 Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14 Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.

Prayer: Lord, if Paul, through the power of the Spirit, can remain courageous during his unjust imprisonment and threat of death, we can cast down the discouragement that tries to sway us from keeping our trust in you. Whether we face uplifting times or defeating times, we will stay focused on your holy nature and promises. Holy Spirit, for those who are struggling to fight off discouragement today, please stir their souls with faith, hope, and love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 06-01-23

Intro: Do you struggle with self-discipline? The Bible defines self-discipline as having the ability to control one’s thoughts, emotions, words, and actions. Self-discipline reveals lordship—basically to exercise power over one’s self. Discipline has to do with the training we gain from the Holy Spirit who guides us into living the Truth—like Christ. We need help training our thoughts, emotions, verbal expressions, and actions in order to stay focused on the power and love of God to save us moment by moment from our innate selfishness. If there is no self-discipline happening in our lives, we are not disciples of the Lord of lords.

The opposite of living with self-discipline is to live a self-indulgent lifestyle; a life lived to please our selfish and sinful natures or flesh. Our present culture is demanding this form of “liberty;” freedom from exercising self-discipline and it is making its way into the Church. This is a very twisted and evil view of liberty that carries no spiritual truth for the Christian and does not belong in genuine disciples.

This false idea of God-given liberty is really indulging self-rule—which leads us into bondage and satan’s plan. When we stand, declare “liberty in Christ,” and live like nothing in us has to change because of grace, we are simply not willing to allow our flesh to suffer for the sake of Christ. The spiritual liberty believers have been given in Christ allows us to live, serve, and proclaim the Lord’s holy purposes for his human creation. The fruit of self-discipline [self-control] reveals and empowers Christ in us (Heb 12:5-6).

In our passage today, Paul has been imprisoned and appears to be awaiting death. Persecution seems to be intensifying for those preaching the gospel of salvation and self-discipline; more and more believers in the early Church are being arrested for sharing their faith in the power of God to transform sinful humanity. So, Paul takes this time to encourage Timothy; to remind him God will provide the strength they each need through the Holy Spirit to remain faithful as they proclaim victory in the Living God who takes an old nature and makes it new (2 Cor 5:17). I encourage you today to invite the Spirit to guide you into a greater measure of self-discipline, because beautiful and righteous fruit will feed your soul.

2 Timothy 1:8-12 NLT
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

8 So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9 For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10 And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.

12 That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him [what he has entrusted to me] until the day of his return.

Prayer: Lord, without the Spirit, it can be difficult for your disciples to share the truth of the salvation you offer. So, please pour more of your Spirit upon your disciples, so we can boldly proclaim genuine liberty and be witnesses of the truth with our changed lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 05-31-23

Intro: Water is an essential element for the survival of all living things; it protects organs and tissues. Water carries nutrients and oxygen to our cells, brings lubrication to our joints, and helps our kidneys and liver flush all the toxins out of our bodies. As our physical bodies need water from the earth, our spiritual beings need the Living Water [Holy Spirit] from heaven.

In our passage today, Israel is celebrating the Festival of Shelters—a seven day autumn harvest festival held in Jerusalem about six months after Passover. During the first seven days of the Festival, the people erect temporary shelters/tents to symbolize Israel’s 40 years in the wilderness. For those seven festival days, a water ceremony—water is poured over the altar—reminds Israel how God provided springs of water in the desert to sustain their lives. At the climax of the Festival—eighth day—instead of pouring water over the altar, the people pray and asked God to send rain. So, when Jesus shouts to the crowd, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!” he connects himself as the Source of this water for which they are praying.

Drought can be a frequent occurrence in Israel; especially during the autumn months. The rivers and springs do not run all year round, so the people would pray for rainfall that could be caught in their cisterns/wells. Jesus wanted the people to know the Source of Living Water—the Holy Spirit—whom he promised to send from heaven. Spiritual drought is a real condition, but Jesus has the remedy. For believers, we are called to come to the Lord in prayer and drink of the water that leads to eternal life and blessing. For those thirsty believers, please drink of the Spirit, today!

John 7:37-39 NLT Jesus Promises Living Water
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival [Festival of Shelters], Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the Holy Spirit who satisfies our spiritual thirst with sufficient tastes of grace and eternal life with you. We are so very blessed by your love and goodness toward us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.