Author: Ray Bentley

Allow Him to Pick You Up

He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young. —Isaiah 40:11 This passage is one of my favorite images and descriptions of Jesus our Good Shepherd and how He cares for His flock. When a lamb breaks […]

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Ready to See Your Burning Bush?

“By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”—Hebrews 11:27 The challenge God lays before each of us is also an invitation. As we celebrate the birth of God Incarnate and anticipate the new year, we can ask ourselves: Are we willing to leave what we […]

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Looking Good for the Holidays

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” —Colossians 3:12 Once the holiday season begins, people tend to shop more and feel pressured to perform, to look right, to dress right.  May I encourage you, take a moment to look at your wardrobe—the one that really […]

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A Deep Lesson to Learn

“Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.”—1 Corinthians 1:7 In the midst of this glorious season of Christmas, there is a deep lesson to learn and experience. Patience.  The believers in Corinth were encouraged and commended for “eagerly” waiting. Waiting doesn’t resonate with […]

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A Gift and a Revelation

Jesus taught us, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Romans 8:28 promises, “All things work together for good to those who love God.” Do we know what it means to “love God?” Some of us, perhaps especially men, have a hard time […]

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Light Changes What It Touches

Christmas arrives at the darkest time of the year, during the shortest days and longest nights of the winter solstice.  That’s why one of my favorite things about Christmas is the lights. The lights of Christmas pierce the darkness! The stores put up their lights; city lights brighten the landscape.  Then the neighborhood…and finally, the […]

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Expectation and Anticipation

“Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!— Revelation 22:20  The early church eagerly anticipated the coming of the Lord. They longed for His return. They waited with expectation. Christmas is like that. That’s what the season of advent is all about—waiting with expectation and anticipation. We prepare lavishly for the season […]

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Turned Upside Down

“Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” —1 Corinthians 15:54-57 You might be wondering, why would I talk about death during the holiday season? We are celebrating the birth of Jesus, a New Year, and enjoying LIFE! But I’ve learned, as a pastor, […]

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‘Tis the Season to Forgive

The Key that Unlocks the Heavy Door “Forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”—Matthew 6:12 (NLT) Following his famous Christmas tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Charles Dickens wrote a small novella titled The Haunted Man in which the main character, like Scrooge, needs a change of heart. Professor Redlaw’s life […]

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Families During the Holidays

“His whole family in heaven and on earth.” — Ephesians 3:15 During the holidays, many of us interact with our families in a very concentrated way. We see more of our siblings, cousins, aunts, and uncles, and parents than we do most times of the year. It can be a blessing and a burden. We […]

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