Life This Side of Heaven

Life This Side of Heaven

Audible devotions for your day every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Join us as we rejoice in His grace, knowing from His Word that He loves us and forgives us, and confident that He is with us every step of the way – on this side of heaven. Devotions for real life.

Episodes

July 22, 2024 4 mins

Drovers. Do you know those are? Chances are good you do if you've ever watched a cowboy movie. And if you have, you know that there are good ones and bad ones. One drives the sheep and cattle off and the other ensures that they arrive safely at their destination. God described just such an image for the prophet Jeremiah.

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“Don’t kill the messenger!”  Have you ever heard that phrase?  It’s a plea not to punish the person who brings the message in anger instead of addressing the unwelcome information or difficult truth it contains. Mark records the beheading of John the Baptizer, a prophet who was killed for the message of repentance and faith that he proclaimed. However, take a look at how Mark has nestled this account into the midst of another. It ...

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July 17, 2024 4 mins
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  “Ya, but what happened before that?”  That’s one of those great Bible Study questions that comes up from time-to-time. Did you know that God has given us the answer to that question?
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July 15, 2024 4 mins

Have you ever wondered at what point folks looked at Italy’s Leaning Tower of Pisa and realized that something wasn’t quite right?  At some point they would have discovered that it’s not standing upright.  It’s crooked.  In Scripture, the word to describe this is “iniquity.” And God's Word uses it to describe our sin. Bu wait until you hear what God has done about it!

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July 12, 2024 4 mins
Ezekiel announced not only God’s judgement on sin but also His grace and mercy. The seed of God’s Word has remarkably more power than we often realize. When you and I share what Jesus has done for us it’s more than simply passing along information. Even in the face of rock hard resistance, God’s Word is powerful and effective and able to accomplish what it proclaims.
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July 10, 2024 4 mins
In 2 Corinthians, Paul rejoices in one of the useful reminders that God placed in his life. He doesn’t describe it with great clarity but one thing’s for certain, it’s wasn’t a sticky note. The reality is that God’s grace is often seen most clearly in our lives, not in the glorious experiences we imagine, but when you and I are in knee-deep in the midst of our weaknesses.
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July 8, 2024 4 mins

The folks in Jesus' hometown were amazed by His teaching and miracles but as they considered how He had grown up in their midst, they took offense at Him. Mark tells us that Jesus was amazed at their lack of faith. However, the fact that Jesus, true God from eternity took on our human flesh to become true man and rescue us from our sins was not only necessary, it's a remarkable source of comfort. In fact, it's amazing!

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July 5, 2024 4 mins

Jairus and his wife must have been thrilled to hear their daughter's first words. Twelve years later it appeared as though they had heard her last. However, Jesus made sure that death did not have the last word when it came to their little girl. And thanks to our Savior's death and resurrection, it no longer has the last word with you and me.

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July 3, 2024 4 mins

“Parsnips are for poor people.” I have to laugh whenever I hear that phrase because it’s actually on a plaque in my daughter’s home. It was a gift to her from from one of her friends who evidently doesn’t like parsnips as much as she does. However, it's true that by the sixteenth century, parsnips had become a staple among the poor in Europe. Nevertheless, they're actually quite tasty. There are some who feel that Christianity is ...

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July 1, 2024 4 mins
“I don’t know how much more I can take.” Has life left you feeling overwhelmed? Sometimes, well-meaning friends may try to comfort you by saying, “God never gives you more than you can handle.” As nice as that sounds, you’d be hard-pressed to find a Scripture passage which says this. However, what He does say is something far greater and far more comforting!
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June 28, 2024 4 mins

When the winds and waves were whipping around them the disciples asked Jesus, "Don't You care if we drown?" Now, having stilled the storm, and demonstrated clearly His care for them, Jesus had a question of His own for the disciples: “Do you still have no faith?” In other words, “Do you still not trust Me?” And as they looked out now, over the once stormy sea now glassy calm, I’ll bet that was an uncomfortable question t...

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June 26, 2024 4 mins
Don’t You care? That’s one of two questions, three actually, that were asked as Jesus and the disciples took a boat ride late one night on the Sea of Galilee.  And all three of them are helpful to keep in mind whenever you and I find ourselves frightened and feeling abandoned by our Savior. Let’s look at this first question today. (Join us for our next devotion on Friday as we take a look at the second, and third questions asked d...
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June 24, 2024 4 mins
In Job, the prophet found himself stricken by crushing loss and crippling illness.  And if you’ve ever found yourself experienced loss, faltering finances or diminished health, you may have found yourself confronted by some tough questions.  You may have even wanted to give God a piece of your mind. Well, you might be surprised to know that God has a few choice words for us.
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June 21, 2024 4 mins

Tent camping.  Just the image of it ignites your sense of adventure.  Stunning scenery, fresh air, sleeping under the stars and camp fires. However, if you've lost your home, tent camping isn’t the summertime adventure that comes to mind. The apostle Paul, a tent-maker by trade, likened these bodies to tents that wear out. With joy, he points us to the resurrection and our heavenly home to come.

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June 19, 2024 4 mins
In describing the kingdom of God Jesus compared it to a mustard seed. The seed itself is tiny.  You can’t help but sigh and think, “Is that it?” However, what appears to be weak and unimpressive brings about remarkable results.
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June 17, 2024 4 mins
There’s a reason that old gardens –especially those large estate gardens you may visit in the summer – look more majestic than the average garden in your backyard.  Plants were given time to grow. We like to see results and we want to see them now. So, it’s not surprising that we may find ourselves expecting much the same when it comes to planting the seed of the Gospel. But it doesn’t always work that way.
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June 14, 2024 4 mins
“That’s crazy talk!” Now there’s handy phrase to use when the person you’re talking to doesn’t seem make sense.  It’s an informal way of saying, “You’re babbling!”  And yet there were those who were comfortable using a similar phrase to describe our Savior. The reality is that much of what you and I take for granted as a matter of faith sounds crazy to the world – until the Holy Spirit calls a person to faith by the Gospel.
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June 12, 2024 4 mins

This year is the 60th Anniversary of National Safety Council's defensive driving program. Some of the principles that it incorporates are based on techniques that were known even before that.  One of those principles has a lot in common with the instruction that Paul gives us here in 2 Corinthians.

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June 10, 2024 4 mins
Sharing the Gospel of our Savior’s love in this world can be difficult.  Sometimes it’s thrown back in our face like a bucket of cold water. It can be more than a little disheartening. As a result, we may want to bottle up the Good News that God has given us and keep it to ourselves. So, why keep doing it?  As Paul points out, the answer is something you don’t see yet, but you will. And it will be worth it!
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June 7, 2024 4 mins

Here in Mark, we hear of an instance in which the Pharisees accused Jesus of "trespassing." He crossed a fence that others had made to protect God's command and gift of the Sabbath by healing a man in the synagogue on that day. Jesus reminded them that He has authority over the Sabbath and certainly over any man-made fences that others had built around it to protect it. He assured them, "The Sabbath was made for man,...

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