Antioch Devotionals- March 9-13

MONDAY, MARCH 9TH Romans 14:12
By Shawn Hammontree
“So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.” Romans 4:12
“I don’t believe in God.”
“I don’t need God.”
“God is simply a crutch for weak people.”
I have heard all these statements, and many others, from average, ordinary American people over the years in my ministry.  In fact, the probability of hearing this has gone up exponentially in the past twenty years.  God is not someone, or something, that people feel they need.  That is why I can walk on a middle school campus and hear a student say, “See that guy, he’s an atheist.”  “See her she believes she’s a witch.”  God has been excluded from their thoughts, their minds, and their lives.  They don’t need him and they don’t want him.  (And nine times out of ten neither do the parents with whom they are living.)
As bad as this is, the thing I find even more disturbing is how people who call themselves “Christians” are living like these people I just described.  They would never come right out and say, “I don’t believe in God.” however, their lives show no surrender towards him, no obedience to him, and no true love for him.  They are living in name only.  They are professors, but not possessors.
May we who are true followers of Christ surrender daily to him!  May our actions say, “I am a Christ follower.”  May our obedience say, “I love my Lord.”  May our lives say, “God is worth living for.”  The world is watching.  The world is searching.  The skeptics all around us are looking for proof.  And the proof that there is a God, as well as a Savior who redeems, is in the lives of his people.  Let’s act like it.  Let’s talk like it.  Let’s live like it.  Let’s LOVE like it.
God is doing great things at Antioch Georgetown- the church plant in Texas of Antioch Conway.
by Terri Smith
The praise belongs to the Lord which reminds me of Psalm 113:3 “From the rising of the sun to its going down the Lord’s name is to be praised.”
In light of Bro. Andy’s message, it is tempting to want to take credit for something that God has done. I wonder how Bro. Andy felt at times when in  his eyes he saw no possibility or potential.  Here is where we must remember that any investment for the Lord is never wasted. He was also  quick to point out, the Lord was the author of everything that has come to be at Georgetown.
Thanks to his love for the Lord and His people Bro. Andy and his team just keep on keeping on, trusting the Lord for the outcome.
I find myself often encouraged when, though I feel like nothing is happening, to remember that the Lord is working, even though I can’t see Him, and the outcome will be better than I could have ever imagined.
Thank you Bro. Andy and your team for being God’s willing servants to make Antioch Georgetown the place it is today and anticipating greater things to come.
Having been a pastor’s wife I can speak from experience that the feeling of seeing God at work is beyond explanation, and the rewards are out of this world.
Father, thank you for using us to get your message across. Help us to never resist the Holy Spirit when he urges, calls us to do something for you. And help us to never forget that NOTHING done for you is ever wasted
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11TH Hebrews 12:15 (NIV)
Choosing Our Shape by Kerry Stitch
“See to it that no one misses the grace of God.” Hebrews 12:15

Carbs, calories, lack of exercise, and sugar all tend to shape us.  It’s our choice even if we try to blame it on our genes, our stress triggers, or our southern hospitality of sweet tea, fried pies, and homemade bread!  Truly what we do daily shapes us, no excuses.  We can’t out run, blame, diet, or negate our choices…they are the SEEN part of us.  So, what is shaping you?  May I recommend a regimen known for transformative results, with a money back guarantee to please you and fit your lifestyle? Spoiler Alert …write this in ink…
God answers our shape needs with one word: grace!  We live as if we totally understand the term, yet it’s not an outpatient procedure…it’s a “spiritual heart transplant” in Max Lucado’s terminology (Grace, 2012).
Grace shapes us from a perspective of forgiveness.  It means choosing a lower posture of humility.  We usually don’t get it, but in practicing Christ-likeness, it shapes us!  It’s rare, yet it’s easy to spot!
It might take the shape of bowing your self-centeredness to serve when your schedule is booked.  It might be the shape of a friend taking the time to become a non-judgement zone when someone needs to be heard.   The Bible records climactic points when Jesus stooped in grace to write his only sermon for the woman at the well, or at the basin of His follower’s dirty feet.  Look over your shoulder at the faces of your past and those who have stooped for you.  You noticed their shape, their compassion, their supernatural grace extended to you from a heart that had received it from Jesus, and chose to pay it forward.
God’s grace doesn’t lessen your pain; it covers it like a soft, warm blanket large enough for two to share.  Who will notice your transforming shape this week?  Look for ways to be a vessel of “gracing” in the coming days.  It is our only proper response. Choose to allow heavenly grace to shape you into His design and creation.  Others will notice His resemblance in you and be blessed.
THURSDAY, MARCH 12TH Hebrews 9:27 (ESV)
Coronavirus…or any number of other things.
By Shawn Hammontree
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once and after that comes judgment.” Hebrews 9:27

The word is out about the Coronavirus.  It is truly the buzzword of the world at this time.  You can’t take a look or listen at anything without seeing or hearing this relatively new word come up.  If the virus itself hasn’t made it everywhere yet, the word sure has.  Should we panic?  No.  Should we be concerned?  Probably.  Since there are so many unknowns about this virus, I believe we should keep a watchful eye without going into full blown safe room mode.
The thing that we MUST remember is that whether it is the Coronavirus, or any number of other things, WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.  Death is waiting for you and for me.  Unless Jesus comes back first, we are all going to die; obviously the vast majority of us hope that is later than sooner, (at least the dying part).  I know we hate to think about this, but it is as true as the Sun coming up today.  So I’ll say it once more, YOU ARE GOING TO DIE.
Should you panic?  If you don’t yet have a relationship with Christ, ABSOLUTELY!  Just like you see many people running frantic to the stores trying to buy all the hand sanitizer and toilet paper the world has to offer, you need to be a billion times more frantic running to the cross seeking the forgiveness and redemption of the Savior!  And unlike the limited supplies you’ll find at the store, at the cross of Jesus you will find plenty of grace and mercy for all who are genuinely seeking.
I’ll say it once last one last time, your time is running out.  The clock on your life is ticking.  May you seek the Savior while He can be found!
FRIDAY, MARCH 13TH Acts 20:24
By Nita Kay Freeman
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has given me . . .the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

One of my favorite songs from a few years back is “Your Grace Still Amazes Me” by Phillips, Craig & Dean.  The second line of the chorus is “Your Love . . . Still a Mystery.”  I thought about that a lot while watching Andy’s sermon and all his references to God’s grace.  It is a mystery.  I cannot fathom having that kind of love and grace.  As much as I love my own children, it doesn’t even begin to compare to the love of Christ.  The word “grace” appears 171 times in the Bible.  That is a testament to how important God’s grace is in our lives.  The race, as referred to in the verse about, is rough.  One thing I read about this scripture said “Unless we are prepared for the dust and heat of the race, we had better not start upon the course.”  We have a race to run, a duty to perform.  This race can be dangerous, but only if we neglect our duty.  When we finish the race, if it is a race well-run, we will finish in joy!  God’s command is to spread His grace and to testify to his goodness!  Father, “your grace still amazes me, your love still a mystery, each day I fall on my knees, ‘cause your grace still amazes me.”