Posted in Dillon Devos

This is Home

Dillon Davis, Contributing Writer

This is a devotional my friend Dillon wrote for his New Testament class with Dr. Melton at North Greenville University.

Revelation 21:3-4:

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

What the Text is Saying

Where is home? For many, it is the place in which they are born. Others may say home is the place where they spent their childhood. Most famously, home is where the heart is.

In Revelation, home is where God makes his dwelling among men. The language of verses three and four are reminiscent of the Genesis account of creation. God walked in fellowship with Adam and Eve. He made his home in the presence of men.

Then sin changed everything. By disobeying God, man was separated from God both spiritually and physically. Because God is holy, He cannot dwell in the presence of sin.

A perfect and spotless sacrifice of an innocent animal was needed to atone for sins. Why? God desired to dwell among men once more.

All of the sacrifices culminated to the one perfect Sacrifice. Jesus died on the cross to redeem all of creation. This redemption would not be complete until God destroys the old creation and sin. After the destruction of all things imperfect, He makes a new Heaven and a new earth.

God’s people are made perfect just as He is. Now, God can live among His people without His holiness annihilating them. Death has died. Suffering and pain are non-existent. It will be God and His people forever and ever.

The new heaven and the new heaven will be as the Garden of Eden was in the beginning of creation.

Application

Heaven gives us hope in the midst of our suffering. At the same time, the promise of heaven should motivate us to tell as many people as we can about it.

Contrary to the popular belief, the purpose of life is not a test run for eternity. Instead, life is an opportunity to experience fellowship (albeit imperfectly because of sin) with God and to pave the way for His Second Coming by preaching the gospel and redeeming creation.

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Posted in Stories

The Adventure of Life

She had been on the trail for many years now. Eighteen to be exact.

So far, she had enjoyed it: listening to the birds, basking in the wonderful views, spending time with fellow hikers.

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Photo credit freeimages.com

She had no specific destination, but she enjoyed the adventure. Life was beautiful just the way it was.

One day, she discovered a certain stirring in her soul, an urge for something more. She wanted a goal, somewhere to go, instead of just meandering around the woods. She wanted a purpose.

But there were so many trails to choose from. So many destinations she could strive for. What if she chose the wrong one? What if she started on a trail, only twenty miles in to find this isn’t what she really wanted?

She wanted a companion, but she had be be careful in this choice too. What if they grew to enjoy being together only to want later to go different paths?

She had a decision to make. She could keep meandering, having no purpose, or trust the Maker of the trail to guide her each step.

She picked up her backpack and strapped it on her back. It was time to make a change.

Posted in Stories

Climbing Higher

I leaned back against the tree trunk and straddled the branch. Peeping through the other branches, I was treated with the view of a shimmering lake. However, I wasn’t content.

The branches above me intrigued me. If I could only climb higher…

I confidently gripped the next branch and began my ascent.

As I climbed, I tried to find a better place to sit down and enjoy the view than where I had been sitting. The arrangement of the branches refused me such pleasure.

I finally decided I had climbed high enough and decided to climb down. That, however, proved to be a challenge.

The wind didn’t help comfort me, but instead made me more fearful as I inched down the tree a branch at a time, trying to avoid both falling and touching a vine I worried might possibly be poison ivy.

Finally, I made it safely to the bottom. I promised myself I would never climb that high again.

Of course, I would probably try it again. Just wait a week.

Posted in Dillon Devos

Sincere Sincerity

Dillon Davis, Contributing Writer

This is a devotional my friend Dillon wrote for his New Testament class with Dr. Melton at North Greenville.

1 Peter 1:22

22 Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart.

What is the Text Saying

It was a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon. Dark, grey clouds blanketed the November sky. The weather served as a contrast to what was occurring inside of the church gymnasium. Operation Christmas Child had returned to Charleston Baptist Church yet again.

My youth group volunteered their time and service to help load the truck with the shoeboxes. We occasionally had interim periods of rest. One such period was not very restful for me.

As I stood in the lobby talking with friends, two of my friends thought it was a good idea to play a mean trick on me. Behind me, one friend got on all fours. In a blurring rush of motion, the other friend push me backwards, and I tripped over the friend that was behind me.

I had a not-so-soft landing on the unforgiving ground. At that moment, anger surged throughout my body. Forgiving thoughts of sincere love were not coursing through my mind.

Months after this incident, I still did not forgive my friends, but I still claimed to love God. The apostle Peter, if he were still alive, would disagree with my claim.

Peter spends half of the first chapter in his first epistle calling his audience to live a holy life because of their eternal hope in Christ Jesus. Peter gives various exhortations in this section of his book.

One such exhortation involves sincere love for our Christian brothers and sisters. Sincere love means that it is backed with actions.

We cannot merely say that I love my Christian brothers. We have to prove it by forgiving them and encouraging them. We should not hold grudges or take advantage of our brothers. Our love for the church should be the same in both word and deed. Otherwise, it is not real.

Application

Because Christ gave us the truth of the gospel when he sacrificed Himself, our love for the brethren should be truthful too. Our love should not be half-hearted, instead it should be genuine.

Without love, a church loses its sight of the Great Commission and gets embroiled in conflict. Therefore, we should love each other sincerely. This is real love.

Posted in Stories

Experiences of a Actor in Training

This is from a journal entry I wrote for my Acting 1 class at North Greenville with Amy Dunlap the Fall 2015 semester.
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Photo from freeimages.com

Sitting there on the couch, I knew I needed to concentrate on the task in front of me. Looking at the script in front of me, I tried to imagine what the character could be feeling.

 

Was she saying what she was really feeling? Was there some emotion hidden behind the words on the page? If I could read her thoughts as she talked with the other character, what would I see?

I analyzed what she felt about the other character and how this would influence her thoughts and words. What did her words reveal and what were they hiding? Why would she react to the other character in a certain way?

Exploring the different feelings and thoughts of the character was an interesting and exciting experience I had never really had before.
The triumph and excitement I felt when I believed I had uncovered the character’s inner emotions was exhilarating.

Finally, I would better be able to better understand the character’s motives now that I realized her true feeling and thoughts, and therefore better play the character

Posted in Dillon Devos

The Truth about True Religion

Dillon Davis, Contributing Writer

This is a devotional my friend Dillon wrote for his New Testament class with Dr. Melton at North Greenville

James 1:22-27 

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.

25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in[d]what he does.

26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

What is the Text Saying

My turn had come. I nervously gathered my papers in my blue folder as I climbed the stairs to the stage.

I placed my Bible and folder on the pulpit and prayed a quick prayer. I shot a quick glance at the elder pastors sitting in the front row in the ornate sanctuary. They nodded and I began my sermon.

I introduced myself and gave a captivating introduction that lead right into the main verse. It was James 1:27. The topic of sermon was religion versus relationship.

Religion was defined as an empty set of beliefs that had no transformative effect in the life of a religious person. James emphasized this in verses 22-25 using a mirror as an analogy.

If you looked in a mirror, saw that you dirt on your face, and chose not to remove it, why did you look in the mirror in the first place? The purpose of a mirror is to show that you have imperfections and that you need to correct them.

There is a difference between hearing the Word and doing the Word.

James gives a practical example of this concept in verses 26-27. He points out religious people that do not control what they say. Scriptures show that we must speak kind words to our neighbor.

Religious people cannot say they are religious and ignore commands in Scripture. True religion is living a holy life for God and putting our faith into action by caring for the needs around us.

Application

Truth is not meant for mere knowledge alone. Truth is meant to transform lives. It is never enough to say that you believe in the Bible. You must prove your beliefs by living out truth in your own life. Otherwise, you are lying to yourself.