Month: October 2019

God Knows and Loves Us Anyway

Romans 5:6-11
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.


Written by: Brett Humphrey

God loves you. He loves you so much that he chose you when you were at your worst. That’s great news. Some of us think there is the one thing that God can’t forgive, one thing that disqualifies us from the love of Christ—something beyond God’s grace. But according to Romans 5:6-11, amid our sin, when we were hostile towards God, that’s when He decided to show us His love and mercy.

These verses should bring you great comfort; they sure bring comfort to me. It is so easy for me to slip into thinking God’s love for me is conditional. If I believe, say, and do the right thing then God will love me. The problem with this thinking is that it just isn’t true. Jesus already saw me at my very worst, saw the depth of my sin and depravity, and still chose to die for my sins so I could have a new life with Him. Wow! He feels the same way about all of us.

Jesus has already paid the price for our sins—every single one. If He has paid the price, we don’t have to. We can ask Him to forgive our sins today and then every day after that ask Him to be in charge of our lives.

10.11Thought of the day: Are there things that you think keep God from loving you? Talk to Him about it. He already knows and chose to pay for your sins before you ever thought about turning to Him. Choose to live for Him now, and then follow Him for life!

Prayer: Holy Spirit, please show me if I am holding onto anything that keeps me from turning to You. Please show me the lies I believe that are telling me there is no way you could love me because I did _______. Please show me how much You love me. Teach me that You paid the price for my sin and all I have to do is accept the freedom You have for me. Amen.

Grace and Rescue

Deuteronomy 23:2
No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.


Written by: Chris Moss

Thank God for Jesus! If Jesus had not paid the price for the penalty of my parents’ sin, I would not be allowed to be among you. Or write this devotion for you to read. Nor would any of my descendants be among yours, for another nine generations—long after my death. Why? Because I am an illegitimate child.

I like to say my parents met at church and had a five-year courtship. The part I like to leave out is that they were already married to other spouses, and each already had three kids. They were wearing fig leaves while they served in their church and no one noticed. The five-year mark is important because that’s when my twin sister and I were conceived. Make no mistake, the arrival of me and my sister yanked those fig leaves off, leaving them naked and ashamed.

Abortion was not an option for my mom, so she divorced, moved to a neighboring town and got a new job. She was excommunicated from the church she loved and served. She gave birth to me and my sister—alone.

My father suffered no consequences. His family remained intact. He was forgiven and continued in his church, his home, and his marriage.

But as time went on, my father’s hurt and shame led to hang-ups and habits that he could not control. He revolved in and out of our lives, leaving damage in his wake for his entire family. I have witnessed four generations struggle with the same hurts, habits, and hang-ups.

As a person who could have been aborted by a mom in a later generation, I understand the argument for choice from the core of my being. Illegitimate children are born into:

  • A heavier cloud of shame and insecurity than legitimates
  • The sin of their parents—even if they don’t know their origin
  • A higher potential for dysfunction in their families
  • Often poverty, neglect, and shame

All of us function under the law of Deuteronomy until we meet Jesus. Even if you aren’t born illegitimate, you suffer from sin—the sins you commit, as well as the sin committed against you.

But Jesus redeems it all.

In the King James Version of Romans 5:20-22, it says “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

My parents’ sin abounded—but God’s grace was bigger! My sin abounded too, but God’s grace was even bigger! Your sin abounds, but God’s grace is even bigger. The bigger the sin, the bigger the grace.

Psalm 17:17 says, “He rescued me because He delighted in me.” Our job—one I take very seriously because of my family history—is to live a life that delights Him right back. Living a life that delights God gives all of us the chance to break bad family cycles and transform the trajectory of those 10 generations in the passage from Deuteronomy.

10.10Thought of the day: Let’s use the grace and rescue that Jesus gives so generously to delight the Lord!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I have sinned. I have been sinned against. But where there is a lot of sin, there is even more grace. No matter what I’ve done, or what’s been done to me, You, God, delight in me. Show me how to live a life that delights You right back! Help me find a place to serve You and may future generations become a blessing to You. In the name of Jesus and for His glory, Amen.

No Mom Alone

Acts 2:42
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.


Written by: Sarah Gauer

I’m convinced that one of the best ways to love and care for God’s unborn children is to love and care for mothers.

For the last nine years, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved, in various ways and roles, with the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) ministry. There is so much to love about MOPS. Sure, it’s a place where pregnant moms and moms of young children can get a little break from their kids, drink some coffee they didn’t brew, eat some breakfast they didn’t prepare, and enjoy some adult conversation. But it is so much more than that.

In MOPS, we use the phrase “no mom alone” because it’s true. Early motherhood can be one of the loneliest and scariest times of a woman’s life and when you come to MOPS, you’re joining a sisterhood of women who love each other like family. You meet women who are right there in the trenches with you and understand, with no judgment, why you showed up late with two unmatched shoes and without the food dish it was your turn to bring.

You also will find other women who care deeply about being great mothers and wives but are scared they aren’t equipped to do it. You will talk with women who share their struggles with post-partum depression and broken marriages, as well as their celebrations of potty-training success and sleeping through the night. You will find friends you can text late into the night and have real conversations with about faith, doubt, and Jesus.

MOPS looks a lot like the early church, as described in the verse above. Some women share their stories about following Jesus, while others simply ask questions about Him. They share meals together, pray together, and remind one another that they are not alone.

10.9Thought of the day: Do you know a young mom who needs community? Find out more about our five SV MOPS groups at Mops.sv.cc, or other MOPS groups all around the world at Mops.org. Consider reaching out to the MOPS group at your campus to find out how you can help them support young moms.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the gift of motherhood, and thank You for making space here at Sun Valley for mothers to gather in support of one another. Help me to be a light and an encouragement, letting these mothers know that they are not alone. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now Choose Life

Jeremiah 1:4–5
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”


Written by: Larry Van Laar

In this verse, God is reminding Jeremiah that He knew him before he was ever born. While the Bible does not explicitly address abortion, there are numerous teachings in scripture that make it abundantly clear how God views the unborn.

He views them as human beings made in His image (Genesis 1:26).

Psalm 139 declares God’s active role in creating and forming us in the womb.

Exodus 21:22-23 speaks of the penalties for causing the death of an expectant mother battle.

God considers a baby in the womb just as much a human as a full-grown adult. Today’s devotional is for those men and women who have in the past made probably the most frightening and difficult decision there is to make: to terminate a pregnancy.

Perhaps you were one of the many women or teenage girls who were in crisis, scared, confused, and desperate. You were looking for hope and answers and made a decision you may now feel is unforgivable. You’re wondering how you can ever get past this. Hear me when I tell you, there is forgiveness. There is healing. There is hope. Jesus loves you!

Romans 3:21-22 essentially tells us no matter where you’ve been, what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, Jesus loves you and forgives you. He has a plan, a hope, and a future for you. But you must now choose life—for yourself. The first step to choosing life often begins by confessing out loud to God and possibly another human where you have fallen short and asking for forgiveness. The second step is possibly meeting with others who have walked this road before you.

Beginning the week of October 21, Sun Valley will be launching a group for women who have terminated a pregnancy, have felt the weight of that decision, and now wish to break free. For more information or to register to be a part of this group, email Surrendering@sunvalleycc.com

10.8Thought of the day: In Deuteronomy 30:19–20, God is speaking to the nation of Israel and telling them He has laid before them life and death. But they must choose life every day for themselves. Jesus offers us life, hope, and a future. We are not to live under the heavy burden of past mistakes. He wants to set us free of everything that entangles us.

Prayer: God, I have made wrong and even terrible decisions in the past. I confess these to You now. I ask today that You would set me free so I may live unburdened from them and choose life for myself and those around me. God, set me free in the name of Jesus! Amen.

My Two Sons: They’re Different

John 1:2-3
Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


Written by: Ryan Lambros

My two sons couldn’t be more opposite. Eight-year-old Weston is shy, non-emotional, tall, and lanky. He has extreme OCD and is a pure introvert. He has to have his “alone” time. Six-year-old Maverick is bulky, athletic, brutish, active, loud, extremely emotional, weighs more than his older brother, punches everything in sight, and is a pure extrovert (he lives up to his name). When they play well together, it’s a beautiful thing. However, when they are at war with each other: LOOK OUT!

One such day, Weston had shut himself in his room for some much-needed alone time. As I sat in my home office, I heard Maverick pounding on Weston’s door and scream, “Let me in! Let me in!” He would not stop, and it escalated quickly with Weston’s snarky reply, “I need my alone time! Go away!”

I quickly called Maverick over and sat him on my lap. He was breathing very hard and I’m pretty sure steam was coming out his ears and nostrils. I started calmly, “What’s the problem, buddy?” He clenched his lips together in pure anger and replied through gritted teeth, “Weston won’t let me be with him!” I then explained to Maverick, “You know how God made you super special? He made you in a way you just love being with people. You’re a cuddler. You love to be around people. You do NOT like being alone. You do NOT like playing alone. God made you to love and get energy from being with people all the time.” Maverick nodded and smiled at the sound of that. I continued: “But buddy, God made Weston different. Weston loves being alone. He does not like to cuddle or hug. He gets really tired of being around people. He gets really happy when he can be alone, and he is the best version of himself when he has time to be alone.”

I thought I nailed it. I thought, ‘Maverick is going to understand this.’ I was wrong. Maverick sat there for 10 seconds and then looked me dead in the eyes and said: “I hate how God made Weston!” and then ran off and started banging on Weston’s door again. So, besides my ultimate parent fail, something hit me in that moment. God is an incredible creator. The beginning of the entire story of the world, as told in the Bible, starts with the sentence, “In the beginning God created…”

God’s creativity flows from His character. God didn’t have to create. He wasn’t forced to create. He didn’t even have to create diverse things. Yet, God, in his incredible wisdom, created the entire human race and all of the incredible diversity it entails. The most important thing God created, in my opinion, is life. I believe this is made clear in today’s scripture.

This is incredible! God is the author, creator, and designer of life, and He cares deeply for it. So much so that he makes human life a direct reflection and image of himself! Life is a big deal for God.

10.7Thought of the day: When was the last time you thanked God for the gift of life? For the joy of life? For the beauty of life?

Prayer: God, thank You for the gift of life. I am grateful that You love me so much that you made me in Your image. In Jesus’ name, amen.