~~ Devotions and recipes for God's hurried people ~~

IF

I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins. – John 8:24

Contrary to what some may believe, Jesus is the only way to heaven (John 14:6). There are many religions that teach Jesus to be just a man, and not the Son of God. There are even those who believe it doesn’t mater what you believe as long you are sincere, all the while thinking they will go to heaven. These are all lies from Satan because it’s quite clear throughout God’s Word that what we believe about Jesus determines the state in which we die. If we do not receive the free gift of eternal life by experiencing the forgiveness achieved by Jesus, then we will receive the punishment we so justly deserve. Jesus must become the Lord of our lives. If He is not, we will indeed die in our sins.

Holy and Righteous God: Thank you for Jesus and all that He is, and all that He has done for me. I praise and thank you for the confidence I have in your promise that I will not die in my sins, if I believe in You. Thank you for the assurance that when I die, I will live with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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BACON WRAPPED STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
¼ cup Pepperjack (or Monterey Jack) cheese, shredded
2 green onions, chopped
4 to 8 pieces of bacon

Cut chicken into 4 equal size pieces. Pound breasts to about ¼-inch thick. Mix together the cheeses and green onions; spread equally over chicken pieces. Roll chicken up; wrap 1 to 2 slices of bacon around chicken. Secure with toothpick. Place in baking dish; bake 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Broil about 5 minutes to brown and crisp bacon. Turn and broil another 2-3 minutes. Serves 4.

IF

Then they (the Pharisees) asked him (Jesus), “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” – John 8:19

Jesus was teaching in the temple where the Pharisees had gathered. Because of their pompousness, the educated Pharisees often felt the need to challenge Jesus in His teachings. Even though they were considered as the passionate and devout churchgoers, they obviously did not KNOW Jesus or they also would have known the Heavenly Father. In other words, they were missing the forest because the trees had gotten in the way of their sight. John 1:1 says that Jesus and God are One. Even though He made the world, the world did not receive or even recognize Him (John 1-11). Jesus is who He says He is, and not just who we want Him to be. But, if we receive Christ and believe in His name, we are given “the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Let’s make a ploy to get to know God. That is done by lifting up (elevating Jesus above everything else in our lives) (John 8:28), and being obedient to His Word (John 14:15).

Heavenly Father: As I worship your Son, and lift Him higher than He has ever been before in my life, my relationship with You will grow. Forgive me for selfishly putting my desires above what Your Word requires of my life. Help me in my journey to know You more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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CHICKEN CORDON BLEU

1 (6-ounce) package Stove Top for chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken breasts (1½ pounds)
6 slices deli sliced smoked ham
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tablespoon spicy mustard or honey mustard
6 slices Swiss cheese

Prepare stuffing mix according to package. Place chicken in a 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed or greased; cover with ham slices. Mix soup and mustard; spoon over chicken. Top with stuffing. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until center of chicken done. Top with cheese; bake 5 more minutes until cheese melted.

IF

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Jesus was speaking to a crowd of people on Mount Olive when He declared this profound statement. Though that was over 2000 years ago, it’s still meant for each of us today. From the youngest to the oldest, from the richest to the poorest, and from sea to shining sea, we have all been born into darkness, separated from God, and enslaved to sin.  Unable to free ourselves, God sent us a Savior who would light the way for our rescue. We lie in darkness because the sin of the world has separated us from God. Jesus said that He is the light of the world. If we don’t follow this Light, we will remain in the darkness of sin and death. Only Christ can cure the soul enslaved to sin and bring hope. Our appointment from God is to take the light of the world into the world so others might also embrace the Savior and be set free.

Father in Heaven: For the many that have followed you through the darkness of pain, temptation, or doubt, You have been their Light. Thank you for this wonderful promise You have given to those who follow after You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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HEAVENLY CHICKEN

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
8 ounces sour cream
40 Ritz crackers, crushed
1 stick butter

Cook chicken in greased pan with lid until done; dice and put in greased baking dish. Mix soup and sour cream; pour over chicken. Sprinkle cracker crumbs on top; pour melted butter over chicken. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees until bubbly.

IF

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. –John 3:16

This is probably the most recognized verse of the entire Bible. It reveals the heart and purpose of God. More than anything else, God wants us to know how much He loves us. In fact, He loves us so much He sent His only Son Jesus to die for us so we might have eternal life. But, it didn’t end with Jesus’ death. Three days later He rose from the dead so that if we sin we can ask Him to forgive us. And He will! Jesus will forgive our sins so we can go to be with Him in Heaven when we die physically! Even though God loves the whole world, the whole world does not love Him in return. Each one of us must make a choice to believe in Him and have eternal life, or perish and spend eternity in Hell (Matthew 10:28). In order for someone to believe in Jesus one must admit that he/she is a sinner, choose to repent and turn from the sin, accept and embrace Christ as Savior and Lord, and be obedient to God’s Holy Word. If we believe in Him, we will not perish but have eternal life.

Heavenly Father: I acknowledge that I am a sinner, and I repent and turn from my evil ways. As I abandon my sin and turn to You as the Savior of my lost soul, help me to not look back and dabble in the things that have separated me from You. From this day forward, I will follow the path You have chosen for me in Your Holy Book. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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ASIAN PORK ROAST (crockpot)

1 (3-4) pound pork roast
¼ cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic crushed
¼ cup orange marmalade
1 tablespoon ketchup

Put all ingredients in a crockpot. Cook on low 8 hours. Serve with rice, potatoes, or noodles.

IF

Jesus said: “Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20

God wants us to be people of a mighty faith. With Him as our All-Powerful-Father and Chief Gardener, nurtured faith can sprout like a seed. A seed can lay dormant for years, but begin to sprout when planted in good soil and cultivated. Our faith can also lie dormant and remain lifeless, but when nurtured with God’s Word and Christ’s love, our faith-seed comes to life and the Creator’s workmanship emerges. Since a seed multiplies itself in the fruit of the plant, our seeds of faith can also multiply when we trust God and obey what He tells us to do. Even though a mustard seed is very tiny, Jesus wants us to know that IF we even have a small amount of faith, we have the power to overcome mountainous obstacles in our lives.

Father: I ask you to grow my faith stronger and bolder, each and every day. I believe Lord, but help me believe even more! My desire is to serve You with the power and strength found by knowing You as my Savior and Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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SAVORY ROAST CHICKEN

8 pieces of chicken (best with skin on)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil 4 shallots (or 1 small sweet onion), chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Several spring fresh parsley, chopped

Put chicken in a greased baking dish. Mix together remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Roast at 425 for 30 minutes. Turn chicken and roast 10 more minutes, or until juices no longer pink.

IF

You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. – Matthew 10:22

Modern day persecution of Christians has its origins in the suffer­ing endured by the earliest followers of Christ. Jesus’ disciples were hated, rejected, falsely accused, and insulted because of their belief in Him, and obedience to His teachings. Christ was sensitive to their pain and took time to comfort them. He told His followers to be glad and rejoice that they were suffering in His name (Matthew 5:11-12). He even called them “blessed” when they were hated, insulted, and rejected for His sake (Luke 6:22). Jesus was familiar with persecution because He Himself suffered at the hands of merciless men throughout His ministry. Christians are under attack throughout the world, though not so much here in the US. Many are surprised at the persecution they suffer; however, God’s Word tells us that IF we stand firm in our walk with Christ, we are promised a great heavenly reward (Matthew 5:12).

Forgive me Father for the times I have grown impatient with the world, seeing it as an enemy rather than as the target of your grace. Please give me wisdom, courage, patience, and passion to reach and teach others of your of your redemptive grace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

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RITZY CHICKEN CASSEROLE

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 stick butter, melted
1 tube Ritz crackers

Sauté chicken in ½ cup water until done. Cut into bite-sized pieces; place on bottom of baking dish, with any juice left after cooking. Mix soup and sour cream together and spread over chicken. Mash crackers and add to melted butter. Sprinkle over top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

IF

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. – Matthew 6:14-15

Genuine forgiveness is crucial to anyone desiring to be a Christian and live eternally with our Lord. In fact, forgiveness is such a central element to Christianity that it is an indicator of our salvation (Matthew 6:12). Not that we are saved by any works of our own, but that when we are reconciled to God through Christ our new life will be marked by grace giving and forgiveness. Remember, our sin was exchanged for Jesus’ righteousness, our wrong for His right, and our injustice for His justice (2 Corinthians 5:21). God meets our rebellion and pride with grace in and through the person and work of Jesus. Those to whom grace is extended should also extend grace, and those to whom forgiveness is extended should also extend forgiveness. Forgive as you have been forgiven, not because it’s easy, but because it’s at the core of who we are in Christ.

Holy Father: Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy. Forgive me of all my sin and help me to let go of all bitterness and resentment as I forgive those who have hurt me in some way. May your work of redemption and grace touch their hearts as it has mine. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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CREAMY BAKED FISH FILLETS

2 pounds fish fillets (your choice)
4 teaspoons butter, divided
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup dry breadcrumbs

Grease a baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Arrange fish in baking dish. Blend sour cream, paprika, cheese, Tobasco, and salt together and spread over fish. Top with breadcrumbs and dot with remaining butter. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

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