March 22 – Faithfulness – Jesus died for sinners

Read Romans 5:6-11, Isaiah 53:4-5 & 1 John 1:9

I can’t keep promises. I don’t think I’m known as an irresponsible person but I do let people down. I let myself down. I don’t follow through. I get lazy. Forgetful. Defiant.

I can’t be 100 percent anything. God, on the other hand, is 100 percent faithful, 100 percent pure, 100 percent good, 100 percent forgiving.

Do you trust that? It took me a long time.

I spent years confessing the same sin over and over. I was wearing it. Remembering it. Under it. Until God opened my eyes to my unbelief. If you would have asked me if I thought I was forgiven, I would have said, ‘yes’. If you would have asked me if there’s any sin Jesus couldn’t forgive, I would have said, ‘There isn’t.’

But saying and living are two different things. In my head, I was guilty. There was weight in my steps. I wasn’t free.

I was a slave.

Until, I let go of it and believed that what God said was true.

As I loosened my grip on any power I thought I had in deserving His love and admitted my pride, I was unhooked from the how-could-I-have-been-so-stupid train of thought for the last time. I clung to my Savior of compassion that has always known all of the missteps I would and still will take. He died for them. He’s not surprised by them.

And He is faithful and just to forgive them as I confess them.

Once you were alienated from Christ and enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now, He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death and resurrection to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation. (Col. 1:21-22) I knelt down that day blinded by accusations. But belief raised me to see the invitation to take Jesus at His word. I was free to rest in His righteousness and surrender my memories. As I did, He reminded me they were also leaving His memory, as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103).

Earlier, I mentioned that I’m not 100 percent anything. However, through faith in the Faithful One, I’m 100 percent forgiven. Will you confess the sin you’re carrying and step into the freedom Jesus has secured for you?

Shelly Eberly

March 21 – Faithfulness – He is for us

Read Romans 8:31-32

Romans 6-8 is probably some of my favorite chapters in the entire Bible. Not only is Paul speaking of our life in sin, but he ends with speaking of the power over death and resurrection that Christ has over our lives. It is because of THAT that we cannot be separated from God’s love. It is because of THAT that we have the accessible Spirit of Christ dwelling within us. He fights for us, He covers us, He protects us, He guides us.

The truth of verse 31 goes so much deeper than what we might initially read.

When I was a child, teen, young adult (before I was a surrendered follower of Jesus) and I read this verse, I only thought of the physical harm that I could face. Such as an enemy, mean gossip, unkindness…etc.

However, after I became a follower of Jesus and I read the book of Romans, I found that it is filled with verses upon verses on the spiritual battle we face daily as believers. Paul is reminding us that, because we have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within, we are loved beyond measure. No evil can stand against the power of Christ.

I think back to when we had a miscarriage years ago. It definitely and definitely challenged my faith. However, the beauty of being a follower of Jesus is that, even in those hard moments, hours, and days, Christ dwelled within Jake and I. He held us and continues to hold us. He understood/understands my heartache. He allowed me the space to be still and just reflect on what had happened. And then… something wonderful continues to happen.

I am reminded of His love and that not even my sadness and heartache will separate me from Him. That even though it is hard in this life, our baby’s life is where it was truly intended to be –  with Him. That in and of itself is Christ being for me and for our child.

I remember about 10 years ago, I loved the idea of being on the potter’s wheel. I craved conviction and revelation because I knew that, in the brokenness of my life, God was making something beautiful out of it. He doesn’t promise sunshine, rainbows and happy times…He promises Himself through it all.

He is faithful in showing up. No matter what happens, no matter what you are going through or whatever situation you are walking through, be reminded that He is for you. He is taking the brokenness you may be facing and helping you experience the beauty of His glory.

Kelly Lawson

March 16 – Hard Questions 2.0 – “How can I trust in Christianity when so many Christians are hypocrites?”

Read Romans 3:23, Hebrews 12:2 and Matthew 23:1-36

The 2020 census taken by the US government tells us that over 70% of Americans identify as Christian. That means that when someone cuts you off in traffic, or is unkind to you at the store, or gossips about you online, there is a 70% chance that person is a Christian! With the wrong behaviors seen in our communities on a daily basis, it becomes quite clear that everyone, even Christians, are frequent offenders.

What does this say about the Church? What does this say about God?

Why should one trust the Christian church when it doesn’t seem to be working?

For starters, let’s remember another one of today’s verses; ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. “All” means “ALL”, as in “everyone”.) It’s important for those in the church to remember that passage to avoid notions of moral superiority and the need to condemn non-church-goers.  Christians should be screaming from the mountaintops; “I’M KNOW THAT I’M NOT PERFECT! I JUST KNOW THAT I’M FORGIVEN!” It’s important for those outside the church to understand that Christians identify as SINNERS saved by God’s grace. Expecting Christians to be morally perfect is unfair; it reveals a profound misunderstanding of who Christians are and how Christianity works.

Christians were sinners FIRST! 

In today’s lengthy passage in Matthew, try to imagine how cutting Jesus’ words were to the religious leaders of the day.  He repeatedly called them “hypocrites”, “brood of vipers”, “blind guides”, “blind fools”. These were political and religious leaders of the day; people who believed in God, endeavored to live for Him.

Jesus lit them up!

It’s easy to identify the sin of previous generations when we read about it in a book, or hear a description of a people’s past moral failing. C.S. Lewis calls it “chronological snobbery”. In 2023, are we so arrogant to think that any American church isn’t deserving of the same tongue-lashing?  

So then, why is this belief system to be trusted? How can Christianity be the solution, when those who know the solution seem so screwed up?  It’s because of the One who authored our faith – JESUS! HE said that He was the way to the Father, in spite of our sins. He lived a perfect, sinless, earthly life, and was crucified as a criminal anyway. He promised to defeat death, and rose back to life. Christians aren’t Jesus; they POINT to Jesus. The church isn’t the authority, it shows us in whom real authority resides.  Sin doesn’t point to an absence of God; it points to the NEED for God.  

If you are in a church, or are watching a church where hypocrisy is ripe, remember that the failings of the Christians are not the failings of the Christ. There’s no magic morality pill that fixes a person’s bad attitudes, bad habits, or wrong behaviors. What can be trusted is our Lord Jesus, “who endured the cross, despising the shame” made necessary by the past, present, and future failings of Christians worldwide.

Don’t judge Christianity by the temporal failures of its Christians; instead, judge it by the perfect sacrifice of its Savior!

Craig French

March 13 – Hard Questions 2.0 – “How can a good God allow evil, pain and suffering? Doesn’t He care?”

Read Romans 1:18-32, 6:23

If we’re all honest with ourselves, pain and suffering amongst God’s people is one of the most difficult concepts to reconcile with a just and loving God. On one hand, we hear that God promises to wipe every tear from our eye, and mend every broken heart. 


Ok; turn on the news. Hear about a bad medical diagnosis. How can a loving God allow all of this? If God is good, and God is love, then how is there so much evil and brokenness?  

Our passage today answers the question very succinctly.  SPOILER; it’s because SIN is not God’s way, and time and again, mankind has chosen OUR way over GOD’S way.  Here are a few highlights from Romans;

“God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity…”

“(We) worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator”

“God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done”.

The beginning of understanding evil, pain and suffering begins with our SIN.  When God gives us directives, it is for OUR GOOD.  When we miss God’s mark, when we choose our own way over HIS way, there are natural consequences.  When looking at a broken, hurting world, remember that all of that brokenness is the result of people’s sin; choosing something opposite of God’s way. 

This still doesn’t explain why God allows sin. Think back to the garden with Adam and Eve.  They knew they weren’t supposed to eat the fruit, and ate it anyway. 

Did God allow them that choice?

God has many attributes; one is that He is JUST; and that means that God is RIGHT when he makes a judgment. God’s perfect justice implies that there is right and wrong to choose from. We also know that God desires relationship; what God desires most from us is our heart; our devotion. His desire to relate to us is part of the reason that we pray, part of the reason He sent His son to dwell amongst us, part of the reason He gave us His creation to enjoy. God allows sin as a means of teaching us that His way is BETTER.  The Holy Spirit uses sin to orient us towards Jesus…a broken, fallen world is part of what points to a BETTER WAY.

If you are struggling with this concept; start by acknowledging that you are NOT God, and, thus, need His wisdom and grace. Remember that He planned for evil, pain and suffering…His promises to walk through it WITH us are proof of that! If you are enduring something horrific, remember God has promised to “work all things for the good of those who love Him.” Evil and suffering isn’t proof that God is non-existent; rather, the good that flows out of the horrible circumstances shows the true character of an all-powerful, gracious God who wants us to trust Him. 

Stop looking at the pain, and start looking for what God is doing with it! 

Craig French

February 18 – ReGen – Amends

Read Romans 12:17-18

Step 8 – “Make a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.”

In 1988, I was varsity golf coach at the high school where I taught. And we had a really good team that year. We were undefeated, 21-0 with one match to go. We had our eyes on the state tournament championship.

Or so I thought.

On Saturday morning, I got a call from our Athletic Director that 4 of my 5 varsity players were seen drinking beer at the football game the night before. He wanted to know how I wanted to handle it.

I prayed to God for guidance and ended up removing them from the team.

We then lost the last match which was played by mostly JV players and we were quickly eliminated in the tournament.

Our season ended 21-1.

Three years later, I received a letter from one of those four players. He apologized and said he realized the impact of his mistake and that he was the one who brought the beer to the football game that night.

He wanted to make amends. He was in AA and going through step 8. His drinking led to other problems and he asked for forgiveness. He had a drinking problem and he was now clean and sober.

One of the juniors on that team made amends with himself by being Player Of The Year his senior year. He went to Malone College and became an All-American. A few years later he was inducted into the Malone College Hall of Fame and invited my wife and I to the banquet to sit with his parents.

We were the only people he invited!

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Doesn’t that include peace with yourself?

The idea of being honest with yourself regarding your behavior and mistakes is really important. Recognizing how your behavior may have harmed others is a big key in your growth.

That takes courage. Guts. Grit.

If you wrong someone, make amends. It will also help you. Tell them. Then back it up by living in peace with the person.   

Tom Weckesser

ReGeneration is a ministry for people battling the storms of life. From emotional struggles to substance abuse, ReGen is a ministry for those who want to experience healing, recovery, community and accountability in the midst of their storms. Currently, ReGen meets on Tuesday nights (7p) at Grace Church in Wooster. We would LOVE to host you! Text “regen” to 3302649459 if you want more information or want to attend!

February 10 – ReGen – Admit

Read Romans 7:18

Coming from a life full of sin and gaining a new life in Christ, I can attest, like most of us, that sinning does not just stop. Our lives do not magically turn from what we once were to a life of perfection, sunshine and rainbows once we choose to follow Jesus.

I was 21 years old when the Lord saved my life from attempted suicide. By His grace I had a second chance and turned my life around. However, when I gave my life to Him, I had no understanding of what it meant to live for Jesus. All I knew up to that point in my life was religion. I turned to “doing the right thing” in order to “be holy”. I didn’t know what a fully surrendered walk with the Lord looked like because I was never taught or shown, but I knew I wanted it.

It wasn’t until I had a mentor come into my life and showed me that I saw what surrender of control looked like. She taught me God’s word and what it meant to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus and that it takes work and practice to begin living like a new creation.

It takes admitting that we cannot do it alone. It takes admitting that we are powerless in the fight without Christ.

You see, I attempted to take control, I attempted to walk the straight and narrow without any help from anyone. I quickly learned, this wouldn’t work.

Just like Paul writes in Romans 7, I continued to struggle. I continued to do things I don’t want to do and don’t do things I want to do. The difference is, if I continue to operate on my own power, then I will continue down a cycle of a constant struggle with no growth gained. However, the moment I surrender the power and control and realize that I can’t just “do” something to make it all better, I learn that I am powerless and find freedom in the grace of Jesus.

Admitting that you are powerless is such an important step of recovery with any sin struggle. 

Sin separates us from God and the only thing that brings us back to Him is Christ.  It is not us, our will, our works, or our way. We must admit we are powerless and surrender it all to God and allow the Lord to take over and take control in those areas of our lives where we struggle most. That’s when we will see victory.

What areas of your life are you still holding onto? What’s holding you back from admitting that you are powerless against the sin in your life? What step(s) do you need to take in order to trust in Jesus for ultimate regeneration in your life?

Kelly Lawson

ReGeneration is a ministry for people battling the storms of life. From emotional struggles to substance abuse, ReGen is a ministry for those who want to experience healing, recovery, community and accountability in the midst of their storms. Currently, ReGen meets on Tuesday nights (7p) at Grace Church in Wooster. We would LOVE to host you! Text “regen” to 3302649459 if you want more information or want to attend!

February 9 – ReGen

Read Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

On our own, we are all unworthy of God’s glory. Left to our own ways and attempts at righteousness, we will always come up short.

We need God’s mercy.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way! At the very beginning, God made us in His image, and according to His likeness (see Genesis 1: 27-28), and gave us His blessing. But when the deceiver showed up, Adam and Eve chose to believe a lie, and everything changed (see Genesis 3). Now we join a long line of fallen creatures, in need of rescue, reconciliation, truth, and healing.

On our own, we ALL are broken: not functioning properly, not complete or full, fractured, damaged, no longer in working order. However, we are still God’s creation, made in His image and likeness! He loves us, and wants to restore us! Because of His great mercy, He wants to regenerate us, to restore our relationship with Him through Jesus, and to help us recover from anything that is keeping us from experiencing the full life He has always intended for us.

“There is none righteous, no not one.”Romans 3:10b

All have sinned, yes. But God wants all to come to repentance and to experience His best (see 2 Peter 3:9, John 10:10)! Friend, no sin and no struggle is too big or too small for our God. He already knows, and He still loves you!

May I encourage you today?

Be brave enough and honest enough to identify what may have you stuck. What is holding you back from experiencing all of God’s goodness? I challenge you to look over this list and see if you can identify anything that might be affecting your ability to enjoy the full life. Then surrender it to God, and consider working through the recovery process with us, so we can all enjoy the full life God wants us to have in Him. Whatever is broken in your life, God wants to heal it, and to grant you full recovery in Jesus Christ!

Re: generation is a recovery program, rooted in Scripture, and intended to help anyone who is wanting any area of their life to be healed, restored and made new. Remember, we all fall short! But we can all experience new life and full life in Christ.

Rachel Franks – ReGen Leader

ReGeneration is a ministry for people battling the storms of life. From emotional struggles to substance abuse, ReGen is a ministry for those who want to experience healing, recovery, community and accountability in the midst of their storms. Currently, ReGen meets on Tuesday nights (7p) at Grace Church in Wooster. We would LOVE to host you! Text “regen” to 3302649459 if you want more information or want to attend!

January 8 – Think About Such Things

Read Romans 12:2

Your brain is a crazy and complex thing.

In April 2022, I was forced to come to terms with just how important our brains are when I experienced focal seizures. After a couple of nights, they wanted to keep me “another night” at the hospital when I, more than anything, wanted to be with my family and out of a hospital bed. A doctor picked up on my frustration and said, “When it comes to your brain or your heart, you can’t be too careful.”

I doubt anyone would argue with the physical side of that, but do we believe the same mentally?

Do we think that our thoughts are of great value?

Are we careful when it comes to our mental health?

This morning, Pastor Nick is talking about the power of our thoughts and what it takes to “win” with your mind and experience fewer regrets this year as a result.

What is it going to take?

Nick’s going to be speaking out of Philippians 4:8 and we are going to be taking a closer look at these characteristics this week. However, before we do, I want to set the scene for all of us.

For me personally, I have had to, as Romans 12:2 says, “renew my mind” as of recently. Ever since I have begun to take my faith seriously and committed to grow spiritually but also mentally and emotionally, there has been the process of rewiring my young and immature mind. My wife, Kelly, can attest to the fact that I am nowhere close to perfect but I have taken some strides over the years.

How do you “renew your mind”?

How do you “win” in your mind?

What regret do you have with how you have treated your mental health in the past?

This morning’s message, if you haven’t heard it yet, will challenge you to take your mental health seriously and actively take steps to renew your mind and have 2023 be a year of mental victory in your life!

Here are some ways that you can pray for both yourself and others this week:

  1. We will be having new people joining our group to read this series. Pray for their commitment to growth and that the Holy Spirit would convict them and that they would renew their mind through the convictions that come this week.
  2. If you are a continual Every Day with God reader, pray that you would open your heart to the message this week and that you would think of excellent and praiseworthy things.

The series begins tomorrow but, even starting today, how can you begin to fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy?

Jake Lawson

December 28 – God of 2nd Chances – Not a license to sin

Read Romans 6:1-2

We receive salvation by grace through faith. It is at that moment in every person’s life when they decide to follow Jesus that their past, present, and future are forgiven. 

Now, our walk with Jesus doesn’t stop there. We don’t just make that decision and then go on living our life for ourselves. When we give our life over to Jesus, it is just that: we are giving our life to Christ, though we must understand that total perfection and victory is not attainable while living in this fallen world. Therefore, Christ loves us so much that He offers us grace for our shortcomings. He fills the gap between who we are and who we are intended to be. 

I was like most baby believers. I took grace for granted and continued living life for how I wanted and didn’t care about God’s best. I wanted to be in right standing, but I didn’t want to surrender ALL I wanted for what He was calling me to. So, I continued to sin, I continued to live my life for me, all the while putting the face of a “good Christian” on. 

As I grew in my knowledge of who God was and the best He had for me, I began to understand Romans 6 so much better. Him loving me enough to sacrifice His own life for me does not give me a license to just live for myself. The response we should have is to run away from sin because, as Paul reminds the Romans, “we are those who have died to sin.” 

Life on earth is nothing short of hard. What we must remember, what I pray over my family and over you, is that, as you wake in the morning, you look at your day and walk in the moments that follow with the knowledge and strength that you can only receive from Christ! 

Is there any area in your life where you are excusing sin? Are you struggling to give God control of EVERYTHING in your life? Don’t go another moment without surrendering all that you are to God and commit to FULLY follow Him with your life!

He died for us, let’s love for Him! 

Kelly Lawson

December 12 – Honoring God – While grieving

Read Romans 12:12, 8:28 and Psalm 62:5

“For God’s glory.”

Three words we say and sing that make us feel all warm inside, until we realize the weight of them.

It’s easy to live for God’s glory when life is sweet, but when grief lands on you like a house, you start to wonder… ‘God, where are you? I know you can do anything you want…is this it?’

And it’s there that the wrestling match begins.

The ‘letting go’ in grief may feel like you’re giving up, but what if it’s really gaining something lasting and beautiful like joy, hope, patience, and faith?

It may sound like a bunch of messy questions: ‘Why can’t I just trust God with this pain? I thought I was stronger than this?’, ‘I’ve been living for You, and this is what You give me in return?’ and ‘I was considering life with You, Jesus, but if this is what You’re offering, count me out.’

Jesus is the master of asking the best questions. When some of His followers couldn’t stomach His teaching, He asked them if they were going to abandon Him and Peter answered:

“To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”John 6:68

I can think of a lot of other places to go, can’t you? You may have traveled there yourself. Places like: pity, isolation, substance abuse, buying things, denial, keeping busy. I bet it’s made your grief all better, hasn’t it? You’re all healed up and living an amazing life that honors God?

Humbly, I suggest that being joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer sounds a lot like action, not just lying under a house doing nothing.

Hear me loud. There’s no shame in lying under a house of grief and there’s no shame for how it landed there. Jesus isn’t condemning you. He cares for you.

He’s waiting for you to trust Him.

Imagine Him listening to your laments and actually having the power to do something about them. What if you decide there is nowhere else to go and invite Him into your grief? Even that would give Him glory.

What if you commit to reading the Psalms and asking the Spirit to bring you comfort through His words?

What if you speak honestly about your pain with someone you know will direct you toward faith?

What if you believe Jesus is under the house with you, fighting for every breath with you, and that He is the source for everything you need to heal?

I can’t lie.

I hate grief.

And I can’t lie.

The closeness I’ve gained with Jesus through suffering has been a gift.

He’s taught me how to trust Him time and time again.

And with each tiny act of faith, He has responded with His faithfulness and lifted the weight off my chest, one piece of the ‘house’ at a time.

And I’ve felt a little lighter, and hopefully, given Him the glory.

Shelly Eberly