A Remnant Reserved

July 17, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)

God always has a remnant of people faithful to Him. In every generation, there is a godly witness. In Noah’s time, it was just Noah, with his family, but there is always a faithful remnant. Sometimes it can seem like we are alone in standing for God where we live. We can look around and get discouraged because it seems that we have no others that stand fast with God and have not kissed idols. 

Elijah had just killed all the false prophets and assumed that he was the only true prophet left. Elijah told the Lord, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts” (1 Kings 19:10). Zeal for the Lord is a good thing until it produces self-righteous self-pity in us! Elijah had been out “setting things straight for God,” and just as he tries to rest, he hears that Jezebel has put a death threat out over his life.

He is exhausted and feels that it is all too much. He thinks he is the only faithful one left. What he doesn’t know is that he is one of seven thousand. This lack of knowledge and perspective affects his feelings, his courage, and his actions. In a way, his pride trips him up.

Know that God always has a remnant reserved. If you are faithfully standing with God, know that there are other faithful ones, even if you do not know of them personally. As the end of the age approaches, you can be sure that God has hidden faithful people where He needs them to be. In some generations He has more, and in some generations He has less of a remnant, but you are never the only one. Remember, too, that a crowd of witnesses cheers you on. 

Beloved, God does not need your strength! When things become hard, it is human nature to feel sorry for myself. I can imagine that no one understands, that no one has sacrificed as much, that no one is as spiritual as I am. This is simply not true. When you feel this way, laugh yourself down off your high horse! We do not know the secret things of the Lord. We do not know how many or where God’s faithful ones are. When you become weary in well doing, it is time to “let go and let God.” Don’t let your weariness lead you into false speculation and misguided accusations. Look for the provision of the Lord. God knows where you are and what you need. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Heavenly Wisdom

Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. (Proverbs 3:7)

July 11, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

The best advice is this: don’t put confidence in how wise you think you are. Even if you have learned some wisdom by that which has befallen you, in some way it is a human wisdom. The wisdom that comes down from heaven is a differentkind of wisdom. This heavenly wisdom is hallmarked by humility. It manifests in purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, willingness to yield to others, bearing good fruit, and being impartial and sincere (James 3:17).  

We learn wisdom by fearing the Lord and departing from evil. Wisdom has no concourse with evil because there is no wisdom in evil. Adam and Eve thought hey we’re wiser than God, and their “wisdom” was demonically inspired, causing them to not fear God and opening the door to the downfall of the whole human race.  God always has wisdom to offer us; we just need to ask. But we also need to believe that what He tells us is the best, the truest, and the highest good, lest we elevate our judgment above His. 

We must learn to partner with God, not as equal partners but as those being mentored by Someone who is infinitely wiser than we are. We watch God as He acts in our lives, we ponder His Word, we wait and listen for Him to speak to us. We do not move forward unless we sense that He bids us to. We do not automatically assume that our thoughts are His thoughts, but neither do we freeze in indecisiveness.

God does want us to learn wisdom as we partner with Him. He  wants us to know His wise ways, but we must remember that wisdom is not a mental thinking of the best plan, but an active stance that always departs from evil. Our wisdom is learned in the chosen departure from evil, from all that is not found in the character and ways of God. 

If we would be wise, with heavenly wisdom, we would do well to ask God to show us how to depart from evil, how to fear God in such a way that we are always looking for His goodness in a matter. This is not learned mentally but relationally. It takes time, and it takes loving the goodness of God. Just as an apprentice goes from fashioning crude facsimiles of what He sees the Master making, so our wisdom is refined in the close watching of what God does, and then the carrying out of what is seen. 

So let us stay close to the Master so that we can learn His wise ways. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Outside the Camp

June 28, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach.” (Hebrews 13:13)

Jesus suffered outside the camp for our sins. It is only by revelation that people were given to understand who He was.  It is still only by revelation that we understand who He is. The path of being where Jesus is can take us or force us off the beaten track of religion as it is commonly practiced. We may not be able to follow that which is trending, that which is socially acceptable, that which is seen as “cutting edge” or even safe. 

Our Lord asks us to follow Him outside the camp of popularity and safety because that is where we will see Him in sharp contrast to a god of our own making. It is also where we will find the lost ones that He wants us to help gather to Himself.

Even as He is dying, He gathers up one of the men who is dying next to Him. His heart is always for the lost sheep who have wandered into the wilderness. The call that the Galilean makes upon us will not lead to a life of comfort and ease. We will know the same kind of rejection, disdain, and suspicion that He did: “a winebibber, a glutton, and a friend of sinners” (Luke 11:19).

We may not be able to tolerate the temperature of the current status quo. We may have to brave the rip-tides in order to get into the depths of the sea. Our hearts may ever be restless in this world because we are always hearing the call to the unreached, the forgotten, the cast-offs. The world may think that those we minister to are not worth saving. Go to them anyway. 

There is much to be said for being rejected by the kind of religious system that would reject Jesus. Being included is not always what you want because that inclusion may come with a price you should not be willing to pay.

It is a privilege to stand with Jesus outside the camp. It is a blessing to find others out there who are willing to stand with Him. These are your band of brothers.  They are a meek but sturdy lot. They know how to bear reproach. They will know how to stand in that Day against the Evil Man. They may know the ultimate sacrifice of their life as their Lord did.  Standing outside the camp is a privilege. Don’t be afraid to embrace it in whatever way it comes to you. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Teach the Truth

June 24, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

“Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?” (John 3:10)

Jesus “pulls no punches” with Nicodemus, and He will pull no punches with us. Nicodemus, the seeking Pharisee, comes to Jesus under cover of night to ask Him some questions, but instead, Nicodemus gets questioned.  Perhaps it would have been too embarrassing and socially unacceptable for Nicodemus, a Pharisee, to ask Jesus a question in public, as that may have looked like Nicodemus was acknowledging Jesus’ authority to answer.  

Nicodemus, however, ends up facing the heart-searching questions that Jesus poses to him. Jesus speaks to him of how souls are birthed into spiritual life, and Nicodemus does not seem to understand the process at all. He thinks that Jesus is talking in human terms about the human birthing process. 

Envision, if you will, Jesus looking at him. Jesus says, “Are you a teacher in Israel and you don’t know these [basic things about spiritual birth]?”  James says in his epistle, “My brothers, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation” (James 3:1). Jesus is rebuking Nicodemus and letting him know that he is strongly lacking in his spiritual knowledge. How can he then be a good teacher?

There are many things that we think we know about salvation and the kingdom of God, but we must come to Jesus and allow Him to ask us questions, hard questions, to see if we truly understand the way of salvation. Many of our beliefs may be amalgamations, half truths, mental truths, or downright errors.  We shouldn’t be surprised when Jesus comes, either gently or not so gently, and questions us thoroughly. 

 It’s important that what we believe and teach be as true and pure as possible.  Better to be corrected now while we have time to make a correction then to face God later and find out that we were not teaching the truth! When James says that teachers teaching falsehoods will receive a greater condemnation, we need to take that seriously. Condemnation is a pretty strong word—not one that you want applied to you. Even if you aren’t a teacher, it is important to live out of correct beliefs because all beliefs bear fruit, good or bad, in our thoughts and actions.

Furthermore, we can be doctrinally correct, but our hearts can be far from God in the application of the truth. We “see in part” Paul says. No church or denomination has the entire truth or is completely free from error. And no one individual understands everything about God and His Word correctly. 

Let God ask you some questions so that He might refine or downright correct what you believe.  Let there be no false teaching falling from our lips.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Women of the Word is a non-profit ministry conducting Christian women’s conferencetrips to Israel and online Christian Bible studies.  “WOW” also offers bible reading plans and instruction for how to understand the Bible for beginners and those maturing in their faith. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life.

The Depths of God’s Love

June 19, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

May [you] be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and  length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. (Ephesians 3:18-19a)

Whatever is happening in the world, we are no longer in shallow waters. Now we will learn about what it feels like to be in the swirling waters of the world as it writhes in its agonies, and also to learn what it is to know the “deep, deep love of Jesus! Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free, rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me.” (1)

The love God has poured out to ransom us cannot be measured. It stands forever. We who are “in Christ” are found to be in an ocean of His love. God’s love toward us is constant, not able to be overturned or swept away. His love sustains us, no matter what befalls or assails us in the world. We are going to have to know this deep in our bones. A characteristic of the end of the age is that “the love of many will grow cold” (Matt. 24:12). Human love may lose its heat, it may be quenched, but divine love cannot be.

If we remain abiding in the love of God, we will have more than enough love, and it will inflame our hearts and burn brightly so that others can be warmed by it. The many waters of adversity, betrayal, loss, or pain need not result in our love being quenched if the source of our love is God. Human love will fail, but  the agape love of God is resilient and cannot be exhausted.

You may ask, “How do I gain this kind of love?” It is, dear friend, a gift. God’s love surrounds us like a shield (Ps. 5:12), but it also indwells, by His Spirit, all who belong to Him. 

God Himself is love. It is important that we become comfortable relaxing in the ocean of His love as the world darkens. Just as the waters of adversity may sweep over us, so can the depths of God’s love. This is not a nice theory or a pleasant fairy tale but the reality we can actually live from and put our weight into. Just as water buoys us up, so the love of God will uphold us in life’s darkest hours. 

Give yourself to the love of God, fall back into it in a trust fall, so that you may actually feel what it means to be held by it. The sweeping torrents of life can take us out of our own control, but they can never sweep us away from the torrential floodwaters of God’s love. 

Maranatha.

(1) S. Trevor Francis, “O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus!”, 1875

Rose-Marie Slosek loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Women of the Word is a non-profit ministry conducting Christian women’s conferencetrips to Israel and online Christian Bible studies.  “WOW” also offers bible reading plans and instruction for how to understand the Bible for beginners and those maturing in their faith. WOW serves women of all denominations, cultures and ages and is focused on teaching biblical principles and their application in daily life.

What’s in Your Wallet? 

June 4, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

He went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. (Matthew 19:22)

Jesus understands that what we clutch, what we trust in, binds us. We are meant to be completely free of bondage to anything or anyone. Our trust is in God alone. We—and everything we have— belong to God.

Many of us grew up thinking that our goodness and our “good works” helped us, or even gained us approval with God. We tend to gravitate toward that which we are naturally talented in, and that is not all bad. God has put gifts and talents in us that we are meant to use, but they do not gain us approval with God, nor should they be something we trust in. 

The rich young ruler is trying so hard, but he has his aces still hidden in his pocket. He knows, or thinks he knows, that religion is about following the rules, and giving God His due. He doesn’t realize that Jesus approaches him in love to get him to let go of it all! 

Here is a game that this earnest young man is not signing up to play. It is a game of winner take all. It is a call to total relinquishment. It appears that the young man is not exactly asking Jesus an honest question, as he most likely thinks he is getting the salvation game right and is possibly fishing for a compliment. 

Jesus is not rebuking him; He is backing him into a corner. He needs to get at what the young man is holding back, not what he is eager to give. So it is with us. The young man has money, and Jesus asks him to not just give a tithe, or a double tithe, but to give all of his possessions away and come and follow Jesus. 

Dear friend, allow God to rifle through your things and ask you for anything and everything. You can bet that He will find just the thing that you are a bit too dearly attached to—the thing that you have hidden in the back of the closet, the thing you are unwilling to share, whether that be a physical object, money, time, or a connection with your own life that, if not surrendered, will cause you some trouble and pain. Dear God, please just don’t ask for the chocolate!

God is not looking to take things from you. He needs nothing, but He does have the right to put his finger on that which must be surrendered in order for you to be free. So let Him ask you, “What’s in your wallet?” Then give it all to Him.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

The Extraordinary Extravagance of Worship

May 18, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

But when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?” (Matthew 26:8)

We will never enter into the depths of worship until we understand extravagant waste. Waste is a matter of projected worth and perspective. What is a not enough for someone, is too much for others. The truth is that we could pour out the perfumes and riches of the whole world upon Jesus, and it would never match the value of His worth. The disciples knew less about Jesus than the one who poured out ALL of her precious ointment upon Him.  She was all in—they were still bean-counters. Our motivations rat us out. We assign worth to things, and how we relate to that which we have valued tells everything about the posture of our heart. 

Fear of waste will never get us to extravagant worship. We have to get past measuring if we have given enough. This is not about money but about how we will express the worth of Jesus to Him.  It is not about showiness—because then the rich might have an advantage; rather, it is about letting the entire contents of our heart, soul, mind and strength be poured out on Jesus with absolute abandon. Remember the Shema? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:4).

Pour it all out; offer every part of yourself to Him. Hold nothing back. Make it look like you have given too much. You never can, but try. Embarrass yourself in front of others because you acknowledge your utter need for God and are so thankful for His extravagant love to you that you fling everything at Him. He did the same for you! He extravagantly poured out His love to the Father by extravagantly pouring out His blood for you!

If you are still measuring, you haven’t seen Him clearly yet. If you are looking for sensible, you might have gotten your priorities out of whack. God is looking for extravagant worshippers. Why was the woman even doing this during a dinner party? What was her motivation? Jesus seems to think that she was prophetically doing it for His burial. He didn’t think it was too much! Only those who love past their own limits can see the bigger picture. When things are no longer about me, I gain the divine perspective to be able to see how it is all about Him. Then the words “mine” and “me” bear no sway. Can you feel this woman’s willing desperation to pour it all out on the feet of Jesus? Read this passage until you see that she is making Jesus the hero, not making herself a spectacle. Perspective is everything. See His worth— be done with yourself. Pour it all out. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

Don’t Gossip

May 16, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no gossiper, quarreling quiets down.  (Proverbs 26:20 NASB)

We fuel a lot of dangerous, destructive fires with our tongues. They are technically arson because we start them deliberately and often with bad intent. God sees all things. He sees what others do, and He sees what you do. He doesn’t need you to tell others about what your neighbor did. Actually, it is safe to say He doesn’t want you to tell others about what your neighbor allegedly did.

Stay away from busybodies, and don’t be one yourself. It takes a lot of time to live right, to give God adequate time, to do the necessary tasks of everyday life, to honor the sabbath, and to worship. You really don’t have time to be always watching and judging what others are doing or not doing and then discussing it amongst others. When you do that, you are being a busybody, and you are sinning and causing others to sin.

If you don’t add fuel to the gossip fire, things get mighty quite mighty quickly. Learning to sit on your front porch with others and say nothing, or only say edifying things, is a truly blessed thing. And think of this: listening is an active role in gossip just as much as speaking. It can be hard to be the one to walk away from or shut down the gossip talk, but once you do, people will be more careful around you as to what they choose to say. 

If you feel the need arising to talk about someone, talk to yourself and God about it first. What can talking with another about someone else do for you? You might need a good talking to from yourself or from God to rearrange where your heart is in the matter. We really don’t have a right to think poorly about our neighbor. There is an old rabbinic tradition that seeks to put people in the best light possible by considering why their allegedly bad behavior happened or why they might have had good reason for their actions.  While it is wrong to justify evil, there is a place to give people the benefit of the doubt when you don’t understand or approve of their behavior. To do otherwise is to take things into your hands instead of putting it in God’s hands. Again, this is not to justify an actual evil, for there are biblical guidelines to deal with sin in a community, but to keep you from sinning by assuming something or saying something about someone that is inaccurate or untrue. 

Put out the fires of gossip. Better yet, don’t let them get started.

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

When He Appears

May 2, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. (Colossians 3:4)

The apostle Paul constantly holds before us the hope of Christ’s appearing. This hope is like the North Star, something the believer focuses on to get his bearings in the world. While the gospel is life-centric, it is also death-centric.  One has to pass from death unto life. In our baptism, we die to our old life and are raised in the newness of life in Christ. Jesus does not reform us; He resurrects us. He brings us from death to life. He becomes our life. 

Do we understand the depths of this truth? That our life has actually died and we are no longer our own but Christ’s? Wherever Christ is going, we are going with Him. We do  not cling to this world, and to establishing our lives here, but we eagerly await His appearing, for that means that we, too, will appear with Him in glory. The old hymn states, “The world behind me, the cross before me; No turning back, no turning back.”

This world is not our home. We are pilgrims and sojourners, so whether things go well or not so well in this realm, we have already turned our backs on our lives here. We are now living by the life of the One who loved us and gave His own life for us. This is why we look for His appearing. It is not that we are looking to escape this world, but that we know its limits and know that it cannot satisfy us because we are born from above. All of our life we look toward the Day when He appears, and we appear with Him. What does that mean? Scripture says that when He appears, “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). When we see His glorious Face, we will see our faces reflected in His and know ourselves for the first time.  Does not this thought send shivers down your spine? All of the shadows and uncertainties of this age will disappear, for we will be fully seen and known and united with our Lord. What a glorious thought!

So keep your perspective ever clear about the nature of your life in this world: yours is a temporary sojourn in a world system that shall be fully restored to the rulership of your soon-coming Lord. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net

A Doorkeeper in the House of God

April 25, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand [elsewhere]. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalm 84:10)

When we meet someone, we often ask, “What do you do?” We may foolishly decide how much to value people by what occupation they hold. This psalm proclaims the blessedness of being a doorkeeper in the house of God.

Who of us does not feel awed unto unworthiness in the Presence of God? It is in His Presence that we “live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). In His Presence our joy is full. When we gaze upon Him, we are not looking around at each other’s standing, but we are together beholding Him whom we love. What might be a lowly job for one might be an ideal job for another. If you love God’s Presence, how perfect would it be to have the job to open the door into His Presence?  Notice that the Psalmist does not compare being the doorkeeper with a more prestigious job or with the wealth of the rich, but juxtaposes the job against living in the tents of wickedness.

The godly have God’s Presence as their home. They carry His Presence everywhere, and they invite people into that Presence. They are like the folks who stay late after the party, saying goodbye first in the living room, then in the kitchen, then on the doorstep, then just outside the doorstep because they are having a wonderful time and do not want to leave. Such are those that love the Presence of God. They gate-keep themselves from going anywhere or doing anything that would quench that Presence. A life lived in God’s Presence is not one to be traded for all the money, riches, or prestige in the world. The opposite is a life lived in the tents of the wicked. You do not want to dwell there. 

We are able to welcome people into the Presence of God by a humble life, a hospitable spirit, and a clean heart. Many yearn for the refuge of the Presence of God but do not yet experience it. This is not a job just for “worship leaders” but for all of God’s people who live before Him and know His love.

You carry the fragrance of Jesus when you abide in Him and go forth into the world that smells of hate, and sin, and death.  Go forth and spread His Fragrance among the nations. People are dying to know Him and smell the fragrance of His beauty. It’s not a lowly place to hold the door open for people to come into God’s house; it is a privilege and an honor. 

Maranatha.

Rose-Marie Slosek came to know the Lord in the early nineteen seventies and has a passion for organic church and the maturing of the Body of Christ. She loves to connect people and build healthy community in small groups. She travels widely and assists several mission teams. Rose-Marie also serves Women of the Word on their Board of Directors. She can be reached at email 
rmslosek@comcast.net