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Friday, September 17 Devotional from Pastor John Hartman

“40 Days in the Word” 
There is an old Chinese proverb that goes, “The longest of journeys begins with a single step.” You are about to embark on a very special journey. It is a journey called, “40 Days in the Word.” The journey will begin this Sunday, September 19, and go all the way to Halloween. 
Other people from Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church will be on this journey with you. You will gather with them once a week in small groups to pray, read, watch and hear a lesson, ask questions, and share insights. You will be an encourager, and hopefully, others will encourage you in your understanding of God’s word. We have groups meeting on Sunday morning, all throughout the week, and even online  (there is still time to join a group if you haven’t already). Our youth will also be diving into the 40 days, with Wednesday night and Sunday night gatherings. 
Our hope is that you will be blessed on this journey, and grow, -- grow in the love and knowledge of God through His holy word. Each day, we will be emailing you a Bible verse of the day for you to read, meditate on, and then live out in faithfulness to Jesus Christ. We believe that through all of this something will happen. This “something” might be obvious to you, or maybe it won’t become apparent for a while. 
A man named Julius Hickerson gave up a promising career as a doctor in this country, because he believed that God was calling him to be a missionary in the jungles of Colombia. His friends and colleagues thought he was crazy, and after two years on the mission field, he thought he might be crazy too, because he didn’t see any results from his efforts. One day, he was piloting a small airplane over the jungle, when it experienced engine trouble, his plane went down, and Julius Hickerson died in the crash. But, that’s not the end of the story.
In the wreckage of his airplane some of the area natives found a well-worn Bible, – and it was in their own language. They began to read that Bible, and the more they read, the more they understood, and it became sweet to the taste. And so, they started a church. Now part of the Bible’s message says, “share the faith,” – and they shared the Bible with some of the other tribesmen. 
Some years later, the Baptists, under which Julius Hickerson went, wound up sending another missionary to take his place. To this missionary’s utter amazement, the whole place was filled with Christians! He asked them, “What happened?” “How did you get the good news of the gospel?” They pulled out an old Bible, peeled back the cover, and there on the inside it had the name, – “Julius Hickerson.” When we read God’s word, something does happen! 
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. I will be preaching on the Bible verse from Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” We are now back inside the sanctuary at 8:00 am. At 10:30 am, we will be in the sanctuary, while also broadcasting on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube. Blessings on you during this journey, and I will be praying for you.