This Week’s Devotion Series

Welcome to First Baptist Church of Venice. You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ to do good works! We want to help you navigate this very different time in the life of our country.

March 31, 2020

Have You Tested Positive?


Are you positively sure you are saved?

Are you positively growing in your faith and not getting spiritually or Covid-19 indifferent? This is what the Bible calls backslidden.

Are you keeping a positive attitude?

Are you staying patient, supportive, co-operative and positive with those you live with, our governmental leaders, etc.?

Are you positively resisting that critical voice that whispers that I do not have to submit to authority’s requests, such as social distancing?

Am I encouraging others with positive words and ways to also stay strong in the Lord and to follow our leaders? …”God who gives life to the dead and calls things into existence that do not exist.” Romans 4:17b (CSB)

Am I using my time in positive, creative and productive ways such as contacting and helping others, physically and mentally exercising, cleaning at home, etc.?

Are you praying positively, especially for those on the frontlines?

And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

Matthew 21:22 (CSB)

I Love you and praying for you !

And thank you for your feedback.

-Pastor Tom


March 28, 2020

The coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic has brought out a lot of discussion regarding God. Is this pestilence God’s punishment for the sins of people? Sickness, disease, pestilence, and death have been part of creation since Adam and Eve sinned. We live in a fallen world. Sin is rampant. People disobey God’s laws. People live immoral lives and call it convenient. God has a right to punish mankind for breaking God’s laws. This is justice. But God also provides Mercy and Grace!
Ephesians 2:4-5 (CSB) But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, 5made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!…
8For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— 9not from works, so that no one can boast.
Our sin separates us from God. Jesus gave His life on the cross to pay the penalty for our rebellion, our breaking God’s laws. God’s Grace gave us Jesus. God’s Mercy gives us the ability to be forgiven. Your faith is receiving God’s Grace of forgiveness by accepting Jesus as your Savior and Lord.
Romans 10:9-10 (CSB) If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.
Believers and non-believers may debate if the COVID-19 is God’s punishment on mankind. We may never know for certain. COVID-19 will run its course as all epidemics have. The larger question is have you received God’s forgiveness by acknowledging Jesus as your Savior and your Lord! The pandemic will end. Make sure your life does not end without Jesus!
-Pastor Tom Hodge


March 27, 2020

We are in the first week of spring and normally we would be enjoying the beautiful weather such as walking the beach, meeting with friends, etc. However, we are having to practice “social distancing”.

Although we may be physically separated from family and friends, we are able to electronically connect with them. This can also be a great time to contact people you have not seen in a while. Reconnect electronically with people in your connection class, shut-ins and neighbors.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to connect with God. Your prayers are necessary and effective.

At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you. 14Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 15My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (NLT) 


Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. James 5:16 (NLT) 


Both Old and New Testament verses tell us that when we are in trouble:

  1. We should humble ourselves and pray,
  2. We should confess our sins,
  3. God will answer and heal,
  4. The prayer of a confessed Believer is powerful and produces wonderful results!
While we are “socially distanced” from one another we should be spiritually connected to God and electronically connected to each other! What the enemy meant as a curse, God will turn it into a blessing!
-Pastor Tom Hodge


March 26, 2020

When I was growing up there was a favorite cave that my friends and I would explore. It was a “hidden” cave where the entrance was concealed behind a very large boulder. One had to know where the cave was located in order to find the entrance. This became our secret hiding place!
In the Bible King David was running from King Saul and David found a hiding place in the Cave of Adullam (1 Samuel 22). That became David’s secret hiding place!


Psalm 57 begins:

“When he (David) fled before Saul into the cave. Be gracious to me, God, be gracious to me, for I take refuge in You. I will seek refuge in the shadow of Your wings until danger passes. 2I call to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me. 3He reaches down from heaven and saves me, challenging the one who tramples me. Selah God sends His faithful love and truth.”

With the scare of COVID-19, I am tempted to seek comfort by returning to my secret hiding cave. But then I am reminded by God’s Holy Spirit, my hiding place is in God’s protection until the danger passes! We do not need a cave. We have God! Christians are cautious but not fearful!

-Pastor Tom Hodge


March 25, 2020

The Coronavirus has brought a tremendous amount of stress on individuals, families and nations. Handling stress correctly takes a lot of energy and focus.

I am thankful that God realized this and has given us His Word about correctly managing stress.

The Apostle Paul enlightens us about stress in 2 Corinthians 1:8-10a (CSB)
We don’t want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of our affliction that took place in Asia. We were completely overwhelmed —beyond our strength—so that we even despaired of life itself. 9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death, so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead. 10He has delivered us from such a terrible death,

and He will deliver us. We have put our hope in Him that He will deliver us again… “

Stress and uncontrollable circumstances can teach us that only God is in control! We can focus our trust on Him and not on ourselves or anyone else either! He has delivered us before and He will deliver us again! We have God’s promise!

Father, thank you for taking the curse of the enemy and turning it into a blessing. We pray that you, Father, will intercede in the coronavirus pandemic and bring it to an end! We also pray that you, Father, will use this pandemic as a means of bringing revival to our nation and to the entire world! In Jesus name we request this!
-Pastor Tom Hodge


March 24, 2020

No Place to Hide


With the fear of the coronavirus epidemic one can feel as if there is no place to safely hide! One can be fearful to go anywhere in public.

The Bible tells a similar predicament of King David. He was running from King Saul and tried to hide in a Philistine city. The problem, the Philistines were constantly at war with the Israelites and David was known to have killed the champion Philistine, Goliath. David ran but he could not hide!

Psalm 56 is David’s Psalm about trying to hide in an enemy city.

When I am afraid, I will trust in you. 4In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  Psalm 56:3-4a

Christians can take great comfort in David’s dilemma.
  1. There are times when we feel afraid.

The Bible does not say that God’s people never feel afraid. God fully understands that there are times and circumstances that cause us concern.

  1. When we begin to feel afraid, we know that God is there protecting us!

As David said, “I will trust in God!” We can trust God because He always keeps His Word! God promised to never leave us nor forsake us! (Hebrews 13:5)

Make sure that Jesus is your Savior and Lord (1 John 5:11-13)! Then when times and circumstances make you feel cautious, you do not have to be afraid!
-Pastor Tom Hodge


March 20, 2020

Christians are cautious, not fearful!

King Solomon is dedicating the Temple and he prays to God. In his prayer Solomon lists several things that Israel would do where they needed to repent and pray. Then, beginning in verse 37…

When there is famine in the land, when there is pestilence, when there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, when their enemy besieges them in the land and its cities, when there is any plague or illness, 38every prayer or petition that any person or that all your people Israel may have— they each know their own affliction— as they spread out their hands toward this temple, 39may you hear in heaven, your dwelling place, and may you forgive, act, and give to everyone according to all their ways, since you know each heart, for you alone know every human heart, 40so that they may fear you all the days they live on the land you gave our ancestors. – 1 Kings 8:37-40 (CSB)

King Solomon says God’s people, individually and collectively, will pray and God will forgive and act on behalf of His people! Let’s pray and receive God’s promise to hear and answer our prayers.

God, thank you for hearing your people as we pray. We ask you to intercede and bring an end to the COVID-19. May this curse become a blessing reaching people for Christ as all people see the mighty hand of God! In Jesus name, AMEN!
-Pastor Tom Hodge


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