Glory Of Creation

Psalms 8:1
O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!”

Webster defines glory as “Great beauty and splendor, even magnificence.” David is declaring things about the magnificence of God. It seems this Psalm was penned as a result of looking at the beauty of creation, in light of the Creator. He realizes that as glorious as creation is, it pales by comparison to the Creator.

How sad, that we often neglect to consider the creation’s glory. We seem to be surrounded by the works of men. We live in a manmade house, drive a manmade car, on manmade streets, to a manmade office, eating manmade food, from manmade packages; and wonder why we have lost sight of God. What if we took time to consider the works of God’s hands? We are, after all, surrounded by it. It was designed to reveal His glory.

When was the last time you went outside, looked up at the vastness of the heavens, and considered the power of God? That can be a very humbling experience. A few years ago, I walked across the tarmac in Accra, Ghana, to board an A380 Airbus; the world’s largest commercial aircraft. It was an amazing sight. With each step toward the airplane, I felt smaller and smaller. I was dwarfed by this massive machine. It amazed me that something so large would ever be able to get off the ground. Soon the engines fired up and we began to race down the runway. Moments later, we were in the air. I looked out the window and watched as the city of Accra seemed to get smaller and smaller. My attention was soon taken to the vastness of space. This giant airplane, that only moments before, had seemed so great, was now just a tiny dot in the air. I pondered the vastness of space. There I was, a speck of dust, traveling on a speck of dust, in the limitless heavens. Rather than feeling insignificant or unimportant, I began to think of David’s words recorded here. “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?”

Although creation is great and glorious, God’s glory outshines it all. Perhaps the most glorious thing about Him, is that He loves us, and wants to meet with us. Rather than feeling insignificant, the greatness of God’s glory should fill us with wonder that He loves each of us so deeply. Take some time, not only to consider the glory of creation, but to consider the glory of God.

Pastor Jim

Psalm 8

  1. The heavens are glorious, what sits even higher in glory than that?
  2. David seems to be sitting outside at night contemplating creation when he pens this psalm. Sadly evolutionary theory has caused many to look at nature wrongly. We should look at the vast beauty and detail of nature and be filled with greater praise for our Creator. Take some time to go outside and look at the world your heavenly Father created for you. Praise Him!
  3. David writes that although man is lower than the angels in glory and strength. The Lord has visited us. That visitation includes the work of Christ upon the cross. Have you received Christ as your Lord and Savior? Ask Him into your life right now and watch the amazing work He does in you.



Will This Ever Work

1 Samuel 7:13
“So the Philistines were subdued, and they did not come anymore into the territory of Israel…”

Israel faced a constant threat from the Philistines. They had come into the territory promised to Israel, taken land, and threatened the people. Earlier in 1 Samuel, the nation mustered all its strength to drive the Philistines out of their territories, only to suffer a devastating loss. In that earlier battle, the people gathered around a religious artifact, went forth in all the strength they had, and were defeated. Now, some years later, we find them once again facing the same threat. This time, however, their efforts resulted in a great victory. What was the difference? How were they able to defeat an enemy which had plagued them for so many years?

1 Samuel 7:3
“Then Samuel spoke to all the house of Israel, saying, ‘If you return to the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the foreign gods and the Ashtoreths from among you, and prepare your hearts for the LORD, and serve Him only; and He will deliver you from the hand of the Philistines.’”

Notice the steps that led to their success. First, they were to return to the LORD and put away foreign gods. The order here is of the utmost importance. Too often, we think we must make great changes in our lives, in order to come to the LORD. We think all that is wrong with us, must be cleaned up and fixed, before we can take the steps forward and receive forgiveness for sin. This may be the ultimate in putting the cart before the horse. We don’t clean up our act and come to Christ. We come to Christ and allow Him to clean us up. The first step is to come, and let Him transform our lives.

Step two in their return, was committing themselves to the things that mattered to the LORD. We read that they “Served Him only…” One of the main reasons people fall away from the LORD is they never really committed themselves to Him. There was the initial realization of the need of forgiveness, but never the commitment of their lives to Christ. If we want to ensure victory, there must be a commitment to serve. Ask yourself “In what way do I serve Jesus at my church?” If you have no answer for that question, then figure out how you can get involved. Help in a Sunday School class, hospitality, greeting, parking lot ministry, or join a Home Fellowship. The possibilities are endless and the impact in your personal walk will be tremendous.

Pastor Jim


The Way I Am Feeling

1 Samuel 8:6
“But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, ‘Give us a king to judge us., So Samuel prayed to the Lord.”

images-1.jpeg Samuel was given some very bad news. He was informed that the people no longer wanted to be governed by God, and personal responsibility, but wanted to have a king to lead them. We read, their actions displeased Samuel and his displeasure drove him to pray. It was in prayer that he was able to hear the word of the Lord.

The word “displeased” describes Samuel’s emotional state. This same word is also translated as troubled, afflicted, or angered. We learn Israel’s godly leader was affected by the same emotions that we struggle through and he allowed his emotional condition to drive him to prayer. Samuel is not alone. We find a variety of Biblical characters experiencing a vast array of emotions, which was the driving force that directed them to pray.

Back in chapter seven we read that the nation feared the Philistines and that their fear drove them to prayer.

1 Samuel 7:7-8
“…And when the children of Israel heard of it, they were afraid of the Philistines. So the children of Israel said to Samuel, ‘Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, that He may save us from the hand of the Philistines.'”

 David was no stranger to emotions. His poetic writings are filled will examples of his emotional condition leading to prayer. In times of anger, fear, anxiety, and disappointment, he learned to go before the Lord for comfort and for answers.

In one of the most beautiful and practical promises in Scripture, Paul wrote that when we are anxious we should not worry but pray with thanksgiving and the peace of God will guard us (Philippians 4:6-7).

Whatever emotions you are struggling through today, whether life is causing you fear, anxiety, bitterness, or joy, the best place to unload these feelings is at the throne of Grace, where God promises to give you help in time of need.


Pastor Jim


The Mornings 

Psalms 5:3 
“My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.”

On a regular basis, how would you describe your mornings? Do you wake up grumpy, dreading another day? Or late, rushing to get your responsibilities done? Or perhaps you arise and rush to get the morning paper, check the news, or peruse Facebook, or the web.

David declares that his mornings began with the Lord. Even in the midst of difficult and trying times, he would start his day off enjoying fellowship with God. David determined that before he spent time walking about in this life, he would first spend time with the Lord. There is something special about beginning our days with the Lord. Like the early morning offerings sacrificed at the Temple, we should bring our lives before God as a morning offering. When we give the Lord first place in our day, we will find that He prepares us for what is ahead.

There have been so many days where I have had encounters with others, and realized, what I read in my morning devotions, proved to be the very counsel they needed. I have found that during morning prayer, the Lord will impress upon my heart someone who needs prayer; and later find that they were going through something difficult. I was able to participate in their victory by simply praying for them. Most of all, I have observed, when I start my day with the Lord, I avoid many of the pitfalls that I trip over on the days that I neglect to give Him first place.

Begin today making a commitment to start your day with the Lord. If you are not reading through your Bible regularly, go to and follow along with us, in the Through The Bible Reading.

When you give the Lord first place, you will find your life being transformed by Him.

Pastor Jim


Hard Heart

1 Samuel 6:6
Why then do you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? When He did mighty things among them, did they not let the people go, that they might depart?”

Tucked away in the story of the Philistines return of the Ark to Israel, is this powerful exhortation regarding the danger of hardening our hearts to God. We are reminded of the difficulties Pharaoh endured because of his refusal to humble himself and obey the Word of God. The lessons from this exhortation are twofold.

First, we need to examine our lives to be certain we are not hardening our hearts. If there is any area where we are making excuses for an attitude or behavior that is unbiblical, then we are in danger of hardening our heart to the Word. This may seem obvious, but the danger of hardening our hearts is that we will ultimately end up with a hard heart. Each time God speaks and we refuse to listen, we become a little less sensitive to his voice, until one day we find it almost impossible to hear Him. This can stop immediately, all we need to do is obey what His Word teaches.

There is a second lesson here. This exhortation did not come from a Hebrew priest or king, but from the lips of an unbeliever. Here, we find a person who knew the truth of God enough to instruct others, yet he himself was unwilling to make a decision to follow God. Imagine knowing the stories recorded in Scripture, seeing the hand of God at work in the life of others, and yet refusing to surrender to the Lord personally. Sadly for some, we do not have to imagine, because that is exactly what they are doing. This man could have passed a written test on who God is, yet when it came to his own life, he refused to surrender to God and walk with Him.

Pastor Jim


Spoils Of War

1 Samuel 5:7
“And when the men of Ashdod saw how it was, they said, ‘The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is harsh toward us and Dagon our god.’”

The Philistines mustered all their courage as they confronted Israel on the battlefield. They soon overpowered the Israeli army and took the spoils of war. In this battle, the spoils included the Ark of the Covenant. Upon returning to Ashdod, the Philistines placed the Ark in the their temple, and found themselves facing an interesting predicament; they now had two gods. As night fell, so did Dagon the Philistine god. When morning’s light appeared, they discovered the image of Dagon had fallen before the Ark of Jehovah. Their reaction was to help Dagon back to his feet. However, the next morning, they found Dagon had once again fallen, and this time, been destroyed. Realizing Jehovah would not share His position as God, the Philistines had a decision to make. Which God would they serve? Sadly, they rejected the true and living God and selected a man-made god.

Matthew 6:24
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

We all face the same decision. We have before us the true and living God, who loves us, and will set us free from the bondage of sin and death. We also have countless other things demanding our worship, service, devotion, time and hearts. We must decide who we will choose to serve and follow. The Philistines not only made the wrong choice, they made a foolish one. They saw the folly of Dagon, yet chose him anyway. Their decision was no doubt influenced by many things, including the fact that for generations their fathers had worshipped Dagon.

For some, the strong tie that keeps them from coming to Christ, is the realization that in accepting Christ, they are admitting they have been doing things wrong in the past. Don’t be so foolish as to let your pride keep you from surrendering to the One who will forgive your sins and transform your life.

Pastor Jim



Psalms 3:1
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me.”

We go through seasons in life.   Some are calm and pleasant, while others seem to be like violent storms, with waves crashing upon us from almost every direction. While we may feel as though we are under assault, this is not a new phenomenon. King David, Israel’s most godly king, was no stranger to difficulty. He faced the same struggles we face, and perhaps a few more. At this point in his life, he was blindsided when he learned that his own son had turned against him, organized an army, and was attempting to overthrow the kingdom. His response to this hardship is filled will practical examples for us to cling to, in the midst of our own trying times.

First, David prayed. His prayer consisted of crying out for help, rehearsing his circumstances to the Lord, and choosing to cling to the promises of God. Whatever you are facing, it is important to keep in mind that you can cast all your cares on the Lord, because He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). Perhaps it was in prayer that David made a decision that would prove to protect the nation and save countless innocent lives. Unlike any other king, David chose not to fight to save his kingdom. Instead, he retreated, giving Jerusalem to Absalom and his forces. What may have looked like giving up, proved to be a move that would ensure victory and save the nation.

Second, David knew the Lord would help Him. He writes,

Psalms 3:3
“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head.”

Because God was his shield, David knew he did not have to defend himself and God would protect him. Because God was his glory, David sought above personal feelings or comforts, to do only what was right in the eyes of God. Because God would ultimately lift David up, he knew that the best place to be was prostrate at His feet.

No matter what you are facing, the solution will be found as you follow the example of David and cry out to God.

Pastor Jim



Psalms 4:4 
“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.”

As A child, I spent a lot of time on the ocean. My dad loved sailing and we would spend time every summer living on the boat. I can remember times when the seas were so rough that we had to put anything breakable on the floor of the cabin, so it would not be knocked down and broken. In seas like that, it became very difficult to walk. I can remember grabbing hold of anything solid to keep me from falling overboard. When we reached the shore, even the solid ground seemed to move under my feet. Emotions are like that. They often seem like a turbulent sea; when we let them control us, we find that life is a pretty unstable place.

In this Psalm, David is facing things that would certainly impact his emotions. While he does not divulge a lot of detail, we know that his life was constantly being threatened. There were people who wanted to kill him, keep him from the throne, or take the throne from him. In the midst of that kind of conflict, David takes a moment to exhort us regarding emotions.

“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.”

David states we can be angry and not sin. That means at least two things. One, there is an anger that is righteous. There are certain things that, if we are a child of God, must anger us. If we look at the rise of ungodliness around us, and are not effected emotionally, we need to check our spiritual pulse and be sure we truly are born again. But there is a second, more practical truth here. Anger is not sin; anger is an emotion. Like all emotions, when they rise up within us, we have a choice to make. Do we allow our emotions, or a force greater than our emotions, to control us?

In Galatians 5, Paul contrasts living in the Spirit with living after the flesh.

“Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.”

Walking in the Spirit means we are allowing ourselves to be influenced by the Word of God, rather than by our emotions. The Holy Spirit wields the Word of God like a sword, revealing how God would have us react. At that moment, we are left with a choice, will we give in to our emotions and react in a sinful manner, or will we succumb to the work of the Spirit, and react in a godly way? David goes on to give us his secret on how not to give in to the flesh, he says, “Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still.” In other words, when our emotions begin to rage, whether anger, fear, jealousy, anxiety or any other wave of emotion, we must place our attention upon the Lord. We must seek Him for the strength to behave in a way that is pleasing to Him, and ultimately beneficial to the circumstances. Don’t live after the flesh. Don’t let your emotions be the driving force in your life. Allow the Spirit of God to use the Word of God to direct you, even when your emotions are like a turbulent sea.

Pastor Jim

Psalm 4

  1. What does David declare that the sons of man are in love with?
  2. Anger can be a terrible thing. Because of it we often find ourselves doing or saying things we wish we hadn’t and even hurting the people that we love the most. What does David tell us to do when we are angry?
  3. This psalm is a song, it was written not just to be read but sung at the top of our lungs as an expression of praise. According to verse 7 what is the mood of this song?
  4. The Lord alone can turn troubled times and an angry person into a celebrating saint. Take your trials to Him today

By The Word

1 Samuel 3:21
“Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.”

Long before Jerusalem was established as the capital of Israel, Shiloh was the ancient location of the Tabernacle. It was at Shiloh, where the High Priest would meet with the LORD on the Day of Atonement. It was there, where the glory of the LORD would fill the Holiest place like a cloud.

Samuel was a prophet, not a priest. He served at the Tabernacle, but never entered the Holy place. It was not for Him to pass through the veil and meet with the LORD. Yet, we read, the LORD appeared to Samuel in Shiloh, “by the Word of the Lord.” Samuel could meet daily with the Lord. Whatever circumstance he might be facing, he could have an encounter with God and receive direction for life. He could hear God speak to his private life, family life, and ministry. Imagine young Samuel sitting down with scroll in hand and receiving direction from the LORD.

The same can be true of you and me. If we will, daily, take time to look into our Bibles, we will find that God speaks to our lives. This happens in a number of ways. First,as you commit to reading through portions of the Word, you will find God knew in advance what you were going to face, and speaks specifically to your circumstances. Second, there are times when we need to investigate specifically what the Bible has to say about certain subjects. You might be facing a problem with someone who has hurt your feelings and you are not sure how to react. In those times, we need to look through the Word to see what God says about forgiveness, and how to treat those who wrong us. Finally, this happens when the Word of God is being taught. The Bible is like a Sword in the hands of the Holy Spirit, who will strike our hearts with what we most need to hear. Coming into Bible study with an expectation to hear from God and obey, is the best way to ensure that God speaks to you.

Samuel had learned early in life,  when God spoke he was to respond, “Here I am LORD.” Let’s be sure we are responsive to the Word of the LORD by committing ourselves to obeying Him.

Pastor Jim


The Blessed Life

Psalm 1:1
Blessed is the man…”

When establishing the government of the United States, the founding fathers saw that man was created with certain inalienable rights. They believed it is the right of every person to be able to pursue personal happiness. They were not alone in this thinking. Many philosophers spoke of happiness as the chief goal of life.

It has been my experience that pursuing personal happiness is one of the key influences in the decision-making process of most people. While it is evident, at least to me, that the world is filled with people in pursuit of happiness; it is also clear that not many are actually finding it. Most roads that promise happiness, don’t actually get us there.

Many marriages began in hopes of becoming happy. The relationship wasn’t all that great, but the couple believed marriage would fix the problem and make them happy. For others, it has been a new job, boat, car, hobby, or even a new spouse and family. All these pursuits, though seemingly promise a better, happier life, only prove that they cannot deliver.

In this first Psalm, David sings of a road that when taken will lead, not only to happiness, but beyond that to the blessed life. This blessed life is what Jesus referred to when He said He came to give us life more abundantly (John 10:10). If we want that kind of living, David shows us what road to take. This road begins with choosing to reject the world’s counsel and accept the Lord’s. We hear the world’s counsel almost every time we turn on the TV, radio or computer. We are being told that life is found in possessions, or relationships, or activities. No regard is given to what is right in the eyes of God.

The counsel of God is found written in the pages of His Word, and we will find it when we daily delve into the Scriptures. David exhorts us to meditate upon the Word day and night. Meditation is not a process where we empty our brain of all thought, but instead, we fill our minds with what we know is well-pleasing to God. David goes on to illustrate this blessed life by comparing us to a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth fruit (Psalm 1:3). What a beautiful illustration. Your life, when lived God’s way, will become like a fruitful tree. Imagine your life being filled with love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, self-control. Imagine a life that others would look at and desire to have as their own. It does not matter what roads you have taken, it does not matter how much life has beat you down over the years, if you choose today to surrender to, and walk in the ways of God, you will find that Jesus leads you to a fruit-filled life.

Begin your journey today! Surrender all to Christ. Leave nothing in your life that is not pleasing to Him, and watch as He transforms you.

Pastor Jim