Coming Soon

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 1 Chronicles 10-11 & Psalms 105-106
Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 10- Epitaphs


1 Chronicles 10:13
“So Saul died for his unfaithfulness which he had committed against the Lord, because he did not keep the word of the Lord, and also because he consulted a medium for guidance.”… Read More 

1 Chronicles 11- Coming Soon!
1 Chronicles 11:1-3
“Then all Israel came together to David at Hebron, saying, ‘Indeed we are your bone and your flesh. Also, in time past, even when Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel out and brought them in; and the Lord your God …
Read More

Psalm 105- Tested
Psalms 105:19
“…The word of the Lord tested him.”
This psalm recounts the faithfulness of God during the days of the patriarchs. After mentioning Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Psalmist reminds us of the struggles Joseph faced after being sold into slavery by his own brothers. We know he experienced… Read More

Psalm 106- Leanness Of Soul

Psalm 106:13-15
“They soon forgot His works; they did not wait for His counsel, but lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their soul.”

As Israel followed God out of Egypt… Read More

Fresh Start

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10 & Psalms 103-104
Old Testament: 1 Chronicles 4:9-10- A Fresh Start

1 Chronicles 4:9-10

“Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “’Because I bore him in pain.’ And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.”…
Read More

Psalm 103- East From West

Psalm 103:11-13
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.”
It is a common advertising strategy to attempt to sell an item by comparing it to something else. We might see a car commercial with a cheetah running, to convince us of the speed of the vehicle; or a flowing river, to reveal… Read More    

Psalm 104- Majesty Of God

images.jpegPsalms 104:1
“Bless the Lord, O my soul!
O Lord my God, You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty”

The greatness of God causes the psalmist to break forth in… Read More

Window

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 2 Kings 25 & Psalms 101-102
Old Testament: 2 Kings 25- Besieged 

2 Kings 25:2
“So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.”

Imagine sitting on Mount Scopus, just a little northeast of Jerusalem, as the Babylonian forces surrounded the city. Before long, the walls were penetrated, and the city taken. First… Read More

 

Psalm 101- Window To Your Soul

Psalm 101:3
I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.”

One of the saddest experiences in life is to see a close friend fall away from the Lord. From the outside, the process often looks the same. A person, who once… Read More

Psalm 102- Prayer of the Broken

Psalms 102:17
“He shall regard the prayer of the destitute, and shall not despise their prayer.”

Sometimes the Psalms come with titles that give insight into the situation that stirred the author to write. In his case, we are not given the details of his life circumstances, but are told… Read More

Survival

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 2 Kings 23-24 & Psalms 99-100
Old Testament: 2 Kings 23- Covenant

Unknown-3.jpeg2 Kings 23:3
“Then the king stood by a pillar and made a covenant before the Lord, to follow the Lord and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes, with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people took a stand for the covenant.”… Read

2 Kings 24- Survival 

2 Kings 24:3
“Surely at the commandment of the Lord this came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done.”

The final chapters of 2 Kings tell the story of the death of a nation. After having a glorious beginning, and being miraculously sustained for a thousand years, the nation of Judah is defeated, the Temple destroyed, and the people taken as prisoners … Read More

Psalm 99- God Who Forgives

Psalms 99:8
“You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though You took vengeance on their deeds.”

The Psalmist writes regarding the forgiveness of God and the fact that He will mete out vengeance on certain… Read More

Psalm 100- You Should Know Better

Psalm 100:3  
“Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”

Have you ever heard the phrase, “you should have known better?”  We use it when we view evidence so compelling… Read More

You Know That’s Right

TODAY’S DAILY READING: 2 Kings 21-22 & Psalms 97-98
Old Testament: 2 Kings 21- Pay Attention

2 Kings 21:1-2
“Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel.”

Manasseh, king of … Read More

2 Kings 22- You Know That’s Right

2 Kings 22:2
“And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.”

Josiah was the youngest king to reign over the nation … Read More

Psalm 97- Love And Hate

Psalm 97:10
You who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.”

I find it striking that the Psalmist declares that hate is a necessary… Read More

Community

2 Kings 19:3
And they said to him, “Thus says Hezekiah: ‘This day is a day of trouble, and rebuke, and blasphemy; for the children have come to birth, but there is no strength to bring them forth.”

27332067_1954461031260749_277830296532342558_n.jpgThis verse paints a vivid picture as the nation of Israel is compared to a child who lacks the necessary strength to grow. This image is that of a struggle that many Christians face. We have trusted Christ and as a result have been born of God but we lack the strength to let go of certain behaviors or to effectively serve the Lord. This often leads to discouragement and in some cases to greater failure. Over the years I have spoken with many people who shared that a failure in their walk with God has often led to greater failure. A person who looks once at something they shouldn’t will usually look several times before they find the strength to stop and a person who is afraid to step out and serve Christ will often miss many opportunities before they find strength. Just today I met a young man who staggered onto the church grounds. With his arm in a sling and a few exposed bruises,  he shared with me how his life is falling apart do to his drinking. He stated that he had received the Lord and that he loves Jesus but that he struggles to find the strength to let go of the things that keep pulling him down. Fortunately there is a remedy not just for this young man but for all of us. Those who have been born of a God can find the strength necessary to grow out of their struggles and into their relationship with Jesus. This strength is found in several places.

There is strength found in community. Each person must make an individual decision to follow Christ but no one has to follow alone. Like a coal in a fire we will find our greatest success when we are lumped together with others who want to live for Christ. The more effort we give to developing community with other believers the more strength we will have to grow. Find a good church, get plugged into a connect group and invest in some Christian relationships. Beyond doubt you will find that there is strength in numbers.

There is strength found in the Bible. The promises of God are so sure that no force in heaven or on earth is strong enough to break them. The Bible contains the ability to empower us. When we read it’s pages we find that the Words of the Bible act like spiritual food strengthening our inner man. The more we invest the promises of Scripture the greater our strength will become. When Daniel was weakened by his circumstances we read that he heard the word of God and was given the strength to rise to his feet. When Jeremiah felt the obstacles to serving Jesus were too great to overcome he decided he would no longer share the words of God with others, that is until the word of God burned within him like a fire. Taking the word in empowered him to give it out.

There is strength found in the Spirit of God. Jesus promised to give the Holy Spirit to any one who asks. He also said that the Spirit would give us power and that power would help us to live a life that would be a good example to others. The Bible is filled with example s of ordinary men who receive strength to do extraordinary things through the Spirit of God. Samson defeated enemies, Saul spoke for God, Peter engaged a hostile crowd and led thousands to Christ and the same power is available to the child of God today. It is worth noting that the Spirit provides strength for us when we choose to obey God. It was when the crippled man allowed Peter to pull him to his feet the Spirit of God gave strength to his legs to hold him and as Moses’ staff hit the waters of the Red Sea that they actually parted. We will find the same bing to be true today. When you choose to do what God asks the Spirit will always provide the power to do it.

There is strength in setting up a good defense. Ancient cities built walls to ensure the safety of the inhabitants. Even Jerusalem, the city of God had high walls erected around it for protection. When Nehemiah arrived and saw the walls broken down he demanded that the people do more than pray for protection but that they work hard to build solid defenses against attack. Strength will be found when we realize our weaknesses and take the time to erect safeguards in our lives that will make it more difficult to fail. A good filtering program for you computer or smart phone will do more for your spiritual health than simply trying to must up more will power against temptation. The higher your walls of protection the greater your strength will become. Solomon wrote; “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Here is strength in preparing in advance for the daily battles we face.

Those who have moved on from infancy in their walk with Jesus have not done so because they have a different constitution than the rest of us but because they have found strength greater than themselves. Maybe it is time to approach your walk with Jesus a little bit differently. Perhaps it is time to see it as a team effort and get plugged in with others who will help you grow.

Pastor Jim

Sing To The Lord

TODAY’S DAILY READING: Psalm 96

Psalms 96:1
“Oh, sing to the Lord a new song!
Sing to the Lord, all the earth.”

Unknown-2.jpegA few years ago while visiting a church, this particular verse was shared during the praise and worship. The worship leader drew application from the verse by encouraging everyone to sing whatever came to their mind at the moment. The result was a vast array of voices singing, speaking and in some cases shouting out different things about the character of God. While I do not doubt the sincerity of the worship team, or the congregation for that matter, I wonder if that is the best application for this verse. The psalmist, a song writer himself is actually encouraging us to author our own song to the Lord.

Songs are often written out of experience. A person endures a difficulty in life and puts a poem to music that reflects the way they felt or the things they learned. The same is true when we have happy, sad or lonely experiences. Rarely are songs ever written without a story behind them. As a result, perhaps the Psalmist is encouraging us to experience more of the Lord so we have more to sing about. If you haven’t taken a step of faith lately, perhaps now would be a good time. The end will be that you have written a new song about the faithfulness of the Lord.

Take some time to pray about what new ways the Lord a wants you to serve Him.

Pastor Jim