So That No One May Boast

Scripture: But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.
1 Corinthians 1:27-29 NIV

Observation: Paul explains how God uses the weak to humble the strong.

Application: This is how Jesus conducted his ministry. He always went to the wretched. He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor…” Mark 2:17a NIV Jesus made the point that the weak in spirit need the Lord just like the elites. By ministering to them as the “high and mighty” leadership looked on he illustrated God’s plan to be all inclusive and to bring all men to himself through Christ.

Prayer: Father, thank you for wanting me so much that you sent Jesus. I pray that I am worthy of you and of Jesus’ sacrifice for me. Amen


Valentine’s Day

Scripture: My beloved is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows,  peering through the lattice.
My beloved spoke and said to me,  “Arise, my darling,  my beautiful one, come with me.
See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone.
Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.
The fig tree forms its early fruit; the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
“Arise, come, my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.”   Song of Solomon 2:9-13

Observation: The Song of Solomon is a guide to marriage.  Throughout it’s chapters and verses it tells not only of the proper courtship between two people but it’s gives a daily account of their marriage, “until death do us part.”  In the above scripture the Lord tells us how when we marry  the proper man.  He is our protector and as he loves the Lord and loves the woman that the Lord has blessed him with he builds a confidence in her that allows her to let the past go and look forward in Christ.  She then becomes fruit bearing in her relationship with the Lord.

Application: Doug is the young stag my heart searched for most of my life.  In our father’s mercy and grace he gave me a Christ-driven man.  He’s full of  integrity, passion for truth and love according to Christ’s values.  Through Doug’s love for me, my winter is passing.  The woman who was lost to sin has found the freedom to face her sin and ask forgiveness.  The barren soil has seedlings growing which will burst forth with beautiful flowers and a sweet loving fragrance.
Prayer: Thank you Lord!  You are the God of Mercy and Grace.  Even a sinner like me can receive the love and forgiveness I never thought possible.  Thank you for giving Doug the ability to see me through your eyes.  Bless him Lord.  Let me honor him with my love and friendship each and everyday!  Amen

Have a great day!  Thank you,


Trust God

Scripture: Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) Genesis 13:10 NIV

Observation: Abrahm and Lot part company.

Application: As I read today I was initially struck by the fact that Lot knew what “the garden of the Lord,” Eden, looked like. I wasn’t really sure what lesson that fact would teach me so I decided to read on and ponder. As I continued to think about this passage I realized the obvious, Lot jumped at the chance to seize the “best” and let his uncle have the left-overs. How often do we do the same thing? Instead of asking for guidance from God, we latch onto what is the most pleasing at the moment only to find disaster in the end. Lot lost his family and his possessions because the “best” ended up being the worst and God destroyed it all in the end. Abrahm trusted God, took the left-overs and ended up being the father of God’s chosen people. We shouldn’t trust in our fleshly desires; just like Abrahm, we should trust in the Lord.

Prayer: Father, help me to rely on you and not on my earthly urges. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen


For You Laurie

Scripture: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 NIV

Observation: Words from Jesus.

Application: Laurie, this passage spoke to me for you this morning. I know that you’re tired and worn out, Jesus wants you to find the rest that you need in him. Don’t look to me, the kids, church or work, look to the Lord. I love you have a great day.

Prayer: Father, give Laurie rest, peace of mind and a calmness in her spirit as she rests in you. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen


Happy New Year!

Scripture: Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. Acts 1:24-26 NIV

Observation: The apostles chose a successor to Judas.

Application: I find it interesting that within three verses we see the apostles go from asking God to choose Judas’ successor to they, themselves, literally rolling the dice to make the choice. Now I could be wrong but it seems to me that their choice of Matthias never really became a real “mover and a shaker” in the apostolic world. God’s choice of Saul, on-the-other-hand, ended up writing somewhere in the neighborhood of half of the New Testament. Huh, I wonder if man knows best or if maybe we should try to wait on God and allow him to lead once in awhile? Just a little food-for-thought to start the new year.

Prayer: Father, help me to wait on you this year. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

P. S. I will be reading from the “M’Cheyne One Year Reading Plan” bible study this year until and unless my pastor has a different plan for the congregation. It takes you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice in a year. I will continue to do the daily journal email and blog entry using that study plan. Happy New Year!


Merry CHRISTmas

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 NKJV


God’s “Pay it Forward”

Scripture: “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:8-11 NIV

Observation: Malachi relays God’s words about the tithe.

Application: To my knowledge this is the only place in the bible that God says that his promise may be tested and I believe that this promise is specifically about tangible possessions. God says right here in Malachi that if we tithe we will be so richly blessed that we will have more “stuff” than we can handle. I believe that our inclination will be to then give the excess away to help sustain others because that’s a natural inclination God put within us–give to him, he gives back to us in excess, we give to others. In the secular world a few years ago they termed it, “paying it forward.” That was a big theme in a movie that gave no credit to God as the author of the concept but it was basically God’s tithe principle. When we give back to God what he has given us, he blesses us with all that we need and so much more that we bless others by giving to them as well as back to him. Then they bless him and others…and so on. Ain’t God cool?!

Prayer: Father, thank you so much for all of the blessings that you give to me. Help me to bless others as you make it possible by providing for those blessings. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen


Praise God

Scripture: 1 Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.
Psalm 150:1-6 NIV

Observation: When are we to praise God?

Application: We are to praise him at all times and in all circumstances.

Prayer: Father, thank you for today. Thank you for all of the opportunities that I will have to give you praise today. I thank you and give you all praise and glory and honor. Amen


Go Make Disciples

Scripture: I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety‑nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7 NIV

Observation: Jesus teaches a parable about the joy God has when a lost person returns to him.

Application: I wonder sometimes how or why many Christians act so lovingly to the extremely unloveable in our world. Then I see through scripture that Jesus didn’t teach to go into the world and make disciples of everybody–except…that guy or those people. He taught to go make disciples of ALL men. Especially the truly unloveable sinners among us because, “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety‑nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:7 NIV

Prayer: Father, let me help I’m some small way today to fulfill your commission to me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen


The Remnant…America

Scripture: Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, “Please hear our petition and pray to the Lord your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. Pray that the Lord your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do.” “I have heard you,” replied Jeremiah the prophet. “I will certainly pray to the Lord your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the Lord says and will keep nothing back from you.” Then they said to Jeremiah, “May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us.  Jeremiah 42:1-5 NIV
He said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: ‘If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the Lord, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. Jeremiah 42:9-11 NIV

Observation: The Jewish remnant is in their land and their leaders ask Jeremiah to pray for guidance from the Lord as to what they should do. I was particularly struck by the way the Jews asked Jeremiah to pray for them, “…pray to the Lord your God…” Jeremiah put it right back on them and told them he would seek guidance from “their God.” I thought that these interpretations from the original texts were odd. Surely the Jews had misspoke in their request.

Application: As I read on in Jeremiah 43 it became clear, “When Jeremiah finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, ‘You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, “You must not go to Egypt to settle there.” ‘ ” Jeremiah 43:1&2 NIV They asked Jeremiah to seek of his Lord because they had become so corrupted over time that they truly did not know God…not unlike a certain country that I live in and love. Like the nation of Israel, America has lost its way; its moral compass. This country was founded on Christian principles, faith in God, freedom to worship. Like that remnant of Israel our country denies God’s sovereignty or the need to cede to any “higher” authority than man. We are certainly the worse for it! We are in desperate need for God to extend grace to us and save us from ourselves.

Prayer: Father, you are sovereign! I ask that you save this country from itself. We don’t deserve your grace but we need it desperately. We have done everything within our power to offend you and to deny, defy, and distance ourselves from your Devine protection. I’m ashamed of what America has become in many ways because we have thrown you out of every aspect of our lives and our society. Forgive us, Father. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen