Daily Word

Psalm 16

Read Psalm 16 – Read about pleasure and joy. Do you ever think about eternity? It is that moment when we escape this world and discover what true life really is. It is that moment when time stops, when we see Jesus face to face, when we look upon every earthly trial with true perspective and know the value of what we once thought of as suffering. Oh, Beloved, the best is yet to come, yet here on earth is our only chance to shine for Christ upon those who do not know him, whose eternal destiny might be destruction, but for our impact.

David makes the very most of his days on earth beginning in verse one – asking the LORD to keep him safe and be his refuge. David tells God, “You are my Master. Every good thing I have comes from you.” :2 He speaks of the godly on earth, his true heros, those he is pleased to be with. And he speaks of those who chase after other gods, their troubles multiply. (:3-4) Have you seen how life does not make sense to those who chase after other gods? Be it money, power, spirituality, they seem so on top until trouble comes.

Verse :5 is priceless! It is the one I will be holding on to today because it reminds me that the LORD is with me now and the best is yet to come! Which verse did the Holy Spirit speak to you through? I would love it if you shared.

Daily Word

James 1

Read James 1 – Wow!  This is so good!

James addresses how to handle trials (:2-4), faith and double-mindedness (:5-7), poverty and wealth (:9-11)… I could go on and on, but let the verses speak to you.  Trusting the Holy Spirit to awaken your heart to what’s important for you today.

Enjoy this short chapter, be strengthened, convicted and encouraged by these good and perfect gifts that come down from our Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows. (my paraphrase of :17).

Daily Word

James

Read James 1:1-4 – First, to find James, turn to the back of your bible, Revelation, then turn 40-50 pages in (if you have a thick bible like I do).  You’ll pass Jude, 123John, 12Peter these are all short epistles.  James is sandwiched between Hebrews and 1 Peter.

Now, if your bible contains some sort of introduction, read that.  The James who wrote this is Jesus’ brother.  He was not an apostle.  The book of James is one of the earliest written in the New Testament.  Let’s think about that.  This would have been all the first believers had to go on, and as you read I think you’ll discover how comprehensive James was for Christian living.  

Beloved, we are the only bible many people will read.  People will not go to church or dust off their great grampa’s bible to consider Jesus, but they will watch you, how you live, if you have integrity and joy.  Do you have a life that makes Jesus apparent? 

James writes to the twelve tribes that were scattered among the nations.  This would have been after the events of Acts, when Stephen was martyred and the Jewish-Christians fled in many directions.  Life was difficult, they did not have a church to lean into because it was all brand new.  Yet, it also applies to every believer today too.  So, what is the first thing James tells them:

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know the testing of your faith develops your perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  :2-4

Beloved, is joy your go to emotion when you face a trial?  The natural inclination in a trial is fear and worry, but as a Christian you are to take those off and put on joy.  This takes some training.  James not only tells believers what to do, he tells us why.  ‘Why’ is a good thing to know when you have to make a hard change in your thinking.  He says it is to develop perseverance, and he gives that a ‘why’ as well… so we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  Now, that sounds good to me!

I pray this verse permeates you.  I encourage you to memorize it, so when you find yourself in a trial you’re able to cast those fears and worries at the foot of the cross and set your heart and mind on the joy and all that ties into a life lived for Jesus our Savior.

Daily Word

Psalm 40

Read Psalm 40 – Beloved, I am in a season. I have been rereading Deuteronomy 12 and my mind wanders. Heavy things are happening in my life and I am desperate for something more intimate than the cautions to the Israelites.
I share this, not for pity, but that you may also be attune to times when you need to change gears… God’s Word is not labor. It is His gift to us that we may know Him and how he delights to draw us near.
When I was pouring out my heart this morning and feeling like a disappointment; he drew me to Psalm 40. “I waited patiently for ADONAI, till he turned toward me and heard my cry. He brought me up from the roaring pit, up from the muddy ooze, and set my feet on a rock, making my footing firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will look on in awe and put their trust in ADONAI.” 40:1-3. I am using my COMPLETE JEWISH STUDY BIBLE today… there’s something about the richness of their word for the LORD, ‘ADONAI’, that makes my heart swoon.
And the air around me was feeling like muddy ooze – life can get so heavy – and knowing that God’s Word can relate to my heart does give me the ‘song of praise’ King David mentions.
“How much you have done, ADONAI my God! Your wonders and your thoughts toward us – none can compare with you! I would proclaim them, I would speak about them; but there’s too much to tell!” :4 Beloved, gratitude changes the very air we breathe!
My friends, can you join me today in this life giving Psalm? How is the LORD, ADONAI, reaching out to your heart in these precious 17 verses? He is great and glorious, our helper and rescuer, there is joy to be had for all who seek him… I’ll let you go on your own treasure hunt for these; they are all found in Psalm 40.

Daily Word

Mark 10

Reflections on Mark 10 – Rafiki!  It means friend in Swahili, one of the languages of Africa.   When Jesus says,  “Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them,  for to such belongs the kingdom of God,” :14, I think of the precious children I met in Tanzania.  Their reality is one of poverty far beyond what we know in America, yet they have a pure joy that is utterly magnificent. They sang songs for us, greeting us with a joy that still warms my heart. They receive our simple gifts,  a piece of candy,  a pencil,  a ball, with more gratitude than one can put into words. 

When I return one day, I will bring even more to share. Their joy is what Jesus loves.   Their joy connects me to my Savior in a full and transforming fashion…and just recalling it now draws me back in to the childlike faith Jesus wants for me and you.  

Beloved, can you grab ahold of a verse from chapter 10 and ask Jesus to bring it to life for you?