Daily Word

Zephaniah 3

Read Zephaniah 3 – Rebellion and redemption – Jerusalem is in a pridefully broken place, “No one can tell it anything, it refuses all correction.  It does not trust in the LORD or draw near to its God.” :2  That sounds very much like the times we are living in.

Things are bad, but look at verse :5!  God’s people are not lumped in with the wicked, he is there with them, “But the LORD is still there in the city and he does no wrong.  Day by day he hands down justice, and he does not fail.  But the wicked know no shame.” :5  And the LORD tells his people to be patient, his justice is coming. (:8)

The remainder of chapter 3:9-20 is overflowing with blessed hope and promise of things to come.  I keep reading through it… “For the LORD your God is living among you.  He is a mighty savior.  He will take delight in you with gladness.  With his love, he will calm all your fears.  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”  :17

Will you meditate on verse :17 for a while?  Will you imagine life with the LORD delighting in you and singing joyful songs… Do you ever think of God in this way?  He is playful, adoring, and loves you in a way that will calm your fears.  We live in a state of tension, yet God’s Word promises things will not always be this way.  Look at the protection, “And I will deal severely with all who have oppressed you.”  Consider all the unseen oppressions we face every day.  Traffic and political uncertainty, climate threats, inflation, family discord, taxes… and every other thing that oppresses your spirit will be removed under the LORD’S love and protection.  

May Zephaniah set your heart on the LORD in a fresh/refreshed manner.  He is the LORD who protects, saves, delights, sings, calms, gathers, restores, gives glory and a name of distinction to his beloved children. 

Daily Word

Ephesians 1

Read Ephesians 1 – It’s a fountain of wonderful! We talked about the importance of remembering and looking back at God’s hand over our life a few days ago, and hear Paul is doing that very thing for the church at Ephesus.

Paul reminds them of God’s goodness and power. He reminds them they were chosen before the creation of the world, predestined for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ simply because it pleased Him(God).

Paul shared his thanks and prayer support for the church. (:16) He prays that the glorious Father may give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that they would know him better. (:17)

That is a great prayer to pray over yourself, your pastor, your loved ones in Christ… that all would know Jesus better.

Paul writes about this age and the age to come (:10, :21) – life is about infinitely more than this moment!

These truths were for the Jewish and Gentile believers then and even now, you, me, all who are Saved, always. Read this chapter with the eyes of your heart wide open. May you unwrap each verse like the gift that it is and look confidently and expectantly for all that is to come.

Daily Word

Psalm 37

Read Psalm 37 -God’s got this – do not fret! Why we humans are prone to fretting is a mystery. God’s Word tells us over and over not to fret, worry or be anxious. Our Psalm freely acknowledges that there are evil folks in this world, but do not fret. Acknowledging that evil exists is better than pretending it doesn’t and being overwhelmed. Evil is here for a season, but it will wither away and be gone forever. We can trust in the LORD; the best is yet to come!

“Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” :3-7

Those are words to rest in, to trust, to fill one with hope and direction. And yes, rotten people will do rotten things and seem to get away with it… but it is only for a time. “The LORD laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.” :13

There are so many power verses in our psalm. Will you ask the Holy Spirit to plant one in your heart to meditate on today?

Daily Word

Psalm 29

Read Psalm 29 – Now that’s a leader!  “Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.  Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.” :1-2

Could you imagine your father, your boss, your political representative, even your president making these statements?  How great would life be if those in the lead had it right?  

But we are not here for what if’s.  Each of us is the leader of their own life; may it start with us.  May we be the ones to call out for glory, honor, worship and praise to the LORD.  Perhaps you are in need of a reminder.  Our psalm is a good one to go back to anytime life feels off balance.  

Try this, re-read it aloud.  Imagine you are reading this to a crowd with dramatic authority in your voice.  Yes.  Now, have an amazing day!

Daily Word

Psalm 27

Read Psalm 27 – Know Jesus, know peace… I don’t know who said that, but it is a wonderful truth. The closer one clings to the LORD, the less power the troubles of this life have.

Our Psalm is a great weapon against anything that may threaten your peace too. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves: THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION; WHOM SHALL I FEAR? THE LORD IS THE STRONGHOLD OF MY LIFE; OF WHOM SHALL I BE AFRAID? :1

So many good things await us and can be discovered in this Psalm! Will you treasure hunt for them and hold them close?

Daily Word

Psalm 20

Read Psalm 20 – I feel as if each Psalm is a brand new gift to open. Other books of the bible tell of an era, while each Psalm is whole and complete on its own. Psalm 20 is a prayer offered before a battle. In King David’s sense it was a literal battle. In Jesus’s sense it was that night in the Garden of Gethsemane as he prepared to lay down his holy life in sacrifice for you, me, and all who call upon his mighty name.

My friend welcomed a new granddaughter into the world yesterday, for the mother, the battlecry was labor… endless hours of pushing her body further than any other day would require, and the victory was so excellent, the pain and exhaustion faded to the background.

For others it could be sickness or family upheaval.

David’s Psalm was for the nation of Israel, and we would be wise to offer steady prayers for our nation as well. No matter how things look, remember: “Some nations boast of their chariots and some horses, but we boast in the name of the LORD our God.” :7 Pray with vigilance for our nation because God is greater than anything in this world!

Beloved, are you facing a battle? What are you trusting in?

Daily Word

Psalm 17

Read Psalm 17 – Marvelous lovingkindness, unfailing love, steadfast loving-kindness, the wonders of your great love… these are the words that appear in different translations on 17:7 “Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies.” (That was from my NLT) Bible commentator, David Guzik notes, “Many of us ask for or only expect God’s moderate lovingkindness. We make our prayers, our faith, and our expectations small. David shows us a pattern to expect and ask from God marvelous lovingkindness.”

I am feeling very convicted by this and will be putting the matter to prayer today. Jesus has shown me that he does not answer prayers ‘just a little’; no, he answers prayers in big, undeniable ways! I am wondering where my limits have come from because I need BIG things. I need his full and marvelous lovingkindness to carry me through this life – how about you?

David has the hope of heaven on his heart when he closes this beautiful psalm in :15, “As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.” That alone is a statement of faith far beyond the common man. David did not have Pauls words, “And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” Galatians 3:27 David had the kind of faith that simply knew.

Isn’t it so true, that the trials and hardships of this life grow dim against the backdrop of heaven and the hope that is ours in Christ? It’s been said – don’t tell God how big your troubles are – tell your troubles how big your GOD is!

Daily Word

Psalm 12

Read Psalm 12 – There is nothing new under the sun. David’s son, King Solomon, would write those words in the book of Ecclesiastes, yet here we see them shining in truth. David could very well have written this psalm after watching a news broadcast in our day, or that of our parents, grandparents, greats and so on because every generation seems to experience a season where it feels as if the godly are no more.

I can get dismal by what I see happening around me, but then I hold on to the fact that the LORD always has a remnant of his faithful children no matter how bad the culture gets.

There is a handwritten note in my bible from 2007 on verses :3-4 that wonders if this was pointing to a book that was popular at the time. Now it is 2022 and it is still pointing to things as much as 2007 and all the way to when David wrote it.

Today, verse :5 is speaking to my heart the loudest, “Because of the oppression of the weak and the groaning of the needy, I will now arise,” says the LORD. “I will protect them from those who malign them.” Our cry stirs the LORD to action! That is an incredible thing. Verse :8 closes our psalm with, “The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.” Are we there yet? It certainly feels that way.

Let’s take this psalm as our call to action. There are godless people making abominable claims all around us. Cry out. Let the LORD hear your concerns as you voice your prayers to the courtroom of heaven. Abba, we need you! The wicked are rampant once more; save us with your unfailing love and your righteous right arm. Amen and amen!

Daily Word

Psalm 10

Read Psalm 10 – It’s hard to watch, isn’t it?  Sometimes wicked people prosper while the faithful struggle.  David observes the arrogance and utter lack of humanity of the prosperous as he intercedes for the afflicted.

As you were reading, was your heart stirred to anger for the lack of reverence for God and man David described?  Or did you find yourself jealous of their success?  Yikes, right, that makes it personal.  Beloved, let those questions hit home.  Let the Holy Spirit open your eyes to your own heart as you read God’s Word.

The psalm closes with, “The LORD is King for ever and ever; the nations will perish from his land.  You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed, in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.” :16-18  First of all, whose land is it?  That’s right – the earth and everything in it belongs to God.  And what does God do for the afflicted?  That’s right – he hears, encourages, listens and defends!  Scripture says, “If God is for us, who can stand against us?” Romans 8:31

Daily Word

Psalm 5

Read Psalm 5 – “You and me against the world… sometimes it feels like you and me against the world….” Excuse me while I entertain myself with this Helen Reddy song. David seemed to be in a “You and me against the world” state of mind when he penned Psalm 5, and for us, it serves as a breathtaking model for prayer.

David approaches the LORD with great reverence as O LORD, my King and my God. (:1-3). He focuses of the LORD’S character; the LORD abhors wickedness, and those who are evil, liars, bloodthirsty and deceitful…. David aligns his heart with the LORD as he speaks. Beloved, pray by this example, consider who you are speaking to. Examine your heart, and if you see anything displeasing, confess it before any petitions.

“But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.” :7

David draws near to God by God’s very own steadfast love, and not his own merits. His petition is simply, lead me in your righteousness, my enemies are terrible.

And he closes the Psalm with a reminder of how good the LORD is to those who take refuge in Him.

Beloved, the LORD went to the greatest of lengths for your heart to be near him. He is the one who will never leave you or forsake you. The world may be against you, yet in Christ you will never walk alone.