Daily Word

Psalm 25

Read Psalm 25 – We last spoke of who God is in Psalm 24.  Now, in Psalm 25, David entrusts himself to the LORD.  (:1-2)

David recognizes that many are his enemy and their behavior is treacherous. David was a man of bloodshed with a life’s purpose to be king according to God’s plan.  I am much more ordinary than that, yet still need a healthy awareness that those who hate Jesus are enemies. (Jesus said in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world it would love you as its own.  As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.”)  Beloved, we must love our enemies with wisdom and grace, not simple naivete and wishful thinking.  

“Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my God, my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” :4-5  Beloved, with this desire you will not be led astray!

David goes on, recalling God’s nature, asking for forgiveness from the sins of his youth and iniquities for God’s namesake… not David’s merits, but for God’s own namesake.  David even speaks about some dark days… David is not a stranger to anxieties, but he also knows where to take them.

Beloved, can you carve out some alone time today, search your soul, as David did, and lay it before Jesus, our Savior.

Daily Word

Psalm 23

Read Psalm 23 – The LORD is my shepherd. Okay, raise your hand if your grandmother made you memorize this. I hope your hand is raised, and if not, will you commit to memorizing it now? These 6 verses are excellent for navigating life in our fallen world with the Good Shepherd.

King David had a correct view of himself as a sheep, and the LORD as the shepherd. Remember, David was a shepherd; he knew a shepherd’s role and the needs of sheep. The LORD guides and guards his sheep. The shepherd is responsible for food, water, rest, care from sickness, and protection from attack when caring for the flock.

Okay, now re-read and pray through Psalm 23. “I shall not be in want.” :1 Lord, am I fully trusting you for all my needs? Show me my heart through your eyes…. (confess anything He brings to mind) Green pastures, still waters… offer gratitude for the Lord’s provision. Fear… what are you fearing? Get practical: is it a tax bill, a relationship, a promotion? Remind your fear how big your God is! Prepare a table… Thank God for knowing the plans he has for you, plans for your good and his glory. Goodness and love… Beloved, celebrate with the LORD that you don’t have to get tangled up in this world, his goodness and love follow you and ultimately you will dwell in the house of the LORD forever… In the New Testament, Paul says, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21 As you view this life through the lens of God’s care and control, know that the best is yet to come. Your future is certain in Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd, and all the days leading up to that divine appointment are filled with meaning and purpose because you are His.

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.

Daily Word

James 2

Read James 2 – I learned an equation early in my faith.  It has helped me understand the difference between Biblical Christianity and everything else.  James captures it well here in our chapter, Faith + Nothing = Salvation as evidenced by Good Deeds.  Our good deeds are a celebration of all that Jesus has done for us.  Every belief system apart from Biblical Christianity will tell you Faith + Works = Salvation or even just Possible Salvation… they keep you guessing.  Jesus paid it all, and the unstoppable overflow from His love in us should spill onto others by our actions.  It’s the best economy there is!

In the Book of James, there should be a verse that pops out at you in every chapter.  My bible has lots of verses underlined with dates… those are the verses the Holy Spirit spoke to me the most at that time.  Each time a person reads the Word, they are different, they are older, their circumstances change.  One could read the same chapter every year and be convicted by something different each time.  Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing into the division of soul and spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

So read, Beloved, and let the Great Physician have his way with your heart.  I can share my verse from today, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” 2:17  That tells me to go love people.  It reminds me to listen to their heart and do what I can with action and not just words.  And when I think about it, it’s very exciting, like a daily treasure hunt for Jesus!  Abba, who do you have for me today???

Will you share your verse with me?

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 6

Read Deuteronomy 6 – “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. ” :5 Beloved, all things fall into place as you obey this wonderful command.  Jesus sums up all the laws under this as the greatest commandment (Matthew 22, Luke 10).  

The Lord also reminds the Israelites they are moving in to houses they did not build,  drinking from wells they did not dig, etc (:10-12) and He cautions them to always remember it was the Lord who delivered them from slavery in Egypt into this life of plenty. 

Beloved, be very careful with the success and prosperity the Lord blesses you with.   It can be so easy to take credit and take your eyes away from Jesus.  Remember and talk about the good things God has done in your life and teach it to your children. So often the next generation gets lost as they grow up expecting the life they had without understanding these things stem from walking closely with God…. In other words,  getting the number one commandment right.

Beloved, as you read, consider what a love letter these commandments are.  If you feel so much as an inkling of shame for falling short, change your dialog to one of confession, celebration and joy – Jesus paid your debt.   You have a Savior and Redeemer in Him.  

Daily Word

Mark 12

Reflections on Mark 12 – I love this chapter!  There is much to reflect on, but the verse that truly changed my life is in the section :28-34, and :31 in particular.  Do you have time for a little testimony, Beloved?  

You see, when I started walking with Jesus in full measure, I fully understood and loved the number one commandment to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength; :30.  And I thought I was doing an impressive job with the second commandment, to love my neighbor as myself, because I wrongly thought I loved others more than myself.  I carried a lifelong burden of insecurity.  It ruled my life; I was constantly making self-deprecating comments to show others that I held them in higher esteem than myself… Do you know what the truth behind this lie is?  Insecurity was my idol; it came before God, and it devalued His gift of my life.  It kept Jesus’s gift of my Salvation subdued.  It was like getting a gift and loving it, but putting it in the back of the closet for safekeeping… To honor the giver is to delight in the gift.

You can imagine my joy when the Holy Spirit finally helped me see this!  The reality was that I wasn’t truly loving others – I was desperate for approval.  It’s a very hard way to live and a very hard thing for others to be around.  It was not the life Jesus died to give me.  

Beloved, the freedom of this realization was transforming for me!  “The thief came to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  John 10:10  The more I delight in Jesus, the more I am able to delight in my life and the more love pours out on everyone!  That is the heart of ‘loving my neighbor as myself’.  Hallelujah!

Mark 12 covers many wonderful teachings of Jesus, The Parable of the Evil Farmers, shows the wickedness of the religious leaders.  The trick of Taxes for Caesar was a ploy by those same leaders to trap Jesus.  And the beautiful Widow’s Offering, :41-44, reveals how much Jesus treasures the heart behind the offering.  Beloved, which of these parables or verses was Jesus’s gift to you today?

Daily Word

Genesis 24

Read Genesis 24 – Be ready to be swept off your feet!  This is one of the most romantic chapters in the Bible. 

Abraham is very old when he summons his head servant and requests he find a wife for Isaac from the homeland.  The servant (we are never given his name) is concerned that the bride and her family may not allow her to travel so far away.  Abraham sets the condition that his servant will be released of his oath if that happens, but that Isaac is NEVER to go there. 

Notice the servant’s reverence for the LORD and Abraham.  He prays when he arrives in town, he prays quite specifically, and before he finished praying in his heart, Rebekah appeared.  (This is one of the few silent prayers recorded in the Bible.) 

I’m not going to tell too much of the story. You simply must unwrap it for yourself!  As you read, consider the symbolism of Father in Abraham, Son in Isaac, and Holy Spirit in the unnamed servant. 

Our chapter ends with verse :67, “And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent, and she became his wife.  He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother.” 

Beloved, ‘he loved her deeply’, it’s so precious.  This was an arranged marriage, but it was truly love at first sight.  And Rebekah immediately steps into the role with comfort, being exactly the right help-mate to Isaac.  May you also trust in the Lord completely.  May you ask for the desires of your heart and be open to the awesome ways Jesus will meet you there.  Commit everything you do to the LORD!

Daily Word

1 Kings 20

Read 1 Kings 20 – Oh!  The Lord’s great love is immeasurable – King Ahab of Israel is in some hot water when threatened by King Ben-hadad of Aram.  His first inclination is to concede his wives, children, gold and silver (20:4), but then King Ben-hadad asks for even more, and Ahab gets oddly courageous.  Remember, he is a wicked king, not walking with the Lord.  Yet, after he takes his stand, a prophet of the Lord tells him the Lord will give him victory – stating, “Then you will know that I am the Lord.” The battle is won, and the prophet tells Ahab to prepare because another is coming in the spring.  In that battle, the Bible says the Israelite army looked like two little flocks of goats compared to the vast Aramean forces.  Yet, again the Lord will secure their victory so that they know God is the Lord (20:27-28).  Beloved, God will go to incredible lengths to make Himself known to you.  Romans 5:8 assures, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  If you are walking in arrogance like King Ahab, thinking your sin is either unforgivable or no big deal, let today be the day you turn to Jesus.  His arms are open wide.