Daily Word

Matthew 9

Read Matthew 9 – How do you see yourself and where does Jesus fit in? We meet all kinds of people with all kinds of issues in our chapter. Is there one that speaks to you above the others? Perhaps it is the paralytic man carried by his friends, all with faith that Jesus could see? Maybe it’s the calling of Matthew, a loathsome tax collector? Was it the boisterous blind men, who relentlessly called out to Jesus in faith that they could be healed? Are you as persistent with your needs?

For me, the woman who touched Jesus’s garment will always remind me of the way I fell in love with Jesus. Her infirmary was bleeding; mine was insecurity. Like her, I only felt worthy to touch the hem of his garment. And Jesus lifted both of us from our shame; he saw us, healed us, and gave us a brand new life! “And Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘Your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment.” :22

The way Jesus changes lives is absolutely beautiful!

Many people, religious people, worldly people, rich people, spiritual people and others will say they are fine. They don’t NEED Jesus. And what does Jesus do and say? He dines with the ‘sinners’ and tends to the sick; the healthy do not need a doctor. (:9-13) Beloved, we all have ‘fine’ people in our lives who do not think they need a Savior. Jesus made them think twice that day, as you will by continuing to love and celebrate the brand new life he has given you. May your joy make them thirsty – Amen.

Daily Word

Psalm 41

Read Psalm 41 – Jesus is here.   It has been said that the Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament  is the Old Testament revealed (Saint Augustine).  I say that to draw a correlation between David’s plea for himself, and the multifaceted way it also reflects our need, and gives prophetic whispers of Jesus.

“Blessed is he who has regard for the weak; the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.” :1  Because of the blessings we have received,  we are also called to be a blessing to those in need.  Jesus is the perfect model of this when he lived out his earthly, human mission with great regard for the weak, like me and you, hallelujah!  

“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me. ” :9. We don’t know the exact situation David is referring to, but we know this is how Judas was identified by Jesus at the last supper (Matthew 26, John 13, Mark 14).

“But you have upheld me because of my integrity,  and set me in your presence forever.” :12 

This verse proved a giant block for me.  I thought David was bragging about his own integrity, which is contrary to the very need for a Savior, not to mention false, as the bible recorded David’s lapse in integrity most clearly.  Yet I know the bible is true and does not contradict itself, so it is my responsibility to dig deeper… and was I ever blessed by the effort!  

But I’ve used enough words for today, so I will share more tomorrow.  Keep reading Psalm 41, as I have been re-reading it daily since my last post.  It only grows more meaningful each time.

Daily Word

Psalm 6

Read Psalm 6 – Early in my bible studies I realized that nearly every character is flawed with sin. I really wanted a hero I could look up to, yet most were a mess like, well, me. The LORD calls David a man after His own heart, but his sin is clearly recorded and on display in the bible. The LORD has an extraordinary relationship with him anyway.

We don’t know why David is being chastised in our Psalm, just that he is. As earthly fathers discipline their children, so does our Heavenly Father, and David is crying out to him.

Like yesterday, David’s plea is centered on the LORD’S unfailing, steadfast love. He doesn’t claim to deserve it or justify himself.

He displays his suffering eloquently (:6-7). We do this a bit too…. Wallow for a moment, but don’t stay there. As David shifts gears in :8, from wallow to rescue he finds mercy.

Beloved, God’s Word says we will encounter trials of various kinds and that we are to consider them pure joy because they are developing our perseverance! (See James 1 for more on this) May Psalm 6 draw your heart close to Jesus, our Rescuer.

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 32

Read Deuteronomy 32 – Rock-a-bye-Baby… I was comforted by that song as a child even though it’s a bit dark.   Moses’ song is like that.   It starts off powerful, with full attention to the LORD and moves through rejection, anger, punishment and second chances.  

Read verses :1-4 aloud.  That is the LORD.   This song is comforting and serious. We serve a mighty, just and perfect God.

Sin enters the picture. (:5-6)  And God is gracious to remind Israel of the things he has done to rescue them in the past. (:7-14)

They turn against the LORD, and worship foreign gods.   The people grow lazy with complacency… something we all should guard against. (:15-18)

The LORD responds by turning his back on Israel, which leads to punishment. (:19-27)  And Beloved,  the LORD’s punishment is harsh and awful… may the threat of punishment be all that’s needed to steer you back to his narrow path. 

The song goes another 16 verses,  speaking of the great lengths the Lord will go to. Believer, believe! 

After the song,  the LORD tells Moses to climb a mountain from which he can see the Promised Land.   He wasn’t fit to enter it, but the LORD did let him see it before he died.   In the New Testament,  Moses shows up with Elijah for Jesus’ transfiguration. (Matthew 17)  Both of these things assure us that God is full of justice and mercy.  

And what about this song? Does knowing the evidence from the past and the consequence of rejecting God change things for you?   There is so much at stake and here is God’s Word,  available to all, teaching, admonishing and encouraging us to know Jesus and live fully!

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 21

Read Deuteronomy 21 – My oh my, am I ever glad I did not live in the ancient world! Order was established for unsolved murders. The nearest town would have to make every effort to solve the crime, but if it remained unsolvable, they were to make atonement publically and before the LORD.
The LORD put protective standards in place for women who were taken in war as brides. This may have riled your feminist feathers, yet God’s standards actually gave rights to women who would otherwise be disregarded. Before the marriage could be consummated, the woman was to have her head shaved, her nails trimmed, her clothing removed and a month to mourn her parents. This was a reset period. It was both humbling and healing for a woman to move past her past and a time for the man to be sure he wanted to marry her and that it was not a fleeting decision based on her appearance. At the end of the month, he could marry her or set her free, without selling her or treating her brutally because that is what the LORD commanded. Sometimes break-ups stir vengeful feelings, but the man was not permitted to further dishonor the woman… Beloved, I hope you are able to see past our times as you look into these ancient ones and see the LORD’s compassion and protection.
Verses :15-17 had me thinking about Leah and Rachel, Jacob’s wives whom we are first introduced to in Genesis 29. Things can get rather messy with more than one wife, and the LORD gave commands to protect both parties with established practices for inheritance.
God gave serious instructions for the parents of a rebellious son – one would hope the mere fact of this ordinance was enough to keep any son from rebellion. (:18-21)
Our chapter concludes with instructions when capital punishment was rendered by hanging the guilty on a tree. Here we see a balance of justice and mercy. To hang the guilty on a tree was justice; to remove and bury him showed mercy and dignity for the land itself. Paul expands on this in Galatians 3:13-14 (in the New Testament) showing how Jesus became this atonement for us, taking on the curse we deserve for our sin. Beloved, because of Jesus we are redeemed from the curse of the law – and that is a giant Hallelujah to close on today!

Daily Word

Deuteronomy 10

Read Deuteronomy 10 – THEREFORE, CHANGE YOUR HEARTS AND STOP BEING STUBBORN. :16 That is from the New Living Translation… Most other versions say CIRCUMCISE THE FORESKIN OF YOUR HEART, and when I read it that way it went a bit over my head.  I think the NLT captures the meaning without losing me on a rabbit trail of circumcision.  Our chapter illustrates that the LORD’s great love and mercy allows for second chances, changed hearts, and that is the main point of every person’s life… CHANGE YOUR HEART AND STOP BEING STUBBORN!

In our last chapter, Moses broke the tablets of the ten commandments, as Israel broke the law with their idol worship.  Then he prayed for Israel and the Lord gave mercy.  Now, the Lord has commanded Moses to carve out two new tablets, and make an ark to hold them.  God hand wrote the ten commandments once more on the new tablets… he listened to Moses pleas and gave Israel a second chance. (:10)

Verses :12-13 hold the answer to the aged old question, “What does God want from me?”  Beloved, fear the LORD your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. Will you be able to do this perfectly? NO, but strive to.  You will not meet God’s standard of perfect holiness on your own; you need a Savior.  Apart from Jesus, even a humanly good person falls desperately short.  Beloved, understand that the law shows you your need for a Savior.  The law condemns, but Jesus redeems!  Hallelujah for God’s great mercy and love – John 3:16-17 says it all!  

The last verse in our chapter :22, reveals that God keeps his promises.  He promised Abraham that he would make his offspring as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15:5) while he and his wife were childless – and now they are indeed as numerous as the stars of heaven.  

Beloved, in what way is Jesus speaking to your heart?

Daily Word

Mark 3

Reflections on Mark 3 – Oh tragedy, the religious have lost their way! Religion is such a foul word to most believers. In Mark 3 we begin to see where it missed the mark in Jesus’s day.  

Mark 3 begins with Jesus entering the synagogue and discovering a man with a shriveled hand.  

Beloved,  notice how Jesus goes straight to the impossible.   Are there areas of your life that are impossible, but for Jesus?

In :2, we see the religious men are watching Jesus to see if they can accuse him.   According to their religious interpretation, healing on the Sabbath was considered working and therefore, illegal. Fortunately, our Jesus does not hold such a legalistic view of His own Word. Jesus is all about restoration, mercy, grace and love.   The fact that those entrusted to represent the Word of God were anything but angered Him,  :5.  Jesus told the man to stretch out his hand. 

Beloved,  this is where our part comes in. The man might have told Jesus he couldn’t because his hand was shriveled, but instead he did the impossible, trusting if Jesus told him to stretch it out that he would be able to. The impossible is possible with Jesus. Can you think of any areas of your life where you are holding back? Do you have excuses why Jesus can’t heal things because….

In verse :7-10 we see a problem developing as people from everywhere heard about the healings and wanted their own to the point where Jesus had a boat ready, lest the crowd crush Him.   People pushed in for healing without care for who Jesus was or what he came to do. 

Beloved, soul’s are eternal, infirmities are not. Many more incredible things happen in our chapter.   What was your favorite?  Were any hard to wrap your head around?   It’s okay to have questions, but pursue answers, always remembering that God is good. 

Enjoy chapter 4 next.

Daily Word

John 8:1-11

Read John 8:1-11 – Have you ever?   Have you ever been guilty of something and been singled out, even though others were involved? Have you ever felt so trapped by past mistakes there seemed no escape?  The woman at the well was about to be stoned for a crime it always takes two to commit.  Wouldn’t you like to know what Jesus wrote in the sand to change everything?  Mercy is a life changing thing. Yesterday, we read, “Plead my cause and deliver me, ” 119:154.  Jesus, Advocate, pleaded the case. He worked all things out for good. He showed there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. (See Romans 8:1,28).  Beloved, whatever it is, trust Jesus with it and go and sin no more. 🙆‍♀️🙏🏻🛑💖🛑🙏🏻🙆‍♂️


1 Samuel 26

Read 1 Samuel 26 – Can you picture it?  If it was a movie, would the director give it a comedic flare or cue in the dramatic music?  David and Abishai slip into Saul’s enemy camp – through 3,000 sleeping soldiers, to Saul and Abner who were in the center.  This is what God’s favor looks like (26:12).  David and Abishai whisper over what to do next.  David forbids the killing of Saul, again because he is God’s anointed, but instead takes his spear and water jug, and moves a safe distance away, and begins taunting Saul and his troops.  King Saul responds, calling him, “David, my son” (26:17)  Talk about a dysfunctional relationship!  Saul repents to David, asks him to come home and says he will not harm him (26:21).  This sounds a lot like the cave scene in chapter 24.  Have you ever shown grace to a difficult person?  It will reveal your true heart.  I am awed by David’s lead.  His men did not take matters into their own hands even though their lives were also in jeopardy.  Patience, courage, loyalty and faith are revealed in our chapter.  ⏳🛡🦁📖🦁🛡⏳