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

James 5

Read James 5 – The Lord doesn’t miss a thing. Our chapter begins with an admonishment against the wealthy, self-indulgent, oppressors of the day. Meanwhile, the Lord (through James) encourages us to be patient. (:7). We are reminded of the prophets patience, and Job specifically. He was up against the very trials of Satan, yet persevered and the Lord generously restored him.

Verse :12 is so simple and right. May your YES be yes and your NO be no…. there is no need for swearing, the Lord will not ask you, “But did you cross your heart, and hope to die, and stick a needle in your eye?” about it. (Where do we come up with things like that anyway???) That goes for God and man… be a person who’s YES and NO does not waiver.

Verses :13-18 speak on the privilege and responsibility of prayer. One should pray for themselves, rejoice, call on the elders, and verse :16… notice what’s required: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

I was part of a recovery ministry for 5 years. When I was new in the program I balked at the idea of confessing my sins to another person. I thought it was all between Jesus and me; he knew, he forgave, so why speak about that which has been forgiven? Finally, the day came. I couldn’t move forward in the program without taking this step, and so I fearfully met with a person I knew I could trust and she graciously listened as I poured out my confession. Beloved, I can’t even begin to explain the healing that washed over me! I have never felt so clean! Our verse does not say ‘so you may be forgiven’, it says ‘so you may be healed’. If you are holding something that is churning in your heart right now, pray hard about who the LORD wants you to confess it to. Do not let it fester; it has already stolen enough of your life. Do what the LORD instructs so you may be healed.

Beloved, I pray the Book of James has blessed you and that you return to it every so often for a well check. Tomorrow we will visit the Psalms.

Daily Word

Mark 14

Read Mark 14:27-72 –  Timing is everything.   In 2004 I had just come to the realization that Jesus was real, and surrendered my life to His care and control.  Also that year,  THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, was released, and I went to see it on a layover in San Diego.  It was filmed in the Biblical languages of the time with English subtitles. I wanted to look away when the betrayal and brutal scenes played across the screen, but the foreign dialog would not give me any hints as to when to look up. I returned to the hotel aching and bewildered. I opened my Bible; surely the filmmaker exaggerated.  My tears streamed as God’s Word told me a truth I could hardly bear, my Savior endured this, knowing beforehand the cost of my sin.  

Jesus says, “Go ahead and sleep. have your rest.  But no – the time has come.  The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” :41  The time has come… for betrayal, false witness, mockery and abandonment. The time has come for beating and persecution.  The time has come for Jesus to endure the unimaginable agony of laying His life down, that we might be saved.  Jesus endured this. He knew full well the cost, and He did it anyway.

As I write, I am again on a layover in San Diego.  Scripture blended with my memories.  I recall my younger self,  then an infant in the faith,  as you may be now,  Beloved.  Do your best to read the hard parts and don’t look away.  Remember Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” John 10:11

Jesus did all this with steadfast love and determination, for sinners like us. I pray these last chapters of Mark meet you in a personal and unique way, strengthening your faith and filling you with the desire to know Jesus even more. 

Daily Word

Mark 1

Reflections on Mark 1 – Good News! 

Mark gets right to the ministry of Jesus in this account.  He confirms Jesus in the second verse by the prophecy of Isaiah 40:3, saying it began just as Isaiah wrote.  John the Baptist announced His coming, and Jesus is the one John spoke of; Jesus is Messiah.  John baptised Jesus; Jesus saw the heavens open and heard God’s voice as he came up out of the water, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy,” (:11).   John prepared the way, and was arrested as Jesus took the lead. 

Jesus invites Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew to, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their fishing nets to follow Him (:16-18).  Soon thereafter Jesus calls James and John (sons of Zebedee).  They went to Carpernaum and Jesus amazed people by teaching with authority, casting out evil spirits, healing many including the mother-in-law of Simon (Peter). 

Jesus preached and healed people, restricting the demons from speaking – they were well aware of who Jesus was and what He was setting out to accomplish. 

Beloved, take hold of verse :35 “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.”  Jesus is LORD, and He takes time to get quiet with God and pray.  How is your prayer life?  Do you have a habit of seeking a quiet place to pray?  Let Jesus be your example.  

Now read and meditate on Mark 2.

Daily Word

Luke 22:35-71

Read Luke 22:35-71 – It’s getting real. 

Jesus prepares the men by noting the shift, he sent them out with nothing before and now they would need to be prepared for hostility.   They would be counted as rebels(:37). 

Jesus asked them to pray, as he stepped away to pray also.  An angel came and ministered to Jesus as he prayed, and he prayed to the agony of blood.   Beloved, if there were any way to Salvation, apart from the cross, this is the time God would have changed Jesus’s course.  The wrath I deserve, the wrath you deserve and all sinners for all time was in that cup, and Jesus pleaded for another way while still surrendering,  “Nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done. ” 22:42

And when he returned to the disciples, he found them sleeping and not praying(:46). Beloved, pray fierce and fervently, do not cower in denial, do not sleep when you should be praying. 

Then Judas shows up, betraying Jesus with a kiss.   The disciples are ready to fight; the high priests slave gets his ear chopped off.  Jesus puts a stop to it and heals the man (:51)!  Jesus gives a miracle here in the middle of this betrayal.  Jesus is arrested, Peter denies him, Jesus is beaten with a level of cruelty that is hard to comprehend. 

Beloved, don’t look away, don’t sleep.  Pray.🙏🙇‍♀️🙏