Month: August 2022

August 23rd – Lamentations 3:22-23

Lamentations 3:22-23

One of things I love most about God is His mercy. Because everyday I make mistakes, fall short, and need the Lord’s forgiveness. Yet no matter how badly I mess up, when I confess and repent, God is faithful to forgive my sins. We serve the Lord of second, third, and fourth chances. And regardless of the mistakes we made the day before, each morning God gives, is the gift of a fresh start. Because of His faithfulness, love, and kindness, each dawn is a blank slate and a new opportunity to get it right. And although some days will be good while others bad, every day we get to spend on earth is a blessing. So each morning thank God because His compassions fail not. And from a heart bursting with gratitude proclaim, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!”

August 22nd – Proverbs 21:21

Proverbs 21:21

We all want to live long, healthy lives. And so we try to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. But Solomon tells us the true secret to longevity is pursuing righteousness and loving-kindness. The Hebrew word for pursue is  “radaph”. It means to chase, or follow after closely and with great effort and energy. We live in a society that desperately chases after youth. But what we need to passionately pursue is love. Love for God and each other. There’s a quote which says, “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. And kindness in giving creates love.” We as Christians are to be clothed in righteousness. That means each day to, “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Rom. 13:14) All Jesus did was based in kindness and love. So if we want longer life, spiritual growth, and a good reputation, we would be wise to do the same.

August 21st – 1 Corinthians 13:4

1 Corinthians 13:4

1 Corinthians 13 is one of best known passages in the Bible on the subject of love. It’s read at countless weddings, including my own. But weddings and romance weren’t on Paul’s mind in this teaching. Instead Paul’s focus was on a church full of division, who had little interest in the fruit of love. Every day society bombards us with false ideas of what love is. It makes us think that love just happens to us. That we have no control. We’ve all heard the expression “the heart wants what the heart wants”, or someone described as “hopelessly in love”.  But the Bible teaches completely the opposite. Love is a choice we make, something we can control, and the fruit of a spirit filled life. Love is the root of the sacrificial death of Jesus. And as willingly and kindly as He love us, He calls us to love others.

August 20th – Micah 6:8

Micah 6:8

Many Christians get caught up in the idea that God needs our religious rites, eloquent prayers, or false piety. In truth what God seeks is our goodness, mercy, and humility. The Lord takes injustice pretty seriously. So when He commands us to act justly it means we are to exhibit high moral characters that not only speak, but take action against the wrongs of the world. To love mercy contains the Hebrew word hesed, which means loving-kindness. God expects us to be vessels in which His mercy, love, and kindness flow through to a hurting world. And walking humbly, is all about having a heart of gratitude and thankfulness for all God does, is, and blesses us with each day. Because apart from His love and mercy, we are nothing and have nothing. And I don’t know about you, but knowing our God who doesn’t need anything, yet gives us everything, is pretty humbling indeed.

To Abide Is To Surrender – John 15

John 15

As disciples of Christ, don’t we all want to glorify God with our words and actions? To do as the Lord commands and bare fruit? And not just a little fruit, but much fruit? Jesus tells us that without Him this is impossible saying, “for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (vs. 5) For Jesus is the vine and we His followers the branches. And unless we abide in Him, our branch will be fruitless.

“Bearing fruit in the Christian life is not about doing works or attempting righteousness in our own strength. Rather, it is about intentionally growing in our walk with Christ, inviting the Holy Spirit’s work of transformation in us, and actively obeying God in all He calls us to do. As we seek Him and lay down our own fleshly desires for His better ways, we will bear lasting fruit and serve as salt and light to a world in need of Jesus.”…

Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (vs. 4) Just as the vine provides the life source for the branches, Christ is the life source for each of us. To abide in Him means living in Jesus and Jesus living in and through us. Any hope we have of producing fruitful lives that glorify God can come only through abiding in the Lord. And abiding happens through surrendering.

Surrender Control-“I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” (Jer. 10:23) Abiding in God means coming before the Lord with a humble heart, dependent upon Him for all things at all times. It is acknowledging that as Ruler and Creator of everything, God knows best, and it is for Him alone to establish our path.

Surrender Time-“He shall write for himself a copy of this law, it shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life.” (Deut. 17:17,18) Abiding in God means setting aside time each day to read His Word. Intentionally studying the Bible opens our hearts to the Lord, and keeps us firmly planted in His truth;  giving us the discernment needed to fight off attacks from the Enemy.

Surrender Disobedience-“The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” (1 John 3:24) Abiding in God means obeying all He commands. Obedience not only  brings us closer to Him, it’s proof of our devotion and faithfulness. It deepens and strengthens our relationship with the Lord through love, trust, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Surrender Striving-“Be still and know I am God.” (Ps. 46:10) Abiding in God means to stop fighting. When trouble comes and the storm rages, the best action we can take is to stand still. By remembering who God is and trusting Him to do what He says He will, His calming presence and peace will  fill and ease our distressed hearts.

Some people think that surrender is a form of weakness, but nothing could be further from the truth. Stepping out in faith and laying everything at the feet of Jesus takes great personal strength. But when we do, we’ll find the more we give up of ourselves, the fuller we become of God. So abide in the love of Jesus. Surrender all to the One who gave all for you. Let His love and peace reign in your heart and fill it to overflowing with joy!

August 19th – 1 John 3:17

1 John 3:17

With inflation on the rise, money is tight. And sometimes we barely have enough to take care of our own. But no matter how little we may have, there is always someone else who has less. So if we see a need of another that we can fill and choose to turn a blind eye, John says there’s no way we have the love of God inside of us. I once heard it said that it isn’t true giving unless it costs us something. Once we were destitute, dead in our iniquities, and separated from God. Yet because of His unmerited love, God gave His only Son as a substitute for our sins. And from a love for the Father and for us, Jesus gave His life to pay for those sins. So as Believers, how could we respond with anything less then the love shown to us? A love based in compassion, kindness, and mercy.  And carried out in generosity, worship, and action.

News Of The Day – August 18th

Pastor Curses Out Congregation For Not buying Him A Luxury Watch

A Missouri pastor berated his ‘poor’ congregation for not honoring him with a new expensive watch he asked for a year ago while reportedly delivering a sermon about taking care of God’s shepherd. Pastor Carlton Funderburke called his congregation “poor, broke, busted, and disgusted” after they still hadn’t bought him an expensive Movado watch, which ranges in price from $395 to $3,295. ‘”‘I’m not worth your McDonald’s money? I’m not worth your Red Lobster money?”, he asked the Church at the Well congregation. Funderburke has since apologized. Read about his tantrum here. 


Church’s Food Pantry Destroyed By Firebombing

A church food pantry storing non-perishable items for a ministry serving the poor has been firebombed in what the pastor describes as an act of “pure evil.” Pastor Curtiss Ostosh of the Detroit-area Harvest Time Christian Church in Warren, Michigan, announced that someone “firebombed” or “set on fire” the church’s food storage container holding “countless tons” of food distributed daily to those in need. He added that the firebombing caused thousands of dollars in damage and resulted in a “total loss.”  Harvest Time Christian Church will continue serving the community despite the firebombing, Ostosh said, thanks to “a number of other partner pantries in our area that have stepped up.” Read more about the firebombing here.


Pastor John Gray Returns to Pulpit After Hospitalization

South Carolina megachurch Pastor John Gray returned to the pulpit Sunday after he was hospitalized for a pulmonary embolism last month, thanking God for keeping him from a death that had been “scheduled in Hell.” Gray suffered a rare and very severe saddle pulmonary embolism, a term used to describe when a blood clot gets lodged at the intersection where the main pulmonary artery branches into the lungs. After pray from his his congregatio, Gray was released from the hospital after over a week. This past Sunday, as the pastor took to the stage at his church to preach a sermon for the first time since his sick leave. Read more about his return here.


Archeologists Uncover Mosaic With Inscription To Peter

Archaeologists have uncovered a 1,500-year-old mosaic with an inscription to the apostle Peter. They believe the discovery is further evidence that the site at El-Araj in Israel is the location of the house of Peter and the town of Bethsaida recorded in the Bible. The large Greek inscription was found during excavations at a Byzantine-era basilica known as the “Church of the Apostles” because it is traditionally believed to have been built over the house of the Apostles Peter and Andrew. The mosaic was found within a larger mosaic on the floor of the church’s sacristy and is partly decorated with floral patterns. Read more about the discovery here.

August 18th – 2 Corinthians 3:18

2 Corinthians 3:18

Because of His great love, God shows His kindness by refusing to leave us as He found us. Which is why at the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit indwells our hearts. Immediately He gets to work transforming us into the likeness of Christ, from glory to glory. One step at a time. Not an easy transformation. Because the Christian walk isn’t a weekend getaway, it’s a lifelong journey of growth and change. And there will be times when that change is hard, frustrating, and painful. Days when it’s two steps forward and three steps back. But if we keep seeking God, and allow the Holy Spirit to work both in and through us, change will come. We are all God’s glorious works in progress. And one day we will be perfect reflections of His image and glory. But until then, keep trusting the Lord and moving forward. And praise God that although we may not be where we want to be, we’re not where we used to be!

August 17th – 1 Peter 4:4

1 Peter 4:4

There are some people that no matter how hard we try to convince them, will never accept our change as a person. Especially when that change comes from receiving Christ as our Lord and Savior. That’s because those who aren’t  followers of Jesus can’t understand why we would want to lead our life for anyone other than ourselves. And so they pressure us to go back to our sinful, worldly ways of the past. To be who we used to be. And when we don’t, we become targets of their resentment and ridicule. But Peter tells us that those same unbelievers, “will give account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.” (1 Pet. 4:5) Until the day when we stand before the Lord, Jesus calls us to stay strong in His Word. And to respond to those who persecute us, the same way Jesus responded to His persecutors, in kindness and love.

News Of The Day – August 16th

Pastor’s Wife and Accomplice Arrested For His Murder

An Oklahoma woman was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole for urging her lover to fatally shoot her husband. Defendant Kristie Dawnell Evans, 49, testified at the hearing that the victim, her Baptist pastor husband David Evans, subjected her to abuse throughout their 30-year marriage. She estimated he forced her to have sex with 50 to 100 other men. “I was desperate,” she reportedly testified Tuesday. “I wanted to be free from that. I knew of no other way.” Evans is charged with conspiring with her lover,  Kahlil Deamie Square, 27 to shoot and kill her husband. Read more about the case here,


18 Children Among Others Dead In Church Fire In Egypt

A fire at a Coptic Orthodox Church in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday killed around 41 people, including 15 children. The Abu Sefein Church, in Giza’s working-class Imbaba district, was packed with people celebrating Mass that morning, including children and their parents. Many other children were attending classes or a nursery on the four-storey building’s first floor, where investigators believe the blaze started following an electrical short-circuit. The health ministry said most of the deaths were the result the smoke inhalation, and also a stampede when people rushed to flee the church through a blocked exit. Read more about the tragedy here.


Christian Schools Will Be Granted Automatic Title IX Exemption

In a major victory for religious liberty, the Biden administration on Friday agreed to automatically exempt religious schools from a new interpretation of Title IX that had threatened to halt funding for lunch programs if schools held to biblical standards on sexuality and marriage. At issue is the Biden administration’s interpterion of Title IX, a 1972 law that prohibits discrimination in education facilities on the basis of sex. The Biden administration interprets Title IX as also prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. the agreement stems from a lawsuit brought against the Biden administration saying the new rule violates federal law and school’s religious liberty rights under the U.S. Constitution. Read more about the victory here.


Eating Grapes May Add Years To Life Of Fast Food Eaters

New research suggests that snacking on grapes might combat the effects of consuming a junk food diet—flushing out the refined fats and sugars of processed food. Eating the grapes led to “unique gene expression patterns, reduced fatty liver, and extension of lifespan” for animals consuming the high-fat diet, said Dr. John Pezzuto who led the team at Western New England University. Pezzuto, who has authored over 600 studies, called it “truly remarkable.” “It adds an entirely new dimension to the old saying ‘you are what you eat.’” In a series of experiments, mice gorged on a high fat diet, similar to those consumed in western countries. They also received over a cup of daily powdered grape supplement. These lab rodents had less fatty liver—and lived longer than those who didn’t. Read more about the study here.