Month: September 2022

September 17th – Ezekiel 3:9

Ezekiel 3:9

In times of old, watchmen were placed on city walls and in towers overlooking fields. Always at their post, these watchmen were ready to sound the warning bell when danger was near. God called the prophet Ezekiel to be a watchman for the unrepentant house of Israel. A call He gives to us as well. We are to be on constant guard, blowing the trumpet of warning to an unrepentant world. Cautioning all about the danger of rejecting God’s gift of salvation, choosing instead to live in rebellion and disobedience. Not a popular message in today’s society of “if it feels good, do it!” But a message desperately needed all the same. God gave Ezekiel strength harder than flint to see His will done, and the courage to deliver His message. And when we walk in obedience, God will do the same for us. Because the Lord never asks anything of anyone without providing the means to accomplish the task at hand!

September 16th – Luke 21:28

Luke 21:28

Throughout history people have argued about the meaning and timing of the signs that would signal the soon return of Christ. But along with signs, Jesus also gave warnings about the approaching end times. First He warns us not to be misled. Many false prophets will come in His name saying, “I am He” and deceitful date setters will cry, “The time is near”.  By knowing what the Word of God says, we can be protected from wrong teachings. Next the Lord says prepare to be persecuted. Christians may experience betrayal, hatred, and death even at the hands of those we love. But we needn’t fear. For even if we lose our physical lives, we can rejoice knowing the reward of eternal life awaiting us. Finally Jesus tells us to be on guard. In patient anticipation of the glorious return of the Lord, we are to watch, pray, and most of all, guard our hearts. (Luke 21:36) I truly believe that the season of the Lord’s return is upon us. So, “straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near!”

September 15th – Ephesians 3:8

Ephesians 3:8

Paul was a man who tried to destroy God’s people. Yet not only was he pardoned, but given the great privilege of spreading God’s message and building His church. But the assignment came at a high price. Paul was beaten, stoned, jailed, shipwrecked, and robbed, among other sufferings. Still, regardless of the set backs, Paul faithfully carried out his task. Throughout the world he fearlessly preached and wrote about the inexhaustible riches and generosity of the Lord. Jesus promised that all who follow Him in faithful obedience, will suffer. (2Tim. 3:12) Does that mean we’ll experience troubles and hurt along the way? Yes. But God’s grace will comfort and love us through. Paul didn’t want the Ephesians to feel sorry for the tribulations he endured. Because he was being used in a way greater than he could ever imagine. If we let Him, God will us too in great ways. And the rewards awaiting our obedience, far outweigh any troubles we experience in the Lord’s name!

 

September 14th – Galatians 1:8

Galatians 1:8

Paul tells us to fear those who teach a false gospel because they are accursed and their message leads to death. Whether it’s an ear tickling gospel, a prosperity gospel, or a works based gospel, if it doesn’t line up with God’s gospel, it’s a false gospel. False gospels keep us chained to rules and laws. They lead to destruction by telling us there are many roads to God. And false gospels tell us that through our own efforts we can earn everlasting life. But the one true gospel of Jesus Christ gives us freedom and joy, not bondage and despair. It wipes clean our record, declaring us innocent and blameless. As fallen people with fallen hearts, we cannot fathom such a pure, perfect, and unconditional love as God’s. A love whose height knows no limits, and whose depth knows no end. And most wonderful of all, a love not earned but offered freely to everyone who receives Jesus as their Savior. This is the Good News of Jesus Christ. And this is the one and only true gospel!

 

September 13th – Acts 23:11

Acts 23:11

Facing a crowd demanding his death Paul, appealed to have his case heard in Rome before Caesar. Not in an attempt to save his life, but to fulfill the will of the Lord. Paul’s request would indeed get him to Rome. But the passage there thrust him straight into a raging storm so full of fury, if not for God, the life of Paul and all with him would have been lost. Have you ever faced such a storm? As believers in Christ no matter what we face, we are never called to go it alone. Especially when we set out to do God’s will. Because He is with us every step of the way. For as God told Joshua, “Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh 1:9) By first seeking the Lord and trusting in His perfect will, we can weather any storm. His Word is a mighty ship so strong, no roaring wind can blow off course. And when we walk in complete obedience to Him, like Paul we too can trust in God’s promise to bring us through any storm and safely to shore.

September 12th – Psalm 32:1

Psalm 32:1

Many Christians struggle with forgiveness. We understand the concept in our heads, but fail to receive it in our hearts. And often times, we are far more willing to extend forgiveness to others then we are to ourselves. Needlessly we carry around the burden of guilt, shame, and pain. We fear our sin is too great for God to forgive. And why would He forgive us anyway when we fail him daily? But those feelings and thoughts are lies from Satan who wants nothing more then to keep us from experiencing victory and God’s sweet presence in our lives. The truth is, when we confess and repent God promises to remove our sin from us as far as the “east is from the west.” (Ps. 103:12). So when you falter, talk to God. Draw near to the Lord, telling Him what you’ve done. Then forgive yourself as God forgives you. And most importantly, don’t get discouraged. Because even when we stumble, God is faithful to forgive!

A Visitor In The Night – John 3

John 3

Nicodemus was a Pharisee who belonged to the exclusive Jewish ruling council known as the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin was the most prominent religious group in Israel who ruled the religious life of the Jewish people. As a Pharisee, Nicodemus’ focus was strictly on obeying all of the traditions and laws of the Old Testament. He was educated, wealthy, and was a highly respected teacher. Nicodemus lived a life of privilege and enjoyed the esteem given to him by the people. And in John chapter 3, we find him risking everything by searching through the night for Jesus. The same man his fellow Pharisees were plotting to kill. …

September 11th – 1Corinthians 16:13

1 Corinthians 16:13

I love the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien. One of my favorite quotes comes from his book “The Lord of the Rings.” The hobbit Bilbo Baggins tells his young cousin, “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” That’s how it is living in a fallen world. Scary things can be found all around us. And if we aren’t careful, we can find ourselves getting swept away in fear. We become focused on all there is to be afraid of. We feel overwhelmed by things out of our control, unable to enjoy God’s very best. Max Lucado once said, “The presence of fear does not mean you have no faith. Fear visits everyone. But make your fear a visitor and not a resident.” When fear comes we need to put our faith and trust in the Lord, keeping our feet firmly planted on the path He provides and our eyes on Him. So when fear comes to call we can keep it a visitor and not a permanent resident.

September 10th – Romans 5:8

Romans 5:8

The attacks of the Enemy have been coming at me fast and furious. Each day he’s been putting to the test my thoughts, tongue, and actions. And although some days I pass that test with flying colors, more often than not I fail miserably. But you know what? I don’t have to fear, because it doesn’t matter to God. His love for me isn’t based on anything I do but on everything He does. Whether I succeed or fail, God’s love never waivers! So when I’m feeling particularly discouraged, I read the words of Paul who tells me, “Newsflash! God knows your failings and loves you anyway!” The Lord knew from the beginning how we would rebel, reject, and disappoint Him. And so what did God do? Far from doling out the punishment of death we all deserve, He gives to us the precious gift of His unmerited grace and mercy. Sparing no expense, not even His only begotten Son, God Himself provides the path of reconciliation to Him, declaring us justified through faith in Jesus!

September 9th – 2 Corinthians 7:1

2 Corinthians 7:1

I love having a garden. There’s nothing better than being able to pick a fresh tomato or maybe a few beans for dinner. But it’s also a lot of work. It takes constant attention and if I’m not diligent, the weeds will take over and choke out the tender plants. The Christian walk takes work too. If not constantly tended, the weeds of unholiness can take over, choking out the tender fruit of the Spirit. That’s why we need to make a daily commitment to work hand in hand with God. To come before Him each day with the intent of rooting out anything in our lives which displeases Him. God demands holiness. And perfecting holiness is only possible when we are willing to get our hands dirty and put in the work. From overwhelming awe, and great respect for all God is, does, and blesses us with each day, how could want to give Him anything less that an bountiful harvest from the garden of our hearts!