Monday, July 6, 2020

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 16:18-19

Proverbs 16:18-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before [a]a fall.
19 Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly,
Than to divide the [b]spoil with the proud.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 16:18 stumbling
  2. Proverbs 16:19 plunder

Morning Scripture Reading - John 8:14-18

John 8:14-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 Jesus answered and said to them, “Even if I bear witness of Myself, My witness is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from and where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.”

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - 1 Timothy 6:6-10

1 Timothy 6:6-10 New King James Version (NKJV)

Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, [a]and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Timothy 6:7 NU omits and it is certain

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 34:19-22

Psalm 34:19-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be [a]condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 34:21 held guilty

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Plant Seeds of Peace

As Christians, we have an opportunity each day to deliver a message of peace, love and hope from our Heavenly Father to those around us. Right now, the world desperately needs that message. In fact, with everything that is going on, a heavenly message would be most welcome and give others food for thought and a moment of pause. It would be so easy for each of us to simply forget our obligations as Christians and let the world burn. We could easily shake our fingers and tell everyone that we told you so and that this is what you reap. We could all just sit back in the comfort of our homes and watch everything in 4k ultra high-definition burn to the ground with a certain smug satisfaction that this is what those evil people deserve.

I am here to tell you that no one deserves any of this and if you are sitting in your easy chair with this sort of attitude then you have forgotten the message of our Heavenly Father given to us through the life and example of His son, Christ Jesus. 

Life is not a spectator sport for us to enjoy on television or casually participate in. We are, as God’s ambassadors, to go out into the world and preach the gospel of peace, hope, salvation and, most importantly, love. All of these good things come only from the Father and are His gifts to all. If we embrace our responsibilities as Christians, we are to carry this message to those who need it.

There are so many that are scared, lonely, tired and just plain beaten down. Life has handed them a bad lot and some have resigned themselves to accepting it and living their lives in daily desperation. When you see their faces in public and not from the safety of your home, you see the look of fear and hopelessness. They cannot get beyond what they see in their lives. Each day is a struggle for them to make ends meet or just to find a moment of peace.

It doesn’t have to be that way. That same Gospel that gave us peace, love, hope and salvation is also available to all those who wish to receive it. It just takes someone to step out of their comfort zone and go out into the world to preach that Gospel. It isn’t that hard. It just requires that you share what Jesus did for you. The message is simple. Jesus came into this world to teach us about God the Father and how to live our lives in accordance with His laws.

James, in chapter three of his book, writes, “And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.

Any farmer will tell you the same thing. A crop doesn’t just show up in a grocery store. It requires work. Farmers start their days early and end them very late. They work hard to provide the food that we eat and enjoy. They work to cultivate the soil and prepare it for the seed. The seeds that the farmers pick are good seeds that will yield a bountiful harvest.

In the case of our lives, God has provided us with great seed, but if it sits and isn’t planted, there will not be a harvest. It is up to us to cultivate the soil and plant that great seed into the prepared hearts of those who are in need of peace, hope, love and salvation. 

When that seed is planted and it begins to germinate, it will grow and flourish and yield a righteous harvest for all to see. But, the only way for this to happen is to go out into the world and sow those seeds into the hearts of those who are desperate for that message.

In chapter one of his book, James writes, “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.

Everything that is good and perfect comes from the Lord. When we receive those good things, we shouldn’t hoard them or just allow them to sit on our shelves and collect dust. We must share those things with others. 

When we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, we were born again and were given the true word of God the Father. We are His children and His prized possession. As His children, we have certain responsibilities. We are to share that same message that gave us peace, love, hope and salvation with all those who grope in darkness. Each is seeking something that will fill a void in their lives. We can share that message by sowing a seed of peace in their lives. The peace that I am talking about is spiritual peace. This peace is, as Paul, in chapter two of his letter to the Philippians, tells us is “God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand”.

Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all learned what God’s peace truly is and means? If we lived in peace, harmony and love with one another, things would be very different indeed. But, it can only start with planting those seeds each day.

We must be like farmers. We must start our days early and end them late. We must toil to cultivate the soil and plant those seeds. When all is done, we can stand back and behold the harvest of righteousness.

Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount, tells those who came to listen to his words, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.

Peace doesn’t just happen. It requires sweat and labor daily. But, realize this. As we labor for the Master, our work will be rewarded. Each sacrifice made will be rewarded many, many times over. As His children, we must work for peace and that righteous harvest. When we do all those things, we truly can stand firm in His grace.     

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 16:17

Proverbs 16:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who keeps his way preserves his soul.

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 35:8

Isaiah 35:8 New King James Version (NKJV)

highway shall be there, and a road,
And it shall be called the Highway of Holiness.
The unclean shall not pass over it,
But it shall be for others.
Whoever walks the road, although a fool,
Shall not go astray.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

As we reflect on the meaning of this day, let us thank God that we live in a nation that allows us to worship without fear. In some countries, many Christians must worship in fear that they could be arrested or killed for their faith.

As Americans, we have been blessed to live in a nation that allows us to worship without fear of reprisal or retaliation. We live in a nation that acknowledges that rights are given to men by God and that all are equal.


Evening Scripture Reading - Exodus 33:21-22

Exodus 33:21-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

21 And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 34:17-18

Psalm 34:17-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as [a]have a contrite spirit.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 34:18 are crushed in spirit

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 16:16

Proverbs 16:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

16 How much better to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

Morning Scripture Reading - Job 28:12-19

Job 28:12-19 New King James Version (NKJV)

12 “But where can wisdom be found?
And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its value,
Nor is it found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, ‘It is not in me’;
And the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15 It cannot be purchased for gold,
Nor can silver be weighed for its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
In precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Neither gold nor crystal can equal it,
Nor can it be exchanged for [a]jewelry of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of [b]coral or quartz,
For the price of wisdom is above rubies.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
Nor can it be valued in pure gold.

Footnotes:

  1. Job 28:17 vessels
  2. Job 28:18 Heb. ramoth

Friday, July 3, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - Ephesians 2:19-22

Ephesians 2:19-22 New King James Version (NKJV)

Christ Our Cornerstone

19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 34:15-16

Psalm 34:15-16 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To [a]cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 34:16 destroy

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 16:10-15

Proverbs 16:10-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

10 Divination is on the lips of the king;
His mouth must not transgress in judgment.
11 Honest weights and scales are the Lord’s;
All the weights in the bag are His [a]work.
12 It is an abomination for kings to commit wickedness,
For a throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings,
And they love him who speaks what is right.
14 As messengers of death is the king’s wrath,
But a wise man will appease it.
15 In the light of the king’s face is life,
And his favor is like a cloud of the latter rain.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 16:11 concern

Morning Scripture Reading - Colossians 3:15-17

Colossians 3:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - Luke 3:7-9

Luke 3:7-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

John Preaches to the People

Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood[a] of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Footnotes:

  1. Luke 3:7 Offspring

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 34:11-14

Psalm 34:11-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 16:9

Proverbs 16:9 New King James Version (NKJV)

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps.

Morning Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 10:23

Jeremiah 10:23 New King James Version (NKJV)

23 Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Evening Scripture Reading - Hebrews 11:8-12

Hebrews 11:8-12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Faithful Abraham

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she[a] bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude—innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 11:11 NU omits she bore a child