Thursday, May 31, 2018

Daily Word of God - John 14:6-7

John 14:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. 7 If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is.[a] From now on, you do know him and have seen him!”

Daily Word of God - Psalm 42:5-8

Psalm 42:5-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and 6 my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
7 I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
8 But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Daily Word of God - Revelation 5:13

Revelation 5:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang:

“Blessing and honor and glory and power
    belong to the one sitting on the throne
    and to the Lamb forever and ever.”

Mid-Week Message - What Dreams are Made Of

"Come now [and pay attention to this], you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and carry on our business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen in your life tomorrow. [What is secure in your life?] You are merely a vapor [like a puff of smoke or a wisp of steam from a cooking pot] that is visible for a little while and then vanishes [into thin air]. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and we will do this or that." James 4:13-15 (AMP)

Were you a daydreamer?  I was.  Not excessively so but I had my moments.  I daydreamed about the same things I suppose most young girls do such as being the prettiest girl in school, having a handsome boyfriend, meeting my favorite music and television stars.  Mostly, I dreamed about what it would be like to be thin, because I wasn't.  There was a song by Janis Ian that came out when I was seventeen years old that was actually called, "At Seventeen."  It was spot on in describing what I went through.  Mainly though it reminded me that there were others that were dreaming of the same things I was and that I would make it through.  It gave me hope.

Many of us dream of what we may never have.  That's what makes them dreams, I guess.  Wealth so that we can be free of debt and owing others.  Perfect relationships because what we have isn't perfect.  Good health for ourselves or others we love that are suffering.  There isn't anything wrong with dreaming as long as we keep the dreams in perspective and remember that our lives have purpose.  That purpose is to glorify God and to seek His will in all we do.  

I have two major dreams.  One is to take an extended Alaskan cruise with my beloved. I want to have that time with him to see whales in the wild and icebergs up close.  The other is to travel to Scotland.  I have always wanted to go there but now I have a good friend there that I would love to visit with and deliver a hug to in person.  I don't know if I will ever do either.  However, should the Lord allow it then it will be so that I can spread His love and message and experience His love personally.  He always has a purpose.  

I have come to learn that nothing in life is worth anything unless Christ is in the middle of it.  Fulfilling a dream without Him would be empty and meaningless.  Life is brief and every moment needs to count.  I want all my moments to count for Him.  Had he given me all those things I thought I wanted when I was young then I would have missed out on so much because my relationship with Him needed to grow.  Every day is so much sweeter now that He is in control.  I wouldn't want anything apart from Him.  And sharing His love is an honor and a privilege no matter where I am.  If I never see Alaska or Scotland, my life won't suffer.  As long as I am where He wants me at any given time, then I am incredibly blessed.

This week, let's make a list of our dreams and the purposes behind them.  Are they purely for our own enjoyment and benefit, or are we considering our life purpose in Jesus?  How is He being included?  I pray for enlightenment for each of us as we tackle this challenge.  God bless you! 

Daily Word of God - John 10:11-13

John 10:11-13 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Daily Word of God - Joel 2:11

Joel 2:11 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 The Lord is at the head of the column.
    He leads them with a shout.
This is his mighty army,
    and they follow his orders.
The day of the Lord is an awesome, terrible thing.
    Who can possibly survive?

Daily Word of God - Romans 10:5-13

Romans 10:5-13 New Living Translation (NLT)

Salvation Is for Everyone
5 For Moses writes that the law’s way of making a person right with God requires obedience to all of its commands.[a] 6 But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). 7 And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” 8 In fact, it says,

“The message is very close at hand;
    it is on your lips and in your heart.”[b]

And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: 9 If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”[c] 12 Jew and Gentile[d] are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. 13 For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”[e]

10:5 See Lev 18:5.
10:6-8 Deut 30:12-14.
10:11 Isa 28:16 (Greek version).
10:12 Greek and Greek.
10:13 Joel 2:32.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Daily Word of God - John 15:9-17

John 15:9-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other."

Memorial Day - Remembering Their Sacrifice

Let us always remember the words of Abraham Lincoln when he gave this short, but stirring, address during the American Civil War at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg. 

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Daily Word of God - Joshua 1:7-9

Joshua 1:7-9 New Living Translation (NLT)

7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 Peter 3:8-12

1 Peter 3:8-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

All Christians
8 Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters.[a] Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude. 9 Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing. 10 For the Scriptures say,

“If you want to enjoy life
    and see many happy days,
keep your tongue from speaking evil
    and your lips from telling lies.
11 Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.
12 The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
    and his ears are open to their prayers.
But the Lord turns his face
    against those who do evil.”[b]

3:8 Greek Show brotherly love.
3:10-12 Ps 34:12-16.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Be on Guard

Tomorrow is Memorial Day. It is the day that we, as a nation, come together to do more than have barbecues and parades. It is a day that we remember those who have served and those who currently serve this great nation. No matter what branch of service or if they are police, EMT or firefighters, we thank each for their devotion and service to protect us from harm and ensure our liberties to speak freely and to worship openly. Each day I thank our Heavenly Father for these men and women who put their lives on the line each and every day and pray for them and their families. They lead a very difficult life. It is a life of service that may require them to give “the last full measure of devotion”.

Of all the special ceremonies and observances that occur on Memorial Day, there is one that touches me very deeply. It is the laying of a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. That one solemn ceremony embodies the nation’s gratitude for those who have served, those who serve and those who “laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom.”

If you have not seen the ceremony, I encourage you to watch one of them on Youtube. It is indeed a very simple, yet moving ceremony. Each time I watch one on television or watch a video of one, I weep and thank the Lord for each brave man or woman who puts on a uniform. Surrounding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are the headstones of thousands of fellow comrades in arms. You cannot help but be moved by seeing row upon row of soldiers who fought and died for this nation so that it “shall not perish from the earth”.

Although Arlington National Cemetery like other national cemeteries are guarded twenty-four hours a day, there is a special detail of soldiers called “Sentinels” who watch over the Tomb with a solemn reverence that few can really understand. They silently march their post and continue their tour until they are relieved by the relief commander or assistant relief commander, along with the oncoming guard. The relief commander orders the guard being relieved to "pass on your orders" to the oncoming guard. The guard being relieved will say to the oncoming guard, "Post and orders remain as directed." The oncoming guard's response is always, "Orders acknowledged." 

Even as I write, my eyes are filled with tears and my heart swells with pride. Who could not be touched by this simple exchange? The oncoming Sentinel then takes his or her place on the rubber mat in front of the Tomb and marches the tour. The Sentinel marches twenty-one steps, stops for twenty-one seconds and continues the same cycle throughout the tour until relieved. This changing of the guard continues in the dead of winter and the hottest summer days. Rain, shine or storm, the Sentinels are always on guard to protect the soldiers enshrined in this Tomb. Inscribed on the Tomb are these sacred words, “HERE RESTS IN HONORED GLORY AN AMERICAN SOLDIER KNOWN BUT TO GOD.” The unknown soldier in the Tomb rests quietly and secure in the fact that a special individual stands guard to protect him from harm. 

The devotion that the Sentinel has for his or her most sacred of duties is the same sort of dedication and devotion that we as Christians should have when it comes to our faith. We should be devoted 100% to the Lord and work to not falter in our faith. We will be challenged from time to time with situations that will test our mettle and how we hold on to that faith. It is one thing to believe. It is quite another thing to have faith. The difference between the two is that belief with action is faith. It is easy to believe in God. Having faith means that we actively seek Him out and trust in Him without reservation. We may not understand why we go through certain trials and troubles in our lives, but we must have faith in God and know that His grace is sufficient for every need.

Part of having that faith is to remain constantly vigilant like the Sentinels watching over the Tomb and ready to act. Let us look at what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16. “13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 14 Do everything in love.” We must be on constant guard. Satan, along with his demons, is always on the prowl like a hungry lion searching for those who question the Lord and are weak in their faith. 

I, as a pastor and follower of Christ Jesus, often times find my own faith weakened by horrible problems that seem to pile one right after another onto my shoulders. This year has been the most difficult year that I have ever experienced in my life. My family and I have suffered through so much misery and pain. Yes, our faith has been challenged at every turn in our tour on the mat of life. Each step has been plagued with the slings and arrows of the evil one. We have felt his claws and teeth tearing into our spirits. But, we remember the words of Paul. We must remain firm in our faith. We must be courageous and strong. We must, when we are weak, turn humbly to the Lord and call upon Him to give us strength and comfort when we need it most. 

Like the soldier in the Tomb, we know that God is always there to protect us from harm or foul. Nothing will come between us and our Heavenly Father. He remains there in our time of need and is there in our times of joy. Unlike the Sentinels of the Tomb, He never needs to be relieved from His post. He remains a constant in our lives and continues to give us strength, comfort and an unfailing love that we cannot even imagine. 

As we rest assured in His promise and commitment to us, we, too, have a sacred duty to perform. We must do everything in love and act with a Christ-like attitude. We must help those who are weak in their faith by praying for them and letting them know they are not alone. We must support them by giving them a shoulder to lean on as we all lean against God’s everlasting arms. When the evil one strikes at one of our brothers or sisters, we must close ranks around that individual and pray for God’s hedge of protection. We must realize that we have Heaven’s armory at our call. God will send legions upon legions of angels to watch over us. God will personally take charge and watch over His children. We just need to remain faithful to Him and remember that we are all children of El-Shaddai. Do you remember what this name of God means? The name appears forty-eight times in the Bible, seven times as "El Shaddai" (five times in Genesis, once in Exodus, and once in Ezekiel). It means God Almighty. His very name tells us that He is God and is mighty in all that He does. By His very power and existence, He is able to provide us with grace, comfort, strength, and most importantly, an unfailing love that nourishes our spirits in times of distress and danger. We have nothing to fear when we act boldly in our faith and know that He is there for us. If God is for us, who can honestly be against us or stand against us?

As we observe this Memorial Day, let us remember not only the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve this great nation under God but also their families. Let us remember those fallen warriors who gave their lives so that this nation would not perish from the Earth. We should never forget the sacrifices of their families and friends. Those families have have given so much to the cost of liberty.

And let us not forget the gift of salvation and freedom from the bondage of sin given to us by God through the sacrifice of His son, Christ Jesus. It is through his sacrifice that we are able to have that wonderful relationship with the Lord. We must remain devoted to our faith during the moments when Satan will try to cause us to falter in our faith. As we grow stronger in our faith, we are to be courageous and strong. We can then stand firm in His grace and show the world that we are truly followers of Christ Jesus and act in love.

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. 
~ Numbers 6:24-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
6 Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 Samuel 15:20-23

1 Samuel 15:20-23 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. 21 Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.”

22 But Samuel replied,

“What is more pleasing to the Lord:
    your burnt offerings and sacrifices
    or your obedience to his voice?
Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice,
    and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.
23 Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft,
    and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols.
So because you have rejected the command of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

Daily Word of God - Hosea 4:8-14

Hosea 4:8-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

8 “When the people bring their sin offerings, the priests get fed.
    So the priests are glad when the people sin!
9 ‘And what the priests do, the people also do.’
    So now I will punish both priests and people
    for their wicked deeds.
10 They will eat and still be hungry.
    They will play the prostitute and gain nothing from it,
for they have deserted the Lord
11     to worship other gods.

“Wine has robbed my people
    of their understanding.
12 They ask a piece of wood for advice!
    They think a stick can tell them the future!
Longing after idols
    has made them foolish.
They have played the prostitute,
    serving other gods and deserting their God.
13 They offer sacrifices to idols on the mountaintops.
    They go up into the hills to burn incense
    in the pleasant shade of oaks, poplars, and terebinth trees.

“That is why your daughters turn to prostitution,
    and your daughters-in-law commit adultery.
14 But why should I punish them
    for their prostitution and adultery?
For your men are doing the same thing,
    sinning with whores and shrine prostitutes.
O foolish people! You refuse to understand,
    so you will be destroyed.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Daily Word of God - Luke 9:57-62

Luke 9:57-62 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Cost of Following Jesus
57 As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58 But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

59 He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”

The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”

60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead![a] Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”

61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”

62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

9:60 Greek Let the dead bury their own dead.

Daily Word of God - Psalm 23

Psalm 23 New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 23

A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3     He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

23:4 Or the dark valley of death.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Daily Word of God - John 20:24-29

John 20:24-29 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin),[a] was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”

26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”

28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.

29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”

20:24 Greek Thomas, who was called Didymus.

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 40:6-8

Isaiah 40:6-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 A voice said, “Shout!”
    I asked, “What should I shout?”

“Shout that people are like the grass.
    Their beauty fades as quickly
    as the flowers in a field.
7 The grass withers and the flowers fade
    beneath the breath of the Lord.
    And so it is with people.
8 The grass withers and the flowers fade,
    but the word of our God stands forever.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Memorial Day - Remembering Their Sacrifice

Please remember to keep our service men and women in your prayers this week. As we approach, Memorial Day on Monday, May 28th, we must not only on this day but also on every day thank our men and women in uniform for their service and to remember those who gave "the last full measure of devotion."

It is because of their sacrifice and the sacrifice made by their families that we enjoy the freedom to worship without fear.

Daily Word of God - Matthew 24:4-14

Matthew 24:4-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

4 Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5 for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7 Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.[a] 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations[b] will hear it; and then the end will come.

24:9 Greek on account of my name.
24:14 Or all peoples.

Mid-Week Message - Wrinkled Hearts

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3 (NIV)

Let's face it.  Life can be really difficult.  From the time of conception an endless number of things can go wrong.  Sometimes I wonder how any of us ever grow up.  No matter how many safeguards are put in place, we still can be hurt or injured.  Illness comes.  Relationships dissolve.  Jobs are taken away.  Finances fail.  The sunshine and rain both fall on each life no matter whether we are good or evil.  We just have to do the best we can with what we have.  And thank the Lord above, if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have Him to call upon. 

We each have a story.  Mine includes bullying, molestation, child abuse, rejection, and ridicule, to name just a few of the heartaches.  I have also lost both parents, been through the severe illness of my spouse and witnessed my only child grieving over the loss of her best friend at a time in her life when that just shouldn't be happening yet.  You have a story too.  Yours may very well include tragedies that I can't even conceive of.  Maybe infertility, abandonment, terminal illnesses or the loss of a child.  Whatever you have been through has broken your heart in ways that are indescribable, just as mine has been broken.  

Through the years that I was privileged to work in private schools, I had several opportunities to talk to the students about how easily hearts can be permanently damaged.  I would use a pristine piece of paper.  No folds, marks or wrinkles.  Then as I would mention different hurts that could take place, I would crease the paper until finally we had talked about so many that the paper was almost in pieces.  No matter how we tried to smooth it back out, the evidence of the folds and tears remained.  That represented the memories of the painful times.  Memories that may never be erased.

But I have great news!  Scripture assures us that our Father in Heaven is well aware of everything we go through, whether happy or painful.  Not only are we promised that He will make something good out of them but we are soothed by the sureness of His power to heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds.  He can take our damaged hearts and make them new again.  We may still have the memories, but by His grace and mercy, we can feel joy once again.  

I pray that your week will be spent in His arms.  Whatever you have gone through in the past, or will go through in the future, His love is greater.  As we heal together, I ask Him to bless you and hold us all close.

Daily Word of God - Jeremiah 29:10-14

Jeremiah 29:10-14 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 This is what the Lord says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 Chronicles 28:17-21

1 Chronicles 28:17-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

17 David also designated the amount of gold for the solid gold meat hooks used to handle the sacrificial meat and for the basins, pitchers, and dishes, as well as the amount of silver for every dish. 18 He designated the amount of refined gold for the altar of incense. Finally, he gave him a plan for the Lord’s “chariot”—the gold cherubim[a] whose wings were stretched out over the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant. 19 “Every part of this plan,” David told Solomon, “was given to me in writing from the hand of the Lord.[b]”

20 Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. 21 The various divisions of priests and Levites will serve in the Temple of God. Others with skills of every kind will volunteer, and the officials and the entire nation are at your command.”

28:18 Hebrew for the gold cherub chariot.
28:19 Or was written under the direction of the Lord.

Daily Word of God - Psalm 100

Psalm 100 New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 100

A psalm of thanksgiving.

1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
2     Worship the Lord with gladness.
    Come before him, singing with joy.
3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
    He made us, and we are his.[a]
    We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
    go into his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him and praise his name.
5 For the Lord is good.
    His unfailing love continues forever,
    and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

100:3 As in an alternate reading in the Masoretic Text; the other alternate and some ancient versions read and not we ourselves.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 15:55-57

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 New Living Translation (NLT)

54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die,[a] this Scripture will be fulfilled:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.[b]
55 O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?[c]”

56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.

15:54a Some manuscripts add and our mortal bodies have been transformed into immortal bodies.
15:54b Isa 25:8.
15:55 Hos 13:14 (Greek version).

Daily Word of God - Deuteronomy 31:7-8

Deuteronomy 31:7-8 New Living Translation (NLT)

7 Then Moses called for Joshua, and as all Israel watched, he said to him, “Be strong and courageous! For you will lead these people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors he would give them. You are the one who will divide it among them as their grants of land. 8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 15:1

Proverbs 15:1 New Living Translation (NLT)

1 A gentle answer deflects anger,
    but harsh words make tempers flare.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Living a Life of Love

As I reflected this week on today’s message, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart in a very profound way. I had been struggling to put the “groanings that cannot be expressed in words” of the Holy Spirit into words that I could understand and ultimately share with you today. As I continued to pray over the scriptures that were given to me a clearer picture began to appear not only in my mind but also in my heart. While I was out with my beautiful wife, Karla, last night, the picture grew clearer and clearer and I felt the words from God fill my heart.

Earlier last week, I had been reading Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians. The one chapter that stood out to me was chapter 5. Reading from the New Living Translation, verse 1 captures the essence of what it means to be a Christian. The first few words of that verse crystallize our purpose in our spirit life. He writes, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.” It is really very simple with God and the teachings of His son, Christ Jesus, regarding our purpose in life is very clear. We are to do only those things that He expects His children to do. Paul goes through an entire list of things that should be avoided. Things like sexual immorality, impurity, or greed should be avoided by all. Paul goes on in verse 4, “Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.

Paul’s words struck a chord in my heart especially in verse 2. Paul writes, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” We are not only to be thankful in all things but we are also to live a life filled with love. That love is more than the physical. What we are to show the world of darkness is that same love that Christ revealed to us when we accepted him as our personal Savior and Lord. By offering himself as a sacrifice, he showed us the ultimate form of love. It is a perfect love that God finds more pleasing than all the tithes, sacrifices or offerings that could be made. 

In 1 John chapter 4, John writes a few short sentences that tell us the exact nature of God. Starting with verse 7, “7 Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. 8 But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” This truly is real love. God gave us His one and only Son to redeem us and show us that a perfect love can only come from God. 

Looking at Paul’s letter and what John has written we see the purpose of our lives. We are to imitate God by showing the world the perfect love that God has given that it needs to accept. As we continue to serve God, we gain a better understanding of how we should serve God. We are not only to love and worship Him but we must also love our neighbors and even our enemies. I know that this is a very difficult thing to do especially when we see the violence that man is capable of. Last week we saw another school shooting in Texas. We saw news stories about stabbings in France. It would be so easy for us to turn our backs and try to ignore all those who live in darkness and only love those who are deserving of love. 

Who is to say who is deserving of God’s love? Are we to judge the hearts of those and determine which ones should be loved and which ones should be rejected? Remember Jesus came into this world not to judge it, but, rather to save it. He did not come to force the world to accept salvation. He came into the world to show the way to salvation and that way was through him and him alone. His gospel is peace and his message is love. That is what we need to always remember when we see the horror that man is capable of. We must work in the fields to show the world that love and not hate is the only way back to the Father.

But, what has happened to us as Christians? We have not only judged who is deserving of God’s and our love but we have also allowed materialism to become the master of our lives. We have moved away from God and His love and fallen in love with worldly things. The perfect love that we should be imitating and showing the world has turned into a love for those things of the world. We have fallen prey to the trappings of excess. We desire more and more and bigger and bigger. We want bigger homes, cars, boats and whatever else to show the world that we have all that we want and need.

The interesting thing is that the desire for what the world has to offer is insatiable. This desire and love for the worldly things can never be satiated and it will continue to consume us. Instead of loving God and showing the world that love by loving those around us, we show the world that our love and master is of this world. Looking back to Paul’s letter to the church at Ephesus, he warns them and, by the same words us as well, that we should reject greed. In fact, looking at verse 5, Paul writes, “You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world.

A greedy person is an idolater and worships only those things of the world. That person is incapable of God’s love and only has love for the trappings of excess and those things of this world. When we start down this path, our love changes from a pure love and evolves into a love only this world can understand. We no longer live a life of love. We live a life devoted to love of the material things this world has to offer. We are no longer capable of demonstrating the love of God and understanding that virtue of perfect love. By the same token, we are incapable of loving those around us and we start to judge just who is worthy of our love. This is not living God’s will in our life and it will lead to trouble. 

Let us look at Proverbs as our guide. Reading Proverbs chapter 15 verse 16, “Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil.” By maintaining our relationship with the Lord, we are able to live a life of love. We should work at not falling prey to the desires and wants of this world and look only to God. By looking to God, we serve Him by loving and worshiping Him. To show Him that we fully understand His will in our lives and the teachings of His son, we are to love and care for one another. Looking to the Book of Acts, we see the people of the early church and behold love in action. Let us look at Acts 2:44-45. “44 And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. 45 They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.” Each sold their worldly goods and shared the money with those in need. Once again, we see the example of God’s love at work. We should love our neighbors and help them in times of need. We should live a life of love and abstain from the desires and wants of this world. We should not judge those around us and determine who is worthy of love and help. We should live a life like Christ who is the perfecter of our faith and the example for our lives.

When we do all these things, we truly are imitators of God’s love and we show the world that true love is more than greed or trappings of excess. Those things will lead to trouble and turmoil. God’s way will lead to love and the fulfillment of His will in our lives. If everyone were to do those things, we would certainly live in a world where love reigns supreme as the sign of God and His love for the world. He loved the world so much that He gave us His son as our sacrifice so that we may have a life abundant and free of the bonds of sin. When we do these things, we can rest assured in His love and stand firm in His grace.

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. 
~ Numbers 6:24-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

Daily Word of God - 2 Timothy 1:5-7

2 Timothy 1:5-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

5 I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6 This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Daily Word of God - Psalm 94:16-19

Psalm 94:16-19 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 Who will protect me from the wicked?
    Who will stand up for me against evildoers?
17 Unless the Lord had helped me,
    I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave.
18 I cried out, “I am slipping!”
    but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me.
19 When doubts filled my mind,
    your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

1 Corinthians 13:11-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Daily Word of God - James 5:16-18

James 5:16-18 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. 17 Elijah was as human as we are, and yet when he prayed earnestly that no rain would fall, none fell for three and a half years! 18 Then, when he prayed again, the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops.

Daily Word of God - John 16:31-33

John 16:31-33 New Living Translation (NLT)

31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Daily Word of God - Colossians 3:16-17

Colossians 3:16-17 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. 17 And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.

Daily Word of God - Deuteronomy 14:2

Deuteronomy 14:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

2 You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Daily Word of God - James 1:19-21

James 1:19-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. 20 Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. 21 So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.

Mid-Week Message - Honor Them

 "Honor (respect, obey, care for) your father and your mother, so that your days may be prolonged in the land the Lord your God gives you." Exodus 20:12 (AMP)

Mother's Day 2018 has come and gone.  Hopefully, everyone took the opportunity to express appreciation and love for the women in our lives who raised us and saw us through all the trials of childhood.  My mother has passed on and I missed sending her flowers, choosing a card and telling her that I love her as I will miss doing something special for my father in June.  I wish I had understood that my time with them was limited but I allowed myself to falsely believe that they would always be with me.

The commandment to honor our parents has always intrigued me.  How interesting that the Lord thought it was important enough to etch it in stone on the tablets carried by Moses.  Surely He knew that children could be rebellious and ungrateful and that some parents would be very poor role models who did not necessarily earn respect.  I regularly read stories in the news about parents that abuse their children, some even kill them.  Does He mean to honor even them?  

I had a very difficult time with my mother.  She was very protective of my brother and sister.  Each of them had special circumstances surrounding their births that created in my mother a need to hold them close.  I, on the other hand, came into this world screaming and asserting myself.  A "Daddy's Girl" from the onset, my mother found it difficult to develop a relationship with me that was like what she had with my siblings.  She said that as a baby I would begin crying as soon as my father left for work and not stop until he returned.  In my teens, our problems grew as she experienced some physical and emotional problems that caused her to lash out at me in anger. Because of this I was cautious around her for the rest of our time on this earth together.  

My relationship with my father was completely different.  My favorite thing to do from the time I was a little girl until the day he passed away was to sit by his chair and hold his hand.  I miss that and if the Lord were to ask me to choose one thing that I could do for just five minutes in my life, I just might choose to hold Daddy's hand.  

My point in telling this story is that I understand that it can be easy, or very trying, to honor a parent.  I love that the Amplified Bible defines "honor" for us as, "respect, obey and care for."  This commandment is the first one that brings with it a promise.  And our Father does not make any qualifications in it.  There is no exclusion for bad parents.  It does not say, "If your parents deserve it, honor them."  It also does not say, "Until you are grown, honor them" or "honor them only until they die."  And that is what intrigues me.  

Parents are to be role models in the lives of their children.  Not only are they to rear and teach them to handle life in this world, but also to model the love of the Lord.  We are to teach our children the Word of God, and live it so they can learn how to truly apply it.  There is no better way to teach than to model.  They need to see us living moral and ethical lives on earth but also to see in us a true relationship with Christ.  They need to see and hear us praying and they need to know that we will be the same people on Monday and each day of the week that we are on Sunday in the Lord's house.  Unfortunately, especially today, this seems to be rare.  But again, the commandment doesn't exclude us from honoring our mothers and fathers if they don't live up to what we believe to be ideal.

My challenge this week is for each of us examine our relationships with our parents, living or dead.  How are we fulfilling God's charge that we honor them?  Are we waiting for special holidays or are we honoring them daily in how we live our lives?  Are we grateful?  What do we hold against them?  Forgiveness heals hearts.  Whatever they have done that may have hurt you, forgive them.  Once you do, honor can follow.  With great love, God bless you.

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 4:6-7

1 Corinthians 4:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another. 7 For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Daily Word of God - 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

1 Corinthians 15:20-22 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.

21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.

Daily Word of God - Acts 2:17-21

Acts 2:17-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
    ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your young men will see visions,
    and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
    even on my servants—men and women alike—
    and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below—
    blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
    and the moon will turn blood red
    before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
    will be saved.’

Monday, May 14, 2018

Daily Word of God - John 11:25-26

John 11:25-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 1:11-12

Ephesians 1:11-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

We Honor Our Mothers - Proverbs 6:20-21

Proverbs 6:20-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

20 My son, obey your father’s commands,
    and don’t neglect your mother’s instruction.
21 Keep their words always in your heart.
    Tie them around your neck.

Daily Word of God - Romans 13:6-7

Romans 13:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - The Comforts of a Mother’s Arms

Today is a very special day for all of us. It is a day that we set aside to recognize our mothers and those who act as our mothers. All women who care for others, whether a child or another adult, are mothers and provide that special love and comfort like no other.

I remember growing up when I had a scrape or a boo-boo, my Mother was there to fix my skinned knee or bandage a cut. She would go to great efforts to clean and dress the wound or abrasion, but the most important medicine and first aid that she provided was a hug and wiping away the tears. There is something about a mother’s hug and the comfort given by her loving arms that makes things a lot better. It was and continues to be the best medicine in the world.

As I grew older, my boo-boos became more than physical. Sometimes, they were mental or spiritual. Sometimes more painful than a skinned knee or abrasion, they required a little motherly tender loving care. She would give me that wonderful medicine and attention of a hug and wipe away the tears. She would tell me that things would get better. Once I heard those reassuring words, I knew I could take those words not only to the bank but also to heart. Things would get better. Mom always knew best.

I am sure I am not the only one to receive that sort of love and attention. Each of you reading or listening to this message knows exactly what I am writing and talking about. We all have received that wonderful loving hug and reassurance from that special woman in our lives we call “mother”.

Each mother demonstrates that special love each day by doing things that most would not enjoy doing. She is there earning a living, cleaning the house or doing the laundry. She never complains. She does all of these things and so much more without praise nor does she seek it. She is there every day to kiss away the pains that we experience and to celebrate our achievements. Mothers are our cheerleaders and consolers.

So, when God created woman from the rib of the first man, He created something very special. She was not only a helper to Adam but also a mother to two sons and took care of them. She taught them to be godly and mended those scrapes and boo-boos. As I look back through the Bible, I see the strong women of the Bible being mothers, caregivers and consolers. Some of the women were even asked to be leaders or prophets. Look at Miriam, Deborah, Esther, Huldah and Jehosheba just to name a few. These women played not only pivotal roles but they were women who cared for others just like a mother cares for her children.

In order to even get a partial idea of God’s love and how much He cares for His children, we need not go too far into the scriptures to find out. Let us look at Isaiah 66:12-13. The Lord talks about how He will care for Jerusalem. As you read or listen to this scripture, pay particular attention to the example that He uses to convey His love for Jerusalem. He compares His love for this beautiful and special city to that of a mother. “12 This is what the Lord says: ‘I will give Jerusalem a river of peace and prosperity. The wealth of the nations will flow to her. Her children will be nursed at her breasts, carried in her arms, and held on her lap. 13 I will comfort you there in Jerusalem as a mother comforts her child.’

The Lord talks of how the city will act as a mother to her children by nursing her children, carrying them in her arms and holding them on her lap just like an earthly mother does for her children. Later, the Lord talks about how He will comfort those in Jerusalem like “a mother comforts her child.”

By giving us this wonderful example, we get a glimpse of God’s love and His desire to care for and nurture us throughout all the days of our lives. He will shield us with His mighty arms just as a mother shields her child from harm. He will fix the scrapes and boo-boos we experience in our lives by wiping away the tears, mending the broken-hearted and telling us that things will get better. He, like our earthly mothers, will always be there no matter what happens in our lives. It is comforting to know that He is just a prayer away and we know that He will listen and act to protect, save and love His children.

A mother’s love transcends time and space and knows no bounds. It is through her example that we see the heart of the Lord for us. Years ago, I saw a picture of a plastic cast made of one of the victims of the volcanic explosion in Pompeii when Vesuvius in 79 BC blew ash and lava which obliterated not only the town but killed approximately 2,000 people. The plaster cast showed a mother desperately trying to shield her child from the devastation of that fateful day. She tried in vain to preserve and protect her child. She gave no thought to her own safety or life. She willingly sacrificed her life for her child. Although she was unsuccessful, her story is forever captured in plaster and it is a testimony to the love of mothers everywhere.

God’s love for us is just as timeless and even deeper and more eternal. We need not go any further in the Bible to understand that love. We can easily remember the words of John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But, equally important is the next verse. “17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

God, like mothers, does not condemn His children for their sins and transgressions. He provides them with salvation. He is slow to anger and quick to forgive, because He loves and wants only the best for His children. Once again, mothers are the same. They want to provide only the best and all that they can give to their children. Mothers are that earthly example of love, forgiveness and comfort that we experience when we have a relationship with our Heavenly Father. He comforts us when all seems lost and hopeless. He gives us the direction in our lives that we need. He, first and foremost, showers us with His love daily.

As we receive comfort from Him, we learn what it means to love and to provide comfort. Just as our mothers taught us to love and comfort others, God has done the same for us. When my Father-in-Law, Jim, passed away and went on to his reward, our pastor reminded me of why God gives us comfort. Reading from 2 Corinthians, “4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” God gives us the comfort that we need so that we can comfort those around us who also need to be comforted. Mothers do the same for us. They give us comfort so that we, in turn, can give comfort to those around us who desperately need it most.

Mothers provide to us the priceless gift of love and care through the most simple of activities, tending to the bumps and bruises, wiping away the tears and holding us when we need to be held. I cannot help but think to the traditions of the Sioux Indians. Warriors called each woman of their village “Mother”. Each was special and each cared for the children. It is a wonderful example of how we see the love of a mother. Nature also provides the example. Female animals even of different species will nurse and care for babies who have lost their mothers. I have personally witnessed this wonderful act of love many times. It warms the heart and brings a tear to one’s eye to see even animals have learned the love of our Heavenly Father. No matter what you are or who you are, He loves us and will take care of us.

As you go through this special day we call “Mother’s Day”, I encourage each of you to thank your mother or that special woman who took that role of “Mom” in your life. Let her know that you received a rich blessing by having their arms around you and letting you know that you are loved. As we thank our earthly mothers, let us also think about the love of God and how much He cared for us by giving us His son as our sacrifice for our sins and that He did not send him to live among us to judge or condemn us but rather to save us by providing salvation and redemption. When we accepted that wonderful gift and love, we knew from that moment on that we can stand firm in His grace.

May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. 
~ Numbers 6:24-26 New Living Translation (NLT)

Daily Word of God - Jeremiah 17:5-10

Jeremiah 17:5-10 New Living Translation (NLT)

Wisdom from the Lord
5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
    who rely on human strength
    and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
    with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
    in an uninhabited salty land.

7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
    and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
    with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
    or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
    and they never stop producing fruit.

9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
    and desperately wicked.
    Who really knows how bad it is?
10 But I, the Lord, search all hearts
    and examine secret motives.
I give all people their due rewards,
    according to what their actions deserve.”

We Honor Our Mothers - Proverbs 31:10-30

Proverbs 31:10-30 New Living Translation (NLT)

A Wife of Noble Character
10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
    She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
    and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
    all the days of her life.

13 She finds wool and flax
    and busily spins it.
14 She is like a merchant’s ship,
    bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household
    and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.

16 She goes to inspect a field and buys it;
    with her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She is energetic and strong,
    a hard worker.
18 She makes sure her dealings are profitable;
    her lamp burns late into the night.

19 Her hands are busy spinning thread,
    her fingers twisting fiber.
20 She extends a helping hand to the poor
    and opens her arms to the needy.
21 She has no fear of winter for her household,
    for everyone has warm clothes.

22 She makes her own bedspreads.
    She dresses in fine linen and purple gowns.
23 Her husband is well known at the city gates,
    where he sits with the other civic leaders.
24 She makes belted linen garments
    and sashes to sell to the merchants.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future.
26 When she speaks, her words are wise,
    and she gives instructions with kindness.
27 She carefully watches everything in her household
    and suffers nothing from laziness.

28 Her children stand and bless her.
    Her husband praises her:
29 “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world,
    but you surpass them all!”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last;
    but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.