Friday, May 31, 2019

Morning Scripture Reading - John 14:23-24

John 14:23-24 New International Version (NIV)

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Morning Scripture Reading - Psalm 42:5

Psalm 42:5 New International Version (NIV)

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Jude 1:22-23

Jude 22-23 New International Version (NIV)

22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.[a]


  1. Jude 1:23 The Greek manuscripts of these verses vary at several points.

Morning Scripture Reading - Acts 20:32-35

Acts 20:32-35 New International Version (NIV)

32 “Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing. 34 You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions. 35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Joel 2:28-32

Joel 2:28-32 New International Version (NIV)

The Day of the Lord

28 “And afterward,
    I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
    your old men will dream dreams,
    your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
    I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
    and on the earth,
    blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness
    and the moon to blood
    before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
32 And everyone who calls
    on the name of the Lord will be saved;
for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
    there will be deliverance,
    as the Lord has said,
even among the survivors
    whom the Lord calls.[a]


  1. Joel 2:32 In Hebrew texts 2:28-32 is numbered 3:1-5.

Mid-Week Message - Spiritual Sight

"If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God."  2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NLT)

When I was in the first grade, my family lived in a small two bedroom house.  I shared a room with my older brother and my baby sister had a small bed in my parents' room.  I still have fond memories of that little house, except for one occurrence.  One day my brother and I, whose beds were in opposite corners of the room, were tossing one of my dolls back and forth.  This doll was made of hard plastic and dressed like a bride.  Being somewhat competitive, we were both trying to throw her harder each time.  On his last throw, my brother sent her sailing through the air feet first.  I wasn't quite quick enough and those feet hit me hard in the eyes.  I saw nothing for awhile after that except for whirling colors.  I started screaming that I couldn't see and my poor brother ran and told my parents that he had blinded me.  After a few frightening moments and some cold cloths, my vision returned but I can still remember the horrible feeling of being without sight.  

We live in a nation that has been blessed with religious freedom and founded on Christian principles.  Our right to worship is protected my law.  Churches of all denominations are spread throughout the country.  The Word of God is available for all who are interested in obtaining it.  Believers are tasked by God to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with the world.  I know many Christians who take that task to heart and speak openly with all they come in contact with.  Then I know many others who assume everyone already knows the truth, therefore there is no reason to offend anyone by forcing their beliefs upon them.  

The sad truth is that, even in this nation where Bibles and churches abound, countless precious souls have been spiritually blinded by the enemy.  Opposing beliefs, or the belief in no Creator at all, have become pervasive and are growing each and every day.  As followers of Christ, we must stop worrying about how we are going to be received and understand that we just might be the one and only person that will approach any specific person with the love and saving knowledge of Jesus.  I know it's hard.  But how will they hear unless someone tells them?  Satan uses lies to blind and deafen.  But we have the power of Almighty God and do not have to let him steal our voices. 

I will be forever grateful for the person that cared enough about me to introduce me to my Savior. Because of her, and wonderful teachers and preachers throughout my life, I have the assurance of eternal life in the presence of the Lord.  That is a treasure that I want to share which is why I write these messages each week.  If even just one person finds something meaningful in the words strung together then there is cause for rejoicing.  Each week I pray that it will be used to encourage believers and touch the hearts of those who are searching for the truth.  Oh, Lord, please embolden our hearts and give us the words to share with those around us and give sight to the spiritually blind so that they may see You clearly and be set free by the truth of Jesus.  God bless.  

Morning Scripture Reading - Romans 10:1-4

Romans 10:1-4 New International Version (NIV)

10 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - John 16:12-15

John 16:12-15 New International Version (NIV)

12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

Morning Scripture Reading - Ruth 2:11-12

Boaz speaking to Ruth.

Ruth 2:11-12 New International Version (NIV)

11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the Lord repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the Lord, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day - Remembering the Sacrifices They Made

John 15:13 New Living Translation (NLT)

13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Afternoon Scripture Reading - 1 Peter 3:8-12

1 Peter 3:8-12 New International Version (NIV)

Suffering for Doing Good

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. 10 For,
“Whoever would love life
    and see good days
must keep their tongue from evil
    and their lips from deceitful speech.
11 They must turn from evil and do good;
    they must seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
    and his ears are attentive to their prayer,
but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”[a]


  1. 1 Peter 3:12 Psalm 34:12-16

Memorial Day - Remembering the Sacrifices They Made

Psalm 112 New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 112[a]

Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
They themselves will be wealthy,
    and their good deeds will last forever.
Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
    They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
Good comes to those who lend money generously
    and conduct their business fairly.
Such people will not be overcome by evil.
    Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.
They share freely and give generously to those in need.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
    They will have influence and honor.
10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
    They will grind their teeth in anger;
    they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.


  1. 112 This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic poem; after the introductory note of praise, each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.

Morning Scripture Reading - Proverbs 3:5-6

Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]


  1. Proverbs 3:6 Or will direct your paths

Memorial Day - Remembering the Sacrifices They Made

Psalm 27:3-4 New Living Translation (NLT)

Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the Lord
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - 1 Samuel 15:20-23

1 Samuel 15:20-23 New International Version (NIV)

20 “But I did obey the Lord,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the Lord assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the Lord your God at Gilgal.”
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
    as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
    and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
    he has rejected you as king.”

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Sacrifices We Make

As we enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend, many of us, I hope, take time to remember the sacrifices made by those who wear a uniform and their families. It is all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of a three-day weekend. Memorial Day is traditionally the official kick-off of summer and many rush to the lakes, have cook-outs and spend time just enjoying the time away from work. But, Memorial Day is more than just those things. This holiday was started years after the American Civil War and became officially recognized in 1971. It was created for Americans to remember and thank those who gave their “last full measure of devotion” upon “the altar of Freedom”.

When I see the parades and ceremonies dedicated to those brave individuals, I cannot help but think of their sacrifices and what courage it took for each of them to step forth and lay down their lives for their nation so that that nation “shall not perish from the earth”. To those who survived the conflicts, I say, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your dedication to the great dream of freedom and to this nation will never be forgotten by me.”

The great statesman and Prime Minister of Great Britain during World War II, Winston Churchill, said this on August 20, 1940, of those who gave their lives in the Battle of Britain, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

Mr. Churchill could not have better captured the feelings of a grateful nation in such a deeply touching way. We, the many, do owe so much to the sacrifices of those few. In every conflict that this nation endured, those who rallied and came to the aid of this great nation knew the meaning of the word sacrifice and what they might have to do to preserve the nation and defend the freedoms of those opposed.

Of all of the words I used in such a short period of time, one word should stand out above all others. It is a word that should give us all a moment of pause in reverence to those who gave so much to so few. That word is “sacrifice”.

When you look up the definition of the word, you will read, “To suffer loss of, give up, renounce, injure, or destroy especially for an ideal, belief, or end.”

In the Bible, you will read other instances of the act of sacrifice. It is the spilling of blood on an altar for a specific reason. It could be done as an atonement for sin or to give thanks. Another form of sacrifice could be that you are asked to give up something that means so very much to you.

In Luke 9, Jesus, while walking along a road with his disciples, came across a man who tells him that he will follow him wherever he goes. Jesus responds, “58 Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”

When you think about Jesus’ reply, you realize that Jesus is telling him that should he decide to follow him, it would require giving up the things that make life comfortable. In this case, a roof and a bed would be the sacrifice. If you were the man on the road that offered to follow Jesus, could you give up your home and those items that make your life comfortable? 

Several months ago, I had a person say this about her cellular phone, “If I didn’t have my cell phone, I would just die.”

Really? Would a person die if he or she was not able to tweet, friend someone or send a text message? Could that person make a sacrifice of going without the latest and greatest phone? It would probably be difficult to find individuals who would give up their devices just for a day.

As in the passage, Jesus calls out to a man to follow him. The man responds, “59 Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”

Jesus replies, “60 Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”

Could you do what Jesus asked that man? Could you drop everything to preach the Word of God to those in darkness? That is another example of a sacrifice that Jesus asks of us. We should be willing to drop everything and preach the Word to those who desperately need to hear it.

Another man calls out to Jesus and says, “61 Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”

At the end of the passage, Jesus says this to him, “62 Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

Think about the words that Jesus uttered to the man. The example that he gives is a farmer who is plowing his field. If he looks back at the furrows he has just plowed, he will, in all likelihood, have crooked furrows and they would make it difficult, if not impossible, to seed, grow and harvest a good, bountiful crop. 

If we are to make a sacrifice, we need to look ahead to the future and the potential of the fields we work. If we are constantly looking back at what we have done or have, we may decide that what we have is more important than anything in the future.

When you think about the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for our freedom, think about the words of Jesus. Those individuals who put their hands to the plow and did not look back, but, rather, looked forward and to those who would benefit from their work made their decision and gave their lives so that others might live and be free.

Are you willing to give up hearth, home and family in order to take up the cross and follow Jesus daily? That is the sacrifice that missionaries and those who are called upon have to make. If you accept Jesus’ call to serve and put the things of this world behind you and look to the future, you are indeed fit for the kingdom of God and can stand firm in His grace.

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