Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Morning Scripture Reading - Romans 8:37-39

Romans 8:37-39 New International Version (NIV)

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


  1. Romans 8:38 Or nor heavenly rulers

Mid-Week Message - Daily Frustrations

"Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord's return.  Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring.  They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.  You, too, must be patient.  Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near."  James 5:7-8 (NLT)  

Some days it seems as if nothing goes right.  Maybe the alarm clock fails to go off.  Maybe the car doesn't start.  Whatever can go wrong seems to go wrong.  Have you experienced days like that?  Of course you have.  We all do from time to time.  It makes life seem tedious and we find ourselves asking if there is anything to really look forward to or if everyday will be the same.  

Irritations and frustrations abound in this world.  We each have numerous demands made on our time and energies and sometimes we just want to hide for awhile.  There used to be a commercial for a popular bubble bath where a woman closes her bathroom door behind her and says, "Calgon, take me away!"  We eagerly await weekends and vacations so that we can get away from the feeling that every single moment is spoken for.  We want to rest our bodies and silence the constant reminders in our heads of things that have to be done.  We long for a time of peace.  

Patience can be difficult to achieve.  We become so agitated inside that we may just want to scream for everyone to leave us alone.  It doesn't seem like we will ever reach the stage when we can look back and enjoy a job well done because our to-do lists are long and constantly getting longer.  

Today's verse urges us to be patient but it also gives us guidance about where our focus should be.  All of the earthly tasks set before us are temporary.  What is urgent today will be history tomorrow.  It is our tendency to place more importance on earthly matters that fade away than we do on those that are eternal.  Jesus will come again.  Scripture has promised us that.  There will come a day where the only thing that will matter is our relationship with Him.  I wonder how it would change our outlook on life if we kept that as our utmost thought.  

There was a book entitled Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, written by Richard Carlson, that was published in 1997.  The point the book makes is that we let so many things cause stress that really are insignificant.  In Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus tells us what is most important. "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"  

What we choose to focus on has great influence over how stressed, frustrated and irritated we feel.  If we can look at the tasks before us as momentary challenges that will soon pass, and keep our eyes and minds on the Lord's promises and our eternal future in Heaven with Him, then we will not be as likely to find ourselves wanting to run away and hide.  Rather, we will want to share the Good News with those around us, and, as farmer's waiting for the rain for their crops, develop divine patience knowing that at any time we could hear the glorious hallelujahs of Christ's return.  God bless.  

Morning Scripture Reading - Jeremiah 17:7-8

Jeremiah 17:7-8 New International Version (NIV)

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - 2 Samuel 22:31-37

2 Samuel 22:31-37 New International Version (NIV)

31 “As for God, his way is perfect:
    The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God besides the Lord?
    And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with strength[a]
    and keeps my way secure.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
    he causes me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle;
    my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You make your saving help my shield;
    your help has made[b] me great.
37 You provide a broad path for my feet,
    so that my ankles do not give way.


  1. 2 Samuel 22:33 Dead Sea Scrolls, some Septuagint manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also Psalm 18:32); Masoretic Text who is my strong refuge
  2. 2 Samuel 22:36 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text shield; / you stoop down to make

Morning Scripture Reading - Proverbs 4:10-17

Proverbs 4:10-17 New International Version (NIV)

10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
11 I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - 2 Chronicles 6:1-11

2 Chronicles 6:1-11 New International Version (NIV)

Then Solomon said, “The Lord has said that he would dwell in a dark cloud; I have built a magnificent temple for you, a place for you to dwell forever.
While the whole assembly of Israel was standing there, the king turned around and blessed them. Then he said:
“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with his mouth to my father David. For he said, ‘Since the day I brought my people out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city in any tribe of Israel to have a temple built so that my Name might be there, nor have I chosen anyone to be ruler over my people Israel. But now I have chosen Jerusalem for my Name to be there, and I have chosen David to rule my people Israel.’
“My father David had it in his heart to build a temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. But the Lord said to my father David, ‘You did well to have it in your heart to build a temple for my Name.Nevertheless, you are not the one to build the temple, but your son, your own flesh and blood—he is the one who will build the temple for my Name.’
10 “The Lord has kept the promise he made. I have succeeded David my father and now I sit on the throne of Israel, just as the Lord promised, and I have built the temple for the Name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 11 There I have placed the ark, in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with the people of Israel.”

Morning Scripture Reading - Job 19:23-27

Job 19:23-27 New International Version (NIV)

23 “Oh, that my words were recorded,
    that they were written on a scroll,
24 that they were inscribed with an iron tool on[a] lead,
    or engraved in rock forever!
25 I know that my redeemer[b] lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.[c]
26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
    yet[d] in[e] my flesh I will see God;
27 I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!


  1. Job 19:24 Or and
  2. Job 19:25 Or vindicator
  3. Job 19:25 Or on my grave
  4. Job 19:26 Or And after I awake, / though this body has been destroyed, / then
  5. Job 19:26 Or destroyed, / apart from

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Acts 16:25-34

Acts 16:25-34 New International Version (NIV)

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Give Your Burdens to the Lord

As I was growing up, my dad taught my brother and me to be self-sufficient and to bear our burdens alone. From those lessons, we were never to let anything stop us from doing what we were supposed to do. Illness or injury were not something that stopped us from our work or chores. Unless something required us to visit the doctor, we were expected to live with our pain, discomfort or whatever. 

I am sure that most of us grew up the same way. We were to do whatever it took to do what we needed to do without complaint or rest. It was just expected. So, giving our burdens and problems to anyone is an alien concept to us. It is often difficult for us to give our problems to someone. For some of us, we see it as defeat. We believe that we should be able to overcome whatever problem we face.

As a husband and father, I often find myself doing more than I should do. As I look at my father and what he did, my example remains firmly planted in my mind. I am to be the breadwinner and persevere no matter what. But, there comes a point in every person’s life when slugging it out alone just does not work. You feel overwhelmed and things just do not seem to be improving. I know that many of you have had those situations come up. Rather than getting better they seem to be getting worse with each passing minute.

Almost two years ago, I faced probably one of the worst illnesses anyone could have faced. It was an illness that nearly ended my life. With less than 1,000 cases of it per year, many doctors have never seen it or even heard of it. When I was finally diagnosed and treatment began, there were those on the care team that thought I would not make it. Facing a possible brain infection with swelling and coma, I did not know what to do. The doctors could only do so much.

Each morning while I was in the hospital, I would lie in bed waiting for the phlebotomist to come in to draw that day’s samples so that the doctors and specialists had the results by the time they met with me. I often found myself in tears as I stared at the ceiling. There was nothing I could do to change things. Everything was outside my power or control. I felt alone with nowhere to turn. I felt that I should be able to overcome all of this. After all, I had faced other things before and made it through them. This time was different. No amount of skill or thought was going to get me out of this situation. I alone had neither the knowledge or power to skate through this.

It was at that point that I remembered the words of the psalmist. I opened the Bible and read from Psalm 55. David cried out in distress to the Lord. He was surrounded by his enemies and problems that seemed insurmountable. What was he going to do? He realized that he could not go it alone or face those problems and his enemies without the Lord. 

David writes, “22 Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. 23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay; the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days. But as for me, I trust in you.

As I let those two verses sink into my soul, heart and mind, I began to realize that no matter what happened to me, I knew that the Lord would sustain me. In the last part of the last verse of that beautiful psalm, David writes, “But as for me, I trust in you.

That one sentence changed everything. No matter what the outcome of my illness, I had to remain faithful and trust completely in Him. By doing so, I also realized the promise that He provided in the earlier verse. The Lord will sustain you and will not allow you to be shaken. In the end, it all comes down to knowing that no matter what you face, you have to give your cares to the Lord and trust Him completely. He will see you through whatever you face. Though you maybe beset on all sides, you know with certainty that our Heavenly Father will see you through it. You just have to learn that you do not have to go it alone.

For me, it was the hardest lesson and it remains a hard lesson each day. There are times when I try to wade through my life and fix things on my own. I face problems and torments daily and believe that I should be able to overcome them. When I feel myself trusting in myself and my knowledge, it’s then that I do not trust God completely. I begin to trust in myself alone. 

As I begin to slip back into my old ways, I remember the words of Proverbs 3. It states, “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.

We cannot and should not depend on our own understanding and knowledge. Both will often be misled or fail us completely. But, when we seek His will in our lives and we trust in Him completely, He will show us what path to take and we will know that we will not be shaken or left to fend for ourselves. The Lord will provide what we need to make it through our problems and raise us up in victory.

Peter writes in chapter 5 of his first epistle, “7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

The Lord truly cares for you. If He did not, He would not have sent His Son, Jesus, to be the one and only atonement sacrifice for our sins. Paul writes in chapter 6 of his letter to the Romans, “23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you lie in bed looking at the ceiling and dreading the next dawn? Do you feel that you have to suffer through life and its problems alone? Do you want to change all that and have a life that is filled with joy and victory? It is so very simple. You can have a relationship with God the Father by accepting Christ Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord of your life. He is the good shepherd that will lead you to green pastures and the living water that will restore your soul. When you walk through the valley of darkness and despair, you will know that Jesus is there to lead you and stand with you as your friend. His words will be the music in your ears when the noise of life gets louder. His whisper will draw you to him when things seem to be going downhill for you. Trust in him today.

As I close this message, I want you to always remember that you can turn to the Lord and know without doubt or fear that He will sustain you. He will be there to accept your problems and troubles and see you through each one. When you are able to overcome the human tendency of relying on yourself through faith and trusting in Him, you can stand firm in His grace.   

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

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 Samuel 17:45-47

1 Samuel 17:45-47 New International Version (NIV)

45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LordAlmighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Acts 2:38-39

Acts 2:38-39 New International Version (NIV)

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

Morning Scripture Reading - Isaiah 59:21

Isaiah 59:21 New International Version (NIV)

21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit,who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says the Lord.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Afternoon Scripture Reading - Psalm 37:3-4

Psalm 37:3-4 New International Version (NIV)

Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.