Saturday, November 30, 2019

Daily Word of God - Psalm 16:9-11

Psalm 16:9-11 New International Version (NIV)

Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful[a] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.


  1. Psalm 16:10 Or holy

Daily Word of God - Proverbs 16:6

Proverbs 16:6 New International Version (NIV)

Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for;
    through the fear of the Lord evil is avoided.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Daily Word of God - Acts 7:51-53

Acts 7:51-53 New International Version (NIV)

51 “You stiff-necked people! Your hearts and ears are still uncircumcised. You are just like your ancestors: You always resist the Holy Spirit! 52 Was there ever a prophet your ancestors did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him 53 you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”

Daily Word of God - Deuteronomy 32:43

Deuteronomy 32:43 New International Version (NIV)

43 Rejoice, you nations, with his people,[a][b]
    for he will avenge the blood of his servants;
he will take vengeance on his enemies
    and make atonement for his land and people.


  1. Deuteronomy 32:43 Or Make his people rejoice, you nations
  2. Deuteronomy 32:43 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint) people, / and let all the angels worship him, /

Thursday, November 28, 2019

A Day to Give Thanks - Thanking God for Victory

Psalm 118:19-21 New Living Translation (NLT)

19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter,
    and I will go in and thank the Lord.
20 These gates lead to the presence of the Lord,
    and the godly enter there.
21 I thank you for answering my prayer
    and giving me victory!

A Day to Give Thanks - Sing to the Lord

Isaiah 12:3-6 New Living Translation (NLT)

With joy you will drink deeply
    from the fountain of salvation!
In that wonderful day you will sing:
    “Thank the Lord! Praise his name!
Tell the nations what he has done.
    Let them know how mighty he is!
Sing to the Lord, for he has done wonderful things.
    Make known his praise around the world.
Let all the people of Jerusalem[a] shout his praise with joy!
    For great is the Holy One of Israel who lives among you.”


  1. 12:6 Hebrew Zion.

Daily Word of God - 2 Samuel 22:5-7

2 Samuel 22:5-7 New International Version (NIV)

The waves of death swirled about me;
    the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me;
    the snares of death confronted me.
“In my distress I called to the Lord;
    I called out to my God.
From his temple he heard my voice;
    my cry came to his ears.

A Day to Give Thanks - Daily Gratitude

Psalm 100 New Living Translation (NLT)

Psalm 100

A psalm of thanksgiving.

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


  1. 100:3 As in an alternate reading in the Masoretic Text; the other alternate and some ancient versions read and not we ourselves.

Daily Word of God - Psalm 3:3-4

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

But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
    my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
    and he answers me from his holy mountain.

A Day to Give Thanks - Reflect on Your Blessings

1 Timothy 4:4-5 New Living Translation (NLT)

Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable[a] by the word of God and prayer.


  1. 4:5 Or made holy.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving Message - He Hears and Responds

During the harsh first winter in the New World, the Pilgrims had to endure disease and hunger. I am sure that each prayed for a miracle and hoped that the next morning would be the beginning of better and easier times. When that morning didn’t come, it would have been so easy for each to simply give up and stop praying. Some would even wonder whether or not God was even listening to their prayers and hearing their cries for help.

It is so hard to have rock-solid faith when it seems that God is not listening and answering your prayers. When you see a loved one going through a medical or financial issue, you pray for the miracle that would immediately lift the burden off of that person’s shoulders. We all want the miracle and prefer not having to endure all of the pain and suffering.

For me, it has been almost two years since my initial illness. To this day, I continue to suffer from it. I look back at all of the things that were done to me. I endured surgery after surgery. Doctors and specialists could not guarantee the outcome. But, we all knew there was only one great physician who could bring healing with just a touch or a spoken word. Our faith in Jesus guided every decision and next step in my recovery.

Many have asked whether or not I am cured. No one can guarantee that. According to other specialists, I have a twenty percent chance of having to go back through the entire ordeal. If it were to happen again, the surgeons have already told me that the next surgeries would be extremely radical. One specialist referred to the entire process as “going commando”. 

There were so many times when I prayed and asked the Lord to heal me completely and give me back my health. My wife listened to me weeping and crying out to the Lord for mercy. I would be on my hands and knees before the Lord. Tears would be streaming down my face and falling to the floor as I asked the Lord to take this cup away from me. But, in the end, I realized that His will comes first in my life.

There are those who will tell you that God is a divine vending machine. If you put enough money into the donation plate or box, He will give you what you want. Nowhere do those individuals talk about faith as being the only thing that you need to have. When they ask for money and donations, faith is absent from their messages. If they do mention the word, faith, it is often in passing and is only there just to add something extra to the divine formula of prosperity.

If you don’t get what you want or desire, that’s when those individuals talk about your lack of faith and tell you that you didn’t give God everything. They even have the nerve to ask for more money, because that really shows your faith in God.

Some will quote Peter’s first letter by reminding us that God “hears us whenever we ask for anything”. But, they conveniently leave out the next part of that verse.

Peter, in chapter five of his first epistle, writes, “And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.

Do you see what most leave out? They skip or skim over the portion of the verse about pleasing Him. God does hear and respond to our prayers, but our requests must be in keeping with His will. 

As I continue to deal with my illness and its aftermath, I am humbled by the whole experience. I learned that it is only by faith that I was able to get through the valley of darkness. God heard my prayers each and every day. He heard them change from prayers demanding a miracle to prayers for guidance, wisdom and love. He gave me the strength that I needed during my times of weakness. Jesus stood there holding my hand when I was enduring the medications, procedures and countless tests. He stood with the specialists and helped them see clearly and guided decisions in my treatment plan. I learned that He was there with me and that I was not alone.

Late at night, when my last round of medication was done and I had a quiet moment, I prayed for each of the people who were there in the hospital. I asked the Lord for a miracle for each. In just a short period of time, I saw people walking who thought that they would never walk again. 

Because of my experience and my daily struggle, my prayers are different. I thank God for His love and for His son, Jesus. I thank Him for those who are in my life and their love for me. I pray for those who are in need and thank Him for my opportunities to help those in need.

In Psalm sixty-six, the psalmist writes, “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me. For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke. If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer. Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.

While I was in my hospital room for weeks, I had time to think and reflect on this one psalm. Each time I read it, I gained a better understanding and my faith grew with each reading. God never withdrew His love for me. He watched over me every moment of every day. He cradled me gently in His loving hand and guided my next steps. 

John, in chapter sixteen of his gospel, records Jesus’ words to his disciples. He tells them, “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. 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.

Jesus knew that the Father was with him every step of his life and that nothing could prevent that. We need to be more like Jesus in our faith. We need to remember that the Father is always there and is listening to our prayers and providing answers. Although we may face times of trouble and trial, we, like Jesus, can overcome the world by fixing our eyes on Him who can hold us up in victory.

As the Pilgrims of old, we need to remain grounded in faith and know that God is listening and loves us. If you feel alone and that your faith is waning, I ask you today to look deep into your soul and examine it. Have you just given up and feel that all is lost? Think of how the Pilgrims felt when another day of death and hunger came. They prayed, but the miracle didn’t come. 

In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, the author writes, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

We must remain in faith and continue to rest assured that God is listening. Things will change in time. Just like the Pilgrims, we will have our season of bounty and harvest and sit at the table prepared by God for us. But, that season will only come when it is time. When we patiently wait on the Lord, we can definitely stand firm in His grace.

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

Daily Word of God - Ezekiel 18:5-9

Ezekiel 18:5-9 New International Version (NIV)

“Suppose there is a righteous man
    who does what is just and right.
He does not eat at the mountain shrines
    or look to the idols of Israel.
He does not defile his neighbor’s wife
    or have sexual relations with a woman during her period.
He does not oppress anyone,
    but returns what he took in pledge for a loan.
He does not commit robbery
    but gives his food to the hungry
    and provides clothing for the naked.
He does not lend to them at interest
    or take a profit from them.
He withholds his hand from doing wrong
    and judges fairly between two parties.
He follows my decrees
    and faithfully keeps my laws.
That man is righteous;
    he will surely live,
declares the Sovereign Lord.

Mid-Week Message - Thanksgiving

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!  His faithful love endures forever."  Psalm 107:1 (NLT)

The year was 1621.  Those who had made the pilgrimage to what is now the United States of America, had a great feast that lasted three days.  It was a celebration of thanksgiving to the Lord for His provision and protection which followed a time of extreme hardship in which many had died.  None of these precious souls had envisioned the difficulties they would face before they set sail and I often wonder how those who survived were able to show such gratitude after all they endured. 

The holiday of Thanksgiving that we observe each year has become a day that is engulfed in activity that causes tensions to run high.  Rather than a day of praise and gratitude, it is spent exhausting ourselves attempting to fulfill expectations of family and guests.  After the food has been served and the kitchen has been cleaned, men gather around the television and women rush out to shop in stores that now open early to capitalize on Christmas dollars yet to be spent.  

Before we know it, midnight as come and the day intended for giving thanks has ended for another year.  Recipes made once a year are filed away and all thoughts turn to the next big day of festivities.  In all of the hustle and bustle, how much time was actually given to the Lord in appreciation for His great love and care?  

Aside from the necessary prayer at the table tomorrow, will we spend any private time with Him reflecting back on how He has sustained us this year?  Will our hearts be consumed with gratitude or will our focus be on the troubles of the moment?  Whatever our struggles are today will likely still be struggles tomorrow and will be vying for our attention.  Will we choose Him over worry and chaos? 

We are the Lord's first priority.   He is always present.  Always listening.  Always within our reach.  We may not be able to see Him physically with our eyes, but He is always active in our lives.  Every blessing that we receive comes directly from His hands.  He has promised to take care of our needs and to guide us through each step we need to take.  No matter what arises in our lives, His power is greater, His love all-encompassing and He is worthy of our praise.  

This year has been full of ups and downs, some of them have knocked me off my feet, which I am sure you have experienced as well.  However, the one thing we have always been able to count on is that we have a Father that can be depended upon to pick us up and dust us off and help us take the next step, no matter how hard that step might be.  Let's spend time with Him tomorrow letting Him know how much we love and appreciate Him.  Without Him, there would be nothing to celebrate.  

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.  

Daily Word of God - Isaiah 55:3-5

Isaiah 55:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

Give ear and come to me;
    listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
    my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
    a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
    and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel,
    for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Daily Word of God - Ephesians 2:8-10

Ephesians 2:8-10 New International Version (NIV)

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Daily Word of God - Psalm 108:1-5

Psalm 108:1-5 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 108[a]

A song. A psalm of David.

My heart, O God, is steadfast;
    I will sing and make music with all my soul.
Awake, harp and lyre!
    I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
    I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
    your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
    let your glory be over all the earth.


  1. Psalm 108:1 In Hebrew texts 108:1-13 is numbered 108:2-14.