Sunday, February 28, 2021

Evening Scripture Reading - Colossians 1:21-23

Colossians 1:21-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22 he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, 23 if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[a] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.


  1. Colossians 1:23 Or to every creature

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 73:4-8

Psalm 73:4-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

For they have no pangs until death;
    their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
    they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
    violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
    loftily they threaten oppression.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Jesus Loves the Little Children

As a young child, I started attending church in Gatesville, Texas. The First Baptist Church of Gatesville had a church bus that would pick me up every Sunday morning and I would attend Sunday School and then church service. My first Bible was a gift from the Sunday School teacher. It was a black King James Bible. In fact, I still have that Bible.

Like in most, if not all, Sunday Schools, I memorized Bible verses and learned children's songs. I even sang in the children’s choir. Although I wasn’t a very good singer, I could, at least, make a joyful noise to the Lord and praise Him. 

Of all the songs I learned, one of the simplest was a song written by C. Herbert Woolston. Pastor Woolston, a Baptist minister, and his wife, Agnes, lived in East Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1880; and in Phil­a­del­phia, Penn­syl­van­ia, in 1900, 1910 and 1920. He was the pastor of the East Baptist Church in Phil­a­del­phia around 1907. He, and George F. Root, worked together to create a very special little song, “Jesus Loves the Little Children”.

Although the hymn has several verses, Christian children around the world learn to sing the refrain. I am sure most, if not all, know this little song and it is very special to me. It reminds us that we all are God’s children. No matter what gender, color or whatever, we are all His children and, as His children, we belong to Him.

His son, Jesus, came into this sin-filled world to show us God’s love. Jesus made the love of the Father known to all. This simple message was something that only a few could understand. Over time, more and more began to understand that simple message of love.

Children and the way they look at life are truly blessings. When a child is born, they come into the world with little knowledge and require someone to take care of them. They are innocent and very naive. In time, they learn the sinful ways of this world. They are corrupted and seduced and soon find themselves wandering away from the Father. But, as Jesus told Nicodemus, a Pharisee and a member of the Sanhedrin, a person must be born again by water and the spirit to receive salvation. Nicodemus, of course, wondered how an adult could be born again. It was impossible for an adult to re-enter his or her mother’s womb. Jesus explained that it is a spiritual rebirth that needs to occur.

Jesus, in chapter three of the Gospel of John, put it this way, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.

When we are born again, we are like little children and begin our spiritual growth. It is through the eyes of children that we feel God’s presence and experience His love for us. It is so very simple for a child to understand the love of the Father. Adults tend to question everything and overcomplicate things. As we grow up, we become more cynical and believe we have all the answers, but, until we learn to humble ourselves and accept the gift of salvation, our lives are simply one complicated mess.

Jesus, in chapter ten of the Gospel of Mark, admonishes his disciples for keeping children away from him, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.

As His children, we have a very special place in His heart. Remember that He gave His only son as an atonement sacrifice for our sins. Because of that sacrifice, we are able to live eternally with our Heavenly Father.

John, in chapter three of his first epistle, writes, “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.

The world does not see God the way we do. We, as Christians, know Him as “Abba Father”. Abba is the most intimate term that characterizes our relationship with God the Father. The loose translation of “Abba” is “Papa” or “Daddy”. This Aramaic word expresses deepest affection and childlike trust. When “Abba” and “Father” are used together, they doubly emphasize the fatherhood of God.

The world cannot see us as His children. The world can only see the outward appearance of us. They see race, ethnicity and all those things that are used to describe humans. But, when it comes to God, He only sees and loves His children. Nothing else matters. The only thing that does is our relationship with Him, His son, Jesus, and each other.

The love of God should always be something that we share by expressing it to others. We should love one another and care for those who are in need. 

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus, in chapter five of the Gospel of Matthew, tells us, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

When you think about the words of Jesus and viewing the world through the eyes of a child, you realize that children do not come into the world hating anyone. It is something that they learn. When you are born again, you see the world through the eyes of a child. You do not make distinctions, rather you see people as brothers and sisters. It is easy to love those whom we like. It is quite another to love our enemies. It is so very difficult to do, but as the true children of our Father in heaven, we must love all.

So, I remind you of the words Jesus said to his disciples in chapter thirteen of the Book of John, “Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” 

God and his son, Jesus, love the children of the world dearly. As His children, we must love those around us and share the Good News. When we do all those things, we can definitely stand firm in His grace.

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

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 26:14

Proverbs 26:14 English Standard Version (ESV)

14 As a door turns on its hinges,
    so does a sluggard on his bed.

Morning Scripture Reading - Amos 5:24

Amos 5:24 English Standard Version (ESV)

24 But let justice roll down like waters,
    and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Evening Scripture Reading - Hebrews 10:5-10

Hebrews 10:5-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

Consequently, when Christ[a] came into the world, he said,

“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
    but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
    as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.


  1. Hebrews 10:5 Greek he

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 74:1-3

Psalm 74:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause

A Maskil[a] of Asaph.

774 O God, why do you cast us off forever?
    Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old,
    which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!
    Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
    the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!


  1. Psalm 74:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 26:13

Proverbs 26:13 English Standard Version (ESV)

13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
    There is a lion in the streets!”

Morning Scripture Reading - Matthew 20:20-28

Matthew 20:20-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

A Mother's Request

20 Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” 22 Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[b] 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”


  1. Matthew 20:26 Greek diakonos
  2. Matthew 20:27 Or bondservant, or servant (for the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface)

Friday, February 26, 2021

Evening Scripture Reading - Revelation 21:9-14

Revelation 21:9-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

The New Jerusalem

Then came one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues and spoke to me, saying, “Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. 12 It had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and on the gates the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel were inscribed— 13 on the east three gates, on the north three gates, on the south three gates, and on the west three gates. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 73:27-28

Psalm 73:27-28 English Standard Version (ESV)

27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
    you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    that I may tell of all your works.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 26:12

Proverbs 26:12 English Standard Version (ESV)

12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Morning Scripture Reading - James 1:5

James 1:5 English Standard Version (ESV)

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 5:17-20

Matthew 5:17-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 73:23-26

Psalm 73:23-26 English Standard Version (ESV)

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever.


  1. Psalm 73:26 Hebrew rock

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 26:11

Proverbs 26:11 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Like a dog that returns to his vomit
    is a fool who repeats his folly.

Morning Scripture Reading - Romans 2:5-11

Romans 2:5-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.

He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking[a] and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.


  1. Romans 2:8 Or contentious