Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Evening Scripture Reading - Lamentations 3:55-57

Lamentations 3:55-57 English Standard Version (ESV)

55 “I called on your name, O Lord,
    from the depths of the pit;
56 you heard my plea, ‘Do not close
    your ear to my cry for help!’
57 You came near when I called on you;
    you said, ‘Do not fear!’

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 78:5-8

Psalm 78:5-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

He established a testimony in Jacob
    and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
    to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
    but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,

Mid-Week Message - Easter Celebration

"Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  Philippians 2:9-11 (NLT)

Probably the most meaningful Easter service I ever attended was held in a mausoleum.  It was a sunrise service and I and a couple of other ladies were asked to sing.  I wish I could convey the feeling of standing amidst those entombed there while singing praises to Jesus and recognizing that He had defeated death's power.  I could just imagine other voices, some long gone, joining in.  

This weekend we will observe the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord.  There are dates each year set aside to do so.  In a year that isn't affected by COVID we dress up in our finest, gather together to worship, then feast on a well prepared meal.  Children hunt for eggs and love awakening to find that the "Easter Bunny" has left a basket full of goodies. Night comes and we close our eyes while saying another "thank you" to our Savior.  

Then what?  Monday comes.  The alarm clock goes off, we reluctantly get up and dress ourselves for another day.  The "holiday" is over and we return to our daily routines.  School, jobs, activities, chores and relationships claim our lives physically, mentally and emotionally. Any decorations we have had up come down and are stored back in their boxes until the Easter season rolls around again next year.

My point is simply that when Jesus sacrificed Himself for us, it was for eternity.  His birth, life, arrest, torture, crucifixion, death and resurrection were all for you and for me.  It was the focus of His entire being.  There wasn't a time when He put it all behind Him and "returned to normal."  Even now He intercedes for us before the Father.   How do we honor that?  

Social media is full of beautiful poems, pictures and messages of praise this week.  It is always a joy to see that avenue used to exalt the name of the Lord.  However, once Sunday is over, the posts will change.  Why?  What changes from Sunday to Monday except the date on the calendar?  If it wasn't acceptable to use foul language publicly on April 4th, then why will people think it is acceptable on April 5th?  Do we have a firm grasp on what all the Son of Almighty God did for us?  Do we understand the eternal significance?  Why don't we live our lives for Him every day?  

My prayer is that each of us will spend some time reflecting on how we worship Him.  Do we daily walk in joy and praise or do we compartmentalize our faith and blend in with the world around us?  Are we living lives that please Him?  May each of us who identifies themselves as Christian examine our hearts and allow Him to show us any changes that need to be made.  The most important thing is to glorify our Lord.  God bless.

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 27:23-27

Proverbs 27:23-27 English Standard Version (ESV)

23 Know well the condition of your flocks,
    and give attention to your herds,
24 for riches do not last forever;
    and does a crown endure to all generations?
25 When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
    and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26 the lambs will provide your clothing,
    and the goats the price of a field.
27 There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
    for the food of your household
    and maintenance for your girls.

Morning Scripture Reading - Jude 20-21

Jude 20-21 English Standard Version (ESV)

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Evening Scripture Reading - Deuteronomy 1:9-18

Deuteronomy 1:9-18 English Standard Version (ESV)

Leaders Appointed

“At that time I said to you, ‘I am not able to bear you by myself. 10 The Lord your God has multiplied you, and behold, you are today as numerous as the stars of heaven. 11 May the Lord, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are and bless you, as he has promised you! 12 How can I bear by myself the weight and burden of you and your strife? 13 Choose for your tribes wise, understanding, and experienced men, and I will appoint them as your heads.’ 14 And you answered me, ‘The thing that you have spoken is good for us to do.’ 15 So I took the heads of your tribes, wise and experienced men, and set them as heads over you, commanders of thousands, commanders of hundreds, commanders of fifties, commanders of tens, and officers, throughout your tribes. 16 And I charged your judges at that time, ‘Hear the cases between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother or the alien who is with him. 17 You shall not be partial in judgment. You shall hear the small and the great alike. You shall not be intimidated by anyone, for the judgment is God's. And the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.’ 18 And I commanded you at that time all the things that you should do.

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 78:1-4

Psalm 78:1-4 English Standard Version (ESV)

Tell the Coming Generation

A Maskil[a] of Asaph.

778 Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.


  1. Psalm 78:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 27:22

Proverbs 27:22 English Standard Version (ESV)

22 Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
    along with crushed grain,
    yet his folly will not depart from him.

Morning Scripture Reading - Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:22-23 English Standard Version (ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Evening Scripture Reading - Matthew 9:1-8

Matthew 9:1-8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

And getting into a boat he crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing[a] their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.


  1. Matthew 9:4 Some manuscripts perceiving

Psalms Scripture Reading - Psalm 77:17-20

Psalm 77:17-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

17 The clouds poured out water;
    the skies gave forth thunder;
    your arrows flashed on every side.
18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;
    your lightnings lighted up the world;
    the earth trembled and shook.
19 Your way was through the sea,
    your path through the great waters;
    yet your footprints were unseen.[a]
20 You led your people like a flock
    by the hand of Moses and Aaron.


  1. Psalm 77:19 Hebrew unknown

Proverbs Scripture Reading - Proverbs 27:21

Proverbs 27:21 English Standard Version (ESV)

21 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and a man is tested by his praise.

Morning Scripture Reading - 1 Peter 2:9

1 Peter 2:9 English Standard Version (ESV)

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Fourth Reading for Palm Sunday - John 12:16

John 12:16
 New Living Translation (NLT)

16 His disciples didn’t understand at the time that this was a fulfillment of prophecy. But after Jesus entered into his glory, they remembered what had happened and realized that these things had been written about him.

Third Reading for Palm Sunday - Matthew 21:8-11

Matthew 21:8-11
 New Living Translation (NLT)

Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God[a] for the Son of David!
    Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Praise God in highest heaven!”[b]

10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.

11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”


  1. 21:9a Greek Hosanna, an exclamation of praise that literally means “save now”; also in 21:9b15.
  2. 21:9b Pss 118:25-26148:1.

Sunday Praise & Worship Message - Palm Sunday - Fulfilling a Prophecy

When we celebrate Palm Sunday, we sometimes only concentrate on the day and what was done that day. We, as Christians, know the story that Jesus comes into Jerusalem on a donkey and that people turn out to greet the prophet and teacher from Nazareth in Galilee. The people are so excited to see him enter the city. To honor him, they “took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!’” Others spread their garments on the road before him. The people could not contain their excitement to see Jesus.

But, in a very short period of time, things would change. The excitement will soon turn to anger and instead of wanting to see him, they will soon shun him. It is so very interesting how an excited group of people can easily be turned into a raging mob out for people in just a short period of time.

Unfortunately, all of that excitement drew the eyes of those who felt that he would upset the status quo. It was fine for him to preach his message in the wilderness and the backwater communities outside of Jerusalem. To most who were in power, he was just some sort of annoyance that caused a stir, but was something that could be tolerated. But, now, he came into the big city and was more than just a little annoyance. Some felt threatened by him while others wanted to see him disappear.

When you examine the prophecies, you begin to realize that this was only the beginning of something really big. This sort of big is more than the human mind could possibly comprehend. A few knew exactly why he was here. All you have to do is understand the scriptures and the prophecies.

When Jesus came into the city on the back of a donkey, he fulfilled the prophecy given to us in the Book of Zechariah. In chapter nine, he wrote that the king would come humbly “riding on a donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt”.

No king comes into a city humbly. There is always great pomp and circumstance that occurs. Think about how countries greet dignitaries from other nations today. There are bands, speeches and more bands and speeches. Flags are flown while the hosting nation displays its military might. In the past, the conquering hero would ride into a city on the back of a white stallion. The hero’s chest would be covered with medals or he would be wearing a shiny breastplate. His army would be following him into the city. It would be a great show of strength and power for all to see. 

In the case of Jesus, he came into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey that was literally borrowed. He didn’t lead columns of soldiers or have banners flying overhead. No. He came into the city humbly. His followers shouted out and showed their love and excitement. It was truly a parade to behold and experience.

As he continued to make his way into the city, some of the Pharisees weren’t too happy about all of this commotion and hoopla. In fact, they told Jesus to tell his followers to be quiet.

In chapter nineteen of his Gospel, Luke writes, “But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, ‘Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!’ He replied, ‘If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!’

The crowd was shouting and singing, “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!

You can only imagine how the Pharisees felt when they heard these words. Jesus was a threat to them and the status quo. No one likes having his or her world overturned. 

When you read chapter fifty-three of the Book of Isaiah, you can easily see that Jesus came to fulfill that prophecy. Everything that happens to Jesus was foretold almost 700 years earlier by Isaiah. He came to be our atonement sacrifice for all of our sins. 

In chapter three of his Gospel, John simply yet eloquently writes, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

In just a few sentences, John summed up not only God’s love for us but also His plan for our salvation through His son, Christ Jesus. As a Christian, you cannot help but be moved by these words and feel God’s love all around you daily.

As you continue to go through the Holy Week, remember that Jesus came to fulfill the prophecies and show to the world that the depth of God’s love is truly something that cannot be fathomed. As you remember and live these words, shout to the world your testimony of how Jesus changed your status quo for the better. When you do that and profess your love and obedience, you can truly stand firm in His grace.  

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