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 Pastor's Ponderings-Weekly Bulletin Column


Week of July 1


"Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns; the world also is firmly established, it shall not be moved; He shall judge the people righteously.’”  One of the prevailing messages of the church is that God reigns over all.  This verse makes clear that man will not destroy the earth, for God created it and it belongs to Him.  He has established it and will preserve it until the time of His judgment.  Then, once again the world will see that all matters rest ultimately in His hands.  He will not relinquish His authority.  That which humanity has wrought and which the Devil has facilitated, will be brought under His mighty hand.  Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Week of June 24

"Lord, I cry out to You…give ear to my voice when I cry out to You.  Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”  Truly biblical prayer is one of the highest forms of worship.  When we pray for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven, we are seeking out the highest form of goodness available in the issues for which we pray.  In asking for His will to be done, we are acknowledging that His purposes are paramount.  It also speaks to our limitations in regard to knowing what is best accomplished in the matter at hand.  Such admission is not humiliating, it is liberating.  We can pray with full confidence that as we submit to the wisdom of His ways, we are receiving the highest good that is possible in our fallen world.  Humility brings us to God to join in pursuit of His glory and honor.  We must not let worry or fear crowd out our coming to Him, for His ways are higher than ours.  His will is our best way forward!

Week of May 27 

"I see a limit to all things, but thy law has a boundless range.” (Moffat Translation)  This verse speaks of the limits of earthly perfection, but notes the limitless range of God’s word.  One of the points is the transitory nature of all that has been created.  Humanity, via sin, has brought corruption to all that God made.  The Bible, however, speaks to eternity and all that is truly important.  When we see the institutions of society crumble we are to rejoice in the fullness of God’s glorious salvation.  Only God’s word can release us from the final effects of the curse.  The contrast could not be clearer.  Forever Lord, Thy Word is settled!  

Week of April 29

"Blessed are those who keep justice, and he who does righteousness at all times!”  When the Bible tells us to follow after holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord, it is calling us to do the right thing.  We are to seek to honor the Lord in all of our actions.  The point is to do exactly that which God would have us do, thus honoring Him and demonstrating to the world the glory of God.  His desire is that our lifestyle choices would be a testament to the beauty of holiness.  His ways are always the right way!

Week of March 18

"Whoever is wise will observe these things, and they will understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.”  Wisdom is reflected in the choices and decisions that are made in the course of life.  This verse says that the wise person will read and reflect on the works of God and will understand the graciousness of God.  This psalm repeats the refrain, ‘Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men.’  A heart of wisdom will rejoice in God’s actions and will be edified by the witness of scripture.  To read and not understand is a reflection of a heart that is insensitive to the subtleties of the Spirit.  A genuine work of God produces a wonderful harvest of wisdom, understanding and righteousness in the human heart.


Week of March 11


"I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples…For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens, and Your truth unto the clouds.”  Living in a fallen world emphatically reinforces the truth of God’s word.  Daily we see evidence that demonstrates the foolishness of humanity.  All of the things that the unregenerate believe prove that God does not exist really show the veracity of His declarations about a fallen world.  As we consider the flaws in the armor of society, the glory of God’s mercy and truth light the way to significance and security.  The wickedness that abounds makes the majesty of His glory shine forth.  We can’t stop the flood of sin that issues forth from such folly, but we can give thanks to God for His abundant mercy.  In my life, Lord, be glorified!  Amen.


Week of February 25


"Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.”  Hope is a powerful element of Christian faith.  It helps keep faith oriented toward the future.  We humans are often easily swayed by short term considerations and that can lead to choices that are less than optimal.  Here, the writer perceives that his hope will lead to an opportunity to praise God.  He understands that by trusting in God’s goodness and wisdom his most important considerations will be protected.  God alone knows and fully grasps all of the issues at stake.  His help is directed toward those things that are most needful and will have the appropriate long-term result.  Hope is not wishful thinking; it is confidence in the completeness of His overarching care.  I shall yet praise Him!

Week of February 18

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.”  The focal point of this verse seems to be on the journey associated with faith.  The Bible describes us as pilgrims who are passing through a culture.  That means that we avoid associations that will keep us from following the ways of God.  It also indicates that we recognize the need to keep on going so as not to settle down, i.e., becoming stationary.  Faith requires continual growth and progress.  We must continue to pursue God and not allow the flesh or the culture to hold us back.  Forward!

Week of February 4

"But You, Lord, are on high forevermore.”  God stands alone at the pinnacle of all creation.  Neither time nor opposition have any effect on His authority.  He is sovereign in every matter and unequaled in righteousness and justice.  He will act on every matter and in every moment with utter precision and accuracy.  As you consider the circumstances of your life and the world that we live in, you should be encouraged by His faithful, steadfast grace.  His patience and kindness will keep you every step of the way.

Week of January 28

"Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.  Thus, I will bless You while I live; I will lift up my hands in Your name.”  There is little in life that can exceed the knowledge of God’s great love for us.  The psalmist says that His kindess toward us is better than life.  In other words, a life without this understanding has little of value, let alone salvation.  Biblical praise is an accurate rendering of the actual state of living in His favor.  We must always be mindful of the ways in which His provision trumps the nature of our current circumstances.  It is not mind over matter; it is a disciplined mind faithfully examining the evidence based on the revelation of scripture.  Thus, I will praise You; I will bless You; I will lift up my hands!


Week of January 14


"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion.”  The point of wisdom is to discern true knowledge and to act with prudence.  Wisdom is not an abstract exercise in decision-making.  It is about real life circumstances and arriving at decisions that are based on truth and produce righteous actions that are pleasing to God.  True wisdom strives to arrive at the same conclusion as God.  That requires a deep familiarity with the word of God, as well as a humble spirit.  The flesh all too often comes to a different outlook.  Those who are wise will accept the leading of God’s spirit and gladly subject their viewpoint to His.


Week of December 31

"Then they remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer…He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity.”  One of the most helpful truths as we head into a new year is the compassion of God to forgive sin.  We will never achieve anything near perfection, but in the wisdom of God, through the faithful work of Jesus Christ, we have an advocate with the Father.  When we fall short, we may look to God as our strong foundation and the One who redeems us from the law of sin in our members.  He will be gracious, faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  Looking unto Jesus!!


Week of December 24


"For my eyes have seen Your salvation which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples, a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of Your people Israel.”  This verse records Simon’s rejoicing as Jesus was brought to the temple to be presented to the Lord.  The Holy Spirit had revealed to him that he would see the Christ before He died.  The witness of Simon is really the witness of the Spirit to the One given by God to bring His salvation to a broken world.  Throughout the accounts given in the Gospels, the record is clear.  The world should rejoice that the holy, perfect God was showing amazing mercy and grace.  No one could compel Him to do so.  His act is the supreme example of love and kindness.  What we could not do, He has done by sending us His Son.  Immanuel—God is indeed with us!!


Week of December 3

"I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.”  The history of God’s dealings with humanity is a fruitful field of instruction and guidance.  The biblical record of His works provides insight to the mind of God.  We need not ‘run away’ from the historical record; we should embrace it and live by it.  It will illuminate our decision-making process and provide a margin of safety as we consider the options available to us.  True meditation is allowing the record of God’s actions to inform the choices that we make.  The more time we spend musing on His works, the purer will be our actions. "

Week of November 19

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever.”  It’s the time of the year where we are prompted by the calendar to give thanks.  For the believer, every day contains abundant evidence of the grace and mercy of God.  The key is to maintain appreciation for His blessings in the midst of a busy, sometimes chaotic life.  It is far too easy to let the daily schedule rule our attitudes.  It is helpful to maintain a daily time to consider all the work of His hands, to rejoice in the beauty of His holiness and to gain wisdom and insight from His word.  It would be a shame to let the cares of life outweigh the bounty of the giver of that life.  His goodness and mercy are everlasting delights.

Week of November 12

"Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”  One of the key aspects of this verse is the identification of prayer as an act of worship.  Prayer is about much more than having certain specific needs in my life addressed. It is also about realizing that by coming to God to ask for His will to be done in these matters, I am seeking His glory and pursuing His purpose.  Prayer here is linked to the regular routine of the sacrifices that were offered to God.  Daily prayer keeps our heart centered on God and our minds focused on the glory of God.  James says that the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous has great power in its effect.  When we identify His glory as the primary purpose of prayer, we will be more effective.

October 22

“O You who hear prayer, to You all flesh will come.”  There is literally only one to turn to when you consider the concept of prayer.  Ultimately, all flesh will have to admit that God is the only one with either authority or power to effect any difference in life.  Any form of ‘prayer’ offered in any other direction is humanism.  It is an empty substitute for the humility required to come and acknowledge the rightful place of God in our world.  Prayer is one of the most comforting elements of our relationship with God.  He cares; honor Him by coming to the throne of grace!

Week of October 8

"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.”  As the song says, echoing scripture, salvation belongs to our God.  Two things stand out—His authority to save and His commitment to His people.  Without either of these, we would be without hope in this world.  His clearly delineated purpose is to deliver His people from all the authority of the evil one.  We may not be exempt from the tribulations of life, nor the attention of the adversary of our soul, but we are secure in the power of His love.  There is no safer haven in life than to abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  He is ever mindful of our need and clearly attentive to our call.  We are more than conquerors through Him who loves us.  Praise God!  Rest in the Lord and the power of His might!

September 24

"Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!  Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill.”  One of the deepest needs of the human heart is for the light of God’s truth to penetrate to the core of our being.  One of the prime reasons for that is such a moment always leads us into His presence.  We need to realize the limitations of the human heart and seek out the wisdom of God.  When we rightly esteem these moments, they become a time of worship as we conform our will to that of of our Creator.  A true believer yearns for the righteousness of God to be visited upon them.  The promise is that as we do this we shall be filled.  When the challenges arise, let God arise and let His enemies be scattered!



Week of September 17


"Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me!”  What a wonderful thought; God in His mercy does not turn away our prayers.  The door is wide open for the child of God to not only enter into His presence, but to present both needs and desires before the throne of grace.  Though He is ruler of the universe and King above all kings, He derives great satisfaction in the heartfelt entreaties of His people.  He not only welcomes them, but He invites us to come.  It is a constant reminder of His grace and a strong assertion of His love for us.  Do not hesitate to avail yourself of this wonderful avenue of access!


Week of September 3

"Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!”  Worship is at the heart of knowing God.  If what you know about God does not lead to worship, I doubt that it leads to salvation.  It is the Spirit of Holiness that leads us to a genuine worship experience.  To truly worship, we must be set apart from the spirit of the world.  That is not about mild reformation, it is a transformative experience that opens our eyes to His beauty and His righteousness.  Salvation comes to those who heed the Spirit’s call.  Let the saints rejoice!

Week of August 27

"If You, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?  But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared.”  Grace and forgiveness are at the heart of the gospel message.  A God who can forgive and will forgive is the One who should be given reverence.  No other philosophical or religious system is built on these two predicates.  All flesh should wilt under the scrutiny of a holy God, but in His mercy, there is a remedy for human failings.  It is indeed appropriate to say that our God is an awesome God.  Not only is He to be feared, He is to be loved for His gracious and compassionate heart.  All praise to the Holy One!

Week of August 20

"I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches.”  There is no greater source of personal enrichment in life than the truth of God’s word.  It not only offers benefit for this life, but for the life to come as well.  It does more than make your present life better, it contains the essence that will ensure your eternal well-being.  It is easy, as we live in these fleshly bodies, to allow the subtle influence of the fallen nature to lead us astray.  Only a careful adherence to the wisdom of God will guard our hearts from this distraction.  Let God, by His Spirit, speak to you from the wellspring of His truth and love.  You’ll be glad you did!

Week of August 13

"Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, that You may give him rest from adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked.”  This verse references the blessing that comes into our lives when we are taught by God.  The first implication is the desire to be taught.  For God to be able to teach us, we must want to learn.  The second point of significance is the aptitude that results from God’s favor in our lives.  God’s purpose is to guide us in the way of righteousness, for that is the way that leads to God’s favor.  Protection from the effects of adversity is the result of God’s gracious intervention.  He acts to preserve us so that we might escape the intent of the enemy of our soul.  We aren’t saved by virtue of our wits, we find security because God moves to block the ill effects.  This verse really gets to the heart of grace.  It fleshes out the dynamic of God’s faithful ministry on behalf of His people.  When we pursue the knowledge of God and order our lives by His commands, we are entering into covenant with God.  As we live for Him, He lives with us.  As we serve Him, His Spirit and His messengers minister to our needs.  God’s work in our world is not a haphazard intervention here and there, it is a precise application of His love and mercy toward those who honor Him.  There is no better way to live!

Week of August 6

"Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the Lord.”  Physical sacrifices are no longer part of our journey of faith.  We do, however, continue to offer up our choice to be righteous as an act of worship.  Whenever we act in obedience to the teaching of scripture, we are surrendering our lives to the wisdom of God.  Such acts are a humbling of our hearts, the bending of our wills to the greater good that derives from genuine righteousness.  That ultimately becomes the foundation of our trust in God. We are declaring that true righteousness comes from living according to the revelation of God’s word.  We do not aim to please God by offering up meaningless material, rather, we are offering God the totality of our lives as an act of worship.  Such an alignment of the heart leads to greater strength and deeper hope.

Week of July 30

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain.”  This verse identifies the greatness of God and calls for corresponding worship in the midst of God’s people.  The two go hand-in-hand.  It is a given that God is great; it should also be a given that God’s people do not cease to praise Him for all that means in their lives.  He acts as the bulwark in our lives in the midst of the trials of life.  He defends us against the plans of any enemy and preserves us in the everyday challenges that life in a fallen world presents.  Praise sees beyond the normal ups and downs of life; it guards against the short term perspective of the flesh and measures against the weight of eternity.  A soul well-versed in scripture is able to rise above the frailty of life and walk in the counsel of the Almighty.  Victory awaits the believer!

Week of July 23

"O God, You are my God; early will I seek You; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land.”  One of the basic tenets of faith is the responsibility we have to seek God.  Faith is more than religious dogma; it is a relationship that requires diligence and effort on our part.  God has always been the first to act in His dealings with humanity; but it is inescapable that we must seek God with an attitude of humility.  Spiritual hunger moves us to seek God just as thirst drives us to seek water.  If we are sincere about spiritual matters, we soon realize that the world does not offer meaningful answers and as a result, it also does not offer any genuine sense of hope.  Knowing God always requires a personal element; we must profess Him as our God.  The relational aspect of faith engages the heart, moving us beyond an abstract representation of God to an intimate, living experience.  Someone does not become your friend by reading about them; they can only be a friend as you spend time with them and develop a caring interaction.  One of God’s deepest desires is to make Himself known to a people in all of His glory and power.  That is what eternity will be, a never-ending revelation of the majesty of an infinite, eternal Redeemer.  When we truly, hunger and thirst for righteousness, the promise is that we shall be filled.  You can give yourself completely to this awesome God—eternal joy awaits!

Week of July 16

"Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength!  We will sing and praise Your power.”  Praise is a vital part of the faith journey.  God, however, is not dependent on the response of humanity to manifest His glory.  Our praise is merely a reflection of the strength and majesty that are inherent in the nature of God.  It is not a sign of our wisdom or intelligence; it is to be an accurate telling of the facts concerning the beauty of God’s holiness.  God is glorified in every act and with each pronouncement of His truth.  He is far greater than any human tongue can tell.  Genuine worship is ultimately the product of a deepening relationship with God our creator and guide.  Worship is not a quid pro quo relationship, it is a walk of faith that builds and strengthens with each new day.

Week of July 9

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me…”  Times of trouble in life are a given.  There will always be moments of testing and temptation; that is the inevitable result of a fallen race in a despoiled world.  The good news is that in the very moment of trouble, the Spirit of God is at work in the life of a believer.  His promise to never leave us is fulfilled by the presence of His Spirit.  Any fear should be only a momentary response; in the long run, our hope is set upon His love and faithfulness.  We not only survive, we thrive with the strength of a revived spirit.

Week of July 2

"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.”  Genuine strength comes from the Lord.  That strength flows from the righteousness that derives from following God.  Sometimes, strength is an episodic experience; that is, God imparts His strength for a particular event or need.  Primarily, however, it is the product of God’s grace in response to our steadfast pursuit of His presence in our lives.  Durable strength comes by the Word and by His Spirit’s agency in our lives on a daily basis.  The reference to pilgrimage in this verse focuses on the journey of faith.  Spiritual growth comes from a regimen of seeking truth and a commitment to obedience.  We must recognize our limitations and follow His gracious revelation to us through the Scriptures.  When our trust and hope are firmly fixed on Him, surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!

Week of June 25

"The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, in those who hope in His mercy.”  One of our goals in life should be to have a reverent faith in God.  This verse contemplates the blessing that attends to such a posture.  God takes pleasure in those who place their hope in Him.  It suggests that whatever it is that God chooses to do in a given situation, those who fear God will be satisfied with His acts.  When we surrender our will to His wisdom, it reveals the depth of our trust in His righteousness.  He delights in those who rest in His grace and mercy.  When God is pleased with our response He blesses us in ways that are beyond our comprehension.  He wants to work His salvation in our lives and our faith is the means by which He is able to do that.  The fear of the Lord indicates our willingness to accept His will and our understanding that His way is right.  Since God is good, His ways are also good.  Hope in His mercy and rest fully in His grace.

Week of June 18 


"In the way of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.”  The issue of life and death sums up in one word—righteousness.  Biblical righteousness is the only means of deliverance from the consequence of sin.  When you walk in the ways of the Lord, it will always lead to eternal life.  As the writer observes, in that path death cannot prevail.  The righteousness which is by faith will always result in the blessing of the Lord and the full effect of His marvelous salvation.  One way, and only one!


Week of June 11


"Then they remembered that God was their rock, and the Most High God their redeemer.”  Foundational tenets are important in life.  Remembering them is equally important.  One of the flaws of human nature is a tendency to overlook the simple things that are a necessity.  Familiar things often seem simplistic; thus the phrase, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’   It may seem obvious that we should remember that God is our rock, but it is a point at which we often fail.  For faith to be functional, it must be built on the bedrock of God’s presence and faithfulness.  Without that, we are simply playing around with theological theories.  God’s steadfast commitment to His people must remain uppermost in our mind as we approach His throne of mercy and grace.  He gladly brings salvation to those who hold fast to His goodness and strength.  Let your mind be firmly fixed on the Most High God, your Redeemer!

Week of June 4

“I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.”  Worship is important.  More importantly, it must flow from a recognition of God’s righteous ways.  Worship is much more than an emotional response; it is honoring God for the perfection of His nature and His actions.  God asked Job, ‘Would you indeed annul my judgment?’  His point was that no one can rightfully question His ways.  We must always live with an appreciation of God’s holiness and glory.  Nothing that occurs in our world in any way diminishes God; it does not mar His perfection.  Worship acknowledges God precisely for who He is, not who we wish Him to be.   

Week of May 28

"It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect.”  The first premise of this verse is that God is the source of supply for His people.  One of the prime foundations of life is an understanding of the phrase ‘In the beginning God…’  It puts everything else in perspective when we recognize that God was the architect and builder of the world that we live in.  It also presents the fundamental truth that to understand life we need to incorporate God in our thinking.  We cannot live the life we were intended to live if we do not honor our Creator.  The second premise is that the strength we need to navigate our existence in a fallen world comes only by the agency of God.  One cannot make sense of a world that has gone off the rails.  When God is excluded from our thinking, we make incorrect judgments from inadequate information.  We must process truth honestly that we might arrive at conclusions that are acceptable to God and righteous in basis.  The third premise is that God will lead me in the way that is perfect.  That references the way that is right in the sight of God.  Personal satisfaction is remarkably unreliable as an instrument of guidance.  We must trust in the Eternal God to direct us in the path of truth and goodness.  When we follow His guidance, our life will be as it should. 

Week of May 21


"Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!  Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.”  The deep desire of the true believer is to know the truth and to walk in the light that it brings to one’s life.  The purpose of that desire is that by it we may be brought into the presence of the Lord.  We don’t find closeness in the imaginations of our mind; we find it by walking in the revelation of God His creation. As we grow in understanding, the beauty of God’s truth fills the heart and mind with joy and deep satisfaction.  The light of the Word brings clarity to life and hope concerning the future.  When you are living in a world that has been disrupted by sin, it is ever more important that we seek truth and righteousness.  Taking the way of the world is the easy way, but it is a path that leads to destruction.  As we strive to know His way, the truth of the Word brings light to our path.  It liberates us to make the choice that is pleasing to God rather than one that is the product of a fallen society.  He gives His Word that we might come to the full benefit of the beauty of holiness.  It will adorn Your life and lead to your heavenly home! 


Week of May 14


"In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hand was stretched out in the night without ceasing.” Adversity is a staple in life. As we make our way through life, it is an inevitable part of the journey. We must know that difficulty can arise in a moment. When it does, we must be prepared with a solid foundation of righteousness. Beyond that, we must bring our burdens to the Lord for His adjudication. Prayer is much more than a wish list; it is a cry for God to work His will in a fallen world. Prayer is not a sign of weakness; it is evidence of strength and wisdom. We know that the world we live in has much inequity. As we grapple with the feelings that result from these unjust events, we must commit them to God so that His purpose can be fulfilled. We are incapable of redeeming these situations outside of the grace of God. It is only as we trust in Him and live by faith that we can find the strength to persevere when the odds are stacked against us. It is not our wisdom and goodness that brings redemption, it is the faithful work of our Lord and Savior that produces the salvation we need.

Week of May 7


"My mouth shall speak wisdom, and the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.” There is much that passes as wisdom in the world today; a good portion of that so-called wisdom is useless because it leaves God out of the equation. You do not have to have a theological degree to be a source of wisdom; you merely need to be steady consumer of the word of God. As the Bible notes, ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.’ The desire expressed here is that we might be a people that inject the scriptures into our everyday conversation. We want the world to understand that we are contending for the righteousness of God to be the source of ultimate guidance on any matter. We are not trying to impress people with how smart we are; we are trying to convey the excellence of moral wisdom. We must be a voice of reason to our families, friends, neighbors and co-workers. If we care about their eternal destiny, we must speak so as to influence their course of life. Fill your soul with the wisdom of God and the truth of God will be your shield and salvation. Whether people accept that wisdom or choose to go their own way, you will have been the agent of God and a prophetic voice in a chaotic world. Let the meditation of your heart and the words of your mouth be a fount of wisdom to others. May God be glorified in your life!


Week of April 30

"Oh, that My people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in My ways!” In this psalm, as Asaph speaks for God, there is a call for God’s people to walk in God’s ways. It starts with listening. Earlier, God notes that Israel would not heed His voice. As a result, He gave them over to their own stubborn hearts, to walk in their own counsel. The outcome of such a scenario is predictable to anyone who is honest. It means that those things that God desires to do cannot be fulfilled due to the folly of the human heart. Much as we have been seeing in the book of James, when God’s people will not walk in His ways, His purposes are beyond reach. The simple predicate is that God will perfect that which concerns us when we are doers of the word and not hearers only. When we truly listen to God with a willing heart, He works unceasingly to bring His goodness to bear upon our lives.

Week of April 23

“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth.”  The legacy of God in our world is one of love, grace and excellence.  The psalmist exults in God’s careful attention to humanity in the midst of His magnificent creation.  Within the context of an expansive universe, God is mindful of the people that He formed from the dust of the earth.  Even the sparrow is under His watchful gaze.  His purpose is to redeem a people and renew all that He has made for their benefit.  What an amazing God!  All who know Him stand in awe of His wonderful work of salvation.

Week of April 16


The hope of every Christian is secured in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The confidence we have in regard to eternal life is built on the saving work of the Son of God.  No other means can bring about our reconciliation to God.  When you truly realize that God was willing to offer His Son, you begin to understand that hope is possible.  Our hope is not in a set of rules or an orthodoxy of religion.  It is in a living Savior.  His resurrection is concrete evidence that His offering was acceptable to the Father, that all who trust in Him will be with Him forever.  We are vindicated by faith alone.  We can rest in His finished work as we make our way through the journey of life.  His grace and mercy will sustain us wherever we go.  Because He lives, we can face tomorrow!

“He is not here, but is risen!”

Week of March 26

"Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.”  God’s great desire is that your life should be full and rich as you dwell in the strength of His glory.  It is not only that He wants that for us, He has made it possible through the offering of His Son and the giving of the Holy Spirit.  Humanity was the crown of His creation; His purpose was to have a people upon which He might lavish His love.  As you set down roots in the house of the Lord, His mercy and grace will fill your life with blessing and favor.  Let His holiness adorn your life!

Week  of March 19

Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. In God (I will praise His word), in God I have put my trust; I will not fear. What can flesh do to me?” Trust is the antidote to fear. David clearly presents his purpose to trust in God when the challenges of life reach crisis proportions. Inherent in that statement is a recognition that God is the only One who knows what lies ahead and He is the only one who can alter events that are not under our control. His purposes are in view here. The random nature of a fallen world and the evil intent of our adversary, the devil, require an abiding trust in God’s care for His people. The promise of Jesus was to never leave us or forsake us. It is often His purpose as much as ours that is being challenged by these events. Our grasp of His sovereignty will secure a hopeful future. His word will edify us as we endeavor to live in the power of grace. I will trust in You!

Week of March 12

"I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”  This record of Job’s final response to God illuminates the concept of an all-powerful God.  He acknowledges that whatever God wants to do, He will do and that no power can withstand His desire.  That should fill every believer with a deep confidence in God’s capability.  The intent is that we might rest completely in His purposes.  There is no authority that can overturn the will of God.  His righteousness is precisely the reason that He prevails.  He acts without need for an advisor; He works with complete authority to carry out His will.  The world may offer resistance, it is unable to withstand His desire.  He will do all that He wants to do whenever He wishes.  He is impervious to any effort to undermine His cause.  In Job’s experience of suffering, He arrived at an understanding of the majesty of the holy God.  It did not undo the loss He experienced, but it gave him an appreciation of God’s sovereign power. 


Week of March 5

“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face evermore!” One of the vital elements of Christianity is the walk of faith. The counsel of this verse is that we make consistent effort to seek God. The rationale is our need for strength. We are incapable of living out a genuine faith without a deeply personal relationship with God. It is more than a matter of keeping the rules and personal sacrifice. It is about a life-changing experience that results in the empowering of the Holy Spirit. God’s strength is the only way that we can overcome the inherent weakness of the flesh. Paul called it the law of sin at work in the body. If we truly want to overcome those frailties, we will make concerted effort to know and under-stand the truth so that we might be set free. This verse does not directly reference the Holy Spirit, but undoubtedly, the inner work of His Spirit is in view. As we orient our lives around the power of that relationship, our perspective in life will be significantly changed. Seek the Lord for that life-changing strength evermore!


Week of February 26

"The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous.”  According to this verse, the power of prayer is predicated on the relationship we have with God.  Those who do not walk with Him have no right to be heard, they can only hope for mercy in a moment of need.  For the righteous, however, there is a certainty to prayer.  God hears when we call; He is committed to perfecting those things which concern us.  This verse should instill confidence in the heart of a believer.  As we live in the righteousness of faith, our trust is not in our inherent goodness.  It is firmly fixed in the finished work of Christ.  God honors His covenant with His people.  We may not know the specific outcome of a matter, but we know that He is at work for our good.  Our hope is not in our wisdom, it is in the graciousness of our God!

Week of February 19

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.”  The primary point of this verse is the nature of our hope.  If our trust is founded on the wisdom or strength of humanity, it will utterly fail.  When we understand the impact of sin in humanity, we realize that we cannot have genuine hope apart from God.  The best of intentions will ultimately fall short of that which God desires.  Because there is none good but God, the product of human effort is always uncertain.  It cannot provide access to eternal life; it can only dangle a nebulous hope that it cannot fulfill.  God can give such promise because He alone is able to redeem us from the profound impact of the fall.  Salvation and justification are at the root of His grace.  He destroys the bondage that comes from the fear of death and sets us free by the power of His truth.  God is both righteous and trustworthy.  Put your trust in the living God!

Week of February 12

“The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in heaven…”  The primary point of this verse is that God reigns in heaven, without regard to the machinations of humanity.  His throne is unassailable; He is impregnable to any assault.  He will work all things after the counsel of His own will for there is no one who can alter His purpose.  Because He reigns over all, His authority is complete.  When it seems that the world is spinning out of control, God is utterly unmoved by the chaos.  We are to always pray that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  God Reigns!!

Week of February 5

“Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; His greatness is unsearchable.” Worship is a daily activity. In fact, it is intended to be a continual activity. It is not predicated on the basis of a calendar or clock schedule, it is built on a realization of our constant need of His power and presence. In some respects, worship is a matter of basic survival. When we fail to be conscious of the wear and tear that results from life, we set up a scenario of future failure. Our ‘success’ in life comes from His prevailing grace. Worship really should be about as consistent as breathing. It should be both conscious and subconscious. It should be prevalent whenever we think about God and it should bolster us when our soul is taken up with other things. As we gravitate through life, worship will be the means by which our heart stays strong in faith. It should always be at the top of our spiritual agenda. It is always appropriate; it is always necessary; it is always effective. It is not a carefully contrived formula intended to persuade, it is a genuine cry of the spirit for God to be glorified in me. Every day I will bless the Lord; He is greatly to be praised!


Week of January 29


“Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days!” One of the hallmarks of genuine faith is a sense of deep satisfaction. Not that we don’t face difficulties, for we do; but, a rich sense of understanding of the mercy and grace that support us will keep us in that place peace that surpasses understanding. Faith sustains us in the struggle. We come to know the depth of His love and compassion when we experience that power and provision. Sometimes, we have insight to the problems that beset us; but always, we have mercy. He remembers that we were made from the dust of the earth and has compassion for our frailty. He knows that we will have constant need of His help and He freely provides it through His grace. As scripture says, ‘Let not your heart be troubled.’ As life ebbs and flows about us, God is constant in His kindness toward us. The variations of life merely add color to the majesty of His mercy. Rejoice--all of your days!


Week of January 22


“To You, O my Strength, I will sing praises; for God is my defense, my God of Mercy.”  To bear witness to the faithfulness of God is one of the primary aspects of Christian life.  As we recount His kindness and mercy, the hearing of faith becomes possible for those who are outside the covenant of God.  It is never about coercion, it is about the joyful recounting of His graciousness to His people.  One of the desired effects is that it will inspire hope in a life that is becoming aware of the need for spiritual sustenance.  Your gratitude, directed to God, becomes a word of wisdom to a needy soul.  You are able to bless God and sow a seed of life!


Week of January 15

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.” One of the most needful characteristics for a genuine believer is the desire to be taught by God. Often the concept of a teachable spirit refers to one’s openness to being taught by others. This is about more than being amenable to new ideas. The greater point is a genuine desire to see the righteousness of God reproduced in our lives due to a humility of spirit. When we put a genuine desire to learn truth at the top of our agenda, it will always lead us to God. God is not a control freak, He is the source of all there is to know. He guides us that we might walk in the way of righteousness. There is no other route to the blessing of God. Knowledge is an accretion of facts; learning is an incorporation of principles and truths into the fabric of our lives. As we bring ourselves under the authority of God’s revelation, we will experience the goodness that attends to the way of righteousness. Because these things are truth and verity, they produce a harvest of goodness in our lives. The word of God is incontrovertible, it will not return void. You, O Lord, are my God!

Week of January 8 

“To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.” The point of scripture is that we might make the changes in our lives that are necessary for a lasting relationship with God. This is not about works righteousness; it is about the changed life that is to result from exposure to the word of God. It is foolishness to think that we can offer sacrifices to God instead of obedience. Responsible behavior is the product of genuine faith. Any other conclusion is the product of serious self-deception. God calls on His people to do the right thing in the midst of the events that unfold in daily life. As we engage in meaningful ministry in this fashion, we see the genuine goodness that results from the counsel of the word. Until behavior is changed, knowledge is essentially meaningless. That is why the Bible says that knowledge puffs up but that love edifies. Knowledge is always intended to lead to behavior modification. That is one of the ways that we know we are on the right path. When we follow the directions of scripture, we are bringing the flesh under the subjection of the spirit. Over time, only the word of truth can keep us on that righteous path. We can rejoice in the wisdom of His word and enjoy the blessing of living in the power of His truth!