September 16

As I mentioned in my sermon Sunday, this week’s topic for this devotion is going to focus on the pain that sin sometimes brings.  David says in Psalm 32, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night you hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer . . . Many are the woes of the wicked.”  Sin can do a number on you.  And this is not just a Old Testament teaching.  As in the sermon, I quoted from James 5 about confessing your sins to each other. But if you read the whole context, James is talking about healing and some of the problems the readers needed healing from were caused by sin.  Starting in 5:13, James writes about praying for healing for those who are sick.  He mentions forgiven sins in vs 15, “If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.”  Then it goes to verse 16, “Therefore (in light of the previous verses about praying for healing and forgiveness), confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  He then ends his book a few verses later talking about how we should help those who have wandered into sins.  Sins can cause physical ailments.  The Bible does NOT equate that all physical ailments are caused by sin, but sins can cause ailments.  This is just one reason why we need to make sure that our sins are confessed and we have a right relationship with God.  Thankfully we all have the promise of 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

September 9

The fact that we live in a world that is fallen, broken, and failing makes this psalm and the many like it so vital.  We need a God who will remain firm and strong when the world around us falls to pieces.  I love that there is so much confidence in these psalms.  It gives us a shelter when times are dark.  And the hymn by Martin Luther is so clear on this concept that it is one of my favorites.  “A Mighty Fortress is our God”

September 2

I am glad we have a God who keeps his promises.  That the wrong will fail and the right prevail (with peace on earth, good will toward men . . . as the old Christmas hymn goes).  That we do not have to fret, worry, fear, get angry with those in the world who wish us harm and seem to get away with it.  God will reward us with blessings beyond our imagination if we continue to remain faithful in following him through the tough times.  That is what “the land” means.  It is our promised inheritance that we can dwell in even now.  So as the old song goes, “Don’t be a doubting Thomas, rest fully in His promise. Why worry, worry, worry, worry, when you can pray”

August 26

This week’s sermon was about confidence.  I wanted to include a quote that I read this week from my desk calendar but it did not make the final cut.  Truthfully, I forgot about it until I relooked at my notes this morning.  It is a quote form Charles Stanley’s book A Touch of His Wisdom.  He says, “Jesus is faithful.  He begins and completes your personal walk of faith as you rely on him.  There is no temptation that he cannot overcome for you and with you.  There is no evil that he cannot deliver you from.  There is no obstacle that he cannot overcome on your behalf”  I am so glad that we serve a God in whom we can have confidence in no matter the circumstances in lift.  He will help us overcome whatever come our way.  Just trust Him and have the confidence he will bring you through.

August 19

The facts about the stars I shared last week and the sun this week are mind blowing.  The numbers are to big for us to imagine.  200 billion billion stars.  The sun equaling the size of a basketball and the earth (a 2mm dot) is 80 feet away proportionally!  Every time I have preached this sermon with these facts, I have to double check to make sure my math is right.  But they check out every time.  I have even found a website that does the math for you.  Check it our if you want.  On that site you can type in the size you want the sun compared with and it crunches the numbers and gives you the sizes and distances to other things in our universe.  But as fascinating and wonderful as these numbers are, I can think of something even more fascinating.  That the God of the Universe loves me and died for a sinner like I.  “The wonder of it all, the wonder of it all, just to think that God loves me” (George Beverly Shea)

August 11

This last week we saw just how big God is.  And in case you missed it, just go to the sermon link on this website to listen in.  But in summery, he is big enough to create the estimated 200 billion billion plus stars in the universe with the flick of his fingers and then knows the names of each of them.  And yet, he is also a God big enough to care for us and to exalt us.  With these two facts in mind, it is no wonder the psalmist exclaimed, “O LORD our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

August 5

Like many of you, I was troubled by the news stories about the shootings that have taken place in our country this last week.  But today as I was looking at the various news feeds,  I came across one penned by one of my favorite authors, Max Lacado.  You can find his entire story at but I am going to copy some excerpts here.  “More bad news. Killings in El Paso. Shootings in Ohio. All this on the heels of a violent weekend last week. All of this violence adding up to too many mass shootings in just 216 days. Is our society coming unraveled? How are we to respond to this dark season of bloodshed?Anger is the choice of many. Anger at politicians. Anger at the NRA. Anger at God. We become bitter and sour toward this world; toward one another. Fear is another option. Lock the doors and close the windows. Avoid every shadow and dark alley.Yet, do we want to be a nation of fear and anger? But what can we do?. . .Let’s pause and invite God to tell us his name. Our greatest need is his presence. Yes, we want this storm to pass. Yes, we want the winds to still. But yes, yes, yes, we want to know, need to know, and must know that the great I AM is coming. . . .Don’t let the storm turn you inward. Let it turn you upward. Listen and see if you don’t hear him say: I AM with you in the storm.”

July 29

The tree image in Psalm 1 has always been a wonder picture.  One of the aspects that I hinted at but failed to point out was how a flourishing tree with its branches and fruit is a benefit for those around them.  A well planted tree provides shade from the glaring sun and heat.  It provides protection in the storms.  It gives shelter to the weary. It not only bears fruit but is able to share that fruit with others.  All of these show us how we as the trees can help those around us, shading, protecting, sheltering, sharing those who need a touch from those who have been with Jesus.  Are we being that kind of tree?

July 22

Here I am again this week.  We talked about praising the Lord in the message this week.  And I cannot stress enough the need for this.  Too often in my prayers (yes, even in my own prayers), I focus a majority of the time on requests- lists of things I need from God.  But God needs (and rightly deserves) our praise.  Praise shows our gratitude and appreciation of all the things God has done and given us.  Praise should be the first and foremost in our prayers and time with God.  The list of what God has done for us is always greater than the list of requests we ask for in our prayers.  Let me say that again.  The list of what He has done for us is always greater than the list of requests we ask for in our prayers.  So our praise should take more time then the time asking for things we want from God.  How often has that happened in your daily prayer time?  I would encourage you this week to spend more time praising God than asking from God.

July 15

I missed last week because I was at conference for most of the week.  It was a good time of fellowship, worship, and business.  It is was an experience that little can measure up to.  I found it a time of refreshing and renewal.  The conference devotions spoke to where I am at and the praise lifted my spirit.  I hope that everyone who reads this gets this  kind of experience every so often in their spiritual walk.