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January 26, 2023

Judges 6:14  The Lord turned to Gideon and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"

When we feel ober-busy, the words "go in the strength you have" really register with us, giving us hope and confidence that we can accomplish the multiple tasks that lay before us. We may not feel the strongest we have ever felt, but God has given us the strength we have to do great things.

This verse is also a message from God telling us that he is sending us. He knows the challenges we face and he will not abandon us to go it alone. He has faith in us to carry out the mission he has for us. He knows our capabilities better than we do and, if we run into any trouble, he will be there to get us through it.

In the mornings when we haven't felt much like getting up when the alarm goes off, we simply say to ourselves, "Go in the strength you have." That gets us moving to start the day.


January 25, 2023

Zechariah 4:10  For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice...

Sometimes we feel immersed in "small things" every day, the mundane tasks that must be done - doing laundry, paying bills, cooking meals, shoveling the driveway, putting gas in the car and running errands. Small things can wear us down. We find solace in the fact that Zechariah acknowledges those who "have despised the day of small things." We are not alone! Zechariah assures us that we despisers of small things will rejoice because the eyes of the Lord will "range through the whole earth" (Zech 4:10). Our Lord is taking care of the big picture, making sure that his grand plan for all things is coming together.

We are on a forward-moving trajectory that is taking us ever closer to the hallways of heaven, where the purpose of all the small things in life will be revealed at the throne of our crucified and risen Lord Jesus Christ. For us he became small so that we might live large in his presence forever.

So don't be frustrated by the small things. Those small things are bringing us ever closer to the Last Day, when we will live life to the fullest for all eternity.

January 24, 2023

1 Corinthians 1:22-23  For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified...

When I graduated from the seminary I received a gift from my adopt-a-student congregation. It was a ring with a cross at the center. But in my first weeks as a new pastor a member of the congregation observed, "You're wearing that ring all wrong. You have the cross facing you. The cross should be facing out to the people you meet." I wore that ring facing out after that.

It's tempting to treat Christ's cross as something that is just for us. We can look at it as a personal memento or a secret comfort. Is that God's desire? The message of forgiveness and heaven is meant to be something that we share prodigally in our daily lives. The cross of Christ should be "facing out" in the way we love, forgive and care for others as Christ loves, forgives and cares for us.

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

January23, 2023

2 Corinthians 3:3  And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

God has imprinted his love and care on our hearts. He truly means it when he says, "I love you," "Be mine," "True love," and "Friends forever." These divine messages on our hearts define who we are and whose we are. These words should motivate us in our love for one another: "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19). His love for us helps us to say, "I love you," Be mine," "True love," and "Friends forever" in the Lord's name to one another. With sincere hearts, we care for one another in the same way that God cares for us. Let every heart be a message board of lve.


January 18, 2023

In his first miracle, Jesus turned water into wine at the wedding of Cana, and the wedding guests continued celebrating. This miracle foreshadows the Lord's Supper and revealed the transformation of his people.

Jesus' mother Mary told her son, "They have no wine" (John 2:3). She knew that Jesus could solve the problem. She told the servants, "Do whatever he tells you" (John 2:5). Jesus was the one to whom they should listen. Without wine, the celebration would end, but the feast continued when Jesus provided wine. The marriage feast is a symbol of the feast of heaven, where the Groom, Christ, weds the bride, the Church, in a celebration that will last forever.

The miraculous wine from water was "the best," but a better wine was poured at the Lord's table the night before his death. That wine was the blood of Christ, shed for the forgiveness of our sins. The wine at the Lord's Supper brings a deeper celebration of everlasting joy through the removal of sins. The wine poured at Cana flowed through Christ's ministry to the wine of the Lord's Supper, wine that flows to us as we partake of the bread and wine of Holy Communion. This very best of wine - the blood of our Savior - enters us in a rich and abundant way.


Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

January 17, 2023

Psalm 1:2  Blessed is the person whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Psalm 119:35  Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

If it seems a little odd to be saying, "Yes, please!" to God's law and to the path of His commands, consider two things. First, words like law and commands are something like desire or pleasure in that they only have negative connotations after the Fall. Before the Fall (and after the resurrection) we respond to God's law with delight!

Only sin makes God's commands and God's law a burden for only sin allows the law to awaken in us sinners a desire for something that is not given to us to desire.

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,

January 12, 2023

Isaiah 62:4  My Delight is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delight in you, and your land shall be married.

The promised restoration of the relationship between God and God's people is accompanied with the promise of love and delight, a desirable, almost sensual delight; a pleasurable delight know specifically in the intimacy of marriage. The intimacy, the disclosure, the knowing and being known entailed in such an image is almost breathtaking. God intends to know you - and be known by you - in intimate ways that bring delight.

God's people respond with a similar Desirable Delight. They respond to God's invitation with a, "Yes, please!"

Helping people live life with Jesus everyday,