Posts from January 2024

Posts from January 2024

Daily Devotions

They went to Capernaum; and when the Sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” vss. 21-22 Mark 1:21-24 Capernaum was the hometown of the first disciples and Mark tells us that on the Sabbath they all went to the synagogue. Because he was evidently known by the leaders there, he was asked to teach, and the people were astounded. Unlike…

Daily Devotions

‘Food will not bring us close to God.’ We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” vss. 8-9 1 Corinthians 8:1-6 Anything can become a divisive issue in a congregation! Among other things the Corinthians were struggling with whether or not it was appropriate to eat food that had been offered to idols.…

Daily Devotions

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” vs. 1P 1 Corinthians 8:1-6 Since he had lived in Corinth for 18 months Paul knew the congregation pretty well, and he sensed who the trouble-makers were–and it wasn’t the new members! Rather the difficulty was coming from those who had been there for some time and who had developed a kind of arrogance about what was necessary to…

Daily Devotions

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.” vs. 10  Psalm 111:5-10 Wisdom was a major concern of those who wrote our scriptures. There’s a whole category of writing that is known as “Wisdom Literature,” and that includes books like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Often we see it contrasted with foolishness, as in the teachings of Jesus where he speaks of wise maidens who brought extra…

Daily Devotions

Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” vss. 1-2 Psalm 111:1-5 From the beginning the wonders of the universe have been admired by all humans! The psalmist calls them the great works of the Lord and adds that they are studied by all who delight in them. Through the centuries…

Daily Devotions

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command.” vs. 18 Deuteronomy 18:15-20 According to Deuteronomy the Israelites experience of God at Mt. Sinai was too much for them. Never again did they want to hear the voice of the Lord shake the earth and set the heavens ablaze. If one day Moses wasn’t…

Daily Devotions

Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.” vs. 20 Mark 1:19-20 Mark frequently uses the word “immediately” as he describes the beginning of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee. Jesus felt a sense of urgency in his work; it’s as though he didn’t have much time to waste as he called his disciples. And what amazes us is how quickly they responded! They may have been familiar with him,…

Daily Devotions

As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, ‘Follow me and I will make you fish for people.’” vss. 16-17 Mark 1:16-18 Mark is the action gospel. The writer doesn’t include much of Jesus’ teaching–there’s no Sermon on the Mount and only a few parables–and Jesus is always on the move. He seems to have been alone as he…

Daily Devotions

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’” vss. 14-15 Mark 1:14-15 According to Mark, the first gospel written, Jesus had been in Judea, near where John was baptizing, and when John was arrested he headed north to Galilee, his home territory, and began his ministry. Though he seems not to have…

Daily Devotions

I mean, brothers and sisters, the appointed time has grown short; from now on, let even those who have wives be as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning…” vss. 29-30a 1 Corinthians 7:29-31 Paul had spent about 18 months working and teaching in Corinth and was well acquainted with the people who were a part of the congregation there. So later on, when he hears reports from there, he writes them letters…

Daily Devotions

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.” vs. 10 Jonah 3:1-5, 10 Much to Jonah’s chagrin, the people of Nineveh repented and turned from their evil ways and in response, God too repented, and did not bring calamity upon them. His story reminds us of two things, first that it is possible…

Daily Devotions

And he said to him, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’” vs. 51 John 1:47-51 Nathanael had made a confession of faith based on little evidence, and Jesus told him that his insight had been superficial. But it was a start! And according to the gospel writer, John, Jesus went on to tell him what was in store for him. The image used…
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