Posts by Rev. Steve Holm

Posts by Rev. Steve Holm

Daily Devotions

Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” vs. 25 Hebrews 7:23-25 After the death and resurrection of Jesus his followers continued to go regularly to the temple and make full use of the sacrificial system. After all they were faithful Jews and this is what they were accustomed to do. But after the temple was destroyed in 70 AD they were flummoxed–they needed…

Daily Devotions

May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.” vs. 5 Psalm 126:4-6 Those who are accustomed to live each day with praise and thanksgiving in their hearts understand the powerful role that suffering plays in a well-rounded and healthy life. We have been created with the capacity to cry, not just to cleanse our eyes, but to give evidence of deep feelings, sometimes of joy, but more likely of pain and sadness. In other words, God intends…

Daily Devotions

The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.” vs. 3 Psalm 122:1-3 Everyone who lived in Jerusalem was aware of the seemingly endless cycle of disasters that had been experienced by Israel. And the psalmist was no exception! Yet he chose to focus instead on the wonderful things that had been done for the people, and he was exuberant in his praise and expressions of joy. It’s wonderful when we can come to the point in our…

Daily Devotions

For thus says the Lord: Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘Save, O Lord, your people, the remnant of Israel.’” vs. 7 Jeremiah 31:7-9 It’s hard to determine the context of these verses, but it seems likely that they are part of an oracle that was proclaimed shortly after the leading families of Judah were taken to Babylon to live in exile. Not everyone was taken,…

Daily Devotions

But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.” vss. 43-44 Mark 10:41-45 If the Christian Church had a constitution and by-laws, these verses would likely be found under the heading “Leadership” as Article I. Jesus understood that greatness according to the world’s standards involved the accumulation of power and wealth. And we know that too! We…

Daily Devotions

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, ‘Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.’” vs. 35 Mark 10:35-45 According to Mark, the disciples were obsessed with greatness and glory. They’d been nothing when Jesus called them, but after a few months on the road they began vying for corner offices in the executive suite. At first this was an internal competition, something discussed privately, but before…

Daily Devotions

He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people.” vss. 2-3 Hebrews 5:1-10 During the days of Temple worship in Jerusalem, the high priest was in charge of the whole sacrificial system. He was the one who organized the days on which sacrifices could be made, made sure there were always…

Daily Devotions

With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.” vs. 16 Psalm 91:14-16 Humans have always appreciated longevity, and the psalmist considered long life to be one of God’s choicest blessings. Most of us would agree, and do whatever we can to increase our years. We’re deeply aware that not everyone gets a chance to live long; some don’t survive infancy and too many fall prey to accident, war, or disease before they’ve even reached thirty. Knowing…

Daily Devotions

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.” vss. 11-12 Psalm 91:9-13 Many people love the song, “On Eagle’s Wings,” the one based on Psalm 91. It could be the tune, the phrasing and the notes are beautiful, but the words have a power all their own. We like to imagine being lifted up…

Daily Devotions

Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him with pain. When you make his life an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days; through him the will of the Lord shall prosper.” vs. 10 Isaiah 53:10-12 While it may once have seemed logical to understand the death of Jesus as a fulfillment of Isaiah 53, such a notion is now regarded by many Christians as untenable. For one thing the prophet…

Daily Devotions

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.” vs. 5 Isaiah 53:4-9 Israel’s exile in Babylon meant a complete overhaul of the nation’s self-understanding. They had seen themselves as special, as God’s Chosen People, but now they had lost wealth and power, along with their standing in the world. The prophet, living with the exiles in Babylon, used the figure of…

Daily Devotions

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” vs. 25 Mark 10:23-31 People have had a hard time with this saying of Jesus. In our wealth-worshipping culture, in a country where so many aspire to becoming rich, we wonder how in the world he could have spoken such heresy. Many preachers, to assuage the consciences of congregants, have bent over backward to…