Blog (Page 181)

Blog (Page 181)

Daily Devotions: July 18 , 2018

July 18, 2018 Psalm 23…“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.” vs. 6 In the course of a lifetime there are moments that invite reflection, times when we can think back on twists and turns of our journey, and perhaps consider the impact of important decisions. Always there will have been a point on the way when we adopted, either…

Daily Devotions: July 17 , 2018

July 17, 2018 Jeremiah 23:4-6…“The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” vs. 5 Even though Jeremiah was relentless in pointing out the sins of Judah and the inevitability of its destruction, he remained hopeful about future prospects. He believed that, having gotten rid of the old kings, the Lord would raise…

Daily Devotions: July 16 , 2018

July 16, 2018 Jeremiah 23:1-3…“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord.” vs. 1 When Jeremiah speaks of shepherds, he has in mind the corrupt and power hungry kings of his nation. Their leadership had meant the dissolution and scattering of the people; already many had been led away into exile. He himself would soon be taken against his will to Egypt. It was a terrible time. Leaders bore the blame and…

Daily Devotions: July 15 , 2018

July 15, 2018 Mark 6:21-29…“When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.’” vs. 22 There’s some confusion in the ancient documents about this dancer’s name (Josephus says she was called Salome), but there’s no doubt that this was probably the favorite biblical scene for medieval and renaissance artists. They loved to paint the seductive, sexy girl,…

Daily Devotions: July 14 , 2018

July 14, 2018 Mark 6:14-20…“for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.” vs. 20 Generally we can say that most people share Herod’s feelings about prophets. We know that they speak passionately for justice and that their motives are generally pure. And we like it that, in our country, they have protected first amendment rights…

Daily Devotions: July 13 , 2018

July 13, 2018 Ephesians 1:11-14…“In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit;” vs. 13 It’s likely no accident that the words of this verse remind us of what is said following baptism in many of our congregations, “You have been marked with the cross of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit.” From the very beginning…

Daily Devotions: July 12 , 2018

July 12, 2018 Ephesians 1:3-10…“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.” vss. 7-8a The writer to the Ephesians can scarcely contain himself as he begins his letter to his friends in Ephesus. He has come to an explosive and expansive understanding of God’s grace and love and pours out his amazing conclusions in his introductory paragraph. He believes that the people reading…

Daily Devotions: July 11 , 2018

July 11, 2018 Psalm 85:8-13…“Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.” vs. 8 So what happens when we tire of our fixations on sports and the economy; when we’re fed up with arguments about global warming and politics, and realize that what we think or believe doesn’t mean a stinking thing? What would happen then–if, in our frustration…

Daily Devotions: July 10 , 2018

July 10, 2018 Amos 7:10-15…Then Amos answered Amaziah, “I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycamore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock,” and the Lord said to me, “Go, prophesy to my people Israel.” vss. 14-15 The biggest problem that the Bethel elites had with Amos was that he was an interloper from Judah. Amaziah, the priest, tells him to go back south and prophesy there.…

Daily Devotions: July 9 , 2018

July 9, 2018 Amos 7:7-9…“And the Lord said to me, ‘Amos, what do you see?’ And I said, ‘A plumb line.’ Then the Lord said, ‘See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by…’” vs. 8 Amos came from Judah (the Southern Kingdom) to Israel (the Northern Kingdom) with a message of impending judgment from the Lord. It was a time of great prosperity in Israel but in…

Daily Devotions: July 8 , 2018

July 8, 2018 Mark 6:7-13…“So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.” vss. 12-13 After the debacle in Nazareth, it appears that Jesus doubled down. He saw his rejection as an anomaly and was convinced that his early Galilean efforts at proclaiming the kingdom could be expanded, and that his disciples could do more than just follow him around. They were ready…

Daily Devotions: July 7 , 2018

July 7, 2018 Mark 6:4-6…“And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.” vss. 5-6a As Jesus had moved along the Sea of Galilee in the initial stages of his mission, he had been amazed at the faith of those who came to him for healing. They came trusting that he would be able to do something for them…