Daily Devotions by Steve Holm

Daily Devotions by Steve Holm

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…

Daily Devotions

Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, ‘You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’’ vs. 21 Mark 10:17-22 The man was at a crisis point, and probably surprised to find himself there. He’d lived a good life, exemplary even, and had reaped the blessings of hard work and enterprise. He was likely envied by most of his peers–yet something…

Daily Devotions

Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” vs. 12 Hebrews 4:12-16 There are times in our reading of scripture or in listening to a sermon, that some word or phrase absolutely nails the truth of who we are. We are pierced to the core and feel the righteous judgment of God…

Daily Devotions

Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.” vs. 15 Psalm 90:15-17 The psalmist believed that all the blessings and afflictions of his life came by the hand of God–nothing was accidental. There’s something to admire about that sense of connectedness to the Divine, and the psalmist is right about God being actively present in all areas of our lives. We only get into trouble when we begin…

Daily Devotions

So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.” vs. 12 Psalm 90:12-14 In the spring of our lives we don’t seem to realize that our days are numbered and that one day we’ll come to the end of them. Life seems wide open and unending and many seem to believe that they are immortal, that the old people they see around are an anomaly, and that such feebleness will never come to them. It’s…

Daily Devotions

Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.” vs. 11 Amos 5:10-15 Amos came with an outsider’s eye and he could see what the people of Israel could not. Because the abuse had gone so long, they had gotten used to it. Of course, the rich systematically took…

Daily Devotions

Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!” vs. 7 Amos 5:6-7 Amos, a shepherd from Judea, had heard a call from the Lord to go to Israel (the Northern Kingdom) during their golden years. He came first to observe, and he was not impressed. The nation was experiencing unprecedented prosperity and the wealthy were rolling in cash–many were having to use their imaginations to figure out how to spend it all. Building programs were…