'worship' Tagged Posts

'worship' Tagged Posts

Daily Devotions

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.” vss. 1-2   1 Timothy 2:1-2 First century Christians lived in a different world from ours. There weren’t many of them, and they continually lived in fear of the despotic Roman rulers and the military legions scattered throughout the Empire.…

Daily Devotions

If you call the sabbath a delight … if you honor it, not going your own ways … or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth …” vss. 13b-14a Isaiah 58:13-14 The prophets of Israel consistently pointed to sabbath-keeping as the center of the Jewish faith. In their eyes it was the most important of all the commandments given at Sinai. And early…

Daily Devotions

He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.’” vs. 1 Luke 11:1-4 From the gospel record it appears that Jesus began each day with prayer, often getting up before dawn to go off by himself. Obviously his disciples noticed, and one morning when he returned to the group they asked if he would teach them to pray as John…

Daily Devotions

He said, ‘My lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.’” vss. 3-4 Genesis 18:1-4  The stories of Abram and Sarai were precious to our faith ancestors, and they took care to preserve them in the writings that became our scriptures. The people in the stories seem real to us, and their God encounters resonate with our own experience.…

Daily Devotions

Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.” vss. 8-9 Psalm 66:1-9 From a practical or realistic standpoint, Israel’s survival as a people didn’t make much sense to the psalmist. They weren’t a powerful nation and had somehow managed to survive through the succeeding reigns of a series of superpowers. For him there was only one logical answer: their God had…

Daily Devotions

As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.” vs. 13 Isaiah 66:13-14 When we get older and start learning new things in school, it’s not unusual to do an assessment of what we’ve been learning in Sunday School. And sometimes the old familiar stories don’t stand up to our scrutiny. We reject entire portions of scripture as being archaic and unscientific, and decide that we are no longer believers. Usually that…

Daily Devotions

He asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The reply came, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.’” vs. 5 Acts 9:4-6 Saul was a proud practicing Jew. He had studied the precepts and the commandments of the Law since his youth and believed that it gave the Jews an advantage over the other religions of the time. It was a moral code that covered every part of life; nothing was left unregulated. Worship in the temple was at the core of…

Daily Devotions

And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” vss. 24-25 Hebrews 10:19-25 Congregations have had a tough go of it during these long months of the pandemic. While there has been some financial assistance from the government most have had a tough time with worship. Many did not hold services at all and pastors were forced to get creative…

Daily Devotions

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.” vss. 3-4 Psalm 24 These verses are likely a fragment of a liturgy that was used at the door of the temple as Israelites came for worship. A priest would ask a question, “Who shall stand in the holy place?”…

Daily Devotions

Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts…” vss. 18-19 Ephesians 5:18-20 Passages like this provide a window into the life of an early Christian community and give a glimpse of those practices that brought strength and joy to believers. Evidently their culture, like ours, offered options for those who wanted…

Daily Devotions

I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.” vss. 48-49 John 6:45-51 In the first century there had been a struggle between those Jews who had embraced Jesus as messiah and those who clung to the old traditions. Ultimately that conflict led to a split and the separation of church and synagogue. As John writes his gospel he wants his readers to know that in Jesus they will find the pathway…

Daily Devotions

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat.’” vs. 42 2 Kings 4:42-44 The giving of first fruits is standard practice for all those who have been touched by the Light of Christ. It’s a recognition that everything we have comes from God and is intended to be shared…