The “Shady” Nature of the Church

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: Luke, Chapters 13 through 18 SCRIPTURE: Luke 13:18-19 Then He said, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? 19 "It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches." Mark 4:31-32 "It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 "but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade." OBSERVATION: When I read this passage today, I remembered that Mark gave one little piece of informatio

Standing With the Pitiful of This World

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE READING: 1 Corinthians chapters 9 through 16 SCRIPTURE: “If it is only for this life that we have put our hope in the Messiah, we are more pitiable than anyone. (I Corinthians 15:19) OBSERVATION: Sometimes it’s hard to really identify with this verse. After all, being a Christian isn’t always easy, and truly there are some difficulties directly related to being a Christian, but it’s really not that bad. Not so bad that I would say that I am more pitiable or to be pitied than anyone. I think most western Christians would agree that even if there were no promise of eternal life, being a Christian isn’t that bad, and in many cases we have enjoyed wonderful temporal benefits as

Great Giving Gets an Honorable Mention from God

TODAY’S BIBLE READING: Mark, chapters 9 through 16 SCRIPTURE: Mark 12: 41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.” OBSERVATION: It just so happened this morning that someone offered me twenty dollars to give to someone else in need. I know that the lad

I Owe A Debt

SCRIPTURE: Romans 1:14,15 – “I owe a debt to both civilized Greeks and uncivilized people, to both the educated and ignorant; therefore I am eager to proclaim the Good News also to you…” – NJB Rom 1:14,15 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you… - NKJV Rom 1:14 For I have a great sense of obligation to people in both the civilized world and the rest of the world, to the educated and uneducated alike. - NLT OBSERVATION: Today’s devotional reading was the first eight chapters of the book of Romans. There is enough theology to swim in for months! As I thought back over the reading this morning, t

Majoring in Minors

SCRIPTURE: Matthew 23:24 “Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” OBSERVATION: This whole chapter is of Jesus rebuking the scribes and Pharisees as hypocrites. And the first thing I want to do is be careful that I don’t just think of this as a “them” thing. As in, “Yea, Lord, tell them,” as if it has nothing to do with me. I want to read slowly and carefully and ask myself, “Is this me He’s talking about?” The one passage that stood out as I was reading this is written above. “Blind guides who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.” I’m reminded how easily we can make the big things small and the small things big. That’s what’s happening here. In their religious fervor, th

Living on Living Bread

Today’s devotion: Matthew, chapters 1 – 7 Today’s Scripture is Matthew 4:4 - Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Observation: Food sustains us. It is a mystery to me how our body has the ability to take what we put in our mouths and divide it in such a way that it feeds our pancreas, liver, lungs, ears, hair and even our toenails! The food we eat is filled with proteins and carbohydrates and simple sugars and fat and who-knows what else. We don’t even really need to understand all the nutrients there are to be found in our food. We need only to eat it. Without it we slowly die. Jesus explained that what food

40 Days of Delight!

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law he does meditate day and night. And he will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, his leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does will prosper." Psalm 1:2-3 This first psalm starts with the word, "blessed." It then reveals the negative aspect of NOT walking in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standing in the way of sinners, nor sitting in the seat of the scornful. But! his delight... This negative process goes from walking to standing to sitting. It stops all movement and ends with one resting idle with a scornful attitude. It starts with walking in the counsel of the ungodly. Contrasted with that, God says the blessed ma

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