Today we are reading Psalm 137. In this psalm we read about the misery of the exiles in Babylon. “By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and wept, when we remembered Zion. On the willows there we hung up our lyres. For there our captors required of us songs, and our tormentors, mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭137:1-4‬ ‭ESV‬‬ it’s hard to imagine what it was like for the exiles in Babylon. However, we can remember when we have gone through a difficult time. When this pandemic began I reminded people that it was temporary. There was a time before the pandemic. There will be a time after the pandemic. Through it all God‘s love is steadfast. His promises are true. His love is constant. And we continue to be precious to him. May God strengthen you today to patiently endure your present trouble. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 23. In this chapter we read about the plot to kill Paul. “When it was day, the Jews made a plot and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.””
‭‭Acts‬ ‭23:12-15‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The devil is always trying to destroy God’s people and the church. How have you witnessed this? How did God protect Paul? How has God protected you? What can you do to protect yourself from evil? May God protect you from all harm and keep you in His loving care! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 1 Kings 13. In this chapter we read about God sending a sign to Jeroboam to turn him from his pagan ways. “And the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord and said, “O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, Josiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you.'” And he gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: ‘Behold, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.'” And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, “Seize him.” And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. The altar also was torn down, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. And the king said to the man of God, “Entreat now the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me.” And the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before.” ‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭13:2-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ This was a very dramatic sign from God but Jeroboam quickly returned to his idolatry. He did not learn his lesson. Has God ever sent you a sign to change your path? Has your sin ever led you to a desperate situation? What did you do? May God bless you to reject the evil and choose the good. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 1 Samuel 30. In this chapter we read about an attack on the families of David and his men. “Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David was greatly distressed, for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in soul, each for his sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭30:1-6‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Few things can upset us like concern for our family’s safety. In this chapter we read about David weeping and then consulting God. How have you consulted God when you were concerned about your family? What did God do? Who did God send to walk with you? What comfort did you receive from God’s word? How can you be used by God to help someone concerned about their family? May God use your experiences to bless someone else. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Isaiah 18. In this chapter we read about the word of God regarding the people of Cush. “At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts.” Isaiah‬ ‭18:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ The land of Cush is identified as the region of Ethiopia. What we see in this prophecy is that people of great renown and from far away will bring tribute the the One True God in Jerusalem. Of course we know that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow. How does this universal submission to God comfort you? How does your submission to God impact your life? How does your submission to God bless those around you? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 1 Thessalonians 5. In this chapter we read about directions that Paul gives the Thessalonian Christians. “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:15-22‬ ‭ESV‬‬ In today’s turbulent times we are tempted to respond in anger when people offend us. What does God say? “See that no one repays anyone evil for evil.” We are called to be different than the world. What a challenge this is! How are you seeking to do good? Don’t limit who you might do good for. God is at work in and through you. Pastor Tim

Today we are reading 1 Corinthians 10. In this chapter we read about Paul’s total dedication to winning people for Jesus. “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:24, 31-33‬ ‭ESV‬‬ How does your behavior impact those around you? Do your words and actions point people to Jesus. Consider how your lifestyle might make an eternal difference in someone’s life…are you willing to be a little uncomfortable so that someone might receive eternal blessings? May God be glorified in all you do! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Acts 17. In this chapter we read about the continuation of Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.  When Paul was in Athens, he found an interesting way to preach the Gospel. “Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.” Acts‬ ‭17:16, 22-23‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Led by the Holy Spirit, Paul is able to build a bridge into the philosophical world of the Athenians. What bridges does God desire for you to build? How is the Holy Spirit helping you proclaim the Gospel where you live? Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Matthew 21. In this chapter we read about Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.“The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”” Matthew‬ ‭21:6-11‬ ‭ESV‬‬ It seems strange to have a “triumphant entry” before a victory. Jesus was on His mission to suffer and die for our sins. The people were giving Him a “heroes welcome”. He was much more than a hero! The small political victory they wanted Him to provide was nothing compared with the glorious eternal victory that is ours through faith. May God bless you to walk in this victory! Pastor Tim

Today we are reading Zechariah 11. In this chapter we read about Zechariah being called by God to be a shepherd of His people. “”Woe to my worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! Let his arm be wholly withered, his right eye utterly blinded!””
‭‭Zechariah‬ ‭11:17‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Zechariah is speaking against the shepherds (Kings and priests) who have been unfaithful to God. If the leaders are unfaithful the people will suffer. How have you been faithful in leading those around you? What can you do to be a better “shepherd” to the sheep (people) God has placed in your care? What is the purpose or goal of the shepherd? May God raise you up to be a great shepherd! Pastor Tim