Tears in God’s Bottle

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With David as his inspiration, the writer of this psalm makes prayer the very first thing on the day’s agenda. When David used his slingshot to kill Goliath, David new beforehand that it was going to strike Goliath. This was because David first connected his heart to God in prayer so that the connection of his hand and eye would go straight to Goliath’s head.

In today’s psalm the writer has much more than one giant towering over him. He is tormented by many enemies that press against him in all kinds of ways. By praying first, terror gives way to peace and confidence that God’s power would win out in the end.

I love verse 8: “Put my tears into Your bottle.” Each one of our teardrops is precious to God who gathers them together so that they would not be lost. When you are hurting and feel alone, just turn to God who is already looking on you with love and hugging you in God’s heart.

Psalm 56


Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms: one a week over the three-year cycle.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion. An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

 

 

Do It Jesus’ Way

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Burger King has a saying: “Do it your way!” Today’s reading is about what happens when all I want is what is good for me, instead of what of my family and others in the world need.

The holy office of being a priest was offered for sale as Micah (not the prophet) hired a priest for his benefit alone. How’s that for being self-centered! Micah’s only concern was for his own well being with the idea that he could own a priest.

Because we live in Christ, we share in his holy priesthood. We are all priests, not for ourselves alone, or for the selfish benefit of a few, but for the world which hungers for love and God’s saving grace in Jesus. Let’s change the name from “Burger King” to “Priestly King,” altering, “Do it your way” to “Do it Jesus’ way.”

Judges 17


Tuesdays are dedicated to the Writings in the Hebrew Scriptures, those books with the exception of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible)
the Prophets and the Psalms.
In the season of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Judges and Proverbs, 4 to 6


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

The Bank of Heaven

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One of my dear friends in ministry was a man named John. For years he had suffered from cancer that eventually took his life. Every once in a while he would need to have a transfusion—new blood flowing into him. One time his medical insurance refused to pay for the expensive procedure. Besides being frightened and sad about his disease, he was angry.

As I sat by his side, I found myself searching for ways to help him with his suffering. I said to him, “John, because you trust in God, I believe that there is a bank in heaven that deposits your faith so that others who are losing faith can draw power from your faith.”

Verse 10 of today’s reading uses the image of fire purifying us so that nothing but faith in God remains. So take whatever is bothering you—big pain or little pain—and deposit it into the Bank of Heaven so that others can draw from your precious faith.

Isaiah 48:10-22


Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets
In the season of Advent to Epiphany this year, we read Isaiah chapters 40 to 55.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

The Net of God’s Love

The Fourth Week in Epiphany, Year B

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“What do you want to be when you grow up?” No doubt you’ve been asked this question, perhaps by an older person bending over to talk with you.

If someone were to have asked this question to one of the fishermen in today’s story when he was a little boy, most likely he would have said, “My family from way back only does one thing: we fish. It’s a family business. I never thought about being anything else in my life.”

In just five verses, this totally changes for two sets of brothers: Simon (later renamed Peter) and Andrew, and James and John. Perhaps it is because they are very good at fishing—very patient and dedicated—that Jesus knows how these qualities would be perfect when it comes to fishing for people. They are to gather lonely, lost people into the net of God’s love. Whatever you want to be when you grow up, it will be nothing like bringing people together in love.

Mark 1:14-20


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels, in Year B, the Gospel of Mark


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

Yahweh-Rapha

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The Red Sea splits into two, with walls of water on either side. God’s people simply walk right through. Imagine them gaping about with eyes wide open: a full moon shining on them; listen to their gasps of wonder.

Now here’s something weird: after the miracle they just experienced, they complain that they don’t find clean water to drink or food to eat. With fists raised high, they shout out to Moses and Aaron: “We were better off back in Egypt!”

Listen to more miracles that God does for God’s people, making another promise. “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” (16:26).

We have an African Grey parrot we named “Rapha” meaning to heal, one of the Hebrew names for God. Our parrot reminds us that God has healed our family inso many ways, and will always be Yahweh-Rapha, “The Lord, our healer.”

Part B – Exodus 14:15—16:10

For Family – Exodus 14:15—15:3; 15:22—16:10


Saturdays are dedicated to the Torah Portions
read along with synagogues throughout the world.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

 

 

God’s Power is Here!

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When an ambassador comes to a country, the person is so respected that it’s as though the President, King or Queen of the country is present. When the ambassador speaks, the ruler speaks. St. Mark tells about the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, each verse like a karate chop to describe the arrival of divine power into human lives. Jesus brings the full power of God in his teaching and in the miracles that begin to flow from him.

The first miracle is Jesus casting out an unclean spirit, sometimes called a demon. The unclean spirit cannot hang around where God’s power breaks in. Jesus does this on the Sabbath when no work is allowed. The religious leaders are angry at Jesus for doing this. Imagine: calling healing, “work” and thus failing to rejoice in the power of God’s love!

Stand with the crowd in the synagogue and watch Jesus bring God’s power and love.

Touch here for today’s reading – Mark 1:21-31


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
In this year B in the three-year cycle, we read the Gospel of Mark.
In the season Epiphany, we read the first three chapters.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick

 

 

Perfect Love Casting Out Fear

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Like fine thread weaving a beautiful quilt, St. John weaves his message with love. He writes very simply, telling us what love is all about. Love is the energy that drives God’s life toward us, which in turn, moves us to love one another. Take verse 18 for example. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

An idea: take this seven syllable summary of that verse: Perfect love casting out fear. As you breath in the first three syllables,”Perfect love,” think about God’s love entering into you. When you breath out, “casting out fear,” let all fears be released from you. This is an example of what I call a “Bible Breath.”

When you are afraid of someone who dislikes you, breathe the Bible Breath above, sending God’s love to that person. He or she especially needs to feel God’s love through you.

Touch here for the today’s reading – 1 John 4:13-21


Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament except the Gospels.
In the season of Advent to Epiphany, we read the letters of John and Jude.


This is a sample of a new version of The Bible Through the Seasons as a daily family devotion.  An ebook is planned. I’ll keep you posted! –Pastor Nick