Tag Archive | daily devotional blog

Jeremiah 8:18 ” O my Comforter in sorrow, my heart is faint within me.”

Ok, can we all admit to ourselves that the past months of dealing with COVID 19 and the pandemic have been downright hard!  It’s been difficult being isolated from family and friends.  It’s been scary listening to the dire warnings and daily statistics of positive cases and deaths.  Brother, it’s even been apprehensive just going to the grocery store!  That’s why when I read the above verse this morning it brought me back to a basic foundational truth…our God is the Father of all comfort,  Who comforts us in all our troubles… (II Corinthians 1:3)  So even when I’m not at my best, He’s there to comfort me with the Holy Spirit…and like Isaiah 40:29-31 tells me, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

 

Joel 2:12 ” Even now, declares the Lord, return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping, and mourning.”

Come back to God…for He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. (Ezekiel 33:11)  Turn back from the empty life you’ve been living and allow Him to show you the ultimate plan and purpose you were created for.  And the Lord Himself promises that if you seek Him, you will find Him, if you look for Him with all your heart. (Deuteronomy 4:29)  But the greatest promise is contained in the two words that begin this verse – Even now.  It means regardless of how far you’ve wandered…or despite what you’ve done in the past…right now, at this moment, the Lord is lovingly waiting for you to come back home.

Galatians 5:13-14 ” You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire Law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “

This freedom Paul is speaking about means liberty from the rituals and ceremonies of the Mosaic Law…but not from its standard of morality and justice.  He also warned of using this freedom to cause someone else to stumble. (I Corinthians 8:9)  To illustrate this further, Paul wrote that though he was free, he made himself a slave to everyone, in order to win as many as possible to Christ. (I Corinthians 9:19)  As the COVID 19 pandemic continues in the United States, words like freedom, rights, and liberty have become hot-button topics.  But no matter where we stand on these issues…God’s Word remains.  Or as Peter wrote in I Peter 2: 16-17, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.  Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”

Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His precepts have good understanding. To Him belongs eternal praise.”

For months now we have been bombarded with information about the Corona Virus.  Everyone from experts in the field, to people who know nothing about it, are giving their opinions.  But no one knows for sure what this virus is going to do or not do…for the name “Novel” Corona Virus tells it all.  It is a new, unfamiliar, and unknown viral type that has the world scrambling to figure it out.  But until they do, we’ll be inundated with information…good, bad, and indifferent.  So how can we then make sense of all this information?  How can we discern what’s true and what’s false?  We have only to look at this verse…for man can give us knowledge/information, but only God can give us wisdom.  That’s because all wisdom has its source in God and He is the Giver of all wisdom. (Proverbs 2:6)   And when we lack wisdom, all we have to do is ask and He will give it generously. (James 1:5)   In the months ahead, I feel wisdom is going to become paramount in our decision making.

Acts 27:15 ” The ship was caught by the storm and could not head into the wind and so we gave way to it and were driven along.”

In this verse Paul is being transported as a prisoner to Rome when a fierce Northeaster swept in.  The crew of the ship suddenly found themselves totally at the mercy of the hurricane force winds and crashing waves.  In many other places in the Bible we can find examples of that helpless feeling of being tossed by waves and battered by the storm.  Psalm 107:23-28 tells of that weak and defenseless feeling of being thrown back and forth by the storms of life…and the hopelessness that comes from the lack of control.  For many of us, we feel like we’ve been caught up in a terrible storm for weeks now called COVID 19, and have been waywardly tossed here and there.  But the good news is,  if we continue to read in Psalm 107, we find that only our God is able to still that tempest in and around us and guide us to a haven of peace…and that place of refuge in Him.

Ezekiel 37:4 “Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! “

The last time our Church Body met was in March.  And while we have a weekly online service…it’s just not the same.  This past week our Pastor sent out 5 questions for everyone to answer, and one of them really struck home for me.  The question asked in what ways had we experienced loss during the COVID 19 pandemic?  The word loss got me thinking about the stages of loss – shock/disbelief, denial, bargaining, guilt, anger, depression, and finally acceptance/hope.  Now while  I haven’t lost a friend or family member to the Corona Virus, or lost my job or business in the aftermath…I’ve watch in stunned sadness as millions of people have.  So in a way, this profound loss can not help but effect me too.  And when you couple this feeling of loss with a pervasive sense of uncertainty, I’m only left with dryness…a desert within my soul.  But God’s remedy for this arid condition is simple…His Word.  For just as Ezekiel spoke to the Valley of the dry bones and they lived…so my soul can be made alive through His Word.

Colossians 3:2 ” Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Here, as well in Philippians 3:19-20, Paul was showing the moral contrast between heaven and earth.  In Philippians he accused the Church of “setting their minds on earthly things”…which was demonstrating the unethical realm of fallen man and the world under the power of sin.  In both occasions, Paul was urging the Church towards holy living…a putting on of their new self under Christ, and a putting off of their old self dictated by the sinful world.  And even today Paul’s message rings loud and clear to all of us…for where our mindset goes, the rest of our body will follow.