Daily Devotionals

October 25, 2020


Matthew 16:13-19

“Ambassadors for Christ”



Matthew 16:16-18

“Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God’. And Jesus answered him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.’”

MONDAY, October 19                    Matthew 16:1-4

“Red sky at night the weather will delight; but a red sky in the morning is a stormy weather warning.” This was a popular saying during the first century, and people used it to discern what the weather might do. However, the religious leaders – The Pharisees and Sadducees – had Jesus Christ, the long-awaited Messiah standing right in front of them and they couldn’t see it. This may not be the most troubling part of this passage. The most troubling part is the Pharisees and Sadducees had come together. They hated each other. It is more likely for Republicans and Democrats to come together than for Pharisees and Sadducees to come together.

For these two groups to come together to test Jesus meant they were scared – they already had their sign, and they knew it. Jesus threatened their power and influence on the people, and they wanted it stopped. There was a storm of hatred brewing against Jesus and His disciples – a storm that would culminate in the cry to “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.”

Can we discern the signs of today? Can we see the storm that is brewing? A storm that can only be weathered through the Love of Jesus.

“An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Jesus died, and on the third day rose again to save us. We have been given our sign – Our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for showing us what true love looks like. Amen.”


TUESDAY, October 20                    Matthew 16:5-12

The Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious leaders, political power, and voice in 1st Century Israel. Yesterday we learned they were afraid of Jesus because he threatened their power and influence over the people. When those in power are threatened, they will attempt to discredit, undermine, and destroy any opposing voice.

Today Jesus warns his disciples (and us) saying “Watch out and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Yeast is consistently used as a picture of sin and corruption in scripture – especially as it relates to the Passover narrative where the Israelites are commanded to get rid of all leaven (yeast) from their homes.

Yeast is the Jewish metaphorical expression for any evil influence. It is symbolic of how rumors, lies, deception, and fear can spread rapidly and out of control if left unchecked.

The disciples, like us, failed to see the significance in what Jesus was saying. They were focused on food and where they would get some more bread – even though Jesus had repeatedly told and shown them to stop worrying about material things and start focusing on the spiritual.

“How could you fail to perceive that I was not speaking about bread? Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!”

In other words – ‘Beware of those in power because they use lies and deception to create fear and control you.’

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for your wisdom that applies to us as much today as it did then. Amen.”


WEDNESDAY, October 21             Matthew 16:21-23

“Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me.” A few minutes ago, Jesus calls Peter “Blessed”, because he has given a divine statement about who Jesus is “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

How can this be?

Peter didn’t deliberately choose to reject God and follow Satan. He let his mind wander from what was God’s purpose and allowed his own interests and the interests of this world seep in. When that happens, it opens a door for unholy influence.

Peter is a perfect example of how a sincere heart coupled with man’s thinking can often lead to disaster. That’s when Jesus tells him “You are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

How often do we let our best intentions get in the way of God? It’s easy to fall into this trap. Peter wasn’t evil, but he let his guard down and evil took over. It can happen to the best of us.

Prayer: “Jesus, guard my heart and mind and help me to see when my thinking isn’t right. Amen.”


THURSDAY, October 22                 Matthew 16:13

Today, Jesus leaves the Jewish area of Galilee to take his disciples into the mainly Gentile area of Caesarea Philippi. This area was like a resort in the first century and was run by Herod the Great’s son Philip. It was well known for the worship of idols and multiple false gods and was a center for Baal worship.

But the god that was most renowned was Pan, the son of Zeus. There was a cave in that area that was said to reach into the underworld that was the very gates of Hell and this was home to Pan. In fact, the area was once known as Panneria until Herod’s son Philip took over and renamed it Caesarea Philippi to honor Caesar and himself.

Jesus is deliberately setting himself against the backdrop of the world’s religions and asks his disciples the fateful question “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

This is an important question for us today.

But the more important question is the one we will look at tomorrow.

Prayer: “Jesus, who do others think you are? Help me to understand this so I can tell them who you really are. Amen.”


FRIDAY, October 23                        Matthew 16:13-16

Yesterday we read that Jesus took his disciples to Caesarea Philippi – the center of worship for a multitude of false gods. He did so to set himself against the backdrop of the various world religions and then he asked his disciple who people said he was.

Today, we are asked an even more important question.

“But who do you say that I am?” ‘Who do you say Jesus is?’

Some people think Jesus was a great evangelist like John the Baptist. Others think Jesus was a great miracle worker like Elijah. Others think he was a great prophet like Jerimiah. All of those answers fall short of who Jesus was and IS.

The disciples have spent a lot of time with Jesus. At first, they probably thought he was one or more of these things along with being a great teacher. But as they spent time with him, they began to realize he was so much more.

Today, Peter answers “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Peter understood that Jesus wasn’t just the long-awaited Messiah, He was also God. “You are the Messiah, the Son of the LIVING God.” This answer was set against the backdrop of the grotto of the Greek god Pan, who was believed to be the son of Zeus.

When we truly understand, and believe, who Jesus IS it affects the way we live.

Prayer: “Jesus, you are the Messiah, our Savior, the Son of the Living God. Amen.”


SATURDAY, October 24                 Matthew 16:13-18

“You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Peter is able to make this startling confession & revelation because God was speaking through him. When we spend time with God then we too can be blessed with divine inspiration.

Jesus replies “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.”

“Peter” in the original Greek was ‘Petros’, a rock, because Jesus was going to transform Simon’s extreme nature into something solid and reliable. When Jesus said, “on this rock I will build my church”, the word “rock” in Greek is ‘Petras’ – A large boulder or grouping of rocks.

Peter never understood himself to be the foundation of the church – That distinction belongs to Jesus. In 1 Peter 2:4-5 Peter tells us to “Come to him (Jesus), a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

The “Rock”‘Petras’ – the church is built on is the confession “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.”

Peter was the first “Rock” among many “Rocks”. We are called to be “Living Stones” and together – with Jesus as the “Foundation Stone” – we build the Church of Jesus Christ.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to be built upon your truth. Amen.”


October 18, 2020


Colossians 2:8-15

“Reverse the Curse”



Colossians 3:12-13

“As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”


MONDAY, October 12                    Luke 11:1

Prayer was the single most import sacrament in Jesus’ life. The disciples saw this and wanted to have the same devotion. Jesus spent a considerable amount of time in prayer. Luke 6:12 says he would sometimes pray all night “Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he went the night in prayer to God.” After prayer he could say “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise” John 5:19.  Jesus was a part of the Father’s plan because he was connected with him through prayer.

Jesus made prayer first and foremost part of his day and the disciple asked him to teach them and he said “Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one” Matthew 6:9-13.

And he modeled the power of prayer for us in Mark 11:24-25 when he told us “So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.” And in John 14:12-14 “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.” And Mark 1:35 tells us “In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.”

Prayer was the time Jesus spent in close communication with the Father. If prayer was so vital to Jesus, who was God in the flesh, then we need to learn to pray as Jesus prayed. So, every day say to the Lord, “Teach me to pray.” And he will.

Prayer: “Jesus teach me to pray as you do. Amen.”


TUESDAY, October 13                    Colossians 1:15-17

We live at a time when most people have lost sight of who created the heavens and the earth. They see God’s creation all around them but somehow think it all happened by chance – if they even think about it at all. Science tells us it’s all just ‘mutations’, ‘random processes’, ‘time’, & ‘chance’. 

We are being taught that we really just evolved out of nothing and when we die, we just return to dirt. That alone is enough to make anybody frustrated and depressed.

Maybe it’s time we reintroduce the world to what God has to say. Psalm 19:1-4 tells us “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

Or listen to what Job has to tell us in 12:7-10 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.”

Everywhere you look, all of creation tells us of God’s wonder and majesty. When we truly look and listen there can be no doubt there is a design and a designer. And our passage today tells us Jesus is the one who created it all. Just as John 1:1-5 reminds us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for creating me. Amen.”


WEDNESDAY, October 14             Colossians 1:18-20

In Genesis 1:1 we are told that “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth… God said…” God spoke everything – seen and unseen – into existence.

As amazing and wonderful as it is to contemplate God creating all things – this first creation cost Him nothing – He spoke it into being.

Our passage today reminds us “He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead.” In the first creation all things were created then on the sixth day God created us. The second creation is the fulfillment of God’s plan. This second creation cost Jesus his life.

Through Jesus’ resurrection a new creation was begun, one that reversed the order of the first creation. In the new creation – He began with mankind and will later create a whole new Heaven and Earth.

“So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body; it is raised a spiritual body” 1 Corinthians 15:42-44.

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for making me a new creation in you. Amen.”


THURSDAY, October 15                 Colossians 2:20-23

Don’t do this, Don’t do that, Don’t handle that, Don’t touch that… This is a perfect description of legalism. The Apostle Paul was warning the early Christians to not fall into the trap of legalistic religion or the legalistic society they lived in. Legalism sounds like wisdom, but it really only serves to distract our focus and energy away from serving God.

There are clear moral boundaries that we as Christian’s should not cross, but Christianity is about positive action – not rules and regulations.

If you truly follow Christ and believe “He is the Way, the Truth, the Life” why would you continue to obsess over human rules and regulations.

The danger in legalism is that it not only distracts us from our focus on Christ it also turns us into insufferable know-it-alls who create boundaries that separate others from Christ.

The only law we should be following that supersedes and fulfills all others is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind… You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to focus on you and do what is right.


FRIDAY, October 16                        Colossians 3:1-11

Yesterday we read the last part of Colossians 2 where Paul was warning us about becoming too legalistic. Instead, we should focus on doing what is good for others.

Today, Paul tells us how we can have a New Life in Christ.

We need to maintain our focus on the ways of God. The ways of God were clearly shown to us in the life of Jesus Christ.

When we choose to follow Christ, our old lives are dead, and we begin a new life. That does not mean we no longer make mistakes. What that means is we are starting new and learning and growing in the likeness of Christ. That is what our baptism represents.

When early Christians were baptized, they would remove all of their cloths and enter into the waters of baptism. Their old lives were washed away. When they came out of the waters of baptism they put on a whole new set of cloths. They were a new creation. The same is true for us. In Christ we are a new Creation.

As new creations in Christ we must put to death – no longer participate in – the ways of this world: “Fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, greed, anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive language, and lies”. The “Wrath of God” that is mentioned in verse 6 is God turning away from all those who practice the evil things of this world.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to face you and walk in a new life. Amen.”


SATURDAY, October 17                 Colossians 3:12-17

Yesterday we learned that when you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior and enter into the waters of baptism, you are washing away your old life and are putting on a new life. The early Christians would literally take of their old clothes, be washed clean with baptism, put on new clothes and start a new life.

Today, Paul tells us what we look like dressed in our new clothes.

You are chosen by God for something special, you have a destiny with Christ. This destiny is expressed in our relationships with each other and with Christ: “Compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness, and love”.

Love is the one thing that binds all of these together. Love of God and love for each other. When love is the governing principle in our lives then we will have the “Peace of God which surpasses all understanding”. And we will be in unity with the body of Christ – the Church – which we learned in Colossians 1:18 that “Christ is the head of the body”.

Clothe yourselves with Christ.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to be clothed in you. Amen.”

October 11, 2020


2 Kings 20:1-11

“Changing God’s Mind”


Psalm 16:11

“You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fulness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”


MONDAY, October 5                      2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Did you know you had divine weapons for warfare? You do! We have divine weapons that can free us from the strongholds that have been set up all around us. They can destroy these strongholds because our weapons are not of human origin.

“We have divine power to destroy strongholds.” A stronghold is a place that has been fortified to protect it against attack. There are strongholds that have been set up to disrupt our thoughts, our plans, and our actions. What the Apostle Paul is telling us in today’s passage is that we have spiritual weapons that can pull down these strongholds in our lives and the lives of those we love. Our weapons are prayer, faith, and the Word of God.

In Matthew 16:19 Jesus tells us He has given us the key to bind the enemy. Prayer is one of the most powerful weapons in our arsenal. Prayer is the catalyst that mobilizes the power of God on our behalf. When you begin your day, and every action you take throughout your day with prayer, God himself will meet you and guide you. Prayer is what invites the Holy Spirit to flow through you and guide you into proper action.

Satan is constantly trying to discourage you and those you love and interfere with God’s plan in your life. God has given us the power of prayer to destroy the enemy’s attacks in our lives and the lives of others.

Prayer: “Holy Spirit, guide me today into your will. Amen.”


TUESDAY, October 6                       1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

What does the Apostle Paul mean when he tells us to be children of the day? Paul is talking to us about our spiritual lives – how we relate to God and each other. The use of the words light, and sober, and awake are metaphors for being constantly aware of who we are and whose we are.

We belong to God. As children of the day – Christians – those who walk in the light of Christ, we need to be constantly aware of our surroundings.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Paul goes on to tell us to “pray without ceasing.” The word ‘ceasing’ would be better translated as ‘without omission’. God should be a part of all our actions, all our thought, everything we do – being a Christian should be second nature to us. It is who we are 24 hours a day 7 days of the week.

We should always be focused on the light, living in the day, keeping our minds clear and sober so we can follow Christ. Being Christ followers means that we put the needs of others ahead of our own and focus on building each other up and encouraging each other in Christ.

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to follow you always and walk in your light. Amen.”


WEDNESDAY, October 7               John 14:15-24

“Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

Jesus spoke these words to his disciples – those who were following him and learning from him. What an amazing promise. If we listen to and follow Jesus, God will live in us and we will have a home with God forever! There isn’t anything greater than having an intimate fellowship with God Almighty, the creator of the heavens and the earth.

We were made for this relationship. That is our whole purpose in being. Keeping God’s Word – scripture – Believing in Jesus Christ – Remaining in fellowship through the Holy Spirit – Prayer. These are the keys to having a transformed life – A life in fellowship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

When we do we have the promise that “We will come to them and make our home with them.” There is nothing God will not do for His children when they are spiritually in the place where He longs for them to be. Jesus promised us, “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do” John 14:13.

Prayer: “God, I want you to live in me, and I in You, forever. Amen.”


THURSDAY, October 8                   John 10:1-6

There is only one way in – To follow the Good Shepherd through the gate.

Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees – The religious leaders – when he said this. You see, the Pharisees assumed they were already in. Jesus tells us otherwise. He invites us in and in his mercy tells us all other efforts to get in are futile. There is only one gate. There is no other way.

This particular passage of scripture bothers people more than all others. Why? They believe it is unfair. Why is this unfair? It is a simple fact. What really underlies their anger is their sense of entitlement that they deserve to be on the inside.

When in fact, nobody deserves to be on the inside. The most extraordinary, grace filled, merciful truth is GOD CREATED A WAY! And the amazing thing is this way to salvation is open to absolutely everyone and access has nothing to do with your merits – it’s a free gift – no one is entitled yet everyone is invited.

If you don’t believe it don’t say it’s not fair. Simply say “I don’t believe it.” God still believes in you and he laid down his life so you could be included. He will not decide for you. Only you can do that. If you truly believe you will share this with others.

Prayer: “Jesus, you are the way, the truth, the life and I choose to follow you. Amen.”

FRIDAY, October 9                           John 10:14-18

Yesterday we talked about their being only one gate, one way. This is not only fair it is the most amazing grace filled blessing. None of us deserve access but God has made a way.

Today Jesus clearly identifies himself as the Good Shepherd – the one we must follow. Then in verse 16 he says “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.”

When a shepherd gathers all his sheep together, he then separates them into smaller manageable groups called folds. They are all still the same flock but there are different, separate smaller groups. The one thing they all have in common is they listen to the one shepherd.

Jesus died for everyone. Even those we disagree with. Just look at his own 12 disciples, he chose Judas Iscariot, a radical revolutionary, and Matthew, a tax collector, to work alongside each other.

Jesus died for everyone. Hebrews 2:9 affirms this by telling us, “But we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

Prayer: “Jesus, you are the way, the truth, the life and I choose to follow you. Amen.”


SATURDAY, October 10                 1 Samuel 8:7-9

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

The prophet Samuel had warned God’s people that they needed to follow God and not the world around them. As God’s children they needed to be set apart and different than the world around them, but they repeatedly asked to be like other nations. God warns them one final time and even tells them what will happen.

The world will take your sons and daughters and use them for it’s benefit. The world will take everything you have worked for and give it to others. When the world is done with you, it will abandon you.

Then God tells them that on the day the world abandons you, you will turn to me but I will not answer you. (v19)

Be careful what you wish for. If we persist as a people to demand our own way and refuse to listen to and follow God, then God will eventually back away and allow us to get what we asked for. Pray that day never comes.

Prayer: “God, you ask us to follow you, not for your sake but for ours. Forgive us, for we know not what we do. Amen.”


September 20, 2020


Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

“Rosh Hashana”



Psalm 22:23

“You who fear the Lord, praise Him; All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you descendants of Israel.”




MONDAY, September 21              Ezekiel 34:11-24

We continue our celebration of Rosh Hashanah – The Jewish new year and The Days of Awe. I am using CMJ-Israel’s, (Churches Ministry Among Jewish People) prayer guide for this reflection. God is full of mercy and compassion, but God will also judge his people. In today’s prophetic Word of God, we see that mercy follows judgment and restoration. We are God’s flock and the Lord is our loving shepherd. This passage from Ezekiel has it’s fulfillment in John 10:11 When Jesus tells us “I Am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” God will judge between the different kinds of sheep, between rams and goats. Jesus the Messiah clarifies this in John 10:16 when he says “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd.” All nations, all people will be included in this one flock. We are all God’s children, both Jews and Gentiles. And we all must follow the one Good Shepherd.

Prayer: “Jesus, you are the good shepherd and I follow you. Amen.”

TUESDAY, September 22              Ezekiel 33:8-13

Ezekiel was commissioned by God to warn the people of Judah that their sin was bringing judgment. But should he fail to do so, Ezekiel would be held responsible for their deaths. This seems harsh today. But by warning them of impending danger and providing a way of escape, God shows His love and care for His people and that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked. Yet Jerusalem repeatedly ignored God’s sentry. Blind to their immorality, idolatry and violence, the people were complacent about the future. Although warned that they would die in their iniquity, God also promised that they would live if they turned from their sin. Like Jerusalem, we have become complacent and often rely on a distorted view of God’s grace and mercy. God does not tolerate sin indefinitely.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me to share your warning to others. Amen.”

WEDNESDAY, September 23       Ezekiel 20:30-32

Here we see once again God’s holiness at work in terms of grace, mercy, and judgment as God’s people continue in rebellion, a rebellion which leads the people into desiring that they may fully assimilate into the practices of the surrounding world. God will not allow this to happen. Throughout the Bible key moments of decision and opportunity arise for God’s people, moments where they have to choose between life and death, for example Deuteronomy 30:15-20. We have been given a moment of important decision – what will we choose? Pray that we will all know God’s guidance and make the right choice.

Prayer: “Lord, I choose to follow you. I choose life. Amen.”

THURSDAY, September 24           Ezekiel 37:1-6

The Jewish year begins with awe. Though mysterious, awe is both an attitude and an emotion that has meaningful consequences for everyday behavior. The 10 Days of Awe is a period of self-reflection, repentance, forgiveness and reconciliation in preparation for Divine judgement. The Valley of Dry Bones in Ezekiel presents a scene that, from a purely human perspective, depicts the end – a scene of past devastation devoid of present hope. Without awe, the answer to the divine question “Son of man, can these bones live?” would have been, ‘No! Their life is over, and they are without hope of revival.’ Ezekiel’s experience as a prophet had taught him that, despite the seemingly hopeless situation, nothing is impossible with the Lord and so he answers, “O Lord God, you know.” Being in an attitude of awe invites us into a life of possibilities beyond comprehension. Awe opens us to the divine.

Prayer: “Lord, open me to your mystery and awe. Amen.”

FRIDAY, September 25                  Ezekiel 48:30-35

In 597 BC Ezekiel was sent to Babylon with the first Jewish exiles. From there, between 593-571 BC he prophesied to the people of Judah that the Lord would chasten the nation and the Holy City would be judged. In 586 BC, the destruction of Jerusalem and the holy Temple, confirmed the word of the Lord. However, God promised spiritual renewal 65 times in this book saying, “They shall know that I Am the Lord.” From beginning to end, the Lord’s desire is that His people know, “I will be your God. You will be my people. And I will dwell in the midst of you.” The trumpet blast that began the Days of Awe was the annual wake up call to the nation. Turn to Jerusalem, to God’s Place of Meeting, repent of sin and seek restoration. The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, is the Lord’s annual assurance of forgiveness and grace to all.  The hope of Ezekiel’s prophecy is realized in the New Jerusalem with His glory emanating the fullness of salvation: “The name of the city from that time on shall be, The Lord is There.”

Prayer: “Lord, restore and renew my life. Amen.”

SATURDAY, September 26           Ezekiel 43:1-9

The most common Hebrew term for the presence of God is ‘panim’, which is also translated ‘face’ implying a close and personal encounter with the Lord. However, Ezekiel uses the term ‘kavod’ which is the same word for ‘heavy’. The presence of the Lord carries with it weight. God is heavy in goodness, weighed down in mercy, heavy in power and holiness. So inspiring is the kavod that Ezekiel falls face down before Him. The Lord was again in His Temple.

Prayer: “Lord, I want to feal the weight of your glory. Amen.”

September 13, 2020


Luke 5:1-11




Matthew 10:24

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”




MONDAY, September 14              Isaiah 43:15-21

What do you do when the way you have always done things doesn’t seem to work anymore? When the rules have changed, and they seem to keep changing on a daily basis? We can’t control the world around us. Allowing the world to control you is not a healthy option either. In the midst of such change, turmoil, and chaos it’s time to turn to God for guidance. God specializes in taking our brokenness and creating something new. God is a God of the new. He can take the broken pieces of your life and use them for something new and amazing. But you have to trust God and follow where he is leading you. When God’s people were taken captive, lost their freedoms, and all hope seemed lost. God spoke to them through the prophet Isaiah. It’s time to turn away from the world and turn back to God. “I am the Lord, your Holy One… I am about to do a new thing.” Trust in the Lord and he will guide you through the chaos.

Prayer: “God, take my life and make it new. Amen.”

TUESDAY, September 15              John 8:31-38

“You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” The problem in our world today is we don’t know what or who to believe anymore. We don’t know what is really true. There is so much information and misinformation out there it is nearly impossible to sort through it all to find what is truth. When I was in the Military, part of my job was to oversee the calibration of gauges and temperature monitoring devises in the engineering department To accomplish this, I had one standard that everything else was checked against to keep all of our equipment reading true. We have one known true standard that all of our lives should be based off of. That is God’s Word, The Bible. It has remained consistent and true for thousands of years. And it does not change. In order for you to know the truth you must read it for yourself. Engage in open discussions on how you understand it. And leave yourself open for the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: “God, I want to know your truth. Amen.”

WEDNESDAY, September 16       John 1:1-5, 14

“What is truth?” That is the question Pilot asked Jesus in John 18:38. We live in a time when the question “What is truth?” has become the most pivotal question in all of history. The one lie that may be doing the most damage tells us that it is impossible for anyone to know for sure that anything is true. “Truth” for many is relative – “my truth, my reality”. The real battle is about the truth and the Bible predicted that this would be the case in 2Thessalonians 2:9-12. The Good News is you can still know the Truth and you can and should share this Truth with everyone.

Prayer: “Jesus, you are the Way the Truth the Life. Amen.”

THURSDAY, September 17           Luke 6:43-45

We have all heard “Judge not lest you be judged.” When Jesus spoke these words in Matthew 7:1 he was talking about condemning others and looking for punishment or vengeance. In no way did Jesus mean it in the context we use it today which is one of tolerance or acceptance of behavior that is unacceptable in scripture. In our passage today from Luke 6 Jesus tells us you judge a tree by its fruit. In other words, we are to look at the words and actions of others to see if they align with God’s Word. Look at what they are producing in their lives. Galatians 5:19 shows us some of the bad fruits: “fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing.” Whereas the good fruits are “love joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” We should not judge others, but Jesus did tell us we should be “fruit inspectors”.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me recognize your fruits in others. Amen.”

FRIDAY, September 18                  Ezekiel 1:26-28

Today is Rosh Hashanah – The beginning of the Jewish new year and the 10 Days of Repentance – The Days of Awe.   These are the Holiest days in the Jewish year. It is a time to seek reconciliation with people you may have wronged and to atone for sins. Our passage today from Ezekiel 1 speaks of “The Glory of the Lord”. Throughout the Bible the presence of God is described as dazzlingly bright while shrouded in a cloud. One of the more dramatic comes from Exodus 33:18-19 when Moses asks to see God’s Glory. Because God’s radiant glory and goodness is hard for us to grasp, we are continually reminded to pursue it. In most Jewish synagogues the words “Know Before Whom You Stand” is written above the arc of the Torah. We need to recover this Awe and it begins when we repent and return to God.

Prayer: “God, forgive me and help me share your glory with others. Amen.”

SATURDAY, September 19           Ezekiel 18:30-32

We continue our celebration of Rosh Hashanah – The Jewish new year and The Days of Awe. I am using CMJ-Israel’s, (Churches Ministry Among Jewish People) prayer guide for this reflection. Most of the time we focus on the mercy and compassion of God while overlooking God’s judgment. We are quick to judge and see the sins of others. We need to be praying for God’s mercy on us, our nation, and Israel. Most of God’s pronouncements against sin were spoken to His people first – and only then to the surrounding nations. With this same understanding, Peter also warns us that judgement begins in the household of God. Today’s passage reminds us “Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin.”

Prayer: “God, revive our hearts for Your Word. Amen.”

September 6, 2020


Genesis 28:18-22

“Sowing Lessons”



Matthew 10:24

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”




MONDAY, September 7                James 1:19-22

Happy Labor Day! My prayer for us today is that we all take a break from the worries and conflicts of this world and learn to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James, in our passage today, suggests that listening to others—and not just listening to God’s word—is a means of ridding ourselves of wickedness. He does not say that other people speak God’s word to us. Instead, he says that listening to others removes the anger and arrogance that keep us from doing God’s word spoken in Scripture. “Your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. . . . Wel­come with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls”

So today let us take a break from laboring to always get the last word. Let us practice “being quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger… Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.”

Prayer: “Jesus, plant your word in my heart and teach me to listen. Amen.”

TUESDAY, September 8                 Colossians 4:2-6

Yesterday we learned from James 1:19 to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Today we are told in Colossians 4:6 that when you do speak “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.” Both quotes are more than simply great advice – They are the Word of God. They sound easy and straight forward but as we have all experienced, they are very difficult to maintain consistently. That’s why it is so necessary to “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.” When our focus becomes more of a conversation with God then our conversations become more gracious toward everyone.

Prayer: “Jesus, open the door to your word for us. Amen.”

WEDNESDAY, September 9         James 3:3-10

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.’ We said that all the time when I was a child. If only it were true. Then we grow up and realize that words do hurt. In fact, they can hurt much deeper than sticks and stones and can take much longer to heal. The tongue may be small, but it holds great power. Like a bit in a horse’s mouth, the rudder on a ship, or a spark to a forest fire. Your words have great power. More than that, your words can reveal what is hidden in your heart. What we say when we are upset, angry, or scared can be an indication of where we need healing in our own lives. Use your words to build others up. ‘If you don’t have something constructive to say, then don’t say anything at all.’ The words you use to tear others down also destroys you. When you use your words to build others you create a new life for yourself.

Prayer: “Jesus, help me control my tongue and use it for blessings. Amen.”

THURSDAY, September 10           Romans 12:14-21

How do we get along with others in a world that seems hell bent to not get along with anyone? “Bless those who persecute you.” During the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:44 Jesus tells us to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” To bless someone is to pray for them. Jesus gave us the ultimate example of this on the cross when he prayed “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” As Christians we are called to be different from the world around us. Choosing to pray for those who persecute you sets a higher standard for others. In Egyptian culture when a person was guilty of doing something wrong, they would carry a pan of burning coals on their head as a sign of repentance. So, when we do good for those who have wronged us it can lead them to repent. We were once enemies to God and Jesus blessed us on a cross. Shouldn’t we bless others?

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to be a blessing for my enemies. Amen.”

FRIDAY, September 11                  1 John 4:16b-21

On this 19th anniversary of 9/11 it is important to remember and honor all those who have given everything for others. John 15:13 Jesus tells us “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Our passage today from 1 John 4 reminds us that “God is Love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” It is easy to see the hatred and violence in this world and let it cast a shadow on your heart. Don’t let it! God is Love. That means we need to love all of God’s children. We don’t have to love what they do or condone their actions, but we can’t let that consume us. God’s Love is the only thing that can defeat the world’s hatred. “Those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”

Prayer: “Jesus, I want to abide in your love. Amen.”

SATURDAY, September 12           Romans 5:1-5

“We are justified by faith.” When we accept God’s love for us – The unmerited love of God given to us through His Son Jesus Christ – we experience the forgiveness of our sins. We are justified – set right – our sins are forgiven. Actually, our sins – and the sins of everyone else – were forgiven 2,000 years ago on a cross. When we accept this, we experience that forgiveness. We are no longer fighting against God – “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This does not promise us peace with the world or peace with those who hate us. That is why in John 16:33 Jesus told us “In the world you face persecution. But take courage; I have conquered the world.” That is why it is so important to share that peace – God’s love – with the world. “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Be the change you want to see in others.

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for the peace I have found in you. Amen.”

August 30, 2020


2 Corinthians 9:6-10

“Growing Ambition”



Matthew 10:24

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”


MONDAY, August 31                      John 5:9b-16

J.D. Walt who writes the daily devotional “The Seedbed Daily Text” points out that today’s text could stir up two seemingly contrasting headlines. One might be “Miracle Worker Heals Paraplegic Beggar”, the other “Sabbath Breaker Identified as Notorious Bethesda Beggar.” Both headlines would be true. Both miss the point of the miracle. Our problem today is we are all so caught up in the headlines and the sensational stories that we have lost sight of God’s love in our very midst. Emmanuel! God is with us! Who are you following? NO REALLY! Who are you following? If you are caught up in the controversies, the scandals, the slander… Then you have missed the miracle. Jesus is among us. Stop focusing on yourself and your own best interests, and certainly stop focusing on the headlines. Start focusing on others and show them that God is Love and Jesus came to meet them where they are.

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for loving me. Show me how to love. Amen.”

TUESDAY, September 1                 1 Corinthians 13

As we begin the month of September it is important that we all take a deep breath and focus our attention on what is truly important. Our passage today was written to do just that. The Apostle Paul wrote today’s passage to a people who had become divided by their own self-interests and were each convinced that they were correct in their own thinking. These were good people with all the best intentions, but their focus had shifted away from what was most important. This can happen to all of us if we don’t take time to stop, take a deep breath, and remember WHOSE we are.

Prayer: “Jesus, teach me your love so I can love as you do. Amen.”

WEDNESDAY, September 2         Matthew 15:10-14

The Pharisees were the leaders of the people who were trusted to speak God’s truth and lead the people into righteousness. They were very polished, politically correct and charismatic. The people followed them blindly trusting that they were leading them properly. These leaders had twisted the laws to suit their own purposes. They manipulated and used their positions to lead the people into following them, not God. Our leaders are very polished, politically correct and charismatic. They manipulate the truth and the laws to suit their own political gain and far too many people blindly follow them. They are blinded by their own ambition and are leading us into a pit. Open your eyes. Look at what is happening, where it is happening, and who is in charge of the areas where it is happening. The truth is right in front of us, but we are being blinded by the propaganda. Stop following our blind leaders into a pit.

Prayer: “Jesus, open my eyes so I can follow you. Amen.”

THURSDAY, September 3             Ephesians 4:17-24

As Christians we are called to be different than the world around us. Set apart as an example of God’s love. The image the Apostle Paul gives us today is that of taking off an old set of clothes and putting on a new set of cloths. Nothing of our old self should remain we are made new in Christ.

With all that is going on in the world around us it is more important than ever that we live this new life in Christ and be the example that the world needs to see. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 Paul tells us, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!”  Be the example that the world needs. Show others Christ’s love in you at all times. Especially when the world around you is at its worst. That is when they need Christ’s love the most.

Prayer: “Jesus, clothe me in your love for all the world to see. Amen.”

FRIDAY, September 4                     Ephesians 4:25-32

As Christians, how do we live this new life in Christ that we have been given? The Apostle Paul gives us a wonderful outline. First of all, speak the truth to one another in love. We are all part of the body of Christ so when you speak the truth and build others up you strengthen the entire body. We will all get angry at some point. Anger is not a sin so use your anger in constructive ways and do not allow your anger to consume you. When you speak do not use words that tear others down, use words that build. Colossians 4:6 reminds us to “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone.” And finally, “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.” Stop worrying about what the world is doing and start putting on Christ so we can be clothed in his glory.

Prayer: “Jesus, clothe me in your love for all the world to see. Amen.”

SATURDAY, September 5             Romans 12:1-5

We all understand what it means to give an offering to God and to worship God. It’s what you do on Sunday morning when you go to church. But Paul in our passage today says, “present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Real worship isn’t limited to 1 hour on Sunday morning. Real worship is living our whole lives for God 24/7. It is sacrificing ourselves as a living offering to God on a daily basis in all that we do, all that we say, and all that we are. This is our linking of faith and works in our everyday lives for God. Real worship sees the whole world as God’s creation, and we are part of that creation inseparably linked and living for the glory of God. “We are members of one another” … “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ.”

Prayer: “Jesus, use me as needed, as a living sacrifice. Amen.”

August 23, 2020


Matthew 6:25-33

“Afraid to Sow”



Matthew 10:24

“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”




MONDAY, August 24                      Romans 12:9-13

In John 13:34-35 Jesus tells us “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Our passage today from Romans 12 continues with other marks of a true Christian including “patient in suffering”. This does not mean we are passively putting up with abuse but instead are demonstrating an active endurance in the face of evil shown through our care and concern for others. Genuine love is seen in what we do for others through hospitality, good deeds, giving of our time, talents, and resources. This is love in action. Sharing in the needs of others. When we freely give of ourselves and our resources it draws others into God’s love and opens us up for Courageous Joy. So, don’t be afraid to sow generously.

Prayer: “God, thank you for blessing me to be a blessing for others. Amen”

TUESDAY, August 25                       Philippians 1:18-28

The Apostle Paul lived his life with courageous joy. He lived his life worthy of the Gospel. How can we live our lives worthy of the Gospel? The Greek word for worthy was ‘Axios’ which was the balancing of a scale. In English, worthy comes from the root word ‘Worth’, meaning value, how much does it really matter to you. The Gospel is the life, death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our lives should be balanced and lived according to the value of Christ’s gift for us. In verse 21 he tells us “For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.” When the Gospel message really matters to you then it doesn’t matter what the world thinks or does. You live by a higher standard because you know the truth and the truth will set you free. “Live your life in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”

Prayer: “Jesus, I will speak and live boldly in honor of you. Amen”

WEDNESDAY, August 26               Matthew 6:19-21

Most of us have heard about how the Egyptian Pharaohs amassed golden treasures that would be buried with them in their tombs. They would also have all their organs removed and placed in jars around the sarcophagus. All except their heart which was carefully preserved and placed back in the body. They believed it was their heart that would carry them into the afterlife along with all the treasures of the heart that were surrounding the body. Most of the tombs have been plundered. The irony they are now discovering is the plundering wasn’t necessarily grave robbers. It was the Egyptian Pharaohs when they began having financial trouble. Jesus tells us “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” When God is your treasure then your heart will be secure for eternity.

Prayer: “Jesus, my heart belongs to you. Amen”

THURSDAY, August 27                   Hebrews 10:19-25

Prior to the crucifixion of Jesus there was a curtain that separated the people from God. Keeping us separated from God had become a source of power and control for those who were appointed over the people. When Jesus died on the cross the curtain was torn in two from top to bottom giving all full access to God. We have access to God through Jesus. Together we are the body of Christ. We are not created to live the Christian life on our own. In fact, it shows us that we put ourselves in danger if we do so. Not meeting together quickly becomes a habit – a bad habit – and habits are hard to change. We need the encouragement of other believers if we are to keep going forwards and avoid being pulled off track. “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.”

Prayer: “Jesus, we are meant to be together as one body in you. Amen”

FRIDAY, August 28                           Psalm 150

Praise the Lord! Yes, I believe we all need to get back to in-person worship so we can praise God in his sanctuary which is the gathered body of Christ. But you can and should also Praise the Lord at home or outside admiring His magnificent creation. You should praise him with singing and dancing. And if you play an instrument you should praise him while playing. No matter where you are. No matter what you are doing. You should always Praise the Lord! When you spend your time and effort Praising the Lord then your heart will be filled with His Love and we will all see more opportunities to love each other. So today, and every day, take time to stop, take a deep breath, and refocus your attention to Praise the Lord!

Prayer: “Lord God Almighty, all my praise goes to you. Amen”

SATURDAY, August 29                   Matthew 6:25-34

“Today’s trouble is enough for today.” The fact that Jesus tells us this shows us that as Christians we are not exempt from hardship. When Jesus tells us not to worry what he is telling us is ‘Stop adding extra burden to your already existing load.’ We live in a sin-filled world. God promises us enough grace for today. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells us “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.” God will provide you with enough strength and grace for today. It is when we add the worries of tomorrow on top of today’s that we begin to sink. In the parable of the sower and the seed in Matthew 13:22 Jesus tells us it is our worries and desires that choke out his word and make us unfruitful. “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Prayer: “Jesus, thank you for today’s grace and strength. Amen”

August 16, 2020


1 Samuel 30:1-6

“Getting it Back”



John 10:10

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”


MONDAY, August 17                      John 10:7-11

Jesus is showing us how we can have an abundant life in Him. An abundant life in Jesus doesn’t promise a long life, Jesus doesn’t promise an easy life, or even a comfortable life. What an abundant life means is a life filled with satisfaction & contentment. In our passage for today Jesus tells us that those who come to you by any other way than him are thieves and bandits. A thief is someone who takes by cunning and stealth. They may be very charismatic and charming but, in the end, they only lead to destruction. The bandit or robber is the one who openly takes through violence. We have all experienced thieves and robbers. They may have taken your peace, your joy, your freedom. Robbed you of your purpose, your relationships or your passion. When you have been robbed Spiritually it affects you physically. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Prayer: “Jesus, I follow you, help me get back what was taken. Amen”

TUESDAY, August 18                       1 Samuel 30:1-4

David is known in scripture as “a man after God’s own heart”. Yet throughout his life he faced persecution, hardship, danger, and personal loss. David and his followers are on the run from King Saul of Israel who wants to kill him. They have found a safe haven in a town called Ziklag and have gone out to offer their assistance to the leaders of the land where they are seeking refuge and when they return they find complete destruction and their families taken. Following God and doing God’s will does not promise us a safe and easy life. It is not a guarantee from hardships and trials. What it does mean is that when we face difficulties God will be there with us to help us through. David is “a man after God’s own heart” because he trusted in God through the worst times of his life. We still remember David today because of his unparalleled success through great difficulties.

Prayer: “God, I trust you, direct my paths. Amen”

WEDNESDAY, August 19               1 Samuel 30:3-8

David has lost everything, and his family has been taken from him. He doesn’t know who took them or where they went and now his friends have even turned on him because they blame him for not being there. Have you ever been in a place where it feels like everything is lost and you have no more strength to carry on? That’s where David is. In this situation he gives us the perfect example of what we should do. First: He turns to God for strength and council. Second: He gets up and gets moving. He trusts that God will show him as he moves. God works through our action. Seek God’s guidance first, then move in the direction you are guided.

Prayer: “God, I choose to take action with you. Guide my way. Amen”

THURSDAY, August 20                   1 Samuel 30:4, 8

David has lost everything; he doesn’t even have the strength to cry anymore. So, David turns to the Lord for strength and council. God tells him to pursue. Notice what is missing? God doesn’t tell him how to pursue or even what direction to go. God just tells him to get up and go. We are called to “walk by faith, not by sight.” When we pray, we also need to get up and get moving “As If” the prayer has already been answered. As you move God will give you what you need along the way. God does not give you everything up front. Matthew 25:14-30 is the ‘Parable of the Talents’. Jesus tells of 3 men who have talents. Two of the men used their talents and were given more, 1 man hid his and was condemned. Verse 29 says “For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” Don’t sit at home and wait for God to bring it to you. God says “Go Get It.”

Prayer: “God, thank you for showing me the way as I move. Amen”

FRIDAY, August 21                           1 Samuel 30:11-15

Hebrews 13:2 tells us “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.” David’s family has been abducted and he is trying to find them. He is in the middle of nowhere with major problems of his own to deal with when they come across an Egyptian boy on the side of the road who is in need. David stops the search for his own family to help a stranger. David stops to bless someone and is blessed in the process. There are no throw away people. David had no reason to believe this boy would be of any use to him at all. But because he chose to bless someone else, he now has information on who took his family, and a guide to show him where they are. On your way to getting back what the enemy has stolen don’t miss the opportunity to be a blessing to others. You may be entertaining angels without knowing it.

Prayer: “God, help me see how I can bless others. Amen”

SATURDAY, August 22                   1 Samuel 30:15-19

So how do we get back what the enemy has taken from us? When you feel defeated or have no strength to continue, that’s Satan lying to you, turn to God for strength and guidance. God will give you the strength you need to get up. But you have to get up and get moving. God will show you the way as you go. If David had just stayed at home and prayed, he would still be sitting in a pile of ashes praying. On your way to getting back what the enemy has stolen don’t miss the opportunity to be a blessing to others. God will give you blessings along the way. Everything the enemy has taken from you is still available it has just been moved.

Prayer: “God, give me the strength to keep searching. Amen”