Friday, November 30: Zechariah 8- to the ends of the earth.

A sigh of rejoicing descended upon me as I read. God’s promise to restore will prevail. God will bring life to the captives and rebuild and reestablish Jerusalem after the captivity. God has not forgotten Israel. Their punishment is over, now the promises of God will flow again.

And the restoration of Jerusalem will have greater impact than the first time. 20-22: This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, 'Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.' And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."

God’s hope has always been the calling of a people from every tribe and nation. Even though Israel didn’t extend God’s love faithfully, God didn’t abandon His Abrahamic blessing to all nations. The time was coming when that blessing would be fulfilled.

Even the second Temple didn’t fulfill this Word, but when Christ came this Word began to be fulfilled. You and I are living in the time of fulfillment and we are the disciples of Jesus to take His name to the ends of the earth.

Oh Lord, empower me, empower Your church to proclaim Your Name and Word so that all nations and peoples will come to You. For Your glory, I pray. Amen.



Thursday, November 29: Zechariah 7- Look inside.

Elizabeth Elliot, a Christ-disciple I deeply respect once said, “The best we can hope for is mixed motives.” Her words are so true. Even in my moments of deepest reverence and love for the Lord, there are pockets and specks of selfishness and willful disobedience to the Lord. I am imperfect at best.

Knowing this, it is healthy and wise to probe my inner life from time to time and honestly ask myself…how am I doing and where do I need to grow and change?  God poses introspective questions through Zechariah to His people.

Verses 4-6 Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted? And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?

Here lies my musings and meditations for today. Am I as sold out to Jesus as actions might suggest? Are the motives for my spiritual and religious actions God-oriented or self-serving? Wow, this is not easy to consider but as I probe and examine, Elizabeth Elliott’s words ring more and more true. I am full of mixed motives.

Lord, every day, every moment, I fall short of You. The grip of my frail humanness is stronger than I like to admit. You alone are worthy and perfect, I am not, but just speak the word and I will be cleansed.

Thank You, Jesus, for your cleansing blood. Thank You, Jesus, for Your gift of the cross. Alleluia. Amen.



Wednesday, November 28: Zechariah 6 - God calls the shots.

This brief chapter may be the most difficult in the whole of the Bible for me to understand. For the second morning –yes, second morning- I have wondered about both its meaning (I don’t think I understand it yet) and a word from the Lord I can hold onto devotionally. I actually took 2 days to figure out what to write. Yesterday both meaning and devotional thought eluded me and so instead of writing, I prayed and closed my Bible to return to it today.

This was a healthy moment for me in God’s Word. Just because I don’t immediately understand, does not mean I should close the book and give up trying to learn and grow. NO, just the opposite, I am human and will likely never understand it all. But I stay under The Word, letting what I do know and understand guide me as I seek to learn more and more from the Lord.

For the second morning, I labored to understand and/or to receive a piece of encouragement from the Lord in this chapter.

In past years, I would have simply pushed on to the next chapter; writing these chapter by chapter musings forced me to linger…

My determination (wrestling, wondering, searching what commentators have written) paid off as I realized, through verses 5 & 7, that God calls the shots. The angel answered me, "These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world. …. And he said, "Go throughout the earth!" So they went throughout the earth.

First God is named as the Lord of the Whole World… quite a title. Then we see at His command the horses go throughout the earth.

God calls the shots. When God says it is time for judgment or time for His people to return or whatever He chooses, it happens. God calls the shots.

And I, for one, would rather rest in the merciful and just hands of the Almighty, who calls the shots, than understand all His ways and so reduce God to being little more that a smart human.

Lord God, I surrender my will to You, my ways to You, my life to You… lead, guide, direct, even compel me as You wish. I bow to You who calls the shots, to You who are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Amen.


Tuesday, November 27: Zechariah 5 - Salvation and forgiveness .

If you have been reading with me for a while you know prophetic pictures like these are a struggle for me. It is hard for me to decipher both the intended meaning and a morning devotional meaning. Today proved true to form.

I read and re-read the chapter sitting under the weight of God’s Word.

The first vision speaks to the certainty of judgment of sin, which is where I landed devotionally. Thieves and liars will be banished. These are just 2 of the 10 Commandments. I wondered do they represent the whole of the 10 Commandments? In other words, anyone who breaks God’s law will be banished. Certainly seems plausible.

Hmmm, sin will be punished.  My thoughts dove deep. I am so guilty. As the weight of this (my) situation settled on me, its weight began to lift. But wait, this is not the final word. There is forgiveness of sins for all who call out to the Lord, for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Acts 2:13 & Romans 10:13). And if we confess our sins, John reminds believers, God is faithful to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).

Salvation and forgiveness… there is an answer for my (your) sin problem! Jesus.

I sat in silence for a moment, feeling the weight of my sin lift and gratitude in my heart grow. God did for me what I could never and would never have done for myself. Thanks be to God!

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty the King of creation. Oh my soul sings for He is my life and salvation. All you who hear now to the Lord drawer near. Praise Him with glad adoration.

Thank You, Lord. Thank You.


Monday, November 26: Zechariah 4 - We need more than wisdom and power.

In the center of this prophetic chapter, which has numerous connections to the book of Revelations, sits a thought provoking sentence. Verse 6: So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.

Zerubbabel, how will you accomplish what God has for you to do? 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. That word shot like an arrow into my life.

How will I do the kingdom-things God has for me to do? Not by might nor by power, but by the Lord’s Spirit. That is God’s Word to me today.

The things God has for me (and you) to do, whether in the marketplace, home, community, or church, will be accomplished only through the presence and power of God’s Spirit in our lives. Human wisdom and power can only take us so far and they are never enough to have us accomplish what God has for us to do.

God’s Spirit, God in us, the Holy Spirit is essential to do the things of God. It is no coincidence that God told the church to wait until He poured out His Holy Spirit on them and sent them into the world with the message of Jesus. Acts 2 is essential for Acts 3-28! And the Spirit remains essential if we are to go throughout all the world in the name of Jesus.

Father God, thank You for giving to every believer in Jesus, the promised Holy Spirit. Help me, help us to rely on the Spirit as we spread Your kingdom throughout the marketplace, home, community and world. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Saturday, November 24: Zechariah 3- Hearing God's voice.

The scene captivated me.  Joshua stood there with Satan accusing and God defending. It seems like a good metaphor for life.  Satan on one side accusing me, baiting me, trying to lead me any way but toward faithfulness. And then there is God or his representative, offering me God’s Way, 'If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will…’ (7).

This battle depicted rages around me all the time. Satan luring me to move away from the Lord or accusing me, wanting me to feel guilty and ashamed.  Then there is God, calling me to His side, offering forgiveness and cleansing.

I began to ponder how I can resist Satan’s voice and respond to the Lord’s Voice. Maybe the most important step is to learn God’s Voice. For me, knowing what God has said in the Bible is really helpful because God’s Voice to me will always accord with the Bible. By learning God’s Word, I also know when Satan is trying to lure me away from God’s Way.

For me God’s Word is key in recognizing whether God or Satan is the voice I am hearing. How about you? Is God’s Word a foundation for you as well???

Oh God, thank You for giving us Your Word. Help me to treasure it for the gift it is. Thank You for Your Word, Lord. Thank You. Amen.


Friday, November 23: Zechariah 2- Many nations.

This chapter points to a day which is still to come when Many nations will be joined with the LORD in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you (11).

Many nations … will become my people. God’s grand scheme from the beginning* is for many nations, all peoples (Gen 12:3), all nations (Mt  28:19), the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8) and so on, will come to the Lord.

We sometimes think ‘the ends of the earth’ is a New Testament expansion of God’s plan, but no. It was God’s heart, intention and plan from the beginning.

I sat back and marveled at the wonder of this chapter. Then I began to ask myself (or was it God asking me?)….what was I doing to cooperate with God in expanding His name to all peoples and nations and the ends of the earth??

Is it simply enough to give some money to missions? Is it simply enough to be part of a church that gives 10-15-20% to mission near and around the world? What would God have me to do?  The two key words in this last sentence is ‘me do.’ This thought led me to prayer.

Oh Lord, show me what I can do… show me places I should go, show me people-groups I should pray for, show me missionaries I should support with prayer, finances, resources and anything else You desire. Show me, Lord, show me… Amen.


*The message of God’s grand scheme is so clear in this chapter, and yet I wondered if I would have noticed it had I not currently been taking a 15-week course titled ‘Perspectives on the World Christian Movement’. It is a powerful teaching. Consider checking it out at If there is a course near you, I highly recommend it.




Thursday, November 22: Zechariah 1 -Love extended.

Happy Thankgiving!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful US holiday. Families get together to enjoy each others’ company, to break bread and eat turkey and simply be with one another, without the pressure of buying the right present for everyone. I hope you have a great day. And if your day is less than the ideal mentioned above, I hope and pray that the Lord is very close to you this Thanksgiving day, filling any and every void in your life…

My reading for today was not particularly Thanksgiving-ish but for me, God’s Word is precious and is the source from which my life with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit grows….

I read and re-read this chapter.  Lord, speak to me. Let me hear Your voice. Give me a nugget for today, for my soul is starved for Your Word.

I began reading again and this time words left the page and touched my heart. "The LORD was very angry with your forefathers. Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty. Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the earlier prophets proclaimed: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Turn from your evil ways and your evil practices.' But they would not listen or pay attention to me, declares the LORD (2-4).

God was inviting His people to return to Him. Prophets were sent. God’s Word embedded with forgiveness and restoration was extended.

What would Israel do? Would they turn toward God or run from God, as they had done in the past?

It was as if God was reminding me that we all have a choice. We, too, can turn toward God or run from the Almighty when He speaks, when He confronts us with our sin, when He calls us to repent and return…

What will we do? What will I do when God reaches out to me?

I will call out to the Lord. Where else would help come from? To whom else can I turn to find words of life and love and forgiveness?

Lord, I turn to You. Search me and know me. Examine me and cleanse me from all sin, for I have been sinful since birth. Sin-filled since I was conceived before You. Have mercy on me I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Wednesday, November 21: Haggai 2 - God blesses faithfulness.

Yesterday I pondered God’s call to "Give careful thought to your ways” (1:5). God used that word to cause Israel to think long and hard about how they were living. Israel thought and Israel changed her ways. The people reordered their lives, put energy and resources into building the temple and re-establishing ‘Yahweh-honoring’ worship in the land.

Today we read how God blessed their faithfulness… "'From this day on I will bless you.'"  (19).

God blesses faithfulness.

Did God show you anything yesterday about your way? Are there any ways you can alter your life to be more inline with God’s Will and Way? Do it!  Make the changes. Live faithfully and see what blessings faithfulness brings into your life.

Oh God, show me Your ways that I might walk in them. This I pray, Oh God. Amen.


Tuesday, November 20: Haggai 1 - Give careful thought to your ways.

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways” (5).

God’s message shot through me like an arrow: "Give careful thought to your ways.” I realize it was spoken to a specific people over two centuries ago, still it grabbed me! It seems so appropriate.

Am I carefully building my life, my reputation, my faith, my family?… so the circles of thought swirled in my head. "Give careful thought to your ways.”

I find myself pondering ‘my ways.’

As I ponder, I realize that I can measure and evaluate ‘my ways’ according to the ways of my world or the ways of my Lord. And I come up with very different answers when laid against those to backdrops…

Lord, as I meditate on Your Word for today help me to use Your Ways as the plumb line for evaluating my ways. Lord, I want to stay in line with You! Thank You for the reminder, today, that careful thought is important for faith-filled living. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Monday, November 19: Zephaniah 3 - On 'that' day.

Today’s chapter sings of ‘that’ day… the day when God will set things right for Jerusalem. On that day, God will save His people, quiet them with his love, and rejoice over them (17). On that day, God will rescue the lame, gather the scattered, and give praise to those who were shamed (19). On that day, God will gather them, bring them home, give them honor and praise among the nations, and restore their fortunes (20).

That will be quite a day for God’s faithful.

I looked back over what God was going to do for His people. I focused on the verbs.  It is a comforting list. God will totally take care of them.

I pondered these things.  That day must be the end of time day when God will establish His kingdom forever.

Hey, that day speaks to me as well, for I, too, am one of God’s children through faith in Jesus.

What a day, what a wonderful day that will be…

Oh Lord, strengthen my faith to hold on until that day. Oh Lord, give me wisdom to live for You until that day. Send Your Spirit, Lord, that I might live for You until that day. Amen.


Saturday, November 17: Zephaniah 2- . Seek God

Just before God begins to release His judgments on the surrounding nations, a key verse blazed on the text before me. God’s final comment to the people of Judah, verse 3, Seek the LORD, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD's anger.

God’s judgment is decreed and certain.  What can one do? Seek the Lord… live (seek) righteously, humbly and obediently (my interpretation of the verse).

Seek God: get to know Him, learn about Him, endeavor to please Him. Spend time cultivating your knowing of God. Time and intentionality seem to be a key to seeking. Seek the Lord.

Live righteously: live rightly in God’s sight.

Live humbly: don’t grow puffed up about your place with God or your knowing of God.  Remain ever the seeker of God. And likewise, don’t be puffed up with respect to other people either.

Live obediently: remember God is God and we are not. Live His Way not yours. Live by His Rules.

Seems to me that this kind of living would honor God in any time or season…

Off to practice what I have just learned.

Lord, at work and at play I belong to You. I pray for strength to live in a way that always reflects that I am Yours. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Friday, November 16: Zephaniah 1- God's Word.

Well, this is not exactly a feel good chapter. God seems angry and punishment is coming on Judah.

Israel has already faced the wrath of the Lord. Judah will soon taste the same.

We don’t know exactly when this prophecy came during Josiah’s reign. But I find it interesting that Josiah was one of the few good/faithful kings of Judah and the last faithful one as well. About 20 years after Josiah, the words of this prophecy came true as God judged Judah.

It struck me… we better take God at His Word. We don’t know when, but we do know that God will fulfill His Word!

I wonder how the people of Judah received this word from Zephaniah? Given that Josiah was a faithful king, he likely listened. But the kings that followed him did not. It is so easy to dismiss the Word of God.

My last sentence strikes a blow to my heart. Do I dismiss God’s Word? 66 books of the Bible are God’s written Word. Do I honor it, learn it and most importantly live according to it? If I do not, then I am no different than the people of Judah and God judged them for it.

How about you, do you dismiss God’s Word? Think about it…

Lord, may Your Word fill me, direct me and change me to live as You would have a person life. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.


Thursday, November 15: Habakkuk 3 - God will save me.

I am not the best with poetry. The chapter is a poem of God’s saving strength and grace. My heart clung to the closing lines, where Habakkuk strikes his final chord.

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,

   I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;

   he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,

   he enables me to go on the heights (18-19).

Habakkuk reaches down deep into his life… his hope, his foundation, his stability for life is the Lord God, his Savior.

I began thinking about my foundation and hope in life. Is it God or something from this world?

It is so easy to erect foundations other than the Lord….our leaders, our army, our wisdom, our strength, our smarts, our job, our this and that.

Is God really the foundation, hope and stability of my life? This is the question I found myself pondering this morning in my quiet moments before the rush of the day descended…

O Lord, I pray that I can sing with Habakkuk:

I will rejoice in You, O LORD,

   I will be joyful in You, my God my Savior.

You, Oh LORD, are my strength;

   You make my feet like the feet of a deer,

   You enable me to go on the heights.

You, Oh Lord, are my strength and my song. And I will always sing Your praise. Amen.


Wednesday, November 14: Habakkuk 2 - 3 verses.

Three verses leapt off the page as I read. Clearly God wanted me to meditate on them.

Verse 4: …but the righteous will live by his faith  No matter how one slices it, to believe in God and particularly the God of the Bible, who rules over all, who created from nothing, who died on the cross and rose from the dead. To believe in this God will always take FAITH… that step beyond reason and proof into faith.

Verse14: For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea. The glory of God will fill the earth! I have been taking a class called Perspectives on the World Christian Movement. Great class, by the way, and if it is ever in your area, take it (check it out The class shows that one of main themes of the Bible is God’s Glory… and some day God’s Glory will fill the earth from end to end!

Verse 20: But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him. Silence before God… the more I read the Bible, the more convinced I become that when we finally enter God’s presence (at our resurrection or Jesus’ return) God’s Glory and Wonder will be so great, so much beyond what we can even humanly imagine, that it will take our breath away. With our no-breath- awe-filled-silence, we will praise Him… Oh, what a day that will be!!

Oh Lord, I need not wait till then,  I will sit before You in adoration, praise and reverential silence. Amen.


Tuesday, November 13: Habakkuk 1 -Wondering .

I found myself wondering quite a bit as I read and reread this chapter. I found myself wondering about what it would be like to have a conversation with God like Habakkuk did. To ask deep questions and receive answers that are deeper still.

I wondered what it must have been like for Habakkuk who couldn’t stand the evil things he was seeing and kept crying out to God…

I wondered what bewilderment must have befallen him when he learned that God was going to judge His people by using a wicked and ornery people, the Babylonians.

One thing became clear… God has His Ways and knows what He is doing. And especially when God’s Ways lead to more wondering than answers, mine (ours) is to obey –continue wondering if need be, but obey.

Obedience, the call of the believer…

Lord, help me to obey… You, Your Word and Your Will, even when I don’t understand. Even when I am left wondering at the things happening in my world and around me, help me to surrender to You and obey. This is my prayer, Lord Jesus… Amen.



Monday, November 12: Naham 3 - Reaping what you sow.

God is not kidding around! Nineveh’s future is certain. The chapter rolls on like an excavator flattening the land.

I wondered as I read.  Was she really that bad? Did she deserve this fate?

Then came the final verse. Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?  (19).

My eyes clamped on the final seven words, for who has not felt your endless cruelty? Nineveh was a despotic conqueror and ruler. What she had sowed, she now reaped!

I began to think about life in general. Very often that is the case, what we sow we reap. I began to run through various areas of my life asking myself what I am sowing…

In my family…

With my time…

Am I faithful to God and others?

What do I sow with my finances and resources?

How about friendliness?


And so my meditations went. In some areas my thoughts were broad, others I drilled deep. What am I sowing with my life? In many ways it will give me a glimpse into what I could anticipate reaping…

What are you finding as you ponder your life???

Lord, in some places my ‘garden’ is rich and full but others are sparse and barren.  I haven’t given the attention I should. Help me to tend to my whole life, bringing all of it into harmony with Your Will and Way. I pray through Jesus, my Lord. Amen


Saturday, November 10: Naham 2- How different the outcomes.

Stark contrast… restoration for one; destruction for the other. What do I think?

It doesn’t matter what I think, this is what God has decreed. Jacob/Jerusalem will be restored. Nineveh/Babylon will be destroyed. God has so decreed.

I cannot affect the outcome, yet still I ponder all this. What, Lord, are You teaching? What, Oh God, are You revealing?

Lowly Jacob/Jerusalem sits destroyed… judged for her sins against her God. She will be restored. Why? Because God has given His Word. God said His punishment would last only for a time and then He would bring her back. God’s Word, His Person, His Glory is at stake… and so what He has decreed will come to pass.

Likewise, Nineveh, the tool used by God to execute His judgment on Jacob/Jerusalem, was not righteous. So now she is judged for her sins. Nineveh was never God’s possession, only a tool in His hand.  As such, God never decreed that Nineveh would rise from the ashes of judgment and be restored.

What do I do with all this? What God has decreed will come to pass… His Name and His Glory ride on God being true to His Word.

God has decreed that all who call on His name will be saved (Romans 10:12), therefore it is so.

Have you called out to the Lord God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit? If so, you will be saved! If not…

The choice is yours.

Oh God, may those who read Your Word and read my thoughts about Your Word, call out to You to be saved… Amen


Friday, November 9: Naham 1- Mercy and Truth.

One of the constant balances that I have to maintain as I read my Bible and study God’s Word and Ways is mercy (love or grace) and truth (justice or judgment). God is both. And He is both at the same time. This is difficult for me to comprehend and I have to continuously work at it.

This balancing act emerged yet again in Naham 1:3: The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.

God is both slow to anger (mercy) yet He will not leave the guilty unpunished. How can that be?

As I ponder these attributes of God, I take them both to heart. Over and over I have been the recipient of God’s love, grace and mercy. My sins God regularly forgives. God blesses when my walk in Him is unsteady and God is always approachable no matter where I have been or what I have done recently. Love, grace, mercy in abundance.

On the other hand, it is easy for me to presume upon God’s love, grace and mercy and to become lackadaisical and lazy in my pressing ahead for good and God. It is at those times that I find pondering God’s truth, justice and judgment an able antidote for my laziness! I need these reminders as much as I need God’s grace, mercy and love.

I still do not understand how mercy and truth live together perfectly in God.  However, I am full of praise and wonder that they do…

Praise to the One who loves unconditionally. Praise to the One who’s justice is right. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation! Amen.



Thursday, November 8: Micah 7 - The mercies of God.

My day is discombobulated; a very early meeting meant that my usual start to the day didn’t happen. It took till mid-afternoon for me to carve out time for God and His Word. Days like this happen.

In my moments of stillness, I sit surrounded by praise music… shutting out the world so that I can be with the Lord. Chapter seven starts off as a downer, ‘Israel’s Misery’ the NIV title reads. And it was misery to read about the way they were living!

But the sour note doesn’t ring forever. The chapter and book closes with promise. Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. You will be true to Jacob, and show mercy to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our fathers in days long ago (18-20).

Who is this God who forgives?! It is the Lord, strong and mighty. God doesn’t stay angry at us forever. Compassion will shine on us again. Alleluia.

I sit under the weight of His glory and love. …

Thank You, Oh Lord, that You do not hold my sins against me forever… that You forgive and show compassion on me. I don’t deserve Your love, yet it comes…

So I sit for these moments today, in the midst of a busy crazy day, and as soon as I turn toward You, You rush to me. Praise you, Lord, praise You.


Wednesday, November 7: Micah 6 - What do I need to do?.

I suspect that most of us at some point in out lives wonder how God wants us to live to stay on His good side. Micah wondered this out loud in verses 6-8. With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Should we make some kind of heartfelt sacrifice? Is that what God wants? After giving a hearty ‘NO’, Micah gives a 14-word answer.

To act justly and

to love mercy and

to walk humbly with your God.

I sat letting those three facets sink in.

I could write about the places my thoughts went as I pondered… acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with my God… but I decided that I would invite you to do your own pondering…

Lord, show me, show us, real life ways that we can live out Micah 6:8. Show me who needs me to act with justice. Show me who needs my mercy. Reveal to me what walking humbly with You means for my life. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.



Tuesday, November 6: Micah 5 - A glimpse of Jesus.


One of the famous prophecies about Jesus is in this chapter. Micah 5:2: "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times." What fascinated me were the next two verse which continued,  Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth.

The birth imagery of verse 3 reminded me of Isaiah’s prophecy about a virgin giving birth. Isaiah and Micah were contemporary prophets…. Hmmm.

And verse 4, with its shepherd imagery, connected me with Jesus as the Good Shepherd (John 10) and other Jesus-as-Shepherd connections in Scripture like Psalm 23.

I found myself thinking about Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith.  Jesus, God’s Shepherd watching over me.  Jesus the final and ultimate ruler, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

 What a blessed time in God’s Word this morning, meditating on my Savior, Jesus.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, greatest name I know… my Savior, Redeemer, Lord of All.

Thank you, Jesus, for saving me… Amen.


Monday, November 5: Micah 4 - A day is coming.

There is a day coming when the war-crazed mania of our world will come to an end and peace will reign. Micah announces that day with these images: God will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore (3).

That day makes me sigh, hoping.

So much war, so much violence, so many, many threats, our world just keeps fighting. Country against country, civil wars, genocides, terrorism, skirmishes, murders…

I slide my eyes back to Micah’s announcement. What a day that will be! Will I see it? I don’t know. God’s voice says to me, “But you can work toward it.”

I realize that ultimately the peace Micah’s announces can only be brought about by God, but I can put my labors into things that God honors and delights in and thereby be an agent for God’s good in God’s world!


Lord, how can I best be about Your desires? What would You have me do?  Specifically, what would You have me do? Amen.


Saturday, November 3: Micah 3- Leaders lead.

Some may be good and some may be great but all leaders lead. And even leaders given to inaction lead because their inaction is in fact leading. Because leaders are at the helm, they steer the ship. If you are in a position of leadership, family, work, church, community, organization, you are leading.

Micah speaks to the leaders. They are leading BADLY. I tend to think Micah’s opening salvo is hyperbole, yet the message is clear. Israel’s leaders are corrupt. And because of them, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets (12).

What I see in this is so obvious… where we lead matters. These leaders were leading to the wrong destination. They were leading the people of God away from God!

And here is God’s thought for me for today. Am I leading people toward God and deeper faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or away from God?

How about you?


Thursday, November 1: Micah 1 - God speaks again.

God is ticked at Samaria (capital of the northern kingdom of Israel) and Jerusalem (capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judah). They both have forsaken the Lord. Four prophets wrote around the same time Amos and Hosea, primarily to the northern kingdom and Isaiah and Micah to the southern kingdom.

Apparently both kingdoms were slow to hear God speaking to them!

I was struck by verse 5, All this is because of Jacob's transgression, because of the sins of the house of Israel. What is Jacob's transgression? Is it not Samaria? What is Judah's high place? Is it not Jerusalem?

God is judging Israel and Judah because of their sin. They have left the Lord and gone after other gods and lords.

If it seems like God, in the Old Testament and particularly in the prophets, is always angry, it is helpful to remember that during one particularly dark time God sent four prophets. It is not that God was perpetually angry, but that He called to them again and again, trying, hoping to gain their attention so they would recognize their situation and repent!

God loves them and is calling them home.

God loves us, too.

As I reflect, I realize I, like Samaria and Jerusalem, need to look at myself and confess my sins and repent to the Lord. He will forgive….

Lord God, forgive me. I am and have been filled with sin. Many things I put before You and that is idolatry. Often I don’t listen when You speak to correct me. Forgive me, Lord. Cleanse me, Lord. Through Jesus, my Savior, I pray. Amen.


Monday, October 29: Acts 26 - Power of the testimony (Part 2).

Last week we watched and listened as Paul stood before a Roman commander, his soldiers and a crowd, and used his Damascus Road testimony as his defense. In doing so he shared faith in Jesus with all the listeners. Today before King Agrippa, his entourage and all people in the court, Paul uses the same approach.

Was he defending himself or using the opportunity as a platform to offer Jesus to the hearers? I don’t think the answer is clear-cut. It seems to me Paul was knowingly doing both. Agrippa certainly heard Paul’s call to faith in Jesus. Then Agrippa said to Paul, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?" (28). 

Such is the power of a thoughtful testimony…

Last Wednesday, writing on Acts 22,  I wrote: Can you state your testimony concisely and at a moments notice if the opportunity presents itself? I encourage you to work on telling your testimony in 100-400 words, 1-3 minutes… Think about it.

I wondered if you actually gave your testimony some thought last week. Now you have a second chance…

God’s Word to me… our testimony is a powerful tool.  Learn to use it.

Lord Jesus, may I learn from Paul … to use the powerful tool of testimony. In and for Jesus, I pray and live. Amen.



Tuesday, October 30: Acts 27 - Every day is a day to honor God.

This chapter reads like an adventure novel, shipwreck and all. Aside from Paul’s angelic word from God, there is little overt God-stuff in this chapter. This got me thinking…

Just because God isn’t mentioned specifically, does not mean God is not active. Truth is God’s fingerprint every day. His sovereignty is at work every day whether He is specifically seen or not. God was just as much a part of the early harbor to harbor sail as He was in seeing all 276 people to shore safely in the storm.

My thoughts circled again… even in the mundane things of life, God is there.

The more I ponder this chapter, the more I settle on a profound (for me anyway) thought. Every moment of every day is an opportunity for me to live for God and God’s Honor. Paul is not preaching, teaching, or healing. He is a prisoner being transported with others to Rome. Days aboard ship were likely painstakingly boring or uncomfortable. And yet these days were God ordained just as much as any preaching, teaching or writing days of his life.

Many of my days are filled with mundane… house, family, etc…obligations. They don’t feel particularly religious or spiritual or even special. And yet each day offers me 24 hours to live faithfully and thus honor God with my living.

This thought inspires me…

Lord, I offer to You my today… the next 24 hours. I pray that I will honor You with my living, no matter  what fills those 24 hours. To You be the honor and glory… Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.



Wednesday, October 31: Acts 28 - To the ends of the earth.

Acts begins with the command to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (1:8). In today’s reading we have Paul reaching Rome… “prit’ near” the ends of the earth for villagers from Palestine. The movement of God’s Word is well under way!

In Rome Paul arranged to speak to a large number of Jews. From morning till evening he explained and declared to them the kingdom of God and tried to convince them about Jesus from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe (23-24).

In that final sentence we see a microcosm of the spread of faith in Jesus, some believe and others would not. Who, how, why some believe and some don’t, I do not know, only God knows.  But that some would believe is a certainty and this certainty is what drove Paul and the early believers to keep on telling Jesus’ Story. And it is what should compel me to keep on telling Jesus’ story… some will believe! To the glory of God and the salvation of humankind. Alleluia!

Lord, help me to keep on telling Your Story. Your Story of redemption and love and Jesus and the Cross and His Resurrection. May I never grow weary or faint in telling Your Story. Amen.


Friday, November 2: Micah 2- Beginning and end.

Micah begins today’s chapter by holding up a mirror and asking us to peer into our hearts. Does deceit live there? Are we like those who plan evil and plot iniquity?

God looks and God sees our hearts. Do we?

The opening begged me to be introspective. Like the time for confession on Sunday mornings, the opening of chapter 2 drew me to a time of honesty in God’s presence.

The end of the chapter was polar opposite… time to marvel on God’s gift of redemption. I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people (12). God has reserved a day for good things. God will restore what our sinfulness has broken. God will reclaim what our iniquities have ruined.

God not only grants forgiveness for our sins, God will restore all that has been destroyed by the sin we and all humanity has committed. God will see to it that His people inherit God’s new re-creation!

Broken and depraved as I am… God is at work. Alleluia.

Lord, I bless and thank You! Praise and honor to You. You have looked at me and seen me for who I truly am… wretched, poor, broken and sin-filled and You love me despite who I am. You cleanse me through the blood of Jesus and You are preparing an eternity with You for me together with all Your people. Alleluia. Amen. Thanks be to You Lord Christ, my Savior, Redeemer and Lord. Amen.