Saturday, November 29: Song of Solomon 7-.

The song continues… the man ‘singing’ the praises of his beloved’s beauty. She ‘sings’ back to him. The delight, love and desire each has for the other is infectious.

It may be a surprise to read this suggestive talk in the Bible, but isn’t God the designer of love and intimacy? Yes, He is. He created us to love in all facets of love, from agape to eros. And as long as love and desire is within God’s order of ‘one man-one woman’ for a life, it is beautiful and wonderful gift of God to humankind.

I am so thankful for the gift of my wife. For 3+decades she has been my beloved and my life is blessed because I have lived with her and grown and been changed because of her.

God’s gifts are many and varied… spiritual gifts; life & health gifts; education & vocational gifts; and relational gifts. And for each one I am thankful and blessed. The Lord is so good and living in His world is a gift. Today I am very thankful for the relational gifts God has given me, particularly the wife of my youth.

Lord, God, thank You for all your blessings. You are the great and almighty God and I am so blessed to be part of Your family. Thank You and bless you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray Amen.


Friday, November 28: Song of Solomon 6- The gift of relationships.

Today is mostly the man speaking, expressing his love for his beloved. I confess that some of the things he says wouldn’t work well for me J! Like verse 6: Your teeth are like a flock of sheep coming up from the washing. Each has its twin, not one of them is missing.

Honestly reading it again has me laughing again… especially the not one of them is missing line!

I am not sure what to do with this devotionally. Then again I smile at our Lord, his understanding of people. Many couples and families have their own words, lines or phrases that are meaningful for them but not outsiders. I am not sure if verse 6 is an insider line or just a word picture from Solomon’s day.  Either way it got me thinking about insider lines and the way people close to each other express love, care and fun.

The gift of relationships that God gives us is such a gift. Why is it that we don’t treasure those relationships more than we do?

The ravages of sin run deep in us humans…

O, God, I am feeling myself drawn to confession and particularly confessing the MANY ways that I do NOT treat people around me, and particularly those close to me, the way I should. Lord, as I sit here with You today I am realizing that I am hurting myself as well as the other people when I don’t act with Your grace, love and relational connection.

Forgive me, Lord, and help me to get my priorities right with You.

O the ugliness of the ravages of sin in my life!  Help me gain victory, O, Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen.


Thursday, November 27: Song of Solomon 5- insecurity in love, in relationship.

For years I have struggled with verses 1-8. What is going on? Just yesterday we read the bliss of marriage and now this???

Again, I was helped by doing some outside reading. And again, as in chapter 3, this is likely a dream. One commentator put it like this:

This section most probably is to be taken like 3:1-5, as a dream sequence. Love brings its joys, but those joys are seldom unalloyed for long. We are such flawed and fragile creatures, and interpersonal relationships contain such subtleties. With our joys come fears. Often they surface in our dreams, arising from some sense of failure or fear of inadequacy. (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

The ecstasy of marriage and honeymoon give way to realities and we are flawed imperfect people and we bring our flaws into every relationship. Insecurities can lead to wild dreams. I have had them but we don’t need to allow them to rule our lives or destroy our love.

In verses 10 through the end, she returns to her love and begins to recount that she remains head over heels in love for her man.

My thoughts return to insecurities; having them is one thing, what we do with them is another. Do we stay there? Do we stew over them and let them simmer and grow until they control us? Or do we lay them at the feet of our Lord, asking for strength to change where necessary and to let them go where they are false and unfounded.

Hmmm, think about this…

Lord, I surrender all my relationships to You. Lead me to be a better person, one who reflects You and Your character more and more as I grow. Open me to honest correction and protect me from false guilt.

And, Lord, as I pray this about my human relationships, I pray even more for this in my relationship with You. I seek to be Yours, to live breath and find my being and center in You, Lord Jesus. In You. Amen.



Wednesday, November 26: Song of Solomon 41- Marriage is a gift from the Lord and I should treat it as such!.

If chapter 3 involves the wedding, then chapter 4 captures scenes from what we would call ‘the honeymoon’, those early days of marriage.

I have never been particularly expressive. I am a quiet, reserved person. The man in this chapter is anything but. His lips drip with loving words for his wife, his beloved. How loved his wife must feel…

Immediately, thoughts fill my mind, “Do I do things that announce to my wife how loved she is?” I may not be as expressive as the man in this chapter, but I also know ways that connect with my wife and cause her to feel loved and appreciated.

Do I do these things freely and regularly?  Do I take her for granted?

Marriage is a gift from the Lord and I should treat it as such!

Lord, thank You for the wife of my youth, the only wife I have known. Thank You for the years we have lived together, the good and the difficult, the joys and the sorrows.

Lord, give me creativity to express in words, deeds and actions my love for my wife. I thank You for my wife and my sister. It has been such a joy to walk the trail of faith with a partner who has caused me to deepen my love for You again and again.

Lord, even as I thank You now, help me to thank and love her in ways that speak to her deeply. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


1 As previously I realize that not all of my readers are married. The content of this book of the Bible, which is all about love and passion in marriage, may be tough for the non-married.  My prayer is that you will hear something from the Lord in this passage that speaks to your heart as this one did to mine.


Tuesday, November 25: Song of Solomon 3- passionate love God's way.

There is a lot of cultural detail that I didn’t understand so I sought some help. Verses 6-11 tell of the bridal procession, but what is going on in 1-5? About verses 1-5 I read:

“Our next poetic unit seems clearly to be a dream sequence. The lover is the maiden's obsession night and day (v.1). So in a dream she seeks him. She goes about the city in the night querying those whom she meets about her beloved (vv.2-3). She finds him and will not let him go until she has brought him into her mother's home, into the very room where she was conceived (v.4). She is not looking for an illicit consummation of their love. Consummation she wants, but even in her dream she wants that consummation to be right. Where in human literature does one find a text so erotic and yet so moral as this?” (Expositor's Bible Commentary)

Marriage not illicit sex is in view throughout.

The commentator’s last line grabbed me. Where in human literature does one find a text so erotic and yet so moral as this?

TV, film, books, magazines are filled with sex, but these days rarely is sex within God’s definition of a man and woman in marriage. In our world, sex is a passionate act with whomever. It may not be a one-night stand, but it is commonplace to move in prior to marriage. And if that relationship doesn’t work out well then it ends and you move in with the next ‘love.’

How refreshing to read the passion of love and the desire for intimacy, but to read it aligning with God’s Will and Word!

Lord, my world is sick.  We are sex crazed with little regard for Your Will, Word and Way. And is seeps regularly into your Church, Your people, Your body. Help us, Your church and the members thereof, to regain Your sexual moorings. O, God, help us; our world has left Your moorings and it is dragging us away too. Forgive us and help us stand for righteousness with our becoming prideful and arrogant in our witness to the world. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Monday, November 24: Song of Solomon 21- His banner over me is love.

Every now and again I hear someone speak of the Lord, commenting that ‘his banner over me is love.’ What a great picture that is, God’s banner over me (us) is love.

In college I remember my college Christian group singing, “He takes us to the banqueting table, his banner over me is love…” It was a song about God’s love and care for us. Again what a comforting image.

This morning I read Song of Songs 2:4, the text from which song comes: He has brought me to his banquet hall, And his banner over me is love (NASB).

Fascinating, in its biblical context it is a statement by the woman about her beloved, her husband! The woman sings that her husband brings her to the banqueting table. His banner over her is love!

This launched me into considering, “How well do I love and care for my wife?” Would my wife say of me, “His banner over me is love?”

Most often my time with the Lord leads me to considering my relationship with Him. But today, God has me considering how well I love and care for my wife...

Lord, thank You for the gift of marriage and for my wife, the wife of my youth. I am a different person in life and in faith because of her. I treasure her as a gift and a gift from You. May I be for her as this man was for his wife. May I be for her as You, Jesus, are for Your church (Eph 5:25ff). I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.


1 I realize that not all of my readers may be married, so today’s devotion might not fit you. My prayer is that you will hear something from the Lord in this passage that speaks to your heart as this one did to mine.


Saturday, November 22: Song of Solomon 1- Expressing one's love .

Song of Songs perplexes most believers. Dennis F. Kinlaw writing in the Expositor's Bible Commentary notes, Song of Songs is patently a collection of ancient Hebrew love poems celebrating the experiences of a lover and his beloved as they taste the beauty, power, agony, and joys of human sexual love. What do we do with a book like that in the Scriptures?

Let’s see as we take this devotional reading of Song of Songs.

With the first words of this book we understand why many are perplexed. This chapter is a lover’s dialogue, with the words of some friends tossed in as well. This chapter is two lovers expressing their love and attraction to one another.

Love rightly ordered is good. Love, emotion, and beauty expressed to one’s beloved is a beautiful thing.

Biblical believers are oft-time thought of as prudes. If prude means we have a different sexual ethic than the world, i.e. sexual love is to be shared between a man and woman in marriage, then I accept the moniker of prude. However, being a ‘prude’ does not mean that within the marital covenant relationship a couple does not passionately and affectionately express their love for one another.

In this vein, Song of Solomon is refreshing, reminding God-honoring couples that passion and expressing one’s passion for one’s spouse is a good thing… a very good thing!

Readers who are married… express your love today to your mate.

Readers who are not yet married… there is joy ahead if you walk in God’s Will.

Think about it…

Lord, thank You for my wife of many years, a gift from You and a partner in You. Thank You for my wife. Amen.


Friday, November 21: Ecclesiastes 12- The final word.

Ecclesiastes has been difficult to follow. The writer seems pessimistic, even fatalistic at times. But in chapter 12 his closing words give light and meaning to the rest.

Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them” … Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil (1, 13-14).

Put in my own words, I might put the writer’s advice like this: Before you get distracted with life, before your faculties begin to fade and fail, remember your Creator. And by remember I mean, fear God and keep His Commandments.

And there you have it, the final words of a brilliant man: fear God and keep His Commandments and begin now while you can!

Question is, Are you (am I) wise enough to heed these words???

Lord, worldly wisdom can often lead us away from You. Overthinking can lead us away from You. Trust in self and human wisdom can lead us away from You. O Lord, those simple word are true… fear God and keep Your Commandments. May I follow these words, I pray in and for Jesus Amen.



Thursday, November 20: Ecclesiastes 11- Center your life in the Lord.

I found myself mulling over verse 9. I may no long be ‘young’ but the advice seemed appropriate for any age, particularly the second part of the verse … Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

Although following the ways of the heart can get us into trouble if our heart is not stayed on God, it seems that the writer builds an appropriate caution into the general statement when he writes God will bring you into judgment.

This portion of the sentence seems to be a caution or correction to an ‘anything goes’ possibility if we were to take the first part of the sentence by itself.

On balance I hear the Lord saying,  “Understand that I am watching and knowing that, follow the ways of your heart and what your eyes see”.

Stated positively and with a little license, I hear the Lord saying, “Center your life on Me and not follow the impulses of your heart. Let your eyes guide you…” And this seems to be a good word from the Lord.

Lord, keep me stayed on You. May my heart beat with Your heart and as it does, let it lead me to things that will be fulfilling for me and glory producing for You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Wednesday, November 19: Ecclesiastes 10- Beware folly.


Today’s chapter reads like Proverbs with short pity sayings on wide ranging topics. I chose verse 1 to ponder.

As dead flies give perfume a bad smell, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor.

The image was so graphic it grabbed me. I’ve never known the specific situation, flies in perfume, but I have found any number of mice who have died but not been found for ‘awhile.’ It is the smell that first alerted me something was wrong. And that is the point. The rotting flies spoil the perfume.

What got me is the small amount needed to spoil the larger amount. As the writer says, so a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. One foolish outburst, one foolish decision can tarnish an entire legacy.

I spoke with my mom the other day. She recently went on an outing to The Billy Graham Museum near Charlotte, NC. It was a wonderful trip. We got talking about Billy. What a man of integrity. He rubbed shoulders with US presidents and world leaders in politics and in religion. Amazing. Yet all that hob-knobbing with elite of the world never changed him. No scandals or even ‘indiscretions’ have ever come to light. He lived this verse. He was a man of integrity.

Billy understood that a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor and a little folly can easily ruin a legacy.

Today’s reading, and particularly verse 1, gave me renewed vigor to be vigilant against folly in my life! How about you?

Lord, I know Dr. Graham wasn’t perfect, but he was wise and cautious and he avoided folly at every turn. I pray, Lord, for the strength, the internal fortitude and will to live rightly so that Your name is honored in my living all the days of my life. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Tuesday, November 18: Ecclesiastes 9- No guarantees.

As I read this chapter I thought, “No guarantees.” There is no absolute formula for success or finding the ‘good life,’ especially when you define good life as a life filled with the things and stuff of this world. As the writer says, I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all (11).

I confess that I struggle with the word ‘chance’. I hear it connected to ‘fate’ or ‘luck’ as if some random force is at work. So I spent some time researching the word. Is that what it means? Not necessarily. The Expositors Bible Commentary writes this, the concept of chance in v.11 is not exactly the English usage. It contains less the idea of haphazard occurrence than an event that we meet, whether anticipated or unanticipated.

I might say it like this, ‘stuff happens.’ And stuff happens to all of us and we cannot plan for this stuff. We simply have to live into and through it.

And it is at this point that my faith in Jesus and the teachings of the NT kick in. For example, Romans 8:37-39: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I may not anticipate all things that come my way or even like all things that come my way. However, no matter what it is, great or horrible, it cannot separate me from Jesus’ love for me and so I cling to my Savior through thick and thin!

Halleluiah! Amen! Through think and thin, in good times and in bad, I cling to You, Jesus, my Savior! Halleluiah Amen!


Monday, November 17: Ecclesiastes 8- Lording it over others.

There were no immediate devotional sparks as I read this chapter. I even read it a second time. Sometimes this happens. I am not sure why. Maybe I am not in a good place, distracted, tired, angry, rushed. I don’t know. Maybe the Lord is quiet, wanting me to realize it is being with Him and not only the nuggets He gives that should draw me to times in the Word and prayer.

These daily times, after all, are about being with the Lord, not only receiving from the Lord.

After all of the above, I looked back one more time and verse 9 seemed to rise off the page.  All this I saw, as I applied my mind to everything done under the sun. There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt. It was the second sentence that launched some thoughts.

There is a time when a man lords it over others to his own hurt. As strange as it may sound, images of General/President Idi Amin, the vile despotic ruler of Uganda in the 1970s, came to mind. I suppose he could be a poster child for this verse.

As he lorded it over that country, his heart seemed to grow harder and harder. It was almost like all that is good about humanity drained out of him, leaving only the worst parts of human nature.

We can lord it over others to our own detriment. Our “bigness” and importance can skew reality and twist our thinking and feeling (if we have feelings for others).

As I contemplate this, Jesus’ Words come to mind. Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:25-28).

Lord, Jesus, help me to serve… You and others in Your name. Amen.


Saturday, November 15: Ecclesiastes 7-Living in the light of my mortality.

In a chapter filled with meditative pause points, it was the latter stanza of verse 2 that garnered my attention. …death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

I suppose one could take this line in a morbid sense of always thinking about one’s death, but I don’t think that is at all what the writer is attempting to say. Rather I believe the writer is reminding us that death is inevitable. We cannot cheat death and the fact that we will someday die should impact how we live.

·         What will be my legacy?

·         In what ways will I leave this world better and better off that I lived?

·         Since I do not know the day of my death, am I consistently showing love to those I say I love?

And then, of course, there are ultimate questions of life and faith and God.

·         Is God pleased with the life I am living?

·         Some day I will stand before God. How is that thought guiding my living today?

Death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.

Lord, in a health and wise way, help me to live today, and all of my todays, in light of the truth that life here is a preparation for living with You for eternity, thanks to faith in Jesus Christ. Lord, guide me that my life impacts this my world for good and for You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Friday, November 14: Ecclesiastes 6- Never satisfied.

Verse 7 was my stopping place today. Everyone’s toil is for their mouth, yet their appetite is never satisfied. The New King James version offers a different way to translate the second half of the verse. All the labor of man is for his mouth, And yet the soul is not satisfied.

Appetite or soul, however one translates the Hebrew, are never satisfied. These last 3 words are a stinging thought, and it certainly rings true. My appetites, my mouth, my soul is never totally satisfied. I seem to always yearn for more

I try to curb this pension for something new or more. I gain victory but the battle is never ending. I may win a victory today and tomorrow the same battle wages within me.

O, God, I pray for contentment. Real contentment. True contentment. A contentment that rests in You and enjoys what I already have...

Blessed be Your name, Lord God, Almighty. Amen.


Thursday, November 13: Ecclesiastes 5- Vows.

Vows and riches, two topics the writer of Ecclesiastes tackles in this morning’s chapter. Two topics that impact my life regularly.

Either would provide worthwhile time with the Lord, but vows spoke louder and caught my attention.

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. … When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” … (2-6).

Vows, words spoken and promises given to God must NEVER be done in a hasty or rash manner. They are simply too important.

How often this truth is spoken in scripture. The most prominent and demanding and disturbing lesson about vows comes in the account of Jepthah in Judges 10. Today’s words from the Teacher reinforce the important of keeping the vows we make to the Lord. As he says, It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.

My mind led me to considering vows I have made to the Lord… high on the list is my vow to love and care for my wife. There are others.

Lord, may my words to You be few and my heart be in them all. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Wednesday, November 12: Ecclesiastes 4- Envy.


 love the ‘two is better than one’ passage. What an incredible word on the power of companionship!

And yet, it was verse 4 that caught my meditative attention. And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Envy is a powerful negative motivator. That is so true. I see something my neighbor or ‘brother’ has, which I like, and I all of a sudden need/want one too. Advertisers constantly play on the emotion of need/want to lure us to buy this, that and everything.

Probably not every thing that motivates me to need/want something is envy, but envy is lurking just around the corner even when it isn’t the primary motivator!

Envy is one of the seven deadly sins. I am sure I have to think more deeply about it to mine its destructive powers but I do know that envy can destroy a relationship. It can also cause us to go to dark places of desire and even plotting how to get what it is that we envy. And even if I don’t do something illegal to gain what I envy, it chews up my resources and generally that which I envied doesn’t give me the satisfaction when acquired that I thought it would. All the while envy and the desire for whatever it is I envy has been hardening my heart for the needs of others. And this does not honor the Lord…

Lord, as I think and meditate, I am realizing all the more how insidious envy is. Its roots can twist my heart in to a selfish mass of rotting flesh, turning my gaze inward rather than outward to those in need.

Please, Lord, give me Your heart, a heart that seeks the best for others and does not dry up on the vine of self-absorption. Lord, I can only grow in this area though You in me… so this is what I pray for You in me… through Jesus, I pray. Amen.



Tuesday, November 11: Ecclesiastes 3- There is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good .

I cannot read the opening of this chapter without thinking of the Simon and Garfunkel song. Often that is as far as I get in meditating on this chapter.

Today I intentionally looked elsewhere. Lord, what nugget do you have for me today? I prayed as I began reading. And quickly my heart was directed to verse 12: I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.

A pretty straightforward nugget to digest this morning. I realize that life circumstances do not always lead directly to happiness. But then I wondered how much of happiness in life is decided, not by circumstances, but by attitude and approach to the things that come our way.

Even as I was typing that last sentence, something in my thoughts clicked. Some translations translate Matthew 5’s Beatitudes, “happy are…” Some translate Psalm 1, “How happy are those…”

This got me thinking about true happiness, a sense of living under God’s blessing. There certainly is nothing better than living this way.

Matthew 5 goes on to talk about being ‘salt and light’ and doing good so that people see your life and praise your Father in heaven. In Psalm 1, the psalmist sings about the blessed (or happy one) who walks in the way of God, delights in the Lord’s law and meditates on God’s words. Both Matthew 5 and Psalm 1 would lead one to doing good.

And so my thoughts and meditations went this morning.

There is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good…

Lord, may I live into Your Word today… treasure the life You give me today and do good. Lord, if I accomplish this, it will have been a good day. Alleluia. Amen.


Monday, November 10: Ecclesiastes 2- Where is value in life?.

As I read through this chapter the question kept creeping into my thoughts. Where is the value in life? What brings peace or deep satisfaction of a life well lived?

Again, where is the value in life?

Solomon didn’t find it in pleasures, in indulging his appetites, in great projects or amassing wealth…

I was back to thinking… what brings true and lasting value and in life?

It seems that an answer began to emerge as the chapter closes. [F]or without him [God], who can eat or find enjoyment? To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God... (25-26).

I don’t think Solomon is there yet, but this twist pushed my meditations toward an answer for my question. What brings true and lasting value and in life? Life in, with and for the Lord.

I was reminded of the catechisms opening question. What is the chief end of man?

To love God and enjoy Him forever is the answer.

Yes, I thought, this is where one finds value and deep satisfaction in life. We find it; I find it in God… in my relationship with God… in my service and love of God.

This is where I find value. How about you?

Lord, thank You for opening my eyes to You and the wonder of living in connection and relationship with You through faith in Jesus. Thank You, God, for placing Your Spirit in me to guide me toward You. Thank You, Lord, for the deep sense of satisfaction that I find in walking with You.

Lord, I pray that even if the ‘satisfaction’ leaves, that I would serve and follow You regardless of how I feel because You alone are Lord and You alone are God. And that Lord is enough to call forth service and devotion from me. Through Jesus, I pray. Amen.


Saturday, November 8: Ecclesiastes 1-.

As I turn to Ecclesiastes this morning, I feel like I am grinding gears. It is such an abrupt change from the Revelation.

The writer strikes a sour chord… “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless” (2, NIV).

 “Absolutely pointless!” says the spokesman. “Absolutely pointless! Everything is pointless” (2, GW).

The Teacher says, "Useless! Useless! Completely useless! All things are useless" (2, ICB).

Meaningless, pointless, useless… All things are meaningless, pointless, useless. Such are the sentiments of this chapter.

As I read and pondered this, my mental wheels began spinning. If I reduce life to simply the things I do, there is a sense the author is right. I (we) spin our wheels. We do this and that, but what change do we really effect?

A modern proverb that connects with this thought goes like this: “the more things change the more they stay the same.”

I began thinking about my life, what gives me (my life) meaning. Truthfully it is my kingdom work. Not mowing the lawn or cleaning the bathroom or doing my laundry or any of the myriad of chores that must be done but will need to be done again in short order. No, the things that give my life meaning are the kingdom things I do and the relational connections I foster. These bring me meaning and the kingdom things I do will last, because God who is eternal is in them.

I began to think, “I should give more energy to the things that give life meaning and will last, rather than seeking after the meaningless, pointless and useless things of life.”

I should put more energy into quality relationships and kingdom endeavors…

Oh, the places the Lord takes me when I spend time in His Word.

Guide me, O God, to deeper places with You. Spur me on to a greater kingdom –Your kingdom- endeavors. This I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Friday, November 7: Revelation 22- Only God Almighty is worthy of worship!.

And with this chapter the Revelation ends with the picture and promise of life for those who worship the one true God.

The brief vignette in verses 8-9 caught my attention. I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

John, awed and overwhelmed by what he had just seen and heard, fell down in worship before his angelic guide. Without a hesitation and with forceful rebuke, the angel corrected John, Don’t do that!

Why? Because the angel is a fellow servant with you…

And then the angelic rebuke concludes with 2 words, Worship God!

What was likely an honest mistake is met with a stinging rebuke. I pondered that and realized John’s mistake was the heart of much, if not all, sin… Worshipping something other than God!

The angel understood this.

My heart heard the warning. “Beware not to ever worship anything other than the Lord for nothing in all creation, no matter how great, is worthy of worship. And only God Almighty is worthy of worship!”

“ ‘Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,’

who was, and is, and is to come.”

 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,

to receive glory and honor and power,

for you created all things,

and by your will they were created and have their being.”

 “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,

to receive power and wealth and wisdom

and strength and honor and glory and praise!”

 “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb

be praise and honor and glory and power,

for ever and ever!”


(Rev 4 & 5)


Thursday, November 6: Revelation 21- All things new.

I am making everything new! (5)

The end of evil has come. God’s reign has come in fullness and perfection. The old is gone. God is making everything new!

What an incredible thought.

I sat on a beautiful fall morning, thinking about these words. The sky was brightening as the sun rose. Tree leaves remaining were a mix of various colors. Mums were blooming rust/red and yellow on our deck but summer flowers were no more. The air was crisp but not yet cold.

I love this time of year. Regarding “that” day God said about that day, I am making everything new! No death, no mourning, no crying, no pain… no sin! The earth will no longer groan in waiting the consummation of our God. People will treat people with dignity and the Fruit of the Spirit will be in full bloom.

I tried to imagine this.

Oh, there will be no sun or moon… they are not needed.  God himself is our light and the Lamb, our lamp.

In our day when the sun is up, whether I can see it or it is buried behind clouds, it rules the day. Its presence is omnipresent… everywhere it gives life to everything directly or indirectly. Flowers grow because of the sun’s light. I can see the earth’s beauty because of the sun’s light. And so on. Yet in this new day God will be as omnipresent as the sun is in our day. He will directly be our source and provision.

What a day… and everlasting day that will be.

Oh, the wonder of that day.

Thanks be to God for the grace and atonement of Jesus. Thanks be to God for the gift of belief. Thanks be to God for the book of life and names written there in! Thanks be to God. Alleluia. Amen.


Wednesday, November 5: Revelation 20- Standing before God.


There are things in the Book of the Revelation I do not understand, among them, the 1000 year imprisonment of Satan before his final defeat and banishment to eternal torment.

In the same way there are images that make sense to me. I tend to focus on these. The white throne judgment scene fits this latter category and so I spent my time meditating upon it.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire (11-15).

Standing before God, the deeds of my life listed for Him and me to see. There will be no Johnnie Cochran or Alan Dershowitz to wrangle a “not guilty” plea. No, it will be raw hard truth. And the only word I deserve to hear is “Guilty.”

All this is true, save one thing… the blood of Jesus. With Jesus’ covering, my name is written in the book of life. Thanks to Jesus I escape the second death.

My mind wandered back to my deserved guilty sentence.  Oh, the gift of grace. Oh, the delight of faith in Jesus.

I have no words… only an offer. Faith in Jesus will provide you with the same result.

Life or death… your choice.

Lord God, all I can muster is Thank You. Praise You. Bless You, Father Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.



Tuesday, November 4: Revelation 19- God's victory was never in doubt!.

Reading today, I found it fascinating that heaven rejoices and worships God before the final battle. It is as if the victory celebration occurs before the battle. Such, I thought, is the way of God. The outcome of the battle was never in doubt. God’s victory was ‘a given’ from the beginning. That thought rolled around and around in my head.

God’s victory was never in doubt!

God’s VICTORY was never in doubt!

What a mistake it is for me to ever doubt God or doubt His Word. If the victory and defeat of the forces of evil was never in doubt, why would I doubt that God would keep His Word about anything?

The Lord God is trustworthy and true. This is the BIG take away for me today.

This is nothing new for me, but it does reiterate and cement what I know already…

Thanks be to God for His incredible faithfulness and the absolute surety of His Word!! Halleluiah! Amen.


Monday, November 3: Revelation 18- Woe.

Repeated 3 times, Babylon’s judgment caught my attention.

“ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city,

where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth!

In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’

(10, 16-17, 19)

The middle line changed with each repeat, but the song was the same. Woe to Babylon the great city.  In one hour you have been brought to ruin.

The kings, merchants and seafarers sing this song as terror grips them and they mourn the loss of their ‘golden egg”, the source of this success. It seems, too, they are gripped by their inevitable destruction and torment because they lived luxuriously in the coat tails of Babylon.

Fear, terror but no hint of remorse. They were drunk with the success they had…

This is a very sad picture. It is the crime boss or cartel lord or despotic ruler watching the trial of another, knowing his/her day is coming, all the while singing “I did it my way.” Completely blinded to the truth of God.

So, so very sad is this picture. 

And yet, at the same time, the saints of God rejoice.

Rejoice over her, you heavens!

Rejoice, you people of God!

Rejoice, apostles and prophets!

For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.”

Judgment day for God’s enemies will be vindication day for God’s saints. The contrast of that day is seen in the contrast of two words: woe and rejoice.

Lord, the difference between these two responses in faith in You. Your spirit in the saints and their protection from Your wrath allow them to REJOICE. Halleluiah! I bow in wonder and awe that You saved me and allow me to be in the company of saints who rejoice at Your wonder and fall in awe and love at Your feet.

Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Maranatha! Amen.


Saturday, November 1: Revelation 17- God will watch over me.

In this chapter God gives John some understanding of who the beast and other players are. What God shows John might be a bit cryptic for us in the 21st century but certainly understandable to John in his day.

What caught my eye and heart was in verse 8, I bolded the part that got me meditating.  The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come.

How God watches over His people… those whose name is NOT written in the book of life will be astonished by the beast and his counterfeit miracles.

I don’t know when all of this will play out. I don’t know if I will be alive when it happens or if I will already be with the Lord. But sometimes I wonder, will I discern the times? Will I catch God’s signs? Will I be duped by the evil one? The bolded lines above from God’s Word remind me that God will guide me through those times if I am to live through them. As His son, He will watch over me. It is not my wisdom or cleverness that will protect me. It is the mighty hand of God. And God will give me everything I need for that day, should I be alive to go through it.

In turn this bolstered my heart for today.  If God will watch over me then, He will do so today. He has given me everything I need in Him to live effectively and powerfully for Him today!

The whisper of God came to me, “Go, Bill, live boldly for Me today.”

Lord, show me how I may serve You and serve You best today. Lead me and guide me today and all of my todays for Your sake. Halleluiah Amen.