Saturday, October 31: 1Timothy 6- That God may not be slandered.

How important is it to preserve God’s good name? How important is it for me (and you) to preserve God’s good name? These questions hit surprisingly hard as I opened and began reading today’s chapter. Verse one was the culprit who sparked these thoughts.

All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.

There is no qualifier in the injunction to slaves in this verse. Good master or despicable master?  It makes no difference. Slaves who follow Jesus were to consider their masters worthy of full respect. I thought about how hard that can be. It is many times for me to consider poor bosses or poor politicians worthy of full respect. A slave might be treated cruelly by a bad master. They may have to endure ridicule or pain as they respect their masters…

God opened me from the inside, this morning. How well do I respect those in authority over me whom I believe to be poor at their job or incompetent or dishonest???

I go back to the point of the verse.  It is not simple according them respect, it is doing so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. The causes me to bring other actions into the equation of faithfulness because honoring God’s name and teachings may require me to respectfully raise issues of dishonesty...

As I ponder this singular verse, God is reminding me that living for Jesus touches every facet of my life… and yours.

This verse requires more pondering… and that’s the beauty of starting with God’s Word in the morning, I have time to chew on it more throughout the day.

Lord, I do want my life to honor Your name and Your teachings. Show me, Lord, where I fall short that I might grow and improve and mature… to your honor and glory, I live and pray. Amen.


Friday, October 30: 1Timothy 5- Organizing the church.

It is fascinating to me that a number of stops in this letter contain wisdom for organizing the church… God’s people who are living in community because they are all following Jesus together.

One thing I notice is that they are not lone rangers, doing life together is the walk of faith. And when people do life together there is need for organization. So Paul instructs Timothy on who to choose as leaders –elders & deacons (see chapter 3).

Today in chapter 5 the presenting need is how to you deal with widows. In that culture families took care of one another, but a widow was without support, since the husband provided the income and carried the assets. So widows, especially those with younger children, were vulnerable and as a rule without means of support. Paul’s directive… it is time for the church to step in; the group provides for the individual.

I am hearing God’s voice in this… caring for those within the body who have legitimate needs is part and parcel of who we are as community, who we are as the people of God. Life certainly is different today. We have governmental social nets but the concept is still very real. Despite government help there are people in every church I have served who need help and it is a beautiful thing to see the church step up and be the church.

Lord, God, help me to be a person of generosity toward brothers and sisters in need. Lord, teach me my resources are not for me to horde but to use to advance Your kingdom near and far. I pray this is Jesus’ name. Amen.


Thursday, October 29: 1Timothy 4- Conscience or religious law.

There are some issues of faith that are essential… the scriptures give no latitude to re-interpret and change. These issues and behaviors run solidly from Old to New Testaments and/or are restated and restated. Love God and love others, is one example. Jesus Christ came in the flesh and is God’s way of salvation, is another.

Other issues have a mixed witness in Scripture. What one eats or celebration days are examples. There are many others.

I pondered this as I read the opening paragraph.

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer (1-5).

What I noticed particularly in this paragraph was the word ‘forbid’ which I underlined and bolded. This matter of conscience in Scripture was determined and made into a “law” by false teachers. Thus these false teachers made a law where God gave freedom. In so doing they become the lawgiver superseding God Himself.

I pondered this… how often do I take something that is a matter of conscience for me and make it a law for others? I may not have the power to enforce it among others, but I can still judge other people by this ‘law’ I have decided!

I realize this text isn’t about judging others, but God led me to that place as I sat with Him this morning.

It is easy for me to look down on these false teachers, but when I judge others by standards that God has left to conscience… I am living a slice of the error these false teachers manifested.

Ouch, this hit a soft spot; I can be prone to judge in the recesses of my thoughts and God is bringing that into the light for me to examine, grapple with and confess…

Blessings, and may the Lord speak to you through His Word, too.

Lord, my heart needs mending and healing. I have sin hidden and lurching in every part of my life. Expose it, Lord, and give me the strength, the will power and the grace to deal with it before You. Lord, let me be no harder on myself than You would be. Allow me to show myself grace and mercy when needed but also to be hones with myself about sin.

Help me, Lord, to lay down self-justification and take up Your cross. And, Lord, I pray all this that I might be a successful ambassador for You –Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Wednesday, October 28: 1Timothy 3- How we live matters.

There was a sentence in this chapter that caught my attention. It appears toward the end of the chapter. Paul writes, Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth (14-15).

It was the comment people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household that particularly caught my attention. It seems to me that too often in our world that people associate belief with faith. This verse reminds me that it is not belief alone but personal conduct, which clearly is fueled and informed by belief, matters. Conduct matters to God. God watches how we live not just what we say we believe. This reminds me of James’ word that faith with out works is dead (James 2:14 and following).

What I am hearing through the word today reminds me that how I live matters…

·         how I treat other people,

·         how I speak with other people

·         the kinds of activities I engage in

·         how I use my resources

·         how I leverage or do not leverage my influence for good and for God,

·         etc.

all of these behaviors and so many more reflect my faith or lack of faith.

Growing up, my parents regularly said, ‘Actions speak louder than words.’ It seems that Paul might have said to Timothy, ‘Your conduct speaks louder than what you say you believe.’ Certainly this is what I am hearing from the Lord this morning and it is causing me to review my conduct to see if my conduct shows the world, “I am a Christ follower.”

How about your conduct?

Lord, sometime I reduce faith to belief alone. What I believe matters, but today You remind me that belief to be real and true will naturally impact behavior. Lord, I am also realizing that what other people see is my behavior… so how I live really does matter.

So, Lord, please help me to be a person whose behavior honors You. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Tuesday, October 27: 1Timothy 2- One mediator.

This chapter is not without its testing verses, but it also carries one of clearest and most succinct statements of the salvation message in the New Testament. And it is that one sentence that I choose to ponder and meditate. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time (5-6).

The salvation message of the Bible is perfectly clear, Jesus is the way of salvation because Jesus alone paid the ransom price for all who believe in Him. His ransom was given for all but only those who believe in Him receive and take His gift of salvation.

As a recipient of God’s salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, I can claim no superiority or sense of righteousness in and of myself. No, His ransom payment was a gift and I believe that even the faith to believe in Him is grace… It is all about Jesus… and I am and will forever be grateful to the One who paid my much deserved ransom for me!

Today, I simply sit with, delight in and thank God for the gift of Jesus and His atoning ransom on the cross.

Thank You, Jesus! Thank You for the all the grace and love You have shown me and the world by coming and dying for us. Thank You, too, Jesus for teaching so clearly the way of God.

Grant me the grace please, to live faithfully for You all the days of my life until You call and I live the rest of eternity with You, praising You in glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen


Monday, October 26: 1Timothy 1- Love from a pure heart.

Consider for a moment that you are the principle founder of a company. You have an associate you have been mentoring, a rising star and a trustworthy co-worker and you have a problem in one of your branches. You want to send this younger associate to the plant to represent you and to clean up the situation, so you write him/her a letter. What would you put in that letter?

I would think I might:

·         Prop up the young worker so they believe in themselves and can tackle the job.

·         Remind him/her about some of the core values of the organization, particularly those that will impact the task at hand.

·         Point out some of the issues they might find and give them a briefing on the issues.

Welcome to 1Timothy.

Paul has been mentoring Timothy and now sends him to straighten out some problems, to be Paul’s representative in Ephesus. Paul won’t address those 3 points in a neat package, but each of these points will come out throughout the letter.

Reading the first chapter I was drawn to verse 5: The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Over and over in the New Testament we meet the command to love. It certainly is at the core of life for those who follow Jesus.

This rule of love –the Golden Rule -which can be found in many world religions, is often expressed as if it can stand alone and apart from the words of Scripture. Verse 5 makes me wonder if that is possible, as least as far as God’s evaluation of love is concerned.

Listen again to how verse 5 builds, The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Notice the foundation from which love grows: pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

·         Can we truly have a pure heart if we don’t know what God believes defines purity?

·         Can we have a good conscience if we do not know what God defines as good behavior?

·         Can we have sincere faith, which I take to be sincere faith in God, if we do not know how God defines faith?

Humanly we can have a ‘golden rule of love’, because I can define love my way and you, yours. But to follow God’s command of love, I must know God and His definition of love. To do this, I must be part of God’s family where His heart has replaced my stony human heart. I must be ‘born again’, only then can I truly understand what love is…

For the remainder of today I will be stewing on God’s definition of love and what I need to do to incorporate that love into my life…

What a delightful start to my day…

Lord, teach me love, Your love, Godly love. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Saturday, October 24: Psalm 67- .

I love the Old Testament Aaronic blessing:

The LORD bless you

and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine on you

and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you

and give you peace (Numbers 6:24-26).

As a pastor I use variations of this blessing often as I close a worship service. It is a beautiful blessing.

One concern I carry is that in our ‘me’ generation I wonder sometimes if this blessing feeds the ‘it’s all about me’ distortion of this generation. I wonder if we have forgotten the ‘blessed to be a blessing’ lesson of Abrahams call (see Gen 12:1-3).

Well, all of these thoughts race in as I read verses 1-2 of this mornings Psalm:

May God be gracious to us and bless us

and make his face shine on us—

so that your ways may be known on earth,

your salvation among all nations.

Verse 1 is clearly a reflection on the Aaronic blessing. Verse 2 reminds us that God’s blessing of us has a reason beyond that He wants us to have a happy, good life. The reason is so that the world comes to know God and His salvation.

Many people I know wrestle with purpose… what’s the purpose of my life?!. For me my purpose is summed up here… so that God’s salvation will be known throughout the earth.

Lord, keep me on Your path. When I am distracted by this or that or another thing, cause me to make whatever course connections are needed to get back on Your path… so that the world will know that You are God! Amen.


Friday, October 23: Psalm 66- A launching pad.

As I sat and listened to the Psalmist praise the Lord, I was called to join him. Shout for joy to God, all the earth!  Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious.  Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! (1-3a). Great and mighty is our God…

I kept reading and verse five ushered me in a new direction. Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind! As the psalmist was moved to recount certain things the Lord had done for his people Israel, I was moved to remember things the Lord has done for me and His people with whom I worship.

I thought of healings from God’s hand. Missionaries protected. Church projects completed. Ministries that expanded the fame of Jesus that were started and sustained by the Lord. Widows comforted… Names, faces, and events coursed through my thoughts. God has been at work and God is to be praised.

Memories turned to praise…

Shout for joy to God, all the earth! (1). Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me! (20). Halleluiah Amen.


Thursday, October 22: Psalm 65- The wonders of our God.

God, God, God…

God, You did this. Lord, You did that. This entire Psalm from first word till final thought is all about what God has done. David sings and teaches us to sing with him the wonders of our God, who answers prayer, forgives sins, provides bounty, fills the earth with good things.

Joy and praise flow out of this Psalm like heat from a fire.

It opens:

Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;

to you our vows will be fulfilled (1).

Translators are divided on the meaning of the word ‘awaits’. Some go with ‘is due you’. Either way it is a grand opening. I stayed with the NIV translation and was drawn in by the idea that Praise awaits God.

God is so lofty, so grand, so perfect and wonderful that there is a line up of praise before the Lord. It is as if one praise is being uttered, another praise from somewhere in this world is being cued to begin immediately after the former praise is completed. 

And this is how it should be, because God deserves all the praise He receives and then some. The world, the universe, cannot over-praise its Maker. All praise it due to God. He alone is worthy of all praise. For what He does, YES. And for who He is.

So I join the chorus of rightful praise to my God, the God of heaven and earth.

Praise to the Lord the almighty the king of creation…

All glory laud and honor to thee creator king…

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my savior…

Amen and Amen. Halleluiah. Amen.


Wednesday, October 21: Psalm 64- Who do I become when things turn ugly?.

We have all been there. We have all endured a time when people we once loved or trusted turn against us, when enemies rise up against us seemingly set on destroying us. We may not be a king sensing a coupe, but we could be a spouse feeling the other pull away or a child whose parent abandons us. It happens in school yards across the world where a one-time friend turns against us. It could be in the office where colleagues vie for the same promotion. The potential human dynamics leading to hurt seem endless.

During those times where can we turn?

We can always turn to the Lord, who is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).

We can complain to the Lord and bare our souls. He will never let us down.

David’s final words touched me. Verse 10, The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!

Yes, I can find refuge in Him… I know that even though I don’t always do that immediately.

It was the final clause that pierced me. All the upright… those words zapped me.

When I am attacked I can turn ugly, fighting back; a survival instinct kicks in, at least that is my excuse. But David sings that all the upright in heart will glory in him.

To be numbered as one of the upright, I have to maintain my cool in the darkest moments and continue to live as God would want me to live, which means even loving enemies (Matthew 5:44).

These words are a gentle reminder from the Lord that integrity and faithfulness, plus living the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:21-22), are to be my calling and character traits all the time, even and maybe especially, when I am under attack.

God is my refuge… not the strength of my right hand or fierceness of my words.

Thoughts to continue to ponder…

O, Lord, You are my strength, my victory, my consolation, my Helper in times of trouble. You are Who and What I can lean on in times of distress. Give me understanding to make these thoughts my way of living. This I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.



Tuesday, October 20: Psalm 63- The glory of rain.

Two days ago we had an entire day of rain. It started out steady but not fierce overnight and then continued throughout the day. Sometimes pouring down, sometimes gently falling, all day cloudy, overcast and wet. It was glorious. Glorious because the last 6 weeks had been parched. The garden was dry, flowers and shrubs shriveling up and the grass was like straw, so brown that it crunched under my feet as I walked across it. The land was dry, dry, dry. Some large trees were prematurely bald for the winter.

Today after the 2-3 inches of soaking rain followed by a day of sunshine, gardens are coming to life again. Shrubs have unfurled their leaves, plants stand taller, stretching themselves toward the sun. Even the grass I thought might be dead for the Fall is greening up… all of this the result of a wonderful drink from God’s heavens.

David’s soul is parched; he longs for a spiritual drink from heave. You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water (1).

I’ve been there. Life has drained you dry. Emotionally you are spent. Relationally you are spent. Spiritually you are spent… Where are You, Lord? Why don’t I feel Your presence? Why is Your voice absent?

Like David, all I can do at those times is cling to God. Remembering times of joy and presence, I grab hold with every ounce of grip I can muster. I don’t know when but the rain of God’s love and presence will come. I will hold on…

I have survived these times before and I have learned that as I cling to you; Your right hand upholds me (8). Somehow because of the Lord I will survive… just keep holding on.

My understanding is that during times of dryness, a few weeks of drought, shrubs and perennials drive their roots deeper in search of any moisture the land might hold. Those seasons of dry actually help the plants grow strong root systems. Premature watering by the gardener can limit the growth of the roots.

I don’t like times of spiritual and emotional depletion, but having survived them I do grow stronger when I cling to God and HOLD ON… His right hand will uphold me.

So I read His Word, ponder His deeds, speak and pray to Him daily and gather with other saints regularly, sending my roots deeply into God’s soil, trusting that He will hold me. I will survive and I long for lavish time of presence with my God.

Lord, thank You for this blessed Psalm, it spars some much in me. I praise You that You always uphold me. I earnestly seek You all the days of my life. Amen.


Monday, October 19: Psalm 62- As I was about to despair.

A flood of memories washed over me as I read this Psalm. David is declaring his trust in God in the face of attack, people trying to topple him (4).

As if a dam broke, memories of the most professionally and personally difficulty time of my life crashed in my mind. During those days I had to cling to God. People who I thought were with me betrayed me and as the ship sank, others bailed. I felt alone, abandoned, hurt… the adjectives could go on.

During that time a few people stood by me. Most importantly God was at my side. Although I do not remember going to this Psalm, I certainly could have because I lived it. Over and over I ran to God and He always grabbed hold of me before I sank into despair.

Like David and probably along with David, I prayed things like:

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;

my hope comes from him.

Truly he is my rock and my salvation;

he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.

My salvation and my honor depend on God;

he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, you people;

pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (5-8)

For me these prayers were a call to myself to remember God and to trust God.

There were times when I was broken hearted and hurt. The glimmer of hope was fading from my heart and soul, but my mind remembered God and had to call out to myself reminding me of God’s faithfulness. And it worked… in those moments tottering on despair, faith rose up and another day was endured.

The Lord saw me through… Praise be to Him.

I will shout to the Lord and declare HE is worthy of our life, our trust, our love and our PRAISE! Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken (1-2).

Praise be to You, my Lord and my God… Who stands with me during think and thin. Halleluiah! What a Savior. Halleluiah! What a God. Amen.


Saturday, October 17: Revelation 22- To see God's face.

In the OT in particular, humans are never allowed to see God’s face. On a rare occasion, God passed by and a person saw the rear of God’s head (Ex 33:20-23) but never God’s face. So the words of verse 4 are stunning: They will see his [God’s] face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

The radical change that heaven will be!

To see someone’s face is to recognize and identify them. To see someone face-to-face is a first step to truly knowing them. When we see a face during conversation, the face gives subtle clues about the person. Are they warm and connecting? Do they seem to be telling the truth? Are they approachable or distant?

Seeing someone face-to-face is a major component to connection.

In the world to come, the Redeemed and Saved will be invited into a world where we will see God face-to-face. And God will see us face-to-face as well. And this will be just the first step in a connection and an intimacy with God that will be so far beyond anything experience this side of eternity. And it will be WONDER-FULL!

What a joyous day that will be

Until then, I tell myself…stay true, stay faithful and develop as much connection with God –Father, Jesus, Spirit –as I possibly can this side of eternity.

Thank You, Lord, for the joy to come. Sustain me in the present until the present becomes the future and Jesus returns to usher in His entirely new kingdom described here in Rev 22. Alleluia. Amen.



Friday, October 16: Revelation 21- Finally a glimpse into eternity.

There are many descriptors of eternity in this chapter; my heart latched on to one provided in the final verse. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life (27).

Nothing impure will enter it, the city, heaven; those were the words that attached to my life.

What will it be like to live in a world of perfect purity? What will it be like to be perfectly pure myself?

I really have no frame of reference for absolute purity… moral purity, relational purity, faith purity, purity of understanding and on and on it goes…

I consider this state from the opposite perspective… there will be no deceit, no lying, no hidding of false pretenses or intentions, no aggressive, passive or passive aggressive behavior, no duplicity.

Wow, this new world is hard to process, but amazingly wonderful at the same time. No taint, no stain, just purity. Although it is difficult to fathom, it will be pure delight and wonder.

This future is worth any pain, dedication, or trail that is required in following and staying faithful to Jesus.

Lord, may I be found worthy… this is my prayer. Amen.


Thursday, October 15: Revelation 20- Judgment Day.

… and each person was judged according to what they had done (13).

I don’t understand everything that happens in this chapter and I have many questions about the 1000 years. But setting that aside for another day, the text of verse 13 shouts to me… there will be a judgment day for everyone. I will stand before God and He will examine me and the things I have done and the things I choose not to do.

I have seen the judgment of God over and over in the chapters of Revelation and yet verse 13 in its direct simple-ness hits home harder than some of the other verses. Verse 13 also makes it clear I will be judged!

Verse 15 reminds me that the ultimate penalty of judgment, however, is dependent on another factor, whether a person’s name is written in the Book of Life. Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. The Book of Life lists the names of people who have confessed Jesus as Lord –people who have before Judgment Day acknowledged Jesus as Lord of all and their Lord.

As I ponder my day of judgment, I am thankful for Jesus that He took my sins and nailed them to His cross. The outcome is not in doubt. I also believe that as my sins are judged, the grace, mercy and love of God and the sacrifice of Jesus will only grow in magnitude and wonder. as I see concretely for the first time how far short I fell and how great God’s love was for me, saving me through Jesus.

That will be quite a day and after that day I will join the chorus of The Saved praising God like I have heard Him praised throughout the reading of Revelation.

Praise God from whom all blessing flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above you heavenly host. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen and Amen.


Wednesday, October 14: Revelation 19- All heaven rejoices.

What an incredible scene in heaven, as all heaven begins to rejoice at the destruction of Babylon.

Various scenes filled my thoughts. In the Wizard of Oz when the wicked witch is killed, the land breaks out in spontaneous celebration,

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!

Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.

Wake up - sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.

Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She's gone where the goblins go,

Below - below - below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out.

Ding Dong' the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.

Let them know The Wicked Witch is dead!

At the end of World War II, bells tolled, people rushed into streets celebrating the end of the war.

All heaven rejoices in the celebration of the destruction of evil. The heavenly shouts of praise magnify our God and king…


Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

for true and just are his judgments.

He has condemned the great prostitute

who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.

He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”


The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” (1-3).

In my heart I joined the heavenly throng, joy and amazement for my God, our God, rushed over me. Everything our God promised He delivered. His Word is truth. His Word will come true.  Some day I will be with the number before the throne joyfully singing and shouting praise to the Lord God Almighty, the One whom I worship and adore.

What a day that will be.

My heart rested in this joy. No matter what life brings my way today or any day, it cannot erase what will be when Jesus comes to claim His bride and usher in His new and redeemed kingdom.

Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God! True are His judgments!  Eternal is His Word! He is mighty and awesome. He is the Great and Awesome God, alone to be worshiped and praised. Alone, Lord God of the Universe.

I will worship my God and King –Father, Jesus, Spirit –with all of my heart and all of my life. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen.


Tuesday, October 13: Revelation 18- Song of sadness.

How sad, how sad when someone’s destruction is memorialized in a song. This is precisely what this chapter is all about.

The destruction of Babylon is lamented in song.

Babylon, the great harlot, the earthly representation of the enemy of God is destroyed. How sad.

I thought…we all get our just desserts. We will all get what we deserve. God’s people get salvation and God’s enemies get destruction.

Thinking about the lament for Babylon fired off my own thoughts. I wonder what songs will be sung at my end? Will people sing for my destruction or express sadness and grief because I am gone?  I wondered what songs will be sung for me?

How I live will determine people’s reaction at my death. How you live will determine people’s reaction at your death, too.

Think about it…

Lord, I pray for fortitude to live wisely, to carve a positive and helpful path in life that touches and blesses people because I am living in line with Your will and way. Give me strength to live this way and correct me when I begin to stray. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen


Monday, October 12: Revelation 17- Evil's destruction assured.

In this imagery rich chapter, one message comes through loud and clear. Evil and her minions will be destroyed and judged by the Lord. Sadly Ms. Evil will dupe many people on earth, all except those whose names are found in the Book of Life (8).

My heart rejoices that truth triumphs and evil is judged.

My heart cries that many people will be duped and miss out on the joy of Jesus because of Ms. Evil and her minions.

This mix of emotions has been with me for many days now as I read the book of Revelation.

Some of those duped are people I know. Have I done what I was supposed to do to tell them there is a way of salvation? Have I been the light I was designed to be?

I am not sure how to process all this. Guilt, joy, anticipation, sorrow, and tons of questions rattle around my heart and mind.

I land on one main thought. I trust the Lord. I trust God to use me and when I fail to use someone else. This is not an escape from personal responsibility; it comes from a deep sense that God’s Will will not be thwarted even by a sin-filled me.

How this all works out I do not know… and so I trust the One whose wisdom and way is much higher than mine (see Isaiah 55:8).

I surrender to You –Father, Jesus, Son. You are all I have that is trustworthy and You are all I need. I lay my life and the future of the world and all its inhabitants in Your loving and just hands. Amen.


Saturday, October 10: Revelation 16- There is a clock running.

Two phrases stuck to me as I read today. The first was repeated twice, but they refused to repent of what they had done (8, 10).

I gather from this phrase that as God is pouring out His just wrath and punishment on those who have stood and lived opposed to Him, even then should they repent, God would save them. But sadly they will not and do not repent. So they receive what their sin scarred life deserves… wrath and punishment.

The second appeared only once but that was all it needed, “It is done!” (17).

This word reminds me that there is a clock running. I have no clue how much time is on it, but God knows. And the Lord will one day of His choosing call an end to wickedness and rebellion and bring an end to the world as we know it. In that day all who stood opposed to God will receive what their sins deserve and all who through faith in Jesus will receive full and ultimate salvation.

I sit confronted with the final judgment of God and my heart is mixed. Joy sprouts at the expectation of ultimate salvation. No more pain or tears or crying or pain (21:4) for those who follow the Lamb. Sadness and grief for people who refuse to acknowledge the only and one true God and reach out to Him through faith in Jesus.

And so I sit with a mixed heart…

Lord, I am so grateful that You peeled away the covering over my eyes and let me see Jesus. Bless You. Use me to help others see You so they can be saved. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Friday, October 9: Revelation 15- A world built on justice and truth .

There is lots of singing before God’s throne. As the final bowls of fury of God’s wrath are about to be poured out, seven great angels broke out in a chorus to their (our) God:

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,

Lord God Almighty.

Just and true are your ways,

King of the nations.

Who will not fear you, Lord,

and bring glory to your name?

For you alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship before you,

for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (3-4)

I stared at and listened to this song. I imagined a congregation singing in unison and then harmonizing…

“Great and marvelous are your deeds,

Lord God Almighty.

Just and true are your ways,

King of the nations.

That is my God! Marvelous and mighty, a doer of deeds, someone who is not totally removed but acts in our world showing His greatness.

And only the wicked do not long for a leader who is just and true and who leads people with justice and truth! For a fleeting moment I pondered what our world would look like if world leaders truly led with justice and truth. And then I thought, ‘No, that is the world of my God will be like for all eternity... the world which I am going someday. My present world will never be that way.’

Maybe some day I will get to join in this song with the redeemed and all the heavenly hosts. And as we sing, there in our midst will be our God! Oh, what a day that will be!!!

“Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. You, O Lord, are the great and awesome God and I bow to You, creator and sustainer of all things!

Praise be to You, Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit, the God above all Gods, and the Lord above all Lords. Alleluia. Amen.


Thursday, October 8: Revelation 14- Counterfeit faith.

I saw it as I read this chapter. I had not noticed this before. All people were marked, some by the Lord (1) and some by the beast (9). The Lord’s mark brings with it the guarantee of salvation; the beast’s mark earns the wearer the fury of the wrath of God.

The two marks, the real and the counterfeit -the Lord’s and the beast’s, launched my thinking about real and counterfeit in faith.

As Moses performed God’s signs before pharaoh, pharaoh’s magicians could mimic the sign at least for the first few signs. Ironically the magician’s power only served to increase human suffering since they multiplied the plague. God’s enemy, in displaying his limited power, increases human suffering.

Many Israelite kings had prophets who advised them. Prophets of the Lord spoke God’s truth, prophets of Baal led Israel astray. Again counterfeits led to destruction.

Paul confronted false apostles.  Jesus warned of false messiahs. The devil has been counterfeiting from the beginning trying to lead people astray. So he marks his own, just like the Lord marks His own, except one mark is a counterfeit.

When it comes to dollar bills, bank tellers are trained to spot counterfeits. A believer’s training against counterfeits is the solid understanding of God’s Word.

Hmmm… a nugget to ponder more deeply today.

Lord, as I spend time in Your Word daily, build my sensitivities to Your truth so that I can spot counterfeits at first glance. Lord, I do not want to be deceived… Your Word is my safety shield. Help me to use it well, to train my life to use it in all circumstances so that Your Word is my shield and defender as well as my guide for living. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Wednesday, October 7: Revelation 13- Patient Endurance.

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people (10b).

There is coming a time when those of us who follow Jesus will require patient endurance and faithfulness to continue to walk with Jesus. The inference is clear… the world and the structures of the world will be opposed to people who have faith in Jesus.

Patient endurance are words laden with pain and trial. And the call to faithfulness on the heels of patient endurance only serves as an exclamation mark. The call to the faithful during these times will be a call to hold on and to remain faithful despite the cost…

I don’t know when these revelation days are coming and when the climax of time will happen. But I do know these words were written to real people enduring real suffering for the faith in earlier days. And they speak to any Believer who has endured the wrath of man or the wrath of God’s enemy.

Faith in Jesus is not for the faint of heart. Times of testing will come. The general regard for religious faith that I experience in my country is not experienced universally around the world by sisters and brothers in Jesus.

It may even be that the general regard for Christian people is beginning to erode in my country. How does God expect that I/we should live and act if this is so? This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.

What I am hearing in these words from Scripture today is that I need to buckle on my helmet and prepare myself to follow Jesus no matter what comes. Living for Jesus is not a cakewalk. It requires patient endurance and faithfulness on my part.

Lord, may I be steeled for whatever comes my way. May I be faithful to You no matter what is asked of me. In and through Jesus, the Lamb, who was slain so that I can be redeemed, I pray. Amen


Tuesday, October 6: Revelation 12- A mighty fortress is our God.

This is a difficult chapter for me. I am not sure I understand all the symbolism. I wondered, “Lord, God, what’s Your Word for me this morning? What is my faith nugget, my entry into You and Your life?”

Verse 17 began to sparkle. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring—those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.

I have an enemy… God’s enemy, the devil…Satan (9) cannot defeat God so he is going after God’s offspring, those who love and follow Jesus.

The world is not merely benign, a neutral place where I can loose my way if I am not careful. Martin Luther described the struggle in our world quite well in his famous song, A Mighty Fortress:

For still our ancient foe

doth seek to work us woe;

his craft and power are great,

and armed with cruel hate,

on earth is not his equal.

(stanza 1b)


And though this world, with devils filled,

should threaten to undo us,

(stanza 3a)

The world is not merely benign because the devil is waging war against us!

But chapter 12 is not the entire story either. Luther understood that even amidst the tumult and the war with God’s enemy, God was on our side.  God would care for us as God cares for the woman in verses 13 and following. Luther describes it this way:

A mighty fortress is our God,

a bulwark never failing;

our helper he amid the flood

of mortal ills prevailing.

For still our ancient foe

doth seek to work us woe;

his craft and power are great,

and armed with cruel hate,

on earth is not his equal.

(stanza 1)


And though this world, with devils filled,

should threaten to undo us,

we will not fear, for God hath willed

his truth to triumph through us.

The Prince of Darkness grim,

we tremble not for him;

his rage we can endure,

for lo, his doom is sure;

one little word shall fell him.

(stanza 3)

So even as I am reminded about the truth and danger of God’s enemy, who is always lurking and attacking, I am reminded all the more that God is watching out for me.

I need to be vigilant against Satan, but his doom is sure, so no matter what he throws my way I will cling to Jesus and in the end be saved. Alleluia. 

Thank You Jesus…

Did we in our own strength confide,

our striving would be losing,

were not the right man on our side,

the man of God's own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is he;

Lord Sabaoth, his name,

from age to age the same,

and he must win the battle.



Monday, October 5: Revelation 11- God's day has come.

God’s day has come. With this chapter, the reign of Jesus Christ and the fulfillment of all God has promised has begun. Joy fills heaven and the inhabitants begin to sing.

“The kingdom of the world has become

the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,

and he will reign for ever and ever.”


“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,

the One who is and who was,

because you have taken your great power

and have begun to reign.

The nations were angry,

and your wrath has come.

The time has come for judging the dead,

and for rewarding your servants the prophets

and your people who revere your name,

both great and small—

and for destroying those who destroy the earth.” (15-18).

Praise to You, Lord, for what You have said would come to be is coming to be. Your saints are rejoicing because Your day has come. Their reward is coming and Your enemies are receiving their just rewards, too… Your judgment.

For some reason the phrase from verse 16 grips me. We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was… It is particularly the last words quoted: the One who is and who was. Up till now He has been the One Who is and was and is to come. But that is no longer the case. Jesus has come! There is no more waiting!!!

I found myself pondering what it will be like to meet Jesus face to face, to see Him in all His glory and to be visibly counted before all the inhabitants of the earth as one of His numbers.

I sat and I pondered… appreciation, love, and thankfulness all mingled together within me. Anticipation, too, welled up.

Any suffering, and all the questions, wonderings, doubts will disappear in an instant, replaced instantly by appreciation, love, and thankfulness ushering forth in praise and adoration with joy for my Savior and my God. What a day that will be…

Praise to the Lord, the almighty the King of Creation. O my soul praises Him for He is my Health and Salvation. In that great day all who surrendered to Him will pray, Praise to the Lord God Almighty who was and is and forever shall be. Amen.