March 31 Devotional

Happy last day of March! Today we’ll be looking at Matthew 6:25-34:
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
I thought this passage would be another timely one with everything going on in our world today! Three times in this passage, Jesus commands us to not be anxious or not worry. But there are some specific things Jesus tells us not to worry about, and they all center around selfishness. See there’s a sense of holy worry for the spiritual well-being of your church family. There’s also a sense of holy anxiousness to see God’s kingdom coming to bear fruition on earth. But the kind of worry we should not make the focus of our lives is material things. Jesus focuses on 3 things: what we eat, what we look like, and the clothes we wear. These three things are external things that have little to no bearing on the spiritual well being of all of us (I say little because God created our bodies as good, but they are marred by the fall).
There’s a wonderful little book that just came out called ‘Don’t Forget to Remember by Ellie Holcomb that we bought for our kids (there’s also a fun album that goes along with it!), that walks through various aspects of creation that God has given to us to remind us of is never ending love for us. Things like the sun’s warmth that reminds us God’s love is right with us all the time. Jesus is here making the exact same point. Worrying is a waste of time because God takes care of all of his creation (which includes us!). Even birds, this text tells us, are to remind us that God will provide everything we need! 
We end with the reminder to worry about God’s kingdom instead of ourselves. As I preached yesterday, none of us have control over the economy, and as of right now we can’t even do anything against this virus (apart from practicing social distancing!). But what we can control is what we’re focusing our attentions and thus our lives on. If we focus on God and his kingdom, we don’t need to worry about the other things, but if we focus on the other things we’ll never arrive!
Today’s song is from that Ellie Holcomb album titled ‘Don’t Forget to Remember’ and you can listen to it on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
Many of you know I kind of love reading history, and have a special fondness for church history. Thus, one of the podcasts I listen to every week covers this very topic! It’s a very quick listen as it’s only 5 minutes long, called ‘5 Minutes in Church History.’

March 30 Devotional

Today we’ll be reading from Ephesians 1:11-14:
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
The first thing we see in this section is everything coming up here is based “In him.” If you look at the previous verses you’ll see “Him” is referring back to Christ, who has now given us an inheritance that is coming. This inheritance is being present with God for eternity.
We then come to one of the most misunderstood doctrines in the church today: predestination! This is meant to be a glorious description of God that gives us immense comfort no matter what we’re currently experiencing. It’s always struck me as odd that people want to debate whether or not God predestines people, because the word is literally in the Bible! There’s no other way to translate that word from the Greek to English. So because it’s there we have to admit that God predestines people, the question is then: who? Yet even as this verse goes on to say, all of this is to bring Him glory!
However, even though God is sovereign and predestines, that doesn’t get humans off the hook for their reactions. Even in this section, it says those who were predestined had to believe in him. The philosophical term used to describe this is divine compatibalism. That is: God sovereign orchestrates everything independent of us, yet at the same time we are completely responsible for our actions and cannot deter God’s will. These two things are compatible, and in God’s economy it makes sense, in ours it doesn’t! SO it would be a great question for when you get to heaven!
Lastly, the reason we know the inheritance is ours is because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who not only leads us in righteousness and reminds us of what Jesus taught us, He also serve as the guarantee of our future inheritance. Because we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit we can trust God that our future is secure! And because the Holy Spirit and the Father are God we can trust that they are working everything together for our good and His glory! This reminds us that even a virus can’t catch God by surprise, and the events taking place right now are still within God’s sovereign rule and reign, so we can trust Him completely!
I’m praying you all are stay safe and continue looking for ways to serve God and love your neighbors during this week!
Today’s song is by one of my favorite spoken word groups Beautiful Eulogy, and the song is called ‘Sovereign’ You can listen on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY. If you need help with the lyrics, click HERE.
There’s a new Netflix like service that’s free and contains a number of really good looking biography dramas, some kids shows, and some shows based on the Bible. I haven’t tried it out yet, but the price is right! It’s called RedeemTV and you can see it HERE.

March 29 Devotional

Don’t forget to log on to YOUTUBE this morning at 10 AM to watch our livestream!
Today we’ll be reading from Acts 2:42-47:
And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
This is one of my favorite passages in the New Testament that describes what the early church looked like. And in this case it’s the EARLY EARLY church! The Holy Spirit had just come down like fire and rested upon the apostles, Peter preached his first sermon, and the response was 3,000 new believers in response to just 1 message! The church quickly went from 120 people in the upper room, many of whom had spent years with Jesus, to 3,120 who were now committing to following Christ!
Part of the reason I like this so much is it boils down the essentials of what a church service looks like to 4 piece. We begin with teaching. The verbal structure of this signifies that they continually devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. That is they were hungry to hear from God. They needed the growth that comes from spending time in God’s Word, and before they had a full Bible like we do, they had the apostles, who had lived life with Jesus, being trained by him.
Next is the fellowship. Fellowship is often misunderstood today, as it’s not a wing of a church building! As the passage goes on to signify, fellowship involves sacrificial giving, either of your time or your possessions. Fellowship must go much deeper than simply spending time together, as it means knowing what is going on in each other’s lives. The good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. This one if somewhat hard for us right now, as it’s nearly impossible to spend time together in fellowship, so remember this feeling right now, and don’t forget to be intentional about fellowship when we can finally meet again!
Thirdly is the breaking of bread and prayers. Because they talk about the food they were eating later, I think this is referring to the regular practice of the Lord’s Supper (which is why I prefer to celebrate the Lord’s Supper weekly, but that’s a different discussion!). Both of these things signify crucial matters to the gathering of God’s people: prayer and communion. If everything we do is not girded in prayer, then we’re wasting time! And if we’re not obeying our Lord who commanded us to remember his death, burial, and resurrection, then we’re sinning.
The last part is the last verse, the outward reach and evangelism that was taking place because of their love for each other. The previous verse says they have favor with all the people (we know it’s not everyone, because just a few chapters later Stephen is killed). But in response to their faithful living and witness, people were continually putting their hope and faith in Christ. This is a great reminder for us to live different lives in the world around us. Lives that are marked by love, compassion, and generosity and lives that look for ways to share the good news of what Jesus has done with others. 
Today’s song is titled ‘My Worth Is Not in What I Own’ and has a line in the 5th verse that strikes me to the heart every time I hear it: “Two wonders here that I confess, my worth and my unworthiness.” What a beautiful way to describe the current tension we feel in our lives! You can listen to it on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.

March 28 Devotional

Today we’ll be looking at Psalm 78:1-7:
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
    but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
    and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
    to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
    but keep his commandments.
This Psalm contains one of the longest historical summaries of Israel’s history in the Psalms. If you continue reading beyond what we will look at today you’ll see the repeated summary that Israel did not believe, that they forgot about what God had done, and that in the midst of that God continually forgave them, blessed them, and continued to work for their good. One of the things we see in the midst of this Psalm is the command to teach God’s truths and God’s ways to our children and our children’s children.
The primary point I want you to take away from this Psalm to wrestle with and think through today is: what kind of memories are you instilling in your regular family rhythms to help you, your kids, and your grandkids not forget the works of God? The ways He was worked in your family. We’ve talked about these at church before, the need to regular build some form of an Ebenezer, as in the song ‘Come Thou Fount’ where we sing “Here I raise my Ebenezer.” What we’re saying is we’ve built an altar of remembrance so that we do not forget how God has provided for us. In times like we’re in now, it seems to be easy to forget all the ways God has worked in the past to provide for us, to ensure our safety, even the fact that we’re alive today is because of His grace! So your assignment today is to find some way to build regular patterns in your life for you to remember how God has abundantly provided for you! I’d also encourage you to read this entire Psalm and see how God provided for His people in the past, as an encouragement that He will continue providing for us today!
Today’s song  is an updated version of the hymn ‘Come Thou Fount’ sung by Chris Rice! The second verse contains new words that I love! You can listen to it on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
I’m not the only one who’s enjoying all the free things people are giving away during this time! One of my favorite bloggers has an ongoing list of things he’s found that you can access HERE.

March 27 Devotional

Today we’re going to take a look at the the beginning of Hebrews 11:
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
Most people when they hear faith detach it from anything grounded in reality. In fact, even some Christians I know separate their faith from from fact. Think of the song from the show Oklahoma “O what a beautiful morning, O what a beautiful day, I’ve got a wonderful FEELING, everything’s going my way.” What is that feeling based in? Not in reality or facts! Yet for many of us, we can use those two words interchangeably. But the author of Hebrews is here reminding us that faith is true, and assured. We know from 1 Peter that we were born into a living hope (1 Peter 1:3), and thus our faith is grounded in the reality of the empty tomb. Now it’s true, we didn’t see it, and it’s also true that we won’t see the complete ramifications of that until Jesus’ glorious return, but we also have evidence to back up our faith.
It’s also true that we’re not the first generation of God followers to need faith, as the next verse reminds us everyone at every time in human history has either been commended or condemned for their faith. Which leads us even further back in history to the very FIRST thing, the creation of the world! It is faith that reminds us and gives us the encouragement we need to trust that God is in complete control of everything we see. All of the created order bows its knee to him. Now, we don’t currently see that reality (see Romans 8:20-22), but we know that someday our faith will become sight. So my encouragement for you today is to take some time to think about your faith. Thankfully it’s not dependent on you, as Hebrews will go on to remind us, our faith is as assured as long as Jesus is on his throne (spoiler alert, that’s forever), so we can trust that He is continuing to work all things out. Trust in Him!
Today’s song picks up that very theme of the need to cling to Jesus, it’s an older song by a guy named Rich Mullins that you should go check out, it’s called ‘Hold Me Jesus’ and you can listen on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
Don’t forget, I’ve got all the songs together in a playlist HERE.
One of my favorite ways to listen to the Bible has been through a new app I found last year called Dwell. They have different translations, different readers, with different options for background music to listen to too. You can also do plans, listen to a verse repeatedly to help you memorize it, or do themed plans. They are giving away 60 free days to anyone interested, and I’ve signed up our church HERE. If you like it, I’d encourage you to get subscribe to them to help them continue releasing new content, and if you don’t like it, then it was free 🙂 Let me know what you think of it!

March 26 Devotional

Today we’ll be taking a look at one of Jesus’ interactions with his disciples in John 6:60-69:
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
This section follows right after a lengthy exposition where Jesus has been telling his followers he was the bread of life. Large crowds had been continuing to follow him around because they’d heard how he fed the 5,000 and wanted their needs supplied as well. Earlier, the Jews had been grumbling because he said he is the bread of life, and none of them were cannibals! So then we zoom in Jesus’ closest disciples, those with whom he’d be living, walking, and eating. They’d heard his teachings and mostly believed in him. Until now.
The disciples first response is one of incredulity. Jesus words have cut them to the heart and they’re struggling to believe. Augustine of Hippo once said of Christianity, “I believe in order to understand.” There are some things in the Christian faith that we don’t and won’t ever understand, so in the midst of that we believe that God is still good and working everything out for our good (Rom. 8).
One thing I want to focus on today is Jesus’ response. There’s a temptation for anyone when they’re reading the Bible to leave these people as two dimensional characters instead of remembering they were real flesh and blood people who really lived, experienced the same things we experience, yet in this case Jesus is God! So because of that temptation I think we can miss that Jesus experience emotions. How do you think Jesus felt in the midst of this story? Right in the middle it says “MANY of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” Those that he had given so much time and energy to just abandoned him, so (I think) in an act of desperation, he looked at the twelve and asked them the same thing.
Peter, who gets it wrong as often as he gets it right, hits a grand slam with his response! Jesus alone has the words of eternal life (we sing that together at church in the song ’Show Us Christ’). What are you doing to feast on his words? The only place we can find these eternal words is in God’s Word! I’d encourage you to spend some time while you’re at home digging in to it! Spend time praying through the Psalms, or using one of the resources I’ve sent out to learn more about God and connect with him in some new ways!
Today’s song is an exposition of the pain many of us as humans experience, yet in the midst of that God is good and true. It’s by one of my favorite artists, Andrew Peterson, and it’s called ‘Always Good’ you can listen on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
Ligonier Ministries, the organization founded by the late R.C. Sproul is giving away all their teaching resources through June 30. I’d strongly recommend pretty much everything Sproul does (with the exception of his view on baptism!). But you can see the resources available HERE.

March 25 Devotional

Today we’ll be reading from James 4:13-17:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

This passage always brings me comfort in the midst of the uncertainty swirling around me because it reminds me how small I am and how big God is. James begins by reminding us just how uncertain all our plans are. As we looked at on Monday, one aspect of The Lord’s Prayer is praying that God’s will be done on earth, just the same as it is in heaven. Not our will, but God’s will. I fear so often we’re so focused on our will that we completely forget to think of God’s will in our lives.

One of the ways the Puritans (the early Christians in the USA) tried to ensure everything they did was submitted to the Lord’s will was by writing the Latin phrase Deo Volente (meaning “God willing”) on many of their letters, and many early Methodists also picked this idea up and would write “D.V.” on their letters. I’m not trying to say we need to begin signing our letters the same way, but I do want us to begin thinking about tour lives that way! 

James goes on to remind us how fleeting our lives are. In the scope of eternity, the 78.69 year life expectancy average we have in the United States is just a blink. And what we do with our time on earth will determine where we spend that eternity, so don’t waste your time here! Because our lives are so short and we don’t know how long we have, we are to rely completely on the Lord, and submit everything we do to him. Then we can be confident that He is working in us that which is pleasing according to His will. This leads us to the last phrase, we cannot be believers only by listening and growing smarter. We must be hearers and doers of the Word, people who are putting what we learn into practice, and now is a great time to do that! I saw an article on the Times Call this morning featuring someone from church who has put together a supply kiosk at his house! That is a great example of not just believing in God, but putting that belief into practice. 

Today’s song was sent to me by a friend, and is called ‘All Things Together.’ You can listen to it on YOUTUBEor SPOTIFY. And don’t forget, if you want to listen to all the songs I’ve sent out, I have a playlist that gets updated everyday with the new song, you can listen HERE.



The Gospel Coalition has a list of 30 things to watch to help you pass the time! Most of them are free, but a couple you have to rent. Almost everything is on either Amazon Prime or Netflix. Some of my favorites were: A Quiet Place (don’t watch if you don’t like intense movies!), Christopher Robin, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Hook (yes, this is the classic Robin Williams film!), Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings trilogy (if you haven’t ever seen them PLEASE do your duty to your fellow human and watch this!), Mary Poppins Returns, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, The Riot and the Dance (if you like Planet Earth but would prefer it from a Christian perspective, watch this!). 

March 24 Devotional

Today we’ll look at another Psalm, Psalm 42:
As a deer pants for flowing streams,
    so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
    for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food
    day and night,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember,
    as I pour out my soul:
how I would go with the throng
    and lead them in procession to the house of God
with glad shouts and songs of praise,
    a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.
My soul is cast down within me;
    therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
    from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
    at the roar of your waterfalls;
all your breakers and your waves
    have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
    and at night his song is with me,
    a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God, my rock:
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
    because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones,
    my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me all the day long,
    “Where is your God?”
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
    and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
    my salvation and my God.
The primary question that should jump out to you as you read this Psalm is: what are you longing for? As the days are continuing on, and as the shelter in place orders continue to spread, I find myself increasingly drawn to want to be out there doing something. There’s something weird in the American psyche that has a knee jerk reaction to disobey whatever we’re told to do 🙂 And I confess that I find myself drawn to the same thing! 
Notice as well, what is it that the writer is missing? Meeting together as God’s people to focus exclusively on Him! I find myself missing the same things right now! I miss being able to get coffee together, to sit down and chat as we practice music together, to meet for lunch, all the things that make up being a part of the body of Christ. There should be a sense of longing in the midst of this season where we can’t meet. Yes, Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts can do in a pinch, but they’re a poor substitute for actually meeting together. 
Lastly, notice how the write speaks to himself, or as I’ve heard others say, he preaches to himself. He says “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me?” I would imagine that (like me!) many of you are feeling that way right now too. My retirement portfolio is not looking too hot, I can’t go in to work, my kids are going stir crazy already, and we’re probably going to be confined to our houses by the end of the week, if things continue to progress as they have been. Yet in the midst of the questioning, we can also urge ourselves on, as the writer goes on to say “Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.” Even in the midst of what’s going on around us, we are commanded to hope. Hope is the byproduct of the Christian life, where we can put our full confidence in God, because He has proven Himself faithful over and over and over again. So today, put your hope in God, because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7).
The song to listen to today is called ‘Lord from Sorrows Deep I Call (Psalm 42)’ by the Gettys which you can listen to on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
BONUS SONG: Sandra McCracken also has an arraignment based on this Psalm called ‘My Help, My God’ which is fun to listen to and compare the two versions and what they emphasize. You can listen to this one on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY as well!
Don’t forget, if you want to listen to the ongoing playlist in it’s entirety, you can listen to it on SPOTIFY.
If you’ve got kids, Adventure in Odyssey is offering a FREE 4 week trial to listen to every episode they’ve ever created. When I was growing up I measure road trips by how many episodes we could get through, so they are VERY good! You can sign up HERE.

March 23 Devotional

Today we’ll be looking at Matthew 6:9-13, The Lord’s Prayer:
Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from evil.
The first thing of note is the communal nature of this prayer OUR Father. This is a corporate prayer that we all participate in together. And, this is the first time in Matthew’s Gospel where we are included in referring to God as Father. He’s not only distant and “in heaven” he’s near and close as our Heavenly Father. And because of that we hallow, or honor, or respect His name. This beginning is vitally important, for it reminds us to focus or gaze on God instead of ourselves. It’s a reminder that He is in charge and we are not. And part of our submitting to him is the next part of the prayer, that His Kingdom will come and be established here and now. This is what theologians call inaugurated eschatology, that is, the end times have already begun, but they have not been completed. Jesus is the King on His throne already, even though we don’t see right now the outworking of that reign. 
I’ve been listening to a podcast recently called ’This Cultural Moment’ that was turned into a book called ‘Reappearing Church’ in which Mark Sayers (the author) states that what most people want today is all the benefits of being a part of God’s kingdom without submitting to Jesus as the ruler. Or to quote him directly: they want the kingdom without the king. So people look to other things (politics, economics, education, science) as the end in and of themselves, and what we find in all of them is the same thing God has commanded us to do! In so many of these areas, we as Christians should want the same thing others want, but our means and justification of those desires are vastly different. 
With all that background focusing on God, we then finally turn to ourselves, where we are to ask for our daily needs. Notice it says bread, not cake! One commentator I read once said: we are to ask for our needs not our greeds! Trust that God will provide what we need for each day, especially in this time of difficulty we’re experiencing! Look for ways that you can be generous to those around you with what God has given to you! We also need to ask forgiveness for our sins and actively forgive those who have sinned against us. A lack of forgiveness means we don’t truly understand the gospel message. Who may you need to forgive today? 
Lastly, we are to ask for God’s provision to not give in to temptation, but through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, we are to daily fight against our sins! We also are to pray that God will deliver us from evil, or another way of translating that is the evil one, which creates interesting bookends to this prayer! We begin with a focus on God, and end with a focus on the evil one, and we live right now in between those two. We know God is supreme and has already won the war, but the daily battles are still difficult, which is why we need to pray this prayer! So take some time today to pray this prayer, not just for you, but for all of us as church, that as we bunker down in our homes we can remain faithful in our calling as Christians!
Our song for the day is called ‘Father Let Your Kingdom Come’ which is a fun arrangement of the Lord’s Prayer! You can listen to it on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
Crossway (a Christian publishing company) is also giving away some free ebooks, podcasts, and other resources on their website that you can find HERE. The price is right, so why not give it a try?

March 22 Devotional

Today, we’re going to take a look at Hebrews 10:23-25:
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
I wanted to dive in to this one today as it’s the first Sunday for at least a couple Sundays where we AREN’T meeting together! So are we being disobedient to the Bible? But let’s start at the very beginning of these verses. The first exhortation here is to hold fast to the confession of our hope. This hope is seen back in Hebrews 6:19-20 “We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inter place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” This hope is Jesus, and our confession is in Him. Think of the role that an anchor plays in a boat. I’m not much of a sailor myself, but I know how anchors work! They keep the boat anchored in the midst of the storms and trials going on around them, just as Christ does for us! And the reason He can be our hope is because He is faithful. So even in the midst of the coronavirus spreading around us, God is faithful because He cannot change. I was messaging a friend last night about his area going on lock down for the next 30 days on Tuesday, meaning he’s not allowed out of his house! But in the midst of that he’s still hopeful!
And that hope is contagious, as the author goes on to say “let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works.” When we’re hopeful we can remind each other to remain hopeful! And that is made manifest in our love and good works toward each other, which is most evident in our gathering. So what do we do with that verse of not neglecting to meet together? One thing this reminds us is that what we’re experiencing now is not normal. The church has met regularly for millennia, and not meeting is not the norm! But what we need to remember is that we’re not willingly choosing to forego the corporate gathering. There should be a sense of mourning today that we can’t meet together, and create a longing in us for the day when we can finally meet in person again!
And beyond all of this, because of the access we have to technology, we can continue encouraging one another. I’d encourage you today to reach out to the people you normally see at church and see how they’re doing. Find someone you can pray with and for, and continue encouraging them to continue clinging to Christ as the anchor of their soul in the midst of the storm swirling around us.
Today’s song is called ‘We Will Feast in the House of Zion’ which talks about the day we can all look forward to where we will see Jesus face to face and never be separated by sickness or death again! You can listen to it on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
One other note today, many organizations are giving content away to keep you busy during this time, so I’ll occasionally recommend some as I come across them. One that I use often is all the study material that Crossway gives away at The English Standard Version is the translation we preach from and use at Grace and is my favorite for studying, and they’re letting anyone anywhere access all their study materials (commentaries, notes, etc) for free here: I’d strongly recommend using them for the next couple months to dig in to God’s Word!