Sunday Devotional: Psalm 62

“For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.

How long will all of you attack a man
    to batter him,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
    They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse. Selah

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah

Those of low estate are but a breath;
    those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.

Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
     and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For you will render to a man
    according to his work.” (Psalm 62)

David knew all too well about the Lord’s provision through tough times.  He experienced many trials throughout his life.  Yet David knew where he could turn to in those moments.  This psalm is another example of the response David had to God’s faithfulness.

God loves us and is with us throughout all the times in our lives, the good and the bad.  He is the one we can turn to when the storms come.  He provides shelter from the storm.  He is our rock and our salvation.

This week, like David, let us put our hope and trust in God through all the times that come to us, good and bad.  Let us rest in Him.

Thursday Quote Day: Clayton Kershaw

For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day” here is a quote from Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw:

“We only have to look at Jesus to realize how God can bring beautiful things out of even the worst moments. The cross seems like the greatest defeat, but now we know that Jesus went through that suffering to win the ultimate victory over sin and death. If God can do that with the cross, He can do something beautiful with any trial.” (Clayton Kershaw Arise)

Updated 2016 Book List

Here is an updated 2016 book list:

Film, Faith and Philosophy:  Big Ideas on the Big Screen edited by R. Douglas Geivett and James S. Spiegel

Star Wars:  The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue by Robert K. Johnston

It:  How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It by Craig Groeschel

Called to Coach:  Reflections on Life, Faith and Football by Bobby Bowden with Mark Schlabach

Boring:  Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life by Michael Kelley

Arise by Clayton and Ellen Kershaw

Sunday Devotional: John 8:1-11

“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst  they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”  This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground.  But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” (John 8:1-11)

This is one of the most well known passages of the Bible.  It is also one of the most informative (and hardest to live out) passages of Scripture.  It tells the encounter of Jesus  with the Pharisees and the woman caught in adultery.  Jesus was teaching in the temple.  The Pharisees bring in this woman that was caught in adultery and tell Jesus that in the Law “Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?”

These Pharisees were more interested in trying to trip up Jesus then following God’s law.  Jesus points this out to them when he says “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”  Of course none could do that and they all walked away.  As followers of Jesus, we are called to forgive.  We are called to forgive because we have been forgiven so much.

But look what is said next.  Jesus said to the woman “Woman where are they? Has no one condemned you?” When she responds no, Jesus said “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” Jesus forgave the woman but He also didn’t want her to keep on sinning.  He didn’t condone or affirm it.  He didn’t say for her to keep on sinning.  He wanted her to live anew.

We are to forgive others and to love them.  We are also called to not keep sinning.  Because we have a sinful nature it is hard but we have the Holy Spirit working in our lives to change us.  We should desire to be more like Christ.  Jesus wants us to forgive and show grace and mercy.  He also wants us to not stay in our sin but to ask for forgiveness and turn it over to Him.

This week let us show grace and mercy to those around us.  Let us forgive.  And let us also encourage ourselves and others to “go and sin no more.”  Let us share the love of Christ to a world that is needing it so badly.

Thursday Quote Day: Charles Spurgeon

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features another quote from pastor Charles Spurgeon:

“Delayed answers to prayer are not only trials of faith; they also give us opportunities to honor God through our steadfast confidence in Him even when facing the apparent denial of our request.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Sunday Devotional: 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,  that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you—  so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,  who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Corinthians 1:4-9)

In his first letter to the church in Corinth, Paul right off the bat wanted to share with the members there his love and care for them.  He was very thankful for them and loved them very much.  He wanted them to know how much they meant to him and how much he wanted them to know the love of Jesus more fully and deeply.

Paul wanted the Corinthians to know how much Jesus loved them and that He was the sustainer of their lives.  Before getting into anything else, Paul made it a point to share this with the Corinthians.

The same is true for us today as well.  We should be grateful for the grace that has been given to us by God through Jesus Christ.  He is the one that sustains us and gives us hope.  He is the one that loves us so much and is faithful.

This week, let us live in that hope.  And more so let us share that hope with others.

Thursday Quote Day: Michael Kelley

This week’s “Thursday Quote Day” features another quote by author and speaker Michael Kelley:

“There is a certain measure of sobriety we need to approach our fellow men and women with. It’s a respect that acknowledges that God has uniquely created this person, each one has a story, and we don’t have any idea for what purpose God might have connected us at that given moment.” (Michael Kelley Boring)

Sunday Devotional: John 15:12-17

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” John 15:12-17

One of the best things in the world is to have a good friend.  One that is there with you through thick and thin.  One that you can rely on and trust.  One that cares about you and your well being and wants the best for you.

It is such a blessing to know that as a follower of Jesus, not only is He our Lord and Savior, He is also our friend.  He tells His disciples in John 15 about how much they should love one another and what that entails.  Jesus wasn’t one to just say and not do.  He also showed His love and what that meant giving of His life.  He embodied what it meant to lay down His life.  He did this so that we could have a restored relationship.  He did this so that we could call Him friend.

This week, let us live in the love that Christ has given to us.  Let us share that love with others.  And let us remember the true friendship we have with Jesus as followers of Him.