Devotions from Pastor Mike

May 5th, 2020

Psalm 100 starts with “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” The rest of the Psalm speaks for itself with line after line that we see in hymns and praise songs from today. In Ezekiel 19 we have a lament for Israel’s princes. An allegory of God as a lioness raising male cubs to be strong lions only for Egypt and Babylon to capture and imprison them. Closing with a withered vine in a “dry and thirsty land.” Then we come to Matthew 21 and the Triumphal Entry and Jesus cleansing the temple. Matthew is showing us that all are eligible for the kingdom of heaven if they repent. The son who said “no”to going into the field but then turned around and obeyed repented, the tax collectors and sinners who heeded John the Baptist’s message to repent versus the Pharisees and Sadducees who never did. Then finally the tenants who killed the vineyard owner’s son and the owner gives it over to new tenants who have done the right thing and believed in the resurrected Christ. All to show that salvation comes by believing the message and acting upon that belief. I pray all who read this have or will believe in Jesus, who is The Christ the Son of the living God.

May 4th, 2020

In Psalm 99 it says; the Lord reigns, let the nations tremble. It speaks of Israel’s leaders of the past, and God’s relationship with them. In verse 8 it says “You were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds.” The punishment is tempered by forgiveness. This theme is continued in Ezekiel 18, which states “The soul who sins is the one who will die.” God depicts the exiles as complaining that God is not just (modern version: “how could a loving God let _____happen”). God response “Is it not your ways that are unjust?” Good answer. In Matthew we have the vineyard owner hiring people for a just wage and continue hiring throughout the day. All get the same wages. The subject is salvation. If an unrighteousness person repents and turns to Christ latter in life he gets to go to heaven along with the person who served the Lord all their life. God bless you all.

May 3rd, 2020

Today we look at the 23rd Psalm. Out of my usual order but I felt the Lord wanted me to review it. The Lord is my shepherd. A personal relationship. God is my shepherd and yours. I shall not be in want. A shepherd cares for his sheep. He makes me go to green pastures and quiet waters for sustenance. Our soul is restored. For the believer our soul can be forever refreshed while our body slows down. He guides me ( through His word) in paths of righteousness for His names sake. God will never lead us astray. Walking through the valley of the shadow of death is made possible because God is with me and well armed with His rod and staff, as a result I will have no fear of evil. My enemies are no match for you as you sustain me in their presence. You provide healing oil and I have an abundance of what I need from my overflowing cup. Goodness and mercy follow me all my days if I follow my shepherd. One day I will enter your house and stay there forever. God bless all of you this blessed day.

May 2nd, 2020

Good morning dear people. In Psalm 98 we are told to sing to the Lord a new song. In verses 4-6 he speaks of shouting and singing with specific instruments. At times our worship should be with great enthusiasm. In public and in private as well. In heaven we will have perfect voices and harmony. How exciting. In Ezekiel 17 God gives the prophet an allegory about two eagles. The first takes Israel from a cedar of Lebanon and plants it as a vine by the river. But when the vine grows strong it seeks a different eagle (false gods) far away from the river and is destroyed. This represented Jerusalem at that time and the king’s rebellion against Babylon but more importantly his rebellion against God. In Matthew 19 we have the discussion about divorce and then we come to the rich young ruler. He asks what good thing he could do to inherit eternal life. Jesus points out there is only one “good” and that is God. Jesus tells him to obey the commandments and he asks “which ones?” Wow I missed the part with the pick and choose commandments. Eventually Jesus told him to sell all and follow Him. He left disappointed because he had great wealth. The mans problem was his trust in his riches not that he had them, Lazarus was rich, Nicodemus was rich, but they trusted in Jesus not their wealth. “Jesus paid it all,” says the hymn, “all to Him I owe.” Let us believe in Jesus as Paul told the Philippian jailer. God bless you all dear people.

May 1st, 2020

Psalm 97 again praises the Lord for His righteousness and justice which characterize His throne. “All who worship images are put to shame,” There is no other god than the one true God. “Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous, and praise His holy name.” In Ezekiel 16 we have God recounting the desperate condition Israel was in when He found her. The whole allegory speaks of Israel as an unfaithful wife who whored herself to other gods, sacrificed children, verse 20, and made Sodom look righteous by comparison. But since the covenant was eternal and depended upon God alone He offered Israel and by extension you and I, atonement for all they had done. In Matthew 18 Jesus spoke first about how we had to humble ourselves spiritually in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. The Jesus said Woe to the person who misleads children or anyone else spiritually, it would be better to lose the offending limb that to have your whole body cast into hell. We live in a world that promotes evil and targets children with that evil, i.e. “drag queen story hour.” Telling children there are multiple genders etc. Let’s not just tell children about Jesus but also live a life that reflects Jesus as best we can. God bless you all dear friends.