Devotions from Pastor Mike

April 25th, 2020

Good morning dear people. In Psalm 91 the psalmist speaks of God’s protective care. “You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.” It says we will not fear these. God does not want us to live in fear. Jewish tradition believes this psalm refers to God’s protection from demonic spirits. So it is interesting when Satan partially quotes this psalm when he temps Jesus, vss. 11&12. People misuse scripture all the time for their own methods. They should heed Christ’s response, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God.” We come to the end of Ezekiel’s vision of the glory departing from the temple in Ezekiel 11. God again points out that He is judging Israel for her idolatry. But in verses 16&17 God promises protection in exile and eventual restoration in the future millennial kingdom. Then Ezekiel is returned to Babylon. In Matthew we have six parables presented. I will focus on the wheat and the tares. Many who do not know Christ call themselves Christians. God will have the Angels discern the wheat from the Tares and throw the tares into eternal fire. I pray all of you are among the wheat. “He who has ears let him hear.” God bless all of you this gift of a day.

April 24th, 2020

Good morning. We come to Psalm 90 today. A psalm of Moses. Moses points out that God’s perception of time is different than ours in verse 4, “For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that had just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” Moses also sets out a disturbing truth. In verse 8. “You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.” God knows these things, yet through Jesus our sins are forgiven so that we can go on in service to him and abandon those sins. In Ezekiel 10 where the glory of God departs from the temple. The throne of God rises after burning coals from the cherubim have been scattered in the city. Then the glory of the Lord leaves the temple. In Matthew we have multiple events and sayings including the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. But in verse 38 the Pharisees and teachers of the law ask for a sign. Jesus points them to the sign of Jonah and how Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of a huge fish, an allusion to Jesus in the tomb. Some say they are Christians yet do not believe the story of Jonah. Jesus did, and used it as an illustration of His time in the tomb. You can rely on the word of God. God bless all of you during this difficult time.

April 23rd, 2020

Good morning dear people. We are in Psalm 89 today. The Psalmist sings of God’s love forever. Yet he is in despair because he sees the destruction of Jerusalem and feels as though God has abandoned the house of David and “renounced the covenant with your servant and have defiled his crown in the dust.” But God had not abandoned the house of David. The “son of David” Jesus would come in about 600 years. How blessed are we to know what the psalmist did not. Yet he will still praise the Lord forever! Vs. 52. Then we come to the vision of Ezekiel 9, where he is in Jerusalem. God calls for six guards to come to the north gate with a weapon and a scribe with a writing kit on his side. The man in white linen puts a mark on all who mourn over the detestable things done in the city. All the rest are killed by the armed men which distressed Ezekiel greatly. But God said because of the bloodshed and injustice and the claim that God had forsaken the land He would destroy them. In Matthew 11 we see John the Baptist in prison and wondering if Jesus is really the Messiah. Jesus tells his messengers to recount His miracles ending with “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me.” Even John the Baptist like the psalmist had doubts in the midst of trials. The chapter ends with one of my favorite invitations from Christ, “Come unto Me all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give rest to your souls…” Let us all take on the shared yoke of Jesus and let him lighten your load today. God bless all of you dear people.

April 22nd, 2020

Good Wednesday morning dear people. In Psalm 88 the psalmist realized salvation is in God alone. Yet he says his life is near the grave. In the Old Testament people did not have as much understanding of the afterlife as we have from the New Testament today. In verse 8 the psalmist says “You have taken from me my closet friends and have made me repulsive to them. I am confined and cannot escape; my eyes are dim with grief. (He may have had leprosy.) At least the psalmist is crying to the Lord since the people in the temple in Ezekiel 8 are worshiping idols. God takes Ezekiel in a vision from Babylon to Jerusalem and shows him the idolatrous practices by the elders (even naming one) and the women. God will not answer their prayers because they have abandoned Him when they know better. In Matthew 10 The twelve disciples are sent to spread the gospel of the kingdom. The villages and people who reject them will be treated more harshly than Sodom and Gomorrah because those villages had more revelation than Sodom did. Jesus warns His disciples that there will be opposition to the gospel and to them. Among these evangelists is Judas Iscariot who latter betrayed the Lord. So even though they perform miracles for free yet some will reject the message that accompanied those same miracles. Let us be among those who accept Christ’s message of salvation. God bless you all.

April 21st, 2020

Good morning dear people. Psalm 87 speaks of God’s love for Jerusalem more than all the dwellings of Jacob. The Psalm speaks of all the surrounding and distant nations acknowledging the God of Zion. So this Psalm alludes to the millennial reign when all nations will acknowledge the God of Zion. In Ezekiel 7 God tells the exiles that the end has come several times. Israel’s idolatry must be judged. God says in verse 27b “I will deal with them according to their conduct, and by their own standards I will judge them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.” Then we come to Matthew 9 where Matthew establishes the purpose of miracles in the healing of the paralytic. Jesus begins by telling the man that his sins are forgiven. The teachers considered this blasphemy. Which it would be if anyone except Jesus has said it. But Jesus asked which is easier, to forgive the man his sins or to tell him to rise up and walk? So he heals the man to show He has authority to forgive sin. Thus the purpose of the miracles. They show that aJesus is who He says He is, the Messiah. Let us all put our confidence in Jesus’ ability to forgive sins. God bless all of you.