Devotions from Pastor Mike

April 20th, 2020

Good morning everyone. We are in Psalm 86 a psalm of David. David says”You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.” He speaks of how when he calls to God in the day of trouble God answers him. In verse 11 David says “teach me your way O Lord and I will walk in Your truth.” I hate the expression now a days “my truth.” Personalized truth lacks accountability and makes truth subjective. The word of God is truth. Jesus is truth and everyone who claims to be on the side of truth believes in Jesus. In Ezekiel 6 God tells Ezekiel to speak against the mountains of Israel. God promises to destroy them in front of their idols. Idolatry is so offensive to God because it is self deceiving and deadly. There is help only in the Lord not in some object made with my hands. In Matthew chapter 8 we see an emphasis on Jesus’ healing ministry. The leper asks a very humble wise question. 2…”Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” He acknowledges Jesus as Lord. He asks based on Christ’s willingness. He knows Jesus had the power and finally he asks specifically. Jesus wants him to go to the priest so there can be official recognition that a miracle has taken place according to the Law of Moses. God bless all of you this spring day.

April 19th, 2020

Good morning everyone. We are in Psalm 85 this morning. It praises the memory of God’s past favor. “You forgave the iniquity of your people and forgave all their sins.” It asks God to restore and revive us again. There is an old hymn titled Revive us Again. The tune is stuck in my head for some reason. The psalmist promises to listen to what God the Lord will say, but warns the hearers to not return to folly. Then there is this beautiful verse “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” What a marvelous thought to start our day. God bless all of you.

April 18th, 2020

We start with a Psalm 84 a psalm from the sons of Korah. These were the priestly professional musicians attached to the temple. They speak of how wonderful it is to be in the temple. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.” Then we come to Ezekiel 5 where God tells his prophet to shave his head and beard. A humiliation for a man at that time. He then is scatter the hair to symbolize the death and exile the people of Jerusalem will experience. Their idolatry and rebellion will bring destruction on them. Then we come to Matthew 7 and the end of the beatitudes. Verse one on not judging is used by many people to deflect criticism of their sinful behavior. In verse 15 Jesus tells the same people to watch out for false prophets. How do “judge” the difference between a false prophet and a true one. “By their fruits you will know them.” Compare their words with God’s word, their actions with scripture. We want people to enter the narrow gate to salvation and not stay on the broad road to destruction. God bless all of you this sunny warmer day in Southern Wisconsin.

April 17th, 2020

Obviously it is not The Good Friday morning but a good Friday morning. We start with an imprecatory Psalm in Psalm 83. The Psalmist asks that God destroy Israel’s enemies for the sake of righteousness and justice. Pagan societies also had a tradition of imprecatory sayings or poems. These were tied to magic and not the one true God. They were for personal grievances not based on righteousness. We come to Ezekiel 4 where Ezekiel is commanded by God to make a model of Jerusalem and build siege works against it and the to lay on his side for 390 days straight and bake bread over cow dung to symbolize sin and suffering and that Jerusalem would be destroyed and the generation of exiles in Babylon at that time would not be going home. In Matthew 6 we have the Beatitudes. Do not perform your acts of righteousness before men. Then we are told how to pray and not to do so in vain repetition in order to manipulate God into giving us what we want but with gaining God’s perspective. “Our Father,” It is not just about you and me. “Hallowed be Thy name” I should have a reverent attitude toward God. He provides our daily bread. God bless all of you dear people.

April 16th, 2020

Good morning. In Psalm 82 it points to God’s sovereignty. In verse 1 the Psalmist says “God presides in the great assembly; He gives judgment among the ‘gods.’” He condemns those who defend the unjust (Chinese communist party) and show partiality to the wicked. They “…will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.” Then we come to Ezekiel 3 where God gives Ezekiel his commission to his own people. In verse 7 God says, “But the house of Israel is not willing to listen to you because they are not willing to listen to me, for the whole house of Israel is hardened and obstinate.” Latter God tells Ezekiel that he is a watchman for the house of Israel and must warn the wicked and the righteous. If he does not he is as guilty as they are. Then we come to Matthew 5 and the beatitudes. “Blessed are…” which point out our approach to God as meek and humble as well as to men. He reminds them of how the prophets were persecuted unjustly so to will those who proclaim Jesus be “blessed” with persecution. Then at the end of the chapter Jesus says of our Father in heaven, “He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness.” So also this virus comes upon the evil and the good. Have a blessed day dear people.