Saturday, December 29, 2012


Read 1 Samuel Chapters 18–20
     Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt. 1 Samuel 18:3-4 NIV
* * *
      David’s success in battle resulted in Saul’s extreme jealousy toward him. The people praised David by singing and dancing in his honor when he returned from battle. As they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands."(1 Samuel 18:7) Jonathan, Saul’s son, could have been jealous also, but the Spirit of God drew him into a loving covenant with his future king.
      Jonathan’s story is a beautiful picture of the covenant we enter when we receive Jesus as our friend and Savior. Just as Jonathan said, 'The LORD is witness between you and me…forever.'" (1 Samuel 20:42) Likewise, the covenant of salvation God makes with us through faith in His Son is forever even into eternity.
* * *
     Lord, I praise You for Your friendship with me. "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13) - and You gave your life for me even before I was Your friend. Help me to live by faith in the light of Your unfailing love.
* * *
      Then they kissed each other and wept together–but David wept the most. (1 Samuel 20:41 NIV)
We love Him (Jesus) because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19 NKJV)

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Eliab and David

Read 1 Samuel 17

      When Eliab, David's oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he asked, "Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are … you came down only to watch the battle." "Now what have I done?" said David. "Can't I even speak?" He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter… 1 Samuel 17:28‑30
* * *
      One cannot help but smile in reading this interaction between the oldest and youngest of Jesse’s sons. God had already put it into David’s heart to lead Israel, though neither David nor his brother knew it yet. David would have to go through many trials before God gave him the throne as king, but he was anointed by Samuel while he was still a boy. Now, as he faces Goliath, it becomes obvious why God chose him. But God also had plans for David’s brother Eliab, just as he does for all of His people.
* * *
      Lord, I have no idea what you have planned in the future for my children and grandchildren. But my deepest desire is that they will follow You and love You with all of their hearts. As we faithfully ask You for wisdom to teach them; speak to their hearts and lead them to walk in Your perfect will.
* * *
      Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand …” 1 Samuel 17:45-46a NKJV

Wednesday, December 5, 2012



Read 1 Samuel 16

      But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV
* * *
      God had singled out the family of Jesse of Bethlehem from which to choose the next king. Samuel was sure that the oldest son Eliab was the chosen one. He was the oldest and was tall and handsome, as Saul had been. But God’s choice was the youngest son, David, who though ruddy and handsome himself, had a heart for God.
      David was in God’s plan before time began. His descendant would be our Lord Jesus Christ. This was the king the people of Israel would have been given in the first place, if they had just waited on God. God’s timing is always right, and his choices are based on what is inside the heart.
* * *
      Lord, help me to teach my children to look for qualities of character, rather than just outward appearance. Forgive me when I set a bad example in judging others by the way they look. Help me to wait patiently for Your plan for our lives, knowing that Your timing is perfect.
* * *
     He (David) was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, "Rise and anoint him; he is the one." 1 Samuel 16:12 NIV

Thursday, November 29, 2012



Read 1 Samuel 15

      So Samuel said: "Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry."
1 Samuel 15:22‑23a NKJV
* * *
      King Saul thought that it was enough to partially follow God’s instructions. He not only took the spoils of war for himself, contrary to God’s command, but he also set up a monument in his own honor, instead of honoring God.
Saul’s arrogance was like the sin of idolatry.
     According to God’s standards, he was worshiping himself. Saul knew exactly what God required, but he thought he could pick and choose which instructions were convenient for him. His impressive monument became proof of his arrogance – so God took the kingdom from him and gave it to another.
* * *
      Lord, as I seek Your will and purpose for my life, I want to be faithful to the instructions given in Your Holy Word. You have honored the position of wife and mother and required that it be given priority. Help me to remember this, as the world begins to squeeze me into its mold. Righteousness in Your eyes is far more important than worldly accomplishment.
* * *
      Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you

Wednesday, November 21, 2012



Read 1 Samuel 8:1–5; 12:1–25

         "You are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have." 1 Samuel 8:5 NIV

* * *
      Samuel was an honest, godly man who led Israel faithfully, but his sons did not follow in his ways. We are not told the reasons for this, but we are told that they turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice. (8:3b) Because of this corrupt and ungodly behavior by Samuel’s sons, the people began to demand that Samuel appoint them a king.
* * *
      God gave them what they asked for, a tall handsome young man named Saul. But he came with a warning: This king and many of the kings after him would bring far more grief to the people than they had yet known, taxing them and drafting their sons into forced labor. Samuel said, “When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, and the LORD will not answer you in that day." (8:18)
* * *
      Lord, may we never forget to pray for our sons and daughters, raising them to be honest and trustworthy. Help me to be consistent in my own spiritual walk and in the discipline of our children. God bless our home that it will be a light in a dark world, reflecting your love and faithfulness.
* * *
      “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right." 1 Samuel 12:23 NIV

Sunday, November 11, 2012



Read I Samuel 1:1–28

      "I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." … The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up. 1 Samuel 1:27–28; 1 Samuel 3:19a NIV

* * *
      Samuel’s birth was an answer to Hannah’s fervent prayer. She had pleaded with the Lord, “If you will only look upon your servant's misery–and give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life.” When she brought him to Eli the priest, she said, “I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD."(1:11, 27–28)
      Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. Hannah surely prayed for Samuel all the days of her life and God blessed her with more children.
      Even though Samuel grew up among Eli’s wicked sons, he became a faithful judge and prophet of God. Samuel would go on to lead Israel through the transition from judges to kings, and become King Saul’s spiritual advisor – all this in response to God’s plan and a mother’s prayers.
* * *
      Lord, help us to be faithful to pray daily for our children and grandchildren. Use them for your glory and purpose on this earth, and give us the wisdom we need to train them to follow You–even in a wicked culture.
* * *
      The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening." 1 Samuel 3:10 NIV

Thursday, November 1, 2012



Read Ruth 1 - 4

      Ruth replied, "… Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16 NIV
* * *
      Ruth’s people, the Moabites, worshiped the false god Chemosh, but Ruth chose to follow the God of her deceased husband, and return to the land of Israel with her mother-in law Naomi. The Lord blessed Ruth, and her widowed mother-in-law when Boaz, her husband's relative, purchased Naomi’s land and married Ruth, thereby redeeming Naomi’s inheritance. Through this practical legal transaction, Boaz and Ruth became the ancestors of our Lord Jesus Christ.

      The words of the Elders to Naomi were prophetic: “May you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem, because of the offspring the LORD gives you by this young woman.” (Ruth 4:11b, 12b NKJV) Truly Bethlehem became famous at the birth of our Savior.
* * *
      We never really know how our common every day transactions will fit into God’s plan for the future. Help us Lord, to develop an eternal perspective about life and how we live it. May we be like Ruth whose behavior won her the respect and praise of Naomi’s people who said to her, “May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge." (Ruth 2:12)
* * *
      The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman redeemer… For your daughter‑in‑law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth." Ruth 4:14a,15b NIV

Wednesday, October 24, 2012



Judges 13–16

      Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines. Judges 15:20 NIV
* * *
      Israel’s history continued in the cycle of disobedience, judgment, and crying out for deliverance. Then, once again, the Lord would provide a judge to lead the nation to victory. Samson’s story is interesting, not because of his role as a judge, but because of his supernatural strength. He was a man with serious character flaws–who often behaved foolishly–yet God still used him to carry out His sovereign plan.
      Israel’s primary struggle at this time was in the spiritual realm, between the One True God and Dagon, the demonic idol the Philistines worshiped. God’s plan would prevail, in spite of Samson’s moral failures, and his tragic end brought victory for Israel against the Philistines.
* * *
      Lord, help me to remember that life is not all about me and mine. It’s also about Your plan for my church, neighborhood, community, country and the world. Give me an obedient heart so that my character will reflect your love for the world, not be conformed to it. May Your will be done "on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)
* * *
      “I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth.” Psalm 135:5-6 NIV

Wednesday, October 17, 2012



Read Judges 6–7

      When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?" Judges 6:12 13 NIV
* * *
      For seven years God had allowed the Midianites to attack Israel, and they "so impoverished the Israelites that they cried out to the Lord for help." (6:6) Israel had repeatedly returned to idolatry, followed by defeat and desperate prayers for help, then God would send a leader to deliver them from their enemies.
     Once again God listened to their cry, and this time, His choice of a deliverer was a young man named Gideon. The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon saying, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior." Surprised by this greeting, Gideon questioned, "If the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, 'Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?”

      Gideon could not understand how God was going to use him–the youngest member of his family in the smallest tribe–to lead Israel to victory. The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?" (6:13–14)
* * *
      Lord, like Gideon, we don’t understand why certain things happen the way they do. But I know that You have promised never to leave or forsake us. Give us the faith to trust Your provision in our lives, even when we cannot see how You are going to do it.
* * *
      Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5–6 NKJV

Wednesday, October 10, 2012



Read Joshua 24; Judges 2:1-10

      "Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15 NIV
* * *
      Just before he died, Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel together and they presented themselves before God. In the exact words of the Lord, Joshua reviewed all God had done since He brought them out of Egypt. Then Joshua said,
     "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness…But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:14–15)
     God had kept all of His promises, but Joshua knew the people would persist in turning to their false gods. After Joshua’s generation passed away, another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. (Judges 2:10) The older generation served the Lord, but failed to tell their children the stories of what God had done.
* * *
     Lord, help us to remember to talk of your love and faithfulness to our children and to remind them often of the responsibility they will have in telling their children. Don’t let it be said of anyone in our family that they “neither knew the Lord nor what He had done for their parents.”
* * *
      Israel served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had experienced everything the LORD had done for Israel. Joshua 24:31 NIV

Thursday, October 4, 2012



Read Joshua 9:1–10:14

     The Gibeonites then sent word to Joshua in the camp at Gilgal: "Do not abandon your servants. Come up to us quickly and save us! Help us, because all the Amorite kings from the hill country have joined forces against us."

Joshua 10:6 NIV
* * *
      When the Gibeonites heard about Israel’s miraculous victories at Jericho and Ai, they resorted to a ruse: They pretended to be traveling from a distant country when in fact they were near neighbors. They said, “This bread of ours was warm when we packed it at home on the day we left to come to you. But now see how dry and moldy it is.” The men of Israel sampled their provisions “but did not inquire of the LORD.” (Joshua 9:14) Then Joshua signed a treaty with them and the leaders ratified it by oath.  In spite of the questionable way this treaty came about, God expected Israel to honor it and so they went to war to defend the Gibeonites. 
     The Lord worked a mighty miracle on the day the Israelites defended the Gibeonites’: The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day till the nation avenged itself on its enemies. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a man. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel! (Joshua 10:13-14)
* * *
      Lord, help me to be careful when making promises and faithful to keep them, especially to my children, remembering that You are a covenant keeping God.
* * *
    “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.”   2 Corinthians 1:20 NKJV

Wednesday, September 19, 2012



Joshua 3:1–4:24
      "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' tell them… 'The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea.'” Joshua 4:21–23 NIV
* * *
      The people Joshua was called to lead had not experienced the miracle at the Red Sea. They had heard the stories, but now they themselves watched as God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea. No sooner had the priests set their feet on dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before. (Joshua 4:18b)
      Later at Gilgal, Joshua took twelve stones and set them up as a memorial. Then he spoke to the people saying: "When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, 'What are these stones?' then you shall let your children know saying… 'The LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over'… that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty, that you may fear the LORD your God forever." (Joshua 4:21–24 NKJV)
* * *
      We can never overestimate the importance of teaching our children what God has done. When they love and serve the Lord, our own influence will be multiplied many times over – but if we fail to pass on our faith, no other ministry will make up for the personal loss.
      Lord, help us to find “stones of remembrance” that will serve as object lessons for our children. Give us thankful hearts to acknowledge You in everything we do.
* * *
      Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5–6

Thursday, September 6, 2012




Read Numbers 20:1–12Deuteronomy 32:48–52;  34:1–8Matthew 17:1–8

      Then the LORD said to him, "This is the land I promised… I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.”   Deuteronomy 34:4 NIV
* * *
      Moses was a leader and prophet like no other, but in his anger at the people he made a fatal mistake: God had instructed Moses, "Speak to that rock before their eyes and it will pour out its water." But instead of speaking to the rock, Moses struck the rock twice with his staff and said to them, "Listen, you rebels, must we bring you water out of this rock?" (Numbers 20:8, 10) God was the miracle worker and Moses failed to give Him the glory – an offence which shortened his life.
* * *
      The good news is that this is not the end of Moses' story. We see him again in the New Testament on the Mount of Transfiguration speaking with Elijah and Jesus:
     Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, If you wish, I will put up three shelters–one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them and a Voice said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!" When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus. (Matthew 17:4–5, 8)
* * *
      Thank You Lord that Your plan for us goes far beyond this life–and that Jesus paid the price for all the times we have failed to honor You. One day we will stand with Moses and Elijah and all of those who have trusted in You. In that day, with sins forgiven, we will give all the glory to You.
* * *
      They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power…” Revelation 4:10b–11a NIV

Tuesday, August 28, 2012



Read Deuteronomy 8; Luke 4:1–13; John 6:26-66

      "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna…to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD."  Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV
      Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert, where he fasted and prayed for forty days. At the end of that time, when he was hungry, Satan said to him, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." (Luke 4:3) Jesus answered by quoting Moses, "It is written: Man does not live on bread alone.”
      Jesus referred to the story of Moses again when speaking to the Jews, “Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died…I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” After he had said this, many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. (John 6:49, 51, 66)  They refused to eat the true Bread of Life coming from the mouth of the Lord.
* * *
      Dear Jesus, help me remember that You said, "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life." (John 6:27 NKJV) Lord, You are the One who provides our daily bread. Help us trust in Your daily provision, even as we trust You for everlasting life.
* * *
      "You may say to yourself, 'My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.' But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth." Deuteronomy 8:17 18 NIV

Wednesday, August 15, 2012



Read Deuteronomy 4:1–40

      "Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you and that you may live long in the land the LORD your God gives you for all time.”   Deuteronomy 4:40 NIV
* * *
      Moses anticipated that the children and grandchildren of those who were born in the desert would need to be reminded of what had happened there. He warned, "Be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them… Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." (4:9; 6:7b)
      God’s laws were not meant to burden His people, but to lead them to prosperity and blessing. The law functioned as a tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.   (Galatians 3:24–25 NKJV)
* * *
      Dear Father, thank You that the law no longer condemns us, but in fact, brings us to the only One who could satisfy its demands. Remind us to tell our children and grandchildren the stories of how You introduced us to the Savior, so they too, will place their trust in You.
* * *
      From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:15–17 NIV

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Read Deuteronomy 1:1–40

      "See, the LORD your God has given you the land. Go up and take possession of it as the LORD, the God of your fathers, told you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 1:21 NIV
* * *
      The Israelites were miraculously delivered as God divided the Red Sea and let them walk across on dry ground– which should have been enough to convince them that God was on their side. In spite of this, when it was time to enter the promised land, they did not trust in the Lord their God. They said, "The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart…" (27b-28a)

      Ten spies were sent into the land, but only two believed that God would give them victory. God, through Moses, said to the people, "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb and Joshua… your children who do not yet know good from bad…they will enter the land. I will give it to them and they will take possession of it." (1:35-39)
* * *
      Lord, grant us the faith to do Your will, no matter how challenging it may be. Help us to wait upon you for the emotional and physical strength only You can give. I pray that we will be faithful to lead our children and grandchildren into Your promises, and not fall behind so that they must enter alone. “May All Who Come Behind Us Find Us Faithful!” (Jon Mohr)
* * *
      "If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all–how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:31 32 NIV

Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Read Exodus 32:1-33:17

     So Moses went back to the LORD and said, "Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please forgive their sin–but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written." Exodus 32:31-32 NIV
* * *
     During the 40 days that Moses was on Mt Sinai receiving God's commandments, the people talked Aaron into making them a golden calf. Then they said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." (32:4b)
      The next day the people sacrificed burnt offerings to the idol and began to dance and engage in revelry. The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen these people… Now leave me alone so that my anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them.” (32:9-10a)
     Moses pleaded for the people saying that if God would not forgive Israel's sin, Moses was ready to be blotted out with them. Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. (32:14)
* * *
     Lord, give me a compassionate heart for those who are living disobedient lives. Teach me your ways so that I will know You better, and be an example of obedience to my family and friends. I know that I cannot do this without your daily presence in my life.
* * *
     "If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?"   (Exodus 33:15 16)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012



Read Exodus 18:1–27

     "The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you."   Exodus 18:18b–19a NIV
* * *
     When Jethro, the priest of Midian and father-in-law of Moses, heard of everything God had done for Moses and how the Lord had brought Israel out of Egypt, he sent word to him: "I, your father-in-law Jethro, am coming to you with your wife and her two sons." (18:6) As Jethro settled in, he quickly noted that Moses was trying to do everything himself.

     If this man was going to keep going, Jethro observed, he would need help. His advice was to seek out capable, godly men to judge the simple matters, who would then bring the difficult cases to Moses. He said, " If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied." (18:23)

     Just like Moses, we often think we have to do everything ourselves. It is important, not only for our own benefit, but also our children's, to give them age appropriate responsibilities.
* * *
     Lord, help me to learn to delegate responsibility and to train my "child in the way he should go, so that when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
* * *
     Moses told his father-in-law about everything the LORD had done to Pharaoh and the Egyptians for Israel's sake and about all the hardships they had met along the way and how the LORD had saved them.    Exodus 18:8 NIV

Monday, July 16, 2012



Read Exodus 13:17–14:31

     The LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into dry land. The waters were divided, and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.    Exodus 14:21–22 NIV
* * *
     When Pharaoh finally let the Israelites go, God instructed Moses to take them the long way around so they wouldn’t face war with the Philistines because, "If they face war,” He said, “they might change their minds and return to Egypt." So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. (13:17–18) When they came to the Red Sea with the Egyptians pursuing them, it was no surprise that they were terrified.
* * *
     Thanks be to God, their salvation was not dependent on their great strength and courage. Moses told the people "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." (14:13–14)
* * *
     Thank You Lord, that victory does not depend on my own strength. When I am overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, I need only to be still and watch what You are going to do. Like Moses and Miriam I can sing, “The Lord is my strength and my song. He has become my salvation.” (Exodus 15:2a)
* * *
"In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them …"   Exodus 15:13a NIV

Monday, July 9, 2012



Read Exodus 11:1–12:42

     "I am the LORD … when I see the blood, I will pass over you.”    Exodus 12:12b–13 NIV
* * *
     After nine plagues and refusals by Pharaoh to let the descendants of Jacob leave Egypt, in the tenth and final judgment, God sent His angel to strike the firstborn male of every family in that country. Only those who put the blood of a lamb on the two doorposts and the lintel of their homes would be spared.
     The Lord promised them, "… when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt." (12:13b) This event came to be known as the Passover. God commanded, "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD—a lasting ordinance."(12:14) So even today the Jews observe this feast.

     Over fourteen hundred years later, Jesus sat down to the Passover meal with His disciples and said, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you." ...That very night in the Garden of Gethsemane, being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.   (Luke 22: 20b,44 NKJV)
* * *
     Thank You Lord, for giving Your Son for us, that we might enjoy eternal life in Your presence. Help us to tell the story of the cross to our children, just as the Israelites taught their children through this annual feast. May our lives radiate the message of Jesus the Passover Lamb.
* * *
     "In days to come, when your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' say to him, 'With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out … out of the land of slavery.' "   Exodus 13:14 NIV

Thursday, June 28, 2012


      "One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand."   Exodus 2:11–12 NIV
* * *
      When Moses was young, God had already given him a heart to deliver his people–but his youthful, impulsive actions forced him to flee to the desert, where he lived as a shepherd for forty years. Finally, God's time had come to use the spark ignited in Moses' heart so long ago:
      Out of a burning bush, God said, "I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." Moses' response was, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" (3:10–11)
     When Moses was young, it was all about who he was, the son of a princess, but now God says, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.'" (3:14)
* * *
      How prone we are to act impulsively in our own strength, with disappointing results. But our failures don’t necessarily prove that the desired end was wrong. It may just indicate that we need to wait patiently for the Lord’s perfect timing.
      Lord, when I am impatient to know what is ahead, help me to be willing to wait for your guidance and timing. Renew my strength and confidence as I wait upon you.
* * *
      But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.   Isaiah 40:31 NKJV

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Faith Rewarded

Read Exodus 1:1–2:10

     When she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.  Exodus 2:3–4 NIV
* * *
     The rescue of baby Moses is a remarkable story of faith and deliverance. Many babies lost their lives in this terrible purge by Pharaoh, and yet God had a plan for one little baby boy and his family.   
     Jocobed trusted God as she lowered the basket into the water and prayed for compassion from Pharaoh's daughter. Miriam, in obedience to her mother, stood watch over the baby and spoke wisely to the princess. The result of their faith was that Jocobed was allowed to continue nursing her own baby, and one day Miriam would join her brother Moses as a leader in Israel.  (Exodus 2:7–10; Micah 6:4)
* * *
     Lord, only You know what the future holds for our children. We commit them to Your providential plan, trusting that You will bring about Your will in their lives. Help us to move confidently into the future, believing in Your love and care for our children and grandchildren. And as we do this, please use us to bless the lives of other families along the way.
* * *
     The girl went and got the baby's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you." So the woman took the baby and nursed him.   Exodus 2:8–9 NIV

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Read Genesis 39

     Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. And Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh … bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him down there … And his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand.   Genesis 39:1,3 NKJV
* * *
     At first glance, Joseph's story is about slavery, lies and betrayal, even by family members. But the underlying message is that Joseph prospered in spite of it all, whether he was a servant, manager or prisoner. God had plans for Joseph to rescue his whole family, including those who betrayed him.       
     Joseph was a faithful young man. Is it any wonder that God chose him for this important task? His priorities were determined by his faithfulness to God, not the pressures of a wicked culture. When tempted to commit adultery, he said, “How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9b)
* * *
     Lord, give us the discernment to protect our children from the influences that could destroy their relationship with You. Help them to understand that sexual sin is a grievous offense against God, as well as their own bodies. Help us to teach them Your precepts so that they will know right from wrong and look forward to the future You have planned for them.
* * *
     “God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance … "So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God.” Genesis 45:7–8a NIV

Tuesday, June 5, 2012



Read Genesis 37

     Now Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons, because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him. When his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him.   Genesis 37:3–4 NIV
* * *
     Jacob and Rachel waited many years before Rachel conceived. By then, Jacob already had sons by his wife Leah and their two maidservants, Zilpah and Bilhah. Rachael's firstborn, Joseph quickly became his father's favorite. This special treatment of the younger son caused resentment and hatred, particularly by the sons of Jacob's concubines.
    Jacob must have forgotten the pain of his own father's preferential love for Esau, for now he was repeating the pattern. Both Isaac and Jacob suffered the loss of a son because of favoritism. Jacob had to flee to his relatives and Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt.
* * *
     Lord, help us to avoid comparing our children or grandchildren in an unfavorable way. Give us sensitivity to the feelings of each child and the ability to appreciate his or her unique personality and abilities. I pray like the Psalmist, "Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer." (Psalm 19:12, 14 NKJV)
* * *
     Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and mourned for his son many days. All his sons and daughters came to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted.… Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials.Genesis 37:34–36 NIV

Tuesday, May 29, 2012



Read Genesis 31–32

     Then Jacob prayed, "O God …“I am unworthy of all the kindness and faithfulness you have shown your servant.” Genesis 32:9a, 10a NIV
* * *
     After years of hardship and deception by Laban, God miraculously increased Jacob’s wealth, and caused Laban to allow him to leave. Then, alone at night, after sending his family on ahead, God once again spoke to Jacob…
     A man approached him and they began to fight. Jacob wrestled all night long–evidently realizing this was a heavenly visitor.  Jacob said to him, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?" "Jacob," he answered. Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."(Genesis 32:26b–30)
     This strange encounter with the Lord left Jacob with an outward limp that would always remind him and his descendants that his blessings came from God.
* * *
     Lord, I can see in this story of Jacob how much You value humility. If we are to be blessed, that blessing will come from You, not from our own struggles. You are Jehovah Jirah, our provider, and like Jacob I will say God has been gracious to me, and I have all I need. (Genesis 33:11)
* * *
     The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob's hip was touched near the tendon.   Genesis 32:31–32 NIV

Sunday, May 20, 2012



     Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?”    Genesis 29:25b NIV
* * *
     No one can read this account of Laban’s blatant deception without feeling sorry for Jacob and Rachel, and especially for Leah. Some would say Jacob deserved to be tricked, since he had done the same to Esau.
     But through it all, in spite of the actions of sinful men, God’s plan moved forward: Jesus came from the tribe of Leah’s son Judah, and God used Rachel’s son Joseph to save his people from extinction.
     Looking at this whole story in hindsight we can say with the apostle Paul, “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose... His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began–" (Romans 8:28;   2 Timothy 1:9)
* * *
     Lord, help me to think in terms of the big picture, even when I can’t understand why things happen the way they do. Grant me the faith to believe that You have a much larger purpose in it all, which will work for our good and Your glory, even for generations to come.
* * *
… and when she (Leah) gave birth to a son she said, “This time I will praise the LORD.” So she named him Judah … Then God remembered Rachel … She gave birth to a son and named him Joseph … Genesis 29:35; 30:22‑24a NIV

Wednesday, May 9, 2012



Read Genesis 28:10–28:22

     Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Haran. When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep.   Genesis 28:10–11 NIV
* * *
     After cheating Esau out of his birthright, Jacob was forced to run for his life. Stopping to rest for the night, Jacob had a dream in which he met God personally…he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. There above the ladder stood the LORD, and he said: "I am the LORD, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying." (28:12–13)
     Up to this time, Jacob had no idea that God had a personal plan for his life, or that he would become the ancestor of the promised Messiah. When he awoke from his sleep, he thought, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it."( 28:16)
* * *
     Dear Father, I thank You that You have a plan for my life, and even when I am not aware of it –You are with me. I know that You also have plans for our children and grandchildren. Help us to train them in godly principles and lead them to a personal relationship with Your Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah.
* * *
     "All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."   Genesis 28:14–15 NIV

Wednesday, May 2, 2012



Read Genesis 25:19–28:9
     Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.   Genesis 25:28 NIV
* * *
     Isaac, as an old man, was tricked by his son Jacob into giving him the firstborn blessing. His older son, Esau threatened to kill Jacob after Isaac died; so Rebekah told Jacob to flee until Esau's temper cooled. To her husband Isaac she said,
     "I'm disgusted with living because of these Hittite women. If Jacob takes a wife from among the women of this land, my life will not be worth living." (Genesis 27:46)
     So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him and commanded him: "Do not marry a Canaanite woman. Go at once to Paddan Aram. Take a wife for yourself there, from among the daughters of Laban, your mother's brother." (28:2)
* * *
     It is interesting to note that Isaac had never indicated his disapproval of his oldest son's marriages, or suggested that God might have a Hebrew bride for Esau. Then Esau, who wanted to please his father, married the daughter of his uncle Ishmael, in addition to the wives he already had.
     How sad that Isaac, whose wife had been chosen by God, did not instruct his son in how to choose a godly wife. Today, this story could read: “Isaac who loved sports, favored his athletic son, but neglected to teach him how to make godly choices.”
     Lord, help us to faithfully teach our children to seek Your will in making important decisions.
* * *

     Esau then realized how displeasing the Canaanite women were to his father Isaac…so he married Mahalath, daughter of Ishmael…In addition to the wives he already had.   Genesis 28:8-9 NIV

Monday, April 30, 2012



Read Genesis 24
     “… (if) she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too' – let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master." Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. Genesis 24:14-15 NIV
* * *
     Abraham wanted to find just the right wife for his son Isaac – someone from his own people, not from the Canaanites among whom he lived. So he sent his most trusted servant on a journey to his home country. Both Abraham and his chief servant believed that God would lead him to the right young woman. Abraham said,
      "The LORD, the God of heaven…who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land–He will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there." (Genesis 24:7)
* * *
     It is so important to pray for our children’s future spouses. What better time to start than now, while they are young, covering that child and his parents in prayer throughout their lives.
* * *
     Lord, help us to teach our children to seek Your wisdom in every small or large decision. You know the future and You have a plan for each one of them. Help them as they step out into life to make choices according to Your perfect will.
* * *
     Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD, saying …“As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey”   Gen 24:26-27 NIV

Monday, April 23, 2012



Read Genesis 22
     And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide Himself a Lamb” (Genesis 22:8 KJV)
"Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world" John 1:29 NKJV
* * *
     After waiting for so long for his promised son, Isaac, Abraham was asked to give him back as a sacrifice. This request had no basis in anything God had done with His people. False gods required human sacrifices, not Abraham's God.
* * *
     The author of Hebrews gives us some insight into Abraham’s response: "Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death."  Hebrews 11:19  But still he was required to go through this test to show that God was first in his life–even before his beloved son.
* * *
     Sometimes God brings us to a place in our lives when we must make a choice about something or someone He has blessed us with. Is there anything in my life that has become more important than my relationship with Him?
* * *
     Lord, I pray that I will always put You first in my life. Not first as in being at the top of a priority list, but first in regard to everything on that list. I cannot have a right relationship with anyone else if I am not right with You. Thank You for providing Your Son, the Lamb of God, to make that relationship possible.
* * *
     "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life John 3:16 NKJV

Monday, April 16, 2012



Read Genesis 18:16–19:38 

     So Lot went out and spoke to his sons‑in‑law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, "Hurry and get out of this place, because the LORD is about to destroy the city!" But his sons‑in‑law thought he was joking.   Genesis 19:14 NIV
* * *
     Lot’s story is a direct contrast to the story of Noah and the flood. Noah’s sons and their wives respected him and followed him in obedience to God. Lot’s sons‑in‑law thought he was joking. Lot’s testimony was so compromised that his daughters tricked him into fathering their children, resulting in two wicked nations called the Moabites and Ammonites. Yet, in spite of this, Peter later tells us that Lot was a believer:
     " a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.)" (2 Peter 2:7-8)
* * *
     Lord, help us to carefully choose the environment in which we place our families. Help us to see beyond the beauty of the land or the monetary gain to make sure there is not a wicked “Sodom” nearby. Help us to train up our children by our own example and to teach them to pass down their faith to the next generation.
* * *
     "For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just ..." Genesis 18:19a NIV

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Read: Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-31
     Thomas said to them, "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it."    John 20:25 NIV

     Eight days before this, the disciples, except for Thomas, stood in amazed unbelief.  Jesus suddenly appeared, and they thought they were seeing a ghost. Then He asked for something to eat and said, "Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." (Luke 24:39)
     Now Thomas is still  unconvinced, since he has not yet seen the Lord. When Jesus appeared again, and showed him his hands and side, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and my God!" (John 20:28)
* * *
     Jesus had been telling His disciples all along that he would arise from the dead, but this was something they couldn't comprehend. We have the advantage today of the complete Scriptures, explaining how all these things fit together with Old Testament prophesy; yet Lord, there are times I struggle to understand Your plan for us. Perhaps it is just enough to say, "My Lord and my God!"
* * *
     Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."  John 20:29 NKJV

Saturday, April 7, 2012



Read: John 20:1-18

     They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." John 20:13

* * *
     Mary Magdalene was one of the devout women who supplied the needs of Jesus and His disciples throughout His ministry. She was a woman whom Jesus had delivered from demon possession, as were many others who followed Him. Mary Magdalene stood at the foot of the cross with Mary, the mother of Jesus.
     Now Mary came to the tomb to grieve, but instead she found that the tomb was empty. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don't know where they have put him!"   
     Later back at the empty tomb, she turned around and saw Jesus, so changed that she did not recognize Him - until He said her name. Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (John 20:16)
     Mary Magdalene had been forgiven much and she loved her Savior. Her life was dedicated to the ministry and to being a friend to other believers. God chose her to be the first one to see her risen Lord.
* * *
     Thank You, Lord, that You sent your Son to set people like Mary free from their sin, and that You saved me too. I pray that my life will be spent serving you and other believers, in Jesus name, Amen.
* * *
     Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!"   John 20:18 NIV

Friday, April 6, 2012


Read John 19:38-42
     After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus.   John 19:38 NKJV
* * *
     Here are two Jewish men, one of them Nicodemus, a Pharisee and the other Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent wealthy council member - both of them secret disciples of Jesus. On one occasion Nicodemus tried to speak up at a council meeting by saying,
     "Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?" They ridiculed him by saying, "Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee." (John 7:50-52)
     After the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea gathered up his courage and asked Pilot for Jesus' body. He and Nicodemus - no longer secret disciples - prepared the body for burial and laid it in Joseph's new tomb, fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy that Messiah would be buried in a rich man's grave.(Isaiah 53:9)
* * *
     Lord, forgive me when I have been reluctant to speak up for You among unbelievers. Give me courage and discernment to know when and where to share my faith.
* * *
     And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds.    John 19:39 NKJV