July 16 – Test. Refine. Purify.


“Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.” – Psalm 26:2-3 (NASB)

The love God promises to all who love Him is always before us. It is always for our benefit and never fails. We are the ones that fail in this love. David, who wrote this song seeks vindication that he has not failed. He calls on God to examine, try, and test his inner self – deeper emotion than what he might show to others. It is interesting that the phrase “test my mind and my heart” is translated from the Hebrew original “test my kidneys and my heart.” The use of kidneys is a figurative way to speak of the seat of emotion and affection; hence, it is involving character. It was seen as the most sensitive vital part of a person, thus, the “mind” as we today see the mind as the most vital part of a person along with the heart. These three invitations to divine scrutiny are essentially synonymous ways of testing, refining, and purifying. If we include the first verse, we can understand that David wanted confirmation of his faithfulness and trust in God. Can we claim that our integrity guides our way and our trust is steadfast? Let’s commit to that today.

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May 7 – Perfect Peace Promised


“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)

Are these familiar words to you? They may be just the promise we need to hear these days. Because we all face uncertainty and trying times, because we all can find ways to be upset inside because of outside turmoil. When things are not as they should be, at least in our own understanding, peace escapes us. We believe that we all need to be reminded often of these promises. But first, let us understand what this promise of peace is promising perfect peace. Perfect peace may not be just the absence of turmoil. Perfect peace can be ours in the midst of upsetting challenges. Perfect peace is complete, genuine, inner tranquility which we find when we trust the word of God. There are so many influences and distractions in this world to interrupt our thinking and to disturb our peace. Remember, who is it that benefits from God’s peace? It is the person who trusts in God because those who trust in God focus their thinking on God’s faithfulness and this gives their minds a real steadfastness. Steady thinking is really a part of real peace. Let’s keep our minds steady today, trusting the Lord.

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November 12 – One and Only One

“ The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  Mark 12:29-30 (ESV)

Many claim the existence of gods other than the one God we worship. These other gods are created in someone’s mind and sold to many who do not know the true God. A created god is not the God of the Bible. Our God is not the same as the god worshiped in a false religion. The commandments in these verses came to us first from God through Moses in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 6:4-9). It is a foundational truth that we need to believe and hold dear and defend that God is One. There are no other gods in existence. Famous and influential people today, celebrities will tell you that there is more than one god and there is more than one way to “what you call God.” But there is not. The Lord is one. It does not take our belief to make that true. It is true because God said it and those who choose to believe it is no mistake. God has made Himself available, findable, knowable to those who seek him in faith believing. God promises that those who seek Him will find Him and those who ask for Him will receive Him.

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