September 24 – More Tender Mercies

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God…” –  Luke 1:76-79 (NASB)

More on the tender mercies of our Lord. The passage is excerpted from the prophecy Zacharias offered at the birth of his son John the Baptizer. Zachariah is a common name found in the Bible. This one is not the prophet who wrote the Book of Zechariah many years before. As a priest, Zacharias served his turn in the temple. The Bible tells us that he was chosen by lot to enter the temple and burn incense. Because of the large number of priests, most would never be chosen for such a duty, and no one was permitted to serve in this capacity twice. Zacharias regarded this as the supreme moment in a lifetime of priestly service. It was then that the angel appeared to him as he was alone in the Holy Place. He was foretold that a son would be born to him and his name was to be John. When John is born, Zacharias offers a pray with this prophecy. The words, would be familiar to Zacharias because they are part of prophecies by Old Testament prophets*. The Father of the Baptizer confirms what was said by the prophets regarding his son. 

*Malachi 3:1, Isaiah 9:2 and Jeremiah 31:34

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September 3 – He Provides Our Answer


“May Your lovingkindnesses also come to me, O LORD,
Your salvation according to Your word;
So I will have an answer for him who reproaches me,
For I trust in Your word.” – Psalm 119:41-42 (NASB)

There is an increase in the resistance of our world to the Word of God. There is also a significant decrease in the number who hold the Bible to be absolute truth. Within this battle, those who oppose the teachings in the Bible are becoming more active in demonstrating their hostility. The psalmist called on God to deliver him through His love and His Word and He will for us based on the promise God has given to us. He sought and trusted that he would have an answer for his enemy. He prayed and affirmed that the Word would continue to be his pattern of life. That is the way God has prepared for us to enjoy victory over the obstructions they set to the spreading of His Word. When opposition comes we frequently take it very personally but here we can know that it is God that the non-believer is rejecting and fighting against. We can like this passage teaches learn to delight in God’s commandments grow to love them for they are life to our soul. Next time we meet resistance, lets remember, God’s Word has an answer for us to give in return.

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August 26 – Pause to Reflect


“Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation. ⸺ Selah ” – Psalm 68:19 (NASB)

We have a word in today’s verse which has never been fully understood. It occurs 74 times in 74 verses in the Psalms. Selah, is thought to be a musical or liturgical term. A common attempted understanding is that it means “Pause a moment.” Maybe an extended rest in music. As in today’s verse it is placed after declaration that manifests God’s power, sovereignty, majesty, and promise to protect against our enemies. In today’s promise we sing out blessings to the Lord because he bears our burden every day. That means no matter what is put upon us today, tomorrow, and every tomorrow after that, God is with us to bear our burden. What is our burden? Well it may be our duties in obeying the precepts and commandments God has given to us. He will not give us instructions on life and then leave us alone without His help. No, in Isaiah 41:10, 13 God promises to help us and to uphold us with His righteous right hand. Let’s PAUSE a moment and let that sink in so that we don’t gloss over this wonderful promise and pay no attention to it. ⸺ Selah.

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August 13 – The Real No Fear

“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.” – Isaiah 12:2 (NASB)

Yesterday we learned from God’s Word through His prophet Isaiah that perfect peace is available to those whose mind is steadfast and unwavering in their trust in God. Today’s promise gives us the attitude of fearlessness. The idea of ‘No Fear’ is presented to us in many different ways: the No FEAR Act of 2002; as a brand for lifestyle clothing; and even as a translation of old English literature such as Shakespeare into modern English. God knows we all are tempted to be afraid and desire to have no fear. He has given us this guide – the Bible – which promises what He will do for us in these times. We can affirm that God is our salvation. When we can confirm that our salvation from the wages of sin (Romans 6:23) is ours by faith in God, we can trust Him without fear. Isaiah confirms his own standing – he trusts because the Lord God provides strength to do so. It is a strength that calms our spirit and gives us a song of praise. We have this promise: when we trust in God, He becomes our salvation and we abide in Him for the rest of time and beyond.

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June 23 – Rest and Trust


For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,,,” Isaiah 30:15 (ESV)

Our verse is part of a prophecy God sent to His people Israel through Isaiah His prophet. Isaiah delivered this important message to His people. It is a promise for all but in this instance it was a promise that the people rejected and were unwilling to submit to it. By not accepting the promise Israel missed the blessing of it. God wanted to them to learn this truth, and it is still effective even today. You and I will do well to listen to this promise. God wants us today to know the secret to salvation and strength. Rest, or relax, and trust in Him. If we have been trying to live right by our own effort, we need to realize that God offers to help us to live right and also to accomplish lasting results. The kind of rest promised comes from trusting the words of God. We can rest by believing and following God’s instructions. Let’s believe His words and quit trying in our own strength. Let’s remember these words, “In quietness and trust is your strength.” It’s a promise and a blessing for us if we will have it.

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Isaiah, rest, salvation, strength, trust

May 13 – Eyes Opened Through Faith


“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NASB)


Peter, the disciple of Jesus, became one of the foremost apostles who helped spread the news of the early Christian Church. He also was used by the Holy Spirit to write some of the books in the New Testament. Peter walked with Jesus and heard him teach and watched him do miracles and heal all who came to Him with physical or spiritual need. Many times Peter ate meals with Jesus and talked with him face to face while breaking bread together. Peter wrote these words in his first letter to believers in the new Church. In the same way we have never seen Jesus as Peter did but we love him and we believe in him. These words are also given to us and can be applied to us personally. We can experience the “inexpressible joy and be filled with glory” because we have believed in Jesus the Christ – even though we have never seen him. Our faith has opened the eyes of our hearts and minds to believe in Him as our Savior and Lord. It is hard to express sometimes but in our hearts we know He is true. It’s a joy to have that assurance.

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April 19 – Penetrating Question


“Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.” – Habakkuk 3:18-19 (NASB)

Our verse comes from the book of Habakkuk. We find promises that are apropos to our times. On today’s social media, we may encounter a good deal of complaining about how “things aren’t how they used to be or should be.” And the appeal of many is “How do we get back to the way it was?” This was the prophet Habakkuk’s complaint. Sin was abounding (just as today) and God seemed both indifferent and idle to Habakkuk. He questions if it was God who was to blame? “Why do You make me look at injustice?” (Habakkuk 1:3 NASB) He doubles down with an even greater question for God: “Why do You tolerate wrong?” (Habakkuk 1:13 NASB) Does this sound like the cry of many modern Christians?. “Why is God allowing the destruction of our Christian country?” Mostly we blame the other side of the political divide. Habakkuk describes dire circumstances (v.16-17) for himself and Israel. But he doesn’t state that he would merely endure this distress. He sets our example and said he would rejoice in the Lord and be joyful. God is the inexhaustible source and infinite supply of joy. God my Savior is literally, “the God of my salvation”.

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March 7 – The Seal of the Spirit


“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” – Ephesians 1:13–14 (ESV)

God never promises the absence of distress or a journey without challenges to meet and obstacles to overcome. What He promises is His presence as the Holy Spirit. The presence of God’s Spirit assures us that we have Him and in Him, is God being our paraclete*, alongside as our guide and comforter. We also have the guarantee that our inheritance is reserved for us and kept for us we cannot and will not lose it. There is no one who can barge into our lives and overwhelm us with anything that will cause our separation from God. Like a ship or boat, small or massive, The Holy Spirit invisibly, yet indispensably, is the rudder for the ship of our soul. He keeps us from crashing on the rocks, keeps us afloat and going the right direction. The Holy Spirit is also our pilot. We are not alone on our journey. We’re sealed in Christ. Once upon a time, red wax with an identifying stamp in the wax was used seal the ownership of a letter. Sealing declares ownership and secures contents. It is the Holy Spirit as God’s seal that protects us. His word of promise is our seal.

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*The Holy Spirit as Paraclete: The term Paraclete (παράκλητος, paraklētos) appears four times in John’s Gospel in reference to the Holy Spirit in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 and once in 1 John 2:1 in reference to Jesus. English bibles translate the Greek word as Helper, Advocate, Comforter, Counselor.

February 12 – No Cause, No one to Fear


“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom should I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom should I dread?” Psalm 27:1 (NASB)

What would you be willing to do or give up to be completely free of fear, dread, and worry in your life? There are so many things that we fear. Physical conditions, financial situations, civil and political influences, and we could go on and on. We would not run out of items to put on such a list. But we have a promise that we find in this Psalm of David and it is a promise that we can have fearless trust in God our Lord and Savior. Fear does not come from God although we are instructed to “fear God” because He is the only one and our fear of God is due to His awesome power and sovereignty over all things. But because we belong to God we need not fear anything else. The Lord shows us the way and we have been saved by the Son of God who sacrificed and gave himself up for us. Truly, there is nothing or no one left with power to frighten us. God is our defense, we have no one left to dread. Let’s be aware that worry is how we dread in our life.

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February 9 – One in Creation. One in Salvation.


“Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power.” – Psalm 106:8. (ESV)

Jesus Christ is our Savior; but not more so than God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit. Some perceive God the Father as being a great being full of wrath, and anger, and justice, they think of God the Spirit perhaps as an influence proceeding from the Father and the Son. Nothing can be more incorrect than such opinions. The Son redeems me; The Father gave the Son to die for me, chose me in his everlasting grace. The Father blots out my sin; He accepts me, and adopts me into his family through Christ. The Son could not save without the Father any more than the Father without the Son. It is God the Holy Spirit that regenerates us. It is He that makes us new creatures in Christ, who purifies our soul, who sanctifies our spirit, and who, at last, presents us spotless and faultless before the throne of the Most High, accepted in the beloved. When we say, “Savior,” remember there is a Trinity in that word—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As they are one in creation, so are they one in salvation, working together as one God for our salvation.

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C. H. Spurgeon and Terence Peter Crosby, 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1), (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 1998), 39.

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Jesus Christ is our Savior; but not more so than God the Father, or God the Holy Spirit. Some perceive God the Father as being a great being full of wrath, and anger, and justice, they think of God the Spirit perhaps as an influence proceeding from the Father and the Son. Nothing can be more incorrect than such opinions. The Son redeems me; The Father gave the Son to die for me, chose me in his everlasting grace. The Father blots out my sin; He accepts me, and adopts me into his family through Christ. The Son could not save without the Father any more than the Father without the Son. It is God the Holy Spirit that regenerates us. It is He that makes us new creatures in Christ, who purifies our soul, who sanctifies our spirit, and who, at last, presents us spotless and faultless before the throne of the Most High, accepted in the beloved. When we say, “Savior,” remember there is a Trinity in that word—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As they are one in creation, so are they one in salvation, working together as one God for our salvation.

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C. H. Spurgeon and Terence Peter Crosby, 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1), (Leominster, UK: Day One Publications, 1998), 39.