Daily Devotionals

The Pastors of the church provide a daily devotional entitled Today's Word of Encouragement they hope will be a source of inspiration, encouragement, and strengthening of your faith. It is not intended to take the place of other devotional materials (Our Daily Bread, Open Windows, etc.) but to supplement those devotionals. Contact the church office if you wish to receive Today's Word of Encouragement via email, or subscribe to the church's website and it will be sent to you automatically. We pray it will be an encouragement to you.

July 19, 2020

And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:18).

July 18, 2020

And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:16-18).

Fasting is the abstaining from food and drink out of necessity or as a religious practice. In Scripture, fasting is primarily a religious activity that expresses grief or sorrow.

July 17, 2020

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions (Matthew 6:14-15).

These two verses are not a part of the Model Prayer, but are a commentary of Jesus on a significant point of the prayer. Jesus repeated one of the petitions in the prayer for a purpose, . . . forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (v.12).

July 16, 2020

For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen (Matthew 6:13).
 
This is properly called a doxology - a hymn of praise - akin to our “Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”
 

July 15, 2020

     . . . forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6:12).

June 15, 2020

COVENANT
Monday, June 15, 2020

    It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce' (Matthew 5:31).

June 14, 2020

LOVE AND MARRIAGE
Sunday, June 14, 2020

    It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Matthew 5:31-32).

June 13, 2020

SELF CONTROL
Saturday, June 13, 2020

    If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. . . . And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell (Matthew 5:29-30).

June 12, 2020

Friday, June 12, 2020

    But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:28).

June 11, 2020

LUST
Thursday, June 11, 2020

     You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28).

June 10, 2020

STUBBORNNESS
Wednesday, June 10, 2020

    Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny (Matthew 5:25-26).

June 9, 2020

HYPOCRISY
Tuesday, June 09, 2020

    So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:23-24).

June 8, 2020

ANGER
Monday, June 08, 2020

     . . . everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire (Matthew 5:22).

June 7, 2020

TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS
Sunday, June 07, 2020

    For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20).

June 6, 2020

INSTRUCTION WITH APPLICATION
Saturday, June 06, 2020

    Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock (Matthew 5:22).

June 5, 2020

JESUS AND THE LAW
Friday, June 05, 2020

    Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17).

June 4, 2020

LIGHT
Thursday, June 04, 2020

    You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16).

     Like salt (v.13), light is essential to life. We cannot live without it. Very few things can live without it. There are many organisms that live in places where light does not reach, such as the depths of oceans or underground caves. However, most organisms require some input of solar energy into their food chain. Some of the effects of light include:

June 2, 2020

PERSECUTED
Tuesday, May 02, 2020

    Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10).

June 1, 2020

PEACE
Monday, June 1, 2020

    Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God (Matthew 5:9).

May 31, 2020

A PURE HEART
Sunday, May 31, 2020

     Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Matthew 5:8).

May 29, 2020

STEPS TO SALVATION
Friday, May 29, 2020

    Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied
(Matthew 5:3-6).

May 28, 2020

STARVING FOR SATISFACTION
Thursday, May 28, 2020

    Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).

May 27, 2020

MEEK, NOT WEAK
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

    Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

May 26, 2020

INCREASING WHILE ISOLATED

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

. . . let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near (Hebrews 10:24-25 NASB).

     We may rightly infer from this passage that there is no substitute for the personal assembling of ourselves together in public worship.  It obviously does not mean, however, that we must decline spiritually when we are restrained from meeting. There are a number of recorded cases in the Bible where God's people flourished spiritually in isolation.

May 25, 2020

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).

Each principle in the Sermon on the Mount is not as an independent entity, but as part of a whole - like links in a chain. The first link is to recognize not just that we are destitute in spirit, but I am destitute in spirit. The Holy Spirit opens my eyes to it, and I must acknowledge and accept it as God’s truth.

The second link in this spiritual chain is to respond to the truth. I can do this in one of two ways: 1) ignore it, excuse it, rationalize it, or simply reject it, or 2) grieve over it.

May 24, 2020

BROKEN HEARTED
Monday, May 25, 2020

    Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).

May 24, 2020

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus initiated His 3½ year ministry of rescuing lost souls from judgment and restoring God’s Kingdom on earth. He began by outlining what it means to be His disciple and a citizen of His Kingdom. Carefully read the Sermon and you will see the values we honor as model citizens are 180̊ opposite of the values Jesus honors in His Kingdom.

May 23, 2020

DESTITUTE IN SPIRIT

Sunday, May 24, 2020

    Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).

     In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus initiated His 3½ year ministry of rescuing lost souls from judgment and restoring God’s Kingdom on earth. He began by outlining what it means to be His disciple and a citizen of His Kingdom. Carefully read the Sermon and you will see the values we honor as model citizens are 180̊ opposite of the values Jesus honors in His Kingdom.

May 23, 2020

Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them (Matthew 5:1-2).

May 22, 2020

THE SERMON OF SERMONS
Saturday, May 23, 2020

    Seeing the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down, His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them (Matthew 5:1-2).

May 22, 2020

The ‘Tau’ (T) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 169-176) is the last section of this marvelous song on the excellency of God’s Word. In this conclusion to the Psalm, King David drew together everything expressed throughout the song:

    • He asked God for a deeper understanding of His Word,
    • He asked for continued deliverance from his enemies,
    • He praised God for His grace,
    • He was thankful to God for His help and guidance.

May 21, 2020

THE SAVING WORD OF GOD
Friday, May 22, 2020

     The ‘Tau’ (T) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 169-176) is the last section of this marvelous song on the excellency of God’s Word. In this conclusion to the Psalm, King David drew together everything expressed throughout the song:

    • He asked God for a deeper understanding of His Word,
    • He asked for continued deliverance from his enemies,
    • He praised God for His grace,
    • He was thankful to God for His help and guidance.

   In his summary, David again recognized his failures, his flaws, his sinfulness. But he asked that the Lord would not let his weaknesses stand in the way of hearing and answering his prayers.

May 20, 2020

PRAISE FOR THE WORD OF GOD
Thursday, May 21, 2020

     Sometimes prayer needs no petition, but should be the simple sacrifice of praise to God from a grateful heart. Though we are a needy people, our greatest need is to recognize the great love, mercy, grace, and compassion of the Lord, and to thank Him for these gifts. The mind, heart, and spirit need to give God the glory for His goodness toward us.

     Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous ordinances (Psalm 119:164).

May 20, 2020

THE REVIVING WORD OF GOD
Wednesday, May 20, 2020
 
     In the ‘Resh’ (R) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 153-160) David cried out to God,
 
     Revive me according to Your word (v. 154),
     Revive me according to Your ordinances (v. 156),
     Revive me, O Lord, according to Your lovingkindness (v. 159).
 
     The word ‘revive’ has a multitude of meanings depending on how the word is used in its context. It can mean, ‘to make alive’, to come alive’, ‘to give life’, ‘to keep alive’, ‘to live again’, ‘to preserve alive’, ‘to restore life’, etc.

May 18, 2020

WAITING ON GOD’S WORD
Tuesday, May 19, 2020

     I have observed an interesting phenomenon among some Christians of late. There is the idea that since we have the Holy Spirit living within us to speak God’s counsel to us, there is little need to study the Scriptures. Simply put, some say “The Holy Spirit will tell me what I need to know, so why spend time studying the Bible?” This is a very short sided and completely unbiblical approach to the Christian life.
     What was King David’s attitude toward God’s Word?

    I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word (Psalm 119:147-148).

May 17, 2020

THE SUSTAINING POWER OF GOD'S WORD
Monday, May 18, 2020

    Trouble and anguish have come upon me, yet Your commandments are my delight (Psalm 119:143).

     The people of God are no strangers to trouble and hardship. Yet we do not face trials and testings alone. The Lord has promised His presence with His people - always

    . . . I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
    . . . He Himself has said, "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).

     Knowing the presence of God with us is comfort enough, but understanding the sustaining power of His Word is an added comfort.

May 17, 2020

PASSION FOR THE WORD OF GOD

Psalm 119:129-136

Sunday, May 17, 2020

      How much did King David love the Word of God? What if the Christian church today, and all its members, loved God’s Word as David did? My mother taught me “to love God’s Word is to love God; to love God is to love His Word.” Note the love affair David had with the Law of God.

      Your testimonies are wonderful (awesome, beyond excellent),

           therefore my soul observes (to protect, keep, obey) them.

     The unfolding (doorway, entrance, portal) of Your words gives light (insight, to illuminate);

May 15, 2020

JUSTICE OR MERCY?

Saturday, May 16, 2020

     Deal with Your servant according to Your lovingkindness and teach me Your statutes (Psalm 119:124).

     Scripture tells us that God is a holy, righteous, and just God - that He executes justice for the orphan and the widow (Deuteronomy 10:18), He gives justice to the afflicted (Job 36:6), He leads the humble in justice (Psalm 25:9), and that righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne (Psalm 89:14). ‘Justice’ (mishpat) has a broad range of meaning and application in the Bible, but basically it means ‘to make right’ or ‘to set in order’, albeit by judgment, penalty, or punishment.

May 15, 2020

MY HIDING PLACE AND SHIELD
Friday, May 15, 2020

    You are my hiding place and my shield; I wait for Your word (Psalm 119:114).

May 13, 2020

THE GUIDANCE OF GOD’S WORD
Thursday, May 14, 2020

    Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105).

May 12, 2020

THE WISDOM OF GOD’S WORD
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

    O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine (Psalms 119:97-98).

May 11, 2020

THE ETERNAL, IMMUTABLE, UNCHANGING  WORD OF GOD

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

    Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven (Psalms 119:89).

    Someone once said, “The only thing constant in the universe is change.” Not so with the Word of God. It is forever settled, it forever stands. The ‘Lamedh’ (L) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 89-96) declares it so.

May 10, 2020

THE CALMING WORD OF GOD
Monday, May 11, 2020

May 9, 2020

WOMANHOOD RESTORED
Sunday, April 10, 2020

    Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: "Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all" (Proverbs 31:28-29).

May 8, 2020

JOY IN THE DISCIPLINE OF GOD’S WORD
Saturday, April 09, 2020

    I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me (Psalms 119:75).

    The verses in the ‘Yodh’ (Y) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 73-80) are not easy to embrace. Is David saying that God is faithful in afflicting him with His righteous judgments? Or is David saying that even in his faithfulness, God chooses to afflict him with righteous judgments?
    The word ‘afflict’ means to humble, often through trials and testing. Sometimes affliction is motivated by malice, hostility, or anger; sometimes it is motivated by love.

May 7, 2020

THE DISCIPLINING WORD
Friday, April 08, 2020

    We often get discipline confused with punishment, but there is a big difference between the two.

May 6, 2020

THE BENEFICIAL WORD
Thursday, April 07, 2020

    The Lord is my portion; I have promised to keep Your words. (Psalm 119:57).

May 5, 2020

THE COMFORTING WORD

Wednesday, April 06, 2020

Remember the word to Your servant, in which You have made me hope. This is my comfort in my affliction, that Your word has revived me (Psalm 119:49-50).

     Does the Bible give you hope? Do you find comfort in God’s Word? Who do you turn to when life has lost its pazzaz? As you read through the ‘Zayin’ section of Psalm 119 (vv. 49-56) you will begin to understand where King David is coming from in his gratitude for God’s Word. Notice:

               • He is afflicted (v. 50)

               • He is derided by the proud (v. 51)

               • He is indignant over the wicked (v. 53)

May 4, 2020

BE READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER

Tuesday, April 5, 2020

     In the ‘Vau’ (V) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 41-48) the writer makes two requests:

May Your lovingkindness (chesed: goodness, kindness, mercy) also come to me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word; so that I will have an answer for him who reproaches me, for I trust in Your word (vv. 41-42), and

. . . do not take the word of truth utterly (ad: entirely, completely, forever) out of my mouth, for I wait for Your ordinances (v. 43).

May 3, 2020

INSPIRED SCRIPTURE INSPIRES
Monday, April 04, 2020

     The 'He' (H) section of Psalm 119 (vv. 33-40) is a series of prayers for insight, instruction, guidance, and strength, all coming from the Word of God. Note the requests the author makes:

     teach me . . . give me . . . make me . . . incline my heart . . . turn away my eyes . . . establish Your word . . . turn away my reproach . . . revive me.

     These are activities the writer acknowledges only God can do in his life. The means through which these requests are fulfilled is through the study and application of God's Word. In other words, the author of this psalm realizes his utter dependence upon God and His Word for:

May 3, 2020

STRENGTH FROM SCRIPTURE
Sunday, May 03, 2020

     My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word (Psalm 119:28).

May 2, 2020

EYES WIDE OPEN

Saturday, May 02, 2020

               Open my eyes, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law (Psalm 119:18).

     How wonderful are the Scriptures! In the ‘Gimel’ (G) section of Psalm 119 (vv.17-24), the psalmist celebrates the Word of God for the knowledge it provides in directing his life, and for the strength and comfort it gives him in times of difficulty and persecution. But the natural man cannot see such things. To him, Scripture is poetry, law, history, and legend. It takes the opening of one’s eyes to see the marvelous truths in God’s Word that transform a life.

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