Posts from September 2020

Posts from September 2020

Daily Devotions: September 30, 2020

September 30, 2020    Psalm 80:7-15 … “Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.” vs. 7 The psalmist didn’t understand why Israel had fallen on hard times. From his perspective the Lord had gone to a lot of work to insure its prosperity. Using the metaphor of a vine he describes how God brought the root out of Egypt and planted it deep in good ground so that it would grow and fill…

Daily Devotions: September 29, 2020

September 29, 2020  Isaiah 5:5-7 . . . “For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!” vs. 7  Our leaders regularly describe our country as a defender of religious freedom and rightly protest when there is evidence that believers of any kind are being persecuted in our world. There have too many instances when nations…

Daily Devotions: September 28, 2020

September 28, 2020  Isaiah 5:1-4 … “He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.” vs. 2 Isaiah’s little love song describes God as a lover, one who lavished care and attention on his vineyard, clearing away stones, planting choice vines, and even hewing out a wine vat…

Daily Devotions: September 27, 2020

September 27, 2020  Matthew 21:28-32 … “Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.’” Jesus’ question was so easy that even his opponents got the right answer. We don’t need to be rocket scientists to know that actions speak louder than words. It’s a truth that we learn in kindergarten.…

Daily Devotions: September 26, 2020

September 26, 2020  Matthew 21:23-27 … “When he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, ‘By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?’” vs. 23 The question of authority was important for the religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Authority was what legitimized a person’s words and actions, it was what ordered the hierarchy and established a chain of command. In…

Daily Devotions: September 25, 2020

September 25, 2020  Philippians 2:4-13 … “Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;” vs. 12   These words from Paul to the Philippians have been much debated through the centuries. If salvation is by grace and a gift from God, what might it mean for them to “work out (their) own salvation with fear and trembling?”…

Daily Devotions: September 24, 2020

September 24, 2020 Philippians 2:1-4 … “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” vss. 3-4  As Paul bares his soul to his friends in the Philippian community, we see clearly what he desires for them in their life together. Living in Christ will be different from life in the world. No longer will they be…

Daily Devotions: September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020   Psalm 25:1-9 … “Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor. The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.” vss. 2-3 There are some who say that this psalm reflects a quite primitive view of God, a throwback to a Thor-like god who throws his hammer to produce the lightning and thunder of a summer storm. And it’s true…

Daily Devotions: September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020 Ezekiel 18:25-32 … “Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!” 31a The legal system of Israel was uncomplicated and relatively easy to understand. If people lived according to the law and did what was required by God they would be blessed. If they broke the law and lived according to the ways of wickedness they would be punished. The prophet believed…

Daily Devotions: September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020  Ezekiel 18:1-4 … “Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.” vs. 4 There was a proverb popular among the Israelites, “The parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth have been set on edge.” The point was clear: sometimes children end up paying for the sins of their parents. We would probably…

Daily Devotions: September 20, 2020

September 20, 2020   Matthew 20:10-16 … “And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’” vss. 11-12 Folks weren’t much different in Jesus’ day than they are now. No one liked it when hard-workers didn’t get credit for their labor, particularly when those perceived to be slackers received equal compensation. Everyone could…

Daily Devotions: September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020  Matthew 20:1-9 … “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage.” vss. 8-9  Where God is in charge surprises abound. Jesus says that it’s like someone laboring in a vineyard for an hour, and then receiving a full day’s wages.…