Monthly Archives: April 2023

Psalm 16

These days it might be easy to be discouraged. It seems as though evil is out of control, and who knows where this is heading?

I read Psalm 14 and recognize the people David is talking about. Oh, that the salvation of our world would come out of Zion.

Then I remember… our salvation HAS come out of Zion. His name is Jesus. The problems we see in our world are the result of sin. The fool who says there is no God. A generation who has declared we are our own god. The blatant disregard for the Laws of God. And the rejection of the cross.

Psalm 16 reminds me that God is the answer. He alone is our refuge. Nothing good exists apart from Him. He holds our future and blesses those who call Him Lord.

It is God who gives counsel, who instructs, and upholds. He makes known the path of life, and in his presence is the fullness of joy. No matter what the enemy is doing, I know God lives… and I am His through the blood of His Son, Jesus.

Let this psalm encourage you today. Then, let it give you the courage to tell others, to live a life that reflects the joy you have in your salvation. It’s true we live in an evil age. But instead of sitting back and complaining about it, let’s share what we know is true so that others can share our joy.

Let’s Call It What It Is

Psalms 17, 35, 54

These psalms seem to support the idea that seeking revenge on someone who has wronged us is acceptable. David is asking God to “get” his enemies, to pay them back with the same treatment they have treated him. Is that the pattern we should be taking? Of course not!

If you are a Christian, you know how Jesus wants us to treat our “enemies.” Love them. Do nice things for them. Pray for them. Turn the other cheek. I’m afraid that philosophy is lost on our narcissistic, feelings-driven, reactionary society these days. People who are offended by someone’s opinions (or pronouns) feel justified in attacking the supposed offender both verbally and physically.

Christian – do we need to be reminded our enemies are not people? We do not war against flesh and blood but against “principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Let’s call it what it is – SIN.

I think we all ought to pray like David prayed: God, destroy Satan’s influence on this world, annihilate evil forces, put to death the influences of self, of hate, of perversion, of lies, and save those who are caught in the web of sin.

We cannot win this war if we are fighting the wrong enemy.

It’s not the homosexual we should be rallying against, but the sin of homosexuality (a sin Jesus died to forgive). Not the transgender person, but the perversion that has entangled them. Not the woke millennial, but the lies. Not the atheist, but the lack of understanding of who God is.

Let’s quit fighting windmills and turn our efforts toward defeating the real enemy. Let’s call it what it is. It’s not a war against those on the other side of the aisle, or those outside the Church. It’s a spiritual war against Satan.

Let’s put on the whole armor of God, pray for those who need the Savior, and go and make disciples like Jesus commanded. Our world will not survive, and people will spend eternity in hell, if we don’t.

Where Do You Go?

Psalms 27, 31, 34, 52, 55-56, 120, 140-142

These psalms were written at a time when David felt hemmed in by his enemies. He felt alone, mistreated, under attack with no ability to fight back. So he called out to God. He humbled himself, submitted to the will of God, then trusted God for the outcome.

I have friends right now who must feel as helpless as David did. The husband is in the hospital fighting for his life, and as I write this, the doctors can’t pinpoint the cause. Kidney failure. Blood loss. Pain. But the doctors are still running tests with no definitive answer. The wife can only sit by his side and pray, and trust others are praying for him, too.

I have another friend who can only sit by helplessly while her drug-addicted son slips further and further into his addiction.

I have friends working in the public school system who are facing career-ending choices if they refuse to teach immoral curriculum, and if they support truth instead of teaching made up pronouns, and rewritten history.

My enemy continues to tempt me, to discourage me, to try to pull me away from Truth. I doubt any of us can say we’ve never been under attack. What do we do? Where do we go when our lives spin out of control?

David reminds me that there is really only one right answer to those questions. We run to God. We let go of the reigns and submit to His will. And we thank Him for the privilege of running to Him. We thank Him for His faithfulness, His power, and His great love.

Our God fights for and with us to destroy our enemy rather than being destroyed. He is God. And He can be trusted.

Where do you go?

What Do You See?

1 Samuel 16&17

Walking with God, having faith in God, living in submission to God, doesn’t see obstacles, but possibilities. The Israelite army, along with King Saul, saw only a formidable giant and a powerful army across the valley. They were paralyzed with fear. It took a young man who believed in God with complete assurance to see the possibilities.

When you look at what we as Christians are up against these days, what do you see? Do you see the insanity of the liberal agenda, and cower in fear? Do you see a president too powerful to fight? Do you consider the media an army too strong to stand against?

Or can you, like David, see an enemy that has no power over our God? God used a boy to destroy Israel’s enemy. I think He is looking for some Davids today to step up, pick up the Sword of the Spirit, arm themselves with the power of His might, and get this victory started.

If you and I call on His Name, humble ourselves, stop our own sinning, and submit to God like David did, I know the battle will be the Lord’s. As crazy as things are today, Satan will never be stronger than God. Victory is a possibility.

Do you see it? Are you a David?

Where Do We Draw The Line?

1 Samuel13-15

Where does God draw the line on obedience? Saul wiped out the Amalekites like God had told him to. But he took King Agag alive, and brought the best livestock back to Israel as plunder, both of which were acts of disobedience. Later, he would tell Samuel he only did that so they’d have animals to sacrifice to God. (sounds spiritual). But if you read these chapters today you’ll see God was not having it. He had drawn the line on obedience, and Saul ignored it.

Where does God draw the line on our obedience? I was with some Christian women the other day when joking came very nearly blasphemy. The use of Jesus’ name was thrown around, kind of on the order of “Jesus take the wheel” when I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing. Where does God draw the line around, “Do not take the name of the Lord your God in vain?” (Exodus 20:7) Do Christians who say, “Oh my God,” when surprised, or “Lordy, Lordy,” in conversation, cross the line God has drawn around obedience?

I recently heard someone say, “I’m a Christian, but I cuss.” Where is the line around, “let no unwholesome talk come out of your mouth” (Exodus 4:29), and “out of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34)?

What about the Christian who says, “I might think bad thoughts, but I’d never act on them?” Didn’t Jesus make it clear that sin isn’t just something you do, but those thoughts are sin, too? (Matthew 5:27-28).

And where does God draw the line around, “the wages of sin is death,” (Romans 6:23)? Can people who live with unrepented sin call themselves Christians? (1 John 1:10, James 2:18)

I’m just thinking out loud here. But shouldn’t someone who loves Jesus be grieved by sin, and turn from it immediately instead of growing comfortable in it? If God draws the line around obedience – around holiness – shouldn’t that be the line we draw, too?


I Samuel 7

If you have been a Christian for more than a day, I imagine you have felt the sting of Satan’s arrows. Becoming a child of God doesn’t automatically make Satan write us off. In fact, Satan often steps up his efforts to separate us from God. He is not a good loser.

Scripture plainly tells us we are at war. But Scripture also tells us we who are God’s children through the blood of Jesus are on the winning side. Most of us can attest to the victories over sin we have had along the way. It is, however, a little harder to remember the victories when we are fighting for our lives in the middle of the next battle.

Samuel understood that. We humans tend to have short memories. So, after a decisive victory won by the mighty hand of God – there could be no other explanation – Samuel took a boulder and set it up where the victory had happened. He called the stone Ebenezer which meant – God helped us here.

Whenever the Israelites looked at the stone, they could remember how God had helped them defeat the enemy on that very spot. It would give them encouragement as they remembered that victory.

We who are of a certain age, probably remember the hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Most churches have tucked that hymn away because congregations don’t like to have to think when we worship. (If it feels good, do it). But I want to challenge you to read through the words of this hymn and consider the deep meaning you find there. You’ll have to stop and think. Do it anyway. Here’s what I see in the first verse:

Dear God, the source of every blessing, help me to sing about your grace from the depths of my heart. The fact that your mercy never ends ought to cause me to sing your praises with abandon. Teach me to praise you like the angels praise you. Fix my eyes on your redeeming love.

The second verse begins: “Here I raise my Ebenezer; here by Thy great help I’ve come…”

Have you an Ebenezer? I’m not talking about a boulder in your back yard. I’m not even talking about a cross around your neck. In fact, I’m not talking about any THING. I’m talking about right now, in your heart, is there an attitude of gratitude toward God who has brought you to this moment, God who has been faithful in the past and promises to be faithful today, God who has fought beside you and for you?

Have you that place in your heart where you can be reminded of His goodness and protection in your past, and let that be an encouragement in whatever battle you are fighting today?

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) (emphasis mine).

That giving thanks in all circumstances is your Ebenezer.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7) (emphasis mine).

Again, that thanksgiving for God’s faithfulness in the past is your Ebenezer. Raise it up. Draw strength from the truth of it. God has been faithful and will be faithful still. Remember:

Up to this point the Lord has helped us. (1 Samuel 7:12).

It Took A Human


Naomi, as an elderly widow, had no means of supporting herself, much less the added responsibility for her daughter-in-law. There were no jobs for decent women at that time that could provide for women alone. She would have been sentenced to a life of poverty and shame, unable to help herself.

That’s why what Boaz did is so significant. And why it’s a picture of what Jesus did for us. According to Jewish law, a relative – a kinsman – would have been her only hope. He would have to step in, take on her debt, pay it, and welcome her into his own family with all the rights and privileges that affords.

Spiritually speaking, we are in the same position as Naomi. We are impoverished by our sin debt. We have no ability to dig ourselves out of the hole our sins have dug.

That’s why God became a human. The redemption of a human had to be paid by a human – a kinsman. So the human/God Jesus stepped in, took our sin debt, paid it, and welcomes us into His family with all the rights and privileges that affords.

That’s a simplistic explanation of the redeeming work of Jesus. So much more could be said. But if you are trying to make it through this life by hard work, good deeds, going to church, being the best version of yourself, you would be like Ruth out there in the field, working for a meal, but never enjoying the benefits of being part of the family of your Redeemer.

It’s not until you fall at the feet of the One who can save you, until you humble yourself and put yourself at his mercy like Ruth did when she placed herself at Boaz’s feet, that you can know the blessed relationship with your kinsman Redeemer available to you.

There is a Redeemer. His name is Jesus.

That’s Who God Is

Judges 13-15

Samson was not a nice man. He was a ruthless ego-maniac. Oh, he didn’t cut his hair so he looked like a Nazarite. But his actions tell us his heart was sinful.

Yet this guy fought for Israel. God’s hand was upon his life. God gave Samson great strength to defeat God’s enemies. Why? One might think God at least condoned, if not approved of Samson’s choices. Doesn’t it seem God ought to have taken Samson out the moment his evil heart was exposed?

All I can say about that is, I’m glad that’s not the way God rolls. I’m glad God is patient with his disobedient children because I am one of them. Samson will have consequences for his sins, as we read on in Judges. But God will give him every opportunity to repent for his sins first.

That’s who God is.

That’s who He was toward Samson. And that’s who He is toward me.