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2-A-Day Reflection: Psalm 67

April 4 2014 at 7:44 am 0 Comments

A 2-A-Day Bible Reading reflection from Dave Wilcox:2-a-Day Artwork

What’s the key to a great song? It’s the hook, right? It’s that line that gets stuck on repeat in your brain.

Go ahead and try to not sing along in your mind:

We will, we will rock you
I can’t get no satisfaction

Let’s see how our songwriter did in Psalm 67.

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us…

Not a bad start! I could put that on repeat in my prayer life. More of verse 1…

that your way may be known on the earth
your saving power among all nations.

OK. That’s a slightly different angle.

And now the chorus…

Let the peoples praise you O God;
Let all the peoples praise you!

So what’s the hook?

The song starts off talking about grace and blessings from God. But then it gets stuck on the idea that those blessings are not only for us but also for God’s glory in the eyes of every nation on earth. The line that the songwriter wants us to repeat over and over as we “hum its tune,” is that God is to be feared and praised by joyful people in every nation.

So go ahead and ask God for grace and blessing. But also repeatedly ask God to fulfill the intended effect of that blessing: showing the whole world his saving power and creating worshippers in every nation.

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2-A-Day Reflection: Psalm 57

March 21 2014 at 1:52 pm 0 Comments

A 2-A-Day Bible Reading reflection from Dave Wilcox:2-a-Day Artwork

He is the hunted, and his time has run out. The clank of soldier armor and a muffled commander’s orders reverberate into the cave. Hoping to disappear behind the sound of dripping water, he crouches in silence.

But the Psalmist’s soul is not silent.

“My heart is steadfast, O God.
My heart is steadfast.
I will sing and make melody!
Awake, my glory!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn!”

What makes a heart steadfast in the face of his enemy and possible death? The steadfastness of God.

“God will send out his steadfast love and faithfulness!”

“[God’s] steadfast love is great to the heavens, [his] faithfulness to the clouds.”

Father, convince us of your steadfast love and your faithfulness, so that, in the midst of darkness, uncertainty, and even death, we can have this same heart of praise:

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!”

Jump into the 2-A-Day reading plan anytime! Just download the schedule and follow along.

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2-A-Day Reflection:1 Cor. 4:4-5

March 19 2014 at 9:50 am 0 Comments

Here’s a 2-A-Day Bible Reading reflection from Greg Somerville:

I am ashamed of how often I judge others in my heart. From the lofty heights of my own inflated opinions, I inwardly criticize the attitudes, efficiency, discernment, character, godliness and maturity of those around me. I am a serial judger.

I don’t want to sin against my brothers and sisters this way, but it happens very subtly. Judgments form spontaneously and cloud my perspective. I often don’t realize what I’m doing until the damage is done.

In defending himself against the Corinthians’ judgments of his apostleship, Paul has blessed me this morning with the precious and painful sting of conviction:

“For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.” —1 Corinthians 4:4-5

It is the Lord’s responsibility to judge. And he will judge me. I may be blind to my own patterns of conceit and criticism, but he knows the hidden purposes of my heart.

When I climb my self-appointed perch and look down on the lesser mortals below, I forget there is another Judge seated on his great white throne looking down on me.

Thank you, Lord, for disclosing the purposes of my proud heart through today’s reading. Please forgive me for judging others when I should be judging myself. Rather than finding fault in those around me, help me to anticipate with joy that day when they will receive their commendation from you.

Jump into the 2-A-Day reading plan anytime! Just download the schedule and follow along.

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2-A-Day Reflection: Psalm 50, Acts 27

March 12 2014 at 8:49 am 0 Comments

Here’s a 2-A-Day Bible Reading reflection from Greg Somerville:

What does God want from us? What kind of offering would bring him joy?

As he says in Psalm 50, “the world and its fullness are mine” (vs. 12). The Owner of the universe doesn’t need our gifts. He doesn’t need our money, our service, our faithful devotions.

So what do you give to Someone who has everything?

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me” (vs. 14-15). We honor and please God when we trust in him and give thanks to him. A heart that overflows with gratitude, no matter what the circumstances of life, is a fragrant aroma to our King.

After 14 stormy days and nights on the open sea, Paul urged his 276 shipmates to trust in God’s promise of deliverance. He assured them that “‘not a hair is to perish from the head of any of you.’ And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat” (Acts 27:34-35).

Trusting dependence. Heartfelt gratitude. No matter how bad the storm, God is worthy of—and delighted by—these sacrifices.

Jump into the 2-A-Day reading plan anytime! Just download the schedule and follow along.

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2-A-Day Meditation: Psalm 36 & Acts 14

February 21 2014 at 11:34 am 0 Comments

In connection with our 2-A-DAY Bible Reading plan, here’s a meditation on Psalm 36 and Acts 14 by Dave Wilcox:

God’s gospel always rises in spite of its opponents.

“[The wicked] plots trouble while on his bed;
he sets himself in a way that is not good;
he does not reject evil…” —Psalm 36:4

In Acts 14, Paul was in Lystra, and Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, plotting to kill him. They persuaded the once adoring crowds at Lystra to stone him, then “dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.”

But they were wrong.

“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens.”
“The children of mankind take refuge in your wings.”
“For with you is the fountain of life.” —Psalm 36: 5, 7, 9

“When the disciples gathered around [Paul], he rose up” and returned to preaching the gospel with power. Courageously, he went back to the hometowns of his would-be assassins, strengthening those who had believed in Jesus through the gospel.

Indeed, “The evildoers lie fallen;
they are thrust down, unable to rise.” —Psalm 36:12

Jump into the 2-A-Day reading plan anytime! Just download the schedule and follow along.

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Looking to Jesus in the Race of Faith

June 13 2013 at 5:51 pm 2 Comments

Endurance Series Artwork

This month we’re taking a break from our study of the gospel of Matthew. I believe the Lord is leading us to work our way through the 12th chapter of Hebrews

We know that “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, reproof and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). It’s all part of the living and active Word of God (Hebrews 4:12). We need all of it. But isn’t it true that at certain times in our lives certain parts of Scripture seem to speak so directly to our circumstances that the breath of God’s Word feels like a mighty wind? The Word doesn’t just speak to us in those moments; it feels like it thunders! And the living and active Sword of the Spirit seems to pierce even more deeply.

That’s how I feel about Hebrews 12 right now for myself personally and for our church family as a whole. In so many ways this chapter with its 29 verses speaks to where we find ourselves. We’re facing disorienting challenges. Many of us feel weary and discouraged. Hebrews 12 calls Christians to endurance and faith. It speaks to God’s purpose in painful circumstances. It addresses the temptations we face in times of difficulty. And most importantly it holds forth Jesus. Hebrews 12 calls us to fix our eyes on him and to remember the unshakeable nature of his kingdom.

So Lord willing, for the next five weeks, I’m going to preach Hebrews 12 to you, and to me. And I’m asking the Lord to send his Holy Spirit and do something deep and powerful and lasting in our hearts through his living Word.

—Joshua Harris

June 9: The Race of Faith
June 16: Disciplined for Our Good
June 23: Make Straight Paths
June 30: Are We There Yet?
July 7: The Unshakeable Kingdom

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