FROM THE PASTORS DESK

Please read the devotion and click on the link at the bottom to access the song, where you will be redirected from this website so you can listen and watch a video of the song's performance.  

I have prepared songs for the coming days.  If there is a hymn that speaks to you, I would welcome suggestions. 

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Friday, January 22, 2021 - Scripture: Isaiah 61:1-2; Song: "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise"
 
It’s pretty neat that there is so much connection between the Advent hymns we were listening to last month and the Epiphany hymns that we are listening to now.  But it should be that way.  In Advent, we were listening both in the hymns and the Scripture readings we were hearing to the Old Testament prophecies of the Messiah to come, how he would heal the sick and have compassion on those in need.  Now our hymns like today’s, “Songs of Thankfulness and Praise,” show how Jesus fulfilled those promises, as the Messiah, come to give light to the world.  Verse 2 talks about Jesus the Messiah, manifest in turning water into wine at Cana, and then verse 3 shares about the Messiah manifest in healing “palsied limbs and fainting souls.  In Isaiah 61:1 and 2, Isaiah predicted what happened when Jesus came, that he was anointed to proclaim good news to the poor, to bind up the broken-hearted to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.   And now they bid us to sing Songs of Thankfulness and Praise for these things happening.  In the season of Winter, one often called the time of darkness, at least in Michigan, what a blessing it to celebrate the coming of the one who is the Light of the World, Jesus himself, who is doing all these great things even in your own lives.  Sing the hymn, and celebrate His coming.  May it be a blessing to you in the season of darkness, whether it be because of Covid-19, the weather, or just the circumstances in your lives right now!
 
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - Scripture: Psalms 35:23-24; Song: "Confidence"
How often in the last 10 months, have you wanted to say, “I give up, I’m just up for the task, whether it be dealing with Covid-19 or the political unrest or the uncertainty of our economic times.  If we put our confidence in ourselves, I’m here to tell you that’s going to keep happening.  Or if we put our confidence in our political leaders or the vaccine or anything earthly, we might as well give up now.  But if we leave it up to God and realize that he is the one in control and he is working things out for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28) we can live life in His peace..  I know that is what I am relying on as I am recovering from my eye surgery.  Sanctus Real has a song called “Confidence” that I want to share with you today.  It talks about not being up to the task and where they put their confidence.  And they use several Old Testament characters to illustrate this confidence.  These include Daniel, facing the lions in the den and David facing Goliath.  The chorus includes these words, “Give me a heart like David, Be my defense.”  It led me to a psalm of David, Psalm 35 to be exact, where David says in verses 23 and 24: “Awake and rise to my defense!  Contend for me, my God, and Lord.  Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God.”  David himself in the Psalm is asking for the same thing that Sanctus Real is.  When things get tough if they aren’t ready, may David’s prayer in the Psalm be yours and mine and may we have the kind of confidence that Sanctus Real sings about in today’s song as we face the task that God gives us day by day?  Remember, we are not alone, and we don’t have to depend on ourselves.  Our confidence is in the Lord who is our defense.  Listen and be confident, the Lord is on your side!

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Monday, January 18, 2021 - Scripture: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; Song: "Hail, O Source of Every Blessing"

It’s the Monday after my eye surgery and God willing, I am only a few days from getting back to doing many of the things that normally take up day instead of sitting and resting but who knows?  I have written two weeks of devotions ahead of time, just in case, including today's.  We continue our Epiphany hymns this morning as today’s hymn is “Hail, O Source of Every Blessing.”  Much of the hymn continues the typical Epiphany theme of Jesus, the light being revealed.  And there this hymn, especially in the last verse, talks about our response to the message of Jesus, the light and what his perfect life, death and resurrection have done for us.    in the third verse it refers to the Gentiles bringing their offering to the temple to seek God’s favor and though the temple they are referring to is obviously the Worship center, what we now call church, there is at least a small connection to yesterday’s Epistle lesson from I Corinthians 6.  There in verse 19, Paul asks the question, “Do you not know that your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit?” and then ends the verse by reminding us, we are not our own.  As the hymn continues it connects the two, hymn and Scripture, as we sing: “May we, body, soul, and spirit, live devoted to your praise.”  There is much temptation today to live as we wish, as if our body were our own, to do with and to live as we wish.   As Christians, Paul and the hymn remind us that is not true.  Because God has redeemed us in Christ, being brought with a price, Christ’s life and death for us, we are not our own.  We are God’s.  May we as the Epiphany season so clearly points out, live for Christ, not for ourselves.  Take the time to read I Corinthians 6;12-20 and figure out what it means and then listen to the hymn, as it encourages you to live for Christ, for despite what the world would say, we are not our own, and that’s a good thing!

 

Previous Devotions

January Devotions.pdf
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December devotions.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [231.7 KB]