Scripture for the week of January 5, 2020
“I have set the LORD continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalms 16:8,11 (NASB)
Have you ever wondered how to have joy through any circumstance? Biblically joy goes beyond emotional happiness which is dependent on whatever makes us feel good and it is temporary. Joy is primarily a choice and is dependent upon trusting in the sovereign goodness of God, even when we don’t feel it, and knowing that He is Who He says He is as revealed to us in His Word. When this scripture mentions God’s place at the Psalmists right hand that implies giving Him the highest place of honor and absolute power in our lives. We learn in this scripture that when we choose to abide in His presence we can know the security of safety, overflowing joy and everlasting pleasure. HIs right hand holds all power and all authority in heaven and on earth to defend and provide for us. Lord, please go before us revealing the path of abundant life in Your presence and the fullness of joy we all long for. Amen.
By JoBeth Kested
Scripture for Christmas Day December 25, 2019
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:1-2 (NASB)
Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt where you had to look for clues that help you seek and find a treasure? In this part of the Christmas story we are reminded of the wise men who came looking for a newborn King of the Jews, the promised Messiah, because they were following a star seen in the heavens. They first looked for Him in a palace, but he wasn’t there. When they followed the light of a star in the heavens they found the baby Jesus in a manger. They bowed down in worship and gave valuable treasures of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Maybe some of us are looking for life, hope, peace, love or faith in all the wrong places? This Christmas season, may we each follow the light of God’s glory to find the true reality of Jesus our Savior, Emmanuel – God with us. Wise men still seek Him. Let us join with the angels who sang, “Glory to God in the highest!”
Scripture for the week of December 8, 2019
“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned… The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill brought low; the crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:1-5 (NKJV)
Have you ever struggled with the sorrow and sadness of this life or the overwhelming grief of a great tragedy with longing for comfort? Sometimes the agony of loss and the pain of injustice we experience in this world can be hard to bear as we search for our lost hope in the puddles of our tears. The prophet Isaiah twice declares to the people of God “comfort, comfort” (meaning a double portion) along with the end of warfare and mercy for their sinfulness. He exhorts them to prepare a way for the Lord; with the promise that the extreme highs and lows will be made right, the crooked and rough will be made straight and smooth, and that all would see the glory of the goodness of the Lord in their land. Oh, Lord, comfort, comfort the wounded hearts of your people once again. May Jesus, the Prince of Peace, be revealed for the healing of the nations and for the glory of the LORD to shine in all the earth. Amen.
By JoBeth Kested
Scripture for the week of December 1, 2019
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)
Have you ever wondered how to find God’s will? What if the three things listed in this verse were the keys to releasing and experiencing God’s will for you? In the many tests, trials and difficult situations we face each day, what if we would choose to rejoice in the Lords’s overcoming power instead of worrying? What if we would then choose to pray in faith instead of yielding to fear? And, what if we would choose to give thanks for the opportunity to see God demonstrate His abundant provision for us instead of grumbling and complaining? In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” By His grace, choose to rejoice, pray and give thanks in everything today to set your feet on the path of God’s will concerning you. Thank You, Lord.
By JoBeth Kested