Monday, April 25, 2016


Isaiah 6:1–8 

Who likes to take on trouble? Worse yet, to do so single-handedly? The task Isaiah faced was a difficult and undesirable one. The Israelites were in a mess—again. They were suffering because of their sinful ways. The problem was so immense and overwhelming that no one seemed able or even available to help.

God himself asked the question, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah answered, “Here am I. Send me!”

Wait a minute. What made Isaiah run to the problem rather than following the instinct to avoid conflict and personal danger? Isaiah wasn’t a damage-control expert or a crisis-management counselor. He was a lone prophet. So how was he equipped to intervene?
What prompted Isaiah to step forward and offer himself to God was an experience in worship that altered him forever. Isaiah saw God seated on his throne in heaven. His senses were overwhelmed with the magnificence of God’s presence. He heard the antiphonal singing of the seraphs, whose voices shook the doorposts and thresholds. Smoke filled the sanctuary. Isaiah was humbled and awestruck.

Everything pointed the prophet beyond the current task to the eternal glory of God. The weight of coming face-to-face with God was so intense that it nearly crushed Isaiah. Yet at the same time it revived and rejuvenated him. Seeing God in all his glory and splendor and worshiping him equipped Isaiah to serve God.

Has God called you to a task for which you feel completely inadequate? Perhaps you’re parenting a child with a disability, disciplining a rebellious son, caring for an elderly parent, battling to preserve a broken marriage. The key to taking on the extraordinary challenge is to worship God, to spend time in his presence meditating on just how awesome he is. When we praise God’s holiness and majesty, when we focus on his strength and wisdom, then we are assured of the courage and vigor he makes available to us—the power to go one more mile, to endure one more day, to love one more hour, to forgive one more time. Like Isaiah, we can face these hard assignments with confidence that if God has called us, he will equip us.

  1. In what ways has worship sustained and encouraged you in the past?
  2. What difficult task is God calling you to now? Will you say, like Isaiah, “Here am I, send me”?
  3. Take some time to sit quietly and think about God. Let yourself think of his holiness, his majesty, his power, his love. Be still and know that he is God.
Isaiah 6:8
 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Related Readings 

1 Kings 17:1–6; Isaiah 50:4–10; Hebrews 13:20–21

His Princess Every Day - Monday, April 25, 2016

Devotionals for Women - Inspirational author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd imagines what a letter written from God to you would look like.

I Will Bless You
My Bride,

It brings me such great pleasure to watch and see you enjoy the blessings I have arranged for you. I Love to surprise my bride with little gifts that only she can see. Let yourself receive from me today. Don’t let the difficulties of this life cause you to lose sight of who you are and all I have for you. Remember, my love, you are my royalty, you are my treasure. Now look to the heavens and smile because the best is yet to come!

Your Prince and blessing 

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever. - Psalm 23:6 (NLT) (NLT) 

Prayer to my Prince 

My Generous Prince, 

I feel like the most blessed bride to be yours. I love your little surprises. Today I open my heart completely to receive all you have for me. I don’t want to miss out on anything you have planned for our life together. Please pour out your favor and blessing upon me, May all the world around me see I am your princess. Thank you for the greatest gift of all... eternity with you! 

Your Princess who celebrates all you do 

They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness. - Psalm 145:6 

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.

Women of the Bible - Hannah

Her name means: "Graciousness" or "Favor" 

Her character: Provoked by another woman's malice, she refused to respond in kind. Instead, she poured out her hurt and sorrow to God, allowing him to vindicate her.
Her sorrow: To be taunted and misunderstood.
Her joy: To proclaim God's power and goodness, his habit of raising the lowly and humbling the proud.
Key Scriptures: 1 Samuel 1:1-2:11; 2:19-21 

Her Story

It was only fifteen miles, but every year the journey from Ramah, to worship at the tabernacle in Shiloh, seemed longer. At home, Hannah found ways to avoid her husband's second wife, but once in Shiloh there was no escaping her taunts. Hannah felt like a leaky tent in a driving rain, unable to defend herself against the harsh weather of the other woman's heart.

Even Elkanah's arm around her provided no shelter. "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons? Yes, she has given me children, but it's you I love. Ignore her taunts."

How could Hannah make him understand that even the best of men could not erase a woman's longing for children? His attempt to comfort her only sharpened the pain, heightening her sense of isolation.

Once inside the tabernacle Hannah stood for a long time, weeping and praying. Her lips moved without making a sound as her heart poured out its grief to God: "O Lord Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

The priest Eli was used to people coming to Shiloh to celebrate the feasts, eating and drinking more than they should. Watching Hannah from his chair by the doorpost of the temple, he wondered why her shoulders were shaking, her lips moving without making a sound. She must be drunk, he concluded. So he interrupted her silent prayer with a rebuke: "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."

"Not so, my lord," Hannah defended herself. "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."

Satisfied by her explanation, Eli blessed her, saying, "May the God of Israel grant your request."

Early the next morning, Hannah and Elkanah returned to their home in Ramah, where Hannah at last conceived. Soon she held against her shoulder the tiny child she had yearned for, the son she had dedicated to God. After Samuel was weaned, she took him to Eli at Shiloh. Like Jochebed placing the child Moses into the waters of the Nile as though into God's own hands, she surrendered her child to the priest's care. Eventually Hannah's boy became a prophet and Israel's last judge. His hands anointed both Saul and David as Israel's first kings.

Like Sarah and Rachel, Hannah grieved over the children she couldn't have. But unlike them, she took her anguish directly to God. Misunderstood by both her husband and her priest, she could easily have turned her sorrow on herself or others, becoming bitter, hopeless, or vindictive. But instead of merely pitying herself or responding in kind, she poured out her soul to God. And God graciously answered her prayer.

Each year Hannah went up to Shiloh and presented Samuel with a little robe she had sewn. And each year, the priest Eli blessed her husband, Elkanah, saying, "May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord." And so Hannah became the mother of three more sons and two daughters. Hannah's great prayer, echoed more than a thousand years later by Mary, the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:46-55), expresses her praise: "My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance…. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap" (1 Samuel 2:1, 7-8).

Her Promise

When God met Hannah at the temple in Shiloh, he not only answered her prayer for a child, he answered her prayer for comfort in her misery. He gave her consolation in her disappointment and strength to face her situation. Scripture does not say that she went away sure she would bear a child, but it does make it clear that she went away comforted: "Her face was no longer downcast" (1 Samuel 1:18). What even the love and care of her husband Elkanah could not provide, God could provide.

God is willing to meet us just as he met Hannah. Whatever our distress, whatever hard situations we face, he is willing—more than that, he is eager—to meet our needs and give us his grace and comfort. No other person—not our husband, not our closest friends, not our parents, not our children—can render the relief, support, and encouragement that our God has waiting for us.

Girlfriends in God - April 25, 2016

Do You Believe God Tells the Truth?
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms . . .” (Ephesians 1:18–20, NIV emphasis added). 

Friend to Friend

God speaks to me in the comics. I know. That’s weird. But He does. 

Pickles comic strip features an older couple named Earl and Pearl Pickles. One day Earl and Pearl were sitting on a porch swing and the following conversation ensued.

Frame one: Pearl, “Did you know the DNA of humans and chimpanzees is 98 percent the same?”
Frame two: Earl, “I know it but I don’t believe it.”
Frame three: Pearl, “You know it, but you don’t believe it?”
Frame four: Earl, Yes, “I don’t believe everything I know.”

And there you have it! In the wise words of Earl Pickles, our problem is that we don’t really believe everything we know. We go to Bible studies year after year, hear sermons Sunday after Sunday, and read books page after page.

But until we move from knowing to believing, we’re going to be stuck in the mediocre, mundane, milquetoast faith that expects little and receives even less.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The Greeks had many words for our one word know. The Greek word used here is ginosko. In the New Testament it frequently indicates a relationship between the person “knowing” and the object known. It is more than head knowledge of the truth, but believing the truth and applying it to your life in action. There is a sense in which true knowledge (of God) leads to action in keeping with obedience.

My devotions lately have focused on our true identity in Christ. Those accumulated verses about my identity in Christ were not new to me when I made my initial list. Perhaps they were not new to you either.

I had read them scattered through Scripture before, and had even memorized a few. But I didn’t truly believe them. Not really. I would have never admitted that to anyone—not even to myself. I’d smile and say amen with the best of them. But when the rubber of the truth hit the road of adversity, I moved those verses into the category of nice gestures on God’s part, rather than the truth that could set me free and give me victory to overcome.

Jesus said this about the Pharisees: “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” (John 5:39–40). These guys studied the Scriptures in minute detail. They knew the Scriptures inside and out, every jot and tittle, dot and dash. However they did not believe the truth that would have set them free and given eternal life—the Truth that was standing right in front of them.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians: “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms . . .” (Eph. 1:18–20, emphasis added).

You were saved when you believed—past tense. You have great power when you believe—present tense. Believe what? When you believe that God is Who He says He is, and that you are who God says you are. When you believe the promises of God, the power of God, and the provision of God in your life. When you not only know the Truth, but believe the Truth.

The Greek word for believe used in Ephesians 1:18 is a present active participle. Don’t let that little English lesson make you nervous. It just means it is a continuous action verb. It is applied to those who are presently, actively, and yes, continually believing God.

If you feel your walk has become a crawl, your faith has faltered, your fire for God is smoldering, perhaps what will reignite your passion is a decision to believe what God said is true for you and about you. Just because God spoke a promise does not mean you automatically posses the promise. You must let go of unbelief and take hold of the promise with the grip of belief to make it yours. 

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, I have head knowledge about the Bible, but I’ll admit, I don’t always believe what I know. Show me truths that I have not moved from my head to my heart. Show me in my deepest parts the areas where I would quickly say that I believe, but I truly don’t. Help me to show that I do believe by my actions and my choices.
In Jesus’ Name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Go back and read Ephesians 1:13 and notice the verb tense of believe. Is it past, present, or future?

Now go back and read today’s truth, Ephesians 1:18-20. Is it past, present, or future?

As a review, what difference does the verb tense make?

It is easy to believe what Jesus says about Himself (I am the light of the world. John 8:12) But do you believe what Jesus says about you? (You are the light of the world. Matthew 5:14)

So, let’s answer the question together. Do you believe that God tells the truth? Click over to my Facebook page and let’s give God a big Facebook praise! If you believe...present tense believing...that you are who God says you are and can do what God says you can do, leave a message and say, “I’m taking hold of who God says that I am and what God says I can do!” 

More from the Girlfriends 

Today’s devotion was taken from my new book, Take Hold of the Faith you Long For: Let God, Move Forward, Live Bold. A mediocre, mundane faith is not your destiny! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to leave behind feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy that hold you hostage and take hold of the mountain-moving faith God intends. Let’s uncover untapped sources of confidence and courage, and see how to move from simply knowing the truth to actually living it out boldly in a life marked by true freedom and expectancy. It’s time to get UNSTUCK. Click on the book cover to discover free bonuses when you order before May 1, 2016.

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Salt and Light - April 25, 2016

“I Choose to Forgive”

“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 

C S. Lewis pointed out that “forgiving does not mean excusing… if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive.” The people of Paducah, Kentucky, understood this. A few years ago, fourteen‐year‐old Michael Carneal opened fire on a group of students who had gathered in prayer. In seconds, ten were wounded, three fatally. Yet the students and people from the community showed a remarkable willingness to forgive. Placards appeared at the high school reading, “We Forgive You, Mike.” Kelly Carneal, Michael’s sister, was not only embraced by her peers, but was also asked to sing in the choir at the slain girls’ funeral.

During the town’s annual Christmas parade, the people lifted up a moment of silent prayer on behalf of Michael and his family. One young girl said it best: “I can hate Michael and bear the scars of what he did for the rest of my life. But I choose to forgive him and get beyond it.”

Dr. Arch Hart, a Christian psychologist says, “Forgiveness is giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me.” Forgiving is a decision, not an emotion. In our marriages we’ll often need to choose to have a right attitude before our wounded heart has healed. Even when we can’t control how we feel, we can determine how we act and what we do with our pain.

Just between us…
  • How did Jesus model forgiveness for us?
  • Is there someone in our family, our community, or our circle of acquaintances who has committed a widely known injustice?
  • How can we show this person forgiveness?
  • Is it necessary to forget in order to forgive?
Lord, thank You for showing us how to forgive. May we choose to forgive in our marriage—even when we don’t feel like it. We trust You to bring healing in our feelings and memories in Your time. Amen. 

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.


Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Ephesians 6:11 

The Bible clearly says to use the full armor. We usually feel we are doing okay if we have most of the pieces of armor in place. Yet, if even one piece is missing, we have a weak spot where Satan can injure us, causing us to lose ground rather than standing firm. (1 Peter 5:8-9) 

The New Living Translation in Ephesians 6:11 puts it this way: “Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil.” It further says in verse 13, “Use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy in the time of evil, so that after the battle you will still be standing firm.” 

RESPONSE: Today I will put on the full armor of God to stand strong against Satan’s darts of doubt, denial and deceit.

PRAYER: “The Warrior’s Prayer”
Heavenly Father, Your warrior prepares for battle.
Today I claim victory over Satan by putting on the whole armor of God!
I put on the Belt of Truth.
May I stand firm in the truth of your Word so I will not be a victim of Satan’s lies.
I put on the Breastplate of Righteousness.
May it guard my heart from evil so I will remain pure and holy, protected under the blood of Jesus Christ.
I put on the Sandals of Peace.
May I go out and proclaim the good news of the Gospel so your peace will shine through me and be a light to all I encounter.
I take the Shield of Faith.
May I be ready to deflect Satan’s fiery darts of doubt, denial and deceit so I will not be vulnerable to spiritual defeat.
I put on the Helmet of Salvation.
May I keep my mind focused on you so Satan will not have a stronghold on my thoughts.
I take the Sword of the Spirit.
May the two-edged sword of your Word be ready in my hands so I can use it to take authority over the Enemy.
By faith, your warrior has put on the whole armor of God.
I am prepared to live this day in spiritual victory.

Saint Mark the Evangelist

Today the church remembers Saint Mark the Evangelist.

Tradition holds that Mark (sometimes called John Mark) was the young man who lost his clothes when Jesus was taken in the garden of Gethsemane (see Mark 14:51). It is also thought by many that the "upper room"? where the Last Supper was held was in Mark's parents' home. Mark's mother, whose name was Mary, was a follower of Jesus and a friend of the disciples.

The apostle Peter seems to have taken young Mark under his wing. Mark is listed by Paul as one of Peter's followers in the early controversies in the Jerusalem Church. Mark was also a missionary companion to Paul and a lifelong friend of Barnabas. He was in Rome with Peter and Paul, but escaped the Neronian persecution. According to the historian Eusebius, he traveled to Egypt and founded the great Alexandrian Church there. Also, it is believed that he was martyred there by a mob of angry pagans.

Mark is generally regarded as the author of the second gospel, which bears his name. It is sometimes called the Gentile Gospel because it seems to be directed more toward a Gentile than a Jewish audience.

Almighty God, we thank you for the gospel of your Son Jesus Christ, committed to his church by the hand of your evangelist Saint Mark; and we pray that, being firmly grounded in its truth, we may be faithful to its teaching both in word and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Daily Readings for April 25, 2016 - Saint Mark the Evangelist Day

Leviticus 16:1-19
The LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they drew near before the LORD and died. The LORD said to Moses: Tell your brother Aaron not to come just at any time into the sanctuary inside the curtain before the mercy seat that is upon the ark, or he will die; for I appear in the cloud upon the mercy seat. Thus shall Aaron come into the holy place: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and shall have the linen undergarments next to his body, fasten the linen sash, and wear the linen turban; these are the holy vestments. He shall bathe his body in water, and then put them on. He shall take from the congregation of the people of Israel two male goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. Aaron shall offer the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house. He shall take the two goats and set them before the LORD at the entrance of the tent of meeting; and Aaron shall cast lots on the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for Azazel. Aaron shall present the goat on which the lot fell for the LORD, and offer it as a sin offering; but the goat on which the lot fell for Azazel shall be presented alive before the LORD to make atonement over it, that it may be sent away into the wilderness to Azazel. Aaron shall present the bull as a sin offering for himself, and shall make atonement for himself and for his house; he shall slaughter the bull as a sin offering for himself. He shall take a censer full of coals of fire from the altar before the LORD, and two handfuls of crushed sweet incense, and he shall bring it inside the curtain and put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of the incense may cover the mercy seat that is upon the covenant, or he will die. He shall take some of the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it with his finger on the front of the mercy seat, and before the mercy seat he shall sprinkle the blood with his finger seven times. He shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering that is for the people and bring its blood inside the curtain, and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, sprinkling it upon the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. Thus he shall make atonement for the sanctuary, because of the uncleannesses of the people of Israel, and because of their transgressions, all their sins; and so he shall do for the tent of meeting, which remains with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. No one shall be in the tent of meeting from the time he enters to make atonement in the sanctuary until he comes out and has made atonement for himself and for his house and for all the assembly of Israel. Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement on its behalf, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat, and put it on each of the horns of the altar. He shall sprinkle some of the blood on it with his finger seven times, and cleanse it and hallow it from the uncleannesses of the people of Israel.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call and with the sound of God's trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Matthew 6:1-6, 6:16-18
"Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. "And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that your fasting may be seen not by others but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Morning Psalms

Psalm 56
1   Have mercy on me, O God, for my enemies are hounding me; all day long they assault and oppress me.
2   They hound me all the day long; truly there are many who fight against me, O Most High.
3   Whenever I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.
4   In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust and will not be afraid, for what can flesh do to me?
5   All day long they damage my cause; their only thought is to do me evil.
6   They band together; they lie in wait; they spy upon my footsteps; because they seek my life.
7   Shall they escape despite their wickedness? O God, in your anger, cast down the peoples.
8   You have noted my lamentation; put my tears into your bottle; are they not recorded in your book?
9   Whenever I call upon you, my enemies will be put to flight; this I know, for God is on my side.
10   In God the LORD, whose word I praise, in God I trust and will not be afraid, for what can mortals do to me?
11   I am bound by the vow I made to you, O God; I will present to you thank-offerings;
12   For you have rescued my soul from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living.

Psalm 57
1   Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful, for I have taken refuge in you; in the shadow of your wings will I take refuge until this time of trouble has gone by.
2   I will call upon the Most High God, the God who maintains my cause.
3   He will send from heaven and save me; he will confound those who trample upon me; God will send forth his love and his faithfulness.
4   I lie in the midst of lions that devour the people; their teeth are spears and arrows, their tongue a sharp sword.
5   They have laid a net for my feet, and I am bowed low; they have dug a pit before me, but have fallen into it themselves.
6   Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.
7   My heart is firmly fixed, O God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and make melody.
8   Wake up, my spirit; awake, lute and harp; I myself will waken the dawn.
9   I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD; I will sing praise to you among the nations.
10   For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
11   Exalt yourself above the heavens, O God, and your glory over all the earth.

Psalm 58
1   Do you indeed decree righteousness, you rulers? do you judge the peoples with equity?
2   No; you devise evil in your hearts, and your hands deal out violence in the land.
3   The wicked are perverse from the womb; liars go astray from their birth.
4   They are as venomous as a serpent, they are like the deaf adder which stops its ears,
5   Which does not heed the voice of the charmer, no matter how skillful his charming.
6   O God, break their teeth in their mouths; pull the fangs of the young lions, O LORD.
7   Let them vanish like water that runs off; let them wither like trodden grass.
8   Let them be like the snail that melts away, like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
9   Before they bear fruit, let them be cut down like a brier; like thorns and thistles let them be swept away.
10   The righteous will be glad when they see the vengeance; they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
11   And they will say, "Surely, there is a reward for the righteous; surely, there is a God who rules in the earth."

Evening Psalms

Psalm 64
1   Hear my voice, O God, when I complain; protect my life from fear of the enemy.
2   Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the mob of evildoers.
3   They sharpen their tongue like a sword, and aim their bitter words like arrows,
4   That they may shoot down the blameless from ambush; they shoot without warning and are not afraid.
5   They hold fast to their evil course; they plan how they may hide their snares.
6   They say, "Who will see us? who will find out our crimes? we have thought out a perfect plot."
7   The human mind and heart are a mystery; but God will loose an arrow at them, and suddenly they will be wounded.
8   He will make them trip over their tongues, and all who see them will shake their heads.
9   Everyone will stand in awe and declare God's deeds; they will recognize his works.
10   The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and put their trust in him, and all who are true of heart will glory.

Psalm 65
1   You are to be praised, O God, in Zion; to you shall vows be performed in Jerusalem.
2   To you that hear prayer shall all flesh come, because of their transgressions.
3   Our sins are stronger than we are, but you will blot them out.
4   Happy are they whom you choose and draw to your courts to dwell there! they will be satisfied by the beauty of your house, by the holiness of your temple.
5   Awesome things will you show us in your righteousness, O God of our salvation, O Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the seas that are far away.
6   You make fast the mountains by your power; they are girded about with might.
7   You still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the clamor of the peoples.
8   Those who dwell at the ends of the earth will tremble at your marvelous signs; you make the dawn and the dusk to sing for joy.
9   You visit the earth and water it abundantly; you make it very plenteous; the river of God is full of water.
10   You prepare the grain, for so you provide for the earth.
11   You drench the furrows and smooth out the ridges; with heavy rain you soften the ground and bless its increase.
12   You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths overflow with plenty.
13   May the fields of the wilderness be rich for grazing, and the hills be clothed with joy.
14   May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; let them shout for joy and sing.

Daily Meditation for April 25, 2016 - Saint Mark the Evangelist Day

From Forward Day by Day

Isaiah 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace...who says to Zion, your God reigns.

I don’t actually know anything about your feet, but I know they are beautiful, because you are sitting down to read this meditation. That’s not to say anything about what I’m writing; it’s about you giving time to be with God, and this meditation happens to be a tool for giving a portion of your time to God.

This time transforms you into a peace-bearing messenger of God. You have beautiful feet even if you don’t physically have feet, because God carries you forward and out into the world. In solidarity with Isaiah, I have to admire your beautiful feet.

Announce with your life, whether you write a gospel or not, that God reigns. Announce it by living into the reality: God’s reign is here, and it is made real by a peace that resonates from the very soles of all of our beautiful feet.

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Verse of the Day - April 25, 2016

Colossians 1:27-28 (NIV) To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.

Read all of Colossians 1