Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Psalm 96:2
We frequently read in the psalms, that our response to the saving power and grace of God is to sing to him. It has been said that to sing praise to God is to pray twice. I personally believe this to be true. We all know the importance of quiet prayer, but I also believe that when we raise our voices up to our Lord in song, he hears us twice – he hears what is in our hearts as well as what is in our voices!
When we sing, we bless his name, and give him glory and honor! Our Lord and Savior comes to us with the blessings of goodness. We are all sinners, and praise God; he is there for us and by the grace of God we are saved. We should all be praising God every morning and every night for the assurance that he has provided salvation for us from sin and death. And, what better way to do that than by lifting our voices up to God and blessing his holy name?
It is a given fact that many people only like one style of Christian music, but the music tells a story that reflects the relationship that people of different cultures and ages have with God. Thus, it is important to be sensitive to different types of Christian music and show enthusiasm for the various ways to express and bless his Holy name and to tell of his salvation. I added this paragraph because in all honesty at one point in my life I only liked, and I only sang, one certain type of Christian song. Through the years, I have been exposed to different types of Christian music – contemporary, lite-rock hymns, etc., and I have come to appreciate the beauty of all music that praises and blesses God. Listen to the music; the messages are there for all to hear and appreciate.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of music so that we can bless your holy name and we pray that you will help us take advantage of every opportunity to tell of your salvation. Amen
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6: 4,5
These verses, known as the Shema, are probably the most often quoted verses in the Bible. Each morning and evening, orthodox Jews recite the six verses of the Shema.
As Christians, we reflect on how Jesus answered when asked, “Which commandment is the first of all?” (Mark 12: 29, 20). Jesus quoted these verses rather than the first of the Ten Commandments.
We indeed need to apply this commandment to our daily lives. Just think about the words, “with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your might.” As we start our day, God needs to be in our hearts and souls, and with all our might we must keep him there.
There are days when the fast pace of everyday life overwhelms us and we forget that Jesus is there to help us; we need to remember he is with us in our hearts and souls because we practice the greatest commandment.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me keep loving you, with all my heart, soul, and with all my might. Amen.
He said to them, “When I sent you out without a purse, bag, or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “No, not a thing.” Luke 22:35
In this verse, Jesus is saying that even though the disciples had nothing, they had all they needed. For the disciples, this might have meant they lacked proper accommodations for a journey or did not have provisions such as food or money to buy things when the journey started. But even though the disciples lacked these things, they still had their trust in Jesus. They also had friendly accommodations and were provided food, money if needed and warmth.
In our lives, we sometimes go without having proper accommodations, money, or provisions to feel comfortable. But, if you put your faith in Jesus, he will always ask “have you lacked anything?” and the answer in him is “no.” Jesus always provides us a way to have everything we need to survive if we just follow and believe in him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for providing us with everything we need. Thank you for giving us the bread of life so we can be fed and nourished spiritually. Amen.
God will give the angels charge over you, to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11
I so love this passage- it is so short and so simple but it speaks to everything about our faith and the grace of God.
Our Gracious Father, the Lord, so loves his children that in his wisdom he assigned his legion of angels to our aid and comfort, knowing that in our weakness and during the trials of our lives we would need gentle guidance and protection. He also wanted us to be independent in order to enjoy and experience this wonderful gift of life.
From the moment of conception, these angels of our Lord began to wrap their arms in protection of us. I know personally that many times I have felt the warm embrace and strength of that protection and it has always given me a sense of well-being in my faith.
Physical protection is so wonderful, but even more important is the whispers in my heart, the sense of right and wrong, the feeling of what direction I should go, the added sense of gratitude that I hear for my God and my fellow man, how those nudges have impacted my life and allowed me to see the beauty and purpose of a Christian life.
Prayer: Oh loving Father, thank you for the blessings of guidance and your protection of my soul. In your grace, I have found comfort and in that comfort, I have found redemption and conviction for my sins. I praise thee. Amen.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. Romans 10:12
Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening to you!
I hope you are having a fantastic Thursday!! As I read this Bible verse, I love how our Lord is the Lord of all! God loves us all! God loves YOU! No matter who you are or where you are from, God loves you. When we come to Jesus and call on him, He will love us to the end of the Earth. We should believe and share that good news every day.
Do any of you search your genealogy or your family history? It might be exciting to discover that you are from Germany, England, Scotland, Africa, Asia, Russia, or many other outstanding places around the world. It may be remarkable to learn that you are related to a famous person in history. But I think what is more amazing is that we are all children of God. No matter how different we may be, we can all experience the love of God. May our unique and exciting “family histories” bring us closer to our awesome “St. John’s Lutheran Church family!”
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, guide us to share the good news that you are the Lord of all. Your amazing love, peace, and strength are a blessing in our lives. We are so thankful. Amen!
Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. Joel 2:13
Is there anyone living in this world today who has not ignored the word of the Lord at one time or another? We call this sin – turning away from God’s commandments. The prophet Joel, in our passage today from the Old Testament, found the people in his day turning their backs on the Lord, very much like we do in our time. So Joel’s message is appropriate for us today. He is telling the people to return to the Lord by turning their lives around and asking God for forgiveness. But, this must come from our hearts.
This passage today also tells us that God is gracious and merciful. He shows mercy to those who truly repent of their sins because he loves us not just today but every day. Isn’t it comforting to know that the Lord is slow to anger and loves us in spite of ourselves?
Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us each day to remember how much you love us and to thank you for your boundless mercy. Amen.