Sunday, July 23, 2023

Genesis 1:24-31


Then God said, “Let the earth produce all the diverse kinds of animals: the domesticated critters, the reptiles, and the wildlife.”

And it happened according to his spoken command. 

25 God made all sorts of animals -- wildlife, domesticated, and the creatures that crawl on the ground. God made them all! And God concluded that the animals were good and life-giving.

26 Once again God spoke, “Let’s make humanity -- the people -- in our image. That way they can be like us and thus be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the domesticated animals, all the crawling things on earth -- and even the earth itself.”

27 God created humanity in his own image, in the divine image he created them -- both male and female.

28 At his word, God then blessed them with the ability to reproduce and multiply with such virility that they’d master all the earth. He told them to “take charge of the fish, the birds, and all the other animals crawling around on the ground.”

29 Then God blessed them further saying, “I am giving you all the seed-yielding plants and the fruiting trees for food. 30 To all living animals -- the wildlife, the birds, and to critters crawling on the ground -- I am giving all the green leafy plants for food.”

And once again, it happened according to his spoken command.

31 God surveyed the entire creation -- including the people and animals -- and declared that they were extremely good and life-giving.

That is what happened on the sixth day.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Matthew 6:9-13

Pray like this:

Our Father, even though you’re in heaven we honor you here and now as the one and only.

10 Establish your reign on earth so that everything is done here in your way and according to your heavenly standards.

11 Please, give us exactly what we need to get through the day.

12 Don’t keep track of all the ways we have wronged you; we will do the same for those who have wronged us.

13 Protect us from thinking and doing things that are inconsistent with you and your practices. Rescue us from the Devil as he pitches his agenda.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

2 Timothy 3:14-17

But you need to keep doing the things that you learned -- the things which were imprinted onto the core of your being as you were taught by some very solid teachers. 15 Since early childhood your life has been steeped in the holy writings that have shaped you into a wise person and led you to trust Christ Jesus for your salvation. 16 All parts of scripture are God-breathed and are useful for teaching truth, for revealing our mistakes, for correcting those mistakes, and for our character development. 17 Through scripture those who belong to God are fully equipped to do good.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Luke 16:1-13

Jesus told a story to his apprentices, "Once upon a time a certain wealthy tycoon caught wind of the fact that his live-in estate manager was abusing the company credit card -- big time. 2 So he summoned the manager to his office, read him the riot act, and told him they were doing an audit on the account.

3 “The manager could read the writing on the wall and fell into a deep funk. 'I'm too old to do manual labor and I can't afford to take an entry-level position. Besides, who'd hire me?' he mused. 4 But suddenly he got an idea that involved ingratiating several customers so they'd feel obligated to house and care for him once he was fired.

5 “One by one, the manager sent for the people who owed his boss money. To the first he said, ‘Remind me of how much you owe.’ 6 The man replied, ‘$900,000.’ The unscrupulous manager told him, ‘This is your lucky day. The boss needs to add some tax write-offs so I've decided to reduce your debt to $450,000.'  7 Then the manager said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘$100,000.’ The manager fed him a similar story and wrote off $20,000 of this man's debt.’

8 “Now, you're probably thinking that the boss was infuriated when he found out about the shenanigans of his crooked manager -- but he was surprisingly amused by his resourcefulness.

"So," said Jesus, "isn't it interesting that the worldly people are more motivated and resourceful as they milk their relationships than are the people who are agents of the light. 9 Listen up, you should be developing and leveraging relationships so that once everything you have in life is gone you'll find a warm welcome into eternal homes.

10 “Note the principle of continuity. The person who can be trusted with small matters can be trusted with more responsibility. Likewise, the person who cuts small corners and is untrustworthy in the little things will end up doing the same if he's ever given charge over more. 11 IOW, if you are untrustworthy in the way that you deal with the wealth that belongs to the world, who'll trust you with the riches that really matter? 12 If you've been untrustworthy with someone else’s property don't expect them to give you property of your own. 

13 Likewise, a domestic servant can realistically only serve one household and boss. If you try otherwise you'll be constantly comparing them and end up loathing one while you love the other. Your loyalties will be divided and you'll be committed to one while you're detached from the other. You simply can't serve God while you're a slave to building your financial portfolio.”

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Psalm 1:1-6

 A very discerning person is truly happy because he doesn’t listen to the free advice offered by vile and wicked people. Likewise he doesn’t keep company with those who major in sin or allow the jaded cynics to influence him. 2 Instead, these men and women are so in love with GOD’s instructions that they spend their days and nights chewing on scripture. 

3 In this way they are like trees that have been planted next to a stream of water -- evergreen trees which are reliably fruitful. Success is theirs in all that they do. 

4 Such is certainly NOT true for the wicked! These people are like lifeless dry dust blown in the wind. 5 And that’s why these reprobates won’t have a leg to stand on when they’re hauled into court to face justice on the day of judgement. The same goes for sinners when they try to be seated in the congregation of decent people. There won’t be any place for them to sit!

6 The Lord is intimately involved with right-living people as they make their way through life. But the wicked traveler will find the pathway charcterized by wreckage and destruction of their own doing.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Luke 13:10-17

One Sabbath day, as Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, he noticed a woman in attendance who was bent over and unable to stand up straight. She had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen long years. 12 When he saw her, Jesus summoned her to stand by him and when she did he said to her, “Ma’am, you’re free from your condition.” 13 He then placed his hands on her and immediately she straightened up and started praising God.

14 The synagogue leader was infuriated because Jesus had healed the woman on the Sabbath.

“There are six days during which work is permitted.” he ranted. “Come for healing on those days -- but NOT on the Sabbath!”

15 The Lord replied, “You charlatans! Every Sabbath morning each of you unties your livestock, which you lead from the stall out to get a drink of water. 16 But then you see it as sinful when on a Sabbath day I untie a woman (a daughter of Abraham -- no less!) bound by Satan for eighteen long years and set her free from her captivity!” 17 When Jesus said these things, all his opponents were put to shame. In contrast, the entire crowd was in party mode because of all the wonderful things he was doing.

Friday, June 3, 2022

Psalm 50:23

The people who honor me are those whose worship is infused with thankfulness -- those who follow along the pathway of salvation that I reveal.