Daily Devotions
 

The Gospel of Luke 3-4

In 4:42-43 Jesus gets up early and goes into a deserted place. It doesn’t say that He was praying but that was His general pattern. I don’t think He was trying to get away for vacation! He had one problem though, people. His popularity had gotten big enough that it was hard to ditch everyone. This particular crowd was trying to keep Him there with them. But He tells them that He must preach the kingdom of God in other places also. It was missional to do so. When we serve God, other people’s agendas shouldn’t set ours. We have to be about the Father’s business. And that is doing whatever our Father says. Some of us are in deserted places and others are so popular people won’t leave them alone. Our day shouldn’t be set by the crowd but by the purpose God intends it.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 37-41

Reality shows on tv are hard to swallow. Some of them seem staged. Especially the ones that are depicting a celebrity’s life. Others are a little more realistic because they are basically in a contest to see who can stay the longest. Most have to lie and backstab each other. If you were there you wouldn’t know who to believe. And the reality show of Jerusalem was like this. Gedaliah doesn’t believe Johanan, who tells him that Ishmael is going to kill him (40:14-16). In the next chapter Gedaliah gets worse than being voted off the island. He gets killed, just like he was told. I don’t need extra drama in my life. The devil is out to get me, and I have to trust the Holy Spirit. He will warn me of my enemies’ plan. Otherwise, I would have been sent “home “ a long time ago.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 39-40

In chapter 39 God talks about many of the creatures that He created. Verses 26-30 talks about hawks and eagles. My wife and I watch for both of them when we are traveling. This past April we were at Ft. Donaldson, a civil war site in Tennessee. We were able to watch an eagle with its young. That was a thrill for us. Even through binoculars the eagle is a majestic bird. But as majestic as they are, their splendor pales in comparison to their Creator. Some people worship nature. They even say things like “ my church is the outdoors “. Why worship the creation when you can worship the One who created it all? Nature worship is for the birds.

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 57-59

What should we do if we are under attack from our enemies? If we do what David did, we will praise the Lord! All three of today’s Psalms are about being under attack. And in all three David is crying for help and praising God in advance for the deliverance. 57:1-2 could sum it all up “ Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by”. When trouble comes your way remember : people who know their God will sing a different tune. It is a song of victory.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Samuel 15-19

King David made a lot of mistakes. Hey, who hasn’t? One of David’s biggest issues was not wanting to correct his kids. Amnon rapes his half sister Tamar. Her brother , Absalom, eventually gets revenge. If David had dealt with it maybe things would’ve been different. Absalom runs off but David allows him to come back. But he punishes Absalom by not spending time with him. Avoidance isn’t punishment, it allows the sin to grow. Because of this we get the whole rebellion of Absalom in chapters 15-18 and the fall-out in 19. When your kids sin, deal with it. If you don’t, they’ll keep it up and later someone else will deal with them in some way worse. If they’ve screwed up, don’t avoid them if at all possible. At that point what they need the most is their parents. Use wisdom, I’m not saying be a doormat. But if they respect your authority, when they are little, there is a better chance that they will also later as they grow up.

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 25-28

“Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering”. (25:2). The offering God is asking for here, is to be used to make the tabernacle that would house the ark of the covenant. It should be noted that God considered this offering for Him. The people were not “ giving “ it to the “ church “ or to Moses. Also, it was to be offered willingly. People should not have their arms twisted for a special offering . The tithe is an obligation, but the other offerings should be given as one decides, without undo pressure. God loves a giver who is happy about it ( 2 Cor. 9:7).

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Corinthians 9-10

A danger we all can face is comparing ourselves with others. If we do this, we run the risk of getting depressed because we don’t measure up to our perception of them. What may be worse is , if in the comparison, we believe that we are superior to others. Either viewpoint is fraught with pitfalls. Paul tells us “ But he who glories, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends” (10:17-18). If we compare ourselves with Christ, we fall short. But, when it is in the Lord, it results in humility not depression and certainly not arrogance.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 32-36

The Rechabites were a nomadic people within Israel. They drank no wine, built no houses, sowed no seed, planted no vineyards. All because their ancestor Jonadab told them to. According to historians they did this 250 years. Because Babylon is taking over the land, they come to dwell in Jerusalem. Jeremiah sits wine before them, and they will not drink it. Jeremiah then speaks to all the people and contrasts the faithfulness of the Rechabites to the unfaithfulness of those in Jerusalem. God tells them that He has spoken to them, and they would not obey, yet the nomads obeyed the word of their father. Therefore, it would be well with the Rechabites but not the disobedient (35:1-19). Obeying your parents is one of the 10 commandments and the Rechabites did this well. Obeying Father God is even better. But the Israelites never listened, much to their detriment.

Pastor Roger Dean

Jeremiah 32-36

The Rechabites were a nomadic people within Israel. They drank no wine, built no houses, sowed no seed, planted no vineyards. All because their ancestor Jonadab told them to. According to historians they did this 250 years. Because Babylon is taking over the land, they come to dwell in Jerusalem. Jeremiah sits wine before them, and they will not drink it. Jeremiah then speaks to all the people and contrasts the faithfulness of the Rechabites to the unfaithfulness of those in Jerusalem. God tells them that He has spoken to them, and they would not obey, yet the nomads obeyed the word of their father. Therefore, it would be well with the Rechabites but not the disobedient (35:1-19). Obeying your parents is one of the 10 commandments and the Rechabites did this well. Obeying Father God is even better. But the Israelites never listened, much to their detriment.

Pastor Roger Dean

Job 37-38

Elihu continues his rebuke of Job in chapter 37. One challenge he offers Job is all he really needed. “ Listen to this O Job, stand still and consider the wondrous works of God” (v. 14). If we are struggling, with just about anything, we would do well to take this challenge. If we ponder on God’s creation, we see how insignificant we are. We question, like David, why God would care about us at all. Yet He cares so much He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. If you are getting down on yourself, stop and consider this: in all of God’s marvelous creation, only man has a personal relationship with Him. Put it into perspective and remember, Jesus was lifted up for you, you are in Him, so why are you down?!

Pastor Roger Dean

Psalms 54-56

David has set Psalm 56 to the tune of “The Silent Dove in Distant Lands” . Exactly how this tune went isn’t known. Some think the “Silent Dove “ song may be the previous one because of 55:6 “ So I said Oh, that I had wings like a dove”. Whether it is or not, what I like is the idea that David is repurposing the tune. I have a friend that takes secular songs and gets them “saved”. He calls it taking them to church. It may not sound spiritual, but he is following in the footsteps of the Wesley’s. They took bar tunes of their day and made them into hymns. Jesus told us to worship in Spirit and in Truth. He didn’t mention what tune it had to be.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Samuel 10-14

There is a great truth in the old saying that spinning lies is like spinning spider webs. You end up caught in your own web. Trying to cover your sin often leads to greater sin. In a time when kings should be out to battle, David is at home. He sees Bathsheba and takes her. She becomes pregnant , so David tries to cover his sin. He brings Uriah, her husband, home from the front. David is hoping Uriah will go in to his wife and then think the child is his. But Uriah will not take pleasure while others are still at the war front. So, David has Uriah set up to be killed in battle. God sends Nathan the prophet to call him out. You can’t hide your sin from God. And you only compound your problems when you try covering things up. It is better to be about the Lord’s business and not sin at all.

Pastor Roger Dean

Exodus 21-24

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. As I was reading today’s scriptures this stood out. “ If men fight and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe” (21:22-25). If God feels this strongly about the unborn child, harmed accidentally, I don’t think He likes it when parents take the life of their own children. Let’s keep praying Roe vs. Wade is overturned.

Pastor Roger Dean

2 Corinthians 6-8

“Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty “ (6:17-18). Apostle Paul puts two verses together ( Is. 52:11 & 2 Sam. 7:14 ) to show that God wants an exclusive relationship with His people. Some people have a hard time seeing God as their Father and there can be several reasons for this. God is waiting with open arms. It would be easier to cling to Father God, if you let go of the hurts and disappointments of your past.

Pastor Roger Dean

The Gospel of Mark 15-16

Jesus is a great model for us, especially when it comes to confrontation. “ And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. Then Pilate asked Him again, saying ‘Do you answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You’ But Jesus still answered nothing so that Pilate marveled “ (15:3-5). Sometimes it is better to be quiet when facing your detractors. Honoring them with a response may be what they want, so they can twist your words. False accusations are a common tool of the enemy. After all, Satan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev. 12:10). With all of his lies, they don’t need any ammunition from you.

Pastor Roger Dean