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“Other Side of the Coin”

Psalm 105: 5: “Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels, and the judgments uttered by His mouth.” Oh, how we love to remember God’s wonders and marvels, to analyze them, dissect them, and claim them anew! But let us not forget His judgments, for they produce a godly sorrow that leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7: 10). Are we allowing the Lord to use this time of struggle and sorrow to make us better people? For that is why it is upon us. Friday, October 2: “Like Then, Like Now” Hosea 10: 1, 2a: “Israel is a luxuriant vine; he produces fruit for himself. The more his fruit, the more altars he made; the richer his land, the better he made the sacred pillars. Their heart is faithle

“Better than You”

Luke 5: 30: “The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbling at his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with the tax-collectors and sinners?’” The Pharisees had no empathy (or even sympathy) for those they deemed to be on a lower spiritual plateau than themselves. Thus, they made no effort to elevate them, and criticized those who did. They focused on healing the healthy and feeding the full, for they did not believe in lowering themselves to the level of the least, the lost, and the lonely. Lord, make us more like Jesus, and less like the Pharisees! Thursday, October 1: “Other Side of the Coin” Psalm 105: 5: “Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels, and the judgments ut

“Lost Art”

Hosea 4: 1: “The Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land.” Up until this year, the last few generations have not experienced suffering like those before, and thus have lost the ability (or desire) to empathize with others, to feel their pain. It should be that 2020 is playing a role in changing this, as we have all suffered more than previously. Has this perilous time translated into more faithfulness and kindness toward others, as intended, or even more focus on oneself and improving our own situations? Wednesday, September 30: “Better than You” Luke 5: 30: “The Pharisees and their scribes began grumbl

“Declaring the Profitable”

Acts 20: 20: “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that is profitable, and teaching you publicly and from house to house.” This has been the theme scripture for Cathedral of the King this entire year. Of course, back in December we had no idea that public and house-to-house proclamation of the Gospel would not be face-to-face from March onwards! But God’s Church does what it has to do, and the Holy Spirit has inspired God’s people with creative ways to impart profitable proclamation throughout this time when it is so critically needed. Thanks be to God! Tuesday, September 29: “Lost Art” Hosea 4: 1: “The Lord has a case against the inhabitants of the land, because there is no faith

“Short and Long”

Luke 4: 43: “He (Jesus) said to them, ‘I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.’” How can we remain faithful through the highs and lows, the ups and downs, the ins and outs? Among other things, we must always remember our purpose. God’s purpose for us never changes (Romans 11: 29), whatever our evaluation of its current effectiveness might be. Looking at short-term results can be disappointing at times, but keeping our eyes on the long-term purpose (and promises) of God will sustain our lives and our ministry for the duration.

“Ins and Outs”

Acts 19: 34: “… a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’” St. Paul had spent two years in Ephesus, his longest stay ever, and experienced great success (vv. 10-12, 20). But even after this, there were still a number of Ephesians who were quite fervent in their exaltation of a false idol. As someone used to say, “In life, one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.” But never forget that every day is the day the Lord has made (Psalm 118: 24). Saturday, September 26: “Short and Long” Luke 4: 43: “He (Jesus) said to them, ‘I must preach the Kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.’” How can we

“Ups and Downs”

Psalm 85: 1; 4: “O Lord, You showed favor to Your land; You restored the captivity of Jacob ... Restore us, O God of Jacob, and cause Your indignation toward us to cease.” Sometimes we feel God’s favor towards us; sometimes we feel His indignation. Sometimes both in the same psalm; sometimes both in the same day. To level out this roller coaster ride, God gives us a great gift: faith. It teaches and empowers us to go beyond feelings, even sight; and makes us “Trust in Him at all times, O people.” (Psalm 62: 8) Friday, September 25: “Ins and Outs” Acts 19: 34: “… a single outcry arose from them all as they shouted for about two hours, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’” St. Paul had spent t

“Highs and Lows”

Luke 4: 1, 2a: “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led about by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil.” In the high point of His life up to that time, Jesus has just been baptized, filled with the Holy Spirit, and supernaturally affirmed by His Father (Luke 3: 21, 22). Joy! But then, for His baptismal party the Spirit sends Him into the wilderness to face satan. Perhaps Jesus would have preferred Max’s, but again we see that, high times or low times, God has His hand on us at all times. Oh yes, and Jesus wins the battle (Luke 4: 13). Thursday, September 24: “Ups and Downs” Psalm 85: 1; 4: “O Lord, You showed favor to Your land;

“Still in Favor”

Esther 5: 2, 3: “It happened when the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight; and the king extended to Esther the golden scepter which was in his hand … Then the king said to her, ‘What is troubling you, Queen Esther? And what is your request? Even to half the kingdom it will be given to you.’” Esther had heard nothing from the king for a solid month (Esther 4: 11). Did he still care for her? Did he still know she was alive? Yes, and yes. Even when circumstances indicate to the contrary, Christ (King Ahasuerus) still has His eye on His bride (Queen Esther) and bestows His favor upon her. Wednesday, September 23: “Highs and Lows” Luke 4: 1, 2a: “Jesus

“The Best and the Worst”

Acts 18: 2: “He (Paul) found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome.” St. Paul had just concluded his Athenian campaign with less than sterling results. Aquila and Priscilla had just been kicked out of Rome simply for being Jews. It seemed like a low point for the three of them, but little did they know their best ministry days lay just ahead; as they stayed in Corinth a year and a half and built a great Church there. You never know when the Lord will bring you to new heights—keep the faith! Tuesday, September 22: “Still in Favor” Esther 5: 2, 3: “It happened when the k

“Provoked in Spirit”

Acts 17: 16: “While Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was being provoked within him as he was beholding the city full of idols.” We today are in a situation much like St. Paul, living in a society full of idols: money, greed, and most of all, self. The question is, does our spirit get provoked by these things, or do we get so used to them that we don’t give them a second thought? There is a higher way, a better life, available for those bound by these things; but we, like Paul, have to care enough to tell them about it.

“A Different View”

Esther 1: 12, 16b: “But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him … Memucan said, ‘Queen Vashti has wronged not only the king but also all the princes, and all the peoples who are in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus.’” Times have changed! Before, the actions of King Ahasuerus were taken as normal and justified, while those of Vashti were vilified. Now, many consider this as the most sexist story in the Bible. But the real purpose of this chapter is not to foster gender warfare, but to set the stage for the story of Esther that follows. Right or wrong, without these events Esther would not have become queen, and the

“Worth Repeating”

John 12: 32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” This was the second time Jesus had made this statement, the first being to Nicodemus in the early days of His ministry (John 3: 14) Now, just before His Passion, He says it again, adding the fact that this lifting up will redeem all men. Christ being lifted up on the cross (a detail included here by John) is both His exaltation and man’s salvation. That’s why it is central to the Christian faith. Friday, September 18: “A Different View” Esther 1: 12, 16b: “But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command. Then the king became very angry and his wrath burned within him … Memucan said, ‘Queen Vashti has

“It’s Time!”

John 12: 20-21b, 23: “There were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast, saying, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ And Jesus answered them, saying, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.’” The Greeks had been archenemies of the Jewish nation for centuries, giving them nothing but disrespect, persecution, and cultural upheaval. However, here in the last week of His life, Jesus shows the depth of the Father’s love by tying the worship of this hated people in with His glorification. God was exalting Christ by redeeming the whole world, even the Greeks, through Him. Thursday, September 17: “Worth Repeating” John 12: 32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the

“Silence, Please”

Psalm 62: 1: “My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation.” Waiting is one of the hardest things to do. What’s even harder? Waiting in silence. If you’ve ever been in the waiting room of a maternity ward, you know this to be true. But sometimes God has you waiting so He can tell you something, and if, in your anxiety, you keep speculating and analyzing to the point of hyperventilation, you’re gonna miss it. Chill! Be still, and know that He is God. From Him is your salvation. Wednesday, September 16: “It’s Time!” John 12: 20-21b, 23: “There were certain Greeks among those who were going up to worship at the feast, saying, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ And Jesus answered th

“Just a Little Understatement”

Genesis 3: 15: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise Him on the heel.” This is the first recorded prophecy of the Messiah in the Bible, spoken by God Himself, and it is also an artful deployment of understatement. He says the serpent (satan) will bruise Christ on the heel. Scripture shows that the Passion went way, way further than a mere bruise. The prophecy also proclaims that our Redeemer will bruise (the Hebrew text literally says ‘crush’) satan’s head. In detail, God meant: Conquering satan’s kingdom, taking all his authority, stripping him of the keys to death, hell, and the grave, and cas

“Let’s Hang on to What We’ve Got” (with apologies to the Four Seasons)

John 11: 48: “If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” In their selfish ambition, the chief priests and Pharisees were more concerned with their place than with the truth. The funny thing is, the Romans did come and take away their place and their nation, not because of Jesus, but because of the wickedness of the Pharisees themselves. When you fight God, I don’t care who you are, you will not win.

“Wealth Alone Won’t Do It”

Job 31: 24-25, 28: “If I have put my confidence in gold, and called fine gold my trust, if I have gloated because my wealth was great, and because my hand had secured so much; that too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment, for I would have denied God above.” Job’s wealth was described in detail at the beginning of his story. But Job never relied on it, instead depending at all times upon God. As Jesus, said, it is quite difficult for a rich man to enter the Kingdom, but not impossible (Mark 10: 24); as long as he does not make the wealth his god and expect it to deliver him. Saturday, September 12: “Let’s Hang on to What We’ve Got” (with apologies to the Four Seasons) John 11: 48

“Deal with It!”

Acts 15: 6: “And the apostles and elders came together to look into this matter.” Traditionally, this is how the Church handles disagreements. There may be debates (v. 7), but in the end all come to one mind (v. 25). This is way better than ignoring the disunity, which always leads to Church splits and factions. But Christ is not divided! (1 Corinthians 1: 13) Friday, September 11: “Wealth Alone Won’t Do It” Job 31: 24-25, 28: “If I have put my confidence in gold, and called fine gold my trust, if I have gloated because my wealth was great, and because my hand had secured so much; that too would have been an iniquity calling for judgment, for I would have denied God above.” Job’s wealth was

“In Your Face!”

Acts 14: 19, 21: “But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having won over the multitudes, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing him to be dead. But he arose and went to Derby. And after they had preached the Gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.” Pretty bold, huh? After being stoned and left for dead in Lystra by men from Antioch and Iconium, he went back to those cities as if to say, “You should have used bigger rocks, guys!” Actually, his purpose was to show the citizens of those places, “Hey, look at me! See how great our God is! Do you want another chance to believe in Jesus?” Thursday, September

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