Category: Psalms-BibleTrekToday

Laying hold of purpose!

Scripture reading for January 3rd: Genesis 1-2, Psalm 19, Mark 1

Mark 1:16-20 “Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed Him. And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John His brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed Him.”

A big factor in life-satisfaction is having a clear purpose and pursuing it. God has a plan for each person’s life and a purpose for which He formed them. Before Christ, we may set out on our own to find purpose in many pursuits, some lawful and others dubious, but when we hear from God, that changes everything! These fishermen were going about their business of mending nets and pursuing purpose in an honorable way of life and business. Jesus purposely passed by their place of business. He was walking as the Father God directed Him to choose those who would become His followers and enter into God’s kingdom purposes. He offered an invitation to these ordinary working men to follow Him and to become fishers of men! Their response was “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him.” Immediate obedience and faith came at the sound of Jesus’ voice to these called by God! Are you listening to Jesus as you read His Word today? Jesus is calling!

Genesis 2:7, 15 “. . . then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” . . .”The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

Prayer: Father God, thank You for the breath of Life you placed in me through the gift of the Holy Spirit and for the call to follow Jesus and learn and obey His Word. Thank You for the purpose and vision that You give to each person who responds to Your voice. Forgive me for not being ‘immediate’ in my responses. Thank You for Your patience and mercy. Let Your purposes be my purposes and teach me to fish for men as You did with those first followers.

Psalm 19:1-4 “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

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Experiencing the Abundant Life in 2022

Theme for 2022: Experiencing the Abundant Life!

Key Scriptures: John 10:10-11 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”

Psalm 16:5-6, 11 “The Lord is my chosen Portion and my Cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.” . . .”You make known to me the path of Life, in Your Presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Dear Friends and Lovers of God’s Holy Word,

Shalom! Greetings and a blessed and abundant New Year to each one of you! As we embark on a new journey into the future in 2022, we don’t know what this year holds, but we do know the One Who holds on to us and promises an abundant life. It is on the Word of Jesus Christ that we victoriously proclaim a thriving and prosperous new year.

Mary has already and I will soon join her to begin walking through the 75th year of our lives. We are committing to each other and the Lord to live our life fully in His Presence this year. We want the abundant Life promised by our Lord and provided by His life laid down for us, His sheep. Even though we have lived a long and blessed life, we know that God has more for us to learn and do, to enjoy and to experience until He takes us home. Join us as we journey through our 75th year seeking to know Jesus more fully and to increasingly enjoy His peace and Presence. We are going to thrive, not just survive, as we live in His Presence and are filled with His Holy Spirit! Onward and upward, all to His glory!

In His love, John and Mary Morse

Philippians 3:8, 12-13 “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake, I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, . . .” Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

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The Good Shepherd!

Scripture reading for November 4th: John 10

Key Scriptures: John 10:14-18 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”

Jesus further revealed His identity to His disciples by using the metaphor of the ‘Good Shepherd’ and a willingness to lay His life down for the sake of the sheep. A good shepherd trains the sheep to know his voice and follow him. A good shepherd takes care of all his sheep, and Jesus had other sheep, the Gentiles, that He would also lay His life down for. Jesus also had authority from the Father to lay His life down as a part of the plan of salvation for lost sinners (sheep) and He also had authority because of a sinless life and perfect obedience to take His life back up again in resurrection power by the Spirit of Holiness. (Romans 1:4) This was all given by the Father to His Son because He loved Him (and us)! We are eternally safe in His amazing care.

John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

Faith Confession and prayer: Father God, Your amazing plan of salvation through sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to lay His life down for me, a sinner, is humbling and beyond full understanding. Jesus’ death and resurrection from the grave is also amazing and exciting because He is alive forever and ever! I receive eternal life and will never perish and the fear of death has been forever vanquished! Open doors that I might share this Good News today!

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”

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Father God seeks true worshipers!

Scripture reading for October 27th: John 4

Key Scriptures: John 4:19-24 “The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth.”

Worship is at the center of loving God and knowing Him. To know God is to worship Him for Who He is. To love God is to worship Him in response to His great love towards us and His great mercy for lost people. However, in Jesus’ day, people were looking for just the right location and way to ‘worship’. This woman, a Samaritan with several past husbands, came to get water in the middle of the day and Jesus purposely asked her for a drink. She was taken aback by a Jew asking a Samaritan for anything! Jesus promised her ‘living water’ springing up insider her that would quench her thirst for all time. After confronting her about her many husbands, the woman recognized Jesus as a prophet and asked Him about where to worship. Jesus revealed to her the Father’s desire to find true worshipers who would worship Him in Spirit and truth. He was the Messiah that was called the Christ, speaking to her that day and us now!

John 4:25-26 “The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He Who is called Christ). When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I Who speak to you am He.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for seeking out true worshipers! In response to Your great love and mercy, I choose freely to worship You and freely give praise to Your Name in Spirit and truth recognizing Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Son of God. I enter Your gates with thanksgiving and Your courts with praise!

Psalm 100:4-5 “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His Name! For the Lord is good; His steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.”

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Godly grief and true repentance

Scripture reading for September 24th: 2nd Corinthians 7

Key Scriptures: 2nd Corinthians 7:8-12 “For even if I made you grieve with my letter, I do not regret it–though I did regret it, for I see that that letter grieved you, though only for a little while. As it is, I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”

Sin in our life or the church causes us or the church family grief. Sin, when confronted, also can cause grief to the individual who is harboring it or to the church family to whom the one caught in sin belongs. Paul had confronted the elders in Corinth of their need to discipline the man caught in sexual sin with his own mother-in-law. They had responded by putting him out of the body, as he recommended. In this letter Paul had asked them to receive back the one they had disciplined lest he be overcome with excessive grief. There are two kinds of grief–worldly grief is just sorry that they were found out. This kind of grief leads to more sin and eventually death. Godly grief leads to a deep regret that causes a change in mind, attitude and behavior and produces restoration and spiritual life. All discipline has the goal of restoration and life.

2nd Corinthians 7:1 “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of the Lord.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for being our Father and calling us to repentance and a life of holy separation to you. Thank You for a Father’s discipline that leads to godly sorrow, repentance and life. Deliver me from any worldly sorrow and always lead me in true repentance. Help me as a father, pastor and Christ-follower to call those caught in sin to godly grief and true repentance.

Psalm 51:10-12 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

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Our merciful and faithful Priest

Scripture reading for August 9th: Hebrews 2

Key Scriptures: Hebrews 2:14-17 “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that He helps, but He helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore He had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.”

Mankind is flesh and blood, created in the image of God. Because of this, Jesus Christ came to earth and took on flesh and blood to fully identify with mankind, yet without their sin nature. He did this that He might suffer and die for our sins and lift the curse of sin and death from all who would believe in Him. He was made like the offspring of Abraham and fully identified with them, suffering temptation but remaining in obedient love of His Father and serving Him in the process of offering His body and blood as propitiation for the sins of His people. Those under the fear of death because of sin found deliverance and the one holding them in fear, the devil, was destroyed by the obedient sacrifice of the Son. Hallelujah! We are set free by the merciful and faithful Priest, Jesus Christ our Lord!

Hebrews 2:18 “For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, Your amazing Son and His faithful and obedient love for You and for us brings me to my knees! What love is this? Greater love has no man than that he give his life for his friends! I am thankful that Jesus Christ understands my weakness and temptations and is able to come to my aid today! He is worthy of all worship and honor and praise!

Psalm 22:22-23 “I will tell of Your Name to My brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You: You who fear the Lord, praise Him, and stand in awe of Him, all you offspring of Israel.” (Hebrews 2:12)

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Jesus Christ the Superior Son!

Scripture reading for August 6th: Hebrews 1

Key Scriptures: Hebrews 1:1-4 “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the Word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to the angels as the Name He has inherited is more excellent than theirs.”

The author of Hebrews is not known for sure. Some think it was Barnabas and others possibly Apollos. It is certain he was a Jew who understood Jewish religion and culture. He wrote this letter to encourage Jewish Christians who were being persecuted for their faith and some considering going back to Judaism. The superiority of Christ is emphasized throughout the letter and pastoral encouragement to believers to hold tight to Christ is a major theme. In this first chapter, Jesus is proclaimed as the final Word from God to His people in the last days. He is the radiance of God’s glory. He is the heir of all things and creator of all things. Jesus upholds creation with His powerful Word. Jesus also has made purification for our sins and is now seated in the ultimate place of honor as God’s Son at His right hand. His Name, Jesus Christ, is superior to all names of men and angels! He alone has preeminence and an anointing of joy!

Hebrews 1:9 “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness: therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness beyond Your companions.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for Your Son, Who is preeminent over all creation and all earthly and heavenly beings. I believe He has made atonement for my sins and the sins of the world and is now seated at Your right hand, anointed with the oil of gladness as King of Kings and Lord of Lords! He is the only Way, Truth, and Life for lost sinners.

Psalm 2:6-8 “”As for Me, I have set My King on Zion, My holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to Me, “You are My Son; today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your heritage and the ends of the earth Your possession.””

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Hush money!

Scripture reading for August 5th: Matthew 28

Key Scriptures: Matthew 28:10-15 “Then Jesus said to them(the women), “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sufficient sum of money to the soldiers and said, “Tell people, ‘His disciples came by night and stole Him away while we were asleep.’ And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were directed. And this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.”

Jesus personally appeared first to the women who had gone to the tomb in hopes of anointing His body. They were surprised by an earthquake and an angelic messenger who rolled back the stone revealing the empty tomb. The guards were immobilized temporarily. The angel encouraged them with the good news that Jesus was not there, but had risen! They were not to be afraid but to convey the news to Jesus’ disciples. The guards recovered and went and reported that Jesus’ body was missing. I am not sure how they explained the earthquake and angelic visitor and their supernatural immobilization. The elders and chief priests cooked up a plan involving ‘hush money’ for the soldiers and a way to explain this to other authorities. The world uses money to solve many problems because people love it. The blame was to be put on the disciples for stealing Jesus’ body. All agreed and the plan was circulated and became well-accepted among the Jews and authorities. However, Jesus was alive and began appearing to His followers! He had a plan that they would soon enact that would reach the world!

Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for overcoming death, hell and the grave and proving Your resurrection by appearing to the women and Your disciples. I believe You are God’s Son, crucified and raised from death on the third day. I offer myself to You to fulfil Your great plan of reaching the whole world with Good News. Hallelujah! I am never alone and You meet all my needs!

Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”(Joshua 1:5) So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)

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Speechless before the King

Scripture reading for July 28th: Matthew 22

Key Scriptures: Matthew 22:8-14 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding feast is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the main roads and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.’ And those servants went out into the roads and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good. So the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.'”

Are you clothed in ‘wedding garments’ and ready to attend the King’s wedding feast? Jesus told this parable to speak to the chief priests and Pharisees who were seeking a way to arrest Him and kill Him. He told this parable to challenge each person to examine their own lives and walk with God and relationship with His Son. Many professed to be part of the ‘chosen’ people who would be in the wedding feast of the kingdom. But profession must also be true possession of salvation and the righteousness that comes by true faith in Jesus Christ. All other ‘garments’ will be examined and rejected by the king as illegitimate. When questioned about how the man without the garment got in, he had no answer. The king’s instructions were quick and final: “Bind him hand and foot and cast him out into the outer darkness.” Weeping and gnashing of teeth is the lot of those without excuse. The invitation was sent to everyone and all had opportunity but only a few were humble enough to repent and believe and receive the King’s pure white wedding garment!

Matthew 22:2-3 “”The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding feast, but they would not come.””

Faith confession and prayer: Father God, thank You for Your Son, Jesus Christ. I am trusting in Him alone for my wedding garment and I have accepted with humble thanks the invitation to come and humbly seek to wear the garment of His righteousness in readiness for the King’s announcement. Let none You invited be speechless when You appear!

Psalm 45:13-15 “All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.”

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All Glory to the God of Israel!

Scripture reading for July 19th: Matthew 15

Key Scriptures: Matthew 15:27-31 “She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. Jesus went on from there and walked beside the Sea of Galilee. And He went up on the mountain and sat down there. And great crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at His feet, and He healed them, so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel.”

Jesus had just healed instantly the Canaanite woman’s daughter who was oppressed by a demon. Her faith had brought Jesus’ mercy and healing power. Jesus then walked by the Sea of Galilee and went up on a hillside as great crowds of people brought to Him all manner of sick and hurting people. He healed them all and brought great awe and wonder as He performed miraculous healings and restoration. The people began to praise the God of Israel for what they were experiencing! God was in their midst as the Son of God, Jesus Christ shared the Father’s love and mercy, and had compassion on the hungry people.

Matthew 15:32 “Then Jesus called His disciples to Him and said, “I have compassion on the crowd because they gave been with Me now three days and have nothing to eat. And I am unwilling to sent them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

Faith confession and prayer: Father, thank You for Your great compassion on those wounded by sin and sickness and hunger in this fallen world. As You called Your disciples to share Your compassion, fill me with love and compassion and use me to bring healing and restoration and food to the hungry! All glory to the God of Israel!

Psalm 57:5, 11 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let Your glory be over all the earth!”

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