Keep me as the apple of your eye

It’s the word of faith that welcomes God to go to work and set things right for us. This is the core of our preaching. Say the welcoming word to God—“Jesus is my Master”—embracing, body and soul, God’s work of doing in us what he did in raising Jesus from the dead. That’s it. You’re not “doing” anything; you’re simply calling out to God, trusting him to do it for you. That’s salvation. With your whole being you embrace God setting things right, and then you say it, right out loud: “God has set everything right between him and me!”

Our 🎶🎶 for today is an original song of mine called “You Love Me.”

Readings for today…Psalm 16, 17, 22, Deuteronomy 31:7-13, 24-32:4, Romans 10:1-13, Matthew 24:15-31

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Artwork by Charles Wilbert White.

he delighted in me

Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved. All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.

Our 🎶🎶 for today is the hymn “How Can I Keep From Singing” by Robert Lowery.

Readings for today…Psalm 18, Deuteronomy 3:18-28, Romans 9:19-33, Matthew 24:1-14

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Artwork by Frank van der Hoeven.

I treasure your promise in my heart

“Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I’m out of here soon. The next time you see me you’ll say, ‘Oh, God has blessed him! He’s come, bringing God’s rule!’”

Our 🎶🎶 for today is “The Passion” by Hillsong.

Readings for today…Psalms 119:1-24, 12, 13, 14, Deuteronomy 1:1-18, Romans 9:1-18, Matthew 23:27-39

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Artwork by Jacob Lawrence.

early in the morning I make my appeal and watch for you

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.

Our 🎶🎶 for today is “So Much Grace” by Jonathan David Helser.

Readings for today…Psalms 5, 6, 10, 11, Numbers 35:1-3, 9-15, 30-34, Romans 8:31-39, Matthew 23:13-26

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Artwork by Jen Buckley.

Happy are they all who take refuge in him!

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

Special guest today! My Father-in-law Keith Curlee!

Readings for today…Psalms Psalms 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, Numbers 32:1-6, 16-27, Romans 8:26-30, Matthew 23:1-12

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Artwork by William H. Johnson.

Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens

That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reins it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens.

Saturday’s readings and prayer are on your own! Have a great weekend!

Psalms 137, 144, 104, Numbers 24:12-25, Romans 8:18-25, Matthew 22:23-40

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Artwork by Aaron Douglas