May 28, 2020
 

Pastor’s Devotional
Encouragement from the Psalms

It is so important for us to stay connected during this time!
To that end, we will be bringing you some devotional thoughts from the book of Psalms
to help stay your heart and mind on the goodness and faithfulness of God.

We’re in this together!

-Your Pastors
 

Psalm 21

The king rejoices in your strength, Lord.
    How great is his joy in the victories you give!
You have granted him his heart’s desire
    and have not withheld the request of his lips.
You came to greet him with rich blessings
    and placed a crown of pure gold on his head.
He asked you for life, and you gave it to him—
    length of days, for ever and ever.

 

Through the victories you gave, his glory is great;
    you have bestowed on him splendor and majesty.
Surely you have granted him unending blessings
    and made him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the Lord;
    through the unfailing love of the Most High
    he will not be shaken.

Your hand will lay hold on all your enemies;
    your right hand will seize your foes.
When you appear for battle,
    you will burn them up as in a blazing furnace.
The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath,
    and his fire will consume them.
You will destroy their descendants from the earth,
    their posterity from mankind.

 

Though they plot evil against you
    and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.
You will make them turn their backs
    when you aim at them with drawn bow.
Be exalted in your strength, Lord;
    we will sing and praise your might.

In Psalm 21, David is praising God (v. 1-6) for some of the things that God had done in his life. We don’t know the details of how God responded to David’s request/prayer, but it is obvious that David has a heart of gratitude and praise towards God. David knows the heart of God. 

Sometimes God responds to our prayers and we are slow to give to give Him praise. Is there a small prayer request that he has answered this past month?  Before you finish the rest of this devotional, you might pause and thank him for what he has been doing in your life. God is continually at work! 

David knows the heart of God and the motive of God. In Psalm 21:7, David describes the “steadfast love of the Most High.”   During these difficult times, it is in your best interest to remember that God’s love for you is steadfast, consistent, and reliable. 

Prayer:  God, thank you for your steadfast love.  God, I admit that sometimes I look for love from others when ultimately, you are the one who loves me forever consistently.  I praise you for your love. 

Pastor Dan

May 21, 2020

 
Psalm 19
 
In Psalms 19 David sets the stage brilliantly for a comparison of what God has made and what God has said and the result that can have on our lives. First, he mentions the glory of God being seen and heard by all of mankind,
 
“There is no speech or language where their voice (the voice of God’s creative genius, His care and concern by the work of His hands) is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” Psalm 19:3-4 NIV
Then David turns to the fidelity of God’s word, the incredible benefit they have for men, women, boys and girls. The value of listening, processing, consuming these words of God are summed up beautifully in verses 10-11:
 
“They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb. By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.”
Here, instead of leaving it to the imagination of the reader, David lists specifically the benefit for you and I willing to taste, eat, value and keep God’s word. Their reward is:
 
“Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgressions.” Psalm 19:12-13.
WOW! What a tremendous benefit. God’s word
 
“revives the soul…makes wise the simple…give joy to the heart…give light to the eyes.” Psalms 19:7-8
 
The result is a response of asking for God’s supernatural intervention into my life allowing recognition, confession and healing from errors, hidden faults, willful sins and a transformed heart that can plead for God’s grace to redeem the words of my mouth and the fixation of my heart from my three favorite people, me, myself and I, and onto what is pleasing to the One who has saved me. And thus, the plea,
 
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14
Can you see it? Do you have your ears on, good buddy, for the voice of God that goes out into all the earth? Having listened, have you processed and consumed the word and reaped their benefit of the reviving of your soul, joy being given to your heart and light for your eyes? Are you rejoicing in the truth that God guides you to righteousness by revealing your errors, forgiving your hidden faults and not allowing sin to rule over you? Are you resting in the truth of your LORD being your Rock and Redeemer?
 
Pastor Dennis

May 18, 2020

 
Psalm 18
 
” I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God. is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my
salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise,
and I am saved from my enemies.”
Psalms 18:1-3

“The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
He is the God who avenges me,
who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies.
You exalted me above my foes;
from violent men you rescued me.
Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O Lord;
I will sing praises to your name.
He gives his king great victories;
he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.
Psalms 18:46-50

What kind of God do we love and serve?

He is our rock, fortress, deliverer, shield, salvation, and stronghold! Friends even “In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.” Psalms 18:6

Yes brother’s and sister’s we know He is waiting to hear our hearts, our praises and our brokenness. Please today cry out to your God, because He is waiting to hear your heart and burdens.

Grace to you,

Mike Broyles

May 14, 2020

 
Psalm 17
 
1 Hear a just cause, O LORD,
Attend to my cry;
Give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.
2 Let my vindication come from Your presence;
Let Your eyes look on the things that are upright.
3 You have tested my heart;
You have visited me in the night;
You have tried me and have found nothing;
I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
4 Concerning the works of men,
By the word of Your lips,
I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.
5 Uphold my steps in Your paths,
That my footsteps may not slip.
 
6 I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.
7 Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,
O You who save those who trust in You
From those who rise up against them.
8 Keep me as the apple of Your eye;
Hide me under the shadow of Your wings,
9 From the wicked who oppress me,
From my deadly enemies who surround me.
10 They have closed up their fat hearts;
With their mouths they speak proudly.
11 They have now surrounded us in our steps;
They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth,
12 As a lion is eager to tear his prey,
And like a young lion lurking in secret places.
 
13 Arise, O LORD,
Confront him, cast him down;
Deliver my life from the wicked with Your sword,
14 With Your hand from men, O LORD,
From men of the world who have their portion in this life,
And whose belly You fill with Your hidden treasure.
They are satisfied with children,
And leave the rest of their possession for their babes.
15 As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness;
I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

In verses 1-5, David is speaking of being hated and hunted by King Saul, his father-in-law. He is not merely setting forth his innocence before God; he is asking God to keep him from taking matters into his own hands (see verse 5). As we go through this difficult time, we must not allow the trouble of the moment to cause us to act in our own strength. David had two opportunities to kill King Saul. But instead, he allowed God to remove Saul in HIS time. For many of us, the temptation to respond to the desperation of this season is great. David reminds us in this Psalm that we must trust God in times of great distress and trial.
 
In verses 6-12, David ask God to hear him, to delight in him and to protect him. The description he gives of his enemy means that this issue with King Saul was getting to him. Let’s be honest here; this pandemic is getting to all of us. Faith is not about ignoring our circumstances; it is about being vulnerable, transparent and clear with God about our situation. You have the right to cry. God hears you in the midst of your tears. And He is already working on your behalf.
 
In verses 13-15, David ask God to fight his battles. The man who would eventually go down in history as one of the greatest warriors that ever lived, is asking God to rise and vindicate him. His reliance upon God is a lesson for us all. He finishes this Psalm by expressing what matters to him most…God’s presence. It may seem like the virus is winning, but God is in control. May we find satisfaction in knowing Him, trusting in His grace to guide us during this difficult hour.
 
Our Prayer for you:
Father in Heaven, we seek the light of your presence to lead and guide us in the midst of our darkest hour; this pandemic reminds us of our frailty and inability to fight our own battles. So we turn to you to fight on our behalf. Please protect those who are on the front lines of the fight against this disease. Grant healing to all who suffer. And may you continue to work through the scientists and others to develop a vaccine as soon as possible. You are God. You are mighty. You are in control. And we trust you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
 
Jeffrey Forrest

May 11, 2020

 
Psalm 16
 
This is a great Psalm relating to how David found the secret of contentment and gladness even in demanding times. A great place for us to be in these times of pressing anxiety.
 
Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.
O my soul, you have said to the LORD,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.”
As for the saints who are on the earth,
“They are the excellent ones, in whom is all my delight.”
 
David wrote this Psalm from a time of trouble, yet the tone of this Psalm is not despair or complaint, it is confident joy. Despite his trouble, David had a praising confidence in his God. What great contentment we can find in these times that try us.
 
David knew that at his very best – all of his goodness – was nothing apart from God. David delighted in the people of God, despite all their failings, fallings, and embarrassments. This is a way that we can measure our relationship with the Lord. Do you love other Christians? Do you find it good and rewarding to be with them? Do you seek their company?
 
Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god;
Their drink offerings of blood I will not offer,
Nor take up their names on my lips.
O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup;
You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;
Yes, I have a good inheritance.
 
David knew that his life, lived after God, was not an easy one. He experienced many hardships because he remained faithful to God. He also knew that life lived after another god was even more difficult. After stating that there was nothing found in the pagan gods, David explained the good he received from God.
David was the youngest son in a family with many sons. He could expect no inheritance from his family, yet he took joy and comfort in the fact that God was the portion of his inheritance, and he knew that he had a good inheritance.
 
I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the LORD always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
 
David’s knew that his heart was instructed first by God and His Word, and therefore, could also instruct him in the ways of God. David also know that it can be vain to stay up late to try and figure out your problems. I know I have spent many nights laying awake concerned about the chaos of this virus. What great advice to always set the Lord before my concerns. David made a decision to put God first in his life. He determined that God would always be his focus and his perspective.
 
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
 
David continued to describe the benefits of his decision to set the LORD always before him. This decision brought a gladness and a glory to David’s life. There was happiness and a glory David knew by this life commitment that he would not have known otherwise.
 
David described a further benefit of his life decision to set the LORD always before him. It was the confidence of God’s care and blessing in the life beyond. David seemed to understand that the benefits of this life commitment to God were received in both this life here, and the life beyond. What comfort there is in knowing that God has our back in our present chaos and beyond.
 
When we go back to the first verse, we remember that this life of gladness and rejoicing and fullness of joy is not a problem-free life. It is a life that may be challenged, and face attacks on many fronts. Yet a life committed to God is a life we can enjoy, it is a secure, happy and blessed life.
 
Pastor Randy

May 7, 2020

 
Psalm 15 – A Psalm of David
 
1 O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
 
V. 2 states “He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart.” This passage talks about what it looks like to walk righteously before God. One of the ingredients for walking well with God comes from the end of verse two in which David says “speaks truth in his heart.” In essence do we see ourselves, others, and circumstances in the same way God sees them? If we don’t speak truth in our heart, we might be tempted to do or think the following:
 
1. Care too much if we get the credit for something
2. Rationalize our behavior (it’s not that bad)
3. Blame someone else (they make me so mad)
4. Think that our money belongs to us
5. Be quick to take things personal
 
Instead, if someone is walking well with God and they “speak truth” in their heart, they might have the following way of thinking:
 
1. Who can I extend compassion to, even if they can’t reciprocate the care?
2. I am so grateful to God for…
3. What is God doing in the midst of my stress?
4. Is there any area of my life that needs refining (i.e. – any bitterness)
5. God…Am I being wise in what is influencing my mind?
 
God deeply cares about you and he deeply cares about your heart. He uniquely designed you!
 
Pastor Dan

May 4, 2020

 
Psalm 14
 
1 The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.
 
A life without meaning and purpose can often result in a life without moral integrity. David’s thoughts here center on those who decide, willfully, to reject the notion of God altogether. “No god for me!” they decide!
 
The word “fool” here is not so much intellectually lacking, but morally. Without a standard of goodness or framework of holiness and righteousness, personal pleasure, or at least the avoidance of pain become the end goal.
 
2 The Lord looks down from heaven
on all mankind
to see if there are any who understand,
any who seek God.
3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.
 
Sin and corruption are the natural state of a world without God. What God created as a world that was “good” rejected him and turned to their own ways. This is the great tragedy of mankind – and it remains so even today!
 
4 Do all these evildoers know nothing?
5 They devour my people as though eating bread;
they never call on the Lord.
 
The oppression of Israel by the surrounding nations seemed as common to David as the eating of bread, and seemed to come with just as little guilt or justice. It’s a situation that seems bleak, to be sure!
 
But there they are, overwhelmed with dread,
for God is present in the company of the righteous.
6 You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor,
but the Lord is their refuge.
 
In the deepest part of the moral “fool’s” heart, is a hidden, secret dread. A deep concern that the God of the universe is both real and present. A deep awareness that their corruption has alienated them from that God, as they sense his presence dwelling with the righteous. Though through their own cunning and ambition, they may have achieved self-serving success at the expense of the poor and vulnerable, they still see unshakeable joy in the lives they’ve trampled and dismissed. And it terrifies them.
 
7 Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!
 
David is asking for very real deliverance in the physical lives of the Hebrew people, finding hope in his enduring faithfulness, but his prophetic declaration echoes through the centuries to the restoration and reconciliation of all people – salvation for both the Jew and the Gentile, found in the person and work of Christ!
 
Today, even if you’re in the midst of uncertainty, pain, trial, or oppression, find hope in the faithfulness of the great Restorer, the great Deliverer. Run the race set before you with patience and endurance trusting that in every circumstance you may be transformed and renewed deeper and more fully into the eternal life of Christ!
 
Pastor Paul

April 27, 2020

 
Psalm 12
 
1 Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race.
2 Everyone lies to their neighbor;
they flatter with their lips
but harbor deception in their hearts.
3 May the Lord silence all flattering lips
and every boastful tongue—
4 those who say,
“By our tongues we will prevail;
our own lips will defend us—who is lord over us?”
5 “Because the poor are plundered and the needy groan,
I will now arise,” says the Lord.
“I will protect them from those who malign them.”
6 And the words of the Lord are flawless,
like silver purified in a crucible,
like gold[c] refined seven times.
7 You, Lord, will keep the needy safe
and will protect us forever from the wicked,
8 who freely strut about
when what is vile is honored by the human race.
 
Your godly character matters in difficult times!
 
Psalm 12:1 says “Help, Lord, for the godly are no more”. It at times seems like in our world that the ungodly/sin seems to be winning in our daily culture.
 
However, we who are Christ followers have an answering God who hears and responds to our heart cries. Psalm 12:5 “I will arise, “ says the Lord. I will protect them from those who malign them.”
 
God hears our prayers even when it seems like sin is winning. His promise to us in the crazy world is “Psalm 12:7, “You Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever”
 
May He use us in the dark world to be light and hope to others this week!
 
Mike Broyles

April 23, 2020

 
Psalms 11: Encouragement 101
 
We are indeed living in anxious times. All of us are touched by this global pandemic. Some indirectly, while for others the crisis has hit closer to home. How should we respond in times like these? The answer can be found In Psalms 11:1 which says,
 
““In the Lord I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, “Flee as a bird to the mountain?””
 
Welcome to your crash course in Encouragement 101! There are three key principles we wish to share with you from Psalms 11:
 
1) Trust in the Lord at all times
2) Know that God is in control
3) Know that God has his eye on you
 
Trust in the Lord at all times. Psalms 11 opens with the words, “In the Lord I put my trust.” What does it mean to trust in the Lord? To trust in the Lord means to:
 
• Rest on His promises
• Rely on Him (and not man) for strength
• Wait on Him to move on your behalf
• Worship Him in the midst of your storm
 
Psalms 11 is not your typical “feel-good” psalm. Verses 2-3, says:
 
“For look! The wicked bend their arrow on the string, that they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.”
 
When I read these verses, I feel like I am at home sitting in from of my television getting another dose of bad news regarding the coronavirus. But for the Christian, our response to bad news is the refrain “In the Lord I put my trust.”
 
Know that God is in control. While the news may be bad, the God we serve is good. And He is totally in control:
 
The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne.
He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.
The Lord examines the righteous,
but the wicked, those who love violence,
he hates with a passion.
On the wicked he will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur;
a scorching wind will be their lot.
 
He is not moved by current events. He is not caught off guard by any disaster or circumstance that may come our way. From His throne He governs all of humanity, He overrules in every situation, and He judges the evil and the good. During the current crisis, some may be asking, “Where is God?” God is on His throne, ruling over His creation. The question is, “Does He occupy the throne of your life during times such as this?”
 
Know that God has His eye on you. While we have our eyes on our TV sets and mobile devices, God has His eye on us! He is a holy God who loves righteousness.
 
For the Lord is righteous, he loves justice; the upright will see his face.
 
In this context, Psalms 11 is referring to those who engage in acts of righteousness, in a world that is often marked by evil and sin. For those of you who are giving food, caring for the sick, and sharing your treasure with those who are in need, God sees you. Your labor is not in vain. And during this difficult time, allow me to remind you of your need to remember your church during this crisis, both in prayer, and through your giving.

Our Prayer for you:
 
“Father in Heaven, in times like these, may we be reminded to put out trust in you, to allow you to rule on the throne of our lives, and to know that you have your eye on us. In this difficult hour, show us how we can be your instrument to reach those who are lost, to help those who are broken, and to encourage those who are in despair. In Jesus Name, Amen.”
 
Jeffrey Forrest

April 20, 2020

 
Psalms 10 – Questioning the success of the wicked
 
Why do You hide in times of trouble?
The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor;
Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised.
 
For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire;
He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD.
The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God;
God is in none of his thoughts. (Psalms 1-4)
 
Here the Psalmist asked a question well known to those who follow God; the concern and sometimes anxiety over the seeming inactivity of God. The Psalmist felt that God was afar off and did even hide in times of trouble. Such a fitting verse for these times. I am sure most if not all of us have struggled as to where God is as the world struggles with Covid-19
 
“The presence of God is the joy of his people, but any suspicion of his absence is distracting beyond measure. . . . It is not the trouble, but the hiding of our Father’s face, which cuts us to the quick.” (Spurgeon)
 
The Psalmist was so troubled by the seeming inactivity of God. He saw the wicked, proud man who not only persecutes the poor and approves other sinners (blesses the greedy), he also sins against God (renounces the LORD … does not seek God … God is in none of his thoughts).
 
His ways are always prospering;
Your judgments are far above, out of his sight;
As for all his enemies, he sneers at them.
 
He has said in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
I shall never be in adversity.”
His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. (Psalms 10 5-7)
 
Here the Psalmist protested to God; not only did the wicked seem to enjoy constant prosperity, but did so because God’s judgments are far above, out of his sight. The Psalmist recognized that the wicked could never prosper unless God allowed it; so he appealed to God to not allow it.
 
He sits in the lurking places of the villages;
In the secret places he murders the innocent;
His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless.
He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den;
He lies in wait to catch the poor;
 
He catches the poor when he draws him into his net.
So he crouches, he lies low,
That the helpless may fall by his strength.
He has said in his heart,
“God has forgotten;
He hides His face;
He will never see.” (Psa 10:8-11)
 
The Psalmist continued his examination of the wicked man (or men) who had troubled him so. Key to the nature of this wicked man is secrecy. For the Psalmist, this made the murder, oppression, and bullying of the wicked man all the worse. He did it all cherishing the thought that God has forgotten, and would never see his wickedness against the poor and helpless. Here the Psalmist seems to see God as unable to help him, but then all of a sudden, like most of us, as he seems to hit bottom he does what he should have been doing all along, interacting with God.
 
Arise, O LORD!
O God, lift up Your hand!
Do not forget the humble.
Why do the wicked renounce God?
He has said in his heart,
“You will not require an account.” (Psalms 10:12-13)
 
Here the Psalmist simply called upon God to take action. “LORD, this wicked man finds comfort in the idea that You won’t do anything against Him. Arise, O LORD; lift up Your hand against this wicked man. Asking for God’s help in view of His kindness to the helpless.
 
The LORD is King forever and ever;
The nations have perished out of His land.
LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble;
 
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more. (Psalms 10:16-18)
 
Here is what we need to see! The Psalmist began with almost despair in his times of trouble; he ends with calm confidence in the reign of the LORD as an eternal King. God will not abandon the poor and needy, but will help and bless them.
 
He who has got a cry in his heart after God, may rest assured that that cry proceeded from a Divine preparation, and that an answer will soon arrive. No man ever had a cry in his heart after salvation, but from God. He who continues to cry shall infallibly be heard.” (Clarke)
 
Pastor Randy

April 16, 2020

 
Psalm 9
 
I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.
 
David begins Psalm 9 with four declarations – I will! Four decisions of the will, rooted in the character of God, and specifically in his reflection on conflict with his enemies.
Psalm 9 is an acrostic poem, where each section starts with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Possibly written together with Psalm 10 as one continous work, David contrasts the holiness and righteousness of God with the wickedness of his enemies.
 
My enemies turn back;
they stumble and perish before you.
For you have upheld my right and my cause,
sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.
 
You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;
you have blotted out their name for ever and ever.
Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,
you have uprooted their cities;
even the memory of them has perished.
 
David is confident of his right standing before God; he trusts God’s unwavering righteousness to vindicate his cause. Even in the midst of conflict, his righteous Judge is always on the throne.
 
The Lord reigns forever;
he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness
and judges the peoples with equity.
 
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you,
for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
 
David reminds us that God is a refuge and a stronghold for those who endure times of trouble – which last I checked is exactly 100% of us! David proclaimed victories over his enemies, but how long did those victories last? Were not other problems quick to follow? What a reminder that “getting out of trouble” is not our only end goal – seeking and finding the Lord as refuge and stronghold is a victory in and of itself!
 
Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
For he who avenges blood remembers;
he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.
 
Lord, see how my enemies persecute me!
Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death,
that I may declare your praises
in the gates of Daughter Zion,
and there rejoice in your salvation.
 
David slips in some ancient warrior talk here about avenging blood, which can be hard for us to connect with sometimes in our modern society, but the concept is the same: no suffering goes unseen by God, and his mercy is never withheld. God delights in showing mercy, and it’s this knowledge that motivates David’s praise.
 
The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug;
their feet are caught in the net they have hidden.
The Lord is known by his acts of justice;
the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
 
The wicked go down to the realm of the dead,
all the nations that forget God.
But God will never forget the needy;
the hope of the afflicted will never perish.
 
Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph;
let the nations be judged in your presence.
Strike them with terror, Lord;
let the nations know they are only mortal.
 
David finishes this section with a focus on God’s justice, but not in the way he said it earlier where God goes on the offensive. Here we see the wisdom of knowing that evil often sets its own trap; the wicked can often reap the consequences dealt by “the work of their hands.” But however the circumstance works out, though the wicked try to forget God, He never forgets the needy; he is the hope of the afflicted.
 
He is the righteous judge, the friend of the poor, the hope of all who cry out for mercy in time of trouble. May we find strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow in the midst of any and every circumstance!
 
Pastor Paul

April 13, 2020

 
The Splendor of God – Psalm 8
 
1 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
 
2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
 
3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
 
4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
 
5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
 
6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
 
7 all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
 
8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
 
9 O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
 

When we think of God, we usually see God through our own lens and experience. Due to the fact that we have such a limited understanding of life, we often can minimize the magnitude of who God is in comparison to human beings. We have no capacity (or understanding) how to create something out of nothing and we definitely can’t create a universe with our fingers (Psalms 8:3). Psalms 8 reminds us of the majesty, wonder, and splendor of God.

Psalm 8:2 says that God can use the mouths of babies to convey his strength against enemies. David then contrasts the example of a baby to convey that God has placed the moon and stars in their place. Not only has God created the moon and stars, he has put them in their specific place.

In the midst of the magnitude, David then writes in v4 that the God of this universe is mindful and caring of each human being. The magnitude of God does not lead to a God who is apathetic or uncaring. In human terms, when we think of people of great power, we often have the belief that they only care about their power and that they don’t care for me specifically. God’s characteristics are radically different than people of power. His majesty doesn’t decrease his intimacy with us (his children).

In Psalm 8:4 when David writes “what is man” it could be even translated “weak man.” In essence, God cares deeply for us even when we feel weak. Our level of concerns/weakness does not change the depth of God’s care of us.

David concludes this Psalm by addressing the order of his creation (Genesis 1) and that God has given human beings responsibility and dominion over His creation. God’s majesty can be seen in babies, in the stars, in our weakness, and in His creation.

 
I pray that you can experience the majesty of God in the midst of whatever you are experiencing.
 
Pastor Dan Broyles

April 9, 2020

 
A quick read through Psalms 7 and immediately I know I am in trouble. It seems the psalmist wants, like we all do, to “take refuge in God.” He wants “deliverance,” he wants the “rage of his enemies to be met by the anger, righteousness and justice of the LORD.” But then it seems with great negligence of self- introspection the psalmist claims when “God searches minds and hearts,” he wants the “LORD to bring an end to the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure.”
 
As he does so, the psalmist names himself as being one “without guilt,” one who has not “participated in evil,” he wants the LORD to “judge him according to his righteousness and his integrity.” Man, that would not be my prayer. I’d ask God to deal with those low-down, dirty rotten sinners raging against me severely, while asking that God deal with me, an equally low-down dirty rotten sinner with MERCY!
 
So, what gives? How can the psalmist write that “God shoot his arrows of wrath”, that “God sharpen his sword and prepare his deadly weapons for those pregnant with evil” and not see the evil lurking in his own heart? What happened to “there is no one righteous, no not one”? (Romans 3:10)
 
It’s what the psalmist knows that is utterly inspiring. The only remedy for the evil lurking in his own heart is SUPERNATURAL INTERVENTION! The psalmist makes his plea for the righteousness and justice of the LORD to be poured out on his enemy because both have had opportunity to “turn and be healed.” (Isaiah 6:10) The psalmist has chosen to receive the grace and mercy, the forgiveness and cleansing, the supernatural intervention and the ensuing imputed righteousness of the LORD.
 
And that serves as his foundation of righteousness. Listen to how the psalmist puts it in Psalms 25:11 “For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.”
 
During this week leading up to EASTER, I hope you have heard there is a remedy for your sin. There is one who became sin for you and is willing to trade you: His righteousness for your sin that you might be made perfect, by His one sacrifice, forever! I urge you if you have not received the supernatural intervention of God by putting your trust in Jesus to save you from your sin, to do so now by calling on the Name of Jesus to save you. And then, born again believers, with a foundation of imputed righteousness, begin sowing seeds of kindness, mercy and grace into the lives of those all around you.
 
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Dennis Stoneman

April 6, 2020

 
From Anguish to Answered Prayer! 
 
O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. 
Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am faint; 
O Lord, heal me, for my bones are in agony. 
My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?

Turn, O Lord, and deliver me; save me because of your unfailing love. 
No one remembers you when he is dead. Who praises you from the grave?
I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. 

Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping. The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer. All my enemies will be ashamed and dismayed; they will turn back in sudden disgrace.

Psalm 6 (NIV)
 
David, like us, faces fear, doubt and anguish. “My soul is in anguish. How long, O Lord, how long?” David, like all of us had many questions yet not clear on God’s answers. 
 
Yet, David cried out to God in prayer. “Save me” while he wept. Through David’s prayer God response was “The Lord has HEARD my cry for mercy, the Lord accepts my prayer.”
 
Friends, are you in anguish? Like Daivd, cry out to our Great God today!
 
Mike Broyles

April 2, 2020

Pastor’s Devotional
Encouragement from the Psalms

It is so important for us to stay connected during this time!
To that end, we will be bringing you some devotional thoughts from the book of Psalms
to help stay your heart and mind on the goodness and faithfulness of God.
Look for emails twice a week through the end of April.
We’re in this together!
-Your Pastors
 
Psalm 4
 
Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness!
You have relieved me in my distress; Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer.
How long, O you sons of men, Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness And seek falsehood? Selah
 
But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The LORD will hear when I call to Him.
Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
 
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the LORD.
There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?”
LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
You have put gladness in my heart,
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep;
For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
 
Hear me when I call: There is passion in David’s cry. He doesn’t want to just cast up words up in the air. He needs God’s attention to his present problem. Power in prayer is often lacking because there is little passion in prayer. It isn’t that we persuade God with emotional displays, but God wants us to care deeply about the things He cares deeply about. David knows the LORD hears when he calls to Him. Each Christian should have the same assurance. In these trying times we should be confident that God will hear our prayers, but be passionate in the way we pray.

Be angry, and do not sin: Here David seems to be living in the chaos we are living in this hour. With the ungodliness and chaos around him, David had reason to be angry but he had no reason to sin. He reminds himself to not sin in his anger, and to find comfort before the LORD.
More than in the season that their grain and wine increased: The ungodly can be happy when the money is coming in and everything is prosperous. David can be happy even in distressing times because the LORD put gladness in his heart.
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep: David can sleep well at night, even in distressing times and surrounded by the ungodly. He sleeps well because his safety is from the LORD, not from circumstances or even feelings.

You have put gladness in my heart: When we know that the face of God shines favorably on us, it puts gladness in the heart. Though David was in distress and anxiety abounded with the chaos all around, he could still have gladness in his heart, because the LORD put it there.
May the Lord hear us, comfort us, and put gladness in our hearts even in these trying times!!!
 
Pastor Randy

March 30, 2020

 
Psalms 5: Finding Consolation in Moments of Isolation
 
A global pandemic. Shelter in place. Social distancing. Isolation. This new normal that has gripped our nation has left many feeling lonely, sad and isolated. But as children of God, we have access to our Heavenly Father who offers consolation in moments of isolation.
 
In the New King James Version, under Psalms 5, we find these words: “To the Chief Musician with flutes. A Psalm of David.” Here we see that Psalms 5 is not only a prayer…it is song of worship and praise that declares God’s sovereign hand over the wicked and the righteous. And while these words may not be a part of the actual text, their presence provides a powerful insight for dealing with stress: Sing a song before the Lord. As a Christian, you should have a “go-to” worship song that lifts your spirit and comforts your heart in moments of isolation and uncertainty. So, if the current crisis has you feeling down, I encourage you to turn off the news and tap into your playlist and allow God to use the gift of music to usher you into His presence.
 
As we look into text, there are three passages that we want to consider:
 
In verse 3, David says, My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; In the morning I will direct it to You, And I will look up.” From this passage, we learn that in times of stress and isolation, seek God early. The idea of seeking God early is not limited to the time that we seek Him; But we should seek Him first, at the very moment when discouragement comes. David ends verse 3 with the words, “and I will look up.” Here, David teaches us that we must not allow circumstances to cause us to lose focus on the Lord. Once you have entered God’s presence, look to Him to handle the situation you are going through.
 
In verse 8, David says, “Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies; Make Your way straight before me.” An enemy can take many forms, emotional, physical, financial, and of course spiritual. Whatever form the enemy takes in your life, the mission is the same: To discourage, distract and defeat you. But it is God who DIRECTS you! And you can depend upon Him to not only lead you in His righteousness, but to also make His way clear so that you can overcome the enemy.
 
In verses 11-12, David rejoices in the faithfulness of God, saying, “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O Lord, will bless the righteousness; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.” Go ahead and smile. God is in control, and He is working for your good. His grace is sufficient, and His promises are true.
 
Our Prayer for you:

Father in heaven, for those who are alone, and others who feel the stress of this current crisis, may the feel the warmth of your presence. Help them to seek you first, to look to you for guidance, and to rejoice in your faithfulness. We pray for those who are working on the frontlines to care for those who are sick, and may you comfort those who bear the burden of loss and grief. Remind us that even in our darkest hour, you are there, and you are with us. Thank you for being our Father, our Friend and our God. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 
Jeffrey Forrest

March 26, 2020

Pastor’s Devotional
Encouragement from the Psalms

 
Psalm 3
 
Dependent. It’s practically a bad word in our world today! We are a culture of those who strive to “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps,” a culture of “self-made” people. We think we have control.
 
But David gives us a window into his soul in Psalm chapter three, that I think applies to all of us more than we think. A soul that recognizes and acknowledges when it feels afraid and helpless. A soul that must process its dark night before finding the joy of the morning.
 
Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!

Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
 
Our perspective today might be: “My situation is bleak, Lord! I’m feeling alone and targeted and my circumstances are overwhelming such that even others think I’m done for.”
 
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
 
David knows he cannot depend on his own wits and strength, he needs a shield. A shield does not mean immediate healing/blessing/deliverance; but it means he can keep fighting, as he calls out to the Lord expecting his answer. David’s life was in shambles at the time he wrote this Psalm (see 2 Samuel 15 & 16); his family had fallen apart, he’d been forced to flee the kingdom he’d ruled with God’s favor and success. But sin had wrecked him. “To lift up the head” is a Hebrew expression for restoring someone who has been cast down in dignity and/or position.
 
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
 
However autonomous we think we are, there is a stretch of time every night where our life and survival is completely out of our hands. The Lord sustains us in our most vulnerable state while we are asleep. David understands this and applies it to his situation; “though tens of thousands assail…!”
 
Arise, Lord!
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
 
David uses the same verbs he used to describe his enemies in verses one and two, to ask God to act – to “rise up” and to “deliver.” He declares that his confidence lies not in military might, or clever cunning, but in the Lord.
 
In the same way, may we cry out in seasons of fear, uncertainty, helplessness, or hopelessness, that our deliverance comes from the Lord! May the blessing of his transforming presence be upon us at all times!
 
Pastor Paul Hoover

March 23, 2020

Pastor’s Devotional
Encouragement from the Psalms

In Psalm 2 there is a contrast between the kings of this earth and the King who ultimately rules over the earth.  The kings of the earth (probably written at the time of king David) join together and they are described as “against the Lord.”   Psalm 2 conveys the significant contrast of strength between God and the kings.  The contrast is so significant that God is described (compared to kings) in verses 4 and 9 in the following way:  

v 4 “He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.”   

v 9 “You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel”  

Sometimes we have thoughts about certain individuals in our culture who appear to have a significant amount of power.  This Psalm is not about social justice but about the magnitude of God’s power.  

Another theme in Psalms 2 is the one who God declares as “son.”  God is the one who declares his “anointed” and “son” (see verses 2, 7, 11).   God is the one who called and anointed David to be the king of Israel.  David would end up being in the lineage of Christ.  Psalms 2 is often quoted in the New Testament, especially with the emphasis that Jesus is God’s son (Romans 1:4, Heb. 1:5, Heb. 5:5). 

The end (v 12) of this Psalm states “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”  The idea that God is the one in whom we can “take refuge” conveys the idea that we have protection because of him, but it also conveys that he is the one who in which we can “confide in.”   He is so trustworthy and thus we can confide in him regarding our fears, unknowns and concerns.  

During this time of uncertainty, God is our refuge! 

Prayer: “God, thank you that you are our refuge in the midst of the uncertainty with the coronavirus. God help me trust in you in the midst of the unknown.”  

Pastor Dan Broyles 

March 19, 2020

Pastor’s Devotional
Encouragement from the Psalms

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Psalms 1:1-6 NIV

“Blessed,” what a way to start the Psalms off! That word “blessed” should pique our interest because all of us are curious about how we can participate, how we can get in on living the blessed life. Psalms use the word “blessed” 26 times so if you are wondering what it means to be blessed, let Psalms define it for you.

Psalms 32:1-2 says, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit.” David is clearly saying that there is no such thing as a blessed life unless we experience supernatural intervention in Christ which brings forgiveness and covering of our sin. Soak that in for a moment.

Psalms 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!  Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” Here blessed is defined as having the LORD as a refuge, a haven, a rock, and a fortress.  

Well if that is what blessed is count me in. That’s exactly what I long for and want. But how? The Psalmist tells us blessed is wrapped up in delighting in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night and the result is enjoying abundance, purpose, power, and fortitude in the LORD.

The Psalmist also spells out pitfalls to avoid on our way to being blessed: He says, if you want to be blessed, DON’T walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the way of sinners and sit in the seat of mockers – the result of those activities is a life that is blown away, that perishes and is judged wanting.

In these days of trouble and trial, of fear and failing, of hoarding and haranguing turn your attention to the LORD and his desire to secure for you in His Son, Jesus, life, and life to the full. Be blessed!

Prayer: Dear God, our strength, our refuge, our fortress. Show us what it means to be blessed in you. Help us to avoid walking in the counsel of the wicked and standing in the way of sinners and sitting in the seat of mockers and open us to the delighting in your law and relishing it day and night in Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN.

Pastor Dennis Stoneman