Every Day With Jesus

Daily Devotionals from Pastor Quintin Stieff

The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 111 (NIV)

1 Praise the Lord.
  I will extol the Lord with all my heart
  in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the Lord;
   they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
   and his righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered;
   the Lord is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear him;
   he remembers his covenant forever.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works,
   giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithful and just;
   all his precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are established for ever and ever,
   enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for his people;
   he ordained his covenant forever—
   holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
    To him belongs eternal praise.

Today's Message

THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM

If you want to know what the fear of the Lord is, read verses one through nine of this psalm! The attitude expressed here is exactly what it means to fear the Lord. It is praising him. It is giving him first place in your heart. It is publicly acknowledging him before others. It is marveling at his incredible wonders and works in nature and in our lives.

It is loving all of his traits – – his grace and his compassion. It is remembering to thank him for his daily provision. It is celebrating the incredible promises and his inheritance that he guarantees us. It is honoring God because he is faithful and just. It is upholding and revering his holy Word. It is exalting God for his righteous rule and perfect justice.

Most of all, it is trusting in him as our Redeemer. It is knowing that his entire character is holy and awesome and worthy of our deepest devotion, allegiance, and love.

And when we do all of these things, then we are just starting to gain wisdom. It’s not just knowing them, it’s following them in our everyday life.

To him belongs eternal praise!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 0 comments

The Priest-King who was to Come

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 110 (NIV)

Of David. A psalm.

1 The Lord says to my lord:
 “Sit at my right hand
   until I make your enemies
   a footstool for your feet.”
2 The Lord will extend your mighty scepter from Zion, saying,
   “Rule in the midst of your enemies!”
3 Your troops will be willing
   on your day of battle.
   Arrayed in holy splendor,
   your young men will come to you
   like dew from the morning’s womb.
4 The Lord has sworn
   and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
   in the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at your right hand;
   he will crush kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead
   and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.
7 He will drink from a brook along the way,
   and so he will lift his head high.

Today's Message

THE PRIEST-KING WHO WAS TO COME

This powerful psalm of David is one of the most important psalms because it points so much to Jesus. All of the Scriptures are messianic, in that they all point to Jesus the Messiah. But some scriptures are more messianic than others! And this is one of them that is drenched with the promises of the coming Messiah.

All the verses point forward to Jesus. They point forward to a coming king who will rule the nations. But they also point forward to a priest who represents God for us. Of course, in Israel, the role of priest and the role of King were always held by two separate people. There was no priest who was a king. And there was no king who was a priest.

But in Jesus Christ these two roles merge together in one glorious Messiah.  And David calls this person the Lord. He says that, “the Lord said to my Lord.” Jesus himself quoted this psalm and intriguingly asked who David might be referring to. Because he’s talking to God, the Lord. But he’s saying the Lord is saying to my Lord. However, David is the king. So who can be the Lord of David other than God?

And the answer is no one other than God can be the Lord. And in this psalm, Jesus is saying that it all points to him. And that he and the Father are one.  In the book of Philippians, Paul says that, “God exalted him to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”  The name above all names is not “Jesus” but the name Lord.  “Jesus” was an exceedingly common name in ancient Israel. But what was astounding was that this man Jesus was also the Lord!

Read over this psalm, and shout for joy and victory. Jesus is Lord!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Wednesday, October 18, 2017 | 0 comments

Reasons for Worship

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 109 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

30 With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord;
    in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.
31 For he stands at the right hand of the needy,
    to save their lives from those who would condemn them.

Today's Message

REASONS FOR WORSHIP

The end of Psalm 109 gives us all kinds of reasons to gather in public worship.  Can you spot some of them?

  1. Public worship is a time to publicly declare the greatness of the Lord. It’s great to think it, but there’s something that happens when we say it or sing it out loud in front of people. And there’s something that happens in our hearts, and even in the heart of God, when we say it out loud.
  2. In public worship, we realize that we are not alone. Though we may face enemies, in public worship we realize that there are many others – – “the great throng of worshipers” who share our faith, who feel as we feel, to value the things of God. This is no small thing. When we find ourselves in a minority in our culture, it’s important to know there are others we can lean on, celebrate with, and share our common faith.
  3. God is present in public worship. Of course, God is present all the time. But there is a special sense of his presence when the people of God gather together in a large group. It’s strange, but sometimes our intimacy with God can be experienced very strongly when we are standing in a giant crowd of people. He speaks to us when we are gathered singing worship to him, hearing his word, and praying together as a church family.
  4. In public worship we can discover that God is for us. Sometimes people use the phrase describing a particularly powerful moment in worship by saying, God showed up!” That’s what David means when he says that God stands at the right hand of the needy. God knows our needs, and often he manifests himself in very powerful ways when we are gathered with other believers.
  5. In public worship, we discover that God protects us from our enemies. The culture around us may condemn us, but when we gather together for worship, we have a sense of God’s protection and shield from harm. This truth is seen in both the Old Testament, and as the church gathered in the book of Acts in the New Testament.  Sometimes, God literally saves our lives against our enemies. Other times, that is more of a spiritual or figurative sense, but still he is saving our lives against the attacks of our enemies.

All of these things are reasons for public worship. Yes, you can worship God in nature. Yes you can worship God in your prayer closet. Yes you can get together with a small group and praise the Lord. These are wonderful experiences. So, it’s not an either/or. It’s a both/and!  That’s why the writer of Hebrews said don’t neglect gathering together. It’s important for Christians to gather in large groups whenever they can.

Make your weekend worship gatherings a priority in your life and in your family’s life. Little by little, it shapes and molds our souls. Don’t underestimate the power of consistently gathering for worship with the people of God!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Tuesday, October 17, 2017 | 0 comments

People Problems can be the Worst Problems

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 109 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

21 But you, Sovereign Lord,
    help me for your name’s sake;
    out of the goodness of your love, deliver me.
22 For I am poor and needy,
    and my heart is wounded within me.
23 I fade away like an evening shadow;
    I am shaken off like a locust.
24 My knees give way from fasting;
    my body is thin and gaunt.
25 I am an object of scorn to my accusers;
    when they see me, they shake their heads.
26 Help me, Lord my God;
    save me according to your unfailing love.
27 Let them know that it is your hand,
    that you, Lord, have done it.
28 While they curse, may you bless;
    may those who attack me be put to shame,
    but may your servant rejoice.
29 May my accusers be clothed with disgrace
    and wrapped in shame as in a cloak.

Today's Message

PEOPLE PROBLEMS CAN BE THE WORST PROBLEMS

It starts pretty early in life. You are somewhat shielded from people problems in your early days – – if you have a reasonably decent home life. But sooner or later, perhaps in adolescence, you discover the challenge of people problems.

People problems can be the worst problems. We can deal with mechanical problems, health issues, financial troubles, and work challenges. They may be overwhelming in some ways, but the problems we have in relationships are generally our hardest problems.

David had people problems. He had them in his family, he had them in his work, he had them in the community, and he had them with his neighbors.  Though David was far from perfect, one of his good traits was to load up his people problems and take them to God in prayer.

Do you have a people problem today? Why try to handle it all on your own? Take it to God – – right now!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Monday, October 16, 2017 | 0 comments

Give Your Enemy to God

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 109 (NIV)

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

16 For he never thought of doing a kindness,
    but hounded to death the poor
    and the needy and the brokenhearted.
17 He loved to pronounce a curse—
    may it come back on him.
    He found no pleasure in blessing—
    may it be far from him.
18 He wore cursing as his garment;
    it entered into his body like water,
    into his bones like oil.
19 May it be like a cloak wrapped about him,
    like a belt tied forever around him.
20 May this be the Lord’s payment to my accusers,
    to those who speak evil of me.

Today's Message

GIVE YOUR ENEMY TO GOD

Though we might be shocked by the intensity of David’s words, we can certainly appreciate his honesty. It’s hard for us to imagine how a king in the ancient world always had a target on his back. It was extremely dangerous to be a king. There were always enemies lurking about, ready to kill you or at least attack you every day.

What we can appreciate about David most of all is that he always gives his enemies to God. This is easier said than done. We can talk about how we have given over the situation or a troubling person to the Lord, only to quickly find ourselves right back where we started.

David not only prayed this way, he lived in this way. In his remarkable life recorded in the Scriptures, you can see how he had ample opportunity for revenge against his enemies. But time and time again, David resisted the urge, and gave his enemies over to God.

Is there someone you need to release to God? To let God take care of them and their hostility?  The sooner you give it to God, the sooner you will have peace.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Sunday, October 15, 2017 | 0 comments