Every Day With Jesus

Daily Devotionals from Pastor Quintin Stieff

What Can Mere Mortals Do To Me?

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 56 (NIV)

For the director of music. To the tune of “A Dove on Distant Oaks.” Of David. A miktam. When the Philistines had seized him in Gath.

Be merciful to me, my God,
    for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
    all day long they press their attack.
My adversaries pursue me all day long;
    in their pride many are attacking me.
When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise—
    in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?
All day long they twist my words;
    all their schemes are for my ruin.
They conspire, they lurk,
    they watch my steps,
    hoping to take my life.
Because of their wickedness do not let them escape;
    in your anger, God, bring the nations down.

Today's Message

What can mere mortals do to me?

David is in grave danger.  As king, he has plenty of people who want him dead.  But as he reflects on these dangers, he states:

“In God, whose word I praise—
    in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”

But in the midst of this seemingly unshakable confidence, David describes all the dangers and enemies surrounding him.  What gives with that?  Is he wavering back and forth?  Perhaps.

But perhaps he is just being a God-trusting realist.  And it seems to me we need more of that kind of realistic faith.  David is not really a “power of positive thinking” guy.  Positive thinking isn’t all bad, but if people are trying to kill you, you need more than positive thinking.  You need wisdom, you need confidence, you need to remain calm. 

But most of all, you need God.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 0 comments

Your Shoulders

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 55 (NIV)

20 My companion attacks his friends;
    he violates his covenant.
21 His talk is smooth as butter,
    yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
    yet they are drawn swords.
22 Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.
23 But you, God, will bring down the wicked
    into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful
    will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you.

Today's Message

your shoulders

Read it again:

Cast your cares on the Lord
    and he will sustain you;
he will never let
    the righteous be shaken.

“He has the weight of the world on his shoulders.” I've heard those words to describe someone undergoing a serious difficulty. But our shoulders aren't designed to bear the weight of the world. So, if we have to carry the weight, it will eventually crush us. But thanks be to God, he invites us to transfer the weight to him!

Read the lyrics to the song, “Shoulders” by For King and Country:

I look up to the mountains
Does my strength come from the mountains?
No, my strength comes from God
Who made heaven, and earth, and the mountains

When confusion's my companion
And despair holds me for ransom
I will feel no fear
I know that You are near

When I'm caught deep in the valley
With chaos for my company
I'll find my comfort here
‘Cause I know that You are near

My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don't have to see to believe that You're lifting me up on Your shoulders
Your shoulders

You mend what once was shattered
And You turn my tears to laughter
Your forgiveness is my fortress
Oh Your mercy is relentless

My help comes from You
You're right here, pulling me through
You carry my weakness, my sickness, my brokenness all on Your shoulders
Your shoulders
My help comes from You
You are my rest, my rescue
I don't have to see to believe that You're lifting me up on Your shoulders
Your shoulders

My help is from You
Don't have to see it to believe it
My help is from you
Don't have to see it, ‘cause I know, ‘cause I know it's true.

 

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Friday, April 28, 2017 | 0 comments

Betrayal

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 55 (NIV)

9 Lord, confuse the wicked, confound their words,
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they prowl about on its walls;
    malice and abuse are within it.
11 Destructive forces are at work in the city;
    threats and lies never leave its streets.
12 If an enemy were insulting me,
    I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me,
    I could hide.
13 But it is you, a man like myself,
    my companion, my close friend,
14 with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
    at the house of God,
as we walked about
    among the worshipers.
15 Let death take my enemies by surprise;
    let them go down alive to the realm of the dead,
    for evil finds lodging among them.
16 As for me, I call to God,
    and the Lord saves me.
17 Evening, morning and noon
    I cry out in distress,
    and he hears my voice.
18 He rescues me unharmed
    from the battle waged against me,
    even though many oppose me.
19 God, who is enthroned from of old,
    who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
    because they have no fear of God. 

Today's Message

betrayal

David has been betrayed. We're not talking someone talking behind his back or double-crossing him on a business deal. No, we're talking Life and death here.  Survival.

So, David calls out to God. Rather than taking matters into his own hands and seeking personal revenge, he gives the whole situation over to the Lord. And he confidently expects God to hear and answer.

One of our biggest temptations when we've been betrayed is to nurse a grudge and plot revenge.  Let it go! Give it over to God.  He can handle your enemies.

Why pick revenge when you can have rest? Why not enjoy God's peace?

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Thursday, April 27, 2017 | 0 comments

Run Away And Hide?

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 55 (NIV)

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David.

1 Listen to my prayer, O God,
    do not ignore my plea;
2     hear me and answer me.
My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught
3     because of what my enemy is saying,
    because of the threats of the wicked;
for they bring down suffering on me
    and assail me in their anger.
4 My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen on me.
5 Fear and trembling have beset me;
    horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest.
7 I would flee far away
    and stay in the desert;
8 I would hurry to my place of shelter,
    far from the tempest and storm.”

Today's Message

run away and hide?

Sometimes our responsibilities and pressures become so heavy that we just want to run away and hide.  David felt that way, but if he gave into that impulse it would mean abandoning what God had called him to be: the king.

Have you ever felt like throwing in the towel?

  • Parenting becomes overwhelming?
  • Your job has too much pressure?
  • Your marriage is under strain?
  • A trial is overtaking you?
  • Money woes are multiplying?

There are times when you need a break, for sure!  And in rare cases, extreme measures are required. But many times, perseverance is the answer.

Call out to God, and be honest. Share your struggles. But then seek him (and the counsel of godly friends) for a way to persevere, rather than a plan to give up.

God hears – and he will answer!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | 0 comments

The Name You Can Count On

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 54 (NIV)

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskilof David. When the Ziphites had gone to Saul and said, “Is not David hiding among us?”

1 Save me, O God, by your name;
    vindicate me by your might.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
    listen to the words of my mouth.
3 Arrogant foes are attacking me;
    ruthless people are trying to kill me—
    people without regard for God.
4 Surely God is my help;
    the Lord is the one who sustains me.
5 Let evil recoil on those who slander me;
    in your faithfulness destroy them.
6 I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
    I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
7 You have delivered me from all my troubles,
    and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

Today's Message

the name you can count on

I grew up watching classic TV shows where the bad guys did a number on some innocent people, but the hero showed up to “show ‘em who’s boss.” Inevitably, he would overcome all the odds and deliver the damsel in distress, or the city in crisis, or the buddy under fire… just in the nick of time.

These kind of stories have endless appeal. There are plenty of movies made still today with a similar theme. Good triumphing over evil. There is something within us that longs for justice. There is something in us that knows that somehow in the end good must win the day.

That something in us is the image of God. Every human being is made in the image of God. So, deep down we instinctively know the difference between right and wrong.

What is broadcast on the small screen or shown on the big screen is played out in the real life at a cosmic level. God himself through Jesus Christ is overcoming all the wickedness, all the evil, all the malevolent forces arrayed against us.

And so prayers like the one we read of in Psalm 54 ring true to us. We deeply desire for God to overthrow evil and all the effects of evil – war, violence, injustice, racism, terrorism, genocide, discrimination, hatefulness, and rebellion.

Believer in God, do not stop praying these prayers! The Lord will hear and will answer.     

And don't forget to praise him, for he is good.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Tuesday, April 25, 2017 | 0 comments