Every Day With Jesus

Daily Devotionals from Pastor Quintin Stieff

Remembering Better Days and Mourning Bad Ones

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 77 (NIV)

5 I thought about the former days,
    the years of long ago;
6 I remembered my songs in the night.
    My heart meditated and my spirit asked:
7 “Will the Lord reject forever?
    Will he never show his favor again?
8 Has his unfailing love vanished forever?
    Has his promise failed for all time?
9 Has God forgotten to be merciful?
    Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”

Today's Message

REMEMBERing better days and mourning bad ones

Our pilgrim psalmist is going through a rough time. He nostalgically looks back to better times, and asks God a series of questions. Is my life over? Are my best days all behind me? Has God given up on me?

“Has his unfailing love vanished forever?”

The question itself has the seed of an answer. By definition, unfailing love can't fail.  It can't vanish forever. It might go into the shadows for a season, but it's never permanently removed.

It's in both remembering his faithfulness and asking honest questions that God brings the light and hope.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Wednesday, June 28, 2017 | 0 comments

Extended Prayer

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 77 (NIV)

For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.

1 I cried out to God for help;
    I cried out to God to hear me.
2 When I was in distress, I sought the Lord;
    at night I stretched out untiring hands,
    and I would not be comforted.
3 I remembered you, God, and I groaned;
    I meditated, and my spirit grew faint.
4 You kept my eyes from closing;
    I was too troubled to speak.

Today's Message

EXTENDED PRAYER

Here is prayer with eyes wide open. Facing some unnamed difficulty, the psalmist gives full vent to a wide array of emotions and thoughts. He's hurting. But in prayer, he “processes” with God. He mulls it over. He stops to meditate. He gives God the gift of time and margin.

Why did Jesus spent all night praying to God in the Garden of Gethsemane? Why not just spend a couple of minutes with God and then get on with the cross?

Evidently, there's something that happens in the human heart when extended time is spent with the Father in conversation. Especially in the difficulties of life, we need to pause, to reflect, to ponder, to vent, to cry out, to wrestle. It can't be rushed.

Soul-shaping can't be microwaved.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Tuesday, June 27, 2017 | 0 comments

"You Alone Are To Be Feared"

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 76 (NIV)

7 It is you alone who are to be feared.
    Who can stand before you when you are angry?
8 From heaven you pronounced judgment,
    and the land feared and was quiet—
9 when you, God, rose up to judge,
    to save all the afflicted of the land.
10 Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise,
    and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
11 Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them;
    let all the neighboring lands
    bring gifts to the One to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of rulers;
    he is feared by the kings of the earth.

Today's Message

"you alone are to be feared"

Ultimately, only God is to be feared. Many shrink back at this statement, feeling it is unworthy of God somehow to be feared. Should he not only be loved? Feared?

Yes, feared. In fact, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! It's the starting point. Does that mean we are to approach God with a cringing posture, totally afraid of how he might lash out at us?

Not at all. But here's the thing. Human beings fear things that are more powerful than they are... and pose some danger to them.

They fear people's disapproval. They fear failing at an exam. They fear heights and tigers and prison and death and being alone. All of these are realistic fears. But there is a more powerful One we ought to fear.

Jesus promised we would be persecuted for our faith. But he warned us not to fear those who could kill us, but rather we should fear the One who can destroy body and soul forever in hell. (Matthew 10:28)

The fact that even reading these words causes some to flinch shows how far removed we are from understanding the power and justice and judgment of God.

But it only makes sense. Do you think you have more accountability to your friends than you have to God? Of course not!  And yet, we DO care what they think. We fear their reactions and disapproval.

So, it only makes sense that above all, we should care what GOD thinks. It's only right to “fear” him.

Proverbs states that “The fear of man will prove to be a snare.” If we cared above all what God thought, it wouldn't matter nearly as much to us what others thought.

In the end, it's true: “You alone are to be feared.”

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Monday, June 26, 2017 | 0 comments

No Match For God

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 6 (NIV)

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song.

1 God is renowned in Judah;
    in Israel his name is great.
2 His tent is in Salem,
    his dwelling place in Zion.
3 There he broke the flashing arrows,
    the shields and the swords, the weapons of war.
4 You are radiant with light,
    more majestic than mountains rich with game.
5 The valiant lie plundered,
    they sleep their last sleep;
not one of the warriors
    can lift his hands.
6 At your rebuke, God of Jacob,
    both horse and chariot lie still.

Today's Message

No match for god

The horse and the chariot were the latest and the greatest in military technology in the ancient world. They were fearsome advantages in a battle.  So, when the psalmist says that at God’s rebuke, “both horse and chariot lie still” he is stating the immense superiority of God over human ingenuity, innovation, and technology.

But we have computers! God laughs. We have nuclear weapons! He smirks. We have satellites and aircraft carriers and submarines and… and… iPads!  God is not impressed. WE are, but he is not.

There are consistent warnings in the Scriptures against trusting in human power. Do we slip into thinking that our ultimate salvation and peace comes from an army or a government or a President? Is that why we stress so much over these things (as important as they may be).

In the end, God will clear them all away like folding up a board game and tossing the pieces into a box. It's not a problem for him.

Trust not in the power of any mere mortal. Trust fully in the immortal and Almighty God!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Sunday, June 25, 2017 | 0 comments

He Brings One Down, He Exalts Another

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 75 (NIV)

6 No one from the east or the west
    or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges:
    He brings one down, he exalts another.
8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup
    full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
    drink it down to its very dregs.
9 As for me, I will declare this forever;
    I will sing praise to the God of Jacob,
10 who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
    but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”

Today's Message

He brings one down, he exalts another

How liberating to know that God is the one who humbles and exalts every person. Why is this person in power and not another? Why is he rich while she is poor? Why does that one get the promotion, while this one is overlooked?

These are all mysteries, but behind it all is the sovereign hand of God.  To grasp this truth, and to actually rest in it is to be free of having to run the universe… to be God.

God is sovereign and God is just. To knows these two truths is to experience freedom and peace. Perhaps today is the day that you resign from attempting to be God. You were never intended for that role. To take it on is either arrogant or overwhelming … or both!

Take that situation you are facing and rest in God. It is meant for his hands, not yours. Cast all your cares on him, because he cares for you.

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Saturday, June 24, 2017 | 0 comments