Every Day With Jesus

Daily Devotionals from Pastor Quintin Stieff

They Whisper

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 41 (NIV)

5 My enemies say of me in malice,
    "When will he die and his name perish?"
6 When one of them comes to see me,
    he speaks falsely, while his heart gathers slander;
    then he goes out and spreads it around.
7 All my enemies whisper together against me;
    they imagine the worst for me, saying,
8 "A vile disease has afflicted him;
    he will never get up from the place where he lies."

Today's Message

THEY WHISPER

Author and pastor Tim Keller writes compellingly of these verses:

"These verses bring up the sin of gossip. People come to see David in his sickness (see verses 3-4) only to spread news that puts him in the worst possible light (verse 6). His opponents impute the worst motives to everything he does (verse 7). Gossip is not necessarily spreading untruths. It is revealing information that should be kept confidential (Proverbs 11: 13, 20: 19). It is giving news about a person intended to lower him or her in the regard of the listener. Gossip can do its work with tones of voice or a roll of the eye. While we may think of gossip as a harmless diversion, the New Testament lists it along with envy, murder, strife, and hating God (Romans 1: 28-30)."

David says "they whisper." It is amazing and frightening to see how such a quiet, nearly silent thing can cause such hurt, destruction, and damage.

Many people grossly underestimate the negative influence and power of gossip, slander, rumors, innuendo, and bad reports about people. Gossips hurt a church more than an arsonist who burns down their building.

It is time to take the sin of gossip much more seriously. Ask God right now to show you his heart in this matter. In another place, the psalmist prays something we should pray every day:

"Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips."

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Monday, March 27, 2017 | 0 comments

Blessed are the Merciful

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 41 (NIV)

For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
2 The Lord protects and preserves them-
    they are counted among the blessed in the land-
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.
3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness.
4 I said, "Have mercy on me, Lord;
    heal me, for I have sinned against you."

Today's Message

BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL

You can't out-mercy God. God promises that when we show regard for the weak, the helpless, the downtrodden, the hopeless, he sits up and takes notice. More than that, he promises to go the extra mile in protecting and preserving people like that.

Look at their lives. "They are counted among the blessed in the land." For sure! They have remarkable vigor and strength.

Have you ever wondered how some people who serve and give and expend themselves on behalf of the poor, the widows, the orphans keep doing it? Why don't they burn out? How can they just keep going year after year?

It's because God's supernatural wind is in their sails. It's not because they have that strength on their own. God has given it to them.

And even though they are imperfect - witness David's confession - they still experience the hand of blessing of God.

God is merciful to the merciful. 

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Sunday, March 26, 2017 | 0 comments

I Have More Troubles Than Hairs On My Head

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 40 (NIV)

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
    may your love and faithfulness always protect me.  
12 For troubles without number surround me;
    my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
   They are more than the hairs of my head,
    and my heart fails within me.  
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
    come quickly, Lord, to help me.
14 May all who want to take my life
    be put to shame and confusion;
   may all who desire my ruin
    be turned back in disgrace.  
15 May those who say to me, "Aha! Aha!"
    be appalled at their own shame.  
16 But may all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you;
   may those who long for your saving help always say,
    "The Lord is great!"
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
    may the Lord think of me.
    You are my help and my deliverer;
    you are my God, do not delay. 

Today's Message

I HAVE MORE TROUBLES THAN HAIRS ON MY HEAD

David feels absolutely overwhelmed. His troubles are many, his enemies are ruthless, his health is failing, and his resources are scant. But in spite of it all, he has the Lord. 

Someone has said that you won't realize that Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have. That's where David is. There's no where else, no one else to turn to. All he has is God. 

And he is certainly counting on God to come through. He pleads with God for protection, for relief, for strength, and for help. He also asks for the joy to return.

We've all had those days - perhaps seasons - when life is just overwhelming. Those are the days to draw even nearer to God. He is a God of love and faithfulness. He hears his children's prayers. And remember to wait on him, as David does. Don't get in a hurry and take it into your own hands. Wait on him.

And then pray: "You are my God; do not delay."

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Saturday, March 25, 2017 | 0 comments

God Wants our Hearts, Not Outward Behavior

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 40 (NIV)

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire-
    but my ears you have opened
 -
    burnt offerings and sin offerings
 you did not require.
Then I said, "Here I am, I have come-
    it is written about me in the scroll.
 
I desire to do your will, my God;
    your law is within my heart."
I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
    I do not seal my lips, Lord,
    as you know. 

10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
    I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
   I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
    from the great assembly.

Today's Message

God Wants our Hearts, Not Outward Behavior

One of the great enemies of true faith is outward religious behavior. People by the millions are deceived into thinking that performing the right rituals, saying the right words, performing the proper spiritual exercises, or even doing good works in our own strength is what God is looking for. Wrong. So wrong!

God wants us to follow him from the hearts, not merely externally. Jesus said of the Pharisees that "these people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."

Some of David's key phrases that show he wants to follow God from the heart:

 

  • Here I am

  • I desire to do your will, my God

  • your law is within my heart

 

And David is unashamed of his love for God:

 

  • I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;

  • I do not seal my lips, Lord

  • I do not hide your righteousness in my heart

  • I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help

  • I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly

All of this true love for God comes from God! David says: "my ears you have opened." This devotion was not something David manufactured. Rather, it was a work of God to open his ears to hear God speak. Never be satisfied with an outward religious conformity. Rather, pursue God to know him personally and deeply. 

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Friday, March 24, 2017 | 0 comments

Out of the Mud, Onto the Rock

Today's Scripture

Read Psalm 40 (NIV)

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

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry. 
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
    he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand. 
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
   Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
   who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.
 
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
    None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

Today's Message

Out of the Mud, Onto the Rock

Sometimes, it's good to review just how far you've come! When was the last time you paused to reflect...no, really reflect...on all the ways God has blessed your life? Here are some questions to answer out loud today: 

  • How has God blessed me and my family in the last 10 years?

  • What big milestones could I list?

  • What amazing wonders or unexpected blessings have come into my life?

  • How has God stabilized me and encouraged me in times of trouble?

  • How has God changed and renewed my character and my walk with him?

All of these are wonderful things to reflect upon. Then take them all and give a heart thanks to God today!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at Thursday, March 23, 2017 | 0 comments