Nothing Can Make Them Stumble

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 119_165
Reading:
Psalm 119:161-168

LORD God,
grant me your peace.
Now by faith I receive the promise of your everlasting peace.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus 
(Philippians 4:7).
Thank you, Lord Jesus.
My sins are forgiven.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM

Great Peace

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I will praise the LORD!

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His praiseworthy creation — photo by David Kitz

Reading: Psalm 119:161-168

ש Sin and Shin

Rulers persecute me without cause,
    but my heart trembles at your word.
I rejoice in your promise
    like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and detest falsehood
    but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you

    for your righteous laws.
Great peace have those who love your law,
    and nothing can make them stumble.
I wait for your salvation, LORD,
    and I follow your commands.
I obey your statutes,
    for I love them greatly.
I obey your precepts and your statutes,
    for all my ways are known to you.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

Pastor Jack Hayford Finished Well

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In this age of scandal and disappointment, what a blessing it is to see a leader finish well. Pastor Jack Hayford, who was promoted to glory on January 8th, 2023, fought the fight, ran the race, and kept the faith.

Pastor Jack was born as a breech baby with a near-fatal neck condition. After prayers for breakthrough, Jack was miraculously healed. A few years later, he was healed from childhood polio. These healings gave Jack a deep reliance on the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit for daily living.

Jack Hayford - Photo

Pastor Jack Hayford

For thirty years, he was the lead pastor of Church on the Way, Van Nuys, California, growing to over 12,000 people by 1999. Fifty percent of his congregation was Spanish-speaking. Randy Remington, president of the Foursquare denomination, commented, “Pastor Jack was a Kingdom ambassador whose influence transcended denominational, generational, and global boundaries.”

Jack served as President of the Foursquare denomination from 2004 to 2009. However, he was widely accepted across the Body of Christ as belonging to all of us. As a child, he had attended, along with his parents, Presbyterian, Methodist, Foursquare, Quaker, Alliance, and Baptist churches. He left a remarkable legacy as a Christian statesman and bridge builder. Ed Stetzer, editor-in-chief of Outreach Magazine, commented, “He was both a great man and a humble man.”

Jack was remarkably Christ-centered. It was all about Jesus, rather than all about himself. So often, even as Christians, we put our leaders on pedestal, and then knock them off.

Jack was a deep person of prayer, loving to pray privately in both English and in the Spirit. He commented, “Once I come out of the prayer closet, I need to be the kind of person like Jesus, that touchable, true, human, desirable kind of person.”

You may wonder how did he accomplish so much in his eighty-eight years. We can imagine the saints in heaven welcoming Jack perhaps with a rendition of Jack’s song Majesty. It is hard to believe that he wrote more than 600 songs, and over fifty books. He was passionate about enabling others to penetrate spiritual darkness. Jack helped people rediscover God’s Kingdom presence in worship:

“Worship has often been misunderstood as the musical prelude, rather than the means by which we, as the people of God, invite the dominion of his kingdom to be established on earth.”

Jack was President of Life Pacific University (1977-1982) and in 1997 became the founder and Chancellor of The King’s University (TKU) and Seminary in Southlake, Texas. He also was the General Editor of the Spirit Filled Life® Bible and the Spirit Filled Life® Commentaries. Jack had a remarkable gift of seamlessly integrating Word and Spirit.

Pastor Jack had a remarkable impact on Christian pastors and leaders around the world. David Kitz, author, and chair of The Word Guild, recalls sitting under Hayford’s teaching ministry at the All-Japan Pentecostal Conference in 1984.

“Above all Pastor Jack was a man of the Word. He was a Pentecostal with brains. He merged the fire and passion of Pentecost with a keen and incisive intellect. I will never forget how in a moment of prophetic insight he brought healing and restoration to an issue that had divided the Japanese church.”

We thank God for Pastor Jack’s life and witness and pray that his example will inspire many to seek first God’s Kingdom.

Majesty, worship His Majesty.
Unto Jesus be all glory, honor and praise!
Majesty, Kingdom Authority,
Flow from His throne, unto His own
His anthem raise!

A tribute by Rev. Dr. Ed & Janice Hird—Co-authors, God’s Firestarters

Your Compassion, LORD, Is Great

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I will praise the LORD!

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Morning glories — photo by David Kitz

Reading: Psalm 119:153-160

ר Resh

Look on my suffering and deliver me,
    for I have not forgotten your law.
Defend my cause and redeem me;
    preserve my life according to your promise.
Salvation is far from the wicked,
    for they do not seek out your decrees.
Your compassion, LORD, is great;
    preserve my life according to your laws.
Many are the foes who persecute me,
    but I have not turned from your statutes.
I look on the faithless with loathing,
    for they do not obey your word.
See how I love your precepts;
    preserve my life, LORD, in accordance with your love.
All your words are true;
    all your righteous laws are eternal.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Please pray for the people of Ukraine!

Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

Please Father Me

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 10_14
Reading: Psalm 10:12-18

LORD God,
father me.
Thank you for caring for me
from the moment I took my first breath.
Now help me become the father (or mother) I need to be.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM

A Father to the Fatherless

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Reading: Psalm 10:12-18
Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.
Why does the wicked man revile God?
Why does he say to himself,
“He won’t call me to account?”
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.
Break the arm of the wicked man;
call the evildoer to account for his wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.
The L
ORD is King forever and ever;
the nations will perish from his land.
You, L
ORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals will never again strike terror
(NIV). *

father and child walking on shore

Photo by Tatiana Syrikova on Pexels.com

Reflection
From the beginning, it has always been so. At the start of life there is a father. Without a father there is no life. Ponder those words for a moment.

Of course, those words are true of a mother as well. But today’s psalm focusses on fathers. To be more accurate, the psalmist calls attention to the fatherless. Apparently, fathers aren’t just needed at conception; they are needed throughout life.

There are voices in our society that question the need for fathers. Life can go on without them. In some cases, life is better without them. But I would argue that’s not life as life should be—as life was designed to be from the beginning. Our prisons are filled with fatherless men. A huge chunk of the misery, distress and degradation in this world is caused by the absence of fathers—men who fail to assume their role as fathers.

A good father—an active, involved father—makes a world of difference in the life of a child. As a public-school teacher, I saw the truth of this every day. The well-fathered child of either gender has advantages beyond compare on every social, economic, and intellectual scale. We need fathers. I need a father—a perfect Father.

That’s why we can draw comfort and encouragement from this psalm. Twice the LORD promises to be a helper and defender of the fatherless. Jesus came to introduce us to our Father—a Father who cares.

Response: LORD God, father me. Thank you for caring. Help me become the father (or mother) I need to be. Amen.

Your Turn: Has your father made a difference in your life for good or bad? Are you letting God be your Fathered today?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

Filled with Your Presence

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 10_5-11 -365
Reading: Psalm 10:5-11

Lord Jesus,
you are the Lord and Master of the universe.
Even the wind and the waves obey you.
I want to obey you too.
Holy Spirit, blow into my life
and fill me with your presence today.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM

When We Have No Room for God

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Reading: Psalm 10:5-11
His ways are always prosperous;
your laws are rejected by him;
he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”
His mouth is full of lies and threats;
trouble and evil are under his tongue.
He lies in wait near the villages;
from ambush he murders the innocent.
His eyes watch in secret for his victims;
like a lion in cover he lies in wait.
He lies in wait to catch the helpless;
he catches the helpless and drags them off in his net.
His victims are crushed, they collapse;
they fall under his strength.
He says to himself, “God will never notice;
he covers his face and never sees” (NIV). *
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Reflection
Yesterday’s reading from Psalm 10 was an introduction to the man who has no room for God in his life. The psalmist states, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”

Today’s reading continues to describe in disturbing detail, the thoughts, deeds, and attitudes of the heart of such a person. He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.” He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.” His mouth is full of lies and threats; trouble and evil are under his tongue.

Nature abhors a vacuum. All manner of things will rush in to fill an empty space. When God is removed from His rightful place as the Master of our life, selfishness and pride rise to the top. If Jesus isn’t the Lord of my life, then my selfish nature will rise to the occasion. But when my selfish nature rules, all manner of sin follows. Worst of all self-deception follows. We deceive ourselves into believing a lie.

The psalmist states: He says to himself, “God will never notice; he covers his face and never sees”

Of course, God does see. Our pride and ignorance are on full display before Him. Jesus has these words to say about this topic. “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken” (Matthew 12:36).

I have spoken more than a few empty words. How about you? The simple truth is I need a Lord and Master like Jesus to help me govern my life. I also need his love and forgiveness when I slip up.

Response: Lord Jesus, you are the Lord and Master of the universe. Even the wind and the waves obey you. I want to obey you too. Holy Spirit, blow into my life and fill me with your presence today. Amen.

Your Turn: What fills the vacuum in your life? Take some time to let Jesus fill that empty spot today.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.

The Season of Our Lives

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Today’s quote and prayer from
“Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer”
by David Kitz.

Psalm 10_1-4 -365
Reading: Psalm 10:1-4

Jesus,
I seek after you.
Open my eyes to see you at work this week.
You are not distant from me in time or space.
Show up in my world today.
I wait expectantly for you.
Amen.

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.
Vol III 2021-07-17 at 8.15.36 AM

Is There Room for God?

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Reading: Psalm 10:1-4
Why, LORD, do you stand far off?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
he blesses the greedy and reviles the L
ORD.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
in all his thoughts there is no room for God
(NIV). *

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Grey Nuns Park, Orleans, ON — photo by David Kitz

Reflection
As I write these thoughts on Psalm 10, outside my window snow is drifting down and appropriate or not, my mind returns to our recent rendezvous with Christmas. Ah, Christmas! I love the significance of the season—time spent with family and thoughts of a baby in a manger.

But for many what a mangled wreck—what a gross distortion—this celebration of Christ’s birth has become. For millions of people, this commercial bonanza is completely devoid of any spiritual meaning. It is nothing more than a buying and selling frenzy—a pursuit of trinkets signifying nothing—nothing of eternal value.

In this psalm we see the deceptive signs—the misdirected signs of that season. Through clever advertising and marketing schemes we too were hunted down by the top-level merchandisers of this world. Perhaps you were caught in the schemes they devised. Rather than being a season where we seek the LORD, we too can fall into a trap. We can find ourselves boasting about the cravings of our heart. As the Psalmist says, we bless the greedy and in so doing, we revile the LORD.

The words of the Psalmist ring true, “In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”

No room for God… in today’s world? In a perverse way it seems rather appropriate. There was no room for God in Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born. No room for God… no room for the Maker and Savior of the universe! That sounds insane, but then it seems we live in a world gone mad.

For you and me, it doesn’t have to be that way. While there was no room for God incarnate in Bethlehem, the magi were busy seeking Him. They were hungry to know more about this Redeemer of Israel and they crossed deserts to reach Him. They came to bow down and worship that baby in a manger.

Regardless of the season, or the season of our lives, you and I can set our hearts to be God seekers. In this new year, let’s set our hearts to seek after the LORD.

Response: Jesus, I seek after you. Open my eyes to see you at work today. You are not distant from me in time or space. Show up in my world today. I wait expectantly for you. Amen.

Your Turn: Have you seen Jesus in others? How can you seek God throughout the week? What would seeking God look like for you?

* NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 BY BIBLICA

BGBG_v4.3_150[1818]

Your prayers for the people of Ukraine are making a difference.

Start 2023 with a new devotional series. Volume I of Psalms 365: Develop a Life of Worship and Prayer won the Best Book of the Year Award from The Word Guild, and Volume II has won the Best Devotional of the Year Award. For those who love God’s word, this three-book series is an ideal way to daily meet with the Lord. Start 2023 with a new devotional series. To purchase or for a closer look click here.