Category Archives: New Testament

1 Sam. 24; 1 Chr. 8; 1 Cor. 8; Ps. 57,58

May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds, So you can be sure I will never harm you. May the Lord therefore judge which one of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!” 1 Samuel 24:12-16 NLT

Saul was hunting down David to kill him, but when David had the opportunity to take revenge on Saul he didn’t. He still respected Saul as God’s anointed King. And David had the courage to stand up to the group that was urging him to kill Saul. He knew who his advocate was. He placed his trust in the Lord for justice. Do I?

“When David had finished speaking, Saul called back, “Is that really you my son David?” Then he began to cry. And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today.” 1 Samuel 24:16-20 NLT

When have I am wronged or betrayed, how do I react? It might not be as severe as David, but it hurts just as much. I’m thankful for a God that understands. And that I can go to him with all of my emotions and feelings.

“The godly will rejoice when they see injustice avenged. They will wash their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then at last everyone will say, “There truly is a reward for this who live for God; surely there is a God who judges justly here on earth.” Psalms 58:10&11 NLT

Dear Father, I pray that my heart would be moved to compassion for others. And that I would seek forgiveness. I pray that like David, I will trust you to make things right. Help me to have a posture of humility. And to truly love others like you love me. I have a very real enemy who is after me. But, you already have the victory, Jesus. Amen.

“Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.” Psalms 57:1&2 NLT



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Filed under 1 Chronicles, 1 Corinthians, 1 Samuel, 66 Books, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

1 Samuel 4-5; Galatians 4; Psalms 77

“And Samuel’s word came to all Israel. Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark or the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies” 1 Sam. 4:1-3 NIV

The Israelites believed that the ark itself was their source of power. They expected it to protect them from their enemies. When the ark was captured, they thought Israel’s glory was gone and that God had deserted them. They believed that the ark would bring them victory, but when they trusted God for the victory they always won.

What am I putting my trust in?

But when the set time had fully come, God sent his son, born of a woman, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.” Galatians 4:4-7 NIV

I am God’s child. I am an heir.

“I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands, and I would not be comforted. I remembered you, God, and I groaned; I meditated, and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.” Psalms 77:1-4 NIV

Sometimes disappointment creeps in and it’s hard to not give up hope. I can cry out to him like David. He is near to me in my doubts. I remember His past faithfulness.

Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years when the Most High stretched out his right hand. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalms 77:10-12 NIV

Dear Father, Thank you that even when I feel far from you, you are close. Thank you that your presence and power does not dwell in anything that can be taken from me. I have nothing to fear. In You, I already have the victory. You are holy. I praise you. Amen.


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Filed under 1 Samuel, Bible in a year reading plan, Galatians, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms

Judges 7-8; Mark 12; Psalms 52, 42

Depression can really wreck havoc in my life if I give it more reign than it deserves. It happens to the best of preachers who preach every Sunday and then have to face a depressed filled Monday.

My soul is in despair within me;
Therefore I remember You from the land of the Jordan
And the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. – Psalm 42:6 NASB

What makes me a bit unique is that I have become comfortable coming to God and giving Him my despair. It is like I am looking at my depression outside my body and reporting it and giving it to God. While most will turn and run away from God, hence the 60% of ministers who commit adultery, why hide the problem from Him? I love how the psalmist points the way to healthy boundaries and relationships. Of course, there are the days where even when I run to God, somehow I do not sense He is there.

I will say to God my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go about mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?” – Psalm 42:9 NASB

Notice how I still call God my rock – my place of security, stability and strength? At the same time I am honestly bringing my feelings to God even though it looks like He might have forgotten me.

Yet Gideon said to them, “I would request of you, that each of you give me an earring from his plunder.” (For they had gold earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) – Judges 8:24 NASB

I know that I want the Holy Spirit to directly speak to me – not through emotion-filled revivals – just to know that He is there. When I do not wait for Him, I will begin to neglect the simple things He has asked me to do, like worship. Other things begin to fall by the wayside too, like prayer and church fellowship. Reading the Scriptures might seem boring and humdrum some days but it is better than creating something more flashy and exciting, like an ephod. I have to be in a place where I trust that God knows what He is doing.

Gideon made it into an ephod, and placed it in his city, Ophrah; but all Israel committed infidelity with it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his household. – Judges 8:27 NASB

When my life get this bad, when idolatry has messed with my heart, how many people do I take down with me? I think that my relationship with God is like a marriage. Why is my relationship with God so important, why does it demand all of my life? If my walk with God is truly marital in nature, what sort of husband would brush it off if his wife kept multiple lovers? I cannot sluff off my covenant relationship with God – it is a marriage. It is up to me to decide how holy and pure it will be.

Father, Thank You for taking all of my despair into Your hands. If I keep it, I will be destroyed.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Judges, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, Psalms, reading plan

Judges 1-4; Mark 10

“After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel. The Israelites did evil in the Lord’s sight and served the images of Baal. They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshipping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord.” Judges 2:10-12 NLT

The book of Judges is one of Israel’s darkest times. God sent Deborah to help usher in 40 years of peace. Where has God sent me to be a light for Him?

Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the palm of Deborah, between Raman and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment…Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the Lord will give you victory over Sisera, for the Lord is marching ahead of you.” Judges 4:4&5,14 NLT

Deborah was a Mother of Israel, a spiritual leader, a guardian, protector and prophet. She’s the only judge that gets a song in her honor. She is a hero. She had conviction, bravery & boldness. She had a courageous faith. I see in Mark 10 that God rewards Faith…

What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi, the blind man said, “I want to see!” And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.” Mark 10:51&52 NLT

Jesus healed the man instantly. Some situations seem impossible, but God can change someone’s life in an instant. Do I have the faith to believe it? There are times when I am not just praying for physical healing. But, I am praying for eyes to be open and scales to fall off of them.

Dear Father, Thank you that you never give up on me. I pray that I would have this same heart towards others . Even when I don’t see a change, I know you’re always working. Help me to be bold and courageous like Deborah. Thank you that Your word never returns void. Amen.

“Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But not with God. Everything is possible with God.” Mark 10: 27 NLT


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Deuteronomy 27-31; Mark 2

Our church family is loud and each Sunday one never expects what could happen that will generate a lot of noise. My wife comes from a Catholic background, and as we grow older she misses the quite, the reverence and she is beginning to use the word, holiness, in describing what it means to be in the presence of God.

Then Moses and the Levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying, “Be silent and listen, Israel! This day you have become a people for the Lord your God. – Deuteronomy 27:9 NASB

I find that my own experience in church is starting to shape the same way as my wife’s. I find that when I am worshipping, I am reminded of God’s love and mercy, and my first reaction is not to be loud, but to be silent and to reflect on those memories and then give thanks, reverence and love to Him.

Silence was a way that God taught His people to be calm before His presence and here was a great example during the first worship and consecration service in Israel. I believe it helped them focus their hearts and minds on the magnitude of their vow renewal before God.

It was a reminder that God chose them.

When I look at my own prayer time, I know fasting will have to part of my experience when I meet with God alone.

But the days will come when the groom is taken away from them, and then they will fast, on that day. – Mark 2:20 NASB

It has not happened yet, but I know that it will have it’s place and time in my life. Most of the time I think I have no time or no place for fasting. When I think like that I find that I am out of balance. I am going to try fasting somewhere in the next two weeks and put into practice a key ingredient in my alone time with God.

I know that Jesus wants to know me and to interact with me. Spending time with Him will make that happen. Who would not want to spend time with those we are intimately connected to? If heaven is my reality, the thought of heaven raises my head above my circumstances to see Jesus – He is the one who loves me and promises me eternal life. One day I will be with Him forever, close and intimate, being with Him in love.

Father, as I take advantage of my quiet time with You, I pray that our time will be filled with many memories of Your love and mercy in my life. I pray that You will fill my time with Your presence, Your holiness and I pray that my response will be fasting and yielding more of my life to You. I look forward to the day that this will not have to be something I plan to do, but one that I will be doing everyday when I am with You forever.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Filed under 5 day reading plan, 66 Books, Bible in a year reading plan, Cover to cover, Deuteronomy, Mark, New Testament, Old Testament, reading plan