1 I will thank the LORD with all my heart as I meet with his godly people.
2 How amazing are the deeds of the LORD! All who delight in him should ponder them.
3 Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.
4 He causes us to remember his wonderful works. How gracious and merciful is our LORD!
5 He gives food to those who fear him; he always remembers his covenant.
6 He has shown his great power to his people by giving them the lands of other nations.
7 All he does is just and good, and all his commandments are trustworthy.
8 They are forever true, to be obeyed faithfully and with integrity.
9 He has paid a full ransom for his people. He has guaranteed his covenant with them forever. What a holy, awe-inspiring name he has!
10 Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom. Praise him forever!

Psalm 111 is the appointed psalm for Sunday, what the Lectionary calls the Second Sunday of Easter. It begins and ends with reverence and awe for the Lord’s majestic work, which verse 10 describes as the foundation of true wisdom. To fear the Lord, another way to describe reverence and awe is the beginning of wisdom; to follow his principles and directions is to walk in the wisdom his Word reveals to us.

Indeed, that kind of devotion requires commitment. If you are like most Americans, we want to know what we get for the hard work and dedication. …

It all began on a Friday a little less than 2,000 years ago, and to be sure, not just any ordinary Friday. Citizens and visitors to Jerusalem were eagerly celebrating Passover, the annual feast commemorating Israel’s freedom from 400 years of slavery. The evening before, around candlelit tables dressed with Passover foods, fathers and mothers had been retelling the Exodus story to their children as they recalled how YAHWEH had delivered Israel. How the blood of sacrificed lambs had been applied to the entrances of every Hebrew home so that the angel of death might pass over every covered doorway; and how God had outplayed Pharaoh, delivering his people from bondage to this cruel taskmaster.

Every year after that, Israel gathered to remember their freedom. And so, in late March or early April, somewhere between A.D 30 and A.D. 33, once again, people flooded Jerusalem and the surrounding countryside to observe Passover, with one distinct difference. Whereas ancient Israel sacrificed lambs to protect them from God’s judgment upon Pharaoh and his land, at this Passover, God sacrificed his own Lamb to propitiate his judgment on all sin and all sinners.

Today, Good Friday, we meditate on God’s great love for the world revealed through Jesus Christ’s unparalleled sacrifice and crucifixion. As Isaiah foretold: “Our sins…

Psalm 51 is the appointed psalm for this Sunday. I am sure that most of you have read or prayed it during a worship service or your devotions. It is a record of David’s desperate confession after Nathan revealed his covered-up sin: committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11 and 12). If you open your Bible to Psalm 51, more than likely, it begins with these words: “For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.”

Although I have never physically…

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace (Numbers 6:24–26, NKJV).

More than thirty years ago, at a site just south of Jerusalem, archaeologists unearthed two rolled-up pieces of pliable silver, about the size of a credit card. Delicately etched on each plaque were words drawn from the priestly blessing enshrined in Numbers 6:

The Lord bless and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and give you peace.

Dating to the late seventh century BC, these small silver plaques contain the earliest written citations of Scripture ever found. …

“The LORD hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles, but the LORD comes to the rescue each time” (Psalm. 34:17–19)

These verses from Psalm 34 are filled with encouragement because they testify to our God’s power and loving-kindness. He listens earnestly to our prayers; he open-handedly blesses us with good things. No request is too great. Indeed, we are often guilty of asking God for far too little rather than asking him for way too much. We lack because we do not ask (James 4:2). We need to pray more powerful prayers. By that, I do not mean praying long-winded, loud prayers. …

Psalm 42 is the appointed psalm for Sunday, February 14th. As I reread it last week, my mind journeyed back to the first time I sang some of its words during an evening worship service at a church in South Florida. I am sure many of you recall singing “As the Deer.” In case you do not remember the song, here are the lyrics.

As the deer panteth for the water
So my soul longeth after thee
You alone are my heart’s desire
And I long to worship thee

You alone are my strength, my shield To You alone may…

When Jesus spoke of light, he spoke of himself: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.” (John 8:12, MSG) He also spoke to his followers: “You are the light of the world — like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matthew 5:14–15, NLT)

The Lord’s straightforward words highlight his global mission to…

The Epiphany Blessing: Typically, celebrated on the Feast of the Epiphany, (January 6, 2021), it is a tradition to use chalk to write above the home’s entrance asking for God’s blessing on the home and those who dwell in or visit the home. As you gather together in prayer, it is an invitation for Jesus to be a daily guest in your lives and your home.

Mark your front doorway (use chalk) with 21 + C + M + B + 21. …The numbers represent the New Year. …C M B stands for “Christus Mansionem Benedicat” latin for “May Christ…

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and as we are sorely hindered by our sins from running the race that is set before us, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

As you remember, a collect is a short prayer that focuses our hearts on God’s majesty and eternal attributes. …

Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

God is always listening, even when we are not praying. He showers all people with goodness, the just and the unjust, the deserving and the undeserving (Matthew 5:45). His steadfast love and faithfulness endure forever, even when we run from it.

Have you ever hidden from God? Have you ever felt the crippling effects hiding from God foist on your conscience and health? King David knew it all too well. After committing adultery with a married woman, and attempting to conceal his sin by murdering her unwitting husband, he felt the blunt effects of hiding his sin from God. Listen…

Joe Porfidio

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