Sunday, August 27, 2017

Waiting For Jesus

August 27 (Matthew 1:1)

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  (ESV)

The lights went down in the theatre and the opening of the movie burst onto the screen.  You had seen teasers and trailers for months, had read all the fan sites, and now could hardly contain yourself as the moment finally revealed itself.  The excitement and anticipation were palpable.

That is how it felt when, just a few days ago, I read the words of Matthew 1:1.  I had been reading through the Bible since January using a fantastic app called Read Scripture (  For nearly eight full months I had been in the Old Testament, and while it was the story of God and there was much to learn and be blessed by, I have to admit I could hardly wait to get to Jesus.  Yes, the Old Testament is about Him, too, for He is God, but as for the human beings in the story….  There was only so much of honor-serve-rebel-fall away-repent-honor-serve-rebel-fall away-repent I could take.  Would we humans never get it right and keep it right?  I found myself longing for Jesus as never before.  Knowing the end of the story, I could hardly wait to get to His redemptive chapter.

Do you long for Him?  Do you desire Him above everything?  If you heard He was coming to a town near you or thousands of miles away, would you drop it all and run to Him?  Whether I am alive on earth when He returns or called out of my grave, there is one thing I know.  I simply cannot wait to see my Savior, my King, and my friend.

Oh, Jesus!  I want to see You and hear You and spend time with You.  Fill my heart with Your Holy Spirit.  Speak to me through the living words of Scripture.  I cherish such moments with You, but to be honest, I cannot wait to see You in person.  May the desire burn ever hotter until it becomes reality.  Amen.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Gaining Understanding From God

August 20 (Psalm 73:16-17)

But when I thought how to understand this,    

     it seemed to me a wearisome task,

until I went into the sanctuary of God;    

     then I discerned their end.  (ESV)

There are many things it seems wearisome to me to understand.  They include everything from insurance to plans for our children’s future to evil in the world.  There is no end of things I can read claiming to help me understand them.  The Internet is full of resources multiplying by the minute.  Do you ever notice how the abundance things offering help can be a burden in themselves?  The sheer volume of help is daunting.

Whether we are facing the most mundane of problems or the most world-threatening, we need to enter the sanctuary of God for any hope of understanding them.  We need to enter the physical sanctuary of our church and sit in His presence and praise.  We need to enter the spiritual sanctuary of our hearts and sit in His presence and listen to His Spirit.  We need to enter the living sanctuary of His word, the Bible, and be still as He speaks to us.  When we do, we will discern the truth of what we must understand, and we will not be wearied with our own efforts at trying to figure things out.

It may actually be easier for us to do this when confronting the major problems of the world.  We know right away they are beyond our understanding, so we may be more inclined to seek God’s wisdom.  The fact is, it is not the major world problems that weary us the most.  It is figuring out our insurance and planning for our children’s futures.  What are some of the countless small things wearying you?  Will you take them with you into the sanctuary of God?

Father, I have too much on my plate right now.  Some of it I put there, and some of it has been placed there by others.  I need Your help in understanding the way I should go with all of it.  Still my heart and let me hear from You.  If I start to run before You have spoken, please stop me so I can discern truly Your will.  In the name of my Lord, Jesus, amen.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Seeing As Jesus Sees

August 13 (Galatians 3:27-28)

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  (ESV)

There are times when distinctions among people matter.  When I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, it matters that I am an American, for I am grateful to live in this country.  During the NCAA basketball tournament, it matters that I attended Indiana University, for I will cheer for the Hoosiers and then for other Big Ten teams.  At many gatherings of our children’s friends and their families, it matters that I am a man, for the dads and moms will quickly separate to talk about things the other group could not care less about.  From the trivial to the important, there are many instances in which distinctions among people matter.

For those who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, however, those distinctions cease to have importance in a very fundamental way.  Regardless of your external characteristics or internal ways of seeing the world, I see you through the eyes of Christ.  Make no mistake.  This is not a choice on my part.  If my life has truly been transformed by the grace of Jesus Christ, then how I see you is no more a matter of choice than my seeing an apple as red.

Let me say that again.  Seeing people as Christ sees them is not a matter of choice.  It is not a matter of digging down deep and remembering some lesson learned in school.  And if we should ever invoke the name of Jesus Christ while seeing any person as worthy of hatred, then we are lying about knowing Jesus at all.

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:6-7, ESV)

Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, August 6, 2017

God My Everything

August 6 (Psalm 62:7)

My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  (ESV)

God wants to be your everything.  He is your salvation, eternally through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and on earth as He guides you through the Holy Spirit.  He is your mighty rock, the place where you can stand firmly in truth and the knowledge of what is right, no small gift in an age that is losing the very notion of truth.  He is your refuge, the place where you can find comfort and protection amid the emotional, relational, and physical storms of life that would otherwise sweep you away.

He is also your honor.  Your honor, your glory, your nobility depend solely on Him, and because of that, you are noble, glorious, and honorable indeed, regardless of outward appearances to the world.  Your identity as a son or daughter of the Lord God of the universe is secure, untouchable, and shining throughout eternity.

Do not make your relationship with God through Jesus Christ a small thing.  Do not make it less than it is.  Do not minimize it.  It is the sum total of your existence and essence, for God is your everything.

O Lord, my God, when I ponder You but for the slightest moment, I am overwhelmed with awe and love, with gratitude and fierce devotion.  May all that I am and all that I have and all that I think and all that I say and all that I do reflect to the world the state of my relationship with You and bring You all the glory possible.  By the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins