- ReadNeighborhood News and NotesApril 21, 2020Verse of the Day
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock." Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT
The story goes that a ship was wrecked in a furious storm and one of the survivors was a little boy swept by the waves onto a rock. He sat there all night long until, the next morning, he was spotted and rescued. "Did you shake with fear while you were on the rock during the night?" someone asked him. "Yes," said the boy. "I shook all night -- but the rock didn't."
Today's verses end with these words, "the Lord God is the eternal Rock." The words before this statement say what He will do. "You, the Eternal Rock, will keep (guard, protect) in perfect peace (safety) all whose thoughts are fixed (firmly holding or leaning) on you! Trust (be confident) in the Lord always!"
We can always trust in the Lord because He is the Eternal Rock. There is never a moment when He is not the Eternal Rock. We can feel safe and secure because we know we can rely on Him.
Reminds me of the time Jesus was awakened from a nap by frightened men in a boat in the middle of a huge storm. His words, "Peace. Be still!" calmed the winds and the waves. He amazed the minds and calmed the hearts of the once-frightened men.
There may be times when we are afraid and we shake -- but the ROCK won't! Trust in Him. Be confident in Him. Fix your thoughts firmly on Him and hold on! He will keep you in perfect peace!
As you are outdoors from time to time, look for a rock. Think about these verses and thank God for His Eternal faithfulness and protection.
- Landon Horton published a newsletterReadNeighborhood News and NotesApril 10, 2020Verse of the Day
Today is Good Friday. It is the day we remember the greatest display of God's love, mercy and grace. It is in some ways a somber and sobering day to think about the tremendous sacrifice Jesus made for us. But it is indeed a GOOD Friday. Because of Christ's sacrifice, we who believe in Him are forgiven and made righteous in God's eyes. We are at peace with God and that is Good! That is VERY Good!
"When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, 'It is finished!' Then bowing His head, He gave up His spirit." John 19:30
This three-word English translation "It is finished" is actually one word in the Greek language of John's gospel. Just one word. This one word was among the final words of Jesus before His death. It is spoken with authority. It is a declaration of completion, perfection, victory! The work is done! Mission complete!
This one word is a verb in the perfect tense. This means that the mission is finished once and for all. Nothing else need be done. God's will is complete. Jesus laid down His life and was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all people!
Even as Jesus takes his final breaths, He declares victory -- the fulfillment of God's will!
We have so much to be thankful for today! It is indeed a Good Friday!
- Landon Horton published a newsletterReadNeighborhood News and NotesApril 7, 2020Verse of the Day
This is my favorite week of the year from Palm Sunday to Resurrection Sunday. It is indeed a Holy Week as we remember and celebrate God's greatest act of love. Below is a daily reading schedule for this week. The scripture corresponds to the events that happened on each day. Bless you!
Passion Week Readings
Monday Mark 11:12-14
Tuesday Mark 11:20-26
Wednesday Luke 21:37-38
Thursday Mark 14:12-25
Friday Mark 14:43-Mark 15:47
Saturday Matthew 27:62-66
Sunday John 20:1-18
- ReadNeighborhood News and NotesVerse of the Day
(Actually an entire Psalm):
"I lift my eyes toward the mountains. Where will my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; your Protector will not slumber. Indeed, the Protector of Israel does not slumber or sleep. The Lord protects you; the Lord is a shelter right by your side. The sun will not strike you by day or the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all harm; He will protect your life. The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever." Psalm 121 (HCSB)
Six times in eight verses, the Psalmist uses the same base word translated twice as a noun and four times as a verb. All six words either describe the character of God (Protector) or what He does (protects). In the title for the Psalm, the Psalm is identified as a "Song of Ascents". This means this Psalm was likely a song sung by Jewish pilgrims as they made their way to the Holy Mount of God to worship Him in Jerusalem. The journey to Jerusalem was a difficult one. In the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, the man who fell among robbers was traveling the steep road between Jerusalem and Jericho.
So as the Psalmist looks toward his destiny -- the place of worship -- the question asked is where will my help come from? His look is one of longing and fear. He longs to worship God but there is fear about the journey there. He confesses that his help comes from the Lord, the Creator of all things. His confession is affirmed in verses 3-8. Within these verses is where we find the word "Protector" and its verb forms.
What does the Psalmist say about God as Protector? The word "protect" in the translation above also means "to watch over", "to guard", "to keep". It means the same thing that we read in Luke 2:8 which says the shepherds were out in the field "keeping watch over" their flock by night. The psalmist describes God and His activity as:
- He will not allow your foot to slip
- He will not slumber or sleep
- He is a shelter by your right side
- The sun will not strike you by day
- The moon will not strike you by night
- He will protect (watch over, guard, keep) you from all harm
- He will protect (watch over, guard, keep) your life
- He will protect (watch over, guard, keep) your coming and going both now and forever
These verses tell us that God is always alert to our needs -- no threat to His sheep can catch Him "off guard". His protection is always there. It is there now and will be forever.
With this view of God, the psalmist is able to move forward with confidence to worship God on the mount and to wherever he journeys in life.
When you lift your eyes do you see challenges before you? Let this psalm encourage you that you have a Protector, one who helps you in all circumstances; one who never sleeps, but is always watching. "The mountains may be great, but your Maker is greater. The problems may be overwhelming, but His protection is ever available. The hurts are inevitable, but his help is inexhaustible." (Daniel Estes, Psalm 73-150, New American Commentary). We will make it to the Mount of God!
Enjoy another song by Kari Jobe based on Psalm 121. The title is "Keeper (Protector) of My Heart": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnuPxlZosoE