Posted in Devotions

John 14–The Promise of the Spirit

When the Father sent His Son into the world, it was for the purpose of restoring our ability to have a personal relationship with God.  That ability had been thwarted by man’s sin that had permanently separated men from God.  Prior to Christ’s coming, the Spirit of God was only granted to prophets, priests, and kings.  As Jesus prepared to complete His mission of sacrifice for our salvation, He gave His disciples hope.  He knew they were scared and confused.  How would they change the world without HIs leadership?

Knowing their hearts, Jesus gives the disciples a promise that we still enjoy. The promise was that when Jesus left, the Father would send a Comforter and Advocate to guide His chosen to truth.   When Christ ascended, God the Father sent His Spirit to be a part of the lives of those that have relationship with Him. 

When one comes to the Father through Christ, they receive the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide them to truth.  He is our advocate as we navigate through the treacherous journey of life.  When we, as Christians, seek the Lord, He reveals Himself through His Spirit.  We are comforted and led to become like Him and to live and operate in His power.

As always in our faith journey, we simply must trust God and walk with Him to experience His power and His leading. God wants to reveal the truth we need to live in the world and to enjoy His peace and comfort. All we must do is trust Him and humbly follow His lead.

God Bless You


Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be[c] in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Posted in Devotions

Galatians 5–Living in the Spirit

It is always a difficult but obvious choice; do I walk in the flesh or do I walk in the Spirit.  One would think that after seeking God for 50+ years, the choice would be easy. Life in the flesh is unfulfilling, it puts us in bondage to the world, to the enemy and to our own need for control and instant gratification.  We somehow think that making the choice to run independent of God is a form of freedom. The truth is that life in the flesh is enslaving, destructive and life ending.

  In contrast, Living by the spirit is the ultimate exercise of freedom.  We were each created to have fellowship with our Lord and to submit to His guidance.  When HIs chosen operate in that life, we are truly free.  We are free to trust God to complete His work in our lives; we are free to rest in His protection and provision; and we are free to love and serve others without fear of reprisal or consequence.

God called us to live lives of peace and freedom.  He provides His Spirit to guide us to truth and to comfort us in times of trouble.  We must simply rest in the Spirit’s leadership and trust that God is who He says He is and wants a great life of freedom for His chosen.  This summer we are going to take a close look into what living in the Spirit means and how God blesses those that choose to follow Him and rest in that freedom.

God Bless You


13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[b] 15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Posted in Devotions

Hello Everyone–Psalms, Proverbs and Matthew

I have been consistently seeking God for the last 20 years in doing these devotions.  I still feel as though this is a ministry God has ordained, I apologize that in recent days, I have been less consistent.  I am in no way ready to walk away but would really love to know if this is of benefit to you. 

Starting Monday, I am pausing in my study of psalms.  I am going to take the summer and study the fruit of the spirit and the armor of God as I feel a personal need to reequip for what seems to be one of the most intense spiritual battles God’s chosen have faced in my almost 60 years.

I would appreciate your personal feedback as to if this is of benefit to you and where is God pulling at your heartstrings. I have had times when I have felt dialed in and others when I have felt completely out of focus. This has always been a personal journey to become like Christ, but after 20 years, I would love to hear back from you.  Thank You. 

God Bless You.

Smitty


Psalm 37:4–Take delight in the Lord,

    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Proverbs 3:5-6–Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding.
6in all your ways submit to him,

    and he will make your paths straight.[a]

Matthew 6:33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.


Posted in Devotions

Psalm 68–God Our Champion

David wrote the psalms for many occasions.  Sometimes they were written to express HIs pain and fears, Sometimes they were written to express his sorrow and repentance.  Most were written to sing of God’s greatness and power and all were written to express David’s love and faith in God.

This psalm was a song of Victory.  In it, the king uses several of the names of God.  God our Protector, our Shield, Almighty God, Our Savior, Our Fortress.  David is expressing How truly great the God of Israel is and what a mighty warrior He has shown himself to be!

From these verses, we can take that God will go before us and destroy those who would try to defeat us or leave us penniless and forgotten.  He is our Champion and will exact His power and prowess upon anyone who would dare to engage His chosen.

We are His chosen and He still exacts that same power and prowess in our lives.  He is our warrior and protector, and we can never walk in fear or hopelessness! 

Like David, we need to rest in and celebrate God our Champion and walk in the victory that He provides!

God Bless You


Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
    who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves;
    from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.
21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
    the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
22 The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan;
    I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
23 that your feet may wade in the blood of your foes,
    while the tongues of your dogs have their share.”

24 Your procession, God, has come into view,
    the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
    with them are the young women playing the timbrels.
26 Praise God in the great congregation;
    praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.
27 There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
    there the great throng of Judah’s princes,
    and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.

28 Summon your power, God[j];
    show us your strength, our God, as you have done before.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
    kings will bring you gifts.
30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds,
    the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.
Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver.
    Scatter the nations who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come from Egypt;
    Cush[k] will submit herself to God.

32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
    sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
    who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
    whose majesty is over Israel,
    whose power is in the heavens.
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
    the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 67-As Peoples Hearts Go, So Goes the Nation

Israel has been a study in how faith and devotion can affect the standing of a nation.  As one studies the history of God’s people, they see as the nation served God, they grew and prospered; and as they pulled away, they weakened and were compromised.

In Joshua’s leadership, the Israelites completely claimed their promise in 5 years. In the time of the Judges, they grew insolent and lost all the things that made them great. Saul struggled, David thrived, Solomon enjoyed peace. Then as Solomon became more independent, the attitude changed. His Son divided the nation and the remnants slowly walked away from God and lost their freedom.

In current culture, America is seeing similarities that are both real and frightening. We started out as a nation of freedom and national pride that desired to worship God freely and speak openly. As the nation grew, we sent more missionaries across the globe than had ever been sent before. As we prospered, however, we–like those before, became more self-sufficient and less God dependent. As that has occurred, America has lost God’s blessing and protection.

As people of faith, we need to take our nation back to God and restore him as the one our currency so aptly reminds us, in whom we trust! If we fail to return to the God of our fathers, we are doomed to join those nations that have rise and fallen simultaneous to their faith in God! Please, Father, bring revival to our nation, and bring it now!

God Bless You

May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face shine on us—[b]
2 so that your ways may be known on earth,
    your salvation among all nations.

3 May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.
4 May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you rule the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations of the earth.
5 May the peoples praise you, God;
    may all the peoples praise you.

6 The land yields its harvest;
    God, our God, blesses us.
7 May God bless us still,
    so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 66-A Toast to God

Psalm 66 is a song of celebration.  It was probably written for Passover.  It is David’s way of stopping and recounting where He has come as a king, and where the nation Has come as God’s chosen people. 

God brought Abraham from obscurity and built Israel.  Israel has seen very difficult trials, but it has also seen some of the most amazing miracles and leadership that brought them to their current place of prominence.

Here’s to God!

So, David raises His glass, as it were, and says “Here’s to God!” A toast to the Lord that brought this people out of Egypt, through the Red Sea and Jordan River on dry land. God fed them, led them, and loved them through the greatest and worst of times. 

This God allowed horrendous trials and great prosperity to help mold and make this nation.  He forgave a great deal, He blessed a great deal, and he disciplined a “Stiff Necked People”.

It is the same today. Here’s to God! He saved us! He gave His Son. God gave us His word.  God sent the Holy Spirit to guide and comfort us as He did Israel.  God hears us! He answers prayer and he gives us eternal life.  God is great and greatly to be praised! Thank You, Lord for being a God we can truly celebrate! Here’s to God!!!

God Bless You


Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
    Sing the glory of his name;
    make his praise glorious.
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    So great is your power
    that your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you;
    they sing praise to you,
    they sing the praises of your name.”[a]

Come and see what God has done,
    his awesome deeds for mankind!
He turned the sea into dry land,
    they passed through the waters on foot—
    come, let us rejoice in him.
He rules forever by his power,
    his eyes watch the nations—
    let not the rebellious rise up against him.

Praise our God, all peoples,
    let the sound of his praise be heard;
he has preserved our lives
    and kept our feet from slipping.
10 For you, God, tested us;
    you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
    and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and water,
    but you brought us to a place of abundance.

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 65–Adoration of a Great and Mighty Lord

For the last several days David has cried out his appreciation for a God that marched with him through adversity after adversity.  Today, however, God’s favorite king stops and takes a different tac.  He simply praises God for who He is and praises God for all He has accomplished. 

Life is tough! Sometimes even though we seek God, it is difficult to not become myopic in our view of God.  We focus so heavily upon His meeting of our needs and preparation for our journey that we loose sight of God as the master creator and a loving caretaker.  David stops and admires creation and he praises God for His handling of all that is majestic.  He looks at mountains, oceans, harvests, and absolute supremacy of God! 

When David looks at the majesty and supremacy of God, his trials, temptations, and travails become insignificant in comparison.  David makes clear this is not about him as king! It is wholly and completely about Who our Creator is and how marvelous of a God that we serve!

One of my frustrations in modern worship is the focus Christians make on God’s taking care of our needs and the lack of focus on the almighty and supreme nature of our Lord.  We each are a small part of an enormous complex plan that is being held together by an all knowing, loving, powerful, and omnipresent God.

It is in the very nature of our creator, that we each must place our hearts and passion.  If we waste our time only being focused upon the benefits we retain from God, we will become a spoiled, soiled, entitled bunch of little brats.

God Bless You


Praise awaits[b] you, our God, in Zion;
    to you our vows will be fulfilled.
You who answer prayer,
    to you all people will come.
When we were overwhelmed by sins,
    you forgave[c] our transgressions.
Blessed are those you choose
    and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
    of your holy temple.

You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
    God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas,
who formed the mountains by your power,
    having armed yourself with strength,
who stilled the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    and the turmoil of the nations.
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;
    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it.[d]
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
    and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
    the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
    and the valleys are mantled with grain;
    they shout for joy and sing.

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 64–Allowing God to VIndicate His Chosen and His Anointed

It is important to remember that Davd’s life and reign were filled with strife and with conflict.  While David was the first king to bring peace to Israel, it was a peace that came with much conflict, heartache, and intrigue.  David lived his entire life with enemies, critics, and those that would destroy all that God built through David’s leadership.

This psalm was a reminder to David that no matter how rotten the enemies became, God and God alone would deal with them.  It was the Lord who would destroy David’s enemies in His way, and in His time. 

Since David’s days as a shepherd, he had observed God take out the enemies in the most convincing and final of ways.  Goliath, the Philistines, Saul, and Saul’s minions (like Doeg the Edomite), all met their end in a fashion that made clear God’s hand was against them.

Conversely, God continued to raise King David to prominence after Samuel was led to anoint him. No matter the enemy or plan for David’s demise, God continued to protect David as a leader for Israel and patriarch for the lineage of the Messiah.  In God’s plan, David was to be undefeatable and his legacy eternal.  It is God that wins in His way and In His time.

As God’s chosen ones, we enjoy the same protection and vindication.  We can be assured that our enemies today are under God’s control and will be dealt with as completely and severely as were David’s enemies.  We can only stay focused upon our walk with God and then allow Him to lead us, guide us, and protect us until we join Him after death or until the Lord returns, and we meet Him in the air. Until then, like King David, we must focus our hearts on God and place our faith in the Lord’s plan.

God Bless You


Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint;
    protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked,
    from the plots of evildoers.
They sharpen their tongues like swords
    and aim cruel words like deadly arrows.
They shoot from ambush at the innocent;
    they shoot suddenly, without fear.

They encourage each other in evil plans,
    they talk about hiding their snares;
    they say, “Who will see it[b]?”
They plot injustice and say,
    “We have devised a perfect plan!”
    Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows;
    they will suddenly be struck down.
He will turn their own tongues against them
    and bring them to ruin;
    all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
All people will fear;
    they will proclaim the works of God
    and ponder what he has done.

10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord
    and take refuge in him;
    all the upright in heart will glory in him!

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 63–God our Oasis

It was the essence of worship for King David.  He was on the run from Absolom, his rebellious son and in the desert of Judah.  There, in the heart and parched Land, the King’s mind drifted to the Lord. He was so intent on being in God’s presence, that it superseded any thirst from the desert, it overtook any fear from the chase and it filled David like a feast at the banquet.

David was focused upon God, and that focus sustained the king.  David’s Joy and his love for God drove the king to worship the Lord in the difficult times.  That focus would carry David through the rebellion and back to the throne.  Make no mistake; David was devastated that His son rebelled and sought his death.  But, even in that horrendous period, He knew where to turn.  

God our Oasis in the Desert

Like David, we are charged to seek God in the dry, difficult times.  Whatever our physical needs, our spiritual condition always takes center stage. Jesus reminded us in His sermon on the mount, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33. Like David, Jesus knew that seeking God would calm our hearts and then God could work to sustain us physically and spiritually. God Himself becomes our oasis in the desert.

God Bless You


You, God, are my God,
    earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
    my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land
    where there is no water.

I have seen you in the sanctuary
    and beheld your power and your glory.
Because your love is better than life,
    my lips will glorify you.
I will praise you as long as I live,
    and in your name I will lift up my hands.
I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;
    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help,
    I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
    your right hand upholds me.

Those who want to kill me will be destroyed;
    they will go down to the depths of the earth.
10 They will be given over to the sword
    and become food for jackals.

11 But the king will rejoice in God;
    all who swear by God will glory in him,
    while the mouths of liars will be silenced.

Posted in Devotions

Psalm 62–God our Only Answer

This was called the “Only Psalm” by many theologians.  In the original text, David tells us that God is his only salvation, his only shield, his only rock, and his only fortress.  The point being, this psalm is a grateful king’s affirmation that all that he is, has, and does is possible because of the Lord. 

David totally disregards all who would destroy Him.  He knows there simply are none that can compete with the Lord of the universe.

David reminds us that God is our rest, our rock, our salvation, our fortress.  God is our very life.  David simply does not fear any who would try to take life from him. No matter who they are or what force, or armament that they might possess; it is simply no match for God!

In our lives, this same God cares for us as He cared for David! He is OUR only fortress, salvation, provision, and rest.  Amid the storm, God acts like a lovely spa granting us relief and renewal.  The enemy would have us believe that all is lost, and we are abandoned to face destruction on our own.  The enemy would try to lure us away from the safety and love of our gracious and personal God, and into the hands of those that would destroy us.

We have no need to abandon the shelter and safety of our Lord.  We must remain under God’s protection and follow the Lord humbly and without question or fear.  Just as God protected this shepherd king; He will also stand as our fortress and our strength.  No matter how desperate the circumstance, God remains faithful, formidable, and forever our ONLY source of true peace and restoration.

God Bless You


Truly my soul finds rest in God;
    my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

How long will you assault me?
    Would all of you throw me down—
    this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
Surely they intend to topple me
    from my lofty place;
    they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
    but in their hearts they curse.[b]

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
    my hope comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
    he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
    he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
    pour out your hearts to him,
    for God is our refuge.

Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
    the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
    together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
    or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
    do not set your heart on them.

11 One thing God has spoken,
    two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
12     and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
    according to what they have done.”