Daily Devotions

by Pastor Jacob Boer

Check out my blog: Jacob's Musings

Psalm 19:1–6 Creation is Good

posted Aug 7, 2020, 2:34 PM by Jacob Boer

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. 5It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.”

I love how Genesis 1 and 2 and many of the Psalms describe God as the Creator. He is an artist extraordinaire and he delights in what he creates. He creates good and very good, meaning that all of creation is precious in his sight. This is why Jesus comes, not just to save humanity from their sin, but to renew the entire creation so that one day it will once again be good and very good. It also means that we are to both protect and enjoy this creation and all created things because they all belong to God.

 

C.T Article 9. God formed sky, land, and sea; stars above, moon and sun, making a world of color, beauty, and variety—a fitting home for plants and animals, and us—a place to work and play, worship and wonder, love and laugh. God rested and gave us rest. In the beginning everything was very good.

John 1:1–14 Creation

posted Aug 6, 2020, 9:21 AM by Jacob Boer

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

The world was created on purpose with purpose, it was not an accidental creation. Because creation was intentional, because God, as Father, Son and Holy Spirit were all involved in creating, creation is personal and meaningful, giving meaning and purpose to our lives; we are not accidental beings. God has created you and formed you for a purpose; the main purpose is to glorify God’s name through and in our lives. We were created to be in relationship with God who has brought order out of chaos, brought wonder out of nothing. He can do the same in you.

 

C.T Article 8. In the beginning, God—Father, Word, and Spirit—called this world into being out of nothing, and gave it shape and order.

Psalm 24:1 Belonging to God

posted Aug 5, 2020, 2:26 PM by Jacob Boer

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it”

If you believe that God created the world, then the Bible and Contemporary Testimony makes sense, the problem is that if you don’t believe this, then you also live without hope because then the fate of the world rests on our shoulders and you can see how well that is going right now! When we see the chaos around us, the violence and craziness that fills the world right now, the one thing that gives us hope is that our world belongs to God and he will see us and the world through this time. We are precious to God because we belong to him and no one and nothing can change that!

 

C.T Article 7. Our world belongs to God—not to us or earthly powers, not to demons, fate, or chance. The earth is the Lord’s. 

Matthew 5:14–16 Light in the World

posted Aug 4, 2020, 10:48 AM by Jacob Boer

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Jesus is the light of the world, but he uses us as his light to shine his goodness, his grace, his ways into the world to bring hope and a glimpse of the kingdom of heaven. We are here to dedicate ourselves to holy living, something we don’t think about often enough, so that the world can learn what the kingdom of heaven is all about. This means that we are shaped by the Holy Spirit’s leading, our hearts, minds and lives reflect Jesus. This will make us look different from the world because Jesus’ values and kingdom are not like the world’s, but it will shine hope into the lives of many who have been broken and hurt by the kingdoms of the world.

C.T Article 6. We rejoice in the goodness of God, renounce the works of darkness, and dedicate ourselves to holy living. As covenant partners, set free for joyful obedience, we offer our hearts and lives to do God’s work in the world. With tempered impatience, eager to see injustice ended, we expect the Day of the Lord. We are confident that the light which shines in the present darkness will fill the earth when Christ appears. Come, Lord Jesus. Our world belongs to you.

Acts 2:36–39 Repent and be Baptized

posted Jul 10, 2020, 8:48 AM by Jacob Boer

Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

We’re reminded over and over again in the Bible that while God is a just God, he is also a God of mercy who never gives up on his people and keeps showing up again and again to save us. But our response needs to be more than, “That’s nice,” our response needs to be to accept Jesus’ call to “Follow me,” and to “carry our crosses,” in order to be his presence in this world and to carry on the work he has begin in calling the world back to God. Jesus’ sacrifice is greater than anything we can ever imagine and our response needs to be a whole-hearted giving over of our lives to Jesus which is what baptism signifies.

CT Article 5. God holds this world with fierce love. Keeping his promise, he sends Jesus into the world, pours out the Holy Spirit, and announces the good news: sinners who repent and believe in Jesus live anew as members of the family of God—the firstfruits of a new creation.

Isaiah 7:14 A Saviour

posted Jul 9, 2020, 9:13 AM by Jacob Boer

Isaiah 7:14

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Isaiah 11:1–5

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist.”

We are sinners who don’t deserve God’s grace and forgiveness and still God never gives us on us, committing himself to saving us from our sin through a saviour who turns out to be his own son Jesus, who takes our punishment on himself so that we can be put right with God again! God never abandons his creation, loving it as much as when he first crated everything, looking ahead to restoring creation to all it glory again out of his great love for us. What a God we follow!

 

CT Article 4. Our world, fallen into sin, has lost its first goodness, but God has not abandoned the work of his hands: our Maker preserves this world, sending seasons, sun, and rain, upholding all creatures, renewing the earth, promising a Savior, guiding all things to their purpose.

Ephesians 6:10–17 Strength in this World

posted Jul 8, 2020, 10:02 AM by Jacob Boer   [ updated Jul 8, 2020, 10:03 AM ]

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

I love this passage, I grew up hearing stories of knights in shining armour protecting the weak and standing up for good against evil. there is a lot of stuff wrong in this world and there are many people who do their best to stand up for good, but when they do it in their own strength, it’s easy to become tired and disillusioned by how much wrong there is. As followers of Jesus, we are given the Bible, a way to live, the Holy Spirit and other believers to walk with us to stand up for what is right and good and not get tired or disheartened by how much wrong there is: we live with the hope that this world belongs to God and he is using us to shine his light and hope into it.

 

CT Article 3. Still, despair and rebellious pride fill the earth: some, crushed by failure or broken by pain, give up on life and hope and God; others, shaken, but still hoping for human triumph, work feverishly to realize their dreams.
As believers in God, we also struggle with the spirits of this age, resisting them in the power of the Spirit, testing them by God’s sure Word.

Genesis 3:14–15 God’s Commitment

posted Jul 7, 2020, 2:49 PM by Jacob Boer

“So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”


God created everything good and very good, but humanity still decided that they knew better and chose their way instead of God’s way. But God never gives up on us, right from the start, God sets in place his plan to save us from the devil by sending us a saviour, Jesus, who would crush the head of the serpent. It comes at a cost; the cross is not cheap grace and such a great sacrifice calls for an equally strong response of gratitude and loyalty in return. Jesus gave his life for us and calls for us to give him our lives in return.

CT Article 2. From the beginning, through all the crises of our times, until the kingdom fully comes, God keeps covenant forever: Our world belongs to God! God is King: Let the earth be glad! Christ is victor: his rule has begun! The Spirit is at work: creation is renewed! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Psalm 24:1 Everything is God’s

posted Jul 6, 2020, 8:48 AM by Jacob Boer

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it

There’s a lot in this short verse. It echoes back to creation and how God created everything, including humanity, giving us life through his own breath, creating us in his own image, making us the handiwork of his hands. We not only belong to God, we are his precious masterpieces and God is willing to go to extra-ordinary lengths to save us, restores and stay in relationship with us, and with all of creation. This fills me with all kinds of hope because even though the world is rather crazy right now, God is going to take care of everything, giving us the wisdom, strength and gifts needed to come out of this in such a way that others will be able to see God through our responses of faith and trust.

Contemporary Testimony: Article 1

As followers of Jesus Christ, living in this world—which some seek to control, and others view with despair—we declare with joy and trust: Our world belongs to God!

2 Cor. 1:20 Amen!

posted Jul 3, 2020, 10:54 AM by Jacob Boer

For in him every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God.”

Most of us end our prayers by saying “Amen,” a sign that our prayer is done and our conversation with God is over. But is that all the word amen means? I love how the catechism talks about how we end our prayers, it’s about confidence and hope, that we  carry on with our day knowing that God is listening to our prayers and knows even better than we do what we need, and that we trust he will provide for us whatever we need. Prayer not only connects us to God, it also increases our confidence and trust in God, allowing us to say with gusto, “Amen,” so let it be!

 

Q. What does that little word “Amen” express?

A. “Amen” means: This shall truly and surely be! It is even more sure that God listens to my prayer than that I really desire what I pray for.

 

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