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Daily Worship

Bible readings and resources for your time with God




Acts 2:1-12



Power on Pentecost

by Elaine Pierce

Many years ago, our family hosted an Ukranian family who left their country to seek religious freedom. (This was in the early 1990s when Ukraine was still part of Russia.) The Soroka family knew very little English, and we knew no Ukranian. You can imagine how hard it was to communicate! They stayed with us for 3 weeks until our church family helped them find suitable housing. We used a lot of sign language and a lot of pointing, and I found myself from time to time speaking louder and slower, as if that would help. Language was a barrier, and it was frustrating to not be able to communicate easily.

Jews travelled from all over the Roman empire - as Acts 2:5 says, 'from every nation under heaven,' to Jerusalem for Pentecost, an important harvest festival. And then God did something incredible and quite dramatic: he sent the Holy Spirit, and the Spirit came 'like the blowing of a violent wind...tongues of fire came to rest on each of them...they spoke in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.' (v. 2-4).

So these devout Jews, who had come from all over, could understand the disciples, because the Holy Spirit enabled them to speak in their own language! This God was their God, too! He wasn't just for one nationality or one people group. No need for pointing, no need for translating - God wanted to meet each one of them, and the Holy Spirit made that possible.

William Cowper wrote a hymn in 1773 and the first line of the verse has become a modern-day proverb:

God moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform;

He plants his footsteps in the sea,

And rides upon the storm.

As we celebrate Pentecost today (I hope you are wearing red!) take time to thank God for the gift of the Holy Spirit. As he came upon the disciples in the upper room, he lives in us today. He can make all things new - all we have to do is watch, wait, pray and praise the God who loves us, who died for us, and who has a purpose and a plan for us.


Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Help me live each day in the full and certain knowledge that everyone who calls on your name will be saved. Amen.

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Deuteronomy 6:4-12



How Soon We Forget

by Mary Alice McGinnis

I remember calling home during my college days. Sadly, often it was not the fact that my parents sacrificed their hard-earned money to provide me with a good education that prompted me to call. I don't remember dialing their number to just say, “Hey Mom and Dad, I was just thinking about you and wanted to tell you how much I love you!”

I called because I needed something. Help with a bill, my bank account was getting low, or I just simply needed some advice.

One spring while studying for some difficult tests, I received a phone call from my Mom. When I picked up the phone, her voice was distressed. She said, “Today is your dad and my anniversary. I thought we would hear from you.” Her tone was full of disappointment, but I could tell most of all how hurt she was that I had forgotten their special day.

It made me realize how easy it was for me to forget how much they were doing for me and take it all for granted. Don’t we treat God the same way sometimes? He loves to lavish us with His blessings just because HE LOVES US.

But God does not want to just be our provider, like a proverbial vending machine we go to when we need something. He doesn’t want to be seen as only our rescuer, like a magic genie we turn to only when we can’t figure things out ourselves. He doesn’t desire only our obedience, or sacrifice, or surrender or even our praise.

Above all else, He wants our heart. He desires - more than anything - our LOVE!

In today’s reading, God tells us, His children, first and foremost:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Jesus Himself echoed these words when He replied to the Pharisees: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

But we as frail human beings all too soon forget all the ways God loves us, blessed us, and sustains us.

Just take a minute right now and think of something you have—food in your refrigerator, the car in your garage, your home or apartment, your job, or your loved ones.

Think through all the ways God lavished His blessing upon you, though you did nothing to deserve it.

Example: This apple from my refrigerator.

I bought it from the store this morning with money I earned at my job. Yet that apple came from an orchard where I did not care for the trees. It flourished on that tree only because they planted the tree in rich soil. Rain came down to water that tree, and the sunshine kissed the leaves of that tree. This all happened to provide the nutrients that tree needed to produce my apple. It was all by the hand of God, and I had nothing to do with it.

Oh yes, I have a good job that allowed me to pay for it, but what about that? Who gave me the physical body I need to live and work? Who gave me the mind and intelligence to do complex thinking? Who provided me with the opportunity to contribute something meaningful and useful and earn a living?

God owns it all. He is the sustainer, the provider, and the maker of all things.

Just like God delivered Israel from the land of slavery in Egypt, above all else, He has delivered me too from my slavery. My slavery is to the relentless taskmaster of “I-dolatry." That is my tendency to trust “me-myself and I”, in my own abilities, as though everyone and everything depends on me. It is a bottomless pit of captivity.

How prone we are to forget about the One who loves us. How do we keep our hearts centered on loving God more than anything else?

Remembering this: “We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19

This brings my heart back to gratitude when I remember Him and reflect on all the love He has poured out on me, though I have done nothing to deserve it. Then, from the depths of my heart springs the yearning desire to honor Him and somehow, in some small way, show Him my love in return.


Lord, You have relentlessly sought after me and paid the ultimate price to buy be back from the slavery of sin. You did all these things, not because you had to, but just because You love me. Fill my heart with gratitude and my lead my heart toward loving you with all my life.

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Genesis 33:1-20




by Kim Starr

Jacob and Esau struggled with one another while they were still in their mother’s womb. When they were born, Esau arrived first with Jacob holding onto his heel. When the boys were older, Jacob fed a starving Esau in exchange for Esau’s birthright. Later, Jacob and his mother successfully conspired to steal Esau’s blessing from their father. When Esau discovered his blessing stolen, he decided to kill Jacob once their father was no longer alive.

Twenty years pass and Jacob reaches out to Esau. Upon meeting, Jacob bows to Esau, but Esau runs to meet Jacob, embraces him, throws his arms around his neck, and kisses him. While hanging onto one another, they weep.

What happened that caused this change of heart between the brothers? God. From the very beginning, God had chosen Jacob to be the heir of His promises. Before the boys were born, God even tells Rebekah that the older will serve the younger. (Genesis 25:23) Not a thing the brothers did could change God’s intention. In fact, God uses the boys’ faults, Jacob’s deceit and Esau’s hatred, to accomplish His purpose.

We also need to remember that God is a God of restoration. He can take a relationship that seems dead and breathe life back into it. He looks through the lens of redemption, takes the broken, and puts it back together. Our all-powerful God can change us, renew us, and restore us to accomplish His purposes.

Do you have a relationship with someone that is broken, or even dead? Ask God to restore it. Do you, like Jacob, need to reach out to someone and humble yourself? Or, like Esau, do you need to let go of your hatred/anger and meet someone who has reached out to you? God has a plan for you and this other person. He will accomplish His purposes if you let Him work through both of you.


Lord, please help us remember You planned everything from the beginning and that You are still at work today. You know who we need to reach out to and who we need to meet. Please stir in our hearts the relationships you want to restore or revive. Let us listen so that, like Jacob and Esau, we can be reconciled. Amen

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