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Daily Worship

Bible readings and resources for your time with God

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Seek Mercy or Justice?

by Judy Webb


"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit." (Titus 3:4-5)

If you, like me, can pinpoint the moment of your salvation, then these verses above probably speak loudly to you. Mercy is a great big word with an even bigger result. God's mercy saves, God's mercy speaks of love and life everlasting. The moment you or I turned to God was probably the biggest moment of our lives. The moment we were transformed and renewed by the Blood of Jesus.

Four points to ponder when studying these words of scripture:

  1. It is not good people who get to heaven; it is sinners who have been saved by God's grace and mercy.

  2. Good works do not earn salvation, they are a result of it. But wherever there is true salvation, there will also be good works.

  3. Salvation is a work of mercy - not justice. Justice demands that the deserved punishment be administered; mercy provides a righteous way by which the punishment is averted.

  4. God saved us by the washing of regeneration. (Spiritual renewal or revival) We became A new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17). The day we recognized our helplessness because of the sin we were entangled in, is the day Christ made us a new creation. The old has gone, the new has come.

Water represents the Word of God - the proclamation of Jesus and His Kingdom, that we hear about throughout the Bible.

Final thought: The Holy Spirit is the agent in regeneration and the Word of God is the instrument.


Dear Jesus, thank you for saving us, for giving us a way to know you better and to share your love with others who need it. Teach us to go to your Word for direction and instruction every day. Amen.

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Like a Lost Sheep

by Beth Voltmann

When was the last time you poured your heart out to the Lord? The Psalms are such a beautiful example of how we can and should reveal our every need, hope, desire, fear and even failure to God. He is merciful and loving and his ear is carefully tuned to listen to us, for we are his handiwork.

In today’s verses from Psalm 119, the psalmist cries out for understanding, deliverance, worship, and help. His heart of commitment longs for the LORD’s salvation, and yet, his contrite heart confesses,

"I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant,

for I have not forgotten your commands." (Psalm 119:176)

We often picture “lost sheep” as those who do not yet believe in Jesus and usually don’t even realize how lost they are. Here, though, the psalmist presents the realization that even a person of faith can stray. Our hearts desire to be obedient but have sheepish tendencies to wander.

Through the prophet Isaiah, God told us,

“We all like sheep, have gone astray,

Each of us has turned to our own way;” (Isaiah 53:6a)

I know I have strayed in my life of faith. Though it may seem small, my mind often wanders in the morning while trying to study God’s Word, or I fall asleep at night while praying! Can you relate? Those are the moments when we need to confess and return to the Lord.

More significantly, I experienced what some call a “dark night of the soul” many years ago. In the midst of a very busy season of life, a persistent winter virus sapped my physical and emotional strength until I was truly lost. I believed God was real, but for weeks I mockingly told him how ridiculous it was to read his Word or tell others of Jesus... (all this while trying to maintain a façade of faith with our four children).

Though my cry was feeble, God came and rescued me. Healing Scripture, offered by a friend at the perfect time, pulled me up and out of that darkness. Praise be to our Good Shepherd who was sent to seek and save the lost. In those times when you sense you are a long way off, cry out to the Lord. Don’t be silent.


Lord, thank you that you seek us when lost, hear our call, and rescue us.

“Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.” Psalm (of David) 28:9

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Our Life As A Sheep

by Dan Kidd


It's unfortunate, I think, that naming someone a sheep has become a byword for being part of the gullible and deceived masses. Often someone will use the word sheep to mean that someone is part of the common crowd, brainwashed by some nefarious person, group, or idea. Nevermind that this is almost always an oversimple way of thinking about others, it also undermines an important and routine metaphor the Bible uses to positively, and perhaps even affectionately, describe God's people. We are, in so many meaningful ways, very much like sheep under the care and watchful eye of our Good Shepherd.

And, honestly, I understand the discomfort of thinking of oneself like a sheep. They are more fragile than lions, bears, or even sheepdogs. They aren't cunning like a fox, or wise like an owl, or as untethered or sprightly as a hummingbird. But, truth be told, I think we have a tendency to overestimate our strength, our cleverness and wisdom, and our independence. Sheep, at least the kind we hear of in Jesus' parables, are utterly dependent on their Shepherd. They rely on their shepherd to feed them, to clean and sheer them, to protect them, and to draw them back into the fold as often as they try to "escape" into the wild. And as much as we sometimes convince ourselves otherwise, if we depart from the care, provision, and protection of the Lord, we are bound for a bad things. It is a very good thing for us to remember our sheep-likeness.

As often as I sing these words, I well up with the honesty of them: "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love." Though I do love our Lord, there remains a part of me (a part thankfully being put to death) that lures and distracts me away from him. But because the Lord is a Good Shepherd, with his rod and staff he keeps me close, or he comes out in search of me to bring me back home, draped over his shoulder. It isn't that I find myself astray and, of my own volition and internal sense of direction, find my way back to the pasture and my herd. It is the Shepherd who returns me to himself and my place at home.

Perhaps you can remember a time like this? A time you'd wandered away from your home—your place beside the Lord—when God sought you, found you, and brought you back again? Take a few moments now to remember that season. What was it like in the place you'd wandered to? How did the Lord meet you there and return you back? What was it like to be reunited with your Shepherd?

How good it is for us that we have a Christ who seeks and saves those, like us all, who are lost!


Lord, we thank you that in our sheep-likeness we can know you, our Good Shepherd. Thank you for loving us enough to pursue us, to return us to our home by your side, as often as you do this. If we are currently farther from you than we ought to be, give us ears to hear your voice. Allow our hearts to celebrate with you as often as others are returned home. Remind us again of the countless ways you love us, care for us, protect us, provide for us, and watch us.

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