Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:


“Now faith is the assurance, the confirmation, the title deed of the things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality, faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses.”

Hebrews 11: 1

Amplified Bible

Faith and Sight


“So I go on, not knowing,

I would not, if I might –

I would rather walk in the dark with God

Than go alone in the light;

I would rather walk with Him by faith

Thank walk alone by sight.”

Mary Gardner Brainard


Today’s StudyText:


“I AM the Living God, Lord Jehovah, your God.”

Psalm 81: 10 

1stCentury Aramaic

Old Testament – Psalm



“Heaven’s Solution to Earthly Fear” Part 3

“It Is I”


When I read the words of Jesus, saying, “I AM,” how does it make me feel?

Knowing that the powerof God, the great “I AM,” is the same Source of power I can draw on in my life, what does this knowledge do in helping me meet the challenges of my day?

“The Son is the Image of the invisible God. All things that belong to the Father He expresses as the Image; all things that are the Father’s He illumines as the splendor of His glory and manifests to us.”

St. Ambrose




“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God.”

John 1: 1, 2



We are told in the book of Exodus, that the former prince of Egypt, a young man named Moses, ended up in the desert of Midian, keeping “the flock of Jethro his father-in-law.” The reason Moses ended up with what could easily be deemed by some as such a menial task was that he killed the wrong guy at the wrong time. Thinking he might be able to speed up God’s work and get his kin-folk released from Egyptian bondage sooner than later, Moses took his wrath out on one of the brutal Egyptian taskmasters. Unfortunately, what Moses thought to be a courageous act, turned out to bring on the scorn of his own people whose divided loyalty brought about Moses’ sudden flight to safety in the home of a Midianite priest.


If I had been in Moses’ sandals,wandering around on a barren, rocky desert terrain, I think I would have felt, at this point in time, that my usefulness for God was over – done and gone! How about you?


But then, in one of those unexpected happenings, which our heavenly Father is so very effective in setting up in our lives. Moses in his wanderings, came upon a burning bush that had one problem associated with it. The bush was on fire but it did not burn up. What’s more, the bush had a voice associated with it that knew who Moses was:

“Moses, Moses…I am The God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

Exodus 3: 4 & 6



But here’s what really drew my attention in this text. And it’s not the fact the bush wasn’t consumed. It’s what the great “I AM” said to Moses that made this encounter become so much more to me than just a story of a shepherd running into a fiery bush.


It is in Exodus 3: 6-8 where we find a duplicated, mirrored image of heaven’s formula for conquering our fears. Here is what God conveyed to Moses, who I might add, probably felt, at this time in his life, that God not only didn’t know where he was, but had forgotten him completely.


Instead we find God shares this information with Moses:

“I have surely seen the affliction of my peoplewhich are in Egypt, and have heard their cryby reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows. And I am come down to deliver them.”

Exodus 3: 7, 8



I want to share two different ways this passage of Scripture reads. First from The Message Bible which puts in everyday language God’s frame of reference on a tragic situation:

“God said, ‘I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of My people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country.”

Exodus 3: 7,8

The Message Bible


While The Message Bible helps us understand the concern of our heavenly Father as well as His active participation in our lives, it is The Voice Bible, which I have begun to study, too, that lets me hear a more interactive conversation between Moses and the Eternal One (I AM):

“Moses (to himself): Why is this bush not burning up? I need to move a little closer to get a better look at this amazing sight. When the Eternal One (I AM) saw Moses approach the burning bush to observe it more closely, He called out to him from within the bush.


Eternal One: Moses! Moses!

Moses: I’m right here.

Eternal One: Don’t come any closer. Take off your sandals and stand barefoot on the ground in My presence, for this ground is holy ground. I am the True God, the God of your father, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”

A feeling of dread and awe rushed over Moses; he hid his face because he was afraid he might catch a glimpse of the True God.

Eternal One: “I have seenhow My people in Egypt are being mistreated. I have heard their groaningswhen the slave drivers torment and harass them; for I know well their sufferings.”

Exodus 3: 3-8

The Voice Bible


This descriptive exchange helps me comprehend the fact that God was not some satellite in the sky, floating around and checking in on earth’s occupants only when it was convenient. Just the opposite. God told Moses that He heard, He saw, He felt, and He was on His way to deliver. And just so there is no confusion between what some choose to call the God of the Old Testament and the God of the New Testament, if we go to Galilee’s edge, after a day when a multitude of nearly 15,000 people had been fed from a young lad’s meager lunch of five loaves and two fishes, at the early morning hour, with howling winds kicking up a violent storm on Galilee, a lone figure stands at the sea’s edge for He has heard the cries of His dearest ones on earth. He sees the predicament they are in, rowing with all their might, unable to make any headway against nature’s force. And in a moment’s notice, He moves to deliver them. Though darkness prevails it is no deterrent, for help is on the way.


This was the same Deliverer who when Moses asked the “Eternal One,” what is your name? Who should I say you are?, God replied: “I AM THAT I AM…thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent Me unto you” (Exodus 3: 14, K.J.V.). In studying the Hebrew meaning of this phrase, “I AM,” from the word,“hawyaw,” there are three very informative pieces of information which enlighten us. First, “I AM” is always emphatic or forceful in action. Second, “I AM” is never an auxiliary reference. It does not refer to anything or anyone in a secondary assisting, or supportive position. And third, “I AM” has as an associated meaning, a beacon – a bright, dominating light which makes clear a path in the dark.


Is it any wonder that upon Jesus arrival at the side of His distressed disciples, He spoke aloud so they knew who He was. He encouraged them to be courageous –of good cheer, and then He assured them that, “it is I,” the same “I AM” that was at a bush that didn’t burn when Moses was feeling lost and forgotten. And now, the same “I AM” is with you in your distress.


The British commentator, Iwan Russel-Jones, offered this theological viewpoint regarding the passage in Matthew 14: 27, “Take heart, it is I” “Jesus says egõ eimi, which can mean simply, ‘it is I’; but more is being suggested here. For Matthew’s audience, this Greek phrase is packed with significance. These are the words that the Septuagint uses to translate the Hebrew name of God revealed to Moses at the burning bush in Exodus 3: 14. Jesus is using the divine name to announce His presence. I AM here, trampling victoriously over the waves. In these brief but charged words and in the awesome vision that unfolds before the disciples, Jesus is identifying Himself with God, the liberator and redeemer…who is at the same time the creator of the world and the victor over chaos.”


There’s not much left for me to say as we recognize that down through history, to this very day, the great “I AM” stands by the side of each one of His children, and this includes you and me. “I AM” there, to banish fear and infuse your lives with courageous living – everyday, Jesus assures us.


I appreciate the way Reverend Elizabeth Wade takes the mighty works of “I AM” and relates them to the contemporary world you and I live in right now. For when the waves of terror and the dark of the night envelope our lives, the God of the Nightcomes to us, to speak, to see, to hear and to deliver.


“God You find me, and Your strong hands lift me into Your presence. You are as large and indecipherable as the night, yet as near and touchable as a mother’s hand. When You lift me, I am suspended in the midst of that night; but Your eyes as well as Your hands hold me, and my fear is contained in Your tender compassion. As the stars twinkle with delight, Your love clothes my nakedness with joy. God, You are so enormous and so full of power. Once I thought that Your grasp might destroy me and that Your voice would be like thunder. Yet, You stoop to earth and open Yourself to my presence. You speak in tones that I can hear and hold me safely in Your presence. God of the night, I praise You.”

The Reverend Elizabeth T. Wade




I chose for today’s Affirmation, the words penned by Emily Elliott in 1864 “Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne.” This Christmas hymn can bring great cheer in our hearts this year as we recognize that through all our troubles and toils it is the eternal “I AM,” who chooses to walk with us on the raging water, in every trial, and then stays with us until the very end.


“Thou didst leave Thy throne

And Thy kingly crown

When Thou camest to earth for me;

But in Bethlehem’s home

Was there found no room

For Thy holy nativity.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee.

The foxes found rest,

And the birds their nest in the shade

of the forest tree;

But Thy couch was the sod,

O Thou Son of God,

In the deserts of Galilee.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee.

Thou camest, O Lord,

With the living word

That should set Thy people free;

But with mocking scorn,

And with crown of thorn,

They bore Thee to Calvary.

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,

There is room in my heart for Thee.

When the heavens shall ring,

And the angels sing,

At Thy coming to victory,

Let Thy voice call me home,

Saying, ‘Yet there is room,

There is room at My side for thee.’

My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,

When Thou comest and callest for me.”

Emily Elliott



Your friend,

Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author

When A Woman Meets Jesus


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“This is the ritual law for dealing with jealousy. If a woman defiles herself by being unfaithful to her husband, or if a man is overcome with jealousy and suspicion that his wife has been unfaithful, the husband must present his wife before the LORD, and the priest will apply this entire ritual law to her.” — Numbers 5:29-30

In our culture, sexual morality is regarded as a purely personal matter. How you live is viewed as your own business, and issues of adultery and unfaithfulness are settled privately between a man and his wife. But for Israel, marital faithfulness and sexual morality were community concerns. From the beginning of Creation, God had ordained that a man and a woman should establish a family and that the family should become the foundational building block of society. Anything, therefore, that would jeopardize the well-being of marriages and families was much more than a private matter. It was seen as a threat to the fabric of society and, accordingly, was a concern for the community as a whole.

So how did the community intervene when a husband suspected his wife of unfaithfulness? If a husband was suspicious that his wife was being unfaithful, he was required to bring his wife before the priest, who would then engage in a complicated procedure to ascertain her guilt or innocence. This procedure was designed to protect the powerless wife. The husband was not free simply to pass judgment by his own initiative. Instead, the issue had to be handled “before the Lord” in the Holy Place, with full knowledge of the community and under the guidance of the religious leaders. Actually, Israel’s procedure was very merciful for the woman. In neighboring states, a woman in similar circumstances would have been required to throw herself in the river. If she survived she was innocent, if she drowned she was guilty—and dead!

Matters of suspicion between husband and wife are to be dealt with honestly and openly with each other before the Lord. This requires a willingness to talk with each other about deep personal matters and a readiness to pray together about their spiritual and moral well-being. Of course, couples should start by learning to talk and pray openly about lesser issues. Then, when problems arise, they will have a more solid basis for finding a solution.

Sexual morality is critical for the well-being of a society, and so it is not a purely personal affair. Stable cultures require stable families, and stable families are built by stable marriages. Stable marriages thrive on marital faithfulness, and marital faithfulness is nurtured by marital openness. So start with open, honest, and truthful communication with each other.

For further study: Numbers 5:11-31


Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.





Listen to today’s broadcast

The All-Satisfying Object

Dily devotional jhon piper

Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)

The quest for pleasure is not even optional, but commanded (in the Psalms): “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

The psalmists sought to do just this: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1–2). “My soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

The motif of thirsting has its satisfying counterpart when the psalmist says that men “drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; and You give them to drink of the river of Your delights” (Psalm 36:8, NASB).

I found that the goodness of God, the very foundation of worship, is not a thing you pay your respects to out of some kind of disinterested reverence. No, it is something to be enjoyed: “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!” (Psalm 34:8).

“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103).

As C. S. Lewis says, God in the Psalms is the “all-satisfying Object.” His people adore him unashamedly for the “exceeding joy” they find in him (Psalm 43:4). He is the source of complete and unending pleasure: “In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

Let God Fight the Battle

 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.

At the time of Israel’s exodus from Egypt, there was no mightier army on the face of the earth than Pharaoh’s army. Imagine what it must have been like for the Israelites to see that army pursuing them with chariots and horses, with shields and swords and spears. If it were happening today, it would have been tanks and hummers and aircraft coming at them all at the same time.

The Israelites thought they were dead. So what did Moses tell them to do? He said, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm” (Exodus 14:13–14 NLT). Just stay calm. . . . That’s kind of hard to do.

Sometimes the devil comes at us with everything he has, with all his temptations and all his deceptions. We think we’re not going to survive it. Yes, we will. The Bible says, “But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world” (1 John 4:4 NLT).

Christ is in you. You belong to the Lord. Yes, the devil can tempt you. He can hassle you. But he cannot overcome you, because you are under God’s protection.

That is why Ephesians 6 tells us about the believer’s spiritual armor: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, and so forth. But before the apostle Paul begins describing this spiritual armor, he writes, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10 NLT).

Stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today.