December 1, 2018

Today you should read: Micah 7

What is hope?  Hope is the promise of a new day… it’s what keeps us from quitting, from giving up, what motivates us to keep on keeping on.  Hope is the opposite of despair (where we’ve found Micah in the last six chapters).

If we have anything at all – it’s hope.  That’s what God gives us… Hope to the hopeless…

Meditate on these verses…

Psalm 10:17 
LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.

Psalm 34:18 
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  

Psalm 71:5
 For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.

Proverbs 18:10
 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.

Isaiah 40:31 
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Isaiah 43:2 
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Lamentations 3:22-24 
The unfailing love of the LORD never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, “The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”

Jeremiah 29:11
 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

Romans 5:2-5
 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:28
 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Romans 15:4
 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Romans 15:13
 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Ephesians 3:20-21 
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

1 Peter 1:3 
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

In chapter seven, Micah’s misery has turned to hope!

As for me, I look to the LORD for help.
  I wait confidently for God to save me,
 and my God will certainly hear me. (verse 7)

For though I fall, I will rise again.
  Though I sit in darkness,
 the LORD will be my light. (verse 8)

The LORD will bring me into the light,
 and I will see his righteousness. (verse 9)

I don’t know where this finds you today… maybe at the top of your game, or maybe in the valley of discouragement.  Either way, look to God. He’s your hope and He’s faithful – so very faithful. You can trust Him!

You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love 
as you promised… (verse 20)

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor


November 30, 2018

Today you should read: Micah 6

The discipline of the Lord is a good thing. It might be hard in the moment, but in the end, it is what’s best. I know we have a warped sense of discipline, maybe because of our parents or schools, possibly because of overly-harsh discipline, or maybe because we weren’t disciplined often enough. But with God, who is wholly good and loving towards His children, His discipline is always good.

In this passage, we find Israel being corrected and corralled… just like we do in most of the Old Testament. Even in verse 4, we find God talking about Moses, which surely jogged their memories of all the times they needed God’s discipline to right the ship. Unfortunately, the lesson was never fully learned, but fortunately, a Messiah would come who could truly teach them the right way to live amongst each other and worship the Lord. Jesus is the full embodiment of the most famous verse in Micah:

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Micah 6:8

Meditate on this today:

We have a Savior who modeled for us what the abundant life (John 10) should look like. We have a loving Father who redirects our steps and disciplines us when necessary, for our good and His glory. We have the Holy Spirit of God living in us, with us every step of the way, reminding us of who we are and Whose we are.

By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor

November 29, 2018

Today you should read: Micah 5

Whether you start decorating and celebrating Christmas BEFORE Thanksgiving or AFTER Thanksgiving we’re talking about it today. Micah 5 reminds us that the upcoming Messiah will come from the lineage of David and just like David was an unlikely king, the upcoming Savior King will come from an unlikely place, Bethlehem.  This Messiah will not only be King over all but a true Shepherd to His people gathering them back together as they are scattered.

I love how these themes (Messiah King and Shepherd) is placed in an Old Testament books that is known as a JUSTICE book from a “justice” minor prophet along with the book of Micah. Although you can find more on God’s justice through Micah 2-3 and 6-7 we see how God is still a gracious savior to sinners and a shepherd to those he loves, along with justice. In fact, many have compared the justice and mercy of God to a two-sided coin that cannot exist without the other.

Based off of today’s scripture and Jumpstart post, do you decorate or celebrate Christmas before or after thanksgiving (comment below)? JK.

What did you get out of today’s devotion? How has God been just yet merciful in your life? How is He a shepherd to you?

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

November 28, 2018

Today you should read: Micah 4

This passage is about giving God the glory, honor and worship that he deserves.

It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and it shall be lifted up above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it, and many nations shall come, and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORDto the house of the God of Jacob, that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Micah 4:1-2

God deserves the proper place in our hearts, just like he did in the hearts of the Israelites. Even in the Old Testament, God desired all people to be gathered and drawn to Himself to worship and glorify Him.

There are so many things that distract us from giving God the glory, honor and worship that he deserves. Many times they are real and legitimate challenges and trials. The reality is that only God can provide everything we need, and he has done it through His Son Jesus.

It is through Jesus that we can give God the worship and love that he truly deserves.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice