Our daughter Gianna is now 2. As a newborn, I read that the only two fears infants have are loud noises and falling. At her young age, she has a fear of some bugs, large animals, heights by herself, and other things that her parents and older siblings have trained her to be afraid of. As an “adult” in my mid-40’s, the world’s fears have taken hold of me for many years.  These fears can include what I say, do, or act in front of others with underlining insecurity.  Fear can make you wonder if you have enough or hold a high enough position with the constant fear of failure.  The Lord’s transformation of my life started around ten years ago, even though I can point to various points in my life where I know the Lord has always been by my side.  Truth is he has never left you, I just never listened or opened my eyes.   Until I was willing to surrender my selfish pride and surrender to a losing battle, I found my salvatio. (salvation) Merriam-Webster has a few definitions for salvation like 1. deliverance from the power and effects of sin, 2. preservation from destruction or failure, 3. liberation from ignorance or illusion.  I feel like all three of these definitions fit me well at that time with some lingering effects.  But thankfully, our debt has been paid in full, and we have hope in our Lord.

Today’s verses are a couple of my favorites.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of life; of whom shall I be afraid?  Psalm 27:1

The world is sending a message always.  In these dark times, we can always look to the light.  As something or someone starts your anxiety level to rise, relax, turn to God our say in your head, “Whom shall I be afraid? ” As you begin to feel weak, and the physical or mental exhaustion kicks in.  Remember where your strength truly comes from.  Go ahead this morning, today, at lunch, dinner.  Say it to a friend, a colleague, child, your spouse.  The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I be afraid? The Lord is the stronghold of life; of whom shall I be afraid?  Repeat it if you need to. Say it as the pressures of the world enter into your day.

Remember Gianna, still semi-fearless besides what we as parents have instilled. No fear. She would jump from anything into your arms because they trust you.     I would want my children, my wife, and myself to remember this verse as the world attempts to enter fear into our minds.   Where are you today? Are you worried about something? School? Kids? Finances? Health?  Our Lord is right there waiting to be the light, to be your strength. To be your salvation.

The Lord is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my Father’s God, and I will exalt him. Exodus 15:2

Whom shall you be afraid?  Sing praise today; salvation is yours.

King of Kings




Today’s Reading: 2 Chronicles 14–15; Revelation 4; Haggai 2; John 3

Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. Haggai 2:4-6

I like to workout. I have a small set of weights in my basement and now that the membership has run out they get more use. The recent amount of dust on the bench and barbells wouldn’t prove this, but current life priorities have impacted my usage including the growing list of excuses I can come up with. As our earthly bodies gets older our physical strength we have tends to take a hit unless you really have time to stay on it. Either way, the story of Haggai helps remind me of where I get my true strength from and serves as a reflection on my priorities. Where do you get your strength? How is the priority list going this time of year? 

A brief summary about the book of Haggai the prophet tells about him coming back from exile with other Jews to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem their hometown. Years later the temple still had not been completed. The work had been started but priorities had shifted and the temple wasn’t done.  Expectations, pressures, work, events, and demands took a toll on their schedules. Family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances influenced their days which turned into years. The plan was for them to come straight back and start rebuilding God’s temple but their own agendas got in the way.  We have been asked to continue to build this kingdom.  How’s our kingdom building going? How have our priorities got in the way compared to His?   How true is this in our lives?

Sometimes do you wonder where the hours, days, or years go?

The strength we have slowly can be worn away by the physical and mental exhaustion we accumulate by going, going, and going…trying to meet the demands of others.

Haggai became a catalyst for the strength of God. He called the people back to God’s values, will, and work. Helping them to reorder their priorities according to God’s plan. In reading this chapter it reminds me of where my strength comes from and Who’s Will we should live for. I reflect on my priorities and where am I putting my energy? What demands and expectations am I making my focus? Can I make it better? What am I rushing through, do I lose track of God? Where does my strength comes from? A timely message from Haggai helps reminds me of God’s claim for our lives and priorities. Its a reminder about who gives us our strength. Just ask and have faith, He will give it to you!

Today as your waking up or wherever you are in your day ask God for strength.

but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31

Reflect on your priorities and pray to align them with His.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Dear God,

Thanks for this group of readers. We pray that as we read we are using your words to impact our lives and others. God, as we read through your words we are given strength and guidance of your will for our lives. We pray that during this Christmas season we are open to your will and sharing your love with others. Help us to align your priorities to our lives. Amenstrength