Written Devotions | Edgewater Lutheran Church

Written Devotions

Daily Written Devotions
His Steadfast Love

Psalm 130-136

Did you notice the line that the Psalmist couldn’t get enough of in Psalm 136? The refrain of this Psalm, repeated in each verse, is “for His steadfast love endures forever.” The Psalm talks about the qualities of God, the incredible things He has done in nature, and the powerful acts He has performed for His people. After each statement, the Psalmist repeats the reality that “His steadfast love endures forever.” In everything around him, the Psalmist sees evidence of God’s love. Some of us look out at the mountains or the ocean or other natural wonders and see God’s love on display. Some of us look to the incredible things we know about God, the things He has revealed in His Word and see God’s love on display. Some of us look to the wonderful things He has done in our lives or for His people and see God’s love on display. Psalm 136 reminds us that all of these things can, and should, remind us of the incredible, steadfast love that God shows for us.

Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

God’s steadfast love for His people endures forever.

Instructions for Us

Psalm 136 sets a great example for us to look for reminders of God love all around us.

Biblical Connections

This story does not directly connect with other parts of the Bible, other than being part of a continuous story.

Laborious Understandings

Nothing in these verses strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.

Enjoyable Passages

Psalm 136:1 is a great verse that covers the basics of God’s character.

Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for His steadfast love
  • Confess to God the times that you don’t recognize His love for you
  • Ask for God to open your eyes to the love He surrounds you with daily


In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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Fear of the Lord

Psalm 108-112

Psalm 112:1 has a promise that we might skim over but gives us some trouble if we stop and think about it. We read “blessed is the man who fears the Lord” and this verse might not immediately draw more attention. It’s one verse of many that talk about the fear of the Lord. For example, Proverbs 9:10 tells us that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” and the church in Acts 9:31 is praised for “walking in the fear of the Lord.” We are a people focused predominantly on the grace of God for His people, on the forgiveness won on the cross and in the empty tomb. When that is our overriding image of God, it can be hard to remember that He is to be feared as well. Now we start to get into the trouble that this verse from Psalm 112 can cause us. When we typically think of fear, any number of things come to mind. Maybe you fear bear attacks or public speaking or spiders or clowns. Maybe you fear losing people you love or losing your health or losing your job or losing your home. But when we talk about God, we fear in a different way. Psalm 112:1 gives us a clue on this. It says to praise God and it suggests that the man who fears the Lord “greatly delights in His commandments.” So, our fear of God is one of respect for His power and His restraint that drives us to praise Him and follow His commands. It’s a subtle but important difference between how we frequently think of fear and how we are called to fear our God who shows us such consistent grace, love, and mercy.


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

God promises us incredible grace and mercy.

Instructions for Us

Psalm 112:1 encourages us to fearfully respect God and delight in His commandments.

Biblical Connections

The fear of the Lord is a consistent theme throughout the Scriptures and is very consistently used.

Laborious Understandings

Nothing in these verses strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.

Enjoyable Passages

Psalm 112:1 is a powerful verse worth keeping on our hearts and in our minds.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for showing such mercy and restraint when it comes to how He treats us
  • Confess to God the times that you fail to fear and respect Him
  • Ask for God to give you joy as you live out His commandments for you


In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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Interesting Conditions

Psalm 70-73

Psalm 71 contains a fascinating verse. The Psalmist prays in Psalm 71:18 saying, “O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” He is so focused on his mission, the mission to glorify God and to pass his faith on to future generations, that it is the condition for his prayer. His bucket list consists not of experiences he wants to have or things he wants to try, it is only that he would be able to witness God to a future generation.

I think our focus is often much more self-centered. We all have a list of things we want to do, accomplishments we want to achieve, but frequently being a witness to our community and to future generations isn’t on that list – much less at the top of it. The Psalmist gives us a powerful example of getting our priorities straight and having our focus be, first and foremost, on the glory of God and on bringing more people to kneel before His throne.


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

The Psalmist here is praying to God, which is an incredible freedom to have.

Instructions for Us

Psalm 71:18 gives us some encouragement to check our priorities.

Biblical Connections

This story does not directly connect with other parts of the Bible, other than being part of a continuous story.

Laborious Understandings

Nothing in these verses strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.

Enjoyable Passages

Psalm 71:18 is a powerful verse worth keeping on our hearts and in our minds.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for doing wonderful things in our lives
  • Confess to God the times that you prioritize things other than Him
  • Ask for God to bless your influence as a witness to the people around you


In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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Songs of Sorrow

Psalm 38-41

From our reading today I want to draw our attention to Psalm 38. There is a tendency I see today for some Christians to insist on pretending that life for faithful Christians is easy and everything goes well for you when you start to believe. This idea is called the Prosperity Gospel and has a plethora of problems that come with it. One of the most troubling issues for me is that it simply does not align with many people’s experiences. They are faithful Christians who believe in God and do their best to live according to His will. Despite that, these Christians experience suffering. They lose their jobs, their relationships are difficult, their health declines and fails. In the face of all of this, they turn to other Christians for support and sometimes the message is “you must not believe hard enough.”

Psalms like this one provide a resounding rebuke for that idea. David walked faithfully with God through much of his life, yet he writes in Psalm 38:3-5 things like “there is no soundness in my flesh” and “there is no health in my bones.” We live in a world that is broken by sin, and even as faithful Christians who have been fully redeemed by Jesus we still suffer from the consequences from that. These verses give us permission to lament, to feel sadness and sorrow and frustration, and to express those feelings to God. Because we share David’s confidence in Psalm 38:15, that God will answer us. One day we will live in a perfect new creation where our suffering and loss and pain is forgotten. So we are free to bring our hurt and our negative feelings to God, and we are reminded to look to His promise to bring us through it all.


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

God will answer His people, and promises us something better.

Instructions for Us

These verses give us permission to bring our pain and hurt before our heavenly Father.

Biblical Connections

This story does not directly connect with other parts of the Bible, other than being part of a continuous story.

Laborious Understandings

Nothing in these verses strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.

Enjoyable Passages

Psalm 38:15 is a powerful verse worth keeping on our hearts and in our minds.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for being there to hear our complaints and our sadness
  • Confess to God the times that you forget the promises that He has made to you
  • Ask for God to give you peace and hope, no matter what life throws at you


In His Service,

J. LeBorious


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What's Going On?

Job 40-42

These last few chapters of Job teach one of my favorite lessons in the entire Bible, probably because it was a lesson I really needed to learn. When I was in high school and college, I got really into the study of apologetics (the defense of the faith). I did my best to have the knowledge at my disposal to answer any question and win any argument that I might get into. With that kind of attitude, this book of the Bible gave me some trouble. But somewhere along the line, the lesson hit me and stuck.

Essentially what God is doing in these chapters, albeit much more eloquently, is saying to Job, “who are you to question me?” One of the things this teaches us about the character of God is that He is totally beyond our understanding and sometimes He will do things that we cannot make sense of. That was a hard lesson for me to learn, but it’s one of the most valuable I have ever been taught. When it comes to our faith, it is okay to say that we don’t know what God is doing or why he is doing something a certain way. We trust that He works for His glory and for the good of those who love Him, even if we can’t see the entirety of His plan. So sometimes we have questions about God and about His hand in the events we see in the world around us, and sometimes the answer to those questions is “I don’t know, and I probably won’t until I can ask Jesus face to face.”


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

God has an incredible plan for His glory and for the good of those who love Him.

Instructions for Us

This story calls us to humility in recognizing our place before God.

Biblical Connections

This story does not directly connect with other parts of the Bible, other than being part of a continuous story.

Laborious Understandings

Nothing in these verses strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.

Enjoyable Passages

Job’s confession in Job 42:3 stands out to me and might be a great reminder to have in front of us more regularly than we do.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for acting in line with His plan, despite our nagging questions
  • Confess to God the times that you demand understanding and answers from Him
  • Ask for God to give you peace and humility in the face of questions about Him


In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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The Wicked Prosper

Job 20-22

Job is a book that can be difficult to understand. In fact, it can be a difficult book even just to sit and read through. There’s a lot of dialog and symbolism and references that don’t hit us the same way that they would have ancient Israelites. A lot of the text consists of a conversation between Job and his friends regarding all the suffering Job has faced. Job raises complaints and questions about the relationship between God and humanity, questions and complaints that still are raised today.

In today’s reading, Job 21:7 asks a question that many people still wrestle with today. He asks, “why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?” Essentially, Job is asking why good things happen to bad people. It seems like an incredible injustice. We look at the world around us today, we see sinful behavior rewarded, and we ask that same question. I think this question has its root in our idea that some sins are worse than others. Which has truth in our relationships with one another and the earthly consequences of our sins, but in the face of God you are either perfect or you’re not. We are all deserving of death and hell, and God shows us mercy. So instead of asking “why do good things happen to bad people,” maybe we should shift our perspective to “thanks be to God that He gives any of us anything good.” I’m reminded especially of the parable in Matthew 20:15, who are we to begrudge God His generosity?


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

God has mercy for all of us, no matter how far we have fallen.

Instructions for Us

This story reminds us to shift our perspective back to God’s mercy instead of our righteousness.

Biblical Connections

I think there is a cool thematic connection to Matthew 20:15, of God showing grace even to people we might think don’t deserve it.

Laborious Understandings

Nothing in these verses strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.

Enjoyable Passages

None of these verses stand out to me as particular favorites and putting any of them on a wall would probably require thinking of them out of context.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for showing us grace every day, especially the grace won by Christ
  • Confess to God the times that you question His justice
  • Ask for God to show you grace and bless your life


In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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Built on the Rock

Ezra 3-7

I recently had assigned reading for class that looked at the state of the church. As one might imagine, there was a lot of negativity and concern for a church that the author sees in decline and decay. If we take an honest look at the church, there are undoubtedly things that we need to work to correct. The church in many places has lost its missional attitude, many have become more concerned with our prominence in the culture than our faithfulness to God, and many are content to look just like anybody else outside of Sunday morning. Individual Christians and the greater church both have work to do in drawing closer to God’s design. The Israelites knew this struggle as well, acknowledging in Ezra 5:12 that their faithlessness had led to their decline. Now I cannot authoritatively tell you why the church is struggling. It could certainly be God’s punishment for our sins, it could be natural consequences for our actions (or lack thereof), it could be part of a greater plan for something we haven’t seen yet – I am not in a position to explain what God is doing now.

What I can tell you is this, the character of our God is consistent. In our reading from Ezra, we see God relenting and restoring Israel. Even in the face of persecution from the people around them and interference from governmental authorities, God provides for His people. And throughout Scripture, God consistently shows grace to His people. The temptation when we look at the state of the church is to despair, to lament the inevitable decline. But we have a God who will provide for and preserve His church. We are certainly called to bring our individual lives and the greater church more in line with God’s will, but we are confident that the future of the church does not rest in our hands. It rests in the hand of our almighty, gracious God, the rock on which the church is built.


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

God works in these verses to restore His people.

Instructions for Us

This story reminds us to trust in God’s provision for His people and His church.

Biblical Connections

This story does not directly connect with other parts of the Bible, other than being part of a continuous story.

Laborious Understandings

Nothing in these verses, other than pronouncing the names, strikes me as particularly difficult to deal with.

Enjoyable Passages

None of these verses stand out to me as particular favorites and putting any of them on a wall would probably require thinking of them out of context.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for protecting His people throughout history.
  • Confess to God the times that you despair the future of Christianity and fail to trust in Him.
  • Ask for God to strengthen and correct His church.

In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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One Righteous Voice

2 Chronicles 17-20

Jehoshaphat does something exceedingly wise in our reading for today; unfortunately, he follows it with something foolish – but we’ll get there. Jehoshaphat makes an alliance with Ahab, the king of Israel. Ahab then asks Jehoshaphat to go to war with him. Jehoshaphat insists that before they act, they should seek the word of the Lord (2 Chronicles 18:4). What’s more, he isn’t satisfied with the hundreds of false prophets who tell him exactly what he wants to hear. In 1 Chronicles 18:6, he pushes to hear from a prophet of the Lord. The prophet of the Lord, Micaiah, warns him against going to war with Ahab. Then comes the foolish part, Jehoshaphat goes anyway! He goes through the additional effort of faithfully seeking the word of God and then disregards that word and does what he wants.

This is a trap we still fall into today. We go to church, get involved with Bible study, or do personal devotion to seek out the word and will of God for our lives. Hopefully, we seek out a church, a preacher, or a small group that challenges us with God’s Word, rather than just telling us what we want to hear. We put real effort into seeking out the word of God, and still we disregard that word so that we can do what we want to do. As we read and reflect on the story of Jehoshaphat, I would encourage you to respond to the next challenge from God’s word with acceptance instead of with submission to the temptations to ignore it.


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

We see God being merciful on Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 19:2-3 in the aftermath of the failed invasion of Ramoth-gilead.

Instructions for Us

This story reminds us to listen to the word of God, even if it tells us something we don’t want to hear.

Biblical Connections

This story does not directly connect with other parts of the Bible, other than being part of a continuous story.

Laborious Understandings

2 Chronicles 18:22 is a difficult passage to wrap our heads around, and we’re not really given any further explanation on the lying spirit that is sent to all the other prophets. My educated guess is that these were evil spirits or that God was teaching a lesson or testing Jehoshaphat.

Enjoyable Passages

2 Chronicles 18:13 is a favorite verse as the prophet declares “what my God says, that I will speak.”


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for the people around you that honestly speak His Word to you.
  • Confess to God the desires and temptations that you allow to overwhelm His will in your life.
  • Ask for God to strengthen your discipline.

In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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A Righteous King

2 Chronicles 12-16

The king taking up most of our reading today stands out simply because of one verse, 2 Chronicles 14:2.  Asa stands out even more in the verses that follow immediately as he tears down the altars of idols and the high places – the usual exception for many faithful kings – and leads all of Judah to follow the one true God. He even goes as far as removing his mother from her position because of the idolatry in her life. This stands out because most of the other kings of Israel we read about fall away from God, lead Israel astray, or fail to fully remove idols from the people. This is a good enough reason for us to look to Asa as an example, to look for those temptations in our lives that might lead us astray and to remove them as best as we are able. Sometimes those temptations are very close to us, some of our favorite people and things. If they threaten your faith and your walk with God; however, we must seriously consider removing them from their position in our lives. Now this is balanced today with our responsibility to be a good influence and a witness to an unbelieving world. You must personally weigh the impact you are having on the people around you against the impact they have on you. We have to ask the tough question, am I leading them toward faith or are they leading me away from it?


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

In 2 Chronicles 14:5-6 we see God blessing Asa for his faithfulness.

Instructions for Us

This story reminds us to faithfully follow God and to guard against influences that might lead us away from God.

Biblical Connections

There is an interesting thematic connection here to Matthew 5:29-30 where Jesus tells us to remove temptations to sin from our lives.

Laborious Understandings

None of these verses strike me as particularly difficult.

Enjoyable Passages

None of these passages stand out to me as a favorite, I enjoy the story as a whole though.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for the faith He has blessed you with.
  • Confess to God the parts of your life that you cling to, even though they tempt you away from Him.
  • Ask for God to shield you from the influence of anything that would drive you away from the faith


In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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Spiritual Warfare

1 Chronicles 21-23

Admittedly, I don’t have a ton to add to large swathes of Chronicles that list out genealogies. In 1 Chronicles 21 we return to some narrative content that has some things for us to wrestle with. The chapter begins with telling us that “Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel.” Satan standing against Israel doesn’t typically cause any trouble for our understanding, it tracks for his character that he is always standing in opposition to God and His people. If I told you today that Satan stands against the church, it probably wouldn’t be a disconcerting comment for you. What causes more trouble for us can be the idea that Satan individually intervened and influenced David. We don’t generally operate as if Satan and his servants actively take a role in the lives of individual people. Scripture does operate this way though. The Bible regularly suggests that the devil takes an active role in leading people away from God and His will for them.

As we consider the role of the devil and demons, I think there are two extremes to be avoided. On one hand, there is the extreme that spiritual warfare is not something to really give any time or energy to. This leads us to the mistake of not praying that God would protect us from such malicious influences and not being vigilant against the temptations that they represent. On the other hand, we can begin to blame all our failures and sins on demonic influence. This leads us to the mistake of absolving ourselves of all culpability for our actions and might lead us to the conclusion that we don’t need to seek God’s grace. The space in the middle, where we recognize the potential for demonic influence in our lives, stay vigilant against it, and pray for support without blaming all of our sins on Satan is where we ought to strive to be.


Today’s B.I.B.L.E. Takeaways:

Blessings from God

There’s an incredible blessing in 1 Chronicles 21:15 when God relents from the punishment that David deserved.

Instructions for Us

This story reminds us to pray and guard against Satan’s influence.

Biblical Connections

In chapter 22 and 23 we see David beginning to make preparations for Solomon to build the temple.

Laborious Understandings

God punishes David for taking a census, which can be hard to understand. I think the most helpful explanation is that David took a census as an expression of trust in his military capabilities and soldiers rather than in God.

Enjoyable Passages

I really appreciate seeing David take responsibility in 1 Chronicles 21:17, wishing for the punishment to relent on the people who are suffering for his sins.


Topics to Pray About:

  • Thank God for the protection that He promised at your baptism
  • Confess to God times that you have allowed others to suffer for your sins
  • Ask for God to shield you from the influence of anything that would drive you away from the faith


In His Service,

J. LeBorious

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