Pastor’s Blog | Downey First Christian Church
Day 4 – Wednesday, January 10

1 Corinthians 15:1–11 (NLT)

Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.  It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. 

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said.  He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.  He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.  After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.  Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.  Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.  For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. 

But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace.  So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.


Dave’s thoughts and responses… be sure to write out your own using The Life study book or a personal journal.

Last week I opened the mail to find a refund check I wasn’t expecting.  Right after the holidays… it was good news.  I couldn’t wait to tell Karen when she got home.  A happy moment on a rainy day.

A check is nice.  I deposited it right away using an app on my phone.  Bam!  Instant gratification, my savings account grew.

Paul reminds us of better news, The Good News – the Gospel.  The message that saves us.  The message woven throughout Scripture.  The message that brings eternal gratification.  The Story that fills my soul and directs my life as I read it over and over again.

Day 3 – Tuesday, January 10

Joshua 1:1–9 (NLT)

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. He said,  “Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them.  I promise you what I promised Moses: ‘Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you— from the Negev wilderness in the south to the Lebanon mountains in the north, from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea* in the west, including all the land of the Hittites.’  No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.

“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.  Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.  This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


Dave’s thoughts and responses… be sure to write out your own using The Life study book or a personal journal.

Prone to wander.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Informatio at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. This is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. Link

I imagine that as a people coming into a hostile land there was an urgency that demanded focus on what was important.  An attention span greater than that of a goldfish.  God laid it out for His people.  Study this Book of Instruction continually.  Meditate on it day and night… only then will you prosper and succeed.  

Followers of Jesus are still strangers in a hostile world.  We still desire to prosper and succeed, we want peace, we want joy.  Perhaps our electronically inspired, media trained attention spans cause us to forget what God has called us to.  We try something for 8 seconds and then move on to something else.

I want peace.  I want joy.  I want success.  I want victory.  I must stay focused on and immersed in God’s Word.

Day 2 – Monday, January 9 

Psalm 19:1–14 (NLT)

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.

Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.

They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.

Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.  God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.

It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.  It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.

The sun rises at one end of the heavens and follows its course to the other end.  Nothing can hide from its heat.

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.

The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.  The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.

Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.

They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.  They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.

They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  Cleanse me from these hidden faults.

Keep your servant from deliberate sins!  Don’t let them control me.  Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.


Dave’s thoughts and responses… be sure to write out your own using The Life study book or a personal journal.

Here is what love does: it causes us to desire to please, to do what is best for another.  This can be warped is there aren’t qualifications.  There must be some standard.  You don’t give a child the whole jar of cookies because you love them.  There are guidelines we learn from personal experience and from the experiences of others.

The one who knows us best, the one who created all people, He knows what love truly is.  He knows the boundaries of true love.  He does not keep them secret – He has freely shared them with all who would immerse themselves in His Word.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Day 1 – Sunday, January 8

2 Timothy 3:10–17 (NLT)

But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.   You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it.   Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.   But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will deceive others and will themselves be deceived.

But you must remain faithful to the things you have been taught. You know they are true, for you know you can trust those who taught you.  You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.


Dave’s thoughts and responses… be sure to write out your own using The Life study book or a personal journal.

A guide… we need a guide.  It is so evident in the world today that we need a guide to help us sift through the shifting so called “truths” that are spouted by people given power simply because they speak with confidence.  So often, what is “truth” today is swept away as deception when a louder voice is heard.  Where can we place our trust?

Here is where we can place our trust… in Scripture.  Over thousands of years, for billions of people, it has been the guide.  Granted, it is often imperfectly followed, because our own pride and desires move us from the path.  But the path is there.  And on that path we find the footsteps of Jesus.  In those words we find His message and purpose, His call to follow.  Immerse yourself in the Word.  It is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives.  It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

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