Word of the Day

Hebrews 4: 12           KJV

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword.

The Word of the Day is back to a its regular schedule. Summer is over sports fans. I thought I would take a moment to recount how we got here, especially since we have some new folks. Let’s begin with why this devotional is called the Word of the Day.

The Word of the Day began in 2006. My brother had just been diagnosed with cancer months after our father passed away from the same disease. I knew my brother need to hear the Word of God on health and healing. God’s Word has power. His words are life and truth and health to those who find them. And therein lies the entire premise of the Word of the Day, that it is God’s Word which has power. His Word has healing in its wings.

So, I decided to send my brother my list of healing scriptures. Just as quickly as I had that thought, another one came to me. Instead of sending him the entire list at one time, maybe it would be better to send one scripture a day. At first, I was just going to send the verse citation but immediately realized I should type out the verse so he only had to read it. Then, just as quickly, the thought occurred to me that there were probably lots of other folks who needed healing for something. In fact, don’t we all have some issue in our bodies that needs God’s grace? So, I determined to send the list of healing verses, via email, to a small group of friends and family. Within moments I went from sending my brother my list of healing verses, one email with the entire list of citations, to sending one verse a day fully typed out to a whole list of people. That was a 43 day commitment. Now here I am 15 years later.

It was begun on June 16th, 2006. At the end of those 43 verses, the Word of the Day had gained momentum. “Now what?”, I mused. So, I picked another list of verses and kept going.

In those days, knowing that it was God’s Word that people needed to hear, I sent only the verse. I didn’t write anything. After a while, though, readers began to ask for explanation. At first, I did so sparingly, primarily giving background information. Finally, on June 24, 2008, on the 405th Word of the Day, I relented, and the Word of the Day evolved into its current format.

With that committment made, I had to learn to trust God at a whole new level. No longer was it simply a matter of finding a good verse. Frankly, that is pretty easy, and didn’t take a lot of faith. Having something to say five days a week, well, that was a whole new thing. I needed revelation every day. I know pastors who struggle to find Sunday’s sermon. All of a sudden, I needed five sermons a week. Was my faith and trust up to this challenge? I had to learn to relax and trust. I also learned that sometimes I had to stick my toe in the water, by which I mean, I had to put my fingers on the keyboard and begin. Then God would reveal Himself. It’s like Joshua 3: 14, sometimes you have to put your foot in the water before you see the move of God. That is a good lesson. When God gives you something to do, sometimes you just need to begin. He will steer you once you are moving.

Well, I still believe the most important part of this devotional is the Word. If you are in a hurry and don’t want to read the commentary, no worries, just read the verse. Read it several times. God’s Word has power. It created the universe and everything you see. So, meditate on what God said. You will never go wrong with that.  And that is why this devotional is called, the Word of the Day.

And by the way, this is devotional number 3391.  Wow, what God can do!

Deep Water

Matthew 14: 29

And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

What is it that makes this story so captivating? Verse 30 reads, “But seeing the wind, he became afraid and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” We understand, don’t we, that Peter is in over his head? He is in the deep water. That is what makes this story interesting. What happens if Peter is in three feet of water? There is no impact, no meaning.

I believe this is a precise metaphor for life. All the important work of life is done out there where you are in over your head. This is a focus area of this ministry. In fact, I have thought about naming the Word of the Day the Deep Water Devotional. Why? There are ministries whose purpose is more centralized on evangelism. Their mission is to take the saving word of the gospel to non-Christians and help those people take the first step in becoming a disciple of Christ. Ivey Ministries is a second step ministry. Our focus is to take those folks and people who have been Christians for a long time and lead them into deeper water.

We want to give people what they need in order to grow in the Lord. I, personally, want to encourage and aid people in going deeper. Many of us have spent some portion of our Christian lives as little more than pew sitters. Or like me, you may have called yourself a Christian, believed Christian doctrine and believed in Christ but those beliefs didn’t affect you on a daily basis. I have been a Christian as long as I can remember. My grandmothers taught me about Christ when I was a toddler, for which I am extremely grateful, by the way. Nonetheless, while those beliefs were always important to me, I didn’t always live daily in the deep water. Jesus couldn’t call me to come out to the deep even because I wasn’t listening well. In San Diego, though, I ran up on some folks that challenged me to go deeper and I will ever be grateful to them. Now, I am most happy when I am way out in the deep water. I like to be in over my head. And really, isn’t this the only way to live? When I am in the deep water I have to keep my eyes on Jesus otherwise I will sink. If I am in the shallows then what do I really need Jesus for? Besides, I have found that life is soooo much better in the deep. There is more of everything out here, including grace, blessing, revelation, glory, etc.

So, my unadulterated, unequivocal purpose in sending you these Word of the Day devotionals is to coax you a little further into the deep. I know there is a cost to you. I too have to pay a cost. There is the minister that sends me looong partner letters, the occasional long sermon which we all have to sit through, and there is the occasional long Word of the Day which costs us both time. 

I want to let you know that we timed the longest Word of the Day thus far and found that most people read it in less than five minutes. Now, sometimes you may feel that you don’t have five minutes. I get that but perhaps you should read the Word of the Day on busyness. Do what is important first and you will find yourself better equipped to do the rest. Second, that is only 25 minutes a week if all of them take five minutes to read. When I break it down like this for myself I find that I decide I can do it.

I have a passion for this and I want to share this deep passion with you. I am revealing to you what the Father is showing me. We are in our last days if not THE last days and we just need more of Jesus. Look around you. Christians are falling on their faces all over. The times are challenging. We can’t skate by on a small dose of Jesus. These are deep water times. So, jump in! The water is fine. Moreover, Jesus is here to take your hand.