1 Chronicles 16:23-24

I’m not much of a singer and I get the impression that a good number of our church members do not enjoy singing either. Actually, for me, it isn’t that I don’t enjoy singing, it is just that I know I am not very good at it, so I don’t sing much.

But I do love music. It is through music in fact that I most often feel able to worship God. Praise songs and hymns lift my spirits easily and allow me to feel a closeness to God.

It has been pointed out that the Bible frequently talks about singing to God without ever specifying that you should sing well. What are we instructed to do?

This is a psalm that was written by David. It seems evident that this is a breaking forth of joy on David’s part. He had so much gratitude and praise for God that he couldn’t contain himself any more.

We need to be able to do that now and then. We should be so filled with joy and excitement that we break forth in song praising God even if we can’t sing. Our love and adoration, our gratitude, should break loose from inside us at times and cause us to at least join in the singing and music of those who do have talent.

Being a child of God, being a person who was saved by Christ, should be reason enough to be happy and excited. Sometimes we forget how much God loves us and how much He is worthy of praise. As Christians we need to “sing to the Lord,” “declare his glory,” and “proclaim his salvation.” We need to speak up (or sing) about how wonderful God is.

DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you declare God’s glory in your life?


Matthew 10:26-28

Can you keep a secret? Very few people can. It is very difficult to contain the information that you have, to keep it locked inside and not share it with anyone. Sometimes the secret slips out without your even realizing it. The knowledge you have comes out as you talk about something else.

In today’s passage Jesus is giving instructions to his disciples. He gives permission to share information about the Kingdom of God. What does Jesus say about what is hidden? What command does he give in verse 27? Whom should we fear?

The concept of secrecy is something that crops up frequently in the Gospels. There are many instances where Jesus heals someone and tells them to keep it secret. In Matthew 9:30, after healing some blind men, Jesus tells them, “See that no one knows about this.” In Mark 1:43-44 Jesus heals a leper and instructs him to keep it a secret.

There are many theories as to why Jesus would insist on this type of secrecy. Regardless of his instructions or his motivation, however, what was supposed to be kept secret usually became known. It seems that the joy and excitement about what Jesus was doing could not be contained, even when people were told to keep the secret.

This instruction to keep what Jesus can do a secret never applies to us. In fact, the instructions to the disciples are more applicable. We are instructed to proclaim Jesus as our Savior – indeed as the Savior of all. We should shout it from the mountaintops. We should proclaim it from the rooftops. And we should do it all without fear of how others might take it. We need to be bold and daring and unashamed in our faith.

DAILY CHALLENGE: What about you or your behavior can proclaim your faith in Christ?


Colossians 3:1-4

We don’t always realize how automatic some things are until we have to address the issue with someone not so familiar. As we work now with our second child learning how to drive I am more aware of those things I do when I drive that are simply second nature.

It isn’t always easy to know exactly where to be in your lane as you drive, especially as another vehicle approaches you. One trick I was taught to keep my car in the lane as I drive is to watch the license plate of the car up ahead. It is ahead of you and it is centered. People tend to drive to where they are looking.

Just as we become comfortable with driving and don’t give it all that much thought, we can take our faith for granted and lose sight of what we should be doing. In the letter to the church at Colosse some guidance is offered. What should we set our hearts on? Why? What does verse 3 say has happened to us? What will happen when Christ appears?

Being faithful is not always an easy thing. It requires attention. It requires focus. The decision to love God and to be a faithful believers is not a one-time, simple choice that is made.

If we are not careful we can slowly drift away from God. Little by little we can allow ourselves to be drawn away from the goodness of our Lord and into the sinfulness of human nature.

As we continue our journey in faith we need to remember that we can easily be distracted from God and tempted by the human and temporary pleasures of the world. But we need to keep our focus on what is important. We need to keep our focus off the earthly things and focus on the heavenly and the spiritual.

DAILY CHALLENGE: What can you put in your life to help you maintain a focus on Godly things?


Ephesians 4:29-32

“If you don’t have anything good to say about someone . . . come sit by me.” We’ve all probably heard that one before, and we all probably enjoy a juicy piece of gossip now and then. But we should be better than that. Sharing in gossip is not only a bad attitude to have, it also can promote or sustain anger between individuals.

However, disputes among believers and non-believers alike is nothing new. What kind of talk are we supposed to have come out of our mouths? How might a person grieve the Holy Spirit? What does verse 31 say we need to get rid of? Instead, how should we feel toward one another? Why should we forgive one another?

Offenses and insults can rile us to anger. It is human nature to be upset about some things. The problem is that we should not cling to that anger. Instead, we are called to be forgiving.

It is difficult for everyone, church people and church leaders included, to think well of others and want the best for them. Envy and jealousy often creep into our thoughts and we may find ourselves delighting in the misfortune of others.

But this letter to the Ephesians is a reminder for all of us that we are supposed to say only those things that are helpful in building others up. And it should be offered “according to their needs.” In other words, don’t just pontificate with good advice for people who may not need to hear that advice. Offer good words of advice and encouragement when they are needed, and when they are appropriate.

We also need to remember that we cause God grief when we don’t get along with others. If we will cling to grudges and old frustrations we are keeping ourselves from happiness and upsetting God. Instead, we must learn to forgive in genuine love and move on in Christ.

DAILY CHALLENGE: Pray for a person who has offended you. Pray that God will help you forgive.


This coming Sunday our church will be hosting the local Teens for Christ worship team. As they will be presenting the message for the congregations, our 10/2 Grow devotions this week will be more general in nature and focus.

Colossians 2:6-7

I worked with a woman who had a chronic disease that caused her pain. She got frustrated with her doctor and went to someone new, who asked if she had been taking her medicine. When she said she hadn’t, this new doctor simply sent her back to her original doctor.

The solution wasn’t to find a new doctor. And it is likely that no doctor has the cure for her ailment. What needed to happen was that she must be disciplined enough to do what she has been told to.

In this letter to the church at Colosse we have some words of encouragement. After receiving Jesus what are we to do? How are we to live in him? What should overflow in us?

Just as health issues may never go away, to the point that we need to take medication daily, so the healing of our sins is not always a one-time event. We can come to the Lord and be forgiven, but in time our old sins usually creep back into our lives and we need to be cleansed again.

And even without he sinful nature of humanity, it is so easy for many to take their faith for granted and to allow their enthusiasm for God to grow stale. After we accept Jesus and all the exciting “newness” of that salvation experience wears off we should not forget Jesus.

We must make a new commitment to him every day and find that joy that we felt when we first encountered his love. That joy and gratitude should overflow in us every day, because Jesus is with us every day.

So then, each worship service, each time with God, should be as deep and sincere as the first. God deserves nothing less.

DAILY CHALLENGE: What can remind you of your high points of zeal when your faith begins to fade?