Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. –Isaiah 12:2, KJV
Isaiah is praising God for not only delivering the Israelites from their long period of captivity, but also for being the Savior of his soul. The peace and joy Isaiah felt then is the same delight we all experience when Christ reaches down and pulls us out of our pit of sin and shame. A song is a set of words or feelings set to music, and though there are many types of songs, God instructs us to sing and speak with one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit (Ephesians 5:19). Isaiah encourages us to share his song with others (Isaiah 12:4-6), because we have a Song the whole world needs to know.
Dear Lord: Just as the prophet Isaiah sang a beautiful hymn of praise and thanksgiving to You for saving his soul, so does my heart rejoice and sings praises to Your Name, because I have put my faith in You. There is no greater song, than the one that brings glory and honor to You, my Savior. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
BLACK BEAN AND CORN SOUP
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 cups frozen corn
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 ½ -ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cups beef broth or water and beef bouillon
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
3 teaspoons chili powder
Brown ground meat; drain excess grease. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 30 minutes. Top with grated cheese and sour cream, as desired.
And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
– Luke 1:35, KJV
The term Son of God occurs more than forty times in the Bible – all in the New Testament. Jesus is not God’s Son in the sense of a human father and a son. God did not get married and have a son, nor did He mate with Mary and produce a son. Jesus is God’s Son in that He is God made manifest in human form (John 1:1, 14). He was conceived in Mary by the Holy Spirit, therefore, is God’s Son. Jesus possesses the same attributes as God, and both are honored equally (John 5:21-23). The term Son of God refers to the majesty, position, and power Jesus holds that was given to Him by God the Father. In Christ alone are we given the opportunity and privilege to be saved and receive eternal life (1 John 5:13), all because God willingly did this for us (Isaiah 53:10). At Jesus’ baptism the Father spoke out of heaven and said, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased,” (Matthew 3:17).
Precious Father: How can it be that your love for me was so great that you sent your only Son to die for my sins? Because Your Son Jesus shares the same power and majesty as You, I am free to partake of these blessings when I believe in Him as my Savior and Lord. What an awesome gift this is. Thank you Lord! In Jesus’ name, amen.
HAWAIIAN CROCK-POT CHICKEN
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced
1 cup pineapple juice
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup soy sauce
Combine everything in a crock-pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with rice.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. -John 10:11
Sheep are helpless creatures that cannot survive long without a shepherd. They are slow, dumb, easily frightened, difficult to train, have poor eyesight, don’t hear well, cannot defend themselves from predators, and tend to wander from the herd. Shepherds in Bible times faced incredible dangers in caring for their sheep, putting their own lives at risk by battling wild animals threatening the flock. We are a lot like sheep and need a shepherd to care for us. Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” A shepherd cares for his sheep because he loves them. Jesus laid down His life for us, His sheep, and became our Good Shepherd, because He loves us.
Faithful Heavenly Shepherd: Thank you for leading me to a place of safety, and caring for all my needs. Forgive me for wandering off the path you have set before me, and for bringing me back into a place of restoration and healing. Help me to listen to your voice and always follow where you lead. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
4 tomatoes, sliced in 1-inch slices
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried
¼ teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
4 teaspoons olive oil
Place tomatoes on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake at 450 degrees until tomatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).
But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. - Psalm 3:3
A shield is usually a broad piece of metal or other strong material used to protect something or someone from danger or a hazardous attack. The beautiful metaphor of God as our shield is used over fifteen times in the Book of Psalms, the first being in this verse. David was speaking out to God in verses 1 and 2 concerning his enemies and how they were rising up against him. Then in this verse he begins to declare his confidence in the Lord. King David went through many battles, but because he put his trust in the Lord, he knew God would sustain him throughout every circumstance. Just as David went through many trials, we too face situations brought on by the advances of an evil world. Our hope is in the LORD as we look to Him as our Shield and protector. Our wonderful Heavenly Father will only allow us to face trials that will bring us closer to Him.
Dear Lord: You are my Shield and the One who not only guards my back, but you are all around me protecting me from the enemy’s attacks. As I go through life and face challenges and situations, may the words of this verse lift my head high and encourage me to always put my trust in you. In Jesus’ name, Amen
EASY CROCKPOT POTATO SOUP
1 (30-ounce) bag frozen hash browns (with onions)
32 ounces chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
3 ounces real bacon bits
8 ounces cream cheese (not fat free)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Put potatoes, chicken broth, soup, half the bacon bits, and pepper in a crockpot. Cook on low 8 hours or until potatoes tender. An hour before serving cut cream cheese into small cubes and place in crockpot. Stir often until cheese melted. Serve in bowls; top with cheddar cheese and bacon bits.
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. – 1 John 4:14
A Savior is one who saves, rescues, or delivers another from harm, danger, or loss. So, if Jesus is a Savior, from what is He saving us? John 3:16-18 says that Jesus saves us from condemnation. Instead of being condemned, those who believe in Him are declared not guilty. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” This salvation only comes through Jesus. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
Father: Thank you for sending a Savior into the world so I would not have to pay for my sins and perish, but have eternal life. You gave your very best all because of the vast amount of love you have for your children. Thank you! In Jesus’ name, Amen
PARMESAN BAKED PORK CHOPS
4 boneless pork chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Combine last 4 ingredients on a plate. Rub pork chops with olive oil and then coat with cheese mixture, pressing mixture on to make sure well covered. Line a pan with foil and spray with cooking spray. Place pork chops on pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
And he will be a sanctuary; . . . –Isaiah 8:14, KJV
A sanctuary is a sacred place set apart for a holy purpose to commune with God in intimate fellowship. It is a place of worship to find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28-29). Psalm 65:4 says, “We will be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, Thy holy temple.” The Psalmist David prayed, “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple (Psalm 27:4). God calls each one of us to also seek the Lord, our Sanctuary, and strive to dwell in His holy presence. “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
Father: Today I choose to praise you, not because I feel joyful, not because I feel victorious, not even because I feel warm and fuzzy all over. I choose to praise you because you are my Sanctuary, the righteous and holy God, and the place where I find rest, hope, mercy, grace, and an incredible display of love. May you be high and lifted up in my life! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
BAKED PORK CHOPS
4-6 center cut thick pork chops
1-2 stalks celery, diced
4 ounces fresh or 1 small jar mushrooms, chopped
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
½ cup milk
Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish and place pork chops on bottom. Mix all other ingredients in bowl and pour over top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 90 minutes; remove cover for last 15 minutes of cooking.
He is the atoning sacrifice (propitiation) for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. —1 John 2:2
The definition of propitiation is to appease or to satisfy. In many religions, people seek to appease God or the gods with a variety of actions or rituals they believe will make their God or gods pleased. In contrast, Christianity reveals that Jesus Christ is our propitiation, the One who has satisfied the Father on our behalf so we can be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life. “Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17). By taking on a human form, Jesus came and offered Himself as a sacrifice on our behalf through His death on the cross. Christ alone is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and the hope we have to live eternally with Him.
Heavenly Father: My heart rejoices knowing you sacrificially atoned for not only my sins, but the sins of the whole world. Thank you for giving your life on the cross so I might be set free and live in victory. In Jesus Name, Amen.
1 medium zucchini, cut in ½ inch slices
4 eggs, slightly beaten
½ cup milk
1 pound Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons flour
½ cup bread crumbs
Cook zucchini in small amount of water until barely tender, about 5 minutes; drain and cool. Combine eggs, milk, cheese, salt, baking powder, and flour. Stir zucchini into egg mixture. Place in buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and dot with butter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.