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Tune In to God's Word

Scripture Focus:

Psalm 23
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are
with me” (Psalm 23:4). “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your
presence?” (Psalm 139:7)
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Our car glided up I-5 almost as if it knew the way home. Static and noises filled the air as I
spun the radio dial to tune in a clear station. A blip of words caused me to slowly retrace
stations I had passed. There - an elderly man was talking about Jesus on this Sunday
afternoon. I listened hopefully.

We had left our young daughter at a Bible college in Los Angeles. We knew God had led her
there, and she was with dear people - but my mother-heart was fearful. Then I heard the
pastor say, “Throughout your life you are somewhere in Psalm 23.” Suddenly peace washed
over my heart. Our girl wasn't alone in Los Angeles. She was with her Shepherd. That was
the last time I worried about her. She couldn't be safer.

Thinking through Psalm 23, I matched its words with events in my life. The pastor was right.
They all fit in my past, present, or future. Since meeting the Savior, I too have been
somewhere in that psalm. After all - that's where our Shepherd keeps His own.

INSIGHT: Let's not let the world's static and noise keep us from hearing God's message. We'll
find confidence, comfort, and truth as we tune in to His Word.

Delight the Lord


Scripture Focus:

2 Samuel 23:14-17
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).“He
fulfills the desires of those who fear him” (Psalm 145:19).
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Southwest of Jerusalem lies the little town of Bethlehem. There David was born and later,
anointed king by Samuel. Some 13 miles southwest, near Abullun, rises a hillside riddled with
caves. While David and his men hid there, King Saul hunted the future king to kill him.
Philistine armies camped nearby and also occupied Bethlehem.

One day David expressed his longing, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from
the well near the gate of Bethelehem” (2 Samuel 23:15). Three of his mighty men were so in
tune with his desire that they broke through the Philistines, drew water from that well, and
gave it to David. His heart was deeply touched. Knowing the risk they took in their desire to
please him, David poured the water out before the Lord. Was David remembering that water
from Bethlehem's well when he wrote years later about delighting in the Lord?

When we live in tune with our Lord, we delight in Him and His desires become ours. We find
our joy in pleasing Him.

INSIGHT: The desire of Jesus' heart is that we please Him in all we do, regardless of the cost.
He gives us so much from His loving heart. May we give Him our all.

Tune in to God's Birds


Scripture Focus:

Matthew 6:25-34
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your
heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A rustle in rhododendron leaves caused me to wonder about the sound. On looking closer, I
spotted an alert chickadee changing position while surveying the bird feeder. Since Jesus
said we can learn about God's wise care from watching birds, I tuned in to God's creation to
learn.

When assured of safety, he darted to the tray, selected one flat sunflower seed, and quickly
flew away. He carried that one seed and stuck it into a crack in a tree's bark. After he took out
the kernel of that seed, he flew back for another. As I watched, he worked steadily for his
meal - one bite at a time.

Our Father prizes us as much more valuable than the little birds. The value he places on us?
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along
with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

God gives us as we need. We may not have a lot, but Jesus invites us to pray, “Give us each
day our daily bread” (Luke 11:1). And He knows we can chew only one bite at a time.

INSIGHT: Jesus has much to teach. He can use common sounds made by a bird to get our
attention. Be aware. Listen . . . watch . . . marvel. God's wonders lead to God's truth.

Meet Jesus, Our Life


Scripture Focus:

John 1:1-4, 10-14


“In [Jesus] was life” (John 1:4). “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal
life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jesus the Son, with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, created this beautiful world and
the first people who lived in it (Genesis 1:26; 2:4-8). Later, to identify with us, the Son of God
became flesh on a scale with ourselves and entered His Creation - not in virtual, but in true
reality. Jesus walked the corridors He had designed (John 1:14).

It is a fallen world today because those first people, Adam and Eve, sinned and died as God
had warned (Genesis 3:1-6). God's splendid Creation groans into decay (Romans 8:21-23),
and confused, hurting people moan and cry. But Jesus promises, “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” (John 3:16).

God calls us to tune in to Jesus and listen to Him (Luke 9:35). Let Jesus' words speak to your
heart. He offers you His never-ending life! Open your heart, believe in Him and receive God's
gift of life. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

INSIGHT: In our new life, we can walk close to Jesus. May we lovingly tell His words to
others, so they too can receive the life that lasts forever.

Tune In to Goodness
Scripture Focus:
Galatians 5:19-26
“The fruit of the Spirit is . . . goodness” (Galatians 5:22). “Let your light shine before men, that
they may see your good deeds and praise your Father
------------------------------------------------------------------------

At the front of the Sunday School classroom the wiggling, bright-eyed little children recited,
“Jesus of Nazareth . . . went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). They sang a chorus to complete
their program before breaking rank and scurrying to their parents. Someone had wisely tuned
the young ones in to God's Word and established the goodness of Jesus in their hearts. That
sets a strong foundation for children and a pattern of life for us.

Jesus’ goodness spilled over into His teachings and actions. In our natural selves we can't
follow His example because God looks at our best and sees that “all our righteous acts are
like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). But our natural, sinful nature was put to death with Jesus on the
cross. When we belong to Him, God adopts us into His family. As God's children, His
goodness can fill us and reach out to others through us.

Jesus still sees good that needs to be done. He will show us and help us if we tune in to
Him. May He still go around doing His good through us.

INSIGHT: Bored? Never! See what good needs to be done - in hearts, in homes, in
neighborhoods, at work, in churches. Get busy! Jesus works through us today.

Serve from Love


Scripture Focus:

Colossians 3:12-17
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. . . . It is
the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).
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God uses many things to tune us in to Him. One day at a church I heard a sound, Snip, snip.
A cherry tree was in full bloom outside a window. Woosh! A branch fell on the grass under
the tree that someone was carefully pruning.

I thought of God’s servants. Those pink and white blossoms would grace the sanctuary the
next day. Somebody would arrange them. Somebody would clean the floor, dust the pulpit,
set out hymnbooks, and fold the bulletins. In town, somebody would get an active family
ready for church and drive out of his way to give transportation to a widow. Somebody else
would pray for the pastor; others would join in the singing, and share a Bible. As many
“somebodies” lovingly served the Lord, many would be blessed.

Sounds of love surround us if we hear with our hearts. The Lord's servants are often unseen
or taken for granted. That's all right. Gratitude to Him keeps their hearts faithfully tuned in to
Him. Jesus knows - and He abundantly rewards.

INSIGHT: Tune in to what Jesus wants you to do. You are “somebody” when you thankfully,
faithfully, heartily do your tasks – for Jesus. Loving Him makes all the difference.

Tune in to Peace in a Storm


Scripture Focus:

Mark 4:35-41
“Peace I leave with you. . . . Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John
14:27). “Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

North of the Sea of Galilee, snow-covered Mt. Hermon's majestic peaks rise more than 9,000
feet. Sudden drafts of cold air can rush down its beautiful slopes to collide with the warm sea
air, causing violent storms.

One evening, after a busy day on the western shore, Jesus purposed to cross that sea with
His disciples. After they boarded a small boat, Jesus fell asleep. Suddenly, a wild storm swept
over them. In a panic, the disciples woke Jesus. He calmed the storm simply by His
command, “Quiet! Be still!”

Thundering waves didn’t have the power to make Jesus afraid. They couldn't deter His
purpose. A storm - of any kind - still can't. “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and
will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18).

Sometimes I’m helpless to control the turmoil around me, but I don't have to let myself be
afraid. I can be aware that Jesus is with me. When I tune my heart to His words, a calm
sooths over my soul. He quiets me and gives me His inner peace.

INSIGHT: Be aware of Jesus. Know that He is with you wherever you are, whatever your
situation. Tune in to Him and find peace. You are safe with Him. No sweat!
Practice Patience
Scripture Focus:

1 Peter 4:12-19
“So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful
Creator and continue to do good” (1 Peter 4:19).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The beginning band warmed up - out of tune. A clarinet shrieked, a trumpet tried a scale, a
breathy flute whistled. In the front row, Dad beamed. His girl sat in that band, and it sounded
good to him. Years later, Dad grew misty-eyed as he proudly heard the marching band
peaked by the lilting flute of his daughter, and he remembered her years of hard practice and
rehearsal.

We long to do well and be God’s “instruments of righteousness” (Romans 6:13). But we


shriek, try, and fail again as we practice God's way. We need spiritual patience that comes
from being in tune with the Spirit and learning the practical lessons of marching in step with
Him.

Paul wrote, “Let us not become weary in doing good” (Galatians 6:9). “Since we live by the
Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (5:25).

Peter said to tune ourselves in to God and keep on going. Practicing kids hear a marching
band. Struggling Christians hear future rejoicing and keep practicing being in tune with God.

INSIGHT: Instead of focusing on our problems, we can focus on our future. Be patient. God is
patient with us. Keep on practicing. His way is not easy, but it's worth it.

Tune in - Even There


Scripture Focus:

Psalm 139:5-10
“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand
will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:9-10).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The silver plane soared over a tufted quilt of clouds that lay over the still-sleeping towns.
Looking out the window, I felt alone. My husband and children would follow later by car and
camper. My task was to find some land with salt water and sea gulls. After living in Tennessee
for eight years, we longed to smell salt air.

A murmur of exchanged introductions came from the passengers. Some had used their cell
phones before we took off. I felt isolated and needed assurance, so I opened my Bible and
found Psalm 139:9. “Wings of the dawn” would be from the east, and I flew westward to
Seattle. Near there waited our place to settle. Once landed, I found a realtor who showed me
land on an island, our “side of the sea.” There, our reunited family built our home together.

I was never alone on that plane, though I was far from my family. My Heavenly Father flew
with me. He speaks through His Word and I could tune in to Him - even there. Today He still is
guiding and holding me as He promised.

INSIGHT: God has sent us what we need in His Word. We need only pray, open it, and
believe. Wherever we are - in the air, on the land or by sea - He is with us.

God Is There for You


Scripture Focus:

2 Thessalonians 3:1-5
“But God is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. . . . May the Lord
direct your hearts into God's love and Christ’s perseverance” (2 Thessalonians 3:3,5).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A church auditorium rang with the old hymn of God's faithfulness as hearts swelled in praise
for God's provisions, “Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide.” One of God's names is
“Jehovah-shammah, The Lord is there,” and He was - as they tuned their hearts to His in
worship.

Later, in another location, two troubled women left a classroom for a nearby empty room and
closed the door. They tuned their thoughts to Romans 8:28 that “In all things God works for
the good of those who love Him.” The women were strengthened. Tears stopped as they
turned from their problems and tuned in to God. Jesus proved His promise, “Where two or
three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

Elsewhere, a single father tuned to Christian radio as he drove alone to work. He enjoyed a
song about answers to prayer. Then he called on God to protect his son as he left for school.

God may speak through a hymnbook, a Bible verse, or a Christian broadcast. Just tune in to
Him.
INSIGHT: May God direct our thoughts to Himself. In a crowd, with a friend, or alone, we
always have access to Him. He faithfully sends the message we need.

Find Refuge
Scripture Focus:

Deuteronomy 6:1-7
“The accused must stay in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest; only after the
death of the high priest may he return to his own property” (Numbers 35:28). “[Jesus is] a
priest forever” (Hebrews 7:17).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A young man, panting and gasping, ran desperately to his city of refuge. Once inside, he
relaxed in deep relief. Though he had done wrong, he was saved from the avenger and would
stay safe as long as the high priest lived. God had provided safe cities within 30 miles of any
resident, and the roads to them were always open. He knew that all people would need
refuge from sins.

Moses instructed parents to tune their children in to God's rules and His provision of refuge.
“Talk about them when you sit at home . . . walk along the road . . . lie down and get up”
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7). The young man's parents had taught him well. When he was in trouble,
he knew where to turn, and he fled there.

Today, we can turn to God’s Word and find refuge in Jesus, our High Priest who lives forever.
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ
Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).

INSIGHT: God provided Jesus as our permanent refuge. But we must turn from sin and run to
Him. Jesus gives safety and a new life. The road is always open - so are His arms.

Listen Carefully
Scripture Focus:

John 3:14-21
“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” (John 3:16).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pleasant background music played as I arranged a pile of papers on the table. I had turned
to the radio station by habit. Now, busy with my own thoughts, I heard the words being sung
but was not paying much attention to them.

Isn’t that how many of us listen to sermons, Bible readings, and hymns? As our thoughts
wander or focus on our own interests, we rob ourselves of the riches of God's truths.
Unhappily, this happens often in a verse or passage of Scripture that we know well. We skim
over it without really hearing the words or weighing their full meaning.

For example, a student of God’s Word said that the largest word in the whole Bible was the
“so” in John 3:16. We can feast on that word alone for a week or more. Read it as “so loved”
and wonder for another week. Then we can reflect on other words in that verse: “gave,”
“whoever,” “believes in [Jesus],” “not perish” and “have eternal life.”

Tune in and really listen to God as you read your Bible, the love letter He has written to you.

INSIGHT: If we read with our hearts what God has written, He will show us a wealth of truth.
We will learn to love Him and treasure His powerful Word.

Open 24 Hours
Scripture Focus:

Joshua 1:7-9
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be
discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Late one night, as we drove cautiously through a curving mountain pass, all the ground lay
white around us. Fresh snow on the road blended with accumulated snows on the shoulders
and frozen ground on either side. The white sky hurled snow at us that clogged the windshield
even though our wipers were on high speed

Then the air became white, like a heavy fog. We could not see the guard rails or the direction
of the road. We were driving in a white out!

We called out a fast prayer to God, knowing we needed His help. Just then the car ahead of
us turned off, and in front of us loomed the back of an 18-wheeler truck. That driver knew the
road and had low lights to show the way under the blinding fog. We followed the truck through
the rest of the pass - praising God for His 24-hour care.

Our Father does not keep scheduled hours or turn off His power at certain times. We can
always tune in to Him - better than on a ham radio. He always encourages us and sends the
help we need.

INSIGHT: Wherever we go and whatever the danger, we can contact our ever-present Father.
He has the resources and know-how to rescue us. No fear.

Follow the Shepherd


Scripture Focus:

Romans 8:35, 37-39


“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death . . . you are with me” (Psalm
23:4). “I am convinced that [nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God”
(Romans 8:38-39).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Carrie, at seven, looked tiny in the hospital bed. Several pillows held her sitting straight up.
Cystic fibrosis makes it so hard to breathe. Yesterday, several toys lay on her lap. Today, only
a small picture of the Good Shepherd carrying a lamb lay in her white hand.

Someone had told Carrie about Jesus and that she was loved, like the Shepherd's lamb. She
rested without fear as Jesus took her home.

I tuned in to a pastor once who said that a Christian, one who has Jesus in his heart, only
passes through “the shadow of death.” He already has eternal life. Jesus said, “My sheep
listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall
never perish” (John 10:27-28).

The pastor added that shadows are made by light. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.
Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (8:12).

Tuning in to teachers of God’s Word gives peace for today and help on the journey to heaven.

INSIGHT: Many fear death and avoid talking about it. May we share with them the hope of
Psalm 23 and introduce them to Jesus, the Shepherd who gives eternal life.
Find Hope in Jesus
Scripture Focus:

Luke 24:13-16, 25-32


“Jesus himself came up and walked along with them. . . . He explained to them what was said
in all the Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:15, 27).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

On the day Jesus rose from the dead, two men walked home to Emmaus, filled with confusion
and depression. Jesus joined them, but they did not recognize him. He asked what they
discussed so seriously.

The men had believed that Jesus was the promised King who would free Israel. Instead, He
had been killed on a cross, and now his grave was empty.

The men had lost hope. Jesus tuned them in to Old Testament prophecies. They had not
recognized Him there, either. But He exchanged their sadness for burning hearts as they
understood.

The New Testament details the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies about Christ.
Someone said,

“The New is in the Old contained;


the Old is the New explained.”

When we listen to Jesus, we tune in to hear God's Word. “In the past God spoke through the
prophets . . . but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). Those
who seek and ask the Lord today, walk with Him and learn.

INSIGHT: God gives us hope for any situation. That hope is in Jesus. We find the answers we
need as we seek Him through the whole Bible, God's Word.

Hear Reliable Witnesses


Scripture Focus:

Galatians 1:6-11
“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.
. . . I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

The radio light beamed through the darkness, showing the station number. Eagerly I listened
as God's messenger told me about Jesus. Those truths were being beamed to me from Jesus
to Paul, to Timothy, through reliable men - as Jesus planned.

After Jesus’ resurrection, He prepared Paul to preach the gospel in many lands. On his first
missionary journey, Paul preached “through Jesus the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 13:38) in
synagogues and open air meetings. Many believed, and he organized them into local
churches.

On Paul’s next tour, he discipled young Timothy as they visited those churches Paul had
started (Philippians 2:19-22). As they traveled, Paul sent letters with instructions to churches
and believers.

Later, Paul wrote to Timothy, “The things you have heard me say in the presence of many
witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others” (2 Timothy 2:2).
All so we can hear today what Jesus taught Paul and what God preserved in Paul's New
Testament letters!

INSIGHT: Many still listen for a message from Jesus. May we be the reliable ones today who
will tune them in to Jesus' words of forgiveness and church fellowship.

Join the Family


Scripture Focus:

2 Corinthians 5:18-20
“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new
under the sun. . . . There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under
heaven” (Ecclesiastes 1:9; 3:1).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

A father and son stood in the airport terminal, looking at each other for the first time in 15
years. They exchanged a few light words and tentative smiles, but mostly they just looked - as
though their eyes would never be filled.

Radio and newspapers tell of other families being reunited. Magazines and web sites show
pictures and more details. And millions tune in to talk shows to watch and listen as families
share their stories.
But that is nothing new. Jacob and Joseph cried with joy and relief when they were reunited
in ancient Egypt. God had their story written up and included in the Bible's first book (Genesis
46:29). Multitudes are blessed as they read it.

We too have a story – the dearest story of all, that the Father has “reconciled us to himself
through Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:18) “that we should be called the children of God!” (1 John
3:1-2) Let's broadcast that Good News by any media available, so others may tune in and
join the family.

INSIGHT: Today, we are watching and waiting to meet Jesus in person. Someday, we know
we shall meet Him and see Him face to face. Then we'll never be separated again.

See as God Sees


Scripture Focus:

Acts 15:37-40
“Do not consider his appearance or his height. . . . The Lord does not look at the things man
looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” (1 Samuel
16:7).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Like many teenagers, I half listened to sermons and knew a little about the Lord – enough to
be born again, but that was all. Then I began listening to Bible teaching with my heart and
memorizing verses that spoke to me. As I tuned in to God's love for me, I felt a responsive
love growing for Him. Love longs to serve.

One day, I poured out my heart to the pastor, sharing how the Lord was speaking to me. He
listened, but only asked, “Why are you wearing lipstick?” To his eyes, lipstick was a mark of
unrighteousness. That's all he could see. That unexpected static broke the connection. It was
years before I went to church again.

Young John Mark served Paul and Barnabas in their missionary work - but he quit. Paul
refused to take Mark again, but Barnabas saw Mark's change of heart. Thank God for those
who are willing to disciple ones who love, but are weak. Later, God had John Mark write the
Gospel of Mark that presents Jesus - the loving faithful servant.

INSIGHT: May we look beyond fashions and feeble attempts. We can't see into hearts, but we
can look into eyes. Be a Barnabas, not static that hinders communication to others.
A Father Waits
Scripture Focus:

Luke 15:11-24
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for
him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree,” sang out the radio. Today, millions have displayed
a yellow ribbon when loved ones are lost. It exclaims, “I'm waiting for you! Come home!”

Those ribbons remind me of a meaningful story, a parable, Jesus told of a son who left home
to do as he pleased. His loving father watched and waited, knowing the dangers his son
faced. These years, he would have worn a yellow ribbon on both lapels and tied one around
each of his trees!

Love also bound Jesus to a tree – the cross. It shows how much Jesus loves each one who
is lost and waits to welcome him. Many wear a symbolic cross to remind them of the price
Jesus paid so they could come home to their Father.

Even the words of a popular song can tune us in to God when our hearts are directed to Him.
God can plead, “It's been three long years.” For some, it's been more than three years that
He has waited. And yes - the Father still wants you! He will rejoice when you return to Him.

INSIGHT: We can always say yes to our Father's love. Though we have been apart, we can
be reconciled. In Jesus' name we can tell Him, “I want to come home.”

Let Your Heart Sing


Scripture Focus:

Ephesians 5:18-20
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of
deliverance” (Psalm 32:7). “I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing
praise” (Psalm 101:1).
------------------------------------------------------------------------
A convenient bench, shaded by overhanging trees, invited me to take a break, to rest and
enjoy viewing the busy campus scene.

Across the street stood the beloved old church where all the activity had begun earlier that
day. To my delight, a carillon, playing well-known hymns, began to ring out from the church
bell tower. Amazingly, groups of birds collected along the wires above the street and lifted
their trilling arpeggio chords to the music of the bells. Then other birds sitting along the ridge
of the church gables joined in.

Hymns of joy became anthems of praise as the peals lifted to heaven and reached down to
me. My soul worshiped too, as familiar words rose in my memory and I tuned in to God
through the glorious music. My physical weariness was lifted as my joy in the Lord refreshed
my spirit.

Paul wrote from prison to the Lord Jesus’ church, “Sing and make music in your heart to the
Lord” (Ephesians 5:19). When we are in tune with Jesus, we can't help but sing!

INSIGHT: Don't let daily worries and busyness dim your joy in the Lord. Take a refreshing
break. Sing a favorite hymn. Learn a new one. Rejoice in the Lord.

Journey with Courage


Scripture Focus:

Romans 15:17-20
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they
pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs” (Psalm 84:5-6).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Canadian geese honked their way across the late summer's afternoon sky. With confidence
and awesome strength they followed their leader in a huge “V” that pointed to their destination
across the horizon. God had provided for them here, and had provisions ready where they
were going.

Corrie ten Boom tuned in many people to God's care. She wrote, “There is no panic in
heaven, only plans.” In God's plan we spiritually leave this evil world around us and head for
the courts of God. It takes courage to leave the known and venture into the unknown.
Courage comes from perfect trust in the One who calls us to step out in faith.

Paul had that kind of trust. “Through the power of the Spirit” he led many who had not known
Christ to obey God (Romans 15:19). He followed God's plan and reached his goal.
When we are tuned in to God’s power and care, He gives us courage to face the unknown.
Whether we travel miles or climb from faith to faith, our Lord leads us to the goal He has
planned for us.

INSIGHT: Jesus knows where He is going. He is the Way. May we venture out on our
pilgrimage of life, trusting God's strength and care for us.

Receive Your Inheritance


Scripture Focus:

Romans 8:11, 14-17


“The Sprit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children,
then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some keepsakes we give to our loved ones now. Jesus shared with us, His loved ones,
many treasures, including peace, love, and joy:

“My peace I give you” (John 14:27).


“Now remain in my love” (15:9)
“I have told you this that my joy might be in you” (15:11).

We make a will so those we love will receive dear things after our death. Jesus' will left us
many things, ours after He was raised from the dead. They include power, purpose, and the
hope of seeing Him.

“You will receive power” (Acts 1:8).


“You will be my witnesses” (v. 8).
“I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness” (Psalm
17:15).

God’s power still beams through His people. All who tune in to His truth witness that Jesus
lives and so shall we. God's purpose reached the ends of the earth - even to us. Now, as His
beloved children, may we share our inheritance with others.

INSIGHT: As joint heir with Jesus, claim your inheritance. God's power is still on. If you don't
get the message, check out that your heart-receiver is working.
Celebrate Father's Day
Scripture Focus:

Matthew 7:9-11
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of
God!” (1 John 3:1) “We love because he first loved us” (4:19).
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Sobs shook the little girl's body and tears ran down her face. Though she wept alone in her
room, her dad heard. He joined her and gathered her onto his lap. When he asked what was
the matter, she burst out, “Today is Father's Day and I don't have a present for you!”

Dad reached into his pocket and pulled out a coin. “You still have time to go to the store and
buy something,” he murmured.

The happy girl jumped off his lap and ran to the store. When she returned, she royally
presented him with a candy bar. They sat and ate it - together.

That story has always tuned me in to my Heavenly Father's love. What can I give Him? I can
give Him nothing except what He first gave me. From God comes anything good I could
name. Paul wrote, “Hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1
Timothy 6:17).

When we love and share with others, we are on the same wave length as God the Father and
in tune with Him. What a reason to celebrate!

INSIGHT: Jesus said we can learn from watching humble little children. We ourselves are
God's children. And He loves each of us.

Value a Child
Scripture Focus:

1 Samuel 3:4-10
“I prayed for this child” (1 Samuel 1:27). “And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature
and in favor with the Lord and with men” (2:26).
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A woman prayed. The Lord answered. Hannah became the mother of a remarkable servant of
God. But first, he was a remarkable child.

At about three years old, Samuel started living with Eli, the priest. Eli began teaching him how
to serve God. Samuel proved teachable, obedient, respectful, and sensitive to God's Word.

Samuel’s early years were precious to God, who gave us many details about them –
especially the first time Samuel tuned in to God. The message came through clear. He heard
God's call, “Samuel! Samuel!” But he needed someone to teach him how to respond. Then,
as Eli had told him, Samuel replied, “Speak, for your servant is listening” (3:10).

As the last judge and the first prophet in Israel, Samuel lived as God's servant. He anointed
David as king and formed a school for prophets. He taught many how to tune in to God.
Samuel's mother was a woman of prayer, and Samuel became a man of prayer. God
recorded, “Samuel was among those who called on His name” (Psalm 99:6).

INSIGHT: What an honor to direct others to God. Know them by name - He does. Tell them
about Jesus. Pray for them. In heaven we will know who God blessed through them.

Recognize Sound Doctrine


Scripture Focus:

2 Timothy 4:1-4
“Now the Bereans were of more noble character . . . for they received the message with great
eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts
17:11).
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The broadcaster challenged, “Study a genuine dollar bill and you can recognize a forgery.”
Berean believers in Greece knew the Old Testament Scriptures and measured Paul's
teaching by them. Paul approved. In the New Testament Paul could write, “What you have
heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching” (2 Timothy 1:13). Be careful what you
tune in to.

Today, printing presses and airwaves produce a confusion of religious messages. Search like
the Bereans:

1. Ask God to lead you to the truth.

2. Contact those who seem to preach God's Word and ask what doctrines they teach.
3. Ask a pastor about the writers and speakers. “Know those from whom you learned it”
(3:14).

Paul warned us about those who teach false doctrine. “They will turn their ears away from the
truth and turn aside to myths” (4:4). Watch what they teach about Jesus. He is the truth.

INSIGHT: May we not be deceived. Thank God for Christian teachers. Praise Him for
genuine believers who love the truth and lead us closer to Jesus.

Keep a Clear Signal


Scripture Focus:

Daniel 1:8-15
“Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief
official for permission not to defile himself in this way” (Daniel 1:8).
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As we turn to a dictionary, we learn that integrity is “(1) rigid adherence to a code or standard
of values, (2) the state of being unimpaired, (3) the quality or condition of being whole or
undivided; completeness.”

Daniel defined integrity with his life. As a youth in Israel and as a man full of years in
Babylon, he steadily tuned in to the Lord God. He never allowed interference with the clear
signal between him and his Lord.

Integrity is proven by a lifetime of consistent honor during various crises. Whether in the
palace dining hall, involved in his government duties, or in his personal prayer life, Daniel
served the Lord continually. He wouldn't eat the king's meat - probably sacrificed to idols.
Later, resentful officials testified, “He was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent” (6:4).
Again, Daniel faithfully prayed to his God even with the threat of lions (6:13-22).

With Scriptures in his mind and prayers in his heart, Daniel stayed turned in to God.

INSIGHT: May we resolve not to be defiled by anything, large or small, that could separate us
from God's favor. May we be known as a people of integrity - for Him.
Find Jesus Near
Scripture Focus:

Mark 10:46-52
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near” (Isaiah 55:6). “Call upon
me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me” (Psalm 50:15).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” yelled Bartimaeus as he heard that Jesus was near.
The heartless crowd insisted that he be quiet. But Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do
for you?”

“Rabbi,” Bartimaeus replied simply, “I want to see.”

“Your faith has healed you,” Jesus said. And a sighted Bartimaeus began walking with Jesus.

Like the crowd that day, many of us turn away from those who hurt. We want to tune in to
easy listening. The crowd's attention centered on their latest popular interest, Jesus. Years
before, the prophet Isaiah had warned, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused”
(Acts 28:26-27).

Bartimaeus was not popular, but he was wise enough to tune his heart to Jesus while He was
near. He is near to all who call on Him.

Jesus still asks, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Tell Him.

INSIGHT: May we turn to Jesus' love to open our own hearts, ears, and eyes. May we be
grateful enough for His mercy to go or stay with Him - wherever.

Harvest Vigorous Fruit


Scripture Focus:

Luke 8:4-8, 11-15


“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word,
retain it, and by persevering produce a crop” (Luke 8:15).
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Many heard Jesus' parable of the sower, but didn't understand. Later He explained to His
disciples, “The seed is the word of God” (8:11). Eleven of them had noble and good hearts,
ready to receive the truth. Jesus cultivated their minds and hearts so in time they could sow
God's Word too.

Good soil retains seed. Satan comes to rob. He mocks, “Did God really say?” (Genesis 3:1)
The world leaves a path of hardened marks stamped on our hearts. Sympathy for others
comes from broken hearts and sad losses. Our sin hardened, selfish hearts need to be
broken. Then they hold seed.

Rocks of old sins, many of them buried, must be dug up and removed before plants can root
deeply.

And we must persevere. Weeding once is not enough to clear us from “the sin that so easily
entangles” (Hebrews 12:1).

Get in tune with God. He desires a fruitful life for you. Do you desire a fruitful life from Him?
Allow God to break, clear, and weed. Only He can prepare good soil. Only He can cause fruit
to grow.

INSIGHT: In good soil, the harvest is the fruit of the Spirit - love, joy, peace, patience,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Treasure a Quiet Love


Scripture Focus:

John 14:23-26
“Show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet” (Song of Songs 2:14).
“My heart says of you, `Seek his face!' Your face, Lord, I will seek” (Psalm 27:8).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

With lace curtains and pretty tablecloths, the small tea room welcomed its guests. One
couple sat in a booth in quiet joy and exchanged words of love in soft tones. No one else
needed to hear.

When God reassured Elijah, He started with a gentle whisper (1 Kings 19:12). Job and
Solomon recorded their sincere words of love.

“I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (Job 23:12).

“My lover is mine and I am his” (Song of Songs 2:16).

Jesus didn’t want us to forget His love for us, His bride, the church. The Holy Spirit will tune
us in to His sweet words (see John 14:26). Choose a devotional hymn. Get alone with Him
and softly sing the love song directly to Him. Privately tell Jesus what His love means to you.
Thank Him for His love. Come closer to Jesus and tune Him in. No one else needs to hear.

INSIGHT: The Bible is God's love letter to us. We can treasure every word. May we know
verses so well that the Spirit may bring them to mind. They are words of our Beloved.

Relay a Clear Message


Scripture Focus:

Titus 2:11-14
“Do we need . . . letters of recommendation to you or from you? You yourselves are our letter,
written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from
Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:1-3).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Perfect Good News: Jesus died to cleanse us from sin, was buried, and rose alive to give us
new life. This news travels around the world by many media - radio, television, web site, the
printed page, and person to person.

Perfect Purpose: Jesus promised, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not
overcome it” (Matthew 16:18).

Perfect Reception: “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in” (Revelation
3:20).

Perfect Connection: “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me,
and I am in you” (John 14:20).

Perfect Power: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be
my witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Perfect Communication: “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our
ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on
tablets of human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3).

INSIGHT: Most do not tune in to Christian media. You and I are their only means of receiving
the Good News. May we tell others so many will come to know Jesus.

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