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S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Psalm 92:13 Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. O-bservation: The Psalmist is speaking of those who have chosen the path of RIGHTEOUSNESS. He promises them that God will cause them to flourish, another word for prosper, if they will stay planted in the house of the Lord. It leaves me with this thought, “Whatever You Do Stay Planted.” A-pplication: Whenever I read this passage, I’m reminded of its New Testament parallel where the writer says in Hebrews 10:25 that it is important for Christians to meet regularly together and even more so since the return of the Lord is drawing near. There’s something that happens with consistent church attendance that becomes food for the soul and crafts our way of life. Just being planted in God’s house ensures in time that we will prosper as individuals and families. Since the pandemic, I have witnessed that people are not coming back to church en masse anymore. As I prayed some weeks back, I felt the Lord speak to me and say, “Go get new people saved, Rich. I want to prosper a whole new group of people who...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Isaiah 49:8 This is what the Lord says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances.” O-bservation: This is a conversation between God the Father and the Son (Messiah). The Father says to the Messiah, “When the time is right I will answer your request and I, in the day of my salvation, I will send You to the people who have lost their way, and You will be my covenant for my people to bring back the promised inheritances to their fullest since they presently lie in ruins.” A-pplication: When I read of the prophet Isaiah’s messianic prophecies, the feeling I always get is, “It’s Always Too Soon To Quit.” Or better yet, “There’s Always Hope.” That’s what Jesus brought to the world when He came. Not just for the Jews but also the Gentiles. He leveled the playing field. In the Old Testament, Zion was the City of David or Jerusalem. However, in the New Testament, Zion is...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Isaiah 42:1 Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations. O-bservation: Isaiah announces the future coming of the Messiah. Later on, in Isaiah 61, it is even more undeniable. But make NO MISTAKE, this is an announcement of the coming, in time, of Jesus Christ our Lord! As you read further in the text, this Messiah would bring light for the Gentiles, not just the Jews! It’s as if the prophet proclaims, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus!” A-pplication: So much was prophesied by Isaiah before it ever happened. He prophesied the rise of Babylon. He prophesied that the Medes and Persians would destroy the Babylonian empire a hundred and fifty years before it happened. But Isaiah’s most impressive prophecies have to do with the coming of our Lord, the Holy One of Israel, God’s Messiah. He is the lead Old Testament prophet, always promoting the future and  always telling the people to “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.” They didn’t know what that meant in his day, but today we have a clear vision of what that...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Isaiah 39:8 “The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.” O-bservation: Hezekiah is undeniably one of the greatest God-fearing kings in Judah’s history; however, he failed toward the end. The King of Babylon sent envoys with a letter from him because he had heard that Hezekiah had been ill. While there, Hezekiah showed these envoys the treasures in the palace and the storehouses of Judah. There was nothing of value that Hezekiah did not show these foreigners. When Isaiah the prophet asked him what he had shown them, Hezekiah said, “I showed them everything.” This angered the Lord. Isaiah said, “After you’re gone, everything that’s here will be taken to Babylon, and some of your own family members will be made eunuchs and will serve in the palace of the King of Babylon.” When Hezekiah heard these words, he thought, “Well, at least that won’t happen on my watch!” A-pplication: When you read this mental response from King Hezekiah, you are immediately stunned that a man of God of his stature, one who had accomplished so much for the kingdom of...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Isaiah 37:7 Listen! When he hears a certain report, I will make him want to return to his own country, and there I will have him cut down with this sword. O-bservation: These are the words of God through the prophet Isaiah. Some of King Hezekiah’s associates had been confronted by King Sennacherib’s (the Assyrian king) associates letting them know that either the King of Judah must join him or be cut down. They said, “Do not trust your God Jehovah to save you!” Before they reported these words to Hezekiah, their king, they first went to Isaiah to tell him what Sennacherib’s men had said to them. When Isaiah heard the report, he said, “Don’t be afraid of this man. He will hear a report that will cause him to return home, and in time he will be cut down with the sword.” A-pplication: The words of Isaiah are exactly what came to pass. It’s a long story, and I won’t go into it, but what Isaiah was saying to Hezekiah’s associates was, “Just TRUST God!” What is it that you are facing right now? Is it a money crisis? Is it a child crisis? Is...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Kings 19:19 Now Lord our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you alone, Lord, are God. O-bservation: Sennacherib, the Assyrian king, had sent his messengers to give a message to Hezekiah, the King of Judah. The message was a threat against God himself. He ridiculed Hezekiah and the armies of Judah and demanded that they surrender before Sennacherib would come with his soldiers to destroy the people of God. This prayer is the conclusion of Hezekiah’s prayer to God Almighty. A-pplication: In my life, through the years, I cannot count the number of times I have read Sennacherib’s threats and Hezekiah’s desperate prayer to the Lord God Almighty. It is an arrogant heathen man laughing in the face of and daring the power and existence of our great God. Something wells up inside of me, holy anger, if you will, against the arrogance of the devil and his hoards. I am always so impressed that after Hezekiah heard the report of Sennacherib’s threats, he did not convene a meeting with his war council. Instead, he cried to God for help in desperation. Sennacherib, like Goliath...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: 2 Chronicles 30:26 There was great joy in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon son of David king of Israel there had been nothing like this in Jerusalem. O-bservation: King Hezekiah was the reason for all the rejoicing in Jerusalem at this point in history. He was the son of a godless king, yet he found the Lord and loved Him. On this occasion, Hezekiah had called for the reinstitution of the Feast of the Passover. It had been some 225 years since the people of Judaea or the northern tribes celebrated this feast. When it was brought back by Hezekiah, the joy of the Lord fell upon the people of Israel in such a way that it felt like heaven. That’s what happens “When REVIVAL Comes.” A-pplication: So often through the years, I’ve heard Christians question the need for true heaven-sent revival. I’ve even heard them say, “I don’t want to go back to that holiness approach where everything is a sin.” I always shake my head when I hear that. The reason I say that is because I believe people are tired of sin. I believe that people are worn out from asking, “Is...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: James 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. O-bservation: We must note that the author of this book, James, was the half-brother of our Lord Jesus Christ. He’d watched how his perfect brother had lived while growing up. He’d seen how Jesus could tame His tongue and how he, James, could not. Nor could anyone he knew. In the next verse, James says out of the same mouth comes praise and cursing. He acknowledges that the tongue is “UNTAMABLE!” A-pplication: I’ve known men who, before coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, had a mouth that was so full of filth and venom that I had given up hope for them. But then they yielded their life to Christ, and their words became peaceful, loving, and filth-free. So what a person cannot do for themselves, Jesus can do. How does this happen? I believe in part it happens by the grace of our Lord and the power of the Holy Spirit. Grace says to the person, “I love you, I forgive you, I’m not mad at you.” The Holy...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Isaiah 32:5 No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected. O-bservation: This entire thirty-second chapter of Isaiah speaks about what a nation looks like when RIGHTEOUSNESS prevails. In this passage, Isaiah tells us that foolish leaders will no longer be called noble when RIGHTEOUSNESS prevails and real scoundrels will no longer be highly respected. A-pplication: Over the past number of years, I feel like my head has been spinning on my shoulders when I consider who the nations of the earth, including our own, have elected and or appointed to lead them. I know I’m speaking of a certain time in history, but so was Isaiah. We’ve heard the line, “We need change,” so much that when change arrives, it looks like something that has been here before. Which makes the line, “The more things change, the more things stay the same,” even more appropriate. Unfortunately, worldwide it appears that those in leadership across the board are fighting to protect themselves. Which begs the question, who really cares for the people? I’ll tell you this, Jesus cares for every human on this planet. When we as a body of people decide...

S. O. A. P. Here’s Your 90 second AM Devotional! S-cripture: Isaiah 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” O-bservation: These words by Isaiah were probably taken from the shepherd’s field. The Shepherd would often follow the sheep as they grazed and speak directions to them so that they would be safe while eating. Like sheep, the Lord follows us as “Our Unseen Guide,” speaking words of direction to us when we least expect it. A-pplication: How many times have you been in the “valley of decision” to coin a phrase, and you didn’t really know what path to take? I know I have had that happen to me more times than not. However, it has been in those times that I’ve often felt a presence in the room or wherever I am, and then a SENSE has come over me with the knowledge of what to do. I really believe that it has been the Lord giving me direction. It’s not that I wasn’t praying for direction. It’s just that I maybe wasn’t expecting such assurance at the moment. However, that’s the very way “Our Unseen Guide”...