Archived Psalm devotionals

Psalm 1

“Blessed To Delight”


1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.

Psalm 1:1-3

Don’t you just love that the very first word in Psalm 1 is “Blessed”?! And the first two words are “Blessed is...”. Don’t you truly want the blessed is to be you as His blessed one!  David is inviting everyone to become blessed by delighting in God's Word and meditating on it day and night to avoid evil and sin's judgement.

When David pulls the scroll of God's Word from its respected place; it's rolled open, read, and he meditates on it all day. Like David, let's roll open our apps and Bibles and do the same, then watch as God's Word delights. In fact, God's Word is meant to nourish us like a tree planted by a stream to never wither. Question: What causes most plants to wither?... Drought! So if we want to survive droughts, it’s God's Word that waters our souls allowing us to be blessed (not stressed) and avoid evil to grow in prospering truth. This will then bless us to delight as a “believer” who prospers for eternity! (read John 6:47).

Thank you, David, for this first Psalm being about finding delight in God's Word. Let’s make this “Summer Of Psalms” devotional a conscious routine allowing God's Word to be our blessing and daily delight!!!

Good Day,

Pastor John Slotten

Dear Lord God,

Direct our minds in Your Word each day. Holy Spirit, lead us to delight in the Lord at all times as you water our souls in truth. Help us prosper in bearing good fruit.

In Jesus Strong Name, Amen

Questions for thought:

  • What part of today’s Scriptures will you meditate on all day?

*** Please read all of Psalm 1 in your bible today and meditate on it for a blessing!!!

Psalm 2


As we turn to Psalm 2, we are seeing the psalmist wonder at the fact that God’s world is constantly and actively rebelling against God’s plan. Psalm 2 is considered a royal psalm – in other words, it is a psalm about a king of Israel. Either David himself or one who descended from David. The psalm doesn’t specifically say.

Verses 1-3 are about the almost universal rejection that the world has made of God and the Israeli King whom God selected and anointed.

Verse 4-9 is God’s reaction to the rebellion against His plan.

Finally, in the last section, (10-12), the psalmist gives some advice to those doing the rebelling.


Since Adam and Eve, humankind has been in active rebellion against God’s almighty plans. This has been the age-old struggle of mankind wanting to be God and not admitting that they can’t be. We all have a sin nature. All of us, no matter how old or young that makes us think we desire to be in control of our lives, set our own plans and sometimes work against what God’s plan is for us.

The story of Israel in the Old Testament is the story of rebellion against God’s plan. Time and time again, Israel rebelled against God’s plan and suffered the consequences for it. Still, God protected and still protects His chosen people. God is faithful, even when his people rebel. 

God’s reaction to rebellion is swift, and it is just. It was in David’s time for both Israel and for Israel’s enemies; it is still so today.

We must heed the advice of the Psalmist here – Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. We must submit ourselves to the Lord and take refuge in Him.

If you are like me, you struggle with letting go of control of your life. This causes us to rebel and sin. It shows us that we don’t let go and trust God with 100% of our lives 100% of the time. The only way to avoid rebellion is to let go, serve the Lord with joy and fear, and put our trust in him 24/7.

Pray with me – 

Lord God – I am weak. I am rebellious. I don’t trust You like I should. I am sorry for that and truly repent of my rebellion. Lord, You are great and merciful, and I need You. I need You to teach me to follow Your plan and to live for You and serve You in joy. Be with me this day and forgive me for my unbelief. Lead me into Your peace today.


psalm 3

"and you think you're having a bad day?!"

1.Lord,  how many are my foes!  How many rise up against me!   2.Many are saying of me,

“God will not deliver him.”  I encourage you to read the rest of Psalm 3 before reading further.


Talk about having a bad day!  David was running for his life because for two years he refused to address a horrible sin within his own family.  He cowardly fled the scene and called on God to fix his mistake to protect him from the consequences of his behavior .  You can read the entire accounts of the story in 2 Samuel 11-18.


In a nutshell, it was a tragic family story of David’s son Amnon, falling in love with Tamra, his own sister.  He lured her into bed by acting like he was physically sick and then raped her.  David’s other son Absalom became enraged and asked his father to do something about it and David did….nothing!  Absalom became even more enraged to defend his sister’s honor and kill Amnon himself, which he did.  Because David refused to deal with Amnon’s incestuous crime against Tamra, Absalom developed a deep hatred for his father, to the point of dethroning him and seeking to kill him.


And so the story goes….David flees the city, down to the Jordan valley along with his faithful followers…(talk about trusted corner men? They knew the story and still stuck with David!) How many of us would do that for our Christian brothers or sisters?  


So now, David is lamenting the death of Amnon and the actions of his other son pursuing to kill him.  In my opinion this all started when David seduced Bathsheba, killing her husband and getting her pregnant….and not dealing with all that history of adultery, murder, and the shame of a illegitimate son, brought him to the hard reality of losing everything and facing his weaknesses and past sins.  


David was broken, but God was faithful with a man that God proclaimed to be “a man after God’s own heart”.  He protected him, sheltered him and fed him through the painful journey of confession, repentance and finally, restoration.  God is so good to us.  He promised in Psalm 34:18, “He is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”, and in Romans 8:37-39, "Nothing can ever separate us from his love in Christ Jesus."


Thank you, Father, for Your everlasting mercy.  May we always draw close to You in our time of need for forgiveness and restoration.  In Jesus' name we pray…Amen. 

psalm 4

In my Bible commentary, it states that the purpose of Psalms, as Spirit-inspired prayers and praises, were written, generally speaking to express the deep inner emotions of the human heart in relation to God.  Many are written as prayers to God expressing trust, love, adoration, thanksgiving, praise and a longing for close fellowship.  Also discouragement, deep distress, fear, anxiety, humiliation and a cry for deliverance, healing or vindication.  Still others were written as songs expressing praise, thanksgiving and adoration for who God is and the great things he has done.  

Have you ever cried out to God in times of a deeply troubled heart?  Psalm 4 begins with just that.  Asking God to be merciful to all those who believe in His power to do so.  David is not only asking for himself but for those who will continue to be faithful to God – in all circumstances; that when we put our trust in Him, a peace will come with that.  It may not always be the answer we are looking for – but when we keep our eyes focused on God, when we trust and obey His word, He will give us the peace and reassurance that He is always with us, always working things out for our good, always setting us apart.  

In a world filled with “other alternatives”, David is telling us that when we keep the faith, God’s goodness and light will shine down on us that sunshine on our face.  When we close our eyes at night, we can rest peacefully – knowing that He continues to work on our behalf.  The world often feels like a scary place.  Often we are running on empty (both physically and in our souls).  David is calling us to trust in the one, true God.  Our Psalm for today ends with this – I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone O Lord make me dwell in safety.  

Who will you turn to when the enemy is all around?  I pray it will be the One True God!


Father God, Help me to put my trust in You, to seek You first in all situations.  It is so easy to get caught up in the alternatives that the world has to offer, the quick fix for our circumstance.  Help me to be patient in the good times and especially in the bad.  To call out to You - to wait on You - to put my whole trust in You and You alone, oh God of Abraham.  Amen

psalm 5

“Blessed in Persecution

8 Lead me, Lord, in your righteousness because of my enemies- make your way straight before me.
11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy.  Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. 12 Surely Lord you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as a shield. 

Psalm 5:8, 11-12

Have you ever felt like giving up in the face of persecution? Persecution exists in many forms sometimes it's as significant as martyrdom, sometimes it's as simple as being left behind by others for Christian convictions. David here gives us encouragement in that when those against Christ and God's law promote wickedness we are blessed by God because we are found righteous in Jesus Christ.

Psalm 5 gives Christians hope in times of trial from outside pressures antagonistic to the Gospel.  Earlier in the Psalm David highlights that we can bring our requests to God and wait expectantly.  In our world today it is almost certain we will at some point face pushback or trials for holding a biblical worldview that promotes God's righteousness against our culture's wickedness.  But in these times we can find refuge in the good shepherd Jesus Christ who is there to comfort us  

When times of persecution come your way know that you are blessed by God for holding true to His Word and righteousness.

For His Glory,
Daniel Degner

Dear Lord God,

Direct our minds in Your righteousness each day. And Holy Spirit lead us to find refuge in Jesus Christ during our times of trial. Guide us back to you in times of trial so that we can bring You glory.

   In Jesus Strong Name, Amen

Questions for thought:

  • When was a time that you did or didn't stand up for God's righteousness in a time of trial?

*** Please read all of Psalm 5 in your bible today and meditate on it for a blessing!!!

psalm 6

"The Lord"


"Away from me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.

The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer." 

Psalm 6:8-9


The Lord, The Lord, The Lord. He hears and responds to our cries when we are overwhelmed in despair, when we are crippled in anguish, He hears our cries. Like a true loving father He hears and responds to our weeping. When slander and falseness comes our way, He hears our guttural soul cries. Even when we realize we have sinned in our attempt to relieve ourselves from the pain and agony, in His great and faithful mercy poured out to us, He hears our cries. The Lord hears our prayers, He hears them and accepts them and in His great and powerful love for us his children, He moves! He responds, He heals, He restores, He rebuilds, He loves.


Dear Heavenly Father,

We thank You for Your everlasting mercy for us Your children. Lord we thank You that Your ears are tuned to the cries of Your children and You respond to our guttural prayers of mercy and compassion. Holy Spirit, guide us in our ways help us to be quick to forgive and even quicker to pray for those who persecute us. And Jesus... it is in and through Your beautiful name that we pray.

psalm 7

"God is a righteous judge, a God who displays his wrath every day."

Psalm 7: 11, NIV

I think we all can relate to David in Psalm 7 and the deep desire for the Lord to come and let the wicked be punished and justice to be served. I feel this especially now in this day and age where lawlessness abounds and society is teaching good is bad and bad is good. But don’t be deceived, our Lord isn’t turning a blind eye to the evil of the world. No, He sees it all and He is a God of grace, but as the Prophet Isaiah states in Isaiah 30:18, He is also “a God of justice.” It is also stated in verse 17 of this 7th Psalm, “I will thank the Lord because He is just.” So my friend, if you are going through a time where people are treating you unjustly or are just fed up with the way the world is turning out, put Your faith in the fact that your God, your Father, loves justice and He’s fighting for you. Exodus 14:14 states, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Give it to Him and He will fight, and might I add, do a way better job at it than you ever could!

Dear Lord, I thank You that You are a great big God and see everything. You laugh at those who do evil and think they’re getting away with it, for You know the day of their destruction is coming. I also know You are so kind and patient that You don’t want anyone to perish, but want all to come to repentance. Please help us to live in a way that honors you, repent when we sin, and faithfully trust You to help us and fight our battles in Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

psalm 8

The Knower

6. You made him ruler of the works of Your hands; You have placed everything under his feet. 7. sheep and oxen, and even the beasts of the field,  8. the birds of the air and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.


Psalms 8:6-8


Psalms 8 is an interesting Psalm.  Again, I encourage you to read the whole Psalm before continuing in this devotional.  Here David compares the first creation of man, Adam and Eve, of having dominion over everything created….and then in verse 5, states God made him lower than the angels and crowned him with glory and honor.  Look at Hebrews 2:5-9...Paul recites the same Scripture to proclaim the connection of Jesus as God and Jesus as man and then David asks God, and I’m paraphrasing here, "Why do you care so much for us that you sent a Savior, Your Son, to save us?!”…"What is it about us that You love us this deeply?!”  David is asking why would God, who created the stars, the unexplainable galaxies and all that is beyond that, love such a small, insignificant creature as man?  


We know why, because on the sixth day of creation, in Genesis 1:26, we were made in His (Their) image, in Their likeness.  God gave us His gift of awareness.  I call it my “knower”.  Call it your intuition, instinct, a hunch, the gift of the Spirit. Whatever you want to call it, it’s that thing that grips your soul and tells you something is right or something is wrong.  Call it what you want, but God designed it into us.  Have you ever had your children or someone you deeply love really hurt you to the point of anger?  I’m sure you can name many.  No matter how hurt or angry you were, you still love them!  I believe that’s how our Father loves us.  There are times He’s not happy with our choices but His love for us is beyond explanation.  


“Oh Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!”  Because of the majesty in His creation, he gifted us to have dominion over everything….everything! Your struggles, your trials, your pain, your circumstances.  Because He first loved us through His Son.  So today, take a moment and thank God for the gift He’s created in you.  The gift to love Him and those around you.  We are the children and infants that are ordained to praise Him!  Because your “knower” knows the truth, in Him.


Lord, we are so small and insignificant compared to all of Your creation.  But yet You are ALWAYS mindful of us.  You know all our thoughts and struggles.  No matter where we are, You are there.  In our deepest chasm of despair, You are there.  In our highest pinnacle of joy, You are there.  Always guiding, always comforting, always loving us through our journey to You.  Thank you, Father, for Your constant presence in our lives.  Help us to remember that Your compassion brings You right here, right now in the middle of our stuff, carrying us through it all, and strengthening us to continue on.  In the name of Jesus we pray…Amen.

psalm 9

The First Acrostic Psalm”


“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.

My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge.” 

Psalm 9:1-4


This psalm is known as the first of 9 Acrostic Psalms; meaning the poet was very creatively wise having the first verse or line begin with the first verse in the Hebrew alphabet, and the next beginning with the second, and so forth. This made the poem and song very unique drawing the full attention of the Hebrew readers/singers. These Acrostic Psalms often contain thanksgivingpraise and lamenting within them where others focus more within one area. 


In Thanksgiving:

David said, “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds." So where today do you give the Lord thanks and tell others of His wonderful deeds?

In Praise: 

David said, I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High”! So what are you glad about and rejoicing in that has you singing your praises to God for today? 

In Lamenting:

As you read the whole 20 verses in Psalm 9 in your Bible, notice that David laments in verse 13 because his enemies persecute him and he needs God to lift him up from the gates of death. 

So where today do you need God to lift you up? If you’re struggling, are you crying out to God for help? David did and David was answered.


David was being acrostically wise in knowing God desires His people’s thanksgiving, praise, and struggles to be made known. Knowing all can come in the same day, requiring us to turn to prayerful song and requests when they do!!!


Lord God, 

Help us thank You, praise You, and cry out to You as our spirit and soul requires each day. May You delight in our praise and thankfulness and help us out of our troubles. 

In Jesus Strong Name, Amen. 

Pastor John

psalm 10

“The Wicked & The Lord”


Today’s title sounds like it could be a movie title! Psalm 10 continues as the second Acrostic Psalm. In early writings before the Psalms we’re compiled into one book, Psalms 9 & 10 were attached. Yet for liturgical reasons the two were separated. In Psalm 10, David writes on what the wicked arrogantly do. Then towards the end of the Psalm David writes on what the Lord will do & who the Lord is... King forever, who knows the hopes of the helpless, the cries of those in need and will bring justice. Let’s look:

Psalm 10

Vs. 2 “The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others.”

Vs. 4 & 5a “The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them.”

Vs. 11 “The wicked think, “God isn’t watching us!” “He has closed his eyes and won’t even see what we do!”


Yet David ends in Vs. 16-18 with these words:

“The Lord is king forever and ever! The godless nations will vanish from the land.

Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.

Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them”.


The wicked are arrogant, evil, proud, and blind to God's judgement. But the Lord is King forever and knows your hopes, hears your cries, and does bring fair judgement! 


Father God,

Let us be a Godly Nation starting with me as I grow my faith and trust in you!

In Jesus Strong Name, Amen


Please read the whole short 18 verses of chapter 10.



Pastor John Slotten

psalm 11

In the Lord I put my trust. This is how David begins this Psalm. His friends are advising him to flee, they are telling him this out of care for him. But he reminds them that he does not need to flee when things get tough, when our enemies seem to be attacking us on all sides. He reminds us in vs. 4, "The Lord is in His Holy temple, the Lord’s throne is in Heaven."  In other words, no matter what our circumstance, we can stand in faith and trust that God is still God; that He is in Heaven continuing to watch over His people. 

Have you ever been given well-meaning advice from friends and you just knew that it was given out of fear?  Fear for safety and well being.  Fear of what others would think. But somewhere in your heart you knew that God is calling you to trust Him and not live in fear of what others say or think, but that God's word holds true. Faith in God and His ways are still relevant today. 

Verse 7 states, "For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness: His countenance beholds the upright." When we trust in God's plan for our life, when we live in righteousness and faith - we need not fear the world around us. 

What “enemies” in your life do you need to trust God with today? 

Lord God, help us to seek You first always. Help us to trust You fully, in all circumstances, knowing that You are God, and we are not.  Help us to not walk in fear that can paralyze us or make us run, but to stand firm in our faith. We love You, Lord. Thank You for all the ways You love us!  In Jesus name, we pray, Amen. 

psalm 12

“A Holy God in an Unholy World


1 Help Lord, for the godly person, has come to an end, For the faithful have disappeared from the sons of mankind. 2 They speak lies to one another; they speak with flattering lips and a double heart. 
6 The words of the Lord are pure words; Like silver refined in a furnace on the ground filtered seven times.  7 You Lord, will keep them; you will protect him from this generation forever. 

Psalm 12:1-2, 6-7


Have you ever felt alone like you are the only Christian in your work, school, neighborhood, athletic team, etc.?  Has anyone ever used their tongue against you in a way that was dishonoring by bullying, starting rumors, not keeping a secret in confidence, or other mean things?  If you're honest, have you ever been guilty of sinning with your tongue?  Psalm 12 highlights these feelings. In our world of brokenness and sin, the tongue and language are often used for unholiness and sinful behavior. This is in contrast to the words of the Lord which are pure.  Unlike us humans who are sinful, God is perfect and sinless.  His promises do and will come true unlike some of ours.

While reading this passage we see that the culture of King David's time was guilty of using their tongue in dishonoring ways just as we see today that our culture is guilty of using their tongue in dishonoring ways.  I believe this is why James highlights the need for Christians to tame their tongues in James 3:1-12 because as Christians, we have a duty to bring glory to God through a pure clean tongue and the words that come out of it.

Psalm 12 reminds us that even when we see how words are used to hurt those around us God's word is pure and will never fail.  We can cling to the cross in those times of hurt.  We must not forget the call to be something else that James 3 highlights.  As born-again believers, our words should demonstrate our faith in Christ and should have holy God-honoring words coming out.


For His Glory,
Daniel Degner


Dear Lord God,

We are imperfect sinners who have used our tongues for unholy purposes.  Please forgive us of the sin from our tongue and guide us to bring You glory through our speech and words.

   In Jesus Strong Name, Amen


Questions for thought:

  • When was a time that you haven't honored God with your tongue?  How can you work to better honor your tongue for God this week?


*** Please read all of Psalm 12 in your bible today and meditate on it for a blessing!!!

psalm 13

From Sorrow to Singing

“Oh Lord, how long will You forget me?

How long will You look the other way?

How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart everyday?

How long will my enemy have the upper hand?”


David has serious trouble in his life and obviously feels alone in his struggle. His ongoing life circumstances are causing real down and out feelings.  Ever been there?


Though he can’t feel the nearness of God's loving Presence, he still chooses to turn to Him in prayer.  He begins recounting his awful circumstances.  As he cries out, something happens.  A change begins taking place.  Not in his circumstances, but in David!

As Psalm 13 continues, he refocuses his attention.  In this process, he chooses to trust in the truth that God is always loving.  Always. He chooses to believe the Lord will indeed deliver him. David’s soul begins to respond to this truth and it strengthens him.  He sees himself spinning in circles of joy, singing songs to God about how generous He has always been to him.

Wow, that’s a significant change in thoughts and emotions!  What an amazing experience David has in conversation with God!  He has gone from sorrow to singing and God didn't even say anything!  


Dear Heavenly Father - thank You for David and Psalm 13.  Even more thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ.

Jesus, as You faced The Cross for our sake, You chose to focus on the joy that would be Yours afterward.  You chose to lay down Your sinless life to be crucified so that through Your life, death and resurrection I could have a life of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  What better reason could there ever be to spin and sing in circles of JOY!  Thank You!!!

Holy Spirit, please help me remember God is always loving, He is for me, and that I too can choose JOY in it all.  By grace through faith in Jesus Name, Amen.


Today’s question: Would you be willing to take time today alone with Jesus to talk about your troubles that have you asking, ‘How long Lord???’ ...and see if you too might come away surrounded in His love, dancing and singing songs of JOY to God?

psalm 14

“The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God."

Psalm 14:2

This verse makes me kind of sad to think of our sweet Father patiently looking down, waiting for His children to come spend some time with Him, and so many choose not to. I believe it is one of satan’s greatest weapons for people to be dulled by busy schedules to be too occupied to spend time with Him.  But, how foolish this is, as time alone with Him recharges our battery and gives us true life and peace! Psalm 39:6, NLT states, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing around ends in nothing.” Well, that’s a great reminder for us to stop wasting time on things that don’t matter and start setting our priorities straight, investing our time with Him in prayer and Bible study. Put Him first before phones, schedules, work, to-do lists, kids activities, etc… Don’t fall into satan’s trap of busyness. Be aware of this trap and start seeking the Lord first today and every day! This investment of time will change your life, I promise. There’s a saying that I love that states, “A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t."

Dear Father, we thank You for being the one, true, perfect, Abba, Father. Thank You for giving us our earthly fathers to care for us here on earth; we pray blessings over them all today. Help us to love and care for them well, as we are called to do. Please also, Lord, help us to seek You first and center our lives around You alone. Please give us an understanding of Your Word, growing in all knowledge and truth so we can share it with the world around us! Thank You for loving us so well and being so kind and patient with us as You wait for us to open the door of our lives to You. Help us to do this every day. We love You and ask this all in Jesus’ name, AMEN!

psalm 15

1.LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy mountain?

Psalm 15:1, NIV

David brings a hard question to all of us, “Which of us is worthy to walk into the Throne Room of Grace? To enter beyond the vail and into the Holy of Holies and face the God of all creation, which no eye has ever seen?!”  No one! But One….and you know Who it is…. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He’s the One who can! But we, on our own, would parish, vaporize, like a mist or a cloud... Here one second and gone the next.  


Kind of sounds hopeless for us doesn’t it?  In truth, in ourselves…it is, but, we have an Advocate!  Blessed Redeemer!  The Author of Salvation! The Bread of Life!  He has paved the way to eternal life and has torn the vail in half so we can enter boldly into the Throne Room of Grace, as Paul tells us in Hebrews 4:16.   And why would we do that?  So we can obtain mercy and grace in time of our need. Our desire to become like David’s description in this Psalm, to become men and women of verses 2-5.  There is no other way!  


Out of all the religions of the world, not one proclaims boldly, that their god is the ONLY WAY to enter Heaven, eternal life.  Jesus is the only One who has proclaimed this bold truth, that He is the only way, the truth and the life so we can dwell in the tent where God dwells and stand on the Holy Mountain where God stands.  God allows us passage to Him because He doesn’t see us, but sees the blood of Christ on us and the Spirit of Christ in us.  Now our Abba God can say to us…..”This is my beloved sons and daughters, whom I am well pleased.” 


This is the true meaning and desire of all our hearts, whether Greek, or Jew, or Gentile.  Every human being has an intrinsic need to fellowship and belong to their Creator.  He built us that way! And its purpose is for us to need only Him and we can’t escape that truth.  But our sinful human nature causes us to stray and thus we have our Savior and Redeemer who came to save the world and not condemn it.  David writes in Psalms 103:3, “Praise be to God who forgives all our sins and heals all our diseases!” I believe He’s not talking about just our physical diseases but our spiritual illnesses as well, so we can finally return and have fellowship with God!


Today, thank God for all His mercies and benefits; to continue the life He has given us to love Him and love our brothers and sisters and our neighbors so that we may proclaim and take hold of the last verse in this Psalm….”He who does this, will never be shaken.”  


Come and pray; 

Father, You have placed every star in its place and created every planet to Your liking.  It reminds us how ominous and powerful You are.  But in Your endless power, You are tender and notice us who desperately need You.  Soften our hearts and open our eyes to You, our brethren and our neighbors; to do Your will by showing Christ in us to a broken and pain-stricken world that they too may have place in the tent where You abide.  In Jesus name we pray, amen.

psalm 16

Today we turn to Psalm 16. Psalm 16 contains the word Miktam in the heading, which is also found in Psalms 56-60. These Psalms are associated with King David, and may have formed a smaller collection of Psalms at some point. The word Miktam is a word of unknown meaning in ancient Hebrew.This Psalm appears to have been written by David during a time of trial.

1 Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

As I read the words of this Psalm, I think about my own reactions during the times in my life where I was enduring some type of trial. Instead of questioning God, or blaming God, David praises God and rejoices in His presence. He prays, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing…You alone are my portion and cup…I will keep my eyes on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. You make known to me the path of life you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” 

What beautifully true words from David in this miktam. Is it too high of a mark for us to trust God, like David trusted him? No!

If you know the story of David, you know that he was a flawed and sinful person, just like me. Just like you. Yet, God called David a man after His own heart. We too can trust God like David did because God alone is our Creator, Redeemer and the Designer of our lives. God above everyone else in your life loves you completely and has good plans for your life. We just need to surrender control. To trust and not be shaken in times where things don’t go the way we want them too.

Today – I want to live and choose to be filled with joy at the presence of God in my life. I resolve to pray this prayer today and every day, in a time of trial and in a time of great blessings, I will strive to trust God, like David trusted God.

Today – reread Psalm 16 below and pray it as your prayer. Today let God’s eternal presence fill you with His complete joy and live free knowing that you are secure in the one who made you.



Psalm 16

A miktam[a] of David.

1 Keep me safe, my God,
    for in you I take refuge.

2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
    apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 I say of the holy people who are in the land,
    “They are the noble ones in whom is all my delight.”
4 Those who run after other gods will suffer more and more.
    I will not pour out libations of blood to such gods
    or take up their names on my lips.

5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup;
    you make my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
    surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me;
    even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    nor will you let your faithful[b] one see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence,
    with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

psalm 17

“David Prays”

Psalm 17:6-8 states: 

“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Show me the wonders of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”


Don’t you just love that we can pray; that we have this gift where we can just call on His name and He turns His ear to hear us?!!! I love David’s confidence where he says ,“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me!” I then equally love David’s prayerful request of “Show me the wonders of your great love...” and how can anyone not love the ending? — “Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.”God does love us and we are the apple of His eye. I even think when we pray, we are drawn within His shadow by prayers power so close He hears every word. Call out to Him in your needs and praises. He will answer you like a Savior! Perhaps right now, today in prayer, ask God to show you the wonders of His great love and to keep you the apple of His eye and shelter you beneath His wings.

Lord God, Thank You for Your love, shelter, and protection! We love that You hear and answer our prayers. Today, keep each of us the apple of Your eye and show us Your great love as You draw us near.

In Jesus Strong Name, Amen

Pastor John 

psalm 18

“I Love You O Lord”... and “I Call To The Lord”


“I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”. “I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies.” 

Psalm 18:1-3


Every Sunday when you come to Essential Rock Church and look at your bulletin, you find a clear reference to Psalm 18 within.  Psalm 18 is a “Praise Psalm” attributed to and confirmed to be by David. In an amazing biblical rarity, the Holy Spirit saw to it that the chapter be repeated, nearly in full, again in the Bible. It's repeated in 2 Samuel where we also find out why David wrote it. So today as you open your personal Bible to read all Psalms 18:1-50, please turn to 2 Samuel 22:1-51 and see why David was singing praises to God.  In 2 Samuel 22, in verse 1, you’ll learn David wrote this Psalm as a song praising God as a confirmation God had delivered him from all his enemies and also from the hand of Saul. Scholars believe David wrote this song of praise towards the end of his life after all his ups and downs and could see how God as His Rock had delivered him through his everything’s and David had a lot of them.  So if you are a devout follower of God, though like me and even David still imperfect and always in need of a loving Savior, know we have a Lord all people can call to and love.


So what would it feel like for you if God delivered you from all your enemies?  What would your praise song say? Would your words say... "The Lord is my Rock? My Fortress? My Deliverer?  My God is my Rock, My Refuge, My Shield, My Horn (which means strength) of my Salvation, My Stronghold?" And would your song of praise say, “I call out to the Lord who is worthy of praise?"  Would your words, whatever they are, be to God because He is your Essential Rock, your Stronghold, Salvation, Strength, Shield, Refuge, and Most important, Rock and Deliverer who is your Fortress to love, as your amazing Lord?! 




1.) How are you showing your love to God currently in words, thoughts, and praise, even in song?  Even if in the midst of a struggle? (Know by faith we can show love to God and take refuge in Him).


2.) How and for what are you calling out to God for today?  (Today call out to God for a need for yourself or another and just maybe He will give a response that is worthy of Praise!!!


Let’s Pray—Lord God, You are my Essential Rock, my most needed Rock everyday. Whether in times of needed refuge, or as my Shield, I know you’re the strength of my Salvation. Thank You for letting me call on You, Lord, as I count it a privilege to say I love You because You first loved me! In Jesus Strong Name, Amen.


Essential Rock Church in part extrapolates its name from Psalm 18 & 2 Samuel 22. They deserve a depth of gratitude from all of us for leading us to our Church's name! 


“Our God is the Rock of our salvation! And that makes Him our most Essential Rock! Thank You Jesus!!!”        


— Pastor John Slotten

psalm 19

“Natural Law

Psalm 19:1-2 states:

“The Heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge."

Have you ever looked at something in nature and been amazed at God's creation? Have you ever seen something that left you with the thought 'this couldn't be here if it wasn't for God'? I remember being a Senior in high school dissecting an animal for anatomy class and having that reaction. Each and every part of the body works in such specific ways and even if something is a little off here or a little off there often major pain is a result. Nature points us to Christ. Paul highlights this in Romans 1:18-20 that creation is all one needs to see to know that there is a God and a natural law God created to govern the world. Often, natural law is a term used in Catholic circles but we can use it here in Psalm 19. We see through the God-given institution, the family that when we follow God's commands on marriage, sex, spiritual leadership, etc., that it not only feels right because it is, but that it also is better for the individual, family, and society.

Application: Go for a walk today, or enjoy the sunset, or something else that helps you reflect on the beauty of God through nature. God has given us all these beautiful treasures on earth to point us back to Him!

In Jesus Strong Name,

Dan Degner

psalm 20

The Name

Ever name-drop?  Ever drop someone’s name, intentionally or unintentionally?  The idea behind name-dropping according to Webster’s is, “the practice of casually mentioning the names of famous people one knows or claims to know in order to impress others.”

The psalmist David is one of the biggest intentional name-droppers!

“May the Lord answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.” Psalm 20:1 NIV

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.  They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” Psalm 20:7-8 NIV 

David’s loves to name-drop!  In this prayer, he shamelessly name-drops God's Name, boasting in God’s abilities, achievements and possessions.  Even as a boy tending his fathers sheep and carry supplies to the troops, we see this is his practice.

Young David faces one of his biggest giants in 1 Samuel 17 and wastes no time boasting on God!  David says, “You come to me carrying a sword and spear and javelin as your weapons, but I come armed with the name of the Eternal One, The Commander of heavenly armies, the True God of the armies of Israel, the One you have insulted.” 1 Samuel 17:45 TVB

David isn’t casually mentioning God's Name, but does so with great intention.

To impress others?…yes!

Who?? …everyone, friend and foe alike!!

Then David takes Goliath down.  Not with a sword, spear and javelin but in the name of God, His strength, and a stone in a slingshot.

We name-drop because of insecurities but David shows the way to redeem name-dropping.  By putting our confidence in the name of God, Who He is, what He has done, and can do.

God of Jacob - You are The Living God.  The God of David.  My God.

Lord Jesus - You are The Lord of Heaven’s Armies.  The Commander.  Victorious Champion. 

As kid, then king, David learned how to put his confident in the name of The Lord God. He shouted Your Name in his need, confident he would joyously shout it again in victory.  

I’m asking for Your help please, Holy Spirit, to redeem name-dropping in my life.  Psalm 20:4 NIV says, “May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.”  I desire to put my confidence in the name of the Lord God, Who You are, what You’ve done, can do and experience success in plans in Jesus Name, Amen.

Today’s question: Since my battles are not with human beings but spiritual foes, am I willing to take time to pray, intentionally using God's Name, until I’m able to rise up, standing firm believing Him for victory in my circumstances, for God’s glory alone?

psalm 21

“For the king trusts in the LORD; through the unfailing love of the Most High he will not be shaken."

Psalm 21: 7

Psalm 21 speaks of the king and his relationship and unfailing love of the Lord. But, of course, this Psalm can be easily applied to all of us normal Joes as well! David trusted the Lord in all things, he was a man after God’s own heart! He wasn’t shaken when all hell broke loose and he was running for his life multiple times, some of those times were from his own flesh and blood. Can you imagine?! Your own kids wanting to kill you so you are hiding in caves, leaving your spouse, children, family, and best friends behind, not knowing where your next meal was going to come from?  Can you really imagine that?! How horrible, yet David trusted the LORD. In so many Psalms, David starts out angry, scared, frantic, complaining, but then he always came back to praising the LORD. He takes his eyes of himself and the circumstance and  starts to focus on the Faithfulness of God and can’t help but change his attitude and come back to trust, praise, and peace at the end. This happened over and over again. We need to learn from David. We need to get our eyes off ourselves, get our eyes off our circumstance and fix our eyes on Jesus. Praise Him and trust Him. 

There’s an old saying that says, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair.” When horrible circumstances come our way, it’s only natural to freak out, be scared, cry, scream, and get mad. Our loving Father made us, understands us, and gave us emotions. He wants us to feel them and not to stuff it. But, we need to make sure we’re not camped out on the problem and we turn our focus on Him, reading the Word, spending time in prayer, trusting His Character and Faithfulness. Remember all the times He came to your rescue in the past. He will do it again, He wants to! Because he trusted the LORD, David escaped EACH time, he was given huge victories over his enemies, and Psalm 21:6 states, “Surely you have granted him unending blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.” Trust moves God and in turn blesses you abundantly. What do you have to lose if you trust Him? Nothing to lose, but all to gain. He’s Faithful and True. For today’s homework, please read all of Psalm 21 and meditate on Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

Dear Lord, thank You for Your love and patience with us. Thank You for helping us, never leaving us nor forsaking us, especially when we doubt. Please help us to focus on the realities of Heaven, fixing our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is seen is eternal! Glory to God! Holy Spirit, please help us to stop doubting and please come rule and reign in us to love and trust You with all our hearts, souls, minds, and might in Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

psalm 22


“The Lion Never Sleeps"

1 My God my God why has thou forsaken me?! 2 Oh my God, I cry by day but Thou dost not answer.  7 all who see me sneer at me,  10b Thou has been my God from my mother’s womb. 11 be not far from me for trouble is near.  16b a band of evildoers has encompassed me.  21 save me from the lions mouth.  25 from Thee comes my praise in the great assembly.  26 the afflicted shall eat and be satisfied.  28 for the kingdom is the Lord’s and He rules over the nations. 29 all the prosperous of the earth will eat and worship.

This Psalm is one of the more descriptive in man’s struggles and the prophetic proclamation of Jesus’ agony on the cross. You must read the whole Psalm to connect and commiserate with David’s painful struggle so you can parallel your present or past traumas with David.  Can you feel his pain in the moment of crying out to God, pleading, “Where are You, God?!”  We all can.  It’s inevitable, Jesus warned us, life will be challenging, confusing and painful BUT, He immediately soothed our anxious hearts by telling us not to be afraid or worry. He overcame all the troubles that the world can throw at us.  

How comforting it is to read that one of the greatest authors of our scriptures is a man who experienced the same pain, fear, confusion and shame we experience and asked the same questions we ask.  And within the whole context of David’s life, we see the endless, redeeming love of God always there, carrying David  through the turmoils of life. This is the same God and same love He has for us during our time of testing and tribulation. I have to quote the bridged lyrics of a Newsboys song, which states, “God’s not dead, He’s surely alive, living on the inside roaring like a Lion!”  (I bet that song is stuck in your head now!)

In past devotionals, I’ve spoken of the “knower” that’s built in you, given by God, to experience His creation in us. You, me, and David know where to go when the bottom of our lives have fallen out from under us.  When hope seems to have fled into the fears of our minds, our “knower” kicks in and it “Roars like a Lion” reminding us to turn to our Redeemer, our Savior and Advocate; where we find in Philippians 4:6, “The peace of God that surpasses all understanding, guarding our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” 

David’s struggle and torment is nothing new to man. He knew where to turn and knew God would be there, right in the middle of his stuff! Dear reader, are you struggling, in pain, confused, tormented?  Let God’s Spirit, already in you, guide you to Him.  In the midst of your painful struggle, no matter what you feel or think, the truth is, God’s got this.  Surrender and let Him teach you Psalm 46:10 to “be still and know He is God.”

Come, pray,

Father, we are so grateful You are the God of our salvation.  Our Elohim Shomri, God our protector and defender. Where can we go but to You?  In You, we live and have our being.  Father, continually remind us we are Your children and no longer orphans of this world.  Redeem our hearts from the struggles we face today and open our spirit to Your love and reveal Your name in our hearts, Elohim shomri, the God who defends us!  And let us experience the comfort and rest under the shadow of Your wings, knowing You’ve got this and we’re ok because the Lion of Judah never sleeps!  In the name of Yeshua our Lord and Savior, Amen


psalm 23

Secondary Title

“The Lord Is My Shepherd”
The 23rd Psalm is the single most known and often used Psalm in the book of Psalms, and what makes it amazing isn’t just its words in 6 short verses, but knowing the whole book of Psalms was the most used book in the Kingdom Period. It is still today widely used in churches for liturgy, devotions, song, services, as well as the most quoted book of the Old Testament. So it’s exciting to tell you Psalm 23 is the single most known and used Psalm of all 150! Now let’s look at this amazing Psalm 23 in full: 

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters,

3 He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Imagine David saying these words, “The Lord is my Shepherd” believing full heartedly that the Lord is his guiding, protecting, caring Shepherd! Then David has these words follow: “I lack nothing”. David is obviously feeling safe and complete in life with God having provided all he needed! But these 6 verses tell us even more about our Shepherd by digging into the key descriptive words David used in the form of “He”, “You”, and “Your” to show us how the Shepherd led David to believe, “I lack nothing”. Notice where each descriptive word for God leads David:


  • He Makes...
  • He Leads...
  • He Refreshes...
  • He Guides…
  • How is our Lord and Shepherd making, leading, refreshing, and guiding you in His love and care? Notice God did these as David’s Godly Shepherd for “His namesake” (vs. 3) to grow Himself within David’s heart and soul as his God. 


  • You are with me...
  • You prepare a table for me...
  • You anoint my head with oil...
  • Now notice the descriptive word for the Shepherd shifts from the less personal word of “He” to a more personal descriptor of “You”. This happens right after David walked “through” the valley of darkness showing us what God does with us in true relationship. God did these things as a trusted Shepherd so David’s “cup overflowed” within a personal loving relationship. How has God been “with you” in relationship lately to fill or overflow your cup?


  • Your rod and staff...
  • Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life...
  • Now notice the descriptor word shifts from "you" to “your” and becomes even more personally intimate. God has become David’s Shepherd and personal Savior in comfort for goodness and love for all his days!!! How has God shown you His comfort, goodness, and love lately? Is the Lord “Your” Shepherd? If not, ask Him to be right now!!!

In closing, notice how David responds with his own “I” statements: 

  • I lack nothing...
  • I walk through the darkest valley...
  • I fear no evil...
  • I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

An amazing 6 verses and 109 words of how, through faith by grace, we can lack nothing now, and later dwell with the Lord forever! Is the Lord your Shepherd? If so, praise Him today in your own personal prayer and if not, invite Him in now because you then too can truly lack nothing!!! Amen Amen

In Jesus’ Strong Name,

Pastor John Slotten

psalm 24

Is The Who You!!!”

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?

The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.

Psalm 24:3-6

Brenda and I have a daughter, who was overly rambunctious when she was young. She needed Brenda as mom, to take her loving, motherly hands and place one hand on each of our daughter's cheeks, then look directly into her eyes to seek her full attention. It didn’t take long before this daughter started grabbing both of our cheeks to get our full attention when she wanted a blessing, vindication, or a deep desire known or fulfilled from mom or dad. It was awesome. We began to seek each other’s best!!! So I love this Psalm and Scripture and the idea of all of us seeking God's face!!!

I pray the WHO in this Scripture is each of you, including myself! I pray we’re all the generation that seeks God’s face, becoming those blessed to stand in His Holy Place! Yet to achieve this, we must have clean hands, a pure heart, and not trust in idols or swear by a false god. So how do we gain clean hands, a pure heart, and full trust in the true God? It’s by seeking the Savior's Holy face. It’s by becoming the generation of true believers thus blessed and given vindication through forgiveness by God. Can you attest as I, that when you’re far from seeking God and His face, it usually leads to needing vindication. But when you truly seek His face, you’re blessed and forgiven. Today seek God's full attention by seeking His face. Picture in your mind's eye today holding God's cheeks while He holds yours. Know this; when I do, my hands feel so clean and my heart so incredibly pure! 

Let your prayer be in your own words right now as you gaze into His face holding His cheeks truly seeking Him and His full attention. Remember those who seek, will find!!! Then you’ll know, the “who" is you!!! Don’t you feel blessed and vindicated?!!! Amen Amen

*** I dedicate today's devotional to my wife, Brenda Slotten ,and our amazing daughter, Breyann! I praise God for them teaching me how to best seek God's very own face with my full attention!!! Please read all of Psalm 24 today!

In Jesus Strong Name, Pastor John Slotten

psalm 25

Trust in the Lord


  "To you, O Lord I lift up my soul, in you I trust, O my God.  Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me."  


Psalm 25:1


Trusting in the Lord.  It’s so easy right?  We know we can, we know we should, but do we always put our whole heart and trust in the Lord?  It is really a choice we need to make everyday – several times a day.  God’s ways are not our ways, His plans are not always our plans.  So when things are going well, it is easy to say, “God, thank You for Your blessings.”  It is much harder to trust in His plans when our plans are interrupted by pain and heartache; by trials that we never could have imagined would happen in our lives.  The psalmist is telling us that we must, daily, be willing and eager to put our trust and hope in God.  We must be willing to submit, whatever our situation is, into God’s hands.  It is hard to go through the trials of this life.  It is at times, unbearable.  Psalm 25:10 says, "All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant." Trust that He loves you and He is always faithful to His people. What is it in your life today that you need to surrender to His plans, His love, His faithfulness?


Lord God – You are good.  You are so faithful to me, even when I wonder from You.  Forgive me, Lord, for not trusting You.  Help me to seek You daily, in all circumstances and situations.  Your ways are not my ways.  Help me, Lord, to eagerly seek Your will; to trust in You, and surrender my situation to You.   Amen

psalm 26

“The Call for Holiness”


Psalm 26:1-2 states:

“Vindicate me, Lord for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Examine me, Lord, and put me to the test' refine my mind and my heart."


In College, the book "The Hole in Our Holiness" by Kevin DeYoung radically changed the way I viewed discipleship. DeYoung claims, "God didn't just save you from something, but for something." That something is holiness. As Christians we are to bring something different to the table, we are to be set apart from the worldliness in the world.


Later this chapter highlights how David avoids sinners and it is important we unpack this. David is speaking in that he will not partake in the action of the wicked, however, we see clearly in the Gospels that Jesus did sit with "deceitful people" (vs. 4) and "the wicked" (vs. 5). The key is that as Christians, we MUST live differently than our peers and family who are without Christ. While at the table next to them, our lives and holiness should point them to what they're missing out on and how great Christ is. For an example of how your holiness can lead others to Christ watch this I Am Second video with former Korn Guitarist Brian Welch


In Jesus Strong Name, 


Dan Degner

psalm 27

"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 seek Him in his temple." Psalm 27:4


The other day as I was riding my bike, I found myself praying and talking with the Lord, which happens almost all the time when I ride. 


I was saying... "Lord I just want to be by You, to see You, to be in Your presence."  Not to get anything out of it but to simply be in His presence and experience incredible love, joy, peace, comfort, and even security. 


Then I felt the presence of the Lord deep in my heart.  This is an amazing place to be; to know He is with us and we with Him is beyond description. To know our bodies are a temple unto the Lord, once receiving the Holy Spirit through our confession of who Jesus is and who we are...simply incredible!  We have to go no further than to our hearts and call on His name to be in the presence of the Lord. 


In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, "come to Me..."  


So then my questions becomes, am I coming to Him? Are we coming to Him?  Like King David are we seeking, are we desiring, are we longing to gaze upon the beauty of Christ?  Do we call on the name of the Lord for no other reason than to gaze on the beauty that is, Christ in all His splendor?


Question of the day:

How do you make time to enter into the presence of the Lord to come to Him that is Jesus?  Is this a common daily experience or a longing not yet fulfilled?


Dear Heavenly Father, Who loves us so fully and Whom we seek and discover; thank You for Your kindness, we praise You, Lord, that Your door is always open to all those who want to seek Your face and come to You. Holy Spirit, our bodies are a temple unto You.  It is where You dwell in our hearts, always that close!  Jesus, we praise Your holy name, we kneel at Your cross, we are in awe of Your beauty and Your compassion for us...and Jesus, it is in and through Your beautiful name that we pray. Amen.

psalm 28

“To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.”
Psalm 28:1-2


This Psalm, as almost all of the Psalms do, covers all the bases. It starts out with David crying out dramatically as we see in the above verses basically saying, “Hear me!” "Answer me!” “If You don’t, I’ll die!” David definitely had a flair for the dramatics, but I absolutely love that about him! He then comes back to calling out the Lord’s attributes and praising Him for His goodness in verses 7 and 8, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.” He wasn’t afraid to be real with God and scream out to Him for help. Do you do that? Oh, I have! “Lord, why aren’t you helping me?!” "Help, Jesus, help!” And You know what, after that, I always come back to the fact that He is so good and kind. I melt and end up praising Him. He covers me and holds me, even though I don’t physically feel it all the time, but I KNOW it, because I know who my Daddy is…Kind, Faithful, Loving, and a Mighty Warrior to fight my battles. Take time with Him today, be real with Him, not disrespectful, but real and honest. He already knows your feelings and loves all of you. He created you; you will in no way surprise Him. He’s there ready to snuggle you up if you only let Him.


Lord, thank You for being so kind and gentle with us, for being real, nothing fake, completely genuine. Thank You for being our strong Refuge. Please help us to seek Your refuge in times of trouble and rest in the fact You fight our battles and if You are for us, who can be against us? Greater is He that lives in us, than he that lives in the world!!!! What a battle cry! Thank You, Lord, and we ask this all in Jesus’ powerful name, AMEN! God bless you all.

psalm 29

The Storm Maker is Our Peace


3The voice of the LORD is over the waters; 

the God of glory thunders; 

the LORD is heard over many waters.

5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; 

the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

11The LORD gives His people strength; 

the LORD blesses His people with peace.

Psalms 29 (in part)



David has witnessed many storms in his life and I’m talking about natural occurring storms: windstorms, thunderstorms, rain, and sand storms.  In this Psalm I, want to address one of the metaphors which David recognizes the Lord as being the storm Maker.  


God deliberately and creatively sent a storm over the Sea of Galilee when the disciples were crossing. So important were these storms, He created them twice on these poor fellows...and at night too!  Ever been in a storm at night?!  It can be scary at times.  How much more on the water?!


So in this Psalm, David tells us some of his experiences with storms, which he survived, obviously, or he wouldn’t be telling it. He gave not only credit, but glory to God for being the Creator of these storms.  He alludes to the unprecedented power of these storms, such as the cedars of Lebanon.  These cedar trees are considered one of the largest and strongest cedars in the world. It’s suggested that one of the larger Lebanon cedars in David’s time, had enough lumber in it to build a house. Can you imagine the sweet aroma of that home?!  So important are these trees, that Lebanon proclaimed the great cedars on their national flag.  These cedars are mentioned several times in the Old Testament.  They must have been of great importance to God to be used in His teachings.  David proclaims that God splinters these great cedars to shavings by just His voice!  He  also tells us the Lord’s voice; is heard over the waters, strikes with fire, shakes the wilderness and strips the forest bare!  


On a personal note….I love thunderstorms….the sound of rolling thunder while it rains is relaxing.  It lulls me into a sense of comfort.  As a child, I was told thunder was the sound of Angels bowling.  That was an odd vision to carry as a child!  I couldn’t wrap my head around an Angel wearing a bowling shirt with Vinny’s Pizza on the back and bowling shoes!


We’ve all experienced many natural storms in our lives, some very scary but each one created from the same source.  David brings us to the realization that the God who can speak these powerful storms into existence is the same God and Father who tenderly loves us, watches over us and protects us with the shadow of His wings.  David reminds us who the Lord is and the praises He deserves and desires from His people.  


Today I encourage you to read the whole of psalm 29 and come to the Creator of storms, our Abba, and sit with Him, praise Him and give Him glory with your words and deeds. And He will, as He promised in the last verse of this Psalm, “bless His people with strength and peace”.   In Jesus name….Amen



psalm 29

The Storm Maker is Our Peace


3The voice of the LORD is over the waters; 

the God of glory thunders; 

the LORD is heard over many waters.

5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; 

the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

11The LORD gives His people strength; 

the LORD blesses His people with peace.

Psalms 29 (in part)



David has witnessed many storms in his life and I’m talking about natural occurring storms: windstorms, thunderstorms, rain, and sand storms.  In this Psalm I, want to address one of the metaphors which David recognizes the Lord as being the storm Maker.  


God deliberately and creatively sent a storm over the Sea of Galilee when the disciples were crossing. So important were these storms, He created them twice on these poor fellows...and at night too!  Ever been in a storm at night?!  It can be scary at times.  How much more on the water?!


So in this Psalm, David tells us some of his experiences with storms, which he survived, obviously, or he wouldn’t be telling it. He gave not only credit, but glory to God for being the Creator of these storms.  He alludes to the unprecedented power of these storms, such as the cedars of Lebanon.  These cedar trees are considered one of the largest and strongest cedars in the world. It’s suggested that one of the larger Lebanon cedars in David’s time, had enough lumber in it to build a house. Can you imagine the sweet aroma of that home?!  So important are these trees, that Lebanon proclaimed the great cedars on their national flag.  These cedars are mentioned several times in the Old Testament.  They must have been of great importance to God to be used in His teachings.  David proclaims that God splinters these great cedars to shavings by just His voice!  He  also tells us the Lord’s voice; is heard over the waters, strikes with fire, shakes the wilderness and strips the forest bare!  


On a personal note….I love thunderstorms….the sound of rolling thunder while it rains is relaxing.  It lulls me into a sense of comfort.  As a child, I was told thunder was the sound of Angels bowling.  That was an odd vision to carry as a child!  I couldn’t wrap my head around an Angel wearing a bowling shirt with Vinny’s Pizza on the back and bowling shoes!


We’ve all experienced many natural storms in our lives, some very scary but each one created from the same source.  David brings us to the realization that the God who can speak these powerful storms into existence is the same God and Father who tenderly loves us, watches over us and protects us with the shadow of His wings.  David reminds us who the Lord is and the praises He deserves and desires from His people.  


Today I encourage you to read the whole of psalm 29 and come to the Creator of storms, our Abba, and sit with Him, praise Him and give Him glory with your words and deeds. And He will, as He promised in the last verse of this Psalm, “bless His people with strength and peace”.   In Jesus name….Amen



psalm 30

A psalm. A song. For the dedication of the temple.[b] Of David.
Have you ever been so joyful that you couldn’t stop smiling? So happy that your feet just danced and the you just couldn’t stop yourself from singing?
I know I have. I felt that way a number of times while I was in Israel a year ago as I watched the Bible come to life in front of my eyes. I felt that way when my kids were born. I felt that way when I first fell in love and I am sure I will feel that way when my son gets married in 2 years. Can you identify those times in your life?

The joyful times I have had in this life probably don’t compare to the culmination of joy for the people of Israel than the dedication of the Temple of David, brought to a nation. It was of such significance that it is covered in 2 Chronicles 5:2-7:22 and in 1 Kings chapters 6 and 7. This was the fulfillment of many long-held promises from the time of Moses, the building of the Arc of the Covenant and the “Tent” Temple that housed it on the long journey to the promised land, through the life of David. The funny thing about this Psalm and its heading is that while the Psalm is a song for the dedication of the temple of David, David never saw the temple. It was built by his son, Solomon. It was David’s dream, but unrealized in his lifetime. Imagine the joy of a son who was able to fulfill his father’s lifelong dream and the dreams of a people, in finally having a permanent temple after so long?!
Today, do you have unfulfilled dreams of your own? Are you waiting on God’s timing for something good in your life? Are you seeking to build your own temple in your life, or seeking to build God’s temple in your life? Look at your life today... Where do you find your joy? Where do you spend your time and money? Are you chasing earthly desires, or are you firmly grounded in building your life as a permanent temple to God?
Sadly, I have let my joy in this life be stolen by many people and things. I have placed my hope in the wrong things at times. Today I choose joy. Today I choose to rededicate this body as a temple unto the Lord God and sing, shout, and dance for joy over the love and promises that He has showed upon me. 
How great is our God – to love us so much. Let us sing His praises forever!

Let’s pray - 
Heavenly father, I will exalt you, Lord,
  for You lifted me out of the depths
 and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
 2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
 and you healed me.
 3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
 you spared me from going down to the pit.
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
 Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
 you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
 Lord my God, I will praise you forever."

psalm 31

“True Love and Hope In The Lord”

“Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalm 31:23-24

Today as you read all of Psalm 31 and you get to these above two verses, let me ask you, "What are you most true to?" Is it to your spouse, your friends, your family? Or your favorite sports team or hobby? Or to your health and exercise? Or to your job or career? Or are you most true to the Lord you love?

I can remember being most true to sports, then friends and drinking parties, then my wife Brenda. Then one Thanksgiving Day in 1984, I faithfully counted my blessings and started my successful journey to quit drinking. But then I became most true to pursuing success in my business.

A couple years later there came “The Day” my heart and mind needed to be true to God. I could see other people being true to God around us and helping us. I could see my wife needed me to be most true to God, even over her; I also knew my family required it. On that day, April 1st, April Fools Day, my Lord and Savior preserved the life of our prematurely born son. God had made His loving presence known to me during a moment of prayer in a tiny hospital chapel. He answered mine and many people's prayers and gave our son life each day during the five days the medical experts told us, "Don’t get hopeful as your son will not make it." Yet I was true to the Lord and found hope beyond human understanding within my heart. God was making me strong in Him as He made our son stronger for life. I had taken God truly to heart, which allowed me to share His heart in confidence, all while God was healing my son's physical heart. It was in those moments when I look back and think, "Shouldn’t we all first and foremost be true to “Loving The Lord” always?" If you and I are true to loving God, know this… He preserves you and gives you strength as one of His faithful. This experience lead me to preach God's Word at the Church we attended at that time for my very first time. I shared three stories that day. One in the loss of a baby by Brenda and I three years earlier by miscarriage, and of our heartache, as well as this story on how God preserved the life of our son as a true blessing. The third story was of Jesus as our Savior, the One who tasted death, yet rose on the third day; the One Who came to save and bring eternal life!!! That preaching experience touched me with God's call on my life. What our true God did through my wife, our friends, neighbors, families, prayers, and my son Jacob, taught me deeply what being true in loving the Lord is all about. I am your Pastor today because my Loving Lord answered my prayers as I stepped up to becoming true to Him! So... “Love the Lord, all His faithful people” be “true to Him”… “all you who hope in the Lord”


1.) How can and must you become more true to God starting today?

  • Is it simply beginning by truly loving the Lord?
  • Or is it being true to Him by getting back into Church to becoming       
  • stronger and growing your heart with all His faithful people together?
  • Or is it loving God in true, trusting prayer with hope and trust in every outcome?
*I say it’s all three because all three play a huge part in being true to God as His faithful people!!!

Let your prayer today be you asking God to help you to be true to Him! Ask God to help you step fully into all three above ways to be true to God as His faithful, then watch Him transform you with strength, heart, and preservation!!! Amen Amen

I dedicate this devotional to the Lord I love, my faithful and loving wife Brenda, and to my amazing son Jacob. He’s a gift from God to me, his mom, our/his whole family, and to the world. Every sermon I give has this story stamped into its foundation.

In Jesus Strong Name,

Pastor John Slotten

psalm 32

Maskil – This Hebrew word means “to be wise or skillful”.  Since this word is used in the title, it may indicate that this is a teaching Psalm.  What is it teaching us?  That sin leads to destruction, and repentance (turning away) from our sin will lead us into the forgiveness and life giving gifts from God.

Verse 3 – "When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long".

When we try and hide our sin, when we minimize the impact that sin has on our lives, when we refuse to confess our sin, it is like a heavy burden, weighing on our hearts and minds.  It hurts our mind, heart, and body in ways that we may or may not be aware of.  It is a burden to carry around unconfessed sin.

God is so good that when we turn to Him and confess He is merciful and we are blessed by His forgiveness.  

Vs. 5 – "Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord – and you forgave the guilt of my sin."  David knew that he was doing things that did not please God.  He knew he was living a life of deep sin – and needed to repent and ask God to forgive him.  

In doing so, he was able to live a life free of guilt.  We can all live a life free from the things we have done wrong when we go humbly and honestly before the Lord and pour out our hearts to Him.   Vs. 10 sums it up by this – "Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him."

In this Psalm, David is teaching us to not wait; confess your sin to God today.  Stop living a heavy hearted life, full of guilt and regret.  Turn to Him – wipe the slate clean, and make room in your heart for all the love and forgiveness that God has for you.  

psalm 33

“How Great Is Our God”

Psalm 33:1-2 states:

“Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the Lord with the harp' make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre."

Have you ever heard the song, "How Great is our God" by Chris Tomlin? If not, listen to the song after reading Psalm 33 today. Both the song and the chapter highlight how awesome and great God is. God isn't great because of what He gives us (although it's a plus), He is great because He is God.

Pastor R.C. Sproul once claimed that "everyone is a theologian." We all have beliefs about who God is and Psalm 33 is a great place to learn basic truths about Him. Here are just some of the highlights we read about God in Psalm 33. He is (1) worthy of praise, (2) His word is true, (3) faithful, (4), righteous, (5) just, (6) creator of the universe, (7) sovereign over all.

Today reflect on these truths about God and rest in love.

In Jesus Strong Name,

Dan Degner

psalm 34

"...keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” 

Psalm 34:13-14 NIV

Some of us may remember the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." If only that saying were true!  How many of us have been killed by words?  The raw power of words, I ponder, there is no stronger force on all the earth than a spoken word. 

In Luke 6:45, Jesus says this, "A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of."  So then, these verses in Psalm 34:13-14 are really about the condition and position of the heart. 

You see, we have a choice. We can choose to keep our tongue from saying evil things, murderous things, deceitful things, lying things. We can choose to turn from evil and do good. Seeking and pursuing peace starts in our own hearts. For if we do not possess these things first in our hearts, we will not be able to give away what we do not possess. 

The beauty of The Cross is that we can choose to receive Christ as our Lord and Savior and upon doing so, we receive the Holy Spirit into our hearts. This gives us the heart of Christ. We can have a new heart.  A heart that is soft, not of stone, and a new spirit, the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26-27). 

Jesus says to seek first the Kingdom.  Are you seeking The Kingdom that rests in your very own hearts? Are you allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you and lead you in all righteousness?  Are you taking your hateful feelings towards others to The Cross of Christ, seeking peace and pursuing it, so then you are able to speak words of life over others, and not that of evil?

Let's pray,

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your mercy and great love for us. Jesus, we call on Your Name, asking You to fill our hearts with the same compassion You have for us, until it overflows in our hearts for others.  May all the words we speak and things we do, portray Your character, Lord. Holy Spirit, please guide us gently in our times alone with You, showing us the beauty of Jesus Christ.  As we see You Jesus for Who You truly are, our sins will be exposed so we can repent and be changed. Thank You for such mercy and grace! Please, fill us afresh and anew for the days ahead. And Jesus, it is in and through Your beautiful Name, that we pray. Amen

psalm 35

12 They repay me evil for good
    and leave me like one bereaved.
13 Yet when they were ill, I put on sackcloth
    and humbled myself with fasting.
When my prayers returned to me unanswered,
14     I went about mourning
    as though for my friend or brother.
I bowed my head in grief
    as though weeping for my mother.
15 But when I stumbled, they gathered in glee;
    assailants gathered against me without my knowledge.
    They slandered me without ceasing.
16 Like the ungodly they maliciously mocked;[a]
    they gnashed their teeth at me.

Psalm 35:12-16

Have you ever felt like David in this situation? Have you ever prayed for your enemies and were kind to them only for them to spit in your eye? I have. I remember a time in high school when there was an upper class-man girl who just despised me. No matter how nice I was to her, she’d make fun of me to my face to her friends, mocking the way I smiled at her, and her pals would just laugh. It was humiliating. This went on time after time until one day, she went through a very public fight in school with someone she cared deeply about and he called her out on her meanness…in front of the whole school! It was a very powerful moment straight out of the movies. I think I may have even started a slow clap after he let her have it… (O.k., that part never happened:) That night, she must have been so convicted and wanted to make things right. I received a phone call from her to my amazement (especially as she NEVER talked to me, let alone called me!) She said to me, “I’m sorry I’m so mean to you. I just don’t like you because you’re just too nice.” That made me laugh! I told her it’s fine and continued to be overly nice to her...maybe to annoy her:) But, I came to realize that day, some people just aren’t gonna like you, no matter what you do! Stop trying so hard! Who cares?! As long as our Father in Heaven loves you, what else truly matters? Even if they don’t like you, and may even hate you…pray for them. Pray the Lord heals their hurts they have endured from others and soften their hearts to receive and give love as only the Good Lord can do through them! And if they stumble, don’t gloat over this. Proverbs 24:17-18 says, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice, or the LORD will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from them.” Be kind like David, I believe this truly blesses the LORD, and who doesn’t want to do that?!

Father, thank You for loving us so well. Please help us to grow in Your love so deeply that we stop caring what others think of us, and only care what You think of us. Please fill us with Your love and light so brightly that all darkness leaves us so Your love abounds through us to the world around us. God bless and heal our enemies, creating in them new creatures to receive Your amazing gift of salvation to love the world around them in Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

Psalm 36

Secondary Title

The Hood is Stayin!

1 I have a message from God in my heart

concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: b

There is no fear of God before their eyes.

4 Even on their beds they plot evil;

they commit themselves to a sinful course

and do not reject what is wrong.

7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!

People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8 They feast on the abundance of your house;

you give them drink from your river of delights.

Psalms 36 (in part)

Look around!  What do you see and hear in the media these days? These words of David were proven to be written over three thousand years ago and his words resonate the same condition of our society today!  David could have easily been the news anchor of our day!

Look at Ecclesiastes 1:9, “9 What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again there is nothing new under the sun.”  Man’s sins haven’t changed!  Since the fall of man, nothing has changed!  We, as a human race, haven’t changed! And praise God, neither has God’s mercy for His children! I can’t imagine living in such confusing and perilous times without God’s loving kindness and mercy.

As we sit and watch the slow deterioration of our Christian principles by the hatred of some of our country’s leaders and the main stream media, I’m reminded of Jesus encouraging remarks found in John 15, 17-19, “17 This is My command to you: Love one another. 18 if the world hates you, understand that the world hated me first. 19 If you were of the world, it would love you as its own. Instead, the world hates you, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world” 

I don’t know how you feel reading His words, but for me it brings me comfort.  Yes, we have to carry the burden of attacks from these groups for standing on the Gospel truths, but, when you read the whole Psalm, look what the Father promises us in the midst of our persecutions!  He will extend His lovingkindness, faithfulness and righteousness to us and protect us by allowing us to take refuge under the shadow of His wings and He will not let the wicked crush us and drive us away.  BOOM! Drop the mic! Our Hood is here to stay!! (those of you who don’t understand the term “Hood”, it’s referring to our Christian community and you’ll have to look up the term “Drop the mic!”) just sayin.

  So when you’re experiencing the weight of the world’s sin pressing against you and you feel like it’s pushed you in between a rock and a hard place, remember Who that Rock is! He is the Rock of Salvation!  The bright and morning Star, lighting up our path to find our way to Him!  The Rock we stand on is the Solid Rock of our foundation that will never shift!  Take heart, Christian traveler, you are destined to overcome any situation, challenge, or trouble.  God has already created a way out before it started. Look at 1 Corinthians 10:13.  Now that’s a promise I keep in the pocket of my mind to remind me when temptations show up.  Rest assured, temptations will arise in your life.  The question is…..what are you going to do when the temptations show up?….Are you going to fall into the pit, or grab the “rope of hope” and swing over it?!  The Rope of Hope!  I like that.  I can picture the other end tied around Jesus’s waist, both His hands holding it with a smile.  

Come on, let’s pray to the Rope Holder….

Jesus, thank You for being the source of our strength and the One who holds our rope of life. We know in You we are secure to handle any situation that comes our way.  You promised that if we put our complete trust in You and put on the full armor of God, every fiery dart thrown at us by the enemy, You will extinguish!  Not just a few or a couple, but ALL OF THEM!  Thank You, Jesus, for being our Great Advocate and Provider.  May we never forget that we can do ALL THINGS  in You.  In Jesus mighty name, we pray….Amen


psalm 37

Psalm 37

“Do Not Fret”

Several times in Psalm 37, we hear the words: “Do Not Fret!” To me, this word fret has disappeared from our vocabulary. When I was young I heard it often. It was heard from my grandparents when they saw me worried, agitated, anxious, concerned, or emotional. I heard it from my parents, we’d hear it said in a TV show, and you’d hear it in church. It was used with a sense that opened up discussion that often lead to understanding there was something much better on the other side of your worry and your fret/worry was noticed and cared about. In fact, I heard it said this way most often, “Johnny, what are you fretting about?” It was noticed and I was invited to share my discombobulated feeling(s). It seems to me today we more often hear something like this first: “What’s wrong with you?” That’s accusatory and not caring. Or worse, it’s ignored first by someone having noticed my condition. Then they go to another person and say this: “What wrong with Johnny”? 

David in this Psalm, uses the words “do not fret” because we all fret! He shares it because fretting should be noticed and recognized and addressed. He addresses it with these kind of words:

Do not fret


“Trust in the Lord and do good”!

“Take delight in the Lord and he’ll give you the desires of your heart”!

“Commit your way to the Lord”!

“Be still before the Lord”!

“For the Lord will not forsake his faithful ones. Wrongdoers will be completely destroyed; the offspring of the wicked will perish”!

David recognizes the depth of fret and brings all worry back to the Lord's control. God's got us and has what we can delight in. What fret can you take to a friend, and more so to the Lord right now? David ends the Psalm in these powerful words:

“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him”

Psalm 37:39-40

Lord God,

Help us bring back the biblical word “fret” and notice people’s struggles with care. Then give them refuge in the Lord's love as their salvation and stronghold in their time of trouble with the promise He delivers and saves! In Jesus Strong Name, Amen Amen.

Pastor John Slotten

psalm 38

“A Penitential Psalm”
“I am on the verge of collapse, facing constant pain. But I confess my sins; I am deeply sorry for what I have done. I have many aggressive enemies; they hate me without reason. They repay me evil for good and oppose me for pursuing good.

Do not abandon me, O Lord. Do not stand at a distance, my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.”

Psalm 38:17-22

When we’re anguished in guilt, sin, and in relational hardships, most often, there is a need of repentance. David writes knowledgeably about such situations in Penitential Psalms in prayerful words of reconciliation or confessions for repentance in Psalms 6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143. 

Scholar Charles Spurgeon speaks on this Psalm, “A sense of sin shall melt into the joy of salvation; grief shall lead on to gratitude, and gratitude to joy unspeakable and full of glory”.

  • Has a need to repent and seek forgiveness ever led you or someone you know to seek God and you/they found salvation? 
  • Has grief ever led you to gratitude? Think of grieving the death of a loved one; didn’t the Holy Spirit give you a heart of gratitude for having that person to love and be loved by!
  • In this Psalm Charles tells us gratitude can lead us to joy unspeakable and full of glory!!! David shifted through these realms of emotions and transformed into glory thinking of his Savior. 

Where will you let God take your pain, sin, sorrow, grievance of evil others pour on you, and rise above those that hate you? Will you be willing to wade through the emotions and still seek God if it happens while you were pursuing good? I’m doing it today myself while I write this. So I suggest we follow David’s actions and words! He had repented, he prayed! In that prayer He asked the Lord for help. David then melted into the joy of salvation in unspeakable gratitude for God's full glory in these words “Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior.”  David cried out to the Giver of his Salvation… We should too!!!

Lord God, hear our confessions of sin to bring us to the joy and gratitude of salvation to gain Your unspeakable glory. 

In Jesus Strong Name, Amen Amen

Pastor John Slotten

psalm 39

The psalmist writes about how short this life really is; that we often concentrate on our life here rather than having our hearts and minds set on eternity.  Our hearts and minds should be moving toward kingdom living, not things of this world.  We are all given only so many days here on earth – and no matter how long you live, it is a short amount of time.  The writer is telling us that in his life he has focused to much on earthy things that have brought much heartache to him.  He reminds us that we should be turning away from sin and focus on God’s will for our lives.  

Psalm 39:5  You have made my days a mere handbreadth, the span of my years is nothing before you.  Each man’s life is but a breath.


We each need to decide how we will use each of the days that the Lord has given us.  Stop, and take inventory about how you spend your time, talents, and resources.  Are they primarily on moving others toward the kingdom of God?  Do the people around you know how important God is in your life, by your actions and words – or would they be surprised to find out you are a believer?  Each one of us has an opportunity to turn away from our sin-filled, selfish lives, and get serious about living every day with purpose and meaning.  In our homes, in our place of work, out to dinner, in our every day lives, we can each be an extraordinary part of bringing others to the eternal Kingdom of God.  This life is fleeting, but Heaven is forever.  

Lord God, help me (help us) to live our lives focused on You.  Help us to show Your love to those around us by our actions and words, letting You lead the way.  Thank You for how much You love us, so much that You will not leave us where we are.  Help us to remember that what we do matters for eternity.  Amen

psalm 40

“The God that Rescues”

Psalm 40:2 states:

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire' he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

If we're being honest here, we all have been stuck in the slimy pit at one point in our lives. This isn't a literal pit (although it may be for those hog wrestling in Eldorado this weekend)! Our sin entraps us. We can get caught up in it and be ensnared. Thankfully, for those that put their faith in Jesus Christ, they are forgiven of their sin and placed on the firm Rock of Christ!

When we become a Christian by being born-again in Christ, we become a new creation. Verse 8 says, "I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart." Instead of once-living for our desires and selfishness that lead us to the slimy pit of sin, we are called to proclaim the Gospel (vs. 9) and live righteously.

Application: If you're not a Christian, please put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today and he will bring you out of the slimy pit of sin. If you are a Christian, live a life of holiness. God has brought you out of the slimy pit and has given you a firm foundation in Christ. Start today by repenting of any sin and live in a righteous holy way that is given to us in the scriptures.

In Jesus Strong Name,

Dan Degner

psalm 41

"Because of my integrity You uphold me and set me in Your Presence forever." 
Psalm 41:12NIV

How important is godly integrity? It is because of David's godly integrity that God set him in His Presence forever. God upheld David. 

The word or act of upholding something or someone is to: confirm or support, to maintain a custom or practice. In a Court of Law when something is upheld, it is confirmed or supported. God confirmed and supported David in God's Court!

The definition of integrity can be described as: doing the right thing even when it's costly, having strong moral principals and wholeness of character. David was aware that he was a man of godly integrity.

From his youth, he sought the Lord. David's godly character was shaped through God-ordained encounters like slaying a lion and a bear while tending the sheep, and killing a giant, when no one else could, with complete trust in God while calling on His name with boldness and confidence. 

It all, like an arrow, points us forward to see God's own Son, Jesus Christ, Who came through the line of David. 

Jesus Christ now stands, upholding His own, in God's Court Room! For when God sees us, He sees us through The Blood of the Lamb! Selah! (pause and reflect on that for a moment)

Through Jesus Christ, God sees us as righteous. By accepting Jesus, we become ambassadors for Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:20) As ambassadors, we are to have and continue to grow in godly integrity, until our character resembles that of Jesus Christ. 

Today's question: Are you reconciled to God through accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? If yes, are you growing in godly integrity by God's grace as you conduct yourself in the world around you?

Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that through Jesus we are upheld in Your Courtroom! Thank You that we are declared not guilty because of what Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has done on our behalf. Jesus, it is because You took the verdict of guilty for us and shed Your own blood on The Cross, that we can be declared not guilty! You bore the complete burden of God's wrath so that through You and only through You, our verdict of innocent is upheld. For this WE PRAISE YOU! Please continue, Holy Spirit, to lead and guide us in refinement of our godly integrity and character. May we be strong in the Lord like David when we face our lions, bears, and giants. May our godly integrity shine brightly so as to bring glory and honor to Your Holy Name Lord. And Jesus, it is and through Your beautiful name that we pray. Amen.

Psalm 42

“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”
Psalm 42:1-2


I love David’s heart. He just seemed to live and breathe God. He passionately pursued Him! Pastor John speaks a lot about intrinsic needs, something essential, something you can’t live without. Spending time with the Lord and meeting with Him is David’s intrinsic need. Not safety, not food, not a fancy palace, or beautiful wives. He NEEDED God to function. He couldn’t live without God. But the really cool thing about this is, David was very flawed and had committed some pretty serious sins, but what he always got right, was he always came back and sought after God. We can learn from this. No matter how much we’ve put Him off or put other things first in order of our day, how much we sin, we can change. His mercies are new EVERY DAY! Praise Jesus for that! We need to make time with Him #1 every day. This matters! And the more we do this, the more our souls will pant for Him. The more we will start living that life more abundantly He promised us in John 10:10. This is completely for our benefit, not His, although I know He loves spending time with us as well! 
He’s a good, good Father like that:)


Dear Lord, please help us to be men and women after Your own heart. Please help us to live life in You, with You, and for You. Please remove all that gets in the way of our relationship with You and help us to make You the core of our lives with everything in a healthy balance around You! We love You and thank You for the amazing gift of a relationship with You, the God and Creator of the Universe! Glory to God and we ask this in Jesus’ name, AMEN!

Psalm 43

fear for naught

1Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation; deliver me from deceitful and unjust men.   2For You are the God of my refuge.  Why have You rejected me?  Why must I walk in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression?   5Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why the unease within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

Psalms 43 (in part)

This has been a universal plea since the expulsion of Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden.  It’s impossible for me to count how many times I’ve laid before God pleading my case and asking “Why do you wait to avenge me?! 

Do you not see these ungodly people threatening me and getting away with slander?!!  Why do you not deliver me?! Where are you?!”  

In the middle of king Saul’s herdsmen seeking to kill David and then his own son Absalom perusing the same, David shows us what to expect in situations like these…. Look what he states in verse 5: "The Holy Spirit that lives in all of us, kicks in, taps us on our noggin and asks….(and I’m embellishing here)...“why are you feeling so scared dude? Did you forget the giant you laid out a while ago? Look up! And go to the God that takes care of business, and watches your back.” 

When I say the Holy Spirit kicks in, think of it this way... we within ourselves don’t have the capability to think in terms of Godly things, only in those whom the Spirit lives, is capable.  Jesus asked Peter who He was. Peter stated, “You are the Christ, the living God”, and Jesus tells him in Matthew 16:17, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven." In others words, at that very moment, in the middle of David’s stuff, the Spirit revealed God’s devotion, love, and sovereignty to him and summoned him to come to the altar to praise, give thanks, and trust the God Who gives us peace and shelter in the middle of our stuff!  

Tell me, what trial and struggle are you facing right now?  What losses do you believe looms over the horizon that strikes fear into your soul?  We have a God who knows your struggles, your fears and frustrations, and Whom also can deliver you from those fears.  

As Paul simply puts it in Philippians 4:6,7, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I can’t think of any better way to put it.  

Come pray with me…..Father, we are so grateful for Your mercy that rescues our minds from the fear that grips so tightly at times. Help us to see You as David did in this Psalm.  You are JEHOVAH JIREH, (the Lord will provide).  You’ve  promised in Your Word You will provide everything we need and the faith we need to continue our journey home.  Father, we humbly thank You for counting us worthy and approved, abounding in grace, that we may enter the throne room and ask that our petitions be heard. Fill us with the peace that surpasses all understanding and the strength to be still in our struggle, knowing You are God.  

In Jesus name we pray, amen


psalm 44

Psalm 44 is titled to the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah. These sons of Korah were Levites who in David’s time seemed to have served in the musical aspect of the temple worship. This Psalm could be looked at as a worship song that could have been sung in the temple.

Psalm 44 is written to call out to God to rescue Israel in a season of great defeat. It could have been written from the point of view of one of the exiles that Israel had from the Promised Land or some other defeat.

This Psalm is part declaration and part petition. The Psalm is:

  • Declaring all the great victories God had provided for Israel. 
  • Declaring that the psalmist is confident for God to provide victory for today. 
  • Declaring the crisis and disappointment of Israel, but also its ultimate trust in God.
  • Petitions to God that Israel has kept faithful to God, but Israel’s obedience was answered with defeat.
  • Petitions God with a hopeful prayer for help and redemption.

This Psalm speaks powerfully to me in this season, a season where we emerge from Covid and the isolation that it has brought in our lives. It speaks to me as the world continues to try to divide Christians from each other. The honest talk and angst of the words in this Psalm could have been spoken by us in many ways over the past 18 months as we each dealt with or continue to deal with the after effects of all that has taken place.

Still, let us all remember the great victories that God has provided us as a country, us as a Church, and us as individuals.

Let us believe and share our confidence that God will deliver us from this continued time of trial.

Let us pray honestly and fervently about fear, our anxiety, our disappointment and our losses over the past 18 months. God is big enough to take all your feelings on and help you deal with them. But let us also remember that our ultimate hope and trust is in Him alone. Nothing else will suffice to bring us eternal peace and joy.

Let us remind God of the promises that He has made and that we continue to be faithful to Him with our lives, and if we have fallen short of that, let us repent and rededicate ourselves to the truth of God’s promises in our lives. Let us remember that we need God and we need to be in fellowship and worship with each other. Church and community are important. Let us not continue to be divided by the world, but united in our faithful God.

Let us pray a bold and hopeful prayer for this world, our country, our city, our Church and ourselves for redemption and for help in overcoming the isolation and divisiveness of this world. 

Father – You have been so good to us. You have truly brought victory upon victory for this country. You have caused it to prosper and given us all advantages we would not have if we lived somewhere else. You have truly blessed our Church and each one of us in specific ways. You are good and we thank You for that. Lord, we are in a period now, where it seems like this country and this world are tearing itself apart, that people seek to divide us and we allow them. That we seek to judge people rather than love them and that we forget that Christian fellowship is essential to living in the community of believers. Lord, we know that we are stronger together than we will ever be alone.

Lord, today I ask for a miracle. I ask for You to restore Your people through a new revival of this Church and Churches throughout this country. That this nation turn their eyes back to You as the source of help, strength, comfort and forgiveness. I ask, Lord, to bless Essential Rock Church and churches everywhere to be places where unity and God’s great and endless love are found for all people. I believe that You can bring this great victory to this country and bring restoration and peace to all who trust in You.

In Your name I pray! Amen

psalm 45

"for ever and ever:

Psalm 45 is a “Maskil” Wedding Psalm! Written by the sons of Korah, Levites, from the family of Kohath who served in musical temple worship (2 Chronicles 20:19). We know it’s a wedding Psalm because of the title, “For Ever and Ever”. Would you agree such words fit well in wedding vows made in a marriage between a Husband and Wife such as: “May this covenant marriage be anointed ‘for ever and ever’ until death do us part”? 

Yet this Psalm tells a story of God's glory about the marriage of Jesus with His Church. Theologian and Biblical Scholar Matthew Henry once said, “The wedding song of Psalm 45 is a prophecy of Messiah the Prince: it is all over gospel, and points at Jesus only, as a bridegroom espousing the church, His royal bride, to Himself as Messiah King ruling in it and ruling for it!” 

So the words “for ever and ever” relate to our marriage by grace to the anointed with glorious, joyful gladness in the eternal for ever and ever with Jesus. Jesus is our Bridegroom and we the Church, His bride, He claims “for ever and ever”! So today’s wedding Psalm is not “for ever and ever” until death parts us… It's about uniting us forever with our Jesus!!!

So as you read this Psalm today, know the words “for ever and ever” show up in this wedding song in these scriptures:

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.”

Psalm 45:6

He is our God and we are His people. 

He is our Bridegroom and we His Church Bride. In marriage, by grace, we gain His just Kingdom for ever and ever!!!

“I will perpetuate your memory through all generations; therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.”

Psalm 45:17

Then in this Psalm, as Matthew Henry states, "Our hearts must be filled with high thoughts of Christ, with an entire submission to and satisfaction in His government, and with an earnest desire of the enlarging and perpetuating of His church in the world."  And I say for His Kingdom in eternity for ever and ever!!!

Lord God,

Thank You for Your perpetual Word of Truth that the generations of believers have brought to each of us. So we believe in your grace, thus becoming Your bride and You our bridegroom to gain the gift of “for ever and ever” of eternity with You!

In Jesus Strong Name, Amen

Question: How will you express your earnest desire to share Jesus with the next generation today? 

Please read all of Psalm 45 today,

Pastor John Slotten

Psalm 46

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  

I love this Psalm.  When we are at our weakest, God is our strength.  He is available to us at all times of the day or night – no matter where we are or what our circumstance may be, He is our strength.  We are so programmed to be strong and independent, not to let our guard down, not to be weak or vulnerable.  The truth of the matter is that there are times in our lives when the troubles just keep hitting us; the circumstance is so painful our hearts alone cannot bear the pain.  God is our refuge and strength.  He is our source of rest and renewal.  We can lay our burdens at His feet and He will carry us.  

This Psalm expresses a trust and confidence in God during our times of instability and insecurity.  We are stable and secure in His care.  4. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  A river – an abundance of flowing grace, life sustaining water flowing from all directions, power, and peace.  If there is to be life, there needs to be water.  God provides all that we need to carry us through the hard times that this life brings and to renew us and give us strength.  

10.  Be still and know that I am God – This popular verse reminds us “Be still” in Him.  This can be translated in Hebrew to mean, “let go”. Don’t hold on to the fear that keeps us from trusting in God.  Don’t hold onto to the fear that keeps us from receiving God’s blessings.  Be still and know that He is who He says He is.  In Him we find our strength.  

psalm 47

"praise him!"

Psalm 47:1-2 states:

“Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. For the Lord Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth."

Do you ever sit back and just awe in wonder at how amazing God is? My wife, Victoria, and I experienced this while we were on a mountaintop in the Blue Ridge mountains during our honeymoon last week. While looking out from the peak we could see every direction surrounding us for miles and could reflect on that God had made everything we could see and He was active in creating all of it. We praised Him and worshiped Him for what He is King over in that region. Now the amazing part of our worship at that moment is that we understand that God created so much more than just what we could see in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Our triune God is the King of the whole earth and has created everything around us. Verse 7 highlights that "God is the King of all the earth." Today, take time to praise God in your life whether it's through a beautiful sunset or a mountain you've seen God move in your life. We serve an awesome God who is the King and Ruler of this entire earth! 

In Jesus Strong Name, 

Dan Degner

psalm 48

Psalm 48:14
"For this God is our God for ever and ever; He will be our guide even to the end."

So who is "this God" as opposed to another god? 

The God in Psalm 48 is... 
The Eternal God.  
The Ruler and Creator of all things, seen and unseen. 
He is the God of compassion, kindness, understanding, righteousness and grace. 
He is the God of justice and judgement. 
He is the Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The End. 
He is Life Everlasting.
He is a waring God.
He is a peacemaking God. 
He is a caring God.

So much so, He feeds the sparrow and makes the prairies more beautiful than any garment worn by royalty. 

He is a relational God.
He is a humble God.
He is an all-powerful God. 

He is a God that wants you to to be with Him for all of eternity! He is a God with a plan and that plan includes you! If you allow Him to guide you back to Him, through His Cross on His Hill at His Calvary through His Son, our Savior and Lover of our souls, Jesus Christ. 
Don't be misguided by a different god - for all other gods are false gods bringing only confusion, death and destruction... those other gods, that bind and choke the life out of you, those gods that makes false promises. 
Only one God can make the promise of eternal life. In John 6:47, Jesus says this, "Most assuredly I say to you he who believes in Me will have everlasting life!" 
Matthew 28:20b Jesus closes with this, "And surely I am with you always, to the end of the age." 
Now that's a God who keeps His word so much so He died for it and rose for it!  

Question for the day: is this God your God?

Dear Heavenly Father - who is the great I AM, we give You all praise and glory.  You are worthy to receive everlasting praise. You Father, who is the lover of our souls, we thank You and lift You up in song. Holy Spirit, please fill us a fresh and anew, making our eyes light up to see more sharply the presence of our God in our daily life, no matter our situations or circumstances. Jesus, dear Jesus our Lord and Savior - we love You.  We desire to keep our eyes firmly affixed upon You, as You lead and guide us on this path of life. These things in our hearts, we pray in and through the name above all other names, the beautiful name of Jesus Christ, who is The Amen!

psalm 49

“Why should I fear when trouble comes, when enemies surround me? They trust in their wealth and boast of great riches. Yet they cannot redeem themselves from death by paying a ransom to God. Redemption does not come so easily, for no one can ever pay enough to live forever and never see the grave.”

Psalm 49:5-9

I just LOVE how the Kingdom of God operates! In this world, we are often drawn to people who are pleasing to the eye, have nice things, fancy cars, clean houses, pretty clothes, etc… God doesn’t. Nope, He doesn’t care a bit about our money, what we wear, how high up on the company ladder or low on the totem pole we are…He only cares about our hearts and what we do with what He’s given us. We can’t buy our way into Heaven, we can’t buy our way out of hell. Our only Hope of Salvation is Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross to redeem us! Something only some can ever believe and others will never be able grasp. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” Be so thankful every day that you are saved and believe the message of the Cross. What an amazing gift to be one of the elect! It's something I can never comprehend and get overwhelmed every time I even try to think if I wasn’t! Verse 15 of this Psalm states, “But as for me, God will redeem my life. He will snatch me from the power of the grave.” This is our anthem! Praise Jesus! He redeemed us and snatched us from eternal damnation! And it didn’t cost us a thing; it cost Him EVERYTHING. We humbly thank You forever King Jesus.

Lord Jesus, thank You for loving us as we are and paying the ultimate price on our behalf. Please help us to be filled with Your love and let it overflow to the world around us, helping us to see we are all a part of Your body and to love every single part as you love them. We pray You help us to be faithful with little and faithful with much and trusting in You alone for our eternal gift of salvation in Jesus’ name we pray, AMEN!

Psalm 50

Mercy, mercy me

14“Sacrifice thanks offerings to God,

fulfill your vows to the Most High,

15and call on me in the day of trouble;

I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”

16But to the wicked person, God says:

“What right have you to recite my laws

or take my covenant on your lips?

Psalms 50 (in part)

Before we venture any further, I ask that you first read the whole of Psalms 50 and if you already have, praise the Lord, pass the biscuits and let’s eat! (It’s a southern metaphor to indulge into His Word)….I know…corny.  

So after reading all of psalms 50, you can see there is a lot going on here.  God is rippin into some folks, but He first describes who He is, how powerful He is, what He desires from us, His love for u,s and His discontent with those who represent Him falsely.  And in that falseness, what they need to do to rectify their deceitful ways or there will be consequences to come.

Can you see the whole picture here? I think it’s fair to say God is showing His love to not only the righteous, but to the wicked as well.  He’s giving us instructions to keep moving in His direction and at the same time, showing mercy to those whom He considers to be completely out of His will, whom He calls wicked!  I don’t get it?  He’s showing mercy and desire for the wicked! I hear Jesus in all this!  Flip forward to Matthew 18:12 which says, What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?”

So many of us have labeled God in the Old Testament as a tyrannical, intolerant God who seems to enjoy flexing His muscles in front of His people.  But yet, here He is showing mercy to those whom we think don’t deserve it.  Yes! God is a judgmental God, He has the right to be so.  He wrote the rules, but He’s also a very loving, caring, merciful God who gives second chances, for that matter, endless chances to come back to Him.  We could speak about God's mercy for days on end.  My point is this….at first glance, this psalm seems to be a hard nosed unforgiving, condemning Scripture, but in truth, it’s all about mercy.  

He’s actually far beyond what we would ever do, looking for those who have gone astray.  God is investing time to expose their sin and calling them out to repentance so not to suffer the consequences of their wicked ways, which He will be forced to judge in the end.  What did Jesus continue to say in Matthew 18:14? In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”  Not one!  Even the wicked, He does not want to lose!  I ask you…Do we practice the same mercy with our neighbors, or for that matter, with our brothers and sisters, family and friends?  God is revealing a standard here for us to learn and live by.  A standard that is the core of Jesus’ message on the cross.

Today, let God search your heart as David stated in Psalms 139:23,24, 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart Try me and know my thoughts![a] 24 And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!  And after He has searched your heart, step into the light of His glory so you can be transformed into the image of mercy in Christ.

Father, You created us as images of Yourself to carry the marks of Jesus to show our neighbors who You are.  Enlighten our souls and enrich our spirit to see Your vision of saving grace so we can bring that message to those whom You’ve chosen. Thank You for Your loving embrace and Your words of instruction so that we might live a life of abundance and not destruction.  In the name of Jesus our Lord….Amen.