VIDEO Shallow and Profound

Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. —1 Corinthians 10:31

Beware of allowing yourself to think that the shallow aspects of life are not ordained by God; they are ordained by Him equally as much as the profound. We sometimes refuse to be shallow, not out of our deep devotion to God but because we wish to impress other people with the fact that we are not shallow. This is a sure sign of spiritual pride. We must be careful, for this is how contempt for others is produced in our lives. And it causes us to be a walking rebuke to other people because they are more shallow than we are. Beware of posing as a profound person— God became a baby.

To be shallow is not a sign of being sinful, nor is shallowness an indication that there is no depth to your life at all— the ocean has a shore. Even the shallow things of life, such as eating and drinking, walking and talking, are ordained by God. These are all things our Lord did. He did them as the Son of God, and He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher…” (Matthew 10:24).

We are safeguarded by the shallow things of life. We have to live the surface, commonsense life in a commonsense way. Then when God gives us the deeper things, they are obviously separated from the shallow concerns. Never show the depth of your life to anyone but God. We are so nauseatingly serious, so desperately interested in our own character and reputation, we refuse to behave like Christians in the shallow concerns of life.

Make a determination to take no one seriously except God. You may find that the first person you must be the most critical with, as being the greatest fraud you have ever known, is yourself.


Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest.
Disciples Indeed

PostCard – 1 Corinthians 10:31 – 03-30/20 – Jon Courson

Labrador Angel

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love. Psalm 143:8

In 2019, Cap Dashwood and his sweet black lab companion, Chaela (“Chae” in memory of his lab who died; “la,” Dashwood’s abbreviation for “Labrador angel”), accomplished something remarkable: reaching a mountain summit each day for 365 consecutive days.

Dashwood has a moving story to tell. He left home at sixteen, explaining simply, “Bad family life.” But these past wounds led him to find healing elsewhere. He explains, “Sometimes when you’re disappointed by people, you turn to something else. You know?” For Dashwood, mountain climbing and the unconditional love of his black lab companion has been a big part of that “something else.”

For those of us, like myself, who deeply love our animal companions, a big piece of why we do is the sweet, utterly unconditional love they pour out—a kind of love that’s rare. But I like to think the love they effortlessly give points to a much greater and deeper reality than the failures of others—God’s unshakable, boundless love upholding the universe.

In Psalm 143, as in many of his prayers, it’s only David’s faith in that unshakable, “unfailing love” (v. 12) that tethers him to hope in a time when he feels utterly alone. But a lifetime of walking with God gives him just enough strength to trust that the morning will “bring me word of your unfailing love” (v. 8).

Just enough hope to trust again and to let God lead the way to paths unknown (v. 8).

By:  Monica La Rose

Reflect & Pray

What signs of God’s unfailing, unending love do you see in the world around you? How have your experiences of the love of God through others or even animal companions given you renewed hope and courage?

Loving God, thank You for showing me how to believe in love and joy again. Help me to be a channel of that hope for others.

Sunday Reflection: The Cost of Connection

Meaningful relationships have the power to change our life, but they come at a cost

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

We often think of the disciples in terms of their relationship to the Lord, but have you ever thought about the bond they shared with each other? Together they witnessed Jesus’s miracles, discussed His confusing parables, suffered through His death, and rejoiced at His resurrection. The intimacy among them could not be manufactured, nor could it be undone.

But the disciples’ friendship came at a cost—each man left his livelihood and familiar routine to follow Jesus for three years (Matt. 4:18-22). Joining Him was not only controversial and at times dangerous; it also required constant reevaluation of the things they once held as true (Matt. 5:21-45). 

Though the disciples’ friendship was a byproduct of following Jesus, the depth of their connection came from their shared experiences. That’s why true friends are rare—such relationships require time, energy, resources, and most importantly, vulnerability. Superficial conversations leave us with superficial connections, but as Scripture promises, “The one who sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Cor. 9:6). 

Think about it

  •  Are you satisfied with your current friendships? If not, what could you do to make them more meaningful?

Global Conflict Centers on God’s People

God that made the world…hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. (Acts 17:24, 26)

The foundation for global conflict lies in God’s promise to Abraham: “I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:2-3). The son of promise (Isaac) and the son of the bondwoman (Ishmael) are at the crux of the issue (Galatians 4:22-31). In eternity’s eyes, all the petty politics and power plays of the nations are “dust of the balance” (Isaiah 40:15).

Anyone familiar with biblical history will know that God dealt with the nations of the world as tools of influence, reward, and punishment to Israel. After Abraham generated the beginnings of Israel’s enemies through Ishmael, and Jacob began another line of enmity through Esau, the stories of the Canaanite conquest under Joshua and the subsequent 400 years of the time of the Judges relate the conflicts that culminated in the united kingdom under Saul, David, and Solomon.

Nearly half of the remaining Old Testament records the efforts by God to deal with Israel and Judah after the civil war begun by Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. That concluded with the Assyrian captivity and disbursement of the northern 10 tribes and the 70-year captivity of Judah under Babylon.

The nearly two millennia from Abraham to the coming of the Messiah have been followed by two millennia of a spiritual “déjà vu” through the church the Lord Jesus started. God’s promise is that both Israel and the church will find satisfaction and success when He returns to finalize and fulfill the promise made to Abraham so long ago. HMM III

Introit: Calling The Congregation To Praise

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love is eternal. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love is eternal. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His love is eternal…Give thanks to the God of heaven! His love is eternal (Psalm 136 vv. 1-3, 26).

In this marvelous antiphonal psalm, which was used liturgically in worship by ancient Israelis, one part of the congregation sang the theme, and the other responded with the refrain. Twenty-six times the refrain, “His love endures forever,” is repeated. Today we would call this a “hook,” the big idea, the major thesis, the central concept.

Because this was a favorite festival song and because it’s theme was predominant in the Old Testament, this psalm is often called “The Great Hallel.” In the first few verses the psalmist commands his listeners to praise the Lord by giving thanks, Basic to this thanksgiving is the awareness and conviction of the Lord’s goodness. Because he is good, his loyal love continues forever. He is eternally bound to his people by virtue of his solemn covenant (contract) with them. And who is behind this covenant, the nature of which is loyal love? “The God of gods” (v. 2). “The Lord of lords” (v. 3).

The original summons is restated in verse 26. “Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love is eternal,” This is the only time in the Psalms where God is referred to as the “God of heaven,” though Ezra and Nehemiah pick up the phrase in later writings (see Ezra 1:2 and Neh. 1:4).

When I’m tempted to revel in self-revulsion, self-pity, feelings of worthlessness and despair, I need to remember that God loves me with a loyal love that will endure forever! This is the only strong, adequate basis for any positive feelings about oneself.

Personal Prayer

O Lord, I give thanks for your goodness and for your loyal love that stands forever firm, no matter how weak and indecisive I may he.

The Language of Music


A short musical composition played or sung at the beginning of a worship service.

This God Is Your God

Will your courage endure or your hands be strong in the days when I deal with you?—Ezekiel 22:14

God is powerful in judgment. When He smites, none can resist Him. The flood of Noah’s day is one such example, when the entire race—with the exception of eight people—was swept away (Gn 6:1-9:18). When a shower of fire and brimstone fell from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah, all the cities of the plain were destroyed (Gn 19:1-29). Pharaoh and his hosts found themselves impotent when God blew upon them at the Red Sea (Ex 14:1-31).

What does the contemplation of God’s power do for us?

First, it causes us to tremble before Him. The trouble with many modern men and women is that they do not tremble before God. To treat with impudence the One who can crush us more easily than we can a tiny ant is, as someone put it, “a suicidal policy.” “Pay homage to the Son,” said the psalmist, “or He will be angry, and you will perish … for His anger may ignite at any moment” (Ps 2:12).

Second, contemplating God’s great power causes us to adore Him. Who can consider the might of this awesome God without wanting to worship Him? The rebellious heart will resist this, but the heart cleansed by the blood of Christ will bow in homage and say: “Who is like You, glorious in holiness, revered with praises, performing wonders?” (Ex 15:11). No prayer is too hard for Him to answer, no need too great for Him to supply, no predicament too great for Him to solve. Lay hold on this great and gripping truth: this God is your God.


O Father, I see that contemplation of You tilts my soul in Your direction. I realize that without You I am nothing. May I tremble before You until my trembling turns to adoration and ever-increasing trust. Amen.

Further Study

Ps 114:1-8; 1Ch 16:30-31; Isa 66:1-3

What can the presence of the Lord do?

Who does the Lord esteem?

The Fragrance of Prayer

Mark 14:32-52

It was the road of sacrificial prayer that led Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane near the foot of the Mount of Olives. With only olive trees and sleepy disciples for companions, our Lord retreated to His favorite spot in the garden to spend the last agonizing hours before His betrayal and predawn arrest.

“Abba, Father,” He prayed, “everything is possible for You. Take this cup from Me. Yet not what I will, but what You will” (Mark 14:36). The Son of God drank the contents of that fearful cup. “Thank God He drank it!” writes Harry Read (R) in Words of Life. “If He was free to reject it, and that freedom must surely have been His, then our salvation hung in the balance in Gethsemane.”

During the years General Wiseman was away on war service, he sent to Mrs. Wiseman a bunch of dried lavender from the Garden of Gethsemane. She admitted to an initial sense of disappointment at seeing the shrivelled dry stalks. As she removed the stalks from the package, however, the scent of lavender permeated the air. She gathered a number of seeds from the stalks and planted them. With careful nurturing the seedlings became full-grown and eventually provided a fragrant welcome for her husband when he returned to Canada from war service.

For more than 40 years, wherever in the world their Salvation Army pilgrimage took them, slips of lavender were tucked away among their personal effects, to be planted in the next garden. Cuttings were shared with visitors, so that the fragrance of that strain of lavender has been released in many parts of the world.

When General Wiseman was promoted to Glory, a cutting of lavender was lovingly placed in his hands. The lavender, which derived its life and its fragrance from the Garden of Gethsemane, communicated its own special message: The fragrance of this godly life will linger on.

When Jesus prayed in that lavender-scented garden, “Yet not what I will, but what You will,” He was yielding to the ultimate will of God. Even so, as the disciples of the Lord, may our lives be redolent with the fragrance of sacrificial prayer.

William MacLean, The War Cry