Tag Archives: Roma8:31

Psalm 23 – Thu – 21-10-07



Psalm 23:4 says, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Have you ever wondered what the valley of the shadow of death is in this Psalm? Many think it  is just a symbolic reference to death itself. It certainly can be. But it is also a reference to an actual valley, the Wadi Qelt.* It is a 17-mile-long, narrow gorge that runs through the mountainous region between Jericho and Jerusalem. The sides are steep, at times just cliffs. Caves can be found in the Wadi as well. It was dangerous because of falls, rock slides and wild animals. It was also home to thieves who hid in the caves. This is where the Good Samaritan was attacked.

The 23rd Psalm pictures sheep who have no fear in the valley because the shepherd is present. His staff guides the sheep and his club is ready to beat off anything that attacks.

When we are cared for by God, we do not fear evil. As Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And as verse 35 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

So, walk close to God and have no fear!


*Don Knebel, “Valley of the Shadow of Death,” http://donknebel.com/2013/06/valley-of-the-shadow-of-death/.

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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.


Overcoming – Sun – 21-05-02



Sometimes life is a struggle. It can be filled with obstacles. We can be confused, discouraged, attacked, in grief. Where do we find the encouragement to overcome a world that seems to be against us?

This was exactly Jesus’ concern the night before his death. He wanted to encourage the apostles. In fact, John’s gospel records several chapters of Jesus’ encouragement, beginning in chapter 13. Jesus knew the apostles would be shocked that one of them would betray him and later the one they thought strongest would deny him three times. Jesus knew they would be scattered and leave him alone. He knew they would be confused. They would weep and mourn at his arrest and death. But he told them their mourning would be turned to joy. Jesus warned them that the world would hate them and persecute them. They would be kicked out of the synagogue. People would attempt to kill them in the name of God. They were facing a troubled future without Jesus walking beside them.

So what would encourage them? The key words are in John 16:33, “Take heart!” Jesus said. “I have overcome the world.” (NIV)

Does it feel like the world is against you? Whatever struggles or obstacles you are facing in life, remember that Jesus has already overcome the world. As Romans 8:31 says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV) This week, let’s focus on overcoming the struggles we face.


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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.


Temple Cleaning – Mon – 21-03-29



According to Mark 11:12-19, on Monday before His crucifixion, Jesus went to the temple and raised a ruckus. You see, the temple in Jesus’ day had become a commercial area. In order to leave a monetary offering, people had to exchange their money into the special coinage of the temple. People who had traveled long distances, could also purchase animals and other items needed for temple worship. In addition the temple complex covered approximately 35 acres, that’s over 14 hectares. So people cut through the temple courtyards as they travelled about the city.

What Jesus saw greatly disturbed Him. Evidently, the money changers and vendors were cheating people. He called the place a “den of thieves.” Jesus was upset because of the injustice done to people and the dishonor shown to God. So he knocked over tables and benches.

So what’s encouraging about this scene? We certainly don’t see a mild-mannered Jesus. He was confrontational. This was a tense scene. We see righteous indignation. Why? Because Jesus cares about injustice. He was not just upset at people dishonoring God. I think he was also upset about the people who were cheated. Jesus is willing to defend us. Even more important, as we’ll see by Friday, he is willing to die for us. Let this be a picture of Romans 8:31, which says, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (NIV).


Please provide feedback and suggestions at: https://www.sparkingfaith.com/feedback/

Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.