Home Altar: Week of September 12, 2021

by LaHaunn “Haunn” Moore

September 12

Surrounded in Safety

Nothing can truly capture in words the feeling of a hug from a loved one. I remember as a young boy waiting for my parents to pick me up from school. As soon as I saw them, I would run as fast as I could and jump into their arms. I trusted that they would catch me. I trusted that they would be ready with open arms. 

Psalm 25 affirms the protection of those who trust in the Lord. The trust that the psalmist points to is not the good deeds, but where our heart posture is pointed to in our good deeds. God responds to our trust in him. The passage gives a grand visual of the mountains of Mount Zion to describe God’s safety and peace to his people and the most explicit details in the perseverance of trust. It is to stand firm and trust the Lord in hard and good times.

Father, it is so comforting to know that you are always waiting with open arms to meet us. Let us not forget that your love and safety continually surrounds us. AMEN.

September 13
PROVERBS 1:20-33

The Call to Wisdom

The people of God are depicted in the book of Proverbs as those who respond to the call to wisdom. In order to understand true wisdom, we must know what pleases and displeases God.

Wisdom calls to us in the streets and at city gates. Her cries highlight the key thing to remember when seeking true wisdom: we frame our lives in a way that pleases God.

Each day we are presented with a choice to follow true wisdom or worldly wisdom. If our desire is to become truly wise, it is an expectation to receive council, listen, and turn away from folly to seek truth. The passage notes that safety will be for those who fear the Lord and dwell in wisdom from above.

Father, today we not only hear the call, but we respond to your call of wisdom. We look to participate in your wisdom within our household and community where it is so dearly needed. AMEN.

TUESDAY, September 14
MARK 8:27-29

Jesus Is the Christ

If you spend time listening to testimonies from others in their faith journey, you will often hear the confession “Jesus is the Messiah” over and over again. One of the fondest memories I have in unlocking the riches of Jesus’s earthly ministry is the first time I uttered the very same confession. I find evidence that the pledge Peter states is the fundamental Christian confession.

One of the truths we find highlighted repeatedly throughout Scripture is Jesus as the Christ. Today, I encourage you to reflect on the revelation of the “anointed one” in your life.

Father, we confess that Jesus Christ is the Messiah. We humbly thank you for this revelation and truth. AMEN.

September 15
JAMES 3:1-12

Our Speech Matters

Today, we continue to be confronted with lies, slander, gossip, and false propaganda. In our physical and digital neighborhoods, the tongue creates endless possibilities for thousands to be deceived and millions to be hurt. It’s no wonder James states that the “tongue is a poison” that causes evil and invites all into the “world of unrighteousness.” He adds that we have been more successful in stewarding creation than we have been controlling our tongues.

However, there is good news for us. We are not left to own devices. We have the Holy Spirit and remember that God is the source of all righteous gifts.

Father, equip us with the ability to discern our words and bless others with our speech. May we glorify you and magnify your holy name. AMEN.

September 16
JAMES 3:13-18

True Wisdom

History reveals the truth that humans have the tendency to boast about themselves and refuse to be corrected, just as each of us has at times refused to be corrected ourselves. Today’s passage notes that we do not do well when we exalt our own wisdom. James invites us to consider the importance of understanding true wisdom from above as:

Pure—which points toward moral perfection and the supreme good that is only from God.

Peaceable—the opposite of division that the world endorses.

Gentle—a constant strength. Being wise to consider others, not by force or deceitful manipulation.

Willing to yield—being obedient without complaining. Willing to cooperate instead of compromising.

Full of mercy and good fruits—To give rather than hoard resources. Without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy—Doing the self-work of our personal biases and limitations.

Having no secrets or hidden agenda—True wisdom gives assurance to the mature and immature that they can take everything at face value.

Father, today we chose to turn away from worldly wisdom and receive your true wisdom. AMEN.

September 17
MARK 8:31-38

The Wisdom of Learning

Learning is essential to following Jesus Christ. “He began to teach them” opens a lifelong outpouring of wisdom into deeper discoveries of intimacy with his disciples. The wise understand that to be a follower of Christ, we must have a heart for Christ and wisdom from Christ. Additionally, we know that wisdom does not come quickly, but only through learning and following Christ.

Let us first note that true wisdom is from God through Jesus Christ. We are blessed to receive wisdom along the way.

Father, today we thank you for your commitment to lifelong learning of wisdom from you and we seek to become more Christlike each day. AMEN.

September 18
ISAIAH 50:4-9a

The Wisdom of Listening

“Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught” (v. 4).

To master the skill of listening can be a challenge. The world has many competing voices that draw us away from God. I can recall times in my life where it was difficult to for me listen. The times when I am not self-aware or when I impulsively say something without regard for the other person. To truly listen is a daily habit I try to sharpen with each opportunity that I get.

The wisdom of listening requires humility. Isaiah noted that, “The Lord God awakens” and “opens ears to listen.” It is through God’s great care that we are humbled before God and receive his wisdom. We are changed from “hearing” to actively engaging in “the wisdom of listening.”

Father, we thank you for your gracious gift of true wisdom. May we continue to respond with humility and joy all the days of our lives. AMEN.

About the Author: LaHaunn “Haunn” Moore

It brings me profound joy to share God’s Word through devotionals in both written and podcast formats that people can engage in and share with others. I am a cancer survivor and licensed minister candidate with the Covenant. I currently serve as a chaplain and received MDiv and MAT degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary. I teach religion for Columbia College and I interned as a chaplain resident at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle, also volunteering as a Red Cross disaster spiritual care chaplain. Prior to that, I retired from a 20-year career in the U.S. Navy as a chaplain department leading chief. I enjoy the opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and sharing the amazing news of Jesus Christ.

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1 Comment

  1. This was a wonderful message, written for me. I am struggling with people whom I considered work colleagues, with evil tongues. I continue to Pray for them. I am a Proud member of Oakdale Covenant Church in Chicago, under the Excellent Leadership of Pastor D. Darryl Griffin. Its a Great Place with Great People, Serving a Great God. If you you get a chance join us in Zoom. God Bless You.

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