Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Browse thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews with a Biblical perspective to inform, equip, and encourage Christians.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news,and reviews with a Biblical perspective to inform, equip, and encourage Christians delivered direct to your inbox!


Most Recent



The Rest


Daily devotional

January 30 - Near to God

“Let them praise the name of the Lord… for His majesty is above earth and heaven. …He has raised up a horn for His people, praise for all His saints … who are near to Him.” - Psalm 148:13, 14  Scripture reading: Psalm 148:1-14 When I was a kid, our family ate breakfast with our state governor. I was surprised that he shared this close setting with so few. I felt honoured to be one of fifty. When you read Psalm 148, I want you to feel the surprise and honour of eating breakfast with God. That’s the punch line in verse 14 – “praise … for the children of Israel who are near to Him.” First, His nearness is surprising because of Yahweh’s majestic reputation in the heavens. He commissions the angels (2), keeps the heavenly bodies in motion (3), and holds the heights of heaven in place (4) (Read verses 1-6). Second, Yahweh’s nearness is surprising because of His majestic reputation on the earth. He designed and still maintains every detail of creation – from weather patterns (8) to landscape (9) to the animals (10) to political powers (11) to the smallest child (12). (Read verses 7-13. Compare verses 5 and 13. Think of the name as Yahweh’s reputation.) All this builds to the surprising honour of verse 14. A horn symbolizes the power of an ox (Psalm 92:10). More specifically, the horn of David refers to the line of David’s kingdom (132:17; 89:20-24). Jesus is the horn. Jesus is the praise for all His saints (14). By forgiving our sins, He makes us near to God legally. At His ascension, Jesus receives the name above all names (Ephesians 1:21; Philippians 1:9). Yet by His Spirit, He draws us nearer than a breakfast guest (Ephesians 2:6). Suggestions for prayer Praise God by naming specific creatures and features of His creation in both heaven and earth. Marvel by observing their function, their artistic beauty, and their wise design. Ask for a greater awareness of His nearness through His Word, Son, and Spirit. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 29 - Yahweh’s new community

“The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.” - Psalm 147:2  Scripture reading: Psalm 147:1-20 We can see home from Psalm 147! According to the map in Psalm 1:5-6, our destination is to stand with the congregation of the righteous in the presence of Yahweh. Psalm 147 celebrates the warmth and joy of being at home with God and His family. First, Yahweh’s New Community consists of forgiven sinners (Read verses 1-6). The God Who numbered the stars (4-5) also heard the humble cries of the brokenhearted (3,6). That’s why Yahweh forgave the exiles in Babylon. They returned to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple (2). Through forgiveness, we are now the temple of the Holy Spirit and members of Christ’s body. Second, Yahweh’s New Community hopes in His steadfast love (Read verses 7-11). With eyes of faith, we recognize Yahweh in the clouds. Clouds produce rain. Rain grows grass. Grass becomes food for animals—even for baby ravens! (8-9). By giving Yahweh the credit for His works, we express our hope in Him (11) and keep from worshipping the powers of this world (10). Finally, Yahweh’s New Community is a distinct kingdom (Read verses 12-20). He protects this kingdom and fills it with families (13). In His kingdom, peace prevails, and no one goes hungry (14). By His command He controls all the kingdoms of the world through the processes of freezing and melting (15-18). But He governs His own kingdom by distinct laws (19-20) — the greatest of which is love. Praise Yahweh for His New Community and your place in it! That’s home. Suggestions for prayer Praise God’s forgiveness in Christ (verses 1-6). Thank Him for your church. List her specific blessings (12-14). Recognize God’s hand in today’s weather patterns and His government through them (8-9, 15-18). Praise God for the gift of His written Word (19-20).  Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 28 - Join the pandemic of kingdom praise

“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name. …and all your saints shall bless you! They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom …and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.” - Psalm 145:1, 10, 11, 21 Scripture reading: Psalm 145:1-21 Psalm 145 traces a global pandemic of praise. It’s not about a contagious virus, but The Conquering King – the Son who was set on the holy hill of Zion back in Psalm 2:6. As God’s kingdom invades darkness, His praise spreads into future generations. The fact that the church still sings Psalm 145 testifies to the truthfulness of what David wrote 3000 years ago. You can join this pandemic of praise by reading verses 1-3 as if you were David (“I”). When you read “King” think “King Jesus” Whom David could only anticipate by faith. Next, repeat verses 4-7 and own them as your commitment to think on the King’s majesty and share Him with others. (Note the expansion to “they”). Specifically, the pandemic of praise focuses on God’s character and actions. Here David repeats what God revealed to Moses (Exodus 34:6). As you read verses 8-9, imagine hearing these words with Moses when Yahweh showed the backside of His glory. While reading verses 10-13 notice how the pandemic of praise expands. Both God’s works and His saints become eager messengers (10). First, they inform the world that God’s kingdom continues forever. Then, they portray life under the tender and generous care of King Jesus. As you read verses 14-19, can you see yourself in this kingdom? To join the pandemic of praise, embrace the blessing and heed the warning of verse 20. Then state verse 21 as your commitment to spread the glory of King Jesus to all flesh. Suggestions for prayer: Praise God for advancing Christ’s kingdom since the time of David. Bless God by listing some of those advances. Include instances of God’s grace and mercy in your life, church, and community. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 27 - At home with God

“For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place” - Psalm 132:13  Scripture reading: Psalm 132:1-18 It’s time for us to set out on our journey. Yesterday, we experienced Mt. Sinai. Psalm 119 stoked our heart-cravings for God. The next Psalms (120-134) make up the Psalms of Ascents which means to go up. Israel sang these songs on their way up to Jerusalem to meet God in their annual feasts. Likewise, we are traveling through this world on our way home. We are on our way to the New Jerusalem in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Orient your heart with verses 1-5. Israel finally had rest from their enemies. That’s how David knew it was time to bring the ark to Jerusalem (see Deuteronomy 12:10-11 and 2 Samuel 7:1). As David promises to build a house for God, so we must set our hearts on living as members of God’s household. Feel the joyful enthusiasm for God’s presence as you read verses 6-10. By now David is dead, yet Old Testament believers (in exile?) expect David’s anointed Son (v.10). Read the lyrics of their hopeful song in verses 11-12. Let us be even more sure of our pathway into God’s presence through the anointed Jesus. As you read verses 13-18, notice how deliberately God chooses His home. First, as a physical place, Zion emphasizes God’s presence in our world. Second, Zion clearly refers to people who experience life with God (vv. 15-16). Finally, Zion represents Christ’s powerful kingdom to defeat Satan forever (vv. 17-18). We are headed back home to God! Suggestions for prayer Praise God for advancing His kingdom through Christ. Thank God for making His home with sinners through Jesus. Ask for God’s Spirit to dwell in you today (Luke 11:13) as a member of His temple/household (Ephesians 2:19-22). Pray for greater joy through a greater awareness of His salvation (Psalm 132:9,16). Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 26 - Your best life: seeking God

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart…” - Psalm 119:2  Scripture reading: Psalm 119:1-8  How did you celebrate the New Year? In Bible times the Passover celebrated Israel’s new beginning. Yesterday, we celebrated Jesus as our Passover lamb in Psalm 118. He sets us free from Satan’s control just as the Israelites escaped Pharaoh’s slavery. When they left Egypt, God brought them to Mt. Sinai to instruct them about their new life with God. Likewise, Psalm 119 is a Mt. Sinai experience to treasure our new relationship with God. The world craves the good life of expensive toys, rich desserts and exciting vacations. Rewire your appetites by reading Psalm 119:1-3. Cravings for God is the truest appetite for the best life ever! Underline verse 2b in your Bible. First impact: Heart cravings for God excite the psalmist to do God’s will. Read verses 4-6 aloud and capture his passion with your voice. Right and wrong for him is a matter of relationship – not restriction. He treasures God so much that he cringes at the shame of disappointing God’s love. Second impact: Heart cravings for God ignite laser interest in God’s wisdom. He expects to discover the brilliance of God’s mind by examining His profound rules/decrees. Read verse 7 with an eager voice. When you perceive His wise decisions expect your soul to erupt with praise. Finally, the psalmist keeps craving God even though he doesn’t deserve God (v.8). Say this prayer with him: “…do not utterly forsake me!” Then recognize God’s answer in Jesus’ desperate question, “My God! Why have you forsaken Me?” Suggestions for prayer: Say verses 1-3 to develop your cravings for God. Use verses 4-6 to convert your cravings for God into obedience. With verses 7-8, express your need for learning and rescue. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 25 - Bind the sacrifice

“… Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!” - Psalm 118:27b  Scripture reading: Psalm 118:1-29 Imagine singing these words with Jesus at the Last Supper! As a Jew, He would have sung Psalms 113-118 at each Passover celebration (Mark 14:26). The mountain-top experience for the Jewish pilgrim reached its peak at the altar. That’s why Jesus sings Psalm 118 with His disciples. Instead of going up to the altar at the temple, Jesus leads His disciples to the Mt. of Olives. There He prays until they arrest Him to crucify Him. As the disciples sing, “Bind the festal sacrifice,” little do they realize Jesus is that sacrifice, but we do. First, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, you feel the safety of your family as the angel of death kills all the firstborn of Egypt, but passes over your home in Goshen. Say to yourselves, “I shall not die, but live, and recount the deeds of the Lord” (17). Second, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, cry out to God. That’s what the psalmist did (5-9) when God used the nations to discipline Israel (10-13,18). Third, because of Jesus’ sacrifice expect the warm welcome of His gates (19-20). Through Him we join the “congregation-of-the-righteous” who stand forever in the presence of God (Ps. 1:5-6). The Jewish leaders rejected Jesus like a useless building block, but through His crucifixion Jesus has become the cornerstone of the church (22). Finally, because of Jesus’ sacrifice, spur each other to worship. (Repeat after me) “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!” (verses 1-4,29). Suggestions for prayer Tell God about your sin and the mess it makes. Be specific. Thank God for the sacrifice of Jesus in our place. Ask for joy to spread delight in God’s salvation to others. Pray Psalm 118 by reading it aloud with expression. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 24 - Jesus rules the world

“The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” - Psalm 110:1  Scripture reading: Psalm 110:1-7  Jesus rules the world! That’s the global secret David shares in verse 1. Jesus Himself confirms it in Matthew 22:42-45. It’s as if David says, ‘One of my descendants will be my Master. He will rule the world at God’s right hand.’ David knows this from the personal announcement of The Lord (that is, Yahweh) to David’s Lord (that is, Master). David hears about Jesus’ ascension nearly a 1000 years before it happens! That awareness sparks two gut reactions. First, David pleads with his Master. He says to Jesus, “Rule in the midst of your enemies!” (2). Then David envisions prisoners escaping to Jesus out of the sunrise (3) because Jesus is the Priest Who washes them clean (4). See for yourself by reading Psalm 110:2-4 and think to yourself, ‘Jesus rules his enemies. He defeated Satan to release me from his grip. As priest, Jesus sacrificed Himself in my place.’ Second, David turns to Yahweh and brags about Jesus to Yahweh. At Yahweh’s right hand, Jesus will shatter kings and execute the nations (5-6) – just as Psalm 2 warned. David pictures Jesus walking away from battle holding his head high in victory (7). Treasure this moment by reading Psalm 110:5-7. As you read, substitute the name “Jesus” for each instance of the word “he”. Disobeying God doesn’t seem harmless anymore, does it? Let Jesus’ coming judgment scare you from sin. Trust His victory for safety. Run to Jesus. Your Priest-King rescues and protects you. Jesus rules the world! Suggestions for prayer Praise God for seating Jesus at His right hand. Plead with God to defeat His enemies by converting sinners into the kingdom. Meditate on Christ’s second coming by saying verses 5-7. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 23 - What’s your story?

"Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord." - Psalm 107:43 Scripture reading: Psalm 107:1-9, 42-43 Did God answer? Yesterday, the war victim in Psalm 106 pleaded, “Gather us from among the nations” (47). Yes! God answered! Listen to the preacher in the next Psalm. He urges the congregation to tell their God-story, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has … gathered in from the lands, from the east … west … north … and south” (107:2-3). Then he lists four stories of God’s committed love – first, love for those starving and homeless (4-9); second, love for prisoners in a dungeon scheduled to die (10-16); third, love for fools who wrecked their health with wild living (17-22); and fourth, terrified sailors who nearly sank with their ship in a storm (23-32). Why these four stories? To stir up thankfulness for God’s steadfast love. Psalm 107 kicks off Book 5 (Psalms 107-150) with energy, “Oh give thanks to the Lord,” Why this enthusiasm? It’s the same answer as before “…for the Lord is good” (Psalm 100:5, 106:1). And how do we know His goodness? “…for His steadfast love endures forever” (107:1). That’s what the four stories highlight. In each case, they cried and God heard. He housed and fed the homeless. He released the prisoners. He healed the sick and rescued the sailors. God intends us to read and sing these stories as a spiritual exercise (42-43). He wisely designed this workout to make us grateful (1) and glad (42). For today’s workout, read Psalm 107 aloud with expression. Suggestions for prayer Give thanks to God for your own story. Follow the pattern of the stories in Psalm 107: name your trouble (4-5), cry for help (6), recognize Christ’s provisions, (7), give thanks (8-9). Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 22 - Proof of Yahweh’s love and faithfulness 

"For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.” - Psalm 106:45 Scripture reading: Psalm 106:1-48 Yesterday, we celebrated the goodness of God. But can we sing of God’s goodness when tragedy strikes? The writer of Psalm 106 thinks so. He writes as a victim of war. Nebuchadnezzar’s army forced his family from their home and marched them 600+ miles on foot to Babylon. That’s why he ends this psalm so urgently, “…gather us from among the nations” (47). He wants to go back home! Are you homesick for better days? Is it realistic to say that God is good? Let’s listen to a war victim: “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good”. And why does he think God is good? “…for his steadfast love endures forever!” (v.1). At the end of Book 3 (Psalms 73-89) Ethan (another war victim) questions the Lord’s steadfast love (89:49). Egypt stripped the temple and controlled David’s throne. By the time we get to the end of Book 4 (Psalms 90-106) the circumstances are worse (106:47), but the mood is better. What has changed? The perspective. The homesick captive uses his memory like a backup camera. He squints far into the past to see steadfast love. That love endures generations of rebellion – at the Red Sea, in the wilderness, even child sacrifices (106:6-43). His backup camera displays God’s goodness. View the last large scene in these words: “Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry. For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love” (44-45). Suggestions for prayer Rapidly read Psalm 106:6-43 to feel the bursts of cruelty against God. Slow down and repeat (2x) the lines that tell of God’s deliverance. Let the intervention of Moses (23) and Phineas (30) prompt thanksgiving for Jesus’ steadfast love on the cross. Plead for salvation using verses 4-5,47. Then give thanks with verses 1-3,48. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 21 - Celebrate Yahweh’s love and faithfulness

“For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.” - Psalm 100:5 Scripture reading: Psalm 100:1-5 I could hardly wait for Psalm 100! It bursts with excitement about God’s goodness. How is God good (5a)? First, He did not abandon His people, but His steadfast love endures forever (5b). Second, He did not break His promise to David, but his faithfulness endures to all generations (5c). In Psalm 89 it appeared that God ended His love-relationship with Israel. Two questions haunt the Old Testament believer. First, how could God be present if the temple is gone? Second, how could God be faithful if no one reigns from David’s throne? Psalms 90-92 answer the first question. God is present just as He was with Moses before there ever was a temple. Psalms 93-99 answer the second question. God is King! By the time we get to Psalm 100 the writer can hardly contain his enthusiasm for Yahweh’s steadfast love and faithfulness. God still reigns today! “Serve the Lord with gladness” turns our to-do list into partnerships with King Jesus. “We are his people '' secures our place in His kingdom and guarantees God’s presence! “Enter … his courts with praise!” transforms our worship into angelic celebrations at God’s throne. Feel the excitement in the rapid-fire commands of Psalm 100 – Make a joyful noise! Serve! Come! Know! Enter! Give thanks! Bless! – This is not a warning, but a welcome … not have-to-do, but get-to-do. That’s why I couldn’t wait for Psalm 100. Though our sins deserve separation, God opens His arms through King Jesus! God is still good! Suggestions for Prayer Celebrate God’s faithfulness to create and maintain His people (3). Thank God for access through Jesus and for the presence of His Spirit (2,4). Ask for zeal to invite others to this good news. Read Psalm 100 again with this in mind. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

 January 20 - Amen, yes! God’s throne is still active

“The Lord reigns…. Your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting. Your decrees are very trustworthy…” - Psalm 93:1-2, 5  Scripture reading: Psalm 93:1-5 Sometimes disease, war and political oppression intimidate us. Personal and global troubles may raise doubts, “Does Jesus really govern the world?” Israel had their doubts too. Remember their disturbing questions from Psalm 89: (1) ‘If there is no temple, is God still present?’ (2) ‘If there is no Davidic king on Jerusalem’s throne, is God still faithful?’ Psalm 93 answers the second question emphatically, ‘Yes! God is faithful. In fact, God Himself is King (vv.1-2).’ God established both this world (v.1) and His throne (v.2). This is good news for a world troubled with wars, oppressive politics and devastating diseases. Do you remember the raging of the nations from Psalm 2 … the nations that rebelled against God’s reign (2:1-3)? You hear their voice again in Psalm 93 and their voices sound like flood waters (93:3). That’s how Jeremiah described Nebuchadnezzar’s army. Was God still king when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem? Yes, that’s the point of Psalm 93:4 which repeats the promise of Jeremiah 51:55. The Lord is more powerful than the destructive waves of Nebuchadnezzar’s army. In the big picture, God used Babylon to carry out the covenant curses on Jerusalem’s sins (Deuteronomy 28). Therefore, Psalm 93:5 praises Yahweh’s decrees for being trustworthy (the very term that is called into question in Psalm 89:49). Today, Jesus sits on David’s throne – not in Jerusalem, but at God’s right hand. Use Psalm 93 to strengthen your faith as godless enemies and strong temptations crash against Christians like ocean waves of doubt. Suggestions for prayer Pray Psalm 93:1-2 to acknowledge Christ’s reign today at God’s right hand. Use verse 3 to list personal and global troubles. Reaffirm God’s power (verse 4) and purposes (verse 5). Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 19 - Amen, yes! God’s love is still present.

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.” - Psalm 90:1  Scripture reading: Psalm 90:1-17 Remember the deep questions of Psalm 89: What about God’s steadfast love and faithfulness? Since the temple lies in ruins, is God still with us? Since David’s sons are captured, is God’s kingdom done? Book 4 (Psalms 90-106) answers the doubts of Book 3 (Psalms 73-89). The Holy Spirit takes us back to Psalm 90. Moses prays it from the wilderness. There is no temple or throne yet. Sadly, his generation grumbles about manna and dies for their unbelief. Put yourself in Moses’ sandals as you now read Psalm 90 aloud. Then fast forward to the time of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar burns the temple down, captures King Zedekiah, and kills his sons. Judah deserves God’s judgment. That’s when the anxious questions in Psalm 89 sink deeper – “Is God still with us? Is God’s kingdom done?” Read Psalm 90 again as if you were Daniel (Read with expression). Somebody like Ezra eventually gathers all the Psalms and arranges them into the order we have them today. It was Israel’s song book for 400 years. Simeon and Anna must process the questions in Psalm 89. Herod rebuilt the temple, but Roman emperors reign instead of David’s descendants. Read Psalm 90 again as if you were Simeon or Anna before they meet Jesus. Finally, make it your own prayer. The world feels powerful and the church appears weak. New laws approve immorality and oppose Christianity. Starvation, persecution, broken marriages – even your own struggle with sin – may tempt you to ask, “Is God actively present?” Suggestions for prayer Conclude by reading Psalm 90 as your prayer. Reaffirm God’s presence. Confidently confess your sins. Remember that Jesus died to deal with your guilt and shame. Thank God that He dwells in you by His Spirit. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 18 - Is Yahweh still loving and faithful?

“Lord, where is your steadfast love of old, which by your faithfulness you swore to David?” - Psalm 89:49  Scripture reading: Psalm 89:38-52  Read Ps. 89:38-45 to experience the shocking reality of God’s justice against sin. Ethan describes a time when Yahweh punished David’s family-king (38-39) and humiliated him (43-45) by sending cruel enemies (42) to smash his military forts and Jerusalem’s walls (40-41). Ethan is a contemporary of Solomon (1 Kings 4:31), so he likely has in mind Shishak (pharaoh of Egypt) who attacked Rehoboam (David’s grandson) and forced him and Judah to slavery (see 2 Chronicles 12:1–12). Read Ps. 89:46-48 to know the anxious misery of sin’s consequences. Through agonizing questions and desperate cries Ethan pleads with Yahweh to rescue him from death. Read Ps. 89:49-51 to develop a passion that is more consumed with Yahweh’s honour than personal comfort. Ethan feels insulting shame when enemies mock Yahweh’s anointed king (50-51). That explains his daring question, “Lord, where is Your steadfast love of old, which by Your faithfulness You swore to David?” (v.49). Ethan’s song will be fitting for a later generation when Nebuchadnezzar shackles king Zedekiah (David’s 19th generation grandson) with chains, strips the temple of its gold and valuables, slaughters the residents of Jerusalem and burns the royal city to the ground like a bulldozer (see 2 Kings 24:8–25:30). For the next 600 years, faithful saints will ask about Yahweh’s steadfast love and faithfulness to David. That’s why Ethan ends the song with “Amen and Amen” (51) which means “I believe!” or “Faithful!” Yes, God is loving and faithful. Jesus’ kingdom is coming! Suggestions for prayer Confess that your sins and the sins of the church shame Christ’s kingdom. Ask to be consumed more by Christ’s kingdom than personal comfort – especially when the powers of wealth and politics make the church seem small and insignificant. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 17 - Celebrate Yahweh’s love and faithfulness!

“I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever; with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.” - Psalm 89:1  Scripture reading: Psalm 89:1-37  Are you ready to sing with Ethan (see the title)? Read Psalm 89:1-2. Two big ideas pump Ethan’s adrenaline. Think of steadfast-love and faithfulness as Yahweh’s arms. Together they rescue His people for His eternal kingdom. Read Psalm 89:3-4 to hear Yahweh announce the Grand Opening of Christ’s Kingdom. David’s throne is forever! Yahweh’s steadfast love and faithfulness are like twin hand-prints confirming the coming of Christ’s kingdom! Read Psalm 89:5-18 to anticipate the wonder of Yahweh’s kingdom. First, His supreme power guarantees it. No heavenly being compares to His military might; He conquers every enemy (vv. 5-10). He invented the world and orders it (vv. 11-14). Second, His legal decisions guarantee a happy people. His steadfast love and faithfulness secure joy, clarity, value, glory and protection for each kingdom citizen (vv. 15-18). Read Psalm 89:19-28 to perceive the secret behind David’s successful kingdom. Yahweh elected and anointed him. He defeated his enemies (vv. 19-23), expanded Solomon’s kingdom and made Solomon a son (vv. 25-27). That is steadfast love and faithfulness (vv.24,28). Read Psalm 89:29-37 to fathom Yahweh’s commitment to His Bride. David’s family cheated on God and violated the covenant (vv. 30-32). Yet, God kept His vow of steadfast love and faithfulness (vv. 33-36). The moon’s orbit is like Yahweh’s wedding ring, faithfully encircling the earth every month (v. 37). Join Ethan! Spread the news of Yahweh’s steadfast love and faithfulness in King Jesus. Tell your neighbours, kids and grandkids. Suggestions for prayer Read Ethan’s words to God with your own expressions. Keep in mind that Jesus sits at God’s right hand to complete these promises. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 16 - Don't doubt God’s goodness

“Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled…” - Psalm 73:1-2  Scripture reading: Psalm 73:1-28 “It’s worthless to keep a clean conscience and live a pure life!” Asaph thought. In Psalm 73, he confesses his struggles with doubt (read 73:1-3). Misperception nearly kills his faith. Hopefully his story convinces you that “God is good … to those who are pure in heart.” Asaph’s doubts about God come from interpreting life through his experiences. Two observations tempt him to question God’s goodness. First, it seems that the wicked always get ahead in life and have it easy (read 73:4-12). Secondly, his life is the opposite – filled with turmoil even though he keeps a clean conscience and obeys God (read 73:13-14). That’s not what he expects. He figures that godly people prosper, and wicked people perish. His experience does not match his beliefs. Thankfully, Asaph keeps his thoughts to himself because he knows how damaging it would be to talk that way in front of other church members – especially those young in the faith (read 73:15). His turning point comes when he interprets life from God’s perspective (read 73:16-17). By faith, Asaph sees that God will severely judge the wicked (read 73:18-20). He admits that he had been as clueless as a cow (read 73:21-22). Asaph comes to see God differently and so can you. As you read verses 23-26, imagine God holding your hand, whispering advice and then welcoming you into heaven. Use verses 27-28 to keep trusting God’s Son (2:12) instead of believing your own interpretations of the world. Suggestions for prayer Confess your own doubts about God. Admit that your doubts are lies about reality. Thank God for making known what we cannot understand by our own observations. Ask for accurate perceptions to dissolve your doubts and secure your joy. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 15 - Give the King your justice!

“Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son! … May his … fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed!” - Psalm 72:1, 17  Scripture reading: Psalm 72:1-20 Sin isn’t fair. Mr. Greed says, “Finders keepers, losers weepers!” Ms. Gossip wrecks her neighbour’s reputation with the excuse, “Well, it’s true!” Mr. Lust destroys marriage with the mindset, “It can’t be wrong if it feels so right.” Psalm 72 is a prayer for King Jesus to make all things just – to defend the poor, to rescue starving kids, to crush oppressors! (72:4). Book 2 (Psalms 42-72) confronts the mess that sin makes when bullies take advantage of others. Psalms 42-44 sigh under sin’s bitterness. Immediately, Psalm 45 presents Jesus as the valiant Groom Who rescues His bride from her bullies. He leads His army (46) to defeat His enemies (47) and to live peacefully with His bride in the royal city (48). Therefore, don’t fear when the wicked prosper (Psalm 49) because God comes as judge to execute them (50). Instead, we must return to God with the sacrifice of genuine sorrow over sin (51) and continue to trust Him in all our troubles (52-64). Then we will rejoice with others in His world-wide mission to gather broken, miserable sinners (65-67); and we will live confidently in God Who continues to defeat our enemies (68) and to rescue us from sin (69-70) – even to old age (71). By praying Psalm 72, we trust in Jesus and delight in His kingdom. Only He can bring us to our destination – the place of standing before God in the congregation of the righteous (see introduction). King Jesus makes all things right. Suggestions for prayer Pray for the justice of Christ’s kingdom by reading Psalm 72:1-7. Pray for the expanse of His kingdom with verses 8-14. Pray for its continuation with verses 15-17. Praise His glorious kingdom with verses 18-19. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 14 - Safety in Christ’s kingdom

“Prolong the life of the king…! May he be enthroned forever before God; appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!” - Psalm 61:6, 7  Scripture reading: Psalm 61:1-8 The what-ifs of life threaten our security. What if I get cancer? What if I lose my job? What if my parents divorce? In this poem, David discovers safety in the kingdom of Jesus and so can you. David’s big scare is the enemy. Repeatedly, he faces brutal and angry bullies who want him dead. No wonder David thinks of God’s protection in military terms – my refuge, a strong tower (v.3). He pleads with God to lead him to a rock so high that arrows cannot reach him; and its cliffs so steep that no enemy can climb it. That’s the first picture of safety – out of reach of the enemy (Read 61:1-3). But security is more than just an escape from death. Safety involves knowing that someone loves you and cares for you. Therefore, David begs to live with God in His tent. He wants God to care for him with the intensity of a mother hen sheltering chicks under her wing. (Read 61:4-5.) This second picture of safety is all about relationship. By the end of David’s poem, he moves from present troubles to future hope. What makes God as secure as a high rock in battle? What assures David of God’s loving care – as protective as a mother hen? The answer is “Jesus!” By faith David sees King Jesus sitting on David’s future throne. Jesus’ eternal reign gives us the confidence to face the what-ifs of life – even cancer, unemployment, and broken homes (Read 61:6-8). Suggestions for prayer Name the fears and circumstances that threaten your security. Be specific. Thank God for being like a rock, strong tower, and mother hen. Ask for deliverance from fear and for hope in Christ’s coming kingdom. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 13 - The king’s repentance

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” - Psalm 51:10  Scripture reading: Psalm 51:1-16 Are you wondering what to do with a sinful secret? David’s conscience nags him for nine months or more. Exhausting. Agitating. Condemning. Then Nathan exposes his swollen puss pocket of sin to unleash three stages of repentance. Stage 1: Trust God with your dirty secrets (read 51:1-6). First, David appeals to a love more loyal than family and more compassionate than a thousand mothers (1-2). Second, he admits that his sin attacks God Himself and comes from a dirty heart (3-6). Since God so loved the world to send His only natural Son, you can share the slime of your soul with Him. Stage 2: Confession leads to cleansing (read 51:7-12). First, David begs for a clean record (7) to restore him emotionally and physically (8) in his relationship with God (9). Second, David pleads for a clean heart. David remembers Saul’s torment when the Holy Spirit left Saul. That intensifies his need for the Holy Spirit (11) to give him a right (10) and willing spirit (12). Our guilty record is cleansed by Christ’s death. Our dirty heart is purified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, beg for cleansing. Stage 3: Clean records and hearts lead to worship (read 51:13-19). Forgiveness sets David free to teach others the way of freedom (13), to sing its value (14), and to boast of God (15). Wrong worship thinks only of the outward actions (16). When we offer our broken hearts (17), God builds a worshiping community (18) who please God with right worship (19). Suggestions for prayer Confess your own sins and ask forgiveness in Jesus’ blood. Be specific. Ask for internal changes that result in right desires and pure motives. Ask for more worship from the heart in you and your local church members. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 12 - Repent of wrong worship

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” - Psalm 50:23  Scripture reading: Psalm 50:1-23 This psalm confronts two worship problems in the Christian church today. First, it exposes worshippers who only go through the motions out of habit – not as joyful service to the King. During the sermon and songs, they doodle and daydream. Is that you … mindlessly religious, but not relating to God? God condemns careless worshippers. He calls His court to order (read 50:1-6). The heavens and earth serve as witnesses (4,6). Then come the charges: religious ritual (read 50:7-13) without relying on God (read 50:14-15). A thankful heart realizes, “God, you keep me alive!” True humility whispers desperately, “God, I need you in today’s trouble!” That’s how God gets the glory when He brings us through the day. Therefore, stop going through the motions. Be authentic. Be thankful. The church’s second problem is worship that serves as a cover for crime (read 50:16-20). These worshippers pray on Sunday to disguise their business lies. Adoration hides their appetite for adultery. They glorify God to cover their slander in the family. When confronted, they get angry (17). Do you fake worship? Is church your smoke screen for evil? God arrests them too and charges them with forgetting God. He threatens to rip them apart. (Read 50:21-22. Yet, God extends the same grace to wicked worshippers as He does to the careless ones. He calls them to thankful worship and right living and promises to show them salvation (Read 50:23,14-5). Tomorrow’s psalm demonstrates how to repent and receive salvation in Jesus Christ. Suggestions for prayer Confess your worship sins – thoughtless motions and deliberate deception. Sincerely beg God to rescue you from wrong worship. Ask for forgiveness in Jesus Christ.  Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

 January 11 - The king and his bride

“And the King will desire your beauty. Since He is your Lord, bow to Him.” - Psalm 45:11 Scripture reading: Psalm 45:1-17 The writer of Psalm 45 is like the photographer at a wedding. But this is no ordinary marriage. It is the union of the King of kings to the ugliest Bride of brides. Jesus Christ is the King (Hebrews 1:8-9), but the Bride is a nation of gangsters – not an individual. Through compassion and pity King Jesus transforms her. This love is worth remembering and celebrating (read v.17). Therefore, the photographer captures this vivid picture with a love song. In verses 2-9 (read), he pictures Jesus Christ as the most handsome Groom (2). He majestically defeats His enemies (3-5). Then, He sets up a peaceful government where truth, meekness and righteousness replace neighbourhoods boarded up by crime (6-7a). Tenderly, He smiles at every citizen like a joyful groom celebrating his bride (8-9). Correspondingly, verses 10-15 (read) picture the gangster nation as the Bride. The song writer urges her to leave her home and her criminal community to become a citizen of the victorious King. He desires her like a groom waiting at the front of the church (10-11). With awe, even the King’s enemies will recognize her global significance and honour her marriage with extravagant gifts (12). Like a bride walking down the aisle in a spectacular dress, she will receive more recognition than guests who stand for any bridal procession (13-15). Instead of fading into a sunset, this love song ends with a glorious picture of God’s future Kingdom (read v.16). Christ’s sons will rule the world! Suggestions for prayer Praise God for rescuing dead sinners like you through the victory of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Ask for a greater awareness of your identity with Christ’s Bride, the Church. Thank God for creating a new society that will be completed at Jesus’ return. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

January 10 - Waiting for God’s deliverance

“Send out your light and your truth…. Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” - Psalm 43:3, 5  Scripture reading: Psalm 43:1-5 Justice brings relief. When the bully gets sentenced to prison, the victim breathes a sigh of relief. In Psalm 43, the sons of Korah long for that kind of relief when one of them cries, “Vindicate me, O God!” (1). Keep in mind that Satan still works in the children of disobedience (Ephesians 2:1-2). They are ungodly. They lie. They cheat (v.1). This man’s constant mourning reminds us that we live in a devilish world (v.2). May we too grieve at such injustices. For you, it may be intensely personal – a shifty landlord, a deceptive family member, a shady boss. So also, the psalmist writes from personal experience. Though he feels rejected by God, yet he takes refuge in God (2). First, he trusts God by persisting in prayer (3-4). He requests insight (i.e. light and truth) to lead him to God’s holy hill. Remember from Psalm 2 that God’s Son sits on that holy hill as King! That’s why we need greater insight – to see our oppression in light of Jesus at God’s right hand. Second, he trusts God by preaching to himself (5). He acknowledges his grey sadness with an honest question. But he refuses to let his depression get in the way of his relationship with God. His self-sermon is simple: Hope in God. This hope is like the kid who can’t wait for his birthday. Just as relief seems too far away, the writer can’t wait for the day of celebrating God’s deliverance. Suggestions for prayer Pray that persecuted Christians may have relief through Jesus’ justice. Pray for relief from the specific ways your own culture resists God’s kingdom. Ask for a greater awareness of Jesus’ superiority over Satan’s kingdom. Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69