Thoughts and encouragement from David Guzik for pastors, preachers, Bible teachers, and all those who serve God, His people, and a needy world in Jesus’ name.

Henrietta Mears

The Decision of Henrietta Mears

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

This last week I taught at a family camp at Forest Home in the mountains of Southern California. It was a great time, and I’m happy to return there for another family camp in 2020. Forest Home has a notable founder, the late Henrietta Mears.

Henrietta Mears

A lot could be said about this remarkable woman of God, but today I just want to give you something I found on the last page of a Bible belonging to the late Dr. J. Edwin Orr (who also had a fascinating connection to Forest Home). On that last page, was written the following:

Henrietta C. Mears
Personal Dedication to Christ
Regarding her first Sunday School Class

I will win the personal allegiance
of every one of my class
to the Lord Jesus Christ;
I will walk; I will write; I will pray.

I will remain close to them
until they are established;
I will associate with them in fellowship;
I will make myself available to them always;
I will see that they are committed to some definite task.

I will put the Cross back into my Christianity,
and I will pray as I have never prayed before
for a new vision of God.

I will spend and be spent in this battle,
and will not seek rest or ease;
I will seek fellowship with the Man of Sorrows
as He walks through this stricken world.

And I Will Not Fail.

Obviously, none of this can be done except by the Spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6) – I’m sure Henrietta Mears understood that. I just hope you are inspired by her determination and dedication to the cause of influencing others for Jesus Christ and His kingdom.

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Still Chosen

Still Chosen, Still Called


Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

I hope your weekend was blessed in the service of God, His people, and a needy world! Here’s a thought for the start of this week from Isaiah 14:1:

For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob,
and will still choose Israel,
and settle them in their own land.
The strangers will be joined with them,
and they will cling to the house of Jacob. 
(Isaiah 14:1)

Still Chosen

Sometimes God’s work is gloomy work, and many of God’s prophets have labored in gloomy times. God told Isaiah to tell the people of God that the mighty Babylonian Empire would crush them as an act of God’s judgment – not a cheerful message! Yet, God gave hope in the midst of gloom, and the gloom of Isaiah 13 turns into the hope of Isaiah 14, where it says: For the LORD will have mercy on Jacob, and will still choose Israel.

Did you notice those four words? “Will still choose Israel.” Sometimes we feel that we know God chose us, but if He had to choose again, He would change His choice! He chose you for salvation and will still choose you. God chose you for ministry and will still choose you.

God’s love hasn’t changed since the days of Isaiah. He would still choose you. Sometimes sin, defeat, and discouragement make us think that God is almost “stuck” with us now and would choose differently if He could. That isn’t the case. His love towards you remains the same. He loved you all along, knowing how you would fail Him – but God’s love to you is based in who He is, not in who you are. Rest assured: He will still choose you.

Remember the great promise of Romans 11:29: “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” It’s true that there may be seasons when we step back to strengthen our discipleship or character, but the fundaments gifts and calling of God are not taken back.

He chose you, and He still chooses you. Take some rest in that today!

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Light affliction

Our Light Affliction


Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

After your weekend of serving God, His people, and a needy world – could you please take a moment to read and consider this deep thought from 2 Corinthians 4:17?

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working
for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Light affliction

Years ago I read about an unemployed man in Tokyo who created a job for himself. He dressed in protective padding and let people on the streets of Tokyo wear boxing gloves and beat him for three minutes. He made $10 a turn and said, “I enjoy being used as a punching bag, it’s… another way to experience life. I want to continue as long as my body holds up.”

As we serve God, sometimes we feel like a punching bag. We don’t seek this out, and when we face the bumps and bruises of ministry, we want them to heal as quickly as possible. Paul bore many afflictions (2 Corinthians 6:45), and probably didn’t enjoy them. Yet he saw value in them, and estimated them to be light afflictions.

How can we see our affliction as light when it seems so heavy?

Our affliction is light compared to what others are suffering. No matter how bad we have it, there are many others who suffer worse.

Our affliction is light compared to what we deserve. We often don’t like to think about it, but haven’t we sinned against God again and again? Jesus learned through what He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Perhaps God wants to use a season of affliction to teach me something.

Our affliction is light compared to what Jesus suffered for us. There is simply no comparison between what we are going through and all Jesus suffered spiritually, emotionally, and physically – and all for us, not for Himself.

Our affliction is light compared to the blessings we enjoy. We often ask, “why do I deserve this?” But that question applies to our times of blessing, which are actually far greater than our afflictions.

Our affliction is light compared to the sustaining power of God’s grace. He can and does strengthen us, as we humbly receive His help, no matter how He brings it to us.

Our affliction is light compared to the glory it leads to. God has eternal glories to work in us through our present affliction – including the bumps and bruises the belong to ministry. Those eternal glories are a greater prize than anything we can see on earth.

Your afflictions are real. Yet comparatively, they are light. Rest in Him, rest in that today.

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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is it right

Is It Right?


Then the LORD said, “Is it right for you to be angry?” (Jonah 4:4)

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher –

I pray that as this comes to you on a Monday or a Tuesday after a weekend of ministry, that you are being refreshed and recharged by God. In whatever way you served God, His people, or a needy world this week, God saw what you did and how it honored Him.

is it right

There is a lot I could say about what God said to Jonah with this question. The context of it all in the book of Jonah makes it even more fascinating. But I know you are busy and hopefully will have some opportunity to rest and recharge today, so I won’t take much of your time with this.

God asked Jonah, is it right for you to be angry? God likes to ask questions, and it’s a great study to find out all the questions God asks of man throughout the Bible. God teaches through His questions, and He wanted to teach Jonah. Jonah felt justified in his anger, but God wanted him to see that not right for him to be angry.

What might God ask you today?

Is it right for you to be discouraged?
Is it right for you to be jealous?
Is it right for you be proud?
Is it right for you to be bitter?
Is it right for you to be unforgiving?

I might feel I have a reason to hold on to all of these things, and maybe more. When I think of how great God is, and how marvelous His plan is, and how good it is for me to die to self even when it is difficult, I see that it isn’t right for me to hold on to any of those things.

Dear brother or sister, don’t let the work of God in you and through you be hindered by holding on to something that isn’t right.

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Shepherd with sheep

People God Calls


I was no prophet, nor was I a son of a prophet, but I was a sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit. Then the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said to me, “Go, prophesy to My people Israel.” (Amos 7:14-15)

Amos was not a graduate of the school of the prophets. He was more familiar with the plow than with the pulpit. He knew more about seeds and sowing than seeing into the future.

Shepherd with sheep

It seems that Amos was simply doing his job as a farmer when one day it happened: “Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock.” It was because Amos was an honorable sheepbreeder and a tender of sycamore fruit that God made him an honorable prophet. Like many others in the Bible, God called Amos as he faithfully performed his present calling. The call came to:

Rachel watering sheep
Moses and David tending sheep
Joshua helping Moses
Gideon threshing wheat
Ruth gathering grain
Elisha serving Elijah
Peter catching fish
Matthew collecting taxes

The life of Amos was not useless as a farmer before he was a prophet. The world needs sheepbreeders, farmers, mechanics, doctors, technicians, insurance salesmen and everything else. To serve God and others honorably in these professions is just as honorable as serving Him as a prophet.

But we see God had a purpose in specifically calling a man like Amos. He wanted to show the greatness of the ministry was in the God who inspires it, not in the man or woman used in ministry. When Amos spoke people didn’t say, “He must have been top of his class at the school of the prophets.” Instead they said, “God is really saying something through that farmer.”

God had another purpose in calling Amos. With so many allusions and illustrations from the world of agriculture, Amos spoke as a farmer and God used it. Every person really called to speak forth for God has a manner and style of their own. Though God speaks through them all, they still do not lose not their individuality or unique character. We might say that the breath which causes the music is the same, but no two instruments give forth precisely the same sound. Amos was a unique instrument and God breathed through him in a special way.

Dear pastor, preacher, or Bible teacher – you are a unique individual. You are singular in what you are by birth, training, life experience and anointing. God can and will use you according to your special calling. It may be in a way noticed or unnoticed by others, but that is unimportant – as long as your calling is noticed in heaven. Just make sure you answer every time God calls!

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Crowning Kings

Ready for a Crown


Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved,
he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
(James 1:12)

Happy Monday! If you served God, His people, or a needy world this last weekend in Jesus’ name, I pray today God will find several ways to recharge and refresh you.

We love the Beatitudes – those wonderful sayings of Jesus in Matthew 5 about those who are blessed. Yet the New Testament gives us a few more beatitudes beyond the Sermon on the Mount. Here, God pronounces a blessing on the one who endures temptation.

Crowning Kings

I think there are several kinds of temptation that are common to pastors, preachers, and Bible teachers. We are tempted to discouragement and tempted to pride. We tempted to self-reliance and to carelessness. We are tempted to make an idol out of the ministry or to lose heart with it.

Friend, please know – as you endure these temptations, God promises the crown of life to you. It’s worth it to keep going, to keep trusting in Jesus, and to keep receiving His strength.

Enduring through temptation, there is a promise for us: The crown of life which the Lord has promised. With this, James reminds us that it really is worth it to endure under the temptations we face.

The idea of our coming crown is amazing – almost more than we can take in. Spurgeon said this about our coming crown: “O you dear Christian people that live in poverty and obscurity, I have a reverence for your heads which are already anointed with grace, for your heads that are yet to be crowned with glory. You run – often run better than the greatest and most observed of your fellow Christians; and you shall not miss your reward. There is a crown laid up, not only for Paul, but ‘for all them that love our Lord’s appearing.’”

I don’t know what temptations face you on a Monday following a weekend serving God. Whatever they are, be encouraged. Endure through them. Look forward to the promised crown.

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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Empty Tomb

The Best News Ever


Empty Tomb

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher:

Many of you have the honor of proclaiming the best news ever – that the Lord is Risen!

Today, I’m thinking of and praying for you all together, asking God to bless whatever opportunity He gives you to honor the resurrected Jesus and to be His messenger. It’s a wonderful message:

  • Jesus is risen
  • His work on the cross was completely accepted by God the Father – it is finished!
  • Death is defeated and our eternity is secure
  • God’s love and power is proclaimed in and through the work of Jesus
  • For all time, this fact of history demonstrates the Christian message to be true

May God give you an extra measure of His grace to receive the resurrection power of Jesus into your life and ministry, so that you can herald the best news ever.

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

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building stones

What God Builds With


And the king commanded them to quarry large stones,
costly stones, and hewn stones,
to lay the foundation of the temple. 
(1 Kings 5:17)

It was one of the most amazing building projects of the ancient world. Thousands of men worked together to make the temple God inspired David and his son Solomon to build. In fact, a few verses before it says that were 70,000 men who carried burdens and quarried stones on this job site.

1 Kings 5:17 tells us that Solomon used costly stones. This is literally “quality stones,” showing that Solomon used high quality materials even in the foundation where the stones could not be seen.

building stones

The Bible says that we are like a temple being built by God. Ephesians 2:19-21 tells us that God’s people are being built up like a temple, with Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone and God’s apostles and prophets as the rest of the foundation. Then God keeps building with all of God’s people, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:21).

Even closer to the point, 1 Peter 2:5 speaks to God’s people and says, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house. The picture is of God building a building, and we are the “bricks” or the “stones” that God builds with.

So, what might it say to you that Solomon used only costly stones in building the temple?

This speaks to the way you should work for God. We don’t work for appearance only, but also to excel in the deep and hidden things. All of our work for God should be done thoroughly – perhaps especially the work that is like a foundation, lying low and hidden, and not commonly seen by others.

This speaks to the way God works in you. He works in the deep and hidden things when others are concerned with mere appearances. You probably know this from your own life – how God has done a lot of unseen, underground work in your life.

This speaks to the way God builds the church. He wants to do a work of deep, strong foundations instead of a work a mile wide but an inch deep. If we want to see a solid work of God in our churches, it will be built upon His solid people.

Best of all, never forget who paid the price for every one of those costly stones: Jesus our redeemer. It is His temple and all the materials in it are His purchased possession. Thank Jesus for buying, building, and for letting you serve in His temple!

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

airport waiting

A Perfect Way


God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.

(2 Samuel 22:33)

As I write this, I’m waiting in an airport for my next flight. Travel stories are often boring, because we all share similar experiences of delayed or cancelled flights, driving difficulties, or any other number of problems.

Sitting in an unusually quiet airport on the east coast, waiting for a delayed flight that doesn’t board for another two hours, I thought of how reliable God is. I really don’t doubt that I will make it to my destination tonight, even though it will be later than I thought. I’ve traveled enough and made my way through enough of these problems that I have learned that (with rare exception) these things work out. Stressing out only makes the problem worse.

airport waiting

That makes me wonder why I sometime stress out over what I think God is doing (or not doing). Those of us who serve God in the ministry of His Word – those of us who are pastors, preachers, and Bible teachers – we tend to expect a lot from God. That’s good. Often that expectation is an expression of faith. Like children, we have great confidence in our Heavenly Father.

As we expect great things from God, at the same time, let’s have the same confidence that David sang about in 2 Samuel 22. I love this line from that song:

God is my strength and power,
And He makes my way perfect.

Do you believe that God is your strength and power? If you are trying to be your own strength and power, you need to come back to the confidence that God is your strength and power.

Are you confident that God will make your way perfect? Not only will God get you to your destination, He will guard and perfect the way there.

Whatever stresses you face today, with childlike faith pray the truth of 2 Samuel 22:33 back to the LORD.

  • Receive His strength and power.
  • Rest in the promise, “He makes my way perfect.”

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

more to remember

Give Him More to Remember


For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. (Hebrews 6:10)

I don’t know how your weekend was. Maybe you are exhausted from a busy weekend and long hours. Maybe you are pleased because God really seemed to do some wonderful things through your service to Him and His people. Maybe you’re frustrated, confused, or anxious.

more to remember

I don’t know how your weekend of serving God and His people was, but I do know this: God is a just God. He will always be fair and do what is right. And, as it says here in Hebrews 6:10: if God forgot what you did for Him, He would be unjust. Since God can never be unjust, He will never forget!

We can look at this verse and make some good prayers out of it:

– He remembers your work: “Lord, help me to keep working!”
– He remembers your labor of love: “Lord, help me to keep loving!”
– He remembers what you do in His name: “Lord, I want to work to give glory to Your name, not mine.”
– He remembers that you have ministered to the saints: “Lord, make me a servant to Your people, Your holy ones.”
– He remembers that you continually do minister: “Lord, help me to keep going in my service to You and Your people.”

People may forget. The community may not care. You yourself might even forget. But we have God’s word on it: He will never forget what you have done and keep doing for His glory and His people.

So, with God helping you – give Him more to remember!

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers