Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on

The Hebrew word for the Jewish people is Yehudim. It means praise, thanksgiving and worship. A Jewish existence is that of praise and worship, thankful for all they have. How then did the name, Jew, become a profane term or a curse word? Because of sin–our own selfish, self-centered choices to live for ourselves and not God.

Jesus’ life as King of the Jews is a perfect example of Yehudim–praise, thanksgiving and worship. Yet, He was hated, persecuted and finally crucified. The sign over His head on the cross said, “King of the Jews,” and that is what He was/is. Jesus lived and taught what it is like to live for God. He lived a life of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, kindness, faithfulness and self control (Galatians 5:22-23). Jesus’ life was that of praise and worship. Even in death on the cross He glorified the Father in Heaven. His resurrection was an act of giving and faithfulness.


Jesus was not destroyed by all the evil attempts on His life. He overcame evil with good. He blessed those who cursed Him. He even died for their forgiveness. If this is how Jesus lived, believers are called to live by His example. We are to be Yehudim–praising and worshiping God, thankful for all we have.


Thank you Father God for Jesus. Help us to live our lives by His example and teaching. Empower us with your strength and boldness to stand firm in this dark world. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Praise, Thanksgiving, Worship

Statue of King David in Jerusalem

The statue of King David with his harp stands across a passage way from the City of David in Jerusalem. Although God loves all people, the Jews are His chosen people. The root of the Hebrew word for Jew is praise, thanksgiving and worship. King David personified these in His writing of many of the Psalms. “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul makes its boast in the Lord; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!” (Psalm 34:1-3).

So why have the Jews been so hated? They were enslaved in Egypt, destroyed by the Romans, nearly annihilated by Hitler, scattered over the whole world, run out of Brittain and Spain. The elite Jews, the Pharisees, hated Jesus–the King of the Jews, and finally crucified Him. Yet, He rose from the grave and is alive today through the person of the Holy Spirit, who comforts and counsels us.


Jews have excelled in science, music, entertainment and sports. Accomplishments and awards last only a little while. Even in as short a time as five years, few people remember the names of Olympic gold medalists, Emmy or Grammy award winners. Yet, all we do for God’s kingdom will last forever. What do you think the difference is? 1 Corinthians 16:14 says, “Do everything in love,” and 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” What we do or say impacts the people around us, and if we do it in love, it brings glory to God. Lives are changed for the kingdom.


Thank you, Father, for making a way for us to be in the family of God. Help us to always be mindful that our gifts and callings are from you. Help us to use our talents and abilities in ways that honor You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Four Ways to Drink of the Living Water

En Gedi, Israel

En Gedi is an oasis in the Judean desert. The source of the waterfalls is a spring that has flowed hundreds of years and brought refreshment for people in the Bible–David, King Saul and others. Living water seems to flow from the throne of God.

When Jesus talked to the Samaritan woman at the well He said, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water” and “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:10, 13-14). He was not talking about physical water but spiritual fulfillment.

Jesus is the spring of living water. He knows our deepest need–the need to know Him, to know His love, to love Him and others. He said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:37-38).


So how can you and I drink of this living water today? Consider these four activities:

  1. We come to the Spring of Living Water when we read God’s Word. The Bible is God’s love letter to His people. He quenches our thirst day by day. Fresh water is new every morning for us to drink of and use during the day.
  2. Prayer is another way to drink of the Living Water. We build a relationship with our Lord by talking with Him as a Friend. And if we pay attention, we might hear His voice speaking to our hearts.
  3. Our friends may offer us a sip of Living Water with words or encouragement, a Scripture verse or by helping us through troubling times.
  4. Praise and worship are great opportunities to experience floods of Living Water.

God’s Spring of Living Water is always available. Drink often. Drink deeply.


Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, our Spring of Living Water. Prompt us to come and drink often, especially in our times of great need. Thank you for your faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.