Archive for October, 2016

I delight to do your will

October 21, 2016

Psalm 40--8

The Verse of the Day for October 21, 2016 reveals a source of pleasure or delight:

Psalm 40:8 (NLT)

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

“I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your law is within my heart.”

Most remarkably, the Verse of the Day was among the scriptures used in yesterday’s “Quote of the Day” which talked about discovering and doing the will of God.

The Verse of the Day also brings to mind Psalm 37:4 (NLT) where the Psalmist encourages believers to take action, and there will be a corresponding action on God’s part.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires

The expression to “take delight” or to “have pleasure in” brings to mind the first poem that I wrote, which turned out to be a rather accidental (providential) occurrence. In 1961 as a pre-pharmacy student at Purdue University, I was enrolled in a freshman composition class and recall that I was asked to write a response to this prompt: “May I Tell You What Delights Me?”  I made a list of items that brought me pleasure, and when I read what I had written to the class, my professor described it as poetry. Years later I realized that I had written a free-verse, catalogue poem, in the style of Walt Whitman. Near the top of the list of sources of delight for me was the Book of Psalms.

Just as we delight or take pleasure in God, our Father also delights or takes pleasure in His children. The Scriptures go on to speak of God’s “good pleasure,” an expression found in Ephesians 1:5 which is the inspiration for the following:

The Good Pleasure of His Will

Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself,

according to the good pleasure of His will,

Ephesians 1:5 [NKJV]


“The safest place in the whole wide world

 is in the perfect will of God.”

Contemporary Christian Song


God makes all things new in yet another new season,

In this place where our divine destinies intersect.

As we finish the work, what we lack, He will perfect,

Far beyond anything our mortal minds can reason.

To abide in God’s perfect will Jesus led the way.

In the garden, he said, not my will but yours be done,

Praying that as he and the Father, so might we be one

To reverse the curse of Adam who chose to disobey.

God’s desire is that we know joy without measure.

In fulfilling God’s will His presence is ever near.

Signs, wonders, and miracles happen when we are here

Where we prove His perfect will and know His good pleasure.

The will of God is a safe haven where we can hide:

In the good pleasure of His will we long to abide.

Esther Mui offers a musical rendering of “Adopted as Sons” based on Ephesians 1:3-6:

After fifty-five years, I still find great pleasure in the Psalms which continue to be a sources of absolute delight.

To discover and do the will of God

October 20, 2016
Discovering God's Will

“To discover the will of God is the greatest discovery,” says Albert Schweitzer.

Recently I introduced a new feature to Dr. J’ Apothecary Shoppe, a variation on the Verse of the Day,” called the Quote of the Day. Today, we continue with another “Quote of the Day” for October 20, 2016:

“Success is discovering the purposes and will of God for your life and faithfully doing it.”

The accompanying scripture is from 1 Peter 2:15-16 in the Amplified Bible:

15 For it is the will of God that by doing right you may silence (muzzle, gag) the [culpable] ignorance and irresponsible criticisms of foolish people. 16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover or pretext for evil, but [use it and live] as bond-servants of God.

The phrase “the will of God” brings to mind a series of posts on that very subject. One of the blog entries expressed our desire “To find, to know, and to do the will of God.” From that blog entry come some of the following comments:

Throughout the Psalms and elsewhere in the Bible we find great encouragement to do the will of God:

Psalm 40:8 (NLT):

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.”

Psalm 143:10 in the Amplified Bible reinforces this message:

Teach me to do Your will [so that I may please You],
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

As believers endeavoring to please God, we seek to discover the will of God, as expressed in this poem:

The Will of God

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Albert Schweitzer


My food is to do the will of Him who sent me,

and to finish His work.

John 4:34 [NKJV]


To unearth at last the world’s most priceless treasure

And gaze upon the splendor of God’s sovereignty

Is to savor joy unspeakable beyond measure:

To find the will of God is the greatest discovery.

To know intimacy beyond the highest degree,

A confident assurance when we acknowledge

And embrace the path set before us, our destiny:

To know the will of God is the greatest knowledge.

To live life, knowing we are covered by the Blood

Is to walk with no regret, never to lament,

For all decisions work together for the good:

To do the will of God is the greatest achievement.

Guided and protected by the Shepherd’s staff and rod,

We rejoice to find, to know and do the will of God.

Jason Upton expresses his passionate desire to live for the “Will of God.”

Wait patiently for the Lord

October 18, 2016


Of all the Psalms of David, my all-time favorite is Psalm 27, which I committed to memory as an adolescent, and to this day, it continues to be a source of great encouragement and hope. The Verse of the Day for October 18, 2016 is the culminating verse of this most inspirational psalm. The King James Version ends in this way:

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

The New Living Translation renders the closing verse this way:

Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

Many times after reciting Psalm 27 in its entirety, I will go right into the closing verses of Isaiah 40, another passage related to the rewards of waiting:

Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT):

28 Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

29 He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.

30 Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.

31 But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.

During a period of transition, as believers move forward, going from faith to faith, from glory to glory, and from victory to victory, we all can grow weary to the point of utter exhaustion as we strive toward the next level of excellence in our lives. Here are words of encouragement inspired in part by the Verse of the Day:

Strengthened for the Journey

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen your heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

Let us pause to reflect upon the past,
Not with longing to relive bygone days.
Though some were fine, such moments cannot last
A lifetime. The budding rose never stays
The same but unfolds in lovelier ways.
Let us linger to absorb the essence
Of this moment’s triumph. Another phase
Of growth we note within our lifetime since
We first began the quest toward excellence.
Let us look ahead with vision and strive
Toward greater goals, for each day we commence
To grow toward our perfection, as we thrive.
May we see clearly where our paths have led
And be strengthened for the journey ahead.

Esther Mui offers a song “Those Who Wait on the LORD” Christian Scripture Worship Lyrics from Isaiah 40:25-31

Power of covenant

October 17, 2016


Verse of the Day for October 17, 2016 comes from Psalm 25:14-15 in the New Living Testament:

The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant. My eyes are always on the Lord, for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

The passage is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible

Psalm 25:14-15:

The secret [of the sweet, satisfying companionship] of the Lord have they who fear (revere and worship) Him, and He will show them His covenant and reveal to them its [deep, inner] meaning. My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.

The reference to “He teaches them his covenant” brings to mind an account whereby David extends a covenant of grace to the descendant of someone with whom David had previously established a covenant, his beloved friend, Jonathan. Here we find Mephibosheth, the only remaining descendent of Saul, whom David replaced as King of Israel. David’s response to the crippled son of his friend occurred in a place called LoDebar, recorded in 2 Samuel 9:6-7.

His name was Mephibosheth; he was Jonathan’s son and Saul’s grandson. When he came to David, he bowed low to the ground in deep respect. David said, “Greetings, Mephibosheth.”

Mephibosheth replied, “I am your servant.”

“Don’t be afraid!” David said. “I intend to show kindness to you because of my promise to your father, Jonathan. I will give you all the property that once belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will eat here with me at the king’s table!”

The following poem refers to this account and speaks of

 The Power of Covenant

When covenant relationships are re-established,

you enter into a place of safety and kindness.

Apostle Eric L. Warren


To redeem, restore and then supersede is God’s plan:

To see His faithfulness, examine this account:

God’s favor extended beyond any earthly amount

That can be measured or assessed by the mind of man:

Mephibosheth displays the power of covenant

To children’s children, to countless generations–

First to Israel, then extended to all nations,

God’s loving kindness above and beyond abundant.

Covenants demonstrate the faithfulness of God.

Spiritual covenants supplant natural relationships,

Beyond the authority of all earthly kingships,

For we know that in truth, “Spirit is thicker than blood.”

From LoDebar–barren place of nothingness–

He takes us to abide in safety and loving kindness.

We seal our blog entry for today with “Covenant Song” by Caedmon’s Call:

Let the words of my mouth

October 16, 2016


The Verse of the Day for October 16, 2016 is taken from Psalm 19:14 in the New Living Translation:

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.

Listen to a recording of Psalm 19:7-14 from the King James Version read by Alexander Scourby, whom the Chicago Tribune described as having the greatest voice ever recorded.

The Book of Psalms, which also can be viewed as a collection of songs, has been the inspiration for countless musical compositions over the centuries. Here are three contemporary Christian songs based on the Verse of Day:

Fernando Ortega sings “Let the Words of My Mouth”

Another song inspired by Psalm 19:14 is “May the Words of My Mouth.” I could not identify the artist.

Johnny Holmes concludes with a rendition of Psalm 19:14 entitled “Song of My Heart”

Psalm 19:14 brings to mind these lyrics expressed as a prayer to God to begin this day.

Lord, give us a heart like David,

A man after your own heart.

Purify our motives and intentions,

Cleanse us and set us apart.

Lord, give us a heart like David.

Lord, give us a heart like David.


Lord, give us a heart to serve you,

With all that lies within us,

To follow in the footsteps of Jesus,

As we serve you faithfully.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.


Lord, give us a heart of worship,

Overflowing with your praise.

May our words and our deeds give you glory.

May we serve you all of our days.

Lord, give us a heart of worship.

Lord, give us a heart of worship.


Great is our God

October 15, 2016

2 Samuel 7_22

Taken from 2 Samuel 7:22 in the New Living Translation, the Verse of the Day for October 15, 2016 celebrates the greatness and uniqueness of God Almighty.

 “How great you are, O Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you. We have never even heard of another God like you!

The Amplified Bible has this to say:

2 Samuel 7:22:

Therefore You are great, O Lord God; for none is like You, nor is there any God besides You, according to all [You have made] our ears to hear.

Similar expressions of the greatness of God ring throughout the Old Testament, as songs of worship and praise come to mind to accompany selected verses:

1 Chronicles 16:25

For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is also to be feared above all gods.

A related expression of God’s greatness is offered with “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin

The Psalmist also declares the same in Psalm 40:16 (NLT):

But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The Lord is great!”

“Great are You, Lord” by Michael W. Smith is another reminder of this profound truth:

Psalm 135:5 adds this declaration:

For I know that the Lord is great, And our Lord is above all gods.

The powerful song of worship “I Exalt Thee” comes to mind with this verse from Psalms:

In addition, as 1 Samuel 2:2 (AMP) tells us, we acknowledge:

There is none holy like the Lord, there is none besides You; there is no Rock like our God.

Women of Faith express this same truth in the song: “There is none like you”:

As we go through the day, no matter what we may encounter, let us remember that God is great! There is no one like our God!

Renewing the mind

October 14, 2016


From Romans 12:2 in the New Living Translation comes the Verse of the Day for October 14, 2016.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

Romans 12:2

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

For most of the years of my adult life as a believer, I recognized the importance of the opening verses of Romans 12 and committed this passage to memory. In my understanding of these verses, I thought of “the renew mind” as something that believers had to obtain or lay hold of. Later, I read the passage more closely and recognized that the reference emphasizes “the renewing of the mind.”

This section of scripture is associated with the familiar process of metamorphosis that butterflies and other organisms undergo. Christians are instructed not to be conformed but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. The New Testament phrase is translated from the Greek word metamorphoo, from which the English word metamorphosis is derived. The phrase is also used to express that as believers strive to manifest more of Christ in their lives, they are also “changed” into the same image by means of this ongoing process.

Butterflies, as they undergo metamorphosis, are transformed from egg to larva or caterpillar to chrysalis (cocoon) to butterfly (adult). Christian believers also continually undergo a similar spiritual transformation as they mature in Christ. The essence of this amazing process is expressed in this poem:

The Key to Renewing the Mind

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old   

(unregenerate) self with its evil practices,

 And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self],    

which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into   

 [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after            

the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.

Colossians 3:9-10 (AMP)

We know that the key to power is renewing the mind,

But to find the key to release this power help us to see,

For we seek to walk in power and excel and not be left behind,

As we strive to know deeper levels of intimacy.

With laser precision we now target our old nature

And put to death and mortify our members once for all.

We respond in obedience in answer to God’s call;

Not conformed, we transform ourselves, to become new, mature.

In the secret place of the Lord who ever inhabits

The praises of His people, here we desire to abide,

To put off the old man, vile, corrupt, wrapped in sinful pride

And put on the new man, as one changes garments, habits.

Above all we put on compassionate love from the start

And abide in our hiding place, filled with a grateful heart.

Integrity Music offers this Scripture Memory Song “Do not be conformed Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 4:23”:

Waiting on God: not time wasted

October 13, 2016


A couple of days ago, in an effort to introduce more variety than the typical Verse of the Day, I added another category, the Quote of the Day into Dr. J’ Apothecary Shoppe. Today, we continue with a second “’Quote of the Day” for October 13, 2016:

Waiting on God is not time wasted; it is time invested.

The accompanying scripture is the closing verse of my favorite Psalm:

Psalm 27:14:

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!

The Quote of the Day brings to mind an incident that occurred years ago whereby I made a similar offhanded remark when I brought in my car for what I thought would be a minor repair that would not take much time. In anticipation that I would not be waiting long, I did not bring any additional work or reading material. When I was informed that I would have to wait almost two additional hours, in exasperation, I remarked to myself, “I’m wasting my time!” As soon as I expressed that thought, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Since when is spending time with me a waste of time?” Immediately I repented of that thoughtless comment and apologized. Since that time I have come to realize that spending time with God fellowshipping with the Father is never wasted time. Indeed, it is time well spent.

I remember the lyrics to “In the Garden,” a song first learned in childhood in the 1950s that speaks of sublime communion with God:

I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses,
And the voice I hear falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

As the years have passed, I have learned that even when God appears to be not speaking, He is still loving and expressing His love, as the lyrics to this original song remind me:

Silence is golden, and in this golden moment

I long to hear a word from the Lord,

But my prayers do not reach you, and I cry aloud in vain.

It seems that for days you have not spoken a word.

Then I stop to think, and I look around,

But the air is still, and there still is no sound.

In this golden moment I sense your presence,

And I savor the essence of your faithfulness and goodness,

As I remember the words you have said,

“I will never, never leave you,

Nor never, never, never forsake you.”

You have pledged your love, and your covenant is true.

Even in your silence, you are saying, “I still love you.”

Even in your silence, you are saying, “I still love you.”

Both song lyrics and Psalm 27:14 reinforce the message that spending time with the Lord is never wasted time.

Michael Richardson closes with this musical reminder to “Wait on the Lord.”

To acquire wisdom where do you begin?

October 12, 2016

Proverbs 1--8-9

The Verse of the Day for October 12, 2016 offers sound advice taken from Proverbs 1:8-9 (NLT):

[A Father’s Exhortation: Acquire Wisdom] My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck.

The Book of Proverbs reveals Solomon’s advice to his son and to all who would desire to walk as the wise. This repository of words is a treasure house to those seeking to acquire and apply the principles of wisdom. Each day unfolds as a new beginning, an opportunity to make a fresh start in our quest to lay hold on wisdom, for we recognize this truth in Proverbs 4:7 (NLT):

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

How do we begin? We go back to the beginning where we find that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” according to Proverbs 9:10 which is graphically illustrated in this dramatic way:

This foundational principle is also poetically expressed:

The Beginning of Wisdom

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

Psalm 19:9


The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:

and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

Proverbs 9:10


We begin and stand in absolute awe of You,

Thoroughly washed in the fountain of holiness.

The old has passed away—Behold, You make all things new:

Redeemed and justified by Christ, our righteousness.

As You search the earth, may we find grace in your sight.

We seek to be wise but never in our own eyes.

Here we stand perfected, those destined to walk upright,

As Your beloved, whose hearts Your Word purifies.

We are filled with knowledge and wisdom from above

And bound by a covenant no one can sever,

For nothing can separate us from God’s love:

The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.

We are renewed in strength and upheld by God’s Word,

As we pursue wisdom, growing in the fear of the Lord.

A perfect accompaniment to today’s post is the worship song “We Choose the Fear of the Lord” by Maranatha Music.

Favor of God

October 11, 2016


Recently I have been receiving a number of quotes along with scriptural references on a variety of topics. In an effort to introduce more variety into Dr. J’ Apothecary Shoppe beyond the typical Verse of the Day, I occasionally touch upon the Word of the Day. Today, I would like to add another category, the Quote of the Day. We begin with our first Quote of the Day for October 11, 2016:


“God doesn’t believe in favoritism, yet He shows favor.”


Accompanying the quote is a reference to Psalm 5:12 (NLT):

For You, O Lord, bless the righteous man [the one who is in right standing with You]; You surround him with favor as with a shield.


Although the Scriptures reveal that God is no respecter of persons, we find that God states, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”(Exodus 33:19)


Indeed, we note that the word “favor” has also been translated “grace.” God extends His grace, his undeserved favor toward His people. In thinking about God’s grace and favor Ephesians 2:8-9 (AMP) come to mind:


8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;


9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]


To receive grace is to receive a gift, something so valuable that it must be given away because no one is wealthy enough to purchase something of inestimable value and worth. A common acronym for grace is “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense.”

Favor is God’s graciousness extended to us; grace is His undeserved favor that abounds toward those who accept His graciousness: “Where sin did abound, grace did much more abound.”

The lyrics to the following song describe God’s super-abounding favor:


Favor upon Favor


Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.


Where we work there is favor

Where we live there is favor

Where we meet there is favor

Up and down each street there is favor

Where we pray there is favor

Where we play there is favor

Every day there is favor

In every way there is favor

Where we learn there is favor

Everywhere we turn, there is favor

Here and there and everywhere

There is the overflowing favor

Never-ceasing, ever-increasing favor.


There is favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor.

Let us savor each golden moment of the favor of God.


Favor, favor, favor upon favor,

Favor, favor, favor upon favor

Unprecedented favor, unparalleled favor,

Flowing from the fullness of the Father,

Is falling without measure upon the Body of Christ.


Martha Munizzi proclaims the “Favor of God.”