Seed of Faith – Joy In The Journey Psalm 122  By Pastor Dave  

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1

Dear Faithful Seed Sowers,

Welcome to this week’s Seed of Faith. It is our prayer at the SEED that the verse for our church will be amazingly true for each one of you: “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23) 

Yes, we pray that we will all be born again and again though God’s enduring Word of life, Jesus Christ. There is no other way!

Each year at this time I sit down with pen and paper and spend time in prayer. I seek the Lord’s will and guidance as what I am to preach and teach. Twice a year, I put together the Sundays for six months of the year. I sit with an empty preaching calendar—complete with potential titles, subjects, and Scriptures. I also have my bible nearby and the church calendar list of Sundays. This gives me helpful guidance as I attempt to layout the year ahead, breaking it down into two six month sets. I have been praying for many months for the sermon series outline for the first half of this year.

The Lord put it on my heart to teach through the Psalms of Ascent during this Lenten season leading up through Palm Sunday and Easter. After Easter, we will turn to the last book of the Bible and dive deep into the book of Revelation and the seven churches.

I encourage you to take time to read Psalms 120-134 during this season of Lent.

As I prayed and heard the Holy Spirit whisper to continue the Psalms of Ascent, I went to my computer to look. I sort of remembered doing them—was it a series I’d done in Round Rock, Upland or Aurora? Was it a bible study I had done somewhere? It just seemed familiar to me. I went to my computer and I realized that I started it during Lent of 2020. We all know what happened next: COVID. I saw that I had started the series and had preached on two psalms: 120 and 121.

These are the psalms (songs) the people would sing together as they traveled UP THE MOUNTAIN TO JERUSALEM in order to celebrate their special FEAST days. Three times a year, the Jewish people were to gather together in Jerusalem. Soon there were psalms that they memorized and sang together as they hiked up the mountain.

Psalm 120 is the Psalm of repentance. A perfect place to start singing. “God, I’m a sinner and I need to repent of my ways.” Perfect place to begin.

Psalm 121 calls us out of the world and the environment of deceit, lies and hostility and sets us on our way to God. Psalm 121 is the Psalm of trust. It teaches us to “lift our eyes to the mountains,” for that is where our help comes. Think about climbing up the mountain together with a group of your best friends and family, and there you are singing, “Where does our help come from?” “Our help comes from the mountain maker! Psalm 121 is a demonstration of a person who determinedly trusts God to work out His will and “guard you from every evil” in the midst of difficulty.

Here we are now at Psalm 122–the Psalm of worship. Psalm 122 is a demonstration of what people of faith everywhere always do: gather to an assigned place and worship their God. Just like us today, gathered in person and online—gathered in an assigned place in order to worship GOD.

Right above us are the San Gabriel mountains. At the top of one of the peaks is Mt. Baldy. Can you imagine us all gathering together and singing this psalm of worship as we made our way to the top? A song of worship would be perfect as we hiked.

Worship! What comes to your mind when you hear the word “worship?”

So many questions came to mind when I sat down to write this week’s message.

What does it mean to worship?

How are we to worship?

When are we to worship?

Why do we worship?

Why is there so much voluntary and faithful worship by Christians?

The word for “worship” is used 173 times in the Old Testament and 79 times in the New Testament—252 times total. The Greek word for “worship” is “προσκυνέω proskuneō” which means to bow down, prostrate oneself, kiss or give reverence.

Jonathan Edwards, who is considered the greatest theologian that America has had, said this about worship, “If man does not give his highest respect to the God that made him, there will be something else that has the possession of it. Men will either worship the true God, or some idol. It is impossible it should be other wise; something will have the heart of man. And that which a man gives his heart to may be called his god.”[i]

Brother Lawrence said, “The end we ought to propose to ourselves is to become, in this life, the most perfect worshipers of God we can possibly be, as we hope to be through all eternity.”[ii]

So what is in your heart?

In his book, “What Is Worship?” J. Vernon McGee tells of the time one of his church leaders invited him to hear a symphony orchestra perform. He said he knew nothing about music, but went anyway “to be nice.” What he first heard was a horrid cacophony of individual squeals and squawks, as each musician tuned his instrument. But then, he related when the conductor entered the scene, what a difference there was! At his cue, all those different instruments blended their voices to create truly beautiful music. Today, McGee explains, “every man is playing his own little tune. (But) one of these days, out from the wings will step the Conductor, the Lord Jesus Christ. And when He lifts His baton, from the ends of God’s universe those galactic systems will burst forth into song. Every bird, every angel, and then man will join the heavenly chorus. In the meantime, you and I can bow before Him and bring our own little souls into the harmony of heaven.”[iii]

While we were back in Illinois recently, my wife and I had the wonderful joy and blessing to go to our eldest granddaughter’s concert at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She is on a full-ride scholarship there for playing the viola. Jac and I paid our respects at our dear friend’s visitation and then we drove 90 miles into Chicago. We arrived a little early, so we met our granddaughter in the food court for a little snack. She had just finished tuning up. We then walked over to the concert hall for the concert. Wow! What a blessing. I would agree with J Vernon McGee, as they were warming up, the noise in the room was loud and annoying but when the conductor came and stood in front of them and began to direct each instrument to play in tune, the music was amazing and such a joy.

This is what worship is about, dear friends. We all come together to offer our different gifts and together we create an amazing symphony for God to be glorified with.

“I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.” Psalm 122:1-2

When we read or sing these opening verses, we see that the pilgrims have arrived in the city of Jerusalem. They walked and worked their way up the mountain. Why? To worship and give God all their praises.

Jerusalem is the city of peace. The pilgrims were called to praise and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. That is an amazing point: The place of worship should bring peace, a peace that surpasses all our understanding. The Prince of Peace came to rule and reign in the city of peace called Jerusalem.

WORSHIP. Proskeneo…we bow down before our God, and we sing praise.


As we begin this series on opening doors in 2024, where or what door is God calling you to walk through when it comes to making your journey with Jesus? There are open doors for worship. There are open doors for praise. There are open doors for prayer. Have you ever thought that it might be a great idea for each of us to open our Bibles up during the week, and not just together on Sundays? I could tell you this much, if we knew that next Sunday, we would be walking up to Baldy to reach the summit together, there would be many of us who grabbed the Living Word like it was our only road map! Go ahead, get out your book of Psalms and start reading 5 a day—and do not miss the idea that you can make notes in your Bible, or in a journal, about what ideas the Holy Spirit fills your head and your heart with. Today is February 4th—so this means if we have read 5 Psalms on the1st, 2nd, and 3rd—today we would be reading Psalms 16-20! If that is too much, then get your Bible out (even get your phone out) and get ready for next week’s journey up to Baldy with Psalm 123! Read it like it is your guide and road map! Or sit and ponder your notes and Psalm 122 each morning. The point is that we WORSHIP—bow with reverence before our God.

Every week during the message on Sunday, my wife is using the NOTES section on her phone. She takes precocious notes and clicks away at the power points. I have often wondered why she does that. This week I figured it out. When I am on the airplane, I am either reading on my iPad or listening to music or both. This week, on our flight to Chicago, I saw her using her phone and re-reading her notes and the PowerPoints from last week’s message! I did not just see her do it one time, but there she was on every flight pulling up notes from previous Sunday. Do you know what else?  As we landed, and made our way to the next gate, I heard her dropping verses and points all along her way. Anyone here even remember what the message was about? 2024—THE OPEN DOOR! I cannot tell you how many times I heard her speak to complete strangers about their open door! One man, let us call him Jerry, told her an amazing, almost unbelievable story. He and Jac talked about Jesus and how Jesus has changed their lives. Jerry accepted Christ 5 years ago and he has not missed a Sunday since! Jac gave Jerry a business card from THE SEED and sat there and showed him how to take the spiritual gifts test! His mom and sister were with him and they, too, are taking the test. I asked Jac on our last flight, “What’s going on?” She said, “I’m taking this OPEN DOOR 2024 serious, Dave. I pray every day that I do not miss a single OPEN DOOR. I pray that if God shows me an OPEN DOOR—I am going through it—no matter that I have no idea where it may lead.” Let me tell you, Jerry—was a big guy, he had tats all over, and he had been to jail. He came to Jesus in jail. Seriously, usually I am the guy talking Jesus, but I got to see the words the Holy Spirit gave me from Sunday be lived out this week as my wife shared. Jac had been reading and rereading all the scriptures about open doors. The hour-long JESUS discussion at the O’Hare airport began with Jac asking, “How was your time in Chicago?” Kind of like—well, here is an open door—wonder if Jerry wants to go with me through it? Jerry’s son had just graduated from Navy bootcamp, and this proud dad could not contain himself. He talked about how the Navy went all out for the ceremony and how his son is going to train to be a Navy seal. I just sat back and watched God work as Jerry shared and Jac planted seeds of faith.

Remind you of us going up that mountain together to worship God? Yes! Maybe this week it’s going to be your turn to plant seeds of faith.

Every week I tell you to put yourself in the story and then to put the story in you. But from now on—after you do those two things—then go put the story out there…in your corner of the world…dropping breadcrumbs of faith all along your way.

Each week we have the opportunity to come to church and worship. Worship is voluntary. But when we gather together to worship, we get to encounter the presence of living God together– in our worship, our praise, and our prayers. We grow stronger together as a community of believers as we worship — as we give our voices, our time, our talents, and our treasures to the One who loved us so much that He gave His one and only Son. In worship we come face to face with the God who created us, the God who redeems us and the God who continues to provide for us. WORSHIP…proskuneo…we fall on our knees, and we praise our God as we pilgrimage HOME!

As we conclude today’s message, let us recite the last 3 verses of Psalm 122 as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.” For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.” Psalm 122:7-9

See you Sunday as we hike up that mountain towards Jerusalem TOGETHER!

God loves you and so do I,

Pastor Dave


Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Weekly Seed of Faith 2/3/2024

Seed of Faith – Open Doors In 2024   By Pastor Dave  

To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: “These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:7-8

Dear Faithful Seed Sowers,

In the Hebrew calendar this year is 5784 while in America it is 2024. What is interesting is that in the Hebrew language the letter for “four” is called a “dalet.” Get ready! The Hebrew image of the number four is an open door. In the prophetic arm of the church, they call this year, 2024, “the open door” because of the number four. Rosh Hashanah (or the Jewish New Year) was on Friday, September 15, 2023—or 5784 if you are Jewish. Interesting that the image of the dalet (the number 4) is an open door?

I do not want to spend a lot of time today on the context of these passages since it is my hope to do a series on the seven churches of Revelation after Easter as we move towards Pentecost but what we do need to know is that this church we are speaking of in Philadelphia was small. The members of this small church had “little strength” to oppose the forces of evil. Yet they “kept my word and … not denied Jesus’ name” (v. 8). One other note is that they “kept my command to endure patiently” (v. 10).

What high praise from the Lord!  Makes me think of THE SEED.

A few good so what questions and thoughts to begin with …

Do you feel like you are of little strength?

Have you kept Jesus’ words?

Have you NOT denied Jesus’ name?

Have you kept Jesus’ commands and endured patiently?

Friends, what this passage teaches us today is that God lives behind the door. We are told in Revelation that the One — that is Jesus–holds the keys of David.

Listen again to what Jesus says, “What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” Revelation 3:7-8

Jesus will open doors that no one can shut. Jesus will close doors that no one can open. Jesus has opened a door for you that no one can shut. That should make us jump up and shout HALLELJUH — PRAISE THE LORD. Our job is go find that open door. And—there’s more than one!

In John 10 we have two more of the great I Am statements of Jesus. Jesus tells us — Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate (DOOR) for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate (DOOR); whoever enters through me will be saved (or kept safe) He will come in and go out, and find pasture.” John 10:7-9

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. John 10:14

Twice Jesus tells us that He is the gate/door and twice Jesus says that He is the Good Shepherd.

When Jesus repeats Himself, we should listen. That’s a sort of a big deal in Scripture!

So What?

I believe that Jesus wants to open doors this year in your life. I also believe that Jesus will be closing some doors.

So what are some of the doors that Jesus is opening?

Reconciliation —- family, friends. coworkers, employers, employees, work, church, school!









Money — finances





The challenge for each of us is this: will we walk through the open doors or will we stop and hold back?

Will we offer forgiveness to others and walk through an open door?

Will we offer finances to someone in need and walk through an open door?

Will we reconcile with someone and walk through an open door?

Will we accept a call to work in a ministry and walk through an open door?

Will we hear the call to do mission work and walk through open doors?

Will we love others like God has loved us and walk through that open door?

The biggest challenge I hear over and over again is, “Why is God not opening that door for me?”  “Why has God not answered my prayers?”  Maybe God is closing doors that no one can open. Maybe it is so you will not be hurt any more than you already have been.

Do you remember the old TV show called “Let’s Make A Deal”? The contestant could choose between door number 1, 2 or 3. Sometimes the contestants made the right deal and went home with some wonderful prizes and other times they cashed out and lost everything.

Later in chapter three of Revelation we hear that Jesus is knocking on the door — “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20

Jesus is the Door and the Good Shepherd. Jesus holds the Keys of David and can open the door. Jesus will open doors that no one can shut. Jesus closes doors that no one can open. Yet we are told that Jesus stands at the door and knocks. If we hear His voice and open the door He will come in and eat with us forever and ever.

I have a good friend who has been praying the same prayer for two years. It is a prayer about reconciliation and restoration within her family.   This is what she said, “Pastor Dave, I have been knocking and knocking on that door for two years. It remains closed to me. While sitting on the beach, I heard the Holy Spirit whisper in my ear, ‘What does it say in Revelation 3:20? Jesus stands at the door and knocks? The Living Word says the Lord stands there and knocks and knocks and knocks. It does not say I stand there and knock and knock and knock.’ Pastor Dave, I have been standing at a very closed door for a very long time. I have been knocking and waiting and knocking for two years and no one has ever once come to open the door. You know why? That door is closed to me. Do you know what I am going to do? I am going to let Jesus stand there and knock and I am moving forward.” Funny thing, she is doing just that. Her heart is lighter, her smile is wider and, in her words, “I sicked Jesus on them and their closed door. He can knock Himself out now! That is His job now, not mine. I am free to move forward to the open a different door!”

So what? —- Look and see what doors Jesus is opening and walk through them with Holy Boldness.  Stop trying to go through doors that are closed!

I am praying for each of us daily—that we find many open doors and that we boldly go through them.  I am also praying for us that if we’ve been standing and knocking and knocking at a closed door—that we will be like my friend and say, “Jesus, it says in Revelation that standing at a closed door is YOUR job. Would you please stand here and keep knocking at that door? I really am wasting daylight if I just stand at that closed door—I need to go find the OPEN DOORS that you have for me.”

2024…the year of the open door? May you find at least one a day and may the LORD give you the wisdom to decipher between open and closed doors and may you be given the strength to move forward. Jesus is the professional door knocker—sick Him on those really difficult closed doors. He is the one who will bring repentance, restoration and reason. If that door ever opens, you will know and you will be able to be a part of that glorious reunion. Amen.

See you Sunday!

God loves you and so do I,

Pastor Dave


Copyright © 2018 THE SEED CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, All rights reserved. May you be blessed by God’s grace and love. You are receiving this email because you signed up for our weekly devotionals.   Our mailing address is: 6450 Emerald Street Alta Loma, California 91701   Want to change how you receive these emails? You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.