In His Word
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." – Psalm 119:105

Dec
20

Fri - church

John mentioned “love” in his Gospel account more than all other Gospels combined.  He continued to focus on love in his three letters.  “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8).  We demonstrate the love of God by keeping His word (1 John 2:5; 5:3; 2 John 1:6).  “The one who loves God should love his brother also” (1 John 4:21; 2 John 1:5).  We cannot love the Father and also love the world (1 John 2:15-17).

Could others testify to your love (3 John 1:6)?

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
18

4Thu - Gospels

(Like last week, this summary covers parts of multiple chapters – Matthew 27, Mark 15, Luke 23, and John 19 – without an attempt to specifically reference each detail.  John 19 is used as a general reference. – TN)

After Pilate delivered Him to be crucified, Jesus bore His own cross with help to Galgotha, Place of a Skull, where He was crucified.  They put a sign above Him on the cross which read, “The King of the Jews.”   The people insulted Him saying, “…save Yourself!  If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”  Jesus responded, “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  After darkness fell across the land He cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”  When all had been accomplished He said, “It is finished,” and yielded up His spirit.  “When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’”  “One of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.”  Joseph of Arimathea then took Jesus’ body and wrapped Him, laid Him in his tomb, and rolled a large stone against the entrance.

“He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.” (1 Peter 2:24).  If we do not “die to sin and live to righteousness,” then the cross was in vain (Colossians 1:17).  Make it valid by living for Him who died for you (Galatians 2:20).

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
17

3Wed - prophets

The Lord loved Israel, but Israel – especially the priests – despised Him by presenting defiled food on His altar, making Him want to “shut the doors” to the temple (Malachi 1).  He warned the priests what would happen to them if they did not honor Him (2:1-9).  The people profaned the covenant of their fathers and the sanctuary of the Lord, dealt treacherously with their wives, and wearied the Lord with their words (2:10-17).  The Lord was going to send His messenger to “purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver so that they may present the Lord offerings in righteousness” (3:1-7).  They were robbing God “in tithes and offerings” (3:8-15).  He would claim for His own “those who fear the Lord and esteem His name” (3:16-18).  The day was coming when the arrogant and evil would be destroyed and those who feared Him would triumph (4).

The Lord said, “I hate divorce” (2:16).  If He hates it, then what should be our attitude toward it?  We should completely avoid anything He hates – especially when Jesus later condemned it as well (Matthew 19:3-9).

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
16

2Tue - poetry2

Riches and wealth and honor, many children, long life – none of these guarantee joy and satisfaction in life (Ecclesiastes 6).  “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life?” (6:12).  Having wisdom helps.  “Sorrow is better than laughter,” and “the mind of the wise is in the house of mourning” (7:2-4).  “Wisdom along with an inheritance is good,…wisdom is protection,…wisdom preserves the lives of its possessors” (7:11-12).  “Wisdom strengthens a wise man…” (7:19).  “A man’s wisdom illumines him… for a wise heart knows the proper time and procedure” (8:1, 5).  “…a poor wise man…delivered the city by his wisdom” (9:15).  “Wisdom is better than strength” (9:16).  “The words of the wise heard in quietness are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools,” and “wisdom is better than weapons of war,…” (9:17-18).  Yet there is a limit to what earthly wisdom can know and do (8:16-17; 9:10-11).

The wisest thing to do is to fear God (8:12-13).  “…righteous men, wise men, and their deeds are in the hand of God” (9:1).  How wise are you?  Where are you?

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
15

1Mon - history

The Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah to Cyrus king of Persia and told him to let His people return from captivity to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, sending with them the articles Nebuchadnezzar had taken from there (Ezra 1).  Around 50,000 people returned (2).  They began offerings and the rebuilding of the temple (3).  Their enemies tried to hinder the work and ceased it for a while (4), but through the effort of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah and the decree of King Darius the work resumed and the temple was completed (5-6).  Ezra then went from Babylon to Jerusalem with others and delivered more items for the temple (7-8).  The princes made known to Ezra the unlawful marriages of the people, and the people resolved to put away their unlawful wives and children (9-10).

Ezra accomplished what he did because he “set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (7:10).  How is your heart set?

Dec
12

4Thu - Gospels

(This summary covers parts of Matthew 26-27, Mark 14-15, Luke 22-23, and John 18-19, without an attempt to specifically reference each detail.  John 18 is used as a general reference. – TN)

After speaking to and praying for His apostles (John 14-17), Jesus entered the garden where He turned His attention to Himself and earnestly prayed for the cup to pass from Him; “yet not as I will, but as You will.”  Then Judas came with a mob and betrayed Jesus with a kiss.  When the mob apprehended Jesus, “all the disciples forsook Him and fled.”  While Jesus was being questioned, Peter was asked three times about being with Jesus and denied even knowing Him.    False witnesses testified against Him; the high priest condemned Him; religious leaders spat on and beat Him; soldiers mocked, beat, and scourged Him; the crowd shouted, “Crucify Him!”; and “Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand be granted. … (and) delivered Jesus to their will…to be crucified.”

Would you ever betray Jesus?  Forsake Him?  Deny Him?  Those closest to Him did.  We will all let down Jesus in some way (Romans 3:23).  The real issue is how we will respond when we do.  We can be like Judas and give up (Matthew 27:1-10), or we can be like Peter and get up, even more committed to Him.  The choice is yours.

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
10

3Wed - prophets

The Lord spoke to the prophet Zechariah during the second year of Darius king of Persia.  Some people refer to the book of Zechariah as the book of Messianic prophecy, for only Isaiah contains more.  The book could be summarized as containing eight visions (1-6: angelic horsemen [1:7-17], four horns and four craftsmen [1:18-21] , man with a measuring line [2], Joshua the high priest [3], the lampstand and olive trees [4], a flying scroll [5:1-4], the ephah [5:5-11], and four chariots [6]), four messages (7-8), and two burdens involving world powers and the kingdom of God (9-14).

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
09

2Tue - poetry2

In Ecclesiastes 3 we find the famous passage by Solomon about there being “an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven… He has made everything appropriate/beautiful in its time.” (3:1-11a).  This also includes a time for God to “judge both the righteous man and the wicked man, for a time for every matter and for every deed is there.” (3:16-18).  Solomon looked at the vanity of those who go through life with “no one to comfort them” (4:1) or to share the fruit of their labor (4:8).  “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor.” (4:9-12).  He warned against being “hasty in word or impulsive in thought” and advised to “let your words be few,” especially when it comes to making vows (5:1-7).  “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.” (5:10-17).

How do we avoid the gloom and doom of “life under the sun”?  “I know that there is nothing better…than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime;” so rejoice in our labor and enjoy the food and drink we have, for it is all the gift of God (3:12, 13, 22; 5:18-19).  The man who takes this approach “will not often consider the years of his life, because God keeps him occupied with the gladness of his heart.” (5:20).

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
08

1Mon - history

Much of the information in 1-2 Chronicles can also be found in 2 Samuel and 1 Kings.  Yet some material is exclusive to the chronicles.  1 Chronicles contains a detailed genealogy from Adam through the family of David (1-3), including the sons of Jacob/Israel (4-8) and those who lived in Jerusalem (9).  It also mentions David’s preparations for the building of the temple and his charge to Solomon (22), along with his division of the Levites and revision of their duties (23-26).  The book also outlines the commanders of the army of Israel, in addition to overseers and counselors (27).  It also includes David’s address to the leaders of Israel concerning Solomon and the temple and their willing offering, concluding with David’s prayer before the assembly, the anointing of Solomon, and the death of David (28).

The first part of 2 Chronicles (1-9) basically repeats many of the details in 1 Kings about the building and dedication of the temple and of Solomon’s reign.  The second part of the book (10-36) focuses on the kingdom of Judah in the divided kingdom, while 1 Kings deals with both Judah and Israel.

1-2 Chronicles were originally one book and were written after the return from captivity to remind the people of their history and, as the commentator Barnes wrote, “to restore the national life, to revive hope and encourage high aspirations by showing to the nation that its fate was in its own hands, and that religious faithfulness would be certain to secure the divine blessing.”

Is there a need for restoration and revival in your life?  “Revive me, O Lord, according to Your word.” (Psalm 119:107).

Have a great day in His word!

Dec
05

Fri - church

Jude began his postcard letter by writing, “Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3).  They needed to content for the faith because “certain men have crept in unnoticed,… ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ” (4).  While the Lord saved some people, He “destroyed those who did not believe” (5-7).  Jude described the way these men were (8-16).  “But you, beloved,” should be different, do better, “keep yourselves in the love of God,…” (17-23).  “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.” (24-25).  Amen!

Have a great day in His word!

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