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

Oct
31

Fri - church

Peter wrote to brethren throughout the provinces of Asia Minor who were “distressed by various trials” and were patiently working toward “obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:1-9).  Throughout the book he encouraged them to be strong in the face of those trials (1:6-9; 2:12, 19-25; 3:8-17; 4:12-19; 5:10).  One author described the theme of the book as “by grace through grief to godliness and glory.”  Peter himself said, “I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” (1 Peter 5:12).  He told them that “even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed” (3:14), that “to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.” (1 Peter 4:13).

Share the sufferings of Christ, for “after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (5:10).

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
30

4Thu - Gospels

Jesus’ friend Lazarus – Mary and Martha’s brother – became sick.  Jesus wanted to go back to Judea, but the disciples questioned Him because the Jews there wanted to stone Him.  When He said Lazarus was dead and He was going to “awaken” him, Thomas said to them, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.” (John 11:1-16).  As they neared Jerusalem, Martha went to meet Jesus, followed by Mary.  Each of them told Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” (11:17-32).  Some of the Jews asked, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?” (11:33-37).  Jesus told them to “remove the stone” and that they would “see the glory of God.”  He cried out, “Lazarus, come forth!” – and he did (11:38-44).  “Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.” (11:45-46).  The chief priests and Pharisees planned to kill Jesus, so He “no longer continued to walk publicly among the Jews” (11:47-57).

When Jesus heard Lazarus was sick He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.” (11:4).  When things that seem terrible happen in your life, remember that they may be happening as an opportunity for God to be glorified.  Just as Jesus could be “glad” that Lazarus died because of the good that would come from it (11:14-15), good may come from your tragedy and lead to deeper faith and rejoicing in the Lord (Romans 8:28).

Oh, and someone has suggested that Jesus said “Lazarus, come forth” because if He didn’t ALL the dead would have come forth.  :-)

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
29

3Wed - prophets

While the Lord was going to punish Judah for its sin, He was also going to punish the nations around it for their scorn and vengeance against Judah.  Those nations included Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia (Ezekiel 25).  “I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes; and they will know that I am the LORD when I lay My vengeance on them.” (25:17).  The same would be true for Tyre and Sidon (26-28) and Egypt (29-32).

It may seem at times that the wicked around us go unpunished for their sin.  Someday they, like all these pagan nations, will suffer His vengeance.  “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Even if others don’t acknowledge Him now, on that day they will know that He is the Lord.

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
28

2Tue - poetry2

While there is a book of the Bible titled Lamentations, the book that contains the most laments is the book of Psalms.  A lament/lamentation is an expression of sorrow or complaint.  There are more psalms of lament than any other kind.  They often reflect suffering and ask questions such as “How long…?” and “Why…?”  While most laments are personal in nature (6, 13, 17, 22, 42-43, 69, 88, etc.), others are on a national level (44, 60, 74, 79, 83, etc.).  The overall mood of a psalm of lament is rather negative, but the sorrow almost always turns to joy.  All of them include some expression of confidence and trust in God, and normally with words of praise.  They often end on a positive note with God’s deliverance.

Do you sometimes feel sorrow?  Do you have complaints you want to address to God?  You’re not alone, and a reading of Psalms will quickly make that known.  It just may also provide the confidence you need and renew your trust in God, leading to praise for Him.

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
27

1Mon - history

When David became too old to continue as king, he appointed his son Solomon, Bathsheba’s son, to be king (1 Kings 1).  After delivering his parting words to Solomon, David died; and then Solomon carried out several deaths on behalf of his father.  “Thus the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.” (2).  The Lord told Solomon, “Ask what you wish Me to give you,” and Solomon asked for “an understanding heart”, which the Lord granted along with riches and honor (3-4).  Solomon made a covenant with Hiram king of Tyre for help and material to build the temple, and then he brought the ark into it and dedicated it with prayer and sacrifices (5-9).  Along with others, the queen of Sheba came to see Solomon’s wisdom for herself and concluded that “the half was not told me” (10).  “So King Solomon became greater than all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom.” (10:23).

In spite of his wisdom he still had a weakness: “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women…”   In spite of the Lord’s warning – “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.”“Solomon held fast to these in love. …his wives turned his heart away after other gods; and his heart was not wholly devoted to the LORD his God,…”  (11:1-8).  “So the LORD said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and you have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and will give it to your servant.’” (11:9-13).  The Lord raised up adversaries to him and chose Jeroboam to receive ten tribes after Solomon’s death (11:14-40).  Then Solomon died after reigning forty years (11:40-41-43).

No matter how wise we may be, God is always wiser.  Heed His words of wisdom (Proverbs 3:5-8).

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
24

4Thu - Gospels

At times “large crowds followed” Jesus (Matthew 19:2), but it was not because He catered to whatever was pleasing to them.  When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about divorce “for any reason at all” (which is basically how it is in our society today), He said that “from the beginning” God designed a man and woman (not two men or two women) to be joined together as one flesh and for no man to separate them, adding that “whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (19:3-9).  When the disciples commented on the strictness of His teaching, He said that not all will accept it (19:10-12).  When the rich young ruler came to Jesus seeking eternal life, Jesus told him that he would have to sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him if he wanted treasure in heaven (19:16-21).  “He went away grieving,” and Jesus said that “it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven” (19:22-24).

Gaining prominence in His kingdom would not be easy, either.  “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave;” (20:26-27).  For those willing to sacrifice all for the Lord it will be worth it, because “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.” (19:29).  Will you accept this?

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
24

3Wed - prophets

When “certain of the elders of Israel came to inquire of the LORD and sat before” Ezekiel in the seventh year of King Jehoiachin’s exile, God told him to say to them, “Do you come to inquire of Me? As I live, …I will not be inquired of by you.” (Ezekiel 20:1-3).  God wanted Ezekiel to “make them know the abominations of their fathers” (20:4).  He traced their history back to when He made Himself known to them in Egypt and told them to “cast away” from them the idols of Egypt, but they rebelled against Him in Egypt and also in the wilderness (20:5-17).  God told their children not to be like their fathers, but they also rebelled against Him – even when brought into the land of promise – and the current generation was just like them (20:18-32).  As He judged their fathers in the wilderness, He would judge them in exile; but then He would accept them (20:33-41).  “And you will know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the land which I swore to give to your forefathers. … Then you will know that I am the LORD when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake,…” (20:42, 44).  The Lord was going to draw His sword and cut off all the people (21).  He wanted Ezekiel in regard to Jerusalem to “cause her to know all her abominations” (22).  God portrayed Samaria and Jerusalem as two women who “played the harlot” by going after foreign nations and said they would “bear the penalty” (23).  In the ninth year the king of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem (24).

Each generation must learn from the generations before it, whether it be things to avoid or things to imitate.  As Paul wrote those in his generation about their fathers God led out of Egypt, “Now these things happened to them as an example for us,… and they were written for our instruction,… Therefore… take heed…” (1 Corinthians 10:6-12).

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
20

1Mon - history

When Samuel told King Saul, “But now your kingdom shall not endure,” he went on to tell him that “the Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people” (1 Samuel 13:14).  That man was David (Acts 13:22).  In the book of 2 Samuel we find David’s life as king.  After grieving over the death of King Saul and his son Jonathan (1), David was made king over Judah (2) and later over all Israel as well (5).  “David became greater and greater, for the LORD God of hosts was with him.” (5:10).  He captured Jerusalem and brought the ark there (5-6).  David expressed his desire to build a house for God, and God made a covenant with him (7).  He defeated the nations around them, including the Philistines (8, 10).

During this time David sinned against Bathsheba and her husband Uriah (11).  He confessed his sin when confronted by Nathan the prophet, but his family still suffered the consequences: “Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.” (12).  Following his sin, David first suffered the death of the son conceived through his sin (12:15-23).  When his son Amnon sinned involving Tamar, her brother Absalom – another of David’s sons – killed him and fled (13).  After Absalom returned to Jerusalem, he turned the hearts of the people against David, causing him to flee (14-16).  When he pursued David and his men, they killed him (17-18).  David was then restored as king (19).

The book contains a psalm of deliverance (22), along with “the last words of David” and a list of “the names (and some of the deeds) of the mighty men whom David had” (23).  It then concludes with an occasion where David sinned by numbering the people, leading to the death of 70,000 of them (24).

David became a permanent part of Israel’s history.  When Jesus came, some described Him as “Son of David” (Matthew 9:27; 12:23; 15:22; 20:30; 21:9; etc.); yet David recognized Jesus as greater (22:42-45).  Peter talked about how Jesus is greater in his message on Pentecost (Acts 2:25-35).  As great as David, the man after God’s own heart was, may our commitment be to “Jesus…the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16).

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
17

Fri - church

When Paul was released from his first imprisonment in Rome (Acts 28), he and Timothy went to Ephesus, where Paul left Timothy while he went to Macedonia (1 Timothy 1:3).  From there he wrote to “Timothy, my true child in the faith,” to “instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies” (1:2-4).  Paul told him to “fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience” (1:18-19).  He urged that prayers “be made on behalf of all men” because God “desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth” (2:1-8).  He also gave the what and why of the woman’s role (2:9-15).  Paul then gave guidelines for those to be elders and deacons (3).  He warned “that in latter times some will fall away from the faith,…” (4:1-5), along with exhortation concerning discipline, being an example, teaching, etc. (4:6-16).  Paul also taught about honoring widows and elders (5).  He closed by focusing on contentment with physical blessings, the dangers of wanting to get rich, and instruction for those who are (6).

Paul told Timothy, “It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. … Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1:15, 17).  Jesus came into the world to save sinners like you and me.  Amen!

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
16

4Thu - Gospels

While speaking to “the Pharisees who were lovers of money” (Luke 16:14), Jesus told the account of the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man “habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day.” (:19).  The poor man Lazarus “was laid at his gate, covered with sores, and longing to be fed with the crumbs which were falling from the rich man’s table; besides, even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.” (:20-21).  Both died, with Lazarus being “carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom” and the rich man to torment in Hades (:22-23).  “And he cried out and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus so that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool off my tongue, for I am in agony in this flame.’  But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that during your life you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus bad things; but now he is being comforted here, and you are in agony.” (:24-25).

Paul warned against being lovers of money and the grief and destruction that result from it (1 Timothy 6:9-11).  He told Timothy to “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.  Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (:17-19).  The rich man obviously did not heed this instruction and suffered the consequences.  Do not be like him.  Fix your hope on God and live accordingly.

Have a great day in His word!

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