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

Sep
19

Fri - church

In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he focused on one’s walk.  He exhorted, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,” (5:16).  As Christians “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,” (Ephesians 4:1).  Such a walk means “that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,” (4:17).  Instead, “walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.” (5:2).  “For you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light” (5:8).

How are you walking?

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
18

4Thu - Gospels

Several times in Scripture people are represented by sheep, and John 10 is one of those times.  Jesus presented Himself as “the door of the sheep. …I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” (:7-9).  We can find life by entering through Him (:10).  He went on to say, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (:11).  Jesus indeed did just this when He died on the cross.  “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, … My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.” (:14, 27-28).  How blessed we are as sheep to have a shepherd who loved us enough to die for us and because of His divinity could rise from the dead (:17).  Now it is up to us to hear Him, follow Him, and receive the eternal life He offers.

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
17

3Wed - prophets

The name Ezekiel means “God strengthens.”  He was a priest who prophesied around 593-559 BC and was taken into exile to Babylon with 10,000 others from Jerusalem (2 Kings 24:14).  He is especially known for his visions and references to earlier writings of the Old Testament.  Twice during the book God told Ezekiel, “Son of man, I have appointed you a watchman to the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from My mouth, warn them from Me.” (Ezekiel 3:17; 33:7).  While Isaiah exhorted God’s people to live right before being taken captive, Ezekiel exhorted them to live right while in captivity.  Over 60 times throughout the book God said that He would deal with them in a way that they would “know that I am the Lord” – especially in the first part of the book that contains prophecies before the downfall of Jerusalem of judgment against Israel (1-24) and other nations (25-32).  The latter part of the book contains prophecies while in Babylon for Israel’s restoration and salvation (33-48).

Just as Ezekiel had a responsibility to warn those in sin, so do we today.  “Let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:20).

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
16

2Tue - poetry2

When you think of prophecy concerning Jesus’ suffering and death, you probably first think of Isaiah 53, which was written from the perspective of others looking at Jesus. Psalm 22 is a prophetic psalm written by David about his own life and also from the perspective of Jesus looking at others.  It begins with the words of Jesus as He hung on the cross: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (22:1).  It continues with His view from the cross: “All who see me sneer at me; they separate with the lip, they wag the head,… They look, they stare at me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.” (22:7, 17-18).  It describes His physical pain: “They pierced my hands and my feet…” (22:16).

While Jesus cried out in agony, He knew His Father was there: “For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from him; but when he cried to Him for help, He heard.” (22:24).  In spite of His suffering, He remembered the nature of His Father: “Yet You are holy, O You who are enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” (22:3).

Have you ever felt forsaken by God, maybe overwhelmed by the persecution of others?  Continue to fear Him more than them (Matthew 10:28).  Heed the psalm’s words of exhortation: “You who fear the Lord, praise Him; …glorify Him, and stand in awe of Him, …” (22:23).  No matter what you may suffer in life, God will always be worthy of all fear, praise, and glory.

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
15

1Mon - history

When the Lord gave Israel the land of promise He left certain nations to test them, to see if they would obey Him.  They failed the test (Judges 3:1-7).  Their failure led to the string of judges we find in the book.  First there was Othniel (3:8-11).  He was followed by Ehud, the left-handed judge with the two-edged sword (3:12-30).  “After him came Shamgar… who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad” (3:31).  Next was the prophetess Deborah who was accompanied by Barak (4-5).  Then the Lord called Gideon, who went with 300 men to defeat an innumerable army (6-8).  Abimelech – who some don’t really consider a judge – came next through a conspiracy (9).  Next Tola “arose to save Israel” (10:1-2).  “After him, Jair the Gileadite arose and judged Israel twenty-two years.” (10:3-5).  Jepthah – the one who made the rash vow – followed him (11-12:7), who was followed by Ibzan (12:8-10), Elon (12:11-12), and Abdon (12:13-15).  One of the most famous judges was Samson, who had unusual strength and defeated the Philistines (13-16).

God worked through all of these judges and accomplished great things.  He still works through those who put their faith in Him.  As Paul said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
10

2Tue - poetry2

The word “praise” occurs in Psalms around 180 times (depending on the version), with the majority of those times being in the latter third of the book.  Psalms 146-150 all begin and end with the phrase “praise the Lord”; and the last psalm, Psalm 150, contains the word “praise” in every verse at least twice.  The phrase “praise the Lord” means to make known His greatness, to give Him the recognition He deserves as the Almighty God.  Resolve to do as several of the psalms state: “I will praise the Lord all my life” (Psalm 63:4; 104:33; 146:2).

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
09

1Mon - history

The book of Judges begins with the continuing conquest of the Israelites (Judges 1).  When they failed to obey God and made a covenant with those in the land, He ceased to drive them out (2:1-5).  “The people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD which He had done for Israel.” (2:7).  When Joshua died, so did their commitment to God.  “All that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.” (2:10).  Thus began the vicious cycle we find in Joshua.

“So they forsook the LORD and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.  The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers…” (2:13-14).  When they cried to God for deliverance, “Then the LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them.” (2:16).  “But it came about when the judge died, that they would turn back and act more corruptly than their fathers,…” (2:19).  This same pattern happened over and over.

So much can change in only one generation.  Will you continue the good of the generation before you?  Will you overcome the bad?  What difference will you make for your generation?

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
05

Fri - church

The book of Ephesians is one of the books Paul wrote while he was in prison in Rome.  In it he told the Ephesian brethren, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” (1:3).  What kind of blessings do we enjoy in Christ?  “…adoption as sons,… redemption through His blood,… the forgiveness of our trespasses,… an inheritance,…” and other blessings (1).

What other blessings?  “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” (2:4-6).  “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ… for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.” (2:13, 18).

What other blessings yet?    “…the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel,” (3:6).  “This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.” (3:11-12).

How should we respond to all these spiritual blessings?  “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (3:20-21).  Amen!

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
04

4Thu - Gospels

After rescuing the adulterous woman (John 8:1-11), Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world;…” (8:12).  While He was the light of the world, He was not of the world (8:23).  When Jesus and His disciples saw a man born blind He said, “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.” (9:5).  Then He gave sight to the eyes that had been in darkness (9:6-7).  The Pharisees did not believe the man until his parents confirmed that he was born blind (9:18-20).  When they questioned the blind man and condemned Jesus he answered, “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” (9:25).

While Jesus is no longer in the world, He continues to enlighten it through His word.  He “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”  and “has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (2 Timothy 1:10; 1 Peter 2:9).  Come out of the darkness of the world and into His marvelous light today.

Have a great day in His word!

Sep
03

3Wed - prophets

During the time of Babylonian rule Daniel had various visions.  One involved four beasts, the Ancient of Days (a designation of God used only by Daniel), and the Son of Man (the first time in Scripture Jesus is described this way) – with the beasts representing kings who would would have their dominon taken away (Daniel 7).  “Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.” (7:27).  Daniel also had a vision involving a ram with two horns and a goat, which represented the kings of Media, Persia, and Greece (8).

While the Medes ruled Daniel observed in the book of Jeremiah that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years, causing him to pray to God confessing Israel’s sin and seeking God’s forgiveness (9).  After Persia assumed control Daniel had another vision in which he was told the prince of Greece was about to come (10).  The kingdoms of the North (Syria) and the South (Egypt) would then arise (with the North eventually overthrowing the South), to be followed by Rome (11).

What can we learn from all of this today?  The most important part for us is to realize that God is always in control and can deliver His people from whatever forces may arise on this earth.  As Daniel was told in the last chapter, “And at that time your people shall be delivered,…” (12:1).  God will always deliver His people in the end.

Have a great day in His word!

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