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

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!

Oct
15

3Wed - prophets

Ezekiel 18 teaches that “the soul who sins will die” (:4) – refuting all the false tenets of Calvinism like total depravity, unconditional election, limited atonement, irresistible grace, and perseverance of the saints (once saved always saved).  “But if a man is righteous and practices justice and righteousness,… if he walks in My statutes and My ordinances so as to deal faithfully—he is righteous and will surely live,” (:5-9).  “Then he may have a violent son who sheds blood and who does any of these (sinful – TN) things to a brother… will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head.” (:10-13).  “Now behold, he has a son who has observed all his father’s sins which he committed, and observing does not do likewise. … but executes My ordinances, and walks in My statutes; he will not die for his father’s iniquity, he will surely live.” (:14-17).  To summarize this, “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.” (:20).

What if someone changes?  “When a wicked man turns away from his wickedness which he has committed and practices justice and righteousness, he will save his life.” (:27-28, 21-22).  Why?  Because of God’s love and mercy: “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?” (:23, 32).  Yet with His mercy comes His severity (Romans 11:22): “When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity and dies because of it, for his iniquity which he has committed he will die.” (18:26, 24).

So what application should we learn from this chapter?  “Repent and turn away from all your transgressions,… Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! …Therefore, repent and live.” (:30-32).

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
14

2Tue - poetry2

The New Testament contains around 83 direct quotes from the book of Psalms.  Of those, 12 are in Psalm 118, being from three different verses.

Psalm 118:6 states, “The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”  Hebrews 13:6 quotes this verse in response to another quote: “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you” (13:5; Deuteronomy 31;6; Joshua 1:5).  When we know the Lord will never desert or forsake us, then we have no reason to fear anything or anyone.

Psalm 118:22 states, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner stone.”  Jesus quoted it to the chief priests and Pharisees (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:10-11; Luke 20:17).  Peter quoted it to the rulers and elders and scribes when they questioned him and John for preaching Jesus (Acts 4:11), and also in his first letter as he taught about Christ as a precious living stone (1 Peter 2:7).  Paul made reference to the verse when he described the Ephesian brethren as “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,” (Ephesians 2:20).  He still stands as the chief corner stone today on which we can be built.

Psalm 118:26 states, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; we have blessed you from the house of the LORD.”  Each of the Gospels contains the phrase in reference to Jesus at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:13), and Jesus quoted it at the end of His lament over Jerusalem (Matthew 23:39; Luke 13:35).  Jesus came in the name of the Lord, and He is coming again.  “O Lord, come!” (1 Corinthians 16:22).

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
13

1Mon - history

After years of having judges deliver them, the Israelites decided they wanted something else.  They told Samuel, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” (1 Samuel 8:5).  The Lord told Samuel, “…they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.” (8:7).  Samuel warned the people what would happen if they had a king, but they persisted; so the Lord said, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” (8:9-22).  That king was Saul (9-10).  He led the Israelites to victory against the Ammonites (11), but fear concerning the people led him to sin when battling the Philistines and Amalekites (13, 15).  As a result Samuel told him, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you from being king over Israel.” (15:26).  While he remained on the throne for several years, his heart was not right with God.  He spent more time pursuing David his successor than truly reigning as king (18-26).  Finally he and his sons died in battle against the Philistines (31).

The Lord told Saul to “utterly destroy” Amalek and all he had (15:3).  Instead, “Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly;…” (15:9).  When questioned by Samuel, Saul’s excuse was that “the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to the LORD your God;…” (15:15, 21).  Samuel responded, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” (15:22).  People still need to learn this lesson today.  God has not left it up to us to decide what to do in service and worship to Him.  He has plainly told us in His word.  When He says we must be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:21; etc.), then we must be baptized to be saved and not take away from this command.  When He says to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16), then we must be content to sing and not add instrumental music or anything else to this command.  Many other examples could be given.  We must put His will ahead of our own and submit to Him.  Obedience is what He wants and demands.

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
10

Fri - church

Paul wrote to Philemon, “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains,” (Philemon 10).  Onesimus was a slave of Philemon who ran away and ended up finding Paul in Rome.  He was apparently converted by Paul while with him (:15-16); and Paul wanted Philemon to allow him to stay in Rome and help him, “so that on your behalf he might minister to me in my imprisonment for the gospel,” because the useless one had become useful (:11-14).

Paul knew of Philemon’s love and faith, which brought him joy and comfort and refreshed hearts (:5-7, 20).  Do you have the kind of love and faith that brings joy and comfort to others?  Do you refresh the hearts of fellow saints?  Are you like Onesimus and useful in the Lord’s service?  Learn from these men and imitate them.

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
09

4Thu - Gospels

When the Pharisees and scribes grumbled because Jesus “received sinners and eats with them” (Luke 15:2), He told three parables of lost things.  First He told of a man with a hundred sheep who lost one and went after it until he found it (:4-7).  Next Jesus told of a woman with ten coins who lost one and swept the house and searched carefully until she found it (:8-10).  Finally He told of a man whose son got his inheritance from his father and went to a distant country and wasted it with prodigal (loose, wild, etc.) living.  The son then came to his sense and returned home to his father (:11-32).  Each occasion was followed with rejoicing over what was lost being found (:6, 9, 32).  “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (:10).

How do you view those in sin?  Like the Pharisees and scribes and older brother who didn’t want to see the sinners repent and be saved, or like the angels who do?  Remember that you yourself are a sinner saved by grace, and rejoice when that which was lost is found.

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
08

3Wed - prophets

The Lord told Ezekiel to “prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile” and to tell the people who questioned him, “This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem as well as all the house of Israel who are in it. …I am a sign to you. As I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile, into captivity.” (12).  Ezekiel prophesied against the false prophets (13) and condemned the elders and others who “set up their idols in their hearts” (14).  The Lord told Ezekiel that He had “given up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and I have set My face against them” (15).  He said to tell Jerusalem how He had made her the beautiful city she was and how she had “trusted in your beauty and played the harlot” (16).  “Thus I will judge you like women who commit adultery or shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy.” (16:38).  Ezekiel presented a parable about two eagles and a vine to represent Judea unsuccessfully rebelling against Babylon and turning to Egypt (17).  The Lord described Israel as “a lioness among lions” whose cubs were taken to Egypt and Babylon and also as a vine that was “plucked up in fury” and “cast down to the ground” (19).

When the Lord judged Jerusalem there would be survivors who had “conduct and actions” like Noah, Daniel, and Job; and they would comfort Ezekiel (14:12-23).  No matter how bad people as a whole may become, there is always a remnant who are faithful to the Lord.  Be among the remnant.

Have a great day in His word!

Oct
07

2Tue - poetry2

One of the themes in the book of Psalms is that of trust.  Some warn against trusting in things such as chariots, horses, bows, and swords (20:7; 44:6).  Others warn against trusting in idols (135:15-18) and wealth and riches (49:6-10; 52:5-7).  Those who trust in these things will be disappointed, but those who trust in the Lord will be blessed (37:5-6).  Trust in God comes through knowledge of Him.  “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” (9:10).  It eliminates fear.  “In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (56:11).  We have every reason to “trust in Him at all times.” (62:8).  Have the conviction of David who wrote, “But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD,…” (31:14).  “How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust,…” (40:4).

Have a great day in His word!

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