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

Nov
25

2Tue - poetry2

The Psalms are full of thanksgiving to God, and for so many different reasons.  “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (106:1; 107:1).   “I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness.” (7:17).  “I will give you thanks, for you answered me.” (118:21).  “I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;” (139:14).  And how will I give that thanks?  “I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart;… O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” (9:1; 86:12; 30:12; 52:9).

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (100:4).  “Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.” (105:1).  “Give thanks to His holy name.” (30:4).  “It is good to give thanks to the Lord…” (92:1).

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
24

1Mon - history

During a string of kings in Israel (2 Kings 14-16), the king of Assyria came and captured seven cities in the land of Napthali and “carried them captive to Assyria” (15:29).  A few years later he captured Damascus “and carried the people of it away into exile” (16:7-9).  “Then the king of Assyria invaded the whole land and went up to Samaria and besieged it three years” and then “captured Samaria and carried Israel away into exile to Assyria” (17:5-6).  “Now this came about because the sons of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up from the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and they had feared other gods… So the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them from His sight; none was left except the tribe of Judah.” (17:7-23).

Assyria brought people from other places “and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the sons of Israel” (17:24).  One of the Israelite priests “taught them how they should fear the LORD” (17:25-28).  “But every nation still made gods of its own and put them in the houses of the high places which the people of Samaria had made,… So while these nations feared the LORD, they also served their idols; their children likewise and their grandchildren, as their fathers did, so they do to this day.” (17:29-41).  This is why the Jews in the time of Jesus despised the people of Samaria (John 4:9).

The Lord told the people that if they would fear Him He would deliver them; but “they would not listen, but persisted in their former practices.” (17:39-40).  Our main purpose in life is the same – to fear God and keep His commandments – and someday we will be judged accordingly (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).  Are you listening?

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
21

Fri - church

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy he mentioned his personal service with a clear conscience  and Timothy’s sincere faith and reminded him that “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.  Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,…” (2 Timothy 1).  Paul also told him to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” and to “suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus…compete as an athlete,” and be like a “hard-working farmer” (2:1-13).  He told Timothy to remind others and to be diligent himself, to “flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace,” and to “refuse foolish and ignorant speculations,…” – all while being gentle and not quarrelsome (2:14-26).

Paul warned Timothy “that in the last days difficult times will come” and how men would be during those times, and that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (3:1-13).  He exhorted Timothy to “continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them,” because “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (3:14-17).

Paul charged him to “preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction,… be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry,” warning him that “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine;…” (4:1-5).  Paul’s time was nearly over: “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (4:6-8).

Paul wrote, “For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.” (1:12).  We need that same level of faith in God today.  It will lead us to fight the good fight, finish the course, and keep the faith.  Then we will share with Paul in that crown of righteousness.

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
20

4Thu - Gospels

Upon leaving the temple Jesus told His disciples, “Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.”  They later said to Him, “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:1-3).  Jesus began His answer by saying “See to it that no one misleads you” and telling them various ways some would try to mislead them (24:4-11, 23-28).  He told them, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (24:14).  Then He spoke of the need to “flee to the mountains” when that time came because of the “great tribulation” (24:15-22) and used figurative language to describe the end (24:29-31).  He compared it to the parable of the fig tree and the days of Noah and said, “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming,” describing how a faithful slave would always be ready for his master’s return or suffer the consequences (24:32-51).

In the next chapter Jesus first presented the parable of the ten virgins, with five being wise and prepared and five being foolish and unprepared – concluding, “Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” (25:1-13).  Then He presented the parable of the talents, with two “good and faithful” servants wisely using theirs and and being rewarded, and the third one being a “wicked, lazy, and worthless” servant who was punished (25:14-30).  Finally He painted a picture of all nations gathered before Him and separated into the sheep on His right and the goats on the left.  The blessed ones on His right were told to “Come” because they had served Him by serving others, and the cursed ones on His left were told to “Depart” because they had not served Him by serving others.  “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (25:31-46).

One message repeatedly emphasized in this section is to “be on the alert.”  We should always be prepared by doing what is right and pleasing to God, remembering that “the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.” (24:13).

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
19

3Wed - prophets

In the twenty-fifth year of exile, God took Ezekiel in a vision into the land of Israel to “a structure like a city.”  A man there told him, “Son of man, see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and give attention to all that I am going to show you; for you have been brought here in order to show it to you. Declare to the house of Israel all that you see.”   The man then measured every aspect of the temple and took Ezekiel with him, explaining everything as they went (Ezekiel 40-42).  Then “the glory of the Lord came into the house,” and He spoke to Ezekiel about the temple and Israel and related statutes, specifically involving the priests and prince (43-46).  Then He laid out the boundaries and divisions of the land (47-48).  He closed the chapter with a reference to the city: “…and the name of the city from that day shall be, ‘The Lord is there.’” (48:35).

Just as the Lord would be there in the city, He wanted to be back in the lives of His people.  “You shall say to the rebellious ones, to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Enough of all your abominations, O house of Israel,”’” (44:6).  We all need to decide that we have spent enough time in sin and away from God and give ourselves wholly to Him.  Then it can be said of our hearts as was said of the city, “The Lord is there.”

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
18

2Tue - poetry2

Psalm 19 focuses on two different aspects of God.  It begins with His works: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.  There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.” (:1-3).  Without uttering a word, the works of His hands proclaim that there is a God.

Then the psalm shifts to His words (:7-11), describing them as His law, testimony, precepts, commandment, fear, and judgments.  They are by nature perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, true, and righteous; and they have the power to convert the soul, make wise the simple, rejoice the heart, enlighten the eyes, and endure forever.  “They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.  Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” (:10-11).

See His works and heed His words, “O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer” (:14).

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
17

1Mon - history

When Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven, he left his mantle and a double portion of his spirit with Elisha (2 Kings 2:1-18).  While staying at Jericho Elisha purified the water of the city; and while going from there to Bethel he cursed some “young lads” who mocked him, resulting in two bears coming out of the woods and mauling forty-two of them (2:19-25).  He miraculously provided oil for a poor widow (4:1-7).  A couple in Shunem regularly provided room and board for him, so he blessed them with a child and restored the child when he died (4:8-37).  Upon returning to Gilgal Elisha removed the death from a pot of stew and made twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain feed a hundred men with some left over (4:38-44).  He also healed Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, of leprosy by instructing him to wash seven times in the Jordan River (5).  Later at the Jordan Elisha made an axe head float (6:1-7).  Then he struck the Aramean army with blindness and led them to the king of Israel and later correctly prophesied the end to their siege of Samaria (6-7).

After serving as a prophet around sixty-five years, Elisha became sick and died during the reign of Joash king of Israel.  Even in his death the Lord continued to work miracles through him.  When a dead man was cast in Elisha’s tomb and came into contact with his bones, the man “revived and stood on his feet” (13:14-21).

When Elisha’s servant saw the army of Aram surrounding the city where they were, he said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” (6:15).  Elisha answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them,” and prayed for the Lord to “open his eyes that he may see… the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (6:16-17).  What shall we do when surrounded with trials and tribulations in this life?  Do not fear!  The God who is with us is greater than any force at work against us, and when we turn to Him He “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
14

Fri - church

While Peter wrote his first epistle to encourage Christians in the face of persecutions and trials coming from without the church, he wrote 2 Peter to combat the work of false teachers within the church.  He began by giving the qualities we need to diligently seek to be fruitful for the Lord and receive the entrance to the eternal kingdom: faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (1:5-11).  He mentioned how he and the other apostles “were eyewitnesses of His majesty. …So we have the prophetic word made more sure,…” (1:16-21).

Then Peter began to deal with the fact that “false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you,…” (2:1).  He also gave examples of how “the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,…”  along with various descriptions of the unrighteous (2:4-22).  In spite of the fact that some would question the second coming of Christ, they needed to remember what happened in the days of Noah and know that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief” and be ready for it “in holy conduct and godliness, …spotless and blameless” (3).

Today we still need to take heed to Peter’s remedy for being carried away and falling: “be on your guard” and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (3:17-18).  Amen!

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
13

4Thu - Gospels

In Matthew 21 we find what is often called the triumphal entry.  In fulfillment of prophecy, the disciples got a donkey and colt for Jesus to ride into the city.  “And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” Hosanna in the highest!’” (21:8-9).  “Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.” (21:12).  “Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.” (21:14).  The chief priests and scribes were indignant about everything (21:15).  The next day Jesus cursed the fig tree that withered (21:18-22).  When the chief priests and elders questioned His authority, He asked a question of His own about the baptism of John that they were not willing to answer (21:23-27).  He then told the parables of the two sons (21:28-32), the landowner (21:33-46), and the marriage feast (22:1-14).

When the Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by asking Him about paying taxes, He said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s” (22:15-22).  The Sadducees also tried by questioning Him about the condition of a man at the resurrection who had multiple wives, and Jesus responded that they did not understand Scripture nor the power of God (22:23-33).  The Pharisees tried again by asking Him another question that He answered, and then He also asked them a question so that “no one was able to answer Him a word, nor did anyone dare from that day on to ask Him another question.” (22:34-46).

The last question the Pharisees asked Jesus was, “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” to which He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the greatest and most important command.  The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”  (22:36-40).  Are you loving as you should – your God, your neighbor, and yourself?

Have a great day in His word!

Nov
12

3Wed - prophets

The Lord showed Ezekiel a valley full of dry bones.  He had Ezekiel prophesy over them until they came together and covered with skin, and then prophesy to the breath to restore life to them (Ezekiel 37:1-10).  The bones represented “the whole house of Israel” whom God would raise from their graves (37:11-14).  He would reunite Judah and Israel, with David as their king (37:15-28).  The Lord also told Ezekiel to prophesy against Gog (38-39), through which “I will magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD.” (38:23).  “Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have mercy on the whole house of Israel;… Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them again to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.” (39:25-29).

When the Lord asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” Ezekiel responded, “O Lord GOD, You know.” (37:3).  God did know, because He was able to restore life to them – just as He is able to restore life to us today.  When we are like dry bones spiritually due to sin, He gives us “eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

Have a great day in His word!

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