HE IS RISEN!

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God’s Unfailing Love

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on June 30th.

Ephesians 2:1-7 Chapter 2 1 And you `did he make alive,' when ye were dead through your trespasses and sins, 2 wherein ye once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, of the spirit that now worketh in the sons of disobedience; 3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest:-- 4 but God, being rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace have ye been saved), 6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly `places', in Christ Jesus: 7 that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus:

Do you feel loved by God?  Let me ask the question a different way: Did you know that as a believer, it’s possible to mentally understand God loves you without actually sensing it? In fact, the reverse can be true as well—we may say we love God, all the while knowing that our feelings of affection for Him are limited.

There are a variety of reasons that a Christian might not sense love from God or affection for Him, some of which stem from childhood experiences. Perhaps love was absent in the home, or maybe it just wasn’t expressed verbally or demonstrated in practical ways. An individual’s personality could also be part of the equation—some people are naturally expressive while others are more reserved in their emotions.

Although this discrepancy between knowledge and experience can be distressing, there is hope. Meditating on all the ways God has demonstrated His love for you—and asking Him to help you perceive it—can begin to move that truth from your head to your heart. Remember that love is God’s very nature ( 1 John 4:8 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. ), not something conditioned on your performance. And if you’ve been adopted into His family through faith in His Son, God has chosen to lavish kindness on you in Christ. 

Believing and accepting that you are loved by the Father will in turn affect your feelings for Him. Commit to knowing Him more intimately and accurately through His Word, and your affection for Him will begin to grow. As you spend time with Him in Scripture and prayer, you’ll discover that the saying “to know him is to love him” is certainly true of God. 

Bible in One Year: Psalms 107-111 Chapter 107 1 O give thanks unto Jehovah; For he is good; For his lovingkindness `endureth' for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of Jehovah say `so', Whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the adversary, 3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. 4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way; They found no city of habitation. 5 Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he delivered them out of their distresses, 7 He led them also by a straight way, That they might go to a city of habitation. 8 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, And the hungry soul he filleth with good. 10 Such as sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Being bound in affliction and iron, 11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, And contemned the counsel of the Most High: 12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. 13 Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And brake their bonds in sunder. 15 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, And cut the bars of iron in sunder. 17 Fools because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, are afflicted. 18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of food; And they draw near unto the gates of death. 19 Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he saveth them out of their distresses. 20 He sendeth his word, and healeth them, And delivereth `them' from their destructions. 21 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 22 And let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare his works with singing. 23 They that go down to the sea in ships, That do business in great waters; 24 These see the works of Jehovah, And his wonders in the deep. 25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, Which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26 They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths: Their soul melteth away because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end. 28 Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, So that the waves thereof are still. 30 Then are they glad because they are quiet; So he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 32 Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people, And praise him in the seat of the elders. 33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, And watersprings into a thirsty ground; 34 A fruitful land into a salt desert, For the wickedness of them that dwell therein. 35 He turneth a wilderness into a pool of water, And a dry land into watersprings. 36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, That they may prepare a city of habitation, 37 And sow fields, and plant vineyards, And get them fruits of increase. 38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; And he suffereth not their cattle to decrease. 39 Again, they are diminished and bowed down Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow. 40 He poureth contempt upon princes, And causeth them to wander in the waste, where there is no way. 41 Yet setteth he the needy on high from affliction, And maketh `him' families like a flock. 42 The upright shall see it, and be glad; And all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 43 Whoso is wise will give heed to these things; And they will consider the lovingkindnesses of Jehovah. Psalm 108 A Song, A Psalm of David. Chapter 108 1 My heart is fixed, O God; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises, even with my glory. 2 Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early. 3 I will give thanks unto thee, O Jehovah, among the peoples; And I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 4 For thy lovingkindness is great above the heavens; And thy truth `reacheth' unto the skies. 5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, And thy glory above all the earth. 6 That thy beloved may be delivered, Save with thy right hand, and answer us. 7 God hath spoken in his holiness: I will exult; I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. 8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre. 9 Moab is my washpot; Upon Edom will I cast my shoe; Over Philistia will I shout. 10 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who hath led me unto Edom? 11 Hast not thou cast us off, O God? And thou goest not forth, O God, with our hosts. 12 Give us help against the adversary; For vain is the help of man. 13 Through God we shall do valiantly: For he it is that will tread down our adversaries. Psalm 109 For the Chief Musicion. A Psalm of David. Chapter 109 1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; 2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit have they opened against me: They have spoken unto me with a lying tongue. 3 They have compassed me about also with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: But I `give myself unto' prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him; And let an adversary stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty; And let his prayer be turned into sin. 8 Let his days be few; `And' let another take his office. 9 Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. 10 Let his children be vagabonds, and beg; And let them seek `their bread' out of their desolate places. 11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; And let strangers make spoil of his labor. 12 Let there be none to extend kindness unto him; Neither let there be any to have pity on his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; In the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with Jehovah; And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before Jehovah continually, That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth; 16 Because he remembered not to show kindness, But persecuted the poor and needy man, And the broken in heart, to slay `them'. 17 Yea, he loved cursing, and it came unto him; And he delighted not in blessing, and it was far from him. 18 He clothed himself also with cursing as with his garment, And it came into his inward parts like water, And like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be unto him as the raiment wherewith he covereth himself, And for the girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 20 This is the reward of mine adversaries from Jehovah, And of them that speak evil against my soul. 21 But deal thou with me, O Jehovah the Lord, for thy name's sake: Because thy lovingkindness is good, deliver thou me; 22 For I am poor and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. 23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. 24 My knees are weak through fasting; And my flesh faileth of fatness. 25 I am become also a reproach unto them: When they see me, they shake their head. 26 Help me, O Jehovah my God; Oh save me according to thy lovingkindness: 27 That they may know that this is thy hand; `That' thou, Jehovah, hast done it. 28 Let them curse, but bless thou: When they arise, they shall be put to shame, But thy servant shall rejoice. 29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. 30 I will give great thanks unto Jehovah with my mouth; Yea, I will praise him among the multitude. 31 For he will stand at the right hand of the needy, To save him from them that judge his soul. Psalm 110 A Psalm of David. Chapter 110 1 Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 Jehovah will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of thy power, in holy array: Out of the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek. 5 The Lord at thy right hand Will strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill `the places' with dead bodies; He will strike through the head in many countries. 7 He will drink of the brook in the way: Therefore will he lift up the head. Chapter 111 1 Praise ye Jehovah. I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart, In the council of the upright, and in the congregation. 2 The works of Jehovah are great, Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 3 His work is honor and majesty; And his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: Jehovah is gracious and merciful. 5 He hath given food unto them that fear him: He will ever be mindful of his covenant. 6 He hath showed his people the power of his works, In giving them the heritage of the nations. 7 The works of his hands are truth and justice; All his precepts are sure. 8 They are established for ever and ever; They are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He hath sent redemption unto his people; He hath commanded his covenant for ever: Holy and reverend is his name. 10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all they that do `his commandments': His praise endureth for ever.




An Opportunity to Show Compassion

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on June 30th.

Luke 10:25-37 25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and made trial of him, saying, Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 And he said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor? 30 Jesus made answer and said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho; and he fell among robbers, who both stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 And in like manner a Levite also, when he came to the place, and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion, 34 and came to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring on `them' oil and wine; and he set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 And on the morrow he took out two shillings, and gave them to the host, and said, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, I, when I come back again, will repay thee. 36 Which of these three, thinkest thou, proved neighbor unto him that fell among the robbers? 37 And he said, He that showed mercy on him. And Jesus said unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

Today’s passage records one of Jesus’ best-known parables. It’s an illustration of how to display love for God and others, and though the context is ancient Jewish culture, its lessons reach into the 21st century. The story strips away our rationalizations and excuses until we come face-to-face with our need to show compassion.

No doubt we’d all like to identify with the Good Samaritan, but in reality, we often find ourselves responding more like the priest or Levite. Why didn’t they stop to help the man in need? We aren’t told explicitly but can deduce the answer by comparing their actions with the Samaritan’s.

He saw with eyes of compassion. If we’re busy and preoccupied with our own schedules and plans, we probably won’t see the needs around us. There could be a coworker who’s discouraged, a struggling neighbor, or even a family member who needs our help.

His compassion led him to seize the opportunity to help. It wasn’t simply a matter of feeling bad for another person; the wounded man’s helpless condition moved the Samaritan to action. This is the point at which we often retreat, because stopping to help someone costs us time and effort.

He willingly shared what he had. The Samaritan went the extra mile by taking the injured man to an inn and paying the innkeeper to care for him. God has gifted each of us with abilities or resources that we can use to demonstrate compassion.

Is it possible you’ve missed seeing the needs around you? Ask the Lord to open your eyes and give you His active compassion for those who hurt.

Bible in One Year: Psalms 107-111 Chapter 107 1 O give thanks unto Jehovah; For he is good; For his lovingkindness `endureth' for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of Jehovah say `so', Whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the adversary, 3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. 4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way; They found no city of habitation. 5 Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he delivered them out of their distresses, 7 He led them also by a straight way, That they might go to a city of habitation. 8 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, And the hungry soul he filleth with good. 10 Such as sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Being bound in affliction and iron, 11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, And contemned the counsel of the Most High: 12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. 13 Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And brake their bonds in sunder. 15 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, And cut the bars of iron in sunder. 17 Fools because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, are afflicted. 18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of food; And they draw near unto the gates of death. 19 Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he saveth them out of their distresses. 20 He sendeth his word, and healeth them, And delivereth `them' from their destructions. 21 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 22 And let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare his works with singing. 23 They that go down to the sea in ships, That do business in great waters; 24 These see the works of Jehovah, And his wonders in the deep. 25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, Which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26 They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths: Their soul melteth away because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end. 28 Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, So that the waves thereof are still. 30 Then are they glad because they are quiet; So he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 32 Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people, And praise him in the seat of the elders. 33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, And watersprings into a thirsty ground; 34 A fruitful land into a salt desert, For the wickedness of them that dwell therein. 35 He turneth a wilderness into a pool of water, And a dry land into watersprings. 36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, That they may prepare a city of habitation, 37 And sow fields, and plant vineyards, And get them fruits of increase. 38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; And he suffereth not their cattle to decrease. 39 Again, they are diminished and bowed down Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow. 40 He poureth contempt upon princes, And causeth them to wander in the waste, where there is no way. 41 Yet setteth he the needy on high from affliction, And maketh `him' families like a flock. 42 The upright shall see it, and be glad; And all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 43 Whoso is wise will give heed to these things; And they will consider the lovingkindnesses of Jehovah. Psalm 108 A Song, A Psalm of David. Chapter 108 1 My heart is fixed, O God; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises, even with my glory. 2 Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early. 3 I will give thanks unto thee, O Jehovah, among the peoples; And I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 4 For thy lovingkindness is great above the heavens; And thy truth `reacheth' unto the skies. 5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, And thy glory above all the earth. 6 That thy beloved may be delivered, Save with thy right hand, and answer us. 7 God hath spoken in his holiness: I will exult; I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. 8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre. 9 Moab is my washpot; Upon Edom will I cast my shoe; Over Philistia will I shout. 10 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who hath led me unto Edom? 11 Hast not thou cast us off, O God? And thou goest not forth, O God, with our hosts. 12 Give us help against the adversary; For vain is the help of man. 13 Through God we shall do valiantly: For he it is that will tread down our adversaries. Psalm 109 For the Chief Musicion. A Psalm of David. Chapter 109 1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; 2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit have they opened against me: They have spoken unto me with a lying tongue. 3 They have compassed me about also with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: But I `give myself unto' prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him; And let an adversary stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty; And let his prayer be turned into sin. 8 Let his days be few; `And' let another take his office. 9 Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. 10 Let his children be vagabonds, and beg; And let them seek `their bread' out of their desolate places. 11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; And let strangers make spoil of his labor. 12 Let there be none to extend kindness unto him; Neither let there be any to have pity on his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; In the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with Jehovah; And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before Jehovah continually, That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth; 16 Because he remembered not to show kindness, But persecuted the poor and needy man, And the broken in heart, to slay `them'. 17 Yea, he loved cursing, and it came unto him; And he delighted not in blessing, and it was far from him. 18 He clothed himself also with cursing as with his garment, And it came into his inward parts like water, And like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be unto him as the raiment wherewith he covereth himself, And for the girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 20 This is the reward of mine adversaries from Jehovah, And of them that speak evil against my soul. 21 But deal thou with me, O Jehovah the Lord, for thy name's sake: Because thy lovingkindness is good, deliver thou me; 22 For I am poor and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. 23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. 24 My knees are weak through fasting; And my flesh faileth of fatness. 25 I am become also a reproach unto them: When they see me, they shake their head. 26 Help me, O Jehovah my God; Oh save me according to thy lovingkindness: 27 That they may know that this is thy hand; `That' thou, Jehovah, hast done it. 28 Let them curse, but bless thou: When they arise, they shall be put to shame, But thy servant shall rejoice. 29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. 30 I will give great thanks unto Jehovah with my mouth; Yea, I will praise him among the multitude. 31 For he will stand at the right hand of the needy, To save him from them that judge his soul. Psalm 110 A Psalm of David. Chapter 110 1 Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 Jehovah will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of thy power, in holy array: Out of the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek. 5 The Lord at thy right hand Will strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill `the places' with dead bodies; He will strike through the head in many countries. 7 He will drink of the brook in the way: Therefore will he lift up the head. Chapter 111 1 Praise ye Jehovah. I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart, In the council of the upright, and in the congregation. 2 The works of Jehovah are great, Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 3 His work is honor and majesty; And his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: Jehovah is gracious and merciful. 5 He hath given food unto them that fear him: He will ever be mindful of his covenant. 6 He hath showed his people the power of his works, In giving them the heritage of the nations. 7 The works of his hands are truth and justice; All his precepts are sure. 8 They are established for ever and ever; They are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He hath sent redemption unto his people; He hath commanded his covenant for ever: Holy and reverend is his name. 10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all they that do `his commandments': His praise endureth for ever.




Mighty in Spirit

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on July 1st.

Ephesians 3:14-16 14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;

Everyone wants to be healthy in mind, body, and spirit. To become physically fit, we need to exercise our muscles vigorously and regularly. If our goal is to be stable in soul (our thoughts, will, and emotions), then we must apply our minds to learning and train ourselves to be self-controlled. However, to become mighty in spirit requires something more than self-effort.

You see, none of us were born with a spiritual connection to God. Because of Adam and Eve’s rebellion, we were all dead in our sins and separated from the Lord (Eph. 2:1). No amount of personal effort can bring an individual to life spiritually. Although we are unable to change this condition for ourselves, nothing is impossible for God (Matt. 19:26). By accepting Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross as payment for our sins, we are forgiven, reconciled to God, and made alive in our spirit (Eph. 2:5). This is the beginning step of the Christian life.

Once we are born again, the indwelling Holy Spirit teaches us how to view life as Jesus did, embrace His values and priorities, and follow His example. The more we yield to the Spirit’s control, the sooner we’ll be transformed into Christ’s image, equipped to carry out the Lord’s will, and strengthened in our inner spirit to serve Him.

God desires followers who will dedicate themselves to His plan and serve as ambassadors for Christ to a lost and hurting world. He doesn’t expect that we will train ourselves for this task—He has sent His Holy Spirit to prepare us for the work ahead. Have you answered His call to service?

Bible In One Year: Psalms 107-111 Chapter 107 1 O give thanks unto Jehovah; For he is good; For his lovingkindness `endureth' for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of Jehovah say `so', Whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the adversary, 3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. 4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way; They found no city of habitation. 5 Hungry and thirsty, Their soul fainted in them. 6 Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he delivered them out of their distresses, 7 He led them also by a straight way, That they might go to a city of habitation. 8 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For he satisfieth the longing soul, And the hungry soul he filleth with good. 10 Such as sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, Being bound in affliction and iron, 11 Because they rebelled against the words of God, And contemned the counsel of the Most High: 12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labor; They fell down, and there was none to help. 13 Then they cried unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he saved them out of their distresses. 14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And brake their bonds in sunder. 15 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 16 For he hath broken the gates of brass, And cut the bars of iron in sunder. 17 Fools because of their transgression, And because of their iniquities, are afflicted. 18 Their soul abhorreth all manner of food; And they draw near unto the gates of death. 19 Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he saveth them out of their distresses. 20 He sendeth his word, and healeth them, And delivereth `them' from their destructions. 21 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 22 And let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare his works with singing. 23 They that go down to the sea in ships, That do business in great waters; 24 These see the works of Jehovah, And his wonders in the deep. 25 For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, Which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26 They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths: Their soul melteth away because of trouble. 27 They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, And are at their wits' end. 28 Then they cry unto Jehovah in their trouble, And he bringeth them out of their distresses. 29 He maketh the storm a calm, So that the waves thereof are still. 30 Then are they glad because they are quiet; So he bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31 Oh that men would praise Jehovah for his lovingkindness, And for his wonderful works to the children of men! 32 Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people, And praise him in the seat of the elders. 33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, And watersprings into a thirsty ground; 34 A fruitful land into a salt desert, For the wickedness of them that dwell therein. 35 He turneth a wilderness into a pool of water, And a dry land into watersprings. 36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, That they may prepare a city of habitation, 37 And sow fields, and plant vineyards, And get them fruits of increase. 38 He blesseth them also, so that they are multiplied greatly; And he suffereth not their cattle to decrease. 39 Again, they are diminished and bowed down Through oppression, trouble, and sorrow. 40 He poureth contempt upon princes, And causeth them to wander in the waste, where there is no way. 41 Yet setteth he the needy on high from affliction, And maketh `him' families like a flock. 42 The upright shall see it, and be glad; And all iniquity shall stop her mouth. 43 Whoso is wise will give heed to these things; And they will consider the lovingkindnesses of Jehovah. Psalm 108 A Song, A Psalm of David. Chapter 108 1 My heart is fixed, O God; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises, even with my glory. 2 Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake right early. 3 I will give thanks unto thee, O Jehovah, among the peoples; And I will sing praises unto thee among the nations. 4 For thy lovingkindness is great above the heavens; And thy truth `reacheth' unto the skies. 5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens, And thy glory above all the earth. 6 That thy beloved may be delivered, Save with thy right hand, and answer us. 7 God hath spoken in his holiness: I will exult; I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. 8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre. 9 Moab is my washpot; Upon Edom will I cast my shoe; Over Philistia will I shout. 10 Who will bring me into the fortified city? Who hath led me unto Edom? 11 Hast not thou cast us off, O God? And thou goest not forth, O God, with our hosts. 12 Give us help against the adversary; For vain is the help of man. 13 Through God we shall do valiantly: For he it is that will tread down our adversaries. Psalm 109 For the Chief Musicion. A Psalm of David. Chapter 109 1 Hold not thy peace, O God of my praise; 2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of deceit have they opened against me: They have spoken unto me with a lying tongue. 3 They have compassed me about also with words of hatred, And fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: But I `give myself unto' prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, And hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him; And let an adversary stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty; And let his prayer be turned into sin. 8 Let his days be few; `And' let another take his office. 9 Let his children be fatherless, And his wife a widow. 10 Let his children be vagabonds, and beg; And let them seek `their bread' out of their desolate places. 11 Let the extortioner catch all that he hath; And let strangers make spoil of his labor. 12 Let there be none to extend kindness unto him; Neither let there be any to have pity on his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off; In the generation following let their name be blotted out. 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with Jehovah; And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before Jehovah continually, That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth; 16 Because he remembered not to show kindness, But persecuted the poor and needy man, And the broken in heart, to slay `them'. 17 Yea, he loved cursing, and it came unto him; And he delighted not in blessing, and it was far from him. 18 He clothed himself also with cursing as with his garment, And it came into his inward parts like water, And like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be unto him as the raiment wherewith he covereth himself, And for the girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 20 This is the reward of mine adversaries from Jehovah, And of them that speak evil against my soul. 21 But deal thou with me, O Jehovah the Lord, for thy name's sake: Because thy lovingkindness is good, deliver thou me; 22 For I am poor and needy, And my heart is wounded within me. 23 I am gone like the shadow when it declineth: I am tossed up and down as the locust. 24 My knees are weak through fasting; And my flesh faileth of fatness. 25 I am become also a reproach unto them: When they see me, they shake their head. 26 Help me, O Jehovah my God; Oh save me according to thy lovingkindness: 27 That they may know that this is thy hand; `That' thou, Jehovah, hast done it. 28 Let them curse, but bless thou: When they arise, they shall be put to shame, But thy servant shall rejoice. 29 Let mine adversaries be clothed with dishonor, And let them cover themselves with their own shame as with a robe. 30 I will give great thanks unto Jehovah with my mouth; Yea, I will praise him among the multitude. 31 For he will stand at the right hand of the needy, To save him from them that judge his soul. Psalm 110 A Psalm of David. Chapter 110 1 Jehovah saith unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, Until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 Jehovah will send forth the rod of thy strength out of Zion: Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people offer themselves willingly In the day of thy power, in holy array: Out of the womb of the morning Thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever After the order of Melchizedek. 5 The Lord at thy right hand Will strike through kings in the day of his wrath. 6 He will judge among the nations, He will fill `the places' with dead bodies; He will strike through the head in many countries. 7 He will drink of the brook in the way: Therefore will he lift up the head. Chapter 111 1 Praise ye Jehovah. I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart, In the council of the upright, and in the congregation. 2 The works of Jehovah are great, Sought out of all them that have pleasure therein. 3 His work is honor and majesty; And his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: Jehovah is gracious and merciful. 5 He hath given food unto them that fear him: He will ever be mindful of his covenant. 6 He hath showed his people the power of his works, In giving them the heritage of the nations. 7 The works of his hands are truth and justice; All his precepts are sure. 8 They are established for ever and ever; They are done in truth and uprightness. 9 He hath sent redemption unto his people; He hath commanded his covenant for ever: Holy and reverend is his name. 10 The fear of Jehovah is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all they that do `his commandments': His praise endureth for ever.




Enjoying Spiritual Privileges

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 1st.
"Coming to Him as to a living stone . . . you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood. . . . You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession. . . . You are the people of God. . . . You have received mercy" (1 Pet. 2:4-10).

You have enormous privileges in Christ.

A university student once confessed to a pastor, "I've come to the conclusion that I don't believe in God." "I see," the pastor replied. "Please tell me about the God you don't believe in." The student proceeded to describe a vengeful, unfair, arbitrary cosmic ogre who delighted in watching earthlings stumble through life in search of meaning and direction. After listening to that portrayal of God, the pastor wisely replied, "I don't believe in that God either."

Like that student, most people have a warped view of God because they can't see beyond their circumstances and the conditions that plague our fallen world. Their distorted world view keeps them from understanding God's goodness and mercy. But we as believers understand because we see beyond the physical realm and experience His grace and kindness in many ways.

Scripture speaks pointedly about the duties and responsibilities of Christians, but all of that is balanced by the rights and benefits that we have in Christ. In writing to Christians who were experiencing severe persecution, the apostle Peter reminded them of their privileges and called them to praise God for His abundant grace (1 Pet. 2:9). That is your calling as well.

This month we will consider many of those privileges, including your union with Christ, access to God, priestly role, spiritual security, election, dominion, and inheritance. The implications of them all are staggering and should be a source of great joy and thanksgiving as you study them from God's Word.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the privilege of being His child.
  • Pray that He will strengthen and encourage you with the truths you learn from these studies.
  • Regardless of your circumstances, learn to focus on God's glory and grace, allowing them continually to fill your heart with praise and worship.

For Further Study

Read 1 Peter 1:3-9 3 Blessed `be' the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, ye have been put to grief in manifold trials, 7 that the proof of your faith, `being' more precious than gold that perisheth though it is proved by fire, may be found unto praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ: 8 whom not having seen ye love; on whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice greatly with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 receiving the end of your faith, `even' the salvation of `your' souls. and 2:4-10. Make a list of the spiritual privileges Peter mentions.

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Additional Resources

Daily Bible - July 1

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 1st.

Reading for Today:

  • 1 Chronicles 26:1 Chapter 26 1 For the courses of the doorkeepers: of the Korahites, Meshelemiah the son of Kore, of the sons of Asaph. –27:34
  • Psalms 78:56-66 56 Yet they tempted and rebelled against the Most High God, And kept not his testimonies; 57 But turned back, and dealt treacherously like their fathers: They were turned aside like a deceitful bow. 58 For they provoked him to anger with their high places, And moved him to jealousy with their graven images. 59 When God heard `this', he was wroth, And greatly abhorred Israel; 60 So that he forsook the tabernacle of Shiloh, The tent which he placed among men; 61 And delivered his strength into captivity, And his glory into the adversary's hand. 62 He gave his people over also unto the sword, And was wroth with his inheritance. 63 Fire devoured their young men; And their virgins had no marriage-song. 64 Their priests fell by the sword; And their widows made no lamentation. 65 Then the Lord awaked as one out of sleep, Like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine. 66 And he smote his adversaries backward: He put them to a perpetual reproach.
  • Proverbs 20:4-5 4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the winter; Therefore he shall beg in harvest, and have nothing. 5 Counsel in the heart of man is `like' deep water; But a man of understanding will draw it out.
  • Acts 10:1-23 Chapter 10 1 Now `there was' a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of the band called the Italian `band', 2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. 3 He saw in a vision openly, as it were about the ninth hour of the day, an angel of God coming in unto him, and saying to him, Cornelius. 4 And he, fastening his eyes upon him, and being affrighted, said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are gone up for a memorial before God. 5 And now send men to Joppa, and fetch one Simon, who is surnamed Peter: 6 he lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side. 7 And when the angel that spake unto him was departed, he called two of his household-servants, and a devout soldier of them that waited on him continually; 8 and having rehearsed all things unto them, he sent them to Joppa. 9 Now on the morrow, as they were on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour: 10 and he became hungry, and desired to eat: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance; 11 and he beholdeth the heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending, as it were a great sheet, let down by four corners upon the earth: 12 wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts and creeping things of the earth and birds of the heaven. 13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill and eat. 14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common and unclean. 15 And a voice `came' unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, make not thou common. 16 And this was done thrice: and straightway the vessel was received up into heaven. 17 Now while Peter was much perplexed in himself what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men that were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon's house, stood before the gate, 18 and called and asked whether Simon, who was surnamed Peter, were lodging there. 19 And while Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 20 But arise, and get thee down, and go with them, nothing doubting: for I have sent them. 21 And Peter went down to the men, and said, Behold, I am he whom ye seek: what is the cause wherefore ye are come? 22 And they said, Cornelius a centurion, a righteous man and one that feareth God, and well reported of by all the nation of the Jews, was warned `of God' by a holy angel to send for thee into his house, and to hear words from thee. 23 So he called them in and lodged them. And on the morrow he arose and went forth with them, and certain of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him.

Notes:

1 Chronicles 26:1–19 The temple gatekeepers or guards had other duties, such as checking out equipment and utensils; storing, ordering, and maintaining food for the priests and sacrifices; caring for the temple furniture; mixing the incense daily burned; and accounting for gifts brought. Their “duties” (v. 12) are given in 1 Chronicles 9:17 17 And the porters: Shallum, and Akkub, and Talmon, and Ahiman, and their brethren (Shallum was the chief), –27.

1 Chronicles 26:20 treasuries. The Levites watched over the store of valuables given to the Lord. This is a general reference to all the precious things committed to their trust, including contributions from David and the people, as well as war spoils given by triumphant soldiers (vv. 26, 27).

1 Chronicles 26:29–32 officials and judges. There were 6,000 magistrates exercising judicial functions throughout the land.

1 Chronicles 27:1–15 This section enumerates the standing army of Israel (288,000 men), which had responsibility to guard the nation and temple. They were divided into 12 divisions, each of which served for one month during the year. When full war occurred, a larger force could be called into action.

Psalm 78:60 tabernacle of Shiloh. Shiloh was an early location of Yahweh worship in the Promised Land. The capture and removal of the ark from Shiloh by the Philistines symbolized God’s judgment.

Proverbs 20:5 5 Counsel in the heart of man is `like' deep water; But a man of understanding will draw it out. deep water. The wise man has keen discernment reaching to the deepest intentions of the heart to grasp wise counsel (18:4; Heb. 4:12).

DAY 1: Who was Cornelius, and why was he so important?

In Acts 10:1 Chapter 10 1 Now `there was' a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of the band called the Italian `band', , it states that Cornelius was a centurion—one of 60 officers in a Roman legion, each of whom commanded 100 men. He was of the “Italian Regiment” or “Italian Cohort.” Ten cohorts of 600 men each made up a legion.

Cornelius was a “devout man and one who feared God” (v. 2). This is a technical term used by Jews to refer to Gentiles who had abandoned their pagan religion in favor of worshiping the Lord God. Such a person, while following the ethics of the Old Testament, had not become a full proselyte to Judaism through circumcision. Cornelius was a Gentile who was about to receive the saving knowledge of God in Christ. Cornelius was told in a vision that his prayers, devotion, faith, and goodness were like a fragrant offering rising up to God, “a memorial” (v. 4). He was even given specific directions on how to reach Peter.

The next day “Peter went up on the housetop to pray” (v. 9). All kinds of worship occurred on the flat roofs of Jewish homes (2 Kin. 23:12; Jer. 19:13; 32:29). In a trance Peter sees a great sheet descending from heaven, and “in it were all kinds of four-footed animals,” both clean and unclean animals (v. 12). To keep the Israelites separate from their idolatrous neighbors, God set specific dietary restrictions regarding the consumption of such animals (Lev. 11:25,26). But a voice speaks to him and says, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat” (v. 13). With the coming of the New Covenant and the calling of the church, God ended the dietary restrictions ( Mark 7:19 19 because it goeth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught? `This he said', making all meats clean. ).“What God has cleansed you must not call common” (v. 15).More than just abolishing the Old Testament dietary restrictions, God made unity possible in the church of both Jews, symbolized by the clean animals, and Gentiles, symbolized by the unclean animals, through the comprehensive sacrificial death of Christ (Eph. 2:14).

The vision and the confirmation by the Holy Spirit (v. 19) made it crystal clear to Peter that the gospel was for all people. The proof is that when the men from Cornelius arrived, he “invited them in” (v. 23). Self-respecting Jews did not invite any Gentiles into their home, especially soldiers of the hated Roman army.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

Additional Resources

July 1 - Jesus Warns of False Prophets

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 1st.

“‘Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves’” ( Matthew 7:15 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. ).

False prophets are not simply wrong teachers, propagating a different philosophy or alternative theology. They are spiritually dangerous and we should not expose our souls and minds to their perverse, poisonous influence. These purveyors of error and heresy are spiritual beasts and far more deadly than any physical ones. Peter warns that they are “like unreasoning animals. . . . reveling in their deceptions . . . enticing unstable souls” ( 2 Peter 2:12 12 But these, as creatures without reason, born mere animals to be taken and destroyed, railing in matters whereof they are ignorant, shall in their destroying surely be destroyed, , 13, 14; cf. Jude 10). Therefore, perfectly understanding all this, Jesus’ admonition to “beware of the false prophets” is not merely a mention of something but a warning to be on guard against and keep our minds away from what is spiritually harmful.

For the benefit of His listeners, it was natural for Jesus to compare false prophets with wolves. In Palestine, wolves roamed the landscape seeking to prey upon stray or lagging sheep. When a wolf found a defenseless sheep, it attacked quickly and tore the sheep to pieces. Just like those merciless and ferocious animals, false teachers are always seeking new victims.

Jude’s letter warns against false prophets and tells how we can safeguard ourselves against them: “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (v. 21). Our first priority is to be right with the Lord, living in a place of divine fellowship and sound teaching. Then we can warn others of false prophets and carefully rescue them from the damning influences (Jude 22–23).

Ask Yourself

Are there any spiritual half-truths that have worked on you in the past? How did they prove to be wolf-like after tricking their way into your thinking?

From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, www.moodypublishers.com.

Additional Resources

The Need for Assurance

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 1st.

“Be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you” ( 2 Peter 1:10 10 Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble: ).

Every true Christian should enjoy the reality of salvation.

A sad fact of contemporary Christianity is that many in the church greatly misunderstand what the Bible teaches about the assurance of one’s salvation. As a result many genuine believers struggle with doubts about the reality of their salvation, while many professing believers are confident they are saved when in truth they are headed for Hell.

Such a misunderstanding is unnecessary since Scripture makes it abundantly clear that believers should not only enjoy assurance of their salvation but cultivate it as well. That’s why the apostle Peter said, “Be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you.”

Peter’s command establishes the need for self-examination. Only by testing one’s assurance by God’s Word can anyone know for sure if he is saved or not. Yet most preaching today minimizes or ignores assurance altogether, encouraging people to view any doubts about their salvation as attacks by the enemy. The unfortunate result is a false assurance that the Lord categorized as follows: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me’” (Matt. 7:21-23). What a terrifying and haunting pronouncement!

Because a clear understanding of one’s salvation is so vital, Scripture encourages true believers with the promise of full assurance, while making false professors uncomfortable by seeking to destroy their false sense of security. A true believer’s sense of assurance should not ebb and flow with the emotions; it is meant to be an anchor even in the midst of life’s storms. But a false professor has no right to assurance. For the next month, we’ll look at what God’s Word teaches about assurance and how you can have it.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that He not only grants you salvation but also gives you His Word as a mirror to reflect and confirm the transformation He has made in your life.

For Further Study

Read John 10 Chapter 10 1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. 4 When he hath put forth all his own, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them. 7 Jesus therefore said unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but that he may steal, and kill, and destroy: I came that they may have life, and may have `it' abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. 12 He that is a hireling, and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, beholdeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf snatcheth them, and scattereth `them': 13 `he fleeth' because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know mine own, and mine own know me, 15 even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and they shall become one flock, one shepherd. 17 Therefore doth the Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18 No one taketh it away from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment received I from my Father. 19 There arose a division again among the Jews because of these words. 20 And many of them said, He hath a demon, and is mad; why hear ye him? 21 Others said, These are not the sayings of one possessed with a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind? 22 And it was the feast of the dedication at Jerusalem: 23 it was winter; and Jesus was walking in the temple in Solomon's porch. 24 The Jews therefore came round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou hold us in suspense? If thou art the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believe not: the works that I do in my Father's name, these bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who hath given `them' unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch `them' out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one. 31 The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from the Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? 33 The Jews answered him, For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. 34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), 36 say ye of him, whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am `the' Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do them, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father. 39 They sought again to take him: and he went forth out of their hand. 40 And he went away again beyond the Jordan into the place where John was at the first baptizing; and there be abode. 41 And many came unto him; and they said, John indeed did no sign: but all things whatsoever John spake of this man were true. 42 And many believed on him there. and 17. Make a list of the verses that reflect the security every true believer has in Christ.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Additional Resources

God’s Pleasure to Do You Good

Published by John Piper for reading on July 1st.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” ( Luke 12:32 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. )

Jesus will not sit by and let us disbelieve without a fight. He takes up the weapon of the Word and speaks it with power for all who struggle to believe.

His aim is to defeat the fear that God is not the kind of God who really wants to be good to us — that he is not really generous and helpful and kind and tender, but is basically irked with us — ill-disposed and angry.

Sometimes, even if we believe in our heads that God is good to us, we may feel in our hearts that his goodness is somehow forced or constrained, perhaps like a judge who has been maneuvered by a clever attorney into a corner on some technicality of court proceeding, so he has to dismiss the charges against the prisoner whom he really would rather send to jail.

But Jesus is at pains to help us not feel that way about God. He is striving in this verse to describe for us the indescribable worth and excellency of God’s soul by showing the unbridled pleasure he takes in giving us the kingdom.

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Every little word of this stunning sentence is intended to help take away the fear that Jesus knows we struggle with, namely, that God begrudges his benefits; that he is constrained and out of character when he does nice things; that at bottom he is angry and loves to vent his anger.

This is a sentence about the nature of God. It’s about the kind of heart God has. It’s a verse about what makes God glad — not merely about what God will do or what he has to do, but what he delights to do, what he loves to do and takes pleasure in doing. Every word counts.



Morning Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for July 1st

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on July 1st.

Zechariah 14:8 8 And it shall come to pass in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

THE streams of living water which flow from Jerusalem are not dried up by the parching heats of sultry midsummer any more than they were frozen by the cold winds of blustering winter. Rejoice, O my soul, that thou art spared to testify of the faithfulness of the Lord. The seasons change and thou changest, but thy Lord abides evermore the same, and the streams of His love are as deep, as broad and as full as ever. The heats of business cares and scorching trials make me need the cooling influences of the river of His grace; I may go at once and drink to the full from the inexhaustible fountain, for in summer and in winter it pours forth its flood. The upper springs are never scanty, and blessed be the name of the Lord, the nether springs cannot fail either. Elijah found Cherith dry up, but Jehovah was still the same God of providence. Job said his brethren were like deceitful brooks, but he found his God an overflowing river of consolation. The Nile is the great confidence of Egypt, but its floods are variable; our Lord is evermore the same. By turning the course of the Euphrates, Cyrus took the city of Babylon, but no power, human or infernal, can divert the current of divine grace. The tracks of ancient rivers have been found all dry and desolate, but the streams which take their rise on the mountains of divine sovereignty and infinite love shall ever be full to the brim. Generations melt away, but the course of grace is unaltered. The river of God may sing with greater truth than the brook in the poem—

"Men may come, and men may go, But I go on for ever." How happy art thou, my soul, to be led beside such still waters! never wander to other streams, lest thou hear the Lord's rebuke, "What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt to drink of the muddy river?"

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for July 1st

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on July 1st.

Genesis 3:8 8 And they heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God amongst the trees of the garden.

MY soul, now that the cool of the day has come, retire awhile and hearken to the voice of thy God. He is always ready to speak with thee when thou art prepared to hear. If there be any slowness to commune it is not on His part, but altogether on thine own, for He stands at the door and knocks, and if His people will but open He rejoices to enter. But in what state is my heart, which is my Lord's garden? May I venture to hope that it is well trimmed and watered, and is bringing forth fruit fit for Him? If not, He will have much to reprove, but still I pray Him to come unto me, for nothing can so certainly bring my heart into a right condition as the presence of the Sun of Righteousness, who brings healing in His wings. Come, therefore, O Lord, my God, my soul invites Thee earnestly, and waits for Thee eagerly. Come to me, O Jesus, my well-beloved, and plant fresh flowers in my garden, such as I see blooming in such perfection in Thy matchless character! Come, O my Father, who art the Husbandman, and deal with me in Thy tenderness and prudence! Come, O Holy Spirit, and bedew my whole nature, as the herbs are now moistened with the evening dews. O that God would speak to me. Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth! O that He would walk with me; I am ready to give up my whole heart and mind to Him, and every other thought is hushed. I am only asking what He delights to give. I am sure that He will condescend to have fellowship with me, for He has given me His Holy Spirit to abide with me for ever. Sweet is the cool twilight, when every star seems like the eye of heaven, and the cool wind is as the breath of celestial love. My Father, my elder Brother, my sweet Comforter, speak now in lovingkindness, for Thou hast opened mine ear and I am not rebellious.

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