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Godly Living in an Ungodly Age

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on January 29th.

Titus 1:1-16 Chapter 1 1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the knowledge of the truth which is according to godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who cannot lie, promised before times eternal; 3 but in his own seasons manifested his word in the message, wherewith I was intrusted according to the commandment of God our Saviour; 4 to Titus, my true child after a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Saviour. 5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that were wanting, and appoint elders in every city, as I gave thee charge; 6 if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having children that believe, who are not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For the bishop must be blameless, as God's steward; not self-willed, not soon angry, no brawler, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; 8 but given to hospitality, as lover of good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled; 9 holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly men, vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped; men who overthrow whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake. 12 One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, idle gluttons. 13 This testimony is true. For which cause reprove them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure all things are pure: but to them that are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but by their works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Our Founding Fathers created a governing framework heavily influenced by biblical principles. Slowly, we have changed from “one nation under God” to a group of people who no longer want Him to be involved.

Our nation has become ungodly in several ways: Many are driven by materialism and power; immorality and rebellion are prevalent; empty philosophy and false doctrine are widely accepted. Underlying it all is the push to keep God out of the nation’s affairs.

Yet even in an unbelieving society, people can, follow Jesus as individuals. But the world will continually disseminate faulty teachings, so believers must be discerning. Otherwise, erroneous messages can lead Christians to compromise their convictions. Then affections and priorities may change. Don’t let the world’s clamor make the Spirit’s voice less audible. Without His guidance, our minds become vulnerable to lies.

The Word of God is a compass that keeps us headed in the right direction, even in the midst of confusing messages. We need to be consistently filled with truth by reading, believing, meditating upon, and applying Scripture. God’s Word also says to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If our minds are focused upon Him, unholy beliefs will not be able to take root.

The Word is our guidebook. We will still face difficulty as we live in this imperfect world—it is a confusing, dark place that entices us but can never fulfills our true longings. Yet God’s truth will bring confidence and boldness, and His Spirit will direct and strengthen, enabling us to live victoriously.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 1-4 Chapter 1 1 And Jehovah called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man of you offereth an oblation unto Jehovah, ye shall offer your oblation of the cattle, `even' of the herd and of the flock. 3 If his oblation be a burnt-offering of the herd, he shall offer it a male without blemish: he shall offer it at the door of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before Jehovah. 4 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 And he shall kill the bullock before Jehovah: and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall present the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. 6 And he shall flay the burnt-offering, and cut it into its pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire; 8 and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall lay the pieces, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 9 but its inwards and its legs shall he wash with water: and the priest shall burn the whole on the altar, for a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 10 And if his oblation be of the flock, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt-offering; he shall offer it a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before Jehovah: and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle its blood upon the altar round about. 12 And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 13 but the inwards and the legs shall he wash with water; and the priest shall offer the whole, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 14 And if his oblation to Jehovah be a burnt-offering of birds, then he shall offer his oblation of turtle-doves, or of young pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be drained out on the side of the altar; 16 and he shall take away its crop with the filth thereof, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, in the place of the ashes: 17 and he shall rend it by the wings thereof, `but' shall not divide it asunder; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. Chapter 2 1 And when any one offereth an oblation of a meal-offering unto Jehovah, his oblation shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon: 2 and he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests; and he shall take thereout his handful of the fine flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn `it as' the memorial thereof upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah: 3 and that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of Jehovah made by fire. 4 And when thou offerest an oblation of a meal-offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. 5 And if thy oblation be a meal-offering of the baking-pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. 6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meal-offering. 7 And if thy oblation be a meal-offering of the frying-pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 8 And thou shalt bring the meal-offering that is made of these things unto Jehovah: and it shall be presented unto the priest, and he shall bring it unto the altar. 9 And the priest shall take up from the meal-offering the memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 10 And that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of Jehovah made by fire. 11 No meal-offering, which ye shall offer unto Jehovah, shall be made with leaven; for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, as an offering made by fire unto Jehovah. 12 As an oblation of first -`fruits' ye shall offer them unto Jehovah: but they shall not come up for a sweet savor on the altar. 13 And every oblation of thy meal-offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meal-offering: with all thine oblations thou shalt offer salt. 14 And if thou offer a meal-offering of first-fruits unto Jehovah, thou shalt offer for the meal-offering of thy first-fruits grain in the ear parched with fire, bruised grain of the fresh ear. 15 And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meal-offering. 16 And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the bruised grain thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto Jehovah. Chapter 3 1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace-offerings; if he offer of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before Jehovah. 2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his oblation, and kill it at the door of the tent of meeting: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 3 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of peace-offerings an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 4 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 5 And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt-offering, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 6 And if his oblation for a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto Jehovah be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7 If he offer a lamb for his oblation, then shall he offer it before Jehovah; 8 and he shall lay his hand upon the head of his oblation, and kill it before the tent of meeting: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 9 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of peace-offerings an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat thereof, the fat tail entire, he shall take away hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 10 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 11 And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto Jehovah. 12 And if his oblation be a goat, then he shall offer it before Jehovah: 13 and he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tent of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 14 And he shall offer thereof his oblation, `even' an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 15 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 16 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire, for a sweet savor; all the fat is Jehovah's. 17 It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings, that ye shall eat neither fat nor blood. Chapter 4 1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them: 3 if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto Jehovah for a sin-offering. 4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tent of meeting before Jehovah; and he shall lay his hand upon the head of the bullock, and kill the bullock before Jehovah. 5 And the anointed priest shall take of the blood of the bullock, and bring it to the tent of meeting: 6 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before Jehovah, before the veil of the sanctuary. 7 And the priest shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before Jehovah, which is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood of the bullock shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting. 8 And all the fat of the bullock of the sin-offering he shall take off from it; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 9 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away, 10 as it is taken off from the ox of the sacrifice of peace-offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of burnt-offering. 11 And the skin of the bullock, and all its flesh, with its head, and with its legs, and its inwards, and its dung, 12 even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall it be burnt. 13 And if the whole congregation of Israel err, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and are guilty; 14 when the sin wherein they have sinned is known, then the assembly shall offer a young bullock for a sin-offering, and bring it before the tent of meeting. 15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before Jehovah; and the bullock shall be killed before Jehovah. 16 And the anointed priest shall bring of the blood of the bullock to the tent of meeting: 17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before Jehovah, before the veil. 18 And he shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before Jehovah, that is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting. 19 And all the fat thereof shall he take off from it, and burn it upon the altar. 20 Thus shall he do with the bullock; as he did with the bullock of the sin-offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bullock: it is the sin-offering for the assembly. 22 When a ruler sinneth, and doeth unwittingly any one of all the things which Jehovah his God hath commanded not to be done, and is guilty; 23 if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, be made known to him, he shall bring for his oblation a goat, a male without blemish. 24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt-offering before Jehovah: it is a sin-offering. 25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering. 26 And all the fat thereof shall he burn upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall make atonement for him as concerning his sin, and he shall be forgiven. 27 And if any one of the common people sin unwittingly, in doing any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and be guilty; 28 if his sin, which he hath sinned, be made known to him, then he shall bring for his oblation a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. 29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and kill the sin-offering in the place of burnt-offering. 30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and all the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar. 31 And all the fat thereof shall he take away, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor unto Jehovah; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. 32 And if he bring a lamb as his oblation for a sin-offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. 33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and kill it for a sin-offering in the place where they kill the burnt-offering. 34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and all the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar: 35 and all the fat thereof shall he take away, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall burn them on the altar, upon the offerings of Jehovah made by fire; and the priest shall make atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned, and he shall be forgiven.




Called to Ministry

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on January 30th.

Colossians 4:7-18 7 All my affairs shall Tychicus make known unto you, the beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord: 8 whom I have sent you for this very purpose, that ye may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts; 9 together with Onesimus, the faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things that `are done' here. 10 Aristarchus my fellow-prisoner saluteth you, and Mark, the cousin of Barnabas (touching whom ye received commandments; if he come unto you, receive him), 11 and Jesus that is called Justus, who are of the circumcision: these only `are my' fellow-workers unto the kingdom of God, men that have been a comfort unto me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, saluteth you, always striving for you in his prayers, that ye may stand perfect and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness, that he hath much labor for you, and for them in Laodicea, and for them in Hierapolis. 14 Luke, the beloved physician, and Demas salute you. 15 Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in their house. 16 And when this epistle hath been read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye also read the epistle from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. 18 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you.

The last chapter of Colossians contains a long list of people who served alongside Paul. What’s not highlighted in these verses is these individuals’ talents, skills, abilities, wealth, or position in society. Instead, Paul focuses their character, their service for Christ, and his love and appreciation for each one.

We are each called to ministry in one form or another. Although we tend to think of ministry as something that’s done inside a church, in reality it encompasses everything we do all week long, no matter where we are. In God’s eyes, there’s no division between sacred and secular activities.

For example, while Luke was a physician by profession, he was also an evangelist, a missionary, and a divinely inspired writer of Scripture. His career was not his primary source of purpose and self-fulfillment; rather, it was a means through which he served Christ by ministering to others. A faithful friend and traveling companion to Paul, Luke offered him encouragement and comfort until the day of the apostle’s execution (2 Tim. 4:11).

Luke was perfectly suited for the work the Lord planned for him. He had an analytical, detailed mind which made him a skilled doctor. It also served him in carefully investigating and writing an accurate account of Jesus’ life (the gospel of Luke) and the events of the early church (the book of Acts).

Each of us has been created and fitted by God to fulfill the particular ministry He’s chosen specifically for us. We have been placed on this earth not simply to enjoy ourselves, accumulate wealth, and achieve prominence but to serve the Lord. Our responsibility is to respond with obedience to His call.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 1-4 Chapter 1 1 And Jehovah called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man of you offereth an oblation unto Jehovah, ye shall offer your oblation of the cattle, `even' of the herd and of the flock. 3 If his oblation be a burnt-offering of the herd, he shall offer it a male without blemish: he shall offer it at the door of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before Jehovah. 4 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 And he shall kill the bullock before Jehovah: and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall present the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. 6 And he shall flay the burnt-offering, and cut it into its pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire; 8 and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall lay the pieces, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 9 but its inwards and its legs shall he wash with water: and the priest shall burn the whole on the altar, for a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 10 And if his oblation be of the flock, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt-offering; he shall offer it a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before Jehovah: and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle its blood upon the altar round about. 12 And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 13 but the inwards and the legs shall he wash with water; and the priest shall offer the whole, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 14 And if his oblation to Jehovah be a burnt-offering of birds, then he shall offer his oblation of turtle-doves, or of young pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be drained out on the side of the altar; 16 and he shall take away its crop with the filth thereof, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, in the place of the ashes: 17 and he shall rend it by the wings thereof, `but' shall not divide it asunder; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. Chapter 2 1 And when any one offereth an oblation of a meal-offering unto Jehovah, his oblation shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon: 2 and he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests; and he shall take thereout his handful of the fine flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn `it as' the memorial thereof upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah: 3 and that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of Jehovah made by fire. 4 And when thou offerest an oblation of a meal-offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. 5 And if thy oblation be a meal-offering of the baking-pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. 6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meal-offering. 7 And if thy oblation be a meal-offering of the frying-pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 8 And thou shalt bring the meal-offering that is made of these things unto Jehovah: and it shall be presented unto the priest, and he shall bring it unto the altar. 9 And the priest shall take up from the meal-offering the memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 10 And that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of Jehovah made by fire. 11 No meal-offering, which ye shall offer unto Jehovah, shall be made with leaven; for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, as an offering made by fire unto Jehovah. 12 As an oblation of first -`fruits' ye shall offer them unto Jehovah: but they shall not come up for a sweet savor on the altar. 13 And every oblation of thy meal-offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meal-offering: with all thine oblations thou shalt offer salt. 14 And if thou offer a meal-offering of first-fruits unto Jehovah, thou shalt offer for the meal-offering of thy first-fruits grain in the ear parched with fire, bruised grain of the fresh ear. 15 And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meal-offering. 16 And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the bruised grain thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto Jehovah. Chapter 3 1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace-offerings; if he offer of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before Jehovah. 2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his oblation, and kill it at the door of the tent of meeting: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 3 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of peace-offerings an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 4 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 5 And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt-offering, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 6 And if his oblation for a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto Jehovah be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7 If he offer a lamb for his oblation, then shall he offer it before Jehovah; 8 and he shall lay his hand upon the head of his oblation, and kill it before the tent of meeting: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 9 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of peace-offerings an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat thereof, the fat tail entire, he shall take away hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 10 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 11 And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto Jehovah. 12 And if his oblation be a goat, then he shall offer it before Jehovah: 13 and he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tent of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 14 And he shall offer thereof his oblation, `even' an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 15 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 16 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire, for a sweet savor; all the fat is Jehovah's. 17 It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings, that ye shall eat neither fat nor blood. Chapter 4 1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them: 3 if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto Jehovah for a sin-offering. 4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tent of meeting before Jehovah; and he shall lay his hand upon the head of the bullock, and kill the bullock before Jehovah. 5 And the anointed priest shall take of the blood of the bullock, and bring it to the tent of meeting: 6 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before Jehovah, before the veil of the sanctuary. 7 And the priest shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before Jehovah, which is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood of the bullock shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting. 8 And all the fat of the bullock of the sin-offering he shall take off from it; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 9 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away, 10 as it is taken off from the ox of the sacrifice of peace-offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of burnt-offering. 11 And the skin of the bullock, and all its flesh, with its head, and with its legs, and its inwards, and its dung, 12 even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall it be burnt. 13 And if the whole congregation of Israel err, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and are guilty; 14 when the sin wherein they have sinned is known, then the assembly shall offer a young bullock for a sin-offering, and bring it before the tent of meeting. 15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before Jehovah; and the bullock shall be killed before Jehovah. 16 And the anointed priest shall bring of the blood of the bullock to the tent of meeting: 17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before Jehovah, before the veil. 18 And he shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before Jehovah, that is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting. 19 And all the fat thereof shall he take off from it, and burn it upon the altar. 20 Thus shall he do with the bullock; as he did with the bullock of the sin-offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bullock: it is the sin-offering for the assembly. 22 When a ruler sinneth, and doeth unwittingly any one of all the things which Jehovah his God hath commanded not to be done, and is guilty; 23 if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, be made known to him, he shall bring for his oblation a goat, a male without blemish. 24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt-offering before Jehovah: it is a sin-offering. 25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering. 26 And all the fat thereof shall he burn upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall make atonement for him as concerning his sin, and he shall be forgiven. 27 And if any one of the common people sin unwittingly, in doing any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and be guilty; 28 if his sin, which he hath sinned, be made known to him, then he shall bring for his oblation a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. 29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and kill the sin-offering in the place of burnt-offering. 30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and all the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar. 31 And all the fat thereof shall he take away, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor unto Jehovah; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. 32 And if he bring a lamb as his oblation for a sin-offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. 33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and kill it for a sin-offering in the place where they kill the burnt-offering. 34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and all the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar: 35 and all the fat thereof shall he take away, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall burn them on the altar, upon the offerings of Jehovah made by fire; and the priest shall make atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned, and he shall be forgiven.




Prevailing Grace

Published by John Piper for reading on January 30th.

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners.” ( Isaiah 57:18 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. )

Learn your doctrine from biblical texts. It stands up better that way, and feeds the soul.

For example, learn the doctrine of irresistible grace from texts. In this way, you will see that it does not mean grace cannot be resisted; it means that when God chooses, he can and will overcome that resistance.

In Isaiah 57:17 17 For the iniquity of his covetousness was I wroth, and smote him; I hid `my face' and was wroth; and he went on backsliding in the way of his heart. –19, for instance, God chastises his rebellious people by striking them and hiding his face: “Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry” (verse 17).

But they did not respond with repentance. Rather, they kept backsliding. They resisted: “But he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart” (verse 17).

So grace can be resisted. In fact, Stephen said to the Jewish leaders, “You always resist the Holy Spirit” ( Acts 7:51 51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye. ).

What then does God do? Is he powerless to bring those who resist to repentance and wholeness? No. He is not powerless. The next verse says, “I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners” ( Isaiah 57:18 18 I have seen his ways, and will heal him: I will lead him also, and restore comforts unto him and to his mourners. ).

So, in the face of recalcitrant, grace-resisting backsliding, God says, “I will heal him.” He will “restore.” The word for “restore” is to “make whole or complete.” It is related to the word shalom, “peace.” That wholeness and peace is mentioned in the next verse which explains how God turns around a grace-resisting backslider.

He does it by “‘creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace (shalom, shalom), to the far and to the near,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will heal him’” ( Isaiah 57:19 19 I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace, to him that is far off and to him that is near, saith Jehovah; and I will heal him. ). God creates what is not there — peace, wholeness. This is how we are saved. And this is how we are brought back from backsliding — again and again.

The grace of God triumphs over our resistance by creating praise where it did not exist. He brings shalom, shalom to the near and the far. Wholeness, wholeness to the near and the far. He does it by “restoring,” that is, replacing the disease of resistance with the soundness of submission.

The point of irresistible grace is not that we can’t resist. We can, and we do. The point is that when God chooses, he overcomes our resistance and restores a submissive spirit. He creates. He says, “Let there be light!” He heals. He leads. He restores. He comforts.

Therefore, we never boast that we have returned from backsliding. We fall on our faces before the Lord and with trembling joy thank him for his irresistible grace that conquered all our resistance.



Hope: The Anchor of the Soul

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on January 30th.

Hebrews 6:13-20 13 For when God made promise to Abraham, since he could swear by none greater, he sware by himself, 14 saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 15 And thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by the greater: and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation. 17 Wherein God, being minded to show more abundantly unto the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us: 19 which we have as an anchor of the soul, `a hope' both sure and stedfast and entering into that which is within the veil; 20 whither as a forerunner Jesus entered for us, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.

An anchor was a popular image in the ancient Mediterranean world. Because that economy depended on shipping, the anchor came to symbolize safety and steadiness. The writer of Hebrews used the word to remind believers that God has given a hope that holds firm in any storm.

Hope is a healthy attitude. Anticipating good brings comfort to the mind and heart. In contrast, a state of hopelessness is a terrible condition in which to find oneself. It’s overwhelming and depressing to think that what you’re facing cannot be changed or resolved. For the person who has lost all hope, life looks like a long, dark tunnel going nowhere.

Included in Proverbs is a verse that describes the result of this oppressive feeling: “Hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Prov. 13:12). Emotional, physical, and even mental illness haunt a person who feels trapped in a bleak situation. But as long as there is a God, no situation is hopeless. In Him, we have the promise of the second half of that proverb: “Desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Believers have a hope that anchors their soul. Our relationship with Jesus Christ brings us close to the throne of heaven, where we can cast all our burdens before an omnipotent God. Moreover, we can cling to Him through any trial that comes our way. Because of the Lord’s great love, He provides strength for weary bodies, peace for anxious minds, and comfort for grieving hearts. In short, He lights that darkened tunnel and tenderly guides us through trying situations.

Bible in One Year: Leviticus 1-4 Chapter 1 1 And Jehovah called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tent of meeting, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When any man of you offereth an oblation unto Jehovah, ye shall offer your oblation of the cattle, `even' of the herd and of the flock. 3 If his oblation be a burnt-offering of the herd, he shall offer it a male without blemish: he shall offer it at the door of the tent of meeting, that he may be accepted before Jehovah. 4 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the burnt-offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. 5 And he shall kill the bullock before Jehovah: and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall present the blood, and sprinkle the blood round about upon the altar that is at the door of the tent of meeting. 6 And he shall flay the burnt-offering, and cut it into its pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar, and lay wood in order upon the fire; 8 and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall lay the pieces, the head, and the fat, in order upon the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 9 but its inwards and its legs shall he wash with water: and the priest shall burn the whole on the altar, for a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 10 And if his oblation be of the flock, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt-offering; he shall offer it a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the side of the altar northward before Jehovah: and Aaron's sons, the priests, shall sprinkle its blood upon the altar round about. 12 And he shall cut it into its pieces, with its head and its fat; and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire which is upon the altar: 13 but the inwards and the legs shall he wash with water; and the priest shall offer the whole, and burn it upon the altar: it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 14 And if his oblation to Jehovah be a burnt-offering of birds, then he shall offer his oblation of turtle-doves, or of young pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it unto the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and the blood thereof shall be drained out on the side of the altar; 16 and he shall take away its crop with the filth thereof, and cast it beside the altar on the east part, in the place of the ashes: 17 and he shall rend it by the wings thereof, `but' shall not divide it asunder; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar, upon the wood that is upon the fire: it is a burnt-offering, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. Chapter 2 1 And when any one offereth an oblation of a meal-offering unto Jehovah, his oblation shall be of fine flour; and he shall pour oil upon it, and put frankincense thereon: 2 and he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests; and he shall take thereout his handful of the fine flour thereof, and of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof; and the priest shall burn `it as' the memorial thereof upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah: 3 and that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of Jehovah made by fire. 4 And when thou offerest an oblation of a meal-offering baken in the oven, it shall be unleavened cakes of fine flour mingled with oil, or unleavened wafers anointed with oil. 5 And if thy oblation be a meal-offering of the baking-pan, it shall be of fine flour unleavened, mingled with oil. 6 Thou shalt part it in pieces, and pour oil thereon: it is a meal-offering. 7 And if thy oblation be a meal-offering of the frying-pan, it shall be made of fine flour with oil. 8 And thou shalt bring the meal-offering that is made of these things unto Jehovah: and it shall be presented unto the priest, and he shall bring it unto the altar. 9 And the priest shall take up from the meal-offering the memorial thereof, and shall burn it upon the altar, an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 10 And that which is left of the meal-offering shall be Aaron's and his sons': it is a thing most holy of the offerings of Jehovah made by fire. 11 No meal-offering, which ye shall offer unto Jehovah, shall be made with leaven; for ye shall burn no leaven, nor any honey, as an offering made by fire unto Jehovah. 12 As an oblation of first -`fruits' ye shall offer them unto Jehovah: but they shall not come up for a sweet savor on the altar. 13 And every oblation of thy meal-offering shalt thou season with salt; neither shalt thou suffer the salt of the covenant of thy God to be lacking from thy meal-offering: with all thine oblations thou shalt offer salt. 14 And if thou offer a meal-offering of first-fruits unto Jehovah, thou shalt offer for the meal-offering of thy first-fruits grain in the ear parched with fire, bruised grain of the fresh ear. 15 And thou shalt put oil upon it, and lay frankincense thereon: it is a meal-offering. 16 And the priest shall burn the memorial of it, part of the bruised grain thereof, and part of the oil thereof, with all the frankincense thereof: it is an offering made by fire unto Jehovah. Chapter 3 1 And if his oblation be a sacrifice of peace-offerings; if he offer of the herd, whether male or female, he shall offer it without blemish before Jehovah. 2 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his oblation, and kill it at the door of the tent of meeting: and Aaron's sons the priests shall sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about. 3 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of peace-offerings an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 4 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is on them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 5 And Aaron's sons shall burn it on the altar upon the burnt-offering, which is upon the wood that is on the fire: it is an offering made by fire, of a sweet savor unto Jehovah. 6 And if his oblation for a sacrifice of peace-offerings unto Jehovah be of the flock; male or female, he shall offer it without blemish. 7 If he offer a lamb for his oblation, then shall he offer it before Jehovah; 8 and he shall lay his hand upon the head of his oblation, and kill it before the tent of meeting: and Aaron's sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 9 And he shall offer of the sacrifice of peace-offerings an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat thereof, the fat tail entire, he shall take away hard by the backbone; and the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 10 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 11 And the priest shall burn it upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire unto Jehovah. 12 And if his oblation be a goat, then he shall offer it before Jehovah: 13 and he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tent of meeting; and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about. 14 And he shall offer thereof his oblation, `even' an offering made by fire unto Jehovah; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 15 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away. 16 And the priest shall burn them upon the altar: it is the food of the offering made by fire, for a sweet savor; all the fat is Jehovah's. 17 It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings, that ye shall eat neither fat nor blood. Chapter 4 1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any one shall sin unwittingly, in any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and shall do any one of them: 3 if the anointed priest shall sin so as to bring guilt on the people, then let him offer for his sin, which he hath sinned, a young bullock without blemish unto Jehovah for a sin-offering. 4 And he shall bring the bullock unto the door of the tent of meeting before Jehovah; and he shall lay his hand upon the head of the bullock, and kill the bullock before Jehovah. 5 And the anointed priest shall take of the blood of the bullock, and bring it to the tent of meeting: 6 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle of the blood seven times before Jehovah, before the veil of the sanctuary. 7 And the priest shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar of sweet incense before Jehovah, which is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood of the bullock shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting. 8 And all the fat of the bullock of the sin-offering he shall take off from it; the fat that covereth the inwards, and all the fat that is upon the inwards, 9 and the two kidneys, and the fat that is upon them, which is by the loins, and the caul upon the liver, with the kidneys, shall he take away, 10 as it is taken off from the ox of the sacrifice of peace-offerings: and the priest shall burn them upon the altar of burnt-offering. 11 And the skin of the bullock, and all its flesh, with its head, and with its legs, and its inwards, and its dung, 12 even the whole bullock shall he carry forth without the camp unto a clean place, where the ashes are poured out, and burn it on wood with fire: where the ashes are poured out shall it be burnt. 13 And if the whole congregation of Israel err, and the thing be hid from the eyes of the assembly, and they have done any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and are guilty; 14 when the sin wherein they have sinned is known, then the assembly shall offer a young bullock for a sin-offering, and bring it before the tent of meeting. 15 And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands upon the head of the bullock before Jehovah; and the bullock shall be killed before Jehovah. 16 And the anointed priest shall bring of the blood of the bullock to the tent of meeting: 17 and the priest shall dip his finger in the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before Jehovah, before the veil. 18 And he shall put of the blood upon the horns of the altar which is before Jehovah, that is in the tent of meeting; and all the blood shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, which is at the door of the tent of meeting. 19 And all the fat thereof shall he take off from it, and burn it upon the altar. 20 Thus shall he do with the bullock; as he did with the bullock of the sin-offering, so shall he do with this; and the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven. 21 And he shall carry forth the bullock without the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bullock: it is the sin-offering for the assembly. 22 When a ruler sinneth, and doeth unwittingly any one of all the things which Jehovah his God hath commanded not to be done, and is guilty; 23 if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, be made known to him, he shall bring for his oblation a goat, a male without blemish. 24 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt-offering before Jehovah: it is a sin-offering. 25 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering. 26 And all the fat thereof shall he burn upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall make atonement for him as concerning his sin, and he shall be forgiven. 27 And if any one of the common people sin unwittingly, in doing any of the things which Jehovah hath commanded not to be done, and be guilty; 28 if his sin, which he hath sinned, be made known to him, then he shall bring for his oblation a goat, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned. 29 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and kill the sin-offering in the place of burnt-offering. 30 And the priest shall take of the blood thereof with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and all the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar. 31 And all the fat thereof shall he take away, as the fat is taken away from off the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall burn it upon the altar for a sweet savor unto Jehovah; and the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven. 32 And if he bring a lamb as his oblation for a sin-offering, he shall bring it a female without blemish. 33 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin-offering, and kill it for a sin-offering in the place where they kill the burnt-offering. 34 And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin-offering with his finger, and put it upon the horns of the altar of burnt-offering; and all the blood thereof shall he pour out at the base of the altar: 35 and all the fat thereof shall he take away, as the fat of the lamb is taken away from the sacrifice of peace-offerings; and the priest shall burn them on the altar, upon the offerings of Jehovah made by fire; and the priest shall make atonement for him as touching his sin that he hath sinned, and he shall be forgiven.




Daily Bible - January 30

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 30th.

Reading for Today:

  • Exodus 9:1 Chapter 9 1 Then Jehovah said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. –10:29
  • Psalms 17:8-15 8 Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me under the shadow of thy wings, 9 From the wicked that oppress me, My deadly enemies, that compass me about. 10 They are inclosed in their own fat: With their mouth they speak proudly. 11 They have now compassed us in our steps; They set their eyes to cast `us' down to the earth. 12 He is like a lion that is greedy of his prey, And as it were a young lion lurking in secret places. 13 Arise, O Jehovah, Confront him, cast him down: Deliver my soul from the wicked by thy sword; 14 From men by thy hand, O Jehovah, From men of the world, whose portion is in `this' life, And whose belly thou fillest with thy treasure: They are satisfied with children, And leave the rest of their substance to their babes. 15 As for me, I shall behold thy face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with `beholding' thy form. Psalm 18 For the Chief Musician. `A Psalm' of David the servant of Jehovah, who spake unto Jehovah the words of this song in the day that Jehovah delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul: and he said,
  • Proverbs 5:21-23 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of Jehovah; And he maketh level all his paths. 22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked, And he shall be holden with the cords of his sin. 23 He shall die for lack of instruction; And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.
  • Matthew 20:1-16 Chapter 20 1 For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that was a householder, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a shilling a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing in the marketplace idle; 4 and to them he said, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh `hour' he went out, and found others standing; and he saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? 7 They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard. 8 And when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the laborers, and pay them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first. 9 And when they came that `were hired' about the eleventh hour, they received every man a shilling. 10 And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received every man a shilling. 11 And when they received it, they murmured against the householder, 12 saying, These last have spent `but' one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat. 13 But he answered and said to one of them, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a shilling? 14 Take up that which is thine, and go thy way; it is my will to give unto this last, even as unto thee. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? or is thine eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last shall be first, and the first last.

Notes:

Exodus 9:14 My plagues. God’s use of the possessive pronoun specified what should have become abundantly clear to Pharaoh by then, namely, that these were God’s own workings. to your very heart. “To send to the very heart” was apparently a colloquial expression denoting someone’s being made to feel the full force of an act, to feel it strike home!

Exodus 10:13 an east wind. God used natural means, most probably the spring hot wind, or “sirocco,” to bring the locusts into the country from the Arabian peninsula.

Proverbs 5:21, 22 ponders…caught. The Lord sees all that man does and in mercy withholds immediate judgment, allowing the sinner time to repent or to be caught in his own sin (see Num. 32:23; Pss. 7:15, 16; 57:6; Prov. 1:17; Gal. 6:7, 8). Note the example of Haman (Esth. 5:9–14; 7:1–10).

Matthew 20:16 the last will be first, and the first last. In other words, everyone finishes in a dead heat. No matter how long each of the workers worked, they each received a full day’s wage. Similarly, the thief on the cross will enjoy the full blessings of heaven alongside those who have labored their whole lives for Christ. Such is the grace of God.

DAY 30: Why don’t the Egyptian historical records acknowledge the events of the Exodus?

The absence of any Egyptian record of the devastation of Egypt by the 10 plagues and the major defeat of Pharaoh’s elite army at the Red Sea should not give rise to speculation on whether the account is historically authentic. Egyptian historiography did not permit records of their pharaohs’ embarrassments and ignominious defeats to be published. Interestingly, one of the subtle proofs of the truth of Scripture is the way in which it records both the triumphs and the tragedies of God’s people. The Bible offers as many examples of failure as it does of faith.

Despite the absence of any extra-biblical, ancient Near Eastern records of the Hebrew bondage, the plagues, the Exodus, and the Conquest, archeological evidence corroborates Israel’s dramatic exit from Egypt as occurring during the Eighteenth Dynasty (about 1445 B.C.), a setting of great political strength and economic strength in Egyptian history. Egypt was a world military, economic, and political superpower.

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.

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January 30 - The Gospel’s First Demand—Repentance

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 30th.

“From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’” ( Matthew 4:17 17 From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. ).

The message that Jesus brought to the people—the “great light” He revealed to those “sitting in the land of shadow and death”—was always very clear: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our Lord thus began with the same basic exhortation that His herald, John the Baptist, had begun with (cf. Matt. 3:2).

Repentance is a crucial but often neglected or omitted element of the gospel. “Repent” means to turn from sin, to change your orientation, and in so turning to seek a new way of life. The person who repents has a radical change of will and heart, and as a result, a change of behavior (cf. Matt. 3:8). The repentant sinner will radically change the way he or she views sin and righteousness.

Repentance was, is, and always will be the foremost demand of the gospel. It is quite simply the first part of the saving work of the Holy Spirit in the sinner’s soul. In his Pentecost sermon, Peter also issued a call for repentance: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” ( Acts 2:38 38 And Peter `said' unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. ). Paul reassured Timothy that repentance leads “to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 2:25). If repentance was crucial for the people of Jesus’ day, it is even more imperative for everyone today, because the kingdom is nearer than ever.

Ask Yourself

Like all of us, you’ve confessed many things, many times before. But today is another good opportunity to take repentance seriously. What sins need its corrective touch in your life? Bring them before the Father. Receive His mercy. Walk away refreshed and in freedom.

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.

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Our Unity in the Father

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 30th.

“One God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all” ( Ephesians 4:6 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. ).

There is only one God, and we will have a strong testimony by worshiping Him and holding on to what unites us.

The last point of Christian unity Paul mentions in Ephesians 4:4-6 4 `There is' one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. is that Christians have “one God and Father.” In Paul’s day, people believed in many gods; so he emphasizes our God’s uniqueness. No person or object can compare with God because He is “above all,” which means He is the sovereign creator and controller of the universe; He is “through all,” as the providential upholder of the universe; and He is “in all,” which refers to His personal, indwelling presence.

Throughout the Old Testament, God emphasizes His uniqueness: “Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other” (Deut. 4:39). “I am the Lord, and there is no other; besides Me there is no God” (Isa. 45:5). The Israelites were surrounded by nations that worshiped many gods, and God had to continually warn them about idolatry and judge them when they practiced it.

Israel’s worship of the only true God was to be their central point of unity. It was to set them apart from the nations around them. By worshiping Him alone, they not only would remain strong as a nation, but would be a witness to the Gentiles of God’s greatness.

As Christians, we have the same Father, and like Israel, our unity is founded on Him, as well as the other “ones” listed in Ephesians 4:4-6 4 `There is' one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all. : one Body, one Spirit, one hope of our calling, one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. When we hold to these, we will be a powerful witness to the world.

Suggestions for Prayer

Praise God for His uniqueness, that He alone is above all, through all, and in all.

For Further Study

The Psalms not only are rich with instruction about God but are also excellent means of praising Him. Read one psalm a day for the next several months, and write down what you learn about God. Whenever the psalmist praises God, let that be your prayer as well. When you have finished reading all the Psalms, you will know, honor, and love God more than ever.

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        

Serving the Supreme One

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 30th.

God exalted Christ "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet" (Eph. 1:21-22).

Now and forever Christ is the Supreme One!

Yesterday we saw that Christ has both an exalted name and an exalted, authoritative position. In verses 21-22 Paul elaborates on the extent of Christ's authority, which is "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion."

"Rule," "authority," "power," and "dominion" are designations for angelic beings, whether good or evil (cf. Eph. 6:12; Col. 1:16). In His incarnation Christ was made lower in rank than the angels that He might suffer death on our behalf (Heb. 2:9). Now He has "become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they" (Heb. 1:4), and the Father commands all the angels to worship the Son (v. 6).

But Christ's rule extends far beyond angelic beings. In Ephesians 1:21 21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: the phrase "every name that is named" is a general reference to any form of authority—whether angelic or human, eternal or temporal. Now and forever Christ is the Supreme One! Ultimately every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord (Phil. 2:10-11).

The implications of that truth are staggering. For example Christ precedes the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. , the heart of Christian evangelism and discipleship, with this significant statement: "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."

Ultimately your evangelism and discipleship efforts will bear fruit because they are backed by the authority of Christ Himself. Does that encourage you to seize every opportunity to share Christ and His Word with others? It should!

Be faithful today, realizing that you represent the One in whom lies all authority. Nothing can thwart His purposes.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to a lost soul or anyone else you can encourage from the Word. Be sensitive to His leading.

For Further Study

Read Colossians 1:15-23 15 who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him; 17 and he is before all things, and in him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it was the good pleasure `of the Father' that in him should all the fulness dwell; 20 and through him to reconcile all things unto himself, having made peace through the blood of his cross; through him, `I say', whether things upon the earth, or things in the heavens. 21 And you, being in time past alienated and enemies in your mind in your evil works, 22 yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and without blemish and unreproveable before him: 23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister. .

  • What was Christ's role in creation (vv. 15-17)?
  • What is His role in the church (v. 18)? In salvation (v. 23)?
  • What place have you given Him in your life?

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        

Morning Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for January 30th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on January 30th.

2 Samuel 5:24 24 And it shall be, when thou hearest the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry-trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself; for then is Jehovah gone out before thee to smite the host of the Philistines.

THE members of Christ's Church should be very prayerful, always seeking the unction of the Holy One to rest upon their hearts, that the kingdom of Christ may come, and that His "will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven;" but there are times when God seems especially to favour Zion, such seasons ought to be to them like "the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." We ought then to be doubly prayerful, doubly earnest, wrestling more at the throne than we have been wont to do. Action should then be prompt and vigorous. The tide is flowing—now let us pull manfully for the shore. O for Pentecostal outpourings and Pentecostal labours. Christian, in yourself there are times "when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees." You have a peculiar power in prayer; the Spirit of God gives you joy and gladness; the Scripture is open to you; the promises are applied; you walk in the light of God's countenance; you have peculiar freedom and liberty in devotion, and more closeness of communion with Christ than was your wont. Now, at such joyous periods when you hear the "sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees," is the time to bestir yourself; now is the time to get rid of any evil habit, while God the Spirit helpeth your infirmities. Spread your sail; but remember what you sometimes sing—

"I can only spread the sail; Thou! Thou! must breathe the auspicious gale." Only be sure you have the sail up. Do not miss the gale for want of preparation for it. Seek help of God, that you may be more earnest in duty when made more strong in faith; that you may be more constant in prayer when you have more liberty at the throne; that you may be more holy in your conversation whilst you live more closely with Christ.

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for January 30th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on January 30th.

Ephesians 1:11 11 in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will;

WHEN Jesus gave Himself for us, He gave us all the rights and privileges which went with Himself; so that now, although as eternal God, He has essential rights to which no creature may venture to pretend, yet as Jesus, the Mediator, the federal Head of the covenant of grace, He has no heritage apart from us. All the glorious consequences of His obedience unto death are the joint riches of all who are in Him, and on whose behalf He accomplished the divine will. See, He enters into glory, but not for Himself alone, for it is written, "Whither the Forerunner is for us entered." Heb. 6:20. Does He stand in the presence of God?—"He appears in the presence of God for us." Heb. 9:24. Consider this, believer. You have no right to heaven in yourself: your right lies in Christ. If you are pardoned, it is through His blood; if you are justified, it is through His righteousness; if you are sanctified, it is because He is made of God unto you sanctification; if you shall be kept from falling, it will be because you are preserved in Christ Jesus; and if you are perfected at the last, it will be because you are complete in Him. Thus Jesus is magnified—for all is in Him and by Him; thus the inheritance is made certain to us—for it is obtained in Him; thus each blessing is the sweeter, and even heaven itself the brighter, because it is Jesus our Beloved "in whom" we have obtained all. Where is the man who shall estimate our divine portion? Weigh the riches of Christ in scales, and His treasure in balances, and then think to count the treasures which belong to the saints. Reach the bottom of Christ's sea of joy, and then hope to understand the bliss which God hath prepared for them that love Him. Overleap the boundaries of Christ's possessions, and then dream of a limit to the fair inheritance of the elect. "All things are yours, for ye are Christ's and Christ is God's."

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