HE IS RISEN!

"For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord."
Today's Devotionals
  • Daily Devotional InTouch Ministries
  • Daily Devotional InTouch Ministries
  • Solid Joys John Piper
  • Daily Devotional InTouch Ministries
  • Daily Bible Grace To You
  • Daily Readings Grace To You
  • Strength For Today Grace To You
  • Drawing Near Grace To You
  • Morning Devotion C.H. Spurgeon
  • Evening Devotion C.H. Spurgeon

  Choose a devotional on the left

...to read today's entry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salvation: The First Step

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on May 20th.

Acts 16:19-40 19 But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they laid hold on Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers, 20 and when they had brought them unto the magistrates, they said, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21 and set forth customs which it is not lawful for us to receive, or to observe, being Romans. 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent their garments off them, and commanded to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: 24 who, having received such a charge, cast them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks. 25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns unto God, and the prisoners were listening to them; 26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison-house were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed. 27 And the jailor, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. 29 And he called for lights and sprang in, and, trembling for fear, fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. 32 And they spake the word of the Lord unto him, with all that were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. 34 And he brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God. 35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go. 36 And the jailor reported the words to Paul, `saying', The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore come forth, and go in peace. 37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison; and do they now cast us out privily? Nay verily; but let them come themselves and bring us out. 38 And the sergeants reported these words unto the magistrates: and they feared when they heard that they were Romans; 39 and they came and besought them; and when they had brought them out, they asked them to go away from the city. 40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into `the house' of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

After a baby takes his first steps, the parents call loved ones. They excitedly announce the awesome accomplishment, which is the beginning of a new life of greater mobility and maturity. In the same way, the Christian life begins with a first step—salvation. But it’s only the start of a new life of increasing spiritual growth.

When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas, “What must I do to be saved?” they answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” ( Acts 16:30-31 30 and brought them out and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, thou and thy house. ). It’s simple enough that even a child can do it, and after salvation, we are all like babies taking our first steps. A new believer doesn’t understand all the doctrines of salvation any more than a toddler knows all the mechanics of walking. However, once we are saved, we have a responsibility to learn what God has done for us and to take more steps of obedience in the Christian life.

Genuine salvation always results in transformation. When we receive Jesus as our personal Savior, He comes to live within us through the Holy Spirit. Our old way of life no longer fits our new identity, and the Spirit works within us to make us more like Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 17 Wherefore if any man is in Christ, `he is' a new creature: the old things are passed away; behold, they are become new. says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”

Has there been a particular point in your life when you recognized your sin and then asked Jesus to forgive you and become your Savior? If so, how has your life been transformed since then? Spiritual growth is one of the ways we can know that we are saved.

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 32-34 Chapter 32 1 After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself. 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, 3 he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city; and they helped him. 4 So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the fountains, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? 5 And he took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised `it' up to the towers, and the other wall without, and strengthened Millo `in' the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the broad place at the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, 7 Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him: 8 with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Jehovah our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying, 10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide the siege in Jerusalem? 11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Jehovah our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 12 Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and upon it shall ye burn incense? 13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any wise able to deliver their land out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? 15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you after this manner, neither believe ye him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of my hand? 16 And his servants spake yet more against Jehovah God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 He wrote also letters, to rail on Jehovah, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of my hand. 18 And they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. 19 And they spake of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands. 20 And Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven. 21 And Jehovah sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth from his own bowels slew him there with the sword. 22 Thus Jehovah saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all `others', and guided them on every side. 23 And many brought gifts unto Jehovah to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth. 24 In those days Hezekiah was sick even unto death: and he prayed unto Jehovah; and he spake unto him, and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Jehovah came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of goodly vessels; 28 store-houses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and flocks in folds. 29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 Howbeit in `the business of' the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead. Chapter 33 1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, after the abominations of the nations whom Jehovah cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baalim, and made Asheroth, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, whereof Jehovah said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Jehovah. 6 He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practised augury, and used enchantments, and practised sorcery, and dealt with them that had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. 7 And he set the graven image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: 8 neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances `given' by Moses. 9 And Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did evil more than did the nations whom Jehovah destroyed before the children of Israel. 10 And Jehovah spake to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed. 11 Wherefore Jehovah brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in distress, he besought Jehovah his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 And he prayed unto him; and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah he was God. 14 Now after this he built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he compassed Ophel about `with it', and raised it up to a very great height: and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 And he took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of Jehovah, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of Jehovah, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 16 And he built up the altar of Jehovah, and offered thereon sacrifices of peace-offerings and of thanksgiving, and commanded Judah to serve Jehovah, the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only unto Jehovah their God. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also, and how `God' was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the graven images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead. 21 Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed unto all the graven images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them. 23 And he humbled not himself before Jehovah, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more. 24 And his servants conspired against him, and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead. Chapter 34 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and walked in the ways of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images. 4 And they brake down the altars of the Baalim in his presence; and the sun-images that were on high above them he hewed down; and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves `of them' that had sacrificed unto them. 5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And `so did he' in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, in their ruins round about. 7 And he brake down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the graven images into powder, and hewed down all the sun-images throughout all the land of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem. 8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of Jehovah his God. 9 And they came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they delivered it into the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of Jehovah; and the workmen that wrought in the house of Jehovah gave it to mend and repair the house; 11 even to the carpenters and to the builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12 And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and `others of' the Levites, all that were skilful with instruments of music. 13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and set forward all that did the work in every manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters. 14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of Jehovah, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of Jehovah `given' by Moses. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and moreover brought back word to the king, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they are doing. 17 And they have emptied out the money that was found in the house of Jehovah, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen. 18 And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read therein before the king. 19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. 20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 21 Go ye, inquire of Jehovah for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of Jehovah that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of Jehovah, to do according unto all that is written in this book. 22 So Hilkiah, and they whom the king `had commanded', went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter;) and they spake to her to that effect. 23 And she said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Tell ye the man that sent you unto me, 24 Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore is my wrath poured out upon this place, and it shall not be quenched. 26 But unto the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Jehovah, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: As touching the words which thou hast heard, 27 because thy heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and hast humbled thyself before me, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith Jehovah. 28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof. And they brought back word to the king. 29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of Jehovah, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, both great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of Jehovah. 31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 And he caused all that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand `to it'. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were found in Israel to serve, even to serve Jehovah their God. All his days they departed not from following Jehovah, the God of their fathers.




How Christ Modeled Humility

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on May 20th.

Philippians 2:1-11 Chapter 2 1 If there is therefore any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassions, 2 make full my joy, that ye be of the same mind, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; 3 `doing' nothing through faction or through vainglory, but in lowliness of mind each counting other better than himself; 4 not looking each of you to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others. 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient `even' unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of `things' in heaven and `things' on earth and `things' under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Although humility is not highly valued in our society, it’s essential in the Christian life. And the one who set the pattern for it is Jesus Himself. Therefore, as His followers, we too should seek to have a humble spirit. Humility is lowliness of mind that does not seek to exalt or assert self, and from today’s passage, we learn that it’s characterized by several traits:

Humility is other-focused (Phil. 2:3-4). Christ was looking out for our interests when He came to earth to rescue us from sin and condemnation.

Humility doesn’t grasp rights and privileges (Phil. 2:6-7). Although Jesus was fully God, He emptied Himself and took on the limitations of humanity.

Humility willingly serves others (Phil. 2:7). The Lord didn’t come as a self-serving ruler who wanted to conquer and subjugate the world. Instead, He came as a lowly slave serving others.

Humility obeys God (Phil. 2:8). The Son came to earth in full obedience to the Father. He did and said only what His Father commanded Him ( John 5:19 19 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner. ), including His ultimate act of obedience: laying down His life on the cross to pay for the sins of mankind.

These qualities are the exact opposite of the ambition, self-promotion, and self-advancement our culture values. From the world’s perspective, humility is weakness. But which takes more strength—to deny self or to promote self? Humility requires the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to overcome our natural self-centeredness. Instead of being a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of Christ’s life in us.

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 32-34 Chapter 32 1 After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself. 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, 3 he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city; and they helped him. 4 So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the fountains, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? 5 And he took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised `it' up to the towers, and the other wall without, and strengthened Millo `in' the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the broad place at the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, 7 Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him: 8 with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Jehovah our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying, 10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide the siege in Jerusalem? 11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Jehovah our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 12 Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and upon it shall ye burn incense? 13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any wise able to deliver their land out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? 15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you after this manner, neither believe ye him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of my hand? 16 And his servants spake yet more against Jehovah God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 He wrote also letters, to rail on Jehovah, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of my hand. 18 And they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. 19 And they spake of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands. 20 And Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven. 21 And Jehovah sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth from his own bowels slew him there with the sword. 22 Thus Jehovah saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all `others', and guided them on every side. 23 And many brought gifts unto Jehovah to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth. 24 In those days Hezekiah was sick even unto death: and he prayed unto Jehovah; and he spake unto him, and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Jehovah came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of goodly vessels; 28 store-houses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and flocks in folds. 29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 Howbeit in `the business of' the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead. Chapter 33 1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, after the abominations of the nations whom Jehovah cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baalim, and made Asheroth, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, whereof Jehovah said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Jehovah. 6 He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practised augury, and used enchantments, and practised sorcery, and dealt with them that had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. 7 And he set the graven image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: 8 neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances `given' by Moses. 9 And Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did evil more than did the nations whom Jehovah destroyed before the children of Israel. 10 And Jehovah spake to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed. 11 Wherefore Jehovah brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in distress, he besought Jehovah his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 And he prayed unto him; and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah he was God. 14 Now after this he built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he compassed Ophel about `with it', and raised it up to a very great height: and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 And he took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of Jehovah, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of Jehovah, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 16 And he built up the altar of Jehovah, and offered thereon sacrifices of peace-offerings and of thanksgiving, and commanded Judah to serve Jehovah, the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only unto Jehovah their God. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also, and how `God' was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the graven images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead. 21 Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed unto all the graven images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them. 23 And he humbled not himself before Jehovah, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more. 24 And his servants conspired against him, and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead. Chapter 34 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and walked in the ways of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images. 4 And they brake down the altars of the Baalim in his presence; and the sun-images that were on high above them he hewed down; and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves `of them' that had sacrificed unto them. 5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And `so did he' in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, in their ruins round about. 7 And he brake down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the graven images into powder, and hewed down all the sun-images throughout all the land of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem. 8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of Jehovah his God. 9 And they came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they delivered it into the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of Jehovah; and the workmen that wrought in the house of Jehovah gave it to mend and repair the house; 11 even to the carpenters and to the builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12 And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and `others of' the Levites, all that were skilful with instruments of music. 13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and set forward all that did the work in every manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters. 14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of Jehovah, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of Jehovah `given' by Moses. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and moreover brought back word to the king, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they are doing. 17 And they have emptied out the money that was found in the house of Jehovah, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen. 18 And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read therein before the king. 19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. 20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 21 Go ye, inquire of Jehovah for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of Jehovah that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of Jehovah, to do according unto all that is written in this book. 22 So Hilkiah, and they whom the king `had commanded', went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter;) and they spake to her to that effect. 23 And she said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Tell ye the man that sent you unto me, 24 Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore is my wrath poured out upon this place, and it shall not be quenched. 26 But unto the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Jehovah, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: As touching the words which thou hast heard, 27 because thy heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and hast humbled thyself before me, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith Jehovah. 28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof. And they brought back word to the king. 29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of Jehovah, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, both great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of Jehovah. 31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 And he caused all that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand `to it'. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were found in Israel to serve, even to serve Jehovah their God. All his days they departed not from following Jehovah, the God of their fathers.




God Works for You

Published by John Piper for reading on May 21st.

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. ( Psalms 121:1 Chapter 121 1 I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: From whence shall my help come? –3)

Do you need help? I do. Where do you look for help?

When the psalmist lifted up his eyes to the hills and asked, “From where does my help come?” he answered, “My help comes from the Lord” — not from the hills, but from the God who made the hills.

So, he reminded himself of two great truths: One is that God is a mighty Creator over all the problems of life; the other is that God never sleeps.

God is a tireless worker. Think of God as a worker in your life. Yes, it is amazing. We are prone to think of ourselves as workers in God’s life. But the Bible wants us first to be amazed that God is a worker in our lives: “From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts [or works] for those who wait for him” ( Isaiah 64:4 4 For from of old men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen a God besides thee, who worketh for him that waiteth for him. ).

God is working for us around the clock. He does not take days off and he does not sleep. In fact he is so eager to work for us that he goes around looking for more work to do for people who will trust him: “The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him” ( 2 Chronicles 16:9 9 For the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly; for from henceforth thou shalt have wars. ).

God loves to show his tireless power and wisdom and goodness by working for people who trust him. Jesus was the main way the Father showed this: “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” ( Mark 10:45 45 For the Son of man also came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. ). Jesus works for his followers. He serves them.

This is what we must believe — really believe — in order to “rejoice always” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:16 16 Rejoice always; ) and “[give] thanks always and for everything” ( Ephesians 5:20 20 giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; ) and have “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus. ), and to “not be anxious about anything” ( Philippians 4:6 6 In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. ) and hate our lives “in this world” ( John 12:25 25 He that loveth his life loseth it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. ) and “love [our] neighbor as [ourselves]” ( Matthew 22:39 39 And a second like `unto it' is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. ).

What a truth! What a reality! God is up all night and all day to work for those who wait for him.



The Importance of Prayer Partners

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on May 21st.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm `alone'? 12 And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Keeping your arms raised for a period of time might not seem like a difficult task—until you try it. No matter how strong you are, you’ll eventually find it impossible to hold them up, as if a 20-pound weight were strapped to each one.

In Exodus 17:8-16 8 Then came Amalek, and fought with Israel in Rephidim. 9 And Moses said unto Joshua, Choose us out men, and go out, fight with Amalek: to-morrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand. 10 So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11 And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12 But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. 13 And Joshua discomfited Amalek and his people with the edge of the sword. 14 And Jehovah said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. 15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-nissi; 16 And he said, Jehovah hath sworn: Jehovah will have war with Amalek from generation to generation. , Moses was faithfully praying on a hill while his soldiers were below, fighting the Amalekites. As long as his arms were raised, the Israelites prevailed. But he couldn’t maintain this posture on his own for very long. He needed Aaron and Hur to hold up his hands.

The Lord never expected Moses to do the job by himself. Nor is He going to let any one of us be absolutely independent—that isn’t how He operates. God has built His church in such a way that the world will recognize Christians by their love toward one another ( John 13:35 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. ). As we ultimately depend on God, we likewise interdepend upon each other.

Everybody needs an Aaron and a Hur—people who can hold up our drooping arms and help us in our intercessions before the Lord. We don’t need helpers who react with judgmental comments or platitudes. Rather, our prayer partners should simply come alongside and intercede with and for us.

Ask God to bring people into your life who can faithfully and lovingly lift you up in prayer without judging you or expecting anything in return. And if you’re not in Moses’ situation right now, perhaps you can be someone else’s Aaron or Hur. Why not ask God to lead you to a person who would appreciate intercession?

Bible in One Year: 2 Chronicles 32-34 Chapter 32 1 After these things, and this faithfulness, Sennacherib king of Assyria came, and entered into Judah, and encamped against the fortified cities, and thought to win them for himself. 2 And when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib was come, and that he was purposed to fight against Jerusalem, 3 he took counsel with his princes and his mighty men to stop the waters of the fountains which were without the city; and they helped him. 4 So there was gathered much people together, and they stopped all the fountains, and the brook that flowed through the midst of the land, saying, Why should the kings of Assyria come, and find much water? 5 And he took courage, and built up all the wall that was broken down, and raised `it' up to the towers, and the other wall without, and strengthened Millo `in' the city of David, and made weapons and shields in abundance. 6 And he set captains of war over the people, and gathered them together to him in the broad place at the gate of the city, and spake comfortably to them, saying, 7 Be strong and of good courage, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that is with him; for there is a greater with us than with him: 8 with him is an arm of flesh; but with us is Jehovah our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 9 After this did Sennacherib king of Assyria send his servants to Jerusalem, (now he was before Lachish, and all his power with him,) unto Hezekiah king of Judah, and unto all Judah that were at Jerusalem, saying, 10 Thus saith Sennacherib king of Assyria, Whereon do ye trust, that ye abide the siege in Jerusalem? 11 Doth not Hezekiah persuade you, to give you over to die by famine and by thirst, saying, Jehovah our God will deliver us out of the hand of the king of Assyria? 12 Hath not the same Hezekiah taken away his high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, saying, Ye shall worship before one altar, and upon it shall ye burn incense? 13 Know ye not what I and my fathers have done unto all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands in any wise able to deliver their land out of my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed, that could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you out of my hand? 15 Now therefore let not Hezekiah deceive you, nor persuade you after this manner, neither believe ye him; for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people out of my hand, and out of the hand of my fathers: how much less shall your God deliver you out of my hand? 16 And his servants spake yet more against Jehovah God, and against his servant Hezekiah. 17 He wrote also letters, to rail on Jehovah, the God of Israel, and to speak against him, saying, As the gods of the nations of the lands, which have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of my hand. 18 And they cried with a loud voice in the Jews' language unto the people of Jerusalem that were on the wall, to affright them, and to trouble them; that they might take the city. 19 And they spake of the God of Jerusalem, as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, which are the work of men's hands. 20 And Hezekiah the king, and Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, prayed because of this, and cried to heaven. 21 And Jehovah sent an angel, who cut off all the mighty men of valor, and the leaders and captains, in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned with shame of face to his own land. And when he was come into the house of his god, they that came forth from his own bowels slew him there with the sword. 22 Thus Jehovah saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria, and from the hand of all `others', and guided them on every side. 23 And many brought gifts unto Jehovah to Jerusalem, and precious things to Hezekiah king of Judah; so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations from thenceforth. 24 In those days Hezekiah was sick even unto death: and he prayed unto Jehovah; and he spake unto him, and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. 26 Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of Jehovah came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah. 27 And Hezekiah had exceeding much riches and honor: and he provided him treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, and for spices, and for shields, and for all manner of goodly vessels; 28 store-houses also for the increase of grain and new wine and oil; and stalls for all manner of beasts, and flocks in folds. 29 Moreover he provided him cities, and possessions of flocks and herds in abundance; for God had given him very much substance. 30 This same Hezekiah also stopped the upper spring of the waters of Gihon, and brought them straight down on the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all his works. 31 Howbeit in `the business of' the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah, and his good deeds, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz, in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 33 And Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the ascent of the sepulchres of the sons of David: and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem did him honor at his death. And Manasseh his son reigned in his stead. Chapter 33 1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, after the abominations of the nations whom Jehovah cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; and he reared up altars for the Baalim, and made Asheroth, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4 And he built altars in the house of Jehovah, whereof Jehovah said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever. 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of Jehovah. 6 He also made his children to pass through the fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom; and he practised augury, and used enchantments, and practised sorcery, and dealt with them that had familiar spirits, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of Jehovah, to provoke him to anger. 7 And he set the graven image of the idol, which he had made, in the house of God, of which God said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever: 8 neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from off the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them, even all the law and the statutes and the ordinances `given' by Moses. 9 And Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did evil more than did the nations whom Jehovah destroyed before the children of Israel. 10 And Jehovah spake to Manasseh, and to his people; but they gave no heed. 11 Wherefore Jehovah brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh in chains, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon. 12 And when he was in distress, he besought Jehovah his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 And he prayed unto him; and he was entreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Jehovah he was God. 14 Now after this he built an outer wall to the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance at the fish gate; and he compassed Ophel about `with it', and raised it up to a very great height: and he put valiant captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 And he took away the foreign gods, and the idol out of the house of Jehovah, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of Jehovah, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city. 16 And he built up the altar of Jehovah, and offered thereon sacrifices of peace-offerings and of thanksgiving, and commanded Judah to serve Jehovah, the God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people sacrificed still in the high places, but only unto Jehovah their God. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, and his prayer unto his God, and the words of the seers that spake to him in the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, behold, they are written among the acts of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also, and how `God' was entreated of him, and all his sin and his trespass, and the places wherein he built high places, and set up the Asherim and the graven images, before he humbled himself: behold, they are written in the history of Hozai. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house: and Amon his son reigned in his stead. 21 Amon was twenty and two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, as did Manasseh his father; and Amon sacrificed unto all the graven images which Manasseh his father had made, and served them. 23 And he humbled not himself before Jehovah, as Manasseh his father had humbled himself; but this same Amon trespassed more and more. 24 And his servants conspired against him, and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land slew all them that had conspired against king Amon; and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his stead. Chapter 34 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. 2 And he did that which was right in the eyes of Jehovah, and walked in the ways of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. 3 For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father; and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images. 4 And they brake down the altars of the Baalim in his presence; and the sun-images that were on high above them he hewed down; and the Asherim, and the graven images, and the molten images, he brake in pieces, and made dust of them, and strewed it upon the graves `of them' that had sacrificed unto them. 5 And he burnt the bones of the priests upon their altars, and purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6 And `so did he' in the cities of Manasseh and Ephraim and Simeon, even unto Naphtali, in their ruins round about. 7 And he brake down the altars, and beat the Asherim and the graven images into powder, and hewed down all the sun-images throughout all the land of Israel, and returned to Jerusalem. 8 Now in the eighteenth year of his reign, when he had purged the land and the house, he sent Shaphan the son of Azaliah, and Maaseiah the governor of the city, and Joah the son of Joahaz the recorder, to repair the house of Jehovah his God. 9 And they came to Hilkiah the high priest, and delivered the money that was brought into the house of God, which the Levites, the keepers of the threshold, had gathered of the hand of Manasseh and Ephraim, and of all the remnant of Israel, and of all Judah and Benjamin, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 And they delivered it into the hand of the workmen that had the oversight of the house of Jehovah; and the workmen that wrought in the house of Jehovah gave it to mend and repair the house; 11 even to the carpenters and to the builders gave they it, to buy hewn stone, and timber for couplings, and to make beams for the houses which the kings of Judah had destroyed. 12 And the men did the work faithfully: and the overseers of them were Jahath and Obadiah, the Levites, of the sons of Merari; and Zechariah and Meshullam, of the sons of the Kohathites, to set it forward; and `others of' the Levites, all that were skilful with instruments of music. 13 Also they were over the bearers of burdens, and set forward all that did the work in every manner of service: and of the Levites there were scribes, and officers, and porters. 14 And when they brought out the money that was brought into the house of Jehovah, Hilkiah the priest found the book of the law of Jehovah `given' by Moses. 15 And Hilkiah answered and said to Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of Jehovah. And Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan. 16 And Shaphan carried the book to the king, and moreover brought back word to the king, saying, All that was committed to thy servants, they are doing. 17 And they have emptied out the money that was found in the house of Jehovah, and have delivered it into the hand of the overseers, and into the hand of the workmen. 18 And Shaphan the scribe told the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read therein before the king. 19 And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. 20 And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 21 Go ye, inquire of Jehovah for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found; for great is the wrath of Jehovah that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of Jehovah, to do according unto all that is written in this book. 22 So Hilkiah, and they whom the king `had commanded', went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter;) and they spake to her to that effect. 23 And she said unto them, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: Tell ye the man that sent you unto me, 24 Thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will bring evil upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof, even all the curses that are written in the book which they have read before the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands; therefore is my wrath poured out upon this place, and it shall not be quenched. 26 But unto the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Jehovah, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel: As touching the words which thou hast heard, 27 because thy heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and hast humbled thyself before me, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith Jehovah. 28 Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof. And they brought back word to the king. 29 Then the king sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 And the king went up to the house of Jehovah, and all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the priests, and the Levites, and all the people, both great and small: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of Jehovah. 31 And the king stood in his place, and made a covenant before Jehovah, to walk after Jehovah, and to keep his commandments, and his testimonies, and his statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. 32 And he caused all that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand `to it'. And the inhabitants of Jerusalem did according to the covenant of God, the God of their fathers. 33 And Josiah took away all the abominations out of all the countries that pertained to the children of Israel, and made all that were found in Israel to serve, even to serve Jehovah their God. All his days they departed not from following Jehovah, the God of their fathers.




Daily Bible - May 21

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 21st.

Reading for Today:

  • 2 Samuel 13:1 Chapter 13 1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. –14:33
  • Psalms 66:1-7 Chapter 66 1 Make a joyful noise unto God, all the earth: 2 Sing forth the glory of his name: Make his praise glorious. 3 Say unto God, How terrible are thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. 4 All the earth shall worship thee, And shall sing unto thee; They shall sing to thy name. Selah 5 Come, and see the works of God; `He is' terrible in his doing toward the children of men. 6 He turned the sea into dry land; They went through the river on foot: There did we rejoice in him. 7 He ruleth by his might for ever; His eyes observe the nations: Let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
  • Proverbs 16:25-26 25 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, But the end thereof are the ways of death. 26 The appetite of the laboring man laboreth for him; For his mouth urgeth him `thereto'.
  • John 6:52-71 52 The Jews therefore strove one with another, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Jesus therefore said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves. 54 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he that eateth me, he also shall live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven: not as the fathers ate, and died; he that eateth this bread shall live for ever. 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when the heard `this', said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it? 61 But Jesus knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said unto them, Doth this cause you to stumble? 62 `What' then if ye should behold the Son of man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, are are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who it was that should betray him. 65 And he said, For this cause have I said unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it be given unto him of the Father. 66 Upon this many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. 67 Jesus said therefore unto the twelve, Would ye also go away? 68 Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we have believed and know that thou art the Holy One of God. 70 Jesus answered them, Did not I choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 Now he spake of Judas `the son' of Simon Iscariot, for he it was that should betray him, `being' one of the twelve.

Notes:

2 Samuel 13:15 hated her. Amnon’s “love” (v. 1) was nothing but sensual desire that, once gratified, turned to hatred. His sudden revulsion was the result of Tamar’s unwilling resistance, the atrocity of what he had done, feelings of remorse, and dread of exposure and punishment. All of these rendered her intolerably undesirable to him.

2 Samuel 14:13 against the people of God. The woman asserted that by allowing Absalom to remain in exile, David had jeopardized the future welfare of Israel. If he would be so generous to a son he did not know in a family he did not know, would he not forgive his own son?

Psalm 66:4 All the earth shall worship You. This praise is not only an acknowledgment of God’s universal Lordship, but also an intimation of the people’s belief in a future worldwide kingdom where God will be worshiped (Is. 66:23; Zech. 14:16; Phil. 2:10, 11).

John 6:64 Jesus knew. Reminiscent of Jesus’ words in 2:23–25, Jesus knew the hearts of men, including those disciples who followed Him. He supernaturally knew that many did not believe in Him as Messiah and Son of God so He did not entrust Himself to them. These false disciples were simply attracted to the physical phenomena (miracles and food) and failed to understand the true significance of Jesus’ teaching (v. 61).

DAY 21: If we accept the scholarly view that the surviving ancient manuscripts of 1 and 2 Samuel were poorly preserved, what should be our attitude toward these books?

Given the challenges involved in hand-copying and preserving scrolls, it is a wonder that we have the ancient documents that we do have. Our attitude ought to lean more toward amazement that we have such few discrepancies rather than toward concern over the ones that puzzle and challenge us.

Many of the discoveries in the science of analyzing ancient manuscripts involve the typical errors that commonly appear when handwritten documents are copied. For example, when two lines of text end with the same word or words, the eye of the copyist tends to skip the second line, deleting it completely. Careful comparisons between manuscripts and reconstruction of the text often reveal these simple errors.

In the case of 1 and 2 Samuel we have two ancient text families: 1) the Masoretic text in the Hebrew language and 2) the LXX (Septuagint) text in Greek that was translated by Jewish scholars in about 100 B.C. Comparing the two, it is clear that the two differ in more places with the Samuel books than with other Old Testament books. There are frequent disagreements between the texts when it comes to numbers. In settling these discrepancies, the age and language of the Masoretic text is generally considered a closer version of the original manuscript unless grammar and context indicate a copying error.

When thinking about the possibility of textual errors in the Scriptures, it is crucial to remember this: The central doctrines of the Christian faith are never based on a single verse of Scripture, nor do they rely on a disputed section of Scripture. God’s plan of salvation and the main outline of Christian teaching can be found throughout Scripture.

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

May 21 - How His Kingdom Comes

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 21st.

“‘“Your kingdom come”’” ( Matthew 6:10 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. ).

It is obvious that Christ is not physically ruling on earth today, but one day He will. Therefore we should pray that God would hasten that time when His Son returns to establish His earthly kingdom, defeat sin, and ensure obedience to God’s will. After a thousand years, this kingdom will merge into the eternal kingdom, and His earthly and heavenly rule will be the same (see Rev. 20–21).

There are two major ways in which God’s kingdom comes, and they ought to inform our prayers as we ask Him to complete His purpose. First, His kingdom comes by means of conversions. Thus we should pray for sinners to repent ( Mark 1:14 14 Now after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, –15) and to embrace the gospel ( Luke 9:61 61 And another also said, I will follow thee, Lord; but first suffer me to bid farewell to them that are at my house. –62). Our prayers must be simply that the Spirit will add new citizens to God’s kingdom.

Second, the kingdom comes through believers’ commitment. If we pray as Jesus commands, we will constantly ask that our lives and those of other Christians might obediently honor and glorify God in heaven.

The kingdom that we hope and pray for is of infinite value. Jesus elsewhere teaches that it “is like a treasure hidden in the field” or like “one pearl of great value” (Matt. 13:44–46). When the kingdom fully comes at His return, God will have completely answered our prayers. As the hymn says, “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun does its successive journeys run. His kingdom spread from shore to shore, ’til moon shall wax and wane no more.”

Ask Yourself

How focused are you on these twin elements of kingdom advance? How do these priorities show themselves in your daily choices and activities? If they are commonly missing from your field of reference, ask yourself why this is the case.

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

Evaluating Our Suffering

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 21st.

“By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler” ( 1 Peter 4:15 15 For let none of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evil-doer, or as a meddler in other men's matters: ).

We must not presume that God blesses every possible kind of suffering a Christian may become involved in.

It’s quite obvious that some sufferings and trials are not part of God’s plan for us. Believers should never suffer because they’ve murdered, robbed, or done evil. But in today’s verse Peter mentions a fourth category—“a troublesome meddler”—whose meaning is not as apparent and whose application might be more in dispute.

“A troublesome meddler” interferes with everyone else’s business, and Paul says we should avoid such persons (1 Thess. 4:11; 2 Thess. 3:14; 1 Tim. 5:13). But I believe Peter also uses the term to refer to a political agitator, someone who actively tries to disrupt the normal function of the government. If this understanding is correct, then Peter is commanding Christians to be good citizens in their non-Christian cultures (cf. Rom. 13:1-7). We are to go to work, live peacefully, witness to others, and exalt Christ.

Believers are not to act like radicals who are intent on overthrowing existing authority or imposing Christian standards on society. Getting into trouble with your employer or being fired by him because of disruptive activities, even those done in the name of Christ, is not honorable but disgraceful.

Most believers would never even consider the possibility of being involved in militia groups that are engaged in separatist activities and are violently opposed to all legitimate governmental authority. Yet some Christians wrongly see validity in strategies of civil disobedience and violence as they oppose some government-sanctioned acts, specifically abortion. They are not satisfied with simply providing biblical counsel or material and educational assistance at a local pro-life agency, as many believers have done over the past twenty-five years.

Therefore, if we would seek to promote what is right and redress injustices, we must use scriptural discernment regarding which strategies to implement or support. Similarly, the Lord wants us to evaluate all our trials and sufferings and be sure they are placing us in the center of His will. Otherwise, we can claim to suffer righteously when we are not and merely be “a troublesome meddler,” which is not pleasing to God.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that your church would always have biblical reasons for supporting any efforts at redressing social wrongs.

For Further Study

What areas does Peter include in 1 Peter 2:11-19 11 Beloved, I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lust, which war against the soul; 12 having your behavior seemly among the Gentiles; that, wherein they speak against you as evil-doers, they may by your good works, which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Be subject to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether to the king, as supreme; 14 or unto governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evil-doers and for praise to them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that by well-doing ye should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18 Servants, `be' in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is acceptable, if for conscience toward God a man endureth griefs, suffering wrongfully. when he encourages obedience to authority?

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

Beyond Doubt to Hope (Thomas)

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 21st.
The twelve apostles included "Thomas" (Matt. 10:3).

Jesus can replace your doubts with hope.

When Jesus was crucified, Thomas was shattered. He loved Jesus deeply and wanted always to be with Him. He was willing even to die with Him, but now his greatest fear had been realized: Jesus was gone.

Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus appeared to them after His resurrection. John 20:25 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe. says, "The other disciples therefore were saying to [Thomas], 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.'" Thomas was emotionally spent and unwilling to subject himself to any further pain. So he retreated behind a wall of empiricism, saying in effect, "I'm not going to believe this on your word alone. I need proof! I must see Jesus myself."

Because of that, people have labeled him "Doubting Thomas," but remember, none of the disciples believed the resurrection until Jesus appeared to them. Thomas wasn't a compulsive doubter—he was a loving pessimist.

As it turned out, Thomas didn't need as much proof as he thought. When Jesus finally appeared to him and invited him to touch His hands and side, Thomas didn't do either. Instead he immediately cried out, "My Lord and my God!" (v. 28)—which is the greatest single confession of faith ever made.

Thomas struggled with doubt because he didn't understand what Jesus said about His own death and resurrection, and he wasn't with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them. He failed to understand God's Word and forsook the company of believers—two common mistakes that can lead to doubt.

Jesus doesn't condemn you when you have doubts. Instead, He gives you His Spirit, His Word, and the fellowship of His people to encourage and strengthen you. So commune with the Spirit in prayer, know the Word well, and never forsake the fellowship of believers. That's how to change your doubts into hope!

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for the presence of His Spirit, the power of His word, and the fellowship of His people.

For Further Study

Read Luke 24:13-35 13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was threescore furlongs from Jerusalem. 14 And they communed with each other of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, while they communed and questioned together, that Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What communications are these that ye have one with another, as ye walk? And they stood still, looking sad. 18 And one of them, named Cleopas, answering said unto him, Dost thou alone sojourn in Jerusalem and not know the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel. Yea and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things came to pass. 22 Moreover certain women of our company amazed us, having been early at the tomb; 23 and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them that were with us went to the tomb, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 And he said unto them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go further. 29 And they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in to abide with them. 30 And it came to pass, when he had sat down with them to meat, he took the bread and blessed; and breaking `it' he gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up that very hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they rehearsed the things `that happened' in the way, and how he was known of them in the breaking of the bread. .

  • Why didn't the two disciples recognize Jesus?
  • How did Jesus change their doubts to hope?

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 May 21st

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on May 21st.

1 Peter 2:3 3 if ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious:

IF:—THEN, this is not a matter to be taken for granted concerning every one of the human race. "If:"—then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious. "If:"—then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is needful to enquire whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favour which may not be a matter for heart-searching.

But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content whilst there is any such thing as an "if" about his having tasted that the Lord is gracious. A jealous and holy distrust of self may give rise to the question even in the believer's heart, but the continuance of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest without a desperate struggle to clasp the Saviour in the arms of faith, and say, "I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him." Do not rest, O believer, till thou hast a full assurance of thine interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy thee till, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with thy spirit, thou art certified that thou art a child of God. Oh, trifle not here; let no "perhaps" and "peradventure" and "if" and "maybe" satisfy thy soul. Build on eternal verities, and verily build upon them. Get the sure mercies of David, and surely get them. Let thine anchor be cast into that which is within the veil, and see to it that thy soul be linked to the anchor by a cable that will not break. Advance beyond these dreary "ifs;" abide no more in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the Canaan of peace, where the Canaanite still lingers, but where the land ceaseth not to flow with milk and honey.

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for May 21st

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on May 21st.

Genesis 42:2 2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is grain in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die.

FAMINE pinched all the nations, and it seemed inevitable that Jacob and his family should suffer great want; but the God of providence, who never forgets the objects of electing love, had stored a granary for His people by giving the Egyptians warning of the scarcity, and leading them to treasure up the grain of the years of plenty. Little did Jacob expect deliverance from Egypt, but there was the corn in store for him. Believer, though all things are apparently against thee, rest assured that God has made a reservation on thy behalf; in the roll of thy griefs there is a saving clause. Somehow He will deliver thee, and somewhere He will provide for thee. The quarter from which thy rescue shall arise may be a very unexpected one, but help will assuredly come in thine extremity, and thou shalt magnify the name of the Lord. If men do not feed thee, ravens shall; and if earth yield not wheat, heaven shall drop with manna. Therefore be of good courage, and rest quietly in the Lord. God can make the sun rise in the west if He pleases, and make the source of distress the channel of delight. The corn in Egypt was all in the hands of the beloved Joseph; he opened or closed the granaries at will. And so the riches of providence are all in the absolute power of our Lord Jesus, who will dispense them liberally to His people. Joseph was abundantly ready to succour his own family; and Jesus is unceasing in His faithful care for His brethren. Our business is to go after the help which is provided for us: we must not sit still in despondency, but bestir ourselves. Prayer will bear us soon into the presence of our royal Brother: once before His throne we have only to ask and have: His stores are not exhausted; there is corn still: His heart is not hard, He will give the corn to us. Lord, forgive our unbelief, and this evening constrain us to draw largely from Thy fulness and receive grace for grace.

Recent Audio Messages

FIRST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LAST
 

The Rich Fool

By John MacArthur on May 21st, 2024

Length: 00

 

The Secret of Health

By C. H. Spurgeon on May 2nd, 2016

Length: 50:00

 

The Most Misunderstood Parable B

By John MacArthur on May 20th, 2024

Length: 00

 

Marrow and Fatness

By C. H. Spurgeon on Apr 2nd, 2016

Length: 49:00

 

The Most Misunderstood Parable

By John MacArthur on May 17th, 2024

Length: 00

 

One Greater Than the Temple

By C. H. Spurgeon on Mar 26th, 2016

Length: 49:00

 

The Most Misunderstood Parable A

By John MacArthur on May 17th, 2024

Length: 00

 

Cheering Words and Solemn Warnings

By C. H. Spurgeon on Feb 27th, 2016

Length: 48:00

FIRST 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 LAST

Recent Bible Studies

 
Why is Jesus to be worshipped as God?

Posted Jun 26th, 2016 by The HopeLife Bible Team

In this study, we delve into what the Bible says about the divinity of Jesus Christ...

Read More