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A Spiritual Pottery Lesson

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on January 24th.

Isaiah 64:8 8 But now, O Jehovah, thou art our Father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

I decided to take a cue from the prophet Jeremiah, who visited a potter’s studio at the Lord’s request (Jer. 18:1-6). So I stopped by an art institute to observe a class—my sole purpose was to better understand the biblical metaphor of God as the Potter and people as the clay. Here’s what I learned when I walked into a room full of whirring pottery wheels.

The Potter has power over the clay. He can do what He chooses. We humans do have limited free will, but God’s will is greater. So even if we try to resist His sculpting hand, He continues to work toward His purpose. The master Craftsman has set out to achieve a particular design in us, and He has a plan to make it take shape.

The Potter works the clay with patience. Since God knows that spiritual maturity can’t be rushed, He forms our Christlike character slowly—one experience at a time. That means He must also have perseverance, as human clay sometimes shifts off-center and becomes misshapen. Just as clay can be fashioned only when it sits precisely in the middle of the wheel, Christians must be in the Father’s will to grow spiritually. The Potter maneuvers the drifting believer back into position and begins remolding. He never discards His vessels but tirelessly works to perfect them.

Our God is a personal Potter. His creations reflect His personality and character. And His Spirit is poured into each human vessel so He can be an intimate part of our life. The result is a work of true beauty—a saint wholly committed to Him.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 25-27 Chapter 25 1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they take for me an offering: of every man whose heart maketh him willing ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them: gold, and silver, and brass, 4 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' `hair', 5 and rams' skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia wood, 6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense, 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the furniture thereof, even so shall ye make it. 10 And they shall make an ark of acacia wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four feet thereof; and two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 13 And thou shalt make staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings on the sides of the ark, wherewith to bear the ark. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17 And thou shalt make a mercy-seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half `shall be' the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold; of beaten work shalt thou make them, at the two ends of the mercy-seat. 19 And make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end: of one piece with the mercy-seat shall ye make the cherubim on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubim shall spread out their wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21 And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 23 And thou shalt make a table of acacia wood: two cubits `shall be' the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of a handbreadth round about; and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27 Close by the border shall the rings be, for places for the staves to bear the table. 28 And thou shalt make the staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and the spoons thereof, and the flagons thereof, and the bowls thereof, wherewith to pour out: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30 And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me alway. 31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made, even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knops, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it. 32 And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof: 33 three cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three cups made like almond-blossoms in the other branch, a knop and a flower: so for the six branches going out of the candlestick: 34 and in the candlestick four cups made like almond-blossoms, the knops thereof, and the flowers thereof; 35 and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of one piece with it; the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the lamps thereof, seven: and they shall light the lamps thereof, to give light over against it. 38 And the snuffers thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these vessels. 40 And see that thou make them after their pattern, which hath been showed thee in the mount. Chapter 26 1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with cherubim the work of the skilful workman shalt thou make them. 2 The length of each curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: all the curtains shall have one measure. 3 Five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and `the other' five curtains shall be coupled one to another. 4 And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is outmost in the second coupling. 5 Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the second coupling; the loops shall be opposite one to another. 6 And thou shalt make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to another with the clasps: and the tabernacle shall be one `whole'. 7 And thou shalt make curtains of goats' `hair' for a tent over the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make them. 8 The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: the eleven curtains shall have one measure. 9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double over the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tent. 10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops upon the edge of the curtain which is `outmost in' the second coupling. 11 And thou shalt make fifty clasps of brass, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. 12 And the overhanging part that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the back of the tabernacle. 13 And the cubit on the one side, and the cubit on the other side, of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it. 14 And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of sealskins above. 15 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing up. 16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half the breadth of each board. 17 Two tenons shall there be in each board, joined one to another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle. 18 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side southward. 19 And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board for its two tenons. 20 And for the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, twenty boards, 21 and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 22 And for the hinder part of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards. 23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the hinder part. 24 And they shall be double beneath, and in like manner they shall be entire unto the top thereof unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. 25 And there shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 26 And thou shalt make bars of acacia wood: five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, 27 and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the hinder part westward. 28 And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall pass through from end to end. 29 And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold. 30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which hath been showed thee in the mount. 31 And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubim the work of the skilful workman shall it be made. 32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold; their hooks `shall be' of gold, upon four sockets of silver. 33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the clasps, and shalt bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall separate unto you between the holy place and the most holy. 34 And thou shalt put the mercy-seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. 35 And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side. 36 And thou shalt make a screen for the door of the Tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer. 37 And thou shalt make for the screen five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold: their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them. Chapter 27 1 And thou shalt make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof; the horns thereof shall be of one piece with it: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. 3 And thou shalt make its pots to take away its ashes, and its shovels, and its basins, and its flesh-hooks, and its firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. 4 And thou shalt make for it a grating of network of brass: and upon the net shalt thou make four brazen rings in the four corners thereof. 5 And thou shalt put it under the ledge round the altar beneath, that the net may reach halfway up the altar. 6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with brass. 7 And the staves thereof shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, in bearing it. 8 Hollow with planks shalt thou make it: as it hath been showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it. 9 And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen a hundred cubits long for one side: 10 and the pillars thereof shall be twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets `shall be' of silver. 11 And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings a hundred cubits long, and the pillars thereof twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. 12 And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits; their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. 13 And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits. 14 The hangings for the one side `of the gate' shall be fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. 15 And for the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. 16 And for the gate of the court shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four. 17 All the pillars of the court round about shall be filleted with silver; their hooks of silver, and their sockets of brass. 18 The length of the court shall be a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits, of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass. 19 All the instruments of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass. 20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. 21 In the tent of meeting, without the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Jehovah: it shall be a statue for ever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.




Served in Serving Others

Published by John Piper for reading on January 24th.

Jesus said to them, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened?” ( Mark 8:17 17 And Jesus perceiving it saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? do ye not yet perceive, neither understand? have ye your heart hardened? )

After Jesus had fed both the 5,000 and the 4,000 with only a few loaves and fish, the disciples got in a boat without enough bread for themselves.

When they began to discuss their plight, Jesus said, “Why are you discussing the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand?” ( Mark 8:17 17 And Jesus perceiving it saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? do ye not yet perceive, neither understand? have ye your heart hardened? ). What didn’t they understand?

They did not understand the meaning of the leftovers, namely, that Jesus will take care of them when they take care of others. Jesus says,

“When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?” ( Mark 8:19 19 When I brake the five loaves among the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. –21)

Understand what? The leftovers.

The leftovers were for the servers. In fact, the first time there were twelve servers and twelve basketfuls left over ( Mark 6:43 43 And they took up broken pieces, twelve basketfuls, and also of the fishes. ) — one whole basket for each server. The second time there were seven basketfuls left over — seven, the number of abundant completeness.

What didn’t they understand? That Jesus would take care of them. You can’t out-give Jesus. When you spend your life for others, your needs will be met. “My God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” ( Philippians 4:19 19 And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ).



What God Thinks of Slothfulness

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on January 24th.

Ephesians 2:8-10 8 for by grace have ye been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, `it is' the gift of God; 9 not of works, that no man should glory. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them.

Slothfulness is an act of rebellion toward the Lord. He created us with a sense of purpose so that we would be productive. When we choose to be lazy, we are guilty of wastefulness because we have each received a special gift that is being squandered ( 1 Peter 4:10 10 according as each hath received a gift, ministering it among yourselves, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God; ).

Lazy people live in a bubble of self-absorption. The only thing that matters to them is that they get what they want. This is in direct conflict with Scripture, which says we are to regard one another as more important than ourselves (Phil. 2:3). For instance, when we are deliberately slow on the job, we are not regarding our boss as important.

We are called to walk in discipline and service to God, and He is displeased if we approach work with a negligent attitude (Jer. 48:10). Whatever we do in life, God will reward us for doing it well. I bagged groceries and washed cars to make money for school. No matter what the task was, I always worked in the best way I knew how. That was something I learned from my mother, who worked 40 years in a textile mill and never complained.

People often make excuses for their laziness—they blame their home environment, poor self-esteem, or a negative attitude. But God does not accept our excuses. He gives us clear instructions for overcoming laziness: “Go to the ant, O sluggard; observe her ways and be wise” (Prov. 6:6). The ant works, prepares, and provides. In other words, we are to work with diligence in all that we do. Our personal responsibility to Jesus Christ is always to give our best effort.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 25-27 Chapter 25 1 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they take for me an offering: of every man whose heart maketh him willing ye shall take my offering. 3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them: gold, and silver, and brass, 4 and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' `hair', 5 and rams' skins dyed red, and sealskins, and acacia wood, 6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense, 7 onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate. 8 And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. 9 According to all that I show thee, the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the furniture thereof, even so shall ye make it. 10 And they shall make an ark of acacia wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 11 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. 12 And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four feet thereof; and two rings shall be on the one side of it, and two rings on the other side of it. 13 And thou shalt make staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. 14 And thou shalt put the staves into the rings on the sides of the ark, wherewith to bear the ark. 15 The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it. 16 And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. 17 And thou shalt make a mercy-seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half `shall be' the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. 18 And thou shalt make two cherubim of gold; of beaten work shalt thou make them, at the two ends of the mercy-seat. 19 And make one cherub at the one end, and one cherub at the other end: of one piece with the mercy-seat shall ye make the cherubim on the two ends thereof. 20 And the cherubim shall spread out their wings on high, covering the mercy-seat with their wings, with their faces one to another; toward the mercy-seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21 And thou shalt put the mercy-seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. 22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy-seat, from between the two cherubim which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel. 23 And thou shalt make a table of acacia wood: two cubits `shall be' the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. 24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about. 25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of a handbreadth round about; and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about. 26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof. 27 Close by the border shall the rings be, for places for the staves to bear the table. 28 And thou shalt make the staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them. 29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and the spoons thereof, and the flagons thereof, and the bowls thereof, wherewith to pour out: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30 And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me alway. 31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made, even its base, and its shaft; its cups, its knops, and its flowers, shall be of one piece with it. 32 And there shall be six branches going out of the sides thereof; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side thereof, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side thereof: 33 three cups made like almond-blossoms in one branch, a knop and a flower; and three cups made like almond-blossoms in the other branch, a knop and a flower: so for the six branches going out of the candlestick: 34 and in the candlestick four cups made like almond-blossoms, the knops thereof, and the flowers thereof; 35 and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, and a knop under two branches of one piece with it, for the six branches going out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of one piece with it; the whole of it one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the lamps thereof, seven: and they shall light the lamps thereof, to give light over against it. 38 And the snuffers thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall it be made, with all these vessels. 40 And see that thou make them after their pattern, which hath been showed thee in the mount. Chapter 26 1 Moreover thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains; of fine twined linen, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, with cherubim the work of the skilful workman shalt thou make them. 2 The length of each curtain shall be eight and twenty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: all the curtains shall have one measure. 3 Five curtains shall be coupled together one to another; and `the other' five curtains shall be coupled one to another. 4 And thou shalt make loops of blue upon the edge of the one curtain from the selvedge in the coupling; and likewise shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is outmost in the second coupling. 5 Fifty loops shalt thou make in the one curtain, and fifty loops shalt thou make in the edge of the curtain that is in the second coupling; the loops shall be opposite one to another. 6 And thou shalt make fifty clasps of gold, and couple the curtains one to another with the clasps: and the tabernacle shall be one `whole'. 7 And thou shalt make curtains of goats' `hair' for a tent over the tabernacle: eleven curtains shalt thou make them. 8 The length of each curtain shall be thirty cubits, and the breadth of each curtain four cubits: the eleven curtains shall have one measure. 9 And thou shalt couple five curtains by themselves, and six curtains by themselves, and shalt double over the sixth curtain in the forefront of the tent. 10 And thou shalt make fifty loops on the edge of the one curtain that is outmost in the coupling, and fifty loops upon the edge of the curtain which is `outmost in' the second coupling. 11 And thou shalt make fifty clasps of brass, and put the clasps into the loops, and couple the tent together, that it may be one. 12 And the overhanging part that remaineth of the curtains of the tent, the half curtain that remaineth, shall hang over the back of the tabernacle. 13 And the cubit on the one side, and the cubit on the other side, of that which remaineth in the length of the curtains of the tent, shall hang over the sides of the tabernacle on this side and on that side, to cover it. 14 And thou shalt make a covering for the tent of rams' skins dyed red, and a covering of sealskins above. 15 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle of acacia wood, standing up. 16 Ten cubits shall be the length of a board, and a cubit and a half the breadth of each board. 17 Two tenons shall there be in each board, joined one to another: thus shalt thou make for all the boards of the tabernacle. 18 And thou shalt make the boards for the tabernacle, twenty boards for the south side southward. 19 And thou shalt make forty sockets of silver under the twenty boards; two sockets under one board for its two tenons, and two sockets under another board for its two tenons. 20 And for the second side of the tabernacle, on the north side, twenty boards, 21 and their forty sockets of silver; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 22 And for the hinder part of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards. 23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the hinder part. 24 And they shall be double beneath, and in like manner they shall be entire unto the top thereof unto one ring: thus shall it be for them both; they shall be for the two corners. 25 And there shall be eight boards, and their sockets of silver, sixteen sockets; two sockets under one board, and two sockets under another board. 26 And thou shalt make bars of acacia wood: five for the boards of the one side of the tabernacle, 27 and five bars for the boards of the other side of the tabernacle, and five bars for the boards of the side of the tabernacle, for the hinder part westward. 28 And the middle bar in the midst of the boards shall pass through from end to end. 29 And thou shalt overlay the boards with gold, and make their rings of gold for places for the bars: and thou shalt overlay the bars with gold. 30 And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which hath been showed thee in the mount. 31 And thou shalt make a veil of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen: with cherubim the work of the skilful workman shall it be made. 32 And thou shalt hang it upon four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold; their hooks `shall be' of gold, upon four sockets of silver. 33 And thou shalt hang up the veil under the clasps, and shalt bring in thither within the veil the ark of the testimony: and the veil shall separate unto you between the holy place and the most holy. 34 And thou shalt put the mercy-seat upon the ark of the testimony in the most holy place. 35 And thou shalt set the table without the veil, and the candlestick over against the table on the side of the tabernacle toward the south: and thou shalt put the table on the north side. 36 And thou shalt make a screen for the door of the Tent, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer. 37 And thou shalt make for the screen five pillars of acacia, and overlay them with gold: their hooks shall be of gold: and thou shalt cast five sockets of brass for them. Chapter 27 1 And thou shalt make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long, and five cubits broad; the altar shall be foursquare: and the height thereof shall be three cubits. 2 And thou shalt make the horns of it upon the four corners thereof; the horns thereof shall be of one piece with it: and thou shalt overlay it with brass. 3 And thou shalt make its pots to take away its ashes, and its shovels, and its basins, and its flesh-hooks, and its firepans: all the vessels thereof thou shalt make of brass. 4 And thou shalt make for it a grating of network of brass: and upon the net shalt thou make four brazen rings in the four corners thereof. 5 And thou shalt put it under the ledge round the altar beneath, that the net may reach halfway up the altar. 6 And thou shalt make staves for the altar, staves of acacia wood, and overlay them with brass. 7 And the staves thereof shall be put into the rings, and the staves shall be upon the two sides of the altar, in bearing it. 8 Hollow with planks shalt thou make it: as it hath been showed thee in the mount, so shall they make it. 9 And thou shalt make the court of the tabernacle: for the south side southward there shall be hangings for the court of fine twined linen a hundred cubits long for one side: 10 and the pillars thereof shall be twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars and their fillets `shall be' of silver. 11 And likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings a hundred cubits long, and the pillars thereof twenty, and their sockets twenty, of brass; the hooks of the pillars, and their fillets, of silver. 12 And for the breadth of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits; their pillars ten, and their sockets ten. 13 And the breadth of the court on the east side eastward shall be fifty cubits. 14 The hangings for the one side `of the gate' shall be fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. 15 And for the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits; their pillars three, and their sockets three. 16 And for the gate of the court shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen, the work of the embroiderer; their pillars four, and their sockets four. 17 All the pillars of the court round about shall be filleted with silver; their hooks of silver, and their sockets of brass. 18 The length of the court shall be a hundred cubits, and the breadth fifty every where, and the height five cubits, of fine twined linen, and their sockets of brass. 19 All the instruments of the tabernacle in all the service thereof, and all the pins thereof, and all the pins of the court, shall be of brass. 20 And thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure olive oil beaten for the light, to cause a lamp to burn continually. 21 In the tent of meeting, without the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before Jehovah: it shall be a statue for ever throughout their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel.




Daily Bible - January 24

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 24th.

Reading for Today:

  • Genesis 47:1 Chapter 47 1 Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. –48:22
  • Psalms 13:1-6 Chapter 13 1 How long, O Jehovah? wilt thou forget me for ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? 2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, Having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider `and' answer me, O Jehovah my God: Lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the `sleep of' death; 4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; `Lest' mine adversaries rejoice when I am moved. 5 But I have trusted in thy lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. 6 I will sing unto Jehovah, Because he hath dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 14 For the Chief Musician. `A Psalm' of David.
  • Proverbs 4:18-19 18 But the path of the righteous is as the dawning light, That shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: They know not at what they stumble.
  • Matthew 15:21-39 21 And Jesus went out thence, and withdrew into the parts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanitish woman came out from those borders, and cried, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a demon. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 But she came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 And he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to the dogs. 27 But she said, Yea, Lord: for even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it done unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was healed from that hour. 29 And Jesus departed thence, and came nigh unto the sea of Galilee; and he went up into the mountain, and sat there. 30 And there came unto him great multitudes, having with them the lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and they cast them down at this feet; and he healed them: 31 insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb speaking, the maimed whole, and lame walking, and the blind seeing: and they glorified the God of Israel. 32 And Jesus called unto him his disciples, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days and have nothing to eat: and I would not send them away fasting, lest haply they faint on the way. 33 And the disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so many loaves in a desert place as to fill so great a multitude? 34 And Jesus said unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few small fishes. 35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground; 36 and he took the seven loaves and the fishes; and he gave thanks and brake, and gave to the disciples, and the disciples to the multitudes. 37 And they all ate, and were filled: and they took up that which remained over of the broken pieces, seven baskets full. 38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, besides women and children. 39 And he sent away the multitudes, and entered into the boat, and came into the borders of Magadan.

Notes:

Genesis 47:25 25 And they said, Thou hast saved our lives: let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants. , 26 The extra measures imposed by Joseph to control the impact of the famine, i.e., moving parts of the population into cities (v. 21) and demanding a one-fifth tax on crop yields (v. 24), did not affect his approval ratings (v. 25). Whatever the gain to Pharaoh, the people obviously understood that Joseph had not enriched himself at their expense.

Proverbs 4:18 path of the…shining sun. The path of the believer is one of increasing light, just as a sunrise begins with the faint glow of dawn and proceeds to the splendor of noonday.

Matthew 15:33 Where could we get enough bread…? No wonder our Lord called them men of little faith (8:26; 14:31; 16:8; 17:20), when they asked a question like that in the light of the recent feeding of the 5,000 (14:13–21).

DAY 24: How was Joseph a type of Christ?

Joseph

Parallels

Jesus

37:2

A shepherd of his father’s family

John 10:11 11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd layeth down his life for the sheep. ,27–29

37:3

His father loved him dearly

Matthew 3:17 17 and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

37:4

Hated by his brothers

John 7:4 4 For no man doeth anything in secret, and himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou doest these things, manifest thyself to the world. ,5

37:13, 14

Sent by father to brothers

Hebrews 2:11 11 For both he that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

37:20

Others plotted to harm them

John 11:53 53 So from that day forth they took counsel that they might put him to death.

37:23

Robes taken from them

John 19:23 23 The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. ,24

37:26

Taken to Egypt

Matthew 2:14 14 And he arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; ,15

37:28

Sold for the price of a slave

Matthew 26:15 15 and said, What are ye willing to give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of silver.

39:7

Tempted

Matthew 4:1 Chapter 4 1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.

39:16–18

Falsely accused

Matthew 26:59 59 Now the chief priests and the whole council sought false witness against Jesus, that they might put him to death; ,60

38:20

Bound in chains

Matthew 27:2 2 and they bound him, and led him away, and delivered him up to Pilate the governor.

40:2,3

Placed with two other prisoners, one who was saved and the other lost

Luke 23:32 32 And there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

41:41

Exalted after suffering

Philippians 2:9 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; –11

41:46

Both 30 years old at the beginning of public recognition

Luke 3:23 23 And Jesus himself, when he began `to teach', was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the `son' of Heli,

42:24; 45:2, 14, 15; 46:29

Both wept

John 11:35 35 Jesus wept.

45:1–15

Forgave those who wronged them

Luke 23:34 34 And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And parting his garments among them, they cast lots.

45:7

Saved their nation

Matthew 1:21 21 And she shall bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name JESUS; for it is he that shall save his people from their sins.

50:20

What men did to hurt them, God turned to good

1 Corinthians 2:7 7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, `even' the `wisdom' that hath been hidden, which God foreordained before the worlds unto our glory: ,8

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        

January 24 - Angels Minister to Jesus

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 24th.

“Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him” ( Matthew 4:11 11 Then the devil leaveth him; and behold, angels came and ministered unto him. ).

After Jesus’ greatest foe left, “angels came and began to minister to Him.” It is quite fitting that holy angels should come to care for and comfort Him after the prince of the fallen angels had harassed Him with three major temptations. To provide the benefits of angelic ministry was just another way for the Father to register His approval of the Son and signify the Son’s worthiness.

At the first sign of confrontation with Satan, Christ could easily have summoned help from “more than twelve legions of angels” (Matt. 26:53). But He obediently waited for the Father to send assistance according to the divine schedule. We are not told what kind of ministry the angels performed, but they undoubtedly brought Jesus food to relieve His hunger. And spiritually they would have worshiped the Son and delivered to Him many words of assurance and comfort from His Father.

The devil’s temptations of Jesus failed, whereas God’s testings of His Son succeeded. Time after time, Jesus had answered with the ideal response to each test. The Lord also provides His saints with the power to resist the adversary’s schemes ( James 4:7 7 Be subject therefore unto God; but resist the devil, and he will flee from you. ), knowing that Satan will certainly persist in challenging believers, just as he challenged Jesus. But for every new or repeated temptation, God always gives us a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).

Ask Yourself

Perhaps you’re the giving, ministry type. You freely give and share and do and give comfort. But how well do you receive God’s comfort and His ministry to you? How welcome are you to the caring compassions of others? To meet needs is noble, but to admit our own is still necessary.

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        

Forbearing Love

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 24th.

“. . . Showing forbearance to one another in love” ( Ephesians 4:2 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; ).

In order to walk worthy, we must forgive our enemies and love them.

The term forbearance is not often used today and is therefore unfamiliar to many of us. The Greek word translated “showing forbearance” means “suppressing with silence.” It carries the idea of throwing a blanket over sin. First Peter 4:8 says, “Love covers a multitude of sins,” and Proverbs 10:12 12 Hatred stirreth up strifes; But love covereth all transgressions. declares, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all transgressions.” A forbearing person doesn’t trumpet other people’s sins but rather forgives them. Forbearance has room for the failures of others. A forbearing person also loves people in spite of the wrongs they might have done to him.

Agape, the word used for “love” in this verse, is the love that gives but never takes. It’s the kind of love that seeks the highest good for another, no matter what the cost. God showed His agape by giving us His only Son ( John 3:16 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life. ). Jesus said, “Greater love [agape] has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (15:13). Agape is unconquerable benevolence and invincible goodness; it is completely selfless.

Perhaps the greatest description of forbearing love is the summary Jesus gives in Matthew 5:43-45 43 Ye have heard that it was said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy: 44 but I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; 45 that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust. : “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” We were God’s enemies before He saved us, but He was willing to send His Son anyway (Rom. 5:10). Since we are God’s children, we must also seek our enemies’ highest good, whatever it costs us. Such cost ought to include more than simply enduring slander and persecution from our enemies. Genuine forbearing love will assume the more difficult task of loving those who hate us.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God that He showed forbearing love in sending Christ to die for undeserving sinners.
  • Pray for your enemies and for strength to love them as you should.

For Further Study

  • Besides Christ, the clearest example of forbearing love is Stephen’s attitude toward those who stoned him. Read his story in Acts 6 Chapter 6 1 Now in these days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2 And the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not fit that we should forsake the word of God, and serve tables. 3 Look ye out therefore, brethren, from among you seven men of good report, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. 4 But we will continue stedfastly in prayer, and in the ministry of the word. 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus a proselyte of Antioch; 6 whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them. 7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith. 8 And Stephen, full of grace and power, wrought great wonders and signs among the people. 9 But there arose certain of them that were of the synagogue called `the synagogue' of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. 10 And they were not able to withstand the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake. 11 Then they suborned men, who said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and `against' God. 12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and seized him, and brought him into the council, 13 and set up false witnesses, who said, This man ceaseth not to speak words against this holy place, and the law: 14 for we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered unto us. 15 And all that sat in the council, fastening their eyes on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. —7, and note his love toward his executioners.
  • Think about people you have a hard time loving, and pray that God would show you specific ways you can show love to them. Then follow through!

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        

Receiving Spiritual Enlightenment

Published by Grace To You for reading on January 24th.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened” (Eph. 1:18).

Spiritual enlightenment doesn’t come through self-effort or introspective meditation but through God’s Holy Spirit.

Our society has been enamored with the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, especially since the influx of Eastern thought into the West during the 1960s. Now we are drowning in a sea of false religions and New Age philosophies.

True enlightenment continues to elude many because they have denied its source and have turned to gurus and teachers who have no light to give. They propagate self-effort and introspective meditation, but spiritual enlightenment doesn’t come through such means. It comes only through the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14-16). That’s why Paul prayed that God Himself would enlighten the hearts of the Ephesian believers (Eph. 1:18).

We might expect Paul to pray for enlightened minds rather than hearts, but that’s because we associate the word heart with emotions rather than with thought. But in Hebrew and Greek thinking, the heart was considered the seat of knowledge, thinking, and understanding. For example, Jesus said that evil thoughts come out of the heart (Matt. 15:19). Emotions are important, butthey must be guided and controlled by an enlightened mind.

How does the Spirit enlighten you? As you pray and study God’s Word, He transforms and renews your mind (Rom. 12:2) by filling you with “the knowledge of [God’s] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col. 1:9). He teaches you to recognize and uphold what is excellent so that you will be “sincere and blameless” before God (Phil. 1:10). He implants biblical truth into your thinking so that your responses become more and more like Christ’s.

How wonderful to know that each moment of the day God is working within you in such a way. Be diligent to pray and spend time in the Word so that your spiritual progress will be evident to all (1 Tim. 4:15).

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the Spirit’s transforming work within you.
  • Reaffirm your love for Him, and express your willingness to bechanged by His Spirit in any way He sees fit.
  • Be alert for attitudes or actionsthat need to be changed. Rely on His grace and strength in doing so.

For Further Study

Read Genesis 27 Chapter 27 1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old, and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he called Esau his elder son, and said unto him, My son. And he said unto him, Here am I. 2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day of my death. 3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me venison. 4 And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me, that I may eat. That my soul may bless thee before I die. 5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and to bring it. 6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold, I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying, 7 Bring me venison, and make me savory food, that I may eat, and bless thee before Jehovah before my death. 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to that which I command thee. 9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two good kids of the goats. And I will make them savory food for thy father, such as he loveth. 10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may eat, so that he may bless thee before his death. 11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem to him as a deceiver. And I shall bring a curse upon me, and not a blessing. 13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse, my son. Only obey my voice, and go fetch me them. 14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his mother. And his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. 15 And Rebekah took the goodly garments of Esau her elder son, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son. 16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck. 17 And she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob. 18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father. And he said, Here am I. Who art thou, my son? 19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy first-born; I have done according as thou badest me: arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy soul may bless me. 20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because Jehovah thy God sent me good speed. 21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee, that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very son Esau or not. 22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father. And he felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were hairy, as his brother Esau's hands. So he blessed him. 24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said, I am. 25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he brought it near to him, and he did eat. And he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son. 27 And he came near, and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son Is as the smell of a field which Jehovah hath blessed. 28 And God give thee of the dew of heaven, And of the fatness of the earth, And plenty of grain and new wine. 29 Let peoples serve thee, And nations bow down to thee. Be lord over thy brethren, And let thy mother's sons bow down to thee. Cursed be every one that curseth thee, And blessed be every one that blesseth thee. 30 And it came to pass, as soon as Isaac had made an end of blessing Jacob, and Jacob was yet scarce gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 And he also made savory food, and brought it unto his father. And he said unto his father, Let my father arise, and eat of his son's venison, that thy soul may bless me. 32 And Isaac his father said unto him, Who art thou? And he said, I am thy son, thy first-born, Esau. 33 And Isaac trembled very exceedingly, and said, Who then is he that hath taken venison, and brought it me, and I have eaten of all before thou camest, and have blessed him? Yea, `and' he shall be blessed. 34 When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceeding great and bitter cry, and said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father. 35 And he said, Thy brother came with guile, and hath taken away thy blessing. 36 And he said, Is not he rightly name Jacob? for he hath supplanted me these two time. He took away my birthright. And, behold, now he hath taken away my blessing. And he said, Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me? 37 And Isaac answered and said unto Esau, Behold, I have made him thy lord, and all his brethren have I given to him for servants. And with grain and new wine have I sustained him. And what then shall I do for thee, my son? 38 And Esau said unto his father, Hast thou but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And Esau lifted up his voice, and wept. 39 And Isaac his father answered and said unto him, Behold, of the fatness of the earth shall be thy dwelling, And of the dew of heaven from above. 40 And by thy sword shalt thou live, and thou shalt serve thy brother. And it shall come to pass, when thou shalt break loose, That thou shalt shake his yoke from off thy neck. 41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing wherewith his father blessed him. And Esau said in his heart, The days of mourning for my father are at hand. Then will I slay my brother Jacob. 42 And the words of Esau her elder son were told to Rebekah. And she sent and called Jacob her younger son, and said unto him, Behold, thy brother Esau, as touching thee, doth comfort himself, `purposing' to kill thee. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. And arise, flee thou to Laban my brother to Haran. 44 And tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's fury turn away. 45 Until thy brother's anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him. Then I will send, and fetch thee from thence. Why should I be bereaved of you both in one day? 46 And Rebekah said to Isaac, I am weary of my life because of the daughters of Heth. If Jacob take a wife of the daughters of Heth, such as these, of the daughters of the land, what good shall my life do me? –33, noting how God used the events of Jacob’s life to transform his weak spiritual commitment to one that was strong and unconditional (see especially Gen. 28:20-22; 32:9-12).

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 24th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on January 24th.

Psalms 91:3 3 For he will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence.

GOD delivers His people from the snare of the fowler in two senses. From, and out of. First, He delivers them from the snare—does not let them enter it; and secondly, if they should be caught therein, He delivers them out of it. The first promise is the most precious to some; the second is the best to others.

"He shall deliver thee from the snare." How? Trouble is often the means whereby God delivers us. God knows that our backsliding will soon end in our destruction, and He in mercy sends the rod. We say, "Lord, why is this?" not knowing that our trouble has been the means of delivering us from far greater evil. Many have been thus saved from ruin by their sorrows and their crosses; these have frightened the birds from the net. At other times, God keeps His people from the snare of the fowler by giving them great spiritual strength, so that when they are tempted to do evil they say, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" But what a blessed thing it is that if the believer shall, in an evil hour, come into the net, yet God will bring him out of it! O backslider, be cast down, but do not despair. Wanderer though thou hast been, hear what thy Redeemer saith—"Return, O backsliding children; I will have mercy upon you." But you say you cannot return, for you are a captive. Then listen to the promise—"Surely He shall deliver thee out of the snare of the fowler." Thou shalt yet be brought out of all evil into which thou hast fallen, and though thou shalt never cease to repent of thy ways, yet He that hath loved thee will not cast thee away; He will receive thee, and give thee joy and gladness, that the bones which He has broken may rejoice. No bird of paradise shall die in the fowler's net.

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for January 24th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on January 24th.

Luke 10:40 40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving; and she came up to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister did leave me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

HER fault was not that she served: the condition of a servant well becomes every Christian. "I serve," should be the motto of all the princes of the royal family of heaven. Nor was it her fault that she had "much serving." We cannot do too much. Let us do all that we possibly can; let head, and heart, and hands, be engaged in the Master's service. It was no fault of hers that she was busy preparing a feast for the Master. Happy Martha, to have an opportunity of entertaining so blessed a guest; and happy, too, to have the spirit to throw her whole soul so heartily into the engagement. Her fault was that she grew "cumbered with much serving," so that she forgot Him, and only remembered the service. She allowed service to override communion, and so presented one duty stained with the blood of another. We ought to be Martha and Mary in one: we should do much service, and have much communion at the same time. For this we need great grace. It is easier to serve than to commune. Joshua never grew weary in fighting with the Amalekites; but Moses, on the top of the mountain in prayer, needed two helpers to sustain his hands. The more spiritual the exercise, the sooner we tire in it. The choicest fruits are the hardest to rear: the most heavenly graces are the most difficult to cultivate. Beloved, while we do not neglect external things, which are good enough in themselves, we ought also to see to it that we enjoy living, personal fellowship with Jesus. See to it that sitting at the Saviour's feet is not neglected, even though it be under the specious pretext of doing Him service. The first thing for our soul's health, the first thing for His glory, and the first thing for our own usefulness, is to keep ourselves in perpetual communion with the Lord Jesus, and to see that the vital spirituality of our religion is maintained over and above everything else in the world.

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