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Walking With Christ

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on July 28th.

Colossians 1:10-12 10 to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to the might of his glory, unto all patience and longsuffering with joy; 12 giving thanks unto the Father, who made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;

The pathway of faith has divine purpose, and we’re to obey the Lord, no matter what. But even when God’s direction is perplexing, we can count on the fact that He is good.

Walking obediently with Christ doesn’t guarantee an easy life, which is obvious when we consider Paul. He encountered all kinds of hardships, including shipwreck, persecution, and beatings ( 2 Corinthians 11:23-27 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty `stripes' save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; 26 `in' journeyings often, `in' perils of rivers, `in' perils of robbers, `in' perils from `my' countrymen, `in' perils from the Gentiles, `in' perils in the city, `in' perils in the wilderness, `in' perils in the sea, `in' perils among false brethren; 27 `in' labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. ). Keep in mind, though, that nothing can touch a child of God without the Father’s loving permission. He uses difficulty to strengthen and correct believers—and eventually as a tool in achieving His plan. Also remember that the Lord protects His followers in their suffering, just as He kept the apostle safe in situations that seemed impossible to overcome.

Adversity can tempt us to ignore the Holy Spirit’s guidance. But we will ultimately regret such a decision, as God doesn’t spare us from the consequences of our sin. However, He never lets go of His children, whom He will continue to protect and guide throughout life.

Walking in obedience and trust is the only way to true peace. As Paul sat in an uncomfortable Roman prison where his life was in danger, he encouraged believers not to worry but to trust the Lord and pray with gratitude (Isa. 26:3; Phil. 4:6). Doing so leads to experiencing His perfect peace.

The only wise way to live is to believe in almighty God and follow wherever He leads. That is the road to contentment, fulfillment, protection, and peace. Are you journeying on the pathway of faith? Or is something holding you back from all God intended for your life?

Bible in One Year: Isaiah 23-27 Chapter 23 1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Kittim it is revealed to them. 2 Be still, ye inhabitants of the coast, thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. 3 And on great waters the seed of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, was her revenue; and she was the mart of nations. 4 Be thou ashamed, O Sidon; for the sea hath spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth, neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins. 5 When the report cometh to Egypt, they shall be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. 6 Pass ye over to Tarshish; wail, ye inhabitants of the coast. 7 Is this your joyous `city', whose antiquity is of ancient days, whose feet carried her afar off to sojourn? 8 Who hath purposed this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honorable of the earth? 9 Jehovah of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. 10 Pass through thy land as the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no restraint any more. 11 He hath stretched out his hand over the sea, he hath shaken the kingdoms: Jehovah hath given commandment concerning Canaan, to destroy the strongholds thereof. 12 And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon: arise, pass over to Kittim; even there shalt thou have no rest. 13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans: this people was not; the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness; they set up their towers; they overthrew the palaces thereof; they made it a ruin. 14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for your stronghold is laid waste. 15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years it shall be unto Tyre as in the song of the harlot. 16 Take a harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. 17 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her hire, and shall play the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. 18 And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to Jehovah: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing. Chapter 24 1 Behold, Jehovah maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest to him. 3 The earth shall be utterly emptied, and utterly laid waste; for Jehovah hath spoken this word. 4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the lofty people of the earth do languish. 5 The earth also is polluted under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are found guilty: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. 7 The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merry-hearted do sigh. 8 The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. 9 They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. 10 The waste city is broken down; every house is shut up, that no man may come in. 11 There is a crying in the streets because of the wine; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. 12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. 13 For thus shall it be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, as the shaking of an olive-tree, as the gleanings when the vintage is done. 14 These shall lift up their voice, they shall shout; for the majesty of Jehovah they cry aloud from the sea. 15 Wherefore glorify ye Jehovah in the east, even the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea. 16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the righteous. But I said, I pine away, I pine away, woe is me! the treacherous have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous have dealt very treacherously. 17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. 18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. 19 The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is shaken violently. 20 The earth shall stagger like a drunken man, and shall sway to and fro like a hammock; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah will punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. 22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and after many days shall they be visited. 23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for Jehovah of hosts will reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and before his elders shall be glory. Chapter 25 1 O Jehovah, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, `even' counsels of old, in faithfulness `and' truth. 2 For thou hast made of a city a heap, of a fortified city a ruin, a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. 3 Therefore shall a strong people glorify thee; a city of terrible nations shall fear thee. 4 For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 5 As the heat in a dry place wilt thou bring down the noise of strangers; as the heat by the shade of a cloud, the song of the terrible ones shall be brought low. 6 And in this mountain will Jehovah of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that covereth all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He hath swallowed up death for ever; and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the reproach of his people will he take away from off all the earth: for Jehovah hath spoken it. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is Jehovah; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 10 For in this mountain will the hand of Jehovah rest; and Moab shall be trodden down in his place, even as straw is trodden down in the water of the dung-hill. 11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst thereof, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth `his hands' to swim; but `Jehovah' will lay low his pride together with the craft of his hands. 12 And the high fortress of thy walls hath he brought down, laid low, and brought to the ground, even to the dust. Chapter 26 1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: we have a strong city; salvation will he appoint for walls and bulwarks. 2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth faith may enter in. 3 Thou wilt keep `him' in perfect peace, `whose' mind `is' stayed `on thee'; because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah, `even' Jehovah, is an everlasting rock. 5 For he hath brought down them that dwell on high, the lofty city: he layeth it low, he layeth it low even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down; even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. 7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou that art upright dost direct the path of the just. 8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Jehovah, have we waited for thee; to thy name, even to thy memorial `name', is the desire of our soul. 9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee earnestly: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10 Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not behold the majesty of Jehovah. 11 Jehovah, thy hand is lifted up, yet they see not: but they shall see `thy' zeal for the people, and be put to shame; yea, fire shall devour thine adversaries. 12 Jehovah, thou wilt ordain peace for us; for thou hast also wrought all our works for us. 13 O Jehovah our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14 `They are' dead, they shall not live; `they are' deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all remembrance of them to perish. 15 Thou hast increased the nation, O Jehovah, thou hast increased the nation; thou art glorified; thou hast enlarged all the borders of the land. 16 Jehovah, in trouble have they visited thee; they poured out a prayer `when' thy chastening was upon them. 17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; so we have been before thee, O Jehovah. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 19 Thy dead shall live; my dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is `as' the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast forth the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. Chapter 27 1 In that day Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan the swift serpent, and leviathan the crooked serpent; and he will slay the monster that is in the sea. 2 In that day: A vineyard of wine, sing ye unto it. 3 I Jehovah am its keeper; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Wrath is not in me: would that the briers and thorns were against me in battle! I would march upon them, I would burn them together. 5 Or else let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; `yea', let him make peace with me. 6 In days to come shall Jacob take root; Israel shall blossom and bud; and they shall fill the face of the world with fruit. 7 Hath he smitten them as he smote those that smote them? or are they slain according to the slaughter of them that were slain by them? 8 In measure, when thou sendest them away, thou dost content with them; he hath removed `them' with his rough blast in the day of the east wind. 9 Therefore by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be forgiven, and this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: that he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, `so that' the Asherim and the sun-images shall rise no more. 10 For the fortified city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off; the women shall come, and set them on fire; for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have compassion upon them, and he that formed them will show them no favor. 12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah will beat off `his fruit' from the flood of the River unto the brook of Egypt; and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great trumpet shall be blown; and they shall come that were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and they that were outcasts in the land of Egypt; and they shall worship Jehovah in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.




Giving God Glory

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on July 28th.

Romans 15:5-11 5 Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of the same mind one with another according to Christ Jesus: 6 that with one accord ye may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Wherefore receive ye one another, even as Christ also received you, to the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ hath been made a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, that he might confirm the promises `given' unto the fathers, 9 and that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, Therefore will I give praise unto thee among the Gentiles, And sing unto thy name. 10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. 11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; And let all the peoples praise him.

Jesus’ request as He looked to the cross was that He might glorify His Father. (See John 17:1 Chapter 17 1 These things spake Jesus; and lifting up his eyes to heaven, he said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that the son may glorify thee: .) That is to be the desire of our hearts as well. From the moment we wake up each morning, and then as the day unfolds and as news of tragedy or success reaches us, our request is to be, “Father, glorify Yourself.” In the simplest tasks as well as in the hardest ones, a Christian’s longing should be to reflect the Lord to others.

When we pray for His glorification, we’re saying, “God, do whatever will bring You the greatest honor and make You known to the world.” It means that we are also surrendering what we want the outcome to be. God in His sovereignty will choose what will bring honor to His name. And whatever happens, we are to believe He has done just that.

It will come as no surprise to hear me say we live in a world that doesn’t always give God the honor due His name: There will always be some who reject the Son of God and refuse to believe in Him. But our desire should be the same as our Father’s—for people everywhere to know the perfection of His character, which never changes.

God calls us to praise His name and reveal Him. We honor the Lord as we worship in our churches, as we testify to His work in our lives, and as we proclaim the truth of His holy Word in our communities.

By our attitudes, actions, and words, we have the privilege of revealing our loving Father to a world that desperately needs Him. Let us join together, united in love, to give Him the glory.

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 23-27 Chapter 23 1 The burden of Tyre. Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for it is laid waste, so that there is no house, no entering in: from the land of Kittim it is revealed to them. 2 Be still, ye inhabitants of the coast, thou whom the merchants of Sidon, that pass over the sea, have replenished. 3 And on great waters the seed of the Shihor, the harvest of the Nile, was her revenue; and she was the mart of nations. 4 Be thou ashamed, O Sidon; for the sea hath spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying, I have not travailed, nor brought forth, neither have I nourished young men, nor brought up virgins. 5 When the report cometh to Egypt, they shall be sorely pained at the report of Tyre. 6 Pass ye over to Tarshish; wail, ye inhabitants of the coast. 7 Is this your joyous `city', whose antiquity is of ancient days, whose feet carried her afar off to sojourn? 8 Who hath purposed this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are the honorable of the earth? 9 Jehovah of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. 10 Pass through thy land as the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no restraint any more. 11 He hath stretched out his hand over the sea, he hath shaken the kingdoms: Jehovah hath given commandment concerning Canaan, to destroy the strongholds thereof. 12 And he said, Thou shalt no more rejoice, O thou oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon: arise, pass over to Kittim; even there shalt thou have no rest. 13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans: this people was not; the Assyrian founded it for them that dwell in the wilderness; they set up their towers; they overthrew the palaces thereof; they made it a ruin. 14 Howl, ye ships of Tarshish; for your stronghold is laid waste. 15 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Tyre shall be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king: after the end of seventy years it shall be unto Tyre as in the song of the harlot. 16 Take a harp, go about the city, thou harlot that hast been forgotten; make sweet melody, sing many songs, that thou mayest be remembered. 17 And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that Jehovah will visit Tyre, and she shall return to her hire, and shall play the harlot with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. 18 And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to Jehovah: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before Jehovah, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing. Chapter 24 1 Behold, Jehovah maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the creditor, so with the debtor; as with the taker of interest, so with the giver of interest to him. 3 The earth shall be utterly emptied, and utterly laid waste; for Jehovah hath spoken this word. 4 The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the lofty people of the earth do languish. 5 The earth also is polluted under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are found guilty: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. 7 The new wine mourneth, the vine languisheth, all the merry-hearted do sigh. 8 The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth. 9 They shall not drink wine with a song; strong drink shall be bitter to them that drink it. 10 The waste city is broken down; every house is shut up, that no man may come in. 11 There is a crying in the streets because of the wine; all joy is darkened, the mirth of the land is gone. 12 In the city is left desolation, and the gate is smitten with destruction. 13 For thus shall it be in the midst of the earth among the peoples, as the shaking of an olive-tree, as the gleanings when the vintage is done. 14 These shall lift up their voice, they shall shout; for the majesty of Jehovah they cry aloud from the sea. 15 Wherefore glorify ye Jehovah in the east, even the name of Jehovah, the God of Israel, in the isles of the sea. 16 From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs: Glory to the righteous. But I said, I pine away, I pine away, woe is me! the treacherous have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous have dealt very treacherously. 17 Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. 18 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows on high are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. 19 The earth is utterly broken, the earth is rent asunder, the earth is shaken violently. 20 The earth shall stagger like a drunken man, and shall sway to and fro like a hammock; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it, and it shall fall, and not rise again. 21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah will punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. 22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison; and after many days shall they be visited. 23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed; for Jehovah of hosts will reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem; and before his elders shall be glory. Chapter 25 1 O Jehovah, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, `even' counsels of old, in faithfulness `and' truth. 2 For thou hast made of a city a heap, of a fortified city a ruin, a palace of strangers to be no city; it shall never be built. 3 Therefore shall a strong people glorify thee; a city of terrible nations shall fear thee. 4 For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shade from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall. 5 As the heat in a dry place wilt thou bring down the noise of strangers; as the heat by the shade of a cloud, the song of the terrible ones shall be brought low. 6 And in this mountain will Jehovah of hosts make unto all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. 7 And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering that covereth all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He hath swallowed up death for ever; and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the reproach of his people will he take away from off all the earth: for Jehovah hath spoken it. 9 And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is Jehovah; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation. 10 For in this mountain will the hand of Jehovah rest; and Moab shall be trodden down in his place, even as straw is trodden down in the water of the dung-hill. 11 And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst thereof, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth `his hands' to swim; but `Jehovah' will lay low his pride together with the craft of his hands. 12 And the high fortress of thy walls hath he brought down, laid low, and brought to the ground, even to the dust. Chapter 26 1 In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah: we have a strong city; salvation will he appoint for walls and bulwarks. 2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth faith may enter in. 3 Thou wilt keep `him' in perfect peace, `whose' mind `is' stayed `on thee'; because he trusteth in thee. 4 Trust ye in Jehovah for ever; for in Jehovah, `even' Jehovah, is an everlasting rock. 5 For he hath brought down them that dwell on high, the lofty city: he layeth it low, he layeth it low even to the ground; he bringeth it even to the dust. 6 The foot shall tread it down; even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. 7 The way of the just is uprightness: thou that art upright dost direct the path of the just. 8 Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O Jehovah, have we waited for thee; to thy name, even to thy memorial `name', is the desire of our soul. 9 With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee earnestly: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. 10 Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness; in the land of uprightness will he deal wrongfully, and will not behold the majesty of Jehovah. 11 Jehovah, thy hand is lifted up, yet they see not: but they shall see `thy' zeal for the people, and be put to shame; yea, fire shall devour thine adversaries. 12 Jehovah, thou wilt ordain peace for us; for thou hast also wrought all our works for us. 13 O Jehovah our God, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. 14 `They are' dead, they shall not live; `they are' deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all remembrance of them to perish. 15 Thou hast increased the nation, O Jehovah, thou hast increased the nation; thou art glorified; thou hast enlarged all the borders of the land. 16 Jehovah, in trouble have they visited thee; they poured out a prayer `when' thy chastening was upon them. 17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain and crieth out in her pangs; so we have been before thee, O Jehovah. 18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 19 Thy dead shall live; my dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is `as' the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast forth the dead. 20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. 21 For, behold, Jehovah cometh forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. Chapter 27 1 In that day Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan the swift serpent, and leviathan the crooked serpent; and he will slay the monster that is in the sea. 2 In that day: A vineyard of wine, sing ye unto it. 3 I Jehovah am its keeper; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day. 4 Wrath is not in me: would that the briers and thorns were against me in battle! I would march upon them, I would burn them together. 5 Or else let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; `yea', let him make peace with me. 6 In days to come shall Jacob take root; Israel shall blossom and bud; and they shall fill the face of the world with fruit. 7 Hath he smitten them as he smote those that smote them? or are they slain according to the slaughter of them that were slain by them? 8 In measure, when thou sendest them away, thou dost content with them; he hath removed `them' with his rough blast in the day of the east wind. 9 Therefore by this shall the iniquity of Jacob be forgiven, and this is all the fruit of taking away his sin: that he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, `so that' the Asherim and the sun-images shall rise no more. 10 For the fortified city is solitary, a habitation deserted and forsaken, like the wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof. 11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off; the women shall come, and set them on fire; for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have compassion upon them, and he that formed them will show them no favor. 12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that Jehovah will beat off `his fruit' from the flood of the River unto the brook of Egypt; and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great trumpet shall be blown; and they shall come that were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and they that were outcasts in the land of Egypt; and they shall worship Jehovah in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.




Why We Don't Lose Heart

Published by John Piper for reading on July 28th.

Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. ( 2 Corinthians 4:16 16 Wherefore we faint not; but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. )

Paul can’t see the way he used to (and there were no glasses). He can’t hear the way he used to (and there were no hearing aids). He doesn’t recover from beatings the way he used to (and there were no antibiotics). His strength, walking from town to town, doesn’t hold up the way it used to. He sees the wrinkles in his face and neck. His memory is not as good. And he admits that this is a threat to his faith and joy and courage.

But he doesn’t lose heart. Why?

He doesn’t lose heart because his inner man is being renewed. How?

The renewing of his heart comes from something very strange: it comes from looking at what he can’t see.

We look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. ( 2 Corinthians 4:18 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. )

This is Paul’s way of not losing heart: looking at what you can’t see. What did he see?

A few verses later in 2 Corinthians 5:7 7 (for we walk by faith, not by sight); , he says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” This doesn’t mean that he leaps into the dark without evidence of what’s there. It means that for now the most precious and important realities in the world are beyond our physical senses.

We “look” at these unseen things through the gospel. We strengthen our hearts — we renew our courage — by fixing our gaze on the invisible, objective truth that we see in the testimony of those who saw Christ face to face.



Daily Bible - July 28

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 28th.

Reading for Today:

  • Nehemiah 8:1 Chapter 8 1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded to Israel. –9:38
  • Proverbs 21:29-31 29 A wicked man hardeneth his face; But as for the upright, he establisheth his ways. 30 There is no wisdom nor understanding Nor counsel against Jehovah. 31 The horse is prepared against the day of battle; But victory is of Jehovah.
  • Psalms 89:11-18 11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: The world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. 12 The north and the south, thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon rejoice in thy name. 13 Thou hast a mighty arm; Strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand. 14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of thy throne: Lovingkindness and truth go before thy face. 15 Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: They walk, O Jehovah, in the light of thy countenance. 16 In thy name do they rejoice all the day; And in thy righteousness are they exalted. 17 For thou art the glory of their strength; And in thy favor our horn shall be exalted. 18 For our shield belongeth unto Jehovah; And our king to the Holy One of Israel.
  • Acts 27:27-44 27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven to and fro in the `sea of' Adria, about midnight the sailors surmised that they were drawing near to some country: 28 and they sounded, and found twenty fathoms; and after a little space, they sounded again, and found fifteen fathoms. 29 And fearing lest haply we should be cast ashore on rocky ground, they let go four anchors from the stern, and wished for the day. 30 And as the sailors were seeking to flee out of the ship, and had lowered the boat into the sea, under color as though they would lay out anchors from the foreship, 31 Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. 32 Then the soldiers cut away the ropes of the boat, and let her fall off. 33 And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take some food, saying, This day is the fourteenth day that ye wait and continue fasting, having taken nothing. 34 Wherefore I beseech you to take some food: for this is for your safety: for there shall not a hair perish from the head of any of you. 35 And when he had said this, and had taken bread, he gave thanks to God in the presence of all; and he brake it, and began to eat. 36 Then were they all of good cheer, and themselves also took food. 37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. 38 And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, throwing out the wheat into the sea. 39 And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they perceived a certain bay with a beach, and they took counsel whether they could drive the ship upon it. 40 And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea, at the same time loosing the bands of the rudders; and hoisting up the foresail to the wind, they made for the beach. 41 But lighting upon a place where two seas met, they ran the vessel aground; and the foreship struck and remained unmoveable, but the stern began to break up by the violence `of the waves'. 42 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any `of them' should swim out, and escape. 43 But the centurion, desiring to save Paul, stayed them from their purpose; and commanded that they who could swim should cast themselves overboard, and get first to the land; 44 and the rest, some on planks, and some on `other' things from the ship. And so it came to pass, that they all escaped safe to the land.

Notes:

Nehemiah 9:1 this month. Tishri (Sept./Oct.), 445 B.C. (7:73b; 8:2). with fasting, in sackcloth, and with dust. The outward demonstration of deep mourning and heaviness of heart for their iniquity seems to have been done in the spirit of the Day of Atonement which was normally observed on the tenth day of the seventh month (Lev. 16:1–34; 23:26–32).

Nehemiah 9:2 separated themselves from all foreigners. This call for divorcing all lawful wives taken from among the heathen was needed, since the last time, prompted 13 years before by Ezra, had only been partially successful. Many had escaped the required action of divorce and kept their pagan wives. Perhaps new defaulters had appeared, also, and were confronted for the first time with this necessary action of divorce. Nehemiah’s efforts were successful in removing this evil mixture.

Nehemiah 9:3 they stood…read…confessed and worshiped. The succession of events helped to reestablish the essential commitment of Israel to God and His law. They read for 3 hours about the sins of their fathers and for 3 more hours confessed that they had been partakers of similar evil deeds. In response to all of this, they worshiped.

Proverbs 21:29 The wicked become obstinate, maintaining what suits them without regard for others or the truth, while good people proceed with integrity.

Acts 27:27 27 But when the fourteenth night was come, as we were driven to and fro in the `sea of' Adria, about midnight the sailors surmised that they were drawing near to some country: fourteenth night. Since they sailed from Fair Havens (v. 13).Adriatic Sea. The central Mediterranean Sea, not the present Adriatic Sea located between Italy and Croatia. The modern Adriatic was known in Paul’s day as the Gulf of Adria. sensed. The sailors probably heard the sound of waves breaking on a shore.

Acts 27:28 28 and they sounded, and found twenty fathoms; and after a little space, they sounded again, and found fifteen fathoms. took soundings. With a weight attached to a length of rope they measured the depth of the sea. twenty fathoms…fifteen fathoms. 120 feet…90 feet. The decreasing depth of the water confirmed the ship was approaching land.

Acts 27:42 42 And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any `of them' should swim out, and escape. the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners. Knowing they could face punishment or death if their prisoners escaped (12:19; 16:27).

DAY 28: How do repentance from sin and rejoicing go together?

In response to the people’s request, Ezra brought the Law of the Lord to the people ( Nehemiah 8:1 Chapter 8 1 And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the broad place that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which Jehovah had commanded to Israel. ).At this time, the Law was a scroll, as opposed to a text consisting of bound pages. Such a reading was required every 7 years at the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 31:10–13), even though it had been neglected since the Babylonian captivity until this occasion.

From daybreak to noon, a period of at least 6 hours, the Law was read and explained. Other men, probably priests, stood with Ezra to show agreement, and all of the people stood, as well (Neh. 8:5).This was in respect for God’s Word, as though they were in the presence of God Himself. Some of the Levites assisted Ezra with the people’s understanding of the Scripture by reading and explaining it (vv. 7, 8). This may have involved translation for people who were only Aramaic speakers in exile, but more likely it means “to break down” the text into its parts so that the people could understand it. This was an exposition or explanation of the meaning and not just translation.

When the people heard and understood God’s law, they wept (v. 9). Not tears of joy, but penitent sorrow (v. 10) came forth as they were grieved by conviction (v. 11) over the distressing manifestations of sin in transgressing the Lord’s commands and the consequent punishments they had suffered in their captivity.

The event called for a holy day of worship to prepare them for the hard days ahead (12:43), so they were encouraged to rejoice. The words they had heard did remind them that God punishes sin, but also that God blesses obedience. That was reason to celebrate. “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength” (8:10). They had not been utterly destroyed as a nation, in spite of their sin, and were, by God’s grace, on the brink of a new beginning. That called for celebration.

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

Additional Resources        

July 28 - True Commitment

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 28th.

“Another of the disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead’” ( Matthew 8:21 21 And another of the disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. –22).

Like the scribe, this second man disappears from the record after approaching Jesus. Evidently the Lord’s discipleship demands were too strict and the appeal of discipleship vanished (cf. Matt. 19:16–22). Christ’s instruction to follow Him simply means, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24).

The Lord Jesus always made it clear that commitment must be complete or not at all. Consider this:

I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. (Matt. 10:34–38)

This is not speaking of Christian service but of salvation. God won’t save anyone who comes to him with strings attached.

People have long admired Christ for His authority, moral teaching, ethical standards, love and healing, even His deity. But in spite of all that, they have failed to submit themselves to Him. J. C. Ryle has written, “The saddest road to hell is the one that runs under the pulpit, past the Bible, and through the middle of warnings and invitations.”

Ask Yourself

How have you suffered rejection and disdain for your Christian faith? What would still be lacking in your life if you had the acceptance of others but not the acceptance of Christ?

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        

Fruitfulness

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 28th.

“For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” ( 2 Peter 1:8 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. ).

If you are a Christian, your life will produce spiritual fruit.

If you want to enjoy assurance of salvation in all its richness, you need to faithfully pursue all the virtues we have been studying this past week. The reason is simple—they produce fruit in the Christian life, and nothing is a better indicator of true salvation than that. It was the criterion Christ used to distinguish between the true and false believer (Matt. 7:15-20).

The reasonable question that ought to arise next is, what is fruit? The New Testament says it encompasses many righteous activities. Paul says winning souls to Christ is fruit (Rom. 1:13). The apostle calls the house of Stephanas “the first fruits of Achaia” (1 Cor. 16:15). In Philippians 4:17 17 Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for the fruit that increaseth to your account. Paul refers to money given in the support of ministry as fruit. The writer of Hebrews says praise is the fruit of our lips (Heb. 13:15). The act of praying is also a spiritual fruit.

Behind every one of those righteous actions is the right attitude, because “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). If you act without a godly attitude, it is only legalism, not genuine spiritual fruit.

All the Spirit-endowed virtues, actions, and attitudes we have discussed, if they are in your life, will assure you that you’ll be “neither useless nor unfruitful.” “Useless” is also used in James 2:20 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works is barren? in relation to dead faith. If you incorporate into your life the virtues of 2 Peter 1:5-7 5 Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in `your' virtue knowledge; 6 and in `your' knowledge self-control; and in `your' self-control patience; and in `your' patience godliness; 7 and in `your' godliness brotherly kindness; and in `your' brotherly kindness love. , your faith will not be dead or ineffective.

“Unfruitful” is also used in Matthew 13:22 22 And he that was sown among the thorns, this is he that heareth the word; and the care of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. of the person with a weedy heart and of false, apostate teachers in Jude 12. When you don’t live a virtuous life, you are the same as an apostate or a worldly hanger-on in the church.

“In the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” refers to true believers, those who possess truth as opposed to error. Because you know Christ, you have the ability to live a virtuous life (see Eph. 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3 3 seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue; ). When you do, God will give you true assurance.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that God would strengthen any of the virtues that are weak in your life.

For Further Study

Read Matthew 7:13-23 13 Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. 14 For narrow is the gate, and straitened the way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it. 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. 16 By their fruits ye shall know them. Do `men' gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. .

  • What is the first essential for fruitfulness (vv. 13-14)?
  • What will happen to many who do good works (vv. 22-23)?

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        

Proving Your Faith

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 28th.
"In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 1:6-7).

Proven faith brings joy and confidence.

Although some Christians fear that trials and persecutions can only rob them of their joy, Peter taught just the opposite. In fact, he said that joy comes not in spite of trouble but because of trouble. That's because it's easy to lose your joy if you doubt your salvation, but when your faith has been tested and proven to be genuine, doubts will disappear and you'll have joy and assurance.

Every trial you face is designed to test and perfect your faith, and God carefully controls their parameters to accomplish that purpose. Verse 6 specifies that they are temporary, necessary, distressing, and multi-faceted, but they should never diminish your joy. He won't allow you to undergo more than you can bear (1 Cor. 10:13).

Peter used the analogy of an assayer or goldsmith to illustrate the purging process that produces proven faith (v. 7). The fire symbolizes trials and the gold symbolizes your faith. Just as the refiner's fire burns away the dross and leaves only pure gold, so God purges you through trials to reveal the purity of your faith.

That's an appropriate analogy because gold was the most precious of metals and the standard for all monetary transactions. But as valuable as gold is, proven faith is infinitely more precious. Gold is temporal and perishable; proven faith is eternal.

So don't fear trials when they come your way. Welcome them as opportunities to prove that your faith is real. Be encouraged that "after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you" (1 Pet. 5:10).

Suggestions for Prayer

If you are currently going through a time of testing, ask God for the grace and wisdom to pass the test. Thank Him in advance for the joy and confidence you'll gain when the test is over.

For Further Study

Read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as one beside himself) I more; in labors more abundantly, in prisons more abundantly, in stripes above measure, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty `stripes' save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day have I been in the deep; 26 `in' journeyings often, `in' perils of rivers, `in' perils of robbers, `in' perils from `my' countrymen, `in' perils from the Gentiles, `in' perils in the city, `in' perils in the wilderness, `in' perils in the sea, `in' perils among false brethren; 27 `in' labor and travail, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Besides those things that are without, there is that which presseth upon me daily, anxiety for all the churches. , noting the trials Paul endured for His faith in Christ.

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 July 28th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on July 28th.

Psalms 73:22 22 So brutish was I, and ignorant; I was `as' a beast before thee.

REMEMBER this is the confession of the man after God's own heart; and in telling us his inner life, he writes, "So foolish was I, and ignorant." The word "foolish," here, means more than it signifies in ordinary language. David, in a former verse of the Psalm, writes, "I was envious at the foolish when I saw the prosperity of the wicked," which shows that the folly he intended had sin in it. He puts himself down as being thus "foolish," and adds a word which is to give intensity to it; "so foolish was I." How foolish he could not tell. It was a sinful folly, a folly which was not to be excused by frailty, but to be condemned because of its perverseness and wilful ignorance, for he had been envious of the present prosperity of the ungodly, forgetful of the dreadful end awaiting all such. And are we better than David that we should call ourselves wise! Do we profess that we have attained perfection, or to have been so chastened that the rod has taken all our wilfulness out of us? Ah, this were pride indeed! If David was foolish, how foolish should we be in our own esteem if we could but see ourselves! Look back, believer: think of your doubting God when He has been so faithful to you—think of your foolish outcry of "Not so, my Father," when He crossed His hands in affliction to give you the larger blessing; think of the many times when you have read His providences in the dark, misinterpreted His dispensations, and groaned out, "All these things are against me," when they are all working together for your good! Think how often you have chosen sin because of its pleasure, when indeed, that pleasure was a root of bitterness to you! Surely if we know our own heart we must plead guilty to the indictment of a sinful folly; and conscious of this "foolishness," we must make David's consequent resolve our own—"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel."

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for July 28th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on July 28th.

Acts 10:38 38 `even' Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed him with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

FEW words, but yet an exquisite miniature of the Lord Jesus Christ. There are not many touches, but they are the strokes of a master's pencil. Of the Saviour and only of the Saviour is it true in the fullest, broadest, and most unqualified sense. "He went about doing good." From this description it is evident that He did good personally. The evangelists constantly tell us that He touched the leper with His own finger, that He anointed the eyes of the blind, and that in cases where He was asked to speak the word only at a distance, He did not usually comply, but went Himself to the sick bed, and there personally wrought the cure. A lesson to us, if we would do good, to do it ourselves. Give alms with your own hand; a kind look, or word, will enhance the value of the gift. Speak to a friend about his soul; your loving appeal will have more influence than a whole library of tracts. Our Lord's mode of doing good sets forth His incessant activity! He did not only the good which came close to hand, but He "went about" on His errands of mercy. Throughout the whole land of Judea there was scarcely a village or a hamlet which was not gladdened by the sight of Him. How this reproves the creeping, loitering manner, in which many professors serve the Lord. Let us gird up the loins of our mind, and be not weary in well doing. Does not the text imply that Jesus Christ went out of His way to do good? "He went about doing good." He was never deterred by danger or difficulty. He sought out the objects of His gracious intentions. So must we. If old plans will not answer, we must try new ones, for fresh experiments sometimes achieve more than regular methods. Christ's perseverance, and the unity of His purpose, are also hinted at, and the practical application of the subject may be summed up in the words, "He hath left us an example that we should follow in His steps."

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