HE IS RISEN!

"For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord."
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Jesus: A Servant

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on July 19th.

Matthew 20:20-28 20 Then came to him the mother of the sons of Zebedee with her sons, worshipping `him', and asking a certain thing of him. 21 And he said unto her, What wouldest thou? She saith unto him, Command that these my two sons may sit, one on thy right hand, and one on thy left hand, in thy kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink the cup that I am about to drink? They say unto him, We are able. 23 He saith unto them, My cup indeed ye shall drink: but to sit on my right hand, and on `my' left hand, is not mine to give; but `it is for them' for whom it hath been prepared of my Father. 24 And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation concerning the two brethren. 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 Not so shall it be among you: but whosoever would become great among you shall be your minister; 27 and whosoever would be first among you shall be your servant: 28 even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Believers like to talk about Jesus as Lord, Master, and especially Savior, but rarely is He mentioned as Servant. Yet describing His own mission, Christ said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). He entered the world to offer Himself for the Father’s purpose and mankind’s need.

Because every human being is born enslaved to sin, Jesus came to set us free. He voluntarily exchanged His glory for flesh because only as a human could He die in our place to pay the penalty for our sin. The greatest service He offered was His sacrifice on the cross. He allowed His purity to be violated by our transgressions. In fact, God made Jesus “who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf” so that we could gain His righteousness ( 2 Corinthians 5:21 21 Him who knew no sin he made `to be' sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him. ).

Our sinless Savior suddenly and painfully felt the burden of guilt, the vileness of sin, the weight of a tarnished soul, and a wretched separation from His Father. He suffered the injustice of dying for our sins in order that God’s holiness and our imperfection could be reconciled, and we could be shown mercy.

Jesus was the Father’s servant, agreeing to an atonement plan that made Him a sacrifice. And He is your servant as well—He humbly endured the punishment you deserved. To receive the benefit of His sacrifice, you need only believe and call on Him for the forgiveness of your sins. When you receive Him into your life, then you too will know the Servant, Jesus Christ, as Savior and Lord.

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 9-12 Chapter 9 1 For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it be love or hatred, man knoweth it not; all is before them. 2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth and to him that sacrificeth not; as is the good, so is the sinner; `and' he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. 3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that `they go' to the dead. 4 For to him that is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun. 7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God hath already accepted thy works. 8 Let thy garments be always white; and let not thy head lack oil. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of thy life of vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all thy days of vanity: for that is thy portion in life, and in thy labor wherein thou laborest under the sun. 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do `it' with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, whither thou goest. 11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. 12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. 13 I have also seen wisdom under the sun on this wise, and it seemed great unto me: 14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. 17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroyeth much good. Chapter 10 1 Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor; `so' doth a little folly outweigh wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yea also, when the fool walketh by the way, his understanding faileth him, and he saith to every one `that' he is a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for gentleness allayeth great offences. 5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as it were an error which proceedeth from the ruler: 6 folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking like servants upon the earth. 8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh through a wall, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoso heweth out stones shall be hurt therewith; `and' he that cleaveth wood is endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 If the serpent bite before it is charmed, then is there no advantage in the charmer. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 14 A fool also multiplieth words: `yet' man knoweth not what shall be; and that which shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labor of fools wearieth every one of them; for he knoweth not how to go to the city. 16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! 17 Happy art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By slothfulness the roof sinketh in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaketh. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh glad the life; and money answereth all things. 20 Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought; and revile not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. Chapter 11 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days. 2 Give a portion to seven, yea, even unto eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be. 4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind, `nor' how the bones `do grow' in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all. 6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. 7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. 8 Yea, if a man live many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. Chapter 12 1 Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows shall be darkened, 4 and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; 5 yea, they shall be afraid of `that which is' high, and terrors `shall be' in the way; and the almond-tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity. 9 And further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, `and' set in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written uprightly, `even' words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are as goads; and as nails well fastened are `the words of' the masters of assemblies, `which' are given from one shepherd. 12 And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13 `This is' the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole `duty' of man. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.




Partners in Ministry

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on July 19th.

Acts 20:1-6 Chapter 20 1 And after the uproar ceased, Paul having sent for the disciples and exhorted them, took leave of them, and departed to go into Macedonia. 2 And when he had gone through those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece. 3 And when he had spent three months `there,' and a plot was laid against him by Jews as he was about to set sail for Syria, he determined to return through Macedonia. 4 And there accompanied him as far as Asia, Sopater of Beroea, `the son' of Pyrrhus; and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus; and Gaius of Derbe, and Timothy; and of Asia, Tychicus and Trophimus. 5 But these had gone before, and were waiting for us at Troas. 6 And we sailed away from Philippi after the days of unleavened bread, and came unto them to Troas in five days, where we tarried seven days.

No one can dispute that the apostle Paul played a foundational role in the establishment of the early church. We generally think of him as the man who took the gospel to the ends of the civilized world of that era. But Paul never worked alone. Throughout the book of Acts and the Epistles, we catch glimpses of people who partnered with Paul in ministry.

In today’s reading, we meet a small missionary team—including Luke, the author of Acts—who accompanied Paul as he journeyed through Macedonia. Although we know little or nothing about most of them, each played an important part in the formation of the church. From God’s perspective, there are no insignificant people or ministries in the church of Jesus Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 12:1-31 Chapter 12 1 Now concerning spiritual `gifts', brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that when ye were Gentiles `ye were' led away unto those dumb idols, howsoever ye might led. 3 Wherefore I make known unto you, that no man speaking in the Spirit of God saith, Jesus is anathema; and no man can say, Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of workings, but the same God, who worketh all things in all. 7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: 9 to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; 10 and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another `divers' kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ. 13 For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; it is not therefore not of the body. 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; it is not therefore not of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members each one of them in the body, even as it pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now they are many members, but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee: or again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be more feeble are necessary: 23 and those `parts' of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely `parts' have more abundant comeliness; 24 whereas our comely `parts' have no need: but God tempered the body together, giving more abundant honor to that `part' which lacked; 25 that there should be no schism in the body; but `that' the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it; or `one' member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and severally members thereof. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, `divers' kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all `workers of' miracles? 30 have all gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But desire earnestly the greater gifts. And moreover a most excellent way show I unto you. , Paul likens the church to a body, whose health depends on the proper functioning of all its various parts. The Holy Spirit gives each believer a special ability for service within the church. Although people like Paul, who have a more visible role, may seem more necessary, in reality every believer is essential. Behind-the-scenes services rendered by less visible people are never forgotten by the Lord.

To God, the issue is not who sees our service or knows what we’ve done; He’s interested in our obedience, attitude, and motive for serving Him. He doesn’t want us wallowing in self-pity or low self-esteem because our work isn’t noticed or appreciated. Instead, we should aspire to glorify the Lord and be faithful in whatever we do, knowing that He promises to reward our service and will not overlook our obedience.

Bible in One Year: Ecclesiastes 9-12 Chapter 9 1 For all this I laid to my heart, even to explore all this: that the righteous, and the wise, and their works, are in the hand of God; whether it be love or hatred, man knoweth it not; all is before them. 2 All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth and to him that sacrificeth not; as is the good, so is the sinner; `and' he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath. 3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea also, the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that `they go' to the dead. 4 For to him that is joined with all the living there is hope; for a living dog is better than a dead lion. 5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not anything, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. 6 As well their love, as their hatred and their envy, is perished long ago; neither have they any more a portion for ever in anything that is done under the sun. 7 Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God hath already accepted thy works. 8 Let thy garments be always white; and let not thy head lack oil. 9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of thy life of vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all thy days of vanity: for that is thy portion in life, and in thy labor wherein thou laborest under the sun. 10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do `it' with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, whither thou goest. 11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. 12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare, even so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them. 13 I have also seen wisdom under the sun on this wise, and it seemed great unto me: 14 There was a little city, and few men within it; and there came a great king against it, and besieged it, and built great bulwarks against it. 15 Now there was found in it a poor wise man, and he by his wisdom delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. 16 Then said I, Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. 17 The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the cry of him that ruleth among fools. 18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroyeth much good. Chapter 10 1 Dead flies cause the oil of the perfumer to send forth an evil odor; `so' doth a little folly outweigh wisdom and honor. 2 A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left. 3 Yea also, when the fool walketh by the way, his understanding faileth him, and he saith to every one `that' he is a fool. 4 If the spirit of the ruler rise up against thee, leave not thy place; for gentleness allayeth great offences. 5 There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, as it were an error which proceedeth from the ruler: 6 folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in a low place. 7 I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking like servants upon the earth. 8 He that diggeth a pit shall fall into it; and whoso breaketh through a wall, a serpent shall bite him. 9 Whoso heweth out stones shall be hurt therewith; `and' he that cleaveth wood is endangered thereby. 10 If the iron be blunt, and one do not whet the edge, then must he put to more strength: but wisdom is profitable to direct. 11 If the serpent bite before it is charmed, then is there no advantage in the charmer. 12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness; and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 14 A fool also multiplieth words: `yet' man knoweth not what shall be; and that which shall be after him, who can tell him? 15 The labor of fools wearieth every one of them; for he knoweth not how to go to the city. 16 Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning! 17 Happy art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness! 18 By slothfulness the roof sinketh in; and through idleness of the hands the house leaketh. 19 A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh glad the life; and money answereth all things. 20 Revile not the king, no, not in thy thought; and revile not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the heavens shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter. Chapter 11 1 Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days. 2 Give a portion to seven, yea, even unto eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth. 3 If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth; and if a tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there shall it be. 4 He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap. 5 As thou knowest not what is the way of the wind, `nor' how the bones `do grow' in the womb of her that is with child; even so thou knowest not the work of God who doeth all. 6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand; for thou knowest not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. 7 Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun. 8 Yea, if a man live many years, let him rejoice in them all; but let him remember the days of darkness, for they shall be many. All that cometh is vanity. 9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. 10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity. Chapter 12 1 Remember also thy Creator in the days of thy youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 2 before the sun, and the light, and the moon, and the stars, are darkened, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows shall be darkened, 4 and the doors shall be shut in the street; when the sound of the grinding is low, and one shall rise up at the voice of a bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; 5 yea, they shall be afraid of `that which is' high, and terrors `shall be' in the way; and the almond-tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about the streets: 6 before the silver cord is loosed, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern, 7 and the dust returneth to the earth as it was, and the spirit returneth unto God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher; all is vanity. 9 And further, because the Preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he pondered, and sought out, `and' set in order many proverbs. 10 The Preacher sought to find out acceptable words, and that which was written uprightly, `even' words of truth. 11 The words of the wise are as goads; and as nails well fastened are `the words of' the masters of assemblies, `which' are given from one shepherd. 12 And furthermore, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. 13 `This is' the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole `duty' of man. 14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.




Daily Bible - July 19

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 19th.

Reading for Today:

  • 2 Chronicles 34:1 Chapter 34 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. –36:23
  • Psalms 86:1-5 Chapter 86 1 Bow down thine ear, O Jehovah, and answer me; For I am poor and needy. 2 Preserve my soul; for I am godly: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. 3 Be merciful unto me, O Lord; For unto thee do I cry all the day long. 4 Rejoice the soul of thy servant; For unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. 5 For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in lovingkindness unto all them that call upon thee.
  • Proverbs 21:13-14 13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, He also shall cry, but shall not be heard. 14 A gift in secret pacifieth anger; And a present in the bosom, strong wrath.
  • Acts 21:1-17 Chapter 21 1 And when it came to pass that were parted from them and had set sail, we came with a straight course unto Cos, and the next day unto Rhodes, and from thence unto Patara: 2 and having found a ship crossing over unto Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail. 3 And when we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left hand, we sailed unto Syria, and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unlade her burden. 4 And having found the disciples, we tarried there seven days: and these said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not set foot in Jerusalem. 5 And when it came to pass that we had accomplished the days, we departed and went on our journey; and they all, with wives and children, brought us on our way till we were out of the city: and kneeling down on the beach, we prayed, and bade each other farewell; 6 and we went on board the ship, but they returned home again. 7 And when we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais; and we saluted the brethren, and abode with them one day. 8 And on the morrow we departed, and came unto Caesarea: and entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we abode with him. 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters, who prophesied. 10 And as we tarried there some days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. 11 And coming to us, and taking Paul's girdle, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12 And when we heard these things, both we and they of that place besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, What do ye, weeping and breaking my heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done. 15 And after these days we took up our baggage and went up to Jerusalem. 16 And there went with us also `certain' of the disciples from Caesarea, bringing `with them' one Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge. 17 And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.

Notes:

2 Chronicles 35:3 3 And he said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, that were holy unto Jehovah, Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; there shall no more be a burden upon your shoulders: now serve Jehovah your God, and his people Israel. the holy ark. The ark of the covenant which was to remain in the Most Holy Place had been removed, probably by Manasseh who set a carved image in its place (33:7). The law for the carrying of the ark during the tabernacle days, when it was portable, called for poles to be place through rings on the sides and Levites (Kohathites) to carry it by the poles without touching it (Ex. 25:14, 15). Now that the temple was built and the ark had a permanent place, it no longer needed to be transported in the old way.

Chronicles 35:21 God commanded me. Necho is referring to the true God—whether he had a true revelation or not is unknown. Josiah had no way to know either, and it is apparent he did not believe that Necho spoke the word of God. There is no reason to assume his death was punishment for refusing to believe. He probably thought Necho was lying and, once victorious with Assyria over Babylon, they would together be back to assault Israel.

2 Chronicles 36:11 11 Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: –21 The reign of Zedekiah, a.k.a. Mattaniah (ca. 597–586 B.C.). Jeremiah prophesied during this reign (Jer. 1:3) and wrote Lamentations to mourn the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586 B.C. Ezekiel received his commission during this reign (Ezek. 1:1) and prophesied from 592 B.C. to his death in 560 B.C.

Acts 21:2 2 and having found a ship crossing over unto Phoenicia, we went aboard, and set sail. finding a ship…Phoenicia. Realizing he would never reach Jerusalem in time for Pentecost if he continued to hug the coast, Paul decided to risk sailing directly across the Mediterranean Sea to Tyre (v. 3).The ship they embarked on would have been considerably larger than the small coastal vessels on which they had been sailing. The ship that later took Paul on his ill-fated voyage to Rome held 276 people (27:37); this one was probably of comparable size.

Acts 21:9 9 Now this man had four virgin daughters, who prophesied. virgin daughters. That they were virgins may indicate that they had been called by God for special ministry (1 Cor. 7:34).The early church regarded these women as important sources of information on the early years of the church. prophesied. Luke does not reveal the nature of their prophecy. They may have had an ongoing prophetic ministry or prophesied only once. Since women are not to be preachers or teachers in the church (1 Cor. 14:34–36; 1 Tim. 2:11, 12), they probably ministered to individuals.

DAY 19: Why did Paul not heed all the warnings about going to Jerusalem?

The church in Tyre had been founded by some of those who fled Jerusalem after Stephen’s martyrdom ( Acts 11:19 19 They therefore that were scattered abroad upon the tribulation that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to none save only to Jews. )—a persecution Paul himself had spearheaded. When Paul arrived there, the disciples there told Paul “to not to go up to Jerusalem” (21:4). This was not a command from the Spirit for Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Rather, the Spirit had revealed to the believers at Tyre that Paul would face suffering in Jerusalem. Understandably, they tried to dissuade him from going there. Paul’s mission to Jerusalem had been given him by the Lord Jesus (20:24); the Spirit would never command him to abandon it.

Later, a prophet named Agabus (11:28) met Paul in Caesarea. Although it was located in Judea, the Jews considered Caesarea, seat of the Roman government, to be a foreign city. Old Testament prophets sometimes acted out their prophecies (1 Kin. 11:29–39; Is. 20:2–6; Jer. 13:1–11; Ezek. 4; 5), and Agabus’s action of binding his hands and feet with Paul’s belt foreshadowed Paul’s arrest and imprisonment by the Romans ( Acts 21:11 11 And coming to us, and taking Paul's girdle, he bound his own feet and hands, and said, Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. ).Though falsely accused by the Jews (vv. 27, 28), Paul was arrested and imprisoned by the Romans (vv. 31–33).

Hearing these warnings, it is not surprising that both Paul’s friends (Luke and the others traveling with him) and the Caesarean Christians pleaded with Paul to not go. Paul’s response is to say, “I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (v. 13). Jesus’ name represents all that He is. That said from Paul, his friends response was, “The will of the Lord be done” (v. 14)—a confident expression of trust that God’s will is best (1 Sam. 3:18; Matt. 6:10; Luke 22:42 42 saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. ; James 4:13 13 Come now, ye that say, To-day or to-morrow we will go into this city, and spend a year there, and trade, and get gain: –15).

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

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July 19 - Jesus’ Reality Check on Salvation

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 19th.

“‘I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’” ( Matthew 8:11 11 And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: –12).

Jesus’ words to the Jews in Capernaum shattered their proud spiritual worldview, contradicting everything the rabbis had taught about salvation. Their apocryphal literature pictured a great heavenly feast in which only Jews would be present in the end.

Jesus, however, drastically revised that scene and declared that many Gentiles would be included and many Jews excluded. His Jewish listeners thought they still had exclusive possession of God’s kingdom promises and privileges. But because many of them rejected Messiah when He came, they disqualified themselves from salvation blessings and destined themselves to the condemnation of outer darkness. (Part of the frightening supernatural quality of hell is that it is a place of pain, torment, and fire that lasts for eternity in total darkness—a combination not found in the present world.)

The Jews enjoyed many blessings (Rom. 3:1–2), but being physical descendants of Abraham did not guarantee salvation. True salvation is for all who are children of Abraham’s spiritual faith, those whom God adopts as His children (Rom. 8:14–17; Gal. 3:7–9, 26–29). When many Jews, especially the leaders, rejected Jesus as Messiah, they proved they were not true, spiritual children of Abraham, but actually children of the devil ( John 8:42 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me. –44). As such, Jesus in effect said, they forfeited God’s promised blessings and any hopes of entering heaven, unless they repented. That was the radical, sobering clarification Christ brought to the Jews’ profound misunderstanding of the nature of salvation.

Ask Yourself

Again, we must look within to isolate any self-righteous tendencies that place others in categories and inflate our inherent worth before God. Ask Him to bring such sins of pride and presumption to the surface, where they can be identified and disposed of.

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

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Discernment Between Truth and Error

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 19th.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” ( 1 John 4:1-3 Chapter 4 1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: 3 and every spirit that confesseth not Jesus is not of God: and this is the `spirit' of the antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it cometh; and now it is in the world already. ).

God’s children are able to discern false doctrine.

A sure mark of every false religious system is doctrinal error, particularly about the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Those systems deny that He is Savior and Lord, God in human flesh, the only way to the Father ( John 14:6 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me. ) because salvation comes only through Him ( Acts 4:12 12 And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved. ).

A sure mark, then, of all true children of God is that they believe the truth about Jesus Christ and do not deviate into doctrinal error. Although they may be temporarily duped by false teaching, they will not be permanently deceived by it. The apostle John wrote, “[False teachers] are from the world; therefore they speak as from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” ( 1 John 4:5-6 5 They are of the world: therefore speak they `as' of the world, and the world heareth them. 6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he who is not of God heareth us not. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. ).

When you were saved, you were clear about who Christ was. “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ,” writes John, “is born of God” ( 1 John 5:1 Chapter 5 1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is begotten of God: and whosoever loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. ). Had you not passed that doctrinal test, you wouldn’t have been saved. God’s children distinguish spiritual truth from doctrinal error because the Spirit of truth ( John 14:16 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for ever, ) indwells them.

“O Timothy,” Paul exhorted his beloved son in the faith, “guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called ‘knowledge’” (1 Tim. 6:20). I pray that you will guard the precious treasure of truth entrusted to you in the Scriptures and so assure your heart that you belong to the God of truth.

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God for revealing His truth to us in the Bible.

For Further Study

Read John 1:1 Chapter 1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ; Philippians 2:5-11 5 Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 who, existing in the form of God, counted not the being on an equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; 8 and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, becoming obedient `even' unto death, yea, the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore also God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name; 10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of `things' in heaven and `things' on earth and `things' under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ; Colossians 2:9 9 for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, . What do they teach about the Person of Christ?

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

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Receiving Compassion

Published by Grace To You for reading on July 19th.
"You once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy" (1 Pet. 2:10).

Because of God’s compassion, He withholds the just punishment of your sin.

Hosea had a unique role among the prophets. God used him and his adulterous wife, Gomer, as living illustrations of His love for unfaithful Israel. When Gomer gave birth to a daughter, the Lord told Hosea to name her Lo-ruhamah, which means "No mercy," because His mercy for Israel would soon come to an end. When Gomer later gave birth to a son, the Lord said to call him Lo-ammi, which means "Not mine," for He no longer considered Israel His people. Yet He offered this hope, saying, "It will come about that, in the place where it is said to them, 'You are not My people,' it will be said to them, 'You are the sons of the living God'" (Hos. 1:10).

In our Scripture for today, Peter applied that Old Testament text to the New Testament church, just as Paul did in Romans 9:25-26 25 As he saith also in Hosea, I will call that my people, which was not my people; And her beloved, that was not beloved. 26 And it shall be, `that' in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, There shall they be called sons of the living God. : "I will call those who were not My people, 'My people,' and her who was not beloved, 'Beloved.' And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, 'You are not My people,' there they shall be called sons of the living God." God rejected unbelieving Israel, but extended His compassion to anyone willing to trust in Christ. It is particularly true that Gentiles in the church were once not the people of God, but now have received mercy and are God's beloved children.

God's mercy includes His general providential care for all mankind, but Hosea, Peter, and Paul were speaking of His special compassion—first in salvation, then in daily blessings—for those who belong to Him. By it He withholds the punishment we deserve for our sins and grants us His lovingkindness instead.

As you reflect on God's mercy in your own life, let Psalms 136:1 Chapter 136 1 Oh give thanks unto Jehovah; for he is good; For his lovingkindness `endureth' for ever. be the song of your heart: "O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever" (KJV).

Suggestions for Prayer

Memorize Psalms 59:16-17 16 But I will sing of thy strength; Yea, I will sing aloud of thy lovingkindness in the morning: For thou hast been my high tower, And a refuge in the day of my distress. 17 Unto thee, O my strength, will I sing praises: For God is my high tower, the God of my mercy. Psalm 60 For the Chief Musician; `set to' Shushan Eduth. Michtam of David, to teach; and when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the Valley of Salt twelve thousand. . Recite it often in praise to the Lord.

For Further Study

What do these verses teach about God's mercy: Psalms 103:11 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is his lovingkindness toward them that fear him. , 2 Corinthians 1:3 3 Blessed `be' the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; , and Titus 3:5 5 not by works `done' in righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, ?

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.

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His Timing Is Perfect

Published by John Piper for reading on July 19th.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may find grace for a well-timed help. ( Hebrews 4:16 16 Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help `us' in time of need. , literal translation)

All ministry is in the future — a moment away, or a month, or a year, or a decade. We have ample time to fret about our inadequacy. When this happens, we must turn to prayer.

Prayer is the form of faith that connects us today with the grace that will make us adequate for tomorrow’s ministry. Timing is everything.

What if grace comes too early or comes too late? The traditional translation of Hebrews 4:16 16 Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help `us' in time of need. hides from us a very precious promise in this regard. We need a more literal rendering to see it.

The more traditional wording goes like this: “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” The Greek original behind the phrase “grace to help in time of need” would be translated literally, “grace for a well-timed help.”

The point is that prayer is the way to find future grace for a well-timed help. This grace always arrives from the “throne of grace” on time. The phrase “throne of grace” means that future grace comes from the King of the universe who sets the times by his own authority ( Acts 1:7 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority. ).

His timing is perfect, but it is rarely ours: “For a thousand years in [his] sight are but as yesterday when it is past” ( Psalms 90:4 4 For a thousand years in thy sight Are but as yesterday when it is past, And as a watch in the night. ). At the global level, he sets the times for nations to rise and fall ( Acts 17:26 26 and he made of one every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, having determined `their' appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation; ). And at the personal level, “My times are in [his] hand” ( Psalms 31:15 15 My times are in thy hand: Deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. ).

When we wonder about the timing of future grace, we must think on the “throne of grace.” Nothing can hinder God’s plan to send grace when it will be best for us. Future grace is always well-timed.



Morning Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for July 19th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on July 19th.

Deuteronomy 5:24 24 and ye said, Behold, Jehovah our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth speak with man, and he liveth.

GOD'S great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of Himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man's eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks, know but little of the God of tempests; but they who "do business in great waters," these see His "wonders in the deep." Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God's greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you.

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for July 19th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on July 19th.

Matthew 12:20 20 A bruised reed shall he not break, And smoking flax shall he not quench, Till he send forth judgment unto victory.

WHAT is weaker than the bruised reed or the smoking flax? A reed that groweth in the fen or marsh, let but the wild duck light upon it, and it snaps; let but the foot of man brush against it, and it is bruised and broken; every wind that flits across the river moves it to and fro. You can conceive of nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in jeopardy, than a bruised reed. Then look at the smoking flax—what is it? It has a spark within it, it is true, but it is almost smothered; an infant's breath might blow it out; nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame. Weak things are here described, yet Jesus says of them, "The smoking flax I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break." Some of God's children are made strong to do mighty works for Him; God has His Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza's gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; He has a few mighties who are lion-like men, but the majority of His people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passer by; a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds in a snare; if trial threatens, they are ready to faint; their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave, they are drifted along like a sea bird on the crest of the billows—weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight. Yet, weak as they are, and because they are so weak, they have this promise made specially to them. Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and lovingkindness! How it opens to us the compassion of Jesus—so gentle, tender, considerate! We need never shrink back from His touch. We need never fear a harsh word from Him; though He might well chide us for our weakness, He rebuketh not. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from Him, and the smoking flax no damping frowns.

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