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How to Become a Successful Father

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on June 17th.

Ephesians 6:1-4 Chapter 6 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), 3 that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord.

No human father is perfect. But with the guidance of the Spirit, Scripture, and godly mentors, a man can become a successful dad by intentionally leading his children in these areas:

Spirituality. Help your children to trust in Jesus Christ as early as possible, and they’ll grow with the understanding that He is to be at the center of everything they do.

Morality. In homes where honesty, purity, and loyalty are lived out, boys and girls learn to value integrity and listen to their conscience. This will also help them develop a habit of seeking the Holy Spirit’s direction.

Relationships. Teaching about love, respect, and mutual encouragement is good preparation for friendships and marriage.

Vocation. Model cooperation and the way to work “heartily, as to the Lord” (Col. 3:23 NKJV), and your children will form a healthy work ethic.

Finances. Teach the right way to handle money: to earn honestly, give generously, save intelligently, and enjoy heartily. (See 1 Tim. 6:17.)

Authority. Unless children learn how to function properly under authority—of parents, school, church, and government— rebelliousness can easily develop. Our sons and daughters notice when there’s a disconnect between our conduct and words, so setting a good example is essential.

The way to build guiding principles into a child’s life is by precept (teaching) and practice (modeling). Dads, if you plant these healthy concepts in your children’s hearts, what a joy it will be to see them equipped and motivated to fulfill God’s purpose for their life.

Bible in One Year: Psalms 35-38 Chapter 35 1 Strive thou, O Jehovah, with them that strive with me: Fight thou against them that fight against me. 2 Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help. 3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that pursue me: Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. 4 Let them be put to shame and brought to dishonor that seek after my soul: Let them be turned back and confounded that devise my hurt. 5 Let them be as chaff before the wind, And the angel of Jehovah driving `them' on. 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, And the angel of Jehovah pursuing them. 7 For without cause have they hid for me their net `in' a pit; Without cause have they digged `a pit' for my soul. 8 Let destruction come upon him unawares; And let his net that he hath hid catch himself: With destruction let him fall therein. 9 And my soul shall be joyful in Jehovah: It shall rejoice in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, Jehovah, who is like unto thee, Who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, Yea, the poor and the needy from him that robbeth him? 11 Unrighteous witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I know not. 12 They reward me evil for good, `To' the bereaving of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I afflicted my soul with fasting; And my prayer returned into mine own bosom. 14 I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother: I bowed down mourning, as one that bewaileth his mother. 15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: The abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew `it' not; They did tear me, and ceased not: 16 Like the profane mockers in feasts, They gnashed upon me with their teeth. 17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? Rescue my soul from their destructions, My darling from the lions. 18 I will give thee thanks in the great assembly: I will praise thee among much people. 19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; Neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. 20 For they speak not peace; But they devise deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land. 21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me; They said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. 22 Thou hast seen it, O Jehovah; keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. 23 Stir up thyself, and awake to the justice `due' unto me, `Even' unto my cause, my God and my Lord. 24 Judge me, O Jehovah my God, according to thy righteousness; And let them not rejoice over me. 25 Let them not say in their heart, Aha, so would we have it: Let them not say, We have swallowed him up. 26 Let them be put to shame and confounded together that rejoice at my hurt: Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor that magnify themselves against me. 27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: Yea, let them say continually, Jehovah be magnified, Who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. 28 And my tongue shall talk of thy righteousness `And' of thy praise all the day long. Psalm 36 For the Chief Musician. `A Psalm' of David the servant of Jehovah. Chapter 36 1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, That his iniquity will not be found out and be hated. 3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: He hath ceased to be wise `and' to do good. 4 He deviseth iniquity upon his bed; He setteth himself in a way that is not good; He abhorreth not evil. 5 Thy lovingkindness, O Jehovah, is in the heavens; Thy faithfulness `reacheth' unto the skies. 6 Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God; Thy judgments are a great deep: O Jehovah, thou preservest man and beast. 7 How precious is thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge under the shadow of thy wings. 8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; And thou wilt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. 9 For with thee is the fountain of life: In thy light shall we see light. 10 Oh continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee, And thy righteousness to the upright in heart. 11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: They are thrust down, and shall not be able to rise. Psalm 37 `A Psalm' of David. Chapter 37 1 Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, Neither be thou envious against them that work unrighteousness. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in Jehovah, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on `his' faithfulness. 4 Delight thyself also in Jehovah; And he will give thee the desires of thy heart. 5 Commit thy way unto Jehovah; Trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass. 6 And he will make thy righteousness to go forth as the light, And thy justice as the noon-day. 7 Rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: Fret not thyself, `it tendeth' only to evil-doing. 9 For evil-doers shall be cut off; But those that wait for Jehovah, they shall inherit the land. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and he shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the land, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plotteth against the just, And gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13 The Lord will laugh at him; For he seeth that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay such as are upright in the way. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, And their bows shall be broken. 16 Better is a little that the righteous hath Than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken; But Jehovah upholdeth the righteous. 18 Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect; And their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be put to shame in the time of evil; And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, And the enemies of Jehovah shall be as the fat of lambs: They shall consume; In smoke shall they consume away. 21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again; But the righteous dealeth graciously, and giveth. 22 For such as are blessed of him shall inherit the land; And they that are cursed of him shall be cut off. 23 A man's goings are established of Jehovah; And he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For Jehovah upholdeth him with his hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread. 26 All the day long he dealeth graciously, and lendeth; And his seed is blessed. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell for evermore. 28 For Jehovah loveth justice, And forsaketh not his saints; They are preserved for ever: But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous talketh of wisdom, And his tongue speaketh justice. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, And seeketh to slay him. 33 Jehovah will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged. 34 Wait for Jehovah, and keep his way, And he will exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil. 36 But one passed by, and, lo, he was not: Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; For there is a `happy' end to the man of peace. 38 As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together; The end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is of Jehovah; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble. 40 And Jehovah helpeth them, and rescueth them; He rescueth them from the wicked, and saveth them, Because they have taken refuge in him. Psalm 38 A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. Chapter 38 1 O Jehovah, rebuke me not in thy wrath; Neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, And thy hand presseth me sore. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine indignation; Neither is there any health in my bones because of my sin. 4 For mine iniquities are gone over my head: As a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds are loathsome and corrupt, Because of my foolishness. 6 I am pained and bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 7 For my loins are filled with burning; And there is no soundness in my flesh. 8 I am faint and sore bruised: I have groaned by reason of the disquietness of my heart. 9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; And my groaning is not hid from thee. 10 My heart throbbeth, my strength faileth me: As for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. 11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off. 12 They also that seek after my life lay snares `for me'; And they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, And meditate deceits all the day long. 13 But I, as a deaf man, hear not; And I am as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. 14 Yea, I am as a man that heareth not, And in whose mouth are no reproofs. 15 For in thee, O Jehovah, do I hope: Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God. 16 For I said, Lest they rejoice over me: When my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. 17 For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. 18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. 19 But mine enemies are lively, `and' are strong; And they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. 20 They also that render evil for good Are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good. 21 Forsake me not, O Jehovah: O my God, be not far from me. 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. Psalm 39 For the Chief Musician, Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.




Hindrances to Accepting God’s Love

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on June 17th.

1 John 3:1 Chapter 3 1 Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God; and `such' we are. For this cause the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

One of the most devastating failures a Christian can experience is the inability to embrace the pure love of God. What prevents a believer from accepting such a wonderful blessing?

Our own relationships. Ironically, the way we love each other can distort how we perceive the heavenly Father’s love. As imperfect people, we exhibit imperfect love. Conditional responses, wrong motives, and emotional highs and lows taint our understanding of God’s pure love.

Guilt. Our remorse over sinful behavior can subtly convince us that we are unworthy of God’s love. This is a trap of the devil. We have the assurance of Scripture that our Father loves us completely, regardless of our actions.

Legalism. Many people view the Bible as a simple rule book—a list of dos and don’ts. If you base your view of divine love on your ability to uphold every biblical precept, you are doomed to failure. God gave us His Word for instruction and inspiration, not as a measuring stick by which He distributes love.

Misinterpretation of divine discipline. Make no mistake—God definitely disciplines His children when they go astray. However, He is a trustworthy Father; His discipline and love are intimately connected (Heb. 12:5-6). He corrects our behavior when necessary for our benefit, not as a form of punishment. Jesus already paid the price for our sin; God will not make us pay a second time.

Is something in your life preventing you from experiencing the joy and exhilaration of God’s unconditional love? Lay it down before Him today, and receive the amazing grace He so freely offers.

Bible in One Year: Psalms 35-38 Chapter 35 1 Strive thou, O Jehovah, with them that strive with me: Fight thou against them that fight against me. 2 Take hold of shield and buckler, And stand up for my help. 3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that pursue me: Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. 4 Let them be put to shame and brought to dishonor that seek after my soul: Let them be turned back and confounded that devise my hurt. 5 Let them be as chaff before the wind, And the angel of Jehovah driving `them' on. 6 Let their way be dark and slippery, And the angel of Jehovah pursuing them. 7 For without cause have they hid for me their net `in' a pit; Without cause have they digged `a pit' for my soul. 8 Let destruction come upon him unawares; And let his net that he hath hid catch himself: With destruction let him fall therein. 9 And my soul shall be joyful in Jehovah: It shall rejoice in his salvation. 10 All my bones shall say, Jehovah, who is like unto thee, Who deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, Yea, the poor and the needy from him that robbeth him? 11 Unrighteous witnesses rise up; They ask me of things that I know not. 12 They reward me evil for good, `To' the bereaving of my soul. 13 But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I afflicted my soul with fasting; And my prayer returned into mine own bosom. 14 I behaved myself as though it had been my friend or my brother: I bowed down mourning, as one that bewaileth his mother. 15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: The abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew `it' not; They did tear me, and ceased not: 16 Like the profane mockers in feasts, They gnashed upon me with their teeth. 17 Lord, how long wilt thou look on? Rescue my soul from their destructions, My darling from the lions. 18 I will give thee thanks in the great assembly: I will praise thee among much people. 19 Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me; Neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause. 20 For they speak not peace; But they devise deceitful words against them that are quiet in the land. 21 Yea, they opened their mouth wide against me; They said, Aha, aha, our eye hath seen it. 22 Thou hast seen it, O Jehovah; keep not silence: O Lord, be not far from me. 23 Stir up thyself, and awake to the justice `due' unto me, `Even' unto my cause, my God and my Lord. 24 Judge me, O Jehovah my God, according to thy righteousness; And let them not rejoice over me. 25 Let them not say in their heart, Aha, so would we have it: Let them not say, We have swallowed him up. 26 Let them be put to shame and confounded together that rejoice at my hurt: Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor that magnify themselves against me. 27 Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favor my righteous cause: Yea, let them say continually, Jehovah be magnified, Who hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. 28 And my tongue shall talk of thy righteousness `And' of thy praise all the day long. Psalm 36 For the Chief Musician. `A Psalm' of David the servant of Jehovah. Chapter 36 1 The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, There is no fear of God before his eyes. 2 For he flattereth himself in his own eyes, That his iniquity will not be found out and be hated. 3 The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit: He hath ceased to be wise `and' to do good. 4 He deviseth iniquity upon his bed; He setteth himself in a way that is not good; He abhorreth not evil. 5 Thy lovingkindness, O Jehovah, is in the heavens; Thy faithfulness `reacheth' unto the skies. 6 Thy righteousness is like the mountains of God; Thy judgments are a great deep: O Jehovah, thou preservest man and beast. 7 How precious is thy lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge under the shadow of thy wings. 8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; And thou wilt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. 9 For with thee is the fountain of life: In thy light shall we see light. 10 Oh continue thy lovingkindness unto them that know thee, And thy righteousness to the upright in heart. 11 Let not the foot of pride come against me, And let not the hand of the wicked drive me away. 12 There are the workers of iniquity fallen: They are thrust down, and shall not be able to rise. Psalm 37 `A Psalm' of David. Chapter 37 1 Fret not thyself because of evil-doers, Neither be thou envious against them that work unrighteousness. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. 3 Trust in Jehovah, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on `his' faithfulness. 4 Delight thyself also in Jehovah; And he will give thee the desires of thy heart. 5 Commit thy way unto Jehovah; Trust also in him, and he will bring it to pass. 6 And he will make thy righteousness to go forth as the light, And thy justice as the noon-day. 7 Rest in Jehovah, and wait patiently for him: Fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, Because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: Fret not thyself, `it tendeth' only to evil-doing. 9 For evil-doers shall be cut off; But those that wait for Jehovah, they shall inherit the land. 10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: Yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and he shall not be. 11 But the meek shall inherit the land, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. 12 The wicked plotteth against the just, And gnasheth upon him with his teeth. 13 The Lord will laugh at him; For he seeth that his day is coming. 14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, To cast down the poor and needy, To slay such as are upright in the way. 15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, And their bows shall be broken. 16 Better is a little that the righteous hath Than the abundance of many wicked. 17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken; But Jehovah upholdeth the righteous. 18 Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect; And their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be put to shame in the time of evil; And in the days of famine they shall be satisfied. 20 But the wicked shall perish, And the enemies of Jehovah shall be as the fat of lambs: They shall consume; In smoke shall they consume away. 21 The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again; But the righteous dealeth graciously, and giveth. 22 For such as are blessed of him shall inherit the land; And they that are cursed of him shall be cut off. 23 A man's goings are established of Jehovah; And he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For Jehovah upholdeth him with his hand. 25 I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his seed begging bread. 26 All the day long he dealeth graciously, and lendeth; And his seed is blessed. 27 Depart from evil, and do good; And dwell for evermore. 28 For Jehovah loveth justice, And forsaketh not his saints; They are preserved for ever: But the seed of the wicked shall be cut off. 29 The righteous shall inherit the land, And dwell therein for ever. 30 The mouth of the righteous talketh of wisdom, And his tongue speaketh justice. 31 The law of his God is in his heart; None of his steps shall slide. 32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, And seeketh to slay him. 33 Jehovah will not leave him in his hand, Nor condemn him when he is judged. 34 Wait for Jehovah, and keep his way, And he will exalt thee to inherit the land: When the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it. 35 I have seen the wicked in great power, And spreading himself like a green tree in its native soil. 36 But one passed by, and, lo, he was not: Yea, I sought him, but he could not be found. 37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; For there is a `happy' end to the man of peace. 38 As for transgressors, they shall be destroyed together; The end of the wicked shall be cut off. 39 But the salvation of the righteous is of Jehovah; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble. 40 And Jehovah helpeth them, and rescueth them; He rescueth them from the wicked, and saveth them, Because they have taken refuge in him. Psalm 38 A Psalm of David, to bring to remembrance. Chapter 38 1 O Jehovah, rebuke me not in thy wrath; Neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. 2 For thine arrows stick fast in me, And thy hand presseth me sore. 3 There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine indignation; Neither is there any health in my bones because of my sin. 4 For mine iniquities are gone over my head: As a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. 5 My wounds are loathsome and corrupt, Because of my foolishness. 6 I am pained and bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 7 For my loins are filled with burning; And there is no soundness in my flesh. 8 I am faint and sore bruised: I have groaned by reason of the disquietness of my heart. 9 Lord, all my desire is before thee; And my groaning is not hid from thee. 10 My heart throbbeth, my strength faileth me: As for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me. 11 My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my plague; And my kinsmen stand afar off. 12 They also that seek after my life lay snares `for me'; And they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, And meditate deceits all the day long. 13 But I, as a deaf man, hear not; And I am as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth. 14 Yea, I am as a man that heareth not, And in whose mouth are no reproofs. 15 For in thee, O Jehovah, do I hope: Thou wilt answer, O Lord my God. 16 For I said, Lest they rejoice over me: When my foot slippeth, they magnify themselves against me. 17 For I am ready to fall, And my sorrow is continually before me. 18 For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin. 19 But mine enemies are lively, `and' are strong; And they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied. 20 They also that render evil for good Are adversaries unto me, because I follow the thing that is good. 21 Forsake me not, O Jehovah: O my God, be not far from me. 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation. Psalm 39 For the Chief Musician, Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.




Daily Bible - June 17

Published by Grace To You for reading on June 17th.

Reading for Today:

  • 2 Kings 22:1 Chapter 22 1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign; and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. –24:20
  • Psalms 74:18-23 18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Jehovah, And that a foolish people hath blasphemed thy name. 19 Oh deliver not the soul of thy turtle-dove unto the wild beast: Forget not the life of thy poor for ever. 20 Have respect unto the covenant; For the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of violence. 21 Oh let not the oppressed return ashamed: Let the poor and needy praise thy name. 22 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: Remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee all the day. 23 Forget not the voice of thine adversaries: The tumult of those that rise up against thee ascendeth continually. Psalm 75 For the Chief Musician; `set to' Al-tash-heth. A Psalm of Asaph; a song.
  • Proverbs 19:3 3 The foolishness of man subverteth his way; And his heart fretteth against Jehovah.
  • Acts 2:22-47 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God unto you by mighty works and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you, even as ye yourselves know; 23 him, being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye by the hand of lawless men did crucify and slay: 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pangs of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it. 25 For David saith concerning him, I beheld the Lord always before my face; For he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved: 26 Therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; Moreover my flesh also shall dwell in hope: 27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul unto Hades, Neither wilt thou give thy Holy One to see corruption. 28 Thou madest known unto me the ways of life; Thou shalt make me full of gladness with thy countenance. 29 Brethren, I may say unto you freely of the patriarch David, that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us unto this day. 30 Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins he would set `one' upon his throne; 31 he foreseeing `this' spake of the resurrection of the Christ, that neither was he left unto Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. 32 This Jesus did God raise up, whereof we all are witnesses. 33 Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which ye see and hear. 34 For David ascended not into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, 35 Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet. 36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified. 37 Now when they heard `this,' they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? 38 And Peter `said' unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, `even' as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him. 40 And with many other words he testified, and exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves from this crooked generation. 41 They then that received his word were baptized: and there were added `unto them' in that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45 and they sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, according as any man had need. 46 And day by day, continuing stedfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to them day by day those that were saved.

Notes:

2 Kings 22:8 the Book of the Law. A scroll containing the Torah (the Pentateuch), the revelation of God through Moses to Israel (23:2; Deut. 28:61). Manasseh may have destroyed all the copies of God’s Law that were not hidden. This could have been the official copy laid beside the ark of the covenant in the Most Holy Place (Deut. 31:25, 26). It may have been removed from its place under Ahaz, Manasseh, or Amon (2 Chr. 35:3), but was found during repair work.

2 Kings 23:25 no king like him. Of all the kings in David’s line, including David himself, no king more closely approximated the royal ideal of Deuteronomy 17:14 14 When thou art come unto the land which Jehovah thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me; –20 than Josiah (Matt. 22:37). Yet, even Josiah fell short of complete obedience because he had multiple wives (vv. 31, 36). However, even this righteous king could not turn away the Lord’s wrath because of Manasseh’s sin (vv. 26, 27).

2 Kings 24:1 Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar II was the son of Nabopolassar, king of Babylon from 626 to 605 B.C. As crown prince, Nebuchadnezzar had led his father’s army against Pharaoh Necho and the Egyptians at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in northern Syria (605 B.C.). By defeating the Egyptians, Babylon was established as the strongest nation in the ancient Near East. Egypt and its vassals, including Judah, became vassals of Babylon with this victory. Nebuchadnezzar followed up his victory at Carchemish by invading the land of Judah. Later, in 605 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar took some captives to Babylon, including Daniel and his friends (Dan. 1:1–3). Toward the end of 605 B.C., Nabopolassar died and Nebuchadnezzar succeeded him as king of Babylon, 3 years after Jehoiakim had taken the throne in Judah (Jer. 25:1).Nebuchadnezzar reigned from 605 to 562 B.C. three years. Nebuchadnezzar returned to the west in 604 B.C. and took tribute from all of the kings of the west, including Jehoiakim of Judah. Jehoiakim submitted to Babylonian rule from 604 to 602 B.C. In 602 B.C., Jehoiakim rebelled against Babylon, disregarding the advice of the prophet Jeremiah (Jer. 27:9–11).

2 Kings 24:14–16 In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar took an additional 10,000 Judeans as captives to Babylon, in particular the leaders of the nation. This included the leaders of the military and those whose skills would support the military. Included in this deportation was the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. 1:1–3). Only the lower classes remained behind in Jerusalem. The Babylonian policy of captivity was different from that of the Assyrians, who took most of the people into exile and resettled the land of Israel with foreigners (17:24). The Babylonians took only the leaders and the strong, while leaving the weak and poor, elevating those left to leadership and thereby earning their loyalty. Those taken to Babylon were allowed to work and live in the mainstream of society. This kept the captive Jews together, so it would be possible for them to return, as recorded in Ezra.

Acts 2:42 42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and the prayers. apostles’ doctrine. The foundational content for the believer’s spiritual growth and maturity was the Scripture, God’s revealed truth, which the apostles received and taught faithfully. fellowship. Literally, “partnership” or “sharing.” Because Christians become partners with Jesus Christ and all other believers ( 1 John 1:3 3 that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you also, that ye also may have fellowship with us: yea, and our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ: ), it is their spiritual duty to stimulate one another to righteousness and obedience (Rom. 12:10; 13:8; 15:5; Gal. 5:13; Eph. 4:2, 25; 5:21; Col. 3:9; 1 Thess. 4:9; Heb. 3:13; 10:24, 25;1 Pet. 4:9, 10). breaking of bread. A reference to the Lord’s Table, or Communion, which is mandatory for all Christians to observe (1 Cor. 11:24–29). prayers. Of individual believers and the church corporately (see 1:14, 24; 4:24–31; John 14:13 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. , 14).

DAY 17: In response to Peter’s sermon, what instructions were given on how to become a Christian?

Those who listened to that powerful sermon were “cut to the heart” (v. 37).The Greek word for cut means “pierce” or “stab,” and thus denotes something sudden and unexpected. In grief, remorse, and intense spiritual conviction, Peter’s listeners were stunned by his indictment that they had killed their Messiah.

“Repent” (v. 38).This refers to a change of mind and purpose that turns an individual from sin to God (1 Thess. 1:9). Such change involves more than fearing the consequences of God’s judgment. Genuine repentance knows that the evil of sin must be forsaken and the Person and work of Christ totally and singularly embraced. Peter exhorted his hearers to repent; otherwise, they would not experience true conversion.

“Be baptized.” This Greek word means “be dipped” or “immersed” in water. Peter was obeying Christ’s command from Matthew 28:19 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: and urging the people who repented and turned to the Lord Christ for salvation to identify, through the waters of baptism, with His death, burial, and resurrection (19:5; Rom. 6:3, 4; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27). This is the first time the apostles publicly enjoined people to obey that ceremony. Prior to this, many Jews had experienced the baptism of John the Baptist and were also familiar with the baptism of Gentile converts to Judaism (proselytes).

“In the name of Jesus Christ.” For the new believer, it was a crucial but costly identification to accept. “For the remission of sins.” This might better be translated “because of the remission of sins.” Baptism does not produce forgiveness and cleansing from sin. The reality of forgiveness precedes the rite of baptism (v. 41). Genuine repentance brings from God the forgiveness (remission) of sins (Eph. 1:7); and because of that, the new believer was to be baptized.

“Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” The one-time act by which God places His Spirit into the believer’s life.

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

June 17 - Wrong Judgment: An Erroneous View of Others

Published by Grace To You for reading on June 17th.

“‘For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you’” ( Matthew 7:2 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured unto you. ).

Most people feel free to judge other people harshly because they erroneously think they are somehow superior. The Pharisees considered themselves exempt from judgment because they believed they perfectly measured up to the divine standards. The problem was that these weren’t divine standards—they were mere human standards they had established far short of God’s holy and perfect law.

When we assume the role of final, omniscient judge, we imply that we are qualified to judge—that we know and understand all the facts, all the circumstances, and all the motives involved. Therefore, when we assert our right to judge, we will be judged by the same standard of knowledge and wisdom we claim is ours. If we set ourselves up as judge over others, we cannot plead ignorance of the law in reference to ourselves when God judges us. We are especially guilty if we do not practice what we ourselves teach and preach.

Other people are not under us, and to think so is to have the wrong view of them. To be gossipy, critical, and judgmental is to live under the false illusion that those whom we so judge are somehow inferior to us.

This kind of judgment is a boomerang that will come back on the one who judges. Self-righteous judgment becomes its own gallows, just as the gallows Haman erected to execute the innocent Mordecai was used instead to hang Haman ( Esther 7:10 10 So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then was the king's wrath pacified. ).

Ask Yourself

One of the more notable qualities of our sinful human nature is that the sins we seem quickest to judge in others are the ones we struggle the hardest with ourselves. Why do you think this is the case? What brings about this touchy sensitivity and indignance?

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

Integrity Incurs the World's Wrath

Published by Grace To You for reading on June 17th.

“Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire” ( Daniel 3:19-20 19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego: `therefore' he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace seven times more than it was wont to be heated. 20 And he commanded certain mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, `and' to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. ).

Persecution is the world’s futile attempt to silence the voice of godly integrity.

King Nebuchadnezzar was a brilliant and powerful man who had built an enormous empire by bringing entire nations under his control. Yet when three youths refused to compromise their devotion to God, he lost rational control and flew into such an intense rage that his face became visibly distorted.

Wanting to vent his wrath upon Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, Nebuchadnezzar ordered that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. You might expect him to have turned the fire down, thereby punishing them more severely by prolonging their pain. But the king was reacting emotionally, not logically, which often is the case when sinful people are confronted by righteousness.

We see the same pattern throughout Scripture. For example, King Herod’s wife hated John the Baptist and had him beheaded for confronting her sinful marriage to the king ( Mark 6:19 19 And Herodias set herself against him, and desired to kill him; and she could not; ff.). Those who couldn’t cope with the wisdom and spirit of Stephen stirred up the Jews against him, which eventually led to his death by stoning ( Acts 6:9 9 But there arose certain of them that were of the synagogue called `the synagogue' of the Libertines, and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and Asia, disputing with Stephen. ff.). The Old Testament prophets and the Lord Himself were killed by those who were hostile to God. Similarly, the Thessalonian and Judean Christians endured angry persecution from their own countrymen (1 Thess. 2:14-15).

The opposition we face today may be more subtle, but it all has its source in Satan, who “was a murderer from the beginning” ( John 8:44 44 Ye are of `your' father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and standeth not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. ). So don’t be surprised if subtle opposition suddenly erupts into murderous wrath. But be encouraged, knowing that even when it does, it can never thwart God’s plans or overcome His sustaining grace.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray for boldness to speak the truth in love and never to fear the world’s reaction.

For Further Study

Read 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10 3 We are bound to give thanks to God always to you, brethren, even as it is meet, for that your faith growth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth; 4 so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which ye endure; 5 `which is' a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God; to the end that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 if so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you, 7 and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, 8 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: 9 who shall suffer punishment, `even' eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day. .

  • Why does God allow Christians to suffer persecution?
  • When and how will God deal with those who persecute His children?

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

The Impartiality of God

Published by Grace To You for reading on June 17th.
"My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism" ( James 2:1 Chapter 2 1 My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, `the Lord' of glory, with respect of persons. ).

Because God is impartial, we as Christians must be impartial too.

People are prone to treat others differently based upon external criteria such as looks, possessions, or social status, but God is utterly impartial. He never shows favoritism and always judges righteously.

Favoritism can be defined as a preferential attitude and treatment of a person or group over another having equal claims and rights. It is unjustified partiality. James 2:1 Chapter 2 1 My brethren, hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, `the Lord' of glory, with respect of persons. -13 confronts it as sin and admonishes us to avoid it at all costs.

God's impartiality is seen throughout Scripture. For example, Moses said to the people of Israel, "The Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt" (Deut. 10:17-19). Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, warned his judges to rule without partiality because God Himself has "no part in unrighteousness, or partiality" (2 Chron. 19:7).

God's impartiality is also seen in His gracious offer of salvation to people of every race. In Acts 10:34-35 34 And Peter opened his mouth and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him. Peter says, "I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right, is welcome to Him."

God is also impartial in judgment. Romans 2:9-11 9 tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek; 10 but glory and honor and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek: 11 for there is no respect of persons with God. says that God will bring "tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil . . . but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good. For there is no partiality with God."

Our text is a timely admonition because prejudice, discrimination, and bigotry are ever-present evils in our society—both inside and outside the church. I pray that God will use these studies to guard you from favoritism's subtle influences and strengthen your commitment to godly living.

Suggestions for Prayer

Ask God to reveal any partiality you might be harboring. As He does, confess it and turn from it.

For Further Study

Read Ephesians 6:5-9 5 Servants, be obedient unto them that according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 not in the way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 with good will doing service, as unto the Lord, and not unto men: 8 knowing that whatsoever good thing each one doeth, the same shall he receive again from the Lord, whether `he be' bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, and forbear threatening: knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with him. and 1 Timothy 5:17-21 17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his hire. 19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, except at `the mouth of' two or three witnesses. 20 Them that sin reprove in the sight of all, that the rest also may be in fear. 21 I charge `thee' in the sight of God, and Christ Jesus, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality. . How does God's impartiality apply to how you should respond to your co- workers and your church leaders?

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

What Kind of Prayer Pleases God?

Published by John Piper for reading on June 17th.

“This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” ( Isaiah 66:2 2 For all these things hath my hand made, and `so' all these things came to be, saith Jehovah: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word. )

The first mark of the upright heart is that it trembles at the Word of the Lord.

Isaiah 66 Chapter 66 1 Thus saith Jehovah, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will ye build unto me? and what place shall be my rest? 2 For all these things hath my hand made, and `so' all these things came to be, saith Jehovah: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at my word. 3 He that killeth an ox is as he that slayeth a man; he that sacrificeth a lamb, as he that breaketh a dog's neck; he that offereth an oblation, `as he that offereth' swine's blood; he that burneth frankincense, as he that blesseth an idol. Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations: 4 I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did that which was evil in mine eyes, and chose that wherein I delighted not. 5 Hear the word of Jehovah, ye that tremble at his word: Your brethren that hate you, that cast you out for my name's sake, have said, Let Jehovah be glorified, that we may see your joy; but it is they that shall be put to shame. 6 A voice of tumult from the city, a voice from the temple, a voice of Jehovah that rendereth recompense to his enemies. 7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child. 8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall a land be born in one day? shall a nation be brought forth at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. 9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith Jehovah: shall I that cause to bring forth shut `the womb'? saith thy God. 10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad for her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn over her; 11 that ye may suck and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. 12 For thus saith Jehovah, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream: and ye shall suck `thereof'; ye shall be borne upon the side, and shall be dandled upon the knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 And ye shall see `it', and your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like the tender grass: and the hand of Jehovah shall be known toward his servants; and he will have indignation against his enemies. 15 For, behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and his chariots shall be like the whirlwind; to render his anger with fierceness, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire will Jehovah execute judgment, and by his sword, upon all flesh; and the slain of Jehovah shall be many. 17 They that sanctify themselves and purify themselves `to go' unto the gardens, behind one in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, they shall come to an end together, saith Jehovah. 18 For I `know' their works and their thoughts: `the time' cometh, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and shall see my glory. 19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send such as escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20 And they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an oblation unto Jehovah, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith Jehovah, as the children of Israel bring their oblation in a clean vessel into the house of Jehovah. 21 And of them also will I take for priests `and' for Levites, saith Jehovah. 22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith Jehovah, so shall your seed and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith Jehovah. 24 And they shall go forth, and look upon the dead bodies of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. deals with the problem of some who worship in a way that pleases God and some who worship in a way that doesn’t. Verse 3 describes the wicked who bring their sacrifices: “He who slaughters an ox is like one who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, like one who breaks a dog’s neck.” Their sacrifices are an abomination to God — on a par with murder. Why?

In verse 4 God explains: “When I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen.” Their sacrifices were abominations to God because the people were deaf to his voice. But what about those whose prayers God heard? God says in verse 2, “This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.”

I conclude from this that the first mark of the upright, whose prayers are a delight to God, is that they tremble at God’s Word. These are the people to whom the Lord will look.

So the prayer of the upright that delights God comes from a heart that at first feels precarious in the presence of God. It trembles at the hearing of God’s Word, because it feels so far from God’s ideal and so vulnerable to his judgment and so helpless and so sorry for its failings.

This is just what David said in Psalms 51:17 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. , “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” The first thing that makes a prayer acceptable to God is the brokenness and humility of the one who prays.



Morning Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for June 17th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on June 17th.

Psalms 12:1 Chapter 12 1 Help, Jehovah; for the godly man ceaseth; For the faithful fail from among the children of men.

THE prayer itself is remarkable, for it is short, but seasonable, sententious, and suggestive. David mourned the fewness of faithful men, and therefore lifted up his heart in supplication—when the creature failed, he flew to the Creator. He evidently felt his own weakness, or he would not have cried for help; but at the same time he intended honestly to exert himself for the cause of truth, for the word "help" is inapplicable where we ourselves do nothing. There is much of directness, clearness of perception, and distinctness of utterance in this petition of two words; much more, indeed, than in the long rambling outpourings of certain professors. The Psalmist runs straight-forward to his God, with a well-considered prayer; he knows what he is seeking, and where to seek it. Lord, teach us to pray in the same blessed manner.

The occasions for the use of this prayer are frequent. In providential afflictions how suitable it is for tried believers who find all helpers failing them. Students, in doctrinal difficulties, may often obtain aid by lifting up this cry of "Help, Lord," to the Holy Spirit, the great Teacher. Spiritual warriors in inward conflicts may send to the throne for reinforcements, and this will be a model for their request. Workers in heavenly labour may thus obtain grace in time of need. Seeking sinners, in doubts and alarms, may offer up the same weighty supplication; in fact, in all these cases, times, and places, this will serve the turn of needy souls. "Help, Lord," will suit us living and dying, suffering or labouring, rejoicing or sorrowing. In Him our help is found, let us not be slack to cry to Him.

The answer to the prayer is certain, if it be sincerely offered through Jesus. The Lord's character assures us that He will not leave His people; His relationship as Father and Husband guarantee us His aid; His gift of Jesus is a pledge of every good thing; and His sure promise stands, "Fear not, I WILL HELP THEE."

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for June 17th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on June 17th.

Numbers 21:17 17 Then sang Israel this song: Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it:

FAMOUS was the well of Beer in the wilderness, because it was the subject of a promise: "That is the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water." The people needed water, and it was promised by their gracious God. We need fresh supplies of heavenly grace, and in the covenant the Lord has pledged Himself to give all we require. The well next became the cause of a song. Before the water gushed forth, cheerful faith prompted the people to sing; and as they saw the crystal fount bubbling up, the music grew yet more joyous. In like manner, we who believe the promise of God should rejoice in the prospect of divine revivals in our souls, and as we experience them our holy joy should overflow. Are we thirsting? Let us not murmur, but sing. Spiritual thirst is bitter to bear, but we need not bear it—the promise indicates a well; let us be of good heart, and look for it. Moreover, the well was the centre of prayer. "Spring up, O well." What God has engaged to give, we must enquire after, or we manifest that we have neither desire nor faith. This evening let us ask that the Scripture we have read, and our devotional exercises, may not be an empty formality, but a channel of grace to our souls. O that God the Holy Spirit would work in us with all His mighty power, filling us with all the fulness of God. Lastly, the well was the object of effort. "The nobles of the people digged it with their staves." The Lord would have us active in obtaining grace. Our staves are ill adapted for digging in the sand, but we must use them to the utmost of our ability. Prayer must not be neglected; the assembling of ourselves together must not be forsaken; ordinances must not be slighted. The Lord will give us His peace most plenteously, but not in a way of idleness. Let us, then, bestir ourselves to seek Him in whom are all our fresh springs.

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