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The Wisdom of Right Relationships

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on October 22nd.

Hebrews 10:23-24 23 let us hold fast the confession of our hope that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised: 24 and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works;

The subject of positive relationships is near to my heart because the Lord has provided me with dependable friends. These are the people who challenge me to do more for God. My friends love me, but they certainly aren’t content to let me stay as I am! If they spot a sin in my life or see something I could do better, they say so.

Paul gave relationships a high priority, too. The apostle surrounded himself with people who could help him achieve two things: fulfillment of his God-given mission and conformity to Christlikeness. While Paul was pouring himself into the lives of others, he was being built up and strengthened by fellow believers. That, in brief, is the Lord’s plan for every one of His children.

What about you? Do you have certain relationships that motivate you to pursue God more fervently? It does matter whom we allow to influence our lives. The Father equips your brothers and sisters to invest in you—to encourage you, pray for you, and prod you toward a more complete faith—so you are prepared to devote yourself to serving others. Good relationships with people who build each other up can help believers fulfill God’s plan for their life.

The finest relationships are between people who want to see each other succeed in faith and therefore “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24 NIV). In other words, our best friends are those who love us as we are but never stop pointing us to the Lord and challenging us toward excellence.

Bible in One Year: Luke 4-5 Chapter 4 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness 2 during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days: and when they were completed, he hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, if thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it become bread. 4 And Jesus answered unto him, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone. 5 And he led him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall all be thine. 8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 9 And he led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: 11 and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and a fame went out concerning him through all the region round about. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears. 22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth: and they said, Is not this Joseph's son? 23 And he said unto them, Doubtless ye will say unto me this parable, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in thine own country. 24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is acceptable in his own country. 25 But of a truth I say unto you, There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; 26 and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian. 28 And they were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things; 29 and they rose up, and cast him forth out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way. 31 And he came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the sabbath day: 32 and they were astonished at his teaching; for his word was with authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man, that had a spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 Ah! what have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Nazarene? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no hurt. 36 And amazement came upon all, and they spake together, one with another, saying, What is this word? for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37 And there went forth a rumor concerning him into every place of the region round about. 38 And he rose up from the synagogue, and entered into the house of Simon. And Simon's wife's mother was holden with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she rose up and ministered unto them. 40 And when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And demons also came out from many, crying out, and saying, Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them, he suffered them not to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. 42 And when it was day, he came out and went into a desert place: and the multitudes sought after him, and came unto him, and would have stayed him, that he should not go from them. 43 But he said unto them, I must preach the good tidings of the kingdom of God to the other cities also: for therefore was I sent. 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. Chapter 5 1 Now it came to pass, while the multitude pressed upon him and heard the word of God, that he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and he saw two boats standing by the lake: but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the multitudes out of the boat. 4 And when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answered and said, Master, we toiled all night, and took nothing: but at thy word I will let down the nets. 6 And when they had done this, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their nets were breaking; 7 and they beckoned unto their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was amazed, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken; 10 and so were also James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left all, and followed him. 12 And it came to pass, while he was in one of the cities, behold, a man full of leprosy: and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 13 And he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou made clean. And straightway the leprosy departed from him. 14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go thy way, and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 15 But so much the more went abroad the report concerning him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he withdrew himself in the deserts, and prayed. 17 And it came to pass on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who were come out of every village of Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, men bring on a bed a man that was palsied: and they sought to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And not finding by what `way' they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20 And seeing their faith, he said, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But Jesus perceiving their reasonings, answered and said unto them, Why reason ye in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thy house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God. 26 And amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God; and they were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to-day. 27 And after these things he went forth, and beheld a publican, named Levi, sitting at the place of toll, and said unto him, Follow me. 28 And he forsook all, and rose up and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house: and there was a great multitude of publicans and of others that were sitting at meat with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with the publicans and sinners? 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are in health have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. 33 And they said unto him, The disciples of John fast often, and make supplications; likewise also the `disciples' of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink. 34 And Jesus said unto them, Can ye make the sons of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come; and when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then will they fast in those days. 36 And he spake also a parable unto them: No man rendeth a piece from a new garment and putteth it upon an old garment; else he will rend the new, and also the piece from the new will not agree with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old wine-skins; else the new wine will burst the skins, and itself will be spilled, and the skins will perish. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wine-skins. 39 And no man having drunk old `wine' desireth new; for he saith, The old is good.




Hedonism for Husbands and Wives

Published by John Piper for reading on October 22nd.

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. ( Ephesians 5:24 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so `let' the wives also `be' to their husbands in everything. –25)

There is a pattern of love in marriage ordained by God.

The roles of husband and wife are not the same. The husband is to take his special cues from Christ as the head of the church. The wife is to take her special cues from the church as submissive to Christ.

In doing this, the sinful and damaging results of the fall begin to be reversed. The fall twisted man’s loving headship into hostile domination in some men and lazy indifference in others. The fall twisted woman’s intelligent, willing submission into manipulative obsequiousness in some women and brazen insubordination in others.

The redemption we anticipate at the coming of Christ is not the dismantling of the created order of loving headship and willing submission, but a recovery of it. Wives, redeem your fallen submission by modeling it after God’s intention for the church! Husbands, redeem your fallen headship by modeling it after God’s intention for Christ!

I find in Ephesians 5:21 21 subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ. –33 these two things: (1) the display of Christian Hedonism in marriage and (2) the direction its impulses should take.

Wives, seek your joy in the joy of your husband by affirming and honoring his God-ordained role as leader in your relationship. Husbands, seek your joy in the joy of your wife by accepting the responsibility to lead as Christ led the church and gave himself for her.

I would like to bear witness to God’s goodness in my life. I discovered Christian Hedonism the same year I got married, in 1968. Since then, Noël and I, in obedience to Jesus Christ, have pursued as passionately as we can the deepest, most lasting joys possible. All too imperfectly, all too half-heartedly at times, we have stalked our own joy in the joy of each other.

And we can testify together: For those who marry, this is the path to the heart’s desire. For us, marriage has been a matrix for Christian Hedonism. As each pursues joy in the joy of the other and fulfills a God-ordained role, the mystery of marriage as a parable of Christ and the church becomes manifest for his great glory and for our great joy.



A Godly Heart

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on October 22nd.

Psalms 37:1-8 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.

The Lord promises to give us the desires of our hearts. But many people take this passage out of context, forgetting that their own mindset plays a vital part in bringing it to fruition. As my mother once said, “Where your mind goes, your feet go, so be careful what you think about.”

What is your responsibility when it comes to claiming promises from God?

Delight Yourself in the Lord (Ps. 37:4). Christians should rejoice in God and desire to walk in obedience. The Lord must have first place in your life before you can claim the promise in this verse.

Commit your way to the Lord (Ps. 37:5). Allow God to change any aspect of your ambition that is not His will. Remember that when He doesn’t answer a prayer as you wished, it is for a reason.

Trust in Him (Ps. 37:5). God is merciful, all-knowing, kind, and generous. You can trust Him with your hopes and dreams.

Rest in Him (Ps. 37:7). Resting in the Lord means trusting Him to answer prayers in His timing or transform your aspirations so they conform to His will.

Wait upon the Lord patiently (Ps. 37:7). Jesus waited three decades before beginning His three-year ministry on earth. According to His example, waiting is one of the key principles of Christian living.

Do your desires align with God’s purpose and plan for your life? He longs to give His followers abundant blessings and fullness of joy. So allow your dreams to be conformed to the Lord’s will, and follow His guidance faithfully. Only when you surrender to Him will you experience God’s best for your life.

Bible in One Year: Luke 4-5 Chapter 4 1 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness 2 during forty days, being tempted of the devil. And he did eat nothing in those days: and when they were completed, he hungered. 3 And the devil said unto him, if thou art the Son of God, command this stone that it become bread. 4 And Jesus answered unto him, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone. 5 And he led him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, To thee will I give all this authority, and the glory of them: for it hath been delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship before me, it shall all be thine. 8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 9 And he led him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence: 10 for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, to guard thee: 11 and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. 12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God. 13 And when the devil had completed every temptation, he departed from him for a season. 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and a fame went out concerning him through all the region round about. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 20 And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears. 22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth: and they said, Is not this Joseph's son? 23 And he said unto them, Doubtless ye will say unto me this parable, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in thine own country. 24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is acceptable in his own country. 25 But of a truth I say unto you, There were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; 26 and unto none of them was Elijah sent, but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian. 28 And they were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things; 29 and they rose up, and cast him forth out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might throw him down headlong. 30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way. 31 And he came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the sabbath day: 32 and they were astonished at his teaching; for his word was with authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man, that had a spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 Ah! what have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Nazarene? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. 35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no hurt. 36 And amazement came upon all, and they spake together, one with another, saying, What is this word? for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out. 37 And there went forth a rumor concerning him into every place of the region round about. 38 And he rose up from the synagogue, and entered into the house of Simon. And Simon's wife's mother was holden with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39 And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she rose up and ministered unto them. 40 And when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them. 41 And demons also came out from many, crying out, and saying, Thou art the Son of God. And rebuking them, he suffered them not to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. 42 And when it was day, he came out and went into a desert place: and the multitudes sought after him, and came unto him, and would have stayed him, that he should not go from them. 43 But he said unto them, I must preach the good tidings of the kingdom of God to the other cities also: for therefore was I sent. 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Galilee. Chapter 5 1 Now it came to pass, while the multitude pressed upon him and heard the word of God, that he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret; 2 and he saw two boats standing by the lake: but the fishermen had gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3 And he entered into one of the boats, which was Simon's, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the multitudes out of the boat. 4 And when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Put out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. 5 And Simon answered and said, Master, we toiled all night, and took nothing: but at thy word I will let down the nets. 6 And when they had done this, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes; and their nets were breaking; 7 and they beckoned unto their partners in the other boat, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. 9 For he was amazed, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken; 10 and so were also James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left all, and followed him. 12 And it came to pass, while he was in one of the cities, behold, a man full of leprosy: and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 13 And he stretched forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou made clean. And straightway the leprosy departed from him. 14 And he charged him to tell no man: but go thy way, and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. 15 But so much the more went abroad the report concerning him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he withdrew himself in the deserts, and prayed. 17 And it came to pass on one of those days, that he was teaching; and there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, who were come out of every village of Galilee and Judaea and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, men bring on a bed a man that was palsied: and they sought to bring him in, and to lay him before him. 19 And not finding by what `way' they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went up to the housetop, and let him down through the tiles with his couch into the midst before Jesus. 20 And seeing their faith, he said, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee. 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this that speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? 22 But Jesus perceiving their reasonings, answered and said unto them, Why reason ye in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? 24 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath authority on earth to forgive sins (he said unto him that was palsied), I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go unto thy house. 25 And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his house, glorifying God. 26 And amazement took hold on all, and they glorified God; and they were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to-day. 27 And after these things he went forth, and beheld a publican, named Levi, sitting at the place of toll, and said unto him, Follow me. 28 And he forsook all, and rose up and followed him. 29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house: and there was a great multitude of publicans and of others that were sitting at meat with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with the publicans and sinners? 31 And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are in health have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. 32 I am not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. 33 And they said unto him, The disciples of John fast often, and make supplications; likewise also the `disciples' of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink. 34 And Jesus said unto them, Can ye make the sons of the bride-chamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? 35 But the days will come; and when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, then will they fast in those days. 36 And he spake also a parable unto them: No man rendeth a piece from a new garment and putteth it upon an old garment; else he will rend the new, and also the piece from the new will not agree with the old. 37 And no man putteth new wine into old wine-skins; else the new wine will burst the skins, and itself will be spilled, and the skins will perish. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wine-skins. 39 And no man having drunk old `wine' desireth new; for he saith, The old is good.




Daily Bible - October 22

Published by Grace To You for reading on October 22nd.

Reading for Today:

  • Jeremiah 29:1 Chapter 29 1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders of the captivity, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon, –30:24
  • Psalms 119:41-48 41 VAV. Let thy lovingkindnesses also come unto me, O Jehovah, Even thy salvation, according to thy word. 42 So shall I have an answer for him that reproacheth me; For I trust in thy word. 43 And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth; For I have hoped in thine ordinances. 44 So shall I observe thy law continually For ever and ever. 45 And I shall walk at liberty; For I have sought thy precepts. 46 I will also speak of thy testimonies before kings, And shall not be put to shame. 47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, Which I have loved. 48 I will lift up my hands also unto thy commandments, which I have loved; And I will meditate on thy statutes.
  • Proverbs 27:19 19 As in water face `answereth' to face, So the heart of man to man.
  • 1 Timothy 1:1-20 Chapter 1 1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Saviour, and Christ Jesus our hope; 2 unto Timothy, my true child in faith: Grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 3 As I exhorted thee to tarry at Ephesus, when I was going into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine, 4 neither to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questionings, rather than a dispensation of God which is in faith; `so do I now'. 5 But the end of the charge is love out of a pure heart and a good conscience and faith unfeigned: 6 from which things some having swerved have turned aside unto vain talking; 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor whereof they confidently affirm. 8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully, 9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and unruly, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for abusers of themselves with men, for menstealers, for liars, for false swearers, and if there be any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine; 11 according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. 12 I thank him that enabled me, `even' Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he counted me faithful, appointing me to `his' service; 13 though I was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: howbeit I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief; 14 and the grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 Faithful is the saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief: 16 howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me as chief might Jesus Christ show forth all his longsuffering, for an ensample of them that should thereafter believe on him unto eternal life. 17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, `be' honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 18 This charge I commit unto thee, my child Timothy, according to the prophecies which led the way to thee, that by them thou mayest war the good warfare; 19 holding faith and a good conscience; which some having thrust from them made shipwreck concerning the faith: 20 of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I delivered unto Satan, that they might be taught not to blaspheme.

Notes:

Jeremiah 29:14 I will be found by you. The Lord would answer their prayer by returning the Jews to their land, Daniel’s example and God’s response (Dan. 9:4–27). Fulfillment would occur in the era of Ezra and Nehemiah, and beyond this in even fuller measure after the Second Advent of their Messiah (Dan. 2:35, 45; 7:13, 14, 27; 12:1–3, 13).

Jeremiah 30:7 time of Jacob’s trouble. This period of unprecedented difficulty for Israel, as the verse defines, is set in a context of Israel’s final restoration. It is best equated with the time of tribulation (vv. 8, 9) just before Christ’s Second Advent mentioned elsewhere (Dan. 12:1; Matt. 24:21, 22) and described in detail by Revelation 6 Chapter 6 1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying as with a voice of thunder, Come. 2 And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon had a bow; and there was given unto him a crown: and he came forth conquering, and to conquer. 3 And when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, Come. 4 And another `horse' came forth, a red horse: and to him that sat thereon it was given to take peace from the earth, and that they should slay one another: and there was given unto him a great sword. 5 And when he opened the first seal, I heard the third living creature saying, Come. And I saw, and behold, a black horse; and he that sat thereon had a balance in his hand. 6 And I heard as it were a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, A measure of wheat for a shilling, and three measures of barley for a shilling; and the oil and the wine hurt thou not. 7 And when he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, Come. 8 And I saw, and behold, a pale horse: and he that sat upon him, his name was Death; and Hades followed with him. And there was given unto them authority over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with famine, and with death, and by the wild beasts of the earth. 9 And when he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 and they cried with a great voice, saying, How long, O Master, the holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11 And there was given them to each one a white robe; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little time, until their fellow-servants also and their brethren, who should be killed even as they were, should have fulfilled `their course'. 12 And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood; 13 and the stars of the heaven fell unto the earth, as a fig tree casteth her unripe figs when she is shaken of a great wind. 14 And the heaven was removed as a scroll when it is rolled up; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 And the kings of the earth, and the princes, and the chief captains, and the rich, and the strong, and every bondman and freeman, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they say to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 for the great day of their wrath is come; and who is able to stand? –19.

1 Timothy 1:4 fables and endless genealogies. Legends and fanciful stories manufactured from elements of Judaism (v. 7; Titus 1:14 14 not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men who turn away from the truth. ), which probably dealt with allegorical or fictitious interpretations of Old Testament genealogical lists. In reality, they were “doctrines of demons” (4:1), posing as God’s truth (4:7).

1 Timothy 1:8 the law is good. The Greek word for “good” can be translated “useful.” The law is good or useful because it reflects God’s holy will and righteous standard (Ps. 19:7; Rom. 7:12) which accomplishes its purpose in showing sinners their sin (Rom. 3:19) and their need for a Savior (Gal. 3:24).The law forces people to recognize that they are guilty of disobeying God’s commands, and it thereby condemns every person and sentences them to hell.

1 Timothy 1:13 because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. Paul was neither a Jewish apostate nor a Pharisee who clearly understood Jesus’ teaching and still rejected Him. He was a zealous, fastidious Jew trying to earn his salvation, thus lost and damned. His plea of ignorance was not a claim to innocence nor an excuse denying his guilt. It was simply a statement indicating that he did not understand the truth of Christ’s gospel and was honestly trying to protect his religion. His willing repentance when confronted by Christ is evidence that he had not understood the ramifications of his actions—he truly thought he was doing God a service ( Acts 26:9 9 I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. ).

DAY 22: Who is Timothy?

Timothy received his name, which means “one who honors God,” from his mother (Eunice) and grandmother (Lois), devout Jews who became believers in the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Tim. 1:5) and taught Timothy the Old Testament Scriptures from his childhood (2 Tim. 3:15). His father was a Greek ( Acts 16:1 Chapter 16 1 And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek. ) who may have died before Timothy met Paul.

Timothy was from Lystra ( Acts 16:1 Chapter 16 1 And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek. –3), a city in the Roman province of Galatia (part of modern Turkey). Paul led Timothy to Christ (1:2, 18; 1 Cor. 4:17; 2 Tim. 1:2), undoubtedly during his ministry in Lystra on his first missionary journey ( Acts 14:6 6 they became aware of it, and fled unto the cities of Lycaonia, Lystra and Derbe, and the region round about: –23). When he revisited Lystra on his second missionary journey, Paul chose Timothy to accompany him ( Acts 16:1 Chapter 16 1 And he came also to Derbe and to Lystra: and behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewess that believed; but his father was a Greek. –3). Although Timothy was very young (probably in his late teens or early twenties, since about 15 years later Paul referred to him as a young man; 4:12), he had a reputation for godliness ( Acts 16:2 2 The same was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. ). Timothy was to be Paul’s disciple, friend, and co-laborer for the rest of the apostle’s life, ministering with him in Berea ( Acts 17:14 14 And then immediately the brethren sent forth Paul to go as far as to the sea: and Silas and Timothy abode there still. ), Athens ( Acts 17:15 15 But they that conducted Paul brought him as far as Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timothy that they should come to him with all speed, they departed. ), Corinth ( Acts 18:5 5 But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. ; 2 Cor. 1:19), and accompanying him on his trip to Jerusalem ( Acts 20:4 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. ). He was with Paul in his first Roman imprisonment and went to Philippi (2:19–23) after Paul’s release. In addition, Paul frequently mentions Timothy in his epistles. Paul often sent Timothy to churches as his representative (1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10; Phil. 2:19; 1 Thess. 3:2), and 1 Timothy finds him on another assignment, serving as pastor of the church at Ephesus (1:3).

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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October 22 - Spiritual Resurrection: Purpose and Power

Published by Grace To You for reading on October 22nd.

“‘Those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself’” ( John 5:25 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live. –26).

Those who experience spiritual resurrection will receive abundant (10:10), everlasting life. But the only ones who “will live” are “those who hear” in the sense of true faith and obedience to the gospel. “My sheep hear My voice,” Jesus declared, “and I know them, and they follow Me” (10:27). Believers are those who have both the spiritual faculty and duty to respond to divine revelation. In contrast, the lost do not hear Christ’s voice; they are not saved and thus do not understand or obey it (8:43, 47; 12:47; 14:24), and hence will not live spiritually.

The Son can give life (v. 21) because, like the Father, He “has life in Himself.” No one can give to others what he himself lacks; thus no sinful human being can generate for himself eternal life. God alone possesses it, and He grants it through His Son to whomever He wills.

Those who deny His deity twist Jesus’ statement about the Father giving life to the Son into a claim that He was created and thus inferior to the Father. Such is not the case, however. John has already stated in the prologue to his gospel that the Son possessed life in Himself from all eternity (1:4). When He became a man, our Lord voluntarily gave up the independent use of His divine attributes (Phil. 2:6–7). But the Father granted Him the authority to give life (both physical and spiritual) even during the self-limiting condescension of His earthly ministry.

Ask Yourself

What’s the motivation behind those who try to downplay Jesus’ divinity? What are they trying to avoid admitting or dealing with? What would you say to those who claim that doctrines like these are unimportant and nonessential?

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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Dead to the Law

Published by Grace To You for reading on October 22nd.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ” ( Romans 7:4 4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, `even' to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God. ).

The law can no longer punish those who have died with Christ.

It’s an axiomatic truth that laws don’t apply to dead people. No policeman would issue a ticket to a drunk driver who was killed in an accident. Nor was Lee Harvey Oswald tried for killing President Kennedy, since he himself was killed by Jack Ruby. In Romans 7:2-3 2 For the woman that hath a husband is bound by law to the husband while he liveth; but if the husband die, she is discharged from the law of the husband. 3 So then if, while the husband liveth, she be joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if the husband die, she is free from the law, so that she is no adulteress, though she be joined to another man. Paul uses marriage to illustrate that truth: “For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband. So then if, while her husband is living, she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress, though she is joined to another man.” Paul’s point is simple: death ends a marriage because the laws regarding marriage don’t apply to the dead.

The same principle holds true in the spiritual realm. Since believers have died with Christ (Rom. 6:3-7), the law can no longer condemn them; it no longer has authority over them. Paul’s use of a passive verb (“were made to die”) indicates that believers don’t make themselves dead to the law; they were made dead to the law through a divine act.

The only provision for paying the penalty the law demands is the Lord Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. To the Corinthians Paul wrote, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor. 5:21). The apostle repeated that truth in Galatians 2:19-20 19 For I through the law died unto the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that `life' which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, `the faith' which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. : “For through the Law I died to the Law, that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.”

Suggestions for Prayer

Thank God that you are no longer under the law’s condemnation (Rom. 8:1).

For Further Study

Read Romans 3:20 20 because by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for through the law `cometh' the knowledge of sin. ; 7:12; Galatians 3:24-25 24 So that the law is become our tutor `to bring us' unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now faith that is come, we are no longer under a tutor. . Since the law can’t save anyone, what is its purpose?

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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Fearing God

Published by Grace To You for reading on October 22nd.
"The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever" (Ps. 19:9).

Fearing God leads to reverential attitudes and actions.

In the Old Testament, to fear God was to view Him with reverential awe and bow to His sovereign authority. In Psalms 34 Chapter 34 1 I will bless Jehovah at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make her boast in Jehovah: The meek shall hear thereof, and be glad. 3 Oh magnify Jehovah with me, And let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought Jehovah, and he answered me, And delivered me from all my fears. 5 They looked unto him, and were radiant; And their faces shall never be confounded. 6 This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard him, And saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of Jehovah encampeth round about them that fear him, And delivereth them. 8 Oh taste and see that Jehovah is good: Blessed is the man that taketh refuge in him. 9 Oh fear Jehovah, ye his saints; For there is no want to them that fear him. 10 The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger; But they that seek Jehovah shall not want any good thing. 11 Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of Jehovah. 12 What man is he that desireth life, And loveth `many' days, that he may see good? 13 Keep thy tongue from evil, And thy lips from speaking guile. 14 Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it. 15 The eyes of Jehovah are toward the righteous, And his ears are `open' unto their cry. 16 The face of Jehovah is against them that do evil, To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 `The righteous' cried, and Jehovah heard, And delivered them out of all their troubles. 18 Jehovah is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, And saveth such as are of a contrite spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous; But Jehovah delivereth him out of them all. 20 He keepeth all his bones: Not one of them is broken. 21 Evil shall slay the wicked; And they that hate the righteous shall be condemned. 22 Jehovah redeemeth the soul of his servants; And none of them that take refuge in him shall be condemned. Psalm 35 `A Psalm' of David. David wrote, "Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Who is the man who desires life, and loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it" (vv. 11- 14). His son Solomon added, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. . . . Fear the Lord and turn away from evil" (Prov. 1:7; 3:7).

The concept of fearing God isn't limited to the Old Testament. Paul said, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (Phil. 2:12), "Let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (2 Cor. 7:1) and, "Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ" (Eph. 5:21).

Our fear of God compels us to worship Him and conform our lives to His will. If you fear Him, pleasing Him will be your greatest delight and displeasing Him, your greatest disappointment.

In Psalms 19:9 9 The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring for ever: The ordinances of Jehovah are true, `and' righteous altogether. David uses "fear" as a synonym for God's Word, implying that Scripture is God's manual on how to worship Him. "Clean" (v. 9) is a comprehensive term that speaks of the absence of sin, corruption, filthiness, defilement, imperfection, and error. The message Scripture conveys is always "flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times" (Ps. 12:6, NIV).

Because it is so perfect, Scripture endures forever (Ps. 19:9). That's why Jesus said, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away" ( Mark 13:31 31 Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. ). It never needs to be updated to accommodate contemporary thinking. It stands forever as authoritative and unyielding. Those who judge it, slander it, or ignore it are in grave peril. Far better to fear God and bow to His revealed will.

Suggestions for Prayer

Read Psalms 33 Chapter 33 1 Rejoice in Jehovah, O ye righteous: Praise is comely for the upright. 2 Give thanks unto Jehovah with the harp: Sing praises unto him with the psaltery of ten strings. 3 Sing unto him a new song; Play skilfully with a loud noise. 4 For the word of Jehovah is right; And all his work is `done' in faithfulness. 5 He loveth righteousness and justice: The earth is full of the lovingkindness of Jehovah. 6 By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: He layeth up the deeps in store-houses. 8 Let all the earth fear Jehovah: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. 9 For he spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. 10 Jehovah bringeth the counsel of the nations to nought; He maketh the thoughts of the peoples to be of no effect. 11 The counsel of Jehovah standeth fast for ever, The thoughts of his heart to all generations. 12 Blessed is the nation whose God is Jehovah, The people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. 13 Jehovah looketh from heaven; He beholdeth all the sons of men; 14 From the place of his habitation he looketh forth Upon all the inhabitants of the earth, 15 He that fashioneth the hearts of them all, That considereth all their works. 16 There is no king saved by the multitude of a host: A mighty man is not delivered by great strength. 17 A horse is a vain thing for safety; Neither doth he deliver any by his great power. 18 Behold, the eye of Jehovah is upon them that fear him, Upon them that hope in his lovingkindness; 19 To deliver their soul from death, And to keep them alive in famine. 20 Our soul hath waited for Jehovah: He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, Because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let thy lovingkindness, O Jehovah, be upon us, According as we have hoped in thee. Psalm 34 A Psalm of David; when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed. as a prayer of praise to the Lord.

For Further Study

Memorize Proverbs 3:5-7 5 Trust in Jehovah with all thy heart, And lean not upon thine own understanding: 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he will direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes; Fear Jehovah, and depart from evil: as a reminder always to seek God's will and approval.

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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Morning Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for October 22nd

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on October 22nd.

Hosea 14:4 4 I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely; for mine anger is turned away from him.

THIS sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning is a theologian, and he who can dive into its fulness is a true master in Israel. It is a condensation of the glorious message of salvation which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The sense hinges upon the word "freely." This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth, a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness: "I will love them freely." Now, if there were any fitness necessary in us, then He would not love us freely, at least, this would be a mitigation and a drawback to the freeness of it. But it stands, "I will love you freely."We complain, "Lord, my heart is so hard." "I will love you freely." "But I do not feel my need of Christ as I could wish." "I will not love you because you feel your need; I will love you freely." "But I do not feel that softening of spirit which I could desire." Remember, the softening of spirit is not a condition, for there are no conditions; the covenant of grace has no conditionality whatever; so that we without any fitness may venture upon the promise of God which was made to us in Christ Jesus, when He said, "He that believeth on Him is not condemned." It is blessed to know that the grace of God is free to us at all times, without preparation, without fitness, without money, and without price! "I will love them freely." These words invite backsliders to return: indeed, the text was specially written for such—"I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely." Backslider! surely the generosity of the promise will at once break your heart, and you will return, and seek your injured Father's face.

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for October 22nd

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on October 22nd.

John 16:15 15 All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he taketh of mine, and shall declare `it' unto you.

THERE are times when all the promises and a doctrines of the Bible are of no avail, unless a gracious hand shall apply them to us. We are thirsty, but too faint to crawl to the water-brook. When a soldier is wounded in battle it is of little use for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can bind up his wounds, and medicines there to ease all the pains which he now suffers: what he needs is to be carried thither, and to have the remedies applied. It is thus with our souls, and to meet this need there is one, even the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus, and applies them to us. Think not that Christ hath placed His joys on heavenly shelves that we may climb up to them for ourselves, but He draws near, and sheds His peace abroad in our hearts. O Christian, if thou art to-night labouring under deep distresses, thy Father does not give thee promises and then leave thee to draw them up from the Word like buckets from a well, but the promises He has written in the Word He will write anew on your heart. He will manifest His love to you, and by His blessed Spirit, dispel your cares and troubles. Be it known unto thee, O mourner, that it is God's prerogative to wipe every tear from the eye of His people. The good Samaritan did not say, "Here is the wine, and here is the oil for you"; he actually poured in the oil and the wine. So Jesus not only gives you the sweet wine of the promise, but holds the golden chalice to your lips, and pours the life-blood into your mouth. The poor, sick, way-worn pilgrim is not merely strengthened to walk, but he is borne on eagles' wings. Glorious gospel! which provides everything for the helpless, which draws nigh to us when we cannot reach after it—brings us grace before we seek for grace! Here is as much glory in the giving as in the gift. Happy people who have the Holy Ghost to bring Jesus to them.

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