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Authentic vs. Phony Faith

Published by John Piper for reading on May 27th.

Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. ( Hebrews 9:28 28 so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation. )

The question before us all is: Are we included in the “many” whose sins he bore? And will we be saved by his coming?

The answer of Hebrews 9:28 28 so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation. is, “Yes,” if we are “eagerly waiting for him.” We can know that our sins are taken away and that we will be safe in the judgment if we trust Christ in such a way that it makes us eager for his coming.

There is a phony faith that claims to believe in Christ, but is only a fire insurance policy. Phony faith “believes” only to escape hell. It has no real desire for Christ. In fact, it would prefer it if he did not come, so that we can have as much of this world’s pleasures as possible. This shows that a heart is not with Christ, but with the world.

So, the issue for us is: Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Or do we want him to wait while our love affair with the world runs its course? That is the question that tests the authenticity of faith.

Let us be like the Corinthians as we “wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ” ( 1 Corinthians 1:7 7 so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ; ), and like the Philippians whose “citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” ( Philippians 3:20 20 For our citizenship is in heaven; whence also we wait for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: ).

That’s the issue for us. Do we love his appearing? Or do we love the world and hope that his appearing will not interrupt our worldly plans? Eternity hangs on this question.



King of Kings

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on May 27th.

Revelation 19:11-16 11 And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteous he doth judge and make war. 12 And his eyes `are' a flame of fire, and upon his head `are' many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. 13 And he `is' arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white `and' pure. 15 And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KINGS OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

In today’s passage from Revelation 19 Chapter 19 1 After these things I heard as it were a great voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Hallelujah; Salvation, and glory, and power, belong to our God: 2 for true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great harlot, her that corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And a second time they say, Hallelujah. And her smoke goeth up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God that sitteth on the throne, saying, Amen; Hallelujah. 5 And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, Give praise to our God, all ye his servants, ye that fear him, the small and the great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth. 7 Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright `and' pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are true words of God. 10 And I fell down before his feet to worship him. And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 11 And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteous he doth judge and make war. 12 And his eyes `are' a flame of fire, and upon his head `are' many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. 13 And he `is' arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white `and' pure. 15 And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KINGS OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in mid heaven, Come `and' be gathered together unto the great supper of God; 18 that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image: they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone: 21 and the rest were killed with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, `even the sword' which came forth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh. , we see Jesus exalted as the King of Kings. He is shown returning to earth to rescue His people, judge the wicked, and set up His kingdom. As heaven opens, Christ rides out on a white horse in power and great glory. This appearance is nothing like His quiet arrival in Bethlehem as a helpless baby. This time, “every eye will see Him” ( Revelation 1:7 7 Behold, he cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they that pierced him; and all the tribes of the earth shall mourn over him. Even so, Amen. ), as He comes to bring inescapable judgment.

The exalted King is not coming alone. The armies of heaven—who are clothed in the fine linen of the bride of Christ ( Revelation 19 Chapter 19 1 After these things I heard as it were a great voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, Hallelujah; Salvation, and glory, and power, belong to our God: 2 for true and righteous are his judgments; for he hath judged the great harlot, her that corrupted the earth with her fornication, and he hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand. 3 And a second time they say, Hallelujah. And her smoke goeth up for ever and ever. 4 And the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God that sitteth on the throne, saying, Amen; Hallelujah. 5 And a voice came forth from the throne, saying, Give praise to our God, all ye his servants, ye that fear him, the small and the great. 6 And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunders, saying, Hallelujah: for the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigneth. 7 Let us rejoice and be exceeding glad, and let us give the glory unto him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 8 And it was given unto her that she should array herself in fine linen, bright `and' pure: for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they that are bidden to the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are true words of God. 10 And I fell down before his feet to worship him. And he saith unto me, See thou do it not: I am a fellow-servant with thee and with thy brethren that hold the testimony of Jesus: worship God; for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. 11 And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteous he doth judge and make war. 12 And his eyes `are' a flame of fire, and upon his head `are' many diadems; and he hath a name written which no one knoweth but he himself. 13 And he `is' arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white `and' pure. 15 And out of his mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty. 16 And he hath on his garment and on his thigh a name written, KINGS OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in mid heaven, Come `and' be gathered together unto the great supper of God; 18 that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, and small and great. 19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought the signs in his sight, wherewith he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast and them that worshipped his image: they two were cast alive into the lake of fire that burneth with brimstone: 21 and the rest were killed with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, `even the sword' which came forth out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh. :7-8)—are following Him on white horses. If you are a Christian, you will be in this army of saints and angels. This describes the fulfillment of the promise that says believers are going to rule and reign with Him ( Revelation 5:10 10 and madest them `to be' unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth. ).

One day, Jesus will literally reign on this earth as King. But even before that time, He comes to rule in the heart of every believer. Sometimes Christians try to keep Him exclusively in the role of Savior, but salvation is just the beginning of all the blessings the Lord has in store for us. Only in submission and obedience to Christ’s authority will we be transformed into His image and live a life worthy of His rewards ( Revelation 22:12 12 Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to render to each man according as his work is. ).

In all practicality, who is the king of your life? Who is it that guides your decisions and directs your path? The Creator has a plan and purpose for your life, which can be discovered only by living under the authority of Jesus Christ. May His kingdom come and His will be done—on earth and in your heart.

Bible in One Year: Nehemiah 4-7 Chapter 4 1 But it came to pass that, when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. 2 And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What are these feeble Jews doing? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, seeing they are burned? 3 Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they are building, if a fox go up, he shall break down their stone wall. 4 Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn back their reproach upon their own head, and give them up for a spoil in a land of captivity; 5 and cover not their iniquity, and let not their sin be blotted out from before thee; for they have provoked `thee' to anger before the builders. 6 So we built the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto half `the height' thereof: for the people had a mind to work. 7 But it came to pass that, when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem went forward, `and' that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth; 8 and they conspired all of them together to come and fight against Jerusalem, and to cause confusion therein. 9 But we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them. 10 And Judah said, The strength of the bearers of burdens is decayed, and there is much rubbish; so that we are not able to build the wall. 11 And our adversaries said, They shall not know, neither see, till we come into the midst of them, and slay them, and cause the work to cease. 12 And it came to pass that, when the Jews that dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times from all places, Ye must return unto us. 13 Therefore set I in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in the open places, I set `there' the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows. 14 And I looked, and rose up, and said unto the nobles, and to the rulers, and to the rest of the people, Be not ye afraid of them: remember the Lord, who is great and terrible, and fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses. 15 And it came to pass, when our enemies heard that it was known unto us, and God had brought their counsel to nought, that we returned all of us to the wall, every one unto his work. 16 And it came to pass from that time forth, that half of my servants wrought in the work, and half of them held the spears, the shields, and the bows, and the coats of mail; and the rulers were behind all the house of Judah. 17 They all builded the wall and they that bare burdens laded themselves; every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other held his weapon; 18 and the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me. 19 And I said unto the nobles, and to the rulers and to the rest of the people, The work is great and large, and we are separated upon the wall, one far from another: 20 in what place soever ye hear the sound of the trumpet, resort ye thither unto us; our God will fight for us. 21 So we wrought in the work: and half of them held the spears from the rising of the morning till the stars appeared. 22 Likewise at the same time said I unto the people, Let every one with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that in the night they may be a guard to us, and may labor in the day. 23 So neither I, nor my brethren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard that followed me, none of us put off our clothes, every one `went with' his weapon `to' the water. Chapter 5 1 Then there arose a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. 2 For there were that said, We, our sons and our daughters, are many: let us get grain, that we may eat and live. 3 Some also there were that said, We are mortgaging our fields, and our vineyards, and our houses: let us get grain, because of the dearth. 4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king's tribute `upon' our fields and our vineyards. 5 Yet now our flesh is as the flesh of our brethren, our children as their children: and, lo, we bring into bondage our sons and our daughters to be servants, and some of our daughters are brought into bondage `already': neither is it in our power to help it; for other men have our fields and our vineyards. 6 And I was very angry when I heard their cry and these words. 7 Then I consulted with myself, and contended with the nobles and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I held a great assembly against them. 8 And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, that were sold unto the nations; and would ye even sell your brethren, and should they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found never a word. 9 Also I said, The thing that ye do is not good: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God, because of the reproach of the nations our enemies? 10 And I likewise, my brethren and my servants, do lend them money and grain. I pray you, let us leave off this usury. 11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their fields, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the grain, the new wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do, even as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they would do according to this promise. 13 Also I shook out my lap, and said, So God shake out every man from his house, and from his labor, that performeth not this promise; even thus be he shaken out, and emptied. And all the assembly said, Amen, and praised Jehovah. And the people did according to this promise. 14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, `that is', twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor. 15 But the former governors that were before me were chargeable unto the people, and took of them bread and wine, besides forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God. 16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work. 17 Moreover there were at my table, of the Jews and the rulers, a hundred and fifty men, besides those that came unto us from among the nations that were round about us. 18 Now that which was prepared for one day was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this I demanded not the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people. 19 Remember unto me, O my God, for good, all that I have done for this people. Chapter 6 1 Now it came to pass, when it was reported to Sanballat and Tobiah, and to Geshem the Arabian, and unto the rest of our enemies, that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though even unto that time I had not set up the doors in the gates;) 2 that Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in `one of' the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief. 3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? 4 And they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner. 5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand, 6 wherein was written, It is reported among the nations, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel; for which cause thou art building the wall: and thou wouldest be their king, according to these words. 7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together. 8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart. 9 For they all would have made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. But now, `O God', strengthen thou my hands. 10 And I went unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee. 11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being such as I, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in. 12 And I discerned, and, lo, God had not sent him; but he pronounced this prophecy against me: and Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. 13 For this cause was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me. 14 Remember, O my God, Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and also the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear. 15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth `day' of `the month' Elul, in fifty and two days. 16 And it came to pass, when all our enemies heard `thereof', that all the nations that were about us feared, and were much cast down in their own eyes; for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God. 17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and `the letters' of Tobiah came unto them. 18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son-in-law of Shecaniah the son of Arah; and his son Jehohanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah to wife. 19 Also they spake of his good deeds before me, and reported my words to him. `And' Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear. Chapter 7 1 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed, 2 that I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the governor of the castle, charge over Jerusalem; for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many. 3 And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand `on guard', let them shut the doors, and bar ye them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one `to be' over against his house. 4 Now the city was wide and large; but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded. 5 And my God put into my heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found the book of the genealogy of them that came up at the first, and I found written therein: 6 These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and that returned unto Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city; 7 who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel: 8 The children of Parosh, two thousand a hundred and seventy and two. 9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two. 10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two. 11 The children of Pahath-moab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred `and' eighteen. 12 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. 13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five. 14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore. 15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight. 16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight. 17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two. 18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven. 19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven. 20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five. 21 The children of Ater, of Hezekiah, ninety and eight. 22 The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight. 23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four. 24 The children of Hariph, a hundred and twelve. 25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five. 26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, a hundred fourscore and eight. 27 The men of Anathoth, a hundred twenty and eight. 28 The men of Beth-azmaveth, forty and two. 29 The men of Kiriath-jearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three. 30 The men of Ramah and Geba, six hundred twenty and one. 31 The men of Michmas, a hundred and twenty and two. 32 The men of Beth-el and Ai, a hundred twenty and three. 33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two. 34 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four. 35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty. 36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five. 37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one. 38 The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty. 39 The priests: The children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three. 40 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two. 41 The children of Pashhur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven. 42 The children of Harim, a thousand `and' seventeen. 43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four. 44 The singers: the children of Asaph, a hundred forty and eight. 45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, a hundred thirty and eight. 46 The Nethinim: the children of Ziha, the children of Hasupha, the children of Tabbaoth, 47 the children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon, 48 the children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Salmai, 49 the children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar, 50 the children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda, 51 the children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Paseah. 52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephushesim, 53 the children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur, 54 the children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha, 55 the children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Temah, 56 the children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha. 57 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida, 58 the children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel, 59 the children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth-hazzebaim, the children of Amon. 60 All the Nethinim, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two. 61 And these were they that went up from Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer; but they could not show their fathers' houses, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel: 62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two. 63 And of the priests: the children of Hobaiah, the children of Hakkoz, the children of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name. 64 These sought their register `among' those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they deemed polluted and put from the priesthood. 65 And the governor said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim. 66 The whole assembly together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore, 67 besides their men-servants and their maid-servants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women. 68 Their horses were seven hundred thirty and six; their mules, two hundred forty and five; 69 `their' camels, four hundred thirty and five; `their' asses, six thousand seven hundred and twenty. 70 And some from among the heads of fathers' `houses' gave unto the work. The governor gave to the treasury a thousand darics of gold, fifty basins, five hundred and thirty priests' garments. 71 And some of the heads of fathers' `houses' gave into the treasury of the work twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pounds of silver. 72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand darics of gold, and two thousand pounds of silver, and threescore and seven priests' garments. 73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinim, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities. And when the seventh month was come, the children of Israel were in their cities.




Daily Bible - May 27

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 27th.

Reading for Today:

  • 1 Kings 1:1 Chapter 1 1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. –2:46
  • Psalms 68:11-14 11 The Lord giveth the word: The women that publish the tidings are a great host. 12 Kings of armies flee, they flee; And she that tarrieth at home divideth the spoil. 13 When ye lie among the sheepfolds, `It is as' the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her pinions with yellow gold. 14 When the Almighty scattered kings therein, `It was as when' it snoweth in Zalmon.
  • Proverbs 17:7-9 7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool; Much less do lying lips a prince. 8 A bribe is `as' a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it; Whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth. 9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; But he that harpeth on a matter separateth chief friends.
  • John 9:24-41 24 So they called a second time the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give glory to God: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He therefore answered, Whether he is a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 They said therefore unto him, What did he to thee? How opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I told you even now, and ye did not hear; wherefore would ye hear it again? would ye also become his disciples? 28 And they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God hath spoken unto Moses: but as for this man, we know not whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why, herein is the marvel, that ye know not whence he is, and `yet' he opened mine eyes. 31 We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began it was never heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and finding him, he said, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and he it is that speaketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment came I into this world, that they that see not may see; and that they that see may become blind. 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said unto him, Are we also blind? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye would have no sin: but now ye say, We see: your sin remaineth.

Notes:

1 Kings 1:5 Adonijah. Adonijah was the fourth son of David (2 Sam. 3:4) and probably the oldest living son, since Amnon (2 Sam. 13:28,29) and Absalom (2 Sam. 18:14,15) had been killed, and Chileab apparently died in his  youth, since there is no mention of him beyond his birth. As David’s oldest surviving heir, Adonijah attempted to claim the kingship. chariots and horsemen. Like Absalom (2 Sam. 15:1), Adonijah sought to confirm and support his claim to kingship by raising a small army.

1 Kings 1:13 Did you not…swear…? This oath was given privately (unrecorded in Scripture) by David, perhaps to both Nathan and Bathsheba. Solomon’s choice by the Lord was implicit in his name Jedidiah, meaning “loved by the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:24,25) and explicit in David’s declaration to Solomon (1 Chr. 22:6–13).

1 Kings 2:4 His word. The unconditional Davidic covenant was made by God with David in 2 Samuel 7:4 4 And it came to pass the same night, that the word of Jehovah came unto Nathan, saying, –17 and confirmed to Solomon in 1 Kings 9:5 5 then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom over Israel for ever, according as I promised to David thy father, saying, There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Israel. , promising the perpetuation of the Davidic dynasty over Israel. If your sons take heed to their way. David declared that the king’s obedience to the Law of Moses was a necessary condition for the fulfillment of divine promise. The Book of Kings demonstrates that none of the descendants of David remained faithful to God’s law; none of them met the conditions for the fulfillment of the divine promise. Rather, David’s words provided a basis for explaining the Exile. Thus, the ultimate and final King of Israel would appear at a later, undesignated time.

John 9:35 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and finding him, he said, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? Do you believe…? Jesus invited the man to put his trust in Him as the One who revealed God to man. Jesus placed great emphasis on public acknowledgment of who He was and confession of faith in Him (Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8 8 And I say unto you, Every one who shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: ). Son of God. This should be Son of Man (see 1:51; 3:13, 14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28).

John 9:41 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye would have no sin: but now ye say, We see: your sin remaineth. your sin remains. Jesus had particular reference to the sin of unbelief and rejection of Him as Messiah and Son of God. If they knew their lostness and darkness and cried out for spiritual light, they would no longer be guilty of the sin of unbelief in Christ. But satisfied that their darkness was light and continuing in rejection of Christ, their sin remained. 

DAY 27: How did the simple logic of the healed man outwit the religious authorities? 

In John 9 Chapter 9 1 And as he passed by, he saw a man blind from his birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, who sinned, this man, or his parents, that he should be born blind? 3 Jesus answered, Neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4 We must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. 5 When I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and anointed his eyes with the clay, 7 and said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam (which is by interpretation, Sent). He went away therefore, and washed, and came seeing. 8 The neighbors therefore, and they that saw him aforetime, that he was a beggar, said, Is not this he that sat and begged? 9 Others said, It is he: others said, No, but he is like him. He said, I am `he'. 10 They said therefore unto him, How then were thine eyes opened? 11 He answered, The man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to Siloam, and wash: so I went away and washed, and I received sight. 12 And they said unto him, Where is he? He saith, I know not. 13 They bring to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. 14 Now it was the sabbath on the day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. 15 Again therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight. And he said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and I see. 16 Some therefore of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, because he keepeth not the sabbath. But others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such signs? And there was division among them. 17 They say therefore unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, in that he opened thine eyes? And he said, He is a prophet. 18 The Jews therefore did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and had received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight, 19 and asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? How then doth he now see? 20 His parents answered and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: 21 but how he now seeth, we know not; or who opened his eyes, we know not: ask him; he is of age; he shall speak for himself. 22 These things said his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man should confess him `to be' Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. 23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him. 24 So they called a second time the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give glory to God: we know that this man is a sinner. 25 He therefore answered, Whether he is a sinner, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see. 26 They said therefore unto him, What did he to thee? How opened he thine eyes? 27 He answered them, I told you even now, and ye did not hear; wherefore would ye hear it again? would ye also become his disciples? 28 And they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God hath spoken unto Moses: but as for this man, we know not whence he is. 30 The man answered and said unto them, Why, herein is the marvel, that ye know not whence he is, and `yet' he opened mine eyes. 31 We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and do his will, him he heareth. 32 Since the world began it was never heard that any one opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. 34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and finding him, he said, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? 36 He answered and said, And who is he, Lord, that I may believe on him? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and he it is that speaketh with thee. 38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. 39 And Jesus said, For judgment came I into this world, that they that see not may see; and that they that see may become blind. 40 Those of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things, and said unto him, Are we also blind? 41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye would have no sin: but now ye say, We see: your sin remaineth. , the religious authorites wanted the man to own up and admit the truth that Jesus was a sinner because He violated their traditions and threatened their influence (see Josh.7:19). “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner” (v. 24). Enough unanimity existed among the religious authorities to conclude that Jesus was a sinner (8:46). Because of this already predetermined opinion, they refused to accept any of the testimony that a miracle had actually taken place.

In order to forcefully emphasize their hypocrisy, the healed man resorted to biting sarcasm when he suggested they desired to be Jesus’ disciples (v. 27).

“You are His disciple, but we are Moses’ disciples” (v. 28). At this point, the meeting degenerated into a shouting match of insults. The healed man’s wit had exposed the bias of his inquisitors. As far as the authorities were concerned, the conflict between Jesus and Moses was irreconcilable. If the healed man defended Jesus, then such defense could only mean that he was Jesus’ disciple.

In vv. 30–33, the healed man demonstrated more spiritual insight and common sense than all of the religious authorities combined who sat in judgment of Jesus and him. His penetrating wit focused in on their intractable unbelief. His logic was that such an extraordinary miracle could only indicate that Jesus was from God, for the Jews believed that God responds in proportion to the righteousness of the one praying ( Job 27:9 9 Will God hear his cry, When trouble cometh upon him? ; 35:13; Pss. 66:18; 109:7; Prov. 15:29; Is. 1:15; see 14:13,14; 16:23–27; 1 John 3:21 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, we have boldness toward God; ,22). The greatness of the miracle could only indicate that Jesus was actually from God.

“You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” (v. 34). The Pharisees were incensed with the man, and their anger prevented them from seeing the penetrating insight that the uneducated healed man had demonstrated. The phrase also revealed their ignorance of Scripture, for the Old Testament indicated that the coming messianic age would be evidenced by restoration of sight to the blind (Is. 29:18; 35:5; 42:7;Matt. 11:4, 5; Luke 4:18 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).

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

May 27 - The Problem of Spiritual Debt

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 27th.

“‘“And forgive us our debts”’” ( Matthew 6:12 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. ).

Sin dominates the hearts and minds of lost men and women, separates them from God, and is therefore their greatest enemy and problem. It is the common denominator for every crime, immorality, pain, and sorrow—and there is no natural cure: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then you also can do good who are accustomed to doing evil” (Jer. 13:23). The natural individual does not even want his or her sin cured ( John 3:19 19 And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil. ).

If sin is our greatest problem, our greatest need is the forgiveness God provides. Though forgiven from sin’s ultimate penalty (cf. Rom. 8:1), believers need God’s constant forgiveness for sins they still commit. The apostle John cautions us, “If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” ( 1 John 1:8 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. –9).

Jesus’ act of washing the apostles’ feet ( John 13:5 5 Then he poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. –11) is more than a picture of humility; it also portrays God’s repeated, cleansing forgiveness to His disciples. The forgiveness that secures our saving position in Christ at regeneration does not need repeating; but we need God’s practical forgiveness every day to cleanse us from sin’s contamination as we live in this world. Out of God’s vast heart of forgiveness He is ever willing to continually pardon His children (cf. Neh. 9:17; Rom. 5:20).

Ask Yourself

There are probably a small number of things in your life that are clearly in violation of what you know to be right—things that are top-of-mind as you consider again the depths of our sin and our need for God’s forgiveness. Deal with these in prayer today as you repent before the Father and receive His promised mercy.

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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Confidence in the Face of Death

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 27th.

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain” ( Philippians 1:21 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ).

We can count on Scripture to give us confidence in the face of death.

A few years ago my radio ministry heard from a listener who was exhibiting exactly the right attitude in the face of a terminal illness. A teenager from the Midwest sent a prayer request concerning her recently diagnosed Lou Gehrig’s disease. That Christian young woman, who by now is probably with the Lord, accepted her condition with grace and optimism. Here is part of what she wrote to us: “I love the Lord very much and feel the Lord is using my condition to work in different peoples’ lives. Please pray with me that He would continue to use me no matter what the outcome.”

Her sentiments were right in step with Philippians 1:21 21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. , in which the apostle Paul proclaims his joy and confidence at the possibility of death. What enabled him to rejoice was his complete confidence in the Word of God.

Earlier Paul had articulated his trust in God’s promises when he wrote these familiar words in Romans 8:28 28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, `even' to them that are called according to `his' purpose. , “We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Now he shared verbatim with the Philippians from Job 13:16 16 This also shall be my salvation, That a godless man shall not come before him. , “For I know that this shall turn out for my deliverance” (Phil. 1:19). That too was a trustworthy promise from the Word, and it made Paul confident that his current trials would have a positive outcome.

Whether suffering was of long or short duration, Paul knew that the righteous would be delivered from their temporal trials. That was certainly borne out when God restored Job from his difficult, lengthy ordeal of testing.

Knowing all this, and realizing that all of God’s written Word is available to us, we can certainly have Paul’s type of confidence as we consider the inevitability of death. And we can “keep on rejoicing” ( 1 Peter 4:13 13 but insomuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, rejoice; that at the revelation of his glory also ye may rejoice with exceeding joy. ), even if it’s the Lord’s will that we experience an early departure from this life.

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Thank God for the provision of His Word, which is such an infallible guide as you deal with the uncertainties of death.
  • Pray for someone you know at your church or in your neighborhood who may be facing death right now.

For Further Study

Read Psalms 34:17 17 `The righteous' cried, and Jehovah heard, And delivered them out of all their troubles. , 19; 37:39-40; 91:3; 97:10. What theme runs through these verses that would help you deal as you ought with trials and sufferings?

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

From Terrorism to Discipleship (Simon the Zealot)

Published by Grace To You for reading on May 27th.
The twelve apostles included "Simon the Zealot" (Matt. 10:4).

Even people of vastly different backgrounds can minister together for Christ.

During the time between the Old and New Testaments, a fiery revolutionary named Judas Maccabaeus led the Jewish people in a revolt against Greek influences on their nation and religion. The spirit of that movement was captured in this statement from the apocryphal book of 1 Maccabees: "Be ye zealous for the law and give your lives for the covenant" (1 Maccabees 2:50). That group of politically-oriented, self-appointed guardians of Judaism later became known as the Zealots.

During the New Testament period, Zealots conducted terrorist activities against Rome in an effort to free Israel from Roman oppression. Their activities finally prompted Rome to destroy Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and slaughter people in 985 Galilean towns.

After the destruction of Jerusalem, the few remaining Zealots banded together under the leadership of a man named Eleazar. Their headquarters was at a retreat called Masada. When the Romans laid seige to Masada and the Zealots knew defeat was imminent, they chose to kill their own families and commit suicide themselves rather than face death at the hands of the Romans. It was a tragedy of monumental proportions, but such was the depth of their fiery zeal for Judaism and their hatred for their political enemies.

Before coming to Christ, Simon was a Zealot. Even as a believer, he must have retained much of his zeal, redirecting it in a godly direction. We can only imagine the passion with which he approached the ministry, having finally found a leader and cause that transcended anything Judaism and political activism could ever offer.

It's amazing to realize that Simon the Zealot and Matthew the tax-gatherer ministered together. Under normal circumstances Simon would have killed a traitor like Matthew. But Christ broke through their differences, taught them to love each other, and used them for His glory.

Perhaps you know believers who come from totally different backgrounds than yours. Do you have trouble getting along with any of them? If so, why? How can you begin to mend your differences? Be encouraged by the transformation Christ worked in Simon and Matthew, and follow their example.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray for the people in your church, asking the Lord to give everyone a spirit of unity.

For Further Study

According to Romans 12:9-21 9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. 10 In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another; 11 in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing stedfastly in prayer; 13 communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality. 14 Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. 15 Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. 16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but condescend to things that are lowly. Be not wise in your own conceits. 17 Render to no man evil for evil. Take thought for things honorable in the sight of all men. 18 If it be possible, as much as in you lieth, be at peace with all men. 19 Avenge not yourselves, beloved, but give place unto the wrath `of God': for it is written, Vengeance belongeth unto me; I will recompense, saith the Lord. 20 But if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him to drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. , what attitudes should you have toward others?

From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

Additional Resources

Morning Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for May 27th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on May 27th.

2 Samuel 9:13 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem; for he did eat continually at the king's table. And he was lame in both his feet.

MEPHIBOSHETH was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David's board, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, "What is Thy servant, that Thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?" but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar intercourse with Himself, because He sees in our countenances the remembrance of His dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord's people are dear for another's sake. Such is the love which the Father bears to His only begotten, that for His sake He raises His lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly companionship, noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like Asahel. Our right does not limp, though our might may. A king's table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of Christ resteth upon us. Yet grievous disability may mar the persons of the best-loved saints. Here is one feasted by David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned and injured by his servant Ziba. Saints whose faith is weak, and whose knowledge is slender, are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies, and cannot follow the king whithersoever he goeth. This disease frequently arises from falls. Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like an hart, and satisfy all Thy people with the bread of Thy table!

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for May 27th

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on May 27th.

2 Samuel 9:8 8 And he did obeisance, and said, What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?

IF Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David's kindness, what shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known to what to compare themselves, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. "I am," says holy Rutherford, "a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw." In another place he writes, "Except as to open outbreakings, I want nothing of what Judas and Cain had." The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord, and follow not at His call. The term "dead dog" is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self-abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust, mere walking hillocks; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set His heart's love upon such as we are. Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will "magnify the exceeding greatness of His grace." Could not His heart find rest in heaven? Must He needs come to these tents of Kedar for a spouse, and choose a bride upon whom the sun had looked? O heavens and earth, break forth into a song, and give all glory to our sweet Lord Jesus.

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