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The Work of the Holy Spirit

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on September 22nd.

John 16:7-15 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you. 8 And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more; 11 of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged. 12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, `these' shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare `it' unto you. 15 All things whatsoever the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he taketh of mine, and shall declare `it' unto you.

If someone asked what the Holy Spirit does, how would you answer? Some Christians may not be aware of what He is accomplishing in their life, but the Spirit’s work isn’t a total mystery—Scripture tells us what the role of our divine Helper is.

He convicts us of sin ( John 16:8 8 And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: ). This is the first step in awakening us to our need for salvation. But even afterwards, the Spirit continues revealing sin in our life so we can immediately confess and receive forgiveness ( 1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ).

He guides us into all truth ( John 16:13-14 13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, `these' shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare `it' unto you. ). The Holy Spirit teaches about Jesus Christ and God’s Word, and He helps us discern the difference between truth and error.

He fills us (Eph. 5:18). To be filled with the Spirit means that He is directing our path, much like a ship that is driven along by the wind filling its sails. This requires that we surrender our life to Him, acknowledging that He owns us and has the right to lead.

He bears fruit through us (Gal. 5:22-23). The Spirit produces qualities we could never consistently display on our own: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Although the Holy Spirit indwells and seals us immediately upon salvation, His work within each believer takes a lifetime. He is our constant Helper, who transforms us into Christ’s image and equips us for our daily challenges so we don’t have to struggle through life in our own strength. In all of our difficulties, conflicts, and heartaches, He guides our way, guards our hearts, and gives us His wisdom.

Bible in One Year: Obadiah 1 Chapter 1 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from Jehovah, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, `saying', Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. 2 Behold, I have made thee small among the nations: thou art greatly despised. 3 The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? 4 Though thou mount on high as the eagle, and though thy nest be set among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith Jehovah. 5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night (how art thou cut off!), would they not steal `only' till they had enough? if grape-gatherers came to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? 6 How are `the things of' Esau searched! how are his hidden treasures sought out! 7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee on thy way, even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; `they that eat' thy bread lay a snare under thee: there is no understanding in him. 8 Shall I not in that day, saith Jehovah, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? 9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one may be cut off from the mount of Esau by slaughter. 10 For the violence done to thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. 11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. 12 But look not thou on the day of thy brother in the day of his disaster, and rejoice not over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither speak proudly in the day of distress. 13 Enter not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, look not thou on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither lay ye `hands' on their substance in the day of their calamity. 14 And stand thou not in the crossway, to cut off those of his that escape; and deliver not up those of his that remain in the day of distress. 15 For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yea, they shall drink, and swallow down, and shall be as though they had not been. 17 But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall burn among them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining to the house of Esau; for Jehovah hath spoken it. 19 And they of the South shall possess the mount of Esau, and they of the lowland the Philistines; and they shall possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria; and Benjamin `shall possess' Gilead. 20 And the captives of this host of the children of Israel, that are `among' the Canaanites, `shall possess' even unto Zarephath; and the captives of Jerusalem, that are in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the South. 21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Jehovah's. , Jonah 1-4 Chapter 1 1 Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah; and he went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah. 4 But Jehovah sent out a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god; and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it unto them. But Jonah was gone down into the innermost parts of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; what is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9 And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear Jehovah, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land. 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, What is this that thou hast done? For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Jehovah, because he had told them. 11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not: for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Wherefore they cried unto Jehovah, and said, We beseech thee, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for thou, O Jehovah, hast done as it pleased thee. 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared Jehovah exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice unto Jehovah, and made vows. 17 And Jehovah prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Chapter 2 1 Then Jonah prayed unto Jehovah his God out of the fish's belly. 2 And he said, I called by reason of mine affliction unto Jehovah, And he answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, `And' thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou didst cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, And the flood was round about me; All thy waves and thy billows passed over me. 4 And I said, I am cast out from before thine eyes; Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; The deep was round about me; The weeds were wrapped about my head. 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; The earth with its bars `closed' upon me for ever: Yet hast thou brought up my life from the pit, O Jehovah my God. 7 When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Jehovah; And my prayer came in unto thee, into thy holy temple. 8 They that regard lying vanities Forsake their own mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation is of Jehovah. 10 And Jehovah spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. Chapter 3 1 And the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of Jehovah. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days' journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 And the tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water; 8 but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and beast, and let them cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knoweth whether God will not turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil which he said he would do unto them; and he did it not. Chapter 4 1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed unto Jehovah, and said, I pray thee, O Jehovah, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O Jehovah, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 4 And Jehovah said, Doest thou well to be angry? 5 Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And Jehovah God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his evil case. So Jonah was exceeding glad because of the gourd. 7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd, that it withered. 8 And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10 And Jehovah said, Thou hast had regard for the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11 and should not I have regard for Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?




All Scripture Is Profitable

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on September 22nd.

2 Timothy 3:14-17 14 But abide thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. 15 And that from a babe thou hast known the sacred writings which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 Every scripture inspired of God `is' also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. 17 That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work.

Living in this world is challenging for believers. We are surrounded by temptations and deceptions and need God’s wisdom and guidance to help us navigate with an eternal perspective. The most valuable tool we have in this process is the Bible. Paul boldly declared that “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable” ( 2 Timothy 3:16 16 Every scripture inspired of God `is' also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness. ). So let’s look at the ways our heavenly Father uses His Word in our lives.

For Teaching. Every time we read the Scriptures, God can reveal new truths to us. His Word is filled with commands, principles, and examples that show us who our Father is, what He does, and how He wants us to live.

For Reproof. Scripture is likened to a sword that cuts and reveals (Heb. 4:12). That’s why we sometimes feel convicted when a passage uncovers sins or prompts us to consider what may be hindering our walk with Christ.

For Correction. God’s Word does more than simply convict us. It points out what we should do to turn around and get back on the path of obedience. 

For Training in Righteousness. As we read, pray, and meditate on His Word, we slowly absorb the wisdom and knowledge of God so that we can progress in living righteously and obediently.

The end result of this fourfold work of Scripture is that we will become “adequate, equipped for every good work” ( 2 Timothy 3:17 17 That the man of God may be complete, furnished completely unto every good work. ). And isn’t that what we need? No matter what circumstance, trial, or challenge arises, the truth in God’s Word will help us face it effectively by trusting Him and responding as He desires.

Bible in One Year: Obadiah 1 Chapter 1 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from Jehovah, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, `saying', Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. 2 Behold, I have made thee small among the nations: thou art greatly despised. 3 The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? 4 Though thou mount on high as the eagle, and though thy nest be set among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith Jehovah. 5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night (how art thou cut off!), would they not steal `only' till they had enough? if grape-gatherers came to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? 6 How are `the things of' Esau searched! how are his hidden treasures sought out! 7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee on thy way, even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; `they that eat' thy bread lay a snare under thee: there is no understanding in him. 8 Shall I not in that day, saith Jehovah, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? 9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one may be cut off from the mount of Esau by slaughter. 10 For the violence done to thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. 11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. 12 But look not thou on the day of thy brother in the day of his disaster, and rejoice not over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither speak proudly in the day of distress. 13 Enter not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, look not thou on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither lay ye `hands' on their substance in the day of their calamity. 14 And stand thou not in the crossway, to cut off those of his that escape; and deliver not up those of his that remain in the day of distress. 15 For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yea, they shall drink, and swallow down, and shall be as though they had not been. 17 But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall burn among them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining to the house of Esau; for Jehovah hath spoken it. 19 And they of the South shall possess the mount of Esau, and they of the lowland the Philistines; and they shall possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria; and Benjamin `shall possess' Gilead. 20 And the captives of this host of the children of Israel, that are `among' the Canaanites, `shall possess' even unto Zarephath; and the captives of Jerusalem, that are in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the South. 21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Jehovah's. , Jonah 1-4 Chapter 1 1 Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah; and he went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah. 4 But Jehovah sent out a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god; and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it unto them. But Jonah was gone down into the innermost parts of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; what is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9 And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear Jehovah, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land. 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, What is this that thou hast done? For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Jehovah, because he had told them. 11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not: for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Wherefore they cried unto Jehovah, and said, We beseech thee, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for thou, O Jehovah, hast done as it pleased thee. 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared Jehovah exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice unto Jehovah, and made vows. 17 And Jehovah prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Chapter 2 1 Then Jonah prayed unto Jehovah his God out of the fish's belly. 2 And he said, I called by reason of mine affliction unto Jehovah, And he answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, `And' thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou didst cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, And the flood was round about me; All thy waves and thy billows passed over me. 4 And I said, I am cast out from before thine eyes; Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; The deep was round about me; The weeds were wrapped about my head. 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; The earth with its bars `closed' upon me for ever: Yet hast thou brought up my life from the pit, O Jehovah my God. 7 When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Jehovah; And my prayer came in unto thee, into thy holy temple. 8 They that regard lying vanities Forsake their own mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation is of Jehovah. 10 And Jehovah spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. Chapter 3 1 And the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of Jehovah. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days' journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 And the tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water; 8 but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and beast, and let them cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knoweth whether God will not turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil which he said he would do unto them; and he did it not. Chapter 4 1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed unto Jehovah, and said, I pray thee, O Jehovah, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O Jehovah, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 4 And Jehovah said, Doest thou well to be angry? 5 Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And Jehovah God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his evil case. So Jonah was exceeding glad because of the gourd. 7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd, that it withered. 8 And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10 And Jehovah said, Thou hast had regard for the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11 and should not I have regard for Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?




Obeying the Golden Rule

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on September 23rd.

Matthew 22:36-40 36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 And he said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second like `unto it' is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets.

Most of us have known the Golden Rule since childhood: We are to treat others the way we want to be treated. And for young children, this standard seems to make sense. It is logical to share if you want others to share with you, and to avoid hitting because you wouldn’t like being on the receiving end.

But as life continues and relationships become more complicated, this simple ethical code doesn’t always seem to fit our circumstances. For instance, imagine being wronged by your business partner. How can you treat him respectfully when he has taken advantage of you? What if a kind, forgiving attitude opens the door for you to be hurt again?

God’s command nevertheless does apply in this situation. Obedience can be challenging, however, because when we are hurt or mistreated, our instinct is to retaliate. This might take the form of speaking badly behind a person’s back or showing subtle disrespect to his face. Human nature wants revenge for wrongdoing. In fact, we are unable to do anything different on our own.

Thankfully, as believers, we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, who enables us to forgive. So while our own strength is insufficient for a godly response, we have the option to obey through the Spirit.

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, [and] self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Are these characteristics evident in your interactions with others—even with people who are difficult to love? Ask for the Lord’s supernatural strength so you can respond correctly.

Bible in One Year: Obadiah 1 Chapter 1 1 The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning Edom: We have heard tidings from Jehovah, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, `saying', Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. 2 Behold, I have made thee small among the nations: thou art greatly despised. 3 The pride of thy heart hath deceived thee, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? 4 Though thou mount on high as the eagle, and though thy nest be set among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith Jehovah. 5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night (how art thou cut off!), would they not steal `only' till they had enough? if grape-gatherers came to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? 6 How are `the things of' Esau searched! how are his hidden treasures sought out! 7 All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee on thy way, even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; `they that eat' thy bread lay a snare under thee: there is no understanding in him. 8 Shall I not in that day, saith Jehovah, destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau? 9 And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one may be cut off from the mount of Esau by slaughter. 10 For the violence done to thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever. 11 In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that strangers carried away his substance, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them. 12 But look not thou on the day of thy brother in the day of his disaster, and rejoice not over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither speak proudly in the day of distress. 13 Enter not into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, look not thou on their affliction in the day of their calamity, neither lay ye `hands' on their substance in the day of their calamity. 14 And stand thou not in the crossway, to cut off those of his that escape; and deliver not up those of his that remain in the day of distress. 15 For the day of Jehovah is near upon all the nations: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee; thy dealing shall return upon thine own head. 16 For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the nations drink continually; yea, they shall drink, and swallow down, and shall be as though they had not been. 17 But in mount Zion there shall be those that escape, and it shall be holy; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions. 18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall burn among them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining to the house of Esau; for Jehovah hath spoken it. 19 And they of the South shall possess the mount of Esau, and they of the lowland the Philistines; and they shall possess the field of Ephraim, and the field of Samaria; and Benjamin `shall possess' Gilead. 20 And the captives of this host of the children of Israel, that are `among' the Canaanites, `shall possess' even unto Zarephath; and the captives of Jerusalem, that are in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the South. 21 And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be Jehovah's. , Jonah 1-4 Chapter 1 1 Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah; and he went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah. 4 But Jehovah sent out a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god; and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it unto them. But Jonah was gone down into the innermost parts of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; what is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9 And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear Jehovah, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land. 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, What is this that thou hast done? For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Jehovah, because he had told them. 11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not: for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Wherefore they cried unto Jehovah, and said, We beseech thee, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for thou, O Jehovah, hast done as it pleased thee. 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared Jehovah exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice unto Jehovah, and made vows. 17 And Jehovah prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Chapter 2 1 Then Jonah prayed unto Jehovah his God out of the fish's belly. 2 And he said, I called by reason of mine affliction unto Jehovah, And he answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, `And' thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou didst cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, And the flood was round about me; All thy waves and thy billows passed over me. 4 And I said, I am cast out from before thine eyes; Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; The deep was round about me; The weeds were wrapped about my head. 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; The earth with its bars `closed' upon me for ever: Yet hast thou brought up my life from the pit, O Jehovah my God. 7 When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Jehovah; And my prayer came in unto thee, into thy holy temple. 8 They that regard lying vanities Forsake their own mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation is of Jehovah. 10 And Jehovah spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. Chapter 3 1 And the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of Jehovah. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days' journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 And the tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water; 8 but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and beast, and let them cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knoweth whether God will not turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil which he said he would do unto them; and he did it not. Chapter 4 1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed unto Jehovah, and said, I pray thee, O Jehovah, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O Jehovah, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 4 And Jehovah said, Doest thou well to be angry? 5 Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And Jehovah God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his evil case. So Jonah was exceeding glad because of the gourd. 7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd, that it withered. 8 And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10 And Jehovah said, Thou hast had regard for the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11 and should not I have regard for Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?




Hope for the Worst of Sinners

Published by John Piper for reading on September 23rd.

“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.” ( Exodus 33:19 19 And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and will proclaim the name of Jehovah before thee; and I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. )

Moses needed hope that God really could have mercy on a stiff-necked people who had just committed idolatry and scorned the God who brought them out of Egypt.

To give Moses the hope and confidence he needed, God said, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious.” In other words, “My choices do not depend on the degree of evil or good in man but solely upon my sovereign will. Therefore no one can say he is too evil to be shown grace.”

The doctrine of unconditional election is the great doctrine of hope for the worst of sinners. It means that when it comes to being a candidate for grace, your background has nothing to do with God’s choice.

If you have not been born again and brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ, do not sink into hopelessness thinking that the excessive rottenness or hardness of your past life is an insurmountable obstacle to God’s gracious work in your life. God loves to magnify the freedom of his grace by saving the worst of sinners.

Turn from your sin; call upon the Lord. Even in this devotional he is being gracious to you and giving you strong encouragement to come to him for mercy.

“Come, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” ( Isaiah 1:18 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith Jehovah: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. ).



Guaranteed Heavenly Glory

Published by Grace To You for reading on September 23rd.

“And if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him” ( Romans 8:17 17 and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with `him', that we may be also glorified with `him'. ).

The Holy Spirit confirms within our hearts the hope of eternal glory.

I believe people today instinctively know they are devoid of glory (see Rom. 1:18-21), but they explore all the wrong avenues in seeking to regain it. They look for personal glory by building successful careers, spending many hours in community service, being generous to charities, and so forth. But such efforts only lead to jealousy and pride. Unregenerate men and women simply cannot know the glory that was present before the Fall.

However, there is coming a day when believers will be transformed fully into Christ’s likeness, having a complete reflection of God’s glory. We will receive a perfect, radiant glory that is far better than the glory Adam and Eve knew in the Garden of Eden before they sinned.

Glorification completes the reality of salvation. From before the foundation of the world, the Lord planned to save those who believe and conform them to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29-30). Therefore, every believer lives in the hope of future glory, a hope best summarized by the following two verses: “As for me, I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Thy likeness when I awake” (Ps. 17:15). “Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is” ( 1 John 3:2 2 Beloved, now are we children of God, and it is not yet made manifest what we shall be. We know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is. ).

The Holy Spirit guides us through different levels of glory while we are still on earth. As we consider the glory of the Lord, the Spirit gradually restores the honor we lost in the Fall. He encourages us by restoring our dignity. Salvation is the path to glory, and once we start down that path we will come to its final goal, which is being fully conformed to the image and glory of Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that you would be content in allowing the Spirit to help you realize God’s glory.

For Further Study

Mark 9:1-8 Chapter 9 1 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There are some here of them that stand `by', who shall in no wise taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God come with power. 2 And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and bringeth them up into a high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them; 3 and his garments became glistering, exceeding white, so as no fuller on earth can whiten them. 4 And there appeared unto them Elijah with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus. 5 And Peter answereth and saith to Jesus, Rabbi, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 6 For he knew not what to answer; for they became sore afraid. 7 And there came a cloud overshadowing them: and there came a voice out of the cloud, This is my beloved Son: hear ye him. 8 And suddenly looking round about, they saw no one any more, save Jesus only with themselves. contains an account of Christ’s transfiguration.

  • How was this event a preview of future glory?
  • How was it unlike anything the disciples had seen (v. 3)?
  • How did Peter reflect the other disciples’ amazement (vv. 5-6)?

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        

Taking the Offensive

Published by Grace To You for reading on September 23rd.
"Take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17).

God’s Word is your primary offensive spiritual weapon.

All the armor Paul lists in Ephesians 6 Chapter 6 1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honor thy father and mother (which is the first commandment with promise), 3 that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. 4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but nurture them in the chastening and admonition of the Lord. 5 Servants, be obedient unto them that according to the flesh are your masters, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; 6 not in the way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; 7 with good will doing service, as unto the Lord, and not unto men: 8 knowing that whatsoever good thing each one doeth, the same shall he receive again from the Lord, whether `he be' bond or free. 9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, and forbear threatening: knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no respect of persons with him. 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual `hosts' of wickedness in the heavenly `places'. 13 Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 withal taking up the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil `one'. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, 19 And on my behalf, that utterance may be given unto me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. 21 But that ye also may know my affairs, how I do, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: 22 whom I have sent unto you for this very purpose, that ye may know our state, and that he may comfort your hearts. 23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ with `a love' incorruptible. is defensive, with one exception: the sword of the Spirit. That's your offensive weapon for defeating Satan.

We've seen that Roman soldiers carried two swords: the large broadsword and the small dagger. The Greek word translated "sword" in verse 17 refers to the dagger, which was anywhere from six to eighteen inches in length and was carried in a sheath or scabbard at the soldier's side.

The dagger was a common weapon. The Roman soldiers who arrested Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane were each armed with one (Matt. 26:47). Peter used one to cut off the ear of the high priest's servant (Matt. 26:51). A dagger was used to kill James, the brother of John (Acts. 12:2). Hebrews 11:37 37 they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword: they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated tells us that such a weapon was used against the heroes of the faith.

"The sword of the Spirit" isn't a direct reference to the Holy Spirit as such. The implications is that since our enemy is spiritual, our weapons also must be spiritual (2 Cor. 10:4). Our sword is spiritual because it is the Word given by the Holy Spirit. He inspired its writing and through it convicts and redeems sinners ( John 16:8 8 And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: ; Heb. 4:12-13). The Word abides in you and transforms you. It supplies everything you need for a godly, victorious life. It builds you up and produces holiness ( Acts 20:32 32 And now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build `you' up, and to give `you' the inheritance among all them that are sanctified. ). And it equips you for good works by teaching, reproving, correcting, and training you in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16).

The Bible is a powerful and effective weapon. The question is, Do you know how to use it? Do you diligently study it and apply its principles to your life? Do you have a storehouse of biblical truth to draw from in the heat of battle?

The Roman dagger was a precision weapon aimed at a specific spot to produce a specific result. Similarly, the sword of the Spirit is most effective when you apply specific biblical principles to specific situations in your life. Do you do that?

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Ask God to increase your desire to know His Word.
  • Ask for wisdom in applying what you already know to the decisions and situations you'll face today.

For Further Study

Read 1 Peter 1:22 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently: —2:3. How are believers to approach the Word?

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        

Commitment on Trial

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on September 23rd.

Genesis 22:4-18 4 On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you. 6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son. And he took in his hand the fire and the knife. And they went both of them together. 7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father. And he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood. But where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? 8 And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son. So they went both of them together. 9 And they came to the place which God had told him of. And Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. 11 And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham. And he said, Here I am. 12 And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him. For now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me. 13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, behind `him' a ram caught in the thicket by his horns. And Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh. As it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided. 15 And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, 16 and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, 17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. And thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Abraham began walking with the Lord many years before he was asked to offer Isaac on the altar. His first step had been to leave his home and relatives and go to a land God pledged to show him. But now he was being told to give up the person he cherished most. Isaac was the son of promise, the one through whom God would bring forth a great nation and bless the entire world. Offering Isaac up was the biggest challenge Abraham had ever faced, yet he obeyed.

The Lord never allows us to rest on a spiritual plateau. That’s why He at times tests our commitment. These stretching opportunities are an expression of His love because He knows that standing still is not what’s best for us. The testing is designed to help us grow in faith, obedience, and spiritual maturity while increasing our dedication. That is the way we become valuable servants in His kingdom.

Abraham’s obedience to this crucial test was determined by his understanding of God. He believed that the Lord would keep His promise to give him descendants through Isaac, even if it required raising the boy from the dead (Heb. 11:17-19). That’s why Abraham confidently declared to his servants, “We will worship and return to you” (Gen. 22:5). He knew the Lord was faithful.

If you’re going through a time of testing, God is seeking to raise your commitment to a new level. He wants to prove to you that He’s faithful to His promises and will greatly bless you for your obedience. The stretching may be painful, but He will wrap you in His love and carry you to victory.

Bible in One Year: Jonah 1-4 Chapter 1 1 Now the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah; and he went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of Jehovah. 4 But Jehovah sent out a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his god; and they cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it unto them. But Jonah was gone down into the innermost parts of the ship; and he lay, and was fast asleep. 6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not. 7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. 8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; what is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou? 9 And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear Jehovah, the God of heaven, who hath made the sea and the dry land. 10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him, What is this that thou hast done? For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Jehovah, because he had told them. 11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea grew more and more tempestuous. 12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. 13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not: for the sea grew more and more tempestuous against them. 14 Wherefore they cried unto Jehovah, and said, We beseech thee, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man's life, and lay not upon us innocent blood; for thou, O Jehovah, hast done as it pleased thee. 15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. 16 Then the men feared Jehovah exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice unto Jehovah, and made vows. 17 And Jehovah prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Chapter 2 1 Then Jonah prayed unto Jehovah his God out of the fish's belly. 2 And he said, I called by reason of mine affliction unto Jehovah, And he answered me; Out of the belly of Sheol cried I, `And' thou heardest my voice. 3 For thou didst cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, And the flood was round about me; All thy waves and thy billows passed over me. 4 And I said, I am cast out from before thine eyes; Yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 5 The waters compassed me about, even to the soul; The deep was round about me; The weeds were wrapped about my head. 6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; The earth with its bars `closed' upon me for ever: Yet hast thou brought up my life from the pit, O Jehovah my God. 7 When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Jehovah; And my prayer came in unto thee, into thy holy temple. 8 They that regard lying vanities Forsake their own mercy. 9 But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation is of Jehovah. 10 And Jehovah spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. Chapter 3 1 And the word of Jehovah came unto Jonah the second time, saying, 2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee. 3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of Jehovah. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city, of three days' journey. 4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. 6 And the tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water; 8 but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and beast, and let them cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knoweth whether God will not turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not? 10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil which he said he would do unto them; and he did it not. Chapter 4 1 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 And he prayed unto Jehovah, and said, I pray thee, O Jehovah, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I hasted to flee unto Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in lovingkindness, and repentest thee of the evil. 3 Therefore now, O Jehovah, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live. 4 And Jehovah said, Doest thou well to be angry? 5 Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made him a booth, and sat under it in the shade, till he might see what would become of the city. 6 And Jehovah God prepared a gourd, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his evil case. So Jonah was exceeding glad because of the gourd. 7 But God prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd, that it withered. 8 And it came to pass, when the sun arose, that God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah, that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, It is better for me to die than to live. 9 And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. 10 And Jehovah said, Thou hast had regard for the gourd, for which thou hast not labored, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: 11 and should not I have regard for Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?




Daily Bible - September 23

Published by Grace To You for reading on September 23rd.

Reading for Today:

  • Isaiah 37:1 Chapter 37 1 And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of Jehovah. –38:22
  • Psalms 109:14-20 14 Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with Jehovah; And let not the sin of his mother be blotted out. 15 Let them be before Jehovah continually, That he may cut off the memory of them from the earth; 16 Because he remembered not to show kindness, But persecuted the poor and needy man, And the broken in heart, to slay `them'. 17 Yea, he loved cursing, and it came unto him; And he delighted not in blessing, and it was far from him. 18 He clothed himself also with cursing as with his garment, And it came into his inward parts like water, And like oil into his bones. 19 Let it be unto him as the raiment wherewith he covereth himself, And for the girdle wherewith he is girded continually. 20 This is the reward of mine adversaries from Jehovah, And of them that speak evil against my soul.
  • Proverbs 26:1 Chapter 26 1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, So honor is not seemly for a fool.
  • Galatians 1:1-24 Chapter 1 1 Paul, an apostle (not from men, neither through man, but through Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead), 2 and all the brethren that are with me, unto the churches of Galatia: 3 Grace to you and peace from God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil world, according to the will of our God and Father: 5 to whom `be' the glory for ever and ever. Amen. 6 I marvel that ye are so quickly removing from him that called you in the grace of Christ unto a different gospel; 7 which is not another `gospel' only there are some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema. 9 As we have said before, so say I now again, if any man preacheth unto you any gospel other than that which ye received, let him be anathema. 10 For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? or am I striving to please men? if I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ. 11 For I make known to you, brethren, as touching the gospel which was preached by me, that it is not after man. 12 For neither did I receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but `it came to me' through revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye have heard of my manner of life in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and made havoc of it: 14 and I advanced in the Jews' religion beyond many of mine own age among my countrymen, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when it was the good pleasure of God, who separated me, `even' from my mother's womb, and called me through his grace, 16 to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Gentiles; straightway I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 neither went I up to Jerusalem to them that were apostles before me: but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas, and tarried with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother. 20 Now touching the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. 21 Then I came unto the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was still unknown by face unto the churches of Judaea which were in Christ: 23 but they only heard say, He that once persecuted us now preacheth the faith of which he once made havoc; 24 and they glorified God in me.

Notes:

Isaiah 37:29 hook in your nose…bridle in your lips. In judging Sennacherib, the Lord treated him as an obstinate animal with a ring in his nose and/or a bridle in his mouth. Some ancient sources indicate that captives were led before a king by a cord attached to a hook or ring through the upper lip and nose. Thus, he was to be brought back to his own country.

Isaiah 37:36 the angel of the LORD. This was Isaiah’s only use of a title that is frequent in the Old Testament, one referring to the Lord Himself. killed. Secular records also mention this massive slaughter of Assyrian troops, without noting its supernatural nature, of course.

Galatians 1:12 neither received it from man, nor was I taught it. In contrast to the Judaizers, who received their religious instruction from rabbinic tradition. Most Jews did not study the actual Scriptures; instead they used human interpretations of Scripture as their religious authority and guide. Many of their traditions not only were not taught in Scripture but also contradicted it ( Mark 7:13 13 making void the word of God by your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things ye do. ). through the revelation. This refers to the unveiling of something previously kept secret—in this case, Jesus Christ. While he knew about Christ, Paul subsequently met Him personally on the road to Damascus and received the truth of the gospel from Him ( Acts 9:1 Chapter 9 1 But Saul, yet breathing threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, –16).

Galatians 1:17 Jerusalem…Arabia,…Damascus. Rather than immediately travel to Jerusalem to be instructed by the apostles, Paul instead went to Nabatean Arabia, a wilderness desert that stretched east of Damascus down to the Sinai peninsula. After being prepared for ministry by the Lord, he returned to minister in nearby Damascus.

Galatians 1:18 three years. The approximate time from Paul’s conversion to his first journey to Jerusalem. During those years he made a visit to Damascus and resided in Arabia, under the instruction of the Lord. This visit is discussed in Acts 9:26 26 And when he was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: and they were all afraid of him, not believing that he was a disciple. –30. up to Jerusalem. Travelers in Israel always speak of going up to Jerusalem because of its higher elevation. see. Better translated, “to become acquainted with.” Peter. The apostle who was the personal companion of the Lord and the most powerful spokesman in the early years of the Jerusalem church ( Acts 1 Chapter 1 1 The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, 2 until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom he also showed himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing unto them by the space of forty days, and speaking the things concerning the kingdom of God: 4 and, being assembled together with them, he charged them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, `said he', ye heard from me: 5 For John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence. 6 They therefore, when they were come together, asked him, saying, Lord, dost thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know times or seasons, which the Father hath set within His own authority. 8 But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they were looking stedfastly into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 who also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? this Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven. 12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is nigh unto Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey off. 13 And when they were come in, they went up into the upper chamber, where they were abiding; both Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James `the son' of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas `the son' of James. 14 These all with one accord continued stedfastly in prayer, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren. 15 And in these days Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren, and said (and there was a multitude of persons `gathered' together, about a hundred and twenty), 16 Brethren, it was needful that the Scripture should be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was guide to them that took Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us, and received his portion in this ministry. 18 (Now this man obtained a field with the reward of his iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch that in their language that field was called Akeldama, that is, The field of blood.) 20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be made desolate, And let no man dwell therein: and, His office let another take. 21 Of the men therefore that have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and went out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John, unto the day that he was received up from us, of these must one become a witness with us of his resurrection. 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show of these two the one whom thou hast chosen, 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas fell away, that he might go to his own place. 26 And they gave lots for them; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. –12).

DAY 23: What was so shocking to Paul about the Galatians?

That the Galatians were “turning away” (1:6). This is better translated “deserting.” The Greek word was used of military desertion, which was punishable by death. The form of this Greek verb indicates that the Galatian believers were voluntarily deserting grace to pursue the legalism taught by the false teachers. “So soon.” This Greek word can mean either “easily” or “quickly” and sometimes both. No doubt both senses characterized the Galatians’ response to the false teachers’ heretical doctrines. “Called you.” This could be translated, “Who called you once and for all” (2 Thess. 2:13, 14; 2 Tim. 1:8, 9; 1 Pet. 1:15), and refers to God’s effectual call to salvation. “Grace of Christ.” God’s free and sovereign act of mercy in granting salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ, totally apart from any human work or merit. “Different gospel.” The Judaizers’ perversion of the true gospel. They added the requirements, ceremonies, and standards of the Old Covenant as necessary prerequisites to salvation.

“Some who trouble you” (v. 7). The Greek word could be translated “disturb” and means “to shake back and forth,” meaning to agitate or stir up. Here, it refers to the deep emotional disturbance the Galatian believers experienced. “Pervert.” To turn something into its opposite. By adding law to the gospel of Christ, the false teachers were effectively destroying grace, turning the message of God’s undeserved favor toward sinners into a message of earned and merited favor. “The gospel of Christ.” The good news of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

Throughout history God has devoted certain objects, individuals, and groups of people to destruction or to be “accursed” (Josh. 6:17, 18; 7:1, 25, 26). Here the Judaizers are identified as members of this infamous company. “But even if we, or an angel from heaven” (v. 8). Paul’s point is hypothetical, calling on the most unlikely examples for false teaching—himself and holy angels. The Galatians should receive no messenger, regardless of how impeccable his credentials, if his doctrine of salvation differs in the slightest degree from God’s truth revealed through Christ and the apostles. “Accursed.” The translation of the familiar Greek word anathama, which refers to devoting someone to destruction in eternal hell (Rom. 9:3; 1 Cor. 12:3; 16:22).

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        

September 23 - Jesus Challenges Nicodemus: New Birth

Published by Grace To You for reading on September 23rd.

“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to Him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?’” ( John 3:3 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God. –4).

Jesus’ shocking statement was far more than Nicodemus had expected. Incredulous, Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Nicodemus did not misinterpret Jesus’ words; he replied in the context of the Lord’s analogy. How could he start all over, go back to the beginning? Jesus was telling him that entrance to God’s salvation was not a matter of adding something to all his efforts but rather cancelling everything and starting all over again.

At the same time, Nicodemus clearly could not grasp the full meaning of what this meant. Jesus was making entrance into the kingdom contingent on something that could not be obtained through human effort. If spiritual rebirth, like physical rebirth, was impossible from human effort, then where did that leave this self-righteous Pharisee, since the system in which he had placed his hope was powerless to save?

Far from minimizing the demands of the gospel, Jesus challenged this most religious Jew to admit his spiritual bankruptcy and abandon everything he was trusting in for salvation.

Be sure as you proclaim the gospel that you challenge your listeners to give up what they think will get them to heaven.

Ask Yourself

On one hand, adherence to the law (as Nicodemus saw it) seems like a long-forgotten pursuit. But there are plenty of folks down the street or within the sound of your voice who are clinging to the hopes of their good works. How does this show itself? How can you counteract it as you witness to them?

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

Additional Resources        

Morning Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for September 23rd

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on September 23rd.

Ephesians 1:6 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved:

WHAT a state of privilege! It includes our justification before God, but the term acceptance" in the Greek means more than that. It signifies that we are the objects of divine complacence, nay, even of divine delight. How marvellous that we, worms, mortals, sinners, should be the objects of divine love! But it is only "in the beloved." Some Christians seem to be accepted in their own experience, at least, that is their apprehension. When their spirit is lively, and their hopes bright, they think God accepts them, for they feel so high, so heavenly-minded, so drawn above the earth! But when their souls cleave to the dust, they are the victims of the fear that they are no longer accepted. If they could but see that all their high joys do not exalt them, and all their low despondencies do not really depress them in their Father's sight, but that they stand accepted in One who never alters, in One who is always the beloved of God, always perfect, always without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, how much happier they would be, and how much more they would honour the Saviour! Rejoice then, believer, in this: thou art accepted "in the beloved." Thou lookest within, and thou sayest, "There is nothing acceptable here!" But look at Christ, and see if there is not everything acceptable there. Thy sins trouble thee; but God has cast thy sins behind His back, and thou art accepted in the Righteous One. Thou hast to fight with corruption, and to wrestle with temptation, but thou art already accepted in Him who has overcome the powers of evil. The devil tempts thee; be of good cheer, he cannot destroy thee, for thou art accepted in Him who has broken Satan's head. Know by full assurance thy glorious standing. Even glorified souls are not more accepted than thou art. They are only accepted in heaven "in the beloved," and thou art even now accepted in Christ after the same manner.

Evening Devotional by C.H. Spurgeon for September 23rd

Published by C.H. Spurgeon for reading on September 23rd.

Mark 9:23 23 And Jesus said unto him, If thou canst! All things are possible to him that believeth.

A certain man had a demoniac son, who was afflicted with a dumb spirit. The father, having seen the futility of the endeavours of the disciples to heal his child, had little or no faith in Christ, and therefore, when he was bidden to bring his son to Him, he said to Jesus, "If Thou cast do anything, have compassion on us, and help us." Now there was an "if" in the question, but the poor trembling father had put the "if" in the wrong place: Jesus Christ, therefore, without commanding him to retract the "if," kindly puts it in its legitimate position. "Nay, verily," He seemed to say, "there should be no 'if' about My power, nor concerning My willingness, the 'if' lies somewhere else." "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." The man's trust was strengthened, he offered a humble prayer for an increase of faith, and instantly Jesus spoke the word, and the devil was cast out, with an injunction never to return. There is a lesson here which we need to learn. We, like this man, often see that there is an "if" somewhere, but we are perpetually blundering by putting it in the wrong place. "If" Jesus can help me—"if" He can give me grace to overcome temptation—"if" He can give me pardon—"if" He can make me successful? Nay, "if" you can believe, He both can and will. You have misplaced your "if." If you can confidently trust, even as all things are possible to Christ, so shall all things be possible to you. Faith standeth in God's power, and is robed in God's majesty; it weareth the royal apparel, and rideth on the King's horse, for it is the grace which the King delighteth to honour. Girding itself with the glorious might of the all-working Spirit, it becomes, in the omnipotence of God, mighty to do, to dare, and to suffer. All things, without limit, are possible to him that believeth. My soul, canst thou believe thy Lord to-night?

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