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Discerning God’s Will

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on October 19th.

Matthew 16:21-26 21 From that time began Jesus to show unto his disciples, that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and the third day be raised up. 22 And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall never be unto thee. 23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art a stumbling-block unto me: for thou mindest not the things of God, but the things of men. 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man would come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever would save his life shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what shall a man be profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and forfeit his life? or what shall a man give in exchange for his life?

It’s tempting to think we know what’s best, and this tendency often shows up in our prayers. Instead of laying our concerns at the Lord’s feet and asking Him for guidance and peace in the situation, we start telling Him exactly how we want Him to answer. Although today’s passage isn’t about prayer, it demonstrates a biblical principle that applies to our communication with God.

In making our requests, we should seek to align them as closely as possible with God’s revealed will as found in Scripture. This requires setting our minds on the Lord’s interests, not our own desires.

The way Peter saw things, rejecting Jesus’ announcement of His death made perfect sense. Even though this prophesy came directly from his Lord, Peter couldn’t reconcile the words crucified and Messiah. He had left everything to follow Jesus and was expecting to share in the glory. If Jesus was killed, there would be no kingdom. What he didn’t understand at the time was Isaiah’s prophesy of the suffering Messiah (Isa. 53:1-12).

By becoming students of God’s Word, we have more insight into His ways, will, and desires. With God’s perspective in mind, we can pray more knowledgeably, which in turn leads to increased answers to prayer ( John 15:7 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you. ).

To accept Jesus’ words, Peter would have to surrender his expectations for both himself and Christ. And the same is true for us as well. To follow Jesus, we must deny ourselves and even be willing to die for Him, if necessary. Sometimes dying to self involves surrendering how we want God to answer prayer. But when we do, we’ll find His best.

Bible in One Year: Mark 15-16 Chapter 15 1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering saith unto him, Thou sayest. 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they accuse thee of. 5 But Jesus no more answered anything; insomuch that Pilate marvelled. 6 Now at the feast he used to release unto them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 7 And there was one called Barabbas, `lying' bound with them that had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8 And the multitude went up and began to ask him `to do' as he was wont to do unto them. 9 And Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10 For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate again answered and said unto them, What then shall I do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 And Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And Pilate, wishing to content the multitude, released unto them Barabbas, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16 And the soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it on him; 18 and they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the purple, and put on him his garments. And they lead him out to crucify him. 21 And they compel one passing by, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go `with them', that he might bear his cross. 22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 24 And they crucify him, and part his garments among them, casting lots upon them, what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 And with him they crucify two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 `And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors.' 29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ha! Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31 In like manner also the chief priests mocking `him' among themselves with the scribes said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reproached him. 33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elijah. 36 And one ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let be; let us see whether Elijah cometh to take him down. 37 And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood by over against him, saw that he so gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40 And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom `were' both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many other women that came up with him unto Jerusalem. 42 And when even was now come, because it was the Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a councillor of honorable estate, who also himself was looking for the kingdom of God; and he boldly went in unto Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he learned it of the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And he bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the `mother' of Joses beheld where he was laid. Chapter 16 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the `mother' of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen. 3 And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? 4 and looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great. 5 And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out, and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. 9 Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved. 12 And after these things he was manifested in another form unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 13 And they went away and told it unto the rest: neither believed they them. 14 And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. 17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.


Contagious Anger

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on October 19th.

Proverbs 22:24-25 24 Make no friendship with a man that is given to anger; And with a wrathful man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn this ways, And get a snare to thy soul.

Anger can wreak havoc on both the body and soul, but its scope extends beyond the individual and impacts everyone nearby. In this way, bitter outbursts and silent resentment are not just our own personal issues.

An angry spirit is contagious. It can pass from one person to another—and even from one generation to the next. Workplaces can become tense environments full of caustic words and attitudes. Ire turns homes into battlegrounds of verbal explosions or silent hostility. Even churches suffer from malicious gossip and fights over personal preferences.

God created us to live in fellowship with others, but anger can poison our relationships. Tragically, those closest to us are the ones who suffer the most. Children learn to respond to life’s situations by observing their parents’ example. They then develop similar attitudes and patterns of behavior. We need to give serious thought to what kind of heart we are passing down to our sons and daughters.

Thankfully, God is in the heart-changing business. Just as we learn an angry person’s ways by association, so we can learn righteous ways by walking closely with the Lord. Christ calls us to come, learn from Him, and find rest for our souls (Matt. 11:28-29).

Which would you prefer: churning anger or Christ’s peace? Both require sacrifice. To maintain anger, you forfeit healthy relationships and possibly a godly heritage for your descendants. But to acquire peace, you simply ask God to help you leave grudges, personal rights, and insults at the altar.

Bible in One Year: Mark 15-16 Chapter 15 1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering saith unto him, Thou sayest. 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they accuse thee of. 5 But Jesus no more answered anything; insomuch that Pilate marvelled. 6 Now at the feast he used to release unto them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 7 And there was one called Barabbas, `lying' bound with them that had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8 And the multitude went up and began to ask him `to do' as he was wont to do unto them. 9 And Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10 For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate again answered and said unto them, What then shall I do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 And Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And Pilate, wishing to content the multitude, released unto them Barabbas, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16 And the soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it on him; 18 and they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the purple, and put on him his garments. And they lead him out to crucify him. 21 And they compel one passing by, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go `with them', that he might bear his cross. 22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 24 And they crucify him, and part his garments among them, casting lots upon them, what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 And with him they crucify two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 `And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors.' 29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ha! Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31 In like manner also the chief priests mocking `him' among themselves with the scribes said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reproached him. 33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elijah. 36 And one ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let be; let us see whether Elijah cometh to take him down. 37 And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood by over against him, saw that he so gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40 And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom `were' both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many other women that came up with him unto Jerusalem. 42 And when even was now come, because it was the Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a councillor of honorable estate, who also himself was looking for the kingdom of God; and he boldly went in unto Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he learned it of the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And he bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the `mother' of Joses beheld where he was laid. Chapter 16 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the `mother' of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen. 3 And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? 4 and looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great. 5 And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out, and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. 9 Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved. 12 And after these things he was manifested in another form unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 13 And they went away and told it unto the rest: neither believed they them. 14 And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. 17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.




The Reward of the Believer

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on October 19th.

1 Corinthians 3:6-15 6 I planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: but each shall receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9 For we are God's fellow-workers: ye are God's husbandry, God's building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder I laid a foundation; and another buildeth thereon. But let each man take heed how he buildeth thereon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 each man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire.

Our God-given purpose is to glorify our heavenly Father. Ephesians 2:10 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God afore prepared that we should walk in them. sheds light on the means by which we accomplish this: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.”

As believers, we are responsible to do God’s work. One day, we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ and be held accountable for our service. “Judgment” can be a daunting term. Remember, though, that Jesus redeemed us by His death and resurrection and paid the penalty for our sins. He took our punishment, and we no longer face condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Christ’s judgment for Christians determines His rewards for each believer.

During this evaluation, God will test our actions. Today’s Scripture passage likens this to proving the quality of a substance through fire ( 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 12 But if any man buildeth on the foundation gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 each man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself shall prove each man's work of what sort it is. 14 If any man's work shall abide which he built thereon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire. ). Once the fire burns away impure motives and worthless tasks, the Lord will give recompense for that which remains.

From the outside, we may look as if we’re living obediently, striving to honor Jesus. So many tasks appear selfless and honorable, yet underneath the noble appearance, there can be ugly motives. We often deceive even ourselves about the reason for our actions. Since our desire should be to please Christ, we can ask Him to purify and change our hearts.

Consider your actions over the past few days. How much time and energy did you spend serving Christ for His glory? This can include any area of involvement—not just efforts related to church. Ask God to reveal whatever is driven by a selfish motive and needs to be brought under His authority.

Bible in One Year: Mark 15-16 Chapter 15 1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering saith unto him, Thou sayest. 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they accuse thee of. 5 But Jesus no more answered anything; insomuch that Pilate marvelled. 6 Now at the feast he used to release unto them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 7 And there was one called Barabbas, `lying' bound with them that had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8 And the multitude went up and began to ask him `to do' as he was wont to do unto them. 9 And Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10 For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate again answered and said unto them, What then shall I do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 And Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And Pilate, wishing to content the multitude, released unto them Barabbas, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16 And the soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it on him; 18 and they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the purple, and put on him his garments. And they lead him out to crucify him. 21 And they compel one passing by, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go `with them', that he might bear his cross. 22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 24 And they crucify him, and part his garments among them, casting lots upon them, what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 And with him they crucify two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 `And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors.' 29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ha! Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31 In like manner also the chief priests mocking `him' among themselves with the scribes said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reproached him. 33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elijah. 36 And one ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let be; let us see whether Elijah cometh to take him down. 37 And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood by over against him, saw that he so gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40 And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom `were' both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many other women that came up with him unto Jerusalem. 42 And when even was now come, because it was the Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a councillor of honorable estate, who also himself was looking for the kingdom of God; and he boldly went in unto Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he learned it of the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And he bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the `mother' of Joses beheld where he was laid. Chapter 16 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the `mother' of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen. 3 And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? 4 and looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great. 5 And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out, and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. 9 Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved. 12 And after these things he was manifested in another form unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 13 And they went away and told it unto the rest: neither believed they them. 14 And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. 17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.




Love’s Greatest Happiness

Published by John Piper for reading on October 19th.

No one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. ( Ephesians 5:29 29 for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; –30)

The union between Christ and his bride is so close (“one flesh”) that any good done to her is a good done to himself. The blatant assertion of this text is that this fact motivates the Lord to nourish, cherish, sanctify, and cleanse his bride.

By some definitions, this cannot be love. Love, they say, must be free of self-interest — especially Christlike love, especially Calvary love. I have never seen such a view of love made to square with this passage of Scripture.

Yet what Christ does for his bride, this text plainly calls love: “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church . . . ” ( Ephesians 5:25 25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; ). Why not let the text define love for us, instead of bringing our definition from ethics or philosophy? According to this text, love is the pursuit of our joy in the holy joy of the beloved.

There is no way to exclude self-interest from love, for self-interest is not the same as selfishness. Selfishness seeks its own private happiness at the expense of others.

Love seeks its happiness in the happiness of the beloved. It will even suffer and die for the beloved in order that its joy might be full in the life and purity of the beloved.

This is how Christ loved us, and this is how he calls us to love one another.



Alone With God

Published by InTouch Ministries for reading on October 19th.

Mark 1:35-39 35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose up and went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed. 36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him; 37 and they found him, and say unto him, All are seeking thee. 38 And he saith unto them, Let us go elsewhere into the next towns, that I may preach there also; for to this end came I forth. 39 And he went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out demons.

Where does prayer fit in your daily schedule? I’m not talking about the times you pray on the way to work or while eating breakfast, but the occasions when you are alone with God and it’s just the two of you. Although prayer at any time is good, we also need to have a set time and place where we meet with the Lord each day—preferably in the morning.

Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He knew the importance of solitary prayer time. He didn’t do anything on His own initiative but instead lived in dependence upon the Father, acting only on the instructions God communicated to Him. In today’s reading, we don’t know exactly what Jesus prayed, but when the disciples interrupted His morning prayer time, He had obviously received His Father’s direction for that day—to “go somewhere else” so that He could preach.

Jesus was the perfect example of a Spirit-led life, and prayer played a vital role. Since we are to follow in His footsteps, wouldn’t it make sense for us to meet with God early each morning in preparation for the day? This is the time to lay our concerns at His feet, seek guidance for whatever the day holds, trust Him for provision and protection, and intercede for others.

Although many things demand our time and attention, we can’t afford to neglect prayer. The fruit of prayerlessness is spiritual weakness, unmet needs, anxiety, and ingratitude. But when we make prayer a priority, we’ll have a firm foundation for the day ahead, no matter what it brings. And in the evening, we can look back with a heart of gratitude for answered prayer.

Bible in One Year: Mark 15-16 Chapter 15 1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering saith unto him, Thou sayest. 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they accuse thee of. 5 But Jesus no more answered anything; insomuch that Pilate marvelled. 6 Now at the feast he used to release unto them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 7 And there was one called Barabbas, `lying' bound with them that had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8 And the multitude went up and began to ask him `to do' as he was wont to do unto them. 9 And Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10 For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate again answered and said unto them, What then shall I do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 And Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And Pilate, wishing to content the multitude, released unto them Barabbas, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16 And the soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it on him; 18 and they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the purple, and put on him his garments. And they lead him out to crucify him. 21 And they compel one passing by, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go `with them', that he might bear his cross. 22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 24 And they crucify him, and part his garments among them, casting lots upon them, what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 And with him they crucify two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 `And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors.' 29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ha! Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31 In like manner also the chief priests mocking `him' among themselves with the scribes said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reproached him. 33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elijah. 36 And one ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let be; let us see whether Elijah cometh to take him down. 37 And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood by over against him, saw that he so gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40 And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom `were' both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many other women that came up with him unto Jerusalem. 42 And when even was now come, because it was the Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a councillor of honorable estate, who also himself was looking for the kingdom of God; and he boldly went in unto Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he learned it of the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And he bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the `mother' of Joses beheld where he was laid. Chapter 16 1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the `mother' of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb when the sun was risen. 3 And they were saying among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the tomb? 4 and looking up, they see that the stone is rolled back: for it was exceeding great. 5 And entering into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, arrayed in a white robe; and they were amazed. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not amazed: ye seek Jesus, the Nazarene, who hath been crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold, the place where they laid him! 7 But go, tell his disciples and Peter, He goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out, and fled from the tomb; for trembling and astonishment had come upon them: and they said nothing to any one; for they were afraid. 9 Now when he was risen early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. 10 She went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, disbelieved. 12 And after these things he was manifested in another form unto two of them, as they walked, on their way into the country. 13 And they went away and told it unto the rest: neither believed they them. 14 And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. 17 And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken unto them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.




Slaves of Righteousness

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

“But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” ( Romans 6:17-18 17 But thanks be to God, that, whereas ye were servants of sin, ye became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching whereunto ye were delivered; 18 and being made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness. ).

True freedom comes from being a servant of Jesus Christ.

I once knew a man who, though intellectually convinced that the gospel was true, balked at committing his life to Jesus Christ. When I asked him why, he replied, “Because I don’t want to give up my freedom.” He understood clearly that genuine saving faith requires submission to Christ’s lordship. But he was tragically deceived in thinking that non-Christians are free—they aren’t. Unbelievers are slaves to sin ( John 8:34 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Every one that committeth sin is the bondservant of sin. ). Only Christians have true freedom ( John 8:31-32 31 Jesus therefore said to those Jews that had believed him, If ye abide in my word, `then' are ye truly my disciples; 32 and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. )—the freedom not to sin.

Paul reminded the Roman Christians that before they were saved, they ”were slaves of sin.” The apostle’s use of the imperfect tense indicates that the Romans, like all unbelievers, had been in a continual state of slavery to sin. Every human ever born—since Adam and Eve plunged the human race into sin—has been born enslaved to sin—except of course, for Christ.

When a person comes to faith in Christ, he or she becomes “obedient from the heart” to the Lord Jesus Christ. A Christian’s initial act of obedience, repenting and believing the gospel message ( Mark 1:15 15 and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe in the gospel. ), is the first step in a lifelong path of obedience. In the words of the apostle Peter, Christians are those who “have in obedience to the truth purified [their] souls” ( 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: ).

Paradoxically, it’s only those who have made themselves servants of Jesus Christ who are truly free. They alone are free to do what is right; even unbelievers’ “good deeds” are sinful, since they aren’t done to glorify God. Christian liberty is not the freedom to choose to sin, but the freedom to choose not to.

Renew today your commitment to be an obedient servant of God, knowing that “you are not your own. For you have been bought with a price” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Suggestions for Prayer

  • Praise God for freeing you from slavery to sin.
  • Ask Him to show you those areas in your life that you have not yielded fully to Him.

For Further Study

  • Memorize Matthew 5:6 6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. ; 1 Timothy 6:10-12 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil: which some reaching after have been led astray from the faith, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith, lay hold on the life eternal, whereunto thou wast called, and didst confess the good confession in the sight of many witnesses. ; and Hebrews 12:14 14 Follow after peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no man shall see the Lord: .
  • Ask God to help you pattern your life after Jesus Christ.

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

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Gaining True Wisdom

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

"The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple" (Ps. 19:7).

God’s Word imparts wisdom and knowledge beyond the realm of mere human understanding.

David's characterization of God's Word as "the testimony of the Lord" (Ps. 19:7) speaks of its role as God's witness to who He is and what He requires of us. In addition, it's a "sure" witness. That means it's unwavering, immovable, unmistakable, reliable, and trustworthy.

Peter made the same point when, after recounting his incredible experience with Christ on the Mount of Transfiguration (2 Pet. 1:16-18), he said, "but we have a testimony more sure than that—the prophetic word" (v. 19, literal translation). The testimony of God's written Word is a surer and more convincing confirmation of God's truth than even apostolic experiences with Christ Himself!

Perhaps that's why our Lord prevented the two disciples on the Emmaus Road from recognizing Him as He gave them a biblical basis for the things they had seen and heard ( Luke 24:27 27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. ). Their faith and preaching were to be based on Scripture, not merely on their own personal experiences—no matter how profound or moving those experiences may have been.

The benefit of God's sure Word is that it makes the simple wise (Ps. 19:7). It takes undiscerning, ignorant, and gullible people and teaches them profound truth from God that they can apply to their lives. As they do, they become skilled in the art of godly living.

That was the psalmist's joy when he wrote, "Thy commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine. I have more insight than all my teachers, for Thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, because I have observed Thy precepts" (Ps. 119:98-100).

Applying that principle to New Testament believers, Paul prayed that we would be "filled with the knowledge of [God's] will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Col. 1:9). As that occurs, we're enabled to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and please Him in every respect (v. 10). That's the outworking of godly wisdom, and the key to holy living.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that God's wisdom will increase and abound in your life today and every day.

For Further Study

Read Luke 24:13-35 13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was threescore furlongs from Jerusalem. 14 And they communed with each other of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, while they communed and questioned together, that Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What communications are these that ye have one with another, as ye walk? And they stood still, looking sad. 18 And one of them, named Cleopas, answering said unto him, Dost thou alone sojourn in Jerusalem and not know the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel. Yea and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things came to pass. 22 Moreover certain women of our company amazed us, having been early at the tomb; 23 and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them that were with us went to the tomb, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 And he said unto them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go further. 29 And they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in to abide with them. 30 And it came to pass, when he had sat down with them to meat, he took the bread and blessed; and breaking `it' he gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up that very hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. 35 And they rehearsed the things `that happened' in the way, and how he was known of them in the breaking of the bread. , noting how Jesus ministered the Word to the disciples on the Emmaus Road.

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

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Daily Bible - October 19

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

Reading for Today:

  • Jeremiah 23:1 Chapter 23 1 Woe unto the shepherds that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith Jehovah. –24:10
  • Psalms 119:17-24 17 GIMEL. Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live; So will I observe thy word. 18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold Wondrous things out of thy law. 19 I am a sojourner in the earth: Hide not thy commandments from me. 20 My soul breaketh for the longing That it hath unto thine ordinances at all times. 21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, That do wander from thy commandments. 22 Take away from me reproach and contempt; For I have kept thy testimonies. 23 Princes also sat and talked against me; `But' thy servant did meditate on thy statutes. 24 Thy testimonies also are my delight `And' my counsellors.
  • Proverbs 27:15-16 15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day And a contentious woman are alike: 16 He that would restrain her restraineth the wind; And his right hand encountereth oil.
  • 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12 Chapter 1 1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timothy, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ; 2 Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3 We are bound to give thanks to God always to you, brethren, even as it is meet, for that your faith growth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth; 4 so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which ye endure; 5 `which is' a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God; to the end that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: 6 if so be that it is righteous thing with God to recompense affliction to them that afflict you, 7 and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, 8 rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus: 9 who shall suffer punishment, `even' eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day. 11 To which end we also pray always for you, that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfil every desire of goodness and `every' work of faith, with power; 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Notes:

Jeremiah 23:3, 4 I will gather. God pledged to restore exiled Israelites to their ancient soil. The land in view was Palestine, being contrasted with all the other countries (v. 3), thus assuring that the regathering would be as literal as the scattering. The restoration of Judah from Babylon is referred to in language which in its fullness can only refer to the final restoration of God’s people (“out of all countries” and v. 8), under the Messiah. “Nor shall they be lacking” indicates that no one will be missing or detached. These are prophecies not yet fulfilled.

Jeremiah 23:4 shepherds…will feed them. Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and others were small fulfillments compared to the consummate shepherding of the Messiah Jesus.

Jeremiah 23:5 Branch. The Messiah is pictured as a branch (literally, “shoot”) out of David’s family tree (23:5; 33:15, 16; Is. 4:2; 11:1–5; Zech. 3:8; 6:12, 13), who will rule over God’s people in the future.

Jeremiah 23:29 like a fire…hammer. God’s word has irresistible qualities to prevail over the deception in the shepherds’ false messages.

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes. Perhaps this is the supreme prayer that a student of Scripture could speak since it confesses the student’s inadequacy and the divine Author’s sufficiency (vv. 98, 99, 105, 130).

DAY 19: What should a believer’s attitude be toward suffering?

In 2 Thessalonians 1:4 4 so that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which ye endure; , Paul speaks of the “patience and faith” of the Thessalonians. Nowhere was their growth in faith and love more evident than in the way they patiently and faithfully endured hostilities and suffering from the enemies of Christ. Although there was no need to speak, since the Thessalonians’ lives spoke clearly enough (1 Thess. 1:8), Paul’s joy before the Lord over their perseverance bubbled up.

Having a right attitude toward suffering (v. 5) is essential, and that required attitude is concern for the kingdom of God. They were not self-centered but concentrated on God’s kingdom. Their focus was not on personal comfort, fulfillment, and happiness, but on the glory of God and the fulfillment of His purposes. They were not moaning about the injustice of their persecutions. Rather, they were patiently enduring the sufferings they did not deserve (v. 4). This very attitude was “manifest evidence” or positive proof that God’s wise process of purging, purifying, and perfecting through suffering was working to make His beloved people worthy of the kingdom (2:12) by being perfected ( James 1:2 2 Count it all joy, my brethren, when ye fall into manifold temptations; –4; 1 Pet. 5:10).

For believers, afflictions are to be expected (1 Thess. 3:3) as they live and develop Christian character in a satanic world. Suffering is not to be thought of as evidence that God has forsaken them, but as evidence that He is with them, perfecting them (Matt. 5:10; Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 12:10). So the Thessalonians demonstrated that their salvation, determined by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, was genuine because they, like Christ, were willing to suffer on account of God and His kingdom. They suffered unjustly as objects of man’s wrath against Christ and His kingdom ( Acts 5:41 41 They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name. ; Phil. 3:10; Col. 1:24).

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        

October 19 - Jesus’ Deity in His Judgment

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

“‘For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son’” ( John 5:22 22 For neither doth the Father judge any man, but he hath given all judgment unto the Son; ).

Jesus’ authority to grant spiritual life to whomever He chooses is consistent with His authority to judge all men on the last day (cf. 3:18–19; 12:48). Since God is the “Judge of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25), the fact that the Father judges no one, but “has given all judgment to the Son,” further attests to Christ’s deity. Because their wills are in perfect harmony, all judgment can be given to Christ in the assurance that His judgment will be, in fact, the very same as the Father’s judgment. Although judgment was not the primary purpose of Christ’s first coming to earth (3:17; 12:47), it remains the inescapable final result of rejecting the salvation He offers (3:18).

In the future, “the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess. 1:7–8), because God “has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” ( Acts 17:31 31 inasmuch as he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. ). On that final, terrible day of judgment, those who rejected Jesus will hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matt. 7:23).

Take the time right now to examine your relationship to Christ. Make sure you are depending on His grace and mercy for salvation, not on your own sincere efforts.

Ask Yourself

Knowing ourselves and our tendency to sin, our view of God’s power is perhaps most clearly seen, not in His ability and authority to judge but in His willingness to continually restrain it. That He doesn’t begrudge His sacrifice but keeps applying it to our need is evidence of the highest form of mercy. Thank Him heartily for this today.

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 October 19th

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

1 Corinthians 3:1 Chapter 3 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.

ARE you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most full-grown Christian. You are as much bought with blood as he is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure, but the token of your inheritance in Him. You are as rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father's heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, "put out that smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!" but the smoking flax He will not quench. You are like a bruised reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away, but He will never break the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though "less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess." yet, if the root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the God of my salvation.

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

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

Job 35:10 10 But none saith, Where is God my Maker, Who giveth songs in the night,

ANY man can sing in the day. When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it. When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest or sends home a loaded argosy. It is easy enough for an Aeolian harp to whisper music when the winds blow—the difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring. It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skilful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by—who sings from his heart. No man can make a song in the night of himself; he may attempt it, but he will find that a song in the night must be divinely inspired. Let all things go well, I can weave songs, fashioning them wherever I go out of the flowers that grow upon my path; but put me in a desert, where no green thing grows, and wherewith shall I frame a hymn of praise to God? How shall a mortal man make a crown for the Lord where no jewels are? Let but this voice be clear, and this body full of health, and I can sing God's praise: silence my tongue, lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God's high praises, unless He Himself give me the song? No, it is not in man's power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip. It was a divine song, which Habakkuk sang, when in the night he said, "Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation." Then, since our Maker gives songs in the night, let us wait upon Him for the music. O Thou chief musician, let us not remain songless because affliction is upon us, but tune Thou our lips to the melody of thanksgiving.

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Truth Matters Conference Day 1 Truth Matters Conference Day 1
Christian Praise and Worship in Songs, Sermons, and Audio Books Oct 16th, 2019
The Excellency of a Broken Heart - John Bunyan (Puritan) 03:19:42 The Excellency of a Broken Heart - John Bunyan (Puritan)
Reformation Bible College Sep 7th, 2019
Complete in God with John Tweeddale Complete in God with John Tweeddale
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Recent Audio Messages

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Where Is Your God? - Part 2

By on Oct 18th, 2019

Length: 19:24

 

The Doctrine of God's Effectual Call B

By John MacArthur on Oct 18th, 2019

Length: 00

 

The Secret of Health

By C. H. Spurgeon on May 2nd, 2016

Length: 50:00

 

Where Is Your God? - Part 1

By on Oct 17th, 2019

Length: 19:41

 

The Doctrine of God's Effectual Call

By John MacArthur on Oct 17th, 2019

Length: 00

 

Marrow and Fatness

By C. H. Spurgeon on Apr 2nd, 2016

Length: 49:00

 

The God Who Knows All - Part 2

By on Oct 16th, 2019

Length: 19:34

 

The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 2 B

By John MacArthur on Oct 16th, 2019

Length: 00

 

One Greater Than the Temple

By C. H. Spurgeon on Mar 26th, 2016

Length: 49:00

 

The God Who Knows All - Part 1

By on Oct 15th, 2019

Length: 19:06

 

The Doctrine of Actual Atonement, Part 2

By John MacArthur on Oct 15th, 2019

Length: 00

 

Cheering Words and Solemn Warnings

By C. H. Spurgeon on Feb 27th, 2016

Length: 48:00

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Recent Bible Studies

 
Why is Jesus to be worshipped as God?

Posted Jun 26th, 2016 by The HopeLife Bible Team

In this study, we delve into what the Bible says about the divinity of Jesus Christ...

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SRT