Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Daily Bible Readings for SATURDAY, October 31, 2020

 

The Daily Readings
SATURDAY, October 31, 2020
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37; Joshua 2:15-24; Matthew 23:13-28
The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
We must never forget that we are in a spiritual war—with an enemy who is looking for weaknesses. We should never give him a foothold. Regardless of how well things may seem to be going for us, we must always keep our hearts and minds focused on Christ—obedient to His commands and faithful to His purposes (Eph. 6:10–17).

Today’s Readings:
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37
Thanks for a beautiful land

1 O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

3 And gathered them out of the lands, from the east, and from the west, from the north, and from the south.

4 They wandered in the wilderness in a solitary way; they found no city to dwell in.

5 Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.

6 Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.

7 And he led them forth by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation.

33 He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the watersprings into dry ground;

34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.

35 He turneth the wilderness into a standing water, and dry ground into watersprings.

36 And there he maketh the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation;

37 And sow the fields, and plant vineyards, which may yield fruits of increase.
Commentary

In these verses, there is a reference to Egypt's deliverance, and perhaps that from Babylon: but the circumstances of travelers in those countries are also noted. It is scarcely possible to conceive the horrors suffered by the hapless traveler when crossing the trackless sands, exposed to the burning rays of the sun. The words describe their case whom the Lord has redeemed from the bondage of Satan, who pass through the world as a dangerous and dreary wilderness, often ready to faint through troubles, fears, and temptations. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, after God, and communion with him, shall be filled with the goodness of his house, both in grace and glory.

What surprising changes are often made in the affairs of men! Let the present desolate state of Judea and other countries explain this. If we look abroad in the world, we see many greatly increase, whose beginning was small. We see many who have thus suddenly risen, as suddenly brought to nothing. Worldly wealth is uncertain; often, those filled with it, where they are aware, lose it again. God has many ways of making men poor. The righteous shall rejoice. It shall fully convince all those who deny the Divine Providence. When sinners see how justly God takes away the gifts they have abused, they will not have a word to say. It is of great use to us to be fully assured of God's goodness and duly affected with it. It is our wisdom to mind our duty and to refer our comfort to him. A truly wise person will treasure in his heart this delightful psalm. From it, he will fully understand the weakness and wretchedness of man, and the power and loving-kindness of God, not for our merit, but for his mercy's sake.


Joshua 2:15-24
Rahab helps the scouts escape

2:15 Then she let them down by a cord through the window: for her house was upon the town wall, and she dwelt upon the wall.

16 And she said unto them, Get you to the mountain, lest the pursuers meet you; and hide yourselves there three days, until the pursuers be returned: and afterward may ye go your way.

17 And the men said unto her, We will be blameless of this thine oath which thou hast made us swear.

18 Behold, when we come into the land, thou shalt bind this line of scarlet thread in the window which thou didst let us down by: and thou shalt bring thy father, and thy mother, and thy brethren, and all thy father's household, home unto thee.

19 And it shall be, that whosoever shall go out of the doors of thy house into the street, his blood shall be upon his head, and we will be guiltless: and whosoever shall be with thee in the house, his blood shall be on our head, if any hand be upon him.

20 And if thou utter this our business, then we will be quit of thine oath which thou hast made us to swear.

21 And she said, According unto your words, so be it. And she sent them away, and they departed: and she bound the scarlet line in the window.

22 And they went, and came unto the mountain, and abode there three days, until the pursuers were returned: and the pursuers sought them throughout all the way, but found them not.

23 So the two men returned, and descended from the mountain, and passed over, and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and told him all things that befell them:

24 And they said unto Joshua, Truly the Lord hath delivered into our hands all the land; for even all the inhabitants of the country do faint because of us.
Commentary

Rahab had heard of the miracles the Lord wrought for Israel. She believed that his promises would certainly be fulfilled, and his threatenings take effect; and that there was no way of escape but by submitting to him and joining with his people. The conduct of Rahab proved that she had the real principle of Divine faith. Observe the promises the spies made to her. God's goodness is often expressed by his kindness and truth, Psalm 117:2; in both these, we must be followers of him. Those who will be conscientious in keeping promises are cautious in making them. The spies make needful conditions. The scarlet cord, like the blood upon the doorpost at the passover, recalls to remembrance the sinner's security under the atoning blood of Christ; and that we are to flee to it for refuge from the wrath of a justly offended God. The same cord Rahab used to save these Israelites was to be used for her own safety. What we serve and honor God with, we may expect he will bless and make useful to us.

The report the spies brought was encouraging. All the people of the country faint because of Israel; they have neither wisdom to yield nor courage to fight. Those terrors of conscience, and that sense of Divine wrath, which dismay the ungodly, but bring not to repentance, are fearful forebodings of approaching destruction. But grace yet abounds to the chief of sinners. Let them, without delay, flee to Christ, and all shall be well.


Matthew 23:13-28
Woe to the scribes and Pharisees

23:13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.

14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!

17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?

20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

23 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.

26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.

28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Commentary

The scribes and Pharisees were enemies to the gospel of Christ, and therefore to the salvation of men's souls. It is bad to keep away from Christ ourselves, but worse also to keep others from him. Yet it is no new thing for the show and form of godliness to be made a cloak to the greatest enormities. But dissembled piety will be reckoned double iniquity. They were very busy to turn souls to be of their party. Not for the glory of God and the good of souls, but that they might have the credit and advantage of making converts. Gain being their godliness, by a thousand devices; they made religion give way to their worldly interests. They were very strict and precise in smaller matters of the law but careless and loose in weightier matters. It is not the scrupling a little sin that Christ here reproves; if it be a sin, though, but a gnat, it must be strained out, but the doing that, and then swallowing a camel, or, committing a greater sin. While they would seem to be godly, they were neither sober nor righteous. We are really what we are inwardly. Outward motives may keep the outside clean, while the inside is filthy, but if the heart and spirit be made new, there will be newness of life; here, we must begin with ourselves. The righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was like the ornaments of a grave or dressing up a dead body, only for show. The deceitfulness of sinners' hearts appears in that they go down the streams of the sins of their own day, while they fancy that they should have opposed the sins of former days. We sometimes think, if we had lived when Christ was upon earth, that we should not have despised and rejected him, as men then did; yet Christ in his Spirit, in his word, in his ministers, is still no better treated. And it is just with God to give those up to their hearts' lusts, who obstinately persist in gratifying them. Christ gives men their true characters.



The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV).

The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year A. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2020, we will be in Year B. The year which ended at Advent 2019 was Year C. These readings complement the Sunday and festival readings: Thursday through Saturday readings help prepare the reader for the Sunday ahead; Monday through Wednesday readings help the reader reflect and digest what they heard in worship. Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, copyright © 2005 Consultation on Common Texts. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Readings for SATURDAY, October 31, 2020
Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37; Joshua 2:15-24; Matthew 23:13-28 (KJV)

Prayer of the Day for SATURDAY, October 31, 2020

 

Prayer of the Day
SATURDAY, October 31, 2020


Let those who fear the Lord say: "His love endures forever." When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
Psalm 118:4–6 (NIV)

Lord our God, dear Father in heaven, we thank you. How often you rescue us from all fear and distress! How often you hear and answer us! Grant that our hearts may always be eager and joyful because you answer us. There is nothing else for us in this world; you are our one hope, our only hope. You alone can help our times, help the nations, help each person. Nothing else matters to us. Lord our God, for the rest of our life on earth you alone are our help, our comfort, and our strength. Amen.

Verse of the Day for SATURDAY, October 31, 2020

 

1 Peter 5:8-9
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
We must never forget that we are in a spiritual war—with an enemy who is looking for weaknesses. We should never give him a foothold. Regardless of how well things may seem to be going for us, we must always keep our hearts and minds focused on Christ—obedient to His commands and faithful to His purposes (Eph. 6:10–17).

Read all of 1 Peter 5

Listen to 1 Peter 5


The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV)

Ichthus Ministries Daily Devotions — The Reason We Boast

 

The Reason We Boast

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong; God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things of the world to nullify the things that are, so that no one can boast before Him. It is because of Him that you are in Jesus Christ, who has become for us wisdom from God, that is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption, therefore as it is written; "Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord!"

Reformation Day is a wonderful day! It's the day some 500 years ago when the German monk Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany. In so doing, he pointed to the power of real forgiveness in the Person and work of Jesus. Led by God's Holy Spirit, Luther came to understand that the Good News of salvation for everyone is not wishful thinking; it's not based in works that we can do, or imagine we can do. Rather, it's the grace-filled work of God in the flesh for the sake of every sinner in the world.

The spirit of the Reformation is centered on Jesus, and how He—not the institutional church, not the purchase of indulgences for bogus pardons, not performed rituals for special favors—but Jesus provides for our salvation through His life, death, and resurrection. Concerning this divine truth, Luther was willing to boast about his Savior and His message of grace alone, through faith alone, based on Scripture alone—no matter what it cost him. Why? Because he wanted people like you and me to know Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

The passage in 1 Corinthians is clear. When it comes to us, there's no boasting possible. Our science, our technology, our engineering, our cumulative wisdom is always tainted by our sin, our pride, our selfish ambition. When God comes to remedy that, He is even willing to come as a Servant, through a manger, on a cross, because that's the power of God for salvation to all who believe (see Romans 1:16). And that's worth boasting about because it blesses not just the proclaimer but the listener as well.

Martin Luther knew that Jesus is the only One worthy of our boasting because He alone won the victory for each of us at Calvary. Luther boasted about that grace, and I will echo his words and boast about that grace in Jesus, too. Why? So that everyone—from the greatest to the least of us—might come to know true life and salvation in Him forever. I pray that His Gospel has been a blessing to you.

Keep the faith, and have a blessed Reformation Day.

Dear Lord Jesus, give us the confidence to trust in You, to boast in You, to live life boldly for You in all we do. Amen.

Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz

Reflection Questions:
1. What accomplishments do you take pride in?

2. How has God shamed the strong by choosing the lowly things?

3. Is it bad to boast about yourself? About someone else? What's the difference?

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Reformation Day is a wonderful day! It's the day some 500 years ago when the German monk Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg, Germany. In so doing, he pointed to the power of real forgiveness in the Person and work of Jesus.

Standing Strong Through the Storm — IN CHAINS FOR CHRIST

 
IN CHAINS FOR CHRIST

As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.

In Afghanistan, authorities arrested Said Musa on May 31, 2010, days after the local TV station broadcast images of Afghan Christians being baptized and worshiping the Lord. A Christian for eight years, he is married and the father of six. Before release from prison, he wrote:

Hello, my dear brothers and sisters, lovely and strong in faith. On Saturday, I went to court, but my session was not held. I met then two persons. I became very happy when they introduced themselves [as my] defense attorneys…I immediately felt joy in my heart, like somebody gave me comfort, like stars, like lights. I one hundred percent believe it was the Holy Spirit healing my heart.

On Thursday, some high officials came from the Attorney General’s office. They asked me, “What is your name?” I introduced myself to them. After that, they asked me, “Are you truly a Christian?” I replied to them, “I am one hundred percent Christian. I believe in the Son of God Almighty. He is my Savior and Lord. I told them the only way to come to God is to have faith in Jesus Christ, He’s the way, He’s eternal life, He’s truth, He’s love, He’s really God.”

After that, they asked me, “What is wrong with being a Muslim that you converted to the Christian religion?” I told them, “it’s the plan of God. God chose his people to complete his work on the earth. Muslim is not bad. The Christian people are never against any religion in the world. Our fight is just with Satan. We love our enemies, like ourselves.” They joked and mocked me. “You want to make us Christians now?”

Today a new person came. He asked me, “Why do you not accept Islam; why is this religion better?” I replied to him, “the golden thing is this; love your enemy as yourself. In which religion do you find this word? Just in Christianity.”

He told me, “You know your punishment. It’s death.” I told him, “I am one hundred percent ready for the sake of my faith. My Savior gave his life for me. I am not afraid of a human; he just kills my body, but does not hurt my soul. I am afraid of my Lord and Savior; He will be able to punish my soul too. I told him I am holding on to my faith. I will never betray my faith. Without Jesus, what does the life in this world or the afterlife mean? Nothing!”

RESPONSE: Today, I will pray for those like Said Musa, who are truly in prison for their faith.

PRAYER: Lord, may I have the strength and courage to confess You even under severe pressure.


Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.
In Afghanistan, authorities arrested Said Musa on May 31, 2010, days after the local TV station broadcast images of Afghan Christians being baptized and worshiping the Lord.

The NIV Couples Devotional — Giving With Grace

 
Giving With Grace

Deuteronomy 15:1–11

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

Years ago, I said something that still bothers me when I think about it. I had led a young couple to faith in Jesus. The husband earned a good living in his hairstyling salon. In the basement of their home, he kept the barber’s chair that his deceased father had once used in a shop in another town.

His father’s chair was more than an item of nostalgia, however. My friend used the chair in his basement two evenings and part of Saturday each week to seat customers who couldn’t afford to see him in his shop. In this homey room, my friend clipped and snipped the hair of the poor. Some, like me, he charged a nominal fee; others he waved out the door with a smile.

After one splendid haircut, I pulled out my wallet and handed him a note that was twice what he usually charged me. It was my smallest note, but he had no change. “Just keep it,” I said. “Next time, I won’t have to pay anything.”

Indeed, as I stepped out of the chair after my next grooming session and reached for my wallet, my friend said, “Wait! You’ve already paid for this one!”

It was then that I said some horrible words: “If you had remembered that earlier,” I teased, “you wouldn’t have done such a good job, would you?”

A slight grimace furrowed my friend’s brow before he caught himself and laughed. He was a generous man, and I had treated his kindness flippantly by joking that mercenary demons drove his heart.

It seems like materialism is all around us, and it is not uncommon for people to be driven by need and greed. During the lean years that many of us experience, we can become selfish and cheap. Those attitudes can stick, even when resources grow and demands diminish.

God built safeguards into Israelite society so that debt wouldn’t dehumanize those who became trapped in it. But God also knew that some people would try to manipulate handouts and bailouts and other kinds of welfare for their own cunning ends. So he asked his people to be generous to the poor, even if the poor appeared to be abusing the gifts.

Generosity and graciousness are learned qualities. They must be caught from the example of bighearted souls. Like God. Like the widow who gave two very small copper coins—all she had to live on (see Mark 12:41–44). Like the disciples who shared their lunch with a crowd (see Matthew 15:32–39). Like my barber.

We must practice giving so that generosity becomes an essential part of who we are. And when we give, we’ll find that our generosity is rewarded by God, who will “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Malachi 3:10).

Wayne Brouwer


Let’s Talk
  • In what ways has God blessed us? In what ways are we tight-fisted about sharing what we have? How can we make our spending and giving reflect our values?
  • Who are some generous people who have helped us along the way? What have we learned from them? How are we becoming like them?
  • What did we learn about money and generosity from our parents? Were these good or bad lessons? What will our children learn from us?
Years ago, I said something that still bothers me when I think about it.

John Piper Devotional — The Seminary of Suffering

 
The Seminary of Suffering

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

This is God’s universal purpose for all Christian suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in self and the world. I have never heard anyone say, “The really deep lessons of life have come through times of ease and comfort.”

But I have heard strong saints say, “Every significant advance I have ever made in grasping the depths of God’s love and growing deep with him has come through suffering.”

The pearl of greatest price is the glory of Christ.

Thus, Paul stresses that in our sufferings, the glory of Christ’s all-sufficient grace is magnified. If we rely on him in our calamity and he sustains our “rejoicing in hope,” then he is shown to be the all-satisfying God of grace and strength that he is.

If we hold fast to him, “when all around our soul gives way,” then we show that he is more to be desired than all we have lost.

Christ said to the suffering apostle, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Paul responded to this: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9–10).

So suffering clearly is designed by God not only as a way to wean Christians off of self and onto grace but also as a way to spotlight that grace and make it shine. That is precisely what faith does; it magnifies Christ’s future grace.

The deep things of life in God are discovered in suffering.

This is God’s universal purpose for all Christian suffering: more contentment in God and less satisfaction in self and the world.

Un dia a la Vez — Jesús y la limosna

 
Jesús y la limosna

Cuando ores, entra en tu aposento, y cerrada la puerta, ora a tu Padre que está en secreto; y tu Padre que ve en lo secreto te recompensará en público.
Mateo 6:6, RV-60

Fíjense bien que lo que Dios nos ha exhortado durante estos últimos devocionales es a que todo lo que hagamos para Él sea en silencio, pues es un Dios de intimidad. Es evidente que le molesta la gente ruidosa y que les dicen a todos lo que diezman, lo que ofrendan y hoy, en este devocional, lo que oran.

Una vez más Jesús dice que si vas a orar, lo hagas solo, que no seas como los hipócritas que oran de pie en las sinagogas y en la calle para que los vean. ¡Cuánto le choca esto a nuestro Dios!

Ahora bien, esto no quiere decir que no podamos orar en grupo o en familia de una manera audible. Tampoco se trata de que no podamos ir a las misiones, pues a lo que Dios se refiere es a la intención de nuestro corazón.

También nos enseña que no seamos repetitivos en la oración como los loros, sino tengamos una conversación natural y sincera de nuestro corazón con Él.

Aprendemos, entonces, que todo lo que hagamos en secreto, Él nos lo recompensara en público. Y aun si no se nos reconociera, es bueno hacerlo en silencio.


Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
Fíjense bien que lo que Dios nos ha exhortado durante estos últimos devocionales es a que todo lo que hagamos para Él sea en silencio, pues es un Dios de intimidad.

Хліб Наш Насущній — Бруски, цеглини і Бог

 

Бруски, цеглини і Бог

Читати: Йова 1:18-22 | Біблія за рік: Єремії 22–23 ; Тита 1

Господь дав, – і Господь узяв… Нехай буде благословенне Господнє Ім’я!

Після молитви про Боже покликання для подальшого життя, Марк і Ніна вирішили, що їм треба переїхати в центр міста. Вони придбали будинок і розпочали ремонт, але раптом налетів ураган. Марк написав мені текстове повідомлення: “Цього ранку в нас сталася несподіванка. Торнадо, який прийшов з Джефферсон-Сіті, знищив нашу будівлю. Залишилися лише бруски і цеглини. Бог щось готує для нас”.

Неконтрольовані бурі – не єдине, що нас дивує і бентежить. У нещасті важливо не втратити з поля зору Бога.

Природна буря, яка сталася в житті Йова і призвела до втрати майна та смерті його дітей (Йов 1:19), була лише однією з шокуючих несподіванок, яких він зазнав. Перед цим до нього прийшли три посланці з поганими новинами (вв. 13-17).

Одного дня ми можемо перейти від святкування до скорботи, від радіння життю до помирання або до інших життєвих труднощів. Наше життя може швидко зруйнуватися до “брусків та цеглин” у фінансовій, родинній, фізичній, емоційній або в духовній сферах. Однак Бог сильніший за будь-яку бурю. Щоб витримати життєві випробування, нам потрібна віра, зосереджена на Ньому, віра, яка допомагає нам разом з Йовом та іншими сказати: “Нехай буде благословенне Господнє Ім’я!” (в. 21).
Що допомогло вам прояснити бачення, коли ви втратили з поля зору Бога? Як історія Йова може вам допомогти впоратися з життєвими бурями?
Отче, прости, що під час життєвих труднощів я втрачав Тебе з поля зору. Допоможи подивитися на Тебе новим поглядом.

Автор Артур Джексон

© 2020 Хліб Наш Насущні
Після молитви про Боже покликання для подальшого життя, Марк і Ніна вирішили, що їм треба переїхати в центр міста. Вони придбали будинок і розпочали ремонт, але раптом налетів ураган.