Wednesday, April 28, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, April 28, 2021


The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Psalm 95; Micah 7:8-20; Mark 14:26-31 (NIV)
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!
The Lord Jesus left His magnificent throne in heaven—where He is surrounded with praise and worship—and chose the limitation, suffering, and lowliness of a human body just so He could save us and show us His great love. Hebrews 2:17 tells us, “He
had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest.” In other words, He became like us to understand us. Because that is the way He best comforts and provides for us in all things (Heb. 4:14–16).

Today’s Readings:
A Reading from the Book of Psalms
Psalm 95
We Are The Sheep Of God’s Hand

1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
     let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
     and extol him with music and song.

3 For the Lord is the great God,
     the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
     and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
     and his hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
     let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
     and we are the people of his pasture,
     the flock under his care.

  Today, if only you would hear his voice,
8 “Do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah,
     as you did that day at Massah in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested me;
     they tried me, though they had seen what I did.
10 For forty years I was angry with that generation;
      I said, ‘They are a people whose hearts go astray,
      and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
      ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”

Verses 1-7 — Whenever we come into God's presence, we must come with thanksgiving. The Lord is to be praised; we do not want matter, it were well if we did not want a heart. How great is that God, whose the whole earth is, and the fullness thereof; who directs and disposes of all!, The Lord Jesus, whom we are here taught to praise, is a great God; the mighty God is one of his titles, and God over all, blessed for evermore. To him all power is given, both in heaven and earth. He is our God, and we should praise him. He is our Savior, and the Author of our blessedness. The gospel church is his flock, Christ is the great and good Shepherd of believers; he sought them when lost, and brought them to his fold.

Verses 7-11 — Christ calls upon his people to hear his voice. You call him Master, or Lord; then be his willing, obedient people. Hear the voice of his doctrine, of his law, and in both, of his Spirit: hear and heed; hear and yield. Christ's voice must be heard to-day. This day of opportunity will not last always; improve it while it is called to-day. Hearing the voice of Christ is the same with believing. Hardness of heart is at the bottom of all distrust of the Lord. The sins of others ought to be warnings to us not to tread in their steps. The murmurings of Israel were written for our admonition. God is not subject to such passions as we are; but he is very angry at sin and sinners. That certainly is evil, which deserves such a recompense; and his threatenings are as sure as his promises. Let us be aware of the evils of our hearts, which lead us to wander from the Lord. There is a rest ordained for believers, the rest of everlasting refreshment, begun in this life, and perfected in the life to come. This is the rest which God calls his rest.

A Reading from the Old Testament
Micah 7:8-20
God Will Shepherd The People

8 Do not gloat over me, my enemy!
     Though I have fallen, I will rise.
  Though I sit in darkness,
     the Lord will be my light.
9 Because I have sinned against him,
     I will bear the Lord’s wrath,
  until he pleads my case
     and upholds my cause.
  He will bring me out into the light;
     I will see his righteousness.
10 Then my enemy will see it
      and will be covered with shame,
   she who said to me,
      “Where is the Lord your God?”
   My eyes will see her downfall;
      even now she will be trampled underfoot
      like mire in the streets.

11 The day for building your walls will come,
      the day for extending your boundaries.
12 In that day people will come to you
      from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,
   even from Egypt to the Euphrates
      and from sea to sea
      and from mountain to mountain.
13 The earth will become desolate because of its inhabitants,
      as the result of their deeds.

14 Shepherd your people with your staff,
      the flock of your inheritance,
   which lives by itself in a forest,
      in fertile pasturelands.
   Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead
      as in days long ago.

15 “As in the days when you came out of Egypt,
      I will show them my wonders.”

16 Nations will see and be ashamed,
      deprived of all their power.
   They will put their hands over their mouths
      and their ears will become deaf.
17 They will lick dust like a snake,
      like creatures that crawl on the ground.
   They will come trembling out of their dens;
      they will turn in fear to the Lord our God
      and will be afraid of you.
18 Who is a God like you,
      who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
      of the remnant of his inheritance?
   You do not stay angry forever
      but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
      you will tread our sins underfoot
      and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
      and show love to Abraham,
   as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
      in days long ago.

Verses 8-13 — Those truly penitent for sin, will see great reason to be patient under affliction. When we complain to the Lord of the badness of the times, we ought to complain against ourselves for the badness of our hearts. We must depend upon God to work deliverance for us in due time. We must not only look to him, but look for him. In our greatest distresses, we shall see no reason to despair of salvation, if by faith we look to the Lord as the God of our salvation. Though enemies triumph and insult, they shall be silenced and put to shame. Though Zion's walls may long be in ruins, there will come a day when they shall be repaired. Israel shall come from all the remote parts, not turning back for discouragements. Though our enemies may seem to prevail against us, and to rejoice over us, we should not despond. Though cast down, we are not destroyed; we may join hope in God's mercy, with submission to his correction. No hindrances can prevent the favors the Lord intends for his church.

Verses 14-20 — When God is about to deliver his people, he stirs up their friends to pray for them. Apply spiritually the prophet's prayer to Christ, to take care of his church, as the great Shepherd of the sheep, and to go before them, while they are here in this world as in a wood, in this world but not of it. God promises in answer to this prayer, he will do that for them which shall be repeating the miracles of former ages. As their sin brought them into bondage, so God's pardoning their sin brought them out. All who find pardoning mercy, cannot but wonder at that mercy; we have reason to stand amazed, if we know what it is. When the Lord takes away the guilt of sin, that it may not condemn us, he will break the power of sin, that it may not have dominion over us. If left to ourselves, our sins will be too hard for us; but God's grace shall be sufficient to subdue them, so that they shall not rule us, and then they shall not ruin us. When God forgives sin, he takes care that it never shall be remembered any more against the sinner. He casts their sins into the sea; not near the shore-side, where they may appear again, but into the depth of the sea, never to rise again. All their sins shall be cast there, for when God forgives sin, he forgives all. He will perfect that which concerns us, and with this good work will do all for us which our case requires, and which he has promised. These engagements relate to Christ, and the success of the gospel to the end of time, the future restoration of Israel, and the final prevailing of true religion in all lands. The Lord will perform his truth and mercy, not one jot or tittle of it shall fall to the ground: faithful is He that has promised, who also will do it. Let us remember that the Lord has given the security of his covenant, for strong consolation to all who flee for refuge to lay hold on the hope set before them in Christ Jesus.

A Reading from the New Testament
Mark 14:26-31
Christ The Shepherd

14:26 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be scattered.’
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”

31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

Though the great Shepherd passed through his sufferings without one false step, yet his followers often have been scattered by the small measure of sufferings allotted to them. How very apt we are to think well of ourselves, and to trust our own hearts! It was ill done of Peter thus to answer his Master, and not with fear and trembling. Lord, give me grace to keep me from denying thee.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible. The Daily Bible Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year B. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2021, we will be in Year C. The year which ended at Advent 2020 was Year A. 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.

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