Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Thursday, September 30, 2021

 
Job and His Friends

The Daily Bible Readings
Thursday, September 30, 2021
Psalm 26; Job 2:11—3:26; Galatians 3:23-29
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalmist apparently has been accused of some covenant violation. The best guess is idolatry. In our reading in Job, Job’s three friends came to console him, but so great was his affliction that they could not even recognize him from a distance. When Job broke his silence, he spoke from his emotional and physical agony and wished aloud that he had never been born. In our epistle reading, Paul is trying to draw the Galatians back to faith in Christ and not faith in the law for righteousness, for the law was given to reveal man’s sinfulness and guilt; to live under the law is bondage but to live by faith is the law does not bind freedom and Christians but Christ has set us free. In our verse of the day, Paul prays for knowledge and discernment.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Philippians 1:9-10

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
Love is not merely a feeling—it is Jesus living in and through us (John 13:34, 35; 15:9–17; 1 John 4:7–21). If we say we believe in God and are maturing in our relationship with Him, but we are not growing in our unconditional love for others, something is wrong with our walk (1 Cor. 13). This is because as Jesus increases in us and we decrease, His loving nature should intensify within us as the evidence of His lordship in our life (Gal. 5:22, 23; 2 Pet. 1:3–8).

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, we are justified—declared not guilty of our transgressions (Rom. 5:1). Through His justification we are blameless in the legal sense—we no longer bear the penalty of our sins. Then He begins His work of sanctification. He transforms us into His image and trains us to make right choices— choices “that are excellent.” We not only refrain from the behaviors that harm our relationship with the Lord, but we live in a manner that brings Him great glory.


Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 26
Your Love is Before My Eyes


1 Vindicate me, Lord,
     for I have led a blameless life;
  I have trusted in the Lord
     and have not faltered.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me,
     examine my heart and my mind;
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
     and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.

4 I do not sit with the deceitful,
     nor do I associate with hypocrites.
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
     and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
     and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise
     and telling of all your wonderful deeds.

8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
     the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
     my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
      whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 I lead a blameless life;
      deliver me and be merciful to me.

12 My feet stand on level ground;
      in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.


Commentary
Verses 1-5: David appeals to God to support him against those who plot evil against him. God has done a work of grace in his life, and this causes him to hate the company of worthless people and make every effort to live the sort of life that pleases God.

Verses 6-8: He desires righteousness, delights in worship, loves to spend hours in the house of God and enjoys telling others about God.

Verses 11-12: He therefore asks that he will not suffer the same end as the wicked (9-10). Though determined to do right, he knows that he will not succeed without God’s help.


From the Books of Wisdom
Job 2:11—3:26
Job and His Friends

1 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

1 After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth. 2 He said:

3 “May the day of my birth perish,
     and the night that said, ‘A boy is conceived!’
4 That day—may it turn to darkness;
     may God above not care about it;
     may no light shine on it.
5 May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more;
     may a cloud settle over it;
     may blackness overwhelm it.
6 That night—may thick darkness seize it;
     may it not be included among the days of the year
     nor be entered in any of the months.
7 May that night be barren;
     may no shout of joy be heard in it.
8 May those who curse days curse that day,
     those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
9 May its morning stars become dark;
     may it wait for daylight in vain
     and not see the first rays of dawn,
10 for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me
      to hide trouble from my eyes.

11 “Why did I not perish at birth,
      and die as I came from the womb?
12 Why were there knees to receive me
      and breasts that I might be nursed?
13 For now I would be lying down in peace;
      I would be asleep and at rest
14 with kings and rulers of the earth,
      who built for themselves places now lying in ruins,
15 with princes who had gold,
      who filled their houses with silver.
16 Or why was I not hidden away in the ground like a stillborn child,
      like an infant who never saw the light of day?
17 There the wicked cease from turmoil,
      and there the weary are at rest.
18 Captives also enjoy their ease;
      they no longer hear the slave driver’s shout.
19 The small and the great are there,
      and the slaves are freed from their owners.

20 “Why is light given to those in misery,
      and life to the bitter of soul,
21 to those who long for death that does not come,
      who search for it more than for hidden treasure,
22 who are filled with gladness
      and rejoice when they reach the grave?
23 Why is life given to a man
      whose way is hidden,
      whom God has hedged in?
24 For sighing has become my daily food;
      my groans pour out like water.
25 What I feared has come upon me;
      what I dreaded has happened to me.
26 I have no peace, no quietness;
      I have no rest, but only turmoil.”


Commentary
Verses 2:11-13: The friends of Job seem noted for their rank, as well as for wisdom and piety. Much of the comfort of this life lies in friendship with the prudent and virtuous. Coming to mourn with him, they vented grief which they really felt. Coming to comfort him, they sat down with him. It would appear that they suspected his unexampled troubles were judgments for some crimes, which he had vailed under his professions of godliness. Many look upon it only as a compliment to visit their friends in sorrow; we must look life. And if the example of Job's friends is not enough to lead us to pity the afflicted, let us seek the mind that was in Christ.

Verses 3:1-10: For seven days Job's friends sat by him in silence, without offering consolidation: at the same time Satan assaulted his mind to shake his confidence, and to fill him with hard thoughts of God. The permission seems to have extended to this, as well as to torturing the body. Job was an especial type of Christ, whose inward sufferings, both in the garden and on the cross, were the most dreadful; and arose in a great degree from the assaults of Satan in that hour of darkness. These inward trials show the reason of the change that took place in Job's conduct, from entire submission to the will of God, to the impatience which appears here, and in other parts of the book. The believer, who knows that a few drops of this bitter cup are more dreadful than the sharpest outward afflictions, while he is favored with a sweet sense of the love and presence of God, will not be surprised to find that Job proved a man of like passions with others; but will rejoice that Satan was disappointed, and could not prove him a hypocrite; for though he cursed the day of his birth, he did not curse his God. Job doubtless was afterwards ashamed of these wishes, and we may suppose what must be his judgment of them now he is in everlasting happiness.

Verses 3:11-19: Job complained of those present at his birth, for their tender attention to him. No creature comes into the world so helpless as man. God's power and providence upheld our frail lives, and his pity and patience spared our forfeited lives. Natural affection is put into parents' hearts by God. To desire to die that we may be with Christ, that we may be free from sin, is the effect and evidence of grace; but to desire to die, only that we may be delivered from the troubles of this life, savors of corruption. It is our wisdom and duty to make the best of that which is, be it living or dying; and so to live to the Lord, and die to the Lord, as in both to be his, Romans 14:8. Observe how Job describes the repose of the grave; There the wicked cease from troubling. When persecutors die, they can no longer persecute. There the weary are at rest: in the grave they rest from all their labors. And a rest from sin, temptation, conflict, sorrows, and labors, remains in the presence and enjoyment of God. There believers rest in Jesus, nay, as far as we trust in the Lord Jesus and obey him, we here find rest to our souls, though in the world we have tribulation.

Verses 3:20-26: Job was like a man who had lost his way, and had no prospect of escape, or hope of better times. But surely he was in an ill frame for death when so unwilling to live. Let it be our constant care to get ready for another world, and then leave it to God to order our removal thither as he thinks fit. Grace teaches us in the midst of life's greatest comforts, to be willing to die, and in the midst of its greatest crosses, to be willing to live. Job's way was hid; he knew not wherefore God contended with him. The afflicted and tempted Christian knows something of this heaviness; when he has been looking too much at the things that are seen, some chastisement of his heavenly Father will give him a taste of this disgust of life, and a glance at these dark regions of despair. Nor is there any help until God shall restore to him the joys of his salvation. Blessed be God, the earth is full of his goodness, though full of man's wickedness. This life may be made tolerable if we attend to our duty. We look for eternal mercy, if willing to receive Christ as our Savior.


From the Epistles
Galatians 3:23-29
Children of God in Christ


23 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.

26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Commentary
Verses 23-25: The law did not teach a living, saving knowledge; but, by its rites and ceremonies, especially by its sacrifices, it pointed to Christ, that they might be justified by faith. And thus it was, as the word properly signifies, a servant, to lead to Christ, as children are led to school by servants who have the care of them, that they might be more fully taught by Him the true way of justification and salvation, which is only by faith in Christ. And the vastly greater advantage of the gospel state is shown, under which we enjoy a clearer discovery of Divine grace and mercy than the Jews of old. Most men continue shut up as in a dark dungeon, in love with their sins, being blinded and lulled asleep by Satan, through wordly pleasures, interests, and pursuits. But the awakened sinner discovers his dreadful condition. Then he feels that the mercy and grace of God form his only hope. And the terrors of the law are often used by the convincing Spirit, to show the sinner his need of Christ, to bring him to rely on his sufferings and merits, that he may be justified by faith. Then the law, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, becomes his loved rule of duty, and his standard for daily self-examination. In this use of it he learns to depend more simply on the Savior.

Verses 26-29: Real Christians enjoy great privileges under the gospel; and are no longer accounted servants, but sons; not now kept at such a distance, and under such restraints as the Jews were. Having accepted Christ Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and relying on him alone for justification and salvation, they become the sons of God. But no outward forms or profession can secure these blessings; for if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. In baptism we put on Christ; therein we profess to be his disciples. Being baptized into Christ, we are baptized into his death, that as he died and rose again, so we should die unto sin, and walk in newness and holiness of life. The putting on of Christ according to the gospel, consists not in outward imitation, but in a new birth, an entire change. He who makes believers to be heirs, will provide for them. Therefore our care must be to do the duties that belong to us, and all other cares we must cast upon God. And our special care must be for heaven; the things of this life are but trifles. The city of God in heaven, is the portion or child's part. Seek to be sure of that above all things.



Today’s Lectionary 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. www.commontexts.org. 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 Morning Prayer for Thursday, September 30, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Thursday, September 30, 2021

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33, NIV).

Dear Father in heaven, in the world we are full of fear; in you we have peace. We pray that your Spirit may give us the joy of your heavenly kingdom and the strength to live in your service. Remember those who suffer pain, who still have to walk paths of fear and distress. Grant them help, to the glory of your name. May we be united in hope and in expectation of what you will give through your great goodness and faithfulness. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Thursday, September 30, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Thursday, September 30, 2021


Philippians 1:9-10
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
Love is not merely a feeling—it is Jesus living in and through us (John 13:34, 35; 15:9–17; 1 John 4:7–21). If we say we believe in God and are maturing in our relationship with Him, but we are not growing in our unconditional love for others, something is wrong with our walk (1 Cor. 13). This is because as Jesus increases in us and we decrease, His loving nature should intensify within us as the evidence of His lordship in our life (Gal. 5:22, 23; 2 Pet. 1:3–8).

Once we accept Christ as our Savior, we are justified—declared not guilty of our transgressions (Rom. 5:1). Through His justification we are blameless in the legal sense—we no longer bear the penalty of our sins. Then He begins His work of sanctification. He transforms us into His image and trains us to make right choices— choices “that are excellent.” We not only refrain from the behaviors that harm our relationship with the Lord, but we live in a manner that brings Him great glory.


Read all of Philippians Chapter 1

Listen to Philippians Chapter 1


Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, September 29, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Psalm 140; Esther 8:1-17; Matthew 18:6-9
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalm is a prayer for protection against persecutors. There is a happy ending for the Jews in our reading in Esther. In our gospel reading, Jesus warns those who cause others to stumbles into sin. In our verse of the day, Jesus speaks of “doing” the truth.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
John 3:20-21

Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
The ways of God and those of the world are completely incompatible. Why? John 3:19 explains, “People loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” If we live our lives trying to please other people or ourselves, we will be at odds with the Lord. But if we live for Him, shining His light, the world will be hostile toward us because our presence convicts them of the sins they want to continue committing (John 3:16–21; 7:7; 12:25; 15:18–22; 17:14; 1 John 3:13).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 140
Deliver Me from Evildoers


1 Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
     protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts
     and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
     the poison of vipers is on their lips.

4 Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
     protect me from the violent,
     who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
     they have spread out the cords of their net
     and have set traps for me along my path.

6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
     Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
7 Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
     you shield my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
     do not let their plans succeed.

9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
     may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
      may they be thrown into the fire,
      into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
      may disaster hunt down the violent.

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
      and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
      and the upright will live in your presence.


Commentary
Verses 1-7: The more danger appears, the more earnest we should be in prayer to God. All are safe whom the Lord protects. If he be for us, who can be against us? We should especially watch and pray, that the Lord would hold up our goings in his ways, that our footsteps slip not. God is as able to keep his people from secret fraud as from open force; and the experience we have had of his power and care, in dangers of one kind, may encourage us to depend upon him in other dangers.

Verses 8-13: Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine vengeance. And surely the righteous shall dwell in God's presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used by men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received by faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every blessing of grace, and mercy of life.


From Israel's Historical Books
Esther 8:1-17
A Happy Ending for the Jews


1 That same day King Xerxes gave Queen Esther the estate of Haman, the enemy of the Jews. And Mordecai came into the presence of the king, for Esther had told how he was related to her. 2 The king took off his signet ring, which he had reclaimed from Haman, and presented it to Mordecai. And Esther appointed him over Haman’s estate.

3 Esther again pleaded with the king, falling at his feet and weeping. She begged him to put an end to the evil plan of Haman the Agagite, which he had devised against the Jews. 4 Then the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and she arose and stood before him.

5 “If it pleases the king,” she said, “and if he regards me with favor and thinks it the right thing to do, and if he is pleased with me, let an order be written overruling the dispatches that Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, devised and wrote to destroy the Jews in all the king’s provinces. 6 For how can I bear to see disaster fall on my people? How can I bear to see the destruction of my family?”

7 King Xerxes replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Because Haman attacked the Jews, I have given his estate to Esther, and they have impaled him on the pole he set up. 8 Now write another decree in the king’s name in behalf of the Jews as seems best to you, and seal it with the king’s signet ring—for no document written in the king’s name and sealed with his ring can be revoked.”

9 At once the royal secretaries were summoned—on the twenty-third day of the third month, the month of Sivan. They wrote out all Mordecai’s orders to the Jews, and to the satraps, governors and nobles of the 127 provinces stretching from India to Cush. These orders were written in the script of each province and the language of each people and also to the Jews in their own script and language. 10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Xerxes, sealed the dispatches with the king’s signet ring, and sent them by mounted couriers, who rode fast horses especially bred for the king.

11 The king’s edict granted the Jews in every city the right to assemble and protect themselves; to destroy, kill and annihilate the armed men of any nationality or province who might attack them and their women and children, and to plunder the property of their enemies. 12 The day appointed for the Jews to do this in all the provinces of King Xerxes was the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, the month of Adar. 13 A copy of the text of the edict was to be issued as law in every province and made known to the people of every nationality so that the Jews would be ready on that day to avenge themselves on their enemies.

14 The couriers, riding the royal horses, went out, spurred on by the king’s command, and the edict was issued in the citadel of Susa.

15 When Mordecai left the king’s presence, he was wearing royal garments of blue and white, a large crown of gold and a purple robe of fine linen. And the city of Susa held a joyous celebration. 16 For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor. 17 In every province and in every city to which the edict of the king came, there was joy and gladness among the Jews, with feasting and celebrating. And many people of other nationalities became Jews because fear of the Jews had seized them.

Commentary
Verses 1-2: What Haman would have done mischief with, Esther will do good with. All the trust the king had reposed in Haman, he now placed in Mordecai: a happy change. See the vanity of laying up treasure upon earth; he that heapeth up riches, knoweth not who shall gather them. With what little pleasure, nay, with what constant vexation, would Haman have looked upon his estate, if he could have foreseen that Mordecai, the man he hated above all men in the world, should have rule over all that wherein he had labored! It is our interest to make sure of those riches which will not be left behind, but which will go with us to another world.

Verses 3-14: It was time to be earnest, when the church of God was at stake. Esther, though safe herself, fell down and begged for the deliverance of her people. We read of no tears when she begged for her own life, but although she was sure of that, she wept for her people. Tears of pity and tenderness are the most Christ-like. According to the constitution of the Persian government, no law or decree could be repealed or recalled. This is so far from speaking to the wisdom and honor of the Medes and Persians, that it clearly shows their pride and folly. This savors of that old presumption which ruined all, We will be as gods! It is God's prerogative not to repent, or to say what can never be altered or unsaid. Yet a way was found, by another decree, to authorize the Jews to stand upon their defense. The decree was published in the languages of all the provinces. Shall all the subjects of an earthly prince have his decrees in languages they understand, and shall God's oracles and laws be locked up from any of his servants in an unknown tongue?

Verses 15-17: Mordecai's robes now were rich. These things are not worth notice, but as marks of the king's favor, and the fruit of God's favor to his church. It is well with a land, when ensigns of dignity are made the ornaments of serious piety. When the church prospers, many will join it, who will be shy of it when in trouble. When believers have rest, and walk in the fear of the Lord, and the comfort of the Holy Ghost, they will be multiplied. And the attempts of Satan to destroy the church, always tend to increase the number of true Christians.


From the Gospels
Matthew 18:6-9
Causing Others to Stumble


6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! 8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

Commentary
Verse 6: Surely we need to be daily renewed in the spirit of our minds, that we may become simple and humble, as little children, and willing to be the least of all. Let us daily study this subject, and examine our own spirits.

Verses 7-9: Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offenses. God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known. Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live.



Today’s Lectionary 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. www.commontexts.org. 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 Morning Prayer for Wednesday, September 29, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, September 29, 2021


A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy (John 16:21–22, NIV).

Dear Father in heaven, grant us your Spirit so that here on earth we may be united with you in Jesus Christ the Savior. May truth dawn on us with its light, bringing joy no matter what happens to us. May all the pain in our lives be turned into birth pangs of a new life in which we can rejoice as people you have created, people prepared for the struggle on earth, who are called into battle and led to victory. Grant that we may not be blinded by the surrounding darkness. Shed a clear light on the new life that is coming. May we see what has already happened because Jesus Christ came to the earth and remains on earth, and may we see what is still to come through him, the Savior. O God of wonders, keep us aware of the wonders that increasingly surround us, until all the pain on earth is finally overcome and we men glorify your love and your great goodness. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, September 29, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Wednesday, September 29, 2021


John 3:20-21
Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.
The ways of God and those of the world are completely incompatible. Why? John 3:19 explains, “People loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” If we live our lives trying to please other people or ourselves, we will be at odds with the Lord. But if we live for Him, shining His light, the world will be hostile toward us because our presence convicts them of the sins they want to continue committing (John 3:16–21; 7:7; 12:25; 15:18–22; 17:14; 1 John 3:13).

Read all of John Chapter 3

Listen to John Chapter 3


Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, September 28, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Psalm 140; Esther 5:1-14; 1 John 2:18-25
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalm is a prayer for protection against persecutors. In our reading in Esther, Haman plots to kill Mordecai. In our epistle reading, the arrival of the last hour is signaled by the appearance of the secessionist opponents, whom the author describes as many antichrists. The point made in our verse of the day is crucial in our understanding of spirituality and how to interact with the non-believing world.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
1 Corinthians 2:14

The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Satan will do whatever he can to convince people to avoid or stray from the sanctified life God has called us to live. The enemy seeks to convince us that sin doesn’t hurt anyone—and in many cases is just meaningless fun. He tells us that the desires of our bodies should be gratified because they are natural. However, understand that your natural desires do not necessarily honor the Lord—nor will they satisfy you the way you hope they will.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 140
Deliver Me from Evildoers


1 Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
     protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts
     and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
     the poison of vipers is on their lips.

4 Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
     protect me from the violent,
     who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
     they have spread out the cords of their net
     and have set traps for me along my path.

6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
     Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
7 Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
     you shield my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
     do not let their plans succeed.

9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
     may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
      may they be thrown into the fire,
      into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
      may disaster hunt down the violent.

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
      and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
      and the upright will live in your presence.


Commentary
Verses 1-7: The more danger appears, the more earnest we should be in prayer to God. All are safe whom the Lord protects. If he be for us, who can be against us? We should especially watch and pray, that the Lord would hold up our goings in his ways, that our footsteps slip not. God is as able to keep his people from secret fraud as from open force; and the experience we have had of his power and care, in dangers of one kind, may encourage us to depend upon him in other dangers.

Verses 8-13: Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine vengeance. And surely the righteous shall dwell in God's presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used by men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received by faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every blessing of grace, and mercy of life.


From Israel's Historical Books
Esther 5:1-14
Haman Plots to Kill Mordecai


1 On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance. 2 When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.

3 Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”

4 “If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”

5 “Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared.
6 As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”

7 Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this: 8 If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”

9 Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai. 10 Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home.

Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife,
11 Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials. 12 “And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”

14 His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.

Commentary
Verses 1-8: Esther having had power with God, and prevailing, like Jacob, had power with men too. He that will lose his life for God, shall save it, or find it in a better life. The king encouraged her. Let us from this be encouraged to pray always to our God, and not to faint. Esther came to a proud, imperious man; but we come to the God of love and grace. She was not called, but we are; the Spirit says, Come, and the Bride says, Come. She had a law against her, we have a promise, many a promise, in favor of us; Ask, and it shall be given you. She had no friend to go with her, or to plead for her; on the contrary, he that was then the king's favorite, was her enemy; but we have an Advocate with the Father, in whom he is well pleased. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace. God put it into Esther's heart to delay her petition a day longer; she knew not, but God did, what was to happen in that very night.

Verses 9-14: This account of Haman is a comment upon Proverbs 21:24. Self-admirers and self-flatterers are really self-deceivers. Haman, the higher he is lifted up, the more impatient he is of contempt, and the more enraged at it. The affront from Mordecai spoiled all. A slight affront, which a humble man would scarcely notice, will torment a proud man, even to madness, and will mar all his comforts. Those disposed to be uneasy, will never want something to be uneasy at. Such are proud men; though they have much to their mind, if they have not all to their mind, it is as nothing to them. Many call the proud happy, who display pomp and make a show; but this is a mistaken thought. Many poor cottagers feel far less uneasiness than the rich, with all their fancied advantages around them. The man who knows not Christ, is poor though he be rich, because he is utterly destitute of that which alone is true riches.


From the Epistles
1 John 2:18-25
Anointed by the Holy One


18 Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 21 I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. 22 Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

24 As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

Commentary
Verses 18-23: Every man is an antichrist, who denies the Person, or any of the offices of Christ; and in denying the Son, he denies the Father also, and has no part in his favor while he rejects his great salvation. Let this prophecy that seducers would rise in the Christian world, keep us from being seduced. The church knows not well who are its true members, and who are not, but thus true Christians were proved, and rendered more watchful and humble. True Christians are anointed ones; their names expresses this: they are anointed with grace, with gifts and spiritual privileges, by the Holy Spirit of grace. The great and most hurtful lies that the father of lies spreads in the world, usually are falsehoods and errors relating to the person of Christ. The unction from the Holy One, alone can keep us from delusions. While we judge favorably of all who trust in Christ as the Divine Savior, and obey his word, and seek to live in union with them, let us pity and pray for those who deny the Godhead of Christ, or his atonement, and the new-creating work of the Holy Ghost. Let us protest against such antichristian doctrine, and keep from them as much as we may.

Verses 24-25: The truth of Christ, abiding in us, is a means to sever from sin, and unites us to the Son of God, John 15:3; John 15:4. What value should we put upon gospel truth! Thereby the promise of eternal life is made sure. The promise God makes, is suitable to his own greatness, power, and goodness; it is eternal life.



Today’s Lectionary 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. www.commontexts.org. 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 Morning Prayer for Tuesday, September 28, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Tuesday, September 28, 2021


Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south (Psalm 107:1–3, NIV).

Lord our God and our Father, we thank you for all the blessings you have brought into our lives and for everything we still hope to receive from your goodness. We thank you that through your Spirit you will work more and more in us and in all people, so that we are not held back by any human considerations but can go toward a higher goal. Keep us in your care. In all our special concerns may each of us experience your comfort and help, so that we may rejoice with the praise of your name always in our hearts. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Tuesday, September 28, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Tuesday, September 28, 2021


1 Corinthians 2:14
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
Satan will do whatever he can to convince people to avoid or stray from the sanctified life God has called us to live. The enemy seeks to convince us that sin doesn’t hurt anyone—and in many cases is just meaningless fun. He tells us that the desires of our bodies should be gratified because they are natural. However, understand that your natural desires do not necessarily honor the Lord—nor will they satisfy you the way you hope they will.

Read all of First Corinthians Chapter 2

Listen to First Corinthians Chapter 2


Scripture from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.

Monday, September 27, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Monday, September 27, 2021

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Monday, September 27, 2021
Psalm 140; Esther 4:1-17; 1 Peter 1:3-9
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction
In today’s lectionary readings, the psalm is a prayer for protection against persecutors. In our reading in Esther, Mordecai seeks Esther’s help. Our epistle reading describes the state of being defined by God’s “great mercy,” which gives us a “new birth into a living hope” and faith that is “for salvation” (1:3, 5). Our verse of the day is one of the key verses in all of Jesus’ teachings, commonly used in quotes, artwork, and Bible memorization.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Matthew 6:33

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is one of the key verses in all of Jesus' teaching, commonly used in quotes, artwork, and Bible memorization. Like any other lesson from Christ, it must be understood in the context of the verses that come before it. Too often, Jesus' words here have been ripped out of that context and used to suggest that God will supply endless material blessings if His children seek Him first. That is not, at all, the meaning of this sentence.

The context of "these things" are the basic needs of life: food and clothing. Jesus has commanded His readers not to live in continually worry about how they will obtain those, even if they don't know where the next meal is coming from. He wants them to trust the heavenly Father to provide what is needed for His children because He values them so greatly (Matthew 6:25–32). Instead of living in constant and fruitless worry, Jesus gives His followers a different outlet for their energy: pursue God's kingdom, trust His righteousness, and leave it to Him to take care of the basic needs of our lives.


Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter

Psalm 140
Deliver Me from Evildoers


1 Rescue me, Lord, from evildoers;
     protect me from the violent,
2 who devise evil plans in their hearts
     and stir up war every day.
3 They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent’s;
     the poison of vipers is on their lips.

4 Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
     protect me from the violent,
     who devise ways to trip my feet.
5 The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
     they have spread out the cords of their net
     and have set traps for me along my path.

6 I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
     Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.
7 Sovereign Lord, my strong deliverer,
     you shield my head in the day of battle.
8 Do not grant the wicked their desires, Lord;
     do not let their plans succeed.

9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
     may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
      may they be thrown into the fire,
      into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
      may disaster hunt down the violent.

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor
      and upholds the cause of the needy.
13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,
      and the upright will live in your presence.


Commentary
Verses 1-7: The more danger appears, the more earnest we should be in prayer to God. All are safe whom the Lord protects. If he be for us, who can be against us? We should especially watch and pray, that the Lord would hold up our goings in his ways, that our footsteps slip not. God is as able to keep his people from secret fraud as from open force; and the experience we have had of his power and care, in dangers of one kind, may encourage us to depend upon him in other dangers.

Verses 8-13: Believers may pray that God would not grant the desires of the wicked, nor further their evil devices. False accusers will bring mischief upon themselves, even the burning coals of Divine vengeance. And surely the righteous shall dwell in God's presence, and give him thanks for evermore. This is true thanksgiving, even thanks-living: this use we should make of all our deliverances, we should serve God the more closely and cheerfully. Those who, though evil spoken of and ill-used by men, are righteous in the sight of God, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to them, and received by faith, as the effect of which, they live soberly and righteously; these give thanks to the Lord, for the righteousness whereby they are made righteous, and for every blessing of grace, and mercy of life.


From Israel's Historical Books
Esther 4:1-17
Mordecai Seeks Esther’s Help


1 When Mordecai learned of all that had been done, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the city, wailing loudly and bitterly. 2 But he went only as far as the king’s gate, because no one clothed in sackcloth was allowed to enter it. 3 In every province to which the edict and order of the king came, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping and wailing. Many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

4 When Esther’s eunuchs and female attendants came and told her about Mordecai, she was in great distress. She sent clothes for him to put on instead of his sackcloth, but he would not accept them. 5 Then Esther summoned Hathak, one of the king’s eunuchs assigned to attend her, and ordered him to find out what was troubling Mordecai and why.

6 So Hathak went out to Mordecai in the open square of the city in front of the king’s gate. 7 Mordecai told him everything that had happened to him, including the exact amount of money Haman had promised to pay into the royal treasury for the destruction of the Jews. 8 He also gave him a copy of the text of the edict for their annihilation, which had been published in Susa, to show to Esther and explain it to her, and he told him to instruct her to go into the king’s presence to beg for mercy and plead with him for her people.

9 Hathak went back and reported to Esther what Mordecai had said. 10 Then she instructed him to say to Mordecai, 11 “All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives. But thirty days have passed since I was called to go to the king.”

12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai, 13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”

15 Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: 16 “Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.”

17 So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.

Commentary
Verses 1-4: Mordecai avowed his relation to the Jews. Public calamities, that oppress the church of God, should affect our hearts more than any private affliction, and it is peculiarly distressing to occasion sufferings to others. God will keep those that are exposed to evil by the tenderness of their consciences.

Verses 5-17: We are prone to shrink from services that are attended with peril or loss. But when the cause of Christ and his people demand it, we must take up our cross, and follow him. When Christians are disposed to consult their own ease or safety, rather than the public good, they should be blamed. The law was express, all knew it. It is not thus in the court of the King of kings: to the footstool of his throne of grace we may always come boldly, and may be sure of an answer of peace to the prayer of faith. We are welcome, even into the holiest, through the blood of Jesus. Providence so ordered it, that, just then, the king's affections had cooled toward Esther; her faith and courage thereby were the more tried; and God's goodness in the favor she now found with the king, thereby shone the brighter. Haman no doubt did what he could to set the king against her. Mordecai suggests, that it was a cause which, one way or other, would certainly be carried, and which therefore she might safely venture in. This was the language of strong faith, which staggered not at the promise when the danger was most threatening, but against hope believed in hope. He that by sinful devices will save his life, and will not trust God with it in the way of duty, shall lose it in the way of sin. Divine Providence had regard to this matter, in bringing Esther to be queen. Therefore thou art bound in gratitude to do this service for God and his church, else thou dost not answer the end of thy being raised up. There is wise counsel and design in all the providences of God, which will prove that they are all intended for the good of the church. We should, every one, consider for what end God has put us in the place where we are, and study to answer that end: and take care that we do not let it slip. Having solemnly commended our souls and our cause to God, we may venture upon his service. All dangers are trifling compared with the danger of losing our souls. But the trembling sinner is often as much afraid of casting himself, without reserve, upon the Lord's free mercy, as Esther was of coming before the king. Let him venture, as she did, with earnest prayer and supplication, and he shall fare as well and better than she did. The cause of God must prevail: we are safe in being united to it.


From the Epistles
1 Peter 1:3-9
The Outcome of Faith is Salvation


3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Commentary
This epistle is addressed to believers in general, who are strangers in every city or country where they live, and are scattered through the nations. These are to ascribe their salvation to the electing love of the Father, the redemption of the Son, and the sanctification of the Holy Ghost; and so to give glory to one God in three Persons, into whose name they had been baptized. Hope, in the world's phrase, refers only to an uncertain good, for all worldly hopes are tottering, built upon sand, and the worldling's hopes of heaven are blind and groundless conjectures. But the hope of the sons of the living God is a living hope; not only as to its object, but as to its effect also. It enlivens and comforts in all distresses, enables to meet and get over all difficulties. Mercy is the spring of all this; yea, great mercy and manifold mercy. And this well-grounded hope of salvation, is an active and living principle of obedience in the soul of the believer. The matter of a Christian's joy, is the remembrance of the happiness laid up for him. It is incorruptible, it cannot come to nothing, it is an estate that cannot be spent. Also undefiled; this signifies its purity and perfection. And it fadeth not; is not sometimes more or less pleasant, but ever the same, still like itself. All possessions here are stained with defects and failings; still something is wanting: fair houses have sad cares flying about the gilded and ceiled roofs; soft beds and full tables, are often with sick bodies and uneasy stomachs. All possessions are stained with sin, either in getting or in using them. How ready we are to turn the things we possess into occasions and instruments of sin, and to think there is no liberty or delight in their use, without abusing them! Worldly possessions are uncertain and soon pass away, like the flowers and plants of the field. That must be of the greatest worth, which is laid up in the highest and best place, in heaven. Happy are those whose hearts the Holy Spirit sets on this inheritance. God not only gives his people grace, but preserves them unto glory. Every believer has always something wherein he may greatly rejoice; it should show itself in the countenance and conduct. The Lord does not willingly afflict, yet his wise love often appoints sharp trials, to show his people their hearts, and to do them good at the latter end. Gold does not increase by trial in the fire, it becomes less; but faith is made firm, and multiplied, by troubles and afflictions. Gold must perish at last, and can only purchase perishing things, while the trial of faith will be found to praise, and honor, and glory. Let this reconcile us to present afflictions. Seek then to believe Christ's excellence in himself, and his love to us; this will kindle such a fire in the heart as will make it rise up in a sacrifice of love to him. And the glory of God and our own happiness are so united, that if we sincerely seek the one now, we shall attain the other when the soul shall no more be subject to evil. The certainty of this hope is as if believers had already received it.


Today’s Lectionary 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. www.commontexts.org. 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 Morning Prayer for Monday, September 27, 2021

 

The Morning Prayer
Monday, September 27, 2021


I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree that it surpasses your fame (Psalm 138:1–2, NIV).

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for your mercy and for your great goodness and power, revealed to us through the ages and in the present time. We live by your revelation, Lord God Almighty, for you perform wonders on earth and you reign in heaven so that heaven can bless and help us on our earthly pilgrimage. Grant that your loving-kindness and your justice may be revealed through all the world. Come, O Lord our God, bring the light for us who believe in you, and be the light for the whole world. Glory to your name, for you are indeed our Father in heaven and on earth, and you give certainty for our life in time and in eternity. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Monday, September 27, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Monday, September 27, 2021


Matthew 6:33
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is one of the key verses in all of Jesus' teaching, commonly used in quotes, artwork, and Bible memorization. Like any other lesson from Christ, it must be understood in the context of the verses that come before it. Too often, Jesus' words here have been ripped out of that context and used to suggest that God will supply endless material blessings if His children seek Him first. That is not, at all, the meaning of this sentence.

The context of "these things" are the basic needs of life: food and clothing. Jesus has commanded His readers not to live in continually worry about how they will obtain those, even if they don't know where the next meal is coming from. He wants them to trust the heavenly Father to provide what is needed for His children because He values them so greatly (Matthew 6:25–32). Instead of living in constant and fruitless worry, Jesus gives His followers a different outlet for their energy: pursue God's kingdom, trust His righteousness, and leave it to Him to take care of the basic needs of our lives.