Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 

The Daily Readings
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Psalm 77; Proverbs 30:1-9; Matthew 4:1-11
New American Standard Bible® (NASB)

Today’s Verse-of-the-Day:
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
God’s plans for us are always for our good (Rom. 12:1, 2). Although we may endure times of adversity, we always have hope because of His amazing lovingkindness toward us (8:28). And if we patiently and obediently wait for Him, He will most certainly fulfill His promises to us and purposes for us in a way that’s above and beyond all that we ask or imagine (Ps. 138:8; Eph. 3:20).

What do we mean when we say that we are seeking the Lord? It does not mean that we are seeking something from Him; rather, we want to know Him. Do you really want to know the Lord and His plans for your life? If necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show you His will. Therefore, seek Him and obey whatever He tells you to do, for you will find Him, and your obedience will surely bring blessing.


Today’s Readings:
Psalm 77
Prayer for God to remember us
1 My voice rises to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice rises to God, and He will listen to me.

2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out and did not grow weary; My soul refused to be comforted.

3 When I remember God, then I am restless; When I sigh, then my spirit feels weak. Selah
4 You have held my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

5 I have considered the days of old, The years of long ago.

6 I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders:

7 Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again?

8 Has His favor ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever?

9 Has God forgotten to be gracious, Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah

10 Then I said, “It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed.”

11 I shall remember the deeds of the Lord; I will certainly remember Your wonders of old.

12 I will meditate on all Your work, And on Your deeds with thanksgiving.

13 Your way, God, is holy; What god is great like our God?

14 You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.

15 By Your power You have redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 The waters saw You, God; The waters saw You, they were in anguish; The ocean depths also trembled.

17 The clouds poured out water; The skies sounded out; Your arrows flashed here and there.

18 The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightning lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook.

19 Your way was in the sea And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints were not known.

20 You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Commentary

Verses 1-10 — Days of trouble must be days of prayer; when God seems to have withdrawn from us, we must seek him till we find him. In the day of his trouble the psalmist did not seek for the diversion of business or amusement, but he sought God, and his favor and grace. Those that are under trouble of mind, must pray it away. He pored upon the trouble; the methods that should have relieved him did but increase his grief. When he remembered God, it was only the Divine justice and wrath. His spirit was overwhelmed, and sank under the load. But let not the remembrance of the comforts we have lost, make us unthankful for those that are left. Particularly he called to remembrance the comforts with which he supported himself in former sorrows. Here is the language of a sorrowful, deserted soul, walking in darkness; a common case even among those that fear the Lord, Isaiah 50:10. Nothing wounds and pierces like the thought of God's being angry. God's own people, in a cloudy and dark day, may be tempted to make wrong conclusions about their spiritual state, and that of God's kingdom in the world. But we must not give way to such fears. Let faith answer them from the Scripture. The troubled fountain will work itself clear again; and the recollection of former times of joyful experience often raises a hope, tending to relief. Doubts and fears proceed from the want and weakness of faith. Despondency and distrust under affliction, are too often the infirmities of believers, and, as such, are to be thought upon by us with sorrow and shame. When, unbelief is working in us, we must thus suppress its risings.

Verses 11-20 — The remembrance of the works of God, will be a powerful remedy against distrust of his promise and goodness; for he is God, and changes not. God's way is in the sanctuary. We are sure that God is holy in all his works. God's ways are like the deep waters, which cannot be fathomed; like the way of a ship, which cannot be tracked. God brought Israel out of Egypt. This was typical of the great redemption to be wrought out in the fullness of time, both by price and power. If we have harbored doubtful thoughts, we should, without delay, turn our minds to meditate on that God, who spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, that with him, he might freely give us all things.


Proverbs 30:1-9
Plea to be safe from temptation
30:1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, the pronouncement.

The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal:

2 I am certainly more stupid than any man, And I do not have the understanding of a man;
3 Nor have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His Son’s name? Surely you know!

5 Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
6 Do not add to His words Or He will rebuke you, and you will be proved a liar.

7 Two things I have asked of You; Do not refuse me before I die:
8 Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is my portion,
9 So that I will not be full and deny You and say, “Who is the Lord?” And that I will not become impoverished and steal, And profane the name of my God.
Commentary

Verses 1-6 — Agur speaks of himself as wanting a righteousness, and having done very foolishly. And it becomes us all to have low thoughts of ourselves. He speaks of himself as wanting revelation to guide him in the ways of truth and wisdom. The more enlightened people are, the more they lament their ignorance; the more they pray for clearer, still clearer discoveries of God, and his rich grace in Christ Jesus. In Proverbs 30:4, there is a prophetic notice of Him who came down from heaven to be our Instructor and Savior, and then ascended into heaven to be our Advocate. The Messiah is here spoken of as a Person distinct from the Father, but his name as yet secret. The great Redeemer, in the glories of his providence and grace, cannot be found out to perfection. Had it not been for Christ, the foundations of the earth had sunk under the load of the curse upon the ground, for man's sin. Who, and what is the mighty One that doeth all this? There is not the least ground to suspect anything wanting in the word of God; adding to his words opens the way to errors and corruptions.

Verses 7-9 — Agur wisely prayed for a middle state, that he might be kept at a distance from temptations; he asked daily bread suited to his station, his family, and his real good. There is a remarkable similarity between this prayer and several clauses of the Lord's prayer. If we are removed from vanity and lies; if we are interested in the pardoning love of Christ, and have him for our portion; if we walk with God, then we shall have all we can ask or think, as to spiritual things. When we consider how those who have abundance are prone to abuse the gift, and what it is to suffer want, Agur's prayer will ever be found a wise one, though seldom offered. Food convenient; what is so for one, may not be so for another; but we may be sure that our heavenly Father will supply all our need, and not suffer us to want anything good for us; and why should we wish for more?


Matthew 4:1-11
Matthew’s account of Jesus’ temptation
4:1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after He had fasted for forty days and forty nights, He then became hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” 4 But He answered and said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God.’”

5 Then the devil *took Him along into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and he *said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down; for it is written:

  ‘He will give His angels orders concerning You’;

and

  ‘On their hands they will lift You up,
  So that You do not strike Your foot against a stone.’”

7 Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written: ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

8 Again, the devil *took Him along to a very high mountain and *showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory; 9 and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus *said to him, “Go away, Satan! For it is written: ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.’” 11 Then the devil *left Him; and behold, angels came and began to serve Him.
Commentary

Concerning Christ's temptation, observe, that directly after he was declared to be the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, he was tempted; great privileges, and special tokens of Divine favor, will not secure any from being tempted. But if the Holy Spirit witness to our being adopted as children of God, that will answer all the suggestions of the evil spirit. Christ was directed to the combat. If we presume upon our own strength, and tempt the devil to tempt us, we provoke God to leave us to ourselves. Others are tempted, when drawn aside of their own lust, and enticed, James 1:14; but our Lord Jesus had no corrupt nature, therefore he was tempted only by the devil. In the temptation of Christ it appears that our enemy is subtle, spiteful, and very daring; but he can be resisted. It is a comfort to us that Christ suffered, being tempted; for thus it appears that our temptations, if not yielded to, are not sins, they are afflictions only. Satan aimed in all his temptations, to bring Christ to sin against God. 1. He tempted him to despair of his Father's goodness, and to distrust his Father's care concerning him. It is one of the wiles of Satan to take advantage of our outward condition; and those who are brought into straits have need to double their guard. Christ answered all the temptations of Satan with “It is written;” to set us an example, he appealed to what was written in the Scriptures. This method we must take, when at any time we are tempted to sin. Let us learn not to take any wrong courses for our supply, when our wants are ever so pressing: in some way or other the Lord will provide. 2. Satan tempted Christ to presume upon his Father's power and protection, in a point of safety. Nor are any extremes more dangerous than despair and presumption, especially in the affairs of our souls. Satan has no objection to holy places as the scene of his assaults. Let us not, in any place, be off our watch. The holy city is the place, where he does, with the greatest advantage, tempt men to pride and presumption. All high places are slippery places; advancements in the world makes a man a mark for Satan to shoot his fiery darts at. Is Satan so well versed in Scripture as to be able to quote it readily? He is so. It is possible for a man to have his head full of Scripture notions, and his mouth full of Scripture expressions, while his heart is full of bitter enmity to God and to all goodness. Satan misquoted the words. If we go out of our way, out of the way of our duty, we forfeit the promise, and put ourselves out of God's protection. This passage, Deuteronomy 8:3, made against the tempter, therefore he left out part. This promise is firm and stands good. But shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? No. 3. Satan tempted Christ to idolatry with the offer of the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The glory of the world is the most charming temptation to the unthinking and unwary; by that men are most easily imposed upon. Christ was tempted to worship Satan. He rejected the proposal with abhorrence. “Get thee hence, Satan!” Some temptations are openly wicked; and they are not merely to be opposed, but rejected at once. It is good to be quick and firm in resisting temptation. If we resist the devil he will flee from us. But the soul that deliberates is almost overcome. We find but few who can decidedly reject such baits as Satan offers; yet what is a man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Christ was succoured after the temptation, for his encouragement to go on in his undertaking, and for our encouragement to trust in him; for as he knew, by experience, what it was to suffer, being tempted, so he knew what it was to be succoured, being tempted; therefore we may expect, not only that he will feel for his tempted people, but that he will come to them with seasonable relief.



The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle, and Gospel lessons are from the New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

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. www.commontexts.org
The Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Psalm 77; Proverbs 30:1-9; Matthew 4:1-11 (NASB)

Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 

Prayer of the Day
Wednesday, February 24, 2021


For I am the Lord your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar (the Lord of armies is His name). And I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, “You are my people.”
Isaiah 51:15-16 (NASB)

Lord God Almighty, your eyes watch over the whole world. We come before you with the evils that surround us still clinging to us. Shelter our lives in your hands. Give us your strength to win through, even in suffering and need. For we are yours, O Lord our God. You have chosen your people to strengthen them and to free them from all evil. We beseech you to help us. May we feel your presence among us. May your Word bear fruit in us to the everlasting honor of your name. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, February 24, 2021

 

Verse of the Day
Wednesday, February 24, 2021


Jeremiah 29:11-13
For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for prosperity and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
God’s plans for us are always for our good (Rom. 12:1, 2). Although we may endure times of adversity, we always have hope because of His amazing lovingkindness toward us (8:28). And if we patiently and obediently wait for Him, He will most certainly fulfill His promises to us and purposes for us in a way that’s above and beyond all that we ask or imagine (Ps. 138:8; Eph. 3:20).

What do we mean when we say that we are seeking the Lord? It does not mean that we are seeking something from Him; rather, we want to know Him. Do you really want to know the Lord and His plans for your life? If necessary, God will move heaven and earth to show you His will. Therefore, seek Him and obey whatever He tells you to do, for you will find Him, and your obedience will surely bring blessing.


Read all of Jeremiah 29

Listen to Jeremiah 29


New American Standard Bible® (NASB), Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved.

The Lenten Prayer for Wednesday, February 24, 2021 — Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

 

40 Days of Lenten Prayers
Day 7 — Wednesday of the First Week of Lent


Dear Lord, I know you receive what is in my heart. Let me be inspired by your words and by the actions of your son, Jesus. Guide me to make sacrifices this Lent in the spirit of self-denial and with greater attention to you and to those around me. Help me to believe that you will grant me this because of the sacrifice Jesus made for me. Amen.