Saturday, July 2, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Saturday, July 2, 2022

 


The Morning Prayer
Saturday, July 2, 2022


I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.

Dear Father in heaven, you are our God. You rule and guide us, and our trust remains in you even when many needs pull at our hearts and try to draw us into their whirlpool. Protect us, we pray. May your divine hand govern us so that we remain aware of the calling we receive from you and always have a light shining into our lives to show us how to serve you. Let your power work wherever hearts respond to you on this earth, wherever the strength of Jesus Christ is revealed, so that people acknowledge his deeds to your honor. Be with the lowliest and least noticed of your children. Keep them in your hands and enable them to be fellow workers who persevere courageously and confidently until the time when you reveal yourself to all peoples on earth. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Saturday, July 2, 2022

 


Verse of the Day
Saturday, July 2, 2022


Jeremiah 17:9-10
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
Our hearts will lie to us, and our feelings are unreliable. Although they are a powerful part of who we are, we must realize that our emotions can lead us in devastating ways (Prov. 16:25; Eccl. 9:3). Only God knows the human heart and how to redeem it. So when it is hurting or moving us in a destructive manner, we must turn to our Maker to help us (1 John 3:20).

Read all of Jeremiah Chapter 17

Listen to Jeremiah Chapter 17


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

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Friday, July 1, 2022

 


The Morning Prayer
Friday, July 1, 2022


People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last.
Luke 13:29–30 (NIV)

Dear Father in heaven, Almighty God, grant that the nations come under your rule, under your judgment from morning to evening, from east to west, from north to south. For your will must be done, and your name must be honored among all nations. Yours alone is the kingdom; all kingdoms belong to you. Your heavenly kingdom must come so that at last we learn to be at peace and become your children, who submit to you. For your Christ shall carry out your loving, merciful, and perfect will throughout the world. We thank you for all the good you want to provide for us. May your angels watch over us this night. Be with us in all we do or leave undone. Help us with your strong hands, that we may rejoice at heart in all the good you give us. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Friday, July 1, 2022

 


Verse of the Day
Friday, July 1, 2022


Romans 12:3
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you.
Paul’s ministry exists only because of grace (1:5), as do spiritual gifts (Greek charismata, v. 6). Realistic assessment of one’s gift (“think with sober judgment”) is essential, and involves a recognition of one’s “measure of faith,” that is, knowing to what extent one has the faith suited for exercising particular gifts (v. 6). The faith by which we are justified is a separate question.

Read all of Romans Chapter 12

Listen to Romans Chapter 12


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

Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Thursday, June 30, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Thursday, June 30, 2022


At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.”
Matthew 11:25, NIV


Lord our God, we thank you for your Word, which is light and strength to us. We thank you for all you give us. We thank you that we may be counted among the simple-hearted, among the children. We do not want to be anything great in the world. We want only to be with you as your children, helpless little children, watched over by you, the Creator and Father of all. Grant us your blessing. Help us in all that is good and right, also in our daily work, so that we can be your children and do what you have commanded. May your name be honored at all times, your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who have wronged us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Thursday, June 30, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Thursday, June 30, 2022


Zechariah 14:9
The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
One day, the Lord says, “Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear” (Is. 45:23)—and they shall all say, “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil. 2:11).

Read the Full Chapter



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

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Wednesday, June 29, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, June 29, 2022


But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
Psalm 59:16–17, NIV


Lord God, we glorify your name. How we wish our voices could ring out over all the world, telling of the great things you have done for us, praising you that we can come to you in Jesus Christ, that we can worship, honor, and thank you for all your goodness! Safeguard all your children so that they hold to faith and remain true to the message of the gospel. May we thank and praise you for all you have done this day and for your working in the hearts of many people who are still unknown to us. Your Spirit rules and calls people, to bring them to you, the Father in heaven. Watch over us and continue to bless us. Help us who belong to your people, and protect us through the night. Amen.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Tuesday, June 28, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Tuesday, June 28, 2022


All of creation waits with eager longing for God to reveal his children. For creation was condemned to lose its purpose, not of its own will, but because God willed it to be so. Yet there was the hope that creation itself would one day be set free from its slavery to decay and would share the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Romans 8:19–21, GNT


Lord God, we thank you for all you reveal in your creation so that our lives may be fruitful. Reveal your wisdom and strength among people everywhere so that death and destruction do not have their way, but your will, your love, your mercy shall prevail. Let our age learn that power belongs to you and not to men, and that you will at last fulfill all your promises of good. Your day of justice and holiness will break in, and all misery will be removed through your great mercy. Watch over us as you have done till this hour, and keep us safe during the night. Be present and carry out your will wherever there is misfortune. May your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Tuesday, June 28, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Tuesday, June 28, 2022


2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Some people believe that because God does not want anyone to perish, He will not allow anyone to be condemned to hell. However, the Lord gave us the free will to either choose or reject the way He has provided for salvation. Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross was sufficient to save everyone, but John 3:18 tells us, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

Read the Full Chapter





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

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Monday, June 27, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Monday, June 27, 2022


But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:15–16, NIV


Lord God, help us to be holy as you are holy, and free us from all the earthly things that try to torment us. Grant us your Spirit so that we do what is right. May we always hold your hand confidently. Protect your children everywhere on earth, and help them do what is right even if the whole world does what is wrong. Help us, so that all we do becomes holy and pleasing in your sight. Let your grace grow among us and among the nations, and let your hand be strong to bring in your day, your day when everything is made new. May your name be kept holy, your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Sunday, June 26, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Sunday, June 26, 2022


We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:3, NIV


O Lord our God, grant that we may have fellowship with you every day. May our hearts be ready to fulfill your commandments and to do what you want in all things. Hear our prayer. Hear and answer when we pray for the nations, for the whole world, and let your holy will be done. Remember all who are in distress, and lead them on the right way. May we go with joyful hearts wherever you lead us. Your name will be our help, your glory will come, and the world will be full of your love, your power, and your splendor. Amen.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Saturday, June 25, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Saturday, June 25, 2022


May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13, NIV


Lord our God, grant us courageous hearts, we pray. Grant that we may always find our strength and support in you and may bear with joy whatever the present days bring us. No matter how much evil occurs, we know that your peace is already prepared. We await your peace, and we are allowed to believe that everything will turn out according to your will and according to the good you have prepared for your people on earth. For in faith your people overcome the world, and at last through their faith others too may receive something from you and may lift their eyes to you, the God of truth, of justice, of salvation, and of peace. Be with us every day, Lord God. Help us. Bless us, and bless all who try to bring help where it is needed. Let us praise your name forevermore! Amen.

Verse of the Day for Saturday, June 25, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Saturday, June 25, 2022


Jeremiah 23:24
Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the Lord. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
God is never so busy managing the universe that He has no time for you. He can listen to your prayers even as He cares for everything else.

Read the Full Chapter




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

Friday, June 24, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Friday, June 24, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Friday, June 24, 2022


I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven. As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he shows us his mercy.
Psalm 123:1–2, NIV


Lord our God, we lift our hearts to you, our help in every need. You do so much for us even in difficult times, letting us always see your light and giving us your help in the many things you want us to bear in your strength, O Almighty God. In the end you will help our age come to your light. Through your great mercy let us receive your Word. Bless it within our hearts, and help us to serve you everywhere we go and in everything we are allowed to do. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Friday, June 24, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Friday, June 24, 2022


2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Sometimes people crumble under the threats of ungodly people and the warfare of the enemy because they are afraid of the opposition. But God has limited the enemy’s attack and has also garrisoned us about with His heavenly host (Ps. 91:11). The Lord is faithful to protect us in every situation, so we should always obey Him and leave the consequences to Him.

Read the Full Chapter


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

Thursday, June 23, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Thursday, June 23, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Thursday, June 23, 2022


And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.
Colossians 3:14-15, NIV


Lord our God, grant your peace in our hearts. Grant that we may be your children, allowed to serve you in true peace through the forgiveness of sins. Turn your eyes to the world and its sin, that something new may come for all who are deeply unhappy, groaning under the anguish of their lives. Your mercy is great, your compassion is beyond measure. For Jesus Christ’s sake you will bring into the world the salvation that is promised. You will bring the great day of Jesus Christ the Savior, who has shed his blood for us. He can come to those now in need and misery, bringing his peace and his power into their hearts so that even death turns into life and everything serves your praise and glory, Lord our God and Father in heaven. Bless us and bless our nation. May life from heaven grow in those who understand you and who are to be your people. May your will be done, Lord God, until your kingdom comes in its fullness and all the world may see that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to your glory, O God our Father. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Thursday, June 23, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Thursday, June 23, 2022


Isaiah 40:31
But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
God renews and strengthens those who are weak. He is the One who lifts, revitalizes, and empowers us to persevere when everything inside of us tells us we cannot go a step further. When we surrender our problems to Him, we gain His ability and power to run as far as He wants us to go.

Read the Full Chapter



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

Our Daily Bread — Drastic Measures

 

Drastic Measures

The king . . . renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands. 2 Kings 23:3

READ 2 Kings 23:3–7

The ornate ceremonial bow and quiver had hung on the wall of our home in Michigan for years. I’d inherited them from my father, who acquired the souvenirs while we were serving as missionaries in Ghana.

Then one day a Ghanaian friend visited us. When he saw the bow, he got a strange look on his face. Pointing to a small object tied to it he said, “That is a fetish—a magic charm. I know it has no power, but I would not keep it in my house.” Quickly we cut the charm from the bow and discarded it. We didn’t want anything in our home intended for the worship of something other than God.

Josiah, king in Jerusalem, grew up with little knowledge of God’s expectations for His people. When the high priest rediscovered the Book of the Law in the long-neglected temple (2 Kings 22:8), Josiah wanted to hear it. As soon as he learned what God had said about idolatry, he ordered sweeping changes to bring Judah into compliance with God’s law—changes far more drastic than merely cutting a charm from a bow (see 2 Kings 23:3–7).

Believers today have more than King Josiah did—much, much more. We have the entire Bible to instruct us. We have each other. And we have the vital filling of the Holy Spirit, who brings things to light, large and small, that we might otherwise overlook.

By Tim Gustafson

REFLECT & PRAY


Can you describe a time when a believer wisely pointed out a change you needed to make? What things in your life might be offensive to God?

Heavenly Father, by the work of the Holy Spirit, help me steer clear of anything that’s offensive to You.

Learn about leadership from the kings of Israel.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

The covenant-renewal activities of King Josiah in 2 Kings 23:3–7 included house cleaning—the “[removal] from the temple of the Lord all the articles made for Baal and Asherah” (v. 4). Baal (a word that means “owner, lord”) was the most prominent deity among the gods of the Canaanites. It was believed that Baal (the god of life and fertility) controlled the rainfall and crop production. Asherah was the female companion of Baal. Depending on the context, sometimes the word Asherah (translated “grove” or “groves” in the kjv) can refer to the deity itself (2 Kings 21:7) or to the cult objects associated with her worship (1 Kings 14:23). Anything that usurps God’s rule in our lives is an idol and must be eliminated.

Arthur Jackson

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The Morning Prayer for Wednesday, June 22, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, June 22, 2022


Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
John 20:21, NIV


Lord our God, in the name of Jesus Christ, who is close at our side as the risen and living One, we lift our eyes to you in prayer. Bless us. Bless us through your Word, and let our hearts become quiet in you. Free us from all restlessness and from the turmoil of the present age, for we belong to you, not to the world. We want to find peace in you and remain in you. You will care for us as your children, whom you will never forget in all eternity. Bless us and renew the riches of your grace in us every day, for you, O Lord our God, remain our Father. Amen.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Saturday, May 28, 2022

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Saturday, May 28, 2022
Psalm 97; Exodus 33:18-23; John 1:14-18

with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Romans 12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Both rejoicing and mourning imply genuine, heartfelt emotion. This kind of keenly felt connection happens only when we choose to invest ourselves deeply in the lives of other believers.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 97
Light Dawns for the Righteous


1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
     let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
     righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
     and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
     the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
     before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
     and all peoples see his glory.

7 All who worship images are put to shame,
     those who boast in idols—
     worship him, all you gods!

8 Zion hears and rejoices
     and the villages of Judah are glad
     because of your judgments, Lord.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
     you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
      for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
      and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
      and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
      and praise his holy name.


Commentary
The Lord Jesus reigns in power that cannot be resisted (vv.1-7); His care of his people, and his provision for them (vv. 8-12).

Verses 1-7: Though many have been made happy in Christ, still there is room. And all have reason to rejoice in Christ's government. There is a depth in his counsels, which we must not pretend to fathom; but still righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Christ's government, though it might be matter of joy to all, will yet be matter of terror to some; but it is their own fault that it is so. The most resolute and daring opposition will be baffled at the presence of the Lord. And the Lord Jesus will ere long come, and put an end to idol worship of every kind.

Verses 8-12: The faithful servants of God may well rejoice and be glad, because he is glorified; and whatever tends to his honor, is his people's pleasure. Care is taken for their safety. But something more is meant than their lives. The Lord will preserve the souls of his saints from sin, from apostasy, and despair, under their greatest trials. He will deliver them out of the hands of the wicked one, and preserve them safe to his heavenly kingdom. And those that rejoice in Christ Jesus, and in his exaltation, have fountains of joy prepared for them. Those that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. Gladness is sure to the upright in heart; the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment. Sinners tremble, but saints rejoice at God's holiness. As he hates sin, yet freely loves the person of the repentant sinner who believes in Christ, he will make a final separation between the person he loves and the sin he hates, and sanctify his people wholly, body, soul, and spirit.


From the Pentateuch
Exodus 33:18-23
Moses Asks to See God’s Glory


33:18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

19 And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

21 Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Commentary
Moses desires to see the glory of God.

A full discovery of the glory of God, would overwhelm even Moses himself. Man is mean, and unworthy of it; weak, and could not bear it; guilty, and could not but dread it. The merciful display which is made in Christ Jesus, alone can be borne by us. The Lord granted that which would abundantly satisfy. God's goodness is his glory; and he will have us to know him by the glory of his mercy, more than by the glory of his majesty. Upon the rock there was a fit place for Moses to view the goodness and glory of God. The rock in Horeb was typical of Christ the Rock; the Rock of refuge, salvation, and strength. Happy are they who stand upon this Rock. The cleft may be an emblem of Christ, as smitten, crucified, wounded, and slain. What follows, denotes the imperfect knowledge of God in the present state, even as revealed in Christ; for this, when compared with the heavenly sight of him. is but like seeing a man that is gone by, whose back only is to be seen. God in Christ, as he is, even the fullest and brightest displays of his glory, grace, and goodness, are reserved to another state.


From the Gospels
John 1:14-18
We Have Seen the Glory of God


1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Commentary
John the Baptist's testimony to Christ.

As to the order of time and entrance on his work, Christ came after John, but in every other way he was before him. The expression clearly shows that Jesus had existence before he appeared on earth as man. All fullness dwells in him, from which alone fallen sinners have, and shall receive, by faith, all that renders them wise, strong, holy, useful, and happy. Our receiving by Christ are all summed up in this one word, grace; we have received "even grace," a gift so great, so rich, so invaluable; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us. The law of God is holy, just, and good; and we should make the proper use of it. But we cannot derive from it pardon, righteousness, or strength. It teaches us to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior, but it cannot supply the place of that doctrine. As no mercy comes from God to sinners but through Jesus Christ, no man can come to the Father but by him; no man can know God, except as he is made known in the only begotten and beloved Son.



Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. 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 Saturday, May 28, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Saturday, May 28, 2022


You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.
1 Thessalonians 5:5–6, NIV


Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that we may be your children. We thank you that through your Spirit our hearts may know that we are your children. Even when everything around us becomes difficult and we are hemmed in by darkness, we remain your children. Even when we often do not see how we are to go on and everything seems to be taken from us, we remain your children. Even when sin and death surround us and accuse us of being in the wrong, we still remain your children. As your children we entrust ourselves to your hands. In our whole life, in all our work and activity, we dwell in what has come from you, and we rejoice in Christ our Savior. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Saturday, May 28, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Saturday, May 28, 2022


Romans 12:15
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
Both rejoicing and mourning imply genuine, heartfelt emotion. This kind of keenly felt connection happens only when we choose to invest ourselves deeply in the lives of other believers.

Read the Full Chapter



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

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Friday, May 27, 2022

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Friday, May 27, 2022
Psalm 97; Exodus 33:12-17; Revelation 22:6-9
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Acts 20:24

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
Paul found his life by losing it and loved his life by not counting it dear (Matt. 16:24, 25; Phil. 1:21–24; 3:7–12). He had learned to love God’s will over everything else, and he realized that obeying his Savior yielded the greatest joy and fulfillment. The Lord wants us to be like the apostle Paul, being so devoted in our love and service that nothing could ever keep us from obeying Him wholeheartedly.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 97
Light Dawns for the Righteous


1 The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
     let the distant shores rejoice.
2 Clouds and thick darkness surround him;
     righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him
     and consumes his foes on every side.
4 His lightning lights up the world;
     the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
     before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
     and all peoples see his glory.

7 All who worship images are put to shame,
     those who boast in idols—
     worship him, all you gods!

8 Zion hears and rejoices
     and the villages of Judah are glad
     because of your judgments, Lord.
9 For you, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth;
     you are exalted far above all gods.
10 Let those who love the Lord hate evil,
      for he guards the lives of his faithful ones
      and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light shines on the righteous
      and joy on the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,
      and praise his holy name.


Commentary
The Lord Jesus reigns in power that cannot be resisted (vv.1-7); His care of his people, and his provision for them (vv. 8-12).

Verses 1-7: Though many have been made happy in Christ, still there is room. And all have reason to rejoice in Christ's government. There is a depth in his counsels, which we must not pretend to fathom; but still righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. Christ's government, though it might be matter of joy to all, will yet be matter of terror to some; but it is their own fault that it is so. The most resolute and daring opposition will be baffled at the presence of the Lord. And the Lord Jesus will ere long come, and put an end to idol worship of every kind.

Verses 8-12: The faithful servants of God may well rejoice and be glad, because he is glorified; and whatever tends to his honor, is his people's pleasure. Care is taken for their safety. But something more is meant than their lives. The Lord will preserve the souls of his saints from sin, from apostasy, and despair, under their greatest trials. He will deliver them out of the hands of the wicked one, and preserve them safe to his heavenly kingdom. And those that rejoice in Christ Jesus, and in his exaltation, have fountains of joy prepared for them. Those that sow in tears, shall reap in joy. Gladness is sure to the upright in heart; the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment. Sinners tremble, but saints rejoice at God's holiness. As he hates sin, yet freely loves the person of the repentant sinner who believes in Christ, he will make a final separation between the person he loves and the sin he hates, and sanctify his people wholly, body, soul, and spirit.


From the Pentateuch
Exodus 33:12-17
Moses Prays for the People


33:12 Moses said to the Lord, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

14 The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

17 And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

Commentary
Moses desires to see the glory of God.

Moses is very earnest with God. Thus, by the intercession of Christ, we are not only saved from ruin, but become entitled to everlasting happiness. Observe here how he pleads. We find grace in God's sight, if we find grace in our hearts to guide and quicken us in the way of our duty. Moses speaks as one who dreaded the thought of going forward without the Lord's presence. God's gracious promises, and mercy towards us, should not only encourage our faith, but also excite our fervency in prayer. Observe how he speeds. See, in a type, Christ's intercession, which he ever lives to make for all that come to God by him; and that it is not by any thing in those for whom he intercedes.


From the Apocalypse of John
Revelation 22:6-9
A Trustworthy Testimony


22:6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

7 “Look, I am coming soon! Blessed is the one who keeps the words of the prophecy written in this scroll.”

8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. 9 But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your fellow prophets and with all who keep the words of this scroll. Worship God!”

Commentary
The truth and certain fulfilling of all the prophetic visions, The Holy Spirit, and the bride, the church, invite, and say, Come.

The Lord Jesus spake by the angel, solemnly confirming the contents of this book, particularly of this last vision. He is the Lord God faithful and true. Also by his messengers; the holy angels showed them to holy men of God. They are things that must shortly be done; Christ will come quickly, and put all things out of doubt. And by the integrity of that angel who had been the apostle's interpreter. He refused to accept religious worship from John, and reproved him for offering it. This presents another testimony against idolatrous worship of saints and angels.



Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. 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 Friday, May 27, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Friday, May 27, 2022


The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
2 Corinthians 13:14, RSV


Lord our God, our Father in heaven, we thank you for letting us receive so much that is good in all circumstances on earth. We thank you that we can have joy in life in spite of our shortcomings, mistakes, and worries. You bless us with heavenly gifts, so that rejoicing, we can walk on earth as if in heaven. Keep the gifts of your Spirit alive in us. Keep alive in us everything that Jesus Christ was, everything he is, and everything he will be on earth for all people. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Friday, May 27, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Friday, May 27, 2022


Acts 20:24
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
Paul found his life by losing it and loved his life by not counting it dear (Matt. 16:24, 25; Phil. 1:21–24; 3:7–12). He had learned to love God’s will over everything else, and he realized that obeying his Savior yielded the greatest joy and fulfillment. The Lord wants us to be like the apostle Paul, being so devoted in our love and service that nothing could ever keep us from obeying Him wholeheartedly.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Thursday, May 26, 2022 — Ascension of the Lord

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Thursday, May 26, 2022
Ascension of the Lord
Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47; Ephesians 1:15-23; Luke 24:44-53
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse of the Day:
John 3:17

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
While Jesus says that all judgment has been committed to Him (John 5:22), He assures us that He did not come to earth to judge us but to save us. What that means is that we are already forgiven. When we place our faith in Jesus, we are accepting that He has already fully and successfully taken our punishment upon Himself. But those who reject Jesus as Savior also reject His provision and must bear the full penalty of their sins (Mark 16:16; John 5:24; Heb. 2:2, 3; 2 Thess. 1:8, 9).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Acts of the Apostles
Acts 1:1-11
Jesus Sends the Apostles


1:1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Commentary
Proofs of Christ's resurrection (vv. 1-5); Christ's ascension (vv. 6-11).

Verses 1-5: Our Lord told the disciples the work they were to do. The apostles met together at Jerusalem; Christ having ordered them not to depart thence, but to wait for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. This would be a baptism by the Holy Ghost, giving them power to work miracles, and enlightening and sanctifying their souls. This confirms the Divine promise, and encourages us to depend upon it, that we have heard it from Christ; for in Him all the promises of God are yea and amen.

Verses 6-11: They were earnest in asking about that which their Master never had directed or encouraged them to seek. Our Lord knew that his ascension and the teaching of the Holy Spirit would soon end these expectations, and therefore only gave them a rebuke; but it is a caution to his church in all ages, to take heed of a desire of forbidden knowledge. He had given his disciples instructions for the discharge of their duty, both before his death and since his resurrection, and this knowledge is enough for a Christian. It is enough that He has engaged to give believers strength equal to their trials and services; that under the influence of the Holy Spirit they may, in one way or other, be witnesses for Christ on earth, while in heaven he manages their concerns with perfect wisdom, truth, and love. When we stand gazing and trifling, the thoughts of our Master's second coming should quicken and awaken us: when we stand gazing and trembling, they should comfort and encourage us. May our expectation of it be steadfast and joyful, giving diligence to be found of him blameless.


From the Psalter
Psalm 47
God has Gone Up with a Shout


1 Clap your hands, all you nations;
     shout to God with cries of joy.

2 For the Lord Most High is awesome,
     the great King over all the earth.
3 He subdued nations under us,
     peoples under our feet.
4 He chose our inheritance for us,
     the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.

5 God has ascended amid shouts of joy,
     the Lord amid the sounding of trumpets.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
     sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the King of all the earth;
     sing to him a psalm of praise.

8 God reigns over the nations;
     God is seated on his holy throne.
9 The nobles of the nations assemble
     as the people of the God of Abraham,
  for the kings of the earth belong to God;
     he is greatly exalted.


Commentary
The people exhorted to praise God.

Verses 1-4: The God with whom we have to do, is a God of awful majesty. The universal and absolute sovereignty of a holy God would be too terrible for us even to think of, were it not exercised by his Son from a mercy-seat; but now it is only terrible to the workers of iniquity. While his people express confidence and joy, and animate each other in serving him, let sinners submit to his authority, and accept his salvation. Jesus Christ shall subdue the Gentiles; he shall bring them as sheep into the fold, not for slaughter, but for preservation. He shall subdue their affections, and make them a willing people in the day of his power. Also it speaks of his giving them rest and settlement. Apply this spiritually; the Lord himself has undertaken to be the inheritance of his people. It shows the faith and submission of the saints. This is the language of every gracious soul, The Lord shall choose my inheritance for me; he knows what is good for me better than I do.

Verses 5-9: Praise is a duty in which we ought to be frequent and abundant. But here is a needful rule; Sing ye praises with understanding. As those that understand why and for what reasons they praise God, and what is the meaning of the service. It is not an acceptable service, if it is not a reasonable service. We are never to forget the end of Messiah's exaltation, so continually do the prophets dwell upon the conversion of the nations to the gospel of Christ. Why do we vainly fancy that we belong to him, unless the Spirit reign in our hearts by faith? Lord, is it not thy glory and delight to give repentance to Israel and remission of sins, now that thou art exalted as a Prince and a Savior? Set up thy kingdom in our hearts. Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. And so sweetly constrain all the powers and faculties of the souls of thy redeemed, into holy love, fear, and delight in thee, that praise with the understanding may rise from every heart, both here and for ever, to Thee, our God.


From the Epistles
Ephesians 1:15-23
Seeing the Risen and Ascended Christ


1:15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Commentary
The apostle thanks God for their faith and love, and prays for the continuance of their knowledge and hope, with respect to the heavenly inheritance, and to God's powerful working in them.

God has laid up spiritual blessings for us in his Son the Lord Jesus; but requires us to draw them out and fetch them in by prayer. Even the best Christians need to be prayed for: and while we hear of the welfare of Christian friends, we should pray for them. Even true believers greatly want heavenly wisdom. Are not the best of us unwilling to come under God's yoke, though there is no other way to find rest for the soul? Do we not for a little pleasure often part with our peace? And if we dispute less, and prayed more with and for each other, we should daily see more and more what is the hope of our calling, and the riches of the Divine glory in this inheritance. It is desirable to feel the mighty power of Divine grace, beginning and carrying on the work of faith in our souls. But it is difficult to bring a soul to believe fully in Christ, and to venture its all, and the hope of eternal life, upon his righteousness. Nothing less than Almighty power will work this in us. Here is signified that it is Christ the Savior, who supplies all the necessities of those who trust in him, and gives them all blessings in the richest abundance. And by being partakers of Christ himself, we come to be filled with the fullness of grace and glory in him. How then do those forget themselves who seek for righteousness out of him! This teaches us to come to Christ. And did we know what we are called to, and what we might find in him, surely we should come and be suitors to him. When feeling our weakness and the power of our enemies, we most perceive the greatness of that mighty power which effects the conversion of the believer, and is engaged to perfect his salvation. Surely this will constrain us by love to live to our Redeemer's glory.


From the Gospels
Luke 24:44-53
Christ Present in All Times and Places


24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53 And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

Commentary
Christ appears to the other disciples (vv. 36-49); His ascension (vv. 50-53).

Verses 44-49: Jesus appeared in a miraculous manner, assuring the disciples of his peace, though they had so lately forsaken him, and promising spiritual peace with every blessing. Many troublesome thoughts which disquiet our minds, rise from mistakes concerning Christ. All the troublesome thoughts which rise in our hearts at any time, are known to the Lord Jesus, and are displeasing to him. He spake with them on their unreasonable unbelief. Nothing had passed but what was foretold by the prophets, and necessary for the salvation of sinners. And now all men should be taught the nature and necessity of repentance, in order to the forgiveness of their sins. And these blessings were to be sought for, by faith in the name of Jesus. Christ by his Spirit works on the minds of men. Even good men need to have their understandings opened. But that we may have right thoughts of Christ, there needs no more than to be made to understand the Scriptures.

Verses 50-53: Christ ascended from Bethany, near the Mount of Olives. There was the garden in which his sufferings began; there he was in his agony. Those that would go to heaven, must ascend thither from the house of sufferings and sorrows. The disciples did not see him rise out of the grave; his resurrection could be proved by their seeing him alive afterwards: but they saw him ascend into heaven; they could not otherwise have a proof of his ascension. He lifted up his hands, and blessed them. He did not go away in displeasure, but in love, he left a blessing behind him. As he arose, so he ascended, by his own power. They worshiped him. This fresh display of Christ's glory drew from them fresh acknowledgments. They returned to Jerusalem with great joy. The glory of Christ is the joy of all true believers, even while they are here in this world. While waiting for God's promises, we must go forth to meet them with our praises. And nothing better prepares the mind for receiving the Holy Ghost. Fears are silenced, sorrows sweetened and allayed, and hopes kept up. And this is the ground of a Christian's boldness at the throne of grace; yea, the Father's throne is the throne of grace to us, because it is also the throne of our Mediator, Jesus Christ. Let us rely on his promises, and plead them. Let us attend his ordinances, praise and bless God for his mercies, set our affections on things above, and expect the Redeemer's return to complete our happiness. Amen. Even so, Lord Jesus, come quickly.



Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year C. Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent in 2022, we will be in Year A. The year which ended at Advent 2021 was Year B. 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.