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.

Read the Full Chapter



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.

The Morning Prayer for Thursday, May 26, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Thursday, May 26, 2022


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:3, NIV


Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for wanting to give us happiness and for holding our earthly life firmly in your hands. May we have the confidence that we are in your hands. Grant us the light of faith. Let this light of faith guide us in material things and help us to wait in patience until the doors open for us to pass through according to your pleasure. So bless us all. Bless our life. May we grow joyful and free of heart through all that Jesus Christ gives. On the foundation he establishes for us may your divine working, your fatherly love, lift and support us throughout our lives. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Thursday, May 26, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Thursday, May 26, 2022


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).

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Wednesday, May 25, 2022

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Psalm 93; 2 Chronicles 34:20-33; Luke 2:25-38
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse of the Day:
James 1:19

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…
Though the Christian community places high regard on the talent of eloquent speech, James places the accent on listening. It is the person who listens intently to the Word of truth who progresses in godliness.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 93
God Reigns Above the Floods


1 The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
     the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
     indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
2 Your throne was established long ago;
     you are from all eternity.

3 The seas have lifted up, Lord,
     the seas have lifted up their voice;
     the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
     mightier than the breakers of the sea—
     the Lord on high is mighty.

5 Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
     holiness adorns your house
     for endless days.


Commentary
The majesty, power, and holiness of Christ's kingdom.

The Lord might have displayed only his justice, holiness, and awful power, in his dealings with fallen men; but he has been pleased to display the riches of his mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. In this great work, the Father has given all power to his Son, the Lord from heaven, who has made atonement for our sins. He not only can pardon, but deliver and protect all who trust in him. His word is past, and all the saints may rely upon it. Whatever was foretold concerning the kingdom of the Messiah, must be fulfilled in due time. All his people ought to be very strictly pure. God's church is his house; it is a holy house, cleansed from sin, and employed in his service. Where there is purity, there shall be peace. Let all carefully look if this kingdom is set up in their hearts.


From the Historical Books
2 Chronicles 34:20-33
Josiah Consults the Prophet Huldah


34:20 He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 21 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the Lord; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.”

22 Hilkiah and those the king had sent with him went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

23 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people—all the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all that their hands have made, my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.’ 26 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 27 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord. 28 Now I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.’”

So they took her answer back to the king.

29 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 He went up to the temple of the Lord with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the Lord. 31 The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the Lord—to follow the Lord and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.

32 Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.

33 Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the Lord their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the Lord, the God of their ancestors.

Commentary
Josiah's good reign in Judah.

As the years of infancy cannot be useful to our fellow-creatures, our earliest youth should be dedicated to God, that we may not waste any of the remaining short space of life. Happy and wise are those who seek the Lord and prepare for usefulness at an early age, when others are pursuing sinful pleasures, contracting bad habits, and forming ruinous connections. Who can express the anguish prevented by early piety, and its blessed effects? Diligent self-examination and watchfulness will convince us of the deceitfulness and wickedness of our own hearts, and the sinfulness of our lives. We are here encouraged to humble ourselves before God, and to seek unto him, as Josiah did. And believers are here taught, not to fear death, but to welcome it, when it takes them away from the evil to come. Nothing hastens the ruin of a people, nor ripens them for it, more than their disregard of the attempts made for their reformation. Be not deceived, God is not mocked. The current and tide of affections only turns at the command of Him who raises up those that are dead in trespasses and sins. We behold peculiar loveliness, in the grace the Lord bestows on those, who in tender years seek to know and to love the Savior. Hath Jesus, the Day-spring from on high, visited you? Can you trace your knowledge of this light and life of man, like Josiah, from your youth? Oh the unspeakable happiness of becoming acquainted with Jesus from our earliest years!


From the Gospels
Luke 2:25-38
The Spirit of God on Simeon and Anna


2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
      you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31    which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
      and the glory of your people Israel.”
33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

Commentary
Simeon prophesies concerning Jesus (vv. 25-35); Anna prophesies concerning him (vv. 36-38).

Verses 25-35: The same Spirit that provided for the support of Simeon's hope, provided for his joy. Those who would see Christ must go to his temple. Here is a confession of his faith, that this Child in his arms was the Savior, the salvation itself, the salvation of God's appointing. He bids farewell to this world. How poor does this world look to one that has Christ in his arms, and salvation in his view! See here, how comfortable is the death of a good man; he departs in peace with God, peace with his own conscience, in peace with death. Those that have welcomed Christ, may welcome death. Joseph and Mary marveled at the things which were spoken of this Child. Simeon shows them likewise, what reason they had to rejoice with trembling. And Jesus, his doctrine, and people, are still spoken against; his truth and holiness are still denied and blasphemed; his preached word is still the touchstone of men's characters. The secret good affections in the minds of some, will be revealed by their embracing Christ; the secret corruptions of others will be revealed by their enmity to Christ. Men will be judged by the thoughts of their hearts concerning Christ. He shall be a suffering Jesus; his mother shall suffer with him, because of the nearness of her relation and affection.

Verses 36-38: There was much evil then in the church, yet God left not himself without witness. Anna always dwelt in, or at least attended at, the temple. She was always in a praying spirit; gave herself to prayer, and in all things she served God. Those to whom Christ is made known, have great reason to thank the Lord. She taught others concerning him. Let the example of the venerable saints, Simeon and Anna, give courage to those whose hoary heads are, like theirs, a crown of glory, being found in the way of righteousness. The lips soon to be silent in the grave, should be showing forth the praises of the Redeemer. In all things it became Christ to be made like unto his brethren, therefore he passed through infancy and childhood as other children, yet without sin, and with manifest proofs of the Divine nature in him. By the Spirit of God all his faculties performed their offices in a manner not seen in any one else. Other children have foolishness bound in their hearts, which appears in what they say or do, but he was filled with wisdom, by the influence of the Holy Ghost; every thing he said and did, was wisely said and wisely done, above his years. Other children show the corruption of their nature; nothing but the grace of God was upon him.



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 Wednesday, May 25, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Wednesday, May 25, 2022


God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
1 Corinthians 1:9, NIV


Lord our God, we stand before you and rejoice that we may have fellowship with you through the Lord Jesus Christ. Grant us the light of your Spirit. Grant our hearts strength for life. Open for us the paths of life, that we may find joy and hope in spite of all the suffering we must go through on earth. Let all humankind be entrusted to your care. Rule over them with your power, whether they are aware of it or not, and take world history into your hands so that all people may receive your mercy. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Wednesday, May 25, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Wednesday, May 25, 2022


James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.
Though the Christian community places high regard on the talent of eloquent speech, James places the accent on listening. It is the person who listens intently to the Word of truth who progresses in godliness.

Read the Full Chapter



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

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, May 24, 2022

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Psalm 93; 2 Chronicles 15:1-15; Revelation 21:15-22
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Romans 12:10
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
In the Greco-Roman world, giving honor to others was done according to status. Believers were to honor others, even those of lower status, above themselves—a radical teaching. Only a mind renewed by the Holy Spirit could possibly do this.

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 93
God Reigns Above the Floods


1 The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
     the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
     indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
2 Your throne was established long ago;
     you are from all eternity.

3 The seas have lifted up, Lord,
     the seas have lifted up their voice;
     the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
4 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
     mightier than the breakers of the sea—
     the Lord on high is mighty.

5 Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
     holiness adorns your house
     for endless days.


Commentary
The majesty, power, and holiness of Christ's kingdom.

The Lord might have displayed only his justice, holiness, and awful power, in his dealings with fallen men; but he has been pleased to display the riches of his mercy, and the power of his renewing grace. In this great work, the Father has given all power to his Son, the Lord from heaven, who has made atonement for our sins. He not only can pardon, but deliver and protect all who trust in him. His word is past, and all the saints may rely upon it. Whatever was foretold concerning the kingdom of the Messiah, must be fulfilled in due time. All his people ought to be very strictly pure. God's church is his house; it is a holy house, cleansed from sin, and employed in his service. Where there is purity, there shall be peace. Let all carefully look if this kingdom is set up in their hearts.


From the Historical Books
2 Chronicles 15:1-15
The Spirit of God on Azariah


15:1 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the portico of the Lord’s temple.

9 Then he assembled all Judah and Benjamin and the people from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who had settled among them, for large numbers had come over to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.

10 They assembled at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign. 11 At that time they sacrificed to the Lord seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep and goats from the plunder they had brought back. 12 They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul. 13 All who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman. 14 They took an oath to the Lord with loud acclamation, with shouting and with trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced about the oath because they had sworn it wholeheartedly. They sought God eagerly, and he was found by them. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.

Commentary
The people make a solemn covenant with God.

The work of complete reformation appeared so difficult, that Asa had not courage to attempt it, till assured of Divine assistance and acceptance. He and his people offered sacrifices to God; thanksgiving for the favors they had received, and supplication for further favors. Prayers and praises are now our spiritual sacrifices. The people, of their own will, covenanted to seek the Lord, each for himself, with earnestness. What is religion but seeking God, inquiring after him, applying to him upon all occasions? We make nothing of our religion, if we do not make heart-work of it; God will have all the heart, or none. Our devoutness to God our Savior, should be avowed and shown in the most solemn and public manner. What is done in hypocrisy is a mere drudgery.


From the Apocalypse of John
Revelation 21:15-22
Vision of the Holy City


21:15 The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its walls. 16 The city was laid out like a square, as long as it was wide. He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. 17 The angel measured the wall using human measurement, and it was 144 cubits thick. 18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst. 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

Commentary
A new heaven, and new earth: the new Jerusalem where God dwells, and banishes all sorrow from his people (vv. 5-8); Its heavenly origin, glory, and secure defense (vv. 9-21).

The street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass. The saints in heaven tread gold under foot. The saints are there at rest, yet it is not a state of sleep and idleness; they have communion, not only with God, but with one another. All these glories but faintly represent heaven.



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.