Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Thursday, March 24, 2022

Joshua Leads the People Across the Jordan

The Daily Bible Readings
Thursday, March 24, 2022
Psalm 32; Joshua 4:1-13; 2 Corinthians 4:16—5:5
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Introduction & Summary

Be Glad You Righteous (Psalm 32)
Joshua Leads the People Across the Jordan (Joshua 4:1-13)
Paul Comforts with a Promise of Glory (2 Corinthians 4:16—5:5)

In today’s lectionary readings, our psalm is a psalm of repentance, but it is also the song of a ransomed soul rejoicing in the wonders of the grace of God. Sin is dealt with; sorrow is comforted; ignorance is instructed. In our psalm, David wants to lead us along as he ponders and meditates on and reflects upon the forgiveness of our sins.

In our reading in the book of Joshua, twelve stones from the Jordan are set up at Gilgal as a remembrance for the miraculous crossing of the Jordan. Joshua also sets up twelve stones within the Jordan itself.

In our reading in Second Corinthians, Paul notes that his outer self is wasting away. Paul knows his path—his work of carrying the gospel—is killing him physically. He is wasting away on the outside. He refuses to quit, though, because he is being made new every day inwardly. No matter how challenging the circumstances of this life are, the glory of eternity far outweighs and outlasts anything that can happen to us now. Paul’s confidence is in unseen things that will never end, not in the visible things of this life that will quickly be gone. Paul calls our temporary bodies “tents.” They are not meant to last forever, and while we live in them, we groan in longing for our permanent home with God and eternal, unburdened bodies. For believers in Jesus, Paul describes death as that which is mortal being swallowed up by life. God has prepared immortal bodies for all who are in Christ and has given them the Holy Spirit to guarantee what we will receive when this life is done.

In our verse of the day, Paul says, “the wages of sin is death.” The verse does not speak of physical death but contrasts spiritual death with eternal life. The person who does not place their faith in Jesus Christ will receive the wages of sin.

Today’s Verse of the Day:
Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our sin has earned us death. Either you pay it and forfeit your life, or Jesus pays it and gives you eternal life (Matt. 16:25, 26)—you make the choice. All of our good works cannot earn us a place in heaven. Our only hope is to receive the free gift that Jesus Christ has purchased for us on the Cross (John 3:16–18).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 32
Be Glad You Righteous

1 Blessed is the one
     whose transgressions are forgiven,
     whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
     whose sin the Lord does not count against them
     and in whose spirit is no deceit.

3 When I kept silent,
     my bones wasted away
     through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
     your hand was heavy on me;
  my strength was sapped
     as in the heat of summer.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
     and did not cover up my iniquity.
  I said, “I will confess
     my transgressions to the Lord.”
  And you forgave
     the guilt of my sin.

6 Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
     while you may be found;
  surely the rising of the mighty waters
     will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
     you will protect me from trouble
     and surround me with songs of deliverance.

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
     I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
     which have no understanding
  but must be controlled by bit and bridle
     or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
      but the Lord’s unfailing love
      surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
      sing, all you who are upright in heart!


The happiness of a pardoned sinner (vv. 1,2); The misery that went before, and the comfort that followed the confession of sins (vv. 3-7); Sinners instructed, believers encouraged (vv. 8-11).

Verses 1,2: Sin is the cause of our misery; but the true believer's transgressions of the Divine law are all forgiven, being covered with the atonement. Christ bare his sins, therefore they are not imputed to him. The righteousness of Christ being reckoned to us, and we being made the righteousness of God in him, our iniquity is not imputed, God having laid upon him the iniquity of us all, and made him a sin-offering for us. Not to impute sin, is God's act, for he is the Judge. It is God that justifies. Notice the character of him whose sins are pardoned; he is sincere, and seeks sanctification by the power of the Holy Ghost. He does not profess to repent, with an intention to indulge in sin, because the Lord is ready to forgive. He will not abuse the doctrine of free grace. And to the man whose iniquity is forgiven, all manner of blessings are promised.

Verses 3-7: It is very difficult to bring sinful man humbly to accept free mercy, with a full confession of his sins and self-condemnation. But the true and only way to peace of conscience, is, to confess our sins, that they may be forgiven; to declare them that we may be justified. Although repentance and confession do not merit the pardon of transgression, they are needful to the real enjoyment of forgiving mercy. And what tongue can tell the happiness of that hour, when the soul, oppressed by sin, is enabled freely to pour forth its sorrows before God, and to take hold of his covenanted mercy in Christ Jesus! Those that would speed in prayer, must seek the Lord, when, by his providence, he calls them to seek him, and, by his Spirit, stirs them up to seek him. In a time of finding, when the heart is softened with grief, and burdened with guilt; when all human refuge fails; when no rest can be found to the troubled mind, then it is that God applies the healing balm by his Spirit.

Verses 8-11: God teaches by his word, and guides with the secret intimations of his will. David gives a word of caution to sinners. The reason for this caution is, that the way of sin will certainly end in sorrow. Here is a word of comfort to saints. They may see that a life of communion with God is far the most pleasant and comfortable. Let us rejoice, O Lord Jesus, in thee, and in thy salvation; so shall we rejoice indeed.

From the Historical Books
Joshua 4:1-13
Joshua Leads the People Across the Jordan

4:1 When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, 2 “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, 3 and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”

4 So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5 and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6 to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7 tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

8 So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9 Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

10 Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11 and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. 12 The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, ready for battle, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. 13 About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.


Stones taken out of Jordan (vv. 1-9); The people pass through Jordan (vv. 10-13).

Verses 1-9: The works of the Lord are so worthy of rememberance, and the heart of man is so prone to forget them, that various methods are needful to refresh our memories, for the glory of God, our advantage, and that of our children. God gave orders for preparing this memorial.

Verses 10-13: The priests with the ark did not stir till ordered to move. Let none be weary of waiting, while they have the tokens of God's presence with them, even the ark of the covenant, though it be in the depths of adversity.

From the Epistles
2 Corinthians 4:16—5:5
Paul Comforts with a Promise of Glory

4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

5:1 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. 2 Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, 3 because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. 4 For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.


Prospects of eternal glory keep believers from fainting under troubles (vv. 13-18); The apostle's hope and desire of heavenly glory (vv. 5:1-5).

Verses 4:13-18: The grace of faith is an effectual remedy against fainting in times of trouble. They knew that Christ was raised, and that his resurrection was an earnest and assurance of theirs. The hope of this resurrection will encourage in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death. Also, their sufferings were for the advantage of the church, and to God's glory. The sufferings of Christ's ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation, are for the good of the church and the glory of God. The prospect of eternal life and happiness was their support and comfort. What sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. The weight of all temporal afflictions was lightness itself, while the glory to come was a substance, weighty, and lasting beyond description. If the apostle could call his heavy and long-continued trials light, and but for a moment, what must our trifling difficulties be! Faith enables to make this right judgment of things. There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. And there is this vast difference between them; unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. Let us then look off from the things which are seen; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure.

Verses 5:1-5: The believer not only is well assured by faith that there is another and a happy life after this is ended, but he has good hope, through grace, of heaven as a dwelling-place, a resting-place, a hiding-place. In our Father's house there are many mansions, whose Builder and Maker is God. The happiness of the future state is what God has prepared for those that love him: everlasting habitations, not like the earthly tabernacles, the poor cottages of clay, in which our souls now dwell; that are moldering and decaying, whose foundations are in the dust. The body of flesh is a heavy burden, the calamities of life are a heavy load. But believers groan, being burdened with a body of sin, and because of the many corruptions remaining and raging within them. Death will strip us of the clothing of flesh, and all the comforts of life, as well as end all our troubles here below. But believing souls shall be clothed with garments of praise, with robes of righteousness and glory.

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. 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 Lenten Prayer for Thursday, March 24, 2022


40 Days of Lenten Prayers
Day 20 — Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Loving God, I hear your invitation, "Come back to me" and I am filled with such a longing to return to you. Show me the way to return.

Lead me this day in good works I do in your name and send your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith. I ask only to feel your love in my life today. Amen.

The Morning Prayer for Thursday, March 24, 2022


The Morning Prayer
Thursday, March 24, 2022

For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.
Habakkuk 2:3, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, in quietness we come to you and ask you for your Spirit. We ask this especially for the time of waiting still required of us as we hope and strive for light to come into all hearts, for light to shine where there is so much death. We must not despair of our inner life even when life around us rages as if it would suck us down into its whirlpool with no way out. But you will guard us. Watch over us, we pray, also in hours of temptation, so that we may remain under your care. Watch over us so that we have hope and joy in you, assured that your goal for us all is true life from above, a life of resurrection. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Thursday, March 24, 2022


Verse of the Day
Thursday, March 24, 2022

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Our sin has earned us death. Either you pay it and forfeit your life, or Jesus pays it and gives you eternal life (Matt. 16:25, 26)—you make the choice. All of our good works cannot earn us a place in heaven. Our only hope is to receive the free gift that Jesus Christ has purchased for us on the Cross (John 3:16–18).

Read the Full Chapter

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

Our Daily Bread — And Seven Others


And Seven Others

Believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. James 2:1

READ James 2:1–4

Tragedy struck near Los Angeles in January 2020 when nine people died in a helicopter crash. Most news stories began something like this, “NBA superstar Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna (“Gigi”), and seven others lost their lives in the accident.”

It’s natural and understandable to focus on the well-known people involved in a horrible situation like this—and the deaths of Kobe and his precious teenager Gigi are heartbreaking beyond description. But we must keep in mind that in life’s big picture there’s no dividing line that makes the “seven others” (Payton, Sarah, Christina, Alyssa, John, Keri, and Ara) any less significant.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that each human is important in God’s eyes. Society shines bright lights on the rich and famous. Yet fame doesn’t make a person any more important than your next-door neighbor, the noisy kids who play in your street, the down-on-his-luck guy at the city mission, or you.

Every person on earth is created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), whether rich or poor (Proverbs 22:2). No one is favored more than another in His eyes (Romans 2:11), and each is in need of a Savior (3:23).

We glorify our great God when we refuse to show favoritism—whether in the church (James 2:1–4) or in society at large.

By Dave Branon

What can you do to show love for all mankind—rich or poor, famous or obscure? How did Jesus reveal this kind of love?

Heavenly Father, help me to show love and kindness to all, regardless of their station in life.


When James accuses believers who show favoritism of being “judges with evil thoughts” (2:4), he’s likely alluding to the common tendency for courts to favor the rich. Judges were of higher social status and often didn’t hold persons of lower economic class in high esteem. Legal preference for the rich was even often written into the laws. Biblical law condemned such preferential treatment (Leviticus 19:15), however, and even Greek philosophers called out bias against the poor as immoral. But James pointed to the common tendency of people to instinctively show favoritism toward persons of elevated social status, perhaps out of a desire to benefit from their wealth. He suggested that trying to curry favor with the wealthy and powerful makes people no better than blatantly biased judges. Instead, he called believers to align with God’s high regard for society’s poor and marginalized (James 2:5).