Tuesday, May 3, 2022

The Daily Bible Readings for Tuesday, May 3, 2022

 

The Daily Bible Readings
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
Psalm 121; Ezekiel 1:26—2:1; Acts 26:1-18
with commentaries from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

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

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
joyful … patient … faithful.
The three commands are related: focusing on the certain hope for glory that we have in Christ enables us to handle affliction with patience, and prayer taps into this distinctly countercultural mindset (1 Thess 5:16–18).

Today’s Lectionary Readings:
From the Psalter
Psalm 121
God Will Preserve Your Life


1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
     where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
     the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
     he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
     will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
     the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
     nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
     he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
     both now and forevermore.


Commentary
The safety of the godly.

We must not rely upon men and means, instruments and second causes. Shall I depend upon the strength of the hills? upon princes and great men? No; my confidence is in God only. Or, we must lift up our eyes above the hills; we must look to God who makes all earthly things to us what they are. We must see all our help in God; from him we must expect it, in his own way and time. This psalm teaches us to comfort ourselves in the Lord, when difficulties and dangers are greatest. It is almighty wisdom that contrives, and almighty power that works the safety of those that put themselves under God's protection. He is a wakeful, watchful Keeper; he is never weary; he not only does not sleep, but he does not so much as slumber. Under this shade they may sit with delight and assurance. He is always near his people for their protection and refreshment. The right hand is the working hand; let them but turn to their duty, and they shall find God ready to give them success. He will take care that his people shall not fall. Thou shalt not be hurt, neither by the open assaults, nor by the secret attempts of thine enemies. The Lord shall prevent the evil thou fearest, and sanctify, remove, or lighten the evil thou feelest. He will preserve the soul, that it be not defiled by sin, and disturbed by affliction; he will preserve it from perishing eternally. He will keep thee in life and death; going out to thy labour in the morning of thy days, and coming home to thy rest when the evening of old age calls thee in. It is a protection for life. The Spirit, who is their Preserver and Comforter, shall abide with them for ever. Let us be found in our work, assured that the blessings promised in this psalm are ours.


From the Prophetic Books of Major Prophets
Ezekiel 1:26—2:1
Ezekiel’s Vision of God’s Glory


1:26 Above the vault over their heads was what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli, and high above on the throne was a figure like that of a man. 27 I saw that from what appeared to be his waist up he looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire, and that from there down he looked like fire; and brilliant light surrounded him. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him.

This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. When I saw it, I fell facedown, and I heard the voice of one speaking.

2:1 He said to me, “Son of man, stand up on your feet and I will speak to you.”

Commentary
A revelation of the Son of man upon his heavenly throne.

The eternal Son, the second Person in the Trinity, who afterwards took the human nature, is here denoted. The first thing observed was a throne. It is a throne of glory, a throne of grace, a throne of triumph, a throne of government, a throne of judgment. It is good news to men, that the throne above the firmament is filled with One who appears, even there, in the likeness of a man. The throne is surrounded with a rainbow, the well-known emblem of the covenant, representing God's mercy and covenanted love to his people. The fire of God's wrath was breaking out against Jerusalem, but bounds should be set to it; he would look upon the bow, and remember the covenant. All the prophet saw was only to prepare him for what he was to hear. When he fell on his face, he heard the voice of One that spake. God delights to teach the humble. Let sinners, then, humble themselves before him. And let believers think upon his glory, that they may be gradually changed into his image by the Spirit of the Lord.


From the Acts of the Apostles
Acts 26:1-18
Paul Preaches Before Agrippa


26:1 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You have permission to speak for yourself.”

So Paul motioned with his hand and began his defense:
2 “King Agrippa, I consider myself fortunate to stand before you today as I make my defense against all the accusations of the Jews, 3 and especially so because you are well acquainted with all the Jewish customs and controversies. Therefore, I beg you to listen to me patiently.

4 “The Jewish people all know the way I have lived ever since I was a child, from the beginning of my life in my own country, and also in Jerusalem. 5 They have known me for a long time and can testify, if they are willing, that I conformed to the strictest sect of our religion, living as a Pharisee. 6 And now it is because of my hope in what God has promised our ancestors that I am on trial today. 7 This is the promise our twelve tribes are hoping to see fulfilled as they earnestly serve God day and night. King Agrippa, it is because of this hope that these Jews are accusing me. 8 Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?

9 “I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is just what I did in Jerusalem. On the authority of the chief priests I put many of the Lord’s people in prison, and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them. 11 Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.

12 “On one of these journeys I was going to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 About noon, King Agrippa, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions. 14 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

15 “Then I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’

“ ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied.
16 ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me. 17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’

Commentary
Paul's defence before Agrippa (vv. 1-11); His conversion and preaching to the Gentiles (vv. 12-18).

Verses 1-11: Christianity teaches us to give a reason of the hope that is in us, and also to give honor to whom honor is due, without flattery or fear of man. Agrippa was well versed in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, therefore could the better judge as to the controversy about Jesus being the Messiah. Surely ministers may expect, when they preach the faith of Christ, to be heard patiently. Paul professes that he still kept to all the good in which he was first educated and trained up. See here what his religion was. He was a moralist, a man of virtue, and had not learned the arts of the crafty, covetous Pharisees; he was not chargeable with any open vice and profaneness. He was sound in the faith. He always had a holy regard for the ancient promise made of God unto the fathers, and built his hope upon it. The apostle knew very well that all this would not justify him before God, yet he knew it was for his reputation among the Jews, and an argument that he was not such a man as they represented him to be. Though he counted this but loss, that he might win Christ, yet he mentioned it when it might serve to honor Christ. See here what Paul's religion is; he has not such zeal for the ceremonial law as he had in his youth; the sacrifices and offerings appointed by that, are done away by the great Sacrifice which they typified. Of the ceremonial cleansings he makes no conscience, and thinks the Levitical priesthood is done away in the priesthood of Christ; but, as to the main principles of his religion, he is as zealous as ever. Christ and heaven, are the two great doctrines of the gospel; that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. These are the matter of the promise made unto the fathers. The temple service, or continual course of religious duties, day and night, was kept up as the profession of faith in the promise of eternal life, and in expectation of it. The prospect of eternal life should engage us to be diligent and steadfast in all religious exercises. Yet the Sadducees hated Paul for preaching the resurrection; and the other Jews joined them, because he testified that Jesus was risen, and was the promised Redeemer of Israel. Many things are thought to be beyond belief, only because the infinite nature and perfections of Him that has revealed, performed, or promised them, are overlooked. Paul acknowledged, that while he continued a Pharisee, he was a bitter enemy to Christianity. This was his character and manner of life in the beginning of his time; and there was every thing to hinder his being a Christian. Those who have been most strict in their conduct before conversion, will afterwards see abundant reason for humbling themselves, even on account of things which they then thought ought to have been done.

Verses 12-18: Paul was made a Christian by Divine power; by a revelation of Christ both to him and in him; when in the full career of his sin. He was made a minister by Divine authority: the same Jesus who appeared to him in that glorious light, ordered him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. A world that sits in darkness must be enlightened; those must be brought to know the things that belong to their everlasting peace, who are yet ignorant of them. A world that lies in wickedness must be sanctified and reformed; it is not enough for them to have their eyes opened, they must have their hearts renewed; not enough to be turned from darkness to light, but they must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. All who are turned from sin to God, are not only pardoned, but have a grant of a rich inheritance. The forgiveness of sins makes way for this. None can be happy who are not holy; and to be saints in heaven we must be first saints on earth. We are made holy, and saved by faith in Christ; by which we rely upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, and give up ourselves to him as the Lord our Ruler; by this we receive the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life.



Today’s Lectionary Readings are selected from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, a three-year cyclical lectionary. We are currently in Year 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 Tuesday, May 3, 2022

 

The Morning Prayer
Tuesday, May 3, 2022


But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.
1 Peter 2:20-21, NIV


Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that the Savior has been with us on the earth and that in our day we can still follow him and wait for your will and your rulership. For you are Almighty God, and your kingdom must come, your will must be done, and all promises be fulfilled. Carry out your will, we ask and beseech you. Establish your kingdom among all nations, even if today this is possible with only a few. For through your working, hearts can change so that your name may be praised and all promises may be fulfilled. Thanks be to you for allowing us to live in such great hope. Stay by us in our work on earth so that it may be done in your service. In every situation deepen our longing for the Savior to come and establish your kingdom. Be with us during the night and bless us in your great goodness and faithfulness. Amen.

Verse of the Day for Tuesday, May 3, 2022

 

Verse of the Day
Tuesday, May 3, 2022


Romans 12:12
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
joyful … patient … faithful.
The three commands are related: focusing on the certain hope for glory that we have in Christ enables us to handle affliction with patience, and prayer taps into this distinctly countercultural mindset (1 Thess 5:16–18).

Read the Full Chapter



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

Our Daily Bread — Longing for a Home

 

Longing for a Home

Pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

READ Psalm 62:1–8



Anne, the lead character in the Anne of Green Gables stories, longed for a family. Orphaned, she had lost hope of ever finding a place to call home. But then she learned that an older man named Matthew and his sister Marilla would take her in. On the buggy ride to their home, Anne apologized for chattering on and on, but Matthew, a quiet man, said, “You can talk as much as you like. I don’t mind.” This was music to Anne’s ears. She felt no one had ever wanted her around, much less wanted to hear her chatter. After arriving, her hopes were dashed when she learned the siblings had thought they were getting a boy to help as a farmhand. She feared being returned, but Anne’s longing for a loving home was met when they made her a part of their family.

We’ve all had times when we felt unwanted or alone. But when we become a part of God’s family through salvation in Jesus, He becomes for us a secure home (Psalm 62:2). He delights in us and invites us to talk with Him about everything: our worries, temptations, sorrows, and hopes. The psalmist tells us we can “find rest in God” and “pour out [our] hearts to him” (vv. 5, 8).

Don’t hesitate. Talk to God as much as you like. He won’t mind. He delights in our hearts. In Him you’ll find a home.

By Anne Cetas
REFLECT & PRAY


What circumstances have caused you to make God your home? What do you want to talk to Him about?

Help me, God, not to hold back in talking with You when I’ve got something on my heart. Thank You for Your listening ear.

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT

David uses four different words in Psalm 62 to describe God’s protective power: rock, salvation, fortress, and refuge. While these words all evoke the idea of defense and deliverance, their specific meanings create a much fuller picture. The main meaning of the Hebrew word tsur, translated “rock,” is that of a rocky wall or cliff, a place that’s difficult to access. The word for salvation is yeshuah. Jesus (Iēsous in Greek, Yeshua in Hebrew) means “the Lord is salvation” (see Matthew 1:21). While yeshuah is most often translated “salvation,” it can also be translated “deliverance,” which makes God the one who brings us out of threats, which, for the psalmist, were both physical and spiritual. “Fortress” translates the word misgav and refers to a place of retreat; God offers us a safe place when trouble threatens. Finally, machseh is translated “refuge” and refers to a place of hope and trust.

Learn more about reading the Psalms.

J.R. Hudberg