-Tuesday, 3/10/20 Revelation 3:19, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. It’s clear: love is demonstrated by rebukes and punishment. But, more often than not, I’m far more zealous to defend myself than to admit error and repent. You?
Let’s love truth more than we do ourselves. Proverbs 3:1, My son, forget not my law; but LET thine heart keep my commandments. The word “let” mystifies me. Because of our sinful nature, I would think none of my flesh would want to keep them, but there must be a conflict between the new man and the old nature. So...who wins? Well, the one we assist the most: feed the spirit; discipline and “buffet” the body; apologize for and confess sin; worship God and deepen the relationship with Him. Again, the Christian life isn’t complex, but it IS hard.
- Wednesday, 3/11/20 Jonah 4:10, Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night. Jonah was more concerned with his comfort than 120,000 kids; more for a gourd than the Gospel. But we do that too: we’re more concerned with retirement, security, pleasure than soul winning and the mission fields. Lord have mercy. Psalm 73:2, But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. This verse was caused by the following verse, v3: For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. Far too often we fall and blame the ice...but we could’ve walked a different path. Maybe we can’t avoid our sin, but we can avoid our temptation. In what area are you being overconfident? (Or, may I just bluntly say, being stupid?)
- Thursday, 3/12/20 Jonah 2:1, Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish's belly... God didn’t make Jonah go to Nineveh against his will, but He made him willing to go. Are you REALLY daring God to force the issue with you over “THAT thing”? I’m not going on a cruise with you... Red reset button time!! Psalm 73:26, My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. If we are honest, we must acknowledge that ALL our failures are our fault and ALL are successes are because of Him. For what are you deflecting the blame that is truly your doing, and for what are you accepting the glory when you should give it to Him or others?
- Friday, 3/13/20 Psalm 72:1, Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king's son. The king still recognized that he needed God. Beware of independence when you’ve gotten good at something. It’s still 100% true that “without me ye can do nothing.” Ezra 7:10, For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments, (& God’s hand was on him.) How did Ezra do this? Psalm 100:1-4, Make a joyful noise ...come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves... Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Blunt honesty time: how much and how fervently do you sing at church? Do you think about the words or just mouth them mindlessly? Do you allow them to penetrate your heart? When was the last time you wept during the singing? If the songs are “blah and boring” then first check your heart, and then maybe talk to your Pastor about a different selection. Ultimately, maybe you need to change churches to find one that helps you seek the Law more fervently.
- Saturday, 3/14/20 1 Corinthians 6:6, But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. Are we more concerned with “our rights” or God’s family? With so-called “justice” or His reputation? Divorce is wrong; going to court with a brother over money is wrong; needing a secular referee is wrong. It’s planting season...would you like some Miracle Gro for your heart and spirit? Some super-duper fertilizer to jump start you? I challenge you to write these verses down and recite and meditate on them until your hard soil is softened. Jonah 4:2b, ...for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil. When it starts to soften, go to Psalm 103:8-10, The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. That’ll wake up the soil in your heart and allow the Lord to get a crop this year!!
- Sunday, 3/15/20 Matthew 18:12, How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? Ouch!! On whom do we spend more time, prayer, and resources: on the faithful, “good folks” in our SS classes/church or on those who’re straying? Proverbs 11:25, The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. We’re to have fat souls. I believe that most Christians, spiritually, look like concentration camp victims because of their lack of Bible intake and because of their lack of Bible practice. We’re to consume the Word, internalize and personalize It, and then live it.
- Monday, 3/16/20 Proverbs 9:17, [The foolish woman] saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. Lies the enemy tells us before we sin: 1) YOU won’t get caught. 2) There will be no consequences. 3) YOU won’t feel guilty. 4) YOU won’t get hooked like others. Psalm 138:2, I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth. David was balanced. He acknowledged that God loved him and was good to him, but he also was aware of the “harsher” side of God: the side with rules and demands and expectations. Oft times today, we’ve been overemphasizing the “sweeter” side of God and thus, giving ourselves permission to live like the Devil. Yes, He’s kind and forgiving and patient, but He is a Lord (boss) Who demands production from His employees and a Dad Who expects obedience from His children and that they uphold the family name.
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