Jesus on the witness stand.

“Martyrs don’t make the truth, the truth makes martyrs.”  People don’t die for lies.  My wife shared this with me from a book she had been reading, The Pastor’s Wife.

When I read through John 5:31-47 I thought about this.  Jesus calls several witnesses to support his claim of equality with the Father.  He calls John the Baptist, his own works, and also the Father.  The entirety of the passage is worth reading, but what I really love is Jesus’ reason for presenting his witnesses, “so that you may be saved” (v. 34).

I wish all believers would speak their words to lost people with the intent of getting them saved.  Please join me in prayer to this end.  Lord, I pray today that you would give me your heart for the lost.  Amen!

 

Tomorrow we read John 16 – Acts 6.  Read with us!

“Here am I! Send me.”

The commission of Isaiah is one of my favorite passages.  God calls out “whom sall I send, and who will go for us?” and Isaiah responds “Here am I! Send me.”

What is interesting is that before we ever get to this point we see a powerful vision of the Lord.  The Lord is high and lifted up and Isaiah realizes that he is not worthy to be in the presence of the Living God.  We should take note of the fact that it is only after Isaiah sees God in all his glory, and humbles himself before God, that he is commissioned to serve God.

God is not looking for self-sufficient preachers, but for those who humble themselves before him.  David Brainerd is a wonderful, modern example, of this.  John Piper writes “Brainerd’s life is a vivid, powerful testimony to the truth that God can and does use weak, sick, discouraged, beat-down, lonely, struggling saints, who cry to him day and night, to accomplish amazing things for his glory.”  Until you realize that your strength in ministry truly comes from the Lord you will never be commissioned by God for the ministry.  When you realize that your strength comes from God, then you will unstoppable no matter the difficulties.

Tomorrow we continue reading in Isaiah, ch 13-24.  Read with us!

 

Rejoice in the Lord! (Ps 11-30)

It has been a while since I chronicled my reading.  But, here we are, at it again today writing about the Psalms. Today the Psalms are all written by David.

There are some powerful passages in Ps 11-30, but the Psalm that stood out to me is Psalm 14.  It begins, “The Fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”  This strikes me as extremely relevant because of the growing population of godless people in our midst.  They disregard God, and it is to their own destruction.  What really gets me to thinking is the fact that this was written so long ago. All of us modern Christians like to think that it is modernity that has turned people away from God, but the fact of the matter is that it is our own evil hearts that have turned us away from God.  It was true when David wrote the Psalm, it was true when Paul quoted it in Romans, it is true today.  People have traded a good God for the lusts of the flesh.  They have traded eternity for a one night stand.  They have pushed aside righteousness to wallow in their filth.

The godless generation shames the godly.  But the Lord is his refuge (Ps 14:6).  Though we live in an increasingly godless generation God protects us, God sustains us, God will get us through.  We should rejoice knowing that God will protect and provide.

Tomorrow we read Ps 31-50.  Read with us!

Dance before the Lord, (1 Chronicles 10 – 21).

 

I have been a slacker lately and have not kept up with my blogging.  I am just glad that God is not a slacker.  He keeps his promises.  He protects his people.  He always makes a way.

Today we see that David is anointed King of Israel, 1 Chronicles 10.  We should remember, however, that David had already been anointed king of Israel, 1 Sam 15:28; 16:12.  Today is the day the anointing is consummated, the promise of God is seen completed as David receives the crown.

Upon the promise being fulfilled David leads Israel in seeking the Lord.  This is symbolized by the return of the Ark of the Covenant.  Because David loved the Lord, he desired to seek the Lord.  This is contrasted with the time of Saul when Israel “did not seek [the Ark] in the days of Saul” (1 Chron 13:4).  Upon the arrival of the Ark, David was “dancing and rejoicing” (v. 15:29).

We too, should seek the Lord, because we love the Lord.  We trust the Lord and know that he will take care of us and keep his promises.  As I reflect on my own live, realizing the times I have sinned, I thank God that it is not up to me to keep God faithful.  God is faithful because he is God.  This gives me reason to dance and rejoice before the Lord!

Today let me challenge you to let others see you rejoicing before God, because God really is that awesome!

Tomorrow we read 1 Chronicles 22 – 2 Chronicles 6.  Read with us, 12 pages a day!

Choose to follow the Lord! (1 Sam 22 – 2 Sam 3)

Jonathan is an interesting character.  Jonathan is faithful to David even when Jonathan’s father, Saul, is not.  Jonathan understands that the Lord has anointed David as king and Jonathan wants to be on the Lord’s side.

There are a couple of reasons why this really stands out.  First of all, Jonathan (or David) never fights against Saul, he waits for God’s timing and trusts in God’s provision of success.  Doing evil to destroy evil is still evil.  In our lives the same principle is true.  The other reason this stands out is because Jonathan chooses not to engage in the same evil as his father.  In some churches we hear that a child is bound to the same sin as his father.  It almost becomes an excuse for children, “I only do this because my dad/mom did this.”  It is simply not true.  Every one is responsible for his own choices in life.  Jonathan’s life demonstrates this.

You can choose to follow the Lord, you can choose to live righteously, even if your father is a madman.

Tomorrow we read 2 Samuel 4-15, read with us!

The Lord is Faithful! (Ruth – 1 Samuel 9)

The constant refrain in Judges was that, “in those days there was not king.”  Of course there was a King, God, but the people wanted an earthly king like all the nations around them.  So, God gives them one.  Sometimes God gives us what we want, even when it is not immediately good for us, but he always works it out for the best in the long run.  Through Ruth, God provides redemption to a people that do not deserve it.

This is how it was with Israel and their kings.  Ruth plays an important role in this.  God uses the Moabite woman (Ruth) to provide King David for Israel, and ultimately Christ for the World.  God is a loving God.  He is faithful.  Even though the Israelite people did not trust him he still kept his promise to Abraham.

Today you can remember that God is faithful even if you have messed up.  Romans 8:28, 1 John 1:8-10.

Tomorrow we read 1 Samuel 10-21.

Pass the torch (Deut 31 – Joshua 9)

Today we see that Moses passes the torch to Joshua and Joshua does great things under the leadership of God.  There are so many fantastic examples of God working in the first 9 chapters of Joshua, but that is not where I want to go today.  Today I want to notice how Moses spent time with Joshua to prepare Joshua to continue in his place.

Maybe it is better to understand it this way, Moses was not building a legacy for Moses, he was building a legacy for God.  God was first in his life and that love for God and God’s mission.  Moses imparted this to Joshua.  Deuteronomy 31:7 – 8 records it like this: “Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land that the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall put them in possession of it. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”

When we begin to understand that our purpose is to build God’s kingdom it helps us pass the work on to another person.  But understand, it must be intentional.  We must intentionally spend time with the next generation so that they may continue the Lord’s work.  Be intentional today, spend time equipping a younger brother or sister in the Lord.

Tomorrow we read Joshua 10-21.  Read with us!