Thursday, November 30, 2017

Inside Knowledge

For He knew what was in man.” John 2:25
What is hidden from God? Nothing! And still we live our lives as if we can and do successfully hide things from Him. If we really think about how thoroughly Jesus knows us, we begin to realize the depth of our human depravity. We don’t like to think about that and so we falsely assume that we can hide things from God. We can’t. But that truth is related to man and God’s law. We break it and break it and we try to hide it from Jesus like Adam and Eve did in the Garden. That is our depravity.
But thanks be to God, there is more. There is the Gospel. Jesus Christ has died on the cross because of what is in man. He died for our sins, which in even the best of men, are too many for anyone to come on their own into the presence of God. Jesus knew what was in man and He knew the need that created. We have need of a Savior, and He willingly gave Himself to be that for us. We can come to Him for forgiveness of what is wrong in us each day. He knew what was in us but He loved us and died for us anyway. Thanks be to God.
Dear Father, Thank You that You have provided not only the law to expose our sins, but also the Gospel to give us forgiveness and hope. Amen.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Miracle of Duty

Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the waterpots with water,’ and they filled them.” John 2:7
Filling the waterpots was the daily duty of servants. They had done it many times before and would do it many times afterward. What made this time different? This time Jesus told them to do it. He didn’t ask them to do something they couldn’t do or didn’t know how to do; He asked them to do what they did each day. Now, though, they were doing it for Jesus.
Jesus is the love of God manifest to man. He loves us. He died and proved on the cross how much He loves us. Still, people fear Him. They fear that He will make them do something they find impossible. They fear to simply trust Him. The servants were wiser. He asked them to do what they could do and they did it for Him. In obedience to His command they were part of a great miracle. We needn’t fear Jesus. He knows us and calls us to do what we do for Him. He will make of it something great for Himself.     
Dear Father, Thank You for the Gentle Shepherd, Jesus, who loves us and asks of us simplicity of service that can be used for Him. Amen.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Simplest Invitation

Come and see.” John 1:46
Do you ever fear that you will get tongue-tied when you try to tell others about Jesus? Are you afraid that you can’t memorize a long evangelistic message to give to others? Fear not! Today’s verse sums up what we must say. “Come and see.” That is the shortest witnessing verse in the Bible and still the most effective.
Philip had found his friend and told him that he had found the Messiah. That was just relating good news. There was nothing traumatizing in relating a short bit of good news. We do it every day. But his friend was in doubt. Philip didn’t rush into a long spiel. He didn’t try to make perfect oratory of biblical truth. He simply said, “Come and see”. Philip’s friend came and saw and believed. The invitation is simple; the truth is solid; the salvation is real. Come and see.
Dear Father, Thank You for making it so simple that even I can come and understand and be saved. Amen.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Eye Witness Testimony

I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” John 1:34 
I was on a jury once. Witnesses were called. The prosecutor asked who had been in the car on the night of the crime. “That man” was the unanimous answer as people pointed toward the defendant. The prosecutor then asked what the man was doing. The eye witnesses again all agreed on what happened. Who the man was and what he was doing were central to the case. It is the same with Jesus. Eyewitnesses, like the Apostle John who wrote the Gospel of John, and John the Baptist who had baptized Jesus, are important to relating who Jesus was and what he did.
What do both John the Apostle and John the Baptist have to say about Jesus? They both assert without hesitation that He was the Son of God. After baptizing Jesus John said, “He is the Son of God.” At the conclusion of his Gospel John the Apostle said, “Jesus is the Son of God.” God had alerted the prophet John the Baptist that He would see and recognize the Son of God at His baptism; and he did. Jesus revealed Himself daily as the Son of God to His disciples who all then went on to declare exactly who He was. The jury was unanimous. God Himself was on the witness stand declaring the truth. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Rest peacefully in this truth.
Dear Father, Thank You for revealing Your Son to the world. Help me to trust Him more each day. Amen. 

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Summing Up the Prophets

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” John 1:29
This verse may be my favorite verse in the Bible. It sums up the entire Old Testament. It sums up the Gospel message. It sums up the scope of the work and purpose of Christ. It clearly foretells His death on the cross. It is a three second sound bite that really tells the whole story. It demands our attention with its introduction. It grabs our lapels and says, stop, listen, live! Then it tells the: who, what, why and for whom of the story of Scripture.
From Genesis onward the lamb represented the acceptable sacrifice to God and the substitute sacrifice for mankind. In Exodus it was the lamb that was slain and whose blood was placed on the door posts so that God would pass over those covered by the blood. In Isaiah it is Jesus who is pictured as the lamb before its shearers saying not a word. And why was a lamb slain? It was to cover the sins of the one offering the sacrifice. But Jesus doesn’t just cover our sins, He forgives them and carries them away. He offered Himself not for His own sins, of which He had none, but for ours. And He offered Himself not for just a few but for the world. This loving sacrifice is why Jesus can say that He is the exclusive way to God, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man comes unto the Father except by me.” 
Dear Father, Thank You for sending the Lamb of God and giving me forgiveness of sins and offering that same forgiveness to all who will believe in the Lamb of God. Amen.

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

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Thursday, November 23, 2017


O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever. Psalm 136:1
Thanksgiving can kind of sneak up on you. First there is Halloween and then there is Christmas. Blink and you miss Thanksgiving. But true thanksgiving should never sneak up on us. It should be our attitude every day. It is not a once a year event, or even a once a week event. Our lives, our thoughts, our prayers should be filled with thanksgiving daily.
If we truly believe that God is good, then we should thank Him for His goodness. If a friend brings over a casserole as a special gift to us, we thank them. If we get a flower, even one picked from our own prize flower garden, handed to us by our grandchild, we thank them. If we get a word of encouragement in a time of stress, we thank the giver. We thank others every day. We need the same mindset toward God.
The new day is a gift, but if we don’t live to see it, and we know Christ as Savior, we have already received a far better gift of seeing the Light of the World in person. The clothes we wear is a gift of God’s gracious provision through our employment or gifts from others. Our food is the same. Our house is the same. Everything we have is the same. God told the Israelites not to forget how they got the Promised Land. It wasn’t by their doing, but by God’s. Everyday everything that they had was a gift from God. When they forgot that, they became arrogant and forgot God as well.
It is the same with us. There is nothing we have apart from God’s bountiful provision. Every day we need to be thankful to Him. On this special day of Thanksgiving we can openly confess that all we are and have is from His gracious hand and give Him the hearty thanks that He deserves.

Dear Father, Receive our thanks this day for all that You have given to us. Amen. 

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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gracious Truth

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
What does grace look like? Grace is an idea; can it have a valid picture to represent it? Yes, Jesus Christ is the picture of grace. If I want to show someone a picture of my children I can open my wallet and say, “Here, look at my children.” If I want to show someone a picture of grace I can open God’s Word and turn to any story of Jesus Christ and say “Look, here is grace.” Truth is another idea with the same image. Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?” The truth was that Truth was right in front of Him. Jesus is the perfect picture of truth.
But is there another picture of grace and truth? Yes, it is to be seen in the followers of Jesus. We are Christians, little Christs. We are to be the reflection of our Lord. We are to show His grace to others so that they might see Him. We are to demonstrate His truth to others so that they might see Him. Jesus told us to let our lights shine. Our lights are simply to be reflections of His light. Our lives are to be the book of Christ that is known and read by all men. Let us let our lights shine so that the world can see and glorify the Father and the Son.
Dear Father, Help me each day to keep the light of Jesus shining brightly in my life. Amen.    

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Light that Split the Night

The people who have walked in darkness have seen a great light.” Isaiah 9:2
Isaiah had foretold that light would shine in the darkness and that all those who dwelt in darkness would see the great light. Isaiah was not speaking of anything directly related to his time or age. He prophesied the coming of the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. In John 1 we find clear reference to this prophecy of Isaiah. In verse 4 it says, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Then John adds in verse 9, “That was the true light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” Jesus Christ wasn’t just the light for a small backwater province of the ancient world. He is the light for all men coming into the world.
Sadly He is not the light that men think they are looking for. They think that light is at the end of the prosperity road, or the peace road, or the education road, or the science road. Mankind wants to find light in all the wrong places. So, when Jesus offers them light, they do not receive Him. Jesus, you see, was poor; a failure on the prosperity road. He did not bring peace; a failure on the peace road. He was not well educated; a failure on the education road. He believed in miracles; a failure on the science road. But Jesus owns the cattle on the thousand hills. He is the Prince of Peace. He is all wisdom and knowledge. He performs miracles. As John went on to say in 3:19, “men loved darkness rather than light.” And so the light came and the world didn’t care. But those who believe in Him now have light that will guide them and care for them and lead them on the straight path all their lives. Rejoice in the Light of the World.
Dear Father, Thank You for sending the promised Light. Help me to look to Him for true guidance every day. Amen.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Summing Up in One Word

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
John. 1:1
How do we express ideas? How do we understand ideas expressed by others? Yes, we use words. Words reveal an idea; they open up a window into the mind of the speaker or writer. We need words. In the Old Testament God spoke by words through the prophets so that His people and others as well might know the mind and will of God. Those inerrant words are recorded for us in clear language so that we can still know the mind and will of God.
John reveals another way that God conveyed Himself to us. It was through the Word, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the revelation of God to man. As Isaiah promised the virgin would give birth to a son who would be called Emmanuel, meaning God with us. Jesus Christ is the Word of God revealed in flesh and blood, very God of very God and very man of very man. Jesus told His disciples that those who had seen Him had seen God the Father. (Jn. 14:9) How do we know who God is and what He is like? We look at His Son Jesus Christ who is the word made flesh. (Jn. 1:2) Each day that we pick up our Bibles we need to see Jesus smiling back at us from the page. He is the Word of God.
Dear Father, Thank You for sending the true and eternal Word into our world that we may know You and come to You. Amen.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

False Confidence

Concerning the wicked, there is no fear of God before his eyes.” Psalm 36:1
Are you ever astounded at how greatly people can sin and not take any thought of it? How can a person perform even one abortion let alone hundreds or thousands? How can a judge uphold the right to murder the preborn and then eat his lunch without any regrets? How can a politician say that he has the best interests of his constituents in mind and then vote to kill his youngest and most defenseless ones? How can the wicked sin so freely and seem to have no sense of guilt about it? God says quite simply that they have no fear of Him in their thoughts.
If that is the characteristic of the wicked; how should our lives be different? In verses 5 – 10 of this psalm David creates the contrast. The righteous reflect on God’s mercy. They see the purity of His judgments. They rejoice in His lovingkindness and seek shelter under His wings. They also take note of the wicked and their ways and seek to be separate from them. And they note the end of the wicked and rejoice in the Light that God has given them to be saved. The world should be able to tell distinctly between the godly and the wicked, even if they are wicked themselves. And it should never be said of God’s children that we have no fear of God before our eyes.
Dear Father, Thank You for light, love, mercy, and grace. Help me to keep a clear view of a righteous God and a loving God always before me. Amen.

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cause For Rejoicing

And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord; it shall rejoice in His salvation.” Ps. 35:9
When we think back on the joyful days of our lives, what do we most often think of? I remember the joyful day I met my wife and then the joyful day we were married. We have six children who all came on joyful days and twelve grandchildren who did, too. I remember when my first book was published. I wanted to jump for joy, and maybe I even did. Everyone has joyful days to remember. They may be work related, or getting to retire from work. They may be sports related whether it be a personal highlight or a favorite team’s victory. Lots of things can make us jump for joy.
David calls for us to take a deeper look at joy. While they have been few, there have been a few un-joyful days with my beloved spouse and a few more with our children. Joy in the home is not permanent. Our job that we so desired to get may end up in great disappointment and our team may have a losing season every year after their winning one. Earthly joys are all impermanent. But the joy of our salvation, that is different. There is always the certainty of God. He never changes. There are always His promises. They never change. The day we were saved should register first in our memories of joyful days and be quickly on our lips when others ask about our most joyful day. That is truly rejoicing in His salvation.
Dear Father, Thank You for the joyful day that You made me Yours. Help me to always think of that joy and express that joyful day to others. Amen.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

You Can't Go Two Ways

Depart from evil and do good.” Psalm 34:14
There are two misconceptions about the Christian life that lead to much confusion in the world. One is that some Christians actually do teach that since God is grace and love, we are free to sin indiscriminately to demonstrate just how gracious He is. This false teaching has been around since the first century and won’t go away because men revel in sin and will make any excuse to do it without fear of consequences. The second misconception is that Christian life is all about the “Thou Shalt Not’s”; that Christianity is the religion of “Don’t”.
David declared in this psalm that believers are to live differently than the misconceptions. Yes, we are to depart from evil; but then we are supposed to do good. Paul told Titus to teach the church to be “zealous for good works”. (Titus 2:14) Jesus said that the two greatest commandments were to love God; which is turning from evil; and to love our neighbor; which is doing good. Paul told the Ephesians that when we become Christians we have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works that God has ordained for us to do.” (Eph. 2:10) So let us listen to the psalmist and “depart from evil and do good”.
Dear Father, Thank You for saving me from my lost and sinful estate and giving me something good to do; help me each day to do it. Amen.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Beautiful Praise

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful.”        Psalm 33:1
I vividly remember my junior high music teacher calling me in after class one day and saying, “David, you just can’t sing. Frankly, you are no good at singing at all.” That was his response when I tried out for chorus. How do you suppose a junior high school boy would feel at that comment? Forget even trying to sing; you can’t do it now or will you ever be able to do it. That was a pretty harsh comment. Close your mouth and listen to others; don’t open it and ruin the music. I am very glad that God has a different approach.
He says that we are to make a “joyful noise”. Very often that is all that many people can really produce; but to God it is absolutely beautiful. That’s right! He says that the off key or tone deaf singing of His saints is beautiful music to His ears! We have a royal audience who has given us a command performance to sing for Him. He wants us to sing before Him in the assembly of the righteous (at church) and in the privacy of our own home devotions. He says that the “praise from the upright is beautiful!” Don’t hold back! Sing praise to God! Hallelujah, amen!
By the way, my junior high teacher was wrong. I went on to become a minister of music and soloist. It all came together after I became a Christian.
Dear Father, Thank You for giving me the invitation to sing Your praises in the congregation of the upright. Amen.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Justly Condemned

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.” Psalm 32:1
How would you like to be sitting in a jail cell today facing life in prison without parole? You are condemned for a crime that you most certainly DID commit. You will spend the rest of your life in this small cage, vilified by civilized society. When you die and are buried in the prison cemetery, far from any loved ones, you will be gone and forgotten to no one’s regret. That is a horrible picture. But it is not just a picture of some horrible murderer; it is the picture that God paints of all mankind. “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” That is truth one. “For the wages of sin is death.” That is truth two. If you break just one of God’s laws then you are guilty of breaking them all; “You have become a transgressor of the law.” That is truth three.
But what if we could be forgiven? What if we could not only be forgiven but declared “Not Guilty”? What if the stone walls and iron bars were gone? What if we could walk with our heads high and breathe the glorious clean air again? That is what it means to be forgiven. Christ has died that we might live. He exchanged His righteousness for our sins that we might have His righteousness instead of our sins. That is forgiveness. We can live with freedom from guilt and live in the hope of a new and better day every day. That is forgiveness. Have you claimed it through faith in Christ? That is the only place to ever receive it. Through Him alone is offered forgiveness.
Dear Father, Thank You for loving us so much that You gave Your own Son to die for our sins that we might have forgiveness in Him. Amen.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Stuck in the Grave?

O Lord, You have brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.” Psalm 30:3
Of all the lessons from Scripture this is surely the most precious. David prophesied of the resurrection of the dead to be raised to eternal life in glory. The New Testament clearly teaches us that mankind is born already dead. Paul said of mankind, “You who were dead in your trespasses and sins.” (Eph. 2:1) There is the simple three second commentary on knowing Christ that also covers this truth, “Born once, die twice; born twice, die once.” Those outside of Christ are already dead and will spend eternity in the pit of death. Those who are born again into Christ will die to the old man when they are saved and then live forever.
David rejoiced in this truth, this hope, this divine promise. Psalm 30 reminds us of the greatest fact in Scripture. Christ died for the sinner so that sinner wouldn’t have to die. Christ entered hell for the sinner so that the sinner would not have to enter there. All who believe in Him as the saving Son of God receive the gift of His forgiveness and eternal life. We shall be raised incorruptible, alive with Him forevermore. Oh, what a treasured hope this is!
Dear Father, You have given us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life in Your Son. Help us each day to remember that gift and rejoice in it. Amen.

Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Beautiful Worship

Give unto the Lord the glory due His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” Psalm 29:2
Three times in Ephesians chapter one we are told that we have been saved for the praise of His glory. Our very existence is to be consumed with the praise of His glory. The aim and objective of our lives, our stated purpose in being is to be to the praise of His glory. How great is His glory? It extends to the farthest reaches of earth and heaven according the writer of Psalm 148. His glory is to be declared by every created thing, animate and inanimate. That is a lot of glory.
To declare that glory we are to worship in the beauty of holiness. That isn’t the design of our churches or the Sunday clothes we wear. It isn’t the exultant strains of our finest choirs or loftiest music. The beauty of His holiness is Jesus Christ. We are to glorify the Father through the Son. He has given us robes of righteousness for the filthy and contaminated clothes of our sins. He has given us a new song that sings of His salvation. He has given us hope and peace in this life and eternal resurrection in heaven after death. Our lives, Sunday and every day, should be a single song of praise due to our rebirth in Jesus Christ which is the beauty of holiness and for the glory of God.
Dear Father, Thank You for giving us new life and clean robes of righteousness through Your Son. Help us each day to remember that in Him we are to live to the praise of Your glory. Amen.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

News of Fear

The Lord is the light of my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
The election of 2014 is old news. It happened years ago meaning that in our modern culture it is actually ancient news. Some people are exultant about the results and others are saddened. This is the problem with placing the hope of our life in earthly things. When Barak Obama was elected president in 2008 many people hoped that he was the “savior” of our nation, the great unifier of the American people. Since that time his popularity has waned to very low ebb and he is viewed by many as the greatest divider of our nation in modern history.
The psalmist had his sights set a great deal higher than the American electorate. He saw that God was the only hope of salvation and the only strength that would last. When we set our sight on man we will always be disappointed. We all have feet of clay. God alone is the hope of His people. Leaders will come and go. Some will be good and some very bad. God will never change and He is always in ultimate control. He is to be the sole focus for the believer for our hope and security in this age and the next. Whatever may happen because of earthly leaders, let us steadfastly keep our eyes on God, the strength of our lives and the assurance of our salvation.
Dear Father, Forgive us for trusting too much in man and too little in You. You have given us Jesus Christ for our salvation and the true strength of our lives each day. Amen.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Which Way Today

Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.” Psalm 25:4
Isaiah prophesied that God’s people would hear the voice that said, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” (Is. 30:21) David asked God to show just such a way to Him. We realize that God has given to us the “Big Picture”. We know how to be saved. We know the Ten Commandments. We know simple truths that apply to our lives every day. But do we know the way for our life today. God told Joshua to have the people stand back away from the Ark of the Covenant when they were ready to pass into the Promised Land. He told them to stand back because, “you have not passed this way before”. (Josh. 3:4)
It is true that we have lived many days before this day, but we have never lived this day before. This day we need to know what God would have us do. Today we need to have God teach us His paths. How does He want us to glorify Him today? What makes today unique in our life with God? What way would He have us live today that we didn’t live yesterday and may not need to live tomorrow. Each day is new and each day we need to have Him show us His path for today.
Dear Father, Let me be sensitive to know Your path for my life this day. Amen.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Let Me Not Be Ashamed

Unto You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in Thee; let me not be ashamed.” Psalm 25:1
We pray for many things every day. We pray for our daily bread and for our families. We pray for our nation and for our missionaries. We pray for the sick and for lost souls to be saved. This psalm introduces a topic that most people don’t pray for. David says, “Let me not be ashamed.” Whether we realize it or not the world is watching us every day. If they see us pull out of our driveways every Sunday headed for church, they might be very curious as to how that really plays out in our lives. David was concerned about that.
David had every right to be. His behavior with Bathsheba had brought blasphemy to God’s name. Nathan told David that his sin had given the enemies of God “great occasion to blaspheme.” (II Sam. 12:14) David’s conduct had brought shame to God’s name and to David as well. In Psalm 25 David asks God to help in his daily life to not be ashamed of his testimony before either God or man. That is quite a prayer lesson that we can appropriate for ourselves.
Dear Father, Let us so walk that we bring shame to neither to Your name nor ours. Amen.

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Friday, November 3, 2017


Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in.” Psalm 24:7
Psalm24 is the last in the trio of psalms picturing Christ as the Shepherd. In this psalm we see Him as the victorious Shepherd. He was the suffering Shepherd in Psalm 22, the caring and tender Shepherd in Psalm 23 and now in this psalm He is seen ascending into His glorious throne and being welcomed as heaven’s gates open to the Victor. One day the gates of the city of Jerusalem will open to this victorious Shepherd as He returns to take His rightful reign on earth. Peter speaks of this as the coming of the Chief Shepherd who will also offer crowns to His loyal under-shepherds. In Psalms 22-24 we see the past, present and future work of our Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
John W. Peterson wrote a beautiful hymn expressing the triumph of Psalm 24. “Open wide, ye everlasting doors, let the King of glory in; now returning from His earthly wars, He the victory did win. See the rich red wounds He bears, scars of battle now He wears; He has wrested Satan’s throne, He must reign and He alone!” Praise God for the mighty victory of Christ the Suffering Good Shepherd, the Tender Great Shepherd and the Victorious Chief Shepherd of our souls.
Dear Father, Thank You for the complete work of Christ our Shepherd for us, the often wandering sheep of Your pasture. Amen.   

  The Friday Benediction
Until Monday, my friends, may the good God envelop you with His grace; may you prove the common confession of faith, “I believe in the holy Christian church and in the fellowship of the saints”, and may you be enriched with joy and hope as you exercise that confession this weekend.  Amen

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Our Provider, Our Provision

The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Psalm 23:1
In John 10 Jesus said, “The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” That was fulfilled in Psalm 22. Psalm 23 pictures the Good Shepherd caring for His sheep. As we are saved through His shed blood and assured of eternal life by His resurrection, we can also be certain that our Shepherd is not done caring for us. As Paul said in Romans 8, “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all good things?” Here is the Father sending the Great Shepherd of Hebrews 13 to work in and for the care of His sheep.
Look at all the “good things” that the Great Shepherd provides for us in Psalm 23. He gives us sufficiency, daily fresh supply, rest, restoration, guidance, security, His presence, His Holy Spirit, abundance, companionship and eternity. Any one of those things would be a pretty tall order. The world cannot offer the assurance of any of them, but the risen Good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd of our souls, provides them all. So God gives us all “good things” through our wonderful Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Dear Father, Thank You for sending Your Son to be our Shepherd both to die for us and then to daily care for us. Amen.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Done for Us

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Psalm 22:1
The book of Psalms contains many different kinds of psalms. There are psalms of praise, lament, imprecation, edification and prophesy. Psalm 2 was clearly a prophetic psalm declaring the nature of God’s Son and His crucifixion at the hands of both the Jews and the gentiles. Psalm 21 is a portrayal of His crucifixion and His resurrection. The details of the crucifixion are quoted repeatedly in the Gospel accounts. They begin with the cry of Christ on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” This cry is the echo of the cry of Christ’s earthly ancestor King David. They are the cry of the King of the Jews on the Cross.
We would often like to bypass the true agony of Christ for our sins, but this psalm gives its ugly picture quite clearly. We see the pierced hands and feet. We see the mocking crowds who should have received Him as their king. We see the gaunt body with all its bones sticking out. We feel the agony of the parched mouth and the humiliation of the cross. We see the mockery of the soldiers as they gamble for His clothes. It is not a very pretty psalm, but it is an accurate one. One thousand years before Christ’s crucifixion, David completely captured the event in this psalm. But it doesn’t end there. It also tells of His resurrection as Christ lives again to declare God’s name to the disciples and give praise to God in the midst of His followers. The cross wasn’t an accident or an unexpected event. It was the will of God for our salvation.
Dear Father, Thank You for the consistency of Your word and the promises it gives that cannot be broken. Amen.

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