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Thread: Daily Devotional June 2015

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    Truth Will Triumph Gloriously, September 19

    Sanctifying Power of the Truth
    Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in. Isaiah 26:2
    The truth of God must be enshrined in the heart, and we must be determined to fight the battles of the Lord, if we would come off conquerors with the final triumph of the truth; for the truth will triumph gloriously.... If you are seeking to be a blessing to others, God will bless you. We should bring all the good possible into our lives, that we may glorify God and be a blessing to humanity.
    The church is God's agency for the proclamation of truth, empowered by Him to do a special work; and if she is loyal to Him, obedient to all His commandments, there will dwell within her the excellency of divine grace. If she will be true to her allegiance, if she will honor the Lord God of Israel, there is no power that can stand against her.
    Zeal for God and His cause moved the disciples to bear witness to the gospel with mighty power. Should not a like zeal fire our hearts with a determination to tell the story of redeeming love, of Christ and Him crucified? It is the privilege of every Christian not only to look for but to hasten the coming of the Saviour.
    If the church will put on the robe of Christ's righteousness, withdrawing from all allegiance with the world, there is before her the dawn of a bright and glorious day. God's promise to her will stand fast forever. He will make her an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations. Truth, passing by those who despise and reject it, will triumph. Although at times apparently retarded, its progress has never been checked. When the message of God meets with opposition, He gives it additional force, that it may exert greater influence. Endowed with divine energy, it will cut its way through the strongest barriers, and triumph over every obstacle.

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    Let’s Finish the Race
    September 20, 2017


    Read: Ecclesiastes 4:9–12
    Bible in a Year: Ecclesiastes 4–6; 2 Corinthians 12

    Two are better than one . . . . If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.—Ecclesiastes 4:9–10
    In the 2016 Rio Olympics, two athletes in the 5,000-meter race caught the world’s attention. About 3,200 meters into the race, New Zealander Nikki Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino collided and fell. Abbey was quickly up on her feet, but stopped to help Nikki. Moments after the two athletes had started running again, Abbey began faltering, her right leg injured as a result of the fall. It was now Nikki’s turn to stop and encourage her fellow athlete to finish the race. When Abbey eventually stumbled across the finish line, Nikki was waiting to embrace her. What a beautiful picture of mutual encouragement!
    It reminds me of a passage in the Bible: “Two are better than one . . . . If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Eccl. 4:9–10). As runners in a spiritual race, we need one another—perhaps even more so, for we are not racing in competition with each other but as members of the same team. There’ll be moments where we falter and need someone to pick us up; at other times, someone may need our encouragement through our prayers or presence.
    The spiritual race is not to be run alone. Is God leading you to be a Nikki or Abbey in someone’s life? Respond to His prompting today, and let’s finish the race! —Poh Fang Chia
    Dear Lord, thank You for the encouragement of fellow believers to help me on my journey. Help me to look for ways to encourage others.
    We need each other to get where God wants us to go.
    INSIGHT: Ecclesiastes is a very unusual book. For much of this inspired text, life is examined without God in the picture (1:2). Although the book concludes with moral admonitions (see 12:1-8), the majority of the book has almost a secular feel to it. Yet because King Solomon the Wise is its author, remarkable principles of life surface. Today’s reading blesses the reader with insights on the benefits of meaningful relationships. The journey of life is not to be walked alone but benefits from mutual support of another.

    Can you recall a time when God used someone to help you carry your load? Dennis Fisher

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    The Name Jesus
    Jesus is the English transliteration of the Greek name Iesus. Joshua is the English transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshuah. Both Jesus and Joshua mean Yahweh saves or Jehovah is salvation. The name Jesus appears in the Bible more than 900 times. [Transliteration means that the word is not translated from one language to another, but tries to represent the same letters/characters from one language to another. Pronunciation may or may not be preserved.]
    The Word Christ
    Christ is not actually a name, but a title. When the Bible talks about the Messiah in the Old Testament, it is referring to the same title as the New Testament calls Christ. Both Messiah and Christ mean anointed one. Jesus was anointed with the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38) and was the promised redeemer. The first promise of a redeemer in the Bible was in Genesis 3:15. The word Christ appears in the Bible more than 500 times.
    Jesus’ Titles For Himself
    Jesus said He was the bread of life and the living bread (6:35, 48, 51). He was the light of the world (John 8:12). Jesus was the good shepherd (John 10:11, 14). Jesus outright claimed to be the Son of God (John 10:36). He also liked to call himself the Son of man (Matthew 20:28). He said He was the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).
    Foods Jesus Ate
    Jesus ate bread (Matthew 26:26), which has been a common food throughout history. He ate clean meats such as lamb (Luke 22:15) and fish (Matthew 14:19). He may have eaten eggs because of His statement that eggs is a good gift (Luke 11:12, 13). The Old Testament says that Jesus would eat butter and honey (Isaiah 7:15). Luke 24:42 and43 says that Jesus ate broiled fish and honeycomb after His resurrection.
    Jesus Was a Carpenter
    Jesus was known to be a carpenter (Mark 6:3). This indicates that He not only grew up in the house of a carpenter (Matthew 13:55), but He worked in the trade at least long enough that people knew Him to be a carpenter too. There is a question of exactly what the word translated as carpenter really means. The Greek word is tekton, which is a generic word for anyone who makes things. This was applied to craftsmen of various objects. Early writings, tradition and culture indicate that Jesus probably worked with wood in some form. Therefore carpenter is a fine translation of this word.


    Jesus’ Birthday
    Jesus’ birthday is generally celebrated on December 25 each year. However, the Bible does not tell us exactly when His birthday was. Various scholars have put the Birth of Christ sometime in winter or early spring. We celebrate His birth at Christmas, but there is no record in the Bible of the early Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus.
    Jesus and John the Baptist
    John the Baptist was Jesus’ second cousin. Mary (the mother of Jesus) and Elisabeth (the mother of John) were cousins (Luke 1:36). John was about 6 months older than Jesus (Luke 1:36). In John chapter 1 when John the Baptist declares Jesus as the Lamb of God (v. 36) this is probably not the first time they met. They were likely together often as children and young men growing up.
    Jesus’ Family
    Jesus had several half-brothers and sisters ( Matthew 12:46-47; 13:55-56). At least some of his brothers were named James, Joses, Simon and Judas. His sisters are not named in the Bible. History says that James became the head of the church in Jerusalem.
    Jesus Was Passionate
    Some portrayals of Jesus in films and popular culture have Him walking around like a disconnected being who is hanging around to solve problems. However, the Bible shows some very passionate scenes from the life of Christ. He overthrew the tables of the money changers in the temple (Matthew 21:12, 13). He was moved to tears at the news of Lazarus’ death (John 11:35). The Bible says many times that Jesus was moved with compassion (Matthew 9:36-38; 21:12, Mark 1:41 and others).
    Jesus and Simon
    There was a man conscripted to help Jesus carry the cross up to Golgotha. This man’s name was Simon (Matthew 27:32). This man was from Cyrene which was also called Niger in Acts 13:1. This is not in the country known as Niger today. Rather he was from the country of Libya. Simon had two sons who were apparently known to the early church. Mark 15:21 says that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus as if the readers of the Gospel would know those two men.


    Read more: https://www.whatchristianswanttoknow...#ixzz4tEhuoH4b

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    "To what then shall I compare this generation?"

    Scripture: Luke 7: 31-35
    31 "To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, `We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.' 33 For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, `He has a demon.' 34 The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' 35 Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."

    Meditation: What do childrens' games have to do with the kingdom of God? The children in Jesus' parable react with disappoint because they cannot induce anyone to join in their musical medley. They complain that if they play their music at weddings, no one will dance or sing; and if they play at funerals, it is the same. This refrain echoes the words of Ecclesiastes 3:4 -- there is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance. Jesus' message of the kingdom of God is a proclamation of good news and of great joy for those who will listen; but it is also a warning for those who refuse. Why did the message of John the Baptist and the message of Jesus meet with resistance and deaf ears? It was out of jealously and spiritual blindness that the scribes and Pharisees attributed John the Baptist's austerities to the devil and they attributed Jesus' table fellowship as evidence for messianic pretense. They succeeded in frustrating God's plan for their lives because they had closed their hearts to the message of John the Baptist and now to Jesus. What can make us spiritually dull and slow to hear God's voice? Like the generation of Jesus' time, our age is marked by indifference and contempt, especially in regards to the things of heaven. Indifference dulls our ears to God's voice and to the good news of the gospel. Only the humble of heart can find joy in God's grace and favor. Do you know the joy of the gospel?

    "Lord, open my ears to hear the good news of your kingdom and set my heart free to love and serve you joyfully. May nothing keep me from following you wholeheartedly."

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    “I Will Save Thy Children”, September 20

    But thus saith the Lord, even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children. Isaiah 49:25.
    The youth are the objects of Satan's special attacks.
    Wherever we turn, the battle goes on unceasingly.... Multitudes of the youth are swept away by the overwhelming tide of evil. In every earnest Christian heart the question rises, “Why, oh, why, in a land of Bibles and Christian teaching, can the adversary of souls exert over our youth a power so mighty, so unrestrained?” The reason is apparent. Parents are neglecting their solemn responsibility.
    If a field is left uncultivated, a crop of weeds is sure to appear. So it is with children. If the soil of the heart is uncultivated, Satan sows his seeds of anger and hatred, selfishness and pride, and they quickly spring up, to bear a harvest that parents reap with bitter regret. Too late they see their terrible mistake.
    One of the signs of the “last days” is the disobedience of children to their parents.
    The sin of rebellion against parental authority, lies at the very foundation of the misery and crime in the world today.
    Jesus loves children and youth. He rejoices when He sees Satan repulsed in his efforts to overcome them. Many a youth is in imminent peril through manifold temptations, but the Saviour has the tenderest sympathy for him, and sends His angels to guard and protect him. He is the Good Shepherd, ever ready to ... seek for the lost, straying sheep.
    Parents stand in the place of God to their children, and they will have to render an account, whether they have been faithful to the charge committed to their trust.
    [Christian parents,] be true to your trust. God will help you. Guided by Him, your children will grow up to bless and honor you in this life and in the life to come.

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    We Are Blessed in Helping Others, September 20

    The soul of blessing shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Proverbs 11:25, margin.
    There are many to whom life is a painful struggle; they feel their deficiencies, and are miserable and unbelieving; they think they have nothing for which to be grateful. Kind words, looks of sympathy, expressions of appreciation, would be to many a struggling and lonely one as the cup of cold water to a thirsty soul. A word of sympathy, an act of kindness, would lift burdens that rest heavily upon weary shoulders. And every word or deed of unselfish kindness is an expression of the love of Christ for lost humanity.
    The merciful “shall obtain mercy.” “The soul of blessing shall be made fat; and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” There is sweet peace for the compassionate spirit, a blessed satisfaction in the life of self-forgetful service for the good of others. The Holy Spirit that abides in the soul, and is manifest in the life, will soften hard hearts, and awaken sympathy and tenderness. You will reap that which you sow.47Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 40, 41.
    The time will come when the earth shall reel to and fro, and shall be removed like a cottage. But the thoughts, the purposes, the acts of God's workers, although now unseen, will appear at the great day of final retribution and reward. Things now forgotten will then appear as witnesses, either to approve or to condemn.
    Love, courtesy, self-sacrifice,—these are never lost. When God's chosen ones are changed from mortality to immortality, their words and deeds of goodness will be made manifest, and will be preserved through the eternal ages. No act of unselfish service, however small or simple, is ever lost. Through the merits of Christ's imputed righteousness, the fragrance of such words and deeds is forever preserved.

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    The Net

    Scripture: Matthew 13:47-53
    47 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind; 48 when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad. 49 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous, 50 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth. 51 "Have you understood all this?" They said to him, "Yes." 52 And he said to them, "Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old." 53 And when Jesus had finished these parables, he went away from there.

    Meditation: What can a story of a dragnet and a great catch of fish tell us about God's kingdom? The two most common ways of fishing in Jesus' time was with a casting-net (or hand-net) which was thrown from the shore and the drag-net or trawl which was let down or cast into the waters from a boat. As the boat moved through the waters the drag-net was drawn into the shape of a great cone which indiscriminately took in all kinds of fish and flotsam and jetsam swept in its path. It usually took several men to haul such a net to shore. What is Jesus' point here? Just as a drag-net catches every kind of fish in the sea, so the church acts as God's instrument for gathering in all who will come. Just as the drag-net does not or cannot discriminate, so the church does not discriminate between the good and the bad, the useless and the useful. God's kingdom is open to all who will accept and believe. But there will come a time of separation, at the close of the age, when the angels will send the good and the bad to their respective destinations.Our duty is to gather in all who will come. God, in the end, will give the good and the bad the reward they deserve. God offers the treasure of his kingdom to all who believe. Do you hunger for God and his kingdom?

    "Lord, increase my hunger for your kingdom and fill my heart with eager longing for you that I may one day gaze upon your face in everlasting bliss."

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