Devotional Reading for June 2, 2021

Psalm 7-12 (The Daily Walk Bible).

The devotional encourages us to “Take an aspect of God’s character that you discover while reading today’s passage, and translate it into the language of praise to God by singing a hymn, composing a short poem of praise, or reading aloud the words of Psalm 9.”

I’m going to go a step further. Try to pray through a Psalm. Take the lines and make them your own. In 9:1 stop and tell God the marvelous things that he has done for you. Make a commitment to Him that you will tell others. Stop in verse 2 to actually sing a song of joy. In verse 3 thank God for the enemies that he has saved you from (like death, hell and the grave!). In verse 4 thank Him for Jesus Christ taking your judgment away. And continue on….

Psalm 8:2 and 8:4-6 are Messianic and are used in Matthew 21:16, 1 Corinthians 15:25-28, and Hebrews 2:5-10.

Devotional Reading for June 1, 2021

Psalm 1-6 (The Daily Walk Bible).

The introduction to the entire book suggests a 5 fold division in the book of Psalms. One of the reasons is because each section has a simple benediction at the end (Psalm 41:3 “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.”).

I love the synopsis that our devotional gave about the first 6 Psalms: “The gateway to the book of Psalms is guarded by two major declarations concerning God’s revelation of himself: He can be known through his Word, which brings blessing (Psalm 1), and he can be known in the person of his Son, who rules over creation (2). The servant of God can cling to him with confidence, knowing that God’s help and consolation are assured in both good times and bad. No foe (3) nor threat (4), no frustration (5) nor cause for fainting (6) can change the fact that God is in control.”

Psalm 2:1-2, 7, and 9 are Messianic and are used in Acts 4:25-28, Hebrews 1:5, and Revelation 2:26-27 (among other places).

Devotional Reading for May 31, 2021

Job 40-42 (The Daily Walk Bible).

So, Job gets his vision of God. How does he respond?

Job 40:3-5 “Then Job answered the Lord and said ‘Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.’”

Job 42:1-6 “Then Job answered the Lord and said ‘I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me. I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.’”

Once again, when we truly get a vision of the majesty and awesomeness of God, it restores our faith in Him and our doubts and questions disappear!

Devotional Reading for May 30, 2021

Job 38-39 (The Daily Walk Bible).

What is really interesting about this passage is that it seems that Job gets what he wants: an audience with God. However, God doesn’t really answer any of Job’s questions. Instead, Job gets a master class in who God is. God gives Job a vision of himself. We’ll see Job’s response tomorrow! But, sometimes, when life isn’t going great, and we think it would be better if God would just answer our questions, maybe what we really need is a new/better vision of God himself. Then the questions might not matter anymore. Isn’t it wonderful that we can turn to the Bible to get that vision we need?

Devotional Reading for May 29, 2021

Job 35-37 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Elihu is a transition between Job’s “friends” and God speaking. Are his arguments any better than the friends? Well, we do know that God doesn’t rebuke him! He is very concerned that Job recognize God’s sovereignty, and points out that God is awesome, righteous and just. He also does us a service by reminding us that to be wise is to be foolish, and that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Job 37:22-24 “Out of the north comes golden splendor; God is clothed with awesome majesty. The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power; justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate. Therefore men fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.””

Devotional Reading for May 28, 2021

Reflection Day!

You may have read the book of Job before, so you probably know what is coming next. If you haven’t, boy are you in for a revelation! Have you ever heard the expression “be careful what you wish for”? Job wanted to be able to hear from God. He does, and the moment leaves him speechless…

If you are caught up, today may be a good day to jump ahead and read Job 38-41 so that you can meditate on it for a few days.

Sermon Outline for 5/23/21 (Radio broadcast 5/30/21) — “Grace Brings us Home”

Grace Brings us Home!
Galatians 4:21-5:1

I) We see the importance of retaining what we’ve been __________

II) There is an Old Testament foundation for ____________

III) There can be a deeper meaning in some Scripture passages

     A) Paul says he is presenting an _____________

          Allegory needs to be a ___________ reading out not a 
          fanciful reading in

     B) Paul’s allegory comes from ____________ itself, which is 
        the safest way to figure it out!

     C) Paul is using Isaiah 54:1 (under the inspiration of the 
        Holy Spirit), to reveal an important ____________

IV) There is a massive difference between law and ___________

     A) The Old Testament _____________

          1) Abraham was called by God with a promise to make him 
             a great ___________

          2) Abraham began to ___________ how this was going to 

          3) _____________ and Abraham decide to take matters 
             into their own hands

          4) God rebukes them and reiterates that Sarah’s son 
             will be his __________

     B) The New Testament _______________

V) ____________ makes us residents of the heavenly city, the New Jerusalem 

     A) _______________ was looking for that city

     B) All the Old Testament __________ were looking for that 

     C) We are ___________ residents of that city!

     D) We will be __________ residents of that city!

     E) And all our trials and problems will be _________ once we 
        reside there!

VI) Relying on the law means that your ____________ is gone (and maybe your new home)

Devotional Reading for May 27, 2021

Job 32-34 (The Daily Walk Bible)

Here Elihu points out that God’s actions toward Job may be educational, and not simply disciplinary. Elihu has an important insight here, that is echoed in the New Testament. Here are some examples (one of which I’ve already mentioned in a prior comment):

Romans 5:3-4 “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

2 Corinthians 1:3-6 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer.”

What about Elihu anyway? Here is what we read about him from the ESV Study Bible: “Instead, a new character makes an entrance, one who alone in the book bears a Hebrew name: Elihu (“he is God” or possibly “Yahweh is God”) son of Barachel (“may God bless” or “God has blessed”; cf. 32:6). Through five uninterrupted chapters (chs. 32–37) he rebukes both Job and his friends—but how are readers to understand his intervention? Commentators vary dramatically in their assessments. From the text itself, certain factors stand out. (1) Elihu provides in small measure the “intermediary” for whom Job hoped. Elihu himself is not the answer to Job’s quest, but he does point in the right direction. (2) The dialogues to this point appeal to tradition and observation; Elihu introduces the notion of inspiration (32:8, 18–20). Some see here an overtly prophetic response to the wisdom discussion. (3) Elihu cites and finds wanting both sides of the debate (33:1; 34:2). Again, Elihu anticipates the stance that God himself will take (chs. 38–42). (4) Perhaps most important, Elihu reorients the entire debate. The focus slowly but surely swings away from Job and the problem of human morality, urging attention to God alone as the grounds of certainty and hope (cf. 36:22–23; 37:14–24). At the same time, Elihu may be overestimating his own contribution (32:6–10). He knows no more of the actual reasons for the events (chs. 1–2) than the three friends do, and some of his arguments overlap theirs. Further, when the Lord finally speaks (38:1), he seems to ignore Elihu entirely (cf. also 42:7). Elihu may be asserting some true things at the core of his argument, but how he applies these things and the conclusions he draws about Job contrast significantly with the Lord’s speech to Job. On a literary level, Elihu’s speech builds suspense by delaying the final outcome.”

Devotional Reading for May 26, 2021

Job 29-31 (The Daily Walk Bible).

Loved the insight section today! Scripture does tell us to examine ourselves, and also encourages us to ask God to examine us, which is even better (although perhaps a little scary).

Psalm 26:2 “Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.” (in context this is very much a Job prayer)

Psalm 139:23-24 “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!”

Lamentations 3:40 “Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the LORD!”

1 Corinthians 11:28 “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup.” (regarding the Lord’s Supper)

2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

Galatians 6:3-4 “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor.”

1 John 1:8-9 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

1 John 3:20-21 “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God.”

Devotional Reading for May 25, 2021

Job 25-28 (The Daily Walk Bible).

We are at the end of Job’s friends arguments here. The last thing they say is that human beings are but worms in God’s sight. So much for comforting Job!

Job answers with a declaration of God’s greatness and omnipotence (26:5-14). He then goes on to once again affirm his innocence (27:1-6). He continually calls upon God in the book. He wants to hear from Him, to see Him, to be able to defend himself! It’s interesting that his friends never actually call upon God. Job concludes this section actually agreeing with some of their arguments. Job agrees that God punishes the wicked — this is what normally happens in life (27:13-23). However, he understands that it’s not true in every case, and he continues to want God to show him if he has done something wrong.

While we can think that Job is proud ,obstinate, angry, and depressed, we have to realize that this all starts out because God considers Job to be a shining example of righteousness! And one other important thing reveals itself: even in his despair and discouragement, Job talks to God. Which is more than we can say for his friends! They talk a lot about God, but Job is continually calling on God.

I think that there is a lesson here for us, and we find it often in the Psalms. God knows what we are thinking. He knows what is in our hearts. In the Psalms we sometimes find a person crying out to God in confusion or despair. It’s okay to do that. God wants us to talk to him, even if what comes out isn’t full of faith and trust. And simply by voicing those thoughts, God’s Spirit helps us to deal with them. Which is why in the Psalms, we often find expressions of trust following those outbursts. And we’re going to see something similar happen in Job!