Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Daily Devotional Wednesday 1st June

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” -1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"The king also himself passed over the brook Kidron."
2 Samuel 15:23

David passed that gloomy brook when flying with his mourning company from his traitor son. The man after God's own heart was not exempt from trouble, nay, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord's Anointed, and the Lord's Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow's gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads; wherefore then should we complain as though some strange thing had happened unto us?

The King of kings himself was not favoured with a more cheerful or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points like as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before us. "In all our afflictions he was afflicted." The idea of strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and forever, for he who is the Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so peculiar. All the citizens of Zion must be free of the Honourable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is Head and Captain.

Notwithstanding the abasement of David, he yet returned in triumph to his city, and David's Lord arose victorious from the grave; let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the day. We shall yet with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation, though now for a season we have to pass by the noxious streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and so shall you.

Evening

"Who healeth all thy diseases."
Psalm 103:3

Humbling as is the statement, yet the fact is certain, that we are all more or less suffering under the disease of sin. What a comfort to know that we have a great Physician who is both able and willing to heal us! Let us think of him awhile tonight. His cures are very speedy--there is life in a look at him; his cures are radical--he strikes at the centre of the disease; and hence, his cures are sure and certain. He never fails, and the disease never returns. There is no relapse where Christ heals; no fear that his patients should be merely patched up for a season, he makes new men of them: a new heart also does he give them, and a right spirit does he put within them. He is well skilled in all diseases. Physicians generally have some speciality. Although they may know a little about almost all our pains and ills, there is usually one disease which they have studied above all others; but Jesus Christ is thoroughly acquainted with the whole of human nature. He is as much at home with one sinner as with another, and never yet did he meet with an out-of-the-way case that was difficult to him. He has had extraordinary complications of strange diseases to deal with, but he has known exactly with one glance of his eye how to treat the patient. He is the only universal doctor; and the medicine he gives is the only true catholicon, healing in every instance. Whatever our spiritual malady may be, we should apply at once to this Divine Physician. There is no brokenness of heart which Jesus cannot bind up. "His blood cleanseth from all sin." We have but to think of the myriads who have been delivered from all sorts of diseases through the power and virtue of his touch, and we shall joyfully put ourselves in his hands. We trust him, and sin dies; we love him, and grace lives; we wait for him and grace is strengthened; we see him as he is, and grace is perfected forever.

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Shimei, Shimi, Shimhi

[Shĭm'eī, Shī'mī, Shĭm'hī] - jehovah is fame or famous.

Shimei, we are told, was a popular name among the Hebrews, being especially common in Levitical circles. But of the majority of men bearing it, little is known apart from the name.

1. The Benjamite of the clan of Saul, son of Gera who cursed David when he fled from Absalom (2 Sam. 16:5, 7, 13; 19:16, 18, 21, 23 ). Although we have little knowledge of this most prominent Shimei, what we do know proves him to be, as Dr. Alexander Whyte expresses it, "A reptile of the royal house of Saul." This Shimei can be described as:

The Man Who Hated the Truth He Knew

This man who lived to curse knew only too well that David had never shed a single drop of Saul's blood, but it was not in his interest to admit the truth he knew. Because of his tribal and family connections it was natural for Shimei to be David's bitter enemy, and to heap his curses and insults upon the fugitive monarch.

When, however, David triumphantly returned after Absalom's tragic death, Shimei met the king with a hypocritical repentance. David accepted his apology and gave an oath that he would not put him to death. When further resistance was useless, Shimei feigned obedience to David, but in his heart was still bitterly opposed to him.

On his deathbed David's last words to Solomon about Shimei's blood being spilt, cause one to wonder whether David's long-suppressed revenge upon his enemy found utterance. Solomon would not allow Shimei to go beyond the walls of Jerusalem. All the time he remained in his city of refuge he was safe. If he passed without it, he would die. Shimei kept this arrangement for three years, then broke it on some trifling occasion and justly forfeited his life. At the command of Solomon he was executed by Benaiah. This was the last of those acts of justice on offenders against David which Solomon performed.

How do we act when men say all manner of evil against us falsely? Do we see the Lord in it all, and that He will work out our salvation in spite of adverse and sore criticisms and circumstances? Do we rest in the fact that the Lord will look upon our affliction and will requite us good for all evil, if only we wisely and silently and adoringly submit ourselves to it?

2. A Courtier, Shimei by name, an officer of David, remained true to the king when Adonijah sought to usurp the throne (1 Kings 1:8).

3. A son of Elah, one of the twelve purveyors of Solomon, in Benjamin ( 1 Kings 4:18). This Shimei has been identified as the one above in 1 Kings 1:8.

4. A son of Gershon, son of Levi, who founded a subdivision of the tribal family of Gershon (Exod. 6:17).

5. A grandson of Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim king of Judah. A prince of the royal house (1 Chron. 3:19).

6. A son of Zacchur, the Benjamite with sixteen sons and six daughters ( 1 Chron. 4:26, 27).

7. A Reubenite, son of Gog (1 Chron. 5:4).

8. A Merarite, son of Libni (1 Chron. 6:29).

9. Father of a chief family in Judah (1 Chron. 8:21).

10. A Levite of the family of Laadan - grandson of Levi (1 Chron. 23:9).

11. A Levite to whom the tenth lot fell in the singing service of the Tabernacle during David's time. A son of Jeduthun (1 Chron. 25:3, 17).

12. A Ramathite who was overseer in David's vineyards (1 Chron. 27:27).

13. A descendant of Heman, who took part in the cleansing of the Temple in Hezekiah's time (2 Chron. 29:14).

14. A Levite and brother of Conaniah, who had charge of the tithes (2 Chron. 31:12, 13).

15. A Levite who had taken a strange wife (Ezra 10:23).

16. One of the family of Hashum who put away his wife (Ezra 10:33).

17. A son of Bani, who also put away his strange wife (Ezra 10:38).

18. A Benjamite, son of Kish and grandfather of Mordecai (Esther 2:5).

19. A representative, perhaps of the Gershonites who participated in mourning for national guilt ( Zech. 12:13).

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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 13-14, John 12:1-26 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Today's Old Testament reading: 2 Chronicles 13-14

Abijah King of Judah

1 In the eighteenth year of the reign of Jeroboam, Abijah became king of Judah, 2 and he reigned in Jerusalem three years. His mother's name was Maakah, a daughter of Uriel of Gibeah.

There was war between Abijah and Jeroboam. 3 Abijah went into battle with an army of four hundred thousand able fighting men, and Jeroboam drew up a battle line against him with eight hundred thousand able troops....

...read the rest on Bible Gateway

Today's New Testament reading: John 12:1-26

Jesus Anointed at Bethany

1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume....

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P31Header
Marybeth Whalen

May 31, 2011

Purse, Bag, or Sandals
Marybeth Whalen

"Then Jesus asked them, 'When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?' 'Nothing,' they answered.'" Luke 22:35 (NIV)

I am a champion list maker and detailed packer. I've learned when traveling to pack protein bars in case I get caught somewhere with no food. I've learned to take clothes and shoes that can be dressed up or down because you just never know. I've learned to pre-purchase travel-sized toiletries if I am flying. In short, I like to be prepared.

Being prepared feeds my illusion that I can somehow control my future.

In Matthew 10 Jesus calls the disciples, gives them authority in His name and sends them out, telling them to go minister to the lost sheep of Israel. He then tells them to take nothing with them - no money, no bag of belongings, not even sandals for their journey. Can you imagine being sent out like this? No time to pack. No time to shop. No time to make a list. Just go. The planner in me shudders at the thought.

And yet the disciples do just as Jesus asks. They return and later, in Luke 22:35, we get "the rest of the story." When Jesus sent them out with nothing they lacked nothing.

This verse jumped out at me when I read it. I thought of my own propensity to prepare. I thought of the panic that would rise up in me if I'd been asked by Jesus to just go. Then I thought of the many times I've let my need to prepare actually become a cover for simply not obeying.

Instead of taking action, I've stalled. My excuses sound really good - even biblical: I need more time to pray. I need to make a list of pros and cons. I need to talk to some friends, receive wise counsel. I need to spend more time reading the Bible. I need confirmation.

While these are all good things, I am not sure God means for me to do them all every time. Sometimes I think He just wants us to obey like He asked the disciples to do. But the truth is, the thought of venturing into Jesus' call and trusting Him to provide as we do feels... dangerous. It goes against our penchant for planning and our strong desire to control.

As His disciples, He wants us to have the kind of faith it takes to say "yes Lord, I will go." He wants us to fully trust in His ability to provide our every need, overcome our every complication, and supply every piece of information.

Perhaps God has asked you to do something that feels a bit like running out without purse, bag or sandals. Maybe He's asking you to go on a mission trip that scares you, to reach out to someone who frightens you, to tackle a problem that feels bigger than you... and you feel unprepared.

Jesus wants us to step out in faith, trusting that, like the disciples, on the other side of this adventure we will be able to say that we lacked nothing. Sometimes we don't need purse, bag or sandals. What we need most is faith in Him.

Dear Lord, I don't want to plan if I know You're asking for me to move. I want to listen for Your prompting and go where You say go. I don't want to rely in preparation as my comfort but in You as my provider. Help me to put my faith in You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

Visit Marybeth's blog for her "Top Ten Tuesday" that is sure to encourage your heart.

What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst

She Makes It Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen. A novel for every woman who has looked at another woman's life and said, "I want what she has." She Makes It Look Easyreminds us of the danger of pedestals and the beauty of authentic friendship.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, you touch eternity because your purchase supports the many areas of hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. We wish we could, but we simply can't compete with prices offered by huge online warehouses. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
Today instead of preparing and prolonging, accept whatever God's been whispering to your heart. Then take the first step towards answering that call.

Reflections:
Do I get caught up in plans instead of achieving God's purposes? Do I let preparation become a form of procrastination? Am I hanging back when He wants me to move forward?

Power Verses:
2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us according to his glory and goodness." (NIV)

Nehemiah 9:21, "For forty years you sustained them in the desert; they lacked nothing, their clothes did not wear out nor did their feet become swollen." (NIV)

© 2011 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org


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