"In the world ye shall have tribulation."
Art thou asking the reason of this, believer? Look upward to thy heavenly Father, and behold him pure and holy. Dost thou know that thou art one day to be like him? Wilt thou easily be conformed to his image? Wilt thou not require much refining in the furnace of affliction to purify thee? Will it be an easy thing to get rid of thy corruptions, and make thee perfect even as thy Father which is in heaven is perfect? Next, Christian, turn thine eye downward. Dost thou know what foes thou hast beneath thy feet? Thou wast once a servant of Satan, and no king will willingly lose his subjects. Dost thou think that Satan will let thee alone? No, he will be always at thee, for he "goeth about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." Expect trouble, therefore, Christian, when thou lookest beneath thee. Then look around thee. Where art thou? Thou art in an enemy's country, a stranger and a sojourner. The world is not thy friend. If it be, then thou art not God's friend, for he who is the friend of the world is the enemy of God. Be assured that thou shalt find foe-men everywhere. When thou sleepest, think that thou art resting on the battlefield; when thou walkest, suspect an ambush in every hedge. As mosquitoes are said to bite strangers more than natives, so will the trials of earth be sharpest to you. Lastly, look within thee, into thine own heart and observe what is there. Sin and self are still within. Ah! if thou hadst no devil to tempt thee, no enemies to fight thee, and no world to ensnare thee, thou wouldst still find in thyself evil enough to be a sore trouble to thee, for "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." Expect trouble then, but despond not on account of it, for God is with thee to help and to strengthen thee. He hath said, "I will be with thee in trouble; I will deliver thee and honour thee."
"A very present help."
Covenant blessings are not meant to be looked at only, but to be appropriated. Even our Lord Jesus is given to us for our present use. Believer, thou dost not make use of Christ as thou oughtest to do. When thou art in trouble, why dost thou not tell him all thy grief? Has he not a sympathizing heart, and can he not comfort and relieve thee? No, thou art going about to all thy friends, save thy best Friend, and telling thy tale everywhere except into the bosom of thy Lord. Art thou burdened with this day's sins? Here is a fountain filled with blood: use it, saint, use it. Has a sense of guilt returned upon thee? The pardoning grace of Jesus may be proved again and again. Come to him at once for cleansing. Dost thou deplore thy weakness? He is thy strength: why not lean upon him? Dost thou feel naked? Come hither, soul; put on the robe of Jesus' righteousness. Stand not looking at it, but wear it. Strip off thine own righteousness, and thine own fears too: put on the fair white linen, for it was meant to wear. Dost thou feel thyself sick? Pull the night-bell of prayer, and call up the Beloved Physician! He will give the cordial that will revive thee. Thou art poor, but then thou hast "a kinsman, a mighty man of wealth." What! wilt thou not go to him, and ask him to give thee of his abundance, when he has given thee this promise, that thou shalt be joint heir with him, and has made over all that he is and all that he has to be thine? There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for his people to make a show-thing of him, and not to use him. He loves to be employed by us. The more burdens we put on his shoulders, the more precious will he be to us.
"Let us be simple with him, then,
Not backward, stiff, or cold,
As though our Bethlehem could be
What Sinai was of old."
[Gōlī'ath] - the exile or soothsayer. The famous giant of Gath, who defied the armies of Israel (1 Sam. 17:4, 23; 21:9; 22:10; 2 Sam. 21:19).
The Man a Pebble Killed
The story of David and Goliath has thrilled our hearts from childhood days. How spectacular it must have been to see a stripling like David slay a massive man some ten feet high with only a pebble from the stream. Saul's proffered armor was of no use against Goliath. David had to meet the giant with the weapon he was used to. A ready-made suit was of no avail for the son of Jesse.
The religious character of the duel between Goliath and David should not be lost sight of. The giant cursed David by his gods. David went out to meet Goliath "in the name of the Lord of Hosts." But why did David take five stones, if his God was able to direct a single one into the forehead? Did he want to make sure that if one pebble failed, he would have four more to swing? Going over the passages we discover that Goliath had four sons, all of whom were giants, and five pebbles were needed to slay the lot of them. Thus the choice of five was an act of faith. Through God, only one pebble was needed. David went forth to meet Goliath with five pebbles and he came back with five - four in his hand and the other in Goliath's massive forehead. How God delights to use the insignificant things of life to accomplish His purpose!
Today's reading: 1 Kings 14-15, Luke 22:31-46 (NIV)View today's reading on Bible Gateway
Today's Old Testament reading: 1 Kings 14-15
Ahijah's Prophecy Against Jeroboam
1 At that time Abijah son of Jeroboam became ill, 2 and Jeroboam said to his wife, "Go, disguise yourself, so you won't be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Then go to Shiloh. Ahijah the prophet is there--the one who told me I would be king over this people. 3 Take ten loaves of bread with you, some cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will happen to the boy." 4 So Jeroboam's wife did what he said and went to Ahijah's house in Shiloh....
Today's New Testament reading: Luke 22:31-46
31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
33 But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death."
34 Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me...."
FOR YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS
Thanks for being eager beavers in signing up for this new weekly devotional called “Everything New.” Starting next week I’ll be sending out, via the good friends at Bible Gateway, a thought for the beginning of your week on how God makes things new in life.
Every person wants something to be new in his or her life. A new beginning. A fresh start. But how does Jesus make marriages new? Attitudes new? Relationships new? Jobs new? Families new? Hearts new?
How about churches made new? Workplaces made new? Culture made new?
At the very end of the Bible, in the book of Revelation, Jesus himself declares: “I am making everything new!” He will do that at the end of history, but he is doing it right now. In fact, in the weeks to come we’ll see how renewal is a major theme of the whole of the Scriptures. Why is that? Because God, the creator of all things, is not content to let a broken world stay broken.
Listen... in the next few days (or maybe right now) perhaps you could forward this email so that friends and family you know can sign up for the free devotional as well.
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