Monday, June 11, 2012

Daily Devotional Monday 11th June

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13 NIV
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Morning and Evening by Charles Spurgeon

Morning

"We love him because he first loved us."
1 John 4:19
There is no light in the planet but that which proceedeth from the sun; and there is no true love to Jesus in the heart but that which cometh from the Lord Jesus himself. From this overflowing fountain of the infinite love of God, all our love to God must spring. This must ever be a great and certain truth, that we love him for no other reason than because he first loved us. Our love to him is the fair offspring of his love to us. Cold admiration, when studying the works of God, anyone may have, but the warmth of love can only be kindled in the heart by God's Spirit. How great the wonder that such as we should ever have been brought to love Jesus at all! How marvellous that when we had rebelled against him, he should, by a display of such amazing love, seek to draw us back. No! never should we have had a grain of love towards God unless it had been sown in us by the sweet seed of his love to us. Love, then, has for its parent the love of God shed abroad in the heart: but after it is thus divinely born, it must be divinely nourished. Love is an exotic; it is not a plant which will flourish naturally in human soil, it must be watered from above. Love to Jesus is a flower of a delicate nature, and if it received no nourishment but that which could be drawn from the rock of our hearts it would soon wither. As love comes from heaven, so it must feed on heavenly bread. It cannot exist in the wilderness unless it be fed by manna from on high. Love must feed on love. The very soul and life of our love to God is his love to us.
"I love thee, Lord, but with no love of mine,
For I have none to give;
I love thee, Lord; but all the love is thine,
For by thy love I live.
I am as nothing, and rejoice to be
Emptied, and lost, and swallowed up in thee."

Evening

"There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle."
Psalm 76:3
Our Redeemer's glorious cry of "It is finished," was the death-knell of all the adversaries of his people, the breaking of "the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle." Behold the hero of Golgotha using his cross as an anvil, and his woes as a hammer, dashing to shivers bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned "arrows of the bow;" trampling on every indictment, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty Breaker gives with a hammer far more ponderous than the fabled weapon of Thor! How the diabolical darts fly to fragments, and the infernal bucklers are broken like potters' vessels! Behold, he draws from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of Satanic power! He snaps it across his knee, as a man breaks the dry wood of a fagot, and casts it into the fire. Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow mortally to wound him, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ, a full atonement was made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuseth? Who now condemneth? Christ hath died, yea rather, hath risen again. Jesus has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath; the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell's warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance. Sin hath no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it, and put it away forever. O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end. Talk ye of all the wondrous works of the Lord, ye who make mention of his name, keep not silence, neither by day, nor when the sun goeth to his rest. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

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Today's reading: 2 Chronicles 34-36, John 19:1-22 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway 
Josiah’s Reforms
    1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and followed the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
   3 In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still young, he began to seek the God of his father David. In his twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem of high places, Asherah poles and idols. 4 Under his direction the altars of the Baals were torn down; he cut to pieces the incense altars that were above them, and smashed the Asherah poles and the idols. These he broke to pieces and scattered over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. 5 He burned the bones of the priests on their altars, and so he purged Judah and Jerusalem. 6 In the towns of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon, as far as Naphtali, and in the ruins around them, 7 he tore down the altars and the Asherah poles and crushed the idols to powder and cut to pieces all the incense altars throughout Israel. Then he went back to Jerusalem.
   8 In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign, to purify the land and the temple, he sent Shaphan son of Azaliah and Maaseiah the ruler of the city, with Joah son of Joahaz, the recorder, to repair the temple of the LORD his God.
   9 They went to Hilkiah the high priest and gave him the money that had been brought into the temple of God, which the Levites who were the gatekeepers had collected from the people of Manasseh, Ephraim and the entire remnant of Israel and from all the people of Judah and Benjamin and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 Then they entrusted it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the LORD’s temple. These men paid the workers who repaired and restored the temple. 11They also gave money to the carpenters and builders to purchase dressed stone, and timber for joists and beams for the buildings that the kings of Judah had allowed to fall into ruin.
   12 The workers labored faithfully. Over them to direct them were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descended from Kohath. The Levites—all who were skilled in playing musical instruments—13 had charge of the laborers and supervised all the workers from job to job. Some of the Levites were secretaries, scribes and gatekeepers.
The Book of the Law Found
    14 While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD that had been given through Moses. 15 Hilkiah said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the LORD.” He gave it to Shaphan.
   16 Then Shaphan took the book to the king and reported to him: “Your officials are doing everything that has been committed to them. 17 They have paid out the money that was in the temple of the LORD and have entrusted it to the supervisors and workers.” 18 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
   19 When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes. 20 He gave these orders to Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 21 “Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the remnant in Israel and Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD’s anger that is poured out on us because those who have gone before us have not kept the word of the LORD; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written in this book.”
   22 Hilkiah and those the king had sent with him went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.
   23 She said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 24 ‘This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people—all the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah. 25 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all that their hands have made, my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.’ 26 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 27 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. 28 Now I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place and on those who live here.’”
   So they took her answer back to the king.
   29 Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 30 He went up to the temple of the LORD with the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites—all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD. 31 The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD—to follow the LORD and keep his commands, statutes and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.
   32 Then he had everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin pledge themselves to it; the people of Jerusalem did this in accordance with the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.
   33 Josiah removed all the detestable idols from all the territory belonging to the Israelites, and he had all who were present in Israel serve the LORD their God. As long as he lived, they did not fail to follow the LORD, the God of their ancestors.

2 Chronicles 35

Josiah Celebrates the Passover
    1 Josiah celebrated the Passover to the LORD in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He appointed the priests to their duties and encouraged them in the service of the LORD’s temple. 3 He said to the Levites, who instructed all Israel and who had been consecrated to the LORD: “Put the sacred ark in the temple that Solomon son of David king of Israel built. It is not to be carried about on your shoulders. Now serve the LORD your God and his people Israel. 4 Prepare yourselves by families in your divisions, according to the instructions written by David king of Israel and by his son Solomon.
   5 “Stand in the holy place with a group of Levites for each subdivision of the families of your fellow Israelites, the lay people. 6 Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves and prepare the lambs for your fellow Israelites, doing what the LORD commanded through Moses.”
   7 Josiah provided for all the lay people who were there a total of thirty thousand lambs and goats for the Passover offerings, and also three thousand cattle—all from the king’s own possessions.
   8 His officials also contributed voluntarily to the people and the priests and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah and Jehiel, the officials in charge of God’s temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred Passover offerings and three hundred cattle. 9 Also Konaniah along with Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel and Jozabad, the leaders of the Levites, provided five thousand Passover offerings and five hundred head of cattle for the Levites.
   10 The service was arranged and the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions as the king had ordered. 11 The Passover lambs were slaughtered, and the priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals. 12 They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the subdivisions of the families of the people to offer to the LORD, as it is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the cattle. 13 They roasted the Passover animals over the fire as prescribed, and boiled the holy offerings in pots, caldrons and pans and served them quickly to all the people. 14 After this, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat portions until nightfall. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the Aaronic priests.
   15 The musicians, the descendants of Asaph, were in the places prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun the king’s seer. The gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their posts, because their fellow Levites made the preparations for them.
   16 So at that time the entire service of the LORD was carried out for the celebration of the Passover and the offering of burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD, as King Josiah had ordered.17 The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time and observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah, with the priests, the Levites and all Judah and Israel who were there with the people of Jerusalem. 19 This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign.
The Death of Josiah
    20 After all this, when Josiah had set the temple in order, Necho king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah marched out to meet him in battle. 21But Necho sent messengers to him, saying, “What quarrel is there, king of Judah, between you and me? It is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war. God has told me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you.”
   22 Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Necho had said at God’s command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo.
   23 Archers shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, “Take me away; I am badly wounded.” 24 So they took him out of his chariot, put him in his other chariot and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him.
   25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments.
   26 The other events of Josiah’s reign and his acts of devotion in accordance with what is written in the Law of the LORD— 27all the events, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

2 Chronicles 36

1 And the people of the land took Jehoahaz son of Josiah and made him king in Jerusalem in place of his father.
Jehoahaz King of Judah
    2 Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. 3 The king of Egypt dethroned him in Jerusalem and imposed on Judah a levy of a hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. 4 The king of Egypt made Eliakim, a brother of Jehoahaz, king over Judah and Jerusalem and changed Eliakim’s name to Jehoiakim. But Necho took Eliakim’s brother Jehoahaz and carried him off to Egypt.
Jehoiakim King of Judah
    5 Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD his God. 6 Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked him and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon. 7 Nebuchadnezzar also took to Babylon articles from the temple of the LORD and put them in his temple there.
   8 The other events of Jehoiakim’s reign, the detestable things he did and all that was found against him, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king.
Jehoiachin King of Judah
    9 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. He did evil in the eyes of the LORD. 10 In the spring, King Nebuchadnezzar sent for him and brought him to Babylon, together with articles of value from the temple of the LORD, and he made Jehoiachin’s uncle, Zedekiah, king over Judah and Jerusalem.
Zedekiah King of Judah
    11 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. 12 He did evil in the eyes of the LORD his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the LORD.13 He also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him take an oath in God’s name. He became stiff-necked and hardened his heart and would not turn to the LORD, the God of Israel. 14 Furthermore, all the leaders of the priests and the people became more and more unfaithful, following all the detestable practices of the nations and defiling the temple of the LORD, which he had consecrated in Jerusalem.
The Fall of Jerusalem
    15 The LORD, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. 16 But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. 17 He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. 18 He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the LORD’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. 19 They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
   20 He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. 21 The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.
   22 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
   23 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
   “‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up, and may the LORD their God be with them.’”

John 19

Jesus Sentenced to Be Crucified
    1 Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
   4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
   6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
   But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
   7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
   8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
   11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
   12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”
   13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
   “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
   15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
   “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
   “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
   16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
    So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
   19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
   22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

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The heavenly race

“So run, that ye may obtain.” 1 Corinthians 9:24
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 11:39-12:2
When zealous racers on yonder heath are flying across the plain, seeking to obtain the reward, the whole heath is covered with multitudes of persons, who are eagerly gazing upon them, and no doubt the noise of those who cheer them onward and the thousand eyes of those who look upon them, have a tendency to make them stretch every nerve, and press with vigour on. It was so in the games to which the apostle alludes. There the people sat on raised platforms, while the racers ran before them, and they cried to them, and the friends of the racers urged them forward, and the kindly voice would ever be heard bidding them go on. Now, Christian brethren, how many witnesses are looking down upon you. Down! Do I say? It is even so. From the battlements of heaven the angels look down upon you, and they seem to cry today to you with sweet, silvery voice, “Ye shall reap if ye faint not; ye shall be rewarded if ye continue steadfast in the work and faith of Christ.” And the saints look down upon you—Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; martyrs and confessors, and your own pious relatives who have ascended to heaven, look down upon you; and if I might so speak, I think sometimes you might hear the clapping of their hands when you have resisted temptation and overcome the enemy; and you might see their suspense when you are lagging in the course, and you might hear their friendly word of caution as they bid you gird up the loins of your mind, and lay aside every weight, and still speed forward; never resting to take your breath, never staying for a moment’s ease till you have attained the flowery beds of heaven, where you may rest for ever.
For meditation: Do Spurgeon’s words, spoken on a Friday afternoon from the “Grand Stand, Epsom Race-course” strike you as over-fanciful? The pages of Scripture are full of lessons from the heroes of faith, still speaking to us down the centuries (Hebrews 11:4 ). They witness to us from their own experience “It can be done; by God’s grace we ran the race; by God’s grace you can run it too” (2 Timothy 4:7).
Sermon no. 198
11 June (1858)

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A word in season

‘When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up; and he shall save the humble person.’ Job 22:29
Suggested Further Reading: Lamentations 3:17–29
There is hope! He who said there is no hope is a liar and a murderer from the beginning, and the father of lies: there is hope because Jesus died; there is hope anywhere except in the infernal lake. There is hope in the hospital, where a man has sickened, and is within the last hour of his departure. There is hope, though men have sinned themselves beyond the pale of society; hope for the convict, though he has had to smart under the lash; hope for the man who has cast himself away. Able to save is Jesus still. ‘No hope’ is not to be said by any of the crew of the lifeboat while he sights the crew of the sinking vessel. ‘No hope’ is not to be said by any one of the fire brigade while he knows there are living men in the burning pile. ‘No hope’ is not to be said by any one of the valiant brigade of the Christian church while the soul is still within reach of the sound of mercy. ‘No hope’ is a cry which no human tongue should utter, which no human heart should heed. May God grant us grace whenever we get an opportunity to go and tell all we meet with that are bowed down, ‘There is lifting up.’ And tell them where it is likewise. Tell them it is only at the cross. Tell them it is through the precious blood. Tell them it is to be had for nothing, through simply trusting Christ. Tell them it is of free grace, that no merits of theirs are wanted, that no good things are they to bring, but that they may come just as they are, and find lifting up in Christ.
For meditation: It is a fact that those in the world who are without Christ are currently also without hope (Ephesians 2:12); but while they are still in the land of the living there is still hope (Ecclesiastes 9:4) that the whole situation can be reversed.
Sermon no. 731
11 June (Undated Sermon)

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THE POWER OF GOD’S WORD

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
Jesus is our best example of dependence on the written Word of God. He quoted scripture repeatedly. When Satan tempted Him in the wilderness, for example, He quoted scripture in answer to each of Satan’s demands (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus based His teaching on the Old Testament Scriptures and referred to them frequently for historical examples. It can be said that Jesus authenticated almost every book in the Old Testament by quoting from it at least once as divine authority!
It is especially interesting to note how Jesus used the scriptures after His death and resurrection. While walking with some followers on the road to Emmaus, He began “with Moses and all the Prophets” explaining “…to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself" (Luke 24:27).
The central place scripture held for the early church is evident throughout the book of Acts. Scripture was used to explain the events of Pentecost ( Acts 2:16-21), to identify Jesus as the Messiah (2:25-28), to determine their reaction to persecution (4:23-26), to state the church’s position in the face of persecution (7:1-53 ), to preach Christ (8:29-35), and to determine how to accept Gentile believers (15:13-21).
There are literally hundreds of examples of New Testament Christians and the writers of the epistles using the Old Testament Scriptures to prove their positions. In fact, it is so basic to sound biblical teaching that it is still common in evangelical circles today. The Bible is our true source of divine knowledge.
Outside the city of Seoul, Korea stands the memorial to the martyrs of the Korean church. Interestingly, the first picture in the gallery is of a Welshman, R. J. Thomas. We learned about him earlier as he gave his life taking the Bible into northern Korea in 1866. The nephew of a scholar became a Christian by reading a gospel portion plastered on the compound wall of the man who killed Thomas. The young man reportedly helped a Scottish missionary, John Ross, make the first translation of the New Testament into Korean in Shenyang, China a mere twenty-five years later. This led to the first group of believers in the country of Korea even before foreign missionaries arrived. The Word of God is powerful!
RESPONSE: I will treasure God’s powerful and living Word, today.
PRAYER: Thank You Lord for the power of Your Word! May it impact North Korea anew in my generation.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS)
A daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks

© 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission

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Day 10

No rights they might claim protect this community of strangers in the world. Nor do they claim any such rights, for they are the meek, who renounce all rights of their own for the sake of Jesus Christ. When they are berated, they are quiet. When violence is done to them, they endure it. When they are cast out, they yield. They do not sue for their rights; they do not make a scene when injustice is done to them. They do not want rights of their own.... But Jesus says, they will inherit the earth. The earth belongs to those who are without rights and power. Those who now possess the earth with violence and injustice will lose it, and those who renounce it here, who were meek unto the cross, will rule over the new earth.

Biblical Wisdom

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5

Questions to Ponder

  • What does it mean to say that disciples "renounce all rights of their own for the sake of Jesus Christ"?
  • Why would disciples "not want rights of their own"?
  • Should followers of Jesus be non-violent in their response to evil?
  • In what sense can it be said that: "The earth belongs to those who are without rights and power"?

Psalm Fragment

Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek;
    you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear
   to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed,
   so that those from earth may strike terror no more. Psalm 10:17-18

Journal Reflections

  • Are there any rights that you would rather defend than "renounce...for the sake of Jesus Christ"? Explain.
  • Think of the way you do life and live in relationships. Would you call yourself meek? Why, or why not?
  • Is there a situation in your life now where you need the gift of meekness? If so, write about it. What might be different in that situation if you were truly meek? What do you need to do?

Intercessions

Pray for the powerful, the arrogant, those who clamor most for their own rights, that they might become truly meek and seek the good of others rather than their own good.

Prayer for Today

Lord Jesus, help me to renounce my own rights for your sake. Give me the gift of meekness and make me an "instrument of your peace."
40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Copyright © 2007 Augsburg Books, imprint of Augsburg Fortress.
Missed the first couple devotionals in this series, or want to re-read an earlier devotional? You can find a complete online archive of Bonhoeffer devotionals at BibleGateway.com. The first devotional can be found here.
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