Saturday, June 30, 2012

Daily Devotional Saturday 30th June

“The LORD will vindicate me; your love, LORD, endures forever— do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8 NIV

Today's reading: Job 14-16, Acts 9:22-43 (NIV)

View today's reading on Bible Gateway

Job 14

   1 “Mortals, born of woman,
   are of few days and full of trouble.
2 They spring up like flowers and wither away;
   like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.
3 Do you fix your eye on them?
   Will you bring them before you for judgment?
4 Who can bring what is pure from the impure?
   No one!
5 A person’s days are determined;
   you have decreed the number of his months
   and have set limits he cannot exceed.
6 So look away from him and let him alone,
   till he has put in his time like a hired laborer.
   7 “At least there is hope for a tree:
   If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
   and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Its roots may grow old in the ground
   and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
   and put forth shoots like a plant.
10 But a man dies and is laid low;
   he breathes his last and is no more.
11 As the water of a lake dries up
   or a riverbed becomes parched and dry,
12 so he lies down and does not rise;
   till the heavens are no more, people will not awake
   or be roused from their sleep.
   13 “If only you would hide me in the grave
   and conceal me till your anger has passed!
If only you would set me a time
   and then remember me!
14 If someone dies, will they live again?
   All the days of my hard service
   I will wait for my renewal to come.
15 You will call and I will answer you;
   you will long for the creature your hands have made.
16 Surely then you will count my steps
   but not keep track of my sin.
17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag;
   you will cover over my sin.
   18 “But as a mountain erodes and crumbles
   and as a rock is moved from its place,
19 as water wears away stones
   and torrents wash away the soil,
   so you destroy a person’s hope.
20 You overpower them once for all, and they are gone;
   you change their countenance and send them away.
21 If their children are honored, they do not know it;
   if their offspring are brought low, they do not see it.
22 They feel but the pain of their own bodies
   and mourn only for themselves.”

Job 15

    1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
   2 “Would a wise person answer with empty notions
   or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
3 Would they argue with useless words,
   with speeches that have no value?
4 But you even undermine piety
   and hinder devotion to God.
5 Your sin prompts your mouth;
   you adopt the tongue of the crafty.
Your own mouth condemns you, not mine;
   your own lips testify against you.
   7 “Are you the first man ever born?
   Were you brought forth before the hills?
8 Do you listen in on God’s council?
   Do you have a monopoly on wisdom?
9 What do you know that we do not know?
   What insights do you have that we do not have?
10 The gray-haired and the aged are on our side,
   men even older than your father.
11 Are God’s consolations not enough for you,
   words spoken gently to you?
12 Why has your heart carried you away,
   and why do your eyes flash,
13 so that you vent your rage against God
   and pour out such words from your mouth?
   14 “What are mortals, that they could be pure,
   or those born of woman, that they could be righteous?
15 If God places no trust in his holy ones,
   if even the heavens are not pure in his eyes,
16 how much less mortals, who are vile and corrupt,
   who drink up evil like water!
   17 “Listen to me and I will explain to you;
   let me tell you what I have seen,
18 what the wise have declared,
   hiding nothing received from their ancestors
19 (to whom alone the land was given
   when no foreigners moved among them):
20 All his days the wicked man suffers torment,
   the ruthless man through all the years stored up for him.
21 Terrifying sounds fill his ears;
   when all seems well, marauders attack him.
22 He despairs of escaping the realm of darkness;
   he is marked for the sword.
23 He wanders about for food like a vulture;
   he knows the day of darkness is at hand.
24 Distress and anguish fill him with terror;
   troubles overwhelm him, like a king poised to attack,
25 because he shakes his fist at God
   and vaunts himself against the Almighty,
26 defiantly charging against him
   with a thick, strong shield.
   27 “Though his face is covered with fat
   and his waist bulges with flesh,
28 he will inhabit ruined towns
   and houses where no one lives,
   houses crumbling to rubble.
29 He will no longer be rich and his wealth will not endure,
   nor will his possessions spread over the land.
30 He will not escape the darkness;
   a flame will wither his shoots,
   and the breath of God’s mouth will carry him away.
31 Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,
   for he will get nothing in return.
32 Before his time he will wither,
   and his branches will not flourish.
33 He will be like a vine stripped of its unripe grapes,
   like an olive tree shedding its blossoms.
34 For the company of the godless will be barren,
   and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes.
35 They conceive trouble and give birth to evil;
   their womb fashions deceit.”

Job 16

    1 Then Job replied:
   2 “I have heard many things like these;
   you are miserable comforters, all of you!
3 Will your long-winded speeches never end?
   What ails you that you keep on arguing?
4 I also could speak like you,
   if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
   and shake my head at you.
5 But my mouth would encourage you;
   comfort from my lips would bring you relief.
   6 “Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved;
   and if I refrain, it does not go away.
7 Surely, God, you have worn me out;
   you have devastated my entire household.
8 You have shriveled me up—and it has become a witness;
   my gauntness rises up and testifies against me.
9 God assails me and tears me in his anger
   and gnashes his teeth at me;
   my opponent fastens on me his piercing eyes.
10 People open their mouths to jeer at me;
   they strike my cheek in scorn
   and unite together against me.
11 God has turned me over to the ungodly
   and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked.
12 All was well with me, but he shattered me;
   he seized me by the neck and crushed me.
He has made me his target;
   13 his archers surround me.
Without pity, he pierces my kidneys
   and spills my gall on the ground.
14 Again and again he bursts upon me;
   he rushes at me like a warrior.
   15 “I have sewed sackcloth over my skin
   and buried my brow in the dust.
16 My face is red with weeping,
   dark shadows ring my eyes;
17 yet my hands have been free of violence
   and my prayer is pure.
   18 “Earth, do not cover my blood;
   may my cry never be laid to rest!
19 Even now my witness is in heaven;
   my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend
   as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God
   as one pleads for a friend.
   22 “Only a few years will pass
   before I take the path of no return.

Acts 9

22 Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Messiah.
   23 After many days had gone by, there was a conspiracy among the Jews to kill him, 24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him. 25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
   26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus. 28So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord. 29 He talked and debated with the Hellenistic Jews, but they tried to kill him. 30 When the believers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.
   31 Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
Aeneas and Dorcas
    32 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, who was paralyzed and had been bedridden for eight years. 34 “Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and roll up your mat.” Immediately Aeneas got up.35 All those who lived in Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord.
   36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
   39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
   40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. 43 Peter stayed in Joppa for some time with a tanner named Simon.


Ahilud [AhÄ«'lud]—a brother of one born.
  1. The father of Jehoshaphat, the recorder under David and Solomon (2 Sam. 8:1620:241 Kings 4:31 Chron. 18:15).
  2. Father of Baana, one of Solomon’s twelve purveyors (1 Kings 4:12).


He Is- My Strength

Saul (David's own father-in-law) sent men to lie in wait at David's house to assassinate him. Like a pack of wild dogs, these men were willing to prey on an innocent man. But God proved stronger than the king's evil plot, and thus David praised God, his strength.
It may be that people at work are threatened by your value system or that your unbelieving family doesn't relate to the whole "God thing." That's when the snarling and sniping begins. Take heart! God can protect you in a hostile environment. You, too, can say, "He is my strength."




But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:17-18
Jesus assumes in this passage that His followers practice fasting. He says “when” you fast—not “if” you fast and then goes on to give these instructions. Fasting is a significant spiritual activity that goes along with intensive prayer times. To fast means to put God first. Fasting is an attitude of the heart in which we interrupt our normal life to pray for a specific matter or cause. It means to abstain from food—and for some, even drink—so that we can focus on God and be more sensitive to spiritual matters. Fasting is also perseverance in prayer until you have received an answer—be it yes, no, wait or something different. In essence, fasting means that we rend our hearts before God, confess our sins and turn to the Lord anew (Joel 2:12-13).
Fasting is biblical. Consider the following: Moses fasted twice for forty days (Exodus 34:28); Daniel fasted (partially) for twenty-one days (Daniel 10:3); Joel called for a day of fasting (Joel 1:142:12); Ezra withdrew for a period of fasting and mourning (Ezra 10:6); Elijah fasted for forty days (1 Kings 19:8); Leaders of the church in Antioch fasted (Acts 13:2-3); Jesus fasted for forty days ( Luke 4:2); Paul and Barnabas fasted (Acts 14:2327:33).
Captain Bill Tinsley was arrested on false charges under President Marcos in the Philippines following the completion of Project Pearl in 1981. As the days of his confinement passed, Bill fasted from eating. After a few days of fasting, his blood pressure rose very higher. A doctor visited him daily. Everything possible was done to get him to eat. He was accused of staging a hunger strike. Bill carefully explained to his captors many times, “My fasting is a spiritualexercise. If I want my God to take my part, I must become weak that He may become strong. President Marcos is a very powerful man. I cannot fight him. I must let God take my part.” His explanation brought only a certain resignation by his jailers. They did not understand.
Each day during his captivity Bill went for a walk. A soldier always went along to guard against possible escape. On that tenth morning, after reading of Elijah’s running a great distance while fasting, Bill jogged. The soldier that went along couldn’t keep up and was forced to take shortcuts across the fields to stay with him.
“How can you be so strong without eating?” a colonel asked referring to the jogging incident that morning.
“It’s the power of God,” Bill told him sincerely. “And if you keep me here, you’re going to see me grow stronger and stronger!” The eyes of all the men present grew large. They believed him and that prospect was not to their liking. It was with some reluctance Bill later walked out of his cell for the last time. He had experienced God’s presence there. His captors, the same ones that had falsely arrested him, gave him a send-off as they would a dear friend.
RESPONSE: Today I resolve to practice all the spiritual disciplines…including fasting.
PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to practice fasting as a spiritual discipline without making it obvious.

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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40-Day Journey with Bonhoeffer Header

Day 29

Third, we speak of the service involved in bearing with others. "Bear one another's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Gal. 6:2). Thus the law of Christ is a law of forbearance. Forbearance means enduring and suffering. The other person is a burden to the Christian, in fact for the Christian most of all. The other person never becomes a burden at all for the pagans. They simply stay clear of every burden the other person may create for them. However, Christians must bear the burden of one another. Only as a burden is the other really a brother or sister and not just an object to be controlled.

Biblical Wisdom

So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith. Galatians 6:9-10

Questions to Ponder

  • In what ways might "bearing with others" have a positive rather than negative connotation?
  • What do you think of Bonhoeffer's assertion that: "The other person is a burden to the Christian"? Can that be a good way to look at other people?
  • How does the church "bear with" the larger community that surrounds it?

Psalm Fragment

Cast your burden on the Lord,
   and he will sustain you;
   he will never permit
   the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

Journal Reflections

  • Think of the people in your life. To whom are you a burden? How does it feel?
  • In what ways do the people in your life help bear your burdens?
  • Whose burdens are you helping to bear? How does it feel?


Who in your circle of family, friends, and acquaintances is weighed down with heavy burdens? Pray for them in their need and ask God to show you how to help them bear those burdens.

Prayer for Today

Loving God, thank you for bearing with me; make me willing to bear with others.
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 The first devotional can be found here.

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One of the most widely admired theologians of the 20th century, Bonhoeffer was a profound yet clear thinker. Klug selects significant passages from his works, pairs them with appropriate Scripture, sets up a journal-writing exercise, and concludes with prayer.

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Men chosen—fallen angels rejected

“Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Hebrews 2:16
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Peter 2:4-9
Adam broke the covenant of works; he touched the accursed fruit, and in that day he fell. Ah! What a fall was there! Then you, and I, and all of us fell down, while cursed sin triumphed over us; there were no men that stood; there were some angels that stood, but no men, for the fall of Adam was the fall of our entire race. After one portion of the angels had fallen, it pleased God to stamp their doom, and make it fast and firm; but when man fell, it did not so please God; he had threatened to punish him, but in his infinite mercy he made some the object of his special affection, for whom he provided a precious remedy, and secured it by the blood of his everlasting Son. These are the persons whom we call the elect; and those whom he has left to perish, perish on account of their own sins, most justly, to the praise of his glorious justice. Now, here you notice divine sovereignty; sovereignty, that God chose to put both men and angels on the footing of their free-will, sovereignty, in that he chose to punish all the fallen angels with utter destruction; sovereignty, in that he chose to reprieve, and grant an eternal pardon to a number, whom no man can number, selected out of men, who shall infallibly be found before his right hand above. My text mentions this great fact, for when properly translated it reads thus:- “He took not up angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”
For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ witnessed Satan’s expulsion from Heaven, and as surely guarantees the believer’s entrance into Heaven (Luke 10:18,20).
Sermon no. 90
30 June (Preached 29 June 1856)


June 29, 2012
Accepting The Call
Gwen Smith
Today's Truth
"Jesus replied, "Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching" (John 14:23a, NIV).
Friend To Friend
There is a feature on my cell phone that allows me to decline an incoming call. There are a thousand reasons why I might choose to hit the "decline" button when my phone rings. Sometimes I am writing and have a deadline to make. Decline. Sometimes a call comes in when I'm mid-conversation with a friend or when I'm connecting with my family. Decline. At times, true confessions here, I decline a call simply because I don't want to talk to the person who's calling me at that moment. (C'mon, don't judge me.)
Similarly, there are times in my life when I try to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit as if I were declining a cell phone call. Times when I just don't feel like doing what I know God wants me to do. Times when I don't want to hear the still small voice that whispers to my soul: "forgive him" – "release your anger" – "humble yourself and ask for forgiveness" or "focus on my plan for you ... not on my plan for another person."
One such time took place a few years back. It was after the final session at a three-day ministry event, I was focused and fervent, determined to head home to my husband and three children as quickly as possible. I busied myself wrapping microphone chords, loading CDs from my resource table, and prepping to leave. While I was mid-busy, a friendly thirty-something woman I'd chatted with previously that weekend came up to me with her friend. I was courteous to them, but in a "see-you-later, girlfriend" kind of way.
Not getting my subtle clues, this woman inquired excitedly about the book I was in the middle of writing. I lifted my head with surprise as she announced, "I can't wait to read your book! Your enthusiasm for the Lord is so contagious, and I just know you have an amazing testimony!" Then she and her friend stood there expectantly. Decline.

Okay, feel my pain here. It is day three of a three-day event! I was exhausted. I was done. Yet this woman and her friend wanted to hear my testimony. So, I did what any normal fleshy woman would do. I told God, Not now, Lord. I'm going home. I've done what I came to do and now I'm going home to my family. I'm tired, slightly grumpy, definitely hungry, and done. I can't tell these girls about my abortion right now. Nope. Not going to go there. Please don't ask me to!

So I looked up at these two sweet women and, with a forced chuckle, said, "Yeah, I've got a doozy of a story, but don't we all? Thank God for grace."
There! Now they should leave me alone, I thought.
But God kept nudging my heart. Tell them, Gwen.
Before I had a chance to continue my dialog with the Lord, another couple of women came to join our conversation. I was so not amused.
God, are You kidding me? We are done here!
But He kept nudging.
So I finally conceded and shared my testimony with the six women who had gathered to speak to me. Within minutes, two of the six were crying. They'd had abortions as well and for years had lived under the weight of shame. We became a bonded band of blubbering sisters. The story of my redemption from brokenness and the beauty and healing I found in Christ had become a tool in the hands of God that afternoon. What had once been a wound became a weapon ... but only because I accepted the call. (Even if it did take me a while to concede.)
Jesus told his disciples that if they loved Him, they would obey His commands and His teachings (John 14:15-27). A simple if-then statement. If you love me, then you will obey. He also told them that when He returned to the Father in heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit to teach, to guide in truth, to convict of sin and to remind believers of what Jesus taught (John 16:7-14). To help us. To empower us.
The Spirit of God lives within every Christian. He equips us for each task as we yield to His leading. When God prompts us to do something on His behalf, He is faithful to lead the way and to bless our obedience – for His own glory. It's all about His glory. He simply wants our willingness and our obedience. Friend, His plans need to be our plans ... even if His plans sometimes seem to "interrupt" our plans. Let's be women who accept His call. Are you willing today?
Let's Pray
Dear Lord, Please forgive me for the times when I've chosen my plan over Your plan. Align my will to Yours and help me to express my love for You by obeying your Word and by responding to the promptings of Your Spirit.
In Jesus' Name,
Now It's Your Turn
Can you think of a time when you sensed that God was leading you to do something? How did you respond?
Is there something He is calling you to do today? Are you withholding forgiveness from someone? Are you aware of a need that God wants you to meet? Does He want you end a toxic relationship? Spend a few minutes in prayer about this.
More from the Girlfriends
God calls each of us to use our lives to point to His hope. Right before He ascended into heaven, Jesus said, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8, emphasis added.) That call—that commission—will look different for each of us. GiGs, what does this look like for you today? Let's talk about it on my Facebook page. Leave a comment or thought on my wall at
Portions of today's devotion are taken from Gwen's book, Broken Into Beautiful. Her full testimony is featured in the book, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God has brought restoration the hearts of many other women who had painful life wounds. God delights to transform lives ... including your own. Experience God's healing and hope in your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful. To order the book online, please visit Gwen's website or grab a copy from Amazon or your favorite Christian bookstore.
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Tracie Miles
June 29, 2012
Recovering from Rejection
Tracie Miles
"Am I now trying to win the approval of man, or God? Or am I still trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 (NIV 1984)
If there is one thing that can make someone feel like they don't have a friend in the world, it's rejection. Whether it be a spouse's insult, a co-worker's gossip, a friend's betrayal, a boss's criticism, or a teenager who suddenly doesn't want to be seen with you anymore-rejection hurts.
Several years ago I was dealt a harsh blow of rejection from someone fairly close to me. In the midst of my recovery from the pain and shock, I became so focused on my hurt feelings that it was almost impossible for me to think clearly or rationally. I was consumed by thoughts about the rejection.
How could that person have done and said that to me? Do they know how much I have done for them? Have they taken a hard look at themselves?
My human nature wanted to get back at the one who hurt me. Maybe give them a taste of their own medicine. But God had a different plan.
He wanted me to handle this challenging and painful situation with understanding and compassion. He wanted me to pray for my "rejecter" and see them as His child who had made a mistake. As someone who didn't realize how their words and actions affected others. He wanted me to forgive them.
I didn't follow His lead at first. Instead, I chose to harbor anger. I filled the ears of my family and friends with all of my woes, forcing them to be an involuntary guest at my pity party. I chose to feel sorry for myself and shed as many tears as possible, as if that would drown out the hurt.
Despite my procrastination in handling things God's way, over the next few weeks He repeatedly intervened and reassured me of His love. I stumbled across Bible verses dealing with overcoming rejection. My weekly Bible study topic was on rejection, my daily email devotions touched on the same theme, and my pastor's sermon was about rejection that Sunday.
I knew God was trying to show me He cared about me and was with me during this time of turmoil. He gently reassured me of my worth in His eyes and reminded me that my value wasn't based on man's approval, but solely on His.
God's reassurance and words of encouragment helped wash away my pride and began to replace it with His mercy and grace. I was reminded that I am His and He loves me despite my flaws and insecurities.
As a result, I was able to take my focus off of my rejecter, and instead focus on my approver - Jesus.
Although Jesus may not always approve of our actions or choices, He always approves of us as a person whom He created, whom He loves, and whom He thought was important enough to die for.
Isn't it comforting to know we never have to try to earn Jesus' approval, and that we can live with a peace of mind knowing He accepts us no matter what?
Dear Lord, I pray for Your wisdom and comfort to deal with situations in which I feel hurt, rejected and worthless. Fill me with Your love so I can love others, even when I do not feel loved in return. Please help me to remember the only One I need to seek approval from is You, and that in You alone I can truly believe I am worthy and unconditionally loved. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?
Reinventing Your Rainbow by Tracie Miles
Visit Tracie's Blog to find more encouragement in overcoming the stress of rejection and embracing God's unconditional love.
Tracie's new book, Stressed-Less Living: Finding God's Peace In Your Chaotic World, will be releasing soon! Visit her blog to find out when it will be available and how to sign up for her upcoming 10 Day Stress Detox.
Reflect and Respond:
Are you allowing the opinion of one person to define how you feel about yourself?
Is rejection causing you to feel stressed and anxious?
Ask God for the supernatural ability to forgive your rejecter and to help you remember that who you are in HIS eyes is all that really matters.
Power Verses:
1 Kings 8:50, "And forgive your people, who have sinned against you; forgive all the offenses they have committed against you, and cause their captors to show them mercy." (NIV 1984)
1 Thessalonians 2:4, "On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men, but God, who tests our hearts." (NIV 1984)
© 2012 by Tracie Miles. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105



The new nature

‘Love one another …. being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.’ 1 Peter 2:22–23
Suggested Further Reading: Colossians 1:9–14
Looking upon God’s people, as being heirs of glory, princes of the royal blood, descendants of the King of kings, earth’s true and only royal aristocracy, Peter says to them, ‘See that you love one another, because of your noble birth, being born of incorruptible seed; because of your pedigree, being descended from God, the Creator of all things; and because of your immortal destiny, for you shall never pass away, though the glory of flesh shall fade, and even its very existence shall cease.’ I think it would be well, my brethren, if in a spirit of humility, you and I recognised the true dignity of our regenerated nature, and lived up to it. Oh! what is a Christian? If you compare him with a king, he adds priestly sanctity to royal dignity. The king’s royalty often lies only in his crown, but with a Christian it is infused into his very nature. Compare him with a senator, with a mighty warrior, or a master of wisdom, and he far excels them all. He is of another race than those who are only born of woman. He is as much above his fellows through his new birth, as man is above the beast that perishes. As humanity towers in dignity high above the grovelling brute, so does the regenerate man o’ertop the best of human once-born mortals. Surely he ought to bear himself, and act as one who is not of the multitude, one who has been chosen out of the world, distinguished by sovereign grace, written among ‘the peculiar people,’ and who therefore cannot grovel as others grovel, nor even think as others think. Let the dignity of your nature, and the brightness of your prospects, O believers in Christ, make you cleave to holiness, and hate the very appearance of evil.
For meditation: The apostle Paul, though a prisoner in chains, would never have changed places with an earthly king in royal robes (Acts 26:28–29). Do you value and seek to live up to your high calling in Christ ( Ephesians 4:11 Thessalonians 2:121 Peter 2:9)?
Sermon no. 398
30 June (1861)



Jesus Rebukes Peter

Evangelicals often stress that Jesus has died for our sins, but it can be easy to forget that He was also raised for our sins. As we share the Gospel, let us remember to present the truth of the resurrection as well. John Calvin comments, "All ministers...who desire that their preaching may be profitable, ought to be exceedingly careful that the glory of his resurrection should be always exhibited by them in connection with the ignominy of his death."
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
For the weekend:
Coram Deo from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 



Jesus Rebukes Peter

Matthew 16:21-23 "He turned and said to Peter, 'Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man'" ( v. 23).
The fundamental point of ecclesiology is encapsulated in the lyric: "The church's one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord." In other words, God's people find their origin, grounding, direction, and security in Christ. Without a firm grasp of this truth, the church devolves into a man-made society governed by the whims of finite creatures, not the Word of the creator God Himself.
Scripture makes this point in many ways, but it can also speak of Peter and the other apostles as the foundation of the church ( Eph. 2:19-20), with Jesus being the "foundation of the foundation" because He is the cornerstone (Acts 4:11). The apostles function as the foundation of the church through their writings - the New Testament - which reveal and proclaim the church's Lord.
Key to this foundation is Peter's confession of Jesus as the Christ (that is, Messiah; Matt. 16:16-18 ), a divinely-revealed truth that sums up the Gospel. John Calvin writes: "The designation Christ, or Anointed, includes both an everlasting Kingdom and an everlasting Priesthood, to reconcile us to God, and, by expiating our sins through his sacrifice, to obtain for us a perfect righteousness, and, having received us under his protection, to uphold and supply and enrich us with every description of blessings."
Yet Peter did not fully know what he was saying when he first declared that Jesus is the Messiah - the son of David who builds God's house (2 Sam. 7:1-17 ). This is evident in today's passage, wherein Peter is rebuked for misunderstanding Jesus' work shortly after being praised for recognizing His office. Once it is out in the open that Jesus is indeed the Christ, our Lord begins to teach plainly His need to die for the sins of His people (Matt. 16:21). At first this is unacceptable to Peter; he does not want a Messiah who is anything but a mighty ruler who leads Israel to an earthly victory (v. 22 ). But there can be no conquering king until the Savior first takes the curse off His nation at Calvary (Gal. 3:10-14).
Peter stumbles and, like Satan in the wilderness, offers Jesus a crown without the cross (Matt. 4:1-11). Jesus has none of this, for He is committed to His Father, whose covenant demands that sin's debt be paid in full (Ex. 34:6-7 ).

Coram deo: Living before the face of God

Evangelicals often stress that Jesus has died for our sins, but it can be easy to forget that He was also raised for our sins. As we share the Gospel, let us remember to present the truth of the resurrection as well. John Calvin comments, "All ministers...who desire that their preaching may be profitable, ought to be exceedingly careful that the glory of his resurrection should be always exhibited by them in connection with the ignominy of his death."
For further study:
The Bible in a year:
For the weekend:
INTO the WORD daily Bible studies from TableTalk Magazine, Matthew Studies. Copyright © 2008 by Ligonier Ministries.
Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That's only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living. 

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