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Thread: Our Daily Bread

  1. #1151
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    Wednesday, July 19, 2017

    The Lord reigns, he is robed in*majesty; the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength. Psalm 93:1

    Iguazu Falls, on the border of Brazil and Argentina, is a spectacular waterfall system of 275 falls along 2.7 km (1.67 miles) of the Iguazu River. Etched on a wall on the Brazilian side of the Falls are the words of Psalm 93:4, “Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!” (rsv). Below it are these words, “God is always greater than all of our troubles.”

    The writer of Psalm 93, who penned its words during the time that kings reigned, knew that God is the ultimate King over all. “The Lord reigns,” he wrote. “Your throne was*established long ago; you are from all eternity” (vv. 1–2). No matter how high the floods or waves, the Lord remains greater than them all.

    Lord, I know that You are powerful and greater than any trouble that might come my way.

    The roar of a waterfall is truly majestic, but it is quite a different matter to be in the water hurtling toward the falls. That may be the situation you are in today. Physical, financial, or relational problems loom ever larger and you feel like you are about to go over the falls. In such situations, the Christian has Someone to turn to. He is the Lord, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20) for He is greater than all our troubles.*

    Lord, I know that You are powerful and greater than any trouble that might come my way. I trust You to carry me through.

    Never measure God’s unlimited power by your limited expectations. By C. P. Hia | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:Are there areas in your life that feel out of control? If so, you’re in good company. So many of the psalms were inspired by desperate feelings of fear and confusion. Yet they ended up as songs of hope in the God who has promised to never leave us or forsake us. But who is this God? The author of Psalm 93 identifies Him as the Lord (Yahweh). By contrast to legendary gods of war, fertility, weather, travel, or the hunt, He is the God who created the heavens and the earth (Gen. 2:4).

    Consider the implications of such a Creator. Use the measure of modern astronomy. What kind of God speaks into existence billions of galaxies filled with trillions of suns far greater than our own? Yet even the cosmos is not the measure of His greatness. According to the New Testament (John 1:1–3, 14), the God of the Bible is the Lord who, in Jesus, showed that He is greater than our troubles by bearing our sins of indifference, neglect, and contempt. In the weakness of His crucifixion and by the power of His resurrection, He showed that even His love for us is greater than our sin. Mart DeHaan
    Psalms 93

    Psalms 93

    1*The Lord reigns, he is robed in majesty;
    the Lord is robed in majesty and armed with strength;
    indeed, the world is established, firm and secure.
    2*Your throne was established long ago;
    you are from all eternity.

    3*The seas have lifted up, Lord,
    the seas have lifted up their voice;
    the seas have lifted up their pounding waves.
    4*Mightier than the thunder of the great waters,
    mightier than the breakers of the sea—
    the Lord on high is mighty.

    5*Your statutes, Lord, stand firm;
    holiness adorns your house
    for endless days.

    Cross references:Psalm 93:1 : S 1Ch 16:31; S Ps 97:1 Psalm 93:1 : S Job 40:10; S Ps 21:5 Psalm 93:1 : S Ps 65:6 Psalm 93:1 : Ps 24:2; 78:69; 119:90 Psalm 93:1 : 1Ch 16:30; Ps 96:10 Psalm 93:2 : S 2Sa 7:16 Psalm 93:2 : S Ge 21:33 Psalm 93:3 : Ps 96:11; 98:7; Isa 5:30; 17:12-13; Jer 6:23 Psalm 93:3 : S Ps 46:3 Psalm 93:3 : Job 9:8; Ps 107:25, 29; Isa 51:15; Jer 31:35; Hab 3:10 Psalm 93:4 : Ps 65:7; Jer 6:23 Psalm 93:4 : S Ps 18:4; Jnh 1:15 Psalm 93:4 : S Ne 9:32; S Job 9:4 Psalm 93:5 : Ps 29:2; 96:9 Psalm 93:5 : Ps 5:7; 23:6
    Last edited by Old Ridge Runner; 07-19-2017 at 05:43 AM.
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

  2. #1152
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    Thursday, July 20, 2017

    There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

    While flying recently, I watched a mother and her children a few rows ahead of me. While the toddler played contentedly, the mother gazed into the eyes of her newborn, smiling at him and stroking his cheek. He stared back with a wide-eyed wonderment. I enjoyed the moment with a touch of wistfulness, thinking of my own children at that age and the season that has passed me by.

    reflected, however, about King Solomon’s words in the book of Ecclesiastes about “every activity under the heavens” (v. 1). He addresses through a series of opposites how there is a “time for everything” (v. 1): “a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot” (v. 2). Perhaps King Solomon in these verses despairs at what he sees as a meaningless cycle of life. But he also acknowledges the role of God in each season, that our work is a “gift of God” (v. 13) and that “everything God does will endure forever” (v. 14).

    The Lord promises to be with us in every season of our life.

    We may remember times in our lives with longing, like me thinking of my children as babies. We know, however, that the Lord promises to be with us in every season of our life (Isa. 41:10). We can count on His presence and find that our purpose is in walking with Him.

    Lord God, You lead me through the seasons, and whether I’m laughing or crying I know You are with me. May I reach out to someone with Your love today.

    God gives us the seasons of our lives. By Amy Boucher Pye | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:The writer of Ecclesiastes lists fourteen pairs of “times” we may find ourselves in throughout our lives. But following this list is a question, “What do workers gain from their toil?” (3:9). The answer is quite encouraging. From our toil we gain satisfaction, and that is a gift from God (v. 13). Thank God for the season of life you are now in. Thank Him for the satisfaction of work. J.R. Hudberg
    Ecclesiastes 3:1-14

    A Time for Everything

    3*There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    2*a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    3*a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    4*a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    5*a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    6*a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    7*a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    8*a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

    *What do workers gain from their toil? 10*I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11*He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12*I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13*That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14*I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

    Footnotes:Ecclesiastes 3:11 Or also placed ignorance in the human heart, so that

    Cross references:Ecclesiastes 3:1 : ver 11, 17; Ecc 8:6 Ecclesiastes 3:2 : Isa 28:24 Ecclesiastes 3:3 : S Dt 5:17 Ecclesiastes 3:7 : S Est 4:14 Ecclesiastes 3:9 : S Ecc 1:3 Ecclesiastes 3:10 : S Ecc 1:13 Ecclesiastes 3:11 : S ver 1 Ecclesiastes 3:11 : S Job 11:7 Ecclesiastes 3:11 : S Job 28:23; Ro 11:33 Ecclesiastes 3:13 : Ecc 2:3 Ecclesiastes 3:13 : Ps 34:12 Ecclesiastes 3:13 : S Dt 12:7, 18; S Ecc 2:24 Ecclesiastes 3:14 : S Job 23:15; Ecc 5:7; 7:18; 8:12-13
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

  3. #1153
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    Friday, July 21, 2017

    Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 13:14


    In her book Wearing God, author Lauren Winner says our clothes can silently communicate to others who we are. What we wear may indicate career, community or identity, moods, or social status. Think of a T-shirt with a slogan, a business suit, a uniform, or greasy jeans and what they might reveal. She writes, “The idea that, as with a garment, Christians might wordlessly speak something of Jesus—is appealing.”

    According to Paul, we can similarly wordlessly represent Christ. Romans 13:14 tells us to “clothe [ourselves] with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” What does this mean? When we become Christians, we take on Christ’s identity. We’re “children of God through faith” (Gal. 3:26–27). That’s our status. Yet each day we need to clothe ourselves in His character. We do this by striving to live for and to be more like Jesus, growing in godliness, love, and obedience and turning our back on the sins that once enslaved us.

    Dear Lord, grow us in godliness, love, joy, and patience.

    This growth in Christ is a result of the Holy Spirit working in us and our desire to be closer to Him through study of the Word, prayer, and time spent in fellowship with other Christians (John 14:26). When others look at our words and attitudes, what statement are we making about Christ?

    Dear Lord, we want to be a reflection of You. Help us to look more like You each day. Grow us in godliness, love, joy, and patience.

    When others see us, may what they see speak well of the Savior. By Alyson Kieda | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:What does a well-dressed follower of Christ look like? Starting with verse 11 of Romans 13, Paul builds his case. Maybe he has a smile in his eyes as he thinks, “Hey, wake up you sleepy heads. It’s time to get up. Come on now. Wake up. The night’s about over. The sun’s coming up. It’s time to dress for the day rather than for the night” (see vv. 11–12).
    Romans 13:11-14

    The Day Is Near

    11*And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12*The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13*Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14*Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

    Footnotes:Romans 13:14 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.

    Cross references:Romans 13:11 : 1Co 7:29-31; 10:11; Jas 5:8; 1Pe 4:7; 1Jn 2:18; Rev 22:10 Romans 13:11 : Eph 5:14; 1Th 5:5, 6 Romans 13:12 : Heb 10:25; 1Jn 2:8 Romans 13:12 : Eph 5:11 Romans 13:12 : Eph 6:11, 13; 1Th 5:8 Romans 13:13 : S Eph 5:18 Romans 13:13 : Lk 21:34; Gal 5:20, 21; Eph 5:18; 1Pe 4:3 Romans 13:14 : Gal 3:27; Eph 4:24; Col 3:10, 12 Romans 13:14 : S Gal 5:24
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Saturday, July 22, 2017

    Do not be anxious about anything,*but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

    “I’m really scared.” This was the poignant note a teenager posted to friends on Facebook as she told them of some upcoming medical tests. She was facing hospitalization and a series of procedures in a city three hours from home and anxiously waited as doctors tried to discover the source of some serious medical problems she was experiencing.

    Who of us, in youth or later years, has not felt similar fears when facing unwanted life events that are truly frightening? And where can we turn for help? What comfort can we find from Scripture to give us courage in these kinds of situations?

    Dear heavenly Father, when I am afraid, remind me that You hold my hand and give me peace.

    The reality that God will go with us through our trial can help us to hope. Isaiah 41:13 tells us, “For I am the Lord*your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’ ”

    In addition, God offers indescribable, heart-guarding peace when we present our difficulties to Him in prayer (Phil. 4:6–7).

    hrough God’s unfailing presence and His peace that “transcends all understanding” (v. 7), we can find the hope and help we need to endure situations in which we are really scared.

    Dear heavenly Father, when I am afraid, remind me that You hold my hand and give me peace. I’m grateful that I can lean into Your arms and find help when I’m scared. You are good to me.

    God is with us in all our struggles. By Dave Branon | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:Peter, Paul, and Silas had many reasons to worry. Acts 12 describes Peter’s unjust imprisonment by King Herod for seven to eight days and his upcoming trial—with death the nearly certain outcome (vv. 2–6). But Peter didn’t lose any sleep over his trial and impending death; the Scriptures record he “was sleeping between two soldiers” (v. 6). Peter experienced the peace that can come only through trusting God.
    Philippians 4:4-9

    Final Exhortations

    4*Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5*Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6*Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7*And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    8*Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9*Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

    Cross references:Philippians 4:4 : Ps 85:6; 97:12; Hab 3:18; S Mt 5:12; Ro 12:12; Php 3:1 Philippians 4:5 : Ps 119:151; 145:18; Heb 10:37; Jas 5:8, 9 Philippians 4:6 : Mt 6:25-34 Philippians 4:6 : Eph 6:18; 1Ti 2:1 Philippians 4:7 : Isa 26:3; S Jn 14:27 Philippians 4:7 : Eph 3:19 Philippians 4:9 : S 1Co 4:16 Philippians 4:9 : S Ro 15:33
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

  5. #1155
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    Sunday, July 23, 2017

    Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. *Matthew 5:16

    Hollywood musicals were wildly popular during the 1950s and 1960s, and three actresses in particular—Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood, and Deborah Kerr—thrilled viewers with their compelling performances. But a huge part of the appeal of these actresses was the breathtaking singing that enhanced their acting. In fact, the classic films’ successes were actually due in large part to Marni Nixon, who dubbed the voices for each of those leading ladies and who for a long time went completely uncredited for her vital contribution.

    n the body of Christ there are often people that faithfully support others who take a more public role. The apostle Paul depended on exactly that kind of person in his ministry. Tertius’s work as a scribe gave Paul his powerful written voice (Rom. 16:22). Epaphras’s consistent behind-the-scene prayers were an essential foundation for Paul and the early church (Col. 4:12–13). Lydia generously opened her home when the weary apostle needed restoration (Acts 16:15). Paul’s work could not have been possible without the support he received from these fellow servants in Christ (vv. 7–18).

    The secret of true service is absolute faithfulness wherever God places you.

    We may not always have highly visible roles, yet we know that God is pleased when we obediently play our essential part in His plan. When we “give [ourselves] fully to the work of the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58), we will find value and meaning in our service as it brings glory to God and draws others to Him (Matt. 5:16).*

    Lord, help me to obediently do my part in the role You have chosen for me.

    The secret of true service is absolute faithfulness wherever God places you. By Cindy Hess Kasper | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:What role has God given you in your service for Christ? Whether it is a visible one or you work behind-the-scenes, ask God for His help to do your best with a humble heart.
    Colossians 4:7-18

    Final Greetings

    7*Tychicus will tell you all the news about me. He is a dear brother, a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord. 8*I am sending him to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts. 9*He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here.

    10*My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark, the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.) 11*Jesus, who is called Justus, also sends greetings. These are the only Jews among my co-workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me. 12*Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13*I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis. 14*Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings. 15*Give my greetings to the brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

    16*After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea.

    17*Tell Archippus: “See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.”

    18*I, Paul, write this greeting in my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.

    Footnotes:Colossians 4:7 Or slave; also in verse 12 Colossians 4:8 Some manuscripts that he may know about your Colossians 4:11 Greek only ones of the circumcision group

    Cross references:Colossians 4:7 : S Ac 20:4 Colossians 4:7 : Eph 6:21, 22; Col 1:7 Colossians 4:8 : Eph 6:21, 22; Col 2:2 Colossians 4:9 : Phm 10 Colossians 4:9 : ver 12 Colossians 4:10 : S Ac 19:29 Colossians 4:10 : S Ac 12:12 Colossians 4:10 : S Ac 4:36 Colossians 4:11 : S Php 2:25 Colossians 4:12 : Col 1:7; Phm 23 Colossians 4:12 : ver 9 Colossians 4:12 : S Ro 15:30 Colossians 4:12 : S 1Co 2:6 Colossians 4:13 : S Col 2:1 Colossians 4:14 : 2Ti 4:11; Phm 24 Colossians 4:14 : 2Ti 4:10; Phm 24 Colossians 4:15 : S Col 2:1 Colossians 4:15 : S Ro 16:5 Colossians 4:16 : 2Th 3:14; S 1Ti 4:13 Colossians 4:17 : Phm 2 Colossians 4:17 : 2Ti 4:5 Colossians 4:18 : S 1Co 16:21 Colossians 4:18 : Heb 13:3 Colossians 4:18 : S Ac 21:33 Colossians 4:18 : 1Ti 6:21; 2Ti 4:22; Tit 3:15; Heb 13:25
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Monday, July 24, 2017

    This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.* Ephesians 3:6

    “Community” is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives, says Henri Nouwen. Often we surround ourselves with the people we most want to live with, which forms a club or a clique, not a community. Anyone can form a club; it takes grace, shared vision, and hard work to form a community.

    The Christian church was the first institution in history to bring together on equal footing Jews and Gentiles, men and women, slaves and free. The apostle Paul waxed eloquent on this “mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God.” By forming a community out of diverse members, Paul said, we have the opportunity to capture the attention of the world and even the supernatural world beyond (Eph. 3:9–10).

    "'Community' is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives." —Henri Nouwen

    In some ways the church has sadly failed in this assignment. Still, church is the one place I visit that brings together generations: infants still held in their mothers’ arms, children who squirm and giggle at all the wrong times, responsible adults who know how to act appropriately at all times, and those who may drift asleep if the preacher drones on too long.

    If we want the community experience God is offering to us, we have reason to seek a congregation of people “not like us.”

    Lord, remind us that the church is Your work, and You have brought us together for Your good purposes. Help us extend grace to others.

    The man who lives in a small community lives in a much larger world.* G. K. Chesterton By Philip Yancey | See Other Authors
    Ephesians 2:19-3:11

    19*Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20*built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21*In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22*And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. God’s Marvelous Plan for the Gentiles

    3*For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

    2*Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3*that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4*In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5*which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6*This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

    7*I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8*Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9*and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10*His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11*according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Cross references:Ephesians 2:19 : ver 12 Ephesians 2:19 : Php 3:20 Ephesians 2:19 : Gal 6:10 Ephesians 2:20 : 1Co 3:9 Ephesians 2:20 : Mt 16:18; 1Co 3:10; Rev 21:14 Ephesians 2:20 : S Eph 4:11 Ephesians 2:20 : 1Co 3:11 Ephesians 2:20 : S Ac 4:11; 1Pe 2:4-8 Ephesians 2:21 : 1Co 3:16, 17 Ephesians 2:22 : 1Co 3:16 Ephesians 3:1 : Ac 23:18; Eph 4:1; 2Ti 1:8; Phm 1, 9 Ephesians 3:2 : Col 1:25 Ephesians 3:3 : S Ro 16:25 Ephesians 3:3 : S 1Co 2:10 Ephesians 3:4 : 2Co 11:6 Ephesians 3:5 : Ro 16:26; S Eph 4:11 Ephesians 3:6 : S Ro 8:17 Ephesians 3:6 : Eph 2:15, 16 Ephesians 3:6 : Eze 47:22 Ephesians 3:7 : S 1Co 3:5 Ephesians 3:7 : S Ro 12:3 Ephesians 3:7 : Eph 1:19; Col 1:29 Ephesians 3:8 : S 1Co 15:9 Ephesians 3:8 : S Ac 9:15 Ephesians 3:8 : S Ro 2:4 Ephesians 3:9 : S Ro 16:25 Ephesians 3:10 : S Ro 11:33; 1Co 2:7 Ephesians 3:10 : 1Pe 1:12 Ephesians 3:10 : Eph 1:21; 6:12; Col 2:10, 15 Ephesians 3:10 : S Eph 1:3 Ephesians 3:11 : S Eph 1:11
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Tuesday, July 25, 2017

    I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. *Psalm 37:25

    John F. Burns spent forty years covering world events for The New York Times.*In an article written after his retirement in 2015, Burns recalled the words of a close friend and fellow journalist who was dying of cancer. “Never forget,” his colleague said, “It’s not how far you’ve traveled; it’s what you’ve brought back.”

    Psalm 37 could be considered David’s list of what he “brought back” from his journey of life, from shepherd to soldier and king. The psalm is a series of couplets contrasting the wicked with the righteous, and affirming those who trust the Lord.

    “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him.” Psalm 37:23

    “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither” (vv. 1–2).

    “The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand” (vv. 23–24).

    “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread” (v. 25).

    From our experiences in life, what has God taught us? How have we experienced His faithfulness and love? In what ways has the Lord’s love shaped our lives?*

    It’s not how far we’ve traveled in life, but what we’ve brought back that counts.

    Dear Lord, thank You for walking with me throughout my life. Help me to remember Your faithfulness.

    As the years add up, God’s faithfulness keeps multiplying. By David C. McCasland | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:Psalm 37 is an extended antidote to anxiety, even when there seem to be many reasons to fear. The psalm, sometimes classified as a wisdom psalm because of its insight into the realities of life, invites believers to have trust, peace, and contentment (vv. 3, 5, 7) even when it seems that evil has the upper hand (vv. 1, 7, 12, 14). We find peace through looking deeper than external appearances like wealth (v. 16). Evil may have power for a time, but it is self-defeating. It cannot last forever (vv. 10, 20, 22). It’s better to live with Him, who picks us up when we fall and holds us by the hand (vv. 23–24), than to surrender to evil (v. 16). A life with God means true peace, now and eternally (v. 18). Monica Brands
    Psalms 31:1-6, 23-27

    Psalm 37Of David.

    1*Do not fret because of those who are evil
    or be envious of those who do wrong;
    2*for like the grass they will soon wither,
    like green plants they will soon die away.

    3*Trust in the Lord and do good;
    dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
    4*Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

    5*Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him and he will do this:
    6*He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
    your vindication like the noonday sun.

    Cross references:Psalm 37:1 : Pr 3:31; 23:17-18 Psalm 37:1 : Ps 73:3; Pr 24:19 Psalm 37:2 : S 2Ki 19:26; Job 14:2; Ps 102:4; Isa 40:7 Psalm 37:2 : ver 38; Ps 90:6; 92:7; Jas 1:10 Psalm 37:3 : Dt 30:20 Psalm 37:3 : Eze 34:14; Jn 10:9 Psalm 37:4 : S Job 27:10 Psalm 37:4 : S Job 7:6; Ps 21:2; 145:19; Mt 6:33 Psalm 37:5 : Ps 4:5 Psalm 37:6 : Ps 18:24; 103:17; 112:3 Psalm 37:6 : S Job 11:17 Psalm 37:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the stanzas of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Wednesday, July 26, 2017

    He reached down from on high and took hold of me. 2 Samuel 22:17

    I scanned the water intently, on alert for signs of trouble. During my six-hour shifts as a lifeguard, I watched from the side of the pool to ensure the safety of those swimming. Leaving my post, or even becoming lax in my attentiveness, could have grave consequences for those in the pool. If a swimmer was in danger of drowning due to injury or lack of skill, it was my responsibility to pluck them from the water and return them to safety on the pool deck.

    After experiencing God’s aid in battle against the Philistines (2 Sam. 21:15–22), David likens his rescue to being drawn out of “deep waters” (22:17). David’s very life—and that of his men—was in serious danger from his enemies. God buoyed David as he was drowning in disaster. While lifeguards are paid to assure the safety of swimmers, God, on the other hand, saved David because of His delight in him (v. 20). My heart leaps for joy when I realize that God doesn’t watch over and protect me because He’s obliged to but because He wants to.

    Thank You, Lord, for seeing my struggles and standing ready to save me.

    When we feel overcome by the troubles of life, we can rest in the knowledge that God, our Lifeguard, sees our struggle and, because of His delight in us, watches over and protects us.*

    Thank You, Lord, for seeing my struggles and standing ready to save me. Help me to trust Your rescuing love more fully.

    God delights in saving His children. By Kirsten Holmberg | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:As David’s years added up, his strength began to fail. Yet this was his chance to recall once again the many times the Lord had heard his cry for help and rescued him from trouble.

    In the course of a wonderful—yet difficult—life, David knew the emotions of fear and adrenaline rush. As a young man, wild animals stalked his father’s sheep. Later there was the threat of Goliath, the murderous pursuit by Saul, and military battles on many fronts. In one of his last wars with the Philistines, David became exhausted. A Philistine thought this was his opportunity to kill the king of Israel. But one of David’s soldiers rushed to his side and killed the Philistine. It was a close call. After that, David’s men said, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished” (2 Sam. 21:17). God had been so faithful to David that his soldiers made the mistake of thinking that without him they themselves would be defeated by their enemies.

    Do we need to learn as they did that rescue comes only from the Lord? Mart DeHaan
    2 Samuel 2:17-20

    17*“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.
    18*He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.
    19*They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.
    20*He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.

    Cross references:2 Samuel 22:17 : Ps 144:7 2 Samuel 22:17 : Ex 2:10 2 Samuel 22:18 : Lk 1:71 2 Samuel 22:19 : Ps 23:4 2 Samuel 22:20 : Job 36:16; Ps 31:8 2 Samuel 22:20 : Ps 118:5 2 Samuel 22:20 : Ps 22:8; Isa 42:1; Mt 12:18 2 Samuel 22:20 : S 2Sa 15:26
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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    Thursday, July 27, 2017

    The Spirit of truth .*.*. lives with you and will be in you. John 14:17

    The elderly woman in the nursing home didn’t speak to anyone or request anything. It seemed she merely existed, rocking in her creaky old chair. She didn’t have many visitors, so one young nurse would often go into her room on her breaks. Without asking the woman questions to try to get her to talk, she simply pulled up another chair and rocked with her. After several months, the elderly woman said to her, “Thank you for rocking with me.” She was grateful for the companionship.

    efore He went back to heaven, Jesus promised to send a constant companion to His disciples. He told them He would not leave them alone but would send the Holy Spirit to be in them (John 14:17). That promise is still true for believers in Jesus today. Jesus said that the triune God makes His “home” in us (v. 23).

    Dear Lord, thank You for giving us Your Spirit as our constant companion.

    The Lord is our close and faithful companion throughout our entire life. He will guide us in our deepest struggles, forgive our sin, hear each silent prayer, and shoulder the burdens we cannot bear.

    We can enjoy His sweet company today.

    Dear Lord, thank You for giving us Your Spirit*as our constant companion.

    The Christian’s heart is the Holy Spirit’s home. By Anne Cetas | See Other Authors

    INSIGHT:When Jesus talks about the coming of the Holy Spirit, He says the Spirit will live with us and be in us (John 14:17). However, it is the effect of the Spirit being in us that is truly surprising. Instead of saying the Spirit will know us, Jesus says we will know Him! What a thought—we can know the God who knows us and makes His home in us. J.R. Hudberg
    John 4:5-26

    Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

    15*“If you love me, keep my commands. 16*And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17*the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18*I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19*Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20*On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21*Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    22*Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

    23*Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24*Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

    25*“All this I have spoken while still with you. 26*But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

    Footnotes:John 14:17 Some early manuscripts and is

    Cross references:John 14:15 : ver 21, 23; Ps 103:18; Jn 15:10; 1Jn 2:3-5; 3:22, 24; 5:3; 2Jn 6; Rev 12:17; 14:12 John 14:16 : ver 26; Jn 15:26; 16:7 John 14:17 : Jn 15:26; 16:13; 1Jn 4:6; 5:6 John 14:17 : 1Co 2:14 John 14:18 : 1Ki 6:13 John 14:18 : ver 3, 28; S Mt 16:27 John 14:19 : Jn 7:33, 34; 16:16 John 14:19 : Jn 6:57 John 14:20 : Jn 16:23, 26 John 14:20 : ver 10, 11; Jn 10:38; 17:21 John 14:20 : S Ro 8:10 John 14:21 : S ver 15 John 14:21 : Dt 7:13; Jn 16:27; 1Jn 2:5 John 14:22 : Lk 6:16; Ac 1:13 John 14:22 : Ac 10:41 John 14:23 : S ver 15 John 14:23 : S Ro 8:10 John 14:24 : ver 10; Dt 18:18; Jn 5:19; 7:16; 8:28; 12:49, 50 John 14:26 : ver 16; Jn 15:26; 16:7 John 14:26 : Ac 2:33 John 14:26 : Jn 16:13; 1Jn 2:20, 27 John 14:26 : Jn 2:22
    Humble yourself, for there is an enormous change coming.

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