The world in general dislikes Mondays, probably related to it being the beginning of the working week. I have no personal dislike of any single day of the week, except for deadlines for outstanding work. Having said that I have noticed that if anything was to go wrong, Monday seems to be the day it happens most of all. I can remember many occasions where I have been blessed in the Word of God on Sunday, full of fervour to serve Him in the week ahead…and Satan trips me up with some meeting with someone bent on winding me up. Or is that just me? I don’t think so.
It was these Monday mornings when Satan has dug a pit for me to fall into that came to my mind when i recently read these verses from Proverbs. At a glance the two verses seem to contradict one another, but that is not the case. As I see it, these two make up opposite end of a finely balanced weighing scales. When we are pulled into a debate on frivolous matters we should weigh the content (and context!) of what is said on these scales; should we be silent (verse 4) or speak up in Godly wisdom (verse 5)?
Dear reader, on this Monday watch out for Satan’s traps seeking to steal your joy in God’s Word in your life. It is no coincidence when someone insults your precious Lord in your hearing. Prepare yourself in prayer before you leave home today; put on the full armour of God and be ready for what lies ahead.
Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. I am a stranger in the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me. My soul is crushed with longing After Your ordinances at all times. You rebuke the arrogant, the cursed, Who wander from Your commandments. Take away reproach and contempt from me, For I observe Your testimonies. Even though princes sit and talk against me, Your servant meditates on Your statutes. Your testimonies also are my delight; They are my counselors.
This Lord’s Day verse leads us to an important question that should be in every believers mind; how do we value our Bible, the Word of God? Is it a burden to us or is it a delight to us; bringing joy to our heart as it draws us closer to our Father God. David, the psalmist, freely and boldly proclaims that the Bible is a source of delight to him. He goes further in claiming God’s Word as his counselor; a guide in his life.
In his early days when his life was in danger, on one side there was Saul with his many counselors and David on the other side armed with the sure counsel of God’s word. We too live in dark days surrounded by evil worldly counselors, who would seek our harm. Just as David depended upon God’s wise counsel, so should we every day with a spirit of willingness and joy in His presence with us.
It would be remiss of me to not mention our Wonderful Counselor(Isaiah 9:6); Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, whom we meet in the Gospel accounts. In them He counsels us in the Way of Redemption and Eternal Life. But not only in the Gospels can we find Divine counsel for life, but throughout all of Scripture. (2 Timothy 3:16).
Dear Reader, with each passing day our world sinks deeper into sin, and our need for Holy counsel is more imperative to keep us close to God our Father. It is my sincere prayer that the words of David in todays verse would enthuse you in the Word of God. May you find true delight in reading it, and in applying its counsel to your daily life.
No matter how old or young we are we all experience the pain of missing someone at some time. We loved them dearly and sought their company often. I remember the sharp sadness of missing my mum when she went to be with her Lord; she was gone from this earth and from my company. That sadness is not so sharp nowadays but does arise briefly from time to time. I also remember the pain of missing my family when I was lying in a hospital bed on several occasions. Yet as painful as missing our loved ones may be, there is a more profound experience of missing spoken of in today’s verses.
In Psalm 42 David laments his sadness of missing the house of God, and the presence of God in it. He is on the run from his son Absalom who is seeking to become King, and would have killed his father if the opportunity had presented itself. Thus King David was far from home and the house of God. Yet in his despair he finds hope in the knowledge of God’s presence and provision each day.
Dear reader, this psalm is personal to me; I am not in church fellowship right now. I also am encouraged as David was of God’s presence and provision in my life each day, but I still seek His house. Finding a Bible believing and teaching church is hard in these wicked times; it requires seeking on bended knees first and foremost. It occurs to me as I read today’s psalm that it emphasises the importance of worshipping God in a believing church; if it was important to King David it must be so to us today. Are you also missing church fellowship, and most importantly missing worshipping God in His House?
Our Friday re-post comes from 7th September 2021, with some light editing.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.” Matthew 23:27 (NASB)
In recent days there has been much thought about our dear departed Queen; one thing that came to light many times was her witty sense of humour. In which case I am sure Her Majesty would have appreciated a funny story from Billy Connolly many years ago; he said that the Queen thought that the world always smelt like paint…because there is a wee guy with a tin of white emulsion painting furiously just in front of her! I could see this guy painting over all the graffiti as fast as possible, so that Her Majesty always had a pleasant view. This is so true of our society that tends to hide the blemishes and unsavoury sights of humanity, pretending they do not exist. But scratch the surface and you will always find the truth.
In todays verse Jesus calls out the Pharisees for their blatant hypocrisy; their appearance was that of righteousness, but under the whitewash they were full of sinful cracks. Even today there are those who whitewash over difficult issues of sin in society, preferring a whitewashed sanitized front to the world. Rather than rock the boat with His Truth, many keep the politically correct woke world sweet with appeasement.
Dear reader, as Children of God we are called to be separated from the sinfulness of this world. Rather than appeasing sinners we are called to expose them (2 Corinthians 6:14, Ephesians 5:11). Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s last act was the presentation of the truth of Christ through her funeral service, written under her guidance. She chose not to whitewash her failth in Christ, but to wear it one last time for the whole world to see. As children of The Light we are called to shine as a contrast against the darkness (Ephesians 5:8), it is time to stop whitewashing over sin and start saving lost sinners before it is too late.
One of the most difficult parts of the Christian life is when we find ourselves in the company of bad people. Recently I had to take a stand against the words of a friend which I could not stand in silence against. We endeavour to be patient and show kindness, and if pushed we will make a stand of sorts against evil. Such circumstances are never easy, and can be more difficult if we are not secure in God’s Word.
The Word of God is our power source and wisdom for all circumstances; if we are regularly feeding on it we are armed for what lies ahead for each day. In contrast if we are lax in our devotion to His Word, we are weak and vulnerable to the works of evil in life. The Word of God is the source of all discernment for the believer; through it we can recognise wickedness. Being able to recognise the works of Satan we can bring God’s wisdom to bear on them, in our demeanour and our speech. Without the power of His Word working in us we can be easily mislead into the error of inadvertently supporting evil.
Dear reader, be steeped in His Word every day before you read the news or leave the house. In it we are armed and ready for what awaits us from our enemy. Facing evil we can then “strive with” it; which is to contend with it in God’s Word, to mobilize the forces of Heaven against our enemy Satan. By stirring up righteousness in our reactions we are strengthened, shining brightly for God our Father in all we do each day.
There is a time in mid-summer when we occasionally see imature birds on the ground, who have ventured too far from home. We can see the same thing in the woodlands and fields with young deer, who have temporarily been separated from their parents. These youngsters seem to be at the mercy of the world; predators, traffic or well meaning walkers, when their parents are not that far away. watching them. These were my immediate thoughts with some memories when I read today’s verse.
Anyone who wanders from home as the prodigal son did will eventually have need of love and care, as he did. I am reminded of Hagar and her son Ishmael wandering in the wilderness alone, starving and thirsty. In their desperate need God came to their rescue; such is His love still for those far from home. There are those who may not have physically wandered from home, but have wandered away spiritually. They have left God and wandered into a world of sin, and maybe eventually despair.
Dear reader, are you far from God whom you once loved and followed? You may have left Him along time ago, but He has never left you – His love reaches out to you today. How do I know that you may ask…well here we are today is my answer! Your reading this on this specific day is not a coincidence, it is a God-incidence as He calls you home today.
Some weeks ago in midsummer when I was weeding our garden I saw a small green plant growing beside one of the Pieris shrubs. Rather than pull it out with the weeds I left it to see what it would grow up to be. As it continued to grow I staked it up to keep it going in the right direction. Considering the height and shape of it I thought it was a sunflower but without a flower I wasn’t certain. The weather has been wet, cold and a bit windy lately, thus I have not been in the garden much. But each morning as I opened the bedroom curtains I saw the stranger standing taller. A couple of days ago I opened the curtains to see that it had bloomed, it was as I suspected a sunflower. I had decided to care for the stranger and to harvest seeds for planting, to have many lovely sunflowers next summer.
As I have watched this sunflower grow from the compost I added to the Pieris in the early summer I became fond of it. It’s appearance was a tiny symbol of hope in an obscure corner of our garden. I had not planted it but someone had inadvertently sown the seed in the compost bales they produce for our garden centre. It reminded me of the Gospel seeds we as children of God can sow in our lives, each day. If we are faithfully saturating our walk with God in His presence and His Word we will exude His love wherever we go, and with whoever we meet. We may not even be aware of the Gospel seeds we are sowing sometimes, and may not see them grow. In fact someone else may have the privilege of seeing the sprouting seedling of faith, and tend it while it grows, maybe even until it blooms.
The growth of the little seedling of unknown origin is also symbolic of the believer’s life of prayer. We live in this world 24/7 until the day when we will eventually leave for the realms of eternity; in our life as believers we need daily sustenance from our Father God. We seek the spiritual food and guidance we need in a life of prayer; seeking God’s presence. As I wasn’t certain of what the seedling was, we are also often uncertain where we are going in life – but we know Him who does know. It is only after time passes and we see the flowers blossom of His care, that we recognise how much He has blessed us.
Dear reader, nurture the seeds of faith planted in you by God, through prayer and the reading of His Holy Word. These seeds will bloom in His perfect timing, after times of trials. Let us keep believing Him, having faith in His constant provision. As the sunflower in my garden we too will bloom and produce seeds – Gospel seeds to sow in our community and home.
Recent news about our beloved Queen and her health today are a cause for concern to our nation. Her Majesty is a child of God, our sister in Christ, and needs our constant prayer as she serves God as our monarch. But today she needs specific prayer for her health and her family, let us join together in prayer today.
Sadly but inevitably our beloved Queen has left us, but has been promoted into the presence of her God, and her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I follow the wise Post by brother Andy Berry, and announce that I am postponing output from Devotion Treasures for the next seven days as we mourn the loss of our Queen.
Dear Father God, thank you for our beloved Queen Elizabeth II. May she be welcomed into Your presence as a beloved servant and daughter. May our new monarch King Charles III draw close to You in his grief, seeking Your guidance in future days ahead. God save our King. Amen.
Now I want you to know, brethren, that my circumstances have turned out for the greater progress of the gospel, Philippians 1:12 (NASB)
An edited repost of a Devotional Treasures original post from a year ago today.
Do you know someone who just refuses to be knocked down by life, who just keeps going no matter what life throws at them? I am blessed to have met such people, who are believers totally dependent upon God in all circumstances. One sister in Christ comes to mind from my past who had a constant battle with her health, but she kept going serving God and the Gospel regardless of her trials – she inspired me.
Serving the Gospel is a continuous theme in Paul’s letter to the Philippians; the Gospel is living and flows like a river through good and bad times. In our life we can see through the lense of the Gospel, which points to Christ our Lord and Saviour. In Luke 21:10-13 Christ tells us of future trials for believers, but He highlights how such trials can serve the Gospel inVerse 13 – “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.” In Philippians we find Paul in prison doing exactly this, and proclaiming that even his imprisonment progresses the Gospel.
Dear reader, let us look at ourselves and our circumstances (both good and bad) – do we serve the Gospel in them? Is your illness, unemployment, financial strife an opportunity to share the Good News? I am not asking that you consider something that I have not experienced myself. Brethren, in all circumstances if we serve God with what little we have in the midst of struggles, God will increase our humble offering in the service of the Gospel, and bless us richly for surrendering all to Him.