DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 38; Psalms 15-16; Matt. 21:33 to 22:14
Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Philemon 1:3
Paul included this phrase in numerous letters. It was sent to different churches, to different people, at different times and in different circumstances. What a sweet encouragement it must have been then and should be to us now. May its familiarity not cause us to miss its wonder. We have received more grace than we can imagine. It is our divine enablement for the circumstances of each day. And our peace is not according to the world’s peace but flows from heaven itself—sure and constant. How truly blessed we are. —V. Gaynier
Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 37; Psalms 11-14; Matt. 21:1-32
We do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying. 2 Cor. 12:19
When it came to serving the people of God, this verse records one of Paul’s foundational principles. He did everything with the goal of edifying or “building up” the saints. And so he was led to say some things but not others. He was sometimes firm but also gentle. As he preached, confronted, wrote, and cried, it was all based on the conviction that this word or that action was for their edification. The life lesson for us is the same. As we deal with God’s people, let us make certain we approach our task with the motive of building up the saints. —Norman Craig Funston
We are called to be God’s people, showing by our lives His grace,
One in heart and one in spirit, sign of hope for all the race.
Let us show how He has changed us and remade us as His own;
Let us share our life together as we shall around His throne. —T. Jackson
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 36; Psalms 9-10; Matt. 20:17-34
And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. Luke 2:33
Our Saviour’s coming to earth brought different responses from a variety of people. The shepherds praised and glorified God because of Him. Simeon embraced Him and was ready to depart his life in peace. Anna, the prophetess, gave thanks for Him. Herod was troubled by Him. The wise men worshipped Him. What is your response? He came to be your Saviour. Receive Him. —Rex Trogdon
O holy Child of Bethlehem! Descend to us we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in; be born in us today.
We hear the heavenly angels, the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 35; Psalms 7-8; Matt. 19:16 to 20:16
I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication. Psalm 142:1
Generally speaking, caves are unpleasant places. In a figurative sense multitudes live in caves every day—caves of worry, discouragement, depression, bitterness, fear, doubts, loneliness, to name just a few. When David wrote this psalm he was in a literal cave, perhaps Engedi or Adull-am, hiding from King Saul who wanted to kill him. What did David do? He prayed. And this is what we should do when we find ourselves in a dark and troublesome cave. —W. Ross Rainey
Whatever fears or foes betide,
In Thy blest presence we may hide;
And while we rest our souls on Thee,
Thou wilt our Sanctuary be!
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 33:18 to 34:31; Psalms 4-6; Matt. 19:1-15
And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren. 2 Kings 2:19
Here is an apt description of this world—it looks beautiful from man’s viewpoint, but to the spiritually discerning, the “water” is bad, and the ground barren. How true! The world is a wilderness wide and it lacks true refreshment for the soul. Apart from Christ, it offers no spiritual fruit for God. But Christians can say with confidence, “All our springs are in thee” (Ps. 87:7). God says in return, “From me is thy fruit found” (Hos. 14:8). The world may look pleasant, but Christ is the only source of true satisfaction. Drink from this well and you will never thirst again. —Mark Kolchin
Well of water, ever springing, Bread of life so rich and free,
Untold wealth that never faileth, my Redeemer is to me. —Clara Williams
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 32 to 33:17; Psalms 1-3; Matt. 18:15-35
Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree. 1 Peter 2:24
It is overwhelming to consider the full implications of the sacrifice that was made for our sins. When there was no one in all the universe capable of taking on the task, the Son of God came to do it by Himself! By His death, not only has He dealt with sin, but He has reconciled and restored to God all who believe in Him. Let us worship Him today. —Jim Paul
I cannot tell why sin was found in Heaven,
Nor can I solve the mystery of the fall.
But oh, I know that mankind can be forgiven,
If on the Lord for pardon they will call.
For all man’s sin and guilt, Christ fully bore;
That man to his first place He might restore. —J. Danson Smith
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 31; Job 42; Matt. 17:14 to 18:14
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 1 Peter 1:16
God’s ultimate plan for each believer is absolute holiness. In the meantime He asks that we daily pursue practical holiness. Knowing He is holy, we yearn to be like Him. Knowing He is God, we choose to obey Him. Knowing this delights Him, we strive to please Him. We have the resources: the Scriptures to enlighten us, the Holy Spirit to comfort, convict, and encourage us and Christ our faithful High Priest. May we daily be a pleasing reminder to Him of His beloved Son. —George Ferrier
Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.
—William D. Longstaff
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 30; Job 40-41; Matt. 16:13 to 17:13
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good. Psalm 107:1a
She was a very young child who was trying to spell various words. “Can you spell God?” my friend asked. She looked thoughtful and then replied, “G-O-O-D”. How true. God is good. We see his goodness every day and enjoy the benefits of His goodness in food, clothing, shelter, and numerous other things. Most of all, His goodness is expressed in the gift of the Saviour who died for us at Calvary. Give thanks to Him. He is good! —Janet Fleming
God is good, the skies declare it,
Earth and sea alike proclaim
Day by day we share His blessings
Oh the wonder of that name.
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 29; Job 38-39; Matt. 15:29 to 16:12
The Lord will give strength unto his people. Psalm 29:11
What a blessed promise! And so we need not wonder that the aged pilgrim wracked by ill health, or the young student bombarded with misleading philosophies, still perseveres in the faith. It should be of no surprise that a believer, isolated for family reasons, or in high pressure employment, still aspires to be faithful to the Saviour. It is because the Lord Himself, graciously and daily, gives His people strength for the challenges of the way. For whatever challenges you face today—He will give you strength. —Mark Fenn
God of our strength, from day to day,
Direct our thoughts and guide our way;
O may our hearts united be,
In sweet communion, Lord, with Thee.
—Fanny J. Crosby
DAILY?READINGS: Gen. 28; Job 36-37; Matt. 15:1-28
Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus. 2 Corinthians 7:6
Some years ago, when going through a very difficult time in life, the last thing we needed was to be host for the weekend to a visiting speaker who we did not know. The dear man arrived and proved to be an enormous blessing. We were able to tell him our problems. He listened, understood and advised, and the end result was that he helped us make decisions which proved to be life changing. Thank God for the “Titus'” of this world, and even more for our God who sends them. —Brian Russell
Wait in faith and quiet patience, thou shalt know the reason why,
God allowed the storm to gather, clouds to blot the sunlit sky.