1 Kings 8:31-66; Jeremiah 16:1-21; Philippians 1:21-2:11
He said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny
himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23
The cross is not an ornament for one’s neck. Neither is it a burden
to be borne such as Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7). Oh
no! One who was seen carrying a cross was on their way to die!
What the Lord is saying is, if you want to follow Me it must be a
life commitment—you must be willing to suffer and even be willing
to face death for Me. To suffering saints in Smyrna and to us
He says, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer…(
just) Be faithful until death” (Rev. 2:10). —David Croudace
Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause, or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies, on flowery beds of ease,
While others fight to win the prize and sail thro’ bloody seas?—C. Studd
1 Kings 8:1-30; Jeremiah 15:1-21; Philippians 1:1-20
Ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. 1 Corinthians 11:26
What will happen when our Lord comes? First, He personally
shall descend from heaven. Then the dead in Christ shall rise first.
Those who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always
be with the Lord (1 Thess. 4:16-17). What a grand reunion of loved
ones it will be then! Till He comes, let us eat of the bread and drink
of the cup, remembering and revering Him. —K. C. Ung
See, the feast of love is spread,
Drink the wine, and break the bread;
Sweet memorials, till the Lord;
Calls us round His heavenly board;
Some from earth, from glory some,
Severed only, till He come. —E. H. Bickersteth Jr.
1 Kings 7:1-51; Jeremiah 14:1-22; Ephesians 6:10-24
But we trusted it had been he which should have redeemed
Israel. Luke 24:21
One can imagine the sadness the two disciples felt as they
trudged the Emmaus road. It is reflected in two words spoken in
the past tense, “we trusted”. It reveals their lost hope in the One
who lay buried in Joseph’s tomb. But death could not long imprison
the Author of Life. From His resurrection springs hope and
consolation. We praise and thank Him for being raised for our justification.
The risen Christ will remain and conquer. —E. Dyck
Bow to the conq’ring King,
God’s own begotten Son!
Death where is now thy sting?
God’s redeeming work is done.
1 Kings 6:1-38; Jeremiah 13:1-27; Ephesians 5:22-6:9
And the Lord said: “I have surely seen the oppression of My
people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry…I know their
sorrows.” Exodus 3:7, NKJV
Israel’s suffering did not escape the Lord’s notice, nor had He
forgotten His covenant with their patriarchs. He remembers His
promises to them: “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable”
(Rom. 11:29, NKJV). He knew about their persecution, and had
plans to judge their tormentors and deliver Israel to new life in the
promised land. In our age, the Almighty remembers His church,
never deserts His children, and promises to safely carry us to the
Father’s house (John 14:1-3). —Keith Keyser
And art Thou with us, gracious Lord, to dissipate our fear?
Dost Thou proclaim Thyself our God, our Father ever near?
1 Kings 4:1-5:18; Jeremiah 12:1-17; Ephesians 5:1-21
But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6
Sometimes publishers put out a book with a new cover but with
the old content inside. It is a good object lesson about our lives
and the danger of hypocrisy. It is what is inside that truly matters.
Effective servants must regularly nourish their inner man
with prayer and God’s Word which strengthens us. Vigilant servants
must also avoid “junk food” that takes away our spiritual
appetite. If spiritually malnourished, we must compel ourselves
to “eat” to recover lost appetite. —George Ferrier
Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.
— William D. Longstaff
1 Kings 3:1-28; Jeremiah 11:1-23; Ephesians 4:17-32
And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Mark 1:11
These wonderful words show us what God the Father thought
of His Son. It is interesting to notice that this commendation from
the Father came before any sermon was preached or any miracle
performed by His Son. The Father loved the Son not for what He
said or did but for who He was! When I examine my life what do
I focus on? The things I do or say? Or is it who I am in Christ? Activity,
although important, is no replacement for a life that has the
fragrant character of Christ! —Sid Halsband
Lord, take my life, and make it wholly Thine;
Fill my poor heart with Thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender, Lord—in me abide. —Edwin Orr
1 Kings 2:1-46; Jeremiah 10:1-25; Ephesians 4:1-16
He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs
with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead
those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11
The almighty God measures the waters in His hand and heaven
with a span. He calculates the dust of earth and weighs mountains
in scales and hills on a balance. Yet how tenderly He shepherds His
sheep. Our verse tells us He is particularly gentle to mothers with
young children! Dear mother today you may be feeling the pressure,
tiredness and discouragement that sometimes comes with
your task. The responsibility is overwhelming but “cast[ing] all your
care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NKJV). —Jim Paul
Why should I carry anxious thought or care,
With God as Father I’m not in despair.
— J. Danson Smith
1 Kings 1:1-53; Jeremiah 9:1-26; Ephesians 3:1-21
What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth
the unclean spirits. Luke 4:36
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear
the word of God, he stood by the lake. Luke 5:1
And Simon answering said unto him, Master…nevertheless at
thy word I will let down the net. Luke 5:5
What impact has the Word of God made on your life recently?
Has it created a sense of awe and worship? Has it drawn you much
closer to the Lord Himself? Has it led you to obey Him in some
specific way? What priority does His Word have in your life? Are
you reading and meditating on it daily? —Pete Smith
Thus may Thy Word be dearer still, and studied more each day;
And as it richly dwells within, Thyself in it display.
—E. H. Bickersteth
2 Samuel 24:1-25; Jeremiah 8:1-22; Ephesians 2:11-22
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Psalm 22:1
Under sin’s awful burden, the only begotten Son cried these
words to His Father. Divine silence followed but in its dying echo
was a promise to all the Saviour’s blood bought children—“I will
never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb 13:5). To affirm His satisfaction
in His begotten Son’s travail, God sees us through only one
perspective—in Christ His Son. Such a view yields no reason to
leave or forsake. Not for a moment, not for eternity. —D. J. Reed
Sometimes ‘mid scenes of deepest gloom,
Sometimes where Eden’s bowers bloom,
By waters still, o’er troubled sea,
Still ‘tis His hand that leadeth me!
— J. H. Gilmore
2 Samuel 23:1-39; Jeremiah 7:1-34; Ephesians 1:15-2:10
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of
the Lord. Psalm 122:1
“The house of the Lord” is a phrase unique to the Psalms, occurring
eight times. The Old Testament saints knew God’s presence
was evident among them by the Tabernacle positioned in the centre
of their camp. King David desired to “dwell in the house of the
Lord all the days of [his] life” (Ps. 27:4), implying the God of Israel
was to be the central focus of his existence. That’s an admirable
goal for the New Testament saint as well. “Not forsaking the assembling
of ourselves together” (Heb. 10:25). —Wm. H. Gustafson
Gathered in Thy name, Lord Jesus,
Losing sight of all but Thee;
O what joy Thy presence brings us,
Calling out our hearts to Thee. —C. A. Wellesley