April 26 “Broken bones & the Good Shepherd”

The Good Shepherd sometimes allows the “broken bones” of trials and hardships to keep us from running away from Him.

Good Shepherd

Today’s Readings:
Judges 17-19
Psalm 51.7-11
Proverbs 14.33-35
Luke 18.24-43

Judges 17-19:

“Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”

Verse 17.6, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” This is the theme of the book of Judges and the stories it contains gives a graphic illustration of the moral condition of the nation as a result.

First we meet Micah, a man who steals from his own mother, and his mother, who doesn’t appear to take her son’s behavior very seriously. Instead, she takes the money he returns and makes idols for him to set up his own personal shrine, ignoring the fact that the people were to worship in Shiloh at this time.

Next we meet a corrupt priest, a man looking out for what was good for him, not what God had called him to or what was right. He allowed himself to be hired out as Micah’s personal priest, and then left when he was offered a better deal.

Then there is the sad story of another priest and his concubine. First we see the horrible moral condition of the people in the city where he lodges on his way home. Just like the men of Sodom, these men attempt to rape this male visitor to their city. And like in Sodom, the victims attempt to pacify them by offering them a young virgin girl and the priest’s concubine. As John MacArthur says in his notes, “This is unthinkable weakness and cowardice …” But when a society heads down that moral spiral, it’s often the women who suffer the most. Continue reading

April 10 “Parenting from the foot of the cross”

The Bible has so much to say about parenting, and we have many great resources today to help us understand and apply the Bible’s teachings. It’s also an area where we need to apply the gospel, both to ourselves and in the grace we give our children. (See links below.)

parenting

Today’s Readings:
Joshua 9 & 10
Psalm 44.1-3
Proverbs 13.24-25
Luke 10.1-24

Joshua 9 & 10:

If God is for you …

What an incredible picture of what it means to have God on your side, fighting for you! He stopped the sun and moon on their behalf, used hailstones to destroy their enemies and saw that they were protected and had complete victory.

But even when God is not working in such obviously dramatic ways, He is still present and at work in the lives of all who belong to Him.

Romans 8.31b, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” And Philippians 1.6, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

Continue reading

March 24 “Self-righteousness & other oxymorons”

According to Merriam-Webster, an oxymoron is: a combination of words that have opposite or very different meanings or something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements. Such is any idea of our self-righteousness.

Oxymorons

Today’s Readings:
Deuteronomy 9 & 10
Psalm 37.12-17
Proverbs 12.11
Luke 1.57-80

Deuteronomy 9 & 10:

Self-righteousness & other oxymorons

God, through Moses, emphasized that He would bless the Israelites not because of their righteousness—that is because they deserved it—but because of God and His mercy.

C.J. Mahaney says in his book, The Cross Centered Life, “Everything in the Old Testament points toward Jesus Christ and enriches our understanding of the cross (see Luke 24.27). The drama of redemption begins in the Garden in Genesis 3 and continues to unfold throughout the Old Testament until it reaches its climax at the cross. All along the way the Divine Author prepares us for Calvary. The symbolism of the sacrificial system, the strictness of the law, the repeated failures of man, the steadfast faithfulness of God—all this and more deepens our amazement at the cross.” Continue reading

January 12 “Exposing our hearts”

Exposed heart

Today if we wear veils at all, it’s part of a traditional wedding outfit or a fashion statement, but that doesn’t mean we don’t hide who we really are. It may be in a dating relationship, other social situations, or in the business world. Sin, shame, and self-consciousness still make us want to run and hide.

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 23 & 24
Psalm 7.1-5
Proverbs 3.7-8
Matthew 9.1-17

Genesis 23 & 24:

Still hiding

Sometimes as we read about the unusual customs in the Bible, it’s difficult to see the connection to us in our time. “Put you hand under my thigh …”—aren’t you glad men shake hands these days! And what if, as a young woman, someone showed up and said, “God wants you to go to another country to marry a man you’ve never met—and by the way—he’s your long lost cousin!”

Many marriages were arranged in Biblical times. People didn’t just meet, date, fall in love, decide to get married, and live happily ever after. Even if they did “fall in love” which seems to have happened with Jacob and Rachael a few chapters from now, things still had to be arranged with the potential bride’s family. In Jacob’s case that arrangement took fourteen years. Continue reading