O PERFECT LOVE
Dorothy B. Gurney, 1858–1932
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. (Ephesians 5:31)
A perfect union of selfless and totally committed love, not an indulgent form of physical gratification, is God’s plan for the human race. Kindness, patience, forgiveness, and demonstrated affection for each other are the ingredients of a happy marriage. The desire to put the needs and interests of one’s mate first before your own is the basis of matrimonial harmony. Marriage has been instituted by God to be a picture of the sacrificial and unending love of Christ for His bride, the church, and the bride’s loving and devoted responses to her Lord. Yet today we see an epidemic of broken marriages, lack of genuine faithfulness, self-centered conflicts between husbands and wives—even among professing Christians.
A beautiful portrayal of ideal married love is given in this wedding hymn as it describes the harmony that exists when God is the foundation of the marriage relationship. Dorothy Gurney, an English woman, was asked by her sister, who was soon to be married, if she would try writing some suitable words for a favorite hymn tune that could be used at the wedding. Dorothy went off by herself for only 15 minutes and returned with the text of “O Perfect Love.” Her sister was delighted with it and insisted that it be sung at the wedding.
Mrs. Gurney stated that the writing of the hymn “was no effort whatever after the initial idea had come to me of the two-fold aspect of perfect union—love and life—and I have always felt that God helped me write it.” Although this was the only hymn she wrote, it has been recognized as one of the finest wedding texts in the English language.
O perfect love, all human thought transcending, lowly we kneel in prayer before Thy throne, that theirs may be the love which knows no ending, whom thou forevermore dost join in one.
O perfect life, be Thou their full assurance of tender charity and steadfast faith, of patient hope, and quiet, brave endurance, with child-like trust that fears nor pain nor death.
Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow; grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife, and to life’s day the glorious unknown morrow that dawns upon eternal love and life!
For Today: Genesis 2:18–25; Mark 10:7–9; Ephesians 5:21–33; 1 Peter 3:7
Reflect on this statement: “A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.” Determine to let your marriage more fully imitate Christ’s love for His bride, the Church.
May 28: Through Despair
1 Chronicles 23:1–23:32; 2 Timothy 3:1–9; Psalm 88
Sometimes we go through dark periods in our lives where the misery feels never-ending. Trial hits, pain hits, and just when we think life might get “back to normal,” we are hit by yet another difficulty. At times like these, we may feel forgotten by God.
In Psalm 88, we find one of the most utter prolonged cries of despair: “O Yahweh, God of my salvation, I cry out by day and through the night before you,” the psalmist begins (Psa 88:1). This psalm never climaxes or hints of hope, and it ends even more desperately than it begins. The psalmist, feeling abandoned by God, has his loved ones taken from him. He is left to navigate the darkness alone (Psa 88:18).
How do we deal with our own misery when confronted by a tragic psalm like this? How should we respond to God?
We can start with what the psalmist, despite his prolonged suffering, acknowledges about God. Although his troubles are still present, he also recognizes God as his deliverer (Psa 88:6–9). He appeals to God’s reputation as a God of wonders, deserving of praise: “Do you work wonders from the dead? Or do the departed spirits rise up to praise you?” (Psa 88:10). He appeals to God’s loyal love, faithfulness, and righteousness: “Is your loyal love told in the grave, or your faithfulness in the underworld? Are your wonders known in the darkness or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” (Psa 88:11).
The psalmist never comes to a place where he expresses even a glimmer of hope. But through cries, questions, and torment, he holds on to what he knows to be true about God. In his very cry, the psalmist acknowledges that God will be present in his situation. While the questions in this psalm remain unanswered, we see that the psalmist lives in the awareness that God cares and will eventually act. In the meantime, he places himself in God’s faithfulness.
We see a parallel situation in Paul’s letter to Timothy; Paul addresses the difficult days that will come. He says they will be difficult for one reason: disobedience. In those days, “people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, arrogant, slanderers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, hardhearted, irreconcilable, slanderous, without self-control, savage, with no interest for what is good” (2 Tim 3:2–3). The list goes on further, describes all types of disobedience against God—something that is absent from the psalmist’s cries. What’s most fascinating about the parallel is that it hints at the root of what the psalmist is experiencing: disobedience may not be acknowledged in his cry (he is innocent), but the world is a disobedient place. It is full of sin and oppression. Ultimately, it’s the sins of humanity that brought pain to the world.
In this life, we’ll go through dark times and struggles that may never end. We may even feel forgotten. But despite what we think or feel, we can’t abandon what we know to be true of God. Even when our state or our emotions are contrary to the desire to worship Him, we are called to trust in Him and in His love.
If He was willing to abandon His only son on a cross to redeem you, then He is certainly trustworthy. If you trust in Him, He will not forsake you.
How are you trusting God through dark times? How are you reaching out to someone who is struggling?
Rebecca Van Noord
Welcome to Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Today’s reading is Deuteronomy 21 through 24. Our lesson is from Deuteronomy 24:14, “You shall not oppress a hired servant [who is] poor and needy, whether [he is] one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.” (NASU)
Relationships are so important throughout the Bible. Let’s look at three truths from our text.
First, Israel was not to exploit the poor. The needy hired servant should not be oppressed by God’s people. Throughout the Bible and in real life situations, we see incidents of exploitation of those who are in need. Sinful human nature makes a person or people want to take advantage of another human being. This is why these words are so revolutionary; they go against basic human behavior. If we are on the receiving end, we want to be treated fairly but when it is the opposite, we tend to take advantage of others.
In this passage, the poor person who took out a loan would give a pledge (possibly his cloak) as a guarantee of the repayment of the loan. The cloak was not only used for dress but also as a blanket when one slept. Lenders were to treat borrowers fairly especially if they were poor. Just because something is common practice does not excuse us from obeying the Scriptures.
Next, Israel was not to exploit their own countryman. Our text is a little more specific now. Business practices throughout the world are culturally diverse. However, the principle is the same: The lender is not to exploit the laborer. The Bible justifies a profit for the businessperson but does not tolerate abuses and the taking advantage of workers. Mistreatment of employees is totally forbidden by the Scriptures. The principle here is the same as for the foreign worker: The employer is to treat the national worker well. Business practices should be guided by God’s Word. We should treat others the way we want to be treated.
Modeling God’s principles is so important. If God’s people treat each other fairly, outsiders will take notice, and that will provide an opportunity to witness. Bible based business practice is effective evangelism.
Last, Israel was not to exploit the foreigner in their midst. The wonderful thing about Scripture is how it takes into consideration all people. The way Israel was to behave to each other was to be extended to the non-Israelite.
In summary, Israel was not to exploit the poor. Israel was not to exploit their own countryman. Israel was not to exploit the foreigner in their midst.
Let’s learn to be a people who treat each other fairly in all areas. There is no room for behavior that is selective or exploitative. This does not honor God or His people.
It has been a pleasure to share with you Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Tomorrow’s Bible reading is Deuteronomy 25 through 29. Let’s not forget the words of the psalmist, “The law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces.” Until tomorrow and may God bless you in abundance as you study the Word of God.
Jesus Purposely Selects a Traitor (Judas Iscariot)
The twelve apostles included “Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:4).
God works all things together for His purposes.
At one time the little town of Kerioth was a relatively obscure Judean town, but all that changed when it produced the most hated man who ever lived—Judas Iscariot.
The first mention of Judas is here in Matthew’s list of disciples. We have no record of his call, but we know Jesus did call him along with the others, and even gave him authority to minister in miraculous ways (Matt. 10:1). His first name, Judas, is despised today, but it was a common name in the days of Christ. It is the Greek form of Judah—the land of God’s people. Iscariot literally means, “a man from the town of Kerioth.”
People commonly ask why Jesus would select such a man to be His disciple. Didn’t He know how things would turn out? Yes, He did, and that’s precisely why He chose him. The Old Testament said the Messiah would be betrayed by a familiar friend for thirty pieces of silver, and Jesus knew Judas was that man (John 17:12).
Some people feel sorry for Judas, thinking he was simply misguided or used as some kind of pawn in a supernatural drama over which he had no control. But Judas did what he did by choice. Repeatedly Jesus gave him chances to repent, but he refused. Finally Satan used him in a diabolical attempt to destroy Jesus and to thwart God’s plan of salvation. The Devil’s attempt failed, however, because God can use even a Judas to accomplish His purposes.
Undoubtedly there are people in your life who wish you harm. Don’t be discouraged. They are as much a part of God’s plan for you as those who treat you kindly. You must reach out to them just as Jesus reached out to Judas. God knows what He’s doing. Trust Him, and rejoice as you see His purposes accomplished even through your enemies.
Suggestions for Prayer: Praise God for His sovereign control over every circumstance and for the promise that His purposes will never be thwarted.
For Further Study: Read Matthew 26:14–50 and 27:1–10. ✧ How did Jesus reveal that it was Judas who would betray Him? ✧ What reaction did Judas have when he heard that Jesus had been condemned?
There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
People need people. We each need relationships with others who are “comparable to us”—like us in values, desires, goals, beliefs, and to a degree, personality—so that we might receive help from them and help them in return. We need other people in order to grow into the fullness of our own potential and in order that we might experience a mutual giving and receiving of love and kindness.…
A real friend is one who sticks closer than a brother—he will be there through thick and thin, in good times and bad. He will provide strength so that you do not crumble in the face of evil or calamity. He remains rock-solid and steadfast in times of trauma.
Time Alone with God
Scripture reading: Luke 12:16–21
Key verse: Luke 12:31
Seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.
As a young man, he set a goal to retire before age thirty–five. He worked seven days a week in an effort to build up his business. After several years, he found himself alone. Fed up with his workaholic attitude, friends and family members had moved on and left him wondering how he had become so out of step with God’s will. From the world’s perspective, he was a success, but from God’s viewpoint he was a spiritual and emotional pauper.
A wondrous mystery is hidden within the cliché that beckons us to “stop and smell the roses.” The memory of a sunset spent with a loved one lasts longer when we take the time to enjoy it. The sweetness that comes from sharing our lives with those around us is a part of the good things in life.
However, even this can become blurred and out of focus if we are out of fellowship with Christ. Taking time to worship God and listen for His voice through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not something we can switch on or off.
Ask yourself how long it has been since you have spent quality time alone with the Lord. If your schedule has you tied up and out of reach of the good things in life, then maybe it’s time to take a serious look at where you are going. Will you like yourself once you get there? Love and friendship are two of the most priceless treasures we will ever know.
Thank You for the privilege of having fellowship with You, Lord. I value the time I spend alone in Your presence.
Our citizenship is in heaven.
Christians are not citizens of this world. The Greek word for “citizenship” in today’s verse refers to a colony of foreigners. In a secular source, it is used to describe a capital city that kept the names of its citizens on a register. Indeed, we are registered citizens of another place—heaven. Our names are there, our Father is there, our brothers and sisters are there, and our inheritance is there—it is our home.
The Israelites taken into the Babylonian Captivity give us a historical parallel to the contemporary church. Their home was still the Promised Land even though they lived for so many years in a foreign company. But when it came time to return, many had become so entrenched into the Babylonian culture that they didn’t want to leave. When the Lord says it’s time to go to heaven, we fight it as if it were the worst thing imaginable because this world has become everything to us. That’s why we must always be reminded that our citizenship is in heaven.
May 28 An Accurate Diagnosis
It came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way.
A young boy was assigned the chore of weeding his father’s garden. At first glance, the lad appeared to have done a fine job.
To the eye, the garden was weed–free. However, after a few days and a good rain, the rows again sprouted with the unsightly greenery. The youngster had superficially achieved his assignment. He had removed the tops of the weeds but failed to uproot them.
The problem was not solved.
We tend to take the same ineffective approach concerning temptation, dealing with the surface symptoms rather than the root cause. That can explain why we frequently commit the same sin. We repeat the distasteful cycle—temptation, yielding, sin, confession—with predictable regularity.
We wrestle with drugs and alcohol without identifying the anger driv–ing us to indulgence. We grapple with a critical spirit while ignoring the poison of bitterness that nourishes its presence.
Ask God’s Spirit to illumine the root problem pertaining to a particular, persistent temptation. Depend on His grace and His power to pull down its stronghold and defuse its allure. An accurate diagnosis is the first step to healing.
Help me deal with root causes instead of surface symptoms, O Lord. Reveal the problems behind my persistent temptations, then give me the power to pull down these strongholds.
Rejoicing in Salvation
Scripture reading: 1 Timothy 1:12–15
Key verse: Psalm 55:9
Destroy, O Lord, and divide their tongues,
For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
The person who used the word joy more than any other writer of Scripture was the apostle Paul. That appears incredible. Wasn’t Paul beaten, stoned, ridiculed, and mocked wherever he preached? Wasn’t Paul the fellow who knew the inside of a prison cell better than the average criminal?
How could he even think of rejoicing, much less use it so liberally in his epistles? Paul’s delight came from an overwhelming gratitude for God’s work of salvation: “The grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant … This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:14–15).
If you have placed your faith in Christ as Savior, think of the supernatural transformation that transpired. You were brought from the domain of Satan into the kingdom of God; you were delivered from unending punishment and gifted with everlasting life.
You became God’s friend, His child. He became your heavenly Father because through the agency of His Spirit, you were born again. Consider the greatness of your salvation, then rejoice in it today.
God, You are my Friend and my heavenly Father. I rejoice in You and my salvation.
The Ground of Victory
Scripture Reading: Psalm 96
Key Verse: Psalm 96:4
The Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.
General Norman Schwarzkopf revealed after the Persian Gulf War that the one–hundred-hour battle was decided in the very first minutes when Allied planes savaged Iraqi air defenses.
“When I saw our planes knock out their radar, I knew at that very moment we had them,” Schwarzkopf said.
There is a very distinct parallel for Christians. Although we are in a very real war, with enticements to sin and an adversary who harasses us, the outcome of the conflict has been decided.
That occurred at Calvary when Jesus “disarmed the rulers and authorities, [making] a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him” (Col. 2:15 nasb). Jesus defeated Satan on the cross. He took away the sting of death by bearing our sins, making reconciliation between God and man possible.
The man or woman who has believed in Him and received His forgiveness of sins is on the winning side. But we deal with our foe on the ground of victory. We are not helpless, frightened little children but sons and daughters of God who triumph over Satan “through Him.”
Don’t shrink from the battle. It was won at Golgotha, and you share in its victory through your union with the Victor, Jesus Christ.
O God, thank You that the battle was already won at Golgotha. I share in its triumph through my union with Christ. I praise You that I deal with the enemy on victory ground!
The Content of Prayer
Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:9–13
Key Verse: Colossians 1:9
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.
While reading today’s Scripture passage from Colossians, ask yourself: What specific things about Paul’s prayer life made them worthy of inclusion in God’s Word? As you study, you may want to consider this outline of five elements Paul used to keep his prayer life active and fresh:
- Paul made specific requests. Instead of using phrases like “God, bless everyone in the world,” Paul prayed for tangible, measurable things, such as patience, strength, and wisdom for specific people.
- Paul asked for big, “God-sized” things. Nothing was out of the question for the God of the universe.
- His prayers were always Christ-centered. Never selfish, Paul petitioned God with a servant’s heart, demonstrating submission and humility.
- His prayers were kingdom-related. Paul’s ultimate goal in prayer always centered on God’s kingdom being increased.
- Paul’s prayers brought glory to God. Paul remembered to recognize and give thanks to God for His faithfulness.
How does your prayer life compare with the attributes on this list? Is there an area in which you need strength or improvement? If you are unsure, take time to ask God for specific insight and guidance today.
Lord, I need courage to trust You with the specifics of the needs that are laid on my heart. In sharing the details, let me also seek Your will, not mine.
Joy in Spite of Death
“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
In addition to Scripture, God has given us more than adequate spiritual resources to meet suffering and death.
Wall Street, the name synonymous with the American stock market and financial investing, is a place where confidence can rise and fall with great force and unpredictability, right along with the rising or sinking level of stock prices. Prices always seem to even out, but who can be certain about how they will behave in the future?
The apostle Paul’s spiritual confidence was not based on the changeableness of financial markets but on truths that are stable and reliable. Yesterday we saw his confidence in God’s Word, and today we’ll look at three more reasons Paul could confront death confidently.
First, Paul had confidence in the prayers of other believers. But it was not a presumptuous confidence because he believed in asking others to pray (see Rom. 15:30). Paul was convinced that “the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much” (James 5:16).
Second, Paul was confident that the Holy Spirit would supply all necessary resources to sustain him through any suffering, even death. All Christians can have that same confidence: “The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).
Third, Paul had the utmost confidence in Christ’s promises. The apostle was sure that God had called him to a specific ministry (Acts 26:16) and that if he was faithful, he would never suffer shame (Mark 8:38). Jesus never abandons His sheep, no matter how bleak and frustrating their circumstances seem (John 10:27–28).
Our verse from Philippians summarizes Paul’s confidence and joy in spite of possible death. As long as he was serving Jesus Christ, he’d just as soon die because death frees the believer from the burdens of earth and lets him glorify Christ in eternity. We can rely on the same promises and provisions as Paul did and have his kind of joy. Jesus “is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever” (Heb. 13:8).
Suggestions for Prayer: Confess any ways in which you have a misplaced confidence. ✧ Ask the Lord to reinforce in your heart a Pauline confidence that rejoices no matter what.
For Further Study: Read Romans 8, and list as many spiritual resources and reasons for rejoicing as you can from the chapter.
We also eagerly wait for the Savior.
Your grace, Lord God, that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching me that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, I should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of my great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for me, that He might redeem me from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. I, according to Your promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, looking forward to these things, I will be diligent to be found by You in peace, without spot and blameless.
Christ was offered once to bear my sins. To those like me who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation. And I will say in that day: “Behold, this is my God; I have waited for Him, and He will save me. This is the Lord; I have waited for Him; I will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”
I await Christ’s coming! He who is King of kings and Lord of Lords shall reign forever! Hallelujah!
Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:11–14; 2 Peter 3:13–14; Hebrews 9:28; Isaiah 25:9
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.
When the Bible writers call God good, they are thinking of all those things about His character which we admire: His perfection, His compassion, His mercy, His grace, and perhaps most of all, His generosity.
Whatever God is, He is abundantly! God is good in a generous way. That means God loves to lavish upon His children that which blesses them. God is blessed in His life when He brings joy and blessing to those who depend upon Him for sustaining grace. Just as we have a real sense of joy in our hearts when we are able to do something good for another person, God has an intense joy in His heart as He expresses His goodness to all of us.
Have you ever heard a sermon about the prodigal son where the father is described as prodigal? Prodigal means lavish, unrestrained, and unlimited. If you want to see the prodigal in that story, examine the heart of the father who never stopped loving his wayward son. Who waited every day to see him come home. And who, when his wayward son walked back into the family home, put on a feast to welcome him back. There was nothing that father would not do for his son. That’s the way God is. He lavishes Himself upon His people.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Our Lord Jesus Christ gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. (Galatians 1:3–5)
Pause to express your thoughts of praise and worship.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity
And in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
I acknowledged my sin to You
And did not hide my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
And You forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:1–5)
Ask the Spirit to search your heart and reveal any areas of unconfessed sin. Acknowledge these to the Lord and thank Him for His forgiveness.
May I take heed not to practice my righteousness before men to be seen by them. Otherwise, I will have no reward from my Father in heaven. (Matthew 6:1)
May I not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul, but rather, may I fear the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28)
Pause to add your own prayers for personal renewal.
In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Since You are my rock and my fortress,
For Your name’s sake lead me and guide me.
Into Your hands I commit my spirit;
Redeem me, O Lord, God of truth. (Psalm 31:1, 3, 5)
Understanding and insight into the word
Understanding my identity in Christ
Who I am
Where I came from
Where I am going
Understanding God’s purpose for my life
My activities for this day
You have given us a new commandment to love one another even as You have loved us; so we must love one another. By this all men will know that we are Your disciples, if we have love for one another. (John 13:34)
Those in ministry
Those who are oppressed and in need
Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake, some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars for ever and ever. (Daniel 12:2–3)
An hour is coming when all who are in the graves will hear the voice of the Son of Man, and will come out—those who have done good to a resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to a resurrection of judgment. (John 5:28–29)
In the resurrection of the dead, the body that is sown is perishable, but it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, but it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, but it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, but it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. (1 Corinthians 15:42–44)
Pause to reflect upon these biblical affirmations.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name;
Make His deeds known among the nations.
Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Tell of all His wonders.
Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. (Psalm 105:1–3)
Pause to offer your own expressions of thanksgiving.
The Lord gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
He is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
Guarding the paths of justice
And protecting the way of His saints. (Proverbs 2:6–8)
Him they compelled to bear his cross
There are many Christians of whom this is true. They are compelled to bear the cross, but how does it come? It comes by their running away from it. They make up their minds they won’t have Christ’s cross; and they find when the cross does come that it comes in a more terrible form, with a more crushing weight than ever it would have come had they only been content to submit themselves to the divine direction; for the cross has to come to all who are to be prepared for glory hereafter.
W. Hay Aitken
IT has been asserted that God cannot be known. Those who say this declare that they themselves know nothing but phenomena.
He who made the world was certainly an intelligent being, in fact the highest intelligence; for in myriads of ways his works display the presence of profound thought and knowledge. Lord Bacon said, “I had rather believe all the fables of the Talmud and the Koran than that this universal frame is without a mind.” This being so, we do in that very fact know God in a measure; ay, and in such a measure that we are prepared to trust him. He that made all things is more truly an object of confidence than all things that he has made.
Morning, May 28
“Whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
— Romans 8:30
Here is a precious truth for thee, believer. Thou mayest be poor, or in suffering, or unknown, but for thine encouragement take a review of thy “calling” and the consequences that flow from it, and especially that blessed result here spoken of. As surely as thou art God’s child today, so surely shall all thy trials soon be at an end, and thou shalt be rich to all the intents of bliss. Wait awhile, and that weary head shall wear the crown of glory, and that hand of labour shall grasp the palm-branch of victory. Lament not thy troubles, but rather rejoice that ere long thou wilt be where “there shall be neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” The chariots of fire are at thy door, and a moment will suffice to bear thee to the glorified. The everlasting song is almost on thy lip. The portals of heaven stand open for thee. Think not that thou canst fail of entering into rest. If he hath called thee, nothing can divide thee from his love. Distress cannot sever the bond; the fire of persecution cannot burn the link; the hammer of hell cannot break the chain. Thou art secure; that voice which called thee at first, shall call thee yet again from earth to heaven, from death’s dark gloom to immortality’s unuttered splendours. Rest assured, the heart of him who has justified thee beats with infinite love towards thee. Thou shalt soon be with the glorified, where thy portion is; thou art only waiting here to be made meet for the inheritance, and that done, the wings of angels shall waft thee far away, to the mount of peace, and joy, and blessedness, where,
“Far from a world of grief and sin,
With God eternally shut in,”
thou shalt rest for ever and ever.
Evening, May 28
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.”
— Lamentations 3:21
Memory is frequently the bond slave of despondency. Dispairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right a wealth of hopeful signs. She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow with a fillet of gold, all spangled with stars. Thus it was in Jeremiah’s experience: in the previous verse memory had brought him to deep humiliation of soul: “My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me;” and now this same memory restored him to life and comfort. “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with the other. As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime. Be it ours to remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and to rehearse his deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy. Thus memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, “the bosom-spring of joy,” and when the Divine Comforter bends it to his service, it may be chief among earthly comforters. 
Love, Joy, and Peace
I am very glad you write to me so freely, although it makes me sad to see that the world has such a strong hold on your heart. I know it is natural, and I can sympathize with your feelings, but I see plainly where your mistake is. It is just because you do not know the joys of God’s salvation yet, and therefore the duties connected with it appall you.
I wish, my precious boy, that you would just pray now for one thing that God will give you the joys of His salvation. I will ask this for you, and you must ask it for yourself. It is not a long prayer and you can easily remember to say it morning and evening, and when once your soul is filled with joy all the rest will come right. You are looking at the thing now in a dreadfully legal way, and making the Gospel out to be bondage, whereas, really and truly, it is the greatest liberty; and its special element is joy.
Dear Frank, the Gospel is good news, something to make people happy; not a law to bind them. You can never know all about it until you get hold of it at the right end, the end beginning with “Love, joy & peace.” Just ask for joy, as I have said and let all the rest go. Say night and morning, and whenever through the day you think of it, “Dear Lord make me happy in you,” and leave it there. All the rest will come out right when once you are happy in Him. And this happiness will be the beginning; remember; “love, joy & peace” are the first fruits mentioned.
—To Frank, November 14, 1870
And in that day ye shall ask Me nothing. John 16:23.
When is “that day”? When the Ascended Lord makes you one with the Father. In that day you will be one with the Father as Jesus is, and “in that day,” Jesus says, “ye shall ask Me nothing.” Until the resurrection life of Jesus is manifested in you, you want to ask this and that; then after a while you find all questions gone, you do not seem to have any left to ask. You have come to the place of entire reliance on the resurrection life of Jesus which brings you into perfect contact with the purpose of God. Are you living that life now? If not, why shouldn’t you?
There may be any number of things dark to your understanding, but they do not come in between your heart and God. “And in that day ye shall ask Me no question”—you do not need to, you are so certain that God will bring things out in accordance with His will. John 14:1 has become the real state of your heart, and there are no more questions to be asked. If anything is a mystery to you and it is coming in between you and God, never look for the explanation in your intellect, look for it in your disposition, it is that which is wrong. When once your disposition is willing to submit to the life of Jesus, the understanding will be perfectly clear, and you will get to the place where there is no distance between the Father and His child because the Lord has made you one, and “in that day ye shall ask Me no question.”
Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81–82; Isaiah 29; 3 John
In the third major section of his book (chaps. 28–35), Isaiah focuses on the central issue that the Jerusalem monarch faces. Will the southern kingdom turn to Egypt as it seeks to withstand the aggression of Assyria, or will it trust the Lord? The nature of the crisis and the abysmal voices circulating in the court occupy chapters 28–29. Chapters 30–31 pronounce woes on all who rely on Egypt: in that direction lies only disaster. Chapters 32–33 depict the godly solution: trust the living God who reigns as King in the midst of his people. The last two chapters of the section, 34 and 35, display respectively the scorched earth of judgment that will result from trusting pagan nations, and the garden of delight that awaits those who trust the Lord.
Isaiah 29, then, is part of the description of the crisis. Jerusalem is addressed as “Ariel” (29:1, 2, 7). We know this stands for Jerusalem, because it is described as “the city where David settled” (29:1). The coinage is almost certainly Isaiah’s; there is no record of any earlier use of this word for Jerusalem. “Ariel” is a pun on “altar hearth”—the flat surface on the altar where the fire consumed the sacrifices (cf. Ezek. 43:15). God says he is going to “besiege Ariel,” which will be to him “like an altar hearth” (29:2): God will ignite the fires of judgment under Jerusalem.
The tragedy of the situation lies in the sheer blindness of the people. This is simultaneously their perversity and God’s judgment (29:9–10). No matter what God discloses through Isaiah, the people simply blank out when they hear his words. The truth they cannot fathom; they have no categories for it, for their hearts are far removed from God’s ways (29:13). For them, all that Isaiah says remains like words sealed up in a scroll they cannot read (29:11–12). Even their worship becomes little more than conformity to rules (29:13b). So when God does finally break through, it will be with “wonder upon wonder,” all designed to overthrow the pretensions of the “wise” and “intelligent” (29:14) who counsel the king to do what God forbids.
The ultimate fulfillment of this pattern takes place in gospel times. Paul understands perfectly well how the person without the Spirit of God finds the truth of the Gospel largely incoherent, how the “wise” and “intelligent” broach many schemes, none of them consistent with the Gospel (1 Cor. 1:18–31; 2:14). Here, too, God destroys the wisdom of the wise (1 Cor. 1:19; Isa. 29:14), for his own way is what none of the wise had foreseen: the sheer “foolishness” of the cross.
Deuteronomy 1; Psalms 81–82; Isaiah 29; 3 John
“open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (Ps. 81:10): the symbolism is transparent. God is perfectly willing and able to satisfy all our deepest needs and longings. Implicitly, the problem is that we will not even open our mouths to enjoy the food he provides. The symbolism returns in the last verse: while the wicked will face punishment that lasts forever, “you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you” (81:16).
Of course, God is talking about more than physical food (though scarcely less). The setting is a common one both in the Psalms and in the narrative parts of the Pentateuch. God graciously and spectacularly rescued the people from their slavery in Egypt, responding to their own cries of distress. “I removed the burden from their shoulders,” God says. “In your distress you called and I rescued you” (81:6–7). Then comes the passage that leads to the line quoted at the beginning of this meditation:
Hear, O my people, and I will warn you—
if you would but listen to me, O Israel!
You shall have no foreign god among you;
you shall not bow down to an alien god.
I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it (81:8–10).
Historically, of course, the response of the people was disappointing: “my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me” (81:11). In that case, they were not promised the satisfaction symbolized by full mouths. Far from it. God says, “So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices” (81:12).
Of course, the nature of the idolatry changes from age to age. I recently read some lines from John Piper: “The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18–20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable” (A Hunger for God [Wheaton: Crossway, 1997], 14).
“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”
May 28.—Morning. [Or October 22.] “Now will I sing to my Well-beloved a song.”
THAT the poetical nature of the Song of Solomon may be more clearly seen, we have now before us a passage in which the original form of the Canticle is preserved, and its meaning made more clear by an improved translation.
The first speakers are the Daughters of Jerusalem.
6 What is this coming up from the wilderness,
As if it were pillars of smoke,
Odorous of myrrh and frankincense,
With all the fragrant dust of the merchant?
The Friends of the Bridegroom then reply.
7 Behold his Chariot,
It is Solomon’s;
Sixty valiant men around it
Of the valiant of Israel;
8 All of them graspers of the sword,
Trained unto battle;
Every man his sword on his side
Against alarm by night.
9 The chariot made him King Solomon,
Of the trees of Lebanon;
10 Its pillars made he silveren,
The seat thereof golden,
Its covering of crimson,
The midst thereof inlaid with love
For the daughters of Jerusalem.
11 Go forth and look, ye daughters of Zion,
On King Solomon
In the diadem
Wherewithal his mother crowned him,
Upon the day of his espousal,
And the day of the gladness of his soul.
Then follows a song of The King, in which he extols the beauty of his bride.
1 Lo thou fair one,
Lo thou fair one!
Thine Eyes are doves within thy locks;
Thy Hair like a flock of the goats,
That hang adown Mount Gilead.
2 Thy Teeth like a flock of sheep even shorn,
That had come up from the washing,
That are all of them twin-bearing,
And bereft not one among them.
3 Like a line of scarlet are thy Lips,
And thy speaking beauteous;
Like to a pomegranate cloven
Are thy Temples through thy locks.
4 Like the Tower of David is thy Neck,
Builded for an armoury,
With a thousand shields hung upon it,
All bucklers of the mighty;
5 Twain breasts of thine like a pair of fawns,
Twinlings of the roe,
That are feeding among the lilies.
6 Until breathe the day,
And flee away the shadows,
I will go my way
To the Mount of Myrrh,
7 And to the Hill of Frankincense.—
Thou art all fair,
My Love, and no spot in Thee.
In the first song the king is seen in his travelling palanquin or chariot-bed, coming up from the wilderness. We may expound the picture as representing our Lord and King going up into his glory from this wilderness world. Mark the sweet odours of his merits, and the smoke of his sacrifice, observe also the attendant angels, as Milton calls them, “the helmed cherubim and the sworded seraphim,” who, having kept watch around him in the wilderness, now attend him to swell the pomp of his ascension. Thus will Jesus come a second time, and his church shall go forth and gaze upon him. That glorious chariot of love, whose purple canopy well sets forth the atoning blood, is his salvation in which the church rides and rests with her Lord. Happy those who are in it by faith.
The song in which the king extols his bride will be understood by those who know that the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus puts upon the saints a perfect comeliness, so that they are “all fair” in the sight of God. Every single line has its meaning, and spiritual minds will find great delight in reading the works of such writers as Gill, or Durham, or Moody Stuart, upon this priceless book.
May 28.—Evening. [Or October 23.] “Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse.”
OUR last reading gave us two parts of a delightful Canticle: we will now read the third portion, in which the King is the chief speaker, and rejoices to extol his bride, even as the Lord Jesus rejoiceth over his church.
The King thus speaks—
8 Along with me from Lebanon, my Bride,
Along with me from Lebanon, come;
Look from off the top of Amana,
From the top of Shenir and Hermon,
From the dwellings of the lions,
From the mountains of the leopards:
Jesus would have us look above the highest earthly delights, and leave all earthly loves for his sake. Shall he say, “Come with me,” and shall we refuse to follow? Hear how he sets forth his love to us, his joy over us.
9 Thou hast taken my heart, my Sister, my Spouse,
Thou hast taken my heart with one
Of thine eyes, with a single chain of thy neck;
Though but one grace be seen in us, Jesus spies it out, and is charmed with it; such is his condescending love.
10 How pleasant is thy love, my Sister, my Spouse,
How good is thy love above wine,
And the odour of thine ointments above all perfumes!
11 Honey from the comb dropping are thy lips, my Spouse,
Honey and milk are under thy tongue,
And the scent of thy garments like the scent of Lebanon.
In the esteem of Jesus, the love, the spirit, the words, and the outward conduct of his people are all acceptable.
12 A garden enclosed,
My Sister, my Bride,
A spring shut up,
A fountain sealed:
13 Thy plants a Paradise
Of granate-apple trees,
Along with fruits most choice;
Of henna-plants with nards,
14 The spikenard and the saffron,
The sweet cane and cinnamon,
With all trees of frankincense;
Of myrrh and the lign aloes,
With all the chief of spices:
15 A fountain for the gardens,
A well of living waters,
And streams out of Lebanon.
Jesus thus extols his beloved Church, but having done so, he intercedes for her that the Holy Spirit may visit her, for what would she be without him? Listen to the Redeemer’s prayer.
16 Awake, O North wind;
And come, thou South;
Breathe upon my garden,
Flow its odours forth.
Moved by the love of her Lord, and influenced by the Spirit, the Church begs the Lord to come nearer to her.
Come, let my Loved One into his garden
And let him eat his pleasant fruit.
To her he answers lovingly.
1 I am come into my garden,
My Sister, my Bride;
I have gathered my myrrh
Along with my balm;
I have eaten my honey
With my honey-comb;
I have drunk my wine
Together with my milk;
Eat, O friends, drink and quaff ye,
Jesus accepts us and our fruits; let us therefore rejoice in him and feast upon him.
He calls me from the lion’s den,
From this wild world of beasts and men,
To Zion, where his glories are—
Not Lebanon is half so fair;
Nor dens of prey, nor flowery plains,
Nor earthly joys, nor earthly pains,
Shall hold my feet, or force my stay,
When Christ invites my soul away.
May 28 – The Plea for Forgiveness
“‘“And forgive us our debts”’” (Matthew 6:12).
God will not forgive our sins if we do not confess them. John makes that condition clear when he declares, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Confession simply means we agree with God that our sins are evil and defiling and we do not want them to taint our walk with Christ.
Our sinful pride makes it difficult to confess sin, but it is the only way to the free and joyful Christian life (cf. Prov. 28:13). John Stott said, “One of the surest antidotes to the process of moral hardening is the disciplined practice of uncovering our sins of thought and outlook as well as word and deed and the repentant forsaking of the same.”
We must never take God’s promise of forgiveness as a license for sin or as an excuse to presume on His grace. Instead we must view forgiveness as an aid to our sanctification and be constantly thankful to the Lord for His loving forgiveness.
Your prayer ought to coincide with the Puritan one: “Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, the exceeding righteousness of salvation, the exceeding glory of Christ, the exceeding beauty of holiness, and the exceeding wonder of grace. I am guilty but pardoned. I am lost but saved. I am wandering but found. I am sinning but cleansed. Give me perpetual broken-heartedness. Keep me always clinging to Thy cross.”
How can one walk in an awareness of his own wretchedness while also living in the confidence of Christ’s righteousness and salvation? Actually, it is only by realizing our great need for Him that we can enjoy the grace that overwhelms our sin. Seek this biblical balance in your own life.
From Daily Readings from the Life of Christ, Vol. 1, John MacArthur. Copyright © 2008. Used by permission of Moody Publishers, Chicago, IL 60610, http://www.moodypublishers.com.
Reading for Today:
1 Kings 3:1–4:34
1 Kings 3:7 little child. Since Solomon was probably only about 20 years of age, he readily admitted his lack of qualification and experience to be king (1 Chr. 22:5; 29:1).
1 Kings 3:8 a great people. Based on the census, which recorded 800,000 men of fighting age in Israel and 500,000 in Judah (2 Sam. 24:9), the total population was over 4 million, approximately double what it had been at the time of the conquest (Num. 26:1–65).
1 Kings 3:9 an understanding heart. Humbly admitting his need, Solomon sought “a listening heart” to govern God’s people with wisdom.
1 Kings 3:10 pleased the Lord. The Lord was delighted that Solomon had not asked for personal benefits—long life, wealth, or the death of his enemies.
John 10:7–10 I am the door. This is the third of 7 “I AM” statements of Jesus (6:35; 8:12). Here, He changes the metaphor slightly. While in vv. 1–5 He was the shepherd, here He is the gate. While in vv. 1–5, the shepherd led the sheep out of the pen, here He is the entrance to the pen (v. 9) that leads to proper pasture. This section echoes Jesus’ words in 14:6 that He is the only way to the Father. His point is that He serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of God’s promised salvation. As some Near Eastern shepherds slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures Himself as the gate.
John 10:17, 18 take it again. Jesus repeated this phrase twice in these two verses indicating that His sacrificial death was not the end. His resurrection followed in demonstration of His messiahship and deity (Rom. 1:4). His death and resurrection resulted in His ultimate glorification (12:23; 17:5) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (7:37–39; Acts 2:16–39).
DAY 28: What does it mean to have Jesus as the “Good Shepherd”?
In John 10:1–39, Jesus’ discourse on Himself as the “Good Shepherd” flowed directly from chapter 9, as Jesus continued to talk to the very same people. The problem of chapter 9 was that Israel was led by false shepherds who drew them astray from the true knowledge and kingdom of Messiah (9:39–41). In chapter 10, Jesus declared Himself to be the “Good Shepherd” who was appointed by His Father as Savior and King, in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel who were self-appointed and self-righteous (Ps. 23:1; Is. 40:11; Jer. 3:15; see Is. 56:9–12; Jer. 23:1–4; 25:32–38; Ezek. 34:1–31; Zech. 11:16).
Jesus spoke in vv. 1–30 using a sustained metaphor based on first-century sheep ranching. The sheep were kept in a pen, which had a gate through which the sheep entered and left. The shepherd engaged a “doorkeeper” (v. 3) or “hireling” (v. 12) as an undershepherd to guard the gate. The shepherd entered through that gate. He whose interest was stealing or wounding the sheep would chose another way to attempt entrance. The words of Ezekiel 34 most likely form the background to Jesus’ teaching since God decried the false shepherds of Israel (i.e., the spiritual leaders of the nation) for not caring properly for the flock of Israel (i.e., the nation). The Gospels themselves contain extensive sheep/shepherd imagery (Matt. 9:36; Mark 6:34; 14:27; Luke 15:1–7).
The doorkeeper was a hired undershepherd who recognized the true shepherd of the flock, opened the gate for Him, assisted the shepherd in caring for the flock, and especially guarded them at night (v. 3). “The sheep hear his voice.” Near Eastern shepherds stand at different locations outside the sheep pen, sounding out their own unique calls which their sheep recognize. As a result, the sheep gather around the shepherd.“ He calls his own sheep by name.” This shepherd goes even further by calling each sheep by its own special name (see 3 John 15). Jesus’ point is that He comes to the fold of Israel and calls out His own sheep individually to come into His own messianic fold. The assumption is that they are already in some way His sheep even before He calls them by name (vv. 25–27; 6:37, 39, 44, 64, 65; 17:6, 9, 24; 18:9).
Unlike Western shepherds who drive the sheep from the side or behind, often using sheep dogs, Near Eastern shepherds lead their flocks, their voice calling them to move on (vv. 4, 5). This draws a remarkable picture of the master/disciple relationship. New Testament spiritual leadership is always by example, i.e., a call to imitate conduct (1 Tim. 4:12; 1 Pet. 5:1–3).
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, http://www.thomasnelson.com.
Thu, May 28, 2015
MAN HAS LOST GOD
The average person in the world today, without faith and without God and without hope, is engaged in a desperate personal search and struggle throughout his lifetime. He does not really know what he is doing here. He does not know where he is going. The sad commentary is that everything he is doing is being done on borrowed time, borrowed money and borrowed strength-and he already knows that in the end he will surely die! It boils down to the bewildered confession of many humans that they have lost God somewhere along the way. Man, made more like God than any other creature, has become less like God than any other creature. Created to reflect the glory of God, he has retreated sullenly into his cave-reflecting only his own sinfulness. Certainly it is a tragedy above all tragedies in this world that love has gone from man’s heart. Beyond that, light has gone from his mind. Having lost God, he blindly stumbled on through this dark world to find only a grave at the end!
Thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to dust.
THANKSGIVING: Thank God for Christ’s Intercession
For the intercession which he ever lives to make in the virtue of his satisfaction.
We thank you that having bore the sin of many, Christ makes intercession for transgressors, Isaiah 53:12(ESV) and prays, not only for those who were given to him when he was on earth, but also for all those who will believe in him through their word; that they may all be one. John 17:20-21(ESV)
That we have an Advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ the righteous, 1 John 2:1(ESV) who is therefore able to save to the uttermost all those who draw near to God as a Father, through him as a Mediator, since he always lives to make intercession for his people. Hebrews 7:25(ESV)
That we have a High Priest chosen from among men and appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifice for sin, who can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward; Hebrews 5:1-2(ESV) and that he has become the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him. Hebrews 5:9(ESV)
Matthew Henry’s Method For Prayer
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 Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
 Venditti, L., & Venditti, N. (2012). Daily Treasures from the Word of God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
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 Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 155). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
 Jeremiah, D. (2007). Life-Changing Moments With God (p. 163). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 Jeremiah, D. (2002). Sanctuary: finding moments of refuge in the presence of God (p. 155). Nashville, TN: Integrity Publishers.
 Boa, K. (1993). Handbook to prayer: praying scripture back to God. Atlanta: Trinity House.
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 Spurgeon, C. H. (2006). Morning and evening: Daily readings (Complete and unabridged; New modern edition.). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
 Smith, H. W., & Dieter, M. E. (1997). The Christian’s secret of a holy life: the unpublished personal writings of Hannah Whitall Smith. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 Chambers, O. (1986). My utmost for his highest: Selections for the year. Grand Rapids, MI: Oswald Chambers Publications; Marshall Pickering.
 Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2, p. 25). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
 Carson, D. A. (1998). For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 1). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.
 Spurgeon, C. H. (2009). The Interpreter: Spurgeon’s Devotional Bible (pp. 311–312). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.