Daily Archives: April 24, 2018

April 24: Tongues, Flames, and Other Things That Devour

Joshua 12:1–13:32; 2 Corinthians 11:7–15; Psalm 52:1–53:6

I’d like to skip over the description of the “mighty man” in Psa 52. Of all of his destructive influences, the mighty man is most judged for his use of words. The psalmist’s words burn because I’ve set more than a few forests ablaze with careless words (Jas 3:5). So how should someone like me respond to the psalmist’s judgment?

“Why do you boast about evil, O mighty man? The loyal love of God endures continually. Your tongue plans destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceit. You love evil more than good, a lie more than speaking what is right. You love all devouring words, O deceitful tongue” (Psa 52:1–4).

Prideful self-reliance is at the root of the evil man’s devouring, razor-sharp tongue. He boasts to make himself appear mighty. He takes “refuge in his destructiveness” (Psa 52:7). In contrast, the psalmist finds refuge in God, in the sanctuary of His loyal love: “But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. I trust in the loyal love of God forever and ever” (Psa 52:8).

On my own, I’m more like the mighty man than the stable and prosperous olive tree. I can try to manage my words, fabricating my sense of security on the basis of good behavior. But efforts born out of self-reliance—the root problem of my flippant speech—always fail me. Unless I recognize the foolishness of my pride, I cannot see my desperate need for God. Without hope in Jesus, who provided refuge through His sacrifice, I’ll never resemble the psalmist’s prosperous olive tree.

Oftentimes, the places where we fail so miserably, where we need the most grace, are also the places we see God’s work all the more. His Spirit changes us into people who bear the fruit of thankfulness. It makes us ever more eager to say with the psalmist: “I will give thanks to you forever, because of what you have done” (Psa 52:9).

Where do you see pride and self-reliance taking root in your life?

Rebecca Van Noord[1]


[1] Barry, J. D., & Kruyswijk, R. (2012). Connect the Testaments: A One-Year Daily Devotional with Bible Reading Plan. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

Is the SBC Slowly Becoming Catholic? — Pulpit & Pen

Beth Moore The idea that Roman Catholics can simultaneously be born-again believers is new and novel among Protestants. The controversy has always been the issue of justification. The question is, “How is one justified before God?” Southern Baptists have thus far been convinced that there is no salvation outside of belief if grace alone (Sola…

via Is the SBC Slowly Becoming Catholic? — Pulpit & Pen

04/24/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0424 •Culture wars and the rape crisis in India •Western Culture is not “white culture” •When should judges show mercy? •Are parking tickets unjust when parking isn’t available? •An abused wife skips her abuser’s trial and goes to jail. •Fragments of Truth; a documentary about the manuscript evidence for the Bible •Islamic persecution of Christians…

via 04/24/2018 — Wretched

April 24 Christ Is Our Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt. 5:9).

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Christ’s atonement made it possible for man to be at peace with God.

After World War II the United Nations was created to promote world peace. But since its inception in 1945 there has not been a single day of global peace. That’s a sad commentary on man’s inability to make peace. In fact, someone once quipped that Washington D.C., has so many peace monuments because they build one after every war!

It hasn’t always been that way. Prior to the fall of man, peace reigned on the earth because all creation was in perfect harmony with its Creator. But sin interrupted peace by alienating man from God and bringing a curse upon the earth. Man couldn’t know true peace because he had no peace in his heart. That’s why Jesus came to die.

I once read a story about a couple at a divorce hearing whose conflict couldn’t be resolved. They had a four-year-old boy who became distressed and teary-eyed over what was happening. While the couple was arguing, the boy reached for his father’s hand and his mother’s hand and pulled until he joined them.

In a sense that’s what Christ did. He provided the righteousness that allows man and God to join hands. Romans 5:1 says that those who are “justified by faith … have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.” Colossians 1:20 says that God reconciled all things to Himself through the blood of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Yet on the surface, the scene at the cross wasn’t peaceful at all. Pain, sorrow, humiliation, hatred, mockery, darkness, and death were oppressively pervasive. But through it all Christ was doing what He alone could do: making peace between man and God. He paid the supreme price to give us that precious gift.

In the future Jesus will return as Prince of Peace to establish a Kingdom that will usher us into an eternal age of peace. In the meantime He reigns over the hearts of all who love Him. Let His peace reign in your heart today!

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Thank God for the peace of heart that comes from knowing Christ.

For Further Study: Read Philippians 4:6–9. What must a person do to know God’s peace?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 127). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Bible Ban? CA Fast-Tracks Bill Aimed at Censoring Biblical Christian Teachings

A California bill with the aim of banning Christian books and resources which address issues of homosexuality and gender identity could pass in the California Senate as soon as late May.

Source: Bible Ban? CA Fast-Tracks Bill Aimed at Censoring Biblical Christian Teachings