Daily Archives: May 6, 2018

May 6: Community Driven

Judges 9:22–10:18; Philippians 2:19–30; Psalm 68:1–14

By default, we flag our own needs as high priority. And we often measure our church community by how well it’s serving our needs. Caught up in our own spiritual growth, we tend to forget that we’re meant to attend to the physical and spiritual needs of others. Paul upholds Timothy and Epaphroditus to the Philippians as examples of what this type of service should look like.

Paul was intent on sending Timothy to the Philippian church because of his discernment and his servant-like heart. In fact Timothy was the only one suited for the task. Others wouldn’t “sincerely be concerned about [the Philippians’] circumstances. For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ” (Phil 2:20–21). Likewise, Paul describes Epaphroditus as a man who suffered to the point of death in order to assist him in his ministry (Phil 2:30).

Both of these men epitomized the natural result of Paul’s commands earlier in his letter: “Do nothing according to selfish ambition or according to empty conceit, but in humility considering one another better than yourselves, each of you not looking out for your own interests, but also each of you for the interests of others” (Phil 2:3–4).

“Considering another individual better” didn’t mean the Philippians had to foster an exaggerated opinion of others—as if they deserved honor. Rather, Paul was instructing them to consider others’ needs ahead of their own. The church in Philippi had this example in Paul, Timothy, and Epaphroditus. But the original example is found in the person of Christ, who “humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).

Christ’s sacrificial love was first shown undeservedly to us, and His example of humility, obedience, and service is a reminder that we should be looking for ways to serve those around us.

How can you reach out to someone who needs guidance, love or encouragement?

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.

May 6 Gaining Spiritual Stability (Peter)

The twelve apostles included “Simon, who is called Peter” (Matt. 10:2).

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Jesus can make an impulsive and vacillating Christian as stable as a rock.

The first disciple Matthew’s Gospel names is “Simon, who is called Peter.” He was a fisherman by trade, but Jesus called him to be a fisher of men. John 1:40–42 records their first encounter: “One of the two who heard John [the Baptist] speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He found first his own brother Simon, and … brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, ‘You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas’ (which translated means Peter).”

“Peter” means “stone.” “Cephas” is its Aramaic equivalent. By nature Simon tended to be impulsive and vacillating. Apparently Jesus named him Peter as a reminder of his future role in the church, which would require spiritual strength and stability. Whenever Peter acted like a man of strength, Jesus called him by his new name. When he sinned, Jesus called him by his old name (e.g., John 21:15–17). In the Gospel of John, Peter is called “Simon Peter” seventeen times. Perhaps John knew Peter so well, he realized he was always drifting somewhere between sinful Simon and spiritual Peter.

For the next few days we will see how Jesus worked with Peter to transform him into a true spiritual rock. It was an amazing transformation, but not unlike what He desires to do in every believer’s life.

You might not have the same personality as Peter, but the Lord wants you to be a spiritual rock just the same. Peter himself wrote, “You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). That occurs as you “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Make that your continual aim.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  List the areas of your Christian walk that are inconsistent or vacillating. Make them a matter of earnest prayer, asking God for wisdom and grace as you begin to strengthen them.

For Further Study: First Peter was written to Christians in danger of severe persecution. Read that epistle, noting the keys to spiritual stability that Peter gives.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 139). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

Leaks, Fake News, and Hidden Agendas

Thousands of articles have been written about the so-called Russian hack of the US election. The term “Russian hack” suggests the Russkies actually found a way to subvert the results of voting machines. But of course, no convincing evidence has been presented to support such a charge.

Source: Leaks, Fake News, and Hidden Agendas

MAY 6 THE ETHICS OF JESUS

And ye shall be witnesses unto me.

Acts 1:8

The teachings of Jesus belong to the Church, not to society, for in society is sin, and sin is hostility to God!

Christ did not teach that He would impose His teachings upon the fallen world. He called His disciples to Him and taught them, and everywhere throughout His teachings there is the overt or implied idea that His followers will constitute an unpopular minority group in an actively hostile world.

The divine procedure is to go into the world of fallen men, preach to them the necessity to repent and become disciples of Christ and, after making disciples, to teach them “the ethics of Jesus,” which Christ called “all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).

The ethics of Jesus cannot be obeyed or even understood until the life of God has come to the heart of a man or woman in the miracle of the new birth.

The righteousness of the law is fulfilled in those who walk in the Spirit. Christ lives again in His redeemed followers the life He lived in Judea, for righteousness can never be divorced from its source, which is Jesus Christ Himself!

Lord, pour out Your Spirit upon our nation today, that men and women will be convicted of sin and turn their lives over to You.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W. (2015). Mornings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

VP Mike Pence Swears in Openly Homosexual Ambassador to Germany With ‘Partner’ at Side

WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence, a professing evangelical, swore in openly homosexual Richard Grenell as U.S. ambassador to Germany on Thursday, with the man’s partner standing by his side. “Ric, I know you’ve got a lot of friends from many years here, but most importantly, you’ve got people that you cherish, and your family.

Source: VP Mike Pence Swears in Openly Homosexual Ambassador to Germany With ‘Partner’ at Side

“Real Socialism” Has Indeed Been Tried… And It’s Been A Disaster

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

May 5th marked the 200th Anniversary of Karl Marx’s birth, and in spite of inspiring a wide variety of political movements that have caused countless human rights disasters, Marx continues to be an object of admiration among many intellectuals and artists. One such example can be seen in Raoul Peck’s new film The Young Karl Marx which portrays Marx is a principled radical with a laudable thirst for justice.

Fortunately for Marx the man and his reputation, he never personally gained control of the machinery of any state. Thus, the dirty work of actually implementing the necessary “dictatorship of the proletariat” was left up to others. And those who attempted to bring Marxism into the light of practical reality, quickly found that applied Marxism brings impoverishment and the destruction of human freedom. 

Read more: “Real Socialism” Has Indeed Been Tried… And It’s Been A Disaster

Happy Birthday Karl: Top 10 Goals Of Marx’ Manifesto Accomplished In America

By Joe Jarvis Via The Daily Bell

Plenty of stupid ideas kill people. But one man’s stupid ideas have killed over a hundred million people.

Karl Marx was born 200 years ago today. And despite the utter failure of his communist philosophy in practice, the cult lives on. Still people want to try again… this time they will get it right.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels originally published The Communist Manifesto in 1848. It laid out the beliefs and action plan of the Communist Party. The goal was to get communists of every nationality to rise up and unite to overthrow their “capitalist oppressors.”

Little did they know their words would be used by the likes of Stalin and Mao as justification for over 100 million murders meant to supposedly move society forward.

In America, the goals of the communists have crept their way into society with little fanfare. Many people have no idea that public schools, the graduated income tax, and even a central state-controlled bank (like the Federal Reserve) were tenets of the Communist Manifesto.

The points are boiled down in one section of the manifesto to a list of ten main goals. These are the goals, in Marx and Engels’ own words, followed by an analysis of how deeply they have seeped into the United States governing structure.

Read more: Happy Birthday Karl: Top 10 Goals Of Marx’ Manifesto Accomplished In America

The King James Only Controversy, Part 4 — CultureWatch

I have covered quite a bit of territory in the first three parts of this article. Now I seek to wrap things up, and offer some further reading to those who are interested if they want to learn much more about this from some helpful, reputable and reliable sources. Concluding points -The KJV is a…

via The King James Only Controversy, Part 4 — CultureWatch

The King James Only Controversy, Part 3 — CultureWatch

In this third of a four-part article I look further at issues of textual criticism, translation theory, pros and cons about manuscript types and translations, and so on. Objections raised against the Alexandrian texts and translators Some critics claim that the Cambridge textual scholars Westcott and Hort were not even Christians and had non-Christian, even…

via The King James Only Controversy, Part 3 — CultureWatch

The King James Only Controversy, Part 2 — CultureWatch

Various introductory matters were laid out in Part 1 of this article. If you have not yet read it, I urge you to do so before proceeding any further. Here I will offer a somewhat brief and outline-ish look at some of the nuts and bolts of what this debate is all about. Manuscript assessment…

via The King James Only Controversy, Part 2 — CultureWatch

The King James Only Controversy, Part 1 — CultureWatch

I had a rather strange thing happen to me some years ago. I was invited to be a key speaker at a Christian conference in another state, and details were being finalised. But at the end of one email to me were words to this effect: ‘Oh, we ask that our speakers only use the…

via The King James Only Controversy, Part 1 — CultureWatch

KJV Only Movement? Is the King James Version the Only Bible We Should Use?

Many people have strong and serious objections to the translation methods and textual basis for the new translations and therefore take a strong stance in favor of the King James Version. Others are equally convinced that the newer translations are an improvement over the KJV in their textual basis and translation methodology. GotQuestions.org does not want to limit its ministry to those of the “KJV Only” persuasion. Nor do we want to limit ourselves to those who prefer the NIV, NAS, NKJV, etc. Note—the purpose of this article is not to argue against the use of the King James Version. Rather, the focus of this article is to contend with the idea that the King James Version is the only Bible English speakers should use.

The KJV Only movement claims its loyalty to be to the Textus Receptus, a Greek New Testament manuscript compilation completed in the 1500s. To varying degrees, KJV Only advocates argue that God guided Erasmus (the compiler of the Textus Receptus) to come up with a Greek text that is perfectly identical to what was originally written by the biblical authors. However, upon further examination, it can be seen that KJV Only advocates are not loyal to the Textus Receptus, but rather only to the KJV itself. The New Testament of the New King James Version is based on the Textus Receptus, just as the KJV is. Yet, KJV Only advocates label the NKJV just as heretical as they do the NIV, NAS, etc.

Beyond the NKJV, other attempts have been made to make minimal updates to the KJV, only “modernizing” the archaic language, while using the exact same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. These attempts are rejected nearly as strongly as the NKJV and the other newer Bible translations. This proves that KJV Only advocates are loyal to the King James Version itself, not to the Textus Receptus. KJV Only advocates have no desire or plan to update the KJV in any way. The KJV certainly contains English that is outdated, archaic, and sometimes confusing to modern English speakers and readers. It would be fairly simple to publish an updated KJV with the archaic words and phrases updated into modern 21st century English. However, any attempt to edit the KJV in any way results in accusations from KJV Only advocates of heresy and perversion of the Word of God.

When the Bible is translated for the first time into a new language today, it is translated into the language that culture speaks and writes today, not the way they spoke and wrote 400 years ago. The same should be true in English. The Bible was written in the common, ordinary language of the people at that time. Bible translations today should be the same. That is why Bible translations must be updated and revised as languages develop and change. The KJV Only movement is very English-focused in its thinking. Why should people who read English be forced to read the Bible in outdated/archaic English, while people of all other languages can read the Bible in modern/current forms of their languages?

Our loyalties are to the original manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments, written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Only the original languages are the Word of God as He inspired it. A translation is only an attempt to take what is said in one language and communicate it in another. The modern translations are superb in taking the meaning of the original languages and communicating it in a way that we can understand in English. However, none of the modern translations are perfect. Every one contains verses that are at least somewhat mistranslated. By comparing and contrasting several different translations, it is often easier to get a good grasp on what the verse is saying than by only using one translation. Our loyalty should not be to any one English translation, but to the inspired, inerrant Word of God that is communicated by the Holy Spirit through the translations (2 Timothy 3:16–17).[1]


[1] Got Questions Ministries. (2002–2013). Got Questions? Bible Questions Answered. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

May 6, 2018 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

A Single Treasure

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (6:19–21)

Layup (thēsaurizō) and treasures (thēsauros) come from the same basic Greek term, which is also the source of our English thesaurus, a treasury of words. A literal translation of this phrase would therefore be, “do not treasure up treasures for yourselves.”

The Greek also carries the connotation of stacking or laying out horizontally, as one stacks coins. In the context of this passage the idea is that of stockpiling or hoarding, and therefore pictures wealth that is not being used. The money or other wealth is simply stored for safekeeping; it is kept for the keeping’s sake to make a show of wealth or to create an environment of lazy overindulgence (cf. Luke 12:16–21).

It is clear from this passage, as well as from many others in Scripture, that Jesus is not advocating poverty as a means to spirituality. In all of His many different instructions, He only once told a person to “sell your possessions and give to the poor” (Matt. 19:21). In that particular case, the young man’s wealth was his idol, and therefore a special barrier between him and the lordship of Jesus Christ. It provided an excellent opportunity to test whether or not that man was fully committed to turning over the control of his life to Christ. His response proved that he was not. The problem was not in the wealth itself, but the man’s unwillingness to part with it. The Lord did not specifically require His disciples to give up all their money and other possessions to follow Him, although it may be that some of them voluntarily did so. He did require obedience to His commands no matter what that cost. The price was too high for the wealthy young ruler, to whom possessions were the first priority.

Both testaments recognize the right to material possessions, including money, land, animals, houses, clothing, and every other thing that is honestly acquired. God has made many promises of material blessing to those who belong to and are faithful to Him. The foundational truth that underlies the commandments not to steal or covet is the right of personal property. Stealing and coveting are wrong because what is stolen or coveted rightfully belongs to someone else. Ananias and Sapphira did not forfeit their lives because they kept back some of the proceeds from the sale of their property, but because they lied to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3). Holding back some of the money was selfish, especially if they had other assets on which to live, but they had a right to keep it, as Peter makes plain: “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” (v. 4).

God expects, in fact commands, His people to be generous. But He also expects, and even commands, them not only to be thankful for but to enjoy the blessings He gives—including the material blessings. The Lord “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). That verse is specifically directed to “those who are rich in this present world,” and yet it does not command, or even suggest, that they divest themselves of their wealth, but rather warns them not to be conceited about it or to trust in it.

Abraham was extremely rich for his day, a person who vied in wealth, influence, and military power with many of the kings in Canaan. When we first meet Job he is vastly wealthy, and when we leave him—after the testing that cost him everything he possessed outside of his own life—God has made him wealthier still, in flocks and herds, in sons and daughters, and in a healthy long life. “And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (Job 42:12–17).

The Bible gives considerable counsel for working hard and following good business practices (cf. Matt. 25:27). The ant is shown as a model of the good worker, who “prepares her food in the summer, and gathers her provision in the harvest” (Prov. 6:6–8). We are told that “in all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty” (14:23) and “by wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches” (24:3–4). “He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty” (28:19).

Paul tells us that parents are responsible for saving up for their children (2 Cor. 12:14), that “if anyone will not work, neither let him eat” (2 Thess. 3:10), and that “if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Tim. 5:8).

During his exceptionally long ministry, which spanned most of the eighteenth century, John Wesley earned a considerable amount of money from his published sermons and other works. Yet he left only 28 pounds when he died, because he continually gave what he earned to the Lord’s work.

It is right to provide for our families, to make reasonable plans for the future, to make wise investments, and to have money to carry on a business, give to the poor, and support the Lord’s work. It is being dishonest, greedy, covetous, stingy, and miserly about possessions that is wrong. To honestly earn, save, and give is wise and good; to hoard and spend only on ourselves not only is unwise but sinful.

Some years ago, I happened to have contact with two quite wealthy men during the same week. One was a former professor at a major university who, through a long series of good investments in real estate, had accumulated a fortune of possibly a hundred million dollars. But in the process he lost his family, his happiness, his peace of mind, and had aged far beyond his years. The other man, a pastor, also acquired his wealth through investments, but they were investments to which he paid little attention. Because of his financial independence, he gave to his church over the years considerably more than he was paid for being its pastor. He is one of the godliest, happiest, most fruitful, and contented persons I have ever met.

The key to Jesus’ warning here is yourselves. When we accumulate possessions simply for our own sakes—whether to hoard or to spend selfishly and extravagantly—those possessions become idols.

It is possible that both our treasures upon earth and our treasures in heaven can involve money and other material things. Possessions that are wisely, lovingly, willingly, and generously used for kingdom purposes can be a means of accumulating heavenly possessions. When they are hoarded and stored, however, they not only become a spiritual hindrance but are subject to loss through moth, rust, and thieves.

In ancient times, wealth was frequently measured in part by clothing. Compared to our day of mass-produced clothes, garments represented a considerable investment. Rich people sometimes had golden threads woven into their clothing, both to display and to store their wealth. But the best clothes were made of wool, which the moth loves to eat; and even the richest persons had difficulty protecting their clothes from the insects.

Wealth was also often held in grain, as we see from the parable of the rich farmer who said, “I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods” (Luke 12:18). Brōsis (rust) literally means “an eating,” and is translated with that meaning everywhere in the New Testament but here (see Rom. 14:17; 1 Cor. 8:4, “eating”; 2 Cor. 9:10, “food”; and Heb. 12:16, “meal”). It seems best to take the same meaning here, in reference to grain that is eaten by rats, mice, worms, and insects.

Almost any kind of wealth, of course, is subject to thieves, which is why many people buried their nonperishable valuables in the ground away from the house, often in a field (see Matt. 13:44). Break in is literally “dig through,” and could refer to digging through the mud walls of a house or digging up the dirt in a field.

Nothing we own is completely safe from destruction or theft. And even if we keep our possessions perfectly secure during our entire lives, we are certainly separated from them at death. Many millionaires will be heavenly paupers, and many paupers will be heavenly millionaires.

But when our time, energy, and possessions are used to serve others and to further the Lord’s work, they build up heavenly resources that are completely free from destruction or theft. There neither moth nor rust destroys, and … thieves do not break in or steal. Heavenly security is the only absolute security.

Jesus goes on to point out that a person’s most cherished possessions and his deepest motives and desires are inseparable, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. They will either both be earthly or both be heavenly. It is impossible to have one on earth and the other in heaven (cf. James 4:4).

As always, the heart must be right first. In fact, if the heart is right, everything else in life falls into its proper place. The person who is right with the Lord will be generous and happy in his giving to the Lord’s work. By the same token, a person who is covetous, self-indulgent, and stingy has good reason to question his relationship with the Lord.

Jesus is not saying that if we put our treasure in the right place our heart will then be in the right place, but that the location of our treasure indicates where our heart already is. Spiritual problems are always heart problems. Sinful acts come from a sinful heart, just as righteous acts come from a righteous heart.

When the exiles who came back to Jerusalem from Babylon began turning to God’s Word, a revival also began. “Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people” and various leaders took turns reading “from the law of God” (Neh. 8:5–8). Through hearing God’s Word the people became convicted of their sin, began to praise God, and determined to begin obeying Him and to faithfully support the work of the Temple (chaps. 9–10).

Revival that does not affect the use of money and possessions is a questionable revival. As the Tabernacle was being built, “everyone whose heart stirred him and everyone whose spirit moved him came and brought the Lord’s contribution for the work of the tent of meeting and for all its service and for the holy garments” (Ex. 35:21). As plans were being made to build the Temple, David himself gave generously to the work, and “the rulers of the fathers’ households, and the princes of the tribes of Israel, and the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with the overseers over the king’s work, offered willingly.… Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly” (1 Chron. 29:2–6, 9).

G. Campbell Morgan wrote:

You are to remember with the passion burning within you that you are not the child of to-day. You are not of the earth, you are more than dust; you are the child of tomorrow, you are of the eternities, you are the offspring of Deity. The measurements of your lives cannot be circumscribed by the point where blue sky kisses green earth. All the fact of your life cannot be encompassed in the one small sphere upon which you live. You belong to the infinite. If you make your fortune on the earth—poor, sorry, silly soul—you have made a fortune, and stored it in a place where you cannot hold it. Make your fortune, but store it where it will greet you in the dawning of the new morning. (The Gospel According to Matthew [New York: Revell, 1929], pp. 64–65)

When thousands of people, mostly Jews, were won to Christ during and soon after Pentecost, the Jerusalem church was flooded with many converts who had come from distant lands and who decided to stay on in the city. Many of them no doubt were poor, and many others probably left most of their wealth and possessions in their homelands. To meet the great financial burden suddenly placed on the church, local believers “began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need” (Acts 2:45).

Many years later, during one of the many Roman persecutions, soldiers broke into a certain church to confiscate its presumed treasures. An elder is said to have pointed to a group of widows and orphans who were being fed and said, “There are the treasures of the church.”

God’s principle for His people has always been, “Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine” (Prov. 3:9–10). Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38). Paul assures us that “he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6). That is God’s formula for earning dividends that are both guaranteed and permanent.

At the end of His parable about the dishonest but shrewd steward, Jesus said, “I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the mammon of unrighteousness; that when it fails, they may receive you into the eternal dwellings” (Luke 16:9). Our material possessions are “unrighteous” in the sense of not having any spiritual value in themselves. But if we invest them in the welfare of human souls, the people who are saved or otherwise blessed because of them will someday greet us in heaven with thanksgiving.[1]


20–21 By contrast, the treasures in heaven are forever exempt from decay and theft (cf. Lk 12:33). The words “treasures in heaven” go back to Jewish literature (m. Peʾah 1:1; T. Levi 13:5; Pss. Sol. 9:9). Here it refers to whatever is of good and eternal significance that comes out of what is done on earth. Doing righteous deeds, suffering for Christ’s sake, forgiving one another—all these have the promise of “reward” (see comments at 5:12; cf. 5:30, 46; 6:6, 15; 2 Co 4:17). Other deeds of kindness also store up treasure in heaven (10:42; 25:40), including willingness to share (1 Ti 6:13–19).

In the best MSS, the final aphorism (v. 21) reverts to second person singular (cf. vv. 2, 6, 17; see comments at 5:23). The point is that the things most highly treasured occupy the “heart,” the center of the personality, embracing mind, emotions, and will (cf. NIDNTT, 2:180–84), and thus the most cherished treasure subtly but infallibly controls the whole person’s direction and values. “If honor is rated the highest good, then ambition must take complete charge of a man; if money, then forthwith greed takes over the kingdom; if pleasure, then men will certainly degenerate into sheer self-indulgence” (Calvin). Conversely, those who set their minds on things above (Col 3:1–2), determining to live under kingdom norms, discover at last that their deeds follow them (Rev 14:13).[2]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 1, pp. 409–413). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 212). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

May 6 The Satisfaction of True Giving

When you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.—Matt. 6:3–4

The most satisfying, God-blessed giving is that which we do and then forget about. We do not wait for or want recognition—we’re not even concerned whether the recipient is grateful or not. The act should be so discreet that even our left hand will not realize what happened.

The Old Testament describes giving as a part of God’s cycle of blessing. Proverbs says, “The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered” (11:25). God blesses our giving, and when that occurs we can give some more out of the additional resources He gives. The Lord, through Moses, told the Israelites, “You shall celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering of your hand, which you shall give just as the Lord your God blesses you” (Deut. 16:10).

Appeals from all sorts of charities, ministries, and causes—some legitimate, others illegitimate—bombard Christians today, perhaps in a greater way than ever before. Having discernment on how to allocate your giving resources can be very difficult. But first of all, you should give systematically to your local church: “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper” (1 Cor. 16:2). Then you can be alert for opportunities to give other amounts directly to individuals in need.

Willing and generous giving has always and should always characterize God’s faithful people.

ASK YOURSELF

Are you being faithful to contribute the firstfruits of your giving—regularly, repeatedly—to the church where you are fed each week? Does this seem like a painful thing to do, or does it instead stir gratitude within you? As you pray, ask God to lead you with wisdom, sensitivity, and generosity to other people and ministries He wants to bless through you.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2008). Daily readings from the life of Christ (p. 135). Chicago: Moody Publishers.

MAY 6 LEAN BACK ON THE KEEPING POWER OF GOD

…Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

1 PETER 1:5

Christian believers need always to be leaning back very strongly on the keeping power of God!

The Apostle Peter says plainly that those who are elect, begotten, obedient and believing have this power of God reflected in their daily lives.

Elect: that is God’s business and it was His business before we knew anything about it!

Begotten: that is God’s business as we believe in His Son!

Obedient and believing: we who are kept by the power of God through faith unto an inheritance!

So there we are—and as Christians, we are not only rich but nobly rich! Rich with riches which need no apology. Riches which have no taint of having come to us through defiled hands.

I wonder when we will begin to behave and to live on the level of our spiritual riches instead of acting like poverty-stricken creatures trying to crawl under a leaf so we will not be seen?

Let’s let the world know how rich we really are! Let’s tell it—we are being kept by the power of God unto an inheritance reserved in heaven for us!

That is the full-time business of the child of God![1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Smith, G. B. (2015). Evenings with tozer: daily devotional readings. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

May 6 Abundant Comfort

Just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:5, nasb

When we suffer, Christ is with us to comfort us during our heartache. The degree to which He has already experienced the same suffering, and even more, is the reason He is able to comfort us.

The test of your character is your response to the severest times of suffering and persecution. When suffering becomes too intense, the easy response is to get angry and blame God. When persecution becomes too severe, the easy way out is to compromise your faith. To respond in either manner will cause you to miss out on the richest fellowship available to you. That’s because the deepest moments of spiritual fellowship with the living Christ are the direct result of intense suffering.

Suffering always drives us to Christ because we find in Him our merciful high priest who sympathizes “with our weaknesses” (Heb. 4:15) and who “is able to aid those who are tempted” (2:18). So view your sufferings as opportunities to be blessed by Christ as you find comfort in His fellowship.[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (2001). Truth for today : a daily touch of God’s grace (p. 143). Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman.

May 6, 2018 Morning Verse Of The Day

12 Here the confidence of divine protection (v. 4) flows over into confidence in victory. The oracle of God (vv. 5–8) was sufficient to inspire the people not to fear the enemy or to be troubled by the setback. The Lord is still with them, and he will bring them through this adversity with renewed strength, joy, and victory (cf. 44:5; 118:15–16). The emphatic “with God” stands in contrast to the emphatic position of “God” in v. 1. The latter stresses his abandonment and the former his deliverance. The psalm opens with God’s treatment of his people as his enemies (vv. 1–3) and closes with his enmity against the enemies of his people. Truly the Lord is just in his rule! Bellinger, 73–76, explains the shift as arising from a prophetic oracle of salvation promising victory.[1]


12 Here the confidence of divine protection (v. 4) flows over into confidence in victory. The oracle of God (vv. 5–8) was sufficient to inspire the people not to fear the enemy or to be troubled by the setback. The Lord is still with them, and he will bring them through this adversity with renewed strength, joy, and victory (cf. 44:5; 118:15–16). The emphatic “with God” stands in contrast to the emphatic position of “God” in v. 1. The latter stresses his abandonment and the former his deliverance. The psalm opens with God’s treatment of his people as his enemies (vv. 1–3) and closes with his enmity against the enemies of his people. Truly the Lord is just in his rule! Bellinger, 73–76, explains the shift as arising from a prophetic oracle of salvation promising victory.[2]


60:11, 12 Ultimately, true help—the Hebrew word means “salvation”—comes only from God. we will do valiantly: As the title records, this was what happened. David’s general Joab led the battle, and under God’s hand Israel’s enemies were soundly defeated. This psalm presents a strong encouragement to all believers who are presently experiencing difficulties in their lives: When the help of man proves useless, often God dramatically provides strength and power so that our boast is solely in Him.[3]†


60:12 — Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies.

While on our own we can do nothing, through faith in God we can “do valiantly.” So Paul said, “I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me …” (Rom. 15:18).[4]


[1] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 479). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[2] VanGemeren, W. A. (2008). Psalms. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Psalms (Revised Edition) (Vol. 5, p. 479). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (1999). Nelson’s new illustrated Bible commentary (p. 688). Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers.

[4] Stanley, C. F. (2005). The Charles F. Stanley life principles Bible: New King James Version (Ps 60:12). Nashville, TN: Nelson Bibles.

May 6 Trials’ Lessons: Contentment

“Considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt …”

Hebrews 11:26

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Trials can show that material things are inadequate to meet our deepest needs.

We rely every day on material possessions—cars, computers, pagers, telephones, microwaves, radios, and TVs. These familiar conveniences make us feel as though it’s quite a hardship to cope without them. Therefore it’s difficult to avoid the pitfall Jesus warned about in Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [riches].”

Materialism can exert such a powerful influence on us as believers that the Lord will sometimes subject us to trials just so He can remove us from the grip of the world’s devices and riches. Various trials and sufferings will almost invariably reveal how inadequate our possessions are to meet our deepest needs or provide genuine relief from the pains and stresses of life. And this realization ought to become more and more true of you as you grow in the Christian life. I have observed that mature believers, as time goes by, become less and less attached to the temporal items they’ve accumulated. Such stuff, along with life’s fleeting experiences, simply fades in importance as you draw closer to the Lord.

Moses is a wonderful example of someone who learned through trials these important lessons about materialism (Heb. 11:24–26). He spent forty years in Pharaoh’s household and was brought up to be an Egyptian prince. But he was willing to leave a position of prestige and power so he could experience something of the sufferings of his fellow Israelites, who were living as slaves in Egypt. God in effect made Moses a participant in Israel’s trials, content to rely on Him, not on the comforts and advantages of materialism: “By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen” (Heb. 11:27).

The Lord might need to get our attention in similar fashion, so that we learn one of the key lessons from life’s trials: to rely on His unlimited spiritual wealth, not on our finite and fading material possessions.

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Suggestions for Prayer: Ask the Lord to make you more willing to rely on His strength and less willing to lean on material things.

For Further Study: Read 1 Timothy 6:6–11. According to Paul, what does contentment involve?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. (1997). Strength for today. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

MAY 6 EXALTED WORSHIP

Above it stood the seraphims…and one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.

—Isaiah 6:2-3

Now, because we are dealing with worship, let us consider the joys and delights of the heavenly creatures, the seraphim, around the throne of God….

We know very little about these created beings, but I am impressed by their attitude of exalted worship. They are close to the throne and they burn with rapturous love for the Godhead. They were engrossed in their antiphonal chants, “Holy, holy, holy!”…

The key words then and the keynote still of our worship must be “Holy, holy, holy!”

I am finding that many Christians are really not comfortable with the holy attributes of God. In such cases I am forced to wonder about the quality of the worship they try to offer to Him.

The word “holy” is more than an adjective saying that God is a holy God—it is an ecstatic ascription of glory to the Triune God. WHT071-072

Lord, I come before You this day and cry with the seraphim, “Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts.” May I always approach You with such an attitude of worship. Amen.[1]


[1] Tozer, A. W., & Eggert, R. (2015). Tozer on the almighty god: a 365-day devotional. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

May 5 Daily Help

IT certainly is not possible for us to be in a position where Omnipotence cannot assist us. God hath servants everywhere. There are “treasures hid in the sand,” and the Lord’s chosen shall eat thereof. When the clouds hide the mountains they are as real as in the sunshine; so the promise and the Providence of God are unchanged by the obscurity of our faith, or the difficulties of our position. There is hope, and hope at hand, therefore, let us be of good cheer.

When we are at our worst let us trust with unshaking faith. Recollect that then is the time when we can most glorify God by faith.[1]


[1] Spurgeon, C. H. (1892). Daily Help (p. 129). Baltimore: R. H. Woodward & Company.