Daily Archives: July 23, 2018

July 23: Finding God in Sheol

2 Samuel 11:1–12:31; 2 Peter 1:1–8; Psalm 139:1–24

We’ve all felt distant from God. Sometimes it’s sin that makes us feel separated from Him; other times it could be a lack of prayer. Either way, when we feel apart from God, God has not moved away from us. God never moves—we do. But we can find solace in the words of Psa 139: “O Yahweh, you have searched me, and you know me. You know my sitting down and my rising up. You understand my thought from afar” (Psa 139:1–2).

We spend so much of life explaining ourselves to others. Trying to manage perceptions is a norm in our society—especially for those of us in fast-paced work environments. There’s nothing wrong with this as long as our motives are pure, we’re being honest, and we’re not obsessed with what others think. But it’s certainly comforting to know that with God, we never have to explain ourselves. He already knows. He has already searched us—and He is always present.

The psalmist writes, “You barricade me behind and in front, and set your hand upon me.… If I ascend to heaven, there you are, and if I make my bed in Sheol [the ultimate symbol of darkness in the Ancient Near East], look! There you are. If I lift up the wings of the dawn, and I alight on the far side of the sea, even there your hand would lead me, and your right hand would hold me fast” (Psa 139:5, 8–10). God is in all places. We may accept these concepts intellectually, but our minds become distracted when we’re feeling alone. Loneliness is heart work, as Psa 139 portrays.

Psalm 139 concludes with the words, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. And see if there is in me the worship of false gods, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psa 139:23–24). The God who created the universe is waiting for us. He is ready to find our false gods and cast them out. He is ready to help us acknowledge His work of goodness and order in the world, and to alleviate the anxiousness we feel. Only He who is all-knowing and all-present can bring us ultimate comfort. Only He can close the gap we feel.

What false gods are you fighting? What anxiousness do you need to ask God to cast out?

John D. Barry[1]


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

July 23 God’s Motive for Your Inheritance

“… according to His great mercy” (1 Peter 1:3).

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Every dimension of life, whether physical or spiritual, is a testimony to God’s mercy.

When God saved you and granted you an eternal inheritance, it wasn’t because you were special or more deserving of His love and grace than others. It was because He sovereignly chose to love you and to extend His great mercy to you. That’s why Paul said, “God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Eph. 2:4–5). He “saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy” (Titus 3:5).

Because of His great mercy, God addresses the pitiful condition of mankind. Unregenerate people are totally depraved, dead in trespasses, enslaved to sin, cursed to eternal damnation, unable to help themselves, and in desperate need of someone to show them mercy and compassion. That’s the good news of the gospel: God loves sinners and extends mercy to anyone willing to trust in Him.

Mercy tempers God’s justice. The Puritan writer Thomas Watson said, “Mercy sweetens all God’s other attributes. … When the water was bitter, and Israel could not drink, Moses cast a tree into the waters, and then they were made sweet. How bitter and dreadful were the other attributes of God, did not mercy sweeten them! Mercy sets God’s power [at] work to help us; it makes his justice become our friend; it shall avenge our quarrels” (A Body of Divinity [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1978], p. 94).

The very fact that God permits us to live at all speaks of His mercy. Lamentations 3:22–23 says, “It is [because] of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (kjv).

No matter what your situation is, God’s mercy is more than sufficient for you. It “is great above the heavens” (Ps. 108:4, kjv). So be encouraged, and look to Him always.

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Suggestions for Prayer:  Praise God for His great mercy, for by it you have received eternal life and an eternal inheritance.

For Further Study: Read Mark 10:46–52. How did Jesus’ healing ministry demonstrate God’s mercy?[1]


[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1993). Drawing Near—Daily Readings for a Deeper Faith (p. 217). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books.

07/23/2018 — Wretched

WR2018-0723

•You can win Ray Comfort’s latest book
•Bananaman exposes the lack of humor among Atheists
•Millennials are dying of cirrhosis
•Matt Chandler sounds just like an NAR “prophet”
•Tim Challies has hard words for pastors knee deep in immorality

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via 07/23/2018 — Wretched

JULY 23 THE REALITY OF PRIDE

The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way…do I hate.

Proverbs 8:13

Let me warn you of the danger and the bigotry of human pride. You will find it everywhere in the world, and it will feast on almost anything that will make it fat!

I have come to the conclusion that many people I have met are not ever going to get right with God because they have determined that they simply will not humble themselves, ever!

Pride is an awesome quality in mankind, not only in Jesus’ day, but in ours as well.

I heard a newscast in which one of India’s highest officials was trying to deny a report that Christian missionaries were being hindered in their work in India. He said, “We are not hindering the propagation of the Christian doctrine in India. In fact, we understand that there have actually been a few people of low caste who have believed the Christian teaching.”

Oh, the rising pride in his voice as he made the statement. The helpless and the hopeless in the lowest caste—he was not going to get in their way if they wanted to believe in Christ.

Yes, the bigotry of human pride is everywhere!

Lord, sometimes pride has a way of sneaking up on me so slowly and naturally that I don’t recognize it. You have my permission, Lord, to root out the pride in the dark corners of my being.[1]


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

‘The Right to Religious Freedom I Feel Personally’: Pompeo Hosts 1st Ever Global Religious Freedom Summit

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will host the first ever worldwide conference on religious freedom in Washington this week. Unfortunately, religious persecution is nothing new and in recent years, it’s grown.

Source: ‘The Right to Religious Freedom I Feel Personally’: Pompeo Hosts 1st Ever Global Religious Freedom Summit