DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 12:1-40; Ezekiel 13:1-23; John 4:31-54
And the children of Israel arose…and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the Lord said, Judah shall go up first. Judges 20:18
Israel made plans to attack Benjamin. They asked, “Who should go first.” Not endorsing their plan, God only answered the question put to Him. It took 40,000 deaths for them to realize that though it was right to cleanse the land, they had lost sight of more critical matters: their love and awe for Jehovah and mourning and brokenness towards their erring brethren. In dealing with the sins of others, we must first be right with the Lord and then possess selfless grief to act properly. —W. A. H.
With one consent we meekly bow beneath Thy chastening hand,
And pouring forth confession meet, mourn with our mourning land. —J. H. G.
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 10:1-11:47; Ezekiel 12:1-28; John 4:1-30
We spend our years as a tale that is told. Psalm 90:9
While searching for something in the attic, I came across a leather bound booklet which when opened revealed several pages of some 470 signatures on parchment paper. The book was a presentation keepsake given to my grandfather on the occasion of his retirement from service in the Bank of England in London in 1961. In striking calligraphy the following words were inscribed under his name, “As a bird is known by his note, so is a man by his conversation.” The challenge for the believer is to remember that the world looks at us and reads a story—is it a mystery, fictional, or inspiring and edifying? —Brian Powlesland
Help me remember when others I see,
They are reading “The Gospel According to Me”. —Author Unknown
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 8:1-9:44; Ezekiel 11:1-25; John 3:22-36
David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless? 1 Samuel 26:9
David knew it was wrong to kill Saul. To do so placed one under condemnation. At Calvary, both Jews and Romans delivered up Christ, God’s anointed. Yet Christ forgave them (Luke 23:34) and God used their complicity to judge His holy Son for our sins. He is the sinner’s substitute. Even for the sinners who delivered Him up. For the lying witnesses. For the Romans who knowingly condemned an innocent man. For us. Trusting Christ, complicit sinners like us are free. —George Ferrier
Dying for me, dying for me, there on the cross He was dying for me;
Now in His death my redemption I see, all because Jesus was dying for me. —Gladys W. Roberts
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 7:1-40; Ezekiel 10:1-22; John 2:23-3:21
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13
Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. John 17:17
The two greatest influences in the believer’s life are the Holy Spirit of God and the Word of God. The Word enters our lives by reading or listening to it. Then it penetrates our hearts and affects our thinking and our choices. The Holy Spirit of God enters our life the moment we trust the Saviour and starts prompting us and applying the truth of God. When yielding our lives we are transformed and good works follow. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). —Sid Halsband
Open Thy Word of Truth, that I may see
Thy message written clear and plain for me. —M. Lathbury & A. Groves
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 6:1-81; Ezekiel 8:1-9:11; John 2:1-22
But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15
The life of Joshua was a life of service. In the first part of his life, he served Pharaoh making bricks in Egypt as a slave. For the next 40 years he served as an assistant to Moses in the wilderness wanderings. In the last part of his life, he served the people of God in the promised land. However, his Master, while on earth, in the shadow of earthly leaders, was God. May we serve Him faithfully as well. —Sam Thorpe Jr.
O Master, let me walk with Thee,
In lowly paths of service free;
Tell me Thy secret; help me bear,
The strain of toil, the fret of care. —W. Gladden
“This is an interesting and informative book, written by Alma Turnbull, recording how the Lord has worked in a mighty way in a settlement on the banks of the Zambezi River called Chitokoloki. The remarkable story commences in late 1913 when three faithful men Mr Frederick Arnot, Mr T Lambert Rogers and Mr George Suckling heeded God’s call and established a ministry in an area of Zambia yet to be reached with the gospel.
This beautifully illustrated book uses many photographs, historical accounts and documents spanning 100 years of service in order to bring the story to life for readers who have never experienced what it would be like living and working in such a region of Africa. There is a helpful map which can be used to locate the places referred to, and a chronological index of missionary workers to help readers understand where and when the workers fit into the history. My only slight criticism of the book is that it would have been nice if all the photographs came with a brief description.
The author sets the scene well and then focuses on the mission station and its workers, the advance in education, the spread of the gospel and the teaching of God’s word. A large proportion of the book records the development of the medical work from a small hospital with few patients to a fully fledged hospital with modern equipment capable of conducting major surgical operations, interspersing this with touching accounts and testimonies of individuals whose lives were changed both physically and spiritually.
What makes this book interesting and challenging is the thread that runs throughout – God is faithful! Yet the reader is caused to stop and appreciate the remarkable nature of events that are recorded so simply. There is a good balance between the joys of being involved in such a work and the heartaches, difficulties and at times seemingly inexplicable circumstances that have been faced along the way.
Alma Turnbull gives a clear insight into the work that has been done but when reading this book it needs to be remembered, this is an ongoing work. It is also likely that this book will leave you challenged, to quote Gordon Hanna speaking at a graveside in Chitokoloki, ‘what is important is not the quantity of our life but the quality – not how long we spend here on earth, but what we do with the time God has given us’.”
~ This book review was originally published in Precious Seed (2017, Vol. 72, Issue 1), written by Esther Scarsbrook.
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 4:24-5:26; Ezekiel 7:1-27; John 1:19-51
So shall my word…accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Similar to a Swiss Army knife, which has a wide variety of unique little tools to perform multiple functions, God’s Word is divinely equipped to meet the varied needs of saint and sinner alike. It is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16), as well as encouragement, comfort and guidance. So what are you in need of today? It is readily available in God’s Word. —E. V.
Precious Holy Bible, treasure rich and rare,
Word of God eternal, balm for every care. —Alfred P. Gibbs
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 3:1-4:23; Ezekiel 5:1-6:14; John 1:1-18
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. Revelation 20:14
Given death’s current ubiquity on earth, it seems incredible to contemplate its demise. Millions of mute tombstones testify to its tyranny. Thankfully, the Lord Jesus conquered it by dying on the cross as a sacrifice to pay for sin—simultaneously vanquishing the fiend who wielded its power like a sword to terrorize humanity (Heb. 2:14-15). His resurrection and ascension consolidated and declared His victory to the universe; thus vindicating His person and work (Rom. 1:4). Death’s own funeral awaits His judgment. He shall cast it into the lake of fire and it will depart unlamented. —Keith Keyser
The slave of sin and fear, Thy truth my bondage broke;
My willing spirit loves to bear, Thy light and easy yoke. —J. G. Deck
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 2:1-55; Ezekiel 3:16-4:17; 2 Timothy 4:1-22
Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11
I remember seeing a bumper sticker that read, “There’s too much apathy in this country, but who cares.” We cannot afford to be apathetic! Satan is a formidable foe who is constantly seeking to take advantage of us. He is a relentless enemy, whose goals are to destroy individual lives; to undermine our homes and to cause discord in the local church. How often has he effectively nullified the effective testimony of the believer, the family and the church? Be on guard! Keep in close fellowship with “headquarters”, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:18). —Jim Comte
Soldiers of Christ, arise and put your armour on,
Strong in the strength which God supplies through His eternal Son. —Charles Wesley
DAILY READINGS: 1 Chronicles 1:1-54; Ezekiel 2:1-3:15; 2 Timothy 3:1-17
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. Hebrews 11:3
Where did everything come from? This is a deep question and linked with it is a question asked by Jean-Paul Sartre (philosopher), “Why does anything exist rather than nothing?” The atheist talks of the big bang but cannot explain where the pre-existing material came from. As Christians we believe that there was an agent that brought something from nothing and that agent was God, who spoke and everything came into being. —Paul Young
God moves in a mysterious way, His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea and rides upon the storm. —W. Cowper