Saturday, March 24, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Leviticus 1:1-17; Psalms 96:1-98:9; Acts 24:24-25:12

And when Moses’ father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone. Exodus 18:14

In an assembly of the Lord’s people, gifts are given to each member by the risen Lord. How sad it is when one person or one family appears to be burdened with all the responsibility. Conversely let us make sure we play our part by delegating where necessary. We might well be surprised to discover who is willing to take up the reins. —Brian Russell

We share our mutual woes,
Our mutual burdens bare,
And often for each other flows,
A sympathising tear. —John Fawcett

Friday, March 23, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 40:1-38; Psalms 94:1-95:11; Acts 24:1-23

We do not lose heart. 2 Corinthians 4:1d, NKJV

There are many reasons for losing heart (or “losing courage”) these days. Three reasons are developed in this chapter. Perhaps we sense defeat in our own lives, and a failure to live up to the great demands of our call in the gospel (1-6). Or it might be the wrong response to all the suffering we endure for serving the Lord (7-15). Then again, we might have the wrong focus in our lives (16-18). Are we possibly placing too much emphasis on things that are outward, physical, and temporary—rather than on those things that are inward, spiritual, and eternal? May God help us not to lose heart. —N. C. Funston

O Jesus I have promised to serve Thee to the end ,
Be Thou forever near me, my Master and my Friend. —John E. Bode

Thursday, March 22, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 39:1-43; Psalms 92:1-93:5; Acts 23:12-35

Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob…What hath God wrought! Number 23:23

In this chapter we learn of Balak’s intense desire to have God curse Israel. He tried to get Balaam to do it but it proved to be impossible for him to curse God’s chosen people. He could only repeatedly tell of God’s blessing to them in spite of their many failures. Satan wants mankind to be cursed, but God’s Son has already borne the curse on the cross of Calvary. Now we can look back on our life and see only salvation blessings—His loving care in all situations. We too can joyfully exclaim “What hath God wrought.” —Mary Robins

And as He stands in victory, sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ. —Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 38:1-31; Psalms 90:1-91:16; Acts 22:22-23:11

How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. Psalm 36:7
How often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Luke 13:34

This offer of shelter, protection, and care is still available today. Some will respond and find refuge and some will refuse and try to handle the storms of life on their own. How utterly foolish when such marvelous provision is offered to all who will come to Him. Don’t refuse His offer! —Wm. H. Gustafson

Simply trusting every day, trusting through a stormy way;
Even when my faith is small, trusting Jesus, that is all. —Ed. P. Stites

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 37:1-29; Psalm 89:19-52; Acts 22:1-21

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 1 Corinthians 9:24

Two girls were racing towards the finishing tape. At the last moment one dropped back and lost the race. Later she complained because she hadn’t won the race, to which her teacher replied, “You didn’t keep running.” Paul stated, “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:14). How’s your running going today? Have you given up or have you not yet started the race? Why not get running today? —Janet Fleming

So if you are burdened and weary,
And feeling discouraged a bit,
Remember this path leads to heaven,
Press onward, for winners don’t quit! —Janet Fleming

Monday, March 19, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 36:1-38; Psalm 89:1-18; Acts 21:17-40

For I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

Although initially spoken to Israel, the threefold promise in the above verse offers hope to the grieving saint of God today. Are you passing through a season of sorrow and grief? God can turn your mourning into joy, comfort you, and make you rejoice from your sorrow. Jesus also was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isa. 53:3), and is even now interceding for you (Heb. 7:25). —E. V.

Our great high Priest is sitting,
At God’s right hand above,
For us His hands uplifting,
In sympathy and love. —A. P. Cecil

Lord’s Day, March 18, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 35:1-35; Psalms 87:1-88:18; Acts 21:1-16

Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens. Genesis 7:2
And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord. Genesis 8:20

God prepared in advance for the offerings on the altar at the end of the flood. Those beasts would be the “sweet savour” arising out of the judgment of God (v. 21). Long before the cross, preparation was made for a different offering. God’s precious Son would be the ultimate sacrifice for us and every believer that “sweet savour…of Christ to God” (2 Cor. 2:15). As we gather today to remember that great offering, every redeemed heart should praise the Lord. —Vernon Markle

Dying sinner, look to Jesus, hung upon the cross for thee;
Think upon the Saviour, Jesus, stretched and nailed upon the tree!
Ev’ry mark of deep dishonour heaped upon His thorn-crowned brow:
There, oh, read the wondrous story of His cross, His shame and woe! —Author Unknown

Saturday, March 17, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 34:4-35; Psalms 85:1-86:17; Acts 20:17-38

Knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. Philippians 1:17

Paul uses four different words in Philippians to describe the communication of the gospel. He says we are to “speak” (Gk. lalelo), the gospel in our everyday conversation (v. 14). We are to “herald” (Gk. kerussa) the gospel as a public crier would in the open air (v. 15). We are to “preach” (Gk. kataggello) the gospel through formal preaching (v. 16). Finally we are to verbally defend (Gk. apologia) the gospel through the use of apologetics (v. 17). Whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, let us not be ashamed of the gospel. It alone can bring lasting change to a darkened mind. —Sid Halsband

Lead me to some soul today, O teach me, Lord, just what to say;
Melt my heart, and fill my life, give me one soul today. —Will Houghton

Friday, March 16, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 33:1-34:3; Psalms 83:1-84:12; Acts 20:1-16

But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. Numbers 14:24

Just as Solomon is specially noted in Scripture for his wisdom, so Caleb is marked out as a man who “wholly” or “fully” followed the Lord. Here is a personal study suggestion: read all the Bible’s references of Caleb and count how frequently it is recorded that he “fully/wholly” followed the Lord. Today, let each reader be stirred to give a more whole-hearted commitment to our Lord Jesus. —George Hall

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Saviour divine:
Now hear me while I pray; take all my guilt away;
O, let me from this day, be wholly Thine. —Ray Palmer

Thursday, March 15, 2018

DAILY READINGS: Exodus 32:1-35; Psalms 81:1-82:8; Acts 19:21-41

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 

Many things we buy say “some assembly required.” We may think the included directions are not for us. We can do it without instruction. It usually does not end well. God tells us here that if we want our path to prosper, we must follow His step by step guide. We may think we know better. But He says to trust Him with all our heart. Don’t trust your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him. These instructions produce success. Any other plan fails. Humbly follow the directions. —Ken Gross

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way,
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. —John Sammis