Reflecting With God 1/27/2023

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Thinking, praying, reading, studying the Bible – when we do these things, we are reflecting on the Word of God. To reflect is to contemplate and/or consider, and God wants us to deeply reflect on His Word so that we can better understand Him.

Friday Reflecting

Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1.

This same voice has often spoken since. It called Elijah from This be, and Amos from Tekoa; Peter from his fishing nets, and Matthew from his toll-booth; Cromwell from his farm in Huntingdon, and Luther from his cloister at Erfurt. It ever sounds the perpetual summons of God. “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing.” Has it not come to you? Strange, if it has not. Yet, if it has, let nothing hinder your obedience; strike your tents, and follow where the God of glory beckons; and in that word “Come,” understand that He is moving on in front, and that if you would have His companionship, you must follow.
~ F. B. MEYER

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Revenge Isn’t Sweet

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It’s easy to revel in vigilante justice, be joyful in the irony of someone getting “what’s coming to them,” or feel satisfied when “bad Karma comes back around” to others. The colloquialisms around the subject alone demonstrate our infatuation with justice. Joseph is similarly impassioned; he schemes against his brothers who sold him into slavery. At the beginning of Genesis 43, Joseph’s brothers must go back to Egypt to request food from him—their younger brother, whom they do not recognize. Joseph waits for the youngest, Benjamin, to join them. What Joseph intends to do when he does, we’re not told.

When Benjamin and the other brothers arrive, Joseph is either moved with empathy or chooses to act upon his original plan of revealing himself in front of all his brothers (Genesis 43:16, 29). Joseph even helps them financially, signaling that he somehow still cares for them. Yet it doesn’t seem that Joseph has forgiven them yet, because in Genesis 44, more evil schemes emerge.

The thought of others feeling the same kind of pain they have inflicted can cause us to feel remorse. But we’re always aware of the choice; we can choose to fight our instincts. We can recognize that instead of lashing back, the best answer is turning the other cheek. This may be easy for some, but for others—especially those who have been deeply hurt—abandoning the urge to inflict injury will require spiritual strength, prayer, and self-control.

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JDB; Connect the Testaments
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the Lexham English Bible, LEB © 2012 by Logos Bible Software.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Links open in new window and are in the New King James Version®, NKJV, unless otherwise noted.
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Filipino Expat Encouragement RL083

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MARK 4:2

January 26, 2023

Mark 4:2
Then He taught them many things by parables.

The Scripture employs two beautiful figures to illustrate the reception of the divine testimony.  One is the committing of the seed to the ground, as in the parable of the sower.  The husbandman scatters the seed in the bosom of the earth, and the ground having been previously ploughed and reduced to a beautiful condition, opens its bosom to receive the grain.  After a little time the seed begins to germinate, to strike a root downward, and shoot a germ upward; as the Lord speaks, “For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head.” – Mark 4:28. This emblem beautifully represents how the testimony of Jesus Christ finds an entrance to the soul, takes root downward and carries a shoot upward.  The root downward is into the depths of a tender conscience, and the shoot upward is the aspiration, breathing, and longing of the soul for the living God.  The other figure is that of grafting.  “Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” – James 1:21.  Now when a offshoot is first put into the stock, after a little time sap begins to flow out of the stock into the offshoot, and this sap unites the two together.  So it is spiritually when the soul receives the testimony of Christ.  The testimony of Christ is received into a broken heart, as the graft is inserted into and received by the stock.  As, then, life flows out of the stock into the graft, it creates and cements a sweet and blessed union with God’s Word and Him of whom the Word testifies.  Thus it grows up into a living bough, which brings forth blossoms of hope, leaves of a consistent profession, and fruit of a godly life.

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J. C. Philpot, Daily Portions (Public Domain)
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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A Little Folly

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Like dead flies in perfumer’s oil, the writer of Ecclesiastes aptly proclaims that a little folly outweighs wisdom and honor. Sometimes fools are elevated to positions of power, while those who are fit for the position are given no influence. The Preacher says, “I have seen slaves on horses, and princes walking on the ground like slaves” (Ecclesiastes 10:7).

It’s not difficult to nod our heads and say “Amen” when we come to this example of an “evil under the sun.” We probably all have a story to tell about a leader who wasn’t fit for a position and about the injustices we endured under their authority. When a fool is set up as an authority figure, everyone suffers.

The Preacher gives a suggestion, though: “If the anger of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your place, for calmness will lay great offenses to rest” (Ecclesiastes 10:4). This doesn’t just tell us we should have a posture of humility and obedience before bad leaders. We should also teach them by responding with love and humility—something that may calm even the worst of fools.

In Hebrews, we find the context for this. We stand naked and exposed to God, who judges our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts. On our own, sin and guilt would condemn us. But we have a high priest in Jesus Christ. He intercedes for us, just as the Old Testament high priests interceded for the people of Israel. Our confidence is not in our own wisdom and righteousness, but in Him.

We can’t credit ourselves for our own wisdom. We stand before God on account of His Son’s righteousness and obedience. Jesus is the one who is able to withstand our folly. We stand in His righteousness, and we can learn from His obedience.

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RVN; Connect the Testaments
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the Lexham English Bible, LEB © 2012 by Logos Bible Software.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Links open in new window and are in the New King James Version®, NKJV, unless otherwise noted.
Posted in A CLICK A BLESSING TODAY, BIBLE DAILY DEVOTIONAL, CHRISTIAN NUGGETS | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Filipino Expat Encouragement RL082

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New Joys For Obedience

THE Lord comes now to strengthen Abram. He renews His covenant, He encourages His servant. God knows there are severe tests ahead. He knows how weak His children are; so He comes to strengthen His servant and give him a season of rest before applying the next test in the adventure of faith. We read about the Lord’s coming to Abram in the wonderful following verse:

And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. – Genesis 12:8.

Perfect communion, blessing and rest in obedience now follow. Abram was facing Bethel, with his back toward Hai. “Bethel” means house of God; “Hai” means defeat. Hai was the city where later Joshua and his armies were defeated because of the disobedience of Achan. So Abram dwells with his face toward Bethel, the house of God, and his back toward Hai, the place of defeat. He communes with God, sacrificing and praying and fellowshipping.

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Adapted and Excerpts from Studies in the Life of Abraham by M. R. De Haan (1891-1964)
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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