Latest Thoughts of the Day
Proverbs 3:28
Do no say to your neighbor, "Come back later; i'll give it tomorrow"--when you now have it with you.

Why would you do this, anyway? Why not give it now, if you have it? One can feel a prideful sort of power in putting others to trouble. We set them up to make us feel more important. It is not right. Lord, deliver us from doing this sort of thing with the Gospel. Could we speak the Gospel to someone today? And will we put them off until tomorrow? What if they do not return? What if they die tonight? To be sure, we must look for the right moment to speak effective words to the saving of their souls. But let us not hold back for the wrong reasons. And let us not presume there will be one more chance. Today is the day of salvation.
Psalm 14:1
The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deed are vile; there is o one who does good.

God connects rejection of God with a wicked life. People may want to pretend that their objections to the concept of God come from “intellectual difficulties”; God says it is not so. The problem with God’s existence for them is that their own lives are shown for what they are, and it is not something they want to acknowledge. Their unbelief is rooted in their desire to live in ways that are ugly and awful in God’s eyes. Often this goes along with a life that calls attention to its own virtue and sweeps under the rug its immorality and pride. But God sees to the heart, and speaks forthrightly and boldly. Thank You, Lord, for being so obvious. Help turn from our sin.
Job 19:28
If you say, "How we will hound him, since the root of the trouble lies in him," You should fear the sword yourselves.

Job has just spoken wonderful words of faith and hope, even from the midst of his terrible trouble. He knows that his redeemer lives.
Still Job sees in his “comforter-accusers” a willingness to accuse him, believing that such trouble must be the result of some secret sin. They seem ready to jump on the bandwagon of abuse. He tells them that they themselves are in danger, if this attitude is in their minds. Can we be too eager to point out errors when we think we know that the fault is in the person under consideration? Could we be viewing the matter wrongly? Shouldn’t we speak with restraint, even if we think we are right?
Jesus may be working His special way with our brother.
Esther 1:13
Since it was customary for the king to consult experts in matters of law and justice, he spoke with the wise men who understood the laws

It says that the king was furious and burned with anger, but he consulted the experts in law before he responded to Vashti’s refusal to obey his will. Though moved with emotion, he consulted advisers before he acted. This character quality added to his fitness to rule so vast a territory. And we will be the wiser if we think before we respond to provocation. Our anger may flare up, but it is the path of wisdom to think before we act. Thank You. Lord, that You do not react impulsively and thoughtlessly to the provocations men give to you. You understand all the implications, and act according to the counsel of Your will. And You interpose Jesus, that we not perish.
Nehemiah 6:14
Remember Tobiah and Sanballat, O my God, because of what they have done; remember also the prophetess Noadiah and the rest of the prophets, who have been trying to intimidate me.

Nehemiah has gone to a great deal of trouble to come to Jerusalem, to review the situation with the rebuilding, and to try to initiate programs that would get the work going again. But the religious community in Jerusalem were more inclined to hinder him than to help. And other enemies had won favor with the religious “powers that be”, so that Nehemiah’s job was made much harder.
Nehemiah must struggle on, but he turns his frustration into prayer and commits his opposition to the Lord to deal with it as He sees fit. If vengeance is needed Nehemiah knows it will be meted out. Lord, help us trust You with our opposition, and keep on working.
Ezra 7:10
For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.

God had raised up Ezra and equipped him to serve the LORD in this place. He had received the education he needed and the opportunity to serve was provided by a sovereign God. But it was Ezra who “devoted himself” to this great task. No one serves the Lord truly who does not devote himself to the task. God works in us to will and to do of His good pleasure, but this does not detract from the fact that a servant of the Lord devotes himself. If we are Christians today, it is because we devoted ourselves to serve God. Thank You, Lord, that we are not puppets. You have enabled us freely to offer ourselves, and we do so with joy.
2 Chronicles 6:4
Then he said: "Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, who with his hands has fulfilled what he promised with hi mouth to my father David."

It is the dedication of the Temple. Solomon praises God for what He has done, “with His hands”. Solomon speaks of the power of God exerted to raise up this temple, providing all the money, gifts, skill, ingenuity, and organization needed to bring so glorious a project to completion. God did it all “with His hands”, but it was also through the hands of many, many men and women. We are reminded that God is doing things “with His hands” that He has ordained for us to do today. Our hands are God’s hands for the particular task at hand. Lord, help us labor in Your service, accomplishing Your will in everything we do today. Our hands are Yours.
I Chronicles 5:2
And though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph--

What with cultural differences and obscure customs, it is hard for us to follow the reasoning of those who kept the genealogical record. But they clearly knew what they were about. The place of firstborn was remembered, whether it fell to the first son, or for some reason to one of the other sons. “Firstborn” was a designation of honor and responsibility, not of birth-order. We see the same mind-set when Jesus is referred as “Firstborn” of all creation. It is not a matter of birth-order, but a title of responsibility and honor. Jesus is our “firstborn” from the dead. He is our first-born in the family of God. Thank You, Jesus, for occupying such a position on our behalf. We worship You today.

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