Latest Thoughts of the Day
Luke 12:27
Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

It is possible for humans to manufacture beautiful clothing, but even at our our best, the beauty is superficial. If you looked at it under a microscope it would be rough and jagged and shallow. A lily retains its beauty no matter how close you look at it. There is a wonder in all that God does, and it is appropriate for man to stand in awe. Jesus takes this truth and reasons Godís ability and inclination to provide beautifully for his own. As we look back on the way He has provided for us in the past, we must acknowledge that God has done all things well. Lord, we praise You for every detail of your provision in Jesus.
Mark 8:10
...he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.

Jesus had just fed 4,000 people, but He did not stay around to bask in the attention. His purpose was to preach the Gospel always in the next place. The lost sheep of the house of Israel must hear the message of salvation. Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. When He went by foot, He was able to minister to crowds along the way and to individuals that He encountered. But at times there was a destination to which He had to go, and He went by boat. Did we encounter Him in a gathering of believers, as one of the crowd or did He come direct? Did we find Him or did He find us? God saw our need, and in His mercy He sent us Jesus.
Matthew 14:10
...and had John beheaded in prison.

Because of a foolish, drunken, showing-off oath John the Baptist was beheaded in prison. Yet it was time for his ministry to come to a close. He had done the job that God had called him to, and the One he came to announce had arrived. Jesus must grow greater and John less. John was an Old Testament prophet, and he was not to be allowed to see the fulfillment of what he proclaimed. It was time for him to go home to be with his Lord. God will judge Herod for his proud showing-off and his cruelty. But God was using Herod to accomplish His purpose. So also, not a hand will be lifted against us that will not be used by God to magnify His Great Name. We must become less, so that God may exalt the Name of Jesus.
Malachi 2:2
"If you do not listen, and if you do not set your heart to honor my name", says the Lord," I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not set your heart to honor me."

God curses the blessings of those who do not honor Him. We may get rich by our outward religion, but it will only puff us up and drive us farther from God, and it will only make us contemptible in the eyes of those who truly love God. God has cursed our blessings. He turns the praise we receive to empty mockery. He leaves us ruling over a debilitated church whose honor is all sham. God has cursed our blessings. Lord, spare us this disgrace. Help us by Your Holy Spirit. Renew our hearts to love and serve Jesus.

Zechariah 7:11
but they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears.

The book of Zechariah has wonderful words of hope as the reign and righteousness of Jesus is seen from afar in many places. But God reminds Judah here of the rightness of Godís judgment upon them in sending them into Babylon. The leaders would not surrender their own righteousness and embrace the forgiveness and help of God. It is they who brought this destruction upon the Jews. How long did some of us maintain our own righteousness and refuse the mercy offered us in Christ? We did not see our need, and perhaps were angry at being told we were not good enough. But God has shown us, and we have embraced our Savior and our Lord. We want to build His kingdom, whatever the opposition. We now desire to serve Jesus.
Haggai 2:5
This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.

When the people of God were brought out of Egypt and brought into a covenant relationship with God, they could not know all that was included. Many elements of what God had in store for them were centuries away. It was like a marriage in that it was a commitment for the future, whatever the future would hold. God knew at the time all that would unfold, and He assures Haggai that the destruction and rebuilding of the Temple was part of the plan. God assures Haggai that He is with them by His Spirit, and they should not be afraid. And He is so with us in our present calamities. He knew and He is here. God has made every provision for us in Jesus.
Zephaniah 2:10
This is what they will get in return for their pride, for mocking and insulting the people of the Lord Almighty

Zephaniah seems to have been a great encouragement to King Josiah as he pursued the great cleansing and restoration of true religion in Judah. He speaks of the cleansing God Himself will do, as one nation after another feels the weight of Godís judgment. Traditional enemies, Moab and Ammon will become like Sodom and Gomorrah, and their land, then almost worthless, will fall into the hands of Godís people. It will be an historical answer to their pride and arrogance. Lord, You have shown us again and again how You hate pride and arrogance. We view our own nation given over to exactly that. Have mercy upon us. Open eyes and send Holy Spirit repentance. Enable us to humble ourselves, and bring many to Your Son, Jesus.

Habakkuk 2:9
Woe to him who builds his realm by unjust gain to set his nest on high, to escape the clutches of ruin.

Spurgeon mentions that God always breaks the stick He uses to chastise His people. So He will do to Babylon. They will be destroyed without mercy for the sins they have accumulated in their expansion. But God will still use Babylon to deal with His peopleís sin and to move them toward His purposes of redemption. God will use wicked people and unjust circumstances in our day to show us our sin and wickedness that we might seek the Lord while He may be found. He will judge the wicked in That Great Day, but today is the day of salvation. The nations store up wrath against the day of wrath, but Godís Spirit is enabling men and women, boys and girls to come to Jesus.

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