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Sunday, October 20, 2019

The Eternal Word

October 20

(Psalm 119:89-95 NIV) “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. {90} Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. {91} Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. {92} If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. {93} I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. {94} Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. {95} The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statutes.”

(Hebrews 13:20-21 NIV) “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, {21} equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

(Revelation 14:6 NIV) “Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth--to every nation, tribe, language and people.”

God’s word is eternal because God is eternal. This means that the blood of Jesus, shed for our sin, is an eternal idea -- and that the gospel of grace which gives us a second chance is an eternal idea. They were not an afterthought or a Plan B. God was not surprised by the fall of man. His faithfulness was established when He sought out Adam, and it endures to this day. The Lord is still seeking those who have strayed and sinned. He still calls our names and even now awaits our answer. He longs to hear us say, “Save me, for I am yours.” God and His word are eternal, and He wants those who are His to live with Him for eternity. Will you be there? Have you heard God’s eternal word? Have you accepted His eternal gospel? Have you met the eternal Christ? God sealed the eternal covenant by giving us the life of His Son. Have you sealed your end by giving Him your life? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, October 19, 2019

A Wineskin in the Smoke

October 19

(Psalm 119:81-88 NIV) “My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. {82} My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, "When will you comfort me?" {83} Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees. {84} How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors? {85} The arrogant dig pitfalls for me, contrary to your law. {86} All your commands are trustworthy; help me, for men persecute me without cause. {87} They almost wiped me from the earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts. {88} Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.”

(Matthew 5:10-12 NIV) “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. {11} Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. {12} Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Jesus promised His disciples that they would be persecuted for His name. You won’t find many Christians claiming this promise of Scripture for themselves. This is not the “snubbed at work”-type of persecution that we complain about today. This is persecution that makes your soul faint and your eyes fail as you pray for salvation and comfort to come. This persecution causes us to feel like “a wineskin in the smoke”.  Wineskins were used for drinking containers in biblical times. When hung inside of tents where fires burned, they would absorb the smoke, turn black, shrivel, harden, and become useless to the point of needing to be discarded. The Psalm writer here feels like a “wineskin in the smoke”. But even at this, he does not forget God’s word and in it he puts his hope. Is God’s word that important to you? Will you cling to it even when you become that “wineskin in the smoke”? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, October 18, 2019

Righteous Requests

October 18

(Psalm 119:73-80 NIV) “Your hands made me and formed me; give me understanding to learn your commands. {74} May those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your word. {75} I know, O Lord, that your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness you have afflicted me. {76} May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. {77} Let your compassion come to me that I may live, for your law is my delight. {78} May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts. {79} May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes. {80} May my heart be blameless toward your decrees, that I may not be put to shame.”

(1 Peter 3:12 NIV) “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

The writer of Psalm 119 knows who created him and what he was created to do. He lifts several righteous requests up to the Lord. He wants to be able to understand God’s word, so that he can keep God’s commands. He has put his hope in the word of God for that revelation. He asks that God’s love would bring him comfort. He prays that God’s compassion would not only cover him, but live in him. He requests that the arrogant and the evil in this world be put to shame. And he asks that his heart be blameless when it comes to God’s decrees; that he would walk in God’s ways and not be put to shame. These are great prayers for us to start our day with too. We will benefit immensely if these goals are accomplished in our lives. God is still attentive to the righteous requests of his children. Why not echo these prayers today? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day  

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Fortunate Affliction

October 17

(Psalm 119:67-72 NIV) “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. {68} You are good, and what you do is good; teach me your decrees. {69} Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep your precepts with all my heart. {70} Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in your law. {71} It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. {72} The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”

(Hebrews 12:5-11 NIV) “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, {6} because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son." {7} Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? {8} If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. {9} Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! {10} Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. {11} No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

The idea that some of our afflictions might come from God is offensive to many. They argue that a loving God would never bring discomfort and pain to those He cares about. But when you look through Scripture, you find many occasions where God afflicted and disciplined those He loved. Beginning with Adam and Eve, God has shown a desire to be involved in our lives -- sometimes in blessing, sometimes in rebuke; sometimes in provision, sometimes in denial. We are God’s children! What loving father wouldn’t discipline his children for their own good? And though affliction and discipline are seldom pleasant, they can produce beneficial changes in us that would not otherwise happen. The Lord has our good in mind, even when the discipline pains us. So when our fortunate affliction comes, let us submit and listen. God’s voice of correction may be speaking to us. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day