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Connect the Testaments

July 19: Vengeance versus Blessing 2 Samuel 3:1–4:12; 1 Peter 3:8–22; Psalm 135:1–21 Comparing the passages of 2 Sam 3:1–4:12 and 1 Pet 3:8–22 teaches us that all Scripture can be used for instruction: Some passages provide wisdom on how to become more like Christ, while others are best regarded as “things not to do.” Peter’s first letter tells us, “be harmonious, sympathetic, showing mutual affection, compassionate, humble, not repaying evil for evil or insult for insult, but [instead] blessing others, because for this reason you were called, so that you could inherit a blessing” (1 Pet 3:8–9). We can find the same lesson, told a different way, in 2 Sam 3:1–4:12. The violence of the war between David and Saul’s houses vividly portrays how acts of vengeance rob us of harmony and blessing. Some passages in the Bible are beautiful, while others are barbaric. Both teach us we’re not meant to live in vengeance, like the houses of David and Saul. While we realize these individuals often acted …

Morning and Evening

Morning, July 19Go To Evening Reading
“The Lord our God hath shewed us his glory.” —Deuteronomy 5:24
God’s great design in all his works is the manifestation of his own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man’s eye is not single, he has ever a side glance towards his own honour, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why he bringeth his people ofttimes into straits and difficulties, that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when he comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path, will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being f…

My Utmost for His Highest

July 19th Mastery over the believer Ye call Me Master and Lord; and ye say well; for so I am. John 13:13. Our Lord never insists on having authority; He never says—‘Thou shalt.’ He leaves us perfectly free—so free that we can spit in His face, as men did; so free that we can put Him to death, as men did; and He will never say a word. But when His life has been created in me by His Redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me. It is a moral domination—“Thou art worthy …” It is only the unworthy in me that refuses to bow down to the worthy. If when I meet a man who is more holy than myself, I do not recognize his worthiness and obey what comes through him, it is a revelation of the unworthy in me. God educates us by means of people who are little better than we are, not intellectually, but ‘holily,’ until we get under the domination of the Lord Himself, and then the whole attitude of the life is one of obedience to Him. If Our Lord insisted upon obedience He wou…

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 19 Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe Ps. 119:117 Do not spoil the chime of this morning’s bells by ringing one half a peal! Do not say, “Hold thou me up,” and stop there, or add, “But all the same I shall stumble and fall!” Finish the peal with God’s own music, the bright words of faith that He puts into your mouth: “Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe!” Frances Ridley Havergal

 Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Lectionary Devotions

Today
WEDNESDAY OF THE FIFTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIMECatholic Daily Readings First Reading Is 10:5–713b–16 Response Ps 94:14a PsalmPs 94:5–1014–15 Gospel Acclamation Mt 11:25 GospelMt 11:25–27
Today WEDNESDAY AFTER PROPER 10 Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings PsalmPs 142 or Ps 68:24–35 First Reading Am 9:11–15 or 2 Sa 6:16–23 Second Reading Lk 7:31–35
Today

Connect the Testaments

July 18: When Kings Mourn 2 Samuel 1:1–2:32; 1 Peter 3:1–7; Psalm 133:1–134:3 No one can tell you how to mourn. You have to mourn as you see fit, making sure you don’t introduce sin into the grieving process. Several people who were dear to my heart have died. Each time, I processed it differently—immersing myself in work, weeping, or getting angry. If you’ve lost someone close to you, your experience with death is likely similar. But you may have noticed something else in the process: When someone passes away, we become weak and vulnerable to temptation. Wanting to vent our emotions, we may fall prey to sin. But loss is no excuse for sin; there is no excuse. King David, for all his strength, was always a very broken man when someone important to him died. Such brokenness is understandable, but a king must balance his behavior; he must be careful not to insult those who have loyally fought for him. David’s mourning over his best friend, Jonathan, was completely understandable (e.g., 1 Sam…

Morning and Evening

Morning, July 18Go To Evening Reading
“They shall go hindmost with their standards.” —Numbers 2:31
The camp of Dan brought up the rear when the armies of Israel were on the march. The Danites occupied the hindmost place, but what mattered the position, since they were as truly part of the host as were the foremost tribes; they followed the same fiery cloudy pillar, they ate of the same manna, drank of the same spiritual rock, and journeyed to the same inheritance. Come, my heart, cheer up, though last and least; it is thy privilege to be in the army, and to fare as they fare who lead the van. Some one must be hindmost in honour and esteem, some one must do menial work for Jesus, and why should not I? In a poor village, among an ignorant peasantry; or in a back street, among degraded sinners, I will work on, and “go hindmost with my standard.”
The Danites occupied a very useful place. Stragglers have to be picked up upon the march, and lost property has to be gathered from the field. Fiery…

My Utmost for His Highest

July 18th The mystery of believing And he said, Who art Thou, Lord?Acts 9:5. By the miracle of Redemption Saul of Tarsus was turned in one second from a strong-willed, intense Pharisee into a humble, devoted slave of the Lord Jesus. There is nothing miraculous about the things we can explain. We command what we are able to explain, consequently it is natural to seek to explain. It is not natural to obey; nor is it necessarily sinful to disobey. There is no moral virtue in obedience unless there is a recognition of a higher authority in the one who dictates. It is possibly an emancipation to the other person if he does not obey. If one man says to another—‘You must,’ and ‘You shall,’ he breaks the human spirit and unfits it for God. A man is a slave for obeying unless behind his obedience there is a recognition of a holy God. Many a soul begins to come to God when he flings off being religious, because there is only one Master of the human heart, and that is not religion but Jesus Christ. …

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

July 18 Sow beside all waters Isa 32:20 Never mind whereabouts your work is. Never mind whether it be visible or not. Never mind whether your name is associated with it. You may never see the issues of your toils. You are working for eternity. If you cannot see results here in the hot working day, the cool evening hours are drawing near, when you may rest from your labors and then they will follow you. So do your duty, and trust God to give the seed you sow “a body as it hath pleased Him.” Alexander Maclaren

 Hardman, Samuel G., and Dwight Lyman Moody. Thoughts for the Quiet Hour. Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1997. Print.

Two Translations of Genesis 1:1-2

Two Translations of Genesis 1:1-2Genesis 1:1–2 Excerpt Two major and differing translations of Genesis 1:1–2 are believed to be true today. The first reads: “When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was formless and empty.” This translation focuses on the state of the earth before God began the creative activity that is recorded in the Genesis account. Those who accept this translation believe that God’s historical involvement with creation began after the earth already existed in a formless and empty state. That is, the earth was formless and empty, and then God began to create. According to this view, Genesis does not address how the earth originally came into existence in its formless and empty state, but what God did with a world already in existence. The second translation reads: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was empty, a formless mass ….” This traditional translation teaches that God created everything out of nothing. Theref…

Bishop G.E. Patterson - This Same Jesus

Bishop G.E. Patterson Singing 'God Grace is Sufficient For Me'