Our Daily Walk e-Sword Study Bible

February 18
THE CRY OF THE OPPRESSED
“O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me.” — Isa_38:14.
THIS PRAYER is so indefinite that it will suit any emergency, and yet brimful of faith that God will undertake all responsibility. Are you oppressed with the sense of failure, with temptation, with the consciousness of sin? Or oppressed with poverty, or debt, or the fear of unemployment, or with inability to find work? Or cast down with bitter persecution within or without your home? Or sorely beset and hindered by ill-health, the hopelessness of recovery? All these eases of oppression are included in this petition, and may be handed over to your faithful Creator, with the certainty that He is as willing as He is able to undertake for you. He is never weary of hearing your cry; the Everlasting Arms are never tired; and our God neither slumbers nor sleeps.
What may we expect from a prayer so simple, yet so comprehensive? We shall know God. “What shall I say, He hath both spoken unto me, and Himself hath done it” (Isa_38:15). Hezekiah had been a religious man, had maintained the Temple Services, had enjoyed the close friendship of Isaiah, yet it was in none of these things that he had met God face to face. But when he turned his face to the wall, and poured out his soul-anguish, He touched God, knew Him after a fresh fashion, heard Him speak, saw Him work. Only through sickness, loneliness, and the pressure of overwhelming sorrow, do some men rightly learn to live, and discover that unseen and most real world, where the life of the spirit unfolds to God as a flower in spring.
At the pit we learn God’s Love (Isa_38:17). How can we measure God’s love? They say that a man’s fist is the measure of his heart. Come and stand beneath the stars! There is God’s hand! Now judge His heart! It is illimitable! By that love He has put our sins behind His back into the ocean depths! With that love He has drawn us out of the pit of our sins! By that love He bears with our cold response and languid petitions! Through that love He will bring us to glory! His is a love that will never let us go!
Take the hand of Jesus to steady you; look down into the hole of the pit from which you have been redeemed, and then look up to the Throne of God to which He passed at His Ascension, and recall His own words: “where I am, there shall ye be also.” Trust Him to undertake for your little life!
PRAYER
I pray Thee, O my Father, to shut me up to a simpler and more confiding faith. May I trust more than I know, and believe more than I see; and when my heart is overwhelmed within me, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. AMEN.

Day By Day By Grace

February 18
A Reminder Concerning the Word of God’s Grace
The word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance . . . The word of the truth of the gospel . . . is bringing forth fruit . . . faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Act_20:32, Col_1:5-6, and Rom_10:17)
These three scriptures, interspersed in our previous meditations, indicate how God wants to use His word to impact us with His grace. The first passage describes God’s word as “the word of His grace.” God explains His grace to us through His word. He offers his grace to us through His word. He works His grace within us as we are nurtured in His word, trusting in what the Lord has to say to us. As God’s word is taken into our lives, its capabilities are unleashed, demonstrating that it is “able to build you up and give you an inheritance.” Those who believed at Thessalonica had such an experience with the scriptures. “For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1Th_2:13).
The second passage declares that the word can produce fruitfulness in God’s people. “The word of the truth of the gospel . . . is bringing forth fruit.” Such fruit is the consequence of spiritual life maturing within us. Jesus taught that this life is brought to us by His word. “The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (Joh_6:63). The word of the Lord brings this life to us initially: “Having been born again . . . through the word of God which lives and abides forever” (1Pe_1:23).God’s word then nurtures the life it originally brought to us: “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1Pe_2:2).
The third passage gives insight on faith, which is a vital element of living by grace. As we have seen, faith accesses grace. “We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand.” (Rom_5:2). Here in the third scripture, we are told how faith develops in our lives. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” As we humbly receive God’s word into our lives, our faith in whatever He is proclaiming can be growing.
In light of these grand truths concerning the scriptures, we would be wise to cultivate the same perspective of essentiality that Job had toward God’s word. “I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job_23:12).
O Lord of grace and truth, thank You for giving us Your word, which is grace and truth. Forgive me, Lord, for not cherishing Your word as highly as I should. Everything that Your word can do, I am unable to do on my own. I cry out earnestly to You. Please work in me a deepening hunger for Your living and eternal word, in the name of Jesus, Amen.

From the Gems Site

a poem about forgiveness.

by Monika Langguth

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I chose a soul not to release
For he had caused me pain,
And yet my soul did not have peace
But wrapped itself in chain.

I have the right not to forgive
For this one did me wrong
And by my choice I, too, would live
And drag this chain along.

The chain grew longer every day
The weight I could not bear
And though I tried to pull away
The chain was always there.

Yet still I felt it was my right
To hold one in this cell
The chain around my heart grew tight
In my created hell.

Remembering the written word
Forgiveness is a choice
I thought forgive?  that is absurd
But then I heard a voice.

I forgave your past . . . didn’t I?
Yes. . . all your dirty sins
If forgiveness you deny
You’ll find that no one wins.

You’ve locked a soul within a cell
A jailer you’ve become
And so you too are in your hell
For you must hold the one…
That you have chosen to refuse
To set free from his debt
And so in truth you really lose
Because you will not let…
The debtor go. . .set this soul free
Forgive this person’s debt
Unlock the cell now with your key
And freedom you will get.

That was the day I was set free
From my own selfish pride
I threw away my jailer’s key
And opened the cell wide

For who am I to hold a grudge
And not let one go free
For God alone each man will judge
And He can, too, judge me

I learned to put someone in jail
The jailer stays there too
Forgive and let love be the bail
For that soul and for you.

Forgiveness really sets one free
Someday it might be you
So jailer, throw away the key
And you will be free, too.

– Monika Langguth