Super senior

Moses
When God intervenes in human history and wants to show that things are not happening by accident, he chooses the number 40. He gave Moses 40 years of education and leadership training in Egypt’s royal courts, and then God gave him 40 years of humility therapy tending sheep for his father-in-law in the wilderness. The last 40 show one of God’s super seniors at work. Most people dream of leisurely retirement activities in those senior years. Moses was governor of the entire Israelite nation for those extremely stressful four decades. “Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone” (Deuteronomy 34:7).

Moses’ maturity and people sense made him a great leader. Listening and following God’s advice made him even better. Though he had grown up in Pharaoh’s palace, his last four decades were spent in a tent.

But he held the nation together, occasionally assisted by divine miracles. And it was during those years that the oral transmission of the Word of God was set down on paper (probably papyrus) for the first time. Moses authored the matchless first five books of the Bible. What a debt we owe him! What a great example of senior service he provides. Inspired by his work, how can we not answer God’s call to work even if he comes near the end of our lives?

Now if only God would give us physical strength and clear eyesight till we’re 120 . . .

Find out more about Time of Grace and our resources! 

Is the intense pain you may feel supposed to eliminate all laughter, sleep at night, and alleviate the fear of having to make life- threatening decisions in your life? (Part Two of my very real health threats.) By Timothy Baugh.

Well friends, my pain is continuing. If you had read Part One, then Part Two is my continued (perhaps idiotic) faith in God to get me through my intense physical pain.  Why am I telling you this? Perhaps to show you the miraculous at work in one’s life. Or, perhaps to prove to myself that all those who like my posts, really only like Pat Veen’s blog, and their thought “that was awesome” comment was directed towards HER and not TOWARDS ME! Whatever. I could care less who really gets the glory. Just like YOU PROBABLY DON’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT ME. What does it matter, right?! I’m just your typical hypochondriac anyway, right? No need to bother with me. I can always, without fail, drive myself to an Emergency Room/Urgent Care IF I want to. But I fear. Is that rational or irrational? I do not wish to go. I do not wish to leave the care of my dog in someone else’s hands. I do not wish to see her EVER abused by others. I do not wish to put up with a lack of say so when Doctors, and well-meaning hospital staff take matters ‘into their own hands’ so to speak. I don’t wish to subject myself to the indignity of being stripped, forced, or humiliated in any way. I do not wish to have to have uncomfortable tests and procedures done. I don’t wish to give up my control to anyone or anything that may end my Life rather than prolong it! So, does this make me the “ultimate coward”? does not facing Life and Responsibilities make me a wimp? Do I care so much about what others DO THINK AND FEEL that I am petrified to act at all? O, God help me if I can’t help myself!   I want God to HELP ME. Does He REALLY!!! Or am I left to stew in my own indecision. (By the way, am I even aware of how difficult this colored printing is making it for you to read this?) Is that better? Perhaps, with my eyesight failing too so that I can not drive at night; driving glasses are needed. Anyhow… this is how it is for me. How about you? You see, I really do care more about others than about myself as a Christian, a true follower of Jesus Christ. What does it really matter if I die, right? I have that absolute assurance that I will live FOREVER. And that much in, PERFECT HEALTH! I won’t ever be in pain, illness, sickness, or disease either! Is that better or worse than what I am currently experiencing? I will leave that for you to decide. Does it seem to you that I am just a very depressed, negative, and pessimistic person who can’t cope with Life and it’s Challenges? I think so at times. But then we all can get ‘down’, and feel so very hopeless at times. I like hope. Hope is fresh and living, and alive. Hope is the only thing I, you, or anyone has to hold on to. Jesus knew this. He had no assurance other than God’s Word within his very heart and spirit that it was so. He never gave up. Nor should I. I would, were it not for Him. I think you realize that too about yourself, me, and others.    Dear Lord God Jesus Christ, I truly do love you with all of my being, and with all of my heart. Pain or no pain, it is nothing in comparison to what You endured on the cross of Calvary for my sins. That much, would keep any man, woman, or child awake all night long. Any fear I would have of making any Life-threatening decisions is alleviated by my complete and utter trust in You for all things concerning my Life. Life is so much better when I place it in Your hands, not mine. Those people and things that frustrate me so are eliminated when I rest in You. Even gloomy days suddenly are bright and sunny, happy days when I live in your presence. Nothing and nobody can give me a better lot in Life; since it is not granted to them to make it what YOU ALONE WILL. They can say their words to cut me down, just like they tried to destroy you. But we will rise again! We, your Children will never be defeated by an unseen enemy that seeks to destroy us. Not everyone knows just what that enemy is. I may not know, but then I don’t need to. Keep us safe from all harm. We love you. Amen. 

The Significance of Passover

DAILY MED IN GOD'S PRECENCE.jpg

Exodus 12

Though God elected to save the Israelites, their sin did not make them any less worthy of death than the Egyptians. But the Lord provided a way for them to escape His wrath in those days. Ultimately, this looked forward to the time when the Lord would eternally save His people from judgment. We are saved from God’s wrath by God Himself. Let us never forget the righteous character of our Creator, who, despite our sin, mercifully chooses to redeem His people.

For further study:

Leviticus 23:4–8

The Bible in a year:

Ezekiel 4–6

Subscribe to Tabletalk magazine and receive daily Bible studies & in depth articles from world class scholars for only $23 per per year! That’s only $1.92 per month. And you can try it out for three months absolutely free! Bringing the best in biblical scholarship together with down-to-earth writing, Tabletalk helps you understand the Bible and apply it to daily living.

There is great hope in God’s goodness and power!

By Michael Risley

In 2013, my wife Joanie and I got some unsettling news. Our daughter Amy, expecting her first child, was going into labor – and it was seven weeks before her due date. Our first reaction was to panic. Then we realized we needed to stay calm and trust the Lord. We prayed,

“Dear Father, we know You’ve got this! You are sovereign and You are good. Instead of being afraid for the well-being of Amy and our grandchild, our hope is in You. Please protect Amy’s health and may this grandchild, though premature, be healthy and strong and grow up to live a life that is fully devoted to You and to Your glory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

We flew home and went straight to the hospital where we saw Amy and her husband Jason and our new grandson, Landon. By God’s grace, Amy was doing well. However, our hope that Landon would be healthy was put to the test as he stayed in the hospital for five weeks.

The good news is that today he is a thriving 5-year-old who loves Jesus. Not long ago he told me only Jesus could pick up a whale! It’s good to have a grandson who is learning that our God is strong.

As our family looks back on this challenging time, we are affirmed again to always place our hope in our great God.

Psalm 62:5-6 says, “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly, he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”

The word hope in the Hebrew literally means “a cord, as an attachment.” Every one of us is hanging on to something or someone for security. The critical issue is: Are you holding onto God?

For He alone should be our hope, our attachment to security. Hope looks to the future and its strength is based upon God and His faithfulness. Hope is the expectation that God has something good for us, even if it does not match our desires (Romans 8:28).

Hope is similar to the expectations of a child running downstairs on Christmas morning, eager to open whatever gifts are given, knowing that they are given in love.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

How can hope become more powerful in your life? One of the best ways I know is by meditating on the hope-filled promises of God.

As a pastor, I am constantly in touch with people who are really hurting because of relationship challenges, financial woes, health issues, even pending death. When a person talks to me about their pain, I want them to experience greater hope in the Lord. So I focus upon the hope that God is there for them and He will help them, whatever the outcome.

The Scripture I often give to help instill this hope is Isaiah 41:10 where God says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”

I encourage you today to write this hope-filled promise from God on a 3 X 5 card and to “marinate” on it. That is, to memorize and think about it constantly. Then every time you are fearful or discouraged, pull out the card, read it, pray it, and visualize how you would feel and act if you truly believe what it says.

God can change the way you think as you embrace the truth of God and reject the lies of Satan and this world (see Romans 12:2; 1 John 2:15-17).

The hope we have in the Lord is truly a wondrous gift! My prayer for you is in Romans 15:13 which says, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 

Today’s Reading

CS Lewis Devotional

On goodness

It has sometimes been asked whether God commands certain things because they are right, or whether certain things are right because God commands them. . . I emphatically embrace the first alternative. The second might lead to the abominable conclusion . . . that charity is good only because God arbitrarily commanded it—that He might equally well have commanded us to hate Him and one another and that hatred would then have been right. I believe, on the contrary, that “they err who think that of the will of God to do this or that there is no reason besides His will.” God’s will is determined by His wisdom which always perceives, and His goodness which always embraces, the intrinsically good. But when we have said that God commands things only because they are good, we must add that one of the things intrinsically good is that rational creatures should freely surrender themselves to their Creator in obedience. The content of our obedience—the thing we are commanded to do—will always be something intrinsically good, something we ought to do even if (by an impossible supposition) God had not commanded it. But in addition to the content, the mere obeying is also intrinsically good, for, in obeying, a rational creature consciously enacts its creaturely role, reverses the act by which we fell, treads Adam’s dance backward, and returns.

From The Problem of Pain
Compiled in Words to Live By

The Problem of Pain. Copyright © 1940, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright restored © 1996 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Forward this email to your friends, or invite them to subscribe to receive the C. S. Lewis Daily email.

How Satan Serves God

John Piper.jpg

You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord . . . (James 5:11)

Behind all disease and disability is the ultimate will of God. Not that Satan is not involved — he is probably always involved in one way or another with destructive purposes (Acts 10:38). But his power is not decisive. He cannot act without God’s permission.

That is one of the points of Job’s sickness. The text makes it plain that when disease came upon Job, “Satan . . . struck Job with loathsome sores” (Job 2:7). His wife urged him to curse God. But Job said, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (v. 10). And again the author of the book commends Job by saying, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”

In other words: This is a right view of God’s sovereignty over Satan. Satan is real and may have a hand in our calamities, but not the final hand, and not the decisive hand.

James makes clear that God had a good purpose in all Job’s afflictions: “You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.”

So Satan may have been involved, but the ultimate purpose was God’s, and it was “compassionate and merciful.”

This is the same lesson we learn from 2 Corinthians 12:7, where Paul says that his thorn in the flesh was a messenger of Satan and yet was given for the purpose of his own holiness: “To keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me” — to keep me from exalting myself!

Now, humility is not Satan’s purpose in this affliction. Therefore, the purpose is God’s. Which means that here Satan is being used by God to accomplish his good purposes in Paul’s life.

DAILY AUDIO BIBLE

Audio Daily BIble To hear Brian Hardin read today’s Scripture selection, click here and then click the audio button in the top right.

Ezekiel 27-28

The Sinking of Tyre

27 The word of the Lord came to me: “Now, son of man, lament for Tyre. Say to Tyre, who is located at the entrance of the sea, merchant of the peoples to many coasts and islands, ‘This is what the Lord God says:

Tyre, you declared,
“I am perfect in beauty.”
Your realm was in the heart of the sea;
your builders perfected your beauty.
They constructed all your planking
with pine trees from Senir.
They took a cedar from Lebanon
to make a mast for you.
They made your oars of oaks from Bashan.
They made your deck of cypress wood
from the coasts of Cyprus,
inlaid with ivory.
Your sail was made of
fine embroidered linen from Egypt,
and served as your banner.
Your awning was of blue and purple fabric
from the coasts of Elishah.
The inhabitants of Sidon and Arvad
were your rowers.
Your wise men were within you, Tyre;
they were your captains.
The elders of Gebal and its wise men
were within you, repairing your leaks.
“‘All the ships of the sea and their sailors
came to you to barter for your goods.
10 Men of Persia, Lud, and Put
were in your army, serving as your warriors.
They hung shields and helmets in you;
they gave you splendor.
11 Men of Arvad and Helech
were stationed on your walls all around,
and Gammadites were in your towers.
They hung their shields all around your walls;
they perfected your beauty.

12 “‘Tarshish was your trading partner because of your abundant wealth of every kind. They exchanged silver, iron, tin, and lead for your merchandise. 13 Javan, Tubal, and Meshech were your merchants. They exchanged slaves and bronze utensils for your goods. 14 Those from Beth-togarmah exchanged horses, war horses, and mules for your merchandise. 15 Men of Dedan were also your merchants; many coasts and islands were your regular markets. They brought back ivory tusks and ebony as your payment. 16 Aram was your trading partner because of your numerous products. They exchanged turquoise, purple and embroidered cloth, fine linen, coral, and rubies for your merchandise. 17 Judah and the land of Israel were your merchants. They exchanged wheat from Minnith, meal, honey, oil, and balm, for your goods. 18 Damascus was also your trading partner because of your numerous products and your abundant wealth of every kind, trading in wine from Helbon and white wool. 19 Vedan and Javan from Uzal dealt in your merchandise; wrought iron, cassia, and aromatic cane were exchanged for your goods. 20 Dedan was your merchant in saddlecloths for riding. 21 Arabia and all the princes of Kedar were your business partners, trading with you in lambs, rams, and goats. 22 The merchants of Sheba and Raamah traded with you. For your merchandise they exchanged the best of all spices and all kinds of precious stones as well as gold. 23 Haran, Canneh, Eden, the merchants of Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad traded with you. 24 They were your merchants in choice garments, cloaks of blue and embroidered materials, and multicolored carpets, which were bound and secured with cords in your marketplace. 25 Ships of Tarshish were the carriers for your goods.

“‘So you became full and heavily loaded
in the heart of the sea.
26 Your rowers have brought you
onto the high seas,
but the east wind has wrecked you
in the heart of the sea.
27 Your wealth, merchandise, and goods,
your sailors and captains,
those who repair your leaks,
those who barter for your goods,
and all the warriors on board,
with all the other people within you,
sink into the heart of the sea
on the day of your downfall.

28 “‘The countryside shakes
at the sound of your sailors’ cries.
29 All the oarsmen
disembark from their ships.
The sailors and all the captains of the sea
stand on the shore.
30 Because of you, they raise their voices
and cry out bitterly.
They throw dust on their heads;
they roll in ashes.
31 They shave their heads because of you
and wrap themselves in sackcloth.
They weep over you
with deep anguish and bitter mourning.

32 “‘In their wailing they lament for you,
mourning over you:
“Who was like Tyre,
silenced in the middle of the sea?
33 When your merchandise was unloaded from the seas,
you satisfied many peoples.
You enriched the kings of the earth
with your abundant wealth and goods.
34 Now you are wrecked by the sea
in the depths of the waters;
your goods and the people within you
have gone down.
35 All the inhabitants of the coasts and islands
are appalled at you.
Their kings shudder with fear;
their faces are contorted.
36 Those who trade among the peoples
scoff at you;
you have become an object of horror
and will never exist again.”’”

The Fall of Tyre’s Ruler

28 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to the ruler of Tyre, ‘This is what the Lord God says: Your heart is proud, and you have said, “I am a god; I sit in the seat of gods in the heart of the sea.” Yet you are a man and not a god, though you have regarded your heart as that of a god. Yes, you are wiser than Daniel; no secret is hidden from you! By your wisdom and understanding you have acquired wealth for yourself. You have acquired gold and silver for your treasuries. By your great skill in trading you have increased your wealth, but your heart has become proud because of your wealth.

“‘Therefore, this is what the Lord God says:

Because you regard your heart as that of a god,
I am about to bring strangers against you,
ruthless men from the nations.
They will draw their swords
against your magnificent wisdom
and will pierce your splendor.
They will bring you down to the Pit,
and you will die a violent death
in the heart of the sea.
Will you still say, “I am a god,”
in the presence of those who slay you?
Yet you will be only a man, not a god,
in the hands of those who kill you.
10 You will die the death of the uncircumcised
at the hands of strangers.
For I have spoken.

This is the declaration of the Lord God.’”

A Lament for Tyre’s King

11 The word of the Lord came to me: 12 “Son of man, lament for the king of Tyre and say to him, ‘This is what the Lord God says:

You were the seal of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
13 You were in Eden, the garden of God.
Every kind of precious stone covered you:
carnelian, topaz, and diamond,
beryl, onyx, and jasper,
lapis lazuli, turquoise and emerald.
Your mountings and settings were crafted in gold;
they were prepared on the day you were created.
14 You were an anointed guardian cherub,
for I had appointed you.
You were on the holy mountain of God;
you walked among the fiery stones.
15 From the day you were created
you were blameless in your ways
until wickedness was found in you.
16 Through the abundance of your trade,
you were filled with violence, and you sinned.
So I expelled you in disgrace
from the mountain of God,
and banished you, guardian cherub,
from among the fiery stones.
17 Your heart became proud because of your beauty;
For the sake of your splendor
you corrupted your wisdom.
So I threw you down to the ground;
I made you a spectacle before kings.
18 You profaned your sanctuaries
by the magnitude of your iniquities
in your dishonest trade.
So I made fire come from within you,
and it consumed you.
I reduced you to ashes on the ground
in the sight of everyone watching you.
19 All those who know you among the peoples
are appalled at you.
You have become an object of horror
and will never exist again.’”

A Prophecy against Sidon

20 The word of the Lord came to me: 21 “Son of man, face Sidon and prophesy against it. 22 You are to say, ‘This is what the Lord God says:

Look! I am against you, Sidon,
and I will display my glory within you.
They will know that I am the Lord
when I execute judgments against her
and demonstrate my holiness through her.
23 I will send a plague against her
and bloodshed in her streets;
the slain will fall within her,
while the sword is against her on every side.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.

24 “‘The house of Israel will no longer be hurt by prickly briers or painful thorns from all their neighbors who treat them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.

25 “‘This is what the Lord God says: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples where they are scattered, I will demonstrate my holiness through them in the sight of the nations, and they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. 26 They will live there securely, build houses, and plant vineyards. They will live securely when I execute judgments against all their neighbors who treat them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.’”

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Hebrews 11:17-31

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac. He received the promises and yet he was offering his one and only son, 18 the one to whom it had been said, Your offspringwill be traced through Isaac. 19 He considered God to be able even to raise someone from the dead; therefore, he received him back, figuratively speaking.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and he worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, as he was nearing the end of his life, mentioned the exodus of the Israelites and gave instructions concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, after he was born, was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter 25 and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasure of sin. 26 For he considered reproach for the sake of Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since he was looking ahead to the reward.

27 By faith he left Egypt behind, not being afraid of the king’s anger, for Moses persevered as one who sees him who is invisible. 28 By faith he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn might not touch the Israelites. 29 By faith they crossed the Red Sea as though they were on dry land. When the Egyptians attempted to do this, they were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being marched around by the Israelites for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the prostitute welcomed the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Psalm 111

Psalm 111

Praise for the Lord’s Works

Hallelujah!
I will praise the Lord with all my heart
in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.

The Lord’s works are great,
studied by all who delight in them.
All that he does is splendid and majestic;
his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate.
He has provided food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works
by giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are truth and justice;
all his instructions are trustworthy.
They are established forever and ever,
enacted in truth and in uprightness.
He has sent redemption to his people.
He has ordained his covenant forever.
His name is holy and awe-inspiring.

10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his instructions have good insight.
His praise endures forever.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

Proverbs 27:15-16

15 An endless dripping on a rainy day
and a nagging wife are alike;
16 the one who controls her controls the wind
and grasps oil with his right hand.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.