May 09 — A Living Sermon — St. Francis of Assisi and the Young Monk at the Portiucula. May 13 — In the Midst of an Earthly Trial? May 16 — Be Angry and Sin Not. The twofold nature of the King. May 21—June May 21 — He is No Idle Husbandman. May 25 — Every Purpose Under the Sun. May 31 — Denying the Wisdom of God. The number 5 is seen throughout the Bible relating to power and Divine grace. Abraham and Sarah were transformed by grace to become the parents of a family from which the Messiah would be born. The Tabernacle was measured in multiples of five Exodus 25 - There are 5 books of the Torah first 5 books of the Old Testament.
Matthew Be not conformed to this world. Guron went up the mountain with only one possession, a blanket. He set his direction towards the city. As time passed, Guron continued to do as his master had asked. This continued night after night, and the stench from his blanket became unbearable.
Guron decided to head down into the city to find another blanket. I only require a new blanket. The rat returned to chew on his new blanket. Guron told them that his needs are simple. He was constantly meowing for food. The next morning, Guron made his way back down into the city. I am so thankful for the new blanket, but the cat you gave me requires milk and I have none.http://erp.legacyrealties.com/the-scriveners-tale-book-ii.php
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This seemed to work for a while, but the cow began to wander, and Guron spent his time attending to the cow and the cat. As time passed, Guron became a great trader of goods and he became quite successful, fat, and wealthy. What would you like to buy? Have you been a Guron? I remember telling this story to a year-old boy one day, while he was at work with his mother. Like a surgeon would set a broken limb, a fisherman mending a torn net, a king equipping a warrior with weapons, it means to give to someone something that is missing, or something that they lack.
It is executing a repair or reviving something so it can be effective again. Katartitzo is an encouraging word. The idea of this verse is the process of confronting a guilty person who has been tripped or has fallen. The goal in the confrontation is to restore katartitzo that person. So many times we see brethren caught in a sin, and in our zeal of confronting them and drive them to a place where restoration is impossible. This verse teaches us that we are to confront in a spirit of gentleness, lest we also be tempted.
Put yourself in their shoes, for next time it could be you. The purpose is to restore not cripple. This generation of people are divided over politics, religion, morality and personal hurts which has destroyed many families. The Prodigal Son — Restored! The Suffering of Job — Restored!
The Lost Sheep — Restored! The 1 who left the other 99 — Restored! Peter, denied His Lord 3 times — Restored! Gomer, runaway wife of Hosea — Restored. Me — Restored! Joel May 03 Devotional. May 04 Devotional. May 5 Devotional. May 06 Devotional. Curious, like most boys his age, he approached the man to see what he was looking at….
The man was holding a butterfly cocoon. Excitedly, He asked the man if he could have the cocoon. This beautiful butterfly flew straight up into the sky…. I like this story. As parents, there will be hard times when we have to let our children struggle, so they can develop their own wings for when they go out and fly on their own in this world. He sees us in our struggles and probably wants to step in and help us when He sees us struggling. In times when you struggle in this life and there seems to be no end or reason for your struggle, remember the lesson the little boy in our story learned.
He gets them preoccupied with other things. He wants them to be independent, to think like the world thinks, to think like the natural man thinks in the futility of his mind. Ephesians Therefore be very careful how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 taking advantage of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Someone has said that our adversary majors in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. Satan has a number of cultural values or belief systems, actually illusions he uses to confuse and manipulate the church so that it must, of necessity, fail in its calling and purpose.
Each of these are opposed to and work against developing and maintaining the mind of Christ through studying and meditating on the Word. They are designed to keep us out of the Word which is so essential to our ability to avoid the delusions of Satan and the world system and to hear and respond to the call of God on our lives. See Appendix 7 for a summary on the subtle snares of worldliness. Some passages use the present tense of continuous action in the verbs that exhort believers to watchfulness. Others use the aorist imperative which carries an element of urgency because of the ever present danger of our enemies.
All together, this strongly stresses that Christians must be on alert, watching carefully how they are walking and handling life each moment of the day cf. Eph and 1 Peter above. Thus, as that great day approaches there will be greater and greater difficulty and pressure on believers as well as for all mankind cf. This pressure will come in many forms to distract, discourage, and defeat believers. There will be direct demonic attack on the minds and bodies of men. There will be the problem and frustrations of national and international fiascoes of government, economic instability, greater government interference, increased loss of freedom, escalating talk of disarmament, world peace, and foreign policies with godless internationalists which leave us more and more open to the loss of our freedom.
There will be continued breakdown in law enforcement and control of the criminal element. There will be, as we see so rampant today, the extreme moral breakdown of society where white is black, black is white, evil is good, and good is evil. And there will be the perpetuation and increase of the human viewpoint delusions and temptations to seek happiness in the details of life, in man-made religion, in asceticism, emotionalism and materialism.
So there will be increased danger for believers to become side-tracked, distracted, and loaded down with side issues in the pursuit of peace and prosperity, comfort and pleasure. Philippians Be imitators of me, brothers and sisters, and watch carefully those who are living this way, just as you have us as an example.
Romans And do this because we know the time, that it is already the hour for us to awake from sleep, for our salvation is now nearer than when we became believers. So then we must lay aside the works of darkness, and put on the weapons of light. Of course, God has not left us defenseless against the three enemies—the world, the flesh, and the devil 1 John ; However, the believer must avail himself of his spiritual assets in Christ, his spiritual armor, which God has so graciously issued him.
So we are told in Ephesians to be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. This is a command for us to strengthen ourselves continually a continuous present , moment by moment in the strength, power, and ability which God gives. Such strengthening is certainly aided through the spiritual disciplines of the daily life and the weekly assemblies. Since the Lord Jesus is our trailblazer and example to follow in the Christian life, we would expect to see Him emulate the dailies for us and this is precisely what we find cf.
Luke Hebrews keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Luke But the news about him spread even more, and large crowds were gathering together to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. In the Luke passage just quoted, Christ was in the thick of His ministry and popularity with hundreds coming to Him for aid and to hear Him speak see also Mark He had plenty of opportunity to claim, as many people do today, that He was too busy for prayer and private time with the Father.
But even though the Savior often exercised His deity to perform His miraculous works, Jesus, the man, never operated from the source of His own ability or independently of the Father. Every step He took was a product of total dependence on the Holy Spirit. John Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you, I do not speak on my own initiative, but the Father residing in me performs his miraculous deeds. Here it is adversative and places verse 15 and 16 in contrast to one another to call our attention to an important point.
The point is this. Though filled with all kinds of opportunities, though confronted with great needs and great popularity, though deeply burdened and concerned for the people, the Lord Jesus never ever neglected His own personal spiritual life with the Father. Daily and regularly He sought time for private fellowship to fill His life with the life of the Father.
This is a grammatical construction designed to lay some stress on the idea of action that was either customary or continuous in past time. The point is, this was the habit and custom of the Lord Jesus. He regularly slipped away for private personal time with the Father. Obviously, if He, the sinless God-man needed and valued this, then how much more should not you and I? Based on the analogy of Scripture, the goal and ideal is to daily hear the voice of God speaking to us from His Word. We need to read, study, hear, meditate, and learn the Scripture and its truth, but for this to have its maximum impact on us, we need to daily get into the Word for ourselves.
In this way, Bible study becomes a first hand, personal experience rather than simply second hand from someone else. Acts These Jews were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they eagerly received the message, examining the scriptures carefully every day to see if these things were so. Psalm points out an two important ingredients that we do not want to miss as we think about the dailies. First, the verbs in this verse are in the imperfect tense and in a context like this, it denotes a process that is on going, a pattern of life.
This is the great motivation for obedience. As we daily go to the Word, we should be seeking to see and know God in the pages of Scripture. This comes in most of the versions. Some study Bibles contain such a guide. One illustration is The Ryrie Study Bible.
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Read for major ideas and ask questions like who, what, why, how, etc. Take notes on your observations and discoveries. List promises, principles, commands, warnings, and personal applications. Above all, pay attention to what you can learn about the glories of God—mercy, grace, love, goodness, etc. Find conservative, sound, evangelical sites like the Biblical Studies Foundation and download the studies that are in keeping with your personal needs.
But whatever you read, always keep your Bible handy and check what you read against the Scripture itself cf. Acts Take notes when you hear the Word taught and then study those notes with an open Bible as part of your daily time in the Word. This will prepare you for the next lesson and help you to personalize what you are hearing. Psalm I even have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your rules. Joshua This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it.
Then you will prosper and be successful. In his excellent work on the spiritual life, Pathways to Power , Unger wrote these introductory words to his chapter on meditation:. This holy exercise of pondering over the Word, chewing it as an animal chews its cud to get its sweetness and nutritive virtue into the heart and life, takes time, which ill fits into the speed of our modern age.
But holiness and hurry never did suit well together. Prayer and preoccupation have always been strange bed-fellows. A head knowledge of the Word may perhaps be consonant with the scurry of the age, but not a deep heart experience of its preciousness. The fervor of the ancient Psalmist for the Word of God needs to grip our hearts today Psa. Personal Bible study along with the memorization of Scripture work in concert with meditation. Meditation should really become a part of study, memory work, and prayer.
The original idea is that of speaking with oneself, murmuring in a low voice as is sometimes done when we are carefully thinking and pondering over something we are about to do or say. For this idea compare the following verses:. Proverbs The heart of the righteous considers how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Proverbs for their hearts contemplate violence, and their lips speak harm. The principle idea of the word as used in Psalm and Joshua is that of carefully and personally reflecting on the Word, on a point of doctrine, or on a passage of Scripture. Meditation, then, involves insight to Scripture with personal application as James so exhorts us:. James But be sure you live out the message and do not merely listen to it and so deceive yourselves. Why do we meditate?
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In eastern oriental meditation men meditate in order to empty the mind. But biblical meditation operates on the principle of exchange or renewal. Isaiah Indeed, my plans are not like your plans, and my deeds are not like your deeds, 9 for just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.
Psalm I will meditate on your precepts and focus on your demands. One of the main purposes for the daily disciplines is renewal and replacement. In Luke the demon possessed man failed in his quest for freedom after the removal of the demon because of failure with regard to the principle of replacement. None of us can overcome sin merely by renouncing it or by human reformation. Sinful habits cannot be broken without replacing them with righteous ones through the life of Jesus Christ. The daily disciplines help us to appropriate His life by faith. In Philippians we are told to meditate or think on biblical topics and good things.
Philippians Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things. And the God of peace will be with you. If you want to replace all the air in a bottle you do it by filling it with something else. Meditation only has value when it is occupied with God and His truth.
When should we meditate? There should be specified times, scheduled times when we get alone to reflect and ponder on the Word of God Psa. We should also meditate without ceasing, day and night, all through the day Josh. Psalm He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts.
Persevere in this, because by doing so you will save both yourself and those who listen to you. Meditation can produce rest, removal of tension, and can lower the blood pressure which means better health. It can also give us greater insights into God, biblical truth, self, our true needs versus our wants, the needs of others and the needs of our ministries. This means we must establish priorities, discipline, scheduling time for this daily and weekly.
It also involves ways and means by which we can accomplish this need, like purchasing books, getting involved in a memory program, carrying a cassette in our car, etc. But Satan will not give up his ground without a struggle, so we must be prepared. This basically means being prepared to resist Satan with our spiritual armor cf.
Proverbs My child, guard the commands of your father and do not forsake the instruction of your mother. Exodus And it will be for a sign on your hand, and for frontlets between your eyes, for with a mighty hand the Lord brought us out of Egypt. Deuteronomy You should tie them as a reminder on your forearm and fasten them as symbols on your forehead. The frontals or frontlet bands on the forehead stood for the retention and thinking area of the mind.
The sign on the hand referred to the application of doctrine to the concerns of life. Jesus Christ strongly condemns this in Matthew because it missed the metaphorical picture and original intent. Christ was also condemning the Pharisees for the external show of their religious practices. Thus, right from the start we have a very pertinent warning regarding our worship practices whether they are corporate the weekly assemblies or individual the dailies.
These are never to degenerate into mere religious, external practices as a kind of mysterious charm against evil, nor are we to do them to impress others Matt. Rather, they are a means of getting the Word within our hearts so that, if it is understood clearly and retained, it can then be applied carefully and accurately to bring every thought and action into the captivity and obedience of Christ.
So it is again a command not to forget the Word which is the storehouse of grace and truth. Proverbs My child, do not let them escape from your sight; safeguard sound wisdom and discretion. Proverbs Do not let them depart from your sight, guard them within your heart;. Proverbs gives the command to retain and apply the Word. Then verse 21 points us to the method.
The Word is to be memorized, bound securely and confined to the mind so that it cannot escape. But it is to be so bound that truth is tied together with truth.
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Thus, a wall of protection is developed against the forces of evil. The need for continuousness could have been expressed by a participle, or by an imperfect tense, but to make sure we get the point, this special word is added. This is to be a process which goes on without interruption throughout life. Proverbs gives us the general effects of the memorization-meditation process. The principle behind this is that the believer should first understand, learn, and then commit to memory everything he can about the Word.
Proverbs My child, keep my words and treasure up my commands within your own keeping. Just as hearing is not learning and understanding; so understanding is not memorization. The Apostle Peter calls this to our attention and had this concept in mind in 2 Peter One of his teaching techniques was repetition so that people might not only know and understand a doctrine or verse of Scripture, but that by repetition they might have it memorized for easier recall and constant availability.