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Watching Daily at My Gates

May 1

Psalm 121       Young people, do you have cares that weigh heavily on your soul? Are you burdened by circumstances in life? Do you feel that answers are not coming fast enough? Stop and read Psalm 121. Reread verse two. “My help cometh from Jehovah, which made heaven and earth.” The creator of the whole world cares about us and will give to us help! Then read verse seven. Do those cares seem so impossible now? Jehovah preserves us from all evil and He brings salvation to our soul! Thanks be to God for such comfort! Sing or read Psalter 344.

 

May 2

Jude 17-25      We take the name of Jesus on our lips frequently. Do we stop and think about his power? Jude 24 and 25 tells us about Him. He is able to keep us from falling into sin. More than that He presents us before the most holy God as if we have no sin. He also does that with joy even as He knows that the way of our salvation was through His suffering on the cross. We must take the name of Jesus on our lips and give Him glory, majesty, dominion, and power now and forever! What else can we do? Sing or read Psalter 352 especially stanza 4.

 

May 3

Zephaniah 3:14-20        In this short prophecy Judah’s captivity along with its return is foretold. For us we can see this as a picture of the church today waiting the return of Christ. Are we singing as we wait? Are the songs of Jehovah in our hearts, in our minds, and on our lips? Are we happy about the good­ness of Jehovah? Do we show our happiness by bursting forth with His praise in song? We will not find this type of singing on a majority of radio stations today. We will not even find it in many churches. Singing which is God-glorifying must give God all the glory. There may be nothing given to man. Are we singing? Are we giv­ing God the glory? Sing or read Psalter 424 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

May 4

John 3:25-36         “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Is this our desire? John the Bap­tist had many followers in a short period of time. Some of them had the wrong idea. They were following the man, not the message. John however realized that he must fade away so that the glory of Christ would shine forth. Are we like this? If not, we better do some hard thinking. Are we putting our glory in the way of Christ’s kingdom? If we are, we must stop and learn the lesson shown in these verses. Sing or read Psalter 366.

 

May 5

Haggai 1         Are we making sure the work of Christ’s kingdom is being carried out? Is the gospel being spread throughout many lands by us? Are our churches lacking? Are the poor in our churches hungry? Are our Christian schools in need of finances for their operation? God brought Israel back from captivity. They did not build the temple immediately. God had to bring the judgments of verses 9-11 on them. We, too, have the command to do His work. Are we doing it wholeheartedly? Sing or read Psalter 348 especially stanzas 1 and 6.

 

May 6

Acts 19:13-20        This passage comes from a larger section which describes Paul’s work in Ephesus. When we hear the preaching of the Word, are we moved with zeal to remove the means of sin from our lives even as the Ephesians did? Do we destroy those things which are not God-glorifying even if it means financial loss? Or do we justify them and add more and more of such things to our lives. You know what I am talking about. What kind of tapes or CD’s are in our cars? For what are our televisions and VCR’s used? God’s word grew because of such actions in Ephesus. Will it in our lives? Sing or read Psalter 146 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

May 7

Joel 2:14-23        Two days ago, I asked you to consider our work in Christ’s kingdom. After thinking about that are you eager but do not know how it can be accomplished? The answer to that fear is in verse twenty-one. The Lord will do great things. Jehovah has done great things for His church throughout history. Ask Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Rahab, John Calvin, John Wycliffe, Herman Hoeksema, and saints living today. Ask them, “Has God done great things for you?” The answer will undoubtedly be YES! What should be our response for these great things? Look at verse twenty-three. Be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God. Sing or read Psalter 357.

 

May 8

II Corinthians 9:6-15      Tomorrow we again go unto God’s house. We prepare today. Are you preparing your offerings to God? Now this does not mean are you just making sure you have your checks ready or the correct cash available. Are we preparing our hearts to give to the cause of Christ’s kingdom? Reread verse six. Do we understand that God blesses those who give with a good heart? If we are not sure, then reread verse seven. God loves a cheerful giver. Why? God loves a cheerful giver because a cheerful giver is thankful for his salvation. Sing or read Psalter 175 especially stanzas 1-3.

 

May 9

Malachi 3:1-10           “For I am the Lord, I change not.” What a comfort! When we fall into sin, we do not have to fear that God will consume us in His righteous anger. God in His holiness could do that, but He does not because He has promised to bring His people to eternal glory. Israel of old deserved punish­ment because of its misuse of God’s commands and gifts. God did chastise them with captivity. The church of today stands under the same commands. If we did not have a changeless God, we, too, would deserve the severe punishment of hell. Aren’t we glad that we have the comfort that Jehovah changes not. Was our wor­ship today an expression of thanksgiving to the changeless God we have? Sing or read Psalter 281 especially stanzas 3 and 4.

 

May 10

Galatians 5:16-26       Some of us are enjoying the fruits of our labors as we pick from our gar­dens those first fruits of spring. There are fruits in our lives as well. What kind are we enjoying? Are we enjoy­ing the fruit of wild oats sown in sin? We see some of those spoken of in verses nineteen through twenty-one. Or are we enjoying the fruit of the Spirit as listed in verses twenty-two and twenty-three. Both kinds of fruit are evidence of the lives we live. Both kinds of fruit will be shown before God. May He give us the grace to present fruit of the Spirit. Sing or read Psalter 406.

 

May 11

John 15:11-19        The first fruit of the Spirit is love. Young people, do you know what that is? Are you caught up with an emotional type of love for someone or something? Do you really know what it means to love someone? We all need to be reminded what true love is. True love is the love Christ had for His church when He died for them. All other loves must be based on that idea. If you love someone even so much that you are contemplating marriage, do you share the love of Christ with that person? If you are wrapped up in some idea, is Christ’s love wrapped up with you and that idea? Because Christ loved you, do you love all those in His church? Love is powerful; read I Corinthians 13 if you do not believe that. Love is beautiful; read Revelations 22 if you do not believe that. Sing or read Psalter 74.

 

May 12

Psalm 51:1-13        Joy is a nice word. Joy brings to mind smiles, happiness, and content­ment. David did not always have that feeling. Sometimes we do not have that feeling. This is because there is sin in our lives. Sometimes it is very grievous sin. God brought David to his knees, and David finally had to ask God to restore him to the joy of his salvation. We must do the same if we are to experience true joy. Joy is only for the child of God because joy only comes from the way of salvation. There is a response to having joy. The response is found in verse thirteen. Is it our response? Sing or read Psalter 400 especially stanzas 1, 3. and 7.

 

May 13

Isaiah 26:1-9         Is there any doubt that these things should not be called fruit of the spirit? Perfect peace is a condition sought after by people throughout history. Different religions try all different means to achieve this state. What a blessing it is that we can confess that perfect peace only comes from Jehovah. How can it be achieved? The only way is through a complete trust in the everlasting strong Jeho­vah. We need that peace in this tumultuous world. Pray for this peace for yourself and for all of God’s people. Sing or read Psalter 232.

 

May 14

Ephesians 4:1-7          The term longsuffering is often used to refer to God’s being longsuffering with His people even while they wallow in their sins. This should be a great comfort to us. If God was not longsuffering towards us, we would surely be consumed in His wrath. But we, too, must be longsuffering. It is also a fruit of the Spirit. We must be patient in adversity according to the Heidelberg Catechism as we await the unfolding of God’s plan for us. We must also be longsuffering towards those whom we think are doing us wrong. I am afraid that longsuffering is not an attribute which characterizes many of us. We must pray that this fruit of the spirit is evident in our lives. Sing or read Psalter 284 especially stanzas 3 and 4.

 

May 15

James 3:13-18        To examine the idea of gentleness we can look at the shepherd. A shep­herd in Israel had to care for his sheep in places and times of adversity. But he had to be gentle with those sheep because of a sheep’s nature. God is our shepherd and is gentle with us. David says that God’s gentle­ness made him great. We must be gentle with those around us. This can be very hard. It goes against our nature. Even when we have someone’s good in mind, we can be very harsh. Pray that all of us can be gentle and pour forth this fruit of the spirit. Sing or read Psalter 35 especially stanzas 1 and 6.

 

May 16

Jeremiah 31:10-17      There is much in the lives of the Old Testament church that we can apply to our lives today. This chapter is no exception. In these verses, we see that even though captivity is near there was hope for God’s people. This is to be found in the goodness of the Lord. The phrase ‘God is good’ should not be an idle idea in our lives. God IS good. We must reflect this goodness in our lives. It is one of the fruits of those who walk by the Spirit. Goodness must permeate all of our being. Does it? Are we good to oth­ers? Sing or read Psalter 81 especially stanzas 1 and 4.

 

May 17

Daniel 1:8-17          We all know the story of Daniel. We can easily speak of his feats and enjoy them. Do we realize that Daniel in chapter 1 may have been as young as 15-17? Do we understand that it was by faith that Daniel and his three friends accomplished what they did? Faith is a beautiful idea. Faith is a gift from God. How are we using this gift? Does our faith shine so that all around us see its effects? Are we willing to confess our faith unto all who are around us? Do we take our faith seriously, or is it a matter of convenience? Do we live the faith of Hebrews 11? We must, because it is God’s command. Sing or read Psalter 20.

 

May 18

James 1:12-22        When we looked at the beatitudes of Christ, we looked at the idea of meek­ness. There we saw that Moses was meek as he led the children of Israel. We must be meek as we receive God’s word. The opposite of receiving God’s word with meekness is to rebel against it. Sometimes we are unhappy with what God says to us. We do not want to hear it, and we rebel against it. James says we must receive that word with meekness. We must see that this is also a fruit of the Spirit. Let us pray to our heaven­ly Father that we can receive His word with meekness and then do His word. Sing or read Psalter 330 espe­cially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

May 19

I Corinthians 9:24-27      We come to the last expression of the fruit of the Spirit. Simply put, tem­perance is the ability to exercise self-control over all aspects of your lives. Temperance is living a life that is always God-glorifying. Temperance does not let us do things because they “feel good” to us. Temperance does not let us use the reason “because I felt like it” for any situation. When we glorify God in all walks of life, we will show temperance. The final result of temperance is the crown of glory that fades not away. Be temperate young people, and exhibit all the fruit of the Spirit all of the time. Sing or read Psalter 172.

 

May 20

Luke 24:45-53        “He ascended into heaven.” With those words of the Apostles Creed, we confess that Christ is in heaven waiting the day that He will return to “judge the living and the dead.” Christ is not idle in heaven; He is our constant advocate with the Father. He is a sign that we will also go to heaven either in our deaths or when He returns. Because He is in heaven, we can seek heavenly things knowing that those things which are good for us He will give us. On this Ascension Day let us give thanks for the ascended Christ who sits on the right hand of the Father. Sing or read Psalter 183 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

May 21

Acts 1:1-11     What are you doing since Christ has ascended into heaven? According to our passage Christ Himself promises that He will return from heaven. But He does not tell us to be idle. In this passage and others, He gives the command that the gospel be preached in all lands. Are we doing that? Are we making sure that all in our immediate area know the truths of God’s word? Are we spreading the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth? Is there anything a young person can be doing in this area? Young people should be interested and knowledgeable in mission work. They should find out from ministers and elders what they can do. Older young men should search their hearts to see if maybe their life’s calling can be found here. We can all pray sincerely for this work. Sing or read Psalter 195 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

May 22

Psalm 19:7-14       Young people do you keep your feet from sin? David wrote of this topic often. If you search the Psalms, you will find this topic repeated many times. Solomon also addressed this idea in the book of Proverbs. Last month we addressed this idea from the aspect of the Christian soldier. Today I want us to see that this is done by comparing our lives to God’s law. In this Psalm David makes many statements about the beauty of God’s law. In the last verses, he prays that God will keep him from all kinds of sins. That must be our way as well. We must search the Scriptures and pray for God’s care in this matter. Sing or read Psalter 1.

 

May 23

Luke 13:16-24            Jesus often taught His people by means of parables. In this one He warns us about the error of taking the kingdom of heaven lightly. Are we ready for Christ to return, or are there many things that we would rather do on this earth? If Christ would ask us if we want Him to come today, what would be our answer? Sometimes I fear we would rather Christ wait awhile until we are ready. This parable leaves no room for this feeling. We must be ready, we must be watching, and we must make His return our earnest desire. Sing or read Psalter 263.

May 24

Genesis 1:1-10            “And God said . . . .” “And God saw that it was good.” Do you believe in creation as recorded in Genesis 1? Most of you, if not all of you, would quickly answer of course. Do you know exactly what that means? Again, most of you would answer yes, but maybe the second answer would come a little more slowly. Are you ready to give an answer to all who oppose your belief in creation? We must be ready at all times to answer these questions. The reason is not just because we believe creation is better than evolution. The reason is not just because God has given us faith to believe His word. The reason is because our salvation depends on creation. If God is not the creator of heaven and earth, then Christ is not our Saviour. Young and old must make it their business to know these things. Sing or read Psalter 404 espe­cially stanzas 2, 3 and 5.

 

May 25

Philippians 1:21-30    Paul was ready to die because he knew the glories in heaven were greater than anything in earth. Are you ready to die? Have you given this idea much thought lately? Death always brings to mind sadness. It shouldn’t, because death is the passage into heaven. Even young people should consider this thought. Even though they may think that God has much for them to do on this earth, their work may be finished. Are we living so that dying is glorious? Sing or read Psalter 313.

 

May 26

II Timothy 1:1-7         Have you talked to your parents and grandparents lately, young people? No, I do not mean about the daily cares of life, or the weather, or any other such mundane things. Have you talked to them about the cares of the kingdom of heaven? Timothy must have had a good spiritual relation­ship with his mother and grandmother. Paul mentions it more than once. How is yours? Do you cultivate it? What about you, parents and grandparents? Do you make yourself someone to talk to about these things? Sing or read Psalter 278.

 

May 27

II Chronicles 24: l-2;15-27       Grandparents and parents sometimes chastise in the way of the Lord. What is our reaction? Do we listen to their chastisement outwardly, and when their backs are turned do what we want? That was Joash’s great sin. As long as Jehoiada was alive, Joash did that which was right. When Jehoiada died, Joash went his own way even to killing the son of the man that saved his life! God judged Joash and God will judge us if we do not listen to godly instruction all the days of lives. Sing or read Psalter 244 especially stanzas 1, 2 and 5.

 

May 28

Proverbs 1:1-9      School is almost over for many of us. I would like you to stop and think about school and instruction. Verse eight is the statement of every God-fearing father. Have you listened to your father’s instruction and your mother’s law? Are you proud to have their ornament of grace around your neck? Now go back to verse seven. Have you realized that the purpose of covenant instruction was to teach you the fear of Jehovah? Please do not be verse seven’s fool, covenant children and young people. The fool’s path is toward hell. Be wise and love your father’s instruction. Sing or read Psalter 213 especially stanzas 3 and 4.

 

May 29

Proverbs 2:1-9            Let’s continue our thoughts about school and covenant instruction. In this passage, Solomon starts off with many if statements. The meaning of those statements is that we must seek after wisdom and do it diligently. Verse nine gives the results of such seeking. We will know righteousness, judgment, and equity. We also will know every good path. Seniors, have you had trouble finding your life’s path? The answer for you and really for all covenant people is to seek the wisdom of Jehovah and He will make the path known unto you. Sing or read Psalter 60 especially stanzas 1, 3, and 4.

 

May 30

I Thessalonians 5:16-28      Today Is Pentecost. About two thousand years ago, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the Church of Christ. Do we recognize the Spirit’s work in our lives? Do we listen to the Spirit? Do we pray that God will send His Spirit to enlighten us as we read the Bible? We may not see the same effects of the Spirit as the New Testament Church saw on Pentecost, but the Spirit works today. We must pray that we are not guilty of quenching the Spirit. We must also live lives that show we are not guilty of quenching the Spirit. Sing or read Psalter 389 especially stanzas 5 and 6.

 

May 31

Proverbs 4:20-27        Summer is right around the comer. School will be letting out. Catechism is over. Most societies have recessed. What are you going to do this summer about your study of the Word of God? We do not read anywhere in the Bible of a three-month vacation from this important calling. Parents, you still have the calling to “train up a child.” Children and young people, you still have the calling to seek after wisdom. We still need to take the time and study God’s word daily. Satan will not take a vacation; we must not either. Sing or read Psalter 420 especially verses 7 and 8.