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Watching Daily at My Gates

June 1

Proverbs 3:19-26        Young people are you confident in what you do? Or are you afraid that whatever you do may turn out wrong? This portion of scripture has much to say on that matter. The first part shows the power of God. The second part shows the necessity of trusting in Him. Finally, the last part shows the blessings of such trust. We do not have to be afraid when we sleep or any other time in our lives. Jehovah is our confidence. Sing or read Psalter 65.

 

June 2

Acts 9:36-42        Do you wonder how you can be thankful for the salvation God has given you? The third part of the catechism is about that idea. Dorcas found a way to express her thanks to God for His wonderful work. She helped those who were in need around her. Dorcas used her ability to work with her hands to help others and to glorify God. Are we helping others with our abilities? Are we glorifying God as we do it? Think about that, people of God. We must be thankful to God for our sal­vation. Sing or read Psalter 377 especially stanzas 1, 2, and 7.

 

June 3

Isaiah 65:17-25           Some of you will travel this summer and enjoy God’s creation. Some people are fascinated by the trees in our land. Some of these trees are for food: in others we see a pic­ture of the majesty of God. God also gives us trees as a picture of the blessedness of being a child of God. Some trees are known for lifespans of hundreds of years. God uses this to describe for us our lives in heaven. When we remember that the trees are only a picture, we see how much God will bless us in glory. Enjoy the trees this summer, but don’t forget to see their beautiful picture. Sing or read Psalter 2.

 

June 4

Acts 15:12-18     Satan wishes the word of God to be silenced. He uses many means to accomplish that goal. Is he using you? He probably is not using us the way he used the girl in Philippi, but he definitely will use any means possible to stop the spread of the gospel. Are our actions means that Satan can use to stop others from attending our churches and hearing the truth? Do people see in us God’s handiwork or Satan’s handiwork? If we are being used by Satan to stop the spread of the gospel, let us fall to our knees and ask God to forgive us this sin and ask Him to use us to spread His gospel. Sing or read Psalter 141.

 

June 5

Acts 15:19-25        Could you sing God’s praises while you are being tortured for doing His work? If someone mocks you for keeping the sabbath day or attending a Christian school, could you praise God for that? Paul and Silas did. They sang while their bruised and bleeding bodies were bound mercilessly in the stocks. They sang God’s praises in that condition. How about us? Do God’s praised come easily to our lips? Sing or read Psalter 13 especially 1-3 and 7.

 

June 6

Acts 15:25-34           The gospel will never return unto God empty; there will always be results. The familiar account which you read shows how God uses works of his people for his glory. The catechism uses this language: “that, by our godly conversation, others may be gained to Christ.” How godly is our daily walk? Will God wish to use it to bring others to Christ? We have been given His word to use. Let it permeate each part of our daily lives. Sing or read Psalter 68.

 

June 7

Acts 15:35-40         God uses many means for his people’s advantage. Here it is a little matter of Roman citizenship. Sometimes we wonder why God’s providence works the way it does. Some­times we cannot fathom His way. But yet we must always know His way is best. Paul must have had this quite often in his work as missionary. Many things happened to him which would have us scratch­ing our heads and wondering. We must see that God’s ways are best and work to our good. Let us not ask why too often. Let us say, “Speak. Lord, for thy servant heareth.” Sing or read Psalter 62 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

June 8

Genesis 15:1-6        There are two little words which appear often in Scripture. These two words are always full of great comfort to me. These words are “fear not”. Abraham had a great worry. He felt that God’s covenant line would be broken because he had no children. He did not see how God was going to make in him a great nation. God came to Abraham and told him not to worry about things. He told him to “Fear not.” Abraham believed and God counted that to him for righteousness. Sing or read Psalter 66 especially stanzas 1-3.

June 9

Exodus 14:8-14      Israel thought itself trapped in a trap from which there was no escape. The Red Sea, mountains, and Pharaoh’s host doomed them to death. Moses spoke the words of verse 13. In it he speaks of salvation. God’s salvation is great. He can save us from all kinds of situations. We must let Him fight for us. We must hold our peace and see the salvation of the Lord. Are you perplexed or frightened by something in your life? Fear not, stand still, hold your peace, and see the salvation of our great God. Sing or read Psalter 249 especially stanzas 1, 3, 4, and 6.

 

June 10

Deuteronomy 1:19-25      Moses was recounting to Israel their history. In it he brings up the shameful day at Kadesh-Barnea where Israel refused to do the work of the Lord. They thought the work too hard for them even after they had been encouraged by God’s word to fear not. What about us? Do we as workers in God’s kingdom fear the work as being too hard? Do we rebel against God as Israel rebelled? We don’t have to. With God saying “fear not”, what more do we need? Sing or read Psalter 7.

 

June 11

Isaiah 51:1-8       Do you seek righteousness? Do you seek the Lord? Are you troubled because of this? Sometimes these troubles come from within, and sometimes these troubles come from without. That is not unusual for the people of God. Scripture records many places where God’s people are troubled because they sought the Lord. In today’s passage God gives us much comfort for these afflictions. We are told not to fear those from without because their end is sure. We also need not fear them because God’s salvation is everlasting. Sing or read Psalter 73 especially stanzas 1, 2, and 6.

 

June 12

Luke 2:8-15       There are many instances of the comforting words “fear not” in the Christmas story. Angels came to Zecharias, to Mary, and to Joseph with these words of comfort about the Word of comfort. God also sent angels to the shepherds with these words. The shepherds are a pic­ture of the church. It had been over four hundred years since Malachi was written. The people of God felt need of comfort and God sent it. What a comfort he sent as we can plainly see in the message of the angels to the shepherds! That message is ours! Turn to it often when you feel the need and fear not. Sing or read Psalter 71 especially stanzas 1, 3, and 5.

 

June 13

Luke 12:27-40       In these verses Christ gives us instruction about our daily lives. The first instruction is to seek the kingdom of God. Christ then tells us by way of such earnest seeking all our physical cares will be met. Often, we worry about both of these things. We feel a lack of assurance about God’s kingdom in our hearts. We wonder if we are really saved. According to verse twelve we need not worry about such things. It is God’s will that His people come to eternal life. When we put that worry out of our mind, the second worry too will vanish. Sing or read Psalter 75 especially stanzas 1, and 4-6.

 

June 14

Matthew 28:1-8        The small band of Christ’s followers had spent a very restless Sabbath. They did not know what would happen to them now that Christ had been killed. They worried about their own lives. The women went to the tomb that Sunday to finish the task of embalming their Lord. They did it out of love for Jesus. When they saw the angel, all of their fears leaped to their faces. The angel saw the fear and spoke the comforting words “fear not.” The reaction of the women is found in the word “joy” in verse eight. What about us? Do we still react with joy over Christ’s resurrection? Or do we still have many fears? Take the angel’s words to heart; they are for us as well as the women. Sing or read Psalter 77 especially stanzas 1, 3, and 5.

 

June 15

Revelation 1:10-20     John had been exiled on the island of Patmos for doing the work of God. While he was there, Christ came to him. Even John the beloved disciple fell at His feet in fear. Then Jesus spoke to him those comforting words “fear not.” Jesus comes to us with the same words. As we have seen over the past few days those words came to God’s people in many situations. Those are also God’s words to us as God’s people. We need not be afraid because He is with us. In Revelation John writes of many seeming distressing situations for the church. They are not distressing when we remember to fear not. Pray for this comfort young people. Pray for it for yourselves but also for others of the church of God. Fear not. Sing or read Psalter 397 especially stanzas 1, 5 and 8.

 

June 16

Genesis 34:1-4; 27-30       June is traditionally the month of marriages. What about you, young people; is that your desire? I hope it is. God has given us marriage as a beautiful picture of the relation­ship of Christ and the church. But how are you dating? If you are dating the way Dinah dated, be assured that God will bring upon you the troubles that Jacob’s family encountered in this chapter. This chapter teaches a strong lesson. Do you want a blessing upon your dating and marriage? Then, young men and women, do not seek your dates and mates among unbelievers. Sing or read Psalter 271 especially stanzas 2 and 3.

 

June 17

I Corinthians 13      This is often called the great chapter on love. It is, too. As children of God, we must examine the kind of love spoken about in this chapter. Love is easily spoken about. Of what kind of love is spoken in this chapter? The answer is easy-the love of Christ. Yesterday we spoke about marriage. If the true love of Christ cannot be found between you and someone else, do not date them. If you do not date them, you won’t have to worry about marrying them. We must make sure the love of Christ is found in us at all times. The love of Christ must characterize all of our life. Read the chapter again and examine your life in its light. Sing or read Psalter 11.

 

June 18

Amos 5:1-9     Young people do you look at God’s creation often? Are you given to lying on your back at night and looking at the stars? Do you enjoy the beauty of nature? Summertime is a good time for this experience. Why should we do that? We should look at creation because God gives pictures of Himself. We can learn about our Creator in His creation. The chapter says to seek the Lord and we shall live. As we look in creation we will want to go to God’s word and see what He is say­ing about Himself. Seek the Lord, young people, even as you enjoy His Creation. Sing or read Psalter 15.

 

June 19

Amos 5:8-15        Amos wrote these words to a people who were going astray. The prophecies concerning Israel’s captivity were increasing. But yet the call came to the people of God to repent. These calls are summed up in verses thirteen and fourteen of this chapter. These verses illus­trate for us the great truth of the antithesis. We are called to live an antithetical walk in which we seek good and hate evil. What about it? Are we doing that? Are we seeking the good things God has given us? Are we fleeing the evil? Sing or read Psalter 260 especially stanzas 1, 3, and 5.

 

June 20

Ecclesiastes 5:1-7         These are fitting words to use as we approach the house of God today. Are we ready to hear what the Lord will say? Are our offerings given with thanksgiving? Do we sing in a way that is pleasing to the Lord? Going to church is serious. We cannot treat it any other way. When we step into his presence, we need to be ready to worship. We must be holy as we worship, for God is holy. Above all as we worship we must fear God. Sing or read Psalter 225.

 

June 21

Galatians 5:1-13         Do we use Christian liberty correctly? Do we use our Christian liberty to mask a multitude of sins? I hope not. That is not the idea of Holy Spirit through Paul in this chapter. Some of the early church had the idea that they could “sin that grace may abound.” The Holy Spirit said, “Definitely not!” We have liberty to live lives not bound by the Old Testament law. But that same liberty allows us to live in a way that we love God, keep his commandments, and then love one another. That is the way we must use our Christian liberty. Sing or read Psalter 84.

 

June 22

Esther 2:15-20       Have you ever heard such a wicked commandment as is given in verse 20? Is this the way a child of God should act? Are we so ashamed of our salvation that we hide who we are? Must we fear Satan and the world so much that we hide our true identity? Hopefully the answer, young people, is obvious. We must show who we are all the time to all people. We may never be ashamed of the gospel of Christ that we hide it. Paul states this in Romans 1:16. He was ready to show who he was even to a wicked emperor in Rome who could take his life. Are you Esthers trying to win the favor of the world, or Pauls trying to show your love for God? Sing or read Psalter 261.

 

June 23

Hebrews 13:1-6          How does verse one strike you? Before you say, “No problem,” answer this question. Is everyone in church your brother, or do you pick and choose? These words of Hebrews author should cause us to stop and think. Are we willing to give a hand to anyone who needs our assis­tance? Christ puts many circumstances in front of us so that we have opportunity to show His mercy. Do we use those opportunities or will we say at the end of time, “When did I see thee hungering, thirst­ing, naked, etc.” We must show love to all of our brethren in Christ all of the time. Sing or read Psalter 25.

 

June 24

Hebrews 13:7-9; 17-21         Do you know what verse eight means? Is there room for boredom in our church lives with such a statement? Does this statement bring great comfort and stability in our lives? I hope the answer to the second question is no and to the third yes. I hope this because then we can serve God in our lives and worship in peace. We will not need to wonder if our worship needs to be updated. We will not need to wonder if the Bible is timebound. We can be assured that the Word of God is changeless and in Him is no shadow of turning. With this confidence, we can honor those who have the rule over us in church knowing that they are placed there by God. Sing or read Psalter 245 especial­ly stanzas 1, 2, and 5.

 

June 25

Ezekiel 28:1-10          What a horrible thing the prince of Tyrus had said! He claimed for himself God’s authority. This was the sin of Satan; this was the sin of Adam and Eve; this was the sin of those at the tower of Babel; this is the sin of those today who belong to the New Age. People of God, are you tempted by some of the New Age philosophies? Some of them sound pretty nice. But when you get to the root of them you see that they wish to set themselves up as God. Try those philosophies against the word of God and then run to the shadow of His wings. Sing or read Psalter 248 especially stanzas 1, 3, and 4.

 

June 26

I John 4:1-6        Notice the connection between this passage and yesterday’s. The Old and New Testaments are both relevant for today’s Christian. Not one word needs to be left out or changed. In fact, if you leave one word out, you will have nothing with which to try the spirits. As we draw nearer and nearer to the end of time we must be constantly putting this commandment into action. One of the signs of the end will be those who say, “Lo, here is Christ or there is Christ.” We must be able to discern those who are antichristian and be ready to walk in the spirit of truth. Are you trying the spirits? Sing or read Psalter 321.

 

June 27

Ezra 9          Do we blush as we bring our sins to God? We should, because God is

holy. We are no different than the people of Israel that returned from captivity. We have been brought back from sin through Christ’s death on the cross, but yet we still do those things we know we should not. We had better go to our God in prayer. We can do this in the confidence that God will show his grace to us. He has given us a nail in his holy place. Just as a nail secures a board in a building, grace assures us of our place in the church. Pray for forgiveness and the grace that brings it. Sing or read Psalter 83.

 

June 28

I Peter 1:1-5    What a glorious word God gives to His elect. We are begotten to a lively hope. Our hope is not dead. Our hope is based on the living Christ. What can be more sure than that? Are we looking for that incorruptible inheritance? Are we building up treasures in heaven? We can have no doubts, you know. We are kept by the power of God. Christ’s work for us on the cross is sure. What a glorious thought that is! Live in that assurance, waiting the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Sing or read Psalter 28.

 

June 29

Habakkuk 3     In this prayer Habakkuk recounts the works of God as he brought judgment upon the wicked. He sees the destruction brought by God even in the world of plants and ani­mals. In verse 16 he says he was frightened by all of it. Habakkuk knew that such judgment was because of sin among God’s people. How about us? Do we see God’s judgment in the world around us? Do we see so-called acts of nature as the hand of God? Habakkuk was not afraid. In the last two verses, he talks of his joy because God is his salvation. Do we have the same confidence? Sing or read Psalter 37.

 

June 30

I Timothy 2:1-8          Do you mention government leaders in your prayers? If you do, do you pray for their salvation? These are the two aspects in these verses. True, we must not imagine that God will allow the sinful acts of leaders to go unpunished. Leaders that permit the evil to triumph are not doing good in God’s sight. Yet, we must pray for them. We pray so the church may have rest as long as possible. We also pray for the salvation of those whom God will save. When Jesus prayed, “Father, for­give them for they know not what they do.” He prayed for the centurion. Pray for your leaders because it is God’s command. Sing or read Psalter 223.

 

July 1

Haggai 2:1-9       As Israel began to rebuild the temple after the captivity it became apparent that this temple would not approach Solomon’s temple in beauty. God came to Israel to console them. He first reminds them that He is still with them even as He was when they came from Egypt. He then tells them that this temple will have Christ come to it. We need these words as well. Sometimes we forget that God is with us. We look back at the time of the Reformation and wonder if we could do what Luther and the others did. God comes to us and tells us to look ahead when Christ will return to this earth. Sing or read Psalter 33.

 

July 2

II Corinthians 5:1-8        Death is hard for us who are earthly. It is hard for those who are dying because they have families who seem to need them. It is hard for those who watch loved ones waste away in bed. Yet if we read the words of this chapter we can find great comfort in death for the child of God. While we remain on this earth, we are absent from the presence of our heavenly Father. Therefore, death is nothing to be feared. Death for the child of God is that entrance into heaven where we can sit at the feet of Jesus with all the saints who have gone before us. Sing or read Psalter 312.

 

July 3

II Corinthians 5:9-13     Now that we see death has such great promise, what about our life on this earth? Paul makes it plain that we have a calling here. We must carry out all God has given for us to do to the utmost of our abilities to His honor and glory. Why is this true? Verse 10 has the answer. Each of us must appear before Christ and give account of all we have done. Therefore, while we remain on this earth we must always strive to glorify God in all that we do. Sing or read Psalter 161 especially stanzas I, 4, 5, 8, and 9.

 

July 4

II Corinthians 5:14-21       Why do we have such confidence that death will not defeat us? Do we have confidence that we will appear before Christ in heaven? The answer is found in these last verses. Christ loved us and died for us sinners. Not only that God raised Christ from the dead and even now He is in heaven preparing for each of us our mansion. We struggle against the old man of sin daily, but we can struggle in the confidence that we have an advocate in heaven even Jesus Christ who went the way of the cross for our salvation. Sing or read Psalter 55.

 

July 5

Hosea 6           Hosea through his prophecy brought many hard words to the church. The church had fallen far from what God had made it. But there is comfort in this prophecy as well. In verse one of this chapter we see that God chastises his church; but He also brings comfort to the chas­tised church. Read verse three and six again. Verse three talks of the benefits of returning from sin to Jehovah. Verse six speaks of the life that God wants. Here we see the two great commandments, love God (knowledge of God) and love the neighbor (mercy). Let us see that God is merciful even when we walk in sin. Let us see that we must have a knowledge of our merciful God. Sing or read Psalter 386 especially stanzas 3-5.

 

July 6

II Chronicles 22:6-13         David had desired to build God’s house. God had told him that he could not do it, but that his son Solomon would perform such a task. David obeyed the word of the Lord, but he made as many preparations as he could so that his son could do the work. One of the last prepa­rations was that he called Solomon to him and charged him with the task. David gave Solomon great help, but the greatest help is found in verses 11-13. Fathers, do you give your children great help? Are you making preparations so that they can carry out God’s work in the future? Do they know as Solomon did that they will only prosper when they keep the law of Jehovah? Sing or read 367 especially stanza 3.

 

July 7

John 6:25-37       Jesus had fed the five thousand. Now the huge multitude had followed him across the Sea of Galilee wanting more. They wanted the wrong bread. They wanted physical bread and other physical needs. Jesus had to show them and us that true disciples of Christ hunger after the bread of life. That bread cannot be found by earthly means. This bread comes from the Father who freely gives to His people Christ the bread of life. Do we hunger after the bread of life? Is that what we feed our children? Sing or read Psalter 297 especially stanzas 1 and 3.

 

July 8

John 8:12-20        Most of us reading this are not blind. We have the ability with our physical eyes to discern those things around us. Even as physical light shows to us our physical sur­roundings, spiritual light makes plain our spiritual surroundings. Do we follow the light of the world? Do we trip spiritually because we do not follow Jesus the light? Psalm 119:106 says, “Thy word is a lamp unto our feet and a light upon our paths.” Jesus is the Word. Follow him and walk in the light Sing or read Psalter 334.

 

July 9

John 10:1-9        Do you want to go to heaven? Do you want to be with the other saints around the throne of God? How do you get there? Can you get there by yourself? Do you get there by doing good things for others? Will you get there by attending church regularly or because your family has gone to church for years? You can’t get there on your own works. You can’t get there by someone else’s works either. We know that our best works in this life are but filthy rags. How do we get to heaven? Jesus is the door to heaven. Only through Him and His grace can we go to heaven. Sing or read Psalter 30.

 

July 10

John 10:11-18       In the days that sheep wandered through the lands of Israel and other countries, a good shepherd was an absolute necessity. Sheep need a shepherd, to feed them, water them, and keep them from danger. A shepherd who shirked his duty often caused the sheep to die. We need a spiritual shepherd who is good. We are like sheep. That is the testimony of Isaiah 53. We have a good shepherd as this portion of the Bible tells us. We must always give thanks that the father has given us Christ, the good shepherd, who was willing to give His life for His sheep. Sing or read Psalter 56.

 

July 11

John 11:14-27       The story of the raising of Lazarus is familiar to the child of God. Using this circumstance in the life of His dear friends, Jesus taught them of his death and resurrection as well as the resurrection of all believers. Are you comforted by these words? Spiritually we are dead in our sins without Christ. This truth cannot be disputed. But we become alive in Christ because he is the resurrec­tion and the life. He has proved that with his resurrection. What must our reaction be to this great truth? We, like Martha, must believe that He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Sing or read Psalter 47 especially stanzas 5, 10, and 11.

 

July 12

John 14:1-11       Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Where does that way lead? What truth are we talking about? What is this life? Jesus’s disciples had a hard time discerning spiritual truths and earthly truths. Let’s not be too hard on them. We often have the same trouble. Earthly cares cause the beautiful truths of this passage to fly from our hearts. We need to stop and realize that through Jesus is the only way into heaven. There is no other truth but Him. The life that we should desire is a life that is spiritual on this earth and eternal in heaven. When we confess these truths, then truly our hearts will not be troubled. Sing or read Psalter 203.

 

July 13

John 15:1-10       Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. Notice the vine comes first. That is only right since the sap of the plant must go from the vine to the branches. Jesus comes first and then the church. From Jesus the church draws its life. As the vine Jesus gives character to the branches. A grape vine will have branches that bear grapes. Jesus also gives character to the church. The members must not decide what type of gospel must be preached. Jesus, as he is described throughout all the pages of the Bible, must be preached. We are allowed no other gospel. The vine is not cut down; branch­es are cut off. Sing or read Psalter 355 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

July 14

II Kings 7:1-9       Four lepers had found that God had provided them with food and riches. After eating and securing for themselves many riches, they began to think about those around them. They realized that they should not hide the good that the Lord had given them. They called it a day of good tidings. What about us? God has given us good tidings as well. We have the gospel. Are we telling those about us? Are we carrying out his command to go into all nations to preach the gospel? The lepers worried about “some mischief” coming upon them. Do we have the same worry? Sing or read Psalter 49.

 

July 15

II Samuel 1:17-27       David deeply mourned the death of his friend Jonathan. What kind of friend was he? Verse 26 supplies us with the answer. Their friendship was pleasant. Their friendship was wonderful. Their friendship was closer than a man and his wife. Why is this true? There can be only one reason. Their friendship was based on the love of God. Jonathan willingly gave up his claim to Israel’s throne because he saw that David was the man of God’s choosing. On what are our friendships based? Are we willing to give up what we desire for our friends in Christ? Sing or read Psalter 369.

 

July 16

Jeremiah 36:21-32      Young people, are you jealous for the Word of God? Do you fight for it?  Do you let it be trampled under the feet of those around you? Why must you be jealous for the Bible? The answer is found in today’s reading. Satan through Jehoiakim attempted to destroy the Word of God. He attempted to do so because in that Word was salvation. Satan is trying to do the same thing today. Oh, he does not use the obvious means about which we just read. He has more subtle means at his con­trol. We must first of all know what God’s word says. Then we must be jealous that His Word is not destroyed. Sing or read Psalter 336.

 

July 17

Colossians 1:1-8         Do people in other areas hear of your faith? In this day and age of communication we hear news about others rapidly. What do they hear about us? When the telephone rings, what is the news? Paul heard about the faith and love of the Colossians when he received messages about them. That love was the love of Christ as manifest toward other saints. Does that love characterize our lives so that it is told to others? Don’t misunderstand, this is not for the sake of bragging; we know what pride does. A sincere walk of life gives the Christian assurance of the hope which is in heaven. Sing or read Psalter 365.

 

July 18

Colossians 1:9-17        Do we confess that by Christ not only all things were created but by Christ all things continue to exist? Is this our daily confession or do we fall into the error of trying to make it on our own? It is easy to fall into this error. We let the words “luck”, “fortunate”, and other such expressions slip into our vocabulary. We make plans for our future without considering if these plans are in accordance with the Word of God. We must stop and ask if we are causing glory to fall upon Christ by our actions. We do this because we must be conscious of the salvation that only comes from Him. Sing or read Psalter 363.

 

July 19

Colossians 1:18-29     Is our faith “grounded and settled” upon the hope of the gospel? Yesterday, if Lord willed, you heard the preaching of the Word. I pray that the hearing was with spiritual ears. Did something happen since then to move you away from that gospel of hope? Was it something you did? Was it someone with whom you met. Was Satan able to whisk God’s Word away from you before you could digest it? I hope not. We must be conscious of the bread of heaven. We must never let it be taken from us, but rather we must use it in this life as preparation for the life to come. Sing or read Psalter 362.

 

July 20

Colossians 2:1-7         “Enticing words” are all around us. They come from the printed page, from the radio, from the television, and from every other medium of communication known to man. Satan loves to use media’s enticing words to lure us from the Word. In order to stay away from such enticing words, we need to use utmost caution when we use these things. We must be discerning viewers and listeners and make sure that what we see and hear is completely God-glorifying. God has given us His Word; we must walk in Christ and Christ alone. Sing or read Psalter 41 especially stanzas 1,2, and 4.

 

July 21

Colossians 2:8-15       If we have any thoughts of trying to gain our own salvation, we can put them to rest as we read these verses. Do any of us have the power to do what Christ did? He took those who were dead in sins and blotted all memory of those sins with his death on the cross. He spoiled the power of evil and openly triumphed over it. Let’s be happy with being buried with Him in our baptisms and risen with Him by the power of the Father. Let’s be so happy that we show it with lives of gratitude for such an unspeakable gift. Sing or read Psalter 83.

 

July 22

Colossians 2:16-23     The early Christians had a problem with people who tried to insist that they follow the Old Testament laws. While the church was in transition, some Christians felt a necessity to follow some of the old traditions. Paul had to show the church that those things were no longer necessary because Christ had died. What about us today? We must see that we must not try to go back to a worship of ordinances. Christ has come, and we must only worship Him in spirit and in truth. Sing or read Psalter 227.

 

July 23

Colossians 3:1-7         Are we risen with Christ? Do we seek heavenly things or earthly things? Are we ridding ourselves of all manner of ungodly practices that cause the wrath of God to be poured out on us? I have put these in the form of questions even though Paul used commands. These are com­mands of God which must be followed daily by us. Each day we must examine ourselves and see if we are walking in a way worthy of someone risen with Christ. Sing or read Psalter 383.

 

July 24

Colossians 3:8-15       Now that we have examined our spiritual walk within ourselves, let us see how we are walking with the brothers and sisters in Christ. Are we guilty of the sins of verses eight and nine? In fact, do we love the sins of those verses? Or have we put on the new man and walk in the ways of verses twelve through fifteen. There is a big difference in the first and last parts of this section. There will be a big difference in our churches and lives depending in what way we live. If we are con­stantly looking out for self, we will wallow in the sins of verses 8 and 9. If we show we love God through our love for the brethren we will have the peace of God ruling in our hearts. Sing or read Psalter 371.

 

July 25

Colossians 3:16-25     This section is full of practical application of letting the Word dwell richly in us. It starts out with a glorifying worship of God. Was ours today? Then we must glorify God as husband, wife, child, father, or servant. Each of these is a calling from God. We must carry out that call­ing to His glory using the talents He has given us. That is the teaching of verse twenty-three. Praise from men will get us nowhere in heaven. Praise from the Lord gives us the reward of the incorruptible inheri­tance. Does the Word dwell richly in us? Sing or read Psalter 38.

 

July 26

Colossians 4:1-6         Have you ever eaten something so bland that you wished to spit it out? Are you conscious of the tastes of the food that you eat and do not wish to eat food that is unpalatable? Now that you have gotten some sensory images in mind you can understand verse six better. Speech with grace seasoned with salt is our goal. Why? We need to talk to every man about our love of Christ. This does not mean that we become a nuisance with our love of God, but rather that we use every oppor­tunity to show that love. Sometimes it will be a long talk about things of the kingdom. Other times it will just be by an honest conversation. The only way we can be ready is if we study the Word and pray that we can have grace to have our speech seasoned with salt Sing or read Psalter 105.

 

July 27

Colossians 4:7-18       Do we care for those who God has given a special calling in the kingdom? Are we mindful of their earthly needs so that they can carry out their spiritual calling? Paul was thankful for all those who had helped him in his labors. God has given to ministers, elders, and deacons a special calling. We can help such men by bearing their physical cares for them. Sometimes even just a word of appreciation can make their burdens lighter. Remember, they watch over our souls! Sing or read Psalter 243 especially stanzas 1, 2, and 15.

 

July 28

Job 42:1-6       In the preceding three chapters of Job, God shows Job that He has made all things and causes all things to continue to exist. God makes Job to see that God alone is great and man is nothing in comparison. Job needed such a lesson because he had made himself wiser than God. Job understood and realized that he had sinned and asked for forgiveness. Do we understand the same lesson as we look at creation? Do we realize that God’s creation proclaims his majesty? Sing or read Psalter 286.

 

July 29

Joel 2:1-14      Joel had to sound an alarm of great doom for the children of Israel. Their enemies were all around them. But the problem was self-inflicted. God had to bring the enemies because of Israel’s sin. But there was comfort as well for God’s people. That comfort is found in verses twelve and thirteen. These verses are for us as well. Our enemies are all around us. Quite often the trou­bles are self-inflicted. We must rend our hearts and turn unto Jehovah who is gracious and kind toward all his people. Sing or read Psalter 266.

 

July 30

Jonah 1:9-17        We often forget that the book of Jonah is one of the minor prophets. We see in it a nice story with a good lesson for God’s people. Look at verse seventeen again. Does the time have any significance for us? It should. Christ told the Pharisees to look at the sign of Jonah as a picture of his authority. Jonah was in the fish for three days. Christ was in the earth for three days. Both came forth to carry out their work. Do we seek after the sign of Jonah and serve a risen Christ? Sing or read Psalter 310 especially stanzas 1, 2, and 6.

 

July 31

Joshua 24:13-24          Joshua told the children of Israel about their history and the greatness of their God. But Israel had a problem. They were serving idol gods. From Joshua’s words it seems that there was a great variety of idols in Israel. Joshua told them that they needed to choose one god and serve that god alone. He, however, with his house was going to serve Jehovah. He told them that because they lived unholy lives they could not serve Jehovah. What about you, young people, can you serve Jeho­vah in your present life? Sing or read Psalter 309.