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Skip’s Farewell

Dear Beacon Lights readers, Near the end of 1992, I was approached by members of the Beacon Lights staff requesting that I consider writing a series of devotionals for the magazine. I believe the editor at that time was Peter Faber. I prepared several devotionals for their consideration and presented them to two staff members […]

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Watching Daily at My Gates

November 8 Read James 1 The writer of this book, who may have been a brother of Christ, writes to the Christian Jews much like the last book. However, the theme of the book is different. The theme can be found in the last verse of this chapter. What is true religion? True religion is […]

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Watching Daily at My Gates

October 9 Read 2 Thessalonians 1 The church of Thessalonica along with the church of all ages suffered persecution at the hands of enemies of the truth. Paul had to leave this city and its fledgling church, but the persecution continued. In the opening chapter of this letter he assures them that he will pray […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

September 10   Read 2 Corinthians 10 There were those in Corinth who disparaged the work of Paul and therefore the work of God through Paul. The apostle tries to answer those scoffers. His final argument points at their boasting, and he leaves them with the admonition of verse 17. We do well to heed that […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

August 11 Read Romans 12 From the beautiful doctrines of the preceding chapters, Paul exhorts us to a right way of life. It is a life of sanctification in whatever calling God has given to us. We would do well to reread this chapter throughout the year. Our life of Christian service is not one […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

July 12 Read Acts 10 After receiving the vision instructing him to preach to the Gentiles, Peter is sent into action immediately. Through the Holy Spirit he is sent to Caesarea. Peter must get over his shock of eating what previously had been unclean meats. Now he must go and preach to a Gentile. It […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

June 12  Read John 1 The theme of the fourth gospel is that Jesus is truly divine. This John sets forth already in the first several verses of this chapter as well as very explicitly in verse 34. Obviously there were those who denied this fact, and to counter their claims the Holy Spirit uses […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

May 13   Read Mark 11 We now come to Mark’s account of the passion week, the week in which Christ walked toward the cross for our salvation because of his love and the love of the Father. As has been pointed out before, Mark is the gospel of action. We see that in these closing […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

April 12 Read Matthew 8 Jesus was a great preacher. That is what we saw in the preceding three chapters. Now the gospel writer shows that he was truly God. In this chapter we have a number of the miracles that Jesus did. As you read through them, you see that they are not only […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

March 13  Read Zephaniah 1 Zephaniah is the last of the minor  prophets before the exile into Babylon. We see in verse 1 that he is at work during the time of Josiah, who reigned soon after the reign of wicked Manasseh. In this first chapter he pronounces extreme judgment upon Judah and its inhabitants. […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

February 11 Read Joel 1 The occasion of Joel’s prophecy is not certain. It is possible that it was a prophecy to Judah after Israel’s captivity. In this first chapter he tells the people to observe the destruction caused by locusts and other insects. This destruction has affected much in the land, including the ability […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

January 10 Read Ezekiel 43 After showing to Ezekiel the expanse of the new temple that was symbolic of Christ’s church, the angel now shows Ezekiel the worship that must be performed there. The church of the old dispensation had to worship through the priests and with only the Shekinah cloud. The church of the […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

December 10 Read Ezekiel 12 Judah did not seem to learn from Ezekiel’s earlier prophecies and words, so God sent the rebellious captives another sign. Ezekiel had to move all of his belongings out of his house through a hole that he made in the wall. This would be a picture of how Zedekiah would […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

December 9 Read Jeremiah 38 In spite of many objections and threats upon his life, Jeremiah continued to preach the word of the Lord. He was sentenced to death in an illegal court, but he was delivered by wicked king Zedekiah. This king then took the time to listen to Jeremiah, and even though Jeremiah’s […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

October 9 Read Jeremiah 7 There are two thoughts that we can focus on in today’s reading. First, we see the prophet taking an unpopular stand in bringing to Israel the reasons for its distress. Second, we see the depths of sin into which Israel had fallen. Are you able to point out to your […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

September 8 Read Isaiah 42 In the first part of this chapter we see a description of Christ. The Messiah will come and bring deliverance to his people who are often despised and downtrodden by the world. We see this in verse 3. This Messiah will be a complete deliverer. As we saw in the […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

August 7 Read Isaiah 11 In this chapter we find the whole of the gospel. The savior is identified. He is the root out of Jesse’s branch; he is the son of David. The redemptive work for his people is identified. His kingdom is described as one of peace. In the final part of this […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

July 12 Read Ecclesiastes 5 After examining life in nature, and then in pleasure, Solomon now looks at the life of worship. He realizes, as we must, that this is a serious business. We must not take worship lightly in any of its aspects. As soon as we do that, we bring dishonor to the […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

June 11 Read Proverbs 5 In this chapter Solomon gives to his son instruction concerning marriage. Marriage is a gift from God. As with all gifts, it must be used in a wise way. When we commit any sin against the seventh commandment either in or out of marriage, we walk in a very foolish […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

May 11 Read Psalm 124 Let us consider the first words of this psalm. Look at that first little word if. We think about a lot of if’s in our lives. How often do we not begin a sentence or more with the phrase “if only…”? How do any of those situations match up with […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

April 10 Read Psalm 93. Jehovah, the word used in this psalm to name God, is a king. He is the king who rules over all. Like other kings, his kingship is sovereign.  However, unlike other kings, God is sovereign over all men and all parts of nature. All nature joins in giving to him […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

March 11 Read Psalm 63 Once again we have a Psalm of David written when he was forced to be away from Jerusalem and the ordinary public worship of Jehovah.  Notice the many references to God and to his goodness.  This psalm and the others like it should be our pattern in this life.  While […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

February 8 Read Psalm 32. This psalm and its companion, Psalm 51, recount David’s journey back to blessedness after his sin concerning Bathsheba and Uriah.  Notice the first word of each of the first two verses.  We have encountered that word before, in Psalm 1, and it is also the first word of the each […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

January 8 Read Psalm 1. Do you count yourself as one of the blessed ones?  If you answered yes to that question, then you have to answer yes to the next one as well.  Do you delight in keeping Jehovah’s law?  Only the blessed are able to say yes to that question.  They are the […]

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Watching Daily At My Gates

December 9 Read Job 13 Job continues with his speech in reply to Zophar.  Most of this part of his discourse is directed at God.  Job vacillates between one who trusts in God and one who blames him for his problems.  Notice his strong word of faith in verse 15.  Even if God would cause […]

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