The Daily Press

May 8—Anointed to be a King

As long as we are on earth, we are kings at war.  Today’s devotional is in the form of a poem about that war:


Within each one of God’s elect a fearsome war doth rage.

There is a side who seeks for God: the other would that love assuage.

The man who drives this earthly side is bloodied, ugly, dead.

For he was crucified with Christ – yet he rears his mangled head.

The mightiest weapon this man yields is called complacency.

For he conspires to make his foe leave off intensity.


The other man is clothed in white – the garments aren’t his own.

They were bought with the shed blood of him who for sin atoned.

The sword that this man bears is a sword that dwells within.

It is the Holy Spirit of God who can only conquer sin.

He empowers this new man to fight his mortal foe;

A brief cessation from the fight brings only bitter woe.


I know the sorrow of this war—it rages within me.

For fighting to possess my soul are Friend and Enemy.

I do not fear the battle’s end: the outcome is secure.

Yet I know the peace of heavenly life—when only I endure.

The sin that lives within my heart I must mortify.

For only as I combat self, do I God glorify.

Sing or pray Psalter #141.


May 9—The Holy Spirit Brings God’s Kingdom

Read Matt. 6:5–15

As kings, we look forward to reigning with our King eternally in a peaceful, glorious domain.  Then our war against sin and Satan will be over!  We pray for the realization of the new heaven and earth when we pray “Thy kingdom come.” But according to the Heidelberg Catechism, that petition is also our request that God “rule us so by [his] Word and Spirit, that we may submit ourselves more and more to [him].”  The Holy Spirit brings Christ’s kingdom in history.  He also brings that kingdom in the hearts of God’s elect.

Not long ago, when we considered Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem, we noted that Christ’s kingdom is not of this world.  When Christ ascended triumphantly into heaven, he poured out his Spirit on all believers.  Now our King “governs us by his word and Spirit” and “defends and preserves us in (the enjoyment of) that salvation he has purchased for us.”  The Holy Spirit writes our King’s law on hearts.  He leads us to confess that Jesus Christ is King over us, and gives us the desire to live according to his will in all good works.

Sing or pray Psalter #141.


May 10—Our King Carries a Kind of Heaven

Read Acts 5:17–42

This beautiful quotation from Purtian Richard Sibbe reiterates what we considered yesterday:

Nothing but heaven, or rather Christ in heaven itself, will content the child of God. In the meantime, his presence in the congregation makes their souls, as it were, heaven. If the king’s presence, who carries the court with him, makes all places where he is a court, so Christ carries a kind of heaven with him…It is no matter where we are, so long as Christ is with us… If with the three children in a fiery furnace, it is no matter, if ‘a fourth be there also,’ Dan. 3:25. So if Christ be with us, the flames nor nothing shall hurt us…

                It changeth the nature of all things, sweeteneth everything, besides that sweetness which it brings unto the soul, by the presence of the Spirit; as we see in the Acts, when they had received the Holy Ghost more abundantly, they cared not what they suffered…Whence came this fortitude? From the presence of Christ, and the Comforter which he had formerly promised.

                So let us have the Spirit of Christ that comes from him; then it is no matter what our condition be in the world.

Sing or pray Psalter # 65.


May 11—The Holy Spirit Leads

Read Luke 4:1–13

Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit.  Immediately after he was baptized, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  There are some who teach that the Holy Spirit leads only in paths of prosperity, pleasantness, and peace, and not in ways of trial or sorrow.  But Jesus taught that no servant is greater than his Master.  Since our Lord endured temptation, we also can expect to be tested.

Because the Holy Spirit led Jesus to suffer being tempted, he is able to succor, that is, aid or give relief to his people who are tempted.  “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:14–16).

Sing or pray Psalter #65.


May 12—How Does the Holy Spirit Lead?

Read Jeremiah 17

How did the Holy Spirit lead Jesus into the wilderness?  “Jesus, being full of the Holy Spirit, felt its pressure in the very depths of his soul” (Abraham Kuyper).  God’s Spirit met no resistance in Jesus’ human nature.  But our hearts are “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jer. 17:9).  “The Holy Spirit always meets with the resistance of evil in our hearts” (Ibid).  How then does he lead us?

Did you notice the description of the man who hopes in the Lord in Jeremiah 17:9?  It is very similar to the description of the godly man in Psalm 1—the man who meditates in the word of God day and night.  When you or I consider our own subjective impressions to be the leading of God’s Spirit, we are on dangerous ground. Don’t just “follow your heart”: try the spirit of your own heart! (1 John 4:1)  The Spirit leads us with and speaks to us through God’s word.  Are your thoughts and emotions directed by the words of scripture?  Are you a ready hearer and doer of that word?  If not, you are not being led by God’s Spirit.

Sing or pray Psalter #65.


May 13—Spirit-Led Sons

Read Romans 8:1–17

It is in God’s word, through the preaching, reading, and study of that word, that the Holy Spirit witnesses to us that we are God’s children.  “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, ‘This is the way, walk ye in it,’ when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isa. 30:21).  That beautiful truth brings to mind the lyrics of two dear hymns:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent word!

                What more can he say than to you he hath said,               Who unto the Savior for refuge have fled?


When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

Are you led by God’s word and Spirit?  Rest assured: as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God!

Sing or pray Psalter #65.


May 14—Led into Trials

Read Heb. 12:1-11

The Spirit led our Lord to be tempted by the devil so that he would be fit to succor us in our temptations.  But why does he lead us into ways of trial?  Job wondered this, too, and the Lord admonished him through the mouth of his friend, “Despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty” (Job 5:17).

The Lord’s chastening of us is proof of his love for us.  As Proverbs 13:24 testifies, “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.”  As we just read in Hebrews 12:11, Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”  Knowing that, we are not only called to endure temptation, but also to “count it all joy” when we fall into diverse trials.  Why?  “The trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2–4).

We need grace to view our trials with that perspective.  That sustaining grace comes from the same Spirit who leads us in the way of trial.

Sing or pray Psalter #65.


May 15—Our Afflictions Come as Blessings

Read 2 Corinthians 12:1–10

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers,” once remarked: “The greatest earthly blessing that God can give to any of us is health, with the exception of sickness.  Sickness has frequently been of more use to the saints of God than health has.  If some men, that I know of, could only be favored with a month of rheumatism, it would, by God’s grace, mellow them marvelously…I would not wish for any man a long time of sickness and pain; but a twist now and then one might almost ask for him.  A sick wife, a newly-made grave, poverty, slander, sinking of spirit, might teach lessons nowhere else to be learned so well.  Trials drive us to the realities of religion…our afflictions come to us as blessings, though they frown like curses.”

                That was the experience of the apostle Paul too.  Reassured that God’s grace was sufficient for his weaknesses, Paul exclaimed, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

Sing or pray Psalter #65.


May 16—Succored in Temptations

Read James 1:1–27

“Though the Son of God was eternally purse and spotless, in humbling himself to be made in the flesh he subjected himself to the ministry of the Spirit…Now, if the incarnate Son of God required the Spirit for his birth, holy living, and holy service to the Father, we too must always rely upon the Spirit’s ministry”  (Chantry).

The Holy Spirit strengthened Jesus to resist the devil with the word.  Similarly, he applies the word expressly to us in our temptations.  When we covet material possessions, the Spirit warns us, “Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death” (Prov. 11:4).  When our tempers would flare, the Spirit instructs us, “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God” (James 1:20).  When we are prone to despair, the Spirit encourages us, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13).

Sing or pray Psalter #65.


May 17—Jesus Offered Himself through the Eternal Spirit

Read Hebrews 9:11–14

A little more than a month ago marked Good Friday, that day of the year on which we commemorate the crucifixion of our Savior.  The suffering and death of our Lord is terrible to consider, yet only meditation on this truth—on how great our sins and miseries are, on the only way in which we may be delivered from all our sins and miseries—will drive us to live the grateful life of the Christian.  When I consider that the holy Son of God endured the eternal wrath of God for my sins, this haunting melody comes to mind: “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?  Were you there when they crucified my Lord?  Sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.  Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”

How was it possible that Jesus offered himself as the spotless Lamb of God?  Hebrews 9:14 answers that question.  He offered himself through the power of the eternal Spirit.  We can be certain that that same Spirit will cleanse our consciences from dead works and equip us to serve the living God.

Sing or pray Psalter #29.


May 18—The Holy Spirit Walks With Us in the Valley of the Shadow

Read Proverbs 3:1-6

A little less than three months ago, I sat in a pew at the funeral of my dear Grandma.  Her pastor, Rev. Engelsma, spoke to us who mourned from Proverbs 3:5–6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  He comforted my grandfather by encouraging him to consider the goodness of the Lord to him throughout life and by reassuring him that God would continue to guide him.  Through our tears we rejoiced that Grandma was experiencing the glorious reality of Psalm 73:23–24:  “Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.  Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.”

Our Lord faced death triumphantly in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, also walks with us in the valley of the shadow.  In a certain sense we live all of our lives in that valley.  The consequences of Adam’s fall surround and fill us.  But when those shadows press especially close, the Spirit does not leave us comfortless.

Sing or pray Psalter #29.


May 19—The Holy Spirit Raises from the Dead

Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18

How does the Holy Spirit comfort us when death draws near?  He comforts us with the hope of the resurrection.  In Romans 8:11, the inspired apostle writes, But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”  The Spirit raised Jesus.  He also raises us to heavenly life.  He raises us to heavenly life already now as he sanctifies our souls, gradually mortifying our sinful natures and renewing in us the image of Christ.  One day he will raise our bodies, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Cor. 15:52).  “And so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess. 4:17)

Do you comfort your fellow saints with “these words”?

Sing or pray Psalter #29.


May 20—The “Come-Forte”

Read Luke 4:14–15

Do you remember when we considered the truth that the Holy Spirit is the divine, personal breath of God?  When we think of the breath that is the Holy Spirit, we shouldn’t think of the shallow respirations that characterize our breathing.  After all, one of the three signs that accompanied the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the sound as of a mighty, rushing wind.  God’s Breath is powerful.  That powerful Breath empowered our Lord to do the will of God in his earthly ministry.  Jesus rose from death in the power of the Spirit, and so will we.  Though we cannot see the Spirit, we see the fruits of his powerful, efficacious, sanctifying work already now in the lives of those who are God’s children.

Some time ago I listened to a lecture in which the speaker pointed out that when Jesus called the Spirit “the Comforter,” he was not implying that the Spirit is mild or soft-spoken.  The “Comforter” is the “Come-Forte.”  Not long ago our son learned in his piano lessons that in music, “forte” means “play loudly or forcefully.”  The Holy Spirit is the “Come-Forte”: he comes with power.

Sing or pray Psalter #29.


May 21—That Which Is Perfect Is Come

Read 1 Corinthians 13

1 Corinthians 13 is more than “The Love Chapter.”  It is a chapter in which Paul teaches that the fruit of love is more desirable than the gifts of speaking in tongues or prophecy.  Some today still teach that when the Holy Spirit comes, he still empowers believers with miraculous gifts, and he inspires new revelations.  We confess with the church throughout history that “The whole counsel of God, concerning all things necessary for his own glory, man’s salvation, faith, and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men” (Westminster Confession, Chapter 1, Art. 6).  The miraculous gifts that the Spirit gave to the apostles were given to them to confirm the gospel that they preached (Heb. 2:3–4).  Now “that which was in part” has been done away with: “that which is perfect is come.”  The doctrine that is contained in the Old and New Testaments is the true and complete doctrine of salvation.  That scripture is all that we need to mature “unto a perfect man,” “thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (Eph. 4:13; 2 Tim. 3:16).

Sing or pray Psalter #29.


May 22—The Fruits of the Spirit Are Inward Graces

Read Galatians 5:13–26

Not long ago I read the one-time Pentecostal bestseller The Cross and the Switchblade.  Several times in that book Pastor David Wilkerson, the author, describes those who had been baptized with the Holy Spirit as producing a soft, melodic, bubbling language that they themselves did not understand.  That speaking in tongues, according to Wilkerson, was the sign and seal that the prayer for the Holy Spirit had been answered.

                But the Spirit-inspired Holy Scriptures disagree.  First, even those who spoke in tongues in the times of the apostles were required to be able to interpret what they said (see 1 Cor. 12).  In addition to that, the Bible repeatedly testifies that the life of the Spirit is evidenced by a hatred of sin and a fighting against the affections and lusts of the flesh.  The marks of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit are not outward gifts, but inward spiritual graces that reveal themselves in these fruits: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and self-control.

Those are the fruits that characterize those who live in the Spirit and walk in the Spirit.  Those are the fruits that characterize the sons and daughters of God.

Sing or pray Psalter #29.


May 23—The Holy Spirit is Invisible

Read John 3:1–21

Throughout The Cross and the Switchblade the baptism of the Holy Spirit is described as a literal warmth in one’s breast or a trembling or tingling that fills one’s body.  Modern charismatics sometimes use similar terminology.  The Spirit-inspired Holy Scriptures disagree.  Jesus taught that the Holy Spirit is like the wind: he is invisible.  Since he is Spirit, we do not feel him working.  But like the wind, we can see the effects of his work.

Do you wonder if you are one of Christ’s elect, and if you have been given the Holy Spirit?  Don’t despair because you’ve never felt a warmth or tingling in your body.  Look for these evidences of his work: one in whom the Spirit dwells hates sin.  One in whom the Spirit dwells strives to be holy.  One in whom the Spirit dwells loves God’s truth.  One in whom the Spirit dwells loves God’s people.

The work of the Holy Spirit is an invisible work, but its manifestation must be highly visible in the life of the Christian.

Sing or pray Psalter #29.


May 24—“A Deeper Healing”

Read John 5: 1–18

In the fall of 2013, John MacArthur hosted a conference called “Strange Fire.”  The conference “evaluate[d] the doctrines, claims, and practices of the modern charismatic movement, and affirm[ed] the true Person and ministry of the Holy Spirit.”  Joni Eareckson Tada gave a memorable speech as part of that event.

Joni was paralyzed in a diving accident in 1967.  As she lay in the hospital, coming to grips with life as a quadriplegic, friends and family visited her.  Joni would ask them to read to her from John 5—the account of the healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda.  A short time later, Joni’s sister took her to see a well-known faith healer, who was much like the Benny Hinn of our day.  Joni wasn’t healed.  Years later, Joni traveled to Palestine.  For a brief time, she found herself sitting alone near the now-dry pool Bethesda.  There she wept and thanked the Lord for not healing her physically: the Lord had used her to grant her a deeper, spiritual healing.

Do you long to be free from the trials in your life?  They are the means through which the Spirit gives you a deeper healing, too.

Sing or pray Psalter #391.


May 25—The Holy Spirit was Poured out upon the Church

Read Ephesians 4:1–16

In only two days it will be Pentecost Sunday, the day on which the Spirit was poured out upon God’s people as they “were all with one accord in one place” (Acts 2:1).  There is significance to the fact that when the Holy Spirit was poured out, he was poured out upon the church, upon believers as they were gathered together as a body.  Those of us who live in the U.S. belong to a very individualistic society.  That reality can contribute to our forgetfulness of the truth that we are called “by this same Spirit [to be] united as members of one body in true brotherly love” (Form for the Administration of the Lord’s Supper).

We are called to show that brotherly love to one another in word and deed.  The Lord assists us to that end through his Holy Spirit.  He give us gifts and graces that we’re called to exercise for the benefit of our fellow saints, “till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man.”

Sing or pray Psalter #391.


May 26—The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity

Read Acts 2:

The word “Pentecost” means “fifty.”  Pentecost was the Old Testament Feast of Weeks, which took place seven weeks – or 50 days – after the Passover was held.  It was on this day that the church was gathered together, and the Holy Spirit, the third person of the divine Trinity, was poured out upon all saints.

We must realize that the Holy Spirit is called the third person of the Trinity because he is the third person revealed in the scriptures, not because he is third in importance.  After all, “The Spirit’s ministry consists in his bringing the promises of Christ to remembrance, in his glorifying him in our hearts, in his shedding abroad the love of God in us, in his witnessing with us as to our spiritual state and condition, in his sealing us to the day of redemption, being the earnest of our inheritance, in his anointing us with consolation, in his confirming of our adoption, in his being present with us in our supplication” (John Owen).  That is a very important work indeed!

Sing or pray Psalter #391.


May 27—Praying God’s Names

Read Psalm 18:1–19

Now that Pentecost has passed, we’re going to set aside our study of the Holy Spirit and his work and resume meditating on the psalms.

Psalm 18 is a prayer-song.  David begins this song by exclaiming how he loves the Lord, and then he continues by listing names of the Lord.  Jehovah is David’s rock, his fortress, his deliverer, his God, his strength, the one in whom he trusts, his buckler (or shield), the horn of his salvation, and his high tower.

Do you sometimes struggle to know how to begin your prayers?  I sometimes begin my prayers by meditating on one of God’s names.  After all, Jesus taught us to begin our prayers with this petition: “Hallowed be Thy name.”  According to Lord’s Day 47 of the Heidelberg Catechism, that petition is a request first that we might rightly know God and praise him in all his works.  It is also a plea that we might “order and direct our whole lives…that [his] name may never be blasphemed, but rather honored and praised on our account.”  That’s the petition with which David begins Psalm 18.

Sing or pray Psalter #34.


May 28—Call Upon the Lord in Your Distress

Read 2 Samuel 22:1–20

Psalm 18’s lengthy heading tells us that David spoke this song “in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.”  The same words are recorded in 2 Samuel 22.

After David prays the names of Jehovah, he remembers his distress.  Fear of his enemies had rolled over him like ocean waves.  The threat of death had closed in on him and entangled him.  In his distress David cried to God.

Our distresses—we usually refer to them simply as “stresses”—don’t seem quite as pressing as the troop of armed men who sought David’s life, do they?  But we would do well to remember that whatever causes us distress or stress is given to us by God in order to draw us to himself and to encourage us to make necessary changes in our lives.  What is the source of the distress in your life?  Homework?  Your job?  Needy children? A besetting sin?  Does that distress drive you to call upon Jehovah?

Sing or pray Psalter #34.


May 29 – Keep Yourself from Iniquity

Read Psalm 18:20–30

Does the stress in your life drive you to God, or does it drive you from him?  Missionary Hudson Taylor said, “It doesn’t matter how great the pressure is.  What really matters is where the pressure lies: whether it comes between me and God or whether it presses me nearer His heart.”  David’s distress pressed him nearer to God’s heart, and God delivered David from that distress because he delighted in him.

We know that David was a sinful person, just like you and I are.  Yet God delighted in him because he saw him in Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  As we considered not long ago, those who belong to the Savior are given his Spirit, and the Holy Spirit makes them hate sin.  David fought against his sins.  He put God’s judgments before his face, and kept his ways.

The same must be true of you.  When you are sincere in your love for God’s word and earnest in your battle against your sin, you can trust that God will show himself merciful to you and save you from the stress that would otherwise overwhelm you.

Sing or pray Psalter #34.


May 30—He Teaches My Hands to War

Read Psalm 18:31–50

From where I am typing at the kitchen table, I can see three of my children jumping on the trampoline.  Our two older sons are sparring as they bounce, with boards that they whittled into swords.  Our six-year-old daughter is prancing around the perimeter, oblivious to their duel.

Spiritually speaking, we are like my daughter: oblivious to the spiritual battle that rages around and within us, and perfectly content to remain that way.  But God teaches our hands to war.  He gives us his Spirit, who puts into our hands and hearts the two-edged sword of the word of God.  He shields us with the promise of our certain salvation, and gives us the strength we need to whet and wield that sword against our three-fold enemy.

A good soldier must be familiar with his weapon.  How well do you know the word of God?

Sing or pray Psalter #34.


May 31—The Outgoing of the Morning Rejoices

Read Psalm 19:1–6

This morning, when I awoke, heaven and the horizon met in a pale glow crowned with smoky clouds.  By the time I had breakfast ready, the sky flamed pink, and the edges of the blue clouds blazed orange.  Truly, our God makes “the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice,” and his “mercies are new every morning (Ps. 65:8; Lam. 3:23).

What a wonder our sun is!  God placed our world at the perfect distance from the sun: we do not freeze, nor are we burned up.  Just as God’s Son is the source of all spiritual life, so the sun is the source of the light necessary to sustain all life on our planet.  The rotations and revolutions of this earth in relationship to the sun determine the length of our days and the seasons that, true to God’s word, never cease.

There is no people nor nation, no speech or language, where the sun’s testimony to the greatness and faithfulness of our God is not heard.

Sing or pray Psalter #39.


June 1—To Whom Will Ye Liken God?

Read Isaiah 40:18–31

Do you see the mighty hand of God in creation?  In the sunrise, in the seed that springs from the ground, in the creation and birth of a baby, in the beating of your own heart?  We become immune to these workings of God because he is so faithful.  With every sunrise we should exclaim, “He did it again!”

In a precise definition of the term, a sunrise is not a miracle.  Neither is the sprouting of a seed, conception and birth, or the beating of our hearts.  Miracles are the works of God in the physical realm that are “uncommon to human experience, and unexplainable in terms of the physical secondary agents” (Chantry.)  But the usual workings of God in this world are no less the effects of God’s power.  Every beat of your heart and every sunrise testifies to his mighty providence.  He is the creator who calls the stars by their names.  He is the one who upholds all things by the word of his power.  By his Son all things consist (Heb. 1:3; Col 1:17).

Do you wait upon that mighty Lord?

Sing or pray Psalter #39.


June 2—The Invisible Things of Him are Clearly Seen

Read Romans 1:16–25

Psalm 19:3 teaches, “There is no speech nor language where their voice [the voice of the heavens] is not heard.”  Romans 1:20 reads, “For the invisible things of [God] from the creation are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.”  Poet Gerard Manly Hopkins echoed, “The world is charge with the grandeur of God. / It will flame out, like shining from shook foil.”

What is the response of the reprobate to creation’s inescapable testimony? “When they knew God, they glorify him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”  Instead of worshipping the Creator, they make themselves idols out of his creatures.

In contrast, we who have been sanctified by God’s Spirit can see our Father’s power all throughout his world.  Take note of the ways in which he reveals his power in your life today.  Do so in order that you may glorify him as God, and be thankful.

Sing or pray Psalter #39.


June 3—Espoused to Christ

Read Isaiah 62

In Psalm 19:5 David describes the glorious sun “as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber.”  Does that verse bring to your mind the Bridegroom, of whom all other bridegrooms are only a picture?  His name is Jesus Christ.  All who believe in him—child or adult, married or single, male or female—are members of his bride.

How does Scripture describe our glorious bridegroom?  He is the one who so loved us that he gave himself for us.  He sanctifies us and cleanses us, in order that he might present to himself a glorious, holy bride (Eph. 5:25–27).  Do you strive to live the life of a chaste virgin (2 Cor. 11:2), a life worthy of the bridegroom who rejoices over you?

When our bridegroom comes, he will shine with the light of 10,000 suns.  The glory of his holiness will so fill the universe that every eye on earth will see him.   To some his coming will be terrible.  To those who have been washed by his blood, his coming will mark the end of all their sorrows, and the answer to all of their prayers.

Sing or pray Psalter #39.


June 4—Most Perfect is the Law of God

Read Psalm 19

David makes an abrupt shift between verses six and seven of Psalm 19.  His contemplations of the creation drives him to consider Jehovah’s perfect law.

Article 2 of the Belgic Confession speaks of the two ways in which God is made known to us.  First, we know him through the general revelation of creation, “which is before our eyes as a most elegant book, wherein all creatures, great and small, are as so many characters leading us to contemplate the invisible things of God, namely, His power and divinity…  All which things are sufficient to convince men, and leave them without excuse.”  The article continues by speaking of God’s special revelation: “He makes Himself more clearly and fully known to us by His holy and divine Word, that is to say, as far as is necessary for us to know in this life, to His glory and our salvation.”

Do the things that you witness in creation drive you to your Bible in order that you might more fully know the divine Creator?

Sing or pray Psalter #40.


June 5—Three Sieves

Read Psalm 19:7–14

The pure and precious word of God drives David to exclaim, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”  David knew that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matt. 12:34).  He was also aware that “the tongue is fire, a world of iniquity” (James 3:6).  No doubt you’ve experienced the destructive nature of the tongue—that of your own tongue and of the tongues of others.

Have you ever used a sieve?  Maybe you’ve seen your mom use one when she’s cooking macaroni and cheese: once the pasta is finished boiling, she might pour it into a sieve to strain off the water.  Missionary Amy Carmichael referred to “three sieves” through which a Christian’s words must pass.  These three sieves will not let many of the wicked things we might be tempted to say filter through their holes.  Here’s a rhyme to help you remember them: “Before words from your mouth may go, they first through these three sieves must flow: Truth, Kindness, and Necessity.”

Are the mediations of your heart and the words of your mouth acceptable in God’s sight?

Sing or pray Psalter #40.


June 6—A Prayer for the King

Read Psalm 20

Psalm 20 is different from the other psalms that we’ve considered.  David composed this prayer, but it’s a prayer that his subjects offer on his behalf.  These are their petitions for their king: they desire that the Lord will hear his prayer, preserve his life, strengthen him for his many tasks, accept his sacrifices, and crown his efforts with success.  They knew that their king would face trouble, but because their mutual salvation is the joyful basis of their prayers, they prayed in confidence.  David was encouraged by their prayers for him: “Now know I that the Lord saveth his anointed,” he exclaims in verse six.

Do you remember to pray for those who rule over you?  You can pray the same things that the Israelites prayed for David for your husband, your parents, your teachers, your pastor, and the office-bearers in your church.  God also commands us to pray for those who rule over us in the secular sphere (1 Tim. 2:2).  Pray for their salvation.  Pray that God use their rule to maintain a country in which you’re able to “lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”

Sing or pray Psalter #44.


June 7—Jehovah Nissi

Read Exodus 17:8–16

Psalm 20:5b reads, “In the name of our God we will set up our banners.”  Verse seven says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.”  The confession of the Israelites in David’s day echoes the name of God that Moses records in Exodus 17:17: Jehovah-Nissi means “The Lord is My Banner.” Their confidence is ours yet in the 21st century.


Jehovah Nissi

My country ‘tis of Thee,

Who telleth the number of the stars.

And with Thy stripes we are healed.

Absolved from all allegiance to sin,

we, the pilgrims, seek a more perfect city.

Declare independence:

where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,

secured for ourselves and our posterity.

O death, where is they sting?

Land for which my fathers died,

Of thee I sing,

My hand over my heart.

Sing or pray Psalter #44.