Acts 4:31-37 John and Peter had just been freed by the elders and priests in Jerusalem. They had gone back to the church and reported God’s goodness to them. After a prayer of thanksgiving and request for the boldness to speak Christ’s name, they received a striking answer of an earthquake and the Holy Ghost. They then began to live out of their faith. What about us? Do we live by faith? Do we love the brother and care for his needs? Are we Barnabases and are we willing to help all the kingdom causes in whatever ways God has blessed us? Sing or read Psalter 203.
Acts 5:1-11 Into yesterday’s beautiful scene Satan reared his ugly head. He did this by using the sin of pride. Ananias and Sapphira not having the love of Christ in their hearts desired the praise of men. This is a sin common to us all. We live in the generation of “me first.” We like to see our names in print for what we have done. Sometimes we go so far as to take credit away from our God. Ananias’ and Sapphira’s deaths served as a great warning to the church of Jerusalem, and they should warn us as well to walk only in God’s ways and not our own. Sing or read Psalter 104 especially stanzas 1-3, 7, 8, & 10.
Acts 5:12-24 Words of this life! What life? Is it the life of this world which is full of sin and rebellion? Is it the life that causes people to wait for the weekend so that they can carry out their plans of sin? No, the life of verse 20 is the life that Christ gives of Himself. It is eternal life obtained by grace through faith. It is the life that sustains us during our sojourn in this wicked world. This life helps us to choose the good and abhor the evil. This is the promise of the new Jerusalem where we will enjoy life in heaven with all the saints singing praises unto our Redeemer, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world! Do you look for this life? Sing or read Psalter 32.
Acts 5:25-33 Young people, can you take the words of verse 29 on your lips and live those words? Do you want to obey God and not man? That’s what Peter did at the possible cost of his life. Sometimes we receive a “little” ridicule because we choose the paths of Jehovah over the fun of this world. I write “little” because in comparison to what Peter was going through our griefs are very small. Choosing the ways of God means that we will obey all of His laws in all aspects of our lives. Young and old alike must make these conscious choices every day of our lives. Choosing anything but God’s ways are to choose the path of Satan. Where do you like to walk? Sing or read Psalter 232.
Acts 5:34-42 Verse 41 recounts the apostles’ reaction to being beaten and whipped by the council. They rejoiced that they could suffer shame for the name of God. This is a whole lot different than the pride exhibited in the first part of this chapter. There are two examples for us to follow in this chapter. We must pick one or the other. If we pick the first, the end is destruction in the everlasting fires of hell. If we choose the second, we will experience the blessings of God both in this life and the life to come. “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.” Sing or read Psalter 210.
Psalm 68:1-6 Our God is the God of those who appear downtrodden in this life. Is that you? Are you seemingly out of it? Why is that? If it is the path that God has chosen for you, then rejoice and sing unto Him who is in heaven. You can do that because according to verse 5 even though you may not have a father, mother, wife, or husband on this earth, you do have a protector. That protector is Jehovah Whose name is far above all other names. What a comfort this is. This comfort is far above anything we can find on this earth and in this life. Thanks be to God! Sing or read Psalter 347.
Psalm 68:7-16 Do you live on the hill of God? Do you dwell there in complete confidence that God will provide all of your needs? Are you able to rely completely on the God who protected the whole nation of Israel on its journey from Egypt to Canaan? This is the beauty of the church. By way of faithful church attendance and participation, we receive the assurance of our salvation and place in glory. God has given us this place of refuge from the evils of the world. Flee to that church, rejoice in its beauty, and love that church. Sing or read Psalter 133.
Psalm 68:17-20 The Psalmist extols the greatness of God throughout this Psalm. In verse 19 he proclaims God to be blessed. That should be our confession as well. We must constantly see in God all things which are worthy of our praise. We do not do this of ourselves but we do this because He makes us able to say, “Blessed be the Lord.” We must always confess that He daily gives us benefits. As we come to the end of each day, we must look back and say, “What great things has God given me today! What a great God I have! Blessed be Jehovah’s name from this time forth and forever more!” Sing or read Psalter 197.
Psalm 68:21-28 There are times when we feel that confessing God’s name before men has no benefits. We feel that we are wasting our time. These verses tell us different. The world notices a person who confesses God’s name and that confession. Sometimes they persecute such a person, and the day is coming when they may kill such a person, but they do notice. If we think we stand on our own merits, we will fall. If we pray the words of verse 28, then we will stand now, and then stand before our glorious God in heaven. All strength is from Him who strengthens the feeblest of hands. Sing or read Psalter 181.
Psalm 68:29-35 Are you a singing people? Do you love to sing forth the praises of Him who rides in the heavens? Do you lift up your voice in song to Him whose strength is in the clouds? If you do not like to sing, why not? Do you think your voice isn’t good enough? Doesn’t Christ have the power to take our poorly sung songs and make them acceptable to God? Do you think the songs of Zion aren’t fun to sing? Maybe we better reexamine our motives for singing. Singing is one of the ways we thank God for our salvation. Are we thankful? If we are, we should sing. We will be singing in heaven, and we must sing on this earth. Sing or read Psalter 269.
Revelation 2:1-7 People of God, have you lost your first love? For some of us that first love was exhibited as we listened with rapt interest to the Bible stories told by our parents or kindergarten teachers. For others the love was hearing the Reformed faith preached for the first time. Have we lost that love? The church of Ephesus had, and had to be rebuked for that sin. Do we need to rededicate ourselves to the love of God and His truths? Do we need to go back to our love for the Scriptures? Do we have other loves that get in the way of our love for God and His word? We must hear the word of the Holy Spirit and return to our first love. Sing or read Psalter 34 especially stanzas 1, 2, and 10.
Revelation 2:8-11 People of God, do you long to be like the church at Smyrna? This church seemingly had all sorts of troubles. They were very poor, they had to fight troubles from those who said they, too, were people of God, and they had other kinds of persecution to fear. Do you long for those situations in life? Smyrna also had the testimony in being rich in the Word of God. This is one of the churches who was not rebuked by the Spirit. This church is a model for us to follow even as we head into the days of Antichrist. Let us be faithful and prepare for the day when we will be given the crown of life. Sing or read Psalter 35 especially stanzas 1, and 3-5.
Revelation 2:12-17 People of God, do you hold fast the most glorious name of Jehovah even when you are being ridiculed? Have you denied the faith when tempted with an evil of this world? The church at Pergamos had held fast the faith even when at least one of their members was put to death for the faith. As we mingle with the world in this week, are we willing to proclaim His name in front of any with whom we come into contact? There is a battle to fight, but we do not fight it by concealing the name of the captain of our salvation. Sing or read Psalter 352.
Revelation 2:18-29 People of God, do you live according to the belief of the truth presented in verse 23? Do you believe that God knows all that is in our minds and hearts? Do you believe that in the day of judgment we will be held accountable for our actions in this life? If you believe this truth, do you live out of this truth? This is quite an awesome thing! Not only does God know what we think, do, or speak, but He will also ask us about them when we appear before the judgment seat of Christ! The members in the church at Thyatira had to be reminded of this truth and we do as well. Let us listen to what the Spirit says to the church of all ages in this matter. Sing or read Psalter 383.
Revelation 3:1-6 People of God, are you Christian in more than bearing the name? That was the sin of the church at Sardis. They had the name but they did not live out of that name. It does us no good to say we are people of God if we do not show by our lives that we are people of God. We need to remember all that we have been taught and use all that we have been taught in our lives. We must be Christian, that is, those who are anointed out of all the people of the world, in every aspect of our lives. Let us watch and live lives of those worthy of the white robes given to the righteous. Sing or read Psalter 356.
Revelation 3:7-13 People of God, are you zealous to spread the gospel to the four corners of this world? Are we like the church at Philadelphia looking for open doors to proclaim the word of God? This church like that at Smyrna found no rebuke in their message from Christ. They had been faithful with the work placed before them. They were good stewards of the truths found in God’s word and were carrying out the mandate to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” It was not easy for them, but they were doing it in the strength of the name of the Most High. This is our calling; are we doing it? Do we wish to be pillars in the living temple of God? Sing or read Psalter 264 especially stanzas 1-4.
Revelation 3:14-22 People of God, do you like it when God chastens you? We should, you know. God only chastens those whom he loves. He desires them to walk in His ways and so at times He takes the shepherd’s rod and staff and brings us back into the ways of righteousness. Sometimes His chastening seems grievous, but we must realize it is for our profit. The church at Laodicea was chafing under the chastening of God. In fact, the church hated it so much that it was in danger of losing its candlestick. What a horrible thing! Listen, people of God, for His message in all your life and watch until the day of his coming. Sing or read Psalter 329.
Deuteronomy 18:1-8 In the Old Testament times priests and Levites were separated for the work of ministry. They each had various duties to carry out for the worship of Jehovah. God set them apart and did not allow them to have any land to work for their daily bread. They were to be supported through the offerings brought to the tabernacle or temple. We have the same opportunity to support the preaching of the name of the Lord our God. Do we take advantage of the opportunity? Are we truly a giving people – supporting the cause of preaching the gospel to the nations? Our duty extends beyond supporting the local pastor. We must also support the training of such men as well as missionaries that take the word to the four corners of the world. Sing or read Psalter 183.
Deuteronomy 18:9-14 We live in the land which Jehovah has given us. This land like Canaan has the abominations of the nations found in it. All around us are the gods of the people whose king is Satan. Do we follow these gods? Do we listen to the music Satan has given his people? Do we allow our children to walk in the fire of Satan? God commands us that we not walk in the ways of the world. Our young men and fathers must not do the things and want the things that the world’s young men and fathers do and want. Our young women and mothers must not do the things and want the things that the world’s young women and mothers do and want. Our God commands that we be perfect as we walk in His ways. Sing or read Psalter 308.
Deuteronomy 18:15-22 The Prophet of verse 15 has come to this world. We are required to listen to the words of Christ and are responsible when we do not follow them. One of those words is that He is coming again! The Prophet will return to this world and will require of us an accounting for all that we have done or said. How will we know that it is He? We will know even as the signs of the times come to pass as He has told us in Matthew 24 and throughout the book of Revelation. His words are “true and righteousness altogether” as confessed in Psalm 19. Watch, young people, and live lives that show that you are watching for the return of the Prophet. Sing or read Psalter 162.
I Corinthians 2:1-5 Two days ago, the Lord willing, you sat under the preaching of the Word of God. What did you hear? Was it the pure preaching that proclaims Jesus Christ crucified for the sins of His people? Here Paul declares that the preaching of the Word, even though it may not be with the eloquence of a silver-tongued orator, must contain that element. Were you moved by that message, and did it give you hope as you live in this wicked world? Preaching is important to the child of God as it is that message that proclaims Christ to us as no other means can. We believe that the preaching is the means of grace for the believer, and the Bible proclaims that by preaching is the means for our salvation. Hold the preaching dear, people of God, and seek the pure preaching of the Word. Sing or read Psalter 348.
I Corinthians 2:6-10 Do you know what a blessing the Holy Spirit is for us? Our God’s ways are incomprehensible and past finding out. Yet by the Holy Spirit Who searches and knows the deep things of God’s counsel we know the way to our salvation. We may not understand how God Who is perfect can love such wretched sinners as we are. But we can understand that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us. And by faith we can believe that truth and live in the way of the wisdom of God as well as putting aside the wisdom of this world. Thank God for the work of the Spirit, and thank God for His wisdom. Sing or read Psalter 287.
I Corinthians 2:11-16 Do you use your “mind of Christ”? Every child of God has that mind. Do we use it as we go about our daily work? When we speak, do we use the words of Christ or the words of the world? When we sing, whose songs do we sing, those of Satan or those of Christ? When we make decisions concerning our life, upon what standard or philosophy do we base those decisions? God has freely made us spiritual men; do we live as spiritual men, or do we live as natural man governed by his father Satan? Sing or read Psalter 70.
Proverbs 11:1-6 Do you value your righteousness, young people? No, not the righteousness that you have gained yourselves. We are not righteous except for the gift that God has given us. Your righteousness must show in your daily lives. As you work this summer, are you giving your employer a just day’s work? Are you showing your righteousness by the entertainment that you choose whether it be during the day or during the night? Living in the righteousness that we have been graciously given will preserve us in whatever place we find ourselves. Thank God for such a gift and live out of that gift. Sing or read Psalter 187.
Proverbs 11:7-11 Some of us may have had to attend the funeral of a loved one in the past months, or we may have to attend a funeral in the near future. For the child of God there is great hope in death. A hope that the wicked cannot understand now and will not achieve in the future. We have the hope and confidence of eternal life. Is that your hope, young people? Do you view death as the passageway to eternal life, an escape from this vale of sorrows? The wicked’s end of Hell is sure; but so is the believer’s hope of heaven. Sing or read Psalter 136.
Proverbs 11:12-16 Paul in Ephesians 4:15 sums up Proverbs 11:13. Do you speak the truth in love, people of God? The phrase “in love” is very important here. We can speak the truth about someone without loving that person. We are quick to defend ourselves when we gossip by saying that what we said was the truth about a person or his deeds. But yet we do not follow the exposition of the ninth commandment about promoting the honor of our neighbor. We quite often know things that are best kept to ourselves. We must do that if we truly love God and our neighbor. Sing or read Psalter 104 especially stanzas 1, 6, and 9.
Proverbs 11:17-21 Do you sow righteousness in your daily life? As you go through each day, do you seek the opportunity to sow righteousness? Young people, as you seek fellowship and entertainment, what kinds of seeds are you sowing? The wild oats of evil are never blessed by God in this life or in the life to come. As you work, are you sowing righteousness in your relationships with your employer or fellow workers? There is a great reward in the sowing of righteousness. That reward is contentment now and life eternal in the future. These rewards are not possible consequences in sowing righteousness but rather they are sure because they are the rewards promised by God. Sing or read Psalter 99 especially stanzas 2-5.
Proverbs 11:22-26 Do you care for the poor, people of God? These verses have much to say about our responsibility to help those less blessed than ourselves. First of all we see that we do it because God says that it is good. Next we care for the poor because we see that God will bless our care of the poor. Finally we see that there are great spiritual benefits when we make the care of the poor our business. Jesus Himself told us that we have the poor among us always. He also told us that when we help the least of the brethren, we are helping Christ. We have the incentive and the model; let us seek out the poor and display the mercies of Christ to them. Sing or read Psalter 113 especially stanzas 1, 2, 11, and 12.
Proverbs 11:27-31 Are you a soul winner? Sometimes we think this odd terminology for a Reformed Christian. But yet Solomon by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit calls us to win souls. This soul winning is not the idea that we on our own make men Christians. It is not our works or efforts that persuade a man to walk in the way of Christ. To believe that would go against the testimony of Scripture. But rather our daily lives must be examples so that those around us will know of the hope of our calling. Our lives of righteousness may very well be the means God uses to draw others to Him. Sing or read Psalter 172.
Psalm 1 As we consider God’s creation in the summer time we cannot help but be struck by trees. Wherever there is a little water, some sort of tree grows. Sometimes they are the majestic oaks or redwoods. Sometimes the humble Chinese elm or olive trees make their home by a water source. All trees have some things in common. Their roots seek out water so that they can produce fruit. Trees have another thing in common. God gives them to us as a picture of the righteous man. The righteous man is placed by the water of life. His roots must seek it out. Consider the trees this summer, but also consider your calling to be like the tree and bring forth fruit. Sing or read Psalter 2.