Deuteronomy 6:1-7 For most of us, school has or will begin soon. Because of the covenant all of God’s people have a responsibility to see that the covenant seed are instructed according to God’s Word and law. As parents and grandparents we must teach God’s Word to our children. That is the command of verse seven of this passage. We have no other choice but that. And we must be always teaching. That is the meaning of verse seven. There is no time in which we should not teach our children the ways of Jehovah. Let us do that diligently during this next school year. Sing or read Psalter 214, especially stanzas 1, 3, and 6.
Proverbs 4:1-9 Yesterday I addressed the older members of God’s church. Today I wish the students to pay close heed to the Word of God. Parents must teach; of that there is no doubt. Just as sure is the fact that children and young people must learn. When you go to school and hear your teacher’s instruction, you do not have an option to ignore his instruction. You have the obligation to get Jehovah’s wisdom, and then after you have gotten it not to forget it but to use it. It must be something that you love very dearly. It is the principal thing according to Solomon. Students, heed God’s Word in this new school year and seek His wisdom. Sing or read Psalter 322.
II Thessalonians 2:1-5 Do you remember all the words of Christ that have been told you? That means do you remember His words as they have been brought to you in catechism, in church, and in your own reading of the Bible? That is what Paul is asking in verse five. True, he is just writing of one aspect, but we can extend that idea to include all the words of Christ. Hearing Christ in catechism and in the preaching lays a tremendous responsibility upon us. Therefore we may not take those things lightly. We must prepare to hear Christ and we must reflect upon what we have heard. Hear Christ, people of God, and remember His words. Sing or read Psalter 333.
II Thessalonians 2:6-12 In these few verses we are reminded that not every person in the world, in fact not even the large majority of the world’s people, is a child of God. This will become more evident as the day of Christ’s return draws nearer and nearer. That should affect the way that we live with these people. That should tell us that we should not fellowship with them except in ways that are necessary to our daily life. That should guide our entertainment in that we are not entertained by their music, their movies, their television programs, or their books. As we go to the haven of worship today let us ask God to help us be vigilant even as we await the day of the return of our Savior. Sing or read Psalter 92, especially stanzas 1 and 8.
II Thessalonians 2:13-17 From eternity we are called by God to everlasting life. He has carried out this calling through His Son Christ Jesus. Because of that calling and Christ’s sacrifice to us, we can have much comfort even in this world of sin and wickedness. We do not have to doubt our salvation. By God’s grace we can say with confidence that we are children of the King. We have the hope that Christ will return and take us to heaven to reign with Him there. That is our comfort, and that is the means which can strengthen us through whatever we do. Let us pray to our heavenly Father for a full measure of His grace to receive such a wonderful comfort. Sing or read Psalter 202.
Habakkuk 2:1-8 Children of God, do you wait to see what God will say unto you? That is what Habakkuk had to do. He had to watch for the word of the Lord. In verse three he confessed that the vision of God would both surely come and would not lie. Is that our way in this life, or do we run ahead of God and try to do things before we should? If we have done this, we also have met failure. Things done in our time and in our strength have no hope of success. Things done in God’s time and by His strength have every hope of success. Ponder this idea and pray for this to be our guide even as we wait for the return of Christ. Sing or read Psalter 100.
Habakkuk 2:9-14 This portion of Scripture continues with the idea that it is foolish to try and carry out our wills and our sinful desires. Verse fourteen gives the reason why these attempts are foolish. Here we see that the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of Jehovah. At the end of time all men will see that God’s glory was what should have been sought after. Not the glory of a single man, a single family, or even a single nation. God’s glory is what we must week after. We must do this now in every aspect of our lives. This is our calling even as we wait for His return. Sing or read Psalter 76, especially stanzas 1, 2, and 4.
Habakkuk 2:15-20 Do you know where Jehovah’s temple is? Is it just the church building where you hear His name proclaimed? Is He just in His temple on Sunday as we listen to the sermon? The answer to these questions is a resounding no! We know that God dwells in the whole world. We also know from Scripture that we are temples of the Holy Spirit. Because He is always before us, we must always keep silence and listen to Him. We may not try to change the Bible to say what we wish it to say. We must listen to His Word and obey it. We have no other choice if we wish for peace in this life as well as the life to come. Sing or read Psalter 266.
Matthew 18:1-6 What a question is asked in verse one! Do we dare ask such a thing? Sadly, I believe the answer is yes. This question is asked out of the greatest of pride-filled thoughts. The sin of pride has caused many evils in the church of the past and present. By the sin of pride whole churches have been torn apart. By the sin of pride men have left the church not wishing to bow before the teaching of Scripture and the will of God. To be a citizen of the kingdom takes extreme humility on the part of the child of God. Let us pray for that humility so that we may have peace in our churches, in our families, and in our own souls. Sing or read Psalter 232.
Matthew 18:7-9 Are you willing to remove from your lives that which causes you to sin? That is the instruction Christ gives the church in these verses. We must put away that which in itself may not be wrong, but yet because of the use to which we put it, it causes us to sin. Christ here speaks of offending body parts, but I think we can extend the meaning to things in our lives. If we cannot glorify God in our use of something, it better have no part in our lives. This could be painful if we must rid ourselves of some prized or expensive possession. This could be painful if we must tell some people that we can no longer associate with them because they are preventing us from glorifying the God of heaven and earth. But this must be done if we are to escape the torments of hell. Sing or read Psalter 179.
Matthew 18:10-14 No matter what age we are, what a blessed comfort we have in verse 14! Because of our heavenly Father not one of His children will perish into hell. When we fall into sin, sometimes we might be inclined to doubt our salvation. We might wonder if God wants such sinners as we are in His kingdom of perfection. Here we have the comfort that from a baby we are under the care of almighty God. This should give us incentive to live lives pleasing to Him. We should want to walk in ways that meet His approval day by day and hour by hour. Let that be our goal. Sing or read Psalter 358.
Matthew 18:15-20 In these days in which fellowship between believers becomes more and more precious, verse 20 can prove of utmost comfort. Sometimes I hear that our young people have trouble finding friends. But yet in this verse we see that it only takes two or three God-fearing people to insure God’s favor with His presence. Is this your goal when you get together, young people? Are you wanting God’s favor on your gatherings? Adam found great companionship when he walked with God in Eden. We cannot have that feeling because of the fall, but we can strive for a small beginning here on earth of the fellowship we will have with God in heaven. Sing or read Psalter 421, especially stanzas 3 and 4.
Matthew 18:21-35 Young people, do you try to forgive your brothers or sisters in the Lord? Do you do it on seventy times seven occasions? Jesus’ teaching in these verses does not allow us to hold a grudge against a fellow believer no matter how much we feel they have hurt us. We must be forgiving people. And this forgiveness must be expressed to the person who has wronged us. As young people, you must do this, too. When someone offends you, you might be quick to figure out ways to get back at him. This is not the teaching of Jesus Who forgave all of our sins. You must go to him and forgive him. And you must do this over and over again. Christ forgives us until the day we die; we must follow that blessed example. Sing or read Psalter 349, especially stanzas 3 and 4.
Psalm 89:1-7 How often do we take the words of verse one on our lips? How often are we found praising the mercies of the Lord either in song or just by means of words? Are we found making known Jehovah’s faithfulness to our parents, grandparents, or those younger than we are? Sure, we sing of Jehovah’s goodness in church or in school programs, but do we do this spontaneously? God’s goodness is more than we can understand even if we spend much time pondering it. It is something we should praise often even if we only have a little knowledge of the good things He has done for us. As we go through our lives let us speak of God’s faithfulness to others. Sing or read Psalter 241, especially stanzas 1-3.
Psalm 89:8-14 How often do we ponder the fact that our God is great and almighty? If we think of this fact, do our lives show that we know what this means? As we live in this world, do we let the greatness of God shine in our lives? Or do we often rely on the greatness of self? Most of us know that our salvation is not dependent on our strength. Do most of us know that the rest of our life is not dependent on our strength either? Do we make plans which ignore the greatness of God? Let us pray for the grace to let God’s strength rule our lives, and let us pray with the confidence that He will hear our prayers and bless our lives. Sing or read Psalter 317, especially stanzas 1, 2, and 4.
Psalm 89:15-21 People of God, do you feel as if the waves of despair are crashing all around you? Do you have a situation from which you feel there is no escape? Has a loved one died, or a child gone astray, or the world seems to take away your joy? These verses should bring tremendous comfort. First of all we must know that we are the people of God. Then we must believe that He will help us and cause us to have much joy. How can we have this confidence? Verse eighteen tells us that Jehovah is our defense and king! What more do we need? He will help us in any trouble. Let us pray for the blessedness of those who walk in the countenance of Jehovah. Sing or read Psalter 242.
Psalm 89:19-28 Here we have a beautiful prophecy of Christ. He is to be like David – the man after God’s own heart. But yet He will call God His Father because He is the Son of God. He is higher than all kings on earth, and He will rule over all nations. He will fulfill the covenant that God has made with His people. What a comfort this Psalm can be for us. We can read these words and realize how great Christ is. These words can give us great hope as we wait for Christ’s return to deliver us from this valley of the shadow of death. Because we are the seed of Christ, we know that we will enjoy eternal life in heaven. Sing or read Psalter 243, especially stanzas 1-6.
Psalm 89:29-37 Even though these words seem harsh and sorrowful, they are full of comfort. We know that we fall into sin. We have felt our Father’s chastening rod often. But yet we know that the covenant of grace is sure. We know that because of Christ we will never perish into everlasting torment. God will not break His covenant with us. That is as sure as the sun and moon in the heavens. God’s Word is truth, and that we can always believe. Sing or read Psalter 243, especially stanzas 7-9.
Psalm 89:38-45 Here we see that we do not get away with our sins. Even as Israel was spoiled by enemies because they fell into grievous sin, we too will be chastened by God when we do not walk in His ways. We must keep the commandments as they are written. When it says “thou shalt not…” we must obey that strictly. There are no situations which allow us to put aside a commandment of Jehovah. Israel tried it, and they had plenty of reasons for their actions. God took them into captivity. God will also bring to us grief when we fail to heed His law perfectly. Sing or read Psalter 140.
Psalm 89:46-52 The psalmist, bowed under the weight of his and the nation’s sins, asks when will he be delivered. But then he finishes with the beautiful words of verse fifty-two. Is that our confession? Do we bless the Lord daily? Do we make the comfort that is found in the covenant ours? That comfort will only be found by daily confession of our sins. This is only found by repentance from the sins we have committed. This repentance is only obtained through the blood of the Lamb. Yes, God’s covenant is sure. Let us bless the Lord daily for all of the benefits He gives us. Sing or read Psalter 243, especially stanzas 12-15.
II Corinthians 7:1-7 Young people, do you strive to cleanse yourselves from all manner of evil? Notice that Paul speaks of evils both of the flesh and the spirit. These concern both tables of God’s law. We must not be evil in how we love God, nor must we be evil in our dealings toward our neighbors. Most of us have heard the promise of the gospel from a very young age. Now we must put what we have heard into practice. This is a daily work. Each time we make a decision to do something we must make sure that that activity is cleansed from evil. We must work at perfecting holiness in the fear of God. Make that your desire as you strive to serve God all the days of your life. Sing or read Psalter 271.
II Corinthians 7:8-12 People of God, do you practice godly sorrow for your sins? Corinth was a very wicked city, and the church had sin in it as well. Paul repeatedly had to show them the way of repentance. We need that as well. Notice Paul speaks of two sorts of sorrows here. There is the sorrow that leads to salvation, and the sorrow that leads to death in hell. The one is the true sorrow which causes the Christian to cry out, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” The second type is deadly. It looks for excuses and ultimately blames God for its problems. Be sorrowful, people of God, and you will be comforted with the blessings of salvation. Sing or read Psalter 159, especially stanzas 1, 3, and 4.
II Corinthians 7:13-16 Titus had been received by the Corinthian church with great joy. This reception must have been spiritual by nature seeing the joy that Paul received from it. What about us? Do we receive God’s servants with great joy? Are we willing to listen to them as they bring the words of Christ? Do we receive them with fellowship seeing that they are the shepherds sent to us by God? Sometimes we must go without a minister for years in order that we see the privilege that we have in having a shepherd who cares for our spiritual needs. Let us receive them that their spirits and ours be refreshed with the fellowship that is only possible among believers. Sing or read Psalter 214, especially stanzas 1, 2, and 7.
Exodus 32:1-6 Moses had been gone from Israel for forty days and forty nights. During that time Israel began to think that he was gone from them and that God too had left them. They decided to take matters into their own hands, and they demanded that Aaron give them a God. Do we do this sometimes? Do we think God has left us, and that we find solutions for our cares in our own strengths? I think we sometimes feel that God’s Word is not good enough for us, and we use the devil’s solutions to problems that we have. If we do, we are guilty of having other gods before us and we deserve Israel’s punishment. Sing or read Psalter 42.
Exodus 32:7-10 Is God justified by being so angry at Israel? Is God justified by requiring that we walk according to His Word? The answer is an unqualified yes! God cannot abide sin in His people! Why not, we may ask? Why is God so strict that we must strive to be holy? The answer is because He is holy. Because He is holy those that He has chosen must be holy as well. This should not make us throw up our hands in despair. No, this should make us strive to work out more and more our own salvation with fear and trembling. We wish to please our earthly fathers; how much more should we wish to please our heavenly Father. Let us walk in God’s ways and escape His wrath. Sing or read Psalter 162.
Exodus 32:11-16 Is there anyone standing at God’s side turning His anger away from our sins? Do we have someone like Moses who pleaded for Israel’s very existence? Is there anyone who will plead with God on the basis of the covenant for us when we walk in sin? The answer, of course, is yes! We have a mediator Who pleads for us before the Father. We have an advocate Who pleads our cases before Him Who demands justice. We have the propitiation sitting at God’s right hand looking out for us. This mediator, this advocate, and this propitiation is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ. Moses stood before God’s wrath for Israel; Christ bore God’s wrath for all His people. Thanks be to God for Him. Sing or read Psalter 303.
Exodus 32:17-20 The people of Israel had to see their sins. They also had to suffer the consequences of that grievous sin of seeking any God but Jehovah. Moses’ anger was hot as he burst into their wicked party and destroyed the golden calf. He recognized their songs as those sung by the ungodly in Egypt. He recognized their nakedness and their play as the immoral entertainment they had witnessed in the picture of hell. He realized that the law had been broken and symbolically he broke the table to shock them into sensibility. Are we not guilty of the same sins? Shouldn’t we be reminded of what we do when we follow the ways of the world? Sing or read Psalter 290, especially stanzas 1-3 and 11.
Exodus 32:21-24 “I didn’t do it; it was his fault.” How many times as parents, elders, or teachers don’t we hear those words? That was Aaron’s defense when confronted by an angry Moses. Aaron quickly saw his guilt, but he was quick to pin the blame on someone else. It was the people’s fault. This defense should never fall from our lips. We must acknowledge our guilt, bow before the Lord in humility, and confess our sins. Only in this way will we find the comfort which comes when we know our sins are forgiven. Let us take responsibility for our actions and go to our God in prayer and ask His forgiveness through Christ. Sing or read Psalter 189.
Exodus 32:25-29 “Who is on the Lord’s side?” What a stirring call! Do we dare answer it? Can we say yes we are on the Lord’s side and do His bidding? Can we answer that call while enjoying the movies, music, television drama, and other worldly amusements? Can we answer the call even as we put aside God’s law so that we can have our own pleasure? Can we answer the call as the Levites and be zealous for the name of God? If we want God’s blessing in this life then we must answer the call and do whatever He has commanded us in His Word. Are we on the Lord’s side? Sing or read Psalter 321.
Exodus 32:30-35 Once again Moses went into the mountain acting as the type of Christ that he was. Once again he went into God’s presence to plead for mercy that only God can give. He offered his own salvation as he confessed the sins of the people of God. What a comfort we have in Christ as He offered Himself upon the cross for our salvation. We, like Israel, deserve to have our names blotted from the book of life. We, like Israel, receive the mercy of God in that our names are kept in that book forever. Let us give thanks for that mercy with a walk that is pleasing to our holy God. Sing or read Psalter 291, especially stanzas 1, 11, and 12.