Did You Know?

Eighteen men and no women have been

executed in the United States in 2017.

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of January 25-31, 2015, is Psalm 12:3-6.  In this psalm, David provides a warning against lies and deceitfulness.  

 

May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,

    the tongue that makes great boasts,

those who say, “With our tongue we will prevail,

    our lips are with us; who is master over us?”

“Because the poor are plundered, because the needy groan,

    I will now arise,” says the Lord;

    “I will place him in the safety for which he longs.”

The words of the Lord are pure words,

    like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,

    purified seven times.  (Psalm 12: 3-6, ESV)

  

We must always be alert for lies and deceitfulness.  Satan uses lies.  He twists the truth to suit his purpose.  Only the Lord always speaks truthfully.  We must be aware of our words too.  We must strive to always speak the truth.  This week, consider your words.  Are they truthful?  Do they honor the Lord?

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of January 18-24, 2015, is Matthew 8:18-22.  Jesus had just begun His earthly ministry, demonstrating His power to heal.  People have not yet begun to understand the Jesus’ ministries is far more than magic tricks - He has come to bring salvation to all!

 

Now Jesus, when He saw the great throngs around Him, gave orders to cross to the other side [of the lake].  And a scribe came up and said to Him, Master, I will accompany You wherever You go.  And Jesus replied to him, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have lodging places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.  Another of the disciples said to Him, Lord, let me first go and bury [care for till death] my father.  But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and leave the dead [in sin] to bury their own dead.  (Matthew 8:18-22, AMP)

 

Woah!  Wasn’t that a little harsh, Jesus?  At first read it may seem that way, but we must look deeper!  A scribe is a well-educated man, who can read, write, and speak well in public.  Jesus knew the man’s heart, and, from the response Jesus gives, we can conclude that the man had more in his heart that following Jesus.  From all the miracles Jesus had been performing, the man could have thought that Jesus was looking to set up shop and the man could ride Jesus’ coattails to success and wealth.  Jesus corrects this mistaken impression.  Jesus had no home, no place to lay His head.  He relied on the generosity and hospitality of others.  Of course, Jesus also had complete faith in His Father that, just as the fox has a hole and the bird a nest, a place would be provided for Him where ever he went.

 

To the second man, Jesus’ response also seems harsh, but again there is a lesson!  The obvious message is that we should not let anyone or anything get in the way of following Jesus, even our family, however, there is more to the lesson.  The man’s father had not died yet and could live for years.  Why should that man wait for years to begin following Jesus?  It was an excuse, and if a person is willing to create one excuse, they will create another and another and another and…  God must be our first, second, and third priority in life!

 

As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider where you have prioritized the Lord in your life.

 

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of January 11-17, 2015, is Job 5:8-16.  This passage is spoken by Eliphaz the Temanite, a friend of Job.  He is the first of the friends to respond to Job.

 

“As for me, I would seek God,

    and to God would I commit my cause,

who does great things and unsearchable,

    marvelous things without number:

he gives rain on the earth

    and sends waters on the fields;

he sets on high those who are lowly,

    and those who mourn are lifted to safety.

He frustrates the devices of the crafty,

    so that their hands achieve no success.

He catches the wise in their own craftiness,

    and the schemes of the wily are brought to a quick end.

They meet with darkness in the daytime

    and grope at noonday as in the night.

But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth

    and from the hand of the mighty.

So the poor have hope,

    and injustice shuts her mouth.”

  

In this passage, we see Eliphaz encouraging Job to take his case before the Lord.  Eliphaz, and Job’s other two friends, held the belief that if you were good and obeyed the Lord, then no harm would befall you.  We see this belief in this passage.  Although we know that good people can also suffer, we can take comfort in reviewing the power of the Lord.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s passage, consider the power of the Lord.  What power of the Lord have you seen in your life? 

The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of January 4-10, 2015, is Romans 3:23-25.  The book of Romans is a book that requires significant study and contemplation.  This passage contains a verse familiar to many and explains the great gift given to all who believe.

 

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.  (Romans 3:23-25, ESV)

 

We cannot earn our salvation.  We do not deserve our salvation, but God’s love for us is so strong that He provided a way, Jesus Christ, for all to have salvation.  It is through the blood of Jesus Christ that we are able to obtain salvation.  As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon the passage for this week, consider your relationship with the Lord.  Have you accepted the gift of salvation?  What does that gift mean to you?

The Bible passage selected for meditation, prayer, and reflection for this week, the week of December 28, 2014, – January 3, 2015, is Joshua 1:6-9.  Happy New Year from all of us at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries!  As we enter this New Year, we encourage you to examine your relationship with the Lord.  Do you spend time with Him every day?  Do you read and study His word?  Take some time this week to meditate on, pray over, and reflect on Joshua 1:6-9.

 

Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them.  Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:6-9, ESV)

 

What a loaded passage!  Moses had just died, leaving Joshua to lead the people out of the desert and into the Promised Land.  God was admonishing Joshua to continue to follow Him and not stray from His direction, which would lead Joshua to success in whatever he set out to do.  In order to not stray from the Lord’s directions, Joshua first must seek it!  God’s direction is found through the study of His word.  For Joshua, that meant studying the Book of Law, the Torah, the Laws of Moses.  So long as he studied daily, “day and night,” and followed what was written, he had nothing to fear, for the Lord was with him.

 

As we close out one year and begin another, it is traditionally a time for reflection upon our life and a time to set resolutions on how we wish to change our life.  The most important resolution you can set this year is to spend more time with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Unsure of where to start?  Check out our 52 Week Bible Reading Plan! (daily reading list here).  Join our year-long study which will take you through the entire Bible.  Our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, will have links to a free copy of each day’s reading in addition to commentary of each day’s reading in order to help you better understand the history, context, and meaning of each day’s reading.  If you still have questions, please e-mail them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

God told Joshua to be strong and courageous.  Through reliance on Him, Joshua had nothing to fear.  While written over 2000 years ago, the same message applies to us.  When we rely on God, we have nothing to fear.  It can be hard, especially when you are used to relying upon yourself.  Through daily study of God’s word, you can see His awesome power.  Why restrict yourself to your own limitations, when you have the possibilities of moving mountains with the help of God?

 

 

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