Matthew 28:1-20 This is the day men give candy and roses to their wives or sweethearts. For me it usually means a dinner out or a weekend away. This day of celebration is in honor of the love between a man and a woman. It is interesting that the symbol of this day is a heart and the colors used to decorate are red and white. The greatest love story ever told also involves the heart and the colors red and white. On the cross Jesus died because the weight of our sin broke His heart, but because of His sacrifice, we now can have our broken hearts mended. The red blood of Jesus poured upon the ground and was offered as an atonement for all sins, which satisfied God's requirements for a penalty for sin. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. Though our sins were as scarlet, they became white as snow. On that day over two thousand years ago, the greatest love story was revealed to mankind. This story continues to unfold as we look forward to the day that we will sit at the table of the lover of our souls. There will be a marriage of the Bridegroom (Jesus) with the bride (the church), and the celebration will continue for all eternity.
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Exodus 35:10-36:38 And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments" (Exod. 35:21, KJV). This is a beautiful story of how the people had a willing heart to give, to work and to serve. We learn in the next chapter how willing the people actually were. Exodus 36:5 says, "And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make" (KJV).
Proverbs 9:1-6 I've always wondered what the seven pillars of wisdom were. After studying the sevenfold anointing spoken of in Isaiah 11:2, I concluded that the seven pillars of wisdom must be the seven aspects of the Holy Spirit of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2 says, "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord" (KJV).
Psalm 33:1-11 God spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. God is not a man that He should lie. I've heard it said the only thing God cannot do is lie. His Word is truth, and this psalm says His Word is right and all His works are done in truth. His Word not only is right, but it also has creative power. God spoke into being all of creation.
Psalm 32:1-11 David knew the secret of the quiet place, and he had to constantly focus to remain in this quiet place. He writes, "Thou preparest a table for me in the presence of mine enemies" (Ps. 23:5, KJV). David had many enemies. However, he knew he was not fighting against flesh and blood. He knew his true enemy was Satan. David knew the secret to overcoming Satan. When Saul chased after him to kill him, David wrote, "Where can I flee from Your presence?" (Ps. 139:7). The presence of the Lord was always much stronger than the presence of the enemy to David. No matter what difficult situation David encountered, he knew the Lord was ever before him. He wrote, "Your face is ever before me."
Psalm 31:19-24 Imagine being in a pavilion set in a green meadow sprinkled with wild flowers. As you view the bright blue sky, the only sounds you hear are the birds singing, the quiet flow of the stream beside you and the Holy Spirit making melody in your heart. We can enter such a place daily as we walk in the Spirit. David knew this secret. "Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion far from the strife of tongues" (Ps. 31:20, KJV).
Proverbs 8:11-13 Proverbs is called the Book of Wisdom. Solomon wrote Proverbs, and one can find the golden threads of wisdom woven throughout the thirty-one chapters. You have probably heard the expression, "Eat an apple a day and keep the doctor away." Reading a chapter of Proverbs every day will keep the devil away. We were inspired to begin this daily exercise of reading the proverb for the day to our three sons when we saw the great results this brought to a family down the street. This family had three boys and a girl, and the father read the proverb for the day aloud to his children as they gathered for breakfast every morning. All of these children never departed from the ways of the Lord because they learned much wisdom through the proverbs.
Matthew 25:1-30 We used to lead a "Lamp Lighters" group when my husband was in the army. The children in this group were junior high age, and I loved hearing them sing. "Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning till the break of day." This story of the ten virgins is about being ready for the Lord's return. One has to understand the Jewish betrothal customs to receive the full impact of what is being conveyed in this passage.
Matthew 24:29-51 There is an expectancy of the Lord's soon return that only the Holy Spirit can give. Paul had this expectancy, and nearly two thousand years later men and women all over the world believe in Jesus and are anticipating His return.
Matthew 24:1-28 Suddenly without warning a flash of lightning bolts through the sky. The Second Coming of the Lord will be just that sudden. Does this strike fear in your heart?
Matthew 23:13-39 Jesus expresses the heartcry of the Father in this passage. He would that none perish, but that all should come to repentance. As Jesus looked from the temple mount upon Jerusalem, He cried out, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not" (Matt. 23:37, KJV).
Exodus 17:8-19:15 God instructed Moses to speak to the children of Israel these words: "Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And you shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation" (Exod. 19:5-6, KJV).
Psalm 27:1-7 For in time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock. And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord" (Ps. 27:5-6, KJV). What an encouraging word David wrote about times of trouble.
Exodus 13:17-15:19 One of my favorite expressions is, "The victory is ours, and the battle is the Lord's." There have been many trials in my life, as there are in all of our lives. Jesus said that in the world we would have tribulation, but His exhortation was to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world. James tells us to count it all joy when we have trials because these trials will form patience and other character traits of God in us.
Psalm 25:12-22 There are many benefits that come to those who fear the Lord. This passage lists only a few of them. What does it mean to fear the Lord? The fear of the Lord is an awesome respect that causes us to honor and worship the Lord with all of our being. When we fear the Lord, we will desire to walk in His ways. The good news is that all those who fear the Lord will be taught the ways of God.
Psalm 25:1-11 Yesterday's reading talked about lifting up our heads and hearts to the Lord. We discovered that the spirit of man represents the holy of holies in the temple of God. We are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. The soul (mind, will and emotions) of man represents the inner court of our temple. The body represents the outer court of the temple, and the gates to that temple are our five senses. When Jesus died on the cross and gave His spirit into the hands of the Father, the veil of the temple was rent in two. The mercy seat of God now became available to not only the high priest, but to all who would believe and receive Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
Psalm 24:1-10 This psalm has special meaning to me because it is one of the psalms I memorized when I was in grammar school. The first thing we did each morning in school was pray the Lord's Prayer together, read a psalm and work on memorizing it, pledge allegiance to the flag and sing the national anthem. Can you imagine the stir this would cause in public schools today if this was done? It is illogical that God and country have been removed from our children's education when education has its roots in Christianity. The first schools that existed in our country were church schools. How I pray that one day we will be able to once again have freedom of speech that includes praying aloud in public schools. Until that time we as parents can teach our children the importance of honor for country and the value of the Word of God. We need to exhort our children to memorize Scriptures because the Word that is hidden in children's hearts at a young age will be with them always. I actually paid my boys to learn Proverbs. They were given $1 for every verse in Proverbs they memorized. When our Russian son took this on as a challenge, he just about broke me.
Matthew 18:23-19:12 In this passage in Matthew, Jesus tells the story of the servant who had been forgiven all his debt by his master, but this servant was unwilling to forgive another the debt he was owed. The conclusion to this story is the following statement: "And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto ye, if you from ye hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses" (Matt. 18:34-35, KJV).
Matthew 18:1-22 It has been my privilege over my fifty-plus years as a Christian to always have a prayer partner. There are so many advantages in having a prayer partner. This passage in Matthew gives two very important reasons for us to pray with others. Jesus tells us, "Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:19-20, KJV).
Psalm 22:1-18 Some of the most traumatic feelings a person can experience is being abandoned. Abandonment rocks our emotions with feelings of insecurity, fear, doubt, loneliness, failure, rejection, grief, sorrow and unworthiness, just to name a few. I've never experienced abandonment, but I know people who have. I know a fifty-year-old man who is still being healed emotionally of the abandonment he experienced as a young boy. Both his mother and father were alcoholics, and they would leave their two young boys on the beach alone at night while they partied at the bars. Later this man's father killed his mother. Imagine the trauma of abandonment he felt.