The Love of God

Day 113

Judges 1:1‐2:9; Luke 21:29‐22:13; Psalms 90:1‐91:16; Proverbs 13:24‐25

The Love of God

We don’t just want to be loved; we need to be loved. Among our greatest needs is the need to know that we matter to somebody – that somebody truly cares. As we read God’s Word, we learn the story of just how very much God loves us. That is a truth that sustains us.

God created us to be in relationship with Him. He created us to love us, to give the best of Himself to us as benefit and blessing. And He created us to love Him. Lost in this beautiful love story, we can begin to think that because God loves us unconditionally, there are no consequences to our behavior.

We can sometimes think of God as an indulgent Father who gives us everything we want and looks the other way when we sin. Today’s readings disprove that assumption. God does become angry when we are disobedient. That does not mean that He does not love us. It means that He loves us so much that He wants what is best for us

He knows that obedience to His Word brings true happiness. So He sometimes will let us experience the consequences of our behavior. These consequences may be the discipline that can help us want to obey. Don’t resent God’s discipline. He knows best what we need. His discipline is given in love and for our best interests. We can respond with love by following His Word.

Deacon Mary Delancey
Grace Church
Ocala, FL

For help studying the Bible, please find the Old Testament Study Guide and the New Testament Study Guide sections of the Bible Challenge website.

To donate to the Bible Challenge, click here.

The Voices of Choices

Day 112

Joshua 24:1‐33; Luke 21:1‐28; Psalm 89:38‐52; Proverbs 13:20‐23

The Voices of Choices

Bob Dylan used to sing a song called “Gotta Serve Somebody.” The lyrics suggest that everyone, a CEO, a doctor, a socialite, a construction worker… yes, everyone, rich or poor, serves someone or something. “It might be the Devil or it might be the Lord, but you gotta serve somebody.”

Joshua sang a similar song to the Israelites: “Chose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served… or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living” (v. 15 NIV), or you can serve the Lord. Consider the options. You can follow the idols of your parents and grandparents, inanimate golden calves and wooden idols. Or perhaps you desire to serve the more modern idols among the Amorites, the new gods. Or you can follow the living and active God who has blessed you beyond measure.

Let’s give ourselves the same imperative. Think back to the things that our parents and grandparents chased after. What did their idols do for them? Or look at the idols of our modern society. Are they delivering on any of their promises? Think about the great salvation God has given us and the heavenly kingdom He has promised us. Choose whom you will serve today… ‘cause you gotta serve somebody.

Prayer: Lord, you know that we have many things demanding our dedication in our jobs, families, and world. Today I purpose to devote myself to you. Lord, I surrender my loyalty and service.

The Rev. Charlie Holt
St. Peter’s Church
Lake Mary, FL

For help studying the Bible, please find the Old Testament Study Guide and the New Testament Study Guide sections of the Bible Challenge website.

To donate to the Bible Challenge, click here.

Resurrection Rejoicing – Don’t Miss the Point!

Day 111

Joshua 22:21‐23:16; Luke 20:27‐47; Psalm 89:14‐37; Proverbs 13:17‐19

Resurrection Rejoicing – Don’t Miss the Point!

After disarming the Sadducee’s riddle on the resurrection using an example of family that had experienced more tragedy than most any family could bear, Jesus challenges them with one of His own: the Messiah is meant to be a descendant (“son”) of David; yet, in Psalm 110, David refers to the Messiah as his “Lord.” Given that a son shows deference to a father, and not a father to a son, how can the Messiah be both son of David and Lord over him? This is more than a riddle designed to stump His challengers. Here Jesus implicitly affirms His identity. He not only does this once but twice, in fact. For one, in referencing Psalm 110:1, both He and His audience would be aware of the rest of the Psalm, “The Lord says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’… You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek… The Lord is at your right hand … he will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth.”

For the other, if the Messiah is both descendant of, and Lord over, then He cannot be a mere mortal. Of course, Jesus’ opponents would miss much of this, and could not have accepted it had they grasped it. But we, like the disciples in Acts 2, live after the resurrection and its confirmation of Jesus’ claims. On the day of Pentecost, Peter (and Luke) quotes Psalm 110:1 again, explicating the meaning of this text: “God has raised this Jesus to life… Exalted to the right hand of God… Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:32-36). We not only solve the riddle; we also join the disciples and the heavenly host in worship of the exalted Lord.

Lord, may we praise you today as the risen Savior of the world. In all that goes on around us among this fallen reality, may we exalt you as Lord over all. To God be all glory, honor, and power. AMEN!

Devotion adapted and edited from cbcgb.org for the purposes of publication. 

Copyright –Public Domain

For help studying the Bible, please find the Old Testament Study Guide and the New Testament Study Guide sections of the Bible Challenge website.

To donate to the Bible Challenge, click here.