“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. “Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets. (Luke 6:22–23, NASB95)
Did you read your Bible today? Do you read it everyday? If not, why not? How many hours did you put into watching TV instead? Did you think about His Word? Did you face a choice to follow His Word or ignore it? Did you even know there was a choice?
The Bible is the book of life. “Living oracles” as Stephen says. His word can impart life. It is the most important book in history. TV, radio, Facebook, Twitter, Harry Potter books, movies about vampires do not impart life. They distract us from the path of Life. A little amusement is fine, but did you read your Bible today?
Jesus was flogged with whips that had tips of bone and other sharp objects tied on them, and He was made to carry His own execution stake to a hill where He was nailed to it alive. He spent torturous hour after hour hanging there, trying to breath by pushing up against the nail in his feet and pulling up against the nails in His hands. His flayed back (likely cut to the bone) scraped against the rough wood with every breath. And He didn’t do one thing to deserve it. All He asks of us is in return is to abide in His Word of life.
So tell me, did you read your Bible today?
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. (Malachi 3:16–18, ESV)
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. (Habakkuk 3:17–19, ESV)
Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication. Then my enemy will see, and shame will cover her who said to me, “Where is the LORD your God?” My eyes will look upon her; now she will be trampled down like the mire of the streets. (Micah 7:8–10, ESV)
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.
The Reign of the Lord’s Anointed.
Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!” 4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. 5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying, 6 “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.” 7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” 10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. 11Worship the Lord with reverence And rejoice with trembling. 12Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
Morning Prayer of Trust in God. A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.
3 O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. 2 Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah. 3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. 4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah. 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people! Selah.
Evening Prayer of Trust in God.
For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.
Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have relieved me in my distress; Be gracious to me and hear my prayer. 2 O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach? How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception? Selah. 3 But know that the Lord has set apart the godly man for Himself; The Lord hears when I call to Him. 4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And trust in the Lord. 6 Many are saying, “Who will show us any good?” Lift up the light of Your countenance upon us, O Lord! 7 You have put gladness in my heart, More than when their grain and new wine abound. 8 In peace I will both lie down and sleep, For You alone, O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.
Psalms 1 – 4.
Always amazed at how I can pick up the Bible when I most need it, turn to whatever it is I intend to read – and it’s exactly what I need to hear this morning:).