God created this earth, but He did not just turn it loose after creation. He continues to work daily. “But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8) For the clay to be turned into the final product, it takes time. If we want to be the Christian that God would have us be, we have to be longsuffering and never give up. The clay sometimes has to be reformed if it gets out of place. We must be willing to let ourselves be molded by studying His word and seeing where we need to change our lives. He can mold us, but we have to be willing to let Him.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 62-66
In chapters 23 and 24 we read Job’s reply to Eliphaz. Job does not understand why he is having to go thru all these trials, but he knows God is in control. “But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does.” (Job 23:13) Like Job, we do not always understand why we have to go thru trials in this life, but we can have faith. If we will trust God and serve Him, we can know that His plans are better than our plans. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…” (Romans 8:28)
Today’s reading: Job 23-24
If we put our trust in the Lord, He will always be there for us. The Psalmist shares that thought in chapter 33. “Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” (Psalms 33:20-22) He will provide our needs on this earth and more importantly will provide for us salvation and eternal life. The trust we have in Him must also be accompanied by our doing His will, not our will. “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalms 37:5)
Today’s reading: Psalms 33-35
Sometimes we think what we want is what we need. We see this from the Israelites in 1 Samuel chapter 8. “But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” (1Samuel 8:6-7) It really troubled Samuel that they would not listen to him, but they had other reasons for wanting a king. “Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.” (1Samuel 8:19-20) They wanted to be like other nations. Wanting to be like the world around us gets us on the wrong path. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
Today’s reading: 1 Samuel 6-10
Joseph’s brothers were fed during the famine by God’s providence. Joseph tells his brothers that, “Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.” (Genesis 45:5) God was able to use sins committed by these brothers to save them from starving years later. If we look back in our lives, we can see times where God’s providence was working and we did not even know it. If we will follow Him and His word, we can live knowing that no matter what may happen to us, God is in control and He will take care of us.
Today’s reading: Genesis 44-47
In the parable of the soils, Jesus compares four different responses that people have to the Word. Each of us will fall into one of the four groups. Anyone we share the Word with can also be compared to one of the soils. There is only one of these soils that was described as good. “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” (Mark 4:20) To be described as good, we must produce fruit that pleases our Heavenly Father.
Today’s reading: Mark 3-4
Paul reminds the Corinthians that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. (1 Corinthians 6:9) He then starts to name off many types of sinful people. All this negative talk begins to turn positive. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11) We know that each one of us has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23), but we also have the opportunity Paul is talking about here. We can all be washed, sanctified, and justified, but we have to turn from sin and follow Him everyday.
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 5-6
Many times in scripture we see comparisons to farming and things that grow in nature. In Isaiah chapter 61 we see another one of these comparisons. “For as the earth bringeth forth its bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord Jehovah will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” (Isaiah 61:11) Our Heavenly Father provides the same salvation to all people of every nation if we will sow His word into our lives.
Today’s reading: Isaiah 56-61
In chapter 21 we read of another response from Job. His message is that you cannot look at outward appearances and tell if a person is living right or not. “Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?” (Job 21:7) Like Job we may have to endure sufferings on this earth even when we are following God’s word, but our time here is short compared to eternity. Paul gave us some good advise when he told the Philippians that he put behind him things of the past and was reaching forward to what lies ahead. “I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:14)
Today’s reading: Job 21-22
We have all heard the saying that you can lead a horse to water but you can not make him drink. If you have ever tried to lead a mule you know how obstinate they can be when they set their mind to something. In Psalm 32 David tells us to not be like those animals. “Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.” (Psalm 32:9) We should not have an attitude of only doing the absolute least that is required of us. We should desire to go the extra mile to serve our Lord who has blessed us so richly.
Today’s reading: Psalms 30-32