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For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
THE GLORY OF GOD -
BY MARY WILDER TILESTON
Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness. -PSALMS 65:8,11
He loveth righteousness and justice: the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord. -PSALMS 33:5 (R. V.)
I SING because Thy works are fair,
Thy glory makes me glad,
The garments bright of praise I wear,
For Thou art brightly clad.
Full triumph doth my soul possess,
Because Thy ways are right;
The glory of Thy righteousness
Maketh my dear delight.
--THOMAS H. GILL
THE fulness of joy is to behold God in all; for by the same blessed might, wisdom, and love, that He made all things, to the same end our good Lord leadeth it continually, and there to Himself shall bring it, and, when it is time, we shall see it.
God gives us richly all things to enjoy, while He Himself is His own best gift, and to be enjoyed not in a way of duty, but in the simple, natural realizing aright of what we possess in Him.
--JOHN MCLEOD CAMPBELL
This is a public domain version of Joy and Strength. Shared from here with permission.
Devotions.org, a division of Back to Bible has a daily source of devotions to keep you in touch with God and His word, written by some of today's top authors and Bible teachers. Browse the variety of resources completely on their website.
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Never Give Up -
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. —Philippians 1:6
In 1491 Christopher Columbus was 40 (that was old back then!), broke and homeless. Christopher Columbus was an outstanding sea captain—but nobody took very seriously his idea of sailing west in hopes of discovering a new route to the West Indies. Nonetheless, Columbus didn't give up.
He once wrote, "Our Lord made me skilled in seamanship, equipped me with the sciences of astronomy, geometry, and arithmetic, and taught my mind and hand to draw this sphere... then our Lord revealed to me that it was feasible to sail from here to the Indies and placed in me a burning desire to carry out this plan."
Five centuries ago people had a map that reflected their understanding of the world at that time. It wasn't changed until the courageous Columbus challenged conventional wisdom by sailing to the West Indies. His "never give up" attitude resulted in one of the most significant breakthroughs in world history.
Winston Churchill (the great political statesman of Great Britain) was once invited to speak to his alma mater. Churchill, by then one of the most famous men in the world and also one of the world's greatest orators, had done very poorly at this school.
He approached the podium. All the boys were sitting up straight, totally quiet, waiting for great words of wisdom. Churchill stood behind the podium looking in the eyes of each boy. Then he quietly said, "Never give up." He stared at them again and shouted "Never give up." He pounded the podium and at the top of his voice he screamed, "Never, never, never give up!”* Winston Churchill then sat down. His speech was made up of just one piece of advice: Never give up.
I'm not sure what exactly you are going through, but this I know: the people who make a difference in the world, and in their own lives never give up.
1. How does Philippians 1:6 relate to your own life?
2. What is an example you know of someone who has never given up?
*Winston Churchill, quoted in Sherwood Elliot Wirt and Kersten Beckstron, Topical Encyclopedia of Living Quotations © Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001. Use by permission.
Jim Burns is President of HomeWord and Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family @ Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has over 1.5 million resources in print in over 25 languages. Jim’s radio broadcast is heard on over 800 stations a day and heard around the world via podcast at HomeWord.com.
Some of his recent books include: Faith Conversations for Families; Teenology: The Art of Raising Great Teenagers, Closer: 52 Devotions to Draw Couples Together, Confident Parenting, The Purity Code and Creating an Intimate Marriage. Jim and his wife, Cathy and their three daughters Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi live in Southern California.
More of Jim Burns: www.homeword.com
PRAISING GOD -
In Early in the Morning
And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even.
King David, who himself had been a fugitive and a wanderer for many years of his life, would have liked nothing better than to build a permanent dwelling place for the ark of the covenant. But because he was a man of war, Jehovah would not permit David to realize this privilege, so David "called for Solomon his son, and charged him to build an house to the LORD God of Israel" (1 Chronicles 22:6).
The zealous David did all he could to help in the preparations for the building of this temple. He gathered materials, prepared iron for nails and had a crew of masons readied. But an even greater contribution than arranging for the materials may have been David's initiation of the first full choral service. In conjunction with the chief of the Levites, David set apart three families and commissioned them to the service of the temple. These were not just singers, but prophets as well, "to prophesy with harps, with psalteries, and with cymbals" (1 Chronicles 25:1). Generation after generation their instruction was handed down from father to son, and their art and musical skills were carefully perpetuated.
These families were those of Asaph, the son of Berechiah the Gershonite, the chief singer and also a distinguished seer; of Heman the Kohathite, the grandson of the prophet Samuel and himself "the king's seer in the words of God" (1 Chronicles 25:5); and of Jeduthun (or Ethan), a Merarite, who is also called "the king's seer." Each of the names of these leaders is found in the titles or superscriptions of selected psalms in the Psalter.
From 1 Chronicles 23-25 we learn that the numbers of Levites involved in the service of the temple and tabernacle was enormous. The three families numbered 288 principal singers, divided into 24 courses of 12 each. The total number of Levites engaged in the important task of praising Jehovah with the instruments which David made was 4,000. Six thousand were designated as officers and judges, 4,000 were set apart to be doorkeepers, and the remaining 24,000 Levites were designated to the general "work of the house of Jehovah."
Although to us their work may appear to be mundane, it certainly was not to them. They were to wait on the priests for the service of the house of Jehovah, purifying the holy place and the holy things, preparing the shewbread and the meat offering and assisting in the offering of burnt sacrifices on the sabbaths and on feast days. But perhaps their greatest duty, as well as their greatest delight, was "to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord and likewise at even" (1 Chronicles 23:30).
Rising early in the morning, these Levites would initiate the praise to Jehovah that day. This was not only a responsible position but a very meaningful one as well. Psalm 88, a psalm for the sons of Korah designated as a Maschil of Heman, gives a fine example of what these Levites may have said morning after morning in praising Jehovah. "But unto Thee have I cried, O LORD; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent [come before] Thee" (Psalm 88:13).
Rising early in the morning to initiate a day filled with praise to God is our privilege as well. May we be as faithful in exercising that privilege as David's choirmasters were. Faithfulness in early praise to God may make the difference between a good day and a bad day.
Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!
Devotional is used with permission from the author. It may be used solely for personal, noncommercial, and informational purposes. Republication or redistribution of this devotional is prohibited.
Dr. Woodrow Kroll served as President and Senior Bible Teacher at Back to the Bible from 1990-2013. Author of more than 50 books, Dr. Kroll's passion is to increase Bible literacy in America by engaging people in the Bible and connecting them with the Author. His clear, incisive teaching of the Word keeps him in demand as a speaker all over the world. - See more at: http://www.backtothebible.org/authors/woodrow-kroll#sthash.7Yrcap6W.dpuf
More of Dr. Woodrow Kroll: http://www.backtothebible.org/devotions
Muscle Imbalance -
This devotional was written by Leslie Snyder
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. —James 2:14-17
I love to work out. In fact, it’s my favorite hobby. If I have any extra time in the day, you’ll likely find me at the gym, walking in my neighborhood, or lifting weights. As I am learning, muscles work in pairs: biceps and triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings, abdominals and back, and so on. The best strength trainers know that in order for the body to be at its strongest and, in order to protect the corresponding joint from injury, both major muscles in the pair must be balanced. If not, imbalance and, therefore, injury are just around the corner.
In a spiritual sense, the Scriptures indicate that there must be a healthy balance between having faith and what you do. Having one without the other results in imbalance. James argues,
You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that say, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. James 2:20-24
Faith and action go hand in hand. It’s not enough to believe what Scripture says, we must actually do what it tells us to do. Believing that the Bible says to feed the poor is not enough. We must act to feed the poor. The same goes for sharing with those in need, visiting the sick and imprisoned, or caring for the needs of the orphaned and widowed. Faith propels us into action. So whether you’re working out in the gym or working out your faith in your daily routine, remember that the muscles, both in the body and in the spirit, work best in pairs.
Faith lived out is hard work, but it’s worth every ounce of effort put into it. Today, feed your faith with action.
James 1:22; Matthew 25:31-46
This devotional originally appeared in “HomeWord with Jim Burns” on Crosswalk’s Family Devotional section. For more information about HomeWord with Jim Burns devotionals, please visit us online.
More of HomeWord with Jim Burns: http://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/homeword/