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April 30, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: 1 Chronicles 1-2
Audio: 1 Chronicles 1-2

Psalm 120 (ESV)

A Song of Ascents.

In my distress I called to the Lord,
    and he answered me.
Deliver me, O Lord,
    from lying lips,
    from a deceitful tongue.

What shall be given to you,
    and what more shall be done to you,
    you deceitful tongue?
A warrior’s sharp arrows,
    with glowing coals of the broom tree!

Woe to me, that I sojourn in Meshech,
    that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I had my dwelling
    among those who hate peace.
I am for peace,
    but when I speak, they are for war!


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 121

Back: Psalm 119 (169-176)

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Deliver me, O Lord,
        from lying lips,
        from a deceitful tongue (Psalm 120:2)

    Liar, Liar

    With Psalm 119 behind us in our Daily Reading, we find ourselves on the familiar doorstep of lies and deceit. Today's psalm helps us learn how to deal with those who are deceptive and dishonest.

    In the first verse of Psalm 120, we learn the psalmist called out to God in his distress, and He answered him (Psalm 120:1). This is an essential first step in dealing with anything and anyone. Just as the psalmist in the previous chapter relied on the Word of God in dealing with evildoers and wicked people who were lying about him, we too need to rely on Scripture to help us deal with liars. 

    Dishonesty is rampant in our society, in our churches, and in our homes. While some of the deception is related to people being disingenuous, much of it surrounds blatant deception for personal gain. 

    Just last week, someone contacted Michelle's work for Christian design work. It was a strange request since they do architectural design. Michelle forwarded the email to me since I'm a web and graphic designer. After I did a lookup for the IP address using his email, I quickly determined this person was not "Larry Taylor" from Houston, Texas, as he proposed but an internet criminal located in Dublin, Ireland, trying to victimize me. 

    He asked for custom graphics using the words "God is Good," but I had a different idea. 

    I sent him these designs:

    I also sent him the Gospel 24/7 which includes the essential doctrines surrounding the gospel of Jesus Christ:

    https://loveandlight.church/Gospel247.pdf

    I don't think he looked at any of it because he continued to reach out to me. While his intent was to find a victim, I saw an opportunity to show him that he is the victim and in Christ can be saved.

    Along with these encouragements, I also filed a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center and have not heard from him or the FBI regarding my complaint.

    I hope he does see what I sent him, and God uses His Word to not only stop him from victimizing people but to be born again. I also hope the authorities use the information I provided to track him down and shut him down for the safety and well-being of those who may fall prey to his schemes. 

    Although followers of Jesus Christ would never victimize people in such an obvious way as "Larry Taylor" is doing through the Internet,  we may fall into more subtle deception, and "white" lies without even realizing it. These are often done in the context of our close relationship and may involve not wanting to be entirely truthful for the sake of not offending (or not wanting to deal with something). 

    As believers in the Lord, we also need to confront lies and deception in a biblical way that honors and glorifies God. 

    We might use graphics to show people the reality of judgment for those who victimize people and are not born again. God might want us to speak with someone we suspect is not being honest with us (or who is blatantly lying and deceiving people). If the person who is lying professes to be a believer, it may even become a matter of church discipline if there is no repentance. 

    The aim of confrontation and even excommunication from fellowship is always repentance and restoration. 

    Jesus said in Matthew 18:15-20, "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

    There is an entire chapter in Scripture (1 Corinthians 5:13) devoted to church discipline in the context of the local church. (I commend this to you for further reading).

    As I mentioned above, we don't confront to be confrontational or sit in the judgment seat as if we are not a work in progress ourselves. We lovingly confront sin to help our brothers and sisters with those things that grieve the Holy Spirit, hurt their relationship with God and others and bring reproach to the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our desire should be for them to see the seriousness of sin so they repent and can be restored back into fellowship.

    That is exactly what happened to the person who was excommunicated from fellowship in the Corinthian church. 

    Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 2:5-8, "Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him."

    When those who do not profess faith in Christ sin against us (including lying to us, deceiving us and even slandering us), that is an open door to speak about the gospel and the judgment that awaits those who are not born again. 

    When those who profess faith in Christ sin against us, including lying to us, deceiving us and even slandering us, that is an open door to speak to them about the dangers and damage of sin and allow them to confess that sin, repent of it and become more like Christ because of it. 

    If they are not interested in admitting their sin and continue in it, our responsibility is to go to them in the company of a few other believers to help them come to their spiritual senses. If that doesn't work, the church leadership needs to become aware of the situation. They must take the appropriate actions necessary to not only protect the flock of God, the reputation of the church, and, most importantly, the name of Christ but also to help the person in sin overcome it. 

    Restoration does not mean the person is perfect, but it does mean they are being perfected by it through confessing it, repenting of it, and becoming more like Christ because of it. 

    Lord, reveal those areas in our lives which do not honor and glorify you. Show us, Lord, where we need to do better and become more like our Lord Jesus. Help us to be open to correction and being confronted when we have sinned. Give us humility when we are criticized and critiqued in our relationships with one another and our service to You. Amen.


    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "You Are The Potter" by Matthew Henry

    "We are the clay, and you our potter; we are the work of your hand. You took us out of the womb, and kept us safe when we were infants. We have depended on you from the womb, and have been held up by you.

    You are the God who has fed us all our lives until this day, and redeemed us from all evil. It is only by your mercy that we are not consumed, because your compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)
     

  2. Wow! This reading really hits home. 

    It seems like with everything nowadays, people are either on one side of the line in the sand or the other. There's no in-between, so our country is so divided. It makes me sad that it no longer feels as though "United We Stand."

    All I know is, God is the only One who knows absolutely everything about what is going on in this crazy world, and he wants us to obey Him, which includes following the laws, whether we agree with them or not. And He wants honesty. 

    Like the song says, "God is not persuaded by the arrogance of man.” 

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