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Due to the pandemic and social distancing orders, we are not meeting at least through April. 

January 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: Exodus 36-38
Audio: Exodus 36-38

Psalm 50 (ESV)

A Psalm of Asaph.

The Mighty One, God the Lord,
    speaks and summons the earth
    from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty,
    God shines forth.

Our God comes; he does not keep silence;
    before him is a devouring fire,
    around him a mighty tempest.
He calls to the heavens above
    and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones,
    who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness,
    for God himself is judge! Selah

“Hear, O my people, and I will speak;
    O Israel, I will testify against you.
    I am God, your God.
Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you;
    your burnt offerings are continually before me.
I will not accept a bull from your house
    or goats from your folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine,
    the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know all the birds of the hills,
    and all that moves in the field is mine.

12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you,
    for the world and its fullness are mine.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
    or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
    and perform your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble;
    I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”

16 But to the wicked God says:
    “What right have you to recite my statutes
    or take my covenant on your lips?
17 For you hate discipline,
    and you cast my words behind you.
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him,
    and you keep company with adulterers.

19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil,
    and your tongue frames deceit.
20 You sit and speak against your brother;
    you slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent;
    you thought that I was one like yourself.
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you.

22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God,
    lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
    to one who orders his way rightly
    I will show the salvation of God!”

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 51

Back: Psalm 49

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Externalism and Hypocrisy

    In his commentary, James Montgomery Boice writes, "There are two categories of God’s alleged people summoned to judgment: (1) those writer Derek Kidner calls the 'nominally orthodox' or 'mechanically pious” (Psalm 50:7–15) and (2) 'hypocrites' (Psalm 50:16–21)." 

    Externalism and hypocrisy are easy to pull off. Anyone can be part of a group and after watching how people behave, what they say and do, and what expectations are set in place, one can act in such a way as to give the appearance that can be perceived as genuine but in reality it's all an act. 

    This "act" doesn't have to be intentional as someone can have the motive to be godly but lack the presence of the Holy Spirit to produce the fruit of righteous; and as such, find themselves victim to the phrase "fake it until you make it."

    But the actions and attitudes of those who adhere to an external, ritualistic faith, without an inward change are guilty of what Jesus accused the scribes and Pharisees of in Matthew 23:27, "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."

    When we lack genuine love for God and others, we might be tempted to try to hide the evidence of our lack in these areas. But God knows who we really are. 

    If we live in the reality that God knows us (and where we fall short), then we should be honest with ourselves and others. This is where true ministry can happen and we can overcome our weaknesses in our faith. 

    For the "faith fakers", the only hope for them is to confess their sin, repent and turn to Christ in faith for forgiveness. They may be able to fool people but God knows the truth about them. 

    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "Give Me a Heart to Believe" by David Clarkson

    "Lord, for too long I have been disobedient to the heavenly call and resisted your holy will. But now I want to follow your will, as far as I know it.

    I have no way to know it but by the word, and that speaks plainly. It is your command I should believe. Let your will be done in my heart, Lord. Let this law of faith be written in my inward parts.

    Give me a heart to believe, that I may obey you, for you have commanded it. Give me a heart to believe, that I may please you, for you have said that is what you desire. Give me a heart to believe, that I may honor you, for you have declared that this gives glory to you.

    Lord, you have let some light into my mind and conscience. Do not let it end in darkness. Let it be like that light which shines more and more into a perfect day.

    All your works are perfect. Carry this work to perfection. Amen."

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

  2. I love that Puritan Prayer. 

    Since learning that there are sheep and also goats, and that they will be separated by God, I have wanted to make sure that I'm one of the former. 

    Sometimes I don't feel secure in that belief, and I worry about that. Am I doing this right? I'm kind of new at this, and I see myself differently than I see more "seasoned" Christians. 

    Am I just a "bad" person, hopeless of being saved? Will I ever become more like Jesus, or will the human thoughts and feelings I have prevail? Do I not understand it enough to practice it fruitfully? 

    But I know God is with me, that Jesus lives in my heart. I know because my eyes have been opened and I am changed. Do my old behaviors sneak through sometimes? Does frustration and anger get the best of me sometimes? Are my behaviors sometimes those of the "old me?" Yes, yes, and yes. 

    But now, I can see those things. Now, I know the difference between the person I was with closed eyes, and the person I am now, able to see things for what they truly are, without being clouded and deceived by drugs, alcohol, and all the negative emotions and impacts they produced.

    I am not, nor will I ever be, a "perfect Christian." But I will strive to be more like Christ until the very end. 

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