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The Word For Life.

If we meet and you forget me, you have lost nothing:
but if you meet JESUS CHRIST and forget Him,
you have lost everything.

Who Is He?
Posted:Jul 19, 2019 5:11 am
Last Updated:Jul 19, 2019 2:26 pm
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Bible in a Year :

Psalms 23–25; Acts 21:18–40
Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory.

Psalm 24:10

Psalm 24
On our way home from our honeymoon, my husband and I waited to check in our luggage at the airport. I nudged him and pointed to a man standing a few feet away.

My spouse squinted. “Who is he?”

I excitedly rattled off the actor’s most notable roles, then walked up and asked him to take a photo with us. Twenty-four years later, I still enjoy sharing the story of the day I met a movie star.

Recognizing a famous actor is one thing, but there’s Someone more important I’m thankful to know perally. “Who is this King of glory?” (Psalm 24:8. The psalmist David points to the Lord Almighty as Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all. He sings, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters”
(vv. 1–2). In awestruck wonder, David proclaims God is above all, yet intimately approachable (vv. 3–4). We can know Him, be empowered by Him, and trust Him to fight on our behalf, as we live for Him (v. 8.

God provides opportunities for us to declare Him as the only Famous One truly worth sharing with others. As we reflect His character, those who don’t recognize Him can have more reas to ask, “Who is He?” Like David, we can point to the Lord with awestruck wonder and tell His story!

Reflect & Pray
What has the Lord shown you about Himself? How might you share that with someone?

Lord, thanks for blessing us with the pleasure and privilege of seeking You and giving us opportunities to share You with others every day.
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Wise Aid
Posted:Jul 18, 2019 3:41 am
Last Updated:Jul 19, 2019 2:26 pm
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Bible in a Year :

Psalms 20–22; Acts 21:1–17
Encourage the disheartened, help the weak, be patient with everyone.

1 Thessalonians 5:14

1 Thessalonians 5:12–15
As I stopped my car at a red light, I saw the same man standing beside the road again. He held a cardboard sign: Need money for food. Anything helps. I looked away and sighed. Was I the kind of per who ignored the needy?

Some people pretend to have needs but are actually con artists. Others have legitimate needs but face difficulties overcoming destructive habits. Social workers tell us it’s better to give money to the aid ministries in our city. I swallowed hard and drove past. I felt bad, but I may have acted wisely.

God commands us to “warn those who are idle and disruptive, encourage the disheartened, help the weak” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). To do this well we must know who belongs in which category. If we warn a weak or disheartened per, we may break her spirit; if we help an idle per, we may encourage laziness. Consequently, we help best from up close, when we know the per well enough to know what he needs.

Has God burdened your heart to help someone? Great! Now the work begins. Don’t assume you know what that per needs. Ask her to share her story, and listen. Prayerfully give as seems wise and not merely to feel better. When we truly aim “to do what is good for each other,” we will more readily “be patient with everyone,” even when they stumble (vv. 14–15).

Reflect & Pray
When have others most helped you? What did you learn about how best to help others?

Father, help me to help wisely, and often.
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Victory Parade
Posted:Jul 17, 2019 2:34 am
Last Updated:Jul 18, 2019 3:42 am
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Bible in a Year :

Psalms 18–19; Acts 20:–38
But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession.

2 Corinthians 2:

2 Corinthians 2:–
In 20 when the Chicago Cubs baseball team won the World Series for the first time in more than a century, some sources said that five million people lined the parade route and gathered at a downtown rally to celebrate the championship.

Victory parades are not a modern invention. A famous ancient parade was the Roman Triumph, in which victorious generals led a procession of their armies and captives through crowded streets.

Such parade imagery was likely in Paul’s mind when he wrote to the Corinthian church thanking God for leading believers “as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession” (2 Corinthians 2. I find it fascinating that in this imagery, followers of Christ are the captives. However, as believers we’re not forced to participate, but are willing “captives,” willingly part of the parade led by the victorious, resurrected Christ. As Christians, we celebrate that through Christ’s victory, He’s building His kingdom and the gates of hell will not prevail against it
(Matthew :18

When we talk about Jesus’s victory on the cross and the freedom it gives believers, we help spread the “aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere”
(2 Corinthians 2. And whether people find the aroma to be the pleasing reassurance of salvation or the odor of their defeat, this unseen but powerful fragrance is present everywhere we go.

As we follow Christ, we declare His resurrection victory, the victory that makes salvation available to the world.

Reflect & Pray
What does Jesus’s victory on the cross mean to you? How are you living the power of His resurrection?

Jesus is our victorious King.
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Precious
Posted:Jul 16, 2019 3:45 am
Last Updated:Jul 19, 2019 2:26 pm
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Bible in a Year :

Psalms 16–17; Acts 20:1–16
You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.

Psalm 16:2

Psalm 16:1–11
“My precious . . .” First portrayed in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the image of the emaciated creature Gollum in his maniacal obsession with the “precious ring of power” has become an iconic one today—for greed, obsession, even insanity.

It’s also a troublingly relatable image. In his tormented love-hate relationship with both the ring and with himself, Gollum’s voice echoes the hunger in our own hearts. Whether it’s directed at one thing in particular, or just a vague longing for “more,” we’re sure that once we finally get our own “precious,” we’ll be satisfied. But instead, what we thought would make us whole leaves us feeling even emptier than before.

There’s a better way to live. As David expresses in Psalm 16, when the longings in our hearts threaten to send us on a desperate, futile quest for satisfaction (v. 4), we can remember to turn to God for refuge (v. 1), reminding ourselves that apart from Him we have nothing (v. 2).

And as our eyes stop looking for satisfaction “out there” to gaze instead on God’s beauty (v. 8, we find ourselves finally tasting true contentment—a life of basking in the “joy [of God’s] presence,” walking with Him each moment in “the way of life”—now and forever (v. 11 ).

Reflect & Pray
What’s the thing you often turn to for satisfaction when you lose sight of God? Who can be a source of support and love for you when you feel trapped in your addiction to “more”?

God, forgive me for thinking I can find what I need apart from You. Thank You for always being there even when I forget to look for You. Draw me to Your side to live in the joy of walking with You.
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Out of the Trap
Posted:Jul 15, 2019 3:43 am
Last Updated:Jul 19, 2019 2:26 pm
35 Views
Bible in a Year:

Psalms 13–15; Acts 19:21–41
I have learned the secret of being content.

Philippians 4:12

1 Timothy 6:6-10
The Venus flytrap was first discovered in a small area of sandy wetlands not far from our home in North Carolina. These plants are fascinating to watch because they’re carnivorous.

Venus flytraps release a sweet-smelling nectar into colorful traps that resemble open flowers. When an insect crawls inside, triggering sensors along the outer rim, the trap clamps shut in less than a second—capturing its victim. The trap then closes further and emits enzymes that consume its prey over time, giving the plant nutrients not provided by the sandy soil.

God’s Word tells of another trap that can capture unexpectedly. The apostle Paul warned his protégé Timothy: “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.” And “some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”
(1 Timothy 6:9–10).

money and material things may promise happiness, but when they take first place in our lives, we walk on dangerous ground. We avoid this trap by living with thankful, humble hearts focused on God’s goodness to us through Jesus: “godliness with contentment is great gain” (v. 6).

The temporary things of this world never satisfy like God can. True, lasting contentment is found only through our relationship with Him.

Reflect & Pray
Which do you think more about—money or your relationship with God? How can you give Him the highest priority today?

Loving Lord, You are the greatest blessing of my life! Help me to live contentedly with all that You are today.
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In Living Color
Posted:Jul 14, 2019 3:26 am
Last Updated:Jul 14, 2019 3:26 am
41 Views
Bible in a Year:

Psalms 10–12; Acts 19:1–20
The one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby.

Revelation 4:3

Revelation 4:1-6
When Xavier McCoury put on the glasses Aunt Celena sent for his tenth birthday, he burst into tears. Born colorblind, Xavier had only ever seen the world in shades of gray, white, and black. With his new EnChroma glasses, however, Xavier saw color for the first time. His euphoria at witnessing the beauty around him made his family feel like they’d beheld a miracle.

Witnessing God’s colorfully radiant brilliance also evoked a powerful reaction in the apostle John (Revelation 1:17). After encountering the full glory of the resurrected Christ, John glimpsed “a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. . . . From the throne came flashes of lightning” (Revelation 4:2–5).

In a different time, Ezekiel had a similar vision, seeing “what looked like a throne of lapis lazuli,” with a figure above the throne who “looked like glowing metal, as if full of fire” (Ezekiel 1:26–27). This magnificent figure was surrounded with rainbow-like radiance (v. 28.

One day we will meet Christ face-to-face. These visions give us just a hint of the magnificence that awaits us. As we celebrate the beauty of God’s creation here and now, may we live in anticipation of the glory yet to be revealed.

Reflect & Pray
What response does the color and beauty of creation evoke in you? How can you express your gratitude to God for His wonderful gift?

Father, words fail us when we try to imagine what we will experience when we meet You face-to-face. Thank You for the small hints of Your beauty You have placed in our world.
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Beautiful to God
Posted:Jul 13, 2019 3:51 am
Last Updated:Jul 19, 2019 2:26 pm
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Bible in a Year:

Psalms 7–9; Acts 18
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

Psalm 8:4

Psalm 8:4-9
When Denise began dating her boyfriend, she attempted to maintain a slim figure and dress stylishly, believing she would be more attractive to him in that way. After all, it was what all the women’s magazines advised. It was only much later that she discovered what he really thought: “I liked you just as much when you were heavier and didn’t worry about what you wore.”

Denise realized then how subjective “beauty” was. Our view of beauty is so easily influenced by others. It’s often focused on the external, forgetting the value of inner beauty. But God sees us in only one way—as His beautiful, beloved ren. I’d like to think that when God created the world, He left the best for last—us! Everything He created was good, but we’re extra special because we’re made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

God considers us beautiful! No wonder the psalmist was filled with awe as he compared the greatness of nature with humans. “What is mankind,” he asked, “that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:4). Yet God chose to give mortals a glory and honor that nothing else had
(v. 5).

This truth gives us an assurance and rea to praise Him (v. 9). No matter what others think of us—or what we think of ourselves—know this: We are beautiful to God.

Reflect & Pray
How do you see yourself? How do you think God sees you?

Father, You know how insecure we can feel about ourselves. Thank You for the assurance that You love us!
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Followers
Posted:Jul 12, 2019 3:31 am
Last Updated:Jul 19, 2019 2:26 pm
55 Views
Bible in a Year:

Psalms 4–6; Acts 17:16–34
The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Luke 8:15

Luke 8:11-15
Sunflowers sprout in a carefree manner all over the world. Pollinated by bees, the plants spring up on the sides of highways, under bird feeders, and across fields, meadows, and prairies. To produce a harvest, however, sunflowers need good soil. Well-drained, slightly acidic, nutrient-rich soil “with organic matter or composted,” says the Farmer’s Almanac, finally produces tasty sunflower seeds, pure oil, and also a livelihood for hard-working sunflower growers.

We also need “good soil” for spiritual growth (Luke 8:15). As Jesus taught in His parable of the farmer scattering seed, God’s Word can sprout even in rocky or thorny soil (see vv. 6–7). It only thrives, however, in the soil of “honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest” (v. 15 ).

Young sunflowers are just as patient in their growth. Following the sun’s movement throughout the day, they turn sunward daily in a process called heliotropism. Mature sunflowers are just as deliberate. They turn eastward permanently, warming the face of the flower and increasing visits from pollinator bees. This in turn produces a greater harvest.

As with those who care for sunflowers, we can provide a rich medium for God’s Word to grow by clinging to His Word and following after His —developing honesty and a good heart for God’s Word to mature us. It’s a daily process. May we follow the and grow.

Reflect & Pray
What’s the condition of your spiritual soil? Rocky, thorny, or rich in spiritual “nutrients”? Why? When you follow the daily, how does this practice impact your honesty and heart?
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Football and Shepherds
Posted:Jul 11, 2019 3:54 am
Last Updated:Jul 13, 2019 11:16 am
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Bible in a Year:

Psalms 1–3; Acts 17:1–15
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

John 10:11

John 10:11-15
An intriguing element of English football is the team anthem sung by the fans at the start of each match. These gs range from the fun (“Glad All Over”) to the whimsical (“I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”) to the surprising. “Psalm 23,” for instance, is the anthem of the club from West Bromwich Albion. The words of that psalm appear on the façade inside the team’s stadium, declaring to everyone who comes to watch the “West Brom Baggies” the care of the good, great, and chief Shepherd.

In Psalm 23, David made his timeless statement, “The Lord is my shepherd” (v. 1). Later, the gospel writer Matthew would tell us, “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36). And in John 10, Jesus declared His love and concern for the human “sheep” of His generation. “I am the good shepherd,” He said. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (v. 11). Jesus’s compassion drove His interactions with the crowds, His responses to their needs, and, ultimately, His sacrifice on their (and our) behalf.

“The Lord is my shepherd” is far more than an ancient lyric or a clever slogan. It’s the confident statement of what it means to be known and loved by our great God—and what it means to be rescued by His .

Reflect & Pray
In what ways have you seen God’s care for you? Who can you tell about Him today?

What a gift our Shepherd is to us, Father! Help us to respond to His voice—and draw nearer to You.

Read The Lord Is My Shepherd at discoveryseries.org/hp952.
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Unseen Realities
Posted:Jul 10, 2019 1:50 am
Last Updated:Jul 10, 2019 11:41 am
63 Views
Bible in a Year:

Job 41–42; Acts :22–40
Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.”

2 Kings 6:

2 Kings 6:8-
Stephen Cass, an editor at Discover magazine, was determined to investigate some of the invisible things that are part of his daily life. As he walked toward his office in New York City, he thought: “If I could see radio waves, the top of the Empire State Building [with its host of radio and TV antennas] would be lit like a kaleidoscopic flare, illuminating the entire city.” He realized he was surrounded by an invisible electromagnetic field of radio and TV signals, Wi-Fi, and more.

Elisha’s servant learned about another kind of unseen reality one morning—the invisible spiritual world. He awoke to find himself and his master surrounded by the armies of Aram. As far as his eyes could see, there were soldiers mounted on powerful wars (2 Kings 6! The servant was afraid, but Elisha was confident because he saw the army of angels that surrounded them. He said: “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (v. ). Then he asked the Lord to open his servant’s eyes so he too could see that the Lord had surrounded their enemy and He was in control (v. ).

Do you feel overpowered and helpless? Remember that God is in control and fights for you. He “will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91.

Reflect & Pray
How can you learn to trust God’s supernatural help? How would trusting Him more change the way you face difficulties?

Fear not for God is with us and for us.
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