PRESUMPTION

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EXTENDED READING: 1 Samuel 6: 1-21

DEVOTIONAL VERSE:  Verse 19

“We like to think that because we believe the right doctrine and belong to the right church we can always count on the Lord’s blessing in our lives. Israel believed their covenant with God and the presence of the ark in battle would assure them of victory over the Philistines. They lost the battle and the ark was captured by the enemy.”

    “The Philistines also believed their idol to be superior to God until it fell and broke in pieces when the ark was placed beside it. The inhabitants of every city where the ark was placed were plagued with tumors. When the ark was returned, the Israelites who received it were punished for looking inside contrary to the law.”

    We learn a valuable lesson from this historical account. The lesson is this: that even those in a covenant relationship with God cannot expect His blessing when they are (disobedient) to His laws and commandments.

    Presumption, or “going beyond the limits of what is permitted or deemed acceptable,” regarding God’s holiness and kindness towards us, will always end up with His chastening hand upon us, not His blessings (Hebrews 12:6). God loves us and desires to bless us, but His holiness is always foremost in all His doings! 

“Because God’s holiness is a function of His transcendence, because he is high and exalted, nothing in creation can match the Lord in His glory, power, and purity.”

So, let us each day walk with faith and in obedience to His revealed will for us, not presuming upon Him more than he has promised (Romans 15:18)!

PRAYER: Father, forgive us for those times we tend to presume upon you things that we shouldn’t, or expect more than you promised. Please help us to regard your dignity and majesty above all else, so that our lives would be lived by faith and your name lifted up among the lost. Amen.

*Adapted from the Topical Chain Study Bible , 1983

  • * Quote from Ligonier Ministries article, “the meaning of holiness.”

WHO AM I

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Extended reading: Psalm 8

Devotional verse: Verse 4

“What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?”

David, the writer of this Psalm, is in awe of the Lord’s majesty, glory, and power. That is portrayed in the way he writes this Psalm. In spending time meditating on the creation of God, the night sky, moon, and stars, his thoughts bend to something he at first deems lesser than what he is beholding in the sky: humankind!

“What is man” compared to all this? He cries out. Why would you, a holy God, even take one part of a moment in time to consider us? But, then as he contemplates this thought further, he realizes just how much God loves us and how much he entrusted unto humankind.

“It is awesome to realize that the God who created the universe in all its awesome splendor created us and considers us the crown of all creation. Knowing the greatness of our God should inspire us to seek Him. As we see the truth of how God sees us, how He loves us and has called us to be His people, we should be encouraged. We should long to grow closer to God so that He might transform us into all that He created us to be.”

PRAYER: Father, we shrink back in awe of your greatness just like David. Please help us remember and be encouraged with the truth that you, in your excellent majesty, created us for fellowship and called us to be your people! Grant to us a greater desire to grow closer to you. Amen.

Adapted from Everyman’s Bible

THE BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS

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If God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone

But on trees and flowers and clouds and stars;

How beautiful and lovely this indeed would be,

If to us it was granted eyes that could see.

If flowers are the music of the ground

Spoken from earth’s lips without any sound;

How lovely would their symphony be

If we were to stop and listen for their sweet melody.

Where flowers bloom, so does hope

Their fragrant aroma does help us cope;

Every flower that blooms must grow through dirt,

To miss this truth is to our own hurt.

Flowers are lovely, but they don’t endure,

Even with sunlight, love, and rain;

But unlike flowers that wither and fade 

God and His word will forever remain the same.

By: Larry G. Stump Jr.

(Some parts adapted from Martin Luther and Edwin Curran)

HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR ME

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I know not what this day will bring

Or what my troubles may be;

But I know who holds tomorrow

And His grace is sufficient for me.

Burdens will come and test my heart,

more rain than sun I’ll see;

Still I’ll hope in God above

Cause His grace is sufficient for me.

Although I have many weaknesses

The power of Christ rests upon me;

His power is made perfect in weakness

So His grace is sufficient for me.

Why should I fear in times of trouble

There is nothing your eyes don’t see;

Though many be rising against me

Your grace is sufficient for me.

By His grace I have been redeemed,

Cleansed by His blood and set free;

Though Jesus died He lives again

Such grace is sufficient for me.

So, I’ll draw near His throne of grace

finding mercy in my time of need;

Gaining strength for my tomorrow, and

Finding His grace is sufficient for me.

                                                         Larry G. Stump Jr.

The Gospel

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Go and spread the gospel

Over the hills and thru the vale;

It’s truth for hurting souls

Not a children’s fairytale.

O, be gentle in your speaking

But bold along the way;

For we’re not guaranteed tomorrow

And many souls are lost each day.

Speak it’s truth unto your loved ones,

Don’t burn bridges as you go;

Humbly live out the gospel for them

So it’s affects within you show.

Prepare to be rejected

That’s just par for the course;

They rejected Christ as well

O, dear Christian stay the course.

Enlist a mighty army

Going forward into war;

With the gospel as their banner

And God going on before.

Let us pray for those who listened

That His truth He does impart;

So all by grace forgiven

Will receive a blood washed heart.

Larry G. Stump Jr.