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April 20

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“God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be held in reverence by all those around Him” (Psalms 89:7 NKJV).

From: April 20, 2020

FEARING GOD WE FEAR NOTHING ELSE

There are many types of assemblies. Men gather for government and for business. They meet for weddings and funerals. Families gather for birthdays and holidays. Yet the assembly of the saints is unique. For they gather in the name of the Lord. Certainly there is formality and respect on display in other human gatherings, but the assembly of the saints is like no other. For God is the One who has called them together. And the saints greatly fear the Lord and revere Him higher than all others.
 
Yet in these days of the pandemic, assemblies and gatherings have been banned. There is a temporary hold on such meetings for fear of spreading the Coronavirus. Our love of neighbor supports a temporary pause for such gatherings. For none of us want to spread a killing disease.
 
However, we cannot forsake the assembling of ourselves together for very long, especially as the Day of Christ’s return approaches (cf. Heb. 10:25). For the assembly of the saints is the Church, the body of Christ, of which He is the Head. Fearing God, we fear nothing else. For it is our Lord who tells us not to be afraid of the invisible pestilence, for He is our refuge and our salvation (cf. Psa. 91). As the Proverb says, “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (Prov. 29:25).
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, forgive us for not trusting You in all things. We often struggle with the fear of man or other fears. But we know that Your perfect love drives out such fear. We ask You to heal our nation of false fear and to bring us to a place where we fear You alone. Not being afraid of You, but holding You in such high reverence and awe that we fear Your displeasure. For always want to please You, which is only possible by faith in Your Son. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent.” (Luke 20:26 NLT).

From: April 20, 2019

JESUS ANSWERS AN UNANSWERABLE QUESTION

The Jewish leaders sent spies to entrap Jesus with what they thought was an unanswerable question. They asked Jesus, “Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” They had carefully crafted the politically charged question, so that if he answered in the positive, he would offend the Jewish crowds. And if he answered in the negative, he would be charged with a crime against Rome.
 
Yet, Jesus surprised them by answering their question with his own question, “Show me a Roman coin. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied, not realizing that Jesus was about to overcome their political trap. “Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”
 
They were both amazed and silenced with Christ’s answer to their question. I wonder how many of our carefully thought out, difficult questions for God, will one day be answered in similar fashion. Leaving us, as they were, both amazed and silent?
 
PRAYER: Lord, we are often filled with doubts and questions. We know that you are not afraid of our questions. Even though some of them are filled with accusations towards You. Forgive us our lack of faith. Help us to understand that which You want us to know. And help us to accept that which is beyond our understanding, trusting that You are both Sovereign and Omniscient. In Jesus’ name, amen.

‘And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”’ (Luke 20:8 NLT).

From: April 20, 2018

THE QUESTION OF AUTHORITY
When the leading priests, teachers and elders interrupted Jesus’ teaching in the Temple to ask the source of His authority, it was actually the source of theirs that came into question. For when He challenged them to answer whether John the Baptist’s authority was from heaven or from man, they balked. The very men that were supposedly set apart to judge whether a prophet was true or false were afraid to give an honest answer because they feared the people who believed in John’s calling from God. So, they lied saying they didn’t know. Their answer revealed their authority, or should I say the lack thereof. For their authority was merely human and dependent on keeping the right people happy. Jesus’ refusal to answer their question actually revealed that His authority was greater than theirs. He felt no obligation to answer to these people-pleasing hypocrites. So, these so-called leaders scurried away, with the tails of their robes tucked between their legs, back into their darkened rooms where they would plan their next scheme for ridding themselves of Jesus.
 
Jesus’ authority came from God. As the gospel of John quoted Jesus saying, “I don’t speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say” (John 12:49-50).

“I have made a covenant with My chosen, I have sworn to My servant David: ‘Your seed I will establish forever, And build up your throne to all generations.’” (Psalm 89:3-4 NKJV).

From: April 20, 2017

The physical fulfillment of this promise was unbroken until the Babylonian overthrow of Judah in 597 BC. Yet, the spiritual fulfillment always pointed to Christ, who is the “Seed of the woman” who would crush Satan’s head (Gen. 3:15), the “Seed of Abraham” through whom all nations of the earth shall be blessed (Gen. 26:4), and the “Seed of David” whom God will raise up to reign forever.
 
As the apostle Paul wrote, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ” (Gal. 3:16). Jesus Christ is the promised Seed.

“Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass” (Joshua 21:45 NKJV)

From: April 20, 2015

All of the promises that God gave the Israelites while in the wilderness were finally realized. The people weren’t always faithful, but God was. What promises of God are you believing during these uncertain times? Do not despair. All of His good promises will come to pass. God’s Word will not fail.

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘Then what does this Scripture mean? “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.'” (Luke 20:17 NLT)

From: April 20, 2014

After hearing Jesus tell the parable of the evil tenants, the people wondered at how terrible the tenants treated the Owner’s son. At this, Jesus pointed them to the Scripture found in Psalm 118:22 that described how their spiritual leaders would reject the true stone for the temple which would turn out to be the Cornerstone that undergirds their entire worship. The Jewish leaders knew that Jesus was comparing them to the evil tenants and they fulfilled the Psalm by rejecting Him and turning Him over to Pilate to be crucified. Yet, on the third day He arose. The stone the builders rejected became the Chief Cornerstone. The Resurrected Christ is the foundation of our faith! The Church is built on Him!

“Not one word of all the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass” (Joshua 21:45 ESV)

From: April 20, 2013

All of the promises that God gave the Israelites while in the wilderness were finally realized. The people weren’t always faithful, but God was. What promises of God are you believing during these uncertain times? Do not despair. All of His good promises will come to pass.

“Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness” (Proverbs 13:16)

From: April 20, 2012

Do you leap before you look? Do you speak before you listen? What decision is before you today that needs more thought and counsel before you act?

“The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth; you founded the world and all that is in it” (Psalm 89:11)

From: April 20, 2011

Creation week establishes God’s ownership, Passion Week, His redemption. The first Adam rebelled and God’s good creation fell. The Second Adam obeyed and through Him everything is being made new again. Acknowledge what Christ has done for us!