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August 9

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“People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart” (Proverbs 21:2 NLT).

From: August 9, 2019


We all love our own opinions, especially opinions of ourselves. We tend to judge others harshly, but we always have an excuse for our own shortcomings and sins. In our hypocrisy, we declare ourselves righteous in our own eyes.
Yet the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. He “examines” the human heart, which is the source of our attitudes and actions. And what does the Lord report from His heart examination?
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jer. 17:9).
When we are honest with ourselves, feeling the conviction of the Spirit, we recognize our need for a new heart. So we cry out with David saying to God, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). When we sincerely confess our sins and bring them to the cross of Christ, trusting Him to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness, then we receive the promise of God given through the prophet Ezekiel. For God has promised, “I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you” (Ez.36:26).
PRAYER: Father, thank You for keeping Your promise in Christ Jesus. For He is the Promised Seed and Promised Sacrifice for our terminal heart condition. Today, examine our hearts afresh, so that we see ourselves as You do. Strengthen us to live for You today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5:5 ESV)

From: August 9, 2016

It was reported to the apostle Paul that a man in the Corinthian church had taken his father’s wife and that the incestuous affair had not been addressed by the church. Paul instructed them to put the man out of the church for at least two reasons. One, the man was unrepentant and his ongoing sin was hurting the church. And two, the man needed to be corrected for the sake of his own sanctification. Paul used judicial language. They were to “deliver” the man outside the protection of the church where the Lord reigns, to the world for Satan to administer discipline of his flesh (his sin nature). Hopefully, the man would come to his senses after seeing the “destruction” that following the flesh would bring on him, and he would repent. Notice that Paul was not speaking of the man losing his salvation, but of losing his place in the fellowship of the church until he might repent, or until the Day of the Lord.

“I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble” (Psalm 31:7 NKJV)

From: August 9, 2015

This Psalm of David teaches us to choose gladness and worship, while giving our troubles to God. David wrote that God had “considered” his trouble. In other words David had stopped thinking about his troubles and had given them to God for His consideration. This is how the disciples prayed too, “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness” (Acts 4:29). When we continue to consider our own trouble it leads to discouragement and worry. But when we give them to God, it opens the way to gladness and rejoicing.

“O Lord, God of Israel, you are just. We come before you in our guilt as nothing but an escaped remnant, though in such a condition none of us can stand in your presence” (Ezra 9:15 NLT)

From: August 9, 2014

When Ezra arrived in Jerusalem with offerings for the Temple, he discovered that many of the priests and leaders had led the people into sin. In response, he tore his clothes, pulled out his beard and prayed a prayer of repentance. In his prayer, he spoke of the reality that their “condition” of guilt prevented them from standing in God’s presence. This sad reality continued until the Lord Jesus offered Himself on the cross for our sins and the Temple curtain separating us from a holy God was rent. Our “condition” of sin, separation and death was placed upon Christ, while His righteousness, Sonship, and life were ascribed to us who believe.

“We prayed that he would give us a safe journey and protect us, our children, and our goods as we traveled” (Ezra 8:21)

From: August 9, 2012

Ezra led a remnant of Israelites back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. The journey itself would be long and dangerous, but they trusted God to protect them. Do you pray before a trip? Gather your family together before leaving your driveway and ask God to give you a safe journey.

“I proclaimed a fast, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask him for a safe journey” (Ezra 8:21)

From: August 9, 2011

As Ezra prepared to lead the remnant back to Jerusalem, he called a fast. Fasting humbles the flesh and focuses the spirit on hearing from God. This is not to get God’s attention. He is always present. Fasting focuses our attention on Him.