January 14

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“The Lord replies, “I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up to rescue them, as they have longed for me to do” (Psalm 12:5 NLT).

From: January 14, 2019

THE LORD SEES AND HEARS AND RISES UP TO RESCUE

We tend to turn our eyes away from the helpless, fearing they may ask us for help. We cover our ears to the groans of the poor, hoping they will knock on someone else’s door. Yet, the Lord sees and hears them. He does not turn away His eyes, nor cover His ears. He is ready to rise up to rescue them.
 
Following the Lord we begin to look for the helpless and listen to the poor. We no longer turn away. Looking and listening with the Lord’s eyes, we sense Him calling us to rise up and participate in their rescue. When the disciples saw that the crowds were hungry, the Lord said, “You feed them” (Mark 6:37). And like the disciples we worry that we don’t have the resources. But the resources are the Lord’s. Ours is the looking, listening and the rising up to join the Lord in His work. Doing so, He multiplies our resources.
 
PRAYER: Lord, help us to see the helpless and hear the poor with Your eyes and ears. You are the Head and we are Your body. Help us to trust the means of rescue to You. Yet, we desire to rise up to join You in the work. Thank You Lord for your provision and calling. In Jesus name, Amen.

‘Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your father and grandfather and to your relatives there, and I will be with you.”’ (Genesis 31:3 NLT).

From: January 14, 2018

Jacob already wanted to return to the land of his birth, but when the Lord instructed him to go, he began to make preparations. He told his wives what the Lord had said to him and they immediately were supportive, saying, “Go ahead and do whatever God has told you” (Gen. 31:16). It is a powerful thing when a husband hears and obeys the word of the Lord, and a wife is unified with him.
 
On a side note, I found it interesting in today’s reading that most of Jacob’s twelve sons were introduced by name in the OT reading and then the twelve disciples of Jesus were introduced by name in the NT reading.

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16 NKJV).

From: January 14, 2017

It was Jesus who sent out the disciples. The Greek for “I send” is emphatic. It is Christ Himself who is sending them out. It is by His authority and command. In this sending, Jesus used the attributes of four animals to describe the way He was sending them:
1) “As sheep” – Meek and without apparent physical defense.
2) “Amidst wolves” – Wolves harm sheep. They represent those who will persecute and kill the disciples.
3) “As serpents” – Serpents were seen to move with wisdom and subtlety. Move like serpents, but strike as…
4) “As doves” – “Harmless.” Be wise like serpents, but don’t strike as they do. Be harmless as doves.
Jesus is still sending out His disciples with the same authority and in the same manner.

“When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes” (Matthew 10:23 ESV)

From: January 14, 2016

The spreading of the gospel is the high calling for all Christians. If we are persecuted in one town, so that the gospel opportunity is limited or closed, then go to the next town. The corollary would be that if a place is welcoming to the gospel, then stay there. How do we know the timing of when to go and when to stay? The answer is that we are to be led by the Spirit. Sometimes He calls us to stay and suffer, so that hard soil is broken up and a resistant place is softened by our suffering for Christ. Yet, other times He calls us to escape persecution, so that He can have us carry the gospel to a place already prepared to hear it. That the “Son of Man comes” before all the towns of Israel have been visited has a much debated meaning. Some say Christ was referring to His plan to rejoin them after sending out His disciples. Others believe He was speaking of His resurrection, when His true nature would be revealed. Still others believe He was speaking of the fact that many Jewish towns would be resistant to the gospel until the end times before Christ’s second coming. For myself, I believe it was the latter meaning. And that we are to be busy spreading the gospel to every town on planet earth until His soon return.

“…do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:19-20 NKJV)

From: January 14, 2015

When Jesus sent His disciples out as witnesses, He gave them detailed instructions. He even prepared them for times when they would be persecuted or questioned concerning their faith. He instructed them not to “worry” about defending their faith because God’s Spirit would give them the words to say in the “hour” it was needed. This promise that the Spirit will give us the words to say assumes that we will go out as witnesses. If we do not go out, then the Spirit’s help is hardly needed. We will miss out on this wonderful supply of grace. But if we obey Jesus and go out as witnesses, then this provision of spiritual wisdom will be experienced. So, stop saying, “I’m afraid to share my faith because I don’t know how or because I’m afraid they’ll ask something I don’t know the answer to.” Instead, go out in obedience and let the Spirit speak in and through you.

“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold” (Proverbs 3:13-14)

From: January 14, 2013

This wisdom is best understood as a full and growing knowledge of God’s Word combined with the understanding of how to rightly apply it to life’s circumstances. There is a way of thinking that the world calls wise, but it is foolishness to God and leads to death. The wisdom of God leads to blessing and eternal life.