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June 1

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“Many are my persecutors and my enemies, Yet I do not turn from Your testimonies” (Psalm 119:157 NKJV).

From: June 1, 2020

WHOSE TESTIMONY WILL YOU BELIEVE?

Some say that David wrote Psalm 119 to teach his son, Solomon, to love God’s Word, while at the same time, teaching him the Hebrew alphabet. For this beautiful ode to God’s Word is an acrostic poem, with each stanza beginning with one of the twenty-two Hebrew letters.
 
Yet certainly, he was teaching Solomon more than his “ABCs.” For in this verse, he wanted his son to learn the best way to respond when surrounded by persecutors and enemies. David taught him not to respond in kind, thus departing from the truth of God’s Word. When persecutors come, he challenged him not to turn from God’s “testimonies.”
 
Psalm 119 is like a thesaurus for God’s Word, calling it God’s law, statutes, precepts, judgments, commandments, and even “testimonies.” Those that would persecute and destroy have a “testimony” about you. They have a warped and worldly view of reality that they want you to believe about yourself and others. It’s filled with hate and racism, anger and revenge. David knew that testimony, but he had chosen to follow God’s testimony instead. And he wanted Solomon to do the same.
 
In this world filled with injustice and hate, whose testimony will you believe? Will you become like your persecutors, thinking to pay them back? If you do, then they have won. For you have become the very thing that they testified of you.
 
Instead, decide not to turn from God’s testimonies. His testimony is Good News. Decide to believe what God says about you and about your neighbor.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we are so tempted to take revenge when we are hurt. We are filled with anger and hate. Teach us to focus on You. To follow Your testimonies. There is a right way to respond to persecution. We want to follow Your way. Send your reconciliation and revival to our land today. We are sick to our stomachs with this worldly strife. Strengthen us to be Your peacemakers. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“They were both running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first” (John 20:4 NLT).

From: June 1, 2018

THE RACE TO BELIEVING
When Mary Magdalene told Peter and the “disciple that Jesus loved” that the tomb was empty, they ran to see it for themselves. The unnamed disciple won the race, but paused at the tomb entrance, while Peter ran straight in. Finally, John, the beloved disciple, entered the tomb. Remembering the Scriptures concerning Jesus’ resurrection, he believed. John may have been the faster, but Peter was bolder. Yet, both of them won the race to believing.

‘Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!”’ (2 Samuel 18:33 NKJV).

From: June 1, 2017

David’s grief at news of his son’s death is perhaps the most vivid expression of mourning in the Bible. He was “deeply moved” when he heard the news. The Hebrew word here refers to a “violent trembling” of the body. David was wracked with grief. His weeping could be heard by all those returning from successfully defending the king. Yet, their sense of victory was dulled by the king’s wailing.
 
Surely David’s grief was magnified by his own sense of regret as a father, knowing that it was his own sin that sowed the seeds to Absalom’s rebellion. However, David the father had forgotten his role as David the king, and this negligence could’ve led to his demise had not Joab intervened.
 
Yet, even in this sad picture we catch a glimpse of our Savior’s love for us. For He loved and wept over us while we were still sinners in rebellion against Him.
 
Remember His lament over Jerusalem the week of His passion? “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).
 
Like David, Christ declared His desire to “die in our place,” and more than that, He actually came down and took our death, that we might receive His life.

‘Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”’ (John 20:28 ESV)

From: June 1, 2016

Thomas didn’t see the risen Jesus when he first appeared. Even though Thomas had followed Jesus as one of the Twelve, he still doubted until he saw the risen Lord for himself. When the resurrected Jesus appeared to him, his confession of faith was to ascribe divinity to Jesus. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and God. It was Jesus who addressed Thomas’ agnosticism. He invited Thomas to see and touch and believe. It was Jesus who helped Thomas with his unbelief. Where are you doubting the Lord today? Wherever you are still worried and troubled, in that very area, you are still doubting Christ’s Lordship, in that very area you are in a state of unbelief. Confess your unbelief to Jesus. Declare him Lord over the arena of your anxiety saying, “I trust in you Jesus, for you are my Lord and my God!”

“these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31 NKJV)

From: June 1, 2015

As the apostle John came near the close of his gospel, he gave its purpose statement, namely, that his gospel was written that its readers might believe. John was an eyewitness to all that he wrote and his writings concerning Jesus call for a faith response. Some will read or hear the gospel and reject it outright or otherwise attempt to discredit it. Yet others will hear John’s good news concerning Jesus and trust His account. Those who believe will also receive, their hearts being renewed and their destinies forever changed.

“Then Jesus told him, ‘You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me'” (John 20:29 NLT)

From: June 1, 2014

Jesus encouraged his disciple Thomas to stop being “faithless” and to see and believe. Thomas saw the risen Lord and believed. Early church history indicates that Thomas carried the gospel to India and was martyred there. Thomas saw the words of Jesus come to pass as three thousand believed in Jerusalem at Pentecost and many more thousands across the Roman empire and even to the East in India believed without seeing the risen Savior. Today, those of us who believe are among those who are blessed, for we have believed without seeing. At least not yet. For Thomas, seeing preceded believing. For us, believing came first, but seeing will soon follow.

“Then Jesus told him, ‘You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me'” (John 20:29)

From: June 1, 2012

Jesus commended Thomas for seeing and believing. He blesses us today even more for believing without seeing. Do you know this blessing of believing in Jesus?

“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God” (John 20:30)

From: June 1, 2011

John said that he wrote his gospel so that those who hadn’t seen Jesus themselves might believe. And believing that they might have eternal life in His Name. We can read God’s Word and believe.