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November 28

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“It is time for You to act, O LORD, for they have regarded Your law as void” (Psalms 119:126 NKJV).

From: November 28, 2020

WHEN IS IT TIME FOR GOD TO ACT?

The psalmist saw the people of the world becoming more and more rebellious, ignoring the law of God. He called on the Lord to take action. This call was made especially acute by the fact that Psalm 119 was written as an ode to God’s Word. Usually ascribed to David as its author, it is said that he wrote the acrostic poem to teach his son the Hebrew alphabet, while also instilling in him a love for God’s Word. As the longest of the 150 psalms, it stands at the center of the Bible as a banner for the beauty and perfection of the Word of God.
 
The psalmist saw the law of God that he loved, being treated as “void” (“empty, invalid”). He felt it was time for God to do something about it. But he need not have been concerned. For God’s Word never comes up empty. As the Lord told the prophet Isaiah, “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please. And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:11).
 
God’s people today may often feel as David did, that it is “time for the Lord to act.” Yet the Lord is not slow, nor slack in responding. The Lord’s timing is His own. As the apostle Peter explained, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).
 
The truth is the Lord has already acted and continues to act. He acted when He sent His only Son, Jesus, to give His life as a ransom. He is acting now to draw us to Himself by the Spirit of Christ. And He will ultimately act on that Day when Jesus returns.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, we wonder as David did whether it is time for You to act, O Lord. Consider the state of the world, of our nation, even our city. Consider the utter disregard that people seem to have for Your Word. They treat it as if it were mere myth, as if it were void. Yet, we love Your Word. We believe Your Word. We know that the timing is Yours, but even so, O Lord, come quickly. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“But you have not honored the God who gives you the breath of life and controls your destiny!” (Daniel 5:23b NLT).

From: November 28, 2019

THE WRITING ON THE WALL

Daniel warned Belshazzar, king of Babylon, that he had not learned to honor God and give Him thanks, even though he had witnessed how God had humbled his predecessor, Nebuchadnezzer. God sent Belshazzar a message, written on the wall of his banquet hall by a disembodied hand as he and his guests watched with mouths agape. Yet only Daniel could read the writing, which translated warned that the end of Belshazzar’s reign had come.
 
Thus, we have the saying to this day, He should’ve seen the “writing on the wall.” In other words, Belshazzar knew better. He knew about the Lord, yet failed to honor Him with thanksgiving.
 
PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, we give You thanks this day for all of Your many blessings. For You are full of grace and love toward us, withholding no good thing, but always giving us what we need to live for You. We are full of gratitude for all that You are and for all that You do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Suddenly, they saw the fingers of a human hand writing on the plaster wall of the king’s palace, near the lampstand. The king himself saw the hand as it wrote, and his face turned pale with fright. His knees knocked together in fear and his legs gave way beneath him.” (Daniel 5:5-6 NLT).

From: November 28, 2018

HAVE YOU SEEN THE WRITING ON THE WALL?
King Belshazzar of Babylon gave orders to bring the gold and silver vessels from the treasury that his predecessor, Nebuchadnezzar, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem. He and his nobles partied, praising the gods of silver and gold as they drank from Jerusalem’s Temple goblets. It was at that moment that a disembodied hand appeared, writing on the wall. The drunken king was immediately sober with fear. The prophet Daniel was summoned to read the unreadable script, which warned Belshazzer of his imminent demise. Daniel reminded the king that he had witnessed the humbling of his forebearer, Nebuchadnezzar, yet he had not humbled himself before God. Instead, he had proudly defied the Lord, even drinking from the sacred cups.
 
This was not Belshazzer’s first warning. He knew all of the stories and had surely heard the testimony of Nebuchadnezzar concerning the greatness and righteousness of God. Yet, he did not repent. He should have known what was in store for him. Especially, after he saw the “writing on the wall.”

“I am Your servant; Give me understanding, That I may know Your testimonies.” (Psalm 119:125 NKJV).

From: November 28, 2017

There is a right way and a wrong way to approach the Bible. The psalmist approached it in the right way. He first declared his position as a servant of the Lord before requesting understanding and knowledge of God’s Word. He came saying, “I have already decided to obey You, O Lord, only help me understand what I read, so I know how to apply it rightly to my life. The psalmist came empty, asking to be filled. He came thirsty, asking for the living water to quench his thirst.
 
There is also a wrong way to approach the Bible. The requests may be the same, but the attitude is opposite of the psalmist’s. The one who approaches wrongly will come full of their own knowledge, asking only to add to it. They come without thirst, only wishing to spit it out at others to prove their own superiority. They come not as a “servant,” but as a self-appointed master, thinking to use the Bible according to their own design.
 
How do you approach God’s Word? May we join the psalmist in saying, “Lord, I am your servant. Give me understanding of Your Word.”

“There will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies” (2 Peter 2:1 ESV)

From: November 28, 2016

The apostle Peter wrote his second letter to awaken believers to an unclouded understanding of the faith. In chapter 2, he warned them to keep their eyes open for false teachers that would invariably try to creep into the flock. As Jesus warned, “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves” (Matt. 7:15). Persecution and trouble from without is challenging enough, but false teachers that attack from within may actually cause the most destruction. What are some signs of false teaching according to Peter: 1) “Denying” the divinity and lordship of Christ (v.1), 2) Overt sensuality or pursuit of the flesh (v.2), 3) Greedy exploitation of the flock for personal gain (v.3). What is the best way to stay alert to false teaching? Stay in the Word! By knowing the genuine, we guard against the counterfeit.

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning” (2 Peter 2:20 NKJV)

From: November 28, 2015

Who is in an “entangled” and “worse” condition? Understanding this verse means identifying who “they” are. There are two choices: The false teachers (2:1) that Peter has been describing or those that the false teachers “allure” (2:18). The description that “they” have “escaped” through the “knowledge” of Jesus points to the latter. These are immature believers who have been enticed back into a life of sin. How is their latter state worse? Is it because they have lost their salvation. Peter does not say this. Instead, he describes them as miserable and muddied, like a dog who returns to its vomit or a pig who returns to the mud. Unlike the unbeliever, who lives in ignorance, they wallow in sin having known better, yet once again “overcome” by it.

“A hard worker has plenty of food, but a person who chases fantasies ends up in poverty.” (Proverbs 28:19 NLT)

From: November 28, 2014

Some bounce from job to job and deal to deal looking for their big break. Others keep their head down and work with what they have. The former often end up empty while the latter prosper. Be thankful and get busy with what you have now.

“You have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored” (Daniel 5:23b)

From: November 28, 2013

This is part of the interpretation that Daniel gave Belshazzer after a hand appeared and wrote on the king’s wall. God holds our next breath and all our future days in His hands. Whom do we honor? To whom do we offer worship and give thanks?

“The trustworthy person will get a rich reward, but a person who wants quick riches will get into trouble” (Proverbs 28:20)

From: November 28, 2012

Wealth isn’t the problem. It’s the attitude of wanting wealth quickly, of a willingness to take any shortcut, no matter the ethic. The one who works to earn over a long time, knows the value of things and how to manage. The one who obtains quickly, loses it the same way. Easy come, easy go. And with that, “trouble.” Those who believe this proverb, won’t waste their dollar on a lottery ticket, but will invest it instead.

“He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty” (Proverbs 28:19)

From: November 28, 2011

Some bounce from job to job and deal to deal looking for their big break. Others keep their head down and work with what they have. The former often end up empty while the latter prosper. Be thankful and get busy with what you have now.