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October 9

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“Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, For we have been brought very low.” (Psalm 79:8 NKJV).

From: October 9, 2020


The Psalmist cried out to God that he and his people had been brought very low. They had hit rock bottom and could not get up without God’s help. He prayed that God would no longer remember their sins and that He would show them tender mercy. He begged God to come speedily and not delay. For their need was urgent.
Have you ever been there? How low did you have to go before looking up? For many of us, we have to be brought very low before we admit our sins and turn to God for help. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can humble ourselves today, confessing our sins and repenting. We can ask the Lord to forgive us and send His tender mercies speedily. And God will answer.
How low must you go before looking up?
PRAYER: Dear Father, we look up to You today. We praise You that You have sent Your Son to us. He willingly went down low, so that we might be lifted up. It is because of Christ and our faith in Him that we are able to ask for Your forgiveness and tender mercies today. Pour your mercy and grace on us speedily. In Jesus’ name we ask, amen.

“…you turned away from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thessalonians 1:9b NLT).

From: October 9, 2019


The apostle Paul commended the Thessalonian believers for turning from idolatry to the worship of the true and living God. They did this by receiving the message of the Gospel with joy, so that they gladly placed their faith in Christ as Lord and Savior.
We think that we are too modern to struggle with idolatry; that it was a problem of primitive humanity. But idolatry is anyone or anything that we put in the place of God in our lives. As Martin Luther wrote, “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God, your functional savior.”
Our Creator made us for worship, so we will worship something. When we believe the Gospel, we are set free to worship the true God. However as my son, Jonathan, has recently preached, “Worship is war.” For as Tim Keller writes, true worship involves “pulling our affections off our idols and putting them on God.”
PRAYER: Father, we choose to worship You alone. For You are the only true and living God. Forgive us when we put anything or anyone ahead of You. Show us where any idols remain in our lives, that we may surrender them to You, placing all of our affection on You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Yet our God gave us the courage to declare his Good News to you boldly, in spite of great opposition” (1 Thessalonians 2:2 NLT).

From: October 9, 2018

Paul and Silas had been severely mistreated and jailed in the nearby city of Philippi before coming to Thessalonica. Yet that did not cause them to be timid in sharing the Gospel. For God gave them courage to declare “His Good News” to them boldly.
When we’ve been hurt or harassed for telling others about Jesus, it often has the effect of causing us to remain silent. Perhaps even the thought that people would make fun of us, or reject us, discourages us from declaring the Gospel. But when we are obedient to open our mouths, God is faithful to encourage and embolden us in declaring the Good News, so that sinners are saved by hearing and believing. Our conviction that the Gospel is the very power of God unto salvation (Rom.1:16), makes us bold.

‘Thus the Lord said to me: “Go and get yourself a linen sash, and put it around your waist, but do not put it in water.”’ (Jeremiah 13:1 NKJV).

From: October 9, 2017

The Lord often gave the prophet Jeremiah physical assignments in order to illustrate His feelings about Israel and Judah. After Jeremiah would perform the assignment, the Lord would explain its significance. The “linen sash” was one such assignment. The Lord would later explain that, “as the sash clings to the waist of a man, so I have caused the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah to cling to Me” (Jer. 13:11).
The linen sash was to be worn about the waist. This would speak of the close intimacy with which God had joined Israel and Judah to Himself.
That it wasn’t to be “put in water,” may have referred to the normal bleaching and washing in water that linen cloth would be put through to make it clean and white. This symbolized Israel and Judah, whom by grace God had adopted as His own, even while still in a rough and unwashed state (Eze. 16:4).
After Jeremiah had worn the linen sash around his waist for a while, the Lord told him to go to the “Euphrates and hide it there in a hole in the rock” (Jer. 13:4). After several days, the Lord had him return and retrieve the sash. But it was ruined by its exposure to the elements, “profitable for nothing” (Jer. 13:7). Jeremiah could no longer wear it.
The Lord told Jeremiah that His intent was that Israel and Judah would have clung to Him. But instead, they had fallen into the “hole” of idolatry with the foreign peoples of the land. His desire was that they would have become His people, for renown, for praise, and for glory; but they would not hear” (Jer. 13:11).
Can you picture Jeremiah holding the ruined sash up over his head and preaching to Israel and Judah? Can you hear him saying, “You were meant to cling to the Lord for glory and praise, but you ruined yourself by choosing to cling to false gods instead!”?
To whom are you “clinging” today?

“The whole land is made desolate, but no man lays it to heart.” (Jeremiah 12:11 ESV)

From: October 9, 2016

God explained to Jeremiah that His judgment on Judah would grow still worse because they would not take to heart His warnings. They would not be able to rely on the land that flowed with milk and honey because they had made it “desolate,” so that the land itself mourned to God. National identity and self reliance would not save them from the storm. God was looking for heart change. I wonder. After the desolation in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, will there be any heart change in our land?

“So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:8 NKJV)

From: October 9, 2015

The apostle Paul told the Thessalonians that when they shared the gospel with them, they also shared their lives. This was the practice of Jesus, who was accused of eating and drinking with sinners. As Christ-followers we are called not only to share the gospel, but to share our very lives, loving others with the love of Christ. Gospel-sharing and life-sharing go hand in hand.

“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people” (1 Thessalonians 2:4 NLT)

From: October 9, 2014

Paul said that the One who “entrusted” him with the gospel message was also the One whom he sought to please in its delivery. Those who claim to share the Word, yet water it down to please its hearers, are not approved by God. Not only do they not please God, they mislead the people. Whose approval do you seek? Whose applause?

“Our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

From: October 9, 2013

When we share the gospel we pray that our presentation will not just be words. But that we will have what the apostle Paul had, namely the power of God, the presence of the Holy Spirit and overwhelming passion and conviction in our voices.

“And they speak of how you are looking forward to the coming of God’s Son from heaven—Jesus, whom God raised from the dead” (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

From: October 9, 2012

Paul applauded the Thessalonian believers for how they “looked forward” to Christ’s return. When we are “looking forward” to a vacation, a wedding day, a birth or a graduation, what kinds of things do we do? Do we mark the calendar and count the days? Do we talk about the upcoming day with others? Do we pack our bags and organize our lives accordingly? Do we work and prepare? If we do all these things and more to prepare for worldly occasions, what might it look like for us to live “looking forward” to Christ’s return?

“Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

From: October 9, 2011

Your words carry only your influence and authority. Can you back up your own words? But the gospel word is backed up by the Lord. They contain His power to save, HIs Spirit to convict and redeem. Therefore we speak it with deep conviction.