Morning, January 23
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Bible League: Living His Word
Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

When something is done "in vain," it is done without meaningfully fulfilling the intended goal. Whatever it may be, it is a fruitless endeavor that is done without true satisfaction. You can work hard to build a house, or stay up all night to guard a city, or get up at the crack of dawn to go to work, but if it's done in vain it really gets you nowhere. Doing something in vain is just about the last thing on earth you want to do, because the effort robs you of your strength and gifts by wasting them on misguided efforts.

Our verses for today tell us that doing things apart from God's help is a vain endeavor. Anything done apart from God, even if it looks good, is hollow and empty in reality. Further, one might add that the person who thinks they can do anything apart from God is a vain person. Vain people overestimate their gifts and abilities and waste them in vain endeavors done apart from the approval and help of God. Vain people, if they think of God at all, are far out ahead of God.

Humble people, in contrast, know the futility of vanity and vain efforts. In the great scheme of things, their motto is: "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6). The humble make a point of being in touch with God, consulting Him, seeking His Will, and asking for His strength and ability. The humble are careful not to get out ahead of God.

The life we have been given by God is too short to be wasted in the vanity of vain efforts. Consult God, and you will sleep better at night because you know God is at work for you.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Exodus 4, 5, 6


Exodus 4 -- Miraculous Signs through Moses; Aaron as Mouthpiece; Moses Returns

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Exodus 5 -- Pharaoh Rejects Moses' Plea and Increases the Israelites' Labor

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Exodus 6 -- God Promises to Deliver the Families of Israel

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
Matthew 16


Matthew 16 -- Pharisees Demand a Sign; Peter's Confession of Christ; Jesus Foretells His Death and Rebukes Peter

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
The LORD lives! Praise to my Rock!
        May God, the Rock of my salvation, be exalted!
Insight
David praises God wholeheartedly. Praise is not just a song about God; it is a song to God.
Challenge
Praising God has several aspects to it: (1) Say thank you to him for each attribute of his divine nature; (2) focus our hearts on him; (3) thank him for his many gracious gifts to us; and (4) thank him for our relationship with him.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Psalm 89:19  I have exalted one chosen out of the people.

Why was Christ chosen out of the people? Speak, my heart, for heart-thoughts are best. Was it not that he might be able to be our brother, in the blest tie of kindred blood? Oh, what relationship there is between Christ and the believer! The believer can say, "I have a Brother in heaven; I may be poor, but I have a Brother who is rich, and is a King, and will he suffer me to want while he is on his throne? Oh, no! He loves me; he is my Brother." Believer, wear this blessed thought, like a necklace of diamonds, around the neck of thy memory; put it, as a golden ring, on the finger of recollection, and use it as the King's own seal, stamping the petitions of thy faith with confidence of success. He is a brother born for adversity, treat him as such.

Christ was also chosen out of the people that he might know our wants and sympathize with us. "He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin." In all our sorrows we have his sympathy. Temptation, pain, disappointment, weakness, weariness, poverty--he knows them all, for he has felt all. Remember this, Christian, and let it comfort thee. However difficult and painful thy road, it is marked by the footsteps of thy Saviour; and even when thou reachest the dark valley of the shadow of death, and the deep waters of the swelling Jordan, thou wilt find his footprints there. In all places whithersoever we go, he has been our forerunner; each burden we have to carry, has once been laid on the shoulders of Immanuel.

"His way was much rougher and darker than mine

Did Christ, my Lord, suffer, and shall I repine?"

Take courage! Royal feet have left a blood-red track upon the road, and consecrated the thorny path forever.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Romans 5:5  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Isaiah 49:23  "Kings will be your guardians, And their princesses your nurses. They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth And lick the dust of your feet; And you will know that I am the LORD; Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.

Jeremiah 17:7  "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD And whose trust is the LORD.

Isaiah 26:3,4  "The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You. • "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock.

Psalm 62:5,6  My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. • He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

2 Timothy 1:12  For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

Hebrews 6:17-20  In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, • so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. • This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, • where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved. For Permission to Quote Information visit http://www.lockman.org.

Evening January 22
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