Evening, April 16
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Bible League: Living His Word
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

The times we live in are the times between Jesus Christ's first and second coming. Although the power of the devil has been broken in principal through the birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ to the right hand of God, he still wields considerable power here on earth. Indeed, the Bible can still refer to the devil as "the ruler of this world" (John 14:30). This does not mean that he has all power over the world, for "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it" (Psalm 24:1), but it does mean that he is the mighty prince of a spiritual regime of "evil rulers and authorities" at work within God's world.

The devil is not some sort of impersonal evil force. The devil is a created spiritual being with the power of reason and thought. He is a thinker. He does not confront us without thinking about it. He has strategies designed for our destruction. Although Paul tells us that "we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies," he uses flesh-and-blood enemies to effectuate his purposes in the world. We must always realize, therefore, that there is a devious spiritual strategist behind the struggles we face with other people---and even with our own selves, for we can be our own worst enemy.

In order to fight effectively against the devil and his cohorts, Paul tells us that we must be "strong in the Lord and in his mighty power." We must not, therefore, try to confront the devil in our own power. It is because he thoughtfully uses his considerable power that we must not fight him on our own. We must use the armor of God Paul lists further on in the chapter: the "belt of truth," "God's righteousness," the "peace that comes from the Good News," the "shield of faith," and the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Ephesians 6:14-17). Each of these in its own way helps us in the fight.

Today, ask the Lord to help you make intelligent use of His armor as needed against the strategies of the enemy.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
1 Samuel 19, 20, 21

1 Samuel 19 -- David Protected from Saul


1 Samuel 20 -- David and Jonathan's Covenant


1 Samuel 21 -- David Takes the Consecrated Bread


New Testament Reading
Luke 15:11-32

Luke 15 -- Parables of the Lost Sheep, Lost Coin, and Prodigal Son


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
There are “friends” who destroy each other,
        but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Loneliness is everywhere. Many people feel cut off and alienated from others. Being in a crowd just makes people more aware of their isolation. We all need friends who will stick close, listen, care, and offer help when it is needed—in good times and bad. It is better to have one such friend than dozens of superficial acquaintances.
Instead of wishing you could find a true friend, seek to become one. There are people who need your friendship. Ask God to reveal them to you, and then take on the challenge of being a true friend.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Exodus 17:12  And his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.

So mighty was the prayer of Moses, that all depended upon it. The petitions of Moses discomfited the enemy more than the fighting of Joshua. Yet both were needed. So, in the soul's conflict, force and fervour, decision and devotion, valour and vehemence, must join their forces, and all will be well. You must wrestle with your sin, but the major part of the wrestling must be done alone in private with God. Prayer, like Moses', holds up the token of the covenant before the Lord. The rod was the emblem of God's working with Moses, the symbol of God's government in Israel. Learn, O pleading saint, to hold up the promise and the oath of God before him. The Lord cannot deny his own declarations. Hold up the rod of promise, and have what you will.

Moses grew weary, and then his friends assisted him. When at any time your prayer flags, let faith support one hand, and let holy hope uplift the other, and prayer seating itself upon the stone of Israel, the rock of our salvation, will persevere and prevail. Beware of faintness in devotion; if Moses felt it, who can escape? It is far easier to fight with sin in public, than to pray against it in private. It is remarked that Joshua never grew weary in the fighting, but Moses did grow weary in the praying; the more spiritual an exercise, the more difficult it is for flesh and blood to maintain it. Let us cry, then, for special strength, and may the Spirit of God, who helpeth our infirmities, as he allowed help to Moses, enable us like him to continue with our hands steady "until the going down of the sun;" till the evening of life is over; till we shall come to the rising of a better sun in the land where prayer is swallowed up in praise.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Psalm 91:15  "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

1 Chronicles 4:10  Now Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, "Oh that You would bless me indeed and enlarge my border, and that Your hand might be with me, and that You would keep me from harm that it may not pain me!" And God granted him what he requested.

2 Chronicles 1:7,8,10  In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask what I shall give you." • Solomon said to God, "You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place. • "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?"

1 Kings 4:29  Now God gave Solomon wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand that is on the seashore.

2 Chronicles 14:11,12  Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, "LORD, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O LORD our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; let not man prevail against You." • So the LORD routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.

Psalm 65:2  O You who hear prayer, To You all men come.

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.

Morning April 16
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