Evening, June 23
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Bible League: Living His Word
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

In verses 2-4 of the first chapter of James we are told that the testing of our faith is a cause for joy because it can lead to our maturity and completeness in the faith. Our verse for today, on the other hand, tells us that the testing of our faith can lead to a reward ? the "crown of life."

The testing of our faith is an inevitable aspect of life in the present era. The times we live in are full of sin and evil and our faith in God is tested as a result. No one likes tests, but James' point in Chapter 1 is that we should like them better than we do because of the great good that can come from them. First, we can become patient, mature, complete persons of faith, and second, we can receive the crown of life.

In order to receive these two very good things, however, there is a stipulation. We must persevere, remain faithful, and pass the test. Simply going through the trials, troubles, and tribulations of life is not sufficient to receive the good that can come from them. What really counts is the manner in which we go through them. If we go through them with patience, if we go through them and remain faithful, then we receive the good that can come from them ? personal maturity in the faith in the present era and the crown of life in the future.

What is the "crown of life?" the Greek word translated as "crown" refers to the wreath of leaves that was placed on the heads of those who were victorious in athletic contests. James used the word as a metaphor for the reward believers receive in the next life. The crown of life that the Lord promised to those who love Him and remain faithful to Him during the times of testing is eternal life. The Apostle John put it this way, "see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us--eternal life" (I John 2:24-25).

Stand firm in the faith with a patient attitude during the times of testing, for the rewards are very great.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Esther 7-10


Esther 7 -- Esther Accuses Haman; Haman Is Hanged

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Esther 8 -- Mordecai is advanced; Xerxes allows the Jews to Defend Themselves

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Esther 9 -- The Jews Slay Their Enemies; Purim Instituted

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Esther 10 -- Xerxes' Tribute to Mordecai

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
Acts 6


Acts 6 -- The Seven Chosen; Stephen Seized

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
But all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.
Insight
Worldly worries, the false sense of security brought on by prosperity, and the desire for things plagued first-century disciples as they do us today.
Challenge
How easy it is for our daily routines to become overcrowded. A life packed with materialistic pursuits deafens us to God's Word. Stay free so you can hear God when he speaks.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Romans 8:23  Waiting for the adoption.

Even in this world saints are God's children, but men cannot discover them to be so, except by certain moral characteristics. The adoption is not manifested, the children are not yet openly declared. Among the Romans a man might adopt a child, and keep it private for a long time: but there was a second adoption in public; when the child was brought before the constituted authorities its former garments were taken off, and the father who took it to be his child gave it raiment suitable to its new condition of life. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be." We are not yet arrayed in the apparel which befits the royal family of heaven; we are wearing in this flesh and blood just what we wore as the sons of Adam; but we know that "when he shall appear" who is the "first-born among many brethren," we shall be like him, we shall see him as he is. Cannot you imagine that a child taken from the lowest ranks of society, and adopted by a Roman senator, would say to himself, "I long for the day when I shall be publicly adopted. Then I shall leave off these plebeian garments, and be robed as becomes my senatorial rank"? Happy in what he has received, for that very reason he groans to get the fulness of what is promised him. So it is with us today. We are waiting till we shall put on our proper garments, and shall be manifested as the children of God. We are young nobles, and have not yet worn our coronets. We are young brides, and the marriage day is not yet come, and by the love our Spouse bears us, we are led to long and sigh for the bridal morning. Our very happiness makes us groan after more; our joy, like a swollen spring, longs to well up like an Iceland geyser, leaping to the skies, and it heaves and groans within our spirit for want of space and room by which to manifest itself to men.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
RUTH 3:1  Then Naomi her mother-in-law said to her, "My daughter, shall I not seek security for you, that it may be well with you?

Hebrews 4:9  So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God.

Isaiah 32:18  Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;

Job 3:17  "There the wicked cease from raging, And there the weary are at rest.

Revelation 14:13  And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them."

Hebrews 6:20  where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

Matthew 11:28-30  "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. • "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. • "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

Isaiah 30:15  For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, "In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength." But you were not willing,

Psalm 23:1,2  A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. • He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.

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 June 23
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