Evening, March 6
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Bible League: Living His Word
As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp.

The analogy here is that just as iron tools can be made sharp and fit for use by honing them against another iron tool, so likewise friends can keep one another sharp and fit for life in general by critically interacting with one another. The idea is that people are better off with friends that point out their faults and foibles than with friends who do not point out such things or with no friends at all.

The proverb should not be seen as a contradiction of Jesus' admonition "Don't judge others, and God will not judge you. If you judge others, you will be judged the same way you judge them. God will treat you the same way you treat others" (Matthew 7:1-2). This is because the sharpening that occurs between friends is understood here as a positive interaction that improves each one for life, but judgement is condemnatory and negative in nature and does not lead to that kind of improvement. Sharpening builds people up; judgment tears them down.

Since sharpening is to be understood in a positive sense, then we should expect such interaction with our friends and we should be willing to accept it. The person who is constantly on the defensive and unwilling to receive any sharpening from friends will not receive the benefit of the interaction and is unlikely to keep many friends. Such a person will be, from the point of view of the proverb, dull and unfit for use.

At the same time, since the sharpening is positive in nature, we should not be afraid to give positive critical feed-back to our friends. The person who is unwilling to sharpen friends will not be much of a friend in the long run and is also unlikely to keep many friends. Who wants friends that never challenge us or question us?

The similarity between sharpening and condemnation, however, means that one must be careful not to allow their critical interactions with friends to degenerate into condemnation. If a friend is unwilling to receive critical feed-back then it might be wise to back-off in order to preserve the friendship. Pressing the issue might lead to condemnation. When it comes to critical interactions with friends, prudence is called for, as it is everywhere else in a Christian's life.

Today, ask the LORD for the prudence necessary to be a good friend.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Deuteronomy 1, 2


Deuteronomy 1 -- Summary of Israel's History: from Horeb to Spies in Canaan

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Deuteronomy 2 -- Summary of Wanderings in the Desert

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New Testament Reading
Mark 11:1-19


Mark 11 -- The Triumphal Entry; the Money Changers; the Withered Fig Tree; Jesus' Authority

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Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
For the LORD God is our sun and our shield.
        He gives us grace and glory.
        The LORD will withhold no good thing
        from those who do what is right.
Insight
God does not promise to give us everything we think is good, but he will not withhold what is permanently good. He will give us the means to walk along his paths, but we must do the walking.
Challenge
When we obey him, he will not hold anything back that will help us serve him.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Proverbs 18:12  Before destruction the heart of man is haughty.

It is an old and common saying, that "coming events cast their shadows before them;" the wise man teaches us that a haughty heart is the prophetic prelude of evil. Pride is as safely the sign of destruction as the change of mercury in the weather-glass is the sign of rain; and far more infallibly so than that. When men have ridden the high horse, destruction has always overtaken them. Let David's aching heart show that there is an eclipse of a man's glory when he dotes upon his own greatness. 2 Sam. 24:10. See Nebuchadnezzar, the mighty builder of Babylon, creeping on the earth, devouring grass like oxen, until his nails had grown like bird's claws, and his hair like eagle's feathers. Dan. 4:33. Pride made the boaster a beast, as once before it made an angel a devil. God hates high looks, and never fails to bring them down. All the arrows of God are aimed at proud hearts. O Christian, is thine heart haughty this evening? For pride can get into the Christian's heart as well as into the sinner's; it can delude him into dreaming that he is "rich and increased in goods, and hath need of nothing." Art thou glorying in thy graces or thy talents? Art thou proud of thyself, that thou hast had holy frames and sweet experiences? Mark thee, reader, there is a destruction coming to thee also. Thy flaunting poppies of self-conceit will be pulled up by the roots, thy mushroom graces will wither in the burning heat, and thy self-sufficiency shall become as straw for the dunghill. If we forget to live at the foot of the cross in deepest lowliness of spirit, God will not forget to make us smart under his rod. A destruction will come to thee, O unduly exalted believer, the destruction of thy joys and of thy comforts, though there can be no destruction of thy soul. Wherefore, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Matthew 27:46  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"

Isaiah 53:5,6,8,10  But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. • All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. • By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? • But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

Romans 4:24,25  but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, • He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.

1 Peter 3:18  For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

1 Peter 2:24  and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

2 Corinthians 5:21  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Galatians 3:13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us-- for it is written, "CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE "--

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 March 6
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