Morning, 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

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


1 Samuel 20 -- David and Jonathan's Covenant

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


1 Samuel 21 -- David Takes the Consecrated Bread

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
Luke 15:11-32


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

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


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.
Insight
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.
Challenge
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
1 Peter 1:19  The precious blood of Christ.

Standing at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is "precious" because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ's people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with him. Christ's blood is also "precious" in its cleansing power; it "cleanseth from all sin." "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Through Jesus' blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is likewise "precious" in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God's seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is "precious" also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And "precious," unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven's gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power!

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Psalm 31:3  For You are my rock and my fortress; For Your name's sake You will lead me and guide me.

Psalm 69:2  I have sunk in deep mire, and there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and a flood overflows me.

Lamentations 3:54-57  Waters flowed over my head; I said, "I am cut off!" • I called on Your name, O LORD, Out of the lowest pit. • You have heard my voice, "Do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief, From my cry for help." • You drew near when I called on You; You said, "Do not fear!"

Psalm 77:7-11  Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again? • Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has His promise come to an end forever? • Has God forgotten to be gracious, Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah. • Then I said, "It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed." • I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.

Psalm 27:13  I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.

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 //www.lockman.org.

Evening April 15
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