Morning, June 12
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Bible League: Living His Word
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.

One of the fundamental teachings and assumptions of the Bible is that people may enter into the presence of the Lord. Although we can no longer enter the gates and courts of the temple in Jerusalem, it is still possible to come before the Lord. Just as we can relate to the natural world below us, and the human world around us, we can relate to the Lord God above us.

Our verse for today follows the biblical pattern with its assumption that people may enter the Lord's presence. What the verse adds to this, however, is one particular way that we may come before Him. We may enter into His presence with thanksgiving and praise. Consider the implications of this teaching. Whoever and whatever the Lord may be, He is of such value and importance that it is socially appropriate to enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise.

We don't enter into the presence of mere mortals with thanksgiving and praise. Even kings and queens do not merit such attention. In the rare instances where leaders have demanded such attention they have been regarded by historians, correctly, as megalomaniacs. In God's case, on the contrary, it makes sense. Indeed, if it is not taught as a strict and universal requirement in the Bible, it is at the very least regarded as being highly appropriate. From the biblical point of view, God is worthy of such treatment.

There are many reasons why the Lord God is worthy, but our verse for today singles out three of them. He is a good, loving, and faithful God. After all, think of what God could be if He wanted. He could use His sovereign power to be evil, hateful, and unfaithful, like the gods of the Greek pantheon were often portrayed to be. God, however, is not like that. And because He is not like that, it is socially appropriate on our part to give Him His due.

Christians often come before the Lord taking His goodness, love, and faithfulness for granted. Maybe today would be a good day to change that; maybe today would be a good day to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Ezra 1, 2


Ezra 1 -- Cyrus Returns the Exiles, Restores the Vessels of the Temple

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Ezra 2 -- Listing of the Exiles Who Returned

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
John 19:23-42


John 19 -- The Crown of Thorns; Jesus' Crucifixion and Burial

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God's word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Insight
The four types of soil represent different responses to God's message. People respond differently because they are in different states of readiness. Some are hardened, others are shallow, others are contaminated by distracting worries, and some are receptive.
Challenge
How has God's Word taken root in your life? What kind of soil are you?
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
Daniel 5:27  Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting.

It is well frequently to weigh ourselves in the scale of God's Word. You will find it a holy exercise to read some psalm of David, and, as you meditate upon each verse, to ask yourself, "Can I say this? Have I felt as David felt? Has my heart ever been broken on account of sin, as his was when he penned his penitential psalms? Has my soul been full of true confidence in the hour of difficulty as his was when he sang of God's mercies in the cave of Adullam, or in the holds of Engedi? Do I take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord?" Then turn to the life of Christ, and as you read, ask yourselves how far you are conformed to his likeness. Endeavour to discover whether you have the meekness, the humility, the lovely spirit which he constantly inculcated and displayed. Take, then, the epistles, and see whether you can go with the apostle in what he said of his experience. Have you ever cried out as he did--"O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Have you ever felt his self-abasement? Have you seemed to yourself the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints? Have you known anything of his devotion? Could you join with him and say, "For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain"? If we thus read God's Word as a test of our spiritual condition, we shall have good reason to stop many a time and say, "Lord, I feel I have never yet been here, O bring me here! give me true penitence, such as this I read of. Give me real faith; give me warmer zeal; inflame me with more fervent love; grant me the grace of meekness; make me more like Jesus. Let me no longer be found wanting,' when weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, lest I be found wanting in the scales of judgment." "Judge yourselves that ye be not judged."

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Numbers 31:23  everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean, but it shall be purified with water for impurity. But whatever cannot stand the fire you shall pass through the water.

Deuteronomy 13:3  you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Malachi 3:3  "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.

1 Corinthians 3:13  each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.

Isaiah 1:25  "I will also turn My hand against you, And will smelt away your dross as with lye And will remove all your alloy.

Jeremiah 9:7  Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, I will refine them and assay them; For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?

Psalm 66:10,12  For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined. • You made men ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water, Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance.

Isaiah 43:2  "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.

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 June 11
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