Morning, November 23
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Bible League: Living His Word
"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'"

Our verse for today is part of the message that the Apostle John gave to the "angel of the church in Ephesus" (Revelation 2:1), one of the seven churches in Asia (Revelation 1:4). Each of the angels of the seven churches received a message from John, as recorded in Revelation 2-3. The word "angel," which means "messenger," refers to the pastor of the church. John received these messages from the Spirit of God speaking through the risen and glorified Jesus Christ.

As parts of the Bible, the messages speak to every church of every age, not just to the seven. The messages are words of commendation and encouragement, but also rebuke and warning. In the message to Ephesus, for example, Jesus says, '"But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first"' (Revelation 2:4). At the end of each message, Jesus speaks the same words as those of our verse for today: '"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'

The verse means that pastors and their churches should take to heart what the Spirit says because it is important. It is important not just because there are bad consequences for failing to listen (see, e.g., Revelation 2:5), but also because there are rewards for listening. The church at Ephesus, for example, was specifically promised the right to eat from the "tree of life" located in the "paradise of God" (Revelation 2:7).

The Spirit, of course, still speaks to pastors and their churches. He speaks to us primarily through the authority of the Bible, but also in many other ways. In order to hear the messages, however, we must have "an ear." That is, our sensing faculties must be made ready to receive the messages of the Spirit by the Spirit Himself. John, for example, was able to receive the messages for the seven churches because he was "in the Spirit" on the day they were sent (Revelation 1:10). He was, in other words, flowing in the power of the Spirit instead of in his own power.

Receiving messages from the Holy Spirit is one of the most important parts of life as a Christian. Let us then, like John, flow in the Spirit so that we will always be ready for them.

Bible in a Year
Old Testament Reading
Ezekiel 29, 30, 31


Ezekiel 29 -- Prophecy against Egypt

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Ezekiel 30 -- Lament for Egypt; Babylon Victorious

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Ezekiel 31 -- Pharaoh Warned of Assyria's Fate: the Assyrian was a Cedar in Lebanon

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


New Testament Reading
James 5


James 5 -- Misuse of Riches; Patience; The Prayer Offered in Faith

  NIV   NLT   ESV   NAS   GWT   KJV   ASV   ERV   DRB


Reading Plan Courtesy of Christian Classics Etherial Library.
Tyndale Life Application Daily Devotion
Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.
Insight
Because God will examine what kind of workers we have been for him, we should build our lives on his Word and build his Word into our lives—it alone tells us how to live for him and serve him. Believers who ignore the Bible will certainly be ashamed at the judgment.
Challenge
Consistent and diligent study of God's Word is vital; otherwise, we will be lulled into neglecting God and our true purpose for living.
Morning and Evening by Spurgeon
1 John 1:6  Fellowship with him.

When we were united by faith to Christ, we were brought into such complete fellowship with him, that we were made one with him, and his interests and ours became mutual and identical. We have fellowship with Christ in his love. What he loves we love. He loves the saints--so do we. He loves sinners--so do we. He loves the poor perishing race of man, and pants to see earth's deserts transformed into the garden of the Lord--so do we. We have fellowship with him in his desires. He desires the glory of God--we also labor for the same. He desires that the saints may be with him where he is--we desire to be with him there too. He desires to drive out sin--behold we fight under his banner. He desires that his Father's name may be loved and adored by all his creatures--we pray daily, "Let thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, even as it is in heaven." We have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. We are not nailed to the cross, nor do we die a cruel death, but when he is reproached, we are reproached; and a very sweet thing it is to be blamed for his sake, to be despised for following the Master, to have the world against us. The disciple should not be above his Lord. In our measure we commune with him in his labors, ministering to men by the word of truth and by deeds of love. Our meat and our drink, like his, is to do the will of him who hath sent us and to finish his work. We have also fellowship with Christ in his joys. We are happy in his happiness, we rejoice in his exaltation. Have you ever tasted that joy, believer? There is no purer or more thrilling delight to be known this side heaven than that of having Christ's joy fulfilled in us, that our joy may be full. His glory awaits us to complete our fellowship, for his Church shall sit with him upon his throne, as his well-beloved bride and queen.

Daily Light on the Daily Path
Proverbs 1:33  "But he who listens to me shall live securely And will be at ease from the dread of evil."

Psalm 90:1  A Prayer of Moses, the man of God. Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.

Psalm 91:1  He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:4  He will cover you with His pinions, And under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.

Colossians 3:3  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Zechariah 2:8  For thus says the LORD of hosts, "After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

Exodus 14:13,14  But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. • "The LORD will fight for you while you keep silent."

Psalm 46:1,2  For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. • Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Matthew 14:27  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid."

Luke 24:38,39  And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? • "See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have."

2 Timothy 1:12  For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day.

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.

Evening November 22
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