July 7

Colossians 3:15-25 (ESV)

15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Rules for Christian Households

18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. 20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord. 21 Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.22 Slaves, [1] obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, [2] not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

July 7

Luke 8:40-56 (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Woman and Jairus’s Daughter

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying.

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, [1] she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter [2] said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.

July 7

Psalm 130-131 (ESV)

 

My Soul Waits for the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

130:1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

131:1 Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore.

July 7

1 Chronicles 15-16 (ESV)

The Ark Brought to Jerusalem

15:1 David [1] built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the Lord had chosen them to carry the ark of the Lord and to minister to him forever. And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the Lord to its place, which he had prepared for it. And David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites: of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with 120 of his brothers; of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, with 220 of his brothers; of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, with 130 of his brothers; of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, with 200 of his brothers; of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, with 80 of his brothers; 10 of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, with 112 of his brothers. 11 Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers’ houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” 14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord.

16 David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brothers Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari, their brothers, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; 18 and with them their brothers of the second order, Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, and the gatekeepers Obed-edom and Jeiel. 19 The singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were to sound bronze cymbals; 20 Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah were to play harps according to Alamoth; 21 but Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were to lead with lyres according to the Sheminith. 22 Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it. 23 Berechiah and Elkanah were to be gatekeepers for the ark. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, should blow the trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah were to be gatekeepers for the ark.

25 So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing. 26 And because God helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. 27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the Lord with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres.

29 And as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and rejoicing, and she despised him in her heart.

The Ark Placed in a Tent

16:1 And they brought in the ark of God and set it inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before God. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord and distributed to all Israel, both men and women, to each a loaf of bread, a portion of meat, [2] and a cake of raisins.

Then he appointed some of the Levites as ministers before the ark of the Lord, to invoke, to thank, and to praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Asaph was the chief, and second to him were Zechariah, Jeiel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-edom, and Jeiel, who were to play harps and lyres; Asaph was to sound the cymbals, and Benaiah and Jahaziel the priests were to blow trumpets regularly before the ark of the covenant of God. Then on that day David first appointed that thanksgiving be sung to the Lord by Asaph and his brothers.

David’s Song of Thanks

Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him; sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
10 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
11 Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
12 Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles and the judgments he uttered,
13 O offspring of Israel his servant,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!

14 He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
15 Remember his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
16 the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
17 which he confirmed as a statute to Jacob,
as an everlasting covenant to Israel,
18 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan,
as your portion for an inheritance.”

19 When you were few in number,
and of little account, and sojourners in it,
20 wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
21 he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
22 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”

23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
24 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be held in awe above all gods.
26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
27 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.

28 Ascribe to the Lord, O clans of the peoples,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!
29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come before him!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; [3]
30 tremble before him, all the earth;
yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved.
31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice,
and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!”
32 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
33 Then shall the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
34 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!

35 Say also:

“Save us, O God of our salvation,
and gather and deliver us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name,
and glory in your praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting!”

Then all the people said, “Amen!” and praised the Lord.

Worship Before the Ark

37 So David left Asaph and his brothers there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister regularly before the ark as each day required, 38 and also Obed-edom and his [4] sixty-eight brothers, while Obed-edom, the son of Jeduthun, and Hosah were to be gatekeepers.39 And he left Zadok the priest and his brothers the priests before the tabernacle of the Lord in the high place that was at Gibeon 40 to offer burnt offerings to the Lord on the altar of burnt offering regularly morning and evening, to do all that is written in the Law of the Lord that he commanded Israel. 41 With them were Heman and Jeduthun and the rest of those chosen and expressly named to give thanks to the Lord, for his steadfast love endures forever. 42 Heman and Jeduthun had trumpets and cymbals for the music and instruments for sacred song. The sons of Jeduthun were appointed to the gate.

43 Then all the people departed each to his house, and David went home to bless his household.

whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father Colossians 3:17

John Piper on worship:

So you can see what is happening in the New Testament. Worship is being significantly de-institutionalized, de-localized, de-ritualized. The whole thrust is being taken off of ceremony and seasons and places and forms; and is being shifted to what is happening in the heart – not just on Sunday, but every day and all the time in all of life.

This is what it means when we read things like, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). And “whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:17). This is the form of worship commanded in the New Testament: to act in a way that reflects the value of the glory of God – to do a thing in the name of Jesus with thanks to God. That is the basic form of living worship. But the New Testament uses those greatest of all worship sentences without any reference to worship services. They describe life.

To read the rest of the sermon, “Worship God!”, click here:

While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” —Luke 8:49-50

J.C. Ryle, at Grace Gems, comments on Luke 8:

Faith in Christ’s love and power is the best remedy in time of trouble. We are told that when Jesus heard the tidings, that the ruler’s daughter was dead, He said to him, “Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole.” These words, no doubt, were spoken with immediate reference to the miracle our Lord was going to perform. But we need not doubt that they were also meant for the perpetual benefit of the Church of Christ. They were meant to reveal to us the grand secret of comfort in the hour of need. That secret is to exercise faith, to fall back on the thought of Christ’s loving heart and mighty hand–in one word, to believe.

Let a petition for more faith form a part of all our daily prayers. As ever we would have peace, and calmness, and quietness of spirit, let us often say, “Lord, increase our faith.” A hundred painful things may happen to us every week in this evil world, of which our poor weak minds cannot see the reason. Without faith we shall be constantly disturbed and cast down. Nothing will make us cheerful and tranquil but an abiding sense of Christ’s love, Christ’s wisdom, Christ’s care over us, and Christ’s providential management of all our affairs. Faith will not sink under the weight of evil tidings. (Psalm. 112:7.) Faith can sit still and wait for better times. Faith can see light even in the darkest hour, and a needs-be for the heaviest trial. Faith can find room to build Ebenezers under any circumstances, and can sing songs in the night in any condition. “He that believes shall not make haste.” “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is staid on you.” (Isa. 28:16; 26:3.) Once more let the lesson be engraved on our minds. If we would travel comfortably through this world, we must “believe.”

Because you did not carry it the first time, the Lord our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.”  So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the Lord, the God of Israel. And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the Lord. —1 Chronicles 15:13-15

Charles H Spurgeon, in a sermon, “Importance of Small Things in Religion”

It was a right thing in David to wish to bring up the ark, but perhaps he was ignorant of the way to bring it, and see what inconvenience he had to suffer: the ark was jolted, the oxen shook it. Now if you are not clear as to the plan of salvation, you will have many jottings, much shaking, many doubts, many fears. Let me ask and intreat you, then, to search the Scriptures; for in therein ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Christ; and let me beg you to endeavor, by God’s help, ever to keep in your mind a clear view of the fact, that you are to be saved, if saved at all, by trusting in Jesus Christ, and in Jesus Christ alone. The plan of salvation is, “Trust in Jesus.” Make mistakes about other things, you will suffer inconvenience; but make a mistake here, and it will be fatal to you. Methinks I hear some man saying, “Sir, I have longed to be saved, but I am still uneasy and troubled in my mind, I think if I were to do good works, and then to save myself by them, I might trust in Christ.” Stand back, Uzzah, stand back, thou art about to touch the ark of God, beware, lest thou shouldst die while thou art doing it other mistakes will make you uneasy; that mistake will be fatal to you. Touch the atonement of Jesus Christ, and there is no salvation if you touch it with a legal hand, seeking to add to it your own self righteousness.

“None but Jesus, none but Jesus,
Can do helpless sinners good.”

He wants no help from you; leave him to do it all; take him as he is, and go to him just as you are; do not seek to bring anything, but go as you are, and you will be saved. Seek to help Christ, and saved you cannot be. Until you have done with that thought, you must abide in your sorrow, and in your death. No mixing with Jesus; he never came to be a make-weight. Christ must be all, and you must be nothing at all. If you attempt to patch his perfect robe that robe shall never cover your nakedness. It is begemmed with jewels; put one paste jewel of yours upon it, and it is not yours. You must have a whole Christ, and nothing but Christ. You know the old proverb, “Betwixt the two stools he came to the ground.” When a man hopes to rely partly on Christ, and partly on himself, he will come to the ground with a vengeance. Rest on Jesus simply, and you are saved; rest on Christ and self, and you are like Uzzah, you have touched the ark, you have sought to mingle man’s works with God’s works, man’s merits with Christ’s merits; and tremble, lest the wrath of God should come forth against you, and destroy you.

But after all, my dear friends, you have no merits. Christ freely offers himself to you, if you will take him for nothing. You thought to buy him with your merits. Why you have no merits. Shall I tell you a little parable which shall show you your position. There was a rich man who had a generous heart, and once upon a time he resolved to give a large estate to a poor neighbor, so he sent for him, and said, “My friend, I am willing to give you a large estate for nothing.” The man felt grateful and retired home, but as he lay in his bed he thought, “I should like that estate, but I should not like to be beholden to anybody for it; I think I will pay for it.” So he set out the next morning with a bag_of_coinsheavy bag on his back, and when he came to the rich man’s door and the friend came out, he said, “Sir, I value your estate very highly; you promised to let me have it for nothing, but I do not want to be obliged to you, so I have brought a bag all full of gold to buy it with.” The rich man said, “I never offered to sell it to you; I said I would give it to you; but come, let us look at your bag of gold.” So the poor man opened wide the mouth of the sack; he blushed and stammered, and said, “Oh sir, be not angry with me; now I come to look at it; it is nothing but a bag of silver.” The friend said, “Look at it again.” He looked again and blushed, and cried, “Let not my lord be angry, but I find it is nothing but a bag of copper.” “Look once more,” said he. He looked once more into it, and he fell down on his knees, and said, “Forgive me, forgive me; I find, sir, it is a bag of filth. You see I have brought you a bag of filth with which to buy your rich estate.” You know the meaning of that parable, do you not? You have brought to God what you thought were good works, golden works; look at them you will see them pale before you, and you will say, “My Lord, they are not so good as I thought they were, they are only silver works after all.” Look at them again, and they will become dirty, frown, copper works. “Oh!” say you, “they are not worth more than a farthing now.” Look again, and you will see that your prayers, your tears, your good works, are nothing better than filth after all. They are only another form of sin, another shape of iniquity. Oh! sinner, take Christ as he is; take him now, just as thou art. The gospel is just this—trust Christ and you are saved. Rely on what he did, and you are delivered. Just leave off trusting to any ceremonies, to any doctrines, to any forms, to any works, but rely on Jesus and you are saved.

To read the rest of the sermon, click here:

July 6

Colossians 3:1-14 (ESV)

Put On the New Self

3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your [1] life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: [2] sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.On account of these the wrath of God is coming. [3] In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self [4] with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, [5] free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

July 6

Luke 8:26-39 (ESV)

Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon

26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, [1] which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus [2] had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs.28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.)30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss. 32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. 33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

34 When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country. 35 Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 36 And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed [3] man had been healed. 37 Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked him to depart from them, for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

July 6

Psalm 129 (ESV)

They Have Afflicted Me from My Youth

A Song of Ascents.

129:1 “Greatly [1] have they afflicted me from my youth”—
 let Israel now say—
“Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth,
yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed upon my back;
they made long their furrows.”
The Lord is righteous;
he has cut the cords of the wicked.
May all who hate Zion
be put to shame and turned backward!
Let them be like the grass on the housetops,
which withers before it grows up,
with which the reaper does not fill his hand
nor the binder of sheaves his arms,
nor do those who pass by say,
“The blessing of the Lord be upon you!
We bless you in the name of the Lord!”