“In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:10 ESV).
FATHER, It is so good to remind myself of who is in control of all the situations that I face. I have such a tendency to forget the greatness of You. You make Yourself so approachable I forget Your eminence.
FATHER, remind me of Your eminence. You sit above the circle of the earth and all us inhabitants are like grasshoppers to You.
You bring anyone easily to nothing. You blow on us and we wither, and the tempest carries us off like stubble (Isa 40:22-24). Yet, for those who wait for You, though we be faint, weary, and exhausted You renew our strength (Isa 40:30-31).
“’Providence is that continued exercise of the divine energy whereby the Creator upholds all His creatures, is operative in all that transpires in the world, and directs all things to their appointed end’” David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#189, Aug 25th).
“…the plan of God comprehends and determines all things and events of every kind that comes to pass….A little sparrow drops dead and falls to the ground. Accident…Chance. Not at all!…There are events that appear to be quite accidental, but they are controlled by God” David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (ref#233, p 11-12).
“What are God’s works of providence? A: God’s works of providence are His most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all His creatures and all their actions. (Spurgeon’s Catechism, Q. 11) Arthur W. Pink (ref#231, p2).
“…even the hairs of your head are all numbered”(Matt 10:30 ESV).
“Real prayer is communion with God, so that there will be common thoughts between His mind and ours. What is needed is for Him to fill our hearts with His thoughts, and then His desires will become our desires flowing back to Him” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p140).
Reasons for Waiting for GOD:
Because the HOLY SPIRIT imparts grace—that unmerited favor and blessings of You, FATHER (Heb 10:29), I will wait for You.
Because the SPIRIT writes Your law on my heart (Isa 59:21), I will wait for You.
Because the SPIRIT is the down payment of my heritage (Eph 1:14), I will wait for You.
Because the HOLY SPIRIT examines everything even the divine counsels and things hidden beyond my scrutiny (1 Cor 2:10), I will wait for You.
Read Through the Bible in a Year: Dec 2nd – 8th
Dec 2 Ps 86-87; Rev 16
Dec 3 Ps 88-89; Rev 17
Dec 4 Ps 91-92; Rev 18
Dec 5 Ps 93-94; Rev 19
Dec 6 Ps 95-96; Rev 20
Dec 7 Ps 97-98; Rev 21
Dec 8 Ps 99-100; Rev 22
“Prayer is an act of worship inasmuch as it is the prostrating of the soul before Him; inasmuch as it is a calling upon His great and holy name; inasmuch as it is the owning of His goodness, His power, His immutability, His grace, and inasmuch as it is the recognition of His sovereignty, owned by a submission to His will” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p136).
Reasons for Waiting for GOD:
Because You know the secrets of the heart (Ps 44:21), I will wait for You.
Because You do not regard the rich more than the poor (Job 34:19), I will wait for You.
Because You are a shield to those who put their trust in You (Prov 30:5), I will wait for You.
Because You will not abandon Your heritage (Ps 94:14), I will wait for You.
Read Through the Bible in a Year: July 1st – 7th
July 1 Song 5-8; Matt 27
July 2 1 Kings 12; 2 Chron 10-11; Matt 28
July 3 1 Kings 13-14; 2 Chron 12: 1 Thes 1
July 4 1 Kings 15; 2 Chron 13-14; 1 Thes 2
July 5 1 Kings 16; 2 Chron 15-16; Ps 40
July 6 1 Kings 17-19; 1 Thes 3
July 7 1 Kings 20-21; 2 Chron 17; 1 Thes 4
“Prayer is not so much an act as it is an attitude—an attitude of dependency, dependency upon God. Prayer is a confession of creature weakness, yea, of helplessness. Prayer is the acknowledgment of our need and the spreading of it before God” Arthur Pink (ref#152, p141).
Reasons for Waiting for GOD:
Because You are high yet have respect to the lowly, bringing them into fellowship with You, but the proud and haughty You know and recognize only at a distance (Ps 138:6), I will wait for you.
Because You take thought and plans for me when I am poor and needy (Ps 40:17), I will wait for You.
Because if I call on You, You will show me great and mighty things (Jer 33:3), I will wait for you.
Because You will bless those who reverently and worshipfully fear You (Ps 115:13), I will wait for You.
Read Through the Bible in a Year: April 8th – 14th
Apr 8 1 Sam 6-7; 1 Cor 2
Apr 9 1 Sam 8-10; 1 Cor 3
Apr 10 1 Sam 11-12; 1 Chron 1
Apr 11 1 Sam 13; 1 Chron 2-3; 1 Cor 4
Apr 12 1 Sam 14; 1 Chron 4; 1 Cor 5
Apr 13 1 Sam 15-16; 1 Chron 5; 1 Cor 6
Apr 14 1 Sam 17; Ps 9
“Ever-flowing Fountain of love,
words fail me;
I cannot forget You,
You who promised
to remember me;
when I teetered on the edge of destruction,
You rescued me and
relieved me beyond my fondest hopes…” Thomas a’Kempis (ref#147, p140).
Your rescue, FATHER, You call “regeneration”—the part where You act alone to bring me my spiritual new birth (Titus 3:4-7). “This new birth is viewed by Scripture as something that God does within us in order to enable us to believe” Wayne Grudem (ref#63, p703).
You work in my heart in ways I could not comprehend but the result was that You enabled me to believe You, to seek You, and to trust You (ref#63, p708).
“The new birth is no mere turning over a new leaf, but is the inception and reception of a new life. It is no mere reformation but a Complete transformation. In short, the new birth is a miracle, the result of the supernatural operation of God. It is radical, revolutionary, lasting” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p91).
FATHER, Your Son enables me to live a new life. I now can identify myself completely with Him. “…My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress…” You, FATHER (Gal 2:20 MSG). With joy I throw away my needs for fame to proclaim Your excellencies (1 Pet 2:9).
RESTING ON THE LORD’S DAY IN HOPES OF THE GREAT REST TO COME
“I will cause you to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob” (Isa 58:13-14). In that way is the Sabbath to be sanctified — withdrawing the mind from temporal things, abstaining from all secular work and fleshly gratification, not allowing ourselves that liberty of speech as on other days, but setting our affections on things above, performing holy duties, and rejoicing in what that day celebrates (Psalm 118:22-24). Then shall we be lifted above this world, anticipate Heaven, and be favored with blessed foretastes thereof. The saint should be most in his element when he is wholly at leisure to joy in the Lord” Arthur W. Pink (ref#216).
“There remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God” (Heb. 4:9). In our glorification, we will finally and fully rest from our sin and the weariness of laboring in a creation that is suffering the effects of the Lord’s curse. Resting on the Lord’s Day is an anticipation of that glorious reality and a means by which we can live in the present that life we will enjoy fully in the future” (ref#215).
“…the new-born heart lives habitually above. Its whole employ flows in a holy course. But when the Sabbath comes, God is not only mixed in every thought, but God and His work alone are present. The Scripture is the only Book. Things heavenly are the only converse. God’s service is the one concern” William Law (ref#214).
“The Sabbath…provides leisure to gain grace” William Law (ref#214). Sabbath, in the end, isn’t something to be observed but something to be celebrated” R.C. Sproul, Jr. (ref#213).
SCRIPTURE AND THE SPIRIT
…FATHER, the words You have set in Your Bible are encased in human language but they are not limited to what the human mind can perceive (ref#79, p150). I recognize biblical writings as informative, intriguing, or entertaining but my mind can do nothing to connect me with the words—nothing to change the condition of my heart. Only by the SPIRIT does the words become personal.
“God’s language in his book is alive and full of power. Sharper than a two-edged sword, it cuts open the very thought life of people. It exposes and interprets what they think and feel” Will Metzger (ref#79, p150).
The SPIRIT’s witness to Scripture is not revealing new information but shedding light on what is already written. With the SPIRIT present to interpret the precious words for me my whole being is impressed upon. I am able to react to the words in the same way I sense taste and color (ref#56, p1677, “The Authentication of Scripture”). “As I saturate my life with the Word, I give the Spirit a vocabulary to personalize the Word to me” Paul E. Miller (ref#62, p246). Surely the inward work of the HOLY SPIRIT persuades and assures me that what I’m reading is written for me.
“We read the Scriptures in vain unless we come to them earnestly desiring a better knowledge of God’s will for us…” Arthur W. Pink (ref#152, p173).
IS THE SEVENTH DAY SATURDAY, SUNDAY, OR ANY DAY?
“…Genesis 2 contains nothing whatever that enables us to determine which day of our week this primal “seventh day” was….All we do know—and it is all that is necessary for us to know—is that the seventh day was the day that followed six days of manual work…” Arthur W. Pink (ref#177).
“…the holy rest day should be one out of every seven….The command is simply work six, rest one. Every seventh day should be a Sabbath” John Piper (ref#169). So to keep the Sabbath means that one day a week we do not do our normal work. Since some people have jobs that include working on Sunday, they are free to choose another day, however every effort should be made to make their Sabbath the day their local Christian fellowship meets to gain the benefit of corporate worship.
“The Lord Jesus kept the Sabbath day. The change from the seventh to the first day of the week rather confirms than abolishes this divine institution. Call it the Lord’s day in preference to the Sabbath, if you so desire. The term “Lord’s day” rather enforces than diminishes our obligation to its proper observance” C. E. Hunter (ref#171).
“…the apostles were divinely inspired to make that change, and at the same time wisely directed to make no public decree about it. The decree would only have raised a ferment in the Jewish mind and caused needless offence; the change was one that it was better to effect gradually, and not to force on the consciences of weak brethren. The change did not interfere with the spirit of the Fourth Commandment in the smallest degree: the Lord’s Day, on the first day of the week, was just as much a day of rest after six days’ labor, as the seventh-day Sabbath had been” J. C. Ryle (ref#178).
The Old Testament saints looked forward to CHRIST, while we look back to CHRIST. GOD rested after completing creation. (It is the Jewish Sabbath.) CHRIST rested after completing redemption. (It is the Christian LORD’s Day.) And CHRIST’s return (second coming) is heaven—our final rest (ref#169)!
THE SABBATH – AN EVERLASTING ORDINANCE
“…the observance of a Sabbath Day is part of the eternal Law of God. It is not a mere temporary Jewish ordinance. It is not a man-made institution of priestcraft. It is not an unauthorized imposition of the Church. It is one of the everlasting rules that God has revealed for the guidance of all mankind” J. C. Ryle (ref#178).
“Before a single page of human history is chronicled, before a single act of Adam is described, the Holy Spirit places before us the institution of the Sabbath! Does not this signify, plainly, that the observance of the Sabbath—the sanctifying of a seventh day—is a primary duty” Arthur W. Pink (ref#177)!
“…the holy day should be one out of every seven….work six, rest one. Every seventh day should be a sabbath” John Piper (ref#169). “For six days He had put forth His might in creation, on this day He releases, as it were, into His own blessed fellowship the work of His hands and is pleased thus to lift man into His communion and the contemplation of His works. While we know that sin marred God’s work, and soiled the creature He had made in His image, we also know that God undertook another creative work, that of redemption, regeneration and restoration. And the completion of that work, too, is marked by a rest day in which man can once again enter into the rest of God, the Christian Sunday. That is appropriately now the Lord’s Day, the Day on which the Redeeming Lord entered into His rest,…” R. A. Finlayson (ref#188).
And, “…the Sabbath of the Old Testament and the Christian Sabbath of the New have a typical significance as pointing to the day when the Sabbath of grace is transformed to the Sabbath of glory, and the Lord’s Day of earth becomes the Day of the Lord in all its fullness of light and life and blessedness” R. A. Finlayson (ref#188).