MOM’S DEVOTIONAL BIBLE – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Perfect Peace

Isaiah 26:3–7

Additional Scripture Readings: Psalm 4:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:16

A five-year-old tumbles into the kitchen from his adventures in backyard mud, bringing footprints of scum across a clean floor. The phone rings. The baby cries. The doorbell chimes. The dog barks. A harried mom grabs her temples in response to this torture.

Change scenes. The camera spans a spacious, private bath scene, circling around a tub filled to the brim with luxurious bubbles. A beautiful woman rests in the tub, hair pinned in loose curls, arms extended, massaging shapely legs, eyes closed in an ecstasy of relaxation.

Supposedly, this second scene is a picture of peace. What I want to know is, where are the kids, what is the dog doing and who was at the door?

Contrary to the commercial, peace doesn’t come in a package of bubble bath. It’s not found in a tub or even behind a closed door. Peace comes when we fix our minds on God and on his stability in our chaotic days. No matter who is tromping a mess across our floors or standing impatiently at our doors, the unchangeable God is in charge of our days. Knowing that for a fact is peace.

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MEN’S DEVOTIONAL BIBLE – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Zacchaeus: The Rich, Short Ruler

Luke 19:1–10

He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. (Luke 19:3)

Everyone in town knew him, but nobody liked him. He threw the worst parties and was always the first one drunk on his horribly cheap wine. It’s not as though he couldn’t afford anything better. Zacchaeus sat atop the whole dirty, tax-collecting heap, and from their years of overpaying collectors, the savvy residents of Jericho knew their money could buy better wine.

So when rumor started that a well-known teacher from the backwater of Galilee who had a penchant for waxing eloquent about money matters was making his way to Jericho, you can bet the person everyone least expected to see in the welcoming party was Zacchaeus. To everyone’s surprise the little man, dressed to the nines, showed up anyway. This teacher was, after all, growing extremely popular, and maybe it would do the collection agency’s reputation some good to see its chief officer rubbing shoulders with a hero of the working class. But when the day arrived, if Zacchaeus had come to be seen, the irony was only too apparent when it was he who had trouble seeing.

The crowds had started at the city gate where Jericho’s main drag began its meandering path through the city. Despite his compromised stature, Zacchaeus had always loved a crowd—crowds meant influence and power, not to mention a concentration of taxable pocketbooks. This small-town teacher’s people skills and crowd-gathering ability could come in handy for an unpopular political figure. If only Zacchaeus could see how this teacher did it.

Zacchaeus knew the parade route well, as he’d been a key figure in many of Jericho’s past spectacles. Picking up the fine linen hem of his garment, the short-legged tax collector hightailed it to a certain bend where the road took a dogleg left to get around a large sycamore tree near the center of town. He hadn’t climbed a tree since all his friends were still his height, and if all of Jericho hadn’t been down the road heralding the teacher, the crowd would have relished watching Zacchaeus fumble his way up the branches.

The only thing sillier than watching Zacchaeus climb up the tree was to see him come barreling out of it when the teacher called him by name: “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5). The crowd must have groaned, knowing the dismal reputation of the tax collector’s social insensitivity. However, over the huffs, Zacchaeus’s voice rose up, “Here and now I’m a different person.” Whether or not he realized at that moment that the crowd was standing there has been a topic of conjecture ever since.

Back to the Future

  • Why do you think Zacchaeus wanted so badly to see Jesus?
  • What measures are you willing to take to gain a clearer “sight” of Jesus?
  • Jesus invites himself into your heart: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Revelation 3:20). What can you do to show Jesus that you want him to “come in and eat with you”?

The Story Continues …

Get the whole story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1–10.

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SPURGEON AT THE NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL: 365 SERMONS – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Distinguishing grace

“For who maketh thee to differ from another?” 1 Corinthians 4:7

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 22:31-34

If thou leave me, Lord, for a moment, I am utterly undone.

“Leave, ah! leave me not alone, Still support and comfort me.”

Let Abraham be deserted by his God, he equivocates and denies his wife. Let Noah be deserted, he becomes a drunkard, and is naked to his shame. Let Lot be left awhile, and, filled with wine, he revels in incestuous embraces, and the fruit of his body becomes a testimony to his disgrace. Nay, let David, the man after God’s own heart, be left, and Uriah’s wife shall soon show the world that the man after God’s own heart still has an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God. Oh! the poet puts it well –

“Methinks I hear my Saviour say, ‘Wilt thou forsake me too?’”

And now let our conscience answer:-

“Ah, Lord! with such a heart as mine,
Unless thou hold me fast,
I feel I must, I shall decline,
And prove like them at last.”

Oh be not rashly self-confident, Christian man. Be as confident as you can in your God, but be distrustful of yourself. You may yet become all that is vile and vicious, unless sovereign grace prevent and keep you to the end. But remember if you have been preserved, the crown of your keeping belongs to the Shepherd of Israel, and you know who that is. For he has said “I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” You know “who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” Then give all glory to the King immortal, invisible, the only wise God your Saviour, who has kept you thus.

For meditation: Those who think they can stand by themselves are taught by being allowed to fall by themselves (1 Corinthians 10:12Ecclesiastes 4:10).

Sermon no. 262
15 February (Preached 6 February 1859)

365 Days with C.H. Spurgeon, Vol. 1: A Unique Collection of 365 Daily Readings from Sermons Preached by Charles Haddon Spurgeon from His New Park Street Pulpit (365 Days With Series); edited by Terence Peter Crosby; (c) Day One Publications, 1998.
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CHOCOLATE FOR YOUR SOUL WITH SHERI ROSE SHEPHERD – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

In Light of Our Imperfections
by Sheri Rose ShepherdYou are the light of the world– like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. – Matthew 5:14-15

The first time I was invited to speak came from a woman who had totally humiliated me at the dinner table in front of my husband’s Bible professors. There I was, already intimidated by the educated people at the table, when one of the woman at our table said loudly, “I heard you were fat, Jewish, and on drugs. How did you ever become a Christian?” Of course all eyes were suddenly on me as I felt forced to share my life story in front of a table of strangers. I am not proud of my life before Christ and every word felt like a fight as I struggled to explain my sin and salvation experience. When they finally stopped asking questions, I excused myself to the bathroom and begged God to never let that happen again.

That night as I crawled into bed, I played back my personal battles of regret, past pain, and guilt. I did not want to share my faith; I wanted to hide my past and pretend it never happened. I know I am not alone in my inward battle of wanting to do something great for God while fighting the feeling of being unworthy to be used by God to further His kingdom on earth.

I didn’t realize that my brokenness is actually a blessing that has kept me desperate for God in my 22 years of ministry.

Our amazing God in His grace knows how to transform our messes into a message of hope!

His Love Letter to YouMy Child,

I stepped into your darkness so you would shine for Me. Did you know that I have empowered you to light up the lives of everyone around you? You are My light to the world. So walk with me and let Me illuminate your life today with My love and My power. Look to Me, and I will make you the bright spot in someones darkness today.

Don’t hide your light beneath your uncertainties and insecurities. Spend more time with me and I will make you glow with a godliness that’s irresistible. If you will let Me, I’ll make you shine in such a way that you will be My star that points to heaven and brings hope to the hurting.

Love,
Your King and True Light of the world

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