Scripture reading for March 19th: Luke 12
Key scriptures for over-comers: Luke 12:35-37,40 “Be dressed and ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. . .” “You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”
Jesus knew all men and understood their tendency to become lazy and let down their guard. In many of His last teachings, Jesus emphasized the need for watchfulness and readiness when He returned for His followers. Unbelief in Christ’s return would produce this lax and lazy behavior in those who once were zealous. This would cause great loss because those found not ready would be left out completely!
No one knows the day or the hour of Christ’s return. (Matthew 24:36) He is coming back for those who are eagerly awaiting His appearing and doing the work He commanded them to do. There will be great reward for the faithful!
Observations for over-comers: Guard your soul against falling away and unbelief in Christ’s return by keeping an active faith and obeying Christ daily. The reward is out of this world! “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In My faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.” (Isaiah 61:8)
Scripture reading for June 11th: Psalm 36-41
Some people seem to be depressed all the time. A heaviness and a cloud of negativism hangs on their life and their conversations. They can’t seem to move into a positive attitude. They seem to live in a pit that holds them in spiritual bondage. They are oppressed and in need of deliverance! When I talk to someone with this attitude, I sometimes tell them to take their open hand and slap their face and say to themselves, “sober up–you are drunk on the circumstances!”
David’s psalm 38 is such a record of depression and desperate circumstances. David is sick in body with festering wounds because he has sin and guilt in his life. He has back pain that penetrates his being. (Psalm 38:5-7) He is feeble and crushed in anguish of heart. People avoid him because of his wounds and there are those that are plotting his ruin and destruction. He has trouble hearing and speaking in response to those who hate him! God is called upon to help, and quickly! (Psalm 38:22)
In Psalm 40, David states that after patiently waiting on the Lord, He heard his cry and responded by lifting him out of the slimy pit that held him. He set David’s feet on a firm rock and put a new song in his mouth, a song of praise to our God! The man who trusts in the Lord will never be put to shame!
Some practical advice for dealing with depression and heaviness comes from these psalms. First, David told the Lord exactly how he felt in body and soul. Honest evaluation and casting on the Lord all our cares is a good thing to do. Notice how the Psalmist always comes back to faith and belief in the Lord. (Psalm 38:22. 40:17) Second, patience is necessary in trials. The psalmist could not help himself–he had to wait on the Lord patiently! (Psalm 38:15) (Psalm 40:1) Even though he asked that the Lord come quickly, God’s time is not always the same as ours. (Psalm 38:22) Last, David sang a new song of praise after the rescue. Praise and testimony of God’s goodness and deliverance always blesses the one who does it and then blesses the Lord who came through!
Even before the answer came, the psalmist was praising God! Why not apply these truths today if you are in a pit? God loves to save and deliver! Action on the word of God always brings new life and opportunity to move out of the slimy pits of life! If necessary, give yourself a little slap to remember not to be drunk on your circumstances!