1st May: Genesis 37:1-36
Here, we have human sin and divine grace. We see jealousy (11) and its effects: ‘where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice’ (James 3:16). There is God working out His purpose: ‘you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good’ (50:20). In his dreams, Joseph was given a glimpse of the ‘new thing’ (Isaiah 43:19) God was about to do. Joseph’s situation seemed hopeless: ‘cast…into a pit’, ‘sold’ into slavery (24,28). God was in this situation. Each of us is in a ‘pit’, but we are not alone. Jesus has gone into the ‘pit’ for us, and He has come out of it victorious: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave where is your victory?’. Slaves of Satan, we have been set free by Christ (Romans 6:17-18; Hebrews 2:14-15). God was with Joseph. He is with us.
2nd May: Genesis 38:1-30
‘Judah went down from his brothers, and turned in to a certain Adullamite…’ (1-2). This is the sad story of so many people: Drawn away by an unbelieving man/woman from the fellowship of God’s people. The story then goes from bad to worse. A whole catalogue of disasters follows. God is mentioned in only two verses (7,10). Both speak of human sin and divine judgment. God’s Word is clear: Believers are not to be joined in marriage to unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). Lower your spiritual defences at this point, and you are asking for big trouble! Satan is ready to sweep in and cause chaos. This sad story of sin and shame stands as a warning to us. Do not rush into sinful choices. Put God first, and let Him lead you in His perfect way: ‘Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well’ (Matthew 6:33).
3rd May: Genesis 39:1-23
In chapter 38, we read of unbridled lust. Here, we read of sexual restraint: ‘how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?’ (9). Sin brings complications, and so does obedience! There is, in fact, only one complication – sin. We live in a sinful world, which has no real interest in obedience to God. We must be realistic: ‘all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’ (2 Timothy 3:12). Obedience and persecution – we see both in the story of Joseph. He was tempted, but he did not sin (7-9). Temptation is not sin. God provides ‘the way of escape’ (1 Corinthians 10:13). Christ is ‘the way’ (John 14:6), God’s way of escape. We go to Him when we are tempted (Hebrews 2:16; 4:15-16). Joseph was put into prison, ‘but the Lord was with him, and showed him steadfast love’ (20-21) – ‘persecuted, but not forsaken” (2 Corinthians 4:9).
4th May: Matthew 23:1-39
As you read Jesus’ stinging words, remember this: there is a ‘Pharisee” in every one of us! Jesus disturbs the ‘peace’ of ‘those who sit at ease in Zion’ (Amos 6:1). He invites us to see ourselves as God sees us: ‘before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do’ (Hebrews 4:13). Why does Christ speak such disturbing words? – He loves us. He longs for us to return to Him and be forgiven. Many times He comes to us – ‘How often would I have gathered you’. Many times we refuse His appeal of love: ‘you would not’ (37). You may have refused Him often, yet still He waits. Still, He perseveres in love. Still, He seeks to show you the emptiness of your life without Him – ‘forsaken and desolate’ (38). Still, He waits for you to say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord’ (39).
5th May: Matthew 24:1-31
After the first two verses, concerned with the destruction of the temple, Jesus speaks of ‘the sign of His coming and of the end of the age’ (3). There will be times of testing (9,21). We must take care not to be drawn away from Him (4,23-24). Beyond the time of testing, there will be the return of the Lord (29-30). The events of our day are not without significance. They are signs of His coming. We are to prepare ourselves for His return. We must live as servants of the Gospel (14). This will not be easy. There will always be opposition. Current affairs may be confusing, but we must look beyond all this to ‘the momentous event’: ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory’ (30). Awaiting the Lord’s return, we say, ‘If no-one joins me, still I will follow’ (Mission Praise, 272).
6th May: Matthew 24:32-25:13
‘The times they are-a-changing’. There is, however, one thing that remains constant. Jesus says, ‘My words will not pass away’ (35). In an age of unbelief, our faith is often under threat. We must stand upon this solid Rock: ‘The Word of the Lord stands forever’ (1 Peter 1:25). The scoffers will say, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’ (2 Peter 3:3-4). We are to believe that ‘He is near’ (33). Christ has risen. He will return (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). When He returns need not concern us: ‘the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect’ (44). We are to be ready at all times (13) – doing the Lord’s will (46). We are to be ‘faithful and wise’ (45). As ‘the bride of Christ’ (Revelation 19:7; 21:2), we await the Return of Christ our Bridegroom: ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet Him’ (6).
7th May: Matthew 25:14-46
We are to be faithful to God (21). There is a reward for faithfulness (29; 1 Corinthians 3:10-15). Our ‘reward’ is not to get more glory for ourselves: ‘what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord’ (2 Corinthians 4:5). Bringing glory to God – this is to be our greatest joy. We are not to be thinking, ‘What am I going to get out of this?’. We are to be asking, ‘What can I give to others?’. The ‘righteous’ are not full of boasting about their ‘righteous’ actions (37-38). The Lord’s true servants do not draw attention to themselves. Do you have ‘talents’? Yes – you do! Use them! ‘Serve the Lord with gladness’ (Psalm 100:2). Let this be your ‘reward’: the joyful privilege of bringing blessing to others and glory to God. On earth, we begin to ‘enter the joy of our Lord’ (21). In heaven, there will be ‘fullness of joy’ and ‘pleasure for evermore’ (Psalm 16:11).
8th May: Proverbs 3:5-18
‘Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ (2 Peter 3:18). If we are to know the Lord, we must come to an end of ourselves: ‘Be not wise in your own eyes’ (7), ‘do not rely on your own insight’ (5). True knowledge of God comes through faith: ‘Trust in the Lord…’ (5). True knowledge of God is heart-knowledge: ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart’ (5). Knowing Christ involves growing in grace. We cannot get to know God apart from the grace of God working within us. Growth in grace is not always a smooth pathway (11-12; Hebrews 12:5-11). Never forget: ‘the Lord’s discipline’ is an expression of the Lord’s love. ‘Lord, You are more precious than silver, Lord, You are more costly than gold, Lord, You are more beautiful than diamonds, And nothing I desire compares with You’ (13-15; Mission Praise,447).
9th May: Genesis 40:1-23
God gave Joseph power to overcome temptation (chapter 39). Now, He gives him power to interpret dreams. Here, Joseph the dreamer (37:5-11) becomes Joseph the interpreter of dreams. Joseph may be viewed as a prophet: ‘Surely the Lord does nothing, without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets’ (Amos 3:7). As a true prophet, he gives the glory to God alone: ‘Do not interpretations belong to God?’ (8). Joseph became the forgotten man (23). For Joseph, life had become very difficult. He had known prosperity (39:2-3). Now, he was suffering adversity. God is in both our prosperity and our adversity. He uses adversity to produce in us a heart of humility. What was Joseph doing while he was in prison? He was keeping close to God, waiting patiently for his ‘time to speak’ (Ecclesiastes 3:7).
10th May: Genesis 41:1-57
‘After two whole years’, Joseph was still the forgotten man. Then Pharaoh had a dream (1). This was the beginning of the next stage of God’s plan for Joseph. In the interpretation of Pharaoh’s dream, Joseph directs attention to God: ‘It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh a favourable answer…God has revealed to Pharaoh what He is about to do…God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do… the thing is fixed by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass (16,25,28,32). Joseph spoke with divine authority because ‘the Spirit of God’ was living in him (38). God was at work in Joseph, enabling him to forget his hardship and to be fruitful in his affliction (51-52). This is the work of divine grace – a reversal of human expectations. By God’s grace, hardship and affliction lead not to bitterness and resentment but to a deeper love for the Lord.
11th May: Genesis 42:1-38
‘Joseph’s brothers…bowed themselves before him’ (6): Remember Joseph’s dream (37:5-11)! God is fulfilling His purpose. This has nothing to do with the glory of Joseph. It has everything to do with the glory of God. Joseph was exalted to a place of honour because he was a man of God: ‘I fear God’ (18). All the glory belongs to God alone! Joseph\s treatment of his brothers seemed harsh. In verse 24, we see another side of him: ‘he turned away from them and wept’. Joseph loved his brothers. Behind his ‘harsh’ words, there was love. He wanted them to recognize their sin (38:18-33). He was paving the way for his reunion with them in brotherly love. God loves us. Sometimes, His ways seem harsh, but they are always for our best (Revelation 3:19; Hebrews 12:5-11). He shows us how much our sin hurts Him so that we might see how much He loves us.
12th May: Genesis 43:1-34
The roles have been reversed. At the beginning of Joseph’s story, it seemed that the brothers had control over his destiny (37:19-20). Now, Joseph has the upper hand. Ultimately , it was the Lord who was in control. In all the events of Joseph’s life, God had been leading him towards the re-uniting of the family through which He would work out His purpose of grace. Joseph, the man at the centre of God’s purpose, knew the God of grace and desired that others might also know the blessing of the gracious God (29). Benjamin was Joseph’s only full brother. The others were step-brothers (29:31-30:24; 35: 16-18). Joseph had a special affection for Benjamin (30). In the love of Joseph for Benjamin, we see God’s love for us: ‘My compassion grows warm and tender’ (Hosea 11: 8); ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3).
13th May: Genesis: 44:1-34
God is fulfilling His purpose: ‘the brothers fell before Joseph to the ground’ (14; 37:7, 10). God’s purpose is moving towards its ultimate fulfilment: ‘that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow’ (Phillipians 2:10). As God’s purpose moves forward, the brothers are being changed from men who sold their brother into slavery to men who will welcome him again as their long-lost brother (37:28; 45:15). God wants to change us – ‘Jesus, You are changing me, By Your Spirit You’re making me like You. Jesus, You’re transforming me, That Your loveliness may be seen in all I do.You are the potter and I am the clay. Help me to be willing to let You have Your way. Jesus, You are changing me, as I let You reign supreme within my heart’ (Mission Praise, 389). Bowing the knee to Jesus Christ begins here and now.
14th May: Genesis 45:1-28
In the reunion of Joseph with his brothers, there is a great testimony to the God of grace: ‘Do not be distressed… because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life…God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God… God has made me lord of all Egypt’ (5,7-9). Joseph was the pioneer. He went ahead of the others. He paved the way for them. Jesus is ‘the Pioneer of our salvation’. He will ‘bring many sons to glory’. He will welcome us as His ‘brothers’ (Hebrews 2:10-12). Jesus is also the ‘Perfecter of our faith’ (Hebrews 12:2). He is leading us to ‘a better country – a heavenly one’ (Hebrews 11:16). Let ‘every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord’ (Philipians 2:11). Let it begin here on earth.
15th May: Matthew 26:1-13
Jesus was on His way to the Cross (2). His death was the direct result of the hatred of men (3-4). It was also the supreme demonstration of the love of God (Romans 5:8). In verses 6-13, we read of a woman who loved Jesus very much. Jesus was deeply moved by her great love for Him. He wanted everyone to know about her deep devotion to Him: ‘Truly, I say to you, wherever this Gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her’ (13). We read in Acts of the advance of the Gospel (1: 8). Great crowds became believers (2:41; 4:4; 6:7). In all of this, Jesus says to us, ‘Don’t forget the woman. Don’t forget her love’. Love for Jesus – simple, sincere, childlike love – this is the most important thing of all: ‘O for grace to love Him more’ (Church Hymnary, 676).
16th May: Matthew 26:14-35
Peter and Judas Iscariot had something in common. They both failed their Lord (14-16, 34). Things turned out very differently for them (27:3-5; Acts 2:38-42). When we fail the Lord , we find ourselves at a cross-roads. We can turn to Him. We can turn away from Him. In view of His great love for us – His ‘blood’ has been ‘poured out for the forgiveness of sins’ (28) – how can we turn our backs on Him? How can you and I say ‘No’ to such love? There is no reason why we should say ‘No’ to Him – yet we do! Do we doubt that He is there for us? Do we wonder if He really loves us? What about you? Do you think that He cannot or will not forgive your sins? He can and He will. That’s why He died – ‘for the forgiveness of sins’ (28).
17th May: Matthew 26:36-56
Jesus’ suffering is increasing. What pain His disciples caused Him. Three times, He ‘found them sleeping’ (40-45), ‘My betrayer is at hand’ (46), ‘all the disciples forsook Him and fled’ (56)! Was this the end of the road for His disciples? No! With one exception – Judas Iscariot, whom Jesus still called ‘friend’ (50), the others became men of prayer (Acts 1:13-14). They stood with Peter as he preached the Gospel, as he led many sinners to the Saviour (Acts 2:14,37-38). Jesus loved His disciples. He died for them. Then – after Jesus was ‘glorified’ – the Spirit was ‘given’ to them (John 7:39). The fleeing disciples became men ‘on fire’ (Acts 2:3). No more ‘fleeing’. Now it was ‘flowing’ – ‘rivers of living water’ (John 7:38). ‘Blaze, Spirit blaze. Set our hearts on fire. Flow, river, flow. Flood the nations with grace and mercy’ (Mission Praise, 445).
18th May: Matthew 26:57-75
‘Peter followed Him at a distance‘ (58). He didn’t want to get too close! Keeping your distance from Jesus leads to trouble! Trouble was not the end of Peter’s story. Three times Peter denied the Lord (69-75). Three times Jesus asked him, ‘Do you love me?’, three times Peter answered Jesus, ‘I love You’ (John 21:15-17) – For each denial, an opportunity to re-affirm his love for Jesus. Three thousand souls won for Christ (Acts 2:41) – For each denial, one ‘thousand souls’ brought to Christ. The contrast between the ‘Peter’ of the Gospels and the ‘Peter’ of Acts is striking. When Jesus first met Peter, He said, ‘You are Simon…You shall be called Peter’ (John 1:42). ‘Peter’ means ‘rock’. Peter’s confession of faith – ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’ (16:16) – is the Rock on which our faith is built. With Peter, let us confess Christ.
19th May: Psalm 7:1-17
Scripture speaks to us of both judgment and salvation (6,10; Hebrews 9:27-28). The Gospel brings salvation, – ‘God sent the Son… that the world might be saved…’. There is also a warning – ‘he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God’ (John 3:17-18). The Lord does not wish ‘that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance’. Nevertheless, there will be ‘the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men’ (2 Peter 3:9,7). What is happening here on earth? – ‘the wicked man…makes a pit…and falls into the hole which he has made’ (14-15). What does God say about this? – ‘If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword…’ (12), ‘God… commands all men everywhere to repent’ (Acts 17:30). God calls for ‘repentance’ and ‘faith in our Lord Jesus Christ’ – ‘Repent and believe the Gospel’ (Acts 20:21; Mark 1:15).
20th May: Genesis 46:1-34
Jacob goes to Egypt. There were three factors in Jacob’s guidance: Inner desire – He wanted to see Joseph; Circumstances – Joseph wanted to see him and his sons were going to take him; God’s Word – God told him to go. With God’s command there was also His promise – ‘I will there make of you a great nation’. There was no need for fear because God would be with him (3-4). Life would not be easy in Egypt – ‘every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians’ (34). We live in a world which does not honour Christ as ‘the Good Shepherd’ (John 10:11,14), ‘the Great Shepherd’ (Hebrews 13:20-21), ‘the Chief Shepherd’ (1 Peter 5:4). In Christ, we are ‘a holy nation’. Why has God made us His ‘own people’? – ‘that you may declare the wonderful deeds of Him..’ (1 Peter 2:9). ‘The nations are waiting for us, waiting for the gospel we will bring’ (Songs of Fellowship, 539).
21st May: Genesis 47:1-26
Jacob and Joseph – the two stories are one. Christ and the Christian – our story is bound up with His story. Jacob reflects on his life – ‘What has it all amounted to?’. He does not sing his own praises (8-9). Let the glory be given to God and not kept for ourselves. Joseph provided food for his family (12). Jesus has provided for us something better than food (Matthew 4:4) – ‘an eternal redemption’ (Hebrews 9:12). Grateful to Joseph for what he had done for them, the people said, ‘You have saved our lives…we will be slaves’ (25). Saved by Christ we are to be ‘slaves’ of Christ (Romans 6:17-18). We belong to Christ. We are to serve Him. We look to Him to ‘give us seed (His Word)…that the land may not be desolate’ (19; Mark 4:14; Isaiah 55:10-11; Psalm 126:5-6). We ‘sow’. We ‘reap’. ‘God gives the growth’ (1 Corinthians 3:6-7) !
22nd May: Matthew 27:1-26
Jesus went to the Cross for us. Refusing to protest His own innocence, He took our guilt upon Himself. Observing this, ‘the governor wondered greatly’ (14). We also should wonder greatly at this – Christ took our place, receiving the punishment that should have been ours. Barabbas was released, Christ was crucified (26). This is the great exchange – the sinless Saviour takes the place of the guilty sinner (2 Corinthians 5:21). As well as its divine aspect – ‘God so loved…’ (John 3:16) – the Cross has a human dimension – the people, Jews and Gentiles (the whole sinful world), sent Jesus to the Cross. For Jews and Gentiles (‘the whole world’), Christ has provided salvation (Romans 1:16; 1 John 2:2). In the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Christ, we are invited to ask ourselves, ‘What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ (22).
23rd May: Matthew 27:27-54
The ‘King of the Jews’ wore ‘a crown of thorns’ (29). In the Cross, we see the King. The way of crucifixion – this is the way of the Kingdom. The prayer, ‘Thy Kingdom come’ (6: 10), could only be answered by way of the Cross. From the Cross, we hear the call for decision. It is the call of love. The love of Christ calls for our answer: ‘What shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ (22). Here, we see different responses to Christ – derision, mocking, reviling (39-44); misunderstanding (47-49); believing worship (54). How are we brought out of unbelief and into faith, out of derision and into rejoicing? By the mighty working of God in our hearts, we are brought out of darkness and into light (2 Corinthians 4:6). Salvation comes from above, from God – ‘The curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom’ (51).
24th May: Matthew 27:55-66
‘Mary the mother of James and Joseph’ was also the mother of Jesus (56; 13:55). She began by receiving Jesus, not only as her son but also as her Saviour (Luke 1:38). She was still following Jesus – ‘kept by the power of God’ (1 Peter 1:5). None of us – not even the mother of Jesus – can walk with the Lord without His grace keeping us in the way of faith. The unbelieving world still denies Christ – ‘that imposter’ (63) – and His resurrection – ‘fraud’ (64). As believers, we must maintain our testimony: ‘He has risen from the dead’ (64). The unbelievers expected a ‘fraud’. They did not expect a resurrection! For them, a resurrection was out of the question. God had a surprise in store for them! Unbelief says, ‘Resurrection? – Impossible!’. Faith says, ‘it was impossible for death to keep its hold on Him’ (Acts 2:24). He has risen (28:6) – Hallelujah!
25th May: Proverbs 3:19-35
‘You will walk on your way securely…for the Lord will be your confidence’ (23,26). Trusting in the Lord, we are to say, ‘He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold’ (Job 23:10). Our faith is under threat. There is the danger of ‘sudden panic’ (25). We are faced with the ‘man of violence…the perverse man…the wicked…the scorners…fools’ (31-35). What are we to do? Even in the most testing and trying times, we must hold on to this: God is at work for our holiness – ‘Refiner’s fire, my heart’s one desire is to be holy. Set apart for You, Lord, I choose to be holy, set apart for You, my Master, ready to do Your will’ (Songs of Fellowship, 475). Submitted to God’s holy purpose, we rejoice in this: Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:39).
26th May: Genesis 47:27- 48:22
No more fear (46:3). No more pride (47:9). Now, no more doubt – God will bless (15-16, 19-21). Let it be confidence (Philippians 1:6), humility (John 15:5) and faith (Hebrews 11:1; Philippians 3:14). Man’s way is set aside – ‘his younger brother shall be greater than he’ (19). We are ‘saved by grace’ (Ephesians 2:8). There is one way of salvation – God’s way (John 14:6). Israel was promised a ‘land’ (21). In Christ, we are being led on to ‘a better country…a heavenly one’ (Hebrews 11:16). Jacob said, ‘I am about to die’ (21). Jesus says, ‘I died and…I am alive for evermore’ (Revelation 1:18). He says, ‘I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also’ (John 14:3). No more fear, pride, doubt – Christ saves ‘to the uttermost’ (Hebrews 7:25).
27th May: Genesis 49:1-27
Jacob blesses his sons, ‘blessing each with the blessing suitable to him’ (28). The most significant blessings are reserved for Joseph (22-26). This is not simply the blessing of Jacob. This is the blessing of ‘the Mighty One of Jacob…the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel…the God of your father…God Almighty’ (24-25). God blesses us ‘with blessings of heaven above, blessings which are mighty beyond the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills’ (25-26). He does this for us in Jesus Christ, the fulfilment of the divine purpose within which Joseph was privileged to take his part. ‘God… has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places’ (Ephesians 1:3). What blessings He has given to us – the forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit, eternal life (Ephesians 1:7,13-14)! ‘Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits’ (Psalm 103:2).
28th May: Genesis 49:28- 50:26
It was a time of ‘very great and sorrowful lamentation’ (10). Jacob had died (33). Soon, Joseph would be gone (26). God was still there. He had been there in the past (20). He would be there in the future (24-25). Times are hard. We rejoice: ‘The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases’. An earthly life has ended. We say, ‘His mercies never come to an end’. We cannot cope. We discover that ‘His mercies are new every morning’. Everything seems to be changing. We trust in God’s unchanging love: ‘Great is Thy faithfulness’. It seems hopeless. We say, ‘I will hope in the Lord’ (Lamentations 3:22-24). ‘Bad’ things are happening to you. Do you need to be ‘reassured… and comforted’? – ‘God meant it for good…Do not fear’. The Lord ‘will provide for you’ (20-21). Whatever happens, remember this – God is in control, and He loves you (Romans 8:28)!
29th May: Matthew 28:1-10
The resurrection declares Christ’s victory over evil, the triumph of His love. There is no need for fear: ‘He has risen’ – His ‘perfect love casts out fear’ (5-6; 1 John 4:18). There has to be a new beginning in faith. First, there was a new beginning ‘in fact – Christ has been raised from the dead’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). Christ has won the victory over the grave. Christ has taken the sting out of death (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Between the new beginning in faith – making disciples (19) – and the new beginning in fact – Christ’s resurrection – , there is worship (9). The fact is not dependent on our feelings. ‘He has risen’ (6-7) – the fact stands, even when many doubt and few worship (17). As we worship, we are strengthened in faith, strengthened for our task. We are to invite people to come to the place where ‘they will see’ Jesus (10). We are to ‘make disciples’ (19). Run and tell – with great joy (8)!
30th May: Matthew 28:11-20
Why is it so important that we ‘make disciples’ (19)? There is a devil, and he is doing his utmost to hinder the progress of God’s truth. He spreads lies about Christ – ‘to this day’ he is still sowing seeds of unbelief (11-15). We must combat the enemy of Christ – with words of truth, with the believing declaration, ‘He has risen’ (6-7). Satan failed to halt the progress of the Gospel. Christ’s disciples rose to the challenge, and so must we: ‘Rise up, you champions of God…We’ll reach this generation…Go forth! Jesus loves them. Go forth! Take the Gospel. Go forth! The time is now. The harvest is ripening; Go forth! Feel now the burden of the Lord. Feel how He longs to save them. Feel now for those who never heard…Now is the time’ (Songs of Fellowship, 486). ‘All authority…has been given to Me…I am with you always’ (18-20).
31st May: Psalm 8:1-9
The Lord is ‘majestic’ (1,9). He does not remain remote. He does not keep His distance. He show us His greatness, the greatness of His love. We feel forgotten. He remembers us. We feel unloved. He cares for us (4). We are tempted. He will ‘still the enemy’ (2). We look beyond our creation (5-8) to our salvation – ‘we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone…that through death He might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil’ (Hebrews 2:8-9,14). This is ‘Majesty’ – ‘Jesus, who died, now glorified, King of all kings’. The Name of the Lord is majestic ‘in all the earth’ (1, 9). To God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – we pray, ‘Glorify Your Name in all the earth’ (Mission Praise. 454,142).