Watching Daily at My Gates

February 1
Isaiah 1:11-20

We went to God’s house yesterday. We participated in the service. How did we do? The portion of Scripture you read talks about participating without participating. It is possible to go to church and not go to church. But our gracious God makes it possible for us to repent of such sins. In fact, He has given us the beautiful sign of new fallen snow to show us the power of the blood of the Lamb. Pray that we may always be conscious of that power in our lives. Sing or read Psalter 140 especially verse 3.

February 2
Ephesians 4:7-16

Is it always good to tell the truth? My answer to this question is a surprising “not always”. If you are scratching your head over that, check the Heidelberg Catechism on the eighth and ninth commandments. There we see that if the truth is not spoken in love or is spoken so that our neighbor’s advantage is not sought, we should be silent. Notice I said be silent, not lie. Love your neighbor as yourself and you will have no problem with Ephesians 4:15. Sing or read Psalter 26 especially verse 3.

February 3
Psalm 19:1-6

Do you take time to look at creation? Do you consider the lily of the valley, or the butterfly, or the stars? God speaks to us through His creation. Using His written word, the Bible, as our guide we can understand these expressions of God’s speech to us. It takes time. It takes study of both creation and the Bible. But there is a huge benefit in it all. Biology class seems to make more sense when it is viewed through the microscope of faith. Enjoy God’s creation daily and pray that He will speak to you through it. Sing or read Psalter 285.

February 4
John 14:22-27

Are you having a hard week? Is winter becoming long? Do you long for the return of Christ to deliver you from this valley of the shadow of death? Pray for the Holy Spirit to come to you as the Comforter promised in John 14:26. We cannot face anything alone. We can face anything with the help of the Holy Spirit who makes “Intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” Then we will have the peace of verse 27. Then we can patiently endure all that God places before us. Sing or read Psalter 287.

February 5
Mark 16:14-20

Do you believe in the risen Christ? If you do, are you carrying out verse 15? No, most of you cannot be missionaries now. Some of you might wish to consider if that is your calling. All of you can pray for mission work. All of you can support mission work financially. This is our calling if we believe that Christ is risen and ascended into heaven. Become familiar with proper mission work and pray for it. In doing so you will be praying that Christ will return and take us to heaven. Sing or read Psalter 176.

February 6
Exodus 32:1-8

In verse 6 we read that the people of Israel “rose up to play.” When we rise up to play, do we invoke the same response from God as the Israelites did? Today is Saturday. It is the traditional day of play among Americans. What kinds of recreations are we enjoying? Play is not wrong in itself. But certain kinds of play will cause God to become extremely angry at us. These kinds do not even have to be the vilest sort in which Israel participated. We must watch our play and pray that it is only God-glorifying. Sing or read Psalter 402 especially verses 1, 4, and 6.

February 7
Deuteronomy 16:13-17

As the offering is being taken, what is our reaction? Is it joy? Is it resignation? Is it indifference? What about you, young people? What is your reaction? Has God blessed you materially at all? Has God given you anything? If He has, and I think He has; you have a duty to give. Some of you have few obligations as yet. Now is the time in which you have been greatly blessed. Give as you have been blessed. Sing or read Psalter 305 especially verses 3 and 5.

February 8
Titus 2:1-8, 12-14

How are you planning to live, young men and women? Are you preparing yourself to be like the men and women of Titus 2:4-8? Marriage does not make it possible to practice these admonitions of Paul. God’s grace alone does it. Pray for that grace, and then practice being the sober adults of Titus 2. The blessings of such actions are found in verses 12-14 of the chapter. Read this part of Scripture, ponder this part of Scripture, and live this part of Scripture. Sing or read Psalter 24.

February 9
Amos 4

Who is your God? Many people claim to worship a god. Some worship heathen gods like Bhudda or Allah. Some claim the God of Scripture. Amos speaks of Israel’s God. In the last verses of this chapter, he gives us a summary of this God. Is this the God we worship? Sing or read Psalter 162.

February 10
Philemon 1-9

When we pray, do we remember others? Or are our prayers so full of petitions about ourselves that we forget other people of God. Paul tells Philemon that he daily prays for him. If we would examine other of Paul’s epistles, we would discover that other fellow believers are in Paul’s prayers. We, too, should remember other saints in our prayers. It is not hard. Think of elders, deacons, ministers, missionaries, parents, friends, teachers… The list is endless. Sing or read Psalter 75 especially verses 2 and 6.

February 11
I Chronicles 29:10-19

For what do we pray when we pray for others? Sometimes our prayers can be specific when we know other’s specific needs. I am sure that you all know of something that others need. Other times our prayers can be general. All of God’s people need to be remembered in prayer. We as believers can do this. We as believers must do this. I think that by remembering others in our prayers, our praying will become more meaningful but also more pleasing to God. Sing or read Psalter 426 especially verses 8 and 10.

February 12
Matthew 5:1-12

The passage which you read is part of Jesus’s well-known sermon about the kingdom of heaven. The passage is often called the beatitudes. That word simply means blessed or happy. Notice the first beatitude. Those who are poor in spirit shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Poor in spirit means that we realize that we are sinners and have need of forgiveness and grace. Do we exhibit this characteristic of a kingdom person, or do we walk around proclaiming “we’re number one”? The reward is great; do you want it? Sing or read Psalter 82.

February 13
Psalm 38:15-22

The second beatitude speaks of mourning. This mourning is not the mourning because of the death of a dear one. This is the mourning that God’s people make because of their sins. Do you mourn your sins, young people? When we make confession of faith, that is the part of the second question of our form. Kingdom people mourn their sins because they know that they shall be comforted by God. They know that His comfort is perfect and brings peace. Sing or read Psalter 103.

February 14
Numbers 12:1-8

Can we be like Moses? Moses had one of the hardest callings in the world. Yet it is God’s word about Moses that he was the meekest man in the world. If Moses had to be meek in his task, what about us? The third beatitude calls us to be meek in this world. We must ignore the taunts of those round about us. We must forget those who would do us harm. Our reward is that we will inherit the earth. That new heaven and earth will be ours. Pray for patience to inherit the great reward. Sing or read Psalter 96.

February 15
Philippians 1:1-11

Have you ever stood at the refrigerator, peering in, but not knowing what you want? This cannot be the plight of the citizen of the kingdom of heaven. We must know for what we are hungry. We must know about the righteousness after which we hunger. By studying God’s word and by prayer that righteousness will become very evident. By this knowledge we will know of our hunger and thirst. We will also be filled because of this knowledge. Sing or read Psalter 100.

February 16
Luke 10:25-37

Mercy is an attribute of God. His greatest act of mercy was that he sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins. We also must show mercy to those around us. We can be merciful to family members, school friends, and to others around us. Being merciful is not easy because it takes away from our own self-enjoyment. But being merciful has the reward of God’s mercy. For what else can we wish? Sing or read Psalter 101 especially verses 3 and 5.

February 17
Job 1:6-11, 20-22

What an example we have in Job. Here is a man who was pure in heart. God through Satan brought grievous trials of his faith. What do we read? “In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” From our hearts come forth our spiritual actions. We must pray that God will give us a pure heart. By nature our hearts are completely corrupt. By grace they are cleansed and made pure. Since they are cleansed, we must live lives of thankfulness marked by deeds which come from a purified heart. Only through Christ can we see God. Sing or read Psalter 204.

February 18
Lamentations 1:12-16

Do we weep over trouble in the church or among God’s people? Do you young people cry when you see sin in your fellow young people? Are you concerned enough about God’s church even as it is manifest among you to become sorrowful because of the trouble sin brings? Jeremiah was exceedingly sorrowful because of the sins of God’s people. He was not sorrowful just because they were going into captivity. He was sorrowful because of the sins for which God was chastising them. Weep over sin; do not just cry over chastisement. Sing or read Psalter 379.

February 19
Revelation 11:3-12

God’s people must live a life of persecution. It is true that there are some whom God has delivered from persecution. It is also true that there were certain periods in which the church was protected from persecution. But throughout history God’s people have and will suffer persecution. This should be a joy for us. We should be happy in persecution because God has said that His people must be persecuted. We must live lives that warrant persecution. We will not be persecuted if we live like the world. Rejoice in persecution as a citizen of the kingdom. Rejoice and remember the reward. Sing or read Psalter 300 especially verses 11-13.

February 20
Lamentations 1:12-16

Do we weep over trouble in the church or among God’s people? Do you young people cry when you see sin in your fellow young people? Are you concerned enough about God’s church even as it is manifest among you to become sorrowful because of the trouble sin brings? Jeremiah was exceedingly sorrowful because of the sins of God’s people. He was not sorrowful just because they were going into captivity. He was sorrowful because of the sins for which God was chastising them. Weep over sin; do not just cry over chastisement. Sing or read Psalter 379.

February 21
Galatians 1:6-12

Did you hear Christ today? What a blessing the child of God has when he can hear the words of Christ from the pulpit! Notice how I put that-the words of Christ. If we heard the words of a man, then we were cheated. Not only were we cheated, but also, we were not fed the pure milk of the Word. The minister’s words should not please us because he did a good job; they should please us because Christ spoke to us through those words. When we ponder the words of a sermon, Christ should be our measuring stick. If the sermon does not measure up, then it can only be because we did not hear Christ. Could the fault be with the sermon? Maybe. Could it have been with us? Probably. Sing or read Psalter 337.

February 22
II Kings 5:1-8

Covenant education is a great joy to the church of Christ. The Bible portrays this truth in many places. In these verses, we read of a captive girl who was able because of covenant instruction to bring the truth of the sovereignty of God to a heathen man. By means of her witness, Naaman was converted by the grace of God. Many of you have known nothing but covenant instruction. It is my prayer for you that you can use it like this captive child. Some of you have either never known covenant instruction or have not had its benefits all your life. It is my prayer for you that God will allow you in some way to receive the benefits of covenant instruction soon. Sing or read Psalter 215.

February 23
John 9:1-7

God gave to us in His Word accounts of miracles. How must we receive these accounts? What instruction must we gain from them? In this passage, we learn that miracles were used to glorify God. They were used so that we could see something of His power. Whenever we ponder a miracle, we must look for grace in those miracles. We must see that the miracle is a small picture of the miracle Christ performed when He came to this earth, lived on this earth, and died for our sins. That is the greatest of all miracles. Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift. Sing or read Psalter 427 especially verse 5.

February 24
Leviticus 19:1-10

Do we know what it means to be holy? Do we know why we must be holy? Do we know when we must be holy? Being holy means we must appear before God spotless and without sin. We must appear before God holy because He is holy. The well-known hymn “Take Time to Be Holy” does not go far enough. We must always be holy. If we think we must take time for it, we will fall. If we would stop here, we would despair because we would say it is impossible to be holy. We might say that God is not fair in requiring us to be holy. We do not have to despair; God is extremely fair. He has given us His Son through whom we are made holy. Sing or read Psalter 143 especially verses 2 and 3.

February 25
James 4:11-17

Youth is full of exuberance about the future. Many of you have plans about what you are going to do. You have marriage plans, occupational plans, recreational plans, and many other kinds of plans. Are your plans God’s plans? We do not know what God has planned for us. We do not even know if we will be living tomorrow. Therefore as we plan we must always say, “If the Lord will, I will do. . . .” Then we must pray that God’s will be made known to us so that we can carry it out as He wishes. Sing or read Psalter 98.

February 26
Nahum 1:1-8

Jehovah is good. Such a truth may never be overlooked. As we live our life in this world among much trouble, we can always confess Jehovah is good. What does that mean? First of all, it means He is good in Himself. Nothing of God is evil. It also means that whatever He sends upon us is good for us. That is the testimony of Romans 8:28. We can be glad that Jehovah is good and only gives us good things. This allows us to make some sense out of the happening in this life. As long as we have the confession that Jehovah is good, we can go on in confidence and trust in Him. Sing or read Psalter 268.

February 27
I John 4:6-13

Love is an attribute that is powerful. Love has the power to join two into one. Love has the power to bring peace into the church of God. Love has the power to bring unity into a family. Love is only powerful because God is love. God has love in Himself. God has shown his love for the elect by sending His only begotten son to die for their sins. Are we participating in the power of love? Do we love one another because God loved us? Let us show forth the love of God even as we show our love for one another. Sing or read Psalter 370.

February 28
II Peter 3:1-12

Another month is drawing to a close. We are that much closer to the end of the world. As we look back over February, do we see the signs of the times? Can we see them as we look through the glasses of faith? If we cannot, we better stop a minute this Sabbath day and pray for the ability to see and want Christ’s return. That is the admonition of our reading for today. God gives us signs; we must heed them. Sundays are good for this because we put away our earthly labors and concentrate on things of heaven. If we do not concentrate, we will miss the signs, and worse than that, we will miss Christ’s return. Let us pray that that is not our plight in this life! Sing or read Psalter 139.