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Watching Daily at My Gates

March 1

Psalm 74:12-23           For us in the Northern hemisphere March 1 can mark a turning point in the seasons. Even though we know that there is plenty of time for winter storms to strike, spring is near. As children of God we can gain instruction in that. Even though wickedness abounds around us and we fear that Christ will never return, we know that God is King of all. Christ will come and take us to that New Jerusalem; that place of eternal spring. Sing or read Psalter 402 especially stanzas 1 and 5.

 

March 2

Mark 6:1-6          Young people, how do you receive those who encourage or admonish you in things of Jehovah? Are we like the people of Jesus’ hometown who, because of their unbelief, would not make it possible for mighty works to be done? If someone encourages us using the word of God, are we grateful for their concern over our spiritual life? If someone admonishes us for our sins, are we thankful that someone cares that we do not fall prey to Satan? Be glad God has given us fellow saints who help to bear the burdens of others. Above all do not despise them. Sing or read Psalter 370.

 

March 3

Joshua 1:1-9        Are the words of Joshua 1 only for leaders? Impossible! The Bible is written for all the elect of all ages. It is true these were the words of God to Joshua as he began his work as Israel’s leader, but look again at verses 7-9. Are not these verses very applicable to us? Shouldn’t we be strong and courageous to observe and do God’s law? Shouldn’t the law not depart out of our mouths so that we meditate in it day and night? Don’t we have the promise that God will be with us wherever we go? Sing or read Psalter 40:l, 4-6.

 

March 4

Ephesians 5:15-21          How is the singing coming? Are you delighting in the Psalter numbers at the end of the meditations? Or is singing something we do grudgingly; not remembering that it is an expression of gratitude to our heavenly Father for all He has given us? In Ephesians 5 the context is given in verse 1 where it tells us to be followers of God as children. Then the chapter gives us applica­tion of that concept. Verses 19 and 20 relate to our singing. Should we love it? Yes! Will we do it in heaven? Yes! Are you happy about it? Sing or read Psalter 409.

 

March 5

Daniel 6:1-11         Are we as regular in prayer as Daniel was? Now I don’t mean mechan­ically regular; I mean do we bring our needs and cares to God in prayer regularly. Daniel was trapped because he would go to His God in prayer often. Look at the last three words of verse 10. I believe Daniel was regular and not mechanical in prayer otherwise he would have found no help from God. Do we address our heavenly Father in all situations? Or do we just look to Him in times of trouble? We must pray without ceasing for all things. Sing or read Psalter 11.

 

March 6

Romans 8:24-20           Do we always confess the words of verse 28? Young people, do you believe that all things work for your good? What is good? Good must pertain to our salvation. All things in our lives are used by God to further our salvation in Christ. Can we confess this in the hospi­tal? Do we confess this at the grave site? Is this our hope in times of turmoil in our lives? All things work for our good. Praise the Lord. Sing or read Psalter 408 especially stanza 3.

March 7

II Chronicles 36:14-21        Israel of the Old Testament was given many ceremonial laws concern­ing the Sabbath. One of these was every seven years the land was to lie fallow. This was to signify the rest of the Sabbath day that God instituted during creation. Israel in their greed disobeyed, bringing on them the wrath of God. We read in verse 21 that the land had to enjoy its Sabbath. What about us? Do we in our greed for more things of this world including recreation refuse to give the Sabbath its due? We will lose the favor of Jehovah if this is our attitude to the Lord’s day. Sing or read Psalter 320.

 

March 8

II Corinthians 6:14-18        Yesterday we spent part of the day in fellowship with fellow saints. What about today and the rest of the week? True we must be in the world, and that means many times we must rub elbows with unbelievers. But do we place ourselves in situations where we become unequally yoked with them? Do we confess that we are the temple of the living God? Sing or read Psalter 248 especially stanzas 1-4.

 

March 9

Psalm 119:9-16           Almost every verse of Psalm 119 has a word which is a synonym for the Law of God. There are many verses of application for our lives. But that is the law of God or the ten commandments. Through the proper use of God’s commandments, we can walk according to His will. The first four commandments deal with our love for God; the last six deal with our love for the neigh­bor. By diligently following God’s law, we can assure ourselves of His favor. Sing or read Psalter 42.

 

March 10

Matthew 4:1-10          Young people, do you worship Jehovah God alone? Do we have other interests that intrude on our worship of God? Remember worship is not reserved for Sundays alone. We must worship every minute of our lives. Do we trust in God for all things for both body and soul? If we do, then we keep the first commandment. If we do, the devil will go away from us. Sing or read Psalter 391 especially stanza 3.

 

March11

Jeremiah 10:1-10        How do we worship Jehovah? Do we make images of Him in our minds? Do we pick out attributes of God that we are comfortable with and ignore those we would rather not deal with? You know what I mean. It’s easy to say that God is love but not God is judge. Our worship must confess that God is true, living, and sovereign over all. Our worship must be from the hearts and not from the lips. Israel was reprimanded many times for lip-service; what about us? Sing or read Psalter 308 especially stanzas 1-3.

 

March 12

Matthew 5:33-37        How do we speak about God? Is our speech full of profanity – even mild profanity? Do we speak of spiritual things lightly – even using them in jokes? None of us like our names used in stories that promote evil about us. Do we do that to God? Are we guilty of taking God s name in vain? We must reverence that name. We must treat it like we treat our most treasured earthly possession. He has given His name to us so that we can worship Him. Let us use it with fear and rev­erence. Sing or read Psalter 164.

 

March 13

Isaiah 58:1-3; 13-14        It will be Sunday tomorrow. Are we preparing today? Were our plans of today such that tomorrow we can set aside all our cares of the world and concentrate on the wor­ship of Jehovah? Is the whole house ready to worship God? Do our friends know what to expect of us on the Sabbath? God has given to us six days in which we can carry out the business of caring for our needs. He has reserved one day so that He can be worshiped by His creatures. There are many practi­cal aspects to this commandment; but I think they can be summed up in the thought “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Sing or read Psalter 348 especially stanzas 1-3.

 

March 14

Romans 13:1-7           Young people, do think that you are old enough that the fifth com­mandment no longer applies to you? Are father and mother old-fashioned and do not have to be lis­tened to? If you are living away from home, do you have any responsibility to this commandment? Of course you do, and of course I do. This commandment speaks about all authority – all those whom it has pleased God to place over us. We never escape the demands of the fifth commandment, and this is a good thing. This commandment has a promise. Our days will be long in heaven. Is this our joy? Sing or read Psalter 84.

March 15

James 1:17-25           Thou shalt not kill” This seems easy enough to keep, doesn’t it? Have you read the words of Lord’s Day 40 lately? We realize that shedding blood is only one way to break this commandment. Do we realize that when our anger comes forth against one another we have transgressed this commandment? We must see that we use our tongues quite often and kill the broth­er. Notice verses 20-22. We must love the brother in all things and at all times. Then and only then can we keep this commandment. Sing or read Psalter 386 especially stanzas 1 and 4.

 

March 16

I Corinthians 6:15-20          The negative aspects of the seventh commandment bring God’s wrath in this life. Unholy marriages are full of strife. Impure actions bring disease and other consequences. How do we look at this commandment positively? We must realize that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. In order not to quench the Holy Spirit, we must keep our bodies pure. This includes actions, words, and dress. According to verse 20 we keep the seventh commandment when we glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits. Sing or read Psalter 143 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

March 17

Nehemiah 5:1-13            Israel had returned from captivity, and soon some in the nation stole from their brethren. They stole by taking advantage of the brother and not caring for their needs. Stealing we know is wrong though at times we participate in it. But this commandment also is not kept when we do not promote the advantage of the neighbor. When we take advantage of our friends, we steal from them and from God’s honor and glory. The last part of the Heidelberg Catechism speaks of helping the poor as a way of keeping this commandment. Is that so hard? Sing or read Psalter 26 especially stanzas 1 and 5.

 

March 18

Proverbs 11:11-14      We are full of conversation. All of us speak to others and about others often. How do we do that? Are we talebearers? Do we love the neighbor as ourselves in our conversa­tions? Much damage has been done in the church when this commandment is broken. Teachers bemoan the fact that students don’t love the brother or sister and use their tongues to show this hatred. Our speech can bring glory to God or Satan. Which is it? Sing or read Psalter 394 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

March 19

Romans 7:14-25         Coveting is an inward sin. Coveting means we are not happy with God in the lives He has chosen for us. After we are guilty of coveting someone else’s place in the world, we try to take it from them. We must constantly remind ourselves to be content and happy with our life. This is not easy; but it is the tenth commandment. When we walk in the tenth commandment, it will be easier to keep the others. Sing or read Psalter 81 especially stanzas 1, 3, and 4.

 

March 20

Jonah 2            Young people, are your life’s plans working out the way you want

them to? Are you happy the way things are going? Jonah had a plan. He was going to preach to God’s people. It was an admirable plan except for one thing. It was not God’s plan. God took extreme mea­sures with Jonah. God will take extreme measures with us if we do not look to Him to order our lives. We must listen to Him and then He will bless us. Sing or read Psalter 101 especially stanzas 1 and 4.

 

March 21

Ephesians 2:4-10        Grace! What a beautiful word. We use it to describe many actions in this world. But the word has much more meaning than earthly actions. It is the word which gives us hope in this life. Without it we are nothing. For it is by grace we are saved. Grace is God’s unmerited favor towards His people whereby by our deserving punishment was poured out on Christ and we receive the promise of eternal life. Thanks be to God for this wonderful word! Sing or read Psalm 112 especially stanzas 3 and 4.

 

March 22

Ruth 2:8-14            Do our actions show that God blesses us? Can those around us see the work of God in our lives? Boaz could see that in Ruth. He said of Ruth that she trusted in God and dwelt beneath His wings. What about us? Does our everyday life show that we trust God or do we try to hide our faith and act like the reprobate? The difference is obvious. What do men see in us? Sing or read Psalter 92 especially stanzas 3 and 8.

 

March 23

Colossians 1:12-20           Is it necessary for the church to have a day set aside for Thanksgiving? I hope not. Paul commands the church at Colosse to give thanks to the Father. Then he gives reasons for the expression of thankfulness. The primary reason is the salvation wrought for us by Christ through the cross. Must we wait for November to thank God for that? I hope not. If we don’t wait, then we will remember to thank God for all the gifts he has given us. Sing or read Psalter 405 especially stanzas 6 and 7.

 

March 24

I Samuel 3:1-10          Have you uttered the words today, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth?” In Samuel’s time God often came to His people directly. Since Christ has sent His Spirit upon us, we no longer have such direct contact with the Lord. But we must ask for God to speak to us. And speak He does. The Bible is full of the Word of the Lord for us. Are we searching the Scriptures to find It? Are we listening to His word? Sing or read 323 stanzas 1 and 2.

 

March 25

I Thessalonians 5:1-11      Do you listen to God as He speaks to the church through the news of the world’s happenings? When there is a devastating storm, do we hear God’s voice? When war breaks out, does the red horse leap into our mind’s eye? What about disease and famine? Paul said to the Thessalonians that they must watch the times and the seasons. This is also the word of the Holy Spirit to us. Watch, pray, and listen to God’s word in the world around you. Then comfort each other with the knowledge that Christ comes quickly. Sing or read Psalter 28 especially stanzas 4 and 5.

 

March 26

I Kings 21:1-7        Naboth received death for his refusal to sell his vineyard to Ahab. The king would have made him a rich man for his small plot of land. He said no, and by the instrumentali­ty of wicked Jezebel he lost not only his vineyard but also his life. But Naboth did not die for a vine­yard. He died because he confessed his faith in the inheritance given to him by Jehovah. What about us? Do we sell the inheritance of the Reformed truth? God forbid it happen to us even if death threat­en. Sing or read Psalter 80 especially stanzas 1, 5, and 9.

 

March 27

II Thessalonians 1:3-12        Yesterday we spoke of death coining to the child of God because of his confession of faith. Does that trouble us? It shouldn’t if we believe the word of God we just read. Evil will be punished; good will triumph. Why? Not only for our sake but more importantly that the name of God be glorified in us. Sing or read Psalter 88 especially stanzas 1 and 2.

 

March 28

Ezra 8:21-23         When Ezra returned to the promised land, he knew there would be dangers in the way. Yet he was not ashamed to ask God to help him bring the people to Canaan. Is this our confession, young people? Are you ashamed to ask help from God? In your study of history, you have learned of many services governments provide for their citizens. Are these your hope for your future life? Ezra realized that his help was in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Do we? Sing or read Psalter 75 especially stanzas 1,2, and 6.

 

March 29

I Timothy 3:1-13        Young people, do you want to be in consistory? This may seem to be a strange question especially considering the age of some of you. Yet, your lives, young men, should show forth the qualities of elders and deacons. There is a word to you, young women, as possible mates of office bearers. It is God’s will that his church be ruled by godly men. Each generation must provide men who fit the qualifications of these verses. Do you desire it? Even if it is not God’s will for you any time in your life, you must be ready to serve. Sing or read Psalter 367 especially stanza 1.

 

March 30

Esther 2:5-10           Sometimes we wonder about God’s purpose in including the book of Esther in the canon of Scripture. We look at unbelieving Mordecai and Esther and wonder what God’s message is for us in this book. It is not hard to see the message. We see God’s providence for His church. The heathen raged in the form of Hainan, but yet God delivered His church. That is the mes­sage for us. God is near to us even though Satan desires to destroy us. Make that your thought as you read Esther and you will have no trouble. Sing or read Psalter 99 especially stanzas 1, 2, and 5.

 

March 31

II Timothy 3:14-17         Are we happy about God-fearing homes, diligent catechism instruction and preaching, and covenant schools? Paul reminds Timothy of his upbringing under the hands of Mother Eunice and Grandmother Lois. It was an upbringing full of spiritual things. The basis of that upbring­ing was the inspired, infallible Scriptures. That is the basis of the covenant home, true church, and covenant schools. Are you happy for them? Then give God the praise from whom all blessings flow. Sing or read Psalter 89 especially stanza 1 and 4.