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May 1

Read Genesis 1:26-31

What a joy it is to be a part of a Christian family where husband, wife, and children live together in the Lord. A home filled with harmony and peace is a home where Christ is the center. So many homes today are broken by sin, quarreling, and separation. An ungodly home is the closest thing to hell on earth. It is dark and poor therein. But a home is truly blessed where Jesus Christ dwells. Dwell together as a family that put its trust in God and that serves Him wholeheartedly.

 

May 2

Read Psalm 121

The Lord is our keeper. He guards us on all sides. He leads us (Isaiah 48:17); He is at the right of us (Psalm 16:8); He is at the left of us (Job 23:9); He is behind us (Isaiah 30:21); He is underneath us (Deuteronomy 33:27); He is above us (Psalm 36:7). And His Holy Spirit dwells within us (I Corinthians 3:16). So wherever we are, whether at work, school, play, home or church, we are always surrounded by our Lord. We never have reason to be afraid. Wherever we are, let us always walk and talk as children of His for He is watching us and guarding us at all times.

 

May 3

Read Ecclesiastes 12

Aging is a natural process of life. We will all grow old if that is in the Lord’s plan. But what comes to mind when we think of the aged? Retirement? Sickness? Gray hair? Visitation at the Rest Home? How about knowledge, or faithfulness, or spiritual strength? When we are younger, and busy with the demands of life, we tend to forget about the immense treasure of knowledge that the aged in our churches possess. We often put off visiting with our aged, thinking tomorrow will be a better, less busy day. But tomorrow could be too late. That knowledge and insight could have passed in the night. How our lives could be all the more joyful by taking the time to listen to our dear older fellow saints. They know so much and see so much. We can learn so much from them. “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shown thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to everyone that is to come” (Psalm 71:17-18).

 

May 4

Read I Timothy 6:6-21

What does the little word “money” mean to you? Riches? Valuable possessions? For the Christian, money is a blessing from God. We must use it wisely, not for our own personal gain or to seek the approval of our neighbor. How we use it can either be a blessing or a curse to us as Christians. We must be satisfied and content if only our daily supply of food and shelter is provided. But if the Lord blesses us with riches, we must use this blessing as a blessing to others. We must also give back to the Lord what He has seen fit to give us. Let us never glory in our riches, but let us glory in knowing that He is the Lord which doth “exercise lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness, in the earth” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).

 

May 5

Read Romans 5:3-5

If you have been plagued by sickness, trials, and sufferings, faith sometimes becomes weak to the point of crying out, “Why, why me, Lord?” All that we have we receive from the Lord. That includes trials and tribulations. He gives these trials to us not out of hatred or punishment, but out of love for us. It is for our good, and for that we must thank Him. The comforting words of Job 23:10 read, “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” The Lord knoweth what we can take. We must rejoice in our sufferings.

 

May 6

Read II Corinthians 5:7

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” Walking is an exercise. When we walk, we go forward. Forward means “to push ahead.” If we just stand still, we are not going anywhere. We become weak from lack of exercise. We must never be careless in our walk. But we must walk by faith. If we do not have faith to lead us, how could we dare to take one step? If we could see what lay before us, it would look hopeless to us to press on. But as a Christian, we walk by faith in God to lead us through all that stands in our way.

 

May 7

Read Psalm 118:22-24

What a beautiful day that the Lord hath made. This is a day of rejoicing, because we have the privilege to go up to His house. We have the privilege to hear His Word preached two times today. We have the privilege to sing praises to Him from our hearts. Let us go up to His house hungry for the Word. We will go home full of the wonders of His grace. But without attentive hearts we will go home empty, with nothing to carry us through the week. Let us listen; let us praise Him through song; let us rejoice and be glad, for “this is the day that the Lord hath made.”

 

May 8

Read Ephesians 6:11-18

As a Christian, we must never “give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27). We must be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Today there are so many temptations. The devil is working hard to make wickedness attractive to us. He works very hard to tempt us to sin. We must not give in to these temptations. But we use our time to fill ourselves with His Word and prayer. We must put on the whole armour of God, taking the shield of faith for then we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. There will be no time or place for the devil in our lives if we are busy living our lives for our Lord.

 

May 9

Read Romans 14:10-13

Who is there among us that doesn’t condemn the brother when he stumbles? We all fall into the sin of judging one another. It is so easy to be critical of someone else’s doings. But we must remember that every one of us must give account for our own actions when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Only God can judge righteously for only He knows our weaknesses, temptations and struggles. Let us look at our own actions before we condemn the brother for his.

 

May 10

Read I Samuel 12:20-25

When we live a life full of pain, or trouble, it is so easy to turn aside from following the Lord. It is so easy to be filled with despair, so that we rebel against our lot in life. But we must remember that Jesus does not turn away from us. He goes with us wherever we go, whether it be on the bed of affliction, or in a troubled marriage, or in our despair of a rebellious child; He does not forsake us. We must not ever turn aside from following our Lord, but serve Him with all our heart.

 

May 11

Read Ephesians 6:1-3

Children, in what way do you see your parents? Are they too strict? Too old-fashioned? Perhaps they “just aren’t with it?” The fifth commandment should be a vital part of your lives, for you are called to “honour thy father and thy mother.” When you were baptized in front of the congregation, your parents took a vow before God promising to bring you up in the fear of His name. When your parents must admonish you for any reason, they do it out of love for you and for their God. It is so important that you, as a child of God, “obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” Children, be thankful for God-fearing parents who discipline you in love!

 

May 12

Read I Thessalonians 4:6-12

Children, do you shun a fellow student in any way because he/she is different? Maybe that student doesn’t have the latest hair style, or the Nike Air tennis shoes. Or he/ she wears glasses, or isn’t allowed to have video’s in the home. Does it really matter? Is that really what counts? Put yourself in their place. Go to school today and seek out the student who stands quietly on the outskirts of the “in” crowd. Include them in your activity, whether it be a game at recess, or a project in school. For we ourselves “are taught of God to love one another.”

 

May 13

Read I Thessalonians 5:1-10

The world loves progress. They think that the more technology, the better the earth will be. They constantly come up with new-fangled ways to make buildings and roads safe and indestructible. God gives them these means to make them feel safe and secure, but He also will come with sudden destruction, and they will not escape. Therefore, we must not sleep, but we must watch, and “be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.” We, as Christians, know that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night. Let us ever be ready for Him.

 

May 14

Read Proverbs 31:10-31

A mother is a special person. She is a wife, a mother, sometimes a grandmother, possibly an aunt. The list goes on and on. That is how the world perceives a mother to be. But a true mother in Israel is a virtuous woman, who willingly works with her hands, and whose strength and honour are her clothing. She speaks with wisdom, and with kindness. She keeps her house well. She is not idle; she is not vain; she fears the Lord in all that she does and says. This is a true mother, and one that we, her children can rejoice in. Be thankful for such a mother!

 

May 15

Read Proverbs 23:1-8

The food of the wicked always looks so appetizing that it is hard to resist. But we must not desire the food of this world. We are here on earth to work, not to gain the meat of this world. We must not desire to associate with those of this world to gain meat for ourselves. The man of this world thinks only of his own belly. His kind of food cannot satisfy us; it will only make us sick. We can only be satisfied when we work a work that is pleasing to our God. Labor not to be rich; but labor to the glory of God.

 

May 16

Read Psalm 116:1-19

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” (Psalm 116:12). David wants to show his gratitude to the Lord for all the blessings he has received from Him. What can he possibly render unto the Lord that the Lord does not already have? David’s answer is in verses 13 and 14. First David will take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. Then he will keep his vows by “walking before the Lord in the land of the living.” First David praises the Lord with talk and then he keeps his vows with his walk. We too, must show our gratitude to the Lord every day for all He has given unto us by our talk and our walk, just as David did.

 

May 17

Read Proverbs 15:1-4

How many times have you heard someone make an unkind remark to somebody, only to have an unkind remark thrown back in their face? How many times have you done that? We all are inclined to meet insult with insult. Friendships and even family ties have been broken over one small remark. But in Proverbs 15:1 we read, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” No matter how cutting the remark; no matter how hurtful, we must always answer it with a kind word. We must follow Jesus’ example, Who, “when He was reviled, reviled not again.” Always meet unkind acts and words with kindness.

 

May 18

Read Isaiah 39:1-8

When Hezekiah was taken deathly sick, in earnest supplication he came to the Lord to heal him. The Lord sent Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that He would add fifteen years to his life. The king of Babylon, upon hearing of his recovery, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah. Instead of proclaiming his thanks to his God for His healing mercies, Hezekiah showed them all his precious things of gold, and silver, spices, and ointment. All that he had he showed them. “What have they seen in thine house?” (Isaiah 39:4). What do people see in your house when they come to visit? What do they find you listening to on the radio, or watching on your TV? Do they leave your home with the feeling that indeed, they have visited a Christian home?

 

May 19

Read Psalm 73

Sometimes looking at the prosperity of the world, we stand in awe. It seems as though the rich just get richer, those in power just gain more power. It looks as though nothing can stop them from becoming more wealthy and more powerful. They have really got it made! And sometimes envy gets the better of us and we wish for a little of the great prosperity that the men of the world possess. How foolish our envy. God despises those that boast with pride, but He never forsaketh the good and the pure. God quiets our doubts and shows us that the ungodly man cannot stand. They cannot see that with sudden destruction they will fall. “As when one awaking forgetteth his dream, So God will despise them, though great they may seem; My envy was senseless, my grief was for nought, Because I was faithless, and foolish my thought” (Psalter #201:7).

 

May 20

Read Psalm 12

When we sincerely praise or compliment someone, that is a wonderful thing. But when we praise or compliment someone to draw attention to ourselves, that is called flattery. Flattery is defined as insincere complimentary speech. Flattery is associated with the lowest type of person and with the most evil of sins. It is used to promote oneself in the good graces of another to win friends and to influence people for our own self-worth. God does not look with favor on those who flatter with their tongue. We read in Psalm 12:3, “The Lord shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things.” Let us always speak with sincere praise to those about us.

 

May 21

Read Genesis 2:1-3

In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and every living thing therein. “And He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He had made.” But that is not all! God blessed the seventh day. And God sanctified the seventh day. Sanctified means He set this day aside and made it holy. He rested from all His work. God gave us this day to rest from our daily work also. That doesn’t mean go to church twice, but get some things done around the house that we have no time for during the week. We must set this day aside only to worship God with holiness and with the reverence due Him. Keep His whole day holy.

 

May 22

Read Psalm 128

A happy family is one who dwells together in the Lord. The husband and father, who walks in the ways of the Lord will be happy all of his days. The wife and mother must fill her home with good, by being happy in her service and joyful in being a mother. Sons and daughters will be nurtured and trained in the fear of the Lord in this home. The Lord will surely bless this family all the days of their lives. “Thou. shalt see God’s kingdom prosper all thy days, till life shall cease, Thou shalt see thy children’s children; on thy people, Lord be peace” (Psalter #360:5). Dwell together as a family that fears the Lord.

 

May 23

Read I Peter 5:5-7

It is very hard not to be proud and conceited. We like to puff ourselves up in the eyes of those around us. We like to be first; and we like to be best; and we like to have the best. But “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” We must not let pride enter our hearts, for then we cannot expect God’s blessing. We must learn by Jesus’ own words about himself; “for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 12:29b). Only by being humble ourselves will we receive His grace and then we shall find rest unto our soul. Let us always bow our heads in meek humility “under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.”

 

May 24

Read Matthew 7:3-5, Luke 6:41-43

We all love to be the picture of piety, and find fault with the brother and the way he lives. Yet when it comes to our lives, we overlook and find excuses for things that are much worse than the things the brother does. We must first examine ourselves and remove the beams from our own eyes before we go looking for the motes in our brother’s eyes.

 

May 25

Read I Timothy 5:13

It’s wonderful to spend a few hours a week having coffee with friends while the little ones enjoy playing together. It’s fun to catch up on the lives of friends, but a lot of times we catch ourselves telling things to each other that are better left unsaid. Sometimes we say things that we heard just in passing, and really don’t know if there is any truth to them; but it feels good to be able to share this knowledge with our friends. And being friends, we are sure that it won’t go any further. It is difficult to keep our mouths shut when we do not use our time wisely. Gossiping can be so damaging and hurtful. Our prayer must always be: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).

 

May 26

Read Luke 16:10-13

“No servant can serve two masters.” Teenagers and young adults, what are you going to be doing with your time tonight? Are you going to take your car, pick up a friend or two and party? Are you going to go shoot pool at the local pool hall, smoking cigarettes and listening to loud, heavy music? Is that the master you care to serve? The Lord tells us that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot serve God at home with our families, and serve mammon when we are out with our friends. As a Christian, you must choose to serve God always, even, and especially, when you are out with your friends. You cannot serve God and mammon.

 

May 27

Read Psalm 56:3-13

We all have times in our lives when we are afraid of something. It could be a fear of darkness, or sickness, or death. The fear is very real, and sometimes we shake with such fear. But a Christian is always comforted by putting his faith in God. The Lord always hearkens to our cries for He is our Comforter and Deliverer. “In God I put my trust, I neither doubt nor fear, for man can never harm with God my helper near” (Psalter #152:2). Let us always turn to Him in faith, for He will surely give us rest from our fears.

 

May 28

Read II Corinthians 8:1-15

We have a dear professor of our seminary who, when preaching for one of our churches always states that “God loveth a cheerful giver” before the offering is held. We hear that, but do we really know what that means, and do we really do what that says? Cheerful means happy. A cheerful giver gives willingly and joyfully. He doesn’t give because he has to; and he doesn’t give only enough so that he will have plenty left over for other things. Christ gave us all that we have and we must give back to Him according to each one’s ability. We must remember above all, that He gave Himself for us. Let us be cheerful givers.

 

May 29

Read John 15:1-5

How many of us have looked at a tree in the spring just as it is beginning to bud? First we notice the tree itself, standing tall. When we look closer, we notice all the branches springing from this tree. And when we get right up to the tree, we see the first buds of spring. But the branches and all the new buds would not be able to live by themselves without the tree to give it nourishment. Jesus is the vine (tree), and we are His branches. We draw our life from Him. He nurtures us and we continually grow through Him.

 

May 30

Read Psalm 139:14-18

The human body was created by our God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Genesis 1:27) We must never forget how we came to be. We must never abuse our bodies either. Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Corinthians 6:19-20). We must always glorify God with our bodies, and praise Him, “for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

 

May 31

Read Luke 18:15-17

It is that time of year once again when the school year comes to a close. The children rejoice in the fact that a long summer break looms ahead of them. A mother sometimes dreads looking at a long, hot summer with all the children under­foot begging to do this or that, or go here or there because they are bored. A child is so impressionable. Even though they won’t be in school being taught by a teacher, they will be at home with their main teachers—their parents. This is the time to encourage their minds spiritually, to educate them in the ways of the Lord not only by your words, but by your examples. “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me” (Matthew 19:14). Use these few months to guide them in their spiritual lives. They are never too young to be taught about the wonders of their God.

The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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Tennessee Young People’s Retreat 2021

The 2021 Tennessee young people’s retreat was held August 9 to 13 by Providence, Hudsonville, Unity, and First (Holland) Protestant Reformed Churches. The retreat took place at Eagle Rock Retreat Center in the city of Tallassee. It was about an eleven-hour drive, give or take a bit due to stops for food and restrooms. Though […]

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