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Watching Daily at My Gates

April 1

Read I Samuel 2:1-10

We are here called to humility to remember that the Lord makes rich the poor. He alone can raise us up from the dunghills of our sins to make us princes. The Lord controls our joyful moments and our lowly times. He is God alone—our rock. He will keep our feet firmly set there.

 

April 2

Read Psalm 18:20-33

The Lord will reward us for keeping His ways and remaining steadfast in them. Through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ, God has sovereignly promised salvation to His people. God gives us light that we may read and understand the Bible and by understanding we will have the strength we need. God’s way is perfect and He will give us the strength to lead holy lives acceptable to Him.

 

April 3

Read Psalm 94:11-23

The God Who created us knows all our thoughts and chastens us by teaching us His law. The wicked are strong and would overwhelm us except the Lord upholds us. When we begin to slip off the Rock, His mercy holds us up. He will defend us against the enemy and cut them off. Sing Psalter #253, noticing especially the last verse which reads “Our God, the refuge of His saints, Will fight against iniquity; Avenger of the innocent The Lord omnipotent will be.” What a great comfort it is that the Lord is our refuge and solid rock in Whom we can put our trust.

 

April 4

Read Deuteronomy 32:1-4

God is a righteous and perfect God. All of our glory is due to Him for the many blessings He has bestowed on us. We are nourished by His Word as the dew that descends from the heavens. As we grow stronger the dew turns into showers to quench our growing thirst for knowledge of the Scriptures. We thank Him for being a great God and the Rock in Whom we put our trust.

 

April 5

Read Psalm 62

Wait on the Lord for from Him alone comes our strength and salvation. He is our only Rock and we shall not be moved. We are called to pour out our hearts to God and He will be our refuge. We are not to be vain or trust in earthly riches for they have their reward. God alone is the rock of our strength, glory, and salvation. Trust in Him at all times.

 

April 6

Read II Samuel 22:1-7

God is our rock on Whom we can stand in times of trouble. As a shield He will protect us from being overwhelmed by the enemy. There is no greater protector so we must put all our trust in Him to uphold us in whatever trials we face today. Call upon God and He will hear your cry.

 

April 7                                         .

Read Psalm 72:1-20

Sunday. Today is the Lord’s Day. As you traveled to church this morning did you take a moment to meditate on the sun standing in the eastern sky. That sun has risen and set every day since the dawn of creation. It is the same sun that shined upon Moses, Elijah, and even Jesus Christ. Now, in our human understanding, that is a long time. This is the truth that the Psalmist writes about in verse 17 concerning the Kingdom of Christ. Although, the Psalm is a prayer for the prosperity of Solomon’s kingdom, the Psalmist reminds us here that the true kingdom is one that is heavenly. Yes, Solomon’s kingdom was a peaceful and prosperous time for Judah, but it was only for a short period of time. In contrast, what a difference the Kingdom of Heaven will be for us. Think about this while you are in the public gathering of the citizens of the Kingdom on Sunday for it is the pinnacle of the day designed to be a foretaste of the everlasting Kingdom. Read or sing Psalter #198.

 

April 8

Read Job 39:26-30

Have you ever seen an eagle in flight? I remember last Spring I saw a golden eagle in Rocky Mountain National Park. What a majestic sight it is! Can you command this wonderful creature to just glide and circle in the heavens almost effortlessly? This is the rhetorical question that the Lord asks Job in verses 26-27. The Lord teaches Job that He is the one who guides the eagle in flight even to the small point high atop a rocky mountain. Man is less than nothing compared to God. Read the rest of the chapter and the surrounding chapters to find this out. Upon hearing this instruction of the Lord concerning His terrible majesty we sometimes are tempted to be terrified that God is not on our side, in other words we begin to grow weary of His promises. This should not be, for God has promised that if we wait and trust in Him he will renew our strength and make us to mount up with wings like eagles! Read or sing Psalter #280.

 

April 9

Read Matthew 7:15-20

The wolf in the Bible is frequently used to portray the wicked as opposed to the elect who are the sheep. This passage is no different. The wolf is again the fierce animal seeking to destroy the elect. But this time, Jesus tells us that the wolf is using a completely different type of method to capture its prey. He is not trying to catch the sheep openly in the field, but inside the flock he is using deception to accomplish his desires. This philosophy was similarly used by Satan to destroy the early church as recorded in Acts 5:1ff. After he could not stop the mouths of Peter and John for reason of the people he used the hypocritical Ananias and Sapphira as wolves in sheep’s clothing to tempt the people into the sin of pride. Although Ananias and Sapphira pretended to be liberal givers, inside they only wanted to receive praise of men. Sometimes it is difficult to discern the wolves in the church, but Jesus assures that we shall know them by their fruits. Therefore, let us study so that we may better discern! Read or sing Psalter #99.

 

April 10

Read Psalm 147

“Praise ye the Lord!” this Psalm proclaims because He is our Creator God who upholds His creation by His Word. This proclamation can certainly be made by us after we see His works in the spring and summer when the earth is warm and full of life. But what about the winter? In a powerful way the Psalmist describes God’s majesty in the icy cold of winter. The Psalmist asks, “Who can stand before His cold?” After you stand in a biting wind for only a few minutes, you can easily answer this question. Truly, God is glorious in the wintertime. Winter has a beauty all its own. It reminds us that although our sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). It also reminds us of our dependency upon God. Have you ever noticed that during the winter, the life of the church is more energetic than in the other times of the year? I’m convinced that God confines us to the shelter of our homes for a long time during the year to force us to notice our dependence on Him. Let us remember that during this Spring as we watch the earth revitalize from winter’s grip. Read or sing Psalter #402.

 

April 11

Read Psalm 18

It can not be denied that a deer possesses great speed and quickness. If you have ever observed one, you know that this is the case. This is also true of the believer according to verse 33. He is fitted with hind’s feet so that he will be able to outrun his enemies. But who gave him this great speed? The answer is that God gave him hind’s feet. The whole of the Psalm talks about God’s deliverance of His people. In the verses following the believer is shown overtaking his enemies and consuming them all (vs. 37). The Lord has given him the necks of his enemies (vs. 40), so that even though the sorrows of death had compassed him, God brought the deliverance. What a comfort to us as believers when we are persecuted! The wicked shall not overtake us, but we shall overtake them with strength of our Almighty God! Read or sing Psalter #36.

 

April 12

Read Habakkuk 1

It is a dreadful thing to look upon the church world today and see the apostasy that abounds. The same thing was happening in the days of Habakkuk. Judah had been apostate so long that God was about to raise up the Chaldeans to wreak His judgement. Habakkuk 1:8 declares that the Chaldeans would work God’s judgement in a terrible way. This verse states that their horses are very swift, even swifter than the leopards, and they are ferocious, not showing any mercy. This is God’s judgement upon Judah. God is a just God that does not tolerate sin against His law. Although He had been long-suffering to Judah for many years, now Judah’s cup was overflowing, therefore God was going to punish them. But, we must remember that God did this to correct Judah as we read in verse 12. Judah would not die! Nevertheless, she had to go through 70 years of bondage to the Babylonians to learn to serve God in truth. Let us in the 20th century hear this instruction well lest we receive the same judgement of God for our apathy and indifference to His Word. Read or Sing Psalter #380.

 

April 13

Read Psalm 58

The serpent is a creature that we all can easily find in the Bible. After all, Satan entered into a serpent to tempt Eve in the garden of Eden. The serpent in Psalm 58:4 is again used to describe the wicked. Their poison is like the poison of asps. Whenever I read this verse I immediately think of evil words that the wicked so often dart at the righteous. These words are so intent on hurt that they sting and harm us like poison. What shall we think of their persecution? Well, we know from Luke 21:12-13 that in the last times the wicked will persecute us for our confession. But, instead of despairing we are uplifted because in verse 13 Christ tells us that it shall be a testimony to us that we are His people! What a great benefit! As for the wicked who do such things we read in Psalm 58 that David prays that they may be destroyed. So confident is David of the outcome of the judgement of God that he declares that he will rejoice to see God’s vengeance because it is for him salvation! As you go to the Lord’ s house tomorrow think about these things. Think of the Lord’s Day as a time that God has given us to come out of the wicked world for a little while to receive some rest in the battle. Then at the beginning of the week enter the world with renewed vigor to confess God’s name even though it means persecution. Read or sing Psalter #157.

 

April 14

Read Ruth 1:1-17

But Ruth clave unto her. Naomi was experiencing great distress. Today the Psychologist would perhaps diagnose her as severely depressed. Her young happy family had been ripped apart, and she was responsible. She knew that God had chastised her for leaving the land of Israel. She with her husband Elimelech had shrugged off the Word of Jehovah and tried to take matters into their own hands. Now she had nothing and no hope in Israel. But Ruth clave unto her, and in fact made a striking confession. This confession was the first bright flash of hope. God was still present doing wondrous things. The wonder of the saving work of God in Ruth silenced Naomi as she pondered these words on the way home. Ponder the wonder of your salvation today.

 

April 15

Read Ruth 1:19-22

Call me Mara. Naomi was still deeply depressed. She expressed the hand of God in her life in terms of bitterness. This does not mean she was bitter in her soul toward God, rather, God had made her own sins to be very bitter to her. Notice her use of two names of God: Almighty and Jehovah. She says “the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me … and the Almighty hath afflicted me.” She also says “Jehovah hath brought me home again empty … Jehovah hath testified against me.” The reason for this change is that she acknowledges God as sovereign over her sin and affliction, but also as the faithful covenant God who brought her home and never forgot her. God also begins to heal us from despair in the way of our confession of sin, and acknowledging God’s sovereignty and covenant faithfulness.

 

April 16

Read Ruth 2:1-17

Let me now go to the field. Ruth is willing to begin her new life in Israel in simplicity. All she has is the new heart which God has worked in her. She dares not ask for more. She is content to glean and support the basic necessities of life for herself and her mother. Already her faith is expressed in godliness. She politely asks her mother if she can go, she respects the workers in the field, shows great humility, and trusts in the providence of God. When Boaz speaks kindly to her she is overwhelmed with gratitude knowing herself to be unworthy in herself. Do we live our daily lives in humble thankfulness to God?

 

April 17

Read Ruth 2:18-23

Blessed be he of the LORD who hath not left off his kindness to the living and to the dead. When Ruth came home with so much barley, and told her mother that it came from the field of Boaz, then her soul was lifted to praise Jehovah. Although Jehovah had emptied her of earthly things, He had filled her heart with a new thankful obedience and now she began to see the wonder of her salvation. She had a new hope of enjoying the beginnings of salvation in this life because now there was hope of a child for her. She would have an heir to the land in Israel which belonged to her husband and was a picture of the heavenly inheritance. Pray that God will bless you today with a taste of your heavenly glory.

 

April 18

Read Ruth 3

Shall I not seek rest for thee? Rest is a wonderful thing after a long hard day. Sunday is the day of rest which pictures the day of eternal rest in heaven where we will no longer be battered by sin and will live life to the fullest in glory to God. The rest which Naomi sought for Ruth was first of all marriage with Boaz. Marriage with Boaz meant a settled home and a permanent place in Israel. More importantly, marriage with Boaz was a beautiful picture of citizenship in heaven. We must be careful that this world does not become a place of permanent rest for us. We must seek that eternal rest which is in heaven.

 

April 19

Read Ruth 4:1-12

So he drew off his shoe. By drawing off his shoe, this unnamed kinsman testified that he was ungodly and had not the love of Christ in his heart. The law of the kinsman redeemer was given by God to His people to picture God’s love and grace for a people who were at one time poor and in bondage in Israel. The redeemer gained nothing and in fact often lost much. The law was not enforced with a system of penalties, but rather obedience was a matter of love and mercy on the part of the redeemer. God also commands us to reflect God’s love and mercy in our lives. Always show kindness and love when God places a poor saint in your path.

 

April 20

Read Ruth 4:13-22

And she bare a son. The book of Ruth demonstrates how God works in wondrous ways to accomplish His purposes. Ruth the Moabitess was brought by God into Israel so that she would give birth to one of the ancestors of Christ. He brought Ruth into a family in Israel in which there was no hope. By grace He saved the family of Elimelech from becoming a dead branch. God saves us all by a wonder of grace in Christ. May we never forget that God works all things for good to them that love God.

 

April 21

Read Psalm 42

What is your opinion of going to church and worshipping God? The subject of this Psalm is the Psalmists overwhelming desire to go up to the house of the Lord. He compares himself to a hart that pants after a stream of water. The Psalmists’ soul cries out for God. This is because he thirsts for fellowship with God in His house. The Psalmist has such a great desire to worship God because he knows that in God’s presence he will receive comfort and salvation. O that we might imitate the desire of this Holy Poet! If we properly understood our sad condition and our terrible need for God and His salvation, then we too would greatly desire to worship Him. We must see that we are dependent upon God and because of this we must pray to Him for deliverance from evil and evil men. Then when he has delivered us let us enter into His house of prayer with cries of praise. Do you thirst for God?

 

April 22

Read Jonah 1

What is your view about people who are different from you? What do you think of people from other Christian denominations? Are you suspect of the virtues of people whom you view as strange? God told Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach. This was a city that was an opponent of Israel. Therefore not only were these Ninevites different from Jonah but they were the enemies of his people. Jonah did not want to preach to these people because he was suspicious of God. God might do something so crazy as to save these fellow fallen humans. We too can be Jonah’s when we by our thoughts and actions indicate that we do not want to speak of the gospel to certain people. We might be mad at them and think that they deserve the punishment of God, why should we talk to them about God’s grace? So before we so easily accuse Jonah, we must look at our own hearts and how we act towards unconverted people we know. Are you a Jonah?

 

April 23

Read Jonah 2

God saves undeserving men. Jonah thought that it was wrong of God to save the Ninevites, those pagans! But now that rebellious prophet himself receives mercy by the hand of God. A large fish swallowed him. In the belly of the fish Jonah prays to God. He confesses that God hears his prayer and renews his vow to walk in obedience before God. He ends with the powerful claim “Salvation is of the LORD”. If salvation is of the Lord why was he unhappy with the Ninevites’ possible salvation? If the Almighty God wants to save men, who has the folly to attempt to stand in His way? Unfortunately Job’s later actions show that he does not yet understand the nature of grace. It is okay that his salvation is of God, but non-Israelites should not be saved.

 

April 24

Read Jonah 3

Jehovah renews his command to the formerly disobedient prophet. Jonah is commanded to go and preach the words that God gives to him. No doubt Jonah was delighted when he found out what the message was: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The fickle prophet is already envisioning the city being overthrown by fire and brimstone. But the Ninevites from the King on down all cried out to God and turned from their evil ways. God saw this universal penitence and did not carry out His threat. This repentance is astonishing when we consider that the countries of Israel and Judah often had prophets whom they ignored! In contrast, these idol-serving pagans have repented! We can be surprised by whom God gives the grace to repent.

 

April 25

Read John 4

Jonah is furious. He becomes suicidal. Jonah prays to God and tells Him in essence that his worries about what God would do have been fulfilled. Jonah pronounced the blasphemous words: “Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil.” Do you see what Jonah is doing with these words?! He is taking the most attractive and perfect virtues of God and turning them into vices! God’s mercy and kindness should be viewed by the one who is saved by grace, with the highest esteem. We should rejoice in God’s mercy for His people. Yet Jonah sees God’s mercy towards those outsiders as reprehensible. The prophet does not realize that he, while a child of Abraham, had by nature just as evil of an heart as the Ninevites. God has had mercy on whom ever He has desired. Let God be magnified whenever He demonstrates His mercy. And let us abuse every human opinion, like that of Jonah’s, concerning who from a human viewpoint should be saved. Do you want the same people saved that God does?

 

April 26

Read Revelation 2:1-7

The Ephesian church is commended for its many virtues. It upheld true doctrine as is shown by their condemnation of the heresies of the false apostles. They exercised Christian discipline which is shown by their trial and conviction of the heretics and the casting of them out of the church. They even are commended for doing all of their difficult labors on account of the name of Christ! But things were not perfect in Ephesus. They had lost the first intensity of their love. It had cooled down. Christ threatens the church with destruction if they do not repent: He will remove their candlestick. This shows that the Ephesians’ problem is no small matter. But we must look especially at ourselves. Do we think we are acceptable in God’s sight because we have true doctrine? The fundamental question is: Do we have an intense love for God and His Christ?

 

April 27

Read Genesis 6:1-8

The contrast in the Bible between good and evil and blessing and judgment is often amazing. This text speaks of terribly evil men who had their imaginations continually filled with evil thoughts. They are identified as the offspring of the sons of God and the daughters of men. Some commentators have identified these “sons of God” as fallen angels that came to earth and married the daughters of men. But this interpretation is mythical. The “sons of God” are most likely the sons of the godly line of Seth while the “daughters of men” are from the line of Cain. The problem was that the covenant young men wrongly married unbelievers and the result was an apostate younger generation with whom God was furious. This passage implies why it is that godly young people may not marry unbelievers. But it also shows God’s judgment on the families of those who do: God is going to destroy the world with a flood.

 

April 28

Read Genesis 6:8-22

Verse 8 stands in beautiful contrast to the preceding discussion of evil men. It beautifully states “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” God has mercy upon his holy servant Noah. And because of this there is hope for life after the flood. The great drama of salvation can continue and the Christ can come. So while God judges the evil world with the flood, He saves believing Noah by water. So the same water that signifies that we are saved by the water of baptism was used to drown an evil world.

 

April 29

Read Genesis 7

The flood is a picture of the salvation of the world and the judgment of the wicked in the last day. The radical change which God worked in the world with the flood is a picture of the change that will take place when we are resurrected to live with God in the new heavens and new earth.

 

April 30

Read Psalm 28

God will hear our prayers even when we feel overwhelmed by the wicked world. He is a just God and will punish them for their evil works. Blessed be the Lord Who continues the work of His hands to build us up. Let us remember the words of Psalter 75. “His help makes glad my heart, and songs of praise I sing, Jehovah is His people’s strength, the stronghold of their king.”