That They May Know

Stone Tomb

Reading the Word

Psalm 83:14–18 (ESV)

14 As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze, 15 so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane! 16 Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O Lord. 17 Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace, 18 that they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

Understanding and Applying the Word

This psalm calls for God to destroy the enemies of Israel. Not only that, but it calls for God to do so in dramatic fashion. Why? “That they may know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.”

In the time of these events, the enemies of Israel would have worshiped other gods. If they had defeated Israel, surely they would have given credit to their idols as being the superior gods or even the true gods. The psalmist calls out for God to act so that it would be clear who the true God is.

Christians know who the true God is because of the resurrection. Jesus Christ came into the world to proclaim the word of God and to die for sinners so that we could find forgiveness. If Jesus had simply died and stayed in the grave, we would have no reason to believe his words and we would have no reason for hope (1 Corinthians 15:12-28). However, Christ did not stay in the grave. On the third day he rose from the dead. The resurrection is the proof that Jesus is who he claimed to be and that we can trust in his words. He is the true God who came into the world to save us!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

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Raise a Song!

silver colored microphone

Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

 

Reading the Word

Psalm 81:1–4 (ESV)

1 Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! 2 Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. 3 Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. 4 For it is a statute for Israel, a rule of the God of Jacob.

Understanding and Applying the Word

Israel was instructed to celebrate their festivals corporately. These festivals were put in place by God as ways to remind the people of what he had done for them as each festival looked pointed to God’s work on their behalf. The particular festival in view in this psalm pointed the Israelites to the Exodus. As part of the celebration the people would sing together with musical instruments.

We too, as Christians, are called to gather corporately to worship and remember all that God has done. Hebrews 10:25 tells us not to neglect gathering with fellow believers. While there are many things to sing about, the focus of our worship is the crucified and risen Savior, Jesus Christ. He is our salvation and the cross is the pivotal moment in the history of the world. Let us raise a song for joy to our God for all he has done!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Beware of Deceivers

John 11 [widescreen]

Reading the Word

2 John 7–13 (ESV)

7 For many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch yourselves, so that you may not lose what we have worked for, but may win a full reward. 9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. 12 Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink. Instead I hope to come to you and talk face to face, so that our joy may be complete. 13 The children of your elect sister greet you.

Understanding the Word

This letter is a warning to its recipients about being deceived through false teaching. The false teachers are those who deny that Jesus Christ came in the flesh. The Apostle John, an eyewitness to Jesus’ life and ministry, has written elsewhere that Jesus is God (John 1:1) and that he become flesh (John 1:14). This means that God came into this world as a man.

However, there were those who denied this truth in John’s day, just as there are people who deny it today. But John warns that believers must remain in the truth that they have received and not be deceived.

Applying the Word

Christians sometimes differ on their beliefs about certain biblical things. That is okay. However, we must never compromise and think it is okay to deny the central teachings of the gospel. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He became a man and entered this world. He lived a perfect, sinless life and then died on a cross as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind. Jesus rose from the dead physically. All who trust in him will be saved from their sins and given eternal life.

May we never depart from these truths as they are the very source of life for those who believe!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The Life Made Manifest

Jesus Teaches the People by the Sea

Jesus teaches by the sea.

Reading the Word

1 John 1:1–4 (ESV)

1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Understanding the Word

The Apostle John begins his letter emphasizing that the gospel he proclaims is real. He heard Jesus speak. He saw him. He touched him. The things that John proclaims are not just rumors or hearsay, but coming from a first-hand witness of the life of Jesus.

The reality of Jesus, the Son of God, being born into the world as a man, dying on a cross, and rising from the dead, means that eternal life is available for all who will hear the Good News and trust in Jesus. John wants all to hear his message and believe so that they might join the fellowship of believers now and for eternity.

Applying the Word

The Christian faith is grounded in history. The events that Christians hold to as the basis of their hope are things that actually happened. Christianity is unique in that it is not simply based on wise sayings or philosophical understandings of the world, as other religious systems. Instead, we look to the cross. We look to the historical events of Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection as our hope.

And if Jesus really rose from the dead, we have the answers to all of our questions and the solution to our sin problem.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. You can subscribe to this page using the links to the right. You can also share this post with your friends using the social buttons below. Thanks for reading!