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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Balancing Rock, Bryce Canyon, photo by Howard Blichfeldt
Balancing Rock at Bryce Canyon National Park
Photo by Howard Blichfeldt

"Send Forth Your Light And Your Truth"

Message summary: Are we giving attention to God's truth? Our prayer today is expressed by the Psalmist, "Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me" (Psalm 43:3).

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"Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me" (Psalm 43:3). "Just as it is written in the Law of Moses, all this disaster has come on us, yet we have not sought the favor of the Lord our God by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your truth. The Lord did not hesitate to bring the disaster on us, for the Lord our God is righteous in everything He does; yet we have not obeyed Him" (Daniel 9:13,14).

During a chaplain visit this last Tuesday I shared some thoughts with Richard, a fellow follower of Christ, about the long season of relative peace we have experienced as Christians here in the USA. But I try to always remember this is not the case for millions of our brethren around the world. In our conversation I considered aloud how blessed we have been but wondered how long this would last. Richard responded in an unexpected way by saying, "Perhaps in reality those suffering persecution are the ones who are blessed" which is Scriptural and true (see Matthew 5:10-12), but this is a very hard concept to grasp.

We read in a devotional this week that of the 318 delegates who attended the Nicene Council (an important meeting of the fourth century), fewer than twelve had no visible evidence of persecution or torture. One had a missing eye, another a crippled hand, and yet another a noticeable limp and so forth. All had suffered for their faith.

While believers in the Western world currently enjoy relative safety from most severe forms of persecution, followers of Christ, during the first three or four centuries after Christ's death and resurrection, commonly faced the loss of property, livelihood, health, and even their lives. (taken from "The One Year Men of the Bible").

In our daily text Daniel is writing concerning the exiled Jews. The first part of Daniel, chapter 9, is one of the great prayers of the Bible and the daily verse comes from this prayer. The Jews had been exiled to Babylon as a result of failing to live by God's Law for years. Moses had warned of this and now Daniel acknowledges, "All this disaster has come upon us".

Daniel summarized the foundational reason leading to this disaster as "we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God" and goes on to specify two ways in which we should seek God's favor:
1)  by turning from our sins
2)  by giving attention to God's truth

Today we want to consider just a single phrase, "giving attention to Your truth". Just consider how common this failure to give attention to God's truth is today. Evidence of people's rejection of God's truth is all around us. I once read a thought provoking quote, "Truth is hate to those who hate the truth". Indeed many today hate the truth and sadly they associate the truth with hate, often referring to it as "hate speech".

The God of the universe is fundamentally characterized by truth. Jesus said, "I am the truth" (John 14:6). He said of His Father "Your Word is truth" (John 17:17). He spoke of the Holy Spirit as "the Spirit of truth" (John 14:17). Isaiah uses the descriptive title, "God of truth" (65:16). The Psalmist asserts, "All your words are true" (Psalm 119:160). And the writer of Hebrews informs us that "It is impossible for God to lie" (6:18). What great assurance this brings God's people as they build their spiritual foundation on God's Holy Word!
The ancient people of God did not give attention to God's truth and neither have the majority of God's creation including those living today. One of the most descriptive verses in the Bible regarding the human condition is found in the Epistle to the Romans, "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie" (1:25). Talk about moral bankruptcy! The apostle Paul gives a sobering indictment in 2 Thessalonians 2:10, "They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved".

But what about us today? Are we giving attention to God's truth? Our prayer today is expressed by the Psalmist, "Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me" (Psalm 43:3).

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your truths do not fluctuate nor are they subject to reinterpretation by the changing philosophies of our day. Your truths are explained through the inspiration of Your Holy Word and understanding given to us by Your Holy Spirit. May our ears be open to hear and our eyes focused to see that Your eternal truths are the same yesterday, today and forever and the truths which You speak, You speak in love to all who choose to hear.  We want to find favor with You by turning from our sins and giving attention to Your truth. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

Abduction of Malaysian Pastor Raymond Koh - Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted three years ago this month and we have been praying for his release ever since. He and his family are dear friends and spiritual mentors to our friend, Laifong, whom we mentioned yesterday in relation to our former pastorate in Taunton, PA. If you haven't already read his story please take the time to do so and include him and his family in your prayers.    

An example of current persecution endured by our fellow believers: "Horrific Persecution against Nigeria’s Christians Continues, IRD Joins in Urging for Special Envoy" 

"Voice Of Truth"  Video  Casting Crowns

"Even If"  Video  MercyMe

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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