Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Mt 4:4

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Daily Devotions - October

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October 1st

“O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.” (Psa 34:3).

It is certainly possible to praise the Lord when alone. But there is something very special about two or more who love the Lord praising His name together. David was here so moved as he contemplated the greatness and goodness of the Lord that he wanted someone to join him in praise. The early church enjoyed meeting together, “Praising God, and having favour with all the people....” (Acts 2:47). When together they “... lifted up their voice to God with one accord....” (Acts 4:24). They experienced power in their united praise.

What would draw a family closer together than by praising Him together? Have you experienced spiritual coldness lately? Then go to the assembly of the saints, call your family together, or find a likeminded Christian friend and “exalt His name together.”


October 2nd

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” (Psa 34:18).

"Contrite” means “crushed in spirit by a feeling of remorse or guilt.” the Hebrew word here translated “contrite” means “crushed to powder.” When God convicts a man of his sinfulness that man is just crushed. He sees how vile he is and he knows that he deserves the full wrath of God to fall upon him. He is miserable and fears that sudden destruction will fall upon him. He fears that there is no hope for him.

Do you feel this way? Has God shown you your awful condition?

If so, there is blessed hope for you! There is no hope for the one who is self-satisfied and complacent. But if God has broken your heart it is sure that He will bring real healing to you. Look to Him for mercy. Flee to the cross in repentance. David understood that “... a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psa 51:17).


October 3rd

" Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.” (Psa 35:1).

Here David prayed what each child of God should pray. When we try to live for the Lord and experience opposition and persecution we are to let Him fight our battles for us. We are never to seek vengeance, for “... Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Rom 12:19).

When we take up weapons of our own we are sure to be the losers. Jesus told Peter, “... Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” (Mat 26:52). The same could be said about the tongue.

When we turn our battles over to the Lord, we have this precious promise: “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” (Isa 54:17).


October 4th

" Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.” (Psa 37:1).

Here we are warned against two attitudes into which the saints are liable to fall. They are in danger of fretting themselves because of the activities of evildoers. To fret is to be irritated, to become “envious against the workers of iniquity.”

The reason why saints develop these attitudes is that it often seems like the evil ones are prosperous and happy, while the saints are often beset with afflictions. Satan comes to them and tells them that it is just not worth it to live for the Lord. When we get to feeling this way we are liable to fall into despair, doubt, and other sins.

But the inspired Word tells us that the evil ones shall “... soon be cut down like the grass....” (Psa 37:2). But of the righteous it is said, “... their inheritance shall be for ever.” (Psa 37:18).

Yes, it is worth it to live for the Lord! Walk by faith and trust God for the outcome.


October 5th

"O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.” (Psa 39:13).

Are you ready to die? Have you done everything that you hoped to do in this life? Is there anyone with whom you have had a conflict that you have not become reconciled to? Have you so lived before your family, church, and friends that you would like them to remember you as you are now? Are you living in sins that you have not repented of? Have you openly confessed Jesus Christ as your Savior and been baptized as He commanded? Are you walking in close fellowship with Jesus? Would you like to die when you are spiritually cold or would you rather die when you are spiritually warm? How long do think you will live? Could you die unexpectedly? Would you like to have a little more time to “get your house in order” with God and with man? Would you make good use of that time or would you waste it?


October 6th

" I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.” (Psa 40:1).

Several things are taught in this verse. First, it is obvious that the writer was troubled in soul. He did not feel the presence of the Lord. Be he did not give up in despair; he “waited” for the Lord. He knew that the Lord would again visit him. Thus he exhibited faith. And he waited “patiently.” He didn’t fret, murmur, nor complain. He knew that the Lord knew his needs better than he did himself. But this patient waiting didn’t stop him from praying. He prayed fervently -- he “cried” unto the Lord.

The Lord rewarded this patient waiting and fervent praying. “He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God....” (Psa 40:2, 3).


October 7th

"I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psa 40:8).

The only time a child of God can experience any real peace is when he is doing the will of God. The law of God has been written in the heart of every one who has been born from above. When one of these goes contrary to the will of God he is living in conflict with his very spiritual nature; misery and discontent are the results.

We need to discover the will of God for our lives (by prayerful Bible study), and then delight in performing it in the power of the Holy Spirit.

We need to live like David of whom God said, “... I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.” (Acts 13:22).

Jesus said, “... My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34).

Are you doing the will of God in your life? Do you even know what it is?


October 8th

"I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation.” (Psa 40:10).

It is one thing to experience the wonderful salvation of the Lord. It is another thing to tell others of it. God does not want His people to hide the blessings they have received from Him. We glorify Him when we tell others of His goodness toward us. It is ingratitude and sin to remain silent about our wonderful Lord. We are not to “hide” nor “conceal” what He has done for us.

Christians are generally so close-mouthed that they won’t testify of the goodness of the Lord even in their assemblies -- much less to the outside world.  Brethren, these things ought not to be!

Let us say with David, “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” (Psa 66:16).


October 9th

" Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the LORD will deliver him in time of trouble.” (Psa 41:1).

We manifest mercy when we relieve the poor and afflicted. We manifest a selfish nature and a hard heart when we turn our backs upon them. One of the evidences of a regenerated soul is liberality toward the poor. “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?" (1 John 3:17).

This compassion on the poor was even taught under the Law when the people of Israel were taught to leave the gleanings of the vineyard for the poor and the stranger. (Lev 19:10).

He that would receive mercy from the Lord should consider the following words: “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.” (Prov 28:27).


October 10th

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” (Psa 42:1).

We should never be satisfied unless we feel the near presence of the Lord. The curse of the church at Laodicea was their lukewarmness. (Rev 3:16). They weren’t close to the Lord but it didn’t bother them.

David, by contrast, didn’t feel the nearness of the Lord and it greatly grieved him. He was thirsty for God! He represents his thirst as that of a deer who, perhaps fleeing from the hunter, was parched with thirst. He was panting in his agony. He was seeking fresh brooks of sparkling water. How sweet and refreshing a drink of cool water would be to him.

This is how it should be with the Christian. It is no disgrace to be thirsty for God. On the contrary it is a disgrace to not thirst for Him. The wonderful promise is, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” (Mat 5:6).

Are you thirsty for God?


October 11th

"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.” (Psa 42:5).

There are times when a Christian just has to “get hold of himself.” Many times when we get down we tend to wallow in self-pity. We feel sorry for ourselves and feel that there is no hope for us. But there are many times that we can help our selves through the in-dwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

David was feeling low and he began to talk to himself. He questioned why he was in his present condition then he admonished himself to “hope in God.” And, laying hold of the promises of God, he expressed the confidence that he would yet praise Him -- that he would feel the smiles of God again.

You can do what David did, but don’t get the idea that mere will-power can pull you through. David didn’t do this in his own strength. He “... encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” (1 Sam. 30:6).


October 12th

"In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.” (Psa 44:8).

It is always wrong for a Christian to boast in himself. “... All the workers of iniquity boast themselves....” (Psa 94:4). But it is also wrong for a Christian to not boast in God! We are to live victorious lives in Him.  When we live defeated lives it is a reflection on His goodness and power. The victory cry of the saint is, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Phil 4:13). We must continually say, “My soul shall make her boast in the LORD....” (Psa 34:2).

When we overcome sin in our lives let us boast in God. When we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ let us boast in God. Let us be like the illiterate preacher who said that all he could do was “brag on Jesus.”

What problem in life do you have today? Take it to the Lord in prayer. Then overcome it through Him. And when you have overcome it don’t forget to brag on Jesus.


October 13th

“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God....” (Psa 53:1).

There are many today who deny God. This denial takes many forms. Some are out-and-out atheists. Some, by holding the theory of naturalistic evolution, deny His direct work of creation. Some, by denying the supernatural inspiration of the scriptures, deny what He Himself has said is His infallible and inerrant word.  Some claim that there is a God, but in reality, they deny Him by their lives. “They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (Titus 1:16).

Into this latter class fall all those who advocate relative morality. These deny that God as Creator has the authority to tell us just exactly how to live.

Many of these people are very intelligent and highly educated. Many are regarded as respectable citizens and hold high positions in the government and in schools.

But God says that they are fools.


October 14th

"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” (Psa 55:17).

The custom of Jews was to pray at three stated times each day. We are not today tied down to these particular times of prayer, but we should pray just as frequently. No single thing will revive a drooping spiritual life like a revival of prayer. Each morning we should thank God for protection through the night and implore Him for strength for the day. The Lord Jesus rose up early to pray. (Mark 1:35).

In the middle of the day we need to renew our strength by prayer. Peter went to pray at noon (the sixth hour) and was blessed with a marvelous answer. (Acts 10:9).

Every evening we should fervently thank God for the mercies of the day and commit ourselves into His hands for protection through the night. Then we can say, “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psa 4:8).

A praying Christian is one who knows the joy of the power of God in his life.  Bestir yourself and pray!


October 15th

"Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (Psa 55:22).

The word translated “burden” here is YEHAB which means “what is given by Providence.” (Strong’s Concordance). God is good and is a kind Father to His children. He never lets anything come their way but that which is ultimately for their good. This has to be believed by faith, for there are many things which befall us that we can’t see the good in with our natural understanding. We simply have to believe God’s word and trust His goodness.

One of the things that He does to teach us to trust Him is to give us burdens to bear. We soon learn that we can’t bear the burdens, and we are constrained to cast them upon the Lord. To our joy we find that He will sustain us.

If you are burdened today, that burden will prove to be a blessing. It will teach you not to rely on your own self but on the Lord. Cast it upon Him. He has broad shoulders.


October 16th

"There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.” (Prov 12:18).

The tongue is a very small member of our bodies, but what vast power it has for either good or evil. The tongue can cause death, even literal, physical death. People can be incited to murder by wicked use of the tongue. The tongue can also cause the death of a reputation. Here it is said that the tongue speaks “... like the piercings of a sword....” David speaks of  “... the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.” (Ps. 57:4). Speaking of the wicked Paul says, “... with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness....”(Rom. 3:13, 14). The sting of the asp is a poisonous sting which can cause death. James says the tongue can cause a “forest fire” of destructive slander and gossip. (James 3:5, 6). This fire can burn down years of hard work and dedicated effort.

We usually don’t realize how destructive some of our conversation is. Let us carefully guard every word that comes out of our mouths.


October 17th

"The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear....” (Psa 58:3, 4).

Every human that is born into this world after Adam sinned has been born in sin. “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.” (Job 14:4). There is no such thing as infantile purity. If infants were pure and innocent they would not die, for sin is what brings about death. (Rom 5:12).

Children don’t have to be taught to do wrong -- on the contrary they have to be taught to do right. Little children can be very cruel to their playmates.

If little ones are sinners how is it they can be saved? Those for whom Christ died are saved by His blood. Many of them are born again at a very early age. John the Baptist had eternal life even when he was in his mother’s womb. (Luke 1:4).

How terrible that sin is, even affecting little ones. But, oh, how wonderful is the salvation of the Lord.


October 18th

"... Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” (Psa 61:2).

Some people would like to put themselves on a level with God. As God spoke of them: “... thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself....” (Ps. 50:21). Still others would exalt themselves above God and sit in judgment of Him.

But the humble child of God is thankful that He is “the rock that is higher than I.” When we are in trouble we recognize that we need a God Who is vastly superior to us in power and in wisdom. If God were on such a level that we could thoroughly understand Him, He wouldn’t be God. The child of God who realizes the need of an almighty Savior rejoices in the following words and in many words like them: “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isa 55:9).

Don’t try to fully understand the infinite Lord. Just be thankful for Him and trust Him.


October 19th

"When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” (Psa 63:6).

Life is so short and the Lord is so wonderful that there is no time to be lost in serving Him. As we are in bed falling asleep, we can use this time to meditate on Him. There is no better way to relax and relieve the tension of the day’s burdens than by immersing our minds in the sea of God’s perfections.

The best way to meditate on the Lord is to memorize scriptures that reveal His glorious attributes and revolve them in the mind while falling off to sleep. The more we do this the more we will delight in such exercises. We will be in the company of the blessed man whose “... delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Ps. 1:2).

Faithfully practiced and diligently cultivated, these night seasons with the Lord will become some of the most enjoyable times of our lives.


October 20th

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me....” (Psa 66:18).

When we pray we need to have an open channel of communication and fellowship with the Lord. Any known sin should be repented of immediately. The failure on our part to do this probably explains many of our failures in prayer. Solomon wrote, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (Prov 28:9). God spoke through Isaiah, “... yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.” (Isa 1:15). Remember this was spoken to God’s chosen people in the kingdom of Judah. Isaiah said again, “But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isa 59:2).

These examples, which could be multiplied, are sufficient to show that we must continually repent before God if we are to experience any power in our prayers.


October 21st

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.” (Psa 68:19).

We have much to bless the Lord for. Many of His most valuable blessings we take for granted. We often murmur in ingratitude when things don’t go exactly as we think they should.

One of the best antidotes to ingratitude is to list God’s daily blessings to us.  As we compile the list we will be very amazed at His bountiful blessings that we will have hearts overflowing with thanksgiving rather than hearts filled with ingratitude.

We are blessed with marvelous bodies with which to serve Him -- organs of sight, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling. We have voices with which to communicate. So marvelous are our bodies that David said, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psa 139:14).

Yes, there is much reason to praise the Lord.


October 22nd

"I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only.” (Psa 71:16).

Many people have an exaggerated sense of their own strength and righteousness. The fact is that sinful humans have no strength nor righteousness of their own. As far as strength is concerned, it is “... in Him we live, and move, and have our being.”  (Acts 17:28). Let us be very careful to give God all the credit for any and all good that we may be blessed to accomplish. Let us say with Paul: “... I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10).

As far as our righteousness is concerned, it is true that “... all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” (Is. 64:6). The righteousness that a child of God has is the imputed righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.” (1 Cor 1:30, 31).


October 23rd

"Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.” (Psa 76:10).

God is glorified even in the lives of the wicked. Truly, “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Prov. 16:4). As the inspired writer, John, wrote , “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev 4:11).

God lets the wicked rage in His wrath and rebellion until it suits His purposes to restrain him. He let Pharaoh rage and boast and show great wrath. Then He restrained His wrath and finally destroyed him. God was glorified in it all.

Today many men and women display a hatred of God and say many blasphemous things against Him. But, somehow this wrath will be used to praise God, and He will restrain the remainder of wrath at the precise right moment.

What a wonderful consolation this is.


October 24th

"Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psa 85:10).

This verse contains a wonderful description of what transpired on the cross in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is a Holy God Who is “... of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity....” (Hab. 1:13). Man fell in sin and became separated from the Holy God. If God extended mercy but did not require that sin be paid for, He would violate His righteous nature. How could mercy be extended without a violation of truth and justice?

There can be no true peace between God and man where there is no righteousness on the part of man. How can righteousness and peace “kiss” each other? Job asked the question long ago: “I know it is so of a truth: but how should man be just with God?” (Job 9:2).

The grand answer to these questions is found in the glorious Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. He satisfied divine justice for His people. He paid the price for their sins. He made peace by the blood of the cross. He is their righteousness. He is truth incarnate. Praise His Holy Name!


October 25th

"Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness.” (Psa 143:10).

This is a wonderful prayer and should be the constant petition of every child of God. God’s will is revealed in the scriptures. However, we need the illumination of the Holy spirit as we study the scriptures. We must understand not only the letter but also the spirit of the scriptures. (2 Cor 3:6).

We also need the chastening hand of God upon us if we are to learn to do His will.  This is necessary because of the stubbornness of our sinful natures. God’s chastening is an indication of His love. (Heb 12:6).

We also need to be directed by the providence of God into the experience in life that will enable us to experience the reality of the truths contained in the word of God!

Indeed, we are saying a lot when we pray, “teach me to do thy will.”


October 26th

"LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.” (Psa 131:1).

David here makes a statement of his humility that would be well for us all to be able to truthfully repeat. Nothing becomes a child of God like true humility.  Nothing is more unbecoming to a saint than to be lifted up with pride. “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov 16:18).

The man who is lifted up with pride will soon find himself in water that is too deep for him. He will presumptuously take upon himself jobs which he can’t handle.  He will always be restless and dissatisfied.

The humble man has peace within. He just does the best job he can and depends upon God to advance him. Thus David, the humble shepherd boy, is exalted by God to be king over Israel. Let us pray that God will make and keep us humble.


October 27th

"Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing....” (Psa 92:13, 14).

The house of the Lord today is the local church. (1 Tim 3:15). Here God’s house is compared to a beautiful orchard of fruit-bearing trees. The wonderful promise is that those in this orchard will still be producing fruit in old age. Some of the choicest fruit of the saints is borne in old age. Old age is, for the saint, not a time to be dreaded, but a time to be looked for with anticipation.

But this promise of fruit-bearing is only to those who are “planted” in the house of the Lord. Here is where the Lord nourishes with the “... rivers of water....” (Psa 1:3).


October 28th

"I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.” (Psa 119:63).

Our companions have a great deal of influence on us. An evil companion will inevitably corrupt us in some way. A righteous companion will always be an influence for good.

We must choose as our friends only those who fear God. A person who doesn’t fear God will engage in almost any kind of conduct.

Those who truly fear God will keep His precepts. As we walk with such along life’s road we can help each other along the pathway of righteousness.


October 29th

"I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.” (Psa 119:162).

It is impossible to overestimate the preciousness and value of the word of God.  Without the blessed word we would not know where we had come from nor where we were going. We would not know how to live, and would not have anything like an adequate knowledge of the Savior. But words fail to express the value of the Holy scriptures.

As we pore over its pages in an attitude of prayer God will open to us His storehouse of great treasures. These treasures are to be esteemed far above silver and gold. A man may have much silver and gold and still be miserable, but the man who rejoices at the word of God has true contentment. He alone has a right sense of values.


October 30th

"Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments.” (Psa 119:164).

How many times have you praised God today? Have you even thought once about His righteous judgments? Do you know that there is power in praise? Do you know that Satan hates praise rendered to God? He will do anything he can to stop the sound of praise. As the song-writer put it: “Hell’s foundations quiver at the shout of praise, Brothers, lift your voices, Loud your anthems raise!”

Don’t wait until you feel like it to praise God. He is worthy of our praise at all times, whether or not we feel like it.

Begin to praise Him and you’ll soon feel like it!


October 31st

"... What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart.” (Deu 20:8).

This is what the commanders of the armies of Israel were to tell the people before they entered into battle. They realized that fear and doubt were contagious and would spread like wildfire among the troops, demoralizing them.

The same holds true in our Christian warfare. We will greatly discourage our brethren if we manifest faithless attitudes of fear and doubt.

For the glory of God, for our own good, for the good or our brethren -- let us “... be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” (Eph. 6:10).

 
 

10/1/2006

 

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