Wednesday, June 12
Deuteronomy 31:30—32:14 Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. (v.7a)
G. K. Chesterton defined “tradition” as the way we give our ancestors the vote. By honoring what our forefathers have handed down to us, we agree that they are giving us something valuable. They are sharing the hard lessons they learned of how to treat those treasures. We save time by not wasting ours in trying out dead ends they already learned to avoid. We recognize they came to know something real that is still true in our day.
It is the reason we take time to read both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. When we see the record of how God nourished the saints of old with honey from the rock, it gives us reason to hope when we go through desert experiences. We are assured God will deliver the needy who cry out for help.
This is how we can boast of the things that show our weakness. They enable us to praise the greatness of our God, who never changes and always helps us from one generation to the next.
Psalm 72; 2 Corinthians 11:21b-33; Luke 19:11-27
Thursday, June 13
Psalm 71 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation… (v.18)
As a child I learned I would be given no more lemonade to drink until my glass was empty again. Dessert would not be provided until my supper plate was cleared. Refills and treats were generously and gladly provided. But they were not going to be wasted if I didn’t need them or wasn’t ready for them.
God, who knows each person’s heart, provides for us in somewhat the same way. He is our help and deliverer and does not delay. He is the refuge to whom we can always go. And He draws us into sharing His rescue work by showing us others who are in need when we have an abundance.
Others need it. The Lord needs it, too. He calls on it from our hands to give us opportunity to declare Him to others. And He replaces His provisions for us all as we encounter new days and fresh needs. Thus, His generosity is manifested in every time of need, His perfect power in the very times of weakness.
2 Chronicles 6:18-31; Psalm 70; 2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Luke 19:28-40
Friday, June 14
2 Chronicles 26:1-22 He had people working his fields and vineyards in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil. (v.10b)
My wife prepared a narrow strip of ground behind our apartment so she could grow her own vegetables. A few years ago, she cut the top from a pineapple she bought at the grocery and planted it beside our driveway. She now has a dozen pineapples she has carefully replanted as they sprouted new hijos. She shares a bumper crop of the fruit each year with our Florida neighbors. She loves to garden!
So does God. And He calls us to work with Him sowing the seed and tending the harvest for His kingdom. The Father does not want to be a burden to us. What He wants is not our possessions but our hearts. He wants to bring us peace that we can share with others. It brings Him sorrow if people fail to see that. And it brings Him sorrow if we fail to join Him in tending His garden.
Let our prayer be: “May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord.”
Psalm 69; 2 Corinthians 12:11-21; Luke 19:41-48
Saturday, June 15
Psalm 75 It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another. (v.7)
On the television program Shark Tank, inventors and entrepreneurs describe their products to a team of wealthy investors, hoping one of them will put up the money that will allow the product to be successfully brought out in the consumer market. The people preparing to risk their money on these requests pepper the entrepreneurs with questions. It is an intense encounter. The investors bluntly bring down one dreamer and exalt another. Their first priority is not to make friends. They are there to make more money.
Paul, while desiring young Christians to grow strong and faithful, keeps a clear eye on the goal Jesus has. “Our prayer is for your perfection,” he writes. “Aim for perfection.”
He stresses this because he knows the Lord who loves them will also have questions for them. Jesus doesn’t mind when we pray for things and ask him questions. But his first priority is building his Father’s kingdom. So, we need to be ready when he replies by saying, “I will also ask you a question.”
2 Chronicles 31:2-10, 20-21; Psalm 76; 2 Corinthians 13:1-14; Luke 20:1-8
Sunday, June 16
Psalm 96 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. (v.11 NIV)
I’ve recently spent seven glorious days and nights with my husband at Waimea Bay on Oahu. When I read this psalm, I couldn’t help but think that the author must have spent some time at a place such as this.
I’ll always remember our snorkeling adventure around the bay. The sun was overhead, which lighted our way. There were magnificently colored fish; the water was warm and crystal clear. The surge of the sea rocked us over the beautiful coral reef…and the only sound I was aware of was that of my own deep, rhythmic breathing. In a single moment, I felt I was a part of the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all that was in it.
Thanks, God, for Your good earth, the sea, and all that is in it.
2 Chronicles 32:1–23; Psalm 93; Revelation 15:1-8; Matthew 18:1-14
Monday, June 17
Psalm 80 Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. (v.3)
Oh, how the sun shined on us in Hawaii! However, there were two days in which the sun was covered by tropical rain clouds. During these two cloud-covered days, it occurred to me that the sun reminds me of the Son. I was warmed by the fact that, even though I couldn’t see the sun (Son), the fact remains that the sun (Son) is always there—rain or shine, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health.
Son of God, thank you for your shining presence in our lives.
1 Samuel 1:1-20; Acts 1:1-14; Luke 20:9-19
Tuesday, June 18
Luke 20:19-26 He said to them, “Then give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (v.25b)
I give thanks to God. Thanks for the beauty and wonder of this tropical island of Oahu. Thank You for warm, soft sand in which to bury our toes. Thank You for the mild trade-winds that gently move the sultry air. Thank You for the warm salt water in which to float. Thank You for the delicate fragrance of beautiful flowers. Thank You for the colorful turquoise sea, the gentle night air, and the melodic sound of waves breaking on the shore. I am very grateful for all my senses in which to enjoy my Hawaiian vacation.
“Give to God the things that are God’s.” God, I give You my sincere thanks.
1 Samuel 1:21—2:11; Psalm 78:1-39; Acts 1:15-26