Our Daily Bread — God Knows Us

Bible in a Year:

You know me, Lord.

Jeremiah 12:3

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Jeremiah 12:1–3

I recently saw a photograph of Michelangelo’s sculpture Moses, in which a close-up view showed a small bulging muscle on Moses’ right arm. This muscle is the extensor digiti minimi, and the contraction only appears when someone lifts their pinky. Michelangelo, known as a master of intricate details, paid close attention to the human bodies he sculpted, adding intimate features most everyone else would miss. Michelangelo knew the human body in ways few other sculptors have, but the details he carved into granite were his attempts to reveal something deeper—the soul, the interior life of human beings. And, of course, there Michelangelo always fell short.

Only God knows the deepest realities of the human heart. Whatever we see of one another, no matter how attentive or insightful it might be, is only a shadow of the truth. But God sees deeper than the shadows. “You know me, Lord,” the prophet Jeremiah said; “you see me” (12:3). God’s knowledge of us isn’t theoretical or cerebral. He doesn’t observe us from a distance. Rather, He peers into the hidden realities of who we are. God knows the depths of our interior lives, even those things we struggle to understand ourselves.  

No matter our struggles or what’s going on in our hearts, God sees us and truly knows us.

By:  Winn Collier

Reflect & Pray

What makes you feel alone, isolated, or unseen? How does it change things to realize that God knows you?

Dear God, this world can be a lonely place, but I’m astounded at how truly You know me. It fills me with wonder and joy.

http://www.odb.org

Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Nearness of God

“He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

God will come near to the truly humble, who have by faith sought to be close to Him.

One of the greatest promises in the Bible is that God responds to the humble and draws near to them. Such people will yearn for a closeness to God by which they can know Him, love Him, learn His Word, praise Him, pray to Him, and fellowship with Him. In summary, the humble will be true worshipers, those who “worship the Father in spirit and truth” (John 4:23).

John 4:23 concludes with the statement, “for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” This strongly implies that God wants to have a relationship with the humble, which means He will respond to us. This idea of the Lord reaching out to us and responding to our humble obedience is also found in the Old Testament, when David instructed Solomon: “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever” (1 Chron. 28:9).

The principle of God’s drawing near to the humble is illustrated by Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32). First, the prodigal son manifests humility and repentance: “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son” (vv. 18-19). Next, his behavior pictures a longing to draw near to God: “he got up and came to his father” (v. 20). Finally, there is the picture of God drawing near to us: “while he was still a long way off, his father saw him, and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him, and kissed him” (v. 20).

You might not find yourself in the same predicament as the prodigal son did, but you will experience the same response from God if you have humbly drawn near to Him in faith and worshiped Him in spirit and in truth.

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that God would help you be a true worshiper of Him.

For Further Study

Read and meditate on Psalm 40. What things did David find true about God’s nearness?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur

http://www.gty.org/

Joyce Meyer – God Wants You to Be You

But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

— Exodus 3:11 (NIV)

When God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, Moses gave one excuse after another as to why he could not obey. All his excuses were rooted in fear. When Moses finally did take a step of faith, which manifested in obedience, he was used mightily by God.

What do you think of yourself? I encourage you to work with the Holy Spirit to see yourself the way God sees you—as a unique and powerful child of God. There is no power without confidence. Are you afraid God is not pleased with you? Do you regularly inventory all your faults, past failures, and weaknesses, and then feel weak like Moses did due to fear? If you do, then you are focusing on the wrong things. God gives us His power (grace) to enable us to do what is needed in spite of our weaknesses.

I experienced a lot of fear about myself, so if you are in that place right now, I can assure you that I know how you “feel.” But I am encouraging you to remember that your feelings don’t convey truth; only God’s Word does that. You may feel you are not what you are supposed to be, that you are strange or unusual, but the truth is we are all uniquely created by God for a special purpose and should learn how to enjoy ourselves.

I wasted some years trying to be like other people I knew, but I found that God won’t help us be anyone other than ourselves. Relax, learn to love yourself, and don’t be afraid that you won’t be able to do what you need to do. The truth is that none of us can do what we need to do without God’s help. If we look at only what we think we can do, we will all be frightened; but if we look at Jesus and focus on Him, He will give us the courage to go forward even in the presence of fear.

Prayer of the Day: Lord, I want to focus on the right things, rather than the wrong things. Please help me focus on Your Word and learn to love myself, amen.

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Guilty Thieves

You shall not steal.

Exodus 20:15

This eighth commandment is, on its face, a simple instruction. But like all of Scripture, the commandments reward prayerful reflection. And when we approach this command carefully, we find that it reaches further into our lives than we first imagined.

To understand the true offense of stealing, we need to see the two biblical principles that undergird the eighth commandment. One is the right to private property; the other is the sovereign ownership of God over all He has made. In other words, God owns all things, and He grants temporary stewardship to us. So to steal something from someone is an offense against God as the ultimate owner and against the person who is stewarding it.

We will not, however, fully understand this commandment until we grasp the various ways it extends into our lives. Stealing can take many forms. There are the more obvious ones:

• blatant theft

• borrowing something we fail to return

• keeping dishonest records

• misusing our employer’s time

• paying unjust wages, withholding wages, or delaying wages

But there are other, less obvious ways to steal, which this commandment also speaks to:

• slandering others, thereby stealing their reputation

• sinning sexually with another, thereby stealing their moral purity

• plagiarizing, thereby stealing someone else’s work

• cheating in the classroom

• failing to give God what we owe Him (Malachi 3:8)

The eighth commandment leaves no stone of our lives unturned, and, if we are honest, we all find ourselves guilty of breaking it in one way or another. Yet in His grace and wisdom God not only tells us what not to do; He also tells us what to pursue: “Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need” (Ephesians 4:28). The right response to the eighth commandment is not merely not to steal but to commit ourselves to lives of honesty, integrity, hard work, and generosity.

This is what we see in the life of Zacchaeus. He was a tax collector and guilty of stealing, yet when he encountered the Lord Jesus, he repented of his sin and restored what he had stolen, committing himself to making things right (Luke 19:7-8). This is what repentance and obedience look like when it comes to this command. So consider first: How have I been guilty of stealing? Of what am I being called to repent? And then ask yourself: How will I now commit myself to giving and sharing where once I was stealing?

Questions for Thought

How is God calling me to think differently?

How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?

What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?

Further Reading

2 Thessalonians 3:6-13

Topics: Repentance Stealing Stewardship

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Loves the World

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Victoria put her arms around Aunt Grace and hugged her as hard as she could. “It’s so hard to say good-bye, Aunt Grace,” she said. “I wish you could stay with us instead of going back to Africa.”

Aunt Grace set her suitcase on the floor and knelt down to look right into Victoria’s eyes. “It’s hard for me to say good-bye too, Torybell,” she said. Torybell was the special name that only Aunt Grace called her. “I love you, and I’ve had so much fun staying at your house and playing with you. But you know something? I love Jesus even more. And Jesus loves the people in Cameroon that I work with. He wants them to have the Bible in their own language. That’s why I have to go back. Jesus has called me to learn their language and translate His Word so they can read it and know of His love. And when Jesus calls, I have to follow. You understand, don’t you?”

Victoria nodded. She closed her eyes to squeeze back the tears, and Aunt Grace gave her one more quick hug. “I’ll pray for you, Aunt Grace.”

“Thanks, Torybell.”

Victoria stood next to her mom at the window of the airport, and they watched until Aunt Grace’s plane was out of sight. Victoria looked up at her mom. “I’m going to pray every day for those people in Cameroon,” she said.

“Let’s make a point to pray together–every day,” said Mom. “We’ll pray that they’ll read the Bible Aunt Grace is putting into their language and that God will save them.”

Victoria was quiet as they walked to the car. Maybe someday I’ll be like Aunt Grace and live in another part of the world, she thought. It would be hard to say good-bye to Mom and Dad. But it would sure be great to tell the world about God’s love.

God loves the world and wants the whole world to know of His salvation.

My Response:
» Am I praying for God to save people around the world?
» How can I show God that His love for the whole world is important to me?

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 20:7

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

Israel suffered under the Canaanite king, Jabin, for twenty years. The renowned general of his army, Sisera, commanded 900 iron chariots – more than any army in the Old Testament. These chariots were the tanks of their day – sleek, fast and deadly. Sisera horribly oppressed the Israelites until they cried out to God for help.

In response to their plea, God spoke to Deborah, the only woman to ever judge in Israel. She summoned Barak to tell him that “the Lord God of Israel” (Judges 4:6) commanded him to go fight General Sisera with 10,000 soldiers. God commanded! Not his father or mother, doctor or minister, but God Himself! He even promised unquestioned victory and to give Sisera into Barak’s hands.

And how did Barak respond? Did he suit up for war? Call for his sword and shield? Rally the troops? None of those things. He wimped out. He turned to the woman, the “weaker” fair sex, and staunchly declared, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!” (Judges 4:8)

Deborah did not flinch. Proving her strong leadership and faith in God, she agreed to accompany Barak on his campaign. Just as God promised, General Sisera and every man in his army fell to the Israelites that day. But the glory for the battle belonged to a woman – not to Barak.

What is God commanding you to do today? Maybe He has asked you to apologize for an offense. Perhaps He has instructed you to share the Gospel with a coworker. Has a habit taken root that He is asking you to lay aside? Is He asking you to initiate a new discipline? Do not ignore or postpone.

Even though Barak eventually proved to be a worthy warrior, his initial hesitation cost him. He faltered at the Word of the Lord. His misplaced faith – in another human instead of God – testified to his fear and inability to follow God without doubt.

Whatever God is prompting, obey without delay. Attune your ear to His merest whisper. Align yourself to His request. You can trust His direction without reservation. He is faithful to accomplish every one of His promises. He will bless your “Yes!”

Today’s Blessing: 

Heavenly Father, I pray for a heart that is sensitive to Your every word. I pray for ears to hear what You would speak to me. I ask for a willing heart and swift feet to accomplish what You command. I am Your humble, obedient servant in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Numbers 4:1-5:31

New Testament 

Mark 12:18-37

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 48:1-14

Proverbs 10:26

https://www.jhm.org