Examine the Scriptures Every Day

Acts 17

Examine the Scriptures Every DayThe Bereans examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11

How about us? Do we examine the Scriptures each day to see if what Paul said, what a writer, preacher, friend says about God’s words are true? God is not worried that an audit of his words will reveal an error, for through his Spirit the writer of Proverbs said, “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” Proverbs 30:5

Jealous Jews rounded up bad characters, formed a mob, and started a riot in the city. These jealous Jews went to Berea, agitating the crowd, and stirring them up. Acts 17:5 & 13

Do we? When circumstances run counter to what we hoped would happen, do we round up a tribe of like-minded believers, form a mob, and riot in the streets and online? Perhaps because Paul endured beatings prompted by agitated mobs, he wrote, “If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” Romans 12:18

A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to dispute with Paul, asking, “What is this babbler trying to say?” They took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “You bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.” Acts 17:18-21

Is this the way we seek wisdom and knowledge? By rushing after the latest popular movement or some awakened understanding that suggests we are more enlightened than God? Do the words of God leave us confused, as though he speaks in code? If so, we only need to raise our hand and ask for help. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”-  James 1:5

“God is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, for he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. God made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. God did this in order that they should seek him, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us. In the past God overlooked our times of ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. He has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:26-31

As the psalmist says, “Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” Psalm 100:2. Never forget that we can only serve God because through his mercy he allows us to come into his presence. He does not need to be served, but through his grace, he allows us to anoint his feet with perfume and wipe his feet with the very hairs on our head. He saves. He redeems. He has fixed a day for judgement.  All he asks of us is that we turn from our sins and towards him. Will we?


Lord, you are my shield around me. You bestow glory on me. You lift up my head. To you, I cry aloud and you answer from your holy hill. I lie down and sleep. I awake again because of you. Sustain me. Arise, O Lord. Deliver me, O God! From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessings be on your people. May your blessings be on me.  Psalm 3

I Am Poor and Needy

Psalm 40

I Am Poor and NeedyBlessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust. Psalm 40:4

Blessed is the man who does not look to the proud, to those who turn to false gods. Psalm 40:4

My prayer:

I proclaim (your) righteousness in the great assembly. I do not seal my lips. Psalm 40:9

I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and truth from the great assembly. Psalm 40:10

Do not withhold your mercy from me, O Lord. May your love and your truth always protect me. Psalm 40:11

My sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. Psalm 40:12

O Lord, come quickly to help me. Psalm 40:13

I am poor and needy. Lord, may you think of me. You are my help and my deliverer. O my God, do not delay! Psalm 40:17

This Poor Man Called and the Lord Heard Him

Psalm 34

This Poor Man Called and the Lord Heard HimMy soul brags in the Lord. Psalm 34:1 Does yours?

Glorify the Lord with me. Let us exalt, praise, and shout his name together. Psalm 34:2-2

I sought the Lord and he answered me. He delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4  What are your fears? List them.

This poor man called and the Lord heard him. The Lord saved me out of all my troubles. Psalm 34:6 What troubles you? Make a list and give it to God.

The angel of the Lord sets up camp around those who fear him. The angel of the Lord delivers them. Psalm 34:7  Of what do you need deliverance?

Fear the Lord, for those who fear God lack nothing. Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10 What good things do you lack? Make a list. Give it to God.

It’s not me who lives and says these things, but Christ living in me. Galatians 2:20

May the Words of My Mouth and the Meditation of My Heart Be Pleasing in Your Sight

Psalm 19

May the Words of My Mouth and the Meditation of My Heart Be Pleasing in Your SightIf you have ever attended a worship service, you may have heard a pastor pray these words before the sermon:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

There is certainly nothing wrong with asking that our words and heart-felt thoughts be pleasing to God, but as with any passage in any book, context matters. Before David prayed these words in Psalm 19:14, he affirmed the words of God as pleasing to all men and women.

The law of the Lord is perfect. The law of the Lord revives the soul. Psalm 19:7

Law: the system of rules which a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and which it may enforce by the imposition of penalties.

Perfect: having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics.
Revive: restore life, energy, consciousness, or strength.

The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy. The statutes of the Lord make wise the simple. Psalm 19:7

Statutes: a rule of an organization or institution.

Trustworthy: able to be relied on as honest or truthful.
Simple: easily understood; presenting no difficulty.

The precepts of the Lord are right. The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart. Psalm 19:8

Precepts: a general rule intended to regulate behavior or thought.

Right: morally good, justified, or acceptable; true or correct as a fact.
Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

The commands of the Lord are radiant. The commands of the Lord give light to the eyes. Psalm 19:8

Commands: an authoritative order.

Radiant: sending out light; shining or glowing brightly.
Light: makes things visible.

The fear of the Lord is pure. The fear of the Lord endures forever. Psalm 19:9

Fear of God: sense of respect, awe, and submission.

Pure: not mixed or adulterated with any other substance or material.
Forever: for all future time; for always.

The decrees of the Lord are sure. The decrees of the Lord are altogether righteous. Psalm 19:9

Decrees: an official order issued by an authority.

Sure: certain, without doubt, secure.
Righteous: morally right, excellent, virtuous.

By the Lord’s law, statutes, precepts, decrees, and ordinances your servant is warned. In keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:11

Who can discern his own errors? Only the one who fears the Lord and has his law, statutes, precepts, decrees, and ordinances in his heart.

The next time you are about to say, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord,” compare your words to those found in scripture. If you find your comments at odds with God’s law, statutes, precepts, and decrees, stop, turn, and examine how you arrived at that thought and conclusion. Then ask to be forgiven and for God’s help in showing you how his perfect words apply to your circumstances.

Lord, keep your servant from willful sins. Forgive my hidden faults. May my sins not rule over me. Only then will I be blameless and innocent of great transgressions. Psalm 19:12-13

The great danger in God’s work is placing the needs of others above the call of Christ. Am I foolish enough to trust what Jesus said? – Oswald Chambers