Daily Bible Readings:
Monday, January 25. Read Daniel 6:16-24. 1) What do you think made Daniel a “blameless” man? 2) How did that characteristic affect the king?
Tuesday, January 26. Read Acts 10:1-8. 1) What was distinctive about Cornelius’ life? 2) How did God regard him, as a result?
Wednesday, January 27. Read Titus 2:11-14. 1) What effect does the “grace of God” have on us? 2) How does God expect us to live in this world?
Thursday, January 28. Read Micah 6:6-8. 1) What did Micah say that God wants from us? 2) How do you think that looks in practical terms?
Friday, January 29. Read Acts 4:1-13. 1) Peter and John were put on trial for healing a crippled man. 2) What did Peter and John say about Jesus? 3) What did the religious leaders say about Peter and John?
Saturday, January 30. Read Luke 2:22-40. This is Sunday’s sermon text.
Prayer for the Week:
Dear Lord, we pray for your salvation and for the coming of your kingdom. We pray for the day when evil will no longer keep the poor and ill trapped in poverty and neglect. We pray for the day that earthly kingdoms will negotiate with love rather than war. We pray for the day in which your name will be uppermost in everyone’s affections. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Hymn of the Week:
Crown Him with Many Crowns
by Matthew Bridges, 1851
Crown him with many crowns,
the Lamb upon his throne.
Hark! how the heavenly anthem drowns
all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing
of him who died for thee,
and hail him as thy matchless king
through all eternity.
Crown him the Lord of life,
who triumphed o’er the grave,
and rose victorious in the strife
for those he came to save;
his glories now we sing
who died and rose on high,
who died eternal life to bring,
and lives that death may die.
Crown him the Lord of love;
behold his hands and side,
rich wounds, yet visible above,
in beauty glorified;
no angels in the sky
can fully bear that sight,
but downward bends their burning eye
at mysteries so bright.
Crown him the Lord of years,
the potentate of time,
creator of the rolling spheres,
All hail, Redeemer, hail!
for thou hast died for me;
thy praise shall never, never fail
Devotional Article of the Week:
Do You See What I See?
by Mike Barres
I have a wooden plaque on my desk. It has thin pieces of wood placed on it. If you look at the spaces between the pieces of wood carefully and creatively, you can see the name, “Jesus.” Some people can see it. Others can’t quite make it out.
In the Christmas song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” there is a line that says, “Do you see what I see?” I often think about Simeon and Anna who saw the baby Jesus at the temple (Luke 2:22-40). They saw Jesus and recognized Him as the Messiah.
There must have been many other people at the Temple that day who didn’t see anything other than a poor couple and their young baby. Simeon and Anna, however, recognized Jesus!
Recently a young man asked me, “Why was it that some of the people of Jesus’ day didn’t recognize that he was the Messiah?” I told him that some were too familiar with him, knowing Him as Joseph and Mary’s son (Mark 6:1-5).
Others expected the Messiah to be a political leader, but Jesus wasn’t who they expected. Sometimes people don’t see because they aren’t looking or because they are just too busy or because they don’t want to see.
God wants us to be able to see, but for some that is not possible. Why? Primarily because we must want to see. I like the song that has us pray, “Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you …”
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).
I want to be like Simeon and Anna! I want to see what God is doing rather than being so busy I am distracted and unseeing.
It is easy to be like some of the people of Jesus’ day–too casual to recognize Jesus and his work. The words of Jeremiah are especially pertinent here. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart,” (Jeremiah 29:13).
In this season fresh after Christmas and as we begin the New Year, I want to be like Simeon and Anna, who saw Jesus. I want to see Him and know what He is doing. I want to follow His will for my life. So join me in seeking and searching after Him with all of my heart!