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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Ecclesiastes 12:14

 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

As you read through the 12th chapter of Ecclesiastes, you are reading the words of a "wise man", who, by inspiration, pens the "wisdom", which is "truth" from God.

King Solomon, who wrote Ecclesiastes, is also known as the "Preacher", verse 9, and in this last chapter states that the end of all matters is "vanity", verse 8. Solomon says everything is "vanity". That sounds a bit perplexing and very pessimistic, but in reality, the Preacher is saying -- if you read the entire book of Ecclesiastes, you will see that what is meant is all of life's ambitions, attractions, attitudes and attacks are what is "all vanity".

In the last two verses of his book, King Solomon summarizes what life should be all about. Verse 13 is the conclusion of the whole matter of life and the exhortation is to "fear God" and "do as He says we should do”.

Then in verse 14 the Preacher reminds us all that "God will bring our every work into judgment," even the secret things we do. All our works, good or evil, will be brought into judgment.

Every person's works, whether that person be saved or lost, will be brought into judgment. For the
saved person those works will be judged at the "Judgment Seat of Christ", II Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10.

The procedure at the Judgment Seat is for Jesus to judge our works, I Corinthians 3:13-15. We receive "rewards", "crowns" that then we will cast at His feet in thanksgiving, Revelation 4:10, for the things that our Lord has done for us.

These "good" works are works we’ve done in His power and for His glory. We suffer loss for those works we do in our own power and for our own glory. Jesus will be the judge of all of our works, whether they are "good" or "worthless".

Let me remind you, we're not saved by works, but "by grace through faith", Ephesians 2:8-9. However, we're created unto good works, Ephesians 2:10. It is the "works" that we have done for the Lord that He will judge us for at the Judgment Seat.

The "lost" person will also be judged, at the "Great White Throne", for his works, Revelation 20:11-15. This Judgment is for a lost person, as it relates to the degrees of "punishment", which the lost person will suffer in eternity future. This will be a terrible time for the lost person.

King Solomon wrote an entire book to tell us what he sums up in two verses, "all is vanity, fear God
and do what He tells us to do". This truth will be very real to each of us at the judgment we face in the "last days".

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to do works for Your glory Lord, and in Your power, in preparation for the coming Judgment.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Ecclesiastes 3:1

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 3:1-12

God entrusted one man to write three books, all focused on the "wisdom of God". The essence of the three manuscripts speak of wisdom and reveals to us that the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of knowledge, Proverbs 1:7.

As we read through the three books penned by the wise man, King Solomon, we see that with knowledge we get understanding and wisdom comes through that understanding of knowledge given to us as we reverentially fear the Lord and have a hatred for the evil He hates.

Solomon also speaks to us about "time". "Time" is one thing that is given to each of us individually but in the same amounts. Each of us have been given 86,400 seconds each day. It is what we do with the time that God has given us that matters.

As you read through our extended reading today, think on the statements about "time" and what
should happen with the time the Lord has given each of us.

One important time is the time you are spending right now, a "devotional time". Spending this time in His book, the Bible, will assist us in spending the rest of our time for Him.

There needs to be a time set aside each week to join others in our worship of the Lord. That would be a "church time".

High priority in the expanse of time is what is referred to as "family time". We cut back on "family time" to our own detriment and the detriment of our family members.

Another theme of Solomon is "work time". God has a plan for every one of us, not only those who are ministers. This is a plan that is well described as "work time". There is also "rest time".

Remember when your Mom used to give you rest time. Remember the old saying, "We must come apart to rest or we will come apart".

For those who don't know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior there is a "time of Salvation". It is an appointed time, today.

Then, as we often remind you, there are the "end times". That is the period of time we are living in today. When Daniel used the phrase, "at the time of the end", Daniel 11:40, he was referring to the time today.

Every Bible prophecy that needed to be fulfilled before the Rapture, has been fulfilled. Today could well be the time of the shout from the Archangel, Jesus shouting and the trumpet sounding, which will call us to join our Lord in the heavens. That "time" could be today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord to look for you and live accordingly in the "time of the end".

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Ecclesiastes 2:11

 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 2:1-11

A key phrase in the book of Ecclesiastes is "under the sun" which is used a number of times in Solomon's journal of his life. Remember, Solomon was the third king of Israel, the son of Israel's second king, David.

I mentioned that this book was actually a journal written by one of the wisest men to ever live on earth and most assuredly the richest man to ever live at any time in history.

I just noticed the statement by Solomon that he "gathered...silver and gold", verse 8. A record of how much gold the king received just in one year is found in I Kings 10:14 where it says that "666 talents" of the precious metal came into Solomon's coffers in just one year.

If you define "talents" it would mean that the amount of gold would have been 25 tons, 50,000 pounds, or 800,000 ounces of gold. At the present day price of gold at over $1,700 per ounce, and you can see how rich this man would have been.

Verse 4 says that Solomon built himself houses. I Kings 7:1-8 records the information about Solomon's home that took him 13 years to build. That is 6 more years to build his house than it took him to build the Temple, I Kings 6:38. His home was 11,250 square feet, the Temple only 2,700 square feet.

I guess Solomon needed such a large house for all of his wives and concubines, 700 wives and 300 concubines. Solomon did not have an "iPad and/or iPhone" to download music but instead, he had "men singers" and "women singers" and the "delights of the sons of men as musical instruments", verse 8.

The truth of the matter is that whatever Solomon saw with his eyes that he wanted, he got. In today's world of "consumption," Solomon would have been "number one".

But notice his statement, verse 11. All he got was vanity and vexation of spirit, "there was no profit under the sun". How much like our world today was Solomon in his day. Solomon concluded, "there was no profit under the sun", he was a very "egocentric" man.

That word, "egocentric", does describe our world today. However, as we continue to look for Jesus to come back and keep our focus on the heavenlies, we will become "Christo-centric", Christ will be our focus.

What is exciting is the reality that the events of this world today seem to indicate that the Lord’s shout for us to join Him in the heavenlies at the Rapture is about to happen. Today we could be caught up to be with Him forever more someplace beyond the "sun". Even so, come Lord Jesus.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, not to be "egocentric" but to become "Christo-centric" as I eagerly await Your return.

Monday, March 28, 2022

Ecclesiastes 1:1

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

For further study - Ecclesiastes 1:1-12

Our extended reading for today opens and closes with the same testimony of the writer, he is the "preacher" who was King of Israel in Jerusalem. I’ll have more on the significance of that testimony in a moment. But first, enjoy the poetic literature of the writer of Ecclesiastes, the "Preacher".

Solomon sets the stage for the entire book in verse 2 when he explains that all in this world is vanity, not foolish pride, but the emptiness that will be the final results of life apart from God. The writer then reveals that our labor in this world is of no profit. Only what is done for Him has eternal value.

Notice how Solomon describes the sun that rises, goes down and then hastens to its place to rise again, verse 5. All the rivers run into the sea and the oceans are not filled up. In fact, those waters return to the rivers only to return to the sea once again.

In the theme that all is vanity, Solomon tells us that our eyes and ears will not be satisfied with our seeing and hearing, with whatever we see and hear.

Now back to our key verse and the last verse of our extended reading, verses 1 and 12. Notice the testimonies of the writer of this book, the "preacher" is King Solomon, the third King of Israel. King
Solomon was the son of Israel's second king, King David. That is significant because of the covenant that God made with David.

The Davidic Covenant was the promise that there would be a "son of David" who would sit on his throne forever. Solomon, the first to sit on the throne, had to be the first, so that the last, Jesus Christ, could one day be the King of Kings and set upon the throne of David.

The Davidic covenant also promised that David's son Solomon would build the first Temple, and he did build the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, some 3,000 years ago.

The testimony of the "Preacher", King Solomon, is a benchmark in the fulfillment of God's covenant promise to King David and the Jewish people. The fulfillment of God’s promise to King David is an assurance to each of us who will be the "bride" to the coming King in Jerusalem, Jesus Christ.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to see temporal things as vanity, eternal things as profitable.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Proverbs 23:31

 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.

For further study - Proverbs 23:20-35

This is a unique passage of Scripture in light of the ever increasing number of church members who believe it is alright for them to take a "social drink", have an intoxicating beverage.

On the radio recently, a long time Bible-believing Bible teacher made the statement that he saw nothing wrong with a Christian having a "social drink". This Radio Bible teacher, the voice of a great, long time ministry, I believe went against not only the Word of God but against the spirit of the Word.

The writer of Proverbs addressed the issue head on. He writes to us to not be "among the
winebibbers". Some may say, "I'm not a drunkard". If that is your response, please keep reading through our entire devotional and the extended reading for today, especially the last 7 verses.

The writer reveals the lifestyle of one who "tarries long at the wine", verse 30. Please notice verse 31. The exhortation is "to not even look at the wine when it is red, when it is moving in the cup". In other words, when the "juice of the vine', the grape juice, in a cup starts to move, the grape juice has fermented and thus it is intoxicating. It is at that time one should not partake of this intoxicating

There is an interesting restriction that is placed upon the "kings of Israel" found in the last chapter of Proverbs. Proverbs 31:4-5  reveals that Kings cannot drink wine, intoxicating liquid. The reason is that a King that drinks intoxicating beverages would forget the law and pervert their judgment of matters pertaining to the King's subjects.

Our key verse for our reading today has an interesting connection to a prophetic passage for the last days. Zechariah 12:2 refers to Jerusalem as a "cup of trembling" which is "apocalyptic literature". In apocalyptic literature, the writer of Scripture is using a "symbol" to communicate an absolute truth.

In light of our key verse, verse 31, a "cup of trembling" would mean that Jerusalem will be "intoxicating" to those who control it in the last days. Those who have control of Jerusalem and in particular the Temple Mount, are, and will be intoxicated with that power as we move closer to the return of Jesus Christ to Jerusalem to build His temple on the Temple Mount.

Such is the description of the situation at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem today. Moslems control the Temple Mount, which is the most sacred piece of real estate to both Jews and Christians in the entire universe. These Moslems have become "intoxicated" with that power. Bible prophecy is moving very close to complete fulfillment.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You, Lord, for instructions for my daily life and the standard I should keep as I await Your soon return to earth.
Saturday, March 26, 2022

Proverbs 21:30

 There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.

For further study - Proverbs 21:1-31 

I had you read the whole chapter today in our extended reading because Proverbs is such a practical book for believers to read on a daily basis. Someone said, "a Proverb a day keeps the devil away".

 It is a great idea to read a Proverb everyday of the year and glean from your readings wisdom beyond what you have today. I have found that to be the case with me. As an example of this, let me share several blessings from my reading today.

The hearts of our political leaders are truly in the hand of the Lord and He is in control of all "governmental leaders", both the saved and the lost, Proverbs 21:1. Any financial gain we make thru
deception only leads to a terrible time, Proverbs 21:6, even unto death.

The writer of the Proverbs, King Solomon, spoke of a proper work ethic and that those who "love pleasure" will end up as the poor. This is a lesson very needed in our society today.

As one who often opens his mouth before thinking about what is being said, I really pray for God's help to understand, Proverbs 21:23. I can stay out of trouble, if I watch my mouth and tongue more closely. Have you ever had that problem? You don't have to answer.

If we know Christ as Lord and Saviour, Proverbs 21:26, gives us instruction for our giving.
The last verse in Proverbs 21 is "prophetic". It talks about the "day of battle". I know this verse, written around 3,000 years ago, has application down through the millennia. It is also looking to that final "day of battle" that takes place at the end of the Tribulation Period, the Battle of Armageddon.

 This "final war" will be the one where Jesus intercedes to defeat the forces of Satan who are trying to kill all of the Jews remaining on earth at that time, Revelation 19.

 Notice the verse says even though you prepare for war, your safety is in the Lord. Jesus Christ will
come to defeat Satan and all of his forces and set up the "kingdom", the Kingdom He has promised to the Jewish people.

According to other prophecies in God's word, this "day", the "day of the final war", is quickly approaching. However, I must remind you that seven years before this "final war" the Rapture will take place and all Christians will be called up to the heavenlies. That day could be today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you for your Word, the Bible, given to me, instruction on how to live.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Proverbs 15:3

The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

For further study - Proverbs 15:1-33

Someone has said that a Christian should read one chapter of Proverbs every day of the month. In fact that works very well because there are 31 chapters in Proverbs. May I encourage you to read today this 15th chapter of Proverbs. It is packed with wisdom for everyday living.

As you read through this nugget of God's wisdom please notice verse 3. What an awesome thought, "the eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good".

These words remind me of other verses that convey that same truth to the reader: Proverbs 5:21 --- "the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord": Job 34:21 --- "His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He seeth all His goings": Jeremiah 16:17 --- "Neither is their iniquity hid from mine eyes": Jeremiah 32:19 --- "For thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of man": Hebrews 4:13 --- "neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight".

John the Revelator wrote in the description of the resurrected, glorified person of Jesus Christ, found in Revelation 1:12-16, that His eyes, verse 14, were as a "flame of fire". A further word study of this description would indicate that the Lord has "x-ray vision". He sees all, everywhere. His eyes are upon our every activity, our every word, our good works and our bad works.

What an awesome thought as we await the One described in Revelation that will call us up to be with Him forevermore, at the Rapture. At the time of the Rapture we will stand at the "Judgment Seat of Christ", a time when all of our works will be judged, both the good and the bad, by Jesus Christ.

This truth should help to bring us more in line with "His image" as we prepare to enter into "His eternal presence". This is not a time to determine "saved" or "lost" that will be already determined before we arrive at the Judgment Seat. This judgment is to determine "rewards" or "loss of rewards" that Jesus will or will not give each of us.

These "rewards" will be for praising Him for what He has done for us, Revelation 4:10, and also to determine our "job description" for eternity future, Revelation 22:12. This will be a very awesome time. We must prepare for it today. Remember, the Rapture can happen at any moment, even today. 

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord help me this day to live my life before you, the One who sees all that I do, both good and evil.
Thursday, March 24, 2022

Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

For further study - Proverbs 1:1-29

The book of Proverbs written by King Solomon is packed with tidbits of spiritual refreshment. A daily dose of Proverbs is worth every minute spent reading and meditating upon its contents.

Our key verse, verse 7, speaks of "knowledge". We will look at the impact of "knowledge" in a moment. Before we do that, let’s take a look at the entire book of Proverbs. There is a goldmine of nuggets that will bring true riches to you as you read them each day.

Someone has said that a "Proverb a day will keep the devil away". I commend to you Proverbs as additional reading after our daily devotionals. What you will find is a number of sayings, a collection of sayings from Solomon that contain Divine wisdom applied to the earthly, everyday conditions of the people of God.

Notice in our key verse a definition of the beginning of "knowledge". "Knowledge" does not come with University training but by a "fear of the Lord". I don't mean that we are to "fear the Lord" like we fear someone who can bring harm upon us. The term "fear of the Lord" is a "reverential fear" that is also a "hatred of evil". This is the "fear" King Solomon is referring to in the verse.

The Word then states the source of "true knowledge" is that "hatred of evil" and the "reverential fear of the Lord" that is the beginning of "knowledge". This world's thinking is focused on the wrong source for true "knowledge".

The Lord Jesus Christ was the "Creator" of the heavens and earth and all that is in it and on it. There is only one way you and I can know anything about our origins and that is by reading the account written by the only One that was there, "In the beginning".

The eyewitness to Creation was Jesus Himself and if we want to have knowledge of that time we must read the Lord's account of this time in history, as recorded in the first and second chapters of Genesis.

Then, through a "reverential fear" of the Lord that causes us to read His Word, we gain "knowledge" which contains wisdom and instruction. "Fear" is a great thing when focused on the Lord Jesus Christ.

This "knowledge" that we receive from the Lord and His Word is the instructions by which we can then live out our lives as we await His call, at the Rapture, for us to join Him in the heavenlies.

By the way, it is essential that we make certain we watch and live for His call daily, because our world today is set for it to happen, the Rapture, at any moment, maybe even today.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Give me, dear Lord, a "reverential fear" of You, which will bring me knowledge, wisdom and instruction for my everyday life.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Psalm 139:14

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

For further study - Psalm 139:1-24

I love this chapter written by King David, which speaks of the attributes of God and how He watches over me because He brought me into existence. I am privileged to share these thoughts with you today from our devotional reading.

David, the King, was also a musician who writes this Psalm like it was a hymn with three verses. Verse one presents our wonderful Lord in His "omniscience", verses 1-6.

"Omniscience" means that the Lord is "all knowing". David refers to "the Lord" who "knows me", verse 1; my "down-sitting", verse 2; and my "words", verse 4. That is an awesome thought, what God knows about me.

The "omnipresence" of God, another characteristic of my Lord, is presented in verses 7-12 by the Psalmist. It's interesting to note that David uses the truth of how we can not "flee from Thy presence", verse 7, in explaining that the Lord is present everywhere and at all times, and we can never "get away from Him".

Why in the world would we want to be out of His presence, even if it was possible? The only answer is that we would be living in "sin" and ashamed to be in His presence. The other great aspect of His "omnipresence" is that He is always there to take care of us, what a blessing that is for each of us.

Verses 13-18 present the "omnipotence" of the Lord. He is "all powerful". I especially love these verses written by David about our Lord and how He made me and knows everything about my person, body, soul and spirit.

Because He is "omnipotent", "I am fearfully and wonderfully made", verse 14."My body is not hidden from Him, even when I was in my mothers womb", verses 13-16. These verses are the greatest proof that "abortion" is "murder", blasphemy against the Lord.

He knew me before I was born and possessed me at that time. Actually, He knew me in "eternity past", Jeremiah 1:5.

As the second King of Israel concludes this marvelous passage on the attributes of the Lord he brings to our attention the reality that the world is an "enemy " of our Lord. David writes of a "perfect hatred", verse 22. There is a "hatred of those that hate the Lord". That is a pretty heavy thought.

The prayer that David uses and gives us to use also, in the last two verses, verses 23-24, is a prayer that we should, or at least I should, pray every day as I await the all-knowing, always present and all-powerful Lord who will keep me until He calls me to meet Him in the air at the Rapture, which could happen today.

Rehearsing the characteristics, attributes, of the Lord, on a daily basis, will prepare me, and in fact, each of us, for the future and our departure to be with Him, forever.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord, please search me, know my heart, reveal any wicked way in me, and lead me in thy way, everlasting.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Psalm 132:13

For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation.

For further study - Psalm 132:1-18

This Psalm is one of the Psalms that King Solomon wrote, and he wrote it in honor of his father David and the promise that God had made to his father, the Davidic Covenant.

David had passed from the scene and now Solomon prepared, by prayer to the Lord for provision and direction, for building the permanent worship center that David wanted to have been able to build.

The Lord had promised his father that there would be a Temple in Jerusalem and that King David's son would sit on the throne in Jerusalem and this would be the case forever as well, II Samuel 7, (The Davidic Covenant).

Solomon opens his prayer calling upon the Lord to remember the promise that He made to David. Solomon was eager to do the work of the Lord to build the Temple in Jerusalem.

In fact, Solomon tells the Lord that he would be willing to not go into his own home and go to bed and sleep until he had found the place where the Lord would dwell among His people, the Jewish people.

Solomon set the example that we should follow, the Lord's work comes before our own need for sleep. The Lord assured Solomon that He would fulfill his father David's desire to build a "permanent dwelling place" for the Lord.

Then, the Lord tells Solomon and all saints down through the ages that, in fact, He has chosen Jerusalem as the location on earth where He will dwell among His people, the Jewish people, forever, verses 13-14.

This was the Lord's plan from eternity past and is the reason that King David purchased the threshing floor from Ornon the Jebusite, I Chronicles 21:18-30. It's the reason that King David made Jerusalem the "political capital" of the Jewish people, II Samuel 5, and also, the "spiritual capital" of the Jews, II Samuel 6.

God, in eternity past, chose Jerusalem as His eternal abode among His people, the Jewish people. It is the reason the Lord had Solomon to build the first Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

This is also the reason that Jerusalem has been a center of controversy in the past. It's the reason that Jerusalem is so controversial today and it will continue to be that way until the Lord Jesus comes to build His permanent Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, and to dwell among His people, forever.

However, I must remind you that there is another event before the return of the Lord to earth to build His Temple, in fact this next event, the Rapture happens at least seven years before the Lord’s return. The truth be-known, the Rapture could happen today. Keep looking up.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me Lord, to realize as I watch the controversy surrounding Jerusalem today, to realize Your plan for Your city and how close that plan may be to fulfillment.

Monday, March 21, 2022

Psalm 83:1

Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God.

For further study - Psalm 83:1-18

This is a very important Psalm in the "last days scenario" that is found in Bible prophecy. Combining this chapter along with Daniel 11:40-45 and Ezekiel 38 will give you an understanding of how the nations will align themselves against the Jewish State of Israel in the last days.

I must remind you that there is no prophecy of private interpretation, II Peter 1:20, therefore these three passages of prophetic scripture that I mentioned above, and many other passages in God's Word, enlighten us to how the nations form a coalition to destroy Israel in the last days.

In this passage the Psalmist is actually praying and the very first verse sets the scene for what is the theme of this prophetic passage.

The Psalmist wants the Lord to awaken to the fact that these nations are making plans to try to remove Israel from the face of the earth. Thus he wants God to protect them and destroy the attacking enemy.

Verses 2 and 3 record the prayer alerting the Lord of the enemies of Israel, and thus enemies of the Lord Himself, relaying to Him that these enemies are ready to go after Israel, having developed a plan.

Verse 4 states that these enemies of God and Israel want to destroy Israel so that "the name of Israel will no longer be remembered".

By the way, verse 4 is almost a direct quote from former Iranian President Ahmadinejad's speech to over 4,000 Arab and Islamic leaders in Tehran when he called for Israel to be wiped off the face of the earth and be forgotten forever.

These are the names of some of the enemies of Israel that you will recognize. The Edom, in verse 6, is the Palestinian people of today. The Ishmaelites of that same verse are the people of Saudi Arabia. Tyre, listed in verse 7, is modern-day Lebanon.

I believe I have given you enough names of nations who are today preparing to join with other nations to form a coalition of nations aligned against the Jewish State of Israel.

We are living in Psalm 83. These nations mentioned, plus those mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and Daniel 11 are making ready for their attack on Israel. This attack takes place in the first six months of the seven year long Tribulation Period after the body of Christ, Christians, have departed earth at the Rapture.

With the nearness of this coalition of nations attacking Israel upon us, the Rapture, which happens before these nations attack, the Rapture must be very close at hand. Keep looking up!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Your time clock dear Lord, Israel, is about to be attacked, which indicates the Rapture must be close at hand. Even so come Lord Jesus, today!

Psalm 24:10

Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

For further study - Psalm 24:1-10

When reading through the Bible, as you come to Psalm 22, 23 and 24, you see three aspects of a "shepherd", the "good shepherd", the "great shepherd" and the "chief shepherd". In Psalm 22, the Psalmist reveals the "Good Shepherd" as the "shepherd" who gives his life for his sheep, John 10:11.

The Psalmist gives us a graphic picture of death by crucifixion. This Psalm is a prophecy of the Messiah who would give His life for the salvation of all who would come to Him for eternal life.

Psalm 23 depicts the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the One the Psalmist is writing about, as the "Great Shepherd". The writer shows the "Great Shepherd", "brought again from the dead through the blood of the everlasting covenant", Hebrews 13:20, is the One that tenderly cares for the sheep.

In our devotional reading for today, we focus on the "Chief Shepherd", I Peter 5:4, who appears as the "King of Glory", the One who comes to reward the sheep. Four times in Psalm 24 the Messiah is referred to as the "King of Glory", verses 7-10.

As we begin to read through this 24th Psalm we see that the Chief Shepherd was also the "Creator", verses 1 and 2. The truth is, that the only way He could be the "Chief Shepherd" and the "King of Glory" is that He was the "Creator" of all things and that all of Creation belongs to Him.

The Psalmist then tells us that the only way we can "ascend to the hill of the Lord" is if we have "clean hands and a pure heart", verse 4. By the way, the next verse in our reading reveals to us that our salvation, the way to clean hands and a pure heart, comes from Him, verse 5.

Verses 7-10 speak of the coming Messiah, referred to here as the "King of Glory". I have heard a song that uses these four verses as the words to its melody. It is a beautiful song, which, of course, is what the Psalms are, "songs to sing".

Let me go back to the reference in I Peter 5:4 that speaks of the "Chief Shepherd", the "King of Glory". Notice the Chief Shepherd brings with Him when He comes a "crown of glory" for all of us, as Christians, that have "fed the flock", I Peter 5:2. That means we have helped other Christians to grow in the Lord as we have been "examples to the flock," I Peter 5:3.

I look forward to receiving from the "Chief Shepherd" a "crown of glory" when the "King of Glory" comes. I want to give back to our Lord this crown, Revelation 4:10, in thanksgiving for what the "Chief Shepherd", the "King of Glory" has done for me.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me, Lord, to be at the task of "feeding the flock" by being the example you want me to be so I will receive the "crown of glory" from the "Chief Shepherd" when You come.